Wade Watts / Parzival
Wade Owen Watts is the narrator and hero of the novel. Parzival is the name of his OASIS avatar. He is 18 years old when the novel begins, and lives in the Portland Avenue Stacks… read analysis of Wade Watts / Parzival
James Halliday / Anorak
James Donovan Halliday is the creator of the OASIS and instigator of the Easter egg hunt. His OASIS avatar is a wizard called Anorak. He was born in 1972 and grew up in Middletown, Ohio… read analysis of James Halliday / Anorak
Alice is Wade’s aunt and the owner of the trailer in which he lives. Although she takes in Wade after Loretta dies, she is cruel and selfish, and keeps the food vouchers that the… read analysis of Aunt Alice
Mrs. Gilmore is Wade’s neighbor; she lives in a mobile home in the same stack as him, below Aunt Alice’s trailer. She is very religious and spends most of her time inside OASIS… read analysis of Mrs. Gilmore
Aech is Wade’s best friend and one of the most famous gunters in the world. Every Friday, Aech competes in televised fights, earning money and experience points. Aech’s private chatroom, the Basement, is an… read analysis of Aech
I-r0k is a gunter who sometimes hangs out in the Basement. Although he has a high-level avatar, Wade dismisses him as an “obnoxious poseur” who doesn’t really know anything about Halliday. I-r0k snitches on… read analysis of I-r0k
Ogden Morrow aka Og
Ogden Morrow is the cofounder of the OASIS. He and Halliday were best friends in high school; they were both nerds, although Morrow was more confident and charismatic than Halliday. Morrow fell in love… read analysis of Ogden Morrow aka Og
Daito is a Japanese gunter who works alongside his “brother,” Shoto. Daito is intensely private and rejects both the proposition of an alliance with the other top gunters and the idea of meeting Shoto… read analysis of Daito
Shoto is a Japanese gunter and Daito’s “brother.” After Daito’s death, he reveals to Wade that his real name is Akihide and that he and Daito were not actually brothers—in fact, they had never… read analysis of Shoto
Nolan Sorrento is the Head of Operations at IOI. He has a PhD in Computer Science and, before being recruited by IOI, worked as a “high-profile videogame designer.” Sorrento is the antagonist of the… read analysis of Nolan Sorrento
Marie Harris is Aech’s (Helen’s) mother. She is a black woman who believes that the OASIS is the “best thing” to happen to women and people of color because it allows them to use… read analysis of Marie Harris
Rick is Aunt Alice’s boyfriend. He is also killed when the trailer explodes.
Wade’s father, whose name we never learn. He was a refugee and a teenager when Wade was born. He was killed while looting a grocery store.
Loretta was Wade’s mother. She was also a refugee and teenager when Wade was born. While Wade was a child, she had two full-time jobs inside the OASIS, as a telemarketer and sex worker. She was also a drug user, and died after injecting an unknown substance.
Acererak is a digital demi-lich (undead king) who resides inside the Tomb of Horrors and challenges users to a game of Joust as a test of whether they can receive the Copper Key.
Matthew Broderick is the star of the 1983 film WarGames, which features prominently in the novel.
Kira Underwood was a friend of Halliday and Morrow in high school. Described as a “quintessential geek girl,” both Halliday and Morrow were in love with her. She married Morrow and together they cofounded Halcydonia Interactive, a company that produces educational software. She was killed in a car accident.
Max is not a character exactly; he is Wade’s running system agent software, which is sort of like a virtual personal assistant.