Characters: Modern Warfare
For characters in the rest of the franchise see: Call of Duty
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United Kingdom Special Air Service
Members of the UK SAS appear in the first Modern Warfare
game, conducting a number of covert counter-terror operations that connect to the larger conflict in Al-Asad's nation and the Ultranationalist's civil war in Russia. SAS members appear in Modern Warfare 2
, but primarily as part of Task Force 141. In the third, they are tasked with containing an apparent terrorist threat in London.
Captain John Price
The humorless, straightforward and unflappable leader of the SAS units in Modern Warfare 1
. Suffers severe injuries at the climax of the first game. Captured by the Ultranationalists and locked up in a gulag during casevac, and spends five years being tortured, which leaves him a bit....off, when rescued in Modern Warfare 2.
Voiced by Billy Murray (not that Bill Murray
Captain (previously Sgt.) John "Soap" MacTavish
"What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How'd a muppet like you pass Selection?"
- Captain John Price
One of the player characters from the first Modern Warfare
and general protagonist of the Modern Warfare series. Begins the game as a newly recruited SAS trooper, but after surviving the events of the first game, is placed in command of Task Force 141. Voiced by Kevin McKidd,
- Anyone Can Die: We all knew this trope was played straight in this series, but it's still a surprise when Soap dies.
- The Captain: In the second game.
- Cold Sniper: Sometimes.
- Determinator: Fell down from an exploding building & dying from massive blood loss?? Doesn't stop him from gunning down any enemy that gets too close with his pistol.
- Dynamic Entry: Does this to Rojas in the favela.
- Killed Off for Real: It took three games to do it, but in the Modern Warfare 3 mission "Blood Brothers" Soap kicks the bucket. Needless to say, Price is not amused.
- Heroic Mime: In the first game and the final three levels of the second game.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He could have made it out of the blast radius in time, but pushed Yuri out first. Made even better by the fact that he'd just learned Yuri might not be trustworthy.
- Hidden Depths: According to his journal, he actually took a course on the Cryllic alphabet, which is why Price had him enter the codes in the Russian nuclear silo.
- Implacable Man
- Knife Nut
- Lodged-Blade Recycling: Does being stabbed in the chest with a knife the size of his forearm stop Soap from killing the bad guy? Hell no. However, said wound does eventually kill him. It just takes a massive army and continuous fighting for weeks to make it stick.
- Made of Iron: He got shot a bajillion times, blown up by an oil tanker, fell off a waterfall, stabbed in the chest, facestomped, pulled out said knife and used it to shank the guy who put it in him.
- Deconstructed in 3. The knife wound doesn't close properly and eventually helps to kill him.
- My Greatest Failure: He considers Gaz and Griggs' deaths and Price's apparent death to be these, according to his journal.
- Perma Stubble
- Suddenly Voiced
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Modern Warfare 2's ending, alongside Price.
- Took a Level in Badass: Takes one between "F.N.G." and "Game Over!", then takes about 30 in the 5 year gap. From the first moments of your time as Roach he makes this obvious.
- In MW3, the loading screen of "Stronghold" briefly shows a partial list of Soap's decorations. Among them is a Victoria Cross (pretty much the equivalent of the American Military's Medal of Honor).
- Undying Loyalty: Potentially verging on My Master, Right or Wrong by the end of the second game. Needless to say, he will follow Price to the ends of the Earth and beyond.
- Violent Glaswegian: Well, he's at least capable of being stealthy before violent, unlike what one would expect.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Soap hates dogs (probably due to being repeatedly attacked by guard dogs in the first game), and mentions it during the Modern Warfare 2 mission "Contingency."
Price: Five men, automatic rifles, frag grenades, one German Shepherd.
Soap: Dogs. I hate dogs.
Price: These Russian dogs are like pussycats compared to the ones in Pripyat.
Soap: It's good to have you back, old man.
- His journal goes into more detail. He really hates dogs.
"Consider me a cat man now. We overcame Ultranationalists, chopper crashes, danger close with gunships but a goddamn dog is what'll get me into an infirmary? Rabies, ridiculous.
- Another from his journal; a picture of a dog (addendum: problem), a dog with a muzzle (solution) and a dog with a broken neck (better solution).
Captain Price's right hand man. Known for his sense of
humour. His real name is never stated.
Price's former superior. He accompanied Price in the assassination attempt on Zakhaev in Prypiat, Chernobyl
. As of Modern Warfare 3
, he becomes the head of the SAS
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As mentioned above, he is head of the entire SAS in Modern Warfare 3.
- Badass Cold Sniper: He very much embodies this trope. At least before the escape.
- Big Good: By Modern Warfare 3
- Deadpan Snarker
- Everything Sounds Sexier in Scottish: His Scottish accent has its own following.
- The Faceless: Due to wearing a ghillie suit.
- Friendly Sniper: He IS personally nice to you, aside from when you decide to be a cocky dumbass, then any Jerkass behavoir from him is rather justified.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He never, ever misses. Not even after his legs are broken by a falling helicopter gunship.
- Handicapped Badass: Silly little things like having his feet/legs broken by a falling Mi-28 helicopter gunship won't stop him from providing fire support without ever missing a single shot.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite Price being a wanted terrorist, MacMillan is willing to listen to him and help, even supplying him with intel and equipment.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right / Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Helps Price, even though he's a wanted terrorist. Considering their close relationship, though, it's likely he never believed his protege could turn evil.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Modern Warfare 3, he is now head of the entire SAS.
- Unflinching Walk: Subverted. After shooting down a helicopter, he walks away saying "Good night ye bastards...". Then the helicopter crashes on his legs.
- Violent Glaswegian: Being a Cold Sniper, he's arguably a much calmer variation of the trope.
Sgt. Marcus Burns
An SAS commando who accompanies Wallcroft, Griffen and others in a mission to intercept a suspicious shipment near Canary Wharf in London in Modern Warfare 3
in "Mind the Gap."
- Heroic Mime
- Made of Iron: Is involved in a crash between two trucks and a tube train inside the London underground, but then gets up and carries on fighting after blacking out for several minutes. Also survives the chemical attack, unless the player opts to skip "Davis Family Vacation".
- Player Character
SAS operator in MW and MW3. He appears first in "Crew Expendable" as a guy assigned to rear guard, and reappears in 3 as PC Marcus Burns's commanding NCO.
- Expy: Of Gaz and Ghost— it comes with the territory when you're voiced by Craig Fairbrass in a Modern Warfare game. Gets kinda weird when you realize that he actually knew Gaz, though.
- The Faceless: He's never seen without his gas mask. It ends up saving his life.
- Mauve Shirt: He appears in Modern Warfare in one level and has maybe 3 lines. He returns, having Took a Level in Badass and now voiced by Craig Fairbrass.
- Rule of Three: Third character to be voiced by Craig Fairbrass. Also the only one not to die horribly.
United States Military
Members of the United States military appear throughout the Modern Warfare
games, usually from different branches. US Marines form the primary American forces in Modern Warfare 1
with US Air Force and US Navy supporting them during the invasion of al-Asad's country. Modern Warfare 2
primarily focuses on the US Army Rangers, with Air Force and Marines supporting them. Modern Warfare 3
has special operations unit Delta Force in the lead role, who are supported by regular Army, Air Force, and Navy.
For PFC. Joseph Allen and General Shepherd, see Task Force 141.
1st Force Recon, United States Marine Corps
Leader of Sergeant Jackson's Marine Force recon unit in the first Modern Warfare
Sergeant Paul Jackson
Player character for the Marine Force Recon segment of the first Modern Warfare
Staff Sergeant Griggs
SAW gunner for Jackson's Force Recon squad in the first Modern Warfare
- Author Avatar: He is modeled after and voiced by Infinity Ward employee Mark Grigsby.
- Black Dude Dies First: While he is one of the few Americans to survive the Nuclear blast, he is the first major Bravo member to die, though Gaz wastes no time following him.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: His Russian interrogators start looking for a hacksaw, before Price and Gaz kill them.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He got shot while dragging the paralyzed Soap to safety.
- Number Two: He seems to be second-in-command of Lt. Vasquez's unit.
- Theme Tune Rap: The end credits feature a rap sung by him.
- Token Minority
U.S. Army Rangers, 1st Battalion, 75th Regiment, Hunter 2-1
Sergeant David Foley
Leader of Ramirez's Army Rangers squad in Modern Warfare 2
. Voiced by Keith David.
Private James Ramirez
Player character for the US Army Rangers segment of Modern Warfare 2
Soldier in Ramirez's Army Rangers squad.
Delta Force, Metal 0-1
Master Sergeant "Sandman"
Leader of the Delta Force unit "Metal" in Modern Warfare 3
. Commanding NCO to player character Derek "Frost" Westbrook.
- Actor Allusion: He's voiced by William Fichtner, who also played a Delta operator in Blackhawk Down.
- Bash Brothers: With Frost and Price.
- Cool Shades
- Determinator: In Scorched Earth, Overlord repeatedly advises Team Metal to abandon the search for Alena, but Sandman insists on carrying through. Even after the Russians drop a damn building on them and Berlin slowly falls, he continues to try and rescue her and end the war. They don't succeed, but not from lack of trying.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Delta Force, duh.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He stayed behind to cover Price, Yuri and the Russian President.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: To Volk.
Price: Did our man talk?
- Made of Iron: Up until the penultimate level, anyway. He takes a booby-trapped door bomb to the face and still has the presence of mind to wave the squad down from shooting at the escaping kidnappers ten seconds later.
- Master Sergeant Rock
- Remember the New Guy: He's revealed to be an old friend of Price, whom he met back in 2013 when they, Ghost, and Soap embarked on Operation Kingfish, the first mission to find Makarov.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Captain Price is considered a terrorist in MW3. Sandman listens to his intel, and works with him to save the President. This is probably because they are old friends.
Staff Sergeant Derek "Frost" Westbrook
An American Delta Force soldier and playable character for several missions in Modern Warfare 3
Sergeant 1st Class "Grinch"
Another member of Team Metal, who accompanies Frost and Sandman on their missions. Seems to serve as Sandman's right hand.
Sergeant 1st Class "Truck"
The fourth member of Team Metal, and usually the one with the least dialogue.
Callsign "Warhammer" is an AC-130 gunship that first appears in Modern Warfare
to support an extraction of Price's team. Warhammer can be overheard in radio transmissions in Modern Warfare 2
, providing fire support around Washington DC
. Later on in Modern Warfare 3
, they support Team Metal's extraction of Volk from Paris. The names of the crew are never specified beyond their roles in the crew, i.e. "AC-130 TV Operator."
- BFG: All three of the guns on the plane: the 25mm gatling gun, the Bofors 40mm autocannon, and the 105mm howitzer.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Though in the first game, they're not in immediate danger, in the third they actually get shot at by ground fire and Russian planes, but manage to keep their cool.
- The Cameo: Only appears in 2 in background radio transmissions, but they're doing what they do best.
- Death from Above: The actual name of the first level they appear in. It's what they do.
- Escort Mission: You're providing air cover for ground units, containing your other Player Character, both times. It's really cool though, and the ground units are competent.
- Gunship Rescue: Their specialty.
- Heroic Mime: Averted. All of them, including the the TV Operator are quiet chatty.
- Player Character: You play as the TV Operator.
- Ludicrous Gibs: "Good hit. I see lots of little pieces down there."
- The Squadette: The Flight Control Officer in Modern Warfare 3 is female.
Task Force 141
A multinational special operations unit formed after the events of the first game, Task Force 141 conducts a number of high-risk counter-terror special operations across the globe, with particular emphasis on containing the threat presented by Ultranationalist Russia.
For Cpt. "Soap" MacTavish and Cpt. Price, see SAS.
Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley
British soldier in Task Force 141, who prefers to wear a skull-faced ski mask. His face is never shown, and name is never stated in-game, though the tie-in comic centered on him revealed that it's Lt. Simon "Ghost" Riley. Has a suspiciously similar voice to Gaz.
Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson
Player character for most of
the Task Force 141 segments of Modern Warfare 2
Commander of the US military task force invading Khaled Al-Asad's nation in Modern Warfare
. Afterwards, becomes commander of Task Force 141. Who gets betrayed by him.
Private First Class Joseph Allen
Player character for a few missions in Modern Warfare 2
, Army Ranger and later TF141 member.
- Badass: Initially, until ''No Russian''.
- Decoy Protagonist
- Heroic Mime: Averted, though he only speaks in cutscenes.
- Player Character
- I Did What I Had to Do: See Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: In the mission No Russian, he is ordered to slaughter Russian civilians along with Makarov's men in order to prove himself as a member of the squad.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Subverted. In fact, his acting on this lead directly to the invasion of his homeland and untold death and destruction.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Being at the "No Russian" mission seems to be the reason for pretty much the entire plot of the second and third games.
- Reverse Mole: He's sent on an undercover mission to infiltrate Makarov's terrorist cell. It does not end well.
- This Loser Is You: Representing the murderous nature of the players.
- Unwitting Pawn: In No Russian, to Makarov. It's eventually revealed he was also one to General Shepherd.
- Uriah Gambit: The victim of one from Makarov - he was added to the terrorist team specifically so he could die and be used to start a war between the USA and Russia. And even worse, you eventually uncover General Shepherd did this to him as well, for the exact same purpose. Unusually for this trope, it was probably Nothing Personal.
Members of the Pro-West Russian government/military fighting against the Ultranationalists. They ultimately lose the war, with the Ultranationalists coming into power by the events of the second game. By the third, Loyalist soldiers form a sort of La Résistance
aimed at stopping Makarov.
Russian informant and mercenary who works with Price and Soap. Appears in the first Modern Warfare
game as a spy inside the Ultranationalist camp. By the events of the second game, he is a support asset for Task Force 141, who is frequently called in as for emergency extractions, but the third game reveals that he is in command of an entire PMC
made up of former Loyalist soldiers
dedicated to stopping Makarov.
- Ascended Extra: In the first game, he was a minor character who was central to a rescue and Escort Mission, who provides a bit of intel on where to find al-Asad. By the later games, he takes on a much bigger role, becoming part of Price's group of trusted associates.
- Badass: Although he doesn't get as many chances to show it, he manages to survive appearing in all three games in the trilogy, a feat only matched by Captain Price.
- Big Damn Heroes: Plays the part no fewer than three times in the second game.
- Every level where the action is focused on Price, Nikolai is this, sometimes twice.
- Captain Obvious: In Modern Warfare 2. It is not appreciated either time.
Nikolai: My friend, from up here, it looks like the whole village is trying to kill you!
Captain MacTavish: Tell me something I don't know! Just get ready to pick us up!
- In ''The Enemy of My Enemy"
Nikolai: ''(witnessing the massive three-way fight between Task-Force 141, Makarov's men, and Shadow Company) Price, I am approaching the boneyard. I see you do not have situation under control. Very unsafe to land. It looks like when I was in Afghanistan with the Soviets!
Captain Price: Nikolai! Just shut up and land the bloody plane! We're on our way!
- Escort Mission: Not as bad as usual, as in "Hunted", he is invincible as the main NPCs tend to be and he carries an AKS-74U.
- Former Regime Personnel / La Résistance: Fought in Afghanistan, then heads up a force of Russian Loyalists that oppose the Ultranationalists.
- Reverse Mole
- The Stoic: Even when his chopper is getting perforated by the local militia in Rio de Janerio, he stays relatively calm, if a little worried.
- Not So Stoic: Though when he is trying to extract Soap and Price from the airplane graveyard in Afghanistan, a missile nearly downs him, and he unleashes a massive Cluster F-Bomb in Russian.
- True Companions Team: Part of a three-man one between Soap, Price, and himself.
- The Other Darrin: His original voice actor, Sven Holmberg, was rather jarringly replaced by Robin Atkin Downes in MW3, which sadly cost him his ability to curse in Russian.
- Undying Loyalty: During the Second Russian Civil War, Price and Soap went deep behind enemy lines to walk him out of Hell. Five years later, he returned the favor.
Leader of a Russian Loyalist Spetznaz squad.
- Back for the Dead
- Big Damn Heroes: Climax of the first Modern Warfare. About two minutes too late, though.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him
- The Load: He really gets in the way of the SAS in his first appearance, to the point where Gaz holds him over a ledge and threatens to drop him if he won't stop it. They all get along much better in his next 3 appearances, though Soap lampshades this when he doesn't respond on the radio.
- La Résistance: Leader of the Prague resistance forces against Ultranationalist occupation.
- Manly Tears: "You're going to be all right, my friend!"
- Noodle Incident: What happened with him in Beruit, anyway?
- Reverse Mole: Infiltrated Makarov's inner circle to help Price in Modern Warfare 3. Unfortunately, Makarov already knew he was a mole working against him and eventually kills him with Yuri, Soap, and Price all watching.
Former Spetsnaz who thoroughly hates Makarov and his organization, and serves as the player character for the Task Force 141 missions in Modern Warfare 3
. Was a former member of Makarov's inner circle, until his opposition to Makarov's increasing insanity led to his former boss shooting him and leaving him for dead.
- The Atoner
- Bad Ass: Being a Call of Duty player character, this is a given.
- Been There, Shaped History: He was there when Zakhaev got his arm shot off, when the nuke was set off in al-Asad's capital, and would have been the sixth man in Makarov's team during the attack on the airport.
- Big Damn Heroes: He storms the roof and shoots Makarov just in time to prevent him from executing Price. He gets killed for it, but gives Price the opening he needs.
- Cold Sniper: At times.
- Defector from Decadence: Defected from the Ultranationalists when he saw how increasingly insane Makarov has become. Gets shot in the gut for his trouble, and the rest of his story is about this.
- Determinator: Getting shot in the stomach by Makarov doesn't stop him from grabbing a gun and trying to stop the massacre at the airport.
- Gray Eyes: Considering how much detail the designers give characters, the color choice was likely on purpose. Yuri's entire color scheme is gray, a neutral colornote . He was with Task Force 141 only to get revenge on Makarov and never tries to gain Price's favor, but he isn't a villain either. He also starts out "young and patriotic", fitting with Type 3 as well.
- Heel-Face Turn: During "No Russian."
- La Résistance: He is one of the commanders of the Loyalists that oppose the Ultranationalists.
- Made of Iron
- He the only character in the series to survive getting shot in the stomach with a Desert Eagle.
- In "Dust To Dust" he is impaled on a spike of iron rebar when he tells Price to go after Makarov. After Price crashes Makarov's helicopter, Yuri comes charging in to save the day, pistol blazing, and Makarov has to shoot him three more times to actually put him down.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: Why he quit the Ultranationalists.
- Not What I Signed Up For: He betrayed Makarov because he stopped being a soldier fighting for a worthy cause and instead became a psychotic monster.
- Only Sane Man: Was the only member of Makarov's Inner Circle to realize what a monster Makarov had become.
- Redemption Equals Death
- Remember the New Guy
- Revenge: One of his driving motivations for opposing Makarov.
- Indeed, it is stated that he is the one man in the world who hates Makarov even more than Price does.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Yuri wants Makarov dead. That's all that motivates him by the point in the story that he joins Price's group. It eventually culminates in the two-man assault on the Oasis Hotel in Juggernaut armor.
- Russian Guy Suffers Most: Out of all of the series' protagonists, he probably suffers the most beatings across a single game, including getting dumped off a cliff into a river, shot repeatedly in the stomach, impaled by a piece of rebar, knocked senseless in the mining complex, thrown down a flight of stairs by Price and eventually getting shot in the head/killed by Makarov.
- Token Good Teammate: Of Makarov's Inner Circle, he was the only one to have a soul.
- True Companions: Averted: Of all of the Modern Warfare characters who work with Price, Yuri is distinct in that he never truly ingratiates himself with Price, Nikolai, or Soap. When Price learns that Yuri was once one of Makarov's trusted lieutenants, he makes it clear afterwards that he doesn't care if Yuri lives or dies, and that Yuri has to "keep up or be left behind". Price does eventually warm to Yuri, but never to the same degree as he did to Soap, Nikolai, MacMillian, Sandman, Griggs, or Gaz. Then again, Yuri's only with them for the sake of revenge on Makarov in the first place...
The primary opposition across all three games, made up of three primary factions: The Ultranationalists, OPFOR, and the Inner Circle. The Ultranationalists are hardcore nationalists dedicated to rebuilding Russia's power and turning it against perceived enemies, and formed a loose alliance with Al-Asad's revolutionaries (simply referred to as OPFOR or "Opposing Force") to draw US attention away from the war in Russia and to inflict as much damage as possible on the West. By the second game, the Ultranationalists were split by Zakhaev's death, with Boris Vorshevsky controlling the more moderate elements of the Ultranationalist government and Vladimir Makarov heading up the much more violent and radical elements, with Makarov's personal army becoming known as the Inner Circle. The conflict between Vorshevsky's regime and Makarov's private army comes to a head in Modern Warfare 3
Leader of the unnamed Middle-eastern nation
in the first Modern Warfare
and co-conspirator with Imran Zakhaev. He has in his possession a nuclear weapon, which he detonates during an American police action in his home country and wipes out the entire invasion force.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: If you know Arabic; it literally translates to "the eternal lion".
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted.
- Dirty Coward: He is explicitly called this by Nikolai after he apparently nukes his own capital.
- Co-Dragons: To Zakhaev, with Zakhaev's son
- Nuke 'em: Apparently does this to the entire Marine task force in the first Modern Warfare. Later revealed to have been at the behest of Makarov, who ordered the nuclear detonation.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before executing Al-Fulani:
"This is how it begins."
- President Evil
- Rebel Leader
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized
- Sinister Shades: Never seen without them.
- Smug Snake
- Starter Villain: al-Asad lasts only halfway through the first game, and the remnants of his forces comprise the opposition in a single mission in the second game.
- Unwitting Pawn: Really, his entire role was to draw the US's attention away from the civil war in Russia. The nuclear bomb that he used on the Marines was actually set off by Makarov, to both kill American troops and keep the blame pinned on al-Asad.
- The very first moment that you see him in the flesh confirms al-Asad's status as a pathetic puppet of the Ultranationalists. Al-Asad, in his own country, surrounded by his own men, walks up to Zakhaev, who points a pistol in his face, and al-Asad stops like a deer trapped in the headlights. Zakhaev then casually spins the pistol around and hands it to al-Asad, as if saying "now go kill al-Fulani like a good dog." And he does as the master commands.
"Our so-called leaders prostituted us to the West. Destroyed our cultures, our economies, our honour."
Leader of the Ultranationalists in the first Modern Warfare
. The SAS attempted to assassinate him in 1996 at Chernobyl because he was dealing spent nuclear fuel rods to terrorists; during the assassination attempt his arm was blown off by Price, though he survived thanks to Makarov and Yuri
. Soap eventually kills him at the end of the first game.
Becomes a martyr after his death
and serves as a rallying point for the Ultranationalist Russians.
Imran Zakhaev's son, and a major Ultranationalist leader.
A Russian terrorist who leads a radical, distinct Ultranationalist faction. Originally a loyal supporter of Zakhaev's mission, he defects from the ruling Ultranationalist party because their methods were too mild to suit his purposes. Described by Shepherd as a "whore" who sells himself to the highest bidder. Heads up the False Flag Operation that triggers the Russian invasion of the US.
- Asshole Victim: His death was painful, slow and 100% deserved.
- Bad Ass: Subverted, he can plan attacks and hold his own in a firefight; but he doesn't stand a chance once Price gets his hands on him.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: The only time he's not seen in a nice suit are in the flashbacks before he becomes the Ultranationalists' new leader. He seems to hate ties though.
- Big Bad: Of 3, but he'd been a major (if unseen) player much earlier. He saved Zakhaev after he was shot, he personally triggered the nuclear detonation in al-Asad's capital, and he masterminded the entire Russian invasion of Europe.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With General Shepherd in Modern Warfare 2.
- Bigger Bad: Of the first Modern Warfare, due to him ensuring Zakhaev's survival in 1996 and triggering the detonation at al-Asad's capital that resulted in Paul Jackson's death and General Shepherd's Start of Darkness and eventual Face-Heel Turn in Modern Warfare 2. He is also considered to be this in the overall trilogy.
- Create Your Own Villain: Through detonating the nuke that killed the entire Marine battalion in the first Modern Warfare, he helped turned General Shepherd into a fellow villain as a result, which makes Shepherd's attempt to kill Makarov a Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Defector From Lack of Decadence: Unlike most examples, Makarov's reasons for leaving the ruling Ultranationalist party was inspired by their lack of decadence. Their unwillingness to adhere to Zakhaev's words to the letter (in his mind they only subscribe to The Theme Park Version) meant they refused to pay their dues to what allowed them to come to power and he will show both them and their enemies what it really means to be "Ultranationalist".
- Dragon Ascendant/Mook Promotion: In Modern Warfare 3 it's shown that Makarov was just one of Zakhaev's many Mooks attending the Chernobyl arms deal in 1996. He and Yuri end up saving Zakhaev's life after his arm is shot off by Price, which leads to Makarov gaining Zakhaev's favor and rapidly ascending the ranks of the Ultranationalists, making him a Dragon, albeit under Co-Dragons in chief Al-Asad and Victor Zakhaev. After Al-Asad's and both Zakhaevs' deaths he becomes the leader of the extremist wing of the Ultranationalists, and by the time of Modern Warfare 3, he's secretly controlling a large portion of the Russian military from behind the scenes.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Considering the fact his apparently main safehouse gets raided and all his data is in American hands, he somehow manages to control nearly every major asset in the Russian military in 3 which shows that he had a much bigger and better equipped facility elsewhere, meaning he's probably been feeding lies to Shepherd since the start.
- Enemy Mine: In the level "The Enemy of My Enemy", he gives away the location of Shepherd's hideout to Price and Soap to save his own arse from inevitable destruction by Shepherd's forces.
- Evil Former Friend: To Yuri.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: Named after the former Soviet Union's standard issue pistol. Becomes a case of Hilarious in Hindsight for some when said pistol appears in Black Ops. "Wait, what do you mean the guard was trying to beat you with Makarov's butt ?" Though, in fairness, Makarov is among the commonest Russian surnames, so it's not like his surname would be immediately confused with the pistol designer (well, not to native Russians, at least).
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just an ordinary soldier with dreams of patriotism. Then he rose through the ranks, and became the world's greatest terrorist.
- Hero Killer: Every time he is encountered in the flesh, Makarov ends up killing or critically wounding a Player Character. Allen, Harkov, Soap, and Yuri (twice!). The only time that doesn't happen is in the Hotel Oasis, as Price, though Price is still wounded.
- Though he doesn't personally encounter them he also kills Jackson and Mr. Davis.
- Knight of Cerebus: Things get real serious once Makarov appears. See Hero Killer for more information.
- Kick the Dog: Too many to count. Although one moment was asking Price how long it took for Soap to die after a very pissed off Price rang Makarov to let him know he was coming for him.
- Mook Lieutenant: Begins as one, then goes through a series of mook promotions, as detailed above.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Find himself on the receiving end of one via Captain Price and leads into his death
- Noose Catch: Receives one in Modern Warfare 3, courtesy of Captain Price.
- Older Than He Looks: Appears in MW3 to be in his early 30's, but is seen in the Chernobyl flashback 20 years ago as an adult driving Zakhaev's Jeep, making him in his early 40's at the youngest.
- Psycho for Hire: Shepherd explicitly states that he works for money. Subverted, though: Makarov actually has an agenda of plunging the world into a massive world war in which Russia conquers Europe.
- Unwitting Pawn
- Rasputinian Death: He's in a helicopter crash, gets shot through the chest by Yuri, is bludgeoned and thrown through a glass window by Price, and finally ends up hanged with a winch hook cable.
- The Unfettered: You kinda know that he's this when he sees no problem massacring a airport full of innocent civilians just to kickstart the events of the 3rd world war. It's best described in this comment: "This man Makarov is fighting his own war and he has no rules. No boundaries. He doesn't flinch at torture, human trafficking, or genocide. He's not loyal to a flag or country or any set of ideals. He trades blood for money."
- It's pretty much why Yuri refused to go through with the airport massacre and Yuri's entire revenge arc in MW3.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In Modern Warfare 3, Yuri paraphrases this word for word when describing Makarov's rapid ascent up the ranks.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once he's no longer useful to Shepherd, the General tries to kill him. Makarov survives and continues on to inflict even greater tragedy.
- Might be a subversion, Modern Warfare 3 clearly shows he had to have had some major plans going on in the background and that he may actually have been doing this to Shepherd. If the infamous safehouse level is compared to his actions in 3, then it's likely that Makarov was at least feeding false information to Shepherd's intelligence assets and probably was intending to kill Shepherd anyway — sending Price and Soap to do it was probably just seizing an opportunity.
President of Russia and leader of the mainstream Ultranationalists after the civil war. Enemies with Makarov, who believes that the ruling party in Russia did not follow Zakhaev's creed and are bringing shame to the Ultranationalist name.
- I Have Your Wife: Makarov kidnaps his daughter to get him to give up the nuclear launch codes.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Target.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He decides to pursue peace so more Russians won't die. One wonders how much control he has over the Russian military, given that they launched the massive invasion of Europe even though he wanted peace.
- It should be noted that several members of his staff, and possibly his Cabinet, were with him on his plane. They were presumably loyal to him, but were all killed when Makarov's men attacked it.
- In general he is also this, distancing himself from the radical message that Makarov subscribes to.
- You're Insane!: Says this to Makarov.
The daughter of President Vorshevsky.
- Bridal Carry: She gets this briefly from Price When she is rescued in "Down the Rabbit Hole".
- Cold-Blooded Torture: She seems to have gone through this at least to a minor degree when you find her in the diamond mine
- Damsel in Distress: Well, yeah. But you have to admit, you'd be pretty scared too if the Ultranationalists were after you.
- I Have Your Wife: The reason why the Ultranationalists keep trying to kidnap her is so they can coerce President Vorshevsky into giving up the launch codes.
- The President's Daughter
An FSO (equivalent of American Secret Service) agent, in charge of President Vorshevsky's security.
Commander of an Ultranationalist airbase in Modern Warfare 2.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "...surrender now or your comrade dies! Put your hands in the air and surrender to us or your comrade dies!" "You have five seconds to comply!" "Very well, we give you five seconds to comply!"
- Large Ham
An astronaut briefly controlled in Modern Warfare 2.
President of the unnamed Middle Eastern country in the first Modern Warfare.
The Davis family
A family seen vacationing in London during MW3. Killed in a gas attack predicating the Russian invasion of Europe.
warlord seen in the MW3 mission "Return to Sender".
Viktor "Volk" Khristenko
The CEO of Fregata Industries, a front company that supplied Makarov with Deadly Gas