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Residents of Deadwood, South Dakota

The Bullock Family

    Bullock 

Seth Bullock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bullock_seth_1.jpg
Played By: Timothy Olyphant

Al Swearengen: Startin' when?
Seth Bullock: Startin' now.

A native of Ontario and the son of a stern British sergeant-major, Seth Bullock left home for good at the age of sixteen and ended up in Montana during the silver strikes of the 1860s. A natural leader, he held a number of elected positions in his early twenties and was eventually appointed Sheriff of Montana Territory.

Having heard of the big strikes in the Black Hills, Bullock has made his way to Deadwood not to prospect, but to open up a hardware franchise with his business partner and friend Sol Star. But while his intent was to become a merchant, Bullock's staunch ideas of right and wrong soon pull him back toward law enforcement.


  • Arranged Marriage: Following his brother's abrupt death, Bullock married his sister-in-law Martha out of obligation, becoming his nephew's stepfather.
  • Badass Boast: He rattles them off with some frequency, and he always means what he says.
    • Challenging Al;
    "[Alma] gets a square shake, or I come for you."
    • To Alma's deceitful father;
    "Leave this camp, and draw a map for anyone who wants to believe your fucking lies. Anyone wants to put your daughter or her holdings in jeopardy, you show 'em how to get here and you tell 'em I'll be waiting."
    • While a black man is being tortured, responding to the torturer's complaint that the black man had called him a "motherfucker";
    "I'll motherfuck you, and, (Draws and aims his gun) blow your head off.
  • Badass Longcoat: Frequently wears one.
  • Badass Moustache: Rather than a thick beard, Bullock has an impressive moustache.
  • Berserk Button: He has more than a few: don't threaten Alma or even talk dirty about her, don't bully others.
  • Bully Hunter: Bullock can't abide a bully, and always feels obliged to intervene. Alma's father calls him out on it.
    Otis: Were you bullied, Mr. Bullock, when young and incapable? Now you see wrongs everywhere and bullying you feel called to remedy.
  • Canada, Eh?: He was born in and spent most of his early life in Etobicoke, Ontario (if his history is the same as his real-life counterpart, he ran away to Montana at age sixteen to escape his abusive father).
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Bullock is too honorable to maintain any deception, and he lacks the skills at it. Everyone knows about his affair with Alma, and within an hour of Martha arriving in town, she ferrets out what's happened from Bullock's shamed expression and awkward manner around Alma.
  • Character Development: Gradually, he learns to control his temper better, since it rarely works out for him in the long run. Following the Time Skip, he's much more even-tempered and cerebral in his duties and holds himself back from indulging in violence when it's not necessary.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: As much as Bullock would like to just own a hardware store and ignore the injustices around him, he just can't help but intervene. His sense of moral duty ends up pushing him into becoming The Sheriff.
  • Clean Up the Town: Bullock doesn't intend this at first, but he wants it the more he stays at Deadwood. When it becomes clear that he's the best man for the job, he resigns himself to taking up the badge.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's not as prevalent as Al or even Cy, but Bullock gets his fair share of sharp lines in.
    "We got chamber pots to sell ya. And if you don't know what one of those is, the man livin' next to you will appreciate your findin' out."
  • Death Glare: Holy shit, he can cut you down with a stare. Lampshaded in the second season premier when he fires one as Al, ultimately resulting in a near-fatal brawl.
  • Determinator: Overcomes quite a few obstacles trying to achieve what he believes is right.
  • Due to the Dead: Bullock has a strong tendency to treat the dead with respect, preferring to see to it that they are buried in the way they would have wanted.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Bullock is introduced on his last night as a marshal; he's engaging in amiable small talk with a prisoner, but doesn't entertain the notion of freeing him. When a lynch mob appears to exact frontier justice, Bullock entrusts Sol with holding a gun on them while speeding up the prisoner's hanging so the letter of the law is followed. He takes the prisoner's last words and helps him with "the drop". The scene exhibits Bullock's cunning, moral code, professional ruthlessness and his friendship with Sol.
  • Expy: After a fashion, he's this of Jake Spoon from another Western television series Lonesome Dove except Darker and Edgier and being the show's lead instead of a supporting character that Spoon was for his show, for their job occupations as lawmen, having Badass Moustaches, being one of the shows' ensemble cast regulars and that Bullock's actor Timothy Olyphant does bear a resemblance to Spoon's actor Robert Urich.
  • Fastest Gun in the West: He draws about as fast as the famous Fastest Gun in the West "Wild" Bill Hickok, though he makes no claim at the title.
  • Fatal Flaw: His rage. Numerous times, Bullock lets his anger get the best of him and the short-term satisfaction of doling out violence usually ends up hurting him:
    • When he beats Otis Russell half to death, he suddenly has to make arrangements for the man to be transported safely out of camp since the likes of Al want him dead. This leads directly to him becoming Sheriff, which he spent an entire season trying to avoid.
    • He engages in a fist-fight with Al that injures them both and takes them over the edge of the balcony, right in front of his newly-arrived wife and stepson who get to witness him slathered in mud, wounded and about to get his throat cut. He's only saved by Al feeling "unmanned" by the prospect of murdering a boy's stepfather in front of him.
    • Beating E.B. Farnum because he believes E.B. told Hearst of his affair with Alma; it was, in fact, a plot by Hearst to get Bullock to confirm his suspicions, and Bullock played right into his hands.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Bullock is a hell of a guy deep down; he's steadfast, reliable and loyal. Still, he's rather prickly with a short temper that makes it hard for others to like him on a personal level. At his worse, he's an experienced killer who doesn't mind bashing somebody's skull in with a rock if he has to.
  • The Gunslinger: Bullock establishes his credentials as a Quick Draw artist by drawing about as fast as Wild Bill Hickok, though he modestly gives Hickok the edge.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He could be the page image. He tends to take any kind of insult, even the slightest, like a punch to the face. Sol tends to be there to mitigate his worse tendencies, but Bullock still initiates more than a few fights when Sol isn't around.
  • Heroic Fatigue: He's already suffering this at the start of the series, hence why he's giving up his career as a lawman to settle down in Deadwood selling mining equipment. Of course, this doesn't last.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sol Star, his business partner and more level-headed best friend.
  • Hot-Blooded: Mostly due to his Hair-Trigger Temper, though he also falls very passionately in love with Alma. A large portion of his character is his colossal effort to restrain his emotional impulses.
  • In-Series Nickname: Wild Bill always referred to Bullock as Montana, rather then addressing him by his first name. It's an affectionate one; Bill eventually asks Bullock if he's okay with it and gets a positive answer.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bullock is not the best conversationalist, and it doesn't take much to offend him. At the same time, he's a good man with genuinely altruistic motives and an innate desire to protect others.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When he beats up Farnum, and later when he arrests Hearst, humiliating him by pulling him on the ear and taking him to jail.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Bullock came to Deadwood specifically to give up being a law man and do something for himself for once. He knows that the town is a Wretched Hive and planned to exploit it, but instead ended up volunteering to defend it as the Sheriff. Bullock hardly enjoys being sheriff, but his sense of morality is far too strong for him to ignore the injustice around him.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Al's vicious insults directed at Alma prompt one hell of a fight.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bullock is prone to this. He will never throw a single punch, but if you piss him off enough, he will beat you within an inch of your life.
  • Parental Substitute: Literally. Bullock married his brother's widow so his nephew William would grow up with a father.
  • The Sheriff: After some initial reluctance, he becomes Deadwood's Sheriff, and even has to fight in elections to remain Sheriff.
  • The Teetotaler: In contrast to the frequent use of alcohol by pretty much all other major characters (Doc Cochran, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Al Swearengen and his men), Bullock rarely drinks at all.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: In a lawless hive like Deadwood, Bullock often has to navigate between what's the right thing to do and what's legal.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Alma Garret; they are clearly attracted to each other from the first instance, and they grow increasingly close. They Do, but they call off their relationship soon after due to Bullock's marriage to Martha. All the same, they're clearly in love and have real difficulty being apart.
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    Martha 

Martha Eccles Bullock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bullock_martha.jpg
Played By: Anna Gunn

Martha Eccles Bullock is Seth Bullock's wife and former sister-in-law. Seth's brother Robert had been a cavalryman and died while fighting comancheros in Texas. Bullock felt obliged to marry and take care of the widow and orphan, although he is not actually romantically involved with her. This was the custom of the time so many children would not grow up fatherless after the Civil and Indian wars. She feels a confusing mix of gratitude towards Bullock, perhaps even romantic love for him, but wishes he not sacrifice his own happiness any more than necessary to provide for her and her son.


  • Arranged Marriage: As was the custom at the time, Martha's marriage to Seth Bullock was out of a mutual sense of duty following the death of her husband, Seth's brother.
  • Cool Teacher: She takes to teaching very well, proving herself to be patient and understanding toward her students.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Martha is far from a terrible person, but she can come across as rather cold and emotionless, particularly in her marriage to Bullock (although there are, shall we say, mitigating circumstances. She exhibits much more warmth as a firm but gentle schoolteacher, and following the Time Skip, she's clearly happy and content.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In contrast to her extremely polite attitude, a dictate during one of her classes includes crude antisemitic and anti-Indian remarks.
  • Despair Event Horizon: William's death all but destroys her; she does somewhat shakily recover by throwing herself into her role as camp teacher.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Martha loses her husband, has to move to a Wretched Hive, is humiliated by her second husband's infidelity and loses her only son to a tragic accident. Come The Movie, she's Happily Married with more children by Seth, and seems to be content and happy in her life in Deadwood.
  • Happily Married: To Bullock, after the Time Skip. All the tension and uncertainty between them has eased away over the years.
  • Hot Teacher: She's very attractive, a fact which doesn't change after she becomes the camp's school teacher (due to the first candidate being literally freaked out into abandoning it). Jane is seen peeking through the windows of her classroom either out of a fascination with the class itself or because she's attracted to Martha...or both.
  • Last-Name Basis: She insists on calling Seth "Mr. Bullock". Seth teases her by calling her Martha in occasion, but to no avail.
  • Settle for Sibling: Martha was married to Bullock's brother, and when he died she married Seth. This was the custom at the time, since it wouldn't do for a woman to be a single mother.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Aside from being a beautiful blonde, she stands at 5'10".
  • Woman Scorned: She figures out very quickly that Seth had a prior relationship with Alma before her arrival in camp, and resents both Alma and Seth for it.

    William 

William Bullock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bullock_william_6260.jpg
Portrayed By: Josh Eriksson

Seth Bullock's nephew-turned-adopted son. William arrives at Deadwood with his mother Martha at the beginning of Season 2, when Seth deems the town safe enough for them. He has a profound admiration for his Sheriff uncle-father, but suffers because of the lack of other children in the camp.


The Ellsworth Family

    Alma 

Alma Russell Garret Ellsworth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ellsworth_alma_russell_garrett.jpg
"I don't think we should linger here."
Played By: Molly Parker

"I've wished sometimes only to play checkers or to occupy myself some other way than having to see and feel so much sadness, or feel every moment how difficult things are, to understand or to live with."

Thirty and beautiful, Alma Garret married after the panic of 1873 to salvage her father's strained finances. Preferring a fool's errand to the circumstances of New York society, she came west with her husband, Brom, to prospect, a woolly situation she softened with liberal use of laudanum.


  • Abusive Parents: Alma has suffered under the deceptively affable rule of her father, Otis. His good humor and quick smile doesn't do a thing to disguise his true nature and his lack of love for Alma; he views her as a tool to be used, discarded and used again at will, abusing her financially and even threatening to falsely implicate her in the death of Brom, whom he pressured her into marrying in the first place so he could pay off his many debts. It's little wonder she seems so resigned to a miserable, drug-addled life when she first arrives in Deadwood.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Brom, whom she married at her father's direction. The marriage is far from a happy one, with Brom being generally oblivious to Alma's misery and Alma choosing to languish in a drugged-out stupor. She does, however, have some warm feelings toward him, since he's a mostly well-meaning City Mouse who, at worst, is an insensitive buffoon.
  • Broken Bird: Alma isn't as privileged and well-to-do as her appearance and somewhat haughty manner suggests; she's lived under the thumb of cruel, manipulative father, is practically sold off to Brom, and as a result she struggles with addiction and crippling loneliness. After arriving at Deadwood, her fortunes do lift somewhat, but only after severe hardship.
  • Cartwright Curse: Alma marries twice, and both times her husband is murdered. Brom is killed by Dan on Al's orders, and Ellsworth is shot by a Pinkerton agent at Hearst's behest.
  • City Mouse: She's a city-dweller and is largely out of her element in Deadwood, but she's still cannier than the likes of Brom. She's acquainted with the subtle evil of her father but she gets used to the out-and-out violence of Deadwood pretty quick.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Averted; Alma's feelings toward having the child of a man she's not married to are understandably mixed given the time period, but the ensuing loss of the baby is completely necessary; as it turns out, she suffers a birth defect that makes pregnancy risky and ultimately has to undergo an abortion to save her own life.
  • Determined Widow: Being a beautiful widow with a profitable gold claim in the Wretched Hive of Deadwood naturally puts her in danger, but she refuses to run and sticks with the town through thick and thin.
  • Functional Addict: Alma's depression led her to self-medicate with spirits when she was 17, and she's become a laudanum addict by the time the events of the series begins. With the help of Trixie and Doc Cochran, she cleans up, but does eventually relapse to deal with actual physical pain.
  • Going Cold Turkey: She quits the laudanum cold turkey, but it's far from easy.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: In contrast to everyone else, Alma is always very well-turned out. Only Joanie comes close to matching Alma in sense of fashion.
  • It's All My Fault: After Ellsworth is killed, she immediately goes full My God, What Have I Done?, to which Al quips that she wasn't the one that pulled the trigger.
  • Parental Substitute: To Sofia Metz.
  • Proper Lady: She's quite the stickler for manners and proper decorum.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Displays her upper-class education through her speech, even in a show of unusually flowery language.
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse: Her striking good looks and gentle manner result in plenty of admirers, although few are wanted. There's Bullock, who she loves and Ellsworth who she loves in a platonic manner. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's the likes of Richardson and Hearst.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Bullock. They Do, but they call off their relationship soon after due to Bullock's marriage to Martha. All the same, they're clearly in love and have real difficulty being apart.
  • Woman Scorned: She harbors a jealous dislike for Bullock's legal wife, Martha. However, she's fully aware of how irrational her dislike is and feels guilty over it.

    Ellsworth 

Whitney Ellsworth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ellsworth_whitney.jpg
"Goddammit, Swearengen, I don't trust you as far as I could throw you, but I enjoy the way you lie."
Played By: Jim Beaver

"I may have fucked up my life flatter'n hammered shit, but I stand here before you today beholden to no human cocksucker, and holdin' a workin' fuckin' gold claim, and not the U.S. government tellin' me I'm trespassin', or the savage fuckin' red man or any of these other limber-dick cocksuckers passin' themselves off as prospectors had better try and stop me."

Whitney Conway Ellsworth is an experienced prospector who has pursued the color all over the country, even having once worked as a miner at wage and an overseer on sites owned by the Hearst mining company. Having left his position with the company, disgusted at the nonchalant attitude to the well being of the miners, he is introduced in the first season as one of the many individuals who has traveled to the town with the promise of wealth in the gold rich hills, revealing himself to have a 'dead-eye' for the color having successfully managed to eke out a comfortable living in this profession.


  • All Love Is Unrequited: He's in love with Alma, who is in turn in love with Bullock.
  • Badass Beard: Beards aren't exactly a rarity in Deadwood, but Ellsworth in particular shows no caution around Hearst and follows his own moral fortitude.
  • Berserk Button: George Hearst and the Hearst Company in general. Ellsworth knows exactly what type of man Hearst is, and is infuriated by his mere presence.
  • Boom, Headshot!: One of Hearst's men shoots him in the dead while he's speaking to his dog.
  • Canine Companion: His beloved dog, whom he speaks to with some frequency.
  • Celibate Hero: After marrying Alma, he doesn't sleep with her. He knows well enough that she's not attracted to him, and respects her wishes while also never being unfaithful. Ellsworth is quite a guy.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He saved three men in a mining collapse, but many more died because the hole shouldn't have been dug in the first place. It's still a horrible and infuriating memory for him.
    Wolcott: I do dimly recall an Ellsworth—superintended the consolidated Virginia operations.
    Ellsworth: I don't give a fuck what you recall -
    Wolcott: A hero! Dug a week without respite to save three poor souls from a cave-in.
    Ellsworth: And 46 corpses in a fucking hole that ought never to have been dug!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ellsworth certainly has his moments.
    Joanie: Will you keep a girl company?
    Ellsworth: I will, but I’m expensive.
  • Friend to All Children: Ellsworth has an easy way with kids; he likes them, and they adore him in return.
  • Prospector: He's been a prospector pursuing gold for many years.
  • Nice Guy: Ellsworth is a fundamentally decent man who treats everyone around him with civility and kindness...except for George Hearst and his employees. In fact, everybody in camp likes him and he has no issues with anyone save for the aforementioned Hearst Company. After his death, everyone is outraged. Even the likes of Farnum and Cy are upset.
  • Parental Substitute: He intends to for Alma's children.
  • Sacrificial Lion: After being a beloved main character for the bulk of three seasons, he's murdered on the orders of George Hearst late in Season 3 to prove that Hearst is the Big Bad in all his glory.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Ellsworth might appear to be a grizzled prospector, and he is, but he's no donkey-brained hick. He's intelligent and perceptive, seeing right through Hearst's manipulations.
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    Sofia 

Sofia Metz

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/metz_sofia_4718.jpg
"Trixie!"

A young member of the Midwest's Scandinavian community. Her parents, brothers and sisters were all murdered when they were leaving Deadwood in the Pilot episode in a hit planned by Al Swearengen, whose henchmen then tried to pass it as an Indian attack, which she almost miraculously survived. Left in the care of the camp, she is eventually adopted by Alma Garret.


Wild Bill's Entourage

    Wild Bill 

James Butler ”Wild Bill” Hickock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hickok_james_butler.jpg
Played By: Keith Carradine

"You know the sound of thunder, don't you, Mrs. Garrett?"

James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok has a reputation as one of the fastest gunslingers around. He arrives in Deadwood as a weary man who seems determined to let his compulsive drinking and gambling take over. With him are his friend, Charlie Utter, and devotee, Calamity Jane. He has apparently come to prospect but despite Charlie Utter's attempts to persuade him to do so, he shows no interest and scolds Charlie for not leaving him be.


  • Badass Longcoat: Wild Bill is the original gunslinger, and he has a longcoat to go with it.
  • Badass Moustache: He sports facial hair that's as impressive as his shooting skills.
  • Beneath Notice: Wild Bill Hickok simply does not give one hoot about Jack McCall, thinking him a droopy-eyed buffoon who runs his mouth and whom Hickok is very good at beating in poker. It's not that he didn't like McCall, he simply didn't care about him. Which is why he never saw it coming when McCall shot him.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Jack McCall kills him by shooting him at point-blank range in the back of his head.
  • The Dandy: In terms of dress sense only; Wild Bill is very well put-together as opposed to the slightly more shabby denizens of Deadwood and even his own friends. Other than this, he's a quiet, stoic man.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bill possesses a dry, laconic wit.
    "If irritating me is the jackpot, you got the job done."
  • Dead Star Walking: In-story as well as in real life. Keith Carradine is a popular actor, and Wild Bill is already famous by the time he turns up in Deadwood.
  • Death Seeker: Wild Bill eventually confesses (without being direct about it) to Charlie that he's come to Deadwood to destroy himself through gambling, drink and needless confrontation.
    "Some goddamn time, a man's due to stop arguing with hisself, feeling twice the goddamn fool he knows he is because he can't be something he tries to be every goddamn day without once getting to dinnertime and not fucking it up. I don't want to fight it no more. Understand me, Charlie? And I don't want you pissing in my ear about it. Can you let me go to hell the way I want to?"
  • Doomed by Canon/Foregone Conclusion: He's shot dead by Jack McCall while playing poker at the No 10.
  • Famed in Story: Everybody knows Wild Bill Hickok. He's treated like a celebrity by some of the camp residents, a few of whom claim to have seen him in action.
  • Fastest Gun in the West: He earned his fame by being a quick draw, and shows why he has that reputation when confronting one of Sofia's attackers.
  • The Gambling Addict: He rarely lost money because he was that good at playing, but ended costing him his life.
  • The Gunslinger: Possibly the most well-known and legendary example. He proves it, too, when he outdraws a criminal in the blink of an eye.
  • Historical Domain Character: Wild Bill is an American legend and as is well-known, was indeed a real person.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Bill is extremely cynical and world-weary, and is far from being the hero everyone expects him to be. Nevertheless, he does help to save the life of Sofia Metz and gives solid advice to the Garretts.
  • Pet the Dog: He is Wild Bill Hickok, one of the most famous outlaws in American history. He's certainly done some brutal things in his past: but in the show, he is nothing short of polite to those that don't antagonize him, strikes up a friendship with Bullock, treats his friends with respect (with a little bit of good-natured snark), and is unfailingly considerate of Alma Garrett's situation after her husband's death.
  • Professional Gambler: While he's ostensibly in Deadwood to prospect, he spends most of his time playing cards with people he doesn't like.
  • Weapon of Choice: Bill owns an infamous pair of ivory decorated revolvers.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Wild Bill Hickok only gets four episodes before he's murdered by Jack Mc Call.
  • You Should Know This Already: Wild Bill was famously killed in Deadwood by a nobody named Jack McCall. His death in the series was never a spoiler, but an event that viewers were expecting (and due to the popularity of Bill as a character, dreading).

    Charlie 

Charlie Utter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/utter_charles.jpg
Played By: Dayton Callie

"Ohhh, I see you got your big fuckin' knife there, and hid somewhere on your persons you've probably got some pussified shootin' instrument. But I am good at first impressions, and you are a fucking cunt, and I doubt you've fought many MEN, maybe even ONE!"

Charles "Charlie" Utter is the good friend of Hickok and Jane, and Hickok's sometime business partner. He runs a mail and freight business in the camp and is also one of Bullock's deputies. He is an honest and uncomfortable person with a kind and generous nature. Incredibly noble, he is also tough and fearless in the face of adversity and not afraid to speak his mind clearly.


  • Badass Beard: He has one.
  • Berserk Button: Hurting women, and Joanie in particular, is the best way to get on Charlie's bad side. That's not a side you want to be on.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Charlie is a good-hearted man, but he will kick a cock-sucker's ass up and down Dakota if need be.
  • Bully Hunter: Not to the same extent as Bullock, but he dislikes them all the same.
  • Character Death: In The Movie Hearst has him killed after Charlie refuses an offer to buy his land.
  • Clueless Deputy: Subverted. Charlie is highly competent at almost any job he sets himself to.
  • Cool Old Guy: Charlie's an older fellow, but he's competent, tough and sensible.
  • Death by Adaptation: Charlie dies in 1889, whereas his historical counterpart died in 1912, 23 years later.
  • Determinator: When it comes to trying to do the right thing, Charlie doesn't give up, regardless of how hopeless the situation might seem. Despite Jane's descent into alcoholism and Wild Bill's Death Seeker ways, he still does everything he possibly can to help them.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Wild Bill Hickock, and later with Bullock.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: To Wild Bill, who's weary and apathetic with regards to his career. While Jane is largely useless except as an overzealous bodyguard, Charlie is the thinker, the planner, the arranger. He's likely the reason Bill stayed alive as long as he did.
  • Incompatible Orientation: According to David Milch, Charlie is in love with Joanie. He apparently recognizes that there's no possibility of a relationship between them, however, and settles for being Platonic Life-Partners with her instead.
  • Nice Guy: Charlie is just, at heart, a good man. He wants the best for others, protects those he feels need protecting and treats just about everyone with decency and respect.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The usually non-violent Charlie unleashes a much-deserved and downright savage beatdown on Francis Wolcott in retribution for his murders of the Maddie and her prostitutes.
  • Older Sidekick: To Bullock, following the death of Wild Bill.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Becomes this with Joanie.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jane. Charlie's (usually) patient, kind and considerate with her, and Jane repays him with vicious insults. Despite this, they do trust and care about each other largely due to their loyalty to Wild Bill, a loyalty that continues long after Bill's death.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Charlie is a nice guy in general, but goes out of his way to treat women with respect and tenderness. People who do hurt women enrage him, as Wolcott can attest.

    Jane 

"Calamity" Jane Cannary

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/canary_jane.jpg
Played By: Robin Weigert

"I drink what I’m able. If that comes to much, that’s the day’s affair and the liquor’s."

Born Martha Jane Cannary, Calamity Jane is nearly as famous as Hickok was and is known to be as tough as any man in the West. Raised in the mining camps of Wyoming, she is a legendary horsewoman and crack shot, and is rumored to have been an Army scout for Custer.


  • Abusive Parents: It's strongly implied by her first interaction with Al. She says he reminds her of her father; the previously tough Jane turns to a quivering mess in front of him and she's certain Al is planning to rape Sofia.
    Jane: Leave her! Leave- Leave her alone, You cocksucker! Do it to me If you have to!
  • The Alcoholic: Even in Deadwood, she stands out. It's rare that she isn't seen drunk to the point of incomprehension.
    Doc Cochran: I take it you've been out on a hoot?
    Jane: I've been drunk awhile; correct. What the fuck is that to you?
    Doc Cochran: The question was well meant. Like if you was a farmer, I'd ask ya how the farming was going.
  • Ambiguously Bi: She starts a romance with Joanie, though she's had sex with men, and her obsession with Wild Bill hints at romantic interest.
  • Broken Bird: Jane has led a hard, tough life, and the death of her beloved mentor destroys her almost completely.
  • Butch Lesbian: She's very much a tomboy, dressing in male clothes and her sexuality is revealed when she starts a friendship (and later romance) with Joanie.
  • Catchphrase: "Dudeeee you look like shit..."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jane is overwhelmingly sarcastic and insulting in the most hilarious ways.
    Mose: It’s me.
    Jane: Who is me? The fucking eclipse?
    Mose: Mose Manuel.
    Jane: Oh, really? I thought it — it was Giganto, the runaway circus elephant...Okay, Giganto! Don’t tusk me to death with your tusks.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Wild Bill's death sends her into a spiral of alcoholism and self-loathing that lasts pretty much the entire series.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Her first response to Bill's death is to down half a bottle of alcohol without stopping. For the rest of the series, she's either drunk or halfway there.
  • Heroic BSoD: During her first confrontation with Swearengen.
  • Informed Ability: She's said to be a master marksman and with the lasso, but never shows it, possibly because she's constantly drunk. Following the Time Skip, she finally demonstrates her skills by gunning down Harry Manning just in time to save Bullock.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jane is insulting, suspicious, ungrateful and needlessly aggressive, but she's actually deeply sensitive to the needs of others and has a strong moral compass.
  • The Lad-ette: Very much so. She's more masculine than many of the male characters.
    "And I don't drink where I'm the only fuckin' one with balls!"
  • Lady Drunk: She's a lady. And she's extremely drunk...all the time.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Her tomboyish appearance earns her more than a few insults, not that she gives too much of a damn. She even has an anecdote about a gay man who confused her with a possible partner.
    "Fella in Livingstone went sweet on me. Finnish fella from Finland, hardly spoke fucking English. Brought me flowers and some dry food they like there. And, uh, one night, he takes my arm and he starts in and he, uh, whispers in his Finland accent, "I want to suck your cock"!"
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: For all of the show's three seasons, Jane's handiness with a gun is little more than an Informed Ability. However, Jane finally gets the chance to show her mettle during the movie's climax. As Bullock's treacherous deputy, bought off by Hearst, attempts to murder the marshal, Jane manages to piece together the man's intentions before shooting him dead, saving Bullock's life.
  • The Load: To Charlie Utter. He does his best to take care of her and look after her, but she mostly just insults him and gets drunk.
    Charlie: Jane ain’t with me, ‘cause she’s a drunken fuckin’ mess, and I don’t know what to do about it. I know you want her looked out for, and I’m doin’ my fuckin’ best. But I won’t stand before you claimin’ optimism.
  • Miles Gloriosus: A rare sympathetic example. Jane talks a good game about always being eager for a fight. However, any instance where she's actually confronted by someone dangerous usually ends with her blubbering up and/or running away. Doubles as a Lovable Coward.
  • Mountain Man: A female example, right down to the coonskin hat.
  • Nice Hat: She's rarely seen without her hat.
  • Official Couple: With Joanie, eventually.
  • One of the Boys: She recounts how a stranger once mistook her for a man and offered her a blowjob.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: She isn't racist, and perhaps recognizes non-whites in the camp as fellow outcasts looked down upon by the majority. She does, however, use racial slurs casually (albeit not usually with malice).
  • Rape as Backstory: Jane was raped repeatedly from a very young age. The culprit is strongly implied to be her father, among others.
    "I've been fucked plenty. And by tougher fucks than he was. [pointing at Sofia] And littler than her, by plenty. They fucked me plenty, so you can go fuck yourself."
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: She hates putting one on for a wedding.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even for this show. Every other word is "fuck" or "cocksucker".
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: She doesn't want for conversational partners, but trusts so few people that she usually only expresses honesty to the grave of Wild Bill.
  • Tomboy: To a T; she wears male clothing, does 'male' activities and tends to hang out mostly with men.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Joanie from the end of the second season onward.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Charlie Utter. He's (usually) patient, kind and considerate with Jane, and she repays him with vicious insults. Despite this, they do trust and care about each other largely due to their loyalty to Wild Bill, a loyalty that continues long after Bill's death.
    Charlie: I wish to hell I knew what I ever did to get on that woman's wrong side.
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The Grand Central Hotel

    Farnum 

Eustace Bailey "E. B." Farnum

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/farnum_eustace_bailey.jpg
Played By: William Sanderson

"The bald contempt of it! Why not come out five abreast cavorting and taunting 'E.B. was left out! E.B. was left out!'? Cocksuckers! Cuntlickers! Make your filthy gestures. Public service was never my primary career..."

Eustace Bailey "E. B." Farnum is the proprietor of the Grand Central Hotel and self-appointed mayor of the town, a role he inhabits with comic opera buffoonish seriousness. He is totally controlled by Swearengen, although he harbors delusions of potential grandeur for himself. He is incredibly greedy — costing Al the chance to buy Alma Garret's claim due to low offers — and continually asks prying questions to people around town, leading to numerous abuses and threats directed towards him.


  • Authority in Name Only: While he is the (self-appointed) mayor, he's nothing but a puppet to whoever he's afraid of most at any given time.
  • Bad Boss: EB is usually the lickspittle to any number of these, but serves as one himself to his poor, beleagured cook, Richardson. EB mercilessly abuses and bullies him, both to boost his own fragile ego and simply because, well, he's that kind of person.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Farnum would like to consider himself a player in town, but he's too short-sighted, greedy and cowardly to get anywhere beyond being a lapdog.
  • The Bully: Considering how often he's on the receiving end of a bully's abuse, you'd think EB would be more sympathetic to those he holds power over, but nope. For all the bullying he endures, he dishes it out just as viciously if he thinks he can get away with it.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: For the most part, he's an incompetent lickspittle who's so slimy he's incapable of any prolonged deception, try as he might. His short-sighted greed constantly invites trouble, but he evades punishment mostly by having the occasional moment of genuine competence.
  • Butt-Monkey: Farnum is a willing puppet of whoever scares him the most, alternatively being Al, Tolliver and Hearst, all of whom are put-off enormously byhis ass-kissing ways. Al tends to delegate him to humiliating jobs like scrubbing up his murder scenes, but Hearst reaches new levels of asshattery by commanding E.B. to stand still in one place for hours. He spits on his face and orders him not to wipe it off. Basically, E.B. gets humiliated a lot.
  • The Chew Toy: Al terrifies him day-in and day-out, to the point where it would be possible to feel sorry for him were it not for every other thing about him. It gets Taken Up To Eleven in Season 3, when Hearst seems eager to kill him at any given moment but holds back in favor of humiliation, even setting him up to be beaten half to death by Bullock for no good reason at all.
  • The Dandy: Only after he is made mayor, and even then his new suit gets quickly overused.
    E.B.: Anything the mayor should know?
    Al: The name of another tailor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He only snarks when he thinks he can get away with it, but he's a snarker nevertheless.
    "Could you have been born, Richardson, and not egg-hatched as I've always assumed?"

    Farnum: Some ancient Italian maxim fits our situation, whose particulars escape me.
    Wolcott: Is the gist that I'm shit outta luck?
    Farnum: Did they speak that way then?
  • Dirty Coward: When E.B. realizes he's in danger, there's no debasement that he won't visit upon himself in hopes of the promise of a mere extended second of survival.
  • The Dog Bites Back: He fantasizes about doing such to Hearst; but due to Farnum being Farnum, it's wishful thinking at best. Played straight in the movie where EB learns of Hearst's plan to murder Samuel Fields, a witness to the murder of Charlie Utter, and promptly alerts Bullock. This ultimately leads to Hearst's hand in Utter's murder being made public, followed by his subsequent arrest and humiliation.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's angered by the happiness of others, since genuine happiness eludes him on a constant basis. When Richardson gains applause for his juggling, he's furious and Jack Langrishe subsequently calls him on it.
    Jack: Envy is a cardinal sin, Mr. Farnum. Cardinal sin!
  • Karma Houdini: By all rights, Farnum should have been killed a dozen times over yet he always manages to slither his way to survival. Still, he hardly leads a charmed life, as the good people of Deadwood and elsewhere do tend to visit upon him every imaginable indignity except the final one.
  • Mommy Issues: He vaguely alludes to having these, and considering what type of person EB is, his family life must have been fascinating.
    "Puberty may bring you to understand what we take for mother-love is really murderous hatred and a desire for revenge."
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: EB hates everybody, so it can be easy to forget what a virulent racist and misogynist he is, until he's seen treating Mr. Wu with open disdain or when he's spending his entire speech at the mayoral debates mocking Sol's Jewish heritage with thinly-veiled anti-semitic remarks.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: To just about everyone who is a station above him.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Not to Merrick's extent, but close.
  • Slime Ball: Everyone who encounters E.B. instantly knows what kind of man he is due to the secretion of slime that he tries to pass off as charm. It's accepted by everyone, from the good-hearted Charlie Utter to the monstrous George Hearst, that E.B. is a vile runt of a man who can't be trusted to take a step forward without trying to pull some pathetic con.
    Jane: Who runs that joint?
    Wolcott: A grotesque named Farnum.
    Jane: You ain't lied, so far.
  • Sleazy Politician: After he becomes mayor. There was no chance he'd be anything else, considering the type of person he is.
  • Smug Snake: E.B. would like to say he's on the same level as Al, and denigrates those who he considers beneath him (like Richardson and...nobody else is beneath Farnum). E.B. is actually a coward whose plans are poorly thought-out, hastily executed and forever doomed to failure.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In The Movie, he goes out of his way to tell Bullock about the attempt on Samuel Fields' life, despite having noting to gain. It's perhaps his most decent act, and even then it's likely motivated by his lingering resentment toward Hearst.
  • Wicked Cultured: He does have some education, enough at least to engage in some Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
  • Yes-Man: To Al; Farnum often tells him what he wants to hear, but Al is too smart to fall for the usual Yes-Man tactics.

    Richardson 

Richardson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/richardson.jpg
"I’ll just keep quiet."
Portrayed By: Ralph Richeson

"Could you have been born, Richardson? And not egg-hatched as I've always assumed?"
E.B. Farnum

Farnum's abused, idiotic cook, introduced in the second season. Nobody knows what is exactly wrong with him. After receiving a deer antler from Alma Garret he begins to display his most iconic and outlandish act: Praying to a pair of moose antlers in the hall of Farnum's hotel.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: To the beautiful Alma, who rejects him as gently as she can be expected to.
    Richardson: I like you.
    Alma: Thank you, Richardson.
    Richardson: You’re purdy.
    Alma: Thank you very much. And probably that’s all either of us needs to say on that subject ever again.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: It's unclear if there's anything mentally wrong with him beyond being an idiot. It's even unclear if Richardson is actually an idiot to begin with.
  • Ascended Extra: He was an extra in Season 1, but the creators liked Ralph Richeson's odd and quirky performance and so he became a recurring character in Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: To Farnum, and he is certainly beleaguered.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: To Farnum, who's already bumbling enough.
  • Butt-Monkey: He's the Butt-Monkey to someone who's already a Butt-Monkey; Farnum is looked down on and disliked by everyone, so Richardson winds up the target of his endless bitterness.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Richardson is certainly an odd fellow, most obviously clear when he begins praying to a pair of moose antlers.
  • Hidden Depths: It's hinted at several times that Richardson may be much smarter than he lets on.
  • Iconic Item: The deer antler, an involuntary gift from Alma.
  • Last-Name Basis: His first name is never revealed.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Or so it's implied by one masterful shot of him reading the newspaper, suggesting that he might be more intelligent than everyone assumes.
  • Odd Friendship: Richardson, the skinny white idiot working for Farnum, forms a lasting and genuinely loving friendship with Aunt Lou, an intelligent black woman working for Hearst.

Star & Bullock Hardware

    Sol 

Solomon "Sol" Star

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/star_solomon_2891.jpg

Solomon "Sol" Star is Seth Bullock's best friend and partner in the hardware business and the only Jew in camp. He is from Vienna, Austria. Imperturbable and sensible, Sol has become a rising force in the camp.


  • Adaptational Nationality: The real Sol Star was born in Germany, not Austria.
  • Alliterative Name: Sol Star.
  • Beta Couple: With Trixie.
  • The Conscience: To Bullock. He often reigns in Bullock's more rage-fueled actions, but since it's Bullock, there's only so much Sol can do.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bullock, whom he comes to Deadwood with.
  • Love at First Sight: For Trixie, whom he instantly forms an attraction to.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Smart, successful and sensitive, the three primary pillars of a nice Jewish boy.
  • Non-Action Guy: Sol has no skill in gunfighting, but he consistently shows that he's quite brave and is willing to show up with a gun in hand to back up his friends. This gets him yelled at a few times for being in a situation where he really doesn't belong, and also shot by Johnny.
  • Odd Friendship: Sol, an even-tempered and kindly Jewish man, is friends with a Hot-Blooded lawman and Bully Hunter with major anger issues.
  • Only Sane Man: He can seem like this at times, especially when compared to Bullock.
  • The Smart Guy: He's educated and business-savvy in a place predominantly filled with rustic types.
  • Token Minority: Much is made of the fact that he's Jewish; Deadwood adheres to Politically Incorrect History, so he's the subject of many racial slurs which he takes in stride.

The No. 10 Saloon

    Tom 

Thomas 'Tom' Nuttall

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nuttall_thomas.jpg
Played By: Leon Rippy

Thomas "Tom" Nuttall is proprietor of the No. 10 Saloon which is the site of Wild Bill Hickok's murder. (The saloon is named for its address on the camp's main thoroughfare.) One of the first settlers to arrive in Deadwood, arriving before even Swearengen, he has grown increasingly disillusioned with the camp and its future and has gone as far as to consider selling his saloon and leaving the camp.


  • Badass Bystander: He runs after and catches Jack McCall after he shoots Wild Bill Hickock in his joint.
  • The Bartender: Of the Number 10 Saloon, when Harry isn't on duty.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: No matter what he's wearing, he always wears his bartender apron, to the point of getting offended when somebody suggests him to take it off.
  • Nice Guy: In general, Tom is a pleasant man, if a little bumbling.
  • Retired Badass: He's implied to be this by Al, or he might possibly be a Retired Monster.
    Al: Sent many Native Americans to the happy hunting ground. Formidable, Tom was. And no more fool now than time shows us all.

The Black Hills Pioneer

    Merrick 

A.W. Merrick

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merrick_a_w__6124.jpg
Played By: Jeffrey Jones

"Timid, huh. Hardly, sir. My own strong personal impulse was to offer my name for office but a fourth estate, independent in name and fact from the operations of government is of the essence of a free society."

A. Walter "A. W." Merrick is the proprietor of the local newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer. Somewhat pretentious in his bearing, he prides himself as a newspaperman with a duty to print the truth, but must navigate a twisty path of remaining friends with all the major players in town and being privy to their plans and confidences. He gains the friendship of Seth Bullock, Sol Star, and Charlie Utter, and even suggests that since he enjoys walking and socializing with them about the local goings on, that they should form a club for doing just that.


  • Big Eater: He's an expansive man, and eventually his weight begins to cause him serious health problems.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After the trial and losing the chance to be mayor, he hits the bottle hard. He may also qualify as Off the Wagon based on his telling Dan that now he'd started drinking again he wondered why he'd ever stopped.
  • Gentle Giant: One of the biggest men in the camp, yet couldn't hurt a fly.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man!: The Doc has to do this when he is freaking out because he thinks he has smallpox. Later Al does it in a different context. Thanks to Character Development no one feels the need to slap him in Season 3.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Sorry Merrick, no one wants to join The Ambulators.
  • Nice Guy: Merrick is essentially a cheerful, friendly and dorky fellow with no moral vices beyond his Big Eater status.
  • Non-Action Guy: Merrick is completely distant from the violence of Deadwood, and it's rare that he gets hurt. But wow, when he gets hurt, he does wallow in it.
  • Redheads Are Uncool: He's redheaded and the biggest doink in the entire series, although no less affable for it. He's a dweeb, but he's a good-hearted dweeb that most people have a lot of time for.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Probably the biggest purveyor of this in the series. Merrick won't say a single word when ten paragraphs will do. This actually comes into play, since he recognizes Hugo Jarry's tendency to use his vocabulary as a literary weapon.
  • Sour Grapes: After Farnum beats him to get the mayor office, he convinces himself that he actually didn't want it.
  • Those Two Guys: He settles into this dynamic with Blazanov, with whom he shares a sweet, sincere friendship due to their mutual enthusiasm for their jobs, the technology that enables such jobs, and what the future might bring.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He often expresses a very idealized view of what the community could become.

The Livery Stable

    Nigger General 

"Nigger General" Samuel Fields

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TropeNiggerGeneral_7052.jpg
Portrayed By: Franklin Ayaje

A colorful, larger-than-life errant Black man that always wears a ragged self-made Union uniform and a perpetual smile no matter the situation (or maybe just when around other people). He likes to introduce himself as the Nigger General, even though he never served in an army.


  • The Alcoholic: He's a heavy drinker, which leads him to befriend fellow drunkard Jane.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a sharp sense of humour.
    [to a horse he's about to castrate] "Now, if you want to take it out on someone, remember it was very dark-skinned white folks that cut on you. They just sounded like niggers to throw you off."
  • Phony Veteran: Unlike his historical counterpart, who only lied about his rank.
  • Nice Guy: Even after all the abuse Steve the Drunk puts him through, the General still takes care of the dumb bastard following his accident.
  • Odd Couple / Straight Man and Wise Guy: With Hostetler, to whom he's the wise guy. Being two of the very few black people in camp, they pretty much feel they have to stick together despite having little in common.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: On his insistence, he's known largely as the Nigger General.
  • Stepford Smiler: C'mon, he smiles even after being tarred and his first act after getting his skin peeled off is to reassure Hostetler, who had sold him to the mob to save his own skin, that he'd have done the same in his situation. His reasoning is that his pain is his and that showing it would only give the people who attacked him what they wanted.
  • Those Two Guys: With Hostetler.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Like Hostetler, the character subverts this, but in the opposite direction to him. He publically displays the worst stereotypes of his time about African Americans, to the point of asking people to address him by the N word, and in the process he deprives them of any insulting value.

    Hostetler 

Arnette Hostetler

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hostetler_8621.jpg
Portrayed By: Richard Gant

Hostetler runs the livery stable. Hostetler is, by default, the primary source of company for Samuel Fields, by virtue of being the only other black man in camp, which leads to much friction between their conflicting personalities.


  • Angry Black Man: Although so non-violent that violence doesn't seem to even occur to him as an option, he still has a short temper. Steve the Drunk or the Nigger General piss him off the most.
  • Driven to Suicide: The proud and dignified Hostetler can't take anymore of Steve's rampant abuse, and shoots himself.
  • Gentle Giant: Hostetler stands at 6 feet 3 inches, with broad shoulders and impressive muscle from a lifetime of labour and working with large animals. He's also a strict pacifist who wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • Honor Before Reason: He ends killing himself rather than continue hearing Steve call him a liar, when he could just ignore him and leave town.
  • It's All My Fault: Hostetler blames himself for William's death, but also knows that the town will blame him much more. It really wasn't his fault, with even Hot-Blooded Bullock understanding that what happened was a tragic mistake, nothing more.
  • Last-Name Basis: He's only referred to as Hostetler by others, to the point where his first name is never uttered.
  • Odd Couple / Straight Man and Wise Guy: With the Nigger General.
  • Once Acceptable Targets: In-universe. The show makes it clear that it wasn't easy to be a black man in 1870s America.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After William is killed by an escaped horse he was trying to castrate, he immediately leaves the camp, wisely assuming that everybody's first reaction will be to go after him.
  • Straight Man: To the Nigger General; Hostetler is a serious-minded and melancholy man in comparison to the more explicitly funny Nigger General.
  • Those Two Guys: With the Nigger General, whom he doesn't much like but tolerates because as the only other black man in town, they kind of only have each other. It comes to a sad ending with Hostetler's suicide.
  • Token Minority: Along with the Nigger General, he's the only black character in the show. It's enforced largely due to the time period; black people wouldn't exactly have positions of any authority and Hostetler himself tries to keep under the radar.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Subverted magnificently in the show. Hostetler is the serious, hard-working and educated man in contrast to the laid-back, wisecracking drinker that is the Nigger General. He is well aware that the treatment he gets from most white people because of his race is unjust, yet he acts submissive and doesn't challenge the abuse when he encounters it in order to avoid further problems.

    Steve the Drunk 

Steve Fields a.k.a. "Steve the Drunk"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fields_steve.jpg
"Fuck you, fuck the institution, and fuck the future!"
Portrayed By: Michael Harney

One of the camp's many drunks as well as being a loudmouth and racist. He is a continual nuisance at Tom Nuttall's Saloon.


  • Death by Racism: Averted. He might have preferred it, though.
  • Evil Is Petty: Steve is an insecure, spiteful creature motivated entirely by the wrongs he feels the world has done to him, and as such feels compelled to pay back every insult real or imagined.
  • Fate Worse than Death: He's rendered brain-dead and incapable after being kicked by a horse, resulting in him having to be taken care of by NG.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's entirely possible Steve is this. He might be a loud-mouthed drunk and a vitriolic racist, but there is a sympathetic side to him. He feels immense guilt at having driven Hostetler to suicide, loudly trying to assuage his guilt with a self-pitying monologue. When he and the Nigger General are left alone at the stable he ends wishing him a good night in his own bigoted way and later offers him a job as his assistant realizing that he has a better head for numbers than him. If he had only told him that instead of trying to de-shoe the Nigger General's horse to force him to stay...
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His attempt on the life of Hugo Jarry, who's somehow even more repulsive than an alcoholic racist.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His plan to de-shoe the NG's horse backfires and he's kicked in the head, rendering him brain-dead, meaning the NG has to take care of him.
  • The Load: To Tom Nuttal's saloon, then to the Nigger General.
  • Pet the Dog: With his increasing appearances, he gets more of these moments. He's an animal lover, has a nice interaction with William Bullock and takes over the livery because he can't bear to see the horses not being cared for.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Steve allows himself to be defined by his racism, which is a shame, because there are hints that he could be a good man if he put in the effort. His bigotry ends up dooming him to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Stupid Evil: Things would go a lot more his way if he was just nice.
  • You Are What You Hate: Hearing his continous ramble about African-Americans, another patron asks him if he can prove that he has no Black ancestry, arguing that Steve's nose is a bit flat.

The Langrishe Theater Troupe

    Langrishe 

John "Jack" Langrishe

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/langrishe_john.jpg
"What, one is disposed to ask, in fuck ought a theater man to do?"
Portrayed By: Brian Cox

"It's the learning fuckin' nothin', Al, that keeps me young."

Jack Langrishe arrives with a flourish in Deadwood, with his theater group in tow. A flamboyant man of the stage, and old friend of Al Swearengen's, he strikes a deal with Joanie Stubbs to acquire the Chez Ami and convert it to a theater, determined to bring culture to the town.


  • Camp: Whether gay, straight or bi is left to the viewer's opinion.
  • The Charmer: Jack charms just about everyone he comes across with his quick wit, self-deprecation and plentiful compliments. Even Hearst is somewhat charmed by him, at least as far as Hearst can be charmed.
  • Greek Chorus: He is allowed to hang freely along Al and Hearst, and comments a lot about their conflict, but does not intervene in it.
  • Large Ham: Due to being a theater man, it comes naturally to him.
  • Old Friend: Of Al.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The season (and by extension the show) ends with the theater still not opened, so we never see Langrishe or his troupe on stage.

    Claudia 

Claudia

Portrayed By: Cynthia Ettinger

    Bellegarde 

Bellegarde

Portrayed By: Dennis Christopher

    Chesterton 

Chesterton

Portrayed By: Aubrey Morris

Other Residents of Deadwood

    Doc 

Dr. Amos "Doc" Cochran

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cochran_amos.jpg
"Leave the demons to God and trust the pain to me."
Played By: Brad Dourif

"I'd rather be lucky than smart."

A witness to unspeakable atrocities on the battlefields of the Civil War, Dr. Amos Cochran is one of the few honorable men in Deadwood. He takes his duties seriously, even gruffly, and does what he can to preserve human life.


  • Asexual: Despite the majority of his clientele being prostitutes, the Doc is markedly uninterested in sex.
    "Jane, for me, the female breast long ago lost mystery or allure. Open your goddamn blouse."
  • Combat Medic: During The American Civil War, he was a medic. He still carries the psychological scars of such a time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very prone to dour and cutting remarks, often at his patients' expense.
  • Dr. Jerk: He has terrible bedside manner, no tact, and can't help but let his low opinions of his patients be known. He has to admit and apologize for this at one point when his behavior threatens to push a patient out of his care.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Drinks to cope with his PTSD.
  • Frontier Doctor: He's quite a good doctor, but his behavior has pushed him out of polite society and into the rural boomtown of Deadwood.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's a jerk, but he wants his patients to be healthy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Doc is irritable and grumpy at the best of times with no bedside manner to speak of, but he's also one of the most genuinely altruistic characters on the entire show.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: In Season 3, he starts to show the signs of tuberculosis, but remains alive during the entirety of the show and has apparently recovered by the time of the film.
  • My Greatest Failure: A man died while he operated on him.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He's quite knowledgeable about new medical techniques in spite of being a country doctor.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Doc has a difficult relationship with God, to say the least. As Reverend Smith descends into a slow, agonizing death he prays for the end of Reverend Smith's suffering. As usual with Doc, his compassion leads to rage and frustration.
    "Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, just, please, God, take that minister. What conceivable godly use is his protracted suffering to you? What conceivable godly use? What conceivable godly use was the screaming of all those men? Did you need to hear their death agonies to know your omnipotence? Mama! Mother, find my arm! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy they, they shot my leg off, it hurts so bad. It hurts so bad. Admitting my understanding’s imperfect, trusting that you have a purpose, praying that you consider it served, I beg you to relent. Thy will be done, amen."
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When neither Cy nor Mr. Lee want to pay for Doc to tend to their prostitutes, he offers to do so for free out of altruism.
  • Shellshocked Veteran: He has not recovered completely from his experiences as a military doctor in the The American Civil War. It seems to be the source of his alcoholism and abrasive personality.

    Mr. Wu 

Mr. Wu

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wu.jpg
"Bak Wai Lo Me...Cocksucka."
Portrayed By: Keone Young

If Al Swearengen is Deadwood's unofficial mayor, Mister Wu holds the post on the Chinese part of town. Wu has his fingers in every semi-legal pie, including the lucrative opium trade, and though his English is limited to the handful of expletives Al has taught him, the two seem to communicate well enough for business. Among the services Wu offers is the timely and unquestioned disposal of bodies, courtesy of his ravenous pigs. Who will end up paying a visit to Wu's swine is an open question, however, especially as Deadwood's Chinese population becomes a pawn in the power struggle over the town's vice trade.


  • Catchphrase: COCKSUCKAH! SWEGEN!
    • Bak gwei lo!Eng 
    • Wu, Swedgin: Hang-dai!
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Wu's limited English is no reflection on his intellect, savvy and internal negotiation skills..
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He profanes bodies on a daily basis, but seeing Mr Lee burning the bodies of the Chinese prostitutes that he intentionally let starve to death utterly infuriates him.
  • Wu's On First?: In one of the most utterly hilarious scenes in the entire show, Al and Wu have this exchange to each other's increasing frustration.
    Wu: Wu?
    Al: "Who," you ignorant fuckin’ chink!
    Wu: Wu!
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The result of cutting away his braid.

    Manning 

Harry Manning

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/manning_harold.jpg
Portrayed By: Brent Sexton

The bartender of the No. 10 Saloon in the third season. He runs for Sheriff against Bullock in order to gain popularity but his wish is to become fire marshal of the town.


    Blazanov 

Blazanov

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blazanov.jpg
Portrayed By: Pavel Lychnikoff

Sharing AW Merrick's newspaper office, is the telegraph office, run by Blazanov. The two men share more than an office, confiding to one another during their frequent "perambulations" around the camp. Blazanov returns from a trip to Chicago in season three, having acquired a new apparatus that allows him to practice "duplex telegraphy."


  • Nice Guy: Blazanov is just a dorky, somewhat shy and courteous fellow.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He is at first adamant that the messages are confidential, but changes his mind after seeing Hearst's attrocities. Afterwards he informs Merrick and Al of every message received by Hearst in advance.
  • Those Two Guys: With Merrick. After Blazanov arrives at camp, he quickly forms a touching friendship with the newspaper man.

    Rev. Smith 

Reverend Henry Weston Smith

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TropeSmith_2357.jpg
"This is God's purpose, but not knowing the purpose is my portion of suffering."
Portrayed By: Ray Mc Kinnon

Reverend Henry Weston Smith is a kind Christian minister who, among other tasks, leads the funerals of many of the individuals who die. Smith was a field nurse in the Civil War, serving at Shiloh and 2nd Manassas, until he received a "sign from God." He subsequently left his wife and children and became a reverend in Deadwood.


  • Body Horror: His brain tumor has the kind of averse physical effect on him that is to be expected of the time period, without access to even cursory medical treatment. Smith's eyes turn glassy, he frequently loses his sense of equilibrium and is given to violent seizures in the period leading up to his death.
  • Good Shepherd: He's a genuinely well-meaning man of God without a cruel bone in his body, and would love to help move Deadwood in a moral, Christian direction. It's too bad nobody ever pays attention to him.
  • Mercy Kill: Smith is smothered to death by Al Swearengen to spare him a prolonged, agonizing and humiliating death.
  • The Missionary: He was a field nurse, but now he's spreading the good word in Deadwood.
  • Nice Guy: Smith is an endlessly polite and cheerful man who maintains a strong sense of optimism even within Deadwood. He tries his best to be accommodating to everyone he comes across and is otherwise a non-judgmental and humble fellow.

    Mose 

Mose Manuel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/manuel_mose.jpg
"That easy, to forget a fucking brother!?"
Portrayed By: Pruitt Taylor Vince

Mose Manuel owns a gold claim which Wolcott wishes to buy on behalf of Hearst. Knowing he must sell, he tries to persuade his brother that he will mismanage the operation and ought to sell. When he refuses, Mose murders him. The death of his brother weighs on him, however, and Mose becomes a continuing problem for Cy Tolliver as his already belligerent attitude worsens


  • Alliterative Name: Mose Manuel.
  • The Atoner: After Mose kills his brother and subsequently has a near-death experience, the previously aggressive and greedy Mose becomes a quiet, passive man eager to help others.
  • Blatant Lies: Oh, why, my brother wanted to sell the mine the same day he died in an accident while cleaning his gun, then to be buried in an undisclosed location for reasons totally unrelated to the possibility of performing an authopsy on him. Promise!
  • Butt-Monkey: Jane seems to utterly hate him for absolutely no reason. Like Charlie Utter, Mose takes her verbal abuse in stride.
  • Fat and Skinny: He's the fat to his brother Fred's skinny.
  • Fat Bastard: Initially, prior to becoming The Atoner; he was a greedy asshole who killed his own brother to secure a payday.
  • Historical Domain Character: Moses Manuel and his brother Fred were two of the four men who discovered the Homestake gold mine. They sold it (without killing each other) to George Hearst and it went on to be the largest gold mine in North America for over a century.
  • Immune to Bullets:His fat saves his life, slowing the bullets that strike him.
  • I Owe You My Life: Possibly why he insists on staying at the Chez Amis and working for Joanie, even though she didn't personally do anything to save him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After killing his brother, Mose is instantly overcome with guilt, regret, grief and self-loathing. This leads him onto a short path of self-destruction (and destruction in general) which gets him shot.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Subverted. He gets himself shot when he freaks out after killing his brother for money, but he is so fat the bullet gets stuck before hitting any vital organ and he ends surviving.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: A bullet or two is good for the soul, it seems. After surviving his handshake with death, Mose becomes more thoughtful, quiet, passive and considerate of others. It's a far cry from the greedy jerk he began the series as.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After killing his brother, he freaks right the hell out, unprepared for the immediate onset of guilt. Mose begins to gorge, while violently confronting those he holds responsible for his own corruption. This culminates in him pulling a gun and being shot down himself.
  • Villainous Glutton: Immediately after killing his brother he starts to gorge out, stress-eating away his guilt.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He disappears towards the end of the third season, after the Chez Amis is bought by Langrishe and turned into a theatre. Mose doesn't appear in The Movie, either.

    McCall 

Jack McCall

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TropeJackMcCall_1849.jpg
Portrayed By: Garret Dillahunt

"Should we shake hands or something, relieve the atmosphere?"

A drunkard who shot Hickok in the back of the head as he played poker. McCall was found not guilty by a hurried and impromptu court of locals on the grounds he was merely avenging the prior murder of his brother by Hickok; but due to Hickok's high regard and the presence of many of Hickok's good friends in town, he was made to realize it was best to leave.


  • The Alcoholic: Jack's entire life seems to consist of drinking, gambling to support his drinking and more drinking.
  • Badass Boast: Subverted in hilarious fashion; he declares that, "Jack McCall runs from no man" before immediately doing exactly that.
  • Blatant Lies: As a defense, he claims that he shot Wild Bill because Bill had killed his brother. Interesting how the loud-mouthed drunk never thought to mention such a detail in all the days he'd been gambling with him.
  • Dirty Coward: He's called this for shooting Hickok on the back... though the fact it was Wild Bill Hickock could qualify him as a Combat Pragmatist too.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Why does he kill Wild Bill? He feels slighted by Bill's polite, even contrite act of charity after being utterly cleaned out by him in a poker game.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jack is certainly pitiable, but he takes far more offense to Bill's act of charity than Bill's insults. It's the catalyst for Jack gathering the guts to kill him.
  • Doomed by Canon: It's never explicitly stated what happened to him after his arrest by Bullock and Charlie, but in Real Life the first verdict was declared illegal and he was retried, found guilty and hanged.
  • Droopy Right Eye: He was born droop-eyed, which adds to his generally gormless look.
  • The Gambling Addict: Jack is always seen gambling at Nuttall's.
  • Jerkass: Jack is a loud-mouthed drunk of low intelligence and smug demeanor. Even after killing Bill, he taunts Bullock about the fame he will receive from such an act.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jack spends a lot of time purposefully antagonizing Wild Bill, the famously deadly gunman, for no good reason beyond unearned intellectual vanity. After enduring a day of humilations largely bought on by himself, he redirects his misplaced anger by murdering Wild Bill in full view of a dozen people, and unsurprisingly is apprehended right away. Only Al's machinations save him from the noose, but despite this miraculous Karma Houdini he stays in camp. Where Wild Bill's fiercely loyal friends remain. While boasting about killing Bill. Al has to outright tell him to get the hell out of town before Bullock, Jane or just anyone who wants to claim a little fame gets to cutting his throat.
  • Unknown Rival: To Wild Bill, who considers him a mild annoyance. McCall, both star-struck and resentful, considers Bill a great enemy.

    Shaughnessy 

Shaughnessy

Portrayed By: Dan Hildebrand

A deeply religious motel owner.


  • Jerkass: He's irritable at the best of times and outrageously judgmental.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Shaughnessy isn't really any more villainous than the average Deadwood hooplehead, but he's an outrageous homophobe all the same and most certainly an unsympathetic character.

    Slippery Dan 

Slippery Dan

Portrayed By: Channon Roe

A local ne'er-do-well.


    Huckster 

The Huckster

Portrayed By: Gill Gayle

An unnamed huckster who comes into conflict with Bullock.


  • Historical Domain Character: He's based on Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith II, a Western con artist who likewise hocked "soap with a prize inside". The Huckster isn't nowhere near to being in the real-life Soapy's league, however. He's rarely successful and his con is relatively simple in contrast to Soapy's masterful trickery which involved sleight of hand and rousing up a crowd.
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