Characters / The Strain

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    Goodweather Family 

Ephraim Goodweather

Head of the CDC's rapid-response team, the Canary Project, Eph is a newly divorced father attempting to balance the custody battle over his son Zack with his duties as an epidemiologist. He and his Canary team are first-responders to the Boeing 777 disaster, and are tasked with solving the mystery of the mass casualty.


  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Twice. First after he sees Kelly as a vampire, he relapses into alcoholism. And again when Zack is abducted. This drives him deeper into depression and using drugs to cope. He even tries to betray his friends by giving the Master the Occido Lumen in exchange for his son. He gets better, though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Blows up himself and Zack, along with the Master's origin site.

Kelly Goodweather

Eph's estranged wife and current opponent in a drawn-out custody battle over their only son.


Zack Goodweather

The young son of Ephraim and Kelly.


    The Vampire Hunters 

Prof. Abraham Setrakian

A Romanian Jew who escaped the Treblinka extermination camp during the Second World War, Professor Setrakian has been a dedicated (and perhaps fanatic) vampire hunter for over six decades.


  • Heroic Sacrifice: Allows the Master unaware of the blood-thinners he took to feed on him, forcing him to switch bodies with Bolivar.
  • Sword Cane: His signature weapon.

Nora Martinez

A skilled epidemiologist, Nora is second in command of the Canary Project. She and Eph have been attempting an office romance with mixed success, complicated by their high-stress medical careers and Goodweather's lingering melancholy over his looming divorce. Nora quickly dedicates herself to uncovering the vampire conspiracy, and is determined not to be relegated to doing the "woman's work".


Vasiliy Fet

An exterminator working for the New York City Bureau of Pest Control, Fet's occupation soon leads to his discovering the truth about vampires in a derelict building. Reaching Eph through a professional connection at the CDC, the exterminator lends both his skills as a vermin hunter and his powerful physique to Setrakian and Goodweather's cause.



The Master

One of the Ancients, the seven original vampires, the Master now inhabits the body of Jusef Sardu, a 19th century Polish nobleman afflicted with gigantism. While Sardu was a gentle giant in life, and greatly infirmed by his condition, the Master has imbued his form with unnatural power and ferocity. Breaking the territorial truce between himself and the other Ancients, the Master sets into motion a series of events to remake the world in his own dark image.


  • Badass Grandpa: Manages a particularly cool moment where he escapes the main party out a window into direct sunlight, where (while burning) he calmly removes his cloak, gives a roar, and escapes. Granted it took a while for him to heal, but damn.
  • Body Horror: Even more than the other vampires, since his host was suffering from gigantism.
  • Faux Affably Evil: While he is persuasive and cunning, he maintains civility only as a means to an end.
  • I Lied: Seems to enjoy pulling this one on people, with Eldritch Palmer being a good example. He even notes that if Ephraim had betrayed the humans, he would not have honored his end of the deal with him.

Gabriel Bolivar

A handsome and charismatic shock rocker.


  • The Brute: Acts primarily as muscle to the Master.
  • Expy: His appearance and shock rocker mannerisms, coupled with his popularity and use of a stage name are clearly based on Marilyn Manson.

Thomas Eichhorst

The former Nazi commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp.


  • The Dragon: The Master's right-hand man. He sets up appointments for him, and is the brains behind his operation.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Is a former Nazi camp commandant, and makes a pretty nasty anti-Semitic comment to Setrakian near the end.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Was a the camp commandant at Treblinka in life, and still holds onto Nazi ideologies in undeath, to an extent.

    Other Characters 

Augustin "Gus" Elizalde

A Mexican gang member fresh out of juvenile hall, Gus is attacked by a newly turned vampire on the streets of Times Square, and is arrested by the police after throwing the creature under a truck. Learning the truth about vampires from a temporarily incarcerated Setrakian, Gus escapes confinement and finds himself to be a natural vampire slayer on the streets of his tenement neighborhood.


  • Badass Normal: For a street punk, he does a pretty good job surviving the vampire plague.
  • Cain and Abel: His relationship with his brother, Crispin, is not a good one, but this trope is played more straightforward when Crispin is turned into a vampire and Gus is forced to kill him.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In the sequel, The Ancients manipulate him into becoming their agent.

Eldritch Palmer

One of the richest men in the world, Eldritch Palmer craves the one thing that all his money cannot buy: immortality. The elderly tycoon's fear of death leads him to make a pact with the Master, trading his vast fortune, political influence, and the fate of the human race in exchange for an undead place at the vampire king's side.


  • Off with His Head!: The Master rips his head off just when it looks like he's going to turn him.

Dr. Everett Barnes

As the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, Barnes is Eph and Nora's direct superior. Skilled in the politics and media aspects of the medical industry, he is a shrewd bureaucrat who carefully maintains a quaint, "country doctor" image.


  • Karmic Death: Shot by Nora and left to the mercy of a horde of hungry vampires.

Jim Kent

A member of the CDC and assistant to Dr Goodweather.


Matt Sayles