is a television series from the BBC
, loosely based on the classic novel The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas
. Similar to previous BBC shows Robin Hood
, it is not a direct adaptation of the original storyline but uses the characters and setting for various adventures.
The main cast includes Luke Pasqualino
(d'Artagnan), Tom Burke (Athos), Howard Charles (Porthos), Santiago Cabrera
(Aramis), Maimie McCoy (Milady de Winter), Peter Capaldi
(Cardinal Richelieu), and debuting in the second series, Marc Warren (Comte de Rochefort).
The first series began airing in January 2014 and that February the show was renewed for a second series,
but without Capaldi who took on the role of the Doctor on Doctor Who
. The second series began airing in January 2015, and the show was renewed for a third series
for more adaptations.
This series provides examples of:
- The Ace: Athos thinks D'Artagnan has it in him to be this, and calls Captain Treville out in 1.08 for not making him a Musketeer despite his skill.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Richelieu was for the most part a Worthy Opponent for the musketeers, at times bordering on Friendly Enemy. Here, the cardinal has his mistress murdered for disloyalty in the very first episode to establish his ruthlessness, in the mid-season generally seems to be on the side of stable government, sometimes collaborating with the main characters, and in the final episodes, well and truly Jumps Off The Slippery Slope by trying to have the Queen killed for not being fertile enough.
- And in the second season, Rochefort is also much more villainous than he was in the novel, to the point of actually betraying his king and country to spy for the Spanish crown.
- Attempted Rape: In episode 1.10 Milady states to D'Artagnan this was the reason why she killed Athos's younger brother Thomas, which resulted in Athos sentencing her to hang. However this was not mentioned as a reason for the murder in an earlier conversation between her and Athos in 1.03. At that point Athos accused her of killing Thomas because he discovered her true identity. She did not refute the accusation, claiming Thomas was "a fool and a hypocrite and deserved to die" and she did it "to protect our love!"
- In 2.05, Baron Renard captures Jeanne and ties her to a bed for his son to rape (and apparently his friends too), but the Musketeers free her in time.
- At the end of 2x08, after Rochefort's Anguished Declaration of Love to Queen Anne, he does this. He is fortunately interrupted by Constance, but not before being stabbed in the eye by Anne with her hairpin.
- Audible Sharpness: When swords are drawn, as is common for swashbuckler media but not in real life.
- Beard of Evil: Cardinal Richelieu sports a moustache and goatee, like in real life. Then again, so do many other characters, good or evil.
- Becoming the Mask: Heavily implied with Milady when she was married to Athos, which explains why she's so obsessed with getting revenge on him after he ordered her execution.
- Berserk Button: Slaves are a touchy subject with Porthos since his mother was a slave.
- Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: D'Artagnan is tricked into this.
- Betty and Veronica: Constance Bonacieux and Milady for D'Artagnan.
- Monsieur Bonacieux (her husband) and D'Artagnan for Constance.
- King Louis and Aramis for Queen Anne.
- Season two gives us King Louis and Rochefort for Queen Anne as well as Queen Anne and Milady de Winter for King Louis, turning the whole thing into a Love Dodecahedron.
- Big Brother Instinct: The older musketeers for D'Artagnan. Especially in 1.04 where ex-musketeer Marsac made a threatening move towards D'Artagnan and Porthos immediately stepped between them and warned him to not go there if he enjoyed breathing. And from the Death Glare Athos was giving Marsac in the background, he would have done the same.
- Big Damn Kiss: Happens between Athos and Milady in 2.09, after two seasons' worth of unresolved romantic tension and complete with swelling orchestral music.
- Blood on These Hands: Played literally in 2.07. After Monsieur Bonacieux is killed, D'Artagnan goes to break the news to Constance, with Bonacieux's blood all over his hands, and then hers too when she reaches out for D'Artagnan. This represents D'Artagnan's guilt at deliberately hesitating over whether he should help Bonacieux.
- Bo Diddley Beat: The theme tune opens with a heavily stressed use, to help imply that this isn't a traditional costume drama adaptation of the stories.
- Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Vadim and his gang in the second episode want to blow up the King and Queen but he's really planning a royal treasure heist. Cartoon Bombs are used because of the time period.
- Bound and Gagged: Various characters throughout the series. The Spanish Governor of a Prison in 2.01. In 2.05 happens to Jeanne.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: Constance does this to D'Artagnan so her husband doesn't have him executed on the Cardinal's orders when he discovers their affair.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Lebarge's reaction to D'Artagnan's accusations about the burning of the latter's farm.
D'Artagnan: You burned down my farm.
Lebarge: I've burned down a lot of farms. What makes you think I can remember yours?
- California Doubling: The Czech Republic stands in for 17th-century France.
- Card Sharp: Porthos is introduced playing at cards with a Cardinal's Guard. He's accused of cheating, and a fight ensues, but the guy was right.
- The Cavalry: Downplayed in the ninth episode when Treville shows up to help Athos and Aramis, who are under siege at a convent. Unfortunately, since all the other musketeers were out on a hunting trip, the only men he brought with him besides Porthos and d'Artagnan were an old man, a one-eyed old man, and the stable boy. Oh, and Treville himself is still recovering from an injury he received in the previous episode.
- Chained to a Bed: Jeanne in 2.05, so Baron Renard's son Edmund can rape her. The Musketeers rescue her in time.
- Chekhov's Classroom: D'Artagnan in the eighth episode, where Athos tells him that his main weakness as a swordsman is his tendency to let his heart rule his head. D'Artagnan struggles with this lesson for a while, and as you would have it faces off against a foe who tries to provoke him using insults in a duel later in the episode.
- Chekhov's Gun: A literal gun in the first episode. Aramis leaves his pistol in his lover's house and it leads to her death... in fact, it's actually used to kill her.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The guy who Porthos cheated at a card game was an accomplice to the Evil Plan of the first episode.
- The City Narrows: The court of miracles is a Wretched Hive if there ever was one, and based on reality to boot.
- Clear Their Name: In the first episode, Musketeers are framed for murder and robbery, harming their reputation in the King's eyes, and Athos in particular is arrested. Aramis and Porthos set out to clear his name and that of the corps. D'Artagnan becomes involved to avenge his father, who was one of those murdered.
- Porthos in episode 5, after being found passed out drunk next to a dead man, his gun and a melon.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: as always, the Cardinal's guards in red and black and the Musketeers in blue.
- Combat Medic: Aramis. In addition to providing the necessary needlework on battle wounds, he has shown an in interest in forensics and demonstrated a working knowledge of how to treat a victim of poisoning.
- Crash-Into Hello: How D'Artagnan meets Constance Bonacieux, followed by a Fake-Out Make-Out to escape pursuers.
- Crazy-Prepared: Vadim in the second episode. In case D'Artagnan managed to get free of a room full of explosives with a lit fuse, he rigged the door to start a lot of secondary fuses.
- Create Your Own Villain: In 1.10. Athos thinks he made Milady into what she is by hanging her. Before they were married, she was just a professional thief. After he hanged her for murdering his brother, she joined up with the Cardinal and become a professional spy and assassin.
- Crusading Widow: Catherine, who had been betrothed to Tomas, Athos' younger brother. Once Athos tells her that Milady is still alive and living it up as the King's mistress, she immediately leaves Pinon with nothing but her late fiance's firearms, declaring she 'cannot breathe in the same world with [Athos'] wife while she still lives.'
- Da Chief: Captain Treville fills this role for the Musketeers. Even after he gets demoted by the King, he's still called Captain by the other Musketeers.
- Dark Action Girl: Milady.
- Dead Little Brother: Athos's younger brother Tomas. He was murdered by Milady - Athos's then wife - after he found out the truth about her.
- Deadly Bath: Milady kills a Spanish envoy this way in an inn, then pins the blame on D'Artagnan, who was staying in the same inn.
- Deadpan Snarker: All of the main Musketeers (including Captain Treville), Cardinal Richelieu, Constance and Milady demonstrate this quality frequently, but the master of the trope is undoubtably Athos.
Athos: If you'd told us what you were doing, we might have been able to plan this properly.
Aramis: Yes, sorry.
Athos: No, no, let's keep it suicidal.
- Death by Adaptation: D'Artagnan's father, yet again, like in the 1993 and 2001 movie versions.
- Destination Defenestration: Aramis offers unwanted advice to an Ax-Crazy fanatic in 2.06 and gets treated to a non-fatal example.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Invoked when D'Artagnan accidentally reveals his love for Constance. Luckily for him, she reciprocates the feeling.
- Dies Wide Open: Isabelle/Sister Helen in Knight Takes Queen. The Mother Superior closes her eyes.
- Dirty Old Cardinal: Richelieu, despite being a high-ranking man of the cloth, has absolutely no qualms about his desire for beautiful women. (This is not only Truth in Television for the real Richelieu - he was reportedly quite a playa' - but for many Catholic priests and monks through the ages.)
- Distressed Dude: The first episode revolves around Athos getting framed and jailed, and the other Musketeers have to rescue him.
- Doomed New Clothes: In episode 9, during a practice fight, D'Artagnan wanted to keep his new uniform as clean as possible. Porthos and Athos did their very best to get scratches and dirt all over it, much to D'Artagnan's dismay.
- Dramatic Drop: In 1.10, Cardinal Richelieu dropped the paper he was holding when he realized Queen Anne heard his confession to ordering her assassination.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: The second series opens with Richelieu's funeral after he dies of natural causes.
- Drowning My Sorrows: In his first scene, Athos's room is strewn with wine bottles, and later he doesn't carouse with the rest, drinking alone and thinking of his lost love.
- Dual Wielding: Several different instances:
- Porthos seems to have the habit to dual wield pistols when he's up to assault a place. He's done this in the 2 first episodes.
- Several characters fight with a rapier and a dagger, Athos and D'Artagnan in their first duel, for instance.
- Aramis wields a short musket and a pistol in episode 1.02 and the intro.
- Porthos and Aramis fight with a rapier and a pistol in episode 1.02.
- During the Musketeers vs Red Guards fight at the end of episode 1.08, Aramis ends up wielding two rapiers after taking one from an opponent by flipping it up from the ground with his foot and wielding it with his left hand.
- Luke Pasqualino and Santiago Cabrera discuss their characters' Dual Wielding in 2.05 towards the end of this Behind the Scenes interview
- Due to the Dead: Averted for Rochefort. Aramis moves to show his respects, but the Queen stops him. "No, Aramis. Not for him."
- Duel to the Death:
- In the first episode, D'Artagnan seeks out Athos at the Musketeer headquarters and forces him to duel. Athos doesn't want to hurt him, but he keeps attacking, so Aramis and Porthos intervene and it becomes three against one until he's disarmed.
- The second episode starts with D'Artagnan dueling another man. They are interrupted by the Cardinal's Guards because dueling is illegal. D'Artagnan is arrested and imprisoned, while the other guy escapes. It's a ploy by the Musketeers and the Cardinal to get D'Artagnan in the same cell with the notorious criminal Vadim, so that he can spy on him.
- Dying Curse: Bonacieux curses both D'Artagnan and Constance before he dies, telling D'Artagnan that they are both 'doomed' and will never be happy.
- Dysfunction Junction:
- Athos is a Heartbroken Badass from having to execute his wife Milady after she had killed his brother.
- Aramis was one of only two survivors from the Savoy massacre (and the other deserted immediately after the massacre).
- Porthos' mother was a former slave who committed suicide when he was young, and he grew up in poverty as a supposed orphan. The second season reveals that Porthos and his mother were abandoned in the slums at the request of his father who is still alive.
- And D'Artagnan is orphaned before the opening credits of the first episode.
- Elite Army: The King's Musketeers and the Cardinal's Red Guards.
- Enemy Mine: Richelieu, Treville and the Musketeers have to work together to protect the king and queen on several occasions; surprisingly there's relatively little Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- D'Artagnan fights off two men attempting to rob him and proceeds to hunt down the person he believed murdered his father, showing his talent at swordsmanship and how he lets his emotions rule over his head.
- Athos wakes up with an extreme hangover surrounded by empty bottles and promptly sticks his head in a bucket of freezing water, hinting at a darker past but puts on his uniform anyways to do his duty as a Musketeer and to gather up his friends.
- Porthos as the Boisterous Bruiser beats a Red Guard at cards, is accused of cheating, fights off the Guard with a fork and laughs his way throughout the whole thing.
- Aramis, being a romantic at heart, first appears in bed with the Cardinal's mistress and his reckless love of danger is then immediately showcased when he needs to escape as the Cardinal returns and is shown hanging by his fingertips from the lady's upstairs bedroom window (and grinning like an idiot when Athos and Porthos catch him at it).
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Baron Renard in 2.05. He's spent the last several months (if not years) terrorizing the villagers living in Athos' lands, burning and poisoning their crops. He thinks himself better than the ordinary folk, likening them to animals and lesser beings (and considers Athos as such when he voluntarily renounces his title). He also has no qualms about kidnapping young peasant girls and having them gang-raped under his orders, even saying that he gets pleasure from their screams. And yet he clearly loves his only son Edmund, and howls with grief when he gets killed by Catherine after the fight for Pinon.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The fake Princess Louise of Mantua - professional assassin and spy - detests men who beat their wives. Which is why she's so quick to shoot Bonacieux in the stomach with a crossbow after she sees him slap Constance.
- Richelieu turns out to be the one who refused to pay the ransom to release Rochefort from the Spanish, as he felt (despite Rochefort's loyalty to him) that Rochefort was too dangerous to save.
- Evil Chancellor: Richelieu, the Prime Minister. Somewhat of an Anti-Villain since he believes he's acting for the good of France, and he doesn't seek the throne for himself (unlike some adaptations). But he is bent on controlling it, and will coldly mete out death to further his ends.
- Rochefort takes this role in season two, but he plays it a lot straighter.
- Evil Matriarch: Marie de Medicis, who Louis banished for trying to overthrow him. She is still planning to overthrow him using the infant son of Louis' deformed twin, and rule France through him. This largely seems to be Truth in Television, apart for the secret son and grandson.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: The Spanish clearly believed they could use Rochefort to further their own goals by appointing him as their agent in France. They realise too late that he's too unstable and brutal to control.
- Exact Words: Done nastily by the King in the second episode of the second season, to the disgust of the Musketeers. He offers "clemency" to one of the slavers who helps him escape in the end (largely for self-serving reasons), but the "clemency" turns out to be having him stabbed to death instead of slowly and painfully publicly executed for treason.
- Eyepatch of Power: Rochefort wears one starting 2x09. He sustained his injury in his Attempted Rape of Queen Anne.
- Eye Scream: As Rochefort's Attempted Rape is interrupted, his would-be victim Queen Anne stabs him in the eye with her hairpin. This is an homage and gives the audience that Shout-Out to Christopher Lee's Rochefort who was the first to wear the Eyepatch of Power that has almost become a staple for the character.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: D'Artagnan and Constance Bonacieux, at this point in two of two episodes. May develop into a Running Gag.
- Faking the Dead: Athos faked his death in 1.10.
- False Flag Operation: Richelieu's men ambush a troop of Musketeers on a secret diplomatic mission, steal their uniforms, and commit crimes to make the Musketeer corps look bad. The King is uncritical enough to consider disbanding them.
- False Roulette: While sweating a perp in the first episode, Aramis goes through the motions of shooting him with his musket. The scene has a short Truth in Television speech by Aramis about the musket's inaccuracy at long ranges, so he takes aim at very close range.
- Femme Fatale: Milady, the alluring agent of the Cardinal. She seduces D'Artagnan in short order.
- Finger in the Mail: When the Spanish ambassador bribes Rochefort's prostitute to assassinate him, he receives her severed ear in a box as proof his plan failed.
- Fire-Forged Friends: How D'Artagnan and the other Musketeers became friends, after he mistakenly believed Athos murdered his father and dueled Athos and the others for it and then decided to help Aramis and Porthos clear Athos's name.
- First Name Basis: Only the King can call Cardinal Richelieu Armand. So can his mistress.
- Frame-Up: Subverted. While it's true that Queen Anne and Aramis slept together (and he might be the Dauphin's father), their accuser - Rochefort - doesn't want them punished because they broke the law, but because Anne rejected him and fought off his sexual assault. Then there's the fact that he plans to implicate them both in the poisoning of the King.
- Freudian Trio: Among the original trio with Porthos as the Id, Aramis as the Ego and Athos as the Superego. A change from the novel, where a more calculating Aramis fits the role of Superego, and a less damaged Athos plays the part of the Ego.
- Friendly Sniper: Aramis is the best shot in the Musketeer regiment, and more often than not he's quite cheerful about it.
- The Fun in Funeral: Only Aramis, Porthos, D'Artagnan and Treville knew that Athos wasn't dead. While Treville was attempting to be solemn as he delivered the eulogy, Aramis and Porthos were snarking in the background.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Aramis and Athos play these parts when questioning Vadim's mistress. Athos is quietly threatening and Aramis flirts sympathetically.
- Good Is Not Soft: Most of the Musketeers are fairly friendly and amiable people to be around but when duty calls or if you get on their bad side, be prepared for the worst.
- Genius Bruiser: Porthos, at least for the time period. A former street urchin who taught himself to read and write and has enough general knowledge to drop names like Nostradamus in casual conversation.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Aramis has a few on his body, the ladies think it makes him look dashing.
- Also Porthos, with one over his eye.
- Group Hug: In the finale.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The characters in this show have much more shades of grey than it is usual for a cape and sword drama. Richelieu is an egoistical corrupt murderer who does genuinely care for his king and for France, Treville is an honourable soldier who will do dirty jobs and agree to lie to the king "for his own good", d'Artagnan is a hot-head who pursues a married woman, Aramis is a serial seducer who slept with a queen, which is nothing short than high treason and almost all characters have their merits and their flaws morality-wise.
- Happy Flashback: When Athos returns to Pinon he stares out at the meadows and recalls his happiness with his wife Anne (who would become Milady de Winter).
- Heartbroken Badass: Athos.
- Heroic BSOD: Athos shuts down in episode 3 when he finds out his wife Milady whom was executed turned out to be alive.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Tariq blows himself and the cyphering machine up so that neither the Spanish or the French get his super-explosive formula.
- Historical Beauty Update: Inevitable, considering the source material and the cast, but quite played up with Marie de Medicis: it's pretty much testing the Willing Suspension of Disbelief to portray a Rubensesque middle-aged royalty◊ into the Rosa Klebb-ish plotter who carries on an affair with her bodyguard that we saw Tara Fitzgerald portray◊.
- Hollywood Costuming: The Cardinal's day-to-day wardrobe is mostly black (playing up the Sinister Minister aspect), while the traditional bright red Cardinal's robes are reserved for public ceremonies and processions. This is in contrast to most depictions which have him wear the red robes at all times.
- Truth in Television: The Cardinal didn't historically wear his bright red robes all the time, and there's several paintings where he's one of the main focal points and wasn't wearing his robes.
- Seventeenth century costumes (at least for the upper classes) were fairly flamboyant, brightly coloured suits with lots of ruffled lace and feathered hats. To the modern eye, this might look a bit silly as outfits for action heroes so the musketeers here wear more practical leather outfits in dark colours, including anachronistic leather trousers.
- Hollywood History: The third episode seems to imply that Porthos and Aramis are not members of the nobility. It's quite unrealistic that, at this period of French history, someone without a noble background could have embarked upon a military career, up to becoming a musketeer. This is especially true for Porthos, since it's now canon that his mother was a former slave from Africa and that he was a street urchin in his youth.
- However, the Musketeers of the Guard were not reserved for the nobility; they did, however, require evidence that the applicant had the financial means to support themselves, and a letter of recommendation. This ironically means that Porthos and Aramis might well be eligible, regardless of background.
- And the dates of birth and death of significant historical figures take quite a knock to satisfy cast changes and other plot lines. Notably the death of Cardinal Richelieu and the birth of the Dauphin (who may be the future King Louis XIV, although Queen Anne historically miscarried in the 1631 time frame, so the dauphin could equally represent that lost baby).
- Horrible Judge of Character: King Louis becomes convinced Rochefort is a loyal hero and the only one he can really trust, thus alienating everyone else. In fact, Rochefort wants him dead.
- Hot-Blooded: One of D'Artagnan's main traits. In the first episode, he recklessly challenged Athos to a duel to death, whom he mistakenly believed murdered his father and attacked Porthos and Aramis when they stepped in to stop the fight.
- I Call It "Vera": Old Serge named his blunderbuss "Cleopatra."
Serge: Been responsible for more deaths than her namesake.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Lemay comes out with "I'm a doctor, not an alchemist", when asked to determine if some soup was drugged or not.
- Identical-Looking Asians: Black rather than Asian, but Porthos lampshades this when his manipulative and evil father gives him a miniature portrait of a random black woman claiming that it's a picture of his mother. Porthos, of course, remembers exactly what his mother looks like and isn't impressed.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The show constantly depicts characters pulling off ridiculously accurate shots with smooth-bored, muzzle-loading weapons.
- Improvised Weapon: Porthos uses a fork after his sword is nabbed by his opponent. And in a later episode, Athos and Aramis beat up some Red Guards using the books of the Comtesse De Larroque's library.
- Indy Ploy: In contrast to Richelieu's complex plans, Rochefort does evil stuff on the spur of the moment and somehow makes it work out for him. That's not to say Rochefort doesn't have his own plans, or is a in anyway bad at, he just very good at improvisation.
- Inter-Service Rivalry: The Musketeers and the Red Guard hate each other's guts and would love nothing more than to see the other fail. It doesn't help that their leaders, Treville and Cardinal Richelieu, appear to have a rivalry of their own.
- Ironic Name: Baron Renard is not a super-intelligent Magnificent Bastard, but a Stupid Evil thug who is simultaneously one of the nastiest and least subtle villains to appear in the show.
- It's Personal: Out of all the Musketeers, Athos is singled out to be framed and executed because his wife Milady, who he believes dead (by his orders), is among those behind the plot.
- Jail Break: D'Artagnan gets himself into one, which involves a Mexican Standoff and the Queen herself being taken hostage.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After the events of 1.07, in which the Cardinal barely survives an assassination attempt from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Richelieu declares that he will abandon all pretense of serving others ("No person...no nation...no God will stand in my way...") to further his own ambitions. He begins in spectacular fashion in 1.09, by attempting to have the Queen assassinated.
- It should be noted that in this case, it seems he was obeying to what he thought was the king's will.
- Jumping on a Grenade: Aramis in episode 2. But since it's a Cartoon Bomb he's able to smother the fuse.
- Just Following Orders: Said by one of the Cardinal's henchmen when he is found out.
- Used by Captain Treville in episode 4.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Porthos's father murders his son-in-law for purely selfish and personal reasons, even though the son in law was a violent, murdering pimp.
- King Incognito: Deconstructed in episode 2 of the second season. The King goes out incognito with the Musketeers for a night on the town, against everyone's advice, and by chance gets kidnapped by slavers. The result is a horrible mess with a huge body count, and Louis completely fails to learn any kind of decency, compassion, or humility. He ends up blaming the Musketeers for the whole thing as well.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In 2.07, Bonacieux hits Constance when she tells him she wants to be with D'Artagnan, and orders her back home, even if he has to drag her from the palace himself. Its him going back to later try and enact this threat, that leads to him getting shot with a crossbow and bleeding to death before the end of the episode.
- Leave Behind a Pistol: In episode 5, Treville does this for Emile de Mauvoisin once the latter's plot falls through and he signs a confession. Which is a bit jarring since, as a devout Catholic in seventeenth century France, the very thought of suicide should be repugnant to him, to say nothing of blowing his brains out without attempting to gain absolution from a priest. The whole 'eat a gun to regain my honor' branch of thought didn't come along until later.
- On the other hand, the episode implies that he may have not been as concerned about religion as he tried to appear. It's also possible that he was too desperate to think clearly and only wanted to escape the hopeless situation. It's obvious that suicides still happened despite the common attitude toward them (otherwise there wouldn't have been a reason to combat them so harshly) so the urge must exist in people despite the fear of heavenly (or secular) punishment or disgrace. Treville's actions are harder to explain.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In the first episode, after Aramis, Porthos and D'Artagnan sneak into the mooks' hideout, D'Artagnan rushes out shouting right after Aramis tells the rest to wait for his signal.
- Lethal Chef: In Knight Takes Queen, Queen Anne attempts to be helpful to her rescuers by cooking some fish. She thoroughly burns them. The musketeers are too chivalrous to make a mention of it, forcing themselves to eat their respective portions and making up an excuse when she offers them more. To be fair, it was her first time cooking, ever.
- Like Brother and Sister: Word of God states that Louis XIII and Queen Anne are this, when they're not at odds with each other. Which is a bit awkward, considering they've been married ten years and still haven't produced an heir..
- A bit Truth in Television in this case, Louis and Queen Anne had apparently a quite poor sexual relationship.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: It's heavily implied in 1.10 that Aramis, rather than King Louis, is the father of the child Queen Anne is carrying. Cardinal Richelieu suspected this as well, and left a chilling message for Aramis after his death to say that he knows all his secrets.
- Man Child: Louis is pretty much one of these; naive, childish, and prone to temper tantrums and storming off when he doesn't get his own way.
- Man Hug: In 1.08, after D'Artagnan defeats Lebarge and finally becomes an official Musketeer, D'Artagnan proceeds to hug Aramis, Porthos and Athos.
- The Man Makes the Weapon: As described above, Porthos's Establishing Character Moment has him fighting with a fork.
- Manipulative Bastard: Porthos's father tries to poison him against Treville and persuade him to kill his brother-in-law (who probably deserved it, but the motivation was purely selfish).
- Rochefort is a much better example, his main tactic is to learn everyone's secrets, desires or weaknesses then play them like a violin. He's so good he quickly has the king around his finger, and even the Musketeers are left with no idea just how dangerous a man he is until the very end.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In 2.04, a woman named Emilie of Duras has visions that she claims are from God, ordering her to bring her peasant army to attack Spain. After Constance suffers a nightmare when she drinks soup from Emilie's bowl, Aramis discovers that Emilie's visions were caused by her mother deliberately poisoning her with a hallucinogenic drug. However, it's implied that Constance's dream (which foretold the death of King Louis - which is Rochefort's ultimate aim, as he plans to rule over France with Anne) may be a real premonition.
- The Mistress: Being a Cardinal certainly doesn't stop Richelieu from having a mistress, Adele Bessett. Not that she lasts too long ...
- Milady becomes Louis's mistress in Series 2.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: In 2.07 Sophia Martinez shoots Bonacieux when he stumbles upon her assassination attempt. She later claims this was to do a favor to Constance and D'Artagnan.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: D'Artagnan meets Athos... It's almost a Shout-Out to The Princess Bride. See You Killed My Father below.
- Named by the Adaptation: D'Artagnan's father is named Alexandre, though D'Artagnan himself is only known by his surname.
- Never My Fault: In The Challenge, the Red Guards are quick to blame the Musketeers for the death of their captain, despite the Musketeers warning the Red Guards that the prisoner Labarge was not to be taken lightly and the resulting fight between Labarge and the Red Guards led to a Guard accidentally killing his captain. Milady also seems to have a case of this, blaming Athos for Milady holding Constance as a hostage in 1.10.
- New Meat: D'Artagnan.
- Nice Hat: Worn by the men, comes with the genre. Except for D'Artagnan, at least in the first episode - not even while traveling in the rain, whereas his father, who is with him, does.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In 2.03, the Musketeers are giving a crucial mission to safeguard General Alamand - a Spanish Moor and former general turned fugitive - and his kidnapped daughter Samara, as well as the formula for white gunpowder (which is supposed to be used to barter Samara's release). The exchange takes place in a crowded market place and everything hinges on Aramis sniping the kidnapper as quickly as possible. Due to his worry over the Dauphin (who might be his son), Aramis doesn't take the shot when he has the chance, and the whole thing escalates to a gun battle that leaves civilians dead, and both Samara and an injured Porthos taken captive. The chain of events that follow end with Alamand using what he has left of the gunpowder to kill himself and the kidnapper, and also destroy the formula for the explosive so no-one can use it. Franco-Spanish relations deteriorate even further, and the Musketeers get deeper into the King's bad books due to the botched operation.
- Athos inadvertently sets Catherine down a road of vengeance when he tells her that Milady - who killed her then-fiance and Athos' brother - is still alive and living as the King's mistress. Even after Athos points out that Milady's the King's mistress and going after her is tantamount to high treason, she still leaves.
- No Escape but Down: Twice in the first episode. Aramis escapes his lover's house through a window as her other lover, Cardinal Richelieu, arrives. He's left hanging on the ledge as Athos and Porthos arrive to mock him.
- Super Window Jump: D'Artagnan then leaps out of a closed window, after being blamed for a murder he didn't commit.
- Happens again in the fifth episode: a man jumps out of the window after attempting to shoot Aramis.
- No, You: In episode 4, Marsac snarks at D'Artagnan that he shouldn't be here since he wasn't a Musketeer. D'Artagnan fires back that neither was Marsac.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Zigzaged, some French names are pronounced quite well, like "Bonacieux" or "Vadim", some are not. "Athos" and "Porthos", notably, should be pronounced "Atos" and "Portos".
- OOC Is Serious Business: In episode 3, after discovering his wife Milady was actually alive, Athos simply shuts down and when he dazedly tried to explain what happened and became more frantic, D'Artagnan was noticeably alarmed.
- Oh, Crap: Cardinal Richelieu looks completely pole-axed when he's tricked into revealing that he engineered the Queen's assassination, only for the Queen herself to come forward. The only reason he's left alive and not imprisoned is because he's far too important for France's stability to be dealt with properly.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Along with the presence of Queen Anne, it's revealed in 2.05 that Athos knew Milady as Anne (as he did in the original books), though not certain whether or not this is her real name.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Flea gets shot, and while she's not immediately running around, but she's on her feet not long after, and acting fine.
- Averted, when Porthos is injured in episode 3; he has to be treated immediately to save his life and spends the rest of the episode severely restricted by the wound (even at the very end, which we have to assume is a little while later, he reprimands Athos for patting him on the shoulder.)
- Happens again to him in 2.03: He takes an arrow to his knee during an operation and spends the night in complete agony before removing the weapon himself. He spends the rest of the episode walking with a visible limp.
- Outlaw Town: The "Court of Miracles" where Porthos grew up.
- Papa Wolf: Causing any harm to one of Athos, Aramis or Porthos and the other two (plus D'Artagnan) would bring upon a world of misery on that person.
- Parenting the Husband: Queen Anne seems to have fallen into this role with king Louis.
- Pass the Popcorn: The Cardinal munching on snacks certainly seems to be enjoying watching Treville fighting for his life against Labarge.
- And earlier in the episode, D'Artagnan literally passes Aramis some food to munch on while they watch Porthos beat up someone in the trials to compete for the honour of the regiment.
- Pet the Dog: Monsieur Bonacieux may be a jerk, but he does seem to care for Constance in his own way. The first thing he does with the money he steals from D'Artagnan is to buy Constance jewellery, with promises that their lives are going to get better. And when he finds out about Constance and D'Artagnan's affair, he is genuinely hurt.
- Taken even further in the series one finale. Monsieur Bonacieux tries to kill himself when he thinks Constance has run away with D'Artagnan.
- Police Procedural / Forensic Drama: As much as allowed by the time period, with several episodes featuring analysis of shoot-out and streetfight locations and even trips to a mortician who is a 17th-century version of a forensic pathologist. Some fans affectionately dub the show "CSI Paris 1630."
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Balthasar expresses (wildly anachronistic) pseudo-scientific racism towards Tariq.
- Pragmatic Villainy: What Cardinal Richelieu sees his actions as. If there's another solution to a problem that doesn't call for bloodshed, he'll pursue it.
- Race Lift: Porthos is played by an actor of black descent. Word of God says it was inspired by Alexandre Dumas's father being a part-black Frenchman who became a general. It actually becomes a pretty major plot point in episode 3.
- There is also a vague hint of some Spanish ancestry for Aramis. Not only is he played by Santiago Cabrera, but he demonstrates fluency in Spanish for no discernible reason plot-wise (this might also be a minor case of The Cast Showoff, demonstrating the actor's multilingual skillz just coz).
- Rasputinian Death: Rochefort. Shot, then stabbed in the back, then punched several times, then run through. And he still has time for some last words.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Peter Capaldi was cast in Doctor Who as the Doctor while making this series. Instead of recasting him, the writers adjusted their plans and wrote Richelieu out of the second season.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain Treville.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The fake Princess Louise gives a short one to Bonacieux after she shoots him with a crossbow, telling him that he pretty much deserves to die after she sees him hit Constance.
- Rescue Romance: How Queen Anne began to fall for Aramis after he saved her life twice in 1.02.
- Retirony: Perales gets a speech about how the Spanish king has told him he can retire to Valencia and grow oranges just before Milady poisons him on Rochefort's orders.
- Royally Screwed Up: Invoked in "The Return", when after outwitting some depraved noblemen, Aramis says "Centuries of inbreeding is making the aristocracy (taps the side of head) stupid."
- Secret Keeper: Athos was the only one who knew that Aramis slept with Queen Anne in 1.09.
- That is until Constance sees them kissing each other in 2.04. Queen Anne even Lampshades Constance's Secret Keeper status.
- Settle for Sibling: It's revealed that Athos was once betrothed to a woman named Catherine, but when he unexpectedly married Milady, Catherine was passed on to his brother Thomas so the family could keep their promise to her father.
- Sex Slave: Porthos's family turn out to be in the business of luring naive country girls to Paris and forcing them to act as prostitutes.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: Episode 9 opens with Queen Anne going for a swim. Naturally she's dressed and her soaking clothes are played for fanservice.
- Happens again in Episode 2.01, but this time it's d'Artagnan. He starts out in long trousers and a sort of night shirt thing, before losing the shirt when he gets out.
- Shirtless Scene: Aramis is introduced with one, dallying with the Cardinal's own mistress. D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and (guest star) the Duke of Savoy later take turns at it as well.
- Shot at Dawn: Athos is sentenced to death by firing squad in the first episode - but he's saved of course.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: When Richelieu and Treville inform King Louis that he's under threat from attack and that he should avoid public appearances, Louis starts on about how his father always went out among the people. Richelieu deflates this by pointing out that "Your father was assassinated." (Of course, the cardinal reckoned without Queen Anne...)
- Shoot Out the Lock: Tried in 1.05 episode: it doesn't work. The musketeers proceed to kick the door down instead.
- And in 2.01, Athos seems to intentionally combine the two tactics which works well enough.
- Silk Hiding Steel:
- Queen Anne is quiet and reserved, but don't for a moment think she'll back down from anything. When she completely overrides Richelieu and Treville's attempts to dissuade King Louis from making a traditional journey, Richelieu comments - with possibly a hint of admiration - "Perhaps I misjudged that." It can be implied that the Queen's subtle influence on King Louis might be why Richelieu was so eager to have her assassinated in 1.09, and used the King's drunken ramblings as an excuse.
- Sinister Minister: Richelieu, who even dresses in black.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The final episode of the first season has Milady failing to kill Constance and Athos sparing her life, as opposed to the original novel and most other adaptations where Milady kills Constance and is then summarily executed by the Musketeers.
- The Spymaster: Varas, is this for the Spanish as such he becomes instrumental towards the end of the second season as he is the only one who can prove Rochefort is (or rather was as he's gone rogue by this point) a Spanish spy and break his hold over the king.
- Stupid Evil: Baron Renard and his son Edmond, to the point that Aramis suggests that it can only be explained by generations of rural incest. Athos is happy to hand his land over to them, only for them to try to flog him to death, abduct one of his peasants with the gloating intent of raping her, and announce their intent to massacre all said peasants. All seemingly just to be arseholes.
- Survivors Guilt: In episode 4, ex-Musketeer Marsac suffers through this since he and Aramis were the only two to survive the massacre that killed their friends, which led him to throw away his uniform and becoming obsessed with finding out why they were attacked.
- Suicide by Cop: Marsac's death has a strong suggestion of this. He certainly forced the best shot in the regiment to fire on him at close quarters and his dying words also reinforce the notion.
Marsac: Better to die a musketeer than live like dog.
- Sword Sparks: During swordfights at night.
- Theme Music Powerup: During d'Artagnan's final duel with Labarge, the theme music begins to play
- Tampering with Food and Drink: How Richelieu disposes of a mook who failed him and was threatening to blab.
- The previews for 2.09 show that Rochefort plans to do this to King Louis, right after Louis confides in him that he's afraid of being assassinated via poisoning because of how painful it is.
- Took a Level in Badass: The nuns in 1.09; none are willing to leave to save themselves, and by the time the attack is underway they're cutting siege ropes and throwing straw beehives (ouch!) and brandy-flask molotov cocktails at the enemy.
- The villagers of Pinon, who get trained into an acceptable militia and defend themselves from Baron Renard's men.
- True Companions: Let's face it, this trope was mandatory. Say it with me, "All for one and..."
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: In-universe with Constance and her husband. While Monsieur Bonacieux isn't ugly, quite a few people comment how he is plain and dull next to his younger and prettier wife.
- The Unfavorite: Athos implies that he filled this role in his well-to-do family, especially after he married Milady, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere with no traceable family or lineage.
- Unflinching Walk: Vadim do this in the second episode, while grenading the royal palace, no less.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Catherine, who would have been Athos' wife if he hadn't fallen in love with Milady. While she was 'content' with his younger brother Tomas, it's clear she still has feelings for him.
- Villainous Fashion Sense: While the Cardinal's dark wardrobe tends to give off this vibe, it is Marie de Medici's wardrobe and hairstyles— which look like a cross between a dominatrix and Maleficent— that take the prize. If you didn't catch on to her antagonistic intent as soon as she first came on screen...
- War for Fun and Profit: Richelieu has his agents steal secret letters from the King for his counterpart in Spain, proposing peace between their countries. When the King finds out they're missing, he admits all to the Cardinal, who convinces him to let the war continue to show France is strong - and so his hold over the King is reinforced.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: When Queen Anne is attacked in episode 9 she's in the company of two ladies-in-waiting. The Musketeers whisk her away into the forest, and her attendants are never again seen or mentioned. Did they just walk home?
- Whole Plot Reference: Marie de Medicis' plan of dethroning her son Louis XIII via a baby who is apparently the son of her first, deformed and deceased son Philippe was pretty much lifted from the last novel of Dumas's d'Artagnan Romances, The Man in the Iron Mask (which, if eventually portrayed in the series, will make this Foreshadowing and Call Forward).
- Would Hurt a Child: Nobody directly but in The Exiles it is pointed out this could happen due to Henry being the rightful King.
- Woman in White: Milady is always shown to wear white in flashbacks to her marriage to Athos. Queen Anne also has many white dresses.
- Wretched Hive / Outlaw Town: The Court of Miracles.
- Your Cheating Heart: Adele, despite being the Cardinal's mistress, is actually in love with Aramis. Richelieu being the jealous and paranoid man that he is, this does not end well for her.
- After Aramis saves Queen Anne's life in the second episode, they begin to develop feelings for each other - although, considering the state her marriage is in by this point, you can hardly blame Anne for trying to make an emotional connection with someone. They finally consummate their passions in 1.09, much to Athos's horror.
- As in the original novel, Constance is a married woman who can't help falling for a certain dashing young musketeer.
- Yandere: Implied with Milady towards Athos, especially in 1.07 when she takes an especial glee in destroying Ninon's reputation in court, and then going further to threaten all the women under Ninon's care with being burned at the stake unless she gives a false confession. And all because Ninon and Athos flirted with each other in her parlour!
- You Have Failed Me: Not only does Richelieu poison his mook, he also has his mistress shot for disloyalty.
- You Killed My Father: D'Artagnan initially thinks Athos killed his father and demands a duel to the death, but when he is convinced Athos was framed, he joins forces with Porthos and Aramis to clear the Musketeer's name and find the real culprit.
D'Artagnan: I'm looking for Athos.
Athos: You've found him.
D'Artagnan: My name is D'Artagnan of Lupiac in Gascony. Prepare to fight. One of us dies here.
Athos: Can I ask why?
D'Artagnan: You murdered my father.
Athos: You're mistaken. I'm not the man you're looking for.
D'Artagnan: (charging with his sword drawn) MURDERER!!!
- You Said You Would Let Me Go: Milady promises to let Sophia Martinez go in episode 2.07 in exchange for telling Milady who hired her - but then announces her intention to kill Sophia instead, which provokes this line. Milady points out that she can't keep her word now she knows it's Rochefort who hired Sophia.