[[folder: '''Malazan Empire -- The High Command''']]

!!Empress Laseen
-> 'An empire is greater than any lone mortal– An empire enforces its own necessities, makes demands in the name of duty – and that particular burden is something you, as a soldier, most certainly understand.'
--> ''Literature/DeadhouseGates''
Empress Laseen is the ruler of the Malazan Empire as of the start of ''Gardens of the Moon''. She used to be part of the Old Guard -- Emperor Kellanved's closest allies, the imperial 'family' -- and helped build the empire, but eventually took over. Depending on who's talking, she either was a server at a tavern, Napan royalty, or both.
* ActionGirl: Laseen is a [[ProfessionalKiller master assassin]] and can hold her own in combat. In ''Return of the Crimson Guard'', she fights an armed and armoured Avowed barehanded.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: As a Napan, Laseen has blue skin.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Laseen was the founder and leader of [[SecretPolice the Claw]] even before she took the throne, and can kick ass with the best of them.
* BadassNormal: Although many of the Old Guard qualify, she still lives in a world where Gods and Ascendants meddle in mortal affairs, and contrary to her predecessor, Laseen is not a mage, but simply a very skilled fighter.
* BadBoss: Less villainous, more incompetent, as becomes apparent as the story advances. A case of WeHaveReserves, especially in ''Return of the Crimson Guard''.
* BareFistedMonk: Laseen prefers unadorned and simple clothing and surroundings, and fights barehanded.
* BastardUnderstudy: To Emperor Kellanved and Dancer, both of whom she assassinated -- after building her own SecretPolice to circumvent Dancer's Talon, the empire's ''other'' SecretPolice organization.
* BecomingTheMask: Zig-zagged. Whether she kept to the original Napan plan, really became Kellanved's understudy and bought into the imperial dream, or betrayed everyone depends on who's talking.
* BusCrash: For those who haven't read ''Return of the Crimson Guard'', [[spoiler:the news of Laseen's death comes out of nowhere in ''Dust of Dreams'']].
* TheChainsOfCommanding: [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Possibly]]. Laseen may have bitten off more than she could chew, and ends up seemingly powerless in the face of all of the empire's problems, as well as getting blamed for everything.
* TheChessmaster: Subverted. She has a reputation as one, but it crumbles, until she ends up trapped [[spoiler: and usurped by Mallick Rel, who's a much better poster boy for the trope]].
* DeceptiveDisciple: What ''were'' Laseen's motives? Admiral Nok implies that [[spoiler: the Napans planned to use Kellanved to destroy the Untan hegemony from the very beginning, and Kellanved's imperial ambitions just came in handy, and eventually, by getting rid of Kellanved, Laseen just took the Napan cause to it's penultimate conclusion. Except she didn't tell her co-conspirators, [[BecomingTheMask who had become loyal to the Empire]].]]
* TheEmpress: ..of the Malazan Empire, complete with the bad reputation.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: She ''means'' well, but possibly bit off more than she could chew, and ends up seeming rather incompetent.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: She outmaneuvered everyone, keeping her plans secret even from her closest allies (the other Napans), and got outmaneuvered herself by Mallick Rel.]]
* ICanRuleAlone: Possibly, see DeceptiveDisciple.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Her rationalization for pretty much everything she does -- assassinating Emperor Kellanved and Dancer, the death of Dassem Ultor, the culling of the nobility, etc.
--> '''Empress Laseen:''' An empire is greater than any lone mortal--
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: She rose to power through assassination, and she herself is assassinated in ''Return of the Crimson Guard''.]]
* MeaningfulName: Used to be known as Surly, which described her personality and demeanor quite well. She also apparently worked as a bar maid using that name.
* MeaningfulRename: Laseen means ''Thronemaster'' in Napan. She took the name shortly before taking the throne. Doubly meaningful if her being Napan royalty is true.
* ProfessionalKiller: Laseen is the founder of the Claw, and served as their leader.
* UngratefulBastard: Kellanved took her in, gave her a job and raised her as his understudy, yet Laseen ''still'' turned on him. [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Possibly subverted]] in that she may have had good intentions, with Kellanved having been a great conqueror, but potentially a less great ruler.
* UriahGambit: Laseen demotes Whiskeyjack and sends him and the Bridgeburners, the old Emperor's loyal favourites, to fight a hopeless war on Genabackis. Though subverted as the fact that it got most of them killed was Tayschrenn's doing.
* TheUsurper: Laseen was in change while Emperor Kellanved and Dancer were off exploring, but decided to finalize her position upon their return.
!!Adjunct Lorn
-> '''High Mage Tayschrenn:''' 'The woman named Lorn, the woman who once was a child, who once had a family, that woman does not exist. She ceased to exist the day she became the Adjunct.'
--> ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''
Adjunct Lorn is the right hand of Empress Laseen. She takes it upon herself to find out what caused the massacre in Itko Kan, and takes Ganoes Paran under her wing. [[spoiler:She is killed at the end of ''Gardens of the Moon'', and Tavore Paran takes her place.]]
* ActionGirl: That sword at her side is not just for show, and thanks to her Claw training, she can hold her own in combat.
* AntiMagic: The Adjunct's sword of office is made of Otataral, a magic-negating ore.
* BeneathTheMask: [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted.]] As Adjunct, there's an expectation that Lorn's real personality would take the backseat to her persona as Adjunct and right hand of the Empress. Except Lorn ''is'' the Adjunct -- indoctrinated from a young age to serve the Empress. The young woman named Lorn [[EmptyShell never had a chance to emerge]]. But then she meets Tattersail and it's revealed, to Lorn's own surprise, that she never grew past the girl who witnessed the massacre in the Mouse Quarter.
* BrokenBird: Lorn is likely not much older than Ganoes Paran, whom she calls young and assigns to her own staff, but is all-around the detached, professional soldier and Adjunct to the Empress. But when accidentally confronted with her past, she loses all common sense.
* CoolSword: Her longsword, which is also a sign of her office, is made of Otataral, a magic-negating ore.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed.]] When confronted with the death of her family during the riot in the Mouse Quarter of Malaz City and her childhood in the Claw, who kept the fact of her family's death from her for years, she is reminded by both Dujek Onearm and Tayschrenn that her past ceased to matter the moment she became the Adjunct.
* TheDragon: Lorn shares the duty with Topper, but as [[SecretPolice Master of the Claw]] Topper is much less visible than the Adjunct.
* DroppedABridgeOnHer: [[spoiler:After trying to kill the Coin Bearer, Lorn is murdered in a back alley by Meese and Irilta, two Phoenix Inn regulars.]] She lampshades the irony herself when Paran finds her:
--> '''Adjunct Lorn:''' Do you see... the irony, Ganoes Paran? No... glorious end... for the Adjunct.
* EmptyShell: In the course of ''Gardens of the Moon'', Lorn comes to realise that she is nothing beyond her Adjunct persona -- the woman behind the mask has no ambitions, opinions or personality.
* HarmfulToMinors: As a child, Lorn witnessed the riot in the Mouse Quarter when the mage cadre sent to deal with illegal magic lost control and the army had to be sent in as well.
* HeelRealization: Lorn has a crisis of faith when she realises the Empress may not be as great as she believed, and that, by extention, this also applies to her cause.
* MouthOfSauron: The Adjunct is the extention of the Empress's will and voice.
* RedemptionRejection: Tool offers Lorn a chance to join him instead of returning to the Empire, but she decides to continue with her mission, [[spoiler:and gets herself killed as a result]].
* TragicVillain: Lorn follows her orders without questions asked, as the Empress is always right, but not because she particularly enjoys it. This causes Ganoes Paran to come to see her as a villain, especially in the face of her willingness to release the Jaghut Tyrant just to win Darujhistan. She eventually realises how expendable she is to the Empress, but by then it's too late.
* WeaponOfXSlaying: Her Otataral sword is especially effective against mages, due to its magic-negating properties.
!!Adjunct Tavore Paran
-> 'The gods can have their war. We will not be used, not by them, not by anyone. I do not care how history judges us — I hope that's well understood.'
--> ''Dust of Dreams''
Tavore Paran is the middle child of the noble House Paran (specializing in the trade of wine and horses), a year younger than her brother Ganoes and three years older than her sister Felisin. She has a habit of trying to make up for what she perceives as Ganoes' failings. Upon his fall from grace and the death of Adjunct Lorn, she is chosen by Empress Laseen as the new Adjunct. Like the other two children of House Paran, Tavore is central to the events of the series.
* AntiHero: Adjunct Tavore lacks pretty much all typical heroic traits, and is a loner whose motives are rather questionable for most of the series, going so far as to openly admit -- in a rare moment of saying ''something'' -- that she expects her army, the Bonehunters, to die unwitnessed for a cause they know nothing about. [[spoiler:Turns out Tavore is planted firmly on the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism idealistic side]] and intends to right an ancient wrong even if it costs the lives of all her soldiers and makes her look like the villain.]]
* ButchLesbian: Tavore wears her hair short, no make-up or other adornments, prefers practical clothes and armour, and is a scholar of war. In contrast, her lover T'amber leans towards LipstickLesbian.
* TheChessmaster: Tavore is responsible for a huge part of the latter half of the series, and even other chessmasters like Shadowthrone fail to see through her plans. Even her brother Ganoes Paran can only shrug and trust in his sister.
--> '''Ganoes Paran:''' Think of all the great military leaders – Dassem, Coltaine, K'azz, Dujek, Greymane – for what it is worth, I would pit my sister against any of them. Gods below, against ''all'' of them.
* ChildProdigy: According to Ganoes Paran, in regards to military strategy. By the age of five, Tavore knew all there was to know from history books and scrolls. By the age of seven, she was able to defeat visiting High Fists in mock battles, and later again, she went on to take the sides of the losing parties in historic battles and device ways for them to ''win''.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Renounces her noble roots and betrays the nobility to the Empress, resulting in the culling of the noble houses and many noble either killed or deported into slavery. However, the nobility were getting a bit too comfortable with buying military posts and indulgences, and thus indirectly destroying the empire from the inside. Later on, [[spoiler:she does it again, this time renouncing her allegiance to Empress Laseen and taking her whole army with her. To be fair, though, Laseen betrayed her first.]]
* TheDragon: Like Adjunct Lorn, whose place she takes, Tavore Paran is Empess Laseen's right hand. However, she also is a..
* DragonWithAnAgenda: ..and that agenda goes far beyond what a mortal should be able to achieve, and far beyond the borders of the Malazan Empire. [[spoiler:She wants to right the anchient wrong that is the imprisonment of the Crippled God, all because she feels compassion for him.]] Even the gods are appalled.
* TheDutifulDaughter: Subverted. In ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'', this is what Tavore seems to be -- when Ganoes returns home between assignments, she gives him a talking to for running off to join the army. Then, after Paran's falling from grace and Adjunct Lorn's death, she takes on the position of Adjunct to restore the family's honour. Except [[spoiler:that this is hinted to have been the moment she decided there's no kill like overkill and hedged her plan to safe the world]].
* EmotionlessGirl: Justified, then deconstructed. Tavore has a mission she set upon herself and any show of emotion that might distract from that is unwelcome -- including [[spoiler:the death of her lover, T'amber]]. However, part of why she sets out to [[spoiler:cross half the world and free the Crippled God]] is due to guilt over what happened to Felisin and -- of all things -- ''compassion'', and what it gets her is the suspicion and dislike of her troops and allies, to whom she remains an enigma. When, in ''The Crippled God'', Deadsmell gets a glance at all that she keeps locked inside, he has a minor {{BSOD}}.
* FourStarBadass: Zig-Zagged. For the majority of the series, people keep questioning what qualifies Tavore Paran to lead an army, as she is young and untested. Then the full range of her abilities, plans and motivations is revealed. Also, in contrast to Adjunct Lorn, Tavore is actually in charge of an army, while we only ever saw Lorn interact with a few underlings.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Deconstructed. Tavore is the older, smarter and plain sister, and Felisin the younger, prettier and shallower one. They still love each other, but it spirals completely out of control when Tavore becomes the Adjunct and has Felisin shipped off to the Otataral mines as a slave. She perceives this as the lesser of two evils, but naturally, Felisin disagrees and [[CainAndAbel vows to kill Tavore]].
* HiddenDepths: It takes time to peel all the layers away. At first, Tavore seems like a ruthless noble [[DefectorFromDecadence who betrayed her own]], including her family, to further her own ambitions. Then she is shown to have planned Felisin's rescue all along, but comes off as an inexperienced commander. Except she is actually the [[TheStrategist strategist]]. [[spoiler:Who betrays the Empress for unexplained, possibly personal goals. Of course, those goals are to save the world. At which she might even have outmaneuvered Shadowthrone and Cotillion.]] And then there's her connection to the [[SecretPolice Talon]], [[spoiler:and the fact she wears a Talon necklace in the final battle of the series.]]
* NotSoDifferent: Her and her brother Ganoes Paran. They are outwardly at odds, as Ganoes is the rebel who leaves his noble family against their will to become a common soldier, while Tavore is [[TheDutifulDaughter the dutiful daughter]] who takes it upon herself to restore the family's honour. However, they act out of a similar belief that the gods have meddled enough in mortal affairs and both, without knowing the other's plans, [[spoiler:acquiere control of an army and lead their soldiers to Kolanse to fight the Forkrul Assail and free the Crippled God.]]
* NoSocialSkills: Either because she naturally lacks social skills, or because she cannot be bothered with niceties, Tavore comes off as rather ungraceful, to put it mildly. Even for a military commander.
* PlainJane: Every time Tavore is described, particular attention is given to how drab, grey, unattractive and even seemingly sexless she is, seemingly lacking in personality.
* SiblingYinYang: Tavore has this with both Felisin and Ganoes, who are more like each other than like Tavore. Especially Ganoes is the idealistic dreamer who sets out to become a hero by joining the army, while Tavore is the down-to-earth strategist concerned with family honour.
* TheStrategist: Used to be a ChildProdigy in this area, and was the pre-eminent scholar on imperial war even before she became the Adjunct. Downplayed insofar as she neither looks nor acts the part, and only a few people are in the know.
* UndyingLoyalty: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Due to a combination of her perceived inexperience, an army composed of [[ShellShockedVeteran Shell Shocked Veterans]] and NewMeat, and Tavore's own [[NoSocialSkills utter lack of charisma]], it takes a long time before her army trusts her.
* TheUnfettered: Tavore Paran has set before her a goal, and she will sacrifice whatever needs be -- herself, her reputation, her army of thousands of soldiers, as well as her allies -- to achieve it.
!!High Fist Dujek Onearm
-> '''Adjunct Lorn:''' 'Dujek is not just one man. Right now he's ten thousand, and in a year's time he'll be twenty-five thousand. He doesn't yield when you push, does he?'
--> ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''
Dujek Onearm is the Commander of the Malazan 2nd Army, also known as Onearm's Host. He was a young lad when he joined Kellanved's and Dancer's group and thus was part of the 'family', the Old Guard, with which the old Emperor conquered Malaz Island and later several continents.
* AFatherToHisMen: A textbook example, and when, after the siege of Pale, attempts are made on his life, his soldiers volunteer to guard his back at all times, even against his wish.
* CoolOldGuy: Dujek is the oldest acting commander in the military, and has a no-nonsense attitude while still remaining approacheable and relatable to his soldiers.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:In ''Literature/TheBonehunters'', Dujek dies offscreen from the plague.]]
* HandicappedBadass: Missing one arm in no way impinges on his ability to keep things under control and everyone on their toes, if need be. It does make shaving difficult, though.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: To the extreme. Dujek always takes the reasonable approach, but that also means allowing the culling of Pale's nobility, if that is what's needed to keep the alliance with the Moranth and the conquered city under control. Unfortunately, Pale's Hall of Records burning down was a tragic mishap.
!!High Mage Tayschrenn
-> 'The need for justifications has passed. The Empress has commanded, and we must obey.'
--> ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''
Tayschrenn, a renegade priest of D'rek, the Worm of Autumn, was one of the last people recruited by Emperor Kellanved into the Old Guard, and thus one of those who helped shape the Malazan Empire. As of the beginning of the series, he is the Imperial High Mage, sent by the Empress to end the siege of Pale, and has a reputation for being paranoid, shady and ambitious.
* TheArchmage: The Imperial High Mage. Though there are several High Mages as of the beginning of the series, Tayschrenn seems to be the chief one, and the others defer to him.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: In ''Orb, Sceptre, Throne'', [[spoiler:Tayschrenn takes on the role of the dying Elder God K'rul, becoming T'renn.]]
* DefectorFromDecadence: Used to be a High Septarch of D'rek, the Worm of Autumn, but left the cult for unknown reasons.
* TheDreaded: He certainly has this role from Tattersail's point of view in ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''. She has cast Tayschrenn as the ultimate antagonist, worse even than the Empress, dreads every encounter with him and reads his every gesture as a confirmation of that.
* EnigmaticMinion: As Imperial High Mage, Tayschrenn is close to the Empress. He is presented as a bad guy from Tattersail's point of view at first, responsible for the death of most of the Bridgeburners and attacking the 2nd's mage cadre during the Enfilade at Pale, but later heclaims that he thought the Bridgeburners safe in the underground tunnels and that he was trying to defend against Nightchill's betrayal during the battle. Ultimately, his alignment remains a mystery, though it becomes quite clear that -- good intentions or not -- he is incompetent at commanding and unwilling to reveal his long-range intentions, not even to the man he helped to build the empire in the first place.
* EvilSorcerer: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted.]] Tayschrenn has that kind of reputation, especially as being paranoid and ruthless, though he is shown to be nurturing it. Tattersail suspects him of being responsible for the deaths of Calot and Nightchill, as well as of sending the Bridgeburners to their deaths. She actively does her best to ''not'' find any redeeming traits in Tayschrenn, and he seems content enough with the political power it gives him.
* HazyFeelTurn: Taschrenn starts out as Empress Laseen's loyal minion, then joins Onearm's Host as [[spoiler:Artanthos, the standard bearer, and fights at their side]], then claims to have the Empire's intererests in mind while [[spoiler:Empress Laseen is losing grasp and Mallick Rel is loose in the capital and eventually takes her place.]] And before all that, he used to be High Septarch of D'rek, the Worm of Autumn, but supposedly defected, except he claims to have been able to [[spoiler:talk D'rek out of killing him when she went berserk on her priesthood.]] And in the ''Novels of the Malazan Empire'', he seems to be running his own thing altogether, with not even his bodyguard Kiska knowing what he is up to.
--> '''Silverfox:''' 'No sense of loyalty, no sense of trust – thoughts of him confuse me.'
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Invoked. In ''Literature/TheBonehunters'', Tayschrenn and Shadowthrone have a brief exchange where they try to goad each other into revealing their respective plans. Neither gives in.
* MysteriousBacker: To Tattersail, whom he grooms -- unbeknownst to her -- to become the Mistress of the Deck of Dragons, which in turn would, of course, benefit the empire.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Trying to safe the Bridgeburners by ordering them to remain in the tunnels beneath the city walls of Pale.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: When he unleashes his Warrens in full during a battle with the Pannion Domin, he takes out all of their wizards, knocks down a third of the walls of their capital city, and causes Korlat, who had only heard about his duel with Rake, to nearly pass out as she realizes her lord tried to ''fight that''.
* PlayingWithFire: Tayschrenn uses High Telas, the Path of Fire, as his Warren.
* TwoAliasesOneCharacter: Tayschrenn is also [[spoiler:Artanthos, the 2nd's standard bearer during the campaing against the Pannion Seer.]] Much is talked about his motivations during ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'', so his actual presence comes as a surprise to everyone.
-> '''Toc the Younger:''' 'Often, when we camped on the march, I'd see you lugging that travelling wardrobe of yours around. Now I finally see what was in it. Sorceress, you're a sight for a sore eye.'
--> ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''
Tattersail is the commanding sorceress of the 2nd Army's mage cadre and an adept at reading the Deack of Dragons. She has been serving the Malazan Empire ever since its founding, but has repeatedly turned down promotions to High Mage. Her main Warren is Thyr, the Path of Light.
* ActionGirlfriend: Action affair. She and Ganoes Paran hook up after Tattersail stands her ground against a Hound of Shadow.
* BigBeautifulWoman: There's no way around the fact that Tattersail is fat, she mentions it herself and even wonders how Calot is still attracted to her, but it's not just Calot -- almost everyone considers her to be attractive.
* CuteWitch: While Tattersail is quite clearly a grown up woman, she is described as cherubic and upbeat — one of the few truly upbeat characters in the series — and really cares about the common soldiers of the 2nd. She is also the only mage explicitly mentioned to use a spell book.
* DoNotGoGentle: [[spoiler:After admonishing herself about giving up, Tattersail throws herself at Bellurdan who was sent by Tayschrenn to bring her back and keep her from warning the Bridgeburners. She uses all her power to burn both of them to ashes in a giant pillar of light.]]
* KillTheCutie: One of the nicest and purely sympathetic characters, especially in ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''. [[spoiler:She gets a moment to show he decisiveness and power when confronting Bellurdan and then incinerating them both in order to stop him.]]
* HeroesWantRedHeads: She is a red head, and hooks up with Ganoes Paran, who at that point is the closest thing ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'' has to a protagonist and hero.
* LightEmUp: Her Warren is Thyr, the Path of Light.
* TheMcCoy: Among the mage cadre, Tattersail is known to be closest to the common soldiers, respectful and down to earth. She is also the most emotional among the mages of her cadre.
* MysteriousBacker: She is not aware of it, but Tayschrenn wants her to become the Mistress of the Deck of Dragons, which in turn would benefit the Malazan Empire.
* OlderThanTheyLook: She is actually 214, but it's not unusual for magic users to be older than they look.
* {{Reincarnation}}: [[spoiler:Tattersail's soul is used in the creation of Silverfox and thus makes up a part of Silverfox's soul, together with Bellurdan Scullcrusher and Nightchill.]]
* ReincarnationRomance: Subverted. [[spoiler:There is an expectation that Tattersail's and Ganoes Paran's budding romance would continue between Silverfox and Paran, but it becomes clear that neither were their feelings any more than passing affection nor is Silverfox the same woman as Tattersail.]]
* SpellBook: Possibly EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, but Tattersail is the only mage who is mentioned to possess and use a spellbook.
* TarotTroubles: Tattersail is an adept at reading the Deck of Dragons, with High Mage Tayschrenn even grooming her to become the Mistress of the Deck.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: She is introduced as a major point of view character in ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'', [[spoiler:but not even half the book goes by and she dies abruptly in an attempt to stop Bellurdan.]]
!!Fist Coltaine
-> 'All men have hidden motives. I care nothing for their sentiments. If they obey my commands I in turn will serve them. If they do not, I will tear their hearts from their chests.'
--> ''Literature/DeadhouseGates''
Coltaine of the Crow Clan is a Wickan warchief and a newly appointed Fist, tasked with curbing the brewing rebellion in Seven Cities. He was the one to unite the Wickan clans on Quon Tali in an insurrection against Emperor Kellanved, yet the latter somehow managed to gain Coltaine's loyalty. He is an enigma to both the imperial troops and his own followers.
* AnimalMotif: The Crow. Coltaine of the Crow Clan, wearing a cloak of crow feathers and crow feather fetishes in his hair. [[spoiler:Thousands of crows also come to take in his soul upon his death.]]
* BadassCape: It is made of crow feathers and looks appropriately fierce when he's riding into battle.
* BadassNative: All the Wickans are, but Coltaine is known for being especially fierce and cunning. After all, he was the one to unite all the Wickan clans beneath his rule.
--> '''A captain in the 7th:''' 'If you're going to keep your head as leader of all the clans, you'd better be nastier than all the rest put together. Why'd you think the old Emperor liked him so much?'
* CrucifiedHeroShot: [[spoiler: At the end of ''Literature/DeadhouseGates'', he dies on a cross.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Coltaine leads the 7th Army and several thousands of refugees across an entire subcontinent while being constantly attacked by rebels all the way. [[spoiler:He delivers them to Aren's gates, but dies in a last stand to allow them to reach the gates.]]
* GuileHero: Surprisingly, since he cultivates a savage horse warrior image, Coltaine can be really cunning and politically effective. While he does not care for insulting anyone's sensibilities, he insults them in a way that gets him the results he wants.
--> '''A captain in the 7th:''' 'Coltaine's a snake, if that's what you're asking. If the High Command at Aren thinks they can dance around him, they're in for a nasty surprise.'
* TheLeader: Warchief of the Wickan Clans. He is a mastermind at tactics, always thinking a step further than the leaders of the rebellion, and predicting their reactions. He does what he does because he takes his resposibility as a Malazan Fist seriously and serves those that serve him. However, Coltaine is will not budge no matter how much pressure he receives from without or within -- from those refugees he is guarding, some of whom are {{Ungrateful Bastard}}s. Yet despite all his apparent fierceness and arrogance, he has the kind of charisma that draws people to him and make them swear their lives to his cause, somethime without knowing what he's up to.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler:At his last stand in the finale of ''Literature/DeadhouseGates'', Coltaine is caught by the Army of the Apocalypse and crucified. They also keep killing the crows that come to take away his soul, thus prolonging his suffering. The troops watching from the walls of Aren dig up Squint, their best archer, who manages to kill Coltaine with one shot from the distance and end it all.]]
* MessianicArchetype: A hero to the Wickans whom they follow without questions, who leads tens of thousands of refugees he has no other connection with other than being a Fist of the Malazan Empire across an entire continent, all while being under constant attack from religious fanatics. [[spoiler:He then dies on a cross, his soul -- too big to be taken in by one crow -- taken away by thousands of crows, and is reborn on the Wickan Plains of Quon Tali.]] [[spoiler:In ''Return of the Crimson Guard'', he is back to leading the Wickans, albeit from a stroller.]]
* NervesOfSteel: No matter what happens, Coltaine's reaction is always the same: Think of a plan, put it into action. When everyone else is loosing their cool during the Chain of Dogs, Coltaine never does.
* NoBadassToHisValet: No matter how much Coltaine snarls and raises hackles and delivers death glares, his uncle Bult is not impressed.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: Escorted 30,000 Malazan refugees across the worst desert in the world, under constant attack from dozens of different armies and in constant danger of starvation. His reward? To be abandoned by his superiors and crucified right outside the walls of Aren. Most of the refugees were {{Ungrateful Bastard}}s as well.]]
* TerrorHero: Coltaine's modus operandi. He verges on being TheDreaded upon his arrival in Seven Cities, as soldiers recall their last encounter with him -- most of them saw their first battle facing Coltaine when he rebelled against Emperor Kellanved. He uses intimidation and the threat of death to keep the [[UngratefulBastard nobles]] among the refugees in check.
* WildHair: Not unkempt, but Coltaine sports long, wild braids full of fetishes and crow feathers. He is as close to nature as a horse warrior from the steppes can be, and comes off as having no social skills at all unless they include snarling at and passively insulting people. And if anything, he can be said to be ChaoticGood and the Wickans' hero.
-> 'Wise words are like arrows flung at your forehead. What do you do? Why, you duck, of course.'
--> ''Literature/DeadhouseGates''
Bult is a veteran commander in Fist Coltaine's command and his uncle. He seems able to read Coltaine a tiny bit better than everyone else and translate the his silences and snarls into worded orders. When he was young, Bult was badly wounded in battle by Dujek, giving him an ugly scar which almost folds his face in half diagonally. In retaliation, Bult's horse made certain Dujek would gain the moniker 'Onearm'.
* BadassGrandpa: Bult is old enough to have fought both Duiker and Dujek when all three of them were young, but he can hold his own not only within the command structure but also on the field of battle -- like any younger Wickan horse warrior.
* EveryScarHasAStory: Lampshaded. Bult got badly wounded and scarred in a battle when he was young. He dealt some damage to Duiker, got caught by Dujek, then his horse bit off Dujek's arm. He jokes how losing his beauty left him with the only wife he'd had then, who was his sister and blind.

[[folder: '''Malazan Empire -- The Old Guard''']]

!!Dassem Ultor aka Dessembrae aka [[spoiler:Traveller]]
-> '''Spindle:''' 'But Dassem taught us -- he taught every soldier in the Malazan armies back then. Sure, we had swords, but who we used 'em on was up to us.'
--> ''Literature/TollTheHounds''
Dassem Ultor was one of those Kellanved and Dancer had recruited to found the Malazan Empire. Like the Emperor, he came from Dal Hon, and served as the First Sword, the supreme commander of the malazan armies. He reportedly betrayed Hood, whom he was sworn to, and died at Y'Ghatan during the conquest of Seven Cities. [[spoiler:He didn't, changed his name to Traveller and is on a revenge quest against Hood.]]
* ExpansionPackPast: Downplayed, but every new information regarding Dassem's past, especially his connection to Hood, puts his backstory in a different light.
* FakingTheDead: Dassem's Old Guard, of course he did it. [[spoiler:He escaped Laseen's assassination attempt at Y'Ghatan and became Traveller, so that he could pursue his revenge quest against Hood.]]
* ItsPersonal: After breaking with Hood, everything he does is to further his quest for revenge and get to kill Hood, even though on the surface he may participate in, e.g. fighting the Tiste Edur in ''Literature/HouseOfChains''.
* IWillFightSomeMoreForever: [[spoiler:Even after Hood's out of reach, Traveller still duels Anomander Rake to get at Hood.]]
* KillTheGod: That's his goal: to kill the God of Death. [[spoiler:It almost works, but Anomander Rake gets to it first, then taunts Traveller into a duel if he wants to still get Hood.]]
* LegendaryWeapon: The sword ''Vengeance'', which used to belong to and was reportedly forged by Anomander Rake.
* MagneticHero: Dassem used to be this for the soldiers of the Malazan armies in general and his immediate entourage in particular. Many soldiers still follow his credo.
* MasterSwordsman: Considered the empire's best swordsman, also known as the First Sword of Empire. [[spoiler:So good, even Logros thought he qualified for the T'lan Imass title of First Sword.]]
* NamedWeapon: ''Vengeance'', which is also known as ''Grief'', though the name depends on the wielder.
* PhysicalGod: Dessembrae is the God of Tragedy. The cult came into being among the soldiers of the Malazan Empire, and [[spoiler:the fact that Logros and his T'lan Imass transferred the title of First Sword from Onos T'oolan to Dassem Ultor sealed Dassem's ascension to godhood.]]
* PosthumousCharacter: Averted, but it's still significant, as his death is reported in the prologue of the first volume, ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'', making it seem final. Furthermore, ''Dassem Ultor'' is indeed past and gone, but the Cult of Dessembrae lives on, turning him into an Ascendant, and [[spoiler:Traveller]] has left the Malazan Empire behind.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: He broke with Hood after the latter did in Dassem's daughter. So Dassem swore [[{{Revenge}} revenge]] on Hood and means to kill the God of Death no matter what or how long it will take.
* {{Revenge}}: Subverted, as it's made clear how pointless and misaimed his quest is. In the end, [[spoiler:he does not get Hood, and has to face having nothing to continue his life for.]]
* RevengeBeforeReason: Despite being aware that [[spoiler:Logros' and the T'lan Imass' blessing]] is to blame for everything, he goes after Hood, and is intent on killing the ''God of Death'' no matter what. Revenge is his only goal.
* TheUnfettered: In regards to his [[RevengeBeforeReason revenge quest]], to the point where he does not care what happens to people and [[spoiler:seeing his goal taken from him makes him break down.]] Information about his days as First Sword show him as having been the opposite.
* UnwittingPawn: Repeatedly. At first, he becomes [[spoiler:Hood's instrument in getting back at the T'lan Imass for cheating death]], then in ''Literature/TollTheHounds'', [[spoiler:Anomander Rake, Shadowthrone and Hood use his [[RevengeBeforeReason single-mindedness]] to achieve their goals.]]
* WorldsBestWarrior: Considered one of the best in several fields, among them military tactics on a larger scale, and sword fighting on a smaller one. And even outside of those he is capable of, for example, [[Literature/TollTheHounds mopping the floor with a giant bear]].

[[folder: '''Malazan Empire -- The Bridgeburners''']]

!!Captain Ganoes Paran
-> 'All right, it's rather more complicated than I had imagined, then.'
--> ''Literature/TheCrippledGod''
Ganoes Paran is the oldest child of House Paran and a young officer in the Malazan Army, recently assigned as Captain to the Bridgeburners. In ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'' he seems to be the closest thing the book has to a protagonist, with the prologue and first chapter following him from childhood to the army. He eventually gets accepted by the notorious Bridgeburners and becomes [[spoiler:the Master of the Deck of Dragons and even later takes over Onearm's Host after Dujek's death.]]
* AnxietyDreams: They result in DreamingOfThingsToCome, DreamingOfTimesGoneBy and a diffuse version of DreamSpying, and comes with being [[spoiler:Master of the Deck]] but actively resisting it. It gets better as soon as he accepts his powers.
* BadDreams: In particular, thanks to being touched by the blood of a Hound of Shadow, Paran keeps dreaming of being a Hound, hunting and drowning in darkness.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In the prologue of ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'', the twelve-year-old Paran wishes to become a soldier and a hero. He becomes the former, against his family's wishes, but soon finds out it's neither the same as being a hero, nor does the empire care much for its own.
--> ''And me? I'm a fool who followed his dream, and now all I desire is its end.''
* BlessedWithSuck: How he sees the intervention of various gods in his life, especially Oponn. Paran named his sword ''Chance'', which got it blessed by the Jesters of Chance, which in turn made it possible to get at them through Paran. Not a fun place to be.
* CantStayNormal: After getting used by Adjunct Lorn, falling for a mage, being blessed by Oponn, absorbing the blood of a Hound of Shadow and eventually becoming [[spoiler:Master of the Deck of Dragons]], Paran decides to settle down and moves in with [[spoiler:Raest at the Finnest House of Darujhistan]]. The next time he appears, though, he's apparently come to the conclusion that he wants to know more about the war the gods are preparing for.
* CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough: He's the noble born, young and well spoken Captain to the low born, older, gruff and down-to-earth Sergeant Whiskeyjack. Although Paran wisely lets Whiskeyjack run the Bridgeburners as he's well aware of being a newbie.
* ChickMagnet: Both before and after getting a RuggedScar. Though his actual conquests consist of only Tattersail, there's quite a list of women who can't take their eyes off Paran, starting with Adjunct Lorn and ending with Minala:
--> '''Quick Ben:''' 'Her and Rythe Bude – what is it with Ganoes Paran anyway? All these women slobbering all over him.'
* DecoyProtagonist: Defied. Since Ganoes Paran has an important part in both the prologue and first chapters of ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'', he comes off as the closest thing one can assume to be a protagonist. [[spoiler:Then he gets knifed by Sorry in a back alley as soon as he arrives in Pale. He does get better, though, and goes on to play an important part in the story. However, he fades into the multitude of other points of view, taking up no more or less screentime than them.]]
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: In ''Literature/TheBonehunters'', [[spoiler:Captain Paran disposes of Poliel, Mistress of Pestilence, with the help of a shard of Otataral, setting the scene up for the Deragoth to kill Poliel.]]
* EmergencyAuthority: [[spoiler:Paran takes over the 2nd Army when Dujek Onearm and his entire command cadre are dieing of the plague because he just happens to come along and to be the highest healthy ranking officer around.]]
* EnsignNewbie: Fresh out of the military academy, Paran gets assigned the rank of Lieutenant while stationed in Itko Kan. Thanks to keeping his cool during the aftermath of the massacre at the fishing village, he is noticed by Adjunct Lorn and made her personal aide and eventually Captain of the Bridgeburners, who are notorious for getting rid of captains they dislike in creative ways. They are not happy about getting assigned a newbie. He gets better at his job. Quickly.
* TheFace: While Paran initially has trouble becoming this for the Bridgeburners, when he comes to lead [[spoiler:Onerarm's Host]], he becomes this. Especially for the [[spoiler:Forkrul Assail]] he is the face of the entire army, as he's the only one they get to see and talk to.
* FishOutOfWater: Practically runs on this trope. First he is thrust into dealing with the massacre in Itko Kan. Then, though with some Claw training, into commanding the Bridgeburners, who are notorious for killing their captains. Then he has to deal with becoming [[spoiler:Master of the Deck of Dragons]], only to end up commanding [[spoiler:Onearm's Host]] because no one else of rank is around. He grows with every occasion.
* GivingTheSwordToANoob: He becomes [[spoiler:Master of the Deck of Dragons]] because [[spoiler:Tattersail]], who was much better qualified for the job, dies unexpectedly and Paran was the last person to be close to her. He turns out to be very well suited for the position when he makes his peace with it.
* ICallItVera: In ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon'', Paran names his standard issue sword ''Chance'' while still in the grip of his childhood dreams of becoming a hero. It [[UnwittingPawn brings down the blessing]] of Oponn on him, which [[BlessedWithSuck cures him of the idea]].
* InvoluntaryShapeshifter: It's downplayed, but after touching the blood of a Hound of Shadow, Paran occasionally has moments where he partially seems to transform into one. He's not particularly fazed:
--> '''Hurlochel:''' 'Captain. For a moment there... your eyes... they... ''flared''. Like a beast's.'\\
'''Ganoes Paran:''' 'Did they now?'
* KnightInSourArmor: He's had his idealistic dreams of becoming a hero through soldiering shattered quite thoroughly and is not shy about saying things as they are, but still believes that it's worth to prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
--> '''Ganoes Paran:''' 'The gods have been kicking us around for a long time. When do we say enough?'\\
'''Noto Boil:''' 'And in their absence, High Fist, will we manage things any better?'\\
'''Ganoes Paran:''' 'No, but at least then we won't have the option of blaming someone else.'
* LetsGetDangerous: Happens at some point between ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'' and ''Literature/TheBonehunters''. In the former, Paran is the gut sick newbie captain of the Bridgeburners who's actively trying to suppress his [[spoiler:being the Master of the Deck of Dragons]]. In the latter he's accepted what he's become and gets a chance to show his capabilities by, e.g. pawning Poliel, the Mistress of Pestilence.
* NiceGuy: Paran is far from being a doormat, and plays at being rebellious at the beginning of the series, but he soon finds himself and is one of the most straightforwardly nice and well balanced people in the series. He's easy to deal and get along with, and is outwardly not fazed by anyone or anything. Of course, being a soldier he's got the requiered humour down pat.
* NotSoDifferent: Ganoes Paran and his sister Tavore Paran. They are outwardly at odds, as Ganoes is the rebel who leaves his noble family against their will to become a common soldier, while Tavore is [[TheDutifulDaughter the dutiful daughter]] who takes it upon herself to restore the family's honour. However, they act out of a similar belief that the gods have meddled enough in mortal affairs and both, without knowing the other's plans, [[spoiler:acquiere control of an army and lead their soldiers to Kolanse to fight the Forkrul Assail and free the Crippled God.]]
* RuggedScar: In ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'', a Hound of Shadow bites off part of one ear. By his next appearance the wound has faded to a RuggedScar.
!!Sergeant Whiskeyjack / [[spoiler:Iskar Jarak]]
-> 'Taking up the sword is the last act of desperate men. Mark my words and find yourself a more worthy dream.'
--> ''Literature/GardensOfTheMoon''
Whiskeyjack is the Sergeant of the 9th squad of the Bridgeburners. He used to be Commander of the entire 2nd Army, but was demoted by Empress Laseen after her ascension to the throne. He is beloved and looked up to by all of his soldiers. [[spoiler:On Seven Cities, the tribe of the Anibar consider him a holy figure and call him Iskar Jarak, the Iron Prophet, because he once warned them of the coming of the malazan armies.]]
* CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough: Captain Paran's the noble born, young and well spoken Captain to the low born, older, gruff and down-to-earth Sergeant Whiskeyjack. Although Paran wisely lets Whiskeyjack run the Bridgeburners as he's well aware of being a newbie.
* DontFearTheReaper: [[spoiler:Iskar Jarak tells Kalyth in ''Dust of Dreams'' that the Guardians of the Gate will, unlike Hood, be the human face of, because they've once been mortal themselves and remember what it's like to want to live.]]
* FourStarBadass: He used to command the 2nd Army while Dujek was his subordinate, but got demoted by Empress Laseen upon her ascension to the throne.
* TheGrimReaper: [[spoiler:After dieing, ascending and taking on the moniker Iskar Jarak, he becomes the leader of the Guardians of the Gate -- the ascended Bridgeburners who take the place of Hood, Lord of Death.]]
* TheHeroDies: Whiskeyjack is considered a hero by most soldiers who've even heard about him. [[spoiler:He is abruptly killed by High King Kallor in a duel, which comes as a shock to many.]]
* MarkedToDie: [[spoiler:Ever since Whiskeyjack broke into the Temple of Hood on Malaz Island and stole his little sister away from the temple, he's been marked by Hood for it. It's strongly implied that it was Hood who kept him from having his leg healed after the Fête of Gedderone in ''Gardens of the Moon'', leading directly to his death in a duel against Kallor.]]
* MasterSwordsman: It is strongly implied that he could have defeated [[spoiler:High King Kallor]] had not [[spoiler:his injured leg given in and broken during their duel.]]
* MayflyDecemberRomance: With the Tiste Andii Korlat, who already is potentially many thousands of years old and will continue living for quite some time yet, while Whiskeyjack is purely human. They meet and fall in love in ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce''.
* MeaningfulName: Or rename? But it's the only name given as malazan soldiers are mostly OnlyKnownByTheirNickname. When he was younger, Whiskeyjack [[spoiler:stole his baby sister back from Hood's Temple on Malaz Island]], and Whiskeyjack is an alternate name for the gray jay. The Moranth even flat-out call him 'Bird That Steals'.
* NumberTwo: He is Dujek Onearm's second-in-command during the campaign against the Pannion Domin, though Korlat points out that he's actually a more compelling leader than Dujek -- which is why Laseen demoted him in the first place. And in fact Dujek used to be ''his'' second-in-command before his demotion.
* OddFriendship: With Anomander Rake. The Malazans and the forces of Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake did their respective best to defeat each other, but after the EnemyMine team-up between Dujek Onearm and Caladan Brood against the Pannion Seer, Whiskeyjack and Anomander Rake become friends, spending many evenings talking about stuff and drinking ale.
* OddNameOut: Most characters in the series are either OnlyKnownByTheirNickname or have obviously fantastic names. Whiskeyjack's name, while still only a nickname, is pretty much the only one that invoked real world images due to there being no whiskey in the malazan world (at least not known as such). So, unless one knows that [[MeaningfulName it's an alternate name]] for the Canada jay, or gray jay, the name can really stand out.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: To his squad. He'll listen to what his soldiers, especially Quick Ben and Kalam have to say, mull it over and come up with a reasonable plan of action, one that preferably will keep his squad alive and out of trouble.
* ReassignmentBackfire: Laseen demoted him to Sergeant and put him in the front lines at Pale and Darujhistan in an attempt to get him killed. This leads to him and [[spoiler:the entirety of Onearm's Host defecting to Caladan Brood's campaign against the Pannion Domin.]] It also puts Quick Ben and Kalam on Laseen's case, toying with the idea[[spoiler:of killing her and putting Whiskeyjack in her place.]]
* RenamedTheSame: With some help from the Anibar and FunetikAksent. In ''Literature/TheBonehunters'', Boatfinder tells of how someone named Iskar Jarak, also called the Iron Prophet, came to the lands of the Anibar with a hundred dark warriors and warned them of those who will come after him. [[spoiler:It was Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners. After his death and ascension -- likely influenced by the Anibar's worship of him -- he takes on the name of Iskar Jarak.]]
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler:He dies in a duel against High King Kallor to show how AnyoneCanDie and that Kallor is just fine with killing allies if it gets him what he wants.]]
* SergeantRock: Whiskeyjack is rough and often grunts or growls his sentences, cares very much for his soldiers beneath it all and is very efficient at his job. So efficient, in fact, that Empress Laseen demoted him to the rant of Sergeant to keep his influence down. He is liked so much by his soldiers that [[spoiler:at least Kalam and Quick Ben have ideas to put him on the throne.]]
!!Corporal Kalam Mekhar
-> '''Fiddler:''' ''Just Kalam for old company, and he calls that land ahead home. And he smiles before he kills.''
--> ''Literature/DeadhouseGates''
Kalam Mekhar is an assassin from Seven Cities, where he had served one of the Seven Holy Falah'dan before he joined the Malazan forces, and known for having been recruited into [[SecretPolice the Claw]] instead of being raised there. He then left the Claw, which again was unprecedented, and joined the Bridgeburners. Kalam and his long-time friend Quick Ben were insturmental in the creation of the Bridgeburners.
* AwfulWeddedLife: His marriage to [[{{Tsundere}} Minala]], though it's partly played for laughs, and they [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther do actually love each other]]. Minala thinks Kalam's a buffoon and he thinks she's a tyrant. Of course, there's also the fact that they have to teach fourteen hundred traumatized children how to fight.
--> '''Cotillion:''' 'Ah. Chafing, are you? I would never have guessed.'\\
'''Kalam:''' 'Liar.'
* BadassNormal: He's a trained assassin and former Claw. That's it — unlike the majority of the Claw, Kalam is neither a mage assassin nor does he use magically enhanced equipment. And yet he's pulled off stunts to rival those of Ascendants. Even Cotillion, the Patron of Assassins, acknowledges his abilities.
* CombatPragmatist: Kalam demonstrates at several occasions that he is willing to use whatever weapons are at hand and do whatever it takes to end a fight fast and thoroughly. Especially against the Claw, who rely too much on magic, this is very effective.
* HitmanWithAHeart: He prefers to have to kill innocents and sometimes goes for those who are cruel for cruelty's sake on his own, and when, in ''Literature/DeadhouseGates'', he comes across [[spoiler:hundreds of crucified children]], his helplessness and sympathy is so palpable, even Apt the demon feels it and [[spoiler:convinces Shadowthrone to save them -- because Kalam wanted to.]]
* KnifeNut: Long-knives are Kalam's fevourite weapons. He usually has two on him and in ''Literature/HouseOfChains'' he acquieres two Wickan style long-knives, one of which is alloyed with [[AntiMagic otataral]].
* LightningBruiser: Kalam is often mistaken for slow due to his bear-like bulk, so while his strength and toughness is not such a big surprise, he's capable of an uncanny, graceful speed that belies his appearance. When he goes against the Claw -- [[spoiler:both times]] -- he aptly demonstrates that while may not ''look'' like an assassin, he can outmaneuver and outfight them just fine.
* TheMasochismTango: His marriage to [[{{Tsundere}} Minala]], with the sexual tension in BelligerentSexualTension resolved, the belligerent part much less so, though. Paran and Quick Ben put it best:
--> '''Paran:''' 'Speaking of which, how do you warrant Kalam and Minala's chances?'\\
'''Quick Ben:''' 'I don't. And while I think they'd be good together, they keep trying to wear each other's skin, if you know what I mean.'\\
'''Paran:''' 'Sort of.'\\
'''Quick Ben:''' 'It's not love that's the problem.'\\
'''Paran:''' 'It's all the rest.'
* ProfessionalKiller: He used to serve as a Dagger for one of the Seven Holy Falah'dan onSeven Cities, then was recruited into the Claw, where he commanden a Hand. Even after leaving the Claw, Kalam's reputation remains.
* ScaryBlackMan: Thanks to his fluent, graceful motions despite his bear-like bulk, his perpetual glare and his reputation as one of the empire's deadliest assassins, that's how most people in-universe see Kalam.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Quick Ben. He at one point goes beyond just threatening to throttle Quick Ben and stops just in time for the latter to get the message. They're still each other's oldest and closest friend respectively, though.
!!Quick Ben / Ben Adaephon Delat
* DefectorFromDecadence: A [[spoiler:former High Priest of Shadow]].
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Shadowthrone]], [[GrimReaper Hood]], the [[BigBad Crippled God]], Quick Ben's made a very long list of powerful enemies, and doesn't seem to mind in the least.
--> [...] Of course he was hiding secrets. Of course he was playing unseen games. He was Quick Ben, [[spoiler:the last surviving wizard of the Bridgeburners]]. He thought outwitting gods was fun. [...]
* InsufferableGenius: Occasionally. Though he's usually right.
* MindHive: [[spoiler:Has twelve souls inside of him, but claims they've reached some kind of accord regarding who gets the say-so. Considering VoiceOfTheLegion below, there's still stuff to talk about, though.]]
* ScaryBlackMan: Black-skinned, and pretty damn scary. Even if he's on your side.
* TheSmartGuy: For the Bridgeburners and the Malazan Army in general. It's been said that if [[TheChessmaster Kruppe]] is one of the smartest people in the world, than Quick Ben is only a step behind him. A short one, mind you.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: After Quick Ben unleashes half of his warrens (sources of magical power) to blast Korbal Broach through a wall, Bauchelain, partner of the aforementioned Korbal Broach, notes that Quick Ben's power is most impressive, but that, in retrospect, he ought to have saved at least half his warrens.
-->"But Bauchelain," replies Quick Ben, "I did."
-->He then blows Bauchelain through the wall too.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler: Quick Ben goes out in a literal blaze of glory in ''Dust of Dreams'' unleashing all his magic at once to eliminate part of a attacking Nah-ruk invasion force. It doesn't help the Bridgeburners much...]]
** [[spoiler:It also doesn't stick.]]
* TheTrickster: Definitely has some aspects of this trope. He alters his plans easily, and plays with mortals, Ascendants and gods with equal ease.
** "He was Quick Ben. He thought outwitting gods was fun." (''Dust of Dreams'')
* UnderestimatingBadassery: People and gods do this to Quick Ben a lot. It doesn't usually end well for them.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Kalam.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: Another character notices that he tends to mutter to himself in different voices.
* VoodooDoll: Plays with them. [[spoiler: Hairlock might count as one as well.]]

* AudienceSurrogate: While there are a lot of POV characters, Fiddler seems to be the "core" Malazan viewpoint.
* {{Badass}}
** BadassNormal
* DemolitionsExpert: He and Hedge were the first and greatest of the (in)famous Malazan sappers.
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Like most Malazan soldiers. Unlike most, his birth name isn't even given.
* TarotTroubles: Probably the best reader of the Deck of Dragons in the series.
* ThoseTwoGuys: With Hedge.

%%* {{Badass}}
* TheBigGuy: Plays this role to Quick Ben and Whiskeyjack whenever Kalam is unavailable.
* DuelToTheDeath: Against Humbrall Taur's unnamed son.
%%* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe
%%* MightyGlacier
%%* TheQuietOne
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Subverted. Trotts is a Barghast, but takes no joy in combat, and fights in the style of the Malazan army.
[[folder: '''Darujhistan''']]

!!Crokus Younghand/Cutter
%%* BadassNormal: Becomes one.
%%* GentlemanThief: How he sees himself.
* KnifeNut
* LoveHurts[=/=]LoveMartyr: His relationship with Apsalar, which was initially portrayed as kind of cute, is more or less poisoning his life. All attempts to move on have so far, failed.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Cutter
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Frequently. Against opponents in his own weight class, he's very capable. Against Ascendants and monsters, not so much.
* TookALevelInBadass: Has he ever!

!!Rallick Nom
* BadAss
** BadassNormal: Unlike the various superpowered freaks present in the story, Rallick relies entirely on his own skill (and a little magic-negating dust).
* DualWielding: [[KnifeNut Knives]].
* HitmanWithAHeart
* KnifeNut
* ProfessionalKiller: A member of Darujhistan's Guild of Assassins.

* AuthorAvatar: In ''Toll the Hounds.''
* TheChessmaster
* InsufferableGenius: Oh, the man's ego.
* ManipulativeBastard
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Kruppe is way, way, ''way'' smarter than he looks. Underestimating him has had unfortunate results for many characters.
* ThirdPersonPerson

* TheCasanova
* InformedAbility: We're often told that Murillio is extremely skilled with the rapier. Usually right before (or as) someone or something kicks his ass.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:And rather pointlessly to [[IncrediblyLamePun boot]]]].
* StuffedInTheFridge: [[spoiler:His death serves only to force Cutter to kill Gorlas Vidikas, which is in and of itself, ''completely irrelevant to the overall plot of both the entire series, and ''Toll the Hounds'''']].

* TheAlcoholic: When the story begins he hasn't been sober since [[spoiler: losing his land]].
* CharacterDevelopment: [[spoiler:Has stopped drinking since regaining his land.]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Hands up, anyone who expected Coll to show anything approaching ''competence or sobriety'' let alone fighting skills.
* DrowningMySorrows: And he has a lot of sorrows.
* LoveMakesYouDumb: Somehow he didn't notice that his (now) ex-wife, [[spoiler:Lady Simtal]] was a psychotic (and none-too subtle) bitch.

!!Alchemist Baruk

!!Lady Simtal
* GoldDigger: A particularly evil version.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: And good riddance!]]
* ReallyGetsAround
* RichBitch
* TooDumbToLive: Commented on by everyone who knows her, including her SmugSnake accomplice Turban Orr. Who's [[spoiler:no slouch in the TooDumbToLive department himself.]]
* TheVamp

* CainAndAbel: Tries to sell his handicapped sisters into slavery.
* EnfanteTerrible
* EvilIsPetty
* KidsAreCruel: Kids are sniveling monsters.
* SmugSnake
* TheSociopath

!!Bellam Nom
* GoodIsNotNice: Which he lampshades as he threatens to sell Snell into slavery.
* TeensAreMonsters: Fakes it incredibly well.
[[folder: '''Caladan Brood's Forces''']]

!!Warlord Caladan Brood
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority
* {{Badass}}: Very, very BadAss.
** FourStarBadass: And in command of a BadassArmy to boot.
* DropTheHammer: His main weapon is a hammer that only he can lift. If swung, it can awaken Burn, the Sleeping Goddess of the Earth, though this will kill everything on the planet.
* FamedInStory
* GeniusBruiser
* GuileHero
* HealingHands: Ironically, despite his well-deserved title of "Warlord" and being a FourStarBadass who has the ability to bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, his principal magical abilities are his healing powers.
* LargeAndInCharge
* LightningBruiser: Heavily implied.
* MagicKnight
* PhysicalGod
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: As an Ascendant, Brood no longer ages. [[spoiler: He's also an Azathanai.]]
* TheStrategist

!!Kallor, The High King
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: Apparently how his people felt about him during his stint as TheEmperor.
* AgeWithoutYouth: Were it not for his use of Century Candles, Kallor would be too decrepit to move.
* AmbitionIsEvil: He wants power, no matter what the price.
* {{Badass}}
** [[spoiler: EmpoweredBadassNormal: Following his deal with the [[TheBigBad Crippled God]] he gains access to the Warren of Chaos]].
** BadassBeard: In ''Toll the Hounds''.
** BadassGrandpa: He's over a hundred thousand, looks to be around one hundred, and can still fight like a madman.
** BadassLongcoat: {{Justified|Trope}} as it's a chainmail longcoat.
* BeardOfEvil
* {{BFS}}: Not an extreme example, but Kallor's bastard sword is a two-hander and is repeatedly described as "huge", "enormous" and so on.
* CommanderContrarian: Rarely agrees with the strategy suggested by the Alliance.
* CursedWithAwesome: Subverted. Being cursed to live forever sounds great, but with the continuous aging, and FailureIsTheOnlyOption subclause, it really, really appears to suck for him.
* {{Determinator}}: Demonstrates some aspects of this in ''Toll The Hounds''.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: Three gods cursed Kallor to live forever and never Ascend. He cursed them back. And it ''worked''.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Betrays Brood to The Crippled God for a chance at killing Silverfox.]]
--> "If you call it a sudden reversal of strategy, the sting fades."
* ElderlyImmortal
* TheEmperor: He called himself The High King, but he's much closer to this trope, specifically the EvilOverlord/ GeneralRipper variant.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: A part of his curse.
--> "Kallor Eiderann Tes'thesula each time you rise you shall than fall. All that you achieve shall turn to dust in your hands. As you have willfully done here, so shall it be visited upon you in all that you do."
* FamedInStory
* GoneHorriblyRight: Kallor's curse did exactly what it was supposed to do. It made him an even bigger SOB.
* HeroKiller: Clearly has this status by ''Toll the Hounds''.
* ImmortalityHurts: Although he'll deny it to the end.
* {{Jerkass}}
* LoneDalek: In ''Toll the Hounds'', where the degree that Kallor's life has ''sucked'' becomes apparent. It's almost entirely his own fault, but you can still feel a certain amount of pity for him.
* MasterSwordsman: In one hundred thousand years, Kallor has never been defeated. Caladan Brood notes that this is at least partly because he picks his opponents well.
* MisanthropeSupreme: Kallor is fully aware that he is a spiteful, vicious minded bastard, who takes out his frustrations on everyone around him. He also believes that HumansAreBastards, and that as such, his tyranny and brutality are not only justified, but the norm.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: ''Everybody'' mocked Kallor as a bullying braggart. Right up until [[spoiler: he [[FaceHeelTurn joins with the Crippled God]] and performs an epic backstab on Brood's forces.]] Averted [[spoiler:in ''Toll the Hounds'' where he approaches near HeroKiller status]].
* NumberTwo: Serves as Brood's second-in-command.
* PrecisionFStrike: Twice during his duel with Spinnock Durav in ''Toll the Hounds''.
* {{Pride}}: Kallor is arrogant, prone to overestepping his bounds, and ''very'' touchy about insults to his person. And then there's the whole, "allowing a continent to die rather than relinquishing control of it" thing, and the obsession with power and becoming an Ascendant.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: He's older than most Ascendants, despite being completely mortal. He was cursed over 120 000 years ago and is still alive and kicking.
* SanitySlippage: [[spoiler: Seems to have suffered some between ''Memories of Ice'' and ''Toll the Hounds'']].
* TimeAbyss
* {{Turncoat}}

* {{Reincarnation}}: Silverfox's soul is a composite of the souls of Tattersail, Bellurdan Scullcrusher and Nightchill, while her physical body is the child of the Mhybe, born with the help of Bonecaster Pran Chole.
* ReincarnationRomance: Subverted. Tattersail and Ganoes Paran were just casual lovers, but her sudden death and rebirth as part of Silverfox creates the expectation that their feelings were stronger than they actually were and that something would continue after Silverfox's coming of age. It doesn't, and Paran realises there never was anything real between them.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: At the end of ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'', Silverfox wanders off towards [[spoiler:Assail with her army of T'lan Imass.]]
[[folder: '''Tiste Andii''']]

!!Mother Dark
The goddess of the Tiste Andii, theological opposite and possibly [[ArrangedMarriage wife]] of Father Light, god of the Tiste Liosan. Turned away from her children millenia ago following an unspecified betrayal Anomander Rake, and possibly others.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence
* [[AngelUnaware Goddess Unaware]] [[spoiler: Speaks through Nimander's simpleminded sister Aranatha in ''Toll the Hounds'']]. Possibly more a case of [[DemonicPossession Divine Possession]].
* InterspeciesRomance: Mother Dark (mortal Tiste turned goddess) and Draconus (Azathanai).
* LoveRuinsTheRealm: Other people's conflicting opinions regarding her sex life and marital status cause many of the problems in the prequel.
* MissingMom: Of an entire race. [[spoiler: She's convinced to come back in ''Toll The Hounds''.]]

!!Anomander Rake
Lord of Moon's Spawn, leader of the Tiste Andii, wielder of Dragnipur, eldest son of Mother Dark [[spoiler: metaphorically; Andarist is older than him]], Knight of High House Dark, and all-around badass, he initially opposes the Malazan Empire's invasion of Genabackis, before allying with Dujek Onearm to take on the Crippled God's forces. He has a long-standing alliance with Caladan Brood.
* AFatherToHisMen: Several of the Tiste Andii are so tired of their own immortality they have more or less chosen to commit suicide. The only reason they are still alive is that Anomander Rake asks them to live.
* AntiVillain-->AntiHero
* BadAss: So. Very. Much.
** FourStarBadass
* {{BFS}}
** BlackSwordsAreBetter
** CoolSword: Not so much cool as [[FateWorseThanDeath terrifying]]. Anyone killed by it is trapped next to the Gates of the Warren of Darkness for all eternity. And it's black with smoking chains attached.
* DarkIsNotEvil: One of the best examples in modern lit.
* FamedInStory: There are entire poems about him.
* FateWorseThanDeath: What those slain by Dragnipur (his sword) suffer.
* GeniusBruiser
* HeroKiller: Introduced this way in ''Gardens of the Moon''.
* HeroicSacrifice
* IHaveManyNames: Anomander/Anomandaris Rake/Irake/Purake/Draginipurake, in all combinations. Also sometimes referred to as the Lord of Moon's Spawn, the Mane of Chaos, and the (First) Son of Darkness.
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: Or somewhere in his thirties or forties anyway.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Shapeshifts into a giant, black dragon.
* InterspeciesRomance: Apparently, Silanah the dragon was his lover as well as his ally. The mother of his children, however, is implied to be Lady Envy.
* LargeAndInCharge
* LightningBruiser
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* MagicKnight
* MasterSwordsman
* MessianicArchetype: [[spoiler: Becomes one in ''Toll The Hounds'']]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Known as "The First Son of Darkness".
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* PhysicalGod
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Most Tiste Andii live 20,000. Rake is so much older.
* ScaryBlackMan: How his opponents see him.
* SorcerousOverlord
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: As a Soletaken, Rake becomes a black dragon.
* WarriorPrince
* WhoWantsToLiveForever?: The reason he sells the services of the Tiste Andii off as mercenaries is to pevent them from becoming suicidal over the boredom of their eternal life; in effect, he is trying to inspire them to fight and live for something bigger than themselves in defiance of this trope, though he fears it is a losing battle.
* YourSoulIsMine: Anyone killed by Dragnipur is sealed within the Warren inside it for all eternity.

* TheHeart: Among the Purake brothers. Maybe.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Pointedly averted. Of the three Purake brothers, only Andarist refused Tiam's blood.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Somewhat, compared to his brothers.
* ParentalSubstitute: To Nimander and his siblings.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Gets barely any screentime. Shows up a bit more in the prequel.

* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: A Soletaken, like Rake and her brother.
* InterspeciesRomance: With Whiskeyjack.
* MayDecemberRomance: With Whiskeyjack.
** MayflyDecemberRomance: Made even more inevitably shorter by [[spoiler: Kallor's murder of Whiskeyjack]]
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Par for the course with Tiste Andii.
* TheUnfavourite: Her mother is a lot more concerned about Orfantal.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting

* BreakTheCutie: In the prequel.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Shapeshifts into a big, black dragon, same as Rake.
* HeroicBastard
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: In ''Toll The Hounds'' he picks a fight with [[HeroKiller Kallor]]. It doesn't end well for him]].
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Another Tiste Andii Soletaken.

!!Spinnock Durav
* BadAss
* {{Determinator}}: And a prime example at that. Despite being completely outmatched, he manages to duel ''[[HeroKiller Kallor]]'' for an ''entire'' night, lasting from dusk until dawn. He's cut to pieces in the attempt but never falls down. All because Rake asked him to stand between [[HeroKiller Kallor]] and Darujhistan.
* InterspeciesRomance: With a teenage girl.
* MayflyDecemberRomance

!!Silchas Ruin
-> '''Sheltatha Lore:''' 'More than any of us – more even than Anomandaris, Silchas Ruin thinks... ''draconean''. As cold, as calculating, as ''timeless''.'
--> ''Literature/ReapersGale''

Annomander Rake's brother, Silchas Ruin is the youngest of Mother Dark's children, and cruelest. Having been betrayed and sealed by Scabandari Bloodeye, one-time leader of the Tiste Edur, he has sworn to have his revenge on Bloodeye and his kin.
* {{Antihero}}
* AwesomeMcCoolname
* {{Badass}}
* DualWielding: Holds Sarat Wept and Glory Goat, one in each hand. Later swapped out for a Hust dragon-slaying sword.
* FamedInStory: Though not quite to the extent of his brother.
* GeniusBruiser
* GoodIsNotNice
* HeroicAlbino
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons
* LargeAndInCharge
* LightningBruiser
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* MagicKnight
* MasterSwordsman
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* ThePrankster: Implied to have been this before he became a Soletaken Eleint and the blood of Tiam made him into the cruellest of the three Sons of Mother Dark.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld
* RedEyesTakeWarning: If you happen to be a villain.
* {{Revenge}}: Swore it on Scabandari Bloodeye, and all the Tiste Edur.
* SealedGoodInACan
* TragicBromance: With Kagamandra Tulas Shorn. Their reunion in ''The Crippled God'' implies that Tulas' disappearance and presumed death during the civil war in Kharkanas devastated Silchas Ruin to such a degree that even Anomander Rake felt compelled to help him look for Tulas. Eventually, it's taken up a notch when at the end of the book [[spoiler:Tulas dies again, this time for good, after fulfilling their mutual wish to fight side by side.]]
* VoluntaryShapeShifting: Another Tiste Andii Soletaken. He becomes a giant white dragon, with blood red eyes.

!!Nimander Golit
Son of Anomander Rake and the leader of the small group of remaining Tiste Andii youths who used to live on Drift Avalii, beneath Andarist's supervision.
* BadLiar
* TheEeyore: Initially, especially in ''Literature/ReapersGale'', but gets better in ''Literature/TollTheHounds''.
* EnemyWithin: It's never made explicit whether Phaed is truly in Nimander's mind or it's just him imagining her so he has someone to battle inside his mind; and then Phaed scoffs that the notion of a conflict is ridiculous anyway.. in his mind.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation
* InadequateInheritor: Considers himself this regarding Anomander Rake's legacy; or that of any other known Tiste Andii of times past.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: Technically, [[spoiler:Withal killed Phaed]], but Nimander did a good job with trying.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Seen as this by everyone outside his clique of Tiste Andii followers, and sees himself more as a CowardlyLion, which is actually in the end what makes him a great leader, as he comes to embrace his doubts, instead of succumbing to them.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Nobody bothers to tell him that, but everyone thinks it.

Sister to Nimander.
* CuteAndPsycho
* EnemyWithin: For Nimander. Maybe.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: [[spoiler:Withal's solution after Nimander bungles his attempt at killing Phaed.]]
* SlainInTheirSleep: Tries this on [[spoiler:Sandalath Drukorlat]].
* TokenEvilTeammate
* {{Yandere}}: ..implied to be this towards Nimander. Of course, it could be just his imagination.

-> '''Udinaas:''' 'I've almost given up hoping that you'll end up garrotting yourself with that chain. Almost.'
--> ''Literature/ReapersGale''

A Tiste Andii from Bluerose.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* ManipulativeBastard
* {{Narcissist}}
* SmallNameBigEgo
* SoreLoser

[[folder: '''Tiste Liosan''']]

Eldest son of Father Light, and ruler of the Tiste Liosan, Osseric was the counterpart, rival, and former companion of Anomander Rake. The Champion of High House Light, worshipped as a god by the Tiste Liosan, and a famed figure within the Malazan mythos, Osseric has long since withdrawn from the world and has no desire to interact with it.
* AGodAmI: Worshipped as a god by the Liosan. Osseric himself notes wryly that the Liosan have always worshipped themselves, and he is just a convenient figurehead for their narcissism.
* {{Badass}}
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Averted. Osseric is one of the few Tiste Liosan who isn't totally evil.
* TheChampion: Champion of High House Light; also known as The Son of Light.
* FamedInStory: He once journeyed alongside Rake, and is featured in all the same poems.
* {{Foil}}: To Anomander Rake
* GeniusBruiser
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons
* KnightTemplar: Once, though no more.
* LargeAndInCharge
* LightningBruiser
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* MagicKnight
* MasterSwordsman
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Nobody can seem to agree how his name is spelled. Osseric? Osserc? Osric?
* [[TookALevelInBadass Took Many Levels in Badass]]: Between the prequels and the present.
* VoluntaryShapeShifting

!!High Mage L'oric
Osseric's son by an unnamed Ascendent, and a powerful mage in his own right. He becomes involved in the Apocalypse Army's plans, though prefers to avoid fighting.
* TheArchmage
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Averted again. L'oric is not notably evil, unlike the rest of his KnightTemplar race.
* DefectorFromDecadence: L'oric doesn't seem to have much to do with other Tiste Liosan.
* InHarmsWay: This is what L'oric's explanation boils down to when asked by Heboric for his reasons to remain with the Whirlwind Rebellion. Of course, there's more to it.
[[folder: '''Tiste Edur''']]

!!Tiste Edur
-> '''Trull Sengar:''' 'Our denial is wilful, our studied indifference conveniently self-serving to our basest desires. We are a long-lived people who now kneel before short-term interests --'
--> ''Literature/HouseOfChains''
The Tiste Edur are one of the three Tiste peoples originally alien to the series' main Realm, [[spoiler: which according to the prequel trilogy may or may not have once been all one realm]]. They are considered the Children of Shadow, the unwelcome product of a conjoining of Dark and Light, and thus looked down upon by both the Tiste Andii and the Tiste Liosan. After a civil war that shattered their home realm, they fled Kurald Emurlahn under the leadership of Scabandari Bloodeye, whom they now worship as Father Shadow, and -- after defeating the locally settled K'Chain Che'Malle -- settled on the continent of Lether. Due to a [[spoiler: deliberate]] distortion of the history of this event, they now consider themselves to be the victims of a betrayal by Silchas Ruin and his Tiste Andii followers. [[spoiler: What really happened was the opposite.]]
* BarbarianLonghair: The Tiste Edur, especially the warriors, let their hair grow long and are variously described as barbaric looking to others.
* BraidsOfBarbarism: Their BarbarianLonghair often takes the form of this, and when a warrior is cast out completely, he is Shorn -- that is, his hair is shaved off and the scalp treated with an unguent that prevents it from ever growing back.
* BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins: Braids, Shells and Sealskins, more precisely, as the Edur live in the northern climate and near the coast, but they are the closest thing the series has to a Native American FantasyCounterpartCulture.
* BlindObedience: They blindly follow their traditions, and as a consequence whoever is in charge. Also, Father Shadow can do no wrong, but unfortunately, he's not around anymore.
* BloodKnight: Prone to becoming this due to inborn blood lust.
* CastingAShadow: While Kurald Emurlahn has been shattered and sealed, thanks to Shadow being its own elemental force the Tiste Edur retain some access to their shadow-themed magic.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Grey-skinned, in contrast to the midnight-skinned Tiste Andii and porcelain-skinned Tiste Liosan.
* ConditionedToAcceptHorror: Most Edur eventually become this during the course of the story, as they have nowhere else to go and speaking up is no good idea. It helps, of course, that they are naturally inclined to [[BloodKnight blood lust]].
* CultureJustifiesAnything: {{Deconstructed}}. Slavery, AggressiveCategorism, looking down on others because of their place in that society, others falling by the wayside, it's all InherentInTheSystem. It's usually subdued, but as Udinaas remarks on several occasions, all's well only until someone does something wrong, and the Edur are NotSoDifferent from their neighbouring Letherii.
* HaveYouSeenMyGod: Depending on the point of view, Father Shadow either disappeared or abandoned his children. Of course, [[spoiler: while some know where his body can be found, that does not account for his soul.]]
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Again, deconstructed. Pretty much every Tiste Edur point-of-view character shows what this can do to people, whether they buy into it, e.g. Fear Sengar, or not, e.g. Trull Sengar.
* TrappedInVillainy: Thanks to their [[HonorBeforeReason rigid]] [[BlindObedience social]] [[CultureJustifiesAnything structure]], the Tiste Edur become this after [[spoiler: Rhulad Sengar]] proclaims himself Emperor. Some [[BloodKnight like it]], others [[HeelRealization less so]].
* WomensMysteries: The women are the ones who keep the true records of their history, while the warriors get watered down and diluted versions. This is [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] by the reader being aware of what really happened from the beginning of the book, and by how irrelevant their secret knowledge evetually is. Shurq Elalle points out in ''Literature/ReapersGale'' how Tiste Edur women seem to be "completely useless mystics of some sort".
!!Scabandari Bloodeye
-> '''Silchas Ruin:''' 'You cannot see yourself, but I give you this name, for the blood that now stains your... vision.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
One-time leader of the Tiste Edur, Scabandari led the Tiste exodus from Kurald Galain in the company of Silchas Ruin. Coming to a new world, Scabandari betrayed Silchas, and was himself slain by the Elder Gods Kilimandaros and Mael.
* AGodAmI: Worshipped as such by the Tiste Edur.
* {{Badass}}: It took two Elder Gods to take him out.
* FamedInStory
* GeniusBruiser
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons
* LargeAndInCharge
* LightningBruiser
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* MagicKnight
* PosthumousCharacter: Long dead, though Fear, Trull, and Rhulad Sengar stumble onto his body.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting
!!Hannan Mosag
-> '''Fear Sengar:''' 'He seeks power, brothers. He ''needs'' power, and he cares nothing for its provenance, nor its taint.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
The Warlock King of the Hiroth, who has achieved the unification of the Tiste Edur tribes and whose motives are anything but clear. He enters a pact with the Crippled God, [[spoiler:but the Crippled God chooses Rhulad Sengar instead]].
* AmbitionIsEvil: Only Kallor would make a better poster boy for the trope.
* DealWithTheDevil: Cut a deal with the Crippled God, exchanging alleigance for use of the Chaos Warren.
* EvilChancellor: To Rhulad, following his ascension to the throne.
* EvilCripple: Courtesy of his deal with the Crippled God.
* SanitySlippage
* SorcerousOverlord: Before Rhulad ascended to the throne.
* VaderBreath: Due to his crippling overuse of the Chaos Warren.
!!Fear Sengar
First son of the Sengar family.
* AloofBigBrother
* TheAce: How his family saw him.
* BigBrotherMentor: To all of his brothers, but especially towards Trull.
* HonorBeforeReason: After [[spoiler:having lost his betrothed to Rhulad because he had not the guts to speak up]], he latches onto [[spoiler:Seren Pedac]] in a desperate attempt to protect her despite everyone's conviction that Trull is already dead anyway.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* TheStoic: His emotions are all subtle and bottled up, but when they do show they are so subtle, only Trull seems to be aware of them, and even he does not notice the really deeply hidden ones.
!!Trull Sengar
-> '''Fear Sengar:''' 'There is reluctance in you, Trull. You hide it well enough, but I can see where others cannot. You are a warrior who would rather not fight.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
Trull Sengar is the second of the four sons of the Sengar family. He is a skilled warrior, vastly preferring the spear over the sword, but lacks the inclination towards blood lust most Tiste Edur share. His intelligence and compassion puts him at odds with what the Tiste Edur become and eventually sees him exiled.
* AggressiveCategorism: A much milder version than most Tiste Edur, but at the start of ''Literature/MidnightTides'' Trull still categorically dismisses Rhulad because the latter is 'an unblooded pup', remarks how Ahlrada Ahn has [[CondescendingCompassion risen above his heritage]] despite being the son of a Tiste Andii slave and has serious trouble reconciling Udinaas' intelligence and his being a slave. He gets better.
* {{Badass}}: The first person to ever successfully hold off [[spoiler:Icarium Lifestealer]]. He also holds his own against [[spoiler:Silchas Ruin]] for a time, sends [[spoiler:Clip]] packing, fights off a pack of Jheck, and even his older brother and mentor Fear admits he cannot be sure to be able to defeat Trull in a one-on-one fight.
* BewareTheQuietOnes: In ''Literature/MidnightTides'', Trull lets Canarth talk smack about him all the former wants, but when Canarth accuses Ahlrada Ahn -- whom Trull admires -- of being a betrayer, Trull finally snaps. He challenges Canarth to a duel and disposes of him in a matter of seconds.
* BigBrotherWorship: At the end of ''Literature/ReapersGale'', Trull's point of view narration calls Fear Sengar, his elder brother who trained him in combat, the god of his childhood. And even early on in ''Literature/MidnightTides'' Trull thinks that while he himself did well in the War of Unification, it is only right and proper that his older brother Fear can boast even more trophies.
* BladeOnAStick: His spear is his favourite weapon. Trull even uses it in close combat, despite having a sword as well. Whenever he is not lugging a spear around, ''someone'' remarks on how ''something'' must have happened.
* BrokenMessiah: Everyone who ever encounters Trull sees him as humble, compassionate, courageous, and so on, but he himself is all too aware of his own perceived failings; seeing not just too much, but -- as he believes -- all the wrong things, passing judgement based on prejudices, being indecisive and easily deceived because he trusts people to be honest, and so forth...
* BrutalHonesty: One of Trull's defining character traits, as he seems unable to lie or pretend whether he wants to or not. He cannot keep himself from voicing his suspicions and asking inconvenient questions. Lilac even uses that to deceive him, as he rightfully assumes that Trull, who does not lie, would not suspect others to lie, either.
* DespairEventHorizon: Reaches it in ''Literature/MidnightTides'' when he realises with finality that whatever happened cannot be undone and the Tiste Edur have changed irreversibly -- but he himself hasn't.
* TheDitherer: Results from his constant doubts. He can't seem to be able to make up his mind about Rhulad, what to about the events that swap his people away and later about what to do with his life, so he ends up just floating from one conflict he as nothing to do with to the next.
* TheExile: The Shorning. The tipping point is when he [[spoiler:leaves Rhulad lying bleeding and incapacitated on the floor, instead of killing him so he can be resurrected.]] When he returns to the throne room to try and reason with Rhulad, he is taken into custody and, some time later, chained in the Nascent to die slowly. The Shorning also means that as far as the Tiste Edur are concerned, his parents had one child less, and just speaking his name can get one sentenced to death.
* FatalFlaw: His BrutalHonesty, which causes him to be exiled and lose everything he cared for.
--> '''Trull:''' ''I was ever the worrier. I do not see too much, I see only the wrong things. And so the fault is mine, within me. I need to remain mindful of that.''
* HeroicSelfDeprecation:
--> '''Onrack:''' 'It is your way, my friend, to disarm your own achievements.'\\
'''Trull Sengar:''' 'Onrack --'\\
'''Quick Ben:''' 'He's calling you modest, Edur. And don't bother denying the truth of that -- you still manage to startle me on that count.'
* InterspeciesFriendship: With Onrack the Broken, a T'lan Imass. Cotillion even remarks in ''Literature/TheBonehunters'' how unlike it is to see a Tiste Edur and a T'lan Imass become friends.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: He was this, according to Seren Pedac, prior to his permanent TraumaticHaircut in the prologue of ''Literature/HouseOfChains'', which also gives him a..
* MarkOfShame: ..in the form of a distinct scar on the forehead: a circle broken by a line.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: With Onrack, who frees Trull from his chains in the Nascent on a whim. Onrack serves as a means for Trull to keep despair at bay, while Onrack learns anew what it's like to feel emotions and have someone care for him.
* ReluctantWarrior: In contrast to the BloodKnight tendencies of the Tiste Edur. Fear even calls him that. It's not that Trull would not fight when needed, and he's one of his tribe's best warriors, but he vastly prefers to not brag about it, which causes others to see him as a coward.
* TranquilFury: Best seen in his duel against Canarth in ''Literature/MidnightTides'', where he efficiantly disposes of Canarth in a matter of seconds, although afterwards Trull admits his anger dissipated the moment he had Canarth on the ground.
* TraumaticHaircut: It's a part of the Shorning procedure, which includes having his head shaved and magically treated so that the hair will never grow back. It's a sign of being permanently exiled from Tiste Edur society.
* TraumaButton: A whole parade of them; anything that reminds him of what happened pre (and including) his Shorning, but especially anything that reminds him of Seren Pedac and his family.
!!Binadas Sengar
-> '''Hannan Mosag:''' 'I understand that Binadas wanders once more. He knows no anchor, does he?'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
Binadas is the Sengar family's third son and the only one with a talent for sorcery. He is said to rival the Warlock King in power. [[spoiler:In ''Literature/HouseOfChains'', Binadas is the ship captain Karsa Orlong kills on a whim when he encounters the Tiste Edur vessel.]]
* BloodBrothers: Binadas has 'cut flesh' for Hull Beddict, and vice versa, making them this.
* DreadlockWarrior: Binadas' hairstyle is explicitly described as short dreadlocks when he first is introduced in ''Literature/MidnightTides'' and Seren Pedac sums him up as 'A hunter. A killer.'
* HunterTrapper: The way he makes sure he is respected in the warrior society of the Edur, as he brings home trophies as proof of [[ARealManIsAKiller his hunting feats]].
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:On a quest to find Trull, Binadas is killed by Karsa Orlong in ''Literature/HouseOfChains'' even before he is properly introduced, while commanding the ship Karsa Orlong and Torvald Nom come across in the Nascent.]]
* MagicKnight: The only one of the Sengar brothers who inherited their mother's talent for sorcery.
* MountainMan: Prefers to spend his time in the mountains and forests instead of the village.
* TheQuietOne:
--> His brother shrugged, ever reluctant to surrender his reserve, his mindful silence. [...]
* WeHardlyKnewYe: An interesting case, because [[spoiler:he is killed even before he is introduced, then is introduced in Trull's backstory without any connection to the ship he eventually dies on, and only even later is the connection between the Tiste Edur captain Karsa killed and Binadas Sengar made.]]
!!Rhulad Sengar
Fourth and youngest son of the Sengar family.
See '''High House Chains'''
!!Tomad Sengar
Patriarch of the Sengar family.
Matriarch of the Sengar family.
* AlmightyMom
* BrutalHonesty
* WomensMysteries: Uruth is one of the principal magic-users of her tribe and also a leading figure among the tribe's women, who are responsible for keeping the secrets of the Tiste Edur's true history.
!!Ahlrada Ahn
-> 'Rise above? I suffered under no such compulsion, Trull Sengar. Before she died, my mother told me many secrets.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''

A Tiste Edur who, like Trull Sengar, opposed the Wars of Unification. He is said to be the child of a slave from Bluerose, and thus a half-blood. Actually, [[spoiler: Ahlrada Ahn is a full-blooded Tiste Andii who serves as a spy among the Tiste Edur]].
* ConvenientlyUnverifiableCoverStory: Child of a Bluerose slave. Has travelled far and wide and forged kinships with many Tiste Edur from the outlying tribes. Yeah.
* DeepCoverAgent
* HalfBreedDiscrimination: Subverted. Trull assumes that's what Ahlrada has to deal with. Ahlrada tells him that he's quite proud of his heritage, thankyouverymuch.
* HatesEveryoneEqually: ..at least, every Tiste Edur. With one exception.
* HeroWorshipper: Towards Trull Sengar, as revealed in ''Literature/TheBonehunters''.
* MoleInCharge: Ahlrada eventually leads a company of Edur warriors during their forays into the territory of the First Throne.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath
* SourOutsideSadInside: Abrasive and cold towards everyone because [[spoiler:he has to keep up his disguise]]. He later admits that he really wanted [[spoiler:to be able to drop the act around Trull, the only Tiste Edur he ever admired]], but thought it too much of a risk.
* TheStoic
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: This realisation serves as the point where he crosses the DespairEventHorizon, as all he has left is the wish to return home, [[spoiler:to Bluerose]]. [[spoiler: 'Home' is the last word he mutters before he dies.]]

!!Kagamandra Tulas Shorn
-> 'In the time of my deathlessness, Silchas, I came to understand the truth of that old saying: you cannot go back.'
--> ''The Crippled God''

* BashBrothers: With Silchas Ruin.
* BackFromTheDead: Escaped Hood's realm while Death was otherwise occupied.
* {{Determinator}}: In ''Forge of Darkness'' towards [[RunawayBride Faror Hend]]. [[TheSnarkKnight Sharenas Ankhadu]] points out how idiotic that is.
* {{Dracolich}}: Being undead and a Soletaken Eleint, Tulas [[VoluntaryShapeshifting can turn]] into an undead dragon.
* FluffyTamer: The [[HellHound Hounds of Shadow]] originally belonged to him and it was him who raised them from half-wild pups to the vicious beasts they became.
* TheQuietOne:
--> [...] Although such mockery had invariably faded when they had seen what had been achieved by this strange, quiet warrior with the Eleint-tainted eyes.
* ShapeShifter
* ShellShockedVeteran
* TragicBromance: With Silchas Ruin. He says that Tulas' disappearance and presumed death devastated him, and their reunion in ''The Crippled God'' is almost tearful, between the [[VitriolicBestBuds slinging of insults]]. And then it's taken up a notch when, [[spoiler:after fulfilling their mutual wish to fight side by side, Tulas dies for a second and final time.]]
* TheUndead
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: An undead Soletaken dragon.
[[folder: '''Imass / T'lan Imass''']]

!! Onos Too'lan
* BadAss: Yes he's undead. Yes he has a host of advantages related to being undead. And yet, Tool is still incredibley BadAss.
* BerserkButton: Tool doesn't have a lot of friends. Don't hurt the ones he has.
* CoolSword: A huge, enchanted ''flint'' sword.
* DeliberateInjuryGambit: As a T'lan Imass, Tool can surive anything short of beheading or total dismemberment. It's not surprising, therefore, that these kind of tactics feature prominently in his playbook.
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* GoodThingYouCanHeal: Like most of the T'lan Imass, Tool regularly shrugs off crippling injuries, just to remind us that, yes, he is undead.
* ImplacableMan: Comes with being a T'lan Imass, although even by their standards he's pretty damn hard to stop.
* LightningBruiser: As the First Sword, he can fight with the best, and as a T'lan Imass, he can basically become dust and travel really fast, and short of decapitation T'lan Imass don't die. However, T'lan Imass cannot materialize over water.
* LonersAreFreaks: Tool is unbound, and unconnected to any clan. Other T'lan Imass tend to view him with a mix of suspicion and awe because of this.
* MasterSwordsman: The First Sword of the T'lan Imass.
* TheUndead: Naturally.
* TheUnfettered

* CompositeCharacter: In-universe.
* CreepyChild: For a while.
* RapidAging
* {{Reincarnation}}: Of Tattersail, Nightchill, and Bellurdan.
* VampiricDraining: Is stealing her mother's life energy without even knowing it.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: She's only a few years old, but has aged herself to her early twenties.

!!Kilava Onass
* LonersAreFreaks: Even more so than her brother, Tool. Especially since she was the one who killed their entire tribe...
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Pannion. That is all.
* TheUndead: A notable aversion; she refused to take part in the Ritual of Tellann and is now one of the only living Imass still around.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting / PantheraAwesome: As a bonecaster, she turns into a big black panther.

!!Onrack the Broken
* FluffyTamer: His two [[PantheraAwesome emlava]] cubs.
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler: Eventually, with Kilava.]] Not so much with his first wife...
* PowerOfFriendship: With Trull Sengar.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Averted. Onrack is one of the few T'lan Imass that doesn't see his condition as a curse.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler: Cheated on his wife, the Imass woman who would later become the Whirlwind Goddess.]]

!!Olar Ethil
* {{Dracolich}}: Being the First Bonecaster, Olar Ethil is also a Soletaken. However, since she is undead, her Soletaken form is that of an undead dragon.
[[folder: '''Jaghut''']]

* AGodAmI: Like many Jaghut Tyrants, Raest took perverse delight in being percieved as a god by the Imass.
* ArmourIsUseless: You don't even find out he was wearing it until several books after the fight. To be fair, he was fighting Dragons, so it probably didn't make all that much difference.
* {{Badass}}: Hell yes. Possibly one the strongest characters introduced in the series, in terms of raw power (although that may have just been a [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness GOTM thing]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Is evolving into one as the series progresses. His sense of humour is definitely an odd one though.
* MoralityPet: Has several Malazan soldiers find him a dead cat. He brings it to life so that it can keep him company inside the House of Azath and names it Tufty.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: The Jaghut loathed community and avoided it as though it were a disease, believing it led only to horror and violence. Raest is a tyrant, who gets his kicks out of enslaving weaker species.
* SealedEvilInACan: Well, sealed in a barrow anyway, and by his own species no less. His Finnest, which contains most of his power, is also an example.
* SoulJar: The Finnest has most of Raest's power in it.
* TheUndead: He's not Undead like the Imass are, but it's clear that Raest and his body no longer share a particularly intimate connection, and the destruction of the latter causes him few difficulties. [[spoiler:A straight example now that he's inside the Azath House]].

* AnIcePerson
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Like most Jaghut, shows a rather...weird sense of humor.
---> "I greet you as guests and so will not crush the life from you and devour your souls with peals of laughter. No, instead, I will make some tea."
---> "Ah, I despair, or I would if I cared enough. [[RunningGag No, instead, I will make some ashcakes.]] Which I will not share."
* FamedInStory
* TheHermit: Like most non-Tyrant Jaghut. To the point where he willingly lives in an Azath house.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: [[spoiler: The Lord of Hate.]]
* NietzscheWannabe: Oh yeah. His work, Gothos' Folly, is described as a suicide note dozens of volumes long.
* ParentalNeglect: To his son [[spoiler: Icarium]], a rather screwed up individual.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: When you can casually freeze an entire continent...
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld
* {{Troll}}: Really enjoys jerking Kilmandaros and Mael around.

See '''Pannion Domin'''
[[folder: '''Pannion Domin''']]

!!Pannion Seer
* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler:His backstory. His mother was killed by the T'Lan Imass and he was shoved through a rent and into the arms of the K'Chain Che'Malle Matron. This has had a rather negative impact on his sanity]].
* DarkMessiah: As dark as they come.
* EvilOverlord
* {{Mordor}}: Is deliberately transforming his realm into one.
* ReligionOfEvil: Runs one.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:He's a Jaghut named Pannion in disguise]].
* SorcerousOverlord
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:He's being manipulated from the start by the Crippled God, who is messing with his emotions]].

!!Anaster, First Child of the Dead Seed
* BastardBastard
* ChildByRape: His mother raped a dying man, in order to become pregnant with Anaster.
* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler: Becomes a monster in the hope that someone will kill him]].
* DespairEventHorizon: Crossed it long ago.
* EmptyShell: There's literally ''nothing'' left inside Anaster. All he has is his despair.
* FreakOut: When Itkovian offers to take his despair from him. It's all he has.
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler: Toc the Younger's soul eventually takes possession of Anaster's body]].
* [[ImAHumanitarian I'm A Humanitarian]]: Encourages cannibalism among his followers and practises it himself.
* ImprobableAge: He's in his late teens and leading an army. Justified by his {{Tykebomb}} status.
* PleaseKillMeIfItSatisfiesYou: Tries this on Rake and Whiskeyjack, appearing to be a Type 2, before revealing that [[DeathSeeker he really does want to die]].
* PoisonousPerson: Briefly demonstrates this sort of ability when Annomander Rake grabs him.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Taken to the extreme.
* SociopathicSoldier
* SoullessShell: After Itkovian claims his despair.
* {{Tykebomb}}: Raised since birth to lead the cannibalistic Tenescowri horde.
[[folder: '''The Defenders Of Capustan''']]

* {{Badass}}
** BadassNormal --> EmpoweredBadassNormal: [[spoiler: When he becomes Trake's Mortal Sword, Gruntle shifts from a ''very'' capable caravan guard to a nigh-unstoppable warrior]].
* TheChampion: Becomes [[spoiler:Mortal Sword of Trake]]
* DualWielding: Cutlasses.
* HiredGuns: Worked as a caravan guard for hire.
* LightningBruiser: Big, strong and fast. Becomes stronger, and ''lethally'' quick and agile when [[spoiler: Trake selects him as his Mortal Sword]].
* PantheraAwesome: As [[spoiler: the Mortal Sword of the Tiger of Summer, Gruntle now moves like a big cat]].
* PowerMakeover: [[spoiler: His appearance becomes very, very tigerish following his selection as Mortal Sword of Trake, to the point where it creeps people out]].
* PowerTattoo: [[spoiler: Trake's blessing tattoos his skin with tiger stripes]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Initially disinterested in fighting during the siege of Capustan, Gruntle changes his mind after Stonny is raped by a Seerdomin and ends up leading the resistance.
* TechnicolorEyes: [[spoiler: They turn tiger-yellow]].

!!Stonny Menackis
* LipstickLesbian/ BiTheWay: It's not entirely clear which she really is, though she seemingly sleeps with both Nektara (female) and Netok (male) in ''Memories of Ice''.
* RapeAsDrama: Raped by an unnamed Seerdomin during the siege of Capustan. She quickly kills him, though not before making him beg for mercy first.

* TheChampion: Mortal Sword of Fener
* HiredGuns
* PrivateMilitaryContractors

* AscendToAHigherPlainOfExistence: [[spoiler:Becomes an Ascendent known as The Redeemer.]]
* BadAss
* CelibateHero
* TheEmpath: Can detect and absorb others' grief. Given the [[CrapsackWorld nature of the series]] there's a lot of it to go around.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Dies absorbing the collective grief of the T'lan Imass]].
* MeaningfulFuneral
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
[[folder: '''The Army of the Whirlwind''']]
Also called '''The Army of the Apocalypse''', or the '''Apocalypse Army'''.
!!Sha'ik Reborn / [[spoiler: Felisin Paran]]
* BiTheWay: As [[spoiler:Felisin]], sleeps with both men and women. May be a case of SituationalSexuality; see the spoiler under ReallyGetsAround.
* BreakTheCutie
* DarkMessiah
* DemonicPossession
* ReallyGetsAround: As [[spoiler:Felisin, though this is at least partially a reaction to being a slave; she sleeps with anyone and everyone who is willing to offer her favours for doing so. However, this behaviour continues to a lesser extent after she escapes the Otataral mines.]]
* RebelLeader: of the Whirlwind Rebellion
** TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge

!!Heboric Light Touch / Heboric Ghost Hands
* ChekhovsGunman
* PoisonousPerson: His hands; natural, Jade and Otataral.
* [[RedRightHand Jade and Otataral Hands]]
* SanitySlippage

!!Leoman of the Flails
* BadassNormal
* DualWielding: Uses two [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin flails.]]
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere

See '''High House Chains'''

See '''Tiste Liosan'''
[[folder: '''High House Chains''']]

!!The Crippled God
* BigBad: About as close to one as the series gets. [[spoiler:Arguably subverted in that he's treated with considerable sympathy, particularly in the later books, and in the end the protagonists end up having to ''save'' him when his plots get [[HijackedByGanon Hijacked by the Forkrul Assail]].]]
* BlackCloak: Of sorts. He usually covers himself in dark-colored rags, rather than an actual cloak, but the look is very similar.
* TheCorrupter: The Crippled God specialises in bringing out the worst in people, typically [[DealWithTheDevil offering them exactly what they want]] in exchange for their inclusion in his House of Chains. He seems to like driving his followers/victims mad.
* DealWithTheDevil: Munug, [[spoiler: Kallor]] and many others have made them with him.
* DisabledDeity: It's in the name. He's not a paragon of mental health, either.
* DysfunctionJunction: His followers. It's entirely deliberate too. The Crippled God desires every member of his House to be as flawed, mentally and/or physically as he is.
* EvilCripple: Evil due to crippling. The Fall destroyed his mind.
* FreudianExcuse: The Fall did not do good things to his sanity. The fact that most of the pantheon has periodically gotten together and chained him up for, from his perspective, no real reason didn't help either.
* GodOfEvil: Deconstructed. He's more like a god of ''suffering'', and that suffering includes his own. While he's initially presented as ''causing'' it, in the end [[spoiler:after the Bonehunters risk everything to save him from the Assail and ''succeed'', he ends up becoming the god who has sympathy for those who suffer]].
** [[spoiler: Well, at least up until the point Cotillion kills him with a surprise backstab.]]
* HiddenVillain: For the first two and a half books.
* IHaveManyNames: The Crippled God, the Fallen God, the Chained One. [[spoiler:But his real name is Kaminsod]].
* KickTheDog: His treatment of Ruhlad Sengar. See below.
* MadGod
* TheManBehindTheMan: To ''so'' many different villains, with the [[spoiler:[[DarkMessiah Pannion Seer]] being a particularly spectacular example]].
* NarratorAllAlong
* OmnicidalManiac: He's slowly poisoning Burn. Whether he genuinely wants her dead, or is hoping that someone will free him in order to prevent this isn't known for most of the series. [[spoiler:It's the latter]].
* PillarOfLight: When [[spoiler:he's freed]].
* PhysicalGod
* RedRightHand: The evil god is the [[EvilCripple crippled one]]. Go figure.
* SadisticChoice: See XanatosGambit below. The best case scenario is his freedom, and the end of civilisation as they know it. The worst case scenario is the slow death of the entire world.
* SealedEvilInACan: Chained in place, to the sleeping goddess Burn, though his spirit can move around inside a Warren and has appeared in several places around the world.
* StartOfDarkness: He was just a foreign god who fell to earth as the result of a trap meant for [[TheEmperor Kallor]]. And went stark raving mad as a result.
* VaderBreath: Has to constantly inhale incense in order to keep his lungs clear. Even then, his breathing is still ragged and wheezing.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: The fate of many of those who choose to follow him.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: The Fall left him crippled, agonised and totally insane. He seems to be out to destroy the world in order to make the pain go away. It's very hard not to feel bad for him on some level.
** [[spoiler: After his plans get taken over by the Forkrul Assail, who are basically using his heart as an ArtifactOfDoom, he turns into more of a straight-up {{Woobie}}]].
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: None of the injuries from the Fall have healed. Not one in a hundred thousand years.
* XanatosGambit: If they don't loose him, Burn dies and he gets his revenge. If they do, he's free to wreak havoc and get his revenge via other means. Kind of a win-win situation for him.

!!Rhulad Sengar
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Before the horror show began.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Mystically linked to one.
* AxeCrazy
* BackFromTheDead
* {{BFS}}: The aforementioned ArtifactOfDoom.
* BigEgoHiddenDepths: Rhulad is a much more layered character than his AnnoyingYoungerSibling behaviour lets on at first, however it takes a serious horror show for that to surface. By the time he starts trying to get his shit together it's way too late and he can't help himself slipping back into his old persona again and again.
* BlessedWithSuck: He comes back every time he's killed, but only after having his soul tortured by the Crippled God.
* BodyHorror: Covered in half-melted gold coins from a Tiste Edur death rite. Some of them fall out, but that just leaves him with horrific burn scars instead.
* TheCaligula: Deconstructed. We're treated to a blow-by-blow account of his descent into madness, and it's treated as tragedy rather than menace.
* CoolSword: Subverted. It's the ArtifactOfDoom that keeps bringing him back.
* DeathSeeker: Gee, I wonder why?
* TheDragon: As The King in Chains, he fullfills this role with regards to the Crippled God.
* TheEmperor: Of the Letherii Empire and the Tiste Edur.
* EvilOverlord
* GlorySeeker: Initially. By the time he learns the lesson it's too late, though.
* HealingFactor: Can heal any injuries, [[WoundThatWillNotHeal save those inflicted on him by the funeral rites after his first death]].
* HeroicSacrifice: Which got him linked to the ArtifactOfDoom in the first place.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Due to being too young and too proud, Rhulad is prone to misjudging people. He considers Trull a coward, but trusts people who are only in it for their own benefit.
* IHaveManyNames: Rhulad Sengar, The Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, The King in Chains.
* ImmortalityHurts: Between getting tortured by the Crippled God in the afterlife, the BodyHorror from his funeral, his bride committing suicide rather than bearing his child, and his enroaching insanity, yeah.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: When Karsa finally kills his soul]].
* {{Lust}}: Lusted after his brother Fear's wife, who toyed with his emotions as a game. This results in a very nasty LoveTriangle once he becomes The Emperor.
* MoodSwinger: Comes with the increasing insanity.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The Emperor of a Thousand Deaths.
* NeckSnap: How he meets his second death at the hand of Letherii soldier Iron Bars. He gets over it.
* PetTheDog: His attempt at returning Mayen, his wife, to his brother, Fear, whom she genuinely loves. Also, his forcing Mayen to stop beating her slave, Feather Witch.
* {{Pride}}: One of Rhulad's major sins before becoming The King In Chains. He was convinced he was far superior to everyone, including his brothers Fear and Trull.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Averted. He forces his brother's wife to marry him, and has his way with her, and somehow, it just makes him all the more pathetic and pitiable.
* SanitySlippage: Gradually loses his mind as each new resurrection takes its toll on him.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Not that this was his intention. He threw his mom and dad in prison. [[DeusAngstMachina The jail promptly flooded]].
* SmallNameBigEgo: Initially. His first death pretty much shatters his ego though.
* TraumaCongaLine: His brother is murdered by Karsa, his bride kills herself, his parents are drowned in his dungeon, his people are scheming against him, he's slowly going mad, and that's without getting into the horror show that is his curse.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Not Rhulad.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: It's hard to not to sympathise with him, after his mind starts to slowly break apart because of his deaths... and deaths of his loved ones. Also Udinaas, his only friend, betrays him - or so he thinks...]]
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: No matter how many times he dies, the wounds from his first death will not heal. And then there's those [[BodyHorror damn coins]] from his first funeral.

!!Karsa Orlong / Toblakai
* AntiHero: Type V. Type IV on a good day.
* {{Badass}}: How his fans view him.
* BarbarianHero: Sort of. How heroic he is, is really up for debate. It's possible that Erikson meant him to be a subversion or a deconstruction.
* BloodKnight
* BoisterousBruiser
* CatchPhrase: "Witness!" Usually followed by something very BadAss or just plain [[RefugeInAudacity insane]].
* TheChampion: Accepting the position of Knight of High House Chains would make him this to the Crippled God.
* DefeatingTheUndefeatable: Or more accurately, killing [[spoiler:The Emperor Of A Thousand Deaths]] who was supposed to be unkillable.
* TheDragon: The Crippled God wants him to be his Knight Of Chains. So far, Karsa has been doing his best to refuse.
* FishOutOfWater: Anytime he approaches a remotely civilised location.
* TheGiant: Karsa's immense size is almost always noted.
* HellishHorse
* HeManWomanHater: Not a straight example as he doesn't ''hate'' women, but he does believe them to be inferior, and holds them in deep contempt, believing that [[ValuesDissonance rape is totally okay]]. His interactions with [[HotWitch Samar Dev]] and various other women may be improving him for the better, although it's hard to tell.
* InherentInTheSystem: Karsa believes slavery and exploitation are inherent in society. His solution? [[DisproportionateRetribution Burn it down]].
* KarmicDeath: Hands them out, with great relish.
* KillTheGod: [[spoiler: In addition to Rhulad Sengar, who was more or less the vessel of the Crippled God, he also kills Fener, facilitating his HeroicSacrifice.]]
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy
* PsychopathicManChild: On occasion.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Sort of. He has no problem with going on adventures and raping and pillaging and whatnot. He just really resents doing it on the Crippled God's orders.
* [[TattooedCrook Tattooed Thug]]: The broken-glass tattoos on his face that denote his past as a slave.
* ValuesDissonance: Both in-universe (with the rest of the cast that is) and with the fans.
[[folder: '''High House Shadow''']]

* BlackCloak
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Feared emperor, chessmaster usurper of High House Shadow, all around ManipulativeBastard...and deathly afraid of his mother (and all females), apparently. Has some shades of CloudCuckooLander as well.
* TheChessmaster: sets in motion much of the series
* DealWithTheDevil: "Shadowthrone loves deals."
* TheEmperor: [[spoiler: Pre-Ascension]].
* EvilSoundsDeep: Inverted. Ammanas' voice is very high-pitched and cold.
* FauxAffablyEvil
* FromNobodytoNightmare: [[spoiler: started off as a bar owner and middling criminal]]
* GigglingVillain
* {{Hellhound}}s: Commands seven of them.
* InTheHood
* LaughablyEvil
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Would you mess with a guy named "Shadowthrone"?
* PhysicalGod
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:He's Emperor Kellanved, who Ascended following Laseen's assassination attempt]].
* {{Revenge}}: Wants to pay back [[spoiler:Laseen for murdering him]].

!!Cotillion The Rope
--> "It's not such a bad thing girl, to be the pawn of a god."
* AntiVillain
* BadAss: If the stories are to be belived, [[spoiler:Dancer was a BadAss even before his Ascension to Godhood]]. He's definitely one now.
* TheChampion: As Assassin of High House Shadow he holds this position.
* DemonicPossession: Takes over Apsalar/Sorry during ''Gardens of the Moon''.
* TheDragon: To Shadowthrone.
* KnifeNut
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The Rope, Patron of Assassins.
* ParentalSubstitute: [[spoiler: Seems to be trying to become one to Sorry/Apsalar, as a means of making up for what he put her through]].
* PetTheDog: Has a minor one with Sorry right before he possesses her, reassuring her that the experience won't be that bad. [[spoiler:Has had many more since than; see ParentalSubstitute, above]].
* PhysicalGod
* ProfessionalKiller: Cotillion is the Patron of Assassins.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Was formerly Dancer, Emperor Kellanved's companion, and Ascended alongside his master]].
* {{Revenge}}: For the same reasons as Ammanas.
* ShipperOnDeck: [[spoiler:He seems to want Cutter and Apsalar to be happy. It's just that, well, try as he might to be a kind father figure, he's not the god of happy endings, he's the god of murdering people in the face. It's not working.]]

* AmnesiacDissonance: Has been gradually remembering the things she did while controlled by The Rope.
* {{Badass}}: [[spoiler:She danced with the Claw. All of the Claw. When she was done, all of her dancing partners lay dead.]]
* BreakTheCutie: Twice. After Cotillion's posession she seemed to go back to normal...right up until she started recovering her skills and plunging into whole new depths of {{Wangst}}. [[spoiler: She's now abandoned Cutter, the one person who really gives a damn about her in order to go off and do god knows what, excusing it by claiming that he'd only get hurt]].
* CreepyChild
* DanceBattler
* DarkActionGirl: Though much more sympathetic than most (she's one of the main protagonists).
* DarkMagicalGirl: Her personality is closer to this, even if her abilities are those of a DarkActionGirl.
* DemonicPossession: Posessed by Cotillion, though whether it's in full or in part isn't entirely clear.
* KnifeNut: Inherited from The Rope.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Loses all her memories of The Rope's actions, post-posession.
* LossOfIdentity: She remembers quite a bit of her life pre-possession, but clearly isn't that girl anymore. Not to mention that she still doesn't know her name.
* MaybeEverAfter: [[spoiler: One of the Epilogues of ''The Crippled God'' has Cutter finally tracking down Apsalar, at the ruins of the fishing town she originally came from.]]
* PsychoForHire:Poses as one while infiltrating the Malazan Army. She scares Quick Ben, Whiskeyjack, and ''[[ProfessionalKiller Kalam]]'' she's so damn creepy.
* WaifFu

!!Iskaral Pust
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Somewhere between an extreme example of this, and CrazyAwesome.
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: At times, Pust has been known to make comments like "she's falling for my clever scheme" ''to the person he is trying to manipulate''.
* EvilGenius: The only reason Shadowthrone keeps him around.
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Maybe. It's really hard to tell if Pust is faking it, or if he just happens to be both rather bright and ''totally nuts''.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Despite his craziness, tendency towards accidentally stabbing himself in the foot, and an ego the size of some small countries, Pust is actually quite bright, and at times, suprisingly effective.
* TalkativeLoon: Trying to shut him up would likely take an act of god. Or several gods.
* ThinkingOutLoud: Often.
[[folder: '''Lady Envy's Companions''']]

!!Lady Envy
* CainAndAbel: She and her sister Spite cannot bear to be in the same city without trying to kill each other.
* BetrayalByInaction: Is said to have stood by while her then-lover [[FamedInStory Anomander Rake]] [[FateWorseThanDeath killed]] her father and took his SoulCuttingBlade [[ForgedByTheGods Dragnipur]] from him. It is heavily implied that she did this just to spite Lord Draconus, and because she wanted Dragnipur for herself in the long run, not to stay out of a conflict between her father and her lover.
* GreenEyedMonster: Towards her sister, Spite.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Draconus intentionally named his daughters Envy, Spite and [[spoiler: Malice, and would've named a fourth one Venom.]]
* UpperClassTwit: Does an amazing impression of one. She's actually quite bright, if a little ditzy.

!!Toc The Younger
* AcheyScars: His eye still hurts.
* ActionSurvivor: Feels like one alongside Envy, Tool, Baaljaag, Gareth and the Seguleh.
* CantStayNormal: Or dead. He's been attacked by Hairlock and thrown into a rent, accompanied Lady Envy, [[BodySnatcher body snatched]] Anaster and become Mortal Sword of Togg and Fanderay, been killed again, and now serves Hood.
* TheChampion: Mortal Sword of Togg and Fanderay, then Herald of Death.
* DeathIsCheap: How many times has he come back from the dead now?
* EyepatchOfPower
* GrandTheftMe: Following his initial death, Toc's soul is transplanted into that of [[EmptyShell Anaster]] in order to give them both a second chance at life.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: As leader of the Grey Swords.

!!Mok, Thurule, and Senu
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Seguleh hierarchy is modelled on combat ability. As the Third, Mok can and does kick a lot of ass.
* BadAss: All three of them. To the point where their fellow Seguleh class them as a "punitive army" and expect them to carve their way through the Pannion Domin on their own. They don't dissapoint.
** BadassArmy: They're "the punative army of the Seguleh", themselves as BadassArmy of the first order.
** BadassNormal
* BloodKnight: Three representatives from an entire nation of them.
* {{Charles Atlas Superpower}}s
* DualWielding: All three Seguleh.
* TheFettered: Courtesy of Lady Envy's magic.
* HonourBeforeReason: If the Seguleh think you might be tough, they will challenge you, no matter where or when. And they'll make it a fair fight too.
* ImplausibleFencingPowers
* ImprobableAge: Senu's just turned twenty.
* MaskPower: All Seguleh go masked, and the markings on their mask indicate their rank (Mok is the third-ranked Seguleh, his mask has two slashes on it).
* MasterSwordsman: All three, but especially Mok.
* [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race Trio]]
* TheQuietOne: All three of them, but especially Mok.
* TheStoic

* AmnesiacGod: The wolf-goddess Fanderay is trapped inside her.
* CanineCompanion
* {{Sizeshifter}}: Can greatly alter her size, though not to the extent Gareth can.
* StarCrossedLovers: Is searching for the spirit of her mate, the wolf-god Togg. [[spoiler: He's hiding inside Toc]].

* {{Hellhound}}: Has the potential to be a Hound of Shadow.
* CanineCompanion
* {{Sizeshifter}}: Can grow to tremendous size.
[[folder: '''Letherii''']]

!!Tehol Beddict
-> 'What do you think? Should I get out of bed today, Bugg?'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
The middle Beddict brother. When the Beddict family came dangerously close to becoming Indebted, Tehol took it on himself to keep the family afloat, something he did in secret while attending his instructors. Tehol is an economic savant, and was able to amass one of the largest fortunes in Letheras - a "peak", or one million "thirds", roughly one eighth of the city's combined currency - before going bankrupt literally overnight, nearly crashing the economy of the Empire. What happened to the money is unknown, and Tehol is now a largely forgotten figure living in poverty with his manservant Bugg.
* TheChessmaster
* ChivalrousPervert
* GuileHero

-> '''Tehol Beddict:''' 'You've no talent to speak of, in much of anything, come to think of it. Probably why I love you so dearly, Bugg.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
Bugg is Tehol's mysterious manservant of many talents.
* BattleButler: To Tehol.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: [[spoiler:He is actually the Elder God Mael, god of the sea.]] Hangs around with Tehol because he's interesting.
* HyperCompetentSidekick

!!Brys Beddict
The youngest of the three Beddict brothers. A Finadd (captain) of the Letherii army, he was recently raised to the position of King's Champion, the King's personal bodyguard for his superlative skills as a swordsman. Though he would like nothing more than to be left to do his duty, the intrigues of the Letherii court have a way of enveloping even the most tangential of players.
* BadassNormal: Defeated Rhulad, ''without'' killing him.
* MasterSwordsman: Possibly the best non-Ascendant swordsman in the series.

!!Shurq Elalle
A burglar who got caught. Deciding to try her luck in the Drownings, she got tangled in detritus in the canals and drowned, only to discover that one of her victims had cursed her with undeath. Much to her frustration, her dead nerves prevent her from enjoying the pleasures of the living, most notably sex. She gives up stealing, not caring about much any longer, until Tehol Beddict contacts her for her services - and offering a way to enjoy carnal pleasures again.
* ClassyCatBurglar
* CoolBigSis: To Kettle.
* ILoveTheDead: Inverted--she's a walking dead woman, who enjoys sex with the living.
* PirateGirl: Eventually decides she wants to be a pirate. No particular reason, it just sounds like a fun thing to do.
* TheUndead

* CreepyChild
* EnfanteTerrible: Played with. She's a creepy, UndeadChild with a penchant towards murder, but she's also one of the few things standing between a dying Azath's denizens and the rest of Lether.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: She tries to kill only evil people to feed the Azath.
* UndeadChild
* VigilanteMan: A truly bizarre example. She targets criminals, spies, etc.

!!Gerun Eberict
* TheSociopath
* TheUnfettered

!!Harlest Eberict
-> 'I want to be scary. It's important that I be scary. I've been practising hissing and snarling.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
* CatchPhrase: "Fangs and claws".
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Harlest comes off as rather goofy, with all his talk of "fangs and claws" and his desire to scare people. Then he actually uses said claws in an attack on five Toblakai Ascendents.
* PsychopathicManChild
* SiblingYinYang: With his sociopathic (and living) brother Gerun.
* TalkativeLoon
* TheUndead
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Shurq.

-> 'You will discover that the notion of debt is not so easily denied.'
--> ''Literature/MidnightTides''
A Letherii slave among the Tiste Edur. He is Indebted, and the debt is owned, by extention, by [[spoiler:Tehol Beddict]]. Udinaas is extremely intelligent and GenreSavvy.
* BeneathTheMask: Tries for ObfuscatingStupidity on the outside by playing the obedient slave, though nobody who bothers to look even remotely past the facade is buying it; and even then he ''still'' manages to say one thing and think another, usually something along the lines of 'That's why I said it, so you can go on enjoying your blessed ignorance.'
* ConversationalTroping: Most notable in ''Literature/ReapersGale'' when he launches into a lengthy rant about DungeonCrawling, but subtler instances occur:
--> '''Fear Sengar:''' [[SpeciesLoyalty Your blood is very thin, Udinaas, isn't it?]]\\
'''Udinaas:''' [[ThickerThanWater Like water.]]
* GenreSavvy: At least when it comes to heroic tales, which he spends a significant amount of time taunting Fear Sengar with in ''Literature/ReapersGale'', as well as what his master & slave relationship to Rhulad is supposed to entail, which he deconstructs by laying out the actual mechanics of to the reader.
* HappinessInSlavery: Initially. A slave among the Tiste Edur has food, shelter and clothing against the harsh weather. The alternative would be labouring on a galley to pay off an inherited debt.
* IcyBlueEyes: Described as 'ravaged eyes, a bleakness like defiant ice in this world of fire' in ''Literature/ReapersGale''. He is always quick with a cold grin and a sharp-tongued comment, but Rud also notes how Udinaas is capable of 'ethereal ease' when he allows his harsh emotions to pass.
* MetaGuy: Udinaas spends most of his time in ''Literature/ReapersGale'' making observations about the storyline he's involved in, the people he travels with and their intentions, all the while commenting on the absurdity of it all.
* MoralityPet: To Rhulad during the conquest of Lether in ''Literature/MidnightTides''. He is fully aware of that and the precarious situation it puts him into.
* TheNondescript: Goes largely unnoticed wherever he is, and Seren Pedac even calls him 'nondescript' at one point.
* OpenMindedParent: To Ryadd, when they finally get around to get to know each other.
* PrecisionFStrike:
--> 'You understand too much,' Clip said in that lilting, offhand tone of his. 'Did you hear me, Udinaas?'\\
'Go fuck yourself,' the slave muttered.
* SpiritAdvisor: Deconstructed via Wither. In ''Literature/MidnightTides'', Wither latches onto Udinaas and tries to play the SpiritAdvisor in exchange for hiding in Udinaas' shadow. Udinaas considers the constant pseudo-arcane whispering 'worse than a burrowing tick', especially since Wither's advice is to cryptical to be useful, and his revelations are obvious to anyone with a working brain -- at least as far as Udinaas is concerned. He hands Wither the wraith's own motives (not having wasted his time on Udinaas) on a platter, and [[spoiler:gets alsmost killed by Wither as thanks]] in the finale of ''Literature/ReapersGale''.
* StepfordSnarker: Eventually, he starts to dish out [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech 'The Reasons All Of You Suck, Myself Included'-speeches]] and snide remarks left, right and centre in an attempt to hide how he truly feels.
* StoppedCaring: Udinaas starts off as rather emotionally uninvolved but build a growing wall between himself and everyone else the further the story goes. Remarkably, he never loses his capacity for feeling compassion and occasionally acts on it, but he does not get particularly involved with any one person unless he can help it, to prevent himself from being burdened with their problems.
* ThatThingIsNotMyChild: His initial reaction after meeting Rud Elalle for the first time. He mellows out quite quickly and comes to love Rud/Ryadd.
* TooCleverByHalf: Even Fear Sengar [[SmarterThanYouLook notices eventually]] and points it out. Udinaas just curses him for his trouble.

!!Feather Witch
A Letherii slave among the Tiste Edur. She was born into slavery and possesses a talent for casting the tiles.

[[folder: '''Unaligned Ascendants''']]

An Elder God. The shaper of paths.
* [[AngelUnaware Elder God Unaware]]: [[spoiler: As Keruli.]]
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Mortal worshippers prayed to him. So he granted their prayers...which promptly caused all sorts of problems and power struggles.
** "...K’rul, who answered worship with generosity. Who, assailed by prayers written in spilled blood, gave answer to them. But the power he surrendered was not intended only for those who worshipped him. He has given it freely, to everyone."
* BigGood: Kind of. Maybe.
* BodyHorror: The warrens run through his veins, literally. [[spoiler: So when the warrens are poisoned, opening them occasionally causes boatloads of blood to come pouring out.]]
* GodsNeedPrayerBadly: The lack of it is implied to be the reason he's so weak now.
** Elder Gods accept prayer in the form of blood sacrifice. Give generously...
* HeroicSacrifice: Jaraku. Also the entire warren system.
* InTheHood: Default appearance is a fully cloaked figure.
* [[KarmicDeath Karmic Punishment]]: Kallor's curse.
* TheMentor: To Kruppe.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the prequel, implied to have been the root cause of all the series' problems, though probably not intentionally or knowingly.
* OlderAndWiser: To all the gods.
* SamusIsAGirl: Apparently. Maybe. Nope, we didn't see that coming either.

An Elder God, the Suzerain of Night, Consort to Mother Dark, and brother of K'rul. He was killed with his own sword, [[CoolSword Dragnipur]], by Anomander Rake, and has been [[YourSoulIsMine trapped in there]] [[FateWorseThanDeath ever since]]. [[spoiler: Or at least until Rake's HeroicSacrifice.]]
* ParentalNeglect: Doesn't pay much attention to his kids, and named his three daughters [[VainSorceress Envy]], [[FemmeFatale Spite]], and [[EnfantTerrible Mal]][[WhatHappenedToTheMouse ice]] (if he had a fourth, she would apparently be named Venom). On the other hand, their mother, [[spoiler: Olar Ethil]], urges him to kill them, so...
* {{Badass}}: [[spoiler: Curbstomps Kilmandaros and Sechul Lath, both Elder Gods themselves.]] Also scares the crap out of everyone once they realize that [[spoiler: he's been freed from Dragnipur.]]
* CoolSword: Forged Dragnipur...
** HoistByHisOwnPetard: ...which was used to trap him in a FateWorseThanDeath. Although that was partially Kallor's fault.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Naturally, he also turns into a giant black dragon. Although his particular [[VoluntaryShapeshifting Soletaken]] form is described as "darkness with wings" instead of a normal draconic form.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy, together with LoveRuinsTheRealm: Implied.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The [[HumanSacrifice Terondai]] he commissioned from [[spoiler: Errastes]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: with a side of IHaveManyNames.
* OlderAndWiser: Apparently, spending several hundred thousand years suffering a FateWorseThanDeath mellowed him out a bit.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Doesn't quite get it right, with [[PlayedForDrama unfortunate]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero consequences]].

* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler: revealed to be Olar Ethil. Maybe.]]
* DamselInDistress / IllGirl: A rather bizarre example. Spends most of the series being slowly poisoned, and although she never actually shows up in person, other characters comment constantly on her deteriorating condition. Mostly because it's making the CrapsackWorld [[DeathWorld even worse]].
* MotherEarth

!!Icarium Lifestealer
Icarium is an incredibly old being, forever wandering with a sole companion in tow. He is present in the mythology of many cultures, and is feared by most of them. While his companion varies - being often replaced due to the death of the previous one - they are always devoutly loyal, and act as friends, protectors and, above all, minders. Icarium is one of the most powerful beings to walk the planet, and he must always have someone nearby to check his temper. While an incredibly gentle person, should he ever grow angry the consequences for the world would be catastrophic, something he is only vaguely aware of. Fortunately, he suffers from frequent bouts of amnesia, especially when seriously injured, and his natural meekness makes him easy to to keep under control.
* {{Badass}}
* TheBerserker
* GeniusBruiser: He's a mapmaker, inventor, scholar... and one of the most lethal fighters ever born.
* HalfHumanHybrid: He's a Jhag: half man, half Jaghut.
** Actually, his mother is implied to be [[spoiler: a Theloman Toblakai]]. His father is confirmed to be Gothos.
* ImplacableMan
* MadeOfIron: It's unclear if he can be truly killed. Serious wounds only knock him out and trigger his amnesia. He seems to grow even tougher when angry.
* MasterSwordsman
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast

The god of death, and (an undead) Jaghut. [[spoiler: Succeeded as King of High House Death by Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners]]
* AnIcePerson: Comes with being a Jaghut.
* {{Badass}} [[spoiler: Seems fond of killing Forkrul Assail with his bare hands...and occasionally with his teeth.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: At the end.
* DarkIsNotEvil: One of the more reasonable gods, though still kind of a dick.
* TheGrimReaper
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: His wife was murdered by [[spoiler: Errastes]]. So he [[DisproportionateRetribution raised an army and waged war on death itself]]. [[CrazyAwesome And won!]]
* OurOrcsAreDifferent
* UnusualEuphemism: Not him, but "Hood's breath" and "Hood's balls" seem to be the most popular Malazan curses.
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: [[spoiler: As the king of the Jaghut, he waged a war on death, which ended with him becoming the god of death.]]

!!Errastas / The Errant
* AmbiguouslyEvil
* AmbitionIsEvil
* TheChessmaster
* DepravedBisexual: As [[spoiler: Turudal Brizad]].
* [[AngelUnaware Elder God Unaware]]: [[spoiler: As Turudal Brizad.]]
* {{Jerkass}}
** JerkassGods
* ManipulativeBastard
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Although he ends the series with several rather nasty beings intent on chasing him down...]]
* PowersThatBe
* PrescienceIsPredictable
* TheOmniscient
* SpellMyNameWithAThe
* TimeAbyss

[[folder: '''Others''']]

!!Fisher kel Tath
* TheBard
* FamedInStory: Provides many chapter epigraphs, occasionally cited by other characters. But mostly, he's the one that everyone quotes when discussing [[TheDreaded Anomander Rake]], since his epic poem Anomandaris seems to be the main source of information concerning Rake.
* TheGhost: His name is tossed around a lot, but he himself never appears.
** At least, until Toll the Hounds.
* MayDecemberRomance / MayflyDecemberRomance: Possibly, with [[spoiler: Lady Envy]]? The "possibly" is because [[spoiler: Fisher himself is [[AmbiguouslyHuman Ambiguously Mortal]], and may, for all we know, be both immortal and as [[DecemberDecemberRomance old as Envy]]]].
* WarriorPoet: Mostly known for his poetry, but surprisingly capable in a fight.