Follow TV Tropes


Characters / X-Men Film Series: Jean Grey

Go To

Main Character Index

Dr. Jean Grey / Phoenix
"I know how everybody feels."
Click here to see younger Jean as Phoenix 

Played By: Famke Janssen, Sophie Turner, Haley Ramm (teen in Last Stand), Summer Fontana (8 year old in Dark Phoenix)

Voiced By: Karen Vallejo (Latin-American Spanish, young), Mónica Manjarrez (X-Men-The Last Stand, adult), Verónica López Treviño (The Wolwerine-Days of Future Past, adult)(Latin-American Spanish); Mamiko Noto (Japanese, young), Yurika Hino (Japanese, adult), Pepa Castro, Cristina Yuste (young, The Last Stand) (European Spanish)


Film Appearances: X-Men | X2: X-Men United | X-Men: The Last Stand | The Wolverine | X-Men: Days of Future Past | X-Men: Apocalypse | Dark Phoenix

"When I lose control, bad things happen to people I love."

A powerful psychic at Xavier's school. Like Charles Xavier, she has telepathic powers. Unlike Xavier, she also has telekinetic abilities and a nigh-uncontrollable and unpredictable force (of alien origin in the prequel films) within herself, the Phoenix, which amplifies her telekinetic powers to the atom level and allows her to fly, thus making her much more powerful than Xavier and most mutants.

    open/close all folders 

  • Action Girl: Jean is unambiguously the most powerful mutant in the cast, as her telekinesis allow her to manipulate matter in a molecular level, enabling her to disintegrate her foes at will. She displays this ability as the Dark Phoenix in The Last Stand; and in the prequel series as she single-handedly defeats Apocalypse and Vuk.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the comics, the Phoenix Force is a godlike cosmic entity that inhabits Jean Grey and allows her to attain her ultimate potential as a telepath and telekinetic. In the first trilogy, the Phoenix is instead a repressed alternate personality, meaning Jean is really that powerful without any cosmic input.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She flirts with the James Dean-esque Logan in the original timeline. She's also smitten with a more maverick-like Scott in the new timeline.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In Apocalypse, the other students at the school are terrified of her because whenever she has a nightmare, the entire mansion shakes. As she later states in Dark Phoenix, "they're right to fear me".
  • Always Someone Better: Jean, or actually her psychotic superpowered side Phoenix, is the only mutant on the good side who is a match for Apocalypse, and she does the work of finishing him. Granted, the villain was being tanked by several other powerful mutants at the same time, but the deed is still impressive considering that she vaporizes him without an undue amount of effort.
  • Animal Battle Aura: When she releases her full power, she gains a fiery aura in the shape of a bird of prey, with which she immolates Apocalypse.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The exact nature of her bond with the Phoenix Force. In X2: X-Men United, the Phoenix was shown as Jean's latent true Mutant power, and was shown surfacing at crucial moments throughout the film. After she sacrifices herself to save the X-Men from the resulting flood by Alkali Base's destruction, Xavier states the Phoenix is a split personality representing the raw primality of her psychic power, which he feared would prove dangerous to the world at large, which it ultimately proves to be, albeit out of anger of Xavier's interference. However, in Dark Phoenix, the Phoenix is a cosmic force which Jean absorbs into her body.
  • Ax-Crazy: Her Phoenix persona in X-Men: The Last Stand is an unstable, homicidal maniac who disintegrates everyone she sets her sights on.
  • Badass Teacher: She is one of the Xavier Institute's finest instructors in the original trilogy.
  • Berserk Button: When dealing with the Phoenix in Last Stand, the least you can do is not appear to be manipulating her. She disintegrated Professor Xavier in a fit of Tranquil Fury when she thought he was trying to control her. She also telekinetically threatens Magneto with the mutant cure for the same presumptions.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In X-Men: Apocalypse, she's very fearful about the "fire" growing within her and the harm it can cause, but when Charles is on the threshold of death's door because of Apocalypse's mental assault, she releases it in all of its glory to rescue her father figure. The Nigh-Invulnerable En Sabah Nur is reduced to ashes by the Phoenix's wrath. Unfortunately, it's later to the detriment of her friends come Dark Phoenix.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Apocalypse, she rescues Charles from Apocalypse's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown and proceeds to unleash Phoenix to completely obliterate the latter.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: When the Phoenix uses her power in Last Stand, her eyes become pitch black. In the new timeline, however, they're replaced with Supernatural Gold Eyes.
  • The Cameo: She greets Logan in the Alternate Timeline of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • Color-Coded Characters: While not in her X-Men uniform, she often likes to dress in red clothing in the original trilogy.
  • Composite Character: After Beast was removed from the script for X-Men due to budgetary concerns, elements of his character were grafted onto her. Namely, she takes his place as the team's medical and scientific expert, and scenes written for Beast ended up being given to her.
  • Cosmic Retcon: She is alive in the 2020s at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, thanks to the timeline alterations.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Meets Scott this way in X-Men: Apocalypse. At that time, however, Scott is wearing a blindfold and doesn't actually see her until the next day.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When the Phoenix gets unleashed in X-Men: Apocalypse, Apocalypse makes like a victim of the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • Daddy's Girl: A surrogate variation occurs between her and Professor X in X-Men: Apocalypse, who is her Parental Substitute. Jean is shunned by her classmates because they're afraid of her inability to fully control her powers, and Xavier, who knows all too well the isolation that telepathy can bring, is her steadfast provider of emotional support. She thus falls under "The third possible character is the socially awkward one who gets understanding and encouragement from her father" category. Before Scott's arrival, Charles is the only person at the school whom Jean feels close to, and Xavier is more attentive towards her compared to the other young mutants under his care, which parallels how he had favored Hank over the other teenage recruits in X-Men: First Class because he and McCoy shared more in common. Because Jean admires her father figure, she emulates some of his behavior (see the Junior Counterpart entry).
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Once an entire lake falls on her at the end of X2: X-Men United, she gets stronger and more dangerous as shown in X-Men: The Last Stand.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: She's ultimately the one responsible for defeating Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant. It may or may not be the same in the film verse, but in the comics, the Phoenix Force is a bigger Cthulhu than Apocalypse.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: She is recruited as a member of the Brotherhood in Last Stand, but is much more dangerous than any other mutant in her group, thanks to the combination of her immeasurable power and her unstable state of mind. The film's climax is entirely devoted to stopping her rampage after Magneto's forces have already been dealt with.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Experiences dreams of Apocalypse destroying the world in X-Men: Apocalypse, which she shares with Charles. While it almost comes true, the X-Men manages to narrowly defeat him. However, it's been implied to not be Apocalypse's doing after all, but perhaps hers as Dark Phoenix.
  • Dude Magnet: Scott and Logan are in love with her in the original trilogy.
  • Emotional Powers: Because of her insecurities in X-Men: Apocalypse, she finds it exceedingly taxing to deal with her telepathy and her increasingly unstable "dark power." With the Professor's guidance and encouragement, however, she learns to let go of her apprehension at a critical moment during the climax, and Jean's newfound assertiveness enables her to achieve total dominion over the Phoenix.
  • Evil Feels Good: Something she's terrified of in X-Men: Apocalypse, which is only validated in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, as she actually begins to enjoy the immense, intoxicating power the Phoenix Force gives her which leads to rather violent impulses.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • As the Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand, she leaves the X-Men after vaporizing Scott and Xavier and joins the Brotherhood.
    • In X-Men: Dark Phoenix, this gets subverted. Jean struggles to keep the Phoenix under control and commits some heinous acts under its influence, but ultimately aligns herself with the X-Men and joins the fight against Vuk, the true Big Bad of the film.
  • Foil: To Nina in X-Men: Apocalypse. Jean hates her powers and she can control the minds of people. Nina adores her mutation and she can control the minds of animals. They both love their father figures, and both Nice Girls try to protect their dads with their abilities when Charles and Erik are about to be taken away from them. Jean sets free her Phoenix Force (which emits fiery wings from her body) against Apocalypse, whereas Nina commands nearby birds to attack the Polish police. Jean triumphs and lives to tell the tale, but Nina fails and dies in the attempt.
  • Gamer Girl: A deleted scene in Apocalypse shows her playing arcade game with Scott, whom she beats several times without even using her telepathy.
  • Golden Super Mode: When Xavier urges her to cut loose her Phoenix Force, she manifests golden energy wings, and her powers are amped up to Physical God levels of strength, vaporizing Apocalypse with minimal effort.

  • Heroes Want Redheads: Wolverine falls for her in the original timeline.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • She accomplishes this in X2: X-Men United, when the Blackbird is frozen at Alkali Lake with the dam about to burst in mere minutes, she steps off the jet and uses her now heightened telekinesis to break the ice and allow the jet to lift off, at the same time psychically restraining her teammates to keep them from stopping her. She frees the jet seconds before she is seemingly crushed beneath tons of rushing water.
    • Having survived this in X-Men: The Last Stand but also becoming the Phoenix, she twice regains her sanity long enough to beg Logan/Wolverine to kill her so she won't kill anyone else. He finally relents at the movie's climax and impales her on his claws.
  • Hidden Depths: Archery is her hobby, she practices it in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Hospital Hottie: She is a medical doctor who is engaged to Scott Summers, and this doesn't dissuade Logan in the slightest from pursuing her.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In X-Men: The Last Stand, she asks Wolverine twice to kill her as she senses the Phoenix taking over. The second time, the request is fulfilled.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Is able to trick the mind of her observes so they can't look at her or anyone she shields.
  • Junior Counterpart: In certain respects, she's a younger female version of her father figure Charles in X-Men: Apocalypse. She's a Nice Girl with a Friendless Background who is tormented by her telepathy because she has difficulty blocking out the thoughts of others, and she suffers from nightmares, which makes the two of them Birds of a Feather. Jean becomes a source of emotional support to Scott after his brother dies, which mirrors how Xavier comforts her when she's distressed. Jean is compassionate towards a dehumanized Wolverine even after she had witnessed him butcher all of Stryker's soldiers, just as Charles is forgiving of Magneto's mass murder because he can still sense the goodness in his old friend. Jean adopts the Pstandard Psychic Pstance that her mentor no longer uses, which reinforces the idea that she's a surrogate variant of Daddy's Girl (see the trope's entry). Their sameness is also displayed visually because Jean wears a 3/4-sleeve blazer which is similar to the Professor's (albeit in a different colour), and conveniently, they're both beautiful in a feminine way (Xavier is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy).
  • Kill the Ones You Love:
    • She kills Scott Summers and Professor X in The Last Stand; and Mystique in Dark Phoenix. In all occasions her actions were due to the influence of the Phoenix.
    • She ends up on the receiving end of this trope in The Last Stand, as Wolverine stabs her to prevent the Phoenix from taking over her body during the film's climax.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Everyone (including Jean) uses hand motions whenever they are using telekinesis or any other "invisible" power. When she unleashes the Phoenix, she doesn't. She destroys Apocalypse as casually as if she were walking down the hall.
  • Master of Illusion: In Dark Phoenix, when on the run after causing mayhem in the district her father lives in, she stops at a bar and disguises herself as an old bartender by manipulating the mind of the humans around her with an illusion. The D'Bari can see her, however.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: She loathes being "trapped inside [her] own head" because of her telepathy. When Scott asks Jean, "How do you know what [Alex] felt?", her face is somber when she gloomily replies, "I know how everybody feels."
  • Mind over Manners: She has similar rules regarding telepathy as Xavier because he's her mentor.
  • Mind over Matter: She can telekinetically move objects. As the Dark Phoenix, she can displace atoms and thus disintegrate living beings.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In The Wolverine, she's only seen in a low-cut silk nightgown.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her freeing of Logan back in X-Men: Apocalypse led to Logan killing the father of Zander Rice in his escape, who decided to wipe out the mutant race, leading to the dire situation depicted in Logan.
  • Official Couple: With Scott Summers. While not explicitly mentioned in any of the movies, she is described as his fiancée in promotional materials. Doesn't stop Logan from having hots for her.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: "Haunts" Logan in The Wolverine.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: In X-Men: The Last Stand, the Phoenix effortlessly vaporizes hundreds of human soldiers and Magneto's mutant followers.
  • Physical God: She's an Omega-Level mutant, thus her power is practically limitless.
  • Power Floats: She is able to levitate when her Phoenix powers are active in the new timeline. In fact, she has so much control that she doesn't even bother to "float." Rather, she just walks on the air as if it was solid ground.
  • Power Limiter: In X-Men: The Last Stand, not to mention in the original comics it was based on, we learn that Professor Xavier placed a mental block in her as a child, to keep her more extreme powers from manifesting. He seems to have done something similar in Dark Phoenix, despite having believes to have learned from his mistakes in Days of Future Past after reading Logan's mind.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: She performs this gesture when she uses her telepathy. She must have learned it from Xavier.
  • Psychic Powers: Among the X-Men, she is the only other telepath besides Professor X.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When she unleashes the Phoenix, she gains massive wings of fire which transform into a full flaming silhouette of a phoenix before fading.
  • Sanity Slippage: Why Xavier had neutered her mental powers to keep the Phoenix hidden. And once she's unleashed, everything went to hell. It seems it will be slower and more grueling in Dark Phoenix.
  • Screaming Warrior: When she attacks Apocalypse with her Phoenix Force, she lets out a mighty, otherworldly-sounding screech.
  • Seers:
    • Downplayed in the original trilogy. she can occasionally foresee a disastrous event, although the details can be vague. After being briefly overwhelmed by her telepathy in X2: X-Men United, she tells Scott that "something bad is supposed to happen." It turns out it was her possession by the Phoenix.
    • In X-Men: Apocalypse, when Apocalypse awakens, she experiences a "nightmare" about the end of the world. Worst of all, she fears it might not even be his doing, but hers.
  • Split-Personality Takeover:
    • The Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand. It's awakening but destroys her sanity, because it is a Person of Mass Destruction. She can barely attain clarity long enough to beg Logan to kill her.
    • Subverted in X-Men: Apocalypse; she is able to awaken the Phoenix without having her mind eroded, likely thanks to embracing it herself (rather than being forced to receive it post-mortem).
  • Statuesque Stunner:
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: [Her irises turn fiery orange when she summons the Phoenix Force in X2 and in the new timeline.
  • Telepathy: She can read minds, influence other people's perception of reality and interact with Cerebro much like Xavier.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Played by four different actresses depending on the character's age.
  • Unstable Powered Woman: Of course. In Dark Phoenix, Jean is manipulated into becoming an incredibly powerful but still unstable young woman by the alien Vuk, and when her powers go haywire and kill Mystique, the X-Men start gunning for her. This film adds the context of Professor X suppressing Jean's powers when she was a little girl, which Beast calls him out on.
  • Walking Wasteland: In X-Men: The Last Stand, the Phoenix is capable of projecting an aura of psychokinetic energy that literally disintegrates anything and anyone caught in it. This is quite graphically shown during her Villainous Breakdown towards the film's climax, where she starts unconsciously vaporizing dozens of humans and mutants as part of her rampage.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: As the Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand, her telekinetic abilities are improved to the point she can manipulate matter on a molecular level, however she is reduced to a sociopathic monster who only cares about destroying everyone and everything around her. Although it is explained that she was already mentally unstable as a girl and her massive powers had to be reduced for her own good and that of everyone around her by putting mental blocks into her psyche. When these were removed, she started killing people with her mind.note 
  • Woman Scorned: In X-Men: The Last Stand, after being rescued by the X-Men, she tries to sex Wolverine up. He refuses. Cue Superpowered Evil Side taking over.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: