Cleon (Deceased), Swan
Before the events of the movie, The Warriors were formed on April 16, 1978 when Cleon and Vermin split from The Destroyers, the original gang in Coney Island. Virgil, the Destroyers' Warlord, sent the pair to make a drug deal with the Satan's Mothers but the bag he gave them to exchange was deliberately filled with fake drugs. Cleon and Vermin narrowly escaped being killed by the Mothers and vowed never to return to the Destroyers, start their own gang and take revenge. The Destroyers and Warriors then became rivals and fought over the right to rule Coney Island. The Warriors eventually won the war on June 21, 1979 and The Destroyers ceased to exist from that point on.
After hearing rumours about an upcoming gang meeting, The Warriors decided to increase their reputation by battling other gangs in the hope of being noticed. The Saracens promised to put a word in for them with the Gramercy Riffs to invite them to the meet if they helped them out by framing members of the Jones Street Boys. The Warriors planted stolen items in the JSBs' hang-out and were eventually put on the 'Riffs' network'.
During the events of the movie, In 1979, The Warriors were invited to the midnight summit in Van Cortlandt Park, The Bronx by Cyrus, the leader of the Gramercy Riffs. All gangs invited were asked to send nine unarmed representatives to the conclave. The nine members sent by the Warriors were Cleon (Warlord), Swan (Warchief), Fox (scout), Rembrandt (the gang's graffiti artist), Ajax, Cochise, Cowboy, Snow and Vermin.
The eloquent and intelligent Cyrus told the assembled crowd that a permanent city-wide truce would allow the gangs to control the city, pointing out there are 60,000 of them and only 20,000 officers in the NYPD. Most of the gangs lauded his idea, but a member of The Rogues, who had smuggled a gun in, killed Cyrus. Luther, the leader of the Rogues, was seen in the act by Fox. Immediately after, the NYPD rushed in from all sides. During the chaos, Luther screamed that the Warriors were responsible for killing Cyrus. As The Warriors fled, Cleon was caught by the Riffs and beaten to death.
Meanwhile, the other locally-based gangs regrouped at their respective headquarters. Masai, second-in-command of the Riffs, took charge as their new leader, and declared a bounty on the Warriors. This sent the entire city's gang population out hunting for them.
After regrouping in Woodlawn Cemetery, The Warriors began their long journey from the Bronx back to Coney Island. The second-in-command, Swan, took charge, though the hot-headed Ajax openly voiced his desire to be acting gang Warlord. The Warriors then slowly crossed the dangerous Bronx and Manhattan territories, narrowly escaping police and other gangs every step of the way.
On their way to the subway, the Warriors were chased by the Turnbull AC's, but still made it on to the train safely. However, on the ride back to Coney Island, the train was stopped by a fire on the tracks, dumping them in Tremont, in the Bronx. There, they came across the Orphans, a lowly ranked gang unaware that a meeting ever took place. Fox eventually convinced Sully, the Orphans' leader, to let them pass through their turf peacefully. However, a feisty girl named Mercy appeared and convinced the Orphans to try and put up a fight. The Orphans went to regroup and Mercy decided to follow The Warriors, and she was grabbed by them. The Orphans then came back with more soldiers and threatened The Warriors, although The Warriors escaped after Swan threw a Molotov cocktail at a nearby car, taking Mercy with them.
The Warriors were met by cops upon their arrival at 96th Street and Broadway station in Manhattan, and were split up. Vermin, Cochise and Rembrandt made the train to Union Square, but Fox was killed in a scuffle with the police after falling onto the train tracks as a train pulled in, and Swan, Ajax, Snow and Cowboy ran outside and were chased by the Baseball Furies. The Furies pursued the four into Riverside Park, where a fight ensued with the Warriors coming away victorious.
Ajax then broke from the group in order to 'make it' with a woman on a park bench, in spite of the others' warnings. The woman was really an undercover police officer who handcuffed him to the bench. He was then arrested and taken to jail.
After arriving at the Union Square station, Vermin, Cochise and Rembrandt were seduced by members of an all-female (and possibly lesbian) gang named The Lizzies and brought back to their Bowery apartment. There, the women drew weapons and tried to kill the trio, but they narrowly managed to escape again, learning in the process that everyone believed they killed Cyrus.
When Swan, Snow and Cowboy arrived back at the 96th Street station and met up with Mercy, they were chased by police once again. Swan and Mercy fled into the subway tunnel and made it to the Union Square station where they were tailed by members of The Punks. They led the Punks into a nearby male public restroom, where another fight ensued. The Warriors, hurt but victorious once more, then caught the last train on their journey back to Coney Island.
The Riffs were then visited by a gang member who attended the earlier gathering and witnessed Luther firing the gun.
The Warriors finally arrived home early the next morning to find Luther and the Rogues waiting for them. Both gangs then met on the beach, where Luther revealed he had no reason for killing Cyrus, other than his own gratification. Swan then challenged Luther to fisticuffs, but Luther refused and pulled a gun instead. Swan quickly threw a knife into Luther's wrist, disarming him. The Riffs then arrived on the beach and acknowledged they had learned the truth of Cyrus' murder. The Rogues were then beaten to death by the Riffs, and the Warriors were credited as being the toughest gang in the city.
There are 120 members of The Warriors but only ten are shown in detail in the film and video game:
- Ajax - Ajax is the roughest and toughest member of The Warriors. He is White and wears a black wife beater under his colors, and fingerless gloves. Ajax joined the Warriors on June 15, 1978, and he and Snow fought off a number of other Warriors members to earn their colours. Later that night, their vests were stolen from them by The Destroyers and the pair had to fight their way into Destroyer territory to retrieve them. He has a big sexual appetite for women.
- Ash - Ash is a young African American. He wears a headband, jeans and stylish Adidas sneakers, as well as a white T-shirt under his Warriors vest. He joined The Warriors on April 13, 1979, alongside Rembrandt, and earned his colors by fighting off a number of bums and other Warriors members. He was beaten to death by The Destroyers, and his vest removed. His body was then used as bait to also kill Cleon and Swan, which they fail to do. That same night The Warriors invaded the Destroyers turf to wipe them out for good, thus avenging Ash.
- Cleon - Cleon was the co-founder of The Warriors and Warlord prior to Swan. He is African American and wears a leopard skin do-rag on his head. He founded the Warriors with Vermin on April 16, 1978 when the pair left The Destroyers. He picked out eight fellow Warriors to head up to The Bronx for the meeting with Cyrus and all the other gangs. Unfortunately, The Rogues framed Cleon for shooting Cyrus and he is killed by the Gramercy Riffs. In a deleted scene from the film, Cleon is shown talking to the gang, and why he picked them out of a street family of 120, plus affiliates. In this scene we also see Lincoln, Cleon's girlfriend, who has a bad feeling about them going to The Bronx. He is named after the ancient Greek ruler.
- Cochise - Cochise is African American, sports an afro with a bandana tied around it and wears Native American-style clothing. Cochise was originally from Harlem but later moved to Coney Island, where he joined The Warriors on August 18, 1978. He has a thrill-seeking personality and color full clothing that make him stick out amongst the group. He earned his colors by going back to Harlem with Snow and stealing the hat from Big Moe, the leader of The Boppers. He is named after the Native American leader.
- Cowboy - Cowboy is White, and wears a Stetson cowboy hat, hence the name, and a brown T-shirt under his vest. He along with Swan were once part of the Destroyers until they both got fed up with Virgil and leaving Cleon and Vermin behind. He is some what pestimistic, but is also very loyal. He joined The Warriors on May 6, 1978, after meeting up with Cleon and Vermin at a King of the Hill competition along with Swan.
- Fox - Fox is White and wears a white t-shirt underneath his colors, and a gold chain. He very street-wise, which is why he is the gang's scout. He joined The Warriors on July 22, 1978 and earned his colors by going to Chinatown, Manhattan with Vermin and stealing the loan books from The Savage Huns. Both wore T-shirts reading "FUCK U HUNS!". At the meeting, he witnessed Luther shooting Cyrus and was almost shot himself. He was thrown in front of a train and killed by a Police Officer on the way back from the meeting.
- Rembrandt - Rembrandt is the youngest and least battle-hardened of The Warriors members chosen to attend the meeting, and was only brought along to tag places that the gang had been, as he is their graffiti artist. He is Hispanic (possibly Puerto Rican), sports an afro and carries a messenger bag which he keeps his spray paint in. He joined The Warriors on April 13, 1979, alongside Ash, and earned his colors by fighting off a number of bums and other Warriors members.
- Snow - Snowball, commonly known as Snow, is African American, has an afro and rarely speaks, but usually says something meaningful or wise when he does. He is named Snow because of his ability to remain cool-headed under pressure, and in a deleted scene from the film he is seen carrying a ghetto blaster, suggesting he is a music man. He joined The Warriors on June 15, 1978, and he and Ajax fought off a number of other Warriors members to earn their colours. Later that night, their vests were stolen from them by The Destroyers and the pair had to fight their way into Destroyer territory to retrieve them. In the game it is loosly implied Snow may be second in command after Swan.
- Swan - Swan is The Warriors' Warchief, and later Warlord. He is White and is not very vocal, but still possesses strong fighting and leadership skills. After leaving the Destroyers He joined The Warriors on May 6, 1978, after being meeting up with Cleon and Vermin at a King of the Hill competition with other former Destroyer Cowboy. Swan was chosen as Cleon's second-in-command before the meeting and took over as leader after Cleon was killed by the Gramercy Riffs. He then led The Warriors back to Coney Island. It is suggested that he leaves the gang life and the city, possibly with Mercy, and gives up his role as Warlord; which is possibly taken over by Snow.
- Vermin - Vermin is White and often complains, but is also light-hearted and comical at times. He co-founded the Warriors with Cleon on April 16, 1978 when the pair left The Destroyers.