Erik (a.k.a The Phantom)A physically deformed and mentally disturbed charismatic genius who was one of the architects who took part in the construction of the opera. He has been extorting money from the Opera's management for many years and enters into a conflict with the new managers once they don't listen to his demands. He falls in love with Christine and begins to tutor her, telling her that he is the Angel of Music of whom her father had spoken.
- Above the Influence
- Adaptational Attractiveness/Hollywood Homely: The shows and the 2004 movie in particular tone down his deformities and make him appear less frightening.
- Adaptational Villainy: The 1989 version is a vile irredeemable murderer.
- Affably Evil
- Alas, Poor Villain: It's hard not to feel bad for the poor guy. Towards the end, he even welcomes his fate after Christine says that she'll give up her freedom.
- Antagonist Title
- Anti-Villain: All he really wanted was to be loved and have his work praised as a masterpiece.
- Beast and Beauty: With Christine.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Raoul's Betty for Christine's Archie.
- Black Mask of Doom: Originally, but most adaptations make it white beginning with the film. (Possibly because it was easier to see in black and white.)
- The Chessmaster
- Compelling Voice
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He does not handle Christine's interest in Raoul well.
- Cultured Badass
- Dramatic Unmask: Every show builds up to how deformed his face, each varying from the other one.
- Entitled to Have You: Erik sees Christine's love for Raoul as a betrayal.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Christine expects the Phantom to rape her during her abductions, but he actually has the decency not to do so. This after he has murdered a number of innocent people, especially via his penchant for hanging traps; declared that he owns Christine; and other not-so-nice things.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Raoul is just as irresistibly enchanted by Erik's voice as Christine is.
- Evil Genius
- Evil Laugh
- Freudian Excuse: When even your own mother can't bear to touch you because of your face and forces you to wear a mask - to say nothing of the rest of an unaccepting, close-minded world - it hardly inspires warm feelings towards your fellow man.
- Giftedly Bad: At least in the 25th Anniversary show of the musical, the Phantom's passionate organ playing is mediocre at best, painful at worst, and the opera he wrote, Don Juan Triumphant, is apparently so bad, that an entire chorus along with the three main singers of the Opera Populaire (Carlotta, Piangi, and Christine) can't make it sound less cacophonic.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- He Who Must Not Be Named: Once he starts killing people, everyone in the Opera House becomes frightened of him.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen
- I Just Want to Be Normal
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Towards the end of the novel and the show, he decides to let Christine go. Even though she chooses to stay with him, out of pity and of threat, he decides that she would be happier with Raoul than with him.
- The Kindnapper
- Large Ham
- Love at First Note: Towards Christine. Especially mentioned in the lines "He was bound to love you when he heard you sing."
- Love Makes You Crazy and
- Love Makes You Evil
- Love Redeems
- Mad Artist
- Mad Scientist: Subverted. He built a Robotic Torture Device / Death Trap and a Deceptively Human Robot at the middle of the 19th century, but his tragedy, as the Narrator lampshades in the Epilogue, is that he is so ugly he could never become a scientist, but rather a toyman or Stage Magician.
- Mailer Daemon
- May–December Romance: We never learn Erik's actual age, but at the very least he's old enough to be Christine's father.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He'll happily kill Raoul if it will make Christine love him.
- Noble Demon
- No Name Given: In most adaptations. Interestingly, while Webber's play just refers to him as "The Phantom", the play Phantom developed at around the same time refers to Erik by name.
- Offscreen Teleportation
- Only One Name: Mostly. One adaptation did give him the last name "Destler" though, and as a result, he is often referred to as Erik Destler in many Alternate Universe Fan Fic.
- Psychopathic Manchild: The Persian and Erik himself lampshade Erik's attitude as childish despite his multiple talents. He is not interested in sex but to have a beautiful wife and a life like any other guy. It's only when he actually triumphs that he realizes how impractical those dreams are.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His masquerade attire uses a red and black color scheme.
- Redemption Equals Death: Dies pretty quickly after he lets Christine and Raoul go.
- Scarpia Ultimatum
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax
- Single-Target Sexuality: Christine-sexual, oh so much.
- Stalker With a Crush
- Theatre Phantom: The Trope Maker unsurprisingly; the success of the film adaptation sparked a great many versions and references of this character for years in other media.
- Third-Person Person
- Torture Technician
- Tragic Monster: He was born with a disfigured face and was rejected by just about everyone he encountered. It's the constant fear and rejection that plunged him into a villainous life.
- Two-Faced: His musical counterpart. The original Erik had a completely disfigured face.
- Villainous Breakdown
- Wicked Cultured
- Yandere: For Christine. He developed an unhealthy obsession for her and donated his time and life towards being with her. In the climax, he forces her to choose between being with him for the rest of her life or refuse him. Unfortunately, refusing him would result in the Opera House being blown up, killing everyone in there.
- His musical counterpart threatens to kill Raoul if she didn't choose him.
Christine DaaéA young Swedish soprano who becomes torn between her loyalty for her mentor Erik, and her love for her childhood friend Raoul de Chagny.
- Bad Liar
- Beast and Beauty: With Erik.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Raoul.
- The Cutie
- Damsel in Distress: Whenever she's kidnapped by Erik.
- The Ingenue
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: With some productions of the musical. Others tend to go with brunettes, though.
- Happily Adopted: By Madame Valerius after her father died.
- The Heart: She's regarded as the kindest and most loving character in the whole novel.
- The Heroine: Yes, this is the original protagonist.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Part of her attraction to The Phantom is that he reminds her of her father.
- Living MacGuffin
- May–December Romance: Erik is old enough to be Christine's father.
- No Matter How Much I Beg: Christine eventually tells Raoul to take her out of the country away from Erik no matter how much she protests later.
- Plucky Girl: Christine is a Swedish peasant girl trying to make her way in the world and a name for herself with her singing, not to mention all the physical, mental, and emotional torture she has to endure, mostly on her own unless she's trying to protect her boyfriend as well.
- Redundant Rescue: Raoul's and the Persian's rescue mission ends with Christine forced to save them from the Phantom's Death Trap.
- She Is All Grown Up: Before their reunion at the Paris Opera, Raoul and Christine were Childhood Friends and last met on the verge of adolescence and strange new feelings that they couldn't understand.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Lampshaded with No Matter How Much I Beg.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Once she gets a glimpse of his face behind the mask, she feels sorry for him and understands his situation.
- Tender Tears
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Christine never lets Raoul push her around and has no problem telling him to mind his own business.
Viscount Raoul de ChagnyChristine's childhood friend and love interest.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Erik's Veronica for Christine's Archie.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Christine.
- Distressed Dude: The climax features him (and the Persian in the novel) being in danger.
- Exact Eavesdropping
- Knight in Shining Armor
- The Load: To the Persian.
- Love Makes You Crazy
- Stalker With a Crush: Christine is not at all impressed when she finds out about him listening at her door. And then he goes and hides in her closet...
The PersianA mysterious man from Erik's past. He is known as a fixture of the Opera, considered an eccentric Persian who was allowed to wander backstage where he pleased.
- Adapted Out: Despite being a very important character in the book, the Persian gets this treatment in nearly every adaptation of the story, along with most of Erik's backstory.
- Blue Blood: He's a very minor member of the Royal Family of Persia, which why even though he was banished he still receives a pension from the government.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He saved Erik from being executed by the Shah of Persia and for his troubles, he was banished and Erik repaid his kindness by committing murders.
- No Name Given: He is only called the Persian, or Daroga, which is his former job description — a title of the members of the Shah's secret police.
- Only Sane Man
- Saved the Villain: And boy does he regret it now.
Richard & Moncharmin
Richard and MoncharminThe new managers of the opera house. They believe "The Phantom" it's just a rumour and don't listen to his demands, which causes a great conflict with Erik.
Madame GiryThe caretaker for Box Five, which is reserved by Erik. She knows Erik and is in good terms with him. She is fired when she tries to tell Richard and Moncharmin about "The Phantom".
CarlottaA spoiled prima donna, the lead soprano of the Paris opera house and Christine's rival. She is threatened by Erik that if she performs at the Opera House instead of Christine "a great misfortune will strike". She shrugs the warning off and performs anyway. When she does, however, croaking noises come out of her mouth and the chandelier comes crashing down. Ashamed, she hides from the public view for a few weeks, before making a return to the opera house.
Count Philippe de ChagnyRaoul's elder brother.