Characters: The World's End
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The Five Musketeers
Played By: Simon Pegg
The leader of the group, who assembles his school friends in order to complete a failed bar crawl from their youth, thus setting the events of the movie in motion. While charismatic and persuasive, he's hedonistic and irresponsible, and unlike the rest of his friends never outgrew his teenage mentality.
- The Alcoholic: Everyone else sees how harmful his binge drinking is, although he sees it all as a bit of fun and seems to be in denial. Gary is still in the teenage mindset of alcohol making you an adult. He's stopped drinking by the end of the film.
- Functional Addict: To a certain degree of "functional", anyway.
- It's implied on many occasions that Gary's addictions are the reason his life's gone to shit, the first time we meet Steven as an adult, he points out that their Garage Band never went anywhere because Gary sold the equipment for drugs. Naturally, this is something Gary won't admit to himself.
- The Stoner: Gary also does a lot of drugs, or at least did when he was younger.
- Functional Addict: To a certain degree of "functional", anyway.
- The Alleged Car: "The Beast", which he bought from Peter some 20 years ago. The other guys are not entirely impressed that he's still kept it, particularly since it's still failing in spite of all the repairs that Gary's made to it. By the end of the film, it's been destroyed.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: has a short attention span and a "selective memory", forgets details of his friends' lives, is dismissive of danger and generally seems very out of it. This is partly because he's a Jerkass and partly because he's an addict, and a suicidal one at that.
- Badass: He takes on many blanks and becomes a professional wandering badass by the end of the film.
- Badass Longcoat: He wears a longcoat to invoke this. As part of the overall Deconstruction, however, while it might have looked badass as a teenager, what have obviously been several years of wear-and-tear between then and the events of the movie instead means that when he wears it he looks more like the shabby, unkempt alcoholic tramp he more or less is than the untouchable king of cool he imagines himself to be. The longcoat actually ends up looking pretty cool in the final scene.
- Big "WHAT?!": When Andy orders tap water instead of a beer at the first pub.
- Blatant Lies: Gary does this often, as a Manipulative Bastard.
- Blood Knight: Seems to enjoy fighting the blanks the most, egging Steven and Andy on at certain points. He's also the most aggressive other than Andy when dealing with the blanks. He gets into a rumble at the very end of the film, seemingly enjoying himself too.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: When Oliver is revealed as a Blank, he exclaims Oliver's Catchphrase.Gary: [shocked] W.T.F.!?!
- Broken Bird: The rare male variant.
- Broken Pedestal: In Andy's eyes.
- Chekhov's Skill: He can't be outargued.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Among other things, he thinks that Jesus wrote the Bible.
- Cool Shades: Deconstructed in a similar way to Badass Longcoat- the shades are cool, but they just don't suit Gary at his age.
- Death Seeker: His motivation for going to The Hole in the Wall, telling his friends to forget about him and save themselves.
- Discussed in the Making Of. Pegg and Wright believe Gary dresses in exactly the same clothes he wore as a teenager for the same reason American military officers dress in their finest before committing suicide.
- Deconstruction: He's basically one of the Man Child characters of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead etc. taken to the point where his hedonistic refusal to grow up a bit has long since stopped being charming and has become a bit pathetic and disturbing.
- Despair Speech: His monologue to Andy close to the end of the movie, when he states that all his hopes of a better life after high school never came to fruition, reveals the real reason for the bar crawl (i.e. a Bungled Suicide attempt), and says that he's jealous of Andy for having a perfect life.
- Destructive Saviour: He saves humanity from the Network's domination, but plunges Earth back into the Middle Ages in the process.
- Determinator: He's really single-minded when it comes to completing the pub crawl, managing to drink even during a fight.
- Disco Dan: Mentally, it's clear that Gary obviously prefers the eighties and nineties to the modern day.
- Driven to Suicide: Gary attempted to commit suicide at some point before the film due to his disillusionment over how the high school pub crawl seemed to be the only high point in his life.
- Dye Hard: In-Universe. He's been regularly dying his hair black for over twenty years, but his stubble and eyebrows give his natural hair color away.
- Fingerless Gloves: Wears sleeves over his hands that keep his fingers bare to achieve this effect. Conveniently enough, they also serve to hide the bandages from his suicide attempt.
- The Friend Nobody Likes:
- He's inconsiderate and selfish, and his friends find him irritating and pitiful. In a very atypical Earn Your Happy Ending, he becomes a steadfast, loyal friend to the young robot versions of his gang, thus finding his purpose in life.
- Whenever the five friends actually relax into the pub crawl and have a good time, which is what Gary wanted, he's the one that makes things awkward again. Andy rightly points out that the other four Musketeers are just there to give Gary another excuse to get drunk and that he needs to start growing up.
- Foreshadowing: When telling Andy of his plan to begin the crawl again, 12 pints from 12 pubs, Andy points out how ludicrously unhealthy this is. It's possible Gary intends to kill himself with alcohol poisoning.
- Future Loser: Went from being king of his hometown to a pathetic Man Child.
- Genius Ditz: Gary can quote works rather impressively, is pretty Genre Savvy and ultimately can argue very impressively on occasion. Unfortunately, he's not all there.
- Genre Savvy: In spite of his general stupidity, Gary does work out quite a bit of the truth about the Blanks.
- The Hedonist: The quality at the core of his personality.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: He sports one in the ending scene of the movie.
- Honor Before Reason: Puts Sam in a car and tells her to get out of Newton Haven as fast as she can, thus sabotaging his and his friends' only chance of survival.
- Humble Goal: Completing the pub crawl thus reenacting the one time in his life he felt genuinely happy.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: He acts like the cock-of-the-walk to hide the fact that he's immensely unhappy - suicidally so - about how he feels his life has gone nowhere but downhill since the Musketeers' first attempt at the Golden Mile at the end of High School.
- It's All About Me: Gary is a bit of a narcissist.
- I Was Quite The Looker: he even says so himself. "Oh my god! ...I'm so cute!"
- Jerkass: Gary is rather rude and inconsiderate.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shows signs of this, especially towards the end, when he tries to make amends with Andy and mourns Peter and Oliver.
- The Leader: type I / type IV.
- Leitmotif: The choir bit from This Corrosion by The Sisters Of Mercy. Kind of?
- Le Parkour: He's unexpectedly proficient in it.
- Literal-Minded: Gary takes most arguments and subtle insults at face value.
- Made of Iron: He's survived years of substance abuse, at least one drug overdose, a car crash, a suicide attempt, an alien invasion and the eponymous end of the world, among other things.
- Man Child: He is an idiot who still acts and dresses as he did as a teenager.
- Manipulative Bastard: watch him cajole all of his friends into returning to Newton Haven and then, after things go bad, into continuing the pub crawl.
- Mistaken for Special Guest: The reason that The Network listens to Gary in the first place. Gary goes around yelling about how he's "Gary King, of the humans". The Network hears it as "Gary, King of the humans".
- Nice Hat: Sports one during the ending sequence.
- No, Except Yes: One of Gary's traits. For example, tells Sam he doesn't want to have sex with her in the stall (but if she's wants to, he's okay with that.) When explaining he wants to talk to Reverend Green about Blanks, he insists he won't be buying drugs. Well, he might also buy drugs, too
- Perky Goth: He's rather energetic, all in all.
- Perma Stubble: In an example of an Expository Hairstyle Change, he's clean-shaven by the end of the film.
- Phrase Catcher: Both "It's pointless arguing with you" and "Selective memory" come up in relation to him a few times.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Me? They call me 'The King'!"
- Rebuilt Pedestal: At least partially—they do reach an understanding, but part ways afterwards.
- Sad Clown: Gary is obviously not entirely happy, although he does his best to show otherwise.
- Scars Are Forever: Has one from when he fell off the stage in his younger years and dislocated his arm. He opts not to show them when asked for proof that he's him, as that would reveal his bandages.
- School Idol: As far as he believes, anyway, although he was shown to be reasonably popular with the girls back in the day.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: "Tonight, we will be partaking of a liquid repast as we wind our way up the golden mile commencing with an inaugural tankard in the First Post, then on to the Old Familiar..."
- Skewed Priorities: Insistent on completing the crawl even if it kills him.
- Shout-Out: Takes a lot of cues from Jack Sparrow, and some mannerisms from Dr. House.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A with a few shreds of Type C. Despite his best intentions, he's clearly in denial about just how much of his life has slipped away from him. He still keeps up the facade until near the end.
- The Teetotaler: By the end of the movie.
- To Absent Friends: Gives a toast at The King's Head to Peter and Oliver.
- Toxic Friend Influence: To the others, especially Andy.
- Unreliable Narrator:
- In the beginning sequence. His later experiences in the town and the way his friends react to him would seem to suggest that he wasn't quite the untouchably cool king-of-the-town beloved by all he remembers himself to be, or at least that what was cool in the past isn't now. Apparently, he's become a meme among his friends ("doing a Gary"), and it isn't a positive one. Gary's less-than-pleased to learn of it.Gary: Is that a thing?Steven: (sighing heavily) It's always been a thing.
- During Gary's flashback, he talks about Mr. Shepherd being one of the teachers he really liked—however, after he leaves, Mr. Shepherd looks sort of disgusted with Gary.
- In the beginning sequence. His later experiences in the town and the way his friends react to him would seem to suggest that he wasn't quite the untouchably cool king-of-the-town beloved by all he remembers himself to be, or at least that what was cool in the past isn't now. Apparently, he's become a meme among his friends ("doing a Gary"), and it isn't a positive one. Gary's less-than-pleased to learn of it.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: You start to understand the reason for his carefree nature as the film progresses, though.
- Walking the Earth: His eventual fate.
- Waxing Lyrical: Quotes at least three songs during the course of the movie.
Andrew 'Andy' Knightley
Played By: Nick Frost
Once Gary's best friend, he had a falling out with the latter due to an "accident", the exact nature of which isn't immediately clear.
- Acrofatic: During the fight scenes he proves to be this. He runs quickly enough to catch up with Gary in the climax, which is pretty impressive.
- Badass: Easily the most badass character in the film.
- The Big Guy: Easily the best fighter in the group. (Doubles as The Lancer). Justified since he plays rugby.
- Chairman of the Brawl: Wields a pair of bar stools.
- Deadpan Snarker: Any time Gary makes an over the top statement, count on Andy to snark back.
- Foil: He's a serious, responsible, married teetotaler - that is, a complete opposite of Gary.
- Genius Bruiser: Rugby player and also a lawyer. Even when hammered, he's one of the few to notice Oliver's birth mark re-appearing, and he also provides some very good arguments that the Network cannot refute, as any good lawyer should.
- Happily Married: Or so he claims. He's actually been having major difficulties as of late, although they get resolved by the apocalypse.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Breaks a sixteen year non-drinking streak to down five shots after seeing the blanks.
- Married to the Job/When You Coming Home, Dad?: The main reason for the separation.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Whilst not a jerk per se, he is a very cynical, sarcastic person. However, he does care about his friends (yes, even Gary), even risking his life several times to save Gary.
- One-Man Army: Andy easily fares best out of all the group when fighting Blanks.
- Scars Are Forever: Has a scar on his finger from when Gary and he tried doing the Knife Game from Aliens.
- Specs of Awesome: His glasses don't detract from his awesomeness.
- Stout Strength: Despite being relatively short and more chubby than the others, Andy is easily the most badass character in the film.
- Straight Man: Gary is more zany and stupid, whereas Andy's more down to earth and deadpan.
- The Teetotaler: Although, as the crazy in Newton Haven piles up, he breaks his 16-year-long non-drinking streak.
- We Used to Be Friends: Invoked by adult Andy to his secretary when he sees Gary.
- White Collar Worker: A lawyer, to be precise.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Performs several wrestling moves on the Blanks to finish them off.
Played By: Paddy Considine
Gary's friend, the only one to show any enthusiasm about the bar crawl. A fitness fanatic with a successful career in architectural consulting, he has a failed marriage behind him. Also, he's been in love with Sam Chamberlain since their teenage years.
- Always Second Best: To Gary, during the times of their youth.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To Sam, during the blank attacks.
- Badass: isn't shown to kick as much ass as Gary or Andy, but still qualifies, especially when Sam is involved.
- Garage Band: he was formerly in one, along with Gary.
- Intergenerational Friendship: with Basil, sort of.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: Offers this when he's caught by the Blanks. Subverted: he actually manages to slip them, making him a rare example of someone who will Only Slow You Down managing to eventually catch up again.
- The Lancer: Despite being friends, he's a bit of a rival to Gary. (His last name, "Prince" to Gary's "King", also hints at this status within the group).
- May-December Romance: at the start of the movie, he's in a relationship with a 26-year-old fitness instructor. He dumps her after the events of the movie and gets together with Sam instead.
- Nice Guy: A very decent guy, Steven is very pleased to see all his friends again, and is a little more polite and tolerant towards Gary (though he has his limits).
- The Rival: To Gary, for Sam's affections (among other things).
- Scars Are Forever: From his childhood, when he and Gary were playing around.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: With Sam.
Oliver "O-Man" Chamberlain
Played By: Martin Freeman
Another of Gary's friends, a real estate agent at the start of the movie.
- Alien Blood: When he gets replaced by a Blank, he bleeds what looks like blue ink.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He's not a great fighter but he's hardly terrible. Doesn't save him.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: in the original bar crawl, he was the first one to get too drunk to continue.
- Catch Phrase: "WTF". He also is fond of Flipping the Bird.
- Deadpan Snarker: Around Gary.
- Distinguishing Mark: The 6-shaped birthmark on his forehead responsible for his nickname, which he has had removed via laser surgery. It returns on his double, which the gang notices.
- Faux Affably Evil: When he gets replaced by a Blank, his doppelganger is eerily polite and extremely friendly. It's one of the things that gives it away, since the real Oliver was friendly but more reserved.
- Heel-Face Turn: A weird case. Oliver was a Face the whole time, but his Blank doppelganger wasn't until The Network left.
- In-Series Nickname: Nicknamed "O-Man" for the "6"-shaped birthmark at his temple.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: while he never says it in so many words, he's very uncomfortable with Gary and Steven discussing their feelings for Sam:Oliver: Can we not talk about my sister in relation to A: massive wide-ons and B: Steven's erect penis.
- Nice Guy: In spite of his reluctance to come back to Newton Haven, Oliver's very pleased to see his friends from the old days again... bar Gary King, of course.
- Off with His Head!: Partly. It doesn't seem to faze him that much.
- Perpetual Frowner: He smiles a few times, but Gary's antics often leave him frowning and irritated.
- Phoneaholic Teenager: A rare male example. As an adult, he hasn't outgrown this habit.
- Self-Made Man: He was a go-getter as a teenager, and grew up into a career-oriented (and professionally successful) adult.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Seen in a suit throughout the entire film.
- Status Cell Phone: He's seen checking his phone throughout most of the first half of the film. He also has a Bluetooth headset on the entirety of the time.
- Smug Smiler: When Oliver gets replaced, his double tries far too hard to emulate his behaviour.
- Throat Light: His Blank double gets this, as do all Blanks.
- White Collar Worker: An estate agent, to be precise.
- Workaholic: Downplayed, but he's constantly seen on the phone and on his Bluetooth headset.
Played By: Eddie Marsan
Another of Gary's friends, who was often bullied at school and grew up into a rather meek man as a result. He works as a car salesman in his dad's dealership, and is married with two kids.
- Alien Blood: His Blank double, while not seen injured, has blue, ink-like blood, since he is a Blank.
- Alliterative Name Peter Page.
- The Chick: The only one of the group who can't hold his own in a fight.
- The Dog Bites Back: He gets an opportunity to exact revenge on his high school bully.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: How he exacts revenge. He starts punching him endlessly, then picks up a tree branch and starts clubbing him with it.
- Extreme Doormat: Meek and easily intimidated, even where his friends are concerned. He's also the first one conned into Gary's scheme.
- Heel-Face Turn: Played with. Peter was never a Heel, but his Blank duplicate was until the end, when he reforms and goes to look after Peter's family.
- Henpecked Husband: Always consulting his wife for advice, even in cases when he shouldn't need to.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards Gary, especially in their high school days.
- Lovable Coward: Flees most fights before they start, but he's a decent guy.
- Nice Guy: Genuinely loves his wife and kids, and is very pleased to see all his friends again, even Gary to an extent.
- Non-Action Guy: Usually hides during the fight scenes.
- Revenge Before Reason: He gets captured by the Blanks because he just had to fight Shane, and then dies.
- Scars Are Forever: Gary gave him a scar as a teenager, which he still has in the present day.
- Shrinking Violet: In both teenage and adult incarnations.
- Spoiled Sweet: He comes from a very rich family, yet is the most soft-spoken of the five guys.
- Throat Light: As a Blank, he gets this too.
Played By: Rosamund Pike
Oliver's younger sister, who crosses paths with the group during their pub crawl. She's the object of affection for both Gary and Steven; the former slept with her during their teenage years.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She'd been there as a teenager, but by this point she's outgrown that mentality, probably because of being left behind that night. While she admits that she doesn't exactly look back on their fling without fondness, nowadays she just can't look at Gary as boyfriend material anymore.
- Action Survivor: Compared to the others, she's less of a straight-up fighter. However, she can make it through some fights through sheer determination.
- Badass: As soon as she sees evidence of what's going on, she immediately steps up and gets involved in the fights.
- Badass Driver: Drives impressively when rescuing the guys at the end of the film.
- Catch Phrase: Oh, Crumbs!
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Gary turning up makes her go for a cigarette, simply because it's so stressful.
- Deadpan Snarker: "If you think I'm going to have sex with you in the ladies, you're crazy!"
- Just in Time: Comes back to Newton Haven just in time to drive what's remaining of the group to safety.
- Love Interest: To both Gary and Steven.
- Nice Girl: Extremely polite and in spite of the ribbing between her and her brother, they get on well. She's not, however, soft.
- While she is rightly disgusted and disturbed by Gary's behaviour towards her (on top of not being appreciative of being left behind that night) she does care about him enough to try and get through to him how unhealthy his mindset is on more than one occasion.
- Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: The reason for her fling with Gary all those years ago (and her pining for Adrian Keane). However, she's outgrown this mentality, because...
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: ...she repeatedly rejects Gary's advances and gets together with Steven at the end of the movie.
- The Sixth Ranger: Wasn't part of the main group in their youth, but tags along halfway through the movie as their sixth member.
- The Smurfette Principle: the only female member of the principal cast. Justified as the group focuses mostly on a group of childhood friends, with her mostly being present for being Oliver's sister.
- Tomboyish Name: Called "Sam", presumably short for "Samantha".
Played By: Pierce BrosnanThe group's old teacher, who they have a lot of respect for.
- Affably Evil: Genuinely polite and friendly to the gang in the present as a Blank, buying them all a round of drinks and asking that they address him as "Guy" instead of "Mister Shepherd". Even after he gets his head smashed by Andy, he's willing to buy another round and have another polite chat.
- Alien Blood: Blue.
- Cool Teacher: One of the few people that Gary respected and liked at school. That speaks a lot about him, given how Gary didn't care for school.
- Meaningful Name: Tries to shepherd the guys into becoming blanks.
- Mouth of Sauron: Speaks on behalf of The Network.
- Throat Light: In the present, he becomes a Blank, and has one as a result.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Why he advocates The Network's policy- humanity has access to so much if it joins them, so why not do so voluntarily? For those who refuse, it's a small price to pay.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants humanity to join The Network and reap the benefits of galactic civilisation.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: No details as to what happened to him come up in the epilogue. It's not even that easy to see him in the crowd of Blanks that leave the ruins of Newton Haven. Granted, he didn't have a huge role until after he got replaced, but still...
Played By: Darren BoydPeter's childhood bully.
Played By: David BradleyLocal crazy guy, who Steven was friends with in his youth.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Has various theories about "aqua Nazis" and "lizard men".
- Cool Old Guy: Reasonably friendly, and hung around with Steven when he was a teenager.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: It turns out that out of all his theories, such as aqua-Nazis and Lizard Folk, he was right about the town.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Steven. Sort of- they got on well, but Steven claims it was out of pity.
- Properly Paranoid: It turns out that out of all his theories, such as aqua-Nazis and Lizard Folk, he was right about the town.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He escapes The World's End along with the protagonists and runs off into the night, but it's unknown whether he makes it out before being engulfed by the fireball.
"Reverend" Trevor Green
Played By: Michael SmileyLocal drug dealer, and one of the few humans not replaced by the blanks.
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Averted; he's about as far removed from "aggressive" as possible.
- Alas, Poor Villain: He's a collaborator, but you can't help but feel slightly sorry for him as the gang make him spill the beans and get him killed as a result.
Played By: Bill NighyThe entity behind what is happening to the town.
- Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Genuinely somewhere between the two. It wants a genuinely better universe and will reward those who volunteer generously. On the other hand, refuse and your arse is grass. Literally. You'll be mulched into compost.
- Big Bad: The biggest threat to other worlds and the Earth, and the reason that Newton Haven, as well as most of the world, has changed so much.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Its belief is that humans are the least civilised race in the galaxy. The guys concede that they aren't perfect.
- I Am Legion: Speaks through the Blanks at times, such as commandeering Blank!Shepard, and speaks through Oliver, Peter, Trevor, Shane and the Marmalade Sandwich (all at the same time.)
- Karma Houdini: While it gives up on Earth, considering it a lost cause, it's free to try the same with as many planets as it wishes.
- Not So Stoic: Eventually, the Network is screaming at Gary and Andy.
- Omniscient Morality License: Deconstructed. It serves mainly to piss humans off about him being high and mighty, to the point where Gary and the vast majority of humanity eventually tell him to buzz off and accept a societal breakdown so he can leave us alone.
- Order Versus Chaos: He's Order, humanity is Chaos.
- Pillar of Light: It appears to the gang as five of them, arranged like a set of network connectivity bars.
- Precision F-Strike: "Yeah... fuck it", said after it has a small breakdown and concedes defeat.
- Punny Name: The end is Nigh...y
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The reason The Network behaves as it does is galactic unison and peace.
- Villainous Breakdown: Gets increasingly jittery and less "high and mighty"-sounding as Gary and company continue to refute his points, until he drearily says "Fuck it." and leaves.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wants galactic peace and unison, with humanity joining the wider stage, good. Will oppress those that don't comply, bad. Willing to go as far as to mulch non-compliant people? Very bad.