Characters: The Strain
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Ephraim GoodweatherHead 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.
Kelly GoodweatherEph's estranged wife and current opponent in a drawn-out custody battle over their only son.
Zack GoodweatherThe young son of Ephraim and Kelly.
The Vampire Hunters
Prof. Abraham SetrakianA 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.
Nora MartinezA 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 FetAn 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 MasterOne 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.
- Arch-Enemy: To Abraham Setrakian.
- Ax-Crazy: Even compared to the other Ancients.
- 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.
- Big Bad
- Body Horror: Even more than the other vampires, since his host was suffering from gigantism.
- The Chessmaster
- Genius Bruiser
- Hive Queen
- Monster Lord
- The Virus
Gabriel BolivarA handsome and charismatic shock rocker.
- Expy: Of Marilyn Manson.
Thomas EichhorstThe former Nazi commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp.
Augustin "Gus" ElizaldeA 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: For a street punk, he does a pretty good job surviving the vampire plague.
- Cain and Abel: His relationship with his brother, Felix, is not a good one, but this trope is played more straightforward when Felix is turned into a vampire and Gus is forced to kill him.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Defiant to the End
- Even Bad Men Lovetheir Mamas: He never stops caring for his mother. Not even when she becomes a vampire.
- Gang Bangers
- Go Out with a Smile
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Unwitting Pawn: In the sequel, The Ancients manipulate him into becoming their agent.
Eldritch PalmerOne 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.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Evil Old Folks
- Faux Affably Evil
- Immortality Seeker
- Off with His Head!
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves
Dr. Everett BarnesAs 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.
Jim KentA member of the CDC and assistant to Dr Goodweather.
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