Mark Watney

Mark Watney

    The Martian
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... on Mars, which is kind of his big problem. Mark was a crewmember of Ares III, a manned mission to Mars, but he was lost in a storm during their emergency evacuation. Now he’s totally alone and stranded 48,678,219 miles from home.

Profession... botanist and astronaut. Mark’s duties on Ares III included analyzing the soil and evaluating Mars’ colonization possibilities. As he brags after being stranded alone, “I don't want to come off as arrogant here, but I'm the greatest botanist on this planet.”

Interests... spicing up his lonely life. Mark has to get creative to keep his spirits up on Mars. He blasts the disco music left behind by the Ares commander, celebrates every minor victory, and records long rambling video diaries for NASA. As he jokes about a former crewmember, “I'm sorry Martinez, but if you didn't want me to go through your stuff, you shouldn't have left me for dead on a desolate planet.”

Relationship Status... single, literally. Mark is the only human on Mars so his romantic prospects aren’t looking so stellar.

Challenge... surviving. From the moment he wakes up alone on Mars, Mark has only one thing on his mind: survival. That means tending to his medical needs, figuring out how to create water, and growing food to supplement his rations. But once his basic needs are met, Mark has another conundrum: figuring out how to get home. He needs to first and foremost let NASA know he’s still alive, which is quite the challenge without a working communication system. 

Personality... resourceful, resilient, optimistic, and funny. Faced with an impossible situation, Mark manages to maintain his sense of humor. Whether he’s blasting ‘70s music or taking funny photos, Mark tries to focus on the positive rather than falling into despair. At one point he jokes, Technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!” He’s also incredibly intelligent and innovative, using every ounce of his knowledge to keep himself alive.


Fans of him also like:

Find out how you match to him and 5500+ other characters