Who is the Narrator of A Gentleman in Moscow?

Image Credit: Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

Showtime’s ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ transports the audience to a turbulent time in Russian history, especially for the nobility, following the events from the perspective of a man put under house arrest for the rest of his life. The protagonist is a man named Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who is forced to stay inside the Metropol under the condition that should he step a foot outside it, he will be killed. Over the course of eight episodes, the story takes many twists and turns for the Count, whose life, despite being confined to one location, doesn’t get any less exciting.

It’s quite a story that is told to the audience, and it’s done so through an unseen narrator. We only hear their voice, but their true identity and their connection to Count Rostov is not yet revealed. Who is this person, and what role do they play in the Count’s story? What is their significance in this tale? SPOILERS AHEAD

The Narrator is an Unexpected But Important Person in Rostov’s Story

Image Credit: Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

In the credits of ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ actress Anna Madeley is credited for the voice of the Narrator, though she never really appears on the show. Or at least, she hasn’t yet. With only three episodes in, a lot has happened in the Count’s life, and several years have passed, as evidenced by a grown-up Nina, who was a mere child when the Count first received his sentence. Despite this, there is no sign of the Narrator, which only means one thing: they haven’t yet arrived in the story. However, that doesn’t mean that they are not important. In fact, in the first episode, the Narrator ties themselves to Rostov’s survival by saying that if he had not ended up in the Metropol, the Narrator’s life would have turned out completely different. They credit the Count with saving their life, which means that their role in the story is incredibly important.

‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ adapts Amor Towles’ book of the same name, and by far, the show has stuck quite faithfully to the story. Though some key changes have been made in the narrative, they don’t affect the overall plot of the story as laid down by Towles, which means it is safe to assume that all important characters in the book will show up in the series and will be given their fair share of space in the story. This allows us to make an educated guess about the identity of the Narrator.

Image Credit: Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

The first thing to be noticed about the Narrator is that they are a woman. By far, several women have become an integral part of the Count’s story. From Nina to Marina to Anna Urbanova, the Count has made a variety of female friends in the Metropol, but none of them is the narrator. Before the third episode, one could have expected the Narrator to be a grown-up Nina, but the role is played by Leah Balmforth, which means that she is not the one relating the story to the audience.

Those familiar with the book know of Nina’s tragic fate, which means that she couldn’t have been the Narrator in the first place. This leaves only one woman in the Count’s life who could be in the position to tell his story so intimately: Sofia. Without revealing any spoilers for those unfamiliar with the book, we can say that Sofia is an incredibly important character in the Count’s life and will probably be introduced in its fourth or fifth episode. Becoming a daughter-like figure for the Count, her story is deeply intertwined with his, and considering all the factors, she is in the best position to tell the Count’s tale. He saves her life further down the line, so the Narrator’s claim of being saved by the Count is also fulfilled, confirming that Sofia is telling the story herself.

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