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"Airman" Characters Analysis

By Eoin Colfer

young adult | 424 pages | Published in NaN

In the 1890s Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy’s idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions.There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on the prison walls. The months turn into years; but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the air.


Estimated read time: 7 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Conor BroekhartProtagonist
Victor VignyAntagonist
IsabellaLove Interest
Princess BonnySupporting Character
Declan BroekhartSupporting Character
Captain NicholasSupporting Character
Linus WynterSupporting Character

Role Identification

In the book "Airman" by Eoin Colfer, Conor Broekhart is the protagonist who embarks on a journey of survival, determination, and revenge against an unjust ruler. He faces numerous challenges and undergoes significant character development throughout the story. Victor Vigny serves as the primary antagonist, constantly obstructing Conor's path and representing the oppressive regime Conor seeks to overthrow. Isabella, Princess Bonny, Declan Broekhart, Captain Nicholas, and Linus Wynter are supporting characters who provide crucial relationships and aid Conor in his quest.

Character Descriptions

  • Conor Broekhart: Conor is a young and intelligent boy with a strong sense of justice. He possesses a sharp mind and exceptional piloting skills. Conor is described as having a lean build, fair hair, and blue eyes. He is resourceful, resilient, and determined to bring about change.
  • Victor Vigny: Victor is a cunning and power-hungry man who becomes Conor's arch-nemesis. He is physically imposing with a muscular build, dark hair, and a cold demeanor. Victor is a skilled fighter and manipulator, always scheming to maintain his hold on power.
  • Isabella: Isabella is a fearless and independent young girl who captures Conor's heart. She is described as having fiery red hair and a spirited personality. Isabella is intelligent and shares Conor's desire for justice, becoming his trusted ally and confidante.
  • Princess Bonny: Princess Bonny is the daughter of the king and holds a position of privilege. She is initially portrayed as naive and sheltered but gradually develops into a more complex character. Princess Bonny is torn between her duty to her father and her growing sympathy for Conor's cause.
  • Declan Broekhart: Declan is Conor's loyal and supportive older brother. He is a skilled engineer and plays a crucial role in Conor's escape and subsequent plans. Declan is depicted as a tall and muscular young man with a kind heart and unwavering dedication to his family.
  • Captain Nicholas: Captain Nicholas is a wise and experienced military officer who plays a pivotal role in Conor's journey. He becomes a mentor figure to Conor, teaching him valuable lessons about survival, leadership, and strategy.
  • Linus Wynter: Linus Wynter is an eccentric inventor and scientist who befriends Conor. He is described as having wild white hair and an absent-minded demeanor. Linus assists Conor with his inventions and provides him with crucial knowledge and resources.

Character Traits

  • Conor Broekhart: Intelligent, determined, resourceful, courageous, skilled pilot.
  • Victor Vigny: Cunning, power-hungry, manipulative, physically imposing.
  • Isabella: Fearless, independent, intelligent, spirited, empathetic.
  • Princess Bonny: Naive, sheltered, torn between duty and sympathy.
  • Declan Broekhart: Loyal, supportive, skilled engineer, kind-hearted.
  • Captain Nicholas: Wise, experienced, mentor figure, strategic.
  • Linus Wynter: Eccentric, inventive, absent-minded, knowledgeable.

Character Background

  • Conor Broekhart: Conor grew up in the kingdom of Saltee, where his father worked as the king's bodyguard. He developed a passion for flight and spent his childhood exploring the skies. After being framed for a crime he didn't commit, Conor is imprisoned on the prison island of Little Saltee, where he plans his escape and seeks revenge against Victor Vigny.
  • Victor Vigny: Victor is the king's advisor and a ruthless individual who seeks to maintain his grip on power. He orchestrated the events that led to Conor's imprisonment and manipulates the king for his own gain.
  • Isabella: Isabella is the daughter of a scientist who works for the king. She possesses a rebellious spirit and joins Conor in his fight against the oppressive regime. Isabella's scientific knowledge and determination make her a valuable ally to Conor.
  • Princess Bonny: Princess Bonny is the daughter of the king, raised in a sheltered and privileged environment. As the story progresses, she begins to question the morality of her father's actions and becomes sympathetic towards Conor's cause.
  • Declan Broekhart: Declan is Conor's older brother and a skilled engineer. He supports Conor throughout his journey, using his technical expertise to aid him in his plans.
  • Captain Nicholas: Captain Nicholas is a respected military officer who recognizes Conor's potential and becomes his mentor. He provides guidance and valuable insights to help Conor in his mission.
  • Linus Wynter: Linus Wynter is a brilliant inventor and scientist who befriends Conor during his imprisonment. He offers his knowledge and resources to assist Conor in his escape and subsequent plans.

Character Arcs

  • Conor Broekhart: Conor's character arc revolves around his transformation from an innocent young boy with dreams of flight to a determined and skilled aviator seeking justice. He starts as an optimistic and curious individual but is pushed to his limits through betrayal and imprisonment. Conor's experiences shape him into a resilient and strategic thinker, fueling his desire to bring down Victor Vigny and liberate his homeland.
  • Victor Vigny: Victor's character arc portrays his descent into further corruption and desperation as Conor becomes a threat to his power. He becomes increasingly ruthless and willing to do anything to maintain his control, even sacrificing those close to him.
  • Isabella: Isabella's character arc involves her growth from a sheltered princess to a brave and empathetic young woman. She begins as someone who is unaware of the suffering in her kingdom but gradually becomes more aware of the injustices and joins Conor in his fight for freedom.
  • Princess Bonny: Princess Bonny's character arc showcases her transition from a naive and sheltered princess to someone who questions her father's actions and develops empathy for Conor's cause. She struggles with her loyalty to her father and her newfound understanding of the kingdom's injustices.


  • Conor and Isabella: Conor and Isabella share a deep connection based on their shared desire for justice and their love for flight. Their relationship strengthens as they face numerous challenges together and support each other in their quest.
  • Conor and Victor Vigny: Conor and Victor have a complex and adversarial relationship. Conor's imprisonment and desire for revenge drive their conflict, with Victor constantly trying to thwart Conor's plans.
  • Conor and Princess Bonny: Conor and Princess Bonny's relationship evolves from initial distrust to a gradual understanding and mutual respect. Princess Bonny's conflicted loyalty adds depth to their interactions.
  • Conor and Declan Broekhart: Conor and Declan share a strong brotherly bond. Declan's unwavering support and technical skills are crucial to Conor's journey.
  • Conor and Captain Nicholas: Captain Nicholas becomes a mentor figure to Conor, guiding him and providing valuable advice. Their relationship is built on trust and respect.
  • Conor and Linus Wynter: Linus Wynter becomes Conor's ally and assists him with his inventions. Their relationship is characterized by Linus's eccentricity and Conor's reliance on his knowledge.

In conclusion, "Airman" by Eoin Colfer presents a diverse cast of characters who play integral roles in Conor Broekhart's journey. Through their unique traits, relationships, and character arcs, the book explores themes of justice, resilience, and the power of determination. Conor's transformation from an innocent boy to a skilled aviator seeking revenge is at the heart of the story, with Victor Vigny serving as a formidable antagonist. Isabella, Princess Bonny, and the supporting characters add depth and complexity to the narrative, highlighting the importance of relationships and alliances in the fight against oppression.