The Iliad's narrator is third-person, but interestingly, he isn't a direct witness to the action he describes. He is telling a story from the past—in a sense, his epic is a piece of historical fiction. The narrator is able to tell the story by invoking his muse to inspire him, and much of the characterization is conveyed through the actions and words, not the interior thoughts, of his characters.
Although Homer was Greek, his narrator is non-partisan, trying and succeeding in giving an even-handed version of events. When the Greeks are blameworthy, they get blamed. Likewise, one of the most touching scenes in the poem involves the Trojan Hector saying goodbye to his wife and young child as he leaves for battle—poignantly, Andromache, his wife, will be enslaved when the Trojans lose the war, and his little son will be killed.
While the narrator shows the necessity of war and celebrates the heroism of the warriors (when they exhibit it), he is also even-handed in revealing the high cost of the conflict as both sides grieve the friends and find people lost in the seemingly endless battling. Through a long description of the shield of Achilles, the narrator also gives us insight into the peacetime activities of planting, harvesting, worshipping, and dancing that the men are fighting to preserve.
Our narrator attempts to give us a view of an entire world, peaceful and bloody, with soldiers who can be both heroic and childish. The epic includes the gods in the action, showing them close at hand, something that can sometimes be startling to modern readers.