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HeronsThe main brotherband of the series, and its protagonists. A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits if ever there was one.In General:
- Badass Crew: By the end of Book 2, they have proven themselves this, and they just keep getting better.
- Bash Brothers: After Lydia joins, it becomes "Bash Brothers and Sister."
- Power Trio: Hal, Stig, and Thorn are the leaders of the crew: Hal most of the time, Thorn in wartime, and Stig serves as The Lancer to them both.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Erak lampshades this.
- Talented but Trained: Even the least athletic are "merely competent" with their weapons. Which, as the Lemony Narrator notes, translates to "highly dangerous" in most other countries.
- Took a Level in Badass: Thanks to Thorn's training in Book 2.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: They may bicker and fight, but each and every one of them will protect the others.
- The Ace: An expert swordsman, the skirl of his own ship, with a natural ability to judge distances and angles that few can equal.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: In fairness, with the exception of Thorn, they're all pretty young.
- All of the Other Reindeer: He's half-Araulen, and whenever he messes up in the first book, it's put down to this. Thankfully, after a few heroic acts, this pretty much fades.
- Ancestral Weapon: He uses his father's sword, but unusually for this trope, it's pretty much never brought up again after he first receives it.
- Badass Bookworm: He's an expert navigator, one of the best in Skandia, and has an encylopediac knowledge of tides across the world. Thorn also trained him to be a very skilled swordsman.
- Badass in Distress: He has these moments occasionally.
- Big Brother Instinct: He has this towards the rest of the crew (except Thorn, obviously).
- Chick Magnet: To his occasional irritation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, yes.
- Determinator: Hal never gives in.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His inventions include the Mangler, a giant crossbow on the bow of the ship, a revolutionary new sail plan, and a pair of "spectacles" for short-sighted Ingvar.
- Guile Hero: By later books, the default strategy for the Herons is "gather information and wait for Hal to make a plan."
- Humble Hero: Hal very rarely brags or boasts about his inventions.
- The Leader: Much of Book 1 (and some of the following books) is devoted to him growing into this.
- Nice Guy: Is generally a very kind and helpful person.
- Running Gag: Hal is an excellent planner, just as long as he doesn't forget any small details. This gets downplayed in later books, once he's pretty much gotten over this problem.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Erak gives him one over his decision to leave the Andomal unguarded, and for all of them to sleep during Zavac's raid.
- An Axe to Grind: He is very good with his battleaxe.
- Berserk Button: Do not insult Hal.
- Book Dumb: To a certain extent, like many Skandians.
- Character Development: Stig takes this in spades: He started out very short-tempered, but became much more mature over the course of the books.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not quite as much as Hal, but he's certainly pretty snarky at times.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Shows definite signs of this around Lydia.
- The Lancer: Is perfectly content to be this to Hal (and Thorn, in a combat situation).
- Love at First Sight: He falls prey to this in Book 6. She dies at the end of the book.
- One-Hit Kill: Not a kill, but when challenged to a fight by another boy in Book 6, instead of getting into a fight with a skilled fighter, he just knocks the other boy out with one strike.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: All of the Herons are this, but he and Hal especially so.
- Wrestlerin All Of Us: He's a fairly good one, as long as he doesn't lose his temper.
- The Alcoholic: He got steadily drunk for several years post-losing his hand, but thankfully, Karina took him to task with a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech.
- An Axe to Grind: This is only reported, but one of the Maktig trials was with the battleax.
- Bash Brothers: It's suggested that he and Mikkel were this, back in the day.
- Beta Couple: He forms this with Karina, although unusually for this trope, no one else is taking the spotlight: It's just that since the majority of the books (aside from the first) take place outside Skandia, their relationship isn't given much focus.
- Berserk Button: It's subtle, but after Book 1, the only time we see him truly enraged is when Duncan is disparaging towards the Heron (and, by extension, Hal).
- Beware the Silly Ones: The only thing sharper than his wit is his sword. When he gets serious, it is not a good idea to stand in his way.
- Bruiser With A Soft Centre: Is actually very proud of Hal and his Brotherband, and very kind to them, when he's not dishing out Training from Hell.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, yes.
- Handicapped Badass: He lost his right hand in an accident at sea, but he's still quite possibly Skandia's greatest warrior.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Thorn had one after losing his hand, and became The Alcoholic.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He doesn't think of himself as being very smart, mostly leaving the planning to Hal.
- Hidden Depths: Thorn is quite a bit more intelligent than he sometimes seems, or will even admit. He's also an excellent dancer.
- Master Swordsman: He is incredibly good at this, and trains the rest of the Herons as well.
- Parental Substitute: In-universe, it's acknowledged that he is pretty much this to Hal.
- Team Dad: Thorn's relation to the rest of the crew. He and Hal split authority: When it's a combat situation, everyone automatically defers to him, but he in turn defers to Hal on other questions.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Thorn takes one once he becomes a Parental Substitute to Hal. He takes another when Hal makes his new hand.
- Tranquil Fury: When Zavac tries to knife Hal, Thorn traps him in his sinking ship and delivers a Pre-Mortem One-Liner in a completely calm tone of voice.
- World's Best Warrior: Quite possibly, seeing as he was the premier warrior of Skandia three years in a row, and no one else has ever managed to do it more than once.
- Action Girl: She plays this trope very straight.
- The Chick: Completely and utterly averted.
- Orphaned Hero: Her parents are long dead, and her grandfather's murder by Zavac helps spur her into the plot.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: She "liberates" a bag of emeralds to pay the Herons for saving her town, since the others didn't seem particularly grateful.
- Ship Tease: With Hal, Stig, and Ingvar.
- Sixth Ranger: She's the last of them to join, since she's not a Skandian.
- Smurfette Principle: She's the only girl amongst the Herons, and usually the most prominent girl in whichever book she's in.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: Downplayed, but it's mentioned occasionally that she has trouble with such things as table manners due to growing up with only her grandfather.
- Sneaky Girl: Pretty much fits this trope, as she's the stealthiest of the Herons, an expert tracker, and usually fights long-range with her atlatl.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Her and Thorn are very much this trope, albeit with some Parental Substitute thrown in. She's this, to a much lesser extent, with Hal and Stig, and a little to the other Herons.
- Badass Baritone: It's noted that his large chest gives him one of these.
- Big Guy: Ingvar fits this trope straight as an arrow.
- Bruiser With A Soft Centre: He's very physically powerful, but generally also a Nice Guy.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: This can lead to problems, sometimes.
- Handicapped Badass: Ingvar is very short-sighted, meaning that he has to stay out of the fighting from Books 1-4. However, as Tursgud learns, he doesn't always need to be able to see in order to throw a punch.
- The Heart: Hal says that he is this to the Brotherband.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Down on himself because of his short-sightedness, he says the only thing he's good for is muscle.
- Took a Level in Badass: After Hal makes him "spectacles," so that he can properly fight, he takes one.
- Badass Bookworm: He's the closest fit to this, being academically talented and the Team Medic. However, he's trained under Thorn and lived through several battles, meaning that he's definitely not a Non-Action Guy, either.
- Nice Guy: He's one of the nicest people onboard the ship.
- Team Chef: Edvin takes this job most of the time, though Stig will occasionally swap out for him when Edvin is taking care of the injured.
- The Medic: Edvin does this job as well, tending to anyone who's injured.
- Affectionate Pickpocket: One of Jesper's ways of "borrowing" items.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He whines, complains, and once fell asleep on watch. He also selflessly lures a bear away from two children and towards the Mangler, and is a good sword to have beside one in a fight.
- Loveable Rogue: Jesper is an expert at picking locks and pockets, then running away very fast. He can also whine and complain quite a lot, but he's overall good-hearted and loyal to his skirl.
- Sticky Fingers: He's a very good pickpocket, usually just stealing things For the Funnyz.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, very much so.
- Out of Focus: Stefan doesn't get to do much between Books 1 and 5, usually only being mentioned as part of the crew. This is even lampshaded at one point.
- Troll: He enjoys playing jokes on people. Others don't always enjoy this so much. However, he's seldom cruel.
- Undying Loyalty: To Hal, as with the rest of the Brotherband.
- Voice Changeling: Stefan is really good at mimicking other's voices, which he uses to mess with people and confuse enemies.
Other Supporting Protagonists
- An Axe to Grind: Like most Skandian warriors, he does this very well.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Both sides of this trope are amply demonstrated in Book 2.
- The Lancer: As always, to Erak.
- Servile Snarker: He loves getting one in at Erak.
- Simple-Minded Wisdom: He's not exactly book-smart, but he's far from dumb, as well.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Thorn, in Book 2.
See his list of tropes here.