Characters: V for Vendetta
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The main protagonist is an Anti-Hero
that nevertheless goes by very idealistic anarchist creeds. Appearing as a dark figure in a Black Cloak
and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, V's real name is just as unknown as his face that is only described by Dr Surridge as being "pathetically ugly"
. Swearing to bring down the repressive order that now rules England, he builds the Shadow Gallery with art pieces he saved from destruction and uses it as his headquarters. From then on, he patiently and skilfully destroys various symbols of power, disrupts Norsefire's orwellian
surveillance system and emits subversive tracts and TV appearances.
A Warrior Poet
, V is a philosophical, eccentric yet generally unflappable man with a quirky sense of humour that even his protégée has a hard time getting.
Later, we learn that V is actually a codename taken from his room number - 5, which is "V" in the Roman numeral system - back when he was jailed in the concentration camps that were created by Norsefire to "purify" the state. After being chosen with 4 other prisoners to undergo some terrible tests on human beings, he becomes incredibly intelligent, strong and agile, and burns down the whole camp, setting himself free along with many other prisoners.
After taking Evey in and raising her as an heiress, V meets his fate at the hands of Eric Finch (Peter Creedy in the film) and dies in the arms of Evey, leaving her with some last words and instructions, making her swear to never see his face but to understand what he stood for.
- Adaptational Heroism: In The comic V is a Nominal Hero or an Anti-Villain, while in the film V is more a Pragmatic Hero.
- Affably Evil: Naturally evil will depend on one's views of his actions and beliefs. But he is extremely polite and cultured throughout, even to people he plans to kill.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Even occurs In-Universe. Is V a Freedom fighter who has the best interests of the people of Britain to heart, and a compassionate mentor figure to his sidekick Evey? Or terrorist who's mentally psychotic, and takes pleasure in making his enemies, and even Evey, suffer, and who destroys buildings to prove a point? Or maybe both? It should be noted that Alan Moore intended this moral ambiguity.
- Ambiguously Evil: As the battle between V and Norsefire is really Grey and Gray Morality, he's not exactly good, and while he does things for a good reason, torturing Evey puts him a little bit past being just in the grey area.
- Ambiguously Gay: It's unclear why he was sent to the concentration camp in the first place, leaving open the possibility that he is gay.
- Anti-Villain: Type III. On the one hand, he wants to end the Norsefire Party's dictatorship and oppression. On the other, the party calling him a "terrorist" isn't exactly propaganda - he is willing to blow up buildings and torture people if it means winning his little war.
- Badass Boast: When facing off against Creedy's men.
Creedy:You've got nothing. Nothing but your bloody knives and your fancy karate gimmicks. We have guns!
V: No, what you have are bullets, and the hopes that when your guns are empty, I am no longer standing. Because if I am, you'll all be dead before you've reloaded.
- Badass Bookworm: Has an enormous book collection, and has a particular passion for Shakespeare.
- Badass Normal: True, he is more intelligent, determined, and reactive than most humans - but that's all he is.
- Black Cloak: After the mask, it's his most noticeable piece of clothing, although unlike the mask he is often seen without it.
- Celibate Hero: Whether or not he's Asexual is never brought up. When Evey makes sexual advances to him, he kicks her out of the Shadow Gallery. In the movie, they eventually kiss, even though V is wearing his mask.
- Deadpan Snarker: He can be quite the sarcastic fellow, especially when delivering his Workplace speech to the people of London.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: In Evey's arms, at the end of the novel.
- Dual Wielding: His knives are small and light enough for him to easily use two at once when he kills Creedy and his mooks.
- The Faceless: His face is never seen though it is implied to be horribly scarred.
- Genius Bruiser: The experiments enhanced his intellect and physical abilities. He can give you a master's class on literature and snap your neck without much effort.
- The Hero Dies: He may be a Bad Ass, but not even he can survive the sheer power of bullets.
- The Kindnapper: He kidnaps Evey twice, both times out of benevolent intentions.
- Knife Nut: The knives are the only actual weapons he uses, not included his basic combat skills.
- MacGyvering: A speciality of his. The gunpowder he used to stage his escape was made out of the rations he was fed in his cell, plus a couple of seemingly innocuous items he was able to convince the camp managers to give him.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Very much so. He even utters this very line in the graphic novel.
- Malevolent Masked Men: "Malevolent" is slightly downplayed, but Masked Man is the very definition of V
- Mind Rape: What he does to Lewis Prothero, and to a lesser degree, to Evey Hammond.
- Nice Hat: He's never seen without it unless he's safely in his own home. By the end of the film, he has thousands of citizens wearing one too.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: V's name and history are a complete mystery and it's stated that even he doesn't remember any of it.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: When you're using Added Alliterative Appeal on one of the least common letters of the alphabet, you need to start using some long words - Vaudevillian, Vicariously, Visage, Veneer, Vanguarding, the list just goes on.
- Sociopathic Hero: A heroic terrorist.
- Sole Survivor: Of the group of "undesirables" used as guinea pigs for the fascist goverment's Super Soldier project.
- Super Soldier: Part of an experiment to create one. It Went Horribly Right. The experiment has given him slightly above-human edurance and cunning, and he uses this fight to the ones who made him that way.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yes, he's killing people, blowing up buildings, and torturing an innocent young woman to prove a point, but he's doing it to free England.
- Why Won't You Die?: Played straight.
Creedy: Die! Die! Why won't you die! Why won't you die?!
V: Beneath this mask, there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask, there is an idea, Mr Creedy. And ideas are bulletproof.
The series' co-protagonist. In the comics, she is a young girl whom V takes under his wing after being saved in extremis
by V from the state's bloodthirsty secret police V before proceeding to indoctrinate her pursuant to his anarchistic beliefs. In the film, she is a depicted as a cynical but otherwise conformist young woman working at a state-run news station, BTVN, who joins V's cause reluctantly after being rescued him and later wholeheartedly after she is fully exposed to the regime's brutality.
- Closer to Earth: Played straight and subverted. She says that she doesn't want to kill people but when Allistair Harper kills Gordon, she is ready to kill him in retaliation, and might have gone through it had V not thwarted her when he kidnaps her. Later, when V gives her the option to have Harper killed, Evey decides to spare his life instead.
- Her Heart Will Go On Be it Gordon or V himself, both the men she has been involved with die and she lives on.
- Meaningful Name: Her name doubles as this and a Stealth Pun. Evey is a direct pronuciation of E-V, and E is the fifth letter of the alphabet.
- Naïve Everygirl: She's a little unaware of just how corrupt the goverment is.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Her father was the one who taught her all about politics, and his death and "disappearance" by the government was the reason she refused to ever deal with the topic again.
- Passing the Torch: In the novel, she becomes V herself.
- Redemption in the Rain: In deliberate contrast to V's Redemption by Fire.
- Sympathy for the Devil: To V himself.
- Tender Tears: Upon learning what V did to the Archbishop Lilliman. Of course, she doesn't know what the guy did to V so it's understandable.
The main antagonist of the series is an officer from Scotland Yard, now renamed "The Nose". Melancholic, somewhat jaded, Eric Finch is still determined to find and punish V, even more since the death of Delia Surridge
. Otherwise without ambitions and rather pragmatic, he simply believes that order is better than chaos.
Still, by the end of the series, he experiences a total catharsis and understand what atrocities were committed by Norsefire. And, though he kills V, he no longer desires to serve the government and walks away tranquilly from a now freed London.
- Anti-Villain: While he loyally serves an authoritarian state, he only does so due to his single-minded dedication to protect England's citizens from crime and chaos.
- It's Personal: After V kills Delia Surridge, the hunt for him stops just being a job for Eric. At the end of it all, he no longer cares if the Norsefire government stands or falls, he just wants to find V and have his revenge.
- Knight In Sour Armour: His jadedness at his surroundings makes him one of these.
- Punch Clock Villain: He is mostly indifferent and actually a bit dislillusioned towards the Norsefire government's ideology. He pretty much only does his job because he believes that it is the lesser evil compared to letting England descend into chaos. Until it gets personal that is.
The Norsefire Government
Commander Adam Susan/High Chancellor Adam Sutler
The cold, merciless and despotic head of state who serves as the series' main antagonist. In the film, his surname was changed to "Sutler
- The Aloner: He is a solipsist, he believes that only he and Fate (whom he considers to be God) are real.
- Asexuality: He thinks he is, but the truth is he's just really repressed. A real asexual probably wouldn't do most of the things mentioned below.
- Big Bad: Played Straight in the comics. Conversely, this is downplayed in the film given that his sinister right-hand man, Peter Creedy, is heavily implied to be the true mastermind behind his regime.
- Boom, Headshot: How he's disposed of at the hands of Rosemary. Similarly, Peter Creedy disposes of him in this manner as part of a coup.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: He masturbates to the Fate supercomputer.
- Evil Is Petty:
- In the film, he offhandedly abuses his power to put the 1812 Overture (the music V played while destroying the Old Bailey) on the blacklist, simply because "[He] never wants to hear it again."
- Played with in the original. He believes in repressing one's own desires for the greater good, but that only makes them come out in weird ways.
- The Evils of Free Will: Believes that individual freedom and personal liberties are dangerous and frivolous and seeks to replace them with a uniformity of thought, word, deed and purpose.
- Machine Worship: In the comics, the Fate supercomputer is the only thing he truly loves. Mixes elements of Cargo Ship and Robosexual in with the worship.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted in the comics. However, it is never made clear in the film.
- Necessary Evil: In the film, after a year of failing to catch V, he tells his propaganda machine not to make people think the Norsefire government is wonderful and blameless, but to remind the people "Why they need us." It doesn't work.
- President Evil: Let's see, he talks to his cronies via a giant screen that lets him speak ridiculously loudly and intimidatingly, he has a celebrity arrested for doing a skit making fun of him, and has full control over the government and the police force.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Alan Moore was obviously inspired by Hitler when he wrote Susan. The film renamed him Sutler to hammer the point home.
- Villainous Breakdown: In the comics, he loses all semblance of sanity upon seeing that Fate has been hacked in by V. In the film, he reveals himself for the Dirty Coward he really is as he sobs and begs for mercy after being brought before V .
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the comics. In the film, he is largely portrayed as an unsympathetic tyrant who lives in luxury at the expense of his own citizens.
In the comics, he begins the story as the alcoholic
, uptight and high-ranking Director of The Finger, the Secret Police
of the Norsefire government. Upon trying to stop V from killing Delia Surridge, he didn't realize that he forgot to charge his pistol and ends up killed by V.
In the movie this character is combined with Peter Creedy and given a promotion to Dragon-in-Chief
- The Dragon: Before his death.
- Domestic Abuser: A really, really nasty one. Being one of the most powerful men in a totalitarian government apparently turned him into an abusive, ungrateful and violent husband to his yet gentle and faithful wife.
- Frontline General: He may be a nasty piece of work but give him this much; he's quite willing to put himself in harm's way to do his job. When he gets a tip about where V may strike, he immediately head there himself instead of ordering his men to do it instead. Doubly so as he wasn't even on duty. And when he dies off the clock, the government uses that as a means of denying his widow any benefits she should be entitled to for him dying in action.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Played with. He threatens his wife by pretending to shoot her with an unloaded gun (on the promise that one day, it won't be unloaded). Guess what he forgets to do a few minutes later when he goes after V.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: What eventually happens to him.
- Minor Major Character: Begins the series as one of the most powerful men in a totalitarian government which has the country in an iron grip, yet he's killed off early in the story.
- No Accounting for Taste: Poor, poor Rosemary.
- Secret Police: The organization he commands, The Finger, is this.
The Director of The Finger(i.e.: the state's secret police) after Almond's death. His role in the movie is expanded massively
to being the mastermind behind almost all of the Norsefire Party's crimes if not the de facto leader of the regime itself
- Animal Motifs: In the film, V describes him as the spider in the heart of the Norsefire government, and even uses this phrase.
- Appeal to Force: The comic book version tries to seize control after Susan's death using this principle. As they're in the middle of a security emergency, it's only natural that The Finger and the security forces under his control take charge of the situation... just until everything calms down, of course. All of the high level members of the government present know that it amounts to a forceful takeover of the government. And only Helen Heyer knows that Creedy's private side army of thugs and criminals is about to turn on him.
- Big Brother Is Watching: In the film, his name is synonymous with the Norsefire police state.
- Composite Character: In the film, his character incorporates traits from Derek Almond, the brutal and feared Director of the Finger seen at the beginning of the story. He even paraphrases Almond's boast to V that his knives and martial arts are useless against his firearms only for V to kill him shortly thereafter.
- The Dragon: Downplayed in the comics where is depicted as a shallow self-serving bureaucrat merely seeking to capitalize on the death of his far more menacing predecessor, Derek Almond.
- Dragon-in-Chief: In the film. He is revealed to be not only the mastermind behind the Norsefire Party's seizure of power but the official Party Leader directly in charge of the regime's day-to-day administration.
- Dragon Ascendant: Tries to become this near the end of the book when Commander Susan dies. In the film, he succeeds but it doesn't last long.
- The Dreaded: In the film, he is universally feared by the citizens living in Norsefire England and viewed with unease by other members of the regime.
- Meaningful Name: His nick-name "Creepy Creedy" in the film.
- Out-Gambitted: Helen Heyer paid his private army better than he did. His attempt to use them to seize control never had a chance.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: His personal weapon is a magnum revolver.
The smart-mouthed and mocking director of The Mouth, which oversees propaganda and media in Britain. In the film adaptation, he appears to be a cynical man who is a part of Norsefire only to increase his own power.
In the novel, when V storms the Mouth's media headquarters, he leaves Dascombe behind dressed up as V and gagged as a decoy for the police storming the building. Those policemen promptly shoot Dascombe while V makes his escape.
- Affably Evil: Humorous and happy-tempered but still just as corrupt as the Government he serves.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: His default expression that he only loses upon facing V.
- Comforting the Widow: What he does to Rosemary after Derek Almond's death, in a very unsavoury way.
but weak-willed director of The Eye, the government's surveillance section, is also the Henpecked Husband
of the ruthless Helen Heyer who uses him as a means to an end.
Not featured prominently either but he gets his own moment of glory upon beating Allistair Harper to death for sleeping around with his wife, something he discovers when V sends him the videotape of his wife having sex with Harper.
- Love Martyr: Upon learning that the wife who treats him like dirt is having an affair, his first reaction is to go after her paramour in the belief that this will prove to her that he's the better man. Helen's actual reaction is to chew him out for ruining her plans for a coup by killing her co-conspirator and leave him to watch himself bleed out on the floor.
- Mutual Kill: With Allistair Harper.
- Nice Guy: Sort of. He isn't evil per se but he still serves the government loyally.
- The Peeping Tom: Implied to have voyeuristic tendencies with having cameras everywhere, though he is loyal to his wife.
- Unrequited Love: Despite being married, Helen feels nothing but contempt for him but he truly loves her.
The Larkhill Three
The former commander of the concentration camp Larkhill, today he acts as "The Voice Of Fate," a radio program that passes off as Fate's actual voice to relate the various happenings of the country and give the news flash to the population.
In the film, Prothero has gone on to become a political pundit who issues swaggering, state-endorsed political ramblings meant to drum up xenophobia and nationalistic fervor.
- It's All About Me: The film even shows him watching his own broadcasts with an expression that falls just shy of masturbation.
- Jerkass: Possibly the nicest thing that anyone could say about this man.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Although V doesn't kill him, he ends up literally crazy and unable to speak, other than repeating "Ma-ma!" over and over, like his beloved dolls.
- Miles Gloriosus: He often likes to play up his Military service, making himself out as a hero. In reality, he was a sadistic bully who got a kick out of beating on innocent people.
- Moral Myopia: He cares far more about his doll collection than he did about the people he tortured at Larkhill. And seeing the dolls burned in the same ovens where he roasted people makes him lose his mind.
- Psychopathic Manchild: His Doll collection and his often petty and immature personality (Firing a technician for making his nose look big and being mentioned as always needing to get his way in the film) turn him into this.
- Real Men Wear Pink: An ex-soldier and former concentration camp commander who makes propaganda for a fascist government. His hobby? Collecting dolls.
- Speak of the Devil: In the film. While Prothero showers, he watches himself on TV, ranting and wishing he could meet "the terrorist" face-to-face. He then turns around, and finds V smirking at him.
Archbishop Anthony Lilliman
Once a priest in the Larkhill camp (he provided "spiritual support" for the guards) he is a child molester and now promoted to Archbishop of the Anglican Church.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He switches from sadistic violence to weeping as he begs V for mercy. V, however, is not in a forgiving mood.
- Asshole Victim: He might be a weak old man, but he's also a pedophile and a rapist.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Just like Prothero, he is given an ironic way to die, being forced to ingest a poisoned host.
- Pedophile Priest: Every Sunday night, he rapes a different pre-teen girl (teenage girl in the movie).
- Sinister Minister: Not only is he a pedo and a rapist, he also has a gun in his bible, and he was part of Larkhill. Clearly, he's a little bit worse than the average Pedophile Priest.
Dr. Delia Surridge
The Chief Medical Officer of Larkhill, she did human experiments on the prisoners. After Larkhill's destruction, she became consumed by guilt over what she had done. She used to be in a relationship with Finch.
- Visionary Villain: Performsed experiments on humans with the intention of eradicating disease.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Genuinely believed that her experiments were for the good of Britain and mankind in general.
The gentle, demure
but abused wife of Derek Almond. After his death, she is left to fend for herself, the Government refusing to give her any pension for being an official's widow.
She resorts to going out with the sleazy Roger Dascombe, only to lose him as well
. She is eventually expelled from the high society she used to acquaint with and ends up being a showgirl to support herself.
Blaming Norsefire for having taken away her husband and her happiness, she decides to murder Commander Susan herself and shoots him in the head when he greets her without even recognizing her. She was probably killed afterwards but is only shown being battered by the Fingermen
- And This Is for...: While preparing herself to assassinate the Commander, she mentally enumerates and reviews all the reasons why she was about to do it and why they all made perfect sense.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Who could have thought the sweet, gentle and enduring Rosemary would ever snap so radically?
- Deus Angst Machina: After all what she's been through, it's really justified.
- Domestic Abuse: The poor woman really did nothing to deserve this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She knew full well what would happen to her when she decided to murder the Commander. But she didn't care and preferred to die with dignity rather than live like a whore.
- The Last Dance: Feeling she had nothng left to lose and no purpose left in life anyways, she decides to at least do something useful before dying.
- Lifetime Movie of the Week: Her own arc looks very much like this, except it's done well.
- Shrinking Violet: Before Derek's death.
The scheming, arrogant and domineering wife of Conrad Heyer, in stark contrast to Rosemary, is a Magnificent Bitch
who plans to take control of Norsefire through her husband, with her being the power behind the throne
, fairly attractive, and extremely shrewd, she uses bribery and sex to get men to do her bidding and is pretty good at it. Still all her plans go awry as V understands her intentions and sends a videotape of her screwing Allistair Harper to Conrad. Conrad Heyer responds by attacking and killing Harper, but is badly wounded himself in the process. Furious at the destruction of her plans, she leaves her husband to die, showing her true colours. The end of the comics show that she is reduced to living in the street and bartering sex for food and other survival necessities
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She knows all too well how to sit back and play the good, charming wife in public while making cold hearted, ruthless schemes for power.
- Break the Haughty: What ultimately happens to her after being rebuffed by Eric Finch and reduced to sell her charms to survive.
- Domestic Abuser: Regularly hits, ridicules, belittles and cheats on her husband Conrad.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Her use of sex as a weapon led her to cheat on her husband. When he finds out he kills her lover and gets mortally wounded himself, ruining her plans to control the government. It could also be a case of Laser-Guided Karma; Helen used sex as a weapon to ruthlessly manipulate people and control her downtrodden husband, by the end she's reduced to selling sexual favours to survive.
- Hope Spot: She has an extremely brief one towards the very end of the comics, when after being reduced to living on the street she spots Eric Finch and tries to convince him to work with her in regaining some control over chaos in the wake of the government's collapse. When Finch refuses her she knows all too well that her last chance is lost.
- Ice Queen: Of the total bitch variety.
- Socialite: Only in appearance. Her goals are way more sinister than just being a catty Rich Bitch.
- The Vamp: She has no problems with using sex as a weapon.
A sergeant at the Nose and Finch's sidekick.
- Naïve Newcomer: At first, he plays somewhat like a Watson to Finch's Holmes, later he grows into the role of being Finch's replacement.
- Passing the Torch: By the end of the comics he has largely taken over Finch's role as the honest and competent cop, and furthermore it is implied at that Evey has also chosen him as her successor.
An unseen character
(besides some clips on a movie screen) that is only talked about throughout the novel. A lesbian actress who gained substantial acclaim in her day, she was among the people that were first taken to the Larkhill concentration camp.
She was actually V's next door cellmate and sent him a letter written on toilet paper explaining her life and why she was sent to the camp with him. Avenging her is V's main motivation.
She was subjected to the same human experiments as V, but didn't survive it.
- Flower Motifs: The purple rose is her emblem that V took for himself.
- Not Quite Dead: One fan theory holds that she actually is V. It's a theory that's completely wrong as per the creator, but when has that ever stopped fans? And there's really no way to prove it one way or the other, given that V himself can't remember his own past and Valerie was subjected to hormone experiments. The film takes the theory and plays it a bit more ambiguously.
- Posthumous Character: Those notes that get slipped to Evey through the cell wall? Being passed through by V.
- The Unseen: Although we see V watch some clips of her in the beginning.
A former acquaintance and fellow smuggler of Allistair Harper. He picks up Evey some time after V expels her from the Shadow Gallery and eventually becomes her lover. He ends up killed by Harper some time before V abducts Evey again
- Bury Your Gays: In the movie, where he is instead Evey's friend and boss.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the movie as played by Stephen Fry.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Played with. He tells Evey to hide and doesn't sell her out to Harper in the novel or the Fingermen in the film.
- Illegal Religion: Played with. Though he's not a Muslim he's executed in the film because he has a copy of the Qu'ran.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He is killed by being stabbed in the head with a sword by Harper's henchman.
- Satellite Love Interest: In the novel, he is mostly presented to see just how he picked up Evey after she was expelled from the Shadow Gallery.
A vicious Scottish crook who starts off as a player in the Black Market
, he and his men are recruited by Creedy to be Creedy's private side army, a group of thugs who can do anything without being obviously linked to the government. Creedy has fond dreams of using the combined forces of the Fingermen and Harper's thugs to push himself to the head of the government.Unfortunately for Creedy, Harper is also working for Helen Heyer, who pays better.
In the novel, Harper eventually gets killed by Conrad Heyer when he discovers Harper's affair with Helen.
- Black Market: Appears to more or less control what we see of it.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Implied to have inflicted one on Creedy, who pleads for a quick death. Harper refuses, saying "I wouldn't waste the bullet" and goes to work with his knife instead.
- The Dragon: To Creedy. In the overall power structure, probably closest to being The Brute.
- The Dreaded: To Gordon, who's a petty thug to Harper's crime boss.
- Faux Affably Evil: Has a superficial layer of charm, but there is a very nasty and cruel bastard hiding just beneath the surface.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: In the graphic novel, he mentions when he arrested a married couple, beat up the husband, then performed a strip search on the wife during which he felt her up. He also implied, from a lewd comment, to have an interest in Evey when he sees her with Gordon.
- The Starscream: Soon after Creedy recruits him he agrees to serve as Helen Heyer's mole within Creedy's organization, then she makes it plain that he'll be head of the Finger if anything should happen to Creedy...
- The Unintelligible: His speech is rendered in a Funetik Aksent so confusing that it's all but indecipherable to non-British readers.
- Violent Glaswegian: Although he is more clever and self-controlled than is normal for this trope, he is a Scotsman with a mile-wide violent streak, so still counts.