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Characters / Aru Shah and the End of Time

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The Pandavas

  • Gender Flip: Three of them were reincarnated as female, and it's implied all of them are.
  • Kid Hero: Which worries the Council of Guardians, because the Sleeper was supposed to be freed much later.

Arundhati "Aru" Shah

  • Adorkable: Aru is endearingly awkward and has a love of many nerdy pop-culture movies, such as Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Her mom is constantly away and other students at her school are giving her a hard time for being poorer than them.
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  • Covers Always Lie: She's shown with a long braid, but in-story mentions having a bobcut.
  • Disappeared Dad: She never really cared about him, she already got her mother. Then she learns he's a demon hell-bent on destroying the world.
  • Guile Hero: She's not very strong, but she's got wits on her side.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Her mother's fate as a panchakanya led her to conceive Aru with the demonic Sleeper.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In the first book, her main weapon is basically a ping pong ball. One that hits with surprising force, always returns to her pocket and emits divine light, but still. Upon awakening as Vajra, it's revealed to be a living lightning bolt and a powerful (if indecisive) Morph Weapon.
  • Kid Hero: She's twelve in End of Time, turning thirteen in Song of Death.
  • Like Father, Like Son: The Sleeper accuses her of being just as much of a treacherous liar as her mother.
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  • Locked Out of the Loop: Regarding her fate of being a Pandava.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In the Kingdom of Death, she learns her birth father is the Sleeper himself.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: A big part of her reason for lying is her feelings of isolation and desire for companionship. A vision of her Pandava sisters turning against her almost breaks her.
  • Morph Weapon: Vajra, once awakened, can take on several forms based on its own whims and Aru’s mental commands. Favorites include a sword, rope, net, javelin, a bracelet or ball when inactive, and its natural form as a bolt of lightning.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Basically her Arc Words for End of Time. Since she unwittingly caused the Apocalypse, yeah...
    Aru, Aru, Aru. What have you done?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The whole series is kickstarted when she disobeys her mom and lights the diya, freeing the Sleeper, only to impress her classmates.
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  • Only Child Syndrome: Amongst the Pandavas, she has no biological sibling.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Since nobody can pronounce her full name without mangling it, she goes by "Aru".
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: A Spiderman one which ends up rather battered for the first novel.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: She loves watching movies and is aghast when Mini doesn't get a reference to The Matrix. She constantly makes references to movies and, in her internal monologue, often likens events on their quests to events in movies she's watched.
  • Shock and Awe: By virtue of her signature weapon being a lightning bolt.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Much to her confusion, in book two she finds herself breathing underwater and talking to fish despite her powers coming from the Lord of the Heavens. Turns out those gifts come from Uloopi, Queen of the Nagas and one of her past self’s many wives.

Yamini "Mini" Kapoor-Mercado-Lopez

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Her whole class apparently dislike her.
  • Barrier Warrior: Her danda stick’s force field powers tend to be her first resort in combat.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Probably the straightest example among the cast. She is very nerdy, awkward, and a fountain of knowledge, especially about terrible diseases.
  • Brainy Brunette: She's very cerebral and ambitions to become a doctor. Also, her former incarnation Yudhistira was famous for his wisdom.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Her parents believed her brother was a Pandava instead of her, because he was there every time she displayed supernatural abilities.
  • Expy: For a young Nico di Angelo, being the Adorkable offspring of a death deity.
  • Heroic BSoD: Her reaction when the Dharma Raja acknowledges her as his daughter. Aru manages to comfort her.
  • I Call It "Vera": Her divine weapon is nicknamed Dee Dee, short for the Death Danda.
  • Magic Mirror: Her gift from the claiming is a compact mirror that can reveal and conjure illusions. Later on awakens as the Death Danda, a full-on Magic Staff capable of force bubbles and energy blasts.
  • Magic Staff: Her divine weapon takes the form of a magical danda stick.
  • Master of Illusion: See Magic Mirror above. It retains these abilities in danda form.
  • Nervous Wreck: Downplayed, but she's definitely anxious about many things. She even has a list about the worst deaths she can imagine.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She denounced a classmate about to cut The Littlest Cancer Patient's growing hair, and was branded a tattletale for her efforts.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Introduces herself as just Mini.
  • Squishy Wizard: The least inclined towards physical combat out of the main cast, but her divine tools give her access to some tricky and powerful magic.
  • The Smart Gal: As the reincarnation of Yudhistira.
  • Terrified of Germs: So much that she refuses to shake hands and would rather bump elbows.
  • Token Minority: Her mother is Indian and her father Filipino.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: She's obviously dismayed when she and Aru travel into the Underworld - which is her father's kingdom - and learn the Dharma Raja won't come to meet her.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She suffers from vertigo.

Brynne Tvarika Lakshmi Balamuralikrishna Rao

  • Action Girl: Out of all of the Pandava sisters, although they all have gotten combat training, she is the one with the most experience in fighting and the most strength.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Brynne has spent most of her life being distrusted or bullied for being part Assura.
  • Bi the Way: Brynne says that her type is "boys who can beat [her] in a wrestling match. Or girls."
  • Big Eater: She loves food, and can eat large amounts of it. She gets hungry very easily, even after eating a gigantic breakfast, and barely ever loses eating contests.
  • The Big Guy: As the reincarnation of Bhima.
  • Blow You Away: Her weapon has this ability, thanks to her soul father being the god of wind.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Her divine weapon takes the form of a club.
  • Fantastic Racism: Brynne is frequently subject to this and is not trusted easily due to her Assura heritage.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Inverted. Brynne is not very feminine, but she is an excellent cook.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Brynne is abrasive and argumentative, and she and Aru do not start off on the best foot, causing them to argue all the time. But her heart is in the right place, and much of her abrasiveness is mostly wariness about being judged for her Assura heritage. She also grows to love and enthusiastically support Aru and Mini in their quest in the second novel, even declaring them family. Although this does not stop her from teasing Aru and Mini from time to time.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Her introduction is very much a Sequel Hook.
  • Like Brother and Sister: She has this relationship with Aiden. They are childhood best friends ever since Aiden stood up for her in kindergarten, and she does even say that he's basically like her brother. After finding out that Aiden is the reincarnation of Queen Drupathi, the Pandava brothers' wife, she declares disgustedly that, even if Aiden was her wife in a previous life she would never want to marry him, as he isn't her type.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Brynne is part Assura.
  • Nephewism: She never met her dad and her mother abandoned her, so she ended up being raised by her two uncles.
  • Overly Long Name: Brynne's full name is Brynne Tvarika Lakshmi Balamuralikrishna Rao. When Aru looks surprised at the length of her name, Brynne explains it away as due to her being Telugu.
  • Stout Strength: She is described as having thick, long limbs, and, when a Naga guard reassures another Naga guard that there's nothing wrong with being fat, Brynne raises a fist in solidarity. She's also by far the strongest of the Pandavas.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Brynne is violent, athletic, and abrasive with a huge adoration for pointy things and an even bigger appetite. She is definitively the toughest fighter of the Pandavas. However, she also loves cooking.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: She first appears as a wolf before transforming herself into a girl then a bird. She has this ability due to being part Assura.



  • Baleful Polymorph: His current pigeon body is explicitely a curse. He was very much human before, and strives to regain this form.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: In his first life, Shakhuni was hell-bent on ruining the Pandavas and a steadfast ally for Duryodhana.
  • Dung Fu: He's a pigeon, his fight options are a mite limited to scratch people or shit on them. It's surprisingly effective as a diversion.
  • Heel–Face Turn: His most famous incarnation wasn't the nicest guy. Boo still is grumpy and ill-tempered, but firmly places himself in the Pandavas' side.
  • Heroic BSoD: Played for Laughs when he meets the newest Pandavas, who are kids, untrained and (gasp) FEMALE!
  • I Have Many Names: He's currently Boo to the Pandavas, the Council of Guardians know him as Subala and the Sleeper calls him Shakhuni.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He constantly berates his (unwitting) pupils and a big part of playing the mentor is to regain his former power and glory, but he genuinely believes into the girls' potential to be great.
  • Large Ham: Horrendously dramatic and bombastic in speech. It falls really flat since he's, you know, a pigeon.
  • Papa Wolf: If the girls are attacked, he will do his best to help them to fight or flee in spite of his body - which is very much unsuited to this.
  • Stern Teacher: He's very demanding towards the girls as he's aware of their huge potential.
  • Was Once a Man: And very much wants to be a man again.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With the Sleeper, in their first incarnations. The wizard Shakhuni actually egged Duryodhana on when it came about warring against the Pandavas.

Dr Kritika P. Shah

  • Damsel in Distress: She falls victim to the freeze sickness when the Sleeper escapes, which prompts Aru to go on a quest to save her.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Aru was flabbergasted to learn Kritika actually dated the dude fated to bring the Apocalypse and still genuinely loves him.
  • Expy: You can say she's one for Padmé Amidala, from her Love Martyr tendences to her role as The Hero's mother. Bonus point for Padmé being a Sanskrit name.
  • In Love with the Mark: She ultimately grew to care for Suyodhana too much to pick between him and Aru, and is still seeking for a way to free him from his destiny.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: As a panchakanya, her duty was to bear and raise one of the next generation of Pandavas.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Kritika P. Shah.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: She imprisoned Suyodhana into the diya, which led him to believe she never truly loved him and helped him to fall into an evil mindset. Which was exactly what she wanted to avert.
  • Parents as People: There's no doubting her love for Aru, but she's constantly away and it strains their relationship. There's also the fact she hid the truth about her daughter's conception and destiny...
  • Screw Destiny: She wants it really, really bad.
  • Struggling Single Mother: She and Aru aren't dirt poor, but they're not wealthy either. It's particularly obvious when she enrolls Aru into a school for well-off families.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: She often leaves for long periods, as she's seeking for a way to free her lover Suyodhana from his fate as the bringer of Apocalypse.


  • Cool Uncle: Has a vibe of it with Mini, their personalities being very similar and both of them having a link with the Underworld.
  • Good Parents: In no less than fourteen worlds!
  • Nice Guy: He's absolutely chuffed to learn the newest Pandavas are empowered girls and gives them tools to succeed in their quest.
  • The Omniscient: His role is to know everything about everyone to decide of a proper afterlife.

Palace of Illusions

  • Animal Motifs: Gives off the impression of a loving dog which still pines after its masters.
  • Bewildering Punishment: When the Pandavas permanently left, the Palace wondered if it were at fault but couldn't devine what wrong it did for its owners to abandon it. It takes Aru and Mini explaining they actually just forget their previous lives to break it from this mindset.
  • Genius Loci
  • Master of Illusion: Well, it's in the name.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Pandavas, since it used to belong to them.
  • We All Die Someday: It's surprisingly at peace with the fact that one day, people will forget it and it will cease to exist.


The Sleeper

  • Archnemesis Dad: To Aru.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Formerly a good guy, check. Monstruous physical appearance, check. Tries to seduce The Hero to his side, check. Father to the unaware main character, check.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: He was looking forwards to raise Aru, but Kritika imprisoned him into the diya so he couldn't be there.
  • Dark Is Evil: Often compared to a starry darkness.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Very much so, even when he cares about taking a human form.
  • Evil Former Friend: He and Boo used to get along in their incarnations as Duryodhana and Shakhuni, but Boo ultimately reformed himself.
  • I Have Many Names: Everyone calls him the Sleeper, but his girlfriend refers to him as Suyodhana.
  • Mismatched Eyes: At least twice, he's described with a blue eye and a brown one.
  • Mysterious Parent: Aru never knew anything regarding him nor cared until forced by the circumstances.
  • Not So Stoic: Noticeably bitter towards his former lover, Aru's mother Kritika. He's visibly angry and upset when confronting an illusion of her.
  • Screw Destiny: He used to believe he could avert his fate as a bringer of the Apocalypse. He's quite desabused and resigned to it nowadays.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Aru briefly feels pity after seeing his past and realizing the once-human Sleeper only wanted a happy life with his family, but quickly decides that the only thing which matters is stopping him rampage now.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Once upon a time, he dreamed to defy his fate and have a peaceful life with his lover and their yet-to-be-born child. Eleven years stuck into a lamp really soured his disposition, moreso because his own girlfriend did the deed and their daughter is supposed to destroy him.
  • Was Once a Man: In his previous life, he was the Pandavas' bitterest foe, Duryodhana.

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