Characters: Pan's Labyrinth
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Ofelia / Princess Moanna
A little girl who knows a little magic — enough to, say, restore a statue's lost eye to it, and to recognize a fairy no matter what it looks like. Ofelia adores fairy tales and making up stories, even though her mother tells her she's too old for them. But when the Call to Adventure
comes — in the form of a mysterious Faun who tells Ofelia that she is the reborn Princess Moanna, of the underworld — Ofelia will dare anything to fulfill her Quest.
The Human World
Ofelia's new stepfather and a Falange officer.
- Abusive Parents: Big time
- Asshole Victim: His death left few, if any of the audiences to tears.
- Badass: One of the only good features about him is that he is a talented military officer.
- Big Bad: As the leader of the Francoist army in the area.
- Blood Knight: Exemplified when he states to his underlings that the best way to die is in battle.
- Classic Villain: Pride and rage.
- Clock King: Downplayed, Vidal (who does have a clock motif) makes many plans, manipulating the rebels to come to him while reinforcing the countries power as well as estimating where the rebels will go and whether or not his house staff are trustworthy.
- The Determinator: Exemplified when he chases down Ofelia despite the pain of his facial wound and being drugged.
- Disappeared Dad: His father was killed in Morocco when Vidal was only a boy, and made him obsessed of having a son of his own.
- Face Death with Dignity: He tries, but Mercedes doesn't let him.
- Fantasy Forbidding Parent: More so than Carmen, he violently dismisses Ofelia's fairy tales as "mierda" (lit. shit.)
- Faux Affably Evil: Best seen with the hunters and the Stuttering rebel, Vidal retains his polite and calm demeanor, even as he's breaking bones, noses or murdering people. With the Captive, he gives him a Hope Spot and even states he'll let him go, knowing full well that the man will fail his test. His voice barely rises as he's describing some torture techniques.
- Freudian Excuse: See Disappeared Dad above, since his own father's death shook him up badly. But it doesn't excuse his depravity at all.
- Hero Killer: He slaughters a bunch of rebel soldiers, tortures the stuttering kid horribly and murders Dr. Ferreiro. Oh, and he kills Ofelia at the end.
- It's All About Me: Vidal is more concerned about preserving his legacy than actually caring for a child.
- Jerkass: This is the nicest way to describe him.
- Kick the Dog: Vidal treats this as his daily routine.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Knows he's beaten at the end, and calmly hands over his son to the rebels before allowing them to shoot him.
- Offing the Offspring: After Ofelia takes her brother away from him, Vidal eventually tracks down Ofelia, takes the brother back and kills Ofelia.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He sees Carmen as little more than means to getting his child. After killing the doctor and Carmen's health deteriorating, he orders The Medic to make sure the child is born over the life of his wife.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He was annoyed that killed two innocent hunters he's mistaken for rebels. Only because his men didn't check on them thoroughly, thus wasting his time, and killing innocent civilians would probably incite the townspeople to support the rebels.
- Supernatural Proof Father: Is unable to see the Faun.
- Torture Technician: Does it in the town's barn.
- Troubled Abuser: Haunted by his father's death and his obsession with having a child of his own.
- Unperson: Mercedes won't tell Vidal's son of his true origins or his father's name.
- Villainous Valor: He's undeniably brave, as he leads his troops from the front against the rebels and faces the music with almost inhuman detachment.
- Wicked Stepfather: To put it very, very mildly.
- Would Hurt a Child: Would kill one, actually.
Ofelia's mother and Vidal's new wife.
- Death by Childbirth: Because she burns down the mandrake root that was healing her and The Medic that attends her having orders to save the baby over Carmen.
- Extreme Doormat: Her pregnancy and her need to support Ofelia makes her quite submissive to Vidal.
- Fantasy Forbidding Parent: Though she's way more nice about it than Vidal. At least, until right before her death.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: When discovering the enchanted mandrake Ofelia put under her bed to aid her pregnancy, Carmen throws it into the fireplace to show that magic isn't real. Unfortunately, burning the mandrake results in Carmen receiving its pain and going into early labor, which she dies of.
A doctor in the service of Vidal who is also closeted Republican and aids the rebels.
Mercedes' brother, and leader of the Republican cell in the area.
Garcés & Serrano
- Double Tap: Garcés can be seen performing it on the rebels they've shot in the battle, much like the rest of the soldiers in the movie.
- Co-Dragons: To Vidal.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Downplayed, they have stone faces in war and executing prisoners, but look shocked by Vidal's brutality against the hunters.
- Fat and Skinny: Downplayed, Garcés is slimmer and while Serrano isn't fat, he's certainly more broad than Garcés.
- Lean and Mean: Garcés, thinner, shorter and meaner than Serrano.
- Perpetual Frowner: Serrano.
- Smug Snake: Garcés especially in his final scene.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Garcés is shot repeatedly by the rebels. Justified in that he was advancing on Mercedes, likely to kill her, prompting the rebels to fire repeatedly and that multiple gunshots to people isn't that uncommon in the film, the rebels even shoot the fallen soldiers to make sure they're dead.
- Those Two Guys: Up until the end they don't get much differentiation in terms of personality, until they chase down Mercedes.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Serrano makes it back to the base before the rebels attack, presumably he was killed in the firefight, but we don't know.
An ancient creature, he has been waiting in the Labyrinth for the reincarnated princess to return.
- Berserk Button: He really doesn't like it when rules are broken, especially when it results in the loss of his fairies.
- The Fair Folk
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be downright scary, but he really does want the princess to return.
- Rapid Aging: Inverted; he becomes visibly younger as the film progresses. When we first meet him, he moves as if his joints are stiff; by the film's end, his movement is quite normal.
- Time Abyss: He's so old, his true names can only be pronounced by "the wind and the trees."
Three fairies that are friends with the Faun.
- Back from the Dead: The two that were eaten by the Pale Man show up in the end.
- Face Palm: When Ofelia eats from the Pale Man's banquet.
- Fairy Companion: To the Faun, and later Ofelia.
- The Fair Folk
- Our Fairies Are Different: They first appear as stick insects, but transform after Ofelia shows them what they're "supposed" to look like.
- The Unintelligible: The fairies speak through insect like chattering, but the Faun knows what they're saying. Especially when the surviving fairy told him how Ofelia disobeyed him.
The Pale Man
A child eating monster.
- All There in the Manual: The Bonus Comics on the DVD reveal he was once a being of excess banished to that room, and unable to eat the food before him, turning into the emaciated being he appeared. He believed that the dagger was the only thing that could harm him but in reality it was all that was keeping him alive, and when Ofelia left, he collapsed in on himself and disappeared.
- Child Eater: Although he doesn't mind the taste of fairies.
- Eats Babies: The murals detailed him eating toddlers.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: His eyes are on his palms.
- Eyeless Face: Because of the above trope.
- The Fair Folk: A villainous example.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He likes to eat children.
King & Queen of the Underworld
A plant "that dreamed of being human." The Faun gives it to Ofelia in order to help cure her mom.
- Blood Magic: Requires two drops of blood from Ofelia everyday.
- Kill It with Fire: Carmen throws it into the fireplace when Vidal discovers it under her bed. It doesn't end well for her.
- Nature Spirit
- Plant Person: It resembles a root shaped like a human baby.
- Synchronization: After being placed in a bowl of milk by Ofelia, it begins to simulate Carmen's movements (i.e. tossing and turning when she does the same in bed.) This is probably why Carmen begins to go into pained labor when the Mandrake is burned.