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Characters / Hyperion

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The Pilgrims

    The Priest 

Father Lenar Hoyt

A Roman Catholic priest in his early 30s, in a universe where Catholicism has shrunk to a shadow of its former self, claiming only a few thousand followers.

  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Initially, but it's broken soon enough when he searches for Father Dure.

    The Soldier 

Colonel Fedmahn Kassad

A colonel in the Hegemony of Man's FORCE military, of Palestinian descent from Mars.

  • Beyond the Impossible: Defeating the Shrike in single combat is supposed to be this, with Moneta even warning him that he'll die like the millions of others that have tried and failed. Kassad puts his foot down and essentially says "fuck that" and defeats it anyway in a cataclysmic battle spanning the past, present and future, ultimately dying in the process.
  • BFG: His huge FORCE Assault Rifle has over half a dozen firing modes, from a shrapnel gun that fires tens of thousands a round every second to beam weapons that slices an entire cliff-face in half with no effort at all.
  • Blood Knight: Moneta even remarks that he loves war in an almost romantic fashion. He participated in antiwar protests for a while after his encounter with the Shrike, but returns to his violent ways in the book proper, and for the better.
  • The Butcher: known as "The Butcher of Bressia" to some. This is mostly because the Hegemonia has a strict view in what a soldier is allowed to do as the Ousters he killed on Bressia crossed way more lines than him.
  • Colonel Badass: Singlehandedly put down the New Prophet's Jihad of twenty-thousand with some creative use of laser satellites, mastered multiple forms of martial arts and survived atmospheric re-entry in half of a cockpit, among other things. And this is just before the story begins.
  • Cool Old Guy: Not nearly as old as Silenus or Weintraub, and his exact age is never really stated, but Raul describes him as a man in his sixties, appearance-wise.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Defeating The Shrike in combat while leading the humanity of the future screaming "FOR LIBERTY!" at the top of his lungs.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: He staunchly believes in the code of Neo Bushido, from which he dictates that "The essence of honor lies in the moment of combat between equals." Becomes very ironic in hindsight when he defeats the Shrike, who is revealed to be himself in Rise of Endymion.
  • Living Legend: He was already this before the story began, but becomes Legendary in the Sequel by defeating the Shrike in single combat.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: His attitude towards Moneta and the Shrike.
  • Powered Armour: Wears FORCE powered armor and later a "skinsuit" given to him by Moneta.
  • Religious Bruiser: He was raised a Muslim, but believes that God would never ever condone violence against the innocent, hence why he had a personal beef with the New Prophet of Qom-Riyadh's uprising.
  • The Stoic: Generally the most level-headed and reasonable person in the group besides Sol. He's not above laughing aloud and singing "We're Off To See The Wizard", however.

    The Poet 

Martin Silenus

Silenus is a poet who has lived for centuries due to advanced technology and the coma-like cryogenic fugue state. Silenus was born into an aristocratic family on Earth, during the Hegira, and was later among the settlers of the Poets' City. He believes that the Shrike is his muse, as he is able to write epic poetry only during the presence of the creature.

  • The Alcoholic: If Silenus isn't drunk, he's usually on his way there. This is actually one of his less destructive vices.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Filled to the brim with dark, coarse and hilarious jokes.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: He surgically modified himself to look like a Satyr for a time, but had the process reversed before his lengthy cryo-stasis.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With the other Pilgrims, who he doesn't get along with at all but gradually grows to respect and bond with. Special points go to his bitter enmity with Brawne Lamia, and their eventual friendship.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Silenus is loud, crass, and a basic asshole in most respects. This doesn't stop him from doing the right thing when it comes down to it.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Swears far more than any other character.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Being a poet, Silenus is eloquent and intelligent. He also swears like a sailor who's stubbed his toe.
    The right hemisphere was not without some language — but only the most emotionally charged units of communication could lodge in that affective hemisphere; my vocabulary was now down to nine words. For the record, here is my entire vocabulary of manageable words: fuck, shit, piss, cunt, goddamn, motherfucker, asshole, peepee and poopoo. A quick analysis will show some redundancy here.

    The Scholar 

Sol Weintraub

A Jewish scholar. His daughter, Rachel, was afflicted with an illness dubbed the Merlin Sickness that caused her to age backwards, which he desperately hopes to cure. After having a dream about sacrificing his daughter to the Shrike similarly to the Biblical sacrifice of Isaac, he decides to do so in hopes it will cure her somehow.

  • Cool Old Guy: Pushing his 80's or so by the time of the story, and easily the most kindhearted and warm character in the story.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite his gentle nature he's not above his fair share of jokes.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After reluctantly sacrificing his daughter to the Shrike at her own suggestion, Keats brings his child back to him, and Moneta, who is then revealed to be Rachel from the future, brings him with her into the distant happy future.
  • Good Parents: He and his wife are (and in the latter's case, were) this to an extreme. Extremely supportive of his daughter, friendly with her ex-boyfriend, and even with their predicament of her aging backwards he is thankful of just being with her.
  • Nice Guy: Gentle, supporting and overall just an extremely kindhearted old man.
  • Offing the Offspring: The Shrike is cruelly attempting to make Sol re-enact Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac to God through ominous dreams. He ends up going through with it, but Keats brings the baby Rachel back to him after the Merlin Sickness has been cured.
  • Papa Wolf: Which is exactly why he has such a hard time giving up his child.

    The Detective 

Brawne Lamia

A private detective. Her name derives from a combination of Fanny Brawne, the love of John Keats, and the eponymous creature of his Lamia and Other Poems. Brawne is the daughter of Senator Byron Lamia, once a friend of CEO Meina Gladstone's, who "apparently" committed suicide when Brawne was a child.

  • Fire-Forged Friends: Initially one of the more hostile pilgrims, but warms up to most of the others, especially Sol and Silenus, over time.
  • Heavy Worlder: She's from a planet with higher gravity than Earth's and is therefore short and muscular.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Fanny Brawne, the real-life John Keats' lover.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The second-most so after Silenus, the best of example of which being her defiantly chewing out Ummon after The first Keats cybrid is destroyed.

    The Consul 

The Consul

The Consul is the former planetary governor of Hyperion. He is for much of the first novel enigmatic, observing and recording the stories of the other Shrike Pilgrims but reluctant to record his own. He is one of the few thousand individuals amongst the hundred and fifty billion Hegemony citizens to own his own private starship.

  • No Name Given: He only says his own name once in the entire series, but everyone keeps calling him the Consul afterwards.

    The Templar 

Het Masteen

Masteen is a captain of a "treeship," an interstellar passenger craft belonging to the Templar Brotherhood, an exclusive society dedicated to the preservation of nature.

The Hegemony of Man


Meina Gladstone

The CEO of the Hegemony of Man and Commander in Chief, former senator, residing on Tau Ceti Center.


Joseph Severn/John Keats

The second of two "cybrid" reincarnations of the poet, "Severn" updates CEO Gladstone on the fates of the Hyperion pilgrims.


Senator Gabriel Kolchev


Other Characters

    The Shrike 

The Shrike

A menacing and immensely powerful creature of uncertain origin and motives which appears throughout the narrative, often in a seemingly antagonistic role. It is known for impaling people on a massive tree made of metal, whose branches are massive thorns. It is named after the "Shrike" bird which impales insects and small animals on the thorns of a tree. The pilgrims expect to find the Shrike in the Time Tombs, which are the ultimate destination of their journey, but as they tell their individual tales it becomes clear that the creature is already deeply connected to each of them.

  • Curbstomp Battle: The Shrike is so immensely powerful that just about anyone who tries to stand to it gets completely steamrolled.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Can make copies of itself appear from other points in time.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Shrike has a vaguely humanoid shape, but that's where any common ground ends.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Shrike favors this method of killing so much that it has its own special thorn tree to impale its victims upon, hence the name 'Shrike' after the bird that does the same.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Described as having rows of sharp teeth.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: It has four equally dangerous arms.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Shrike can in fact be killed, but it's... shall we say, extremely fucking unlikely. To note, Kassad empties an entire arsenal's worth of what could easily be considered superweapons on the Shrike and does little more than Scratch Damage. He still wins, however.
  • Noisy Robots: Generally averted, as in it is dead fucking silent normally, but Kassad opening a can of whoop-ass on it actually makes it roar at him, which sounds like a mix of a dragon and a fusion engine.
  • One-Man Army: The Shrike is capable of slaughtering thousands with ease, at will.
  • Physical God: It isn't quite omnipotent, but the Shrike is still a time-travelling super-being operating on a different level from humanity altogether. It's worshiped and feared.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has red Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Robotic Psychopath: It behaves in an almost playfully murderous manner towards several of it's victims, forcing great trauma, both psychical and mental, upon them. There may be some merit to this, as the Shrike is an agent from the far future sent by the Ultimate Intelligence to draw out the Empathy of the Human Godhead, which is most easily done by broadcasting agony through fatline throughout the entire universe.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Its entire body is made of these.
  • Time Stands Still: One of its many abilities.


Father Paul Duré

  • And I Must Scream: Crucifies himself on a "Tesla Tree", where he gets repeatedly electrocuted to death and resurrected by the cruciform parasite. For years.



A mysterious young woman Kassad falls in love with, who is very skilled at fighting and appears at random. She is actually a future version of Rachel Weintraub.

    Sad King Billy 

Sad King Billy

The king of Winsor-In-Exile. He constantly looks depressed and disheveled but is not particularly sad.
  • The Unsmile: Silenius mentions that he isn't that morose but when he laughs his jowls moves in a way that looks like he is weeping.


An Artificial Intelligence who speaks in koans.
  • Abusive Parents: He created the Keats Cybrids, and ends up destroying one and repeatedly mocking the other.
  • Benevolent A.I.: ...Sort of. He's part of the faction that's most partial to Mankind, but that faction still wants to use Mankind as processing power, which is somewhat better than getting exterminated or swept aside for the Ultimate Intelligence, according to him.
  • Koan: Speaks almost entirely in the form of these. It borders on Ice-Cream Koan at times but nothing he says is without great substance or meaning, and so avoids falling into said trope.
  • Mr. Exposition: Possibly the biggest one in the entire series. When he explains the great dilemma of the Ultimate Intelligences, he talks for 11 pages without interruption.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: The Zen master Yunmen Wenyan (called Ummon in Japanese).

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