Jonathan Harker
Dracula character
Created by

Bram Stoker
Portrayed by

Gustav von Wangenheim (Nosferatu)
David Manners (Dracula)
Bruno Ganz (Nosferatu the Vampyre)
Keanu Reeves (Bram Stoker's Dracula)
Steven Weber (Dracula: Dead and Loving It)
Gender Male
Occupation Solicitor
Vampire hunter
Spouse(s) Mina Harker (wife)
Children Quincey Harker (son)
Relatives Mina Harker
Quincey Harker
Religion Anglican
Nationality English

Jonathan Harker is a fictional character and one of the protagonists of Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel Dracula. His journey to Transylvania and encounter with Count Dracula and the Brides of Dracula at Castle Dracula constitutes the dramatic opening scenes in the novel and most of the film adaptations.

In the novelEdit

Harker is a recently admitted solicitor from England, who is deputed by his employer, Mr. Hawkins, to act as an estate agent for a foreign client named Count Dracula who wishes to move to England. Harker discovers in Carfax Abbey, near Purfleet, Essex, a dwelling which suits the client's requirements and travels to Transylvania by train in order to consult with him about it.[1]

At Bistritz Harker takes a coach to the Borgo Pass where at midnight another coach drawn by four black horses, waits to take him to Castle Dracula high in the Carpathian Mountains.[2] At the castle Harker is greeted by the mysterious and ominous Count Dracula and finalises the property transaction. Soon, however Harker realises he has been made a prisoner by his host who is revealed as a vampire. Harker also has a dangerous encounter with the three seductive Brides of Dracula, whose designs on him are only thwarted by the intervention of the Count.[3]

Later, he manages to escape, finding refuge at a convent. He has a mental breakdown upon arriving at the convent because of his encounters with Dracula; his fiancée, Mina Murray, comes to nurse him back to health with the nuns' help and marries him there. He returns home to England and later sees Dracula in London. After learning Dracula killed Lucy, he joins Van Helsing, Seward, Holmwood, and Morris. His clerical skills prove very useful for collecting information and for tracking down Dracula's London lairs by means of paperwork. He vows to destroy Dracula and, if he could, to send "his soul forever and ever to burning to hell[..]!" even if it be at the cost of own soul. When confronted with Mina's curse, however, he is unsure how to react; Mina asks the others in the group to kill her if the need comes. While Harker says he would, in the privacy of his journal says that if it is necessary, that he would become a vampire himself out of his love for her. However, Harker manages to avoid that because along with Van Helsing and the others he manages to destroy Dracula. At the book's climax, he prises open Dracula's coffin mere moments before sunset and slashes open Dracula's throat with a kukri knife while Quincey Morris stabs him in the heart with a Bowie knife.

In a note following the end of the novel, it is revealed that seven years have passed. He and Mina have a son whom they have named Quincey, after Quincey Morris. Noting Quincey Harker's birthday is the day Quincey Morris died fighting Dracula, Mina likes to think that some of Morris spirit is in their son. Jonathan Harker eventually visits Dracula's castle along with his wife and son and their surviving friends to reminisce. He returns home with his wife and son and is told by Van Helsing that one day his son will learn the whole story.

Portrayals in mediaEdit


John Van Eyssen as Harker in the 1958 adaptation of Dracula.

A major character in the novel and most of its film adaptations, Harker has been portrayed to date in film, theatre, and television by many actors, including:

A few of the adaptions have Harker succumbing to vampirism (either from Dracula or the brides) and having to be killed.

In the Frank Wildhorn musical, Dracula, the Musical, Jonathan was played by Darren Ritchie. In the St. Gallen Switzerland and Graz Austria productions, Jonathan was played by the Swedish musical theater actor, Jesper Tydén.

In Dracula the Un-dead, Harker's insecurities about Mina's relationship with Dracula cause him to become an alcoholic, causing a rift with his wife and son. In order to protect his son Quincey, Harker forces him into law school and away from performing arts, which causes Quincey to detest his overbearing father. Harker is killed by Elizabeth Bathory via impalement after he is attacked by one of her vampiric attendants


References Edit

  1. Dracula Chapter 2
  2. Dracula Chapter 1
  3. Dracula Chapter 3