YMMV: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Drawlight. He's a thoroughly unlikable character with no redeeming features, but his violent, unknown death alone in a forest evokes pity all the same.
    • Even more so in the TV series, where he's eminently more pitiable.
  • Complete Monster: The Lady of the Castle of the Plucked Eye and Heart. Judging by Norrell's comments she is sadistic even by the standards of the faerie race, choosing bloodshed and death as her amusements.
    • Lascelles, who murders and maims on a whim, and seems incapable of caring for another.
  • Crazy Awesome: Strange, once he intentionally drives himself mad, with emphasis on both the 'crazy' and the 'awesome'.
  • Ho Yay: Some of the gentleman's interactions with Stephen could be interpreted as this.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mr Norrell, a man set for a very public destiny but is wholly unsuited for it.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by Lascelles when he shoots Drawlight. While Drawlight may not earn much sympathy, his murder is so cold-blooded and unexpected that you know Lascelles has gone off the deep end.
  • Narm: Stephen Black using English magic to defeat the gentleman in the BBC finale. It was a bit-over-acted, and the effects on his voice were ridiculous.
  • Nightmare Fuel: What happens to Lascelles. He's a horrible person who made the enmity between Strange and Norrell far worse, killed Drawlight in cold blood, and disfigured Childermass all for little reasons beyond profit and his pride. But he's also 'compelled' into taking the role of the Champion of the Castle of the Plucked Eye and Heart (probably along with having his mind wiped to fulfill the role's purpose) until someone kills him in turn. How long will that be?
    • The Neapolitan soldiers that Strange resurrects. They're mutilated and decomposing, and spend all their time trying to find Strange to beg him to put them to a final rest, or send them home to their loved ones instead of Hell. In the end Wellington orders them to be burnt, though who knows if even that released them?
  • Older Than They Think: The story of John Uskglass has some resemblance to an English chapbook, The Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow. In the story, Robin (aka Puck) is a Half-Human Hybrid child of Oberon whose father grants him magical powers and gives the promise of eventually holding a kingdom in Faerie. Uskglass is admittedly human by birth, but was a foster-son of Oberon.
  • Purity Sue: Stephen Black is a deconstruction.
    • He is fully aware that his social position in England, despite the genuine respect and affection he gets from Sir Walter and others, is still very precarious and so he must be on his best behavior at almost all times.
    • During the course of the story, he is most often seen in the company of the gentleman with thistle-down hair, who lavishes Stephen with compliments. The gentleman has more affection for Stephen than anyone else, but Stephen knows full well how changeable he is and that Stephen must be extremely careful around him. One misstep could easily result in his death, so he continuously acts in a manner to preserve the gentleman's favour and presents a falsely pure version of himself.
    • When his thoughts are shown, he is clearly full of rage at his social and magical situation, leading to him entertaining ruthless fantasies about all of England being wiped out for its slavery heritage. It's sympathetic due to his second-class citizen status, but his callousness to the magical deaths of innocents shows he is no Mary Sue.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The BBC series has been praised for its use of special effects, putting on good spectacle while avoiding using it superfluously at the expense of character. The Miracle of York and Horse Sand were particularly praised by critics, but Strange's roads and The King's Road are also impressive.
  • The Woobie: Stephen Black. The Gentleman went looking for a woobie and ended up making one.
    • One of the footnotes gives us the story of the fairy called Buckler, who managed to lure several of the family members, servants, and neighbours of Simon Bloodworth into a magical cupboard from which they did not return. Two hundred years later Martin Pale is visiting a castle in Faerie and encounters a starved-looking little human girl.
      ”She said her name was Anne Bloodworth and she had been in Faerie, she thought, about two weeks. She had been given work to do washing a great pile of dirty pots. She said she had been washing them steadily since she arrived and when she was finished she would go home to see her parents and her sisters. She thought she would be finished in a day or two.”