An adventurous young Andalusian shepherd determined to fulfill his Personal Legend, which is to find a treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. He is the book's protagonist.
Read an in-depth analysis of Santiago.
A 200-year-old, extremely powerful alchemist residing in the Al-Fayoum Oasis. He dresses in black, rides a white horse, and carries a scimitar, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Elixir of Life. He often speaks cryptically, but he understands the Soul of the World and the importance of Personal Legends.
A struggling merchant who owns a crystal shop on top of a desolate hill. His shop was once popular but lost much of its business as Tangier lost its status as Egypt’s premiere port town. He is a good-hearted, devout Muslim, but has a crippling fear of change.
A well-educated science student determined to learn the secrets of alchemy by learning from a true alchemist. He is a skeptic and loves reading his books.
The King of Salem. He appears to possess magical powers and helps those pursuing their Personal Legends.
A beautiful and chaste young "desert woman" who lives at the Al-Fayoum Oasis. She understands that she must allow Santiago to travel in pursuit of his dream.
Read an in-depth analysis of Fatima.
An old women living in Tarifa who interprets dreams. She reads palms and uses black-magic iconography, but she also keeps images of Christ.
A friendly former orchard owner and devout Muslim who feels content with his life despite losing his orchard in a flood. He has made the pilgrimage to Mecca and lives his life in service of omens from God.
The Tribal Chieftain of Al-Fayoum
A strict and ruthless tribal chieftain who lives in luxury. He enforces Al-Fayoum's status as a neutral ground and believes in dreams and omens.
The beautiful and intelligent raven-haired daughter of the merchant who buys wool from Santiago.
A welcoming Coptic monk living in a monastery near the pyramids of Egypt.
A merchant who buys wool from Santiago on a yearly basis. He worries about being cheated so he demands that any wool he buys be sheared from the sheep in his presence.
Read an in-depth analysis of Merchant.
A kindly, unadventurous family man who hoped Santiago would become a priest but gives him his blessing to become a shepherd.
A scam artist living in Tangier who speaks Arabic and Spanish.
A generous vendor in the Tangier marketplace who enjoys his occupation.
A well-meaning bartender who lives in Tangier and speaks only Arabic.
The bold leader of a caravan traveling across the Sahara Desert from Tangier to Egypt.