Kirsten Raymonde

A member of the Traveling Symphony and former child actor. Eight years old when the Georgia Flu breaks out, Kirsten has trouble remembering much of her childhood except for her experience in the production of King Lear with Arthur. Kirsten is strong, observant, and skilled in protecting herself. She struggles with the violence of the new world and the fact that she has killed other people to survive. She believes in the power of art to make her new brutal life worth living and longs to better understand the world left behind.

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Arthur Leander

A famous actor and philanderer. Arthur’s death from a heart attack at the start of the novel propels the rest of the action, and each main character has a connection to him. Arthur is, in some ways, a ghost from the past. He never saw the Georgia Flu. Throughout his life, Arthur is self-absorbed as he moves from relationship to relationship without much regard for the women he leaves. He is often described by those closest to him as always acting, and he is exhausted and saddened by the emptiness of his own fame.

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Miranda Carroll

The creator of the graphic novel Station Eleven, shipping executive, and Arthur’s first wife. Her strength and determination carry her through the betrayal and violence of her relationships with men. Later in life, Miranda is confident, focused, and self-possessed. She finds solace in her work at the shipping company and in the graphic novel she works on until the day she dies.

Tyler Leander/The Prophet

A child when the pandemic hits who grows up to become the prophet. He is Arthur’s only son. As a child, Tyler is very influenced by his mother’s belief that the virus happened for a reason. He grows up to be a monomaniacal zealot, using a combination of violence, scripture, and Miranda’s graphic novels to create a postapocalyptic cult. He takes multiple wives, including children, and trains an army of acolytes to carry out his mission.

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Jeevan Chaudhary

A paparazzo turned paramedic who becomes the town doctor in the post-pandemic world. Jeevan struggles to find meaning in life before the pandemic. His work as a celebrity photographer and journalist leaves him feeling empty and tainted. On the cusp of the pandemic as he attempts to save Arthur’s life, Jeevan realizes that becoming a paramedic is his calling. He takes this newfound vocation into the new world and creates a life he’s grateful for.

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Clark Thompson

The creator of the Museum of Civilization and Arthur’s best friend. Before the pandemic, Clark is lost. He grapples with a sense of emptiness at his corporate job. After the pandemic, Clark is filled with nostalgia for the lost world and comforts himself by living increasingly in the past. The museum grew out of this nostalgia and his awe over all the world built and accomplished before the collapse.

Elizabeth Colton

Tyler’s mother and second wife of Arthur. Early in her life, Elizabeth is an ethereal and charming woman who strives to please others. After the collapse, she becomes increasingly fixated on the spiritual meaning of the pandemic. Her belief that it happened for a reason propels Tyler into becoming the prophet.


A member of the Traveling Symphony and Kirsten’s closest friend. Steady, optimistic, and kind, August helps Kirsten keep up hope even in the bleakest times.


A member of the Traveling Symphony with a partner and baby. She flees the prophet and lives at the Museum of Civilization.


An actor in the Traveling Symphony and Kirsten’s ex-boyfriend. Sayid is bitter about Kirsten’s betrayal of him. He disappears when the Symphony is traveling.


An actor in the Traveling Symphony and one of Kirsten’s closest friends. He is killed when he and Sayid are captured by the prophet.

Frank Chaudhary

A man who loses the ability to walk when he is shot covering the war in Libya. He is Jeevan’s brother. After the pandemic hits, Frank kills himself because he belies that he won’t be able to survive in the new world in his wheelchair.

The Conductor

The leader of the Traveling Symphony. She guides their travels with decisiveness and compassion.

V (Victoria)

A childhood friend of Arthur’s who sells his letters to a publisher after Arthur gets famous.

Francois Diallo

The creator of the first newspaper after the collapse who interviews Kirsten about her memories and experience of the post-pandemic world.


A child actor wrangler for the production of King Lear. Tanya has an affair with Arthur.

Dr. Eleven

The main character in Miranda’s graphic novel who lives on Station Eleven.


A dog belonging to Miranda. Luli is the namesake for Dr. Eleven’s dog in the graphic novel. The prophet names his dog Luli after the collapse.