Characters / Anne of Green Gables

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This is a character page for Anne of Green Gables. Spoilers up to the end of Rilla of Ingleside abound.

Introduced in Anne of Green Gables

     Anne Shirley 
  • Abusive Parents: Anne's guardians prior to Matthew and Marilla used Anne to look after their own children, neglected her education, and did not always provide her (and possibly their own children) with enough to eat. One of these guardians, Mr. Thomas, was frequently intoxicated and Anne was exposed to his violent behaviour.
  • Berserk Button: Anne is initially very sensitive about her red hair, and retains a certain grudge against fate for giving it to her well into adulthood.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gilbert Blythe and Roy Gardner, with Anne as the Archie. Played with in that although Anne is attracted to Roy because he seems like the embodiment of her brooding and dramatic romantic ideal, he turns out to be incredibly boring. Even his loving sister admits that Anne would have found being married to him dreadfully tedious.
  • Blithe Spirit: Free-spirited and cheerful, in contrast to the traditionalist people of Avonlea.
  • Bookworm: Very fond of books. In the first book she even starts a book club.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Sometimes comes across as this, due to being extremely moody as a child. Her Friendless Background also caused her to create imaginary friends.
  • Clueless Man Magnet: She is clueless about how many men are infatuated with her.
  • Daddy's Girl: She was very close to Matthew.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Not an Ice Queen per se, but it takes Gilbert about 3 books (several years) for them to get on friendlier terms and for her to agree to marrying him.
  • Drama Queen: Especially in the first book, where she goes through a fiery preteen angst phase about wanting to float down the river ala Elaine, and imagining she had dark hair and was named Cordelia Fitzgerald.
  • Fiery Redhead: Justified since her temper was at its fieriest when she was teased about her red hair (being one of the few characters whose fire is connected to their coloring). She chewed out the neighborhood busybody (big mistake...), and also responded to being called "Carrots" by breaking her slate over a schoolmate's head.
  • First Love: To Gilbert, he might have dated other girls but in the end always ended up loving (and marrying!) his first crush.
  • Friendless Background: Anne had one prior to coming to Green Gables, leading her to create two imaginary friends.
  • Genki Girl: Very cheerful and energetic when she's not being a Drama Queen.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: She desperately wants them in the first book — understandably, given the fashion was then at its height. Being able to get your shoulders through a door without turning sideways marked a woman as hopelessly dowdy. In later books, after the fashion has changed, she admits a lingering fondness.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Frequently wore her hair in two braided pigtails.
  • Happily Adopted: She instantly takes to Matthew and Marilla, and loves them as if they were her real parents.
  • Held Gaze: With Gilbert in the TV productions, and two instances of the Held Gaze appear in Anne of Green Gables and then a passionate one happens between them both during Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel during Gilbert's proposal.
  • I Am Not Pretty: In the first book she's justified in thinking so, since she really is homely by the standards of her day. Her later belief that she's still not pretty, even when she's grown more attractive with age, mostly stems from how teased she was as a child.
  • I Ate WHAT: More like "I cooked with what?" Anne has such a terrible cold that she can't tell vanilla flavouring from anodyne liniment, a medicine that is rubbed into the skin to relieve stiff muscles. Hilarity Ensues when her cake is served for tea—at least Mrs. Allan (Marilla's guest) thinks it was hilarious. Anne is humiliated.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Anne's reason for rejecting Gilbert's first proposal.
  • Imaginary Friend: Anne had two growing up, much to Marilla's disapproval.
  • Improbable Age: Maybe, but Anne becomes a high school principal straight out of college at 22. This partially explains why Katherine Brooke, who is older and has taught at the school for much longer, is so resentful of Anne. The movie flipped the roles around and made Brooke the principal and Anne the rank-and-file teacher.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Anne has elements of this — she asserts she would never be happy in a place without trees.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Anne becomes friends with her best friend Diana's Great-Aunt Josephine, Mrs. Allan (the minister's wife), and her teacher Miss Stacy. In Anne of Avonlea, as a teacher she befriends her pupil Paul Irving, and Miss Lavender, who becomes Paul's stepmother. In Anne of Windy Poplars, she becomes friends with a young girl named Elizabeth, and in Anne's House of Dreams, she becomes friends with Captain Jim (who is in his seventies) and Miss Cornelia, who is fifty.
  • I Will Wait for You: After finally accepting Gilbert's second proposal, Anne has to wait three years until Gilbert finished his medical course before they can marry.
  • Just Friends: Anne and Gilbert have this type of relationship after they grow beyond the one-sided Slap-Slap-Kiss of their younger days, the two tropes succeeding each other in Anne and Gilbert's love story.
  • Large Ham: In the film her acting is very loud.
  • Long Distance Relationship: Anne and Gilbert's engagement is mostly conducted at long distance; he is at Redmond for medical school while she is teaching high school miles away. They can only see each other during the summers and at Christmas.
  • Love Epiphany: Has a jarring one when she learns that Gilbert is dying of typhoid fever.
  • Love Letter: She and Gilbert write a lot of love letters to each other during their three-year engagement.
  • Mad Dreamer: According to some Avonlea folk but she had to create her own imaginary friends growing up.
  • The McCoy: Utterly dreamy and impulsive.
  • Motor Mouth: Anne is very talkative.
  • Miss Imagination: She renames an ugly lake "the Lake of Shining Waters" and imagines all sorts of things and fantasizes about having a different name and coloring.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: Buys a bottle of dye from a traveling peddler in the first book in hopes of turning her hair black. It was actually green, much to her dismay, and she's forced to cut it short.
  • Oblivious to Love: Doesn't realize that Gilbert likes her at first.
  • Plucky Girl: She was orphaned since she was a baby, grew up in households where she was abused and neglected, was passed from home to home to orphanage, she's teased for her red hair and freckles, and a number of accidents happen to her. This doesn't affect her cheerful outlook on life.
  • Public Domain Character: Domain of Prince Edward Island, the books attract a lot of tourists to the island every year.
  • Redheads Are Uncool: Anne is a very cheerful person, but at times could get very careless and cause mishaps. Her relationships with the people of Avonlea began unusually friendly or openly hostile because they teased her about her red hair, which she hoped would some day darken into a real handsome auburn.
  • School Marm: Became a teacher in "Anne Of Avonlea" and takes a more demanding position in another town for a year in "Anne Of Windy Poplars". She works hard for the respect of her students and solves their problems.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: With more fashionable clothing and with her maturing, she is noted to be breathtaking.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Several characters note that she's gotten prettier with age.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Imagines new names, is impulsive, dreamy, and bold. She fits the trope aside from not being an explicit Tomboy.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: She is noted to have very beautiful gray eyes, especially when Gilbert views her in the moonlight.
  • When She Smiles:
    "How perfectly lovely!" exclaimed Anne, her gray eyes lighting up until they looked like evening stars, causing Mrs. Lynde to wonder anew if she would ever get it settled to her satisfaction whether Anne Shirley were really a pretty girl or not.
  • Youthful Freckles: She loses them as she gets older.

     Marilla Cuthbert 
  • Brother-Sister Team: She runs Green Gables with her brother Matthew.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Snarks about the behaviors of her peers and Anne. This is even more emphasized in the mini series
    I wonder if Humble Pie will be on the menu?
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She's very cold to Anne at first, but later warms up to her.
  • Good Parents: One major subplot in the first book is Marilla becoming this. In fact, when Anne nearly gets herself killed late in the first book, it's made clear that Marilla has truly come to love the girl.
  • Honorary Aunt: At first she is reluctant to be called "Aunt Marilla" but defrosts towards the end of the 1st book.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: More in attitude than appearance. She softens a bit more thanks to Anne's influence.
  • Maiden Aunt: She's an Honorary Aunt to Anne and she's an Old Maid.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: This Proper Lady wears her hair in a tight bun.
  • The Spock: She's often the voice of reason to contrast with Anne's blithe imagination.

     Matthew Cuthbert 
  • Brother-Sister Team: He runs Green Gables with his sister Marilla.
  • Bumbling Dad: At first, he has no idea how to approach being a father figure to an outspoken eleven-year-old girl, and often makes endearing embarrassments yet he has more of a clue than Marilla on how important fashion is.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: At first, Matthew tends to stay at home because any time he tries to interact with girls or women, he tends to stutter and act very shy. One attempt by him to do so, resulted in buying twenty pounds of brown sugar and a rake in the middle of winter. He does find it easier to talk to Anne, probably due to the combination of being around her a lot and the fact that Anne has no difficulty filling in conversational gaps.
  • The Kirk: He mediates between the free-spirited Anne and the prim Marilla.
  • Shrinking Violet: Very shy and afraid to talk to women that aren't Marilla (his sister) and Rachel Lynde (their long-time friend), Anne directly and indirectly helps him get over it.
  • Verbal Tic: Tends to stutter when trying to talk.

     Diana Barry 
  • The Confidant: She and Anne talk about everything under the sun.
  • The Fashionista: By the second book, Anne says Diana made herself a reputation as "a woman of good taste", and that all of the girls of Avonlea to come to her for fashion advice.
  • Proper Lady: She grows into this trope, yet doesn't lose her light-hearted personality.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Diana has raven-black hair and a pale complexion, which is considered to be extremely beautiful.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Anne, if it weren't for distance, they'd be closer to each other than to their beloved husbands.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: Anne mistakenly serves her currant wine, believing it to be harmless raspberry cordial; Diana drinks too much of it and ends up in this trope.

     Gilbert Blythe 
  • Affectionate Nickname: Among the many nicknames he calls Anne are 'Anne-girl' (something he probably learnt from Josephine Barry) and 'Anne-o-mine'.
  • Babies Ever After: Has six living children with Anne.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Anne. Doesn't help he tugged at her braids and yelled "carrots!" It takes her a while to warm up to him even though he keeps trying.
  • Chocolate of Romance: More like candy. In the first book, Anne is forced to share a desk with Gilbert after coming in late from recess. Trying to be nice, Gilbert slips her a candy heart that says "You're Sweet." Since this is shortly after the Carrots incident, Anne is not in the mood to accept. She drops it to the floor and crushes it under her foot. There is a nice Call Back to this incident when the two get older; Gilbert gives Anne a pendant necklace in the shape of a pink candy heart.
  • Dance of Romance: Gilbert and Anne share one in the 1987 film adaptation of Anne of Avonlea. It's one of the first signs that Anne may have feelings for Gilbert; they dance for a few moments before she gets flustered and pulls away, apologizing and blaming it on her "two left feet".
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He doesn't give up on Anne, even when she shoots him down.
  • Everyone Can See It: His affections for Anne is obvious to everyone in Avonlea, but it takes HER a long while to catch on to it.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Even as a young adolescent, he's noted to be a handsome guy.
  • First Love: Anne Shirley is Gilbert Blythe's from that moment she cracks a slate over his head, and he faithfully waits for years for her even to acknowledge him as a friend.
  • Forgotten Anniversary: Subverted in Anne Of Ingleside. Anne thinks Gilbert has forgotten their anniversary because he doesn't mention it at all during the day and he doesn't give her a gift. It turns out that he did remember and had sent away for a diamond pendant to give her. The pendant didn't get delivered until the evening, and Gilbert didn't say anything about the anniversary because he felt guilty about not having anything to give Anne.
  • Friendly War: Anne and Gilbert's academic rivalry, at least on Gilbert's side. To Anne, after her 'humiliation' at Gilbert's hands, it's almost a matter of life and death.
  • Good Parents: Both Anne and Gilbert are this to their six children.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Gilbert switching schools with Anne so she can stay with Marilla, even though it means he'll have to pay for his room and board and wait to go to college.
  • Happily Married: With Anne after they marry in Anne's House Of Dreams.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Anne realises this about Gilbert in the concluding chapters of Anne of Avonlea, and it causes her to ponder some things....
  • Held Gaze: He always looks at her.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Puberty and maturity has only heightened his good looks.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Not a protagonist, but he doesn't give up on winning the red-haired Anne over.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cocky and teases Anne on the first day of school, he later proves to be a very Nice Guy.
  • Just Friends: For a while, he and Anne are this trope. Until he falls ill and she realizes how much she loves him. They get engaged later.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Something of a 19th Century school house player who'd tease the girls and make them cry, he meets his match when Anne comes along and makes sure he knows she isn't to be messed with.
  • Longing Look: Is always giving this to Anne.
  • Love at First Punch: Gilbert confesses to Anne that he first fell in love with her after she had cracked the slate over his head.
  • Love Hurts: A few books and then he falls ill! Anne realizes she loves him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In literary form and casted well in the films.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Very sweet and affectionate; also wore some women's clothes as part of a college game.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: More like tug on pigtails yelling "carrots!", breaks slate over head, cold shoulder, friendship, argument, illness, and kiss.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: He is very handsome and tall with brown curls.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Until the end of "Anne Of The Island" where their romantic relationship starts.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Takes him a while to become her friend (as teenagers finally) and then they marry in their twenties.

Introduced in Anne of Avonlea

Introduced in Anne of the Island

Introduced in Anne of Windy Poplars

Introduced in Anne's House of Dreams

     Cornelia Bryant (later Elliott) 
  • Cool Old Lady: Her age in Anne's House of Dreams is vague (later scholars have put together the clues of the Anne chronology into a cohesive history, placing her at 42 the year Anne moved to the House of Dreams), but she's definitely this by the time Anne and Gilbert's children arrive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Snarks about the men in town and about the Liberals.
  • Does Not Like Men: And is not shy about saying so. Captain Jim is the only man she's never said a bad word about, which he claims worries him: it makes him wonder if there's something unnatural about him.
  • Generation Xerox: In a way, she and her adopted daughter, Mary Vance. Both are incredibly blunt, incredibly competent females who say what they think, yet take excellent care of those around them who wouldn't otherwise have anyone who would care. Mary doesn't hate men, and can verge on profane (or as close as anyone gets in the books), but both make crucial contributions to the lives of those around them (and refusing gratitude for it.)
  • Good Parents: To Mary Vance, in a slightly unorthodox way — necessary, since Mary is a rather unorthodox child, whose other guardians have always abused her.
  • Happily Married: To everyone's surprise, she gets married at the end of Anne's House of Dreams, and seems perfectly content.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's not so much a jerk as very, very blunt. As Captain Jim says, "She's got the bitterest tongue and the kindest heart in Four Winds."

     James "Captain Jim" Boyd 
  • The Captain: While he's a retired sea captain, he still fulfills many aspects of the trope.
  • Cool Old Guy: Very sociable, tells stories, a Kindhearted Cat Lover, super friendly, and likes socializing with young people.
  • The Storyteller: Has a lot of fascinating stories about his time as a ship's captain.

     Leslie Moore (later Ford) 
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Leslie is initially chilly and closed off towards Anne, but begins to soften and open up to her over time.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Anne deems Leslie the most beautiful woman she's ever seen, but being beautiful has done her no favors, and in a conversation in Anne's House of Dreams Leslie bitterly wishes that she'd been born plain and homely. Her beauty is what drew Dick Moore's attention to her and lead him to pressure her into marriage by threatening to have his father foreclose on the mortgage on Leslie's family home.

     Susan Baker 
An old maid who is a housemaid at Ingleside.

     Joyce "Joy" Blythe 
Oldest child of Anne and Gilbert. Died one day after birth.

     James "Jem" Blythe 
Anne and Gilbert's oldest living child. He is very bold and adventurous, and utterly adores his mother. He is named after the late Captain Jim Boyd.

Introduced in Anne of Ingleside

     Diana "Di" Blythe 
First (or second) surviving daughter of Anne and Gilbert. She takes after her mother in looks, but her father in personality. Her twin is Nan.

     Anne "Nan" Blythe 
First (or second) surviving daughter of Anne and Gilbert. She is twin to Diana.

     Walter Blythe 
Second son of Anne and Gilbert. He is a pacifist by nature, and hates the thought of violence. He has a close bond with Rilla.

     Shirley Blythe 
Youngest son of Anne and Gilbert.

     Bertha Marilla "Rilla" Blythe 
Youngest daughter of Anne and Gilbert.

Introduced in Rainbow Valley

     Mary Vance 
A home-girl who is adopted by Miss Cornelia and befriended by the Blythe and Meredith children. She has a reputation of being very blunt and outspoken.

     Reverend John Meredith 

     Rosemary West 

     Jerry Meredith 

     Faith Meredith 

     Carl Meredith 
  • Beetle Maniac: Carl Meredith really enjoys catching and examining insects.

     Una Meredith 
  • The Quiet One: She doesn't talk much, but when she does her words are profound.
  • Unrequited Love: She was in love with Walter Blythe, but he went to war and died before she could admit it to him. Walter did not seem to return her feelings.