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Characters: The Count of Monte Cristo

The First Generation

Edmond Dantes, AKA The Count of Monte Cristo

The Protagonist, Edmond Dantes stumbles upon a great fortune after escaping from a years-long unjust imprisonment and returns to France to seek vengeance on his enemies.

  • A God Am I: Not literally, but the Count initially sees himself as an avenging angel, sent by God to reward the just (the Morrel family) and punish the wicked (Danglars, Villefort, Caderousse and Mondego). His hubris comes back to haunt him in the worst way possible.
  • Affably Evil
  • Anti-Hero
  • Bad Habits: His disguise as Busoni.
  • Best Served Cold: Fourteen years in prison before he escapes, and another nine years before he sets his plans for revenge in motion. Served cold indeed.
  • British Teeth: In his Lord Wilmore persona, Dantes wears false teeth that are in bad condition, although his actual teeth are in good shape (which Fridge Logic would suggest wouldn't be the case after rotting in prison for over a decade).
  • Byronic Hero: Dantes is explicitly associated with Lord Byron's King Manfred and with Lord Ruthwen, the anti-hero from Polidori's The Vampyre, who is based on the real-life Lord Byron.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While it is believable that Dantes could develop some ability to see in darkness during his long time in prison, it is less so that this ability would instantly return after visiting the Chateau d'If following more than a decade outside of prison. Also, presumably because of all the tunneling he did, Dantes' imprisonment makes him physically stronger and tougher.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Cultured Badass
  • The Determinator
  • Fiction 500
  • Manipulative Bastard: No one remains unaffected by the Count when he wills it. No one.
  • Omniglot: Thanks to Faria's teaching.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Reference is made to his "ghastly smiles".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Secret Identity Identity: Not only is Dantes' personality swallowed up into the persona of the Count, but he also has other personas (Lord Wilmore and Sinbad the Sailor) which he takes on when performing charitable actions, not to mention that of a priest, the Abbe Busoni, who has a similar personality to Abbe Faria. (Gankutsuou pushes this trope to the extreme by making the Count unable to identify with or as Edmond Dantes, whom he repeatedly says "died in prison and was reborn as the Count of Monte Cristo".) In the end, he reconciles the two identities, signing his last known letter as "Your friend Edmond Dantes, the Count of Monte Cristo".

    The Wilmore one is particularly weird, since Wilmore has light hair as opposed to the Count's dark hair, and identifies himself as an enemy of the Count- so basically, the main personality (The Count) is the evil (or at least ruthless) one and Wilmore is Dantes' suppressed good side.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Dantes transforms into the Count of Monte Cristo, he becomes incredibly formidable.
  • Wicked Cultured

Gerard de Villefort

The magistrate who, to further his own ambitions, sent Dantes to an indefinite incarceration.

  • Ambition Is Evil: At first, he's portrayed sympathetically, with many parallels to Dantes. However, he becomes a villain when he discovers Dantes has information that makes him a threat to his reputation, and, panicking, sends an innocent man to rot in a dungeon.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: To an extent. After his life starts falling apart and he finds out about Bendetto being his son, he realizes what a hypocrite he is for ordering his murderous wife to commit suicide to save the family honor, and starts to think about fleeing the country or possibly turning himself in. But then he returns home to find his wife killed herself along with their young son. That, coupled with Monte Cristo revealing himself drives him into a complete breakdown and he goes insane
  • Hanging Judge
  • Hypocrite
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In an unusual twist, this trope is applied to Villefort at the start of the novel. He initially feels a terrible guilt at framing Dantes and sending him to prison, but he represses it and lets Dantes rot anyway. Even then, though, it's implied that his guilt doesn't go away so easily.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The most severe of any of Dantes' enemies. By the end of the book, he's babbling nonsense and digging holes in his yard, completely insane.

Danglars

Dantes's jealous shipmate who betrays him to advance his own career.

  • Ambition Is Evil
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Monte Cristo's revenge on Danglars consists of having him kidnapped and imprisoned by Luigi Vampa. Vampa and the Count then put Danglars through the same hell that Dantes went through, with the added twist of forcing him to choose between his money and his life by charging him exorbitant prices for his food. Monte Cristo takes the money and returns it to the French hospitals Danglars embezzled it from.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive
  • Driven by Envy
  • Locked into Strangeness: After the ordeal the Count puts him through, Danglars' hair turns completely white.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's actually the mastermind of the plot against Dantes, but arranges things so Fernand is the one with his fingerprints left on it.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker
  • Nouveau Riche
  • Redemption Equals Life: After learning the hard way to value his life more than his money, Danglars repents and begs for forgiveness. Monte Cristo ultimately grants Danglars' request, and lets him leave with 50,000 francs he earned honestly. The Count lampshades the fact that Danglars got off more easily than Mondego and Caderousse (who are both dead), and Villefort (who's completely insane).
  • The Resenter
  • Villainous Breakdown
  • Your Cheating Heart: Both he and his wife have numerous lovers, since they both married for money and can't stand each other.

Fernand Mondego de Morcerf

Dantes's romantic rival. He betrays Edmond to get a shot with Mercedes.

Mercedes

Edmond's fiance. Ends up marrying Fernand.

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder
  • Broken Bird: At the end.
  • Fatal Flaw: She cannot bear loneliness, and marries Fernand out of desperation rather than love while still grieving for Edmond. After Fernand's death and Albert joins the army, leaving her all alone once more, she sinks into depression.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Initially, keeps insisting to Fernand that they are this.
  • Princess in Rags: At the end, she loses most of her possessions and joins a convent.

Gaspard Caderousse

Dantes's drunken next-door neighbor in the beginning of the novel. Later, he turns to a life of crime and becomes a mentor to Benedetto.

  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: Played for Drama. After Dantes returns from prison, he visits Caderousse in disguise and gives him a gem worth a small fortune. After selling the game, Caderousse murders the jeweler who bought it and ends up going to jail.
  • An Axe to Grind: As a murder weapon.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Dantes' revealing his identity causes him to realize the existence/goodness of God and pray for forgiveness as he dies
  • Gold Fever
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Caderousse, the one member of the conspiracy who doesn't become fabulously wealthy, is both very greedy and very jealous of those who have wealth. His avarice leads him to commit at least one murder and several robberies, the last of which is his attempt to rob Monte Cristo's house.
  • Karmic Death: Caderousse gets one of these when he's murdered by Benedetto after a botched attempt to rob Monte Cristo's house.
  • Mr. Exposition: In disguise as the Abbe Busoni, one of the Count's first actions after his escape is to visit Caderousse, who by now is working as an innkeeper in a provincial town. Caderousse brings both the Count and the audience up to speed on what's been happening while the Count was in the Chateau d'If.
  • Stepford Smiler: It's implied that Caderousse is one of these, intensely jealous of Dantes' rising career while he's stuck as a low-end tailor, despite his friendly and affable demeanor. When he's alone with Danglars and Mondego, his drinking arguably reveals his true nature, as he drunkenly points out the damage they could do to someone with a pen and paper. He even sings a song about how wicked people drink water, since alcohol leads them to reveal their true natures. Many years later, Caderousse is a convicted felon and burglar, who's as bad as he ever was. Lusting after Monte Cristo's riches, Caderousse attempts to rob the Count's house. It doesn't end well.

The Second Generation

The children of the above characters.

Benedetto

The illegitimate son of Villefort and Madame Danglars, raised by one of the Count's servants. A pawn in the Count's schemes, he takes on the alias Andrea Cavalcante to become part of the French aristocracy.

  • Affably Evil: Despite being an amoral cutthroat who when younger was an Enfant Terrible who abused his adoptive parents, Benedetto has the personality of a handsome and charming rogue and is able to masquarade with ease as an educated aristocrat.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In his Cavalcante identity, he pretends to be a nice guy. There's one moment where this slips, during the point where Albert is being manipulated into seeking a Duel to the Death, and he notices that "Andrea" seems a little too amused by the situation.
  • Enfante Terrible
  • Evil Redhead: Benedetto has strawberry blond hair, and his adoptive father, Bertuccio, cites a proverb about redheads either being completely good or completely evil (Benedetto being the latter).
  • Karma Houdini: Benedetto commits robbery, torture, and murder and although he is arrested and put on trial the verdict is not revealed to the readers following the revelation that Villefort, his judge, is his own father who tried to bury him alive as a newborn. Considering that Dantes promised to Bertuccio that Benedetto will not go unpunished, and that Benedetto is rewarded by finally discovering who his father is, it is surprising that Benedetto's presumed execution it not made more explicit, may also be a case of What Happened to the Mouse?.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Murdering Caderousse. The Count considers this a sign from God that Caderousse deserved it.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Twice. At first, he believes the Count is his father, since he supports him financially and provides him with a socially-acceptable "father" (an old Italian major who had lost his son long ago — it takes Benedetto less than a page to realize that Major Cavalcanti is just as much a fraud as himself, albeit a titled fraud). Near the end, Bertuccio reveals the truth to him and he very cheerfully reveals Villefort as his father at his own trial.
  • Mock Millionaire
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: His discovery by adoptive parents and desire to find his real parents is traditional, but against tradition, he's a villain rather than a hero and instrumental in bringing great harm to his actual parents.
  • No Hero to His Valet: His rapid rise to prominence in Parisian society doesn't faze his old fellow prisoner Caderousse, who still calls him Benedetto and more or less ignores his new status as a prince.
  • Psycho Sidekick: The Count isn't exactly morally spotless himself, but Benedetto is a pretty bad guy and the Count is happy to use him to his ends. For his part, Benedetto is very loyal to the Count because of his generosity and because he thinks the Count is his true father.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He killed his foster-mother. By burning her alive. It was sort of an "accident" (he was torturing her with fire to find out where she hid money and she ended up closer to the flames than he intended).
  • Tenor Boy: The evil kind.
  • Wicked Cultured
  • You're Not My Father: Which is the reason Bertuccio can't bring himself to discipline Benedetto.

Albert Morcerf

Mercedes' and Fernand's son.

  • Arranged Marriage: To Eugenie Danglars. To say that neither cares for the idea is an understatement.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: "p.s. I now believe in Italian banditti."
  • Duel to the Death: Challenges first his friend Beauchamp, and then the Count to one.
  • Hidden Depths: After being suckered into a trap by Italian bandits, he still managed to nearly strangle one of them.
  • Nerves of Steel: In the 2002 film, Albert remains calm, composed, and defiant when bandits have a knife to his throat; the Count later praises him for his bravery.
  • Redemption Quest: Joins the army to escape the shame of his father's actions.
  • Relative Button: Hearing his father accused of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Discussed. Albert is said to believe that any problem of logistics can be solved by application of money.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: During the Carnival, a male bandit disguises himself as a young lady to lure Albert into a trap.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Has shades of this early on, though in the end he reveals himself to actually have a rather steadfast and noble character beneath it all. At the end of the book he even denounces his father's name and riches after he finds out what the man did to Dantes, and joins the army to make his name and fortune on his own merits instead.

Valentine Villefort

Villefort's daughter and Maximilien Morrel's lover.

Maximillian Morrel

The son of Dantes's old employer; like a son to the Count.

Haydee

The Count's slave and surrogate daughter.

Eugenie Danglars

Franz D'Epinay

  • Exact Eavesdropping: Part of the reason he's uneasy about the Count—he overhears his conversation with Luigi Vampa in Rome.
  • Only Sane Man: Of his peers, Franz is the only one who seems to be a bit uneasy about the Count.
  • You Killed My Father: Noirtier killed his father. This discovery leads him to break off his engagement with Valentine.

Mentors

Abbe Faria

Dantes's Mentor when he is in prison; tells Dantes the location of the treasure that eventually makes him rich.

  • Almost Dead Guy
  • Historical-Domain Character: But fairly dissimilar to the actual guy.
  • MacGyvering: The Abbe is surprisingly self-sufficient for a man living in a dungeon; he manages to make his own candles, paper, pens and ink, needles and thread, chisel, knife...
  • Mentor
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He dies just before they complete their escape plan, so in the end only Dantes escapes.
  • The Old Convict
  • Omniglot
  • The Professor: Faria is knowledgeable on a number of subjects such as multiple languages, economics, history, and clearly some science as well. He writes a book on Italian politics while in prison. On paper he made out of old shirts, with pens he made out of bones and ink he made out of ashes, using light from a homemade oil lamp lit with fat from the meat he was fed.

Monsieur Noirtier de Villefort

Villefort's father; Valentine's grandfather and confidant. Fully paralyzed except for his eyes, he communicates by blinking.

M. Morrel

  • Benevolent Boss: When the Count determines that Morrel wasn't in on the conspiracy to imprison Edmond Dantes, he rescues the man from his debts in a most dramatic fashion.
  • Doting Parent: To Julie.
  • Driven to Suicide: He would die before he defaults on his debts.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Played with. Maximilian arrives to try and talk him out of it, but they end up agreeing that it's the only honorable thing to do. And then real help arrives.
  • Team Dad

Servants, Pawns, and Allies

Bertuccio

The Count's servant and an ex-smuggler. The adoptive father of Bendetto.

Heloise de Villefort

Villefort's second wife.

Hermine Danglars

Luigi Vampa

A former shepherd who became chief of the Italian bandits, and a friend and ally to the Count.

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