Note: All spoilers are unmarked.
Alexandra Octavia "Troublesome" QuickThe main character of the series, Alexandra is a young Muggle-born witch with a Mysterious Past, a knack for getting into and out of dangerous situations, and a massive chip on her shoulder. Alexandra's familiar is a raven named Charlie, though she also acquires a snake named Nigel as a pet later on.
- Action Girl
- Always Someone Better: Larry Albo, who beats her at dueling no matter how hard she tries.
- Arrogant Duelist Girl
- Badass Bookworm: To many people's surprise. On the surface, Alexandra doesn't seem like the type to particularly enjoy reading; but even though she's usually more physically oriented, she actually loves books. She's quite an avid reader and even a diligent student... when the subject interests her. She spends quite a lot of time researching and learning from books, even if most of the time the things she researches and learns are the things other people don't want her to learn about.
- Badass Boast:Alexandra: That's right, I'm the seventh daughter of the Enemy of the Confederation! I've been to the Lands Below and fought the Generous Ones! I've journeyed to the Lands Beyond, treated with the Most Deathly Power, and come back alive. My fate is written in the Stars Above. Do you really think I'm afraid of a hag?Alexandra: I've done impossible things before, Ms. Grimm, and I'm going to do a lot more.
- Bastard Girlfriend: Subverted with Torvald. While she can certainly be bitchy, she never really directed much hostility towards him while they were dating.
- Berserk Button: Quite a few.
- Implying or stating that she is weak or incompetent because she is female.
- Making maliciously racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks.
- Threatening her friends as a way of attacking her.
- Authority figures or parents deceiving her.
- Mentioning Maximillian as a way of insulting or taunting her, or insulting Maximilian.
- Break the Cutie: Max's death. Although she does eventually get over her depression and near-suicidal obsession with returning him from the grave, she's still never really the same person as she was before.
- Break the Haughty: Subverted, she's arrogant, hot-headed and self-centered, and boy does she suffer for those traits, but her trauma has yet to moderate any of those traits. At the end of Book 4 she's if anything more arrogant than at the start of the series and, other than putting a tad more time and preparation into her crazy exploits, her hot head and self-centeredness hasn't changed much either.
- Byronic Hero
- Combat Pragmatist
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Exactly how good of a reason is up for debate.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Most noticeable during her first SPAWN, but in general Alexandra almost never gets her due for the incredible things she actually accomplishes. This is mostly because people tend to focus on her screw-ups and the stuff that gets wrecked in the process, or because some of her coolest accomplishments are secret. Alex is not always happy to take this in stride.
- Easily Forgiven: Even when she tries, Alex can't seem to bring herself to hold a grudge. She forgives Journey without any real reservations as soon as he helps her, even though she realizes he hasn't really reformed. It takes her less than a day to forgive Anna for betraying her to the WJD, and she's even willing to forgive Darla (posthumously) once she learns her motivations. Even her estrangement from Claudia in book 4 is motivated more by the fear that she isn't wanted than by anger. The only exception is her father, and John Manuelito, who's so obviously an Ax-Crazy Sociopath that forgiveness doesn't really enter into it.
- Friend to All Living Things: Alexandra is completely unwilling to participate in animal cruelty. She throws her first transfiguration exam rather than risk hurting a mouse, and John torturing a snake for fun is what ultimately causes her to leave the Mors Mortis Society.
- Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: A mild, long-term, and somewhat self-destructive example. After making her pact with the Generous Ones and given a geas that will kill her in seven years, Alex becomes noticeably less inhibited in what she does and who she does it with, with the mindset that was guaranteed to die but now has a stay of execution, and later that she has to get a lifetime worth of living done in less than a decade so there's no point in worrying over relationships and what happens the morning after. Her friends are understanding if not supportive, particularly Anna when she calls her out on her more cavalier attitude when Alex plans on sleeping with a guy she's dated once and barely likes.Alex: "It's not like I'm going to marry him - I just... I don't see the point in waiting."Anna: "That sounds like a reason to do whatever you want for the next seven years."
- Guile Hero: Though this is secondary to being an Action Hero, she usually tries to bludgeon any given problem at least once before trying to outsmart it.
- Heartbroken Badass: For the entirety of Book 3 while working through Max's death.
- Heroic Bastard
- Hidden Depths: Many people are surprised by her Badass Bookworm tendencies. The Pritchards are surprised to learn that she read all of the Ozarker folk legends about Troublesome and she eventually starts reading books of poetry to improve her doggerel verse which allows her to identify the types of poetic meter used by each of the Stars Above. She is also apparently smart enough to figure out the Sibling Theme Naming scheme of the Grimm sisters, so she can guess her mother's middle name without being told.
- Hot-Blooded: Literally, when she gets angry or is grabbed one of the most common magical effects she causes is to burn and set fire to anything she is in contact with. This is in contrast with her father, who generates a palpable aura of cold when sufficiently vexed.
- Hurting Hero
- Immortal Hero: During the first book. Her father gave her invulnerability using a Circle of Protection. Mr Journey thinks it means her bracelet and destroys it; what Thorn actually meant is that should someone try to kill Alex, the damage will be transferred to a member of the Thorn Circle. Journey tries to shoot her and the bullet hits him, breaking the Circle.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Alexandra tends to overestimate her own abilities (though she is a genuine prodigy) but she has very little sense of self-worth. It becomes increasingly clear as the story goes on and many of her relationships deteriorate that she considers herself a burden on her family and often on other people, and that she doesn't feel that she is worthy of love or friendship.
- In-Universe Nickname: Troublesome.
- It Is Not Your Time: The Generous Ones demand that she give up her life freely, having accidentally killed their old leader. Alexandra agrees and asks for some time to say goodbye to Darla and Innocence. The Generous Ones give her seven years, and she will be the next sacrifice.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alexandra is careless, thoughtless, insensitive and hugely arrogant. She's mouthy and often unfriendly, and she never listens to well-meant advice. She can be incredibly petty and supremely vicious, and has been known to dole out a Disproportionate Retribution or two. People who fear or dislike her usually have a good reason to. At the same time she is also helpful and generous, she can't abide seeing anyone suffer, she'll forgive anyone if she sees their remorse is genuine, she always sticks up for the little guy, she's fanatically loyal to her friends and loved ones, and she won't hesitate for a moment to sacrifice herself even for a total stranger.
- Legacy Character: As Troublesome.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Her lightning bolt spell is her most powerful offensive option and has a high chance of killing an opponent. She only uses it if she knows she's in a fight to the death.
- Like Father, Like Son: She has a strong resemblance to both of her parents.
- Meaningful Name: Alexandra Octavia Quick's first name is the feminine form of Alexander and her middle name is the feminine form of Octavian, meaning that she shares the name of Alexander III of Macedon (aka Alexander The Great) and Gaius Octavian (aka Caesar Augustus), both of whom were the sons or heirs of Great and famous fathers who ultimately became greater and more powerful than their predecessors. These two are also history's two most iconic examples of a Real Life Young Conqueror.
- Octavia is also a derivative of the Latin word for eight. Alexandra is the eighth child of Abraham Thorn.
- Nay-Theist: An unusual example, most Nay-Theists live in a world where theism is the default position. Alexandra is a Nay-Theist in a world of Flat Earth Atheists.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: All the time.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She tries to intervene in a fight between Anna and Tomo, only to get punished herself when she was just trying to stop them.
- Oblivious to Love: Alexandra has a very poor sense of self-worth which makes it difficult for her to believe that other people like or love her. She still hasn't really picked up on the fact that Dean Grimm actually does care for her, she assumes Torvald and Sonja are trying to take advantage when they try to get close to her and she is convinced that her mother never really loved or wanted her.
- Only Mostly Dead: Darla tries to kill her with the Killing Curse twice. The first one doesn't work because her wand won't cast the spell. The second time also doesn't work because Darla's using Innocence's wand, though it does put Alexandra in a lot of pain.
- Parental Abandonment
- Parental Neglect: She believes her mother never really loved her or wanted her.This comes to a head in the Stars Above, but their relationship seems to be improving now.
- Pride: Simultaneously the source of her bravery and motivation for most of her accomplishments, her primary character flaw, and her most easily exploited weakness.
- Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Hates dresses, dancing, makeup and almost all things she associates with being "girly". She starts to mellow on this a bit as she grows older but she still prefers to wear her dress uniform on formal occasions.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Initially, her way of using magic involves making up a rhyme on the spot about what she's trying to do. Other characters, especially teachers, disapprove of her use of "doggerel verse," treating it as inferior to proper incantations, but Alexandra never quite shakes the habit; if she doesn't know a particular spell she'll often fall back on making up rhymes to get their appriximate effect. She even reads books of poetry to improve her verse.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Anna. It's not until Worlds Away that she finds out it's genuinely romantic on Anna's part.
- Save the Villain: As a rule, if she can do this she will.
- She saves Darla from the Generous Ones, though Darla sacrifices herself.
- She saves John Manuelito's witch mooks from werewolves and Manuelito himself.
- Scars Are Forever: They are when inflicted by dark magic. By age 15 she's starting to resemble the battle-scarred Ms. Shirtliffe.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Subverted, her offering her life to the Generous Ones to save Darla and Innocence seems pointless since Darla pulls a Self-Disposing Villain immediately afterwards, but Alexandra later realizes that by saving Darla she allowed her to in turn sacrifice herself for Darla's sister, sparing her.
- Shock and Awe: Her most deadly spell is a lightning bolt.
- Skilled, but Naïve
- Strong Family Resemblance: By way of foreshadowing. She has no discernible resemblance to Claudia and only slight resemblance to Abraham Thorn, but she has the same straight black hair as the Grimm sisters and is close enough in appearance that a store clerk mistook her for Diana's daughter. She also tends to be much closer in personality to the Grimm sisters than to either her father or siblings. Naturally her biological mother turns out to be their identical triplet.
- Too Clever by Half: Far from being an Idiot Hero, Alex's self-destructive recklessness actually comes from her being VERY intelligent, enough to make independent plans and schemes, but lacking the forethought to keep in mind the details she HASN'T considered.
- Took a Level in Badass: She takes her first in The Lands Below when she trains in dueling with Maximillian. Then in The Stars Above she decides that her goal in life is to Level Grind as a badass and she improves even more over the course of book 4.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Julia and Anna's Girly-Girl.
- Tragic Bromance: With Maximillian.
- The Unchosen One: Her father apparently did everything in his power to prevent the prophecy about her from being carried out.
Alexandra's raven familiar and Non-Human Sidekick. Charlie possesses near-human intelligence and better-than-human intuition, and generally seems to be much more socially adept than his master. Charlie starts to learn speech in the second book.
- Bond Creature
- Dark Is Not Evil: Having a raven familiar is one of the things that make people assume Alexandra is "Dark". This is ironic as Charlie often acts as something like a shoulder angel.
- Deadpan Snarker: Somehow manages to be this despite his limited vocabulary.
- Empathy Pet
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: "Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle" might just as easily be called "Charlie the Handsome Raven and the girl whose ass he constantly saves".
- The Lancer: He's actually the closest thing Alexandra has to this.
- Talking Animal: Justified: Ravens actually are capable of mimicking human speech, so it's reasonable that an intelligent Raven would be able to speak.
- Undying Loyalty: Charlie is just as capable of questioning Alexandra's actions or motives as any of her human friends, the difference is he always goes along with whatever she decides to do.
Alexandra's best friend at Charmbridge. The last descendant of an ancient line of Chinese wizards in San Francisco, she is ostracized by her community because her mother is a Muggle. Anna's familiar is a Great-Horned Owl named Jingwei.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To Alexandra, after failing to dissuade her from going to the Lands Beyond. It's platonic... probably... maybe?
- Asian and Nerdy: Inverarity even acknowledges the stereotype.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Her feud with Tomo in Book 2.
- Deadpan Snarker: Increasingly as time goes on.
- Fantastic Racism: She's Chinese, while Tomo is Japanese and a member of the Majokai. The fight gets very nasty until it gets sorted out.
- Friendless Background: As a result of being a half-blood in an extremely traditional Chinese wizard community.
- Living Emotional Crutch: When Alexandra is at her worst, Anna is pretty much the only one she talks to. One of the reasons Alexandra breaks so hard in The Deathly Regiment is because she can't talk to Anna.
- Lovable Traitor: Even Alexandra can't stay angry at her for more than a day.
- Morality Pet: Sort of fulfills this function for Alexandra.
- Nice Girl: She is unquestionably one of the sweetest, friendliest characters in the story, at times bordering on Extreme Doormat... though she will speak her mind when Alex goes too far and demonstrates that she shouldn't be pushed too far.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Alex. And Anna would really like to take it further than just "friendship."
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly-Girl to Alex's Tomboy. Word of God says that while Anna isn't exceptionally girly, she's much girlier than Alexandra.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She's usually the one to say this when Alex has gone really out of line, though she's almost always gentle about it.
One of Alexandra's friends at Charmbridge. A black Muggleborn from Detroit who often confuses anti-Muggleborn bigotry with anti-black bigotry and is a source of a lot of the social commentary. Originally one of Alexandra's core circle of friends but gets less and less exposure as time goes on. David's familiar is a falcon named Malcolm.
- Activist Fundamentalist Antics: He joins ASPEW, seeing the House-Elves' slavery as similar to the enslavement of black people. Whether he's right or not is another thing entirely, but he's definitely missing the point.
- Black and Nerdy: He's black, and he's a huge nerd. His father is a famous football player, but the son did not inherit any sort of athletic prowess.
- Demoted to Extra: Seems to be heading this way. In the first book, especially during Alexandra's early meetings with the wizarding world, David is a major and constant presence. As the series goes on, though, he gradually gets less screen-time and less to do.
- Non-Action Guy: As the story goes on he increasingly tends to pick fights he has no hope of winning.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: He's got a habit of this, especially in the early books. He never means to cause offense, but then he'll make some Innocently Insensitive remark or display some ill-timed Brutal Honesty, or just make a joke that goes wrong, and the girls (particularly Consrance and Forbearance) get annoyed or upset with him.
- Soapbox Sadie: Downplayed. David objects to a lot of the social inequities of the wizarding world, and while he is usually right in principle, he tends to jump to conclusions based on his experiences in the muggle world without trying to understand the issues in depth.
- Rich Kid Turned Social Activist: Played with. He grew up in a wealthy family, as his father is a professional football player. He doesn't have any activist tendencies based on class or wealth, but tends to equate the concept of House Elves toiling without pay or consideration for the conditions in which they work with the plight of black people who toiled in slavery and indentured servitude. His efforts to get his friends born in magical society to recognize how he sees house elves tends to run into cultural Values Dissonance, as they see house elves to slaves as a very apples-to-oranges comparison; the fact that magical society has never had skin color-based discrimination doesn't quite give them the proper frame of reference to understand his perspective, nor does he have the frame of mind of someone raised in a society where house elves are normal but slavery of fellow humans has never occurred.
Constance and Forbearance Pritchard
Identical twins from the Ozarks. They quickly become among Alexandra's closest friends, and after she rescues their sister, they become her most stalwart allies. They each have a barn owl familiar that have not been named.
- Arranged Marriage: To the Rashes, sadly. Both of them seem resigned to their fates, but it's strongly implied that if they had a real choice, they wouldn't do it.
- The Dividual: Subverted in book 4, where they start to disagree with each other and their distinct personalities start to become apparent. The author has said that he has always had very distinct personalities in mind for both of them, and that they are different enough to be sorted into different Hogwarts Houses if they did that sort of thing in America. Until then, however, they seem to go out of their way to settle any differences out of sight of Alexandra (and therefore the reader). Alexandra still can't tell them apart in third year (though this may be an example of her being a jerk, since David can and calls her out on it).
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: They are collectively the Responsible Sibling to Innocence's foolish sibling.
- Funetik Aksent: Which just seems to get more marked as the books go on. Even Inverarity, on a reread at his Livejournal, was surprised at how much he toned down their Ozarker accent in the first book compared to how they talk later on.
- Hair of Gold
- Hidden Depths: It is frequently hinted that they shouldn't be trifled with, though they have yet to demonstrate any particular badassery.
- Innocent Bigot: They come from a society that is both a borderline No Woman's Land and bigoted against both Muggleborns and non-whites. They nevertheless try very hard and are mostly successful in fitting into the (slightly) more progressive society they find themselves in and end up in a group of Muggleborn friends, but they still occasionally slip up.
- Innocent Fanservice Girls: While Alex is visiting them in their Ozark village in World Away, they decide to go swimming in the nearby creek. She assumes the always prim and proper twins with their buttoned-to-the-neck, not-an-inch-of-skin-showing dresses must have swimsuits, but when they get there, all the clothes fly off and in the water they jump without a second thought. Alex is shocked, not so much by the casual skinny dipping but by the fact that she's never seen either girl without their hair buns, braids, or bonnets.
- I Owe You My Life: After Alexandra rescues Innocence.
- Meaningful Name: It's subtle, but Constance is the one most likely to scold Innocence (and is the one to slap her) while Forbearance always pushes for them to go easier on her.
- Ms. Exposition: They take this role in The Stars Above.
- Team Mom: The most mature members of Alexandra's clique and the most generally benevolent and supportive.
Constance and Forbearance's Wild Child younger sister. Tends to speak without thinking, which aggravates the more subdued Innocent Bigot tendencies of her older sisters. Hero worships Alexandra, both for her ferocity and backbone and for saving her life from Darla at the end of book 3. Her familiar is a toad named Misery.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Borderline deconstruction.
- Bratty Half-Pint
- Cultural Rebel
- Innocent Bigot: Accidentally says some very racist things to David and Angelique, not realising that she's actually insulting them.
- Innocently Insensitive
- Letting Her Hair Down: Literally. Going hatless and with one's hair down is a cultural taboo in the Ozarks, as it represents a rejection of tradition.
- Meaningful Name: Notice all the "Innocent" tropes.
- Her toad is called Misery, and Misery gets abducted and tortured by Darla as a way to get Innocence into Darla's clutches.
- Mouthy Kid: She never shuts up. On the one hand, she calls out her sisters for putting up with the Rashes and all the other bullshit they willingly endure. On the other hand, she's incredibly disrespectful and doesn't seem to have grasped any of the importance in what her sisters are doing, or how little she knows about what's going on.
- Poisonous Friend: Darla was hers, ending with Darla trying to kill her.
- Rebellious Spirit: Though a lot of it seems to come from the fact that she's not in the Ozarks, and therefore doesn't have to answer to anyone except her sisters and the Rashes- all of whom have done enough bad things that she could screw all of them if they tried to screw her.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Developing a crush on William, who's probably the single nicest character in the entire series.
- Tsundere: Pretty fair description of how she acts towards William.
A Muggleborn boy who enters Charmbridge during Alexandra's third year. Despite being generally shy and pudgy he joins the JROC where Alexandra becomes a sort of mentor to him. Gradually grows more backbone as the story progresses, and becomes friends with Innocence. His familiar is a toad named Anthony.
- Bully Hunter: Tries to be this, but it doesn't go terribly well for him.
- Expy/ Composite Character: He's basically what you get when you mix the least obnoxious qualities of Colin Creevy and Neville Longbottom, and compress most of Neville's 7 books of character development into 2 books.
- Took a Level in Badass: Starts out getting bullied but by the end of Book 4 he's saving his fellow students from rampaging spirits.
Lawrence Orion 'Larry' Albo
A pureblood member of the Elect who gets in a fight with Alexandra and David on their first day in the magical world. They have a vicious rivalry throughout the first four books, though it's established early on that it has limits when Larry and Alexandra save each others lives in the first book. This rivalry intensifies in the third and fourth book when Larry becomes the school's dueling champion, a title which Alexandra is determined to usurp. His familiar is a large owl named Corwin.
- Arrogant Duelist Guy
- Even Assholes Have Standards: For all that he occasionally uses racial slurs himself, Larry is at heart an elitist not a racist. He doesn't hate Muggleborns any more than he looks down on any non-member of the Elect. He occasionally shows distaste at the more blatant and hateful racism of the people he hangs out with. Also, he thinks bullying Alexandra with fake Cruciatus curses is not cool once he realizes she's actually been tortured with that spell before.
- Expy: Plays a similar role to Draco Malfoy, except with a heaping truckload of Villainous Virtue.
- Fingore: Loses all the fingers on his wand hand to the Nemesis' beak.
- Heel Realization: When he and his friends are bullying Alexandra by pretending to cast the Cruciatus curse on her and she reacts by flinching and screaming, he realizes that she's been tortured with the spell before, stops laughing and appears remorseful.
- Jerk Jock: Though it's sort of subverted as Alexandra, his primary victim, is also a jock (and a jerk).
- Noble Bigot: He can be quite bigoted, but as time goes on he increasingly seems to reserve bigoted remarks for Alexandra as part of their rivalry. He is also shown to have a strong sense of honour despite his occasional cruelty.
- Noble Jerkass: He's not quite a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but for all that he's a massive dick, he does have a strong sense of honour and fair play.
- Not So Different: With Alex. Among the traits they share are arrogance, competitiveness, an inability to refuse a challenge, precocious dueling skill, and a general Jerkass attitude that is held in check by a strong, though well-concealed, conscience and sense of honor. They also mirror each other in that he is highly placed in the Confederation through family connections and has made several statements that show a strong loyalty to the system, while she is connected by family to the Confederation's greatest enemy and has declared that she is an Enemy of The Confederation as well, though not necessarily allied with her father. Although they don't know it at first, they are also both pureblooded members of the elect and the Heirs to powerful aristocratic families.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis
- Skilled, but Naïve: He's a skilled duelist, but he tends to freeze up, panic, or get ambushed in an actual fight.
- Spanner in the Works/ Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It was him going outside the wards that forced Alex to draw the Nemesis Spirit inside them to get it away from him. This action allowed John Manuelito to breach the wards and attack Charmbridge.
- Villainous Virtue: Honour, sportsmanship, sense of fair play and occasionally compassion. These are evident in the first 2 books, by book 3 it's become so key to his character that he's not really a villain anymore.
Benjamin and Mordecai Rash
The only Ozarkers attending Charmbridge besides the Pritchards, these twins are two years ahead of Alexandra. They consider it their duty to "look after" the younger Pritchards, leading them to be domineering, controlling and abusive towards them, as well as generally racist and misogynistic. After Alexandra Curb-Stomps them both in a wizard duel, they are forced to rely on blackmail, threatening to have the Pritchards sent home if they do not obey them.
It is eventually revealed that the Rashes are engaged to marry the Pritchards when they come of age.
- Arranged Marriage: They are 'bespoke' to Constance and Forbearance which is essentially an understanding that they will be formally betrothed later. This seems to have the force of significant social pressure behind it.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Several times they state the opinion that girls shouldn't be allowed out without male supervision. Generally the most sexist characters in the story so far.
- Jerkass: They basically have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Darla Jean Dearborn
The daughter of a rich, prominent and politically connected pureblood family, Darla is one of the first students Alexandra meets at Charmbridge. While not exactly unfriendly to Alexandra and her friends, she and her best friend Angelique Devereaux largely run in different circles from Alexandra through her first year at Charmbridge. Her familiar is a cat named Mr. Whiskers until she murders it practicing the killing curse.
In the second and third books Darla becomes increasingly involved in the Dark Arts, and continually resorts to desperate measures to achieve her unknown goals, culminating in attempting to murder Innocence. She's thwarted by Alexandra and resorts to killing herself instead. Afterwards, Alexandra discovers that Darla's sister, Mary, was the next to join the Deathly Regiment, and Darla was trying to do anything to save her sister.
The Thorn family tree on the author's website reveals that Alexandra and Darla are actually fifth cousins.
- Alpha Bitch/ Lovable Alpha Bitch: In book 1 she straddles the line between these two tropes- she's the most 'popular' of the sixth-graders and she's generally arrogant and condescending but not actively unpleasant. In book 2 she goes somewhere much darker.
- Anyone Can Die: She's the first major recurring (i.e. appearing in more than 1 book) character to die.
- Big Bad: All of the bad stuff that happens in book 3 that isn't a direct result of Alexandra's actions is caused by her.
- Byronic Hero: Yes, another one. Ruthless, cunning, charismatic and absolutely devoted to her goal beyond any concern for morality or self-preservation.
- Cry for the Devil: Everything she does is so she can save her sister's life.
- Dark Action Girl: She's nowhere near Alexandra's match in a straight fight, but she knows enough dark arts that she can often take her opponent by surprise.
- Evil Counterpart: To Alexandra. At first they appear to be near polar opposites- Darla is feminine and popular, Alexandra is a Tomboy loner, Alexandra is a prodigy while Darla has no particular skill at magic, Alexandra is brash and reckless where Darla is scheming and deceitful. It is only in the Deathly Regiment that their similarities become clear: both are extremely driven, to the point of obsession, and willing to stoop low in pursuit of their goals, Darla makes up in cunning what she lacks in magical skill, and they are both driven nearly to madness by the pursuit of the same goal. What makes Darla the Evil Counterpart is that she is willing to sacrifice others to her quest, which Alexandra ultimately cannot bring herself to do.
- Famous Last Words: "I never meant to hurt anyone."
- From Nobody to Nightmare: She's a pretty silly-seeming Lovable Alpha Bitch in Book 1, takes a Dark turn in Book 2 and by Book 3 she's Alexandra's Evil Counterpart, a Manipulaive Bastard, and the Big Bad of the book.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She tries to send Alexandra to the Lands Beyond in place of her sister and gives her a fake obol, but luckily for Alex, Death has a sense of humour and lets her go. Since it didn't work, she tries to sacrifice Innocence, but Alexandra turns up and rescues her- so with no other options, Darla sacrifices herself.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Most of her evil actions are motivated by trying to save her sister. It's not until after her death that the reader learns that this was her motivation.
- Karmic Death: Having tried twice to sacrifice others in place of her sister, she finally sacrifices herself.
- Kick the Dog: She kills her own familiar practicing the Killing Curse and pretends he went missing.
- Poisonous Friend: To Innocence, Angelique and pretty much everyone else she was ever friends with.
- Sanity Slippage
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!/ Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Not only are her parents rich, but her uncle is in the Wizard's Congress, which amounts to a virtual get-out-of-jail-free card for her for the first three books.
- Status Quo Is God: No matter how many times Darla got expelled or reprimanded or punished, she remained at Charmbridge... until she died.
- Took a Level in Badass: There is nothing threatening about Darla in book 1 and even in book 2 she comes off as a misguided dark wizard wannabe. In Book 3 she's the Big Bad.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Went from 'slightly stuck-up' to 'Ruthless, deceitful murderer' in the course of about a book and a half.
- TheUnfettered: Once she's determined to save her sister, she's willing to lie and manipulate, betray her best friend, spend as much of her family's money as she can get her hands on, torture, murder and ultimately sacrifice her own life in order to accomplish it.
Darla Dearborn's best friend and roommate; she belongs to one of the most powerful Pureblood families in New Orleans, and like Darla starts on more-or-less friendly terms with Alexandra and her friends, even if she largely travels in different circles. Her familiar is a foul-mouthed Jarvey named Honey.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Being Darla's friend didn't earn her many points.
- Beta Bitch: To Darla's Alpha Bitch / Lovable Alpha Bitch, though not a very clear-cut one as the two girls are pretty much equals; it's just that Darla seems to call most of the shots. She's one of the more sympathetic examples; though sometimes snobbish and fond of biting remarks she's mostly a pretty friendly girl.
- Big Breast Pride: Even in her pre-teens, she is one of the most developed and curviest girls in her year. She's very proud of this.
- Break the Haughty: She does not take well to her initial encounter with Dark magic, Darla's turn to the Dark or her eventual death.
- The Ditz: Has traces of this at times, such as when she in order to sleep through Honey's constant curses and insults puts a Silencing Charm on herself instead of on the Jarvey.
- Girly Girl: Very much so.
- Hidden Depths: The author has stated that she would be in Ravenclaw if she had gone to Hogwarts. We have nothing to indicate why in the story so far, but it was implied that major Character Development is in the works.
- Innocent Bigot: Towards Muggles.
- Morality Pet: Honey. Angelique originally bought Honey thinking she was a ferret, but when it turned out that the "ferret" was actually a Jarvey who constantly insulted everyone around her, Angelique wanted to take her back to the pet store, but discovered that since nobody wanted Jarveys as pets this would be a death sentence for the creature. She didn't have the heart to let this happen to Honey, and so she kept her. And while Angelique may frequently be annoyed with her foul-mouthed pet and always tells her to shut up, she still treats her with kindness even when she's being dismissive or stuck-up towards fellow humans.
- Pet the Dog: Honey curses out and insults everyone, and especially Angelique... but when the girl is visibly upset, the Jarvey (lacking the vocabulary to actually say anything nice) curses her out in the most gentle, affectionate way she can manage. It's weirdly heartwarming.
- Poisonous Friend: Darla was hers, bringing her in to the Mors Mortis Society, and trying to curse her familiar.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Darla dies, she changes schools. Unfortunately, it doesn't work: hers is one of the schools that Abraham Thorn targets, and we don't know if she made it out alive when he sank the place.
- She did. She appears again in Alexandra Quick and the World Away.
A young witch who's a year behind Alexandra and the only member of the Majokai (Japanese-American) culture attending Charmbridge. The Majokai and Chinese-American wizards have a bitter, long-standing feud that eventually results in Anna and Tomo fighting, with Alexandra caught in the middle.
Tomo joins the Mors Mortis Society at the same time as Alexandra, and after Alexandra leaves Tomo is sent to kidnap her familiar. Tomo warns Alexandra instead and leaves the Society soon afterwards, revealing that she only joined because the Society offered her protection from Alexandra, who she is terrified of. From third year on, tensions between her and Anna cool, and she develops a cordial relationship (though not exactly a friendship) with Alexandra.
- Hero Antagonist: She initially seems to be threatening Anna, but is actually just a scared and isolated but brave girl being abused and victimized by older children out of racism and doing everything she can to fight back.
- Not So Different: She's essentially a slightly less aggressive version of Alex.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's the best duelist in the younger half of the school aside from Alexandra, but even smaller than Anna.
A girl in Alexandra's grade. She and her friend Carol Queen become suitemates with Alex and Anna in Book 3. Alexandra considers her a gossipy ditz which combined with Sonja's good-natured attempts to be friendly makes her something of a Butt-Monkey.
- Butt-Monkey: Her attempts to be friends with Alexandra result in her being insulted, shouted at, and outright threatened. Though Alex does eventually save Sonja's life.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Subverted. She isn't an Alpha Bitch at all, Alex just thinks this about her because she's a paranoid Jerkass.
- Nice Girl: We never see her act less than decently, which is weirdly emphasized by the fact that we only see her filtered through Alexandra's paranoid and uncharitable POV.
- No Respect Guy: Sonja is trying to be friendly to Alexandra for most of books 3 and 4, Alexandra's reaction is suspicion and hostility until midway through book 4 when she finally starts to come around.
A prankster one year ahead of Alexandra at Charmbridge. Despite being a Pureblood Old Colonial, he is one of the few students who never ostracizes or shuns Alexandra despite the many ups and downs her reputation suffers.
Develops a crush on Alexandra in the third book. They eventually start dating, though she generally treats him like crap and dumps him after he makes a homophobic rant about his friend Stuart Cortlandt. They become friends again afterwards.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the funniest characters who isn't a talking animal.Torvald: So can I tell people you're my girlfriend? To see if any of that scary reputation rubs off on me?Alexandra: Knock it off. I'm no one's girlfriend. Let's just say I've decided not to hex you, for now. If tomorrow the whole school is talking about how you kissed me Torvald: No. No more threats. I can only take so much romance in one night.
- Everyone Can See It: He's pretty clearly nursing a crush on Alexandra for at least a year before he makes a move. Alexandra is the last to realize it, it's implied that Sonja and Anna both pick up on it long before.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a Deadpan Snarker and a prankster, but he quits the Mors Mortis Society when he learns that they practice truly dark magic. He's generally a decent guy all around.
- Noble Bigot: He's got some pretty deeply-ingrained prejudices, but he's not malicious about them, and he does learn better over time.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Only in the literal sense- his courtship with Alexandra involves a lot of dueling practice which naturally involves a lot of pain on his part.
- Those Two Guys: With Stuart. Word of God pretty much identifies them as "Charmbridge's answer to the Weasley twins."
Torvald's best friend, partner-in-crime and constant companion; he's just as much of a prankster but is slightly more distant and less friendly to Alexandra than Torvald is.
Revealed to be gay in Stars Above. This drives a bit of a wedge between him and Torvald for a while, as Torvald turns out to be a bit of a homophobe. They do make up, though, and are friends again at the end of the novel.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Much like Torvald, he's mischievous but unwilling to participate in truly nasty things.
- Straight Gay: There was nothing to indicate that he was gay until the reveal in Stars Above.
- Those Two Guys: With Torvald. Apart from their falling-out in Stars Above they're almost always together.
Mary Elizabeth Dearborn
Darla Dearborn's younger sister. Three years younger than Darla, she is selected as a sacrifice for the Deathly Regiment, leading Darla to go to increasingly extreme lengths in order to save her, culminating in Darla sacrificing herself in Mary's place.
The Thorn family tree on the author's website reveals that Alexandra and Mary are actually fifth cousins.
- Avenging the Villain: Her motivation is to avenge her older sister, who was the villain of Book 3.
- Creepy Child: She's quite cunning, and she shares her older sister's skill at lying and manipulation.
- Defusing The Tykebomb: When Mary confronts Alex, threatening to kill her, Alex talks rather than fighting, persuading Mary that they aren't enemies and that she shouldn't throw her life away. Mary becomes an ally afterwards, though she says they can never be friends.
- You Killed My Sister: Believes that Alexandra killed her older sister and seeks revenge. Alexandra is able to correct her.
A Charmbridge student five years ahead of Alexandra and the head of the school's underground Mors Mortis Society.
Manuelito at first appears to be merely a vicious bully, but as time goes on it becomes increasingly clear that he is a murderous and sadistic sociopath and budding Serial Killer. After being expelled from Charmbridge in his final year for his Dark extracurricular activities, Manuelito returns to his native Indian territories and begins to rise through the ranks of the Dark Convention. He attacks Charmbridge Academy at the end of book 4, succeeding in causing widespread mayhem but no fatalities, before being defeated by Alexandra and killed by Diana Grimm as he attempts to escape.
- Animorphism: It's unclear whether he is a raven Animorphmagus, or whether he transforms by some unique Indian magic using the skins he wears. Either way we only see him assume one animal form.
- Bad Boss: Murders one of his unconscious mooks in order to activate Witch's Rock.
- Big Bad: Subverted in Book 4. Alexandra believes he's behind everything for almost the entire book but at the end it's revealed that he was just a fall guy for some still-unknown foe.
- The Corrupter: Subverted- although at the time it appears that he is manipulating Darla to the Dark side, it is later revealed that she was determined to use Dark Magic all along and he just watched it happen while bilking money out of her in exchange for training and dark artifacts.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo near the start of book 1, where he taunts the sixth graders about crossing the invisible bridge. He is not mentioned again until book 2.
- Enemy Summoner: Prefers to fight by summoning ghosts, possessing birds and animals, or using magical constructs as flunkies.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Is ultimately defeated by being bitten by Nigel, the snake he summoned for the sole purpose of torturing it years before.
- Kick the Dog: The first true sign we get of his sadistic personality is when he kills dozens of snakes with a fireball, basically just for the lulz. (He tries to justify it by saying that the snakes were all exotic, poisonous species and he couldn't just let them go, but he didn't have to be that brutal.) Later he summons a snake just for the purpose of torturing it with the Cruciatus Curse.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played with. At first it seems like he has a snake motif going on with the snakestone and snake summoning he tends to do, but he mostly just uses this as an opportunity to indulge in animal cruelty and has no particular affinity for snakes. By contrast, his two most important enemies, Alexandra and Henry Tsotsie, both keep snakes as pets.
- Serial Killer: Implied. Quimley reports that he keeps human skins in his hut, the Navajo report that people have been going missing and he has several rituals prepared for torturing and murdering people.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: Whenever the good guys point out the hypocrisy of using Dark Magic imported from Europe while claiming to be an Indian freedom fighter, his default response is "Whatever works", followed by violence.
- The Sociopath: Described as such by Alexandra. He never gives any sign of empathy or remorse. He's pretty high-functioning though, with good social skills and a convincing mask of sanity.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In Stars Above he never wears a shirt. Also Alexandra's Boggart of him is shirtless.
The Grimm Sisters
A set of identical triplets who share a prickly and secretive demeanour and a mysterious interest in Alexandra Quick. Alexandra first meets Lilith, the dean of Charmbridge Academy, when Dean Grimm personally visits her in Larkin Mills to welcome her into the Wizarding World. Alex later becomes aware that Lilith has an identical twin sister named Diana, a senior Special Inquisitor. Finally, in book 4 Alex learns that there are three Grimm sisters, the youngest of whom is her biological mother, Hecate.
Tropes the Grimm Sisters have in common and as a whole:
- Ambiguously Evil: Lilith in the first book. Though she's now more or less settled on neutrality, this still applies to Hecate and Diana.
- Awesome McCoolname: Each of them has a first name that references some mysterious or intimidating figure from biblical or classical mythology, a middle name referencing one of the Furies from greek myth, the surname Grimm which is just badass in and of itself.
- Badass Family: All three Grimm sisters are (or were prior to obliviation) certified badasses, as is their daughter/niece Alexandra.
- Brainy Brunette: All three sisters are black-haired and clearly quite smart. Also traits that were passed on to Alexandra.
- Freudian Trio: Diana is the Superego, Lilith is the Ego, Hecate is the Id.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Hecate was the pretty (technically charismatic) one, Lilith was the smart one, Diana was the bossy one.
- Jerkass: Diana and Lilith at least, we haven't seen what Hecate was like pre-mind-wipe, though witnesses describe her as being alot like Alexandra, so this probably fits her too.
- Order vs. Chaos: Diana is order, Hecate is Chaos, Lilith is True Neutral.
- Theme Twin Naming: Each one's middle name is one of the furies, a trio of demons of vengeance from Greek mythology.
Dean Lilith Tisiphone Grimm
The middle sister, the Dean of Charmbridge Academy and one of the most magically and politically powerful witches in the confederation. She is extremely cold, strict, and intimidating with students, including use of both corporal punishment and transfiguration as punishments. She is the one sent to recruit Alexandra for Charmbridge but Alexandra's generally uncontrollable behaviour and smartass attitude and Dean Grimm's coldness and secrecy ensures that they have an antagonistic relationship. Her familiar is a cat named Galen, though it's later revealed that Galen is her triplet sister Hecate, who has been permanently transformed. It is eventually revealed that the Dean is Alexandra's aunt, with Alexandra being the daughter of Hecate, and has been shielding Alexandra from expulsion since she came to the school. This, however, has done nothing to improve their relationship.
- Badass Teacher: Not afraid to step into the fray with Ben Journey and even in Book 4 she effortlessly disarms Alexandra.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Always wears Muggle suits unless the occasion absolutely demands wizard robes.
- Baleful Polymorph: Has a reputation for using this as a punishment, though Alexandra suspects they are just rumours. They're not.
- Cool Car: She shows up driving a very impressive, magically pimped out vehicle with a Falcon hood ornament.
- Create Your Own Villain: Lilith had the opportunity to help Alex into the Wizarding World and let her know that she had a family that understood her. Instead she continuously lied to Alexandra from the first day they met, deliberately sabotaged her academically, emotionally and physically abused her (including, but not limited to: transforming her into a rat and placing her next to a cat (essentially the equivalent of holding a gun to her head or dangling her over a cliff), beating her with a magically enhanced wand, threatening to have her friends whipped, threatening to take her away from her family, and threatening to have her family obliviated so that they would have no memory of her) and, for all that, ultimately failed to protect her from the man trying to murder her. And yet, for some reason, Lilith can't seem to understand why Alexandra believes that Adults Are Useless and that she has to take matters into her own hands if she wants to stay alive and discover the truth.
- Deadpan Snarker: Of the more mocking and cruel variety, Lilith genuinely can't help herself. She even mocks Ben Journey for not murdering Lilith's niece.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In Thorn Circle, she tells Alexandra that she doesn't know who her father is. Alexandra (correctly) accuses her of lying, and Grimm's response is to cane her hands. Later, Alexandra points out that she punished Alexandra for accusing her of lying, directly after lying to her, and doesn't even get an apology.
- Jerkass: Lilith rarely passes up an opportunity to mock, belittle, scold, or just outright slap or jinx someone, especially Alexandra.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Alexandra really is a horrible troublemaker.
- Lady of War: She apparently looks cool covered in battlescars and clawed at by a murder of crows. Alexandra says that she can forgive all her bitchiness for how awesome she looked in that moment.
- Meaningful Name / Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lilith is the name of a demon from Hebrew Mythology who was allegedly Adam's first wife, she was made into a demon because she would not submit to her husband's authority (generally thought to refer to authority in sexual matters), and is actually among the oldest explicitly Demonic things in this worlds history, originating in the form of Lilitu in ancient Mesopotamian, and Akkadian texts. Tisiphone is the name of two individuals from Greek Mythology, the first and more important to this issue being the name of one of the Furies and sister of Alecto and Magaera. Add to her the Grimm moniker made famous by the Brothers Grimm, whose stories had such delightful treats as feeding a little girl and her grandmother to what amounts to a Lycanthrope, and this woman is downright frightening because of her name alone. At least her two sisters get a pass by having more or less reasonable first names...
- Tisiphone was the Fury who punished the crime of murder. Hecate is, for all intents and purposes, dead, and what's left of her is Lilith's companion animal. This might explain some of her sour personality.
- Replacement Goldfish: In a very weird way. Word of God is that part of why she is so cold and critical of Alexandra is that she is transferring some of her unresolved anger and frustration with her sister onto Alexandra.
- Sadist Teacher: In Thorn Circle, Lilith seems to delight in coming up with intricate and psychologically manipulative punishments, and when that fails she actually just pulls out her wand and beats Alex. She reels this part of herself in consideably in subsequent books, at times almost coming across as a Reasonable Authority Figure, but by that time the damage is already done.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She seems to genuinely love Alexandra, but only seems to be capable of showing any warmth when one or both of them is mortally injured.
- Technically a Smile: Her smiles look fake, unless she's laughing at someone.
Special Inquisitor Diana Alecto Grimm
The eldest sister, Diana Alecto Grimm is the special inquisitor in charge of the hunt for Abraham Thorn. Like her sister, Diana is prickly and hostile to Alexandra while still being oddly protective. She several times demonstrates that she is utterly loyal to the Confederation and that she is driven by a fiery personal hatred for Abraham Thorn.
- Animal Motifs: She's really into owls. She has a version of the Murder of Crows spell that summons a swarm of owls and her Animagus form is an owl.
- Animorphism: She is an Animagus, her animal form is a large owl.
- Anti-Hero/ Anti-Villain: Like Thorn, which one she is depends on your opinion of the confederation.
- Arch-Enemy: Alexandra invokes this trope by name, saying that Diana is this to Abraham Thorn, Diana does not object.
- Bratty Half-Pint: She views Alex as this, especially when Alex refers to Hecate as her mother, despite the fact that Hecate is an amnesiac who lives as a cat and had no part in raising Alexandra at all; and seems to believe that Alex and Claudia have a loving, supportive relationship (they don't). Alex makes her a deal: she will say nothing about how she thinks Diana should feel about Hecate if Diana will likewise say nothing about Alex and Claudia.
- Byronic Hero: Charismatic, intelligent and mysterious, working for the Ambiguously Evil government for reasons that ultimately seem to be based on revenge but are still shadowy and mysterious all the same. Shows flashes of humanity from time to time but it's always difficult to tell what's real and what's not.
- Flash Step: How she fights Thorn.
- Inspector Javert: Possibly, if you take Thorn's word for it that he didn't obliviate Hecate.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Alexandra behaves in ways that would try anyone's patience, usually when Diana gets violent or cruel it's in the cause of getting her to calm down and behave rationally for once.
- Meaningful Name/ Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Her first name is the Roman goddess of archery and hunting, and her middle name is that of a Greek demon of vengeance and punishment, who punishes crimes of morality.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: She's loyal to the confederation, despite it's crimes and blatant injustices. When asked why she hunts Thorn, and why she killed Manuelito, her answer is simply that they were enemies of the Confederation.
- Noble Top Enforcer: She's a high-ranking enforcer for the Ambiguously Evil Confederation but she isn't needlessly cruel and often acts to moderate the cruelty or brutality of other Confederation flunkies, at least where Alex is concerned.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Like her sister and niece. Prefers to wear Muggle casual wear, usually jeans and a blouse or t-shirt.
- You Obliviated My Sister: The reason for her personal hatred for Thorn.
Hecate Megaera Grimm
The third Grimm triplet and Alexandra's biological mother. The most rebellious of the Grimm sisters, Hecate fell in love with Abraham Thorn and followed him into exile while pregnant with Alexandra. Just after the Fidelius Charm was cast, the couple was attacked by Aurors and Hecate was struck by a powerful curse while trying to shield Alexandra. The curse permanently destroyed both her memories and her ability to create new ones, effectively killing the person she was. Rather than leave her as an invalid her sister Lilith decided to permanently transform her into her cat Animagus form, and she now lives on as the Dean's cat, Galenthias.
- Animorphism: She was a cat Animagus before losing her memories, now she's permanently a cat.
- Deliver Us from Evil: While not necessarily evil, most accounts of her describe her as ruthless, ambitious, and manipulative, much like Alexandra on a bad day. Thorn claims that her personality seemed to change after Alexandra was born, acting maternal and selfless in a way he never expected.
- Killed Off for Real: For all intents and purposes, Hecate is dead, there's just a shell left behind that happens to look like her. That is, unless Alexandra can restore her memories.
- Meaningful Name: Hecate was the goddess of witchcraft and sorcery, while Megaera was the Fury who punished people who commit crimes and caused emotions like jealousy and envy.
- Walking Spoiler: Her very existence is a spoiler for the first 4 books.
The Thorn Family
One of the oldest wizarding families in America, with a history dating back to the founding of the confederation. The Thorn family is distantly related to many other families in the confederation including the Dearborns, but within the story itself we have so far only seen one branch of the family- the children of Abraham Thorn.
Tropes applying to the Thorn Family as a whole:
- Awesome McCoolname: For those who choose to actually use their father's name, which at present is none of them.
- Badass Family: Downplayed. Maximillian and Alexandra are the only ones of Abraham Thorn's children to be badasses but all of his children are highly accomplished in whatever field they enter. Even Claudia would have been a doctor if she hadn't had to take care of Alex.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Has enough angst and family secrets for a Southern Gothic.
- Nom de Mom: Abraham's reputation and Parental Abandonment issues ensure that none of his children are presently willing to be known by his name, even Alexandra.
- The Three Faces of Adam: Maximilian is the Hunter, Abraham is the Lord, Absalom is the Prophet.
Abraham Everard Thorn
Once the leader of the reformist faction of the Confederation Congress, Abraham Thorn's opposition to the status quo and the social injustices of Magical American society led to him being branded a Dark Wizard and driven underground. A leader of great cunning and vision, as well as one of if not the most powerful wizard in America, Thorn and his followers attempted to overthrow the Confederation and assassinate the Governor-General. When the attempt failed he and his closest followers, the Thorn Circle, used an unknown magical method to go into hiding and have not been seen since.
Something of a playboy, Thorn has a total of eight children (that we know about) by five different women, of whom Alexandra is the youngest. His status as a fugitive and political ambitions have forced him to be a distant father figure to most of his children, and Alexandra was completely unaware of him until near the end of her first year.
Thorn's familiar is a large raven named Hagar with a "lordly mien". Like Charlie, she demonstrates near-human intelligence and limited language ability.
- Ambiguously Evil: The author's response to the alignment poll stated that although Abraham is definitely chaotic, his moral alignment depends on the viewers' view of what his actual motives are and whether his methods are justified.
- In other words he is Chaotic Neutral, pending the reader's discretion.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Leader of the resistance and (according to him) one of the five-ten most powerful wizards in the world.
- Byronic Hero: It seems to run in his family.
- The Casanova: Again: Eight children by five different women, that we know about. Given that he has a new girlfriend, there might be a ninth on the way.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: At least he thinks it was a good reason.
- Expy: Has more than a few similarities to Julius Caesar. Each:
- Descended from a very old aristocratic family.
- Had a short but highly distinguished military career before going into politics.
- Spent his career representing the interests of marginalized groups in society.
- Was branded a traitor by his political enemies while on a mission abroad and attempts to seize power himself in response.
- Had many affairs, all with beautiful and intelligent women from the upper classes.
- Had many daughters, but only one known son.
- Were known as one of the greatest generals/ most powerful wizards in their societies.
- Finally, Caesar was succeeded by his cousin Gaius Octavian, while Thorn appears likely to be succeeded by his daughter Alexandra Octavia.
- Fallen Hero: Word of God is that he was once truly Lawful Good. By the time we first meet him he's fallen to somewhere on the continuum between very dark Chaotic Good and fairly light Chaotic Evil.
- He Who Fights Monsters
- The Lost Lenore: Livia and Claudia believe that Desiree Pruett was this to him. It was only after her death that he truly became an Enemy of The Confederation.
- MayDecember Romance: With Medea. We also don't know for sure what age Hecate was at the time of their relationship, but mid-to-late twenties seems likely, and he would have been around fifty.
- Meaningful Name: His first name, Abraham, is a hint that he is the heroine's father. It may also refer to a certain American political figure who tried to correct social injustices legislatively only to be forced into a violent confrontation by the actions of his opponents.
- Nice to the Waiter: Despite being a pureblooded aristocrat and member of the Elect, he is never less than polite to house-elves, ghosts, Muggle-borns, Squibs or any of the other oppressed groups in wizard society, and he used his influence as a Congressman to give them more rights and repeal racist legislation. He is still reaping good karma for this decades later.
- Silver Fox: He's pushing sixty, but still playing the field quite successfully.
- Un-person: The Confederation is attempting to invoke this, by censoring his name and referring to him only as "The Enemy of The Confederation" in official media.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His stated goals are to reduce the power of the Elect, give more rights to the Native Americans and autonomous cultures and end the Deathly Regiment. None of the protagonists can really object to any of these goals, only his ruthless methods.
Claudia Carolina Green, nee Quick, born Claudia Thorn
A Muggle nurse living in Larkin Mills, Illinois and Alexandra's mother. She is a responsible, though extremely busy and often distant mother. She has always refused to tell Alexandra anything about the identity of her father and exactly how much she knows about the magical world is unclear for quite a while. She is married to a police officer in Larkin Mills named Archie Green.
In book 4 Claudia's backstory is finally revealed. She is not Alexandra's biological mother, but rather the eldest daughter of Abraham Thorn, and thus Alexandra's half-sister. The only daughter of Thorn's first wife, (who died when she was very young) Claudia grew up seeing Abraham's second wife (Desiree Pruett) as her mother, and Livia Pruett as her sister. When Desiree was killed by Aurors, Livia was adopted by maternal relatives but they refused to take in Claudia when it was learned that she was a Squib. Abandoned to a Muggle foster family, Claudia wanted nothing more to do with the Wizarding World, and even after adopting her youngest sister when Thorn went underground, she continued in this determination.
- Aloof Big Sister: Biologically.
- Abusive Parents: She was always very distant and cold toward Alexandra, mainly because she never actually wanted Alex and having a witch 'daughter' when she's a Squib wasn't easy. Their very cold relationship comes from the combination of Alexandra being a handful and Claudia resenting her. At the end of Stars Above, once the truth is out, they start building a better relationship.
- I Was Quite a Looker: She's still reasonably attractive, but is described as "Slumping ungracefully into middle age" despite being in only her early-mid 30s at the beginning of the books. All mention of her appearance from before Alexandra was born describe her as much more attractive.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: She didn't want a kid, but was given Alexandra to raise.
- Played With. She didn't want a kid at the time, and raising one was a massive burden for her, but the fact that she was magically sterilized may have played a part in her agreeing to adopt Alexandra as she would not have been able to have children any other way.
- Parents as People: Claudia is by no means a bad person and her Trauma Conga Line background and obvious symptoms of PTSD mean that Alexandra and the reader cannot help but feel sorry for her. But the coldness and distance of her relationship with Alex have clearly done a lot of damage and she's responsible for both over a decade of deception and for effectively abrogating her role as parent once Alex entered the wizarding world.
- Trauma Conga Line: She learned that she was a squib, after having grown up in the Wizarding World. Then her stepmother, who she viewed as her only real mother, was killed by aurors. Then Claudia's sister was taken away to live with racist grandparents who refused to take Claudia, leaving her with a muggle foster family. Then she was forcibly sterilized by government goons. Then she was left to care for her highly magical and volatile half-sister as a single mother with no real support system.
- Walking Spoiler: Claudia's (true) backstory is a massive spoiler for the entire first half of the series.
Dr. Livia Justina Pruett
The only daughter of Abraham Thorn and Desiree Pruett. Her mother was killed by an Auror before she reached school age, and she was adopted by maternal relatives who refused to take in her eldest sister, both because they were not related and because she was a Squib. Livia grew up to become one of the most famous and talented healers in Magical America, but eventually gave it up to live among Muggles as one of the Wandless, a group of wizards who willingly left the magical world. She currently runs a medical practice in Milwaukee, occasionally using magic illegally in order to save Muggle lives in addition to giving ordinary medical care.
- Defector from Decadence: She left the wizarding world behind and became wandless for reasons that are still mysterious.
- The Medic: She's both a magical healer and a muggle medical doctor.
- Non-Action Girl: She apparently got superior on everyone of her magical defense SPAWNs but is badly out of practice and lacks Alexandra's combat experience.
Lucilla Gregoria and Drusilla Graciana White
Abraham Thorn's eldest daughters by his third wife. They are highly talented artificers but their father's reputation prevents them from finding employment in America. For much of the series they have the smallest role in Alexandra's life until World Away, when they take her in as an apprentice when she's left with nowhere else to go. They live in a house on the Connecticut shore where they run a modest artifact repair and refurbishment business and are rumored to deal in darker and less legal items under the table.
- Big Brother Mentor: Or Big Sister Mentor, in this case. By no means to the extent of Maximilian, but in World Away they briefly take Alexandra on as their apprentice.
Valeria Helena White
Abraham Thorn's youngest daughter by his third wife and Alexandra's older half-sister. She is an accomplished Historicist but, like her sisters, she is unable to find work in Magical America and has to live in Europe.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Alexandra steals her Time-Turner, thus getting her in a heap of trouble. Valeria hasn't forgiven her, understandably.
Maximilian Alexander King
A student from the Blacksburg Magery Institute sent to Charmbridge on exchange in Alexandra's second year. Maximilian initially appears to be a bully, going out of his way to harass both Anna and Alexandra after they are drafted into the JROC. This only gets worse after Alex and Max both join the Mors Mortis Society, with him picking up his harassment in an attempt to force her out.
When Alex is tortured and nearly killed by John Manuelito after disrupting a society meeting, Max intervenes to rescue her, and reveals that he is actually her half-brother. From that point on he becomes her Big Brother Mentor, telling her about their father's history and tutoring her in combat magic. At the end of the second book he and Alexandra go on a mission to the Lands Below on their father's orders, in which Maximilian dies saving Alexandra. Max's death plunges Alexandra into depression and borderline insanity, and the actions she takes trying to bring him back from the dead shape the plot of the third book.
- Above the Influence: Bewi the Succu-deer finds her feminine wiles are wasted on Maximillian.
- Understandable, considering that he's gay.
- The Ace: Maximillian is attractive, popular and seemingly good at everything.
- Awesome McCoolname
- Big Brother Mentor: Once Alex learns that he's her brother and he starts treating her decently, she can't help looking up to him. He teaches her a lot of the dueling magic she learns later in the series.
- Byronic Hero: He's handsome, charismatic, intelligent, morally ambiguous and hiding several dark secrets including, his parentage, his sexuality, and his double agent status.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He comes across Larry and his douchebag friends pretending to cast Crucio on Alexandra. His response is to cast it on them for real. Alexandra is understandably horrified.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: He's working for his father by pretending to work for the WJD by pretending to join the Mors Mortis society. Or he's working for the WJD by pretending to join the Mors Mortis society to help them fight his father. He hasn't decided yet which side he'll end up on, his ultimate loyalty is to his sisters.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Voluntarily sacrifices his life so that Alex can survive at the climax of Lands Below.
- Hot-Blooded: Alex criticizes him for his 'Anger Management' issues and he makes it clear several times that he has even more sublimated rage than she does which is saying something.
- Manly Gay: He pretty much perfectly fits his culture's ideal of masculinity, being handsome, athletic, magically skilled and loyal to his family. He just also happens to like having sex with men.
- Mêlée à Trois: Teaches Alexandra to fight this way.
- Noble Bigot: Several times expresses bigoted opinions about muggles and squibs and doesn't think much about the situation regarding house elf slavery. He doesn't consider himself prejudiced but his privilege definitely shows.
- The One Guy: Abraham Thorn's only son.
- Pride: He shares the Fatal Flaw of his father and half-sister.
- Southern-Fried Genius: An extremely competent wizard at 16, native of Roanoke, Virginia.
Julia Majesta King
Abraham Thorn's youngest daughter by Thalia King, Maximilian's younger sister, and the only one of Alexandra's half sisters still in her teens. Julia quickly establishes a close friendship with Alexandra.
- Cool Big Sis: To Alexandra. She adores Alexandra and looks out for her when she can.
- Southern Belle: Her accent and many of her mannerisms are inspired by this archetype, and she's known to play it up on occasion.
- Spoiled Sweet: Born wealthy and is a little too used to living in luxury, but she's a genuinely kind and friendly person.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to Alexandra's Tomboy, though unlike Anna, Julia actually is extremely girly and not just by comparison to Alexandra.
Thalia Agatha King
Abraham Thorn's fourth wife and the mother of Maximillian and Julia. Although not related to Alexandra by blood she takes her in and treats her as family after Alexandra and Maximillian meet.
- Aunt Penny Bags: Like her husband she comes from old money, Alexandra gets the benefits of this a couple of times.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Her figure is described as 'Junoesque' though Alexandra doesn't think it detracts from her beauty.
- Cool Aunt: Not technically, but this is about the best approximation of her relationship to Alexandra unless you consider her a Parental Substitute.
- Parental Substitute: Alexandra seems to want to view her this way, consciously or unconsciously, and Thalia has been much more emotionally available and supportive to her than her actual parents. There are hints that Thalia is trying to establish some boundaries however.
- Parents as People: She's the only parental figure in the series that averts this (so far). As far as we've seen she's pretty much an ideal mother figure.
- Southern Belle: A Virginia aristocrat, living in a giant plantation house, very concerned with courtesy and propriety.
The magical defense instructor at Charmbridge and head of the Junior Regimental Officer Corps. The only teacher that Alexandra really respects or trusts, though still indisputably a hardass.
- Badass Teacher: Her first meeting with Alexandra is fighting a duel with her, something they repeat almost every year. She's also a commissioned colonel in the Confederation reserves as an extracurricular activity.
- Colonel Badass: Her reserve rank is Colonel, and she's a badass.
- Cool Teacher: The closest Charmbridge seems capable of producing. She's a hardass and a stickler for the rules, but she's the teacher most likely to actually praise or encourages Alexandra; most of the other teachers usually mock and belittle her even when she succeeds or excels.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: She's loyal to Dean Grimm, basically because she's the only half-way competent good guy in the Crapsack World that is Magical America.
The Charmbridge Groundskeeper. A member of the hippy "Radicalist" movement, he is generally the nicest member of the Charmbridge staff. Alexandra's constant detentions result in her seeing a lot of him in her first year.
Near the end of book 1 it is revealed that he is a former member of the Thorn Circle, a group of Abraham Thorn's closest allies. Fearing that Alexandra will be used to expose him to the authorities, but unable to attack her directly due to the protective spell Thorn placed on her, he attempts to arrange fatal accidents several times during Alexandra's first year. He is ultimately revealed and abducts and attempts to murder Alex, only to be killed by the Circle of Protection that he thought he'd broken.
Returns as a ghost in book 3, acting as a spirit guide in Alexandra's journey to the Lands Beyond, before returning to Charmbridge permanently at the end of that year. As a ghost he serves as an advisor to Alexandra, as well as a source of information on the Thorn Circle and the Dark Convention.
- Affably Evil: He's as friendly as they come, and generally doesn't want to cause people harm... but he still will if the alternative is coming to harm himself.
- Apologetic Attacker: Constantly apologizes to Alex and Anna and says how much he regrets everything, even as he's holding them hostage and/or trying to murder them.
- The Atoner: As a ghost he believes that part of why he returned and can't pass on is the crimes he's committed. Alexandra does forgive him (in so many words) but that, at least, isn't enough for him to pass on.
- Back from the Dead: Returns as a ghost in Deathly Regiment more than a year after his death.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: After Lilith disarms him of his wand he pulls a revolver and shoots her before turning the gun on Alexandra. This isn't necessarily out of character for him (he's a radicalist after all) but Lilith calls him out for using 'Muggle tools of murder'.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As Alexandra tells him, he was one of the only adults at Charmbridge who was kind to her in her first year and the fact that he turned out to be trying to murder her probably left some psychological scars.
- Big Bad: Ultimately responsible for almost all the bad stuff that happens in Thorn Circle, from the Redcaps in chapter one to the final confrontation.
- HeelFace Turn: He claims to be trying to atone for his actions and he is at least acting as an ally to Alexandra post-return from the dead. Alexandra is skeptical about whether he's actually had a change of heart.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He tries to fatally shoot Alexandra, but the bullet hits him instead due to the protection spell on her.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Kind of comes across as a walking stereotype at times, really.
- Nice Guy: Well... Turns out that he's not all that trustworthy, and he attempts some pretty despicable things, but for a bad guy, he certainly is a nice one.
- The Nicknamer: He calls all female students either 'Starshine' or 'Blossom', even if they ask him not to.
- Walking Spoiler: Both the fact that he's the ultimate villain of Thorn Circle and the fact that he comes back as a ghost are huge spoilers.
- What You Are in the Dark: The climax of Thorn Circle has him abducting, disarming and tying up Alexandra, who has a broken ankle and willingly traded herself for Anna. Journey intends to kill her, but when it comes down to it, he can't bring himself to kill an innocent, injured, unarmed girl. Dean Grimm's mockery forces him to try, but that just gets him killed.
The biggest Jerkass on the Charmbridge teaching staff (which is saying a lot), Mr. Grue is the alchemy instructor. Though he's a dick to pretty much everyone, Alexandra's smartass attitude ensures that he has a special loathing for her. He begins to develop a grudging respect for her in the second half of book 4 as Alexandra finally begins to apply herself to his class.
- Expy: A pretty clear one of Snape: the Jerkass Sadist Teacher potion master who is secretly a badass, though Snape's counterpart in terms of narrative role is mostly Dean Grimm.
- Hidden Depths: Used to be an Auror, and trained Diana Grimm.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He lets Alexandra take his class in Stars Above once she tells him that she wants to learn a way to restore her mother's memories. He also admits that while he was specifically called to try healing her when she was first afflicted, he didn't stop trying to cure her even after she was taken to Charmbridge as a lost cause.
- Meaningful Name: Glaucus was a sea-god who found a herb that could bring dead animals back to life.
Charmbridge's librarian, and one of the friendlier staff members. Alexandra gets to know her while serving detention in the library in her first year, and though the two never become close, they do have a friendly rapport from then on.
- Nice to the Waiter: She is genuinely kind and appreciative towards house-elves, and one of the seasons she takes to Alexandra is Alexandra's friendship with Bran and Poe.
Governor General Elias Hucksteen
The head of state of the American Confederation of Wizards. Though technically democratically elected, he uses autocratic methods and often seems to be a de facto dictator. He is widely feared in magical America for his power and tendency to hold grudges. Other than this, very little is known about him and he has so far made only one, short, on-screen appearance in the series.
- Expy: To President Snow
- The Dragon: The head of the Office of Special Inquisitions, Richard Raspire, is his.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Each book generally has a villain who serves as the Big Bad, none of whom are associated with the Governor General, but if the series as a whole can be said to have a Big Bad then, so far, Hucksteen is it. Or at least we have seen no indication that he possesses any particular skill in combat.
- Faux Affably Evil: When visiting Charmbridge in The Thorn Circle, he behaves like a jovial, friendly Reasonable Authority Figure, generous with smiles and kind words — but even before Alexandra actually gets to talk to him, she notices that his smiles never reach his eyes and the kind joviality is an act. She has this pretty much confirmed during her short meeting with him; he speaks politely and never raises his voice to her, but it's all fake, and he's really just trying to use her to get to her father.
- Kick the Dog: While he was Governor of Roanoke, he invoked the Squib Laws in order to have Claudia Quick forcibly sterilized. We don't know exactly why he did this, but it was a pretty brutal move.
Special Assistant and senior flunky to the Governor General. A bald man who speaks in a calm, polite, and deeply creepy voice.
- Bald of Evil: Plays up the evil bit.
- The Dragon: Apparently, to Hucksteen.
- Faux Affably Evil: Just like Hucksteen. He has a smile so fake that you can feel the slime ooze off the page.
- The Heavy: Too early to tell definitively, but he may be shaping up to play this role in Alexandra Quick and the World Away.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Wears black robes with a red sash, people know to steer clear of him (this is the typical color scheme of aurors and law enforcement in Magical America, though Raspire's outfit is subtly different from that of an auror or Special Inquisitor).
- Smug Snake: Less so in his early appearances, but when we see him again in World Away he seems to devote a whole day to following Livia and Alexandra around gloating at them with a shit-eating grin on his face.
Congressman Geming Chu
Anna Chu's father and the last pureblood member of a prominent family in the San Francisco Chinese wizard community. Strict and conservative, he pushes Anna to excel academically. In book 3 he runs for Congress, causing the governor of Alta California to have him arrested and held without trial in an attempt to force him from the race. Anna's misery over the loss of her father and the struggle to get him freed is a major subplot of book 3.
- Enemy Mine: According to Anna he is quite racist against the Japanese, nevertheless he forms a political alliance with the Majokai in order to oppose the increasingly oppressive Confederation government.
- Establishing Character Moment: He goes from talking about his daughter's qualities to screaming that he opposes the Deathly Regiment and views it as an abomination in about a minute.
- Noble Bigot: He's got a ton of prejudices, but he won't let them stop him from trying to do the right thing.
- Parents as People: The pressure he exerts on his daughter is clearly bad for her emotional state and self-esteem, but he wants her to do well and wants to uphold his public persona, especially now that he's a Congressman.
- Refuge in Audacity: He married a Muggle. Not a Muggle-born, a Muggle. Because he opposes the Deathly Regiment, and only purebloods are eligible, so his child is out of the race.
An Auror in the Navajo territory who arrests Alexandra when she travels there to hunt John Manuelito. Although initially hostile, Henry is forced to accept Alexandra's help when Manuelito's coven launches a major attack and the two become somewhat shaky allies. He claims that he does not have a familiar, but he owns a rattlesnake that seems to function in more or less the same way.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Alexandra, though "Friend" may be pushing it. He shows far more respect for her abilities than any other adult and says that she is a "sheepdog", who defends the innocent from the wolves.
- Insistent Terminology: His rattlesnake is not a familiar!
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Makes no secret of the fact that he doesn't like white people.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Speaks Fluent Animal: He's a Parselmouth.
Bran and Poe
The elves responsible for maintaining the Charmbridge academy library. Alexandra befriends them during her frequent detentions working at the library. They are often convinced, guilt-tripped or manipulated into helping her obtain restricted books.
- Extreme Doormat: Like many house-elves they have traces of this. Alexandra sometimes exploits it in order to get what she wants, but feels bad about it.
- Meaningful Name: Bran's name is welsh for "raven". Poe's name is a reference to Edgar Allan Poe, the author of the poem "The Raven".
One of the older elves employed by Charmbridge academy, she seems to be responsible for the basements. Much more difficult to push around than most house elves.
- Butt-Monkey: Constantly manipulated or outsmarted by Alexandra in her various attempts to access the lower dungeons.
- Hero Antagonist: A very minor case. Despite treated sympathetically by the narrative at all times, Em has a tendency to be an obstacle for Alexandra. She's generally easy to deal with, though.
The Generous Ones
A species native to the Lands Below. The Generous Ones are clearly closely related to House Elves, but are much more powerful and malevolent and are not bound by obligation to Wizards. For centuries they have sealed off access to the Lands Below as part of a mysterious deal with the American Confederation of Wizards.
Specific named Generous Ones include Cejaiaqui, the leader when Alexandra first encounters them, and Tiow, another high ranked Generous One who takes Cejaiaqui's place after Alexandra kills him.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: By human standards they are undeniably villainous, but their sense of morality is very alien.
- The Fair Folk: They are essentially this, with all the tropes that implies. They're polite, hospitable and affable, and will always keep their word once they've given it, but they're not to be trusted.
- Faux Affably Evil: Pretty much their whole schtick; their "generosity" is a ploy to trap you as their slave.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Alexandra gets angry at them because they happily accept young children as sacrifices, but they in turn ask her why they should value the lives of human children when the Confederacy doesn't. Alexandra can't think of a response.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Inverted. They are completely callous towards the lives of humans. Alexandra averts this as she considers her killing Cejaiaqui to be morally equivalent to killing a human, albeit in self-defense.
A former house-elf that Alexandra meets living with the Generous Ones in the Lands Below. He bears obvious scars of horrific abuse, implied to be from his previous owners, and is determined to never live among wizards again, though his treatment by the Generous Ones is not significantly better than what most House Elves get. He is very loyal to Alexandra, partly out of a perceived debt to Abraham Thorn, who championed the House Elf Protection Act during his time as a congressman.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Not really stated, but so heavily implied that it's hard to miss. It's clear he was abused horribly by the wizards he used to serve, and for all the Generous Ones aren't particularly kind to him, he still considers himself better off with them.
- Undying Loyalty: Shows extreme loyalty to Abraham Thorn, despite never having met the man, for his legislative accomplishments on behalf of House Elves.
A particularly unpleasant hag contracted by the Dark Convention as a lookout for a smuggling operation in Larkin Mills. Martha attempts to eat Alexandra on first meeting her, though Alexandra succeeds in intimidating the hag into becoming a cowed toady. She is killed by the Nemesis Spirit when it comes to Larkin Mills to hunt Alexandra.
- Always Neutral Evil: Hags in the Alexandra Quick universe seem to be this. Between attempts to feast on children they mostly seem to work as loan sharks, fences, dark magic/drug dealers and gangsters.
- Eviler Than Thou: Alexandra survives by convincing Martha that she is this.
- Witch Species: Inverted: normal humans can do magic, hags are basically just brutes that happen to look like old ladies.
A dark magical construct created by John Manuelito to guard his hideout. After Alexandra burns the hideout down, John repurposes the loathsome little monster as a hunter-killer targeting Alex. It pursues Alex to Larkin Mills and then to Charmbridge, but it is unable to get through the school's wards until it attacks Larry Albo while he is outside, forcing Alex to draw it through the wards to protect him which kicks off the assault on Charmbridge at the climax of book 4.
- Disney Villain Death: Alexandra sends it to the Lands Below. It might actually not be dead, but it's not in the wizard world anymore.
- Scars Are Forever: Wounds inflicted by its beak can't be healed by magic.
Archibald Reuben "Archie" GreenA Muggle police officer, married to Claudia and stepfather of Alexandra. Unaware of the wizarding world, a bit of a grouch and a stickler for rules, he is even more distant with Alexandra than his wife is. Still, he does genuinely care for his step-daughter, he just has problems expressing it (not that Alexandra is any better at this).
- Commonality Connection: At a point in Lands Below, he is roped into giving Alex The Talk, which is predictably incredibly awkward for both of them. The awkwardness is mercifully interrupted when Alex sees her friend David's dad, a football player, on the television playing in the background. When she mentions it to Archie, who is a football fan, he is pleasantly amazed that something from his stepdaughter's admittedly unorthodox life is connected, albeit through degrees of separation, to something that he understands. If someone as mundane as an athlete has a son in the exact same school and situation as his stepdaughter, then his own situation is a lot less unique and more relatable. Their talk becomes noticeably more upbeat after that, if not any less awkward.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gruff, grouchy and emotionally distant, but not a bad person.
- Parents as People: He isn't a particularly good parent, though it becomes increasingly obvious that he tries. It's just that he and Alexandra are so fundamentally different as people that it's hard for them to connect.
Alexandra's best (and only) friend throughout her childhood in Larkin Mills. He is extremely protective of his younger sister Bonnie, and Alexandra endangering Bonnie's life causes him to break off their friendship just before Alexandra is accepted into Charmbridge. He knows Alexandra is a witch, but prefers not to know about it in order to protect himself and his sister.
- Abusive Parents: His parents are pretty strongly implied to be physically abusive, though Alexandra is unaware of this until she is 14 despite being his best friend.
- Big Brother Instinct: He's very protective of Bonnie, though not particularly effective when it comes to protecting her.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible sibling to Bonnie's foolish sibling.
- Jerkass: Can frequently be one towards Alexandra. Like so many Jerkasses in this series, he quite often Has A Point — Alexandra really is too reckless and has endangered both his and Bonnie's lives far too often — but he takes it too far when he calls her "freak" and even sides with her bullies.
- Mind Wipe: Is subjected to one in the early chapters of World Away, which selectively erases most of his memories of his relationship and interactions with Alex where he knew she was a witch and they were borderline boyfriend/girlfriend and he now only knows her as a mundane casual friend. It is never revealed who caused it or why, though it is implied much later on that it was done to cover up witnessing the Confederation kidnapping his sister Bonnie, along with erasing his knowledge of the magical world to keep him from connecting the dots to what might have happened to her.
- Only Friend: To Alexandra before she goes to Charmbridge. He becomes her only friend in the Muggle world again after they reconnect in book 4.
- Secret Keeper: Knows Alexandra is a witch.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Alexandra, but they get better.
- What the Hell, Hero?: One too many incidents of this is what causes him to break off his friendship with Alexandra.
Brian's younger sister, who is a bit of a thrill-seeker and admires Alexandra perhaps a little too much for Brian's liking. As the story goes on, she becomes a bit of a juvenile delinquent, shoplifting and getting into trouble. It's more than hinted that this is her way of acting out against her overly-strict and controlling parents.
- Five-Finger Discount: Alexandra catches her shoplifting in the first chapter of the second book.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish Sibling to Brian's Responsible Sibling.
- Missing Child: She spends most of World Away having vanished without a trace. Nobody knows where she is, whether she's been kidnapped or has simply run away (which would not be out of character for her). Alex finds her name in a register stolen from the Confederation's secret archives... which records the day-by-day tallies of the Confederation's human sacrifices.
Billy Boggleston, Tom Gavin and Gordie Pike
Larkin Mills' resident junior bullies. Their favorite target is Alexandra, whom they consider a freak, and though Alexandra often wins the confrontations with them, they usually manage to get her into trouble for it.
The Most Deathly Power / Death / The Grim Reaper
The embodiment of death and ruler of the Lands Beyond.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: He appears as whatever the viewer would expect the god of death to look like based on their cultural background. To Alexandra he looks like the Grim Reaper.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's got a bit of a sarcastic edge to him, but it's surprisingly good-natured.
- It Amused Me: Seems to be the only reason he ever deviates from his primary mission.
- What You Are in the Dark: Inflicts this on Alexandra by giving her the power to kill anyone in order to resurrect Maximillian.
The Stars Above
A collection of powers that somehow represent/ draw power from/ are the stars in the night sky. They observe everything that happens on the surface of the earth and seem to exist outside of time, allowing them to see the past, present and future simultaneously.
- Eldritch Abomination: They lack the horrifying appearance, but would still be quite at home in a Cosmic Horror story.
- Jerkass Gods: Even Death seemed like an OK guy next to them.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Each one speaks in a different form of verse, including Iambic Pentameter, Ballad meter, limericks, and haiku among others.
The Sun. Implied to be an actual power by the Corn Maidens that Max and Alexandra encounter in the Lands Below. Hasn't actually been encountered in the story yet but Alexandra has promised to tell him about the corn maidens should they ever meet.
The Earth. It is mentioned in the invocation to commune with The Stars Above, implying that it is a power as well.
Possibly another power, mentioned in an Ozarker legend as one of the "Dreadly Powers" together with Death. There is no confirmation as yet as to whether this power actually exists outside of legend.
A figure from the Ozark mythos. Troublesome is a rebellious, spirited girl who constantly stirs up... well, trouble, both for herself and for everyone else. Ozark women used to name their daughters after her, but this practice has fallen out of use. According to the Grannies, a group of powerful matriarchs, this is a case of Morton's Fork: the practice has fallen out of favour because people think it'd be bad luck for the community and the child in question to name a daughter Troublesome, but there's just as much bad luck involved in not naming a daughter Troublesome for so long. As of Stars Above, a new Troublesome has been Named- Alexandra Quick.
- Chaotic Neutral: Troublesome never really intends to hurt anyone, but she doesn't actually think about what she's doing or the effects it might have, and often people do get hurt as a result.
- Coincidence Magnet: Troublesome tends to be placed in situations where trouble can be caused just as often as her own tendencies get her into trouble on her own.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: Happens to her a lot.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Often Troublesome is the only person who can save the people who are hurt by whatever she's stirred up- and save them she will.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A central aspect of the stories surrounding Troublesome is that she never intentionally creates the problems and chaos she causes.