De facto captain of the Rocinante. Originally from Earth. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- The Ace: Holden is at least naturally talented at pretty much everything he does. Over the course of the series, he acquires a broad and fearsome set of skills, not least of which is 'not dying.'
- Broken Ace: After the events of Leviathan's Wake, and suffers through it for most of Caliban's War. He does get better though.
- The Captain: Of the Rocinante, formerly Tachi of the MCRN.
- The Conscience: For the whole crew, but especially Amos. Although sometimes he gets too full of himself and Naomi or Alex have to bring him back to reality.
- Famed in Story: Starts with the Canterbury broadcast, and continues as he serves as the public face of the Rocinante. Invoked in Abaddon's Gate when the rest of the crew browbeats him into doing interviews with Monica Stuart so they can get work done.
- Hypocrite: His "no secrets ever" policy doesn't seem to apply to himself — as in Nemesis Games when he gets annoyed with Monica Stuart for mentioning the theft of the final protomolecule sample on television during his interview.
- By the end of Caliban's War, after spending several years killing pirates for Ford (they're rarely willing to surrender), he shows exactly the kind of behavior for which he righteously kicked Miller off the Rocinante crew in Leviathan Wakes, which was a large part of what sent Miller over the edge into full-blown Death Seeker mode. It's lampshaded, and Holden does feel kind of sorry for not understanding Miller's perspective back then.
- Information Wants to Be Free: His primary method of messing things up for the bad guys (and sometimes everyone else).
- Knight in Sour Armor: Slowly takes on shades of this over the course of the books, so that he for example keeps wondering "Why am I still trying to keep these people from shooting each other, if they are too stupid / stubborn to understand they need to work together to survive this catastrophe?" in Cibola Burn. He still keeps protecting them, though, to the point of utter physical and mental exhaustion.
- Mix-and-Match Man: Thanks to modern reproductive medical science, Holden has several parents who cohabited with one another, one of whom bore and birthed him, all of whom contributed to his genome. This was mainly for tax reasons, as having fewer children per adult in a family earns the family certain credits, and having one child for eight biological parents gets them access to a (relative) lot of land. Holden's parentage situation is unusual, but not unheard of.
- Must Have Caffeine: He's really fond of his state of the art coffeemaker aboard the Rocinante.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Between his broadcast of the destruction of the Canterbury and his broadcasts to the Donnager this trope should have his picture attached to it.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In Caliban's War, he attempts to grow a beard and poses as an ordinary crewman aboard an aid freighter. Avasarala is not fooled for a moment."Well, thank God he didn't put on a pair of glasses, we might never have figured it out."
- Refusal of the Call: Especially in Abadon's Gate, when he wants to go to the other end of the solar system from the Protomolecule ring (and therefore the plot), due to his fear of the alien bio-tech organism. Events ( and Clarissa Mao) conspire against him so that he has no choice but to take a job ferrying a documentary team to the ring.
- Relationship Upgrade: With Naomi by the end of the first book.
- Rightly Self-Righteous: Acts rather sanctimonous towards other characters and believes he is always in the right no matter what.
- Given the Don Quixote references in the first book, it seems highly likely that Holden's character was inspired by the song "Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)" from the musical / movie.Hear me, heathens and wizardsAnd serpents of sin!All your dastardly doings are past,For a holy endeavor is now to beginAnd virtue shall triumph at last!
- Given the Don Quixote references in the first book, it seems highly likely that Holden's character was inspired by the song "Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)" from the musical / movie.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Word of God says that Holden is partially an exploration of how frustrating it would be to actually have a paladin in the party.
- Spanner in the Works: Has a reputation for this by Caliban's War. Lampshaded by Avasarala."If he realizes he's being watched, he'll start broadcasting pictures of all our Ganymede sources or something. Do not underestimate his capacity to fuck things up."
- Does this again in Cibola Burn by not acting how Avasarala and Fred Johnson wanted him to act.
- Unwitting Pawn: Transmitting the details on the attacks on the Canterbury and the Donnager was something Protogen relied on to provoke a war between Mars and Earth.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He gets this on a pretty regular basis, as his tendency to broadcast anything and everything he knows to the solar system at large has started at least two open conflicts between Earth, Mars and the outer planets.
- Why Did It Have To Be The Protomolecule?: Holden is irrationally afraid of everything relating to the alien device or its creators.
- Well, it's arguable if it's really an "irrational" fear - the others are less afraid, but then, nobody else but Holden saw the results of the Eros infection of the Protomolecule up close and survived. (Except Miller, who didn't survive for long, and also developed severe mental problems as a result.) Though it certainly has aspects of PTSD for Holden.
- You Are in Command Now: After Captain McDowell is killed during the initial attack on the Canterbury. Retains the position aboard the Rocinante.
The Rocinante's resident engineer and technical expert. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Alliterative Name
- Ambiguously Brown: specifically a tri-racial mix of Asian, African and Latin American.
- Big Good: Promoted to this for the underground in Tiamat's Wrath.
- The Conscience: Unlike her more pragmatic characterization in the TV series, a large part of her function in the plot of the first couple books is to be a moral compass to Holden (and Amos, though Holden mostly takes over once Amos accepts him as the leader), along with being his love interest. She's the only member of the Roci crew refusing to use guns, at least at the start.
- Damsel in Distress: She's disabled by Clarissa in Abaddon's Gate and gets captured in both Cibola Burn and Nemesis Games.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Finally explained in full as of Nemesis Games.
- The Engineer: her official job title on the Canterbury; on the Rocinante, she works as the Chief Engineer, managing the ship's software systems.
- Gadgeteer Genius: downplayed due to the fairly realistic setting, but it's clear that Naomi is vastly overqualified for her job on the Canterbury.
- Missing Mom: She has a son, Filip Inaros, who she left behind when she fled the crew of radical Belters she shipped with during her teenage years.
- Mission Control: Shares this role with Alex. He and Naomi take care of the ship, and Holden and Amos pound the ground.
- My Greatest Failure: when she was barely out of her teens, a program she wrote was used to kill thousands of people in a terrorist attack. By her boyfriend.
- Number Two: Is the Executive Officer of the Rocinante. As a result, she has less time to be the ship's engineer than she did aboard the Cant, but still works closely with Amos when something goes really wrong with the ship.
- Rebel Leader: When Saba is killed, she takes his role as leader of the underground resistance to Laconia.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: And when Holden starts to become more anti-heroic, she draws away from him.
- The Chick: Only female permanent member of the Roci crew in the first few books, and the most ethically concerned and least violent of them. Love interest to The Hero and, to a much lesser degree, The Lancer.note Several times put in distress by villains using her to take revenge on Holden or to control him - though at least she gets herself out of it sometimes or gets rescued by another woman instead of her boyfriend.
- Statuesque Stunner: As a Belter, she's considerably taller and lankier than Earthborn humans, including her boyfriend.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Usually the one to let Holden hear it when he's losing his way.
- Wrench Wench: less of a "coveralls-and-toolkit" version than a "jumpsuit-and-keyboard" version, but she spends a fair amount of time crawling around the Rocinante.
The Rocinante's mechanic. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Amos seems to be neuro-atypical, though exactly how is never made explicit. Other characters note that he lacks a strong moral center, and tends to attach himself to other people who are regarded as having strong moral judgement. The first person scenes of him suggest he has alexithymia as the only emotion in himself he can easily identify is anger, with most others he can only identify after the fact by his physical reactions to them.note
- Bald of Awesome: His baldness is frequently remarked upon by people who aren't members of the crew. If he has not had the opportunity to shave for a few days, members of the crew will sometimes notice his stubble. His hair started thinning early, so he shaves what remains.
- Berserk Button: Hurting or endangering a child is the quickest way to get Amos to beat you senseless with a can of chicken or blow your head off with his automatic shotgun.
- The Big Guy: He's the go-to guy on the Rocinante when it comes to violence. Miller immediately pegs him as being both comfortable and experienced in a fight when they first meet. He's also physically the largest and strongest of the group. Only Bobby outranks him in this.
- Brutal Honesty: His preferred method of conversation. He says what he means, whether you like it or not.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He will hit on basically any woman he spends more than a few hours with (except Anna, who is married, lesbian and a priest - though that doesn't keep him from refering to her as "Red" for her hair-color instead of using her name), finds most non-elderly female characters attractive to the point that he can't figure out who is meant when Holden refers to one as "the cute one", and he spends his off-time when the Roci is docked at a space station going on lenghty brothel-binges. But he is never shown pressing the issue if he's rejected, or mistreating sex workers in any way. (And he made absolutely sure he would never be able to impregnate a sex worker when he was only 18.) He has a sexual interest in Naomi and her friend Sam, but is perfectly happy to accept that they aren't interested in him.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Implicated in several murders, but never convicted. The novella The Churn goes into more detail about his backstory. Asides from him being involved in criminal gangs, it says something about the state of his general social environment that the middle-aged sex worker who raised him after his mother died was also having sex with him while he was still a pubescent teenager (we're not told when it started...), and neither of them seems to see any problem with this. (We only get her POV on this particular factor, but he seems to remember her fondly in general.)
- Dead Person Impersonation: The real Amos Burton was a Baltimore crime boss who hired him as muscle but then made the mistake of ordering him to kill his best friend. He assumed the crime boss's in-case-of-emergency forged identity as his own to escape the authorities afterward. His real name's Timmy.
- Dissonant Serenity: He retains his cheerful demeanor even when he's threatening to kill people.
- Disney Death:
- Gets shot in the head in Caliban's War. Turns out it was a rubber bullet.
- Happens again in Cibola Burn, shot in the back by Murtry, this time with a real bullet, Elvi believing he's been killed. But it turns out Amos shot at Murtry from the ground.
- And again in Tiamat's Wrath, this time with an actual weapon, but is rescusitated by the alien construction robots native to the planet.
- The Engineer: paired with Naomi, as the ship's hardware expert. He's a mix of The Combat Engineer and The Mechanic.
- Friend to All Children: Most likely as a result of his upbringing, he is extremely protective and nurturing toward every child he comes across. Examples include:
- Threatening to kill and space Prax if it turned out the rumours about his abusive treatment of Mei were true (they were not).
- Helping Prax get Mei back from Io and finishing off the guy who kidnapped her.
- Keeping Mei company with Bobbie while Prax was too exhausted from the many-months-long search for her.
- Not immediately drawing on Jacek, despite being fully aware that Jacek was armed.
- Protecting Wendy and her fathers Rico and Jian from a protection racket.
- Insisting that Rico use the money he would have lost to the racket to pay for Wendy's future.
- Taking comfort in the possibility that a child prostitute's pimp might come looking for him, the implication being that he can kill the pimp and free the kid.
- He got a vasectomy the first day he was old enough to legally consent to the procedure. It's not specified why, but in light of the rest of this list, probably mostly because he really didn't want to do anything to cause more kids to be born in brothels.
- Befriending Teresa in Tiamat's Wrath and becoming one of the few people who genuinely listens to her.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Officially, Amos is the Rocinante's mechanic, but considering how sophisticated it is, being the mechanic requires the equivalent of a few graduate degrees in engineering and physics. And he's excellent at cooking up solutions from available parts.
- Gentle Giant: Usually. More than one character remarks that he doesn't look like a killer at all — more like a friendly repairman or a schoolteacher.
- Hookers and Blow: usually spends his port leave partying at a variety of bars, casinos, and especially brothels.
- Morality Chain: Holden (and to a certain extent Naomi) is his; see Token Evil Teammate below.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: His default state when confronted with a problem is a a coldly and casually considered use of force. But he is wise enough to know that is usually not the best option, and makes a habit of differing to others for direction.
- The Nicknamer:
- Naomi: Boss
- Holden: Cap
- Prax: Doc
- Clarissa: Peaches
- Avasarala: Chrissie, Madam Uber Secretary
- Bobbie: Babs
- Anna: Red
- Teresa: Tiny
- Perpetual Smiler: He is almost always described as wearing an "amiable" smile when he is around other people. "Wearing" is the operative word here, since his smile is not necessarily reflective of what he is actually feeling (which is often very little.) Rather, it is an affectation he learned while still young as a way of disarming others and making them feel more comfortable in his presence, though he does not understand exactly why it has this effect.
- Prematurely Bald: His hair started receding shortly after he finished puberty. He makes a habit of shaving off whatever of it is left.
- Satisfied Street Rat: As the Son of a Whore, he was literally born outside the legal system, with no prospects but the criminal underworld. He killed someone for the first time while a teenager, and grew into one of the most implacable badasses in the series outside of a dedicated military. He is not exactly proud or nostalgic for his old life, but he has done quite well for himself since leaving Earth and is content with who he is.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: He favors an auto-shotgun.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: While all of the crew are prone to the colorful use of language, Amos can hardly speak two sentences without an F-bomb or some other obscenity. Enforced during the Roci's trip to the Ring with reporter in tow as a means of making his interviews unusable.
- Stepford Smiler: In Persepolis Rising, he has an emotional breakdown over Clarissa's impending death. However, it takes the rest of the crew a long time to pick up on it because he retains his usual cheery demeanor.
- The Sociopath: Seems likely as of Nemesis Games, where we have him as a POV character and he often behaves in a way that he thinks emulates standard social behavior and doesn't seem to understand why people have emotional reactions to anything. See Token Evil Teammate.
- Son of a Whore: Population Control is heavily enforced on Earth, which results in some people there developing a fetish for the taboo allure of sex with pregnant women. This means the pimp of a pregnant prostituted woman can charge a hefty price, and for obvious reasons the pregnancies need to go unreported. The children born of such sex workers generally slip through the crack's of the U.N.'s social state bureaucracy, with nowhere to go but the street, and many are quickly prostituted by the same pimps that control their mothers.
- Token Evil TeammateNaomi: He's using you as his external, aftermarket conscience.Holden: No, he's not.Naomi: It's what he does. Finds someone who has a sense of ethics and follows their lead.
The Rocinante's pilot, originally from Mars' Mariner Valley, though he exaggerates his southern drawl for effect. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Ace Pilot: Plugger type.
- Action Survivor: compared to the rest of the Rocinante's crew, he's not much in a gunfight, but he's gotten used to living through them.
- Amazon Chaser: Toward Bobbie Draper. Defied in Nemesis Games, where they end up working closely together and developing a tight friendship without any physical intimacy; Alex even remarks to himself that the emotional intimacy reminds him of a love affair without the touching.
- Ambiguously Brown: Like most people not from Earth.
- The Atoner: Attempts to reconcile with his ex-wife. Gets told off by her and has his motives questioned when he shows up more than twenty years after walking out on her. To his credit, Alex at least wasn't expecting much more than that.
- Danger Deadpan: He speaks with a Valles Marineris accent, and the original Martian colonists of that region inherited it from a Texas accent. Alex is known to exaggerate his natural drawl by speaking slowly and calmly when he has to deliver bad news, or just when he wants to make a point. Occasionally his accent gets less pronounced if something catches him off guard.
- Disappeared Dad: A twist, as he's the disappeared dad to a child he doesn't know about on Mars.
- Father Neptune: With over 20 years in the Martian Navy, plus however long he was on the Canterbury, Alex is the most experienced member of the crew.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: as the Rocinante and her crew become more famous, Alex is the most casual when talking about their various feats with outsiders.
- High-Speed Missile Dodge: A master.
- Hookers and Blow: Like Amos, spends his port leave partying (though less brothels and more casinos in his case.)
- Improbable Piloting Skills
- Mission Control: even moreso than Naomi, Alex is rarely separated from the Rocinante, for obvious reasons.
- Nice Guy: Probably the friendliest and most relatable of the Rocinante's crew.
Gunnery Sergeant Roberta "Bobbie" Draper note
A Martian Marine stationed on Ganymede whose squad was killed by a mysterious unkillable monster. She joins up with Avasarala to get revenge and closure. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- Action Girl: Amos said it best:"Me? I'm what you might call a 'talented amateur'. But her? She's a pro."
- Amazonian Beauty / Statuesque Stunner: Oh yeah. Very curvy, very muscular and well over six feet tall. Holden thinks she looks like a Polynesian beach bunny blown up to 150% normal size in Photoshop.
- Ambiguously Brown: Her ancestry is mainly Samoan.
- Blood Knight: Downplayed. She's not actively looking to fight, but she's a real adrenaline junkie, always breaking out in a grin whenever things are about to get ugly.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Downplayed with her Powered Armor, which at the time of her introduction is actually a slightly older model of Goliath that is being gradually phased out in favor of a newer version. She declines to upgrade because finding a suit of armor that actually fits her unusually Statuesque Stunner build well is a difficult task, and having to do a little extra maintenance is the price she is willing to pay for a reliably fitting suit.
- Dying Moment of Awesome / Heroic Sacrifice: She sacrifices herself at the end of Tiamat's Wrath to ensure the destruction of The Heart of The Tempest. She even goes out shooting at it personally, for no other reason than because she could.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Along with Avasarala, in Caliban's War.
- Gentle Giant
- Guy in Back: She's a Gunnery Sargent, which she notes to Holden is a rank with a very specific meaning. Thus, she's fully qualified to be the operator the weapons systems of a MCRN light attack vessel such as the Roci.
- Honest Advisor: To Avasarala.
- The Juggernaut: When she's wearing her armor.Bobbie: "You give me a weapon, and I'm a soldier. You get me in my armor, and I'm a super hero."
- Mama Bear: With regard to her nephew in Gods of Risk.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Absolutely will not betray Mars even as she works with the most powerful figure in Earth's government. In Nemesis Games the Martian Prime Minister finds this extremely helpful, as Bobbie helps keep him alive to meet with Avasarala. But given that Mars is falling apart at the seams by this point, Bobbie's patriotism may become moot anyway.
- My Greatest Failure: The death of her squad, which she eventually accepts she couldn't have done anything about.
- Odd Friendship: With Avasarala.
- Powered Armor: Her Goliath suit.
- Rocket Ride: In Nemesis Games, Bobbie rides on a laser-guided missile to rescue Naomi.
- She's Back: At the very end of Cibola Burn.Avasarala: I need to put you back on the board, soldier.
- Space Marine: Part of their elite Force Recon at that.
Melba Koh / Clarissa Melopene Mao
The daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao, who assumes an alias in order to sabotage the fleet headed toward the Ring and frame James Holden for the disaster. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Avenging the Villain: She has an extremely skewed view of her father, and is trying to get revenge on Holden for putting him in jail.
- Bio-Augmentation: The glands in her mouth give her Super Strength and enhanced speed, but leave her exhausted for a time afterward.
- Daddy's Little Villain: It is heavily implied that between her and Julie, she was JP's favourite.
- Dark Action Girl
- Easily Forgiven: Understandably averted, considering that she's at least a little bit insane, directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people (several by her own hand in order to cover up her sabotage), and personally tried to murder Naomi. The only reason any of the Roci crew don't blow her head off instead of taking her back to trial is because Anna made them promise not to, and they owed her a favor.
- Played with in Babylon's Ashes. While Holden clearly has extreme reservations about her presence on the Roci, he nevertheless considers her crew for as long as she is there and vows to protect her during her stay.
- Heel Realization: Starts with her regret at the murder of one of her engineering team, and eventually extends to the realization that no one is responsible for her father's fate except for her father.
- HeelFace Turn: At Anna's urging, she opens the door for Holden and his assault team to get onto the Behemoth's bridge and then singlehandedly disables the Behemoth thereafter. As of Babylon's Ashes, she seems to be a more-or-less permanent part of the crew.
- Heroic Sacrifice / Dying Moment of Awesome / Heroic RRoD: Thirty years after breaking the Free Navy, Clarissas implants are starting to leak, causing her a lot of health problems. Her end comes after invaders from Laconia have her and Naomi cornered. So Clarissa activates her implant one last time, killing all the Laconians before they can kill her and Naomi. After this, the damage caused by the implant gets the better of her, and she dies in Naomi's arms.
- Ill Girl: Becomes this later on in life, due to side-effects of her Bio-Augmentation. The implanted glands are leaking, and slowly poisoning and killing her.
- Odd Friendship: With Amos. By the end of Abaddon's Gate, he's begun calling her "Peaches" and later on in Nemesis Games, decides to pay her a visit in prison after travelling to Earth for other reasons. Then the Free Navy starts bombing Earth with asteroids, so he breaks her out of prison and they get off Earth together.
- Power Limiter: in Nemesis Games, a condition of her imprisonment is a regimen of drugs to negate her Bio-Augmentation.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Sort of. While it's subverted because she genuinely did want Holden dead and intended to doom him, it's safe to say that "Cause a chain of events leading to the death of hundreds, an Insane Admiral killing many more, and the (possible) End of The World As We Know It" were not part of the plan.
- Waif-Fu: Especially in Nemesis Games, where she's considerably more gaunt thanks to her years in an underground prison, but is still able to use her glands to rip people apart with her bare hands when necessary.
Assistant to Sadavir Errinwright, UN undersecretary of executive administration. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: Her personality is abrasive and her mouth is foul, but she knows when to reign it in and when to lean on it to get her way. This is enhanced by her expertise at reading people and social calibration.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Par excellence. Holden remarks that she has never been elected to any position in the UN government but nonetheless is the most powerful person in that government. She manipulates even her superiors with ease.
- Character Death: She dies in-between Persepolis Rising and Tiamat's Wrath, which starts with her funeral.
- Cool Old Lady: And she only gets cooler in the later volumes—despite being extremely old and confined to a wheelchair in Persepolis Rising she still manages to make her influence known.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: In Caliban's War.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Despite her uncharitable remarks about the OPA, and his having defected from Earth, she has a very good working and personal relationship with Fred Johnson. Unlike her opposite number in the Martian government, she respects Johnson as a person and the two frequently work together towards common goals. His death is the event that finally breaks her in Babylon's Ashes.
- Good Is Not Nice: She's too busy trying to keep humanity from annihilating itself to worry about social niceties most of the time.
- Guile Hero: A master politician with a personal mission to keep humanity from destroying itself.
- Happily Married: To Arjun, a poet and a scholar.
- Heroic BSoD: She spends most of Babylon's Ashes in a sleepless stupor trying maintain the crisis on Earth, not dealing with her own emotional trauma of losing Arjun. The death of Fred Johnson finally pushes her over the edge.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- The Mentor: To Drummer in Persepolis Rising. At first Drummer resents the imposition, but then comes to realize that she really needs the advice.
- Morality Pet: She loves her husband and her grandchildren dearly. Part of what motivates her so strongly is the thought of any of them in danger from something she couldn't stop.
- The Mourning After: Arjun is missing and believed to be dead after the events of Nemesis Games. After Fred Johnson is killed in Babylon's Ashes, the sense of loss she has been trying to hold back finally breaks her.
- Odd Friendship: With Bobbie. As of Nemesis Games she seems to be warming up to Amos as well, after a fashion.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: To the point where Errinwright is concerned when she makes it through an entire conversation without swearing once.Avasarala: ...cunt.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Having the dirtiest mouth in the whole series means the moments when she doesn't swear stand out. And it's usually a bad sign for whoever she is speaking to.
- The Snark Knight
- The Woman Wearing The Ambassador's Mask
- Trademark Favorite Food: Constantly eating and shelling pistachios during meetings
- Would Not Hurt A Child"Not even when it's the right thing to do. You'd be surprised how often it's hurt my political career."
The UN undersecretary of executive administration. Avasarala's boss. First appearance: Caliban's War.
Admiral Augusto Nguyen
Earth admiral straining at the leash for a war against Mars. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- Dirty Coward: at the climax of Caliban's War, he proves willing to first endanger everyone in the solar system, then betray his own cause and employer, if he can be saved.
- Insane Admiral
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The protomolecule monsters he intended to use against Mars are used against his own ship.
- Killed Mid-Sentence
Another Earth admiral, the only one who sides with Avasarala (initially). First appearance: Caliban's War.
Avasarala's personal assistant. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- Beleaguered Assistant
- Deadpan Snarker
- Laser-Guided Karma: He tried to lie to and spy on Avasarala. As soon as she found out, she fired him, relegating him to a life on basic support.
- The Mole
- Passive Aggressive Combat: knows exactly how to get under the skin of Bobbie, Avsarala, and probably everyone else he's working for while appearing to do nothing wrong. It takes Bobbie less than 24 hours to develop a burning dislike for him.
The head of the UN security team assigned to Avasarala aboard the Guanshiyin. First appearance: Caliban's War.
A former criminal henchman from Amos' past. As of Nemesis Games, he controls most of Baltimore. First appearance: The Churn.
- Affably Evil: He's very friendly for a crime lord and prefers to avoid violence when it won't hurt his bottom line.
- Artificial Limbs: When he re-emerges in Auberon, he swapped out his deformed arm for a titanium arm that has a bunch of nifty superpowers. He eventually admits to Biryar that he preferred his old arm.
- Big Bad: He's the main villain of Auberon, as his goal is to corrupt or depose Biryar. He's a rather sympathetic one though, given that Biryar is the governor of a conquering empire.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Cannot conceive how Amos is able to make a good living opeating and repairing spacecraft engines (in other words, honest and legal employment). It's not so much questioning why Amos would turn from a life of crime as it is wondering how Amos' world works at all.
- Childhood Friends: With Timmy ( who would later adopt the name "Amos"). They would watch out for each other as kids living on the streets of Baltimore, and he landed Timmy his first gig working for the local crime boss.
- The Corrupter: His preference for dealing with Biryar is to convince him that working with Erich's criminal empire is a better option than enforcing Laconia's laws. He succeeds at the end by blackmailing Biryar by threatening to expose Biryar's wife Mona's corruption to Biryar's superiors.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: In The Churn he's just a low-level identity forger whose boss considers him disposable. He becomes the ruler of Baltimore years later.
- Friendly Enemy: With Amos. They're both amiable to one another, but they also keep their finger on the button/trigger at all times when dealing with each other. By the end of Nemesis Games, they have a sort of mutual trust but both of them know there's nothing more they have to say to each other.
- Pet the Dog:
- At the urging of Amos, allows Amos' surrogate mother Lydia's husband to continue to live in their home on Erich's patronage after she died rather than go on basic. Not that it made much difference, as a few days later he was likely killed when the one of the asteroids that struck Earth landed in the north Atlantic.
- In Auberon, he stops Biryar from killing himself and then gently talks him out of suicide.
- Red Right Hand: His withered arm. He later gets it replaced with a fearsome titanium arm.
Martian Prime Minister at the start of the Free Navy crisis. First appearance: Nemesis Games
- Distressed Dude: Bobbie and Alex have to stop the Free Navy from assassinating him.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Avasarala walks on him getting drunk after he learned that his government called a vote of no confidence while he was on Earth and that he has lost his position.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He has no problem following Bobbie and Alex's instructions when they save his life. Also makes the case for rescuing Naomi after Inaros had left her adrift, pointing out that she was the only material witness they had to Inaros's attack on Earth.
Bobbie's brother. First appearance: Gods of Risk
- Sibling Rivalry: He argues with Bobbie over everything.
Benji's son and Bobbie's nephew. A high school student specializing in chemistry who makes illegal drugs for the thrill of breaking the law. First appearance: Gods of Risk
- Dulcinea Effect: He barely knows Leelee, but he risks his life to save her. The rest of the cast are pretty sure that it's just hormones.
A former Earth military colonel and current leader of the Outer Planets Alliance. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- The Atoner/What You Are in the Dark: The short story The Butcher of Anderson Station explores his motives in defecting to the OPA. Dawes interrogates Johnson to determine if Johnson is truly showing remorse for his actions and wants to make amends or just wants the OPA to kill him so he doesn't have to do it himself
- The Butcher: He's known as The Butcher of Anderson Station. Fred is a rare example of The Butcher also being a Reasonable Authority Figure.
- Colonel Badass: Subverted; the engagement which established his badass credentials was a set-up; Johnson did not know the Belters aboard the station had surrendered until after the battle. He is deeply ashamed of his actions.
- Cool Old Guy
- Defector from Decadence
- Good Is Not Soft: Fred Johnson is a genuinely friendly, affable person who wants to help the Belt. Don't think for a second that means he's a pushover.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: His specialty.
- Rebel Leader: A reasonable one, which almost gets him assassinated in Nemesis Games.
- Space Marine
- Tranquil Fury: When he gets angry, even Holden finds him downright terrifying and has no difficulty believing he lives up to his nickname.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters
Carlos "Bull" Baca
A senior member of the mainstream OPA and an old friend of Fred Johnson's. Originally, he was slated to command the Behemoth during its expedition to the Ring, political concerns (namely the fact that he's an Earther by birth) conspire to force Fred to place Captain Ashford in command. Bull is then demoted to security chief, below even the executive officer. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Cowboy Cop: Frequently bends or breaks Ashford's rules and is sometimes quite ruthless, such as when he spaces a petty drug dealer to "lay things on the line" for the Belters.
- Da Chief: More so than Ashford and Commander Pa, both of whom are rather remote from the thousand-strong crew of the Behemoth. By contrast, Bull is on the ground keeping the peace.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He throws a couple of grenades toward an Ashford loyalist in Powered Armor while they're both trapped in a dead elevator car.
- The Determinator: Not even having his spine snapped in half and slowly dying will stop Bull from doing his job.
- Heroic Sacrifice: His last stand in the elevator shaft, and arguably everything he does after the slowdown, as every moment he spends doing his job makes it less and less likely that his pulverized spine will regrow properly.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Develops one after his spine is broken. In a twist, he actually coughs less in the buildup to his death.
- Manly Tears / Not So Stoic: Holden is surprised to see him cry when he hears that Ashford killed Sam.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: See Dying Moment of Awesome for context.Bull: Here, hold this.
- Taking You with Me
- Undying Loyalty: To Fred Johnson.
- You Shall Not Pass!
- Your Days Are Numbered: His spine is broken, leaving him quadriplegic after Ring Station lowers the maximum speed within the slow zone. He chooses to keep doing his job, knowing that his health is failing more by the hour.
The XO of the Behemoth and later a captain in the Free Navy who ends up rebelling against Marco Inaros. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Badass Crew: She leads one in Babylon's Ashes. They also happen to be her family.
- The Captain: She starts out as Number Two to Ashford, then steps up during the mutiny, and becomes captain of the Connaught later.
- Karma Houdini: Pa and her crew do not only escape any responsibility for their raiding innocent supply ships but she ends up the head of the Trade Union.
- SpacePirate Queen: What she ends up becoming in Babylon's Ashes.
- Polyamory: She is married to the entire command staff of the Connaught. They're all married to each other, in fact.
- Rank Up: First to captain of the Behemoth, then to the command of her own Space Pirate fleet. Then, after the events in Babylon's Ashes, to the new leader of the ''Spacing'' Guild.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She is one herself, but it also seems that her goal in life is to find someone to follow whom she respects. She doesn't believe she has a good track record in that department, even including Fred Johnson in the list of people she regrets following (to be fair, that list includes Ashford and Marco Inaros).
Chief of security on Tycho Station and one of Fred Johnson's most trusted subordinates. Later becomes president of the Transport Union. First appearance: Nemesis Games.
- Big Good: As president of the Transport Union, she becomes the ultimate authority that the Roci crew answers to.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She's a minor character in Nemesis Games and Babylon's Ashes, but she becomes a major POV character in Persepolis Rising.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: She gets separated from her husband Saba during the Laconian invasion. He winds up being one of the resistance leaders, while she is forced to serve Laconia.
Leader of the OPA on Ceres Station. Dawes was the one who recruited Fred Johnson into the organization. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Driven to Suicide: He admits to Fred that he once contemplated suicide after his mistakes led to the death of his sister. He decided against it because he realized that he still had other family members who depended on him for their survival.
- FaceHeel Turn: He's one of the more moderate OPA leaders, but joins the Free Navy and is complicit in attempts on his protoge Fred's life.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He contemplated suicide after his half-asses maintanance work got his sister killed. After the Free Navy loots and surrenders Ceres and kills Fred, Dawes realized that he chose the wrong side, convinces the neutral OPA leaders to rally around Holden, and turns himself over to the authorities.
Bull's chief deputy aboard the Behemoth. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Boom, Headshot!: Unceremoniously killed by Ashford's goons in this fashion.
- Cowboy Cop: Played With. He's been a member of OPA before the OPA became legit, but he remains completely loyal to Bull throughout the whole book despite his boss originally being from Earth, probably because Bull's policing style matches his own.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death is used to show the reader Anna's reaction to watching someone murdered, much like Sam's murder is used to show Clarissa's reaction.
- Undying Loyalty: To Bull. Notable in that when Bull first took over the job of Security Chief, Serge's OPA background didn't inspire much confidence. But, Serge was ultimately one of the only deputies that didn't stab Bull in the back after Ashford's counter-mutiny.
One of Bull's deputies aboard the Behemoth. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Action Girl: She is the only named deputy of the fairer sex, and Bull usually brings her when he needs strong backup.
- Final Girl: The only named member of the security team to survive the coup and counter-coup, on either side.
- Hartman Hips: Is described as quite plump and heavyset for a Belter. Though in her case, it's all muscle.
Juliette "Julie" Andromeda Mao
Jules-Pierre Mao's daughter. Left behind her family and money to assist in the plight of the outer planets. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Posthumous Character: The only time we see her alive is in the prologue to Leviathan Wakes.
- Rape as Backstory: Happened sometime in her past, but exactly when is unclear; it's what moves her to take a class in low gravity jiu jitsu.
- Rebellious Princess
- Madness Mantra: You can't take the Razorback. She is gone and gone and gone.
- Spaceship Girl: A pretty nightmarish version of this trope, being the pilot of the protomolecule-infested Eros station. Miller realizes she's in control of Eros due to her Madness Mantra.
- Apocalyptic Log: Leaves a diary behind detailing how she was exposed to the protomolecule and what happened to her as a result. The diary becomes a key part of Miller's investigation (and his obsession with her).
The mechanic on Tycho Station who takes care of the Rocinante's repairs while Holden and crew are working for the OPA. Later serves as chief engineer aboard the Behemoth during the Ring expedition. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Boom, Headshot!: Ashford shoots her in the head for allying with the mutineers.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Amos and Alex do, anyway.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Alex suspects as much. Naomi hangs out with her girlfriend in Nemesis Games. Babylon's Ashes confirms that she and Michio Pa had been lovers at the time of her death, though they kept it a secret for obvious reasons.
- Odd Friendship: With Bull.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death
- Wrench Wench: Complete with oversized coveralls.
Commander of the OPA battleship Behemoth (ex-LDSS Nauvoo) in Abbadon's Gate. At the beginning, he seems like a harmless - if sanctimonious and annoying - OPA member. This doesn't last long, thanks to a combination of stress, brain damage, paranoia, and his own racism. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Bad Boss: Your chief engineer not working fast enough for your liking? Have her shot and replaced by someone only just barely qualified to do the job.
- Insane Admiral/The Neidermeyer: Not only unable to control his raging paranoia, does not have the full respect of his crew and is in over his head with most situations.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Ashford argues that the Behemoth be the one to apprehend Holden and the Rocinante crew after Holden's fake announcement asserting OPA control over the Ring. From the perspective of establishing the OPA as a legitimate government in the eyes of Earth and Mars, Ashford's argument is quite valid.
- Kicked Upstairs: Fred Johnson flat out states that Ashford and his XO were chosen over the much more qualified Baca to be in command of the Behemoth for political reasons; Belters might not be willing to follow the command of Baca, an Earther, to say nothing of how it would look to outside observers. By placing Baca in the senior command staff as chief of security, however, Johnson explicitly is relying on him to make sure the other two don't get too far out of hand.
- Mugging the Monster: His strategy for escaping the control of the Ring station. Never mind that real warships from both Earth and Mars are completely powerless against it; most of his crew is incapacitated or actively engaging in mutiny against him; and that any attempt to use the Behemoth's weaponry will result in the ship's destruction.
- The Mutiny: Both the subject and instigator of one.
- Sanity Slippage: Undergoes a severe case as the events of the story unfold.
Dr. Anthony Dresden
Protogen's lead scientist, he oversees the protomolecule project in Leviathan Wakes.
- Boom, Headshot!: Miller cuts short his Motive Rant like this, both as payback for Julie and to stop him from working out a deal.
- For Science!: his primary motivation, complete with Just Think of the Potential.
- Mad Scientist
- The Sociopath: Invoked Trope - he and his team underwent treatment to reduce their empathy and scrupules, ensuring maximum commitment to the mission.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's firmly of the belief that everything he's doing is for the greater good.
CEO of Mao-Kwikowski Industries. The search for his daughter Juliette sets off the plot of Caliban's War.
- Big Bad: Of Caliban's War.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Fate Worse than Death: Avasarala promises that she'll make him watch as she dismantles his legacy bit by bit.
- The Man Behind the Man
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
- Smug Snake
Dr. Strickland / Carlos Merrian
The doctor responsible for kidnapping Prax's daughter and conducting experiments on children using the alien protomolecule. First appearance: Caliban's War.
A biologist that came to New Terra as part of RCE's scientific expedition. First appearance: Cibola Burn.
- Anti-Villain: In Tiamat's Wrath, she joins the Laconian military and assists their horrific experiments. While Elvi is tempted to quit, she refuses because someone less ethical than her would replace her.
- Celeb Crush: She has one on Holden pretty much as soon as she sees him.
- Genki Girl: Even among the scientists on the RCE team, Elvi stands out for her enthusiasm for new discoveries. And she'll tell you about them.
- Happily Married: When she reappears in Tiamat's Wrath, she is very happy with her marriage to Fayez.
- Heroic Resolve: Repeatedly works herself to exhaustion trying to solve the increasingly dangerous problems of New Terra.
- Hot Scientist
- Internal Reformist: While serving as a scientist in the Laconian military, she tries to move Laconia's scientific endeavors to a less bloodstained path. When she becomes head of Laconia's alien research, one of the first things she does is shut down the Pens.
- The Smart Girl: She's the head of the biology research team, and proves herself in this role several times throughout the book. As Fayez keeps insisting, she's the smartest person on the team.
- You Are in Command Now: After Duarte kills Cortázar, Trejo puts her in command of Laconia's alien research.
- You Need to Get Laid: Fayez offers this as a solution to her crush on Holden. It works. When they're next seen again, Fayez and Elvi have been Happily Married for several years.
A scientist that came to New Terra as part of RCE's scientific expedition. First appearance: Cibola Burn.
- An Arm and a Leg: He loses a foot when the Goths attempt to destroy the Falcon. With medical technology being as advanced as it is in this setting, he's able to get a flesh-and-blood replacement when he gets to a hospital.
- Deadpan Snarker: Always has a snarky comment at hand.
- Happily Married: When he reappears in Tiamat's Wrath, he is very happy with his marriage to Elvi.
Detective Miller's partner aboard Ceres Station. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Ascended Extra: A minor character in Leviathan Wakes. Returns four books later as a POV character.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Havelock is constantly trying to avoid killing the engineering techs he trained as a militia, calmly advising them to take cover and tend to their wounded. He's somewhat less charitable with Koenen, their leader.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not always, but imminent death by burning up in the atmosphere at the end of Cibola Burn brings it out of him. See Casual Danger Dialogue.
- HeelFace Turn: It takes a while, but he finally turns against Murtry and helps Naomi — who he took prisoner in the first place — escape back to the Rocinante.
- Fantastic Racism: He's a decent guy, but he's shunned and disrespected by the primarily-Belter population of Ceres Station because he's Earthborn. Eventually leads to him having to leave the station before things reach a boiling point.
- Played with in Cibola Burn, where his experience on Ceres and working for Murtry have left him with his own distrust of Belters; ultimately, he's a better person than he tells himself he is, and frequently works to subvert the Belter-Earther tensions aboard the Edward Israel.
- Heel Realization: Later in Cibola Burn.
- Naïve Newcomer: Starts out this way.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He's not a bad guy, but he's a pushover who tends to find himself intimidated by the likes of Murtry and Koenen.
- Put on a Bus: By Miller at the beginning of Leviathan Wakes, to protect him.
- The Bus Came Back: As of Cibola Burn. Amusingly, he's been part of nearly every mercenary group the crew has encountered, from Eros to Ganymede — it just took four books for him to actually run into the crew of the Roci.
- Bus Crash: At the end of Cibola Burn Havelock expressed a desire to retire and live on Earth again. Assuming he had done so, it's likely he's among the billions who were killed during the Free Navy's asteroid bombardment of Earth in Nemesis Games.
- Sixth Ranger: To the Rocinante crew toward the end of Cibola Burn.
- Surrounded by Idiots: During Cibola Burn, as one of the only remaining security people on the Israel, he often feels this way.
- Took a Level in Badass: Shows himself to be more than competent in combat during the later chapters of Cibola Burn when he helps Naomi and Basia escape the Edward Israel. Granted, this was combat against amateurs he trained himself, but he's still seen his share of action and is much more confident than he was when he was partnered with Miller.
A family man and colonist on Ilos/New Terra, in league with a local radical faction planning to drive away the corporate interests arriving to stake their claim on the newly inhabited world. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- Ascended Extra: Like Havelock, he appeared briefly in an earlier book and returns in Cibola Burn as a POV character.
- The Atoner: After he realizes how many people have died as a result of his actions he gives himself up into Holden's custody and eventually helps rescue Naomi.
- Chekhov's Skill: Being a professional deep-space welder comes in handy in a surprising number of situations.
- Gender-Blender Name: Named for his grandmother, a prominent physicist.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Comes to deeply regret assisting in the destruction of the landing platform and the shootout with Murtry's security forces.
- Overprotective Dad: Especially toward his teenage daughter.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: On the receiving end of one from Alex:Alex: "It's still on you. I will never live down not being the person my wife needed after she spent twenty years waitin' for me. I can never make that right. Don't go feelin' sorry for yourself. You fucked up. You failed the people you love. They're payin' the price for it right now and you demean them every second you don't own that shit."
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Though he eventually realizes he's the former.
The security chief sent by Royal Charter Energy to establish the company's claim on Ilus / New Terra. Serves as the principal antagonist of Cibola Burn.
- Born in the Wrong Century/Cowboy Cop: Definitely on the darker end of the trope. Murtry frequently invokes Old West imagery and analogies in his confrontations with Holden.
- Colonel Kilgore: The first thing he does when he arrives on Ilus is to shoot one of the colonists for threatening him.
- Dissonant Serenity: He's almost always utterly calm, even while shooting people in the face.
- Eviler Than Thou: Coop and the OPA terrorists among the Ilus settlers look like they may be the villains for the first quarter or so of Cibola Burn. Then Murtry lands with his security team and kills all of them in about 3 chapters.
- Expy: He's pretty similar to Miles Quaritch from Avatar and also has some traits and lines that are reminiscent of The Operative.
- Jumped Off The Slippery Slope: His actions are understandable, if ruthless right up until he orders the Israel's crew to attack the Rocinante while it tries to save the Belter ship.
- Motive Rant: Gives one to Holden at the climax of Cibola Burn just before their Showdown at High Noon.
- Not Afraid to Die: Murtry puts no value on human life, including his own; he's content to die if that's the only way to get his job done.
- The Sheriff: Appears to see himself this way, fitting with Cibola Burn's invocation of Western archetypes.
- The Sociopath: Miller says as much, telling Holden that Murtry is just using the situation on Ilus to do all the sadistic, trigger-happy stuff he's always wanted to.
- The Stoic: Any and all of his facial reactions are measured and voluntary. Even Holden is surprised by the man's sense of control.
- The Un-Smile: Both Holden and Elvi remark on this - his smile is mostly perfunctory, as meaningless as any other expression he wears.
- Undying Loyalty: To RCE, apparently. When it becomes fairly certain that everyone on the planet, including himself, is going to die, he actively interferes with Havelock and the Rocinante crew's attempts to find a way for everyone to survive. He just wants a shelter with the RCE logo on it dropped so the company can maintain its claim when they send the next crew.
- This eventually flies straight into Blue-and-Orange Morality since it's unlikely that RCE would agree with his ensuring that all of the colonists and RCE personnel are killed by the alien security system. RCE does ultimately make him the fall guy for the events on Ilus, while rewarding Havelock and the other RCE personnel who aided the colony for their actions.
Murtry's second-in-command. Becomes fast friends with Amos. First appearance: Cibola Burn.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Amos ends up having to shoot her, which he counts as another point against Murtry.
- The Dragon: To Murtry.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: To the point that she doesn't object to being used as bait for Murtry's trap, knowing full well she's going to die as a result.
- Punch-Clock Villain
Leader of the Free Navy who has a history with Naomi. First appearance Nemesis Games.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Even while he says he doesn't care about Holden, he comes up with some pretty elaborate plans for getting rid of the guy.
- Gaslighting: His means of keeping Naomi under control when she was still an impressionable teenager. Naomi recognizes it for what it is now that she's older, and doesn't once let him get inside her head.
- I Meant to Do That: He has a habit of explaining any mistakes or hickups in his plans this way, either by Moving The Goal Posts or blaming someone else.
- Manipulative Bastard: He tries very hard to be a Magnificent Bastard, but several characters comment that everything he does seems entirely too practiced to come across as anything but slimy.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Marco claims to be fighting for the Belt, but is willing to endanger thousands of Belters just to settle petty vendettas. It quickly becomes clear that Marco is only fighting for Belters because they are loyal to him.
- Rationalizing the Overkill: As mentioned in I Meant to Do That, Inaros has a habit of rationalizing any actions he undertakes, whether they're against Earthers or Belters.
- Rebel Leader: A dark version.
- Rebellious Rebel: Part of a Renegade Splinter Faction of the OPA run by Anderson Dawes after Dawes decides to become The Starscream and eliminate Johnson. The attack on Earth which resulted in the deaths of billions along with Inaros' Free Navy activities (which are little more than piracy) are so extreme even most Belters aren't backing the play.
- The Sociopath: If his actions during Nemesis Games doesn't already raise flags, his gradual breakdown during Babylon's Ashes (and his POV chapter) clinches it. Marco is charming and somewhat clever but he's also overly impulsive, quick to anger (and quicker to forget), plays with people's feelings, has absolutely no empathy or emotional depth and ultimately regards everyone but himself as manipulative tools.
- Unwitting Pawn: For all his planning and boasting, he turns out to be a pawn for Admiral Duarte.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: More like "Why did you make me hold our son hostage in order to control you, turn our friends against you, and then kidnap you years later?"
- Xanatos Gambit: Downplayed and practically subverted. He seems to think he is a master at these, and in some cases he is, but his most effective schemes usually come at the cost of the loyalty of his inner circle. That, and Naomi suggests that whenever Marco frames something as a brilliant gambit, he's Believing Their Own Lies."If Earth hunkered down and rebuilt, it would take them years to get back to where Ceres had been, pinning them to the station like insects against a board. If Earth chased and attacked the Free Navy, they would be firing on ships carrying refugees. If they abandoned the station, millions of Belters would die under their care and push anyone still sympathetic to the old ways toward the new. Anything they did would be a victory for the Free Navy. They couldnt win. That was Marcos genius."-Thoughts of Filip Inaros on the sacking of Ceres Station
Marco's surly and somewhat insecure teenage son who wants to follow in his father's footsteps. First appearance Nemesis Games.
- Berserk Button: He hates Holden, and uses him as an internal Hate Sink he can focus his anger on. Naomi gets added to the list in Babylon's Ashes, until Filip realizes who he's really angry at is himself.
- Emo Teen: He is already somewhat unstable and gets more and more problems piled on during Babylon's Ashes, until the stress causes him to defect.
- Missing Mom: Another one of his sore spots. He and Naomi really don't get along very well because of it.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Comes to this realization during the events of Babylon's Ashes.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Abandons the Free Navy on Ganymede, including his father's name.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He craves his father's approval. Deconstructed by another of Marco's crew (who at that point is practically his Parental Substitute) who points out that when he and his father had problems they could talk it out as people (or trash each other to get out their aggression), while Philip's father is also his commanding officer and that makes their relationship a lot more difficult.
Nico SanjraniThe Belter Free Navy's resident economist - who soon finds that he's way over his head.
- Ignored Expert: Brilliant as he is, it soon becomes abundantly clear that Marco cares less about building a nation and killing things.
- Mr. Exposition: Most of his role in Babylon's Ashes is to explain that the Free Navy has fucked the Solar System, and is likely to cause a massive famine.
- Only Sane Man: One of very few Belters who seems to genuinely be disturbed at the crimes perpetrated on Earth.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Much as he may have disliked earth, he's extremely disturbed at the thought of being responsible for a solar-system-scale famine.
The man behind the Free Navy's uprising, a rebel Martian Naval officer with designs on controlling the protomolecule. First appearance: Nemesis Games.
- A God Am I/Godhood Seeker: He seeks to use the protomolocule to make himself the immortal ruler of the universe. His people practically worship him (an attitude that Duarte seems to encourage) and he tries to recruit Holden with a metaphor about storming heaven.
- Affably Evil: He's a friendly man who genuinely cares about his subordinates and treats his enemies with respect, all the while engineering the deadliest war in human history as a distraction and performing horrific protomolecule experiments on humans prisoners.
- Chekhov's Gunman: First appears as a rather unassuming commander that Alex meets with to discuss the missing Martina ships. Then Nemesis Games' epilogue reveals that he was Inaros's mysterious backer.
- The Chessmaster: Responsible for much of the conflict in Nemesis Games, without being publicly tied to it.
- The Emperor: As the head of Laconia, he's exactly this, although he prefers "High Consul".
- Evil Genius: A brilliant strategist and commander, quite literally Wrote the Book on galactic conquest, and his knowledge of game theory is explicitly shown.
- Fatal Flaw: His pride. Duarte assumes that the game theory tactics that served him so well in his wars against his fellow humans would work as well against the Goths. When Duarte tries provoking the Goths, they kill millions of people in the slow zone, destroy one of the three dreadnaughts that are neccessary to maintain his empire, and put Duarte himself in an apparently permanent coma.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Starts as an intelligence analyst with the Martian Navy, then uses his access to information about the new worlds revealed by the gates and his knowledge of the protomolecule to plot his rise to power.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Marco is the main villain of Nemesis Games, but Fred and Holden mention that he isn't the sort of person who could plan such an unprecedented series of attacks. It turns out Duarte is the one truly responsible.
- Immortality Immorality: The Protomolecule treatments he receives to extend his life require the Protomolecule-infection of other humans to breed more of the modified human stem cells his treatments need.
- Immortal Ruler: Attempting to use the Protomolecule to rule Laconia forever to maintain continuity of power.
- Just the First Citizen: After establishing Laconia, he takes the unassuming title "high consul."
- Klingon Promotion: Implied; he's introduced as a Commander and by the epilogue he's being called Admiral by his subordinates.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's the one who provided Marco Inaros with the resources he needed to make the Free Navy a legitimate threat.
- Papa Wolf: He loves his daughter Teresa and kills Cortázar for trying to kill her. While comatose.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: presented as such in his first appearance, and maintains the schtick even as his forces seize control of Medina Station and eventually Sol system. Of course, not going along with his plan carries consequences...
- Red Herring Shirt: appears briefly helping Alex with his inquiries on Mars, and isn't mentioned again until the epilogue reveals him to be behind everything that's happened.
- Uncanny Valley: Duarte's Protomolecule treatments have given him a kind of uncanny countenance that other characters have noted. A certain opalescencenote appears in his eyes, and his skin seems to almost glow at times, revealing that he is not quite human anymore.
- Visionary Villain: As of Persepolis Rising Duarte has established himself as military dictator of Laconia and with the aid of the protomolecule has spent the past thirty years building a highly-advanced fleet with which to exert his rule over the remaining human worlds. He's also receiving protomolecule treatments to give himself immortality to ensure that his vision for humanity endures forever.
- Wrote the Book: Literally, in Duarte's case: his graduate thesis outlined exactly how to exert control over human-occupied worlds by controlling trade and communication between them.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sauveterre implies that Duarte is willing to dispose of the Belter Free Navy once they've served their purpose.
Winston Duarte's teenage daughter. First appearance: Tiamat's Wrath.
- Loyal Animal Companion: She has a loyal pet dog named Muskrat.
- Morality Pet: To her father, who is willing to break his rule against allowing others to be immortal just so he won't lose her. Also to Amos, who abandons his mission to nuke Laconia's capital because he doesn't want to harm Teresa.
- Tracking Chip: She was implanted with a tracking chip in her jaw at birth. Every time she thought she had snuck out without anybody noticing, her movements were actually being tracked.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: When she realizes that none of Laconian leadership care about her beyond her ability to maintain the lie that her father is not comatose, she frees Holden and flees Laconia on the Roci.
The scientist in charge of Laconia's alien research. He used to work for Protogen, where he helped massacre Eros's population to study the protomolecule. First appearance: The Vital Abyss.
- Boxed Crook: He was imprisoned by the OPA after the raid on Thoth Station. Duarte had the Free Navy free him in exchange for Cortázar becoming his pet scientist.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: His inability to save his terminally ill mother led Cortázar to beome a scientist. He stil seems to care for her even after losing his ability to feel empathy.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was an only child, born to a mother on Basic Living Assistance who managed to work up to getting formal dispensation to reproduce to have him. Her later death from a condition that wasn't treatable by the kind of modest medical care those on Basic are entitled too was what inspired him to go into medicine, which he worked his way up into an education for on sheer grit and merit. His specialty in nanoinformatics wasn't highly in demand, unfortunately for him, except by recruiters for Protogen who were hiring that exact kind of discipline for a highly classified research project...
- Functional Addict: He has a history of substance abuse and is implied to be an alcoholic in the present day. It doesn't seem to impact the quality of his work. In his university days, it was mostly nootropic amphetamines that a lot of his classmates took. As it was a lower-status "public" university that hosted people recruited from Basic on scholarships, they felt they needed the extra edge to compete for decent jobs with the children of rich families who could get by on the reputation of expensive private universities.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Duarte erases the upper half of his body, apparently as punishment for his plan to kill Teresa.
- Immortality Immorality: He seeks to become immortal and is willing to conduct horrific experiments on humans to discoer the secrets of eternal life. He also took unnecessary risks while making Duarte immortal without telling him, because Cortázar only saw him as a test subject for his own bid for immortality.
- Lack of Empathy: He had his ability to feel empathy surgically suppressed by Protogen. He doesn't particularly miss it.
- Mad Scientist: Another one coming from Protogen.
- The Sociopath: Invoked by Protogen when he joined the company, using a minor electron-surgical alteration to his brain. They gave him the option of reversing it, as they did everyone on the Protomolocule study team, but being made sociopaths they no longer care, Paolo included.
- Straight Gay: The only sexual relationships he's ever been interested in have been with men, ever since he was a teenager.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Holden, who gave him the idea of murdering Teresa. Holden intended to tip Elvi off to Cortázar's plans and have her expose him, so she would replace him as chief scientist and use her position to guide Laconian science down a more ethical path.
- Would Hurt a Child: He plans on killing Teresa, giving her to the repair drones to be resurrected, and then vivisecting her so he can study the immortality the repair drones give resurrected humans.
Admiral Anton Trejo
A veteran admiral in the Laconian navy. He commands the Magnetar-class ship The Heart of the Typhoon. First appearance: Persepolis Rising
- Affably Evil: Very charming for a high ranking member of an evil empire.
- The Chains of Commanding: The stress of having to secretly rule Laconia in Duarte's place makes him look as though he's aged decades in just a few weeks.
- Noble Demon: He's willing to commit mass murder to secure Laconian dominance, but he tries to avoid unnecessary violence.
- The Strategist: He's Laconia's main military strategist, while Duarte focuses on bigger matters.
- You Are in Command Now: He becomes the secret ruler of Laconia after Duarte falls into a coma.
Captain Santiago Singh
A young captain in the Laconian navy who is assigned to be governor of the soon-to-be conquered Medina Station. First appearance: Strange Dogs
- Bodyguard Betrayal: He's executed by his own chief of security on orders from Admiral Trejo to prevent Singh from ordering a massacre of Medina's population that would ensure that the Belt would never accept Laconian rule.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loves his wife and daughter and his greatest misgiving with his current assignment is that he'll be separated from them.
- The Heavy: While Duarte is the Big Bad of Persepolis Rising and Singh's superior officer Admiral Trejo is a prominent character in that same book, Singh is the greatest threat to the heroes as he is governor of the station they are all stuck on.
- The Neidermeyer: Inexperienced for both the command of his ship and the governorship of Medina Station. Singh dismisses a much more experienced Marine commander for questioning his judgment not because her input was incorrect but because he perceived her to be undermining his authority.
Drummer's husband. Saba becomes the leader of the Underground following the Laconian conquest of Medina Station.
- Big Good: He is the leader of the resistance against Laconia.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's unceremoniously killed when the aliens destroy Medina Station.
- Starcrossed Lovers: With Drummer: Saba leads the resistance against Laconia, while Drummer is forced to serve Laconia.
The daughter of the leader of Freehold Colony and Bobbie's first officer on the Gathering Storm
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jillian is an asshole, but she cares deeply about the cause of freedom and shows an unexpected kind side when consoling Alex over Bobbie's death.
- Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: She comes from a colony of fanatics obsessed with the right to bear arms, and seems to share their ideology.
- You Are in Command Now: She becomes captain of the Gathering Storm after Bobbie dies.
A Private Detective in the employ of Star Helix Security on Ceres. He's assigned by his superiors to take a job for Jules-Pierre Mao, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the solar system, to locate his rebellious daughter Juliette. Later joins Holden and his crew to get to the bottom of the conspiracy behind her kidnapping and death. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- The Alcoholic: His divorce hit him hard, and he spends most of the first part of the book drinking. Part of his Heel Realization is recognizing this about himself and how it effects his work and how he's seen by his coworkers.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: For all his faults, Miller is one hell of a detective. He's able to track down the Rocinante and deduce its false identity with relative ease. Unusually for police work in any media (let alone in a science fiction setting) Miller's detective work is mainly sorting through records and seeing what doesn't match up.
- Cowboy Cop: Even so, Havelock in Cibola Burn refers to Miller as having been one of maybe half a dozen honest cops on Ceres.
- Death Seeker: Thanks to his Sanity Slippage.
- Even before that, he was clearly clinically depressed (which gets much worse after his partner makes clear to him that she was partnered with him as a punishment because his colleagues really think he's a washed-up laughing stock, and he finds out that he got the Julie Mao case because his superiours didn't want her found) as well as desperately lonlely (he starts the book constantly thinking "what would my ex-wife say now" and then transfers that to an imagined Julie). When Holden offers him a permanent place on the Rocinante, Miller actually starts weeping in relief / gratitude. And then Holden kicks him out again, for being to brutal in his methods. This reader got the impression that Holden would have forgiven him, if he'd only apologized or explained his actions - but that Miller thought so little of himself at that point that he didn't even think to ask for a second chance or to properly explain his reasons for point-blank shooting a dangerous psychopath, who would most likely have been allowed to continue his work, because the people in power are not nearly as nice and ethical as Holden thinks. Shortly after that, Miller decides to join the mission to Eros with no intention of coming back alive.
- Determinator: Aside from his entire stubborn investigation into Julie's disappearance (which could be interpreted as merely obsessive), Miller making his way through the protomolecule-infested station of Eros, towing along a heavy, armed nuclear bomb on a dead-man switch, certainly qualifies him for this trope. Especially since this comes after he already resigned himself to death by said bomb a few hours earlier.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Averted. If anything, Miller and Holden like each other less by the end of Leviathan Wakes. Though after Miller's final Heroic Sacrifice in Cibola Burn, Holden regrets not having made an effort to mend the gap between them.
- Hardboiled Detective
- Heel Realization: Starts out, like all Belters, with a strong contempt for all 'inners'. Then about three-quarters of the way through Leviathan Wakes he realizes that most of the people he's come to associate with and who have had his back, including many who are actively working towards improving conditions in the Belt, are 'inners'.
- Shaddid and Dawes taking the Julie Mao case away and a conversation with Muss makes him realize that contrary to his own view of himself, everyone he works with sees him as a washed up drunk only useful as a dumping ground for unwanted things.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Merges with Eros at the end of Leviathan Wakes to help Julie steer it into Venus. Or just to give her some comfort through human skin-contact, even knowing that this would infect him with the protomolecule. And before that, he volunteered to stay behind to manually set off a nuclear bomb with a broken timer. Though he was already planning to stay behind to die before it became a necessity.
- And again when he shuts down Ilus' defense systems. This one seems to be the end of Miller — physical, virtual and otherwise.
- Imaginary Friend: Starts having conversations with hallucinations of his ex-wife, then Julie Mao.
- Knight in Sour Armor: A very cynical and depressed version, but it's still amazing how he keeps trying to save or at least do the right thing for Julie after everything he's been through.
- Given the Don Quixote references in the first book, it seems highly likely that Miller's character and his "love" for a largely imaginary Julie ("pure and chaste from afar") was inspired by the song "The Impossible Dream" from the musical / movie.
- And the world will be better for this:That one man, scorned and covered with scars,Still strove with his last ounce of courageTo fight the unbeatable foe,To reach the unreachable star!
- Given the Don Quixote references in the first book, it seems highly likely that Miller's character and his "love" for a largely imaginary Julie ("pure and chaste from afar") was inspired by the song "The Impossible Dream" from the musical / movie.
- Love Before First Sight: Toward Julie.
- Mouth of Sauron: Serves as the protomolecule's primary method of communicating with Holden as of the end of Caliban's War. Subverted in that Miller's personality is still somewhat in control, and he's using the opportunity to help Holden as much as possible.
- Nice Hat: Can't be a Hardboiled Detective without one. Holden doesn't actually like the hat.
- Robot Buddy: Briefly, at the end of Cibola Burn. He inhabits one of the protomolecule masters' mining robots and helps Holden and Elvi stop the alien defense systems. The robot also keeps Miller's mannerisms and voice.
- Sanity Slippage: He doesn't slip that badly compared to other examples of this trope, but he's still not quite sane, especially after his hallucinations of Julie get more detailed and creepy. On Eros, he develops a sort of dissasociative disorder, needing to compartimentalize everything good and kind in him into his imaginary construct of Julie just to be able to shoot his way out through the infected citizens. After that, Julie starts more and more to act not like a possible version of how Julie might have been but a split personality of Miller that uses a vision of the girl to communicate with the harsher, conscience-compromised, depressed rest of him.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Played With. He's almost always dressed in a suit, but as he's a Hardboiled Detective increasingly down on his luck, the suit is rumpled and dilapidated.
- The Snark Knight: naturally, as part of his Hardboiled Detective persona. He gets even moreso as a protomolecule puppet in Cibola Burn.
- Strange Cop in a Strange Land: When he tracks Julie to Eros, which would be outside Star Helix jurisdiction even if he hadn't been fired at that point.
- Turn in Your Badge: Gets fired when his investigation into Julie Mao's disappearance becomes politically sensitive. Dawes explains that Miller's investigation implicates too many powerful people on Earth at a time when the OPA is hoping that Earth can mediate the conflict between the Belt and Mars and end the war. Shaddid fires Miller when Miller refuses to give up. True to the trope, this is when Miller is able to ''really'' get at the truth of the matter.
- Virtual Ghost: In Abaddon's Gate and Cibola Burn.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Holden for shooting Dresden when they find him.
Praxidike "Prax" Meng
A botanist living on Ganymede with his daughter Mei. Enlists the help of Holden's crew to find her when she's kidnapped. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- Action Survivor
- Bring My Brown Pants: When his quarters in the Rocinante was hit during battle, he apparently "soiled himself".
- The Chew Toy: Loses his daughter, spends weeks on the verge of starvation on Ganymede, and the galaxy thinks he's a wife-beater and pedophile thanks to Earthgov's smear campaign.
- Despair Event Horizon: Spends most of the second book deciding whether to cross it.
- The Determinator: after Mei is kidnapped, spends all his time and energy looking for her, to the point where he's suffering from malnutrition when he joins the crew of the Rocinante.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Expospeak Gag: Prax has a tendency to describe things in ways that make perfect sense if you know a lot about plant ecology. In Caliban's War, the crew accepts his suggestion to cause the monster to vacate the cargo hold by introducing a nutrient gradient...but they describe it as "luring the monster out with bait". In Babylon's Ashes, Prax thinks that the Free Navy has figured out that he sent a file to Earth, so he gives a combined confession/The Reason You Suck speech. Turns out the Free Navy hasn't figured out that it was him... and because he phrased his speech in terms of systems ecology, they have no idea what he was saying.
- Forgets to Eat: Played for Drama. He's so desperate to find his daughter that he doesn't even notice he's practically starving to death until he has trouble standing up. Granted, the situation on Ganymede was so desperate that, even if he had noticed, odds are he wouldn't have been able to find anything to eat.
- Heroic Resolve: For an untrained civilian botanist, he is immensely tough. Even the Rocinante crew respects him for holding himself together so well.
- Gender-Blender Name: Obscure enough that his parents didn't know they'd named him after a Greek goddess.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Has his moment while accompanying Holden, Amos, and a few security guards on Ganymede during the search for his daughter. His actions start a running firefight resulting in several deaths, whereas Holden was trying to negotiate a peaceful resolution.
- The Load: At first.
- Odd Friendship: With all of the Rocinante crew, but really seems to open up around Alex.
- Papa Wolf: Subverted; he would tear apart Ganymede piece by piece to find his daughter but lacks both the temperament and the skill to do so. This is made apparent very quickly in the story when he gets hustled by an information broker and his first encounter with an armed opponent goes pear-shaped.
- The Professor
- Science Hero:
- During his time aboard the Rocinante, Prax is the one who comes up with the ideas for getting out of situations that violence can't solve, most notably evicting the stowaway protomolecule hybrid without getting Holden killed, by using a radiation source to lure it out of the cargo hold.
- In Babylon's Ashes Meng's project team creates a rapid-growing protein substitute that has the potential to ease the mass starvation Earth is experiencing. Meng secretly sends the file to Earth, despite one of his colleagues having been killed by the Free Navy for discussing the matter. Meng himself holds up under Free Navy interrogation, refusing to give up his team.
- Rank Up: As part of his happy ending, Avasarala promotes him to governor of Ganymede and puts him in charge of the rebuilding effort.
Annushka "Anna" Volovodov
A priest who joins a number of religious leaders traveling with the first fleet to approach the Ring. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Actual Pacifist: A realistic example. Anna seeks non-violent solutions to every problem, and refuses to kill or allow people to be killed, but she's willing to protect herself or others with the judicious application of a handy taser.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In her very first chapter, she tasers an abusive husband in her congregation. Later, she does it again, to a berserk Clarissa Mao.
- Good Shepherd: A faith leader who takes her ministry seriously. She is not a proselytizer, but believes that her role is to comfort and help those who come to her looking for answers. She wanted to be part of the expedition to the ring in a large part because it would help her have answers to those who have spiritual anxiety about the presence of alien artifacts in the solar system.
- Homosexual Reproduction: Thanks to genetic engineering, her daughter has two biological mothers.
- Indy Ploy: Despite her appearance and calm nature, Anna is prone to these. Her chapters contain many variations of the old saw "easier to gain forgiveness than permission."
- Lipstick Lesbian: Has a wife and daughter back on Earth.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: She feels that the universe will never be too large or alien to render a religious interpretation obsolete, but is aware of the possibility that others will turn from faith in a higher power as a result of the Ring's portal to other worlds.
- Team Mom: Invoked; she deliberately acts like a mother or schoolteacher because it's the easiest way to get respect from the various military types around her.
- The Bus Came Back: She and her wife are POV characters in the opening and closing chapters of Babylon's Ashes where it's revealed all three of them survived the events of Nemesis Games.
A reporter who accompanies the ships that cross through the ring, and who documents the events and conflict on the Behemoth. She later gets Holden to join her investigation on Tycho Station in Nemesis Games. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Damsel in Distress: Gets captured by the renegade OPA faction in Nemesis Games.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Her investigation into the missing ships in Nemesis Games.
- Intrepid Reporter
- Unwitting Pawn: In Abbadon's Gate, her documentation of Holden's mission is set up by Clarissa Mao, and one of her film crew is The Mole.
Prax's daughter. First appearance: Caliban's War.
- Cheerful Child
- The Cutie
- Daddy's Girl
- Ill Girl: She suffers from a chronic condition that leaves her immune system particularly weak. Fortunately it is treatable, so long as she gets regular medication. This condition is why she was taken.
- Living MacGuffin: Prax's search for her kicks off the plot of Caliban's War.
Detective Miller's boss; chief of police on Ceres Station. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
The Canterbury's medical officer. Survives the attack on the Cant, but doesn't make it as far as the Rocinante with the others. First appearance: Leviathan Wakes.
- Heroic BSoD: Spends most of his time locked into one after the attack on the Canterbury.
- Mauve Shirt
- The Medic
- Your Head Asplode
A wealthy socialite sent as an ambassador to the Ring. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Rich Bitch: Deconstructed. She's fully aware of her role as ambassador to her wealthy corporate donor husband and plays the part as expected, but secretly wishes to have a genuine connection to someone who doesn't judge her or want something from her. Hence...
- Odd Friendship: ... her latching onto Anna, the person she has the absolute least in common with among all the guests aboard the Thomas Prince, which is exactly why she finds Anna appealing.
- The Team Benefactor: Buys the Rocinante as a favour to Anna, in order to get the Martian legal challenge resolved.
- Wealthy Philanthropist
Monica Stuart's sound recordist. First appearance: Abaddon's Gate.
- Disability Superpower: He is blind, always wearing a pair of opaque shades. However, he has implants which give him "sonic vision", able to "see" via non-audible echo-location. This proves to be an asset in his line of work as he is extremely sensitive to the acoustics of any given environment and can quickly figure out what to do to make it more ideal for recording.
- The Mole: Secretly working for Melba, though he doesn't have all the details of her plan.
- Unwitting Pawn: Was never given the full details of Melba's plan. Just told to install a device on the Rocinante. He didn't know he was sabotaging the ship in advance of it being destroyed with all hands including him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After he comes clean about his involvement in the sabotage of the Roci, he is last seen stuffed into the airlock until they can figure out what to do with him, and last mentioned as having given testimony to Bull. Then, nothing. Later, Monica's production team shows up again and he is not among them.