A Handmaid trying to survive in the male-dominated totalitarian regime of Gilead. Enslaved by a society that values only her fertility, Offred must find a way to survive in a world of oppression and swift, cruel punishments.
Serena Joy is wife of Commander Waterford and the head of the household staff. As an influential public figure, she fought for traditional values and the establishment of Gilead.
A founding father of Gilead and powerful, high-ranking official. He rules the household where Offred is a handmaid.
Moira is Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) best friend from college, her fellow handmaid-in-training at the Red Center, and a connection to life before Gilead.
A fellow Handmaid and companion. At first, Ofglen seems like a pious rule-follower, loyal to the oppressive Gilead system, but she turns out to be daring and subversive.
Nick is a Guardian in Gilead, the totalitarian theocracy that has taken over America. Living in Commander Waterford’s house, working as his driver, he makes a connection with Offred, although she’s unsure whether he’s an Eye, working for the secret police.
A fellow handmaid Offred meets in the Red Center who, after a tortuous punishment, begins losing her grasp on reality.
Aunt Lydia runs the Red Center, where she indoctrinates handmaids into the Gilead system. She trains them, by any means necessary, for their role as ritualized sexual servants in the homes of “Commanders,” the elite of Gilead.
Offred’s husband from the world before Gilead and father to their daughter Hannah.
A Martha serving Commander Fred and Serena Joy.
A Commander in the Republic of Gilead, and (presumably) a member of the Sons of Jacob. He is married to Eleanor Lawrence.