- Curse: Through the wickedness of his sons, Eli lost favor with God and it was prophesied that all men in his family will be ruined. The priests of Nob, most were his relatives, were killed by Saul and his youngest son Abiathar, David's high priest, was exiled by Solomon for supporting a rival to the throne.
- Death by Falling Over: After hearing of his sons' death, he fell from his chair and broke his neck. To be fair, he was already very old.
- Heroic BSoD: Caused him to fall out of his chair and break his neck. Also caused his newly-widowed pregnant daughter-in-law to go into labor prematurely.
The Lord called Samuel: and he answered, "Here am I".
- The Chosen One
- Decoy Protagonist: He has 2 books named after him but he dies before the end of the first book and is replaced by David.
- Last of His Kind: The last of The Judges.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As seen below, he was a Waif Prophet and loyal servant of Eli. Unlike other examples, he does not become evil, but quite formidable, decapitating the King of the Amalekites who Saul spared and terrifying the latter even from beyond the grave.
- Waif Prophet: started as one, when he was a child. It was the promise his mother made with God in exchange for his existence that he would spend his life in God's servitude.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He rebukes Saul for only partially obey the divine command to utterly wipe out the Amalekites (which included their finest animals, which Saul spared).
"For rejecting The Lord's command, He has rejected you as king!"
- Better to Die than Be Killed: He fell on his own sword, because he did not want his enemies to abuse and mock him.
- Beauty Is Bad: He is described as being a beautiful king, although that was when he was young and heroic and he could have fallen into I Was Quite a Looker.
- Broken Ace: Saul (particularly in his prime) was tall, strong, handsome, and a great warrior. He was also plagued with jealousy, paranoia, and some sort of demonic spirit that affected his mood and sleep - and would probably be categorized as a mental illness nowadays.
- Fallen Hero: He was good at first, but let his ego get the worst of him.
- Ignored Epiphany: Admitted that he had treated David evilly and that David had been good to him, but he went right back to trying to kill him.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He didn't take kindly to the fact that God was going to replace him.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Was mortally jealous of David.
- Hypocrite: Had all magic users purged but went to a witch to summon the spirit of Samuel for advice on his what would turn out to be his final battle.
- Large and in Charge: He was noticeably taller than all the other people around.
- Offered the Crown: They don't call him King Saul for nothing.
- Old Soldier- Died fighting at 72.
- Punished for Sympathy: He was rebuked by Samuel for sparing Agag and the best of his animals and thus, God rejects him as King of Israel. This is considering that God told Saul to kill all including the women and children, so one is inclined to sympathise with Saul.
- Refusal of the Call: Was actually scared to be king. He hid when Samuel tried to present him to the people.
"Your love was greater than that of a woman's!"
- Ambiguously Gay: Due to his closeness to David, it has been speculated that he might be attracted to David. In the book, it is not explained if they are just friends or if at least one of them is attracted to the other.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Was caught between his insane father's paranoia of his best friend David.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With David. See above quote from 2 Samuel. Could be that the text was referring to the close bond of friendship between the two, but still...
- Nice Guy
- Tragic Hero: Doomed simply Because Destiny Says So.
- Warrior Prince
And David danced before the Lord with all his might.
- Ambiguously Bi: The story about him falling for Bathsheba is definitive proof that he liked women, but his relationship with Jonathan has been seen to have homoerotic undertones.
- Antagonist in Mourning:
- David's the protagonist, but when his opponent Saul dies he still goes further than most in mourning a man bent on killing him.
- He wept hard for Absalom too. It's understandable though, as he was his son.
- Anti-Hero: He always does what is right. But when he decides not to...
- The Atoner:
- Fasts and prays following God's judgment on him for his adultery and subsequent Uriah Gambit to cover it up; as a result, his life and kingdom are spared but he and Bathsheba lose their first, newborn child and the rest of David's family life is extremely troubled.
- Also many passages within the Psalms attributed to him are quite repentant.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: A Midianite claimed to have killed Saul and handed David Saul's crown, implying that he owes being king to the Midianites. David instead kills him for murdering the king.
- Badass Boast: Tells one to Goliath before killing him:You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and Ill strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORDs, and he will give all of you into our hands.
- Badass Israeli: The original. The "Star of David" is the frame of his shield.
- Balanced Harem: Had one of these. (It's good the be the king!) It's still not enough to stop his cheating heart, though.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family
- Break the Cutie: In his last days, he is described as "no longer feeling warmth". A stark contrast to the happy well-adjusted shepherd boy he once was.
- Combat Pragmatist: He fights to win, from pulling a pistol (metaphorically) and shooting Goliath in the face, to inventing Uriah Gambit to rob Bathsheba away from Uriah, which God promptly called David out.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Brought a gun to a swordfight (metaphorically), then cut Goliath's head off with Goliath's own sword.
- Feeling Their Age: At one point, he becomes too old and too frail to fight in combat.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Fits the mold better than Saul, who was more of a warlord. Also, it is his dynasty that rules in Israel for several generations.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Humble Hero: He admits his wrongdoings and he recognizes his human frailty.
- Intimate Healing: When David was old, he could not get warm, so they got a young girl named Abishag to care for him, which included snuggling up besides him. Oddly, their relationship was not sexual.
- Kid Hero: Given Saul's description of him as a youth, he was probably still in his teens when introduced and when he kills Goliath.
- Kick the Dog:
- Manly Tears: He was a formidable warrior who cried quite a lot.
- Multiple-Choice Past: The book can't quite decide whether he was part of Saul's court before the fight with Goliath or just happened to be visiting his relatives at the time. It seems to alternate. He has two different first meetings with Saul described.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: The hypotenuse being poor Uriah.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Very narrowly averted; The only thing that stopped David from wiping out Nabal's house when he insulted him was quick thinking on Abigail's part. David snaps out of it and thanks God that he was prevented from having such blood guilt on his hands.
- My Greatest Failure: The whole Bathsheba incident.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Did this while in exile before he was crowned king, when the King of Gath (Goliath's hometown) recognized him as an anti-Philistine guerrilla warrior.
- Outdoor Bath Peeping: Infamously saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof.
- Offered the Crown: Again, he's King David
- The Patriarch
- Polyamory: Michal and Bathsheba were just the start; he had eight total plus concubines.
- The Purge: Killed all the men in Saul's family (except Jonathan's son) eligible for succession and forced Saul's daughter Michal to marry him again to force an alliance with the former royal family. His last wishes (textually, if not chronologically) were for Solomon were to kill Joab and Shimei, steward of the house of Saul.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: 1 Samuel, 17:46. "This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you...!".
- Pretty Boy: "And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair countenance."
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: His "Mighty Men" who were mercenaries and outlaws who joined him during his years as a fugitive.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: David had the men who killed Ishbal (Saul's heir apparent) executed.
- Rightful King Returns: Part of the conditions for the Jewish Messiah is being of his bloodline. Given David is estimated to have lived 3000 years ago, had something like 18 wives and concubines, and one of his sons had somewhere around 1000, that's a good chunk of the population, or no-one at all.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: David had a young girl as a ward in his old age who everyone thought was a concubine. One of his sons even asked to marry her, perhaps to subtly lay a claim to the throne. David always denied any claims of her being more than his nurse of sorts.
- Suffer the Slings: Goliath found out the hard way just how deadly they can be.
- Trope Namer: With Goliath.
- Tragic Hero: His sins causes God to decree that he will never know peace as long as he reigns (that will go to Solomon).
- The Unfavorite: Surprisingly, David was this among his brothers, as he was not even invited to the sacrifice that Samuel had invited Jesse and his sons to attend and, the Lord finding none among the sons present to anoint, Samuel asks if there still is another son.
- 20 Bear Asses: Although he only needed to bring back 100. Unless the other hundred were for Jonathon.
- Warrior Poet: Kicks ass, writes poems, dances with his people. He's even got a nickname, "The Sweet Psalmist of Israel", his works can be found in Book of Psalms.
- Weapon of Choice: The slingshot in his youth then Goliath's sword for the rest of his life.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After the above incident with Uriah, Nathan explicitly call him on this. He repents, but it's too late, at least for his first child with Bathsheba.
- What You Are in the Dark: Had an opportunity, at one point during his younger years, to take advantage of Saul being in a compromising position (i.e. in a cave literally with his pants down note ) and kill him to take the throne. Wouldn't do it, and gave his reason essentially as, "He's still the man God chose as king, so until God decides that shouldn't be the case anymore, I'm not touching him.
- Young Conqueror: Became king of Judah at 23.
- Youngest Child Wins: Youngest of eight, and that's just the brothers. He became king of Israel.
Abigail, Wife of David
When Abigail caught sight of David, she at once hastened and got down off the ass and fell upon her face before David and bowed to the earth. She then fell at his feet and said: Upon me myself, O my lord, be the error; and, please, let your slave girl speak in your ears"
- Beauty = Goodness
- Guile Heroine
- Humble Hero
- Shaming the Mob: After her husband Nabal insulted David, David led a couple hundred men back to him, intending to wipe out his household. Abigail placates him with gifts of food and a heartfelt speech.
- Silk Hiding Steel
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
- Nabal, Abigail's first husband, is certainly ugly... at least in personality, though Abigail's beauty is specifically stated.
- Averted with her second husband David. He was quite handsome.
"Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Servants have been leaving their masters more and more these days."
- The Alcoholic
- Deadpan Snarker
- Death of the Hypotenuse
- Meaningful Name: "The Fool", overlapping with Unfortunate Names. According to Abigail, it fit him.
- Self-Disposing Villain: Abigail stops David from slaughtering him and his servants and later dies after a Villainous BSoD.
- Too Dumb to Live: Yes, Nabal, insult the man who went out of his way to protect your flocks and shepherds and only wants a bite of food in return, and who's got armed men accompanying him. That'll win you his respect.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Considered this as David and his men protected him and his goods and yet refused to pay David back with the goodness of sharing his bounty.
- Villainous BSoD: And it killed him.
- Villainy-Free Villain: The only "villainous" thing Nabal did was refusing to pay into David's protection racket when his henchmen suggestively informed him that nothing had been stolen from him and no one hurt (implicitly, so far) while they were in the neighborhood. For this, he was killed, and David's marauders would also have murdered his entire family if not for Abigail pleading for them.
"Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?"
- BFS: David beheaded him with his own sword.
- Also carried a lance whose shaft is described as being as a "weaver's beam". For a modern comparison, this means that the pole of the spear was about as big around as the barrel of a regulation baseball bat. And the spear's head is estimated to have weighed at least fifteen pounds. In other words, this spear was absurdly large.
- The Brute
- Combat by Champion: It seems to have been the Philistines' custom to offer this to opponents as a way of quickly deciding a battle. Didn't go so well this time.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivered by the much smaller David.
- David vs. Goliath: The Trope Maker.
- Giant Mook: was stated to be around 10 feet — tall even by modern standards and beating the current world record by around a foot.
- Glass Cannon: It only took one shot from a sling to kill him.
- Notably, though, a sling is actually a pretty deadly weapon. A stone through your eye socket, like what Goliath got, would be just as deadly as an arrow or a bullet.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Depending on how you interpret a passage in Genesis, he may or may not be half angel/demon.
- Off with His Head!: his fate after the battle.
"If I had only been a judge, then this land would have justice".
- Asshole Victim: Both perpetrator and victim in this trope.
- Evil Prince
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Avenged his sister's rape by killing his half-brother then goes off to plot against David's rule.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Amnon did have it coming, gotta say. Poor Tamar.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: He avenged Tamar by murdering Amnon.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He was as handsome as his father and had a long hair. His long hair makes him trapped to a tree and exposes him to be killed by Joab.
- Morality Pet: Arguably Tamar, though she disappears from the story before he gets really bad.
- Pretty Boy: The most beautiful man in Israel.
- Rape and Revenge: Killed his half-brother, Amnon, who had raped his sister Tamar.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Not him, but one of David's advisers who said he would "serve you as I served your father".
- Sympathetic Murderer: Given the circumstances, he manages to be a sympathetic fratricide.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He got quite a following in trying to usurp his father's role.
Tamar, princess of Israel
And she lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman.
- BrotherSister Incest: Unwillingly; she was raped by her half-brother Amnon.
- Defiled Forever
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: Begs Amnon to marry her (fearing no one else would want her because even though she was a princess, and though it wasn't consensual, she had still lost her virginity before marriage), saying that their father would allow it, but Amnon blames her for causing him to lust after her and casts her away in disgust.
- Lust Object: For her own brother, who is consumed with carnal desire for her and after being done with Tamar, turns her away in complete disgust.
- Morality Pet: To Absalom who, as the quote above states, kept her in his house after the rape.
- Rape and Revenge: Absalom killed Amnon for raping her.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: Wore one as a mark of her chastity. She tore it apart after the rape.
- Tarnishing Her Own Beauty: She marked her own face with ashes in absolute grief after her abuse.
- Virginity Flag: Tore her own special robe that marked her as a virgin when her half-brother Amnon raped her.
But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
- Asshole Victim: As an incestuous rapist, he clearly deserved what he got.
- BrotherSister Incest: He raped his own half-sister Tamar.
- Flat Character: Apart from the Rape and Revenge story, almost nothing is known about him.
- Kick the Dog: As if raping her wasn't enough, he quickly had Tamar carried away from his chamber because he "hated her with intense hatred".
- Never My Fault: After raping Tamar, he blames her for causing him to lust after her.
- Parental Favoritism: One of the reasons why David refused to punish him was because he was his firstborn son.
- Playing Sick: In order to get Tamar alone, he pretended that he was sick, and that he wanted her specifically to make and bring him some bread.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: To the point that Absalom decided to commit fratricide to avenge it.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: He pretended to be ill so that he could stay alone with Tamar.
- Ambition Is Evil: Some suggest that Joab actually killed Abner because he saw the older, veteran commander as a threat to his position, and simply used Asahel's death as a moral and legal justification.
- The Dragon
- Even Evil Has Standards: At one point in 2 Samuel, David decides to take a census of Israel (which God would see as a prideful action) Joab, to his credit, tries to hint to David that this isn't a good idea. David ignores him, pulls rank and gives the order anyway. As a result, Israel falls under God's wrath in the form of a plague and seventy thousand people die.
- Kill 'Em All: His solution to everything.
- Poisonous Friend
- Token Evil Teammate
- You Killed My Father: His reason for killing Abner was him murdering his brother.
- Lightning Bruiser: A badass warrior known for his sprinting ability; said to be "swift of foot, like a gazelle in the open field."
- Bash Brothers: With Joab.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How he dies.
- The Men First: He refused to have sex with his wife while a war was going on, despite royal orders, because he didn't want to accept privileges that his men weren't being allowed.
- Meaningful Name: "God is my light."
- Token Minority: He's a Hittite resided in Israel, however, he's not among the gentiles as he followed the Israelite belief.
- Uriah Gambit: Trope Namer, while not the first victim of this trope, he was the first one died of this gambit.
- Break the Cutie: Loses the child she conceived with David, which is attributed to divine punishment (for him) for sleeping with a woman who was married to someone else. She does go on to have more children, however.
- Naked First Impression: David first saw her when she was taking her clothes off to take a bath.
- My Secret Pregnancy: When she becomes pregnant by David, her husband Uriah was at war, and not allowed to have sex with her. David persuades Uriah to come home and make love to her, and she conceals from Uriah the fact that she's pregnant. Presumably, she was not showing yet, or at least had a smaller, easier-to-conceal bump.
- Questionable Consent: Was summoned to the palace...and may have felt that, as one of David's subjects who was married to one of his best and most loyal soldiers, she couldn't say no to the king's advances, or that there would be negative consequences if she did. There is no moral commentary on her sleeping with David, or even on her going along with his plan to pass her pregnancy off as being the result of sex with her husband, which is pretty notable (even progressive) for this time and place.
- Shotgun Wedding: After David has her husband killed, he marries her...and he only did that because he found out she got pregnant and couldn't pass the baby off as Uriah's. It was passed off as an Honorable Marriage Proposal.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: David believes this of her.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: Abner loses a battle against David's forces (led by Joab) and is forced into retreat. Joab's brother Asahel (specifically mentioned as being a fast runner) gives chase and tries to run him down. Abner warns him to back off. Asahel doesn't. Abner skewers him. Drama and revenge ensue.
- The Man Behind the Man: Implied he becomes this, counseling Saul's son Ishbal.
- The Starscream: Sleeps with one of Saul's concubines, showing he had ambitions for the crown.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Abner offers his services to David after Ishbal found out about Abner sleeping with one of Saul's concubines.
- Hypocrite - Goes on a rant to Ishbal about his accusations of treachery then makes a treasonous correspondence with David.
- HeelFace Door-Slam
- I Am X, Son of Y/Shaped Like Itself: He is introduced as "Abner, the son of Ner." Rather humorously, his name can be roughly translated as "my father (is) Ner."
The Prophet Nathan
- Honest Advisor
- What the Hell, Hero?: Famously gives one to David for pulling the Uriah Gambit to cover up his adultery with Bathsheba.
- Fake Defector: David sends him to infiltrate Absalom's court during his insurrection, with the cover story of being a defector, and so whatever he can to sabotage its operations. Hushai does such a masterful job that he suckers Absalom into withholding his attack on the King until his forces are better prepared. This move does far more to get David's forces better ready still and enables Absalom's quick defeat.
- Spymaster: While doing that inside job, Hushai also handles secret intelligence operations behind enemy lines with agents at his disposal.