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Five friends from Canada, sent to Fionavar to celebrate the crowning of a new monarch. However, not everything is as it seems, and these five are dragged into something greater than they could have realized.
The Five as a Whole
- Bad Ass: All five three at the end are this by the end of the series.
- Five-Man Band:
- Hidden Depths: All five of these characters have new sides that are eventually seen.
- The Ace: At least for much of the first book until the second...
- Broken Ace: ...where he learns that he can't fight and begins to doubt himself, especially in face of others' powers.
- Death by Sex
- The Heart: Actually seems to keep the group together before the adventure starts in "The Summer Tree."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Returns to Gwen Ystrat and sacrifices himself to Dana to stop the snow. Unlike Paul, he doesn't recover.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Tries really hard to be this to Paul in the first book.
- Really Gets Around: There are quite a few women who he spends a night with. Including Earth-Goddess herself.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Basically what Baelreath, the War Stone, has her do, even at cost of the other party's innocence or sense of self. She's finally fed up with this and disobeys it. It shuts down completely afterwards.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Forms this with Dave in the end.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Shows regret for a numerous things she's done to help Fionavar.
Paul Schafer/Pwyll Twiceborn
- Back from the Dead: He dies and is reborn as "Pwyll Twiceborn".
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Jaelle. Eventually it's consummated.
- Big Brother Mentor: Tries to fill this role for Darien, doesn't go so well.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very very deadpan. And usually only with people he feels very comfortable with. Interestingly, he seems to internalize alot of his snarking, as can be seen from the flashback sequence in his last night on The Summer Tree.
- Death Seeker: He blames himself for Rachel's death and thus he welcomes Ailell's offer to hang on The Summer Tree without much deliberation.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He hangs himself on The Summer Tree in order to bring rain and end the drought. He gets better.
- I Choose to Stay: The only one out of Five to stay in Fionavar.
- Last Minute Hookup: He almost leaves without admitting he loves Jaelle.
- Opposites Attract: Paul is the living incarnation of the All-Father, and Jaelle the head priestess of the Mother-Goddess.
- Pride: A primary character trait, unusual in that it's portrayed as a strength rather than a flaw.
- Rule of Symbolism: Paul is pretty obviously supposed to be an analogue to Odin.
- The Stoic: So much that people find him unsettling and withdrawn. It's actually related to his status as a Twiceborn.
- Took a Level in Badass: After he spends three days and nights on The Summer Tree, he gets much more powerful. Admittedly, he's still not much of a fighter, but by then he can command and bind gods and talk down Galadan of all people.
- When He Smiles: Subverted, when he smiles its usually described as crooked or mocking and is often in reaction to something tragically ironic happening.
Jennifer Lowell/ Guinevere
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Kay puts her through hell and back, but she eventually leaves together with Arthur and Lancelot to Avalon.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: She's a reincarnation of Guinevere.
- The Load: Though she has an understandable reason for being this way. Then she starts to play the role of Guinevere.
- Rape as Drama: She is captured by Rakoth Maugrim, who rapes her simply because he wants to break her. She doesn't get out of her Heroic B.S.O.D. until after Darien is born.
- Abusive Parents: His dad was pretty tough on him.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Had a thing for Liane but it didn't go far. He did get to bang a goddess and have a child with her as his consolation prize however...
- An Axe to Grind: Specifically because it does not need exhaustive training. He turns out really proficient.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Though Kevin becomes his friend at times he will get on his nerves.
Ailell dan Art
- The High King
- Smart People Play Ta'bael
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The drought that his kingdom suffers from is attributed to the fact that he didn't do something, and didn't let his son do it in his stead.
- Jerk Ass: Can be gruff but he's kind of got his hands full fighting Rakoth. It's that anything that doesn't directly involve the war with Maugrim barely receives any of his attention.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As a result, he mellows out in the epilogue, once the war's won.
- Mercy Kill: Gives one to Diarmuid since the latter doesn't want to die by an urgach's sword.
- One-Man Army: Early on in the story, he and Kim are ambushed by about 15 svart alfar. None gets to live and Aileron comes out of the fight unscathed.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He makes it a point to go and fight Rakoth's forces right there, right now.
- Batman Gambit: Pulls off one in order to convince Shalhassan's army not to attack the kingdom.
- The Casanova
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Has long luscious locks and is firmly on the side of good.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Accepts Uathach's challenge before the rest of the lot decide who should do so, despite knowing he has little chance of victory. This allows Arthur, Lancelot and Jen a Happy Ending.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Beyond directly assisting the party, he bests Uathach in their duel.
- Sacrificial Lion: After getting to know her for most of Book 1, she sacrifices her soul to grant Kim her power and understanding of the world.
- Badass Book Worm: He's a mage but he can use magic... and is good with a sword.
- Brought Down to Normal: Though Matt comes back to life, their link is severed and thus, Loren loses his ability to cast spells.
- Cool Old Guy: It's mentioned that even without Matt he can still sword fight quite well.
- May–December Romance: During the holiday in Ystrat he and Kim have sex. True she was an adult but he's at least 50, YMMV on if it's squicky.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Loren takes too much of his life force - on Matt's request - to overpower Metran and dies as a result. He gets better.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: He says one or two 'eye' jokes. Kim tells him she could forgive anything he did, but never his puns.
- Evil Chancellor: Actually a double subversion. Everyone is led to believe that Gorlaes is a cliched evil chancellor, turns out there is an evil chancellor... but it's Metran.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Fakes being old and senile to get close to Ailell.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: it's subtle, but it's there with Paul. And then it's confirmed.
- Last Minute Hookup: With Paul.
- Odd Couple: Gradually warms up to Kim, even awkwardly embracing her when they re-met in the third book at Ysanne's cabin.
- Opposites Attract: She and Paul are both the physical representations of the Mother-Goddess and All-Father Archetypes, so of course they are going to. Also the whole Kuudere/Tsundere thing.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Though it takes all the way back to the end of Book 3 for a kiss to happen.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Owein's Wild Hunt cannot proceed without a child.
- Child by Rape: Born explicitly because Maugrim did not expect to conceive a child, which means that, logically, Darien's birth goes against his plans.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Kills himself on the magical dagger Rakoth's holding, which, because of the dagger's enchantments, causes his death.
- Owl Be Damned: Takes the form of an owl, and in his confusion for most of the story he's up to no good.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes flash red whenever he gets angered.
- Acrofatic: Pretty quick for a fat man but his agility needs work.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Of all the Boisterous Bruisers in this series, he stands head and shoulder above them all.
- Large Ham: He has a flair for the dramatic, and loves to sing drinking songs.
- Stout Strength: Fat but quite strong, enough to not only lift Diarmuid on a piggyback but to act as his "mount" during a mock battle.
Ivor Dan Banor
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Or rather sensitive guy to his stoic wife.
- Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming: Getting reunited with his father.
- Loners Are Freaks: Not the most popular man in the tribe.
- The Quiet One
- The Stoic
Levon Dan Ivor
Liane Dan Ivor
Tabor Dan Ivor
- Big Eater: The tribe's hunters occasionally catch an additional animal just for him.
- Cool Old Guy: He's a pretty nice guy, all things considered. He often jokes around with Liane.
- Dirty Old Man: He likes to joke how, back in his day, girls would be obliged to lie with a shaman like him.
- Eyeless Face: All he has is a pair of empty sockets.
- The Emperor: He is presented with this kind of image, but he is staunchly on the side of Light. Once the war with Maugrim starts for good, his bad side is downplayed.
- Kick the Dog: The first time he's in a scene he has a slave gladiator murdered because the guy didn't bow deep enough, probably because the guy had been injured in a fight.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Partially... he tended to love making great quotes and promptly did the opposite, however he was ready to fight in the war.
- The Stoic: He never smiles.
- Evil Laugh: Prone to these, and quite often.
- God of Evil: Sort of. He kinda is, but also isn't subject to the exact same rules as the rest of gods in Fionavar, see below.
- Humanoid Abomination: For starters, he's from outside the Tapestry and lacks a face. Consider that literally everything has a place on the Tapestry.
- Satan: "Sathain". Given that his influence is felt throughout all the worlds in the Tapestry, this is a rather secure association to make.
- Villain Ball: He is likely aware of his Weaksauce Weakness, so leaving Jennifer alive after raping her was sure to backfire. Granted, he did leave her in hands of a subordinate and he couldn't anticipate Baelreath whisking The Five back to Earth, but still.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Having a child puts him on the Tapestry and makes him killable, which makes Darien so dangerous to him.
Galadan, the Wolflord
- Anti-Villain: Seems to be an attempt to invoke a type II, but his Freudian Excuse is so ridiculously flimsy that it doesn't really work.
- The Dragon
- Dragon with an Agenda: He wishes to completely destroy the universe rather than have Rakoth rule what's left of it. Rakoth himself is entirely aware of this and finds it mildly amusing.
- Expy: In his Silmarillion days Sauron was known as Thu the Wolflord.
- Freudian Excuse: The reason he wants to completely destroy existence is because the woman he loved rejected him.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Turned rather genocidal towards mortals after one stole his girlfriend - but when said mortal wound up getting her killed, he went crazy and decided that the only way to end his pain was to destroy the universe. The only time in the trilogy he shows genuine emotion is when he finds some of the heroes apparently "desecrating" his shrine to her, and at the very end, when the heroes spare him and he realizes that there is some good in the world - and in himself.
Avaia, the Black Swan
Fordaeatha of Ruk
- Evil Is Deathly Cold
- Out of Focus: She has a single scene in Book 2 and then vanishes from the plot completely, only briefly mentioned as a caretaker of Rakoth's Dragon.
- Badass: His screentime is limited, but in two of three scenes he's in he gets to kick a lot of ass. He carves through the lines of Dalrei and lios alfar almost effortlessly and nearly walks away from his fight with Diarmuid with only minor injuries.
- The Brute
- Inexplicably Awesome: It's said Rakoth did something to him to make him bigger, stronger, smarter and wordier than other urgachs. Nobody ever gets to know what that is.
- Man in White: Explicitly to mock the good guys.
- Throwing Down the Gauntlet: And Diarmuid responds.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: A mad artist using his rhetorical skill to take over an entire people. Genocide is a result. Hmm...
- Mad Artist: He isn't even obviously evil (that goes to his brother), but so obsessed with artifice he's willing to side with Rakoth just so he can find an ancient magical artifact. He doesn't even keep it afterwards.
- More Than Mind Control: He's such a masterful speaker that he manages to pull the Dwarves to the side of Darkness.
The Gods and Heroes of Legend
- Back from the Dead: For punishment of his heinous crimes, he must constantly be re-awoken and die in battle.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: He probably has to work the hardest to do this.
- Foregone Conclusion: In-universe, he knows he will never be able to make it to the final battle of any war because of his punishment. Then he makes it to the final battle of this war and gets a happy ending.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Averted. It looks like he will die in the battle against Uathach. However, Diarmund takes his place in this fight and dies instead. He survives the battle the following day as well
- Would Hurt a Child: He is known as the "childslayer" for his killing of many children.
- Back from the Dead
- Master Swordsman: It's Lancelot, duh, the best knight of Arthur's court. And boy, does he back up his reputation.
- Knight in Shining Armor: It's Lancelot, duh. All that he asked for after defeating a huge, many-armed, burning, shapeshifting, regenerating earth elemental was to never speak of this fight again, since he did it after asking a bystander for some minor help.
- Action Girl: As much as it can be said about a female spirit-slash-winged unicorn.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She dies taking out Rakoth's dragon, and if she didn't, the war would have been lost.
- Winged Unicorn
- The Archer
- Heel–Face Turn: Was originally a mountain bandit, though the death of their leader and Kim's explanation had him join her instead.
- Last of His Kind: Last of Eridu, to be exact.
- Actual Pacifist: He and the rest of Paraiko refuse to engage in any sort of violence, period. Not even Baelreath can convince them otherwise, though it can convince them to leave Khath Meigol and purify Eridu.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shows up at the end of the final battle to bind Owein and The Wild Hunt once more.
- Gentle Giant: Quite literally, considering what Paraiko are.