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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 (Previously Lieutenant) John Price
"Right. What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How'd a muppet like you pass selection?"
Voiced by: Billy MurrayThe humorless, straightforward and unflappable leader of the SAS units in Modern Warfare 1. Involved with the assassination attempt on Zakhaev in Prypiat, Chernobyl in 1996, alongside Captain MacMillan. Suffers severe injuries at the climax of the first game. Recovers offscreen and joins Task Force 141 around the same time as Soap. Captured by the Ultranationalists during Operation Kingfish in 2013, in an attempt to capture/kill Makarov, and spends three years being tortured, which leaves him a bit... off, when rescued in Modern Warfare 2.
- And This Is For...: "This is for Soap."
- Badass Beard: From MW2 onward.
- Badass Mustache: In MW1, he sports the same famously awesome one as his ancestor did in the World War II games. He grows it into a Badass Beard by the time we catch up with him in MW2, and keeps the beard for MW3.
- Badass Family: If the Price from the earlier Call of Duty games really was his family, then granddaddy Price was pretty awesome too (and possessed the same love of epic mustaches and unduly persistent headwear).
- Bash Brothers: with Gaz and Soap, and just watch some of the stuff he does with the latter! Eventually forms one with Yuri, though nowhere as tightly. With Sandman as well.
- Badass Boast: During "Dust To Dust":Yuri: Makarov's got a small army in there.
Price: It won't help him.
- Bookends: The first mission of the MW trilogy opens with him smoking a cigar. The last mission of the trilogy ends with him smoking a cigar.
- Cold Sniper: At one point.
- The Captain
- The Comically Serious
- Disney Death: Seemed to have died in the last level in Modern Warfare but he turned out to be alright if just pissed at the Ultranationalists and Shepherd.
- At the end of MW2, Price lies motionless for an uncomfortable amount of time after Shepherd beats him up, but then gets up on his feet and is fine. In fact, he's in much better shape than you (as Soap) are.
- Dynamic Entry: Does this to Shepherd, just before the latter shoots Soap.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Definitely his reaction in "Loose Ends" when he is attacked by the General's forces. Subverted, he isn't that phased since he never even trusted the men.
- He Who Fights Monsters: In Modern Warfare 2, 3 years in a gulag turned Price into a borderline psycho not much different from the bad guys. His first act upon release is hijacking a Russian nuclear submarine, launching a nuclear missile and detonating it above Washington DC to knock out Russian equipment.
- Possibly subverted in Modern Warfare 3, he is shown to be aware of the wider context and not just blindly charging after Makarov. In the end he repeats Makarov's quote "it takes the will of one man to change the world" in a more positive light, in the same way Makarov twisted his quoting of the proverb "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Experiences one when Soap dies. Fortunately, it doesn't last long.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Used on Al-Asad. Though this is the only time in the series the technique doesn't yield information; Price learns what he needs to know when Zakhaev calls anyway, so he just executes Al-Asad.
- Made of Iron: Several scenes show him coming off relatively unscathed despite being in a situation that should have seen him killed.
- Never Bareheaded: Price does not go anywhere without some kind of hat. Even in the gulag, he has a nifty wool hat on, and after he removes his bomb disposal suit at the end of MW3, he's shown wearing his boonie hat underneath.
- Except in "Crew Expendable" in Modern Warfare 1, he is balding.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ends up on the receiving end of one of these, thanks to General Shepherd, and only survives thanks to some timely intervention by Soap.
- Unleashes one on Makarov at the end of Modern Warfare 3.
- Not Quite Dead
- Porn Stache: Taken Up to Eleven in Soap's field journal, where he frequently mentions it and calls it a "dick tickler".
- A "Captain Price Legend Pack" was DLC available for Call of Duty: Ghosts. It included a reticle for red dot sights shaped like Price's mustache.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Modern Warfare 2's ending.
- Also, the end of Modern Warfare 3. He seems to have a tendency for these...
- Smoking Is Cool: Price has a thing for cigars; according to Soap's journal, they're Villa Claras, and Soap takes a liking to them after the first game.
- Suddenly Voiced: Notably, when the player controls him in Modern Warfare 3's final mission, he doesn't become a Silent Protagonist like Soap does. He remains the only character to be fully voiced under the player's control in the entire Modern Warfare trilogy.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: From the Captain Price in Call of Duty 1 and 2. Popular Fanon makes him the original Price's son or grandson. Word of Dante/Word of Saint Paul makes him officially Price's grandson.
- The devs had a rather sneaky reference to this near the end of Modern Warfare 2, where it's made apparent in the cutscene before "Just Like Old Times" that Price still has the old CoD1 dedicated pistol slot.
- Tranquil Fury: His speech before the final mission in Modern Warfare 2 is dripping with this.
- Unexplained Recovery
- Warrior Poet: His impossibly awesome intro to Just Like Old Times.
- You Owe Me: Price uses it on a reluctant MacMillan in order to twist his arm into helping him in MW3.
Captain (previously Sgt.) John "Soap" MacTavish
"Break's over, Roach. Let's go."
Voiced by: Kevin McKiddOne 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.
- Bash Brothers: With Price. And fucking how!
- Breakout Character: To tell that he went from a Heroic Mime to one who kills the Big Bad twice, to a video game character whose death still remains widely mourned by worldwide gamers, he is definitely among the most popular CoD characters.
- The Captain: In the second game.
- Character Death: It took three games to do it, but in the Modern Warfare 3 mission "Blood Brothers" Soap kicks the bucket. We all knew Anyone Can Die was played straight in this series, but it's still a surprise when Soap dies. Needless to say, Price is not amused.
- 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.
- Dented Iron: Despite taking an absurd amount of punishment in all three games, the knife wound caused by Shepherd opens up again in 3 after he takes the blast of a bomb and he bleeds to death.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Unlike Price, who never trusted Shepherd, he definitely felt this way when the American General betrayed them.
- 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
- Irony: He killed Zakhaev in a feint attack in the finale of MW. Zakhaev's protegee, Makarov builds the foundation of World War III in his name, and also manages to kill Soap in an elaborate Batman Gambit and a feint attack.
- 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.
- 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.
- My Greatest Failure: He considers Gaz and Griggs' deaths and Price's apparent death to be these, according to his journal.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Modern Warfare 2's ending, alongside Price.
- Suddenly Voiced: Comes after his Silent Protagonist stint in the first game, but reverts back to it for unknown reasons when he returns to the player's control at the end of Modern Warfare 2.
- 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.
"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.
- His journal goes into more detail. He really hates dogs.
- 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).
"Good news first: the world's in great shape. We've got a civil war in Russia, government loyalists against Ultranationalist rebels, and 15000 nukes at stake."
Voiced by: Craig FairbrassCaptain Price's right hand man. Known for his sense of
- Bash Brothers: With Price/Soap at times.
- Catch Phrase: "Let's do this." This is most often heard when starting up multiplayer matches for the SAS. His "successors" Ghost and Wallcroft retain this in later games for Task Force 141 and the SAS again, respectively.
- Deadpan Snarker: At times.
- Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' two other characters below, he's a Good Counterpart Foil to his voice actor's role as Delmar from Cliffhanger: both characters are distinguishable by their brown vests, and Gaz's black SAS attire in "Crew Expendable" resembles Delmar's black jumpsuit and masks (both balaclava and gas masks, though the latter was completely different from what Gaz wore) he briefly wore, while being Out of Focus at the beginning of the film. In addition, in the same aforementioned level, Gaz carried a shotgun as a secondary weapon aside from his submachine gun, much like Delmar, and while his line "I like to keep this for close encounters" was meant to be a Shout-Out to Aliens (which featured Lance Henriksen, who would later voice General Shepherd in the next game in the trilogy), it was also a liner Shout-Out to Delmar's death scene in Cliffhanger in which he's killed by his own shotgun by close encounter.
- Number Two: To Price in the first game.
- Pink Mist: It appears that Zakhaev performs a Coup de Grâce on his head from point blank with a Desert Eagle. In reality, the shot goes into his back; the angle just makes it look like a headshot.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot
- The Ace
- The Lancer
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: His hat has a UK flag on it, for a literal interpretation.
"Follow me, and keep low."
Voiced by: Zach Hanks (MW1), Tony Curran (MW3)Price's former superior. He accompanied Price in the assassination attempt on Zakhaev in Prypiat, Chernobyl in 1996. As of Modern Warfare 3, he becomes the commander of British special forces, callsign "Baseplate".
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As mentioned above, he is head of the entire SAS in Modern Warfare 3.
- Big Good: By Modern Warfare 3.
- British Accents: His Scottish accent has its own following.
- Deadpan Snarker
- The Faceless: Due to wearing a ghillie suit in MW1 and being a Voice with an Internet Connection in MW3.
- Four-Star Badass: In Modern Warfare 3, MacMillan is the head of the entire SAS. Every SAS head (formally titled Director Special Forces) since 2008 has held the rank of Major-General, so it can be assumed that MacMillan holds that rank as well.
- Friendly Sniper: He is personally nice to you, aside from when you decide to be a cocky dumbass, then any Jerkass behavior 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 and very nearly crushes him.
- Violent Glaswegian: Being a Cold Sniper, he's arguably a much calmer variation of the trope.
Sgt. Marcus BurnsAn 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, while being on the outside of the truck (for comparison, the driver of said truck dies in the crash), 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
Voiced by: Craig Fairbrass (MW3)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.
- Ascended Extra: 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.
- Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' prior two characters Gaz and Ghost, he's a Good Counterpart Foil to his MW3 voice actor's role as Delmar from Cliffhanger, perhaps closer in terms of appearances as both characters wore black jumpsuits and masks (both balaclava and gas masks, though Delmar in film only wore them briefly and was Out of Focus during the plane heist scene) and carried a fitted-stock MP5 with attachments.
- The Faceless: He's never seen without his gas mask. It ends up saving his life.
- Rule of Three: Third character to be voiced by Craig Fairbrass. Subverted in that he's the only one not to die horribly.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: 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 and worked with the man he's now a substitute of, though.
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 Army Rangers, regular Army, Air Force, and Navy.For PFC. Joseph Allen and General Shepherd, see Task Force 141.
1st Force Recon, United States Marine Corps
Voiced by: David SobolovLeader of Sergeant Jackson's Marine Force recon unit in the first Modern Warfare game.
- Badass Baritone: It's David Sobolov, people.
- Big Damn Heroes: Definitely willing to attempt it, even reminding Jackson that "no one gets left behind", but all it gets is all of them caught in the blast radius of Al-Asad's nuke.
- Killed Off for Real: He doesn't survive the nuke.
- No Indoor Voice: Granted, when you're in a warzone with at least five guns being fired at any given moment, you kinda have to yell to make yourself heard.
- The Stoic: Along with all American characters except Griggs.
- Verbal Tic: Oorah (USMC shout, equivalent to the Army's Hooah).
Sergeant Paul Jackson
Player character for the Marine Force Recon segment of the first Modern Warfare game.
- Black Dude Dies First: Though he's not seen in game, he can be seen in promotional pictures and it appears that he's black. He's also the first major Player Character to die, beginning Modern Warfare's august tradition of Anyone Can Die.
- Character Death: The first combatant Player Character to be killed.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Blown up by a nuke. Then you get to see through his eyes as he helplessly staggers through the radioactive landscape and dies.
- Decoy Protagonist: The early parts of the game made it seem like that he will play a major role in the story alongside Soap. As it turns out...
- Heroic Mime
- Player Character
Staff Sergeant Griggs
Voiced by: Mark GrigsbySAW gunner for Jackson's Force Recon squad in the first Modern Warfare game.
- 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
Voiced by: Keith DavidLeader of Ramirez's Army Rangers squad in Modern Warfare 2.
- Bash Brothers: With Dunn and Ramirez.
- Determinator: His response to a SAM damaging his helicopter? Damn well not to retreat and land, that's for sure.Foley: Then take us up! If we're going down, we're taking as many of those SAMs with us!
- Large Ham
- Sergeant Rock
Private James Ramirez
Player character for the US Army Rangers segment of Modern Warfare 2.
- Almighty Janitor: At the rank of Private he already has authorization for and training with basically every weapon system he's ever laid eyes on. And he uses them to pretty much win the war by himself.
- Bash Brothers: With Dunn and Foley.
- Butt Monkey: Ramirez deserves some kind of award for all the crap he takes during the course of the campaign. The fact that he doesn't die at the end of it like the last two American player characters in the series may well be that reward, though.
- Cool Shades: If it's really him on the cover of the box, then the man has some very slick sunglasses. He even wears them at night!
- Do-Anything Soldier: Ramirez! Do everything!
- Heroic Mime
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: He's practically the ENTIRE US Army Rangers.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: See above.
- Player Character
Voiced by: Barry PepperSoldier in Ramirez's Army Rangers squad.
- Bash Brothers: With Ramirez/Foley, though more often the latter.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Yeah, I'm cutting through History Class now!
- Deadpan Snarker
- Freak Out: After Price makes the sky fall.
- The Medic: Dunn is assigned to check over the incapacitated "Raptor", and later on check a downed soldier for a pulse.
- Southern-Fried Private: But snarkier and wittier than most.
Delta Force, Metal 0-1
Master Sergeant "Sandman"
Voiced by: William FichtnerLeader of the Delta Force unit "Metal" in Modern Warfare 3. Commanding NCO to player character Derek "Frost" Westbrook.
- Badass Mustache
- 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?
Sandman: They always 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.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Word of God has stated that he is the American counterpart to Captain Price.
Staff Sergeant Derek "Frost" Westbrook
An American Delta Force soldier and playable character for several missions in Modern Warfare 3.
- Bash Brothers: With Sandman.
- Elites Are More Glamorous
- The Faceless: Due to wearing goggles & a mask.
- Heroic Mime: Was slated to be voiced, but in the end wasn't. He is a Call of Duty Player Character, after all.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick
- Player Character
- Shaggy Dog Story: At the end of the mission, "Scorched Earth", he fails to rescue Alena, daughter of the Russian President.
- Sole Survivor: Of Team Metal. He is the only one who is not in the diamond mine when it collapses on top of them.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Frost does not accompany his Delta Force teammates in "Down The Rabbit Hole", nor does he accompany Price and Yuri on their mission to eliminate Makarov. His absence is never explained.
Sergeant 1st Class "Grinch"
Voiced by: Timothy OlyphantAnother member of Team Metal, who accompanies Frost and Sandman on their missions. Seems to serve as Sandman's right hand.
- Cool Shades
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually to Truck's quips.
- Guns Akimbo: He wields dual Desert Eagles, aimed at different targets in the penultimate mission.
- Note that he is the only NPC to ever dual wield guns, and even the player characters can't shoot them in different directions.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Along with Sandman and Truck, he sacrifices himself in the collapsing mine to allow Price and Yuri to escape with President Vorshevsky.
- Southern-Fried Private
- Weapon of Choice: Almost always carries the MK14.
Sergeant 1st Class "Truck"
Voiced by: Idris ElbaThe fourth member of Team Metal, and usually the one with the least dialogue.
- The Big Guy: Has shades of this, judging from his tendency to carry the Mk. 46 LMG, his callsign, and his deep voice.
- Captain Obvious: Does it teasingly, often to Grinch.Sandman: Friendlies! Hold your fire!
Truck: That means don't shoot 'em, Grinch.
Grinch: No shit.
- Heroic Sacrifice: See Sandman and Grinch's entries.
- The Quiet One: Probably the most dialogue he gets is at the start of some Spec Ops missions, where he's the only one around to talk.
- Token Minority
"Warhammer"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: For once in the series, averted. All of them, including the the TV Operator, are quite chatty.
- Ludicrous Gibs: "Good hit. I see lots of little pieces down there."
- Player Character: You play as the TV Operator.
- The Squadette: The Flight Control Officer in Modern Warfare 3 is female.
OverlordCommander of the US forces seen throughout the games. Revealed in 3 to be at the rank of General.
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
"Looks like we're all out of friends."
Voiced by: Craig FairbrassBritish 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.
- The Ace
- Bash Brothers: With Soap/Roach.
- Big "NO!": Throws one between when Shepherd shoots Roach and he himself gets shot.
- Breakout Character: While he's not personally in it, his popularity led to Call of Duty: Ghosts which has a squad known as Ghosts.
- Broken Ace: See Dark and Troubled Past below.
- Catch Phrase: "Let's do this!"
- Cool Mask
- Cool Shades
- Dark and Troubled Past: As shown in the prequel comics, good boy is this man's past ever tragic and messed up. Growing up under an Abusive Dad (who once scares him in his sleep with a live snake), getting sent to a failed mission that gets him tortured and brainwashed for months and Buried Alive, ending with him barely escaping with only half of his life left, only to see his now-functional family massacred by brainwashed men who were once his comrades, who ruin his life even more by framing all the murders on his head, turning him into a fugitive.
- Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' two other characters above, he's a Good Counterpart Foil to his voice actor's The Brute role Delmar from Cliffhanger, as both characters carried a Beretta 92 as a sidearm and a variant of the MP5 as a primary submachine gun, while both characters died instantly from a gunshot wound to the chest, ironically Ghost's death was held after being devastated by Shepherd shooting his close colleague Roach, while Delmar's death was held after he himself caused a Deuteragonist's devastation by killing off his close friend. Additionally, Ghost's diving outfit from "The Only Easy Day... Was Yesterday" and "The Gulag" resembles Delmar's black jumpsuit, while Ghost wears a balaclava much like Delmar's during the plane heist scene of Cliffhanger. Also, both characters are quite the Torture Technicians, even though Ghost is a rare heroic example, but their torture tactics and motives tends to differ. While Delmar's brutal Kick the Dog No-Holds-Barred Beatdown soccer torture was For the Evulz out of his own meaningless sadistic gratification, Ghost's less brutal and more subtle Kick the Son of a Bitch Cold-Blooded Torture on the other hand was meaningfully for extracting important information to take down the enemy.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He had this reaction when Shepherd shoots Roach, moments before he was killed by the General.
- The Faceless: Never seen without his trademark skull mask and sunglasses. Ever. Except in the comic book.
- Freak Out: When the nuclear submarine's missile doors open and the missile launches. Justified, as he didn't know what Price was up to.
- Good Is Not Soft: Given his experiences, he will use any means necessary to takedown the enemy and protect the peace of the world, even torturing the bad guys for important info. He stops at betraying his own band of brothers to start a world war, unlike Shepherd.
- The Lancer: Until Price shows up, then Soap becomes the Lancer.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Gaz.
Sergeant Gary "Roach" SandersonPlayer character for most of the Task Force 141 segments of Modern Warfare 2.
- Bash Brothers: With Ghost in "Loose Ends". Then he got wounded by a mortar and Ghost dragged him to the evac chopper. Then Shepherd shoots them and lights them on fire, burning Roach alive.
- Bookends: His story begins and ends with the throw of a lit cigar.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Burned alive after being shot.
- Et Tu, Brute?: This would possibly be the players' reaction when he is killed by the General.
- Heroic Mime
- Man on Fire: How he dies.
- Meaningful Name: Roach survives a lot of crap, even for a Call Of Duty Player Character. It takes him being clipped by a mortar, shot at point blank range with a revolver, and then SET ON FIRE while bleeding out to finally kill him.
- Player Character
"The more things change, the more they stay the same. Boundaries shift, new players step in, but power always finds a place to rest its head."
Voiced by: Lance HenriksenCommander of the US military task force invading Khaled Al-Asad's nation in Modern Warfare. Afterwards, becomes commander of Task Force 141. Who he then betrays. Turns out Shepherd ignited the war with Russia in the first place to get his name written into history as a hero and create a new era of American supremacy, after being driven off the edge by losing 30,000 men to the nuclear bomb Al-Asad and Makarov detonated in the events of the first MW game.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: To say he leads from the front is an understatement. He can be seen fighting alongside the Rangers in Team Player. While carrying a .44 Magnum Revolver.
- The whole Shadow company, though far more competent than other in-game enemies, failed to stop Price and Soap. Shepherd nearly takes them down in one-on-two combat, after surviving a helicopter crash.
- Badass Grandpa: Falls down a waterfall after his helicopter crashes and explodes, but it doesn't seem to phase him. After this, he proceeds to beat two highly trained commandos who are much younger than him in hand to hand combat.
- Badass Mustache: Soap even comments on it in his journal (included with the Hardened Edition of MW3).Soap: Another commanding officer with a caterpillar? Destiny.
- Bald of Awesome: Well, a rather obvious buzz cut.
- Bald of Evil: What he turns out to be.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Of Modern Warfare 2 with Makarov.
- Big Good: At the start of the game, he seems to have this role, being a high-ranking and respected US Army general in charge of Task Force 141. Subverted in "Loose Ends".
- The Chessmaster: He has made the whole thing in Modern Warfare 2. It's revealed in Modern Warfare 3 that fellow chessmaster Makarov was playing him too, but it still doesn't take much away from Shepherd's scheme in the previous game.
- Colonel Kilgore: He sees the war as a time for heroes and legends and he brags all the time about how good the United States Armed Forces are… but then we see how much of a warmonger he actually is and it ain't pretty.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crossed it when his entire task force was nuked in the first Modern Warfare.
- Dirty Coward: Despite being a man who wants to lead the world into war and giving grandiose speeches about war, he continually sends other people out to do the dying for him. He also murders his own men through cowardly attacks versus facing the consequences of his actions. Much of the final level facing him is him running from his opponents until cornered. Played with as he's still an amazing fighter despite this.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are numerous deliberate parallels between him and Osama bin Laden. The fact that the finale of the game involves hunting him down through caves in Afghanistan is a huge tip-off.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His betrayal of Task-Force 141 in the mission "Loose Ends".
- Even Evil Has Standards: He balks at using nuclear weapons in the war, chastising Price for even considering it. It may have had more to do with the fact that it was aimed at America than anything else, however.
- Evil All Along: He was involved in starting the war in the first place.
- Evil Plan: His is to start up a third world war to not only secure his own place in history as a hero, but to turn the United States from a nation full of apathetic and complacent citizens to one full of patriotic, war-mongering volunteers.
- Eye Scream: Soap throws a knife. It hits him in the eye.
- Fallen Hero: He was genuinely good before the loss of 30,000 soldiers.
- Frontline General: In the first mission, he personally leads the Rangers across a bridge into battle. Subverted in subsequent missions where he hides behind Shadow Company and even attempts to bomb his opponents rather than fight him.
- Four-Star Badass: In the final mission of Modern Warfare 2 Shepherd goes toe-to-toe with Price and is actually winning. Only a timely knife throw by Soap stops Price from being killed.
- General Ripper: Pretty much to the letter. Extends to, possibly even exemplified, after his Face–Heel Turn. The causes and reasons that he wants the war to continue are magnified after we find out what role he really played in the game's events.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: At the end of Loose Ends, he briefly enjoys a smoke...just before using it to light Ghost and Roach on fire.
- Hero Killer: He kills Ghost and Roach to tie up loose ends, and given that he fixed the plot to massacre a Russian airport and pin it on America, his scheming lead to Sgt. Allen's death as well.
- He Who Fights Monsters: He eventually becomes a monster himself.
- Hypocrite: Talks greatly about loyalty, honor, and sacrifice but shows no hesitation to use his men as fodder for the meatgrinder. He also mourns 30,000 soldiers but gets far more killed by inciting WW 3.
- Karma Houdini: Of the "doesn't get away but gets what he wanted" sort, complete with burial at Arlington National Cemetery, and there is no indication that his exploitation/purge of TF141 was exposed to the public at large. Though given that the surviving members of Task Force 141 are exonerated by NATO at the end of MW3, it's more than likely that Shepherd's dark side was finally brought to light.
- Knight Templar: Nothing is beyond the pale to achieving his ends.
- Made of Iron: Soap and Price, two highly trained SAS agents, fall off a waterfall and end up barley being able to stand. Shepherd falls off a waterfall and gets blown up in a helicopter, and he's fine.
- Motive Rant: A truly epic one after stabbing Soap.
- Nice Hat: He is never seen without his beret.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He does this to Price in the final mission, and will actually kill him if you don't stop him in time.
- Not So Different: From Makarov, who's willing to go to increasingly brutal and questionable methods just to take down their enemies piece by piece, including killing or attempting to kill their own allies.
- Praetorian Guard: He has them in the form of the American Shadow Company, which are more competent than the Russian soldiers you usually fight. It's not really explained whether they're a black ops unit or a Private Military Contractor.
- Precision F-Strike: Makes his Motive Rant all the more effective.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: He uses a Colt Anaconda.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Soap and Price, whom he betrayed for being loose ends, kill him, with the help of fellow World War III co-conspirator Makarov, no less.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: For a while, on this very wiki, people had trouble spelling S-H-E-P-H-E-R-D.
- Start of Darkness: See Despair Event Horizon.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Makarov. Taking into account all of the revelations of the third game, Makarov turned Shepherd into the Well-Intentioned Extremist he had become in the second game through the nuclear detonation in 2011. In addition, if the safehouse level is compared to Makarov's actions starting in "Persona non Grata" in 3, it also reveals that he had been playing Shepherd like a fool through feeding false information the entire time.
- Uriah Gambit: Sends PFC. Allen on an undercover mission knowing he will be exposed and killed by Makarov in order to start a war between the USA and Russia. Unusually for this trope, it was probably Nothing Personal.
- Walking Spoiler: Knowing too much about him gives away that he's the main villain of MW2.
- Weapon of Choice: He carries a .44 Magnum revolver as his signature weapon, adding to his image as a powerful badass war hero. In heavier combat situations, such as in "Team Player", he seems to prefer the M4A1 assault rifle.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants American citizens to know how much is sacrificed for the freedom and safety that they took for granted. Saying that he used extreme measures to achieve this is like saying tsunami victims are wetter than other people.
- We Have Become Complacent: Shepherd feels this about the citizens of the US, and aims to turn this around by fixing World War III.
- We Have Reserves: As stated by Cpl. Dunn:Cpl. Dunn: C'mon, since when does Shepherd care about danger close?
- Subverted in that at least once he can be seen fighting the enemy alongside the Rangers, even while calling in airstrikes at "danger close" proximitynote .
- "All units, this is Gold Eagle. The site has been compromised. I am executing directive one-one-six-bravo. If you're still inside, your service will be honoured. Shepherd out."
- Villain Has a Point: While most of the criminal charges against Soap and Price are trumped up bullshit, the war criminal charge against Price isn't without merit. Price unilaterally launched a weapon of mass destruction that all but assuredly killed American civilians on the East Coast. At the very least that would've landed Price in a court martial at some point, not that he would've cared.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and publicly considered an American war hero.
- The Von Trope Family: His full name is Hershel von Shepherd, as confirmed by Robert Bowling.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To Makarov and ALL of Task-Force 141, a rare case of this being done to Unwitting Pawns instead of Mooks.
- Actually a Subverted Trope for the former: Modern Warfare 3 subtly reveals that Makarov was actually doing this to him, based on the fact that Makarov actually had more resources and influence on hand than initially thought. Having Price and Soap kill Shepherd for him was simply convenience.
Private First Class Joseph AllenPlayer character for a few missions in Modern Warfare 2, Army Ranger and later TF141 member.
- Decoy Protagonist: Following Paul Jackson, he appears for a while as a player character before dying a horrible death.
- Heroic Mime: Averted, though he only speaks in cutscenes.
- Player Character
- 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. Regardless if the player-controlled Allen complies or not, Makarov will execute him at the end since he knows that Allen is a mole.
- 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.
- 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.
Voiced by: Sven Holmberg (MF1, MW2), Robin Atkin Downes (MW3)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.
- 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 Hornet's Nest
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!
- In The Enemy of My Enemy
- 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.
- La Résistance: Fought in Afghanistan, then heads up a force of Russian Loyalists that oppose the Ultranationalists.
- Not So Stoic: 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, breaking his usual stoic self.
- 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.
- True Companions: Part of a three-man one between Soap, Price, and himself.
- 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.
Voiced by: Mark IvanirLeader of a Russian Loyalist Spetznaz squad.
- Back for the Dead: Appears in 3 after being absent in 2, only to be killed by Makarov in his second appearance in the former.
- 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.
"I was a soldier of Russia, not a taker of innocent lives."
Voiced by: Brian BloomFormer 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: He's not proud of his past as one of Makarov's closest allies, to say the least.
- 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: Yuri's turning on Makarov lead to him being shot by Makarov twice - first at the airport right before the massacre, and much later when he's saving Price from being shot by Makarov. He barely survives his first shooting, but isn't so lucky the second time around.
- 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 Ultranationalist party is a Russian political faction founded by nuclear proliferator Imran Zakhaev. The groups consists of hardcore nationalists dedicated to rebuilding Russia's power and turning it against perceived enemies, and are engaged in a civil war with the Russian government in Modern Warfare 1.OPFOR refers to the Middle Eastern revolutionary movement led by warlord Khaled Al-Asad. Al-Asad is believed to be collaborating with the Ultranationalist party by drawing the attention of the United States away from the Russian civil war through their own uprising. The Ultranationalists return their favor with Russian nuclear weapons.By the second game, the Ultranationalist party had taken power in Russia, but were split by Zakhaev's death, with Russian president Boris Vorshevsky controlling the more moderate faction of the new Russian government, while idealogical terrorist Vladimir Makarov heads the much more violent and radical faction known as the Inner Circle.Imran Zakhaev, Imran's son Viktor Zakhaev, Khaled Al-Asad and Vladimir Makarov were collectively referred as the Four Horsemen, due to their extreme threat to the peaceful world.
"هكذا ابتدأت (This is how it begins.)"
Voiced by: Gabriel Al-RajhiLeader 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 apparently 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 when he explains how he knows that Al-Asad is still alive after nuking his own capital.
- Co-Dragons: To Zakhaev, with Zakhaev's son, and later Makarov, as revealed in 3.
- The Coup: Stages one during the titular level, where he executes President Al-Fulani on live TV.
- 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: Of the unnamed Middle Eastern country, replacing Al-Fulani (whom he executed personally).
- Rebel Leader: of the OpFor.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The actions of his army during Al-Fulani's execution should probably makes this obvious.
- Sinister Shades: Never seen without them, except as he's beaten up and then executed by Price.
- Smug Snake: He loses this as Price beats him and then kills him.
- 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 culture...Our economies...Our honor. Our blood has been spilled on our soil."
Voiced by: Yevgeni LazarevLeader 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. Despite dying at the end of the first game, he becomes a martyr and serves as a rallying point for the Ultranationalist Russians.
- Bald of Evil: Might be caused by his tendency to hang around radioactive areas.
- Beard of Evil
- Big Bad: Of the first installment.
- Death by Disfigurement: Subverted. His arm was blown off by Price, but he survives thanks to the intervention of Makarov and Yurinote , until Soap shoots him at the ending.
- Disproportionate Retribution / Nuke 'em: His response to his son's death.
- He Was Right There All Along: He is briefly seen in "The Coup," far before his role becomes apparent.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Nobody knows that he is involved in the conflict until Price answers the call on Al-Asad's phone.
- Only a Flesh Wound: He was able to survive for 15 years after Price blew his arm off.
- Papa Wolf: He does not take his son's suicide well.My blood... on their hands. All US and British forces will leave Russia immediately... or suffer the consequences.
- Predecessor Villain: He casts his shadow over the next two: Makarov carries over in his stead, General Shepherd is motivated by the nuking of the Marine task force, and the outcomes of their plots triggers a US-Russian war.
- Renegade Russian: To the old Russian democratic government. In a subversion, his death makes him a martyr, which then pushes a much more iron-fisted Ultranationalist government to replace them, which posthumously "un-Renegade'd" him.
- The Quiet One: Throughout the whole Modern Warfare series, he is only seen speaking twice; when he gives a speech in Ultimatum and when he attempt to strike a bargain deal in Yuri's flashback trying to bargain with a dealer.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: In his speech, the first and only time we hear him talk, he speaks in a very calm, deep and almost emotionless tone. The result is quite creepy
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Played straight in the first game, when Soap shoots him on the bridge thanks to the timely distraction of a Loyalist helicopter flyby. Deconstructed in the second, where the Ultranationalists portrays him as a martyr gunned down by evil Americans while fighting the corrupt government.
Voiced by: Jordan MarderImran Zakhaev's son, and a major Ultranationalist leader.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: If the SAS, the Marines and the Spetsnaz were after my rear, I'd shoot myself in the head too.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He looks an awful lot like Jean Reno.
- Overlord Jr.
- Co-Dragons: With Al-Asad and Makarov, to his father.
- Rebel Leader: Field commander of The Ultranationalist forces during the Second Russian Civil War.
- Sins of Our Fathers: The protagonists go after him to lure his dad out. It doesn't end well. Lampshaded by both Gaz and Griggs.
- The Quiet One: He only speaks twice (at the beginning of "The Coup" and at the end of "Sins of the Father"), both in Russian.
- The Brute
"Our enemies believe that they alone dictate the course of history, but all it takes is the will of a single man."
Voiced by: Roman VarshavskyA 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Not blatant about this side of himself, but underneath his stoic facade is a sadistic warmonger who cares little about killing everyone before him if he profits from it.
- Asshole Victim: His death was painful, slow and 100% deserved.
- 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.
- The Cameo: He appears in the Remastered Edition of Modern Warfare, and killing him nets you an achievement for creating a time paradox.
- Co-Dragons: Revealed to be one for Zakhaev alongside Victor and Al-Asad during the first game (he's the crossed-out man in the photo during the loading screen featuring the Four Horsemen together), when it's revealed in 3 that he detonated the nuclear weapon in the Middle East.
- The Coup: He manages to gain the influence of most of the Russian military by the third game. It comes full-circle when he captures President Vorshevsky and effectively runs the show from there.
- 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 would have made Shepherd's attempt to kill Makarov a Hoist by His Own Petard, if not for the implication that Makarov had planned ahead and allowed Soap and Price to off him in his stead.
- Defector from Decadence: Unlike most examples, Makarov's reasons for leaving the ruling Ultranationalist party and the creation of the Inner Circle 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 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 apparent inevitable destruction by Shepherd's forces.
- Subverted in 3, since it's revealed that he had a lot more resources and men on hand than first thought, as proven in "Persona non Grata". Having Price and Soap kill Shepherd was simply convenience.
- Evil Former Friend: To Yuri.
- 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.
- General Failure: Despite Makarov's immense success in getting control of Russia's military and launching attacks against America as well as Europe, they're also massive failures. The invasion of the United States is a complete boondoggle due to Price's missile and the Russian military is in full-retreat after five days. The European Invasion kills millions but is doomed without the use of nuclear weapons (which he doesn't have).
- Greater Scope Villain: 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.
- 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 woundednote . He also indirectly 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 below.
- 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.
- 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.
- Not Quite Dead: He's revealed to be the first of the Four Horsemen in 3, thus making him this in the first game. It's implied that US intelligence mistook him as K.I.A. during the nuclear explosion in the capital city.
- 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.
- If you look closely at his bio, his year of birth is given as 1970, making him 26 at Zakhaev's assassination attempt, 41 when he detonated the nuke, and 46 for the events of 2 and 3.
- Praetorian Guard: He has one in the form of the Inner Circle.
- 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.
- 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.
- Renegade Russian: Initially, like Zakhaev, to the standing Russian government. Later, after the Ultranationalists seize power, he becomes this to his own cause by defecting from the ruling government in order to uphold Zakhaev's vision, which he believes has been lost on the current leadership.
- The Sociopath: At the end of the day, Makarov is this. Manipulating his way through to the top, massacring an airport of civilians and pinning the blame on the US while showing absolutely zero remorse for it, and showing quite a vicious, sadistic streak along the way. It's implied by Yuri that he once truly believed in the cause, but now only wishes to obtain power and slaughter anyone that stands in his way.
- The Starscream: In Modern Warfare 3, he attempts to overthrow the Russian President to extract the missile launch codes from him and the take political (but mostly military) power of Russia from him.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Unlike the more obvious Al-Asad and Zakhaev Makarov resembles little more than a bearded, semi handsome Russian soldier in a suit, resembling maybe Hans Gruber without the charm.
- 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. He makes it even worse when he's willing to use chemical weapons on civilian and military targets alike. 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.
- Unwitting Pawn: It looks like he's one for Shepherd at first, but then it's subverted. Based on how the events of 3 unfold, it appears Makarov was the one pulling the strings on Shepherd the entire time.
- Walking Spoiler: In 3, since it's revealed that he was responsible for a number of things, including the nuclear explosion in the Middle East and Shepherd's Start of Darkness.
- 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.
"Gentlemen, we have only two choices: peace or war. Life or death. For the sake of our children, we must seek peace with the West."
Voiced by: David Anthony PizzutoPresident 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.
Voiced by: Anna GravesThe 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.
- Living Macguffin: Makarov wants her so she can be used to force President Vorshevsky to give him the launch codes to the Russian nuclear arsenal. Delta Force and Task Force 141 want her so that doesn't happen.
Andrei HarkovAn FSO (equivalent of American Secret Service) agent, in charge of President Vorshevsky's security.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: It's a given as he is Vorshevsky's bodyguard and all.
- Decoy Protagonist: Following the tradition of Paul Jackson and Joseph Allen, he's the first major playable protagonist in the third installment to die, getting killed at the end of his mission.
- Determinator: He doesn't stop trying to protect the President until he's completely dead.
- Made of Iron: It takes a point-blank shot to drop him, then once more before he grabs his gun.
- And if it's him in the Special Ops Mission "Hostage Taker," he doesn't even go down after that.
- The Mole: During the loading screen for Turbulence, a picture with his name on it says "Inside Man?" It ultimately amounts to nothing, as Makarov's men assault the aircraft with seemingly no insiders of their own among the FSO contingent onboard.
- Player Character
Major PetrovCommander of an Ultranationalist airbase in Modern Warfare 2.
Sat1An astronaut briefly controlled in Modern Warfare 2.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Courtesy of Captain Price—although he didn't mean for it to happen.
- Controllable Helplessness: He mostly serves the same role as Modern Warfare's Al-Fulani, but IN SPACE.
- Heroic Mime
President of the unnamed Middle Eastern country in the first Modern Warfare.
- Boom, Headshot: How he dies.
- Controllable Helplessness: The player controls him (or at least looks through his eyes) in "The Coup". His car got attacked, he got captured, tied to a cross and executed by Al-Asad, during which the player is completely helpless and unable to do anything other than look around.
- The Faceless: Averted in the DS version.
- Meaningful Name: Al-Fulani is basically Arabic for "John Doe" (cf. the similar Spanish word "fulano").
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He dies in the same chapter he is introduced in, an is the first player-perspective character to die.
The Davis family
Mrs. Davis: "You got it? Are you recording? Okay. So, this is day 3, London, and we're off to... Sarah, tell daddy where we're going."
Sarah Davis: "We're going to Big Ben!"
Voiced by: Julia Arem (Sarah)A family seen vacationing in London during MW3. Killed in a gas attack predicating the Russian invasion of Europe.
- Cheerful Child: Sarah, the daughter in the family.
- Genki Girl: Sarah, again.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. None of them survive the gas attack, not even the daughter.
- Heroic Mime: You briefly play as the father recording his family. As required by CoD law, he is completely silent.
- We Hardly Knew Ye
Somalian warlord seen in the MW3 mission "Return to Sender".
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted. He quickly cracks when Price threatens to use Deadly Gas on him.
- Bald of Evil: Despite the fact that his dossier in "Return to Sender" says he has black hair, he is actually bald.
- Black Dude Dies First: Out of all the villains in Modern Warfare 3, he's the first to go.
- Boom, Headshot: Price kills him this way.
- Co-Dragons: With Viktor to Makarov.
- Dirty Coward: He panics when Price pulls the pin on the nerve gas canister, and immediately tells Price everything he wants to know.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: On the receiving end. While Price, Soap, and Yuri don gas masks, Price pulls the pin on a toxin canister. If he talks, he gets the last mask. If not, he'll suffocate. Not that it matters anyway.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Waraabe" means "hyena" in Somali.
Viktor "Volk" Khristenko
The CEO of Fregata Industries, a front company that supplied Makarov with Deadly Gas.
- Co-Dragons: With Waarabe to Makarov.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Courtesy of Sandman. Unfortunately for him.Price: Did our man talk?Sandman: They always talk.
- Mad Bomber: He's Makarov's bomb maker.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Volk" means "wolf" in Russian.