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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Higher Understanding Through Drugs: In the comics, he manages to understand V's mindset by dropping acid in the remains of the concentration camp. It allows him to know what V is planning, and he manages to find and shoot him, wounding him fatally.
Punch Clock Villain: He is mostly indifferent and actually a bit dislillusioned towards the government's ideology. He pretty much only does his job because he believes that it is the lesser evil to letting England desend into chaos. Until it gets personal that is.
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.
Card-Carrying Villain: To an extent. He cheerfully admits to being a violent racist and fascist, but believes that hatred and violence are the only things that can keep society strong enough to survive the apocalypse. In a weird way it actually makes him more sympathetic than most of the party, most of whom don't really believe in anything apart from their own greed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Secret Police: The organization he commands, The Finger, is this.
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, he is used as a decoy by V and is shot dead by the army after they investigate the Mouth, which V had infiltrated to promote his own agenda.
Affably Evil: Humorous and happy-tempered but still just as corrupt as the Government he serves.
The good-hearted 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.Manipulative, 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 when V understands her intentions and sends a videotape of her screwing with Allistair Harper to Conrad. She then leaves her heavily wounded husband to die, showing her true colours. She is then reduced to sell her body to survive, after being rebuffed by Eric Finch.
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 Her 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.
Passing the Torch: It is implied at the end of the graphic novel that Evey has 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.
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.
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.
Even Evil Has Standards: Though not evil, his only blemish in the story was he used to work in the black market and bootlegging, he considers Alistair Harper a horrible person and goes out of his way to avoid having anything to do with him.
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.
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 force 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 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...