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A Character Sheet for Ninja Theory's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.

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Humans

    Senua 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/senua.jpg
Portrayed by: Melina Juergens

The Player Character. Senua, tormented for a long time and traumatized by the death of her fiancé, embarks on her Mental Story journey to Hel.


  • Action Girl: A female Celtic warrior.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Averted. While Senua's "darkness" is never explicitly identified given the game's pre-psychiatry setting, it is likely a form of psychosis and schizophrenia which she has lived with her whole life and was passed down by her mother, Galena. The game explicitly credits experts of psychosis in the beginning of the opening credits. Auditory and visual Hallucinations and Hearing Voices are shown to be the two primary symptoms.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Senua learned to become at least passably good at swordfighting simply by watching Dillion from afar before he started actually training her.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: So, so averted. Senua begins the game slightly disheveled and it only goes downhill.
  • Broken Bird: Senua has suffered her entire life and she has lost her one ray of hope, Dillion. She's beset by constant self-doubt, believing herself cursed and the cause of suffering to those around her.
  • Crusading Widow: Senua is this, of the "bring their lover back" variety.
  • Disability Superpower: Downplayed to subverted. While Dillion and the narration imply that her condition makes her a better warrior, able to 'see patterns others miss' and she successfully detects plague in the water at her new village, the many drawbacks of her condition are explored in horrifying detail. To be fair, it's not clear how much of the pain caused by her condition is unavoidable and how much can be traced back to her father's abuse.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: A Celtic example — the ancient Celts washed their hair in lime before battle to sculpt it into more fearsome styles (though they braided their hair in reality).
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Once Senua realizes just how badly her father abused her and her mother and gains strength from it, enemies fall far more quickly. The soundtrack switching to Just Like Sleep helps underline her new resolve.
  • The Exile: Of the self-imposed kind, as an attempt to get rid of her "darkness." Since this took place before the story's start, it didn't work.
  • Hearing Voices: Because of her schizophrenia, Senua hears them constantly, coming from a variety of locations and with a variety of ages and genders. One of these voices is treated as the player character telling Senua what to do through the game's controls; others will offer suggestions on what to do during fights.
  • It's All My Fault: Due to her upbringing, she believes that the plague coming to their village is her fault, for noticing something unusual with the water and not being believed, and later that Dillion died while she was away trying to purge the darkness within her.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Senua's abusive father locked her in a basement for years due to her mental illness.
  • The Mentally Ill: The game's narrative and plot hinges on Senua's psychosis, trauma, and schizophrenia, including shaping the environment and setting.
  • Naytheist: Senua initially acts deferential toward Hela, but over time it becomes very clear what her opinion of gods, any gods, really is: she rejects and despises them, even those of her own people.
  • No Social Skills: While recollecting the first time she met Dillion, Senua is stiff, shy, and avoids eye contact during the beginning of their conversation. Justified, since her zealot father kept her inside their home for much of her life.
  • The Ophelia: Senua is a more realistic version of this, if not an outright deconstruction considering how much she suffers because of her illness. She has experienced visual and auditory hallucinations all her life and is strongly implied to have schizophrenia or a similar disorder. She carries her dead boyfriend's head around and even talks to it, has long hair worn in messy braids, wears animal skins and furs, and is quite pretty (when she's not covered in gore) and otherworldly; her 'visions' and the voices she hears are seen as magical by her people, as they lack a modern understanding of mental health. Her lover Dillion never judged her for this and they had a mostly happy relationship. When Dillion was horribly killed, it triggered a psychotic break and it's not entirely clear how much of the game's events, if any, are actually happening or if it's just in Senua's head. The game's creators actually went to a lot of effort researching psychosis to portray her condition accurately.
  • Power Born of Madness: Senua's voices warn her whenever an enemy creeps up behind her and she can enter Bullet Time by focusing. While the latter one is almost certainly not "real", Dillion believed Senua's sight could make her a more powerful warrior.
  • Precision F-Strike: In her memory of her learning her father had her mother burned, he justifies it by saying it was the will of the gods. She responds by screaming "FUCK THE GODS!"
  • The Promise: When she last went into self-imposed exile, fearing she was responsible for a plague, Dillion made her promise she would come back to him. She kept the promise only to discover he had been killed in battle; now her promise is to find him in Helheim.
  • Screaming Warrior: Senua lets out brief vicious screams throughout her battles.
  • Self-Harm: When Senua is first touched by The Corruption infecting her arm, she tries to scratch it off in a way that would likely make her arm bleed. At one of her lowest points, when her sword is broken, Senua is compelled by her psychosis to heat the blade and burn the side of her face with it to "cauterize" one of the veins of rot.
  • Serkis Folk: Senua was both voiced and motion captured by Melina Juergens, who prior to that point was a video editor for Ninja Theory — this was her first ever acting role.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Senua was already traumatized before she experienced a kind of therapy by watching Dillion train with his sword and imitating him. She was skilled enough that he encouraged her to undergo warrior trials and she succeeded. Returning from a self-imposed exile to find Dillion and the rest of the village massacred pushes her over an edge she was teetering on her entire life.
  • This Means Warpaint: Senua wears blue warpaint (also called woad) in the present — most flashbacks are indicated by her being barefaced.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Her default expression is an impassive glazed stare, her mouth slightly agape.
  • Unreliable Narrator: We, the players, see and hear the world from Senua's perspective. Considering she suffers from psychosis aggravated by trauma, how much and what actually happens is up to the player's interpretation.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: A short list of things Senua fears, for various reasons: fire, darkness, plague/rot, and isolation. A short list of things she encounters on her quest: fire, darkness, plague/rot, and isolation.
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    Dillion 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dillion.png
Portrayed by: Oliver Walker

Senua's fiancé, who she hopes to resurrect after his death in a battle with Vikings.


  • Amazon Chaser: Part of his attraction to Senua seemed to stem from her potential as a warrior.
  • Companion Cube: His head wrapped in a cloth is kept on Senua's belt. She occasionally talks to it, though mostly to encourage herself (it doesn't talk back).
  • Flaying Alive: The method of his death is particularly gruesome. He was sacrificed by Norse raiders in the style known as a Blood Eagle, his limbs and the flesh of his back tied to posts.
  • The Lost Lenore: He remains Senua's one ray of hope even after his death.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Appears shirtless in several of his limited cutscenes. One notable case where his appearance is contrasted with Senua's, however, could cross in to Fan Disservice.
  • Nice Guy: Next to Senua's mother, Dillion was the most inspiring and comforting person in her life. When he first meets her watching him practice his swordsmanship, he's nothing but understanding and friendly despite her status as a pariah. His eventual fate is the catalyst for Senua's psychotic breakdown.
  • Prince Charming: Technically qualifies, as his father is stated to be head of the village Senua moves to. He also fulfills the classical functions of the role, being kind and supportive to Senua, seeing her inner beauty, and helping her gain the courage to leave her abusive family situation.
  • Sage Love Interest: A big source of guidance for Senua, and implied to be a good influence on his people as well. When Senua is accused of perhaps unintentionally) tainting the water supply of her new village and causing a plague, he keeps a level head and has a very rational take on the whole situation.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: His primary character trait is how kind he was Senua, and how much he wanted to help her learn to value herself. Naturally, he dies horrifically.

    Zynbel 
Portrayed by: Steven Hartley

Senua's abusive father, and a druid fanatic.


  • Abusive Parents: He emotionally and physically tortured his daughter for years in an effort to rid her of her "darkness", which included locking her up in a pit and constantly belittling and shaming her for her mental illness, believing it to be a curse from the gods. He also killed Senua's mother by burning her alive when Senua was only five years old.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is a deep, sepulchral rattle, and it only gets deeper as you progress through the game.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: Has his own wife burnt at the stake for assumed witchcraft.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He apparently believed that he needed to make Senua hate "the darkness" so fiercely that she'd never give in to it (as he considers her mother to have done). He seems to be sincerely sorry for what he put her through, though he still thinks it was necessary, while Senua definitely does not agree.

    Galena 
Portrayed by: Ellie Piercey

Senua's mother, who suffered from a similar form of mental illness as her daughter.


  • Broken Bird: She had very much the same illness as her daughter.
  • Burn the Witch!: Suffers this fate, with Zynbel blaming her "darkness" on her and seeking to appease the gods.
  • Posthumous Character: She's long dead, having died when her daughter was five years old.

    Druth 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/druth.jpg
Portrayed by: Nicholas Boulton

Druth is an escaped slave of the Vikings who raided Senua's village. He is dead, but offers her guidance still.


  • Ambiguous Disorder: In the game, "the darkness" seems to be treated as a pre-modern term for "mental illness". In the narration, it's mentioned that Druth had his own darkness. The dialogue that immediately follows suggests that he suffered from some form of PTSD due to his experiences with the Northmen.
    Druth: I can still smell it. The sweet sickly smell of burning human flesh. And I still hear their cries carried in the wind. Do you hear them too, Senua?
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Through the lorestones, Druth tells the story of another man by the name of Findan, who'd been captured by the Norsemen, but eventually escaped. Although Findan died in the process, another man was born — Druth himself.
  • I Die Free: He doesn't mind facing death; not only has he escaped those who enslaved him, Senua will "carry [his] stories" and ensure he's not forgotten, and maybe one day with his help she'll be free as well.
  • Insult of Endearment: Senua and her voices often refer to him as "the old fool", but with obvious fondness and affection.
  • Mr. Exposition: He taught the mythology of the Norse gods to Senua, which she experiences in flashbacks and through the game's scattered lorestones — and possibly gave shape to the delusions she experiences. If they are delusions.
  • Posthumous Character: An old man who'd lived a hard life even before receiving his terrible burn injuries, he died not long after meeting Senua, but swore to guide her through the underworld.

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Denizens of Hel

    Surt, Fire Giant 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/surt.jpg

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Surt is a metaphor for annihilation and destruction, as both experienced by Senua after raids by the Northmen, and from Druth's stories, combined with Senua's own issues with fire. His areas often have bits of the environment inexplicably smoldering or smoking, and his trials have the area go up in flames, with people screaming as they burn to death.
  • BFS: Wields a massive sword in one hand that's also on fire.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Takes the form of a massive, brutish warrior with a head made of burning wicker.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: His unique boss theme is dominated by a very aggressive sounding Norse chant and marching drum beat, further driving home what he represents to Senua.
  • Wreathed in Flames: One of his abilities is shrouding himself in fire.

    Valravn, God of Illusion 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/valravn.jpg

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Valravn is the embodiment of disorientation, being lost and alone; all relevant to Senua, who has spent time in the wilderness and is sometimes confused by her hallucinations. When approaching him and solving his trials, it's always unclear whether he's offering help or playing tricks, which is true of Senua's delusions as well.
  • Evil Laugh: A scratchy cackle like a raven, one of only two recognisable vocal sounds he makes (the other is his weird resonant "singing").
  • Feathered Fiend: A more anthropomorphic example than most.
  • Flash Step: He disappears and reappears rapidly while fighting Senua, though it's hard to tell if he can actually teleport or if he just turns invisible and moves very fast.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He moves quickly and hits with considerable force.
  • Master of Illusion: His main skill. It's impossible to know what's real and what isn't in the area he controls.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Throws 'em out during his fight with Senua, which she can parry into flying back at him.

    Garmr 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fenrir_5.jpg

  • Adaptation Species Change: A wolf not unlike Fenris in Norse myth, but looks like a gnarled boar in the game.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Garmr is one giant metaphor for Senua's nyctophobia, being a creature that inhabits a lair steeped in shadows and he will eat you alive if you don't have a torch lit while navigating his halls. He's also a representation of her hatred for her father who kept her locked away in the dark in a vain effort to purge her illness.
  • Breath Weapon: He can exhale pure darkness that clouds Senua's vision with horrific hallucinations.
  • Darkness = Death: Senua will die if she remains in the dark in his domain for too long.
  • Full-Boar Action: He looks like a giant, decaying boar corpse.
  • Manual Misprint: For some reason, the achievement received for beating him has the condition of defeating Fenrir, not Garmr.

    Hela 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hela_2.jpg

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: In addition to serving as the end goal of Senua's quest, Hela is also a catalyst for her resolve as well as serving as Senua's acceptance, both of her illness and of Dillion's death. As the band said, Don't Fear the Reaper.
  • Bald Woman: She has no hair, even on the unburned side of her head.
  • Fan Disservice: Yes, she's depicted as a naked woman. No, that doesn't make her appealing, considering that half of her is pale as ash and overlaid with runes while the other half is blackened, decayed and pitted.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Her right side looks more or less human, albeit pale and covered in tattoos. Her left side is a burned-out husk.
  • In the Blood: The gods exiled her to Helheim because, with a giant for a mother and Loki for a father, they figured she couldn't be anything but bad news.
  • Mook Maker: The fight with her consists of you mowing down endless hordes of her underlings while she watches and occasionally spits... something at you that hurts you and makes the screen go wobbly. Attacking Hela herself is not possible.
  • Running on All Fours: She usually moves around on her hands and knees, possibly because her massive size makes her incapable of standing upright.
  • Sizeshifter: Most times we see her, she's a monstrous creature easily twenty feet tall. Her final scene shows her at normal size while listening to Senua.
  • Tender Tears: Weeps as she releases Dillion — because she is a representation of Senua.
  • Vocal Dissonance: She speaks with a rumbling, masculine voice.
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