This is the characters page for the novel and film adaptation of Patriot Games. Tropes pertaining to characters who first appeared in The Hunt for Red October and its film adaptation may be added to this page, while characters introduced in Clear and Present Danger may be added to this page. Tropes for Jack Ryan and his family, and Vice Admiral Greer, may be added to this page.
The Ryan Family
For tropes pertaining to Jack Ryan and his family in all three films, please visit this page.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency / U.S. Navy
For tropes pertaining to Vice Admiral Greer in all three films, please visit this page.
- Played By: J.E. Freeman
Admiral Greer's assistant, who leads a group of other analysts at the CIA. He brings Jack into the fold as the ULA investigation heats up, at Greer's urging.
- The Cavalry: Subverted; when he realizes that the satellite line to the Ryan family home has been cut, he immediately scrambles a rescue team to get them. Notably, they only show up after all of the terrorists have been taken care of.
- Devil's Advocate: In the absence of Greer, he acts as this to Jack, pointing out possible flaws in his theories and forcing him to consider them to strengthen his arguments.
- Friend or Foe: The film suggests that he may be in league with the ULA, as a conversation about him attempting to dissuade Jack from recalibrating satellites to view camps in North Africa at alternate times is accompanied with a dramatic zoom and sinister score... before it's revealed that he's just playing Devil's Advocate and is critiquing Jack's concerns, not trying to be actively malicious.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He initially acts abrasive to Jack when the latter asks for his old job back at the CIA, but he does correctly point out that a man who was just attacked a month earlier, and had his family attacked a few days earlier, may not be in the best frame of mind to be running operational analysis on a terrorist group.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The first half of the film sets him up as a government "G-Man" who barely talks to anyone and seems to have serious problems bringing Jack back into the fold, reasoning that the latter is too close to the case to be any help. It isn't until Jack participates in several meetings with the group of analysts that he finally follows Jack's advice, despite giving his own questions.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is initially very hesitant to bring Jack on board, stating that Jack's specialty is naval intelligence, not terrorism, and also states that Jack is way too close to the case to work it with the level head he needs to do it properly. Once it's clear that Jack is going to be working for him anyways, he acts as a Devil's Advocate for him (explained above).
- Red Herring: His suspcious behavior is played up in the first half of the film, with him glowering at Jack's family, initially refusing to bring Jack back into the CIA and attempting to dissuade Jack from retasking the satellites (complete with a dramatic zoom), suggesting that he's The Mole — but he's actually just being particular in the way he deals with Jack, who recently went through a traumatic experience. Towards the end of the film, he's so impressed with Jack's performance that he personally lets him into the operations room to watch the SAS attack Miller's camp.
- Remember the New Guy?: He's established as having worked with Jack in the past, and is stated to be Greer's assistant, but he never appeared in the previous film, nor was referred to up to this point.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite acting as Greer's assistant in the film, he disappears completely by the time of Clear and Present Danger. This is also a case of the adaptation changing his role, as he was originally intended to be replaced by Jack at the end of the novel. This is even lampshaded in Patriot itself, as Marty at one point accuses Jack of gunning for his job.
- What the Hell, Hero?: A brief example, as he gets called out by his boss, Greer, for refusing to accept the help of Jack, who wants his old job back.Greer: You were saying something about how we'd be better off without Jack's help... or something like that.
- Played By: Samuel L. Jackson
A former Lieutenant-Commander in the US Navy, Robby developed a strong friendship with Jack while recovering from an injury, and has become one of his closest friends. As the events of the film play out, Robby acts as a trusted friend and second-in-command at several key points. Robby has more characterization and prominence in the novels, where he assumes the role of President for the remainder of Jack Sr.'s term after he steps away from the role.
- Adapted Out: The parts originally centered around his character were cut out for the film adaptations of Clear and Present Danger and the Reboot The Sum of All Fears.
- Ascended Extra: In The Hunt for Red October, he is only briefly listed during a set of rapid-fire chapters that focus on various participants in the plan within the U.S. Government. In Patriot Games, he is given much more characterization and is noted as one of Jack's closest friends.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the books, he is said to have been assassinated by a rogue member of the Ku Klux Klan prior to the events of The Teeth Of The Tiger.
- Freudian Excuse: After capturing Cooley in the book, Robby points a shotgun at his groin and threatens to "make a girl out of" him if he doesn't talk.
- Incoming Ham: Robby interrupts Jack's history course by marching into the room and announcing "Attention to Orders!" before presenting him with The Order Of The Purple Target, in the hopes that next time, Jack will duck.
- The Lancer: More-or-less serves this role to Jack, both during his recovery after the attempted assassination (acting as backup during his meeting with Paddy O'Neil) and during the third act, when both he and Jack repel the ULA terrorists attacking the Ryan family home.
- Post-Injury Desk Job: In Patriot Games, he is temporarily reassigned to teach at Annapolis while his broken leg heals after his plane's ejector seat malfunctioned.
- Scary Black Man: He invokes this, voluntarily, in order to intimidate Dennis Cooley in the book, who had very unwisely dropped the N-Bomb towards Robby's wife.Jack listened to his friend in amazement. Robby never talked like this. But it was convincing. Jack believed that he'd do it.
- Spanner in the Works: In the book, Robby (and his wife, Sissy) are this, as the ULA terrorists know who everybody is at the barbecue / ceremony at the Ryan family home except for them (one of the terrorists even mistakenly thinks Sissy is a servant). This allows Robby to get the drop on them and take several out.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: In the novels, Robby is assassinated, just days before an Presidential election he is heavily favored to win, prior to the events of The Teeth of the Tiger.
- You Are in Command Now: During the novel The Teeth of the Tiger, it's explained that Jack Sr. voluntarily stepped away from his role as President during his first term, and left Robby to finish out the term in his stead (as the only person he could trust). When the time comes for a Presidential race, Robby goes up against Ed Kealty and appears to be dominating in the polls... only to be assassinated on the campaign trail by a disgruntled member of the Ku Klux Klan.
- Played By: Ellen Geer
An analyst and old friend of Jack's in the Central Intelligence Agency.
- Canon Foreigner: Her character is unique to the film adaptations — a sort of "den mother" who helps other analysts at the CIA.
- Expospeak: Pipes up at certain points to give background details about the villains the CIA is hunting, such as explaining how Sean and Kevin O'Donnell are related.
- Field Promotion: In Clear and Present Danger, she takes over Jack's role as the Assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence after he is pushed up to the role, due to Greer having to step away for cancer treatment.
- Remember the New Guy?: Despite not appearing in Red October, Jack's dialogue indicates that he (and the audience) are very familiar with Rose, who greets him warmly and briefly reminisces about the past.
- Spotting the Thread: In Patriot, she's the first to figure out that O'Donnell and Miller are in league with each other, as O'Donnell cared for Miller and his brother after their own father died.
Ulster Liberation Army
- Played By: Sean Bean
Considered to be the Ulster Liberation Army's (ULA) top hitman, Sean Miller, his brother Patrick, Annette and others are led by unit commander Kevin O'Donnell during a kidnapping mission against members of the Royal Family. When Patrick is killed in the attempt and Sean is arrested, he swears vengeance against Jack and his family, and begins a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in response.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the book, he seeks revenge against Jack because he had never failed a mission before and the latter ruined his record. In the film, his brother (who is a Canon Foreigner) was killed by Jack, prompting him to state that It's Personal.
- Adaptational Villainy: Compared to his book counterpart, Film!Miller is even more violent and crazy. He seems to take personal glee in hunting Jack and his family, has no problem shooting his own teammates, and by the climax of the film, he goes completely Ax-Crazy after Jack thwarts him one too many times.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: On the other hand, while he's far more violent than his book counterpart, he's also way more sympathetic. While Film!Miller only wants revenge because Jack killed his younger brother, has a sympathetic backstory of being radicalized after he was orphaned, and is "only" Ax-Crazy, Book!Miller is a racist, homophobic, petty, sadistic monster who murders people for the slightest offense, is incapable of comprehending why anyone would be altruistic and murders people for having anything verging on a redeeming quality because he's so paranoid he's incapable of understanding things like morals and ethics, and only wants to kill Ryan because he broke his perfect record.
- Ax-Crazy: In the film, his brother's death sends him on a bloody vendetta against Jack, to the point that he becomes more concerned with killing him than actually accomplishing any of the ULA's political goals. When his mission gets in the way of his vengeance, he promptly guns down Kevin and Annette and goes after Jack himself.
- Battle in the Rain: Engages in one of these with Jack at the climax of the film. Notably, the original ending would have had Jack and Sean fighting underwater — this was changed to the final film, where they fight on the boat in the rain, due to initially-negative feedback from test screenings.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Kevin — Sean acts as the ULA's top hitman, while Kevin is the group's commander. Notably, Kevin leads a mission to bust Sean out of police custody because they need him to accomplish their mission of kidnapping Lord Holmes and his family. Of course, this comes back to bite Kevin in the end when Sean (in a rage over attempts to dissuade him from killing Jack) shoots both him and Annette.
- Big Brother Mentor: A villainous version of this trope; Sean is extremely kind and supportive towards his brother, and reassures him by telling him that he's on the cusp of doing great things. Of course, this "great thing" involves the kidnapping of members of the Royal Family. When Patrick is shot and killed by Jack, Sean tells the arresting guards to help his brother, to no avail.
- Death by Adaptation: In the book, Sean is merely captured and imprisoned for his role in the kidnapping attempt, after being disarmed and captured by Jack.note In the film, Jack throws him onto the sharp point of an anchor, then leaves his body to be destroyed as the speedboat he was driving crashes into a jagged set of rocks.
- Determinator: It becomes clear as the movie progresses that Sean is consumed by his mission to kill Jack and his family, to the point that it devolves into Sanity Slippage by the climax. Even when Kevin tries to dissuade him at the end, he tells both him and Annette that he doesn't care about the ULA's mission to kidnap the royals, and kills both of his fellow team members, to boot.
- The Dragon: An interesting case, particularly for the genre — Sean is functionally the main antagonist, but serves as The Dragon to Kevin O'Donnell, his unit commander, who not only rescues him from custody, but provides him with resources and funding to support his campaign of revenge against Jack's family. By the time the climax hits, he's more-or-less leading the raid on the Ryan family home, and when O'Donnell attempts to convince him to stop his pursuit of Jack and go back to take Lord Holmes and his wife, Sean shoots him (and Annette) in response.
- Dragon Their Feet: He is the last man standing in the ULA, surviving O'Donnell (who he had just killed)... but not for long, as he's ultimately killed by Jack.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Sean goes after Ryan and his family after Jack killed his brother to stop a terrorist attack the two were a part of.
- Evil Is Petty: In the book, he wants revenge on Jack for... ruining his perfect record by stopping a terrorist attack. As the book goes on, he murders people out of his vague suspicions and for insulting him.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He dies after Jack throws him onto a pointed anchor — one he had just tried to stab Jack with moments earlier.
- Intimidation Demonstration: While in British court being tried for the kidnapping attempt, Sean lunges at Jack (who is in the court with him) in anger over his brother's death.
- I Shall Taunt You: He makes a point of calling Jack and bragging about the attack on the latter's family, to the point of crowing about Sally having had her spleen removed due to the car crash.
- It's Personal with the Dragon: O'Donnell is the leader, but Sean (who watched his own brother die in front of him) has a personal vendetta with Jack.
- Knight of Cerebus: He is easily the darkest and most evil of the Jack Ryan antagonists, and one of the reasons why Patriot Games is Darker and Edgier than the other movies.
- Revenge Before Reason: Sean's Fatal Flaw in the film — he craves revenge for his brother's death beyond anything else, and ends up tearing his own organization and their mission down in his efforts to get at Jack and his family. At the end of the film, he leads the surviving ULA members to chase down Jack and the rest of the Royal Family, unaware that Jack is actually luring them away from the rest of the family and Holmes.
- Revenge by Proxy: Sean goes after not only Jack, but his unarmed wife and daughter as well. Were it not for the efforts of an unnamed Badass Bystander that alerted her, both Cathy and Sally would have been killed by Sean.
- Revenge Myopia: His vendetta against Jack is motivated by the death of his brother Patrick, but it occurred during their kidnapping attempt against Lord Holmes. From Miller's perspective, their mission against Holmes was justified, and Ryan was an unwanted interloper.
- The Starscream: Betrays and kills both O'Donnell and Annette during the final battle when they persuade him to turn their boat around.
- Team Killer: Not only does he shoot Dennis Cooley (with Kevin's blessing), a team member who was completely loyal to him (but made the mistake of being clumsy), but he also executes Kevin himself and Annette during the climax when they attempt to dissuade him from pursuing Jack.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: At the end, Jack impales him on a boat anchor, then leaves his body to be blown up as the boat they were fighting on crashes into large rocks in a massive fiery explosion.
- Tranquil Fury: Lapses into this during the first half of the film, particularly during his escape from the convoy (and killing the Inspector) and his reactions towards Jack. By the end of the film, though, this has progressed to full-blown Sanity Slippage.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Jack kills his brother at the beginning of the film, he slowly but surely becomes mentally unhinged. Eventually, at the final battle, he ends up killing both O'Donnell and Annette when they get in his way of his pursuit of Ryan.
- Would Hurt a Child: Sean has no problem shooting at Jack's family, including his daughter. In fact, he seems to take a perverse pride in it.
- Played By: Patrick Bergin
The leader of a rogue terrorist cell (the Ulster Liberation Army) operating within the IRA, O'Donnell leads a group of other criminals, including Sean Miller, Annette and others.
- Assassin Outclassin': He easily gets the drop on the hitsquad sent by Jimmy O'Reardon to take him out, fooling them into believing he's sitting at home watching television.
- Apologetic Attacker: O'Donnell only utters the words, "Sorry, Dennis," before Sean coldly executes Cooley at the African camp in the movie.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Sean Miller, his top hitman. That is, until Sean shoots and kills him during the climax of the film.
- The Chessmaster: Up until the ending of both the book and the film, everything seems to go his way — even when the assassination attempt against Jack and his family fails, Kevin tells Sean that it helped their cause anyway, as the IRA will be seen as more guilty despite apologizing on television.
- Death by Adaptation: In the original novel, O'Donnell is not present when Miller pursues Jack outside the family home, and his ultimate whereabouts are left unaddressed. In the film, however, O'Donnell (along with Annette) are shot and killed by Miller after they attempt to dissuade him from pursuing Jack.
- Death by Irony: Kevin busts Sean out of prison, as he is his most valuable hitman. Instead, Film!Miller's desire for revenge has overtaken him so completely that by the end, he murders O'Donnell for daring to interfere with his pursuit of Jack.
- Enemy Civil War: Briefly, with IRA brigade commander Jimmy O'Reardon. Having made clear that the ULA's tactics are more extreme than the IRA are willing to sanction (and the other brigade commanders know about it), O'Reardon sends goons to Kevin's farmhouse to execute him. However, Kevin gets the drop on them, takes them all out, and has Annette execute him in a moment of weakness to boot.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Is shown to be in a committed relationship with Dark Action Girl Annette.
- Ironic Echo: After Jimmy tells him to "hold (his) temper" when talking to Charlie, Kevin dispatches the hitmen Jimmy sent and then says the following:
- I Surrender, Suckers: He lulls a fellow IRA contact into believing he's at home and unarmed, under the pretext of letting an IRA member "talk" to him. Instead, Kevin gets the drop of his assailants (even making it look like he's answering the door at one point) and executes them instead.
- Karmic Death: O'Donnell leads a splinter faction of the IRA that favors more violent tactics in pursuing the royal family. Thus, he makes the effort to free Miller, his most Ax-Crazy operative. This backfires horribly on him when he interferes with Miller's Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Ryan in the film, and is promptly killed for it.
- Master of Disguise: In the novel, he's not only fond of wearing disguises to throw off other operatives and hide his identity, but he had his face surgically altered to change his identity.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the film, his decision to bust Sean out of police custody ends up dooming the entire ULA, as it causes a chain of events that ultimately sets both the CIA and IRA against them.
- The IRA realizes Miller's stirring up Ryan against them has become a major liability to their cause, and they sell out his splinter faction for being more trouble than it's worth. Plus, they knew that Kevin had already killed one of their brigade commanders, who had sent men to kill him because of the dangers that his plan had for them. That alone would be enough for them to disown O'Donnell and sell him out.
- The CIA, having learned that Sean has escaped custody (and motivated by Jack, who has rejoined the Company and initiated a search for their whereabouts) tracks their camp to North Africa, points the SAS in the right direction and watches dispassionately as the allied forces gun down the ULA members in the middle of the night. The only caveat is that O'Donnell's strike team had already departed by this point.
- Finally, O'Donnell's attempts to rein Sean in don't work, and he finally snaps and kills both O'Donnell and Annette during the climax, before being killed by Jack in turn.
- Spotting the Thread: He immediately figures out that Jimmy is setting him up to be killed, as the latter comments that he's going to have someone pay him a visit at home and warns him to "hold his temper". In response, Kevin signals Annette to take him out instead, before he deals with the hitmen Jimmy sent personally.
- The Starscream:
- He makes it very clear to Sean and his other co-conspirators that he wants to usurp the leadership of the IRA through a set of high-profile attacks, going as far as to assassinate an IRA brigade commander in the process.
- The book goes into greater detail: during his stint as the PIRA's counter-intelligence chief, O'Donnell actively purged members whose political views differed from his own. When he ended up being found out, he founded the ULA in an attempt to kill the PIRA's leadership and take their place.
- Team Killer: Not only does he kill three hitmen who are allegedly on the same side as him (albeit ones sent to kill him due to his reckless actions), but he gives Sean the okay to kill Dennis Cooley.
- Villainous Rescue: He leads an attack on a police convoy to bust Sean out of custody midway through the film.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the book, he's last referenced being given a status update by Miller at Jack's home, and is not seen or referenced at any time afterwards. While future installments claim that the entirety of the ULA has been killed or apprehended, it is left unclear if O'Donnell is among them.
- With Us or Against Us: Said verbatim by Kevin to Jimmy O'Reardon as he (attempts to) cajole the latter into sympathizing with the ULA's cause.
- Played By: Polly Walker
The girlfriend of Kevin O'Donnell, Annette actively participates in missions organized by the ULA, and takes a key role in various assassinations throughout the film.
- Anywhere but Their Lips: Does this with Jimmy before she feigns an excuse to get access to her purse (and a gun), which she uses to dispatch him. Then subverted moments later, as she gets into a car and kisses Kevin on the lips before they drive off.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted; after being knocked out by Cathy during the climax and being roused again, her face is all banged up for the rest of the film.
- Boom, Headshot!: Delivers one to Jimmy O'Reardon after seducing him, on Kevin's orders.
- Buxom Is Better: To the point that the well-endowed Annette ends up being part of the ULA's undoing — in both the book and film, CIA analysts are able to ascertain the location of the North African ULA camp because her cleavage was prominent enough to appear on satellite imaging.Jack: (to analyst) Can you enhance that, sharpen it up? (image clears, showing Annette's chest) ...tits.
- Dark Action Girl: She's just as capable in terms of weapons usage as the rest of her comrades, and takes an active role in several missions throughout the film, including the attempted assassination of Jack, the assassination of Jimmy, Sean's rescue and the assault on the Ryan family home during the climax.
- Designated Girl Fight: Briefly against Cathy, who knocks her out with the butt of a shotgun after she tries to kill both her and Sally in the second floor of their home.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Near the beginning of the film, just before the ULA attacks Lord Holmes' vehicle, she is seen looking backwards in a decoy car — but she isn't the focus of the scene, because the camera is centered on Jack's view of Cathy and Sally across the street. This turns into a case of Chekhov's Gunman when he remembers later that she was associated with the ULA after he catches another glimpse of her during the attempted assassination outside Annapolis.
- Evil Redheads: Interestingly, despite sporting short black hair, she typically wears a red wig during her operations, giving her the appearance of having long, red hair. This turns into a Chekhov's Gun when Jack is able to identify her based on her past appearances and distinctive hairtone.
- Honey Trap: She poses as a guest at a pub where Kevin is meeting with Jimmy O'Reardon, and lures the latter into having sex with her. Before the act can initiate, though, she feigns an excuse to get out of bed, pulls out a gun and kills him.
- Idiot Ball: Her attempted assassination of Jack occurs in a public place (a military academy), is thwarted by the military police (who shoot and kill Clark), does nothing to disguise herself, and Jack gets a glimpse of her as she drives away, giving him the key to figuring out her identity.
- I Have This Friend...: Used when she passes a message to Dennis Cooley requesting the transfer route for the police convoy transporting Miller — she tells him that she has a "friend" who needs an old book restored post-haste, and when he discovers the message and tells her it might be difficult, she asks him to do the best he can under the circumstances.
- Overt Agent: In tandem with her Idiot Ball moment above, she refuses to wear anything besides a distinctive red wig any time she needs a disguise. As a result, Jack sees her briefly during the assassination attempt and is able to connect the dots regarding her identity.
- Too Dumb to Live: Despite being an otherwise-capable soldier, she lapses into this twice (to the point that it becomes her Fatal Flaw):
- She, along with Ned Clark, prepares to carry out what is clearly a very well planned out assassination of Jack. Somehow, it never occurred to them that they would be doing this on the grounds of a military academy, with armed guards patrolling at all times. Even had they been successful, they would likely have been shot within seconds - which is precisely the fate that befalls Clark.
- Annette holds Miller at gunpoint after he's murdered O'Donnell, but is too slow to fire and instead insults him. As a result, she is shot and killed by him.
- You Bastard!: Shouts this at Sean during the climax, just before he guns her down in the speedboat.
- You're Insane!: Finally gets this reaction after Sean ignores their calls to turn back and locate Lord Holmes in the climax. After Sean shoots and kills Kevin, she holds him at gunpoint and calls him a "crazy bastard" before he shoots her.
- Played By: Keith Campbell
A low-ranking member of the ULA who attempts to assassinate Jack Ryan outside of the Naval Academy in Langley, Virginia.
- Death by Adaptation: In the book, he's captured by the military guards at the Naval Academy before he can even get to Jack. In the film, he is shot dead by said guards as he attempts to draw his weapon on Jack.
- Dumb Muscle: He's sent on the mission to assassinate Jack specifically because of his stature and lower intelligence — Miller reasons that if he is caught, he doesn't know enough about the inner workings of the ULA to spill any pertinent information.
- Go Out with a Smile: He cracks a vague grin after being fatally shot when Jack demands Miller's location from him. It immediately clues him in to where Miller plans to strike next.
- Idiot Ball: Both he and Annette are dumb enough to attempt to kill Jack outside of the Naval Academy's front gate. In the film, when he tries to draw his weapon on Jack after beating him back, he is summarily shot and killed by the Marine sentry on watch. And even worse, he cracks a grin while dying, tipping Jack off that Miller is going after the rest of his family too.
- Played By: Alex Norton
A rare book collector revealed to be in league with the ULA, Cooley liaises with them and attempts to prove his value to the splinter cell.
- Adaptational Wimp: Cooley is far more inept and nerdy in the film than the book. In the source material, Cooley joins the group at their training camp and is part of the group that attacks the Ryan home at the end. In the movie, he's completely inept with a gun and Miller kills him when he realizes he's useless.
- He Knows Too Much: Part of the reason why Kevin and Sean have him silenced in the film — given that he knows where the group's base is, and his familiarity with the ULA's activities, he has become a loose end.
- Laser-Guided Karma: How he meets his end in both versions of the work:
- In the film, he manages to make it to the ULA's North African camp, but upon realizing that he has no proficiency with a weapon, Kevin gives Sean the okay to kill Dennis.
- In the novel, he takes part in the ULA's raid on Jack's home during the climax, but gets caught by Robby, who beats him up and forces him to escort the group to the ULA boats. Dennis is accidentally shot and killed by one of the guards while doing this.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: When Cooley realizes that his rare bookshop has been tapped with a wire, and that the police have been recording his every move, he immediately makes up an excuse, escapes the cops and (after phoning The Mole to arrange safe transit) leaves the U.K. for the ULA's North African camp.
- Spy Speak:
- In the book, when one of Cooley's agents delivers intel he needs to courier to Ireland, they ask if a book is an Xth edition he picked up in Y, with X indicating the importance level of the information being handed over, and Y being the county in Ireland it needs to go to. In the film, this is adapted into an I Have This Friend... conversation with Annette, when she asks him to restore an old first-edition book, and their dialogue implying that she is asking him to contact Watkins to secure information on Sean's prison convoy.
- Cooley, forced to abandon his bookshop, phones a number and deliberately asks for someone who isn't there.
- Tempting Fate: Had he not kept rambling on and asking to join the mission, Film!Dennis might not have been shot. Then again, considering what happens shortly after this, perhaps it was for the best.
- Too Dumb to Live: Cooley is an otherwise-nerdy rare book collector who is completely loyal to the ULA — but makes the mistake (in the film) of travelling to North Africa to join their camp, harrasses Sean and Kevin to join them on a field op, and is completely inept with a gun, to boot. As a result, he is summarily executed by Sean.
- Trouble Entendre: In the process of fleeing the U.K. from the cops, Cooley stops just before boarding a ferry, calls a number (revealed to be Watkins' line) and asks for the wrong extension — which indicates that the contact has been burned.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once Sean and Kevin realize he can't do something as simple as fire a gun (despite his request to join them on the assault), and given how he's been nagging them up to this point, Kevin wordlessly gives Sean the okay to shoot him.
- Canon Foreigner: In the original novel, a ULA terrorist named John Michael McCrory is shot and killed by Jack during the kidnapping attempt against the Holmes Family. In the film, McCrory is Adapted Out and replaced with Patrick, whose death provides sufficient motivation for his brother, Sean, to start a campaign of revenge against Jack and his family.
- Flat Character: The only things we get to know about him are that he's the kid brother of the lead antagonist, the attempt to kidnap Holmes and his wife was the first mission he'd participated in, he's nervous as all hell and that he has some proficiency with a weapon.
- In the Blood: In the short time he's seen (and given what's said later about him and Sean) in the film, it's clear that he wants to pursue the same branch of violence against the government that both his father and older brother took before him.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, as a second "Patrick (Paddy)" (Paddy O'Neil) is also present during the events of the film.
- Tempting Fate: He's shown to be extremely nervous, but willing to follow his brother into a dangerous mission to kidnap a member of the Royal Family. It ends... poorly for him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Barely appears before he's shot and killed by Jack during the opening action scene, prompting retaliation from Sean and the rest of the ULA.
The IRA (Irish Republican Army)
A brigade commander working for the Irish Republican Army, Jimmy organizes a plan to permanently silence Kevin O'Donnell — but gets the tables turned on him quickly.
- Calling Your Attacks: He more-or-less tells Kevin (even if he didn't fully intend to) that he's going to send at least one IRA goon to his farmhouse to settle the matter personally. This comes back to bite Jimmy, hard.
- Contraception Deception: A fatal version of this, just before Annette shoots him:Jimmy: Ah, ye're not going to make me wear a rubber, are ye? Ye know, the church says wearing one of them's a sin, darlin'.
- Didn't Think This Through: He notably tells Kevin that he intends to send a few of his men to his house to "talk to" him regarding the failed attack, and doesn't seem to think that his plan will go awry in any way. And this comes after he notes that both of them disagree on the methods that should be used carrying out their attacks, with Kevin vocally insulting the IRA to his face in the process.
- Distracted by the Sexy: He spends most of the first scene he appears in being more concerned about Annette (who has appeared in the bar) then talking to Kevin, who is essentially demanding his allegiance to the ULA. Jimmy ends up being assassinated by Annette after Kevin gives her a signal.
- He Knows Too Much: He gives the order to have Kevin O'Donnell assassinated after the latter (along with Miller, Annette and others) attempt to kidnap Lord Holmes and his wife without the IRA's authorization.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The moment he suggests to Kevin that he's sending some IRA personnel to his house, Kevin gives the order for Annette to seduce and ultimately kill him, with his death occurring right after Kevin guns down the three hitmen.
- Out with a Bang: Is assassinated by Annette after she'd just gone down on him.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only appears in two scenes (one of which involves him getting assassinated in bed), but his conversation with Kevin about the differing tactics of the latter's unit and the circumstances of his death linger through the rest of the film.
- Tempting Fate: The thought that Kevin (the leader of the rogue IRA cell) would pull a fast one on him never crosses his mind, and he is swiftly caught out when Annette assassinates him in bed.
- Too Dumb to Live: He invites the commander of the rogue unit to a pub for a meeting, points out that they disagree on tactics, notably forewarns Kevin that he's sending someone to his place to "talk to" him, and completely ignores Kevin giving Annette a look before he leaves, acting content to go for a one-night stand with her. What happens next is obvious.
- Played By: Richard Harris
A bagman working for the Irish Republican Army, Jack looks to him for a lead regarding the whereabouts of Sean Miller and the Ulster Liberation Army.
- Enemy Mine: In his final scene in the film, he provides Jack with pictures of Annette, who is part of the same unit who attacked his family. The move acts as an unofficial acknowledgement that the IRA is fine with letting the CIA get revenge on O'Donnell and his splinter cell.
- Exact Words: He tells Jack that he would never reveal where Sean Miller is hiding, as he'd never betray a fellow Irishman. However, Annette, who is part of the ULA, is English, not Irish.
- Hypocrite: When he points out that he's been pleading to the press that the IRA had nothing to do with the attack, Jack counters that nobody trusts them anymore, given how the IRA routinely flips between taking responsibility for certain terrorist acts while claiming innocence in others.
- Not Helping Your Case: He tries to offer sympathies to Jack after Cathy and Sally are involved in the car crash... only for Jack to completely refuse his overtures (due to O'Neil having held a press conference immediately beforehand where he absolves the IRA) before storming out of the hospital.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only appears in a handful of very short scenes, but gives Jack vital information on the identities of Miller and the rest of the ULA members.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: He outright tells Jack in the bar that he would never reveal Sean Miller's location, or that of any of the ULA extremists, because he would "never betray a fellow Irishman". Soon after, though, he gives Jack the lead he needs to find Annette — the apparent sole English member of the ULA, and the woman Jack never asked about.
- Underestimating Badassery: Paddy doesn't seem to think much of Jack's threat against him in the pub... though once he realizes that Jack could conceivably throw the entire CIA (not to mention sentiment from Irish-Americans once Jack publicizes that the IRA was involved in the attack) against them, he changes his tune and gives Jack the intel he needs.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Acts as a bagman / public spokesperson for the IRA with the British government, and notes in his first conversation with Jack that he's been on the phone with various media outlets proclaiming the IRA's innocence.
British Government and Associated Forces
- Played By: James Fox
A member of the British Royal Family who acts as the initial target of Kevin O'Donnell's ULA cell. The attempted kidnapping of Holmes (and his wife) provides the impetus for Jack to help them, setting off the chain of events in the film.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In both the novel and the film, the third act is motivated by him personally visiting Jack in Maryland to bestow a knighthood in his honor — an act that motivates the ULA to attack after Geoffrey (The Mole) reveals his itinerary.
- Expy: In the book and the film, both Holmes and his wife act as analogues of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, two of the most high-profile members of the British Royal Family.
- Named by the Adaptation: In the novel, he is unnamed, but heavily implied to be Prince Charles, along with his then-wife Princess Diana. The film names him Lord William Holmes.
- Non-Action Guy: He largely exists as a bystander (albeit a member of the Royal Family) who motivates the action in the first and third act. The ULA attacks his location at two separate points in the film to kidnap him and his wife; in the first instance, he can do nothing but huddle inside the armored vehicle with his wife; in the second, though he is given a gun at one point, he never uses it, and his role is limited to keeping Watkins secured in the basement of the Ryan family home and acting as a lookout.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: While he doesn't directly engage any of the terrorists in the film, he does keep Geoffrey restrained during the ULA siege on Jack's home, and even personally knocks out Geoffrey himself! Taken slightly further in the book, where he even mans a boat's signal light himself during the finale.
- Tempting Fate: After the first ULA attack, Holmes tells Geoffrey and Sergeant Owens that he will "not be held hostage" to his itinerary, as it would make the public think the terrorists have impacted the public perception of the Royal Family. And then he decides to take a specific trip to Maryland to award Jack a knighthood... at his home, no less.
- Played By: Hugh Fraser
A member of Lord Holmes' cabinet, Watkins acts as a personal friend and confidante for the diplomat... as well as The Mole, who is secretly feeding information to Kevin O'Donnell and the rest of the ULA.
- Adaptation Distillation: In the book, Watkins is Driven to Suicide after Miller is caught at the end of the book, realizing that the authorities most likely know he was behind the information leaks. In the film, he joins Lord Holmes during the ceremony at Jack's home, actively instigates the attack (turning off the power and executing an agent himself), then gets shot by Sean as Jack and the others flee the house, after he'd just sat up.
- Adaptation Induced Plothole: While the film does hint at Geoffrey being The Mole, it doesn't explain why he did it — The Reveal seemingly comes out of left field, compared to the passing justification given in the novel.
- Foreshadowing: Early on in the film, in a moment of Irony, Sergeant Owens makes an angry reference to finding The Mole responsible for Lord Holmes' assassination attempt. Geoffrey, later revealed to be the mole, is standing right next to him, and has a very brief Aside Glance.
- Karmic Death: After revealing Holmes' location to the ULA, which subsequently finds and raids the Ryan family home, Geoffrey is tied up, interrogated and left behind as Jack and the others escape. When Sean hears Geoffrey scream, he runs down to the basement and sprays it with cover fire — Geoffrey (who has just regained consciousness) is shot and killed by Sean.
- Knee-capping: Gets his knee shot as Jack interrogates him during the climactic house siege in the film.
- The Mole: He provides Kevin (and the rest of the ULA) with the information they need, both in terms of Holmes' itinerary (at two critical points), but also details on Sean's transfer to prison, giving them the opportunity to spring him from police custody.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His villainous tendencies get the better of him in the film, as he walks out of the Ryan family home's basement with a shit-eating look on his face, after he just cut the power, prompting Jack and Robby to immediately get suspicious and shove him into the next room, where they find his gun and a dead British guard. Were it not for this brazen incident, Sean and the rest of the ULA would likely have attacked the home unhindered.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Gets gunned down (accidentally) by the now-Ax-Crazy Sean during their raid of the Ryan family home.
- Played By: David Threlfall
The commanding officer in charge of Sean's transfer to prison after his conviction, who runs afoul of him due to his work as an Irishman in the criminal justice system.
- Adaptation Distillation: The film cuts out the backstory of Highland having saved Sean from being raped in prison (and prompting Sean to shoot him in the gut instead of killing him outright), but adds in additional character motivation of Highland speaking to Sean and saying they're not so different, despite being on opposite sides of the law.
- Agonizing Stomach Wound: Miller delivers one to him at the end of the convoy attack in the novel, ostensibly because he wants to "punish" Highland for his actions rescuing him in prison.
- Boom, Headshot!: Gets delivered one in the film, courtesy of Sean.
- Category Traitor: He is considered to be this by Sean and the rest of the ULA, due to the former being an Irishman working for the British criminal justice system (from his last name, it can be guessed he's probably a Protestant Unionist, and so on the other side of The Troubles from them). For this, they execute him with a bullet to the back of the head when they liberate Sean in the film.
- Death by Adaptation: In the novel, he is ironically the Sole Survivor of the ULA attack on the police ferry, due to Sean wanting to punish him (and mistakenly thinking he was in on a plot to rescue him in prison). In the book, he is coldly executed by Sean after delivering a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
- Face Death with Dignity: He outright tells Miller to just kill him and get it over with.
- Get It Over With: Said as his last words in the film, right before Sean shoots him.
- "Not So Different" Remark: Highland points out that even though he and Sean are on different sides of the law, he feels some of the rage they do — he just can't stand terrorism and killing people.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Highland's fate is given different meaning here as opposed to the book, as he acts as a Sacrificial Lamb that motivates the British government to step up its investigation on the IRA.
- Sole Survivor: In the book, Highland survives the ULA's attack on the convoy to rescue Sean, ironically due to Sean himself wanting to punish Highland for allegedly being in on a plot to help "rescue" him from a Prison Rape incident.