John Sheppard
Major John Sheppard of the United States Air Force had been based in Antarctica for nine months after earning a black mark on his record for disobeying a direct order (he attempted to rescue the lives of three servicemen while in Afghanistahn). He flies General Jack O'Neill to the Ancient outpost in Antarctica; it's there that he accidentally discovers he has the Ancient gene. Dr. Elizabeth Weir, impressed with his natural ability at controlling Ancient technology, personally requests his participation in the Atlantis expedition. Sheppard, having become used to living in Antarctica and apparently a bit of a loner, is relunctant to join, but O'Neill convinces him to participate.

A natural leader, John heads a mission to rescue those initially captured by the Wraith; later, he becomes Atlantis's chief military officer following the death of Colonel Marshall Sumner. In Season 2, John is officially made the military leader of the Atlantis expedition and is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

John has a clear idea of right and wrong, though he can't always articulate reasons for his feelings. However, he tends to side with his gut instincts. At times, he can be rather impulsive, and he sometimes clashes with Elizabeth because of this; they also occasionally clash when it comes to military versus non-military matters. Although he appears to be rather self-deprecating and likes to downplay (or at least not draw attention to) his intelligence, he is an extremely capable military officer and a mathematical genius.

His relationships with other characters vary, but by Season 3, he comes to view Elizabeth, Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon as his "family," all of whom he would die for. As the leaders of Atlantis, John and Elizabeth are in similar positions, and though they sometimes conflict, they genuinely respect one another, care for each other, and understand each other. John's relationship with Dr. Rodney McKay is a friendship/rivalry that creates a lot of fun snark throughout the series. John is the first to make friends with Teyla Emmagan, the leader of a native group of aliens called the Athosians. The two appear to have a close friendship based on their mutual trust of each other. Lt. Aiden Ford looks up to John, at least until Ford's dramatic change at the beginning of Season 2. Ronon Dex initially seems to grudgingly accept John's authority based on rank, but eventually, he comes to respect and to like John, especially by Season 3. John is amiable to Dr. Carson Beckett, but his relationships with higher military personnel, such as Colonel Steven Caldwell, are often strained. Though Elizabeth and Teyla appear to be potential love interests for John, so far, his relationship with both have remained platonic, not including possession by aliens or Wraith retroviruses; in the meantime, he has had several romantic/sexual relationships with female aliens.

There is a private side to John that he doesn't share with anyone, even his friends, as seen in Season 1's "Rising," "Home," and "Letters from Pegasus." Although he gets along with most everyone on Atlantis and appears quite friendly, there's a part of him that he seems to keep closed off, some hidden angst in his past. In Season 3's "Phantoms," we learn more about the incident that earned him his blackmark. In Season 3's "Sunday," we learn that John in divorced. In later seasons, we meet John's ex-wife Nancy and his estranged brother Dave, and learn about his estranged relationship with his late father.

Random Facts: Likes ferris wheels, college football, anything that goes over 200 miles per hour, turkey sandwiches, and flying ("Rising"). Has flown a variety of military planes ("Rising"). Was nicknamed "Shep" by his good friends Mitch and Dex, who were killed in a mission years ago ("Home"). Took the MENSA test and passed, but never joined ("The Brotherhood," "Coup d'etat"). Was predicted by some to never rank past captain ("Intruder"). Is apparently not good with computers ("Intruder"). Keeps a guitar in his room (hopefully not to play) ("Conversion").


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