Characters / High Plains Drifter
The Stranger/ Marshal Jim Duncan
The main protagonist of the movie. No one knows who he is but can guess why he is here till they are blue in the mouth. He has no trouble turning the townsfolk against each other to achieve his revenge.
- Anti-Hero: A well-meant guy who takes pity on the oppressed. He also bullies the cowardly townsfolk, and rapes a woman who was rude to him when he could have just ignored her.
- Ambiguously Human: The movie doesn't make it clear as to exactly what he is.
- Ironic Hell: Throughout the entire movie, key characters are punished in ways similar to their own crimes. It even goes as far as turning the town into hell. There was a goldmine in Lago that the US government didn't know about. The marshal was gonna rat the town out, but got whipped to death by the Big Bad and his henchmen, hired by the townspeople. The townspeople were punished by having all their resources wasted by The Stranger taking advantage of the offer given to him of having anything he wanted. This in turn turned the townspeople against one another. The Big Bad's gang was punished by the Stranger himself: the first guy got whipped to death, while the second was hanged, saving the Big Bad for last.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: He might be an avenging angel, a demon, a ghost or an otherworldly being sent to mete out divine punishment. He might also just be a lucky and clever drifter with a particular moral code.
- No Name Given: Though it is hinted at the end, he never really gave out his name.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: It has been hinted that He is the ghost of the dead marshal. If he is a ghost, he has a solid enough physical body to attack people, but is immune to gunfire.
- What the Hell, Hero?: You'll say this a lot even for an Eastwood film. The title character has no problem committing various disturbing acts, such as murder, rape and extortion.
- Who Are You?: Though only the Big Bad says it out loud many of the townspeople (and to an extent the audience) don't know who he is.