Ian O'Shea
Ian O'Shea
Gender Male
Spouse(s) Wanderer (partner)
Family Kyle O'Shea (brother)
Portrayed By Jake Abel
"It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful."  

-Ian to Wanderer on his feelings.

Ian O'Shea is one of the rebel humans, living in Jeb's caves, together with his older brother' Kyle'.

The Host

When Wanderer showed up in Melanie's body, his prejudice against the souls made him side with the majority that wanted her dead. Being one of the strongest men in the caves, he participated in an attempt to kill her and almost succeeded in strangling her.

Seeing how scared she was, he soon felt remorse for his attack. When Jeb allowed her to move freely in the caves, Ian started following her, initially out of curiosity and later as he saw she needed protection. This led to him becoming one of the first characters to see through his hatred for the souls. Ian believes that Wanderer is an innocent girl who does not deserve to be punished simply because she inhabits Melanie's body.

Ian with Jared

He eventually falls in love with her and becomes extremely devoted to her. Ian does not get along well with Jared, partially due to Wanda's affection for him and partially because of Jared's willingness to harm Wanda for his own personal gain. Ian is the only person who understands how Wanda thinks, and feels responsible for her since she is so self-sacrificing.

Physical Description


Ian O'Shea

Ian is in his mid-twenties. He is very tall and muscular with pale skin, messy black hair and bright blue eyes. He looks like his older brother Kyle. His voice sounds like Kyle's as well, which Wanda mistook once for Ian's voice. He has a straight, aquiline nose, different from Kyle's which was misshapen from multiple well deserved punches in the face before and during the story.



When he first meets her, his attitude is hostile; she is part of the invading force that drove the humans underground. During her first night in the caves, Ian, Kyle and Brandt came to visit her and Jared. Ian attempts to choke Wanda while Jared tries to defend her. Luckily, Jeb comes in time to make peace and makes the three men leave. After the attack, Wanda is left terrified of the humans- especially Ian and Kyle. She's goaded into doing chores around the caves while the others are watching her, leading them to accept her presence as a positive addition, regardless of her species.


Wanda explains that she's never had a partner throughout her eight full lives. But when she's inserted in Melanie, she goes on an adventure which leads them into meeting back up with Jared and meeting Ian. Her emotions are conflicted because Mel doesn't love Ian but Jared. Because Wanda is sharing Mel's feelings, she also falls in love with Jared as well as Ian. She describes it as being torn in half.
Ian sees right through Wanda- as a soul, deception does not come naturally to her at all. Her diplomatic and sometimes self-sacrificing lies are completely transparent, but her efforts cause Ian to come to her protection. Wanda would rather give lying her best shot than let Kyle, her would-be murderer, face exile or execution. Ian can even see whenever she's talking to Mel or when she's
Wanda 5
hurt and doesn't show it. He watches her protectively and observantly and can understand her emotions. This is one of the reasons why he doesn't kill her because he believes that she's really good and kind. So, he soon falls in love with her. He'd do anything to keep her alive, and safe in his arms. His feelings are obvious to others that his brother Kyle even said that he's got a “crush on the worm”.

Wanda with Ian

After Ian finds out that Wanda was going to give Mel back, and that she's leaving, he gets absolutely furious. He takes her from the southern tunnel to his room. There, he breaks down and cries for a long time. Once he has stopped, he kisses Wanda and she finally admits that she, Wanderer, was in love with Ian, and not Jared as much. Being in Mel's body and sharing her emotions was the reason why she believes that she loves Jared too. Ian puts together a small tribunal for Wanda to stay, between himself, Wanda, Jeb, Jared and Doc. The ruling of the tribunal was that they would finalize the decision the next day. Wanda goes to Doc anyway during that night, to "give Mel her body back", by being extracted from the body and then be left to die (the last of which Doc doesn't want to do). Wanderer is then taken out of Melanie's body.


Jared however coerces Doc into letting Wanderer be put into a cryotank. Jared Melanie and Jamie then find her a new body apparently without a human consciousness to claim it (according to their knowledge). Her new host is described as shorter than Jamie but taller than Isaiah and Freedom (Lucina's kids). Her nails are filed perfectly, pink and white and she has curly blond hair with freckles across her face.

Ian didn't care what the new host body looked like, knowing that appearance

Ian kissing Wanderer

doesn't matter and knows that the soul wouldn't mind either. He knows that Wanda would be herself. He wouldn't let anybody else touch her cryotank or her. She was told by Ian that she was beautiful in her worm form. Jamie later unsubtly tells Ian that he's moving out of his room, leaving him alone. He asks Wanda if she would like to move in with him... and she said yes. Ian and

Wanderer (inside Melanie's body) with Ian O'shea

Wanda end up as a firm couple just as Jared and Melanie are. She feels he is her protector and he admits he would do anything to keep her safe and with him. She later says they hold hands almost all the time. 

Kyle O'Shea

Kyle O'Shea is Ian's older, stubborn brother. He also live in the caves. (They stuck together for the invasion.) The two have always been classic brothers, playing sports with each other like soccer. They work well together when they don't have anything on their minds. Although originally united when trying to kill Wanda, their relationship becomes more divided as time goes on in the caves. When Kyle leaves on a raid and returns to find Ian a friend of Wanda's he is enraged and attempts to kill her. Ian testifies against Kyle during the ensuing tribunal and proposes that Kyle leave

Ian's brother Kyle O'Shea

the caves. This is possibly the lowest point in their brotherhood. But, when Jeb decides against Ian, Kyle gets to stay. The two somewhat resolve their issues during a game of soccer but tension is still present over Wanderer who Ian continues to care for.

However, things change after Wanderer shows Doc how to take out souls from human bodies. Kyle realizes the potential this could have for his Jodi and sneaks off and to get her body now inhabited by a soul Sunny. Kyle treats Sunny with the utmost kindness and this lead him to finally accept Wanda, ending his feud with Ian. The book ends with both the brothers in relationships with souls and their own relationship completely restored.

Film Adaptation

Jake abel

Jake Abel

Ian is played by Jake Abel in film adaptation of The Host.

Jake originally auditioned for Jared, but was convinced to read for Ian by Andrew Nicholl.


Ian O'Shea's Photos.

See also