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Mortimer "Mo" FolchartA bookbinder with the ability to "read" characters from books to life. Meggie's father.
- Bad Dreams: In Inkdeath, Mo is said to have recurring nightmares. This isn't surprising, considering that he has been shot, imprisoned, threatened, and basically has had his whole life change in the space of a few months. Both he and Resa cannot stand closed spaces after being imprisoned in the Castle of Night.
- Becoming the Mask: Mo becomes the Bluejay, much to the distress of his wife and daughter.
- Blessed with Suck: How he views his powers, which robbed him of his wife years ago. He gets over it eventually, but he never reads out loud to Meggie.
- Came Back Strong: In Inkdeath, he's revived and is a lot stronger.
- Casting Gag: Brenden Fraser is stated to be the vocal inspiration for him. Not only does he take up that role in the movie but also did the audio book for Inkspell.
- Character Development
- Driven to Suicide: Almost happens to him in the dungeons of the Castle in the Lake.
- Dynamic Character: Mo goes from a peace-loving book binder and protective-but-fun single father to an almost unrecognizable Robin Hood-esque warrior/folk hero.
- Famed In-Story: In Inkspell and Inkdeath, he becomes known as the Bluejay and chooses to literally take up the mantle and become the mask.
- Happily Married: To Resa.
- I Will Wait for You: He never stopped believing that he would one day find his lost wife.
- Nice Guy: Compared to some of the other heroes - who can at times be petty and selfish - Mo is the straightest example of this.
- Papa Wolf: He makes sure not to let anything happen to his daughter.
Meggie FolchartDaughter of Mo and Resa, and the hero of the story.
- Blessed with Suck: Like her father, she's a Silvertongue.
- Bookworm: She loves reading so much that she reads by candlelight in the first book.
- Character Development
- Demoted to Extra: Always prominent in the plot, Meggie nonetheless diminishes in significance after the first book, going from The Protagonist to Supporting Protagonist. A common criticism of Book 3 is that her only Arc was "choosing between two suitors".
- The Hero: In Book 1, and arguably in Book 2 (which is more of an Ensemble piece). However, she's demoted in Inkdeath.
- In-Series Nickname: Her real name is Margaret, but Mo and everyone else calls her "Meggie".
- Kid Hero: She serves as this for the first two books.
- Little Miss Badass: She takes some bold risks with Capricorn and his men.
- Morality Pet: She becomes one for Dustfinger in the first book.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She looks just like her mother.
DustfingerA man with the ability to control fire from one of Mo's books. He is drawn to the real world, where he makes his living by busking.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Was made a blond in the film.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the film, he's more ambitious about getting home than he was in the book. He's given a more villainous air when he tries to get Mo to read him back into the book.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV. He was willing to sell out Mo just to return home. However, he decides to help Mo and Meggie escape after Capricorn betrayed him.
- Back from the Dead: Is brought back from the realm of death by Mo in Inkdeath, after a bargain is reached with Death to let him go. However, there is a catch: if Mo does not kill the Adderhead by writing the special three words into the white book before spring comes, Dustfinger will die at the same time as Mo and Meggie.
- The Big Guy: Somewhat, during the first two books before he ascends to The Lancer.
- Came Back Strong: Dustfinger acquires new abilities to play with fire after returning from death. One, the ability to leave his body at will, comes in handy during the Inkdeath climax.
- Character Development
- Disappeared Dad: He left two daughters (and his wife, Roxane) behind in the 'Inkworld' when Mo read him out. One has since died of illness.
- Famed In-Story
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Dustfinger has three scars stretching across his face in books one and two, a result of Basta's deadly jealousy and rage. After he comes back from death, however, his scars have been washed away. Dustfinger comments to Farid that surprisingly enough, Roxane actually seems to miss them.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the actual story, Dustfinger gave up his life to save Gwin. In Inkspell, he does this to save Farid from being killed by Basta.
- Intergenerational Friendship: He develops a close friendship with Meggie and Farid, both who are young enough to be his children.His relationship with the latter causes him to perform a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Intrepid Fictioneer
- I Will Wait for You: In all his time in our world, not once did he forget about Roxane. Well, unless you count his relationship with Resa.
- Lovable Traitor: He's a pretty likable guy, even though he turns Mo and Meggie over to the Big Bad.
- Mr. Exposition: He provides his backstory to Meggie with a lot of dialogue.
- Playing with Fire: Dustfinger is a fire-eater, and as such can play around with fire without getting burnt. He's called the 'Fire-Dancer' in the Inkworld and is held in high regard. After his return from death he gains otherworldly gifts which he uses when he is handling fire.
- Scars Are Forever: Until Inkdeath, where they're erased.
- Wild Card: Because he keeps to himself, no one knows what to expect from him.
- The Stoic: Dustfinger is usually pretty good at hiding his true feelings from other people.
- Not So Stoic: In Inkspell, when Farid is killed, he can´t bear it and exchanges his life for Farid's.
- You Cannot Fight Fate: He tries to divert from his original fate when he reenters the book in Inkspell. He still follows through with his Heroic Sacrifice, only for Farid instead of Gwin.
- It's suggested by Farid in the film adaptation that he does escape this since Gwin isn't there.
ElinorMeggie's great-aunt, and Resa's aunt. She lives in a grand house in Italy which is filled with priceless and old books.
- Bookworm: She has a wide collection of books and deems every one of them to be extremely valuable.
- Break the Haughty: Subverted, she bounces back.
- Character Development: She starts off as a crabby old woman who lived alone and starts to warm up to her niece's family.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She starts to care about her great-niece and her niece's husband as the story progresses.
- The Hermit: Lives by herself with her books.
- Properly Paranoid: When Dustfinger agrees to take Meggie to Capricorn's village, Elinor insists that she go with them because she doesn't trust Dustfinger.
FaridA boy Mo read out of The Arabian Nights' in Inkheart''. Dustfinger took him under his wing and taught him to play with fire.
- Character Development
- Does Not Like Shoes
- Hero-Worshipper: He admires Dustfinger a great deal. His devotion to the man causes him to completely ignore Meggie, which leads to their breakup.
- Romantic False Lead: His interactions with Meggie imply that they will eventually develop a romance. As of Inkdeath, they don't.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He becomes significantly unlikeable in Inkdeath when he starts dating Meggie. Rather than devote his attention and devotion to her, he goes after other girls. Obiously, this leads to Meggie leaving him for Doria.
Teresa "Resa" FolchartMo's wife and Meggie's mother.
- Babies Ever After: After the events of Inkdeath, she and Mo have a son who remains nameless in the epilogue.
- Cute Mute: When she first entered the Inkworld, she lost her voice. In Inkspell, she can finally speak again.
- Happily Married: To Mo.
- Intrepid Fictioneer
- I Will Wait for You: She remained faithful to her husband, even when separated from him for years.
- Missing Mom: In Book 1, due to having been sucked into "Inkheart" years ago.
- Shapeshifting: Inkdeath. Transformation type, she turns into a swift.
- Trapped in Another World: Though as it turns out, she was read out by Capricorn's 'reader', Darius, years before the main story began.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Her first time in the Inkworld had her in men's clothing, which is fairly unusual there.
FenoglioThe author of the in-universe book Inkheart, which he named after the black heart of Capricorn.
- A God Am I: In a sense, he's kind of right. He's created several characters with their own unique backstories and he has designed each of their fates.
- Break the Haughty: He's very conceited and is proud of what his writing has accomplished. However, there are moments where he realizes that he and everyone are in danger because of his work.
- Character Development
- Creator Breakdown: In-universe. He used to be so proud of what he had done as a writer. Once he begins to look at his world, that pride slowly diminishes.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He descends further into one the more out of control his own story's plot goes.
- Jerkass: At times, and always appropriately called out on it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a bit selfish, but he cares about his grandchildren and Meggie when they're in danger.
- Mr. Exposition: He happily explains everything he knows about his characters, thus proving to them that he is indeed their creator.
Capricorn and The Fire-Raisers
CapricornThe Big Bad of Inkheart in a very literal sense.
- Bald of Evil: In the film, due to having shaved it off. It also shows there that he used to have a Beard of Evil while living in the novel but is clean-shaven in the film itself. It's unclear how much of this holds true in the novel itself.
- Big Bad: Of Inkheart, both the first book and the book within the book.
- Expy: Of Adolf Hitler himself, according to Word of God. Holds true in-story, though it's not stated outright.
- Freudian Excuse: It's not used to excuse his actions though, just to explain them. Fenoglio even points out that while it always existed, he deliberately left it out of the story.
- Karmic Death: He's destroyed by his own monster by the end of Inkheart.
- Meaningful Rename: After the constellation he was born under. His birth name is never revealed.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He underwent a Meaningful Rename, most likely because he wanted to recreate his identity.
- The Sociopath: He's cold and calculative, has no remorse for harming children and makes people bend to his will by using their loved ones.
BastaOne of Capricorn's fire-raisers, often forced to do his dirty work.
- Arch-Enemy: To Dustfinger. They fought for Roxane's affections, only to have Roxane choose Dustfinger over him. He retaliated by cutting up his face.
- The Dragon: To Capricorn in Book 1, to Mortola onwards.
- Dragon Ascendant: Subverted, he doesn't actually lead Capricorn's fireraisers after his demise, due to the fact that most of them perished in Inkheart. He instead acts as The Heavy, in terms of having a more active role on the frontline (compared to Mortola and the Silver Prince.)
- Even Evil Has Standards: Unlike the other Fireraisers, Basta - despite his capacity for evil and cruelty - isn't really a sadist, nor does he Kick the Dog (certainly not For the Evulz). Even Dustfinger acknowledges this. It may explain why he wasn't erased/killed in the first book's climax, as well.
- Hero Killer: In Inkspell, he kills off Cloud-Dancer, and later Farid. The latter is revived only by Dustfinger's Heroic Sacrifice, and he in turn is only revived by Mo Balancing Death's Books and ensuring the Silver Prince dies as part of a bargain.
- Killed Off for Real: For emphasis, he Came Back Wrong in Inkdeath and was then defeated in a way that, at the very least, ensures he's dead for good.
- Knife Nut: He really, really likes his knife.
- Knight of Cerebus: With the exception of sequences when he's incapacitated, he raised the threat level considerably. Though he doesn't actually harm anyone in the first book, in the second he kills Cloud-Dancer mid-way through the book, before pulverising Plot Armour by knifing Farid. In the third book, he is brought back by Orpheus as a Night-Mare, and is more dangerous than ever until Dustfinger realises who he really is and uses it to put him down for good.
- Start of Darkness: According to Fenoglio, he has one of these, which is actually surprisingly sympathetic.
- Terms of Endangerment: He frequently calls Meggie "sweetheart" in the books. In the film, he mockingly calls her "princess".
- Would Hurt a Child: He's not above hurting Meggie, Farid or Fenoglio's grandchildren.
- You Need a Breath Mint: He chews on mint leaves because a girl he tried to court complained about his breath.
Mortola The MagpieKeeper of the keys for Capricorn. Oh, and also his mother.
- Berserk Button: Insult her son and you will regret it.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With the Silver Prince in the second and third books, although she verges more on Big Bad Wannabe.
- The Dark Chick: She's the only woman who works closely with Capricorn.
- Disney Villain Death: She averts one in the first book, but she, along with Basta, are killed in the second book.
- In the movie, she's one of the first people to die in the climax.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She loves her son, which is why she assists him in his plans. She also plots her revenge for Capricorn's death.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: She wounds Mo for killing her son, Capricorn.
RoxaneDustfinger's beautiful wife. Once a minstrel woman, she is now a healer and lives on a farm not far away from Ombra.
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: By the time Dustfinger finally returns home, he's been gone a decade, and Roxane has a son (by another man) who is nearly that old, so she can't have waited for him very long.
- Dude Magnet: She attracted Basta and Dustfinger's affections prior to her backstory. During the time that her husband is gone, she formed another relationship.
- I Will Wait for You: Somewhat straight. She fell in love with another man in the time that Dustfinger was gone. However, once he returns, she gradually accepts him back.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
The Black Prince
The Black PrinceA hero in the Inkworld, and Dustfinger's oldest friend. He is the leader of the strolling players and is always followed by his faithful bear.