World chaos does have its uses
~ Winston Yu

Winston Yu is the main antagonist in the Alex Rider novel Snakehead. He is the head director of the titular Snakehead gang and a member of the crime organization SCORPIA.


Winston Yu was born in complete poverty in China as the son of an English businessman and a poor Chinese mother. This is where he got his infatuation of England. Although his father wanted to take his wife back to England, he just left her instead.

Yu's mother was given the task of raising a single infant and working a poor job at a hotel. She joined the Snakehead crime syndicate to gain more money. She moved to England to give her son Winston a British education. Whenever something got in the way of her son (a bully, not being the head boy), she would have that person killed "accidentally." 12 people died just to make Yu's education possible.

Eventually, Yu found out that his mother was an assassin, but he was grateful for all she had done for him. He later served in the Army but was diagnosed with brittle bone disease and forced to retire. He got a desk job with MI6 but secretly provided classified information to the Snakehead.

He got a grand medal from the Queen for his Army services and as a result, his mother died of a heart attack, due to the shock and gratitude. Winston Yu had his mother's ashes scattered in Buckingham Palace by bribing a guard.

SCORPIA and Alex Rider

He heard of Scorpia being formed and joined. He asked to be recruited and they enrolled him. He presumably trained at Malagosto Island outside Venice and rose up to become a board member.

Winston Yu was present in the 1980 Paris board meeting of SCORPIA, he and others, such as Julia Rothman, met in the city to finalize details and make profit through world corruption. Once everything was settled, Winston Yu became chief executive of SCORPIA along with seven other people.

When SCORPIA heard that the Reef Island summit was taking place, they wanted to find a way to destroy it and cause chaos. They had to do it in a way that it looked like a natural disaster, so no one would suspect foul play. Winston Yu had his men steal a bomb, Royal Blue, from an MI6 building outside London and take it down to Thailand. MI6 promptly sent Alex Rider and his previously unknown godfather Ash to investigate.

Alex and Ash were caught by the snakehead while hiding on a smuggling ship heading to Australia. Alex managed to escape and found Yu. He was inputting his DNA into a scanner to activate Royal Blue when the time came. Alex also put his DNA in the scanner and left before Yu could see him. He made it off the ship, but Ash was still trapped on board. After escaping to the mainland and trying to contact MI6, Yu found Alex and knocked him out with his cane.

Alex awoke as a prisoner in Yu's British mansion. He invited the boy to dine on English food in his English dining room. Yu explained his backstory to Alex and told him of his SCORPIA plot. He will plant Royal Blue in a fault line near Reef Island and detonate it, causing a massive tsunami that will obliterate the island, the summit members, and also Northern Australia. He also says that because of the alignment of the moon and sun, the fault line will be at its weakest point in years.

Winston wanted Alex's organs removed as punishment, and sent him to a plastic surgeon working for the snakehead in the Australian jungle. Alex destroyed the clinic, escaped, and then met up with the Australian SAS. Alex and a team of SAS soldiers planned to infiltrate Yu's mining rig, the Dragon Nine, and shut down the bomb before he detonated it.


Alex and the team parachuted onto Dragon Nine. The teen found Yu in a control room, preparing to activate the bomb and destroy the summit. Ben Daniels, an SAS agent who Alex trained with, storms in to Yu's office and guns down an accomplice of his, later revealed to be the traitor Ash.

Winston Yu survived Daniel's attack and he tortured Alex by having the dying Ash tell him about killing Alex's parents. Then Ash died. But the SAS attacked when Winston Yu was going to kill Alex and blew the oil rig up, sending Winston Yu tumbling down a level, which broke his ankles. Upon the destruction of the bomb, which harmlessly explodes deep underwater, the shock of the explosion shatters his bones due to his severe brittle bone disease and died instantly.


  • Unlike Herod Sayle, he does not bear a grudge against England but rather, adores the country despite also being bullied in school.
  • He was named after Winston Churchill.


           Alex Rider Logo  Villains

Criminal Organizations
Zeljan Kurst | Julia Rothman | Winston Yu | Eduardo & Giovanni Grimaldi | Levi Kroll | Brendan Chase | Abdul-Aziz al-Razim | Dr. Three
Yassen Gregorovich | Ash | Julius Grief | Nile | Erik Gunter | Snakehead | Sniper | Anan Sukit | Bill Tanner | Jacko & Quombi | Karl Steiner | Dr. Harold Leibermann

Point Blanc Academy
Dr. Hugo Grief | Julius Grief | Eva Stellenbosch | Walter Baxter

Sayle's Organization
Herod Sayle | Nadia Vole | Mr. Grin

Drevin's Organization
Nikolei Drevin | Kaspar | Force Three | Kolo

McCain's Organization
Reverend Desmond McCain | Myra Bennett | Njenga

Secret Services
Alan Blunt | MI6 | Ethan Brooke | Blake Lewinsky
The Big Circle | Sir Damian Cray | General Sarov | Vladimir Sharkovsky | Conrad | The Gentleman | The Salesman | Franco | Harry Bulman | Fiona Friend | Skoda | Yannis Ariston Xenopolos

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