Angels and Demons Characters

Dan Brown

Character List

Leonardo Vetra—a physicist at CERN and a priest who is killed by the supposed Illuminati

Robert Langdon—a forty-year-old Harvard symbologist

Maximilian Kohler—a discrete particle physicist serving as director of CERN

The Hassassin—a highly trained killer who infiltrates the Vatican to kidnap key bishops

Janus—the Illuminati’s spy in the Vatican (eventually revealed to be the camerlengo)

Vittoria Vetra—Leonardo Vetra’s adopted daughter and an insightful physicist

Sylvie Baudeloque—Kohler’s secretary at CERN

Commander Olivetti—the commander of the Swiss Guard

Captain Elias Rocher—the Swiss Guard’s second-in-command, nicknamed “orso” (bear)

Lieutenant Chartrand—the youngest member of the Swiss Guard

Carlo Ventresca—also called the “camerlengo,” the pope’s chamberlain

Cardinal Mortati—Great Elector of the Conclave, he counts the ballots for the new pope

Cardinal Lamasse—a French cardinal and one of the most likely candidates for the papacy

Cardinal Guidera—a Spanish cardinal and one of the most likely candidates for the papacy

Cardinal Ebner—a German cardinal and one of the most likely candidates for the papacy

Cardinal Baggia—an Italian cardinal and one of the most likely candidates for the papacy

Docent at the Pantheon—a friendly guide who helps Langdon find Raphael’s tomb

Gunther Glick—former tabloid reporter, now BBC reporter

Chinita Macri—Glick’s videographer

The pope—a holy man now dead by his own son’s hand

Maria—a former nun chastely loved by the pope, and Carlo Ventresca’s mother

Bob Brownell—a physicist friend of Langdon’s in Cambridge

Rebecca Strauss—an art critic for the New York Times and a former girlfriend of Langdon’s

Dr. Joseph Venek—Vatican scholar from De Paul whom Glick enlists as an expert

Character Analysis

The primary hero of Angels and Demons, Robert Langdon is an odd figure. He is supposedly an academic who has dedicated his life to “symbology”: the reading of symbols in art and culture. He suffers from intense claustrophobia and was enlisted in this adventure almost at random, when a stranger found his name online. Nevertheless, Langdon steps into his role as transhistorical detective immediately. He is not only willing and able to decode a complex puzzle related to the Illuminati, but he is willing to grapple with an assassin trained since birth to kill. His bravery is so immediate as to be baffling. Given his willingness to take risks, the physical prowess demonstrated through his swimming, and his willingness to tackle an international crisis, Langdon is almost a comic book hero.

Vittoria Vetra is Leonardo Vetra’s adopted daughter. Vetra came to her in the orphanage and began to tutor her. He later adopted her out of pure and voluntary love. Vittoria is deeply devoted to her father and is at times off-balance due to his murder. However, she is also deeply resilient, a quality that springs from several sources. She is religious, and her faith sustains her. She is a physicist, trained to deal with complex challenges. She is also a hatha yoga master, able to use her body’s capacities to calm her emotions and, in a key moment, escape from handcuffs and kill the assassin.

Also called the “camerlengo,” Carlo Ventresca is the pope’s chamberlain. He is also “Janus,” the supposed Illuminati insider at work inside the Vatican, and the pope’s son. Both of those identities are revealed only late in the novel; through most of the story, Ventresca seems to be a completely dedicated Catholic and a genuinely good person. It is in the book’s final chapters that the intensity of his need to believe is fully unveiled. His understanding of the church’s precarious...

(The entire section is 592 words.)