Characters: Lord of the Flies

Ralph

Played by: James Aubrey (1963 film); Balthazar Getty (1990 film)
A twelve year old boy, and main protagonist of the story. Ralph was the first elected chief.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Ralph seems to present a mild case of ADHD as he has trouble keeping focus, remembering things and often falls into daydreams. He also got excited when he discovered the island free of adults, but sometimes lost track of what was happening around him.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Ralph is described as fair haired and charismatic. It is implied that this is why the boys immediately selected him as their leader over Jack, because they felt comfortable with him being in charge, despite not knowing anything about him.
  • Berserk Button: Jack is the main cause of his anger, especially at the end when Ralph particularly gets angry after Jack crosses all the lines.
  • Big "NO!": Ralph's reaction to Piggy's death in the 90's film.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The blonde to Piggy/Simon's brunette and Jack's redhead.
  • Break the Cutie: Alongside with the twins. At the end, though saved, it's implied he'll never be the same as before he landed on the island.
  • Cain and Abel: His relationship with Jack can be described as this. While not technically brothers, they are good friends in the beginning, until Jack's jealousy and greed gets in the way and he ends up betraying Ralph and trying to kill him.
  • Catchphrase: Earlier on in the story, Ralph says "Wacco!" quite a bit. He finds himself saying it less and less as the story goes on, due to things becoming considerably less and less "Wacco!"
  • Character Development: Ralph starts out as a happy-go-lucky, naive, immature boy, who enjoys circumstances just as every other regular child and particularly admires Jack for a controlling and abusive personality, while he puts down the mature, altruistic Piggy, in a tentative to act similar to Jack. Becomes quite responsible, gentle and mature during the book, as he befriends Piggy and Simon and learns to be more considerate from them. By the end, he has seen so much tragedy and horror, that he has remained just a broken, traumatized boy.
  • Cheerful Child: Initially joyous and free-spirited, this being another strong contrast between him and Jack, who is mostly brooding and serious. Ralph also has a light sense of humor, as he plays and often laughs, makes fun of Piggy's nickname just like the rest of the kids, but stops after some time, compared to Jack whose humor is dark, violent and never gets tired of physically and mentally bullying the other boys.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Daydreams at times.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Ralph is very happy about the absence of adults on the island, but quickly realizes how much responsibility he must take as the chief.
  • Good Is Not Nice: At the beginning, he is like any other regular, immature kid who likes to make fun of the weaknesses of other people, hence he laughs at Piggy's nickname and tells everyone about it. He also insults Simon behind his back and calls him 'queer'.
  • Jerkass Ball: As above, he only is this at the beginning before he matures into a kind, decent boy.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Partially blames himself for everything that has happened and even tells the twins this at the end, before he gets hunted.
  • Not So Above It All: Ralph has many moments when he acts pretty similar to Jack, even though he's not vicious or violent like Jack, but he insults Piggy at the beginning, he also insults Simon later in the book and he has many angry moments, despite that he tries to remain calm when Jack does something reckless, he still yells at Jack and answers back when Jack mocks and provokes him. He also screams at Jack at the end and calls him all kinds of names while Jack doesn't directly insult Ralph once in the book, which is sort of ironical, given that one would expect Jack to be the one who would insult and badmouth Ralph, but the situation is apparently reverse when it comes to this.
  • Only Sane Man: Not as much as Piggy, but definitely one of the more responsible boys.
  • Pretty Boy: Most beautiful out of all the boys, which is one significant reason why he's chosen as leader in the first place. This also has some ambiguous implications.
  • Plucky Boy: Is optimistic and full of life during a great part of the book, until the group starts falling apart. This is what differentiates him from Jack too, as Jack is simply a determinator, mostly being grim and fierce.
  • Team Mom: Along with Piggy and Simon, particularly later, when Ralph becomes more mature and responsible and actually shows his concerns over the littluns. He even bickers with Jack about it, given that they're the boys who are mostly in charge, because Jack doesn't care in the least about the problem.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Transforms from a bratty kid into a considerate, caring boy.
  • The Protagonist
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ralph's the Blue Oni to Jack's Red Oni.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Jack's manly man. Ralph is mostly calm, peaceful and sensible, while Jack is vicious, aggressive and downright brutal.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Implied that he still has this for Jack at the end in spite of the fact that Jack has tried to kill him, as Ralph admits to the twins that he partially blames himself for everything that has happened.
    What have I done? I liked him- and I wanted us to be rescued.
  • Younger Than They Look: Along with Jack, both boys are 12, but they are described with physiques of older teenagers.

Piggy

Played by: Hugh Edwards (1963 film); Danuel Pipoly (1990 film)
A boy around the same age as Ralph. He is not as well accepted by the other boys due to his specs, asthma, and fat.
  • Fatal Flaw: His righteous combined with his enormous physical handicaps made him an easy target for Jack and his minions. His final stand left him completely helpless and was easily killed by the boudler.
  • Genre Savvy: Is aware of what's going on and constantly gives advice on the situation, as he has been taught by his aunt. He's also the first boy who realizes Jack's true character as he tells Ralph that he is afraid of Jack and basically hints Jack is going to lead them to their destruction.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Might have been a little more obvious if it weren't a story about boys turning savage.
  • Insufferable Genius: Is highly intelligent, has a great logic for his years and has many ironical lines because of it, which is why he's mostly bullied.
  • No Respect Guy: Quite horrifying actually.
  • Non-Action Guy: Justified, due to his asthma.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: It's a rather sad case.
  • Only Sane Man: Shares this with Simon, and with Ralph to an extent. Ralph often goes to him for advice.
  • Parental Neglect / My Parents Are Dead: Piggy talks about his aunt as if she's his mother, implying that he either spent most of his time with her because his parents were too busy/neglected him, or she was his legal guardian because his parents were dead.
  • Scapegoat: Piggy will get blamed for everything bad that happens on the island.
  • The Smart Guy: Has most logic out of all the boys, while Simon is the most spiritually intelligent.
  • Sour Supporter: Is reluctant about voting for Ralph, given how Ralph acted towards him at first, but he decides he's still better than Jack. He's also skeptical and cynic regarding the behavior of the other boys, particularly Jack's, which is why he becomes Jack's punching bag.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Is the most intelligent, along with Simon.

Jack Merridew

Played by: Tom Chapin (1963 film); Chris Furrh (1990 film)
Another boy about Ralph's age, who wanted to be the leader to begin with, but wasn't chosen in favor of Ralph. Also, the main Villain of the story.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Unlike Roger, who has an obvious case of sociopathy, Jack is more ambiguous, as he has great oratory skills, is unable to get close to people emotionally, has an obsessive personality as he is always set on controlling and dominating everyone, has trouble controlling his anger that leads to destructive behavior and actual chaos, but unlike the actual sociopath profile, Jack briefly shows vague guilt at one point, if his surprise at Piggy's murder is taken as 'mortification'. If it's not, then he's an actual sociopath.
  • Ambition Is Evil
  • Arch-Enemy: Ralph's. Jack ends up as the Big Bad of the book.
  • Author Avatar: William Golding mentioned that Jack represented his dark self, particularly his young, teenage self, and admitted that, like Jack, he liked to hurt and bully his peers.
  • Ax-Crazy: The one that initiated everything.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Described as ugly and lanky in the beginning of the book. Both actors, however, are good looking during the entire films.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Almost. Jack had attracted the rest of the children on his side, by the end of the book, leaving Ralph with no followers. He would have killed Ralph, if the fire didn't save him.
  • Badass: Even though it's in a destructive way, Jack Merridew does slaughter wild pigs with his bare hands before he dances in their blood, is the only one who explores the entire island by himself, ends up controlling an entire group of boys and makes them commit murder, burns an entire island, and everything at only 12 years old.
  • Big Bad: He has a Face-Heel Turn that we're not even going to bother to spoil. It was pretty obvious.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The redhead to Ralph's blonde and Simon and Piggy's brunette.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
    BULLOCKS TO THE RULES! WE'RE STRONG-WE HUNT! IF THERE'S A BEAST, WE'LL HUNT IT DOWN! WE'LL CLOSE IN AND BEAT AND BEAT AND BEAT-!
  • The Bully: Towards many of the other kids. Particularly Piggy, who states by the end that Jack frightens him too much.
  • Cain and Abel: His relationship with Ralph is implied to be like this.
  • Control Freak
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: A friendship example, Jack seems to be jealous of Ralph's friendship with Piggy, as he is particularly sarcastic and scornful to Ralph when Ralph mentions or talks about Piggy, dislikes Piggy at first because of his fat and asthma but viciously hates him later without apparent reason and even cruelly beats Piggy at one point, suggesting that this is one of the reasons Jack has come to dislike Piggy so much.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Jack is the only character whose eye color is mentioned and emphasized more than once by the author, especially during the first part of the book, most probably to suggest that something is definitely wrong with him.
    At length he let out his breath in a long sigh and opened his eyes. They were bright blue, eyes that in this frustration seemed bolting and nearly mad.
  • Creepy Child: His latter behavior and the look in his eyes deem him as this.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Averted. Jack is obviously an aristocratic, arrogant, conceited, and grumpy boy most of the time and is also a complete Jerkass, but his friendship with Ralph doesn't transform him into a nicer character, quite the opposite, he becomes even more malicious, angry and chaotic, due to his harmful jealousy and greed.
  • Determinator: Wants to dethrone Ralph and he succeeds.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: After he becomes chief.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: In the two films.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Almost everything he does is because of his envy.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets angry almost over everything, but he particularly blows into full rage when Piggy admonishes him and when Ralph calls him a 'thief' at the end.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Is described as ugly and gangling in the beginning, but the author seems to suggest that puberty starts doing good on him, as he describes him later as a tall boy with muscles and a lean body, who is also one of the physically strongest - if not the strongest- out of all the boys - this also might have to do with the fact that he's made after the Coral Island's Jack Martin, who represented physical strength.
  • Hot-Blooded: Reckless and hotheaded, which is why Ralph often gets exasperated with him.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Implied.
  • Jerkass: Was one even before he turned evil.
  • Knife Nut: Carries a knife with him that he uses to threaten the other boys with and later to kill pigs, before he replaces it with his spear.
  • Lack of Empathy: Is apparently unable to comprehend positive feelings.
  • Large Ham
    "I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance, "because I'm chapter chorister and head boy.I can sing C sharp."
  • Manipulative Bastard: Insincerely apologizes when Ralph and the other boys start accusing him for his fire mistake, so he can make them like him again. He also manipulates them into joining him through various promises and convincing speeches.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In an attempt to kill Ralph, Jack sets the whole island on fire to smoke him out of the woods. If he hadn't done this, the navy ship never would have noticed the island, and the boys would have never been rescued, and Ralph would have been murdered.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Usually smirks or grins when someone is beaten or hurt. He also maniacally laughs when he paints himself for the first time.
  • Putting on the Reich: His mask of mud includes the colors red, white, and black...
  • Real Men Eat Meat: His conception.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Ralph's Blue Oni, respectively.
  • Rival Turned Evil: While Jack and Ralph are friends who have some sort of rivalry in the beginning, they become straight-up enemies later on, due to Jack's bloodlust and thirst for power.
  • Sadist: Becomes one during the book.
  • Sanity Slippage
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly man to Ralph's sensitive guy. Jack is obsessed with doing vicious and even aggressive things, as he wants to hunt, wants to have his own group of hunters, likes to be violent, always brags about himself how strong and mighty he is, while Ralph is calmer, more sensible and much more of a pacifist.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Is mentioned to be this, as he constantly swears and uses particularly inappropriate words, especially for a twelve years old boy. This is accentuated in the scene where Simon tries to warn them about the beast, because he rudely interrupts Simon and swears so vulgarly that the whole group of boys hysterically laughs about it.

Simon

Played by: Tom Gaman (1963 film); James Badge Dale (1990 film)
A boy about the same age as the three mentioned above. Simon is often viewed as the model of purity among the boys.

Roger

Played by: Roger Elwin (1963 film); Gary Rule (1990 film)
A short yet aggressive boy who joins Jack's tribe as probably his most loyal adversary.
  • Badass: Same as Jack, does things that most 12 year olds are incapable of and in a bad way.
  • The Bully: Also same as Jack, as he bullied the other kids, particularly the young ones.
  • Breakout Character: Sort of forgettable in the first half of the book, but by the second half you'll remember who he is.
  • Creepy Child: Stoic, unemotional, silent, dark allure. Also a cold-blooded murderer.
  • The Dragon: To Jack.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Implied to be this, which goes hand-in-hand with his sociopathy.
    Roger remained, watching the littluns. He was not noticeably darker than when he had dropped in, but the shock of black hair, down his nape and low on his forehead, seemed to suit his gloomy face.

Sam and Eric

Played by: David Surtees and Simon Surtees, respectively (1963 film); Andrew Taft and Edward Taft, respectively (1990 film)
A pair of twins around the same age as all the previously mentioned boys. They do everything together, and are usually referred to as Samneric.
  • Action Survivors: The twins and Ralph are the only two protagonists to survive.
  • Break the Cuties: The way they are tortured by Roger and forced into Jack's tribe.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Sort of. They can't do anything apart, and are thereby treated as one person.

The Lord of the Flies

Played by: N/A
A demonic hallucination that Simon sees in the forest that manifest itself via the impaled pig's head the kids leave as offering to the monster.
  • Breaking Speech: Gives one to Simon about the evils of human nature and other unpleasant things going on with the boys.
  • The Sacred Darkness: In a very, very twisted sense. The Lord of the Flies represents the inner savagery present in mankind, but in a way it is portrayed as something not actively evil in its interaction with Simon, its horrific visage pretty much informing him about its true nature and inspiring him to inform the others. Pity not everyone's so introspective...