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Fictonal Characers (Circa 1912)
Rose DeWitt Bukater
The female protagonist of the film. She is a first class passenger engaged to Cal Hockley. She couldn't bear the stress of her expectations and attempted suicide. She was saved by third class passenger Jack Dawson, who she fell in love with. Together they start an affair that doesn't last long when Titanic strikes the iceberg.
Played by Kate Winslet
(1912) and Gloria Stuart (1996).
- Action Survivor: She's about as physically competent as someone you'd expect to have lived a pampered life. She manages to save Jack's life with a fire axe out of sheer luck, but saves him nonetheless.
- Age Cut: The plot is about her as an old lady reflecting on her time aboard the doomed ship. The movie is a series of flashbacks of her 17-year-old self.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Does this to her mother during the sinking.
- Cool Old Lady: Grows into one.
- Driven to Suicide: Tries to kill herself but was talked down by Jack.
- Exact Words: After she survives the Titanic, she went on to do the thing she and Jack said they'd do together.
- Fiery Redhead: Rose is a pistol even when she's being polite. At lunch she tells Mr. Ismay that Dr. Freud's ideas about the male preoccupation with size might be of particular interest to him. When Cal tries to stop her from going to Jack she tells him that she's rather be Jack's whore than Cal's wife and spits in Cal's face. She has curly red hair.
- The Heroine: The protagonist of the film and it happens to be her coming of age story.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Trope Confider.
- Hidden Depths: One of the main themes of the movie, and what Jack brings out in her.
- MacGuffin: The Heart of the Ocean necklace, which finds its way into her possession during her stay on the Titanic. It is worth a fortune, and sought after by treasure hunter Brock Lovett, leading to his encounter with elderly Rose.
- Ms. Fanservice: The outfits and corset sheath a curvy figure that she soon bares for Jack. She was quite a dish.
- Nice to the Waiter: Treats her maids and the servants on the ship very politely, as opposed to her mother, who behaves as though they don't exist.
- Of Corset Hurts: She is not at all pleased while her mother tightens up her corset. This is metaphorical of Rose being strangled by her mother's control.
- Red-Headed Hero: Her hair is bright red. Fitting if you consider her name.
- Spirited Young Lady: Quite snarky, and rebellious against upper class society. Becomes full-blown after meeting Jack.
- Spiteful Spit: To Cal during the sinking.
- Together in Death: With Jack, if that how you see it.
- Took a Level in Badass: Starts off with little more than sass and angst, but grows into a courageous, assertive woman who defies authority and danger to do what her heart chooses.
- Tsundere: Towards Jack, at first.
- Uptown Girl: Hails from a rich family, but falls for the poor Jack Dawson.
Male protagonist. A third class passenger and skilled artist. He won the Titanic tickets at a gambling game, and goes on the voyage with his friend Fabizo. He saves Rose from committing suicide and soon befriends her. Their love affair doesn't last because shortly after, Titanic sinks. He dies, but ensures that Rose survives
Played by Leonardo DiCaprio
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Saves Rose, a complete stranger from committing suicide, and tries to save several more while on the Titanic.
- Cultured Badass: He's into painting, tap dancing, and manages to outlast most others through sheer force of will on a sinking ship.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in his first interactions with Rose.
- Deuteragonist: Rose is the focal character the story revolves around, but part of the story is also dedicated to showing Jack's struggle against social hierarchy.
- Determinator: Does everything in his power to make sure Rose survives.
- The Drifter: He prizes freedom, and often travels from place to place working for a while, but eventually moving on.
- Face Death with Dignity: Pretty impressive seeing as he was freezing to death with people dying all around him.
- Famous Last Words: A bit of a speech actually.
- Friend to All Children: Shown with his attitude towards Cora; later, he and Rose stop to save a boy while the ship is flooding.
- Good Is Not Soft: He has proven to be this when he has no problem beating Lovejoy in a deleted scene.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Is a loyal friend, an honest lover, and a noble hero onboard the Titanic.
- The Hero: The 1912 scenes are as much his story as Rose's.
- The Hero Dies: he dies after making sure Rose is safe on a board, from hypothermia
- Heroes Want Redheads: Falls in love with Fiery Redhead Rose.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He gives his life to save Rose's just minutes before being rescued.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Very playful and good-natured along with being the Love Interest and hero of the story.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Molly.
- Knight of Cerebus: A rare, indirect, and non-villainous example. But his presence in the film makes several serious conflicts and even adding more drama to the film.
- Nice Guy: A Friend to All Children, boy with a heart of gold who sees the best in people.
- Street Smart: He is pretty cultred with his worldly experience.
- Together in Death: With Rose, based on your interpretation at the end.
A first class passenger and Rose's fiancee. The son of Nathan Hockley, a steel tycoon in Pittsburgh, he is distrustful of Jack even when he saved Rose, and becomes wary of their friendship. Naturally he gets mad when he finds out about their affair and plans to frame Jack for stealing the Heart of the Ocean. He would have gotten away with it, if the boat had not hit the iceberg.
Played by Billy Zane
- Asshole Victim: Surprisingly averted during the sinking of the Titanic, but commits suicide (off-screen) following his comeuppance during the 1929 Crash.
- Ate His Gun: Mentioned to have died this way by Rose when he lost his riches after the 1929 Crash.
- Big Bad: Closest this film has to one. His influence is one of the main obstacles separating Rose from Jack.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Jack, a lowly nobody, winning his fiancée's heart slowly but surely sends him over the deep end.
- Disposable Fiancé: Every appearance he makes reinforces the notion that he cannot make Rose happy.
- Domestic Abuser: To Rose, whom he strikes in frustration after she continues to see Jack and defy him.
- Faux Affably Evil: Towards Jack and Rose.
- Hate Sink: He disparages the Picasso paintings; he verbally and physically abuses Rose; he tries to have Jack killed; is exposed to care more about money than Rose; and finally cons his way onto a lifeboat using a small child to save his pathetic hide. But the karma gods are not mocked: in the aftermath of the disaster Cal loses the Heart of the Ocean diamond, loses Rose, loses his fortune, and eventually takes his own life.
- Ivy League for Everyone: A deleted scene establishes that Cal went to Harvard.
- Jerkass: Shall we count thee ways? He regards Rose as a possession and Trophy Wife to control, he's very ungrateful towards Jack, a huge snob, make an abusive husband, and he only saved a child just to secure a place on the lifeboat.
- Jerk Jock: The aforementioned deleted scene suggests that Cal was on the rowing team at Harvard.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Only redeemable thing he did was save a little girl, and that was only so he could get on a lifeboat.
- Karma Houdini: Subverted actually. Yes he survives the sinking, but as far as he knew Rose was dead and the Heart of the Ocean is lost forever. Also, years later he loses his money and kills himself.
- Kick the Dog: In the span of one night, Cal frames Jack for stealing the Heart of the Ocean, slaps Rose, bribes William Murdoch, attempts to shoot Jack and Rose and is seen attacking people trying to get on a lifeboat during the sinking.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Was a tad apathetic when Jack first saved Rose. He only showed gratitude when Rose points this out, and he only likely did it to save face.
- Villainous Breakdown: When it's clear Rose won't leave the ship without Jack, he grabs Lovejoy's pistol and tries to shoot them both.
- Would Hit a Girl: Slaps Rose across the face in one scene, and also flips the breakfast table to bully her into not seeing Jack.
Fabrizo De Rossi
Jack's best friend who accompanies him on the voyage to America. Killed during the sinking.
Played by Danny Nucci.
Cal's right hand man accompanying him during the voyage. He helps Cal frame Jack for stealing the Heart of the Ocean. During the sinking, he and Cal try to look for a way off the ship when their access was denied. He
Played by David Warner
Ruth DeWitt Bukater
Rose's mother. While she loves her daughter, she sees class before Rose's happiness.
Played by Francis Fisher.
An Irish immigrant who befriends Jack and Fabrizo.
Played by Jason Barry.
- Nice Hat: Wears a bowler hat for the first half of the film.
- Oireland: Has a very thick Irish accent, gets in competitions, friendly, drinks, and uses very sentimental colloquialisms.
- Sacrificial Lion: Shot by Murdoch after a panicky passenger pushes him closer to the lifeboat.
- Talk to the Fist: Delivers one to a steward who is yelling at them after breaking down one of the gates.
Captain Edward John Smith
Captain of the Titanic. White Star Line's favorite officer and nicknamed "The Millionaire's Captain."
Played by Bernard Hill.
- Big Good: Captain of the ship and a very gregarious character.
- Cool Old Guy: Good natured, respected and loved by his men, and well-loved by others.
- Face Death with Dignity: He decides to stay in his nest at the wheel waiting for death.
- Heroic BSOD: When he realizes how many people are going to die.
- Retirony: Ismay mentions that Titanic is Smith's last command before retirement.
Naval architect who oversaw the construction of Titanic
. He was on board to assess the general performance of the ship and note any changes that were needed.
Played by Victor Garber.
- Nice Guy: Probably the nicest guy on the ship. He even greets Jack with a smile while the latter is trying to get into First Class to speak with Rose.
- Parental Substitute: Rose has a much better relationship with Andrews than her own mother.
- The Perfectionist: He is shown making notes about various cosmetic improvements needed to the ship. The last thing we see him do is adjust the time on a clock in the First Class smoking room.
J. Bruce Ismay
The owner of White Star Line.
Played by Jonathan Hyde
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Downplayed, though he is a bit forceful when he "recommends" to Captain Smith that they push the engines.
- Dirty Coward: Again, downplayed. Unlike other portrayals of him, Ismay is shown helping load a lifeboat late in the sinking, and gets in only after seeing that no one else is nearby.
Chief Officer Henry Wilde
- Big "NO!": Cries out "No, Will!" right before Murdoch kills himself.
- Chekhov's Gun: Uses a whistle repeatedly throughout the sinking as a means of coordination. It ends up saving Rose's life, though Wilde doesn't make it.
First Officer William Murdoch
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Murdoch's shooting passengers and committing suicide. Was it this trope? Or the natural result of a bad situation leaving a desperate man in charge of maintaining order, and just trying to ensure some people got into the boat and lived, rather than no one living due to the mob destroying said boat? His family and home town claims the former. Others the later. That is all we shall say on the matter.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After accidentally shooting a passanger during the sinking. Luckily, didn't happen in real life.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: After initially taking Cal's bribe, he throws the money away when he and Cal next meet.
Second Officer Charles Lightoller
- Badass: As the passengers start to panic and try to rush Lifeboat 14, Lightoller pulls out a revolver and tells them all to back off. He then turns to order Lowe to man the boat, revealing that he just bluffed the crowd with an unloaded revolver.
Fifth Officer Harold Lowe
Junior officer who is placed in charge of Lifeboat 14, and the only one to try to find survivors after the ship sinks.
Played by Ioan Gruffudd
- Good Samaritan: After offloading the women Lowe is the only one to attempt a rescue with his lifeboat, rescuing six, including Rose. In the extended Carpathia sequence, he personally hands Rose a cup of coffee after helping her on board. You can also see he's torn when he has to separate couples while loading the boats.
- You Are Too Late: Says they waited too long upon seeing the endless sea of corpses.
Leading Fireman in Boiler Room 6.
- The Men First: He waits until all the stokers get under the closing watertight door before escaping himself (unfortunately, one guy doesn't get out in time).
- Must Have Nicotine: Barrett can be seen having a cigarette the next morning on Carpathia.
Jack Phillips and Harold Bride
The ship's wireless operators, who appear mostly in the deleted scenes.
- Adorkable: Jim Cameron noted that he wanted to portray them as sort of the computer nerds of their day.
- Cassandra Truth: Phillips tells the operator on the Californian, Cyril Evans, to sod off, as he's trying to clear a large backlog of messages. That results in crucial information about the ice field not making it to the bridge, and Evans to shut down for the night, ensuring that the closest ship does not hear Titanic's imminent distress signal.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen apart, with a heavy rapport between the both of them.
Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee
The ship's lookouts who sight the iceberg.
- Informed Ability: In-universe. Fleet tells Lee that he can smell ice when it's near. Lee calls him out on this later.
- Oh, Crap: The first of many from the ship's crew.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen apart and offer a bit of comedic commentary.
Chief Engineer of Titanic
- Cool Old Guy: In his early 50s, and is chief engineer of the largest steamship in the world.
- The Engineer: He and his crew keep the ship running and rarely venture outside the Engine room, even ensuring the survival of the ship and it's passengers despite the risk to their lives.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Stays at his post along with all the engineers to ensure that Titanic has power for as long as possible.
- Oh, Crap: He was seen preparing some soup for the other engineers when suddenly the engine room telegraph orders full astern. He does a Double Take before realizing something is seriously wrong.
- Punch Clock Villain: Not really a villain, but he tries to apprehend Jack because it's his job. He does in fact say that Jack's drawings are rather good.
A socialite whom Rose's mother calls "new money," as her husband had recently struck gold.
Played by Kathy Bates
- Cool Old Lady: Middle aged, but still.
- Fiery Redhead: Very fiery auburn hair, loud, friendly, and doesn't take any crap from anyone.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Jack.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out the crew for sitting in the lifeboats and refusing to go back to help the drowning passengers, but she's shot down when it's pointed out there are just too many of them.
John Jacob Astor
The richest man on board.
Played by Eric Braeden.
- Deadpan Snarker: In a deleted scene, the gym instructor Thomas McCauley says he won't put on a lifebelt, because it will impede his stroke. Astor quips, "Right you are. It is 700 miles to shore, so you wouldn't want to have anything to impede your stroke."
- May-December Romance: JJ was pushing 50, and his second wife Madeline was 18.
- Renaissance Man: In real life, though the film doesn't touch on this. He was an inventor, served as a colonel in the Spanish-American War, and even wrote a science-fiction novel called "A Journey in Other Worlds."
Colonel Archibald Gracie IV
A writer and amateur historian, frequently shown having cigars and brandy with Cal.
- Fake American: The real Gracie was born in the American South, while here he has a distinct British accent.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Feminist writer and director Jim Cameron uses him to demonstrate just how far perceptions and treatment of women have come.
"As I always say, women and machinery don't mix."
"Joining us, Dawson? You don't want to stay out here with the women, do you?"
- Nice Guy: Very good-natured and gregarious with people, treats Jack as one of the guys, and was seen guiding passengers to lifeboats.
Fictonal Characters (Modern Era)
A treasure hunter trying to find the Heart of the Ocean.
Played by Bill Paxton.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Sort of. A news report mentions that he's spent much of his career finding Spanish gold in the Caribbean. Going down to Titanic is one of the most dangerous submersible dives in the world.