Planet of the Apes Wiki

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the official novelization of the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Written by author Alex Irvine, the novel is a retelling of the film's plot. The novel was released on July 15, 2014, exactly four days after the film's American release.

The Novel's Outline[]

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

Main Characters[]


  • Caesar - A genetically intelligent chimpanzee raised by humans, Caesar is the leader and king of San Francisco's Ape Colony and the father of a teenage son, named Blue Eyes and an infant son, named Cornelius. He is also the husband of Cornelia, the colony's Queen.
  • Cornelia - Caesar's wife, the Queen of the Ape Colony and the mother of Caesar's teenage son, Blue Eyes and infant son, Cornelius.
  • Blue Eyes - Caesar and Cornelia's teenage son and heir as well as the older brother of Cornelius.
  • Rocket - An old friend of Caesar and one of his lieutenants as a well as Caesar's former rival. Rocket is also Ash's father.
  • Maurice - A kind orangutan who befriended Caesar during his time in captivity and one of his lead lieutenants.
  • Koba - Caesar's advisor and friend and later enemy.
  • Ash - Rocket's son, Caesar's honorary nephew and Blue Eyes' best friend.
  • Grey - a male chimpanzee who is a follower of Koba and assists him with his plans.
  • Stone - a male chimpanzee who is a follower of Koba and assists him with his plans.
  • Luca - a male gorilla who is a follower of Caesar.
  • Sparrow - a female chimpanzee who summons Caesar to see Cornelia before she gives birth.


  • Malcolm - A leader of the human resistance who teams up with Caesar and becomes his human counterpart.
  • Dreyfus - Leader of the humans of San Francisco.
  • Ellie, Malcolm's second wife and the step-mother of Alexander. The human counterpart of Cornelia.
  • Alexander, Malcolm's 15-year-old son and step-son of Ellie. Is befriended by Maurice. The human counterpart for Blue Eyes.
  • Werner, an ally of Dreyfus.
  • McVeigh, an ally of Dreyfus.
  • Terry, an ally of Dreyfus.
  • Finney, an ally of Dreyfus.
  • Carver, a member of Malcolm's group and a former Engineer. He has an attitude problem and a strong hatred for apes.
  • Kemp, a member of Malcolm's group.
  • Captain Haynes as The Captain, a ship captain who appears in the epilogue.
  • Sarah, Ellie's deceased daughter. Mentioned when Ellie recalls a memory of her.
  • Maddy, Dreyfus' deceased wife. Appears via Dreyfus' photo.
  • Edward, Dreyfus' deceased son. Appears via Dreyfus' photo.
  • John, Dreyfus' deceased son. Appears via Dreyfus' photo.
  • Will Rodman, the adoptive father of Caesar. Appears via camera footage.
  • Charles Rodman, mentioned only as "Will's father".
  • Douglas Hunsiker, mentioned only as "Will's neighbor".
  • Steven Jacobs, mentioned only.


Ten years after the Simian Flu outbreak, a middle aged Caesar now leads and governs a new generation of apes in a community located in the Muir Woods. The group includes comrades from the ape sanctuary (notably Rocket and Maurice) as well as Koba, the bonobo formerly experimented on at Gen-Sys. Caesar leads the apes on a hunting party for deer, where his adolescent son, Blue Eyes, is scarred by an attacking grizzly bear. Caesar is summoned by Sparrow to his home in the apes' village, where his sick wife has given birth to a newborn son. The next day, Caesar and Maurice wonder about the fate of the humans.

The next morning, Blue Eyes and Ash (son of Rocket) encounter a small party of armed human survivors in the forest led by a man named Malcolm. In a panic, Carver, holding deep distrust for the apes, shoots and wounds Ash. Caesar decides against retaliation and orders the humans to leave. Koba, Grey, and Stone follow the humans to the city. It is revealed a group of humans genetically immune to the virus have established a guarded safe-haven inside a semi-built tower in the heart of post-apocalyptic San Francisco. The next morning, Caesar pre-emptively leads the apes to a face-to-face confrontation with the humans at the tower where he speaks and orders Malcolm, the safe-haven's co-founder, to never enter ape territory again.

Malcolm convinces the human camp's leader Dreyfus to give him time to reconcile with the apes to gain access to a hydroelectric dam in their territory, which could provide long-term power to the city. Dreyfus is distrustful of the apes and arms survivors using an abandoned armory in preparation for war. Caesar's lieutenant Koba encourages him to wipe the humans out while they are desperate. Seeing possible peace, Caesar allows Malcolm to work on the dam's generator provided they work unarmed. The next day, trust comes to a standstill as Carver threatens Caesar's newborn with a concealed weapon, but later Ellie helps treat Caesar's sick wife with antibiotics.

Koba, along with his two loyalists Grey and Stone, discovers the armory and questions Caesar's allegiance. Enraged, Caesar heavily beats Koba for his insolence, but spares and forgives him, citing the "Ape shall not kill Ape" law. Furious and deeply humiliated by being beaten in front of both apes and humans, Koba secretly plans to usurp Caesar. The next day, Koba steals an assault rifle from the armory after murdering two human guards. That night, power is restored to the city, the humans rejoice and Malcolm's team celebrates with the apes while Koba beats Carver to death and has two apes set the apes' home alight. In hiding, Koba shoots Caesar as the two lock eyes, presumably killing him. The ape colony grows frantic with the loss of the Alpha Male and Koba blames Malcolm's team for Caesar's death and burning the colony, brainwashing Blue Eyes. He orders war with the humans as retribution. Maurice helps Malcolm and his family escape into hiding.

Assuming leadership, Koba leads able-bodied apes to war in San Francisco. The pack overwhelms the armory and charge the tower’s gates heavily armed. Despite heavy casualties, Koba helps the apes overrun the tower and imprison all the humans as Dreyfus flees underground. The next day, Ash refuses Koba’s orders to kill an unarmed man, citing Caesar's teachings. Koba kills Ash before Blue Eyes' eyes and then jails all Caesar's sympathizers, including Rocket (angry at Koba for killing his son), Maurice (who stays silent), and a gorilla named Luca (who had bonded with Malcolm).

Malcolm, Ellie, and Alexander find Caesar barely alive and transport him to his former home in San Francisco. Caesar informs Malcolm that it was Koba, not Carver, who shot him as Malcolm’s family discover Caesar’s upbringing. Malcolm finds medical supplies for Ellie to operate and brings Blue Eyes back with him to Caesar. Caesar and Blue Eyes embrace, update, and forgive each other. Caesar laments that he was misguided when thinking apes were better than humans, having now seen what they're capable of and realizing the two are not so different after all. Blue Eyes frees the humans and the apes loyal to Caesar while a resting Caesar becomes nostalgic examining mementos from his childhood, including footage of Will Rodman teaching him how to play chess and how to sign "home".

The freed apes join Caesar and confront Koba at the summit of the tower. Dreyfus informs Malcolm that his men have made radio contact with another band of survivors on their way to fight the apes in San Francisco. While Caesar and Koba battle for supremacy, Malcolm unsuccessfully prevents Dreyfus from detonating C-4 explosives underneath the tower. The explosion kills Dreyfus and collapses part of the tower, injuring and killing several apes. As Caesar and others assist the injured, Koba dives at Caesar with his harpoon. Caesar manages to outmaneuver and overpower Koba, leaving the bonobo grasping to a very high ledge. Koba taunts Caesar by reminding him of the law, "Ape will not kill ape". Caesar wonders whether he should be a good example to Blue Eyes by letting Koba live or let go of him to help Rocket exact revenge. Realizing that Koba has embraced what humans use to become powerful, Caesar remarks, "You are not ape", and lets his friend-turned enemy fall to his death.

Malcolm informs Caesar of the impending arrival of human reinforcements as the two mourn the lost chance for peace now that war has begun. Caesar tells Malcolm to leave with his family for safety. As Caesar and the apes stand on top of the tower, a ship full of humans sails under the Golden Gate Bridge at daybreak. The apes are spotted by the ship's captain, and Caesar waits to see who will make the first move in this game of chess.

Initial Publications[]

More to come...


More to come...

Also See[]

Differences from the movie[]

  • Koba wields a harpoon instead of a spear.
  • The bear survives Koba's initial ambush, so both he and Caesar have to finish it off.
  • The deleted scene from the movie where Caesar gives Koba the bear's pelt is kept in the novel.
  • Lake appears and the mutual attraction between her and Blue Eyes is strongly hinted at.
  • In the movie, Koba's other two scars are on his right arm and on the left side of his neck, but in the novel, they are described as being on his head and on his back.
  • Luca the gorilla is present during the repairing of the dam, and forms something of a bond with Malcom.
  • When Koba challenges Caesar at the dam, he insults him by accusing him of making the apes serve humans and of disgracing Blue Eyes, instead of accusing of Caesar of loving humans more than apes and his own sons like in the movie.
  • Grey uses Carver's cigar to set fire to the ape village instead of his lighter.
  • Rocket's reaction to his son, Ash's death is shown; he angrily denounces Koba for killing him.
  • Maurice and Rocket's imprisonment is shown.
  • When Koba goes down to confront Caesar at the climax, he leaves his gun and harpoon behind on the tower, and instead holds a bottle of alcohol when Caesar tells him he is weaker.
  • Caesar and Koba's dialogue during their final duel, where they argue about each other's loyalties, is omitted from the novel.
  • After the explosion, Koba attacks Caesar with his harpoon instead of trying to gun him down like in the movie. Koba tries to use the same move he used on the bear, but Caesar recognizes the move in time and is able to dodge.
  • When Caesar lets Koba go, the bonobo falls straight down to his death, rather than hitting any cables or cranes like in the movie. He also doesn't cry out "No!", and is instead described as "screaming out all his rage and hatred."


  • It is written that Koba only has the "vaguest memory of his mother" and thus doesn't understand how Blue Eyes' feels about losing Caesar, which contradicts the flashbacks in Firestorm, which show that Koba clearly remembers his short, happy life with his mother and how she was killed by a human named Roger.
  • During Caesar's final confrontation with Koba, it is written that it has been five days since Koba killed the bear. It has actually been more than five days.


  • When Dreyfus is looking through his photos, a year for the commencement of the Simian Flu is suggested: "And there was what he had come for: Maddie and their boys - Edward and John. Standing on the viewing platform at the top of the viewing platform, they smiled at the camera in that distant year of 2012, when the Simian Flu was just a public health concern and nobody had imagined what the next ten years would hold." This suggests that Dawn takes place in 2022. However, this contradicts the Dawn website's claim that it is 2026, as well as the Before The Dawn shorts by Motherboard, which contain text saying that Simian Flu began in 2011. Since this is a novelization and not the film itself, 2012 may not be the actual year in which Rise is intended to take place. It should be noted that the film itself contains a picture of Edward and John, who appear to be younger than their ages given in the official movie prequel (14 and 12). Furthermore, there is no apparent evidence that the picture was taken on the Coit Tower.


  • It is mentioned a few times that it has been ten years since the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the Simian Flu outbreak.
  • The events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm are alluded to in the novel; Dreyfus remembers mercenaries being sent to the Muir Woods, which ended up getting set on fire, causing people to believe that the apes were killed.
  • In the beginning of the novel, gibbons are mentioned among the types of apes in the village. They do not appear in the film itself, nor have they ever appeared in a Planet of the Apes film.
  • A female chimp who alerts Caesar about Cornelia being in labor is named Sparrow.
  • Malcolm remembers that the city burned for over a year after the Simian Flu outbreak.
  • Dreyfus says, "We spent four years fighting the virus, and another four fighting each other as the city came apart." A similar line was included in the trailer for the film.
  • In the novelization, Malcolm is the one who expresses the belief that Alexander is safer with him than without him. In the film, Alexander is the one who expresses this belief.
  • The novelization also includes a male gorilla named Luca, who assists Malcolm's group as they repair the dam.
  • The epilogue might have been intended to be the stinger for the film, which was cut because Matt Reeves did not want to "box ourselves in."
  • One notable difference in the novel is that Luca, leader of the Gorillas befriends Malcolm and becomes fond of him. This relationship is not seen or is it referenced in the film.
  • Another difference in the novel is that Blue Eyes is seen to be envious of his baby brother Cornelius and is not afraid to express it. In the the film, this is not referred to at all.
  • In terms of baby Milo, Caesar is asked what the baby's name is and he states that his new son has not yet got a name. While this is not stated in the film, the infant is not named. The name was only confirmed by Andy Serkis when he was asked about it during an interview to promote the film. This was later disproven as the baby's name was revealed in the sequel to be Cornelius.
  • The audiobook is narrated by Christian Rummel.

External Links[]


Planet of the Apes - 20th Century Reboot Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes | Untitled fifth Planet of the Apes film
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red | Noa | Soona | Anaya | Raka | Koro | Dar | Proximus Caesar | Sylva | Lightning
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando | Luna | Oda | Rust
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova | Mae | Trevathan
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis | Korina
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear | Eagle | Zebra
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of Muir Woods Park | Attack on Ape Waterfall | Battle of the Border
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
San Francisco Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys | Florida Ape Colony | Rocky Mountains Ape Colony | Eagle Clan | Coastal Ape Colony | Order of Caesar | Satellite Human Colony
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse | Ape Waterfall | The Border | Oasis
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man | Planet of the Apes: The Simian Age | Planet of the Apes: Devolution
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | War for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes VR