"Loyal soldier, waiting to be noticed. Always the pattern. Why is that?"
Rory Williams is a companion of The Doctor in the television show Doctor Who. He is played by Arthur Darvill. He has been a character through Series 5 and 6, and will continue for half of the (as yet) unreleased Series 7, before departing.
Like the earlier companion Mickey Smith, Rory was originally a reoccuring character, before being promoted to full companion status, and with the actor being promoted to opening credits. Also like Mickey Smith, Rory was originally just the partner of the main companion, his girlfriend/fiance/wife Amy Pond, but later became a member of the crew in his own right.
Rory is a nurse, and is at first a seemingly unattractive, ineffective and bumbling young man. He seems to be outmatched by his brave, brash and stunningly attractive girlfriend. He also is insecure that Amy will prefer the magical Doctor over him. As the series progresses, and Rory undergoes a series of the types of bizarre adventures that can only happen on Doctor Who (getting erased from an existence, and then getting reborn as a plastic replica of himself living in Ancient Rome, etc.) Rory shows more and more of his metal, showing his heroism through his humble devotion.
Right. Putting Hitler in the cupboard. Cupboard. Hitler. Hitler. Cupboard.
Although Rory becomes a more capable character as the story progresses, he is still always a bit confused by the goings-on around him, which fits the companions' roles as audience surrogates. Series 6, which is the series in which he was moved to being a full co-star, is often considered to be one of the most confusing runs in Doctor Who's history. And all throughout it, standing in for the audience, is Rory Williams, caring nurse and loyal solider, trying to pick up the pieces.
One of the interesting things about the revival of Doctor Who is how strong of a female fanbase it has. The story fits a fairly basic fantasy pattern: seemingly normal girl is whisked away for adventure by a powerful, handsome (but sexually non-threatening) man. Rory Williams is (apart from the Doctor himself) one of the first characters written as a male fantasy character. He is (like many of us), not particularly respected, and not in the mold of the action hero, but through the series he eventually does get noticed, and gain the praise of the woman he loves, through his unstinting loyalty and bravery.
A note should also be made about Arthur Darvill, the actor who portrays Rory Williams. When he isn't Rory, Arthur seems to be a much more put-together and even more attractive then the character he plays. Darvill is a good enough actor that he can act ugly, even when he isn't! Also, somewhat ironically given the fact that his character is often the follower amongst the power trio on the show, some public appearances by the three actors give me the impression that Arthur Darvill is the leader of the actors, with Karen Gillam and Matt Smith being his followers.
We don't know what will happen to Rory and Amy in Series 7, although I suspect it will be timey-wimey. We do know that his father (played by Mark Williams, who also played Arthur Weasley) will make an appearance. Whatever the case, I hope that Rory Williams will be given the heroic exit he has earned by this point.