The Top Ten Characters from Indiana Jones

The Top Ten Characters from Indiana Jones

As George Lucas ventured to Maui after the release of Star Wars in 1977, he had a fateful meeting with Steven Spielberg where the two began dreaming of Indiana Jones. For years, Lucas had dreamed of reviving the old serial films of the 1930s and 40s with a modern twist. He loved the action and adventure of those films, so he wanted to introduce new audiences to them. Thus, he created the script for The Adventures of Indiana Smith. However, the idea languished as he created Star Wars instead.

Luckily, Steven Spielberg also dreamed of creating a film featuring an action-filled man, though he had considered characters akin to Agent 007. When Lucas introduced Spielberg to his ideas on Indiana Smith, Spielberg immediately fell in love and jumped onboard. With their partnership cemented, they began refining the idea until it became the Indiana Jones that we now know and love.

As they began preparing the film the first Indiana Jones movie, they had to find the correct actor for the role. While Lucas had been reluctant to rely on Harrison Ford for yet another of his films, the actor proved to be the best fit for the role. With Ford’s roguish charisma, Indiana Jones easily felt like he could take on Nazis and later Soviets.

Over the decades, the exploits of Indy enthralled audiences over four films, a television series, several books, and video games. Likewise, the franchise brims with fascinating characters to latch onto. So, which ones are the best?

Presenting the top ten characters from the Indiana Jones Franchise

10. Mutt Williams

Mutt Williams

Born as Henry Walton Jones III, Mutt Williams was the son of Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones, born out of wedlock. In fact, Indiana Jones did not even know that Marion was pregnant with his child when he broke off the marriage with Ravenwood. While she named the newborn Henry Jones III, she did not even inform him of his proper name for years. Instead, the boy assumed the name of Ravenwood’s new love and husband, Colin Williams. Eventually, he also took on the nickname “Mutt” as his first name.

Decades later, in 1957, Marion left for Peru to check on the wellbeing of one of her friends, Harold Oxley. While she located her friend, the Russians took Oxley prisoner while Marion escaped. So, she sent a letter to Mutt with an entreaty to enlist the help of Indiana Jones. Mutt then just barely convinced Indy to listen to him before the man left the states.

As the two traveled to Peru, they searched for clues on where Oxley and Marion had gone. Unfortunately, the Soviets caught the pair, which led to them meeting up with Marion and a deranged Oxley. Surprising both men, Marion revealed that Mutt Williams was the estranged son of Indiana Jones. Thus, Indiana Jones began to scrutinize Mutt’s actions much more closely. Luckily, Mutt proved to be a skilled fighter, especially in sword-fighting.

9. Willie Scott

Willie Scott

As Indiana Jones traveled to Shanghai, he stopped by the Club Obi Wan where Willie Scott was the lead singer. More importantly, a local crime lord, Leo Che, owned the club. Thus, Willie Scott found herself amid the middle of the brawl between Indy and Lao Che’s men. Thus, she escaped alongside Indy to join him on his next adventure, despite her lack of fighting skills.

Not only did Willie lack any fighting skills, but she also was not comfortable traveling in the wild. For instance, as they traveled on top of elephants, Willie tried to improve the beast’s smell by spraying it with perfume. This action only caused the elephant to knock her down into a pond, where she became even more filthy. While she found the accommodations at Pankot Palace to her liking, she could not stomach the exotic cuisine served there.

In the end, the Thuggee cult’s leader, Mola ram, chose Willie as the next person in his human sacrifice rituals. Thus, the cult held Willie captive over a pit of molten lava as Indiana Jones battled them to save her. While Short Round rescued Willie from the pit, Indy subdued the cult’s leader. Thus, the three left with the temple with their lives.

8. Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir

Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir

As Indiana Jones traveled to Cairo, Egypt to locate the Ark of the Covenant, he required assistance translating the inscriptions on Marion’s medallion. So, he contacted an old friend, Sallah to help him find someone who could help them. Sallah also had a reputation as the “best digger in Egypt.” So, Indy also knew that he could be immensely helpful once they located the resting place of the Ark.

With Sallah’s help, Indiana Jones found an old man that helped them understand that the Staff of Ra needed to be shortened to reveal the location of the Ark. He then accompanied Indy as the man slipped into the map room to discover the resting place of the Ark. Sallah even joined Jones in the snake infested Well of the Souls to help move the Ark to the surface.

As the Nazis discovered Indiana’s dig site, they took Sallah captive, sentencing him to execution. He luckily escaped thanks to the guilty conscience of his captive. Even though Sallah almost died because he had helped Indiana Jones, he still returned to rescue Jones from the Well of the Souls. Sallah later arranged for Indy to return to the states via the Bantu Wind before the two parted ways.

Years later, Indiana Jones would once again enlist Sallah’s aid as he sought the location of the Holy Grail.

7. Arnold Ernst Toht

Arnold Ernst Toht

Adolf Hitler entrusted the search for the Ark of the Covenant to one of his most ruthless Gestapo agents, Arnold Ernst Toht. The man had built a reputation for himself as a skilled torturer and interrogator. He even relished in the pain that he inflicted on his victims.

Beginning his search for the Ark of the Covenant, Toht tracked down the headpiece to the Staff of Ra in Nepal. As he entered the Raven bar, he wasted no time in threatening Marion Ravenwood with a hot iron. Not long after Indy came to Marion’s rescue, the bar burst into flames. Amid the scuffle in the burning bar, Toht attempted to grab the headpiece, but only became branded by the hot medallion instead.

Even though Toht left empty-handed, his hand still held the imprint of the headpiece. Thus, the Nazis used the imprint to create a replica of the headpiece. Unfortunately, his hand only had the imprint of a single side of the medallion, so they did not know that they needed the shorten the staff.

After Belloq snatched away the Ark from Indiana Jones, Toht delighted in hurling Marion down into the depths of the Well of the Souls. His victory over Jones was short-lived, for the man soon returned to steal way the convoy truck from the Nazis. Later, Toht once again claimed the Ark for the Nazis as he took Marion and Indy captive. Despite his final victory, Toht’s only reward was death as Belloq released specters from the Ark.

6. Polkovnik Vrach Irina Spalko

Polkovnik Vrach Irina Spalko

As the USSR sought artifacts that could aid their military actions with paranormal assistance, Irina Spalko took the opportunity to discover more about her psychic abilities. As a KGB agent, Spalko furthered her personal quest to uncover the sources of her peculiar psychic abilities.

Thus, she quickly became interested as she heard about the legends concerning the crystal skulls from Akator. Her understanding of the legends led her to believe that returning the skulls to the Temple of the Gods would grant her access to the greatest knowledge in the universe. So, she dedicated herself to not only finding the skull but also the temple.

To begin her search, she sought out the remnants of extraterrestrials that crashed down in Roswell, New Mexico. While she ambushed and held Indy captive, she searched through Hangar 51 for the mummified remains. While Indy proved to be problematic and uncooperative, the magnetic nature of the alien bodies led Spalko to the correct container.

In Peru, Spalko held both Marion Ravenwood and Harold Oxley captive as she studied the crystal skull. While she momentarily caught Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams, the two quickly escaped with Marion and Oxley. As they escaped, Spalko engaged Mutt in a deadly sword duel across the top of their two vehicles.

Even though Indiana Jones had possession of the skull, Spalko made her way to the Temple of Akator. As she discovered thirteen crystal inter-dimensional beings, she used the crystal skull to restore the head-less skeleton. As the beings revived, she demanded to “know everything,” leading to her demise.

5. Dr. Elsa Schneider

Dr. Elsa Schneider

As Adolf Hitler sought the Holy Grail to gain immortality, he decided to use one of Indiana Jones’s greatest vices, the love for a beautiful woman, against him. Meanwhile, Elsa Schneider had lusted for the Holy Grail for years. Her desire for the grail was so strong that she was willing to do anything to get her hands on the holy relic. Thus, she jumped on the chance to locate the Holy Grail.

Initially, Schneider worked alongside Henry Jones, Sr., she seduced him. However, he eventually realized that she was a Nazi agent, forcing Schneider to capture him. Even though Henry had sent out a message to his son, Schneider continued her search for the Grail. Thus, she moved in to meet and seduce Indiana Jones when he arrived in Venice. Her act was so effective that Indy saved Schneider from a fiery death in the Knight’s tomb.

Continuing her act, Schneider searched through Indy’s apartment for any clues on the location of the grail. While she found nothing, she quickly moved to ransack her room so that she would appear innocent. Despite her failed search, Indy soon revealed that he had the Grail diary. Thus, after SS Colonel Vogel convinced Indy to surrender as he “threatened” Schneider, she claimed the Grail diary for herself.

In the end, Schneider turned against her ally, Donovan, convincing him to drink from the most ornate grail. After Donovan’s demise, her understanding that the grail would not be gold led to Indy discovering the correct grail. Unfortunately, her selfish desires for the grail lead to her demise, as removing the grail from the temple led to the structure crumbling.

4. René Emile Belloq

René Emile Belloq

Where Indiana Jones hunted down and collected artifacts so academics could study them, other archeologists only sought to profit from the discoveries. Such was the case with the Frenchman, René Emile Belloq, who had a reputation as a grave robber. Since his academic career was already in shambles, Belloq held no qualms about working for pure profit. Thus, he agreed to help Adolf Hitler in the hunt for the Ark of the Covenant.

Before he signed up on the quest for the Ark, Belloq ventured to South America, where he formed a bond with the Hovitos. While he had their trust, his only desire was the fertility idol from their temple. While Indiana Jones beat Belloq to the idol, Belloq used his rapport with the natives to send them chasing after Indy. Meanwhile, he slipped away with their fertility idol.

As Belloq assisted the Nazis, he held no qualms about their cutthroat actions. When the Nazis held Ravenwood captive, he tried to extract information about the location of the Ark from her. Unfortunately, he only succeeded in making himself drunk before Toht intercepted to torture her. Later, he taunted Indy as he ambushed the American’s dig site to claim the Ark for the Nazis. While he did not kill Indiana Jones, he left the man to die in the snake infested Well of the Souls.

In the end, he ignored every warning that stated that no one should ever open the Ark. So, he donned a ceremonial garb as he prepared to open the Ark on an island near Crete. As he gazed into the Ark, he found nothing except for the dust remains of the tablet. Then, he became one of the first victims to the angels of death that streamed out from the Ark.

3. Marion Ravenwood

Marion Ravenwood

As Indiana Jones was developing his skills as an archeologist, one man mentored him, Abner Ravenwood. Meanwhile, Abner had a daughter, Marion, who Indy would grow close to, eventually engaging in a romantic triste. However, Abner disapproved of the relationship between the two, so he broke off any contact with Indiana Jones.

Years later, Marion became the sole owner of one of Abner Ravenwood’s finds, the headpiece to the Staff of Ra. Since this artifact was instrumental in uncovering the Ark of the Covenant, the Nazis targeted Marion. Likewise, Indiana Jones offered to buy the headpiece from Marion for the sum of $3,000. Stubbornly, she refused to either sell the medallion or give it over to the Nazis. Thus, her only means of livelihood, the Raven bar, burnt to the ground. Following the destruction of her bar, she forced Indiana Jones to accept her as his partner as they sought the Ark of the Covenant.

While Marion was a strong-willed woman, she still found herself in danger as she traveled alongside Indy. On several occasions, the Nazis held her captive, both interrogating and torturing her. Still, she refused to help them with their quest for the Ark. As the Nazis finally opened the Ark, they held both Marion and Indy captive. The two survived only because Indy believed in the warnings and instructed Marion not to open her eyes.

Later, the two prepared to marry each other; however, Indy left Marion as he doubted his ability to be a good husband. Thus, he unintentionally left Marion alone with their child. After giving birth to their child, she married Colin Williams and became “Mary” Williams.

2. Henry Jones, Sr.

Henry Jones, Sr.

The love for historical artifacts ran through the Jones bloodline. While Henry Jones, Sr. was a professor of medieval literature at Princeton University, he believed that he was destined to locate the Holy Grail. While few of his contemporaries took his quest seriously, Henry remained steadfast in his quest for more information on the whereabouts of the grail. Meanwhile, his son grew to become an archeologist that would search through old sites for buried treasure.

As he retired, Henry Jones, Sr. had the opportunity to fully indulge himself with his quest for the Holy Grail. Thus, he took the opportunity to continue his research under the wealthy industrialist, Walter Donovan. As he searched for the Grail, he had no idea that Donovan was a Nazi sympathizer. Likewise, he did not suspect until too late that his partner, Dr. Elsa Schneider, was a Nazi. As he discovered Schneider’s Nazi connection, he sent off a message to his son, Indiana Jones.

Once Indiana Jones rescued his father, the two continued the quest for the Holy Grail. While it was still a personal quest of Henry’s, Indiana wanted to keep it safe from Nazi hands. So, the two traveled from Austria to Hatay, where they found the Grail temple.

Unfortunately, as they discovered the temple, the Nazis caught Indy, Henry, and the rest of their troop. As Donovan forced Indy to locate the Holy Grail for him, he shot Henry, mortally wounding him. Eventually, Indy returned with the Holy Grail in hand, allowing him to restore his father’s health. Sadly, the grail was lost to all for it could not leave the Grail Temple. Instead of gaining the grail, Henry gained a greater appreciation for his son during their quest.

1. Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones dedicated his life to adventuring to the various corners of the world to uncover relics from lost civilizations. Unlike some others who ventured into these lost civilizations, Indy sought these artifacts so that the academic world could study them. Still, he gained a reputation for his exploits and prowess in adventuring across the world.

As Indiana Jones traveled from place to place, he also picked up many various love interests. Most women that he met were little more than short flings during his adventures. However, there were those like Marion Ravenwood who became seriously entangled with him. While he almost married her during his younger years, he eventually left her because he felt inadequate. After he rediscovered her in Peru, along with his estranged son, he decided to fully settle down and marry her.

Despite all of Indiana Jones’s bravado and swagger, he was deathly afraid of snakes. Thus, he would freak out upon seeing a snake. This fear made it exceedingly difficult for him to descend into the snake-filled pits of the Well of the Souls.

Beyond his charming smile, Indiana Jones had two items that identified him. First, he always wore a dark brown fedora hat. He treasured this hat and would even reach back to reclaim it from a collapsing temple. Likewise, Indiana Jones relied on his bullwhip to get him out of any situation. This whip even helped him climb back onto a speeding truck.

Who were your favorite Indiana Jones characters?

Today, we have shared with you the top ten characters from the Indiana Jones franchise. We picked these characters based on their importance to the various movies that they appeared in. Also, we considered their importance to the overall story of Indiana Jones. Still, these are only our opinions. So, who were your favorite characters? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments down below!

Do you have old and used Indiana Jones toys?

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Made in Collaboration with:

Chris Ingledue 

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Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

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The Top Ten Characters from Indiana Jones
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The Top Ten Characters from Indiana Jones
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Join us as we explore the top ten characters from the Indiana Jones franchise, spanning Raiders to the Crystal Skull.
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