We don't have will. We have order.
— Ruth to Melanie in Justice Never Boarded

Ruth Wardell is a character in TNT's Snowpiercer. She is portrayed by Alison Wright.

She is careful and quiet, but a pragmatic and independent thinker who must come to realize her own strength.

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Ruth lived originally in Kendal, England where she ran a Bed and Breakfast motel, she was recruited by Mr. Wilford himself to work on Snowpiercer after he was impressed with Ruth's attitude and disposition after she took him in for a night, unaware of who Mr. Wilford really was at the time.[1]

Throughout The Series[edit | edit source]

Dealings with the Tail[edit | edit source]

Despite being oblivious to certain managerial elements of the train, Ruth is Melanie Cavill's right hand, and announces to the Tail frequently. She takes pride in her work, but does not like to be challenged. When the Tail revolt, and six guards are killed, Ruth demands that six Tailies are killed in return to maintain Mr. Wilford's balance. She eventually settles with freezing Suzanne's arm of, and takes pleasure in watching the arm be smashed to pieces.[2]

The tribunal[edit | edit source]

Ruth resides over the tribunal to decide LJ Folger's fate following Erik Sotto's death. When Ruth is made aware of the Nightcar's request to re-select the tribunal with representatives from each class, Ruth warns Melanie that First will revolt against them — she later looks on in disgust when Melanie approves the request and elects Walter to the tribunal.[3]

Following on from "Mr. Wilford's" decision, Ruth is defiant and angry at the decision, stating that there must be order and justice aboard the train — it is how they survive. Melanie asks her to stay calm, however, and things will fall into place eventually. When news of a derailment comes from the Engine Room, Ruth alerts the train via the PA system. She tells them to embrace one another, and remarks that she believes they will survive. After news that the hydraulics have been fixed, Ruth publicly thanks Wilford and the Engine Eternal.[4]

Losing faith in Melanie[edit | edit source]

Following the tribunal, Ruth becomes increasingly worried and confused about Melanie's actions on the train. She learns that her concerns are somewhat shared when Nolan Grey invites her to dinner and it turns out to be an ambush to get her alone with Lilah and Robert Folger; the three explain that they believe Melanie has too much power and is growing out of control, and suggest that they usurp her and replace her with Ruth.

Ruth finds this outrageous, and leaves the date to air her concerns to Melanie, but is dismissed and told to do her job — this furthers Ruth's concern and aligns her motives more with the Folgers, and it seems that she is slipping further and further away from Melanie's ideology for the train.[5]

Ruth later finds herself aligned with Nolan and the Folgers in an effort to take down Melanie. She helps spread the word that Wilford is dead, which usurps Melanie from her position aboard Snowpiercer, who is taken as a prisoner shortly after. Nolan grooms Ruth to take the helm as the new head of the Engine, but there are concerns throughout First that she is too closely aligned with the Folgers.

Confronting Melanie, Ruth rebukes her for lying throughout the year, citing that she believed them to be friends, but her faith was misplaced. Ruth is in agreement when Melanie is sentenced to death for her crimes. Ruth blames her anger on Melanie's successful plan to detach numerous of Snowpiercer's carriages, sending Nolan — and numerous others — to the Freeze.

When Melanie's execution is sabotaged, Ruth worries about Layton gaining power, but must settle when Melanie relinquishes the Train to him and he is crowned the new head of the Engine.

Hope returns briefly for Ruth when Big Alice docks on Snowpiercer, as Ruth announces to First that Mr. Wilford is alive.[6]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Ruth tends to voice the concerns and expectations of First Class, and to think of keeping the rules of order as a necessary priority.[3]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Season One

Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

Do you think I want to be here? Eh? That Mr. Wilford wants me to be doing this? Snowpiercer is all that's left of the world. Each of us has a personal responsibility to the Engine Eternal. You Tailies barely have to do anything. Yeah? Just sit around and don't rebel.
— Ruth to the Tailies

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Her character seems similar to Minister Mason as she announces what Mr. Wilford wants to the tail section of the train.
  • She is a member of Second.
  • Despite working closely with Melanie Cavill, she did not know of the deception regarding Mr. Wilford.
  • In "Trouble Comes Sideways" was her first time she spoke to the Train.
  • In "The Universe Is Indifferent" its revealed that she was hired by Mr. Wilford himself for her job and has no family on board unlike many of the other passengers.
    • Ruth has tremendous respect for Mr. Wilford, and dreamed of seeing him again one day. This dream was initially shattered when she discovered that Mr Wilford was not on the train, being left on the platform to die by Melanie, until Big Alice arrived.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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