Alex Rider Wiki

That's what makes you such a great spy. It isn't that you were made one or trained to be one. It's just in that in your heart you are one.

Mrs Jones regarding Alex's talents as a spy

Alex Rider is the main character of the popular Alex Rider series of novels by British author Anthony Horowitz. He is also the main character of several short stories by Horowitz that are considered canon in the series.

Alex is a young agent for the Special Operations Department of the MI6, the British International Intelligence Service. At no more than fourteen years of age, Alex was forced into this occupation after MI6 noticed Alex's many talents. He has also worked for the CIA, SCORPIA and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (the ASIS).[12][13]


(See ‘Timeline’)

Early Life

Alexander Rider was born on February 13, 1996,[14] in East London, England, to John Rider, an MI6 agent and Helen Rider, at the time working as a nurse in radiology.

Alex was three months old when his mother and father were killed in an airplane "accident." Later, in Snakehead's missing chapter CODA, it is revealed that Alex’s godfather, Anthony Sean Howell (Ash, acronym of his three first initials), placed a bomb on their plane and detonated it under orders from SCORPIA's founding member Julia Rothman who was angry because John had tricked SCORPIA. Fortunately, Alex was not on the plane, having been left behind with a nanny due to an ear infection. He would have been flown out to them when he had recovered.[15][13]

Following his parent's demise, Alex’s paternal uncle Ian Rider adopted Alex and raised him in his house in Chelsea, London. Ian and Alex had a close relationship, doing practically everything together when Ian was home, which was not often as Ian was also secretly a secret agent who worked for the Special Operations Division of MI6.

Ian made Alex join Karate classes when he was six.[12] He also took Alex on foreign tours quite often. Among other places, Alex visited and stayed in the Marais district of Paris, France, and once even lived abroad for the best part of a year in Barcelona, Spain.[16][17] Alex mentioned driving a quad bike in the sand-dunes of Death Valley, Nevada on a holiday.[12] Ian taught him essential skills like, foreign languages,[12] snowboarding,[18] surfing and scuba diving,[19] which were later revealed in Stormbreaker to be a part of his spy training.

Alex also befriended Tom Harris, when he was six. Tom tells Kyra how he and Alex came to be best friends. Apparently, when he was six, Alex was being bullied by some older kids. Tom didn't protect him but, Alex 'stood up for himself like he always does.' Later, Tom had a laugh about it with Alex and they became friends.[20]

When Alex was seven years old, Ian hired Jack Starbright, a young American student, to move in with him and Alex and work as a part-time housekeeper and babysitter for Alex. Thus, Jack babysits Alex and keeps the house in order when Ian was on MI6 work. Alex and Jack became great friends over time.[12]

Alex is shown to attend Brookland Comprehensive School in almost every book and also in the movie and TV series.[12] Tom Harris is one of Alex's friends at Brookland. Raised in a somewhat different environment than most other boys his age, Alex tends not to relate much to his peers and does not have many close friends in the school. However, as he is not the type to seek popularity, Alex doesn’t mind this much.

From Alex’s hobbies, his favourite subjects in school are likely to be physical education and language. It is mentioned that he finds physics boring. Alex once showed remarkable skill in a mathematics class by solving a problem on the blackboard after just glancing at it, despite having been distracted most of the lesson.[12]

It is mentioned that the school secretary, Jane Bedfordshire, has always had a soft spot for Alex.[12][18]

Involvement with MI6

While investigating the death of his uncle, Ian Rider, Alex came to Alan Blunt's notice who thought that he would make a good replacement for Ian. He convinced (or rather blackmailed) Alex to work for him. Since, Alex has been on several official and unofficial missions, all notably in the same year. Though Alex normally attends Brookland School in London, his education has been interrupted several times due to his involvement with MI6. Jack Starbright has been seen worrying about his education in the novels, and even hires a tutor to help him catch up on the work he had missed while 'saving the world' in Eagle Strike.

Before Alex was forced to join MI6, he wanted to be a professional footballer, but is now unsure of what he wants to do when he finishes school, once jokingly stating he wanted to be a train driver. He still does not express any interest in following in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps in becoming a full-time MI6 agent.

The Missions


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Blunt had forced him into this. In the end, the big difference between him and James Bond wasn't a question of age. It was a question of loyalty. In the old days, spies had done what they'd done because they loved their country, because they believed in what they were doing. But he hadn't even been given a choice. Nowadays spies weren't employed, they were used.

—Alex Rider near the end of Stormbreaker

After brief training with the K-Unit at the SAS training camp, Brecon Beacons, Alex is sent to Cornwall to investigate the Middle-Eastern billionaire Herod Sayle. Posing as a competition winner Felix Lester, Alex gathers as much information as he can before his cover is blown. He learns of Sayle’s plan to kill the children of Britain with a modified smallpox virus hidden inside the Stormbreaker computers he was creating and distributing to the school's of England for free. After escaping from captivity and narrowly avoiding death at the tentacles of a Portuguese Man-O-War jellyfish, Alex manages to stop the launch and by action, the virus from being released. Alan Blunt and Mrs Jones both congratulate Alex on his bravery but, Alex becomes angry when the only reward is the peppermint offered to him by Mrs Jones, which he refused. After his meeting with the heads of MI6 Special Operations, Alex is kidnapped by Sayle because he ruined his plans. Sayle takes Alex to a helipad on the top of a skyscraper and tells Alex of his plans to escape by helicopter. Just as he is about to shoot Alex, the pilot, who is Yassen Gregorovich, shoots Herod Sayle.[12]

Point Blanc

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In his second mission, Alex is sent to investigate Dr Hugo Grief, the head teacher of the Point Blanc Academy, a school for troubled children in the French Alps. Undercover as Alex Friend, the rebellious son of Sir David Friend, Alex investigates the second and third floors, which the students are banned from. When Grief finds out about Alex’s investigation, he reveals his plan to replace the students at Point Blanc with clones of himself, surgically altered to look like them, in order to control the world’s major businessmen. Alex manages to escape after Grief informs him, he is to be dissected alive for a biology class, though is hospitalised after fleeing, Grief’s assistant Eva Stellenbosch later being told that he had died. However, this is not true, and Alex goes back with the SAS to storm the academy and save the real students. Alex is later attacked by the last clone Grief made (one which looked like him) and one of the two is killed in a fight at Alex’s school, though it is left ambiguous as to which Alex survived. It is later revealed that both might have survived because they meet again in Scorpia Rising.[18][14]

Skeleton Key

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In this third book, John Crawley convinces Alex to go to the Wimbledon Tennis Championship undercover as a ballboy to investigate a potential attempt to sabotage the games. Alex finds out the person who is responsible for sabotaging the games and kills him by freezing him. It is later revealed that the man was a part of the 'Big Circle' Triad. When the Big Circle finds out that Alex investigated them and killed one of their people, the Big Circle tries to kill him. To protect him from the Big Circle, he is sent on a mission with the CIA to Skeleton Key, an island near Cuba, to look into the affairs of General Alexei Sarov. He goes by the name of Alex Gardner, an American boy visiting the area on holiday. Two CIA agents accompany him, pretending to be his parents, though they are soon killed, and Alex becomes Sarov’s prisoner. Sarov says that Alex reminds him of his lost son, Vladimir, and wants to adopt him. Sarov plans to set off a nuclear bomb, the fallout of which would force the President of Russia out of power and lead to Russia reclaiming lost glory. When Alex ruins Sarov's plan (rather by chance) and declares that he rather be dead than have Sarov as a father, the General shoots himself. Alex is soon taken back to England.[19]

Eagle Strike

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After the house he is staying in whilst on holiday with Sabina and her family is blown up, Alex follows the man responsible, Yassen Gregorovich, and learns from the man’s phone that the man is in contact with famous singer Damian Cray. Suspecting that Cray may have been involved, he becomes determined to find the truth, stealing a ticket to a conference Cray is attending to introduce his new game console, the Gameslayer. Alex is asked to step up and play it, though Cray makes him lose by pulling his arm away.

Alex continues to investigate when Cray finds out what Alex is doing and forces him to take part in a real life replica of Cray’s video game. Before he escapes, he does some searching and steals the flash-drive he had seen Cray with before he was caught, knowing it was important. A furious Cray then kidnaps Sabina on Yassen’s advice to force Alex to return the flash-drive to him. Cray reveals his plan to launch 25 nuclear missiles and destroy all the drug sources in the world, claiming drugs to be “the greatest evil”. Alex and Sabina are then taken hostage by Cray and forced onto Air Force One, the Presidential Plane, where Cray can authorize the missiles release on. Yassen is shot dead when he refuses to kill Alex, though he is avenged moments later after Alex pushes Cray into the plane’s engine, killing him. Yassen tells Alex to find Scorpia before he dies, while Sabina disables Cray’s missile launch. Alex does not go undercover in this mission.[21]


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Alex, taking Yassen’s advice, takes the opportunity to go to Venice and find Scorpia, breaking into Widow’s Palace. Then by BASE jumping he infiltrates a drug factory and meets Nile. The latter brings Alex to meet Julia Rothman, who tells him his dad worked for them; Alex joins them and receives training to become an assassin. However, Alex fails his first mission (to kill Mrs Jones) and learns that Scorpia had lied, and were using him until the time came to kill him. They find out about Scorpia’s latest operation, which used nanotechnology to develop poison capsules that would kill all the children in Britain who had been injected with them, including Alex, when a radio signal reached a certain frequency. Alex manages to sabotage the project, and goes back to London to learn the truth about his father. As he leaves the building however, he is shot in the chest by a Scorpia assassin.[15]

Ark Angel

(Main Article)

Whilst Alex is in hospital recovering from the assassination attempt, he is forced into action when four armed men break into the hospital with the intention of kidnapping the boy in the room next door to him. Thinking he is Paul Drevin, they chase him through the hospital, though Alex injures them all. He is ultimately knocked unconscious and kidnapped, taken to an abandoned apartment block. He convinces the kidnappers, who call themselves Force Three, out of cutting off his finger by proving they have the wrong boy. After they lock him in a room and set the building on fire, Alex manages to escape by tight-rope walking on a banner, and is sent back to the hospital. Later, Alex is forced to go on holiday by Nikolei Drevin, Paul’s father, as a thank you for what he did. The CIA detain Alex briefly at the airport and ask them to keep an eye on Drevin, warning him that he is not what he seems.

Alex investigates while he is there and is soon captured, learning of Drevin’s involvement with Ark Angel, a revolutionary hotel in space. Millions of pounds in debt, Drevin hatches a plan to destroy Ark Angel by means of a bomb to get some of his money back, timing it so that the remains would fall on Washington and destroy all the evidence the CIA have against him at the same time, simultanously allowing him to reclaim insurance on Ark Angel, which he now regrets building. After escaping, the CIA send Alex up into space to deactivate the bomb on Ark Angel, while Drevin is killed in a plane crash when trying to leave the island. Alex moves the bomb to a different area inside Ark Angel so that it would just explode rather than hurtling back to Earth. While up there, he is attacked by Kaspar, the leader of Force Three, who was up there to check on the bomb. Kaspar is killed when he falls back on a knife, and Alex makes it to the escape pod minutes before Ark Angel blows up. He crashes down to Earth and lands thousands of miles off the Australian Coast.[22]


(Main Article)

After landing in Australia, Alex is soon rescued and debriefed before being sent on another mission. Although he initially refuses, he learns of his godfather Ash’s existence and decides to take part in order to possibly learn more about his past and family. Posing as Abdul Hassan, a refugee being smuggled to Australia by the Snakehead, Alex travels to Indonesia with Ash, who poses as his father, though they get separated on the way. Alex is caught by Major Winston Yu, a man involved with the Snakehead and Scorpia, and tells him how he plans to kill eight significant people by detonating a bomb in the sea, causing a tsunami, to make it look like an accident which would also kill thousands of innocent people. Because Alex was responsible for the failure of Invisible Sword and inflicted significant damage on the Liberian Star, he informs Alex that he will be used as a transplant donor for money, and Alex is sent to the hospital straight afterwards. After three days Alex escapes by means of a makeshift kayak, motivated by the knowledge that his eyes would be transplanted the next day. He is soon rescued by MI6 and sent back to the oil rig where the bomb would be detonated. Upon arriving, Alex and Ben Daniels confront Major Yu and his assistant, who is revealed to be Ash, a double agent for Scorpia who was the one who killed Alex’s parents. After Ash is killed by Ben, Major Yu escapes, but when Alex sets the bomb off early it harmlessly goes off, though kills Major Yu in the resulting shockwave due to his fragile bone structure (osteoporosis).[13]

Crocodile Tears

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Alex is celebrating New Year's with Sabina Pleasure, going into a party hosted by Desmond McCain. In the party, Alex beats McCain in a game, and then they decide to leave. On the way, McCain shoots one of the tires on the car Alex was in, and they go tumbling down a lake. Luckily, Rahim saves them. Later, Harold Bulman tries to reveal Alex Rider as an agent of M16, and Alex as

ks M16 for them to stop Bulman, in order to save his reputation. Blunt agrees, but only if he helps them investigate Greenfields. Alex does that, which leads him onto an investigation that leads him to McCain, and he is then captured by him and taken to Tanzania. There, he discovers his real plan, to cause a massive epidemic so his medical charity, First Aid, can stop the epidemic and earn lots of money off of it. There, he busts the plan by blowing up a dam and causing a massive flood to wipe out a poisoned grain field, causing the virus to be eradicated. Then, Rahim flies Alex Rider off to a nearby town, where Rahim is then unexpectedly killed by McCain. McCain then tries to kill Alex, so Rider decides to stick in an exploding gel pen into a barrel of oil nearby, and roll it over to the villian. McCain is then incinerated, and dies.

Scorpia Rising

(Main Article)

Scorpia Rising, the ninth novel in the Alex Rider series, was released in March 2011. In the book, Scorpia is hired to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. Their plan includes the laying of a false trail to Cairo, Egypt, killing Alex Rider, and blackmailing London into returning the Marbles. MI6 falls for the trap and Alex is sent to Cairo, where, unbeknownst to Alex, Scorpia is pulling the strings. It is revealed later that Abdul-Aziz al-Razim and Alex's old enemy, Julius Grief, are operating for the humiliation of Great Britain with the Horseman File, a collection of evidence that MI6 are using children for spies. Alex and Jack Starbright are captured by Julius Grief and his superior, Erik Gunter, and taken to Razim's mansion in the desert. Alex is experimented on, involving the death of Jack Starbright. Scorpia proceed with the operation and Julius Grief prepares to shoot the head of American defense. Rider escapes, kills Gunter and pursues Grief through Cairo just as a storm begins. An intense gunfight breaks out between the two combatants which ends in Grief being defeated and murdered in cold blood. The CIA invade Razim's mansion and kill him, after which Alex is seen kneeling next to Jack Starbright's corpse. After, he his sent to America, where he'll be living with Sabina Pleasure and her parents.

Never Say Die

(Main Article)

In the book, Alex Rider is slowly recovering from Jack's death, when he receives an email that makes Rider believe that Jack is still alive. He goes back to Razim's Fortress, where he discovers a clue in the footage that was recording Jack's supposed, "death." This leads him through many places, until he finds out that Giovanni and Eduardo Grimaldi, former SCORPIA members, saved Jack Starbright from death. He also discovers the two's plans to capture 52 children and hold them for ransom. Alex is then found by M16 again, and they ask Alex to help them investigate the twins. This leads through a series of events until Alex Rider finds Jack Starbright nursing the 52 schoolchildren in an abandoned coal processing factory, (which was also the HQ for the Grimaldi Twin's plans.) Rider and Starbright decide to help the children escape, and they had almost did it undiscovered, but the twins found out, and they decided to chase the protagonists and children with a steam train. Luckily, Alex threw a canteen full of diesel oil inside the train's chimney, making the train explode and killing the Grimaldis. They successfully escaped, and Alex Rider was rewarded with 5 million dollars.


(Main Article)


John Rider

John was very close to Alex and Helen as is apparent by the fact that he very much missed his family when he was away working for SCORPIA. Later, he resigned from MI6 to spend more time with his his son and his wife. He was on a family vacation with his wife when his plane was bombed and he and Helen died.[15]

Helen Rider

Not much is known about Alex's mother, Helen, but because she knew about John's profession and loved John, it can be assumed that she cared a lot for Alex and was a loving mother in the three months she knew him. She died in a arranged plane crash because of her husband's risky profession, leaving behind her orphaned son.[15]

Ian Rider

Ian Rider adopted his nephew after his brother and his wife died in an occupational causality. Alex says that he never really knew his uncle because he was mostly working for the MI6, Ian cared for Alex as is apparent in Stormbreaker when Alex finds his photos in Ian Rider's office at Royal & General Bank. Alex never thought Ian was a sentimental man. Alex felt that he knew very little about the man when clues laid down by Ian Rider helped Alex investigate Herod Sayle.[12] Before finding out his uncle's real profession, Alex thought he was a boring man to which Jack opposed by saying that they did fun things, too.[23]

Jack Starbright

Since her arrival in Alex’s life when he was seven years old,[12] Jack has been an important person in his life, becoming one of his closest friends over time. After Ian died, she became Alex’s guardian, and though only hired to care for Alex, they have grown attached and their relationship has deepened. However, Alex’s MI6 life places a strain on their relationship, as Jack is always worried and upset that Alex’s life is constantly being put in danger. Though he didn't tell her the details of his mission, she helped Alex in Eagle Strike and even lost her job because she was doing a job for Alex.[21][20] When she was killed in Crocodile Tears, it seriously pushed Alex over the edge. He was empty, and colder afterwards.[24]

Sabina Pleasure

Alex met Sabina at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in Britain. The two became friends and Alex started liking her but she was interested in older men. When she grows suspicious about Alex's disappearnces and Alex tells her the truth about his being a spy, sorta like James Bond, she thinks that it is a joke. In the epilogue of Skeleton Key, Sabina introduces Alex to her parents and takes him to dinner. According to Alex, the day was cloudy and grey before he met Sabina but, after he met her it turned out to be a sunny day.[19] In Eagle Strike, Sabina invited Alex to spend his summer vacation with her in Cornwall. She expresses her feelings for Alex, kissing him a couple of times and telling him more than once that she thinks he is attractive. After her father is targeted, Alex tries to tell her that he really is a spy but, she refuses to believe him and gets angry when he insists it’s the truth. After they are kidnapped by Damian Cray, however, she apologizes to him. She leaves with her family to live in America soon after. Though she insists that they can still be friends or more, Alex does not believe her and thinks that this is the end of their relationship.[21] In the TV series, however, their relationship is highly underrated. As Skeleton Key was not included in the TV series, a large part of their relationship was cut. Sabina was very rude to Alex when he told her that he was in fact a spy and did not even give an appropriate apology later. In the aftermath, she simply told him that she liked him and Alex hugged her.[20]

Tom Harris

Alex’s best friend at Brookland, Tom Harris, knows about Alex’s involvement with MI6 but unlike Alex’s other friend Sabina, is very supportive of him and covers for him whenever he needs it.[21][24]Tom Harris is Alex's best friend but he isn't even mentioned in the first four books in the series. This may indicate that Alex is not very close to him. He makes his first appearance in Scorpia. Initially, Alex doesn't tell him anything about his involvement with MI6 and his mission of finding SCORPIA. Yet, Tom helps Alex in his mission in any way possible. Later, when Alex meets Tom on the train after escaping from SCORPIA, Alex tells Tom everything about his involvement with MI6, his past missions and whatever he knows about SCORPIA. Unlike with Sabina, Tom and his elder brother Jerry believe Alex immediately. Jerry teaches Alex BASE jumping and Alex BASE jumps into Consanto Enterprises.[15]

The fact that Tom isn't even mentioned in the first four books i.e., Stormbreaker to Eagle Strike, suggests that Alex is not very close to Tom. In the TV series, however, Tom is shown to be very close to Alex. Tom and Alex hang out everyday and in Episode One, when Alex was grounded, Tom says that he cannot go to a school party without Alex.[25]

Kyra Vashenko-Chao

Kyra is a character that only appears in the TV series. She was one of Alex's fellow students at Point Blanc. Initially, Alex befriends James Sprintz and Laura. Kyra is initially a shy and sarcastic person. But when Alex tells James about the "dream" he had on his first night, Kyra says that she had the same dream. Kyra senses that Alex is hiding something from her and so she doesn't trust him. But when she rescues Alex from Dr Greif, Alex tells her about him being a spy.

Mrs Jones

Alex first met Mrs Jones when she briefed him for his first mission.[12] Mrs. Jones is very sympathetic to Alex, and offers reassurance when Alex is uneasy about what is required to do for his missions. Mrs. Jones shows great concern for Alex's situation - often protesting that he is not be used again, but all the while admitting that he is useful to MI6. She shows signs of great attachment to Alex, of an almost motherly kind. Mrs. Jones also has hinted that she has had children (at least two) and that they were taken from her, which could contribute to why she has so much sympathy for Alex. In Scorpia Alex was sent assassinate Mrs. Jones, because he believed Mrs.Jones contributed in his fathers death, but he failed to do so because of a glass shield installed by Smithers that cracked but didn't shatter (The trajectory also showed the bullet went over her head and missing the target). He then learned the truth about his father and forgive her (because it's actually Julia Rothman that killed his father). It is also revealed in Scorpia that her first name is Tulip, as her parents were keen gardeners.[15]

Yassen Gregorovich

Alex first met the Russian contract killer who killed his uncle on Herod Sayle's ground during his mission in Stormbreaker.[12] At the time, Alex originally vows to kill him. Later, during the events of Eagle Strike, it is revealed that Gregorovich worked with Alex's father John 15 years prior. When Gregorovich's friend captures Alex, Gregorovich is able to arrange for Alex to do bullfighting instead of being shot directly, leading to Alex being able to escape. At the end of the novel, when Damian Cray (the man who hired Gregorovich) orders him to kill Alex, he refuses, because he loved Alex's dad after he saves him from a black widow, and is shot and killed. Before dying, Gregorovich tells Alex that he worked with his father, and if Alex does not believe him to go and find Scorpia, the terrorist group that killed Alex's parents.[21]

Tamara Knight

Tamara Knight's only physical appearance is in Ark Angel. She is seen as a "cold-blooded businesswoman" throughout most of the book, though Alex does not really see her as one. Alex finds Tamara to be beautiful, though the book does not outright state this. It is mostly implied through him mentioning that her eyes are attractive. Tamara and Alex warm up to each other the more time they spend with one another. It is when Tamara saves Alex from drowning after being intentionally trapped inside of an underwater shipwreck when the truth is finally revealed. Tamara Knight is revealed to be a secret agent working for the CIA, and it seems that Alex develops a sort of crush on Tamara. Their relationship only develops further towards the end of the book, after the CIA take control of the island when Tamara takes Alex's hand and holds it as she and other CIA operatives try to convince Alex to go into space to save Washington. The final time we see Tamara in person is when Alex is strapped into the space pod and is about to depart. Tamara is seen potentially kissing Alex, before wishing him good luck. This, alongside her character being mentioned in the SAS report shown in the very next book, may just be enough to categorize Tamara Knight as a love interest for Alex

Differences in the TV series

Season One

You’re like a ninja. A really, really bad one.

Kyra Vashenko-Chao on Alex

Covering the events of Point Blanc, the premise is largely the same with only minor variations. Rather than everything being revealed to Alex by Dr. Greif, Alex breaks into the basement (not the third floor) and discovers or deduces the extent of Dr. Greif's Gemini Project. Further, he does not escape from Dr. Greif alone, but rather is freed by Kyra Vashenko-Chao, another student at Point Blanc Academy. He then works with MI6 to trick Eva Stellenbosch into thinking he "flat-lined" and died after getting hit by a truck. After MI6 raids and shuts down Point Blanc, his clone does indeed come after him as in the novel, but there is no ambiguity that the real Alex survived, with Tom Harris immediately deducing which is the real Alex and allowing Clone Alex to be singled out and eliminated.

Season Two

Season Three


Alex is fluent in several languages - as well as his native English, he speaks fluent French and Spanish, and some German. He also speaks basic Italian and Japanese.[12][26]

Alex is also highly skilled in many activities, including extreme sports - martial arts (a black belt in karate & is skilled in Aikido), scuba diving, abseiling, mountain climbing, surfing, cycling, shooting, kayaking, climbing and snowboarding. He also plays football and is captain of his school's football team. Alex is also skilled in snooker, and represents the junior team at his local snooker club.[27]

Alex is an accomplished, skillful and proficient martial artist. Through a combination of his variety of skills and using whatever is around him as a weapon gives Alex an advantage against dangerous opponents, notably him being able to defeat Nile and Conrad through using his surroundings and their own weaknesses to defeat them, even when they've gained the upper hand and are close to killing him. He has exceptionally fast reflexes and relies mainly on the element of surprise and psychological and tactical advantages.

While on a trip to Prague in the Czech Republic, Alex learned the "art" of pickpocketing from his uncle, who showed him the techniques of the Artful Dodger, from Oliver Twist. He puts this skill to use when he needs a V.I.P pass to enter a conference during his investigation of Damian Cray, though he feels remorse about doing so. Alex's athletic talents also greatly assist him during his missions many times: for example, in Stormbreaker, he rides a four-wheeler to elude guards;[12] in Point Blanc he snowboards down a mountain on an ironing board to escape the Point Blanc Academy;[18] in Skeleton Key he scuba dives in order to find his partners;[19] in Scorpia he BASE jumps into a factory,[15] in Ark Angel he walks between two skyscrapers on a tightrope[22] and in Snakehead, he successfully kayaks down a dangerous river on a makeshift kayak.[13]

As the series progresses, Alex becomes exceptionally more skilled at spying, to the point that he sometimes investigates and pursues some enemies by himself while not on an MI6 mission. The first of these was in Eagle Strike.[21]

Alex has repeatedly shown himself to be highly strategic, able to calmly assess a situation and work out the best way to adapt to it. He's frequently thwarted the plans of the many antagonists he's encountered in his missions, prevailing through his own talent, his gadgets, luck and sometimes his enemies' overconfidence. It's because of his talents that many intelligence agencies seek to use him as a spy due to him always being able to complete a mission, regardless of how much the odds are against him.

Physical Appearance

Sabina Pleasure: Aren't there any good-looking boys in France? Apart from you, I mean
Alex Rider: So how many do I get out of twenty?
Sabina Pleasure: Twelve and a half. But don't worry Alex. In another twelve years you'll be perfect

—Sabina Pleasure discussing Alex's appearance

Alex is described as being a strikingly good looking 15 year old boy, with fair hair (as said in Stormbreaker) or light brown hair (as said in Crocodile Tears and Scorpia Rising) and a handsome slender face that would “attract plenty of girls.” He also has serious brown eyes and a slightly hard, narrow mouth.

Well built and slim with a slight tan, Alex is described as having “the body of an athlete”. He is 5’7” tall and he weighs 120 pounds (around 8.6 stone). By the time of Scorpia Rising, however, it states that he's grown to be 5'10", and while still slim, it also mentions that he's filled out considerably. It is mentioned that he has a birthmark on his left shoulder, and he mostly wears casual clothing such as baggy jeans and hoodies. He often wears a wooden bead necklace, and in Snakehead, it is revealed that Alex wears boxer shorts.[12]

In the summer he tends to wear reefer sandals.[citation needed]

As time passes through the novels, although Alex stays fourteen, he is described as looking older than he actually is – although he is also going through puberty, this is mainly due to the difficulties and pain he endures because of his involvement with MI6: It is said in Eagle Strike by Jack that every time Alex arrives back from a mission he appears "more scuffed up".[16][21]


He's too good at what he does… too good at his job. And it's in his blood. It's rather odd. Most schoolboys dream of being spies. With Alex, we have a spy who dreams of being a schoolboy.

—Alan Blunt regarding Alex's talents for a spy

Alex has become quite headstrong, courageous independent in his character as a result of having no parents. Quick-witted and good at assessing the dangers ahead of him, particularly on missions, he has a very strong level of intuition. Though he is prone to extreme emotion at times (such as fear and panic) he never lets it get the better of him. Shown to be a mature teenager, Alex is good at analzsing situations, before then often going on to handle them better than most adults would be able to.

He has a good-hearted personality and maintains this even after being exposed to death and danger on a regular basis because of his involvement with MI6. He is shown to have a good sense of humour, often aiming bits of snarky and dry mockery at his enemies despite the danger that he is in. He purposefully does this because he knows that people make more mistakes when they're angry. He is also pessimistic and can be rather rigid towards people, especially to Tom Turner and Belinda Troy in Skeleton Key, since they keep ignoring and antagonising him, despite the fact that he saved their lives.

He is extremely self-sacrificing, brave and selfless a person, always willing to give himself up for his friends or family. He is also sarcastic and frequently angers those around him with a cutting remark. He cares very much for people such as Jack Starbright or Sabina Pleasure. He is rather deductive and extensively intelligent, displaying a natural talent for espionage techniques. He is an excellent tactician and an adept spy, using several of his teenage characteristics to his advantage.

After each and every mission, Alex is severely traumatized. By the end of Scorpia Rising, he's profoundly emotionally damaged. Losing his housekeeper, the only adult who really cared about him, was a major blow, but shooting Julius was also a contributing factor. Not only did he kill another human being, he killed a person who looked just like him. Essentially, he killed himself. Because of this, he is mostly quiet and brooding after it's all over. The head of CIA, Joe Bryne compared it to "As if he had aged ten years."[16] However, Edward Pleasure is hopeful and determined to help Alex recover and heal.


  • Alex's official year of birth is stated as being 1987, with Alex stating in Point Blanc that he was two years old in 1989.[18] However, in Snakehead Alex remembers the Boxing Day Tsunami (2004).[13] Then in the US version of Crocodile Tears, it mentions Obama as being the President of the United States.[24] Considering these events, his birth year would more reliably be January 22, 1996.
  • Alex Rider is originally stated as being "tall for his age" in Stormbreaker. Snakehead, however, claims him to be 5'7" and short for his age.[12][13] However, in the novel Crocodile Tears (novel), once again he is described as getting noticeably taller.[24]


  • Alex is onychophagiac (bites his nails). This is a common habit associated with anxiety due to nervousness and stress, revealed in Point Blanc.[18]
  • Alex does not like horse riding. This is a notable irony about Alex, as his name is Rider - and riding is the only sport he hates.[18]
  • Alex's favourite soft drink is Coke - whenever offered a drink, Coke is what he usually chooses, as shown in various times throughout the series.[18] When Alex is in Italy, his favorite dessert is granita, as mentioned in Scorpia.[15] When in France, Alex enjoys sirop de grenadine, a type of bright red fruit juice with ice. This is first mentioned while Alex is in France with Jack Starbright in Eagle Strike.[21]
  • He didn't start using expletives in the series until he was forced to go on a 12-hour hike near the end of his SAS training, where he was mentioned to have directed his fury at Alan Blunt for having to suffer through unfair consequences before he could be considered fit enough for MI6 field work.
  • To date, Alex has been hospitalized six times.
    • In Point Blanc after a snowboarding accident
    • In Skeleton Key after Sabina gave him CPR when he nearly drowned
    • In Skeleton Key after he was injured in Murmansk
    • In Scorpia after he was shot by a sniper
    • In Snakehead, Alex was hospitalised to be used as a transplant donor against his will
    • In Crocodile Tears, he was hospitalized after having fractured his ankle and receiving burns from an exploding fuel drum.[13][24][15][18][19]
  • As of Scorpia Rising, Alex has been knocked out over eight times
    • In Stormbreaker by an MI6 driver
    • In Stormbreaker again by Mr Grin
    • In Point Blanc by Mrs Stellenbosch
    • He passes out in Skeleton Key
    • In Scorpia by Nile
    • In Ark Angel by Kaspar
    • In Snakehead by Winston Yu
    • In Scorpia Rising where he is again rendered unconscious
  • Similarly, Alex has used karate in almost every occasion.
    • In Stormbreaker against an MI6 driver
    • In Point Blanc against Mrs Stellenbosch
    • In Skeleton Key against Carlos
    • In Eagle Strike against Franco
    • In Scorpia against Nile
    • In Snakehead against Sunthorn
    • In Scorpia Rising against an enemy agent.
  • Alex's blood type is A positive, as mentioned in Snakehead.
  • Alex always wears mud shoes, although they don't seem muddy on the outside.
  • Alex once shot a worker at Sayle Enterprises. It is unknown exactly who he murdered, because they don't mention this in the novel Stormbreaker or show this happening in the movie.[13]
  • It is mentioned in Snakehead that he was reminded of Nikolei Drevin by Winston Yu, both of whom seemed to have transported their houses from one country to another.
  • Out of the instances where he has gadgets, they fail him twice.
    • The first is in Point Blanc, where he activates a distress signal but MI6 ignores him and he ends up escaping from the academy of his own accord.
    • The second is in Snakehead, where the watch Smithers provides him is deactivated by Ash and he eventually escapes using an exploding coin.
  • Out of the gadgets he receives, he uses them to escape from near-death encounters except for two.
    • Stormbreaker - He uses metal-dissolving zit cream to smash open the tank with Sayle's jellyfish.
    • Point Blanc - He cuts the window to his room with a CD player and uses a suit Smithers provided him with to ski down the mountain.
    • Skeleton Key - He frees himself from handcuffs with explosive chewing gum
    • Eagle Strike - He wears a bulletproof vest which protects him against Cray's gunshots
    • Scorpia - He uses the brace given to him to alert the SAS when Scorpia agents meet with him
    • Ark Angel - Tamara Knight uses an explosive issued by MI6 to blast open a ship door to stop him from drowning
    • Snakehead - He uses an explosive coin to escape from Winston Yu's organ transfer facility
    • Crocodile Tears - Rahim saves him from the crocodiles
    • Scorpia Rising - With all his gadgets removed, Alex requests that Gunter give him a cigarette, but the box actually contains a scorpion. When he is stung, Gunter is then smashed in the face by Alex using his own pistol, causing him to fall to the ground and snap his neck.
  • Also, out of the first 6 books, MI6 only used him twice, in Stormbreaker and Point Blanc.
    • Skeleton Key - He was sent to "work" for the CIA, originally meant to watch from the sidelines until his "family" finished their work.
    • Eagle Strike - He chose to go after Damian Cray as an act of revenge.
    • Scorpia - He went on his own volition to find out about the criminal organisation, as well as his father's motive for supposedly joining them.
    • Ark Angel - Nikolei Drevin insisted that Alex joined him presumably to allow him to recover from his near-fatal "bicycle accident".

Useful Links


Stormbreaker Characters
Main Characters
Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightHerod SayleYassen Gregorovich
Other Key Characters
Ian RiderSmithersNadia VoleMr. GrinWolfJohn Crawley
Point Blanc Characters
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Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightHugo GriefEva Stellenbosch
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David FriendSmithersJames SprintzMichael J. RoscoeWolfJohn CrawleyFiona FriendJulius Grief
Skeleton Key Characters
Main Characters
Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightAlexei SarovSabina Pleasure
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Joe ByrneSmithersBelinda TroyTom TurnerConradJohn CrawleyBoris Kiriyenko
Eagle Strike Characters
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Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightDamian CraySabina PleasureYassen Gregorovich
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Edward PleasureSmithersLiz PleasureMarc AntonioCharlie RoperJohn RiderHenryk
Scorpia Characters
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Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightJulia RothmanNile
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Graham AdairSmithersMark KellnerGeorge AdairTom HarrisJerry HarrisHarold Liebermann
Ark Angel Characters
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Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightNikolei DrevinPaul DrevinMagnus Payne
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Joe ByrneSmithersTamara KnightMax WebberEd ShulskyJohn Crawley
Snakehead Characters
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Alex RiderTulip JonesJack StarbrightEthan BrookeAshMajor Winston Yu
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SmithersBen DanielsSabina PleasureBill TannerAnan SukitHermann De WynterMarc Damon
Crocodile Tears Characters
Main Characters
Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightDesmond McCainSabina PleasureLeonard Straik
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Edward PleasureSmithersLiz PleasureJohn CrawleyRavi ChandraHarry BulmanMyra BennettRahim
Scorpia Rising Characters
Main Characters
Alex RiderJack StarbrightAlan BluntAbdul-Aziz Al-RahimJulius Grief
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SmithersTulip JonesJoe ByrneErik GunterZeljan KurstYannis Ariston Xenopolos
Never Say Die Characters
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Alex RiderJack StarbrightGrimaldi TwinsTulip Jones
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WolfFrankie StalloneSkunkDragana NovakJane VosperSabina Pleasure
Nightshade Characters
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Alex RiderJack StarbrightTulip JonesFrederick Gray
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