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A traveling merchant. After finding Holo in his cart, he agrees to allow her to travel with him to her home, Yoitsu.
Tropes associated with Lawrence:
Above the Influence: When Holo finds out that her home has been destroyed, and has an appropriate breakdown, she makes it clear that she doesn't want to be alone and that she'd be much happier if Lawrence would mate with her and give her a child. Immediately afterwards, without him saying anything, she realizes that he's not going to take advantage of the situation, because he's a gentleman.
Achilles' Heel: Holo notes that his business savvy fails him around women because he can't tell when they're lying to him.
Almighty Janitor: Lawrence ends up running rings around entire companies, forging business agreements between nobles and company executives, and standing up to the all-encompassing Church. The things Lawrence has done could have meant the difference between life and death for entire cities. And yet, Lawrence is nothing more than a "lowly traveling-salesman."
Due to odd circumstances, Lawrence ends up flying under the radar all the time since to get noticed or respected at all in the business world requires some sort of power play, while Lawrence usually uses what means he gains to get the hell out of Dodge and see Holo on her way to Yoitz.
Amazon Chaser: Despite Holo's insistence that he likes women who are 'weak and vulnerable', he falls for the one who gives him no end of grief and can turn into a Canis Major.
He later admits to himself that he could have fallen in love with Eve, an equally resourceful and dangerous woman who has nearly gotten him killed before. Much like Holo, it is her mixture of awe inspiring capabilities and personal vulnerabilities that they reveal to Lawrence that drags him in.
Anti-Hero: Type ii. He isn't willfully unfair or cruel to those that are fair in return, but a merchant's got to make ends meat too, and expresses little if any guilt over exploiting as much as he can to whomever does the same to him.
Character Development: Under Holo's influence, Lawrence has slowly but surely grown to take bigger risks, becoming more confident in his abilities, and rediscover genuine warmth for others by finding more to life than earning money.
Charles Atlas Superpower: A downplayed example but the light novels state that traveling merchants are in great physical condition because they're constantly traveling and carrying heavy loads.
The Chessmaster: In the 9th and 10th books, Lawrence relays his belief that this is a weak spot with him, compared to his zest for Indy Ploys, since all his experience is in small scale one on one deals, compared with some younger merchants brought up into business management. He outdoes them regardless, once Holo and Cole do some footwork.
Chick Magnet: He draws the attention of at least one girl besides Holo in nearly every arc.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It's never really highlighted, but art in the novels, (anime and manga less so) show him to be a pretty big dude. Every single physical confrontation he gets into ends very quickly but he'd rather solve his problems with deals.
Distressed Dude: More often than not. Holo makes fun of him for having to save him instead of the reverse.
Doom Magnet: Following his encounter with Holo he can never seem to get out of trouble or dangerous situations. Holo lampshades it.
Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe: He gets upset when Holo starts making jokes about wolves eating humans and snaps at her to stop it since he's seen it before. A depressed looking Holo eventually responds that wolves basically fear humans and also fail to understand them, leaving them unsure of how to behave around them.
Failure Is the Only Option: Sometimes played straight due to barely breaking even in some of his deals. More invoked than anything, since he and Holo both want to remain traveling together as long as they can.
Genre Savvy: A defining trait of his. In the harsh world of trade on the road, the difference between survival and starvation depends on taking advantage of many economic tropes. Often it's the one thing that keeps him in the game.
Guile Hero: Uses his business skills and connections to solve many problems. Almost all problems, as a matter of fact, and it's a point of pride for him.
Greed: A flaw he's all too aware of. More than once he's gotten the attention of companies and merchants alike after overestimating the odds.
Happily Married: At the end of the light novel he is married to Holo and has kids.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: He has zero self-esteem. And quite possibly a lot less than that. One of his biggest flaws is that he can be discouraged by anything he might perceive is out of his league. At which point Holo is likely to at times literally bite some sense into him.
Honor Before Reason: Played with. He never deliberately cheats anyone but he will gleefully blackmail someone that he catches trying to cheat him. He normally avoids smuggling because there's too much risk, not because of a sense of fair play or morality. Ultimately played straight: "I want to make sure we can still live with ourselves at the end of the day!" Lumerio trading company tried to kill him during a deal and the only reason he didn't run off with all their investment in the deal is because they would go bankrupt.
I Gave My Word: "I am merchant; my word is my bond." Justified in that a dishonest merchant will go out of business or get beaten to death.
I Kiss Your Hand: This is how he teases Holo. The gentlemanly nature of the act makes her blush.
Indy Ploy: Lawrence's single greatest strength is the ability to get on the ground and adapt to situations, by his own estimation.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Before meeting Holo, he leaned heavily on the jerk side. The heart of gold part comes off more as they grew closer to each other.
Knife Nut: He's pretty quick to pull it out, and he sleeps with it too.
Mistress And Servantboy: He sometimes feels Holo acts like a spoiled princess that he has to clean up after, such as when she drinks herself stupid and he has to help her back to the inn, fold her clothes etc.
Nice Guy: Played with in that he is extremely pragmatic and occasionally ruthless. On a personal level, though, he is never anything but well-mannered and kind, and he truly hopes no one is actually harmed by his work.
Non-Action Guy: He's not weak by any means, but is much more effective in outsmarting than outfighting his opponents. Holo is initially disappointed in Lawrence for being this, but doesn't object when he points out that things worked out nevertheless. As time goes on though there have been a couple aversions out of necessity, and he does carry a dagger at all times. Early on, he gets stabbed while defending her, then knocks out the stabber.
No Social Skills: Downplayed in the anime, but in the light novels, he's forgotten how to make and hold onto real, non-business related friends, literally forgetting how to interact on a personal level with people by the beginning of the series. Lawrence is later shown to have worked non-stop for the last seven years, his single-mindedness completely disassociating him from most aspects of normal life. He's created a salesman persona that he defaults to in all situations, sales related or not. On the plus side, it's made him an incredibly tactical thinker lacking bias, giving him good judgment and clear sight. He starts to break out of these habits if only because he can't otherwise express frustration. at how many times Holo pisses him off so goddamn much.
Oh, Crap: Gets at least a few of these in each novel when he realizes he's been outsmarted. It's one of the few reliable ways to see him visibly surprised.
Lawrence: Before you ask forgiveness, you should repent for how you live!
Spanner in the Works: The 9th book is one long Deconstruction of the trope as Lawrence struggles to pull himself out of the machinations of his very powerful boss and his very powerful boss' very powerful opponent, Eve. He does it though, and he impresses them both.
Stepford Smiler: Type A. He's effective at the 'merchant's smile' as the books put it, which is calculated to look friendly yet show none of his true feelings. To the extent that it became his default response to every social interaction. He's steadily forced away from this mentality thanks to Holo, though he still finds it useful when dealing in business.
What the Hell, Hero?: Chewed Holo out for shredding the clothes she borrowed from him when she first transformed into her true form to save him. Doubles as a subtle Freakiness Shame as she was about to abandon him, thinking he would be too afraid to travel with her.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Lawrence outdoes everybody in this regard. His ability to think quickly and in great complexity is matched only by his skill in selecting simple solutions to multiple problems. What he requires are possibilities and a wider context, though, and he is limited when he can only plan ahead.
You Gotta Have Gray Hair: Wouldn't be unusual for a man in his fifties, but Lawrence is in his twenties. By all accounts, he's had a stressful life.
A wolf spirit who hides in wheat. After watching over a town for several hundred years she leaves after they develop new agricultural methods and convert to a new religion, considering herself no longer needed.
Tropes associated with Holo:
A God I Am Not: She hates being worshiped/feared as a goddess, though if pressed she'll admit however reluctantly she does technically fit the requirements.
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Normally enforced as part of her pride as the Wise Wolf of Yoitsu. Subverted on one occasion in a later novel as she reluctantly gets down on her knees to plead safe passage from a young male wolf deity, well out of eyesight of Lawrence.
Antiquated Linguistics: In the light novel English translations and dub, Holo uses a mild form that doesn't use contractions.
Canis Major: Her true form is a wolf roughly the size of an elephant.
Chess Master: As a wolf, she is naturally tactically minded, and she supports Lawrence with advice this way. She lacks Lawrence's almost encyclopedic knowledge of the world and is unfamiliar with many aspects of the human realm though, so her impact in that regard is blunted.
Clingy Jealous Girl: While she doesn't like shepherds in general because they drive wolves away, she really doesn't like Nora, especially when Lawrence seemed to be getting a little too friendly with her.
Inverted in the second arc, where Lawrence was in danger of bankruptcy. She saved him twice, first with a money-making idea and as a Canis Major.
In the third arc, she told Amarty that she was captured by slave traders and Lawrence rescued her as a means of explaining why they traveled together. He thought she was a straight example and vowed to free her from Lawrence by paying her debt to him.
In the fourth novel about Tereo she invokes the part to make him act more gallant than usual.
The Fog of Ages: She doesn't remember a lot of her early life before becoming the patron of Pasloe. She doesn't even remember where Yoitsu really is apart from a vague 'up north' nor the path she took to Pasloe in the first place. She starts to avert it later as they find familiar places in the novels that help recall some of her memory.
Going Commando: She doesn't wear undergarments, likely because taking them off when she needs to transform would take too long.
Green Thumb: Downplayed example. As a harvest deity, she can increase stock yields on most years but unlike traditional examples she has no "superpowers" in this regard.
Guile Hero: The Wise Wolf is much more cunning than all the infant humans.
Happily Married: At the end of the light novel she is married to Lawrence and has children.
Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Lawrence often complains that she drinks all their profits. She becomes much livelier when drunk.
Hates Being Alone: She's apparently been alone for many centuries by the time she meets Lawrence and the lack of companionship has left its mark on her, which is why Lawrence is taken aback when Holo suggests they go their separate ways in the fourth arc of the anime.
Hello, Nurse!: Aside from Lawrence, she attracts Amarti, a young boy, and one brewer remarks that her beauty is worth buying her so much alcohol.
Hime Cut: Holo. An unusual example in that she's the equivalent to a Caucasian. It gets messed with in various ways as the series wears on, but it's still depicted as such in art about as much as she is naked. She certainly has the personality for it.
I Am A Humanitarian/Just Eat Him: She swallows one of the Medio Trading Company's hired thugs to protect Lawrence, although she later vomits him back up, and was about to eat Yarei/Chloe before Lawrence begged her to stop. She doesn't like to talk about it, but there are implications she's really eaten people in the past, and she has made threats to eat people who annoy her or threaten Lawrence.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: There's no other way to put it. She has an incredibly good heart and she'll help just about anyone who requests it, but she is very cruel, she likes to be cruel, and she will purposefully try to humiliate and make people suffer if she feels they are worthy in some way. It's a roundabout version of encouragement on her part, and it's described as being a fusion of her hyper-aggressive Alpha-wolf mentality and her affinity as a Goddess for appraising and testing her followers. She's unapologetic about it and won't let up, though.
Lawrence seems to be one of the few people who has pushed back in some way, hence her fascination with him.
Large Ham: When she role-plays, she really gets into it.
Little Bit Beastly: Holo's guise of a human girl is spoiled by the fact she retains her lupine ears and tail. She can hide them for brief periods to completely pass as a human.
Long Hair Is Feminine: Holo's hair is long and beautiful. Lawrence (privately) admits that he has a weakness for such hair; not only is it visually appealing but often a sign of high status.
Magnetic Girlfriend: In Season Two, Holo deliberately rubs her scent on Lawrence to "mark" him as her companion and chase a bar girl away. As said girl explains, it backfires and now that he has Holo's scent on him and has admitted that she's his "companion", he is instantly more desirable than usual.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Holo is less manic than other examples. She enriches the life of the once single-minded Lawrence while still maintaining her own identity.
Masochism Tango: If later books are to be believed, Holo fell pretty hard for Lawrence rather early in the series, with Lawrence beginning to reciprocate later. Because Holo's keenly aware she'll outlive Lawrence, she fears becoming too attached and enforces this trope. Lawrence thinks it's immature and unwise given how close they are as friends if nothing else, but he goes along with it because he feels pushing this issue is one of the few things that could truly jeopardize their relationship, he's not going to touch something like that with a ten-foot pole.
Master of the Mixed Message: Lawrence has trouble figuring out where he stands with her from day to day. This slowly fades over the course of the novels, as Lawrence has a better time keeping up with her eccentric behavior.
Murder Is the Best Solution: When Lawrence is gravely threatened, Holo is quite willing to take her wolf form, grab the offenders, and leave it up to Lawrence whether she bites.
Noble Wolf: Proudly calls herself a "wise wolf", and for a while, she was a village's patron deity.
Older Than They Look: Holo's human form is explicitly described in every adaptation as that of a fifteen year old girl in every sense of the word, but she is a centuries-old wolf goddess.
One-Winged Angel: A heroic example, as she can transform from a humanoid girl into an elephant-sized wolf (and vice versa) by consuming blood or wheat.
Physical God: In the northern lands a "god" is defined as "anything beyond a human's capacity to engage" and indeed there is no human force that can match Holo's true form in the field.
Rapunzel Hair: It falls to her waist. In the final anime arc, Eve says it will help convince a local trading company that she is nobility and worth pawning.
Really 700 Years Old: Looks like a cute young wolf girl, but has the shrewdness and cunning of a person with several hundred years of existence.
Rescue Romance: Discovering that Lawrence was unable to fulfill this fantasy for her was a big disappointment.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Is not shy about resorting to her wolf form if Lawrence is in danger or has been hurt, as Yarai/Chloe and Liebert found out. When Lawrence was betrayed by Hans Lemerio and had been left for dead, she threatened to destroy the city in which Lemerio's guild was based in retribution. She would have gone after Eve for betraying and attacking Lawrence as well, but he talked her out of it.
Shameless Fanservice Girl: Since Holo is a wolf, she isn't worried about clothing on a fundamental level and isn't all that shy about doffing her clothing entirely if she thinks the occasion calls for it. Lawrence is generally collected and chivalrous about it, true to his pragmatic nature.
Slasher Smile: In the manga, when Holo learns that Liebert and the Lemerio company have betrayed them and injured Lawrence she breaks out into a vicious grin, complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom, and says she'll kill everyone responsible, accompanied by an Imagine Spot of her eating Hans Lemerio.
The Tease: Loves to verbally (and occasionally physically) spar with Lawrence about their relationship. Although she can sometimes catch him flat-footed when she puts on the Moe, Lawrence becomes quite capable of giving as much as he gets as he gets used to her.
One of the books describes a past encounter with an eleven year old boy, and she pulls this trope on him.
A young woman who lives in Pasloe. She's known Lawrence since she was a little girl and is following in his footsteps as a merchant. She only exists in the anime and replaces Yarei as 'the friend from Pasloe'.
Rage Against the Heavens: Considering Holo was Pasloe's patron deity until the story began, a girl from Pasloe attempting to burn her can be seen as this. Later exclaims that she thinks all gods are cruel.
She Is All Grown Up: Invoked in her attempt to convince Lawrence that she was no longer the little girl he knew.
We Can Rule Together: How she attempted to lure Lawrence away from Holo in the first arc; 'We can open a shop together'.
The man in charge of a branch of the Milone Trading Company in Pazzio.
Tropes associated with Marheit
Crazy-Prepared: When one is a branch in a foreign company, arson and theft are a fact of life. One has to be prepared for anything, up to and including a wolf deity used as leverage against you.
Honest Corporate Executive: At the end of the arc he gives Lawrence 5% of a deal that is related to but separate from their official contract because it brought a large profit to Milone Tradition and it wouldn't have been realized without Lawrence's help with the first deal. On the whole, he's a friendly guy.
Only in It for the Money: His thought process can be boiled down to "How can this situation enrich Milone Trading Company". Lawrence had to throw in a legal threat to push him over the top in aiding with Holo's rescue.
Nerves of Steel: The revealation that the girl his company did business with the other day is truly a wolf goddess surprised him momentarily, then it became one more factor in his calculations. By the time he saw her true form, it was just business.
Nothing Personal: Reconstructed Trope. He respects Lawrence and expresses sympathy for his situation note "if my wife were in danger, I, too, would likey find it difficult to calm myself." but refuses to help because he can't expose his company to risk simply for heroics. Lawrence, a merchant, understands completely and instead appeals to him from a business prospective instead of a personal one.
Reasonable Authority Figure: He initially refuses to aid Lawrence in Holo's rescue because there is no advantage for his company. Later, when The Plan goes south, he sends more men to rescue them again.
Shipper on Deck: He is the first person in the series to ship Lawrence/Holo. He thinks they're already married because Lawrence isn't treating her like a mere "traveling companion".
Saintly Church: One of the few sympathetic members. The Church isn't being malicious (for once); the business they give her is charity on their part, and they just can't find safe or rewarding work for her.
Averted in the novels. The charity claim is an excuse to keep her from being noticed while providing just enough income to keep her loyal.
Worthy Opponent: Holo, speaking as a wolf, thinks of her as such. If she weren't acting as a traveling merchant she said she would kill Nora before she became a better shepherd than she already was.
A merchant Holo and Lawrence meet in the port city of Lenos. She pulls the two into a money-making scheme, but betrays Lawrence and takes the money herself.She makes reappearances in the later novels, acting as a reoccurring rival to the group.
Tropes associated with Eve:
Bifauxnen: She has everyone convinced she's a guy.
Death Seeker: Her plan with Lawrence is suicidal because it will bring the full wrath of the local church. Lawrence suspects this is the point.
Foil: Contrasts with Lawrence by being a similar lonely, goal-driven traveling merchant — but she doesn't have a partner like Holo for company and clearly feels bitter about it. While Lawrence learns to value his relationship as more than profit, Eve's drive for success becomes obsessive and dangerous. Also, similarly to Holo, she has to cloak her identity, though because she's a woman rather than a pagan deity.
Knife Nut: She tries to murder Lawrence with a cleaver and a dagger when she thinks he's backing out on the deal, and again when she realizes he's figured her scheme out. She resorts to knocking him out and taking his share of the money.
Mugging the Monster: Indirectly: after she tries to kill Lawrence and then robs him of his share of their deal, he has to talk Holo out of going One-Winged Angel and hunting her down.
Not So Different: She's what Lawrence would have ended up as if he never met Holo.
One-Man Army/Person of Mass Destruction: It's not clear at first, but she runs a rather large trading company. The catch is, she's the only person in it. Using a network of contacts that she's somehow skillfully centered on herself as well as lingering connections due to her own noble blood, on her own she is able to bring to bear the full resources and political and economic clout of a small nation at will. She just needs time to write a letter or two, and representatives of other companies nearby to manipulate to do her bidding. Unfortunately, this also means that the entire company can be stalled fairly easily if she's caught in a bad situation on a personal level (when she first meets Lawrence, she is also in a certain financial situation that for a few finicky reasons her many connections can't get her out of).
Pet the Dog: She may have betrayed him, but Lawrence admits he can't say he wouldn't have done the same if given the chance. It's a sign of her respect that Eve leaves him a deed to the inn, ensuring him enough money to stay in the game.
Rebellious Princess: The daughter of a nobleman, but ran off. She was in fact married off, and after the husband was killed either by her or his own hand after financial ruin, she stole some money and remade herself as a merchant.
Introduced in the sixth book (immediately after the anime ends), Cole is a traveling student fallen on hard times. Cole reaches out to Lawrence in desperation, and to his surprise is taken on board by him and Holo. Cole intends to study church law so that he may climb to a position from which he may defend his and other pagan villages. He joins Holo and Lawrence in their travels.
Tropes associated with Cole:
The Smart Guy: He's only thirteen, and his education is fragmented, but he's a fast learner and a quick thinker, and he excels under Lawrence's tutelage. Lawrence believes Cole to be smarter than him, though his lack of experience makes this not at all apparent.
Shipper on Deck: He assumes that Lawrence and Holo are lovers, which isn't unreasonable, but he gets really confused when they don't actually do anything with each other except flirt (they're in the middle of a weird Masochism Tango because Holo's too scared to confront the fact that they won't be together forever). The poor kid tries so hard to help save what he sees as a sinking marriage.
Undying Loyalty: He cares more for Lawrence than he does for Holo. Which is saying something, because Holo has Cole whipped even worse than she does Lawrence.
The Watson: One of the first things he does is get some coin-shipping info dropped on him for the reader but its later a plot point that he uses this info to uncover something of a conspiracy on the side. His role is mostly to do intel gathering, since as a profession, students are sort of like professional beggars-cum-conmen (though Cole kind of sucks at that before he meets Lawrence) and he's ideally placed for that sort of thing. He's also the resident church expert.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: In an interesting twist, Cole isn't so much as naive as he is inexperienced (he never figured out how to beg properly as a student, so his relatively harsh life has jaded him just a little). It's Lawrence's kindness that opens him up to the realities of altruism, and he encourages Lawrence to be that way whenever he can.
The Merchant-of-the-Day of Book 10. He is a crafty yet congenial and kindhearted traveling merchant for the Ruvik Alliance. He primarily focuses on colony creation, and as such is leading the alliance's plans to set up villages on territory they're trying to wrest from the abbey of Brondel. He helps Lawrence and co. with their plans to get into the abbey and discover the truth of the wolf god bones kept within.
Tropes associated with Piasky
Always Someone Better: Admitted explicitly by Lawrence, and subtly indicated that Holo considered it as well, to be in every way superior to Lawrence. Both are traveling merchants with a kindhearted streak beneath their opportunistic pursuit of profit, but while Lawrence is often barely scraping by helping Holo and Col, Piasky is helping entire peoples find new homes and lives frequently and has the trust of the most power trading alliance in the world. He's a better merchant and has been driven to higher heights by his kindness. Both wonder what would have happened if Holo had met him first.
Foil: As stated in Always Someone Better, he's essentially a more successful version of Lawrence. Both are traveling merchants, but he's managed to make it much higher in the world. Aside from some brief self consciousness at his inability to measure up, there's no drama from it, and Lawrence and he get along very well.
Nice Guy: Much like Lawrence, his merchanting goals are directed towards helping others. Namely, leading the way for the founding of markets, towns, and villages for people displaced by warfare and the loss of their previous homes. It's what drives him, and ultimately the Ruvik Alliance as a whole, so desperately to negotiate with the Brondel Abbey, despite the abbey so intractable they would have otherwise given up long ago.
Huskins, the Shepard
A stoic, elderly Shepard that heads the group of Shepars for the Brondel Abbey. Lawrence, Holo, and Col end up staying at his headquarters during their visit to the abbey. He is, of course, the famed Golden Sheep of Brondel, an animal spirit similar to Holo, and the main benefactor of the abbey itself.
Tropes associated with Huskins
Determinator: Huskins has spent untold centuries on the Earth, suffered untold indignities, and made near unthinkable changes to himself, all to see the abbey and his home protected.
Foil: To Holo. She states she would have fought and died against the Moon Hunting Bear if she had met it, whereas Huskins did see it and fled with no regrets. This is symbolized by their existences as Wolf and Sheep spirits: Holo is ferocious and fights even in the face of doom, whereas Huskins is timid but holy stubborn in the goals he does pursue. Holo questions his determination when he says he fled, but is easily countered by his reply showing he did whatever it took to found a new home.
I'm a Humanitarian: A light and twisted version, so to speak. To fully assume his human persona, he began eating meat. Left unsaid is that this is primarily sheep meat. Holo vomits when confronted with this fact, and Lawrence suspects its because she had briefly considered whether she too would have been able to eat wolves to survive.
Spoilered Rotten: Huskins is pretty much just a stoic old shepard before The Reveal. All that can really be said is that he stubbornly protects the abbey. Of course, readers of the series up until he appears probably figured it out before hand, given the stories of a mythical sheep in the area and a mysterious shepard
The Reveal: Lawrence notices the heavy footsteps of what he believes to be a thief in the night during a tremendous blizzard. It is Hushkins, in half-human half-sheep form, making his way back to the abbey after discovering a letter of taxation that will doom the abbey.
Time Abyss: Even compared to Holo, Huskins is ancient and is even wiser and more worldly than Holo, putting her off her balance in every conversation they have. Where she displays pride at her conversation triumphs, he merely displays a deep, aged kindness.
The Unfettered: Huskins has only one goal: protecting the home he has made at Brondel Abbey. Literally. He built the place as a sanctuary for he and his fellow spirits in a world increasing dominated by humans. He is unusually kind about it, having none of the usual moral quandaries usually raised by this trait. Nevertheless, his defining trait is his stubbornness in defending the abbey from ruin.