Jonathan Harker
Dracula character
Dracula1958-1.jpg
Created byBram Stoker
Portrayed byGustav von Wangenheim (Nosferatu)
David Manners (Dracula)
John Van Eyssen (Horror of Dracula)
Fred Williams (Count Dracula)
Bosco Hogan (Count Dracula)
Trevor Eve (Dracula)
Bruno Ganz (Nosferatu the Vampyre)
Murray Brown (Bram Stoker's Dracula)
Keanu Reeves (Bram Stoker's Dracula)
Steven Weber (Dracula: Dead and Loving It)
Rafe Spall (Dracula)
Corey Landis (Dracula Reborn)
Unax Ugalde (Dracula 3D)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Dracula)
John Heffernan (Dracula)
In-universe information
GenderMale
OccupationSolicitor
SpouseMina Harker (wife)
ChildrenQuincey Harker (son)
ReligionChristian
NationalityEnglish

Jonathan Harker is a fictional character and one of the main protagonists of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. His journey to Transylvania and encounter with the vampire Count Dracula and his Brides at Castle Dracula constitutes the dramatic opening scenes in the novel and most of the film adaptations. Stoker appropriated the surname from his friend Joseph Cunningham Harker (1855–1920), a set designer at the Lyceum Theatre[1] and father of actor William Gordon Harker (1885–1967) as well as great-grandfather of actress Polly Adams, whose actress-daughters Susannah Harker and Caroline Harker adopted the Harker surname for their stage names.

In the novel

Harker is a recently qualified solicitor from Exeter, 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 London. Harker discovers in Carfax, 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.[2]

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.[3] 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. He promises to give Harker to them after his business deal is concluded and gives them a "wiggling bag" (presumed by Harker to be a human child) to appease them. Dracula leaves for England and abandons Harker in the castle as a meal for his vampire brides, as he promised them.[4]

Harker manages to escape, finding refuge at a convent. He suffers a nervous breakdown after his experiences with the vampires; 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 that Dracula has killed Mina's best friend Lucy Westenra, Harker joins Abraham Van Helsing, John Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and Quincey Morris in a quest to kill the vampire, who has bitten Mina. 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 can, to send "his soul forever and ever to burning to hell[..]!" even if it be at the cost of his own soul. As Mina falls deeper under Dracula's thrall, however, Harker is unsure of what to do. While he promises her he will put her out of her misery if she falls completely under Dracula's control, in the privacy of his journal he writes that, if she did become a vampire, he would become one himself just so he could continue to be with her. He ultimately saves her by destroying Dracula, however; at the book's climax, he pries open Dracula's coffin and slashes open Dracula's throat with a kukri knife, while Morris stabs him in the heart with a Bowie knife.

In a postscript note set seven years later, it is revealed that Harker and Mina have a son whom they have named after all four members of the party, but whom they call Quincey, after Morris, who sacrificed his life to help them destroy Dracula. Harker eventually visits Dracula's castle along with his wife and son and their surviving friends to reminisce. As Harker returns home with his family, Van Helsing says that one day Harker's son will learn the whole story.

Portrayals

On screen

Actors portraying Harker include:

Murray Brown as Harker in Dracula (1973)
Murray Brown as Harker in Dracula (1973)

On stage

References

  1. ^ Stoker, Bram; Eighteen-Bisang, Robert; Miller, Elizabeth Russell (2008). Bram Stoker's Notes for Dracula. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 280. ISBN 978-0786434107.
  2. ^ Dracula Chapter 2
  3. ^ Dracula Chapter 1
  4. ^ Dracula Chapter 3
  5. ^ Mulkern, Patrick. "Dracula by Northern Ballet". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 November 2022.