The United Nations Secretary-General who conducts the official dealings with Karellen. A smart, intuitive, and elegant man, Stormgren trusts Karellen, even when he sometimes wonders what the Overlords' overall plan is. He is kidnapped by radicals within Wainwright's organization, but is freed by Karellen. He tries to see what Karellen and the Overlords' ship look like, but is thwarted in this plan. His remaining days are lived out quietly and contemplatively, as he knows he will not be around when the Overlords finally reveal themselves to humans.
Pieter Van Ryberg
Stormgren's second-in-command who briefly takes over as Acting Secretary-General when Stormgren is captured. He is warier of the Overlords and engages in many speculations as to who/what they are and what they want.
The intelligent, reserved, and compassionate spokesperson for the Overlords. Karellen initially deals only with Stormgren, and the two develop almost develop a friendship. Karellen knows what will happen to the human race, and is ambivalent about it. He works for the Overmind, like the other Overlords, but may be working on something on his own (this is speculation by Jan).
The brilliant Frenchman who is the Chief of the Science Bureau; Stormgren decides him as a first-rate second-rate man. He helps Stormgren construct the light device that will illuminate Karellen and his room.
The leader of the radicals who capture Stormgren, although he is still very much a subordinate to the group's actual leadership. He is large and boisterous but generally kind. Stormgren compares him to a child who becomes angry when he does not get his way. He enjoys playing poker with Stormgren.
The Blind Welshman
The leader of the radical group who sits and speaks with Stormgren to ascertain what he knows about Karellen and the Overlords. Cool, implacable, and serious, Stormgren sees this man and his compatriots as similar to Lenin and the other Russian revolutionaries.
A handsome and gregarious "supervet," Boyce lives in a gorgeous home in Africa and cycles through women frequently. He has many influential friends and the Overlords work with him in terms of procuring animals to study back on their ships. He hosts a lavish party at which the characters of Jean Morrel, George Greggson, Jan Rodricks, and the Overlord Rashaverak make their appearance. He is also heavily interested in the paranormal, the occult, telepathy, etc., and has a huge library of books on the subject; this library is what draws Rashaverak. Boyce's party also features an encounter with an Ouija Board and communication with an entity that provides Jan with fodder to conduct his future actions.
Boyce's newest wife, who is beautiful, smart, and elegant. She is Jan Rodricks' sister.
A 27-year-old African American man, Jan is brilliant and thoughtful. His interest in astronomy leads him to ask a question about where the Overlords' sun is, which then gives him the idea to stowaway on a ship to their home base. This is successful, and he is the only human to see the Overlords' cities and to glimpse the Overmind. He is also the Last Man, returning to an Earth devoid of humans and eventually dying himself when the Children destroy the Earth as they unite with the Overmind.
When first introduced, George is Jean's boyfriend and a wry, sardonic skeptic (and philanderer) uninterested in the pursuits of Jean and Rupert. He is shaken by the events at the party but represses them for a long time. He encourages his family to move to New Athens so he can live amongst artists like himself. When Jeffrey starts to change, though, he is more receptive to his intuition and the mysterious. He accepts what is happening before Jean does. He and Jean commit suicide along with the rest of the community after their children leave.
When first introduced, Jean is George's girlfriend and a firm believer in psychic powers, the paranormal, etc. She is extremely excited about Boyce's Ouija Board, but faints during the session with it. The Overlords identify her as someone special; this later proves to be the case because she is the mother of Jeffrey, the first child to begin to undergo the transformation. She loses her interest in those subjects for a while, but once the changes begin to affect her children and New Athens, embraces her intuition and connection to her children. She and George commit suicide along with the rest of the community after their children leave.
One of the most important Overlords, Rashaverak conducts research on the paranormal and telepathy in Rupert Boyce's library and is present for the Ouija Board encounter. Later he meets with George Greggson to talk about Jeffrey, and also helps guide Jan through the end of days for the human race. He is grave, wise but aware of his limitations, and rather kind.
Smart and wry, Professor Sullivan works on the ocean floor, conducting research and sending fake specimens up to the Overlords for them to study. He agrees to help Jan stow away, although is nervous about the young man's fate.
The 7-year-old son of George and Jean, and the first to manifest the evolution that all children under ten will undergo. He is a sweet and thoughtful boy who enjoys swimming in the ocean and spending time with his family. He is described as very normal although he is undergoing this transformation. The Overlords are very interested in his progress, even saving him from drowning in a tsunami so he can complete his change. The Overlords remove him and the other Children from the planet.
Charles Yan Sen
The chairman of the council on New Athens; he is responsible for showing the Inspector around.
An Overlord who visits New Athens to learn about Jeffrey Greggson and determine whether or not the colony is dangerous to the Overlords.
Jennifer Anne Greggson
The infant child of Jean and George, and sister to Jeffrey; her nickname is "the Poppet." She evolves much faster than Jeffrey does.
The Overlord who watches over Jan while he spends time with them, and shows him the Overlords' planet.
Childhood’s End Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Childhood’s End is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.