* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Milady - diabolically inspired temptress, or canny, increasingly desperate woman trying to survive (with style) after being seduced as a teenager by a dodgy priest? ([[DracoInLeatherPants Ignoring the fact that she was explicitly the aggressor and manipulator in her relationship with the priest]] and her [[{{Greed}} obsession with living like a queen when a humbler life would be less perilous]] is her major FatalFlaw.)
* CargoShip: ''Twenty Years After'' reveals that as a teenager, Athos had a crush on a Greek statue.
* CompleteMonster: The mysterious, murderous [[FemmeFatale Milady de Winter]] is one of the top agents of the visionary Cardinal Richelieu in his campaign to strengthen France and free it of foreign influence, but shares none of her employer's lofty ideals. Instead, she uses her position, resources, and quasi-supernatural beauty and charisma to indulge her limitless appetites for money, power, and indiscriminate, disproportionate revenge on anyone who gets on her bad side. Ever since [[FromNobodyToNightmare her humble origins]] as a [[NunTooHoly larcenous nun]], she's targeted and seduced any sufficiently-useful man she comes across, destroying those who reject her and either killing or abandoning anyone unlucky enough to become her thrall as soon as they're no longer valuable. Her steadily-escalating battle with d'Artagnan brings out all her worst excesses, as she first tries to enlist him to kill her brother-in-law for his inheritance and a young noble for apparently turning her advances down, then, after he humiliates her, repeatedly attempts to kill him with zero regard for collateral damage, endangering and killing several innocents along the way, and finally murders his LoveInterest as RevengeByProxy whilst pretending to be her dearest friend.
* CrazyAwesome: The Duke of Beaufort runs on this trope.
* DesignatedHero: D'Artagnan is portrayed as a callow yet valorous young man out to prove his worth to the world and getting caught up in schemes of politics and love well over his head. And while some of his actions are certainly heroic, he tends to do some incredibly questionable and even villainous things. One of his first acts in the story is to attempt to murder a man who commented on his strange-looking horse. When he fails, d'Artagnan swears a vow to find him and slay him no matter how long it takes... over [[DisproportionateRetribution an innocuous comment about a horse]]. When his [[UnintentionallySympathetic landlord]] (to whom d'Artagnon is in great debt) comes to him for help, d'Artagnon participates in getting him arrested for a crime he didn't commit so that he can live rent free and hit on the landlord's wife. d'Artgagnon declares his undying love for the landlord's wife, then pursues and eventually [[KarmicRape rapes]] Milady de Winter (by fraud rather than force, but still), then moves on and denounces her as a villain when she discovers his deceit and becomes furious. d'Artagnon's companions (the titular three musketeers) are little better, and the four of them only obey the laws convenient to them, lie to and intimidate whoever they please to squeeze money out of them, abuse their lackeys, and turn their noses up at anyone they deem lesser than them. Their two greatest accomplishments in the story are protecting the reputation of the lying and cheating Queen of France and tracking down and beheading a lying and cheating lowborn woman. Despite this, they are portrayed as goodhearted men struggling to make ends meet and maintain their honor in a difficult world.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Rochefort, and the servants Planchet and Grimaud, who take a level of badass between the first and second books. Also, the Duke of Beaufort.
* FirstInstallmentWins: Wait, there were ''sequels''?
* MagnificentBastard: Cardinal Armand Richelieu is the most powerful man in France, and the ruler behind the throne. Seeking the betterment of France as a nation under his guiding iron hand, Richelieu schemes to strengthen the monarchy and to also start a war with England to further check Spain and Austria. In order to disgrace his rival, Queen Anne, Richelieu convinces the king to throw a party and request Anne wear diamond studs he gave her as a gift, well aware Anne has given them to her lover, the Duke of Buckingham, which will discredit Anne and begin a war with England. When the Musketeers recover the diamonds in time, Richelieu accepts it with grace, later deciding to have Buckingham assassinated and presenting the wicked Milady de Winter with a letter excusing her from all acts she commits in service to France. When Milady is executed by the Musketeers, young hero D'Artagnan thinks to save himself by presenting Richelieu with the same letter, only for Richelieu to display his own power by tearing it up. Impressed by D'Artagnan, however, Richelieu accepts him as a WorthyOpponent and a boon to France, writing him an officer's commission to the Musketeers before focusing on his next schemes to ever better France as a nation.
* TearJerker: In ''The Man in the Iron Mask'', although it tells of [[spoiler:the deaths of Porthos, Athos, and d'Artagnan, and although they are all tragic in their own ways, it was really the noble sacrifice of the lovably naive and childlike Porthos]].
* ValuesDissonance:
** D'Artagnan pulls a BedTrick on Milady, which by modern standards is definitely rape.
** Frequently lampshaded in other cases by Dumas, as he often breaks the narrative to wryly note that his heroes' womanizing ways were just common practice in those days. Possibly actually meant to be a TakeThat against practices in his own time. This trope is notably averted when D'Artagnan seems just as troubled by [[spoiler: Athos' murder confession]] as the reader is. The fact that he later turned out to be mistaken only complicates the matter further.
** Aramis and some of the other female characters will sometimes cover their mouth with their hand while laughing. While this is a ubiquitous practice in Japan (as showing your open mouth is considered unladylike and lacking in class), it's far less common in Western nations like France.
* VillainDecay: Going along with Le Vicomte de Bragelonne's main theme of how the new generation is far too Romantic and not as adventurous as the previous one, the villains suffer as well. De Wardes (son of the man d'Artagnan wounded in the first book) stirs up some romantic tension and briefly duels two people, but beyond that, is a far cry from Milady or Mordaunt. Similarly, Colbert lacks the respective cunning and manipulation of Richelieu and Mazarin.
* WhatAnIdiot: D'Artagnan, naked and in bed with Milady, thinks it's a good idea to inform her that the reason for de Wardes not answering her letters (the entire reason Milady wanted him dead and slept with d'Artagnan so he'd kill de Wardes) was because he'd intercepted her first letter, then passed himself off as de Wardes in the dark.
* {{Woolseyism}}: "All for one, [and] one for all" is inverted in the original French - "Un pour tous, tous pour un" - but the English order is better known (in the English-speaking world). It all comes from the Latin "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno". A rare English-language adaptation which kept it as "One for all, all for one" was ''Film/TheManInTheIronMask'' (1998).
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