I have started watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. I have read the books long time ago. Why is Kovacs the last Envoy?

1 Answer 1


This is an invention of the Netflix series entirely. It stems from the change of "Envoy" from being the name of the Protectorate Peacekeeping force that is sent out to pacify rebellions and other such things (as it was in the book) to being the name of Quellcrist Falconer's specific rebellion (generally called Quellists in the book).

Takeshi Kovacs is, in the Netflix series, called "The Last Envoy" because Quell's followers are all considered permanently dead. Kovacs was caught at some point later and sentenced to storage until he was brought back in the first episode.

In Episode 7, it is revealed

Everyone else was taken out by a viral weapon that destroyed their stacks, except Kovacs, Reileen, and Quell herself. Quell and Reileen were on a shuttle that exploded shortly after.

It is of course also revealed in the course of the series that

Reileen survived and possibly Quell's stack did as well, which means Kovacs isn't the Last Envoy in fact, although according to the historical record it is still true.

In the books, Kovacs wasn't even "The Last Quellist," as it was a philosophy that had many adherents and many survivors of the actual rebellion, instead of a weird tiny revolutionary movement living in the woods that somehow had skills nobody else has seen since.

  • 1
    Well, the changes compared to the book seems rather larger than I expected. I hope the story makes some sense in the end.
    – wilx
    Feb 6, 2018 at 0:30
  • 2
    It's one of those cases where it largely stays very close to the book but there are a few big differences. IMHO, while a couple of the changes they made worked, some are real shames and the parts that aren't directly from the book usually badly written. Feb 6, 2018 at 1:00
  • 2
    I did not read the book and just found out about the differences. However the story(of the tv-show) stands nice on its own foots. I found it good and closed and would like to see a season 2. Feb 20, 2018 at 16:55
  • @starpilotsix This is usually done to enable spectacular action sequences. Books don't usually need them but movies and shows need them nowadays to prevent people from being bored. Prime example are the Harry Potter movies, which include many action scenes which are not in the books just to keep dynamic pace although they often violate the logic of the books.
    – Sulthan
    Apr 3, 2018 at 16:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.