* ArcFatigue: The Tiste Edur and Jade Giant storylines.
* BaseBreaker: Karsa Orlong.
* CanonSue: Every third character is said to be this.
* CompleteMonster: Bidithal is [[EvilOldFolks an elderly member]] of the rebellious army the Whirlwind and its most powerful High Mage who gets away with his atrocities due to his power and high position. He has a disturbing taste for [[{{Lolicon}} little girls]] that he rapes and performs female circumcision on. In his darkest act, Bidithal captures the adopted daughter of the Whirlwind's leader, Felisin the Younger, and rapes her. He tells her he will "drink all the pleasure from your precious body, leaving naught but bitterness, naught but dead places within." Even the barbarian AntiHero Karsa Orlong finds Bidithal an utter blot on humanity as a whole and relishes a chance to force Bidithal to [[KarmicDeath choke on his pleasure]].
* CultClassic: Opinions abound that it will never reach mainstream success circa ASongOfIceAndFire because the depth and complexity that makes it great is alienating to casual readers, and cannot be translated to other mediums.
* CrazyAwesome: Karsa Orlong, Iskaral Pust, Tehol & Bugg, Second Seguleh, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, probably all sapers...
** [[spoiler: As we see in TheCrippledGod, after becoming Master of the Deck, Captain Ganoes isn't afraid to come to talk to dangerous enemy commander, just to see what person she is, and piss her off just by talking... and he gets away with it!]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Cotillion and Udinaas are quite popular.
* FandomRivalry: Some with ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' the other major GenreDeconstruction of HighFantasy. The authors themselves are on friendly terms, and have tried to discourage any thoughts of competition.
* GodModeSue: How some fans see Karsa.
* IKnewIt: [[spoiler:Some fan speculation held that the final book would portray the Crippled God as a sympathetic victim, and end with his liberation and healing. This is exactly what happened.]]
* JerkassWoobie:
** Felisin Paran.
** Rhulad Sengar. Yeah, he's technically an EvilOverlord and has done some inarguably bad things- but just ''look'' at the rest of this list. You've ''got'' to feel sorry for the poor guy. He needs a hug. And possibly, a therapist.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** A particularly obvious example, Sirryn Kanar in ''Reaper's Gale'' seems to exist solely to cross it repeatedly.
** Mallick Rel convincing [[DirtyCoward High Fist Pomquarl]] to abandon Fist Coltaine to die outside the walls of Aren. Particularly vile since Coltaine was less than five hundred metres away, the garrison was more than strong enough to rescue him and Coltaine had just spent the last few months leading 30,000 Malazan refugees across a desert to safety.
** If that's not bad enough, Rel crosses it again only a few pages later when he betrays Aren to the Army of the Apocalypse, resulting in 10,000 soldiers being crucified and left to die.
*** And the absolute worst part? [[spoiler:He's a KarmaHoudini, and when his plan fails he convinces everyone that he was the hero who defended Aren and that Coltaine and the Wickans were the true enemy. After Laseen's death he becomes Emperor of the entire Malazan Empire.]]
* OlderThanTheyThink: The series owes a considerable debt to ''TheBlackCompany.''
* TheScrappy: The Mhbye in ''Memories of Ice.'' Depending on who you ask, Karsa Orlong and/or Kruppe as well.
** Also, Nimander and Felisin.
* TearJerker: [[spoiler:Itkovian's death]].
* TooCoolToLive: [[spoiler:Itkovian]].
* {{Wangst}}: So bad it results in AngstDissonance for many readers. The Tiste Andii explicitly have Wangst as their [[PlanetOfHats Hat]]... although they are not more wangsty than everyone else...
* WhatAnIdiot:
** Sums up everyone's behavior around Kallor. First they let the psycho into their army, then they mock and belittle him. Brilliant move, people.
** Sorry/Apsalar. Multiple people have pointed out to her that [[spoiler: abandoning Cutter wasn't a great idea. Anyone who's moderately perceptive can spot either of their broken hearts immediately.]]