A passionate, handsome farm boy turned daring, fearless pirate, Westley is Buttercup's true love. Not long after sailing away to secure a financial future for the two of them, he is taken captive aboard the ship of the Dread Pirate Roberts, where he learns to fence, fight, and eventually takes over as captain. He returns to Florin upon hearing of Buttercup's betrothal to Prince Humperdinck. He is kind, fair, quick-witted, and brave.
The doe-eyed farm owner turned forlorn princess and eventual damsel in distress, Buttercup is Westley's true love. As his master when they are younger, she is initially demanding toward him, but softens upon realizing her love for him, and his for her. She becomes deeply depressed upon falsely concluding that Westley has been murdered, a depression that leads her to agree to marry Florin's dishonorable Prince Humperdinck. She is brave, quick-thinking, and very passionate.
The conniving, cruel prince of Florin, Humperdinck arranges to marry Buttercup so that he may have her murdered and frame the enemy nation of Guilder for the crime, creating a reason to instigate war. He is intelligent but exceedingly dishonest, and not immune to love's sting himself, as Buttercup's disgust with him leads him to (almost) murder Westley in the Pit of Despair.
Inigo is an honorable, kind-hearted fencer working for Vizzini to stave off his poverty and alcoholism. He has spent the last 20 years studying fencing in preparation to defeat the six-fingered man who killed his father, whom he loved deeply. He is polite, determined, and incredibly skilled with a sword. It's implied that he succeeds Westley as the next Dread Pirate Roberts after the story ends.
Fezzik is an enormous man from Greenland working reluctantly under Vizzini. Despite his hulking size, he is gentle and kind. He opposes killing either Buttercup or Westley when Vizzini instructs him to. He enjoys rhyming, as he demonstrates aboard the boat used to kidnap Buttercup, and proves himself to have a huge heart over the course of the film.
Vizzini is a calculating but ultimately buffoonish crime boss from Sicily. He angers quickly and shouts constantly, and treats his subordinates poorly despite relying on their skills to do work that he cannot. He enjoys employing the word "inconceivable," often in inappropriate contexts. Despite his claiming to be more intelligent than Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, he dies after being tricked into drinking poison by Westley.
Count Rugen is Prince Humperdinck's cruel-hearted right-hand man. He is also the six-fingered man who murdered Inigo's father 20 years ago. He claims to be writing a book on pain and reacts with sinister calm in the face of Westley's torture in the Pit of Despair. In his final moments, he displays cowardice, promising Inigo anything he likes if he'll spare his life.
Max is a brilliant and wise-cracking miracle worker who lives in the woods with his batty wife, Valerie. He once worked for Prince Humperdinck's father, the King of Florin, until Humperdinck fired him, shattering his confidence. He agrees to help bring Westley back to life for Inigo and Fezzik, hoping that Westley will steal Buttercup from Humperdinck, thus humiliating him.
Max's loud and demanding wife. She lectures him on refusing to help bring Westley back to life.
The sick, unnamed boy who listens to the story along with us; we know little about the grandson except that he grows increasingly enthralled with the story over its progression, even asking for his grandfather to read it again the following day.
Like his grandson, the grandfather reading the story is mostly a mystery; he exists primarily as the book's narrator. When onscreen, he displays all the quintessential traits of a grandfather, from pinching his grandson's cheeks to criticizing the technology of the day. His father read him The Princess Bride when he was young, and he previously read it to the boy's father.
Prince Humperdinck's Chief Enforcer who heads the guards protecting the castle during the wedding but shows cowardice at the first threat of violence.
The Princess Bride (film) Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Princess Bride (film) is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.