Characters / World War Z

A Character Sheet for the World War Z novel characters.

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    The Interviewer 

The Interviewer

Played By: Max Brooks

  • As Himself: The audiobook, which features a full cast reading each role, specifically identifies the interviewer as Max Brooks, and Brooks reads the interviewer's part.
  • Author Avatar: For Max Brooks.
  • Not So Above It All: When interviewing Closure LTD., it's revealed he also there to use their service.

    Kwang Jingshu 

Kwang Jingshu

Played By: Steve Park
  • Badass Grandpa: He was already a grandfather when he encountered one of the earliest cases of The Plague, got a message to his daughter to get out of the country ASAP before being arrested by the MSS, escaped from prison, and is now chairman of the security council of Greater Chongqing. And he still makes house calls to all his patients.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: When he made a house call to a remote village deep in the Chinese wilderness, he was deeply irritated at the time at how despite China's many advances forward, many people still lived primitively and believed in superstitious fears.
  • Retired Badass: He was an army doctor in his youth, and he mentions performing major surgery near the front lines of a "minor" border clash with the Soviet Union in the 1960s.

    Nury Televadi 

Nury Televadi

Played By: Frank Kamai

    Stanley MacDonald 

Stanley MacDonald

Played By: Nathan Fillion

  • For Your Own Good: His 'debriefing and evaluation' by the Canadian Government, back when it seemed like he may have just imagined the attack.
  • The War on Terror: A member of the Canadian Armed Forces participating in raids on terrorist drug caches when he first encounters a zombie.

    Fernando Oliveira 

Fernando Oliveira

Played By: Paul Sorvino

    Jacob Nyathi 

Jacob Nyathi

Played By: Ade McCormack

    Jurgen Warmbrunn 

Jurgan Warmbrunn

Played By: Carl Reiner

    Saladin Kader 

Saladin Kader

Played By: Waleed Zuaiter

    Bob Archer 

Bob Archer

Played By: Jay O. Sanders

    Gen. Travis D'Ambrosia 

Gen. Travis D'Ambrosia

Played By: Dennis Boutsikaris

    Grover Carlson 

Grover Carlson

Played By: Simon Pegg

    Mary Jo Miller 

Mary Jo Miller

Played By: Denise Crosby

  • Mama Bear: She tells the interviewer about the first zombie attack she experienced, during which one of the zombies grabbed her daughter. Mary Jo admits that she really doesn't remember exactly what happened, but says that according to both of her children, she ripped the zombie's head off with her bare hands.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Went from a typical California Phalanx-taking soccer mom to an engineer, city-planner, and mayor of her own town.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Took a zombie's head off with only her bare hands in a moment of Mama Bear-fuelled aggression when said zombie grabs her daughter.

    Gavin Blaire 

Gavin Blaire

Played By: Bruce Boxleitner

    Ajay Shah 

Ajay Shah

Played By: Ajay Naidu

    Sharon 

Sharon

Played By: Nicki Clyne

  • Break the Cutie: She saw parents kill their children, then saw her own mother's death. Then she wound up living on her own. At four years old. She's now a "feral", or Wild Child, who may well never progress beyond the mental age at which she was broken.
  • Significant Green Eyed Red Head: She's described as being extremely beautiful, but she has the mind of a four-year-old.
  • Voice Changeling: She mimics several voices during her recollection, with special mention to her uncannily accurate recreation of a zombie moan.
  • Wild Child: Sharon was a Feral; one of the children who were left to fend for themselves and became wild as a result. Now an adult, she's described as one of the luckier cases since she has retained the capacity for language.

    Maria Zhuganova 

Maria Zhuganova

Played By: Jeri Ryan

  • Baby Factory: At the time of her interview, she's pregnant for the eighth time. She doesn't even know the fathers of her children, but considers continuing to produce them her duty to her country.
  • Break the Cutie: After she's forced to participate in a decimation, she gives up moral agency in favor of Just Following Orders. She also has her children taken away shortly after birth so she can get pregnant again as quickly as possible.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: She considers her role as Baby Factory her duty, and does not question orders any more.

    T. Sean Collins 

T. Sean Collins

Played By: Henry Rollins

  • Ax-Crazy: He's on the verge of Serial Killer, and he knows it. He does retain enough conscience to take out his homicidal urges on zombies, not on the living, and plans to suicide after the zombies are gone specifically so he doesn't start killing living humans.
  • Badass
  • Blood Knight
  • Mad Hatter: For a blood-crazed psychopath, he is remarkably introspective and level-headed.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When the compound of the man he's working for is overrun, he refuses to shoot civilians who are simply trying to find a safe place and instead leaves.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the Long Island celebrity compound, when the alternative is to kill refugees who break in to find safety.

    Ahmed Farahnakian 

Ahmed Farahnakian

Played By: Maz Jobrani

    Todd Wainio 

Todd Wainio

Played By: Mark Hamill

  • Armor Is Useless: One of his many complaints about Yonkers was the MOPP 4 protective gear the rank and file soldiers were wearing, several layers of rubber, charcoal, and heavy body armor, on one of the hottest days of the year, while letting the many reporters and superiors wear normal clothing.
  • Badass: As a soldier in the zombie war, he spent years on end destroying zombies with his battalion. He saw combat through the entire war, from Yonkers to Hope to the reclaiming of America.
  • Dad the Veteran: A veteran of the Zombie War, and now a husband and father.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of his commentary on the mistakes and stupidity he saw, especially in his earlier segments.
  • Motor Mouth
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Years after the war has ended, he is still haunted by what he witnessed during the war, from his fellow soldiers being eaten alive to the government incompetence that caused so many senseless deaths.
  • What Were You Thinking?: His first interview section is spent chastising the poor planning of Yonkers, from the poor tactical decisions to the "Land Warrior" system that only served to incite further panic.
  • Younger Than They Look: He's described as being old before his time, and that looking at him, you wouldn't be able to tell he's at the beginning of his life chronologically.

    Paul Redeker 

Paul Redeker

Played By: Eamon Walker

  • Beneath the Mask: Xolelwa Azania believed that Redeker instead of being heartless, felt too much and that distancing himself from emotion was the only way he could protect himself in a cruel world. Considering the fact that Xolelwa Azania is really the split personality of Paul Redeker this insight has a helluva lot of weight to it.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Redeker prepared a plan that while many view as heartless and amoral, was so comprehensive it was said that it left out no detail from survival to rebuilding society afterwards.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Implied to be what happened when Nelson Mandela showed Redeker what may have been the first true human warmth and compassion he ever felt in his life.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure
  • Knight Templar
  • Sanity Slippage: By the time of the events in the book, Paul is in a mental institution in South Africa.
  • Split Personality Takeover: Xolelwa Azania, the man talking about Redeker, is Redeker himself
  • Straw Vulcan: Redeker spent most of his life suppressing his natural intense emotional capacity as a useless distraction that interfered with doing what was needed. Or so Xolelwa Azania, who's in a position to know Redeker very well believes.
  • The Stoic: Was said to be a man not only devoid of emotion but actively saw them as a nuisance at best and the root of all the world's problems at worst.
    • Not So Stoic: It seems that when Nelson Mandela showed Paul what might have been the first real act of emotion and empathy towards him, Paul was shaken so deeply that it destroyed the very foundations of everything he believed in.

    David Allen Forbes 

David Allen Forbes

Played By: Eamonn Walker

  • Adorkable: Throughout his interview Forbes rambles, stammers, and trips all over himself trying to apologize for anything he says that people from other countries might find insulting. At one point early in the interview he almost gives up entirely and is only persuaded to continue after asking the interviewer to promise to "cut all the daft bits."
  • Badass Adorable: He carries a claymore which he learned how to use to very good effect against zombies.
  • BFS: A massive claymore almost as big as he is.
  • Nice Guy

    Philip Adler 

Philip Adler

Played By: Jurgen Prochnow

  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted. A west Berliner by birth, he was taught 'to always bear his grandfather's shame'.
  • The Atoner: He not only carries his culturally-ingrained guilt over Germany's past, but the guilt of having been forced to abandon civilians to fend for themselves.
  • A Father to His Men
  • Just Following Orders: Defied. Although he complied with the order to withdraw and abandon the civilians his unit was protecting after his commanding officer threatened to enact decimations the way the Russian military did, he fully acknowledges and accepts responsibility for choosing to do so. He planned to personally assassinate his commanding officer in retribution, and is bitterly disgusted that the general committed suicide before he could do so rather than accept responsibility for giving the order.

    Bohdan Taras Kondratiuk 

Bohdan Taras Kondratiuk

Played By: David Ogen Stiers

    Jesika Hendricks 

Jesika Hendricks

Played By: Michelle Kholos

  • Break the Cutie: She was just a child when she and her parents went through the living hell of zombie attacks and winter in a refugee camp.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the Canadian refugee camp as a child, she got very sick, both from starvation and illness, during the pitiless winter. Her parents got into a fight over what to feed her- eventually her father went out and came back with a bowl full of stew- which is strongly implied to have been made from human flesh.
  • Must Make Amends
  • Stoic Woobie
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out the US government not for abandoning everyone, but for not doing enough to inform of them of where to go and how to survive. Also calls out most of the people who fled North for being so short-sighted and unprepared, which led to the devastation of the Canadian wilderness.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Her father thought he and his family would be better off surviving in the Canadian wilderness. To be fair he might have been right had several million American not had the same idea...

    Sardar Khan 

Sardar Khan

Played By: Kal Penn

    Arthur Sinclair Jr 

Arthur Sinclair Jr

Played By: Alan Alda

    "The Whacko" 

"The Whacko"

Played By: Rob Reiner

  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The description of his background in the novel makes it quite clear that he is intended to be the Democratic politician Howard Dean.

    Joe Muhammad 

Joe Muhammad

Played By: Dean Edwards

  • Handicapped Badass: He's a paraplegic in a wheelchair, but that didn't stop him from joining the neighborhood watch and protecting his neighborhood from zombies, killing more than a few. Being in a wheelchair isn't too much of an obstacle when fighting zombies, apparently, as their clumsiness and slowness makes up for his lack of mobility.

    Roy Elliot 

Roy Elliot

Played By: Frank Darabont

  • Good Counterpart: Of Breckinridge "Breck" Scott. Both characters sold the lie of "hope". But while Breck sold a sham vaccine to make a quick buck, Elliot's films were meant to inspire people to keep surviving, and to stop people from dying of despair. Notably, both characters are honest about "selling lies".
  • Motivational Lie: He freely admits that several of his movies don't necessarily bear a lot of relation to reality, but considers that justified by the results he gets - helping others to keep going and not cross the Despair Event Horizon by simply never waking up.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: A clear Expy of Steven Spielberg
  • Rule of Cool: Explains the importance of Awesome, but Impractical as a psychological need for the American movie-goer.

    Christina Eliopolis 

Christina Eliopolis

Played By: Becky Ann Baker

  • Action Girl: Military pilot doing airdrops in zombie-infested regions.
  • Badass: She survives in a seriously zombie-heavy area, thanks to military training and "Mets Fan". She also strongly implies that a female officer trainee has to be just to survive in training, even more than her male counterparts.
  • Hearing Voices: While the evidence strongly implies that Christina was hearing a voice in her head, it was definitely not a malicious one and may have been created by her mind as a way to cope and stay sane.
  • Imaginary Friend: What "Mets Fan" probably is.
  • Mommy Issues: More implied than directly stated - when Christina is on the brink of crossing the Despair Event Horizon and is seriously considering shooting herself before the zombies can get her, Mets Fan galvanizes her into action by demanding, "Who are you, your mother?"
  • Sanity Slippage: After she survives and gets back to her people, it is revealed that her radio had been broken and no one used the call sign "Mets Fan". This leads people to think she was hearing the voice in her head.
    • Sanity Strengthening: Despite the fact that the voice may have been conjured from Christina's mind due to stress, the voice is positive and encouraging. At times when she feels hopeless, the voice reminds her to only think about what she needs to do next and actively pushes her to keep going and survive. It essentially keeps her from breaking under the pressure from the sever and dangerous circumstances surrounding her escape from zombie infested territories.
  • Talking to Themself: See Hearing Voices and Imaginary Friend above.

    Barati Palshigar 

Barati Palshigar

Played By: Parminder Nagra

    Kondo Tatsumi 

Kondo Tatsumi

Played By: Masi Oka

  • Ascended Fanboy: As the outbreak progressed, he stayed in his room and on the internet poring over discussions of the war right up until the power went out and he realized he had no actual skills, experience, or support to make use of his information. Only through luck did he manage to escape and meet his Sensei, who would teach him true badassery.
  • Hikikomori: At first.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Went from a scrawny hikikomori otaku teenager to hardened warrior. Fittingly, he's voiced in the audiobook by Masi Oka, aka Heroes Hiro Nakamura

    Seryosha Garcia Alvarez 

Seryosha Garcia Alvarez

Played By: John Turturro

    Adm. Xu Zhicai 

Adm. Xu Zhicai

Played By: Ric Young

    Terry Knox 

Terry Knox

Played By: Alfred Molina

  • But What About the Astronauts?: They monitor from space and provide all the help to the people of Earth.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He chooses to stay in space for years to keep communication satellites going so that humanity can get information spread around they need in order to survive. He does this knowing he has inadequate supplies and is getting a lot of radiation in the process.

    Ernesto Olguin 

Ernesto Olguin

Played By: John McElroy

    Darnell Hackworth 

Darnell Hackworth

Played By: Common

    Father Sergei Ryzhkov 

Father Sergei Ryzhkov

Played By: F. Murray Abraham

    Andre Renard 

Andre Renard

Played By: Rene Auberjonois

    Breckinridge 'Breck' Scott 

Breckinridge 'Breck' Scott

Played By: Martin Scorsese

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive
  • Evil Counterpart: To filmmaker Roy Elliot. Both characters sold the lie of "hope", but while Elliot sold it to save people from dying of despair and to give them a reason to keep surviving, Breck did it simply to make a quick buck. Notably, both characters are entirely honest about "selling lies".
  • False Reassurance: Phalanx works perfectly as a a rabies vaccine, just as advertised. He knew damn well the virus wasn't actually rabies despite it being known as "African Rabies" at the time.
  • Greed
  • Hate Sink: He is pretty much there just to be hated.
  • Jerkass: Scams countless people out of millions of dollars, laughs his head off when most of his buyers ended up infected, brags about scamming people out of their money, and taunts people about the fact that in his safety dome, he is protected against zombies, and because he's in a leased Russian research base in the Antarctic, the police can never arrest him.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: He notes that what happened is partly the government's fault, since they could have checked to see if any of his vaccines had actually been tested, and that while he did knowingly sell untested vaccines, many doctors have given untested Flu shots. He also notes that even if his vaccines didn't work, the belief that there was treatment, kept people from panicking, and that after the truth got out, it wasn't long before panic and fear caused things to spiral out of control.
  • Karma Houdini: Not for long anymore, since at least two countries are working together to get their hands on him.
  • Laughing Mad
  • Only in It for the Money: He knew Phalanx was a lie, and didn't care. Getting the money was what he cared about.
  • Smug Snake: Gloats at the victims of his scamming.
  • The Sociopath: Absolutely zero remorse for the harm done to those who made the mistake of believing that Phalanx actually worked.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/WorldWarZ