Characters: Skulduggery Pleasant
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Stephanie Edgley / Valkyrie Cain / Darquesse
- Action Girl: Grows into one over the course of the books.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her relationship with Caelan can be summed up as this.
- The Antichrist: Valkyrie was hoping to be an Anti Anti Christ. In the end, she and Darquesse become separate entities.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!:
- Has shades of this in earlier books when her internal monologues show her being distracted by stuff or pointing out irrelevant details. Becomes more sinister in later books when you realize that the voice is Darquesse pointing things out to her.
- Anti-Hero: Type III.
- Apocalypse Maiden: The destiny of Darquesse
- Berserk Button: Harming Skulduggery or her family.
- Bi the Way: According to Landy, she is "predominantly straight", but might experiment. Valkyrie at least. Darquesse seems to be more destruction-sexual than anything else.
- Break the Haughty: Last Stand of Dead Men. First she finds out about Ghastly. Then Stephanie tries to kill her and drives her out of the house. Then she kills someone in a fight. Then Darquesse takes over, seemingly for good.
- Broken Pedestal: When she finds out that Skulduggery is Lord Vile.
- The Chosen One: The necromancers think she is their saviour, the Death Bringer. They later find a new one. The Remnants also see her, or at least Darquesse, as theirs
- Combat Pragmatist: Even without any combat experience, she instinctively knows to attack her opponents weak spot. She puts it to good use when stuck alone in a cell with Scapegrace.
- Cool Big Sis:
- Despite being two years younger she ends up briefly taking this role for Carol.
- To Alison
- Cool Loser: Valkyrie, who is funny, confident (if a little arrogant) and clever, has no real friends until meeting Skulduggery.
Valkyrie: Tell [Mum] I'm spending the night at a friends.
The Reflection: What friend?
Valkyrie: I don't know. Pick one.
The Reflection: But you don't have any friends.
Valkyrie: Tell her I'm sleeping over at Anna Foley's.
The Reflection: Anna Foley doesn't like you.
Valkyrie: Just do it!
- Daddy's Girl
- Deadpan Snarker
- Defence Mechanism Super Power / Death Activated Super Power: Her Super-Powered Evil Side automatically comes to fore when she's on the very edge of death.
- Determinator: Most notable in Dark Days, when she rescues Skulduggery.
- Dissonant Serenity: She was totally fine after being tortured by Melancholia. It was implied that Darquesse was the one calming her down.
- Elemental Powers
- Picks up Necromancy.
- She loses her magic when Darquesse is forced out of her body, but when she gets her Surge, her powers are Shock and Awe
- Enemy Within: Darquesse
- Enemy Without: The Reflection. Which has started calling itself Stephanie Edgley. Seriously.
- And even Darquesse gets upgraded to this in The Dying of the Light, turning into a ghost- sorry, an "untethered entity"- and possessing the body of Stephanie.
- Evil Feels Good:
Skulduggery: Power is intoxicating.
Valkyrie: That's a good word for it.
- The Fighting Narcissist: From Death Bringer onwards.
- Freudian Trio: If you count the reflection as being a part of her then she her various personalities make her one by herself. Darquesse is the id, Stephanie is the superego and Valkyrie is the ego.
- Foil: Is increasingly becoming one to Skulduggery. Whereas Skulduggery is working hard, partially thanks to her influence, to redeem himself and become a better person (and it seems to be working—contrast his actions in the first war to the one in The Last Stand of Dead Men), Valkyrie is taking several levels of jerkass, and seems to be attempting to emulate the person he was, rather than the man he's trying to be, as Fletcher points out. They're also foils in how they deal with their Super-Powered Evil Side. Whereas Skulduggery appears to be more or less in control of Lord Vile as of The Last Stand of Dead Men, in which he uses powerful Necromancy without his armour, and even before that took steps to lessen its influence, Valkyrie's alter-ego has taken complete control of her and refuses to change.
- Future Me Scares Me: Darquesse.
- Giving The Necromancer Cane To An Elemental
- Healing Factor: As Darquesse.
- Hearing Voices: Probably not a good sign. They continue after Darquesse is gone.
- Heroic BSOD: Has a minor breakdown in Last Stand of Dead Men after Stephanie tries to kill her and drives her out of the house, but she goes practically catatonic after killing a woman in a fight. Darquesse takes full advantage.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Davina Marr accuses her of this and being smitten with Skulduggery in Dark Days, but it's more prominent from Death Bringer onward.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Caelan. Caelan. Caelan.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Her primary motivation for joining Skulduggery. Deconstructed, because...well... Darquesse.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One
- Jekyll & Hyde: Darquesse
- Just a Kid: Gets this from others a lot. Sometimes it's justified.
- Kid Detective: Is 18 by the last book.
- Kid Sidekick
- Little Miss Badass
- Morality Chain: She and Skulduggery are mutual ones for each other. He's talked her out of becomes Darquesse three times now and it was the thought of her that stopped him from becoming Lord Vile.
- Morality Pet: For Skulduggery and... strangely... China.
- Mouthy Kid
- Name of Cain: She chose it after Skulduggery mentioned she shared his penchant for "raising cain".
- Pet the Dog:
- She starts being a little nicer to her reflection in Kingdom of the Wicked.
- Plucky Girl
- Power of the Void: Removing Darquesse from Valkyrie leaves her with no True Name; and direct access to the Source of Magic in the form of white lightning.
- Precocious Crush: Davina Marr accused her of having one of these on Skulduggery in Dark Days. Valkyrie's response is to try and hit her.
- Rage Against the Mentor: In book six. More sulking than actual rage.
- Recruitment By Rescue
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Sealing her name pretty much gave Darquesse free reign when a Remnant tried to possess Valkyrie. Thankfully, it didn't last.
- Split Personality Takeover: In Last Stand of Dead Men.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Darquesse, oh so much.
- Tagalong Kid: At first.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: According to Fletcher, she's become this. It sort of rings true.
- Thanatos Gambit: When cornered by Lord Vile, she gets Melancholia to kill her on purpose. Darquesse comes to play instead.
- Took a Level in Badass: While she was always competent even as a normal 12 year old, once she discovers her magic and gets trained up by an Action Girl, a Guile Hero and a Necromancer she becomes quite formidable. Then she becomes Darquesse for two minutes and becomes terrifying.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: While she isn't intentionally cruel, she's had an increasing number of Kick the Dog moments from "Death Bringer" onwards.
- The Watson: One of the features of being raised as a mortal.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Fletcher giver her a pretty epic calling out in "Death Bringer":.
- Woman in Black
- Would Hurt a Child: Kills her baby sister to give her control of the Sceptre of the Ancients. She brings her back to life instantly, though she still feels terrible about it.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Fletcher in "Death Bringer".
Skulduggery Pleasant/ Lord Vile
I'm sophisticated, charming, suave, and debonair, Professor. But I have never claimed to be civilized.
- Action Dad: Though his child is long dead.
- Annoying Patient: Skulduggery's response to being treated by Nye.
- Anti-Hero: Sliding between Type III, IV and V depending on his mood.
- Aroused by Their Voice: Valkyrie "could listen to that voice all day."
- Atonement Detective: In Death Bringer we find out what he was atoning for.
- Awesome Ego: In-Universe. Valkyrie notes his "warm arrogance".
- Ax-Crazy: While he seems perfectly normal (aside from the obvious lack of flesh and organs) a few people, including Skulduggery himself, have alluded to him becoming a bit of psycho after his family died. It started to show after Dark Days.
- Lord Vile definitely fits this.
- Be All My Sins Remembered
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Skulduggery Pleasant became Lord Vile.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't try to manipulate Valkyrie, don't threaten Valkyrie, and for God's sake don't harm Valkyrie in any way. Best just leave her be. A few people have told Valkyrie that the only reason she isn't dead yet is that people know how Skulduggery will react. This ends up saving her life in Kingdom of the Wicked.
- If you press the button, it might not turn off. The murder of his family eventually led to him becoming Lord Vile so he could kill everything.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Broken Ace
- Black Comedy: He doesn't spare himself, either; twice he's made jokes about his dead family.
- Blood Knight: Suggested to be one. Pretty much confirmed by Death Bringer.
- Byronic Hero
- Celeb Crush: On Grace Kelly.
- Coat Hat Scarf of Asskicking: His disguise. Until China makes him the façade.
- Combat Pragmatist
Baron Vengeous: Only a heathen brings a gun to a sword fight.
Skulduggery: Only a moron brings a sword to a gun fight.
- Cowboy Cop
- Creepy Good
- Crusading Widower: Fits this trope to a T
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Dark Secret: He's Lord Vile.
- The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: More a case of rage will make you hate indiscriminately
- The Dead Can Dance: Being a suave, four hundred year old Badass and all.
- Dead Guy on Display: He got better. Then he got angry.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Defective Detective
- Dem Bones: Well, yeah...
- Despair Event Horizon: Barely averted. But not before he got his Omnicidal Maniac on.
- Determinator: While Tenebrae made it possible, it was through sheer will alone that Skulduggery came back to life as a skeleton.
- Elemental Powers
- Enemy Within: Lord Vile.
- Enemy Without: Lord Vile's armour can animate itself when Skulduggery is feeling unstable.
- Evil Me Scares Me:
- The Exotic Detective: The whole skeleton thing.
- Fallen Hero: He got better. Thank merciful heavens.
- Foil: Is increasingly becoming one to Valkyrie. Whereas Skulduggery is working hard, partially thanks to her influence, to redeem himself and become a better person (and it seems to be working—contrast his actions in the first war to the one in The Last Stand of Dead Men), Valkyrie is taking several levels of jerkass, and seems to be attempting to emulate the person he was, rather than the man he's trying to be, as Fletcher points out. They're also foils in how they deal with their Super-Powered Evil Side. Whereas Skulduggery appears to be more or less in control of Lord Vile as of The Last Stand of Dead Men, in which he uses powerful Necromancy without his armour, and even before that took steps to lessen its influence, Valkyrie's alter-ego has taken complete control of her and refuses to change.
- Forced to Watch
- Good Is Not Nice: He's nice enough as long as you stay on his good side. If not...
- Guile Hero
- He Who Fights Monsters
- Heartbroken Badass
- Heroic BSOD: For most of Dark Days.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Milked it for all it was worth. Then hilariously subverted it.
- Horrifying Hero
- Hurting Hero
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Implied in Last Stand of Dead Men.
- I Hate Past Me
- Insufferable Genius: In an endearing way.
- Jekyll & Hyde: Lord Vile.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sacrificing someone else's soul to turn off the Accelerator would have been a real dick move if it wasn't Ravel.
- Magnetic Hero: Before he "died".
- Meaningful Rename: Vile.
- Morality Chain: Valkyrie is this for him but it turns out that he's one for her too.
- His family was his Morality Chain before he "died". Taking them away ended... badly.
- It went so badly that he switched sides with the sole motivation of being able to kill things. Mevolent's other generals believed that bring back the faceless ones was the correct thing to do. Vile wanted them back so he could try and kill a God
- Mysterious Past
- Names To Run Away From: Skulduggery Pleasant might not sound so bad but "The Skeleton Detective" is a little more ominous. Most sorcerers have heard of his reputation and would rather surrender than face him.
- Nice Hat: part of his stylish look
- Occult Detective
- Our Liches Are Different: They wear suits, drive nice cars, solve cases and snark.
- Papa Wolf: Hurting his partner or trying to kill her will get him willing to hurt or kill you in return. Something that Serpine found out the hard way
- Quizzical Tilt: A habit of his.
- Really 700 Years Old: Four hundred and fifty-ish.
- Redemption Demotion: Lord Vile can (and has) beaten the crap out Skulduggery.
- Justified in that Lord Vile's armour acts as a vessel for Skulduggery's necromancy. Without it he can't use necromancy anywhere near as well
- The Red Mage: Was capable of using Necromancy even before he died and can use it even without Lord Vile's armour.
- Revolvers Are Just Better
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At first it seems like this was Skulduggery for a period of a few weeks after his family's death. He reveals in Death Bringer that it was several years before he managed to calm down. The entire time he spent as Lord Vile was basically this, with the whole world as his target.
- Rousing Speech: Used to be quite good at these apparently. Not so much anymore, though he still has his moments.
Skulduggery: I used to be so good at these...
Skulduggery: I don't know where this speech is going but I know where it started and that's what I want you all to take from it. Has anyone seen my hat?
- Sad Clown: Skulduggery does love his wisecracks, but is also one of the most screwed up characters in the series. Some of his jokes tend to be rather dark. His "fun for the whole family" remark after Serpine decides to torture him comes to mind.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: He likes wearing suits.
- Skeletal Musician: He sings "Me and Mrs Jones" to Valkyrie and is apparently a very good whistler.
- Split Personality Takeover: Lord Vile
- Staying Alive
- Super-Powered Evil Side: See Lord Vile for details. No. Really.
- That Face Is Dead: Why his façade tattoo generates a new face each time.
- Tranquil Fury: When he's feeling homicidal.
Skulduggery: You're waiting to see if I'm angry.
Ghastly: I already know you're angry. You're sitting very still and you're talking very quietly. You're getting ready to kill someone.
- Everyone has heard of Skulduggery's temper and the fact that he stops talking after pretending to kill Valkyrie really scares Scapegrace.
- The fact that he has only ever said a single word as Lord Vile indicates just how angry he was after his family's death
- Unstoppable Rage: Famous for this. They weren't kidding.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Kenspeckle has given him a few verbal lashings for putting Valkyrie in danger.
- He got this from Valkyrie in Death Bringer after she finds out about Lord Vile.
- Dexter Vex tears into him after finding out about Darquesse.
- Melissa Edgley calls him out for putting her daughter in danger. She later apologises and admits that, while she was right, the good outweighed the bad.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The deaths of his wife and child lead to him snapping and becoming Lord Vile.
- Would Hurt a Child: He attempts to shoot Kitana out of necessity more than anything else in Kingdom of the Wicked. He is, however, unwilling to use lethal force on the young recruits that the American Sancturary has blocking their path in Last Stand of Dead Men.
- Action Girl: When it suits her.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Ironically, she loves the one person who doesn't love her back. Skulduggery.
- Aloof Ally
- Ambiguously Evil: "Please don't tell me you're trusting her these days."
- Badass Bookworm
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Beauty is a fast healer at least.
- Berserk Button: She really doesn't like it when you accidentally disintegrate her books with the Sceptre of the Ancients.
- Break the Haughty: The end of Death Bringer.
- Cain and Abel: With Mr. Bliss for some time.
- Combat Pragmatist
- Cool Big Sis: Replaces Tanith as this for Valkyrie after Tanith is possessed by a remnant. It doesn't last.
- Crazy-Prepared: Her magic is based on sigils which she has carved into her apartment, her furniture, her library, tattooed all over her body (and even on her horse) which range from creating energy beams to making her stronger or even throwing all the furniture at her attacker. When Skulduggery came back, Mevolent had her carve one onto her torso that would ensure that he would really stay dead.
- Dark Secret: One she's willing to kill for.
Crux: China Sorrows, China Sorrows. She's the one, she's the one. Nefarian Serpine killed Skulduggery Pleasant, but China Sorrows led his family into the trap.
- As of Death Bringer, the secret is out.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Defector from Decadence
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Well, maybe 'defrosting' is too strong a word, but she's definitely becoming warmer towards Skulduggery and Valkyrie... until Death Bringer, that is.
- Even Morally Ambiguous Pragmatists Have Loved Ones: Despite attempting to murder him several times, she does love Mr Bliss. She's also fond of Valkyrie and in love with Skulduggery.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Gender has no impact on having every character fall madly in love with her.
- Femme Fatale
- The Fighting Narcissist
- Geometric Magic
- Good Thing You Can Heal: She gets shot in Dark Days and uses her symbols to heal herself. She spends the rest of the book recovering though.
- Hannibal Lecture: Delivers an epic one to Prave.
- The Heretic
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in Last Stand of Dead Men. China uses a particular spell devised by Mevolent, of all people, to burn herself alive in an attempt to take down Madame Mist, which succeeds. However, even after a Dying Declaration of Love to Skulduggery, she survives thanks to Darquesse's intervention.
- Hot Librarian
- Icy Blue Eyes: "Blue as ice and twice as cold."
- If I Can't Have You: Implied to be the reason she stayed a disciple of the Faceless Ones and went after Skulduggery's family.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: She likes her horse for this reason. It could possibly be the reason she's so fond Valkyrie and Skulduggery.
- Impractically Fancy Outfit: Falls victim to this occasionally. She briefly considers wearing leather like Tanith Low but comes to her senses. "Class is a gift that gives eternally."
- It's All About Me
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery
- Knowledge Broker
- Lady of War
- Let's Get Dangerous: China is neutral to use her own word. But when she fights... she really fights.
- Manipulative Bitch: Isn't above using her magic to make people fall hopelessly in love with her just so she gets what she wants.
- Mysterious Past
- Neutral No Longer
- No Sympathy
- Not So Stoic: She has a Heroic BSOD when Skulduggery is dragged into the alternate dimension and is decidedly less than stoic when apologising to Skulduggery in Last Stand of Dead Men..
- Pet the Dog: Acts this way towards Valkyrie every now and then. She even hesitates in killing Darquesse.
- Put on a Bus: In Kingdom of the Wicked. But her Alternate Universe counterpart plays a prominent role.
- Really 700 Years Old: She wears it better than Skulduggery apparently.
- Ship Tease: There was loads of it between her an Skulduggery in Death Bringer. In Last Stand of Dead Men it turns out her feelings for him are (mostly) unrequited.
- Shipper on Deck: Seems to ship Skulduggery and Valkyrie. Or at least be resigned to the fact.
- Shoot the Dog: Remus Crux.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- The Tease
- Token Evil Teammate
- The Vamp: Has her moments. May have been one before she turned "neutral."
- We Used to Be Friends: As of Death Bringer, Skulduggery is seriously pissed off with her to say the least. Valkyrie's not too thrilled with her either. She's amicable with Valkyrie by Last Stand of Dead Men and seems to have reached some kind of understanding with Skulduggery, even if he can't forgive her.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Has no issues with using lethal forced against possessed people.
- Woman Scorned: Implied to be the reason behind going after Skulduggery's family.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated to be so numerous times.
- Yandere: Towards Skulduggery in the back story. If her attitude towards Valkyrie is any indication, she's mellowed considerably since.
The Reflection / Stephanie Edgley
The Dead Men
See Main Characters
See Main Characters
Erskine Ravel (SPOILERS)
- Antagonist in Mourning: For Ghastly and Shudder.
- Asshole Victim: Neither his extensive torture by Darquesse or being thrown into Accelerator by Skulduggery get him much sympathy after he killed Ghastly and Shudder.
- Big Bad Friend: Orchestrated everything bad that happens in Last Stand of Dead Men, except for the attack on Roarhaven and Darquesse's arrival (which were both still his fault, but less intentionally).
- Bigger Bad
- Big Good: Once he becomes the Grand Mage. Or so we thought.
- Cessation of Existence: After Skulduggery uses him to turn off the Accelerator, he doesn't rejoin the stream.
- The Chessmaster: Behind everything the Faceless Ones are not. Not great at thinking short term though.
- Cruel Mercy: How Darquesse deals with him.
- Enemy Mine: He teams up with Skulduggery and the gang to fend off the invading Warlocks at the end of Last Stand of Dead Men.
- Evil All Along
- Evil Former Friend
- Face-Heel Turn
- Fate Worse Than Death: Unbearable pain for twenty three hours of the day qualifies.
- Hypocrite: He gets angry with Skulduggery for teaming up with Alternate Serpine.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He seems to genuinely regret having to kill Anton Shudder and Ghastly.
- Killed Off for Real: When Skulduggery gives him up to the Accelerator.
- Man Behind the Man: Particularly in Dark Days and Last Stand of Dead Men, but his presence is still felt throughout the series.
- Memory Wiping Crew: To a different extent than Geoffrey Scrutinous. Anyone who he hires or talks to will forget almost everything about him, hiding his identity as the Grand Mage of Ireland.
- Mole in Charge: When someone unknown is trying to push the Sanctuary into war, you'd have thought the Grand Mage would be above suspicion, but no.
- Mysterious Employer: For Davina Marr, Tesseract, Tanith and many more.
- No Place for Me There: Says that once his plan is complete, he will either hand himself into the authorities for his crimes, or go into exile.
- Remember the New Guy: Absolutely no mention before the fifth book, yet apparently Valkyrie's known him for years.
- The Reveal: The main characters know that Ravel has golden eyes, but the reader doesn't. Ravel's eye colour is never specified until he murders Ghastly.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilised
- Sixth Ranger Traitor
- Tears of Remorse: When killing Ghastly.
- Utopia Justifies the Means
- Walking Spoiler: As of Last Stand Of Dead Men.
- We Used to Be Friends
- What Beautiful Eyes
- Man Hug: Attempt to give one to Shudder. Which turned into a wrestling match.
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Posthumous Character: Killed months before the end of the war.
- Sixth Ranger: Was an occasional fill in (notably when Ravel was injured and Skulduggery went "walkabout") but officially joined the group after Hopeless dies.
- And Your Little Dog Too
- Arch-Enemy: To Skulduggery. Then he died.
- Axe Crazy
- Badass in a Nice Suit: A Victorian suit. They don't get much nicer than that!
- The Bad Guy Wins: Initially, anyway. He not only managed to kill Skulduggery's wife and child, but Skulduggery himself. Too bad for him, Skulduggery's death had been rigged.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: See Red Right Hand below. Not even the most extreme Anti-Hero could pull that off...
- Card-Carrying Villain
- Civilian Villain
- Cold-Blooded Torture: One of his personal favorite pastimes, apparently.
- The Dragon: To Mevolent, once upon a time.
- Evil Gloating: You can totally tell that his conversations with Skulduggery are the most fun he's had in years.
- Evil Is Hammy: Lampshaded.
Nefarian: So here we are again, detective. You, at my mercy, me, merciless.
Skulduggery: You, talking. I thought you'd have grown out of the whole villainy thing by now, Nefarian.
- Evil Sorcerer
- Faux Affably Evil: Re-read the part where he's having his little moment with Skulduggery. If it weren't for the fact that Skulduggery was chained to a chair, it almost would seem like they really are, as Skulduggery puts it, "two guys chatting."
- The Fundamentalist
- Green Eyes
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Doubles with Exact Words: By turning himself undead, the Sceptre of the Ancients (which cannot be used unless the last owner is dead) will respond to him, and anyone else who uses it, and Skulduggery is able to use it to kill him permanently.
- Killed Off for Real: By Skulduggery, using the Sceptre of the Ancients.
- Our Liches Are Different: while making himself undead doesn't seem to affect his magic he becomes impervious to harm and immune to pain. Aside from that he's no different than a usual necromancer.
- Psycho Supporter: Pre- first book.
- Really 700 Years Old
- Red Right Hand: Literally. Anyone he points it at suffers an agonizing death. Unless they're already dead...
- Smug Snake
- The Sociopath
- Squishy Wizard: Has some very formidable, very scary powers that he's all too happy to use on people...and then he goes and gets his ass kicked by Skulduggery whenever forced into close-combat. Repeatedly.
- The Starscream: In the alternate universe. betrays both Mevolent and China
- Torture Technician
- The Unfettered
- Villain Ball: Surprisingly enough, Skulduggery was just going to arrest him. He just had to go and point that Red Right Hand of his at Valkyrie.
- Villainous Breakdown: After his inevitable defeat at the hands of Skulduggery...well, let's just say he freaks out a little. A good sport he is not.
- Wicked Cultured
- Would Hurt a Child
The Faceless Ones
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. From the heroes' perspectives he's a Professional Killer, stoic, silent but deadly, and seems to be able to handle anything that gets in his way. In chapters from his perspective he retains most of these features, but also is very intelligent, yet constantly making mistakes and having bad luck and only just managing to stop them being a serious problem.
- Buried Alive: He survives, too.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: To everyone else he's an unstoppable killing machine, able to take out everyone he comes across, but his thought process is... definitely quirky.
- Contract on the Hitman
- Cool Mask: Has medicinal properties for some unknown disease in him.
- Hitman with a Heart
- Killed Off for Real: By Lord Vile.
- Malevolent Masked Men
- Pet the Dog: Or in this case, cat.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He prefers to kill when his victim is asleep, or when their back is turned, or on one occasion, when they were already dying from a heart attack.
- Professional Killer
Melancholia St Clair/The Death Bringer
Alternate Universe Mevolent
The Man With the Golden Eyes
- A God I Am
- The Antichrist
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!:
- Darquesse could have done some serious damage to the Jitter Girls but didn't because she got bored. Darquesse got bored mid fight with Lord Vile and chased a helicopter.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: Her introduction.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Darquesse seems to enjoy having Lord Vile beat the crap out of her. It's not certain if Lord Vile feels the same. He doesn't exactly say much.
- Cruel Mercy: How Darquesse deals with Ravel.
Darquesse: What mercy?
- Dark Action Girl: Even without her magic, Darquesse still has the same training Valkyrie does.
- Defence Mechanism Super Power / Death Activated Super Power: For Valkyrie initially.
- Enemy Without: Eventually she's forced out of Valkyrie and possesses Stephanie's corpse instead.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Darquesse gets pretty pissed off with Ravel for murdering Ghastly and goes out of her way to punish him in The Dying of the Light. She's also in love with Skulduggery. This does not stop her from trying to maim/kill him, but she does feel bad afterwards.
- Giving the Sword to a Noob: Hilariously averted, when Darquesse tries fighting with the God Killer.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: It's a good thing that Darquesse can heal otherwise her fights with Lord Vile and Mevolent would have been remarkably one sided.
- How Much More Can She Take?: Lord Vile slits Darquesse's throat, shoves his thumb in her eye and generally delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that leaves her on the brink of death. She pretty much walks it off. On one hand... yay! Skulduggery didn't kill Valkyrie! On the other hand... Darquesse. Just. Doesn't. Die.
- In Kingdom of the Wicked she survives her heart being crushed, her jaw being burnt off and beheading.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Her response to having her head cut off is simply "Oh Hell".
- Not Worth Killing: Darquesse considers Ravel this.
- Off with Her Head!: Courtesy of Mevolent.
- Omnicidal Maniac:
- Darquesse is prophesied to be this, but has mainly restricted herself to tearing apart people who are trying to kill her or in her way. She outright stated that she doesn't want to destroy the world because "it's funny.".
- She goes all the in Dying of the Light. Thankfully, it's a trick.
- One-Man Army: Darquesse literally takes out an entire army in Last Stand of Dead Men.
- Pet the Dog: Darquesse saves China after the latter hesitates in trying to kill her.
- Person of Mass Destruction
- Super-Powered Evil Side: To Valkyrie
- Berserk Button: Taking his razor.
- Brought Down to Normal: Valkyrie causes him to lose his tunneling power when she almost kills him with Tanith's sword. He slowly gets better, but still needs a Doctor to repair his wounds.
- Cool Shades
- Deep South
- Eyeless Face: Of the empty eye-socket variety.
- It's Personal: With Valkyrie after she permanently wounds him.
- Killed Off for Real: By the Black Cleaver.
- Knife Nut: His knife (or razor) is unique in that the cuts caused by it will leave nasty, disfiguring scars no amount of magic can heal - a form of magic in its own.
- Ladykiller in Love: His crush on Tanith was pretty hilarious. Until Mortal Coil.
- Psycho for Hire: This means he sometimes ends up on the hero's side with enough incentive.
- Slashed Throat
- Took a Level in Badass: After spending the last few books magically crippled thanks to Valkyrie, he is in full Badass mode in The Maleficent Seven.
- Tunnel King: His main power note is being able to tunnel through walls and the ground. He can also grab you, pull you into the ground and leave you there so you're stuck.
- Would Hurt a Child
The White Cleaver/The Black Cleaver
- Back from the Dead: Naturally, as he is a zombie. Done once again in Last Stand of Dead Men when he becomes the Black Cleaver.
- Empty Shell
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Justified, as he becomes the servant of whichever Necromancer is the strongest.
- Implacable Man: At least until Death Bringer.
- Killed Off for Real: By Tanith, finally, in ''The Dying of the Light.
- The Undead
- The Worf Effect: He's a completely unstoppable badass, who lasts all of five seconds against Lord Vile before he's ripped apart. Similarly, the Black Cleaver beats the crap out of Skulduggery until he uses Necromancy.
The Edgley Family
Crystal and Carol Edgley
Professor Kenspeckle Grouse
- Ambiguous Gender: Nobody is sure whether it's a he/she/whatever.
- It eventually turns out that Nye's species doesn't have genders.
- And I Must Scream: Perpetrator and victim. Its eyes and mouth have been sewn shut at one point and someone cut off its nose.
- Ax-Crazy: Certainly seems unstable from time to time.
- Deadpan Snarker: It has it's moments.
- Friendly Enemy: Seems to be on these terms with Valkyrie after the operation.
- Graceful Loser: After operating on Valkyrie during life-threatening circumstances, it seems to take it rather well considering the fact that it lost an opportunity to look for a soul (And y'know, the fact that it threatened to kill her).
- Mad Doctor
- The Medic: Replaces grandfatherly and grumpy Kenspeckle in Death Bringer.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
- Noodle People: One of the few things described. It's seemingly "Spider-like".
- The Noseless: A bloody scab where it should be.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Barely described. Whatever is described seems... inhuman.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Nye spends most of its time in Mortal Coil being condescending, sick and twisted, and is not at all intimidated by Valkyrie, even when she's alive with her magic. When she is dead with necromancer magic, on the other hand, it's practically wetting itself with fear. This is a hint that Lord Vile is also dead
- Shout-Out: When it dissects the conscious Valkyrie on the operating table, it's very reminiscent of Claire Bennet's trials and tribulations in Heroes.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: It does this to Valkyrie after sealing her name.
- Torture Technician
The Monster Hunters (Donegan Bane and Gracious O'Callaghan)
- Hand Blast: Bane fires off a couple here and there.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- Lovable Nerd
- Nightmare Fetishist: Their idea of a perfect kid's book is a version of Where's Wally? where the Wally figure is hidden is a pile of corpses.
- One of Us: Gracious, definitely. He even wears a shirt with the slogan NERD.
- Super Strength: Gracious is strong enough to knock the ten-foot slab of meat that is Charivari on his ass.
- Those Two Guys: Introduced as part of Dexter Vex's team in the Maleficent Seven and have yet to be seen apart.
- Ambiguous Gender: Like Nye, Mantis is only referred to as "it". We eventually learn that their species doesn't have genders.
- Cool Mask: A gas mask, for some reason.
- The Heavy: For much of Last Stand of Dead Men Bisahalani's the guy calling the shots on the opposing side, and the Man with the Golden Eyes is the Big Bad, but Mantis is the one leading the Mooks, so it's the most direct antagonist.
- Heel-Face Turn: Once the Sanctuaries stop fighting each other and start fighting the Warlocks.
- Mercy Kill: Given one by Skulduggery.
- Mook Lieutenant: In charge of Grand Mage Bisahalani's army.
- Never Bare Headed: Never takes off its gas mask.
- The Strategist.