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Characters / Indiana Jones

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Here we have the daring heroes and blackhearted villains of the Indiana Jones saga of films, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas.

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Titular Protagonist

    Indiana Jones 

Indiana Jones (AKA Colonel Professor Doctor Henry Walton Jones Junior. AKA Corporal Henri Defense of the Belgian Army.)
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

Played by (films): Harrison Ford (ages 36–58) | River Phoenix (age 13)
Played by (TV): Corey Carrier (ages 8–10) | Sean Patrick Flanery (ages 16–21) | George Hall (ages 93-94)
Voiced by: Claude Giraud (French, Raiders of the Lost Ark) | Francis Lax (French, Temple of Doom) | Richard Darbois (French, Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
Appears in: Raiders of the Lost Ark | Temple of Doom | Last Crusade | Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | Young Indiana Jones

"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

  • Absent-Minded Professor: At one point, Indy tries to return to his office and is besieged by students because he hasn't been grading any of their work. He has to climb out the window to escape. Although some of the female students were there for something else...
  • Ace Pilot: "Fly, yes. Land, no." Interestingly, in Temple of Doom (which is a prequel set in 1935), he says he doesn't know how to fly a plane. However, in the novelisation for Temple of Doom, it's made pretty clear that Indy was joking with Willie that he didn't know how to fly to mess with her. In the Young Indy TV series he indeed does learn some basic flight skills, but never how to land.
  • Action Duo: With Short Round, his father, or Mutt.
  • Action Survivor: Indy may have styled himself as an Action Hero, but in practice he's not much more than a slightly-greedy college professor who doesn't know when to quit.
  • Adventure Duo: With Marion.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Duh. The Trope Codifier ever since 1981.
  • Agent Scully: To a point. In Crystal Skull, Indy is a big skeptic about the existence of alien races, and in Raiders, considers The Ark of the Covenant nothing but a fancy gold box, but when the Ark is opened at the end of the film he insists that he and Marion avert their eyes.
  • Anti-Hero: He's a Deadpan Snarker and somewhat cynical Knight In Sour Armor, but a generally good guy. He seems to have little qualms killing if the situation requires it and has shown many times to be a dirty fighter. There's also the fact he did pretty unmentionable things to an underage Marion Ravenwood (although he maintains that Marion was old enough to know full well what they were doing and give consent). In the original script of Raiders he's also prone to fooling around with some of his college students.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite the fact that he's encountered many powerful artifacts over the years, he still sneers at the prospect of magical telepathic skulls or any new "mystical" discovery.
  • Badass Baritone: The voice helps him be imposing.
  • Badass Bookworm: Can grade your university thesis AND kick your ass.
  • Badass Normal: No superpowers. Just a large number of Improbable Aiming Skills (you know - the gun, the whip etc. etc.) and being Made of Iron (given how much he has to suffer).
  • Been There, Shaped History: In the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, if he or she has been written down in the history books in the last 100 years, Indy has met/befriended/fallen in love/fought/slept with him or her.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Marion.
    • With Willie as well at first.
  • Berserk Button: One of the few ways to truly enrage the normally logical Henry Jones Junior is to harm an innocent child... just ask the shredded remains of Mola Ram in the bellies of a dozen satisfied crocodiles. And don't call him "Junior"!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He actually is a talented archaeologist, but he also forgets to mark work on a regular basis.
  • Boots of Toughness: Indiana as an Adventurer Archaeologist wears boots, tough enough for stomping killer ants. His teacher persona does not wear them, opting for everyday shoes, not that he'd need them since when he's teaching, nothing "adventurey" happens.
  • Butt-Monkey: Spielberg intended for him to be this. Indeed, he gets punched by a lot of people, suffers other Amusing Injuries, and is often the butt of the jokes (like at the ending of Crusade regarding his name).
  • Captain Crash: "Fly, yes! Land, no!!"
  • Chick Magnet: Wherever Indy goes there are always girls who want him, even his own classroom.
  • Colonel Badass: By the end of World War II.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Get challenged by a man wielding a large sword? Simply pull out your gun and shoot him. This is a trait he keeps throughout the four films.
  • Cultured Badass: Equally at home in a Duchess's party as he is in the moldy depths of an ancient ruined city.
  • Cutting the Knot: Indy's favorite solution to problems tends to include this.
  • Cynical Mentor: To Mutt Williams.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like Han Solo, Harrison Ford again plays a guy who snarks at the weird things he encounters.
  • Determinator: His true strength. Indy isn't Charles Atlas Superpowered like Doc Savage, or a Gadgeteer Genius like MacGyver, or a government trained agent who's world class at everything from seduction to assassination to proper etiquette like James Bond. What he is is the kind of person who, if you shoot him, punch the open wound multiple times, and then smash him through the windshield of a speeding truck... will slide under the truck, let himself be dragged until he comes out the other end, climb back on, and punch you right back.
  • Disappeared Dad: Indy complained that his father was more concerned about artifacts in a museum than his own son. Notably, however, it was Indy that walked out on him.
    • Indy himself is one, having walked out on Marion before learning that she was pregnant with Henry Jones III aka "Mutt".
  • Disney Death: Similar to Basil from The Great Mouse Detective. In The Last Crusade Indy seems he's fallen to his death in a deep chasm along with Vogel. While his father, Brody, and Sallah peering over the cliff, believing that he died, Indy climbs onto the cliff edge, revealing he's jumped from the tank before it fell..
  • Even the Guys Want Him: University professor Indy is being openly lusted over by all his female students, and then one of the males leaves an apple on his desk.
  • Eye Scream: Sometime between 1957 and 1992, he lost his right eye.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Codified this trope for modern times.
  • Friend to All Children: Despite his gruff exterior, Indy has a soft spot for children. Do not even think about threatening a child in his presence unless you want to get your ass kicked. Indy is himself, in many ways, an overgrown child living out his boyhood fantasy.
  • Friend to All Living Things: With the exception of snakes, many animals don't bother Indy. He even took his name from the family dog.
    • Also applies to Harrison Ford; in the trilogy box set's special features, he's seen holding all sorts of animals - including rats, bugs, and snakes!
  • Good Is Not Nice: Has a moral compass, but no restrictions on the use of brute force. Or asking the help of shady people.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a noticeable scar on his chin. The Last Crusade reveals that he got it when he was a kid, using a whip to scare off a lion during the circus train chase.
  • The Gump: If you take into account The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Indy has crossed paths with a ridiculous number of historical figures in his lifetime.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Can pull off a dam fine Tux.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Let's say Indy is not Indy without is iconic flight leather jacket.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • In his younger days, as chronicled by the TV series. Becomes cold and jaded in adulthood, but regains this trope after reconciling with his father.
    • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana could have escaped with his fortune and glory, instead got captured to save a helpless little boy from being whipped to death. Not the smartest of moves, yes; but any illusions of him being a heartless and cynical mercenary disappears at this point, and we cheer for him all the way as he saves all of the children and defeats the evil of Kali-Ma.
  • Hot-Blooded: Best shown by how he counteracts discussions by shouting.
  • Hot Teacher: The fact his classes have mostly women shows the college finds him that.
  • Iconic Item: His fedora and bullwhip.
  • Iconic Outfit: He does wear a wide variety of clothes in the films but He just isn't Indy without the Leather Jacket and fedora.
  • I Know Karate: Young Indiana Jones has shown proficiency in Northern Style Kung Fu in his TV series; though this is not retconned into the movie series proper, Indy has consistently been shown to be skilled in US Marines CQC (Close Quarters Combat, made famous by The Boss and Big Boss) since Temple of Doom; justifiable considering his extended experience in the military.
  • Indy Ploy: THE Trope Namer. He and his friends frequently lampshade how he does everything on the fly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's cynical and at times a bit angry, but he often means well.
  • Jumped at the Call: He may be a world weary cynic but no one optionally does the kind of stuff Indy does without enjoying it just a bit.
  • Keet: Started out as one of these. He got bitter.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: He is cynical most of the time, but has his romantic moments as well.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: "Henry Defense" came into being when he was asked to give a name while enlisting for the Belgian Army in World War I, and the French word "Defense' just happened to be on a plate resting on the desk.
  • Loveable Rogue: Like Harrison Ford can play.
  • Made of Iron: Unlike the Eighties Action Hero that followed, Indy's not invincible, and everyone punches him (Ben Burtt noted how the series required him to do a vast library of beating sound effects). The stunts he's forced to do (sliding below a moving truck, falling from a plane in a lifeboat, jumping from a tank that's falling off a cliff, using a refrigerator as a bomb shelter) also proves his toughness.
  • The Mentor: To Mutt.
  • Mighty Whitey: Skirts the line in that he actually wants to preserve and protect the cultures he researches rather than lord and dominate over them.
  • Missing Mom: Indy's mother died while he was at a young age.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In The Temple of Doom in particular he has a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Nice Hat: Can you imagine Indy kicking ass without his trademark fedora? Didn't think so.
  • Omniglot: Latin, Greek, Japanese, German, Mayan, Egyptian, French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Irish, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Hindi, Dutch, Old English, Quechua, American Sign Language, and most likely others. Word of God says he speaks 27 languages. Unfortunately, he didn't take that summer course in Hovitos... This trope largely came about in the sequel films; in Raiders, scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan intended Indy to be a rather poor hand with foreign languages (which is why he needs someone else to translate the Staff of Ra headpiece inscription).
  • One-Man Army: Is able to hold his own against large crowds (be it Nazis, Indians, or Russians).
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: All of his friends consistently refer to him as "Indiana" or "Indy". It wasn't until the third movie that people learned his first name is actually Henry, and that he got his nickname from their dog.
    Sallah: What does it mean, this "Junior"?
    Henry: That's his name. (indicating himself) Henry Jones... (pointing to Indy) Junior.
    Indy: I like Indiana.
    Henry: We named the dog "Indiana".
    Sallah: The dog? You are named after a dog?! (laughs)
    Indy: I've got a lot of fond memories of that dog!
  • Papa Wolf:
    • "They're innocent children... Mola Ram, prepare to meet Kali IN HELL!!"
    • And of course, to Mutt. When he thinks that Mutt is simply Marion's son, Indy looks out for him like anyone else with him on an adventure, but when he learns the truth, the trope is embodied full-on.
  • Refuge in Audacity: "No ticket."
  • Save the Villain: In The Last Crusade he did try desperately to save Elsa from falling into the crumbling abyss, but her lust for the grail prevented him.
  • Special Person, Normal Name: "Henry Jones, Jr." is not a particularly extraordinary-sounding name. No wonder he prefers "Indiana".
  • Weapon of Choice: Whips, revolvers, and fists.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The Last Crusade shows he resents his father's absence.
  • Whip It Good: Always carries a whip. And the first time he tried to use it, the result was the famous scar on Harrison Ford's chin...
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Trope Namer, in that getting to the Ark meant going into a room loaded with them.

Recurring Allies

    Marion Ravenwood 

Marion Ravenwood-Jones

Played by: Karen Allen
Appears in: Raiders of the Lost Ark | Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

"Well, Jones, at least you haven't forgotten how to show a lady a good time!"

  • Action Girl: Actually helps in Indy's battles, quite unlike the Damsel in Distress staple to "normal" pulp adventures. She knows pretty well how to use weapons and to fight.
  • Adventure Duo: With Indy in "Raiders" and "Crystal Skull".
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension - With Indy, of course. She punches him in the face when he first shows up in her bar.
  • Bound and Gagged: In both movies she appears in.
  • The Bus Came Back: After Raiders, Marion is neither featured nor even mentioned in any films until Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Probably because she was too busy raising her and Indy's son.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments of snark, mostly directed at Indy's unusual mannerisms.
  • Defiant Captive: She must have a lot of nerves to face a sadist torturer like Toht and blowing smoke in his face.
  • Disney Death: In Raiders, Indy thinks she's dead when the truck she was thrown in while she was in a basket explodes. But he finds her alive at the Tanis site since they have switched baskets.
  • Establishing Character Moment: She gets two, the first in Raiders when she out drinks a guy twice her size in a shot for shot contest. The second is in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. As soon as she's introduced we don't see her throughout most of the movie and even Mutt was a little vague about her full name. Upon re-introducing her we still don't see her, but we can hear her defiance prior to meeting Indy again the first time in years. Of course unlike Raiders, she's not surprised Indy showed up this time.
    Marion: Get your hands off me you rotten Russkie son of a bitch!!!
    Indy: Marion!?
    Marion: Well, it's about time you showed up, Jones.
  • First Girl Wins: Given the backstory in "Raiders", Marion WAS Indy's girlfriend before Willie. It was the reason why Indy and Abner had a falling out.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Wins a drinking contest in her bar, then later holds her own against Belloq - who grew up on the high-proof spirits made by his family.
  • Hot-Blooded: A rare female example.
  • The Lad-ette: Drinks a lot, punches people, and fits perfectly with the boys.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In The Raiders especially in her white dress and bare feet. Even in The Crystal Skull she hasn't lost her beauty.
  • Ms. Swears-a-Lot: There isn't a lot of swearing in the series, but an awful lot of it comes out of her mouth.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: More like "kiss-slap-slap-kiss" since she and Indy were an item long before she was angry enough to slug him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She starts out capable enough, but grows more and more confident as Raiders goes on, and by the time Kingdom rolls around, she's casually driving amphibious trucks off of cliffs to escape pursuers.
  • Tsundere: Throughout Raiders. In Crystal Skull, during a heated argument with Indy, he comments that all the women he has been involved with since Marion had one problem, "They weren't you, honey". Cue Marion immediately grinning like a school-girl.
  • When She Smiles: Marion often has a somewhat cynical outlook, but when she smiles it's downright heartwarming.

    Henry Jones Sr. 

Professor Henry Walton Jones Senior
Played by (film): Sean Connery (old) | Alex Hyde-White (young)
Played by (TV): Lloyd Owen
Appears in: Last Crusade | Young Indiana Jones

"This is intolerable!"

  • Action Duo: With his son.
  • Action Survivor: Starts out as one.
  • Badass Beard: As required by old age Sean Connery.
  • Badass Bookworm: Like father, like son.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Always dressed in his three-piece.
  • Berserk Button: Committing blasphemy in his presence will get you slapped.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's at least a nominal Christian who doesn't approve of some of Indy's methods, like killing. Or blaspheming, for that matter. Then he makes a Nazi plane crash and blows up an entire truck full of Nazi soldiers simply justifying that "It's war!"
  • Bus Crash: He's mentioned in the fourth film to have died sometime after the third. Justified since Sean Connery refused to come out of retirement just to make some cameo that would ultimately be insignificant.
  • Captain Obvious:
    Henry: These people are trying to kill us!
    Indy: I know, dad!
    Henry: It's a new experience for me.
    Indy: Happens to me all the time!
  • Catch-Phrase: "This is intolerable!"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Runs strong in the Jones family.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • In the present, he smashes a vase over his son's head, and is immediately more concerned about the vase.
    • In the prologue, not being interested in hearing Indy tell him about getting the Cross of Coronado, being wrapped up in writing his grail diary.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's pretty cold but it's clear he really does love Indy and he does everything that he can to stop the Nazis from getting the Holy Grail.
  • The Lancer: To Indy in Crusade, acting as a foil to his son and assisting him in his adventure.
  • The Load: Do not let Henry Sr. near anything that fires bullets. Subverted later on, regardless of what Indy may think.
  • Nerd Action Hero: Unlike his son, Henry Sr. is a more traditional archaeologist, and also considerably older. He's still capable of some brilliant feats.
  • Nice Hat: His bucket hat. Yes, it's really called that.
  • Papa Wolf: He was a Disappeared Dad, but once reunited with Junior does everything possible to save Indy.
  • Parasol of Pain: As the German fighter pilot above found out the hard way...
  • Parental Neglect: One of the main complains of his son about his childhood. His Establishing Character Moment has him punishing a young Indy for disturbing his studies by making "Junior" recite the Greek alphabet...backwards...while totaling ignoring that several mooks and the police have just chased his son all the way home.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Ironically, the man is deadlier with a fountain pen!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Only in his case, it's rats. He hates them with the same intensity Indy hates snakes. His enthusiasm at learning Indy discovered one of the clues to the grail evaporates when Indy mentions what the catacomb was filled with.

    Sallah el-Kahir 

Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir

Played by: John Rhys-Davies
Appears in: Raiders of the Lost Ark | Last Crusade

"I'm so pleased you're not dead!"

  • Badass Beard: He does have a fantastic beard.
  • The Big Guy: Does the heavy stuff for Indy.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A large man, fond of singing and beating up Gestapo agents in equal measure. He's very rarely upset.
  • Cuddle Bug: Sallah really likes to hug the people that he cares about, and it doesn't make him any less manly!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Of Indy's caliber.
    "Asps. Very dangerous. (to Indy) You go first."
  • Family Man: He's married and has quite a few kids.
  • Gentle Giant: A nice fellow - though one who can survive well in a fight.
  • The Glomp: Sallah's speciality in Raiders.
  • Large Ham: When John Rhys-Davies is involved, there is no other path.
  • Nice Guy: A genuinely friendly and loyal person that saves Indy's hide a few times.
  • Wag the Director: Rhys-Davies wanted Sallah to have become richer in the time between Raiders and Crusade, hence why he wears nicer clothes.

    Marcus Brody 

Professor Marcus Brody, Dean of Marshall University's Department of Archaeology.

Played by: Denholm Elliott
Appears in: Raiders of the Lost Ark | Last Crusade

"You know Marcus, he got lost once in his own museum."
Indiana Jones

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Smart enough to become the ''Dean of Archaeology at Marshall University'', and yet can get lost inside his own museum, if Indy's word is to be believed.
  • Actor Existence Failure: Denholm Elliott's death was written into the fourth film.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The incident where he got lost in his own museum. It is never elaborated on so for all we know it happened in the dark of night during a power outage on Marcus' first day there. The Ultimate Guide specifies that he got lost in the museum's archive room specifically making the "where" less ambiguous but the "how" and "why" remains so.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his odd traits, he is shown to be quite skilled within his element, namely research and investigation. He thinks to check the elder Jones's mailbox to see how long he was gone, immediately makes the connection between the stained glass in the museum and the one in the Grail Diary (outlining it for the audience), and helps Indy interpret the map within said diary.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: See Absent-Minded Professor.
  • Epic Fail: That "lost in his own museum" bit? The Ultimate Guide reveals that he got lost in the archives room specifically... One single room.
  • Flanderization: From a slightly absent-minded professor who was implied to have Indy-like adventures himself to someone who needed to be handheld through every situation. Somewhat justified in that, as Indy points out, he is way out of his element.
  • Hero of Another Story: It was implied in Raiders that Brody used to be an Adventurer Archaeologist himself. Lamenting that had he been younger, he'd be going after the Ark himself. His bumbling in Last Crusade, however, makes this seem rather unlikely. Given the fact that he can only speak English and Ancient Greek, it gives off the implication that his adventures were restricted to the English speaking world.
  • Large Ham: Not so much in the way he speaks, but in the third movie, his facial expressions are hilariously over the top. But it was Denholm Elliott, so that's to be expected.
  • The Load: Not all of the time, but often.
  • Nice Guy: A very friendly guy who was something of a father figure to Indy as a child.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dean of Archaeology at Marshall University.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    Sallah: (smiles to the bad guys) Papers? Of course... (to Marcus) Run.
    Marcus: (stands around looking clueless) ...Yes?
    Sallah: Papers. (takes out a newspaper) Got it here. Just finished reading it myself... (trying to provide cover for an escape) Run...
    Marcus: (STILL clueless) ...Yes?
    Sallah: "Egyptian Mail," morning edition. (exasperated, to Marcus) Run!
    Marcus: Did you say, uh...
    Sallah: (punches one of the bad guys) RUN!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Though in the first movie he lamented that if he was as young as Indy he would have went on his adventure. Though most people who see Crusade have labeled him a clumsy oaf that got lost in his own museum; he was willing to put his complaint in Raiders aside to help Indy rescue Henry. He even had enough cojones to knock a Nazi out with an Artillery shell.


Example of: