open/close all folders
GregorThe main character. At first an ordinary eleven-year-old kid living in New York City, he discovers the Underland when he follows his baby sister down a vent in their apartment building's laundry room and learns he's the prophesied Warrior.
- A Boy and His X: At the end of Gregor the Overlander, he bonds with the bat Ares.
- Badass Normal
- Because Destiny Says So: If it weren't for the prophecies, he would not be involved in any of the Underland's battles. And he isn't always happy about it.
- Beginner's Luck: He seems to get lucky a lot when fighting, even though he's not the brightest.
- The Berserker: In Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, he learns he's a "rager" a person with highly developed warrior skills, a natural-born killer. Meaning he has a natural capacity to go into this state when his life is in danger. It's not always voluntary, which is really bad for a character who normally hates to kill.
- Blessed with Suck: Turns out being the Warrior of the prophecy isn't much fun for him. At the end of the series, he is warned that with his rager abilities it will be much easier for him to kill people, so he'll always have to keep an eye on himself.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: He never wants to fulfill the prophecies that Sandwich set down for him, but they always find a way to rope him in. Particularly in Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, his Grandma tells him "You can run away, but the prophecy will find you somehow." A bit later his mother is infected with a deadly plague forcing him to go after the cure. The call metaphorically hits him right where he lives.
- Ripred's "escort" for him is a much more literal example from the same book.
- Children Forced To Kill
- Covered with Scars: By the end he's racked up an impressive total. After his fight with the Bane, he basically gives up the idea of even coming up with an excuse for them.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He wears black armour during the final battle, and his bond is black as well.
- Death Is Such an Odd Thing: The Kill 'em All ending leaves him in a state of emotional distress about many characters, many of whom were absolute jerkasses toward him. Particularly in Gregor and the Code of Claw, when faced with the Prophecy of Time that foretells his own death.
- Disappeared Dad: His father in Gregor the Overlander, vanished when he was eight. They find him though.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Eventually like Ripred, he learns to spin. It is implied that all ragers can.
- First-Name Basis: His last name is never mentioned.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Suffers from one in the Gregor and The Code of Claw, when the realization that if the prophecy is true he's going to die.
- Hyper Awareness: He can see his surroundings by using echolocation.
- Idiot Hero: He's just a kid, after all.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: He has a bad case of this. He's fated to fulfill several prophecies which make the series go from mildly darker than standard High Fantasy to bad. Really bad.
- Kid Hero
- Missing Mom: When his mom gets the plague in Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, she spends most of the rest of the series recuperating in the Underland.
- Official Couple: With Luxa.
- One-Man Army
- Promotion to Parent: With his dad missing, his mom working, and his grandma's dementia, he starts out with a lot of weight on his shoulders. Things don't get much better when he has the Underland to think about as well.
- Scars Are Forever: Which he realizes is part of his Bittersweet Ending.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: At the end of the series. He's twelve.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: It's strongly implied that he will never see Luxa again.
- Unstoppable Rage: As a result of being a rager.
- War Is Hell: He realizes this is true for both the Underland and Overland in the ending chapter.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: He seems to love mocking Luxa's stiff conduct and all that. Has some pretty funny moments.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Even before the books start, he didn't get to be much of a kid.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Brought home in Gregor and the Curse of The Warmbloods when his mom contracts the plague; he acknowledges mentally that there was no other way to ensure the prophecy would happen the way it needed to.
- Your Days Are Numbered: The final prophecy in Gregor and the Code of Claw refers to the Warrior's death.
BootsGregor's youngest sister. Her real name is Margaret. She starts the events of the whole series by falling through a vent in her apartment's laundry room.
- Children Are Innocent:
- The Drag-Along
- Everything's Better with Princesses: The crawlers refer to her as "the princess", and she spends almost all of Gregor and the Marks of Secret in a princess costume.
- First-Name Basis: Her last name is never mentioned.
- Friend to All Living Things: Even the creepy-crawly ones. Kind of her 'superpower'.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is only mentioned in Gregor the Overlander, and the crawlers refer to her exclusively as "the princess".
LizzieGregor's second younger sister. Extremely shy, she never even visits the Underland until the last book.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: In Gregor and The Code of Claw, her talent with puzzles becomes incredibly useful.
- First-Name Basis: Her last name is never mentioned.
- Good with Numbers: Very good.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Ripred. She reminds him of one of his deceased daughters.
- Secret Keeper: Is often required to explain why her family members have disappeared for extended periods of time.
- Shrinking Violet
Gregor, Boots and Lizzie's FamilyAt the start of the series, their father has been missing for over two years.
- Adults Are Useless: The parents are not completely useless, and never by choice, but they are rarely able to help Gregor with his unique problems. Averted in Gregor the Overlander when the dad manages to steer them back to Regalia.
- Disappeared Dad: The father in Gregor the Overlander, vanished when Gregor was eight. They find him though.
- First-Name Basis: The mother's first name is Grace.
- Good Parents: Though their father is mysteriously missing in Gregor the Overlander, and their mother is a Missing Mom for most of the last three books.
- Missing Mom: When the mom gets the plague in Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, she spends most of the rest of the series recuperating in the Underland.
- No Name Given: We never learn the father's name.
- Shipper on Deck: The mom who secretly approves of Luxa, because she's "got attitude."
Mrs. CormaciAn older widow who lives in the same apartment building as Gregor's family.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: She tends to send just the right objects at just the right times and who gives tarot readings. Gregor at one point wonders if she can see what he needs in her tarot cards, and given that psychics exist in this series, he could be right.
- Nosy Neighbor: A well-intentioned and not especially annoying version, but any questions are awkward when you don't know have a good explanation.
- Secret Keeper: Becomes this for the family starting in Gregor and the Marks of Secret.
- Supreme Chef: Apparently a very good chef.
Underland CreaturesTropes that apply to a species as a whole.
- Aerith and Bob: The humans have both typical English names — Henry, Howard, York, Susanna, Judith — and more fantastic names like Solovet, Nerissa, Vikus and Mareth. Lampshaded when Gregor is introduced to – Henry, he almost laughs that "among all these strange names, there's a Henry".
- Always Chaotic Evil: Most rats and humans believe this about each other.
- Animals Not to Scale: All of the animals are much, much larger than their Overland cousins.
- Bat out of Hell: Averted, as the bats are the humans' most valuable allies.
- Bond Creatures: The humans and the bats are the only species with this. Until Gregor and the Code of Claw.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The assorted oversized creatures of the overworld are given simpler names, allegedly by the people who live there. (Rats are known as "gnawers", spiders as "spinners", and so on.) This is what the creatures of the Underworld actually call themselves, just translated into the nearest thing in English. Humans have one of these names too among the Underworld creaturesnote , but they don't like to hear it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be an inborn trait of the rats, who are also some of the few underlanders to use informal language.Twitchtip: (when Photos-glow-glow "can't understand" boots): Allow me to translate. She said If you don't stop you incessant bable that big rat sitting in the boat next to you will rip you head off.
- Dirty Coward: The fireflies.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: And how. All the rats seem to be like this.
- Evil Albino: This could also apply to some of the humans in the series, but every single Underland human is a violet-eyed albino and a majority of them aren't that despicable.
- Evolutionary Stasis: Averted in that the Underlander humans' eyes turned purple and their hair turned a very light blond. Although how living under ground could cause a change in melanin levels that quickly could be an example of artistic license.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Even though the crawlers/cockroaches, gnawers/rats, spinners/spiders, fliers/bats, etc. that coexist with humans in the Underland are not human, they are sentient and treated as full characters on the same level as humans. Prejudices held among human characters towards these species are even treated as equal to any intra-human bigotry.
- The bats, humans, and mice are allies with each other, and hate the rats, who hate just about everyone but especially the humans and mice. The insects pretty much hate all the mammals. The spiders are willing to play both sides, and the cockroaches are considered stupid.
- Good with Numbers: The mice, judging by their Theme Naming.
- Heroic Albino: Any heroic Underland human is this by default.
- Humans Kill Wantonly: The giant, intelligent rats are called "Gnawers", bats are "Flyers", mice are "Nibblers", etc. Humans are " Killers", a moniker they picked up after they nearly drove a population of moles to extinction in order to take their land. Not that anyone would call them that to their faces, of course.
- Lazy Bum: The fireflies. Mareth describes how he once saw two fireflies try to fight to the death over a piece of cake, only to accuse the other of cheating and resort to sulking.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Ripred, The Bane (whose true name is Pearlpelt), Twirltongue, Lapblood, Mange...all the rats have some scary names.
- The Nose Knows: The rats demonstrate this quality in their first appearance by accurately calculating what Gragor and Boots ate for dinner hours earlier right down to the tiny bowl of greens. They also are shown to be able to estimate human emotions and navigate and fight in complete darkness.
- Not So Different: The rats and the humans.
- Old Shame: In Gregor and the Code of Claw, it's revealed that Bartholomew of Sandwich resorted to poisoning the moles to get their land. It was thought they were all killed by this tactic, and it poisoned everyone else's opinion of the humans.
- People Of Hair Colour: All the Regalians have silver/blond hair.
- Purple Eyes: Underland humans are basically a race of albinos, so this trope is justified here.
- Rat Men: The giant rats, which are sentient. There are similar giant versions of many small animals from our world.
- Rodents of Unusual Size
- Spider Swarm: There's a species of spiders called "Spinners" living as an entire race.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker: The cockroaches tend to mix up verb and subject placement as well as using repetition of certain sentence elements, such as "Do it, I can, do it," or "be small Human, be?"
- Talking Animal: All of them.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: If two or more species have to work together, it most likely involves this.
- Theme Naming:
- All of the bats have names taken from Greek mythology.
- Luxa's mother is named Judith, while Judith's twin is named Hamnet and their sister is named Susannah. William Shakespeare had a daughter named Susannah and twins named Judith and Hamnet.
- The mice are named after famous mathematicians and mathematical principles.
- The rats have compound names, usually violent — Ripred, Gorger, Makemince.
- You Dirty Rat: Played straight at first, then subverted big-time.
LuxaA year younger than Gregor, she is the reigning queen of Regalia, though still under the authority of a ruling Council. Frequently involved in the quests.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: When she is introduced, she's eleven, and the Queen of Regalia.
- Action Girl: Pretty much a requirement, with the humans nearly always at war with the rats.
- A Girl and Her Bat: Her bond bat, Aurora.
- Badass Normal
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: We never learn much about her parents, but apparently they were pretty decent people.
- Defrosting Ice Queen:
- Fantastic Racism: Getting over it is part of her Character Development.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Becomes essentially catatonic when her cousin betrays her.
- Official Couple: With Gregor.
- Rebellious Princess: Technically a queen, still she owns this trope completely, but makes it seem pretty cool.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: More so as the books go on, especially when almost the entire Council is killed in the war.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: It's strongly implied she and Gregor will never see each other again.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- Unable to Cry: Gregor really starts warming up to her when she tells him that she has not cried since her parents' deaths. When her cousin Henry betrays her at the end of Gregor the Overlander, she goes into a catatonic state of sorts, and it seems like she still won't cry - until she sees Vikus.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out more than once on her behavior.
VikusA member of the ruling Council, husband of Solovet and Luxa's grandfather.
- Adults Are Useless: Averted, though he usually plays more of a supporting role.
- Fantastic Racism: One of the few Underland humans who doesn't have it.
- Friend to All Living Things: One of a very few Underland humans who would willingly work with a rat.
- Happily Married: With Solovet. Though it's implied her participation in the creation of the plague made things rocky between them.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Suffers a stroke after his wife dies.
- Nice Guy: Would much rather talk through differences than fight over them.
- No Accounting for Taste: With Solovet: she's a ruthless general willing to resort to almost any tactic to win, he's a pacifist at heart who always tries the diplomatic option first. When Gregor comments on how odd it is that they are married, Vikus admits it has always been somewhat of a puzzle to them as well.
- Non-Action Guy: He would rather talk out problems than fight.
- Odd Friendship: Calling his relationship with Ripred a "friendship" is a little strong, but the two do have more respect for each other than the other members of their species.
- Parental Substitute: Closest thing to a parent Luxa has.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though he's such a Nice Guy Gregor and others don't feel they can always confide in him.
- Supporting Leader
SolovetWife of Vikus, leader of the human armies, and grandmother to Luxa.
- Action Girl
- Happily Married: With Vikus. Though it's implied her participation in the creation of the plague made things rocky between them.
NerissaLuxa's cousin (on her father's side). Sister of Henry.
- Blessed with Suck: Funny how a society built on one man's prophecies treats their own personal prophetess so poorly.
- The Ophelia
- Waif Prophet: It's suggested that the deaths of her parents broke her, but her visions certainly don't help; she is always described as looking unwell, faints occasionally, and with a handful of exceptions is never believed.
HenryLuxa's cousin (on her father's side), and brother to Nerissa.
- A Boyand His X: Bonded with Ares.
- Big Bad Friend: To all appearances, his affection for his cousin and his offer to rule with her are sincere.
- Character Death: Dies at the end of Gregor the Overlander.
- Fantastic Racism: Like Luxa, he mocks the cockroaches and even attempts to kill Ripred.
- Jerkass: He isn't the worst example, but he makes fun of both Gregor and the cockroaches, particularly the latter.
- The Mole: He allied with the vicious rat king Gorger, with the goal of taking over the Underland.
- Walking Spoiler
- We Can Rule Together: Says this to Luxa, trying to convince her to side with him in his betrayal.
HowardLuxa's cousin (on her mother's side), from the smaller human settlement known as the Fount. Grandson of Vikus. Introduced in Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Luxa and Gregor both, eventually.
- The Medic: After coming down with the Curse of the Warmbloods in the third book, he takes an interest in medicine.
- Nice Guy
- Shipper on Deck: Very much averted, he seems hellbent on making sure Gregor and Luxa never go on a date.
MarethA member of the human army. Luxa's coach, and occasionally included in quests.
- Handicapped Badass: He loses his leg in Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane.
RipredA warrior rat, the semi-official leader of the few rats who don't want continual war with the humans.
- Badass Normal
- The Berserker: Like Gregor, he is also a "rager".
- Covered with Scars
- Everything's Better with Spinning: He can spin. It is implied that all ragers can.
- Failure Knight: Is this for his dead mate and pups.
- Fair-Weather Mentor: He could fit into this, particularly in Gregor and The Curse of the Warmbloods.
- Good Is Not Nice: For all his faults, he is genuinely interested in making peace between the humans and the rats, and on rare occasions, shows he does have a Hidden Heartof Gold.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's an antisocial semi-loner with only a small band of outcasts around him, and doesn't respect anyone unless they earn it from him. He has his moments, such as in Gregor the Overlander comforting Gregor after one of the quest members dies and he feels it's his fault, but in Gregor and the Code of Claw, we learn he had a family that drowned in an event described in Gregor and the Mark of Secret. He had a daughter, named Silksharp, that liked to do math puzzles and was apparently not very strong-bodied. Lizzie, the middle child of Gregor's family, reminds her of him. One of the heartwarming moments of the book is him comforting Lizzie in the middle of the night after she has a panic attack.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- One-Man Army: It takes four hundred soldiers to take him out.
- Pet the Dog: He is never more than civil to anyone, until he meets Lizzie.
- Rodent of Unusual Size
- Scars Are Forever
- Shell-Shocked Veteran
- Unstoppable Rage: As a result of being ragers.
- X Marks the Hero: He gets this type of scar near the end of Gregor and the Code of Claw from himself, so he could fill the role of the a person from one of Sandwich's prophecies.
- Blessed with Suck: Her sense of smell is so accurate that she can smell secrets — not a fast track to the popular crowd.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- The Nose Knows: She has such a sensitive nose that she is called a "sent seer." Among other things she can detect the sent of a rager, newly hardened volcanic rock, a whirlpool, and the color of Boots' shirt from out side the castle tower Boots is in.
- Rodent of Unusual Size
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Scarily good orator, possibly insane, wreaks Holocaust-esque genocide on a group of innocent mice ("nibblers"). He tells them that he is only "relocating" them yet again; however, this is discovered to be false when he traps them under a volcano and gasses them to death.
- Big Bad: Literally.
- Establishing Character Moment: Interestingly enough, he gets one after his initial introduction. We first meet him as a baby, whose cries for his mother make it impossible for Gregor to kill him. What could be more innocent? Well, in Gregor and the Marks of Secret, we learn he killed his devoted caretaker. Still, he said it was an accident, and he's so big he might not know his own strength .. he tried to eat him to cover it up?
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Though in Gregor and The Marks of Secret, we find out that his name is Pearlpelt.
- Evil Albino
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- Rodent of Unusual Size
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: His father killed his other children so Pearlpelt could have more milk and grow stronger. His parents killed each other in a fight, and he saw his mother lying dead with her innards spilled over the ground. To make matters worse, almost all the humans shun him because he's the Bane, and many of his fellow rats honor him and want him to be their king. Eventually, he goes completely off the deep end, becoming an Evil Albino and a great Hitler allegory.
HamnetThe son of Vikus and Solovet, uncle to Luxa and Howard. Shows up in Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, after living (almost) on his own in the jungle for years.
- Failure Knight: He shouldn't have listened to his mother and let the flood gates open so that everyone would drown.
- Mother I Don't Want to Fight: He tried this. It didn't end well.
- Half Identical Twin: Implied. Luxa's mother, Judith, was his twin sister; Hamnet mistakes Luxa for Judith twice, and Gregor comments on how alike Hamnet and Luxa are.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He has this when while trying to drive the rats out of the Garden of the Hesperidies, he permanently floods the garden, destroying the apple trees, drowning countless rats, bats, humans, and even the rat pups who had been taken into the cave to escape the fighting, leading to him fleeing Regalia to live in the jungle.
- Reluctant Warrior: He will resort to violence when necessary, but only as a last resort.
- Theme Naming: After William Shakespeare's children, apparently: Hamnet had a twin sister, Judith, and another sister named Susanna.