The Black Adder
Baldrick, Son Of Robin The Dung-Gatherer
The Black Adder's batman. He is amazingly smart considering that he is a dung gatherer, and helps Edmund to make it through the day... as well as helping him on his royal ambitions.
- Butt-Monkey: The Infanta does not go gentle on him when Edmund sends Baldrick to seduce her. By the end of the session, he has two black eyes.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Without his help, Edmund and Percy would be already dead.
- Co-Dragons: With Percy. Though he is the smartest of the three and easily muuuuuch better at it than him.
- Ditzy Genius: As smart as this Baldrick is, he has a tendency to get carried away.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: He sorts out most of the plans (Percy did the rest), but it is Edmund who takes the sole credit. And he sets up quite the impressive racket in relic trading when he temporarily joins the church.
- Legacy of Service: His descendants end up serving the Blackadders for centuries.
- Only Sane Man: Both in terms of this series and the Baldrick family as a whole, as the most level-headed and reasonable character.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: He quickly got wise to the fact that this is the way to become Edmund's favourite and improve his social standing.
- The Reliable One: He stands out in the Baldrick family as not only the only one with a mind but also as quite practical-minded. He is more than what Edmund could ask for.
- Smarter Than You Look: Much smarter than a dung shoveler would be expected to be, he has all the common sense of the common folk. His descendants are as dumb as they look, though.
- Yes-Man: He started it at the banquet of the first episode and it paid off.
- Zany Scheme: Hilariously, the first cunning plan a Baldrick comes up with is the only one that actually works. And it is stupidly simple: Get McAngus to stick his head inside a cannon and blow him up with it.
Lord Percy Percy, Duke Of Northumberland
The kind-hearted (by comparison) simpleton of the trio. His grip on reality is rather inconsistent.
- Accidental Murder: He poisons the entire wine vat instead of just the Black Seal's goblets, which means he kills the entire royal court and Edmund instead of just the seven most evil men in the kingdom.
- Cloudcuckoolander:Percy: Only this morning in the courtyard I saw a horse with two heads and two bodies!
Edmund: Two horses standing next to each other?
Percy: ... Yes, I suppose it could have been.
- The Ditz: Percy is incredibly dim-witted, something that carries over to his descendant. For example, there was that time he was sold a finger bone, supposedly from the hand of Christ. Baldric sells them by boxes of ten.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: If his reaction to Mistress Scott's dead cat is anything to go by.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: accidentally poisons the entire royal court apart from himself and Baldrick.
- Repetitive Name: Percy is both his first and last name. It reflects the creativity of its owner and was probably started by a true member of the Percy family.
- Straw Loser: Intellect wise at least. While his era's Edmund is much more of a buffoon, he almost reaches his successors' level of snarky wit when putting up with Percy's greater idiocy.
- Sycophantic Servant: He admired Edmund and stayed loyal to the bitter end.
- Teeny Weenie: Blackadder mentions the rumour:Blackadder: And the part of you that can't be mentioned, I am reliably informed by women around the court, wouldn't be worth mentioning even it could be!
- True Companions: Even though he spent most of the series antagonising Baldrick for the role of the best sycophant, it seems that during the final episode he realised off-screen that he was the closest that he had to a friend, since they were working together after their dismissal, defeated the Black Seal together, mourned their Lord's demise together and awkwardly kept quiet and played dumb(er) about the accidental poisoning of the Royal Family together.
- Upper-Class Twit: He is the Duke Of Northumberland and quite stupid.
- Yes-Man: He tries, though the best he can do is repeat and mimic Baldrick.
King Richard IV
The historical Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York (1473- disappeared in 1483) all grown up. Official history says that Richard IV was murdered by his paternal uncle Richard III, but he actually became King of England for thirteen glorious years, most of them spent on chasing Turks.
- Accidental Misnaming: He almost never gets his son's name right, except when Edmund is dying.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Is a king and once fought his way out of Constantinople, through a ten-thousand man garrison armed with scimitars. With a fruit knife.
- Badass Beard: Just look at the thing. It is BRIAN BLESSED after all.
- Big Bad: Depends on the episode. Mostly in the Archbishop and the Queen's Spanish Beard. From a cleric's and Edmund's perspective at least.
- Big Eater: Exemplified in 'The Archbishop', where his meal is contrasted with that of Queen Gertrude's. He really did intend to eat fresh horses.
- Bling of War: Usually seen wearing golden armour.
- Blood Knight: SSSLLAAAAAAAYYY!!!!
- Boisterous Bruiser: Comes with the territory of being played by BRIAN BLESSED.
- The Caligula: His motto? "Kill any Turk you see". Also has a tendency to kill Archbishops he finds troublesome.
- Compensating for Something: Thanks to the Queen's incessant reveals, there is some light shed to one of the reasons behind his over-the-top demeanour.
- Everyone Has Standards: He might be a froth-mouthed, bloodthirsty, violent lunatic, but even he's visibly disgusted when a dying nobleman confesses that his many sins include repeated adultery with his own mother.
- Gag Penis: Supposedly not very big, if the Queen is to be trusted.
- General Ripper: Against the Turks, and for some inexplicable reason the Swiss, whom he plans to massacre even when they are fighting on his side.
- Generation Xerox: His historical father, Edward IV, was also a Hot-Blooded Blood Knight.
- Hidden Depths: Normally he is a bellowing, drunken Blood Knight, but in 'The Queen of Spain's Beard' we see him either creating or describing numerous, complicated diplomatic and military plans.
- Historical Domain Character: He is one of the "Princes in the Tower" grown up (in this imagining, not only is Richard III being evil a slander by Henry VII, but Henry also erased the existence of a dynasty). Part of the joke is the contrast between the sweet kid Richard IV used to be, and what he has become as an adult.
- Hot-Blooded: See that quote? That is not just battle lust, he is like that all the time.
- Implacable Man: Having the Plague simply sends him into a berserker rage, believing everyone to be Turks. Doesn't save him from the poison in the finale.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Perfectly polite and affable if you are not Edmund (or Turkish). He is even implied to treat Doncaster with respect.
- Large Ham: BRIAN BLESSED AT HIS BOMBASTIC BEST!
- No Indoor Voice: You will hear him even if you turn the volume real low...
- Parental Favoritism: He alternates between not having a clue that Edmund is his son and just straight-up giving him a "Reason You Suck" Speech after appointing him as Archbishop of Canterbury.Richard: Don't be mistaken about this appointment, Egbert! I've always despised you.
Edmund: Well, you are my father, of course! I mean, you're biased.
Richard: You, compared to your brother Harry... (laughs and pats Harry's shoulder) are as excrement as compared to cream!
Harry: My Lord, you flatter me!
Edmund: And me, also.
Richard: So now that I've finally found a use for you, don't try to wriggle out of it!
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: In his case, "something" tends to mean "slaughtering Turks".
- Tranquil Fury: For all his bellowing and bluster, his most genuinely terrifying and chilling moment is when, after manipulating Edmund into becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, he very calmly informs Edmund that if he crosses him at any point ever, he will "do unto you what God did unto the Sodomites."
- With This Herring: He manages to defeat ten thousand Turks, while armed with only a small knife, typically used for peeling fruit.
Harry, Prince Of Wales
The King's favourite son, and his brother Edmund's main rival. While supposedly more intelligent, he still manages to fall for some of The Black Adder's schemes.
- But Not Too Bi: In "The Queen Of Spain's Beard", he is politically engaged to 7 European noblewomen (one of whom, Princess Leia of Hungary, eventually gets engaged to Edmund), and one European nobleman, Jeremy of Estonia.
- Cain and Abel: The excessively clueless Abel to Edmund's no less clueless, but underhanded Cain.
- Comically Missing the Point: Has a habit of doing this. The most notable being in '"Witchsmeller Pursuivant", when the Witchsmeller is burning alive, he doesn't even notice and thinks the man is talking about the weather being too warm to wear a cloak.
- The Ditz: One of his biggest questions in life is if his hand sins and he cuts it how he can cut his other sinful hand.
- Horrible Judge of Character: At no point does he cotton on to Edmund's various throne-usurping schemes.
- Also completely oblivious to the fact that the ridiculously improbable deaths of successive Archbishops were actually obvious assassinations ordered by his own father.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: While commanding men on the battlefield:Harry: Now, I'm afraid there's going to have to be a certain amount of violence, but at least we know it's all for a good cause, hey?
- Skewed Priorities: When he thinks the castle is under attack, his first reaction is to worry about the drains. Also being a pious nut job, when asked about Edmund's chances (after his mutilation) he is considering whether his brother is going to heaven, instead of whether he is going to survive.
- Unknown Rival: He doesn't see Edmund's feelings of rivalry, even when he is practically jumping in front of him, all but screaming.
- Upper-Class Twit: Slightly smarter than Edmund, at least in everyday matters, but that is no great feat. (In street smarts, Edmund seems to have gotten the lion's share, always relatively speaking). Having said that, Harry is probably still the sanest member of his family. His main quirk is a seeming obsession with the castle drains.
- More pronounced in the original pilot episode, where Harry is depicted as having much the same childish personality as Percy. He is a total idiot in the main series, but a definitely more organised and articulate one than the pilot's.
- Warrior Poet: Becomes a parody of one, as his battle speech is not likely to satisfy either the poetically-inclined or the plain bloodthirsty ones (unlike his father and uncle), as his tone of voice and his choice of words is more or less like a teacher's to the kindergarteners under his custody with the rather simplistic and half-assed argument about a certain amount of violence that is for a good purpose.
- Warrior Prince: Seen riding into battle at the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485).
Queen Gertrude of Flanders
Edmund's mother and Queen of England. While portrayed as prudish, she had an affair with Douglas McAngus, who may have been the natural father of The Black Adder.
- All Women Are Prudes: Seems to regard sex as a bit of an inconvenience, but it's implied it's less about the act itself, since she had an affair with another nobleman, and more to do with Richard IV just not being very good at it.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: "In a moment...!"
- Behind Every Great Man: The King is a warmonger with one foot in reality at best; Gertrude is not only a reasonable authority figure, but is implied to have magic powers.
- Cloud Cuckoolander
- Comically Missing the Point: All the time.
- Hot Witch: Revealed to be one at the end of "Witchsmeller Pursuivant".
- My Girl Is a Slut: The Queen wasn't alone on those cold winter nights...
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In "Witchsmeller Pursuivant", she pretends to be Comically Missing the Point again when Edmund calls after her when she leaves his jail cell, having already given him the means to escape.
- Playing Gertrude: Averted. Elspet Gray (1929-2013) was 54 years old, when playing the mother of 28-year-old Rowan Atkinson.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: has on odd, non-specifically European accent.
- Women Are Wiser: Compared to her husband at least.
King Richard III
Unlike history has told us, Richard the Third was actually a kind man who was well-loved. And while he did die at Bosworth Field, he was not killed by Henry Tudor, but by an idiotic Yorkist.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Once he realizes no one else can see him and he can't expose Edmund as his killer, his ghost departs to the afterlife, with a few annoyed parting words.
- Bling of War: Wears a very elaborate suit of armor at Bosworth Field, as befits his status.
- Deadpan Snarker: He sums up his experience at the Battle of Bosworth Field thusly:"Somebody cut my head off at one point, but otherwise everything went swimmingly."
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Sort of. Henry VII rewrites history to portray him as being a tyrant who murdered Edward V and the young boy who would become Richard IV, when in fact he loved his relations (except Edmund). Having said that, the series doesn't reveal what did happen to Edward V. Richard might know more than he says...
- I'm Standing Right Here: Edmund is the only person who can see his ghost. As a result, when Richard III sits between Richard IV and Harry at the post-battle banquet, the two talk across him as if he weren't there (which, as far as they are concerned, he isn't).
- Jerkass to One: Contrary to historical writings, Richard is stated a kind and beloved king to everyone. Except his slimy great-nephew Edmund, who he instantly decides he loathes and decides to use as arrow fodder. It seems Edmund just brings this sort of attitude out of everyone. Fittingly this isolated showing of contempt costs him his life.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Leads his men in the Battle of Bosworth Field, and actually wins. Then Edmund gets involved...
- We Have Reserves: Very accepting of the term and the use of arrow fodder during the battle of Bosworth Field. Keep in mind that he says that about his great-nephew, whom he has just met and that is his Establishing Character Moment!
Dougal McAngus, Duke of Argyll
A war hero and friend of the King who gets all of Edmund's Scottish lands. His father may also be the Black Adder's father, through an affair with Queen Gertrude. Dougal and Edmund are suspected to be half-brothers, but they antagonize each other.
- BFS: Uses one against Edmund, breaking his normal-sized sword with a single swing.
- Fiery Redhead: When he is not leading the King's armies against the Turks, he is out hunting or duelling.
- Handsome Lech: To the point that he's even happy to make dirty comments about Queen Gertrude.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: It's implied that he and Edmund are half-brothers via Queen Gertrude's affair with Dogual's father.
- Too Dumb to Live: Baldrick's first "Cunning Plan" actually works on him. Edmund persuades him to put his head in a cannon before it s fired.
- Verbal Backspace: Has a moment after deriding Edmund.McAngus: Same old story; the Duke of Edinburgh and about as Scottish as the Queen of England's tits! [he remembers Gertrude is sat beside him] Och, nae offence your Majesty.
- Violent Glaswegian: When bringing tributes to the queen, he empties a bag of severed heads onto the table. He apologises, stating that it was his overnight bag.
Infanta Maria of Spain
A Spanish princess who Edmund becomes engaged to for political reasons, to her delight, and his horror.
- Abhorrent Admirer: to Edmund.
- Extreme Libido: very sexually aggressive, to the extent of probing Edmund's mother to find out what he's like in bed.
- Gonk: at least Edmund thinks so.
- Incest Is Relative: Implied. King Richard knows the Infanta isn't a virgin because her uncle told him.
- Love at First Sight: is all over Edmund from the second she sees him. The feeling is not mutual.
The Infanta's translator.
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker: translates for the Infanta everywhere, even while she's having sex with Baldrick.
- Mistaken for Gay: thanks to translating the Infanta's declarations of love, before Edmund sees the Infanta. Edmund punches him on the nose, while Percy jokes he must be Jeremy of Estonia.
- Punny Name
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: speaks in a hilariously baffling approximation of a Spanish accent.
Princess Leia of Hungary
A princess that Edmund is betrothed to after an engagement with the Spanish Infanta backfired to the Prince's joy. Edmund was expecting an adult princess, but Leia is actually an underage girl.
- Cheerful Child: Almost too cheerful. She doesn't seem worried about her husband being burnt alive in "Witchsmeller Pursuivant".
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Leia appears as Edmund's wife in two episodes, but is not part of the season finale and does not die with the rest of the royal family. She is simply never mentioned again. How exactly Prince Edmund had descendants is unclear since his wife was still pre-pubescent when he died, but it's assumed that Lord Blackadder et al are descended from illegitimate offspring.
- MayDecember Romance: Only about 11 when hastily married to Edmund. He does show some actual affection for her, although it's clear that nothing sexual ever took place.
- Morality Pet: Edmund is noticeably nicer towards her than he is towards anyone else. Shortly after their wedding, Edmund decides that she is too young for him to bed. So he spends their wedding night by narrating bedtime stories to Leia, about bears, and elves, and fairies.
The Witchsmeller Pursuivant
An overdramatic witch hunter who puts the Black Adder on trial.
- Amoral Attorney: Has no qualms using obviously ludicrous evidence and arguments to get the verdict he wants.
- Asshole Victim: After trying to sentence Edmund and his friends to death for petty reasons, you'd be hard-pressed to feel sorry for him when he ends up being burnt alive.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Overhears Edmund making some obviously empty threats against him, and so gets Edmund, along with Baldrick and Percy, all sentenced to burn at the stake.
- Establishing Character Moment: When meeting Prince Harry he claims that he "serves two purposes — to protect the good, and to crush evil". He demonstrates this by pulling out two eggs, one with "good" and one with "evil" written on them — and proceeds to crush them both, claiming that "sometimes that which seems good turns out to be evil" when Harry points this out. In actuality, however, this shows that he really doesn't care about whether or not the people he's burning actually are witches.
- Evil Is Petty: He will quite gleefully frame people for witchcraft and see them burned for the most minor of infractions against him. And Edmund insulted him within earshot...
- Insane Troll Logic: You could fill a book with the amount of insane troll logic he uses to accuse Edmund, Baldrick, and Percy of being witches. It would include ducks, carrots, cats, horses and poodles.
- Karmic Death: He gets burned to death, as he did to so many (likely innocent) people before him, by what is implied to be the one real witch that he ironically never suspected.
- Kick the Dog: He interrogates Edmund's horse to death in order to obtain a signed confession that Edmund is the servant of Satan.
- Large Ham: Has a legitimate claim to being the largest ham in the entire Blackadder series, rivalling even the likes of Richard IV and General Melchett.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Depicted as a sadistic maniac who falsely accuses and burns people for witchcraft in droves, intentionally out of personal spite using pure lunacy. He ends up burned alive by what is heavily implied to be real witchcraft he overlooked.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In his first appearance, he is cloaked in a crowd of peasants with glowing red eyes the only part of his face visible.
- Sinister Schnoz: Edmund even calls him "Old Big Nose", and comes to regret it when he's singled out as the Witchsmeller's first victim.
- Skunk Stripe: His Wild Hair is a mixture of black and white, making him look like a scary animal.
- Smarter Than He Looks: He is at first established as a standard maniacal witch hunter. As Edmund finds out the hard way however, he isn't that deluded and knows when he's being insulted. Some of his convictions are in fact intentional frame ups, simply because he didn't like the poor bugger.
- The Witch Hunter: Although this job appears to consist of convicting people he doesn't like on farcical evidence. He manages to completely miss the only confirmed witch in the kingdom, to his cost.
The Black Seal
After Prince Edmund is stripped of his titles, he decides to recruit the most evil men in England to overthrow his father.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Sir Wilfred Death, by virtue of his knighthood, and Guy de Glastonbury, by virtue of his politesse.
- Bastard Bastard: Sean, the Irish Bastard.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Apparently Jack Large is not above bull-buggering.
- Black Knight: Sir Wilfred Death, if his "sir" is a genuine Knight title.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The whole lot of them."May good thrive!"
"OVER OUR DEAD BODIES!"
- Carnival of Killers: The Black Seal was their rather inventive name.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Edmund has a hard enough time keeping them in check, but when they realise that The Hawk is the biggest bastard of them all, they turn on Edmund in an instant.
- Depraved Dwarf: Jack Large, or Unspeakably Violent Jack, as he's better known.
- Dirty Old Monk: Do not entrust Friar Bellows with your daughter's chastity.
- Dragon-in-Chief: For Edmund. To be precise they aren't wilier than him, but their toughness, sadism and cruelty faaaar outclass Edmund's so they easily overshadow and overrule him.
- The Dreaded: Excluding Sir Wilfred, the others are terrified of Jack Large. Horses whinny in terror at the mere mention of his name.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Not exactly standards, but the rest of the crew is scared when Sir Wilfred suggest taking Jack as the Sixth member, because his notoriety precedes him. Subverted once they meet him though, they find him an okay fella and get along fine and it turns to Arson, Murder, and Admiration.
- Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: They get along well with each other (excluding Edmund) despite (or because of) being a bunch of Card Carrying Villains.
- Evil Is Petty: Sean the Irish bastard seems to be known as a bastard specifically because of this, robbing the blind while they're begging.
- Faux Affably Evil: Guy de Glastonbury is perfectly polite and charming when holding up travellers for their money and their life.
- Gargle Blaster / Immune to Drugs: Sean the Irish Bastard gets up after being poisoned, proclaiming the spiked wine to have "a bit of a sting in its tail" before drinking a second cup and dying.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Three-Fingered Pete sports a large scar across his cheek and, true to his name, is missing two fingers.
- The Highwayman: Guy de Glastonbury is one of these, though he prefers to kill the people afterward; as he puts it "Your money and your life".
- Hot-Blooded: Jack Large, a singularly vicious brawler manages to be even more hot-blooded than the rest of them.
- Hypocritical Humour: Friar Bellows, a supposed minister, gets so fed up with everyone else's hot-blooded attitudes interrupting Blackadder's attempts to explain what's what that he takes the Lord's name in vain to get them to shut up.
- Ironic Nickname: Edmund tries call Jack Large "Large Jack" (a sort of reverse Little John) but Jack reacted with fury on how it was about his height (or lack thereof.)
- Jerkass: Sean the Irish Bastard didn't get his name because of his parentage, but rather because he's a real bastard (it's why Sir Wilfred chose him). He's introduced stealing from blind beggars.
- Legion of Doom: The six most evil men in the land... and Edmund.
- Mister Big: Jack Large, a in-joke regarding the famously huge "Little John".
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Several of them, most notably Sir Wilfred Death.
- Only Sane Man: Friar Bellows is the only one of them capable of shutting up long enough to listen to Edmund's plan, and points out a messanger with the Black Plague would kill them.
- The Red Baron: Jack Large is also known as "Unspeakably Violent Jack, the Bull-Buggering Beast Killer of No Fixed Abode".
- Running Gag: A sound of a bottle being uncorked follows Sean the Irish Bastard wherever he goes.
- Self-Made Orphan: Most of them murdered their own families, although the Friar killed Sean's.Sean: Good on you, Father!
- Sinister Minister: Friar Bellows has a lust for virgins and for murder (and he still has nothing on the Baby Eating Bishop Of Bath And Wells from II.)
- Token Minority: Sean the Irish Bastard.
- Too Dumb to Live: Sean actually survives the first cup of poison, the only person to do so, gets up and has a second one because he "liked the sting in its tail". That one finishes him off.
- Villainous Friendship: They hate Edmund but all seem to like one another really well. Sean is perfectly happy to hear the Friar killed his much-hated family for him.
- Villain with Good Publicity: If anything, the Friar knows how to to act like a good Samaritan in front of his God-fearing and yet gullible flock. It is easy for him to then backstab them.
- Weapon of Choice:
- Cool Sword: Sir Wilfred Death
- The Archer: Three-Fingered Pete is not restricted by the number of his fingers or by good sportsmanship.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Guy de Glastonbury carries a small crossbow.
- Chain Pain: Friar Bellows seems to use his rosary as a garroting weapon, given that he brandishes it when the others have drawn their weapons.
- Knife Nut: Sean goes for sneak-attacks in shadowy narrows therefore he prefers something discreet and swift. Even though drinking makes him everything but.
- Extremity Extremist: Jack, who favours his fists and his feet. And his head.
Phillip "The Hawk" of Burgundy
The smartest and meanest man in England, and Edmund's childhood rival who returns after fifteen years at France. His criminal record and superior intelligence leads the "Black Seal" to betray the Black Adder.
- Beard of Evil: In contrast to the clean-shaven Edmund.
- Big Bad: He becomes the undisputed leader of the Black Seal as he is the evilest and most ambitious one, effortlessly replacing Edmund.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Is very fond of dishing these out.
- Diabolus ex Nihilo: Is never mentioned until about halfway through the last episode of the first series, when Edmund mentions him as being his greatest adversary. Seconds later he appears in person, and immediately takes over as the bad guy.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "The Thrush".
- Eviler Than Thou: how he wins the allegiance of the Black Seal.
- Large Ham: Has a dramatic way of speaking. When he tells Edmund his motive for revenge, he punctuates it by swinging his sword around.
- Latex Perfection: He somehow disguises himself as a tiny old Morris dancer, but when he removes his disguise Edmund still doesn't recognise him until he removes his fake bushy eyebrows.
- Near-Villain Victory: His efforts actually do result in the death of the entire Plantagenet family... except only indirectly, thanks to Percy's stupidity, and it ends up being Henry Tudor who seizes the vacant throne.
- Red Baron: "The Hawk" (and in his youth, the notably less impressive "The Thrush").
- Self-Made Orphan: Murdered his entire family which could be the reason for his exile.
Henry VII Of England
The head of the House of Tudor and Richard's rival for the throne of England, Henry Tudor loses the Battle Of Bosworth Field, but manages to escape capture thanks to Edmund's incompetence and greed, and goes into hiding.
- Consummate Liar: Even assuming he is a decent ruler, it does not extend to his recalling of the historical events that he participated in.
- Foregone Conclusion: History has already recorded his reign and the first episode explains how his rule came about, so his survival is never in question.
- Historical Domain Character: Like Richard III, Henry Tudor was one of the historical kings of England and the first of the Tudor dynasty (his son became the famous Henry VIII).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He sounds like this compared to the bloodlust of Richard III and IV but judging by his actions after seizing power, it might not be true. Like a lot of other things...
- Starter Villain: Only serves as an antagonist for the first part of the first episode, and has no influence on later events.
- Written by the Winners: After taking the throne, Henry rewrote the history books, erasing Richard IV's reign entirerly and claiming that he had won the Battle of Bosworth field and reigned ever since. He also took the opportunity to demonize Richard III as a psychotic, deformed madman.
- "Not to worry my, lord, the arrow didn't in fact enter my body... But by a thousand to one chance my willy got in the way.''
- Ambiguously Gay: He gives a very long and passionate kiss to Percy when he doesn't recognize him in a dress and flirts with him, and is quick to agree to marry Blackadder in place of his runaway bride.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: "... You said 'get the door'."
- Bumbling Sidekick: A well-loved example.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Blackadder says either he (Edmund) makes a thousand pounds in a day or gets murdered, Baldrick says he'll have to get murdered.
- Gag Penis: Shaped like a turnip apparently.
- Genius Ditz: Considerably stupider than his great-grandfather, but retained some level of streetsmarts and cunning that his descendants never saw, and Blackadder did seem to have more faith in him to carry out schemes than he had in Percy.Baldrick: What, have you got a plan, My Lord?
Blackadder: Yes I have, and it's so cunning you could brush your teeth with it! All I need is some feathers, a dress, some oil, an easel, some sleeping draught, lots of paper, a prostitute, and the best portrait painter in England.
Baldrick: I'll get them right away, My Lord! (rushes out)
(sure enough, in the next scene he returns with everything on Blackadder's hastily recited list. Well, except for the prostitute. Fortunately, Percy is able to fill that role.)
- Identical Grandson: In looks if not brains.
- Old Retainer:Baldrick: I've been in your service since I was two and a half, my lord.
Blackadder: Well, that must be why I'm so utterly sick of the sight of you.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: His ancestor was actually quite intelligent. This Baldrick started the grand tradition of idiocy in the family. Although he's still considerably smarter than the latter Baldricks.
- Zany Scheme: They're really not that cunning. Sometimes his plans do have a twisted logic to them, such as his plan to dress a bull as a cockerel and bet on it in the cock fights, as it would look so strange nobody else would back it.
Lord Percy Percy, Heir to the Duchy of Northumberland
- "Oh, Edmund, could it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a lump of purest green?"'
- Butt-Monkey: Often gets the worst end of Blackadder's schemes. The worst is undoubtedly when he has to sleep with the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
- Expy: Of Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
- Flat Character: Much to McInnerny's frustration. By the end of this series he felt the character's potential had been completely exhausted and declined to reprise the role in the third series (he only did a one-shot role), though he returned as a regular in the fourth thanks to getting a completely different one.
- Identical Grandson: To the original Percy.
- Upper-Class Twit: Although he's not ill-natured.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: But only in one direction. Percy thinks that he and Edmund are best friends and would give his last coin to him, and cheerfully laughs off Edmund's constant, withering (and totally earnest) insults as nothing more than a sign of Edmund's "wit".
Queen Elizabeth "Queenie" I
- Adult Child: She acts much like a spoiled little girl, even talking like one.
- Alternate History: Murdered by Evil Prince Ludwig, who spent the rest of his life pretending to be her.
- Ax-Crazy: She enjoys beheading everyone and anyone for the slimmest of reasons. She just has other people do the beheading for her.
- Big Bad: While Blackadder serves her, she tends to provide the primary threat for most characters in the season. The episode "Head" showcases it more than any other, with characters being pushed to their limits through is entire duration trying to save what the title says.
- The Caligula: One of her favorite pastimes is to threaten her courtiers with summary execution.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: "I'm going to have one drink, and then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you." Cut to next morning, and Queenie is as plastered as everyone else.
- The Ditz: This doesn't make her much less of a threat though, only easier to lie to.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: You better think her jokes and pranks are funny or else...One of which is the hilarious idea of pretending to sentence someone to beheading.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Very fond of choppy-choppy.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She's perfectly willing to mutilate any woman who might be prettier than her. Especially if they're interested in Blackadder.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Played for laughs. The portrayal uses and exaggerates all of Elizabeth's negative qualities and none of the positive ones.
- Mood-Swinger: Goes from childish to flirty to homicidal in an instant.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Sometimes it seems she's not quite as dim as she acts.
- OOC Is Serious Business: The end of "Beer" shows what happens when Queenie gets really angry. No tantrum-throwing, no shouting, just cold, sinister fury.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Always in the costume seen in her portraits.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Never seen doing any actual governing. This may be for the best.
- Psychopathic Manchild: A naughty schoolgirl at heart... a naughty schoolgirl with the power of life and death over Britain.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: "Who's queen?" It should be pointed out, the 'rule' in this case is whether elephants are grey... or orange.
- Upper-Class Twit: A very dangerous version.
- Yandere: She has a massive crush on Blackadder. Doesn't make her any less willing to consider killing him because she'd find it funny.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Even more so than Queenie. She spends most of her time expounding on the bodily details of Queenie's infancy, rather than anything relevant to the rest of the characters.
- Dirty Old Woman: Blackadder describes her as a "sad, insane old woman with an udder fixation."
- Embarrassing First Name: Bernard. Her siblings are named Donald, Eric and Basil. She doesn't seem that bothered by it.
- Everyone Calls Her Nursie: No wonder.
- Expy: Of the traditional portrayal of the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet note .
- Gender-Blender Name: Bernard, yeah. She also had three sisters: Donald, Eric and Basil.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: She's a far less sane version of Elizabeth's real nanny, Blanche Parry.
- Old Retainer: She's been with Elizabeth since birth; perhaps that's why she's the only person the Queen never threatens to execute.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: His "relationship" with Flossie the sheep...
- Friendly Enemy: He and Blackadder might be rivals, but still maintain a certain tolerance for each other, seeing as they only have each other to turn to for intelligent company.
- The Good Chancellor: Often seen trying to keep the queen's more psychotic impulses in check.
- Not So Above It All: Turns out to be as fond of boozing it up as the next man. And, of course, Flossie.
- Only Sane Man: Along with Blackadder, he also tends to steer towards this, obviously humouring Queenie throughout the series. He's still considerably more loopy, however, especially once we learn about a past affair involving a sheep... that wasn't quite as it seemed.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Was The Rival to Blackadder.
- The Upper Crass: Seems to be of a high-class background (like most officers of the time). He's also a boisterous, slaphappy, oblivious dolt.
- The Ace: "The best sword... the best shot... the best sailor... and the best kisser in the kingdom."
- Anything That Moves: He hits on Baldrick.
- Badass Mustache: His magnificent blonde moustache.
- Blasphemous Boast: "Still worshipping God? Last I heard, He started worshipping me!"
- The Casanova: Known as the best kisser in the kingdom.
- The Cast Showoff: Rik Mayall's recollection of the role was that he asked to get more laughs in the last 3 minutes than anyone got all episode.
- Dynamic Entry: Swings down from the ceiling, smashes Percy through a door, and steals Blackadder's fiancée, all in about five minutes.
- Gentleman Adventurer: He puts the man in the gentle.
- Handsome Lech: He puts the hand in the some lech.
- Large Ham: He bursts in and steals the entire episode in a single scene.
- Memetic Badass: In universe example. Referred to as the best swordsman, the best shot and the best kisser in the kingdom.
- Really Gets Around: Does he ever have breaks?
- The Upper Crass: He's an aristocrat in Elizabethan England in season 2, then a World War I squadron leader (and still an aristocrat) in season 4. In both cases, he's a boozing, farting, womanizing bro.
- Verbal Tic: WOOF!
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Changes into Kate's wedding dress when he runs away with her.
- Bifauxnen: "Bob" is attractive enough that she manages to catch the eye of the staunchly heterosexual Blackadder even before the big reveal.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The only things she did that even remotely resemble disguising as a man is cut her hair slightly shorter and call herself "Bob". Still fooled Edmund though.
- Shout-Out: To Shakespeare's frequent use of crossdressing women as well as is frequent use of Kate as a name for feisty young women.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Disguises herself as a man to get a job to support her father, who preferred her to become a prostitute.
Captain Redbeard Rum
- Achievements in Ignorance: Somehow managed to navigate to Australia despite not knowing how to get from England to France.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost both his legs to sharks long before meeting Blackadder.
- The Alcoholic: Not that finding alcoholic seamen was difficult in those days.
- Captain Crash: Does not have the slightest sense of navigational ability, his reputation as a captain revolves mostly around sailing around the Isle Of Wight until everyone gets dizzy, then head back to England.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rum gives his life so that his fellow sailors would live... and the natives they'd found would have something to go with their potatoes.
- Large Ham: Tom Baker, playing a mad, drunken captain.
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: "You have a woman's [x], m'lord!"
- Miles Gloriousus: He's got a dozen stories of ridiculously far-fetched survival in improbable situations. Whether they've actually happened is... pretty unlikely.
- No Sense of Direction: He has no idea how to find France. Y'know, that country right next to Britain? With him at the helm, the ship winds up in the middle of nowhere, and it takes several months to get back.
The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells
- Arson, Murder, and Admiration:Bishop: You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church?Edmund: No, I could never get used to the underwear.
- Ass Shove: The ultimate fate of anyone who doesn't pay their loans. "It's POKER TIME!"
- Big Bad: In the episode "Money" where he appeared he gave the Queenie a run for her money as an individual threat with authority, or more accurately he gave Edmund a run for his money that almost ended with Edmund despairing and even giving a dejected goodbye to the Queenie and Melchett.
- Child Eater: No children, Blackadder? In that case, he'll skip breakfast and get down to business.
- Dirty Old Monk: A self-proclaimed colossal pervert who regularly plays "Nuns and Novices" with prostitutes.
- The Dreaded: Has enough of a reputation that name-dropping him is apparently a good way to get rid of unwanted visitors. Unless he is the unwanted visitor.
- Eats Babies: After drowning them during christenings.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He is only ever referred to as the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells.
- Extreme Omnisexual: Summed up here:"You see, I am a colossal pervert. No form of sexual depravity is too low for me. Animal, vegetable or mineral, I'll do anything to anything."
- Fat Bastard: Unsurprisingly given his dietary habits. But don't call him "Fatso" if you know what's good for you.
- Incoming Ham: "I AM THE BABY EATING BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS!"
- Large Ham: Possibly the hammiest character in all of Series 2, matched only by Prince Ludwig and Lady Whiteadder.
- Loan Shark: Assistant manager of the Bank of the Black Monks of St. Herod ("Banking with a smile and a stab"). Their motto: "Repayment or revenge." He admits to Blackadder that he hates it when people pay up, as he rather enjoys what he gets to do to those who don't.
- Sinister Minister: He visits prostitutes, eats children, and kills people who don't pay their debts by shoving red-hot pokers up their backsides. And this is all Played for Laughs.
- Villain with Good Publicity: In spite of the aforementioned baby-eating, he's apparently of good standing with the Queen and his parishioners. "As far as my flock is concerned, my one vice is a tipple before evensong." Blackadder gets the upper hand by endangering his reputation.
Prince Ludwig the Indestructible
- The Bad Guy Wins: Succeeds in killing the entire court of Elizabeth I and, apparently, successfully impersonating her for the rest of "her" reign.
- Berserk Button: Don't make fun of his complexion.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He identifies himself in letters as "The ''Evil Prince Ludwig".
- Disney Death: Seemingly killed by Blackadder, but obviously not successfully — there's a reason he's called the "Indestructible".
- Embarrassing Nickname: Shorty-Greasy-Spot-Spot.
- Evil Gloating: Prone to it, much to Blackadder's annoyance."Typical master criminal, loves the sound of his own voice.""Gloating is a sign of insecurity, Ludwig. Stop it."
- The Evil Prince: Bond villains should get their due.
- Freudian Excuse: He wants to take over the world because... he was bullied at school."When I am King of England, no one will ever dare call me 'Shorty-Greasy-Spot-Spot' again!"
- Funetik Aksent: He writes his ransom note in one.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Spots a classic villain hairdo, slicked-back hair.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has long diagonal scars all over his face.
- Kaiserreich: He's the stereotypical German megalomaniac.
- Karma Houdini: Gets away with at least two counts of rape by deception, kidnapping Edmund and Melchett for ransom, killing the entire main cast and overthrowing the throne of England.
- Large Ham: Which will cause some deja vu (because of the actor) in the following season.
- Master of Disguise: Edmund actually uses this against him. Not that it makes a difference.
- Made of Iron: He's not called Prince Ludwig the Indestructible for nothing.
- No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me: Parodied, since characters past "interactions" with him involved him disguised in a different gender and species.
- Smug Snake: To his chained captives of course. He ends up justifying it however.
- Spotting the Thread: Blackadder recognizes him because his costume is too good. (He's impersonating Nursie as a cow and makes the fatal mistake of wearing a costume that looks like a cow, rather than some sort of ungulate with three udders.)
- Vocal Dissonance: In the tag to the "Chains" episode."Now this is a disguise I'm really going to enjoy...if I can just get the voice right."
Blackadder The Third
Underscrogsman-Lord "Sod-off" Baldrick
- Bumbling Sidekick: Natch. He screws up Blackadder's plan to keep the Prince on the civil list when he is coerced into voting against him and spends £400,000 that Blackadder intended to keep for himself on a turnip.
- Butt-Monkey: He has to endure Blackadder's constant abuse and being dragged along in interactions with more dangerous people.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He has an obsession with turnips.
- The Ditz: So much so that he considers becoming a professional Village Idiot. Unfortunately, he attended the final interview, thus losing the job to the bloke who didn't come.
- The Dragon: A particularly incompetent one to Blackadder.
- Flanderization: In Blackadder II, Baldrick merely found turnips amusing phallic symbols. In this series the acquisition of turnips is his entire raison d'etre.
- Hidden Depths: He knows quite a few things about current events.
- Identical Grandson: Although he did lose the beard.
- Manchild: He's very childish, believes in fairies, and thinks that dead souls are freckles on the nose of the Giant Pixie.
- The Pigpen: He's so filthy that Blackadder describes his clothing as the "Dung Collection" with matching hairball accessories, before comparing his trousers to Pandora's Box.
- Took a Level in Dumbass once again.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Turnips, to the point of spending £400,000 (supposed to be spent on bribing the Lords) on a giant one, which Edmund promptly smashes on Balders' head.
- Zany Scheme: When awaiting execution by the French, his scheme is to wait until their heads have been cut off before they spring into action.
George Augustus Frederick, The Prince Regent
- Angst? What Angst?: Invoked. After Amy Hardwood is hanged, he wails in dismay for about thirty seconds before he asks about breakfast.
- Casanova Wannabe: Played with; for someone who repeatedly complains about never getting any action with women, he does very little to actually try and secure it, and only even considers marriage when it becomes obvious that he needs to marry into money. When he is trying to woo Amy Hardwood, however, his attempts prove incredibly vulgar and off-putting, forcing Blackadder to step in and do the wooing on his behalf.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He believes that plays are real. There was a time that he yelled out "Look behind you, Mr. Caesar!". Then he ordered the police to arrest one actor for murdering another character.
- Comeback Tomorrow: Subverted, given what he thinks is a clever comeback. (See the quote.)
- The Ditz: The guy is outsmarted by Baldrick and can barely make it through a day without Blackadder's help.
- Historical Beauty Update: Actually, paintings of young George aren't so bad◊ (keeping in mind that it's painted to a romantic ideal rather than a true representation of the idiosyncratic facial qualities of the person in question) but he certainly didn't look like Hugh Laurie.
- Historical Downgrade: The real George IV had many flaws, but stupidity was not one of them.
- Informed Flaw: Much is made of his supposed fatness, and while the historical Prince George was indeed quite the pig, the same can't be said for Hugh Laurie.
- It's All About Me: He thinks it's terrible that Blackadder is about to be murdered by the original lexicographer and his posse because he'll have to find a new butler. And when he does try to help, he spends most of the night thinking up a joke about belching rather than anything useful.
- Kind Hearted Simpleton: For all his faults, Prince George is very jovial and good natured. He isn't mean spirited, just oblivious and self-centred.
- Large Ham: HURRAH! To be expected of a pig-head after all. And the actor of Prince Ludwig.
- Manchild: One who is unable to even dress himself (at one point, it took him a week to put on his pants by himself and he STILL couldnt figure it out). He also has an incredibly juvenile sense of humor and uses the first dictionary to look up rude words.
- No Hero to His Valet: To no one, actually. Literally everyone, except his loony father, can tell what a complete moron the prince is.
- Not a Morning Person: When woken up and told it is three in the afternoon, he says, "Thank God, I thought I'd overslept."
- Pretty Boy: It's a young Hugh Laurie with make-up, Gorgeous Period Dress, big eyes and sharp cheekbones. Of course this only counts when the loudmouthed idiot isn't saying or doing anything.
- Prince Charming / Prince Charmless: Debatable. While he is a crass, dense, loudmouthed buffoon with "all the intellect of a jugged walrus and all the social graces of a potty", he has been known to have seduced a pair of bombshells once, something that cost him his life.
- Royal Brat: Even though he's a grown man, he often throws hissyfits and is totally self-absorbed.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Literally incapable of putting on his own trousers without Blackadder's help.
- Too Dumb to Live: He nearly dies when he assumes that a bomb thrown at him by an anarchist is All Part of the Show, and has to be talked out of swanking around Revolutionary France in full princely regalia. And then he provokes the Duke of Wellington into killing him for saying that he's the real prince after Blackadder survives the duel. Wellington doesn't believe him, but he's so outraged at the "insult" to the "prince" that he shoots George on the spot.
- Upper-Class Twit: And has more than a few similarties to Bertie Wooster, (who was also played by Hugh Laurie).
- All Love Is Unrequited: At one point she confesses hoping that Blackadder would settle down with her and they would await the slither of tiny Adders. Blackadder responds that he'd rather start a family with Baldrick than with her.
- Ascended Extra: Mrs. Miggins Pie Shop was mentioned once in Blackadder II, presumably owned by her ancestor. Here the pie shop is not only a recurring location, but she is a supporting character.
- Different in Every Episode: Her costuming and coffeeshop usually reflect whatever subject the plot is centered on — in "Duel and Duality" she wears tartan, in "Nob and Nobility" the shop is infested with exiled Frenchman and she's changed the menu to reflect it, and "Sense and Senility" has her in heavy stage makeup.
- Lethal Chef: Blackadder calls her coffee "hot brown water with grit in it" and her "French" menu uses horse's willies as sausages, and her "Scarlet Pimpernel Sauce" is made of frogs.
Prime Minister William Pitt, the Younger
- Arch-Enemy: Immediately sets himself up as this to Prince George, by attempting to remove him from the civil list and impoverish him. Though his attempt fails thanks to the House of Lords, and Pitt's never seen on-screen again after the first episode, he and George apparently remain sworn enemies.
- Insufferable Genius: For a certain value of "genius" of course, considering he's evidently an extremely skilled politician, but still has a pretty limited education seeing how he became Prime Minister in his mid-late teens. Either way, he more than nails down the "insufferable" part of the trope, constantly bombarding Blackadder and the Prince with juvenile insults whenever they speak, and only comes off as the lesser of two evils due to George being even more obnoxious and completely clueless.
- Not So Above It All: While he rightfully points out the shocking amount that Prince George spends on frivolous items, Pitt encourages his younger brother to bribe and intimidate people in the Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election.
Dr. Samuel Johnson
- Ax-Crazy: Spending ten years writing his dictionary — during which both his parents died, his wife cheated on him on an industrial scale, none of which he paid the slighted attention to — has made him more than a little unhinged, and he's quite prepared to kill anyone who lets anything happen to it.
- Berserk Button: As you'd expect, having anything happen to the dictionary he spent ten years writing sets him off to the point of being ready to commit murder. Finding out that he's missed a word as common as "sausage" out of the dictionary also causes him to storm out in anger.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Deems making a copy of his dictionary to be "time-consuming and completely unnecessary" considering he doesn't intend to lose it, damage it, or have some moronic servant throw it on the fire. Which proves more than a little problematic when the latter ends up happening anyway.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The quote above is how he tells George that he's pleased about having finished his dictionary the previous night.
- Tempting Fate: Proudly proclaims that he's not left a single word out of his dictionary. Even ignoring the Perfectly Cromulent Words that Edmund throws his way, it turns out that he missed "aardvark" and "sausage".
Lord Topper and Lord Smedley
- Crazy-Prepared: The two were apparently leaving nothing to chance in their gambit to catch Blackadder out as a fraud, with Topper adopting a very convincing disguise as the Count de Frou-Frou, and evidently getting Smedley to act as back-up in case anything went wrong at the French embassy. The only thing they failed to plan for was Blackadder weaponizing the suicide pills that Topper brought along.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite initially appearing to be a pair of Upper Class Twits, Topper is in fact the Scarlet Pimpernel, and Smedley is his sidekick. And... then they turn out to be moronic enough to fail to anticipate any poison from the hand of established enemies.
- Dramatic Unmask: They each get one, with Smedley throwing off his disguise as Madame Guillotine in order to rescue Blackadder and Baldrick, and then Topper removing his disguise as the Count de Frou-Frou to blow the whistle on Blackadder's scheme.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Topper's bringing along suicide pills ends up getting both him and Smedley killed, albeit Blackadder didn't realize who the latter was when he poisoned him.
- Too Dumb to Live: Lampshaded by Blackadder after he accidentally fatally poisons Smedley by giving him wine laced with suicide pills, and then Smedley proves unable to realize that he's experiencing the effects of the pills right as he's describing them. Fortunately, Topper also turns out to share this tiny character flaw when Blackadder needs to dispose of him.
David Keanrick and Enoch Mossop
- Hypocrite: They both mock the speech that Blackadder prepared for the Prince Regent — the Real Life counterpart of which is widely regarded as one of the real Prince George's (later George IV's) greatest speeches — and then do a reading of their hideously awful self-penned play The Bloody Murder of the Foul Prince Romero and his Enormously Bosomed Wife.
- Jerkass: While Blackadder's repeatedly mentioning "Macbeth" in their presence naturally drives this Up to Eleven, they already behave in a pretty jerkish fashion towards him even when they first meet in Mrs. Miggins' pie shop.
- Large Ham: To be fair, this is pretty much traditional in British stage acting, but even so these two turn it Up to Eleven, both in their plays and when in the private company of Prince George.
- Money, Dear Boy: In-universe; they talk at length about how important their audience is to them, but immediately blow said audience off for the prestige (and presumably pay) of working with the Prince Regent.
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
- Bad Boss:
- Conditions in his armies are terrible. (Well, those are his conditions and you'll just have to accept them!)
- He's also incredibly abusive to the faux-Blackadder. Of course, it is the inept George who gives himself plenty of reason for punishment.
- Beige Prose: His full account of the Peninsular War is simply "We won. Signed Wellington.".
- BFG: He fights duels with cannons.
- Blood Knight: As Blackadder lies dying (he thinks) and wistfullty yearns for a peaceful world, the Duke asks if he doesn't think that the Duke also wishes for an end to the dirty job of soldiering. Blackadders response is a firm "no".
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his incompetence, bloodlust and general psychopathy, he's still a highly accomplished military man.
- General Failure: His first idea for crushing Napoleon is to send Nelson to Alaska in case Napoleon tries to come around the North Pole. It's Blackadder who suggests harrying him amidships at Trafalgar. That said, considering what we later see in Back & Forth, it seems that he actually is a capable leader once he's had a push in the right direction.
- General Ripper: His regimental crest is two crossed dead Frenchman emblazoned on a mound of dead Frenchmen.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: While the real Wellington was not exactly friendly to servants or the lower classes, he was not known for savagely beating them for the slightest indiscretion, and in fact Napoleon Bonaparte was known for being violent with servants and Wellington held it against him!
- Honour Before Reason: Even when finding that the "Prince" is smarter than rumour has it, Wellington still finds it necessary to kill him. On the other hand, he only cares about the honour, not about the actual death — he's perfectly fine with the Prince after the duel, once honour is satisfied, even though the Prince didnt die thanks to his Pocket Protector.
- Hot-Blooded: So hot that it is safer to keep a distance from him actually.
- Large Ham: His general strategy: Shout, shout, and shout again!
- No Indoor Voice: Because THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO WIN A CAMPAIGN—SHOUT, SHOUT, AND SHOUT AGAIN!
- No Sense of Humor: When it comes to his name and the connection with the famous boot, that is, as his letter to the Prince calling him out makes clear:"Sir, prince or pauper, when a man soils a Wellington he puts his foot in it. (This is not a joke, I do not find my name remotely funny and anyone who does ends up dead.)"
- Overprotective Dad: Uncle, actually. Even though it was his nieces who approached George and took him home to Apsley House, Wellington's vowed to kill anyone who meddles with his family. (Of course, unmarried sex was a much bigger deal back then.)
King George The Third
- 0% Approval Rating: Pretty much every time he's mentioned, everyone talks about how bad a ruler he is, only slightly edged out by his son who doesn't have the defence of insanity to explain his ridiculous behavior.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Inbreeding, encroaching senility and plain old aristocratic lunacy hasn't done him any favors.
- The Ghost: Is mentioned several times over the series, but doesn't appear in person until the last few minutes.
- Historical Domain Character: The actual King of Britain of the era.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Played with; he first appears minutes after his son has been shot by Wellington and tells the disguised Blackadder "this is the first time I've truly felt fatherly towards you". Apparently he's a good enough judge of character to tell what a blundering idiot George is, but not enough to work out how untrustworthy Blackadder is.
Blackadder Goes Forth
Pvt. S. Baldrick
- Anti-Hero: Type I: At least his rank is more proportionate to his skill (less mind) than Melchett's and George's.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Despite his unprecedented idiocy, Baldrick also points out the utter insanity of World War One: at any point, the general soldiery on all sides could have simply banded together and refused to fight any more, and had shown such potential earlier in the war (and the Russian soldiers eventually did). He doesn't know why they don't do it, and nobody can tell him why, either.
- Bumbling Sidekick: The stupidest and foulest Baldrick of all, which is no small feat.
- Deadpan Snarker: Only when he's hungover.
- The Ditz: Hey it doesn't matter since the bullet that wrote his name was in his hands.
- Dumbass Has a Point: See Armor-Piercing Question above.
- Identical Grandson: Identical in not having an idea what he's doing.
- Lethal Chef: "How did you manage to extract so much 'custard' from such a small cat?"
- To be fair, Baldrick's poor cooking skills only reach lethal levels because of the lack of provisions on the front.
- Manchild: Who occasionally asks for his mummy leaving her taxonomic classification open.
- Mythology Gag:
- His first initial is S, which is a Call-Back to the Regency Era Baldrick, whose first name was Sod Off.
- He worked at a factory on Turnip St. The Elizabethan and Regency Baldricks had some anecdotes with turnips.
- No Indoor Voice: He tends to yell out a lot of his lines. Which makes his quiet lamenting in the final episode more poignant.
- The Pig-Pen: The Baldrick line has never been particularly fond of cleanliness but Private Baldrick is easily the filthiest of the bunch. Flashheart looks nauseated standing next to him and after patting him on the shoulder freaks out and wipes his hand on Blackadder's uniform.
- Sole Survivor: All of the Turnip Street Workhouse Pals Battalion are dead, save for him.
- Team Chef: A fairly lethal one. Whenever his food tastes like something disgusting (for instance, dog turds in glue), that's because it's exactly that.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Now to the point of "terminal stupidity".
- Warrior Poet: Well, he tries. His efforts at poetry are disastrous, especially The German Guns (which consists of him repeating the phrase "Boom boom boom!").
- Zany Scheme: Subverted, as we never get to hear what his "cunning plan" to avoid going over the top is. Blackadder admits it couldn't have been any worse than his plan of Obfuscating Insanity.
Lt. The Hon. George Colthurst St. Barleigh, MC
- Actually Pretty Funny: Although Blackadder doesn't admit it aloud.
- Boisterous Weakling: His (apparent) fearlessness is as complete as his survival skills are non-existent.
- Despair Event Horizon: It's very possible he crossed this prior to the series, as the final episode shows he knows he's the last one alive from his social circle-slash-battalion. The way he says that he's scared to actually go over the top while still sporting the same cheery smile might also show Stepford Smiler tendency, a common symptom of going over the DEH.
- Ensign Newbie: As an Upper-Class Twit, he was given a commission automatically upon enlisting. As such, he has little experience in spite of being fighting alongside Blackadder and Baldrick for the last three years.
- Expy: He's Bertie Wooster at war.
- Genius Ditz: He near-enough describes himself as one in "Captain Cook", saying that painting was the only thing he was ever really good at, and he's not lying. When you can get Blackadder of all people to compliment your talent, you're doing something right (even if Blackadder tries using George's skills to his own ends).
- Hidden Depths: He's not as much of a Patriotic Fervor-filled twit as he initially seems — he's a gifted artist and ultimately admits to fear of dying in battle. Also despite said fear of dying in battle (and his near certainty that he will die in the oncoming charge) he imminently refuses to leave the trenches when Melchett offers to take him back to Britain for a boat race, showing just how seriously he takes the whole "King and Country" thing.
- Idiot Ball: Sees nothing wrong with detailing information on secret operations in letters to his uncle in Munich, never once considering the possibility the Germans could intercept the messages.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: Compared to his more spoiled, arrogant form in the third series, this George spends the majority of the series idealistic, selfless and undyingly loyal to Edmund, albeit just as brainless.
- Sole Survivor: In the last episode, he mentions that he joined the Army along with his friends from Cambridge, the "Trinity Tiddlers", and by then, he's the only one left alive of the group. (Which was Truth in Television. The pals battalions were a real thing, and the Great War was the last time friends joining en masse was allowed, as it led to all the youth of whole villages, towns and communities being decimated.)
- Stepford Smiler: It is very possible that his bubbly, cheery demeanor is a way of coping in the hellish war environment. The final episode reveals that he's aware he's the last one left alive from his original circle of friends, and when push comes to shove, he says he's scared, with the same cheery, bubbly smile he usually sports.
- Token Good Teammate: Which makes him different, despite the similarities to his royal ancestor.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Prince George in the previous season is a piggish, over-sexed, arrogant and obnoxious buffoon, whereas Lt. George is more of a naive, nice, friendly young man.
- The Unintelligible: Right up there with General Melchett in speaking in hard to grasp (And possibly made-up) nonsense.George: Tally-ho, pip pip and Bernard's your uncle.Blackadder: In English we say 'Good morning'.
- Upper-Class Twit: Not as upper-class as the Prince, but has the personality down, pat.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Seems blissfully unaware of Captain Blackadder's contempt for him.
- Wham Line: In perhaps a first in television history, it actually occurs mid-line when George's bravado gives way to near panic. Any laughs from the audience for the remainder of the episode are nervous ones at best."I'm... scared, sir."
- Wholesome Crossdresser: For a drag act in a talent show. But General Melchett doesn't realize that's what it is and falls head-over-heels.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He volunteered for the army as soon as the war began, and he wholeheartedly believes in the propaganda rag "King and Country."
Gen. Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, VC, KCB, DSO
- Affably Evil: Melchett is a jolly chap. Sadly, he's too hooked up in his fantasy world to realize that he's pointlessly sending countless soldiers to their deaths. Like Blackadder, he's a veteran of Britain's colonial wars, which tended to be against poorly armed natives, and has zero understanding of modern warfare.
- Badass Mustache: Wears a 'stache so magnificent, he covers it with a hairnet while he sleeps.
- Bad Boss: When Darling said that he needed a convincing injury so that he could spy on a field hospital, Melchett shot his foot on spot. This is easily the least of his crimes.
- Bait the Dog: As noted, he initially seems a lot more amusing and likable than he actually is.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Melchett's played as though he's having the time of his life, and thinks everyone else is, too, with Darling and Blackadder as straight men to his antics. Subverted in the final episode when he sends Darling to his death with barely a thought.
- Expy: Of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, with Lord Kitchener's mustache.
- Expy Coexistence: ...However, Haig himself is referred to several times as Melchett's immediate superior, and makes an appearance in the final episode.
- General Failure: A parody of WW1 Generals, meaning that his particular brand of strategic incompetence wasn't very removed from real life...
- Hot-Blooded: A far cry from his soft-spoken ancestor.
- Hypocrite: Melchett makes a big deal out of Blackadder shooting his pigeon 'Speckled Jim' and then eating it. However, when George was a child, Melchett insensitively killed George's pet rabbit 'Floppsy' all for the sake of rabbit pie.
- Considering the comical nature of General Melchett's character, this may count as Hypocritical Humor.
- Identical Grandson: Obviously of the Melchett of the second season (only in looks), but also an Expy of the Duke of Wellington in the third season, who was also played by Stephen Fry. Wellington was likewise presented as a Hot-Blooded and crazy military man, but unlike General Melchett he was actually a competent (albeit psychotic) commander and a Frontline General.
- Jerkass: Melchett isn't just incompetent, he's totally insensitive to the well-being of others and might even be a sociopath.
- Karma Houdini: Despite senselessly, obliviously ordering countless men to their deaths on the Western Front, including his own very-much-reluctant right hand man, Melchett is the only major character to survive the entire fourth series.
- Large Ham: BAAAAA!!
- Love at First Sight: With "Georgina". He proposes after a few days of knowing her.
- The Neidermeyer: He is distraught by the death of his pigeon "Speckled Jim", yet blissfully uncaring about the fifty thousand men a week dying in the trenches. His bizarre tactics that help expedite the latter include "doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before" (because it's "the last thing they'll expect us to do this time") and "climbing out of [the] trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy". Sadly, both are to some extent Truth in Television.
- Oblivious to Their Own Description: Tells Blackadder his commanding officer would have to be mad to deny Edmund leave after a harrowing ordeal. Blackadder, sensing where this is going, points out Melchett is his commanding officer. And Melchett does deny him leave.
- Pet the Dog:
- His love for his pet pigeon. However, any sympathy he'd get for that is subverted by his callousness toward running over George's rabbit when George was a child, and of course his apathy toward his troops' lives.
- In the last episode, he casually offers George a ticket out of the trenches (and the imminent suicide attack he is about to order).
- Stupid Boss: Like the Queenie a long time ago, it is debatable if this makes him more or less dangerous.
- The Unintelligible: Melchett often speaks in made-up euphemismsMelchett: Well, bugger me with a fishfork! Old Darling, a Jerry morsetapper?
- Token Evil Teammate: The only one from the English side that we see being a threat for people on the same side of the line.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: One of his hobbies.
- Verbal Tic: His "baahing", often interpreted as a Call-Back to his ancestor's "affection" for sheep, but according to Stephen Fry who played him, he had in mind that Melchett had haemorrhoids.
- War Is Glorious: Believes in this trope fanatically, which seems to be why he gets on rather well (Pigeon incident aside) with Blackadder due to him being a frontline soldier, and why he never even imagines he could want out of the insane nightmare. Unfortunately, this is also why he is so utterly callous and blind to the carnage and suffering of the trenches, and why he "rewards" Darling's loyal service by sending him to die on the front lines.
Capt. Kevin Darling, MC
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: At the end where Melchett sends him to combat, Darling pleads as much as he can to be spared. Alas, it doesn't work.
- Anti-Hero: Type V. He is inclined to enjoy having the one person who is in awareness of the darling nature of the name killed.
- Beleaguered Assistant: When Melchett isn't berating him, he's shooting him in the foot.
- Defrosting Ice King: In the last episode to the point of melting into a puddle.
- Desk Jockey: Enjoys being Melchett's personal staff officer, mainly because it minimises his risk of being killed in action. He claims he has a wonderful evening when two lorry loads of paperclips arrive. He's also trying to get transferred to an even easier assignment with the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps.
- Dirty Coward: Subverted. Darling is definitely more of a coward than Captain Blackadder, but a lot less sympathetic. Like Blackadder, Darling will do anything to avoid combat, but he hates Blackadder so much that he would take pleasure at the thought of Blackadder being killed in combat. However, at the very end, he ends up facing death with dignity.
- Everyone Has Standards: Nasty, smug and slimy though he is, the final episode shows Darling at command sitting waiting for the casualty reports for the Big Push to come in, clearly not enjoying it one bit.
- Heroic BSoD: When Melchett sends him to combat.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Compared to Melchett.
- Jerkass: But not an unprofessional one.
- My Girl Back Home: Has a girlfriend called Doris waiting for him back in England. When he arrives in the trench during the final episode he lists the things he'd planned to do when he got back to England, the last of which is "Marry Doris".
- Not So Different: He's basically in the position Blackadder aspires to being: away from the prospect of certain death. When he's transferred to the front, he and Blackadder are a lot more respectful towards each other.
- Precision F-Strike: When he finds out he's being sent to the frontline.Darling: Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'bugger'.
- The Rival: To Blackadder.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: He and Blackadder have a lot in common, but they never miss an opportunity to insult each other and get each other killed. Until it's too late to bother.
- Smug Snake: When he bears bad news to Blackadder, he doesn't hate breaking them to him.
- Twitchy Eye: It took McInnerny a while to shake it after the show was completed.
- Unfortunate Names: Word of God is that the character only began to take shape after they changed his surname from Cartwright. He went from being a formless character to a person steeped in a lifetime's worth of bitterness from being called "Darling" all the time."What is the matter with you today, Darling?!""Darling, you're hysterical."
Squadron Com. The Lord Flashheart
- The Ace: A celebrated war hero.
- Ace Pilot: In this incarnation, he's a parody of that World War I trope.
- Answers to the Name of God: "Yes, I suppose I am."
- Badass Longcoat: Wears a leather longcoat as was the style for pilots at the time.
- Badass Mustache: Probably the reason he grew it in the first place.
- Blood Knight: He's one of the few people to be actually enjoying the war.
- The Casanova: He's very popular among ladies. Men too!
- Even Evil Has Standards: Isn't impressed by Darling's willingness to leave Blackadder for dead.
- Expy: Of Captain Flashman, the protagonist of a series of mock-historical novels.
- For the Lulz: He risks his life to save Blackadder and Baldrick, who he doesn't even like. Why? Just for the hell of it (though when he realises who he's rescuing, he admits he might not have come).
- The Fighting Narcissist: If he could, he would stop fighting for a photo.
- Handsome Lech: He's very handsome, but is still a narcissistic jerk. Not that anyone (except Blackadder) minds.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Young Rik Mayall was a very handsome man, and the brown leather longcoat did absolutely nothing to detract from that.
- Hidden Depths: At one point, it seems like all his behaviour is a facade and he really hates the war... and, then, nope, still a bloodthirsty maniac.
- Identical Grandson: He has the same looks and mannerism as his ancestor in Season 2. About the only difference is that he and Blackadder hate each other this time around.
- Incoming Ham: "HEY GIRLS, LOOK AT MY MACHINERY!"
- Large Ham: He makes sure to be in the spot light everytime he opens his mouth.
- Memetic Badass: In universe example. It wouldn't be him otherwise.
- Pet the Dog: As much of a vainglorious jackass as he generally is, he does happily help Blackadder get revenge on Captain Darling.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: He yells a homophobic slur at The Red Baron's corpse after shooting him.Flashheart: What a poof! Come on!
- Really Gets Around: He apparently got a lot of lovers.Flashheart: Mind if I use your phone? If word gets out I'm missing, five hundred girls will kill themselves. And I wouldn't want them on my conscience, not when they ought to be on my face!
- Talk to the Fist: "Eat knuckle, Fritz!"
- Verbal Tic: WOOF!
Kate, AKA Bob Parkhurst
- The Driver: For Melchett. When Flashheart gets stranded in the trenches he demands she be sent to pick him up, almost certainly so he can hit on her on the way back to HQ.
- Identical Grandson: Well, presumably...
- Paper-Thin Disguise: It doesn't fool Blackadder this time around. When she actually dresses as a girl for a stage show, Melchett and Darling think it is a poor attempt at a drag act. It also doesn't fool Flashheart.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: She dressed up as a man so she could join the army and fight in the war like her brothers. By "Private Plane" she seems to have abandoned the disguise and is seen wearing a women's uniform around HQ.
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen
- Ace Pilot: More than one ace is cheating though so...
- Casting Gag: He often worked with Rik Mayall, and generally was a tormentor to Mayall's characters. In this show, Mayall (playing Flashheart) kills him mid sentence and calls him a poof.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: His planned Fate Worse than Death for Blackadder is to have him teaching at a German girl's school for the rest of his life, completely unaware that that would actually be paradise for Blackadder.
- Europeans Are Kinky: Baldrick's concerns about Germans doing Anything That Moves are proven correct when Richthofen tells him he'll be out 'round the back of the supply bunker if Baldrick's interested...
- Expy: He's obviously supposed to be the equivalent of Ludwig from the second season, but Identical Grandson isn't in play because Laurie is playing a different, also German descended role in this series.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Inverted; The real Manfred von Richthofen was a WW 1 cavalry officer who trained as a pilot once it became clear that cavalry was obsolete, and who then insisted on being a fighter pilot because he didn't want to fly transports, and who then became the highest-scoring ace of the war, with 80 confirmed victories. He once flew his plane through a thunderstorm just to see what it was like, and commented afterwards that he was lucky to get away with it and wouldn't do it again unless ordered to. When he was killed, he wasn't even properly shot down: he was fatally wounded in the chest and went on to land his plane with only light damage, before dying in his seat, before being given a funeral with fully military honours by his enemies. Who wept at the funeral. The fictional Richthofen, while still an Ace Pilot, is an idiot Bond villain type who gets shot. Much funnier, though.
- Kaiserreich: He is very German.
- Red Baron: The Original.
- Smug Snake: One wonders if he is related to Prince Ludwig.
- Straight Gay: Certainly seems to have a thing for Lord Flashheart. He also stands as being the only person (aside from Flasheart) in all Blackadder to proposition Baldrick.
- Unknown Rival: Obsessed with defeating Lord Flashheart, who really doesn't give a shit.
- Wicked Cultured: But an unenlightened one on what constitutes torture.
- Worthy Opponent: How he sees Lord Flashheart. Flash, alas, just sees a poof who needs shooting.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He believes he and Flashheart are locked in a great game of one-upmanship and are worthy opponents and expects them to have a long and friendly chat before a duel to the death. Flashheart just shoots him.
- Asshole Victim: Given her distain for most of her patients and her attempts to frame Darling as a spy For the Lulz, being convicted herself almost seems karmic if still incorrect.
- Hidden Disdain Reveal: Blackadder discovers her true self when she snides about George's idiocy in closed quarters.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Plays simple cloying nurse in public, alone she's almost as witty as Blackadder.
- Red Herring: Blackadder, through elaborate deduction, had her convicted as a spy. It was in fact an unwitting George sending information to his German relatives.
- Uncertain Doom: Whether Blackadder and Darling vindicate her before she meets her end by firing squad is never revealed.
Field Marshal Haig
- Armchair Military: It's clearly been a while since he was last out in the field. His sole appearance in the series sees him standing over a battlefield map and carelessly tossing the soldier figures over his shoulder after they "die".
- General Ripper: Unlike Melchett, who is just too stupid to see how idiotic and ineffectual his tactics are, the model army he plays with indicates that Haig knows full well the massive price in blood that his strategies demand for minor territorial gains, and simply doesn't give a damn.
- I Owe You My Life: Blackadder once saved him from a pygmy who was wielding a deadly mango fruit, and cashes in the favour he's owed years later. Unfortunately for him, Haig just tells him to try the Obfuscating Insanity tactic that he'd already tried and failed with earlier in the episode and then hangs up.
- Karma Houdini: Like Melchett, he not only lives through the war (assuming Blackadder history unfolds like ours), but is highly decorated for his actions during it.