The essential ‘Money Heist’ guide: Get to know the ensemble cast
Money Heist is a great show with a fantastic ensemble cast. However, this can also make it hard to keep track of all the characters sometimes – especially when some are killed off and others are added to fill the holes.
So for anyone who might be feeling a little lost, or who may be trying to remember exactly what role every character fills we’ve created this handy dandy cheat sheet. Confusion be-gone! This is what you need to know about all the important characters on Money Heist.
Yes, there will be spoilers!
The Professor, whose real name is Sergio, is the mastermind behind the plans – mostly. His first heist, the one at the Royal Mint, was the idea of his father, however The Professor and his brother Berlin are the ones who turned the idea into an essentially fool-proof plan.
The Professor stays outside of the heists in order to manipulate police, advise his crew, and ensure things don’t completely fall apart. During his first heist he accidentally ended up falling in love with the lead inspector, Raquel Murillo, while he was trying to manipulate her. Lucky for him she reciprocates those feelings and she defected to the side of the criminals. The two are now a power couple.
Despite The Professor being the mastermind, Tokyo is more or less the closest thing we have to a main character in this ensemble cast. She’s the one who does all the voice over narration, and she’s also the one who seems in many ways to be the impetus of things.
Tokyo is a fireball of passion and best at acting before she thinks. We first meet her while she’s hiding because there’s a manhunt going on for her, since she killed police when they shot her boyfriend during a bank robbery.
The Professor picks Tokyo up moments before she walks into a trap set by police and ever since then she’s considered him her guardian angel. She dated Rio despite the fact no interpersonal relationships were allowed in the crew, and she is willing to put everything on the line for those she loves.
Tokyo became the leader of the crew inside the reserve when Palermo decided to go rogue, and she wears the responsibility surprisingly well considering she often thinks with passion instead of logic.
Raquel Murillo (Lisbon)
In seasons one and two Murrillo is a police inspector, and thus has a normal name. However, when she realizes the man she loves is actually the ringleader of the thieves she’s trying to capture she has to pick a side – she chooses the thieves. When she does this she picks a city themed name to fit in, she goes with Lisbon.
Before the heist at the Royal Mint Murillo was dealing with a messy divorce. Her colleagues were skeptical of her reports against the chief of forensics and she feared losing custody of her daughter. While working Murillo had no choice but to leave her daughter at home with Murillo’s mother who clearly has some form of dementia.
In seasons three and four Lisbon worked with The Professor outside of their second heist to coordinate things – however she gets caught and The Professor has no choice but to save her by breaking her out and sending her into the reserve with the rest of the crew.
Rio is the youngest of the Money Heist cast. He has a gentle nature, despite the fact he helped to pull off the biggest heist in Spain and the world. Originally he was recruited by The Professor because of his exemplary technological skills. Rio fell under the spell of the enigmatic Tokyo pretty quickly and was madly in love with her.
After the first heist they lived together on a quiet island in the Caribbean for a few years before Tokyo decided to travel alone for a while to get some space and party. While she’s abroad Rio is arrested and tortured.
The crew’s second heist, taking place in Spain’s reserve, is put together solely to negotiate the release of Rio and to save him. When Rio is eventually brought to the team inside the reserve it isn’t long before he breaks up with Tokyo. The torture made him realize he was strong and could take care of himself, but his relationship with Tokyo (an older woman) made him feel weak and he became desperate without her.
Berlin, now deceased, was the brother of The Professor. He assisted with the planning of the Royal Mint heist, and the plans for the reserve heist are mostly of his design with the help of his best friend Palermo.
However, Berlin wasn’t exactly a good guy. He was sexist (it’s no surprise he has so many divorces to his name), aggressive, narcissistic, and willing to take advantage of people. In the Royal Mint heist he believed one of the hostages loved him, when in reality she was just trying to please him in order to stay alive.
Berlin died at the end of season two in a shockingly selfless movie he kept up cover fire against the police so the rest of the crew, and his brother, could get away. Though Berlin also had a terminal illness, so it’s possible it wasn’t entirely selfless, and was in part motivated by not wanting to watch himself slowly deteriorate.
Nairobi is possibly a fan favorite, which is why fans were distraught over her death towards the end of season four. She was originally brought onto the team as the counterfeit specialist. While printing money at the mint it was her job to ensure the bills were being made correctly, and in the reserve her job to keep the gold grains high quality.
Nairobi lost her son to protective services when it was discovered she was selling drugs. She joined the original heist in the hopes of having enough money to get her son back and run off with him – however she eventually decided this was a poor plan because he wouldn’t even remember her.
Ever since the first heist Nairobi realized she wanted to be a mother again now that she could provide her future children with everything they needed. She originally asked The Professor to be a sperm donor for her future children, and he agreed – however, she fell in love with one of the men hired to help with the second heist and it looked as if they were going to get married. Not that this really matters anymore.
Helsinki looks gruff, but is actually an absolute sweetheart. He cares deeply for the ones he loves and was Nairobi’s best friend. Helsinki was absolutely distraught when she was shot. Especially since he lost his brother in the first heist.
Helsinki also had a crush on Palermo – Palermo took advantage of this and used Helsinki, and it looks as if Helsi is over the crush by now. At least he should be since Palermo constantly calls him “fatty”.
Palermo was best friends with Berlin, and he was also secretly in love with him, but never told his friend before he died. Palermo is a vindictive person who started out as the leader of the reserve heist, but then when a coup was staged he didn’t take the fall from power gracefully.
Palermo ended up needing to be chained by the hostages for trying to leave during the heist. He then told the head of security how to escape which ultimately led to Nairobi’s death. However, with the head of security on the loose, the crew had no choice but to allow Palermo to work with them again.
Denver is an interesting guy. He has a sweet side, but his anger can get the better of him and cause him to act rashly. In the first heist Denver was commanded by Berlin to kill one of the hostages, Mónica. Denver was unable to do it and instead made a deal with her. He would shoot her in the leg and then hide her away somewhere. Eventually everyone found out what he did though.
Denver was only invited into the crew because The Professor wanted Denver’s dad, who went by Moscow. However, in an effort to save Tokyo, Moscow was shot by police and nobody was able to save him. Denver watched his father die, and he still doesn’t seem to be entirely over it.
Mónica Gaztambide (Stockholm)
Gaztambide was a hostage in the original heist. Shortly before the heist began she discovered she was pregnant with her boss’s child – her boss, Arturo, who was married at the time.
Gaztambide is the very same hostage who Denver shot in the leg – while Denver took care of her she fell in love with him. She’s made the first move, taking Denver by surprise, however he too, fell in love.
As the first heist drew to a close Gaztambide decided to abandon her old life and leave with the thieves who held her hostage, despite warnings from the crew she had only fallen in love because of Stockholm syndrome. Gaztambide changed her name to Stockholm as a nod to the warnings, but still left the heist with everyone, married Denver and began to raise her child with him. She also joined the crew in the second heist.
Arturo is possibly one of the scummiest people in Money Heist, which is surprising because he isn’t even one of the thieves. When we meet Arturo we find out he doesn’t want Gaztambide to keep her child because she’s his mistress.
As the heist goes on Arturo incites fear and anxiety within all the hostages repeatedly by assuming the worst and declaring it as fact. When given the opportunity to leave he doesn’t even take it. Instead, he prefers to stay a hostage so he can continue encouraging other people to risk their lives in order to cause chaos.
Once the second heist takes place Arturo is a renowned author and inspirational speaker due to the events he endured during the Royal Mint heist. It isn’t long before he barges straight into the second heist in order to become a hostage yet again. Once more Arturo, or as the crew calls him, “Arturito” – meaning “Little Arturo”, causes nothing but chaos, but ups the ante by making himself even more despicable when he rapes one of the other hostages. By the end of season four Arturo was arrested, thank goodness.
Sierra is possibly the only person who can rival the cunningness of The Professor. She can play the same games he does, and she plays them just as well. The difference though, is she doesn’t really have morals. She’ll do whatever it takes to win, she doesn’t care if one of her men gets third degree burns after his vehicle is hit with an RPG, to her that’s just collateral damage.
She’s dangerous because she’s a little bit crazy – she’s also the person who oversaw Rio’s torture. Sierra also worked with Lisbon, which means she knows how her ex-coworker thinks.
Eventually Sierra is fired from her position for being unstable, and having tortured Rio. This does not stop her from hunting down The Professor on her own and pointing a gun to his end in the season four finale.
There you have it, a guide to all the most important characters in Money Heist. With such a large ensemble cast it can be hard to keep it all straight in your head, and we don’t blame you – especially when there are long waits between seasons. Now if you ever feel like you’ve forgotten something about the show you can come back to this list and check to see which character has done what.