Well, as a Long Runner series that indeed has Loads and Loads of Characters, it would be really nice to have at least some guide about them. It really helps that David Weber went for a right thing and nicely broke his characters into several distinctive Cast Herds.Spoilers below are unmarked.
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Manticorans in General
Badass Navy: The RMN has a long tradition of prevailing against overwhelming odds thanks to superior training, fighting spirit and technology.
Gryphon and Sphinx, the other planets in the Manticorian system, are Scotland and Wales.
Genius Bruiser: Use consistently higher technology than any other nation (except perhaps for Grayson, with whom the Manticorans share all their advances freely), translating into truly fearsome warships.
Really 700 Years Old: Manticore is a prolong society — in fact it had prolong almost as soon as it was invented on Beowulf due to their historical close ties — so most of the characters are much, much older than they may appear to the reader. The trope is also played straight in the traditional sense, as prolong extends all stages of human development, so the middle-aged people may appear as teenagers to the untrained eye, and, for the added squick, in early books some legally major people were described looking as preteens, though Weber tried to downplay this later.
Much, much smaller than primary antagonist Haven, in terms of manpower, industrial capacity, and (at least initially) military size, but a given Manticoran ship is always superior to its Havenite counterpart.
This is even more pronounced in the later conflict with the Solarian League, which dwarfs even the Grand Alliance (Manticore, Grayson, Haven and Beowulf).
House of Steel explains how this works to Manticore's advantage due to their control of the most extensive wormhole junction in the galaxy. The Star Kingdom of Manticore only has two star systems of it's own to defend, compared to the far more numerous systems that Haven must not only defend, but also control due to the often involuntary nature of membership in the Peoples' Republic. Haven has more ships, but Manticore can have more ships in any one place without leaving their territory exposed. Further, the Wormhole Junction presents the Manties with the ability to instantly send the bulk of their fleet to attack Haven from two different flanks, or even deep into the Republic's interior via Trevor's Star. Late in the first war, the Manties do just that.
Space Navy: Heavily borrows from the naval terminology, ranks, conventions and traditions of the British Royal Navy.
Admiral of the Fleet and Captain HMS Unconquered Lady Dame Honor Stephanie Dances On Clouds Alexander-Harrington, KGCR, MC, SG, PMV, DSO, CGM, Steadholder Harrington, Duchess Harrington, Countess White Haven
The title character of the series and the one of the most prestigious military and political figures of her time. Born to an upper middle class family (and coming from the literally centuries long lineage of biologists and physicians), she went for a rather nontraditional (for her clan, at least) occupation and managed to obtain a lot of fancy and important-sounding additions to her name through effort, skill and some rather evident Author Appeal. The price she had to pay for this was, ahem, considerable. Has accumulated so much seniority since the beginning of the series that she got somewhat sidelined in the recent series of spinoffs, having became the most senior active military officer on Manticore.
Annoying Laugh: Honor struggles not to laugh at times because she hates the way she sounds.
Badass: As lethal in hand-to-hand combat or with a handgun as in a starship's command chair.
Beware the Nice Ones: She has some internally known and carefully controlled sociopathic tendencies, a potential negative side effect of her inherited genetic modifications. You really don't want to be the one to provoke her into excluding you from her definition of a human being.
Blessed with Suck: Due to her heritage (descended from colonists that were genetically enhanced to thrive on Sphinx, with its somewhat-higher-than-Earth gravity and harsh climate), she has impressive strength and endurance, combined with lightning-fast reflexes, at the cost of needing to consume truly ridiculous amounts of food. This becomes a problem when she is limited to what would normally be considered normal daily rations when she is taken prisoner by the Peeps and nearly starves to death.
But Not Too Foreign: You gotta be, when your mother's full family name is Benton-Ramirez y Chou Harrington.
The Captain: Sadly, not any more. Well, on paper she still is, but it's a purely ceremonial command.
Catch Phrase: "Let's be about it." Inherited from Captain Bachfisch and passed down to many of her subordinates.
Phrase Catcher: Old friends have a habit of cheerfully saying it around or directly to her.
Comes Great Responsibility: Responsibility is a recurring theme with Ms. Harrington. Every time a promotion or new title comes Honor's way, her first reaction is to worry if she can meet the increased responsibility it will give her. If she had a favorite snack food, it would be Responsibilityuns.
Crazy-Prepared: Taking lessons in Grayson-style fencing because an obscure bit of legislation grants any Grayson steadholder the option of a Trial by Combat against the Protector's decrees, with Honor acting as the Protector's champion.
Cultured Warrior: Her maternal uncle is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (apparently, these guys prospered in the two millennia since now), and, finding a similar tastes in his niece, supplies her with various cool stuff from his favorite XIX-XX centuries. Like books and guns.
Cursed with Awesome: Did you read the bit of the Blessed with Suck entry where she has to consume a lot of food to sustain herself? Well, this means that she can eat as much of anything as she wants. She is known for her ability to give the Cookie Monster an inferiority complex and not add a millimeter to her waistline.
Also, she's resistant to regenerative medical techniques, meaning that severe injuries are permanent. Cue awesome cybernetic replacements. (At least until she's taken prisoner by Haven and they deactivate her implants; then it's less awesome.)
Her abilities as The Empath can leave her vulnerable to the state of people's emotions around her. The death of Samantha's bondmate backlashed through her and nearly knocked her out.
Determinator: To Victor Cachat's level, no less. Doesn't let little things like the loss of an eye, broken ribs or a few bullet holes slow her down much.
Doomed Hometown: Yawata Crossing, being hit by a large piece of a space station during Oyster Bay. Almost all her family died there, with four million other people. Unusual in that it happens much later into the story than commonly seen, but then, it underscores a major change in the series' direction.
Doom Magnet: At the very least, she tends to draw truly psychopathic people (Pavel Young, Steadholders Burdette and Mueller, Cordelia Ransom) as opponents. Her nickname also reflects this: she is called "The Salamander" due to always being where the fires are hottest. Some of the enlisted and junior officers under her command are rather worried by this, being Genre Savvy enough to realize that while serving under The Salamander is a fast track to promotion, it is quite often posthumous.
The Empath: Not just through the link to Nimitz — her genetic mod had one minor tweak that sometimes let its carriers have a weak, but pronounced empathic sense that she was able to develop thanks to her adoption bond.
Nimitz explains to Bright Water clan that she no longer needs him to do it; the ability is "unlocked", she just needs to improve it.
Four-Star Badass: She can beat you up in hand-to-hand combat, shoot you in a duel or utterly devastate your fleet in space. She even goes up to five stars for a while, holding the highest command rank in the RMN while in command of Home Fleet.
Genius Bruiser: For all her intellect, tactical and strategic abilities she's still VERY good when push comes to shove — after all, being a 6'5" heavyworlder with an 8th degree black belt in one of the most violent martial arts in the Galaxy means a lot...
Girliness Upgrade: In book 1, she's a buzz-cut tomboy who doubts her femininity thanks to an awkward and painful adolescence. In book 3, she starts growing out her hair (it finally reaches waist-length in book 7), starts wearing make up, and engages in her first real romantic love (with a major boost to her feminine self-esteem). In book 5 she also adapts to Grayson dresses after a lifetime of wearing Manticore-fashion trousers.
Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted. In the event of actual ground fighting, Hamish.Alexander would gladly hold Honor's coat while she pounds an attacker into the ground. He's an Admiral in a Space Navy that specializes in the Manticore Missile Massacre, but is fully cognizant of the fact that he's not big as a physical fighter, while she is a top rank in coup de vitesse, a style that specializes in, as Dinobot would say, beating opponents the old fashioned way—brutally.
Hollywood Cyborg: Due to her body rejecting regen, Honor is forced to take mechanical replacements for any parts she loses. Only her replacement facial nerves really fail to work/look as good as new, and her replacement eye and arm end up being a case of We Can Rebuild Him.
It's Personal: After the events of Mission of Honor, the war has become very personal for Honor.
Lady of War: Is an accomplished martial artist, both bare-handed and with a Grayson-style katana, and skilled with firearms, all while maintaining a cool, collected demeanor - most of the time.
Law of Inverse Fertility: After several books of resisting an affair with Hamish Alexander and while still trying to hide it, she gets pregnant at a politically inconvenient time when she believed her birth control was still effective.
Loophole Abuse: She is taken prisoner by the Havenites while serving as a Commodore (a Captain in charge of multiple ships) in the Royal Manticoran Navy, then escapes and ends up sneaking into a Havenite POW camp (It Makes Sense in Context). When she realizes she is going to have problems with a Manticoran Rear Admiral (a one-star flag officer), she has a uniform made for her other job, an Admiral in the Grayson Space Navy. The Rear Admiral calls her out on this, but none of the other officers can stand him and decide to back her instead.
Mama Bear: If you got the idea to threaten anything or anybody she feels responsible for... Just don't, okay?
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Not excessively, but Meyerdahl Beta genetic mod still seems a real treasure trove of unintended, but generally beneficent abilities with only the drawback of a heavy metabolism.
Nice Hat: In earlier books, much was made of her white beret, a uniform item which is only authorized for starship skippers in the Royal Manticoran Navy. When she is promoted to Admiral, she loses the right to wear the beret. She is later appointed as Commander, HMS Unconquered, an honorary role (Unconquered is a museum ship in orbit over Manticore) which incidentally allows Admiral Harrington to wear her beloved white beret again.
One of the Boys: How she thought of herself before finally finding love with Paul Tankersley.
Praetorian Guard: like any Steadholder, she has one. She takes it seriously whenever any of them die for her... and she's in enough danger that, eventually, she needs a totally new one.
Also, she is the leader of one of the larger Praetorian Guards in the galaxy, in the form of the Protector's Own, a formation of Grayson starships that answers directly to the Protector of Grayson. This being the Obvious Rule Patch necessary after Harrington, a Grayson Steadholder, formed an ad hoc Navy (The ElysianSpace Navy) using escaped PO Ws from numerous defeated star nations' navies. As it turns out, a Steadholder having their own military force is against Grayson constitutional law, so she handed it over to the Protector's control to avoid either a Constitutional Crisis or charges of Treason.
Rags to Riches: Her parents are both famous doctors, so she wasn't impoverished, but she goes from being a middle-class commoner to one of the wealthiest and most powerful nobles of the Star Kingdom and Grayson. As in, she's on a first-name basis with the Queen of Manticore. As an illustration, just compare her insecure agitation while meeting the Queen for the first time, and her casual slouch in the windowsill of King Michael's Tower (the Queen's personal quarters) during one of the policy meetings in Mission of Honor. Really drives home how close to the royal family she has become. Queen Elizabeth III lampshades this in Storm from the Shadows when she reflects, during a heated political discussion, upon the fact that Honor has become that rarest of things to her, a genuine peer.
Introduced as Honor's Executive Officer in On Basilisk Station, he continues to be her close friend and supporter throughout the series, up until his death at the end of At All Costs.
Balancing Death's Books: Word of God says that originally Honor Harrington was supposed to die in the Battle of Manticore, not him. (The Grim Reaper in this case being the author, not anything in universe.)
Number Two: Honor's Executive Officer in the first book, often a senior subordinate or supporter afterwards.
The Resenter: In On Basilisk station, he has trouble working with Honor because he resents her being given command of Fearless instead of him. He gets over it by the end of the book.
Admiral of the Green Hamish Strong Heart Alexander-Harrington, Thirteenth Earl of White Haven
Hamish Alexander is a renowned officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy and a member of the aristocracy. He is an excellent tactician and strategist, and also was the leading voice of the traditionalist school of military tactics in the RMN, which advocated the continuing value of conventional naval tactics in spite of the technological breakthroughs the Manties' R&D had made. During his career he has commanded Home Fleet, Sixth Fleet, and Eighth Fleet and is currently the First Lord of the Admiralty. He is married to Emily Alexander, a triplegic ex-actress and probably one of the shrewdest minds in the Kingdom. Later, he marries Honor — or rather, he and Emily both do.
The Brigadier: The most illustrious and distinguished commander of his generation, and he went on to become Honor's mentor too.
Can't Have Sex, Ever: His wife, Emily, suffered a terrible accident that left them unable to be together in that way.
The Chessmaster: Mostly in military matters. He's a decent politician, but just don't have his brother's flair.
Hero of Another Story: Many of the earlier books portray him commanding larger fleet actions against the Havenites while Honor was off having her adventures in various far flung corners of the galaxy. He has even brought The Cavalry on more than one occasion.
An his favorite sport was (and is) soccer, not martial arts.
Admiral White Haven: But that brutal, sweaty hand-to-hand business of yours isn't my style at all. Oh no — self-defense is your forte, not mine. If we should ever happen to encounter a mugger who somehow penetrates the protection of those three Rottweilers of yours, I'll be perfectly happy to hold your coat while you mop up the pavement with him. Heck, I'll even buy you a bonbon and a cup of hot chocolate afterward.
Polyamory: Even if Manticoran laws wouldn't allow it (which they did), they both were Grayson citizens as well. Having one's brother as the Prime Minister and the Queen as a good personal friend helps deal with some of the legal snarls, as well.
The Rival: In the earlier books, he and Admiral Sonja Hemphill had an antagonistic working relationship, due to differing beliefs in where the RMN's naval doctrine should develop. House of Steel reveals that they were known for mutual antagonism even when they were junior officers.
Your Cheating Heart: He has had a number of affairs during his marriage to Emily after her accident, including one with a fellow naval officer, all in the past relative to the books. It's touched on once (fleshing out some Back Story for him and a fellow admiral), and never comes up again.
Elizabeth Adrienne Samantha Annette Soul Of Steel Winton, Grand Commander of the Order of King Roger, Grand Commander of the Order of Queen Elizabeth I, Grand Commander of the Order of the Golden Lion, Baroness of Crystal Pine, Baroness of White Sand, Countess of Tannerman, Countess of High Garnet, Grand Duchess of Basilisk, Princess Protector of the Realm, and, by God's grace and the will of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth III of the Star Kingdom of Manticore, and Empress Elizabeth I of the Star Empire of Manticore
Queen Elizabeth III is the current ruling monarch of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. She ascended to the throne in 1883 PD (3986 AD), seventeen years prior to the events of On Basilisk Station. Unlike many modern monarchs, the Manticoran Constitution gives her some limited actual executive power. She is often described as being both straightforward and honourable. Unfortunately, she holds grudges for so long that they die of old age; then she has them stuffed and mounted. She also has a hatred of the (People's) Republic of Haven that borders on fanaticism. Which isn't too surprising when you consider that the People's Republic was responsible for the assassination of her father, her Prime Minister and best friend, her uncle, and her cousin. A whacking great dose of character development, the Manticoran equivalent of Pearl Harbor, and a basketful of unexpected revelations help her get over it.
Berserk Button: Haven, and justifiably so. Haven was directly responsible for the deaths of her father, an uncle and a cousin.
Birds of a Feather: In A Rising Thunder, she becomes very close with Eloise Pritchart, President of the Republic of Haven.
Determinator: Treecat name: "Soul of Steel." In her case, this is often portrayed as a bad thing, since her aversion to compromise and tendency towards an explosive temper are part of what the Alignment have been using to manipulate the war between Manticore and Haven.
The High Queen: She does a good job at it despite her legendary temper.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Unfortunately, when Baron High Ridge and the Opposition cross her in the wake of Duke Cromarty's death, she makes the mistake of openly showing her mortal enmity towards them and throwing them into an Enemy Mine scenario against her that keeps their natural ideological differences from tearing them apart.
Precision F-Strike: Refers to the mess in New Tuscany caused by Solly Admiral Byng's idiocy as a "cluster fuck".
Revenge Before Reason: Justified or not, she is not rational when it comes to Haven. On a smaller scale, she is quoted as "holding grudges until they die of old age, then having them stuffed and mounted on the wall."
Rousing Speech: An epic one given to the entire Star Kingdom after Oyster Bay, where she declares that despite their recent hardships, they will prevail, and they will be victorious in their war against The Solarian League.
It is basically all three most famous speeches of Allied leadersnote Churchill's "We will fight on the beaches...", Molotov's "Our case is right...", and Roosevelt's "This is the day of infamy..." on their entrance into the WWII rolled into one.
An officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, a titled peer of the Manticoran aristocracy and Queen Elizabeth III's first cousin through their mutual grandmother Queen Samantha II, Michelle was Honor Harrington's roommate at Saganami Island, helped her pass higher-dimensional mathematics, and is her oldest and closest friend. She was first introduced as Honor's executive officer in The Short Victorious War, when Honor took command of the battlecruiser Nike. Later she became Countess Gold Peak when her father and older brother were both killed during the Peep/Masadan assassination attempt on Protector Benjamin and Queen Elizabeth. As a Rear Admiral, she was commanding Eighth Fleet's 81st Battlecruiser Squadron when her flagship was damaged and captured at the Battle of Solon. She was later released as President Pritchart's messenger to Queen Elizabeth, and was subsequently assigned to the Talbott Quadrant as the commander of Tenth Fleet, where her actions have initiated a state of war between Manticore and the Solarian League.
The Captain: Her preferred role. When she is finally promoted to flag rank she quickly finds herself missing the command chair, though she does come to realise that she also enjoys commanding larger fleet actions.
Childhood Friend: Though they met as first-year midshipmen at the Academy and not as actual children, Henke otherwise fills this role to Honor — though Honor makes other close friends over the course of the novels, she is at her easiest and most uninhibited with Michelle, whom she has literally known for decades by the time of On Basilisk Station.
Four-Star Badass: Her tactical prowess is mentioned in the same breath as that of Michael Oversteegen and Aivars Terekhov, which puts her among the best of the best flag officers who aren't too senior for front-line combat duty.
Lady of War: Has the savoir-faire and grace of high nobility even if she doesn't like the aristocracy in general all that much.
Number Two: This is how she was introduced in The Short Victorious War, when she served as then-Captain Honor Harrington's executive officer aboard HMS Nike.
Passed Over Promotion: She actually does this to herself; she's so afraid of using her social position to advance her rank that BuPers doesn't promote her because they know she won't accept it, thinking she won't have won it on her own merits. Then Honor sits her down and smacks some sense into her, after which she shoots from captain to rear admiral in less than two years. Honor rather acidly points out that if she'd actually been promoted as her abilities deserved, she'd have made flag rank at least half a decade before she finally did.
Vitriolic Best Buds: She bickers constantly with Oversteegen and enjoys grinding him under her heel in tactical simulations, but also considers him one of the best officers she knows and trusts him implicitly.
Captain Lord Pavel Young, Eleventh Earl of North Hollow
A generally sad and pathetic excuse for a human being. The eldest son of Lord Dimitri Young, Tenth Earl of North Hollow, he is extremely arrogant due to his exalted birth, family fortune and political power, not to mention a cruel individual and a pathological womanizer who can not take "no" for an answer. He has been known to resort to violence when his sexual advances are rejected; he raped the pilot of his father's personal yacht when he was only sixteen and his actions were covered by his father. At Saganami Naval Academy he tried to do the same to Honor Harrington after she rebuffed his public advances, and she beat the holy living hell out of him. This lead to a bitter feud with Honor in which he tried to sabotage her career on numerous occasions, culminating in his attempts in On Basilisk Station to abandon her on Basilisk Station, only to have it backfire on him. Though it was public knowledge that he attempted to undermine her command at Basilisk, his father's influence was able to keep him on active service and he was later assigned to the same station as Honor. Though technically senior to her in rank, Honor's status as the Flag Captain for the squadron commanding officer put her in a position of tactical authority. When he withdrew his ship over the protests and outrage of his own crew in the face of a large Havenite task force, and against Honor's direct orders, court-martial charges which would sentence him to death were initiated. His extremely influential father managed to save him from the death penalty, but he was stripped of all rank and titles and dishonorably discharged from the Navy. Afterward, he inherited the title of Earl of North Hollow and planned once again to exact revenge on Honor. He hired an assassin to kill Honor's first love, Paul Tankersley. In revenge, Honor challenges him to a duel and kills him. Oh, and Young, too.
Aristocrats Are Evil: Such a posterboy of this trope, that he is one of the reasons why there were a good ten books before there was a conservative aristocrat who wasn't an utter twit. That was how sour the taste he left behind was. He also highlighted the corruption of several other nobles who rose to his defense for partisan reasons.
Attempted Rape: Tries to do it to Honor, who demonstrates a far superior grasp of martial arts, using him as a practice dummy.
Bad Boss: Both as a captain, and even worse as an Earl.
Blackmail: Had access to his father's dirt on a number of politicians and others. Used it to force Georgia Sakristos to be his sexual plaything and to get Baron High Ridge to back him in Lords.
Custom Uniform: His dress uniform was noticeably better tailored than others but still within regs. (This is a classic sign of the Upper-Class Twit in the Honorverse, though it's subverted a couple of times by heroes who do the same.)
Dirty Coward: His greatest defining trait, rivaled only by his lack of regard for other human beings.
Everyone Went to School Together: Honor desperately wishes he had grown up in another system, much less that he hadn't gone to school with her, but unfortunately there's only one Manticoran Naval Academy.
Genre Savvy: Stupid or not, he's rather cunning in a gutter-scum sort of way; when he tries to rape Honor, he slipped Nimitz a mickey because he knew what a pissed-off treecat could do. (Of course, he didn't know what Honor could do.)
He is also perfectly aware that war with Haven is inevitable, and uses his influence to ensure that the declaration of war goes through while the Havenites are still reeling from their recent coup.
It's All About Me: His chief of security theorizes that Young sees the rest of humanity as cardboard cutouts, there to be used by him. He has no concept that they could stand against him, or could possibly be justified in doing so.
Karmic Death: It's always dangerous to push one's luck too far. Unfortunately (for him), he was too dumb to understand that.
Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He forces his (female) security chief to become his lover, holding her with blackmail material. This leads her to give Honor's allies evidence that implicates him in the murder of Honor's lover, Paul Tankersley, ultimately leading to Honor killing Pavel in a duel. She even notes how stupid he is to abuse his security chief this way.
The Neidermeyer: Textbook example. Pretty much universally detested by his own subordinates, and for good reason.
The Sociopath: Specifically described as regarding others as cardboard cutouts in his universe.
The Starscream: When he's forced to turn to politics, he shows signs of becoming this to Baron High Ridge, but he is killed before anything can come of this.
Strawman Political: Averted, rather surprisingly. After his court martial, where he is humiliated and expelled from the Navy, Young becomes a member of the House of Lords. But his first action actually helps the good guys - he breaks with the Conservatives to call for a declaration of war against Haven. Part of it was political expediency, but the fact that he was on the receiving end of Haven's opening salvo might have had something to do with it.
Upper-Class Twit: Much of his evilness stemmed from his truly monumental stupidity. There was a lot of deeds to which his much more intelligent Magnificent Bastards of a father and wife, or somewhat less magnificent, but still quite talented bastard of a brother would've never resorted to, if only for their potential to backfire.
Capt. Anton Zilwicki, ret.
Part of the famous Spook Duo, Zilwicki is also a one more proof that appearances can be deceiving. A short, but extremely stocky and broad man, he's so extravagantly muscled that it's visible even when he's in uniform, with comparisons to dwarven kings routinely made in-universe. He is, nevertheless, one of the finest intelligence agents in The Empire — and hotly contests the position of the best hacker in the series with Chief Harkness. While very serious and negative, even dour man, he somehow struck up an odd friendship with Victor Cachat (even when they were technically still enemies), and is hardly seen apart from him, making their books a sort of buddy cop subseries.
When talking with Cathy for the first time, he admits that at first he got into reading the classics of literature to show up the upper class twits in Manticoran society, but later learned to appreciate them for their own merit.
Crazy-Prepared: His basic MO is to go through all possible scenarios and contingencies of a situation beforehand and prepare accordingly. In fact, Crown of Slaves begins with him having considered (and prepared responses for) the rather outlandish scenario that the Queen has invited him and his adopted daughter because a.) a princess who has been kept largely hidden from the public intends to become a spymaster and they want him to mentor her and b.) the Queen and princess intend to run a crazy indentity-switch gambit involving his daughter. The only times he is ever genuinely surprised by anything all seem to involve Victor Cachat.
Deus Exit Machina: An out-system mission puts him out of the way for much of Crown of Slaves.
Genius Bruiser: Three times Manticoran Graeco-Roman wrestling champion, able to kill a Super Soldier with bare hands (by the full nelson, technically, which amply demonstrates his strength and brawling skills). Excellent spy and best information security specialist in the series.
Heavy Worlder: Gryphon (1.2 g) isn't as extreme as San Martin (2.7 g) or even Manticore's own Sphinx (1.35 g), but it still has notably higher gravity. Also, unlike Sphinx, where most people sport genetic mods adapting them to higher gravity (making them generally strong, but thin and lean), these mods aren't as widespread on Gryphon, so the people from there tend to be shorter and stockier just like him.
Knowledge Broker: Retired when the Second Janacek Admiralty beached him, and started private intelligence business, later moving to being full-time Audubon Ballroom spymaster due to his girlfriend's allegiances.
Large Ham: Despite all his dourness he still finds the time to chew the scenery properly. The scene where he delivered his Badass Creed is unforgettable.
Overt Operative: By this time everybody and their dog knows him thanks to an expose in Crown of Slaves. It doesn't hinder him much.
Papa Wolf: Don't mess with his daughters. If you do, you, and the whole organization you serve, will find a very gruesome death but only after being completely discredited, and providing ample evidence of institutionalized incompetence. What he does to Anisimovna will probably be spectacularly messy, and oh so satisfying to him and readers alike.
Wrestler in All of Us: Literally — he was a famous competitive wrestler with numerous titles in his youth, so it is not advised to get physical with him: Anton would literally disassemble you limb-from-limb with little effort.
Master Chief Steward's Mate James MacGuiness
James "Mac" MacGuiness is Honor's Steward (and Major Domo while on Grayson). Retired following Honor's "execution" but retook the post when Honor turned up alive (apparently without re-enlisting). Something of an honorary father figure to Honor, who regularly refers to him (like her armsmen) as one of her "keepers".
Battle Butler: More butler than battler, but he is a lifetime naval man.
Bavarian Fire Drill: In the later books he has been discharged, but he doesn't let a little thing like no longer being a member of the Navy impede him in his shipboard duties.
Dr. Allison Laugh Dancer Benton-Ramirez y Chou Harrington, Lady Harrington
Allison Harrington is a genetic surgeon and the mother of Honor Harrington, Alfred Harrington's wife. She emigrated to the Star Kingdom from the libertine planet of Beowulf, which, she felt, has started becoming too conformist and set in its liberal-nonconformist ways. Ironically, she comes from the very top of that society, as she is a scion of not one, but THREE of the most illustrious and distinguished families of Beowulf, one of the first and, arguably, most developed of original Earth colonies. Among her ancestors were numerous illustrious biomedical researchers, some of whom were even the signatories of the Cherwell convention, a famous anti-slavery treaty, which was one of the most plot-important things as of late.
Blithe Spirit: Enjoys shocking her more strait-laced countrymen. Let alone what happens on Grayson... She even tweaks the nose of her libertine Beowulf by being unusually conservative (she's strictly monogamous, which isn't the norm there).
Dr. Surg. Capt. Alfred Deep Roots Harrington, ret., Lord Harrington
Honor's father, one more in the almost endless line of biologist and physician Harringtons, Alfred is a no less famous in medicine than his wife, but doesn't have the same impact on the story. A top-notch neurosurgeon, his main occupation in the series seems to be patching Honor up after her more demanding adventures and providing some domestic air for the family with his cooking. He does get A Day in the Limelight in the short story "Beauty and the Beast", detailing his first meeting with (and eventual rescue of) Allison Chou.
The Berserker: And it terrifies him to no end — this is why he chose medicine after all.
Big Guy: At 194 cm he's one of the biggest characters in the series.
Blood Knight: Deconstructed, as he doesn't like the fact a bit, unlike most other examples. Or rather, he does like it, quite a bit, and that terrifies him. His decision to go into medicine was largely to avoid the negative trappings of this trope.
Last of His Kind: He is one of the very few survivors of the Harrington clan after Oyster Bay.
Living Lie Detector: He is excellent at reading people, picking up on subconcious tics and nonverbal signals in face-to-face conversation. At least, that's what he thinks at first. He's actually got a form of low-level telepathy, similar to what his daughter would later develop. Even at her most mischievous, Honor never dared to try and outright lie to her father as a kid as a result.
Space Marine: Made Platoon Sergeant in the RMMC before he became a Navy doctor.
The Medic: Spent almost half a century at the Bassingford Medical Center — the main Manticore's military hospital — until his retirement as Surgeon Captain. He also got to patch his girl up both times she needed it.
Mindlink Mates: Has an empathic bond with Allison, which kicked in practically the instant they met.
Rescue Romance: He and Allison were already infatuated with each other (despite having barely spoken to each other) when she was kidnapped by a group of baddies who wanted to blackmail her brother. Alfred tracked them down and enacted a very violent rescue that kicked off their relationship.
Supreme Chef: Has a friendly rivalry with a Harrington House chief cook, alternating in oner-upping each other.
Chief Warrant Officer Sir Horace Harkness, PMV, CGM, DSO
Petty Officer Harkness was first introduced when Honor asked for any members of the crew who might be familiar with smuggling tricks, no questions asked. One of her older crew members, his career had stalled due to the fact that, while he is one of the best at what he does, what he does also includes smuggling goods on board ship and picking fights with marines. The latter consider his hostility to be a show of respect, not without reason. He later sorta "reforms" note His marriage to Iris Babcock, a Marine of all people, seems to have a lot to do with it and gets his career back on track, becoming in essence Scotty's staff engineer, despite still being a warrant officer — he just happens to be a genius grav tech and one of thetwobest hackers in the whole franchise.
Almighty Janitor: Nobody ever takes him for anything more than a battered old working-class noncom, but behind the unremarkable exterior lurks the mind of a hacking genius clever enough to hack his way into one of Manticore's most-protected military computer systems solely to make sure that he's always assigned to the same duty station as the young officer he's taken under his wing. This comes in extremely handy in In Enemy Hands.
Boisterous Bruiser: Not that he is a fan of boasting, really, but he's a cheerful enough guy to lighten the mood rather often.
He fulfills the role perfectly in Honor Among Enemies when he is helping Aubrey Wanderman take a level in badass.
Dating Catwoman: He married a Marine, when previously he had a pathological inability to walk by a Marine without starting a brawl.
Friendly Enemy: Him and most Marines before Iris Babcock cleans him up. They take his tendency to brawl with them to be a compliment.
Genius Bruiser: He's really a brilliant engineer and has an instinctive knack for all things technical, but his idea of "fun" really gets into an odds with the law, or at least the other people's teeth anyway.
Happily Married: Eventually, to a powerful woman who seems able to control his darker side enough to get his career moving again.
He still seems to be happy to stick to a specialist side, flatly refusing a commission once.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: He meets Scotty Tremaine in his role as advisor-who-knows-about-smuggling-no-questions-asked and they got along so well that he starts manipulating crew listings to ensure they are both stationed aboard the same vessel.
This thing goes for more than twenty years already.
It's no longer necessary; the Navy's Bureau of Personnel gave up on even trying to separate them. And, given that Scotty is now a Captain Of The List, and can go however he damn pleased about his personnel, the point is even more moot.
Sergeant Rock: Would've be a textbook example if not for his troubles with authorities early on.
Captain (SG) Prescott "Scotty" Tremaine
A longtime student of Honor's and her first protégé, Scotty, as he is universally known, is a recurring secondary character and in many ways, a reader's stand-in. Introduced in the very first novel of the series, On Basilisk Station, as an extremely green Ensign Newbie fresh out of Saganami Island, he then followed Honor wherever she went.
Ace Pilot: His strongest point. Scotty excels in either piloting and managing everything that flies and is often frustrated when reassigned out of this field, like in In Enemy Hands where he's Honor's electronic warfare officer, or in Mission of Honor where he commands a heavy cruiser squadron — he really hoped to get himself a carrier.
Action Survivor: He's been in the most deadly hellholes of the galaxy, seen the most terrible atrocities of his time, fought in the largest battle in Humanity's history, — and came back alive.
BFG: Early in his career he showed a real obsession with the heavy firepower, being the only cadet in his class (except Marines) who qualified with plasma rifle — a heavy squad support weapon almost as long as he's tall.
"He glanced for just a moment at Horace Harkness' profile and felt an obscure, irrational flicker of reassurance. Harkness' elemental solidity, his unflappable sense of who and what he was, was like a touchstone. It was a reminder of all the challenges Tremaine had met and surmounted in the twenty T-years since he'd first set eyes on that battered, competent face, and in the wake of finding himself cast in the role of Juggernaut, Scotty Tremaine took a warm and very human comfort from it."
The Watson: In the first several books his inexperience was used as a way to cram several of Weber's infamous Infodumps into the story.
What the Hell, Hero?: Delivered the one to Honor in Honor of the Queen when she was ready to shoot the Masadan commander on the spot, thus saving her career.
Sergeant Major Iris Babcock
First introduced as Honor's sparring partner, Babcock is a veteran Marine. Having received first-generation prolong, she appears to be in late middle age. Her unarmed combat skills put Honor to shame at first but the latter learns quickly.
Bad Ass: She drop-kicks a woman who is trying to pull a rifle out of her hands, without either combatant letting go of the rifle.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Attempted and failed when a team is preparing to find out who hired Denver Sullivan to kill Paul Tankersley - in the end someone else lies on her behalf because they figure she should be on the team.
The Squadette: Often fulfills this role, as the only named woman in a team of marines if not the only actual woman.
Brigadier General Tomas Santiago Ramirez
First appearing as a Major and the commander of the HMS Fearless' marine detachment in The Honor of the Queen. He led the assault on Blackbird Base and saved Honor from destroying her career by killing the base commander once she learned of the atrocity he'd presided over. Later, he becomes a colonel and serves again as the CO of Honor's marines on the HMS Nike and was too late to prevent Paul Tankersley from getting in the duel that led to his death. He led the illegal side-mission to wring-out Denver Summerville's confession. He later becomes Brigadier General of the San Martin occupation forces.
You Killed My Father: One of many reasons to hate Haven, since his father was lost, fighting heroically to stop Haven from conquering their homeworld. His father isn't dead, though. He's a prisoner on Hades, and they are eventually reunited 30 years later.
Mike's new flag lieutenant after her stint as a Havenite POW, and one of the recent wave of the non-twit sympathetic aristocratic characters like Oversteegen and Terekhov. Noted for his habitual cheer, and equally habitual keenness of thought — his deceptively sunny disposition hides an incredibly sharp mind.
Aristocrats Are Evil: Quite averted, but knowing that a woman he was interested in strongly held this viewpoint was part of the reason he made a point of not telling her that one of his (distant) cousins is Queen Elizabeth III of Manticore. Of course, another reason was that he found the common Aristocrat practice of name-dropping powerful relatives to be distasteful.
Official Couple: His relationship with Helga Boltitz is one of the rare Honorverse romances to get serious screen time.
Survivor Guilt: Suffers from this after the Battle of Solon, which is what first bonds him to Michelle Henke.
Princess Ruth Winton
Daughter of Duchess Judith of Winton-Serisburg, and adopted daughter of Prince Michael, Queen Elizabeth III's younger brother. A keen hacker, she preferred spycraft to public service. Her introduction to Berry Zilwicki, with whom she became fast friends, started a chain of events that ended with the creation of the Kingdom of Torch, for which she currently serves as spymaster.
Playful Hacker: Cracks professional security for no reason other than curiosity and boredom.
Running Gag: Her total disinterest in history and impressive knowledge of contemporary politics always leads to amusing bloopers when she confuses historical characters (or even concepts, like chutzpah) with minor modern politicians.
Michael Janvier, Baron High Ridge
9th Baron of High Ridge and leader of Manticore's Conservative Association, a coalition of Members of the House of Lords who exist as a party solely to preserve and expand the privilege of Manticore's nobility. After the Centrists lose control of the House of Lords in the wake of the Duke of Cromarty's assassination, he becomes the Prime Minster of Manticore in Ashes of Victory. It doesn't end well.
Aristocrats Are Evil: Leader of a party of nobles solely out to preserve & expand their own privilege.
Corrupt Politician: His party's hatchetman runs everything on Blackmail, and he's not above a little skimming off the top and nepotism.
Head-in-the-Sand Management: Opposed the war with Haven from the beginning, the middle, the end, and all the way into the next war, largely for selfish motives but also out of genuine myopia.
Jerkass: He doesn't even notice the hired help, and he'll even play games with people of higher social rank to show them how much more important he is (e.g. by showing up late to make people wait on him).
If central casting had sent him to an HD producer for the role of an over-bred, cretinous aristocrat, the producer would have sent him back with a blistering note about stereotypes and typecasting.
His appearance is almost entirely described in terms of negative animals traits: vulpine face, spider eyes, vulture-like appearance, etc.
Out-Gambitted: Thanks to an Unwitting Instigator of Doom. His gamesmanship with Haven combined with Giancola's scheming accidentally leads Manticore and Haven back to war again and himself to be out of office, later to be investigated for all the corruption in his government.
Poetic Justice: He makes the mistake of making an enemy of Queen Elizabeth III in about the most short-sighted, spiteful way possible in Ashes of Victory. When the political tables are finally turned in a later book, she spares no mercy in grinding him under her heel.
Smug Snake: Possibly the only nice thing you can say about him is that he keeps his cool.
Straw Character: There's pretty much nothing redeeming about him or his political views. He exists purely for the reader and the good guys to dislike and to screw up everything in his selfish, snobby wake.
He gets a little better in War of Honor, only because Descroix's utter cynicism makes even High Ridge blanch at times.
Lady Elaine Descroix
Descroix is the leader of Manticore's Progressive Party. She conceals a ruthless and cynical streak behind a sweet and pleasant facade. Under the High Ridge government, she was the Foreign Secretary, in charge of diplomacy with Haven. When the second war erupted, she fled to the Solarian League where she was killed as a now useless pawn of the Mesan Alignment.
Blue Blood: Averted. She married into the nobility and doesn't have a seat in Lords, which keeps her from the premiership she wants. She'd be The Starscream if given a chance.
Corrupt Politician: She's pretty much in politics solely for power and money and is cynical and ruthless enough to make even Baron High Ridge appalled on two occasions: framing the Liberals for Progressive & Conservative embezzlement and editing diplomatic exchanges with Haven for public consumption.
She calls Harrington's anti-slavery operation a "quixotic crusade" despite the party's opposition to slavery.
Despite party opposition to imperialism, she's eager to accept the Talbott Cluster and to keep Havenite territory.
We Have Reserves: The least troubled member of the Conservative, Liberal, Progressive alliance by potential troop losses in war due to her own personal hatred of the military.
Marisa Turner, Countess New Kiev
Countess New Kiev is the leader of Manticore's Liberal Party, and is infamous for a "holier-than-thou" moral certainty behind her beliefs. Under the High Ridge government, she was Chancellor of the Exchequer, until her resignation from politics when the war restarted.
Actual Pacifist: She's horrified at the possibility of resuming war with Haven due to the potential loss of life.
Principles Zealot: Catherine Montaigne says that she had so much conviction in the nobility of her purpose that she believed it justified whatever tool she used in pursuit of it.
Slave Liberation: One of her Party's principles that she strongly believes in. Which is why High Ridge has to keep her away from efforts to whitewash the Manpower Incident.
Sir Edward Janacek, Admiral and First Lord of the Admiralty
Admiral Janacek was a member of the Conservative Association and who was put in charge of the Navy by the Cromarty government when the Conservatives were still allied with them in the first two books. Later, he regains the position under the High Ridge government. His time as First Lord is largely characterized by political nepotism and horrific mismanagement. He has a legendary, mutual hatred for Earl White Haven.
Bad Boss: Spiteful, arrogant, and willing to bury people's careers for not delivering results he wants.
Believing Their Own Lies: Pretty much believes all the negative propaganda about Honor Harrington being a hot-headed, blood-thirsty, maniac even in spite of acknowledging evidence against it.
He also goes out of his way to appoint yes-men to the Office of Naval Intelligence, who would never dare tell him that things abroad aren't how he thinks they are.
Desk Jockey: A lot better at bureaucratic empire-building than actual strategy.
Driven to Suicide: After his failures come home to roost in the wake of Operation Thunderbolt.
Idiot Ball: Pretty much a living Idiot Ball for the Navy. The only single decision traced to him that does anything good for Manticore is to station Honor Harrington at Sidemore before hostilities with Haven reignited. And even that an accidental good move, born solely out of spite and political enmity.
Nepotism: He benches all his political rivals (i.e. every single talented Admiral in the Navy) and promotes based on political gamesmanship instead of merit. The sole exception is Admiral Theodosia Kuzak, the commanding officer of Third Fleet, and the only reason she isn't benched is because she is far too popular with the people of San Martin.
Augustus Khumalo is one of the few exceptions, being a competent commander despite his impressive familial and political connections. Of course, until he was confronted with a possible shooting war with the Solarian League, Khumalo didn't know he was a competent commander — and neither did anyone else.
Politically Incorrect Villain: He sneers at the Graysons as "religious zealot neobarbs" and poisons relations with other alliance members by shutting down joint intelligence and R&D programs.
Pride: His most self-destructive trait, especially when White Haven or the Graysons are involved.
Rear Admiral Michael Oversteegen, MC, CGM, GS, OCN
Another aristocratic officer, and, as mentioned above, one of the very few non-stupid and generally competent conservatives in the series. He's the distant nephew of the Baron High Ridge, whom he resembles greatly, but, being an accomplished man on his own considerable merits, utterly despises that branch of the family as useless self-important toads who do nothing except protecting that self-importance. Noted as the best system-defence CO in the Navy, despite his relatively junior rank. Currently stationed in the Talbott Quadrant as the commanding officer of Tenth Fleet's Battlecruiser Squadron 108.
A Father to His Men: It takes him awhile to get his people to trust him to be this, given his remarkable resemblance to the infamous Baron High Ridge, but he is this trope right down to his toes. And after he wins his people's hearts forevermore in Tiberian, he rapidly becomes one of the most respected and admired officers in the Navy.
Aristocrats Are Evil: Averted. First likable member of the Conservative Alliance, despite believing in their goals of preserving aristocratic privilege, thanks to a sense of integrity and noblesse oblige lacking in all other examples seen to date — he thinks aristocratic responsibility is as important as aristocratic privilege, which is a foreign concept to many of his relatives.
"...I will just take the opportunity t' tell you, since I don't believe I've ever done it before at one of our family gatherin's - not precisely, I mean - just how brainless you are, Deborah. Truly brainless. Not simply stupid. Bar-ain-less. As in: brains of a carrot...."
Big Damn Heroes: Comes charging to Abigail Hearns' and her Marines' rescue on Refuge, having defeated three heavy cruisers and blown a fourth out of space with a single salvo, to rescue them from pirates in "The Service of the Sword".
Cultured Badass: The only man to defeat four Solarian C As in combat at once, the best system defense CO in the RMN, and he can discuss history, philosophy and politics on par with Web DuHavel.
The Captain: How he's introduced, in the short story "The Service of the Sword".
Funetik Aksent: Do you = d'you, to = t', [verb]ing = [verb]in'. Partially an affectation that he enjoys using to twit people around him, like Mike Henke.
Mistaken for Racist: It takes poor Abigail Hearns awhile to catch on to the fact that it's not that he doesn't think Grayson is up to Manticoran standards; it's that he thinks Manticore isn't up to Grayson standards. Once she clues in, though, she winds up adoring him.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Nobody expects it of him, as there is a lot of bad blood between the High Ridge government and the Royal Manticoran Navy, but as things turn out, he's not only a brilliant tactician but cares very deeply for his crew.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gives an absolutely brilliant one to the Mesan Navy commander in Crown of Slaves.
"At least, Sir, the uniform of the Queen of Manticore has never been sold t' the service of whoremasters, murderers, pedophiles, sadists, and perverts. I suppose, however, that those of you who choose t' serve in the navy of Mesa feel comfortable amid such company."
The Strategist: While he normally serves as The Captain, he is also widely regarded as the best system-defence CO in the RMN.
Unexplained Accent: His drawling accent is described as an "upper-crust" accent possessed by certain strata of the Manticoran aristocracy, but we've seldom seen any other character with the same accent despite having seen two relatives of his and an entire faction of overbred nobles.
Upper-Class Twit: Subverted— and no, that's not supposed to be "averted." He has every established marker of a Manticoran Upper-Class Twit except actually being a twit.
Vitriolic Best Buds: He bickers constantly with Michelle Henke, with whom he has a friendly rivalry of political opinion, but obviously respects her and has no qualms about following her wherever she may lead, however lunatic her plan may seem at the time. In turn, she enjoys thoroughly humiliating him in simulations, but clearly respects his judgment both as a man and as an officer.
White Sheep: Far and away the best thing to come out of his close family tree, or at least the part of it that appears onscreen.
Commodore Sir Aivars Aleksovitch Terekhov, KOR, MC, PMV
An officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, served a stint in the Foreign Office before returning to service in the First Havenite-Manticoran War. Terekhov spent some time as a POW before being released following a prisoner exchange with the Republic of Haven. Once cleared for duty he was assigned the HMS Hexapuma and sent to the Talbott Cluster as it was being annexed into the Star Kingdom. In the course of his duties, he came across a plan to take over the Lynx Junction terminus. Using what ships he could scrounge up in a hurry, Terekhov headed right for the source and stopped the plan in its tracks.
Badass Beard: Wears a neatly trimmed beard presumably a-la Abraham Lincoln.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Completely and utterly averted, though he does possess quite a ruthless side.
The Captain: Though promoted to Commodore following the Battle of Monica.
Character Tic: He is consistently noted as making a 'throwing-away' gesture with his right hand as he moves from one thought to another.
Culture Chop Suey: An apparent Russian-Latvian in a very British-flavoured society of the fifth millennium...
The Determinator: Nothing will stop him once he's decided on what course of action to take.
Forced Into Their Sunday Best: It takes the combined efforts of his flag lieutenant and his steward to get him into mess dress. Which, as the flag lieutenant in question notes, is a damned shame, because he was born to wear it.
His wife Sinead née O'Daley as well — she appears to be a "Red Irish".
Revenge Before Reason: Terekhov struggles with this when faced with renegade Peep ships. Fortunately, what he really wanted to do (which was to beat the everloving slag out of them) was also the right thing to do anyway.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Upon returning to Manticoran service, there were concerns if he was ready to be back in command because of this. Monica put those questions to bed with a missile barrage — he was just fine, thank you — but it still took him a bit of time to get there.
"And honesty compels me to add that neither I nor any other Manticoran officer have conspired with genetic slavers, pirates, terrorists, and mass murderers to commit acts of war on the sovereign territories of at least two independent star nations. Your government has done precisely that. My responsibility to see to it that those unprovoked and murderous assaults end now overrides any responsibility I may have towards your personnel."
Spanner in the Works: OFS's carefully laid plans fell apart because the Hexapuma happened to run across the same ship twice under different names. More specifically, because a midshipman on watch was bored and picked that ship at random for a closer analysis.
Survivor Guilt: As one of the very few survivors of the Battle of Hyacinth.
Admiral Augustus Khumalo
Station commander of the Talbott Cluster, later Talbott Quadrant. Initially put there primarily for political reasons during the High Ridge Government days, Khumalo spent much of his time once the Grantville government came in wondering when he'd be removed from his position. Instead, he distinguished himself by going to the aid of Aivars Terekhov without hesitation, to the surprise of many (and possibly himself). Since then he has continued to grow into a mature, level-headed, and very well-regarded leader, which is quite fortunate given the way things are heating up in his corner of the galaxy.
Boring but Practical: He lacks the strategic and tactical genius and sheer creativity of other characters, but he is dependable, hardworking and competent — particularly as an administrator, which is why he's still in overall command despite the rapid rise of brilliant officers like Gold Peak, Terekhov and Oversteegen.
Character Development: Starts out as "a station commander who isn't precisely noted for his brilliant and insightful command style" but starts to come into his own as a confident, competent leader following events at Monica.
Commander Contrarian: He has one in his chief of staff, Captain Loretta Shoupe. People tend to look at him rather closely when they notice that he doesn't simply dismiss her arguments, and the fact that she's not afraid to voice those arguments usually helps him earn people's respect when they don't know him at all, because it's the sign of a commander who is well aware that he doesn't know or think of everything and would rather get it right than be right.
Dumbass No More: He was never dumb, but he was a merely competent administrator until Monica, which got him thinking outside the box, and he's become steadily more capable as the series goes along. He's still no tactical genius, but he is also smart enough — and self-aware enough — to trust Henke, Oversteegen, and Terekhov, who very much are. The moment he decided against taking tactical command himself at the Battle of Spindle, despite having the seniority to do so, because he knew he wasn't the best man for the job, is quite possibly the moment that made him a true leader.
Fire-Forged Friends: While they weren't doing the actual fighting, his relationship with Estelle Matsuko got considerably warmer after his decisive action regarding the Battle of Monica. In Shadow of Freedom, Matsuko notes:
The [smile] felt a bit strange, but not because she wasn’t happy to see the face on her com. Although there’d been a time when Augustus Khumalo hadn’t been her favorite person, those days were gone.
Gentle Giant: His powerful frame is often noted, and he is at least once referred to as "massive", but he is a truly kind man who genuinely listens to his subordinates, and who is not particularly martially inclined and would rather not fight unless there is no other option. Unless, of course, one makes the mistake of attacking those under his command...
Good Is Not Soft: Some people mistook "not particularly martially inclined" for "wimp". That was a mistake.
Hidden Depths: Many people (including him!) are surprised by the calm, commanding, firm and decisive action he takes at Monica.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Platonic example with his civilian counterpart, Estelle Matsuko. She's all of 5'2" and slender. Khumalo, on the other hand, is easily over six feet tall and commonly described as "massive".
Memetic Badass: In-universe, to the people of the Talbott Quadrant, apparently. According to Michelle Henke, Talbotters think that the only reason he and Terekhov don't regularly walk on water is because they don't like wet shoes.
...[Michelle] found herself looking into [Khumalo's] eyes, searching for some sign of the moral courage he'd displayed when he received Aivars Terekhov's bombshell dispatch. She didn't see it. Not surprisingly, perhaps. She'd discovered long since that people who looked like warriors too often proved to be Elvis Santinos or Pavel Youngs, while the most outwardly unprepossessing people frequently turned out to have nerves of steel.
Non-Idle Rich: He's an albeit somewhat distant relative of the Queen's and is noted to be very wealthy, but is nevertheless a serving naval officer.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Khumalo might lack true brilliance, but he well enough compensated for that by his quiet competence, sound judgement and inborn integrity, which in the end makes him quite a successful commander.
Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: Khumalo was sent to the Talbott Quadrant in the first place because it was a "nothing post" and he had political connections to the High Ridge government. Then he was left there when the Grantville government came in because that government had bigger things to worry about — like Silesia. Much to everyone's surprise, when events in the Talbott Quadrant blew up in spectacular fashion, Khumalo proved himself and then some, and the Grantville government made his post permanent because he had proven himself to be a) the right man in the right place at the right time and b) exactly what they needed out there.
Took a Level in Badass: Every time he deals with a military crisis, he becomes a better, stronger, and all-over more competent leader.
Underestimating Badassery: Unusually for the trope, it was his own Navy fellows doing the underestimating, not his opponents — they had considered him a by-the-book administrator lacking both imagination and experience until his handling of the Monica crisis established that he was tough-minded enough for any three officers and willing to back his subordinates to the hilt.
Lady Dame Estelle Matsuko, KGCR, 1st Baroness Medusa
Another career diplomat in Manticoran service, Baroness Medusa (then just Dame Estelle Matsuko) served as a Special Commissioner for the natives' rights in the very first book of the series, On Basilisk Station — for which she was apparently made a peer — and, presumably, in other diplomatic roles during the 14-years stretch between OBS and The Shadow of Saganami. There she was a special envoy of the Crown representing Manticore's interests during the Talbott Cluster Constitutional Convention that developed the terms and conditions of Talbott's annexation into the Star Kingdom. Later on, when that long-winded and complicated process finally ended, she was made the first Governor of the newly formed Talbott Quadrant of the Star Empire of Manticore.
Ambadassador: She is tiny. She's kind of adorable. She scares the pants off anyone who dares to cross swords with her.
Badass Bureaucrat: Her talents may not lie in starship command, but that in no way detracts from her incredible diplomatic and political badass.
Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Poor Estelle has to walk a political tightrope that would make your average circus performer blanch.
Fire-Forged Friends: With Khumalo, following the Battle of Monica. As she notes in Shadow of Freedom:
The [smile] felt a bit strange, but not because she wasn’t happy to see the face on her com. Although there’d been a time when Augustus Khumalo hadn’t been her favorite person, those days were gone.
Good Is Not Soft: Don't piss her off. Please. She has an entire fleet at her disposal and she will use it.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Platonic example with her military counterpart, Augustus Khumalo. She's barely five feet tall and delicately built, whereas Khumalo is not only easily over six feet, but described with words like "massive".
Multi-Ethnic Name: Though this is everywhere in the Honorverse, hers is the first (showing up very early in On Basilisk Station) and one of the most flagrant examples. "Estelle" is French, while "Matsuko" probably comes from the Japanese surname "Matsuoka".
Reasonable Authority Figure: Makes a point of listening to her subordinates' concerns, both as Special Commissioner and later as special envoy and Governor.
Silk Hiding Steel: She can do more with a glare and a quiet, scathing reprimand than most people can with a shout.
Stellar Name: 'Estelle' for star. Given that she's a diplomat who has spent her career travelling the stars, it's fitting.
Ensign Helen Zilwicki, Jr.
Anton Zilwicki's daughter. She was assigned to Hexapuma for her midshipwoman cruise, getting caught up in the Talbott Quadrant's events. Now Sir Aivars's flag lieutenant.
Ensign Newbie: In Shadow of Saganami she's on her very first cruise out of the academy and not even an ensign yet. Tends to be the most junior officer around even in later books.
Everyone Can See It: Abigail Hearns noted that there might possibly have been an engineering rating somewhere on Hexapuma — one of the type who never got out of the fusion room — who didn't know what was going on between Helen and Paulo, but everyone else most certainly did.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: Neither she nor Paulo d'Arezzo are particularly interested in thinking about the feelings growing between them, but they definitely exist.
Waif-Fu: She's been studying martial arts since she was a young girl, and in fact killed a trio of would-be rapists with her bare hands when she was fourteen.
Ensign Paulo d'Arezzo
An incredibly handsome electronic warfare specialist, assigned to Hexapuma for his midshipman cruise. Promoted after the Battle of Monica. Was born as a Mesan pleasure slave, although he was rescued as an infant, and grew up on Manticore.
Hunk: If there was a good picture of him, could probably provide the trope image, given his origins as one specifically created to be attractive for customers of Mesa seeking a sex slave.
The Quiet One: Keeps to himself a lot. He has a very good reason for this.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Justified; the fact that he was designed to be so attractive by Mesa, so as to be a better sex slave, makes him sick to his stomach at times.
A prominent economist with a Liberal party affiliation and political ambitions. Sent as second ranking delegation member to Grayson and tried to order Honor and her ships to abandon the Graysons and take the delegation (or rather him) to safety after the First Battle of Yeltsin. This display of cowardice led Honor to strike him, ruining his diplomatic career and making him an enemy for life. Became Second Lord of the Admiralty under High Ridge.
Armchair Military: He hates the military and regards war as failed diplomacy, but still thinks he could do a better job than the military.
Dirty Coward: His reaction when he realizes that he is technically in charge of the Manticoran delegation is to try to order a retreat, abandoning Grayson to the Masadans. Nobody present complains when Honor knocks him out.
Insane Troll Logic: One of the main voices insisting that Honor murdered Pavel Young in their duel since his gun was empty, never mind that it had just been emptied into her.
Jerkass: Thinks of himself as intellectually superior to anybody around him, particularly the military, and makes sure to let them know it.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: During his time as Second Lord of the Admiralty, he was responsible for budget cuts and the like which would later hamper the Navy during the Second Havenite War.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He and Edward Janacek. Houseman is a military-disdaining Liberal, Janacek is a veteran Admiral Conservative.
Admiral Lady Dame Sonja Hemphill, Baroness of Low Delhi
Cousin of Sir Edward Janacek, "Horrible" Hemphill was the leading advocate of the jeune ecole for most of the series. She was known for aggressively advocating any shakeup to the technology used by the RMN in the hopes of developing weapons systems that smashed the current tactical deadlock. Despite early problems, especially the doomed grav lance/energy torpedo armament mix on the Fearless, she was the driving force behind such developments as FTL communications, missile pods, podnaughts, modern LACs and CLACs, Ghost Rider, and the Apollo missile system. Removed herself from active service following the formation of the High Ridge government after the Cromarty assassination, but returned as Fourth Space Lord under her perennial rival, First Lord of the Admiralty White Haven. Despite being the current Lady Low Delhi, everyone still calls her Admiral Hemphill.
Badass Bookworm: The tech she created has repeatedly given Manticoran ships such a technological advantage over their enemies that they end up being unable to even fire back. She was also a serving RMN fleet commander for much of the series, and was mentioned in passing as having defended or taken systems a couple of times.
Birds of a Feather: Word of God is that Sonja becomes instant best friends with a Havenite admiral in a similar position to her own, Shannon Foraker.
Friendly Rival: As the leader of the jeune ecole, she was continually in opposition with Admiral White Haven, the leader of the "historical" school. Despite their disagreement on tactics, however — and the fact that for quite a few years, Landing hostesses ensured they were not invited to the same parties, as the arguments were that bitter — they respected each other thoroughly, and sat firmly on the same side of the political bench. When Hemphill started making breakthroughs like LACs, FTL, and Ghost Rider, White Haven admitted that he'd been wrong about her.
Gadgeteer Genius: Does some truly amazing things with technology. She continually leaves the rest of the military gaping in awe at what she manages to create.
Heel-Face Turn: While never a bad character, she did not get off to a great start with Honor, and therefore with most of the readership, thanks to the Fearless fiasconote and in At All Costs she told Honor that she had never intended for Fearless to be actually sent into combat. As the war started to heat up, however, she began to develop the above-mentioned tactical systems that would reshape the entire war. As a result, she became much more popular with characters and readers alike.
Minored In Ass Kicking: Though usually busy cooking up awesome weapons for other people to use, she is an officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy, and a tactical specialist to boot, with all the abilities at asskicking in combat that implies.
Grayson in General
Achievements in Ignorance: Much of the Grayson technological advancement before joining the Manticoran Alliance was built on Grayson experimenting, during their relative isolation from the rest of the galaxy, with technologies and techniques long abandoned. The most notable is their fission technology, which — because they didn't transition to fusion like everyone else — kept improving to the point they could make them more efficient, smaller scale, and higher output than anyone else thought was theoretically possible.
Badass Navy: By book 10 or so, Grayson's navy is almost as badass as Manticore's. They went straight to building the most advanced ships made available through the huge technological leaps achieved during the Havenite-Manticoran War, so they don't have to use older ships like the Manticorans, and they didn't slow construction during the four year armistice. They end up with as many bleeding-edge ships as Manticore.
Exotic Extended Marriage: Polygamy is firmly embraced, though that is rooted partly in practical concerns, since a quirk of genetic tweaks that saved them from being poisoned to death by the planet has caused Graysons to survive at a rate of three girls for every boy. Fortunately, since it's universal on Grayson, there appears to be very little jealousy; most sister-wives get along very well, and in fact do think of themselves as sisters. Honor also notes the tremendous family strength of Grayson's traditional family structure; Grayson children have very secure childhoods, because there is always an adult around willing and able to help them.
The Fundamentalist: Very serious about their brand of extreme-right Protestantism (which, oddly, has some pretty strong parallels to Catholicism), to the extent that their government is fairly theocratic (and which allows women little independence and rights), though their Church proper stays mostly out of politics, after having partly caused Grayson's hugely destructive Civil War and the expulsion of the extremist element that proceeded to take a nicer planet nearby and threaten them with genocide for the next few hundred years. The Church has moderated itself since then, and actually aids the rapid modernization brought about by Grayson's alliance with Manticore.
Gadgeteer Genius: Grayson has come up with ideas and techniques no one else thought possible.
Had To Be Sharp: Grayson is, outwardly, a paradise, but the planet's crust has a high concentration of heavy metals. Its wildlife is well adapted to this reality, with their plants fixing mercury like our plants fix nitrogen, but even after a thousand years on the planet the average Grayson is still short, brittle-boned, and short-lived. When they arrived, the Graysons had planned to abandon all technology as evil (which had been the main tenet of their religion), but just surviving required backbreaking labor and sophisticated technology, and so they embraced an alternate view, holding that man's use of technology, not technology itself, was evil. And despite the harshness of their environment, the Graysons have managed to positively thrive and have re-developed for themselves much technology that they lost in their first few years on the planet.
Religion of Evil: Averted, despite the Church of Humanity Unchained being set up this way (unlike their Evil Twin Masada, who play this straight). Honor Harrington comes to have a deep respect for both the Graysons themselves and their religion, despite its overt (though, as of Manticore's alliance with Grayson, quickly diminishing) inherent sexism. Namely that men are supposed to protect, and therefore rule over, women. Initially even the (relatively) open-minded officers are nearly physically ill at the thought of women in the military. But that doesn't mean they were slaves, denied education, don't lead lively private lives, or suffer incessant abuse; on the contrary, they have tremendous influence on their menfolk and are as well-educated as the men themselves. Grayson goes out of its way to protect its women, in part because of the extremely deleterious effect Grayson's environment has on women's ability to reproduce, and because it was thought necessary for Grayson to survive at all.
Protector Benjamin Mayhew IX.
Benjamin Mayhew IX is the hereditary head of state of the Protectorate of Grayson and the liege lord of the planet's feudal system of government. Educated in the Solarian League (at Harvard University no less) he is often portrayed as an extremely intelligent and shrewd politician. During his reign he advocated for and later successfully reformed and liberalized Grayson society and oversaw the modernization of its industrial base. He also entered into a military alliance with the Star Kingdom of Manticore, and Grayson has remained Manticore's staunchest ally ever since. He is based very heavily on Japan's Meiji Emperor and Grayson in turn is based largely on Meiji-era Japan.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Benjamin is an accomplished horticulturalist in his spare time, and often used his greenhouses (with their respective climate) to disturb and pressure friend and foe alike.
The Chessmaster: He turned the whole conclave of nobles who usurped the power from his ancestors centuries before around the finger through the sheer force of intellect. And a little help from his friends.
Expy: He bears too many similarities with the Emperor Meiji of Japan for it to be a coincidence.
Happily Married: As per Grayson custom, he has more than one wife. His are Katherine, a forceful, intelligent, and politically-minded type, and Elaine, the more traditional and retiring homemaker sort who nevertheless manages her children — all of them — with the grace and sublety of the best Yamato Nadeshiko. Like most sister-wives on Grayson, they get along very well.
Manly Tears: When Honor finally makes it back from Hades, he gives the metaphorical finger to a thousand years of Grayson protocol and sweeps her into a bear hug with definitely teary eyes.
Praetorian Guard: In addition to his personal Armsmen (which all Steadholders on Grayson have), beginning in Ashes of Victory he has The Protector's Own Squadron, effectively a Praetorian Fleet.
Real Men Wear Pink: Fellow Graysons don't always consider his love for horticulture to be the manliest of hobbies. He could not care less.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Grayson Constitution makes the Protector a sort of fully empowered hereditary President. And oh boy, does he use it to his and his planet's advantage.
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: At one point, it is suggested that it will take time to convince the Keys to send reinforcements to Manticore. He angrily replies that he is the Protector and the fleet will go wherever he tells them to. He's right.
Colonel Andrew LaFollet.
Andrew LaFollet is the head of Harrington Steadholder's Guard and Honor Harrington's personal armsman. He is a close friend of Honor and for the longest time he was her personal bodyguard. Now, though, he has become her son's bodyguard. Do not harm Honor when you are in his presence if you wish to remain intact. It is a Very Bad Idea.
Battle Butler: Not exactly, for Honor has a butler and it's another man entirely, but close enough.
Badass Normal: He's nothing special, in fact, and really is much weaker in a hand-to-hand fight than his patron. But it doesn't make him any less effective as a bodyguard, and he has in fact floored Honor for her own protection more than once. Also note that "weaker in a hand-to-hand fight" disclaimer: in a gunfight, LaFollet is so fast and accurate that Honor Harrington, the woman who contemptuously destroyed the fastest gunman-for-hire in Manticoran space in a duel, has twice been struck dumb by just how horrifically lethal LaFollet is when the pulser darts start flying.
During the POW escape at the end of In Enemy Hands, LaFollet finds it necessary to do a suicidal charge down a hallway full of Peeps armed with automatic weapons, while armed only with a shotgun. By the time he reaches the other end, him and Honor are the only two living things left in the corridor. And there isn't a single scratch on him. And Honor wasn't even armed (that is, LaFollet had killed everything in his path single-handed).
Bling of War: Not to the extremes, but the uniform of the Harrington Guard (personally designed by Honor herself), with its striking green-on-green color, is rather distinct.
Cool Old Guy: Relatively. He's about 20 years younger than Honor, but when Grayson allied itself with Manticore he was already too old for prolong, so in 1922 p.d. he looks like he could be her father.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Saves Honor's mother and son by shoving them into an escape pod mere moments before a massive blast wave hit. Honor still doesn't take losing him well.
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Non-romantic version, but there in its essentials. A time comes when he's the only one of Honor's five original armsmen still drawing breath. To keep him out of the line of fire, she reassigns him to guard someone whose life she cares about even more than her own: her son Raoul. It doesn't work.
Old Retainer: Actually younger than Honor, but ages faster due to his lack of Prolong and fits the trope very well in his later appearances.
Undying Loyalty: To Honor herself — his devotion to her is absolute and unbreakable.
Armsman Jamie Candless
Another of Honor's ever-present Grayson bodyguards, Jamie is characterised for being quiet yet persistent when things get difficult.
Beware the Nice Ones: He shocks himself with this, when he and Honor are both captured and he believes himself unable to prevent her execution. Instead he finds himself resolving to wait until he can kill enough of their captors to force them to kill him.
Heroic Sacrifice: While escaping captivity he resolves his inner conflict at not being able to prevent Honor's capture or die with her, by volunteering to hold a position against pursuers while she escapes.
The Stoic: Often observed to be in pain, never complains, never lets it slow him down.
General Howard Samson Jonathan Clinkscales, retired.
Howard Clinkscales was a Grayson soldier and security official. During his lifetime he served three Protectors, Benjamin IX being the last of these three. Prior to the Mayhew Restoration he was in command of Palace Security at the Protector's Palace. Later, after Protector Benjamin Mayhew IX ascended to the Protectorship, he served as the minister of security. Despite being initially opposed to having any role other than mother and wife or maid in Grayson society he eventually changed his mind and became a close friend and confidant of Honor Harrington. He served as her first regent, and came to regard her as a daughter.
Cool Old Guy: Frigging 92 (which is impressive per se for a pre-prolong Grayson) in At All Costs, when he finally passed away — and all those years were full of one awesome feat after another.
Heel-Face Turn: He was downright vicious in Honor of the Queen initially, until Honor proved her badassitude. He then got the point and warmed up to her.
Adam Gerrick, Chief engineer, Grayson Sky Domes Ltd
The inventor of the sky domes which become commonplace across Grayson after the alliance with Manticore results in new materials becoming available.
Awesomeness by Analysis: Tracks down and identifies a child-killer using nothing but a schematic of a half-built structure and a video of how it was damaged. The differences between how the damage affected it and how the damage should have affected it allowed him to identify the role the killer had played in constructing the building and how he'd caused the damage to happen. Lord Clinkscales had thought it was impossible, but once they knew which equipment the saboteur had handled they had fingerprints.
The first native-born female officer in the Grayson Space Navy, Abigail is the daughter of Steadholder Owens, a stalwart progressive and longtime ally of Benjamin Mayhew's. An incredibly gifted tactician — she graduated fourteenth in her class overall and sixth in the tactical curriculum under Admiral Honor Harrington — she is currently serving aboard Manticoran warships, so she can get more experience and seniority in a navy that is used to female officers before returning to Grayson service. She is a major character in the Saganami Island series, and as of Shadow of Freedom holds the post of Tactical Officer aboard the destroyer HMS Tristram. One of the best tactical minds of her generation, she is generally considered to be Honor's protégé.
Badass Adorable: Noted in-text as "cute as a button". Can kick ass and take names with the best of them.
Badass Princess: The Grayson equivalent of a princess, who pulls off increasingly badass feats as the series goes on.
Beware the Nice Ones: Abigail is adorable, and normally quite a lovely person — but she is still a Grayson, which means she has no problem doing whatever it takes to meet her Test. "Grayson granite" indeed!
Catch Phrase: "Let's be about it," picked up from her mentor Honor Harrington.
Daddy's Girl: Honor strongly suspects that Abigail is her father's favorite daughter.
Determinator: She spent ten years taking hard science courses and begging her father to let her go to Saganami Island, and despite everything in her way, when she finally made it, she shot to the top of her class and stayed there. Aivars Terekhov later noted of her that she was "constitutionally incapable of giving less than a hundred and ten percent effort."
Ensign Newbie: In "The Service of the Sword", she commands an away party that comes under heavy fire while still a midshipwoman.
Expy: Her relationship with Honor Harrington bears some resemblance to that between Honor herself and her own mentor, Admiral Raoul Courvosier. In fact, she seems to be filling the role originally intended for Honor's daughter, Katherine.
Girly Bruiser: Abigail retains her femininity despite serving in the Navy. She always remains essentially a girly girl, insofar as practicality allows.
Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: While firing missiles was one thing, properly raised Grayson ladies were not supposed to engage in anything so gauche as fisticuffs — and Abigail is very much a Grayson. This made learning unarmed combat a bit difficult for her. She gets over it — quite well, actually.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: A non-romantic example. By law, as a steadholder's daughter, she must be accompanied by her armsman at all times. Abigail, like most Graysons, is on the short side. Her armsman, the San Martin-born Mateo Gutierrez, is two meters tall and weighs in at 200 kilograms.
The Knights Who Say Squee: At age nine, she watched from a balcony on Grayson as then-Captain Honor Harrington made a defiant, heroic last stand against a far more powerful enemy force (in The Honor of the Queen) to save her planet and its people. As a result she not only caught a serious case of hero worship for that same captain, but spent the next ten years doing her best to get to Saganami Island. Not only did she succeed, but she placed sixth in her class in the tactical curriculum (out of eleven thousand), was taught by Honor herself, and is generally considered Honor's protege.
Long Hair Is Feminine: She can't bring herself to cut her hair, even though it's difficult to manage as a serving Navy officer, because of this trope — becoming the first native-born Grayson woman to become a naval officer is one thing, but properly raised Grayson women do not cut their hair short.
Rapunzel Hair: Has waist-length brown hair, which she refuses to cut despite its inconvenience.
Religious Bruiser: Though she usually does her bruising from the tac console, she definitely fits. Her faith is a fundamental part of her, and more than once she has Scripture running through her mind when she annihilates someone who made the mistake of killing or injuring any of her comrades.
Badass Navy: There are two reasons Haven has been able to very nearly keep pace with Manticore and Grayson for two decades, despite inferior technology. One is Shannon Foraker. The other is that, despite the best efforts of the Legislaturalists and later State Sec, it is badass. And its badassitude increases exponentially after Thomas Theisman restores the old Republic.
Bread and Circuses: The Legislaturalist People's Republic uses this approach to keep the masses complacent.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The People's Republic of Haven period is Revolutionary/Napoleonic France with a touch of Dirty Communists, while the original Republic of Haven (and the restored Republic) is a fantasy counterpart to the USA.
Genghis Gambit: Their usual MO when popularity starts running low, and the core plot of A Short Victorious War.
Heel-Face Turn: Over the series they go from being The Empire to outright protagonist status, particularly after Tom Theisman's coup.
Mighty Glacier: Their navy is numerically massive, but they can't project force as well as the Manticorans, which makes them rather sluggish strategically.
Unskilled, but Strong: Both strategically (they have massive reserves but relatively poor training and technology) and in their warship design: Havenite designs emphasize sheer volume of firepower to make up for their shortcomings in other areas.
We Have Reserves: Eventually the Peep leadership realizes that they can afford to lose entire task forces to take out a few Manticoran targets.
A character introduced when Eric Flint became co-author of the series with David Weber and not too incidentally is said to be Flint's author avatar. Frequently accused of being a God-Mode Sue by the fandom, he still does manage to be a fairly balanced character. In the books he is described as being very young and very cute on more then one occasion. He is widely known as being the Republic's best operative and is something of an idealist despite his capacity for unrestrained ruthlessness.
Anti-Hero: Although you'd never guess it if you meet him out of action.
Beware the Nice Ones: When he isn't in 'ruthless killer' mode he's nice, fairly shy and in fact downright Adorkable. He is also one of the deadliest people in a series full of Badass characters.
Bishōnen: Which only helps, as enemies often tend to underestimate him.
Other novels describe him as "plain" or even "square-faced", though. But then again, maybe he just started to mature: he's about 35 and (with prolong) should look 16 as per our experience.
Comically Missing the Point: His reaction to a reference to the Night of Long Knives starts with pointing out that long knives are completely unnecessary, after all you can cut somebody's throat just fine with a seven-centimeter blade...
Fleet Admiral Thomas Dreams Of Peace Theisman, Secretary of War, Chief of Naval Operations
Currently the head of the Republican Navy and the Republic's Secretary of War. When first introduced The Honor of the Queen he was a Peep destroyer skipper but even then he scared Honor because of his tactical and strategic abilities, willingness to make sacrifices, loyalty to the Republic and the fact that missiles from his warship killed Honor's mentor. Due to his competence and seemingly apolitical stance he quickly rose through the ranks of the People's Navy, only to eventually overthrow the current regime and restore the original democratic form of government — not the pseudo-democratic one at the start of the novels, but an actual federal republic that hasn't existed in over two hundred years. It sticks.
A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: While Eloise Pritchart, Javier Giscard, Lester Tourville, Denis LePic, and a handful of others all played critical roles in the revolution, it was Tom Theisman who rose from the ashes of the Committee's reign of terror and catalyzed the resistance movement into something that could actually succeed. It's later noted that the Republic cannot fail as long as Theisman lives, because Theisman stands behind his government and his President, and the entire Navy stands behind him.
Ascended Extra: He started out as the lowly Lt. Commander in charge of a single PRN destroyer who was part of a minor plotline in The Honor of the Queen, but takes on much more prominent positions and roles as the series progresses.
Badass: Personally joins the assault force that storms a building to take down Oscar Saint-Just. And personally pulls the trigger.
Brown Eyes: While these are hardly uncommon in the Honorverse, in Theisman they certainly reflect his character — he has never been shown as anything other than a good, trustworthy, down-to-earth man with a fundamental decency that is never shaken.
The Chessmaster: Ends up decisively outplaying several wannabe Chessmasters by biding his time and launching a coup that nobody outside of his inner circle saw coming.
Chekhov's Gunman: He shows up in the second book, Honor Of The Queen, as a Destroyer skipper detached to the Masadan Navy as an adviser during their brief war with Grayson and in a two-scene role in The Short Victorious War as flag captain of a commerce raiding squadron that kills Captain Helen Zilwicki, Sr. He doesn't turn up again until the fifth book, Flag In Exile, where he is once again taking part in an attack on Grayson. He begins to take a bigger part in the story from then on.
Cincinnatus: Played with. He did not retire after the revolution, but he's perfectly content to stick just to the military side of things.
Conveniently an Orphan: Being orphaned, with no link to his parents' lives, kept their potential murder or imprisonment (as per PRH policy, both under the Legislaturalists and the Committee for Public Safety) from being held over him.
Counterpart Comparison: In-universe. He reminds quite a few Manticorans — Honor among them — of the late Alistair McKeon. In A Rising Thunder, now that Haven and Manticore have joined forces, he also appears to be stepping into McKeon's shoes as Honor's primary Lancer.
Drowning My Sorrows: When he realizes that he's going to have to hand over Honor Harrington to Cordelia Ransom. This would have destroyed him when Ransom dropped by his office if he didn't have some kind of stimulant/purging inhaler handy.
First Name Basis: The point where he becomes "Tom" to Honor Harrington and a good chunk of the Manticoran government is also the point where Mesa and the Solarian League should start running really really fast. They might even get a decent head start before they're run to ground and utterly annihilated.
Foreshadowing: Was described in In Enemy Hands as a Brutus. In Roman history, there are two particularly famous men from the Brutus family - one who overthrew the last of Rome's kings and established the Republic, and one who turned against his friend Julius Caesar when the latter was close to overthrowing the Republic and becoming a dictator.
Genre Savvy: After several books of the Manticorans being blind to the possibility that Mesan sleeper-agents have been responsible for various recent assassinations around the galaxy, he is the one to lay fresh eyes on the situation and deduce that this was the most likely cause for the Solarian 11th Fleet's seeming I Surrender, Suckers, leading directly to 11th Fleet's destruction at the hands of the Grand Fleet, and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Knight in Sour Armor: However bad a beating his idealism has taken, it never surrenders. This is, after all, a man who swore an oath to a Republic that had lain in ashes for a hundred and fifty years before he was born, and who, when given the chance, resurrected that Republic not out of pragmatism, but because he could not bear to watch the nation he loved commit a form of suicide. Now that is a man who loves his country.
The Lancer: Appears to be playing this role to Honor Harrington as of A Rising Thunder.
Magnetic Hero: Theisman not only had McQueen's charismatic ability to inspire loyalty in others, but also the determination to do right which she lacked. The result was a complete overthrow of the Committee and the first bona fide democracy to rule the Republic of Haven in over two centuries.
My Country, Right or Wrong: No matter how bad things got with the Committee, no matter how much worse the war went, Theisman never considered defecting to the Manties as some of his fellow officers had. Of course, once the opportunity presented itself, he took the "if wrong, to be set right" quote by Senator Carl Schurz very seriously by overthrowing the Committee and reinstating the Constitution, culminating in one of the most immortal lines in science fiction:
In the process of trying desperately to argue in favor of obeying The Laws and Customs of War to Cordelia Ransom, he accidentally gave her an idea for how to organize a system to centrally process and disappear "inconvenient" POWs without letting the Navy have any chance to keep them out of State Sec's hands. Cue Vomit Discretion Shot.
He also accidentally encourages her to read the Accords and find out a way to legally strip them of all their protections.
The Nondescript: Theisman is specifically noted to be very ordinary-looking, a bit stocky, and not particularly tall, with plain brown hair. This is actually noted in-series to be in complete contrast to his charisma, leadership skills, and ability to inspire loyalty in his subordinates. After all, this ordinary-looking man was able to rally an entire star nation and pull off a revolution thanks to his ability to inspire his fellow countrymen.
Officer and a Gentleman: The moment when he first appeared as a major character was a sign of a significant shift in the portrayal of the Peeps.
Parental Abandonment: He grew up in an orphanage, being a result of accidental teenage pregnancy. It actually had an impact on the plot — his resultant detachedness from other people made him be seen as apolitical, which is why he was able to pull off the coup that restored the true Republic.
Quit Your Whining: Delivers one of these to Honor after she begins lamenting her unavoidable role in the wholesale slaughter of the Solarian League's Eleventh Fleet. Amazingly, she shuts up and listens. It's even more awesome than it sounds.
Reverse Psychology: How he typically convinced his People's Commissioner to sign off on his continuous aversions of Honor Before Reason: By convincing him that he fully intended to valiantly sacrifice himself (and his men, and his People's Commissioner) against superior Manticoran forces in the name of the Revolution. Every time, his Peoples' Commissioner manages to convince him otherwise. The commissioner gradually becomes Genre Savvy about it and just rolls with it before being recruited by the Admiral outright.
The Rival: The closest thing Honor ever had. Now that they're on the same side, well...
The Strategist: As of the end of Ashes of Victory. He acquired too much seniority and too many achievements to be The Captain, ultimately taking the position of the Chief of Naval Operations and Secretary of War for the renewed Republic of Haven's navy.
Robert Stanton Pierre used to be a Dolist manager — a politician capable of delivering the votes of millions of franchised Dolists to whatever candidate he chooses — in the People's Republic. Eventually he came to view the Republic as heading on the road to destruction unless massive reforms were made. Seeking to change the system he allied himself with the terrorist group called the Citizens' Rights Union and a senior Internal Security bureaucrat by the name of Oscar Saint-Just. Together they staged a coup and Pierre appointed himself Chairman of a Committee of Public Safety, thereby making him the de facto ruler of Haven. Faced with a costly war with Manticore, the resentment of a military that he had purged during said coup and a violent and unruly populace spurred by Cordelia Ransom's propaganda, he ended up doing nothing but implementing some long-term fiscal reforms. He was eventually killed during Admiral Esther McQueen's attempted coup.
Morality Pet: About the only thing keeping Saint-Just from coming off as a completely dispassionate sociopath is his genuine friendship with and respect for Pierre.
Only Sane Man: Compared to Ransom's mad-dog zealotry and Saint-Just's homicidal, self-fulfilling paranoia, he's the biggest voice of restraint on the committee and the one most likely to rule against purging another character.
Steven Ulysses Perhero: He is usually referred to as Rob S. Pierre, a none too coincidental resemblance to Maximilien Robespierre.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: He actually fixed the Haven economy with his reforms and playing to the patriotism of the people during the war. Later Haven leaders acknowledge this for all the blood and death he caused.
Cordelia Ransom was originally a leading member of the terrorist group called the Citizens' Rights Union. Later she joined forces with Rob S. Pierre and Oscar Saint-Just and proceeded to overthrow Haven's Legislaturalist government. Afterwards, Pierre made her the Secretary for Public Information. This gave Ransom control of the People's Republic media and censorship apparatus. Though a skilled propagandist and an expert on managing the people's emotions, both Pierre and Saint-Just distrusted her because of her extremely radical opinions about politics and economics. Her rhetoric had a definite resemblance to hard-core Communist propaganda, and, as Admiral Thomas Theisman noted, she believed her own propaganda. She was killed onboard her personal battlecruiser during Honor Harrington's escape from Havenite custody.
Blood Knight: It is pretty obvious that Cordelia Ransom enjoys her job, which often includes destroying people, way too much.
Dropped A Bridge On Her: After spending the good part of In Enemy Hands generally becoming more and more of a blood thirsty bitch, she's killed 'off screen' along with the crew of PNS Tepes without any kind of vilifying last scene of panic stricken/rage driven horror during the Manticorian escape attempt.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Theisman thinks she literally could not understand Tourville's attempt to do the decent thing for Honor's people as anything other than a disloyal bid for power against the State.
Evil Is Hammy: Her love of public theater is why she handles propaganda for the Peeps.
Expy: She bears a remarkable resemblance-in opinions and actions if not in gender-to Jean-Paul Marat, an important figure in the French Revolution. Or to Leon Trotsky, whom she resembles even more, and if Chief Harkness hadn't seen to it earlier, would inevitably face the same end, as both Pierre and Saint-Just were starting to find her dangerous.
For the Evulz: Even her allies notice that she enjoys the act of tearing things down far more than building something to replace them.
From Nobody to Nightmare: She started as a Dolist, became a terrorist, and then the most monstrous and scary member of a three-headed dictatorship.
Icy Blue Eyes: When she's not filed with fanatical fervor, her eyes are consistently this.
The Laws and Customs of War: She disdains the Deneb Accords as an obsolete agreement by aristocrats and plutocrats that is inimical to the people's struggle to annihilate their class enemies in total war and is only barely talked down from publicly refuting them — but not from flouting them in secret.
However, after researching them, she finds a way to use two loopholes in the Accords to legally strip Honor and her fellow officers of their protection by invoking a Chekhov's Gun from the first book and provoking her and her fellow captives to resist an attack not on their persons nor for means of escape.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Not only is "Ransom" a pretty bad name, but her personal transport is the PNS Tepes, named after the infamously brutal Romanian Prince and inspiration for Dracula and crewed entirely by State Sec goons, with extra brig space and extra space for landing assault troopers.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Her dog-kicking behavior in In Enemy Hands is the last straw for half a dozen major Havenite naval officers and their political watchdogs, who begin conspiring to take down the CPS. They succeed.
The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Unlike Pritchart's Aprilists, Ransom's faction of the CRU eagerly hit civilian targets, and she became the major force behind inciting the bloodlust of the Mob after the CPS took power. (And was responsible for purging most of the other Aprilists for insufficient revolutionary ardor.)
A senior bureaucrat in the pre-Revolution Legislaturalists' Government Internal Security department, Saint-Just sided with Pierre and Ransom in their coup that overthrew it, and later seen to the amalgamation of all Haven's security services into one unified organization, State Security, which gave us the name for the State Sec trope. Competent and responsible, but ruthless to the point of viciousness, and, as the events progressed, increasingly paranoid, Saint-Just was arguably the most dangerous among the trio of the Committee of Public Safety's senior members. When Ransom and Pierre's deaths left him in charge of Haven, he instituted increasingly broad and brutal purges, until overthrown and personally shot by Thomas Theisman, whom he personally deemed harmless and non-ambitious before. This again proved him to be a lousy judge of character, as one of his genuinely (if unwittingly) good deeds was the promotion of Victor Cachat (Saint-Just was personally fond of young Cachat, whom he had seen as his perfect tool), who, ironically, was one of the major players in the plot that overthrew the Committee.
Big Bad: Almost rose to the post, but didn't quite reach it.
Blue Oni Red Oni: Blue to Cordelia Ransom's Red. On the issue of McQueen, red to Rob S. Pierre's blue.
The Chessmaster: The best one among the three, as evidenced by having the longest lifespan.
Chessmaster Sidekick: He's the technician who implements Pierre's decisions. He's really better in that position; when he gets the big chair for himself, things go straight to hell.
Expy: Is the namesake of Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, a historical figure from the French Revolution and close confidante of Rob S. Pierre's namesake, Maximilien Robespierre.
Also closely resembles some depictions of Lavrenti Beria, Stalin's security chief, and his dynamics with Pierre closely matched respective Stalin-Beria relationship, although in this case it was the Saint-Just who was the paranoid one. Another difference was that Beria stopped the purges that were getting out of hand, not started them as Saint-Just did.
Oh Crap: His reaction when the fecal matter collided with the rotary air displacer due to Admiral Theisman's involvement.
Steven Ulysses Perhero: a quick look at any history book will provide you with the name of Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just, known more commonly as Saint-Just (a misnomer if there ever was one). An ally of Robespierre, he served with him on the Committee of Public Safety, becoming heavily involved in the Reign of Terror.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: He acted for exactly the same reasons Pierre did, and he really had every reason to purge the military after the attempted coup.
An expert tactical officer and considered by some to be one of the scariest characters in the whole universe. When introduced, she was serving under Warner Caslet and was gaining a reputation as a "tac witch" for her technological and tactical prowess. She also refused to regard the technological disparity between the People's Republic and Manticore with the same 'depressed' attitude that many of the People's Navy did. Foraker looked at it as more of a challenge of her and her navy's skills, and appeared to love the 'thrill' of it. She saved Honor's treecat Nimitz from being killed by State Security and noticed scanner evidence of small craft leaving the vicinity of Ransom's exploded battlecruiser. With the connivance of Tourville, the scan evidence was erased. During Thomas Theisman's coup, she caused the destruction of two State Security naval battle groups ordered to arrest Admirals Tourville and Giscard and their senior officers; her reaction at the time was merely "Oops". After the fall of the People's Republic, she was rapidly promoted to Vice Admiral, and was assigned to direct research and development at the 'black' development yard (codenamed Project Bolthole) of the Republic of Haven.
Adorkable: Rather awkward outside of her specialty.
Beware the Nice Ones: She may just be the single nicest character in the whole 'verse, but when StateSec made the mistake of badly mistreating Honor and her people, Shannon went into a cold fury that only ended when she sent out a few innocent lines of computer code that wiped out two whole fleets of StateSec ships in an instant as their fusion bottles failed, vaporizing every single ship at the heart of a newborn star. Her reaction? "Oops."
Birds of a Feather: Word of God is that she becomes instant best friends with a Manticoran admiral in a similar position to her own, Sonja Hemphill.
Break the Cutie: Not that badly broken, but after the events at Cerberus, the Genius Ditz personality went into deep freeze until the People's Republic went down, since she'd started viewing the political situation as a tactical one. This worried Tourville.note Mostly because he didn't want to see her get herself killed in some futile gesture. He was as surprised as anyone by the famous "Oops", though he had longer to react to it than fifty thousand StateSec officers and spacers...
Gadgeteer Genius: She more than deserves her "tac witch" moniker. The fact that she can keep within shouting distance of Sonja Hemphill, despite the wide technological disparity between the two star nations, is truly a mark of genius.
Genius Ditz: She manages to lose her wristcom twice a week when out at Bolthole.
Hot Scientist: Described as being rather attractive, and ends up running the Republic's main R&D facility.
Layman's Terms: Suffers from a complete inability to do this. In A Rising Thunder, Eloise Pritchart reflects humorously on how, when required to testify before Congress, she needed an interpreter for her geek talk so that the people she was testifying to could understand what she was testifying about.
OOC Is Serious Business: Her behaviour changes so much with State Sec monitoring her ship that Tourville admits to others that he is keeping her in the dark about what he knows because he's become afraid of her. He's right to be, since at that moment she's already put a plan in place to assassinate two full State Sec squadrons.
The Smart Girl: Acknowledged by pretty much anybody around her as generally being the most intelligent person present.
A Havenite commander who rises to prominence using a 'whiff of grapeshot' to put down a revolt even more destructive than the Committee of Public Safety. Nicknamed Citizen Admiral Cluster Bomb.
The Chessmaster: Manages to set up three independent, cell-structured conspiracies in preparation of a coup. The one she tapped to stop the Levellers, the one she tried for real with, and the one Theisman later tapped to finish the job.
Doorstopper: Most of her subplot was cut out of Ashes of Victory to stop it from turning into one of these (not that it helped much). It later saw light as a standalone novella, titled "Nightfall" and published in the Changer of Worlds anthology.
Godzilla Threshold: During the Leveller revolt, she was the only officer to take action to save the committee after the rebels took out State Sec and used nukes within Noveau Paris. Her response? Orbital kinetic strikes and cluster bombing a mob, resulting in millions of casualties — for which she's largely seen as a hero by the people, despite her new nickname.
Magnetic Hero: She's definitely not a hero, but Pierre and Saint-Just could only marvel at her ability to inspire people to follow her. This is why her conspiracy very nearly worked — and, in fact, what remained of it after her death is what enabled Tom Theisman to finish the job.
Nom de Guerre: "Admiral Clusterbomb", after her method of stopping the Levelers from overthrowing the committee.
Properly Paranoid: McQueen's Political Officer, Erasmus Fontein, was specifically picked because he was good at the Obfuscating Stupidity needed to lower her guard. It works to the extent that she's fooled into thinking he's an idiot, but she still manages to treat him seriously enough to sneak conspiracies completely under his nose.
Red Herring: Up until her death, people thought they knew where the plot was going...
The Starscream: McQueen is well-known for her ambition. Ironically, she gets put in a position to do something with it because she didn't take an earlier opportunity during the Leveller revolt to finish what the rebels started.
Admiral Lester Tourville
Perhaps even more of a Harrington counterpart than Theisman. While Honor and Theisman only went directly up against each other relatively early in their careers, and both times Theisman was subordinate to someone else, Tourville and Harrington have gone toe to toe several times, and they alternate who's the winner.
Cigar Chomper: Invoked as a part of his Military Maverick persona, despite an initial distaste. By mid-series he admits to himself that he really doesn't hate 'em anymore, as he has become addicted. His treecat bodyguard, Lurks in Branches, expresses his disapproval by sealing his skinsuit helmet whenever Tourville whips one out.
Expy: Named for 17th-century French Admiral Anne Hilarion de Costentin, comte de Tourville.
Military Maverick: He deliberately cultivated a flamboyant reputation early in his career (as much as such a thing was possible in the People's Republic). He came to regret it somewhat, when he got stuck having to keep up with some of his affected mannerisms (such as smoking cigars).
And Tourville admits to himself that the persona is only a Flanderization of his real, hard-charging personality. He really is gung-ho, though not an idiot about it.
Obfuscating Stupidity: For years he deliberately cultivated a reputation of being just competent enough to keep his rank of Captain, and later Rear Admiral, without being competent enough to be seen as a threat by his superiors, or being promoted to a rank where he wouldn't be able to avoid being shot by State Sec.
Worthy Opponent: Honor has always respected him for his brilliant tactical mind and for the honorable way he treated her and her people when she was forced to surrender to him in In Enemy Hands. She has even more reason to be kindly disposed to him than she knows; he and Shannon Foraker were the only two Havenites to notice the pinnace that escaped from Cordelia Ransom's exploded ship, and they quietly erased any incriminating footage, thus ensuring that State Sec believed she had been killed.
Admiral Javier Giscard
The third of Haven's three heavyweight fleet commanders, alongside Theisman and Tourville. Also like Theisman and Tourville, his loyalty was not to the Committee or the Legislaturalists, but to the ancient, long-ignored Constitution of the Republic. After the Committee's rise to power, he was assigned a Political Officer, as per PRN custom. His turned out to be Eloise Pritchart, with whom he began a love affair which blazed for over a decade and which the two miraculously kept hidden throughout the duration of State Sec's brutality. He and Pritchart later joined forces with Thomas Theisman and a select handful of others to overthrow the Committee, thereafter restoring the true Republic of Haven, for which Giscard became Fleet Admiral. He was killed at the Battle of Lovat, during Admiral Harrington's raid on the system. Even long after his death, Eloise still grieved him intensely.
Tourville: Live or die, [Pritchart] and Giscard would fight to the last ditch together.
Dating Catwoman: Falling in love with his People's Commissioner was not exactly the most politically sound maneuver. That commissioner doing likewise only complicated matters, but they wouldn't give each other up for anything, and so they got very, very good at lying.
Four-Star Badass: Was one of the three best fleet commanders to serve the Republic of Haven during the 20th century PD.
Knight in Sour Armor: Though bitterly disillusioned over the excesses of the Committee, he never gave up believing in the true Republic, and was instrumental in restoring it.
Loved I Not Honor More: Both he and Eloise unflinchingly accept that their duty to cause and country must come first, which only serves to make the moments where they can be together all the more poignant.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Giscard never considered defecting as Caslet and Yu had done, but he was determined to restore the true Republic.
Worthy Opponent: Harrington bitterly regretted his death, particularly after she came to know Eloise Pritchart well, and virtually all of the Manticoran admiralty respected him greatly.
President Eloise Truth Seeker Pritchart
First elected president of the Republic of Haven following the Committee of Public Safety's regime. She was originally an Aprilist, one of the many rebel groups opposing the Legislaturists, after losing her sister to street violence. When the Committee of Public Safety came into power, she became one of State Sec's People's Commissioners, playing watchdog to Javier Giscard. The two appeared highly antagonistic to each other in public, but unbeknownst to State Sec, they had in fact fallen in love and become romantically involved. When Thomas Theisman overthrew the last remnants of the Committee, Pritchart became acting head of state and later elected President. She has worked tirelessly to find a way to end the conflict between her nation and Manticore; though she prefers to do so peacefully, if peace isn't an option she won't hesitate use force. Very much a counterpart to Queen Elizabeth.
Tourville: Live or die, she and Giscard would fight to the last ditch together.
Beneath the Mask: Becomes an expert at keeping her true feelings secret out of necessity.
Birds of a Feather: In A Rising Thunder, becomes very close with Queen Elizabeth III of Manticore.
Blondes Are Evil: Subverted. She plays the role of cold, merciless, fanatical Political Officer to the hilt, but in truth she is a warm-hearted woman who is passionately dedicated to her country and desperately in love with the best man she's ever known.
Consummate Liar: She is such an accomplished liar that she actually managed to convince the Committee of Public Safety that she had truly renounced the Aprilist movement and was loyal only to them. In fact, she was truly loyal to the Constitution that had lain in ashes for two centuries, and used her position as a People's Commissioner to become absolutely instrumental in the Theisman coup that ended up restoring that Constitution.
Cynicism Catalyst: The death of her sister Estelle triggered her crusade against the Legislaturists, and so she joined the Aprilist movement, beginning a crusade that would end with her as the President of the true Republic of Haven.
Dark-Skinned Blonde: She is stated to have dark skin, with platinum blonde hair and topaz eyes.
Good Is Not Soft: She is, without a shadow of a doubt, truly and absolutely a good character — but if you do something that hurts her star nation, you will wishState Sec had got to you first.
Her Heart Will Go On: For Javier Giscard. She never stops grieving him, but she refuses to allow her grief to break her.
Indifferent Beauty: Thomas Theisman even calls her the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, but she never even seems to notice it.
Jerkass Façade: How she hides her romantic relationship with Giscard and, later, true loyalties under the Committee of Public Safety's regime.
Loved I Not Honor More: Both she and Giscard unflinchingly accept that their duty to cause and country must come first, which only serves to make the moments where they can be together all the more poignant. This is also implied to be what keeps Eloise from giving in to grief after he is killed; she has a star nation to live for, and she will do her duty not only for that star nation, but for the man who died in its service.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Oh, she's loyal to Haven all right — the Haven that has a functioning Constitution, a representative government, and a truly elected President, that is. And oh boy, does she ever help set her star nation right.
Official Couple: Her romance with Javier Giscard is one of only a handful of long-lasting, stable, and prominent romances in the entire series.
Red Baron: Known as Brigade Commander Delta in her terrorist days.
Refuge in Audacity: She turned up in Manticoran space, unannounced, at midnight, after their home system had just been catastrophically attacked, and screened Queen Elizabeth, saying simply, "I think we need to talk." The sheer guts that must have taken is simply unbelievable — she knew very well she might be shot out of the sky with no warning, but she thought it was worth the risk to finally end the fighting. And it worked.
The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: The reason she got to the position she did, both under the CPS and the Republic, was because she and her Aprilists adhered to this religiously and never threatened civilian lives. The CPS co-opted her to keep her from becoming a rival; Tom Theisman made her President because she actually believed in the Republican ideals he fought for.
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She falls in love with Giscard precisely because he is, to use her words, "an outstanding man." They are both unconditionally dedicated to the true Republic of Haven, and their relationship is absolutely critical to restoring it.
Sugar and Ice Personality: In public, she's cool, controlled, and sometimes downright emotionless. Behind closed doors with people she actually likes, she's much warmer — and with her love Javier Giscard, she can be downright gooey.
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: As the President of the Republic, she cannot show her vulnerabilities because to her people, she is the Republic, and she has to stand strong for them. Her own grief and worry are for behind closed doors and the people she trusts.
Secretary of State Arnold Giancola
Ruthless politician and political rival to Eloise Pritchart, though nowhere near her league either as a politician or as a human being. A former apparatchik in the People's Republic, he ran against Pritchart and came a distant second in the Presidential poll – in an attempt to build a broader coalition for her new regime she offered him the post of Secretary of State, but this didn’t stop him from plotting against her.
Idiot Ball: In War of Honor, he's utterly convinced that he can outplay everyone in manipulating the correspondence between Haven and Manticore. He's wrong.
Make It Look Like an Accident: Averted. His death really was an accident, but the previous regime's use of this trope means President Pritchart and her allies doubt anyone will believe them.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Practices this (or at least, obfuscating forgetfulness) to deter suspicion. It doesn't work, as they suspect him anyway.
(Citizen) Commander Warner Caslet
A recurring Havenite officer. In Honor Among Enemies he comes to the assistance of a beleaguered merchantman only to find that it's Honor's Q-ship and gets taken prisoner, though he eventually gets set free after they cooperate to defeat a dangerous pirate band. Eventually he gets caught up in Honor's escape from Hades and defects to Grayson.
Enemy Mine: Twice. Once to defeat Warnecke's pirates, and a second time to survive Cordelia Ransom and Hades. The latter becomes permanent.
The Fettered: His strong sense of honor and right and wrong are a pretty big liability to him in the People's Navy.
Honor Before Reason: Caslet sends his single ship into a 3:1 battle against pirates to save a Manty merchant ship, even though he's supposed to be capturing said ship and even though it's a Heroic Sacrifice at best. He knows this is unreasonable, but he, his whole crew, and even his Political Officer are proud to get the chance to do something right.
Insane Troll Logic: In order to convince his Political Officer to go along with the above he points out that their orders are very specific about the need to capture Manty merchants and that since the pirates aren't going to leave the Manty alone the only way to follow their orders is to kill the pirates and then capture the ship themselves. The commissioner lets him.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Goes against his orders to launches what is basically a Heroic Sacrifice to save a merchant ship from pirates... and ends up being captured when it turns out that the merchantman is a Manticoran Q-Ship commanded by Honor. Even the Manticorans apologize for the unfairness of it — and then, to a man, declare that they had been squawking an Andermani code at the time, therefore ensuring that Caslet won't get in trouble.
Officer and a Gentleman: He does everything he can to ensure that prisoners are taken alive. After he discovers their treatment, he does what he can to (ineffectually) protect them from the Masadans' wrath.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Jericho falls apart due to the Masadans' incompetence and cowardice, he and Ambassador Lacey plan to salvage the operation by going around the Masadans' backs, protecting Masada from Manticoran retaliation in the process. He ends up losing his ship to a Masadan mutiny for it.
Governor Oravil Barregos
A Maya Sector governor under the Office of Frontier Security (at least on paper), Oravil Barregos is a major player in the Wages of Sin spinoff series, now in its second novel, Torch of Freedom. An extremely shrewd and ambitious politician, he is totally dissatisfied with the way OFS runs its pocket fiefdoms, and, seeing ahead the inevitable outcome for the League, does his best to prepare himself and his sector to it. He's not above personal gain, though: the best way, as he sees it, was to carve the Maya Sector as his personal little kingdom.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: His ultimate goal is to spare Maya Sector from the shockwave of crumbling League, but he's not above some, ahem, questionable means. Including outright assassinations.
Rear Admiral Luiz Rozsak
The main associate of governor Barregos and a military man in the duo that rules Maya Sector, he is the iron hand in the Barregos' velvet glove. A commander of the Frontier Fleet detachment tasked with the local protection, he provides the means to turns the governor's schemes into reality, as well as devising those of his own. He's just as ambitious as Barregos, and no less willing to do what he has to do. As it is, he comes out as a rather ambivalent character: he's both extremely ambitious and ruthless, not above some dirty tricks, but in the same time responsible and noble, having his standards and being ready to protect his convictions.
A Battle Fleet officer assigned to the Office of Operational Analysis. One of the few who has taken Manticore's technological advances seriously.
Cassandra Truth: One of the few Solly officers who realises that the SLN is badly behind the times. Of course, almost no one believes him.
Properly Paranoid: He's one of the first non-suborned Solarians to realize the Mesan Alignment is manipulating the League into its conflict with Manticore. Anyone he explains his reasoning to quickly finds himself or herself wishing for a large helping of Brain Bleach.
Surrounded by Idiots: Most of the people he works with got their positions based on patronage rather than ability, and it shows in the quality of their work.
Zero Approval Gambit: al-Fanudahi knows that his constant pointing out of Manticore's greater capabilities is going to inevitably cost him his career. Especially as the Solarian Navy suffers more defeats and he's in prime "I told you so" position. But by the time that happens, all the information will be out there and his successor will be better placed to help strategize based on it.
Officially, he is a high-level bureaucrat who works for the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. In reality, the arrangement is actually the other way around, and his "boss" does well to keep that in mind. While he considers himself something of a chessmaster, he freely admits that he lacks any expertise in military or economic matters. As a result of this, he only begins to grasp the depth of the situation involving the Solarian League and the Manticoran Empire after things have begun to spin badly out of control. He harbors a theory that the so-called "Mesan Alignment" is just a conspiracy theory cooked up by the Republic of Haven to get the Manties to shoot at someone else for a change.
Almighty Janitor: While he is admittedly a high ranking bureaucrat on paper, his actual power and authority vastly outstrips that of any of his superiors in the government, and this is essentially an open secret even amongst other governments such as the Star Empire of Manticore. Of course, none of his power is supported by the League's Constitution, but most people stopped paying attention to that centuries ago.
Got Me Doing It: He later catches himself using the "Mandarins" moniker in his own internal monologues, much to his chagrin.
Ironic Name: His given name a Russian variant of the late-Latin name "Innocent", which means exactly what it seems.
Under a certain angle he might indeed been viewed as innocent — a proverbial babe in the woods, used by Alignment as their unwitting pawn.
The Man Behind the Man: By the end of A Rising Thunder, any of the men who he is officially behind are blatantly ignored by pretty much everyone.
Unwitting Pawn: Has thus far failed to realize that he is just another pawn in the Mesan Alignment's chess game.
One of the few honest investigative reporters in the Solarian League, O'Hanrahan also happens to be one of the only one of those who has a very large audience in the League, and as such, she has become quite the thorn in the side of the Mandarins during the political and military crisis between the Solarian League and the Star Empire of Manticore. Also, she is a high-placed deep-cover agent in the Mesan Alignment.
Intrepid Reporter: Famously so. She is one of the few widely-viewed reporters in the League who tries to cover both sides in the League's disputes with the Manticorans. A Mesan agent takes advantage of this to leak information to her that will lead to further decay in the relations between the Manties and Sollies.
Albrecht Detweiler is the current CEO of Manpower Incorporated, which just happens to be the galaxy largest supplier of genetically engineered slaves. He was genetically engineered and trained from birth to lead the corporation and the entire planet of Mesa. He is also the de facto leader of the Solarian League (or at least a fairly large chunk of it); not to mention he probably has his hands in the domestic and foreign affairs of several other star nations. Unbeknownst to most people, Manpower and slavetrade are only a cover for Detweiler's real plans of galactic domination.
Affably Evil: Judging from his appearances so far, Detweiler appears to be a genuinely caring husband and father when he isn't plotting galactic domination.
Big Bad: Although the extent of his badness was revealed only recently.
The Chessmaster: Born from a long line of Chessmasters and likely specifically engineered for chessmastery. His family's carefully-laid plans span centuries.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A very loving family man. He takes it rather personally when one of his sons is almost killed in the Green Pines attack.
Evil Counterpart: Mesa is this to Beowulf. In many respect he's Honor's counterpart as the scion of their star line of designer babies and geneticists while Honor is the scion of the Beowulf line of geneticists.
Generation Xerox: Combined with Designer Babies above. To what extent, you ask? Albrecht's sons don't merely fill the next several ranks below him before you get to a high ranking Mesan NOT named Detweiler. The don't just happen to "coincidentally" look exactly like him. What's really impressive is that their names are Benjamin, Collin, Daniel, Everett, Franklin, and Gervais. Subtle...
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: In the Mesan Alignment, matches are made based primarily on genetic potential, which does occasionally result in two people who hate each other. This is definitely not the case for Albrecht and Eveline Detweiler.
Pet the Dog: He is a very loving family man, and very much appears to be A Father to His Men. Which serves to further highlight what he is the rest of the time.
Tranquil Fury: Whenever he tips back his chair and relaxes, that's a sign that he's "quietly, icily, dangerously furious about something."
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The stated goal of the Detweiler family, leading back to Leonard Detweiler, the founder of Mesa, is to share Mesa's advances in human genetic engineering with the rest of humanity whether they like it or not. Their methods leave something to be desired, however.
You Have Failed Me: Subverted. Pretty much any encounter with him from an underling's perspective has them very, very afraid of displeasing him for this reason. This is odd because he always acts as a Reasonable Authority Figure, who doesn't punish people for failures that were beyond their control.
A member of the Manpower Incorporated Board of Directors and one of Detweiler's operatives. She has been behind the multiple attempts by Mesa to destabilize Manticore's annexation of the Talbott Cluster. This has included supplying arms to militant groups opposing the annexation, trying to get the star nation of Monica to start a war with Manticore over the annexation, and generally trying to create a situation where the Office of Frontier Security could move in and seize control of Talbott.
Ensign Newbie: In a way. She's fairly big in the outwardly visible Mesan hierarchy, but was fully brought into the Onion only recently.
Evil Is Sexy:invoked Referred to (tongue-in-cheek) by a Manticoran officer as a "Man Eating Blonde". Somewhat to her detriment as it makes it much easier for the Manticorans to connect the dots when various compromised plotters end up giving very distinctively similar descriptions of their handler.
The Man Behind the Man: Most of Manticore's enemies in the Talbott Cluster were taking orders from her, or at least receiving assistance from her.
Pet the Dog: To a minor extent. She's a huge fan of Manticoran classical music.
Another scion of Mesan star genetic lines, Bardasano was up-and-rising member of the Alignment and one of its senior security specialists. In fact, she was responsible for much of the Mesan espionage and behind-the-scene operations, where she was usually partnered with Aldona Anisimovna, another senior Mesan executive. But where Anisimovna was a planner and manipulator, Bardasano was an enforcer, and she rather loved her job. In the end, however, she tasted enough of her own medicine when one of her senior subordinates decided that he's got enough and did a Heel-Face Turn.
Tattooed Crook: Subverted. She's heavily tattooed and pierced, which is common for members of Mesa's "young lodges." However, this is a deliberately flamboyant blind intended to convince the rest of the galaxy that Mesa is populated entirely by hedonists and useless drones.
A mid-level Mesan security operative, who was coming from a less-tweaked genetic lines (but still an Alpha). He was, however, high enough on the ladder and effective enough to be fully brought into the Alignment's plans, and one of Bardasano's henchmen. He was a chief of security in the scientific center where Dr. Simões worked, and, after hearing the man's story and becoming his friend, did a Heel-Face Turn, ensuring his escape to Manticore.
Mesan hyperphysicist introduced in the Torch Of Freedom. A supremely talented scientist, he was perfectly content with his research and his family, until this nice little world was shattered by the outside force. Namely, a decision of Long Range Planning Board, the supreme Mesan policymaking authority, to cull his daughter as a failed experiment.note Star-line Mesans don't have the kids the normal way, but are essentially surrogate parents to the custom-made Designer Babies. And the baby-makers like to experiment. Sometimes unsuccessfully. This started a downward spiral leading to him having a nervous breakdown, Heel Realization and finally deciding to defect.
The Alignment agent in the general Talbott area, including also Maya and Madras sectors, who is tasked with causing the general unrest and bringing Manticore and the League in coflict. An ex-Solarian Gendarme, he's a pesonable, but incredibly cynical guy who is explicitly said to follow "the best game in town".
Affably Evil: Firebrand is a genuinely affable guy who is actually averse to antagonizing his marks because this would upset his job.
Agent Provocateur: ...whose task is to throw the Solarian League and Star Empire of Manticore into war. He eventually succeeds, though largely because by that time both sides already were all for it. Subverted in that he never expected Manticorans to reallysupport those rebellions in the Madras sector that he fomented in their name.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Mike Henke decided to really give the Manticoran support to various Madras sector rssistance groups that he advertised. Which in several cases turned into the textbook examples of The Cavalry.
Not in This for Your Revolution: He's thoroughly indifferent to the goals of both of his employers so far. In fact, he was stated to genuinely hate the League even despite rising to the officer rank in the OFS's Gendarmerie — it simply was the best way to escape the oppression in the Protectorates.
Sadistic Choice: What (he thinks) he presents to the Manties in the Shadow of Freedom: if they don't support all those rebellions he promised aid in their name, they'd lose all credibility among the smaller nations around, and could also be blamed for the death and destruction. If they do support those rebellions, that would be an act of war against the League, which he assumed Manticore would want to avoid. Unfortunately to him, by that point the Manties didn't give a good goddamn about the latter.
Wild Card: If Firebrand could be said to be on anyone's side, that'd be his own.
Treecats in general
Berserk Button: Anyone who seriously thinks about harming a treecat's human in their presence will find themselves facing a small furry buzzsaw.
Bond Creatures: Treecats can form a permanent telempathic bond with humans.
The Empath: Capable of sensing and correctly interpreting human emotions.
Intelligent Gerbil: Doesn't quite fit here but is closer than any of the other Alien tropes.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Most humans aren't aware of just how intelligent treecats actually are. The cats are more than happy to be underestimated. Officially they were rated as an .83 on the in universe sentience scale, close to dolphins and above chimps. Later in the series their strategy finally starts shifting as they decide it would be useful to spread out from Sphinx so as to not lose the species if something happens to the planet.
Trademark Favorite Food: Celery. It's mostly because they just find it so damn tasty, though the presence of a "telepathy vitamin" doesn't hurt.
Nimitz Laughs Brightly
Nimitz, named after American Admiral Chester Nimitz, or, to use his Treecat name, Laughs Brightly, is Honor's treecat (or she's his human), has an empathic link with her and appears in every book that she does.
Badass Adorable: Fluffy, fun-loving, good with kids...and utterly deadly to anybody threatening his friends.
Deadpan Snarker: Ever since he learned to sign. Note that there was already very little doubt about it, as his sarcastic sense of humor was well known since the very beginning of the series. (Even before his adoption, his name among his fellow treecats was "Laughs Brightly".)
Eye Scream: His quickest method to neutralize enemies given that he is relatively small but fast with enamel claws. In the second book he does almost as much as Honor to fend a large group of attacking assassins- perhaps more, given that he was the first to realize their intentions.
Genius Cripple: He is telepathically mute to his own kind, from injuries sustained from a State Sec rifle butt, but helped develop 'cat sign language to compensate.
Properly Paranoid: He and his mate Samantha convince the Treecats that they need to start spreading out to other worlds, because the kind of firepower the humans throw at each other could easily wipe out all life on Sphinx unintentionally. An entire clan of Treecats is killed when a large part of HMSS Vulcanlands near them during Oyster Bay.
Samantha is the only treecat known who is both a Memory Singer (a 'cat who can receive and transmit complete experiences to other treecats, like a living first-person-view encyclopedia) and is capable of forming an Adoption Bond with humans. She gave up her prestigious status as a Memory Singer among her own kind for the sake of finding a human to adopt. She's also "married to" (mated with) Nimitz.She originally adopted Harold Tschu, but Tschu was killed in Honor Among Enemies while defending a merchant fleet from Havenite batlecruisers. The loss would have driven her to suicide, in not for her prior mating to Nimitz. Since then, she's adopted Hamish "Earl White Haven" Alexander.
Cassandra Truth: Averted. She convinces Bright Water Clan that it's time to drop The Masquerade, and that keeping your whole species on one planet isn't such a hot idea.
Properly Paranoid: Recognized the existential risk to 'catkind of having only one "nest" (home planet). Boy, did she get proved right.
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: A memory singer is almost automatically an Elder (essentially, treecat government). Samantha insisted that she was leaving to form a colony and taking her kittens with her.
A Memory Singer of the Black Rock Clan, and the only survivor of that clan following the Yawata strike (Oyster Bay). Comes to Honor to propose a formal alliance between treecats and Manticore.
Last of Her Kind: The last surviving member of Black Rock Clan, having been visiting her brother, who had mated into Moonlight Dancing Clan, when the Yawata strike hit.
Meaningful Name: She felt her whole clan die via treecat telepathy. As treecat names change with significant events in a treecat's life, well... Needless to say, she is "singing the sorrow" of her clan's loss.
This Means War!: Convinces the rest of the treecat species that whoever caused the Yawata strike (known in the treecat language as the Day of Sorrow) must be stopped.
Special Minister Bernardus van Dort
A prominent businessman and politician from the planet Rembrandt, one of the more affluent and developed Talbott worlds, and the creator of the Rembrandt Trade Union — a main intergovernmental association in the Talbott Cluster before its annexation. He first conceived it in an attempt to creating an entity too large and valuable for the Office of Frontier Security to simply gobble up, thus protecting the Cluster from the exploitation it usually involves. To this end, he did his best to extort the best financial advantages he could out of the non-RTU planets to secure the Union's positions. With the discovery of the Lynx Terminus, however, van Dort saw the once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the entire cluster, and spearheaded the annexation of the Talbott Cluster into the Star Kingdom of Manticore, after which he in effect became Dame Estelle's plenipotentiary and chief negotiator.
Hero with Bad Publicity: A lot of it earned, true, but van Dort's generated some hard feelings among others due to the actions of the Trade Union.
The Man Behind the Man: He often preferred not to influence the things directly from a position of power, but either manipulate events behind the stage, or take a hands-on approach.
Mayfly-December Romance: With his wife Suzanne. He, as a son of a wealthy merchant, was able to travel to the League with one of his family's ships to undergo prolong treatment. Unfortunately, when he first met his would-be wife, she was already too old for this, thus making their life expectancies, well, different.
This earned him a lifelong resentment from Montana's Stephen Westman, who, being 14 at the time, had a huge crush on Suzanne (she was his best friend's Cool Big Sis) and felt that van Dost somehow "betrayed" her by that.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Was willing to gobble up other star systems' economies in order to save as many other systems as he could from the machinations of the OFS. Dropped it the moment annexation into Manticore became an option to save the very systems he had been extorting.
Former politician from Kornati in the Split System. Turned terrorist upon the vote for annexiation by the Star Kingdom, founded the Freedom Alliance of Kornati (FAK), and starts blowing up stuff and people. LOTS of stuff and people.
Expy: She reminds people In-Universe of Cordelia Ransom.
Faking the Dead: Set it up, waited about three weeks and then started an "I'm Back" bombing series.
Hidden in Plain Sight: Hides in a small apartment in the lower class parts of town as a young widow. She even gets Unemployment/Social Security compensation!
Rich rancher from Montana. Like Nordbrandt he objects to the annexation, but that's where all the similarity ends. Unlike Nordbrandt and her FAK, his Montana Independence Movement (MIM) go to great lengths to not take lives.
Double Standard: Like most Montanans has those. This means the Manticoran women (see below) get to keep their clothes. He even apologizes to them!
Precocious Crush: Implied hat he had one for Suzanne Bannister, Trevor's elder sister and wife of Bernardus van Dort. He did not take the prolong thing well.
One of the main (subconscious) reasons he opposes annexation is that van Dort is its main proponent. Westman resents him just on too many levels — including both his cutthroat business tactics during his stint as RTU's chief, and blaming him for Suzanne's fate.
He was fourteen at the time. Hardly all that precocious.
The Wild West: Less of the Cowboy and Indians version, more of the Rancher and Cattle western. Montana's Stetson, really.
Never Hurt an Innocent: He's prepared to fight with the marshals and the military. But he would turn himself and his men in if he hurt an innocent in the process.
President of Kornati. Sent herself as a representative to the Constitutional Convention to "preserve the local traditions and freedoms" of the systems seeking admission in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.
A native of Dresden, and personal aide to Henri Kriezmann, the Talbott Quadrant's Minister of War. A romantic interest for Gwen Archer.
Aristocrats Are Evil: Believes this very strongly, as do most Dresdeners. Getting over it is a large part of her relationship with Gwen Archer.
Queen Berry Zilwicki
Berry was born on the streets (or, more correctly, tunnels) of Old Chicago, but was saved (together with her younger brother Lars) by Helen Zilwicki during the course of the "Manpower Incident" and then adopted by her father Anton. Later becomes Queen of Torch after the events of the Crown of Slaves.
Happily Adopted: By a semi-retired superspy and an extremely wealthy politician.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She's not really all that tiny (well, she's fairly petite, due to her often starving childhood, but nowhere near Allison Harrington levels), it's just that her boyfriend Hugh Arai is positively enormous, being former Mesan heavy labor slave.
The Pollyanna: Has one of the best claims to a bad past, but remains genuinely cheerful.
Straight Woman: Berry has a remarkable ability to never lose her cool whatever happens around and remains a voice of reason in her constantly squabbling team.
Street Urchin: Grew up not simply on but under the streets of Old Chicago's slums.
Jeremy X is an escaped Manpower genetic slave and leader of the Audubon Ballroom, the most notorious band of anti-slavery terrorists/freedom fighters around. Later becomes Secretary of War of Torch.
A Father to His Men: In many cases — almost literally. He raised a lot of other escapees, including Hugh Arai.
Large Ham: Manpower Inc. bred and trained him to be an entertainer - specifically, a court jester. It shows in his hand-eyecoordination and his tendency to chew scenery whenever he gets the chance. His first appearance begins with him somersaulting out of a hidden bookcase (in front of an audience of only two, both friendly) and just gets hammier from there.
Monster Clown: He basically looks just like a bastard lovechild of the Joker and the Punisher.
Major Thandi Palane, ret (Solarian Marines), General (Torch Armed Forces)
Well, the one simple fact that she's Victor Cachat's girlfriend should say volumes about the girl. A Marine officer in Rozsak's squadron, she was the one who usually was the business end of Barregos and Rozsak's schemes. That is, until she finally got too disgusted by their latest gambit, and decided to retire. Fortunately, in the process of that gambit, she got hooked with Cachat and joined the bandwagon as Torch's most senior uniformed officer.
Action Girl: Super-soldier physique, marine training. One of the most directly lethal characters in the series.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Attracted to ruthless men. Starts out with a crush on Luiz Rozsak, then ends up falling for Victor Cachat.
Aggressive Submissive: As Victor muses, "Dominating her had been like a mortal dominating a goddess, a feat possible only because the goddess herself willed it."
The Brigadier: Eventually takes over this role for the Kingdom of Torch.
He Knows Too Much: Defied. Being connected to Cachat, Anton Zilwicki and Jeremy X proved enough discouragement that her former comrades decided against trying to silence her.
Lady of War: Quite capable of gracefully moving in high society.
Space Marine: Quite literally — she was a Solarian Marine before.
Super Soldier: See above. People of Ndebele were both genetically engineered, and environmentally conditioned to be tough as nails. Too bad that they came under the OFS umbrella.
Commodore Edward Saganami
Considered the founder of the Modern Manticorian Military. He was in command of the RMN forces that were sent to the Silesian Confederacy to battle pirates who harassed Manticoran shipping in the area. After a battle causing extreme damage to both his fleets and the pirate fleets he split the ships up to escort the captured and stranded merchants he came for back home. His own Battlecruiser was alone when a fleet of 6 pirate vessels sprang a trap. He rammed his battlecruiser at the ships from smallest to largest as each ship destroyed meant another merchant ship would escape. The Saganami Tradition is named after his efforts.
You Shall Not Pass: Took on a pirate fleet at something approaching six to one odds to cover the escape of a Manticoran convoy.
Stephanie Death Fang's Bane Harrington
Founder of the Harrington Clan, came to Sphinx at the age of 11 with her parents. Managed to discover Treecats by catching one stealing Celery. Managed to then become the first human to be adopted and spent the rest of her life working on Treecat issues. Her story is told in the Young Adult sub-series starting with A Beautiful Friendship.
A-Cup Angst: As of Fire Season, she is particularly concious of some of the other girls her age being better developed than she is.
Knife Nut: Takes on a Hexapuma with a high-tech knife that nearly turns it into a Pentapuma by almost amputating a leg. This is the origin of her Treecat name, which she never learned, as the cats had no way of telling her about it at the time (Death Fang is the Treecat term for Hexapumas).
The Gunslinger: While she is very capable with the knife, she is pragmatic enough to realize that a gun is more useful in the wilderness on Sphinx.
The Rival: Mutually so with Trudi Franchitti, who does not share her attitude towards the Treecats.
Admiral Ellen D'Orville
A gifted tactician who once served under Edward Saganami, Ellen D'Orville is the other great hero of the Royal Manticoran Navy. Among other things, she created the Advanced Tactical Course, which in Honor's day is an absolute requirement for anyone who wants to command. Also like Edward Saganami, she went down in a Heroic Sacrifice, saving 1.4 million people, when an assassination attempt against her went awry. Ellen D'Orville Hall, the main lecture hall of Saganami Island, is named for her, and the only ship to be commanded by both Saganami and D'Orville, HMS Unconquered, has an honorary crew and captain selected from the very best of the RMN.
Famed in Story: Mentioned in the same breath as Edward Saganami when talking about great Manticoran naval heroes.
A mercenary who came upon the Planet Kuan Yin, where the original colonist were about to starve. Sensing an opportunity, he took it over and brought in modern science to save them. With this he created the foundation of the Anderman Empire.
Pragmatic Hero: Known for his "Realpoltik", a tradition his descendants held up.
King Roger Winton III
The first of Manticore's monarchs to receive Prolong treatment, he spends most of his military career, and after retirement, his reign as King, to prepare the Star Kingdom of Manticore for what he sees as the inevitable war with the Peoples' Republic of Haven. Oversaw much of the Royal Manticoran Navy's pre-war expansion program, despite considerable political pushback both from his senior officers and from Parliament. When he was on the verge of forging an alliance with San Martin against Haven, he was assassinated via an engineered grav-ski accident, leaving his teenaged daughter Elizabeth to take the throne in his place.
Dramatic Irony and Foregone Conclusion: He is the first member of the Royal Family to receive the new Prolong treatments, and is expected to have a long reign as King as a result. Much is made of the fact that there is plenty of time for him to put his various plans into effect (most notably forging an alliance with San Martin, training his daughter in her distant future duties as Queen, and reconciling with his son over a disagreement). And then he is assassinated.
Guile Hero: Knowing that he will never get Parliament to agree to pay for the research and development programs he needs for the RMN to have a fighting chance against the bigger People's Navy, he simply sets it up in secret, siphoning funds off from various other parts of the budget to fund it.
Military Maverick: He spends most of his career as an outspoken proponent of an expansion of the Royal Manticoran Navy, as well as a transition from a large force of lighter units (best suited for protecting their vast merchant fleet) to a smaller force of powerful capital ships (better suited for power projection and defense of the home system). Most of his superiors in the Navy feel that such changes in doctrine are unnecessary.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Served for several decades as an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, and took his duties very seriously. As a matter of fact, he served rather longer than anyone expected him too, given the presumption that he would leave the service at the first opportunity to take up his real duties as a Royal. Due to his refusal to leverage his social status for promotion, combined with his unorthodox views on naval doctrine, he never rose above the rank of Captain while in the Navy.
Young Future Famous People: The one story he appears in features multiple discussions about various junior officers, including an indication that Hamish Alexander and Sonja Hemphill were both already nursing a healthy rivalry back when they were lieutenants.