"She died because of me, because I loved her, because I had the wrong name."
Almásy and Katherine are the most popular and tragic characters in the novel. They consist of the tragic element of the novel which spans from the dusty sandstorms to the streets of Cairo. The tragedy begins with the death of Geoffrey Clifton at Gulf Kebir and his wife's disappearance. Almásy and Katherine are a pair of romantic lovers that starts silently until it erupts like a volcano and ends with the consummation of fire.
They first meet when the Cliftons join the mapmaking expedition. Almásy stays in the car as the others pile out and approach the plane as it taxis alongside an old, battered, silver Tiger Moth. In the plane, emerged a couple from the Steerman. They are Geoffrey & Katherine Clifton.
Impressed with Almásy's monograph, Katharine greets Almásy enthusiastically, saying that she always wanted to meet the man who wrote long articles without using adjectives. From at point onwards, they started their relationships as friends and comrades. During that period of time, Almásy and Katherine delights in frustrating and teasing the other. Their relationship bonds closer when both of them were lost in the desert together, especially during the sandstorm when Almásy fondles Katharine's hair. Katherine is deeply attracted by Almásy's Herodotus and saw his notes on "K". She begins to suspect if Almásy is in love with her.
When they are about to be found, Katharine asks Almásy if she is K. Almásy silently admits by touching her chin. Katherine also tells him that Geoffrey is not in Cairo, that he is actually not a buffoon and that the plane wasn't a wedding present. We are told it belongs to the British Government and that they demand aerial maps of the whole of North Africa. She wonders if Geoffrey is in Ethiopia. One could certainly see that their relationship has grown intimate and they are violently repressing their love for each other deep inside.
When they are saved and brought back to Cairo, Katherine then realises that she had fallen in love with Almásy. When Katherine moves into her residence, she invites Almásy in. After being greeted and reminded by Almásy with "Mrs. Clifton", Katherine is immensely disgusted. She throws the Herodotus back to Almásy and leaves angrily.
Back at his room, Almásy laid on his bed, feeling regretful and miserable on what he had done to Katherine, and he is at a loss. He has also discovered that he had fallen in love with Katherine. Just then, Katharine steps in. She is bathed, luminous and stands backlit by the afternoon sun like an angel in a cotton dress. Almásy walks toward her and she slaps him shockingly hard. She beats on his head and shoulders, violently, then stops, her face expressionless. Almásy kneels before her, unable to control her emotions. They finally bring out their love towards each other. From then, Almásy and Katherine will go out together when Geoffrey is away.
Afraid of the affair to be discovered, Katherine forces a breakup with Almásy after watching a movie. Almásy becomes so traumatised with the break off that he make himself drunk and goes to the expedition team's farewell dinner. He made a fool of himself during the party and attacks almost everyone on the table. Almásy causes everyone to be very uncomfortable, especially Katherine. Katherine then tries her best to control her mood by ignoring Almásy.
After the farewell party, Almásy leaves Cairo and begins his travels again. He does not know that he had drove Geoffrey mad. Just when Almásy sits on a ridge transferring map information from his Herodotus onto a sheet of paper. He looks up at the sound of Clifton's approaching Steerman. It passes fast and horrifying close to his head. He is completely vulnerable, and has nowhere to run. He dives at the ground. The plane smashes against the ground and turns over and over, the wings snapping off like twigs as it hurtles past the prostrate Almásy. He gets to his feet and starts to run toward the wreckage. Smoke emerges from the plane, but there's no fire. Almásy pulls away the debris only to find Geoffrey, slumped, neck broken, bloody. He tries to move him, and in the process reveals, to his absolute horror, Katherine, staring grimly ahead, unable to move. Almásy is frantic, he wraps Katherine in the silk folds of her parachute and emerges from near the familiar cleft in the rock, struggling with the exertion of the climb as they approach the Cave of Swimmers.
Almásy does not have the resources to save Katherine, so he decides to walk to EI Taj and seek for help. He promises Katherine that he will come back to the cave as fast as he could. Katherine reveals that she don't want to die in the desert. She always has rather an elaborate funeral in mind, with particular hymns, English style. She knows exactly where she want to be buried. In her garden where she grew up, with a view of the sea.
Unfortunately, Almásy was caught by the soldiers of EI Taj because of a misunderstanding. He is imprisoned for days until he gets a chance to killed one of the soldiers and escape away from the train.
By the time Almásy returns into the cave when he betrays the British for German aid, Katherine is already dead lying where Almásy had left her. The only thing that Katherine left Almásy with were the words written in the Herodotus, 'I want all this marked on my body. We are the real countries, not the boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. I know you will come and carry me out into the palace of winds. That's all I've wanted, to walk in such a place with you, with friends, an earth without maps. '
Almásy carries Katherine's corpse and boards his plane which Madox had left him, he decides to fulfill Katherine wish to bury her in the garden where she grew up. But things were not to be. He is attacked by the soldiers and fails to fulfill Kathrine's wish. The plane is shot and crashes onto the ground. Katherine's corpse explodes with the plane, but Almásy is lucky (or unlucky) enough to escape from death. He is so badly burned that all his flesh were exposed . Almásy was paralysed wholly.
Almásy later becames the famous English Patient who committed suicide after staying briefly at the monastery.
"For the heart is the organ of fire"