Commanders of the Faithful, or just simply Commanders, are a social class of powerful men in Gilead. They are the highest ranking members of all Gileadean society.

Role[edit | edit source]

Commanders serve as politicians, military leaders and lawmakers, working in Gilead's government. A hierarchy exists among Commanders, with some ranking higher than others. In the TV series, it's implied that they are individually distinguished by military-style ranks (such as Colonel).

In the early days of Gilead, the Commanders were primarily men who brought about or supported the rise of the regime and most are staunch believers in Gilead. That being said, some Commanders are known to secretly break Gilead's laws to indulge in forbidden luxuries or activities, such as using the black market to gain contraband items such as alcohol and cigarettes and visiting the brothel, Jezebel's[1], or having illicit sexual affairs with their handmaids (Commander Guthrie, Commander Putnam).

Because of their high status, Commanders are permitted to marry, though because most of them are older men, many already have a lot of money and that live comfortable lives, served by Guardians and Marthas. However, their lives are not all rosy; they are watched by the Eyes, like every other citizen, and can have their privileges revoked, or even face imprisonment or execution if found guilty of subversion. Many Commanders were killed and replaced during political Purges in the early years of Gilead. Some Commanders also feel stifled by the regime, as it takes away things they enjoyed about the old world and forces them to conform to the new society's beliefs and values, although many seem to be either oblivious or uncaring of the more severe loss of rights and freedoms to women under Gilead.

Field Commanders[edit | edit source]

Offred mentions in the novel that Commanders are separated into different "fields" in terms of what they command, however, they do not have separate titles.[2]

In the Hulu series, "field commanders" are mentioned[3]. It appears to refer to Commanders that are engaged in military leadership roles, such as the Commander who took New York, Commander Guthrie[1].

High Commanders[edit | edit source]

Fred Waterford addresses Commander Winslow from Washington, DC as the "High Commander"[4], indicating a hierarchy within the class of Commanders. Since a junta ("Committee") in charge of the regime has also been mentioned[5], this suggests "High Commanders" to be its members or immediate subordinates.

Known Commanders[edit | edit source]

In the Novels[edit | edit source]

In the TV Series[edit | edit source]

Confirmed Alive:[edit | edit source]

Status Unknown:[edit | edit source]

Confirmed Deceased:[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode 1.8, Jezebels
  2. Novel, X Soul Scrolls, Section 29
  3. Episode 1.1, Offred (TV Episode)
  4. Episode 3.6, Household
  5. Episode 1.8, Jezebels
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