Characters / Keys to the Kingdom

These are some of the characters from Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series and tropes that are associated with them.

This page is currently under construction. Any contributions are appreciated.

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Main Characters


Arthur Penhaligon

The protagonist of the series, Arthur was an average asthmatic who was about to die until Mister Monday tried to loophole the Will by making him Heir. Even half of Monday's Key was enough to save Arthur's life, however, setting him on the path to collecting all the keys and fulfilling the Will.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of Lord Sunday, Arthur becomes the New Architect.
  • Child Soldier: He's twelve when he gets drafted into the House's army in Sir Thursday, though he doesn't end up having to serve the century he was drafted for.
  • The Chosen One: Possibly deconstructed since he was chosen as he was about to die and Monday expected he would get the Key back.
  • Cool Shades: As the New Architect.
  • The Corruption: The more he uses the keys, the closer he gets to becoming a Denzien. Or so he thinks at first, but it turns out humans can't become denizens so he's changing into something else.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Thanks to a 'Thesaurus' denizen he rescued from the pit in Book 2. From book 3 onwards, everyone shows disbelief at who he says he is just because he's not 10 feet tall, has a beard and isn't accompanied by a frog/bear hybrid.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Really wants to just go home and stop transforming into an immortal-but-completely-inhuman Denizen.
  • Ill Boy: He suffers from asthma as a plot point. Holding a Key alleviates the symptoms.
  • The Power of Friendship: Arthur has a habit of making friends wherever he is. It might help however that he says please to denizens, who are surprised someone higher than them actually says it. He gets a lot of extra help this way.


Suzy Turquoise Blue

One of the Piper's Children, and one of Arthur's few friends in the House.
  • Nice Hat: A slightly squashed top hat.
  • Overnight Age-Up: In Lord Sunday's epilogue, requested of the New Architect given her actual age. She also calls dibs on being Lady Sunday.



One of Arthur's friends from Earth, Leaf is largely the POV character for all the strange things that happen on Earth due to the chaos in the House.


Fred Initial Numbers Gold

One of the Piper's Children, serving in the Glorious Army of the Architect.

    The Will 

The Will/Dame Primus/ The Architect

The Will of the Architect, a sentient piece of magical legislation sent to the Trustees for them to carry out. Instead, they ripped it into seven pieces and imprisoned each.

  • Have You Seen My God?: The seven parts of her were imprisoned and incapable of action for millennium after the Architect left and the House fell into decay.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Temperance is perhaps the most reasonable of the Will's pieces.
  • Supporting Leader: Does most of the actual leading of the various parts of the House off-screen while Arthur goes to free the other parts of her.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Most of the individual pieces. Dame Primus is generally much better about this.
    • Part 4, Justice, attacks The Piper in negotiations.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?
  • Winged Humanoid: Initially, but as more parts were added to her, they soon faded away.

The Trustees

    The Trustees as a whole 

The rulers of the House, who were meant to carry out the Will of the Architect. They refused to give up power, tearing up the Will and imprisoning the pieces.
  • Day of the Week Name: Each of the Trustees is named for a day of the week.
  • Hour of Power: The Accord between the Trustees forbids them from interfering with the Secondary Realms outside the day they are named after. Their Dawn, Noon and Dusk can only leave the House during their time of day.
  • Evil Overlord: All of them, to one degree or another (except Wednesday).
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Each of them now represents one of the seven sins, having been corrupted by the Will.


Mister Monday

The first Trustee, who suffers from Sloth.
  • The Atoner: Once Arthur takes the key away from him and heals his mind, Monday becomes a much better and more-helpful person.
    • Redemption Equals Death: Delayed, but present: he and Tuesday both get assassinated off-page by Dame Primus partway through the third book.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Quite calculating and clever in his machinations, despite wanting to just sleep all day.
  • Lazy Bum: Does nothing but sleep, although it's suggested he can communicate words with a flicker of eyelids.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: When he finally steps into the fray, well, see Scaled Up below.
  • Save the Villain: Arthur heals his 'Sloth' affliction at the end of the book, resulting in him becoming cheery and less evil.
  • Scaled Up: Can transform into a massive serpent to attack.


Grim Tuesday

The second Trustee, who suffers from Greed.
  • Cool Train: Covered in spikes on the outside to stop denizens climbing on it, and is the only way to get in, or out, of the massive pit in the Secondary Realms. Also has an equally cool train station (Which Tuesday has to repair all the time because it keeps being degraded by nothing) copied from one on Earth.
  • Creative Sterility: Can create beautiful things, and combine existing things to make something new, but not from scratch.
  • The Collector: Has a tower filled with treasures, including The Mariner.


Drowned Wednesday

The third Trustee, who suffers from Gluttony.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Her Leviathan form, a gigantic whale.
  • Big Eater: Oh yeah. Ties in to her sin of Gluttony.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Her body works like this, especially in human form. Apparently everything contracts or grows depending on her size.
  • Dying as Yourself: She struggles to maintain her human form as she dies rather than becoming the malformed beast Arthur had seen earlier. Arthur notes that it seems to be taking a large amount of effort to do so.


Sir Thursday

The fourth Trustee, who suffers from Wrath.
  • Bad Boss: He spends a fair bit of his page time beating up his subordinates. And then there's his killing of the mind-controlled Piper's Children
  • BFS: His key, while it's in his possession.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: A particularly nasty one.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He shreds a map with a bayonet upon the mere description of the New Nithling's attack. However it's implied he was holding back, as the fourth part of the will was waiting for him to become angry enough to break free of his control.
  • Just Following Orders: Upon talking to Arthur for the first time in private, he makes it quite clear he does not plan to relinquish the Fourth Key or Will without a change in orders from Lord Sunday or his deputy, Superior Saturday.
  • Unstoppable Rage: It takes his three Lieutenants to hold him back while Arthur tries to get control of the Fourth key.
  • Villainous Valor: His incredible willpower and self-control is the only thing holding back the power of the Will, and it must be constant. It'd be almost inspiring if he weren't such a violent jerk.


Lady Friday

The fifth Trustee, who suffers from Lust.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Her addiction to "experiencing."
  • Lust: Interpreted for a younger audience as an insatiable desire for the experiences and pleasures of mortal life, rather than, well...
  • Magic Mirror: The Fifth Key, which she uses to transport herself and her entourage throughout the universe and drain mortals of their memories.
  • Winged Humanoid: One of only a few Trustees to demonstrate the form — preceding members of the Court of Days either had charge of regions of the House where flight was inadvisable (Tuesday and Thursday) or were prevented from using wings by the nature of their afflictions (Monday and Wednesday).


Superior Saturday

The sixth Trustee, who suffers from Envy.
  • Big Bad: Except really a Disc One Final Boss.
  • Can't Catch Up: To Lord Sunday. He even mocks her for it by giving her glimpses of the Incomparable Gardens.
  • Envy: Being the second most powerful being in the universe is utterly intolerable to her not for the privileges that being the top dog would grant her, but because the thought of someone having it better than her consumes her.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Her full self-styled title is "Superior Sorcerer of the Upper House."
  • The Starscream: She's second in command within the House as run by the Trustees and spends the bulk of her resources attempting to reach the Incomparable Gardens and overthrow Sunday.
  • Time Abyss: As the first Denizen ever created, she is the oldest being in the Universe aside from the Architect and the Old One.


Lord Sunday

The seventh Trustee, he suffers from Pride.
  • Genre Savvy: Knows about Saturday's attempts to reach his tower, but doesn't care.

Other Characters

    The Old One 

The Old One

The second oldest entity in existence, outpaced only by the Architect herself.
  • Chained to a Rock: A clock, with torture-puppets instead of cuckoos that rip out his eyes every day.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: His eyes do regrow almost as soon as his daily torture is over. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it hurt less.
  • Eye Scream: It could be worse. Used to be his liver, as per the Shout-Out below. He almost lets it happen to Arthur instead, just to see if he's fallen far enough to let it happen for a moment's reprieve. He hasn't, but it's a close thing. After all, Arthur's won't grow back...
  • Shout-Out: To Prometheus.

    The Mariner 

The Mariner

Son of the Old One and the Architect, the Mariner explores the Secondary Realms as a sailor.

    The Piper 

The Piper

Another son of the Old One and the Architect, the Piper is best known for calling mortal children to the House. He was exiled into Nothing centuries ago.
  • Body Horror: Being soaked in corrosive proto-matter is awful for the complexion.
  • Cool Mask: To cover his deformity.
  • Magical Flutist: Many of his powers revolve around the use of music.



An ally of Arthur's in the House.