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Characters: Temeraire
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Captain William Laurence
Main (human) character and primary narrator. Initially skipper of the HMS Reliant, where Riley was his Second Lieutenant, he became captain of dragon Temeraire nearly by accident. However, he and Temeraire quickly became inseparable.
  • A Father to His Men: Cares greatly for his crew and is very considerate of them, whoever they may be. For a more close to literal, foster-like relationship, there's his relationships with Temeraire, Emily, Dryer, Demane, and Sipho.
  • Broken Ace: During Victory of Eagles.
  • Butt Monkey: Half the humor is the petty indignities Laurence gets subjected to.
    • There's a Running Gag through the first couple of books where Laurence is presented with an unusual social situation and immediately assumes something scandalous is happening. He mentally chastises himself for jumping to conclusions, only for the other characters to embarrass him by cheerfully confirming his first impressions.
  • The Fettered
    • The Unfettered: Briefly in Victory of Eagles and Tongue of Serpants after he's discharged; he willingly uses dishonorable and dirty tactics to win the war in England, then outright refuses to follow Rankin's orders in Australia to murder the rebels. Somewhat snapped back after he's reinstated in Crucible of Gold although even there he says to Temeraire that he will refuse to follow any orders that he finds immoral.
  • Fish out of Water: At the beginning of the series, he had no idea how to function in the Air Corps, and is rather dismayed at the level of informality common amongst aviators. Later, he is excruciatingly uncomfortable as the Emperor's adopted son.
  • Heel Realization: Twice over. Throne of Jade and Black Powder War both open his eyes on his beloved country's barbaric treatment of dragons. The second time is coming to terms with the magnitude of his betrayal.
  • The Hero
  • Humble Hero: Laurence disliked flashy clothing even before his exile, and dislikes putting on airs even when by rights he might be entitled to them. This is one difference between his worldview and Temeraire's that is largely played for laughs, since if Temeraire had his way Laurence would be decked out in jewels at all times.
  • Heroic BSOD: His betrayal of Britain leaves him as a Death Seeker.
    • Despair Event Horizon: When he meets the King, driven insane by the invasion, he crosses completely into despair.
      • He's Back: At the end of the novel, he finally gives up trying to justify his guilt and just accepts that people will despise him for what he did. Becomes quite the Deadpan Snarker in the process too.
  • Honor Before Reason: Epitomizes it and it constantly causes immense problems for him.
    • In Black Powder War: Laurence finds himself in a position to flee the doomed campaign to defend Prussia from France, thereby getting Temeraire and his men out of danger and back on their original mission. However, he feels that doing so would be pretending they could do nothing more to help, so he decides to stay.
    • And then there's the critical point of this principle on the plot, which haunts him in later books: averting genocide by giving the cure for the dragon plague to the French, saving thousands of dragons in the process, but also committing treason against his country. He gets better.
    • By the point of Crucible of Gold, when he takes it upon himself to flatly refuse to help a potential ally put down a slave rebellion, his fellow aviators more or less just shrug and go "Well, it's Laurence, what did you expect?"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Takes a blow to the head in Blood of Tyrants. He forgets the previous eight years of his life, meaning he remembers nothing of Temeraire or his time as an aviator and still thinks he's the captain of the Reliant. A more accurate portrayal than is typical in fiction, as his memory returns in fits and starts and even when it returns, there are holes he suspects will never be filled.
    • Amnesia Danger: Emotional rather than mortal danger. As a result of his amnesia Laurance thinks of Temeraire as pleasant company at best, and without the knowledge of everything the two have sacrificed for each other he keeps making blunders that strain their relationship.
  • Lawful Stupid and Stupid Good: Laurence's actions at the end of Empire Of Ivory. This is made quite clear when Admiral Roland tells him in Victory Of Eagles a simple thing he could have done other than being a stiff-necked idiot, which would have had the desired effect of saving the Continental dragons without getting himself branded as a traitor.
    • This is really more of a case of Honor Before Reason, since when Jane Roland suggested that he could have accomplished the same thing without revealing his actions, he says "It would not have been any less treason" and previously told Temeraire "I will not now add cowardice to that crime, nor let you shield me from its consequences", both of which together strongly suggest that he would have done the same even if he'd been aware of an alternative solution.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Unless they're about to start a campaign of biological terrorism...
  • Officer and a Gentleman
  • Retired Badass: By the end of Tongues of Serpents.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Captain Will Laurence. When the British government plans to spread a plague among the French dragons that will likely spread to kill off most of the dragons in the world, he feels morally compelled to bring the French the cure, even though it's an act of treason against his own country. And after all that, he's still Lawful enough to go right back to Britain and let himself be arrested for it. Indeed, he expects to be executed for it, and rejects merely going into voluntary exile to save his skin. He transgressed and had to face the music.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Unsurprisingly, given Laurence's character. It's one reason why he refuses to give up Temeraire to China and Yongxing, and another to why he refuses any prizes Napoleon heaps on him for giving the French the remedy to the dragon plague.
  • Supporting Protagonist: The series proper is mostly about Temeraire's adventures. Laurence mostly serves as Temeraire's mentor and closest friend, and due to the lack of rights dragons have, often answers for Temeraire's actions, but mostly Laurence is along for the ride.
  • The Unfavorite: Laurence's father does not approve of his son's new career choice, even though Laurence doesn't exactly have a choice in the matter (not that he approved much more of Laurence as a Navy captain). Unusually, Laurence spends almost no time angsting about this; he's more prone to sigh and try to find a way to avoid his father's ire where possible. What his father thinks of Laurence's becoming an adopted son of the Emperor of China as a measure of keeping Temeraire in British hands…
    • Lord Allendale does mellow a little by book four, what with a combination of the gift Laurence brought back from China, as well as Laurence and Temeraire both willing to help him in his latest efforts to abolish the slave trade. It's even to the point of offering to help support what he thinks is Will's bastard daughter, but then we get the whole treason thing, and then Lord Allendale, who's not very young, becomes ill...

John Granby
Lt. Granby was initially hostile to Laurence, as he was friends with the aviator chosen by the Corps to perform a hostile takeover of Temeraire's affections. However, once they had flown together in action, they got their bickering sorted out and he became both Number Two and close friend to Laurence. In this capacity he also became captain of Iskierka, a fire-breathing Kazilik, in Black Powder War.
  • Bling of War: At Iskierka's insistence and to his mortification. It's bad enough to the point that he has three or four dress jackets, only one of which he can wear with some sense of humility, because the others are so covered in said bling that the only fabric the jacket consists of is what holds all the jewels and metals together and can no longer be worn by anyone due to sheer weight.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Granby! If Laurence gets the first half of the humor, Granby gets the second half. He nearly got killed with extreme regularity as a member of Temeraire's crew, and his fortunes didn't turn up much better when he became a captain.
  • Handicapped Badass: Has lost an arm by the end of Crucible of Gold; is no less awesome.
  • Henpecked Husband: Played for Drama. He feels deeply uncomfortable that he has basically no control over Iskierka, and feels like he's a terrible captain.
  • The Lancer
  • Straight Gay: Revealed in Crucible of Gold when Iskierka arranges for a marriage with the Inca Empress, then blabs about his relationship with Little. Laurence, to his credit, never really makes a big deal out of it.

Tenzing Tharkay
Half English and half Nepalese, Tharkay is an exceptional guide and translator. Due to the era's views, however, he cannot follow his father into English politics.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His dry and sarcastic humor initially makes Laurence mistrustful of him.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Unfortunately, in this time, there isn't much he can do about it.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tharkay, very much so. A snarky, mixed-race wanderer with a troubled past, who trains birds of prey, speaks several languages and had some Ho Yay with the main male character? Checks all the boxes.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He makes a habit of this, which is rather disconcerting when he is guiding people through a desert and the like. This is intentional, as he would rather be openly mistrusted for good reason.
  • The Unfettered: The one upside to being unacceptable in Western society.
    • Yet subverted at one point in Victory of Eagles. When Laurence prepares to engage in dishonorable guerilla warfare, Tharkay points out that a gentleman can temporarily sink into savagery and be regarded as a desperate hero, but someone of Tharkay's background would simply be exterminated.

Tom Riley
Naval captain of the HMS Reliant, Riley inherited his ship from Laurence. Later takes on the Allegiance, a huge ship built specifically to transport dragons.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He dies trying to save the Allegiance from sinking in Crucible of Gold. Depending on your feelings, this may be an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment.
  • Noble Bigot: Due to his father owning slaves and several plantations, he's an adamant proponent of slavery. He at one point outright calls a black woman sub-human. Despite this, he's still shown to be a good person. At the end of Empire of Ivory, he finally relents on it.
  • Officer and a Gentleman
  • Shotgun Wedding: Played with: he insists on marrying Harcourt.

Matthew Berkley
Captain of Maximus.

Catherine Harcourt
Captain of Lily, one of the Longwings who will not accept anything but female captains. Her existence (a female serving officer) is kept rather secret by the Aerial Corps.

Jane Roland
Captain of the Longwing Excidium. Roland serves as the Reasonable Authority Figure for the Aerial Corps, and Laurence enjoys serving under her.
  • Action Mom
  • Ascended Extra: She, like the rest of the British cast, was completely absent from books 2 and 3, other than Laurence writing letters to her from time to time. She briefly has roles in books 1 and 4, but it isn't until Victory of Eagles that she becomes pivotal to the plot.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Her relationship with Laurence comes off as a little more than a strong affection on Roland's part, until Laurence sees in Victory of Eagles exactly how pained she is by his betrayal. She later lays into him - not for the treason, which she approves of, but because he did it in a way that not only ruined the careers and lives of others but left him under a sentence of death.
  • Hero of Another Story
  • Lady of War
  • The Lad-ette: She is far more mature than the usual frat-boy-with-a-vagina archetype, but she is no more ladylike especially by early 19th century standards of such.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
    • Four-Star Badass: Though she briefly got busted down in Victory of Eagles because of sexism, she was quickly reinstated.

Emily Roland
Jane's illegitimate daughter, who is being groomed to take over Excidium when her mother retires. She doesn't know who her father is (Jane doesn't much care), and on at least one occasion she has been mistaken as Laurence's natural daughter, to his embarrassment and Jane's amusement.

An African child who aids Laurence during the adventures of Empire of Ivory. For lack of any other option, Laurence ends up taking him and his brother Sipho home with him to Britain, where they become members of Temeraire's flight crew.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Very protective of his brother, to the point that as they grow up Sipho finds him a bit overbearing.
  • Child Soldier: Although he started relatively late in his aviator career to still be considered much of a child.
  • Jumped Into The Cockpit: How he got Kulingile.
  • Puppy Love: Him and Emily. Whenever someone tries messing with Emily because she's a girl Demane flips out. And in Tongues of Serpents Emily tells Laurence that he has asked to marry her numerous times, but she refused: they'll practically never see each other because they'll both have dragons in the Corps.

An African child who followed his brother Demane with Laurence's crew.
  • Badass Bookworm: Unlike Demane, he takes to his studies like a fish. By his early 20s, he's already publishing accounts of his adventures with Laurence and Temeraire.
  • Child Soldier: Although he's done less soldier-ing than both his brother and Emily have.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Sipho will survive the events of the story to become a scholar. One of his works also shows that the Tswana will ultimately broker a peace and it's implicit that Britain becomes less racist by the time Sipho begins to publish his works.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: Zigzagged. Sipho writes at length about the adventures of Temeraire, but only in a scholarly context, and he doesn't seem to be the Narrator proper. However, his works overlap with the novels and Tongue of Serpents is presented as his account of the events in the novel, due to his map prefacing the story.

Admiral Lenton
The commander of the Dover covert in Book 1. After Obversaria's death, he is put on a quieter post and Roland takes his position

A more conventionally raised captain—meaning he treats dragons like idiotic beasts and sneers at anyone who seeks civil rights for anyone.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, Laurence takes a liking to him because he's the only aviator who acts polite and friendly to Laurence when he first arrives, and he assumes the reason the other aviators avoid Rankin is because they're uncomfortable around someone who acts upper-class. Nope; it's because Rankin abuses his dragon and is a snobby Jerk Ass to the other captains. The sheep's clothing is entirely off by Tongues of Serpents.
  • Jerkass: He comes from old money and has been raised to believe dragons are inferior to men and are to be bullied and disciplined into submission (an outdated mode of thinking, but one that is still supported by the admiralty). His neglect of his dragon, and his refusal to allow anyone to interfere, leads to his first dragon, Levitas, being fatally wounded in action and nearly left to die alone. In the sixth book he shows up in Australia announcing he's to be given a new dragon. Fortunately, Caesar turns out to be more than willing to stand up to him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the sixth book, Rankin is sometimes the voice of reason. A dismissive and insulting one, but the voice of reason nonetheless.

Arthur Hammond
Introduced in the second novel as the primary diplomat sent to China on behalf of England. After the events of that book, served for some years before being called away to enlist Laurence and Temeraire in resolving a crisis in South America.
  • Ass in Ambassador: Reversed trope, where he annoys his side.
  • Implacable Man: Has deliberately cultivated this reputation. People may not like him, but everyone knows he can get a job done.

    Historical Domain Characters 
Horatio Nelson
A genius naval commander and one of Britain's finest military minds.
  • Combat Pragmatist: One of the architects of the plan to spread the dragon plague to France. Laurence considers this a Moral Event Horizon.
  • Glory Seeker: At one point Laurence points out that Nelson loves glory no less than Napoleon does: he's just pursuing glory in a way Laurence applauds. Nelson recognizes it himself:
    Lord Nelson: "I have never heard anyone say that I love glory less than other men."
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Played straight and defied. Nelson survives in the novels when he died in Real Life and consequently goes on to greater military success, but is also a staunch advocate of slavery.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Lien.
  • The Rival: invoked by British newspapers, as he and Laurence are both popularly-regarded military men who have contributed greatly to Britain's fight against France, but fight in different services and disagree on the issue of abolition. In reality, Nelson and Laurence admire each other, and Nelson even invites Laurence and Temeraire to campaign with him at one point.

Napoleon Bonaparte
The Emperor of France, formerly a nobody from Corsica.
  • Affably Evil: He's shown to have a charming if very forward and aggressive personality.
  • Appeal To Novelty: Laurence (who is of course biased) alleges Napoleon of being radically progressive.
  • Big Bad: Naturally, as the books are set during the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Glory Seeker: Said to be his primary motivation.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Subverted. He is not only a genius military commander but a forward-thinking liberal who, as he did in our version of history, has done a great deal for equal rights. He's still trying to conquer Britain, so Laurence and Temeraire oppose him on principle, but there is respect accorded to all, and Laurence admits to Temeraire (somewhat uncomfortably) that no monster could have accomplished what Napoleon has.
  • Worthy Opponent: considers Laurence one, almost verging into Friendly Enemies territory.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Since Laurence brought the cure to France, Napolean has never missed an opportunity to thank him, be it with words or actions. Whether this is genuine gratitude or an attempt to sow discord among Laurence's allies is left ambiguous.

Chrétien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes
Bonaparte's ambassador to China, and later to other countries.
  • Affably Evil: He's unfailingly polite, and he and Laurence first meet on a positive note. The relationship is damaged, come Crucible of Gold, when logistics force him to strand his captives - Laurence, Temeraire, and the rest of their companions - on a deserted island with no hope of escape until the French come back for them, with just enough supplies to stay barely alive.
  • Apologetic Attacker
  • Friendly Enemies: He has a polite and supportive relationship with Laurence, despite their being political enemies. After the events mentioned under 'Affably Evil', he is not upset at his own plans being foiled, or at least doesn't show it.

Arthur Wellesley (Lord Wellington)
An obscure British general who rises to the occasion during Victory of Eagles in order to repel the formerly-undefeated Corsican.
  • Combat Pragmatist: On a strategic scale. Anything it takes to bring victory one step closer, whether it be good (granting pay and rank to dragons) or vile (encouraging Laurence to engage in war crimes) is within his capacity.
  • Four Star Bad Ass
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Most brass outside the Aerial Corps do not even try to comprehend it, seeing dragons as Dumb Muscle and the aviators as the Kid with the Leash. Wellesley takes the trouble to listen not just to the aviators but to the dragons themselves, and in the process becomes the first ranking officer outside the Corps to treat them as the sentient beings they are. (Which is not to say he likes them.)
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He's usually on Laurence's side, but for pragmatic reasons. He has a grudging respect for Jane Roland, but he regards Temeraire as a rabble-rouser and Laurence as a Necessary Evil.
    Wellington: I must say, Laurence, I have never met a man so desirable and yet so inconvenient to hang.


Also known as Lung Tien Xiang, second son of Lung Tien Qian, Temeraire was given by the Chinese to the French and then captured in the egg by the English, with whom he serves alongside Captain Laurence.
  • Cunning Linguist: One of the advantages of being a Celestial.
    • Omniglot: As of Crucible of Gold, he can speak a variety of languages, if not all of them perfectly fluently. He knows English, French, Chinese, Turkish, German, Xhosa, Durzagh (the language of feral dragons), and Quechua.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's one of the smartest dragons in Britain, and also a heavy weight.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: To his displeasure, Temeraire keeps losing members of his crew to become captains for newly-hatched dragons. He's even more possessive of Laurence, to the point of getting cagey at any other dragon that seeks attention from him.
  • The Hero
  • Honor Before Reason: As much as he doesn't understand Laurence's tendencies for it, Temeraire also holds onto honor, mostly out of a desire to improve the lot of European dragons.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's big but fast, capable of turning on a dime and even hovering in the air, which most other dragons can't do. To top it off, he also has the Divine Wind; Temeraire, like other Celestials, is a formidable force.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Divine Wind.
  • Man Child: As of the third book, he has reached his full growth, but is only 18 months old and has an appropriately simplistic worldview.
  • Meaningful Name: In multiple languages!
    • The Temeraire was a French sailing ship which was famously captured by the Royal Navy and put back into service; this has very obvious resonance with our dragon, though this was not Laurence's thought at the time.
    • As for the word itself, Temeraire is the French word for "temerity," meaning "bravery" or even "audacity," two things Temeraire scarcely lacks.
    • 龍 天 祥, Temeraire's Chinese name (Lung Tien Xiang by Novik's not-quite-historically-accurate transliterationnote , Lóng Tiān Xiáng in modern pinyin), means "Dragon Heaven Auspicious". While all Celestials go by Lung Tien [Whatever], "auspicious" means "Born Lucky" and "promising success." This has certainly proven true for Laurence and England.
  • Military Maverick: And how!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Unlike Laurence, Temeraire isn't inclined to beat himself up over their part in enabling France's invasion of England. What he failed to realise, however, was how thoroughly Laurence would be ruined for it, stripped of rank and fortune. When Temeraire learns that Laurence's imprisonment left him unable to contest a ten thousand pound lawsuit he nearly has a heart attack, and it's made worse by Laurence's lack of concern for such things. Temeraire comes to see the reduction of Laurence's status as a huge mark against Temeraire's ability to take care of him.
  • Spare To The Throne: Temeraire is a twin. His brother Lung Tien Chuan was assigned to Prince Mianning, heir to the current Chinese emperor, and Temeraire packaged off to avoid his becoming a Spanner in the Works. (This sticks Temeraire with an Ironic Name as well.)
  • Tsundere: An extreme type A towards Iskierka; Temeraire's internal narration is full of belittling comments about her, culminating in Crucible of Gold where he finally relents and decides to give her an egg.
    • That was partially wounded pride. Lien had just revealed that Celestials cannot cross-breed, and Iskierka (being the Bratty Half-Pint she is) immediately needles him about his failures in mating. His thought process is less that he likes her and more that she's, well, conveniently available. Having said that, he does credit her for the occasions when she pulls her own weight.
  • Undying Loyalty: like most dragons, he is deeply protective of his crew (especially Laurence), which provides an effective source of comedy relief.
  • The Unfettered: Temeraire himself has some qualities of The Unfettered, although this may be more a case of True Neutral or even Blue and Orange Morality. He has no sentiment of patriotism (at least until his Character Development in the fifth book), no innate drive to be helpful toward humans he's never met, and no particular dislike of France or Napoleon. Like most of the dragons of England, he only helps the British to keep his humans happy. His efforts to reconcile his attitude and Laurence's for the sake of their friendship gives the series a philosophical aspect that few modern fantasy series have.
  • Warrior Poet

Lung Tien Lien
An albino dragon—white is the color of death in traditional Chinese culture, and is considered horribly unlucky. Despite being one of the very few Celestials available to the nation, Lien was treated as an outcast... until a prince named Yongxing took pity on her, and the two became inseparable. Too bad Yongxing was plotting to have Laurence killed, which Temeraire of course wasn't going to stand for...
  • Badass Bookworm: As a Celestial, Lien was exempt from taking the civil service examination. She took it anyway and became the zhuangyuan of her cohort.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: with Napoleon. They have different goals, but those goals happen to line up perfectly.
  • Broken Ace: In China, thanks to her albinism.
  • The Dragon: To Prince Yongxing and later Napoleon.
  • Dragon Lady
  • Dragon Ascendant: After Yongxing dies, she goes into exile to join Napoleon for a chance to utterly destroy Temeraire and Laurence.
  • Evil Albino: In China the color of her scales are looked upon as unlucky, but many people and dragons outside of China find her color admirable and beautiful.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Temeraire.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: She also possesses the divine wind, and knows how to use it better than Temeraire as well.
  • Minored in Asskicking: Direct combat is viewed as beneath Celestials in China, so prior to her encounter with Temeraire, she had zero experience with it. After she allies herself with Napoleon, she quickly revolutionizes warfare tactics in France, refines her Divine Wind, and becomes much more of a martial threat.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Her arrival and alliance with Napoleon has revolutionized and improved the lot of every dragon in France, and most of them regard her with hero-worship. This doesn't extend to the humans of France.
  • Wicked Cultured: She's a scholar in various fields, and her knowledge comes in great use for Napoleon.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She's ostracized for being an albino, and only one person ever shows her any affection. When he dies, she has nothing to live for but revenge.

A Regal Copper, the largest breed of dragon available to Britain (though French Grand Chevaliers are known to be larger, and sometimes Petit Chevaliers as well). Like his captain Berkley, Maximus can be grumpy, but their hearts are in the right place.
  • The Big Guy: Maximus takes this position for granted. When Kulingile shows up, there's a certain amount of friction.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Maximus is so big he has trouble with the concept that anything could be a danger to him. Consequently he tends to underestimate serious threats, referring to a virulent plague as "a cold" and a cannonball to the chest as "a scratch."
  • With Catlike Tread: Makes a brief and extremely unsuccessful attempt at stealth in Empire of Ivory.

A Longwing, one of a breed that spits acidic venom, much prized in Britain due to their lack of firebreathers. Lily is typically the center of any formation so that she can deploy her ranged attacks unmolested.

A dragon who disdained harnassing when she was hatched, Perscitia was relegated to the breeding grounds, where she and her prodigious intellect wasted away for at least four books. Then Temeraire happened.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: She later figures out how to work the cannons, and devises other strategies for Temeraire's regiment.
  • Insufferable Genius: And while she easily keeps a grudge if anyone corrects her, she's not that bad an example.
  • Martial Pacifist: hates fighting, though she has no problem with supporting her allies in their battles.
  • The Smart Guy: She gives Temeraire a run for his money; she independently derives the binomial and Pythagorean theorem, and just doesn't quite know the proper names for them.

A Grey Winchester, one of the small speedy dragons used for courier services. Of course, his master is Rankin, so you can imagine how well he's treated.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Well, emotionally, in Rankin's.
  • Dying Alone: Adverted. Just barely thanks to Lawrence's intervention.
  • I Just Want To Be Loved: All Levitas ever wanted his whole life was Rankin's affection. Tragic, considering Rankin is a complete jerk.
  • Parental Neglect: Well, from Levitas' perspective. Dragons regard their riders as most treasured possession or their child or their parent. Rankin treated Levitas quite badly, not that he hated his loyal dragon partner, he just didn't care.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy

Enters into the series as an egg promised the British by the Sultan in Instanbul. The egg hatches on the way home, and Granby takes custody of her. Iskierka is an impulsive, self-important and utterly wrong-headed, but as Britain's one and only firebreather, the Corps is forced to give her a fair bit of leeway.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: She gets distracted easily by gold, riches, and other such valuables, or even the prospect of some.
  • Bling of War: She's fond of displaying her treasure, and insists Granby dresses to match.
    • Note that while the humans find this behavior ridiculous, all the other dragons are jealous. The only thing stopping them from outfitting their own captains this way is the fact that Iskierka, with her talent at capturing enemy ships, is the only one who can afford it.
  • Blood Knight: The only thing she likes better than fighting is looting the prizes she wins by fighting.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: She comes out of her shell particularly willful, and gets only worse after, as the Admiralty and the Corps tend to look over some of her faults as she's a very valuable dragon.
  • Enfante Terrible: She displays bloodthirstiness straight out of the egg, by wanting to kill French dragons attacking.
  • Fiery Redscale: Her scales are colored red, black and violet.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • The Lancer
  • Leeroy Jenkins
  • Playing with Fire
  • Spoiled Brat: Completely and utterly rotten, much to Granby's despair. Even without the Admiralty doing almost anything to hang onto heavyweight dragons and those with special abilities, Iskierka has a deep-seated belief that "I breathe fire, therefore I'm always right."
  • Stalker with a Crush / Stalker with a Test Tube: Wants an egg by Temeraire that would have both her flames and his Divine Wind.

The first of three eggs sent to Australia to hatch. He was born from Arkady and Wringe, and his assigned and accepted captain is Rankin.

Volly (Volatilus)
A Greyling who is part of the courier service. Very fast but somewhat lacking in intelligence.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: As enormous carnivores go, he's adorable.
  • The Ditz: Volatilus is a sweetie, but brains are not his strong point. He's so scatterbrained, in fact, that Laurence and Temeraire initially suspect him of being mentally retarded. He isn't—Greylings just aren't very smart in general, being bred for speed above all else.
    Temeraire: And where, pray, do you come from?
    Volatilus: I was hatched! From an egg!
    And later, this recurring classic:
    Volatilus: Temrer! Cows!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cows!

Introduced (as an egg) in the sixth book. At birth he appears to be deformed, but when Demane is allowed to keep him, he not only survives but turns out to be a beast of exceptional size, larger than a Regal Copper (Britain's largest established dragon breed).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Like most dragons, his Berserk Button is any harm threatened to his captain.
  • Big Eater: Until he neared his adult size, "I am hungry" was his Catch Phrase.
  • The Big Guy: One wonders even how big he would be if he had been given all the food he wanted as a hatchling. His size has made Maximus, the previous Big Guy, rather jealous: but Kulingile is too easy-going to have a real rivalry with.
  • Gentle Giant: Like Maximus, he's a big sweetheart.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He's massive, golden and intimidating. He even speaks with an unnerving reverb. But all poor Kulingile wants is to be like everyone else.
  • Magikarp Power: As a hatchling, his airsacs were so large he could barely move. Only Demane will take care of him; the aviators and dragon-surgeon wanted to mercy-kill him. Later, it's revealed that the airsacs are so big because he is, at full growth, one of the largest dragons anyone in the cast has ever seen. There's one (known) contender in the Incan Empire of his scale, and the Sui-Riu in the eight book are larger (but flightless): but he's still substantially larger than any European dragon.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ordinarily he is laconic and friendly. On the other hand, when Demane (in Crucible of Gold) or Sipho (in Blood of Tyrants) are endangered, he's a Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Voice of the Legion: After he finally outgrows his young high-pitched voice, his voice is described as echoey and as if several people are talking at once.

An Incan dragon with vibrant, feather-like scales. Formerly of the Incan air force, she was tasked with escorting Temeraire and the rest to meet the Sapa Inca. When they had to flee she decided to come with them, having taken a liking to Hammond.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Non-romantic variant. Hammond isn't overly fond of dragons, being prone to airsickness. Churki can't take a hint, however, and eventually he resigns himself to the idea.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: She insists that Hammond marries at least several times and gives her many children to care for. By the time they reach Japan, she's become impatient with his "reluctance".
  • Four-Star Badass: She served in the Incan Army and won many honors. Now she's returned home to her mother to win the greatest honor in her country, a human family to look after.
  • Mama Bear: To Hammond.
  • Screw The Money I have People!: Dragons from Incan culture value their people above all earthly materials and are extremely possessive of them. Churki understands money is sometimes a necessity, but it is nothing compared to having a human family, and she berates any dragon who argues otherwise.
  • This Is My Human: Upon learning Hammond isn't properly part of Temeraire's crew, she starts trying to convince him to stay in South America with her where she can take care of him. When he, in desperation, tries to deflect her attention by saying he has a large family in Britain and can't make such a commitment, she decides to go home with him so she can look after all of them.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: At twenty, Churki is relatively young in dragon years, and for a heavyweight, hasn't come of age yet to be responsible for her own ayllu. Yet she's an excellent tactician that can adapt to any given conflict in any situation. She, like her mother, regards the Napoleonic Wars as silly and childish. Her knowledge of local botany and natural medicine is unrivaled.
    • Values Dissonance: by now, dragons are always the head of Incan ayllu. Having a huge clan to look after is, to her culture, a serious promotion.

Lady Kiyomizu
A Sui Riu water dragon, and one of the noble guardians of Japan. Several hundred years old, she sheltered Laurence and Junichiro who were on the run from the law that forbade foreigners outside of Nagasaki.
  • Dragons Love Shakespeare: She became enamored with the works and playwright of William Shakespeare that Laurence taught her, she demanded he teach her every line he knew in English, and not to bother translating it, as she wanted to memorize the play in its original context and meaning.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: She told Laurence to dispense with all formalities and simply address her as "Kiyo".
    Kiyomizu: There is no point in expecting you to put out sakura blossoms, when you are a bamboo.
  • The High Queen: Dragons are part of the ruling hierarchy of the nation. Kiyomizu is a very powerful figure. Though shocked at her for protecting Lawrence, an outsider, no one in Japan dared to challenge her actions.
  • Lady Drunk: She loves drinking sake as much as she does reading poetry.
  • Making a Splash: She can breathe underwater, ingest and violently expel large qualities of water. She's also capable of heating and discharging boiling water, if need be.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: While boozy, she is no fool, and has initiated the construction of Japan's own Naval fleet.
  • Sea Monster: Kiyo is a heavy weight which extends well over 200 feet in length, more than twice the size of the largest dragons in Europe. Needless to say, sailors are absolutely terrified of her kind.
  • Size Shifter: Incapable of flight, she is of a species that instead possess 'water sacs' or 'glands' that increase their volume and mass depending on the body of water available to them. On land, she's the size of a Yellow Reaper, a middleweight. She can become much larger when entering rivers and lakes, and truly gargantuan if she enters the ocean.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Inverted. Lawrence requests his leave of the noble sea dragon, he frets that he's either going to exhaust Kiyo's kindness and hospitality, or get her into trouble for harboring him. Kiyo however doesn't want him to leave.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Dragons generally live two to three times longer than men. The Sui Riu are even more long lived than European dragons, with a lifespan in excess of several hundred years.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Her attitude toward Laurence.

Tales of the Five Hundred KingdomsCharacters/LiteratureThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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