Characters: Lunar Chronicles
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A futuristic version of Cinderella.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Naturally.
- Ambiguously Brown: In-universe. She's described as having "tanned skin" and fits in fine in New Beijing (relatively speaking), but according to Word of God her appearance is vague enough that she could fit in just about anywhere. (For the record, her appearance was based on that of an Asian actress from Sailor Moon.)
- Asian and Nerdy
- Big Screwed-Up Family: A Wicked Stepmother, a Bitch Stepsister, Aunt Levana, not to mention her mother...
- Brainy Brunette: Her brain interface gives her an uncanny ability to fix mechanical things.
- Chinese Girl
- Cinderella Circumstances: Naturally. Complete with a Wicked Stepmother and an Evil Stepsister.
- Composite Character: Takes the role of the Sea Witch in "The Little Android", as she provides a new body to the main character.
- Cyborg: It's right there on the cover. She was turned into one after being in a horrific hover accident; she would have died without the implants, and would have been crippled without the artificial limbs. At least, that's what she grew up believing.
- Deadpan Snarker: Is she ever. It's heavily implied to be a defense mechanism developed due to the crap she's been put through her entire life, something that is made most apparent when she snarks the hell out of Dr. Erland while she's been held for execution.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted. Her mother, Queen Channary, was just as much an evil witch as Levana, if not more. Though this is arguably played straight with her stepfather, Garan.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards a few characters, most clearly Thorne.
- Determinator: Definitely in the first book, and even more so in the second.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: She is the long-lost moon princess, Selene, which makes her the true blood-heir to the Lunar throne.
- Face Death with Dignity: This is her plan while being held for execution: don't fight back, don't try to escape, and just let Levana kill her because she's not worth fighting a war over. As it turns out, she is worth it. She faces survival with less dignity than her impending death; she'd resigned herself to being executed, but not to having to shoulder the burden of being the only person who can dethrone Levana and save Kai, his country, and possibly the planet. Ultimately, she decides to choose survival over death.
- Financial Abuse: Is a victim of this. Being her legal guardian, Cinder's stepmother, Adri, directly recieves the money Cinder earns as a mechanic, which she uses as her main source of income. She hypocritically accuses Cinder of "stealing" the money she rightfully earned whenever she learns that she had bought something.
- Friendless Background: Cinder states multiple times that Peony, her youngest step-sister, is her only human friend.
- Identity Amnesia: Cinder can't remember anything from before waking up on an operating table with new limbs at the age of eleven. Justified: when her brain interface was installed, some damage was done to the hippocampus, affecting her memory.
- Fully justified in Scarlet: In reality, Levana tried to kill her when she was three years old by burning down her nursery. She was kept in suspended animation for eight years while she was being operated on and getting her cyborg implants installed. In the meantime, her brain was hooked up to a machine to keep it stimulated so her brain would develop normally. She was also given a netlink installed in her head so she could instantly look up facts she wasn't able to learn, but would have known had she been conscious and living, in order to hide any suspicion. Cinder herself didn't realize anything was amiss until she found the secret operating room where she had been kept. She simply doesn't have any memories to recall.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Cinder's most risk-tasking, dangerous action concerns her sneaking into the ball in Peony's silver dress, to warn Kai about Levana's true intentions. She is also wearing said dress when she shoots at Levana. It's all wrinkled and wet and her fancy gloves have grease stains on them, but still fancy as heck.
- Mechanics Who Don't Do Anything: For someone who's known as the best mechanic in Beijing to the point where even the prince himself seeks her out, Cinder doesn't seem to have much of a client list.
- At one point it's mentioned that a lot of people tried to hire her for jobs, but at the time she was refusing all work to spite Adri. Also, the fact that she's a cyborg probably dissuades the vast majority of people from securing her services.
- Race Lift: Technically averted; Cinderella was originally Chinese to begin with.
- Reluctant Princess: She does not want to be Earth's only hope for peace, so it's unfortunate for her that she is.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: The hell they don't! Cinder's plan to save Kai involves sneaking into the ball in Peony's silver dress.
- Royal Blood
- Son of a Whore: Not a professional one, but Queen Channary was quite the little vixen. It is why we do not know who Cinder's father is.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Cinder is not really tomboyish by nature; her having to wear rags and work as a mechanic is more inflicted on her by her stepmother than anything, but she fulfills this to a degree. Cinder and Pearl function as the "girly-girl being a spoiled brat who loses to more sensible tomboy" version of this trope. Cinder also works this way with Peony, and later, Cress, both reversing it to be "the girly girl is more innocent than the jaded tomboy" version of this trope.
- The Unfavorite: Her stepmother prefers her natural children to her.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Thorne.
- Wrench Wench
- Youngest Child Hero: Averted. She is the middle daughter.
A futuristic Little Red Riding Hood.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Well, if her reaction to Wolf is any indication...
- Toyed with. She's genuinely freaked out by his ruthless, animalistic fighting. She digs the scars though.
- Badass in Distress: Becomes one after being captured during Cress.
- Badass Normal: No cybernetics, military training, or Lunar abilities, she's just a farm girl with a gun. A farm girl who killed a thaumaturge.
- Deadpan Snarker: Suitably enough for a Fiery Redhead.
- Defiant to the End: When she's brought before Queen Lavena for interrogation, she makes sure to tell her that she's a fake and Cinder is going to overthrow her. She pays for it, but thanks to Winter's intervention, manages to keep her life.
- Determinator: She is going to find her grandmother, no matter what stands in her path or what she has to suffer.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She badmouths Queen Lavena to her face.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Averted; she's the only one of the four heroines not to be even mentioned in the first book. Her grandmother, on the other hand...
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French
- Fiery Redhead: She has quite a temper.
- Fingore: She's telepathically forced to cut off her own pinkie.
- Three-Quarter Human Hybrid: Her grandfather was a Lunar, making Scarlet one-quarter Lunar herself. She has not displayed any potential for powers, however, and she is not a Shell, as the Lunar glamour works perfectly on her.
- Hot-Blooded: She's very opinionated and passionate, and tends to act rashly without thinking.
- Interspecies Romance: She's one-quarter Lunar, Wolf is full-Lunar with some wolf genetics thrown in the mix.
- Kid with the Leash: She's the only one who can calm Wolf down from his blood frenzies—though even she has some difficulties.
- Meaningful Name: "Benoit" is similar to the French phrase bonne nuit, meaning "good night".
- Mind Rape: Before her interrogation, she spent a week being mentally tortured and played with by a Lunar child.
- Nerves of Steel: It takes a special kind of gutsiness to calmly talk down a blood-raged wolf-Lunar hybrid, after watching your grandmother die and nearly being killed yourself.
- Official Couple: With Wolf.
- Out of Focus: She isn't seen in Cress very much, due to being kidnapped by Sybil and held on Luna for interrogation.
- Phrase Catcher: "Like the hair?", as a response to learning her name is Scarlet. She's very tired of the joke.
- Raised by Grandparents: Moved from the city to her grandmother's farm as a child, and loves her more than anyone.
- The Gunslinger: She always carries a small pistol with her, and knows how to handle a shotgun as well.
- The Tease: Played With. Her interest in Wolf is genuine, but she does flirt with Ran to prove to herself she can seduce a man.
- Unwitting Pawn: Wolf plays her like a fiddle. Of course, to be absolutely fair to Scarlet, he wasn't really acting.
A futuristic Rapunzel.
- The Atoner: Cress was forced to create the spyware Levana's been using to obtain information about earth, and so Cress has been actively trying to prevent further damage. To be fair, she had been trying from the start to only obtain useless information, but it had Gone Horribly Right.
- Beautiful Slave Girl
- Broken Bird: How does she keep her hopes up with a life of imprisonment and constant abuse? Simple, she doesn't.
- Character Tic: Twists her hair when she's nervous. Her one annoyance with her Important Haircut is that now she doesn't have anything to do with her hands.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Possibly averted. It is implied that she might be Dr. Erland's long-lost daughter, in which case, her dead mother sold her into slavery. This would also be averted with Dr. Erland, himself, since he is, well, not dead.
- Double subverted.
- Determinator: Crossed the Sahara desert without complaint.
- Ditzy Genius: Naive, romantic, silly and extremely entrenched in her own imagination - but also smart enough to carry on six different board games at once against an AI. That she programmed to speak in her own voice. At the age of ten.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted, what with being a Queen's hacker and all.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in the first book and is actually a pivotal character. Why else would we have so much to say about her?
- Ensemble Darkhorse: She seems to be a fan-favorite, and in-universe she got quite a bit of focus in Cinder's book.
- Fangirl: She has looked up everything she could for Carswell Thorne.
- Girl in the Tower: Well, she's held captive in a satellite...
- Hacker Cave: The satellite where she spent her seven-year imprisonment. Semi-unintentional, as she needed all that tech stuff to spy on Earth and, well, hack.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m an evil, worthless, wretched girl.”
- Innocent Blue Eyes: She's got 'em.
- Love at First Sight: Her reaction to Thorne.
- Muggle Born of Mages: She is a "Shell," a Lunar without powers, though this also give her immunity to glamours, which even humans lack.
- No Sell: What happens if a Lunar tries to use their glamour on her. Being a Shell, she is immune.
- Not Quite Dead: She is Cresent Moon, Dr. Erland's thought-to-be-dead daughter.
- The Pollyanna: Played With. She keeps an upbeat, positive attitude, but it's something she does only to keep her spirits up.
- Punny Name: Cress, her nickname, is an edible, leafy garden plant - just like rampion, also known as rapunzel.
- Rapunzel Hair: Probably not as drastic enough as her fairy tale counterpart, but it's still pretty long.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Cress used to hold a lot of hope that people would love and accept her, despite her genetic anomaly, if she worked hard enough. Despite losing this idealism over time, she still retained her sense of romance, and has a rose-tinted view of several things, Earth and Thorne in particular.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes she's a Damsel in Distress who will be swept off her feet by a handsome prince and they will go on to live happily ever after. She was right about the "distress" part, but everything else doesn't exactly play out the way she wants it to.
A futuristic Snow White. Queen Levana's stepdaughter.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: She hates to use her Lunar powers, and it is slowly eating away at her sanity.
- Covered with Scars: She has three scars running down her face; it's implied that Levana forced her into it to destroy her beauty. Scarlet notes that it just makes her more striking.
- Disappeared Dad: Winter's father is obviously not in the picture considering her stepmother is trying to marry Prince Kai, and it is implied that he was killed by Levana, for that very reason. In fact, it is not clear why Levana is keeping Winter around, either.
- Levana hired an assassin to kill Evret (Winter's father)in order to be able to marry Kai's father. She genuinely loved Evret — to a fault, as she manipulated him into loving her back — and kept Winter alive because that was his dying wish.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Well, not as much as Cress, but she is at least mentioned in the first book, and has a brief scene in the third.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Friend to All Living Things: Parodied; her "animal" friends are Levana's mutated captives.
- Obfuscating Insanity: While Winter is undoubtedly a little mad, she plays up her madness to divert Levana's attention.
- One Degree of Separation: Cinder's mother and Winter's stepmother were sisters, making them step-cousins.
- Race Lift: She is going to be black.
- Rebellious Princess: “She was caught trying to stow away in a military service ship en route to Earth.” Somewhat justified in that she is rebelling against Levana.
- Royal Blood: Averted. It is directly stated she is not of the blood-line and that she was elevated to the status of princess when Levana married her father, a palace guard.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Sour apple petites, a medicinal sweet.
The Crown-Prince of New Beijing.
- 100% Adoration Rating: You'd better believe it. And half the girls in the country are head-over-heels in love with him.
- Adorkable: As much as a sexy prince can be a dork, he is still adorable at it.
- Dogged Nice Guy: He was rejected by a servant-girl he was in love with (it was admittedly puppy-love, though), and technically he is this with Cinder. Cinder genuinely likes him, mind you; there are just a few issues that prevent her from being with him: being a cyborg, Levana trying to kill her, being a Lunar, Levana trying to kill her, her stepfamily would probably not make things any easier, Levana trying to kill her, and the fact that she needs to leave the country to escape her stepmother. Also, Levana is trying to kill her.
- Distressed Dude: Levana plans to manipulate him into marriage, and then kill him.
- The Emperor: He ends up one after his father's death.
- The Good Emperor: He's trying to be.
- King Incognito: He disguises himself with a grey hoodie when going to meet Cinder. The book lampshades how ridiculous this is, though Cinder notes that it must be working better than she thinks, considering the lack of a throng of screaming girls following him around.
- Modest Royalty: Very modest. He actually apologizes to Cinder for asking her to put fixing Nainsi at the top of her client list, and the only reason he even asks for special treatment at all is because Nainsi might have information that could save his country.
- Nice Guy
- Prince Charming
- Reluctant Emperor: Although it's not so much that he doesn't want the role at all as the fact that he feels that he's not ready to take it.
- Spoiled Sweet
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Is quite the looker. Pales in comparison to his awesome personality. Good hell, his personality...
- Time to Step Up, Commander: After his father dies. Kai is convinced that he'll be an awful ruler, but so far he's proven to be quite diplomatic, considering he's been trying to outmanoeuvre and play nice with a mind-controlling lunatic who intentionally allowed his father to die because she figures she'll have a better chance at controlling and marrying Kai, and thus becoming empress of New Beijing, turning its entire population into slaves, waging a war against the rest of the planet, and taking over the world. So far he's managed to avoid marrying her and hasn't caused World War V. All things considered, he's doing well.
- Then the end of Scarlet happens. He's still a great ruler, but he got played hard. Now if only he realized that Cinder is Princes Selene....
- What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?: Kai does not want to marry Levana, but she has the antidote that would save billions of lives. He asks Cinder this question and, oblivious to why he's asking it, "What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?" is essentially the answer she gives him. He reluctantly agrees. Of course, this is before he finds out that Levana's plan is to kill him and wage war on Earth. This knowledge quickly changes his priorities, as suddenly his life is worth a lot in comparison — without him, Levana will win.
- It's more than just not wanting to marry a horrible woman, though. If he married her, she would mind control his entire empire into obedience, and he knows it. The only upside to sacrificing his entire country like that would be that at least they are still alive, and it would avoid a war. So it's more like What Is One Country's Existance In Comparison. There's more than his personal happiness, or even his own life, at stake right from the beginning.
- Unfortunately, in Scarlet, Levana forces his hand by sending genetically-engineered super soldiers to attack Earth, resulting in an absolutely staggering death toll in one night. Kai knows that she plans to kill him, but he decides that the sacrifice is worth it. Cinder does not take the announcement well.
- Even then, the fact remains that he knows she's going to take over Earth via the Commonwealth anyway. Agreeing to the marriage at that point is a delaying tactic/ the lesser of two evils at best. Still not a selfless decision, but it's literally the best and only thing he could do at that point.
- The Wise Prince: Complete with fate trying its best to screw him over, but thus far, he's not going down without a fight.
Cinder's youngest stepsister. Decidedly not-wicked.
- Alliterative Family: Pearl and Peony.
- Not Quite Saved Enough: Cinder has the antidote, but arrives only minutes too late to save her.
- Plague Infectee: Averted. While Peony is utterly terrified and knows that she's going to be taken away (probably to die, considering the currently mortality rate of the disease), she still tells Cinder to stay away from her so the infection won't spread and goes willingly with the medbots.
- Mythology Gag: Her personality is a reference to how in both the Grimm and Perrault versions of Cinderella, the younger stepsister is nicer than the older one, though probably not as much as Peony. This could also be a reference to the original Chinese version of the story, where there was only one evil sister (though a half-sister, not a stepsister) to begin with which could also explain her death.
- Spoiled Sweet: "Glitches" confirms that she was always this, even as a little girl.
- Token Good Sister
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth
Cinder's eldest stepsister. Wicked.
- Alliterative Family: Pearl and Peony.
- Fantastic Racism: Toward cyborgs, especially Cinder. She even calls Cinder "wire-head" after threatening to have her handed over to the authorities for plague research.
- Princess Curls: Is described as having curly hair, and acts like a Royal Brat.
- Spoiled Brat
Cinder's Wicked Stepmother.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Emotional Faint: She collapses when it's revealed that Cinder is a Lunar.
- Financial Abuse: As mentioned above, being Cinder's legal guardian, she gets the money Cinder makes as a mechanic, which she uses as her sole source of income and mostly uses on indulgences for herself and her own two daughters. She cruelly accuses Cinder of theft for spending the money, which she rightfully earned.
- Especially considering she used it to buy herself a new foot, which she needed to upgrade for years.
- Evil Is Petty: A throw-away line implies Cinder does most of the housework as well.
- Humble Pie: Prince Kai shames her and Pearl at the ball after she tries to publicly beat Cinder, revealing that she is his personal guest.
- Hypocrite: Accuses Cinder of stealing the money that Adri is stealing from Cinder in the first place.
- Just a Machine: Holds this view towards androids and cyborgs; the way she treats Cinder is nothing short of utterly heartless and cruel.
- Lack of Empathy: Toward Cinder.
- Not So Different: You'd fit right in with the arrogant, heartless Lunar court, wouldn't you, Adri?
- Slave to PR: Even when medbots invade her home, her daughter is taken away, and she's utterly distraught, Adri still refuses to make a scene. God forbid her neighbours realize everything isn't perfect.
- Wicked Stepmother: To Cinder
- Would Hurt a Child: Aside from selling Cinder for plague research, she also murdered Iko. Luckily, she didn't get rid of Iko's personality chip, so Iko is technically still alive.
- You Should Have Died Instead: Adri tells Cinder this in regard to Garan and Peony.
- They Died Because of You: And this.
Cinder's adoptive father; Adri's husband; father to Pearl and Peony. Deceased.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best
- Face Death with Dignity: When he finds out he has the plague.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He was an inventor who figured out how to make someone immune to a Lunar's bioelectric manipulation. The same tech could also prevent a Lunar from using their gift..
Captain Carswell Thorne
A young man with a long criminal history. Currently in jail for theft, and in solitary for leading a prison riot because the soap the prison provided was drying out his skin.
- The Captain: He claims this to be his rank, but in actual fact, the highest rank he reached was cadet.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: It's practically his trademark. In Cress he actually starts making out with the title character in the middle of a firefight. The man exaggerates a lot of his talents, but his ability to fake calm is second to none.
- The Charmer: He tries to be — and the fact that he managed to get a portscreen while in prison out of the only female guard certainly supports this — but it doesn't really work on Cinder.
- Combat Pragmatist: Smash a chair over a guy's head? Totally. Steal his watch? Sure, whatever.
- Cool Starship: He's very proud of his stolen ship and won't hear a word against her. Not even from Iko, who becomes the ship's auto-control system.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Expy: A handsome and sarcastic Loveable Rogue who falls in love with a version of Rapunzel? Sounds like Flynn Rider.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Breaking out of prison with someone and evading arrest together for several days will do that.
- Genius Ditz: Certainly seems like an airhead... until you learn about the good-sized spaceship he stole from the American military. Even Cinder is impressed. Even more so when he opens Cinder's brain wiring to turn her back on after said spaceship drains her power cell.
- Guile Hero: Not nearly as squeamish about manipulating people with bioelectricity as Cinder is.
- Handicapped Badass: He's blinded in the beginning of the third book.
- Handsome Lech
- Loveable Rogue
- Odd Friendship: He's about the last person you would expect to befriend Cinder, and yet...
- One Head Taller: With Cress - pretty easy, since she's barely five feet tall.
- OOC Is Serious Business: If Thorne is panicking, things are very, very bad.
- Overranked Soldier: Of the Improbable Age category, since he's only twenty. Subverted when Cinder looks him up and sees that he's actually a cadet who stole his Cool Starship and just thinks "Captain" sounds better.
- Stepford Smiler: Becomes painfully evident in Cress when he keeps the same strained smile while trekking across the Sahara for two days. Even after being blinded he keeps trying to prove he can be the cool action hero.
- This Is no Time to Panic: In a dangerous situation, he's always the one to stop another character from freaking out - not because his presence is so comforting, but because crying in a desert dehydrates you and a bar fight is a stupid place to have a Heroic BSOD. He simply has the best ability to shelve away panic until a more sensible time.
- Use Your Head: A variant: when Cinder starts panicking during an Lunar pack assault in a tavern, Thorne's hands are cuffed, so he headbutts her to snap her out of her BSOD.
- What Could Have Been: According to a first draft of Cress, his name was originally going to be Alexander Woods.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Eye surgery. Awkward.
Wolf / Ze'ev Kesley
A mysterious street fighter. A futuristic Big Bad Wolf.
For more specific (and spoilerific) tropes that apply to Wolf, see Ze'ev Kesley, under the Lunar tab.
- Adorkable: He has his moments when figuring out how things work in the human world, such as trying to open a tomato can with a meat tenderizer.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Wolf is very quiet, to the point of coming off as almost shy. He's also an absolute animal in a fight.
- Blood Knight: When he's fighting, he becomes almost feral, and obviously enjoys it.
- Green Eyes: They're very striking.
- Mysterious Past: No one in the diner or the street fights has any idea who he is or where he came from.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: 'Wolf' is not the most cuddly nickname for an individual to have.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Until The Reveal.
- Primal Stance: When in a fight.
- The Reveal: He doesn't actually belong in this section, seeing as how he's actually a genetically-engineered Lunar operative by the name of Ze'ev Kesley. Oh, and he was part of the team that was tasked with kidnapping Scarlet's grandmother, although he himself was not personally involved in any of the proceedings.
- Sense Freak: He's never had tomatos before, and seems to take a particular liking to them. Also applies to some other veggies. It's possible that he was only ever given meat by his masters before, being a "wolf" and all.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Trademark Favorite Food: His has been tomatoes ever since Scarlet introduced him to them.
- What Beautiful Eyes: Scarlet's friend Emilie gushes about how beautiful they are, and when Scarlet sees them for the first time herself, she visibly derails from her train of thought.
Wing Commander Michelle Benoit
Scarlet's grandmother, an ex-pilot for the European Federation's military, and later a farmer who hid the child Princess Selene in suspended animation in her basement for eight years while she underwent life-saving cyborg surgery.
- Call to Agriculture
- Cool Old Lady
- Doting Grandparent: Teaches her young granddaughter to live more simply, work outdoors and in general be less of a spoiled city mouse. She and Scarlet love each other to bits.
- Interspecies Romance: If you consider Lunars to be genetically different enough from Earthens to be a different species. She's Earthen, but her old flame Logan Tanner - Scarlet's grandfather - was Lunar.
- Retired Badass
Currently the ruler of New Beijing; Kai's father.
- 100% Adoration Rating: By all accounts, he had this. Even the newscaster is genuinely choked up when she announces that he's entered the fourth and final state of letumosis.
- The Emperor: Well, obviously. He's a good example, though.
- Emperor On His Deathbed: And he dies quite early on in the story, leaving a grief-stricken Kai as the new Emperor.
- The Good Emperor: Well, he did seemed to have a 100% Adoration Rating, and he certainly managed to keep his country free from the Lunars.
- Good Parents: To Kai, who greatly mourns him.
- The Plague: He's infected with it.
Former empress of New Beijing; Kai's mother. Deceased.
Former Lunar Queen; Levana's older sister; Princess Selene's mother. Deceased.
- Big Sister Bully: According to a preview of Fairest, she was one to Levana growing up. In fact, she's actually the reason why Levana is the horrible person that she is today; she certainly gave her the burns that cover half of her whole body underneath the glamour she sustains.
- Freudian Excuse: Her parents were violently killed by a Shell.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: A bizarre case, where both sisters are evil.
- God Save Us from the Queen!
- Incurable Cough of Death
- Missing Mom: She is Cinder's mother
- Not So Different: You would think she would be a good, just ruler in contrast to her evil sister. You'd be wrong. Oh, so wrong.
- Really Gets Around: The reason we do not know who Selene's father is.
- Royally Screwed Up
Dr. Dmitri Erland Dr. Sage Darnel
The current head of plague research at the palace in New Beijing.
- Consummate Liar: Is he ever. He lies to Kai without a single hesitation or twitch that might give him away, spinning stories to hide Cinder's status of plague research subject, cyborg, and Lunar. He's also managed to hide his Lunar identity for at least ten years.
- Death Bed Confession: Dying of Letumosis, Dr. Erland tells Cress he is her father.
- Defector from Decadence
- Freudian Slip: When he says "our" instead of "your" while talking about the biochemical makeup of Lunars. Of course, it was obvious almost immediately to the reader that he's a Lunar.
- Hypocrite: He freely admits that he was this before his Heel-Face Turn and coming to Earth. Up until his Shell daughter was born he completely supported the law that declared that Shells were a danger to society and had to die. But not his little girl. He'd planned to take her and flee to Earth, but his wife handed their daughter over to the authorities before he had the chance.
- Incurable Cough of Death: After he's infected with Letumosis.
- It's Personal: The reason he wants Levana dethroned so much is his dead daughter.
- Mad Scientist: He has shades of this, although with an emphasis on the 'mad'. Years of never using his Lunar gift to manipulate people has done a number on his mental stability, though he mostly manages to hold it together.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Ultimately subverted.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He is perfectly understanding of the many prejudices that Earthens have against Lunars, and he'll be the first one to admit that, as things stand, those prejudices are pretty much entirely justified.
The Lunar Queen.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Prince Kai. It has nothing to do with how she looks though apparently she's not beautiful at all, it is just the fact that she is evil and will likely use her powers to mentally enslave him. Though it turns out, she wants to kill him, since she knows he's looking for Princess Selene in hopes of dethroning her.
- Always Someone Better: From Channary to Solstice Hayle to her own stepdaughter, most of Levana's mental issues stem from her jealousy of others.
- Berserk Button: Pretty much anything to do with Cinder at this point.
- Big Bad: She is partially responsible for Cinder and Cress' predicaments, the plague, the war...and this is all before Winter's book, where she is supposed to be the main villain!
- Black Widow: Murdered her husband so she could be free to go after Rikan, then Kai.
- Broken Bird: Starts out as one in Fairest and things only get worse from there.
- Evil Redhead: Described as having auburn hair. Though this may just be her glamour.
- The Evil Prince: Make that Princess! Although, despite rumors, she didn't actually kill Channary to obtain the throne; the elder sister really did of an illness that doctors didn't think to test for. Her niece on the other hand.....
- Evil Aunt: And how. She blew up her infant niece, Princess Selene, in order to make sure that she herself would be able to claim the throne. Unfortunately for her, Selene is still alive.
- Facial Horror: Fairest reveals that Levana's glamour hides burn scars on the left side of her body.
- Freudian Excuse:
- Her parents were killed by a Shell. Particularly flimsy, considering that she'd probably hate them anyway for being immune to her glamour.
- She also has a legitimate one in the form of Channary bullying her in their childhood, confirmed with Fairest. Channary is not only the cause of Levana's scars, but also a great deal of her emotional problems.
- Her parents were killed by a Shell. Particularly flimsy, considering that she'd probably hate them anyway for being immune to her glamour.
- God Save Us from the Queen!
- Just a Machine: She makes no bones about the fact that she holds this view of androids. Also probably cyborgs—she's at least completely disgusted by them.
- Lack of Empathy: Just because she can control your emotions doesn't mean she cares.
- Lady in Red: Her wedding dress is a bright red ensemble with a gold veil, in traditional Commonwealth colors.
- Oh Crap!: Without a doubt, this is her reaction upon realizing that the young woman known as Cinder standing in front of her is none other than Princess Selene, the niece she tried to murder... and the rightful heir to the Lunar throne.
- Really Gets Around: She scoffs at the idea of monogamy.
- Royally Screwed Up: Continuing the proud family tradition!
- The Rival: Cinder's main rival for Prince Kai, though only in the sense of an official union; Kai is utterly repulsed by Levana.
- Sketchy Successor: While she's certainly sketchy, this trope is ultimately subverted by the fact that Channary was just as much of a monster as Levana is.
- Two-Faced: The entire left side of Levana's face is covered in burn scars courtesy of Channary.
- Vain Sorceress: Her beauty is all just an illusion to hide her burn scars.
- Villain Episode: The fourth book, Fairest, is a prequel focused on her childhood.
- Wicked Witch
- Wicked Stepmother: Possibly. She is Winter's stepmother, and she is pretty damn wicked, but it's unclear how she treats her. It is rumored, in-universe, that she forced Winter to disfigure her own face out of jealousy.
Channary's daughter; Levana's niece. Presumed dead. Actually alive and well—or as well as you in her situation.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Probably played straight, though Kai lampshades the fact that the daughter of the bloodthirsty Channary would probably no better than Levana. Played straight in that she is actually Cinder.
- In the Blood: Invoked almost word for word by Torin, Kai's advisor; he believes it would be true about Selene even if she were still alive. Her mother was just as much of a monster as Levana is, and while Kai is hopeful that Selene's time on Earth might have endeared her to humans, Torin sees no reason as to why she would be any different from her family.Torin: Kai, the entire bloodline, every last one of them has been greedy, violent, corrupted by their own power. Believe me when I say that Princess Selene, even if she were alive, would be no better.
- Never Found the Body: The main reason that people believe she could still be alive. Burnt flesh was found, but no actual body.
- No One Could Survive That: The reason she is presumed 'dead' instead of just 'missing'.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Surprise, Levana!
- Rightful Queen Returns: Kai is planning to invoke this trope if he ever finds Selene in order to dethrone Levana. Though he doesn't realize it, he has found her, and he's fallen in love with her. Selene is Cinder.
Mistress Sybil Mira
Head thaumaturge to the Lunar Crown; Cress' stepmother/guardian.
- Ambiguously Brown: She is described as having "warm, honeyed" skin. Fanon often assumes her to be Egyptian.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Is physically abusive to Cress.
- The Dragon: Is Levana's second-in-command.
- Driven to Suicide: After being put through a brutal Mind Rape at Cinder's hands, she leaps off the roof of the Commonwealth palace to her death. Good riddance.
- False Innocence Trick: At one point glamours herself as Cress to manipulate Thorne.
- Fostering for Profit: She forces Cress to create spyware for her mistress, Queen Levana. It's uncertain if Levana even knows about Cress's existence or if Sybil is taking all the credit herself.
- Just a Machine: Like Levana, she's quite vocal about her disdain for androids.
- Lack of Empathy: Her reaction to Emperor Rikan's death is to offer insincere condolences and then insult his foreign policies.
- Mind Rape: Cinder does this to her when she attacks their ship.
- Walk Like an Egyptian: Indulges in Egyptian symbolism.
- Wicked Stepmother: To Cress.
- Wicked Witch
- Would Hurt a Child: Poor, poor Cress...
A genetically-engineered Lunar Special Operative. As a futuristic Big Bad Wolf, he is first introduced as Wolf.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Ran, who is an Omega.
- Becoming the Mask: His task was to gain Scarlet's trust, coax information out her, and then deliver her to a Lunar thaumaturge to be tortured. He fell in love with her instead. It definitely helped that he spent a good deal of time outside of Jael's influence, giving him the opportunity — for the first time in his life — to gain true control over himself and act the way he chose.
- The Big Bad Wolf: He's not literally a wolf but has the genetic traits, and he represents the one from the fairy tale.
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves Scarlet from being slaughtered by Ran. Of course, then he nearly kills her himself afterward in a fit of Lunar-induced violence, but still. It's unclear if he would have gone through with it if Cinder hadn't intervened.
- Bilingual Spoiler: Ze'ev is the Hebrew for "wolf".
- Child Soldier: He was raised to be a killer.
- Cradle of Loneliness: Cress catches him in one of these with Scarlet's pillow after she gets captured.
- Defector from Decadence
- Despair Event Horizon: Goes over it when he learns that Scarlet was taken prisoner by Sybil in Cress, because he knows exactly what's going to be done to her. His despair is so great that when Cinder is forced to control him, she notes with some horror it feels like controlling a corpse.
- False Friend: Scarlet never saw it coming. Wolf ended up Becoming the Mask, though.
- Heel-Face Turn: Thanks to a mix of Becoming the Mask, Love Redeems, and having already been a Reluctant Monster in the first place.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: When he pins Scarlet to the ground after almost completely losing himself to his murderous side, she appeals to his human side* . Sanity looks like it's winning, and then Cinder shoots him with a tranq dart.
- In Love with the Mark: Something Jael did not account for despite expecting a young male to spend a lot of time close-quarters with an attractive young female. Of course, the other "wolves" appear to see humans as inferior and find the idea of physical relations with them weird at best, so it's understandable that Jael would not have expected the Alpha to defect over a human female.
- Interspecies Romance: With Scarlet. Sort of. Scarlet is one-quarter Lunar, but still three-quarters human, and he's fully Lunar, but genetically engineered to have vicious wolf-like traits. Nevertheless, it ends up saving her life, as the same wolf instincts that are manipulated to drive him to kill are also what drive him to protect — and therefore spare — her.
- Little Bit Beastly: He has wolf-like teeth, and he can howl just like a wolf. Scarlet jokingly asks if he has a tail.
- Love Redeems: Good work, Scarlet. Not that he was very happy about it while Jael's influence was still being exerted.Scarlet: What have they done to you?Ze'ev: (snarling) You. What have you done to me?
- More Than Mind Control: Jael's influence. The murderous instincts are all Ze'ev's, having been bred into him, but it's Jael's Lunar gift that destroys Ze'ev's control over them. With Jael removed from the picture, Wolf is a far kinder person, though he still has issues with self-control when in a fight.
- The Nose Knows: As befitting a "wolf", he has an excellent sense of smell. Apparently his is amazing even by his pack's standards.
- Not Himself: While not severe enough to qualify for the Split Personality trope, as his two personas overlap, it's generally pretty easy to tell when he's being Ze'ev and when he's being Wolf; Ze'ev is who he is under Jael's control, and Wolf is who he is without it. Wolf is considerably kinder and more gentle than Ze'ev, although he's still a very dangerous individual and prone to losing control when in a fight.
- When in ultra-violent mode, he rips his brother's throat out with his teeth, and then turns on Scarlet with full intent of ending her life as well. But when he hesitates to kill her, it becomes obvious that he's struggling between being Ze'ev and being Wolf.
- Official Couple: With Scarlet
- Only Known by Their Nickname: For a good three-quarters of the book.
- Our Werewolves Are Different
- The Power of Love: This is the reason that Wolf is able to resist his programming and both come back to protect Scarlet and keep himself from killing her.
- Punctuation Shaker: He's the first Lunar shown to have such a name.
- Reluctant Monster: Even before meeting Scarlet, Wolf didn't like being the monster that he was.
- Super Soldier
- Tyke Bomb: As mentioned above, Ze'ev was raised from childhood to be a killing machine.
- Walking Spoiler
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: He has a moment like this, viciously and hatefully demanding of Scarlet what she's done to him. He abandoned his duty and came back to protect her, and he does not want to kill her, something that goes against all of his training, instincts, and the mental control Jael has over him.
- White Sheep: As ironic as such a title is for a Wolf.
Michelle Benoit's late husband and Scarlet's grandfather.
- Amazon Chaser: His wife was an Ace Pilot in the European Federation military, so he was almost definitely one.
- Interspecies Romance: With the human Michelle.
- Posthumous Character: Died before the events of Scarlet.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's never seen alive or on-page, but he was the one who brought Princess Selene to Earth where she was rebuilt as a cyborg and renamed Cinder.
- Token Good Teammate: At the very least, he was willing to defy Queen Levana by saving the life of Princess Selene.
A Lunar palace guard.
- Anti-Hero: He's willing to work with Cinder, but only because he hates Levana more.
- Exact Words: Cinder's lie detector doesn't go off when he says (paraphrased), "I am loyal to the true Lunar princess." Problem is, Selene isn't the only one who fits that description...
- Heel-Face Turn: Acting on Levana's orders in Cinder, later joins Cinder's rebel band in Cress.
- Morality Pet: His true loyalty isn't to Levana or Selene, but to Princess Winter. She even gets upset when she learns that he might be dead.
- Token Evil Teammate: In Cress. Sure, he's on Cinder's side now, but that doesn't mean he has to be polite about it.
An android belonging to the Linh family.
- Android Buddy: To Cinder.
- Cute Machines: While Iko isn't exactly described, her personality is adorable.
- Deceptively Human Robots: Differentiated from the similar trope below when she finally gets an escort body - those are specifically designed to be nearly impossible to tell from humans. Even the royal wedding planners take advantage of this, using a number of escorts as the wedding staff because they can't be glamoured. This makes it that much easier for Iko to sneak in.
- Fairy Godmother: Symbolically.
- Genki Girl
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: Apparently androids' personality chips are designed to do this - the longer an android has been around, the more complex their personality gets. Given enough time and interaction, it's not uncommon for robots to simulate emotions. Iko is a weird example, since she actually came that way, thinking and feeling to the point where she frequently forgets she's not human.
- Just a Machine: She's treated this way by the Linh family, with the exception of Cinder and Peony, who treat her like a person and consider her a friend.
- Personality Chip: Hers is faulty, leading her to act like a...
- Ridiculously Human Android: Due to a "fault" in her programming, Iko acts like a slightly flighty young woman who has a fondness for makeup, boys, and pretty clothes. She herself says that sometimes she forgets she's not human. She dreams of being installed in an escort model.
- Sapient Ship: In Scarlet, Cinder installs her personality chip into the Rampion. Iko's not happy about it, but eventually resigns herself to it until they can find her a proper body. She turns out to be extremely useful in her capacity as a spaceship, however. She even figures out how to show emotion without having a face of any kind - raising the temperature for a blush, blowing a gust of air out the oxygen vents for a sigh, and so on.
- Statuesque Stunner: When she's finally given an escort-droid's body in Cress, the very word "statuesque" is used to describe her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: As an escort.
An android belonging to Prince Kai.
- Artificial Intelligence: Obviously, but notable because Cinder notes that after being "alive" for around twenty years, Nainsi's personality has likely evolved into something quite complex.
- Personality Chip: As mentioned above, after twenty years, Nainsi has become much closer to a human being in terms of personality than an android. Which, like Iko, makes her a...
- Ridiculously Human Android: She expresses emotion, and when she learns of the Emperor's death, she tells Kai that her "heart is broken" over the news.
- Spy Bot: A very understated version. She was tasked by Kai into hunting down information on the missing Princess Selene. Unfortunately, due to her programming being tampered with, she was unwittingly transmitting that information to another party — namely Levana, by way of a reluctant Cress.