- Ho Yay: Richard II and Robert de Vere.
- Jerkass Woobie: Hugh Swynford. He was crude and rude, but being a tireless warrior his personality was well-suited for niche in life, until he saw Katherine and developed romantic feelings for the first time. The poor guy just couldn't cope with it, and he ended up making himself, Katherine, Katherine's sister, and later, John and Gaunt, all miserable. And then, to top it all off, he was eventually murdered for his trouble.
- Values Dissonance: Plenty of this since the novel is set in the 1400s. The example most likely to bother modern readers is Katherine's willingness to force her shy 14-year-old daughter to marry a much older man she can't stand, even though Katherine herself was coerced into an arranged marriage at age 16. (She does of course call off the betrothal once Blanchette contracts scarlet fever.)