Staff of Snowpiercer
Snowpiercer is manned by a diverse crew, consisting of several departments and a strict hierarchy. Everyone, from Third Class and Second, aren't technically just passengers and are actually crew members. They all have a part to play in keeping the train in order.
Melanie's ruthless assistant, who oversees taking people from the Tail or delivering demands to them, activities she seems to feel are beneath her.
- Berserk Button: When ruminating to Layton on their ruined friendship, Melanie speculates Ruth's is being lied to.
- Broken Pedestal: A double one when it turns out Melanie has been lying to her the whole time and also claims that Mr. Wilford was a fraud.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Her friendship with Zarah and Layton's placing a measure of trust in her gradually thaws Ruth from the raving zealot she was at the end of season 1, ruminating on her past mistakes and even being the first to believe that Melanie has survived when her signal starts failing to come in.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He may or may not have been manipulating her into joining the revolution, but she's devastated by Grey's death and repeatedly brings it up in the final episode.
- Expy: To Minister Mason from the Snowpiercer film: both are Wilford loyalists with strong Yorkshire accents who wear furs when they visit the Tail and contemptuously keep the Tailies in line with violence.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A former bed and breakfast owner before meeting Mr. Wilford and being hired by the train, and now one of the main figures behind its tyranny.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- A lot of her other rantings are dubious at best, but she's dead right that Melanie gets to escape any consequences for her actions as she becomes an (official) engineer, while the rest of them have to deal with the fallout of her actions.
- Probably not intentionally, but when she shows up to welcome back Mr Wilford, Layton concedes that having her try diplomacy first is a good idea.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Already a borderline religious fanatic towards Wilford, she turns into an Ax-Crazy counter-revolutionary after learning that Wilford is not on the train.
- Lawful Evil: She's obsessed with the train's order, feeling that order (specifically Wilford's order) is all they have left on the train - as such she's capable of great cruelty when enforcing said order.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: To the Folgers and Grey during their revolution - she at least wants to follow Wilford's rules in transitioning power, while they rapidly slip into dictatorship.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Repeatedly bemoans Layton's inability to share information with her the way he does the rest of his allies.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: When Grey and the Folgers suggest she join their coup and replace Melanie, she instead tries to reveal the plot to Melanie. She changes her mind when a stressed out Melanie lashes out at her over what she assumes is Ruth simply being the messenger for entitled griping by first class.
- Oop North: Ruth has a prominent Yorkshire accent.
- Pet the Dog: Her relationship with Layton is tempestuous to put it mildly, but when she finds out Zarah is pregnant by him, arranges for them to move to one of the vacant First Class cars to have somewhere comfortable to bring up the child. She seems struck by the hope having a baby in such an anarchic time represents.
- Sanity Slippage: A combination of finding out her idol has been dead for years, her best friend has been lying to her, her lover has been killed and being excluded from Layton's new governing council has her beginning to show serious cracks in the last episode.
- Undying Loyalty: She's utterly devoted to Mr. Wilford and sees him as the savior of humanity. The truth breaks her. When it turns out he is still alive and on another train, she desperately tries to get him back in charge. Unfortunately, Mel's conversation with Wilford when they meet indicates he doesn't remember her at all.
- Villainous Friendship: She seems to sincerely be good pals with Melanie. That, of course, all goes out the window after The Reveal that Mr. Wilford has never been on the train and Melanie is posing as him.
Commander Nolan Grey
A brilliant tactician, hardened leader, and former Special Forces, British SAS who commanded men before the Freeze. He relishes keeping things in order and getting his hands dirty in combat.
- Arch-Enemy: To Layton. They remember each other very well from the night Layton boarded; Grey was the one shoving people off the train.
- Blood Knight: Very obviously - is clearly having the time of his life hacking and maiming his way through the Night Car.
- Death Glare: As befits someone with his grim personality.Martin: He mostly just stared at us coldly, which, I won't lie, is very effective.
- Genius Bruiser: He's an incredibly formidable hand to hand fighter and plots out the Jackboots battle strategies.
- Hidden Depths: Grey might be a sadistic animal, but he's far from a fool. He doesn't fall in line to kiss Wilford's ass, slyly pointing out that Wilford's speech "paraphrased" Winston Churchill. Later, he shows a softer aspect of his personality when flirting with Ruth Wardell.
- Icy Blue Eyes: He has very sharp, focused blue eyes that highlight his cold-hearted personality.
- Informed Attribute: Supposedly he's a good tactician, but his approach to the Tailies' homemade ballista calls that into question. While flanking around behind is a good plan, he essentially throws his men directly at the weapon in the meantime to serve as a distraction. Keep in mind that this weapon has no capability to fire anywhere that isn't directly in front of it and the hall has ample cover along the walls.
- Karmic Death: The man who relished throwing people off the train to freeze to death is himself detached from the train and presumably freezes to death.
- The Starscream: Tells Ruth they'll get rid of the Folgers after Layton is dead.
- We Have Reserves: He has his men continue to charge the makeshift ballista the Tailies have set up in the maintenance tunnels while he takes a squad to circle above and flank them, even though it takes several failed charges for the Jackboots to finally outlast their ammunition supply.
The lead brakeman and somewhat of an enforcer. He was employed by the real Mr. Wilford before the Freeze.
- By-the-Book Cop: Follows the rules of Snowpiercer rigidly - he's furious when he catches Till and Oz beating up Layton, and later suspends Oz when he finds out he's being smuggling drugs to the Tail.
- Da Chief: As the lead brakeman, he's essentially the equivalent of a police chief.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- Roche is an unsympathetic hardass, but he's still infuriated to discover that Oz has been dealing in drugs and sexual extortion. He's also openly shocked when Till starts putting the boots to Boki the following season as the stress of Wilford's return and the Tailie mutilations get to her.
- He's also the only one objecting to the Folgers and the Jackboots variously humiliating Layton when the surrender happens.
- Happily Married: His wife also survived the Freeze on the train (although not all of their children did) and he tells Layton in the first episode he would rather be spending time with her than wasting it on him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Initially seems quite callously indifferent to the Tail's plight, and really doesn't get on with Layton at first. However, he's repeatedly shown to do the right thing throughout the series, standing with Layton to get rid of Grey even at the cost of a serious beating, and is much more open to Layton's democratic way of leading compared to Ruth.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Layton convinces him to stand down when the real fighting breaks out, appealing to the loss of life that will happen and the train's need for surviving people who can provide order in the aftermath, no matter who wins.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: As it becomes apparent Jinju and Till's argument about supplying food is about to escalate into a nasty lover's argument, he immediately makes himself scarce.
A thoughtful, empathetic, and savvy brakeman who is part of the train's security force. She finds herself at the center of a mystery that rocks the train's uneasy status quo.
- Butch Lesbian: Even when out of uniform, she dresses very conservatively compared to the more glamourous Jinju.
- Category Traitor: Sides with the Tail after seeing Melanie's brutality first-hand.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She was a rookie cop during the year that the freeze became inevitable and was there for a lot of the riots and breakdowns.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Chooses her principles over her lover Jinju when she supports Layton. It tanks their relationship in the final episode.
- HeelFace Turn: Gradually comes round to Layton's side after seeing Layton's fundamental decency - and then seeing him get stuck in the drawers by Melanie. By the last few episodes she's one of Layton's main lieutenants.
- The Lancer: She is by Layton's side when the revolution happens.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: The "young cop" to Layton during the mystery arc.
- Rank Up: Layton and Roche promote her to train detective in early season 2.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: As Layton's lieutenant, she's the Red to Audrey's Blue. She's notably more aggressive, favouring hitting the Jackboots before they regroup after the Night Car battle, where Audrey favours fortifying the cars they've taken.
- Sanity Slippage: The stress of her new role, the attacks on the Tailies and Wilford's return begin to take their toll in season 4. As she admits to the pastor, she's lost her role in life and anyone who cared about her - now she's got nothing and ends up having a one-night stand with a Night Car bartender while wasted at the viewing party.
- The Watson: Plays this role to the more experienced Layton as they work together to find the Serial Killer. Different from the norm in that while Till eventually warms up to him, Layton doesn't trust her until she joins his cause wholeheartedly after helping him escape from the Drawers.
John "Oz" Osweiller
A young brakeman and police-type figure of the train.
- Abusive Parents: Implies when he gets honest just after the train almost derails that his mother beat him badly when drunk - and was even worse sober.
- Blackmail: Towards Till when he catches her releasing Layton.
- Break the Haughty: After abandoning the brakemen in the revolution, his efforts to convince the Tail and Janitors that Wilford's return is an opportunity fail, leading to the latter making him do manual labour.
- Dirty Cop: He's a brakeman, and corrupt to the core, moonlighting for Terence.
- Dirty Coward: The only brakeman to abandon Roche's blockade against the Taillies. While the others are openly relieved when Roche stands them down, none of them abandon their post the way Oz does.
- Evil Brit: One of the show's most unambiguously rotten characters, and retains his actor's natural British accent.
- For the Evulz: One of the few characters to prefer his new life on Snowpiercer over his pre-Freeze existence, he loves the power being a brakeman gives him. When he's extorting Till for knocking him out to get Layton out the drawers, his demands are basically "let me do whatever the hell I want and don't stop me".
- Hidden Depths: Shows a bit of fear and mutual comfort with Till when it looks like the train might be doomed.
- Jerkass: A smug asshole who abuses his power at every turn and is only out for himself.
- Odd Friendship: In the finale ends up bonding with L.J. of all people over the fact they're both universally hated. There's also his relationship with Till; despite their being polar opposites on just about everything, they're still friendly enough after he becomes a Janitor that they share a drink while she tries to get information on the Tailie mutilations.
- Pet the Dog Takes L.J. under his wing in the final episode, even being remarkably cool with her punching him in the face.
- Police Brutality: A frequent practitioner, beating the shit out of Layton early on and later performing a Groin Attack on Walter to determine where the strike leaflets are coming from.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Is the first to abandon the Brakeman line when Layton and his army come calling, leading to their position being rendered untenable.
- Sexual Extortion: He accepts blowjobs as payment for kronol.
- Sports Hero Backstory: Used to be a football midfielder before the Freeze. Even directly compares his beating up Layton to taking penalty kicks.
One of the Younger Brakemen-.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Fuller -like many of the other minor Brakemen- largely comes across as just looking to Roche for guidance and being a bit confused and uneasy throughout the trains powers struggles.
A large and fearsome-looking Breachworker, one of the most dangerous jobs on the train, with frostbite scars and stumped ears who is used to the cold and jokes about the hazards of the job.
- Alliterative Name: Bojan Boscovic.
- Braving the Blizzard: His entire job involves exposing himself to the deadly elements, and he has the scars to show for it.
- Ear Ache: Constant exposure to the hazardous outside has worn down his ears to stumps.
- Friend to All Children: He's warm and cheerful around kids when he's presented to the primary school children after performing some vital work on the train.
- Large and in Charge: The largest and most muscular among the already massive Breachmen, and by all indications their leader.
- Red Herring: Season 2 hints at he and the Breachmen being moles for Wilford, but then Wilford's moles wipe out the Breachmen and only Bosco survives thanks to Roche and Layton confronting him just before the assassin got to him.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: For all his niceness in the first season, the second shows he's also a fervent Wilford loyalist.