Jonathan Harker is one of the primary protagonists who appeared in the 1897 Bram Stoker novel, Dracula. He has appeared in numerous cinematic adaptations of the novel, played by various actors including David Manners, Trevor Eve, Keanu Reeves and John Van Eyssen. The point of view of the main story is usually through Jonathan's perspective, and he is almost always romantically linked to either Mina Harker or Lucy Western.
Jonathan Harker was a scholar and a lifelong friend of Doctor Van Helsing. He was also very close to the Holmwood family and was engaged to marry Lucy Holmwood, sister to his friend Arthur Holmwood. In their studies, Van Helsing and Jonathan discovered the existence of vampires. Moreover, they learned about the most dangerous vampire of all – Count Dracula.
Jonathan took it upon himself to insinuate himself into Dracula's life and destroy the vampire once and for all. In May of 1885, Jonathan Harker traveled to Castle Dracula near the village of Klausenburg under the pretense of being a librarian. He arranged for Dracula to hire him on to stay at the castle and index all of the volumes in the Count's personal library.
On his first evening in the castle, Jonathan met a young woman who claimed to be a slave of the Count. She begged him to set her free, but Jonathan put her off until he could learn more about the Count. Dracula soon introduced himself, but Jonathan made no mention of the strange woman he had encountered. Dracula provided him with a room and gave him a key to the library. He told Harker that he would be away during the day, but would return at night to consult with him.
The following evening, Jonathan had a second encounter with the scared woman trapped in Dracula's castle. Once again, she begged him to set her free. As she held Jonathan close in her arms, she revealed her vampire fangs and tried to bite him. Dracula appeared in the room and didn't bother to disguise the fact that he was a vampire as well. He pushed the woman away and took Jonathan for himself.
Jonathan awoke the following afternoon in his bedroom. He had two puncture wounds on the side of his neck and knew that he was now a victim of Dracula. He recorded his thoughts in his diary, then crept out the bedroom window onto the grounds below. He hid his diary inside a hole in a tree, then returned to Castle Dracula to put an end to Dracula. He had very little time as the sun would be going down soon.
He found the crypt beneath Castle Dracula, which contained the coffins of Dracula and his bride. He took a hammer and stake and executed the vampire woman. As she died, the woman turned into an aged crone. He was too late to take care of Dracula however. The vampire lord rose from his coffin and attacked Jonathan, turning him into a vampire.
Some ten days later, Doctor Van Helsing was traveling through the outlying streets of Klausenburg where he met an innkeeper's hostess. The woman had recovered Jonathan's diary and presented it to Van Helsing. Upon reading it, Van Helsing knew that Jonathan was dead and he went to Castle Dracula. He found no evidence of Dracula himself, but he did discover the coffin where Jonathan slept. He drove a stake into his heart, putting his soul at peace.
This version of Jonathan Harker vastly differs from previous interpretations of the character. In the novel, and many of the film adaptations, Jonathan Harker is a London solicitor, not a librarian from Klausenburg. He is also engaged to marry Mina Harker, not Lucy Westerna-Holmwood. Also, Horror of Dracula is one of the few films where the character of Jonathan Harker is killed off.