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- Amnesiac Dissonance: Not as much as the film version. But in the first three-fourths or so of Identity, Bourne exhibits this since he believes he is a contract killer. Subverted after he discovers that he's not really an assassin, but rather, a deep-cover agent posing as one.
- False Flag Operation: The whole point of Jason Bourne, at least in the original Ludlum books. Jason Bourne the assassin is a myth. He does not assassinate anyone; he just takes credit for prolific assassinations, which real murderers happily let him. The point behind this myth is to insult Carlos the Jackal and force him into the open to confront Bourne.
- Master of Disguise: Bourne's story was influenced by real-life 20th-century assassin Carlos "The Jackal", who was infamous for his ability to blend in and elude the authorities. See also The Day of the Jackal, another espionage thriller and resulting films where Carlos supposedly got his nickname.
- Never-Forgotten Skill: Jason Bourne is introduced with having amnesia. However, his memory loss does not affect his combat skills in the slightest.
- Split Personality: Beginning with the second book, we have the contrast between Bourne and Webb. Neither is a particularly happy soul, given that the former was the deep cover creation of a man who was a merciless killer after the latter lost his whole family to an anonymous air raid in Vietnam and went into the jungles as a merciless anti-VC weapon in a deeply black ops program. So Webb is the loving husband the history professor, the man who mourns his past. Bourne is the chameleon, the killing machine, the beast on a short leash.
- Swiss Bank Account: In The Bourne Identity, the only clue he has to his identity in the beginning is the details of a Swiss numbered bank account.
Carlos the Jackal
- Anonymous Ringer: Averted as he is referred to as his real name Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez.
- Bad Habits: Dresses up as a priest.
- Evil Counterpart: To Jason Bourne. Or rather, Bourne was created to be a Good Counterpart to him.
- A God Am I: Carlos has a pretty massive ego
- Historical-Domain Character: Based on the real life Venezuelian terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez.
- Kissing Cousins: Carlos and his first cousin were lovers since childhood.
- Spy School: Carlos was trained in one, a Soviet facility called Novgorod, that is a setting in Ultimatum.
- War for Fun and Profit: Well not 'war' per se. But Carlos is known for being in the assassination game solely for profit and is absolutely unconcerned with ideology or political allegiances.
Characters introduced in The Bourne Identity:
Jason Bourne (real name: David Webb)
Played by: Matt Damon
"I can see their faces. Everyone I ever killed. I just don't know their names. Marie used to try to help me remember the names. I've tried to apologise for... for what I've done. For what I am. None of it makes it any better."
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Throughout the series, he's horrified to learn what a merciless killer he was.
- The Atoner: Especially in The Bourne Supremacy, as he travels to Russia solely to apologize to Irina Neski, the orphaned daughter of Vladimir Neski, whom he'd assassinated.
- Badass Driver: He can drive anything he can get his hands on with great dexterity when thrown into a chase, including vehicles that are clearly not made for this such as a yellow Volga 3110 taxi in Supremacy. And he knows how to make good use of them against his pursuers.
- The Chessmaster: He's often one step ahead of his opponents.
- Combat Pragmatist: He is an incredibly efficient fighter.
- Dark is Not Evil: He often wears dark clothing.
- Genius Bruiser: Extremely good at lateral thinking and finding highly creative ways to stay one step ahead of the people hunting him but when the chips are down, can annihilate anyone who goes up against him in a fight.
- Heartbroken Badass: After Marie's death. And later on, Nicky's.
- Improvised Weapon: To an incredible degree, almost anything he touches can be used as a weapon, e.g. a ballpoint pen in Identity, a rolled-up magazine in Supremacy, a book and a towel in Ultimatum, a chair leg and a saucepan in Jason Bourne.
- Indy Ploy: A master at this, such as the train chase in Supremacy.
- Nerves of Steel: Word of God describes Bourne this way, saying at the times most people freeze up, he goes to action.
- Omniglot: One of the first things he discovered about himself after his amnesia was he could speak several different languages including Italian, French, and German. He also speaks a bit of Russian.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: He was Treadstone's top operative before quitting them.
- Professional Killer: When he was with Treadstone.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: A very important part of his character- it's why he couldn't bring himself to assassinate Wombossi in Identity and threatening or endangering kids around Bourne is a really bad idea.
Played by: Franka Potente
"People do all kinds of weird and amazing stuff when they are scared."
- Death by Adaptation: She survived in the original novels.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: After she first witnesses Bourne fighting a trained assassin.
- Muggles Do It Better: Pretends to be John Michael Kane's PA, instead of the complicated plan Bourne had to get the hotel's information. It works.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: She gets shot by Kirill in Supremacy.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has multicolored hair until going into hiding.
Nicolette "Nicky" Parsons
Played by: Julia Stiles
- Did They or Didn't They?: In Ultimatum, Nicky seems to imply that she was personally involved with Bourne before his amnesia.
- Dye or Die: Paralleling Marie changing her hair, complete with a flashback of Marie.
- Heel–Face Turn: She helps Bourne track down Neil Daniels in Ultimatum.
- Improbable Age: Nicky Parsons is one of Bourne's field handlers on an extremely sensitive mission and apparently has beyond Top Secret clearance given what she is involved in (monitoring all of the Treadstone field agents). In other words, significantly more dangerous to the Agency than Bourne is if she screws up, or if something was missed in her vetting and she is less than 100% loyal. When the movie was filmed, Julia Stiles was a very young looking twenty-one. There's an attempted Hand Wave in Supremacy when Nicky explains her cover was an exchange student studying in Paris. Lampshaded to Hell and back on the RiffTrax.
- Perpetual Frowner: Which makes the last few seconds of Ultimatum all the more memorable.
- Replacement Love Interest: Subverted in Ultimatum.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Shot twice by the Asset in Jason Bourne.
- When She Smiles: At the very end of Ultimatum, when she realises that Bourne survived a 100 ft drop into the East River.
Played by: Chris Cooper
- Bad Boss: It's mentioned that not only did Conklin put a lot of pressure on his unit, but also that he was unable to deal with the loss of his best operative, who had a breakdown because of said pressure.
- Posthumous Character: He appears in flashbacks throughout Supremacy.
- You Have Failed Me: For failing to get Bourne, he's unceremoniously shot by a Treadstone agent.
Played by: Brian Cox
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Yuri Gretkov in Supremacy.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He's got glasses, and he can go to ruthless lengths to ensure his cover won't be blown up.
- Greater Scope Villain: During the first two films. In Identity, Conklin reported directly to him, and in Supremacy, he devises the Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit against Jason, who learns about him for the first time ever.
- Knight Templar: Sees himself this way.Abbot: I'm a patriot. I've served my country.Landy: And Danny Zorn, what was he?Abbott: Unlucky, collateral damage.
- Leave Behind a Pistol: By Jason in Supremacy.
- The Man Behind the Man: To Conklin.
- Retirony: He was planning on retiring in a matter of months in Supremacy.
- The Unfettered: Will do anything to protect his own dirty secrets, including framing Bourne and killing Danny Zorn.
Played by: Clive Owen
Appears in: The Bourne Identity
"I work alone, like you. We always work alone."
- Cold Sniper: How he kills Wombosi at his Paris home, and later attempts to kill Bourne this way.
- Not So Different: From Bourne himself - his last few moments of his life when he chats amiably to Bourne confirms this.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He has only 3 minutes of screentime throughout the film, and he never talks until his last scene, almost a half-hour from the end, delivering the Arc Words "Look at us. Look at what they make you give."
Played by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Appears in: The Bourne Identity
- Boom, Headshot: He gets shot by The Professor this way.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's extremely unhappy about his family being threatened. We eventually discover that Jason aborted his assignment because Wombosi's children were present when he was supposed to assassinate him.
- He Knows Too Much: He threatened to reveal information regarding the United States' involvement in Africa, so the CIA sent black ops killers after him (Bourne being the first).
Daniel "Danny" Zorn
Played by: Gabriel Mann
Characters introduced in The Bourne Supremacy:
Pamela "Pam" Landy
Played by: Joan Allen
- Hero Antagonist: In Supremacy and Ultimatum until the end.
- Iron Lady: A very no-nonsense female authority figure who doesn't let herself be fooled by her hierarchic superiors.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Despite her efforts at whistleblowing, it looks like she's tried for treason in Legacy.
- Not What I Signed On For: Says this almost verbatim when Bourne asks her why she's helping him reveal Treadstone and Blackbriar.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A non-corrupted CIA officer with a sense of justice and morality, unlike Abbott and Vosen.
- Token Good Teammate: Out of all the CIA team hunting Bourne down, she's the one who questions the motivations behind the hunt and tries to figure out Bourne's real motivations without ever thinking about killing him.
Played by: Karel Roden
- Beard of Evil: He has an unkempt beard.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Ward Abbott in Supremacy.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He started his oil empire with stolen CIA funds, with the help of Ward Abbott.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A ruthless oil magnate who wears glasses and doesn't hesitate to bribe Dirty Cops and kill those who get in his way.
Played by: Karl Urban
- Cold Sniper: He comes very close to kill Bourne twice. He kills Marie, who was on the passenger seat of Bourne's car in Goa, with a sniper rifle the first time and shoots Bourne in the shoulder the second time from a good distance with his pistol.
- Dirty Cop: He's an FSB officer, but also does some dirty work for Yuri Gretkov.
- Hero Killer: Shoots Marie with a sniper rifle and leaves Bourne for dead.
- Perma-Stubble: He has a 3-day beard.
Played by: Marton Csokas
- Improvised Weapon: Attacks Bourne with a kitchen knife then uses an electric cable to try to strangle him.
- Last of His Kind: He and Bourne were the last two Treadstone agents around.
- Retired Badass: He was put in retirement after Treadstone was shelved. His combat skills are still on par with those of Bourne.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It's unclear if he's supposed to be the same character as Treadstone agent "Mannheim" from Identity or someone else entirely.
- The Worf Effect: He gives Bourne quite a harsh beating during their meeting before Bourne gains the upper hand.
Characters introduced in The Bourne Ultimatum:
Played by: David Strathairn
- Armchair Military: Vosen ironically derides Landy using the trope, but throughout the film micromanages most of his operations, acts recklessly, and manages to make Blackbriar an example of Fascist, but Inefficient in comparison to Treadstone's more methodical approach.
- Although Blackbriar, unlike Treadstone, has an expanded mandate, doing surveillance in addition to assassinations. The attention to detail counts there.
- Bad Boss: He's willing to kill civilians in order to keep Treadstone/Blackbriar secret.
- The Dragon: To Ezra Kramer.
- The Heavy: The main threat to Bourne in Ultimatum, while Kramer is the Big Bad Bourne never meets.
- Knight Templar: This exchange sums it up.Landy: Noah, she's one of us. You start down this path, where does it end?
Vosen: It ends when we've won.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Literally anyone who seems to be a liability to Blackbriar in the film ends up getting on his kill on sight list, which Landy is quick to point out is reckless and sloppy. Landy also implies he's always held this opinion.
Played by: Scott Glenn
- Bad Boss: Plans to have Pamela Landy take the fall for Blackbriar should Bourne escape in Ultimatum.
- The Man Behind the Man: To Vosen.
- Non-Action Big Bad: A morally bankrupt officer at the top of the hierarchy who lets his underlings do the dirty work for him.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Well, it wouldn't sound pretty if the CIA director's highly unethical methods were to be known publicly.
Dr. Albert Hirsch
Played by: Albert Finney
- Evil Sounds Deep: Albert Finney used his voice at its deepest.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A Morally Ambiguous Doctorate and Torture Technician combined, complete with glasses.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: To say the least of someone who is willing to spearhead research into an ambiguously legal assassination program.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: He dies of a "heart attack" while in protective custody the day before he is to testify. Deleted scenes show that Hirsch was actually assassinated by an agent who made it past his security detail somehow.
- Torture Technician: He oversaw the torture which turned David Webb into Jason Bourne.
Played by: Joey Ansah
Appears in: The Bourne Ultimatum
- Implacable Man: No matter how Nicky tries to escape him in the streets of Tangiers, Desh would have cought up with her and she would have certainly died without Bourne's timely intervention.
- Improvised Weapon: Attacks Bourne with a hookah, then with a razor.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Bourne is noticeably older than him (going by the actors' age, Matt Damon is 12 years older than Joey Ansah) and still gives him a run for his money.
- The Voiceless: He never speaks onscreen, but audibly suffers in the fight against Bourne.
Played by: Paddy Considine
- Expy: Of journalists at the Guardian, notably Glenn Greenwald and Ewan McAskill.
- He Knows Too Much: He gets targeted for finding out about Treadstone and Blackbriar and is taken down over it.
- Intrepid Reporter: The Guardian's national security correspondent, writing a series of articles about a rogue CIA assassin? Yeah.
- Too Dumb to Live: He panics and is shot by the Blackbriar agent.
Played by: Edgar Ramirez
Appears in: The Bourne Ultimatum
- Cold Sniper: Takes out Simon Ross from a distance, in a crowded area.
- Heel–Face Turn: After Bourne spares him following the car chase, he has him at gunpoint but lets Bourne go after a moment of Heel Realization.
Characters introduced in The Bourne Legacy:
Played by: Jeremy Renner
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Bluffs his way (along with Marta) into the Sterisyn-Morlanta factory by claiming to be a doctor. To be fair, Marta is a doctor with legitimate credentials, so it wasn't entirely dishonest.Aaron: "Remember, we belong here."
- Convenient Replacement Character: To Jason Bourne.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Shoots down an attack drone with a hunting rifle in a snowstorm. Of course, it was a high-powered rifle, so it's justified.
- Super Soldier: Takes green and blue pills (like all Outcome agents) which enhance his physical and mental abilities... as long as they're taken at regular intervals, lest withdrawal occur.
Dr. Marta Shearing
Played by: Rachel Weisz
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Prior to Byer's shutdown of her lab, she couldn't have cared less about the Outcome agents. Although she knew a bit about Outcome's work, as far as she was concerned they were just lab rats with inconvenient schedules.
- Sole Survivor: All of her lab colleagues get killed.
Played by: Edward Norton
- Colonel Badass: Not in terms of his combat prowess, but with the sheer amount of political weight that he pulls. Despite being a retired USAF colonel he oversees programs that even Ezra Kramer, who a former admiral and current Director of the CIA, and Mark Turso, another retired admiral, have little to no idea about. In one scene, it's shown that he even has the authority to shutdown several of an active-duty lieutenant general's intelligence operations!
- I Did What I Had to Do: Not particularly proud of eliminating Outcome and its scientists, but views it as a necessary sacrifice.
- Knight Templar: To be fair, his Operation Outcome does do a lot of much-needed and less morally ambiguous intelligence work than Blackbriar or Treadstone (who can argue with gathering intel on North Korea's military?). However, when faced with the possible exposure of his programs, Byer's more than willing to eliminate otherwise innocent civilian and military liabilities.
- Man Behind the Man: Even Ezra Kramer defers to his judgement on the so-called "Beta Programs".
- Non-Action Big Bad: He is only seen out in the field in one scene that took place years earlier, and even then he's out of the action. During Legacy, he either spends his time in NRAG's office or in a crisis suite, hundreds of miles from the film's conflict.
Played by: Stacy Keach
- Audience Surrogate: Although Turso is a retired admiral and Kramer's confidant, he's as much in the dark about Byer's programs and methods as the audience is, which certainly says something about the weight that Byer pulls. His questions about LARX and D-Track teams serve to fill in the audience.
- Man Behind the Man: Not as much as Byer, who is more aware of what is going on in the world of black programs, but definitely has shades of this in his interactions with Kramer.
Played by: Dennis Boutsikaris
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Technically not corrupt, since he is legally working with the US government on a contract related to Beta Programs, but definitely has shady motives with regard to his cooperation.
- Villain with Good Publicity: His company, Sterisyn-Morlanta, does do legitimate pharmaceutical research and is on the cutting edge of the field. It just happens to be further ahead than most suspect. And Ward is willing, albeit with some hesitation, to greenlight the deaths of his researchers if it means keeping the unsavory aspects under wraps.
Played by: Corey Stoll
- Co-Dragons: One Byer's immediate underlings, along with with Ingram and Mandy.
- For Science!: When Byer has his team going over the cables and documents behind the Beta programs, Vendel gets a bit too excited with the details behind the agents' performance. Byer rebukes him for losing sight of the point of the meeting. He is also somewhat more knowledgeable about the Chems than the other members.
Played by: Michael Chernus
- Co-Dragons: One Byer's immediate underlings, along with with Vendel and Mandy.
Played by: Donna Murphy
- Co-Dragons: One Byer's immediate underlings, along with with Ingram and Vendel.
Played by: Louis Ozawa Changchien
- Dragon-in-Chief: To Byer.
- Emotion Suppression: There are rocks that display more emotion than LARX-3 does.
- The Heavy
- Implacable Man: Damn near unstoppable, until a concrete pillar had its say.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Since he lacks emotion, he's not as sadistic as other examples of this trope. However, he has no qualms about running down civilians or hijacking motorcycles (after literally kicking off the previous rider) in his pursuit of Aaron and Martha.
- Super Soldier: Like the rest of the Beta program agents, he has inhuman endurance and durability.
Characters introduced in Jason Bourne:
Played by: Alicia Vikander
- Big Damn Heroes: She saves Bourne from Dewey when Dewey has him at his mercy.
- Hazy Feel Turn: For much of the movie, Lee appears to be the only morally upright CIA operative, e.g. proposing bringing Bourne in alive rather than killing him outright, and even saving Bourne by killing Dewey herself. Until the final scenes show her vying to take Dewey's position. When Bourne leaves the recording device in her car indicating he heard her statement to the Director of Intelligence that she'll kill him needed if she can't bring him in, it leaves it open ended as to whether she'll become a future antagonist or back off due to the threat.
- Hero Antagonist: She's very much like Pamela Landy, as she tries to understand Bourne's motivations, tries to establish contact with him and ultimately wants him back "home", while Dewey just wants to kill him.
- Improbable Age: Alicia Vikander was 27 during filming, so unless Heather was much older, it's hard to believe that a 27-year-old could be the head of cyber-security in the CIA. It becomes especially apparent towards the end when she demands to succeed Dewey as head of the CIA.
- The Not-Love Interest: It seems like she'd be Bourne's new partner like Marie or Nicky Parsons (particularly since Nicky is killed off). Although Heather does save him from Dewey, in the end, nothing else develops between them, and her intentions in becoming the new CIA director suggests that she may not be siding with Bourne after all.
Director of the CIA Robert Dewey
Played by: Tommy Lee Jones
"32 kills, Jason. Everyone of them made a difference. People all across this country are safer because of what you did."
- Arch-Enemy: To Jason Bourne.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the film.
- Bad Boss: Happily orders his own agents killed when they no longer suit his purposes along with the death of partners when they try to blab.
- Breaking Speech: Gives a powerful one to Jason long enough for agents to arrive and save him.
- Greater Scope Villain: Ordered the death of Jason's father, driving him into Treadstone, which makes him responsible for the events of the series.
- Knight of Cerebus: He goes further than Conklin, Abbott or Vosen in terms of ruthlessness, such as killing off several agents as he goes along.
- Knight Templar: He really thinks the shady acts in Treadstone and its successor organizations made America safer.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He is the closest any villain comes to killing Jason Bourne.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Is in no physical shape, and never fights Bourne, but is still very dangerous.
- Remember the New Guy: One of the main organizers of Treadstone/Blackbriar along with Conklin, Abbott, Daniels, and Hirsch. Doesn't show up until the fifth film. Justifed since Jason was in hiding for more than a decade and he wasn't a danger until he returned.
- The Unfettered: He will do anything to keep his more dubious actions safe, even if it means killing anyone who tries to stand up.
- Would Hurt a Child: Intended to monitor and put Jason into Treadstone when he was a boy. His father saw this as too far and tried to expose it, which led to Dewey ordering his murder.
Played by: Vincent Cassel
"Bourne betrayed us. It has always been personal."
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Played with. He's an assassin who readily kills people, but despite two years of torture and the mental troubles found in all Treadstone/Blackbriar agents, he doesn't break.
- The Dragon: Dewey's personal one.
- Dragon Their Feet: After Dewey is killed by Heather, Bourne still spends ten minutes chasing down and then killing the Asset. Though considering the man killed his father, this is very understandable.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He personally wants to take out Bourne due to his leak of Blackbriar that got him caught and tortured in Syria.
- Every Scar Has a Story: We see a brief shot of what appear to be whip scars on his back, presumably from his torture in Syria.
- Evil Counterpart: The Asset is Bourne without his limits. Where Bourne only kills people in self-defense, the Asset cold-bloodedly murders them, even his fellow CIA officers. Likewise, while Bourne goes out of his way to avoid getting civilians involved, the Asset has no regard whatsoever to their lives, as shown when he rams his SWAT vehicle to break through the traffic in Vegas.
- Hypocrite: Despite his insistence of Bourne being killed for being a traitor, he's an even bigger traitor given what he does to his fellow agents.
- It's Personal with the Dragon: The Professor, Jarda, and Paz were just carrying out missions and even have moments of connection with Bourne. The Asset? He's out to kill Bourne because when Bourne leaked the intel to Landy at the end of Ultimatum, the Asset was captured in Syria and tortured for two years. And it's two ways: the Asset is the one who killed Bourne's father in 1999.
- Neck Snap: Courtesy of Bourne.
- No Name Given: Unlike other Treadstone/Blackbriar operatives, his name is never given. Inversely, he's the most developed and has the most lines out of any of them.
- Revenge Myopia: He wants to kill Bourne because exposing Blackbriar got him outed and captured. Except that Bourne never would have found out about Blackbriar if the Asset hadn't murdered his father, thereby driving him into Treadstone.
- You Killed My Father: He killed Bourne's father long before the events of the series under Dewey's orders.
Played by: Riz Ahmed
- Expy: Of early 21st century new technologies / social medias moguls like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.
- He Knows Too Much: Dewey wants Kalloor dead as soon as he wants to reveal the true nature of the Deep Dream platform (a backdoor access for the CIA to all informations any potential user can have on his machine, disguised as social media).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The CIA made him rich in exchange for helping them become more and more Big Brother-ish. He deeply resents this and plans to screw it all through a reveal of what Deep Dream truly is.
Played by: Gregg Henry
Appears in: Jason Bourne (flashbacks and photos)
- He Knows Too Much: When he knew that his son was to be part of the Treadstone program, he wanted to reveal it publicly. The Asset killed him and made it look like a terrorist attack so his son would enlist in the program out of patriotism and sense of duty.
Played by: Vinzenz Kiefer
- Bad Boss: Doesn't care much for the life of the hackers who work for him.
- The Cracker: He's a whistleblower who employs people such as Nicky Parsons to hack into the CIA's black ops files in order to reveal them to the world.
- In the Hood: Walks in the streets of Berlin with a hood on his head.
- Too Dumb to Live: When the CIA come knocking, he decides to attack Bourne, a former agent with near unbeatable fighting skills who's still mostly at his peak physical strength, whereas Dassault is a normal man, with only basic fighting knowledge. Bourne kills him due to this stupidity.