|“||Death should always come smartly dressed||”|
—Rothman to Yassen Gregorovich
Julia Charlotte Glenys Rothman is the main antagonist in the fifth Alex Rider novel, Scorpia.
|“||Mrs Rothman was stunning. There was no other way for Alex to describe her||”|
—Alex regarding Rothman's beauty
Rothman has black wavy hair which reaches her shoulders, blood red lips and perfect teeth. There is a notable hint of Welsh accent in her voice.
At the time of Scorpia, Rothman sat on the executive board of the criminal organization SCORPIA (having been one of the original twelve founders), and was in charge of their then latest assignment, Operation Invisible Sword.
Julia Rothman's parents were Welsh extremists who burned down the second homes of English tourists. According to Julia herself, they were also members of the local choir. Mr and Mrs Evans' terror career came to an end one day, when they torched the house of a family with the people inside, killing them, and leading to Julia's incarceration in a detention centre when her parents began a life sentence. Julia Rothman was born before the birth of SCORPIA and she fought in the Cold War, presumably for the UK and allies, as a spy. She tried to kill her colleagues, Winston Yu, Zeljan Kurst, and others before. But eventually they all decided to team up, and become colleagues to make money and make them rich. SCORPIA was born.
Early SCORPIA operations
Julia Rothman headed and managed some early operations well. Eventually, she came to a management position in the new operation, Invisible Sword, which would take place in London and involve the deaths of hundreds of schoolchildren by nanoshells when activated, if the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States didn't agree with the demands of SCORPIA and a supposed client; these demands included the United States withdrawing its military presence from every country on Earth, destroying its long-range weapons systems within six months, paying one hundred million dollars to the World Bank, and the President resigning immediately. The operations were headed alphebetically, otherwise there was no leader of SCORPIA; each leader was equal, but passed down the board, they were.
After the Invisible Sword conference, Max Grendel, one founder, said he wanted to retire and go to his castle with his family, since he didn't want his grandchildren to be killed. Julia Rothman pretended to honour his wish, but the other members were furious. Soon, Julia settled their anger by saying Max had enjoyed his time in SCORPIA and wanted to leave, he had served them faithfully. So, Julia gave him a parting present, which, when Max Grendel opened the box, turned out to be scorpions, in a box, which angrily crawled out and stung him to death, his reward for abandoning SCORPIA.
Julia Rothman had her birthday party at the Widow's Palace, and Nile broke into her study and found Alex there, trespassing. Alex told him he was John Rider's son, but Nile was too arrogant to listen (he usually did things before thinking about them), and put him to drown in a cell. Julia Rothman was horrified when she found out, and ran to the cell to pull Alex out, but he had vanished. She guessed he had swum down the well, and then sent Nile to blow up Monsanto Enterprises. However, Nile bumped into Alex there, and took Alex, recruiting him to SCORPIA.
Alex had dinner with Julia. Like his father, he was infatuated with her, because of her beauty. Julia Rothman dined Alex and charmed him, but she kept trying to get him to be a killer, which he knew he could never do. Julia Rothman, however, convinced Alex to join SCORPIA after showing him footage from the past where it proved that Tulip Jones, an MI6 agent, had ordered his father to be shot and killed.
Alex joined SCORPIA, and went to Malagosto island, outside Venice. But Julia Rothman had nothing but contempt for him; and she ordered the doctor, a smiling creep, to inject him with what he said was a vitamin sample, but was in fact the deadly nanoshells. Alex was now going to die with the rest of the schoolchildren. But Julia Rothman smiled sweetly and pretended she was still on his side. Alex was summoned one day a few weeks later into the principal's office; he had been contacted by Julia, and Julia Rothman wanted him to kill Tulip Jones, to prove his worth.
Alex then was flown to London, where he was smuggled in, because SCORPIA arranged a dramatic test of their nanoshells by having sixteen infected football players drop dead at eight pm. Alex was taken by Nile to a safe house and given instructions and a disguise.
But Alex was caught by MI6 after failing to kill Tulip Jones, and he realized he could never kill in the first place, and anyway, Tulip Jones had a safe pane of glass protecting her in her room. MI6 knew that Alex was going to be wanted back at SCORPIA, and so they arranged for him to first visit COBRA, and learn of the crisis, and then be taken back to SCORPIA. SCORPIA saw that not only had Alex supposedly killed Tulip Jones, but he had also supposedly endangered more civilians by causing a car crash (in reality, the crash was fake and staged by MI6). Julia Rothman fell for the fake.
Now back at SCORPIA (only armed with a communications satellite brace Smithers had given him) Alex had to convincingly lie to prove he was a killer. He convinced Nile and Julia, who approved of Alex and Julia Rothman said she would take him to see the finale of her experiment and research. This being the coffee, Julia Rothman was pleased when Alex seemed delighted and took him to a church where the dishes for the nanoshells were.
Julia Rothman showed him the full operation, and told him about the plan. That people would be killed because the government didn't give them money. Alex blurted out about how killing children was bad, but Julia, who hadn't told him about children, realised she had been double-crossed and that MI6 knew of her. She saw Alex's brace, made Alex take it out, and smashed it, but Alex had pressed the signal button and MI6 were on their way. Julia was prepared and alerted the guards.
Julia Rothman then told Alex he was going to die, but Alex ran off to the launching balloon rope, climbing up it, and Julia Rothman watched the battle begin. She first ordered Nile after Alex.
Julia Rothman then realized the battle was lost, and disguised herself, cleverly, as an old woman, by using simple makeup. She knew that it was too hopeless to stay in the church. She begged a soldier for his weapon, then killed him when he gave it to her. Julia Rothman then escaped and tried to run out, but was caught by the falling balloon platform, and crushed to death by her own weapon.
|“||I met a woman called Julia Rothman. She was very beautiful but a complete bitch.||”|
—James Adair regarding Rothman
Rothman was highly intelligent, but manipulative, ruthless and snake-hearted. Her callous nature was stemmed from her career in Scorpia. It is unknown if she was one of the founding members, but still was considered a vital part of the organisation, second only to Major Yu.
She was a brilliant actress and had a necessity to be all smiles with her enemies before going in for the kill. She had a strong level of self-control and a defensive state of mind. Her cunning and intelligence was frequently underestimated by the other members of the executive board of Scorpia.
She was cruel, calculating and pugnacious and not above killing her own subordinates. She was a psychopathic idealist who displayed Machiavellianism and hubris, as well as being sadistic and self-confident.
- Her death is strikingly similar to Alec Trevelyan, the main antagonist from the James Bond movie Goldeneye.
- She and Herod Sayle are the only two Alex Rider antagonists to attempt mass child massacres.
- Anthony Horowitz has stated that his envisioned appearance of Rothman was inspired by actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
- The mention of her parents committing arson of English-owned holiday homes suggests that they belonged to the paramilitary group Meibion Glyndŵr, who actually engaged in this practice.