Who Is Uncharted’s Protagonist Nathan Drake?
WARNING: Uncharted spoilers!
Brave, adventurous, witty, and possessing a devil-may-care attitude. If you thought Indiana Jones…you were wrong and you clearly don’t know how to read titles. Being described here is Nathan Drake, the charismatic protagonist of the critically acclaimed
Being described here is Nathan Drake, the charismatic protagonist of the critically acclaimed Uncharted series and discoverer (or re-discoverer) of lost treasures such as that of El Dorado, and the Cintimani Stone, or cities such as Shangri-La and Iram of the Pillars.
For almost a decade now, Nathan Drake has thrilled us with his exploits and yet, he’s just a man. Aside from a deep interest in history and myth, as well as what can only be assumed is a death wish, Nathan Drake acts and traverses through danger-filled terrain just as any man would. Nate is not a soldier and he doesn’t train vigorously for adventuring so he’s certainly no Tomb Raider (pre-reboot). The developers have stated that they created Nate to appeal to people in general who aren’t looking for another muscle-bound figure as a channel for their escapism. So even though he’s a badass, he’s still just an average guy. But who is he?
Nathan Drake’s Background
Our intrepid explorer began, as we find out in Uncharted 3, as an orphan in Saint Francis Boys’ Home after being given up by his father after his mother committed suicide when he was but 5 years old. It’s not currently known what his birth name was, but by the age of fifteen, when he first encounters Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan, he’d taken the name Nathan (or Nate, for short). It was Victor who took Nathan Drake in after betraying Katherine Marlowe when she attempted to kill the young Nate. Sully soon became something of a father figure and taught Nate how to perfect his impressive thieving skills, as well as his treasure hunting skills.
Years later, we find them with reporter Elena Fisher (who is Nathan Drake’s future fiancée), exploring the Amazon and subsequently, an unnamed tropical island in the Pacific searching for El Dorado after uncovering what was supposed to be the remains of Sir Francis Drake. Throughout the series we see Nathan Drake hold to the belief that Sir Francis Drake (the famed explorer or infamous pirate, depending on who you ask) is his ancestor and while there isn’t a shred of evidence offered, you can’t help wanting to take his word for it. He certainly has the flair for exploration and a little bit of piracy. Maybe those traits are genetic?
Of course, he has never had to venture into danger on his own. As we mentioned, he’s had Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan by his side for a long time whom we know to be no stranger to ancient relics and gunfire. The man is like a father to Nathan Drake— constantly watching his back and trying to protect him from harm as he did when they first met, or against Gabriel Roman when he intentionally had them follow false leads to buy Nate time to search for El Dorado. Another example would be at the beginning of the first game when he rescues Nate from Eddy Raja’s pirates along Nate’s future wife, Elena Fisher.
Nathan Drake’s Family
We meet Elena in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune when she’s just getting to know Nate. Throughout the game she proves to be more than just a TV show host out in the world, in fact, she pretty much rescues Nate as often as he’s had to rescue her. By the end of that first game, we see the seeds of romance being sown. By the time we get to Uncharted: Amongst Thieves, Nate and Elena have already been married and separated. She’s progressed and become an investigative journalist while Nate…well, keeps being Nate. Dragged into another epic adventure and into competing with the foxy Chloe Frazier, Elena shows us just how much excitement and adventure she has going on behind that relatively tame exterior, for example, you can’t forget the time she punched Flynn in the face.
So in the end, Nate and Elena accept that they love each other and when we meet them once more in Uncharted: Drake’s Deception, we find out that they married and separated. Not exactly what we were expecting, but then again, there needs to be some plot. Not to worry though, we learn that romance never truly died when by the end of yet another discovery/death-defying act/rescue mission they rekindle their relationship, presumably because Drake is just so gosh darn charming…oh, and he showed true commitment when he nobly pleaded with her not to go with him on a suicide mission… After that, they resolve to give it another try.
Drake has other friends, enemies, and frenemies, some we’re likely to see again in the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End PS4 release, and others— well, we saw them meet what seemed to be their demise. What we do know is that Nate apparently has a brother who draws him into one last treasure hunt, forcing him to rely on Sully once more and lie to his wife, Elena, something she doesn’t seem to take very well as you can see in the trailer.
Just a minute though… Nathan Drake has a brother? He does indeed! An older brother in fact, Sam, long thought to be dead after an incident in a prison involving Nate and a dead guard. He charges into Nate’s life once again in Uncharted 4, jealous of his younger brother’s achievements but in need of his help. He pulls Nate into another adventure despite Nate having been retired, this time in search of Libertatia, a mythical pirate’s colony where their collected treasure lies. There isn’t much more information available other than that there will clearly be a lot of gunfire and that Sam isn’t as nice a fellow as his younger brother. It seems just a little darker than previous entries in the series, rightly so, as Naughty Dog has stated that the events in Uncharted 4 “will test his [Drake] physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately, what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves”. No doubt this will prove to be another fantastic game.
What about a film though? Well, since 2010, a film has been in development. While they’re still searching for a lead actor, Seth Gordon is currently attached as director with Mark Boal as the writer (a team that appeared after a host of other big names came and went).
Who could play Nathan Drake? Well, so far Mark Wahlberg has been the only name attached, before his departure from the Uncharted film. For years, Nathan Fillion, star of shows such as Firefly and Castle, has expressed great enthusiasm for playing the role. We can’t see any reason why not. A lead actor isn’t the only issue however, as the Uncharted movie itself seems to be trapped in the dreaded development hell. According to Nolan North (Nate’s voice actor) however, that may not be such a bad thing, as he recently said that fans “don’t want an Uncharted movie, no matter who’s the star of it”, going on to compare the idea for the film to similar franchise adaptations such as the critically panned Hitman: Agent 47 film.
Until more news is released about the film, we’ll stick to looking forward to the final entry in the Uncharted franchise, available worldwide on May 10th 2016.