Twelve years old Darren Shan is the main protagonist of the series. At the start of the series he was a fan of spiders, so when the Cirque du Freak visited his home town, he became obsessed with Madame Octa, a rather large and colorful performing spider, with lethal poison, and stole it from it's rightful owner: a vampire.
Angst: First after Mr Crepsley blooded him, and much later, following Mr Crepsley's death.
The Chosen One: Played straight in that, he's one of three vampires who are allowed to kill the Vampaneze Lord. Subverted in that he was chosen to destroy the world, should he, or the other two succeed in doing so.
Dhampyr: Sort of. He's half-vampire, but he was transformed into one by blood transfusion, instead of being born one.
Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in the first book. He gave up his humanity to save Steve's life, who was bitten by Madame Octa, the lethally poisonous spider.
Subverted again, when he returned to the Vampire Mountain to warn the Princes about Kurda's betrayal, despite he has been sentenced to death by them for failing on the Trials and escaping. The Vampires were so impressed by this, that they made him a Prince, just so his failure could be pardoned.
Played straight in the last book. He gouged Steve into killing him, and let him to do it, to save the world -and himself- from the Lord Of Shadows.
May-December Romance: with Debbie. Subverted as she is the same age as he is, but looks older than him, because she's a normal human.
Nightmare Fetishist: He has an over fascination for spiders. In the prologue of the first book, he admitted that when he was little, he fantasized about a spider climbing down his throat, laying eggs in his stomach, which then would hatch and start eating him from inside out. Oh and he fantasized about this when he went to bed.
Older Than He Looks: he was blooded into a half-vampire at the age of twelve. At the end of the series, eighteen years later, he had apparently aged about six years, and only because he had a
Single-Target Sexuality: Debbie was the only girl he was ever in love with. Even when they met again sixteen years later. and he looked like a teenager while she became an adult.
The Smart Guy / The Strategist: He came up with some rather impressive strategies, particularly his plan to confuse the Vampaneze before the battle in The Vampire Prince, worked so well, that the vampires lost twelve warriors, instead of the estimated thirty to forty minimum casualty. It largely contributed to his election as the youngest Vampire Prince. He even outwitted Mr. Tiny in the final book.
Take a Third Option: Mr. Tiny's plan was that either Darren or Steve would become the destroyer of the world, whichever survived/killed the other. It backfired on him, when Darren realized that only means both of them must die at each others hands.
Badass: He was considered to be nominated to be a leader of an proud warrior race, where Ass Kicking Equals Authority, and is informally the second highest ranking member of the vampire clan, out-ranked only by the 800 years old Paris Skyle. The first time we really see how badass he is, he punches a werewolf unconscious with his bare hands.
Dying Moment of Awesome Fighting the highly skilled Vampaneze Gannen Harst, Steve and the Lord of the Vampaneze (both half-vampaneze) all at once, and apparently winning by killing the Vampaze Lord. Then it's revealed the guy he killed was only a ploy...
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Crepsley is bitter, snarky, perfectly willing to let Steve die, and not averse to smacking Darren around to teach him a lesson, and yet he genuinely cares for Mesdames Truska and Octa, and comes to the rescue every time Darren gets into trouble (which is often).
A Small person, who was brought back to life by Mr. Tiny, and was tasked with protecting Darren.
Back from the Dead: His soul made a pact with Mr. Tiny, who brought him back as a Small person. For most of the series he didn't remember anything of his old life, and the whole Lake of Souls book was about his and Darren's adventures to find out who he had been before he died.
Body Horror: All of the Small persons are small, have thick, grey, sutured skin, large green eyes, they have no nose, nor outer ears, and large mouth with grey tongue and sharp teeth and they don't feel tastes.
Brick Joke: In Hunters of the Dusk he, Darren and Mr Crepsley spoke about who he could've been, and Mr Crepsley jokingly said he has vampire blood, to which he admitted that he had been wondering if he had been a vampire in his previous life, because of his liking of the clan. This caused Darren to wonder if he could had been a Prince, which he dismissed. Then in Lake of Souls, it turned out that he was the traitor Prince-nominee Kurda Smalth.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: He's an extremist in this regard even among the vampires. He only wears clothes he himself sewn together from the skins of animals he killed, he fights only with his hands, he carves out his shurikens from the ore, sleeps on his cloak, eats only raw meat, and drinks only water, milk and blood.
Windmill Crusader: He regularly takes walks in the sunshine, trying to break the curse of vampires, which forces them to live in the dark. He's been doing it for over a century, without any success, but he's not willing to give up, despite the bad sunburns and sunstrokes he gets from it.
It's only a watch.
A malevoulent being who only wants to throw the world into chaos.
All-Powerful Bystander: He hates it, but he can't directly interfere with the destiny of the world, because...
Time Abyss: He's so old, that Seba Nile, the second oldest living vampire at the age of 700, was young the first and last time they met before the series. He even claims that he measures time in continental movements.
Ungrateful Bastard: Darren gave up his life as a human, and became Mr Crepsley's assistant to save Steve's life. He viewed this as Darren deliberately tried to kill him with Madame Octa, and then stole away his dream of becoming a vampire, and swore vengeance on both him and Mr Crepsley.
Vampire Hunter: Posed as one, who knew the difference between the Vampires and Vampaneze, and haunted the latters.
Animal Wrongs Group: He set the Cirque Du Freak's werewolf free, because he thought it was cruel to keep it chained in a cage all the time. Of course Darren was partially at fault, since he did tell R.V. that the werewolf wasn't really dangerous.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Subverted. He was the eldest living vampire during the time of the series, as highest ranking Prince, and indeed he was very badass, but due his age he was no longer fit for active front service. Instead during the war he focused on coordinating the Generals.
Living Legend: There are many legends surrounding him, including that he fought side-by-side with Jean D'Arc, he traveled with Christopher Columbus to America and introduced vampirism in the "New World", he was the inspiration behind Stroker's Dracula, and last, but not least, Mr Crepsley confirmed that he was friends with William Shakespeare, and upon Shakespeare's death, Paris drank all his blood, sucking out part of his soul and all of his unwritten creations with it, and later had them written down.
Action Girl: She remained undefeated in a game for eleven years, and even Mr. Crepsley considered it suicide to challenge her in it. She also took the Trials of Death multiple times to prove herself worthy of being a vampire.
Faux Action Girl: Her badassery is always talked about, but it's never shown. She remained champion of a game for eleven years, even Mr Crepsley thinks it's suicide to challenge her in it, but first Darren humiliates her in it -tho he still loses-, then she loses to Kurda in one move. Then in the battle with the vampaneze, it's stated that she had killed many others, but the only one she's actually shown fighting, mortally wounds her.
Back from the Dead: He's Harkat's true identity. Although it seems to be more of a reincarnation, since while they share the same soul, and after learning the truth Harkat also gained back Kurda's memories, they're actually two different person, and when Kurda had to choose whether he wanted to live again, he choose to die, and let Harkat live.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Subverted. He betrayed the clan, and killed one his own friends, but he did it to save them.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Most vampire considers him weak, because of his usual refusal to fight, so it came by a total surprise when he beat Arra Sails in a game she remained undefeated for eleven years. As he put it to Darren:
I dislike fighting. But it doesn't mean I can't fight.