After the death of Old Major (A pig who had sparked the ideas of a revolution), Napoleon and Snowball (A pig who is constantly at throats with Napoleon) orchestrate a revolution against their cruel farmer, Mr. Jones. The revolution succeeds, and the animals rename the farm 'Animal Farm'. Napoleon mainly takes a back seat during most of the goings on in Animal Farm, letting Snowball take control of proceedings.
Napoleon took the nine puppies of the Farm's dogs, raising them as his personal killer guard dogs unbeknownst to the rest of the farm. When it seems that Snowball will win an election for his plans of a windmill, Napoleon calls for his dogs to expel Snowball from the farm. The dogs very nearly kill Snowball, but he escapes in time. Napoleon then takes complete control of Animal Farm and creates a dictatorship.
Napoleon grew more authoritative, gaining many luxuries, executing any who opposed him and blaming any misfortune on Snowball. He even makes many changes to the Seven commandments of Animal Farm (which act as the Farm's core belief system) by adopting more human-like policies (Such as drinking alcohol, standing on two-legs, wearing clothes and killing other animals).
Eventually, Napoleon and his fellow pigs (Including Squealer, a loyal follower of Napoleon who spreads propaganda throughout the Farm) become indistinguishable from the humans, both in their looks and actions.
Napoleon is an incredibly clever pig, who knows when not and when to get involved. He is first regarded as a brave and fearless pig, but he eventually shows his true colours. He is ruthless, hypocritical and incredibly vain (Having ordered songs and poems to be written about himself) much like Josef Stalin, his real-life counterpart. He is also described as being "Not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way" which is also very reminiscent of Stalin who often gave speeches seen as not very powerful but rallied supporters outside of debates.
Napoleon is described as "A large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire Boar".
- Napoleon appears in the 1954 animated adaptation of Animal Farm, where he is voiced by Maurice Denham
- He also appears in the 1999 live-action adaptation, where Patrick Stewart voices him