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Characters / War of the Worlds

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Characters from the 2005 film.

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     Ray Ferrier 

Ray Ferrier
Portrayed by: Tom Cruise
  • Action Survivor: He survives a lot of dangerous situations.
  • Amicably Divorced: He and his ex seem on pretty good terms, despite things not working out between them.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten his kids.
  • Jerkass: While playing catch with Robbie, he reacts to his son's criticisms by throwing the ball at a window. Which didn't help their relationship.
  • Papa Wolf: He'll do anything to protect his children, especially Rachel.
  • Parents as People: He comes to realize that he knows very little about being a father, and does his best to make up for it over the course of the film.
  • Shoot the Dog: He is forced to kill Ogilvy to keep him from drawing the aliens' attention.

     Rachel Ferrier 

Rachel Ferrier
"Are we still alive?"
Portrayed by: Dakota Fanning
  • Admiring the Abomination: She's fascinated by the aliens while they're exploring the basement, despite obviously being scared of them.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: She rides horses, and has won an award in a competition.
  • Children Are Innocent: Her reactions are pretty accurate for a ten-year old. She often doesn't understand what's happening or why, and Ray is very intent on keeping her from seeing the more traumatic events.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Ray blindfolds her and has her sing her favorite lullaby to herself so she won't see or hear as he kills Ogilvy.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Her screams are quite ear-piercing.
  • Harmful to Minors: She's quite traumatized by what she goes through.
  • Heroic BSoD: She has quite a lot of these.
  • I Want My Mommy!: She screams this as soon as the aliens begin their invasion.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She gets quite a few snarky lines.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: She's played by Dakota Fanning, so this is to be expected. She's more mature than Ray at times, and her theory about her splinter ends up predicting the aliens' defeat.

     Robbie Ferrier 

Robbie Ferrier

Portrayed by: Justin Chatwin
  • Big Brother Instinct: It's very apparent he cares deeply for his sister. He's able to calm her down when she's panicking when their dad can't. A very telling moment is when Robbie and Ray get into an argument about their plans and Robbie's desire to go with the military to fight, Rachel says this.
    Rachel: Robbie! Where are you trying to go? What are you trying to do? Who's gonna take care of me when you go?
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Because of his anger towards his father he calls him 'Ray' most of the time. He eventually does call him 'Dad' when he tries to get his attention.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: He's determined to go off and fight the aliens, despite Ray pointing out that this won't end well.

     Harlan Ogilvy 

Harlan Ogilvy

Portrayed by: Tim Robbins
  • Adaptational Villainy: He shares the name of Ogilvy the astronomer in the book, who isn't around for long but is portrayed as a more sympathetic and amiable character.
  • Asshole Victim: He's selfish and antagonistic to Ray, even telling Rachel to her face that her father might die, and keeps recklessly putting them at risk of capture. He finally says out loud that he doesn't care if Ray and Rachel die because of him. It's hard not to feel relief when Ray decides to kill him.
  • Ax-Crazy: He goes into this territory after discovering the aliens are harvesting humans. This gets him killed.
  • Death by Irony: He's determined not to be killed by the aliens. He ends up being killed by a human.
  • Composite Character: He's a combination of two different characters from the original book, and gets the name of a third.
  • Freudian Excuse: As unlikable as he is, losing his entire family (and discovering the aliens are harvesting humans) didn't do wonders for his sanity.
  • Jerkass: He becomes increasingly hostile to Ray, taunting him for not having a plan, and eventually makes clear that he doesn't care if Ray and Rachel die as a result of the noise he's making.
  • Large Ham: He gets more and more hammy as his mental state deteriorates.
  • Madness Mantra: "Not my blood!"
  • Sole Survivor: He's the only one of his family who survived the aliens' initial attack. In the end, he also dies.
  • Sound-Only Death: We don't see how Ray kills him. We only hear the sounds of the fight while Rachel sings to herself so she won't hear.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Even when Ray tells him that the noise he's making will endanger him and Rachel, Ogilvy doesn't care. While Ray is blindfolding Rachel, he rants in the background, "They can take you! They can take your daughter!" This removes any doubt that he's too far gone, and Ray really does have to kill him.

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