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- Badass Crew: The boys were all trained by Thorn, the World's Best Warrior, so that they range from "highly competent" (in Skandian terms) to flat-out badass.
- Deadpan Snarker: All of them.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Vitriolic Best Buds: While they may argue with one another, they're also devoted to each other.
- Underestimating Badassery: A girl, a bunch of teenagers, and a one-handed old man? What harm could they possibly be? Almost everyone underestimates them...and everyone regrets it.
Hal MikkelsonHal is the main character of the series. He is half-Araluen and half-Skandian. Hal's father Mikkel was a successful Skandian warrior. Unfortunately, he was killed in a raid, leaving Hal and his Araluen mother living alone. Hal's mother was a former slave and now owned an inn/eating house. When Hal became 10 years old, Thorn, who went into a depression after Hal's father's death and the loss of his arm, became a mentor for Hal. He gave him weapons during Brotherband training and brought out his full potential(as well as his crew's) in fighting skills. Due to his mother being an Araluen, he looked different than other Skandians, and was ignored and bullied by his peers. Hal is a resourceful person; he is the inventor of the double triangular sails which act similarly to seabirds' wings. It is also with the inspiration of seabirds that Hal names his ship Heron. He is also the person who is mainly responsible for the liberation of Limmat and nearly lost his life while trying to save the Town and retrieve the Andomal from Zavac after its stolen from under their noses. Hal is also a very good swordsmen and accurate with a crossbow. He is a great Navigator and Helmsmen and is smarter and quicker thinking than most other Skandians. A running gag throughout the books is Hal's tendency to miss out "little details" on his inventions, which promptly causes them to break and generally creates a mess, a fact that Stig and Thorn are fond of teasing Hal about. He is perhaps the character who is the closest to Lydia, though she seems to feel torn between Hal and Stig, and she also is fond of Ingvar somewhat.
- The Ace: Is and expert inventor and strategist, as well as natural leader.
- All of the Other Reindeer: The Skandians (at first) look down on him for being half-Araulen, and it's mentioned that some Araulens see him as being an outsider for being half-Skandian.
- Badass Bookworm: He's both an expert swordsman and an inventor, as well as having an expert knowledge of winds and tides.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Constantly coming up with inventions such as Ingvar's spectacles and the desert rider.
- Guile Hero: In later books, the Heron's standard plan for any problem is either Attack! Attack! Attack!, or "wait for Hal to figure out a way around it."
- Ship Tease: With Lydia.
- Took a Level in Badass: Like the other Herons, he gets more confident and mature over the course of the books, and becomes The Leader.
Stig OlafsonStig is Hal's best friend and first mate of Hal's crew. He met Hal when he was stealing lobster and slipped into the ocean near Hal's fishing spot. Stig, unable to swim, was saved when Hal jumped in and pulled him out of the water, thus starting their strong bond and friendship. Stig is treated as an outcast because his father had stolen money and jewels from his crew's wolfship, then disappeared without a trace, not telling anyone where he was going. His mother works as a washerwoman, which he is embarrassed about. Stig has a habit of losing his temper but learns to control it through time. He is very athletic and considered the best warrior in the Heron Brotherband, though he never lets this get into his head and still respect Hal's decisions as the skirl. Stig tends to be awkward around girls his age, in which he either speaks too little or much. It is hinted and shown that he has feelings for Lydia just like Hal, though he refuses to let it come between him and Hal. In Book 6, he falls in love with a young woman and considers leaving the Brotherband for her. However, she dies.
- Adorkable: When around girls.
- An Axe to Grind: And he's very, very good at it. Gilan explicitly compares him to Horace.
- Berserk Button: Formerly, anyone insulting his loved ones. Thankfully, his Character Development mostly wipes this out.
- Character Development: Even though all the characters get some, he has some of the most in the series. Stig goes from having a Hair-Trigger Temper to refusing to be insulted by Duncan's bad choice of words. He also gains more Character Development during the course of Book 6.
- Dumb Muscle: He isn’t stupid but his temper often gets the better of him and clouds his judgment. Thankfully, this happens less and less as time goes by.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Stig goes from "loyal and caring friend" to "bash your skull in" at the drop of a hat, especially when his friends are insulted or in danger.
- The Lancer: To Hal as his first mate, and to Thorn in battle situations as his second-in-command.
- Ship Tease: With Lydia.
Ulf and Wulf
Ulf and WulfUlf and Wulf are the two twins in the Heron Brotherband and are sail handlers for the Heron. Like most twins, there is a special bond between them. They swear at each other and make nasty remarks about the other's appearance (even though they look exactly the same so no one, not even their mother, can tell them apart) and are constantly fighting. However, when sail handling, they work like well-oiled clockwork, a fact that surprises Hal. Despite their antagonising, Ulf and Wulf do hold a special bond, and it is hinted that they sometimes argue on purpose simply to amuse the Heron Brotherband and lift their spirits when a difficult task lay ahead. They also obey the rule laid down by Hal which says they can't fight on board ship, on the grounds that they don't want to be tossed overboard by Ingvar. Despite trying to get each other in trouble and fighting regularly, if someone tries to harm one of the twins, the other twin will turn on him/her with vengeance. Despite their antagonising, Ulf and Wulf do hold a special bond, and it is hinted that they sometimes argue on purpose simply to amuse the Heron Brotherband and lift their spirits when a difficult task lay ahead. They show their hidden affection after Ulf gets injured at Tabork.
- Always Identical Twins: Even the ''narrator'' can't always tell them apart!
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: They are constantly arguing with each other and rarely show affection, but, as mentioned above, they show their love for each other when Ulf is injured.
- Single-Minded Twins: Wulf and Ulf are so identical, even their own mother cannot tell them apart. Hal, during Brotherband training, tied a rope around Wulf's wrist so he could tell them apart. However, since Wulf and Ulf love to annoy others by switching identities, Wulf tied the rope on Ulf's wrist.
- Troll: They love messing with their crewmates, especially by pretending to be each other.
EdvinEdvin is a member of the Heron Brotherband. When he disagrees with people he makes it quite clear. He is usually the first member of the Heron's to voice thoughts, his tongue some times getting him into trouble. Despite his small build, he is quite resourceful and skilled at cooking. He trains as a healer for a couple of weeks during Brotherband Training, and helps save Ingvar's life when the boy was shot by an arrow. Edvin is also trained as the helmsman in battle when Hal's using the Mangler and Stig is boarding enemy craft. He also knows how to knit (an activity that was, at first, mocked by his friends), but is later paid by Hal to make the crew; including Lydia and Thorn, dark wool watch caps as the Heron's headgear. The caps later gain a new Heron patch on them.
- Badass Bookworm: Edvin is the most book-smart out of the Herons (except possibly Hal), and a very dangerous warrior.
- In Touchwith His Feminine Side: Knows how to knit and shows no shame about it.
- The Medic: He is this, and does his very best. This is also somewhat deconstructed, as the series shows the weight of responsibility he feels looking after a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
JesperJesper is one of Hal's crew in the Heron Brotherband. Jesper was a thief and has been known to steal bracelets off people's wrists while talking to them just to prove he had the skill. He does however always return them, just because he likes the joy of it. Jesper is also a very fast runner as people do not appreciate him stealing their things, but known to complain (which has sparked Hal, Stig and Thorn's ire on several occasions). He also is very good at picking locks and stealth. Despite leaving those days behind him, he still keeps his lock picking tools, which he uses to break them out of jail in the third book.
- Affectionate Pickpocket
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's not the smartest, and is sometimes pretty lazy, but he's also brave and a highly skilled fighter.
- Impossible Thief: Jesper is able to steal the armband of a man he is talking to.
- Lovable Rogue: Both a pickpocket and a pretty nice guy.
- Undying Loyalty: He may be a bit of a rogue, but Jesper will go to the wall for Hal and the other Herons.
StefanStefan is the wise-guy and mimic of the Herons. He regularly makes impressive comebacks, and when you hear someone, you can never tell if it's he/she or Stefan. He is a sail handler and rower on the Heron. He likes and admires Hal for his leadership skills and qualities. His sharp wit is only aimed at those who have large egos or boastful without being able to back it up, like Tursgud. In the third book, he created a saga entitled "The Saga of Hal and the Heron Brotherband." along with Jesper, which they sang at the party celebrating the Heron Brotherband's return.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the best in the crew, which is saying something.
- Out of Focus: He gets very little screentime after the first book, often just being mentioned in group scenes. This is briefly lampshaded in book 5.
- Voice Changeling: He can't actually shapeshift, but is a highly talented mimic.
IngvarIngvar is an extremely strong and solidly built sixteen-year-old boy who is good at fighting but has problems with eyesight meaning he would do more harm than good in battle. He is in Hal's brotherband, the Herons, and the only person who can load Hal's giant crossbow, the Mangler because of his immense strength and muscle. He is extremely loyal to Hal and has enormous faith in Hal's abilities as a warrior and Navigator. He is also close in a way to Lydia, who joined the crew after her grandfather's death. Despite his poor eyesight, he is able to differentiate between the Heron crew members and enemies by the watch hats Edvin knitted, and has also learnt to see without the need of using his eyes (taught by Thorn), simply by closing his eyes and envisioning the scene clearly as it is. After he becomes disheartened about his eyesight, Hal makes him a sort of early pair of spectacles out of tortoiseshell making him a formidable warrior. In the words of Thorn he is a "monster who's on the right side."
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ingvar may be a generally kind person, but he's also a Heron, and by far the strongest amongst them.
- Blind Without 'Em: Hal makes Ingvar a pair of spectacles later on in the book, keeping him from leaving the Brotherband. Before this, Ingvar was extremely short-sighted.
- Dork Knight: Not really Adorkable, but otherwise is definitely this trope.
- Gentle Giant: One of the kindest people in the whole series. However, his poor sight makes it hard to avoid people.
- Ill Boy: In the first couple chapters of The Hunters after being injured in the last book.
- Nice Guy
- Ship Tease: With Lydia
Lydia16-year-old Lydia lived in the town of Limmat, and has long dark glossy hair and olive skin, and is described by the Heron crew as stunningly beautiful. In the battle led by Zavac, her grandfather was killed while trying to defend the city. She leaves her home and helps the Herons in the battle against Zavac and goes hunting for Zavac after deciding to leave Limmat after the battle with the Heron Brotherband. She is extremely accurate with an atlatl and an expert tracker due to her hunting background. Thorn admires the younger girl greatly and to tease her as a sign of affection and respect. Lydia's affections are generally fought for by both Hal and Stig, of which she showed great reluctance to choose between them until Karina advises her not to be in a hurry to do so until she knew and was ready. She seems to also like and admire Ingvar, and the two quickly form a one-of-a kind bond. It is hinted she does have an interest in them as more than friends when she shows slight jealousy upon seeing Hal and Stig receiving much attention from other girls. Lydia is typically tough and tomboyish, though she later displays a more girlish side of herself when she despairs over what to wear to the party at Hallasholm and Karina coming to her aid.
- Action Girl
- Amazonian Beauty: Hal, Stig and Barat find her to be this, though only Hal and Stig respect it.
- Berserk Button: Calling her a ‘keeper’, mostly due to her annoyance at Barat saying they would be married someday without her consent.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: Having lived with only her grandfather for a long time, she's often not very eloquent.
- Ship Tease: With Hal, Stig and, in the eyes of some, Ingvar.
- Sixth Ranger: To the Herons, as she's the last human character to join them, the only girl, and has a different skill set.
- Smurfette Principle: She's the "Sister of the Brotherband," and the most prominent female character of Books 2-4.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Holds her hair back with a black ribbon.
- Tomboywitha Girly Streak: Lydia is typically tough and tomboyish, though she later displays a more girlish side of herself when she despairs over what to wear to the party of Hallasholm with Karina coming to her aid.
ThornThorn is a close friend of Hal's father, Mikkel. He lost his right hand during a storm at sea and was, in his early years, the Maktig (meaning "the Mighty One", a title for the greatest warrior in Skandia) three years in a row, which no one had ever done (the longest running besides him was only one year). Before that, he and Mikkel competed for Karina's affections, though Thorn lost to Mikkel, with Karina later becoming Hal's mother and Mikkel's wife. Despite so, Thorn bore no grudge over the matter, though he admittedly did consider how it would have been if things turned out differently at some point of time. He was described as an "old drunk" by the Skandians due to the fact that he drank excessively after he lost his hand and death of his friend. Karina, gave Thorn a job and stopped his drinking habit. She allowed Thorn to live in their lean-to and look after Hal as he needed "a man's influence and guidance". Soon, Thorn stopped drinking and found himself to be a helpful person. Hal makes a custom hook to place over his arm, and a war club to fit replace the hook when in battle. It gives him an extra edge in battle once more, and brings out his potential as a warrior. Thorn is greatly admired by the Heron crew as well as Lydia, who consistently believes that despite the loss of his hand and losing the title Maktig because of it, Thorn was still the greatest warrior of all. Thorn disposes of his treasured Skandian Warrior headgear- a massive horned helmet he had worn for thirty years, in the third book, choosing instead to don on the Heron's black watch cap as a member of the Heron Brotherband, which displayed the sheer amount of loyalty he held to the Heron crew despite the difference in age.
- Almighty Janitor: Was once the Maktig three times consecutively, a feat never been done before or since. He would rather keep it under wraps.
- Berserk Button: Bringing up his [ast as Maktig. He eventually gets over it.
- Cool Old Guy: Was once Maktig three times in a row, and can kick all kinds of ass.
- Handicapped Badass: He's missing his right hand, but still is a Master Swordsman and equally competent with an axe.
- Hidden Depths: Stig is surprised that he's actually quite a good dancer, but Hal points out that anyone who's that good of a warrior will naturally be a great dancer.
- Master of All: He beat out every other competitor in contests of sword, axe, wilderness survival, and wrestling three years in a row.
- Parental Substitute: To Hal. This is invoked in Book 1, and he takes it very seriously.
- Team Dad: He is certainly this to the Herons, especially to Hal and Lydia.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Lydia.
- World's Best Warrior: He beat Gilan twice in a row during a sparring match.
Erak Starfollower, Oberjarl of Skandia
- Asskicking Equals Authority: It's Skandia. What do you expect?
- An Axe to Grind
- Berserk Button: Do not imply that any ship is better than Wolfwind, or mess with his precious axe.
- Boisterous Bruiser: As per the norm with Skandians.
- Cultured Badass: Likes to think of himself as one. Whether he actually is...is up for debate.
- Deadpan Snarker: Quite a bit.
- No Hero to His Valet: Svengal mocks him mercilessly.
- Unstoppable Rage: When he goes berserker.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: A very dangerous Skandian, and complete jerk.
- The Leader: Type Headstrong. It doesn't do him too many favors.
- Hidden Depths: He may appear to be a typical Skandian bruiser, but he's quite intelligent as well, such as when he lured the Heron into a shoal.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Becomes even more so in later books.