Villain Overview

We only wanted to make the world better. Better never means better for everyone. It always means worse for some.
~ Fred Waterford revealing his contempt for "sinners".

Fred Waterford is the main antagonist of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, its film adaptation, and its Hulu Network adaptation. He is the Chief Commander of Gilead, a far-right Christian theocracy in which women are stripped of all their rights, while the few who are able to bear children are made sex slaves. He and wife, Serena, are the "masters" of the main protagonist, June Osbourne, whom they call "Offred". With Serena's assistance, he rapes June when she is ovulating in hopes of getting her pregnant.

In the film, he was portrayed by Robert Duvall, who also portrayed Tom Hagen in the Godfather trilogy. In the TV series, he is portrayed by Joseph Fiennes, who also portrayed King Eurystheus in Hercules.


A misogynist religious zealot, Waterford believes that "a woman's place" is to serve her husband and bear children; he believes that women who have their own careers and who have premarital sex are "Jezebels", and the plague of infertility that affects most of the women in the country - including his wife, Serena - is divine retribution for women disobeying God's word.

He and his circle of like-minded politicians and military leaders form a group called the Sons of Jacob and stage a violent revolution and overthrow the government, instituting martial law and making it illegal for women to work or socialize with men other than their husbands. They also make homosexuality a capital offense, and perform forcible clitorectomies on lesbians who are able to bear children.

A weak, socially inept man, Waterford rationalizes his passionless marriage to the equally pious Serena by preaching that love is merely "lust with a good PR campaign". When they bring Offred into their house, however, he develops the closest he can manage to genuine feelings for her and forces her to become his secret mistress.



Fred is tall, has brown hair and a brown beard, and soft brown eyes. he is in his early 40s and has usually handsome appearance. he is usually seen throughout a suit, as he is AN honoured commander in Gilead.


On the surface, he sounds like an honest and well-meaning man. although he nearly comes across the form of a 'victim' of Gilead, he was really concerned in coming up with and establishing it. among the means he treats his partner and everyone else below him, his cruel aspect is discovered.

Fred likes for others to believe that he is a sort, just man. He has forgiven Serena and Offred many times among the series, creating the viewer believe that he options a soft aspect. He positively options a weakness for Offred. He breaks several of Gilead's rules for her. However, he may be unmerciful typically . as an example, he supported the penalization of his partner once she read a book. Serena holds this against him.

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