The Dark Rider, also known commonly as "The Rider", is the main antagonist in the 2007 fantasy movie The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, based on The Dark is Rising novel series. Dark Rider was loosely based on the Black Rider in the books, a shadowy horseman with demonic magic who serves The Dark and whose goal is to make sure that the Seeker cannot find all the Signs and in doing so he can destroy the Seeker and cover the world in permanent darkness. While both Black Rider and Dark Rider shared many things in common includes having human-like appearance and often seen ride a horse (hence their moniker), the film depicted Dark Rider as a Dark Lord-esque figure with antichrist qualities instead of simply elite agent of the Dark Black Rider usually depicted in books. Also, Dark Rider and The Dark is portrayed as one in the same, which means he was so powerful that his book counterpart Black Rider looked pale in comparison.

He is portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, who played Malekith in Thor: The Dark World, Raymond Calitri in Gone in 60 seconds and Destro in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.


Merriman: A thousand years ago, a great battle was fought here between the Light and the Dark. The Light won, but only just and the Earth was saved. The Dark was defeated, but not destroyed.
Greythorne: To protect the power of the Light, it was divided and hidden in the form of six Signs.
Merriman: And the Seeker will find the Signs
~ Merriman and Greythorne about the past war between Light and Dark and how power of Light secured until used once again.

Like his counterpart Black Rider in the novel, Dark Rider, alongside The Dark, has fought against forces of The Light for thousand years, and the Dark was lost, but not destroyed. Dark Rider knows that power of the Light was divided into six signs which would come for the Seeker in his 14th birthday one by one. So when the said day comes, Dark Rider would come for him.

When Will was 2 weeks old alongside his brother Tom, The Rider snuck into his house and kidnapped him. However, The Rider eventually forced to raised him because he took the wrong baby: The baby he kidnapped was Tom, Will's youngest older brother, and raising the boy was occupied his duty until Tom reach 14 years old alongside Will where he later used Tom as his bargaining chip.

Dark Rider made his presence known by personally meeting Will after the latter escaped from the grip of his shapeshifting rook minions and demanded him the first Sign he just found. As the Rider's patience slimmed with Will not aware with his situation, Old Ones suddenly come for his rescue. Since his powers still was too weak to defeat the Old Ones, The Rider begrudgingly spare them, but not before warned them that his powers growing in 5 days from their confrontation before left.

Powers and Abilities

  • Umbrakinesis: Being embodiment of darkness, Dark Rider can manipulate darkness and shadows at will, either for combat (where the darkness manipulated in form of mass of dark clouds) or to stripped an area from light sources.
  • Super Strength: Dark Rider is far stronger than any men.
  • Imprisonment: Dark Rider can imprisoned anyone he caught with his darkness manipulation, either in mass of darkness he usually manipulate as weapon or in mystical snow glove.
  • Healing: He can use the power of darkness to heal any injury. Used once to heal Will as he goaded him to abandoned his quest and for his collected Signs.
  • Shapeshifting: Dark Rider can shapeshift into any forms he desired, be it either other people he met, a swarm of rooks, of his own disguise as local doctor.
  • Animal Control: Dark Rider can influence animals to do his biddings, where his controlled animals are rooks and dogs. He seemed to favored rooks as he only briefly seen controlling dogs. It's also implied, but not confirmed if he also capable to control dragons (whether it was true is neither unclear nor confirmed, as dragon themselves not appeared in film, only mentioned).
  • Possession: Dark Rider was capable on possession, as seen where he briefly possessed Will's brother Max to goad him to abandoned his quest, but failed due to Will knocked him out, exorcized him in process.
  • Atmokinesis: Upon the 5th day of his rise of power, Dark Rider is strong enough to manipulate weather, as he summoned blizzard that engulf entire England and beyond.
  • Cryokinesis: Dark Rider displayed control over ice, as he capable to covered interior of the manor within ice and even direct where ice stalgmite fall onto everyone and thaws whole ice layer in the manor to distract all heroes as Maggie enters.