|“||But there's a new order now... My order. Finally, you will bow to me!||”|
–Jafar becomes Sultan of Agrabah
Jafar is a very powerful and psychopathic sorcerer, who wants to rule Agrabah with an iron fist for centuries to come.
Jafar is given the fairly accurate nickname of "Señor Psychopath" by the Genie character near the climax of the first film. Like numerous other clinically-diagnosed psychopaths, Jafar wears a metaphorical mask of normalcy throughout the film, establishing himself as a cool-headed, stereotypically-British schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy physical appearance.
Even with this mask, Jafar's psychopathic tendencies tend to seep through and become apparent to the viewer, particularly in the opening sequence, where Jafar displays no remorse in sending Gazeem to his death in the Cave of Wonders, simply proclaiming that "Gazeem was obviously less than worthy" in a rather dry tone of voice.
Jafar is a tall, bony, middle-aged man dressed in extravagant clothing, always seen carrying a gold, ruby-eyed, cobra headed staff to supplement his magical powers. Jafar has a twisted, black goatee and a faint mustache, as well as gray eyeliner. He was supposed to be designed as ugly, and Genie makes this obvious when he refers to him as "a tall, dark, sinister, ugly man." He is apparently completely bald, as evidenced by when he removes his beggar disguise, acting as the only time Jafar did not wear his distinctive headdress, although it was never made clear whether he was naturally bald or if he shaved his head for the disguise. Jafar also carries a cobra-head staff, which he uses for his sorcery.
As Royal Vizier, Jafar wears black robes that reach the ground over top a red garment with bell sleeves, under which he wears a jet-black shirt with very close-fitting sleeves that reach his wrists, all held in place with a red-violet sash tied around his waist. The shoulders of his outer robe are pointed and curved upward, connected to a long, billowing black cape with a blood-red underside, while his brown shoes curl inward at the tips. He also wears an odd, pale-yellowish garment that covers his neck, the back of his head, and his chest.
The outfit is topped off with a tall, black headdress, seemingly a type of mitre, with a thin, yellow pattern lined around the middle and downwards at the front, a ruby-like gemstone situated in the front, and a crimson-red feather sticking out above it. The headdress itself is apparently (yet strangely) made out of metal, as evidenced by the hollow clonking sound it made when Iago briefly knocked on it while trying to get Jafar to calm down from a laughing fit as he thought he went insane (not realizing he was actually laughing because he realized that not only did the lamp actually survive, it's actually in close proximity since Prince Ali, or rather, Aladdin, owns it). A red-violet cloth hangs from the miter, draping over Jafar's shoulders. As Sultan, Jafar wears a white, blue, and gold version of this outfit resembling the actual sultan's.
When he's turned into a sorcerer, Jafar's wardrobe goes to a more exaggerated, sinister form of his normal attire; The head-dress sports distinct, horn-like protrusions, the red feather is gone, and only the ruby on the front remains. The shoulders of his outer robe are even pointer and maintain a higher position than before, no longer curved. The sash on his waist is also different, bearing a pattern of magenta and copper stripes and a gold border. Here, he regains his iconic snake staff, but it now has an open fanged-mouth that fires beams magic on command.
In his showdown with Aladdin, Jafar transforms into an enormous cobra, greatly bearing the color palette of his main wardrobe. The cobra is mainly black, representing his main robes, with the hood having a crimson underside with a red dot on each side, making the hood resemble his cape and mitre combined. He has a tan underbelly, resembling the garment covering his neck and most of his head, and he has red markings running down his back to his unseen tail-tip. The Cobra also has menacing red eyes and sharp (possibly venomous) teeth.
Once Jafar makes his third lamp wish to be an all-powerful genie, he takes on a form resembling Genie himself, but with a more sinister appearance and a muscular physique. Jafar's skin becomes blood-red, his ears become pointed, his right ear gains a gold piercing (which changes from big to small in the second film), his hair becomes tied in a topknot, and his eyes become completely yellow (although there are instances where Jafar gains pupils, such as in "You're Only Second Rate"). He has five-fingered hands (albeit with black claws, compared to Genie, who has four-fingers), and when his full genie body is shown, his entire physique is revealed to be muscular with legs looking somewhat demonic with feet bearing the same black claws and the red-violet sash on his waist that is shown in his genie smoke form is revealed to be the top of a loincloth (in comparison to Genie's trousers and turned up shoes) which is the only article of clothing that he wears in this form. When he's in his normal human form, Jafar wears a slight recolor of his sorcerer outfit, with the red and black colors switched. He also retains his snake staff.
Personality and Traits
Jafar is portrayed as an immoral psychopath who will not hesitate to destroy anyone he perceives as a threat to his own sinister designs. Like numerous clinically-diagnosed psychopaths, Jafar wears a metaphorical mask of normalcy throughout the film, establishing himself as a cool-headed schemer and gaining the trust of those around him, despite his rather untrustworthy physical appearance. Even with this mask, Jafar's psychopathic tendencies tend to seep through and become apparent to the viewer, particularly in the opening sequence, where Jafar, outside immediate initial anger over Gazeem the thief not being the one who is the Diamond in the Rough, displays no remorse in sending Gazeem to his death in the Cave of Wonders, simply proclaiming that, "Gazeem was obviously less than worthy" in a rather dry tone of voice. It is not until Jafar gains control of the Genie's lamp that he fully shows his true colors, becoming arrogant, tyrannical, and ill-tempered with his subjects. He also was depicted as laughing excessively and in a deranged manner shortly after banishing Aladdin to the North Pole, suggesting that Jafar was also insane and suffered from hysteria.
Jafar displays narcissistic tendencies, his most obvious ones being his obsessive desire for power and sense of entitlement. However, his lust for power does not stem from a mere desire for authority (though this is a motivating factor), but rather an intolerance for subordination. Jafar detests being "second best" to anyone else -- be it the Sultan or a cosmic entity such as the Genie. It is this excessive thirst for power that ultimately leads to Jafar's downfall; upon becoming a sorcerer (and, by extension, the most powerful man in the world), Jafar realizes that his power is still inferior to the Genie's, which drives him to hastily wish to become a genie, himself, without realizing this would render him a slave for all eternity.
Jafar has a somewhat comical edge that helps to add some humanity to his character, for example proclaiming "Ewww..." when contemplating decapitation, a trait unusual in a Disney villain. Furthermore, Jafar has a sadistic sense of humor himself, spurting several puns in a row while keeping Aladdin and his friends from getting the lamp during the film's climax ("Your time is up!", "Don't toy with me!", "Things are unraveling fast now, boy!", "Get the point?", "I'm just getting warmed up!"). Further humanity can be found in his relationship with Iago; although Jafar is the driving force behind each plot, and in turn reaps most of the credit and reward, he and Iago share a camaraderie uncommon in most Disney villain/sidekick dynamics. As they are both cunning, sadistic, power-hungry, and have a mutual hatred for the Sultan, they get along quite well. Jafar, at one point, exclaims that he, "loves the way your [Iago's] foul little mind works!", and further shows his appreciation for Iago by gifting the parrot with his own turban following Jafar's wish to become Sultan. Because they are both haughty, however, the two are somewhat prone to bickering.
Jafar is quick to abuse his underlings as a means of releasing his own anger. Ultimately, this proves to be his final downfall, as Iago ends up turning against Jafar in large part because of his abuse and not giving him credit when it was due, and to a lesser extent, Abis Mal ends up delaying his wish and buying enough time for Abu to grab the lamp before the final battle to ask Jafar whether the latter will remove the treasures he had summoned to bribe Abis Mal for the third wish largely due to Jafar's earlier actions of abusing his wish-granting abilities to essentially torture Abis Mal. Jafar's mercilessness more heavily carries over to other characters in the film, especially during the climax; following his hostile rise to power, Jafar immediately used his newfound abilities to ruthlessly torment Jasmine, the Sultan, Aladdin, and the Genie via physical abuse, humiliation, slavery, and other forms of torture, of which he openly showed amusement. The deleted song "Humiliate the Boy" also establishes Jafar as an emotional sadist, getting a laugh out of seeing "another fellow's dreams turn into nightmares one by one" and treating the Genie in an especially harsh manner. Additionally, in The Return of Jafar, Jafar was proven to not mind his inability to kill as a genie because, "there are things so much worse than death", implying that he would simply torture people to the point that his victims wished they were dead.
Jafar is also attracted to Princess Jasmine, but primarily for her physical appearance, and not for Jasmine herself as a person. His final wish was initially for Jasmine to fall desperately in love with him so he could make her his queen (he and Iago originally planned on killing her as soon as he became Sultan, but at some time later he refused to kill her, instead of sparing her life); he first creates a golden crown for her from her shackles to do so with a wave of his hand, saying that a girl as beautiful as her "should be on the arm of the most powerful man in the world". (Much earlier, though, he says in what we would consider being a sexist manner that Jasmine's speechlessness is "a fine quality in a wife").