The Narrator

The main protagonist and sole narrator. He writes about philosophy and is an educated man. As an amateur astronomer, he is one of the first to notice a flash from Mars. He is courageous but he is occasionally overcome by fear during the invasion. He claims to have more first-hand knowledge of the Martians than any other living human.

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The Martians

The technologically advanced aliens who invade Earth. They are extremely combative and relentless in their destruction of Earth and humans. Their major weapons are heat-ray guns and poisonous black vapor. They are somewhat like octopi with tentacles around their heads. They are the size of bears and inject themselves with human blood for sustenance. 

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The Artilleryman

An unnamed soldier who escapes from the rest of his unit. He considers himself to be a prime example of the ideal human and has grandiose plans for surviving the attack and spearheading a new generation of humankind. He is also somewhat lazy and hedonistic.

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The Curate

An unnamed man of the cloth and foil to the Narrator. His crisis of faith leaves him shaken and makes him behave in immoral ways. He refuses to accept the reality of the dire situation despite the concrete evidence that surrounds him. 

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The Narrator’s Brother

The Narrator’s unnamed younger brother. He is a medical student in London, and he writes to the Narrator about what is happening in London during the initial days of the invasion. He is sensible and careful, and he delivers his account without panic or denial. His even-keeled and virtuous nature allows him to help himself and others during evacuation. 


A well-known astronomer and friend of the Narrator. He is the first to see fiery gas coming from Mars, and he invites the Narrator to look at Mars through his telescope the next night. Along with Stent and Henderson, he is part of the first group to approach the Martians. 


A journalist from London. Henderson is the first person to believe Ogilvy about what he has seen, and he hurries to see for himself. Along with Stent and Ogilvy, he is part of the first group to approach the Martians. 


The Astronomer Royal. He leads a group of men to try to excavate the cylinder, and along with Ogilvy and Henderson, is part of the first group to approach the Martians. 

Lord Hilton

The lord of the manor where the first cylinder lands. Ogilvy asks the Narrator to find Lord Hilton to ask him for help in keeping the people back from the edges of the crater. 

The Narrator’s Wife

The loving wife of the Narrator.