Characters: The Wardstone Chronicles
aka: The Last Apprentice
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- The Apprentice: why do you think this serie is named that way ?
- Boy Meets Ghoul: with Alice. subverted in that both of them are not fully human.
- The Chosen One: according to his mother.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: let's see... he killed the Bane, beheaded the Morrigan, sealed the Fiend... should we go on ?
- Genre Savvy: depending on the episode, he can be either this or Genre Blind.
- Green Eyes
- Half-Human Hybrid: he is the son of Lamia, the original Lamia Witch.
- The Hero
- Heroes Prefer Swords: he becomes the owner of the Sword of Destiny after his encounter with Chuchulain in Book 8.
- In the Hood
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: tends to happen to him quite often, though he almost alwas has a justification:
- in Book 1, he he gives Mother Malkin the cakes that give her the strenght to escape; in his defense, he was tricked by Alice and Lizzie.
- in Book 2, he actually averts the Trope by refusing to free the Bane, only to have Alice doing it instead of him.
- in Book 4, Mab and the Moudheels were actually refusing to help the other Witch Clans to summon the Devil, until Tom double-crossed Mab and rejected her. Once again, in her defense, she had threatened his family a few minutes ago.
- in Book 6, he agrees to make a Deal with the Devil that breaks the protection his mother put on his soul; justified because the Devil made sure he had no choice but to accept.
- Time Master: he got it from his mother. Though he can only stop time at best, and he only learns to use right it starting with Book 8.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the initial books, he would often end up as a Distressed Dude and survive only thanks to running away, cunning, luck or help from an Alice and Gregory. By the end of Book 8, he almost fully masters his Time Stands Still ability and learnt how to use the Sword of Destiny from Grimalkin. In Book 10, he actually manages to easily defeat a Strigoi in a straight fight. Twice.
- Undying Loyalty: in spite of all the times he disobeyed to Gregory, Tom is devoted to him and would never betray him.
John Gregory/The Spook
- And I Must Scream: what the Devil does to her in Book eight when she gets dragged in his domain; we don't get to see what she inflicted, but it's quite obviously horrible.
- Anti Anti Christ
- Anti-Hero: She is well-intentioned, but she is quite much an adept of using the Dark's own methods against it.
- She starts going toward Type IV-V after what the Devil did to her in Book eight
- Deadpan Snarker
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: she actually succeeded in doing this with the Bane in Book 2.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Evil Counterpart: apparently, Lizzie intended her to be this to Tom. Needless to say, it didn't really went as planned.
- Guile Hero: though she does have some moment where she kicks ass, she is far more effective in manipulations and tricks.
- Half-Human Hybrid: she actually is the daughter of Bony Lizzie and the Devil
- Heel-Face Turn: starts out as a minor antagonist and Bony Lizzie's apprentice; she quickly helps Tom and becomes his allie
- Face-Heel Turn: Apparently happens in book 13, when she claims to have given in to darkness and rather cruelly abandons Tom for her "dark soul mate" Lukrasta.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: even Gregory couldn't blame her for using the Bane to kill the Inquisitor.
- Also, her murder of Scarabeck at the end of Book 8. As gruesome as it was, the witch deserved it.
- Little Miss Badass
- Love Interest: it's not specifically stated until Book eight, but it's quite obvious from the beginning.
- Action Mom: Played with; she doesn't actively keeps fighting or anything, and actually lives a fairly normal life for a mother. However, she fight the Dark her own way.
- She does take part in the fight against the Ordeen and proves she can still play this trope straight as well.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Even after dying, she merely became a non-physical identity who the other Lamias can still get instructions from.
- The Atoner: she is clearly trying to make up for the horrors she did back when she was on the side of the Dark.
- Becoming the Mask: Though she genuinely wanted to turn good from the beginning, and did feel grateful to John Ward for saving her, she initially had no feeling for him and only chose to become his wife so she could give birth to the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. After marrying him, though, she gradually learnt to love him for real over the years.
- Chained to a Rock: Tom's father found her that way.
- The Chessmaster: a lot of what happens concerning Tom turns out to have been planned by her.
- Creepy Good: Even Tom is creeped out by her true form.
- Dark Secret: she actually is Lamia, the original Lamia Witch.
- Guile Hero
- Heroic Sacrifice
- I Am A Humanitarian: according to her backstory, she used to do this, seducing males with her beautiful human upper half before devouring them; she has stopped by the time the story starts
- Mama Bear don't mess with her boy.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: She is the mother of Lamia witches as a whole.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted; She used to be evil, but she no longer is by the point the story start. So far, all the Lamia witches we met are morally ambiguous, but on the side of good.
- Rescue Romance: She met and fell in love with Tom's father after he found her chained to a rock and freed her.
- Scaled Up: does a heroic, less horrifying version of this against the Ordeen at the end of Book 6.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She was this before becoming The Atoner.
A friendly Boggart Gregory allows to stay in his house, fonctionning both as a guardian, cook and housekeeper.
- Attention Whore: Sort of; it doesn't exactly tries to get people attention, but it sure enjoys it. Gregory quickly teaches Tom to regularly thank and compliment it for the meals it prepares in order to get on its good side.
- Badass: Though it severely injured and weakened it, it still managed to kept the Bane in check when he tried to attack Gregory's house.
- Bargain With the Boggart: Gregory made a deal with it, allowing it to stay at his house and consider it it's territory. In exchange, it has to take care of the house for him, prepare food and protect the house from potential intruders.
- It makes a new one with Tom in Book 10, which uses the same terms, plus one addition: whenever Tom is in danger, he can summon it by calling it name thrice, causing it to arrive, kill all his enemies and feed on their blood.
- Battle Butler: To Gregory. An invisible and supernatural one, sure, but he pretty much assumes the same role.
- Cats Are Magic: The Boggart doesn't really have a tangible form, being more of a spirit than an actual living being, but whenever it manifests itself, it usually appears as a red-furred cat. It also typically express itself with cat noises.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- The Speechless: It apparently cannot speak, and only communicate through noises and signs. It does know how to write however, as it uses it to communicate with Tom in Book 10.
One of Gregory's former apprentices who completed his formation and became a Spook of his own. Bill Arkwright specializes in dealing with Water Witches.
- Anti-Hero: Type III; his methods are much more pragmatic and violent than Gregory's but he is still firmly on the side of good.
- Badass: not as much as Gregory, but still close.
- Bald of Awesome
- Crippling Overspecialization: Presumably the reason he is not considered a completely worthy heir to Gregory: he is a pretty good Spook, but he specializes in dealing with Water Witches mainly, and isn't as good as Gregory for other kinds of treath.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: his training of Tom is much more violent than Gregory's, borderline cruelty at some points; justified in that he is suffering acoholism due to the fate of his family. As the story goes on, he gets better.
- Fatal Flaw: his alcoholism; subverted in that he still survives despite it eventually;
- Heroic Sacrifice
- In the Hood
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: toward Tom, literally so. His approach of learning Tom how to swim involves throwing him in the lake until he learn how to swim of his own.
- A Day in the Limelight: She serves as the protagonist of I Am Grimalkin instead of Tom.
- Anti-Hero: Type V.
- Badass: possibly the most badass character in the whole serie; so far, the only fight she even lost was against Tom, and only because he cheated.
- Blood Knight
- Dark Action Girl
- Did You Just Slept With The Fiend ?: she did have a child with the Devil as a part of her plan to make sure he would never be able to hurt her (the Devil can never approach a mother of one of his children unless she wants it). This backfired as her child turned out to be normal, causing the Devil to kill him. Since them, Grimalkin pretty much wants the Devil's skin.
- Did You Just Stab The Fiend ?: she actually succeeded in doing this before she became the assassin master she is now.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Even Evil Has Standards: She has a very strict moral code of not using treachery and never killing pointlessly. She also absolutely loathes the Fiend, even before he killed their child.
- Heel-Face Turn: she is first introduced as an antagonist when the Malkin Clan sends her to kill Tom. In all her following appearances, however, she is his allie.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Almost every character she kills could qualify, but her torture, humiliation and mutilation of the Fiend especially stands out.
- Lady of War
- Living Legend: And God did she earn it.
- Noble Demon: as sadistic and violent as she can be, she has a strict code of honor and makes a rule of never use treachery against her enemies. Not like she needs it anyway.
- She also dislikes gratuitious murder, ironically precisely because she is an assassin: since she takes life as her job, she can see how pointless murdering someone for no reason can be. In I Am Grimalkin, she decides to spare some random man she just forced to transport her, seeing how he doesn't represent a treath to her.
- One Woman Army
- Punch Clock Villain: in her first appearance only: she had no specific grudge against Tom, she was just chasing him because her clan ordered her so. After that, she sides with the good guys in all her appearances.
- Shear Menace: She is famous for owning a pair or large scissors capable of cutting through stone. However, she seems to mostly use it to cut off her enemies' fingers for her magic. When actually fighting, she usually goes for Dual Wielding.
- Slasher Smile: and an especially creepy one, given she has pointed teeth.
- Sociopathic Hero:In later books; She is just as violent as any bad witch, her methods to deal with enemies are gruesome and she clearly enjoys violence, but she is fighting on the protagonists' side.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: This is how she inherited her position as her Clan's Assassin.
Tropes Applying to all witches:
- Axe Crazy: There are some exceptions, but for the most part, they are all psychotic, sadistic and cruel.
- Back from the Dead: Whenever a witch is killed, she can resurrect either through reincarnation (which usually takes a long time to happen) or as an undead corpse that will gradually decay over time. There are only three ways to prevent this from happening: not killing the witch and keep her sealed alive in a pit; burn her body; or have her heart be eaten.
- Black and Grey Morality: There are a lot of different kind of witches, but their morality typically range from Ambiguously Evil to batshit insane, with some very rare good witches.
- Black Magic: Which is divided mostly in three big cathegory:
- Bones Magic, which consist in collecting the bones of their victim and using them as a power source.
- Blood Magic, which consist in drinking blood to get their strenght.
- Familiar Magic, which consist in chosing an animal, taking some of its blood and then using the animal as both a power source and ally.
- Enemy Civil War: While there are a lot of witches, they usually don't represent a real treath because they are too divided and busy with quarrels between their clans.
- Seer: The Moudheel Clan specializes in this.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Justified with the Bones Magic-oriented witches, who use bones as a power source.
- Wicked Witch: Older witches tend to become this. They still manage to be creepy.
- Back from the Dead: not that it lasts.
- Blood Magic: Her signature magic. This is also plot-relevant in how she escapes her pit: Bony Lizzie tricks Tom into providing her cakes with Alice's blood inside it, allowing her to regain enough strength to get out.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: see below.
- Demonic Possession: After her first death, she comes back as a dead witch with the ability to enter inside people's bodies in order to control them.
- Sealed Witch In A Pit: At the beginning of the book, she is one of the many witches trapt inside a pit in Gregory's garden.
- Starter Villain: The very first antagonist met by Tom.
- Wicked Witch: Takes the Trope and runs with it Up to Eleven. She actually succeeds in making it Nightmare Fuel.
- Would Hurt a Child: Not that she is the only villain to do it in this universe, but her case stands out as especially horrific; She used to collect the Blood for her Magic by killing pregnant women she was pretending to help.
- Abusive Parent: she is Alice's mother. Doesn't prevent her from being quite awful and abusive toward her.
- Avenging the Villain: Tries to kill Tom for the murder of Mother Malkin. Thanks to both the Spook and Alice's Heel-Face Turn, it fails.
- Bad with the Bone / Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Sort of. As suggested by her nickname, she uses Bone Magic, but it mostly consist in using bones from her victim to increase her powers rather than using them as weapons.
- Disney Villain Death: how she meets her demise in Book seven.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Enemy Mine: shortly in Book seven, before she takes over as the main villain.
- Evil Counterpart: to Tom's mom; she did with Alice what Lamia did with Tom.
- Evil Mentor: toward Alice.
- Hijacked by Ganon: she kills the Big Bad of Book Seven and takes over the role.
- Kick the Dog: several of them, but one of the most well-known is using her own niece's blood to give strenght to Mother Malkin.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: when she first shows up, she is not exactly harmless, but still few more than a minor villain intending to bring back Mother Malkin, and is quickly dealt with by Gregory when she confronts him. When she comes back in Book seven, she kills the book's main villain and takes over, and proves to have grown strong enough to defeat Gregory by her mere will.
- Vain Sorceress
- A Child Shall Lead Them: she is surprisingly young for a clan leader; in fact, she is barely Tom's age.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Blondes Are Evil
- Creepy Child: Her and her sisters definitely fit the trope.
- Enemy Mine: She is part of the numerous witches who team up with the heroes to defeat the Ordeen in Book 6.
- Genre Savvy: she is perfectly aware that Evil Is Not a Toy and that summoning the Fiend in the real world is a bad idea. She still ends up helping the other witches to do it after Tom betrayed her.
- Murder T He Hypotenuse: attempted this on Alice several times, directly or indirectly.
- Seer: All the witches in her clan are specifically trained to be this, but she is the best of them.
- Woman Scorned: once Tom double-crossed and rejected her, she gets mad enough to agree helping the other witches to summon the Fiend against him. Doesn't prevent her from flirting with him again later when they are in an Enemy Mine situation.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: She sure does want Tom.
- Yandere: More than willing to get rid of Alice in order to have him.
Spirits, Old Gods and similar entities
- Abusive Parent: if his children aren't monsters or future witches, he kills them right after their birth. And if they are the former, he uses them for his own schemes
- Affably Evil / Faux Affably Evil: starts out as the former toward Tom to eventually fall in the latter.
- Affectionate Nickname: The witches who worship him like to refer to him as "Old Nick".
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: He initially appears to Tom as one of the men he assassinated in attempt to seem more friendly. After the Deal with the Devil, though, he has no problem showing up in his true form.
- Bad Boss: In I Am Grimalkin, Grimalkin teases his servants by torturing and mutilating his head right in front of them. His reaction is to curse his servants for failing to save him from that and swear he will torture them after their death.
- Batman Gambit: his Deal with the Devil with Tom was offered in a context that made it impossible for Tom to refuse.
- Big Bad: to the series as a whole; notably, he is also the first villain to actually last more than one Book (except if you count Bony Lizzie).
- The Charmer
- The Chessmaster
- The Corrupter: he is the source of all evil; what did you expect ?
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: See Orcus on His Throne
- Deal with the Devil: offers one to Tom in order to get his soul in Book 6. Of course, he made sure Tom would have no choice but agree before
- The Dreaded: So much that even some witches would rather not see him back.
- Eldritch Abomination
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Almost subverted; the witches were perfectly aware of how uncontrollable the Fiend would be if he ended up coming in their world, and a lot of them were initially reluctant to summon him. It took Mistress Wulmalde's leadership to convince them.
- For the Evulz: When asked by Grimalkin why he killed her son, this is more or less the answer he gives.
- Horned Humanoid: His true form has large, curved horns.
- Humiliation Conga: After he has been sealed by Tom and the Spook, Grimalkin ends up in charge of keeping his head. She takes advantages on the situation to constantly torture, mock and tease him, at one point even mutilating him right in front of his own servants.
- I Have Many Names: The Fiend, the Devil, Satan, Old Nick, the Father of Lies...
- Manipulative Bastard
- Offing the Offspring: What he does to his children if they are not monsters or witches.
- Off with His Head!: how Tom, Gregory and Grimalkin are eventually able to temporary neutralize him and seal him.
- Orcus on His Throne: Completely averted; he is more than willing to just go after Tom and kill him while he is still too weak to oppose him. The only reason he hasn't done it yet is because his mother and later Alice both put wards on the boy to protect him.
- Pragmatic Villainy: he kept his word to free Bill Arkwright's family in his bet with Tom, even though he could have easily played on Exact Words to not keep his part of the bargain. The only reason he did it was because it was part of a Batman Gambit to have Bill Arkwright indebted in Tom and convincing Gregory to let Alice go.
- Satan: Duh.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: his situation at the end of Book 8.
- Time Master: Much like Tom, he can cause time to run faster, slower, or even stand still according to his wish. He has a much better mastery of it, though.
- Villainous Breakdown: after Alice saved Tom from his deal with him, the Devil is so mad he gives up trying to convert them to his side and only show concern with killing them.
- Walking Spoiler
- We Can Rule Together: Justified; according to the Ward Tom's mother put on him, it'll be much more profitable for him if Tom is corrupted.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: he inflicts this to his victim through his trademark abilitie to crush them by augmenting his weight. The result is dowright disgusting.
- Deal with the Devil: offers this to his victims; in exchange for them letting him drink a small portion of her blood, he grants them three wishes. He is always forced to always keep his part of the bargain, but each time a wish is granted, he gradually takes control of the person.
- Eldritch Abomination
- Immortals Fear Death: Since he is not human, there is nothing after death for him. As a result, he is absolutely terrified by the perspective of dying.
- Out-Gambitted: twice; once in the past, which led to his original imprisonment; and the second time by Alice.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: while the Bane is scared of women, he makes it quite clear he has a low opinion of them, indicating at some point that he believes their wishes are much easier than men (basically, he think a woman will typically wish for new clothes or other similar things). This bits him hard in the arses when he underestimates Alice because of this.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: And tricked into sealing himself, no less.
The Old God of Winter.
- And I Must Scream: This is how he feels when forced to assume his Animalistic Abomination state.
- Animalistic Abomination: His cultists summon him to possess a goat, creating one of those. Though as we later find out, he is not happy about it.
- Bargain with Heaven: Makes one with Tom to avoid his forced possession of a goat, saving Tom's life in the process.
- Benevolent Genie: During his bargain with Tom, Tom asks him to save Alice from the Fiend. Pan answers he can't do this at this point, since even he can't go safely in the Fiend's realm. Later in the book, the Devil is binded, leaving his realm easier to access, and Pan seizes the opportunity to free Alice for Tom, even though at this point nothing forced him to keep this part of the bargain.
- Good All Along: He initially is introduced as yet another evil god worshipped and summoned by sorcerers in the form of an Animalistic Abomination. Around the middle of the book, we learn he actually dislikes what the cultists do with him, and has no control over his action when he is summoned. He then makes a bargain with Tom to not avoid said summoning.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He is the only Old God featured so far to not be evil.