YMMV / Gormenghast

  • Crazy Awesome: Titus, Steerpike, and Fuchsia!
  • Creator's Pet: Titus.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Steerpike.
    • Though even the biggest leather pants fetishist may have second thoughts when they read what Steerpike planned to do to Fushsia...
  • Dumb Is Good: With the exception of Prunesquallor, the intellectual characters are depicted as cold, calculating and ruthless, most notably Steerpike and Cheeta.
    • Or detached, like Lord Sepulchrave.
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: A double subversion in that Mervyn Peake considered this a series about Titus, not Gormenghast. The novella "Boy In Darkness" and the third novel, Titus Alone take place outside of Gormenghast.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Steerpike, the murder of the twins.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Cheeta's mind games near the end of Titus Alone are convincing enough to trouble even the reader, who saw the castle Gormenghast through a narrator's eyes in Titus Groan and Gormenghast. The marked discontinuity between the archaic medieval nightmare of Gormenghast itself and the Crystal Spires and Togas of the outside world combined with the fact that Titus ultimately turns away rather than returning home in the end leaves the reader wondering if Steerpike, Fuchsia, Prunesquallor and all the others ever existed in the first place.
  • Paranoia Fuel and Nightmare Fuel: The companion novella Boy in Darkness. In its entirety.
  • The Woobie: Nannie Slagg. She's eighty years old, three feet tall, and perpetually on the verge of tears. Also, her husband died of a stroke on their wedding night. Poor woman.
    • Steerpike was a bit of a woobie early on, particularly when you consider his non-person status among the other members of the castle. And most especially when you consider that Swelter was not only tremendously abusive to the kitchen boys (including Steerpike), but it is implied that he also sexually molested and cannibalised them. A childhood like that has to mess you up a little. Even if he didn't fit his leather pants quite so well, Steerpike would have started out as a Sympathetic Murderer, at least until his first or second Moral Event Horizon.
      • A lot of the aristocracy also deserve Woobie status, because although they are completely batshit insane and a little stupid, they aren't bad people. The Opheliac Creepy Twins Cora and Clarice didn't deserve such a prolonged and brutal death at Steerpike's hands. And Fuchsia was just in love and insanely sheltered, with the hereditary insanity that seems to possess everybody in her family. You've got to feel a little sorry for her, too.
    • The "Thing" was essentially born into Woobiehood, although she dies too soon for Peake to really showcase this much.