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Ex-Marine and historian Jack Ryan is on a working vacation with his wife and daughter when he witnesses Irish terrorists attack the Prince and Princess of Wales. Ryan springs into action and kills one terrorist and captures the other. Ryan is hailed as a hero, but soon finds himself a target of the Ulster Liberation Army. In particular, Sean Miller, the terroris he captured.
Tropes Applying to the Book
- Ascended Extra: Robby Jackson was a minor view point character in The Hunt for Red October, but here he is revealed to be one of Ryan’s closest friends and allies.
- Becoming the Mask: Dennis Cooley goes undercover as a man who sells rare books and Geoffrey Watkins as a regular customer for their meetings. Both, however, genuinely grow to enjoy it.
- Big Bad: Kevin O’Donnell.
- Black Best Friend: Robby.
- Co-Dragons: Alex Dobbens and Sean Miller.
- The Chessmaster: Kevin O’Donnell.
- Da Chief: MI5 Commander James Owens gives off this vibe.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dan Murray and Robby. Jack has some shades, though he only really becomes this when he’s drugged up on morphine and painkillers for his gunshot wound.
- Dumb Muscle: Eamon “Ned” Clark.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dennis Cooley is abruptly shot by friendly fire during the raid on the Ryan house.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Alex Dobbens is uncomfortable with the attack on Ryan’s wife and daughter, but not enough to do it for the money Miller offers. When the ULA once again teams up with the Movement to capture the Prince and Princess of Wales, Dobbens only agrees to go along with it as long as Cathy and Sally are not hurt. This leads to Miller dismissing him as soft.
- Evil Is Petty: Miller wants to kill Ryan because Ryan broke his perfect record of missions.
- Face Death with Dignity: Inspector Bob Highland faces being held at gunpoint by Miller and O’Donnell by refusing to give them satisfaction. He survives, but has to relearn how to walk.
- Hero of Another Story: FBI Agent Ed Donoho seems to be the protagonist of a drama.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: The ULA.
- The Mentor:
- Sergeant-Major Breckinridge tries to serve as one to Ryan about guns, and seems to serve as one for Sergeant Cummings.
- Greer intends to serve as one for Ryan. Marty Cantor also winds up serving as one for Greer, though in more of a Stealth Mentor way.
- The Mole: Geoffrey Watkins is the man on the inside for the ULA and Dennis Cooley’s contact.
- Only Sane Man: On the villains’ side, Dobbens is the most competent and sane, as Miller is going insane and O’Donnell is completely blind to it.
- Sanity Slippage: Miller was never a stable person, but his obsession with Ryan slowly drives him mad and makes him more and more unstable and irrational. He winds up snapping and killing Dobbens before chasing after Ryan.
- Scary Black Man: Alex.
- The Sociopath: Miller.
- The Starscream: O’Donnell was trying to do this to the IRA by replacing their leadership, until he split off with his followers to form the ULA.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: O’Donnell disappears after Miller kills Dobbens, weird for the Big Bad.
- Ungrateful Bastard. Miller is saved from Prison Rape by Highland, yet makes sure to shoot him in the gut during his escape because he believes Highland orchestrated it.
Tropes Applying to the Film
- Adaptational Villainy: Sean Miller is even crazier and more violent than he is in the book. Played with as his motive for revenge on Ryan is much less petty than in the book.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the book, Miller hated Ryan because he ruined his perfect record of missions. Here, it’s because Ryan killed his brother.
- Adaptational Wimp: Dennis Cooley.
- Death by Adaptation:
- Sean Miller is killed in a boat crash.
- Dennis Cooley is Killed by Miller and O’Donnell after they realize he is useless.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Paddy O’Neil is disgusted by the attack on Ryan’s family.
- Face Death with Dignity: Highland, as in the book. Here, however, he doesn’t make it.