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Characters / Children of Men

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    Theo Faron
"I can't really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can't remember when anyone else did either."
Played By: Clive Owen

A former activist who was devastated when his child died during a flu pandemic.

  • Action Survivor: He's had no combat experience, and his only real credentials are that he was a protester with Julian. Still, he manages to make it through an active warzone and the Fishes trying to kill him at every turn through pure determination and guile.
  • The Alcoholic: A subtle example. Despite this, he still uses up the last of his alcohol to sterilize his hands before delivering Kee's baby.
  • Agony of the Feet: Played for Drama after Theo loses a sandal due to a scuffle with Syd. He proceeds to cut his foot on some scrap metal, then hops and limps his way through the rest of the journey.
  • Badass Longcoat: In keeping with the realism of the film, Theo's coat is pretty shabby and worn. It's pretty badass though. While Theo undergoes multiple wardrobe changes in the film, for better or for worse, the coat is a constant.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: After Julian's death; his hands are shaking and he can't even light it.
  • The Cynic: He's extremely embittered by the world and his own hardships, as exemplified by his conversation with Jasper.
    Jasper: So, the Human Project is havin' this dinner and all the wisest men in the world are there...
    Theo: Human Project, why do people believe this crap? You know even if these people existed with these facilities in these secret locations, fuck me, that's strong! Even if they discovered the cure for infertility, doesn't matter! Too late. World went to shit. Know what? It was too late before the infertility thing happened, for fuck's sake.
    Jasper: ...I was just tryin' to tell a joke, mate.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is extremely acerbic.
  • Delivery Guy: Theo helps Kee deliver her baby in a rundown building in the middle of a war-torn refugee camp.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Went through it years prior to the film after the death of his son.
  • Does Not Like Guns: A bit more subtle than most, but throughout the film, Theo never once picks up one of the numerous firearms around. Hell, when he kills Syd, he uses a blunt object.
  • Empty Shell: How he gets through the days at the start of the film.
  • Friend to All Living Things: As a Biblical allusion, animals love him and are attracted to him. Lampshaded when he visits the farm and dogs that are said to hate everyone happily come up to him with wagging tails. Not too soon after, a kitten latches itself onto him and crawls up his pant leg.
  • Functional Alcoholic: His mild alcoholism doesn't really impede him in any way. He drinks to dull his pain, not to get drunk.
  • The Hero Dies: Theo takes a bullet during the gunfight with Luke, and right before the Human Project arrives to pick him, Kee, and the baby aboard, he slumps over and goes quiet, with Kee not being able to wake him.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Used to be married to Julian before their young son died.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He makes damn sure that Kee gets to the Human Project, surviving numerous assassination attempts, crossing an active warzone alone, and even taking a fatal bullet to save her and baby Dylan.
  • Improvised Weaponry: While he, Kee, and Marichka are fleeing from Syd, Theo pauses outside the iron door that's holding Syd back, and when he manages to break it down, Theo grabs a car battery off the hand and gives him a good knock in the head with it to kill him.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Theo is a bitter, alcoholic cynic but he ultimately has a good heart and will do the right thing.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His and Julian's young son Dylan died during the flu pandemic.
  • Perma-Stubble: He sports a constant unshaven look.
  • Technical Pacifist: Theo bashes a couple of heads in self-defense (with a car door and car battery, respectively), but not once during the course of the film does he ever pick up a gun from any of the dead guys he passes by.
  • Unlikely Hero: Theo. He begins the movie as an incredibly apathetic bureaucrat, feeling nothing but contempt for the world around him besides his love for a select few, such as Jasper, his wife, and Julian. However, throughout the film, he is shown to be genuinely kindhearted, which distinguishes him from so many post/pre-apocalyptic story protagonists.
  • Working with the Ex: When he agrees to help Julian.

    Julian Taylor
Played By: Julianne Moore

The leader of the Fishes and Theo's estranged wife.

  • Composite Character: In the book, Theo had an ex-wife named Helena and was contacted by a former student of his named Julian, who is involved with a group of rebels that her husband, Rolf, leads. In the movie, all three roles are taken by Julian.
  • Deadpan Snarker: No wonder her and Julian were happily married, since they share the same brand of sarcasm.
  • Dead Star Walking: Probably the biggest name in the film aside from Michael Caine, but she dies early on to help set the plot in motion.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted. She's rather cool and careful, although she's still a Rebel Leader with big plans.
  • Rebel Leader: Of the 'Fishes', a terrorist/rebel group fighting for the right of immigrants.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She dies before the film hits the halfway mark, shot in the neck by Patric.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Her and Theo's young son Dylan died during the flu pandemic. He accuses her of having gotten over it too quickly, which she denies, saying that she lives with it and thinks of their son every day.
  • Working with the Ex: She needs Theo's cousin's connections to transport Kee.

    Jasper Palmer
"Your baby is the miracle the whole world has been waiting for."
Played By: Michael Caine

Theo's aging hippie friend, a former editorial cartoonist who cares for his catatonic wife.

  • Badass Beard: Has a beard.
  • Cool Old Guy: A weed-smoking, long-haired ex-hippie and political cartoonist.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: You wouldn't expect an aging hippie stoner to be as brave as he his.
  • Defiant to the End: He makes jokes to Luke's face, mocking him even after being shot.
  • Erudite Stoner: He's very intelligent.
  • Granola Girl: A male example. He grows weed out in his house in the woods, some of which has different flavors, the one he's most proud of being strawberry.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Stays behind to distract Luke so that Theo, Miriam and Kee can escape. Luke ends up killing him.
  • Hippie Parents: Although not biologically related to Theo, the Palmer's can be seen as this. Jasper is an aging Granola Guy, living in the woods naturally with his wife, growing a new immensely popular variety of pot that has a strawberry flavor. It is implied that he was left without a choice but to withdraw from society after his wife was tortured by the government and became catatonic as a result. Jasper himself had a career as a famous political cartoonist, which also didn't exactly fly under Britain's new authoritarian regime.
  • Nice Guy: Jasper is an all-around awesome person.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: As part of his hippie image, he looks much like an aged John Lennon.
  • Odd Friendship: The fact that he deals pot to Syd, who he openly calls a facist pig as an inside joke, is peculiar.

    Janice Palmer 
Played By: Philippa Urquhart

  • Empty Shell: She ended up a vegetative in a wheelchair after being tortured for questioning the British regime.
  • Intrepid Reporter: She was an award winning photojournalist who bravely questioned the British government's actions towards refugees in her reporting before the events of the film. It resulted in her getting tortured by MI-5 and becoming catatonic.

Played By: Clare-Hope Ashitey

An illegal immigrant and the first pregnant woman in eighteen years.

  • Action Survivor: Her and baby Dylan wind up being the only major characters to make it out to the end of the film.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's pretty snarky.
  • Final Girl: She and baby Dylan wind up being the only ones surviving the escort mission.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is something of a bitch to Theo at first but quickly warms up to him, the two of them being able to joke around and tease each other.
  • Hope Bringer: She and her baby are this for the entire world and Theo in particular, as no one has given birth in nearly 18 years.
  • Living Macguffin: The entire story is basically driven by the attempts of various characters to save or capture her.
  • Meaningful Name: She is the key to humanity's survival.
  • Mundane MacGuffin Person: Theo and Miriam have to try to keep her (and the baby) alive and out of the wrong hands.
  • Pregnant Badass: Her pregnancy is the driving point of the film.

" can it be peaceful when they try to take away your dignity?!"
Played By: Chiwetel Ejiofor

A member of the Fishes and the second-in-command to Julian.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: His last scene could make one feel a little sorry for him.
  • Anti-Villain: He genuinely believes he's doing the right thing for Kee, her baby, the rest of Britain, and presumably humanity.
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of the film.
  • Big Bad Friend: He likely would have never tried to kill Theo if he hadn't found out about his plot.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Seemingly one of the more reasonable characters, he actually orchestrated Julian's death.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mentions near the end that he had a sister who died.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Seems to be loyal to Julian and appears to be genuinely panicked and grief-stricken when she's assassinated, but it's revealed to Theo that he planned for her to get killed so he could use Kee's unborn baby as a symbol for The Fishes and their Uprising. He never believed that the revolution against the totalitarian British government could be peaceful like Julian thought, so he took matters into his own hands.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Even after the reveal, Luke's demeanor doesn't really change.
  • Knight Templar: He truly believes he is doing the right thing.
  • Reality Ensues: There's no big showdown between Luke and Theo; rather, Luke is blown up by a random soldier during the climax.
  • The Starscream: To Julian. He plotted her demise and made it seem like it was a random attack; that is, until Theo overhears him talking about it.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: He is blown up during the firefight with the soldiers immediately after shooting Theo.
  • Walking Spoiler: Look at all the spoiler tags.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As with the rest of the Fishes. They want to eliminate Britain's horrible oppression of refugees. Their solution? Use Kee's newborn baby as a trump card. The Fishes certainly don't object to killing whoever gets in their way including their own leader.
  • You Have Failed Me: Threatens Patric with this and tells him that he won't be allowed to screw up again.

Played By: Pam Ferris

  • Granola Girl: Probably why she gets along well with Jasper. She is very spiritual, practicing what appears to be tai-chi in the forest and performing a laying of hands on Julian's body before covering her with a funeral shroud.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Goads the soldiers into taking her off the bus to be executed, rather than having them discover Kee's pregnancy.
  • The Load: While she means well, she often panics when things become chaotic. She redeems herself with her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Ms. Exposition: She drops occasional Info Dumps for us to fill in the blanks about events leading up to the present situation.
  • Token Good Teammate: When she learns of Luke's treachery, she cannot bring herself to go along.

Played By: Peter Mullan

  • Character Death: Theo smashes his face with a car battery in self-defense.
  • Corrupt Cop: He breaks government protocol by allowing the protagonists to enter Bexhill in exchange for a large amount of Jasper's weed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably one of the funnier characters. In a film like this, it's dark humor indeed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Theo follows Jasper's orders and tells Syd he's a fascist pig as a code word, Syd pulls out a baton and pretends like he's going to beat Theo over the head with it as a "joke". Having just met him, in an abandoned school in the middle of absolute nowhere, where no-one would ever find his body.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Syd makes a passing mention that he loves his mum, though it doesn't come off as sincere as he thinks it might be.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He makes jokes and plays a horrible prank on Theo early on. His idea of what's funny is clearly only funny to him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Syd is a helpful enough guy at first and seems like he might be a good man at heart, but the reality is that he's a craven opportunist, only helping in exchange for Jasper's weed, and attempts to bring in Theo, Kee, and her baby for a reward when he finds out that they're wanted by The Fishes and the British government.
  • Odd Friendship: Though they never appear onscreen together, it's odd that Jasper knows and trusts him, considering Jasper's a Nice Guy and Syd is a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk, although it's possible that he wasn't aware that Syd was that bad of a man.
  • Only in It for the Money: Why he betrays Theo.
  • Third-Person Person: Refers to himself in such a way.
    "Syd doesn't know why they want to get inside the camps. Syd doesn't want to know. Syd doesn't care."
  • Troll: As evidenced in his first encounter with Theo; he plays a terrifyingly sadistic prank on him.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Fits this trope to a T after he betrays Theo for his own profit.
    Jasper: Make sure you call him a 'fascist pig'.

Played By: Oana Pellea

A Romanian lady who acts as Theo and Kee's guide once they're in the camp.

  • Canine Companion: Has a little dog that goes everywhere with her and that she carries through the warzone and gunfire.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: She seems cold and indifferent to Theo and Kee's plight at first. However, once she discovers the baby, she still guides them to safety even though she's not expecting any sort of material reward and the heat surrounding Kee is massive. She attempts to warn them about Syd's true nature through her extremely limited English, and when he turns on them, she beats him with a heavy stick, shouting, "BAD! BAD! BAD!" She ultimately finds them a boat to escape the camp and sends them off, despite Theo imploring her to come along.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Marichka cowers when Syd pulls out a gun and starts firing to intimidate her, Theo, and Kee. But when it becomes clear Syd will likely hurt Kee or her baby before he hands them over to the Fishes, she knocks him down with a 2x4 and whales on him repeatedly, giving them all an opportunity to evade him.
  • The Unintelligible: She speaks in her native tongue and none of it is translated. Most of the dialogue was improvised by the actress.

Played By: Charlie Hunnam

  • Ax-Crazy: He's very eager to kill.
  • Character Death: During the firefight in Bexhill, he gets shot straight in the heart.
  • The Dragon: To Luke.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: He sports impressive blond dreadlocks.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: It's set up like there's going to be a climactic fight between Theo and Patric, but he is shot in the heart before that can happen.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He did love his cousin, and is outraged when Theo kills him in self-defense. See Moral Myopia.
  • Hot-Blooded: His default mode seems to be 'psychotically angry.'
  • Jerkass: Patric is an aggressive, violent jackass with virtually no intelligence and has the impulse control of a toddler.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: A violent idiot with no impulse control and a boatload of moral hypocrisy, that is, with the limited morals he has.
  • Moral Myopia: Patric wants to kill Theo because Theo killed his cousin... who was trying to kill Theo at the time.
  • Number Two for Brains: He's impulsive and stupid and never thinks things through.
  • Psycho for Hire: It's hard to imagine Patric was hired for anything other than his ability to shoot guns indiscriminately.
  • You Have Failed Me: Luke threatens him with this after he massively screws up by coming back to the Fishes' hideout to get first aid for one of his gang-members, thus alerting Theo and allowing him to escape with Kee.

Played By: Danny Huston

Theo's cousin and a high ranking government official.

  • Collector of the Strange: He seems to be collecting pieces of great art to prevent them from being destroyed in country-wide riots and the like. He has Michelangelo's David, for example, with a piece of its leg having been destroyed during a riot.
  • Grail in the Garbage: His job is to collect pieces of art that run the risk of destruction by angry mobs. He couldn't save Piéta and only barely saved Michaelangelo's David, give or take a chunk of leg.
  • Nice Guy: Nigel is an affable guy to hang out with, agreeing to take a huge risk to himself to help Theo acquire transit papers for what he thinks is to help Theo's non-existent girlfriend visit her dying brother.

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