Characters: The 39 Clues

You know the drill. This is a listing of characters for The 39 Clues. Beware of unmarked spoilers!


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    Main Characters 

Daniel Arthur "Dan" Cahill

  • Justified Criminal: Sure, he and Amy often break into places where they aren't supposed to be and steal international treasures, such a priceless painting, but it's often portrayed as justified, because if they don't do it first, one of their rivals with (assumedly) less pure intentions will.
  • Kid Hero: Eleven in the first series, thirteen in the second series, and lovably immature in both.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Like his sister, he's one of the nicest and most sympathetic characters (at least initially)and crazy about Grace's cat, Saladin.
  • Little Miss Con Artist: A male example, when the situation calls for it. He may seem like an innocent kid, but don't be surprised to discover later that he's picked your pocket.

Amy Cahill

  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Ian fell for her just as she was beginning to (allegedly) get over her crush on him—although Crushed later showed that she wasn't quite as "over him" as she believed herself to be.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Her and Dan's lack of knowledge about the clues gives them a unique perspective on the Hunt, as well as keeps them from doing such reprehensible things as the other teams do to get clues.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Seems to be Jake's perspective, in which the rule-breaking Amy is the "wild" one.
  • Young and in Charge: Becomes the head of the Madrigal branch and, to an extent, the Cahill family.

Nellie Gomez

  • Action Girl: On occasion.
  • Adults Are Useless: A definite subversion. (She's twenty in the first series and twenty-two in the second, by the way.)
  • Chekhov's Skill: Has many talents that come in handy during the clue hunt.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Nellie's learned so many things that help the Cahills on their quest. Although near the end of the series it's revealed that Grace knew she'd end up being their nanny one day, so she paid for plenty of Nellie's learning (such as being trilingual and knowing how to fly a plane).
  • Cool Big Sis: To Amy and Dan. She becomes an actual "big sis" to them, or at least family, when she becomes one of their legal guardians at the end of the first series.
  • Dreadful Musician: Apparently, Nellie's musical talent... leaves quite a bit to be desired.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Invoked; when Amy and Dan don't want her to listen to their conversations, they have her put her earbuds in.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Not only is she one of the most consistently nice characters in the entire series, she love Team Pet Saladin.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: She says she signed on as an au pair and not a nanny, despite the fact that the former is basically just Gratuitous French for the latter.
  • Mama Bear: Though her relationship with Amy and Dan becomes more reminiscent of a sibling bond, this still applies.
  • Spicy Latina: Part Mexican.
  • Team Chef: Loves to cook and so is in charge of many of the meals.

Saladin

The Cahills' pet Egyptian Mau. Originally belonged to Grace Cahill.

  • Action Pet: It is implied that he helped Grace on her missions.
  • Cool Cat: See above. No wonder he stays so collected with Amy and Dan dragging him around the world on all their adventures!
  • Nonhuman Sidekick: To Amy and Dan in the first series. As of Cahills vs. Vespers, he is safe in the Comm. Center, pestering Ian.
  • Team Pet: Goes everywhere with Amy and Dan. If he's there, they probably are, too.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He loves red snapper—so much that, in One False Note, he refuses to eat anything else. (However, in The Medusa Plot, it's shown that he has also developed a taste for caviar.)

    Enemies in the Clue Hunt 

Ian Kabra

Ian is introduced as Natalie's handsome, scheming older brother, befitting his status as a high-ranking Lucian. Like his sister, he joins the clue hunt on orders from his mother, whom he follows blindly. In The Sword Thief, he plays on Amy's crush on him and uses her and Dan to get the Clue and leaves them for dead in a cave. This leaves him with a nagging feeling of guilt which culminates in his and Natalie's abandoning the Kabra family at the end of the series. As of the end of Cahills vs. Vespers, he is completely on his own, as both his mother and sister are dead, and his father is still in hiding.

  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Amy's Archie in terms of personality, but the Betty in that he seems to have known Amy for longer than Evan or Jake have. (He's said so himself: they have a "considerable history.")
  • Break the Haughty: After his mother's betrayal, although he didn't take it as badly as Natalie. And then, it gets worse. In Cahills vs. Vespers, his sister is held captive by Vespers, and when they finally reunite, she is killed by the Vespers' Doomsday machine—actually bringing Ian to tears. Soon afterward, his mother dies, as well.
  • Broken Ace: Let's see: devastatingly handsome, charming, very rich,manipulative, badass, can speak multiple languages and play the piano... but along with his many talents comes a lot of pressure and parental issues.
  • Brother-Sister Team: With Natalie.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Toward Amy in Rapid Fire: Crushed.
  • Chick Magnet: He is said to have numerous girls fawning over him, though the only named character who has been shown to harbor an interest in him was Amy.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Faces a great deal of it in the latter half of the original series.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In Rapid Fire: Fireworks, the great Ian Kabra is rendered stunned by the sight of Amy in a fancy gown.
  • Emancipated Child: He and Natalie declare themselves this in Into the Gauntlet.
  • Siblings in Crime: With Natalie. And then, their mother gets involved....
  • Smart People Play Chess: In One False Note, readers are told that Ian is very intelligent, and this is demonstrated by his decision to play chess against a super-computer.
  • Smug Snake: Or, one might say, a cocky Cobra. He gets a little better after his Heel-Face Turn, although he definitely still has his moments of arrogance.
  • Spoiled Brat: His parents raised him to think that being a Kabra makes virtually everything your birthright.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Operation Trinity shows him watching Amy come home from school via a surveillance camera (although, technically, the crush didn't really manifest until later).
  • The Beautiful Elite: He and his sister are immediately established as rich, well-dressed, well-traveled, charming, and - of course - unbelievably good-looking.
  • The Proud Elite: He's dark, described as very good-looking, and is extremely full of himself. He starts off pretty evil, but turns out to have hidden morals.
  • The Rival: He and Natalie are a Brother-Sister Team like Amy and Dan, but with more money and resources. Ian is Amy's age, and Natalie is Dan's.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In the Sequel Series, Cahills vs. Vespers, at least initially.
  • Too Clever by Half: Is highly intelligent (he can beat a supercomputer at chess) but, as his sister notes, is somewhat lacking in common sense, which can lead him to make mistakes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Although he still isn't the nicest guy in the world.

Natalie Kabra

Ian's younger sister who is just as scheming as he is. She dislikes doing dirty work and aspires to please her mother in every way. She starts out as a Rich Bitch but by the end of the series she and Ian realize that they were following Isabel mostly out of fear and leave the Kabras once she is thrown in prison. In the Sequel Series, she is one of the captives of the Vespers, and in Day of Doom, she is Killed Off for Real in the fight against them.

  • Action Fashionista: She's quite handy with dart gun, and dreams of someday shopping in every country.
  • Afraid of Blood: Hates the stuff, and strongly resists going near Nellie when the latter is wounded.
  • Ambiguously Brown: She's described as having dark skin, but the only other clue to what ethnicity she may be is her last name.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Ian, occasionally. However, they are shown to care deeply for each other, just like Amy and Dan do.
  • The Fashionista: Natalie is always whining about something spoiling her designer clothes.
  • Girly Bruiser: A villainous version. At least, initially.

Alistair Oh

A South Korean businessman hailing from Seoul, Alistair made his fortune from selling the microwavable burrito. But by the time of the series his money is running out and he swaps the million dollars for a hint to the first clue. He is an Ekaterina. Throughout the series often offers to help Amy and Dan, but they are openly distrustful of him: because not only does he seem fond of double-crossing them, he was there on the night of the fire that killed their parents. In Trust No One, he is Killed Off for Real.

  • Friendly Enemy: He may be a rival to Amy and Dan in the clue hunt, but he's always perfectly polite and nice to them, even when he's stabbing them in the back.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Spends his final moments either telling the others to be brave or that they are brave.
  • The Obi-Wan: Has some shades of this. Sometimes.

Irina Spasky

"You are afraid of everything except what you should fear."

A Lucian ex-KGB agent who agrees to trade the one million dollars for a hint to the first clue at Grace's funeral. Throughout the series, Irina works behind the scenes, following Amy and Dan and threatening people with her poisons. By the time the sixth book rolls around, however, it's revealed that there's way more to her than we originally thought. Then, she dies.

  • Rogue Agent: So she claims. In actuality, she works for Isabel. Look where that got her.
  • Russian Girl Suffers Most: She lost her son, was treated as a servant by Isabel, and finally dies in a fire when Isabel sees it a bother to rescue her.
  • Sacrificial Lion: You know the newly-introduced Isabel is a real threat when Irina dies in the fire she set. That wasn't Isabel's goal (she was after Amy, Dan, and Alistair instead, but it's the first fatality of the hunt and after several books without a casualty, the death drives home how dangerous the competition is.

Jonah Wizard

International hip-hop sensation and teen idol, Jonah fits very nicely into the family's Janus branch. His mother is the famous Cora Wizard, who set up his career. Jonah joins the clue hunt to please her because she wants the master serum for herself. At the beginning he is only concerned about his public image, but after he befriends Dan in The Emperor's Code this begins to change. Because of his concern of what other people think of him, he doesn't let anyone know about his secret love of Shakespeare's works.

The Holts

A Tomas family consisting of Eisenhower Holt, his wife Mary-Todd, and their children Hamilton, Madison, and Reagan, the Holts excel at everything athletic but are not the brightest crayons in the box. Out of the five of them, Hamilton is the most sympathetic, and is the one who forms alliances with Amy and Dan. He was the one who went into the gauntlet, and as such the rest of the family was taken hostage by Isabel Kabra.

The Starlings

Genius thirteen-year-old triplets who turn down their three million dollars in favor of the Clue Hunt. All three are Ekaterina. They don't stick around, however — in the very first book they are severely injured and hospitalized by a blast set up by the Holts for Amy and Dan. They don't appear again until Book 10, wherein it's shown that Ted was blinded by the blast and can only see light and dark, whereas Ned frequently has migraines that interrupt his ability to think. Out of the three it's Sinead who we get to see the most of because she was the least injured. In the Cahills vs. Vespers Mission 4, Sinead is revealed to be working for the Vespers: as Vesper Three, The Mole, in fact. However, she makes a Heel-Face Turn in Day of Doom.

  • Green Eyes: Sinead, at least, is mentioned to have them; no canonical word on her brothers'.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Sinead rejoins the side of the Cahills in Day of Doom.
    • Heel-Face Revolving Door: She starts out as an enemy, then turns good at the end of Into the Gauntlet, then becomes The Mole for the Vespers, then joins the Cahills again.

    Other Major Characters 

Grace Cahill

Beatrice's younger sister, Fiske's older sister, Hope's mother, and Amy and Dan's grandmother, she was one of the last genuinely nice Cahills. After she dies of sickness she chooses some of her relatives, the ones most likely to succeed in the clue hunt and by extension the gauntlet, and offers either one million dollars or a hint to the first clue to them. Amy and Dan really were her favorites, and they spent almost every weekend with her. She was a Madrigal.

  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: One of the few family members who are kind to Amy and Dan before the clue hunt, and very fond of her pet, Saladin.

Arthur Trent and Hope Cahill

Amy and Dan's parents. They died in a fire set by Isabel Kabra (accompanied by Alistair, Irina Spasky, Cora Wizard, and Eisenhower Holt and his wife) after they refused to share information and were avid Madrigal clue hunters. Arthur was the one who got Eisenhower expelled from West Point Military Academy.

  • Death by Origin Story: They were killed in a fire prior to the events of the first series.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Played with a bit. Though Amy and Dan initially remember their parents nothing but fondly, once they learn that they were Madrigals, their feelings are briefly called into check. In the Sequel Series, something similar happens when the siblings find out that Arthur was a Vesper.
  • Defecting for Love: When Arthur met Hope Cahill, he was a Vesper. He stopped his Cahill-hating ways once he married her.

The Man In Black/ Fiske Cahill

Initially, a mysterious character who seems to be following the Cahill siblings as they hunt for clues. He turns out to be Beatrice and Grace's younger brother, Amy and Dan's great-uncle.

Isabel Kabra

Ian and Natalie's mother, a Lucian whose elegant and superficial exterior conceals a great deal of wickedness. She is the Big Bad of the first series. In Cahills vs. Vespers, she is revealed to be Vesper Two, but after the death of her daughter, she consumes the master serum and kills innumerable Vespers and even Damien Vesper himself, though she dies in the process.

  • Abusive Parents: And how. To her, the safety and mental health of her children are a small price to pay to accumulate power.
  • The Fashionista: She can have you murdered and look good doing it.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Both of her children seek to gain her approval (especially Natalie).
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After she drinks the Lucian part of the master serum (giving her ultimate intelligence and strategic skills) it's hinted she finally snaps.
  • You Killed Our Parents: Amy and Dan towards Isabel (along with others). But she takes the chief blame for acting like a cocky idiot and burning the house down recklessly, along with threatening their child.

     Other Minor Characters 

Bae Oh

Alistair's uncle, who raised him after the death of his father who Bae killed. He is the leader of the Ekaterina branch or at least, he was.

  • Evil Uncle: He's completely willing to murder family members if it gets him somewhere. Then again, that's not so unusual for Cahills... but Bae's willing to kill immediate family members, which seems to be much more taboo among them.

Cora Wizard

Jonah's mother.

Broderick T. Wizard

Jonah's father.

William McIntyre

Grace Cahill's lawyer and a friend to Amy, Dan, and Fiske. He is Killed Off for Real in the Cahills vs. Vespers series.

Shep Trent

  • Cool Uncle: Amy and Dan call him "uncle," even though he was actually their father's cousin. (He and Arthur grew up thinking of each other like brothers.)

Nataliya Ruslanova Radova

Kurt

Lester

A helpful young man that the Cahills encounter in Storm Warning.

  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Death by drowning in quicksand—after he got caught in it when he was trying to help Isabel's henchmen get out of it.

Beatrice Cahill

Grace's and Fiske's older sister, an eccentric old woman who could care less about the Cahill family history. It's revealed in the "Black Book of Buried Secrets" that this is only so because she couldn't handle the pressure put on by her sister and brother, who excelled in all the tests.

Vikram Kabra

The father of Ian and Natalie and the husband of Isabel. Thus far, he has not appeared in the series in the flesh.

     Characters From the Sequel Series, Cahills vs. Vespers 

Evan Tolliver

Introduced in Vespers Rising as a boy who goes to school with Amy and Dan. In The Medusa Plot, he has been dating Amy for several months. After the Cahills fend off an attack by the Vespers in full view of Evan, he becomes understandably confused, and gets even more confused and upset when Amy cuts off contact with him in fear of him finding out about her family history. Eventually, however, Evan does find out about the Cahill story, as a result of his immediately being able to identify the obscure type of cell phone that Vesper One is using. Also because of this, Evan is invited to join Ian and Sinead at the Cahill Command Center, and helps them do research to aid Amy and Dan in their missions around the world. Evan is still helping the Cahills in A King's Ransom and The Dead of Night, and is becoming increasingly worried about Amy. In Day Of Doom, he is shot and Killed Off for Real.

Casper Wyoming

A character, not the place. A Vesper who was named after a city where his parents robbed a bank. He's proud of that. He was formerly Vesper Six, until his twin sister Cheyenne took his place.

  • Brother-Sister Team: With Cheyenne, although he harbors a bit of resentment toward her for replacing him as Vesper Six.
  • Siblings in Crime: He and Cheyenne—and seeing as their parents named them after bank robberies they committed, it apparently runs in the family.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Both he and Cheyenne are named after their parents' bank robberies in (alliterating) cities in Wyoming.

Cheyenne Wyoming

Like her twin, Casper, Cheyenne is a character not to be confused with the city. She is pretty dangerous, especially when she's working alongside her brother. She is Vesper Six.

  • Brother-Sister Team: With Casper, though she has shown a willingness to sabotage him if it suits her purposes.

Atticus Rosenbloom

A genius eleven-year-old friend of Dan's.

Jake Rosenbloom

The older brother of Atticus.

  • Official Couple: With Amy, as of Day of Doom.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Downplayed, but still visible, when he and Amy are working together.
  • Smooch of Victory: Amy gives him a jubilant kiss on the cheek in The Dead of Night when he makes a big discovery, leading a stunned Jake to utter the infamous "Wore yelcome."
  • Third-Option Love Interest: For Amy Cahill. She chooses him in Day of Doom, though it remains to be seen whether this relationship will last in the third series or not.
  • Tsundere: A male version.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: The "uptight" in contrast to Amy's "wild." However, once he realizes why the Cahills do the things they do, he loosens up a bit.

Milos Vanek

An Interpol agent tracking Amy and Dan across the globe.

  • Badass Normal: Well, he's not a Cahill, Vesper, or Guardian, as far as we know, but he still manages to be a fairly epic guy.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He was chasing Amy and Dan for most of the second series, and even temporarily got them a couple of times. He was featured prominently in Shatterproof and then was never mentioned again.

Luna Amato

An Interpol agent and a Vesper who trails Dan and Amy through Europe.

     Ancestral Cahill Family 

Gideon and Olivia Cahill

The parents of Luke, Katherine, Thomas, and Jane Cahill, as well as Madeleine. Gideon invented the master serum which is made by combining the 39 ingredients revealed by following the eponymous Clues.

Luke Cahill

The oldest Cahill sibling, and the founder of the Lucian branch.

  • Badass Cape: Wears one later in life, when he works as a royal advisor. It adds to his menacing appearance.
  • Green Eyes: He apparently inherited them from his mother Olivia.

Katherine Cahill

The second-oldest Cahill sibling, who founded the Ekaterina branch.

Thomas Cahill

The third-oldest Cahill child and the founder of the Tomas branch.

Jane Cahill

The youngest Cahill not counting Madeleine and the founder of the Janus branch.

Madeleine Cahill

The last child of Gideon and Olivia Cahill, born after Gideon's death, who founded the Madrigal branch.

     Characters From the Unstoppable Series 

J. Rutherford Pierce

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Head of a media empire, a position he abuses to destroy the reputations of Amy and Dan and garner support for a presidential run (as a stepping stone to world dominance.)
  • Man Scorned: He never forgave Hope Cahill for turning him down, and since someone already beat him to the punch in killing her, he decides to take it out on her children. With slander - and murder.
  • Take Over the World: His goal is to use the presidency to turn the United States into a dictatorship and then start a world war in order to rule the world.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: To his children, Galt and Cara
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's a media mogul, so of course the media loves him, at least if they want to keep their jobs.

April May/ Cara Pierce

  • Friendly Enemy: With Pony.
  • Geek: One of the best computer hackers in the world.
  • Walking Spoiler: She keeps true identity as Pierce's daughter, Cara a closely-guarded secret.