Balian and Allies
Baron Balian d'Ibelin
Played By: Orlando BloomA French blacksmith who is called to go on Crusade by his natural father.
- The Blacksmith: His occupation.
- Bring It: When Balian is attacked by three knights attempting to assassinate him.Is this why you came to the Holy Land!? Come on!
- Cain and Abel: Hes the Abel to his Sinister Minister half-brother, who tries to take his land.
- Crisis of Faith: Understandably goes under one the course of the movie since he feels abandoned by God after his family's death and feels this way while undertaking the crusade.
- Despair Event Horizon: Is hit pretty hard with this following the death of his wife and his child and he tries to get out of this by embarking on the crusade.
- Flaming Sword: Uses a rudimentary one to kill the Village Priest for dishonoring his dead wife.
- Heroic Bastard: Godfrey and Balian's mother were never married.
- The Hero: The movie revolves around him and trying to live up to the ideals and duties thrust upon him.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: The real-life Balian was actually more religiously zealous than the one in the movie, who believed Jerusalem belonged only to the Christians unlike the fictional one, who was devoted to protect everyone regardless of faith. But more importantly, Balian was known for breaking his promise and vows to his enemies where the one in the movie is incapable of doing it, not even to condemn his own arch-enemy Guy.
- Improvised Weapon: Kills an assassin with a piece of pottery.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Refuses to marry his Love Interest to defeat Guy de Lusignan and stop a war. When King Baldwin dies, things go downhill.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He had a stillborn child, which led to his wifes suicide.
- The Stoic: Shows very little emotion throughout the film.
Baron Godfrey de Ibelin
Played By: Liam NeesonBalians long-lost father.
- Adaptation Name Change: His historical counterpart was also named Balian too (he was known as Balian the Elder) and he was renamed in the movie presumably to preserve One Steve Limit.
- Cain and Abel: Like his son, Godfrey has a brother who seeks to take his lands for himself.
- Composite Character: He shares some traits with William of Tyre, an Archbishop and chronicler who tutored Baldwin IV and discovered that he was a leper. According to Baldwin in the movie, it was Godfrey who first noticed he was a leper and not the royal physicians.
- Groin Attack: Mentions that he fought with an arrow in his testicle.
- Hero of Another Story: He surely had many adventures of his own judging by his companions, one of them includes a Moor and states he once fought with an arrow through his testicles.
- Mentor: To his son.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Sustains mortal injuries while in France. Manages to make it to Sicily and knights Balian before dying of his wounds.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before killing the Village Sheriff, he shouts Thank my brother for his love!
The Knight Hospitaller
Played By: David ThewlisA member of The Knights Hospitallers and associate of Godfrey.
- Angel Unaware: Implied. He has a knack for disappearing into thin air, and at one point he appears out of nowhere to revive an apparently dying Balian with a touch.
- Badass Preacher: An ordained priest, trained medic, and decent swordsman.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Knight Hospitaller wears a black tabard with a white cross and is a good character, unlike the Knights Templar who wear white tabards with red crosses.
- Historical Domain Character: While never named, it's possible that he was supposed to be, or at least was based on, Saint Nicasius of Sicily, a venerated martyr and member of the Knights Hospitaller who was beheaded in the aftermath of the Battle of Hattin.
- Killed Offscreen: His head is seen in a pile of heads after the Battle of Hattin.
- No Name Given: Only known by his membership in the Knights Hospitaller.
Played By: Velibor TopicBalians right-hand man at Ibelin.
- Bald of Awesome: Hes Balians lieutenant and a capable fighter in his own right. He also makes it through the whole film.
- The Dragon: A heroic version to Balian.
- Kill It with Fire: Kills several Muslims with a firebomb during the Siege of Jerusalem.
- You Are in Command Now: Balian tells Almaric that if he survives the siege of Jerusalem, he is to be the new Baron of Ibelin. (Presumably Balian had already decided he wasn't going to stay.)
King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem
Played By: Edward NortonThe King of Jerusalem at the beginning of the film.
- Big Good: He is the one thing keeping war and bloodshed from spilling out of control.
- Body Horror: Due to his leprosy, his hands and face are frightening to behold.
- The Faceless: Baldwin suffers from leprosy, and wears a mask to hide his appearance. Sibylla does remove his mask after his death and... it's not pretty.
- Fisher King: As a fair-minded King of Jerusalem, he is the only thing keeping the Muslims and Christians from fighting each other. When he dies, Guy seizes power and proceeds to start a war with the Muslims.
- The Good King: Hes a capable administrator and strategist and a fair-minded man.
- Handicapped Badass: You'd think that being slowly dying of leprosy would stop him from riding out with his army and staring down Saladin. Well, you'd be wrong.
- Ill Boy: He suffers from leprosy. It claims his life halfway through the film.
- Teen Genius: Won a great victory against Saladin when he was in his teens.
Princess Sibylla of Jerusalem
Played By: Eva GreenKing Baldwin IVs sister, wife of Guy de Lusignan, and mother of King Baldwin V.
Count Tiberias, Marshal of Jerusalem
Played By: Jeremy IronsMarshal of Jerusalem and Baldwins right-hand man.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a rather large one close to his left eye.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Hes cynical but still strives to do his best in the Holy Land.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Since King Baldwin is in poor health, Tiberias is the highest in the chain of command and the main figure keeping the peace.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the Battle of Hattin, Tiberias and his men leave Jerusalem, leaving Balian to lead the defense.
Guy de Lusignan
Played By: Marton CsokasSibyllas husband, a greedy, ambitious man who seeks to become King of Jerusalem.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's a top commander in Jerusalem and an effective fighter.
- Ax-Crazy: Hes positively gleeful while slaughtering caravans.
- Beard of Evil: Guys a vicious, greedy man with a full, dark beard.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: With Saladin. Balian has to defend against Saladins army that wants to conquer Jerusalem, but Guys goal of wanting to impose his vision of Christianity on the Holy Land causes just as much trouble.
- Blood Knight: He is always eager to start a fight and is clearly in the throes of ecstasy as blood splashes on his face when he is massacring innocents. Desconstructed when the very first thing he gets when becoming king is to declare war on the Muslims; because of his poor planning, his army is slaughtered in the Battle of Hattin.
- Egocentrically Religious: Seeks to impose HIS view of Christianity on the Holy Land and treats any Christian who disagrees with him with scorn.
- General Failure: Most of the conflict in the film comes from Guy's ambition, battle-lust, and recklessness turning a delicate situation into a disastrous one. His strategy basically amounts to "take our whole army into battle against the hated Saracens and it should work itself out from there because GOD WILLS IT."
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Though he probably had the same views of Muslims as the Christians of that time, Guy was a weak, indecisive king who wanted to avoid the war and in fact hated Reynald - not even historical Muslim accounts describe him as the War Hawk we see in the movie.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Refers to Balian as a this because Balian was born out of wedlock and Balians father Godfrey was an opponent of Guy.
- Jerkass: On quite a few levels. Hes unpleasant to be around on an everyday basis, only married Sibylla as part of a power grab, and seeks to annihilate all Muslims. For example, he refuses to eat at the same table as Balian because the latter is a bastard.
- Light Is Not Good: He wears white Templar robes and is a terrible person.
- Shameful Strip: Hes paraded naked in front of Jerusalem. He still has enough pride to come back to try and kill Balian after the Final Battle.
- Shoot the Messenger: When an emissary comes to Jerusalem to demand the return of Saladins murdered sister, Guy proceeds to stab him in the throat and decapitate him.
- Stupid Evil: Opts to march his army out into the desert away from water to fight Muslims... with predictable results.
Reynald de Châtillon
Played By: Brendan GleesonA Templar knight and Guys main supporter.
- Beard of Evil: A longer one than his boss, with red streaks that resemble bloodstains.
- Blood Knight: When Guy warns him that a caravan is armed, Reynald replies "Good. No sport otherwise."
- Captain Oblivious: When Saladin comes to attack Kerak in retribution for attacking said caravan, Reynald is pleasantly surprised by the civilians including the Princess Isabella fleeing to the safety of his castle, and is just happy to have some visitors. He either doesn't notice, or doesn't particularly care that the saracens are coming for his head. Moments later, he's vaguely interested in Balian's Suicide Mission to hold off the saracen army with a handful of knights, but only because it's what everyone else's attention is on.
- The Dragon: To Guy de Lusignan.
- The Enemy Weapons Are Better: Possibly as an act of mockery, he wears a Saracen helmet into battle.
- Evil Feels Good: Reynald clearly loves being a raping, pillaging, murdering bastard, even while he thinks that's what his world needs of him.
- Evil Redhead: Reynald is the only red-haired character in the film and thoroughly despicable.
- Fat Bastard: Reynalds an evil man and the only character close to overweight.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Though the real-life version was likely worse than the movie, murdering (and likely raping) Saladin's sister was the one atrocity he did not do (though he probably would have given the chance). This is mostly based on rumors from Christian records by William of Tyre, whereas Muslim records state Saladin gave her extra protection all the times when hearing about Reynald's raiding.
- I Am What I Am: Says it word for word, followed by "someone has to be", implying that he considers himself Necessarily Evil. His next immediate act scene is to rape and killing Saladin's sister.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Reynald knows a war with the Saracens will happen sooner or later, and he'd rather have it happen now.
- Light Is Not Good: Like his boss Guy de Lusignan, he wears white Templar robes with a red cross and is thoroughly despicable.
- Say My Name: While Locked in the Dungeon, he spends a lot of time shouting his own name, to the point that the jailer slams the door to his room shut out of annoyance.
- Slashed Throat: What Saladin does to him, followed by Off with His Head!.
- Too Dumb to Live: Goes on to disrespect Saladin, who at this point is aware that Reynald murdered his sister, while being held prisoner by him. The results are predictable.
- Villainous Glutton: Wolfs down a chicken dinner while in prison and spent the Battle of Kerak watching the battle and eating.
- Would Hit a Girl: He personally murders Saladins sister. Its also implied he raped her.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: In the director's cut, Reynald is impressed by princess Isabella for mercy killing her own son who has leprosy. He comments that she has more backbone than he does for doing the deed.
Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem
Played By: Jon Finch
The Catholic Patriarch of the city of Jerusalem.
- Dirty Coward: After loosing his nerve when finding out that Jerusalem's fall is imminent. He even advises people to pretending to convert to Islam just so they could escape.
- The Fundamentalist: Considers blasphemy that Jerusalem belongs to all peoples, which Almaric shushes him up.
- Hate Sink: The Patriarch is designed to be self-centered, cowardly, bigoted and with no redeeming quality so that the audience can revile him better. It's really telling when Baldwin refuses to receive last rites from him because of his corruption.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: While his real-counterpart Heraclius could had been somewhat corrupt, he was at least devoted in defending the city by stripping all the gold and silver he could find to pay the defenders (even from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre) and attempted to ransom several of the common people when the city finally fell.
- Man in White: In his bishop robes, though he ditches them during the climax.
- No Name Given: Despite his high rank within the city, his name is never uttered in the movie though he is supposedly inspired on Heraclius, the Latin Patriarch that served during the time of the siege.
Prince (later King) Baldwin V of Jerusalem
Played By: UnknownSibyllas son and King Baldwin IVs heir.
- Adapted Out: He is completely absent from the theatrical cut.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Becomes King of Jerusalem after his uncle dies.
- Feel No Pain: The first indication of his condition is when he burns his hand on a candle and doesnt react.
- Ill Boy: He also suffers from leprosy, like his uncle.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Sibylla poisons him so he wont live with leprosy.
Played By: Ghassan Massoud
The leader of the Saracens.
- Anti-Villain: Even though hes on the opposing side as Balian, hes a man of honor and respect, unlike Guy de Lusignan.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Hes the biggest outside threat.
- Bling of War: Wears a golden nasal helmet.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: According to his own biographer, Saladin did watch in joy Christian prisoners being beheaded and made no secret about massacring the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem. And when Balian negotiated the surrender of the city, those who couldn't pay the ransom (which were many) were taken as slaves. The movie omits these details completely and has him allow everyone evacuate freely.
- Not So Different: Like Baldwin, Saladin also has to deal with sword-rattlers among his ranks filled with holy righteousness pressing for a bloodbath that he knows would be disastrous.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Personally executes Reynald for raping and murdering his sister.
- Tranquil Fury: Calmly points out that Reynald is being impolite, right before slashing his throat open.
- Worthy Opponent: Considers King Baldwin IV a great king and chastises Guy de Lusignan for not following his example."A King does not kill a King. Were you not close to a great King to learn by his example?"
Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani
Played By: Alexander Siddig
A general in Saladin's army who develops a friendship with and respect for Balian.
- Badass Boast: You may go into Kerak, but you will die there. [indicates Saladin's approaching army] My master is here.
- The Dragon: To Saladin.
- I Owe You My Life: Balian spares his life when they encounter each other in the desert. Imad repays the favour when Balian is his prisoner.
- Mistaken for Servant: He uses this trope to his advantage when Balian first meets him, pretending to be the servant of a Saracen knight travelling with him.
- Odd Friendship: His relationship with Balian is this, mixed with Worthy Opponent.
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction when he sees Jerusalem's army approaching to defend Kerak.Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani: Tell my lord Saladin that Jerusalem has come.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Compared to some in Saladin's inner circle.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Invoked in one discussion with Saladin during the siege of Jerusalem; when Saladin learns Imad spared Balian, now commanding Jerusalem's defences, at Kerak, Saladin muses that perhaps he should have killed Balian. Imad seems to imply that Saladin taught him to be merciful and questions if his mentor has forgotten his old teachings.Saladin: The one you let live? Perhaps you should not have.Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani: Perhaps I should have had a different teacher.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Balian this.Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani: Your quality will be known among your enemies before ever you meet them, my friend.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Tells Balian this just before he leaves Jerusalem.Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani: [to Balian] If God does not love you, how could you have done all the things you have done?
Played By: Khaled NabawyOne of Saladin's lieutenants.
- The Fundamentalist: He is essentially to the Muslims what Guy and Reynald are to the Christians.
- Implied Death Threat: Gives one to Saladin when he says that he won't be king for long if he doesn't return Jerusalem to their control, which is enough to anger him.
- Karma Houdini: Easily the most bigoted and unsympathetic character on the Saracen side who expresses delight in murdering Christian civillians, and he lives till the end and enters the conquered Jerusalem with Saladin.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He gives a small smile when Saladin executes Reynald.
- No Name Given: His name is never uttered and he is only credited and identified by his role.
- Token Evil Teammate: On the Saracen side, he is the most unsympathetic character who is eager for bloodshed.
The Town Priest
Played By: Michael Sheen
The town priest of Balian's village.
- Cain and Abel: He is the Cain to Balian's Abel, though he is the one to get killed.
- Consummate Liar: Everybody in authority believes his lies because he is a man of the cloth and therefore must not be dishonest and self-serving, which is exactly what he is. Balian sees through the priest's bullshit instantly but usually lets it pass.
- Disc-One Final Boss: The priest prepares Balian to deal with the many people in authority in the medieval world he lives in who are dishonest, corrupt and self-serving to the core.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: He fancies that he is more holy and pious than Balian, despite the fact that Balian is quiet, passive and humble and truly believes himself to be unworthy of God's love for his wife's suicide. This irks the priest no end because Balian's humility before God is genuine, while the priest's piety is utterly false and self-serving.
- Kick the Dog: Orders the grave diggers to behead the corpse of Balian's wife because she comitted suicide and takes her only possession - her crucifix - for himself. The Director's Cut also shows him trying to provoke and mock Balian while he is grieving for her and his unborn child.
- Man on Fire: Balian throws him into his forge after stabbing him with his sword.
- Morton's Fork: The priest assumes Balian must consider himself sinless because of his own humility, which he points out is a sin in and of itself.
- No Name Given: His name is never uttered nor does it appear in the credits.
- Sinister Minister: More of a massive prick, but yeah.
- The Resenter: The Director's cut makes it more clear that he resents Balian for having the skills of a blacksmith, soldier, architect and siege engineer. He also resents the fact that the head of the local clergy who is the priest's own superior - favors Balian because of his usefulness. The priest even resents Balian for his humility and piety, and tries to convince him that these qualities somehow make him a filthy sinner anyway. Balian even recognises that the priest only wants him to go on the crusade so that the he can take over Balian's land and property.
The Village Sheriff
Played By: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
The sheriff of Balian's village and his cousin.
- Evil Nephew: He's in on his father's plot to have Godfrey and Balian killed to have their lands in the Middle East.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Attempts to flee when most of his men are killed. It doesn't go well.
- Your Head A-Splode: Godfrey slams his sword on top of his head, smashing it like a pumpkin.