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."
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.
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.
Baldrick, Son Of Robin The Dung-Gatherer (Tony Robinson)
"I have a cunning plan that cannot fail..."
Cunning Plan: Hilariously, the first Cunning Plan a Baldrick comes up with is the only one that actually works. And it's stupidly simple: Get McAngus to stick his head inside a cannon and blow him up with it.
Gag Penis: Supposedly not very big, if the Queen is to be trusted.
Historical-Domain Character: He's one of the "Princes in the Tower" grown up (in this imagining, not only is Richard III being evil a slander by Henry VII, but Henry also erased the existence of a dynasty). Part of the joke is the contrast between the sweet kid he used to be and how he is now.
Tranquil Fury: For all his bellowing and bluster, his most genuinely terrifying and chilling moment is when, after manipulating Edmund into becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, he very calmly informs Edmund that if he crosses him at any point ever, he will "do unto you what God did unto the Sodomites."
With This Herring: He manages to defeat ten thousand Turks armed with only a small knife used for peeling fruit.
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."
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.
"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).
Morality Pet: Edmund is noticably nicer towards her than he is towards anyone else.
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 Sealnote Sir Wilfred Death (John Hallam), Three-Fingered Pete (Roger Sloman), Guy de Glastonbury (Patrick Malahide), Sean the Irish Bastard (Ron Cook), Friar Bellows (Paul Brooke), Jack Large (Mick Walter).
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."
Affably Evil: Guy de Glastonbury is perfectly polite and charming when holding up travellers for their money and their life.
Badass: Sir Wilfred Death gets attacked by three knight. Defeats all three of them without getting a scratch.
Black Knight: Sir Wilfred Death, if his "sir" is a genuine Knight title.
"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."
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Is never mentioned until about halfway through the last episode of the first series, when Edmund mentions him as being his greatest adversary. Seconds later he appears in person, and immediately takes over as the bad guy.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
"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?"
Paper-Thin Disguise: The only thing she did that even remotely resembles disguising as a man is calling herself "Bob". Still fooled Edmund though.
Fat Bastard: But don't call him "Fatso" if you know what's good for you.
Incoming Ham: "I AM THE BABY EATING BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS!"
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.
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.
"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."
The Bad Guy Wins: Succeeds in killing the entire court of Elizabeth I and, apparently, successfully impersonating her for the rest of "her" reign.
Spotting the Thread: Blackadder recognizes him because his costume is too good. (He's impersonating Nursie as a cow and makes the fatal mistake of wearing a costume that looks like a cow, rather than some sort of ungulate with three udders.)
"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."
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.
Cloudcuckoolanders 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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 Watutsi 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.
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 wether 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-CrazyGeneral Failure?
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).
Took a Level in Kindness: He becomes much nicer 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.
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?!"
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.
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.)
Spoiled Sweet: He comes from a rich aristocratic family, but he's an idealistic nice guy. He also refused to use his connections to avoid the trenches.
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."
"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.
General Failure: A parody of WW1 Generals, meaning that his particular brand of strategic incompetence wasn't very removed from real life...
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.
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)
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."
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.
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.
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!"
Fake Ultimate Hero: This incarnation of Flashheart is this. Brave and dashing, handsome, bold, admired by all, adored by the ladies, and laughed in the face of danger. Also an arrogant prat who boasted constantly, lied, sucked up to his superiors, patronised his admirers, and treated women as sex objects. And the only reason he always won was because he was an underhanded bastard who cheated and played dirty.
For the Lulz: He risks his life to save Blackadder and Baldrick, who he doesn't even like. Why? Just for the hell of it.
Expy: He's obviously supposed to be the equivalent of Ludwig from the second season, but Identical Grandson isn't in play because Laurie is playing a different, also German descended role in this series.