Ryan Aherne is the leader of The Hunters. He is described as a tall boy of about sixteen with a scarred pockmarked face from acne. Instead of showing his face, he usually covers it with a dried human face which he skinned off of an adult. Sometimes his smile is described as wolfish.
Other features of Ryan's stylistic preferences are his outfit of black leather, chains, big boots and a collection of trophy human ears he wears around his belt as a measure of how many sickos he has killed and thus how much he is worth. His weapon is a club banded by metal strips. Along with his club, Ryan usually has his big female Rottweiler by his side. During The End, he loses his left hand (coincidentally also his wanking hand) and his dog during the big battle.
In the series
Ryan is first mentioned in The Fear when he saves DogNut's crew from an attack from the Gym Bunnies - a group of healthy looking sickos that he and The Hunters had been chasing for the past few weeks. After rescuing them he points them in the right direction to Buckingham Palace but admits he would not escort them there. The Hunters did some underhand work for David for which they were never paid for and now no longer do business with him except to bring information. Ryan and his hunters are then seen again after the smoke signal at the museum is lit. The Hunters help kill The Collector, with Ryan going into the basement to spook him outside alongside Jackson, DogNut, Paul, and another hunter.
In The Sacrifice, Ryan meets up with Ed's group in a fight when the sickos are swarming over the bridges. He praises Ed's fighting ability and leads him to Nicola at Westminster Palace.
In The Hunted, Ryan and The Hunters find Ed's group a car and some crossbow bolts in trade for alcohol from Shadowman's drinking club hideout.
In The End, Ryan appears in the first chapter clearing out the Serpentine Gallery with Paddy and Achilleus. He is later mentioned being present for the meetings at Westminster Palace. The Hunters and Ryan had escorted some of the museum and Cathedral kids to Westminster Abbey with Shadowman's help the day of the red moon. The day after he is travelling with Shadowman, Yo-Yo, and his hunters back to the museum when the Medusa and her sicko army arrive from the west. He is part of the battle and loses his friend Zulficker. During the first day of the battle in Hyde Park, Ryan and the hunters patrol the streets around the park to make sure none of the sickos escape to attack the other settlements. They arrive a moment too late to save the museum kids that went outside. That night, he and Nicola discuss the battle and he helps Nicola get to the Dorchester hotel next to Hyde Park. Nicola goes to talk to to David. When Ryan learns that she has been killed, he returns to Westminster and rallies her kids to go fight.
He survives the battle but is last seen in shock that his dog has been killed and that he lost his left hand.
Ryan is not a very emotional character but shows a sense of justice and friendship. He has a tight knit relationship with his pack of friends and their dogs.
Nicola - Nicola is Ryan's main business partner in keeping the streets clear of sickos. He and the hunters trade with the Westminster kids for anything that they need so Ryan is often talking to Nicola. In the back of his mind, Ryan thought that he would have liked to have been Nicola's boyfriend.
David - Ryan dislikes David because of an incident in which the hunters did underhand work and were never paid. He does however, deliver letters between David and Nicola, as mentioned by David, suggesting that despite his dislike of David, he may respect him. It is also possible, however, that he only does this due to respect for Nicola.
Ed - Ryan appears to admire Ed for his fighting skills and said endearingly, "See you in hell, soldier."
Achilleus - Ryan in shown to have a warrior bond with Achilleus. Ryan gladly follows him into battle in "The End" and says that he is the greatest fighter he's ever seen.