A widower and former outlaw with a reputation of killing in cold blood. He comes out of retirement to get the bounty of certain prostitute abusers.
- The Alcoholic: Part of Munny's infamous violence came out from drinking gallons of alcohol. It wasn't til he met his future wife when he stopped drinking and he was grateful to her forever. However, he drinks one last time to kill everyone involved in Ned's horrible torture and murder.
- Badass Boast: Towards the end of the film, albeit a quite dark one."That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned."
- Badass Grandpa: Eastwood was already famous for playing badass characters and when Unforgiven was filmed, he was in his sixties. Age does not mean anything.
- Booze-Based Buff: Turns out that years in retirement have left his skills very rusty. When he drinks again, he gets his aim back.
- Call to Agriculture: He became a farmer when he settled down, but has been forced to become a Bounty Hunter for One Last Job because he's in dire financial straits. After the events of the film, he is rumoured to have gotten out of this line of work and prospered in dry goods.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: His skills have atrophied over the years to the point where the only way he's able to shoot straight, even at close range, is to use a shotgun. When he shoots one of the bounties with a rifle, the kill isn't clean and the guy bleeds out very slowly. It's only when Ned gets murdered and he takes a drink again that he regains his former skill.
- The Lost Lenore: His wife, Claudia, is the only woman he ever loved. Even years after her death, he remains faithful to her, refusing freebies from the prostitutes of Big Whiskey, who were giving them out to Ned and the Schofield Kid in lieu of bounty payments.
- Nerves of Steel: Doesn't show up until the end, but he embodies Little Bill's lesson of remaining cool under fire. Even with four men firing on him at close range, he doesn't panic, doesn't rush, just picks his targets and dispatches them one by one.
- Offhand Backhand: Delivers a variant to the wounded Deputy Clyde as he leaves the saloon, wordlessly shooting him dead without even breaking his stride.
- Retired Outlaw: He gave up the life of an outlaw for his wife. If half of the stories we hear about him are true, he's most likely the darker end of this trope.
- Shrouded in Myth: Tales abound about the grisly exploits of William Munny, from feats of marksmanship to outright atrocities. Hard to believe they're all about a "broken down ol' pig farmer".
William's best friend and former outlaw partner.
- Badass Grandpa: Ned is also in his fifties-sixties, much like his friend, and can still get some shootings.
- Black Best Friend: Ned is Munny's most trusted pal.
- Black Dude Dies First: He is the only protagonist to die.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death serves to push William Munny to kill Little Bill.
- Token Minority: The only Afro-American of the team.
- Your Cheating Heart: Despite being married, Ned spends a night with one of Big Whiskey's prostitutes.
"Little" Bill Daggett
The sheriff of Big Whiskey who controls the town under his law.
- Affably Evil: His chats with W. W. Beauchamp are very friendly, and if you give your gun after entering the town, he is pretty much an amicable man.
- Asshole Victim: After what he did to Ned, he more than had it coming.
- Big Bad: While not the one who hit the prostitutes, he did free the culprits and he controls the town with tyranny. Also, he tortured and killed Ned Logan.
- Dirty Cop: He is the law of Big Whiskey and he will take it to extremes, even with violence.
- D.I.Y. Disaster: He's building his own house during the film. Unfortunately, he's an awful carpenter and the place is leaking when we see it raining.
- Nerves of Steel: He's a bastard to be sure, but there's no denying that facing down a drunken, furious William Munny pointing a shotgun at him, without flinching, even ordering his men to shoot him down right after he dies, is straight-up badass.
- See You in Hell: His last words to the man that kills him."I'll see you in Hell, William Munny."
- Sadist: While he may be more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist than an outright Rabid Cop, it's pretty clear that he enjoys inflicting his own brand of "law" against anyone who crosses him. This culminates in whipping a man to death and leaving his corpse outside a saloon as a warning.
A boastful British man with a fearsome reputation.
- Asshole Victim: Little Bill may not be a saint, but Bob ain't one either. He is very proud of himself and once his shameful truth is learned, the beating he gets at the hands of Little Bill is quite justified.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: His Single Action Army is nickel plated and has ivory grips, a stark contrast to everyone else's standard and even positively ancient weapons. It ends up having its barrel bent by Little Bill and given back to Bob as he's run out of town.
- Broken Ace: Bob had some reputation and he is getting W. W. Beauchamp as his biographer. Once Beauchamp learns the truth of Bob's fame, the biographer turns against him and decides to be Little Bill's instead.
- Hidden Weapons: He keeps a small .32 calibre revolver as a backup weapon hidden in his jacket. Little Bill is aware of this tendency and orders him to surrender that as well as his Peacemaker.
- Jerkass: Proud and boastful as he is, always talking in the name of Her Majesty and England being a much more civilized country than the United States.
- Miles Gloriosus: He boasts about his reputation as a gunfighter for his biography. A good example is the difference between his version of the death of "Two Gun" Corcoran and what really happened. In his version, Corcoran got his name from his tendency to carry Guns Akimbo and Bob killed him in a Quick Draw over the honour of a young woman. In reality, Corcoran only carried one gun and got the nickname of "Two Gun" due to the size of his dick. Bob was so drunk he could barely see when he accosted Corcoran, never mind shoot. Bob only wins because Corcoran's Walker Colt exploded on him when he tried to fight back, allowing Bob to finish the job at point-blank range.
- Professional Killer: Cut aside all the bluster, and this is exactly what he is: a cold-blooded murderer who makes his living "shootin' Chinamen for the railroad".
The Schofield Kid
A young gunslinger who is going after the bounty of the prostitute beaters.
- Blind Without 'Em: While he's never seen wearing glasses, it's established that he can't see very well at a distance.
- The Gunfighter Wannabe: He considers himself to be though. It is not until he kills Quick Mike when he breaks down into tears, revealing that it's the first time he shot and killed a man.
- They Call Him "Sword": His nickname of The Schofield Kid is taken from his Weapon of Choice, the Schofield revolver.
- The Trope Kid: See They Call Him "Sword".
- Young Gun: The Kid is in his twenties or less and boasts about being badass until the end where he reveals his weakness.