AMIR. Amir loses his life of privilege when he flees Kabul with Baba, but his life changes for the better in America. He learns to speak English, graduates from college and becomes a successful, thriving writer. He adapts to the American lifestyle better than any of the other charactes.
HASSAN. As a Hazara, Hassan feels ethnic hatred even before the Russians arrive. However, the Russians do not seem to single out the Hazara for any specific punishment. When the Taliban take over, however, his people suffer the most; he and his wife are both murdered, and son Sohrab becomes a play thing for the Taliban.
BABA. Next to Ali's family, Baba loses more than anyone when the Russian rule begins in Afghanistan. He loses his fortune and has to start over again in California, where he works in a gas station. He also suffers a loss of pride in his inexperienced position as a member of the American lower-middle class populace.
GENERAL TAHIRI. A former Army officer, Tahiri flees Afghanistan when the Russian take over his country. At the end of the story, he is invited back by the reformed government following the defeat of the Taliban.
ASSEF. The son of a wealthy Pashtun father and German mother, Assef worships Hitler and eventually joins the Taliban. He is happier than ever committing genocide against his fellow Afghans, particularly when his victims are Hazara.
FARID. The Tajik driver who accompanies Amir during his dangerous return to Afghanistan, Farid joined his father at the age of 14 to fight the Taliban with the Northern Alliance. Farid loses several fingers and toes from wounds he sustained.