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Nita CallahanThe first of the series's main protagonists, she's a geeky bookworm harassed by bullies, which ends up driving her into the library one day and discovering her wizard's manual, changing her life forever after and shortly after bringing her into partnership with Kit. Her initial affinity tends toward plants and animals; she later gains talents as a hydromage and a visionary.
- Action Girl
- Badass Bookworm
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Brainy Brunette
- Deal with the Devil: Nita attempts to make a deal with the Lone Power in order to save her mother's life, but doesn't go through with it.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Louise. She hates it, but it's never stated why. Carmela takes great delight in needling her about it.
- Little Miss Badass: As a grade school student she foiled the Lone One's invasion of earth.
- Little Miss Snarker
- Magic Feather: In So You Want To Be a Wizard, Nita believes that her special space pen helps her to pass tests at school.
- Making a Splash: implied from the second book, but outright started as having a water affinity in A Wizard of Mars.
- The Medic: In the first few books, Nita has an affinity for living matter and a natural talent for healing that makes her start to focus on healing spells. Until her affinity starts to change, anyway.
- Naïve Everygirl: She fits the role at the very beginning of the series, but grows out of it pretty quickly after acquiring wizardry and taking her first level in badass.
- Not So Weak: In the first book it's much more obvious, but she does keep many of the same character traits. It's also apparently a useful set of characteristics for wizards in general, who aren't really supposed to do things for their own benefit.
- Official Couple: With Kit.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is Juanita, but you can count the times she's referred to as such on one hand.
- Oracular Urchin: Looks to be where her affinity will end up, though much like Arhu, Nita is very down to earth.
- She Is All Grown Up: By the fourth and fifth books she's become an attractive young woman.
Dairine CallahanNita's bratty younger sister with intelligence beyond her years and dreams of wizards fighting evil (largely evident through her love of Star Wars). Not long after Nita and Kit come out as wizards to their families in Deep Wizardry she jumps at the call, taking the Wizard's Oath from Nita's manual and kicking off the events of High Wizardry.
- Action Girl
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Dairine starts as this to Nita, but grows into her role as a wizard after the third book.
- Ascended Fangirl: Dresses up as a Jedi Padawan for Halloween, right down to getting a lightsaber built despite the impracticalities of a weapon you can hear.
- Badass Family: Thanks to her, the Callahans are the biggest badass family in the universe; it includes an entire species with an extraordinarily high rate of wizards to non-wizards.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Although she does get better, she is initially a pest to Nita.
- Child Prodigy: Both in regular subjects and in wizardry. She gets her Ordeal at eleven, which isn't the youngest ever by any means but still quite a bit younger than what's typical.
- Constantly Curious: Dairine wants to know as much as she possibly can.
- Cry for the Devil: For the Lone Power. It works.
- Fiery Redhead
- Jumped at the Call: She desperately wanted to be a wizard as soon as she found out about it, and she got her wish.
- I Just Want to Be Special: She was so eager to Jump At The Call that she didn't bother thinking through the implications before she took the Oath. (If she'd been able to read her sister's biography before that, she would have had a far better idea about what she was getting herself into) A big part of her character development in book 3 is acknowledging the flaws that let her take the Oath without really meaning it - she was all about the 'big power' without getting the 'big responsibility' part. Dairine's habit of action first, think about the consequences later pops up again in book 5. When she's told about her mother's cancer, she immediately tries a more or less improvised spell to cure her. It backfires spectacularly - she's still wizard-grounded over it in book 7, and she has to sit back and only watch while Nita undergoes specialist training to try and help Betty.
- Insufferable Genius: Accepting that she doesn't always know better than everyone else, and isn't automatically the best at anything has always been a struggle for Dairine. It plays a major part of her initial problems with Roshaun, too - they have a similar entitled attitude. For Roshaun, it's his royal heritage with accompanying noblesse oblige, for Dairine, it's because she's usually far and away the smartest person in the room.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Dairine becoming a wizard in the third book.
- Little Miss Badass
- Little Miss Snarker: Mostly before Roshaun disappears. After that, she doesn't seem to take as much pleasure in it, and it has a far darker tone.
- Mama Bear: Towards her "buddies," a race of sentient silicon lifeforms she helped "birth" — since they came into existence, all the Bad Guy has to do is suggest a threat toward them and said Bad Guy will immediately suffer The Wrath of Dairine
- Playful Hacker: Described as one in her debut as a protagonist, but this is dropped afterwards apart from being good with computers.
- Ship Tease: No one is quite sure what is going on between her and Roshaun.
SpotDairine's manual, one of the first ones to arrive in computer form; the original resembles an Apple laptop with the bite missing from the apple in the logo. Over time, she has modified its form such that it's picked up legs, eyes and a personality; it's often found following her around like a pet when it can do so openly.
- Empathy Pet: Despite being featureless, he's somehow able to reflect Dairine's mood.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: He doesn't have much to say to anyone other than Dairine.
- Magical Computer: Literally, as he's a version of the wizard's manual.
- Magic from Technology: Has functions that can instantly generate spell circles and run them internally, which saves Dairine a lot of Spell Construction.
- Technology Marches On: The most obvious example in the series. He has a habit of "upgrading" between installments to mimic current Apple products.
Harry CallahanNita and Dairine's father who owns a flower shop and spends a lot of his free time in the household gardens. A generally Reasonable Authority Figure who has to deal with the added stress of knowing his children are involved in jobs saving the universe that can sometimes turn deadly and, since the aftermath of A Wizards Dilemma, doing so as a single parent.
- Muggle Born of Mages: Harry has other wizardly relatives he never realized until after Nita came out as a wizard and let him in on The Masquerade; his grandmother supposedly was one and his sister, Annie, is actively one and appears as a major side character in A Wizard Abroad. (He might have liked to know this before sending Nita to Ireland on a vacation to get her away from wizardry for a while...)
- Overprotective Dad: As overprotective as he can be, considering that his children can rewrite reality.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: All considered, he takes wizardly hijinks and aliens in his basement very well.
Betty CallahanNita and Dairine's mother, also a generally Reasonable Authority Figure dealing with the stress of being mother to two wizardly children. However, in A Wizard's Dilemma she is diagnosed with a fatal cancer for which wizardry could only buy her a little extra time (and nearly costing Nita's soul in the process). Her absence is greatly felt by her family members in the subsequent books.
- Badass Normal: A normal human faces down a incarnation of the Lone One. She did have home-turf advantage as the struggle was taking place in her own mind.
- Handicapped Badass: Dying of cancer when she told off the Lone One
- Mama Bear: Protects Nina even from the Powers
Aunt Annie (Annie Callahan)Harry's sister and, to his surprise in A Wizard Abroad, a wizard. (The wizardry apparently comes from his side of the family). She's an American currently living in Ireland, running a horse farm in County Wicklow.
- Author Avatar: Annie bears the most superficial resemblences to Diane Duane - an American with red hair who's immigrated to Ireland and lives in the country of County Wickalow near Dublin (though in meta-works like the 30-Day OTP challenge, Duane appears as herself). In Lifeboats, she's seen briefly with a man that suspiciously resembles Duane's Real Life husband, Peter Morwood.
- Write Who You Know: Duane has admitted on her Tumblr that Aunt Annie is a tribute to Anne McCaffrey.
Kit RodriguezCo-protagonist and Nita's partner in wizardry. Like Nita, Kit was first attracted to wizardry because he had problems with bullies, being in the advanced class in school (in older editions, having skipped a grade) and being Hispanic. His initial affinity is with inorganic things, particularly machines and electronics; his partnership with his dog, Ponch, soon becomes incredibly important as Ponch grows in wisdom and gains unusual talents.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Dashing Hispanic
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Distracted by the Sexy: Kit really needs to stop drawing in class.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Played with.
- Gadgeteer Genius: In contrast to Nita, his initial speciality was technology. In one book, he can be seen mediating a spat between his TV and VCR.
- Official Couple: With Nita
- Shorter Means Smarter: Until his growth spurt, anyway.
- Technopath: Although all wizards are capable of this to some extent, Kit's specialty (with mechanical non-organic inanimate objects) has remained the same throughout the series, unlike Nita's.
PonchKit's big, friendly sheepdog. While it's common for wizardly pets to pick up strange habits, Ponch starts demonstrating unusual talents, such as being able to create and enter other universes. His character arc comes to a head in Wizards at War where all the wisdom he's gained will be used to change the tide of the battle and the fate of the canine species.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Leaves the cast by returning to Timeheart.
- Badass Adorable: A cute little dog with enough personal power to create brand new universes.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Averted. he started out smart, and only got smarter as time went on after being around Kit for so long.
- God: He is an incarnation of The One.
- God Is Good: An Incarnation of The One and a fantastic pet. He's been working on some Powers-level scheme all this time.
- King of All Cosmos: He's the local God, and his favorite pastime is to incarnate as a dog because he likes the 'spell it backwards joke'. According to the Transcendent Pig, He has fondness for bad old jokes.
- Uplifted Animal: At first thought to be because of exposure to wizardry, but his high intelligence is actually because He's The One.
Carmela RodriguezKit's older sister (his oldest sister, Helena, is rarely seen, having gone to college). Though too old to be offered wizardry (unless the Powers grew truly desperate) she has an astounding talent with languages and becomes fluent in the Speech after the Rodriguez family entertainment system starts picking up channels from other galaxies. Her talent, outgoing personality and surprising ability with energy weapons get her as firmly ingrained in Kit and Nita's wizardly circles as any other wizard and she's become a frequent visitor to The Crossings (which she helps save from hostile takeover in Wizards at War).
- Action Girl
- Badass Normal: She starts participating in the fighting aspects plot around the eighth book despite not being a wizard. However, she is a natural in The Speech and so she can order alien tech from their version of the internet.
- Cunning Linguist: A natural in the Speech and other languages, including long-dead Martian writings that had Wizards stumped.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Inverted- her middle name is unique ("Emeda"), but she likes it.
- Let's Get Dangerous: in Wizards at War especially.
- Spicy Latina
Helena RodriguezKit's oldest sister, rarely seen. She doesn't initially take to Kit's wizardry well, believing he must have done some sort of Deal with the Devil, though she eventually comes to terms with it in a round-about way.
Juan RodriguezKit's father, an employee at the printing facility for a major Long Island newspaper. Tends toward being laid back and laconic; his eventual reaction to Kit revealing his wizardry to his family can be summed up as "Cool. My son's a brujo."
Marina RodriguezKit's mother, a nurse. A very warm and nurturing personality who has come to handle her son's wizardry career with much the same acceptance as her husband.
- Apron Matron: When not working, can often be found in the kitchen. Supposedly her skills at cooking are limited but the things she knows how to make well, she makes really well. It's mentioned in How Lovely Are They Branches that she's constantly trying to improve. Has a very no-nonsense mindset to back up the personality.
Carl Romero and Tom SwaleThe area Advisory (later promoted to Senior) wizards for the Long Island region, they serve as the young wizards' immediate superiors and advisers.
Ronan NolanAn older teenage wizard that Nita first meets in Ireland during A Wizard Abroad. He can initially come off as brash and projects a facade of being hotheaded and sarcastic but his actions show genuine care for others and commitment to wizardry and he eventually becomes a close part of Kit and Nita's circle of wizardly friends.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not so much before, but definitely in A Wizard Of Mars.
- Foreign Cuss Word: Definitely in A Wizard of Mars, to the point where the characters recognize that he's saying something offensive even if they're not sure just what it is.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Tries to kill himself with the Spear of Light to allow the One's Champion to manifest fully. It doesn't stick.
- I Am Who?: He's shocked to find out he's an incarnation of The One's Champion.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Does not take the news about his being an avatar to the One's Champion at all well, and is terrified of losing his self if he lets the Champion take control.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Making a Splash: implied from his Ordeal, stated as being his elemental affinity in A Wizard of Mars
- Troubled, but Cute
Darryl McAllisterA young autistic boy who is initially offered wizardry and is encountered by Kit and Nita in A Wizard Alone when he seemingly becomes lost in his own mind on his Ordeal. In the original version of the book he cures his own autism at the end but Duane rewrote it after feedback from other autistic people so that he remains autistic but is able to function in the outside world much better. Since then he's functioned as the occasional Kid Sidekick to the team and proven to have a humorous and even bubbly personality at times.
- Barrier Maiden: A Spear Counterpart version. He is a Font of The One's power, I.E. the means by which Nina, Kit, etc receive their power. If he realizes it, he'll die, so everyone is very careful about preserving the Masquerade.
- Deadpan Snarker: Again, only in the last book or so— Wizards At War, arguably, and A Wizard Of Mars, definitely.
- Locked Out of the Loop: If he ever learns that he's an abdal, he'll immediately a) stop being one and b) die.
- Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: In A Wizard Alone, Darryl becomes autistic in an attempt to withdraw from the sensations of being malignantly observed by the Lone Power.
- The Rainman: Though his autism is bizarrely portrayed (his behaviour on the outside is accurate enough, but his experience from the inside not so much), Darryl makes his first appearance as a severely autistic boy who also turns out to be a human conduit for a large amount of the wizardly power available to Earth. Justified Trope: Darryl's autism is something the Lone Power has done to him; it's reasonable that it would only superficially resemble an organic condition. So in other words, it's not really autism.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Darryl, who has eyes so innocent that it hurts the first time you see them.
Mr. MillmanThe councilor at Nita's school with whom she is visiting after her mother's death. Nita finds him, to her surprise, to be a pretty decent person, even if her grief makes dealing with the meetings difficult.
- All Therapists Are Muggles: Subverted. While not a wizard himself, he's in on The Masquerade and knows how to spot one. This comes in handy when the cast needs time off from school to save the universe.
Irina MladenThe Planetary Wizard for Earth (and by extension the person with local authority on Earth's unpopulated neighbor planets including Mars). Her unassuming appearance as a short, middle-aged woman contrasts with her immense power and authority.
Fred (sentient white hole)
- Badass Adorable
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Fred hasn't been mentioned more than once or twice since the first book.
- Some Call Me "Tim": Kit gives him the name "Fred" because there was no way either he or Nita would be able to pronounce, let alone remember his true name.
- The Unpronounceable: His full name is Khairelikoblephareglukumeilichephreidosd'enagouni.
- Devil in Disguise: The wizard Pralaya in The Wizard's Dilemma is "overshadowed" by the Lone Power (meaning, possessed by the Devil, basically).
Roshaun ke Nelaid
- Human Aliens: One of surprisingly few in the series.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Overly Long Name: Roshaun ke Nelaid am Seriv am Teliuyve am Meseph am Veliz am Teriaunst am det Wellakhit, and that's the short version. It's explained at one point that the first two are his personal name and a patronymic, and the rest are a lengthy series of titles, therefore also fitting neatly under Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!.
- Pretty Boy: His descriptions in both books where he appears stress how pretty he is.
- Royal Brat: Roshaun, a prince who arrives on the exchange program in Wizard's Holiday.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: His family is in charge of monitoring the local star and keeping it under control.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: The arrogant type - also, the composed/reserved type, but definitely arrogant, though he starts to get better before he disappears
- Troubled, but Cute:
- Deadpan Snarker: Learns sarcasm while on exchange. He becomes very adept at using it.
- Extreme Omnivore: He can and does eat pretty much anything, be it pasta, tin cans or used oxygen tanks.
- Starfish Aliens: A Rirhait, described as resembling a giant metallic centipede.
- Extra Eyes: The little red "berries" all over his branches.
- Fish out of Water: As a sentient plant visiting a world run by humans, the culture shock hits him pretty hard. Especially when he learns about vegetarians.
- Klingons Love Shakespeare: During his time on earth, he develops a fascination with human clothes. He can't wear them conventionally, for obvious reasons, but likes to hang them from his branches.
- Our Nudity Is Different: Uses a "decency shield" spell to obscure his roots.
- Overly Long Name: Filifermanhathrhumneits'elhessaiffnth, in full.
- Starfish Aliens: He's a walking pine tree with berries for eyes who speaks by rustling his branches.
- Badass Bookworm: Is the Species Archivist to the Powers that Be and one of the most powerful wizards in the galaxy, possibly so much so that the Lone Power opted out of participating in her Ordeal.
- Genki Girl: Energetic, emotive (her culture finds no advantage to suppressing their feelings) and constantly running around the galaxy on business such that she often only has minutes at a time to check in with the main characters.
- Lizard Folk: Is a saurian
- Really 700 Years Old: Her race has a very long lifespan, so while she's a millennia or two old, she hasn't hit puberty yet. Almost an inversion of the trope in that people keep forgetting how young she actually is.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tomatoes.
The Powers That Be
The Lone Power
- Aloof Big Brother: To the other Powers; the Lone One is frequently known as "Eldest, Fairest and Fallen".
- Big Bad: all minor villains answer to It one way or another; more to the point, It is implied to be at least partly responsible for all the evil in the universe.
- Black Sheep: The Powers That Be kicked It out for inventing entropy and death.
- Body Surf: Appears in lots of bodies over the course of the series, sometimes possessing mortals, sometimes as an aspect of Itself.
- Cain and Abel: A variation with multiple Abels, since the Powers are more or less siblings.
- Demonic Possession: has the ability, but it is very difficult to use effectively, especially on a wizard.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: To Dairine in book 3 and this pity leads to an aspect of itself accepting forgiveness and returning to Time Heart.
- Evil Redhead: Appears in different bodies and doesn't look the same to everyone, but Nita usually sees It as a man with red-gold hair.
- Evil Plan: It's always offering Its "Gift" and spreading it around the universe, though the reasons why vary based on specific aspect the wizards are dealing with. In some cases the Power is a proud inventor, in others It's genuinely malicious, and in others It thinks It's being helpful.
- Fiery Redhead: The Lone Power is pretty hot-tempered and he appears as a redheaded guy— Nita sees him that way, at least, in SYWTBAW and High Wizardry.
- Fighting a Shadow: Every aspect that Nina and Kit fight is an aspect of it, not the real deal.
- Heel–Face Turn: In ''High Wizardry" Dairine convinces an aspect of the Lone One to redeem itself and return home. There are other aspects causing trouble but this is a good step in the right direction.
- I Have Many Names: The Lone Power, the Starsnuffer, the Old Serpent, the Isolate, Esemeli...
- Light Is Not Good: Back before it was cast out, it was the fairest and brightest of the Powers That Be. It's contribution when the universe was created was entropy and death.
- Man Behind the Man: Prefers this tactic, although when dealing with wizards it is often forced to come out into the open.
- No Sense of Humor: the one thing It hates the most is being made fun of.
- Omnicidal Maniac: It invented death after all and spreads it around as much as It can.
- Phrase Catcher: Wizards always greet it with 'Fairest and Fallen, greetings and defiance'. It notes that this has become annoying after a few thousand years.
- Satan: A divine being that was cast out of Its home for rebelling against the others and is called the source of evil. In-universe, it was the inspiration for the figure of Satan in human religions.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: as Esemeli It's reduced to a tourist attraction because It is trapped and impotent in a shrine.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Suggested in book 3 but not brought up again. Like many other powers eterntiy is something to look forward too.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence
- Badass Adorable: In spite of being a giant bug, she manages.
- Good Counterpart: to the Lone Power
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: For a species that is whole soul owned by The Lone Power she joins the wizards to fight against it.
- Shrinking Violet: She is her kind's equivalent of a wallflower.
Biddy O Dalaigh
The Song of Twelve
Ed the Master Shark
- Badass Normal: He isn't a wizard, but he's just as powerful in his own way. Though 'his own way' still isn't exactly normal.
- Black Eyes of Evil: His eyes are completely black (though this is nothing out of the ordinary for a great white shark)
- Blood Magic: Ed's only 'power,' apart from his possible immortality and empathic abilities. If he bleeds, his blood will call all sharks from miles and miles around to come and join in the ultimate feeding frenzy. It's part of the reason why nothing tries to attack him.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He's an extremely sinister killing machine, but he's not evil, or mindless. He ends distress (by eating the distressed). He's portrayed a lot like The Grim Reaper.
- The Empath: An unusual case, Ed can sense distress from hundreds of miles away, and can sense the emotions of those around him. He can even read thoughts if they're emotionally charged enough.
- Fluffy the Terrible: His real name is much more impressive.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He's the facilitator of a literal sacrifice wizards perform regularly to keep one incarnation of the Lone Power trapped. He takes over the Silent Lord's song so that his blood, amped up by the power of Nita's wizardry, will call all the sharks on the planet as reinforcements against the Lone One.
- Immortality: Nita speculates at one point that there may have only been one Master Shark ever. In fact, there is a theory that sharks don't die of old age, only when they succumb to injury or disease.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: He enjoys his role in the reoccuring reenactment of the whale's Choice and tells Nita that he's looking foward to eating her since her role is "The Silent One."
- Mercy Kill: His role in the ocean's society is to "end distress" by killing the distressed
- The Unfettered
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Some things Ed says make him seem terribly lonely...
The Transcendent Pig
- Beyond the Impossible: The Powers That Be, which created the Universe and everything in it, can't remember creating him. It causes them embarassment.
- Impossible Task: "Tell me three things I don't know and I'll tell you one thing you don't know."
- The Omniscient: The Pig is everywhere at once and so he knows everything.
- Phrase Catcher: Whenever a wizard finds him they ask "What is the meaning of life?"
- Really 700 Years Old: He's been around so long, not even the Powers know where he came from.
- Rule of Three: Claims to have the 'three things' rule because wizards can get into a lot of trouble with just one response.
Bobo/the peridexic effect
- Badass Adorable: Despite the fact that she's nearly as tall and far longer than an elephant. ('You are my FRIEND!!')
- Big Eater
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tomatoes.
The oracular koi
Nelaid ke Seriv
Miril am Miril
- Cute Kitten: Don't let that fool you. She is very knowledgeable, very wise, and can carry her weight in a fight. With words.
- Let's Mock the Monsters
- Little Miss Snarker: In animal form.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Queen Warrior Poet Kitten
- The Storyteller
- Warrior Poet
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Grey skinned, actually, in A Wizard of Mars.