James Whitman

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Doctor James Whitman
Tr9 James whitman 1.png
Born late 1960s, early 1970s
Died 2013
Nationality American
Education Harvard University (Archaeology, Anthropology), Cambridge University (PHD)
Occupation Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Author, TV Documentarian, member of the Endurance Expedition
Spouse Sheila (divorced)
Game(s) Tomb Raider (2013)
Comic(s) Tomb Raider: The Beginning
Voice Cooper Thornton

Dr. James Whitman, short also known as Jim, is a character in Tomb Raider (2013) and in the comic Tomb Raider: The Beginning.

He is one of the survivors of the Endurance's ship wreck.



After finishing school, Whitman studies Archaeology and Anthropology at Harvard, following up with taking his PHD at Cambridge.


Following the completion of his own education, he takes on teaching at many schools around the world.


When it proves lucrative, Whitman moves into documentary filmmaking and the presentation of Archaeological TV shows. He becomes quite a popular presenter, having his own show called "Whitman's World", with a successful range of tie-in books. The Endurance Expedition is supposed to be a part of this show's second season.[1][2]

Yamatai Expedition (2013)

As Whitman prepares for the expedition to Yamatai, he has been informed by his agent Thomas Goldman that his network has commissioned for a third seasosn of "Whitman's World", as the season two's figures are doing "okay". Later on Whitman goes to the Endurance to interview the new crew with the assistance of a cameraman and an additional helper.[3]

However, the network pulls the funding from season three when the final figures from season two arrive, and the figures are very bad. Whitman tells his agent Thomas how he knew that the Aztec ruins were a mistake on the show. As the funding is pulled, the crew that helped Whitman in doing the interviews are called off. Whitman doesn't tell the crew of the Endurance, he cheerfully says "We'll see you in a couple of days!" to the network's personnel who are leaving the premises of the Endurance, which is a lie.[4]

Pulling of the funding won't stop Whitman from doing the expedition: he'll fund it with his own money, if Thomas isn't able to convince the network to reconsider the funding decision. Whitman believes that the search for the lost kingdom of Yamatai could be a gold mine, but the network is only interested in ratings of the show. Lara overhears this discussion between Whitman and Thomas.[5]

As Whitman's former wife Sheila won't let him sell his old antiques for a better price, Whitman asks Thomas to give him the pieces sent from the London museum for the third season of "Whitman's World": the Chinese gods of good fortune, prosperity and longevity, Fu, Lu and Shou. Whitman secretly intends to sell them to Mr. Hong, a fast but unpredictable buyer arranged by Fergus. As Mr. Hong wants to take the pieces with him for further examination of their authenticity and Whitman doesn't agree, Whitman gets into a fight with Cheng. Before things end too badly for Whitman, Jonah Maiava arrives on the scene to save him, but Jonah gets shot in his arm while doing so. Both Jonah and Whitman manage to escape alive, but the artefacts from the London museum are destroyed during the fight. Jonah was sent by Conrad Roth to help Whitman.[6]

Eventually Whitman must admit to the Endurance's crew what has actually happened to the network's funding. With his own money invested in the expedition, all they'll need is a researcher and a cameraman. Lara offers to be the researcher and eventually Samantha Nishimura gets to be the cameraman.[7]

In Tomb Raider (2013)

In the game Lara meets him for the first time after the shipwreck, when Sam gets kidnapped by Mathias.

Dr. Whitman accompanies Lara when she decides to rest at a camp after getting her foot caught in a bear trap and then sets out to find Conrad Roth, the Endurance's captain. He gets captured together with Lara. At this point his fate is unknown, but he later reappears and helps Lara and Sam escape the burning palace. He later meets up with the other survivors on the beach.

His strange fascination for the scavenger's culture and rituals makes him suspicious to Lara. He even puts down his gun and lets himself get taken hostage to get to know the scavengers better, even if Lara warns him that that would be a terrible mistake.

Towards the end of the game, Whitman kidnaps Sam himself and takes her to Mathias as he is curious about the resurrection Ritual of Himiko, believing it is all just hocus-pocus.


Whitman meets his tragic demise when Mathias fools him to make contact with the ancient, demonic Stormguard soldiers that guard the monastery, when they're dragging Samantha with them for completing the Ritual. Mathias tells Whitman how the soldiers guard the monastery and wait for being introduced to the new Sun Queen "by the one who brought her back to us"[8] - implying that Whitman should do the talking.

Whitman then steps out from behind the stone wall where the three of them were hiding, and confronts the Stormguard soldiers with this arrogant TV-presenter style, being confident about his success "Of course! I've encountered these archaic tribes before." He marches towards the soldiers saying "My name is Doctor James Whitman, I come to you in piece. I bring you your new queen!"[9] However, Mathias doesn't show up with Samantha. Whitman then slowly starts to hesitate, and he keeps repeating "Your Queen" and when he eventually says it out loud in Japanese, he enrages the guards, who then brutally slaughter him with their swords.

All this was a part of Mathias' plan, as he was only using Whitman as a distraction to lure the guards away from the bridge that leads to the monastery. Now that the road is clear, Mathias can enter the monastery with the captive Samantha without meeting the same fate as Whitman. This whole scenario was seen by Lara, who was hiding on a ledge above.


Whitman has very recently divorced his wife Sheila, leaving Whitman almost nothing of his antiques or any other of his possessions. It is implied that Whitman has had some sort of an affair with another woman, which presumably lead to the divorce.[10]

Further Information

Dr. Whitman
  • Real Name: Dr. James ‘Jim’ Whitman
  • Age: 43-45
  • Nationality: American
  • Occupation: Lead archaeologist, author and TV presenter/documentarian
  • Interests: Glitzy showbiz parties, book launches, dining in the best restaurants, and expensive travel.

Dr. Whitman studied at Harvard and is both an expert in Archaeology and Anthropology. He also took his PhD at Cambridge University in the UK and taught at many schools around the world. However, over the last few years Whitman has moved into TV series and documentary making and became quite a popular presenter with a successful range of tie-in books. This has made him both a golden-boy and a black-sheep to the archaeological community. The former for increasing exposure and interest in archaeology and the latter for 'selling his soul to TV'. Dr. Whitman has had a bit of a run of bad fortune and only recently emerged from a messy divorce.

His TV series is also in danger of not being renewed unless he finds some new and exciting angle; a problem that he's not keen to share with the rest of the crew. He privately hopes that the trip will give him material for a new TV series and, along with Sam’s footage, the commissioning editors will come crawling to him.
Endurance Week: Meet the Crew [11]

See Also

James Whitman's former wife
Whitman's agent



  1. Tomb Raider: The Beginning Comic, Tomb Raider on Tumblr Retrieved on 31st Jan 2013.
  2. Tomb Raider Facebook Page Retrieved on 31st Jan 2013.
  3. Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic, p. 5-7.
  4. Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic, p. 20-21.
  5. Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic, p. 22.
  6. Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic, p. 24-31.
  7. Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic, p. 33-35, 48.
  8. In-game dialogue
  9. In-game dialogue
  10. Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic, p. 23-24.
  11. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151335072956158&set=a.10151329355521158.459933.287378891157&type=3&theater Retrieved on 26th Feb 2013.