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Warning: Much like the main page, this page contains a large number of spoilers. Many of the examples below will assume you know the spoilers revealed by the endings of Saw, Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV; as a result, those spoilers are frequently left untagged. Even then it is advised to have finished the series first. You Have Been Warned.


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Jigsaw and Accomplices

    The Jigsaw Killer 

John Kramer

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jigsaw_9804.png
"I want to play a game."

John Kramer was an engineer who was driven to become the Messianic Jigsaw Killer after a series of tragic events and circumstances — his unborn son was killed when his wife, Jill, had a miscarriage; this caused John to drive her away, making her divorce him. John was later diagnosed with an inoperable tumor, which led to cancer. When his insurance company turned down an experimental treatment that could have potentially saved his life (or at least prolonged it), John attempted suicide. When he survived, his new outlook on life became his motivation to become the Jigsaw Killer.

Jigsaw kidnaps people that he believes aren't valuing their lives or are intentionally hurting others, then forces them to go through sadistic "tests" where there are usually only two outcomes: live (and gain a new outlook on life) or die. John was eventually killed by Jeff Denlon, one of the last of his direct victims. Events ensuring his legacy would live on, however, were already in motion — Mark Hoffman, one of John's apprentices, continued Jigsaw's work after his death.

Notably, John himself admits that he never came up with the name "Jigsaw" or "Jigsaw Killer"; the press dubbed him so because of his penchant for carving a jigsaw-shaped piece of flesh from his dead victims — a reminder of the "missing piece" of the "human puzzle" those victims lacked, which he believes could have saved their lives- the apparent "survival instinct".


  • Affably Evil: He's fairly approachable, polite, and truthful to the victims whom he tests and places in life-threatening, yet, escapable traps. Unlike his apprentices, John appears to genuinely want his victims to pass their tests and survive his traps. He is also honest at all times.
  • A God Am I: In a rare instance of John conducting a game directly than through Billy, he explains to his hapless victim in the opening of a speech he had given him the life he had supposedly squandered.
  • Animal Motifs: Pigs. He was a believer in the Eastern Zodiac and his unborn son would have been born on the Year of the Pig. He instead twists this imagery into abducting people using disturbing pig masks and a trap which involved grinding up pig carcasses.
  • Anti-Villain: His intentions are noble, in that he believes he's trying to reform his victims, but that doesn't make his methods any less evil. This trope is further tested when later films reveal just how petty and spiteful John actually is behind his claims.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Actually averted. John admits that the police and the press are the ones who coined him "Jigsaw." He never encouraged or claimed the name, and in Saw II, he introduces himself by his real name to Eric Matthews.
    Matthews: I thought you liked to be called Jigsaw.
    John: No.
  • Asshole Victim: While Jeff vengefully killing him is the wrong move for him, John deserved worse for all the atrocities he masterminded prior and posthumously.
  • Badass Longcoat: He is frequently seen in a hooded black long coat with a blood red interior.
  • Bald of Evil: John completely shaves his hair when he's out personally conducting villainy, but he can be seen with messy hair grown back every so often.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Despite all evidence to the contrary, John is not only convinced that his methods are effective, but that he's not really a Serial Killer because he's never intentionally tried to kill anyone. To him, people who die in his traps lacked a survival instinct. In fact, John is so adamantly against murder that when Hoffman built his own trap to kill a criminal and framed him for it, John personally kidnapped him to lecture him on his methods and try to convince him that his are more effective. At his core, his intentions really are noble.
  • Big Bad: Of the first three movies, and becomes the Predecessor Villain after his death in Saw III.
  • Calling Card: He carves a puzzle piece-shaped chunk of flesh from his deceased victims, to represent the "missing piece" of the "human puzzle" they lacked: the survival instinct. It's what led the press to dub him "Jigsaw."
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the first movie, he's the cancer patient that Dr. Gordon is going over with his interns.
  • The Chessmaster: Seriously, this guy has a plan for EVERYTHING.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As the series progressed, it becomes frightening how far ahead he'd planned and prepared. Even his own death factored into his plans.
  • Creepy Monotone: His preferred method of speaking.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: He certainly sees himself as this, making people suffer and fight to survive in order to appreciate life. The reality is far less noble.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: When you look at how some of his traps work, you realize they couldn't have been cheap to build, such as the one in the second movie where the victim had to find a key hidden in giant a pile of syringes. If he could afford all these parts to his traps, why couldn't he afford cancer treatment? (This becomes a major plot point in the fifth movie.)
  • Dark Messiah: His true goal is to make people he feels are wasting their lives gain new appreciation and respect for how precious life is by putting them through hell if they want to continue living.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His humor is very much on the dry side, usually of the Gallows Humor variety. Even in regards to his own health.
    Dr. Lynn: John, how you doing?
    John: *while getting his brain cut open* Never better.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He really has it out for Art Blank, his former best friend and business partner, for absolutely no discernable reason than Art upsetting him trying to reason with him at the lowest point of his life. Not only is Art forced into a game that he ultimately survives, he is dragged along into another one immediately after where his survival is not up to him.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Easton denies him experimental cancer treatment, he fully crosses the Despair Event Horizon and drives his car off a cliff. He survives the initial fall and discovers enough will to live that he pulls out a massive steel rod that impaled him through the stomach upon crashing.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first film, he slashes the throat of one detective trying to arrest him and lets a second get blown away in a shotgun booby trap, but in the second film he says he has never murdered anyone. See his second example under Hypocrite for more.
  • Evil Genius: He demonstrates a massive intelligence, but, unfortunately for the world, he uses it for evil.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: And if you ever harm them, then may God have mercy on your soul, because Jigsaw and/or his apprentices won't.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • All of his traps (at least, the ones he genuinely designed himself; his apprentices often deviate from this) are survivable. They may involve self-mutilation, psychological scarring, non-intuitive thinking, or all three, but you can survive them. The first time the police discover a trap that was not survivable, it is considered to be a major break in Jigsaw's MO.
    • He doesn't lie. He may not fully tell the truth or give Cryptic Conversation, but he doesn't outright lie.
    • In Jigsaw, he saves Logan from the circular saw room trap, as it isn't fair for him to die just because he didn't wake up the same time the other four did (especially because John overdid it on the sedatives.) Also, he regrets putting him in the game in the first place since it was just an act of revenge on John's part, since Logan's only transgression was a genuine mistake of accidentally mixing up the brain x-rays that led to his tumor not being detected sooner. As well as this, he and Logan have parted ways by the events of Saw, but he doesn't kill Logan off or put him in a trap to save himself - he lets him go.
    • Abhors racists, sexual predators, and domestic abusers, among other scumbags. The traps they're put into are more likely than others to be symbolic of the crimes they've committed.
  • Evil Is Petty: Jigsaw's motives are nowhere near as noble as he likes to think.
    • While his primary victims are "people who have wasted their lives," Jigsaw also targets people who have wronged him in some way, and later in the series targets the police operatives investigating him. As the series continues and backbuilds his history, it becomes increasingly clear that many of his victims are people he has a personal connection with and he just doesn't care for how they chose to live their lives.
    • The criteria of targeting "people who have wasted their lives" or lived lives that caused harm to others, is pretty broad. The victim roster ranges from drug dealers and rapists, to prostitutes and drug addicts, to people feeling suicidal and practicing self-harm, to just people that suffered Bystander Syndrome and did nothing while seeing something terrible happen. In Jigsaw's mind, all of these offenses are deserving of death.
  • Evil Old Folks: As revealed during his autopsy in the fourth film, John was 52 at the time of his death.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He speaks in a whispery, almost mechanical sounding low tone.
  • Exact Words: He never lies but that doesn't mean he won't phrase information in an unhelpful or malicious way.
  • Fair-Play Villain: All of the traps John designs himself are survivable; they may involve self-mutilation, psychological scarring, non-intuitive thinking, or all three, but you can survive them. In III, Detective Kerry deduces that someone else is involved when one of the traps is not survivable.
  • Fingore: When Eric Matthews is beating the living daylights out of him, he just laughs it off and taunts him. After some thinking, Eric decides to break his fingers one by one, and John decides to move on to the next part of his plan.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just a cancer patient who wanted to commit suicide. When he survived the attempt, his outlook on life changed, for the worse.
  • Freudian Excuse: Kramer has a very tragic one ranging from losing his unborn son Gideon in a clinic robbery to going through a messy divorce and then getting brain cancer. He basically went through a Job like situation.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Designing and building his numerous traps requires a great deal of technical expertise and ability. It is revealed in later movies that he is an engineer.
  • Gambit Roulette: Pretty much everything that happens in all seven movies is at least partially according to his design. This in spite of the fact that he dies in the third movie.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Of the twisted kind. When he realizes Jeff is going to kill him, he smiles mockingly at him as he resigns himself to his fate.
  • Handicapped Badass: He's dying a slow death of cancer, and is in a lot of pain. He even says so in the second movie. Doesn't seem to slow him down all that much.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Is a master of this. Most prominent is in the second movie where he talks with Detective Matthews as part of a "game", promising he'd see his son again if he adheres to the rules.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: For him, anyway. Everyone else...
  • Hypocrite:
    • He claims to despise murderers and denies that he is one. Putting aside the fact his games are pretty much universally intended to kill the people that fail them, the games are often Kaizo Traps that trick his victims into dooming themselves, or else his hints to them on how to win are so vague and cryptic that they're useless. He also tends to include innocents in his games, like Lawrence's wife and daughter in the first movie and Matthews' son in the second. Matthews even lampshades that his son has done nothing wrong and doesn't deserve to be part of the game just to punish him, and Jigsaw doesn't deny this nor explain it. Worst of all, some of his games can only be one by murdering someone else- in the first movie alone, Dr Gordon is told to kill Adam to win his game, and if he fails, his wife and daughter will be killed instead.
    • In the first movie he slashes Tapp's throat and tricks Sing into triggering a row of rigged shotguns that kill him. The two were primarily interested in bringing Jigsaw to justice and saving lives.
    • He tests Easton because of how arbitrarily he chooses whether or not people die in his duties as an insurance executive. He does this by arbitrarily having innocent people killed just so Easton is forced to choose who lives and who dies.
      • That said, this example could be due to Hoffman running that particular game. We never know how much or little his apprentices altered the game designs
    • Despite his claims that he actually wants his victims to win their games, when it looks as though Jeff is going to make the correct choice and pass the final part of his test, Jigsaw doesn't look particularly overjoyed. In fact, he looks disappointed. He is correspondingly thrilled when Jeff fails as it means he gets to go through yet another game.
    • John saves Logan during the events of Jigsaw out of a belief that every person should have a fighting chance in their games. ( Logan didn't have one due to the fact that John had accidentally overdosed him). However, when John makes a similar mistake in Saw (Adam loses the key to his chain, something which John could not have foreseen), he does nothing and leaves Adam to die.
      • John also tells Logan that they can never act out of anger or vengeance, Logan himself having taught John that since his mislabeling of John's x-ray was an accident and he didn't deserve to die for it. Yet his very first victim was the drug addict who caused his wife to have a miscarriage. He also targeted Mitch for causing his nephew's death, blackmailed Hoffman into becoming an Apprentice, had Easton targeted for turning down a cancer treatment that could have saved John's life, and left instructions for Gordon to take care of Hoffman in case he tries to murder Jill. Though in the case of Cecil and Mitch, those was clearly before John saved Logan.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After hearing Lynn's sincere words of wanting to turn her life around, he orders Amanda to release her shotgun collar and seems to genuinely see the error of his ways. Unfortunately, Amanda refused to do so, and once John sees Jeff learned nothing from his test, he decides to condemn everyone in the room to death.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Hoffman is roughly lugging around an unconscious Timothy's body, John scolds him that he's a human being. Considering what horrifically insidious torture device John has planned for the man...
  • Insane Troll Logic: He reasons that people need to come close to dying in order to truly appreciate life and the will to live will become stronger in the face of agonizing death. The fact that even the few who escape his traps will be left dealing with the physical and psychological aftermath for years, possibly even the rest of their lives, doesn't really enter into it and his method of choosing victims can vary from people who have done bad things to people who made choices he didn't agree with to people who just hurt him personally in some way to people who were completely innocent. That's not even going into how often he rigs the tests to make escape nearly impossible.
  • Invincible Villain: Every film ends with him getting his way, even the ones set after he dies. Every single character for the most part plays right into his hands and he plays them all perfectly, while the most the heroes can try to do is simply survive. (And more often than not, they don't.)
  • It's All About Me: John, did you ever once stop to consider maybe your victims don't really want your help?
  • Kaizo Trap: A recurring theme of his traps is that his subjects are liable to doom themselves if they do the wrong thing, often relying on some sort of Batman Gambit to trick them into making the trap inescapable. For example, in the second film, the Razor Box trap has two holes in the bottom for one to stick their arms through to reach an antidote vial, but the coverings of the wholes are razor-sharp and cut into your arms if you try to pull them back out. The trick is that on the other side of the box is a lock and key that open it up, if the victim would only take a moment to study the trap and find it before sticking their arms in.
  • Karmic Death: A staple of his traps, though not universal. He himself is killed (with a saw no less) by one of his many victims. He even dies with a piece of him missing, like the puzzle pieces he took from his victims. His was in his head, perhaps symbolizing his sociopathy and lack of humanity.
  • Kick the Dog: Even being Affably Evil, Kramer was still capable of performing nasty stuff during a test subject's game. Some notable ones were:
    • Poisoning Zepp, the only hospital employee who bothered to treat him with decency or kindness, and forcing him to carry out his orders.
    • Leaving Adam to die in the bathroom at the end of the first movie, even though he had "won" his test by surviving past the time limit. It could be justified that he tells Adam where the key to his shackle is (and the key being flushed down the drain was not in his plan), but regardless.
    • Mocking Jeff's son death in Saw III by using Billy.
    • Taunting Eric by telling him that his son will probably die soon.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: While some of them clearly deserve it more than others and others are decent people who just made life choices Jigsaw didn't approve of, many of his victims were terrible people who he subjected to a Karmic Death.
  • The Kindnapper: He claims that he kidnaps people and places them in lethal deathtraps to help them appreciate their lives and to rehabilitate them.
  • Knight Templar: He honestly believes he's doing the right thing by making his victims appreciate their lives more. A survivor in Saw VI, Simone, however, makes it very clear that it's not working, and even angrily calls out the people who say that it helped them.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: Occasionally makes puns in his explanation tapes and chuckles at them. The fact that he's describing torturous traps is what makes him deviate from the usual examples in this trope.
  • Made of Iron: He is an elderly cancer patient. Despite this, he somehow takes a blast from a shotgun and gets up several moments later to make an escape. Later on, he takes No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from a police detective during his Papa Wolf fueled Unstoppable Rage well enough to remain (barely) conscious and get the last laugh.
  • Moral Sociopathy: Jigsaw's a murderous bastard, that much is true, but he truly believes he's doing the right thing by capturing people and subjecting them to his Death Traps. All of the traps he designs himself are survivable, even if they lead to self-mutilation, psychological scarring, non-intuitive thinking, or all three, and he takes offense to Amanda designing inescapable traps and Hoffman killing his sister's murderer and making it look like a Jigsaw trap.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The events of the fourth through seventh films of the series were carried out after he had died, with John's wishes and intentions guiding things along. This phrase is even invoked in the fourth film.
    John: You think it's over, just because I'm dead? It's not over. The games have just begun.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: John rushes out of his hiding spot to save Logan when he realizes he accidentally overdosed him, since he thinks everyone deserves a chance to win their games. Once he realizes that Logan mislabeling his brain x-ray was an honest accident, he exempts Logan from the game.
  • Never My Fault: Despite his claims that he is trying to help his victims, it rarely, if ever, seems to work, as most of his victims are killed while the few that survive their game are severely traumatized. And of course, he claims the people that died were missing an essential part of themselves, the 'survival instinct,' so to speak. Apparently, if you aren't willing to do absolutely anything (up to and including committing murder) to survive, you simply don't value your life enough. He also never admits to being responsible for the deaths he causes, even in the tests where someone deliberately has to die for another to live. They're making the choice, not him, never mind that he is responsible for putting them in a life-or-death scenario in the first place.
  • Noble Demon: He does have standards, and he upholds them religiously. He doesn't lie, and he doesn't make unwinnable games.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He's primarily a schemer, not a fighter. That, and he's an old man dying from cancer; Eric Matthews beats him to a bloody pulp in the second movie, and Strahm even regards him as such in the fourth movie, noting that he's "brains, not brawn." Especially pronounced in the third film, where he's bedridden and knocking on death's door.
  • No-Sell: In the second film, he's completely unfazed by Eric's threats of Police Brutality, in part because he's already in a lot of pain due to his cancer.
    John: I don't intend to mock you, officer, but I'm a cancer patient. How could you possibly put me in any more pain than I'm already in?
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: If you can actually get close enough to him, his primary means of self defense is a concealed blade.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: It's been shown multiple times throughout the series that John's methods haven't helped anyone and everyone else can see his reasons are far less noble than he would like to claim. It should be noted that most of the few who seemed to "appreciate" his rehabilitation methods become his accomplices.
    Simone: He wanted us to learn...
    Hoffman: And did you?
    Simone: ...Look at me. Look at my goddamn arm! What the FUCK am I supposed to learn from THIS, huh?!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Probably the only time you hear John get angry and raise his voice is when he's blackmailing Hoffman, when the two briefly argue over the death of the man who killed Hoffman's sister.
    Hoffman: She was my only family. He didn't deserve a chance. He was an ANIMAL!
    Hoffman: You didn't see the blood! You didn't see what he FUCKING DID TO HER!
  • Pet the Dog: His first apprentice Logan was one of his test subjects but didn't wake up fast enough, resulting in him getting wounded. John took the time to save him and recruit him since he realized Logan had no chance of surviving otherwise and his crime was ultimately just an honest mistake.
  • Playing Possum: Spends the majority of the first film mimicking a corpse in the middle of the bathroom.
  • Posthumous Character: After III and IV.
  • Precision F-Strike: He's barely ever one to swear, but when he does, it hits hard.
    John: We got it all ass-backwards here. These politicians, they say the same thing over and over and over again; "Healthcare decisions should be made by doctors and their patients, not by the government." Well, now I know they're not made by doctors and their patients or by the government. They're made by the fucking insurance companies.
  • Pride: Jigsaw is so convinced that his worldview and life's work are correct that he refuses to stare the blatant fact that his methods have never helped anyone in the face. All they've done for the most part is ruin countless lives indiscriminately. May also mix with envy, considering it's kind of hard for perhaps even Jigsaw himself to see where his desire to help other people appreciate their lives ends and where his rage and jealousy that all these people (in his mind) do is waste the precious gifts he was denied begins.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: In the end, his actions result in his own death and the death of the woman he loved. The only thing John leaves behind is his murderous legacy, which is the antithesis of everything he claimed it to be.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: When out in the testing field, he usually wearing a black hoodie with a red interior drawn up.
  • Relative Button: Sure, they're divorced, but don't you ever harm his ex-wife Jill.
  • The Resenter: For all his talk about appreciating life, it's clear that a lot of John's actions are just him expressing his anger that he is dying while others, whom he sees as having less to live for or not appreciating their lives, will continue after he is gone.
  • Serial Killer: In the eyes of the law and the vast majority of rational human beings everywhere, though Jigsaw himself would dispute this characterization. In his mind, he doesn't kill anyone. He only sets up situations where others will either fail to survive or their choices will be responsible for the deaths of others.
  • The Sociopath: Other than a sliver of affection for Jill and his apprentices excluding Hoffman, he fits this trope perfectly. He even claims to continue doing what he does, there must be absolutely no emotion involved.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He always speak in a low calm voice. The only time he raises his voice in the series is in an argument with Hoffman while blackmailing him.
  • Start of Darkness: The events that led to John taking up his "work" are detailed over several films. To be more particular, it was after being Driven to Suicide and living after being diagnosed with cancer and his unborn son's death that he became Jigsaw.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Post Saw III, all games were this but it isn't until the seventh movie when the actual plan was pulled off.
  • To the Pain: He really enjoys going into detail to his victims about what his traps will do to them.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: This Evil Genius Serial Killer who later becomes a borderline Dark Messiah is an unassuming old man named John.
  • Tragic Villain: And how! He lost his son in a miscarriage, he went through a messy divorce, he contracted cancer and was denied health insurance, and he grew disgusted seeing those unappreciative of the precious gift of life that he was being denied.
  • Trap Master: One of the most well known examples.
  • Übermensch: He is completely convinced that his tests are helping people learn to value their lives.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Zepp showed him kindness and compassion. John's response was to use him as a ploy in a scheme.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the first film, when he is outwitted and restrained by Tapp and Sing, he descends into an uncharacteristically angry motive rant before slitting Tapp's throat and practically killing Sing. Keep in mind: these are two perfectly normal and hardworking police officers only interested in saving lives.
  • Villainous Legacy: Jigsaw is killed in Saw III, but the series is continued on by his apprentices and the plans he's left for them to follow.
  • Villains Never Lie: The key difference between himself and his apprentices; John may not fully tell the truth or give Cryptic Conversation, but he doesn't outright lie.
  • Visionary Villain: He genuinely believes that he's helping people realize their true potential by bringing them to the brink of death. He's a self-help guru whose idea of helping the world involves lots of blood. It goes to show that he thinks the person who caused his wife to have a miscarriage should be given a second chance.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Very extreme. He wants each victim to gain a "new outlook on life", and feels they can only do that by forcing them to survive a gruesome near-death experience.
  • Wham Shot: Provides one at the end of the first movie.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He was driven to murder after losing his unborn son and being diagnosed with cancer.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Doesn't give a shit if children are involved in his twisted games, and they frequently are.

    The First Apprentice (SPOILERS FOR Jigsaw) 

Logan Nelson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/logan.PNG
"I speak for the dead. "
Played by: Matt Passmore

Jigsaw's first cohort aiding in his schemes. Logan served in the military for a tour in Iraq during the Iraq War, during which he was captured and traumatized. His mental instability leads to his discharge and he later returned to medical school to pursue a career as a medical examiner. Selected as a victim of one of John's game due to his negligence as a medical resident that led to John's inoperable cancer, John released Logan from the game when he realized he accidentally overdosed him and made his game unsurvivable. After realizing Logan's mistake at the hospital was an honest mistake, he befriends and convinces the mentally unstable man to his cause. Logan is the architect of the iconic Reverse Beartrap used to test John's other two apprentices but was otherwise not actively involved with his mentor. Long after John's demise, Logan ultimately decides to take up the mantle as his successor with the fate of the wayward Hoffman and indifference of his other major accomplice.


  • Action Dad: He has a daughter and he can also hold his own in a fight when abducting victims for his games.
  • Badass Baritone: Not quite the same as John Kramer or even Hoffman, but he can sound very intimidating when he delivers his The Reason You Suck speeches.
  • Big Bad: Of Jigsaw. At least in the present, as John was alive and well when the barn game took place.
  • Catchphrase: "I speak for the dead." Appropriate because of his job and avenging people whose deaths went unpunished, and carrying out Jigsaw's work from beyond the grave.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was tortured as a prisoner of war during his time as a military medic.
  • Deceptive Disciple: While all his victims by comparison definitely have it coming, he perverts John's philosophy much like Amanda through inescapable games believing such people cannot be reformed.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mistakenly mislabeled two X-rays as an intern, so he's shoved into a Cold-Blooded Torture game. John realizes this after he makes a similar mistake in accidentally over-sedating Logan giving him zero chance to survive the sawblade test, prompting John to remove him from the game completely.
  • Expy: A miltary vet and family man whose wife his murdered, and sets out to enact bloody vengeance on the criminal underworld. Now, does that sound like Jigsaw, or The Punisher?
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has several scars on his back, which we are led to believe are from when he was tortured. They're actually from getting his back sliced up by the buzzsaw trap.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: He works with the police to solve crimes. Including the Jigsaw murders, for which he is personally responsible for.
  • Hypocrite: He has the nerve to judge other people for their sins when he essentially, though not maliciously (it was a genuine mistake) caused John to die a slow, painful and altogether avoidable death. He was also put into a Jigsaw game himself for that, then survived the experience only because of the mercy of the man whose life he doomed.
    • Is told by John, "We can never come from anger, or from vengeance," as he learned from erroneously putting Logan into a trap. Ten years later, he kills Edgar Munsen and Detective Halloran for their supposed role in his wife's death, after both of them passed the tests they were given.
  • Legacy Character: He is ultimately the apprentice who succeeds John as Jigsaw.
  • My Greatest Failure: Accidentally mislabeled John's cranial X-ray, resulting in his cancer being found too late for treatment, becoming indirectly responsible for setting off the chain of events that led to John becoming Jigsaw to begin with.
  • Not Proven: His motivation for putting Edgar Munsen in the game, and for ultimately killing him, is that Edgar murdered his wife. Halloran points out before he dies that it was never proven. Logan doesn't seem to give a shit.
  • Poetic Serial Killer: As expected of a Jigsaw apprentice.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Unlike his mentor and many of his fellow apprentices (who targeted even those barely related to the crimes in question, those who just had some relatively harmless moral flaw, or just straight up innocent people who were only related or acquainted with the test subjects), he (so far) has only targeted those who are far worse than him. Specifically murderers and rapists who got away with their crimes due to bribing a Corrupt Cop, as well as said Corrupt Cop.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When he was still an intern, he accidentally mislabeled two x-rays, resulting in John Kramer's brain tumor not being found until it was too late.
  • Villain Protagonist: The killer in addition to the main character.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: He's a well-intentioned forensic pathologist. He is also the new Jigsaw.

    The Second Apprentice (SPOILERS FOR Saw IV) 

Detective Mark Hoffman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/saw_mark_hoffman-w350-h350_5486.jpg
"You told me the only way to help people reach true enlightenment was to detach emotionally."

Played by: Costas Mandylor

"You want to know the only thing wrong with killing you, Jill? I can only do it once."

Jigsaw's second canonical apprentice, and the third Jigsaw Killer (after Amanda Young). Hoffman is a cop assigned to the Jigsaw case. He uses the knowledge he has of Jigsaw by virtue of following the case to murder his sister's killer using Jigsaw's MO. The frame job catches John's attention, and Hoffman is blackmailed into helping Jigsaw. Shortly afterward, he becomes a willing accomplice. At some point, he began to fall in love with his carnage and, like Amanda, did not completely buy into Jigsaw's philosophy. After Jigsaw and Amanda's deaths, Hoffman continued John's work until the seventh film. His true identity as Jigsaw's accomplice/successor was discovered in the sixth film, but was only revealed to the police force at large in the seventh film.


  • And I Must Scream: His ultimate fate in 3D. Dr. Gordon drags him to the bathroom from the first film, chains him up, and disposes of the hacksaw, his only means of escape, before locking Hoffman inside and leaving him to die a slow and painful death from either dehydration or starvation. Word of God confirms that Hoffman never makes it out.
  • At Least I Admit It: He admits to enjoying seeing people suffer in their traps, and angrily suggests John to stop pretending he doesn't.
  • Ascended Extra: He is in Saw III for all of 30 seconds. He becomes a bit more important later.
  • Ax-Crazy: In 3D. With his identity as a Serial Killer known to the public, he sees no reason not to become a raging psychopath, killing anyone who is in his way for the remainder of the film as sadistically as he can.
  • Asshole Victim: No tears were shed when he was finally killed in an inescapable trap, like those he made.
  • Bastard Understudy: Basically extorted into becoming Jigsaw's underling, he wasn't interested in John's philosophy and tried to undermine his relationship with Amanda.
  • Big Bad: After John's death, he became this. However, it took a couple of films to solidify him as a legit threat.
  • Big "NO!": His last words.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Outwardly presenting himself as a hard-working and caring cop, while hiding what a cold manipulative, murderous, apathetic, asshole bastard he truly is.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Much like Amanda, he appeared in a small scene in III and ended up being shown he was another apprentice and took up the Jigsaw killer reign after the deaths of Kramer and Young.
  • Co-Dragons: With Amanda, though she didn't like him being there. The feeling is mutual with her.
  • Determinator:
    • In Saw VI, Jill knocks out Hoffman and strapped an updated reverse bear trap mask on him with no means of escape as she had also strapped him to a chair before activating it. In desperation, Hoffman breaks his own hand to get it out of a strap to unstrap his other hand, then smashed the mask between bars to delay it from opening all the way in order to get it off. He manages to hack it, but gets the right side of his cheek ripped open.
    • In Saw 3D, he really wants to get to Jill. Getting in his way? That is a very bad idea.
  • Dirty Cop: Besides becoming one of Jigsaw's apprentices, he uses his knowledge of the legal system and due process to keep other cops off of his trail.
  • Dirty Coward: Played with. He is brought into Jigsaw's fold without going through a real game and brazenly claims he doesn't need one because he appreciates his life. When he is finally tested, he defeats his test without any real means to escape!
  • Dragon Ascendant: After John and Amanda's deaths.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He never really subscribed to John's twisted philosophy. A test of character he has with a furious maimed survivor has him further doubt it amounted to anything positive.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One of his most prominent victims was a criminal who murdered his sister.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Unlike Amanda (who apparently saw her inescapable traps as either ridding the world of unchangeable people or Mercy Kill examples) or John (who wanted his victims to live and be better), Hoffman just wants to kill those who know too much. Even that goes out the window in 3D, as, with his identity as the last Jigsaw known, he goes on a maniacal killing spree for the remainder of his screen time until he is caught.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Speaks in a menacingly deep growl in comparison to John's soft-spoken tone.
  • Faux Affably Evil: His entire affable demeanor is pretty fooling at first, that is until you witnessed his true colors under the Jigsaw persona is when you realize that his affable side is pretty much just an act to lower suspicions.
  • Freudian Excuse: His sister, who was his only remaining family, was brutally murdered by Seth Baxter. After this, Hoffman degrades into a sociopathic drunken mess until he decides to murder Seth in a mock Jigsaw game. John takes notice of this and blackmails Hoffman into becoming his accomplice, leading his life down a further downward spiral.
  • Genius Bruiser: Hoffman's both as smart as Jigsaw and much stronger.
  • Glasgow Grin: He receives half of one after narrowly escaping the Reverse Bear Trap.
  • Hate Sink: Mark Hoffman, despite having a Freudian Excuse, has committed many inexcusable atrocities and has shown himself to be very despicable. He has put several people in his traps that were only related to the jerks that he tested. He also framed Peter Strahm for his crimes even after Strahm's death, hosted a Jigsaw game in public, decimated the whole police department, and even murders Jill Kramer just because she followed John’s will. It’s extremely satisfying to see him get just desserts through Lawrence Gordon.
  • Jack the Ripoff: What drew attention to the original Jigsaw, who took offense that he would use his name and methods for revenge.
  • Karmic Death: We don't see him die, but it's pretty obvious at the end of 3D that he's been left to a slow death by dehydration starvation by Lawrence. Word of God even confirmed he never makes it out. All things considered, he absolutely deserves it.
  • Kick the Dog: Did this multiple times, including framing Strahm as Jigsaw's apprentice, replacing John's letter to Amanda with one of his own that threatened to reveal her secret, killing FBI lab technician Erickson, and detective Lindsay Perez to maintain his cover, and finally killing nearly 20 police personnel (directly or otherwise) as part of his plan to kill Jill Tuck.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: When his sister is killed by her boyfriend and said boyfriend is let off on a technicality, he avenges her death by killing the man in such a way that it would appear to be another Jigsaw killing.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: As a Knight Templar Big Brother, he avenges his sister's death by killing her boyfriend.
  • Pet the Dog: A downplayed if not subverted example. John clearly had something horrific planned for Jeff's daughter if he failed his final test as part of another game, but Hoffman exploits this by aborting that game and appearing to save her for good will.
  • Smug Smiler: Makes the smuggest grins when seeing Strahm flail around in vain from his inevitable death.
  • Serial Killer: Takes up John's mantle of this after his and Amanda's deaths.
  • The Sociopath: He seriously surpasses his mentor John Kramer on how many lines he's willing to cross. While the former had a moral lesson in mind with his doings and gave his victims a chance to survive, he makes his traps inescapable in the belief that murderers can't redeem themselves, being hypocritical in that statement while claiming so. His partner Amanda Young is a Broken Bird with standards, and was horrifyingly blackmailed by him simply because he didn't like her. He's also willing to murder people whom he worked with for over 20 years just to get away, as well as putting Detective Peter Strahm in an inescapable trap and blaming him for the murder he himself committed in Saw V. He finally crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he murders his mentor's ex-wife with a Reverse Bear Trap in Saw 3D. Luckily, justice was served to him as Lawrence, a secret apprentice of John's from the first movie, put him at his place and locked him in the infamous bathroom, in which he finally died.
  • The Starscream: Saw VI reveals he blackmailed Amanda into failing her test, setting off the chain of events that led to the deaths of both her and John in quick succession. Jill later caught onto this deception, and angrily tries to sabotage Hoffman's test.
  • Skyward Scream: After escaping what was supposed to be his death through the inescapable Reverse Beartrap, he howls this in a way that signifies his complete descent into insanity.
  • Start of Darkness: Saw V explored this in detail.
  • The Stoic: For most of the time, but otherwise he would become Not So Stoic when he became Hot-Blooded.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Over the course of VI.
  • Villainous Valor: He's a murderous bastard, but escaping a Reverse Bear Trap without any means to do so was pretty damn impressive.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's a decorated and highly respected police lieutenant with over twenty years of experience and numerous promotions under his belt, a fact that's pointed out by Agent Lindsay Perez in Saw IV. He's also a violent and brutal Corrupt Cop who happens to be Jigsaw's accomplice and eventual successor.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After escaping the Reverse Bear Trap in Saw VI, he drops all pretense of the Jigsaw philosophy and leans fully into becoming an Ax-Crazy psychopath. This outcome triggered John's plan to enlist Dr. Gordon to put him down for good.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: His first murder victim was a Domestic Abuser who killed his sister.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He personally kills Jill and Agent Perez in the sixth and seventh movie.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He plays lightning rounds of this.

    The Third Apprentice (SPOILERS FOR Saw II) 

Amanda Young

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2013-08-17_at_7_33_37_pm_2927.png

Played by: Shawnee Smith

"He helped me."

Jigsaw's third apprentice, a junkie who had been the first to survive his tests. She, like Hoffman, perverted Jigsaw's message by creating traps that were inescapable; she believed that Jigsaw's philosophy was flawed and is doing her victims a favor than suffer psychological scars for the rest of their lives. She also had an inadvertent hand in causing the miscarriage of Jigsaw's child.


  • Abusive Parents: Though deleted, in a line of the Saw III script, Amanda states when she was a child her father kept her locked in the basement, in the dark, for hours.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In III, her death scene is played for sadness, as she dies a slow and agonizing death from being shot in the neck with John being upset about how she didn't walk away while she had the chance. It doesn't forgive everything she's done, but with her being a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, there is a level of tragedy in it.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed. Amanda may be perverting John's philosophy with inescapable traps, but the third film thoroughly explores Amanda as a deeply troubled person not enjoying any of what she does and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and a yearning for John's affection. Hoffman preys on her emotional instability to sabotage John's last test for her, leading to Jeff shooting her in the throat. The scene where she bleeds out after is played out as pitifully tragic than satisfying.
  • Bastard Understudy: Amanda is loyal to Jigsaw's philosophy, but takes it to a far more extreme degree.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: She was the only person to have ever survived one of Jigsaw's traps at the end of the first film. She eventually helped John continue his work.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: Did this after killing Donnie Greco, covered in blood no less.
    • She also cries heavily while performing a Mercy Kill on Adam.
  • Brainy Brunette: She designed some of the traps and devices herself. In particular, the shotgun collar that Lynn was forced to wear.
  • Breakout Character: She represents the series villain in Dead by Daylight over her mentor and fellow disciple. In-Universe, it's implied she was chosen by the Entity because she was the first of them to die.
  • Broken Bird: She's been the victim of Abusive Parents, framed for a crime she didn't commit, sent to prison because of it and became addicted to heroin while inside, was very nearly killed in a death trap set up by a serial killer as well as being forced to kill a man in the process, basically developed Stockholm Syndrome towards said serial killer, was blackmailed by her rival apprentice into killing an innocent woman, and finally is shot to death. The image of her bleeding out on the floor, desperately trying to put pressure on her own wound, is hard to forget.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She has a bit part in Saw. She becomes much more important later.
  • Co-Dragons: With Hoffman, though she didn't like him being there. The feeling is mutual.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: She goes back to deliver a Mercy Kill to Adam after John seals him in the bathroom to die (even though he technically passed his test) because she feels immensely guilty for putting him there. (In addition, there was a deleted scene in the third film where she has a nightmare of being confronted with his apparition. He speaks in reverse, and says, "How could you do this to me?") She goes back and puts him out of his misery a la suffocation, saying she's going to "free him," crying the whole time while he tries to fight back.
  • Deceptive Disciple: She's not really interested in continuing John's work of "make people suffer so they'll appreciate life more." Amanda just thinks people are irredeemable, and kills them outright.
  • Determinator: Amanda really keeps herself in the game during her undercover deception in the second film.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: While she did support Jigsaw's testing, she used inescapable traps rather giving them a chance to live, believing that death would be more merciful, and that nobody really changes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While her traps were inescapable, she seemed to believe that she was doing people a service by simply letting them die rather than leaving them to suffer after surviving as she did. A lot of her morality is shown through her actions with Adam: A deleted scene shows her having a guilt-ridden nightmare of his apparition asking her why sent him to his death, and in the third film rather than letting him starve and dehydrate to death, she delivers a Mercy Kill, gently saying she was going to help and free him, and genuinely sobbing the whole time.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Creates inescapable traps, unlike Jigsaw, who intends for his victims to survive. Played with in that she often does this because she believes letting them live through the trauma they would have suffered afterwards would be a fate worse than death.
  • Final Girl: Subverted in the second film when it's revealed she was working with Jigsaw the whole time.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Amanda is apparently real quick to anger, which is not a very good situation if you ever find yourself under this woman's mercy as shown in Saw III with Lynn and especially who found out nearly too late, Matthews.
  • Holier Than Thou: Amanda became Jigsaw's apprentice after successfully surviving a trap, but then perverts his philosophy by making inescapable traps designed to kill the victims as she believes they won't change if they do survive while arrogantly believing herself to be the sole exception.
  • Human Pincushion: In Saw II, she's the one who gets tossed into the used hypodermic needle pit to retrieve one needle that has the key to the safe with one of that movie's antidotes. It is extremely traumatizing and excruciatingly painful, but she does retrieve the key, only for her comrade to drop it and fail to unlock the safe before it seals up, preventing them from getting the antidote.
  • Made of Iron: Amanda clearly isn't a fighter and is absolutely terrified when she realizes Eric Matthews escaped his And I Must Scream fate minutes after imprisonment. She then takes a similar Unstoppable Rage fueled No-Holds-Barred Beatdown like John but barely triumphs over Matthews due to his crippled foot.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Amanda towards Lynn in Saw III, since she wants John for herself. If she only knew Lynn was really Jeff's wife.
  • Serial Killer: More upfront about this than Kramer, as she doesn't even intend for her victims to live, as the traps she makes are inescapable.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: She comes to think of John Kramer as a father figure and is intensely loyal to him. She says that he "helped [her]"... by kidnapping her when she was asleep/unconscious, duct-taping her to a chair with a Reverse Bear Trap on her head that we later find out causes a gory death if it goes off, and basically gets her to kill a guy to enable her very narrow escape from certain Death by Disfigurement.
  • The Sociopath: The lone aversion among Jigsaw's assemble. It's made clear that while villainous, Amanda is a deeply troubled person emotionally and demonstrates remorse and emotional instability far too great for a sociopath.
  • Tooka Level In Jerkass: In 3. She starts designing inescapable traps, and she antagonizes Lynn throughout her test.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In VI, it was revealed she asked Cecil to steal drugs from Jill's clinic, therefore indirectly responsible for Jill's miscarriage and Jigsaw's Start of Darkness.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the third movie, we see her methodically commit self-harm early on in the film. Towards the end, she does it again, but this time without the ritual, just cutting herself quickly. When she's forced to kill Lynn and realizes what a sham John's philosophy is, she's almost sobbing.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She's a murderer. She's also a recovering drug addict who was framed for a crime she didn't commit by a crooked cop, put in jail where she became addicted to heroin, and was put in a death trap which traumatized her for life, not mentioning how she was severely abused by her father as a child.
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    The Secret Accomplice (SPOILERS FOR Saw: The Final Chapter) 

Dr. Lawrence Gordon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lawrence_looks_at_the_saw.png

Played by: Cary Elwes

After surviving his horrific game, Lawrence was nursed back to health by John and inducted into his cause. He would often assist John in searching for victims and lending his surgical expertise for some games. However, he designed no traps of his own and his existence was a mystery to Hoffman and Amanda, the former of which he was keeping a close eye on from the shadows. Lawrence ultimately took it to himself to end Hoffman's life after he committed a mass murder revenge spree that culminated in the murder of Jill Tuck.


  • Artificial Limbs: He's given a prosthetic foot by Jigsaw, but it leaves him a limp that he needs to correct with a cane.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Of all of the people who continued John's work, he seemed to get it the closest.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: He was already desperate and despondent when he picked up the gun to shoot Adam, but the second he does it and Adam falls to the floor, he breaks down sobbing and screaming.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The best example in the series. While he does show up at the beginning of the film, his sudden reappearance at the end of Saw 3D is a Deus ex Machina to stop Hoffman once and for all. It isn't seconds later, where it is explained that John had inducted him into his philosophy.
  • The Dragon: More or less takes this role in Saw 3D, to posthumous Big Bad John Kramer.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Although nowhere near as rebellious as John's other disciples, Word of God suggests even after his Face–Heel Turn, he was going to go back and free Adam. Sadly, Amanda already got to him by then.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Being a survivor himself and regularly hosting meetings for others, he is appalled by Bobby's lies of surviving a Jigsaw game to get rich.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: When he makes his reappearance, his voice has deepened to Guttural Growler levels.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Indoctrinated into Jigsaw's philosophy after John nursed him back to health, he aided him willingly and enjoyed doing so with a smile. This makes his previous promises to his daughter and Adam all the more tragic.
  • Foreshadowing: The Body Horror of his handiwork is within an expertise John and his other apprentices couldn't possibly be familiar enough with to perform so expertly. What's more, the mysterious man depicted within the tape explaining the Venus Flytrap is walking with a severe limp; John never displayed such physical handicaps.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture: As soon as Adam delivers the first blow to Zep's skull, Lawrence immediately puts his head down and averts his eyes.
  • Irony: He was originally suspected by Detective Tapp of being Jigsaw. He was innocent at the time, but after going through his test he ended up becoming Jigsaw's most valued accomplice.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Condemning Hoffman to painfully starve to death in the bathroom he was tested in. Before he leaves, he also tauntingly disposes of Adam's hacksaw within his reach.
  • Mad Doctor: After being brainwashed into Jigsaw's philosophy, he uses his incredible surgical expertise for heinous villainy.
  • Noble Demon: After his Face–Heel Turn; he's complicit when it comes to the games, mostly by assisting with medical procedures/surgeries to set up traps. Albeit, he seems to stick closer to John's moral code than Amanda or Hoffman and seems to mostly have kept to himself and not really gone out of his way to be involved. He at least doesn't do anything evil in Saw 3D and his only real contribution to the film is putting Hoffman in his place.
  • Retired Monster: Implied by the time of Jigsaw. He is essentially the best candidate for John's successor and leads numerous acolytes, but until the time of Logan, no similar murders were said to be happening.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's said after being nursed back to health by John and released, he developed severe mental instability that led to his wife divorcing him.

    Billy 

Billy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/billy_52.png

"Congratulations, you are still alive. Most people are so ungrateful to be alive, but not you. Not anymore."

Not a living character, but possibly the film series' most iconic face. A creepy white-faced puppet in a snappy little suit. Usually used to deliver messages to Jigsaw's victims via video screen.


  • Advertised Extra: Despite his prevalence in marketing, he doesn't appear in most traps and has limited screentime.
  • Companion Cube: He's an iconic part of the Jigsaw brand, even after Hoffman takes over.
  • Creepy Doll: He's not designed to look snuggly, let's put it that way.
  • Evil Counterpart: Of a nicer looking harlequin doll John made for his unborn son.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Invoked. His voice is the voice of whoever is controlling him, digitally altered to sound deep and menacing.
  • Giggling Villain: Manic and shrill, but it ultimately makes him more horrifying.
  • Goth Spirals: Red ones on his cheeks.
  • Hidden Weapons: Part of his head explodes in Saw IV, launching shrapnel into Detective Perez's face.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's incinerated when Hoffman blows up his lair in Saw 3D, signifying the end of the series.
  • Mascot Villain: For the franchise as a whole.
  • Monster Clown: His design, in an ironic contrast to the tone of the rest of the series.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Jigsaw uses him to deliver remote messages.
  • Nice Hat: He had a nice bowler hat in the original short film, but lost it in the series proper.
  • No Name Given: His name is never actually revealed in the films.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He has this for a color scheme, with a little white thrown in as well.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Wouldn't be as terrifying without them.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For a horrifying puppet from hell, he doesn't get many comments on his appearance. Finally averted in Jigsaw when Ryan sarcastically comments that Billy's "not creepy at all".

Recurring Protagonists

     Jill Tuck 

Jill Tuck

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jill_tuck.jpg
"Game over."
Played by: Betsy Russell

"I'm only carrying out John's final request."

Jigsaw's ex-wife. Made her first appearance in Saw III (in flashbacks), and appears throughout the rest of the series.


     Peter Strahm 

Peter Strahm

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/strahm.png
Played by: Scott Patterson

An FBI agent assigned to work with the local police on the Jigsaw case. He has a prominent role in IV and is the main protagonist in V.


  • Ascended Extra: He was a minor but important role in IV, and upgrades to being the lead protagonist in V.
  • Captain Obvious: He spends much of his screen time in Saw V telling the audience what he sees and stating things that are already quite apparent.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Hoffman attempted to use him for this in Saw VI, using one of Strahm's hands to leave fingerprints on evidence. It failed, as Erickson determines that Strahm was Dead All Along due to DNA analysis.
  • Decoy Protagonist: He had a major role in IV and was upgraded to being the protagonist of V. He is built up to be the main hero of the second arc of the series, but he is killed by the end of the film.
  • Determinator: He escapes Jigsaw's inescapable trap with a tracheotomy.
  • Good Is Not Nice: One of the more genuine heroic characters, but he has a temper and can be a Jerkass. Although given the circumstances of the Jigsaw case, this is completely justified.
  • Guttural Growler: Justified in the aftermath of his tracheotomy; his voice evolves into a deeper growl.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: A mostly posthumous example, as Hoffman is attempting to frame him throughout V and VI by pointing evidence towards Strahm and using one of his detached hands to leave fingerprints behind. This doesn't work, and he is presumably cleared from having been involved with Jigsaw.
  • Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: Strahm escapes from an inescapable drowning trap by performing tracheotomy with a pen.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: His Hot-Blooded nature and impulsiveness have him often charge into danger without fully assessing the situation. This gets him killed.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he can be snide and a dick to other characters, he clearly cares about his partner agent Perez, especially when she is wounded by a trap, and ultimately just wants to catch the Jigsaw disciples.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nice job shoving Hoffman into the glass box.
  • Properly Paranoid: Even before really investigating Hoffman, he's already incredibly wary of him and his department being corrupt bastards. As later flashbacks prove, he is completely right to be paranoid.
  • Sanity Slippage: He undergoes a brief one after Perez is critically injured, where he goes from simply being smug as he's interrogating Jill to becoming a Rabid Cop as he desperately demands where the games are being held. At one point he either pulls a gun on her, or at least imagines himself doing so.
  • Squashed Flat: His fate in the cube trap room when he doesn't listen to the entire tape from Hoffman. Shown in excruciating and painful detail.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He is introduced in Saw IV, and dies by the end of Saw V.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He ignored John's recorded warning to not go down the hall and he winds up in the cube trap. He ignores Hoffman's recorded warning to go into the glass coffin and he gets squished like a grape.
  • Unwitting Pawn: While there are a bunch of these in the series, Strahm is the most blatant example.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: By the end of Saw V, he is in a room where the walls are slowly closing in to crush him. He does not survive.
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     Eric Matthews 

Eric Matthews

Played by: Donnie Wahlberg

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eric_2.png
"The clock is ticking, John."

The main protagonist of Saw II, and a supporting character in Saw III and IV. A cop that is pulled into the Jigsaw case when one of his informants is killed in a Jigsaw trap.


  • Anti-Hero: His Dirty Cop tendencies aside, he is only trying to save his innocent son and other lives from a complete madman.
  • Adult Fear: His test on paper is a joke compared to that of about anyone else in the series, simply needing to sit and patiently listen to John talk for a few hours. No harm to Matthews whatsoever. The kicker? He has to watch his completely innocent and terrified son endure a comparatively horrific game within the company of convicts and be told by that same serial killer he is talking to that he'll see his son if he doesn't do anything but sit around.
  • Determinator: After Amanda leaves him with the same fate as Adam's, he smashes his own foot apart with a toilet lid to escape. Not even Lawrence or Adam thought of that.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He crosses this full stop between the third and fourth film, being reduced to a sobbing mess begging for death.
  • Dirty Cop: He makes a habit of planting evidence on people. However, it is shown that the people that he framed were guilty of something, just not necessarily the thing he was framing them for.
  • From Bad to Worse: He's in three of the movies. Every time we see him he is in worse shape than the last time we left him.
  • Hero Killer: Played sympathetically and very justified. He ultimately kills Rigg in a desperate move to prevent him from failing his game and accidentally killing at least three people, but it fails to stop him.
  • Hot-Blooded: Has a lot of trouble keeping his temper under control, which damages his relationship with his son and might account for his habit of rigging investigations to guarantee convictions. It proves to be his undoing in the end.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He lays out the mother of all beatdowns on John toward the climax of the second film, one so vicious that it has him writhing in horrible agony between taunting Matthews. Even though Eric is failing his game by giving in to his rage, it's hard to deny that John deserved every second of it.
  • Papa Wolf: He was extremely worried when Jigsaw had his son and was willing go to huge lengths to get him back. Unfortunately, all that was required of him was to be patient.
  • Rabid Cop: It's revealed that he has a very nasty record of violence towards most of the suspects.
  • Your Cheating Heart: It's only mentioned in passing, but Eric and his wife separated after he had an affair with Kerry.
  • Your Head Asplode: At the end of the fourth movie, between two blocks of ice.
  • You're Insane!: He rightfully calls out John for being batshit insane in their conversation, to which he only responds with amusement.

     Allison Kerry 

Allison Kerry

Played by: Dina Meyer

A side character in Saw I, II and III. The first cop assigned to the Jigsaw case, and the self proclaimed "Jigsaw Expert". She has been tracking this case from the beginning.


  • By-the-Book Cop: Even through she's obsessed with solving the Jigsaw murders, unlike other cops in the series, she still adheres to the rules. Though in the case with the Jigsaw game, it does her no good due to the rigging of the trap she's in.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Is at the center of Saw III for the first fifteen or so minutes before being quickly killed off.
  • Emotionless Girl: According to Jigsaw.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After two films as a central character, she's the second victim of the third film.
  • Workaholic: She admits to being obsessed with solving the case.

     Daniel Rigg 

Daniel Rigg

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/daniel_1.png
Played by: Lyriq Bent

A side character in Saw II and III, and the main protagonist of Saw IV. He is a cop on the local police force.


  • Anti-Hero: One of his fatal flaws. To start, he has a temperamental and focused personality, which stems from such situations, where he acted aggressive, and on some occasions, even turned violent, which brought him into conflict with the Internal Affairs Department. Despite this, Daniel is loyal to both his friends and his department, is extremely dedicated to his work and had a strong sense of justice. However, his quest to save and protect everyone turned into an obsession, which proves to be his undoing. See Unwanted Assistance below.
  • Ascended Extra: He is a background character in Saw II and III, with a total of maybe 3 lines of dialog between the two movies. In IV, he is the main protagonist.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: The flaw Jigsaw was trying to get him to overcome.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The core of his extremely simple game (that poses practically no harm to Rigg himself) is to subtly recruit him into Jigsaw's fold.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The above trope usually results in this. Again, see Unwanted Assistance below.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He is shot at the end of IV, but is otherwise alive. He is declared dead near the beginning of V.
  • Survivor Guilt: His problem is that everyone around him keeps dying.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Invoked by Jigsaw for his test. His test was to watch people suffer in their traps and seeing them get out of there, or try and help them. By the end of IV, Rigg kills several characters in misguided attempts at saving them.

    Dan Erickson 

Dan Erickson

Played By: Mark Rolston

A side character in Saw VI and Saw V. He is and FBI agent and the superior of Perez and Strahm.

  • Slashed Throat: Courtesty of Hoffman.
  • Idiot Hero: Averted. He buys into the deception Strahm is the new Jigsaw killer for about five minutes before plotting against the real mastermind.

Characters by Film

     Saw I Characters 

Dr. Lawrence Gordon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lawrence_gordon_in_the_bathroom-w350-h350_1329.gif

Played by: Cary Elwes

"He doesn't want us to cut through our chains. He wants us to cut through our feet."

He is one of the main protagonists of the original Saw. The doctor who was treating John at the hospital, he wasn't particularly caring towards his patients, being more interested in treating the disease than the person. He was also taking his family for granted. Jigsaw thinks he has a way to teach him to appreciate them more...


  • An Arm and a Leg: Cuts off his right leg in order to escape at the end of the first film.
  • Apologetic Attacker: He tells Adam he's sorry as he shoots him to save his wife and daughter and breaks down screaming and crying afterward.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Subverted. He considers it, but ultimately can't bring himself to go through with it.]]
  • Fake American: Cary Elwes plays his role as an American, but is actually British. You might hear his accent worm its way through occasionally.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Notably averted. Gordon shows Adam a picture of his family in the first movie, and yet he is still alive in the 7th one. Considering the series' ludicrously high mortality rate, his survival would be impressive even if he didn't tempt fate with this trope.
  • Freak Out: Goes completely nuts when he thinks his family has been killed, leading to him cutting off his foot and shooting Adam.
  • Mr. Exposition: Serves this purpose in the first film.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Especially in the first film. Cary Elwes just did not know how to fake an American accent. Especially in the more dramatic scenes, where his British accent tends to show up.
  • Uncertain Doom: His fate is left hanging and never made clear until the seventh film.

Adam Stanheight

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/adam2.png

Played by: Leigh Whannell

"Face it Larry, we're both bullshitters. My camera, it doesn't know how to lie. It only shows you what's put right in front of it."

The other main protagonist of the original Saw, locked in the bathroom with Dr. Gordon. A photographer by trade, Adam was paid by David Tapp to take pictures of Lawrence.


  • Bad "Bad Acting": His attempt to convince Jigsaw that he's been poisoned by a cigarette. It works as well as you would expect.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: Breaks down sobbing as soon as Zep's dead, not just because he's just killed a man, but also from all the physical pain and mental trauma he's endured alongside Lawrence.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "I went to bed in my shithole apartment, and woke up in an actual shithole," amongst many other gems.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Beats Zep's head into a bloody pulp right as he's about to kill Lawrence.
  • Freak Out: The film ends with him screaming in desperation and fear after realizing Jigsaw has been in the room with him the whole time, and being locked in the bathroom to die.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Claims his last girlfriend broke up with him because he's too angry.
  • Headbutt of Love: Shares one with Lawrence for comfort as they both lay bleeding on the floor.
  • Mercy Kill: By Amanda, after her remorse caught up to her.
  • Nice Guy: Even if his job was "dirty." He expresses genuine concern about Lawrence's family, tries to comfort him down as he's breaking down over the situation towards the end of the film, and beats his would-be murderer to death. He didn't do his job to spy on people, he just needed to eat. He was probably one of the nicest people in the franchise, and fans agree that he definitely did not deserve the horrible fate he got.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Begs Lawrence not to leave him in the bathroom alone, even though he promises that he's leaving to get help for the both of them.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Adam's actor, Leigh Whannell, is Australian, and though he's not perfect at hiding it, he's leagues ahead of Cary Elwes.

David Tapp

Played by: Danny Glover

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tapp2.png

"Who said anything about a warrant?"

The detective assigned to the Jigsaw case before Eric Matthews. After finding evidence pointing to Lawrence Gordon as the Jigsaw Killer, he began to obsess over arresting him, even after Gordon's alibi proved that he couldn't be the killer. After Jigsaw wounded him and killed his partner, Steven Sing, he was discharged from the force.


  • Ascended Extra: Is the main character of the game, and represents the series in Dead by Daylight.
  • Cowboy Cop: Doesn't seem to care too much about following procedure. This comes back to bite him.
  • Determinator: This is the guy who, in the game, managed to rip off the Reverse Bear Trap without a key just by fiddling with the mechanics. Granted it's because he's studied the trap, but nobody else has done that.
  • Driven to Suicide: Confirmed in Saw IV and (depending whether it's canon) shown in the true ending of the first Saw game.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Arguably his own fault, since his reckless actions got his partner killed, but taken to ridiculous levels in the video game, where everyone he saves blames him for their dilemmas.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: During his shootout with Zepp, a mere hospital orderly. Partly justified in that Tapp had been long discharged from the force and suffered major Sanity Slippage in his reclusive lifestyle.
  • Made of Iron: When he nearly corners Zep in Gordon's apartment, the man smashes an entire glass vase apart over Tapp's head before making his escape. Tapp is barely fazed and continues his pursuit of Zep.
  • Rabid Cop: His recklessness results in his partner killed, his throat nearly slashed and he dismissed from the force. Plus, his subsequent obsession with trailing Gordon blinded him so thoroughly to alternative suspects that he actually saw Allison's and Diana's captor inside Gordon's house and did nothing about it.
  • Reality Ensues: Degenerating into a reclusive maniac significantly weakens one's survival skills, and he is ultimately felled by the much younger and inexperienced Zepp after a lengthy struggle.
  • Scary Black Man: He has his moments, especially regarding the lengths he's willing to go to catch Jigsaw.
  • Slashed Throat: Jigsaw slashes his throat with a concealed blade. He survives, albeit with a large scar across his neck and partially damaged vocal cords.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Offscreen. He was discharged from the force after his actions inadvertently got his partner killed and himself severely injured.

Zep Hindle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zep.png

Played by: Michael Emerson

"It's the rules."

An orderly who tended to John Kramer while he was being diagnosed with cancer. He formed a sort of bond to the madman, which went horribly when Kramer decided to include him in his rise to evil.


  • Asshole Victim: Although he was forced to do what he did to stay alive, Word of God is that he enjoyed every second of it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He shows up in one flashback scene before it's eventually revealed he's an antagonist.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: His death leads to the franchise's true villain being revealed.
  • The Dragon: Jigsaw blackmails him into this position.
  • Kick the Dog: Some of his actions while holding Alison and Diana hostage are needlessly cruel, like forcing Alison herself to tell her husband that he's failed.
  • Non-Action Guy: Played with. For a nervous hospital orderly, he is surprisingly efficient as muscle for Jigsaw. However, he gets easily overpowered a lot and relies on lucky breaks to get by.
  • Pet the Dog: He showed kindness to John, referring to him by name when Gordon simply referred to him as a patient. Gordon implied that Zep had a habit of forming bonds with patients.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: A notable subversion. He kidnaps Lawrence's family so he can survive his own test, but he loves the pain he inflicts on them.
  • Red Herring: Was one of the two characters who were believed to be Jigsaw in the first movie.
  • Sadist: Scenes include him mockingly waving at Adam and Lawrence through the camera feed while saying "I see you", and menacing Alison and Diana with a gun while listening for their heartbeats to see how much they increase. On the commentary, it is stated that this was done to show that he enjoyed being given power over others.
  • Starter Villain: He may be a small fry in the long run, but Zep is the first revealed antagonist in the franchise (not counting Billy).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite working at a hospital, it never occurred to him to go to a poison control center for help. If there was any particular reason for why he could not, the film never explains. However, it has been stated that Zepp actually enjoyed the power Jigsaw ‘gifted’ him. It’s possible he knew he could go to a poison control centre, but chose to continue playing Jigsaw’s game regardless: he could terrorise and hurt others without having to worry about getting charged should the police track him down, as the threat of poisoning would make a convenient excuse.

     Saw II Characters 

Xavier Chavez

Played by: Frankie G

A drug dealer captured by Jigsaw and forced into the "Gas House" of Saw II with a half dozen other "subjects". He is notable in the series for being the only antagonist that is, at no point, aligned with Jigsaw in any way.


  • Asshole Victim: One of the biggest in the whole franchise. Most of the tropes below are self-explanatory.
  • Ax-Crazy: When he realizes how to get the combination to the safe, he goes on a rampage: killing Jonas with his nail-studded bat, leave Addison to bleed out in a trap, and trying to kill Amanda and Daniel.
  • Berserk Button: He doesn't take the realization that Daniel is Eric Matthews' son very well at all.
  • Brooklyn Rage: May or may not be a New Yorker but fits the bill.
  • Dirty Coward: He throws Amanda into the trap intended for him. That being said, he later proves to have enough Villainous Valor to cut the back skin of his neck off when Amanda tells him she wouldn't tell him what the code on it is.
  • Expy: Acts as pretty much a ramped up version of Quentin from Cube.
  • Hate Sink: Xavier, opposite Anna in Jigsaw, is shown to be one of the most despicable characters and victims in the whole franchise. He throws Amanda in a dirty needle pit and forces her to look for the key in the game that was meant for him. He also murders Jonas, neglects to help Addison when she got her hands trapped, and tries to murder Amanda and Daniel. His comeuppance at Daniel’s hands is seen as very well deserved.
  • The Heavy: Acts as the single biggest threat to the players in Saw II who are already racing against the clock in Jigsaw's test.
  • Hot-Blooded: Always angry and violent, even before he starts killing everyone.
  • It's All About Me: The only thing on his mind is self-preservation, and he refuses to so much as get a dirty needle stuck in himself.
    Xavier: It's just me and that's the way I like it.
  • Jerk Jock: He's an overly aggressive meathead who alternates between bullying the other captives and trying to solve every problem with his muscles.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: If his response to Addison for calling him out on his "macho bullshit approach" at trying to escape is any indication.
    Xavier: Look who's talking. The only door you know how to open is between your legs!
  • Poor Communication Kills: As lampshaded by Xavier himself near the end, he doesn't need to murder anyone to get the number codes behind their necks. He could have just asked politely...
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He fails to reach the antidote in time after Amanda gives him the key, and he starts sobbing and flipping out like a little kid.
  • Slashed Throat: How he's killed.

Obi Tate

Played by: Tim Burd

An arsonist who is one of the captives of the "Gas House" of Saw II. Jigsaw/John Kramer insinuates on a tape that Obi had actually helped him get the "subjects" for the house by kidnapping one.


  • Asshole Victim: He helped kidnap the other victims and wasn't the nicest person despite his limited dialogue.
  • Death by Irony: An arsonist who burns to death.
  • Failed a Spot Check: His tape ended by saying "When you're in Hell, only the Devil can get you out." He didn't seem to notice the drawing of the devil on the furnace wall, next to a valve that would have turned off the gas, thus sparing him.
  • Kill It with Fire: When trying to retrieve two antidotes from a furnace, he gets locked in and the furnace activates, which cooks him alive.
  • Nerves of Steel: Xavier holds a knife to Obi's throat to threaten him into entering a Jigsaw trap to retrieve antidotes. Not only does Obi not so much as flinch, he willingly reaches up and drags the knife across his own throat, remarking how if Xavier was gonna threaten him with a knife, "[he] may as well cut [Obi] a little". He then climbs into the trap without any further prompting.

     Saw III Characters 

Jeff Denlon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jeff.png
Played by: Angus Macfadyen

The main protagonist of Saw III. His son was killed by a drunk driver. He is unable to let go, to the detriment of the rest of his family, his daughter Corbett, and his wife, Lynn. Jigsaw devises a series of traps in an attempt to help him let go and forgive those responsible for his son's death.


  • Aborted Arc: In Saw IV, the arc about saving his daughter by playing another game is abruptly cut short by Strahm shooting him dead.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The last minute or so of Saw III sets him up as the protagonist for the next movie as well - "In order to save your daughter, you will need to play a game." Apparently the new writers brought in for IV didn't want to follow up on that plot line, since he is shot by Strahm seconds later. In another version of the Saw IV script, it was shown that Jeff was to have played a game similar to Strahm's in Saw V but with saw blades, and would have considered to be inside like a giant blender of sorts. He was still killed regardless.
  • Papa Bear: All of his rage is over the death of his son. Anyone even remotely involved with the boy's death is responsible in his eyes.
  • Parental Neglect: He's so busy grieving for his lost son that he has been neglecting his daughter.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The only victory he can really be said to have is that of putting an end to Jigsaw and his apprentice. Not that it matters much, since it condemns his wife and daughter to death and he gets killed by Strahm.
  • Revenge Before Reason: His fatal flaw. He could have forgiven all those responsible, save them from death, and find peace for himself. He could have also chose to live the rest of his life with his other family members, learning to live with his son's death. Yeah, he doesn't. The result? Every victim of the games dies, including his wife. Plus, his daughter remains missing and he gets killed by Strahm.

Lynn Denlon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lynn_3.png
Played by: Bahar Soomekh

A major character in Saw III, Lynn is kidnapped by Amanda and forced to perform a brain surgery on John Kramer to keep him alive. In order to ensure her cooperation, a devise is placed on her neck that is hooked up to John's heart monitor, ensuring she only lives as long as he does.


  • Emotionless Girl: To some extent. Justified, as she's grieving for her and Jeff's deceased son.

     Saw IV Characters 

Art Blank

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/art_blank.jpg
Played by: Louis Ferreira

A criminal defense lawyer as well as a friend and business partner of John Kramer. As his friend, Art supported his Urban Renewal Group, a foundation dedicated to property development for needy people under the motto "Four walls build a home." However, despite this social commitment, Art's work had a less honourable side, as he defended people for crimes they were guilty of. This got him targetted by John when he started the Jigsaw killings.


  • Amoral Attorney: He successfully defended a rapist, a pimp, and an abusive husband and father.
  • Asshole Victim: Subverted. He did defend several criminals guilty of serious crimes, yes — but he also supported John's Urban Renewal Group, a foundation dedicated to property development for needy people. Not to mention, he wasn't a willing pawn like Zep in the first Saw.
  • Big "NO!": When Rigg bursts through the door at the last second before he can deactivate his trap along with Matthews' and Hoffman's.
  • Boom, Headshot!: While pulling out a tape recorder to prove he's not one of Jigsaw's accomplices, Rigg mistakes the tape recorder for a weapon and shoots him through the head, the bullet exiting out the back of his skull and causing brain matter to shoot out with it.
  • Glasgow Grin: Is left with one after being put through a trap that involves his mouth and cheek being stitched shut.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Art runs at Rigg and gets shot in the left pectoral muscle. He collapses to the ground, but is otherwise okay. It's not until he's shot in the head by Rigg that he dies.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He's not even remotely evil, just decidedly amoral in his occupation and only trying to survive his ordeal with Jigsaw.
  • Red Herring: Strahm suspects he's an accomplice of Jigsaw, and obviously so does Eric Matthews. Turns out he was only another victim.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: He points a revolver at a restrained Hoffman to calm an also restrained Matthews down... while keeping his finger on the trigger.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Every other word is a swear.

Cecil Adams

Played by: Billy Otis

A drug addict and a thief. Cecil is Jigsaw's true first test subject. He first appears in Saw IV (in flashbacks), and also has a brief appearance in Saw VI (also in a flashback).


  • Asshole Victim: Being a mugger responsible for the death of a baby in one of his muggings makes him deserve everything coming to him. Subverted later on when it turns out he was pressured into robbing the clinic by Amanda, and was clearly not comfortable doing so because the victim had been nice to him.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Cecil is a drug addict, one of the reasons Jigsaw chooses to test him.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Cecil is seen stealing in Saw IV, and at one point even tries robbing a rehabilitation clinic for Amanda Young, an act which ultimately leads to the death of John and Jill's son, Gideon.
  • Posthumous Character: Long dead before the series starts, he was Jigsaw's first test.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Oh, if only he wouldn't have tried to break into the clinic and killing Jill's baby, none of the series might have happened.

Ivan Landsness

Played by: Marty Adams

A serial rapist and proprietor of the run-down Alexander Motel. He becomes one of the subjects of Rigg's game.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Both arms and one of his legs are torn off. When is body is later found by the SWAT team, sitting upright at the end of the bed with one leg left.
  • Asshole Victim: The man is not only guilty of multiple counts of rape, but he's kept photos and videos of the acts, just so he can get off to them.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He acts very friendly toward others in public, but in private is a sadistic rapist.
  • Dirty Coward: He's absolutely terrified when he's at Rigg's mercy, begging to be let go and lying that he felt regret for his actions (despite clearly keeping evidence of them to look over for his own pleasure) and paid for them long ago, when he was actually never convicted.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has a pet dog named Chance, whom he truly seems to love. Basically his only redeeming feature.
  • Eye Scream: He's given a choice during his test: gouge out his own eyes or have all of his limbs torn off. He gets about halfway there before the timer runs out.
  • Fat Bastard: He's obese and a serial rapist.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: It's definitely hard to feel sympathy for the guy who's not only raped several women, but kept photos and videos of them.
  • Sadist: He filmed and photographed himself raping women to watch over and over again.
  • Serial Rapist: Raped several women, even filming and photographing the acts to watch again.
  • Villains Want Mercy: He begs Rigg not to hurt him, whining about how he's already paid for his crimes, despite the fact that he's escaped conviction at least three times.

     Saw V Characters 

Seth Baxter

Played by: Joris Jarsky

The boyfriend and murderer of Hoffman's sister. Hoffman used his knowledge of Jigsaw to kill him and frame Jigsaw. When the real Jigsaw found out, he blackmailed Hoffman into becoming his accomplice.


  • Asshole Victim: Brutally murdered his girlfriend and received nowhere near the adequate punishment for it. That is, until Hoffman gets to him.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: He murdered his girlfriend, who also happened to be Hoffman's sister.
  • Blatant Lies: He claims the murder was an accident, but a flashback shows that his girlfriend's throat was slit. Yeah, he "accidentally" slit her throat.
  • Dirty Coward: He whines, yells for help, says it was an accident, and has trouble even completing the task of crushing his hands.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Eventually, the pendulum lowers itself enough that it begins to slowly cut him in half, despite completing his test.
  • Off on a Technicality: He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but was released 20 years early due to an unexplained legal technicality.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His actions lead to Hoffman becoming Jigsaw's accomplice, and killing many, many people.
  • Villain Has a Point: His last words are used pointing out the fact that he did what he was told to do to pass his test and that he should have been allowed to live afterward. As Jigsaw later tells Hoffman, everybody deserves a fair chance, even murderers like Seth.

Brit

Played by: Julie Benz
A real estate developer who orchestrated the burning down of a building, killing 8 people. She is one of the Fatal Five.
  • Iron Lady: She's the senior vice president of a real estate development company and will do sketchy things to get her work done her way.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Kills Luba instead of Mallick, because he would be less likely to turn against her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Judging by the look on her face when Mallick angrily asks her if she knew about the eight people living in the warehouse when she decided to have it burned down to take the property, she seems to have realized the gravity of what she's done.

     Saw VI Characters 

William Easton

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/william_6.png
Played by: Peter Outerbridge

The main protagonist of Saw VI. He is the head of a local health insurance office and is in charge of, among other things, allowing or denying claims. One of his customers was John Kramer; Easton personally denied coverage for an experimental treatment for John's brain tumor. That was probably not a good idea.


  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jigsaw considers him one, for denying customers coverage when it could have saved their lives or eased their sickness. Averted, since it's clear he doesn't enjoy doing so and tries vainly to save everyone he can over the course of Jigsaw's test.
  • Decoy Protagonist: As he realizes, the game in Saw VI isn't his: it's that of the family of one of the people he's let die.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: As the acids melt his torso, his upper body detaches itself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: By the end of the movie, he did learn a thing or two about helping people. If he had lived, he may have become a better person.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He passes all the tests and learns his lesson about helping people. Then it's revealed that the family of one of the people he let die are also playing a game: Letting him live or not. They choose not to, as they never forgave him, and he dies one of the most violent and painful deaths in the series.
  • Sadistic Choice: Most of his tests revolve around this. He first has to choose between two people and leave the other to be hanged, then must choose at least two out of six of his employees from being blasted by a shotgun.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Despite learning his lesson and passing all his tests, he dies one of the most violent and painful deaths in the series.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Well, she did try to cut him open.

     Saw: The Final Chapter Characters 

Bobby Dagen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bobby_1.png
Played by: Sean Patrick Flanery

The main protagonist of Saw 3D. Dagen realized that Jigsaw victims could make a lot of money by telling their story — if they weren't so traumatized by the experience. To this end, Dagen decides to lie about being a victim, publish a book about his "experience", and go on the talk show circuit to rake in the cash and fame. Jigsaw takes issue with this...


  • Asshole Victim: By proxy. While he himself lives by the end of the film (albeit injured), his friends and wife are killed due to him failing to save them.
  • Determinator: Dagen is an asshole for lying, but he was fully willing to do what it took to keep his friends and wife alive, even if that meant ripping out his own back teeth and re-creating the trap that had gotten him there in the first place.
  • Happily Married: After getting fame for his (false) survival story against Jigsaw, then gets happily married to the woman he loves. Too bad the "happily" part was short-lived after he and anyone associated with him gets captured for one of Jigsaw's games. Bobby ultimately fails at saving anyone.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His final test involves recreating the trap he lied about surviving in the first place: hoisting himself up by chains hooked through his chest muscles to stop a trap from springing. His failure to recreate the trap as he described it cost him dearly.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After lying about surviving his own Jigsaw game, John Kramer posthumously gets even by making him actually experience the saw games, only not to save himself, but to save those close to him. Bobby ultimately proves incompetent with his challenges, as everyone he tried to save ends up dying grisly deaths, leaving him with nothing but guilt.
  • Only in It for the Money: His reason why he said he was a "victim" of Jigsaw; it would allow him to earn quick cash.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Let's be honest, lying about being caught in a trap of a Serial Killer who specifically targets those who are guilty and liars is not the smartest move. Bobby should have known eventually his name would come next.

     Jigsaw Characters 

Logan Nelson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jigsawstill251.jpg
Played by: Matt Passmore

The main character of Jigsaw. Logan is a medical examiner that works with the police. When the Jigsaw murders start up again, he is eventually made into a suspect.


  • Action Dad: He has a daughter and he can also hold his own in a fight as a former Marine.
  • Catchphrase: "I speak for the dead."
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was tortured as a prisoner of war during his time as a military medic.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has several scars on his back, which we are led to believe are from when he was tortured.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When he was still an intern, he accidentally mislabeled two x-rays, resulting in John Kramer's brain tumor not being found until it was too late.


Eleanor Bonneville

Played by: Hannah Emily Anderson

The assistant medical examiner who collaborates with Logan in investigating the new Jigsaw murders.


  • Hospital Hottie: A extremely attractive medical examiner.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: She is absolutely obsessed with Jigsaw, to the point of trolling the dark web for sites and information on him and having an entire warehouse full of replicas of the various traps he built over the course of the series.
  • Red Herring: The viewers are led to believe that she's the new Jigsaw killer because she's a Fangirl of Jigsaw and has built replicas of many of his previous traps. But the real killer is Logan.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Smokes a cigarette while Logan walks around and explores her studio.
  • Stalker Shrine: She has one detailing most of Jigsaw's traps, including the Spiralizer.

Detective Halloran

The chief detective investigating the new Jigsaw murders.


  • Asshole Victim: An interesting variation. While Halloran definitely deserves public humiliation and an arrest following his confession, he does not deserve to die in line with John's philosophy, as he passed his test. Logan murdering him anyways goes directly against John's vision, something Halloran angrily lampshades as purely unfair before dying.
    • That being said, he did force Logan to go first in the laser collar trap, which would've resulted in his death had his part of the trap not been fake.
  • Cowboy Cop: Rolls up to an active crime scene in a Chevrolet SS while smoking a cigarette and not wearing a bulletproof vest, unlike his partner.
  • Dirty Cop: He is guilty of tampering with evidence, putting innocent people in jail, taking bribes, and letting his criminal informants go, one of whom ended up killing Logan's wife.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Halloran wins his game but Logan is clearly set on murdering him anyway. When Halloran realizes this, he points out John always gave his victims a chance and that Logan is perverting his legacy like Hoffman.
  • Off with His Head!: An odd and disturbing subversion: after Logan activates his real laser collar (after he set off his own fake one to trick him into confessing and taking the blame for the crimes), he's killed by his head being sliced into multiple pieces.
  • Rabid Cop: According to Logan, he has a tendency to rough up suspects.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Is seen smoking a cigarette several times to emphasize his somewhat reckless and laid back attitude.

Anna

One of the test subjects of the barn game.


  • Asshole Victim: Revealed to have framed her husband after murdering their child and barely batted an eye when he killed himself over the guilt.
  • Ax-Crazy: She murdered her baby in a fit of rage as she was already unpleasant to begin with due to her escalating arguments with her husband. Then she tried to kill Ryan (who rightfully calls her a "psycho-bitch") to save herself. These murderously actions reveals her to be quite unhinged and twisted next to being selfish and manipulative.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Murdered her own infant child and pinned it on her husband, leading to his suicide while not showing a single ounce of remorse or responsibility for her actions throughout the game, insisting to the end that she didn't do anything wrong until John calls her out on it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Self-inflicts this by accident due to a Backwards-Firing Gun in an attempt to kill Ryan, leaving her to bleed out on the floor.
  • Dark Is Evil: She is dark-haired and wears a black jacket, a black top, black shoes and even have black painted toe nails. Likely to foreshadow her Dark Secret.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Despite appearing as a standard Final Girl, she instead turns out to be the most despicable victim in the game, and ends up killing herself in haste, leaving Ryan as the Sole Survivor, who eventually dies anyway because she screwed their chances of escaping.
  • Distaff Counterpart: She is basically a female Xavier Chavez from the second film.
  • Final Girl: Played With. Anna shows all the traits of a traditional final girl early on: She is a resourceful and intelligent Action Survivor who comes across as kind, compassionate, and level-headed in comparison to the other players. But much of this is an act, so she eventually suffers a well-deserved Karmic Death. This leaves Ryan as the last man standing... but then he dies. The film then reveals that Logan, the first victim of the Barn, both survived his "death"—making him the Final Boy and sole survivor of the Barn—and later became the new Jigsaw.
  • Foil: To Xavier Chavez from the second film, both characters are Ax-Crazy Hate Sink Asshole Victims, however, while Xavier was The Brute who makes no secret with the other victims he is a horrible person and uses force and threats towards the other test subjects to save himself, Anna was smart enough as a Manipulative Bitch to hide her horrible nature with a mask of being an empathetic Final Girl to get the other victims to trust her and help her escape.
  • Hate Sink: The moment it is revealed she murdered her baby and framed her husband for it with no remorse or regret and then think she has done nothing wrong, seeing her death after trying to kill Ryan to save herself is absolutely cathartic.
  • The Heavy: Reveals to be the single biggest threat to the players (mostly towards Ryan following The Reveal) in Jigsaw who are already racing against the clock in Jigsaw's test.
  • It's All About Me: The only thing on her mind is self-preservation, and she refuses to so much as admitting to smothering her baby.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She really is despicable, but plays the other survivors like a fiddle by showing empathy and being level-headed to get them to trust her out of pragmatism to save herself with their help.
  • Never My Fault: Even as she and the others end up facing doom on multiple occasions unless they confess their sins, she is reluctant to do so. It goes as far as to when Jigsaw himself admits to her that he knows the truth about how her baby really died and how she blamed her husband for the death she still refuses to accept responsibility for her actions.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Relies on cooperating with the other victims and presenting herself as an empathic and innocent victim to get them to trust her to escape the game alive.
  • The Sociopath: A low-functioning example, as she murdered her baby then framed her husband for it that lead to him being Driven to Suicide, while she shows no remorse or regret for what she has done. Her empathy towards the other test subjects could be seen as Bait the Dog attempts to get them to trust her and help her escape.
  • Villain Protagonist: She appears as a standard Final Girl, but is the most despicable victim of the bunch.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Downplayed. After The Reveal, when John picks up his mask and muses about how pigs are highly compassionate animals, she coldly asks where John's compassion is.
  • Walking Spoiler: The Reveal is pretty much her defining trait.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Would kill a baby, actually.

Alternative Title(s): Jigsaw

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