Amir: Narrator of the novel and protagonist of the novel. Raised primarily by his father, Baba, Amir spends the majority of his childhood attempting to gain the attention and approval of a father that is constantly disappointed in him for not being more athletic. Novel depicts Amir's journey into cowardice after complacently watching the rape of Hassan and his attempts to redeem himself later in life.
Hassan: Amir's best friend and loyal servant. He is illiterate, but is smart and pure of heart. Hassan is Baba's illegitimate son and Amir's half-brother, but never finds out. His rape at the beginning of the story is a major event in the novel that greatly influences the actions of other characters.
Baba: Father of Amir and Hassan and a wealthy and respected businessman. Baba is a very driven character that does not allow others stop him from achieving his goals. However, he does allow the racism of his culture to hid the fact that Hassan is his son, because the mother's Hazara ethnicity. His distance with both of his sons is discussed throughout the novel.
Sohrab: Hassan's son and focus of plot later in novel. It appears he represents Hassan and a chance for redemption for Amir. He changes from a normal little boy to a mute victim of sexual abuse, who is eventually saved and adopted by Amir.
Assef: Hassan’s and Sohrab’s rapist and the novel’s antagonist. Assef is racist who wishes to rid Afghanistan of Hazaras, he is incapable of remorse and enjoys inflicting violence and sexual abuse on those who are less powerful than him.
Rahim Khan: Business partner and friend of Baba and Amir. Later in the novel, he reveals some of Baba's secrets. He serves as a quasi father figure and moral guide for Amir throughout the novel by giving him the attention and support that he craves from his real father and forcing him to atone for his misdeeds.
Ali: Adoptive father of Hassan and Baba's servant. Ali is a Hazara that is defined by his partial paralysis of the face and leg. Even though he does not display his affection, Ali does love Hassan. Ali's most notable characteristic is his modesty.