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    Antimony "Annie" Carver 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Miss_Carver_If_You_Will_1869.png

The protagonist and narrator of the story.

Annie's childhood was quite unusual. Most of it was spent in Good Hope hospital, where her mother was bedridden and her father worked as a surgeon. When she wasn't being taught by her mum, Annie would spend hours exploring the hospital or cheerfully conversing with the Guides who walked the halls, unseen by the hospital staff. At a young age, she proved herself very good at mediating the Guides' disputes and helping lost souls come to term with their death.

She enrolls at Gunnerkrigg halfway through the school year, and begins as an unflappable Emotionless Girl, reacting to Shadow-people, Minotaurs, and ghosts with a preternatural calmness bordering on indifference. In fact, when Annie first mentions her mother's death to her friend Kat, she's less visibly shaken-up than Kat is. It takes a bout of cherry-induced tipsiness under The World Tree to crack Annie's facade: she breaks down crying and admits to Kat how much she misses her mum. This, and Kat's consolation, cements the two girls' friendship. Since then, Annie has grown more cheerful and open about her feelings and her past.

The aforementioned upbringings had several important effects on her. First, this is the reason why she initially has such difficulty interacting with others (in fact, she only meets Kat when Kat takes the initiative of introducing herself.)

Second, the combination of Annie's childhood solitude, her everyday experience of things the hospital staff couldn't see, and The Guides' failure to help her at one crucial moment, all seem to have led her to the belief that Adults Are Useless and a life of self-reliance. This is most likely the reason why she's so reluctant to seek or accept help from her teachers. The consequences of this are nearly disastrous.

Third, Annie's childhood familiarity with ghosts and Etheric beings insures that very little of the Court's supernatural weirdness fazes her.

Good thing, too. As it turns out, Annie possesses "a special Empathy with etheric beings". In other words, she's a Magnetic Medium, which is a Spirit Medium who is also a literal Weirdness Magnet. This extra-normal ability makes her a promising candidate for the position of the Court's Medium — the mediator between The Court and Gillitie Wood.

Her interactions with those members of the Court outside her circle of friends are complicated. She's respectful towards the teachers, even when she disagrees with them, but she doesn't hesitate to disobey them if she thinks it necessary. She also seems to dislike and distrust Mr. Eglamore, far in excess of anything he's done. For their part, her parents' old friends like Annie, partly because she reminds them of her mother, both in actions and appearance. Aside from Kat, Annie's interactions with her classmates are limited, so these classmates tend to view her as an aloof weirdo.

Over the first two years she seems to fall into neutrality, not by choice, but by virtue of being young and confused. She'll steal from her best friend's parents, and then she'll put herself in danger to help another friend, within the course of a single day. She'll copy answers from Kat, but also trust her with her most intimate secrets. She'll bear misfortune or mockery with a stiff upper lip, but lash out with surprising cruelty at someone who successfully pushes her Berserk Button. Her moral compass has yet to stabilize.

By the time of the third year, after six weeks spent in Gillitie Forest, and her growing contempt, most of her previous characterization changed.


Associated tropes:

  • Adorkable: She's normally pretty graceful, but also has No Social Skills, a remarkable tendency to put her foot in her mouth, and can be very easily flustered at times. There's also her attempts at bowling, which have to be seen to be believed.
  • Adults Are Useless: Prior to the comic's start, and until Chapter 31, she merely didn't seek out adult assistance. From Chapter 32 onwards, she also completely ignored punishments. At least until she messed up badly with Jack's possession because of this and Jones demonstratively let Antimony try and finish the case on her own to solidify this lesson. It doesn't help that about the only available adult Annie does trust in regards of both competence and intentions is Jones herself.
  • Ambadassador: She was in training to become the Court's Medium. After her rejection, Coyote announces he'd like Annie to be the Forest medium, replacing Ysengrin.
  • Ambiguously Bi: She had a thing for Kamlen, showed some interest in Jack, and if what Zimmy saw in her mindscape is anything to go off of, may have a thing for Jones.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Potentially:
    Annie: My father... has returned.
    Ysengrin: (after observing that she has literally cut off her anger/fiery side rather than deal with it and seems to be suffering for it) So?
  • Astral Projection: Her ability to enter the ether eventually reaches this state under Coyote and Renard's tutelage. It becomes severely limited after Ysengrin crushes her blinker stone, but gradually returns to its former strength as she learns to focus it better.
  • Audience? What Audience?: Has this reaction when Coyote apparently narrates the strip.
    Coyote: And so Fire Head Girl told Coyote lovely stories about how amazing he is. But what was this dark secret he promised to tell her? Now we shall find out...
    Antimony: Who are you even talking to?
    Coyote: HAHAHA!
  • Beneath the Mask: In "Divine" Annie's dream has Jones bringing her a blank, calm-looking mask; in "Annie in the Forest" Jones actually brings her her makeup — despite the fact that the elves she's staying with don't use makeup and actually mock her for wearing "funny face paints". In the dream Annie puts the mask on when she realizes Kamlen just wants to be friends and only takes off the mask around Kat and when Zimmy starts needling her about her father; even Annie's fire-elemental "part" clutches weakly at the mask. When she wakes up she promptly puts her makeup on and states her father can't possibly be doing anything suspicious despite the fact that he was the cause (either actually or "just" emotionally) of her falling unconscious in the first place. At the end of Chapter 47, as Kat praises her toughness and self-control, her (lack of) expression resembles this mask, complete with closed eyes... and then she stumbles forward into Kat's arms and lets it all out. She puts on the same blank, close-eyed expression at the end of chapter 51 to keep herself from completely losing it, and at the end of chapter 53 when she is making excuses to herself, denying and suppressing her feelings.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't speak ill of her parents.
    • Don't try to "lay a claim" on people either, especially if you can't or won't, like the spirit guides did (or didn't) with Annie's mom.
    • Don't hurt Kat in her presence. Winsbury learnt this the hard way.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As Eglamore, Mort, and Renard found out, in rare cases when she's really angry, it's not nice in the "coldly furious, no rules, hit-'em-where-it-hurts, twisting the knife" levels. Earlier friendliness doesn't hold her back at all, or even gives her more pain to return. This habit began to endanger third parties, even without her using her powers. And Ysengrin destroying the one memento she had of Mort prompts her to burn his entire hand off.
  • Body Motifs: She rarely appears in public without wearing eye-shadow and lipstick. Her makeup is often used as a metaphor for her hiding herself from the rest of the world, as a mask.
  • Bond One-Liner: When forced by her classmates to give one after defeating the Enigmarons, it turns out she's not very good at them.
  • Bully Hunter: She performs a rather elegant throw on Winsbury when he's bullying Kat.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: In Chapter 31, Annie is told to keep the fact that Surma tricked Renard into coming to the court by pretending she loved him a secret. She tells this to him within seconds after she next sees him, although it's not an accident but a (successful) attempt to hurt him when he chews her out for plagiarizing Kat's homework.
    • Coyote seems to be fully aware of this tendency. When Annie chose to stay in the forest over the summer, he placed a binding on her wrist that would slice off her hand if she told anyone in the Wood about the Tooth he gave her. Once she returned to the Court, it disappeared.
  • Chaste Hero: She has no romantic experience and her extremely reserved personality makes it very difficult for her to respond to anyone's interest. Given the revelations of Chapter 31, this may be extremely fortunate for her.
  • Cheerful Child: When young.
    Tom: This is back when Annie still knew how to act like a kid.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Since roughly age six. She'll go far out of her way and ignore any boundary or consequence to help anyone in serious trouble, no matter who, whether or not they want her to.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: There are times where Annie seems to operate on a completely different frequency from her classmates. This may be due to her lack of social skills from being raised in hospital most of her early life. It may also have to do with her status as a fire elemental descendant, and her interactions with Coyote. Either way, Annie is not exactly normal.
  • Creepy Child: She's perceived as such by her classmates.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Because she was descended from fire elementals, Annie's mother, Surma, passed her life force to her daughter upon her birth. As she was too sick to leave the hospital and Annie and her mother "couldn't bear to be apart", Annie lived in the hospital with her mother and distant, emotionally detached father, the latter of whom was a surgeon who devoted nearly all of his time to finding a cure for Surma's condition, which Annie believed he blamed her for. The only people she interacted with besides her parents were the psychopomps and dead/dying patients, some of whom she helped guide into the ether. She later had to do this for her mother upon her death, literally guiding her into the afterlife and witnessing her death.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on the deadpan. She isn't yet very good with one-liners.
  • Delinquent: Her Adults Are Useless attitude has evolved into outright contempt for authority. She was already reluctant to entrust adults with her problems, and despite this getting her into innumerable problems, from third year onwards, she started to ignore school punishments. Both Eglamore and Jones have called her out on this attitude.
  • Disappeared Dad: After her mother's death, her dad went off to do... something. He later returns, which turns out to be not so good for her.
  • Dissonant Serenity: She tends to be smooth, calm and dismissive while in quiet rage or struggling to hold back a thermal lance. At least, until the explosion.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Annie's always shown a fondness for going barefoot. She just prefers to get her feet dirty from time to time. Although Annie will use shoes and socks when expected to, but if given unrestricted freedom, she does away with them on the spot and will walk practically everywhere barefooted nonstop, even public places. She doesn't waste any opportunity to be barefoot, and it's implied that during the summer, Annie pretty much defaults to bare feet and stays that way until school starts up again in the fall.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: She has no qualms about striking Coyote when she thinks he's out of line, to which he reacts with amusement (the first time) and rage (the second) which turns out to be him putting on a show and not mad at all. Jones sees this as quite remarkable.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Annie's time living in the woods basically enabled and magnified her penchant for feeling the ground beneath her feet. It doesn't matter that she learned to make perfectly fitting boots, because what she really wants to adorn her feet with is the earth itself! She returns from the experience sans shoes and wearing lots of dirt underfoot, and chucks her shoes and socks aside while meditating in the next chapter. In Chapter 39, right after she's finished crossing the bridge to Gillitie Wood, she decides to kick off her shoes, abandons them, and runs into the woods barefoot. In the next chapter to follow, she returns to the Court just like so, shoes still forgotten. Chapter 50 sees her in the woods already barefoot and happy to stay that way no matter where she goes, even the incubation facility to convert Court creatures into demi-humans.
  • Emotional Regression: To an extreme degree when her father, who she has not seen since she came to the Court, returns and basically takes away everything important to her in her life.. Throughout their conversation, Antimony begins to rapidly revert from a strong young woman to an obedient child. By the time Kat catches up to her, Annie even looks [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=122 like she did when Surma was still alive.
  • Emotion Suppression: Largely as a result of her father's influence, Annie tends to suppress and push away her emotions until they become impossible to continue to internalize. This is partially in order to avoid hitting an Unstoppable Rage and literally Burning with Anger.
    • She seems to do this much more when in response to things that happen to her, as opposed to people she cares about. If someone she loves is hurt, she almost always immediately flies off the handle, but she seems to believe that asking for help or showing sadness is a sign of weakness.
  • Enemy Without: The reason that Annie is so passive around Anthony seems to be that by cutting her hair, she physically split her negative emotions into a separate being and is using it as a repository instead of dealing with them.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: The end of Chapter 57 has both a boy and a girl blush furiously when Annie greets them.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Sports some in Chapter 51 after the numerous bombshells her father dropped on her throughout the chapter.
    • She seems to sport them in addition to looking thinner in Ysengrin's aether-vision after being separated from her fiery-half for a long period of time.
    • May have had them in Chapter 32 after a long journey home, unless it's an earthen kind of eye shadow to go along with her Going Native.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Cuts her hair short after her father returns to the Court in an attempt to stabilize her own emotions, demonstrating visually how she's regressed into a little girl again under his control. By Chapter 63, she's growing it out again, symbolizing her returning confidence.
  • Facial Markings / Marked Change: Has two that only show up under certain circumstances: Jeanne's sword cut, which appears when she's in the ether, and a line down her face when she shows her fire-elemental form. She also has a little "Mignola-esque" "fire-spike" crown that appears near her head whenever she unleashes her fire powers.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Her first attempts at bowling. Bonus points for setting the lane on fire.
  • Fiery Red Head: She's got an extreme temper and is incredibly impulsive.
  • Fire of Comfort: Just about any Etheric creature needs only a little excuse to seek her company. Coyote said Surma was just as popular. She later implied that Fire Elementals have the same reputation. More directly, when she demonstrated her phoenix-like form to Foley House kids, they enjoyed pretty fires very much.
  • Flaming Hair: In a few Art Shifted pieces. She does this for real (using her blinker stone) when she accepts the job as the Forest's Medium.
    Kat: Whoa, you set your hair on fire?!
    Annie: I thought it might look impressive...
  • Going Native: When Annie is rejected as Court Medium (presumably because of this trope) she is chosen by Coyote as representative of the Forest. Takes on this a bit more literally after spending time in the forest for a while, choosing to make an outfit out of grass and run around barefoot like the forest folk do, but is made to stop doing these things when Kat politely warns her she really needs a shower.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: At the start of Chapter 57 she's still adjusting to her emotions and gets angry at the slightest thing. Unfortunately for her (and the school's property) when Annie gets mad things get vaporized. She gets better; heck, not even hearing what a relief it is that she doesn't want to date someone, again bothers her.
  • Heroic BSoD: In Chapter 31, upon discovering the true cause of her mother's death and the fact that darn near everyone has been hiding it from her, and again in Chapter 51 when her father returns.
  • Hot Wings: She only needed to learn how to spread them, raising on the new height of fiery awesomeness.
  • Ice Queen: Jack accuses her of being one. She really isn't, but does have a lot of trouble with properly expressing her emotions towards others.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: By proxy. Red suggests this as a reason for endangering others to free Jeanne.
  • I See Dead People: Literally. Annie, as a child, helped the Guides usher souls into the afterworld.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Her point blank refusal to trust the adults she regularly interacts with is not completely unreasonable when it comes to the Court, which is bogged down in so much secrecy and awful truthes that even the senior members of it don't always know what is going on. Granted she had the attitude before finding out about these things in depth but continually witnessing how various members of the Court have proven at best incompetent and at worst exploitative towards the troubles that occur hasn't done much to dissuade her beliefs, a prime example of this being the headmaster choosing by himself to appoint someone else to the position of the Court's medium despite other members having actively pushed for her to take the role.
    • Her dislike for Eglamore falls into this a bit as well. The man is honestly one of the few adults that is willing to help her unconditional help with things but it is also obvious that he does so mostly because she is Surma's daughter.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: While Annie is nice to Kat, she can be an absolute bitch to people if they get on her bad side. She could either go straight for the throat or be creepy as hell. (last panel) This is often exacerbated by her lack of social skills.
  • Kid with the Leash: Towards Reynardine, to the extent of leaving instructions to not mess up when she's absent. If Annie dies, the ownership passes on to someone else she decides. Kat and Jones (the latter during Annie's time in Gillitie Forest) also took care of him for her at times. Later, when Anthony tries to take possession of him, Annie chooses to instead pass ownership to Kat to protect him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Her constant cheating off Kat comes back to bite her when her father returns as a teacher and arranges for her to retake Year 9 and separates her into an isolated dorm room. Granted, the reasoning is not all that it seems. This was actually part of a bargain he'd struck with the Court, which knew about her cheating and had planned to let the offense build so they could expel her publicly on graduation day—not because of her academic behavior, but because of her ties to the Wood.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: She comes to the court without knowing her non-human ancestry, the cause of her mother's death, her mother's activities as a Medium, and her family's history with Coyote and Renard.
  • Loose Lips: She never thinks about consequences when angry. Since the relations between the Court and the Wood is one big old minefield, this endangers not just herself. Trickster gods generally don't hold back much, so Annie was given a lesson of silence the hard way.
  • Magic A Is Magic A:
  • Magnetic Medium: She is actually described by Mort (a ghost) as "attractive... like a magnet", and not just with ghosts: psychopomps and various other "etheric" creatures think she's pretty neat too.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child: To an extreme degree. Annie believes that her father blames her for the death of her mother - with good reason.
    • Tragically, this [[spoiler: it out to be true, in a literal sense. Because Annie's mother was descended from a fire elemental, the spirit passed from Surma to Annie when the latter was born, and Annie essentially drained Surma's life force the older she got. However, this was absolutely no fault of Annie's, and Surma made the decision to have a child knowing what would happen.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Antimony was known as "a killer of doctors' wives" - it's a convenient poison and was also used as a reusable laxative which was passed from parent to child.
    • Also, Antimony was historically used for cosmetics (Antimony has almost always been shown wearing makeup) and a flame retardant. It's also in the same period as Bismuth, being directly above it, and thus has similar properties to it.
    • In alchemy, Antimony is known as the Gray Wolf (Reynardine's current form is a white wolf... close enough) and is the penultimate step in making a Philosopher's Stone.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe. She's become this to the denizens of the forest, with her exploits being incredibly exaggerated. Helped Red and Ayilu become friends again? She settled a dispute between two warring moons that had been fighting since the beginning of time. Stayed with a family of elves for the summer and had a very minor Ship Tease with their son? She trained with their greatest warriors for a hundred years, learning their secrets and breaking their prince's heart by rejecting his love out of duty to the forest. Lampshaded in The Stinger for Chapter 48. She mentions she slapped Coyote's rump once.
    Tom: She beat up Coyote single-handed?!
  • Mind over Matter: Coyote teaches Annie to pluck flowers and suchlike. We see her pushing a boat and opening a door from the other side. And then Zimmy insults Anthony to stir Annie awake and gets hurled across the room for her trouble.
  • Moment Killer: While Smitty and Parley are finally being sweet with each other, her focus on needing to gather more information about Jeanne ends up butting into that, to the annoyance of everyone. Possibly intentional, since she refers to their antics as "unbearable" before that.
  • Morality Pet: She serves as this to a lot of characters.
    • Annie is the only one who can even marginally influence Coyote's behavior, though it's often ambiguous as to who's controlling whom at any particular moment.
    • She's the only person at the Court other than Gamma that Zimmy doesn't treat like a Jerkass.
    • Befriending her is a major contributor to Ysengrin reversing his previous Kill All Humans mentality. Compare their first meeting (where he tries to kill her for disrespecting Coyote) to their later interactions, where he's become something of a parental figure towards her.
    • Renard underwent Character Development in large part thanks to her influence (and as a way of assuaging his guilt for trying to possess her in the past).
  • New Transfer Student: At the very start of the story, showing up halfway into the school year.
  • Nice Hat: She gets an awesome baseball cap with the bismuth symbol on it when she pulls off her Batman Gambit to let the kids take over Bob and Marcia's house.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Initially, her interactions with the other kids are lacking a certain something due to her isolated upbringing. When she had to interact with people, keen instincts usually compensated for this.
    • This is a weird one. Kat and Annie are genuine friends, but due to Annie's, er, let's say unique upbringing, she could copy off of Kat's homework without her permission without a shred of guilt, but a passing comment about her father triggers her Berserk Button. Her Emotionless Girl status does not help at all.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: Annie's narration is being delivered from at least two years after the fact.
  • Not So Stoic: Annie's defense mechanism for emotionally stressful situations is to freeze up emotionally and put on a stoic mask, but this can be broken. Some examples:
    • Chapter 6, under the influence of special cherries.
    • Chapter 19, page 27. "Is that some kind of face, Carver?"
    • Chapter 31, where she explodes on one page and breaks down sobbing the next. In this case there were too many stresses in too short a time that the mask broke and she suffered a breakdown.
    • The beginning of Chapter 37 shows her trying to hold on to the pieces of the mask even as it's coming apart in her hands. The rest of the chapter suggests that she takes after her father in this, very much so.
    • Chapter 38 makes this mask literal (in a figurative way).
    • Kat comments on Annie's calm and composure after she takes Mort into the ether, only for Annie to promptly break down into her friend's arms.
    • Comes up again in Chapter 51, after Kat chews her out for abandoning Renard to her father; Annie begins to Freak Out, but barely manages to get a hold of herself at the last minute, explicitly saying that it's taking "all of [her] energy not to break down like a complete fool".
    • In chapter 53, she puts on a mask-like face as she pushes down her feelings.
  • Omniglot: She gained knowledge of many languages from her conversations with the psychopomps of numerous cultures.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Despite everything she's been through, genuine fear is not something Annie is shown to display. So it's very telling when Kat's true etheric form completely terrifies Annie when she first sees it.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Annie's mum is dead and her dad is nowhere to be seen until chapter 51.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Loup's actions somehow result in two Annies, one that returned to the Court right away, and one that spent several months in the forest. Forest Annie isn't happy to learn that another her took her place in the Court, and Court Annie gives Forest Annie a smug smirk when it's revealed that she managed to bond more with their father during Forest Annie's absence.
  • Parental Issues: A truly incredible amount, especially with her father.
  • Playing Hard to Get: The REAL reason for her behavior towards Jack in "Faraway Morning". She was told about that technique in "Annie in the Forest Part Two" — and also that it wouldn't work if the target already liked someone else. There's also the fact that playing-hard-to-get probably doesn't include straight-up telling the "prey" you don't like them.
  • Playing with Fire: When Rey and Coyote described Annie as having a fire inside her, it wasn't a bad attempt at being poetic — they really meant that. It's a part of her nature. Once a Blinker stone let this off the leash in a reasonably safe way, she became quite imaginative in finding applications for magical pyrotechnics.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Kat.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: It seems only time she watches movies or TV, plays (well, watches someone play) video games, or reads magazines is when she's around Kat.
  • Power of Trust / Power of Friendship: The only person Annie has willingly shown emotional vulnerability to is Kat. She tells her that she would "do anything" for her, which is not an empty promise coming from Annie.
  • Power Nullifier: Has a similar effect on Zimmy that Gamma does, though Annie is much less effective at it.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Her ability to manipulate fire seems to be tied to her inner passion.
  • Psychopomp: For her mother and Mort.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Happens to her twice.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Has been the recipient of several:
    • In "Faraway Morning" Jack tells her she's got too much baggage to pursue a relationship with (his other crush/obsession is Zimmy) because she covered up her attempt at Playing Hard to Get by saying that manipulating his emotions was revenge for his actions after the events of "Power Station" — things that happened when he was possessed and had since apologized for, making her appear rather petty.
    • In "Spring Heeled pt. 2" Jones tells her a lot of the problems with Jack could have been resolved quicker if she had just told an adult what was happening and accepted help.
    • After she "ditches" Kat in "Fire Spike" by choosing to spend summer break in the Woods instead of going on holiday with the Donlans, Kat tells her she's a difficult friend to be with.
    • Annie can't win: In "Fire Spike", Jones, who claims to have no emotions, tells Annie that she put a lot of people in danger because she couldn't control her emotions; in "Get It Together", Ysengrin, who admits to pushing his emotions away and has had all his bad memories forcibly removed by Coyote, which also removes the memory of the memory's removal, admonishes her for literally cutting out her emotions to deal with her father's return. In "Spring Heeled pt. 2" Jones tells Annie she should've asked for help (from experienced adults); in "The Other Shore pt. 2" and "Red's Friend Gets A Name Too I Guess", Muut and Red accuse Annie of manipulating her (inexperienced, teenage) friends into putting themselves at risk to free Jeanne (and, they discovered, Jeanne's boyfriend):
      Muut (to Kat, who thinks the Guides are being unappreciative of the risks Annie took): It seems she risked the loves of others in this task.
      Red: So you left Smitty, who had been stabbed in the chest by Jeanne in pain because you didn't want to get in trouble?
      (a few pages later) Red (who's been traumatized ever since she thought Jeanne killed her best friend Ayilu): I know you an' me are kinda friends but do me a favor and never talk to me or Ayilu ever again. Ayilu: (cheerfully) Bye!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Ysengrin breaks her blinker stone, preventing her from literally separating her anger, her temper flares completely out of control and her eyes turn red.
  • Red Is Heroic: She's the hero, has red hair, and is literally part fire elemental.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: She is outwardly The Stoic blue to Kat's more outgoing red, but she's actually got an extreme temper and a tendency towards impulsivity that Kat lacks.
  • Safety in Indifference: Tends to shield herself from emotions in order to protect herself, although her conscious motivation for this is more likely that she was taught that emotional expression is a sign of weakness. However, she's improving on this front (mostly due to Kat's influence) and if someone she loves is hurt, she will not hesitate to fly into a rage.
  • Seen It All: In regards to the afterlife. Meeting the harbingers of death and even serving as one for several people, including her mother is one heck of a way to desensitize a young girl to what one is normally led to fear about it. She's so familiarized with it that it's practically at her back now.
  • The Shadow Knows: In a twist on the usual effect: it reveals to her that she is in a strange location, not her strangeness to others.
  • Ship Tease: With Kat and zig zagged with Jack.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Her outfits become increasingly looser and more "earthy" as she grows into her role as Forest Medium. They revert to drab, form-fitting clothing as part of the Emotional Regression inflicted by her father's return, but start to return to more forest-like attire again as her confidence returns.
  • Snooping Little Kid: A little girl with some lockpicks in her teddy bear.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Dealing with the supernatural? Easy. Her classmates, on the other hand... As for family, forget it. Her lack of social skills is understandable, considering the fact that she spent the first 11 years of her life in a hospital and spoke only to her distant father, dying mother, and ghosts.
  • Spock Speak: A mild case. Appears to have been left behind in the Woods.
  • Stepford Smiler: Her demeanor changes after being harangued by her father to basically chain and padlock a HUGE burst of hatred about to detonate. Every smile she makes is forced and painful, and Ysengrin takes notice of that and makes her confront it at the source before it eats her alive.
  • The Stoic: At first, and to a lesser extent, still.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She has straight hair. Her mum had curly hair. That is the only difference in their appearances. Absorbing her mother's life-force might have something to do with that (Annie so strongly resembles her mother that both Reynard and Coyote initially think that she is Surma). Personality-wise she's a double for her father, right down to clenching her fists tightly when upset or nervous, blaming herself for Surma's death, and thinking her father hates her for it, although it's implied she was more open and carefree before her mother's death.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She turns the stoicness down when there aren't any people around. With Kat's help, she has also become more open about her feelings, but she's still remarkably calm in the face of the Court's supernatural weirdness. When her father calls, though, she becomes a Tin Man, convinced that she is calm until Mr. Donlan points out she should give her hands a rest.
  • Survivor Guilt:
    • The revelation that her existence is the direct cause of her mom's death is clearly the emotional equivalent of a nuclear bomb.
    • It also happened in Chapter 47: See Ya! after releasing Mort into the ether.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Happens in Chapter 31 when Coyote informs her of her fire elemental heritage.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Kat's tomboy. In fact, one of the alchemical symbols for the element antimony (though not used in-comic) is just like the female symbol (aka the astrological symbol for Venus), inverted.
  • Tranquil Fury: Though sometimes she gets explosively angry and emotional, when push comes to shove, and she gets pissed, there's no screaming, no berserk aggression, just rage and fire.
  • Traumatic Haircut: As a way to avoid dealing with her anger and humiliation at her father's return, she cuts her hair using her blinker stone to separate them from her.
  • Uneven Hybrid: She's distantly descended from a fire elemental mating with a human. Coyote, naturally, laughs at "what a coupling that must have been".
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: At first Annie seemed indifferent to Jack's attempt to flirt with her in Chapter 31. Then, by the end of Chapter 34, things change.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Annie's curiosity and desire to help constantly puts her in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's implied to be a typical property of a natural medium.
    The Headmaster: Tell me, do you find strange things seem to happen around you?
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Got it from Jeanne after falling into the ravine. Present for the ethereal vision and serves as the main indicator of this — at least, normally. Jeanne wipes it away just before Annie sends her into the ether.
  • Wreathed in Flames: She learned the trick with torch-hand when she experimented with Blinker stone. Much more so in her winged etheric form — she produces great flames merged with herself. The pinnacle example being, perhaps, her fire elemental form, seen in pages 1258 and 1259.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is pink, the same as Surma's.

    Katerina Maria "Kat" Donlan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kat.jpg

Annie's best friend. She's energetic, outgoing, and usually cheerful. She's a natural at maths and science, and a Gadgeteer Genius capable of building anti-gravity generators and robots in her spare time.

Kat's friendship with Annie is a major source of Character Development for both of them. Like Annie, she has a natural inclination to help those in need.

Compared with Annie, she's lived a sheltered life. However, when tragedy does befall her, she is able to keep her head: When Annie falls off the bridge (to her apparent death), Kat pulls herself together to build a hovercraft and go rescue her. When her boyfriend leaves forever, instead of being angry or self-pitying, she chooses to be thankful for the time she had with him.

Kat was shaken by the revelation that the Court's founders have blood on their hands, but she managed to pull through this.

Also, unlike Annie, Kat is well-versed in pop-culture and geek-culture, and is a big fan of video games, comic books, and dance music.

Kat seems to have few friends in the Court, which is odd in light of her personality. Apparently, prior to meeting Annie, she'd been ostracized by the other students because both her parents are teachers, and because of the ease with which she gets high grades. Because of this, Annie worries that her own unpopularity is one of the reasons Kat does not have many friends.

She's somewhere between an Arbitrary Skeptic and a Flat Earth Metaphysical Naturalist — she has no difficulty accepting the existence of supernatural beings like fairies, psychopomps, ghosts, or the Minotaur, yet she's dumbstruck by the thought of a robot running without a visible power source, and when asked if she believes in magic, she replies, “Of course not!” In her mind, magic is just a term for something science hasn't explained... yet.

Oh, and the Court's robot population may be turning her into their god.


Associated tropes:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In spite of magic being so well-documented that it's alternately referred to as the "etheric sciences", and her own parents specializing in its research, Kat is unwilling to take it seriously, and often hates even acknowledging it entirely.
  • Berserk Button: Insult Annie and she will chew you out, and maybe kick you out of wherever you are—even if you're a Grim Reaper. Even if you're a Grim Reaper affiliate and she's kicking you out of your own office.
    • Related to how protective she is of Annie, she HATES Anthony for his neglect and perceived abuse.
  • Bi the Way: Was pretty into Alistair, and after a long arc full of Gayngst, also finally seems pretty cool with going out with Paz. As of Chapter 45: Thread, they're officially "not just friends".
  • Big Sister Instinct: Punched more or less a Grim Reaper for making Annie sad. Clearly wants to do the same for Anthony, if she ever catches him.
  • Brainy Brunette: She has black or nearly black hair like her mom, and has amazing skills with robotics.
  • Cat Smile: A slight one in older panels; it eventually disappears in later panels.
  • Closet Key: For Paz.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Wears a naval dress outfit (minus jacket) to compliment Paz's nautical-themed dress to the "Ocean-style Dance" in Chapter 49.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 29: A Bad Start and Chapter 45: Threads. To some extent, this is also true for Chapter 13: A Week For Kat and Chapter 25: Sky Watcher And The Angel.
  • Deuteragonist: She is Annie's thematic foil, and her robot angel storyline has received nearly as much attention as Annie's travails.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Her etheric form, first seen in Zimmy's vision and later when she destroys the rogue boat AI. It says something of just how terrifying the form is when both Zimmy and Annie are absolutely terrified of it.
  • Fangirl / Otaku Surrogate: Obsessed with robots, dance music (especially Orbital and The Prodigy), video games, comic books, and The X-Files... it's nearly impossible to predict who or what may elicit the next "Squee!!". The last time, it was a clawed robot praying mantis' turn to be cuddled on sight.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite magic being somewhat common, so much as to even having a branch of science dedicated to it, Kat insists that all "magic" is really just ill-understood technology.
  • Foil: Magic Versus Science is a recurring theme of the story and setting, and is represented in Annie and Kat. Annie, who converses with psychopomps and has connections to the ether and the forest, represents the supernatural. Kat, a Gadgeteer Genius who grew up in the Court, represents technology. Personality wise, Kat is more outgoing and interested in pop culture and romance, a stark contrast to Annie, especially at the beginning of the story when she was more stoic. Annie and Kat have both had problems fitting in — Annie because of her personality, lack of social skills, and inability to relate to most people her age, and Kat because of resentment over her grades and suspicion that, as the daughter of two Court teachers, she was being favored. Annie and Kat balancing each other is a recurring theme in the Treatise pictures.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: To the point that the Court's robots hold her in near-religious awe (and for at least one, it's not "near-" at all).
  • Gayngst:
    • In Chapter 34: Faraway Morning, she gets Mistaken for Gay by Paz, and thinks it's because she's such a tomboy, leading to a long story arc when she tries to dress more feminine. She feels absolutely terrible about the whole thing, but never properly addresses it until Zimmy and Gamma confront her in Chapter 38: Divine (and even then it's largely unspoken). Eventually, in Chapter 42: Catalyst, Paz reveals that she's got feelings for Kat, Kat realises that she's fine with it, and they start going out together just to see where things lead.
    • In Chapter 45: Thread, Kat worries that she's confused friendship for love with Paz, and whether Annie would still accept her after runs away after she caught them kissing. Annie does, because Kat joked she'd be willing to date a hot girl; Annie's problem is that she's worried Kat would abandon her, which Kat assures her she will never ever do.
  • God Needs Prayers Badly: It's implied that the robots' belief in her as an angel may be turning her into a god, something we may have already caught a glimpse of through Zimmy's perspective.
  • Head Pet: Played with. When one of Zimmy's illusions is in play, a pigeon is visible on her head, echoing her thoughts.
  • Hot for Teacher: Had a mild crush on Eglamore for awhile.
  • Kid with the Leash: When Anthony Carver demanded that Annie hand over control of Reynard to him, instead she gave ownership of Reynard's doll to Kat to protect him.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: Struggles with her sexuality for a while until Paz sends her a love letter, which is when Kat realizes she's fine with it and agrees to go out with Paz.
  • Magnetic Hero: For robots. From S13 to Sky Watcher, they tend to view her as an "angel" from the first meeting on, or at least be very friendly and helpful. The contrast between her own enthusiasm and the Court's general policy doesn't hurt, of course.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Kat invented anti-gravity for the sole purpose of containing a simple science project concerning the growth rate of protein crystals and is annoyed when the judges pay more attention to it instead of her project.
  • Mistaken for Gay: By Paz. Unlike most other examples of this trope being used for comedy, this serves the purpose of setting up a sub-plot of Kat becoming unconfident with her sexuality, later attempting to present herself as more girly by wearing a generic flower hairpin and Annie's clothes. According to Zimmy, rumors about her are circulating among the "rats," and other characters have commented as if she really was gay and it was just something that has always been. She's clearly more comfortable with being herself when nobody is around in her own environment, without trying to present herself as girly. Eventually, Paz directly confronts her, the two of them realize that they might really like each other as more than friends, and they agree to go out together.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Well, as mugglish as a gadgeteer genius can be. Inverted when it comes to robotics, where Antimony has no clue what's going on.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: "One does not 'get bored' in double physics!"
  • Oh, Crap!: In reaction to Annie's Oh, Crap! when she realizes the giant crab is, indeed, real.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The girl invented (among other things) anti-gravity and artificial muscles. And she's just using crap she finds laying around. Despite the obvious benefits these two inventions alone, much less all her other ones, could provide to a number of industries she uses them to screw around doing nothing at all.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Parley/Andrew.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Alistair. This seems to have made her something of a bird enthusiast... or possible fetishist.
  • Techno Babble: Can lapse into this on occasion. Lampshaded at one point, which is actually the image for the trope page.
    Kat: But what do you use to jargon jargon babble babble strange words?
    Anja: Haha, it took a while to perfect, but chatter chatter jargon computers technical wizardry babble jargon.
  • Technopath: When the rogue boat intelligence forces Zimmy to use her powers to create itself flesh, this happens. Sure would explain a lot.
  • Teen Genius:
    • In Chapter 5: Two Strange Girls, she invented an antigravity device in her first year of high school.note  Out of a thermos and coat hangers, no less. She got frustrated when people were too distracted by it to focus on the real point of her science project. Later, she used said device to create a hovercraft in order to rescue Annie at the end of Chapter 8: Broken Glass And Other Things.
    • In Chapter 33: Give And Take, she resurrected an ancient robot by reading the robots' programming language — a language so complex it cannot be read by humans.
    • In Chapter 41: Changes it's revealed she's "growing a robot" — not quite artificial life (it's going to be Robot's next body) but close enough that the other Seraphs accept Robot calling her an Angel and give her "the mark of the Creator", which just so happens to be the light bulb-looking glyph she's associated with.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Annie's and Paz's Girly Girl.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In her worry over Annie's predicament her actions regarding Anthony go above and beyond the call of duty, causing her to assume out of hand that he's been torturing Renard with "cruel experiments" and tell Renard to do anything it takes to defend himself from Anthony, implicitly including lethal action, as well as being actively detrimental to her father's attempt to get some answers out of Tony by interrupting their conversation to yell at him.
  • True Sight: She sees everything in the Realm of the Dead as a cheap haunted house with paper bats hanging from strings and VCRs. This is actually pretty much the truth, since the Realm of the Dead is mostly window dressing. It lets her interact with things with shocking ease, leaving Annie and Mort (a medium and ghost, who you'd expect to be the competent ones) completely flabbergasted.
    • Happens again when she enters the Ether in "The Other Shore": Kat sees a tiny cell containing an unconscious, bound prisoner Jeanne's elf boyfriend's spirit, trapped by Diego's arrow. Annie sees a vast maze holding a powerful etheric being who attacks her; she also sees Kat's etherical form, which is huge, insectoid, and absolutely terrifying.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Happened in-universe when she blew up at Anthony when Donald was finally getting somewhere in the way of answers out of Anthony, causing Anthony to clam up and leave. Anja's reaction is pretty much this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She calls Annie out for not only agreeing to transfer her ownership of Reynardine to her father, but also forbidding him to speak so he can't protest at this treatment.
    "How could you? He's our friend!"
  • Wrench Wench: The outfit she's most comfortable in seems to be a mechanic's boilersuit. Sometimes holds a literal wrench.
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