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"Berserk" Characters Analysis

By Tim Lebbon

horror | 337 pages | Published in NaN

Those who go for cold, queasy horror will embrace the latest shocker from Stoker-winner Lebbon (Fears Unnamed). When a dangerous military experiment on England's Salisbury Plain goes fatally awry, the authorities hastily and secretly bury the bodies of a dozen soldiers and a few other victims. The body of one soldier, Steven, is supposedly returned to his parents, but the coffin is empty. Ten years later, Steven's still grieving father, Tom, locates the place of burial. But when Tom excavates the site, he discovers not his son's remains but the moldering corpse of a little girl animated by a peculiar form of life. Lots more nastiness follows. Fans who prefer their horror to have a sense of humanity should look elsewhere.


Estimated read time: 9 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Tom BeckerProtagonist
Kate RiversLove Interest
Richard ColeAntagonist
JackSupporting Character
DoreenSupporting Character

Role Identification

In the thrilling novel "Berserk" by Tim Lebbon, a number of characters play significant roles. The protagonist, Tom Becker, takes center stage as he navigates through a world plagued by supernatural creatures. Kate Rivers serves as the love interest who supports Tom on his journey. Richard Cole poses as the primary antagonist, causing chaos and destruction. Additionally, supporting characters Jack and Doreen contribute to the overall narrative, offering guidance and companionship.

Character Descriptions

Tom Becker

Tom Becker is a complex character who undergoes significant growth throughout the novel. He is a young man haunted by the tragic death of his parents, which he blames himself for. Tom possesses a resilient spirit and a strong sense of justice. Physically, he is described as having messy dark hair, a lean build, and piercing blue eyes. Tom's determination and resourcefulness set him apart, making him a formidable protagonist.

Kate Rivers

Kate Rivers is portrayed as a strong and independent woman. She is intelligent, resourceful, and fiercely loyal to those she cares about. With her fiery red hair and hazel eyes, Kate is a striking presence. She becomes a crucial pillar of support for Tom, offering him emotional strength and guidance as they face the dangers together.

Richard Cole

Richard Cole serves as the primary antagonist in "Berserk." He is a wealthy and influential businessman who becomes consumed by an ancient, malevolent power. Cole's physical appearance mirrors his corrupted soul, with pale skin, sunken eyes, and a sinister smile. He is manipulative, cunning, and relentless in his pursuit of power, making him a formidable opponent for Tom.


Jack is a supporting character who plays a vital role in Tom's journey. He is an older man with a grizzled appearance, reflecting his experiences and wisdom. Jack possesses extensive knowledge of the supernatural, acting as a mentor and guide for Tom. His calm demeanor and unwavering loyalty make him a valuable ally in the fight against the dark forces that plague the world.


Doreen is another supporting character who offers emotional support to Tom. She is a kind-hearted and compassionate woman, always ready to lend a listening ear or a helping hand. Doreen possesses a nurturing nature, providing a sense of stability and comfort amidst the chaos. While not directly involved in the action, her presence is essential for Tom's emotional well-being.

Character Traits

Tom Becker

  • Determined: Tom displays unwavering determination in his quest to uncover the truth and defeat the supernatural forces.
  • Resourceful: He exhibits resourcefulness when faced with challenging situations, often finding creative solutions.
  • Guilt-ridden: Tom carries a heavy burden of guilt for the death of his parents, which drives his motivations throughout the story.
  • Brave: Despite the dangers he encounters, Tom shows immense bravery in facing his fears and confronting evil.

Kate Rivers

  • Independent: Kate is fiercely independent, capable of taking care of herself and making her own decisions.
  • Intelligent: She possesses a sharp intellect, offering valuable insights and logical thinking to aid Tom's journey.
  • Loyal: Kate's loyalty to Tom is unwavering, standing by his side through thick and thin.
  • Courageous: She displays courage in the face of danger, never backing down from a fight.

Richard Cole

  • Manipulative: Cole uses his cunning and manipulation to further his own agenda and gain power over others.
  • Ruthless: He shows no mercy in his pursuit of power, willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.
  • Obsessed: Cole becomes consumed by the dark forces, his obsession driving him to commit unspeakable acts.
  • Calculating: He meticulously plans his moves, always staying one step ahead of his adversaries.


  • Wise: Jack's wisdom and knowledge of the supernatural make him an invaluable asset to Tom.
  • Patient: He remains patient in teaching and guiding Tom, understanding the importance of nurturing his growth.
  • Reliable: Jack is a dependable ally, always there to offer support and advice when needed.
  • Experienced: He possesses a wealth of experience in dealing with supernatural creatures, drawing from a lifetime of encounters.


  • Compassionate: Doreen's compassion shines through in her interactions with Tom, providing emotional support and understanding.
  • Nurturing: She offers a nurturing presence, providing a sense of stability and comfort amidst the chaos.
  • Empathetic: Doreen displays empathy towards Tom's struggles, offering a listening ear and words of encouragement.
  • Trustworthy: Tom can confide in Doreen, knowing that his secrets will be safe with her.

Character Background

Tom Becker

Tom Becker's background is rooted in tragedy. He lost his parents at a young age, an event that has haunted him and driven his actions ever since. He blames himself for their deaths, believing that he could have prevented the tragedy. This guilt shapes his character and motivates him to seek justice and redemption.

Kate Rivers

Kate Rivers comes from a loving and supportive family. She has always been fascinated by the supernatural and has studied it extensively. This knowledge, coupled with her determination to help others, leads her to cross paths with Tom Becker. Her background provides her with the skills and resilience needed to face the challenges they encounter.

Richard Cole

Richard Cole comes from a privileged background, owning a successful business empire. However, his insatiable thirst for power and control leads him down a dark path. He stumbles upon an ancient artifact that corrupts his soul, turning him into the primary antagonist of the story.


Jack's background is shrouded in mystery. He is a seasoned hunter of supernatural creatures, having encountered them throughout his life. Jack's experiences and knowledge make him an invaluable mentor for Tom, guiding him through the dangerous world they inhabit.


Doreen's background is relatively ordinary compared to the other characters. She is a kind-hearted woman with a nurturing nature, always willing to lend a helping hand. Her background provides her with the compassion and empathy needed to support Tom emotionally.

Character Arcs

Tom Becker

Tom's character arc revolves around his journey from guilt and self-blame to self-acceptance and redemption. Throughout the story, he learns to forgive himself and understand that he cannot control everything. Tom grows stronger both mentally and physically, ultimately facing his fears and emerging as a hero.

Kate Rivers

Kate's character arc focuses on her transformation from an independent researcher to a true partner and confidante for Tom. She learns to let go of her need for control and fully trust in Tom's abilities. Kate's growth is also reflected in her emotional strength and resilience as she faces the dangers alongside Tom.

Richard Cole

Richard Cole's character arc is one of descent into darkness and madness. Initially driven by ambition, he becomes consumed by the supernatural forces he unleashes. Cole's descent ultimately leads to his downfall, as his lust for power blinds him to the consequences of his actions.


While Jack's character arc is not as pronounced as others, he undergoes a subtle transformation. He evolves from a solitary hunter to a mentor and guide for Tom. Jack learns to trust and rely on others, recognizing the importance of companionship and support.


Doreen's character arc is one of unwavering support and stability. She remains a constant source of emotional strength for Tom, providing a safe haven amidst the chaos. Doreen's presence reminds Tom of the importance of human connection and helps him maintain his humanity.


Tom Becker and Kate Rivers

The relationship between Tom and Kate is one of trust, reliance, and mutual support. They form a deep emotional bond as they face the supernatural forces together. Their connection grows stronger throughout the story, culminating in a romantic relationship that serves as a source of strength for both characters.

Tom Becker and Richard Cole

Tom and Richard Cole's relationship is one of intense conflict and opposition. Cole becomes Tom's primary adversary, with their interactions fueling the central conflict of the story. Their relationship is characterized by a battle of wills and a clash of ideologies.

Tom Becker and Jack

Tom and Jack's relationship is one of mentorship and guidance. Jack acts as a father figure to Tom, sharing his knowledge and experiences. Their bond grows as they face dangers together, and Jack's guidance plays a crucial role in Tom's character development.

Tom Becker and Doreen

Tom and Doreen's relationship is one of emotional support and stability. Doreen serves as a surrogate mother figure, offering Tom a sense of comfort and understanding. Her presence helps Tom maintain his humanity and provides him with the emotional strength to face the challenges ahead.

In conclusion, "Berserk" by Tim Lebbon features a diverse cast of characters who play crucial roles in the narrative. From the determined and guilt-ridden protagonist, Tom Becker, to the loyal and independent Kate Rivers, each character brings unique traits and backgrounds to the story. Their relationships and character arcs add depth and complexity to the gripping tale of supernatural forces and redemption.