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The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing (1849)


Adam Ewing
"What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?"
Played By: Jim Sturgess

A lawyer traveling across the Pacific to get to San Fransisco before his illness ends him. His journal makes up the first and last chapters of the book.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Goose is strangling Autua, Adam gains enough strength to kill Goose.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: He has the comet-shaped birthmark all the protagonists share. His is on his chest.
  • Body Horror: His infection by a parasitic worm.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: He starts off as having views that would seem quite racist to a modern audience, but were the conventional views held by many at the time. Adam is at worse guilty of apathy, but when faced with the harsh realities of slavery be becomes a fervent abolitionist.
  • Fainting: The heat and the sight of Autua getting whipped get to him.
  • Happily Married: To his wife, Tilda.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: So much so that Frobisher is able to guess that Dr Goose is a charlatan before Ewing knows it himself, just from his journal.
  • I Owe You My Life: Autua feels indebted to him for aiding in his liberation. Later, Adam's gratitude for Autua saving him from Goose is what spurs him to join an abolitionist movement.
  • Ill Boy: He gets progressively sicker over the course of his journey.
  • Nice Hat: A nice top hat.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Adam's Character Development culminates in him adopting this attitude; despite knowing he will be shunned by society, he still stands up to his father-in-law and joins an abolitionist movement.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Although initially mild-mannered and incapable, he manages to gain enough strength to both kill Dr. Goose and stand up to Haskell Moore.


Tilda Ewing
Played By: Bae Doona

Adam Ewing's wife.


Haskell Moore
"There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well."
Played By: Hugo Weaving

Adam Ewing's bigoted father-in-law, who deals with the trading of slaves.

  • Abusive Parents: Implied, judging by the comments by Tilda.
  • Breaking Speech: Tries giving one to Adam, whose response shows that it doesn't quite work:
    Haskell More: There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well. This movement will never survive; if you join them, you and your entire family will be shunned. At best, you will exist a pariah to be spat at and beaten-at worst, to be lynched or crucified. And for what? For what? No matter what you do it will never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.
    Adam Ewing: What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Applies to all of Weaving's characters in the film, really. Except for one, but we'll get to that.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Though he initially greets Adam in a jovial manner upon his return, he flips out when Adam discards the contract by Horrox and gives a very arrogant Breaking Speech to him and Tilda.
  • Jerkass: Bigoted and proud of it, mean to his daughter and his son-in-law, the list goes on.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's involved in the slave trade and is deeply entrenched in its values.
  • The Social Darwinist: See Breaking Speech.

    Dr. Goose 

Dr. Henry Goose
"Adam, I am a doctor. A tiger cannot change his stripes."
Played By: Tom Hanks

A sinister doctor traveling alongside Ewing with no intention but to obtain his riches.

  • Balding of Evil
  • Beard of Evil: A thick and bushy one.
  • Beneath the Mask: Up until his reveal as a villain, Goose is able to present himself as a well-meaning, albeit cynical and eccentric, doctor. Once he has Adam at his mercy, however, Goose quickly drops the facade and reveals himself for the capricious and sadistic monster that he is, gleefully gloating to his victim about how he has tricked, poisoned, and stolen from him.
  • Big Bad: Of The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: You'd be surprised how well he can keep his unscrupulous demeanor hidden from everybody, including poor ol' Adam.
  • Deadly Doctor: How competent a doctor he actually is is unknown, as he's poisoning Adam in order to get his hands on the latter's money.
  • Death by Adaptation: A Karma Houdini in the book, in the film he's killed by Adam hitting him on the head with a chest.


"Pain strong, aye....Friends are more strong."
Played By: David Gyasi

A Moriori slave stowaway on the ship upon which Ewing travels home.

  • The Ace: He is a very good sailor.
  • Actual Pacifist: Autua doesn't like violence. In the film, when he discovers Goose's duplicity, he attacks Goose but it's Adam that does Goose in.
  • Bald of Awesome: He's bald and quite the awesome sailor.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He saves Ewing when Goose is about to put the finishing blow on him. Just a few moments later, Ewing gains enough strength to return the favor.
  • Made a Slave: But he eventually frees himself.
  • Meaningful Name: "Autua" is a palindrome, similar to the structure of the stories in the book.
  • Nice Guy: He's a hard worker, patient, moral, and loyal to Adam.
  • I Owe You My Life: To Adam, as the latter is instrumental in his self-liberation. Later flipped over its head, as Ewing states he owes his life to Autua for saving him from Goose.
  • A Taste of the Lash: His first scene is him getting brutally whipped.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Adam.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He's never seen with a shirt on, although justified as he's a freed slave and would be used to this.


Capt. Molyneux
Played By: Jim Broadbent

The captain of the the sailing vessel upon which Adam Ewing is sailing to return to the United States.

  • The Alcoholic: He's always seen with a bottle in hand.
  • The Captain: Of the ship.
  • Jerkass: Like most of the characters, he shares the racist views of his society.
  • Pet the Dog: After seeing Autua in action, he lets him join the crew.

    Rev. Horrox 

Rev. Giles Horrox
Played By: Hugh Grant

A missionary who has several slaves assisting him on his plantations.

    Madame Horrox 

Madame Horrox
Played By: Susan Sarandon

Rev. Horrox's wife.

  • Deadpan Snarker: Rarely enough, but not quite to the point of being a Silent Snarker.
    Adam Ewing: Oh... well let's see... ah, it is an inquiry concerning God's will and the nature of men.
    Mme. Horrox: And what does he have to say about the nature of women?
    Adam Ewing: I'm afraid that's a subject he prefers to pass by in silence.
    Mme. Horrox: He wouldn't be the first.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Although it isn't explored in much depth, it appears that she disagrees with her idiot husband's views on "the ladder of civilization" and despises his and Moore's straw misogyny.
  • Proper Lady: As expected of a minister's wife, Madame Horrox is polite and refined, but that doesn't stop her from being a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Stepford Smiler: Her conversation at the dinner table implies that she's deeply unhappy in her marriage.
    Mme. Horrox: Please, Giles, do shut up.



Played By: Keith David

A Maori slave owned by Reverend Horrox.

  • Adaptational Heroism: Though a bit too small a part in the film to constitute a "hero", in the books Kupaka was a Maori slaveowner from whom Autua escaped.
  • Badass Baritone: Well, he is played by Keith David.
  • Servile Snarker: He manages to deliver his lines sarcastically to an unsuspecting Horrox.
  • Silent Snarker: Appears docile and obedient, but his facial expressions give the game away.
  • Third-Person Person: Though the way he refers himself is almost said mockingly.
    Giles Horrox: Uh, enjoy your life, here with us, do you not?
    Kupaka: Oh yes, Reverend, sir. Kupaka very happy here.


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