The following notable Scottish characters have appeared in fictional works.

The Scottish people or Scots, are an ethnic group indigenous to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of Celtic peoples — the Picts, the Gaels, and the Brythons. The Latin word Scotti originally applied to a particular, 5th century, Gaelic tribe that inhabited Ireland.[1][2] In modern use, "Scottish people" or "Scots" refer to anyone born in Scotland or who has family origins in Scotland.

Fictional Scottish characters[]

  • Amy Pond - a companion of Doctor Who. The character was originally conceived as English but was changed to use the natural Inverness accent of the actress playing the part.[3]
  • Jean Brodie, the titular character in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, exemplifies aspects of both Calvinist and Roman Catholic influence in Scotland.[4]
  • The Broons - a large, tenement-dwelling, extended family in the D.C.Thompson cartoon strip of that name. The publisher's similar strips about the young lad, Oor Wullie, are set in the same fictional town of Auchenshoogle.[5]
  • Conner and Duncan MacLeod were immortal Highlanders in film and television.[6]
  • Donald Farfrae successfully romances the Mayor of Casterbridge's lover and daughter. Simultaneously "sentimental and astute", he is one of the earliest examplars of Kailyardism.[7]
  • Dr. Finlay - the central character of popular stories by A.J.Cronin, set in the fictional village of Tannochbrae. Other characters included partner Dr Cameron, housekeeper Janet and rival Dr Snoddie.[8] The television productions have been seen as an example of modern Kailyardism.[9]
  • Fat Bastard - a grotesquely fat Scotsman in the Austin Powers comedies.[10]
  • Fingal - hero of the Ossian poem by James Macpherson.[11] Notable features such as Fingal's Cave are named after him.[12]
  • Groundskeeper Willie - a well-loved character in The Simpsons. He has flaming red hair and a powerful, muscular body.[13] A 2007 study conducted in the US concluded that Willie was the character that US residents "...most believe personifies the Scottish temperament."[14]
  • Jack Parlabane - journalist hero of the novels by Christopher Brookmyre such as Quite Ugly One Morning.[15][16]
  • James Bond - following the success of Sean Connery in the role, author Ian Fleming gave Bond a mixed parentage - a Scottish father and Swiss mother. This background gave the character a colonial perspective, being an outsider in England.[17]
  • Jamie McCrimmon - an early companion of Doctor Who. He was a piper and wore a kilt.[18]
  • Minerva McGonagall - the head of Gryffindor house in the Harry Potter stories. She was named after the notorious Scottish poet William McGonagall.[19]
  • Moira MacTaggert - the colleague and sometime fiancée of Professor X in the X-men comic.[20]
  • Montgomery Scott - the chief engineer in Star Trek, who was regularly ordered with the famous catchphrase, "Beam me up, Scotty".[21] The actor, James Doohan, was Canadian and auditioned with a variety of accents but suggested that Scottish would be best for the character, following the long tradition of Scottish nautical engineering. Director Gene Roddenberry liked the accent and so it was settled.[22]
  • Neil Niren MD - the dermatologist in Only When I Laugh
  • Para Handy - the captain of a puffer on the Clyde in the popular stories by Neil Munro, which have been filmed many times.[23] His crew included Dan Macphail, Dougie, Hurricane Jack, Sunny Jim and The Tar.[24]
  • Private James Frazer - the miserly undertaker in Dad's Army[25] who comes from the bleak Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides.[26]
  • Rab C. Nesbitt - a dissolute Glaswegian in the eponymous comedy.[27]
  • Redgauntlet is a novel by Sir Walter Scott which contains numerous Scottish characters including the Laird of Redgauntlet, hero Darsie Latimer and musician Wandering Willie.[28]
  • Richard Hannay - a stalwart of the British Empire in the stories by John Buchan, he comes from South Africa with Scottish parents.[29]
  • Shrek, although possessing a German name and being an Ogre (thought to be a medieval stereotype of Hungarians), was portrayed as Scottish by Mike Myers in the Shrek film series.[30]
  • Taggart - the title character of the successful television drama about a Glaswegian detective.[31]
  • Tam Lin - a knight in thrall to the Queen of Faerie in the ballad of that name.[32]
  • Tam O'Shanter - the title character of the celebrated poem by Robert Burns - a drunken rustic.[33]

Real Scottish people who have been extensively fictionalised or mythologised[]

  • Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobite young Pretender who appears in novels such as Redgauntlet.
  • Macbeth as in Shakespeare's play.
  • Rob Roy McGregor as in Rob Roy.
  • Thomas the Rhymer, a 13th century prophet and poet who, in ballad, is led by the Queen of Faerie to Elfland.[34]
  • William Wallace as in Braveheart.

See also[]

  • List of Scots


  1. Bede used a Latin form of the word Scots as the name of the Gaels of Dál Riata.Roger Collins, Judith McClure; Beda el Venerable, Bede ({1999}). The Ecclesiastical History of the English People: The Greater Chronicle ; Bede's Letter to Egbert. Oxford University Press. pp. 386. 
  2. Anthony Richard (TRN) Birley, Cornelius Tacitus; Cayo Cornelio Tácito. Agricola and Germany. Oxford University Press. 
  3. Rick Fulton (Mar 22 2010), "It's great to be a Scots redhead in the Tardis", Daily Record 
  4. Gerard Carruthers (2009). Scottish literature. Edinburgh University Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780748633098. 
  5. Andrew Nash, Kailyard and Scottish literature, p. 225 
  6. Shawn Shimpach, Television in Transition: The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero 
  7. Christopher Harvie (2004). Scotland and nationalism: Scottish society and politics, 1707 to the present. Routledge. p. 99. ISBN 9780415327251. 
  8. Robert Crawford, Scotland's books: a history of Scottish literature 
  9. Andrew Nash (2007), Kailyard and Scottish literature, p. 234 
  10. Neil Blain, David Hutchison (2008), The media in Scotland 
  11. G. Gregory Smith, Scottish Literature, Character & Influence 
  12. Charles Frederick Partington, The British cyclopædia of literature, history, geography, law, and politics 
  13. Cort Cass, The Redhead Handbook 
  14. "Groundskeeper Willie is the classic Scot for Americans". The Scotsman. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  15. Ronald Carter, John McRae, The Routledge history of literature in English: Britain and Ireland 
  16. Fiona MacGregor (12 February 2008), "The greatest work of fiction?", The Scotsman 
  17. Vivian Halloran, Ian Fleming & James Bond: the cultural politics of 007 
  18. Berthold Schoene-Harwood, The Edinburgh companion to contemporary Scottish literature 
  19. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Sparknotes 
  20. Frank Northen Magill (1983), Survey of modern fantasy literature 
  21. Stacey Endres, Robert Cushman, Hollywood at your feet, p. 330 
  22. James Van Hise, The Man Who Created Star Trek, p. 26 
  23. Neil Wilson, Alan Murphy, "Essential Scottish Reads", Scotland 
  24. Alan Norman Bold, Scotland: a literary guide 
  25. Jeffrey Richards, Films and British national identity: from Dickens to Dad's army 
  26. Richard Webber, The complete A-Z of Dad's Army, p. 228 
  27. John Corbett, Language and Scottish literature 
  28. Maureen M. Martin (2009), "Redgauntlet, the Lowlands, and the Historicity of Scottish Nationhood", The mighty Scot 
  29. Douglas S. Mack, Scottish fiction and the British Empire 
  30. Lucy Hewitt (24 December 2008). "Best fictional Scots character". The Scotsman. 
  31. Adrienne Scullion, "Scottish identity and representation in television drama", Group identities on French and British television 
  32. Graham Seal, Encyclopedia of folk heroes 
  33. Hugh Walker, Three Centuries of Scottish Literature 
  34. Graham Seal, Encyclopedia of folk heroes