Characters / Brave

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The Royal Family

     Princess Merida 

As the eldest child of King Fergus and Queen Elinor of DunBroch, her life is weighted with responsibilities and expectations. When Merida blatantly defies an ancient tradition, the consequences of her actions prove disastrous for the kingdom—and especially when innocent bystanders end up affected. She races against time to make right the result of her reckless behavior, and mend the bond torn by pride.

Voiced by: Kelly Macdonald

  • Action Dress Rip: During the archery contest. Not the skirt, but the back, shoulders and sleeves by flexing, which is realistic given the action in question.
  • Action Girl: When confronted with Mor'du, a monster of a bear, she notches an arrow and fires. In the climax, she gets the better of the three chiefs and her father in close combat.
  • Archer Archetype: Averted. Although she's certainly skilled with a bow and arrow, she's less calm and composed and more of a Fiery Redhead.
  • Art Shift: As with Rapunzel, Merida was given a 2D redesign in order to fit the Disney Princess franchise.
  • Badass: How badass is Merida? Well, aside from using Loophole Abuse to win the archery tournament for her own hand in marriage, climbing the Firefalls, facing Mor'du multiple times even when her arrows were having no effect, and facing her own father in sword combat to protect her mother... she manages to sew a tapestry while galloping on horseback through a raging thunderstorm. She gets it from both parents.
  • Badass Boast: "I'll be fighting for my own hand!"
  • Badass Family: Belongs to one.
  • Badass Princess: "A princess does not put her weapons on the table."
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She wanted to avoid marriage and is horrified at what happens when she finds a way. The three chiefs declare war on each other and her father because of it, and her mother is turned into a bear.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Although she seems to favor the former, she's shown wielding the latter like a pro.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: A rare tomboy variant of this. Before Character Development she comes off as a selfish, disrespectful, stubborn girl who insults her mother and refuses to admit her mistakes. She gets better over the course of the movie with Merida learning to be more mature and open minded, even regarding her relationship with her mother.
  • Brave Scot: She has the same valor as the ancient kings, and her father notes that drinking from the Fire Falls is a feat of the very brave.
  • Break the Haughty: Her character development is letting go of her selfishness and growing up. So she irresponsibly made the wish of having her mother change, not expecting to take the first steps to grab her own destiny? Well, her dear mother and her brothers shall be transformed into bears, and Merida will have to fix up this big mess herself and learn that she must put some effort on being a better person, as well as able to forge her way in life!
  • Cassandra Truth: Her father doesn't believe in magic. Nor does he believe Merida when she tries to explain that the bear in the castle is actually his wife.
  • Celibate Heroine: She doesn't want to get married, and has no Love Interest in the movie - a first for a Disney Princess. Though Young MacGuffin did get her attention, and she does look stunned when she thinks a strapping Conan-type is Dingwall's son.
  • Character Development: Merida goes from a selfish and stubborn child to a mature, level-headed young lady that now knows when to admit to her mistakes.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Drawing a bowstring is no mere effort. Hitting bullseye after bullseye with a bow isn't either. She can also tear a dress apart simply by flexing while wearing it, bend wrought-iron fireplace implements, and has enough strength to lock blades with her father when he was about to kill her ursified mother.
  • Compressed Hair: Merida wears a tight-fitting headdress as part of her royal attire, which must be a bother given the untamed mass of her hair.
  • Cool Big Sis: Her brothers only like their dad's story when she tells it. Especially notable for being the FIRST older sister in the entire princess franchise (Ariel's the youngest in her family, and it can be debatable whether or not Cinderella's step-siblings count—all the other princess' are only children).
  • Daddy's Girl: Gets along much better with Fergus than with Elinor because she doesn't want to be a Proper Lady. Merida and her mom become much closer by the end of the movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often - a notable example is her exchanging quips with her father about the three suitors during the tournament.
  • Didn't Think This Through: She makes an incredibly vague spell request to a witch with an obvious bear obsession who initially refuses because of "too many unsatisfied customers".
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Merida's main motivation is based upon this trope. This is medieval Scotland, after all. Played with somewhat in that she's acknowledged what's coming, the issue came from that thought being shoved in her face all the time.
    Merida: "...I'm just not ready..."
  • Fiery Redhead: Headstrong, passionate, and with hair colored more like fire than the usual examples halfway down her back.
  • Genre Blind: Appears to be completely ignorant of wish tropes beyond bare knowledge of the concept itself. She insists on getting the magic spell even though the Witch tries to talk her out of and explicitly says that she stopped doing it because it always goes badly.
  • Girliness Upgrade:
    • Most dolls of Merida have her looking far more ladylike than she really is. The Disney store model is closer to the original, but the Mattel collection barely resembles her. This even extends to the tie-in toy archery sets; while the Disney Store's are a rather accurate replica of her bow, the ones available at other stores are purple.
    • Her appearance in the Disney Princess line has people debating over whether or not Merida is girlier, whether that's bad, whether it's overdone, etc. Detractors include Brenda Chapman, the first person assigned to direct the film.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Although not as blatant as Elinor, the turquoise dress she's effectively forced into (by Elinor, naturally; see True Blue Femininity entry below) is the closest she gets. For most of the film her dresses of choice tend to be simpler but no less nice.
  • The Heroine: Merida is the main protagonist of Brave.
  • Hidden Depths: The sequence where both Merida and her mother "talk to each other" shows that she's fully aware of the repercussions for her Rebellious Princess attitude (namely that said action is an open invitation for a clan war), she's just genuinely uprepared emotionally for what she will eventually have to become and is at something of a loss for how she should go about it all.
  • Horse Archer: Merida's contest of choice is archery because she is an ace with a bow and arrow. She can even hit a perfect bullseye while on horseback. She doesn't share the calmness and self-possession that usually comes with Archer Archetype role, instead matching the untamed power of the horse.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's more comfortable riding horesback and shooting at arrow targets then sitting at home and calmly discussing matters of state. It also bites her in the ass badly, as she decides to make a rash, open stand against her mother and tradition in such a way as to anger the lords and threaten to start a war.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Deconstructed. Merida's desire to be free from the destiny handed down to her causes her to make rash and potentially disastrous decisions.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Although not as blatant as Elinor, the turquoise dress she's effectively forced into would be extremely lovely if not for how uncomfortable it makes Merida. The dress she wears at the end of the movie, which is barely seen, is both elegant and practical.
  • In the Hood: Hides her head on a few occasions with the hood of her cape.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: More along the "youthful" and "inexperienced" categories than really "innocent".
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Immature and ht headed as she may be, Merida wasn't wrong on about her mother's controlling nature in her life.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's stubborn, rebellious, sarcastic, and rather self-centered...but underneath it all, she has a kind and heroic heart.
  • Like Parent Like Child: Merida has traits from both of her parents:
    • Merida clearly has inherited her mother's stubbornness and pride (contrary to Elinor's opinion). In the end, it turns out there's badassery in her mother too.
    • From her father, Merida is very much a chip off the old block when it comes to her love of fighting, weapons, and woods exploration, and her overall badassery.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: When she was presented with her potential husbands, she seemed quite interested in Young MacGuffin and, what she initially assumed was, Wee Dingwall. Both of whom were large and strong, just like her father.
  • Like Parent Unlike Child: Merida and Elinor differ in personality, hobbies, and temperaments. However, they do have a stubborn streak.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name means "honorable" in Gaelic.
  • Messy Hair: Normally her hair is loose and full instead of groomed like her mother.
  • Modest Royalty: Merida wears a loose dress and is always seen with a bow and arrow.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Her reaction when she realizes that her fate-changing spell has Gone Horribly Right.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "I am Merida! Firstborn descendant of the Clan DunBroch, and I'll be shooting for my own hand!"
  • Never My Fault: For the majority of the film, Merida blames her mother, being given a Baleful Polymorph into a bear, on the witch who gave her her fate-changing spell, instead of acknowledging that she commited a huge mistake. It's only at the end of the film after she believes she's lost her mother that she breaks down and says she's sorry.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The main conflict of the film is largely Merida's fault because she throws three bullseye into the bethroal tradition.
  • Of Corset Hurts: At one point, Queen Elinor dresses Princess Merida up in a corset, and Merida complains that she can't breathe. What's really odd about all this is that the movie takes place in Medieval Scotland, and corsets shouldn't exist yet.
  • Official Couple: Averted. Merida's the first Disney Princess to not have a love interest.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Horseback riding, cliff climbing, etc. Notable amongst the Disney Princess line in that she has the opportunity for a comfortable, indoors life but chooses against it. The only other example is Pocahontas, who naturally enjoys nature.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: One daughter versus three sons.
  • Plucky Girl: Her mother transforming into a bear was a shock but quickly made a plan for keeping her safe and fixing the problem.
  • Politically Active Princess: King Fergus and the Scottish lords on the verge of war when Princess Merida brings the four factions back together and declares that one should choose who he marries according to his heart. Her suitors agree, stating that their arranged marriage was their fathers' idea. Thus, the clan leaders agree that their sons must win Merida's heart before winning her hand.
  • Quirky Curls: Yet another contrast with her mother who has two smooth, perfect plaits.
  • Rapunzel Hair: It goes down to her hips, even being incredibly curly. Likely it would be as long as her mother's if straightened out.
  • Rebellious Princess: Deconstructed; Merida's particular brand of rebellion instigates the beginnings of a clan war and nearly gets her mother killed. Contrast with Princess Jasmine, who shares the same attitude of "I don't want to be a princess if I have to have my life dictated", but whose actions (like attacking foreign princes) never have consequences beyond making her endearing.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Merida is a damned good shot in archery; hitting three bulls-eyes in a row and splitting the other guy's arrow on the third with so much force it breaks through the back of the target. She considers herself the winner of the contest for her hand.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: With the exception of having her dad's hair and eye colors, she looks identical to her mother (just younger).
  • Take a Third Option: She doesn't want to marry but she's intelligent enough to know that just cancelling the games will mortally offend the other clans ("We'll expect your declarations of war in the morning!"). Thus she decides to enter the games herself. This winds up with the same result and she then has to talk the clans into not fighting each other.
  • Teens Are Short: She's sixteen and is still shorter than her mother.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Elinor's Girly Girl; the contrast is the conflict.
  • Tomboy Princess: This is the root of the conflict with her mother; she hates the courtly education Elinor gives her and doesn't want to marry. She just wants to ride horses and practice archery.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By the end of the film, Merida has learn to appreciate and respect her mother.
  • True Blue Femininity: Elinor tries to invoke this trope by putting Merida in a more ladylike turquoise dress. The end of the movie sees both Elinor and Merida in a dress of a similar shade, indicating that they've accepted each other's differences and similarities.
  • Unkempt Beauty: She doesn't need her mother's courtly help to be attractive.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: When Merida was younger, she was a very small, cute child and had a close relationship with both her mother and her father. As she has grown up, Merida is still very energetic and free spirited, but has a more strained relationship with her mother (though she still holds the same good relationship with her father) and is more rebellious.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Implied when Merida returns home and tells her family of her adventure of climbing the Fire Falls. Notice that she asked her mother first about what she had done that day. She was visibly disappointed that her mother didn't hear of her accomplishments..
  • Wild Hair: It's wild because she spends so much time on a horse.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Heavily implied when she's introduced to her suitors. When she meets the Young MacGuffin, the biggest, she doesn't look all that annoyed. Then, notice her "awe" reaction to Young Dingwall, who turned out not be him. There's also the fact that, originally, she was going to choose the very huge and muscular, Young MacGuffin.
  • Youthful Freckles: For emphasis on the 'growing youth' aspect. She doesn't want to be a queen.

     Queen Elinor 

Queen Elinor is fiercely dedicated to the well being of her family and kingdom. As the measured, diplomatic counterpoint to her more impulsive husband, Elinor carries the weight of the kingdom on her shoulders in order to maintain the fragile peace between the volatile clans. Elinor strives to instill in Merida the knowledge and manner of a royal, but her vision of her daughter’s future is at odds with Merida’s desire to forge her own path.

Voiced by: Emma Thompson As a bear Voiced by: Frank Welker
  • Action Mom: Becomes one in the climax where she (as a bear) battles Mor'du.
  • Adorkable: Very much so as a bear for stumbling and other awkwardness.
  • Almighty Mom: There is an all-out, weapons-drawn brawl in the courtyard and what does she do? Calmly walk across it, grab the chiefs by their ears, and stare at her husband. All he can find to say is 'Yes, dear'.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She is tall, beautiful, has very long dark hair and possess a composed and graceful attitude.
  • Animal Motifs: Bears. Which gets even more meaningful when she transforms into a bear. She's also a Mama Bear in the climax.
  • Animorphism: She gets turned into a bear.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In the climax, she breaks a huge stone in half. How? By bashing it with a ten-foot-tall bear. Said bear is trying to kill her at the time. Everyone knows a queen outranks a prince.
  • Badass Pacifist: Elinor calmly walked through the Ballroom Blitz the clans have started in the throne room. Fierce warriors all bow and step aside, and she drags the four clan leaders (her husband included) back by the ear.
  • Beary Friendly: Grew into this after a while of being transformed into a bear.
  • Beary Funny: Much comedy is derived from her still acting like her queenly self in bear form.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Elinor is a perfect queen - polite, genteel, formal, a diplomat who abhors weapons and violence, always seeking to unite the clans and bring peace and prosperity to Scotland. When you threaten her daughter...
  • Big Good: Her grace and wisdom are what holds the kingdom together and is the one doing the talking for the royal family. She's worried that Merida will not be ready to step into her shoes.
  • Brainy Brunette: She is the only one in her family to have brown hair and is the only one capable of running the country.
  • Break the Haughty: She has similar pride issues as her daughter and changes in the same manner.
  • Brown Eyes: Is much more down to earth than her children and husband. She keeps them even as a bear.
  • Character Development: Elinor loses her perfectionist tendencies and becomes more open-minded.
  • Character Tics: As Fergus notes, she mumbles when something is troubling her.
  • Cool Crown: The focus on her crown is a plot point; she makes a point of wearing it after turning into a bear and when she doesn't, Merida starts panicking.
  • Curtains Match the Window: To contrast the rest of her family, both her eyes and hair are brown.
  • Death Glare: Is able to give a stare cold enough to halt an entire horde of vikings without saying a word.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Her Character Development is to be warmer with her daughter. She's already plenty warm with her husband.
  • Deuteragonist: She is just as important to the story as her daughter; they share the bulk of their screen time.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: At the end of the movie, Elinor wears her hair down without pigtails, gold ribbon, or her tiara, symbolizing her character development.
  • Fantasy Forbidding Mother: Downplayed, but Elinor's constant focus upon propriety and adhering to all the rules and conduct of a princess, while refusing to encourage Merida's love of tomboyish things and particularly battle comes across as this. She does allow Merida her bow, but only reluctantly, and refuses to allow it on the table. She's only doing this to try and prepare her daughter for marriage to preserve peace among the clans, but it can't be denied that Elinor's own personality and interests suggests she is also molding her daughter to be just like her and do what she deems worthwhile (see her opinion of the various woods skills Merida has picked up). Ironically, her father actually encourages such pursuits (something which would break gender roles) and seems to enjoy her taking after him, but doesn't try and force her to follow his path.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Emma Thompson heavily implies that Elinor was a lot like Merida in her teen years.
  • Good Parents: She falls into My Beloved Smother territory with her daughter, but it's obvious that she and Fergus love their children and take good care of them. The flashbacks to when Merida was little are strong examples of this.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Her dark blue dress is a work of art.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She wore a purple dress when Merida was a toddler.
  • Happily Married: To Fergus and this is the reason she can't understand Merida's resistance to arranged marriage. Kingdom's peace aside, her's turned out wonderfully.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Elinor fell in love with Fergus.
  • Hidden Depths: Elinor is the strict, controlling, Only Sane Woman of her family...she also has a strong belief in magic.
  • The High Queen: She has "the weight of the kingdom on her shoulders" and is obviously the more powerful of two.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Fergus; she could use his kilt as a tent.
  • I Am a Monster: She wrestles with this a few times after her ursine transformation.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: At the very end of the movie, she stops keeping her hair in long twin tails and instead leaves most of it flowing loose. Also counts as an Expository Hairstyle Change since it signifies that she has loosen up and is opening herself up to seeing things for Merida's point of view.
  • Like Parent Unlike Child: Merida and Elinor differ in personality, hobbies, and temperaments. However, they do have a stubborn streak.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Her hair is straighter and longer than her Tomboy daughter's.
  • Mama Bear: She becomes a literal one in the climax after Mor'du threatens her daughter.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The longer she stays in bear form, the more she gets overwhelmed by the bear's instincts.
  • Mum Looks Like A Sister: Merida is 16 and Elinor doesn't look like she's aged a bit.
  • My Beloved Smother: Merida doesn't like the fact that Elinor is "in charge of every single day of her life." To be fair, Elinor only wanted what was best for her daughter and was only applying what she learned as a child.
  • My Nayme Is: Spelled as "Elinor", not as the more common version "Eleanor".
  • The Not-Love Interest: Very unusual for a parent of The Protagonist. The parent-child relationship is one of the most widely praised parts of the movie even among critics who were disappointed.
  • Only Sane Woman: During the Ballroom Blitz scene she is the only adult to keep her cool.
  • Overprotective Mom: During the prologue, Elinor was visibly worried when a Little!Merida was using the bow for the first time.
  • Parenting the Husband: She often has to do this with Fergus; she yanks his ear like she would a naughty child. Ironically enough, she's implied to be younger than him.
  • The Perfectionist: Until her Character Development, she had to be the "perfect queen" and groom her daughter into one as well. After the movie, she loosens up a bit.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Though she admits that she was nervous at first which was news to Fergus if his reaction is any indication.
  • Proper Lady:
    Elinor: A lady enjoys elegant pursuits/rises early/does not stuff her gob/does not place her weapons on the table.
  • Rapunzel Hair: According to official technical trivia, her hair is about six and a half feet long unwrapped.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Her coronet; when she stops regarding it as requisite It's a sign she's losing herself to her bear-like mentality.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In the opening meal scene she is receiving letters of many sorts, thus implying she is the one handling matters of state.
  • Ruling Couple: King Fergus and Queen Elinor are both involved in the welfare of the kingdom.
  • Shout-Out: Her character design is remarkably similar to John Singer Sargent's painting "Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth".
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Despite her disapproval of weapons and tomboyish activities, there is no lack of spirit in her personality or steel in her spine. Warriors would rather stop fighting and bow then continue brawling when she passes.
  • Skunk Stripe: Most likely a sign of her age than anything supernatural... maybe.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Instead of "Eleanor", it's "Elinor".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Merida's Tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She goes from regally intimidating human woman to furious and super strong bear.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Elinor comes to accept Merida for who she is and stops trying to change her daughter.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Elinor breaks up the fight between the heads of the clans, she remains very, very calm (certainly calmer than everyone else in the room). When she talks to Merida after the archery competition, the fury is... less tranquil.
  • True Blue Femininity: At the end of the movie, she wears a dark blue dress, which is a shade darker than her daughter's.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Hot Wife to Ferges's Ugly Guy. The couple are also the trope's image.
  • Unflinching Walk:
    • Elinor walks very calmly through the massive fight scene going on in the throne room with the intent of putting a stop to it.
    • She also does this when Merida crashes the archery contest, though she's much less calm. Also note that, while everyone else is clearly stunned by Merida's actions, Elinor is the only person in the scene who tries to stop her.
  • The Unintelligible: As a bear she can't speak human.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: She dislikes Merida's tomboyish and rebellious personality and wants her to be an elegant and feminine princess.
  • Women Are Wiser: Deconstructed. Although Elinor is obviously a better administrator than her husband, the central conflict of the story is she's too obstinate to see the world from her daughter's point of view. Fergus, on the other hand, may have understood that this was the real problem and was attempting to get Elinor to recognize that when he pretended to be Merida. In other words, she's wiser in some ways than her husband but not in others as is more likely in real life.

     King Fergus 
King Fergus is a heroic warrior with a knobby peg leg – the result of his much-regaled skirmish with the demon bear Mor’du. His vendetta against the beast who took his leg makes Fergus a ferocious and determined bear hunter. Protector of his kingdom and family, Fergus has a heart as big as his triplet sons are mischievous and boundless love for his wife, Queen Elinor. But his pride for his first-born daughter Merida is unmatched, and he has gifted her his great skill and passion for the sword and the bow.

Voiced by: Billy Connolly
  • Action Dad: When his family is in danger his response is call his soldiers and draw his sword.
  • Animal Motifs: Bears. He wears a cape made of bear skin and hunts them for sport.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He is considered the protector of the kingdom.
  • Badass His hobbies include hunting bears, and several of his trophies can be seen around the castle.
  • Badass Beard: He's a hairy king.
  • Badass Cape: Appears to be made of bearskin.
  • Badass Family: The patriarch of one.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Fergus sports a stereotypical beard for barbarians (he isn't one) and he loves to fight.
  • Big Eater: "Stuffing her gob" is a trait she inherited from him.
  • Big Fun: He forestalls a war by entertaining the kings; feasts and songs and a hunt in the castle...
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Fergus has thick, red eyebrows.
  • Blood Knight: Fergus isn't a violent man by any means, but he does love a good fight, whether he's in it or not.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A big hotblooded guy who is at home in parties with chiefs and fighting bears.
  • A Boy and His X: A Man And His Two Deerhounds. Fergus has a close relationship with his two unnamed deerhounds.
  • Brave Scot: These are abound in this movie, but Fergus has particular note for having the intestinal fortitude to punch Mor'du in the climax when no other weapon avails him (And of course being the sovereign of a kingdom of them).
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Fergus may be a Blood Knight, but he loves his family dearly (they are a HUGE soft spot for him).
  • Bumbling Dad: He tries to be the Wise King but stumbles in speeches. On the other hand, he understand his children better than his wife does.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • When the triplets tie his wooden leg to the massive dining table, he doesn't trip when he tries to walk away, but yanks the table on its side.
    • When the triplets stow away aboard one of the departing boats at the end, Fergus takes a rowboat to bring the little miscreants back. Every time he rows, the boat jerks forward because of the force he can exert.
  • Cool Helmet: Instead of a Cool Crown because he's the Bear King.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Downplayed. He doesn't go "crazy", but he becomes extremely annoyed when the three Lords stare at a naked Elinor, whose only clothed by the tapestry.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shares quips with Merida about the suitors.
  • Drunken Song: Composer Patrick Doyle gave him one.
  • Expy:
    • He's essentially Robert Baratheon as he would have turned out with a different wife.
    • His obsession with hunting down a specific animal responsible for his loss of a leg brings to mind Captain Ahab.
  • Fiery Redhead: Another trait Merida inherited from him.
  • Gentle Giant: Downplayed. He loves to brawl, but he's an all around Nice Guy.
  • The Good King: His domain has enjoyed good times ever since he led the fight that kicked out the last set of invaders.
  • Good Parents: He puts more effort into understanding his daughter than his wife does and because of this he has a better relationship with her.
  • Handicapped Badass: Has a peg leg as a result of his battle with Mor'du and as seen in his sparring match after the prologue, it hasn't slowed him down at all.
  • Happily Married: To Elinor. He was furious when he thought she was attacked by Mor'du.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Owns at least two Scottish deerhounds.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Elinor, who is a third his girth.
  • Large And In Charge: He is both taller and broader than the three chiefs.
  • Large Ham:
    • When he does an impression of Merida for Elinor.
    Fergus: Pretend I'm Merida. Speak to me. (deep breath; high-pitched voice) I don't want to get married! I want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset!
    • He's fond of retelling his encounter with Mor'du at family meals, which the triplets seem to find boring. This is because they've heard it so many times, as suggested by the fact that one of the triplets starts lip-synching along with the telling.
  • Made of Iron: He was able to take a blow from a beast like Mordu, and survive.
  • Man Child: Fergus is a very easy-going father, but Elinor has to treat him just as she would one of the kids sometimes.
  • Meaningful Name: "Fergus" is Gaelic for "strong man" which is fitting for a man his size and who has Charles Atlas Superpower.
  • Named After Somebody Famous Or Legendary: according to the (largely debunked) Rerum Scoticarum Historia, an account of Scottish kings by George Buchanan, the first king of Scotland was Fergus I.
  • Nice Guy: All around a great man; husband, father, party goer, etc.
  • Papa Wolf: He is a loving husband and father who would fiercely protect his wife Elinor and their four children from any danger. However, this almost has some serious consequences when he goes after a bear because he thinks the bear has killed Elinor and is now attacking their daughter, Merida. The bear actually is Elinor, who has lost control of her bear form and has lapsed into wild behavior, but Fergus is mad with grief and refuses to listen to Merida's (admittedly crazy-sounding) explanation.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: To Elinor, although she admits that at first she was nervous about her betrothal to him. They're very happy together now.
  • Quirky Curls Once again, a trait Merida inherited from him.
  • Red Baron: King Fergus is also known as "The Bear King" for his legendary fight with Mor'du, as well as the aforementioned bear-hunting hobby.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He was explicitly chosen as their king after he led the other clans to victory against invading Vikings and whether it's evil monster bears or invading armies he takes care of it.
  • Ruling Couple: King Fergus and Queen Elinor are both involved in the welfare of the kingdom.
  • Tritagonist: After Merida and Elinor he's the most prominent character.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The Ugly Guy to Elinor's Hot Wife. The couple is also the trope's image.
  • The Wonka: The line "Not another hunt through the castle" implies that it might just be a regular occurrence, but his quirky nature doesn't stop him from being the king.

     The Triplets 
Identical triplet princes Harris, Hubert and Hamish are adorable, redheaded, and always ready to stir up a bit of mischief, especially if sweets are at stake.
  • Alliterative Family: Harris, Hubert and Hamish.
  • Always Identical Twins: A triplet variant. Merida is the only one who can tell them apart.
  • Animorphism: Like their mother Queen Elinor, they are turned into bears.
  • Annoying Younger Siblings: Subverted. Although Merida calls them "wee devils", they get along just fine and do a lot to help her.
  • Beary Funny: As bear cubs.
  • Big Eaters: They really love their sweets.
  • Big Sister Worship: The boys admire their big sister and the Disney Wikia site describes their relationship with Merida as "strong, loving, and trusting".
  • Breakout Character: The triplets stole the popularity ratings, despite their limited screentime.
  • Chekhov's Gun: They love their desserts. The spell Merida receives from the witch comes in the form of a cake. Not hard to see where this is going.
  • Cute Mutes: They're adorable little scamps who never speak.
  • Fiery Redheads: Like their father and sister.
  • Flat Characters: They never evolve beyond pranking and eating. Even helping Merida was because she promised them her desserts for a year.
  • Human Ladder: They're fond of this trope because it's useful for pranking.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: There's nothing malicious in their pranks; only harmless mischief.
  • Mommas Boys: The triplest tend to listen their mother more than their father.
  • Pint Sized Kids: How old are they supposed to be, anyway?
  • The Pranksters: The boys love to mess around the castle, Maudie,and even their own father.
  • Quirky Curls: Like their father and sister.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: As bear cubs.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: They are crafty tricksters capable of distracting an entire castle.
  • Rule of Three: This is why they are triplets.
  • Same-Sex Triplets: All boys.
  • Sibling Team: How else can they pull off a Human Ladder or their more complex pranks?
  • Sweet Tooth: Most of their scenes involve stealing pastries.
  • Trickster Twins: A triplet variant. Among their antics, they steal cakes, cut off part of a sleeping guard's mustache, and tie their father's peg leg to a table so he flips it when he gets up.
  • The Voiceless: Besides some laughter, the three never speak.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: They are almost instantly able to recognise the bear as their mother, and even give their sister a look demanding an explanation.

The Three Lords and Their Sons

     The Lords 
The three vassal lords to King Fergus; Lords Dingwall, Macintosh and MacGuffin; are the unruly, overzealous leaders of their respective clans. Though once warring factions, they have been united under the sword of King Fergus and held together by the diplomacy and political savvy of Queen Elinor. The clans are summoned to Castle DunBroch to compete in the Highland Games, but the lords are soon outraged when Merida defies a sacred tradition. The clans fall back to their history of fervent feuding, which threatens the fragile peace of the entire kingdom.

Tropes that apply to all three of the lords.

     Lord MacGuffin 
Strapping Lord MacGuffin is full of brawn and dignity. Though a man of few words, his deep voice resounds across the land demanding respect and contributing to his reputation as the most even-handed and reasonable lord in the kingdom. Even so, like his fellow lords, MacGuffin isn't opposed to a first-rate brawl or full-throated belly laugh.

Voiced by: Kevin McKidd

     Lord Macintosh 
The wiry, indignant and off-kilter leader of his clan, Lord Macintosh is always a heartbeat away from hysterics. His savage smile and fierce appearance, body bedecked in blue war paint and chest pridefully puffed up, proclaim that he's ready for battle at any moment, though his bark may be worse than his bite.

Voiced by: Craig Ferguson

     Lord Dingwall 
Grumpy and quick-tempered, the scrappy Lord Dingwall doesn't let being height-challenged get in the way of solving his problems with fisticuffs. Never one to shy away from an old-fashioned fracas or high-spirited kerfuffle, he has no qualms taking on even the burliest adversary to assert his own position in the kingdom.

Voiced by: Robbie Coltrane
  • Badass Grandpa: He appears to be the oldest of the three chiefs and yet he was still on the front lines of a war perhaps 15 years ago.
  • Fan Disservice: Three words... "Feast your eyes!"
  • Grumpy Old Man: Downplayed. He's on the same level as the other chiefs but much older.
  • Messy Hair: Presumably for contrast because this isn't the case with the other two.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen: The oldest of the chiefs and the smallest.
  • The Napoleon: He's "height-challenged."

The Lords' Sons

     In General 

  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Like fathers, like sons.
  • Generation Xerox: They all look exactly like young versions of their fathers. There are even several scenes where they are blocked the same way as their elders (While Wee Dingwall kisses Merida's hand on the docks Macintosh and Macguffin stand behind and kid around together. At the same time, their fathers do the same thing as Lord Dingwall hugs Fergus.)
  • Hopeless Suitor: All are competing for Merida's hand in marriage and are all undesirable in her eyes.
  • No Name Given: Just like their fathers, their real first names are never revealed.
  • The Quiet One: They each have only a handful of lines in the entire film.
  • Rule of Three: Three fathers, three sons.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Each of the sons look like younger versions of their fathers.
  • Vague Age: We're not sure exactly how old any of them are, just that they seem to be somewhere under 20 and above 12.

     Young MacGuffin 
Speaking an uncommon Scottish dialect that is incomprehensible to most, Young MacGuffin is a shy lad of large proportions. Being the center of attention is not his strong suit, but he will not hesitate to leap into a fight alongside his father and clan when the occasion arises.

Voiced by: Kevin McKidd
  • Braids of Barbarism: Just like his father.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's a gigantic bruiser who can break a hunk of wood with his bare hands and uses a bench as a weapon during a Ballroom Blitz. He's also a very sensitive guy who only wants to impress his dad. In the scene where it seems Elinor has lost her mind to the spell that turned her into a bear, he's visibly and earnestly weeping.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: During the Ballroom Blitz, he wields a long bench to knock out several opponents at once.
  • Gentle Giant: Out of everyone during the brawl, he looked the most uncomfortable.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: A nice guy, although he's very physically strong.
  • Implied Love Interest: He was apparently meant to be Merida's Love Interest (which shows, as his awkwardness got her attention), but that was scrapped.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: He has such a thick Scottish brogue that nobody but his dad can tell what he's saying.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his great size and greater strength, Young MacGuffin is a calm, gentle, friendly, and very shy lad.
  • Offhand Backhand: By accident. Near the end of the movie, he gives Young Macintosh a friendly punch which knocks him off the dock they're standing on and into the water.
  • Perma Stubble: Shown to have blond stubble.
  • Shrinking Violet: Young MacGuffin's most prominent trait is his shyness. As seen in his Establishing Character Moment, he looks uncomfortable being the centre of attention during his introduction to Merida, and looks to his father for a cue to snap a log in half.
  • Stout Strength:
    Merida: I bet he wishes he were tossin' cabers!
  • Submissive Badass: Clearly the shy one of the three suitors, he's capable of breaking a log in half with his hands and swinging a large wooden bench around.
  • Super Strength: He snaps an 8-inch thick log in half with his bare hands. JUST his hands, not even using leverage from his arms. With absolutely no effort.
  • The Unintelligible: He has a brogue accent so thick only his father can understand him.

     Young Macintosh 
As the first-born son of a lord, Young Macintosh knows he has it all; athletic physique, undeniable charm and long flowing locks that leave the lasses swooning in his wake. Vanity and legions of devotees can also be a distraction when it comes to bragging rights at the Highland Games.

Voiced by: Steven Cree
  • Agent Peacock: He always makes sure he's looking good when fighting.
  • Big "NO!": His reaction to not hitting a perfect bull's-eye.
  • Body Paint: Like his father.
  • Chick Magnet: Has a band of fangirls squealing and swooning over him.
  • Expy: Of Conan the Barbarian. It's most explicit in the whirling sword-kata he performed in his introduction, which is a front-view version of the exact-same sword-kata that Schwarzenegger performed on the beach in the 1982 film.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Scoring any less than a bull's eye leads to a tantrum.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • The jerk part comes from his cockiness, the gold part comes out when he's the first to wholeheartedly agree to Merida's plan to end the betrothal in favor of finding love.
    • For all his cockiness, he doesn't seem to mind hanging out with the other two sons, one being The Unintelligible Shrinking Violet and the other The Fool.
    • He seems very loyal to his father, too. When Lord Dingwall has his son attack Lord Macintosh, Young Macintosh punches Lord Dingwall in the face! Later when Merida flips his father during the climax, Young Macintosh runs to his side and helps him back to his feet.
  • Pec Flex: Does one when his father introduces him.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: His hair covers one of his eyes. It's part of the Pretty Boy effect.
  • Pretty Boy: He knows it and flaunts it.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: In the archery contest, Young Macintosh goes absolutely hysterical with rage when his arrow hits right next to the bull's eye.
  • The Southpaw: Young Macintosh happens to be left-handed.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Again, like his father because of the body paint.

     Wee Dingwall 
Gangly, guileless and often lost in his own head, Wee Dingwall is the awkward son of Lord Dingwall. Though Wee Dingwall displays an eagerness that outweighs his inherited small size, his father will proudly employ his only son as an attack dog when the moment is right.

Voiced by: Callum O'Neill
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Thanks to Fergus startling him at just the right time, he is the only suitor whose arrow hits a bull's-eye.
  • The Berserker: "Wee Dingwall? Attack!" He's seen at one point gnawing his shield, which was a trait attributed to berserker warriors.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's usually clumsy doofus, but when a fight breaks out, he's vicious.
  • Casanova Wannabe: :Judging by his farewell to Merida at the end.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Wee Dingwall appears dim at best, but when the fights break out he's a fierce and almost psychotic fighter.
  • Dumb Blonde: The suitor with bleach blond hair is the one that's not all there.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: For most of the movie he's undeniably the ditz, but near the end, his one line of dialogue is telling his dad that the whole suitor thing was more his idea, and he just went along with it.
  • The Fool: He is unquestionably the least competent of the suitors, but through sheer dumb luck he is the only one to hit a bull's-eye.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Merida is not impressed.
  • Man Bites Man: Goes from doofus to attack dog on his father's word.
  • Teens Are Short: Shorter than his father.


Black as night with ivory muzzle and fetlocks, Angus is Merida's powerful Shire and her most trusted confidant. Angus is Merida's escape from castle life into the deep forest and the Highlands beyond. Merida target shoots from her perch on his broad back and is able to coax him into one adventure after another. Angus can be balky, stubborn and faint-hearted at times, but is ultimately a devoted and faithful friend to Merida.

A maid in the castle, she winds up frequently being the victim of the triplets' antics.

Voiced by: Sally Kinghorn and Eilidh Fraser

Mor'du is the antagonist of Brave, hence the original title of The Bear and the Bow. A feral and dangerous presence, this black bear fought King Fergus when Merida was a wee lass, and he chomped his leg off and won, something that Fergus has vowed to seek revenge for ever since. He stands 15 feet tall, his face is scarred with one dead, red eye, his black fur is coarse and disheveled, and he is covered in arrows and bruises, trophies of those humans who attempted to kill him. He puts Merida in danger more than once during the course of the movie.
  • And I Must Scream: It's heavily implied that the Prince was suffering this, since he was grateful to Merida for freeing him.
  • Animal Nemesis: For Fergus, and Merida later on. As noted under Bears Are Bad News he has a history with Fergus that involves loss of limbs.
  • Annoying Arrows: Arrows might as well be spitwads for the harm they do him. He doesn't notice when Merida sticks one in his collar bone.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The prince wished for "the strength of ten men" which turned him into a bear and caused him to kill everyone in the throne room, and his brothers were among the victims.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Described by Pixar as "Moby-Dick on land."
  • Big Bad: Averted. He has nothing to do with the betrothal or the spell Merida made to get out of it. He's just a dangerous antagonist. Despite this, he is still the villain of the movie.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The name of the demon bear Mor'du is a combination of the words "Mór" and "dubh" (pronounced the same way), the Scots-Gaelic words for "large" and "black". Makes sense when you realise that that bear literally meant 'brown' in Old English.
  • Break the Haughty: What his Karmic Transformation did to him; a proud prince became a monster that could only beg for release.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As a human, he lured his brothers with a false promise of peace, then killed them in his newly gained bear form.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Dying is what allows him to cross over and find peace.
  • The Dreaded: He's become the local boogeyman. Everyone is afraid of bears because of him by proxy.
  • Evil Is Bigger: "It stands 12 feet tall!"
  • Evil Prince: He was the eldest of the four princes in the story told by Elinor early in the film and caused the kingdom to fall to war.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In The Legend of Mor'du, he completed it after deciding to kill his brothers.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He wanted the strength of ten men. The Witch gave him this by turning him into a bear.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: "His face scarred with one dead eye!"
  • Hero Killer: "His hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors!"
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: It is implied that he's a Death Seeker and sought out warriors that could kill him.
  • Karmic Transformation: The legend implies he wasn't the best person, so his transformation could be considered karmic retribution. If the spell is the same one Merida used, it's clear the spell is a karmic response to the pride/ego of the requester - only upon "mending the bond broken by pride" can the spell be reversed. Since Mor'du killed his brothers, mending the bond wasn't possible for him, so his curse stuck.
  • Killed Off for Real: He is crushed under a stone pillar at the end of the film. We see his spirit leave his bear body and disappear.
  • Large And In Charge: He tried to invoke this trope back when he was a prince. Compared to his brothers, he was simply enormous. The trope certainly applied to him as leader of his armies.
  • Made of Iron: Arrows just distract him and it takes being crushed by a huge rock to put him down for good.
  • Meaningful Name: The fact the words for "large and black" in Gaelic sound and look so similar to the word for "death" in Latin and the Romance languages is...quite the significant coincidence. (Mordred, anyone?)
  • Never Trust a Trailer: That image above you is a lie. Mor'du looks far more terrifying in the movie.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Just refer to all the Annoying Arrows sticking out of his back.
  • Obviously Evil: When we see him next to his three brothers in Elinor's story, it's fairly obvious he's going to be trouble.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's the Prince of a kingdom that collapsed so long ago Merida's kingdom believes it only existed in legend.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: This is part of why he's thought to be a monster.
  • Shadow Archetype: He was a prince who tried to change his fate and ended up destroying a kingdom due to his inability to see past his own pride, much as Merida nearly did.
  • Squashed Flat: In a rare non-comedic example of this trope, this is what happens to him in the climax.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He does this in the beginning of the film, as well as near the end. Considering his size, its pretty shocking how he somehow managed to walk right up to young Merida in broad daylight in a fairly open field.
  • Suicide by Cop: Heavily implied. Since the Prince's spirit turns into a Wisp, and the Wisps lead Merida around the forest, it is implied that the Wisps were his spirit and that he was trying to be killed so he could be put out of his misery.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: While Merida does get away from him a few times, he just happens to conveniently find her near the end. And in the last battle he seems way too focused on her anytime he wasn't being beaten or pelted in the face by someone else.
  • Time Abyss: How old he is isn't revealed, but it IS revealed he was the prince of a kingdom so old that its name isn't even remembered and is believed to only be a legend.
  • Tragic Monster: It's implied he felt remorse for killing his family and destroying his kingdom.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Other than him there are no villains in this story; the conflict is a parent-child one.
  • Walking Spoiler: Anything beyond 'monster bear' is a spoiler.
  • Was Once a Man: Until the Witch's spell turned him into a bear.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: While becoming a bear as a consequence of his pride and the witch's spell is pretty tragic in and of itself, he was stuck in the form of this monstrous, hunted being for several centuries because he couldn't find reconciliation with his family. It's only through his death that he seems to regain some part of his humanity back.

     The Witch 
A Witch (also referred to as a Wise Woman, and while you're here she personally prefers the title "Woodcarver") who Merida seeks out when she wishes to change her fate. She seems a little batty — alright, way more than a little — but there's no denying she's got magical chops. And though she considers carving wood to be her true calling, she'll still whip up a spell for a customer... at the right price.

Voiced by: Julie Walters
  • A Boy and His X: In this case, A Witch And Her Crow. The Witch's unnamed crow appears to be her only friend.
  • Cool Old Lady: Old, batty, very nice.
  • Crazy-Prepared: "If you're that red-haired lass, vial three."
  • Creepy Crows: The Witch has a talking one that hangs around in her cottage.
  • Crippling Over Specialization: Two examples
    • She can do a lot with wood carvings but only bears.
    • When it comes to magic, if you want to turn yourself or somebody into a bear she's the one you want to see.
  • Druid: A old magic user in Scotland.
  • Eccentric Mentor: The word "eccentric" was the first thing revealed about her character.
  • The Fair Folk: Her indifferent yet ultimately non-malicious literal-mindedness implies this of her true heritage, not to mention her age — she's been around for centuries!
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": The witch's cauldron message.
    Welcome to Crafty Carvers! As you can see, I am currently completely out of stock! If you would like to inquire about portraits or wedding cake toppers, pour in the first vial. If you would like this message in Gaelic, pour in the second vial. If you're that red-headed lass from the other day, pour in the third vial...
  • Greater Scope Villain: An unintentional, absent-minded example. Her magic makes her the most powerful person in this story and she has the potential to be dangerous but she's not involved with the movie's core conflict.
  • Greed: She outright refuses to do Merida any spell because she doesn't want to cause any trouble, but does it when offered a valuable pendant by Merida. If you look closely the design on it features three bears intertwined with each other. Given the Witch's fixation on bears, is it any wonder she wasn't going to pass up that little treasure?
  • Hermit Guru: Lives in a cottage in the woods, quite far from civilization.
  • Implausible Deniability: Her claims that she's a woodcarver, not a witch... as she leaves the broom she's sweeping with to sweep the floor by itself.
  • Karma Houdini: Depending on how you interpret her character, she is the first and only Pixar "villain" to get off Scott Free for her actions if you judge her by human standards.
  • Knife Nut: She has a dozen of them and they can levitate to threaten people.
  • Large Ham: The Witch insists on using Nightmare Face and ominous deep voice for her message cauldron.
  • Literal Genie: Why Elinor gets turned into a bear. Merida wanted her mother to get off her back, but what she said was "change my mother". Approaches Jerkass Genie territory with the fallen prince - he asks for the strength of ten men, and gets turned into Mor'du.
  • Literal-Minded: "I want to change my mother." Yes indeed, she can do that.
  • Mad Artist: Bear statues, bear toys, bear paintings. She's...Not all there.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen: She's only a head taller than the just-out-of-infancy toddlers.
  • No Name Given: "Witch" is all.
  • Non-Malicious Monster:
    • Ultimately, she's not intentionally malevolent at all, just Literal-Minded, indifferent, and a bit forgetful. Heck, she doesn't even want to do witchcraft for Merida because of "too many unsatisfied customers" and only caves in when she's offered a very valuable trinket.
    • Also, as revealed in "The Legend of Mordu", she saw "a wounded soul behind his bluster, so she agreed to his wish for the strength of ten men, but with a choice. Either he used it to fulfill his desire, or amend his bond with the brothers. He chose the former.
  • Older Than They Look: Hard to believe, but it's implied in the film, and confirmed in supplementary material, that she's the one who sold Mor'du the spell that turned him into a bear, and that happened so long ago the kingdom he ruled is only known in legend. She was still an old woman — or in the shape of an old woman — then.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She's the one who changed the prince to what is now Mor'du long ago.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: She's made it onto this poster, but that's it. It doesn't help that she only appears for two short sequences. Disney later edited a parody TV spot that features her prominently.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Lives by herself (apart from her sapient crow familiar) in a cottage in the woods.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Fitting as she's a witch.
  • Wicked Witch: Averted Trope. She's not evil and sees herself as an entrepreneur. As such, she rarely offers her services as a witch and instead makes a living selling wooden figurines of bears.