Characters: Splinter Cell
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Samuel Leo "Sam" Fisher
Samuel Leo "Sam" Fisher (Michael Ironside) (Eric Johnson in Blacklist)
The main character of the franchise, Sam is a former navy SEAL who is recruited by his best friend Irving Lambert in 2004 to be the first Splinter Cell. Over the next several years he stops multiple world crises, prevents the outbreak of World War III, and shuts down numerous terrorist groups before going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against elements of the U.S. government that betrayed him. As of Blacklist, he is put in charge of Fourth Echelon.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Pulled this twice. He left government service after the JBA operation and the Third Echelon conspiracy, but got pulled back in kicking and screaming both times.
- Badass Grandpa: 54 as of Conviction and still kicking ass. In fact, he becomes more badass as he grows older.
- Badass In Charge: Of Fourth Echelon, as of Blacklist.
- Retired Badass: When he was initially picked to be a Splinter Cell, he was a retired Navy SEAL. By the time of Conviction, he's also out of Third Echelon.
- Bald of Awesome: Shaves his head after the first level in Double Agent, though he grows his hair back after the game.
- Bash Brothers: With Victor Coste.
- Berserk Button: Two of them.
- Harming his daughter. Or lying about harming her.
- Harming innocent people, especially via torture. If you're a Punch Clock Villain, he'll generally leave you alone, but you're dead meat if he catches you torturing someone.
- The Combat Pragmatist: Especially in Conviction.
- Cool Old Guy
- Da Chief: Graduates to this in Blacklist, especially toward Briggs, though he shares the position with Grim.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially to interrogation targets.
- Deep Cover Agent/Double Agent: During Double Agent.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Sam used to be a Navy SEAL.
- Expy: Many fans have noted that Sam Fisher has a lot in common with another Tom Clancy character, John Clark. Both are ex-Navy SEALs who went on to become intelligence operatives, both are willing to resort to killing and torture to get the job done, and they even have similar personalities and dark senses of humor. Chaos Theory had him compared to Batman given his sneaking and striking from the dark. Conviction with its heavy emphasis on a rogue agent doing whatever it takes to stop the terrorist plot and protect his daughter closely mirrors Jack Bauer and even has shades of the Punisher.
- Good Is Not Nice
- Green Eyes: Somewhat of the type. While he is trustworthy to the people who do not betray him, his "spitfire" attitude definitely comes into play in interrogations.
- Heroic BSOD: A few, the first major one being after learning his daughter Sarah has died, and the second coming when he learns she is alive, but his best friend Lambert had faked her death to protect her from a plot to threaten her by a mole inside Third Echelon and allow Sam to willingly to accept extremely dangerous assignments since he would no longer have anything to live for.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Hints of it in Conviction but then come Blacklist, with Victor Coste being put in a coma, it's taken Up to Eleven. As a result, he Took a Level in Jerkass. Grim calls him out for it, pointing out he's alienating the team, and near the end he improves.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes
- Informed Ability: Sam is stated to be a Krav Maga practitioner. Up until Conviction, his hand to hand combat moves don't even remotely resemble Krav Maga. Then again, the novels are of questionable canonicity, so this can be excused.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Sam is a big fan of this, especially in Conviction.
- Knife Nut: In Chaos Theory and Double Agent. Not so much in Conviction, but in Blacklist he graduates to using a karambit blade.
- Master of Unlocking: He can pick locks expertly, or just forego this and break the lock with his knife instead.
- Ninja: Lambert calls him this in the first game.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Sam loses all traces of his trademark Gallows Humour when Vic is put into a coma in Blacklist. This signals the start of his He Who Fights Monsters tendencies.
- In Conviction, he rarely bothers with non-lethal attacks whereas previous games had him resorting to killing only if absolutely necessary. It's a mark of him no longer caring about how many people he has to kill so long as he reunites with Sarah. Also, points for outright threatening to murder Grim if she's lying.
- Papa Wolf: Will do anything to protect his daughter.
- Perma Stubble: Very noticeable in all incarnations.
- Player Character: The protagonist in all games.
- Pragmatic Hero: The essence of Sam's playstyle until Conviction when he becomes more action-orientated.
- Punch Clock Hero: Occasional comments throughout the series touch on the fact that he has a life back home in America and one of the sections in Conviction has Sam deal with a pair of home intruders.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Most of Conviction. "Blacklist" takes it Up to Eleven due to Victor Coste being injured in the Guam attack.
- Rogue Agent: During Conviction.
- Shoot Your Mate: In Essentials, one of the missions involves shooting Lambert and completion of the mission requires it. The Xbox 360/PC version of Double Agent allows for the choice of shooting either Jamie or Lambert. In Conviction, it is revealed that he was ordered by Third Echelon to shoot Lambert.
- Stealth Expert: One of the greatest in video games, if not the greatest.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: The reason he continues to work as a Stealth Expert in Blacklist despite his disillusionment after Conviction , first as a member of Paladin Nine Security, and then as the commander of Fourth Echelon, is because he is too bored with civilian life to leave the military behind.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: During "Blacklist" he's on a near fanatical Roaring Rampage of Revenge and even scolds Briggs for rescuing him from Sadiq when there was an opportunity to shoot him. Grim eventually snaps him out of it however.
- Took a Level in Badass: With each successive Splinter Cell game, Sam gets faster, more agile, and more proficient at killing.
- Unstoppable Rage: Near the end of Conviction Sam learns that Lambert was responsible for faking Sarah's death in order to stop her from being used as leverage against Sam. This causes Sam to become so enraged that any enemy mooks who stand in his way can be killed with a single button press due to Sam having unlimited Mark and Execute points.
An organization which exists to protect America against potential threats. It does not officially exist and is secret even from the majority of the National Security Agency (NSA) which it is ostensibly a part of and derives the majority of its funding. The organization was part of Megiddo's coup against the United States government in Conviction and was dissolved thereafter.
Tropes applying to the organization as a whole.
- Artistic License – Law: Third Echelon couldn't operate on US soil as part of the NSA or mount field operations as a whole. This is Justified as everything the agency does is illegal.
- Bad Boss: Under Director Reed.
- Badass Creed: The Fifth Freedom speech.
- Government Agency of Fiction: Pretty much goes with the territory.
- Heel-Face Turn: The organization underwent one of these between Double Agent and Conviction.
- Necessarily Evil: The point of the Fifth Freedom is to do whatever it takes to protect America.
- No Such Agency: Is unknown to the rest of the United States government.
- Overt Operative: Zigzagged. While Third Echelon's agents are invisible according to their preferred playstyle, their base has their logo stamped on everything. Which is ridiculous.
- Spy Catsuit: Its agents tend to wear these in order to better blend in with shadows.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Become this in Conviction and arguably were this all along.
Colonel Irving Lambert (Don Jordan) (Dennis Haysbert in Pandora Tomorrow)
Third Echelon Operations Coordinator, later Director of Operations and then Director outright, Lambert is an old friend of Sam's and recruited him to be the first Splinter Cell. He helped guide Sam through his missions, using diplomacy and contacts to get him whatever aid he could. In Conviction it is revealed that one option in Double Agent, the one to shoot him to keep Sam's cover, is the canon option, and he died of the bullet wound.
- Almighty Janitor: During the Second Korean War, he's on par with the Secretary of Defense when advising President Bowers.
- Badass: A U.S. Army Colonel, as well as good enough at coordinating double agents in the field to be able to spearhead the Splinter Cell program, and rises in the ranks of Third Echelon in each game between two and four.
- Bald Black Leader Guy: Although he somehow grows his hair back for Double Agent.
- Broken Pedestal: After what happened with Sarah, Sam is never going to look at his friend in the same way again.
- Big Good: Subverted by Conviction.
- Character Death: In Double Agent by Sam to preserve his cover.
- Cool Old Guy: Is quite the cool old guy. Like Sam.
- Da Chief: Occasionally has this role to Sam when he does something he shouldn't have. However, they're good enough friends that it generally doesn't happen.
- The Handler: Often to Sam.
- Kick the Dog: He orders Sarah's death faked, possibly having a young woman killed to serve as her body, then manipulates Sam to believe she's dead—taking advantage of his grief. This is, ostensibly, for her own protection but his refusal to tell Sam qualifies him for this.
- Last Name Basis: He's rarely called Irving.
- Mission Control: Is this in the early games.
- Pragmatic Hero: Exercises the Fifth Freedom. Perhaps too often.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Again, subverted by Conviction.
- Senseless Sacrifice/Stupid Sacrifice: In hindsight, his death was really rather pointless if you look at the totality of the situation he and Sam were currently in (although he doubtless thought it was necessary at the time).
- What the Hell, Hero?: If Sam kills anyone he doesn't need to, Lambert will give him hell about it.
Anna Grímsdóttir (Claudia Besso) (Adriana Anderson in Pandora Tomorrow) (Kate Drummond in Blacklist)
Third Echelon Communications Lead and later Chief Technical Analyst, "Grim" serves as Sam's technical support for much of his career during the games, providing technological, cryptographic, and data support. In Conviction following the death of Lambert, she rose to Chief Technical Analyst, aiding Sam from behind the scenes in uncovering Tom Reed's plot. Following the dissolution of Third Echelon, she is chosen by the President as the technical operations manager for Fourth Echelon.
- Action Girl: By the time of Conviction.
- Anti-Hero: In Conviction and Blacklist.
- Pragmatic Hero: Will do anything to serve her cause. Seems to regret this after Conviction when she realizes Sam does not forgive or forget.
- Badass: By Conviction, she's taken to field operations instead of just staying at a computer. In the Oval Office, she handles a Sig Sauer very competently while helping Sam kill the final Splinter Cells.
- Badass Bookworm: She's still a very reliable source for technical information, however.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Conviction reveals that her mild-mannered personality was a mask for a much more cold hearted woman than previous games let slip. She knowingly concealed information from Sam about Sarah still being alive and pretty much blackmails him into helping her stop Tom Reed.
- Brown Eyes: Fills out the categories, especially since she's in the field less often.
- Captain Obvious: When she served as Mission Control.
- Character Development: Grim slowly becomes colder and more jaded, and by Conviction she is refered to as "The Ice Queen of Third Echelon". She softens up somewhat in Blacklist, due to trying to regain Sam's trust but is still willing to make very hard decisions firsthand, even to the point of keeping information from her own government to prevent war.
- Communications Officer: The head for both Third and Fourth Echelons.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most notably in Conviction and Blacklist.
- Dye or Die: Her hair color changes sometimes between games.
- Fake Defector: Fakes betraying Sam in order to let him get close to Reed in the White House.
- Good Is Not Nice: In Conviction. May verge into Nominal Hero territory.
- Good Is Not Soft: As demonstrated when she shoots Tom Reed without batting an eye.
- Guile Hero: In Conviction it becomes very obvious that she's not afraid to use deception and manipulation to get the job done.
- Ice Queen: Even called as much by Conviction.
- In-Series Nickname: Grim, and later "Grim Reaper" and "The Ice Queen."
- Kick the Dog: The entire Conviction arc.
- The Lancer: As well as some levels in The Smart Guy, to Fisher's The Hero in Conviction.
- The Matchmaker: According to a conversation in Chaos Theory, Grim has set Sam up on blind dates with women she knows.Grim: The Maria Narcissa.Sam: Sounds like you're setting me up for another blind date.Grim: The Maria Narcissa is a boat.Grim: Fisher!Sam: Sorry.
- Mission Control: Serves as this in Conviction.
- Morality Pet: Her's is Sam in Conviction and Blacklist. The fact Sam comes to hate her guts because of events hurts her deeply. He forgives her in the end, though.
- The Mole: Conviction implies her true loyalties were always to the Executive Branch, and that she was inserted into Third Echelon from the beginning to make sure they didn't go rogue.
- Progressively Prettier: She becomes more and more attractive as the series goes on.
- Secret Keeper: She kept the fact that Sarah was not only not dead, but also that the entire faked death was on Lambert's orders, secret from Sam, knowing they needed him for the John Brown's Army crisis, until he was able to go to Third Echelon Headquarters and learn for himself when she let him know after Lambert's demise.
- Shoot the Dog: She implies that she has done so many times while talking with Sam in Conviction. Confirmed when she kills Reed if Fisher doesn't in the finale.
- Something Completely Different: Implied to be controlling the UAV in some parts of Blacklist to cover for Sam.
- Took a Level in Badass: Big time in Conviction, where she's gone from pure Mission Control to a more field oriented position.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: These must have come with the levels in Badass, though she does seem to still genuinely care about Sam's survival.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In Blacklist, she's nicer to Sam, probably as an effort to make things up for the events of Conviction though still somewhat abrasive at times.
- Voice with an Internet Connection
Tom Reed (James A. Woods)The Director of Third Echelon in Conviction. He attempts to murder President Caldwell when she attempts to cut the power of Third Echelon, although he is also working on the behest of Megiddo.
- Bad Boss: He shoots a pilot for asking to be paid for the fuel he used while transporting Sam.
- Big Bad: Of Conviction. Although he is under the control of Bigger Bad Megiddo.
- Boom, Headshot: By either Sam or Grim at the end of Conviction.
- Motive Rant: At the end of Conviction, Reed talks about how the President was going to pull funding from Third Echelon and go soft on terrorism, motivating him to try and overthrow her and place Vice President Calvin Samson. Then again, it's all pretty much thrown out when he admits he was trying to help Megiddo take over the USA.
- It could be he's motivated by both depending on what Megiddo's aims are.
- The Mole: For Megiddo.
- Mole in Charge: See above.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Is essentially the same as Assistant Director Williams from the previous games, other than perhaps having a slightly more hysterical personality.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm
- Villain Has a Point: He says that President Caldwell's decision to shut down Third Echelon would leave the United States open to attack. Blacklist shows he was right; Third Echelon's decommissioning leaves the door wide open for the Engineers to attack Anderson AFB.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Averted. Reed claims he's assassinating President Caldwell because she's soft on terrorism, and putting the nation at risk by downsizing Third Echelon. Blacklist shows that the Fifth Freedom includes executing members of the Executive Branch to protect the country, so while Reed's supposed position is incredibly extreme it is not entirely without merit based on the rules laid out in the series. However, in truth Reed is working for Megiddo, a corrupt and nebulous conspiracy, and is really trying to kill Caldwell because her policies are damaging to them.
Andriy Kobin (Elias Toufexis)A powerful criminal leader employed by Third Echelon, Kobin faked the death of Sarah Fisher on then-Director Lambert's orders. He serves as one of Tom Reed's top men in the fifth game, surviving its events. Later appears in Blacklist having turned informant to the CIA and joining Fourth Echelon as a Token Evil Teammate and Ace Pilot.
- Ace Pilot: As revealed in Blacklist.
- Anti-Hero: Unscrupulous Hero in Blacklist, eventually.
- Arms Dealer: His biggest source of income.
- Battle Trophy: Not much of a "battle", but he keeps Archer's corpse hung up in his mansion in Conviction, still in his body suit.
- Beard of Evil
- Death Faked for You: Did this for Sarah Fisher at Lambert's instruction. Sam was not amused upon finding this out.
- The Dragon: To Reed in Conviction.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite getting taken down easily in Conviction, "Blacklist" reveals he is an Ace Pilot and when the Paladin is on the verge of crashing, keeps the plane airborne while helping Sam restart it. He's also puts his skills to good use when getting Sam and Briggs into Colorado past the air defenses around Denver to stop Sadiq.
- Drugs Are Bad: Drug trafficking is among his crimes.
- Hidden Depths: Is an extremely skilled pilot as revealed in Blacklist.
- Odd Friendship: With Charlie Cole of all people. At the end, they're seen getting along extremely well while Kobin explains the finer points on how to operate and shoot Sams FN Five Seven.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Becomes an official Fourth Echelon member after multiple dangerous events on the Paladin.
- Oh Crap!/You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: His reaction to finding out that his savior in Blacklist is Sam Fisher.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Double Subverted in Blacklist. He isn't so much "recruited" as he is arrested by Fourth Echelon as an intelligence source, and his "room" is the holding cells. However, once he proves his worth and genuine aid, he appears to be officially recruited to Fourth Echelon, even allowed to handle Sams Five SeveN on the command deck.
- Token Evil Teammate: While most of Third Echelon is made up of Anti-Heroes, Kobin is a major criminal employed by them to carry out some dirty work their operatives can't do. In Blacklist he's more of a frienemy and even ends up as part of Sams Paladin team.
"Archer": real name Daniel Robert Sloane-SuarezA Splinter Cell agent who was active prior to the involvement of Sam Fisher in the Third Echelon Conspiracy in Conviction, he worked alongside Voron agent Kestrel against Russian criminal activities.
- Anti-Hero: Comes with being a Splinter Cell agent.
- Pragmatic Hero: Comes with being a Splinter Cell agent.
- Badass: Very much so.
- Bash Brothers: With Kestrel.
- Brown Eyes: Subverted in personality. He's competitive, overconfident, and stubborn according to his personnel file, while Kestrel serves as his Blue Oni.
- Character Death: Killed by Kobin, who then brought the body to his mansion.
- The Combat Pragmatist
- Code Name/Nom de Guerre: Archer
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Justified, considering Archer and Kestrel are covert operatives, and probably shouldn't be able to give away their true identities.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Foil: To Kestrel.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Extremely cool, very impossible.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Kestrel's Blue.
- Shoot Your Mate: Shoots Kestrel in self-defense after being ordered to kill him by Reed. However, Kestrel survives. Archer doesn't.
- Stealth Expert: Almost as good as Sam.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Why Kobin is told to kill him.
Frances Coen (Ellen David (Splinter Cell))Sam's field runner in the later part of Splinter Cell and Pandora Tomorrow. Mentioned in Chaos Theory to be gathering intelligence in Japan.
- The Handler: Though Fisher does personally know Lambert, his real boss.
- Informed Judaism: In Pandora Tomorrow she mentions that she's Jewish when she and Sam travel to Israel.
- Put on a Bus: Disappears after Pandora Tomorrow, except for a passing line of dialogue in Chaos Theory.
William Redding (Thor Bishopric)Sam's second field runner, Redding supplied him with kit recommendations and weapons and equipment for his missions.
- The Handler: Takes up the position after Coen, though, as stated, Lambert does personally know Sam and acts as this as well.
- Put on a Bus: Hasn't been seen or mentioned since Essentials. Official explanation is he was forced out of Third Echelon by the new Director Tom Reed before Conviction. He spent some time working for Vic Coste at Paladin Nine, but does not do so anymore.
- Retired Badass: He used to be a US Marine interrogator.
- The Smart Guy: While Grim was Sam's technical support ally in Third Echelon, Redding gave him his weapons and kit recommendations before missions.
Charlie Fryman (Graham Cuthbertson)Grim's inside man in Third Echelon HQ, Fryman gives Sam the upgraded sonar goggles.
- Big Fun: Subtly implied.
- Hero-Worshipper: He is a huge fan of Fisher.
- Non-Action Guy
- The Smart Guy: One of them in Conviction, though the fact that he only appears in one scene in Conviction does lower how much he is this.
- Smart People Wear Glasses
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Last we saw him, he was inside 3E HQ, you know the same HQ that self-destructed minutes later. He's never mentioned again however.
The successor organization to Third Echelon founded by the President in the wake of the Engineers' attack on the military base on Guam. It is headed by Sam Fisher who is also their chief operative.
Tropes applying to the organization as a whole.
- Cool Plane: The C-147B Paladin, which is also their HQ.
- Government Agency of Fiction: The same as Third Echelon.
- Conspiracy Redemption: It is basically Third Echelon but cleaned out of traitors.
- Necessarily Evil: Does things which are necessary to preserve world peace.
- No Such Agency: Still in effect. This actually proves to be a hindrance as other secret agencies sneer at them and refuse to share information.
- Oddly Small Organization: It consists of Anna, Sam, Kobin, Charlie, Isaac, and their pilots.
Sam FisherSee his folder entry.
Anna GrimsdottirSee her Third Echelon entry.
Andriy KobinSee his Third Echelon entry.
Charlie ColeA computer hacker and tech expert who worked at Paladin Nine during Sam's brief stay there between Conviction and Blacklist, Charlie becomes the technology officer of Fourth Echelon, providing Sam with many custom gadgets to complement Grim's tech savviness, albeit with his own self-deprecative humor.
- The Cracker: A heroic variant.
- Deadpan Snarker: Constantly, especially aimed at Briggs.
- The Engineer: For Sam's gear, including his goggles, tri-rotor, and prototype guns. Ironically, he's fighting against the Engineers.
- New Meat: He's not nearly as well versed in the darker sides of espionage as the rest of the team, and becomes sick when he finds out that they plan to go with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right over the President.
- Non-Action Guy
- Odd Friendship: With Kobin after everyone else subjects him to a Kick the Dog moment.
Isaac BriggsA CIA agent who Sam recruits to Fourth Echelon in Blacklist, Briggs serves as the second player in Co-Op Multiplayer.
- Badass: Considering he has to have as many skills as Sam in gameplay.
- Military Maverick: Shades of this.Fisher: Wrestling fan?
Briggs: You said nonlethal. You didn't say how.
- Player Character: In the cooperative gameplay, for the second player. Also in some First-Person Shooter segments of "Transit Yards".
- Something Completely Different: Has multiple single player segments that utilize typical FPS mechanics.
- Stealth Expert: Though apparently not quite as skilled as Sam, he's still good.
Mitchell DoughertyA suspected mole in the CIA who is providing information to the President of Georgia (Splinter Cell).
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Dougherty can be kidnapped when he's on a smoke break.
- The Mole: Subverted.
- Not What It Looks Like: Claims this. He's right. His insecure PC is being bugged by the Georgians.
- Shout-Out: Information Retrieval is to Brazil.
- Southern-Fried Genius: Has a thick Southern accent but is very good at his job.
- Super OCD: Subverted. He just has the regular kind, compelling him to store data on an insecure PC which the Georgians are able to hack and steal that data from.
Ingrid Ruth KarlthsonSam's ally during the Indonesia Crisis (Pandora Tomorrow), she is a field operations officer who acts as his contact.
- Cunning Linguist: She's well educated in foreign languages.
- Deep Cover Agent: Went to the US Embassy to track down Norman Soth, another deep-cover agent and a member of the Big Bad Duumvirate of the game.
- Distressed Damsel: Taken by Sadono to serve as a translator in his dealings some time into the game, as well as a bargaining chip.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Subverted. She knew full well what a danger Sadono posed through Pandora Tomorrow, though he did treat her humanely, and she does admit that she sees why so many people would follow him.
Hisham HamzaA CIA contact who's undercover in John Brown's Army (Double Agent).
United States Government
President David Bowers (Arthur Holden)The President during the first four games of the series. He is highly supportive of Third Echelon.
- Expy: Of George W. Bush in the first game.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Personable.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
President Patricia Caldwell (Lynne Adams)The President during the events of Conviction and Blacklist. She is suspicious of the power and latitude given to Third Echelon and other spy organizations and seeks to restrict them.
- Big Good: Of Conviction.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: She has Meryl Streep's face.
- Expy: Pretty clearly one of Hilary Clinton. Although, if you pay really close attention to background NPC dialogue, it's shown that she's a Republican.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Iron.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
Vice President Calvin Samson (Larry Day)The Vice President during the events of Conviction. He is a member of Megiddo and is part of their attempts to take over the U.S. government.
- Bald of Evil: As a member of Megiddo planning the death of President Caldwell.
- Corrupt Politician: See above.
- Knee-capping: Considering Sam can't kill the Vice President, he does this instead.Sam: You really need to work on that "bulletproof" thing.
- Our Vice Presidents Are Different: Vice President Corrupt.
"Kestrel": real name Mikhail Andreyevitch LoskovA Voron agent active before involvement of Sam Fisher in the Third Echelon Conspiracy, Kestrel worked alongside Splinter Cell agent Archer to take down Russian criminal activities within his own country. He apparently died in the end of the prologue campaign in Conviction, but was later recovered by Voron and kept in a coma until Sam and Briggs rescue him in Blacklist.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: In-universe, he is this for a Splinter Cell, with Voron being essentially Russia's Third Echelon.
- Apologetic Attacker: He hates having to fight his own countrymen, but he does it anyway.
- Brown Eyes: Fits the personality type, unlike his partner. That said, he's still known as introverted, reclusive, and unforgiving according to command observations.
- The Combat Pragmatist
- Code Name/Nom de Guerre: Kestrel
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Justified, considering Archer and Kestrel are covert operatives, and probably shouldn't be able to give away their true identities.
- Conscription: The reason Kestrel was in the military at all.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His parents were killed in a terrorist attack when he was six years old. He had a very bad relationship with his foster father, and ended up running away at the age of 14 to live on the streets of St. Petersburg for more than four years alone, where he had many run ins with the police, ultimately arrested at the age of 18. He was conscripted into the military, as was mandatory. When shifted to a counterinsurgency unit for his ability to thrive in the field, he was systematically forced to watch the execution of his friends after they were eventually captured, then subjected to three days of Cold-Blooded Torture until the Spetsnaz rescued him and he was invited to Voron. With a history like that, it's not hard to see how his personality differs from that of Archer.
- Disney Death: His fight with Archer did not result in his death, but rather in him being rendered comatose.
- Famous Last Words: Non-canon, and nonlethal regardless, but in Conviction, "Orders are orders, right Chief?"
- Foil: To Archer.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Subverted. He's plenty badass and Russian, but he's not any of the other things involved in the trope.
- Not Quite Dead: As revealed in Blacklist through the Briggs missions.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Archer's Red.
- The Runaway: In his history, from the age of 14 to 18.
- Stealth Expert: Seeing as he is the Voron equivalent to a Splinter Cell. However, unlike Splinter Cells, Voron agents are more trained in assault tactics than infiltration, as shown in Blacklist and supported by his history.
- Token Good Teammate: As shown in Blacklist, he's one of the only heroic Voron agents. Probably why they put him in a drug induced coma.
Former Soviet Republic of Georgia
President Kombayn Nikoladze (Vlasta Vrana)The President of Georgia during most of the Georgian Information Crisis of the first Splinter Cell game, Nikoladze has a deep hatred of America, and seeks to attack it subversively.
- Big Bad: Of the first game.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He came to power in Georgia by using his ample funds from the oil business.
- Dirty Communist: Subverted as he's a post-Soviet villain who is explicitly doing it for the money.
- Meaningful Name: "Kombayn" means "grain harvester" or "combine", likely a reference to grain working given by his likely Soviet parents.
- The work a combine does is "reaping" a harvest, a modern variation of the age-old scythe; the Georgian President whose name is synonymous with "Reaper" orchestrates a genocidal reaping against the Azerbaijani people and anybody who gets in his way with modern technology.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning: Although it's not elaborated on, in later games it's mentioned that assassinating him created several unforseen negative implications, enough that Third Echelon makes a significant effort to capture the major villains of the next two games alive.
- President Evil: Eventually ousted, though, before his assassination.
- Smug Snake: Kombayn believed he could take on the United States and NATO. Even with his electronics-warfare weapons, this takes balls.
- To be fair, Kombayn never wanted to fight either but Sam exposed his war crimes.
Vyacheslav Grinko (Maksim Osadchiy-Korytkovskiy)An ex-Spetsnaz mercenary who President Nikoladze hires to retrain the Georgian military in covert operations.
- The Dragon: Of the first game.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He was in the Spetsnaz (Russian Special Forces) before going mercenary.
- Former Regime Personnel: An ex-Soviet mercenary.
- The Mafiya: A lieutenant of it.
- Retired Badass: Formerly Spetsnaz.
Philip Masse (Marcel Jeannin)A Canadian computer genius hired by President Nikoladze to keep the world blind to Georgia's activities, Masse is the man who instigated the Georgian Information Crisis by using his "Masse Kernels" to disrupt information networks.
- Chekhov's Gunman: His "Masse Kernels" show up in the hands of Displace International in the third game, where they are ultimately destroyed for good.
- The Cracker: Instigated the "Information Crisis" that the conflict in the original Splinter Cell is named for.
- The Evil Genius: For the first game.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul
Darah Dan Doa ("Blood and Prayer")
Suhadi Sadono (David Kaye)The leader of Darah Dan Doa, Suhadi Sadono is one of the two members of the Big Bad Duumvirate in the second game.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Despite not displaying any remarkable combat skills previously, when you go up against him at the end of the game he has crazy good aim and can kill Sam with one shot from his pistol. You're not supposed to fight him directly.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Soth for the second game.
- Dead Man Switch: His "Pandora Tomorrow" scheme involves several sleeper agents in the U.S. who will detonate smallpox bombs if he is killed or captured, in order to prevent the U.S. interfering with his revolutionary uprising.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Apparently because Karlthson was a woman, he couldn't resist her requests to have full access to his facility when she was captured.
- Expy: Of Che Guevara.
- Lima Syndrome: Toward Ingrid Karlthson.
- Nice Hat
- Psychopathic Manchild: According to Karlthson, he has a child's view of war, seeing no difference between soldier and civilian, and seeing them all as legitimate targets.
Norman SothA former CIA agent who took up sides with Suhadi, Soth is one of the member of the Big Bad Duumvirate of the second game.
- Badass: Acts as Sadano's Heavy in implementing Pandora Tomorrow, including leading the raid to acquire the cryo-boxes to be used as smallpox bombs.
- Handicapped Badass: Is apparently still fit enough to lead commando raids even with only one leg. His prosthetic limb also doesn't handicap him in any way during the final shootout.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Suhadi for the second game.
- CIA: Formerly.
- Code Name: mortified_penguin.
- Deep Cover Agent: How he started out, but he went too deep.
- Dragon Their Feet: Steals the last smallpox bomb and tries to set it off at LAX after Sam brings down Sadano and the rest of the Darah Dan Doa.
- Evil Cripple: Has a prosthetic leg, courtesy of the car bomb that he blames on Uncle Sam.
- Face-Heel Turn: He was a former CIA agent before going rogue.
- Not in This for Your Revolution/Dragon with an Agenda: Soth doesn't give a damn about Sadano's revolution. He just wants to get revenge on America for burning him all those years ago.
- Rogue Agent: Was "burned" by the Agency while in deep cover in Indonesia. This got him blown up by the people he was embedded with. He survives, minus one leg, and ends up hooking up with Sadano to get revenge on America.
Douglas ShetlandShetland is the CEO of Displace International. He is a former Force Recon Marine who was considered for the Splinter Cell program, and a friend of Sam's. He is also the Big Bad of the third game, trying to spark World War III in North Korea through the utilization of the destruction of the USS Walsh.
- Badass: Supposedly in the same league as Sam; he's able to match Sam blow-for-blow during their very brief fight at the end of Chaos Theory, something that only one or two other characters in the series have ever managed.
- Bald of Evil: Or in the least thinning brown hair.
- Big Bad: Of Chaos Theory.
- Big Bad Friend: To Fisher.
- Cool Old Guy: Lampshaded by Grim in Pandora Tomorrow, who comments, "Could almost believe the two of you are competing for the title "World's Most Amoral Reluctantly-Aging Badass."
- Face-Heel Turn: In time for his turn as Big Bad.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Tries to pull this on Sam during their last confrontation in Chaos Theory. It doesn't work.
- Knight Templar
- Majorly Awesome
- Motive Rant: He gives a pretty impressive rant on what drove him to fund terrorists and try to start World War III.
- Retired Badass
- Semper Fi: Formerly.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Force Recon specifically.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: He tells Sam that he wouldn't shoot an old friend. Sam either does shoot him or puts his gun away and stabs him when Shetland tries to kill him.
Milan Nedich (Real Name: Milos Nowak)The vice president of the VIP protection division of Displace International, he is the Big Bad of the third game. Part of the way in, it is determined that he is instead The Dragon to Shetland.
- Axe Crazy
- Big Bad: Subverted. He is really The Dragon.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul
- Morton's Fork: The second of of two characters in the game who Sam will kill regardless of which button you press to take him out after interrogating him.
Abrahim ZherkezhiA naive computer theorist who wants to promote world peace through his protection by Displace International. His "Dvorak" algorithms are used by Shetland to attempt to provoke World War III. Mentioned in the second game, he shows up in the third.
- The Evil Genius: In the third game, though he's not evil, nor does he know what is being done with his work until it is too late for him.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: He is a chronicaly naive computer theorist who only wants to use his unblockable magic hacker-program to promote the course of 'world peace'. Too bad he chose Shetland as a partner.
- Smart People Wear Glasses
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shetland murders him once Zherkezhi realizes that Shetland is using him.
Information Self-Defense Force
Toshiro Otomo (Terrence Scammel, Chaos Theory)An old-fashioned Japanese admiral, he is the head of Japan's new electronic warfare branch. He turns out to be the game's second big-bad, alongside Douglas Shetland, using the Dvorak algorithms to launch false-flag operations to start a war in the Koreas and re-militarize Japan.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He's working with Shetland to cause a war between North and South Korea, though ultimately for different reasons than Shetland.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He does not seem to be a very important character at first, providing only some color to a few of the briefings. Then he turns out to be party to the sinking of the Walsh and the war in Korea.
- Face-Heel Turn: Formerly Japanese intelligence, now villain.
- False Flag Operation: Along with Shepard, hacks into a North Korean missile battery and disables the Walsh's defenses, which results in the sinking of the Walsh and North Korea getting the blame. Then he prepares to launch a North Korean cruise missile at Japan, in order to steer public opinion towards re-militarizing Japan.
- Graceful Loser: Once his attempt at Seppuku fails, Otomo's sense of honor sees him confess to his crimes in public and taking all the blame.
- Insane Admiral
- Knight Templar: He wants to make Japan a great world power again. To that end, he's willing to kill thousands of Koreans, Americans and Japanese to see it done.
- Seppuku: Attempts it once Sam breaches his inner sanctum. Sam saves his life because there has to be someone to take the fall for everything that's happened.
- The Stoic: He does not have much in the way of a sense of humor, though Grimm notes he is much nicer than he appears to be in person. Given the fact that he tries re-arming Japan to go to war with North Korea, this may not be an accurate assessment of the man.
- Walking Spoiler
John Brown's Army
- American Accents: Cajun, having been born and raised in Mississippi.
- Bad Boss: He executes Enrica if the bomb fails to go off on the cruise ship, suspecting she was a mole who sabotaged the device, even though he had no evidence.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: Of Double Agent.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: He really likes pulling this, even on operatives who have already proven their loyalty.
- Taking You with Me: When the Feds storm his secret HQ, he tries to use his nuclear bomb to blow up New York City rather than be taken alive.
- Badass: He's the only person in Double Agent who manages to give Sam anything resembling a tough fight, even if it's only all in a mini-cutscene when you try to use a takedown on him.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil
- Dumb Muscle
- The Dragon: To Dufraisne.
- Dragon Their Feet: It's possible to play Double Agent and not even kill him if a certain level isn't unlocked.
- Affably Evil: He's very nice to the people he considers his friends, but extremely cruel to the ones he does not.
- The Brute
- Evil Cripple: Downplayed. He has a pacemaker in his chest to keep his heart regular, but he's otherwise capable and healthy. You can kill him with your pistol's EMP attachment in version 2 of the game, however.
Enrica Villablanca (Rachel Reenstra)
- The Dark Chick
- Defecting for Love: In the PS2/Wii version of Double Agent, Sam develops a genuine romantic attachment to Enrica, and is very pissed when she's killed by Third Echelon. In the Xbox 360/PC version, though, Sam's just playing her for info, and is perfectly happy to kill her in cold blood in order to achieve 100% Completion. She does help Sam by unlocking a coded door for him if he lets her live instead, but he can kill her before she walks away after the door is opened, and no option to knock her unconscious is available.
- The Medic
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Has a Ph.D. Decidedly Evil.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Unlike the other members of the JBA, who are all hardcore anti-government militants, Enrica is essentially an Ivy League wannabe who only sticks around because Emile has enough dirt on her to bury her.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: It's possible, though not required, for Sam and Enrica to hook up in Double Agent.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Sam.
- You Have Failed Me: Emile executes her when the bomb on the cruise ship fails to go off due to Sam's sabotage.
Lucius Galliard (Tyrone Benskin)The CEO of Black Arrow and several other companies. Lucius is a member of Megiddo, a Nebulous Evil Organization with major influence that opposes President Patricia Caldwell.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- He Knows Too Much: Mere moments after Sam captures him, a sniper kills Galliard to prevent him from talking about Megiddo, with Sam getting barely any information about the group. The assassin is killed by a car bomb a few minutes later.
- The Man Behind the Man: He gives orders to both Reed and V.P. Samson on behalf of Megiddo.
- Villain with Good Publicity: When he is mentioned on a news program Sam can overhear, he is described as a well-known philanthropist.
Colonel Jeremy Prentiss (Trevor Hayes)A colonel who works for Black Arrow, Prentiss serves as one of Tom Reed's allies during the fifth game,
- Blonde Guys Are Evil
- The Brute: Of the fifth game.
- Colonel Badass: Subverted, in that the best effort he makes against Sam Fisher is in a gunship with machine guns and missiles, and he still doesn't manage to hit him.
- Hellish Copter: Dies when his helicopter is hit by missiles fired from Vic Coste's own gunship.
- Sinister Shades
- Would Hit a Girl: And would take one hostage to try to protect himself from Fisher.
Major Shawn Robertson (Danny Blanco-Hall)A major working for Black Arrow, he serves as one of Tom Reed's allies in the fifth game.
- Beard of Evil
- Black Dude Dies First: Robertson is the first of Conviction's villians to die.
- The Brute
- Explosive Instrumentation: When Sam sets off an EMP to stop Robertson from tracking down Grim, the console he is using electrocutes him and then explodes, setting his body on fire in his chair.
- Majorly Awesome: Subverted. He doesn't really do much at all, despite his rank.
- Scary Black Man
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He and his men execute the scientists at White Box once they finished work on the EMP devices.
Majd Sadiq (Carlo Rota)The leader of the Engineers and the mastermind behind the "Blacklist" plot against the United States.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Puts up a pretty good fight against Sam in the finale. He's basically the only guy besides Douglas Shetland who could actually fight Sam hand-to-hand on an even playing field.
- Badass: One of the most formidable hand to hand combatents in the series, beating Briggs to a pulp and nearly killing Sam with his own karambit in their final confrontation.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: Of Blacklist.
- Break Them by Talking: Does this successfully with a captured US soldier in Iraq before executing him. Tries this with Sam in London but Briggs pulls a Big Damn Hero moment.
- Character Tic: Plays with Sam's karambit whenever he gets hold of it in non-combat situations.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Has this performed on the US Secretary of Defense in order to get his information codes.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Does this to Briggs when attempting to escape the bunker and almost does this with Sam in their final confrontation.
- Defiant to the End: Attempts to pull this off with Sam at the end of their fight in Colorado. He fails, as Sam spares him.
- Evil Brit: Ex-MI6.
- Faux Affably Evil: Drops his facade when he is called out on his actions.
- Final Boss: Has a true Boss Battle in his finale.
- Genre Savvy: He seems more intelligent and well-versed in the ways of high-tech espionage than previous Splinter Cell Big Bads. This is seen when he cuts out Brigg's subdermal implant in the bunker level.
- Genius Bruiser: Conducts and plans a series of meticulous and incredibly destructive terrorist attacks while staying one step ahead of the protagonists, is a former MI6 agent who knows most of the tactics Fourth Echelon will deploy against him and is one of the few antagonists of the franchise to come closest to killing Sam Fisher in a fair fight.
- Hannibal Lecture: Pulls off a creepy one on a helpless hostage in Iraq, reducing him to a sobbing wreck.
- Rogue Agent: Ex-MI6 agent.
- The Un-Reveal: His actual plan is never really elaborated on, aside from that he wants to get some kind of information from the Secretary of Defense's accounts, which he deems to be the most dangerous weapon available to the modern world. Dangerously Genre Savvy as he is, he knows not to give a Motive Rant to his enemies.
- Word of God is that, in addition to nuclear access codes, he was also seeking all of the United States' massive troves of information to expose their secrets to the world and destroy all of their international relationships.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has a brief but spectacular one when Briggs, against all his expectations, actually kills the Secretary of Defense complete with a Big "NO!" and a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
Paladin Nine Security
Victor Coste (Howard Siegel)Sam's friend from his Navy SEAL days, "Vic" Coste is a valuable ally to him in the fifth game. Following his days in the Navy, he took up forming "Paladin Nine Security", a security consulting company specializing in high-tech defense solutions and kidnapping recovery work. That said, due to the small staff, he ends up doing most of the field work himself, keeping up enough to still stay useful for Sam when he is called on once more.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: You play as him during a flashback in Conviction in which he rescues Sam during the First Gulf War.
- Badass: Enough to save Sam completely by himself during the Gulf War.
- Bash Brothers: With Sam. Much more evident in Blacklist than Conviction, since they actually fight alongside eachother, and a lot of attention is paid to how much concern Sam has over his condition.
- The Big Guy: In Conviction.
- Cool Old Guy
- Demoted to Extra: He serves as a partner in the tutorial for Blacklist, but is put into critical condition by a grenade by the end of it, and remains in the hospital for the game's duration until the ending.
- Gunship Rescue: Pulls this off in the latter part of Conviction.
- In-Series Nickname: "Vic".
- Narrator: For Conviction.
- Remember the New Guy: He's first mentioned in Conviction as Sam's old war buddy, but had no prior mentions. A Justified Trope in that there was no reason for Sam to contact him prior to Conviction.
Sarah Fisher (Victoria Sanchez)The daughter of Sam, she serves as a Morality Pet to him. However, she is killed shortly before the fourth game when a car hits her. Conviction reveals that not only was her death not an accident at all, but it was faked by Third Echelon on the order of Lambert himself for the dual purpose of protecting her from being threatened by a mole inside Third Echelon and allowing Sam to take on the mission for the fourth game. Sam and Sarah are reunited by the end of the game.
- Character Death: She dies in a car accident shortly before Double Agent. While this was the original intention of the writer of the game, the below only occurs when introducing a new writer for Conviction.
- The Chick: In Conviction, to a degree. Even when she isn't seen or heard until a ways into the game, she is the reason Sam keeps contact and some semblance of trust in Grim, keeping the team together to save the President.
- Death Faked for You: Said car accident is revealed to be faked by Lambert in order to keep her safe and provide Fisher motivation to go undercover in John Brown's Army. They are reunited in Conviction.
- Morality Pet