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These are the main characters of And Then There Were None.

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Ten Little Murder Victims

    Dr. Edward George Armstrong 

Portrayed By: Walter Huston (1945), Dennis Price (1965), Herbert Lom (1974), Anatoly Romashin (1987), Yehuda Efroni (1989, as Dr. Hans Yokem Werner), Toby Stephens (2015)

A successful Harley Street surgeon and also a recovering alcoholic at the beginning of the novel. He is accused of killing a patient, Louisa Mary Clees, due to operating on her while drunk.

  • Acquitted Too Late: He became the prime suspect after the fifth death, until Vera and Philip found his body washed up in the shore after they discovered Blore's murder.
  • The Atoner: He is very repentant of his crime and did give up drinking in order to do no more harm to patients.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes:
    • He studies treatments for nervousness, yet is the most fidgety and fearful of all the guests.
    • In the 2015 BBC version, he claims to specialize in "female disorders", yet as soon as it's established there's a murderer among them, he immediately fixates on the only young, attractive woman among the guests as the prime suspect. He's also not too fond of the older woman remaining, either…
  • Gender Flip: In the 2017 Japanese TV adaptation, Dr. Armstrong becomes a female (named Dr. Erika Konami) and is given penchant for fishing. Dr. Armstrong is also sometimes performed by an actress in the play adaption to balance out the female to male ratio somewhat.
  • Large Ham: In the 2015 BBC version, he's prone to shrill flippancy and rashness, especially in one scene where he discovers a body.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His nervousness and abstinence from drinking are in response to his guilt over causing the death of a patient.
  • Pet the Dog:
  • Recovered Addict: A recovering alcoholic.
  • Red Herring Mole: As the novel goes on, the remaining characters begin to suspect he is the killer after his mysterious disappearance, only for it to turn out that he became an unwitting accomplice in the judge's plan and ended up getting murdered by the judge himself.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In the BBC version, he mentions serving in the army medical corps during WWI. He's also a recovering alcoholic, and later, when everyone's partying, he expresses familiarity with cocaine, which he says he would use to stay awake in the army. While he's high, he keeps going on about all the bodies and maimings he saw, and all the amputations he had to do, all in a dissonantly cheerful tone.
  • The Teetotaler: Since he's a recovering alcoholic.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He makes the fatal mistake of trusting the judge and helping him fake his death, and the judge kills him as well. Justified, as he strongly believes in social class and respectability and thus is convinced that someone as respectable as the judge could not possibly be a killer.
  • Unwitting Pawn: If only he knew whom he was trusting…

    William Henry Blore 

Portrayed By: Roland Young (1945), Stanley Holloway (1965), Gert Froebe (1974), Aleksei Zharkov (1987), Warren Berlinger (1989), Burn Gorman (2015)

A former policeman who tends to be a bit too bold for his own good. He is accused of being on a crime syndicate's payroll and causing the death of an innocent man named James Landor by planting false evidence and landing him in prison, which caused him to die of untreated tuberculosis in jail. In the game, this is anted up to give him a more personal connection to the character the player controls when it's revealed that he also framed the character's brother to take the heat off himself.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the 2015 version he comes to show genuine guilt over what he did, culminating in a teary confession, while in the novel he mostly regrets not getting proper compensation for framing Landor.
    Perhaps we're dead already and we just don't realise it. And this is hell. We're in hell, and we're being punished for what we done. Because I did kill him - Landor. I stomped him until he was pulp. His own mother couldn't see him, couldn't say goodbye! I murdered him, alright. He was helpless and I didn't stop. He must've been so frightened. He was just a young lad.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • In the BBC miniseries, he's portrayed by Burn Gorman, who is younger and leaner than his heavyset, middle-aged novel counterpart.
    • It also applies in the Soviet version, where Aleksei Zharkov, the actor portraying him, was barely in his forties.
  • Adaptational Heroism: See Adaptational Angst Upgrade above.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the 2015 version, he is shown beating a young man, arrested for cottaging, gorily to death in a police cell for no other reason but homophobia.
    • In the game, he also framed the protagonist's brother when people began to suspect him of being an inside man for the Purcell gang.
  • Catchphrase: "I get it!" in the 1945 film version, and when it seems as though he really does get it, he gets it — on the head from a marble clock.
  • Character Exaggeration: The Hollywood adaptations tend to take his basic characteristic of being too bold for his own good and make him Too Dumb to Live.
  • Dirty Cop: "A bad hat", as Assistant Commissioner Legge puts it. The 1989 adaptation takes this to a whole new level — not only is he Too Dumb to Live, he is also paranoid bordering on Ax-Crazy. After discovering the body of the General, he actually tries to shoot Lombard.
  • Dumb Muscle: It's frequently mentioned how he lacks imagination and gets nervous at the face of abstract, unseen threats such as U.N. Owen, but is fearless and determined when faced with concrete, visible problems. He's also described as being equally physically strong as Lombard, making them foils.
  • Enemy Mine: Reluctantly works with Patrick in the game in order to save their lives.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the 2015 version, his guilt and fear eventually cause a complete emotional breakdown.
  • In-Series Nickname: Lombard calls him "Tubs" in the 2015 version, to his constant annoyance.
  • Old-Fashioned Copper: He predates the milieu associated with the trope (Britain in the 1970s), but he could be considered a precursor of it.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the BBC miniseries, he's quite prone to this, much to Emily Brent's dismay.

    Emily Caroline Brent 

Portrayed By: Judith Anderson (1945), Daliah Lavi (1965, as Ilona Bergen), Stéphane Audran (1974, as Ilona Morgan), Lyudmila Maksakova (1987), Brenda Vaccaro (1989, as Marion Marshall), Miranda Richardson (2015)

A staunchly religious spinster who takes a cold, unforgiving attitude towards anyone who, in her eyes, is a sinner. She is accused of driving her pregnant servant girl, Beatrice Taylor, to suicide after throwing her out of her household.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the 2015 adaptation, she's more upset than in the book: she gives a prayer to God when Anthony dies, where in the book she's the one who finds the general's corpse and seems more worried when one of her wool balls are stolen.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Her character is completely rewritten in all but one Hollywood adaptations, from an elderly spinster to an attractive movie star.
    • To a lesser extent in the Soviet version, but still – she is played by the very good-looking, then-47-year-old Lyudmila Maksakova, who was famous for roles such as Rosalinde.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the game, she is the murderer — Gabrielle Steele, who killed the real Emily Brent.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: In the game, Gabrielle Steele killed the real Emily Brent and impersonates her on the island.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In the BBC adaptation, after hallucinating about Beatrice, she's overwhelmed by guilt and loses her sanctimonious behavior, somberly accepting the fact that Owen wants to murder everyone on the island.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In one instance, she voices a sentiment of racial equality, taking issue with downplaying Lombard's evil deed because his victims were "natives". She's also disgusted by Marston's crime.
    • In the game, Gabrielle Steele expresses particular disdain for Brent, calling her a "hateful old hag".
  • Evil Counterpart: Not to another guest, but still to another Christie's character — Miss Marple. Both are elderly spinsters who like to knit, but Miss Marple is compassionate and never lets religion hinder her empathy, while Emily Brent is devoted to her principles to the point that she feels no sympathy for anyone who doesn't live up to her standards. Also, Miss Marple is always caring with her maids, while Miss Brent's harshness eventually led her maid to suicide.
  • Evil Redhead: In the 1989 adaptation and in the BBC miniseries.
  • The Fundamentalist: She has a strict and insufferable religiosity that seems to permeate her whole life. For instance, when questioning what it was that Dr. Armstrong did to be accused of murder, she immediately suggests that he had performed an "illegal operation", a euphemism for an abortion.
  • Gambit Roulette: She attempts this in the game and fails, thanks to one, tiny event she did not foresee: Patrick Narracott being stranded on the island.
  • Holier Than Thou: She looks down on anyone who doesn't meet her insanely strict religious standards.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: At the end of the game. To explain it would be a bit...complex...
  • Irony: In the novel, she is being psychologically tortured by Wargrave, as are the rest of the guests. In the game, she's doing this to Wargrave, flipping the tables entirely.
  • Love Makes You Evil: A trope used in some adaptations, notably the game, where she's the murderer with her motive being to torture Wargrave by making him watch others die and being powerless to stop it because he sentenced her lover to death, and the BBC miniseries, where she's implied to have had feelings for her maid and to have thrown her out due to jealousy.
  • Obliviously Evil: At least in the book, where her judgment is so clouded by her principles that she is unable to understand why U.N. Owen should punish her as well. Although she knows you don't talk about that publicly as she tells Vera she knew the others would consider firing a pregnant woman and showing no guilt over her suicide poor taste.
  • Pet the Dog: In the 2015 adaptation, she extends some sympathy towards Mrs. Rogers, although this is mainly due to the latter's ability as a cook. She also disapproves of Lombard's nonchalance toward the people he left to die.
  • Principles Zealot: To the point she didn't feel remorse or sadness when Beatrice Taylor killed herself since the latter was, in Miss Brent's eyes, guilty of two sins.
  • Psycho Lesbian: In the 1989 adaptation, and implied in the 2015 BBC miniseries. In the 2017 Japanese TV miniseries, she even goes as far as to propose to Beatrice by putting a ring on her finger (Given that the Japan version is set in current times, this would seem appropriate with modern values.)
  • Sanity Slippage: She starts having nightmares and hallucinations about Beatrice.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • She hates, hates bees and wasps (in adaptations — in the novel she mentions quite enjoying honey and never brings up bees). And of course, U.N. Owen uses it to his advantage.
    • In the game, she states she's allergic to bees.

    Vera Elizabeth Claythorne 

Portrayed By: June Duprez (1945), Shirley Eaton (1965, as Ann Clyde), Elke Sommer (1974, as Vera Clyde), Tatyana Drubich (1987), Sarah Maur Thorp (1989), Maeve Dermody (2015)

A young former governess, now gym teacher and secretary. She is accused of causing the death of her young charge, Cyril Hamilton, by allowing him to swim out to sea and drown, which she vehemently denies.

  • Adaptational Heroism: She really didn't cause Cyril's death in the 1945 movie, the play or the game. In the first two, her sister was the one who did it. In the game, Hugo was the one who set Cyril up to die and Vera lied to protect him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: She's much more frigid and cruel in the BBC adaptation than she appeared to be in the original novel. In the book, she is wracked with guilt and slowly begins losing her mind as she comes to terms with what she has done, but in the miniseries it is strongly implied to all be an act of a vicious fully-blown sociopath. Also, little Cyril's death at sea is now shown to be a cold and calculated murder, while in the book it was implied to be a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion.
  • All for Nothing: She let Cyril, a child in her care to swim out to sea and drown so her lover, Hugo (who was Cyril's uncle), could inherit his estate and marry her. However, Hugo realized that Vera caused Cyril's death on purpose, and left her in horror.
  • Asshole Victim: In the BBC adaptation, she's left to die by Wargrave after she hastily tries to bargain with him by having them throw Lombard (who she supposedly cared for) under the bus for all the other murders on the island, and also due to her Adaptational Villainy she's a lot less sympathetic than in the novel.
  • Ax-Crazy: What she eventually becomes by the end.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vera is perceived by the other guests to be very sweet, but she ends up snapping in one of the worst ways possible at the end. She is also considered the worst guest by the murderer, which is why he keeps her for last.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She stole Lombard's revolver by faking concern over Armstrong's decency in death; not to mention the crime she's accused of, which she carried out after gaining the trust of a young boy and his family.
  • Break the Cutie: So very much. This becomes even worse in the Russian film adaptation as in addition to the mental rape she undergoes, she is also actually raped by Lombard.
  • Cute and Psycho: A gentle, sweet, naive girl who caused the death of her lover's nephew, who was her charge, by letting him drown in the sea so her lover could inherit the family state and marry her. She only gets crazier as the story goes on.
  • Dirty Coward: In the BBC version, she pathetically begs Wargrave for her life and tries to bargain with him in any way she can to convince him to spare her. It doesn't work.
  • Driven to Suicide: Vera finally reaches the breaking point at the end, where she is faced with the choice to hang herself and does so.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In the two faithful adaptations.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Emily Brent gloats about how she drove her "sinful" maid to kill herself, Vera is very unnerved.
  • Final Girl: Subverted. She's the last victim left standing, but is Driven to Suicide anyway. In the play, however, she's rescued just in time.
    • Arguably, she's the Trope Maker. Lampshaded by the murderer in the play. "It's always more fun if the last victim is a girl!"
      • In many ways she's the worst out of all of them.
  • Haunted Heroine: Former governess, apparently a normal, sweet young woman, whose neuroses bubble up to the surface as uncanny events pop up. But subverted in that she did deliberately cause the death of her charge, and she ends up snapping completely in the end. Though part of her 'haunting' may be the fact that killing Cyril ended up being All for Nothing when Hugo realized what she had done and dumped her.
  • Ironic Name: Vera can mean "truth" in Latin. Vera, as it turns out, is one of the most duplicitous characters in the story.
  • Karmic Death: In the original book and adaptations where she is a murderer, she asphyxiates just like the little boy she allowed to drown. It's more so in the 2015 BBC series, where as she gave Cyril false hope he could make it to the rock, Wargrave gives her false hope that he'll spare her.
  • Kick the Dog: In the BBC version, she offers to Wargrave to help him frame Philip (after she took him as a lover then shot him to death in a fit of paranoia) for the murders, all to save her own hide. Wargrave isn't impressed.
  • Lack of Empathy: Vera allows Cyril to drown, utterly failing to understand the effect that would have on Hugo, and also that he would clearly see right through her.
  • Love Hurts: She caused the death of her pupil Cyril so his uncle/her lover could inherit the family fortune, which drove said lover into alcoholism. Vera is constantly tormented by memories of the ordeal.
  • Love Makes You Evil: She allowed a child in her care to swim out to sea and drown so her lover, who also happened to be the child's uncle, could inherit his estate and marry Vera for love, something unlikely when he didn't have a penny.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Because Vera is the youngest (hence most attractive) guest, she gets subjected to Fanservice quite a lot in the Harry Alan Towers adaptations. And then this is deconstructed in the Russian film version...
  • Naïve Everygirl: Very much so in the play, viciously deconstructed in the novel.
  • Not So Different: In the BBC version, the killer seems to recognize this about Vera. Wargrave realizes she's just as sociopathic as he is, but whereas he is guided by Moral Sociopathy to punish the guilty, Vera is a calculating Yandere who only truly values herself.
  • The Ophelia: As time passes.
  • Proper Lady: Mercilessly deconstructed.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the book and in the faithful adaptations, she progressively becomes more paranoid and nervous, which culminates in her breaking down at the sight of the noose in her room and hanging herself.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Deconstructed in that the killer exploits this as part of their end game.
  • The Sociopath: She's heavily implied to be this in the BBC adaptation. While she's still distressed, it seems to be more out of fear for her own safety or of her crime being found out rather than out of actual guilt. She isn't particularly fazed by the deaths happening around her, and empties the gun on Lombard instead of shooting him once as in the book, proving to be much colder than expected. While her decision to hang herself seems to be done out of guilt, she changes her mind as soon as she sees Wargrave entering the room, and tries to bargain for her life.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Play and Hollywood adaptations. Depending on what you do in the last chapter of the game, you can either play this straight, or subvert it.
  • Unwitting Pawn: After finding Armstrong's dead body, she shoots Lombard, believing him to be Owen and her to be the only guest left alive. As it turns out, Owen had staged the showdown so that she would get rid of Lombard.
  • Villain Protagonist: She's the closest thing to a main character we have as she outlives all the other guests, except for U.N. Owen, but is far from heroic. In several of the adaptations, she's just The Hero outright.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She's accused of letting a child drown so that his uncle could become rich and marry her. This is revealed to be true in the novel and the BBC adaptation, but subverted in the 1945 film, the play and the game.
  • Yandere: In the book, turns out that she did cause Cyril Hamilton's death so his uncle Hugo, who was her lover, could inherit the child's estate. Not quite as much in the Russian film adaptation, but a single flashback showing her coldly watching Cyril die after Hugo explains why he can't marry her is all it takes to seal it.

    Philip Lombard 

Portrayed By: Louis Hayward (1945), Hugh O'Brien (1965, as Hugh Lombard), Oliver Reed (1974, as Hugh Lombard), Aleksandr Kaydanovsky (1987), Frank Stallone (1989), Aidan Turner (2015)

A cool-headed and intelligent man, once a mercenary having seen various parts of the world. He is accused of leaving twenty-one men from an African tribe to starve and freely admits to it.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: His appearance in the book, while still charming, is described as feral and subtly menacing, while in the various American film adaptations he's portrayed by more conventionally attractive actors. His portrayal in the Russian version is closer to that in the book. The BBC miniseries takes this trope Up to Eleven, with him played by Aidan Turner.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In the BBC adaptation, he tries to reason with Vera when she's aiming the gun at him, rather than simply charging at her. It doesn't work anyway. He also tries to convince her that there's someone spying on them, which turns out to be true.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the Russian version, he rapes Vera.
    • In the book, he abandons the tribesmen to starve to death while they were lost, but did not directly kill them. In the 2015 version, he actively murdered the 21 Africans and burned their village in pursuit of securing a diamond mine. Subverted. He went to get help and didn’t come back in time. He just made the story up just so he could see everyone’s reaction to his confession.
  • Animal Motifs: He's often compared to predatory animals. Wolves and large cats are a recurring theme when it comes to describing his appearance and behavior.
  • At Least I Admit It: He's the only guest who admits upfront to his crime and in the 2015 BBC adaptation, he points out that at least he's willing to own up to what he did instead of lying about or hiding it like everyone else.
  • Black Comedy: He loves bringing up the foreboding poem at the worst possible moments.
  • Cold Ham: In the BBC miniseries, while keeping his typical coldness, he doesn't mind dropping​ some dramatic lines here and there.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: A plot twist in the many Hollywood versions and game turns him into Charles Morley, a friend of Lombard's impersonating him on the island after the latter's mysterious death.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: In the game if you choose not to save him at the end. Even if he lives, however, Vera will still end up with Patrick (assuming she's saved, too).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He definitely has a chivalrous streak in the novel and Wouldn't Hit a Girl although since he got killed because of it, it could also be considered Death By Sexism. This is subverted in the Russian version, however; he comes across this way at first, or at least a bit protective of Vera. Turns out he had other ideas.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: What he is the Hollywood versions, although this can be attested to the character not really being Lombard. Novel!Lombard is more like a evil version of the trope.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the game, or more specifically in the game's best end, he lets Vera go with Patrick with the instruction to take care of her.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the play, Vera gets so anxious that she steals his gun and shoots him, but he lives to save her life a minute later.
    "Good thing women can't shoot."
  • Only Sane Man: He's probably the most clear-headed person on the island. Special attention is drawn to this in the BBC version. Justified since he is a mercenary, is armed and has zero guilt over what he did.
    Vera: We'll say that it was Philip, that he was mad…
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Besides his crime of course, it's kind of interesting that while the newer version of the novel replaced the racist earlier title, Lombard's anti-Semitic and racist sentiments are left intact, and while his chivalry is a redeeming quality, he also displays it in a sexist way.
  • The Social Darwinist: He freely admits to having left twenty-one African men to starve to death, and is well-known for participating in quasi-legal activities. His justification is, "self-preservation is a man's first duty." However, this ultimately becomes his own undoing during the showdown between himself and Vera Claythorne at the end.
  • The Sociopath: He lacks remorse, hides a dangerous nature behind a superficial charm, cares only about himself and works outside the law. He is somewhat protective of Vera, but even this trait is rather ambiguous. The Soviet version cements his status as a sociopath by having him rape an already unstable Vera after gaining her trust.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The play and Hollywood adaptations (assuming one refers to the person that arrives on the island, since the Dead Person Impersonation adaptations of course has the real Philip Lombard already be dead before any of the guests arrived on the island). Depending on what you do in the next-to-last chapter of the game, you can either play this straight, or subvert it.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's frequently described as somewhat young, well-built and good-looking.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: In the stage version, Lombard actually didn't leave his men to die but tried to save them in every way he could. However, the rumor spread that he had abandoned them, and eventually he got so tired of denying it that he decided to play along.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Played straight between him and Vera with disastrous results in the novel, ending in his death.

    General John Macarthur 

Portrayed By: Sir C. Aubrey Smith (1945, as General John Mandrake), Leo Genn (1965, as General John Mandrake), Adolfo Celi (1974, as General André Salvé), Mikhail Gluzsky (1987), Herbert Lom (1989, as General Romensky), Sam Neill (2015)

A retired World War I general. He is accused of causing the death of Arthur Richmond, his wife Leslie's lover by sending him on a mission that guarantees him dead.

  • Adaptation Name Change: His surname is sometimes changed in post-WWII versions, to avoid Name's the Same confusion with the real General Douglas MacArthur.
  • All for Nothing: His wife died shortly after the war, making his crime entirely fruitless.
  • Anti-Villain: He committed a crime of passion and was never the same again. Especially after his wife's death, he felt himself dead on the inside.
  • Cassandra Truth: He predicts none of the guests will be leaving the island alive, but his ranting is first dismissed to him just being older and thus, more likely to be off his rocker.
  • Death Seeker: Because of his deep guilt over his actions, he takes on a fatalistic attitude toward the certainty of the guests being killed and seems to welcome death. In a later Canadian novel adaptation, he was spared because of this. He then admits to the police that he killed the other nine people so they can hang him, but he can't explain the story.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He is already riddled with guilt at the start of the novel, but he basically gives up soon after it becomes clear there's a murderer on the island, taking to long walks by himself where he ends up staring into the distance by the ocean waiting for death.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He did commit one of the nastiest military crimes, but even then he was genuinely disgusted with Lombard's act, abandoning his own men to their deaths, which implies that he believed in some level in the responsibility of a commander towards his underlings.
  • May–December Romance: Implied among him and Leslie, which explains why she ultimately turned to a much younger man.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He couldn't bear to hear any reminders of what he did.
  • Nice Guy: He's actually a very nice and accommodating person, if a bit air-headed in his old age. His crime was done on impulse and it's haunted him every single day since.
  • Not Afraid to Die: He is so consumed by guilt that he actually welcomes his impending fate. Owen rewards him with a quick and painless death.
  • Sanity Slippage: After his past is brought up, he falls into a deep depression and isolates himself from the other guests.
  • Uriah Gambit: His method of doing away with his wife's lover, in a neat inversion. He stays away from church whenever the passage about David and Uriah is to be read.

    Anthony James Marston 

Portrayed By: Mischa Auer (1945, as Prince Nikita Starloff), Fabian (1965, as Mike Raven), Charles Aznavour (1974, as Michel Raven), Aleksandr Abdulov (1987), Neil McCarthy (1989), Douglas Booth (2015)

A spoiled, vain youth with little concern for others. He is accused of causing the death of two young children, John and Lucy Combes, by accidentally running them over.

  • Adaptational Intelligence: In the 2017 Japanese miniseries, Antony Marston (named Gomyo Taku) is now an ex-boxer turned mystery crime writer. He is the first one to deduce the anagram of Mr. Owen's name sounding like Unknown even before the record is played. Of course, it still doesn't save him.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the 1945 film, to Nikita "Nicky" Starloff.
  • Brainless Beauty: He's very handsome, and is described in the novel as being godlike in his beauty, but he's also vain, vapid, and only interested in partying.
  • Drives Like Crazy: He's a very reckless driver, and has accidentally killed two children with his careless driving. At the start of the story, he almost drove Armstrong into a ditch when he was speeding on the road he shared with the doctor.
  • Foil: To Lombard. Both are young, attractive and with a clear lack of empathy that manifests when they both admit their crimes shortly after the accusations are brought up. Lombard is much more conscious of his own nature and recognizes the moral and social implications of his crime but doesn't care, while Marston doesn't even seem to grasp them.
  • It's All About Me: The only thing that he worries about running over two young children is that he had his license taken away for six months.
  • Jerkass: He pins on others the blame of his own dangerousness and shows no remorse for what he has done. The films take a step forward, making him shrug off Emily Brent's reaction with a laconic "We live in the age of speed" (as in the Russian version) or belittling the sacrifices done by his country in the Great War, and even praising German roads in a period of absolute tension with the Third Reich (as in the BBC version).
  • Lack of Empathy: He regards running over two kids as unlucky for him, because his license was suspended, and feels no guilt about it. U.N. Owen characterizes him as essentially an animal and kills him first since he has no morals or empathy to speak of, Marston is the most "innocent". Owen can't terrorize him or make him face his guilt; he opts to put him down quickly instead.
  • Large Ham: Every actor who has portrayed his equivalent in the Hollywood adaptations. They all make sure his death scene is the most exciting thing to watch in the whole film.
  • Obliviously Evil: He is unable to realize the gravity of his crime.
  • Pretty Boy: Tall, young and attractive. The only exceptions are the 1945 and 1974 film, where his character is changed quite radically.
  • Ship Tease: In the Russian adaptation, he flirts and dances with Vera and stares at her at dinner. Considering that the actor specialized in Prince Charming parts, some viewers unfamiliar with canon got the wrong idea of what the plot would be like.
  • The Sociopath: He shows many traits of low-functioning sociopathy, including recklessness, disregard for rules, inability to learn from past errors and lack of remorse. It's this sociopathy that marks him as the first to die on the island, as Wargrave reasons he's incapable of feeling remorse for his actions, and therefore wouldn't appreciate the psychological torment the other guests will endure.
  • Spoiled Brat: A rich asshole who doesn't give a rat's ass for anyone else's life.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Owen's message was first played, Marston gladly embraces the mystery, believing this to be an amusing game that would bring life to the otherwise dull party. He is almost immediately killed afterwards.

    Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Ethel Rogers 

Portrayed By: Richard Haydn and Queenie Leonard (1945), Mario Adorf and Marianne Hoppe (1965, as Josef and Elsa Grohmann), Alberto De Mendoza and Maria Rohm (1974, as Otto and Elsa Martino), Aleksei Zolotnitsky and Irina Tereshchenko (1987), Paul L. Smith and Moira Lister (1989, as Elmo and Edna Mae Rodgers), Noah Taylor and Anna Maxwell Martin (2015)

The butler and maid who accomodate the other guests. They are accused of causing the death of their former employer, a rich spinster named Jennifer Brady, by withholding a vital drug so that she would die and they could inherit her money.

  • Adaptational Heroism: The fact that Rogers mentally abused his wife is omitted in the Soviet adaptation. Which makes it the opposite trope for Mrs. Rogers, who is therefore as guilty of murder as him instead of being under duress.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the 1965 film, Mrs. Grohmann sternly stands up to her husband, although she still breaks down when they are accused.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the BBC miniseries, Rogers smothers Ms. Brady with a pillow. Also, he beats his wife.
  • The Butler Did It: Lampshaded in the game: "Will it ring true this time? Did the butler do it?" In both game and book, he didn't. Unless you count the backstory, where he did do it.
  • Domestic Abuse: Rogers mentally dominated his wife Ethel and essentially forced her into causing the death of Ms. Brady. In the BBC adaptation, he also beats her.
  • Fainting: Mrs. Rogers' reaction when "The Voice" reveals all of the crimes.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Mrs. Rogers feels much more guilt than her husband does and it's implied (or outright shown, as in the BBC adaptation) that her role in the murder was essentially indirect and passive.
  • Not So Stoic: In the Russian version, though he carries on with his duties the morning after his wife's death, he is shown wiping off tears when he is alone.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Mrs. Rogers mostly acted under the influence of and out of fear of her husband.
  • Shrinking Violet: Mrs. Rogers, sorta. Especially after their crime is revealed; ever since then, she seems to be always at the verge of a breakdown. This is mentioned as one of the reasons why she was killed before her husband and given a more or less peaceful death: being poisoned while in her sleep.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Mrs. Rogers dies in her sleep from an overdose of chloral hydrate.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Mr. Rogers continues to do his job even as the corpses start piling up – including that of his wife.

    Judge Lawrence John Wargrave 

Portrayed By: Barry Fitzgerald (1945, as Judge Francis J. Quinncannon), Wilfrid Hyde White (1965, as Judge Arthur Cannon), Richard Attenborough (1974, as Judge Arthur Cannon), Vladimir Zeldin (1987), Donald Pleasence (1989), Charles Dance (2015)

A retired hanging judge with a no-nonsense attitude. He is accused of deliberately sentencing an innocent man, Edward Seton, to hang.

  • Acquitted Too Late: Trope Namer.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Most adaptations make him even worse than he was in the book, by either having him try to torment the victims as they're dying or being willing to kill innocent people.
  • Affably Evil: Especially in the film adaptations, where he's more polite than his stern book counterpart, despite his alleged crime.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Even without considering the crime he's accused of, he's an infamous black cap judge. However, it turns out that Seton was guilty.
  • Black Cap of Death: He has gained a Hanging Judge fame, so this trope is mentioned. In the BBC miniseries, we see him wearing one in a flashback about Edward Seton's process.
  • Creepy Child: He refers to himself as such when recounting his childhood, as he was fascinated with death and murder ever since he was a kid.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • His Never Hurt an Innocent creed is Not an Act. Edward Seton was guilty and Wargrave had evidence that proved him as such. Wargrave also took precautions to verify his suspicions that everyone on the island was guilty of their accused crimes, in the book at least.
    • Yes he is willing to overrun due process to have someone hanged and yes he admits part of it is because he simply is fascinated by murders but he simply can't stand Karma Houdinis.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: A particularly brilliant example; Wargrave sends himself a Forged Letter from a friend of his and makes sure that he is on the list of the accused. While Lombard accurately measures his character as enjoying power, no one considers that Edward Seton was guilty and the Judge didn't murder him.
  • Hanging Judge: He is infamous for being a "hanging judge" for his frequent death sentencing. However, he only convicts those who really are guilty, as he couldn't bring himself to murder innocents due to his strong sense of justice.
  • Kick the Dog: He's not the only unrepentant one on the island, but one of his viewpoint passages shows him outright gleefully reminiscing about turning the jury against Seton. Subverted when it turns out that Seton did do it, making it a Kick the Son of a Bitch.
    The shrunken lips fell in. It was a cruel mouth now, cruel and predatory.
    Hooding his eyes, the judge smiled to himself.
    He’d cooked Seton’s goose all right!
  • Mask of Sanity: A calm rational person in public.
  • Meaningful Name: A surname composed of "war" and "grave" really suits a Hanging Judge. It still applies with the Adaptation Name Change, since the surname is changed to Cannon (or Quinncannon), which is very similar to "canon" (or "Queen's canon").
  • Obfuscating Disability: Not in canon, but a popular trope for productions of the play is to have him introduced either using a wheelchair or walking with a cane. And then turns out he doesn't need them.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted. He is the most level-headed out of all the characters, aside from possibly Lombard, but he's a sadistic killer.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Has a very strong sense of justice, which drove him to his liberal use of the death sentence to people he believes to be guilty.
  • Pet the Dog: In the BBC adaptation, he's very sympathetic to Vera and even talks her out of trying to leave the island by swimming, which would surely result in her drowning.
    • Subverted later, with the reveal that he's the killer and feels the most contempt for Vera. He was more likely concerned she'd spoil his plans if she died too early or succeeded in reaching the mainland.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted. He comes across as being an intelligent, cultured man, until you learned he sentenced an innocent man to die. Double Subverted, when it turns he was a actually a very fair judge, who always wanted to be sure he was punishing guilty people. Considering his murderous insanity, this is more shocking.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: As a Hanging Judge, he used to wear the typical red cape and Black Cap of Death. Owen also mimics his judicial attire with a red curtain and a black kerchief when his corpse shows up
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Utterly unflappable on the outside, his inner monologues reveal him to be basically a giggling maniac.
  • Vigilante Man: Although he lacks the physical prowess typical of the trope, he embodies the idea all the same: kill people who have escaped legal justice.


Walking Spoilers

All spoilers will be unmarked. Proceed accordingly, should you wish.

    U.N. Owen 
Otherwise known as Lawrence John Wargrave. All tropes related to The Reveal are listed here.

  • Acquitted Too Late: Deliberately invoked by him as part of his plan. He keeps saying, "Acquitted too late!" every time someone dies, reinforcing in the others' minds the obvious idea that once someone dies, they're no longer a suspect. So when he later fakes his own death, the remaining survivors no longer suspect him.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the 1945 film, to Francis Quinncannon.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the game, where he's NOT the murderer and really did want Armstrong to help him catch the killer. (See Gabrielle below)
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • On the other hand, in several movies and the play, he tries to kill at least 2 innocent people, sometimes knowingly. This is pretty out of character compared to his novel character.
    • In the BBC version, he comes to taunt Vera while she's hanging herself, explaining his motivations while she slowly suffocates. It isn't just to verify that she did kill Cyril; he has a sadistic smile on his face during the whole thing as she begs for her life. Unlike in the book where he lets her hang herself, here he deliberately pulls the chair away and leaves her to die.
  • Affably Evil: Wargrave is pretty polite considering he's a murderer. He's also U.N. Owen, of course. In the Alan Towers adaptations, he's quite avuncular to Vera as he explains his plan to her, and even recommends her to hang herself as she's alone, since public executions are rather humiliating.
  • All Part of the Show: He told the nearby locals and Fred that the island residents were going to be playing a game and to not respond to distress signals. It turns out that Fred didn't buy it, but by the time he arrived, everyone was dead on the island.
  • Ambiguously Evil: If fighting evil with evil doesn't qualify for ambiguous it is hard to think what does.
  • And Then What?: He does consider the possibility that the police will uncover him as the murderer by spotting the clues. Owen is actually fine with that.
  • Ax-Crazy: Lampshaded by himself in the final note.
    • Up to Eleven in the play, where he's a screaming lunatic that tries to kill Vera himself.
  • Born Lucky: In the book. Once you know the full extent of his plans and the circumstances around them, you realize that he was very lucky that the things turned out the way they did. One of the biggest instances would be the fact that the bad weather prevented Narracott from coming back before it was too late. He did use the excuse that it was a social "experiment" to dissuade the villagers from coming. But we later learn that Fred Narracott wanted to bypass these orders as soon as he saw the first distress calls, but couldn't because of the storm. Had he been able to sail, most of the murders could have been prevented.
  • The Chessmaster: He organises the death of nine others, using a precise method and order to correspond to a poem. In doing so he deliberately creates an unsolvable mystery, which is only illuminated with his confession.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The most obvious clue that he is Owen is that the latter is motivated by a twisted form of justice, which matches well with a judge. All the murders by the other characters were due to greed, spite or carelessness.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the end, he commits suicide in such a way as to match the details of his 'murder'.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He is disgusted on finding out that Blore was a Dirty Cop and Armstrong killed a woman by operating on her while drunk. Mr. Owen thinks that authority figures ought to behave better.
    • Wargrave assures the reader of his message that he made sure to verify that everyone on the island was guilty, in the book at least.
    • It's implied that he left Vera and Lombard for last because their crimes were the worst. Lombard's was bad in that he killed multiple people, and Vera was the only one responsible for a child's death. Wargrave recounts that he was horrified how Hugo was in a broken state and that Vera did that to him.
    • In the BBC adaption, he is rather unimpressed when Vera offers to help him frame Philip for the murders when his body's not even cold yet. Not to mention that she confirms that she did kill Cyril, an innocent child, to assist Hugo. Also he's a killer that kills killers, so...
  • Evil Gloating: A rare case where it doesn't nail him, except in most adaptations.
    • In the book, after he assures himself that everyone is dead, he writes up his summation of the murders, puts it in a bottle, and tosses it into a sea. By the time a fisherman finds the bottle, it's long after the plot has been enacted.
    • In the 2015 BBC adaptation, he explains to Vera about his motivations as she's slowly suffocating and begging for her life. She's in no position to escape and he kills her.
  • Faking the Dead: He appears to be the fifth victim, but his first death was faked. He did, however, commit suicide after everything was done, and the police wound up finding 10 dead bodies on the island.
  • Gambit Roulette: Works ridiculously well in the book, but fails in the Hollywood adaptations.
  • Knight Templar: In the book his stern vision of justice is just as much the motive behind the murders on the island.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: In the book and 2015 BBC miniseries, he confirms that he made sure all of the victims on the island were guilty of their crimes. He spares Fred Narracott, who was in innocent, and in fact orders him not to return to the island.
  • Not So Different: Two instances in the 2015 BBC miniseries:
    • Seton smiled at Wargrave during his hanging because he knew that Wargrave, like him, was a sociopath who had delighted in reading his accounts of how he had murdered others and would implicitly go on to use these accounts as inspiration for planning his own murders.
    • Additionally, Wargrave telling Vera that she's his "favourite" can be interpreted as an admission that she, like him, is a Manipulative Bastard who conceals her Ax Craziness underneath a kindly facade.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Fakeout: In the 2015 series, he calmly says, "It's all spoiled" in a petulant tone when Vera says that Lombard's gun is out of bullets. He then waits for Vera to beg for her life and to reveal she did kill Cyril. Cue him pulling the chair away so that she hangs, and revealing he pocketed the bullet that supposedly killed him.
  • Pet the Dog: He gives Mrs. Rogers and General Macarthur quick, painless deaths on the grounds that they suffered enough for their crimes.
  • Poetic Serial Killer: He invited nine people who had committed some offense to an isolated island and killed them in order of (in his mind) least guilty to most guilty.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: He's essentially a proto-Dexter — a guy who realizes he's a psycho and chooses to restrict his victims to those who truly deserve it.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: In the 2015 series. He never raises his tone once when monologuing to Vera about his motivation.
  • Thanatos Gambit: His very last victim… is himself, since he's fatally ill and wants to leave the world of the living right after the last victim dies.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is terrified of him, especially not knowing his identity.
  • Theme Serial Killer: The deaths of his victims were patterned after the "Ten Little Indians" rhyme.
  • Walking Spoiler: Because he's the killer.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: He's terminally ill and decides to leave the world taking some unpunished criminals with him.
  • You Will Be Spared: In the book and most adaptations, he leaves Fred Narracott out of the machinations and orders him not to return to the island. This saves Fred's life.

    Gabrielle Steel 


    Fred and Patrick Narracott 
Fred is the man who brings the victims to the island in the novel, and who later returns and finds the bodies. It is mentioned in the novel that he has a brother, and, as Patrick, the brother has a major role in the game.

  • Ascended Extra: Patrick is only mentioned in the novel, but has a much larger role in the game.
  • Captain Obvious: If you click on certain items, Patrick will comment on them by stating the obvious: "It's a painting of an albatross" says he of... a painting of an albatross.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the epilogue, it's mentioned that Fred came back to the island when he realized something's wrong. In the game Patrick gets stranded on the island as well.
  • Clear Their Name: Patrick is attempting to clear his brother's name by exposing Blore's lies and landing him in prison. Of course, he never gets the chance to do so because Blore gets killed anyway. Though if you save either Lombard or Vera, they corroborate Blore's earlier confession
  • Rivals Team Up: But this doesn't stop them from occasionally teaming up or confiding clues to one another.
  • Sole Survivor: Fred is the only named character to survive the novel, as he has (as far as we know) committed no crimes and is thus not a target of the killer.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In the game, Blore initially believes that Patrick is Fred because of how similar they look.
  • Unwitting Pawn: He isn't on Wargrave's plan.

     Hugo Hamilton 
Hugo was Vera's beau and may have been her fiance if he was wealthy. He was unwilling to marry her while he was poor because he wanted to support her. Unfortunately, that decision had tragic consequences.

  • Adaptational Badass: Book Hugo is a bit of a wimp who suffers a nervous breakdown after Vera gets Cyril killed on purpose. In the 2015 series, unlike in the book where he disappears and becomes an alcoholic, he confronts Vera with her testimony that weak-lunged Cyril outran and outswam her. Hugo is naive but he is not stupid and he says that if he could prove it, he would make sure Vera went to the gallows.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Wargrave confirms in the book that Hugo was his unwitting informant about Vera's crimes. The BBC version cuts this but hints that Hugo was Wargrave's informant, this time wanting to find a way to get justice for his nephew rather than babbling about it while drunk. There is his talk about how he wants to see Vera hang if he could prove she let Cyril drown.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the game, he murdered Cyril and blamed Vera for it.
  • Be Careful What You Say: He tells Vera he doesn't want to marry her because he has no money, thanks to Cyril being born. He regrets it after Vera murders Cyril so Hugo will inherit his fortune.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Vera mentions him many times and how she lost him after Cyril died. Wargrave in the book reveals that Hugo was his informant, who told him about Vera killing his nephew.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the book. he is Drowning My Sorrows on realizing that he was indirectly responsible for Cyril's death.
  • Papa Wolf: More like Uncle Wolf, but in the 2015 BBC series He breaks up with Vera and bluntly tells her that if he could find the evidence that she killed his nephew, then she would be hanged.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Vera paints him as a naive bachelor in love, and that's why she wanted to marry him. It turns out he's not an idiot; in both the book and the 2015 BBC adaptation, he reveals that he knows what Vera did but can't prove it.
  • Spotting the Thread: He says explicitly in the BBC adaptation that he knows that Cyril was sickly with weak lungs. Thus, he couldn't have outrun or outswam Vera, who was in her prime. It's not enough to prove that Vera committed murder, however, but it's enough for him to break up with her.

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