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The Royal Family

Voiced by: Kelly Macdonald, Peigi Barker (as a toddler), Ruth Connell (video games); Julie Fowlis (off-screen singing voice); Klodiana Keco (Albanian dub), Hiromi Hayakawa (Latin American Spanish dub), Amy Diamond (Swedish dub), Esther Thalia Casey (Icelandic dub), Alina Chinie (Romanian dub), Bérénice Bejo (European French dub)

As the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor of DunBroch, Merida's life is weighted with responsibilities and expectations. When she blatantly defies an ancient tradition, the consequences of her actions prove disastrous for the kingdom—and especially when innocent bystanders end up affected. She races against time to make right the result of her reckless behavior and mend the bond torn by pride.

Merida is also Pixar's first entry into the Disney Princess franchise, and the first one overall to lack a love interest.

  • Action Dress Rip: During the archery contest, she breaks her dress for easier movement. It's not the skirt, but the back, shoulders, and sleeves by flexing, which is realistic given the action in question.
  • Action Girl: When confronted with Mor'du, a monster of a bear, she notches an arrow and fires. In the climax, she gets the better of the three chiefs and her father in close combat.
  • Ambiguously Gay: In the movie's sequel novel Bravely, Merida shows little to no interest in any of the men and admits to being intimidated by them, is heavily implied to be in love with Leezie, becomes noticeably disappointed when she finds out that Leezie is getting married, and gets noticeably excited when she enters a room full of women at one point. This gets thrown off, however, when she falls in love with the masculine-presenting Feradach. That said, he is a shapeshifting entity and she states that she doesn't love the male form he presents himself in front of her, but the genderless being of air he truly is, once again making her exact sexuality ambiguous.
  • Art Shift: As with Rapunzel, Merida was given a 2D redesign in order to fit the Disney Princess franchise.
  • Badass Adorable: Aside from using Loophole Abuse to win the archery tournament for her own hand in marriage, climbing the Firefalls, facing Mor'du multiple times even when her arrows were having no effect, and facing her own father in sword combat to protect her mother... she manages to sew a tapestry while galloping on horseback through a raging thunderstorm. She gets it from both parents.
  • Badass Boast: "I'll be shooting for my own hand!"
  • Badass Family: Between herself, the archer, her father, her mother, and her three brothers, the DunBroch family is quite formidable.
  • Badass Pacifist: Like her mother, she stops the feuding clans from fighting by (with help from Elinor) giving an eloquent speech about letting their heirs choose what they want.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She wanted to avoid marriage and is horrified at what happens when she finds a way. The three chiefs declare war on each other and her father because of it, and her mother is turned into a bear.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: Although she seems to favor the former, she's shown wielding the latter like a pro.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: A rare tomboy variant of this. Before Character Development she comes off as a selfish, disrespectful, stubborn girl who insults her mother and refuses to admit her mistakes. Reconstructed as she gets better over the course of the movie with Merida learning to be more mature and open-minded, even regarding her relationship with her mother.
  • Brave Scot: She has the same valor as the ancient kings, and her father notes that drinking from the Fire Falls is a feat of the very brave.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Merida's the first Disney Princess to not have a love interest.
  • Break the Haughty: Her character development is letting go of her selfishness and growing up. So she irresponsibly made the wish of having her mother change, not expecting to take the first steps to grab her own destiny? Well, her dear mother and her brothers shall be transformed into bears, and Merida will have to fix up this big mess herself and learn that she must put some effort on being a better person, as well as able to forge her way in life!
  • Cassandra Truth: Her father doesn't believe in magic. Nor does he believe Merida when she tries to explain that the bear in the castle is actually his wife until Merida bests him in battle.
  • Celibate Hero: She doesn't want to get married and has no Love Interest in the movie — a first for a Disney Princess. Though Young MacGuffin did get her attention, and she does look stunned when she thinks a strapping Conan-type is Dingwall's son. Elinor's "speech" by proxy as Merida tries to pacify the about to fight clans indicates a compromise where Merida reconsiders this someday when she's ready. While she didn’t have a love interest in the final version of the movie, Merida did have one in pre-production as seen in the art books.
  • Character Development: Merida goes from a selfish and stubborn child to a mature, level-headed young lady that now knows when to admit to her mistakes.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Drawing a bowstring is no mere effort. Hitting bullseye after bullseye with a bow isn't either. Merida can do this because she practices whenever she can. She can also tear a dress apart simply by flexing while wearing it, bend wrought-iron fireplace implements, and has enough strength to lock blades with her visibly brawny father when he was about to kill her ursified mother. Like Father, Like Daughter, since King Fergus certainly didn't get his immense strength by just languishing either.
  • Compressed Hair: Merida wears a tight-fitting headdress as part of her royal attire, which must be a bother given the untamed mass of her hair.
  • Cool Big Sis: Her brothers only like their dad's story when she tells it. It's especially notable for being the FIRST older sister in the entire princess franchise (Ariel's the youngest in her family, and it can be debatable whether or not Cinderella's step-siblings count — all the other princesses are only children).
  • Daddy's Girl: She gets along much better with Fergus than with Elinor because she doesn't want to be a Proper Lady, and has much more in common with him (such as the sword-fighting). Merida and her mom become much closer by the end of the movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often — a notable example is her exchanging quips with her father about the three suitors during the tournament.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Merida's main motivation is based on this trope. This is medieval Scotland, after all. It's played with somewhat in that she's acknowledged what's coming, the issue came from that thought being shoved in her face all the time.
    Merida: ...I'm just not ready...
  • Didn't Think This Through: She makes an incredibly vague spell request to a witch with an obvious bear obsession who initially refuses because of "too many unsatisfied customers".
  • Double Standard: Fergus and Merida are both Fiery Redheads who are better with weapons than words, but Elinor and society give Fergus a pass because Men Are Uncultured, while Elinor and society agree that Merida has to learn administrative and diplomatic duties that she is equally uninterested in just because she was born a girl. Merida is aware of this and resents it, hence her desire to "change her fate."
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: When she appears in Ralph Breaks the Internet, her talk is subtitled "Speaking Scottish English".
  • Extremely Protective Child: She protects her bear-transformed mother from her father who thinks the bear killed Elinor.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her selfishness proves to be her biggest flaw, as her single-minded interest to fulfill her own dreams causes utter chaos in the kingdoms and cause her mother to nearly become a bear permanently.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's headstrong, passionate, and with hair colored more like fire than the usual examples halfway down her back.
  • Genre Blind: She appears to be completely ignorant of wish tropes beyond bare knowledge of the concept itself. She insists on getting the magic spell even though the Witch tries to talk her out of and explicitly says that she stopped doing it because it always goes badly.
  • Girliness Upgrade:
    • Most dolls of Merida have her looking far more ladylike than she really is. The Disney store model is closer to the original, but the Mattel collection barely resembles her. This even extends to the tie-in toy archery sets; while the Disney Store's are a rather accurate replica of her bow, the ones available at other stores are purple.
    • Her appearance in the Disney Princess line has people debating over whether or not Merida is girlier, whether that's bad, whether it's overdone, etc. Detractors include Brenda Chapman, the first person assigned to direct the film.
    • The attempt to re-design Merida with a slimmer waist, more revealing neckline, larger eyes, and a sparkly dress apparently went contrary to the film's message, with the public criticizing the attempted makeover for allegedly disempowering Merida, sparking outrage from mothers and feminist groups who saw the new, re-designed Merida as "an overly sexualized pin-up version of her former self". Female empowerment website A Mighty Girl argued: "by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original... version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value... they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty." The petition received over 20,000 signatures in seven days, and Disney removed the re-designed version of Merida from their website and decided to keep Merida's original design.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Although not as blatant as Elinor, the turquoise dress she's effectively forced into by Elinor is the closest she gets. For most of the film, her dresses of choice tend to be simpler but no less nice.
  • Hero Protagonist: Played with; her personal conflict causes the usual "the kingdom is threatened by war" plotline that is used in this sort of setting. After realizing how majorly she screwed up, she matures into a truly heroic character and prevents the war she almost caused.
  • Hidden Depths: The sequence where both Merida and her mother "talk to each other" shows that she's fully aware of the repercussions for her Rebellious Princess attitude (namely that said action is an open invitation for a clan war), she's just genuinely unprepared emotionally for what she will eventually have to become and is at something of a loss for how she should go about it all.
  • Horse Archer: Merida's contest of choice is archery because she is an ace with a bow and arrow. She can even hit a perfect bullseye while on horseback. She doesn't share the calmness and self-possession that usually comes with the archer role, instead matching the untamed power of the horse.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's more comfortable riding horseback and shooting at arrow targets then sitting at home and calmly discussing matters of state. It also comes back to haunt her big time, as she decides to make a rash, open stand against her mother and tradition in such a way as to anger the lords and threaten to start a war.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: A deconstructed example occurs when Merida's desire to be free from the destiny handed down to her causes her to make rash and potentially disastrous decisions.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Although not as blatant as Elinor, the turquoise dress she's effectively forced into would be extremely lovely if not for how uncomfortable it makes Merida. She has to partially rip the back by flexing her muscles just to properly shoot her bow. In the ending, she wears an elegant and practical dress.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Her blue eyes are more along the "youthful" and "inexperienced" categories than really "innocent".
  • In the Hood: She hides her head on a few occasions with the hood of her cape.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Immature and hot-headed as she may be, Merida wasn't wrong on about her mother's controlling nature in her life.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's stubborn, rebellious, sarcastic, and rather self-centered... but underneath it all, she has a kind and heroic heart.
  • The Lad-ette: Merida is the biggest example among the Disney Princesses, if not the only one. She's loud, crude, unruly, Hot-Blooded, is more interested in archery, riding horses, or training with her father, and is completely lacking in good manners or elegance. It provides the contrast between her and Elinor, who wants Merida to be a Proper Lady.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Merida has traits from both of her parents:
    • Merida clearly has inherited her mother's stubbornness and pride (contrary to Elinor's opinion). In the end, it turns out there's badassery in her mother too.
    • From her father, Merida is very much a chip off the old block when it comes to her love of fighting, weapons, and woods exploration, and her overall badassery.
  • Like Parent, Unlike Child: Merida and Elinor differ in personality, hobbies, and temperaments. However, they do have a stubborn streak.
  • Loophole Abuse: She decides to hold an archery tournament where the firstborn of the clans Dingwall, Macintosh, and Macguffin compete in an archery tournament, with Merida to decide the winner. She stuns the crowd when she announces that she herself will compete in the tournament and shoot for her own hand; she shoots arrows at all three targets, splitting Dingwall's arrow which had hit the bullseye.
  • Love Redeems: A non-romantic example. The only way for Merida to turn her mother back into a human is to "mend the bond" between them.
  • Master Archer: Merida is a highly skilled archer, which she demonstrates by winning her own hand at an archery contest by Splitting the Arrow of one of her suitors. She then utilizes her archery throughout the film.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Her name means "honorable" in Gaelic.
    • In Hebrew, Merida means "to rebel".
  • Messy Hair: Her hair is not a reflection of her sanity or her quirkiness, but rather a result of her preferring more physical activities over what are considered to be traditional feminine traits such as taking care of her appearance. The creator of the character said that Merida was designed to give girls a more attainable role model and because of that, she was given messy hair to show that she has no time and/or interest in looking good. In addition to this, considering that extremely curly hair is rather difficult to maintain, especially with medieval elements (Anti-Frizz hair products weren't invented), her hairstyle is both realistic and justified.
  • Modest Royalty: Merida wears a loose dress for most of the film and never any jewels.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She's completely shaken up after she realizes that her fate-changing spell has Gone Horribly Right.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "I am Merida! Firstborn descendant of the Clan DunBroch, and I'll be shooting for my own hand!"
  • Never My Fault: This is her main flaw. For the majority of the film, Merida blames her mother being given a Forced Transformation into a bear on the witch who gave her her fate-changing spell, instead of acknowledging it's her own actions. By the end of the film, however, she finally realizes how much she screwed up and reconciles with her mother.
  • Of Corset Hurts: At one point, Queen Elinor dresses Princess Merida up in a corset, and Merida complains that she can't breathe. What's really odd about all this is that the movie takes place in Medieval Scotland, and corsets shouldn't exist yet. Maybe it's just a really tight bodice instead?
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Horseback riding, cliff climbing, etc. Notable amongst the Disney Princess line in that she has the opportunity for a comfortable, indoors life but chooses against it. The only other example is Pocahontas, who naturally enjoys nature.
  • Parental Title Characterization: She refers to her mother, Elinor, as either "Mum" or "Mother". She regresses to "Mummy" in the climax when she begins crying in the belief that her mother is a bear forever.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Merida is passionate about swordplay, horseback riding, and archery, which annoys her Proper Lady mother, Queen Elinor.
  • Plucky Girl: Her mother transforming into a bear is a shock, but she quickly makes a plan for keeping her safe and fixing the problem.
  • Politically-Active Princess: King Fergus and the Scottish lords are on the verge of war when Princess Merida brings the four factions back together and declares that one should choose whom he marries according to his heart. Her suitors agree, stating that their Arranged Marriage was their fathers' idea. Thus, the clan leaders agree that their sons must win Merida's heart before winning her hand.
  • Princess Protagonist: Princess Merida is the main character of the film, and her actions drive the plot. She's not much of a Princess Classic though, as she prefers archery and roughhousing to traditional princessy things.
  • Quirky Curls: She has very curly red hair and doesn't fit with her mother's expectations of how a princess should act.
  • Rebellious Princess: This is a Deconstructed Character Archetype; Merida is up against her loving yet very strict mother (when not getting involved with exciting drinking parties, her father, on the other hand, is perfectly okay with much of it and even gave her her first bow for her birthday), but after her particular brand of rebellion instigates the beginnings of a clan war and nearly gets her mother killed, both Merida and her mother come to an understanding of each other's opinions and find a balance.
  • Screw Destiny: This is Zig Zagged—Merida wants to change her fate, and while it has unexpected consequences, and it seems as if she's punished for it, the Will-o'-the-Wisps are leading her on a path to fight her destiny... meaning it might be her destiny to change her destiny.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Elinor destroys her bow during their argument, Merida has no choice but to flee the castle to make a deal with the Witch.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The first released image was of Merida aiming a bow right at the camera. She does the same against a bear in the trailer.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Her formal dresses are made of fine fabric, and the blue dress is also tailored to her figure, but both are lacking in overtly fancy decorations.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Merida is a damned good shot in archery, hitting three bulls-eyes in a row and splitting the other guy's arrow on the third with so much force it breaks through the back of the target. She considers herself the winner of the contest for her hand.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Facial details look like her mother, except placed on a head shape more like her father's. She also has her father's wild red hair and bright blue eyes.
  • Take a Third Option: She doesn't want to marry but she's intelligent enough to know that just canceling the games will mortally offend the other clans ("We'll expect your declarations of war in the morning!"). Thus she decides to enter the games herself. Unfortunately for Merida, this winds up with the same result and she then has to talk the clans into not fighting each other.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: As a Rebellious Princess, Merida is a Fiery Redhead, wears her hair messy and wild, gets along well with her father, and has hobbies involving archery, horse archery, the sword, and rock climbing. On the other hand, Queen Elinor has brown hair and has been pressing weaving, manners, and other elegant pursuits on Merida to little avail. They really don't see eye-to-eye as the film starts, but when Merida has to be diplomatic with three angry clans of warriors and Elinor has to help her daughter fight off a supernatural threat, they start to understand each other's viewpoints.
  • Tomboy Princess: This is the root of the conflict with her mother; she hates the courtly education Elinor gives her and doesn't want to marry. She just wants to ride horses and practice archery.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As a child, she could barely shoot a target when she was only a few feet away. Now, not only can she shoot an arrow and hit the target from a way longer distance, but she can also do it while riding a horse.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By the end of the film, Merida has learned to appreciate and respect her mother.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: In general, Merida tends to make decisions without thinking them over and it's one of the reasons for the conflict in the film. Her impatience and unwillingness to listen to Elinor's advice cause her to hire a witch for a fate-changing spell that transforms Elinor into a bear.
  • True Blue Femininity: Invoked. Elinor, who resents Merida's tomboyish nature and wishes for her to be more ladylike, puts her in a tight turquoise silk dress as part of her royal attire before and during the contest. Merida doesn't take it well, preferring her less restrictive dark blue dress. The end of the movie sees both of them in a dress of a similar shade, indicating that they've accepted each other's differences and similarities.
  • Unkempt Beauty: She has long, untamed hair and spends a significant portion of the movie in a ripped-up dress and covered in dirt smudges. She still manages to look cute as a button, though.
  • Unwillingly Girly Tomboy: She is forced into uptight corsets by her mother when she's about to be married off. She rebels against it at first by pulling out one curl, and later on breaks through her corset in order to win the archery tournament.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: When Merida was younger, she was a very small, cute child and had a close relationship with both her mother and her father. As she has grown up, Merida is still very energetic and free-spirited, but has a more strained relationship with her mother (though she still holds the same good relationship with her father) and is more rebellious.
  • Violence Is Not an Option: Despite her status as an Action Girl, most of the threats she encounters throughout the movie can't be solved through her archery or fighting skills:
    • Merida is a skilled archer and fighter, always hitting her target and capable of shooting straight even under stressful circumstances (like when ambushed by a bear). During the climax, she's able to block her father's sword with her own sword, and Fergus was trying to kill a bear with that strike, proving that she did inherit her father's strength. However, this is a Disney film. She's not allowed to skewer any opponent with her arrows a la The Lord of the Rings. Therefore, her main opponent is a magical bear that can No-Sell anything a normal human can throw at him, making her talents useless in that specific situation. Instead, she has to run away from the magical bear.
    • Archery is also not shown to be a viable option a la Loophole Abuse in the contest. Merida definitely won at the contest, but it did nothing to help her situation. On the contrary, she made it worse. She has to placate the three chiefs and convince to agree to something else in order to succeed.
    • Breaking her mother's curse is not as simple as killing the curse's caster. She has to reconcile with her mother to make that happen.
  • Warrior Princess: One of Elinor's princess lessons to Merida is "A lady does not put her weapons on the table."
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Implied. When Merida returns home and tells her family of her adventure of climbing the Fire Falls, she asks her mother first about what she has done that day. She's visibly disappointed that her mother didn't hear of her accomplishments.
  • Wild Hair: She spends so much time on a horse and lets her hair fly loosely, so it just puffs out even more than it would.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: This is heavily implied when she's introduced to her suitors. When she meets the Young MacGuffin, the biggest, she doesn't look all that annoyed. Then, notice her "awe" reaction to Young Dingwall, who turned out not to be him. There's also the fact that originally, she was going to choose the very huge and muscular Young MacGuffin.
  • Youthful Freckles: For emphasis on the "growing youth" aspect. She doesn't want to be a queen.

    Queen Elinor
Click here to see her bear form 
Voiced by: Emma Thompson; Satu Silvo (Finnish dub)

Queen Elinor is fiercely dedicated to the well-being of her family and kingdom. As the measured, diplomatic counterpoint to her more impulsive husband, Elinor carries the weight of the kingdom on her shoulders in order to maintain the fragile peace between the volatile clans. Elinor strives to instill in Merida the knowledge and manner of a royal, but her vision of her daughter’s future is at odds with Merida’s desire to forge her own path.

  • Action Mom: She becomes one in the climax where she (as a bear) battles Mor'du.
  • Agent Mulder: To the king's Scully. She at least believes in the truth of the legends that she passes down to Merida.
  • Almighty Mom: She can stop a Ballroom Blitz between three feuding clans (and her husband) of Violent Glaswegians simply by walking through it in a calm, regal manner. All the brawling Scots will immediately stop and bow as if expecting her to join the fray, moving only to let her pass. She then calmly walks back to her throne while holding her husband (the king), as well as the three leaders of the clans, by the ear, and none of them even try to resist. Merida, though, has a low opinion of her mother, believing her to be just My Beloved Smother until the Queen is transformed into a bear (which is Merida's fault) and ends up defending her daughter against Mor'du, basically making her a literal Mama Bear until the curse wears off.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She is tall, beautiful, has very long dark hair, and possesses a composed and graceful attitude.
  • Animal Motifs: Bears. She is married to a notorious bear hunter (who is also represented by bears), transforms into one, and becomes a Mama Bear in the climax.
  • Animorphism: She gets turned into a bear.
  • Badass Pacifist: Elinor calmly walked through the Ballroom Blitz the clans have started in the throne room. Fierce warriors all bow and step aside, and she drags the four clan leaders (her husband included) back by the ear.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Mor'du learns this lesson the hard way when Elinor, as transformed into a bear, fights him in combat, and he gets crushed by the monolith, releasing his spirit.
  • Beary Friendly: She still acts regal while in the shape of a bear, but becomes slightly less so as the transformation shapes her mind.
  • Beary Funny: Much comedy is derived from her still acting like her queenly self in bear form.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Elinor is a perfect queen — polite, genteel, formal, a diplomat who abhors weapons and violence, always seeking to unite the clans and bring peace and prosperity to Scotland. If you threaten her daughter... you get crushed flat.
  • Big Good: Her grace and wisdom are what holds the kingdom together and is the one answering correspondence for the royal family. She's worried that Merida will not be ready to step into her shoes.
  • Brainy Brunette: She is the only one in her family to have brown hair and is the only one capable of running the country.
  • Break the Haughty: She has similar pride issues as her daughter and changes in the same manner.
  • Character Development: Elinor loses her perfectionist tendencies and becomes more open-minded.
  • Character Tics: As Fergus notes, she mumbles when something is troubling her.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Beat Mor'du by exploiting a fragile rock, but did respectably in a 'normal' bear fight considering the size difference and the fact she'd only been a bear for two days.
  • Cool Crown: The focus on her crown is a plot point; she makes a point of wearing it after turning into a bear and when she doesn't, Merida starts panicking.
  • Curtains Match the Window: To contrast the rest of her family, both her eyes and hair are brown.
  • Death Glare: She is able to give a stare cold enough to halt an entire horde of Vikings without saying a word.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Her Character Development is to be warmer with her daughter. She's already plenty warm with her husband.
  • Deuteragonist: She is just as important to the story as her daughter; they share the bulk of their screen time.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: At the end of the movie, Elinor wears her hair down without braids, gold ribbon, or her tiara, and a newly-acquired gray streak, symbolizing her character development.
  • Eyes Are Mental: She keeps her brown eyes in her bear form except that her eyes become black and beady as she is losing her humanity. She also tries vainly to keep her regal posture and insists on wearing her coronet for a while.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: While it's a downplayed example, Elinor's constant focus upon propriety and adhering to all the rules and conduct of a princess while refusing to encourage Merida's love of tomboyish things and particularly battle comes across as this. She does allow Merida her bow, but only reluctantly, and refuses to allow it on the table. She's only doing this to try and prepare her daughter for marriage to preserve peace among the clans, but it can't be denied that Elinor's own personality and interests suggest she is also molding her daughter to be just like her and do what she deems worthwhile (see her opinion of the various woods skills Merida has picked up). Ironically, her father actually encourages such pursuits (something which would break gender roles) and seems to enjoy her taking after him, but doesn't try and force her to follow his path.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Emma Thompson heavily implies that Elinor was a lot like Merida in her teen years.
  • Good Parents: She falls into My Beloved Smother territory with her daughter, but it's obvious that she and Fergus love their children and take good care of them. The flashbacks to when Merida was little are strong examples of this.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Her dark blue dress is a work of art, and her iconic green dress is just as lovely.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She wore a purple dress when Merida was a toddler, but she is more "playful mom" in that scene than "graceful queen" like the rest of the movie.
  • Happily Married: To Fergus and this is the reason she can't understand Merida's resistance to an arranged marriage, at first. Kingdom's peace aside, her's turned out wonderfully.
  • Hidden Depths: Elinor is the strict, controlling, Only Sane Woman of her family... But she also has a strong belief in magic.
  • The High Queen: She has "the weight of the kingdom on her shoulders" and is obviously the more powerful between her and her husband.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Elinor isn't freakishly tiny, but she is thin, average-sized and married to a man so large that a small family could comfortably live inside him.
  • I Am a Monster: She wrestles with this a few times after her ursine transformation.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, she can go overboard in trying to get Merida to become her successor, but she deeply loves her.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: At the very end of the movie, she stops keeping her hair in long twin braids and instead leaves most of it flowing loose. It also counts as an Expository Hairstyle Change since it signifies that she has loosened up and is opening herself up to seeing things for Merida's point of view.
  • Like Parent, Unlike Child: Merida and Elinor differ in personality, hobbies, and temperaments. However, they do have a stubborn streak.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Her hair is straighter and longer than her Tomboy Princess daughter's.
  • Mama Bear: Pun completely intended. The filmmakers specifically went for a motherly animal for Elinor to turn into. The trope comes into full literal effect in the climax, when Elinor rips out of her restraints, and kills a supernatural bear far bigger than her own bear form, in order to protect her daughter.
  • Marriage Before Romance: King Fergus and Queen Elinor most definitely love each other and, at one point, he playfully grabs her butt. While they have completely opposite personalities as a Violent Glaswegian and a Proper Lady, they still have a working marriage. When he has her pretend that she's speaking to their rebellious daughter, Merida, she accidentally reveals to Fergus that she has had misgivings about the betrothal at first. His surprised look reveals that he had no idea.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The longer she stays in bear form, the more she gets overwhelmed by the bear's instincts.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Merida is 16 and Elinor doesn't look like she's aged a bit, save for a streak of grey.
  • My Beloved Smother: Although she tries to be a good mother to Merida, the latter doesn't like the fact that Elinor is "in charge of every single day of her life."
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Elinor says this (minus the "My God") verbatim upon realizing that destroying Merida's bow accidentally caused Merida to run away.
    • And towards the end of the film, when she has unintentionally injured Merida in her bear state and runs off.
  • My Nayme Is: Her name is spelled as "Elinor", not as the more common version "Eleanor".
  • The Not-Love Interest: It's very unusual for a protagonist's parent to have a role as emotionally important as hers. The parent-child relationship is one of the most widely praised parts of the movie even among critics who were disappointed.
  • Only Sane Woman: During the Ballroom Blitz scene she is the only adult to keep her cool.
  • Opposites Attract: Elinor is the graceful, proper queen while her husband Fergus is your typical boisterous Fiery Redhead.
  • Parenting the Husband: She often has to do this with Fergus; she yanks his ear like she would a naughty child. Ironically enough, she's implied to be younger than him.
  • The Perfectionist: Until her Character Development, she had to be the "perfect queen" and groom her daughter into one as well. By the end of Brave, she loosens up a bit.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Her marriage to her husband was arranged, but they seem to genuinely love each other. Though she admits that she was nervous at first which was news to Fergus if his reaction is any indication.
  • Position of Literal Power: A rare example with a queen. Everyone knows the queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard and this is a very good example of why. In the climax, she breaks a huge stone in half. How? By bashing it with a ten-foot-tall bear. Said bear is trying to kill her at the time.
  • Proper Lady: She is refined, feminine and stops brawls through quiet dignity and a few careful words rather than with confrontation. A big part of the plot is fueled by her attempts to turn her daughter, Merida, into this.
    Elinor: A lady enjoys elegant pursuits/rises early/does not stuff her gob/does not place her weapons on the table.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Has this dynamic with the rest of her fittingly red headed family (that consists of a rambunctious tomboy of a daughter, three mischievous sons and a loud, fun-spirited husband) where her graceful civilized self obviously plays the Blue Oni.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: When she stops regarding her coronet as requisite, it's a sign she's losing herself to her bear-like mentality.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In the opening meal scene, she is receiving letters of many sorts, thus implying she is the one handling matters of state.
  • Ruling Couple: Fergus and Elinor are both involved in the welfare of the kingdom. However, Elinor is more of a politician than a warrior, while Fergus is more of a warrior than a politician.
  • Shout-Out: Her character design is remarkably similar to John Singer Sargent's painting "Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth".
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She is always polite, graceful and well-versed in every courtly art. She stops an all-out brawl by simply walking through the middle of it. Her daughter, Merida, is pretty scornful of her willingness to compromise and sticking to tradition even when it doesn't make sense. However, the two learn from each other. As a bear, Elinor fights Mor'du twice and kills him for good, all while protecting her daughter. Merida learns how essential this trope is for a princess; being a master archer is all well and good, but she needs to be able to placate her bickering vassals and be subtle to change tradition.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Her fancy dresses are either undecorated or just decorated enough to be visible but not stand out so much.
  • Strolling Through the Chaos:
    • Elinor walks very calmly through the massive fight scene going on in the throne room with the intent of putting a stop to it.
    • She also does this when Merida crashes the archery contest, though she's much less calm. Also note that, while everyone else is clearly stunned by Merida's actions, Elinor is the only person in the scene who tries to stop her.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's strict and no-nonsense, but deeply loves her family.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Due to (presumably) being raised in nobility her entire life, Elinor is completely unprepared to living in the woods. When she tries to collect water it has worms and the berries she picks are poisonous.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: As a Rebellious Princess, Merida is a Fiery Redhead, wears her hair messy and wild, gets along well with her father, and has hobbies involving archery, horse archery, the sword, and rock climbing. On the other hand, Queen Elinor has brown hair and has been pressing weaving, manners, and other elegant pursuits on Merida to little avail. They really don't see eye-to-eye as the film starts, but when Merida has to be diplomatic with three angry clans of warriors and Elinor has to help her daughter fight off a supernatural threat, they start to understand their viewpoints.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She goes from a regally intimidating human woman, to a furious and super strong bear.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Elinor comes to accept Merida for who she is and stops trying to change her daughter, while still preparing her for the future.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Elinor tends to follow the kingdom's traditions without considering others' views and it's one of the reasons for her fractured relationship with Merida. Their unwillingness to listen to each other causes Merida to run away and get a fate-changing spell from the witch.
  • Tragic Mistake: Elinor unintentionally causes Merida to run away when she destroys her bow.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Elinor breaks up the fight between the heads of the clans, she remains very, very calm (certainly calmer than everyone else in the room). When she talks to Merida after the archery competition, the fury is... less tranquil.
  • True Blue Femininity: At the end of Brave, she wears a dark blue dress, which is a shade darker than her daughter's. It's still quite feminine and lady-like but shows that she's come to an understanding with her tomboy daughter.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Her and Fergus were a former Trope Image. She has preserved her looks and her figure quite well for a greying mother of four (including triplets!). But he... remains strong and in excellent condition. It's justified as theirs was an arranged marriage, but it seemed to work out okay (and, considering how young Merida is expected to marry, it isn't impossible that Elinor is only in her thirties).
  • The Unintelligible: As a bear, she can't speak human.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Elinor is the ultimate Proper Lady and often verges into the Only Sane Woman (of her family and the kingdom). She's Happily Married with Fergus, the Big Fun king and a Boisterous Bruiser warrior.
  • Wanted a Gender-Conforming Child: She has been pressing weaving, manners, and other elegant pursuits on her Tomboy Princess daughter, Merida, to little avail. This causes a great deal of strain in their relationship since Merida hates her mother's controlling nature in her life.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Elinor pushes Merida to become her eventual successor and marry one of the suitors, objecting to her tomboyish personality. However, she does so not out of malice but out of love and wanting to keep the peace of the clans from failing.
  • Women Are Wiser: A Deconstructed Character Archetype. Although Elinor is obviously a better administrator than her husband, the central conflict of the story is she's too obstinate to see the world from her daughter's point of view. Fergus, on the other hand, may have understood that this was the real problem and was attempting to get Elinor to recognize that when he pretended to be Merida. In other words, she's wiser in some ways than her husband but not in others, as is more likely in real life.

    King Fergus
Voiced by: Billy Connolly; José Lavat (Latin American Spanish dub); Jacques Frantz (European French dub)

King Fergus is a heroic warrior king with a knobby peg leg – the result of his much-regaled skirmish with the demon bear Mor’du. His vendetta against the beast who took his leg makes Fergus a ferocious and determined bear hunter. Protector of his kingdom and family, Fergus has a heart as big as his barrel chest and boundless love for his wife, Queen Elinor, and their triplet sons. But his pride for his first-born daughter Merida is unmatched, and he has gifted her his great skill and passion for the sword and the bow.

  • Action Dad: When his family is in danger, his response is to call his soldiers and draw his sword.
  • Agent Scully: To the queen's Mulder. He scoffs at the legends that his wife tells Merida about.
  • Adipose Rex: He is an overweight king.
  • Animal Motifs: Bears. He wears a cape made of bearskin, hunts them for sport, had his leg torn off by one (a demon bear named Mor'du, who is also Fergus' sworn enemy), and his wife is also represented by bears.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His style of kingship. He's great leader in wartime (since he was crowned because he united the clans against invading Vikings), and Big Fun at banquets, ceremonies, hunts, and practice fights. But he's too bored or inept when it comes to the boring, everyday tasks of running a kingdom during peacetime, and leaves it all too his wife. All good and well, until his wife falls suddenly "ill" actually turned into a bear and he has to entertain a throneroom full of hot-tempered chieftans and has no idea how to sooth egos or tempers in her absence, which leads to them almost declaring war.
  • Badass Cape: His cape appears to be made of bearskin.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Fergus sports a stereotypical beard for barbarians (he isn't one) and he loves to fight.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Fergus is a Big Fun good king who also happened to have fought in the war and with a cursed bear.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: A lovable oaf he can be, if his family is in danger he'll drop all silliness quick.
  • Big Eater: "Stuffing her gob" is a trait Merida inherited from him.
  • Big Fun: He forestalls a war by entertaining the kings; feasts and songs and a hunt in the castle...
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Fergus has thick, red eyebrows which further his "bear king" image.
  • Blood Knight: Fergus isn't a violent man by any means, but he does love a good fight, whether he's in it or not.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A big hotblooded guy who is at home in parties with chiefs and fighting bears.
  • Brave Scot: These are abound in this movie, but Fergus has a particular note for having the intestinal fortitude to punch Mor'du in the climax when no other weapon avails him (And of course being the sovereign of a kingdom of them).
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Fergus may be a Blood Knight, but he loves his family dearly (they are a HUGE soft spot for him).
  • Bumbling Dad: He tries to be the Wise King but stumbles in speeches. On the other hand, he understands his children better than his wife does.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: A lifetime of being a warrior king has made him a very strong man.
    • When the triplets tie his wooden leg to the massive dining table, he doesn't trip when he tries to walk away, but yanks the table on its side.
    • When the triplets stow away aboard one of the departing boats at the end, Fergus takes a rowboat to bring the little miscreants back. Every time he rows, the boat jerks forward because of the force he can exert.
  • Cool Helmet: Instead of a Cool Crown because he's the Bear King.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Downplayed. He doesn't go "crazy", but he becomes extremely annoyed when the three Lords stare at a naked Elinor, who's only clothed by the tapestry.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a borderline Manchild who also happens to be a skilled fighter who took on Mor'du.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shares quips with Merida about the suitors.
  • Double Standard: Fergus and Merida are both Fiery Redheads who are better with weapons than words, but Elinor and society give Fergus a pass because Men Are Uncultured, while Elinor and society agree that Merida has to learn administrative and diplomatic duties that she is equally uninterested in just because she was born a girl.
  • Drunken Song: "Song of Mor'du", detailing his fight with Mor'du, the same bear that took his leg.
  • Expy:
    • He's essentially a G-rated Robert Baratheon as he would have turned out with a different wife.
    • His obsession with hunting down a specific animal responsible for his loss of a leg brings to mind Captain Ahab.
  • Fiery Redhead: Another trait Merida inherited from him is the hotbloodedness and red hair.
  • Gentle Giant: He a big guy who loves to brawl, but he's an all-around Nice Guy.
  • Golden Mean Fallacy: Fergus can see that Both Sides Have a Point with regards to Elinor and Merida's feud: Elinor does indeed push Merida too hard which causes her to act out, but Merida is also too headstrong and rebellious. But rather than try to mediate the two, he sees their conflict as their own internal affair and prefers to stay out of it. He does try to encourage Elinor to speak to Merida without getting angry or judgmental, but unfortunately he doesn't encourage Merida to do the same, with predictable and tragic results.
  • The Good King: His domain has enjoyed good times ever since he led the fight that kicked out the last set of invaders.
  • Good Parents: He puts more effort into understanding his daughter than his wife does and because of this he has a better relationship with her.
  • Handicapped Badass: He has a peg leg as a result of his battle with Mor'du and as seen in his sparring match after the prologue, it hasn't slowed him down at all.
  • Happily Married: To Elinor. He was furious when he thought she was attacked by Mor'du.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Owns at least two Scottish deerhounds.
  • Heroic Neutral: He's a loving father and husband, but largely wants to be left out of most unpleasantness. As king, he often leaves the administrative and diplomatic duties of running his kingdom to his wife while he enjoys endless feasts, hunts, and practice fights. As a husband and father, he tends to stay out of his wife and daughter's feuding, with disastrous results when their unchecked stubbornness and pride comes to a head at the end of the first act. While he's clearly as uncomfortable with the whole engagement ceremony and as unimpressed with the suitors as Merida, he never tries to talk Elinor into postponing things, and remains largely neutral on the ceremonies apart from making fun of the suitors with Merida. Finally, when Elinor falls "ill," Fergus tries to entertain and distract his guests from their growing impatience rather than try to step up as a diplomatic voice, which nearly starts a war when their tempers boil over and Fergus adds fuel by firing back that their sons aren't worthy of his daughter.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Elinor, who is a third his girth.
  • Large and in Charge: He is both taller and broader than the three chiefs; even Lord MacGuffin is smaller than him.
  • Large Ham:
    • When he does an impression of Merida for Elinor.
    Fergus: Pretend I'm Merida. Speak to me. (deep breath; high-pitched voice) I don't want to get married! I want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset!
    • He's fond of retelling his encounter with Mor'du at family meals, which the triplets seem to find boring. This is because they've heard it so many times, as suggested by the fact that one of the triplets starts lip-synching along with the telling.
  • Made of Iron: Fergus is a more realistic version of this trope. His first fight with Mordu lead to the loss of his leg, but he is able to shrug off other blows that would be devastating to a normal human (no matter how big and strong he may be).
  • Manchild: Fergus is a very easy-going father, but Elinor has to treat him just as she would one of the kids sometimes.
  • Marriage Before Romance: King Fergus and Queen Elinor most definitely love each other and, at one point, he playfully grabs her butt. While they have completely opposite personalities as a Violent Glaswegian and a Proper Lady, they still have a working marriage. When he has her pretend that she's speaking to their rebellious daughter, Merida, she accidentally reveals to Fergus that she has had misgivings about the betrothal at first. His surprised look reveals that he had no idea.
  • Meaningful Name: The name "Fergus" means "man strength" in Gaelic, which is fitting for a man his size and who has Charles Atlas Superpower. Equally fitting since the most famous bearer of that name, Fergus Mac Róich, legendary king of Ulster, is arguably the Gaelic answer to Hercules. The name "Fearghus Mac Róich" literally translates to "Man-Strength, Son of the Great Horse", alluding to his great size, strength, and potency.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Legendary, technically, but according to the (largely debunked) Rerum Scoticarum Historia, an account of Scottish kings by George Buchanan, the first king of Scotland was Fergus I.
  • Nice Guy: All around a great man; husband, father, party goer, etc.
  • Opposites Attract: Fergus is your typical boisterous Fiery Redhead while his wife Elinor is the graceful, proper queen. Their dynamic is one reason why the kingdom stays together: he's the man-of-action and natural leader in wartime, she's the natural diplomat who can calm feuding factions in peacetime.
  • Papa Wolf: He is a loving husband and father who would fiercely protect his wife and their four children from any danger. However, this almost has some serious consequences when he goes after a bear because he thinks the bear has killed Elinor and is now attacking their daughter, Merida. The bear actually is Elinor, who has lost control of her bear form and has lapsed into wild behavior, but Fergus is understandably unwilling to listen to Merida's (admittedly crazy-sounding) explanation.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: To Elinor, although she admits that at first, she was nervous about her betrothal to him. They're very happy together now.
  • Position of Literal Power: He is considered the protector of the kingdom above the other clan chiefs.
  • Quirky Curls Once again, a trait Merida inherited from him is the unruly hair.
  • Red Baron: King Fergus is also known as "The Bear King" for his legendary fight with Mor'du, as well as the aforementioned bear-hunting hobby.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He was explicitly chosen as their king after he led the other clans to victory against invading Vikings and whether it's evil monster bears or invading armies he takes care of it. That said, he's woefully inept and tends to leave it all to his wife when it comes to the boring, everyday tasks of running affairs-of-state.
  • Ruling Couple: King Fergus and Queen Elinor are both involved in the welfare of the kingdom.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The other clans declared him king after he led their armies to victory against the invading Norsemen, but being a skilled war leader doesn't make him suited to everyday affairs of state. He leaves his wife Elinor to run the administrative, diplomatic, and ceremonial duties of the monarch. This comes back to bite him when Merida embarrasses the clans and Elinor falls suddenly "ill" she's actually turned into a bear, and he's left to handle a throne room full of clan chiefs with Hair Trigger Tempers and he is woefully inept to try to sooth tempers.
  • Thrifty Scot: Downplayed; after Merida decides to celebrate the young lords being allowed to find love in their own time, Merida decides the King's private drink cellar should be opened up for a victory toast, and King Fergus decides to use the small cups.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Fergus's grief against seemingly losing Elinor causes him toignore Merida's warnings and launch a bear hunt against Elinor in her bear form.
    • He also tends to join in when the other clans form a Ballroom Blitz, which takes a dark turn near the end when they're ready to go to war and Fergus lets his temper get the best of him then too.
  • Tritagonist: After Merida and Elinor, he's the most prominent character.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Provides the page image with Elinor — She has preserved her looks and her figure quite well for a greying mother of four (including triplets!). But he... remains strong and in excellent condition. This is justified as theirs was an arranged marriage, but it seemed to work out okay (and, considering how young Merida is expected to marry, it isn't impossible that Elinor is only in her thirties).
  • Useless Bystander Parent: Downplayed. While Fergus and Elinor are both loving parents, nevertheless he can see what a toll Elinor's exacting standards have on Merida's happiness, and seems just as uncomfortable with the whole engagement ceremony and unimpressed with the suitors as Merida, yet (apart from defending Merida's right to own a weapon), he never really stands up for Merida or use her diplomatic influence to postpone the engagement ceremony. At the same time, he often encourages Merida to act like One of the Boys, but then backs off when Elinor brings the hammer down, making Elinor look like the bad guy and making Merida resent Elinor even more, and strengthening the feud between the two.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Fergus is much more casual and easygoing as a monarch than Elinor, often going on hunts and practice-fighting with his men. He leaves most of the pomp and ceremony to his wife. Justified, as he was chosen to be king after leading the other clans to victory in battle and thus, was not born into royalty.
  • The Wonka: The line "Not another hunt through the castle" implies that it might just be a regular occurrence, but his quirky nature doesn't stop him from being the king. On the contrary, such quirks forestall war by distracting the chiefs.

    Harris, Hubert and Hamish
Click here to see their bear form 

The sons of King Fergus and Queen Elinor and younger brothers of Merida, the identical triplet princes Harris, Hubert, and Hamish are adorable, redheaded, and always ready to stir up a bit of mischief, especially if sweets are at stake.

  • Alliterative Family: Harris, Hubert, and Hamish.
  • Always Identical Twins: A triplet variant—according to the creators, Merida's the only one who can tell them apart with no problem.
  • Animorphism: Like their mother Queen Elinor, they are turned into bears.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Subverted. Although Merida calls them "wee devils", they get along just fine and do a lot to help her.
  • Beary Friendly: When they eat the treats and change into adorable (and mischievous) bear cubs.
  • Beary Funny: As bear cubs, their antics are funnier.
  • Big Eater: They really love their sweets.
  • Big Sister Worship: The boys admire their big sister and the Disney Wikia site describes their relationship with Merida as "strong, loving, and trusting".
  • Breakout Character: The triplets stole the popularity ratings, despite their limited screen time and lack of dialogue.
  • Chekhov's Gun: They love their desserts. The spell Merida receives from the witch comes in the form of a cake. Not hard to see where this is going.
  • Cute Mute: They're adorable little scamps who never speak.
  • Fiery Redhead: Like their father and sister, they are energetic wee devils.
  • Flat Character: They never evolve beyond pranking and eating; the main reason they were helping Merida was that she promised them her desserts for a year.
  • Human Ladder: They're fond of this trope because they are short and it's useful for pranking.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: There's nothing malicious in their pranks; only harmless mischief.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Hamish (who often plays pranks on Maudie and other castle staff members) is a Scottish variant of James, which is derived from Iakobos, the Greek form of Jacob, the "supplanter", with the Old Testament Jacob being a notable trickster to his dad and brother.
    • Harris is derived from Harry, a variant of Henry, which means "home ruler", and the triplets are sons of the king who rules the kingdom.
    • Hubert means "bright heart".
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Nobody seems to notice that they're about to be turned into bears forever as Queen Elinor is about to meet the same fate. It's partly justified given the story's focus.
  • Momma's Boy: The triplets tend to listen to their mother more than their father.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Inverted. The triplets recognize Elinor in bear form despite BOTH parties remaining silent.
  • Pint-Sized Kid: How old are they supposed to be, anyway?
  • The Prankster: The boys love to mess around the castle, Maudie, and even their own father.
  • Quirky Curls: Like their father and sister, the triple tricksters have unruly red hair.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: As bear cubs, they are more adorable.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: They are crafty tricksters capable of distracting an entire castle to forestall conflict.
  • Rule of Three: This is why they are triplets.
  • Same-Sex Triplets: They are triplets and all boys.
  • Sibling Team: How else can they pull off a Human Ladder or their more complex pranks but working together?
  • Single-Minded Twins: Single-Minded Triplets, in this case. They're essentially one character in three bodies, and are able to pull off their pranks while working in perfect unison.
  • Sweet Tooth: Most of their scenes involve stealing pastries.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Their names all begin with the letter H.
  • Trickster Twins: A triplet variant. Among their antics, they steal cakes, cut off part of a sleeping guard's mustache, and tie their father's peg leg to a table so he flips it when he gets up.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: They are almost instantly able to recognize the bear as their mother, and even give their sister a look demanding an explanation.

The Three Lords and Their Sons

    The Lords in general

The three vassal lords to King Fergus; Lords Dingwall, Macintosh and MacGuffin; are the unruly, overzealous leaders of their respective clans. Though once warring factions, they have been united under the sword of King Fergus and held together by the diplomacy and political savvy of Queen Elinor. The clans are summoned to Castle DunBroch to compete in the Highland Games, but the lords are soon outraged when Merida defies a sacred tradition. The clans fall back to their history of fervent feuding, which threatens the fragile peace of the entire kingdom.

  • Appeal to Tradition: They want to respect tradition and the truce by having one of their respective sons marry Merida. Their narrow-mindedness prevents them from seeing the drawbacks of an arranged marriage. Merida isn't interested in marriage nor is she interested in their sons. Their sons aren't too keen either and it's implied that they're just letting their dads make the choice for them, suggesting that the marriage would've been doomed from the start.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: MacGuffin, Macintosh and Dingwall, respectively, to make each chief more distinct.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As goofy as all three of them act, it's apparent that when it comes to battle, they're all forces to be reckoned with.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The three lords' very first scene shows their boats heading towards DunBroch, and basically competing to each seem more impressive than the others like a trio of argumentative brothers.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: They fought together in a pre-story invasion but it's not until the movie's end that they can develop from With Friends Like These... status to Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The lords are all quick to start fighting each other at the slightest insult. Their tendency to fall into outright battle is why Elinor is so horrified when Merida insults them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: They're all prideful and highly competitive and responded to Merida's Take a Third Option with a declaration of war, but they are not without reason.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Medieval Morons: None too bright, prone to solving problems with violence, etc.
  • No Full Name Given: While we know their last names, we never do learn their first names.
  • Odd Name Out: MacGuffin, Macintosh and ... Dingwall? (Yes, that is a real Scottish name).
  • Rule of Three: Three suitor dads.
  • Violent Glaswegian: They start brawling amongst themselves at King Fergus's banquet for the right to determine which of their sons will make a proper suitor for Merida.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: They and Fergus enjoy bickering and snarking at each-other and trying to outdo the others and rub it in their faces, but they're Fire-Forged Friends since their clans were forced to unite against a northern invasion. Borders on With Friends Like These... at times, particularly when they're on the verge of declaring war on each-other over the matter of which lord's son will marry Merida.
  • With Friends Like These...: Though they mostly come across as Vitriolic Best Buds, there are times when they've crossed into this territory; such as when their bickering with Fergus over whose son will marry Merida escalates into them declaring war on DunBroch before Merida stops the hostilities. It's also worth noting, Lord Dingwall makes a joke that he was actually aiming at Lord Macintosh when he threw a spear that ultimately saved the latter.

    Lord MacGuffin
Voiced by: Kevin McKidd

Strapping Lord MacGuffin is full of brawn and dignity. Though a man of few words, his deep voice resounds across the land demanding respect and contributing to his reputation as the most even-handed and reasonable lord in the kingdom. Even so, like his fellow lords, MacGuffin isn't opposed to a first-rate brawl or full-throated belly laugh.

    Lord Macintosh
Voiced by: Craig Ferguson

The wiry, indignant and off-kilter leader of his clan, Lord Macintosh is always a heartbeat away from hysterics. His savage smile and fierce appearance, body bedecked in blue war paint and chest pridefully puffed up, proclaim that he's ready for battle at any moment, though his bark may be worse than his bite.

    Lord Dingwall
Voiced by: Robbie Coltrane

Grumpy and quick-tempered, the scrappy Lord Dingwall doesn't let being height-challenged get in the way of solving his problems with fisticuffs. Never one to shy away from an old-fashioned fracas or high-spirited kerfuffle, he has no qualms taking on even the burliest adversary to assert his own position in the kingdom.

  • Fan Disservice: When he lifts his kilt and flashes Fergus and Lords MacGuffin and Macintosh.
  • Blatant Lies: He claims while introducing his son (and having to wave Wee Dingwall's arms about for him) that the boy once multitasked hacking down opponents with steering a ship. It prompts one of his own men to call it a lie.
  • Going Commando: It's traditional to do this in a kilt and judging by the reactions of the others, it's likely this is the case for Lord Dingwall as well.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Downplayed. He's on the same level of grumpiness as the other chiefs but much older.
  • Messy Hair: Presumably for contrast because Messy Hair isn't the case with the other two chiefs.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen: He clearly seems to be the oldest of the chiefs, but is also the smallest.
  • The Napoleon: He's "height-challenged."
  • Old Soldier: He appears to be the oldest of the three chiefs and yet he was still on the front lines of a war perhaps 15 years ago.
  • Violent Glaswegian: He's quick-tempered, preferring to settle fights with a brawl and fisticuffs.

    The Lords' Sons in general 

  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Like fathers like sons, this is here to make each distinct.
  • Generation Xerox: Ultimately Played With. They all look like young versions of their fathers, and in several scenes are blocked the same way as their elders (while Wee Dingwall kisses Merida's hand on the docks, Macintosh and Macguffin stand behind and kid around together; at the same time, their fathers do the same thing as Lord Dingwall hugs Fergus). But they have distinct personalities from their fathers and reservations about their fathers' Appeal to Tradition.
  • Hopeless Suitor: All are competing for Merida's hand in marriage and are all undesirable in her eyes.
  • No Full Name Given: Just like their fathers, their real first names are never revealed.
  • The Quiet One: All three of Merida's suitors are the quiet type, having only a handful of lines in the entire film. Their agreement with Merida's speech (which is only the second time Young McIntosh speaks and the first time Wee Dingwall does) would imply that they've been letting their dads do the talking for them because they're not overly enthusiastic about the arranged marriage either.
  • Rule of Three: Three fathers, three sons.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Each of the sons look like younger and beardless versions of their fathers.
  • Vague Age: We're not sure exactly how old any of them are—presumably, they're around the same age as Merida (who's 15 or 16), if slightly older.

    Young MacGuffin
Voiced by: Kevin McKidd

Speaking an uncommon Scottish dialect that is incomprehensible to most, Young MacGuffin is a shy lad of large proportions. Being the center of attention is not his strong suit, but he will not hesitate to leap into a fight alongside his father and clan when the occasion arises.

  • Badass Boast: His first line has him (awkwardly) state that he could throw a caber at Lord Dingwall.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Clearly the shy one of the three suitors, he's capable of breaking a log in half with his hands and swinging a large wooden bench around.
  • Braids of Barbarism: Just like his father, he has braided hair.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's a gigantic bruiser who can break a hunk of wood with his bare hands and uses a bench as a weapon during a Ballroom Blitz. He's also a very sensitive guy who only wants to impress his dad. In the scene where it seems Elinor has lost her mind to the spell that turned her into a bear, he's visibly and earnestly weeping.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: During the Ballroom Blitz, he wields a long bench to knock out several opponents at once.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: When he talks, the subtitles read "Speaks in thick accent."
  • Gentle Giant: Out of everyone during the brawl, he looked the most uncomfortable.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He is a nice guy with blonde hair.
  • Hidden Depths: Surprisingly, when his dialect is translated after Merida makes a speech about destiny. Young MacGuffin was the only one to be considerate of Merida's opinion. The other suitors were concerned about making their own choices, while MacGuffin acknowledged how the marriage wouldn't work since Merida wasn't interested in any of them.
    MacGuffin: It's jist nae fair, makkin' us fecht for the haund of a quine that disnae waint any bit ae it!
  • Implied Love Interest: He was apparently meant to be Merida's Love Interest (which shows, as his awkwardness got her attention), but that was scrapped.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Implied. When Merida was presented with her potential husbands, he's the only one that she actually expressed an interest in, and he is a large and strong man, just like her father.
  • Manly Tears: He earnestly sheds these when it looks like the spell on Elinor is going to become permanent.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his great size and greater strength, Young MacGuffin is a calm, gentle, friendly, and very shy lad.
  • Offhand Backhand: By accident. Near the end of the movie, he gives Young Macintosh a friendly punch which knocks him off the dock they're standing on and into the water.
  • Perma-Stubble: He is shown to have blond stubble.
  • Shrinking Violet: Young MacGuffin's most prominent trait is his shyness. As seen in his introduction to Merida, he looks uncomfortable being the center of attention and looks to his father for a cue to snap a log in half.
  • Stout Strength:
    Merida: I bet he wishes he were tossin' cabers!
  • Super-Strength: He snaps an 8-inch thick log in half with his bare hands. JUST his hands, not even using leverage from his arms, with absolutely no effort.
  • The Unintelligible: He has a brogue so thick that even the other Scots can't understand him. He's actually speaking a real dialect, Doric, which is spoken in the voice actor's native region of northeastern Scotland. He utters only a handful of understandable words throughout the entire film, and even those aren't enough to figure him out.
  • Unintelligible Accent: He has such a thick Scottish brogue that nobody but his dad can tell what he's saying.

    Young Macintosh
Voiced by: Steven Cree

As the first-born son of a lord, Young Macintosh knows he has it all; athletic physique, undeniable charm and long flowing locks that leave the lasses swooning in his wake. Vanity and legions of devotees can also be a distraction when it comes to bragging rights at the Highland Games.

  • Agent Peacock: He always makes sure he's looking good when fighting.
  • Big "NO!": His reaction to not hitting a perfect bull's-eye.
  • Body Paint: Like his father, he's dressed for war.
  • Chick Magnet: Has a band of fangirls squealing and swooning over him.
  • Drama Queen: He has to be a dramatic show-off towards Merida in his early scenes, and when he fails to hit the bulls-eye in the archery contest, he throws a complete fit.
  • Expy: Of Conan the Barbarian. It's most explicit in the whirling sword-kata he performed in his introduction, which is a front-view version of the exact same sword kata that Schwarzenegger performed on the beach in the 1982 film.
  • Extremely Protective Child: When Lord Dingwall has his son attack Lord Macintosh, Young Macintosh retaliates by punching Lord Dingwall in the face.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Scoring any less than a bull's eye leads to a tantrum.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • The jerk part comes from his cockiness, the gold part comes out when he's the first to wholeheartedly agree to Merida's plan to end the betrothal in favor of finding love.
    • For all his cockiness, he doesn't seem to mind hanging out with the other two sons, one being The Unintelligible Shrinking Violet and the other The Fool.
    • He seems very loyal to his father, too. When Lord Dingwall has his son attack Lord Macintosh, Young Macintosh punches Lord Dingwall in the face! Later when Merida flips his father during the climax, Young Macintosh runs to his side and helps him back to his feet.
  • Pec Flex: He does one when his father introduces him.
  • Pretty Boy: He knows it and flaunts it.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: In the archery contest, Young Macintosh goes absolutely hysterical with rage when his arrow hits right next to the bull's eye.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Again, like his father because of the body paint.

    Wee Dingwall
Voiced by: Callum O'Neill, Donald Reignoux (French dub)

Gangly, guileless and often lost in his own head, Wee Dingwall is the awkward son of Lord Dingwall. Though Wee Dingwall displays an eagerness that outweighs his inherited small size, his father will proudly employ his only son as an attack dog when the moment is right.

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Thanks to Fergus startling him at just the right time, he is the only suitor whose arrow hits a bulls-eye.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: When his father's introducing him to the court, he happens to be standing behind a clansman who looks... considerably less underwhelming.
  • Animal Motif: He's akin to a dog following his master's command. He's usually lost in his own head until his father gave him the command to attack. He sounds like a snarling dog during the brawl and he's also a ferocious fighter who attacks through biting.
  • The Berserker: "Wee Dingwall? Attack!" He's seen at one point gnawing his shield, which was a trait attributed to berserker warriors.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's usually a clumsy doofus, but when a fight breaks out, he's vicious.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: He briefly does this in agreement with Merida and Young Macintosh about letting them choose their own fates and break tradition, criticizing his father for not taking his own thoughts about Merida into account.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Judging by his farewell to Merida at the end, he tries and fails to be charming.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He almost always has his head in the clouds, and rarely focuses on what's physically in front of him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Wee Dingwall appears dim at best, but when the fights break out he's a fierce and almost psychotic fighter.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: For most of the movie he's undeniably the ditz, but near the end, his one line of dialogue is points out to his dad that whole suitor thing was more his idea, and he just went along with it to please him.
  • Dumb Blond: The suitor with bleach blond hair is the one that's not all there.
  • The Fool: He is unquestionably the least competent of the suitors, but through sheer dumb luck he is the only one to hit a bulls-eye.
  • Goofy Buckteeth: Has some big teeth sticking out the front of his mouth, which add on to his goofy appearance.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Merida is not impressed with his hand kissing.
  • Man Bites Man: Goes from doofus to attack dog on his father's word.



Black as night with ivory muzzle and fetlocks, Angus is Merida's powerful Shire and her most trusted confidant. Angus is Merida's escape from castle life into the deep forest and the Highlands beyond. Merida target shoots from her perch on his broad back and is able to coax him into one adventure after another. Angus can be balky, stubborn and faint-hearted at times, but is ultimately a devoted and faithful friend to Merida.

Voiced by: Sally Kinghorn and Eilidh Fraser

A maid in the castle, she winds up frequently being the victim of the triplets' antics.

  • Badly Battered Babysitter: She's the victim of the Carrying a Cake trope, and suffers a Funbag Airbag with a bear cub.
  • Butt-Monkey: She is the butt of pastry jokes and the triplet's pranking.
  • Carrying a Cake: More like a plate of pastries, which are perpetually being stolen by the triplets.
  • Dirty Coward: Ensuring the audience doesn't feel too much pity for her (which she would otherwise get with all the film puts her through): some of her Jerkass Ball actions border on this.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Tiny Girl to the Dingwall Hunk's Huge Guy.
  • Jerkass Ball: Just to make sure the audience don't feel too much sympathy for this Butt-Monkey when the transformed triplets hound her for the key; when she sees three (baby) bears in the castle and they go after her, she not only fails in her hysteria to sound any alarm or consider Merida's safety (the bears in question were outside the locked door holding Merida), but she completely ignores and runs by two fellow maids without trying to warn them of the perceived threat, and locks herself in a room to try and escape them.
  • Just Following Orders: She's just doing what her king told her to when she refuses to let Merida out of the room she's been locked inside allegedly for her own safety. Her holding the Jerkass Ball, not so much.
  • Never Bareheaded: Always wears a headdress.
  • Opposites Attract: Who would have thought that Maudie the maid and the Hunk of Clan Dingwall would become an item?
  • Overly Long Scream: Her dialogue could be reduced to several long screams split between scenes.
  • Screaming Woman: She only gets a couple of speaking lines... but screams aplenty.
  • Sexual Karma: After being the Butt-Monkey for the whole movie, she's certainly earned the right to hook up with the Dingwall Hunk at the end. It also counts as Throw the Dog a Bone.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: She stashes the key to where Merida is being held in her bosom. This does not stop the triplets.


Mor'du is the antagonist of Brave, hence the original title of The Bear and the Bow. A feral and dangerous presence, this black bear fought King Fergus when Merida was a wee lass, and he chomped his leg off and won, something that Fergus has vowed to seek revenge for ever since. He stands 15 feet tall, his face is scarred with one dead, red eye, his black fur is coarse and disheveled, and he is covered in arrows and bruises, trophies of those humans who attempted to kill him. He puts Merida in danger more than once during the course of the movie.

  • And I Must Scream: Played With. It's implied the Prince's soul inside the bear suffers this to some degree, driven by perpetual The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body to savagely attack anyone he comes across. Adding to this trope is that Mor'du is Really 700 Years Old, likely due to the same spell which turned him into a bear, and his body is riddled with old weapons still sticking in him that haven't done anything to kill him. When Mor'du is finally killed, his spirit is visibly thankful.
  • Animalistic Abomination: A giant bear with black fur, glowing eyes and weapons lodged into its back would definitely send even the bravest warriors running for the hills.
  • Animal Nemesis: For Fergus, and Merida later on. As noted under Bears Are Bad News he has a history with Fergus that involves loss of limbs.
  • Annoying Arrows: Arrows might as well be spitwads for the harm they do him. He doesn't notice when Merida sticks one in his collar bone.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: He bought a spell that would give him the strength of ten men...and a mahogany cheeseboard.
  • Battle Trophy: Mor'du has several weapons stuck in his back from all those who tried and failed to kill him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The prince wished for "the strength of ten men" which turned him into a bear and caused him to kill everyone that got in his way, and his brothers were among the victims.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Described by Pixar as "Moby-Dick on land."
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • "Mor'du" is a combination of the words "Mór" and "dubh" (pronounced the same way), the Scots-Gaelic words for "large" and "black". Makes sense when you realize that that bear literally meant "brown" in Old English.
    • "Mordu" may possibly be derived from the Latin "mordere" (to bite), and also means "bitten" in French, which makes sense when you consider that King Fergus's left leg was bitten off.
  • Break the Haughty: What his Karmic Transformation did to him; a proud prince became a monster that could only beg for release.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to his three younger brothers. As a human, he started a war against his brothers out of an embellished sense of entitlement, because their late father divided the realm among the brothers equally instead of giving it all to his eldest. When he transformed into a bear, his own brothers were the first of many fatalities.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As a human, he lured his brothers with a false promise of peace, then killed them in his newly gained bear form.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Dying is what allows him to cross over and find peace.
  • Death Seeker: It's suggested that what little of his humanity retains some control over his bear form is actually trying to kill himself by attacking any warrior he comes across, or by attacking their children so their parents will rush to their defense. When Mor'du is finally killed, his spirit looks relieved and nods in gratitiude before disappearing.
  • The Dreaded: He's become the local boogeyman. Everyone is afraid of bears because of him by proxy.
  • Evil Is Bigger: "It stands 12 feet tall!"
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Merida. Both clash with members of their respective families because of pride, and their rebellion threatens to divide the realm and ultimately destroy it. They even both actively seek to change their fate as part of their rebellion by bartering a spell from the Witch. But while Merida wants to be free and genuinely cares for her family, and she actively attempts to mend the bond torn by pride; Mor'du wanted power, and he pulled a Redemption Rejection where he chose power over family before committing fratricide.
    • And to Elinor. Both are humans turned into bears by the same spell, but Elinor was transformed by her daughter in a Gone Horribly Wrong move whereas Mor'du transformed himself for power. Elinor loves her family and fights tooth and nail to defend her daughter, whereas Mor'du murdered his kin during his Redemption Rejection. Mor'du, reduced to a savage monster after his transformation became permanent, also serves as a Jacob Marley Warning of what Elinor would likely become if she wasn't changed back in time due to The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body.
  • Evil Prince: He was the eldest of the four princes in the story told by Elinor early in the film and caused the chain of events that caused the kingdom to fall into war and eventually collapse.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In The Legend of Mor'du, he began this when he started a war against his brothers for their father's kingdom due to his pride and greed. Finally, he pulled a Redemption Rejection when he transformed into a bear.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Mor'du was driven by his jealousy and a sense of insult at having to share his throne with his brothers. He waged war with brothers and drank a potion so he could have the strength to win the war. Rather than share the potion, he drank it all and turned into a monstrous bear. He then killed his brothers, killed his own army when they attacked him in fear and then retreated into the ruins of his old castle. After enough time had passed, Mor'du came to regret his actions and hate himself for what he did.
  • Fisher King: He lives alone in a decayed, weather-worn ruin of an old castle which is devoid of living things and littered with the bones of the dead, a visual metaphor for how actions such as his bring collapse and ruin to a nation and how he's ended up alone with many wanton deaths caused.
  • Forced Transformation: Like Queen Elinor and her sons, the Prince turned into a bear long ago.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes have a milky white glint (except at night, where the glint turns red).
  • Gone Horribly Right: He wanted the strength of ten men. The Witch gave him this by turning him into a bear.
  • Hero Killer: "His hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors!"
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: It is implied that he's a Death Seeker and sought out warriors that could kill him.
  • I Can Rule Alone: Mor'du was meant to be his father's successor, but the king named all 4 brothers as his successors. The king believed that the kingdom would prosper best through unity, but, Mor'du refused to share his vision and opted to wage war so he can become king.
  • I Hate Past Me: Implied. Noticed the split sculpture representing him and his brothers in the ruins of his castle? His three brothers' likenesses are still relatively intact, while his likeness is worn by numerous slash marks.
  • Jacob Marley Warning:
    • Once his Backstory is revealed, it's heavily implied that Bear Elinor will become like Mor'du if she isn't changed back to human before the Celestial Deadline: a feral monster of a bear driven against her will by savage bloodlust until death.
    • The story of the Prince and his brothers is also invoked as a fairy-tale exemplifying what can happen to a kingdom if a royal (such as Merida at the start of the film) rebels out of pride and alliances fall apart.
  • Karmic Transformation: After starting a bloody war against his own kin to satisfy his own ego, the spell he intended to grant him the strength of ten men does just that, by transforming him into a ferocious black bear driven solely by animalistic bloodlust with his humanity subsumed. His Redemption Rejection causes the transformation to become permanent. It's implied that the prince's soul has grown repentant during his years trapped in his bear form and feral mind.
  • Killed Off for Real: He is crushed under a stone pillar at the end of the film. We see his spirit leave his bear body and disappear.
  • Large and in Charge: He tried to invoke this trope back when he was a prince. Compared to his brothers, he was simply enormous. The trope certainly applied to him as leader of his armies.
  • Made of Iron: Arrows just distract him and it takes being crushed by a huge rock to put him down for good.
  • Meaningful Name: The fact the words for "large and black" in Gaelic sound and look so similar to the word for "death" in Latin and the Romance languages is...quite the significant coincidence.
  • Metamorphosis: Because he killed his brothers instead of mending the bond torn by pride and his transformation's Celestial Deadline passed, his body's transformation became permanent, and only death frees his spirit.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: It's heavily implied he's in a perpetual state of this ever since his transformation into a bear became permanent.
  • Obviously Evil: When we see him next to his three brothers in Elinor's story, it's fairly obvious he's going to be trouble.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: The plot of the film concerns Merida reconciling with her mother and undoing the curse she accidentally brought about. Mor'du is only tangentially related to any of this — he's just a bigass warlord turned bear who wants to eat everyone because he's a bear.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's the Prince of a kingdom that collapsed so long ago that the four current kingdoms know of it only in legend.
  • Redemption Rejection: In The Legend of Mor'du, the Witch notes he could've mended the bond with his brothers at the feigned truce meeting, but out of his desire for power, he accepted his new form instead and committed fratricide.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His Glowing Eyes of Doom glint red at night.
  • Scars are Forever: A lot, from living as a Made of Iron giant bear who's hated and feared by all humans and attacks them on sight. His face and back bare several scars, he has a broken tooth, and the angle of his jaw indicates it's been broken in the past.
    "His face scarred with one dead eye!"
  • Squashed Flat: This is what happens to him in the climax; Elinor dropped a stone pillar on him.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He does this in the beginning of the film, as well as near the end. Considering his size, it's pretty shocking how he somehow managed to walk right up to young Merida in broad daylight in a fairly open field.
  • Suicide by Cop: Since the Prince's spirit turns into a Wisp, and the Wisps lead Merida around the forest, it is implied that the Wisps were his spirit and that he was trying to be killed so he could be put out of his misery.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: While Merida does get away from him a few times, he just happens to conveniently find her near the end. In the last battle he seems way too focused on her anytime he wasn't being beaten or pelted in the face by someone else.
  • Super-Strength: Capable of breaking a menhir, Mor'du is even stronger than normal bears, rendering "the strength of ten men" an understatement.
  • Time Abyss: How old he is isn't revealed, but it IS revealed he was the prince of a kingdom so old that its name isn't even remembered and is believed to only be a legend.
  • Tragic Villain: Though he became the way he now is through no-one's fault but his own, the Prince isn't exactly unsympathetic. It's implied that as Mor'du, he has no control over himself and his bear form's feral mind whatsoever, being driven to butcher and slaughter against his human will with death being his only hope of release, and the ending suggests that the Prince's spirit trapped inside the bear has grown to regret his past follies that have led him to his current fate.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Other than him there are no villains in this story; the conflict is a parent-child one.
  • Walking Spoiler: Anything beyond 'monster bear' is a spoiler.
  • Was Once a Man: It's revealed halfway through the film that he was once human before the Witch's spell turned him into the bloodthirsty Demon Bear, and his transformation became permanent.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Mor'du has no problem attacking either Elinor and/or Merida.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He makes his first appearance by nearly attacking a six-year-old Merida.

    The Witch
Voiced by: Julie Walters

A Witch (also referred to as a Wise Woman, and while you're here she personally prefers the title "Woodcarver") whom Merida seeks out when she wishes to change her fate. She seems a little batty — alright, way more than a little — but there's no denying she's got magical chops. Though she considers carving wood to be her true calling, she'll still whip up a spell for a customer... at the right price.

  • Aesop Enforcer: She is this to both Merida and Mor'du. The transformation is flipped with Merida, transforming her family members instead of her, while Mor'du was played straight. Considering how Mor'du's story wound up (murdering his family, most of his kingdom, and allegedly dozens of others), she either thought that granting Merida's request would release Mor'du and end well for her or just didn't care.
  • Animal Motifs: She seems to be very fond of bears, carving them in wood all the time or turning people into bears.
  • Cool Old Lady: She's old and batty, yet very nice.
  • Crazy-Prepared: "If you're that red-haired lass, vial three."
  • Crippling Over Specialization:
    • She can do a lot with wood carvings but only bears.
    • When it comes to magic if you want to transform yourself or somebody into a bear, she's your huckleberry. If you want to do literally anything else with magic, well...
  • Druid: An old bear-themed magic user in Celtic Scotland.
  • Eccentric Artist: Bear statues, bear toys, bear paintings. She's... Not all there.
  • Eccentric Mentor: The word "eccentric" was the first thing revealed about her character, and she jumpstarts Merida's character development in a round-about way.
  • The Fair Folk: Her indifferent yet ultimately non-malicious literal-mindedness implies this of her true heritage, not to mention her age — she's been around for centuries!
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": The witch's cauldron message.
    Welcome to the Crafty Carver, home of bear-themed carvings and novelties! I am completely out of stock at this time. But, if you'd like to inquire about portraits or wedding cake toppers, pour vial 1 into the cauldron. If you'd like the menu in Gaelic, vial 2. If you're that red-haired lass, vial 3. To speak with a live homonculus—
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: She is a magic user (a witch rather than a genie, but she does play the role of a Literal Genie.) She doesn't make any specific pop culture references, but the pre-recorded message in her cauldron intentionally invokes an automated attendant in a modern-day phone call, with Merida having to pour a numbered vial of potion into the cauldron in place of pushing a phone button. Merida is understandably confused, since this is a reference to something way ahead of the movie's setting. Amusingly, one of the few non-bear carvings in her workshop is a Pizza Planet Truck. A modified 1978 truck meant for delivering pizzas certainly won’t exist until many centuries later.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: An unintentional, absent-minded example. Her magic makes her the most powerful person in this story and she has the potential to be dangerous but she's not involved with the movie's core conflict.
  • Greed: She outright refuses to do Merida any spell because she doesn't want to cause any trouble, but does it anyway when offered a valuable pendant by Merida. If you look closely the design on it features three bears intertwined with each other. Given the Witch's fixation on bears, is it any wonder she wasn't going to pass up that little treasure?
  • Hermit Guru: Lives in a cottage in the woods, quite far from civilization.
  • Implausible Deniability: Her claims that she's a woodcarver, not a witch... as she leaves the broom she's sweeping with to sweep the floor by itself.
  • Large Ham: The Witch insists on using Nightmare Face and an ominous deep voice for her message cauldron.
  • Literal Genie: This is why Elinor gets turned into a bear. Merida wanted her mother to get off her back, but what she said was "change my mother". It approaches Jerkass Genie territory with the fallen prince — he asks for the strength of ten men, and gets turned into Mor'du.
  • Literal-Minded: "I want to change my mother." Yes indeed, she can do that.
  • Master of the Levitating Blades: She has a dozen of them and they can levitate to threaten people.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen: She's only a head taller than the just-out-of-infancy toddlers.
  • No Name Given: "Witch" is all.
  • Non-Malicious Monster:
    • Ultimately, she's not intentionally malevolent at all, just Literal-Minded, indifferent, and a bit forgetful. Heck, she doesn't even want to do witchcraft for Merida because of "too many unsatisfied customers" and only caves in when she's offered a very valuable trinket.
    • Also, as revealed in "The Legend of Mordu", she saw "a wounded soul behind his bluster, so she agreed to his wish for the strength of ten men, but with a choice. Either he used it to fulfill his desire, or amend his bond with the brothers. He chose the former.
  • One-Track-Minded Artist: Both her carvings and her spells seem to always involve bears.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Hard to believe, but it's implied in the film and confirmed in supplementary material that she's the one who sold Mor'du the spell that turned him into a bear, and that happened so long ago the kingdom he ruled is only known in legend. She was already an old woman — or in the shape of an old woman — then.
  • Single Substance Manipulation: The only other magic she seems adept at besides bear transformations seems to be making wood move however she wants, making bladed but wood-handled tools brandish at Merida with a wave of her hands. Certainly would help with her woodcarving.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: She's made it onto this poster, but that's it. It doesn't help that she only appears for two short sequences. Disney later edited a parody TV spot that features her prominently.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Lives by herself (apart from her sapient crow familiar) in a cottage in the woods.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Fitting as she's a witch.
  • The Transmogrifier: The only thing her magic seems to do is transforming humans into bears.
  • Wicked Witch: An averted example. She's not evil and sees herself as an entrepreneur. As such, she rarely offers her services as a witch and instead makes a living selling wooden figurines of bears.

    The Crow
Voiced by: Steve Purcell

The talking crow who hangs around in the Witch's cottage.

  • Ambiguously Gay: His assessment of the ancient prince? "Easy on the eyes. Tight pants."
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Naturally, as a witch's familiar, he's smarter than the average crow.
  • Anachronism Stew: Like the Witch, he has a futuristic viewpoint of things. To say nothing of his American accent.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Witch tosses and knocks him around with impunity.
  • Creepy Crows: He's fairly eerie when he's not talking.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally, especially when heckling the Witch's story in her short film.
  • Familiar: The uplifted animal companion and assistant to a magic user? Check.
  • No Name Given: He's just "the Crow".
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: A crow rather than a parrot, but his personality fits given his heckling.
  • Talking Animal: The only animal in the film that communicates verbally, presumably through magical means.
  • Unexplained Accent: The only character in the film not to sound Scottish. He speaks in an American accent of all things.

Alternative Title(s): Merida, Bravely