Pelagia, who is seventeen at the beginning of the novel, is a young Greek woman and Dr. Iannis's daughter. Dr. Iannis raised her to think for herself, which sets her apart from other girls… (read full character analysis)
Dr. Iannis is the only doctor in his unnamed village in Greece. He's also an amateur and hobby historian and spends most of his life working on "A Personal History of Cephalonia," which explores the… (read full character analysis)
Captain Corelli is the captain of the Italian 33rd Infantry division. He only takes music, friendship, and romance seriously; he regularly mocks the war. Corelli is also an accomplished musician: he carries his mandolin, Antonia… (read full character analysis)
Mandras is a young fisherman who falls in love with Pelagia after hurting himself and requiring medical attention from Dr. Iannis. He does whatever he can to impress her, which often makes him behave… (read full character analysis)
Weber is a young German soldier who is stationed in Lixouri, not far away from Corelli's group of Italian soldiers in Argostoli. He grew up in the mountains of Austria as the son of a… (read full character analysis)
Francisco is a young married corporal in the Julia Division, where Carlo is first stationed. Carlo falls in love with Francisco immediately: he's extremely handsome and never misses an opportunity to make fun of the… (read full character analysis)
Drosoula is Mandras's mother. She was born in Turkey and was moved with her mother to Greece as a young teen as part of an effort to ease ethnic tensions in both countries. In two… (read full character analysis)
Pelagia's adopted daughter; she's named after Corelli's mandolin. Pelagia and Drosoula find the infant Antonia on their doorstep near the end of the war and though they initially consider turning her over to the Red… (read full character analysis)
Velisarios is the strongman in Pelagia's village. Despite his massive size and impressive strength, he's kind and gentle. However, he's also prone to abusing his power for laughs, as when he lifts Father Arsenios onto… (read full character analysis)
Father Arsenios is the Orthodox priest of Pelagia's village. He's rotund, greedy, and there are rumors that he skirted rules in order to marry his very young wife. Because he's so greedy and not particularly… (read full character analysis)
Benito Mussolini is the Fascist dictator of Italy during World War Two. He was once a businessman and a journalist, but with war on the horizon, Mussolini seeks to distance himself from these associations--he wants… (read full character analysis)
Stamatis is an elderly man in Dr. Iannis's village. He's been deaf in one ear since childhood, which Dr. Iannis cures by extracting a pea out of Stamatis's ear at the beginning of the novel… (read full character analysis)
Lemoni is a young girl who flits around Pelagia's village. She cares for animals but torments them as well; she calls Dr. Iannis when she finds Psipsina caught in a fence and also pokes dogs… (read full character analysis)
Kokolios is a communist man living in Pelagia's village. He spends his days at the kapheneia with his best friend Stamatis, Dr. Iannis, and Father Arsenios. They argue about politics and how… (read full character analysis)
A pine marten that Lemoni finds caught in a fence and Dr. Iannis decides to keep as a pet. Psipsina earns her name because Lemoni told Dr. Iannis that she found "a funny kind of… (read full character analysis)
Hector is the leader of the ELAS group that Mandras joins. He's a devout communist and carries a copy of Lenin's pamphlet What Is To Be Done? As far as Mandras is concerned, Hector is… (read full character analysis)
Iannis is Antonia and Alexi's only child. He's named after Dr. Iannis, his adoptive grandfather. Because Antonia and Alexi throw themselves into their business ventures and don't have much time to parent Iannis… (read full character analysis)
Bunnios is a British spy who parachutes onto Mt. Aenos, where Alekos finds him and believes he's an angel. When Alekos finally takes Bunnios to Dr. Iannis, it comes out that Bunnios thought he… (read full character analysis)
Alexi is Antonia's husband. Pelagia objects to him at first because he's fifteen years her senior and is overweight and unattractive, but she soon understands why Antonia fell for him: he's extremely kind and wants… (read full character analysis)
Metaxas is the Prime Minister of Greece at the start of the novel; he dies of a chronic illness in January of 1941. He's a small and regretful man who feels trapped by his choice… (read full character analysis)
Alekos is a goatherd who lives in the mountains on Cephalonia. He descends to the villages only occasionally, and Dr. Iannis meets him in the mountains once per year to examine him and his goats… (read full character analysis)
The Italian officer in charge of controlling the Italian troops on Cephalonia. Corelli describes him as someone who rose to the top by following orders, but who doesn't know how to give them. In the… (read full character analysis)
The colonel who sends Carlo and Francisco on the mission to destroy the "Greek" watchtower. Carlo believes that Rivolta has only risen in rank because he knows the right people; he's short, fat, and does… (read full character analysis)
Spiridon is a bouzouki player from Corfu whom Pelagia hires to play in Drosoula's taverna. He reminds her of Corelli. Iannis also idolizes Spiridon and asks Spiridon to teach him to play the… (read full character analysis)
Francisco's tame mouse. He lives in Francisco's pocket and eats scraps. Mario remains with Francisco even through the invasion of Albania and the cold and hunger they both suffer. Though Francisco attempts to give Mario… (read full character analysis)
Lieutenant Colonel Myers
A British officer in Greece who has the misfortune of reprimanding ELAS leaders, including Hector, with some regularity. Though the ELAS groups are clearly not following orders, Myers never has enough proof to shut them down, and Hector often manages to mock Myers.
Badoglio is appointed Prime Minister of Italy after the king unseats Mussolini. Prior to that, he was one of Mussolini's top military officers, though he was unable to do anything of note since he was never given any information. He concedes to the Allies.
Commander of the German troops in Cephalonia. He encourages General Gandin to trust him and then issues orders for the German troops to massacre the Italians.
Count Galeazzo Ciano
Mussolini's son-in-law and the Foreign Minister of Italy until 1943. Mussolini resents Ciano for his love of golf. He's often privy to Mussolini's plans and is tasked with giving orders to the proper people in the military.
Captain Fienzo Appollonio
Captain Appollonio leads the Italians in the battle against the Germans. He stands up to General Gandin in order to do so, and Corelli offers his support. Appollonio dies in the massacre.
A colonel stationed in Athens before the Italians invade Greece. He's good friends with Emmanuele Grazzi and like Grazzi, Mondini is entirely unaware of Italy's plans to invade Greece and unsupportive when he does find out.
The Italian ambassador to Greece who delivers Mussolini's ultimatum to Metaxas. Prior to delivering the ultimatum, he has no idea what Mussolini was planning, and he and other diplomats were good friends with the Greeks they live amongst.
Kosmas, Nionios, and Krystal
Three dolphins that swim with Mandras and help him fish. When Mandras commits suicide, it's implied that these dolphins are the ones who push his body towards shore.
Mina is a young woman who lives in the insane asylum run by nuns. She's one of the two residents who are healed by St. Gerasimos on his feast day.
The patron saint of Cephalonia. He has two feast days; one in October and one in August, and he cures a mad person at each feast. He left the entirety of his body to the church in Argostoli.
Lulu is Metaxas's daughter. It's unclear how old she is, but she's wild, shockingly modern, and an utter embarrassment to her father.