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Characters / Books of Samuel

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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!"
  • Fallen Hero: He was good at first, but let his ego get the worst of him.
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  • 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!"

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:
  • 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 I’ll 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 LORD’s, 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:
    • What he suffers when told that Jonathan and Saul kicked it. Self-inflicted Clothing Damage included.
    • He gets another one after the death of Abasalom followed by a What the Hell, Hero? speech from one of his generals for mourning his enemy and hating the men who fought for him.
  • 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:
    • See Uriah Gambit.
    • Not punishing Amnon for raping his half-sister Tamar. Some texts say he didn't because he was the firstborn.
  • 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."

"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".

Tamar, princess of Israel
And she lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman.

But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.



  • 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.
  • Heel–Face 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

  • 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.


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