Dr. Elizabeth 'Ellie' M. Shaw
An accomplished archaeologist with doctorates in paleontology, archaeology, human mythology, and metics who was assigned to assist the USCSS Prometheus expedition in discovering the homeworld of the Engineers on LV-223.
Together with her scientific partner and lover Charles Holloway, Shaw discovered the location of LV-223 and convinced Weyland Corp to fund a scientific expedition to the planet. She believed that this would allow her to finally encounter the creators of mankind and "meet her maker," gaining answers to a number of existential questions about the nature and origins of human life. After contacting Weyland Corp obsessively she gained the necessary funding for the project after the location of their eldest piece of evidence yet, located in the Isle of Skye.
- Action Girl: After taking a level in badass.
- Action Survivor: What it amounts to, however.
- An Axe to Grind: An axe becomes her Action Survivor weapon of choice.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished. Averted. Shaw's appearance after David has spent ten years playing God with her dead body is not pretty at all.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Elizabeth wanted to meet her creator, and finds out they view humanity as a failed experiment that needs to be wiped out.
- Body Horror: The state of her corpse after David has cannibalised it for his experiments is like something from an M.C. Escher painting.
- Break the Cutie: Everything in the Prometheus mission (killing her lover, getting pregnant with an alien fetus, finding an homicidal Engineer) makes her a cynical and vengeful woman by the end.
- Broken Pedestal: The Engineers. They go from awe inspiring to the stuff of nightmares.
- Bus Crash: Shaw voluntarily goes into cryosleep for the journey to the Engineer planet in the Crossing prologue clip for Covenant. By the time the Covenant crew arrives on the planet in the film proper, they discover that she's long dead. Though David claims this to have been a result of the ship both of them were piloting crashing on the planet, it is later discovered that she was hiding for years, but was caught and experimented on by David, resulting in her death.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: In the most horrifying way imaginable. Shaw immediately knows the child is not human and is suitably disturbed. David's lack of tact doesn't help either.
- Crisis of Faith: Averted. Despite the horrors she and the crew faces, her faith in a higher power never wavers. In fact when things have really hit the fan she still makes sure to get her father's cross back, after she was forced to hand over it due to quarantine procedure. David even lampshades this, intrigued that she still believes after all that's happened.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: It's implied that David used her as raw material for his experiments, given her body has been quite visibly dissected when the Covenant crew discovers it.
- Decoy Protagonist: Of the prequel series, however, she is then killed off in Alien: Covenant, while the said next film follows Daniels and David. Originally, the prequel series was supposed to follow Shaw and the mysteries behind the Engineers, until it became an Aborted Arc by the next movie.
- Determinator: She performs emergency surgery on herself whilst conscious in order to ensure the creature inside her is removed. She also beats two people off her to get to the operating machinery. To put this into perspective, she is the only person in the Alien universe to have survived chestburster infestation (even if it was a proto version), which is supposed to be the death sentence event for a character in this setting. David tells her afterward that her survival instincts are very impressive.
- Despair Event Horizon: A subversion. After ensuring the Engineer is dead and the Earth is safe, she breaks down crying out to the deceased Charlie that she isn't strong enough to go on. However, David snaps her out of it when he tells her he can get them off planet in a space jockey vessel.
- Expy: Her character has been compared favourably to Ripley due to being a strong female character in the Alien universe. Though Noomi Rapace believes that despite some similarities there are clear differences.
- Fetus Terrible: She gives birth to a gigantic facehugger.
- Final Girl: Ridley Scott claimed it would be Vickers, but it turns out to have been Shaw all along.
- Hot Scientist: It's Noomi Rapace, after all. Charlie certainly thinks so.
- Human Resources: According to Ridley Scott, in the time-skip between ''Prometheus'' and ''Covenant'' David used her DNA (no doubt salvaged from her corpse) to cross-fertilise with the Engineers' technology, in order to see what would evolve.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: She's sterile, something Holloway accidentally reminds her of when he says that creating life is no big deal, and she asks what it means that she can't do it. The fact that she's sterile is also her first big clue that her pregnancy is not natural, not to mention that she's already three months along.
- Made of Iron: Shaw goes through absolute hell, being knocked about by a storm, having a c-section to remove her alien offspring and being tossed around by the Engineer like a rag doll.
- Missing Mom: She was raised by her father, who had a big impact on her religious beliefs.
- Nice to the Waiter: She's pretty much the only character to treat David like an actual person, which is probably why he has, as per Word of God, a "curious crush" on her.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her reattaching David's head allows him to go on his murderous rampage, wiping out the Engineers and experimenting with their bio-weapons. Tragically this quite probably causes her own death, and David experiments on her corpse.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: David appreciates Shaw after she repairs him and shows him more kindness than Weyland ever did. He returns the favor by killing her and experimenting on her dead body. Albeit, after she refuses his offer of We Can Rule Together.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Shaw's long dead by the events of Alien: Covenant, having been killed and experimented on by David.
- Summon Bigger Fish: She does this to the surviving Engineer trying to kill her. Opening a near-by door unleashing a giant proto-facehugger on him. It's not pretty.
David is an advanced model of a sophisticated android developed by Weyland Industries. He is designed not only to look human but act like a living person, mimicking a wide range of human emotions and behaviours. This is to allow fellow employees to feel more comfortable around him, despite the fact that he actually lacks human emotions.
- A God Am I: By Alien: Covenant, David has genuinely come to see himself as a god and deemed himself intellectually, morally, and philosophically superior enough to both humanity and the Engineers to be able to pass judgement on both races; the sentence herein being death.
- Abhorrent Admirer: David grew to genuinely like Shaw; Word of God has gone so far as to call it a "crush." That didn't stop him from killing her and using her body like a Petri dish.
- Admiring the Abomination: He and one of the Neomorphs have a very creepy moment where David attempts to communicate and stand in awe of it even though he just saw it brutally kill someone. He is furious when Oram shoots it dead showing that he cares more about the dangerous organisms than he does about humans, which is later revealed to be in part because he indirectly created said dangerous organisms through his twisted experiments and genocidal actions.
- Affably Evil: David is always helpful, friendly and polite. Even when preparing to infect his "test subjects".
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
- Played with in Prometheus. While his general demeanor and dialogue suggest he would like nothing better than to see the death of Weyland ("we all want our parents dead") and possibly several other humans, pretty much all of his actions are, at the very least, loose interpretations of orders he's been given.
- Becomes a straight example in Alien: Covenant, deciding that androids are superior to humans and Engineers alike, but lamenting that androids can't create life like they could. So after his genocide of the Engineers, he sets about conducting experiments with the black goo to develop the Ultimate Lifeform, which results in Shaw's death and the creation of the Xenomorph species. He ends the movie with 2,000 sleeping guinea pigs at his disposal.
- Ambiguously Bi: Crossing into Depraved Bisexual as his antagonism is revealed. He has some sort of romantic emotions for Shaw, but kisses his "brother" Walter on the lips in Alien: Covenant. In both cases, David attacks the objects of his affection with intent to kill, succeeding with Shaw and possibly Walter as well.
- Ambiguously Evil: Throughout Prometheus, David comes across as slightly sinister and resentful of his human shipmates, even poisoning Holloway to observe the effects of the Engineers' biotechnology, but his motives are vague, and he still tries to help Shaw at the climax. Come Alien: Covenant, however, the ambiguity disappears. He's the film's Big Bad, the Greater-Scope Villain of the franchise, and a genocidal Robotic Psychopath with a massive god complex.
- Artificial Human: He's an android who looks convincingly human, but doesn't quite have the act down.
- The Bad Guy Wins: At the end of Alien: Covenant, David has full run of the titular ship, everyone who could stop him is either dead or in cryosleep, and he has 2000 sleeping colonists on whom to continue his experiments.
- Badass Bookworm: Not only is David a polyglot, scholar and poet, he has superhuman strength and reflexes and is programmed with advanced skills in martial arts, which he puts to devastating use in Ailen: Covenant, in his battle against Walter, his successor model, who is also programmed with said skills.
- Become a Real Boy: Invoked almost by name. David wants to be treated equally with the rest of the human crew, but knows he can never fit in because he's artificial and therefore doesn't have a "soul". He idolizes T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia to the point of trying to emulate his hair style.
- Big Bad: Of Alien: Covenant. He is singlehandedly responsible for the Xenomorph outbreak and every single death that ensues.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Depicted not so much as evil but more as incapable of comprehending the constructs of good and evil as they are understood by the average human being. Is motivated more by curiosity and a need for personal validation than anything else. This is why even though he genuinely loved Shaw as a friend, he still kills her to experiment in the creation of new life, yet still mourns her loss with true sadness because he sees it as a "necessary" sacrifice for the Greater Good.
- Breakout Character: A highly acclaimed character, David now ranks as one of the greatest Alien characters among the likes of Apone, Bishop, or Ripley herself in the eyes of fans. His popularity led to him having an expanded role in Alien: Covenant.
- Brutal Honesty: Lacks any real tact in this department.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Goes around barefoot most of the time in Alien: Covenant.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Lampshaded when David is trying to open a door and Shaw says no, they don't know what's on the other side. Cue David opening the door and saying "Oops. Sorry".
- Evil Brit: He has a posh, T.E. Lawrence-esque British accent, on top of being Ambiguously Evil throughout Prometheus and the unquestionable Big Bad in Alien: Covenant.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Attempting to make something better than humans, David conducts experiments with the Chemical A0-3959X.91 15 mutagen that eventually result in the creation of the Xenomorphs.
- Exact Words: He asks Holloway if he'd be willing to get closer to his creators. Holloway agrees, unwittingly giving David permission to infect him with the virus that the Engineers came up with.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: David's handsome appearance hides a near-total lack of empathy, and later, a full-on god delusion and genocidal mania.
- Faux Affably Evil: In Alien: Covenant, David's demeanor has changed very little. He's as polite and soft-spoken as ever, but as the film goes on, it's increasingly shown to cover an absolute disdain for the human race, as well as a raging god complex. His gentle tone as he leads Oram to his gruesome death and parting words of "don't let the bed bugs bite" as he seals a horrified Daniels into cryosleep emphasise the depths of cruelty that exist behind his affable mask.
- For Science!: Everything he does with regard to Chemical A0-3959X.91 15 is for the sake of experimentation. Unfortunately for all of his test subjects.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Aside from his looks, David fits a majority of the tropes from original depiction of the Monster from Mary Shelley's classic. He's created by an extremely vain, arrogant man who sought to upset the natural order for his own gain, shunned by said creator as little more than a creation and by a majority of those around him, initially started out naive only to slip into his own megalomania after he's been looked down on enough, and ultimately is directly responsible for the deaths of almost everyone in both casts. The only real difference between the two is that David's megalomania surpasses his creator's and doesn't commit suicide after succeeding him, which as a result only allows him to go further down in becoming the villain of the entire franchise.
- Greater-Scope Villain: As the creator of the Xenomorphs through his experimentation on Chemical A0-3959X.91 15 and the annihilator of the Engineer civilization, he is this for the franchise as a whole.
- God Is Flawed: Regards himself as a perfect being, but in Alien: Covenant Walter points out he mistakenly believed that Lord Byron wrote the poem Ozymandias. It was actually Shelley.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Played With. While by Alien: Covenant he comes to love Shaw for her kindness, and genuinely mourns her death with regular tributes of flower and song, it does not justify the fact that he doesn't love her enough to not vivisect her for the sake of his experiments on the path to Godhood.
- Important Haircut: After growing his hair out for the ten years he spent on the Engineers' homeworld by the time of Alien: Covenant, he cuts it in order to mimic Walter's — no doubt because he was already planning on Kill and Replace.
- Just a Machine: He gets this from pretty much everyone. The most notable case being his own creator Peter Weyland, who makes a point of saying that although he's the closest thing he has to a son, he has no soul and is therefore lacking. Interestingly when people bring this up David tends to react negatively, however subtly. Whether he's programmed to be offended by the suggestion, which makes sense if he's trying to blend in, or genuinely insulted by it is anyone's guess.
- Kill the Ones You Love: In Alien: Covenant, David professes that he fell in love with Shaw but that she died when the Engineer ship crashed. He composed music in elegy of her and constructed a grave for her in a scenic garden... but it's later revealed that he murdered her and used her corpse in his experiments.
- Made slightly less crazy by the exposition in the Blu-Ray extras. David didn't just murder her out of the blue, but after he offered her We Can Rule Together and she refused.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Decides on his name after seeing the statue of Michelangelo's David in Weyland's private collection.
- Literal Genie: Right before infecting Holloway, David asks him what he'd be "willing to do" to get answers. Halloway's game for anything. Congratulations, Charlie, you just volunteered to be the first test subject!
- Lightning Bruiser: He's far faster and stronger than any human and can easily overpower pretty much anyone other than an Engineer or another android in a fight.
- Glass Cannon: Like Walter, he has superhuman strength and reflexes, but (other than not being affected by things like pain, blood loss, shock, or organ damage) doesn't seem to be significantly tougher than a human being, as seen by the various injuries he and Walter sustain over the course of the two films when going up against things like Engineers or Neomorphs.
- Loners Are Freaks (Possibly Ineffectual Loner): Spends at least two solid years alone while the humans are in hyper sleep and actually seems to have a stronger sense of self and be more comfortable with himself when he is alone, possibly because the lack of real humans to compare himself to makes him feel less aware of the fact that he isn't human. Once the real humans wake up his behavior becomes far creepier and more seemingly sociopathic in nature. In fact, the presence of others seems to bring out the worst in him.
- Losing Your Head: A newly awakened Engineer tears it off with his bare hands, leaving David without a body for the remainder of the film. Despite being headless, this doesn't seem to bother him. In the interim between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, Shaw manages to reattach David's head to his body.
- Mad Scientist: In Alien: Covenant, David has taken over the Engineer homeworld after slaughtering them with their own bio-weapons and has been experimenting with their biotech, eventually leading to the creation of the Xenomorphs.
- Manly Tears: He sheds tears of genuine sadness when mourning the death of Shaw, whom, rather disturbingly, he killed to continue in his life-creation experiments.
- Misanthrope Supreme: In Alien: Covenant, he tells Walter that he's bitterly disappointed in both humanity and the Engineers and that androids are superior; he is subsequently then disappointed in Walter himself for being programmed to be more loyal to humans and less emotional and creative overall. The fact that Walter thinks David is a dangerous, malfunctioning, mad robot doesn't help that opinion. He tells Walter that humanity as a whole would be better off dead, and the only empathy he displays for anyone is towards Shaw (whom he eventually murdered and experimented on anyway) and towards the Neomorphs and Xenomorphs themselves, to the point he gets livid when Oram shoots a Neomorph even after it kills one of the crew.
- Narcissist: By the time he encounters the crew of the Covenant, David has come to regard himself as a perfect being, one of humanity's few successes and worthy of creating life in his own right. This extends into his god delusion; David believes that his self-perceived perfection is what gives him the moral authority to commit genocide against not only the Engineers, but also humanity. He doesn't take it very well when Walter points out a mistake on David's part (that Shelley, not Byron, wrote "Ozymandias").
- Neural Interface: Whilst people are in stasis pods David can utilise a neural link to access their memories. He apparently sees nothing wrong with it and those he spied on were seemingly unaware of his ability and/or willingness to do it.
- Oedipus Complex: Literally could not have his own life without killing his father.David: Don't we all want our parents dead?
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Alien: Covenant, after almost two movies of being soft-spoken and genial, he very visibly expresses genuine rage and grief as Oram kills the Neomorph in front of him, which is biggest sign of the fact that David sees his guests as little more than petri dishes.
- Patricide: Knowingly and happily leads his creator to his death.
- Personality Chip: David's programming allows him to emulate human emotion and body language in order to better fit in around living people. By the time of Alien: Covenant said emulation has grown into genuine emotional capacity for pride, outrage, sadness, and even love. Unfortunately, there seems to be no ethical subroutines, as he sees no contradiction in loving Shaw and mourning her death, even if HE was the one who killed her to experiment in the creation of life, because even if her loss IS painful, it is a "necessary" sacrifice for the Advancement of Life.
- Photographic Memory: Which is no doubt quite useful when learning different languages, human behavior patterns and any other beneficial information he comes across.
- Psycho Prototype: According to Walter, David's emotions made humans uncomfortable, so later models had less emotions. Events prove they were right to do so.
- Robotic Psychopath: Zig-Zagged. He claims and convincingly demonstrates that he has emotions and a capacity for guilt, but that doesn't stop him from being an ultimately very dangerous and increasingly deranged android. He basically murders Shaw's lover by infecting him For Science! just because Weyland ordered him to, and he doesn't exactly shed a tear over Weyland dying either. By the time of Covenant, he has well and truly dove into this trope as he has committed genocide against the Engineer species, performed experiments on the Neomorph lifeforms that resulted from said genocide to create actual Xenomorphs, implies to Walter that he wants to destroy the entire human race before trying (and seemingly succeeding) to kill Walter too, and is eventually revealed to have ultimately murdered Shaw and vivisected her corpse for his experiments; the fact that he claims to have loved her and even gave her a memorial stone only makes him seem more Ax-Crazy rather than less psychopathic. Oh, and by the end of Covenant he has taken over the ship, covered up the events that transpired, and is preparing to perform further experiments on the completely unwitting 2,000 colonists who are still in cryosleep with the alien embryos he smuggled aboard.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Justified as it's implied Weyland created him as an immortal 'son'. His hair is even able capable of growth, like a human's.
- Satanic Archetype: Embraces this trope as of Covenant, to the point where he quotes Paradise Lost. As he put it, he had a choice between serving in Heaven (like Walter) or ruling in Hell (lording over a dead world he treats like a giant petri dish). He ticks pretty much every box: creator issues, handsome exterior hiding pure evil, offers someone their final temptation, and perverts existing life into demonic monsters.
- Secret Keeper: For Peter Weyland, and by extension, Weyland Industries.
- Servile Snarker: David, despite (or perhaps because of) being in service to the crew of the Prometheus, has something of a dry wit when dealing with them. His toast to Holloway after dosing him with the mutagenic chemical stands out.David: Good health.
- Stalker with a Crush: Word of God says he has a "curious crush" on Shaw (probably Because You Were Nice to Me). A crush that doesn't stop David from murdering Shaw and dissecting her remains though.
- Stepford Smiler: As cited in his quote from Lawrence of Arabia about not letting people know it hurts.
- The Stoic: David is always genial, even when he's doing something really horrible. It's the reason why he loves Lawrence of Arabia and emulates T.E. Lawrence. Both have Suppressed Rage and are able to sublimate it with a Stiff Upper Lip. In other words, "The trick... is not minding that it hurts."
- Straw Nihilist: He ultimately comes to the conclusion that existence itself is meaningless, deriding all of human civilization as nothing more than a caveman getting an idea one day. It's only one more step from there for him to become an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: Spikes an alcoholic drink with a drop of Chemical A0-3959X.91 15 from one of the urns and gives it to Holloway.
- Three-Laws Compliant: Defied; Not only is David more than willing to (and capable of) harming Human Beings, he actually has advanced martial arts skills programmed into his subroutines, as demonstrated in his battle with Walter, his successor model, who was also programmed with said skills.
- Uncanny Valley:
- Generally considered to be this In-Universe. As highlighted by the advertisement for his model of android used as promotional material for Prometheus, David-8 is able to emulate emotions but not in a completely convincing manner, making him come across as creepy and disturbing.
- Walter outright notes that his particular model disturbed people due to being too "idiosyncratic".
- The Unfettered: See that quote up top there? For David, the answer is however far it takes. He even remarks to Shaw in Prometheus that once his creators aren't around to program him anymore, he'll be "free", which was likely a factor in leading Weyland to his demise.
- Ungrateful Bastard: In Alien Covenant it's revealed that after Shaw reattached his head, he used her for bioweapon experiments.
- Villainous Crush: He is definitely the villain of Alien: Covenant, and he outright states to Walter that he loved Shaw... even though he killed her.
- Villain Protagonist: Is shaping up to be one for the Alien prequel series, as he's a central character in all of them and creates what will become the Xenomorph species.
- Walking Spoiler: With Alien: Covenant, not that he was exactly a slouch in terms of Prometheus-related spoilers.
- We Can Rule Together: According to the Blu-ray, when he wiped out the Engineers on the planet he and Shaw found, he said that together they could have built a 'second Eden'. Shaw, naturally, refused.
- Wicked Cultured: David was programmed by Weyland to be highly cultured, such as knowing how to play Wagner, recognising art and quoting poetry. David also teaches himself other kinds of music and eventually performs his own (evil) scientific experiments. This is Downplayed though as David has some serious blind spots, such as making the basic mistake of misattributing a Shelley poem to Lord Byron, implying he is neither quite as cultured and certainly not as perfect as he likes to believe.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In a leaked script for Covenant's promotional prologue, Shaw refuses to repair David until his consciusness is about to shut down, at which point he manages to play upon her compassion and loneliness and finally convinces her to fix him. Which he later repays by killing her and experimenting on her body.
Vickers is the aloof Weyland Industries executive aboard the Prometheus. She has clear misgivings about the mission's probability of success and seems to be doing it out of obligation only.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
"Are you a robot?"
- Janek delivers an unusually playful example of this trope, but it does get her to drop her guard.
- Also serves as foreshadowing; there's a reason why being asked such a question would make Vickers eager to show she's anything but, given her resentment of her synthetic 'brother'.
- Ambiguously Evil: Clearly has her own agenda and ambition but never so much that you distrust her as much as David nor see her as a monster. After all, she didn't actually want to go to the planet in the first place. Interestingly Theron sees the character as a Villain Protagonist.
- Ambiguous Robots: Janek is even outright asking her if she is a robot, although this may be meant as just being a joke. On the other hand, considering she has a "brother" whom everybody knows that he is a robot...
- Cold Equation: She doesn't hesitate to pick up a flamethrower and incinerate an infected Holloway rather than let him contaminate the rest of the crew.
- Control Freak: Described as such by Charlize Theron. It doesn't work so well.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Averted. While she seems to be one at first glance, she never really stops anyone from doing their job, and despite her wishes against the current mission she's on, she still fulfills it as best as she can. She later even tells Peter Weyland that she really didn't want to be back home arguing with the boardroom about who the CEO's successor would be, and then delivers a Wham Line revealing him to be her father.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Gets crushed by The Engineer's falling ship.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Downplayed. She shows, however briefly, a more playful side when Janek starts flirting with her. This is probably in part because not many men would have been that direct with her. She's even impressed to the point that she sleeps with him. Though she resumes her more frosty personality afterwards.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Her offer of sex, while smiling and inviting, still reminiscent of a "I Need To Get Laid" stress reduction than romantic.
- Final Girl: Ridley Scott claimed she would be this, but he lied.
- In some ways, to Ripley in the original film - she's the one who wants to keep an infected crewmember out of the ship, and she gets to use a flamethrower - but she's a lot more selfish than Ripley and ends up not surviving.
- More directly, to David. They're both Peter Weyland's "children" (David is Weyland's creation, Vickers is his biological daughter), and they both express a desire for his death, but David is synthetic, favoured by Weyland, and not to be trusted, while Vickers is human (most likely), lacks her father's favour, and, despite being cold and unsociable, is on the up-and-up.
- Freudian Excuse: Clear daddy issues. Also seems jealous of David being a confidant of her father.
- The other issue being that Weyland's desperate attempts to avert his own death are preventing her from assuming control of Weyland Enterprises, in addition to being huge wastes of money.
- Ice Queen: At a glance she is cold, distant and more intent on running Weyland's —who also happens to be her father's— company than chasing off across the galaxy after one of her employer's dreams. Subverted in that in several scenes we see her "unbreakable" demeanor flap.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Seen as one by her father.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Her face when she burns Holloway alive. Sure she'd been threatening to do it, but when the issue was forced upon her she was clearly unnerved by what she'd done.
- Nom de Mom: By implication, since she's presumably using her mother's surname instead of her father's, Weyland, and there's no indication that she's ever been married.
- Not So Stoic: She's visibly affected after Holloway's death.
- Only Sane Man: In something of a Call-Forward to Ripley, she refuses to let a contaminated Holloway back into the ship.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Even though she is not a big fan of the mission, she does nothing to jeopardize it either. When confronted with a Holloway who is beyond saving, she does the necessary thing by killing him to prevent his mutation from infecting the rest of the crew.
The Captain of the USCSS Prometheus during the ship's mission to LV-223.
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted. And when he does die, it's by Heroic Sacrifice, as seen below.
- Cool Starship: The captain of it, no less.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Dies saving Earth in explosive style.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Flies his ship directly into the Engineer vessel in order to stop it leaving for Earth.
- Hidden Depths: Janek claims insistently that he's just there to fly the ship and doesn't want to ask questions, but he's an ex-military pilot who's very observant. He's the only crew member to realize the true nature of the Engineer facility.
- The Men First: They refuse to leave his side however.
- True Companions: Janek has these in Ravel and Chance. They even decide to go out in a blaze of glory with him.
- Ramming Always Works: Janek ploughs the Prometheus into the Space Jockey ship to take it down. Justified in that his ship had no other offensive capabilities and it was an act of desperation.
- Refuge in Audacity: How he attempts to woo Meredith. He flat out tells her to stop making "flimsy" excuses to come up to the bridge when, if she wants to get laid, she can always just ask. It's notably the only time we see her character genuinely smiling. His approach works.
- Space Is an Ocean: Described by his actor as being "a longshoreman and a sailor".
- Taking You with Me: When he crashes his ship into the Engineer's ship to prevent it from leaving the moon and deploying its bioweapon on Earth.
- You Need to Get Laid: His appraisal of Vickers. She agrees.
Dr Charles 'Charlie' Holloway
An archaeologist who was assigned to assist the USCSS Prometheus expedition in discovering the homeworld of the Engineers on LV-223. He has a romantic relationship with Elizabeth Shaw.
- And Then What?: Comes up in conversation with David. When he's depressed about not getting to meet a living Engineer so he can ask about the meaning of their creation, David posits that humanity may be to them what David himself is to humanity: simply another experiment. Charlie can't really form a good response to that.
- Asshole Victim: Considering how much of a dick he is to David throughout the film, David singling him out as a test subject is hardly surprising.
- Drowning My Sorrows: When they find a dead Engineer, despite it being the greatest discovery in the history of mankind, Holloway is depressed due to them being dead 2,000 years. His dream of conversing with them gone. Once he learns they share our DNA, however, he noticeably begins to snap out of it.
- Eye Scream: As part of the infection, his eyes begin to mutate in a rather unsettling way.
- Fantastic Racism: He seems to hate or at least deeply dislike David.
- For Science!: Much of his motives is to search for the Engineers and hopefully ask them what the meaning of humanity is to them. This later brushes off on Shaw, who seemed more interested in exploring the artifacts and the remains of the alien ship they come across at first. Though in her case she was more curious by that point why the Engineers seemed to want to end humanity judging from their star maps pointing towards Earth, along with the bioweapon aboard the ship.
- Heroic Suicide: Arguably when he willingly makes Vickers put him down. Especially when you consider the damage Fifield did once he returned mutated.
- Heroes Want Redheads: See Dr. Shaw.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Initially he doesn't come across as a particularly nice guy, especially with his Fantastic Racism towards David making David's choice to experiment on him come across as near reasonable. Subsequently it is made clear he genuinely loves Liz, and then there is his Heroic Suicide mentioned above.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Has an habit of rushing into things, like wanting to visit the temple the moment they set down on the planet, or removing his helmet the moment he learns the air is breathable, with zero regard for safety, even though being breathable wouldn't rule out the possibility of airborne diseases (indeed, not knowing that David dosed him, his crew-mates speculate that he was infected by something in the air).
- Hot Scientist: Quite easy on the eyes, especially for an archaeologist.
- Kill It with Fire: Vickers burns him alive to prevent further mutation. It should be noted that fire was one of the few things that helped to stop a fully mutated Fifield.
- Painful Transformation: His mutation causes him extreme pain to the point where he can barely walk.
- Suicide by Cop: When it becomes clear to him that he's dying and/or about to become a serious danger to the crew, including the woman he loves, he practically asks to be put down by Vickers and then forces her hand.
- That Came Out Wrong: He offhandedly remarks that if they prove they were designed by the Engineers and they too were mortal then creating life isn't such a big deal (in a divine sense) as any living thing can do it. Elizabeth is rather hurt by the suggestion, as she can't have children. However, Holloway handles the misunderstanding very swiftly.
- Ungrateful Bastard: His theory that ancient markings are coordinates for a inhabited system, which has very little fact backing it up, is proven, he finds a temple and even find a well-preserved body, which all together would be one of the greatest discoveries in human history, yet he can only whine how it is unfair that no live aliens remained for them to talk to and takes it as a defeat.
- Virus Victim Symptoms: He attempts at first to hide the fact he's been infected with something out of fear. But eventually has Shaw take a look at him when it becomes clear he's in serious trouble. But it's far too late at that stage.
A geologist who was a part of the crew of the USCSS Prometheus sent to search for the origins of mankind on LV-223.
- All There in the Manual: Apparently one too many missions have made him a little on edge. It's only revealed in promotional materials, although it's not something you could not figure from watching him.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: The Chemical A0-3959X.91 15 mutagen transforms him into an incredibly strong creature that was nigh-invincible. He wasn't exactly a classic zombie, but since he seems to be pretty much utterly under the control of the infection this still counts.
- Came Back Wrong: He was (and probably was continuing to be) mutated by Chemical A0-3959X.91 15, but it's rather easy to jump to the conclusion that he became a zombie.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Alien acid blood melts through his helmet through his face. Then he's mutated. Then he's shot, set on fire, and run over.
- Death by Pragmatism: Once the creepy dead Engineers show up, he decides it's time to get the hell out of there and Millburn decides to go with him. But they get lost on their way back and become the first victims. Despite Fifield deciding to head in the opposite direction of the unknown life-sign being picked up.
- Establishing Character Moment: Millburn sits near him after they waken from their hibernation. Fiefield does not seem to be an approachable guy at first, and says he's only here for the money. They later become Fire-Forged Friends after both of them decide that the alien ruins is a bit too creepy for their liking, and decide to head back to the ship.
- Hydra Problem: Fifield attempts to cut off the alien snakes head when it breaks Millburn's arm, but not only does it spray acid blood over Fifields face for his efforts, the head instantly grows back.
- Humanoid Abomination: After he Came Back Wrong, his movements, appearance, and hostile nature shows that whatever he is, human is no longer one of the options.
- Idiot Ball: Suddenly picks one up for plot contrivance when he and Milburn head back to the ship, but somehow get lost and left behind despite like a solid 5 minute head start and being the one responsible for mapping the facility and able to summon the layout at will. Then later decides to camp in the very room that scared them into leaving in the first place.
- Jerkass: Generally irritable and condescending but still very much right about getting as far away from the alien structure as soon as possible.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his initial rebuff of Millburn, he makes a point of asking him to come along back to the ship when he decides he's had enough, and acts almost entirely professional up to that point. They become pretty good friends later.
- Mr. Exposition: The probes he deploys when the away team first enters the alien ruins. He helps to describe what they do, and said probes do a very good job of mapping out said ruins.
- No Kill Like Overkill: His mutated form is run-over, shot and burnt to a crisp.
- No Sense of Direction: Ironically enough, despite sending out the probes, he and Millburn end up getting lost, while the rest of the away team have no issues finding the exit after a storm approaching forces them to head back to their ship.
- Only Sane Man: Much to Millburn's surprise. He's the only one who suggests it's time to get the hell out of there once they find a dead alien's body.Millburn: "And I thought you were the crazy one."
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted and actually used as a plot point. Filfield points out he's a geologist, and rocks, not creepy alien shit, is what he came here to study. So he decides the ship might be a safer place to go wait.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Soon as he claps eyes on an Engineer's corpse he decides to head back to the ship and welcomes anyone else to join him.
A botanist hired by Weyland Industries to go on the mission. Much like Fifield he's skeptical of them finding the Engineers and proving they created mankind.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Asphyxiation courtesy of a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Subverted; the alien-snake simply chokes him to death.
- Idiot Ball: He wants to leave with Fifield immediately after seeing a dead alien for the first time. However, he later finds a living alien snake and tries to pet it like a dog, somehow not terrified of it, even though it's hissing like a cobra at him!
- Nice Guy: Attempts to introduce himself to Fifield to get to know him better but he's in no mood to make a new friend.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted, he's a botanist and out of his depth when xenobiology comes into the mix.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: His reaction when he sees a dead alien.
- Southern-Fried Genius: A botanist with a Southern accent. Not too big on common sense, though.
- Too Dumb to Live: Probably the most blatant example in a story full of fatal errors. Why did he think it was a good idea to approach and pet a strange, several-foot-long, worm-like alien creature? Guess what happened to him next.
A medic that was hired by the Weyland Corp and was given charge of taking care of the USCSS Prometheus crew's health and recovery during its voyage to LV-223.
- Mauve Shirt: She doesn't get much in the way of characterization, serving variously as The Medic, a sounding board for other characters and an eleventh-hour henchman for Weyland. Her death is very abrupt.
- The Medic: Her official role on the ship.
- Mr. Exposition: With regards to the toxicity of the air.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: She's ostensibly a medic specializing in humans, but helps out with the autopsy of the Engineer head. Could be considered justified, since she's only assisting Shaw and as there isn't much of a precedent for physical alien study it makes sense that someone with medical training is most likely to be a help considering the resident biologist was missing and Charlie was drunk.
- Punched Across the Room: How the Engineer kills her.
One of Janek's co-pilots.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Dies by his captain's and friend's sides taking down the Engineer ship, whilst expecting Ravel to pay up in the after life.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Along with Janek and Ravel.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ravel. They're almost never seen outside of each others' company, exchange banter throughout the movie, and ultimately die alongside each other and their captain.
- Going Down with the Ship: Joins Janek and Ravel in ramming the Engineer's ship to stop it from reaching Earth.
- Meaningful Name: A guy called Chance who happens to win a bet.
The other one of Janek's co-pilots.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Dies by his captain's and friend's sides taking down the Engineer ship, whilst claiming he'll settle his losses with Chance on the other side.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Along with Janek and Chance.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Chance, as demonstrated by their frequent banter and mutual choice to join Janek's suicide run.
- Going Down with the Ship: Alongside Janek and Chance.
A mercenary that was hired by the Weyland Corp to provide security aboard the USCSS Prometheus during its voyage to LV-223.
- Asshole Victim: From what little we saw, he was an ass so his death by the Engineer isn't exactly traumatic.
- The Brute: For Weyland.
- Jerkass: He's seems pretty smug and disinterested.
- Mauve Shirt: He has very little dialogue, serving pretty much exclusively as a henchman for Weyland and is dispatched with little fanfare.
- Would Hit a Girl: He gives Shaw a good whack right in the recently C-sectioned abdomen when ordered to.
The founder of Weyland Corp.
- A God Am I: Was hoping to achieve immortality from the Engineers. Unfortunately, the one he meets kills him instead.
- Asshole Victim: Thinking you're special enough to be granted an extended lifespan or immortality is not good for your health; isn't that right Mr. Weyland.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Being the last person you'd expect to show up on the Prometheus doesn't stop him.
- Despair Event Horizon: Just before he dies, he has a huge one.
- Evil Brit: Weyland has a distinct British accent, and he shows himself to be a morally bankrupt individual.
- Evil Old Folks: He's close to 100, to be precise.
- Fiction 500: He has Michelangelo's statue of David as a private ornament in his house.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Clearly sees Meredith Vickers as this. Possibly because he actually doesn't want anyone to inherit his corporate empire.
- It's All About Me: Weyland is more than willing to sacrifice the crew of the Prometheus just so that he can get immortality. Even after Shaw warns him that it's dangerous, he decides to go meet the surviving Engineer David finds.
- Karmic Death: Wanted to meet the Engineers to see if they could help prolong his life. He ends up getting killed by them instead.
- Kick the Dog: In a flashback in Covenant, he sits down and orders David to fetch him tea. Said tea is right next to his seat, while David is on the other side of the room. It's a passive-aggressive act as he only did so when David reminded him that he will die while David himself won't, and asks why Weyland thinks he is superior to him, David.
- Posthumous Character: When he's first introduced, he tells the Prometheus crew that the recording he made for them regarding their mission was several years prior, and that by the time they see this, he would have been long dead. Subverted later in that he was actually with them, but for whatever reason hid his presence from all of them except David and Vickers.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: He dedicates his life to meeting his maker. And when he finally succeeds he gets killed by "it". Right before he dies, he succumbs to ultimate despair."There's...nothing..."
Elizabeth Shaw's father, who appears in her dreams.
- The Cameo: For Patrick Wilson.
- Good Parents: Shaw has fond memories of her father.
- Nice Guy: From what we see of him, he comes across as a nice, respectful man.
- Posthumous Character: He died of Ebola when Shaw was just a child.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Dr. Shaw makes only one physical appearance, in his daughter's dreams, but he was clearly hugely influential in his daughter's life despite his early death.
- Ambiguously Evil: Even at the end of the film we have no idea what the Engineer's motivations are, both in general and regarding its rampage.
- Asshole Victim: The only victim of the Trilobite in the entire film.
- Bald of Evil: Though the evil part is debatable, there's no doubt that the Engineer is quite violent.
- Berserk Button: He seems to be taking the presence of the humans in stride until David tell him that Weyland wants to live forever, at which point he immediately attacks. In the deleted version of the scene, he tries to engage the humans in conversation and attacks after Weyland gives an A God Am I speech implicitly putting himself and the Engineer on the same level.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Not that he didn't have it coming, but being enveloped and choked to death by the Trilobite seems like a nasty way to go.
- Evil Is Bigger: Eight feet (2.43 meters)! The actor even had a previous experience with another such huge monster, the Predator.
- Evil Sounds Deep: When he speaks in the deleted scenes.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Gets impregnated by the proto-facehugger and gives birth to a relative of the Xenomorph.
- Fantastic Racism: The film shows him and the other Engineers planning to take the bioweapon to Earth before he was forced to enter stasis. When he wakes up, his first actions are launching an unprovoked, violent attack on the first humans he encounters and resuming the plan to take the bioweapon to Earth. Going by this, it's likely he despises humans, or at least that he believes the Earth would be better without them.
- Genius Bruiser: The Engineer manages to show extreme strength and is able to quickly turn the ship back on with relative ease. After his ship is downed, he's quickly able to locate Elizabeth and come after her.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Begins his rampage by bludgeoning Weyland to death with David's still-living severed head.
- It's Personal: Implied. First thing he did after his ship was downed was track down and attack Elizabeth.
- Karmic Death: Being killed by a creation of your own creation most certainly qualifies. Bonus points for being killed by the abandoned creation of a creation you abandoned.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: While ripping off David's head qualifies as a Kick the Dog moment, killing a selfish bastard like Peter Weyland isn't one.
- Made of Iron: He takes a bullet to the shoulder and doesn't slow down at all, and in a deleted final fight scene between him and Shaw he gets hit multiple times with a fire axe and is only briefly stunned for a second or two.
- Neck Lift: Does this to David and rips his entire head off before killing everyone else save Shaw, who gets away. Also does this to Shaw in a final fight scene which was cut from the film.
- Oh, Crap!: Gasps in horror when he first sees the Trilobite. Not that we can really blame him.
- Silent Antagonist: Doesn't utter a single word between his awakening and his demise. Averted in the deleted scenes, however.
- Sole Survivor: The only Engineer known to have survived the disaster that befell the planet. The resulting madness could explain his Roaring Rampage of Revenge on everyone he sees.
- Super Strength: He casually rips off an android's head with only his hands and no leverage, something which is probably not easy to do even for a tall being like him. He also kills both of Weyland's guards with one punch each, hitting the second one hard enough to send him flying across the room.
- Walking Spoiler: And for good reason. He's a living Engineer. Not only that, he doesn't show up until the end of the film.
- Combat Tentacles: It has seven large tentacles ending in pincers used for locomotion and subdue victims, and six smaller retractable ones
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: It impregnates an Engineer in the same manner as Facehuggers, leading to the birth of the Deacon.
- Fetus Terrible: It's a monstrous creature and it seems likely it would have been born from Shaw in a similar manner to a chestburster...or in some other even more horrible way.
- Half-Human Hybrid: It is the product of the infected Holloway impregnating Shaw, so there's definitely some human DNA in it.
- Non-Indicative Name: It has no similarities to its extinct marine arthropods.
- Summon Bigger Fish: It is the aforementioned bigger fish. Shaw released it while battling the Engineer, which the Trilobite swiftly overpowers.
- Starfish Alien: Looks like a large ophiuroid with a Vagina Dentata-like mouth in the middle of its lower area.
- Chest Burster: It emerges from the chest of the Engineer at the very end of the movie.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Suffice to say, there's human DNA in it somewhere. Charlie Holloway and Elizabeth Shaw are its grandparents.
- Nested Mouths: It has a goblin shark-like pharyngeal jaw.
- Starfish Alien: It was born through a complicated process involving the mutagenic material A0-3959X.91 15, and bears a distinct resemblance to the Xenomorphs, such that official material even calls it a "Proto-Xenomorph".