Melanie Stryder

Melanie is a 20-year-old human who managed to escape capture by the invading souls for years, living on the run. Eventually she is captured, and a soul known as Wanderer is implanted in Mel's body. Mel continues to fight after Wanderer is implanted in her body, speaking to Wanderer and feeding her memories of the people she loves in hopes that Wanderer will one day lead her back to them. Mel likes the feeling of being physically strong and berates Wanderer for neglecting to keep her that way. She has a temper and may be considered volatile compared to docile Wanderer. Melanie is passionately in love with another human, Jared Howe, and shares a strong mother-like bond with her younger brother, Jamie. She grows to care for Wanderer deeply as a sister, as well. Melanie is described as pretty, tall and athletic, having naturally tan skin, long dark brown hair, and hazel eyes.

Popular dream cast choices for Melanie: Sophia Bush, Megan Fox, Camilla Belle, Summer Glau, Odette Yustman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Saoirse Ronan will play Melanie in the film adaptation of The Host.

Jared Howe

Jared is Melanie Stryder's lover. Circumstances always improve for the rebel humans he runs into, due to his great skill. He is seen as loving and somewhat excitable in Melanie's memories, though the loss of her renders him very bitter. He bears a grudge against Wanda, treats her cruelly, and is unable to empathize with her for most of the book. He eventually develops a closer relationship with her in addition to his extreme devotion to Melanie. He is somewhat of a rival to Ian O'Shea, because Ian sees Jared as a competition for Wanda's affections. He is described as physically beautiful, with tan skin, sienna-colored eyes, and sun-bleached hair.

Popular dream cast choices for Jared: Jensen Ackles, Paul Walker, Jared Padalecki

Max Irons will portray Jared in the film adaptation of The Host.


Melanie: "When will you... when will we have to leave again?"
Jared: "We scavenged enough on our way up that we're set for a few months. I can do a few short raids if you want to stay in one place for a while. I'm sure you're tired of running."
Melanie: "Yes, I am. But if you go, I go."
Jared: "I'll admit, I prefer it that way. The thought of being separated from you... Does it sound crazy to say that I'd rather die? Too melodramatic?"
Melanie: "No, I know what you mean." p74

Melanie: "If I got to pick anyone, anyone at all, to be stranded on a deserted planet with, it would be you. I always want to be with you. And not just... not just to talk to. When you touch me... I don't want you to stop. If you don't feel the same way, I understand. Maybe it isn't the same for you. That's okay."
Jared: "Oh, Mel. It was a miracle - more than a miracle - when I found you, Melanie. Right now, if I was given the choice between having the world back and having you, I wouldn't be able to give you up. Not to save five billion lives."
Melanie: "That's wrong."
Jared: "Very wrong but very true." p76

Jared: "We've got time."
Melanie: "You don't know that. You can't know how much time we'll have. You don't know if we should be counting in months or days or hours."
Jared: "Don't worry, Mel. Miracles don't work that way. I'll never lose you. I'll never let you get away from me." pp77-78

Jared: "You and I won't lose each other, I will always find you again. No matter how well you hide. I'm unstoppable at hide-and-seek."
Melanie: "Will you give me to the count of ten?"
Jared: "Without peeking."
Melanie: " You're on."
Jared: "Don't be afraid. You'll be fine. You're strong, you're fast, and you're smart."
Melanie: "And you? Will you be safe?"
Jared: "Neither heaven nor hell can keep me apart from you, Melanie." p82

Jared: "I love you. Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me. I love you." p299

Jared: "Melanie will always be mine. And I will always be hers." p382

Jared: "Melanie. I know you're there. Come back to me. Melanie Stryder! You will not leave me. Don't you love me? Prove it! Prove it! Damn it, Mel! Get back here!" p430