[[folder:The Companions]]


The protagonist of the series, Taran is the Assistant Pig-Keeper of Caer Dallben, charged with caring for the oracular pig, Hen Wen. Taran is dissatisfied with this life of tedious drudgery and would prefer to have exciting adventures like his idol, Prince Gwydion. Over the course of the series, Taran is caught up in many battles for Prydain’s future, but the heart of the story is more focused on Taran’s own personal journey, and he undergoes an enormous amount of CharacterDevelopment as he grows from a boy to a man.

* AesopAmnesia: At the end of ''The Book of Three,'' Taran learns that grand adventures are far more dangerous than he thought and that he was ill-prepared for the trials he had to face, and he much preferred living a peaceful life at Caer Dallben. At the beginning of ''The Black Cauldron,'' he is back to being a HeroicWannabe again. Thankfully, the lessons stick this time.
* AscendedFanboy
* BeingGoodSucks: Doing the right thing for Taran ''always'' requires sacrifice, and very often demands that he give up the things that are most important to him, often with little thanks or reward. He does it anyway.
* ComingOfAgeStory: This series is as much about Taran growing up as it is about cool adventures in a high fantasy world, if not more so.
* CoolHorse: Melynlas, the son of Prince Gwydion’s own steed, Melyngar, is gifted to Taran in the first book, and serves his master faithfully for the rest of the series. Melynlas only allows Taran (and sometimes Eilonwy) to ride him.
* CoolSword: Dallben gives him one early in the second book. [[WrongGenreSavvy Taran assumes it is enchanted,]] a notion Dallben finds fairly repugnant. [[spoiler: Later in the series, Taran loses this blade and forges his own sword, and eventually earns the right to wield ''Dyrnwyn'' in battle.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler: After numerous painful sacrifices on his part, including giving up a chance at eternal happiness in paradise, the series ends with Taran marrying Eilonwy and becoming a wise and respected ruler.]]
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: His official title is Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper. However, Hen Wen is a very important pig, and Taran takes great pride in caring for her.
* TheEveryman: Taran is never physically described and meant to be very easy for a young audience to identify with.
* FearlessFool: In the first book, and to some degree in the second one. However, though he never really loses his gung-ho attitude, he gets a ''lot'' less foolish about it as the series progresses.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: While not as blatant as other versions of this trope, Taran is shown on many occasions to have a very strong kinship with animals, especially Hen Wen. He is capable of taming even a savage gwythaint fledgling, and his horse, Melynlas, obeys his commands alone. Even Medwyn is impressed.
* GloryHound: Early on, Taran wishes to make a name for himself and be a hero. This is a major plot point in the second book.
* GuileHero: He spends as much time of the fourth book solving problems through his own cleverness as he does with violence.
* HonorBeforeReason
* JourneyToFindOneself: ''Taran Wanderer''
* JumpedAtTheCall: Taran is so eager to join Gwydion on his quest that Gwydion [[FearlessFool questions his sanity.]]
** He actually ''literally'' jumps - headfirst into a thorn bush, because he thinks that what's moving in there is a threat to Gwydion's life. It's really only Gurgi, but Gwydion is surprised and impressed by Taran's selfless bravery.
* KidHero
* MeaningfulName: He begins calling himself "Taran Wanderer" in the fourth book as he begins to outgrow his former identity.
* ObliviousToLove: From the end of the third book onward, Taran acknowledges his love for Eilonwy. He's completely unconvinced that it's mutual, [[spoiler:right up until his proposal near the end of the final book]]. Eilonwy herself even {{lampshade}}s it.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: A terminal case, especially when dealing with Eilonwy. In any given situation, if it's at all possible to accidentally insult her, Taran will manage it each and every time.
* TookALevelInBadass: Taran takes about ''one per book.'' It’s really amazing to see how much he has changed by the end of the series.
* TheUnchosenOne: [[spoiler:Subverted. The last chapter of ''The High King'' reveals that he was TheChosenOne the ''whole time''.]]
* WalkingTheEarth: The fourth book is basically Taran doing a lot of this.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Far more noticeable in later books, but even in the early books there are signs that Taran is far cannier [[IdiotHero than he seems.]]

!!'''Princess Eilonwy'''

A princess of House Llyr and the last in a line of powerful enchantresses, Eilonwy was stolen as a child by Queen Achren, who intended to use Eilonwy’s power to conquer Prydain. [[RebelliousPrincess She escapes Achren’s clutches]] and serves as a loyal companion and [[HeroesWantRedheads romantic interest]] to Taran…[[{{Tsundere}} sort of.]] She is of Taran’s age [[FieryRedhead with red-gold hair]] and has [[TalksLikeASimile very peculiar speech patterns.]] She is quite the ActionGirl, despite the protests from many characters that she should StayInTheKitchen.

* ActionGirl: She is better with a sword than Taran for much of the series.
* BadassPrincess
* BarefootLoon: She has a lot of quirks, including a penchant for going barefoot (see DoesNotLikeShoes).
* BattleCouple: With Taran
* BlueEyes: Frequently noted to have bright blue eyes. ''The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain'' indicates that she inherited them from her father, whom she never knew.
* BowAndSwordInAccord: She uses both weapons with equal deadliness.
* CloudCuckoolander
* {{Cuckoosnarker}}: While she originally seems to be an airhead and a scatterbrain, she is [[BelligerentSexualTension very snarky towards Taren]]. This is one of the first indications that she is much sharper than she may seem to be (actually one of the series' most intelligent characters).
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Eilonwy prefers going barefoot over wearing shoes (as noted by Dallben in ''The Castle of Llyr''); when she has to wear shoes, they are usually sandals (like in ''The Book of Three'').
** Princess Diahan from Lloyd Alexander's earlier novel ''Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth'', who was an obvious precursor to Eilonwy (evident in both her appearance and personality), is consistently described as wearing sandals.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Amusingly, the fact that Eilonwy is a princess is revealed only in passing near the end of the first book, and doesn’t become a plot point until the third.
* FieryRedhead: The narration often identifies her as "Eilonwy of the red-gold hair." The supplemental volume ''The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain'' confirms that she inherited her hair color from her mother, Princess Angharad, who was a GreenEyedRedhead.
* FullNameUltimatum: "Taran of Caer Dallben, I'm not speaking to you!"
* GoGetterGirl: Eilonwy is dedicated to becoming a capable enchantress, and can be somewhat snotty to those she sees as slacking off.
* HeroesWantRedheads: By the third book, Taran's pretty irrevocably in love with her, although it's not until near the end that he admits it even to himself. He states it blatantly in the fourth book.
* InHarmsWay: She would much prefer to be hiking through the wilderness than stuck at the royal court. She has this reaction upon setting up the party's first camp after starting the trip to King Smoit's castle in ''The High King'':
-->Eilonwy happily flung herself to the ground. "It's been long since I slept on comfortable roots and rocks!" she cried. "What a pleasant change from goosefeathers!"
* LittleMissBadass: She is very young in the early books.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}
* ModestRoyalty: She never even mentions to Taran that she's a princess - it's Dallben who informs him.
* MotorMouth
* PeerlessLoveInterest: In the sense that Taran fears he can't ever be good enough for her. In fact, part of what drives him to undertake his quest in the fourth book is his hope that he'll turn out to be of high enough birth that he can ask her to marry him.
* PrincessClassic: Eilonwy appears to have become this briefly in the final book, only for she herself to lampshade [[RebelliousPrincess how unnatural it feels.]]
* RebelliousPrincess
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething
* StayInTheKitchen: [[BerserkButton Don’t tell her to do this.]]
* TalksLikeASimile
* TomboyPrincess
* {{Tsundere}}
* {{Tykebomb}}: Achren intended her to be this, but Eilonwy proved [[CloudCuckoolander difficult to control.]]
* WellExcuseMePrincess


A strange, shaggy forest creature who [[ThirdPersonPerson speaks in third person]] and [[RhymesOnADime uses a lot of rhymes,]] Gurgi is neither man nor beast. At first, Gurgi is a [[DirtyCoward miserable coward ]] who flees at the first sign of danger, but as the series goes on he grows to become brave and loyal. He comes to admire Taran for his wisdom, and eventually becomes his closest friend.

* BigEater: If he's not hungry, then something is probably seriously wrong. He's even given a magical food pouch which never goes empty so as to keep him from begging.
* CowardlyLion
* DirtyCoward: [[CharacterDevelopment At first.]] Then upgrades to LovableCoward, and then to CowardlyLion.
* TheLancer: Although he's usually dubious and woebegone, not sarcastic.
* ThirdPersonPerson
* NonHumanSidekick
* RhymesOnADime: A peculiar version, as he doesn't actually speaks in rhyme, but rather peppers his speech with rhymed pairs of words, such as "crunchings and munchings" (meaning food), "smackings and whackings" (meaning a beating) and "sneakings and peekings" (meaning spying).
* UndyingLoyalty: He refuses to be parted from Taran [[spoiler:until the very end of the last book.]]

!!'''Fflewddur Fflam'''

A loud-mouthed bard who tells exaggeratedly wild tales of his own acts of heroism, Fflewddur is a good-hearted if overzealous adventurer who frequently accompanies Taran on his quests. It is quickly revealed that he is not actually a real bard, but is actually a [[KingIncognito king who grew bored with life at court and decided to be a bard instead.]] Fflewddur carries a magical harp whose strings snap when Fflewddur [[LieDetector exaggerates a little ]]''[[LieDetector too ]]''[[LieDetector wildly.]] (They break often.) It is not all bluster though, as Fflewddur actually ''is'' fairly badass. His catchphrases are "A Fflam is (insert appropriate adjective here)!," and "Great Belin!"

* AnimeHair: He's described as having wild yellow hair that is always sticking up in spikes.
* BoisterousBruiser: He's much better at fighting than he is at being a bard.
* ConsummateLiar: Though due to harp strings breaking, it's always clear.
* CoolHorse: [[spoiler: The enormous mountain cat, Llyan, eventually adopts Fflewddur and allows him to use her as a mount.]]
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: As noted above, the narration describes him as having "spiky yellow hair," and while he's a little wayward, he's definitely got his heart in the right place.
* InHarmsWay: He's the king of a small drafty castle in a dreary corner of Prydain. He'd much rather be trekking through the wilds than sitting at home doing kingly stuff.
* KingIncognito: Though he's not always trying to hide the fact, and he isn't worried about anyone finding out he's royalty; he just generally doesn't act or dress like it.
* LargeHam
* LieDetector: His harp, although it only detects Fflewddur’s lies. Whenever he lies, a string breaks. The bigger the lie, the more strings break.
* MagicMusic: His harp practically plays itself. The music itself has no magical effects, although it does have a charming effect on [[spoiler:Llyan.]]
* OhMyGods: One of Fflewddur’s favorite expressions is “Great Belin!” Belin is a God of the sun in Welsh Mythology, although in-universe he is referred to as “The King of the Sun.”
* OlderSidekick
* RefusedByTheCall: All Fflewddur really wants is to be a bard, but he failed at all the tests, due to his [[ConsummateLiar own ego.]]
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Ironically, Fflewddur is actually a pretty lousy king and is far more competent as an adventurer.
* SmallNameBigEgo: A mild case; he actually ''is'' brave and competent, but he's always trying to present himself as a lot more heroic, fearless and successful than he really is.
* SpoonyBard: Very averted, he’s one of the deadliest fighters in the series. In fact, bards in this setting are universally respected and revered, though not normally for their fighting prowess.
* WanderingMinstrel
* WarIsGlorious: One of the few heroic characters who seems to genuinely enjoy the glory, if not the bloodshed.
--> '''Fflewdur''' ''(eyeing his harp cautiously):'' Terrified. Absolutely green.
* WildHair
* WrongGenreSavvy: Due to his bardic training, Fflewddur thinks he is clever. It turns out, not so much.


A member of the Fair Folk, Doli is a [[GrumpyOldMan grumpy dwarf]] who complains all the time but secretly has [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold a heart of gold.]] Nevertheless, he tries his hardest to be as disagreeable as possible. He is a skilled warrior and craftsman, and possesses the ability to turn invisible at will, although he hates to do this [[BlessedWithSuck as one of the side effects is an awful ringing in his ears.]]

* AchillesInHisTent: Doli frequently fumes at the companions and vows to stop helping them, but can never bring himself to actually leave them.
* BadassBeard
* BalefulPolymorph: [[spoiler:An encounter with Morda turns him into a frog.]]
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Throughout the first book, he is infuriated when his attempts to turn invisible fail. Once he masters the ability, he wishes he’d never learned it at all, since it's uncomfortable if not outright painful to use, and the situations he finds himself in keeps requiring him to use it as a scout or infiltrator.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler: Saves the day at the end of the second book.]]
* BlessedWithSuck: He possesses invisibility powers, but it is very irritating to use it; specifically, it causes painful ringing in his ears.
** Also a case of BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor - he spends most of his time in the first book complaining that he ''can't'' become invisible. Doli is then given said powers by Gwydion as a reward for helping the companions, and spends the rest of the series complaining about it.
* TheFairFolk: A much more benevolent example than most.
* FieryRedhead
* GotVolunteered: Doli's lot in life is to do the dirty work no other Fair Folk want to do.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: It is pretty clear throughout the series that Doli is extremely fond of his companions, and only pretends to be grumpy to [[TheFairFolk stay in character.]]
* LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe: [[spoiler: In the final book, it is implied he will die due to exposure to Annuvin, the Land of Death, but his invisibility powers protect him.]]
* OnlyMostlyDead: [[spoiler:He appears to die in the final book. [[UnexplainedRecovery He gets better,]] but at this point many central characters have died and the implication that Doli may have actually died was very real.]]
* OnlySaneMan: Sees himself as this.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Averted, as he doesn't display any of the stereotypical dwarfy traits other than short stature, StoutStrength, and using an axe.
* TheSixthRanger: Especially in the final book.
* StoutStrength: Well, he ''is'' a dwarf.
* TheSmartGuy

!!'''Prince Gwydion'''

Gwydion, Son of Don, is the war leader to High King Math and one of the most beloved and universally respected figures in all of Prydain. Taran idolizes him due to the many tales he has heard of Gwydion’s bravery and heroism, however, Gwydion takes no joy in his lifestyle, instead doing it to protect his people. He is very strong, brave, and [[TheWisePrince wise,]] and [[SupportingLeader leads his people in the battle against Arawn.]] He becomes something of a mentor to Taran.

* AboveTheInfluence: After capturing him and imprisoning him in Spiral Castle, Achren attempts to seduce him and turn him into her [[LadyAndKnight black knight,]] but he shrugs her off.
* AnimalMotifs: Gwydion is often likened to a wolf.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Heir of the High King of Prydain, and one of the most powerful fighters in the series.
* BadassAndChildDuo: Gwydion and Taran, initially. They soon become BackToBackBadasses.
* BigDamnHeroes: Gwydion loves doing this.
* BigGood: [[spoiler:After his father's death in ''The High King'', Gwydion becomes the High King of Prydain until the end of the book.]]
* CelibateHero: Never has a love interest or even arranged marriage, despite being first in line for the throne of the High King.
* CoolHorse: Melyngar, the mare he always rides.
* CoolSword: Taran does not believe a man dressed in rags could be a Prince, until he sees how ornate and finely made Gwydion’s sword is. [[spoiler: He upgrades to a FlamingSword later.]]
* GoodIsNotNice: Only in ''The Book of Three''. Taran falls in with Gwydion when hunting for Hen Wen and Gwydion allows Taran to come with him, but he's obviously not happy about it and voices his annoyance at Taran's clumsiness and lack of caution several times. Taran [[CharacterDevelopment gets better]] though and Gwydion comes to see him as a friend and ally.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Unites with Taran & company once or twice per book, but never stays for long, as he's always juggling multiple responsibilities.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: It is often implied Gwydion is in the middle of something far more important and awesome elsewhere whenever he appears.
* KingIncognito: Gwydion generally dresses like a common traveler to disguise his intentions.
* LeftForDead: In The Book of Three, was last seen a prisoner inside Spiral Castle right before it collapsed.
* MagicKnight: He knows some simple sorcery, but it's generally downplayed since his martial and leadership skills are stronger. In ''The Book of Three'' surviving the dungeon of Oeth-Anoeth gives him additional powers, but these are never alluded to again.
* TheMentor: As a mentor who frequently travels with the protagonist. [[spoiler: Unlike most, he lives to the end of the series.]]
* ModestRoyalty: So much so that when Taran first meets him, he suspects that Gwydion is lying about his identity, because he doesn't look anything like Taran thinks a prince should.
* NotQuiteDead: See LeftForDead entry.
* PapaWolf: To Prydain in general, as the heir of the High King, and Taran and his friends in particular.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Son of King Math and one of the few with the skills to act openly against Arawn.
* ShipTease: There is a surprising amount of this between him and Achren.
* SupportingLeader: When he isn't a GuestStarPartyMember, it's because he's managing his many other responsibilities.
* {{UST}}: Achren would just love to make Gwydion her “consort…”
* WarriorPrince: In the Aragorn tradition.
* WildHair: It's referred to regularly as adding to his 'wolfish' air.
* TheWisePrince: He's one of Taran's primary mentors for most of the series.

[[folder: Allies]]


The master of Caer Dallben and the mightiest enchanter in all of Prydain, Dallben is [[BigGood a steadfast ally of the Sons of Don and staunch opponent of Arawn.]] He is very old and wise, and serves as a mentor to the young Taran. He knows much of the happenings across Prydain, but rarely concerns himself with trivial matters, focusing all his attention on watching the movements of Annuvin. He possesses the mystical ''Book of Three,'' a tome of mysterious lore, which only he may read from.

* AllPowerfulBystander: Despite being a powerful wizard and opponent to Arawn, Dallben rarely actually uses his powers to help the heroes. [[spoiler: It is revealed that this is because Dallben is forbidden from killing.]]
* BadassBeard
* BadassTeacher
* BigGood: Shares this duty with High King Math.
* BookEnds: Most of the books begin and end with Dallben lecturing Taran about something.
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler:In the final book, Arawn sends Pryderi to slay Dallben. Dallben demonstrates why he is the BigGood.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Usually to Taran, when he’s being particularly childish.
* EnlightenmentSuperpowers
* GoodIsNotNice: He is probably Taran’s most outspoken critic.
* ObstructiveCodeOfConduct
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld
* SeekerArchetype
* SuperpowerLottery: He is probably the most powerful being in all of Prydain.
* ThouShaltNotKill: [[spoiler: Only "half-truth", according to Dallben. "No man has ever suffered death by my hand, but those who scorn my spells do so at their own peril."]]
* TricksterMentor


A farmer who lives at Caer Dallben, Coll's simple appearance belies his prowess as a warrior. In his youth, he marched into many battle, yet found that war was foolish and unfulfilling, and chose to become a farmer instead. He is the original owner of Hen Wen, although he knew nothing of her power until Dallben arrived. He now serves as Taran's surrogate father figure, although when called upon to serve the Sons of Don, he does not hesitate to take up his sword once again.

* AlmightyJanitor: He’s a simple farmer, yet even Gwydion respects and defers to his experience.
* BaldOfAwesome: Taran is shocked to learn Coll was once a great hero, due to his lack of hair.
* BadassNormal: He possesses no powers or enchantments or royal lineage, but he’s still one of the mightiest warriors in Prydain.
* TheConfidant: To Taran, especially in the last book.
* HeroicSacrifice
* MentorOccupationalHazard
* NiceGuy
** BewareTheNiceOnes
* OldMaster
* ResignedToTheCall: He gave up fighting long ago, but will still take up the sword when his allies need him.
* RetiredBadass: The man who once fought his way into [[{{Mordor}} Annuvin]] single-handedly to rescue a pig now passes the time by growing turnips.
* StoutStrength

!!'''Hen Wen'''

The oracular pig, Hen Wen, dwells at Caer Dallben, watched over and cared for by Taran and Coll. She does not possess the ability to speak, but may communicate her prophecies using special letter sticks. Due to her abilities, she is greatly respected by Dallben and Gwydion, and Arawn himself once attempted to capture Hen Wen for his own uses.

* BabiesEverAfter
* BlessedWithSuck: Oracular powers are a heavy burden for a pig.
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler:At the end. She is happier this way.]]
* LoyalAnimalCompanion
* NoManOfWomanBorn: Her final prophecy.
* NonHumanSidekick
* SpiderSense: She can sense evil, and tends to flip out when she does.
* WaifProphet: A non-human example.


[[TalkingAnimal A talking crow]] who serves as a messenger for the Fair Folk, he later comes into the service of Taran and his companions. He is raucous and playful, although he knows when to take matters seriously.

* [[ABoyAndHisX A Boy and His Crow]]
* TheCavalry: [[spoiler: Shows up near the end of the final book, ''leading an army of crows. '']]
* CoolPet
* TheGadfly: Whenever things get dull, he'll make trouble for sheer amusement.
* GenerationXerox: His father was even worse of a rogue than he was.
* [[InstantMessengerPigeon Instant Messenger Crow]]
* LoveableRogue: He seems to be considered this in-universe, though most of his thefts and 'jokes' take place off-screen.
* HulkSpeak
* LoyalAnimalCompanion
* NonHumanSidekick
* SpeechImpairedAnimal: He generally speaks in one-word sentences.
* TalkingAnimal


Son of the chief bard, Taliesin, Adaon is respected for his learning and wisdom but has yet to seek admission to the bardic order. A gifted seer, healer, and [[WarriorPoet warrior,]] he accompanies Taran on his mission in ''The Black Cauldron,'' along with Prince Ellidyr, and serves as a mediator between the two.

* {{Bishounen}}
* CoolHorse: Lluagor (who becomes Eilonwy/Gurgi's steed.)
* DreamingOfThingsToCome
* TheEmpath
* GuestStarPartyMember
* TheMedic
** [[spoiler:ShootTheMedicFirst]]
* TeamMom
* WalkingTheEarth: As a bard, he does a lot of this.
* WarriorPoet
* WiseBeyondTheirYears

!!'''Prince Ellidyr'''

The youngest son of Pen-Llarcau, Ellidyr is a bitter, scornful young prince who looks down on those beneath him in station. Due to his family’s diminishing reputation, he is eager to claim honor and restore his family’s name. He accompanies Taran on his mission in ''The Black Cauldron,'' along with Adaon, and becomes a [[TheRival rival]] to Taran.

* BunnyEarsLawyer: Despite his many character flaws, he is a very skilled warrior.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: For reasons that are never really explained, Ellidyr has phenomenal strength.
* CoolHorse: One of the hints that Ellidyr may not be as a big of a jerk as he seems is how loyal the otherwise-intractable Islimach is to him. [[spoiler:To the point that when he dies, she [[TogetherInDeath jumps off the nearest cliff]].]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to Taran’s usual companions who are all unambiguously noble people, Ellidyr is a much darker and more complicated character.
* DeathEqualsRedemption[=/=]RedemptionEqualsDeath
* {{Determinator}}
* FightingYourFriend: Although Ellidyr and Taran are never ''really'' friends.
* FoeTossingCharge: Gets an awesome one near the end of the book.
* GloryHound
* GuestStarPartyMember
* ImpoverishedPatrician: And not happy about it.
* HeroicSacrifice
* {{Jerkass}}: From teaching 'the pig-boy' some manners to driving off his companions in a paranoid rage, he's rarely anything but derisive and spiteful.
** [[spoiler:HiddenHeartOfGold]]
* NotSoDifferent: He is deliberately set up as a parallel to Taran.
* PrinceCharmless
* TheRival
** RivalTurnedEvil: [[spoiler:Although he does have his limits.]]
* [[spoiler:SacrificialLion]]
* SmallNameBigEgo
* SympathyForTheDevil: The youngest of impoverished royalty with too many sons. His family fortune is gone and he feels helpless against the fates, who have condemned him to poverty and mockery. Then, when he finally wins a place in a mission that could bring him immortal glory... he is assigned to 'the reserves' with a failed bard and a pig-keeper.
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler:His horse commits suicide after her master dies.]]
* TokenEvilTeammate: He seems to be this, but it is not so simple.

!!'''King Morgant'''

One of the many kings of Prydain. He rides to Gwydion's war council at Caer Dallben and pledges his army in support of capturing the Black Cauldron from Arawn's clutches, [[spoiler:but in truth he seeks the Cauldron for himself. He serves as the hidden half of the BigBadDuumvirate of ''The Black Cauldron'' (the book, not [[Disney/TheBlackCauldron the movie]]).]]

* BlackAndGrayMorality: [[spoiler:Gwydion uses his fall as an example to teach Taran how fine the line between good and evil truly is.]]]
* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler:Implied. It's indicated that he made a deal with Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch to learn the secrets of the Black Cauldron (possibly to help the Sons of Don), and that the bargain cost him dearly.]]
* FaceHeelTurn
* FallenHero: [[spoiler:Gwydion mentions that he was once a great ally to them, and that he will honor Morgant for the man he once was.]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare: [[spoiler:He's banking on the Black Cauldron enabling this.]]
* ARealManIsAKiller: [[spoiler:He tries to impress this upon Taran in the midst of his EvilGloating.]]
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[spoiler:He tried to pull Taran over to his side with promises of power.]]
* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: He is one of villains of the ''The Black Cauldron''.]]
* AWolfInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:More like a Wolf in Wolves' Clothing. It's immediately clear there's ''something'' wrong with Morgant when he arrives at the war council, but it goes unremarked upon until he confirms his FaceHeelTurn.]]

!!'''Prince Rhun'''

The Prince of Mona, Rhun is foppish, clumsy, and generally clueless. He is, however, ultimately well-meaning and tries his best even though things never seem to work out for him. He accompanies Taran on his quest on the Isle of Mona.

* BookDumb
* BornUnlucky: Despite being a prince, the poor guy just can’t catch a break.
* TheDitz
* DumbassHasAPoint: Occasionally points out obvious things that the other characters have overlooked.
* TheFool: Occasionally his clumsiness leads him to remarkably good fortune.
* GuestStarPartyMember
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: In the ''High King'', he dies after freeing King Smoit's castle from Magg.]]
* TheLoad: In ''The Castle of Llyr'', despite his royalty.
* LordErrorProne: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Taran.
* PluckyComicRelief
* RomanticFalseLead: Rhun’s parents intend for Rhun and Eilonwy to be married, much to Taran’s chagrin. However, Rhun himself is not particularly interested and gladly steps aside when he realizes she’d be much happier with Taran.
* ShelteredAristocrat
* TookALevelInBadass: He seems to have gotten his act together in ''The High King,'' though his cheerful clumsiness remains.

!!'''King Smoit'''

The king of Cantrev Cadiffor and its surrounding lands, and an ally of the Sons of Don. King Smoit is always ready to rush to war, but only sets out for good causes.

* AdiposeRex: Of the [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Robert Baratheon]] variety.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking
* BadassBeard
* BewareTheNiceOnes: He's described as a jolly, fun-loving character in peacetime, and as a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
* BigEater
* BigFun
* BoisterousBruiser
* AFatherToHisMen
* FieryRedhead
* PromotionToParent: He tries to take the AFatherToHisMen thing literally and offers to adopt Taran. Taran is flattered, but turns him down.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* ShopliftAndDie: He uses this as a threat to two of his lords quarreling over errant sheep, [[TricksterMentor possibly intentionally to teach Taran the art of moderation and negotiation]].
* StoutStrength
* UglyHeroGoodLookingVillain: Taran initially compares him unfavorably to Morgant due to his appearance. Morgant is handsome and well-spoken, [[spoiler:but morally bankrupt]], while Smoit is fat, unkempt, and loudmouthed, but incorruptible.


A member of the Fair Folk, and agent of King Eiddileg, sovereign of the Fair Folk. While he appears to be a thin and sickly creature, he's surprisingly adept at espionage and infiltration. Doesn't stop him from complaining about it though.

* AirVentEscape: Manages to pull this off ''in a castle''.
* AuthorAvatar: Creator/LloydAlexander has admitted that [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwystyl#cite_ref-Tunnell133_2-1 he based Gwystyl on himself]], unintentionally.
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike: A very rare case of the character being both the complainer ''and'' the rescuer.
* HeroicWillpower: How he manages to hold a waystation on the very borders of [[{{Mordor}} Annuvin]].
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Known to fake illnesses to further peoples' misconceptions of him.
* IronButtMonkey
* LameExcuse: Uses these to get out of fighting. He's more than capable of kicking everyone in the room's ass ... he'd just rather not.
* LetsGetDangerous: When he actually has to, he shows everyone why he's the greatest of the Fair Folk's agents.
* ObfuscatingStupidity
* Really700YearsOld


A gifted chemist and would-be con-artist; when the companions first encounter him, he'd accidentally managed to turn himself and his cat into giants. He's BroughtDownToNormal and joins the companions on their final adventure, with mixed results.

* ApologeticAttacker: When attempting to cure his gigantism, he finally decides that the cure will require a human being as an ingredient. Both his cowardice and what little decency he has argue against it, but he finally decides that he's going to have to murder somebody.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever
* BoxedCrook
* BroughtDownToNormal
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Played with; from time to time his complains are grounded in common sense.
* CursedWithAwesome
* DirtyCoward: He falls into this role after Gurgi grows out of it.
* DrunkWithPower: He gets better, once he's BroughtDownToNormal again.
* TheEeyore: As a giant, Glew is miserable, morose, and perpetually unhappy.
* ForScience: Very little is made of his motives for his experimenting with potions.
* GrassIsGreener: As a giant, Glew was miserable and could only think of being small again. As a dwarf, he only wanted to be tall. Admittedly, his morose giant persona is very different from his prickly dwarf one.
* GrumpyOldMan: As a dwarf.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Utterly ruins a plan Taran and the others come up with (that could have saved the day), and then accuses them of being selfish for not thinking of his lost fortune.
* TheLoad: Often shifting into TheMillstone.
* MadScientist: An unusually benign version, especially compared to Morda.
* TheNapoleon: Often described as being the shortest member of the companions aside from Doli once he's restored to normal.
* RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun: He goes out of his way to remind people that he was, in fact, a giant at one point.
* ThrowTheDogABone: [[spoiler: In the end, it's agreed that he did ultimately help save the day, and he gets to join the Sons of Don on their trip to the Summer Lands.]]


A young shepherd from the Free Commots who convinces Taran to help defend his village from a group of bandits. He later joins Taran's group in order to guide them through the mountains of Annuvin to Arawn's fortress.

* BigBrotherInstinct: He brings this out in Taran.
* TheCavalry: Shows up as part of this in ''The High King''.
* GuestStarPartyMember
* TheMagnificentSevenSamurai: His father talks Taran into becoming a one-man ''Film/SevenSamurai'' for his village.
* MisfitMobilizationMoment: He leads the Commotmen to Caer Dathyl in order to repay their collective debt to Taran.
* [[ShesAllGrownUp He's All Grown Up]]: Not that much time passes between ''Taran Wanderer'' and ''The High King'', but one of the first things Taran notices about him when they reunite is how he's almost as tall as Taran is now.
* TagAlongKid: Taran was once one to Gwydian; now Llassar is one to Taran.
* TookALevelInBadass
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers
* UnexpectedCharacter: He's about the last person you'd figure would show up to help the heroes WalkIntoMordor.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: He's surprisingly understanding of Taran's GeneHunting situation in ''Taran Wanderer''.

!!'''King Pryderi'''

A handsome and beloved king and staunch ally of the Sons of Don [[spoiler:... until he [[FaceHeelTurn betrays them]] and sides with Arawn.]]

* AnimalMotifs: His emblem is that of a hawk. He also indulges in falconry as a pastime.
* BrokenPedestal
* CavalryBetrayal: [[spoiler:Pulls this off ''masterfully'' at the Battle of Caer Dathyl.]]
* DontTouchItYouIdiot: [[spoiler:He fires the ChekhovsGun cocked by Dallben all the way back at the start of ''The Book of Three'' by touching the eponymous book. It doesn't end well for him.]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare: [[spoiler:He's the last of a long line of villains seeking to topple Arawn and become the BigBad of Prydain himself.]]
* KnightTemplar: Known for wearing his sword unsheathed in wartime and proclaiming that it will not return to its scabbard until he has claimed victory.
* LightIsGood: Initially held up as a shining example of heroism. [[spoiler:[[LightIsNotGood Until he actually shows up and helps Arawn]] [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp everyone]]]].
* NietzscheWannabe
* SelfDisposingVillain
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:He takes over this role from Achren almost immediately.]]
* TooDumbToLive
* TrojanHorse
* UglyHeroGoodLookingVillain: The companions are a RagTagBunchOfMisfits, while [[spoiler:Pryderi ranks up there with [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Jaime Lannister]] in terms of handsome villains.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Dallben implies he might actually be trying to save Prydain in his own way, but his methods are simply too evil for ThePowersThatBe to let him go through with it.]]

!!"King Eiddilleg"

The king of the Fair Folk.

* FantasticRacism: Not the biggest human fan.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Goes from taking companions prisoner to having Doli lead his troops to aid Taran.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Averted even more than with Doli.

!!"Orwen, Orddu, and Orgoch"

A trio of witches in the Marshes of Morva who tend to finish each others sentences. They take turns acting as each other and are
mentioned as having raised Dallben, who they refer to as "little Dallben."

* AllPowerfulBystander: They casually reclaim a powerful magical item from [[BigBad Arawn's]] heavily defended fortress, without any fear of retaliation, and essentially concede the idea that they could conquer Prydain themselves any time they felt like it.
* EquivalentExchange: Those who dare to brave the Marshes have the opportunity to obtain knowledge, wealth, power, magical items, or some combination of those things from the witches - for a price.
* {{Expy}}: Resemble the fates.
* ExtremeOmnivore: It's implied that they'll eat anything.
* GenreSavvy: They didn't really expect [[TheOathBreaker Arawn]] [[JerkAss Death-Lord]] to keep his side of a bargain. Also the reason they no longer extend credit.
* TheWeirdSisters: Mysterious old women who have lived for hundreds of years and a re masters of black magic.


A guardian of animals.

* BarefootSage
* {{Expy}}: Of Noah. It's even mentioned at one point that he once rescued two of each animal from a flood.
* FriendToAllLivingThings
* NiceHat: Wears a jewel-encrusted headband.
* NotSoDifferent: From Taran as it turns out. Especially notable when Taran befriends the baby gwythaint.
* WizardBeard


A shepherd who Taran meets on his way to the Free Commots. He claims to be Taran's father, leaving Taran discouraged because he
thought that he was of noble birth.

* HandicappedBadass
* Luke,IAmYourFather: To Taran.


A legendary potter in the Free Commots. He gives Taran some lessons.

* MeaningfulName: His full name is Annlaw Clay-Shaper.
* MentorOccupationalHazard
* OldMaster: To Taran for a while.

!!"High King Math"

The supreme regent of Prydain and one of the two Big Goods. Presumably the father of Gwydion.

* AllLovingHero
* BadassGrandpa: Stand up to the cauldron born.
* BadassPacifist: Stands up to the cauldron born right after expressing his sorrow at all the bloodshed.
* BigGood: Shares this with Dallben.
* TheGoodKing: His defining character trait.
* KingOnHisDeathbed: In The High King.
* PapaWolf: To Prydain as a whole.
* Really700YearsOld: Mentioned as looking older than Dallben, who's in his 300s.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* WizardBeard: He's not a wizard but still has quite an impressive one.

[[folder: Villains]]

!!'''Arawn Death-Lord'''

Arawn Death-Lord is the ruler of Annuvin, the Land of Death, and the EvilOverlord threatening Prydain’s stability. Unlike most Evil Overlords, Arawn is not a ruthless tyrant, but a cunning trickster who manipulates mortals through guile and deceit. Over time, he has stolen away most of Prydain’s greatest treasures and secrets, hording them in his fortress. He commands many terrible servants, including [[GiantFlyer the]] [[FeatheredFiend Gwythaints]], [[TheUndead the]] [[NighInvulnerable Cauldron-Born]], and the [[EvilPoacher Huntsmen of Annuvin]].

* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: [[spoiler:Averted. Arawn is more of a trickster than a fighter.]]
* BigBad: Of ''The Book of Three'', ''The Black Cauldron'', and ''The High King''.
* TheChessmaster
* EvilIsPetty: Arawn doesn't do anything with the treasures and information he has collected over the centuries. He doesn't even allow his servants to do so - he just hoards all that stuff so no one can have it.
* EvilOverlord
* EvilSorcerer
* GreaterScopeVillain: Of ''The Castle of Llyr'' and ''Taran Wanderer''.
* LoadBearingBoss
* ManipulativeBastard
* MasterOfIllusion
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* OrcusOnHisThrone: [[{{Reconstruction}} Reconstructed]]. Arawn generally acts through proxies and rarely does anything on his own. This ends in Book 5, where it's shown that he can and will get his hands dirty when the reward justifies the risks. [[spoiler: It also shows why he generally doesn't.]]
* ScaledUp: [[spoiler:Arawn turns into a snake. [[GenreBlind It doesn’t help.]]]]
* {{Shapeshifter}}
* SquishyWizard
* TheStarscream: In the past, Achren was the ruler of Annuvin. Arawn became her consort, then betrayed and deposed her. [[WomanScorned She is not happy about this.]]

!!'''Queen Achren'''

The vain, beautiful Queen Achren was once the ruler of all Prydain. Ages ago, she was betrayed by her subordinate, Arawn, who became the new EvilOverlord. While she continues to serve Arawn, she is obsessed with finding a way to [[TheStarscream reclaim her former power]] and become ruler once again. Although not as powerful as she once was, Achren is still a formidable enchantress, and Gwydion fears her as much as he does Arawn.

* TheBaroness: Definite shades of this.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: When they first meet, Taran assumes Achren must be an ally as she is beautiful and kind. Gwydion warns him that this is a ruse.
* BigBad: Of ''The Castle of Llyr''.
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler: She loses her power in the third book.]]
* ChewingTheScenery: She is prone to being…overdramatic.
* DefrostingIceQueen: [[spoiler:She slowly goes through this following her VillainousBreakdown. Maybe. ]]
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler:She assists the companions in bringing down Arawn in the last book.]]
* FauxAffablyEvil: Her cordial demeanor only serves to make her more intimidating.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: It is often implied she was even ''worse'' than Arawn.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Possibly; in the fifth book, it's unclear to what extent she's reformed, but she is nonetheless a valuable ally to the companions during their EnemyMine.]]
* NinjaMaid: [[spoiler: She becomes Dallben's maid, for all intents and purposes, after ''The Castle of Llyr'', but ''The High King'' shows that though she's lost her magic, she's lost none of her cunning or physical prowess.]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: She looks like a beautiful young woman but…
* Really700YearsOld: It is never stated exactly how old she is, but she’s clearly been around a long time.
* SaveTheVillain: [[spoiler: Gwydion saves her from the Castle of Llyr. She is furious about this at first, but after some convincing, she accepts her defeat [[HeelFaceTurn and takes refuge at Caer Dallben.]]]]
* TheStarscream: Plans to betray Arawn as he betrayed her. [[spoiler: Eventually, she gets even, though ironically it's after she did a HeelFaceTurn anyway.]]
* VainSorceress
* TheVamp: She tries to use her feminine wiles on Gwydion more than once. It doesn’t work. She also uses them on Taran, who is about to fall for it when Gwydion warns him.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:After losing her power at the Castle of Llyr. This sets the stage for her HeelFaceTurn.]]
* WomanScorned: Her desire to get revenge on Arawn goes way past obsession…

!!'''The Horned King'''

Arawn’s mightiest war leader and the primary antagonist of ''The Book of Three'' and of the [[Disney/TheBlackCauldron film version of the ''Black Cauldron,'']] the Horned King is a bestial man who takes his name from the antlered mask he wears. No one knows his true name. Arawn has imbued him with great power, and he is charged with marshalling the Southern Cantrevs and leading an attack on Caer Dathyl.

* TheDragon
** DragonInChief: Arawn's style leads naturally to the Horned King, his general, being the main adversary in Book 1.
* TheFaceless
* HornedHumanoid
* IKnowYourTrueName: [[spoiler:How Gwydion defeats him.]]
* LargeAndInCharge
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* SilentAntagonist


The Chief Steward of the House of Mona. He serves as a spy for and [[TheDragon Dragon]] to Achren in ''The Castle of Llyr'', and then to [[spoiler:Arawn]] in ''The High King''.

* TheDragon: To Achren [[spoiler: and later Arawn]].
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass
* EvilChancellor
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Just like the rest of the BigBadEnsemble, Magg is obsessed with trying to pull this off and unseat Arawn. [[spoiler:[[OutGambitted And just like everyone else, it blows up in his face]] ... literally]].
* HeroKiller: [[spoiler:He manages to capture King Smoit's castle and his men kill Rhun in ''The High King'', despite the latter's [[TookALevelInBadass Taking a Level in Badass]].]]
* InSeriesNickname: Fflewddur insists on calling him "the Spider".
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:He's obsessed with claiming a crown of his own, eventually sighting in on claiming Arawn's crown, but when he places the Death Lord's crown upon his head, its power burns him to ashes.]]
* TheMole
* ObviouslyEvil
* SharpDressedMan: For a time, this is his defining trope.
* TreacherousAdvisor
* AWolfInSheepsClothing: He appears as a doddering overweight busybody, yet he manages to kidnap Eilonwy and spirit her off to Llyr right out from under both Taran and Gwydion's noses.


An old hermit living in the backwoods of Prydain. He also happens to be an EvilSorcerer with a penchant for torturing his victims in cruel and unusual ways.

* AmuletOfDependency: The source of his power.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Morality just doesn't compute for him.
* BalefulPolymorph: He ends up turning Fflewddur and Gurgi into these.
* BigBadEnsemble: In ''Taran Wanderer'' with Dorath.
* EvilGloating: His need to explain his backstory to Taran proves to be his undoing.
* EvilOldFolks: Like every other villain, plans to become the next evil overlord, despite his age.
* EvilSorcerer: Naturally, as an Expy of a classic fairy tale example.
* {{Expy}}: Of Koschei the Deathless, though his SoulJar has fewer layers of defence.
* NoManOfWomanBorn: He goes out of his way to let Taran know he's invulnerable to weapons and magic, [[spoiler:so Taran shatters his SoulJar instead]].
* SoulJar: [[spoiler:His detached finger bone.]]
* TransformationRay: His amulet.
* YouKilledMyFather: While he didn't explicitly kill Eilonwy's mother, he did sit back and let her die, then looted her corpse for the hell of it, which is where he found the amulet.


A wandering bandit and leader of a band of petty thugs who stalk the Free Commots. Like Achren, he is a recurring villain and comes the closest to inflicting real harm on the companions on several occasions.

* AttemptedRape: Threatened, ''extremely'' euphemistically, but never conducted. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids It's a kids' book, remember]].
* BigBadEnsemble: In ''Taran Wanderer'' with Morda.
* BrokenAesop: He pursues Taran right up to the MirrorOfLlunet, but the significance of the reflecting pool is lost on him when Taran lets him look into it.
* ChekhovMIA: Gets away clean in ''Taran Wanderer'' only to come back [[spoiler:and meet his end]] in ''The High King''.
* EgomaniacHunter
* ExitPursuedByABear: [[spoiler:He's torn limb from limb by the series' two resident SavageWolves, Brynach and Briavael.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: He steals Taran's sword, thinking it to be of excellent craftsmanship, [[spoiler:only to have it shattered to pieces by a blade Taran makes for himself]].
* KnightOfCerebus: He proves to be this, both thematically for the series, and personally for Taran. After Dorath shows up in the narrative, named characters start dying in droves.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney
* RapePillageAndBurn: Dorath's MO.
* TheSociopath
* TermsOfEndangerment: He calls Taran "Lord Swineherd" and Eilonwy "Princess Vixen".