Childhood Brain Damage: Played for Laughs at one point, when Garion comments that maybe his tendency to charge into dangerous situations without thinking about the danger is because his Aunt Pol dropped him on his head as a baby. Belgarath counters that Polgara is very careful "with babies and other breakable things".
Clueless Chick Magnet: Midway through the series, Garion's descent from Belgarath is common knowledge, but his identity as the Rivan king is still a secret (even to him). Since Belgarath's family is the most noble in the world basically by default, this briefly makes Garion the most eligible bachelor in the West, a fact he was neither aware of nor prepared for
Combat Pragmatist: Having been mentored by the likes of Silk and Belgarath, Garion has never met a fair fight that he likes.
Unskilled, but Strong: Especially in the first series, where he lacks finesse and experience, but has enough raw power to terrify the Grolim Hierarchs (though notably, not the likes of Ctuchik). This isn't really rectified either—it's just that by the second series his raw power is so significant that his lack of talent doesn't matter.
Angsty Surviving Twin: Polgara, who was very close to her sister and outlived her thanks to being a sorcerer.
"To this very day, if you're impolite enough to ask Polgara how old she is, she'll probably say something like, 'We're about three thousand- or so.' Beldaran's been gone for a long time, but she still looms very large in Polgara's conception of the world."
Badass: She stormed a castle in order to save Garion, resisted a god trying to submit her to his will, banished a freakin demon (though in that instance, Aldur was helping her a little), and is pretty much as feared as her father (if not more). She gets it from her mother.
Brainy Brunette: Their mother sorcerously altered both twins in the womb to prepare them for their roles in life, including making Polgara this as opposed to Beldaran's blonde hair.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: When she decides to transform Salmissra into a giant snake, thus freeing her from all her human nature and all the drugs her body was suffering from.
Doomed Hometown: Though he hadnt lived there for centuries, Belgarath is upset when he discovers that his unnamed home village was destroyed in the Torak cataclysm.
Disappeared Dad: Belgaraths mother died when he was a child, and he doesnt know who his father was.
Eccentric Mentor: Belgarath has several bad habits- the stealing and overimbibing and all that business in Maragor after Poledra's death- and he generally looks like a tramp, but he is still Aldur's first disciple and quite capable of demonstrating why all the Grolims are terrified of him.
Grandpa What Massive Hotness You Have: He's the oldest person in the world short of the gods and looks appropriately venerable for an aged sorcerer, yet pulls this off when he strips to his briefs to dive into a lake and shows off his impressive physique in the process.
Interspecies Romance: His beloved wife was originally a wolf he encountered in wolf form while travelling, and became his companion, and eventually his lover when she learned how to shapeshift from him.
Large Ham: He is a professional story teller and he uses it whenever he can.
You Can't Go Home Again: He was born as Garath in a now long forgotten village, and was orphaned as a child. He ran away in his teens after getting a beating from a farmer who's daughter he got caught necking with, and ended up in Aldurs valley. When the Torak cataclysm occured centuries later, Belgaraths hometown was destroyed, severing the last link to his past.
Overshadowed by Awesome: At the beginning Durnik is just a Sendarian blacksmith in the company of a master thief, a competent warrior and two sorcerers. He become more and more prominent as the story goes along though.
Unskilled, but Strong: One of the reasons for his success as a fighter in the first series. Durnik may not be a warrior, but he's a big man and as a smith he possesses formidable upper body strength. He gains more talent as the story progresses.
The Berserker: Barak's an unwilling heroic example. Apparently this kind of thing is common in Cherek warriors, even the ones who don't turn into bears.
The Big Guy: He fullfills this role in Pawn of Prophecy. In the later books he's The Hero of The Big Guy Band, doing his best to keep the likes of Hettar, Mandorallen, and Relg in line.
Cursed with Awesome: Barak's "curse" is to turn into a bear when Garion Heir to the long-empty throne of Riva and Overlord of the West by treaty is threatened. A rampaging, unstoppable bear. At first he thinks it's just a progressive ailment and attempts suicide, but once he gets filled in on the trigger conditions (i.e., his family is now the hereditary protectors of Garion's family), he contemplates tasteful ways to work it into his coat of arms. Who wouldn't want to advertise that?
Dual Wielding: With a sword in one hand and a battleaxe in the other.
Fiction 500: At one point in the Malloreon, Zakath is wondering if Silk's holdings in the empire should be shut down. One of his advisors points out that if they did, the empire's economy would collapse.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: If he likes you, he's sarcastic. If he doesn't like you, he's sarcastic. If he's worried, he's sarcastic. If he's feeling fine, he's sarcastic. Only a few things ever break through his shell of smartassery.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At one point during The Mallorean, certain parties conspire to have one of Silk's fellow spies killed. The woman in question is an old friend/enemy, but someone Silk had immense respect for. His response to their conspiracy eventually causes a mass exodus of all the most powerful people related to the plot, surrounded by guards, and many of them simply do not make it out.
Sarcastic Devotee: At one point Garion notes that he understands now why Belgarath was so consistently irritated at Silk throughout the entire series - leadership is hard enough without someone standing behind you providing a sarcastic running commentary.
Revenge: Seeks to depopulate Cthol Murgos singlehandedly in vengeance for a Murgo raid that killed his parents. He has to be physically restrained by his friends to prevent him killing Murgos at inopportune times.
Serial Killer: How the Murgos view him, and they're not entirely wrong.
Breast Expansion: Ce'Nedra suggested that Polgara could use sorcery to correct her "deficiencies", but Polgara refused, using magic for plastic surgery is apparently very dangerous
Breast Plate: Justified, believe it or not. Ce'Nedra intends to speak to an army, and it's very important that she look like a queen and not a little girl (or boy). Problem is, she's very flat. So she has an armourer solve her problem (after a very long debate).
Inelegant Blubbering: Polgara tells her she shouldn't cry in public; she hasn't the right coloring for it.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Tolnedra is an equatorial country and much warmer than the Alorn kingdoms, and Dryads often dress very Stripperiffically, so Ce'Nedra often wears skimpy clothing and has a tendency towards casual nudity. This behaviour lead to the Sendarian ambassador resigning his post after walking in on her in lingerie.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Shortly after her first appearance she tries to get out of going to Riva by sneaking out of Tol Honeth with dyed hair and an increasingly unconvincing false identity. It doesn't work, and even if it had, she almost immediately runs into the protagonists, who take her to Riva anyway. Because Destiny Says So.
Spell My Name with an S: In-Universe example. Dryad names always have an X in them, but hers seems to break the rule. In The Malloreon it's explained that it can also be spelled "Xe'Nedra." After a moment of trying to pronounce it, Garion decides to keep calling her Ce'Nedra. It's also implied she tries to work an X into her daughter Beldaran's name.
Tsundere: Ce'Nedra makes most anime Tsunderes look amateurish. A good capsule description of her is "Asuka, only having traded in all of her self-esteem issues for even more self-centeredness."
Some parts of the books are told from her point of view. It's truly fascinating to read her inner monologue, she can literally go from adoring Garion to hating him like the plague in the subsequent sentence.
Sir Mandorallen, Baron of Vo Mandor
Armour Is Useless: Averted. Mandorallen's armour is probably the only reason he's still alive.
BADASS: He slays lions with his bare hands. He attacks Algroth packs for fun. He threatens Tolnedran legions by himself. He refuses to fight an enraged Garion—because he doesn't want to hurt him. In a World of Badass, Mandorallen manages to stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Badass Normal: All that crazy stuff we just mentioned? He does it with no powers or supernatural aid of any kind.
Heroic Bastard: He is "The Bastard of Vo Mandor" due to some irregularities surrounding his birth.
Hidden Depths: Mandorallen isn't overly burdened with brains, but he's still got plenty of depth beneath his Knight In Shining Armour exterior, and is far more socially intuitive than many members of the group.
Love Triangle: His love is married to an older man she respects far too much to cheat on. For that matter Mandorallen respects them both too much to ask her to. Eventually settled when her husband dies and Garion orders the two to get married in order to settle all this crap. Ending a war in the process.
Parody Sue: Mandorallean is an Affectionate Parody of the knights from medieval fairy tales and Arthurian lore- virtually invincible, brave, noble beyond reproach and respected by his peers. Nonetheless, he's very dumb, he constantly throws himself into avoidable danger, he lacks the emotional maturity to handle fear, and that same Honor Before Reason attitude that makes him so heroic is also the cause of many problems in his life.
Arguably it's both his best quality and greatest weakness- one of his first actions in the series is to insist on Garion knowing every detail of a plot to rebel against the crown that he is part of, since Garion is his friend and he trusts him totally. Despite the fact that he literally met Garion that day.
Only the Chosen May Wield: As Torak was very painfully shown, the Orb will pay back any use of its power it does not consent to. When Torak sundered the world with it, it responded by crippling Torak and causing him to burn for eternity.
Ambiguous Disorder: He's described as being a "pure innocent", but he seems to suffer from some kind of learning disability: he can initially only say his own name and has problems speaking even after learning other words, and doesn't seem to understand the concept of danger, either with relation to his personal safety, or how dangerous the Orb is. It's actually because he's an ...
Amnesiac God: He was supposed to be a god but the Accident ended up causing Torak to replace him
I Owe You My Life: 'Owe' is a stretch, but after Relg saves her life, she finds herself fascinated by him, due in some part to her gratitude for his saving her life.
Irony: When she was first rescued, she despised religion and honoured no god. As of the Malloreon, she and Relg are living in Maragor, under the eye of Mara.
Last Of Her Kind: She's the last living Marag, descended from those who were imprisoned and carried out of Maragor to be slaves. There were actually more Marags in the slave pens under Rak Cthol, but after the city was destroyed, she was the last one left.
Massive Numbered Children: Mara 'interferes' with her reproductive system after she and Relg marry and locate to Maragor, so Taiba keeps having children in twos and threes. We never see any of the kids, though, or get any kind of number- though given a God's capabilities, the number probably reached three digits at some point.
Outliving One's Offspring: She had twin baby girls before Garion and co found her, but they were sacrificedby Ctuchik. This, above all, was the catalyst that drove her to escape, steal a knife and look for Ctuchik so she could kill him. (She got lost, which is when Garion and co found her.)
Please Put Some Clothes On: Relg is outraged by her nakedness when they first meet, even when Taiba points out that she doesn't have any other clothes- and that she's not ashamed of her body, so she really has no reason to want more clothes.
Satellite Character: Taiba's whole reason for existing is to marry Relg and give birth to the Marags. That's it. She's rarely seen without Relg, and she isn't seen at all after the Belgariad concludes.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Her relationship with Relg started this way- both of them were attracted to each other, but Relg kept denouncing her sinful life, while she kept challenging him about his religion and some of his more illogical extremes.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Runs his nation, leads his army, and commands his fleet. He's also very intelligent and does his best to keep abreast of world events and assist Belgarath.
Stay in the Kitchen: Subverted. When Ce'Nedra demands the Alorn kings follow her, Anheg sides with the conservative Brand and does all the talking...in order to preemptively sabotage any arguments Brand might raise against her.
Queen Islena of Cherek
Achievements in Ignorance: It's illegal to throw a priest into the dungeon without evidence. Islena doesn't know that, and Grodeg knows she doesn't know that — so he's forced to do everything Islena demands of him because he really doesn't want to be thrown into the dungeon. Anheg finds the entire situation hilarious.
Brainless Beauty: When Anheg is asked why he married her, his response is that "It certainly wasn't for her brains!"
Took a Level in Badass: Initially Islena is a pompous wuss who caves in every time Grodeg shouts at her. She finally has enough, threatens to have him muzzled and thrown in jail, and ships he and the rest of the Bear-Cult off to join the army. Anheg is impressed.
Weak-Willed: Is initially totally under the thumb of Grodeg, Chief Priest of Belar. With some help from Merel and Porenn she eventually overcomes this.
Merel of Trellheim
Alternate Character Interpretation: The characters in-universe believe that she's a spiteful, petty bitch who is choosing to make Barak's life hell. Many fans believe that she's a woman who's trapped in a marriage she doesn't want and is doing her best to get revenge on the man who, while drunk, later rapes her.
Happily Married: By the end, and after an intervention from the Purpose of the Universe itself.
Hidden Depths: Merel appears to be a shallow, petty bitch. The "petty" and the "bitch" are right on the money, but there's more to her than meets the eye, and we see it as early as Pawn of Prophecy when she stands up to Anheg on Barak and Garion's behalf.
Rape as Backstory: How her marriage with Barak started. She even locked the door and he knocked it down. No wonder she's incredibly spiteful to him at first.
This is, unusually, acknowledged by Barak at first, who seems to be genuinely contrite.
Regent for Life: Brand is part of a long line of Rivan Warders, who vowed to rule the island and protect the Orb until the Rivan King returned. Unlike his predecessors, Brand is actually able to give up this position.
Papa Wolf: To Ce'Nedra. Despite it being a binding treaty his nation signed, does everything he can to get Ce'Nedra out of the ceremony at Riva, where he fears she'll be humiliated. Despite constantly bickering with her, it's evident he loves her.
King on His Deathbed: In the Malloreon. He was already very old to start with, as the intrigue in Tolnedra in the Belgariad all centers around who his successor will be, so this is a Foregone Conclusion.
The Emperor: Well, duh. Tolnedra is actually a medium sized country leaning towards the smallish, but he still has a very long arm as Tolnedra is the economic powerhouse of most of the world and has an international highway system controlled by its legions. As a result, Ran Borune is not afraid to throw his weight around when it comes to politics, though he only gets his way some of the time.
Affably Evil: For a given value of evil, again, following her shapeshifting. Snakes don't generally see much point in being rude. You piss them off, they bite you. Then it's done.
Bad Boss: known for killing off incompetent/insubordinate underlings, though usually they manage to kill each other first.
Baleful Polymorph: Sort of. For her shenanigans, Polgara transforms her into a giant snake, permanently. Actually ends up being a better monarch and, peculiarly, a much nicer person (relatively speaking), this way.
Character Development: actually rather improves after being turned into a snake and, while being coldly logical, is generally quite polite.
God Save Us from the Queen!: Has a nasty habit of killing off her eunuchs on a whim, and is described as having the most absolute, iron-fisted rule over her people out of all the monarchs in the West.
Legacy Character: picked at age 12 for her physical resemblance to the original Salmissra, and named as such.
Really Gets Around: prior to her shapeshifting. The potions that keep her looking young have the side effect of making her really, really horny. This holds true for all previous Salmissras and is the reason for all the palace servants being eunuchs.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: a curious variant. Personally, as a snake, she's somewhat disturbing to most people. Personality wise, however, she isn't that unpleasant.
Smug Snake: Ironically, she loses this quality after she transforms into a snake. Before, it was very much present.
Axe Crazy: He actually foams at the mouth in combat.
Badass: A veritable force of nature on the battlefield.
The Berserker: Goes utterly mad(er) while fighting. He utterly terrifies his troops, but at the same time, galvanises them. It's as though by giving into his madness they feel that they too may become as invincible as he.
Bling of War: Taur Urgas' chainmail is dipped in red Angarak gold. Rather than making it look overly pretty, it instead makes him look as though he has bathed in blood.
The Brute: He may be the King of Cthol Murgos, but one could definitely make the case of Taur Urgas being The Brute. He's got all the hallmarks of the personality: no empathy, totally Axe Crazy, a Berserker in combat, and he also seems to fit in terms of his position and role in the villainous hierarchy: he's the ruler of one of the largest countries subject to Torak, and provides manpower and muscle for the Angarak armies, while still being subject to Ctuchik, Torak's Dragon.
Compelling Voice: Torak is a God, unless you're inhumanly strong willed and have something (intense pain or love) to act as a shield, it is literally impossible to disobey him. It's his favorite tactic: Zedar doesn't want to work for me? Too bad, he has to. My humans don't like each other? I'll force them to co-operate. Belgarion wants to fight? I'll brainwash him into thinking he's my son. Polgara doesn't love me? We'll see about that...
Cool Mask: Wears a steel mask to hide his maiming. All of his followers wear one too.
Cool Sword: Cthrek Goru, his infamous cursed black sword. It instills fear in those who see it.
Artifact of Doom: Arguably. It does seem to be one of the Dark Prophecy's favourite tools, having been present at three separate EVENTs.
BFS: Though Torak, being a god, is able to wield it one-handed.
Narcissist: Torak cannot conceive of a world that doesn't revolve around him. In the Book of Torak he claims to have created the Universe (his own mother). He's also one in the classic sense, being utterly obsessed with his own appearance.
Precocious Crush: When Silk was an up-and-coming star of the Intelligence Service, he'd often play dolls with the boss's niece, Liselle, who was approximately twenty years younger than him. As an adult, she pursued him and caught him.
Cynicism Catalyst: being tricked by Taur Urgas into killing the woman he loved, thinking that she was a traitor. Before, he was kind, intelligent and cultured young man. After, he was a stone cold psychopath who amused himself by periodically sending Taur Urgas bits of his relatives in ornate jars, with highly insulting notes attached.
Defeat Means Friendship: Zakath is one of the rare pre-emptive examples of this trope, in that after finally dawning to just how thoroughly the odds are against him he decides to just skip the 'defeat' and go straight to the 'friendship'.
"You know something, Garion? I've always believed that someday you and I would go to war with each other. Would you be terribly disappointed if I decided not to show up?"
Despair Event Horizon: Hit in the backstory, after one of Taur Urgas' plots against him resulted in the death of his girlfriend at his own hands, believing that she was going to kill him on the wedding night.
Drunk with Power: Zakath's initial motivation is basically just power for power's sake. In an unusual twist Zakath is well aware that he's totally corrupted by power and simply doesn't care. He warns Ce'Nedra that inevitably, Garion will be the same way.
Dye or Die: Zakath grows a beard after joining the heroes in The Malloreon to avoid being recognized as Emperor.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Zakath planned to become Overking of Angarak and then ruler of the world. He assumed that Garion was going to forge the nations of the West into an empire and then wage war on him until there was only one man standing. He was genuinely surprised to learn that Garion had no plans for world domination at all.
Revenge by Proxy/Sins of Our Fathers: Plans to exterminate every single member of the Urga family—and possibly all of Cthol Murgos—because of what Taur Urgas made him do. Results in a breakdown when he finds out that he's too late and his war was for nothing — the Urga line had been broken already by Taur Urgas' death, as Urgit, Taur Urgas' successor, turns out to be a result of infidelity on the part of his wife with a Drasnian representative.
Royal Rapier: Played with. 'Zakath is a trained fencer, and all his sword-fighting experience is with a rapier. Than Garion comes along and makes his BFS as light as one...
Ascended Extra: A minor antagonist in the first series; a major player in the second.
Almighty Janitor: Technically the Chief Eunuch is only supposed to run Salmissra's household for her, but since Salmissra just plain doesn't care about running her country, this gives Sadi roughly the same level as authority as the Prime Minister or President of a modern constitutional monarchy.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Justified. Sadi's brilliance as a poisoner stems from his experience as Chief Eunuch at the Nyissan court; if you want to live very long you get very good at surviving.
Badass: Eventually becomes one of the few badass eunuchs in fiction.
Drugs Are Bad: Downplayed. Sadi's drug-dealing and abuse is portrayed as a bad thing, but isn't treated as anything worse than Silk's thievery and drinking.
Leads to a bit of in-universe Values Dissonance when he asks why Alorns, who have no problem with chopping people in half, are so upset by drugs and poisons. All they can do is shrug their shoulders and say "It's a cultural thing."
Token Evil Teammate: Sadi's alliance with the protagonists doesn't mean he's given up his personal corruption. While he likes them all by the end, and has certainly become a braver, more well-rounded individual, he remains an unapologetic scoundrel, a drug-dealer, a poisoner, and a criminal without the slightest bit of shame.
Archenemy: He and Urvon loathe one another with an unholy passion. Urvon has wanted posters with Beldin's face on them posted for twenty leagues in every direction from Mal Yaska.
Ascended Extra: In the first series he's only one of Aldur's Disciples, and makes a few scattered appearances. In the second series he's a major player in Books 3-5.
May be an In-Universe example of an Ascended Extra, as he doesn't have a prophetic title, unlike the other party members. It's mentioned at one point that the Prophecy was allowed to add him to the group to counter the other side's summoning of demons.
Hidden Depths: Beldin is hideously deformed and has disgusting personal habits, but is a Genius Bruiser who is probably the most intelligent and well-read man in the world, as well as perfectly capable of breaking people who don't pay attention to his lectures in half. He's also a highly skilled actor and acrobat.
Evil Counterpart: She could be considered one to Polgara- they're both the only significant female magic users on each side, they're both dark haired and very beautiful, and her abduction of Geran could easily be seen as a twisted version of Polgara's maternal role to Garion and Riva's descendants in general. They're both also supposed to be the brides of the God of Angarak, but they're total mirror images in that respect: Torak wanted Polgara and she rejected him, whereas Zandramas wants to be the bride if the New God (Geran), who hates her.
We Can Rule Together: She offers Garion the chance to join her, give her the Sardion and they could both rule as Gods over the world, Garion recognises this as a last desperate move to avoid The Choice.