Dark and Troubled Past: Chauntecleer was once a thief and criminal, scheming to murder his land's leaders after his mother was killed by a wolf. An encounter with God allowed for a pre-story Heel-Face Turn.
Driven to Suicide: He does this to destroy the parasitic, evil worms which entered his body and maddened him.
Dented Iron: He is damaged both physically and psychologically after the war in The Book of Sorrows.
The Determinator: During his fight with Cockatrice. This trait resurfaces in The Book of Sorrows', but plays a darker role.
Due to the Dead: If one of his animals dies, Chauntecleer will do anything in his power to ensure a proper burial, especially for Mundo Cani and Lord Russel.
Dying as Yourself: Because he killed the worms inside him along with himself, Chauntecleer is able to spend a few last moments with Pertelote.
The Good King: While he suffers from some character flaws, Chauntecleer is at his core a well-meaning and competent ruler, even in serious situations.
Go Out with a Smile: His last words are a joke about how he was unable to bury Mundo Cani's skull because the dog's nose was too big.
Good Is Not Nice: Although a good guy, Chauntecleer is haughty, quick to insult others, and can occasionally be quite selfish.
Mr. Vice Guy: While genuinely heroic and well-meaning, Chauntecleer's prickly temper, reluctance to trust others, and his vanity are his biggest character flaws.
My Greatest Failure: His abandonment of Mundo Cani just before the dog defeated Wyrm and saved the animals. This leads to the main conflict of the sequel, in which Chauntecleer becomes dangerously obsessed with setting things right.
Pet the Dog: Despite his temperamental nature and verbal abuse of Mundo Cani, Chauntecleer tries very hard to save the Wee Widow Mouse and is a devoted husband to Pertelote, and it's made very clear that for all his bluster he cares deeply for his animal subjects.
Sanity Slippage: In The Book of Sorrows, Chauntcleer's quest to raise Mundo Cani and the effects of the worms feeding on Wyrm's corpse damage his mind and alienate him from his animals, even driving him to try and kill his loyal ally John Wesley Weasel.
Taking You with Me: Chauntecleer slashes himself open with Gaff and the Slasher to kill the evil worms inside him.
Took a Level in Jerkass: In the sequel, due to stress and infection with parasitic worms that encourage his worst tendencies.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With Mundo Cani, who he constantly abuses verbally (but who he secretly cares deeply for).
Well-Intentioned Extremist: After the war, Chauntecleer decides to resurrect Mundo Cani and kill Wyrm by finding a way into the earth. In the process, Ferric the coyote's wife and child are killed in a stampede.
Chauntecleer's Number Two, a dog who came to the Coop and was allowed in by Chauntecleer. He is very depressed and is often seen crying, but his loyalty is proven when he sacrifices himself to stop Wyrm.
Apologises a Lot: Berates himself for failing to save a Wild Turkey, when he successfully rescued the others. Also apologises for his nose, being in the way, and existing.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: See Apologises a Lot. Mundo Cani constantly insults himself and does not even mind being used as a doormat by Chauntecleer. Given that he is easily the most heroic character in the book, his low self-esteem is likely to cause a few Tear Jerker moments.
Humble Hero: In contrast to the arrogant and Hot-Blooded Chauntecleer, Mundo Cani is extremely humble to the point of self-loathing, always remorseful that he didn't do enough.
Undying Loyalty: Mundo Cani will and does protect the Coop and Chauntecleer with his life.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Type I with Chauntecleer. Chauntecleer insults him, and Mundo Cani accepts or even agrees with the abuse.
Chauntecleer's favorite hen and a refugee from Cockatrice's land, formerly one of Senex's hens. She is capable and intelligent, and cares deeply for him.
Broken Bird: A literal example. Pertelote endured sexual abuse from Cockatrice alongside all of her fellow hens, who eventually were killed. For a while she is worried about Chauntecleer, who looks almost exactly like her tormentor. She goes berserk when she first sees him, which is understandable given what she went through.
Closer to Earth: She tends to be more terse and practical than Chauntecleer.
Dark and Troubled Past: Pertelote once lived across the river, and was one of Senex's hens who was raped by Cockatrice. However, she kept her spirit by using a stone to break the Basilisk eggs in her body, and was one of the only hens to escape.
Music for Courage: Pertelote sings to calm down the animals who are terrified of Cockatrice and the basilisks.
Plucky Girl: After being raped by Cockatrice, Pertelote uses a stone to break the Basilisk eggs in her body before they hatch. She can also hold her own in a fight, too, although Chauntecleer wasn't trying to harm her.
Trigger: She is deathly afraid of anything that reminds her of Cockatrice, who raped her when she lived in Senex's land. When she mistakes a mud-encrusted Chauntecleer for Cockatrice, she violently attacks him.
Sole Survivor: The only named character from Senex's land to survive Cockatrice's takeover and invasion of Chauntecleer's land.
Women Are Wiser: Pertelote plays an important role in keeping the excitable Chauntecleer calm when he needs it.
John Wesley Weasel
A weasel and former thief who befriends the Wee Widow Mouse. He becomes one of Chauntecleer's best warriors, and has a special advantage against Basilisks.
Anti-Hero: Type III. He is significantly more ruthless when fighting than most of the other animals and is quick to call for the execution of Ebenezer Rat, but is without question on the heroes' side and is very protective of anyone he cares about.
One-Man Army: During the fight with the Basilisks, John Wesley's courage and badassery give the animals the strength to successfully drive the surviving Basilisks into the river, not to mention the several hundred that he kills himself.
The Reliable One: One of Chauntecleer's most loyal allies, and also one of the least likely to question his orders.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: John Wesley Weasel viciously attacks the Basilisks to avenge the Widow's death. He kills so many that Cockatrice intervenes directly to stop him from completely wiping them out.
Undying Loyalty: When the animals are afraid that Chauntecleer abandoned them to save himself, John Wesley Weasel is the only one who refuses to believe this. This carries over to the sequel, when Chauntecleer goes insane and tries to kill him. Later, when Chauntecleer is dying, he entrusts John Wesley with the job of throwing Gaff and the Slasher into the sea.
Unstoppable Rage: After the Wee Widow Mouse's death, John Wesley Weasel becomes an unquestioned Badass, killing a slew of Basilisks on his own. Despite injuries. With one ear missing.
Wicked Weasel: Averted with him. Despite his ambiguous nature early in the book, John Wesley Weasel proves to be one of the good guys, and is disgusted by cowardice.
The Wee Widow Mouse (and family)
Another refugee of Cockatrice's kingdom, whose husband was killed by the Basilisks. She moves into Ebenezer Rat's hole with her children and befriends John Wesley Weasel. She is killed by a Basilisk which got into the Coop.
A group of turkeys who are the stupidest animals in the Coop. They are well-meaning but pouty and very dim-witted, and all of them die before the final battle.
Big Eater: Ocellata eats a stripe of Mundo Cani's hair and some pebbles.
The Ditz: The turkeys as a group are this. For example, they throw a pout en masse in protest of Mundo Cani saving their lives. Their stupidity is to the extent that they aren't aware if one of their own dies.
The Load: Ocellata and the other turkeys pout during war preparations, and do not help at all.
Shoo Out the Clowns: The mass death of the Wild Turkeys shifts the mood of the book to very, very dark.
Stupid Good: The turkeys are friendly enough, but are too stupid to be aware of danger.
Too Dumb to Live: All of them, but special mention goes to Thuringer, who died while giving a Basilisk a friendly greeting.
Ungrateful Bastard: A mild example in Ocelatta, who is too stupid to realize that Mundo Cani saved him from certain death.
Chauntecleer and Pertelote's three sons. All of them are killed by the Basilisks.
A fox who is a good friend of Chauntecleer. He is extremely chatty, making him seem cleverer than he really is. He helps look after the Pins, and is indirectly responsible for their deaths. He later dies of illness in The Book of Sorrows.
Came Back Wrong: After his death of infection, Wyrm's evil essence briefly reanimates Russel as a zombie.
Carnivore Confusion: Despite the fact that Lord Russel is a fox, a traditional predator of chickens, Chauntecleer is willing to leave his children alone with him. For his part, Russel never once considers eating Chauntecleer or his children.
Chekhov's Gun: Lord Russel discovers that rue means protection from Basilisks before the other characters do. He also recieves the injury that will kill him in the first book, which The Book of Sorrows follows up on.
Cunning Like a Fox: Played with. While he isn't stupid, Lord Russel isn't as clever as he or the Pins think he is.
Due to the Dead: After Russel's death, Chauntecleer goes out of his way to ensure that the fox gets a proper burial, resorting to a Burial at Sea at Wyrmsmere when the corpse reanimates and has to be re-killed.
Feigning Intelligence: Downplayed. Although he isn't stupid, and learns the protective abilities of rue before the other animals do, Lord Russel is not as smart as he tries to seem. This eventually ends up backfiring.
Major Injury Underreaction: Lord Russel is not particularly upset when his jaw is puffy and swollen from biting Basilisks to death. As it turns out, his injuries were much more serious than he thought.
My God, What Have I Done?: Lord Russel is genuinely remorseful for his (unintentional) role in the deaths of the Pins, and is eventually forgiven by Chauntecleer.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Lord Russel specializes in making lengthy, impressive-sounding speeches that are redundant or mean nothing at all.
Shoo Out the Clowns: His slow and painful death early in The Book of Sorrows sets up the very dark tone of the book.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Russel dies of his injuries at the beginning of The Book Of Sorrows, which was foreshadowed during the first book.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Because the Pins sneak out of the Coop to play with Lord Russel, and Russel leaves them unattended, Basilisks kill them.
Your Days Are Numbered: Biting Basilisks to death during the war infects Russel's mouth, and the injury worsens over time. This stops him from talking and eventually kills him, both slowly and painfully.
A rat who lived in Chauntecleer's Coop and ate the hens' eggs. Chauntecleer drives him away with the help of Tick-Tock. He later returns to the Coop and dies in battle with a basilisk.
Badass: Willing to fight a rooster bigger than he is and defeats a Basilisk in a Mutual Kill, the first character to successfully do so.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Wyrm was sealed inside the Earth by God to prevent him from destroying everything. He is held in by the natural goodness of the animals.
Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Wyrm's body reeks to the point that his essence can corrupt and poison other creatures, one of the major signs of his presence in dreams and in the real world.
The Dragon and Wyrm's agent on Earth. Cockatrice was born when Wyrm tricked an old rooster named Senex into fathering its son. He murders his father before forcing the hens to produce an army of basilisks for him.
Self-Disposing Villain: When he is fatally wounded by Chauntecleer's battle spurs, Cockatrice lunges at him one more time and drives them through his neck and chest, killing himself.
0% Approval Rating: During his short reign as ruler of Senex's land. Justified in that he is intentionally polluting and undermining the land and the animals are too despairing to challenge him.
An old rooster who Wyrm fools into fathering Cockatrice through dreams. He is eventually murdered by Cockatrice.
Alas, Poor Villain: Although he made many bad choices and is indirectly responsible for most of the death Cockatrice and the Basilisks cause, it's hard not to feel bad for Senex once he realizes that he was tricked and is brutally murdered by his own son.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: During his Glory Days, Senex wasn't a bad ruler to his animals. Now that he is very old, he is balding and very miserable-looking. Even his hens make fun of him behind his back.
Mr. Seahorse: How Senex lays the egg that hatches into Cockatrice.
Red Herring: Posthumously blamed for his rotting corpse poisoning the land and making everyone sick after his murder. The real cause is Cockatrice, although almost everyone is too afraid to blame the obvious culprit.
Unwitting Pawn: Wyrm takes advantage of Senex's despair and desire to preserve his name to trick him. Senex, for his part, is not really evil, more desperate and pathetic than anything else, and is unaware of Wyrm's true nature.
A toad who Senex forces to nurse Cockatrice's egg. Later he acts as Cockatrice's voice and enforcer, but is killed by the Basilisks anyway.
Face-Heel Turn: Before the arrival of Cockatrice, Toad doesn't seem to have been bad.
Frogs and Toads: A mostly unsympathetic example, although he is one of the book's more sympathetic villains.
Kick the Dog: While sympathetic to the hens at first, Toad exposes Pertelote as breaking her eggs, and physically attacks her.
Punch Clock Villain: Toad is this at first, and his introduction to Cockatrice (as an egg) by Senex was involuntary. During his job, at least early on, he genuinely feels sorry for the hens and talks to them.
Walking Wasteland: The Basilisks wilt plants simply by touching them, and their bite is fatal almost instantly.
A coyote who lives in a canyon with his wife, Rachel, and his children, Benoni, Hopsacking and Twill. He knows about the existence of a hole which leads into the earth, which Chauntecleer believes will allow him to save Mundo Cani.
All-Loving Hero: It's Ferric's love that eventually helps to snap Chauntecleer out of his delirium and realize what his actions have done.
Forgiveness: He is able to forgive Chauntecleer for the deaths of his family.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His arrival leads to Chauntecleer's paranoia intensifying and eventually the deaths of his wife and children when the rooster starts a stampede during an attempt to kill John Wesley Weasel.
Walking the Earth: Temporarily, to find food for his family. This is how he finds Chauntecleer's Coop.
The Bird With No Tongue
A bird who is only able to speak gibberish. A long time ago, she was tricked by Wyrm into drinking his essence, causing her to lose her voice and twisting her body.
Break the Cutie: Wyrm broke her fairly thoroughly, in part to create a lure for Chauntcleer. She sits at the tunnel into the earth, thinking she is preventing others from going down. A visit from the Dun Cow helps her.
The Speechless: Thanks to Wyrm, she can only say "Jug jug" and "Tereu".