Characters: Blackadder

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    The Black Adder 

Prince Edmund "The Black Adder" Plantagenet, Duke Of Edinburgh (Rowan Atkinson)
"I wonder if it was the wine..."

"If we lose, I'll be chopped to pieces. My arms will end up at Essex, my torso in Norfolk, and my private parts stuck up a tree somewhere in Rutland."

  • Accidental Misnaming: His father addresses him as Edwin, Edgar, Edward, Edith, Egbert, Osmond or Edna... at least, when he can be bothered to remember that Edmund exists.
    • And of course: "THE BLACK... DAGGER!"
  • Anti-Hero: Type V
  • Anti-Villain: Sure, he's a slimy, contemptible, amoral schemer... but given that his father alternately despises him and forgets he exists, his peers treat him with pity at best and disgust at worst, and his only friends are sycophantic Yes Men... it's not hard to see why.
  • Atrocious Alias: Before Baldrick suggested "the Black Adder", Edmund's first choice for his new sobriquet was "the Black... Vegetable."
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He really doesn't belong in charge of a Legion of Doom.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Cain: To Harry's Abel.
  • Cool Horse: "He rides a pitch-black steed..."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionaly shows signs of this.
  • Dirty Coward: Gets second thoughts at the battle of Bosworth Field and has to go relieve himself immediately. He does challenge to Duke of Argyll to a duel, but blubbers for his life when MacAngus chops his sword in half.
  • The Evil Prince: A pathetically spineless version.
  • Evil Wears Black
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
  • Harmless Villain: He's not quite as evil as he wants to be. Even in the last episode, when he's finally taking the glove off over his plot to usurp the throne, he's genuinely taken aback when his evil confederates recommend butchering the royal family rather than his suggestion of merely exiling them.
  • Heroic Bastard /Bastard Bastard: Tried to uncover a love letter between the queen and McAngus written around Harry's birth to dethrone him. However, it turned out that the letter was written after Harry's birth.
    Blackadder: As you can see, these letters are dated —
    Harry: Nine months after I was born!
    McAngus: Or nine months before you were born, Edmund.
    Blackadder: You... bastard!
    Harry: No, I think you'll find that you're the bastard, Edmund.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain
  • Let's Get Dangerous: He takes the gloves off on his plot to seize the throne after being stripped of his titles except for Lord of the Privvies for no real reason. He comes pretty close as well.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In "The Black Seal" he actualy comes close to gaining the throne... until his minions betray him, in a fit of cosmic irony.
  • Only Sane Man: Not quite to the level of his descendants, but he is sceptical of witch hunts, St Leonard's Day, Morris dancing and some of Percy's more bizarre ramblings.
  • Prince Charmless
  • Rant Inducing Slight: He puts up with quite a lot over the series, but being stripped of all his titles apart from Lord of the Privvies in "The Black Seal" is what finally causes him to snap.
  • Red Baron: At this stage, "The Black Adder" was a personal nickname, but his descendants adopted it as a surname.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Possibly to another bastard called Edmund.
  • Sinister Minister: Briefly becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Smug Adder
  • The Starscream: A particularly incompetent example.
  • The Unfavorite
  • Villain Protagonist

Baldrick, Son Of Robin The Dung-Gatherer (Tony Robinson)

"Wouldn't something like "The Black Adder" sound better."

"I have a cunning plan that cannot fail..."

Lord Percy Percy, Duke Of Northumberland (Tim McInnerny)

"But if you kill him in front of everybody, won't they suspect something?"

  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    Percy: Only this morning in the courtyard I saw a horse with two heads and two bodies!
    Edmund: Two horses standing next to each other?
    Percy: ...Yes, I suppose it could have been.
  • The Ditz: Percy is incredibly dim-witted, something that carries over to his descendant.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: If his reaction to Mistress Scott's dead cat is anything to go by.
  • Repetitive Name
  • Sycophantic Servant
  • Teeny Weenie: Blackadder mentions the rumour:
    Blackadder: And the part of you that can't be mentioned, I am reliably informed by women around the court, wouldn't be worth mentioning even it could be!
  • Upper-Class Twit
  • Yes-Man



"As the Good Lord said, love thy neighbour as thyself! Unless he's Turkish, in which case, KILL THE BASTARD!!!"

Harry, Prince Of Wales (Robert East)

"The verdict of this court is that the accused are found guilty of witchcraft. The maximum penalty that the law allows is that you be burned to death. However, in view of your previous good background, I am disposed to be lenient. Therefore, I sentence you to be burned alive."

  • Abel: to Edmund's Cain.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Has a habit of doing this. The most notable being in '"Witchsmeller Pursuivant", when the Witchsmeller is burning alive, he doesn't even notice and thinks the man is talking about the weather being too warm to wear a cloak.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: At no point does he cotton on to Edmund's various throne-usurping schemes.
    • Also completely oblivious to the fact that the ridiculously improbable deaths of successive Archbishops were actually obvious assassinations ordered by his own father.
  • Skewed Priorities: When he thinks the castle is under attack, his first reaction is to worry about the drains.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Smarter than Edmund, but that's no great feat. Having said that, he's probably still the smartest and sanest member of his family.
    • More pronounced in the original pilot episode, where he's depicted as having much the same personality as Percy.
  • Warrior Prince: Seen riding into battle at Bosworth field.
  • The Wise Prince

Queen Gertrude of Flanders (Elspet Gray)

"Now, would I, Edmund... Do I tell people that your brother Harry is scared of spoons? Or that your father has very small private parts?"

King Richard III (Peter Cook)

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Consign their parts most private to a Rutland tree!"

  • Deadpan Snarker: He sums up his experience at the Battle of Bosworth Field thusly:
    "Someone cut my head off at one point, but apart from that it all went rather well."
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Henry VII rewrites history to portray him as being a tyrant who murdered Edward V and the young boy who would become Richard IV, when in fact he was a wise, noble king who loved his relations (except Edmund). Having said that, the series doesn't reveal what did happen to Edward V.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Edmund is the only person who can see his ghost. As a result, when Richard III sits between Richard IV and Harry at the post-battle banquet, the two talk across him as if he weren't there (which, as far as they're concerned, he isn't).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Leads his men in the Battle of Bosworth Field, and actually wins. Then Edmund gets involved...

Dougal MacAngus, Duke of Argyll (Alex Norton)

"Actually, I'm quite interested in the wigs."

  • BFS: Uses one against Edmund, breaking his normal sized sword with a single swing.
  • Fiery Redhead: When he's not leading the King's armies against the Turks, he's out hunting or duelling.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Baldrick's first "Cunning Plan" actually works on him. Edmund persuades him to put his head in a cannon before it's fired.
  • Violent Glaswegian: When bringing tributes to the queen, he empties a bag of severed heads onto the table. He apologises, stating that it was his overnight bag.

Princess Leia of Hungary (Natasha King)

"Hello Edmund. You look funny."

The Witchsmeller Pursuivant (Frank Finlay)

"BLOODY MILK! It was a mixture of milk and blood!"

  • Amoral Attorney: Has no qualms using obviously ludicrous evidence and arguments to get the verdict he wants.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Overhears Edmund making some obviously empty threats against him, and so gets Edmund, Baldrick and Percy all sentenced to burn at the stake.
  • Large Ham: Has a legitimate claim to being the largest ham in the entire Blackadder series, rivalling even the likes of Richard IV and General Melchett.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In his first appearance, he is cloaked in a crowd of peasants with glowing red eyes the only part of his face visible.

The Black Seal note 

Guy de Glastonbury: "Good evening... and surrender. Your money or your life. Damn!! I'm always doing this. Did I say "Your money or your life? Sorry, slip of the tongue, your money and your life. Sorry."

Phillip "The Hawk" of Burgundy (Patrick Allen)

"I return at last after fifteen years. Waiting, plotting, nurturing my hatred and planning my revenge. Yes, fifteen years of living in France teaches a man to hate. Fifteen years of wearing perfume, fifteen years of eating frogs, fifteen years of saying 'Par-don' and all because of you."

    Blackadder II 

Edmund Blackadder, The Lord Blackadder

"It's called gold because its' colour is gold. That it's green"
Played By: Rowan Atkinson

"Well, it is said, Percy, that civilised man seeks out good and intelligent company, so that through learned discourse he may rise above the savage and closer to God... Personally, however, I like to start the day with a total dickhead to remind me I'm best."

  • Anti-Hero: Type V
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: A self-interested scheming bastard.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Byronic Hero: Honestly, his only possible excuse is that being in Queenie's inner circle is incredibly stressful.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: A drop of the stuff and he's flat on his face singing about goblins.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Makes a full-time career out of this, unlike his predecessor.
  • Dumbass No More: He's considerably smarter than Prince Edmund.
  • Easily Forgiven: No matter how much he abuses Baldrick and Percy, they'll stick by him always (much to his chagrin).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
  • Identical Grandson: Well, great-grandson.
  • Impoverished Patrician: A good example of this trope in its early stages - he still has a title and a place at court, but no actual money or estates. Seemingly his father blew the family fortune on "wine, women and amateur dramatics." Alhough he's still better off than his descendants in this respect.
  • Jerkass
  • Manipulative Bastard: Neither as smug as his ancestor nor as magnificent as his descendants, he falls nicely in the middle.
  • Mock Millionaire: While he is from a wealthy family, the family fortune was long since squandered by his father.
    • Though he does later manage to blackmail several thousand pounds out of the church, and at the end of "Beer" his wealthy aunt and uncle are quite well disposed to him and ready to discuss his inheritance.
  • Only Sane Man: Along with Melchett. Most of the time.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Then again, some of it is deliberate, as indicated by the quote up there.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: with Kate/Bob.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Constantly.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: He's a self-involved ruthless jerk, who constantly insults everyone around him. What makes him still somewhat likable is that he's genuinely witty, and the people around him are idiots, who pretty much deserve all of his put-downs.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He shoots a child with a bow and arrow for singing an insulting rhyme.

Bondsman Baldrick

Played By: Tony Robinson

"Not to worry my lord, the arrow didn't in fact enter my body... But by a thousand to one chance my willy got in the way.''

  • Ambiguously Gay: He gives a very long and passionate kiss to Percy when he doesn't recognize him in a dress and flirts with him, and is quick to agree to marry Blackadder in place of his runaway bride.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: "...You said 'get the door'."
  • Bumbling Sidekick: A well-loved example.
  • Cunning Plan: They're really not that cunning.
  • Gag Penis: Shaped like a turnip apparently.
  • Genius Ditz: Considerably stupider than his great-grandfather, but retained some level of streetsmarts and cunning that his descendants never saw, and Blackadder did seem to have more faith in him to carry out schemes than he had in Percy.
    Baldrick: What, have you got a plan, My Lord?
    Blackadder: Yes I have, and it's so cunning you could brush your teeth with it! All I need is some feathers, a dress, some oil, an easel, some sleeping draught, lots of paper, a prostitute, and the best portrait painter in England.
    Baldrick: I'll get them right away, My Lord! (rushes out)
    (sure enough, in the next scene he returns with everything on Blackadder's hastily recited list. Well, except for the prostitute. Fortunately, Percy is able to fill that role.)
  • Identical Grandson: In looks if not brains.
  • Old Retainer :
    Baldrick: I've been in your service since I was two and a half, my lord.
    Blackadder: Well, that must be why I'm so utterly sick of the sight of you.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass

Lord Percy Percy

Played By: Tim McInnerny

"Oh, Edmund, could it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a lump of purest green?"'

  • Butt Monkey: Often gets the worst end of Blackadder's schemes. The worst is probably when he has to sleep with the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
  • Flat Character: Much to McInnerny's frustration. By the end of this series he felt the character's potential had been completely exhausted and declined to reprise the role in the third series (he only did a one-shot role), though he returned as a regular in the fourth thanks to getting a completely different one.
  • Identical Grandson: To the original Percy.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Although he's not ill-natured.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Percy thinks that he and Edmund are best friends and would give his last coin to him, and regards Edmund's constant insults as nothing more than a sign of Edmund's "wit".

Queen Elizabeth "Queenie" I

"Sometimes I think about having you executed, just to see the expression on your face."
Played By: Miranda Richardson

"I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach...of a concrete elephant!"


Played By: Patsy Byrne

"Out you popped, out of your Mummy's tummy and everybody shouting : "It's a boy, it's a boy!". And somebody said "But it hasn't got a winkle!". And then I said "A boy without a winkle? God be praised, it is a miracle. A boy without a winkle!" And then Sir Thomas More pointed out that a boy without a winkle is a girl. And everyone was really disappointed."

  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Dirty Old Woman: Blackadder describes her as a "sad, insane old woman with an udder fixation."
  • Embarrassing First Name: Bernard, as she reveals to the sailor she falls in love with. She doesn't seem that bothered by it.
  • Everyone Calls Her Nursie: No wonder.
  • Expy: Of the traditional portrayal of the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet note .
  • Gender-Blender Name: Bernard, yeah... also had three sisters called Donald Eric and Basil.
  • Old Retainer: She's been with Elizabeth since birth; perhaps that's why she's the only person the Queen never threatens to execute.

Lord Melchett

Played By: Stephen Fry

"As private parts to the gods are we! They play with us for their sport!"

Lord Flashheart

Played By: Rik Mayall

I've got a plan! And it's as HOT as my PANTS!


Played By: Gabrielle Glaister

"Father, I must speak. I can be silent no longer. All day long you muttered to yourself, gibber, dribble, moan and bat your head against the wall, yelling "I want to die". Now you may say I'm leaping to conclusions but you're not completely happy, are you?"

The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells

Played By: Ronald Lacey

"I will have my money or....YOUR BOTTOM WILL WISH IT HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!"

  • Anything That Moves
    "You see, I am a colossal pervert. No form of sexual depravity is too low for me. Animal, vegetable or mineral, I'll do anything to anything."
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration
    Bishop: "You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church?"
    Edmund: "No, I could never get used to the underwear."
  • Child Eater: No children, Blackadder? In that case, I'll skip breakfast and get down to business..
  • Dirty Old Monk
  • Eats Babies: After drowning them during christenings.
  • Everyone Calls Him Bishop
  • Fat Bastard: But don't call him "Fatso" if you know what's good for you.
  • Loan Shark: Assistant manager of the Bank of the Black Monks of St. Herod ("Banking with a smile and a stab"). Their motto: "Repayment or revenge." He admits to Blackadder that he hates it when people pay up, as he rather enjoys what he gets to do to those who don't.
  • Sinister Minister: Played for Laughs.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In spite of the aforementioned baby-eating, he's apparently of good standing with the Queen and his parishioners. "As far as my flock is concerned, my one vice is a tipple before evensong." Blackadder gets the upper hand by endangering his reputation.

Prince Ludwig the Indestructible

Played By: Hugh Laurie

"We have met many times, although you knew me by another name. Do you recall a mysterious black marketeer and smuggler called Otto with whom you used to dine and plot and play the biscuit game at the Old Pizzle in Dover? Yes! I was the waitress."

    Blackadder The Third 

Mr. Edmund Blackadder, Esq. (Rowan Atkinson)

"A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a stack of French porn."

  • Alternate History: Ended up replacing Prince George.
  • Bad Boss: Frequently beats, insults, or coerces Baldrick into committing crimes.
  • Badass Longcoat: In accordance with Regency fashions.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In fairness, if George had had the sense to keep mum until Wellington actually left, Blackadder wouldn't have become king... but Blackadder certainly leaps at the opportunity.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: To the Prince, although he fleeces him handily in revenge.
  • Byronic Hero: He is an utter bastard, but he does an ignominious job for a total moron knowing that his sires were nobility and kings.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He has no illusions about what kind of person he is. When Napoleon advertises for a "lying, malicious, unprincipled cad" to be King of Sardinia, Blackadder gives it serious consideration.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: He has to try and get George to realize that, first of all, the play is fiction. Second, the bomb that an anarchist just threw at him is not. (He fails in the latter.)
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To Prince George
  • Everyone Has Standards: He may have the stupidest master in all of London, but he knows when he's had enough, specifically when insulted by two pompous hams.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
  • Gold Digger: Wanted to marry Amy Hardwood so he could get her money and then escape to the West Indies.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Can do anything from rigging elections to impersonating his master.
  • Identical Grandson: We could've named it "The Blackadder".
  • Impoverished Patrician: All the Blackadder land, titles and money are gone by this point.
  • The Jeeves: Defied. While he's certainly much cleverer and more level-headed than his master, he only ever acts with his own interests in mind.
  • Kick the Dog: When he walks into the kitchen after a bad day, he boots a cat across the room For the Evulz. He explains to Baldrick that this works down the evolutionary ladder, with the cat pouncing on a mouse and the mouse attacking Baldrick in the britches.
    Edmund: You are last in God's great chain, Baldrick. Unless there's an earwig somewhere you'd like to victimize.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He can pretty easily manipulate George into doing whatever Blackadder wants.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Servile Snarker
  • Smug Adder: Constantly.
  • The Snark Knight
  • The Starscream: Although he tries to protect George from Wellington, he immediately decides to continue the charade and take the throne after the prince is shot.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Took a Level in Badass
  • Villain Protagonist: Arguably the most cold-hearted member of the dynasty; he kills or has killed at least seven people in six episodes ( the voter and returning officer for Dunny-on-the-Wold; Lords Topper and Smedley; the actors Keanrick and Mossop; and Amy Hardwood, the Shadow.)

Underscrogsman-Lord "Sod-off" Baldrick (Tony Robinson)

"I am as stupid as I look, sir, but if I can help, I will."

  • Bumbling Sidekick: Natch.
  • Butt Monkey: He has to endure Blackadder's constant abuse and being dragged along in interactions with more dangerous people.
  • Cunning Plan: When awaiting execution by the French, his scheme is to wait until their heads have been cut off before they spring into action.
  • The Ditz: So much so that he considers becoming a professional Village Idiot.
    • Unfortunately he attended the final interview, thus losing the job to the bloke who didn't come.
  • The Dragon: A particularly incompetent one to Blackadder.
  • Identical Grandson: Although he did lose the beard.
  • Manchild: He's very childish, believes in fairies, and thinks that dead souls are freckles on the nose of the Giant Pixie.
  • The Pigpen: He's so filthy that Blackadder describes his clothing as the Dung collection with matching hairball accessories, before comparing his trousers to Pandora's Box.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass once again.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Turnips, to the point of spending L.400,000 (supposed to be spent on bribing the Lords) in a giant one, which Edmund promptly smashes on Balders' head .

George Augustus Frederick, The Prince Regent (Hugh Laurie)

"Only the other day, Prime Minister Pitt called me an "idle scrounger," and it wasn't until ages later that I thought how clever it would've been to have said, "Oh, bugger off, you old fart!" I need to improve my mind, Blackadder. I want people to say, "That George, why, he's as clever as a stick in a bucket of pig swill.""

  • The Ditz: The guy is outsmarted by Baldrick and can barely make it through a day without Blackadder's help.
  • Historical Beauty Update: Actually, paintings of young George aren't so bad (keeping in mind that it's painted to a romantic ideal rather than a true representation of the idiosyncratic facial qualities of the person in question) but he certainly didn't look like Hugh Laurie.
  • Informed Flaw: Much is made of his supposed fatness, and while the historical Prince George was indeed quite the pig, the same can't be said for Hugh Laurie.
  • Large Ham: HURRAH!
  • Prince Charming / Prince Charmless: Debatable. While he is a crass, dense, loudmouthed buffoon with "all the intellect of a jugged walrus and all the social graces of a potty", he has been known to seduce bombshells on occasion.
  • Royal Brat: Even though he's a grown man, he often throws hissyfits and is totally self-absorbed.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Incapable of puting on his own trousers without Blackadder's help.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He nearly dies when he assumes that a bomb thrown at him by an anarchist is All Part of the Show, and has to be talked out of swanking around Revolutionary France in full princely regalia. And then he provokes the Duke of Wellington into killing him for saying that he's the real prince after Blackadder survives the duel. Wellington doesn't believe him, but he's so outraged at the "insult" to the "prince" that he shoots George on the spot.
  • Upper-Class Twit: And has more than a few similarties to Bertie Wooster, (who was also played by Hugh Laurie).

Mrs. Miggins (Helen Atkinson-Wood)

  • All Love Is Unrequited: At one point she confesses hoping that Blackadder would settle down with her and they would await the slither of tiny Adders.
  • Different in Every Episode: Her costuming and coffeeshop usually reflect whatever subject the plot is centered on—in "Duel and Duality" she wears tartan, in "Nob and Nobility" the shop is infested with exiled Frenchman and she's changed the menu to reflect it, and "Sense and Senility" has her in heavy stage makeup.
  • Lethal Chef: Blackadder calls her coffee "hot brown water with grit in it" and her "French" menu uses horse's willies as sausages, and her "Scarlet Pimpernel Sauce" is made of frogs.

The Duke of Wellington (Stephen Fry)

  • Badass: Only a mad Scotsman with a claymore or a kilt could get the better of him.
  • BFG: He fights duels with cannons.
  • Honor Before Reason: Even when finding that the "Prince" is smarter than rumor has it, Wellington still finds it necessary to kill him.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • General Failure: His first idea for crushing Napoleon is to send Nelson to Alaska in case Boney tries to come around the North Pole. It's Blackadder who suggests harrying him amidships at Trafalgar.
  • General Ripper: His regimental crest is two crossed dead Frenchman emblazoned on a mound of dead Frenchmen.
  • Large Ham: His general strategy: Shout, shout, and shout again!
  • Overprotective Dad: Uncle, actually. Even though it was his nieces who approached George and took him home to Apsley House, Wellington's vowed to kill anyone who meddles with his family. (Of course, unmarried sex was a much bigger deal back then.)

    Blackadder Goes Forth 

Capt. Edmund Blackadder DSO

Played By: Rowan Atkinson

"For us, the Great War is finito, a war which would be a damn sight simpler if we just stayed in England and shot fifty thousand of our men a week."

  • A Father to His Men: Well, A Cruel Abusive Stepfather To His Men maybe...
  • Ambiguously Evil: It's debatable wether he is evil or not. He is a massive jerk, but clearly the least malicious Blackadder from the main series and he has his better moments, see Jerk with a Heart of Gold and the Heartwarming Entry for examples.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV or V. The least evil Blackadder in the main series. See Jerk with a Heart of Gold below.
  • Byronic Hero: As usual, a selfish cad, but wanting to get out of World War I is an easy motivation to understand.
  • The Captain: To a rather incompetent squad.
  • Cowardly Lion: Though oddly he arguably isn't actually cowardly at all. He very definitely doesn't want to die, but it's hard to blame him, since his death would be entirely pointless. And when he's unavoidably placed in genuinely very dangerous situations (crawling across a minefield, captured by Germans, facing a court martial, going over the top) he keeps his cool.
  • Cultured Warrior: His snarky remarks often border on poetic. His lines in the last episode in particular:
    Blackadder: The guns have stopped because we're about to attack. Not even our generals are mad enough to shoot our own men. They think it's far more sporting to let the Germans do it.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Face Death with Dignity: After all his efforts to avoid going over the top, you'd probably expect him to freak out when he learns there's no escape, but no, he handles it pretty well.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: To quote the man himself on his service in Africa (which made his reputation as a competent soldier), "[T]he prerequisite for any battle was that the enemy should under no circumstances carry guns". He became known as the 'Hero of Mboto Gorge' in 1892, where he had faced "ten thousand Watusi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and dry guava halves". Needless to say, none of this prepared him at all for fighting in the trenches.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic.
  • Genre Blind: He should have known by "Corporal Punishment" that Baldrick and George are incredibly Literal-Minded.
  • Identical Grandson: Shouldn't even have to say it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: To a very slight extent. He's still not remotely a nice person, but he can bring himself to feel sympathy for Darling and wish the others good luck in the final episode, and he does at one point compliment George's paintings. Also, despite being a soldier, he is the only Blackadder in the four seasons not to commit murder - unless you count Speckled Jim.
  • Lovable Coward: As mentioned in Cowardly Lion above. It's debatable whether he is cowardly or not. Even if he is, he is often viewed as sympathetic to the audience because he is placed in WWI. Who can blame him for trying to get away, especially when his superior is an Ax-Crazy General Failure?
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • The Neidermeyer: A relatively mild example. He regards the men under his command as incompetent fools... which in his defense, they mostly are. They seem to admire him, however.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Pet the Dog: In the final episode Blackadder treats Darling very gently after Melchett sends him to the Front, respectfully addressing him as 'Captain Darling' when he shows up at the trench (somewhat reminiscent of King Richard and Edmund in the finale of the original series), and a few moments later asking him how he felt about going over the top. Pretty moving stuff considering they have spent the last five episodes hating each other.
    • It is possible that Blackadder's main reason for hating Darling was that Darling had succeeded in what Blackadder had been trying to do for the entire war; get the hell out of the trenches. When it became clear that both he and Darling were not getting out of it, he didn't have any reason to hate Darling any more (although there's not much chance of Blackadder liking him any more because of it).
  • Reluctant Warrior: He does everything in his power to avoid going into battle. A closer look at the series shows that he rarely carries his sidearm unless he has to (such as when visiting HQ) and even then, doesn't appear to keep it loaded (we see him loading it before going over the top in the finale).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He becomes much nicer in comparison to other series, especially in the final episode when he realizes that he can’t escape the trenches alive. Not once does he insult his men and he even shows respect towards Captain Darling.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Although he's more sympathetic than his forebears. Nobody could blame him for wanting to escape the hellish insanity of the trenches.
  • Warrior Poet: See Cultured Warrior.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He comes to the conclusion that Nurse Mary is the spy in "General Hospital" and gives a perfectly coherent reason as to why. He's ultimately wrong though, the real “spy” was an unwitting George who sent letters to relatives in Germany.

Pvt. S. Baldrick

Played By: Tony Robinson

"Why can't we just stop, sir? Why couldn't we just say "No more killing, let's all go 'ome?" Why would it be stupid just to pack it in, sir? Why?!"

  • Anti-Hero: Type I
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Despite his unprecedented idiocy, Baldrick also points out the utter insanity of World War One: at any point, the general soldiery on all sides could have simply banded together and refused to fight any more, and had shown such potential earlier in the war. He doesn't know why they don't do it, and nobody can tell him why, either.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: The stupidest and foulest Baldrick of all, which is no small feat.
  • Cunning Plan
  • Deadpan Snarker: Only when he's hungover.
  • The Ditz
  • Dumbass Has a Point: See Armor-Piercing Question above.
  • Identical Grandson
  • Lethal Chef: "How did you manage to extract so much 'custard' from such a small cat?"
  • Man Child
  • Mythology Gag: His first initial is S, which is a Call Back to the Regency Era Baldrick, whose first name was Sod Off.
    • He worked at a factory on Turnip St. The Elizabethan and Regency Baldricks had some anecdotes with turnips.
  • Sole Survivor: All of the Turnip Street Workhouse Pals Battalion are dead, save for him.
  • Team Chef: A fairly lethal one. Whenever his food tastes like something disgusting (for instance, dog turds in glue), that's because it's exactly that.
  • Took A Level In Dumbas: now to the point of "terminal stupidity".
  • Warrior Poet: Well, he tries. His efforts at poetry are disastrous, especially The German Guns (which consists of him repeating the phrase "Boom boom boom!").

Lt. George C. St Barleigh

Played By: Hugh Laurie

"Permission for lip to wobble, sir?"

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Although Blackadder doesn't admit it aloud.
  • Boisterous Weakling: His (apparent) fearlessness is as complete as his survival skills are non-existent.
  • Ensign Newbie
  • Hidden Depths: He's not as much of a Patriotic Fervor filled twit as he initially seems- he's a gifted artist and ultimately admits to fear of dying in battle.
    • Also despite said fear of dying in battle (and his near certainty that he will die in the oncoming charge) he imminently refuses to leave the trenches when Melchett offers to take him back to Britain for a boat race, showing just how seriously he takes the whole "King and Country" thing.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Compared to his more spoiled arrogant form in the third series, this George spends the majority of the series idealistic, selfless and undyingly loyal to Edmund, albeit just as brainless.
  • Sole Survivor: In the last episode, he mentions that he joined the Army with along with his friends from Cambridge, the "Trinity Tiddlers", and by then, he's the only one left alive of the group. (Which was Truth in Television. The pals battalions were a real thing, and the Great War was the last time friends joining en masse was allowed, as it led to whole villages, towns and communities being decimated.)
  • Token Good Teammate
  • Upper-Class Twit: Not as upper-class as the Prince, but has the personality down, pat.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Seems blissfully unaware of Captain Blackadder's contempt for him.
  • Wham Line: In perhaps a first in television history, it actually occurs mid-line when George's bravado gives way to near panic. Any laughs from the audience for the remainder of the episode are nervous ones at best.
    "I'm... scared, sir."
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: For a drag act in a talent show. But General Melchett doesn't realize that's what it is and falls head-over-heels.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He volunteered for the army as soon as the war began, and he whole-heartedly believes in the propaganda rag "King and Country."

Gen. Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett

Played By: Stephen Fry

"You know, over these last few years, I've come to think of you as a sort of son. Not a favourite son of course, Lord no, more a sort of illegitimate back-stair sort of sprog, y'know, the sort of spotty squid that nobody really likes."

  • Badass Mustache: Wears a 'stache so magnificent, he covers it with a hairnet while he sleeps.
  • Bad Boss: When Darling said that he needed a convincing injury so that he could spy on a field hospital, Melchett shot his foot on spot. This is easily the least of his crimes.
  • Bait the Dog: As noted, he initially seems a lot more amusing and likable than he actually is.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Melchett's played as though he's having the time of his life, and thinks everyone else is, too, with Darling and Blackadder as straight men to his antics. Subverted in the final episode when he sends Darling to his death with barely a thought.
  • Expy: Of Field-marshal Haig
  • General Failure: A parody of WW1 Generals, meaning that his particular brand of strategic incompetence wasn't very removed from real life...
  • Hot-Blooded: A far cry from his soft-spoken ancestor.
  • Identical Grandson: Obviously of the Melchett of the second season, but also an Expy of the Duke of Wellington in the third season, who was also played by Stephen Fry. Wellington was likewise presented as a Hot-Blooded and crazy military man, but he was actually competent.
  • Jerkass: Melchett isn't just incompetent, he's totally insensitive to the well-being of others and might even be a sociopath.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite senselessly, obliviously ordering countless men to their deaths on the Western Front, including his own very-much-reluctant right hand man, Melchett is the only major character to survive the entire fourth series.
  • Large Ham: BAAAAA!!
  • Love at First Sight: With "Georgina." He proposes after a few days of knowing her.
  • The Neidermeyer: He is distraught by the death of his pigeon "Speckled Jim", yet blissfully uncaring about the fifty thousand men a week dying in the trenches. His bizarre tactics that help expedite the latter include "doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before" and "climbing out of [the] trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy". Sadly, both are to some extent Truth in Television.
  • Pet the Dog: His love for his pet pigeon. However, any sympathy he'd get for that is subverted by his callousness toward running over George's rabbit when George was a child, and of course his apathy toward his troops' lives.
    • In the last episode he casually offers George a ticket out of the trenches (and the imminent suicide attack he is about to order)
  • Stupid Boss
  • Token Evil Teammate
  • Took a Level in Jerkass
  • Verbal Tic: His "baahing", often interpreted as a Call Back to his ancestor's "affection" for sheep, but according to Stephen Fry who played him, he had in mind that Melchett had hemorrhoids.
  • War Is Glorious: Believes in this trope fanatically, which seems to be why he gets on rather well (Pigeon incident aside) with Blackadder due to him being a frontline soldier, and why he never even imagines he could want out of the insane nightmare. Unfortunately this is also why he is so utterly callous and blind to the carnage and suffering of the trenches, and why he "rewards" Darling's loyal service by sending him to die on the front lines.

Capt. Kevin Darling

Played By: Tim McInnerny

"Just doing my job, Blackadder. Obeying orders...and, of course, having enormous fun into the bargain."

  • Anti-Hero: Type IV or V
  • Beleaguered Assistant
  • Defrosting Ice King
  • Desk Jockey: Enjoys being Melchett's personal staff officer, mainly because it minimises his risk of being killed in action. He claims he has a wonderful evening when two lorry loads of paperclips arrive. He's also trying to get transferred to an even easier assignment with the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps.
  • Heroic BSOD: When Melchett sends him to combat.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Compared to Melchett.
  • Jerkass
  • Not So Different: He's basically in the position Blackadder aspires to being: Away from the prospect of certain death. When he's transferred to the front, he and Blackadder are a lot more respectful towards each other.
  • The Rival: To Blackadder.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: He and Blackadder have a lot in common, but they never miss an opportunity to insult each other and get each other killed. Until it's too late to bother.
  • Smug Snake
  • Twitchy Eye: It took McInnerny a while to shake it after the show was completed.
  • Unfortunate Names: Word of God is that the character only began to take shape after they changed his surname from Cartwright. He went from being a formless character to a person steeped in a lifetime's worth of bitterness from being called "Darling" all the time.
    "What is the matter with you today, Darling?!"
    "Darling you're hysterical."

Squadron Com. The Lord Flashheart

Played By: Rik Mayall

"Cancel the state funeral, tell the King to stop blubbing, Flash is NOT DEAD! I simply ran out of JUICE - and before all the girls start going "Oh, what's the point of living anymore?" I'm talkin' about PETROL! WOOF WOOF!"

Kate, AKA Bob Parkhurst

Played By: Gabrielle Glaister

"Permission to slip into something more uncomfortable, sir."

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen

Played By: Adrian Edmondson

"How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the basis of an entire culture.