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Characters / Wind River

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A page describing characters from the 2017 film Wind River

Cory Lambert

An agent in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; his job basically boils down to tracking and killing animals that pose a threat to Wind River's livestock. His wife is a Wind River Native and despite not being Native himself, he is respected by most everyone on the reservation. Arguably the film's protagonist. He is the one who finds the body of Natalie Hanson in the beginning of the film.


  • Almighty Janitor: An agent in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; his job mostly consists of tracking and killing animals that pose a threat to Wind River's livestock and citizenry (think wolves and mountain lions). However, he is an expert shot and tracker and he is enlisted by the tribal police and an FBI agent to help solve the mystery of Natalie Hanson's death; he's not even technically a law enforcement officer.
  • Ambiguously Trained: He's an expert tracker and near superhuman shot with his rifle. It makes sense given his job is to track and kill dangerous animals. However towards the end of the film, he guns down several corrupt security contractors, showing no hesitation or remorse after the fact. It's as though the guy is a former Navy SEAL or something.
  • Cold Sniper: Towards the film's climax, He quickly and ruthlessly snipes the security contractors, killing all of them with little effort.
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  • Going Native: A white man not originally from Wind River who married into a Native American family and had two children with his Native wife. While he and his wife are separated due largely to their daughter's death he still lives and works in Wind River as he sees it as his home and most of the locals respect him and see him as a friend. He may not be Native American, but he is for all intents and purposes a citizen of Wind River.
  • Hurting Hero: His daughter was murdered three years prior to the plot and it still torments him; he's reduced to tears when telling Jane about her. He even mentions to Martin (Natalie's father) that he attended grief counseling to help cope with the loss.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Three years before the main plot, his teenage daughter was murdered and the killer was never found. His failure to protect his daughter or deliver her killer to justice is his primary motivation for trying to find whomever is responsible for Natalie's death (it's even more personal because Natalie had been friends with his daughter).
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  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Everything he fires needs to be high caliber to make sure he gets clean kills on animals, he could conceivably still fire it if his hand were frostbitten, and it likely takes his handmade bullets better than a semi-auto. He has a lot of reasons for the revolver he keeps as a sidearm.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: He can track just about anyone or anything out in the frozen wastes of Wyoming. His job involves hunting down dangerous animals, so it makes sense that he'd be good at it. But as we see in demonstrated in the film, he's just as good as tracking human beings as he is rogue wildlife.

Jane Banner

A young and inexperienced FBI agent flown in from Las Vegas because that's the closest office to the Wind River Reservation.

  • Action Girl: Young though she may be, she is a trained FBI agent, so she has some combat training that gives her an edge in dangerous situations. During the shootout with the corrupt security contractors, she manages to take a couple of them down before her injuries set in and she's rendered immobile.
  • Culture Clash: Being an outsider, Jane doesn't have a clue what Wind River is like and she can come off as callous and harsh when dealing with Natalie's father, Martin; she accuses him of not caring about his daughter when she was only 18 years old when she disappeared, basically still a child. What she didn't understand was that in Native culture, as an adult (even a young adult) Natalie was free to make her own decisions and her parents had to respect that.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Almost everyone who meets her is taken aback by how young and girlish she seems. Most people just expect federal law enforcement agents to be a touch more intimidating.
  • Fair Cop: An FBI agent played the very attractive Elizabeth Olsen.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Jane is an inexperienced FBI agent who has no idea how dire the conditions in Wind River are prior to her arrival. She regularly expresses disbelief when faced with how hopeless the entire situation seems, but for Wind River's inhabitants (especially its law enforcement) this is all business as usual.
  • Strange Cop in a Strange Land: She's a young FBI agent based in Las Vegas; being sent to Wind River is a major change of scenery. She expresses shock several times when she begins to understand how dire and hopeless the situation she has been thrown into really is.

Ben Shoyo

The chief of tribal police, who cooperates with the investigation.

  • Friend on the Force: He has a good working and professional relationship with Cory.
  • Genre Savvy: He knows to request extra officers before going to interview well-armed, and potentially dangerous people.
  • Oh, Crap!: At first he is dismissive of Evan's parania that the oil rig security team is flanking them. But when one of them says "FBI standing in front of the door open up" he realizes the ambush is real.
  • Sacrificial Lion: When he's shot at the oil rig.
  • Seen It All: He's seen a lot of death and drug use on the reservation and is more resigned to it than Jane.
  • The Sheriff: It isn't his actual title but he comes across as one, running a large, troubled jurisdiction without many officers.

The Hanson Family

The murder victim, Natalie Hanson, and her grieving parents and drug-addicted brother.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Natalie's father Martin almost shoots himself at the end before receiving some encouraging contact from his son.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Chip is somewhat irritated by Cory lecturing him, pointing out that Cory isn't Native-American himself, although he does take the matter to heart.

The oil rig security team

  • Ax-Crazy: They tend to make threats and violence the answer to most of their actions.
  • Gone Mad From The Isolation: Pete Mickens' comments imply that this is the case with them, or that they choose to believe it is.
  • Token Good Teammate: Matt was the only one who shows much respect for the land and local people, and is also the only one whose a victim and not a perpetrator of the crime.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Anybody planning to kill an FBI agent and several other police officers when others know they've gone to your remote location deserves to be shot.

Casey Lambert

Cory's young son, who lives with his mother.


A Freemont County Deputy Sheriff.
  • The Cavalry: He's preemptively brought in as this for the visit out to the oil rig.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Defiantly reloads his gun and keeps fighting while wounded, and surrounded by people who have him at their mercy.
  • Nice Guy: He's respectful towards Jane and protective of the others.
  • Properly Paranoid: Quickly becomes convinced that the oil rig team is trying to kill them after noticing some odd movement.

Dr. Whitehurst

The local medical examiner.
  • The Coroner: He examines Natalie's body and reports how she died.

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