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Manticorans in General
- Badass Army: The Royal Manticoran Navy has a long tradition of prevailing against overwhelming odds thanks to superior training, fighting spirit and technology.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Regency England, and more specifically the Age of Sail. Gryphon and Sphinx, the other planets in the Manticorian system, are Scotland and Wales.
- Genius Bruiser: Use consistently higher technology than any other nation (except for Grayson, with whom the Manticorans share all their advances freely, mainly because Graysons bring a lot to the table themselves), translating into truly fearsome warships.
- The Good Kingdom: A constitutional monarchy. Notably more democratic than the People's Republic of Haven.
- Lightning Bruiser: The RMN's technological advantage manifests itself in ships that have higher acceleration,note more firepower and better active and passive defenses than anything their competitors (who tend to go for the Mighty Glacier approach) can field.
- On a strategic level, the Manticore Wormhole Junction grants the Manticorans the ability to send ships to several far-flung corners of the galaxy instantaneously, including two places on the borders of Havenite space and one deep in their territory, meaning the Havenites have to deal with the possibility of the same fleet striking at two or three distant parts of their territory at any given moment. The Havenites simply can't afford to concentrate their larger force without leaving themselves exposed to Manticoran surprise attacks.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse:
- Much, much smaller than primary antagonist Haven, in terms of manpower, industrial capacity, and (at least initially) military size, but a given Manticoran ship is always superior to its Havenite counterpart.
- This is even more pronounced in the later conflict with the Solarian League, which dwarfs even the Grand Alliance (Manticore, Grayson, Haven and Beowulf).
- House of Steel notes that it is the Manticoran Wormhole Junction which makes this possible — their incredible merchant marine results in a robust economy, and their navy can simply get places faster than anyone else.
- Really 700 Years Old: Manticore is a prolong society in fact it had prolong almost as soon as it was invented on Beowulf due to their historical close ties so most of the characters are much, much older than they may appear to the reader. The trope is also played straight in the traditional sense, as prolong extends all stages of human development, so the middle-aged people may appear as teenagers to the untrained eye, and, for the added squick, in early books some legally adult people were described looking as preteens, though Weber tried to downplay this later.
- Recycled In Space: Horatio Hornblower, until the plot goes Off the Rails.
- Space Navy: Heavily borrows from the naval terminology, ranks, conventions and traditions of the British Royal Navy.
Admiral of the Fleet and Captain HMS Unconquered Lady Dame Honor Stephanie Dances On Clouds Alexander-Harrington, KGCR, MC, SG, PMV, DSO, CGM, Steadholder Harrington, Duchess Harrington, Countess White Haven
The title character of the series and the one of the most prestigious military and political figures of her time. Born to an upper middle class family and coming from a centuries-long lineage of biologists and physicians, she went for a rather nontraditional (for her clan, at least) occupation and managed to obtain a lot of fancy and important-sounding additions to her name through effort, skill and some rather evident Author Appeal. The price she had to pay for this was, ahem, considerable. Has accumulated so much seniority since the beginning of the series that she got somewhat sidelined in the recent series of spinoffs, having became the most senior active military officer on Manticore.
- The Ace: A rare case of The Ace being the protagonist.
- Acquainted with Emergency Services: Alluded in "Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington", when some of the ship's officers learn that she has had regular full-contact training bouts with one of the ship's Marine sergeants, their first reaction is to ask how well she's gotten to know the ship's medical officer.
- Action Mom: As a consequence of But I Can't Be Pregnant!, because of a paperwork error.
- Annoying Laugh: Honor struggles not to laugh at times because she hates the way she sounds.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She has some internally known and carefully controlled sociopathic tendencies, a potential negative side effect of her inherited genetic modifications. You really don't want to be the one to provoke her into excluding you from her definition of a human being.
- Uncompromising Honor shows how deep that can go. During the attack on Sol, she is so obviously thirsting for Solarian blood (whom she, understandably, considers partially guilty of Hamish's death) that even Rafe Cardones, who has been with her for decades, is completely terrified of her.
- Big Eater: An unavoidable side-effect of the Meyerdahl Beta gene complex, which increases a person's metabolism to handle the extra effort needed to function on high gravity worlds.
- The Captain: Sadly, not any more. Well, on paper she still is, but it's a purely ceremonial command.
- Catchphrase: "Let's be about it." Inherited from Captain Bachfisch and passed down to many of her subordinates.
- Phrase Catcher: Old friends have a habit of cheerfully saying it around or directly to her.
- Chest of Medals: See the list of honors after her hame? That's but the highest awards Honor's been decorated with in her half century of service.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Responsibility is a recurring theme with Ms. Harrington. Every time a promotion or new title comes Honor's way, her first reaction is to worry if she can meet the increased responsibility it will give her. If she had a favorite snack food, it would be Responsibilityuns.
- Crazy-Prepared: Taking lessons in Grayson-style fencing because an obscure bit of legislation grants any Grayson steadholder the option of a Trial by Combat against the Protector's decrees, with Honor acting as the Protector's champion.
- Cultured Warrior: Her maternal uncle is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (apparently, these guys prospered in the two millennia since now), and, finding a similar tastes in his niece, supplies her with various cool stuff from his favorite XIX-XX centuries. Like books and guns.
- Cursed with Awesome:
- She has to eat a lot of food to sustain her high-gravity metabolism, but it comes with a much stronger physiology and virtually no limit on her caloric intake. She is known for her ability to give the Cookie Monster an inferiority complex without adding a millimeter to her waistline. Unfortunately, no one told the Peeps, so she becomes severely malnourished with only standard prisoner rations (which aren't much even for a baseline human) during the time she spends in their captivity.
- She's resistant to regenerative medical techniques, meaning that severe injuries are permanent. Cue awesome cybernetic replacements. (At least until she's taken prisoner by Haven and they deactivate her implants; then it's less awesome.)
- Her abilities as The Empath can leave her vulnerable to the state of people's emotions around her. The death of Samantha's bondmate backlashed through her and nearly knocked her out.
- Daddy's Girl: Though Honor loves her mother very much, and vice versa, she is established to be closest to her father — undoubtedly because they are very similar personalities.
- Determinator: To Victor Cachat's level, no less. Doesn't let little things like the loss of an eye, broken ribs or a few bullet holes slow her down much.
- Doomed Hometown: Yawata Crossing, being hit by a large piece of a space station during Oyster Bay. Almost all her family died there, with four million other people. Unusual in that it happens much later into the story than commonly seen, but then, it underscores a major change in the series' direction.
- Doom Magnet: At the very least, she tends to draw truly psychopathic people (Pavel Young, Steadholders Burdette and Mueller, Cordelia Ransom) as opponents. Her nickname also reflects this: she is called "The Salamander" due to always being where the fires are hottest. Some of the enlisted and junior officers under her command are rather worried by this, being Genre Savvy enough to realize that while serving under The Salamander is a fast track to promotion, it is quite often posthumous.
- The Empath: Not just through the link to Nimitz — her genetic mod had one minor tweak that sometimes let its carriers have a weak, but pronounced empathic sense that she was able to develop thanks to her adoption bond. Nimitz explains to Bright Water clan that she no longer needs him to do it; the ability is "unlocked", she just needs to improve it.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Just ask Emily Alexander for her opinion.
- Horatio Nelson. She even has the missing (and cybernetically replaced) eye and arm to prove it.
- Horatio Hornblower In Enemy Hands and Echoes of Honor are basically a retelling of CS Forester's Flying Colours IN SPACE. This is lampshaded in a scene in Honor among Enemies, where Honor actually reads a Horatio Hornblower novel and finds the protagonist easy to relate to (as well as liking his initials).
- Eyepatch of Power: For a short time in the second book. Receives a cybernetic replacement later.
- Finger Firearms: After she returns from her POW stint, her father makes her a new artificial arm, with a pulser hidden in her hand, firing out of her index. This saves her life when an assassin (someone controlled via Mesa's nanovirus) tries to kill her.
- Four-Star Badass: She can beat you up in hand-to-hand combat, shoot you in a duel or utterly devastate your fleet in space. She even goes up to five stars for a while, holding the highest command rank in the RMN while in command of Home Fleet.
- Genius Bruiser: Not only is she a brilliant tactician, but she's a high-ranked black belt in one of the galaxy's deadliest martial arts.
- Girliness Upgrade: In On Basilisk Station, she's a buzz-cut tomboy who doubts her femininity thanks to an awkward and painful adolescence. By The Short Victorious War, she starts growing out her hair, starts wearing make up, and engages in her first real romantic love (with a major boost to her feminine self-esteem). In Flag in Exile she also adopts a simplified variant of Grayson dresses after a lifetime of wearing Manticore-fashion trousers.
- Heartbroken Badass: It doesn't matter how much pain her enemies inflict on her. It hurts - but she'll only use that to fuel her fury against them.
- Hollywood Cyborg: Due to her body rejecting regen, Honor is forced to take mechanical replacements for any parts she loses. Only her replacement facial nerves really fail to work/look as good as new, and her replacement eye and arm end up being a case of We Can Rebuild Him.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: With an anachronistic Hand Cannon from pre-Diaspora Earth, no less (i.e. an M1911A1).
- She's also quite capable of hitting a professional duelist with a pulser - shooting from the hip.
- It's Personal: After the events of Mission of Honor, the war has become very personal for Honor.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: After several books of resisting an affair with Hamish Alexander and while still trying to hide it, she gets pregnant at a politically inconvenient time when she believed her birth control was still effective.
- Loophole Abuse: She is taken prisoner by the Havenites while serving as a Commodore (the lowest flag rank) in the Royal Manticoran Navy, then escapes and ends up sneaking into a Havenite POW camp (It Makes Sense in Context). When she realizes she is going to have problems with a Manticoran Rear Admiral (one rank higher), she has a uniform made for her other job, an Admiral in the Grayson Space Navy. The Rear Admiral calls her out on this, but none of the other officers can stand him and decide to back her instead.
- Mama Bear: If you got the idea to threaten anything or anybody she feels responsible for... reconsider.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Not excessively, but Meyerdahl Beta genetic mod still seems a real treasure trove of unintended, but generally beneficial abilities with only the drawback of a heavy metabolism. She pulls out a bunch of these in Field of Dishonor (including her Improbable Aiming Skills) to tie off a couple of loose ends from the first couple of books. Fatally.
- Nice Hat: In earlier books, much was made of her white beret, a uniform item which is only authorized for starship skippers in the Royal Manticoran Navy. When she is promoted to Admiral, she loses the right to wear the beret. She is later appointed as Captain, HMS Unconquered, an honorary role (Unconquered is a museum ship in orbit over Manticore) which incidentally allows Admiral Harrington to wear her beloved white beret again.
- Non-Idle Rich: Becomes a multi-billionaire by mid-series, thanks to some very savvy investments.
- Obliviously Beautiful: In the first few books at least.
- One of the Boys: How she thought of herself before finally finding love with Paul Tankersley.
- Praetorian Guard:
- Like any Steadholder, she has one. She takes it seriously whenever any of them die for her... and she's in enough danger that, eventually, she needs a totally new one.
- She also accidentally causes a constitutional crisis on Grayson when she forms an ad-hoc navy using personnel from numerous nations and ships seized from the Havenites as part of their escape from the prison planet Hades. Turns out, she technically formed her own army, something that Steadholders are not permitted to do by Grayson law (it had been done before, it led to a very bloody and protracted series of wars, and they're quite keen on not making sure it never happens again). The simple solution is for her to graciously turn it all over to the Protector, where it becomes his personal navy, The Protector's Own, which is perfectly legal (if somewhat unprecedented in Grayson's history).
- Precision F-Strike: If Honor swears, things are really bad.
- Rags to Riches: Her parents are both famous doctors, so she wasn't impoverished, but she goes from being a middle-class commoner to one of the wealthiest and most powerful nobles of the Star Kingdom and Grayson. As in, she's on a first-name basis with the Queen of Manticore. As an illustration, just compare her insecure agitation while meeting the Queen for the first time, and her casual slouch in the windowsill of King Michael's Tower (the Queen's personal quarters) during one of the policy meetings in Mission of Honor. Really drives home how close to the royal family she has become. Queen Elizabeth III lampshades this in Storm from the Shadows when she reflects, during a heated political discussion, upon the fact that Honor has become that rarest of things to her, a genuine peer.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's now in her 60s and just stopped looking like a teenager, thanks to the effects of Prolong.
- Red Baron: Nicknamed The Salamander by the journalists for consistently being where the flames are hottest (never mind that she'd rather keep her people safe, thankyouverymuch).
- Her people, on the other hand, call her just The Old Lady.
- Secret Legacy: The Harrington family is actually a Mesan Alpha line that went AWOL.
- Slasher Smile: In the aftermath of the Beowulf Strike, she flashes one of this to a Solarian Commodore after his fleet surrenders. Said Commodore regards it as the most frightening smile he has ever seen.
- Sociopathic Hero: Very rarely, but when she does get there...
- Spared by the Adaptation: Honor lives through the event that killed Nelson.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cocoa. Considers it superior to coffee.
- Tranquil Fury: When Honor gets angry she doesn't waste energy on things that don't kill the targets of her anger.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Read the title to this section, ye mighty, and DESPAIR!
- What You Are in the Dark: During her State Sec captivity she uses her duty to herself as the reason to not fall into despair.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Much Purple Prose on the way she keeps her emotions behind a cool, professional demeanor.
Admiral Alistair McKeon
Introduced as Honor's Executive Officer in On Basilisk Station, he continues to be her close friend and supporter throughout the series, up until his death at the end of At All Costs.
- Balancing Death's Books: Word of God says that originally Honor Harrington was supposed to die in the Battle of Manticore, not him. (The Grim Reaper in this case being the author, not anything in universe.)
- Going Down with the Ship: Subverted in The Honor of the Queen. His first command HMS Troubadour gets blown in half by PNS Saladin/Thunder of God, but per the epilogue, he and about a hundred of his crew survive and make it to the escape pods.
- The Lancer: To Honor, for most of her career.
- Number Two: Honor's Executive Officer in the first book, often a senior subordinate or supporter afterwards.
- The Resenter: In On Basilisk station, he has trouble working with Honor because he resents her being given command of Fearless instead of him. He gets over it by the end of the book.
Admiral of the Green Hamish Strong Heart Alexander-Harrington, Thirteenth Earl of White Haven
Hamish Alexander is a renowned officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy and a member of the aristocracy. He is an excellent tactician and strategist, and also was the leading voice of the traditionalist school of military tactics in the RMN, which advocated the continuing value of conventional naval tactics in spite of the technological breakthroughs the Manties' R&D had made. During his career he has commanded Home Fleet, Sixth Fleet, and Eighth Fleet and is currently the First Lord of the Admiralty. He is married to Emily Alexander, a triplegic ex-actress and probably one of the shrewdest minds in the Kingdom. Later, he marries Honor — or rather, he and Emily both do.
- The Brigadier: The most illustrious and distinguished commander of his generation, and he went on to become Honor's mentor too.
- Can't Have Sex, Ever: His wife, Emily, suffered a terrible accident that left them unable to be together in that way.
- The Chessmaster: Mostly in military matters. He's a decent politician, but just doesn't have his brother's flair.
- Friendly Rival: He respects Thomas Caparelli, the First Space Lord, very thoroughly as an officer — but has still never forgiven him for the repeated trouncings he endured at Caparelli's hands on Saganami Island's soccer field.
- Happily Married: Twice. At the same time.
- Hero of Another Story: Many of the earlier books portray him commanding larger fleet actions against the Havenites while Honor was off having her adventures in various far flung corners of the galaxy. He has even brought The Cavalry on more than one occasion.
- Manly Tears: Drops a boatload when Honor manages to get back to Alliance space two years after her (false) execution.
- Non-Action Guy: Relatively. He's seen plenty of action, it's just that, compared to the insane commando feats of other characters, he did it mostly from the command deck.Admiral White Haven: But that brutal, sweaty hand-to-hand business of yours isn't my style at all. Oh no — self-defense is your forte, not mine. If we should ever happen to encounter a mugger who somehow penetrates the protection of those three Rottweilers of yours, I'll be perfectly happy to hold your coat while you mop up the pavement with him. Heck, I'll even buy you a bonbon and a cup of hot chocolate afterward.
- Officer and a Gentleman: From an old aristocratic family, and very much a gentleman.
- Polyamory: Even if Manticoran laws wouldn't allow it (which they did), they both were Grayson citizens as well.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: He was at Beowulf Alpha when the Mesan Alignment destroyed it with a nuclear weapon from the inside, but he and a few others managed to get into survival skinsuits and did some MacGyvering to survive long enough to be rescued.
- The Rival: In the earlier books, he and Admiral Sonja Hemphill had an antagonistic working relationship, due to differing beliefs in where the RMN's naval doctrine should develop. House of Steel reveals that they were known for mutual antagonism even when they were junior officers.
- Your Cheating Heart: He has had a number of affairs during his marriage to Emily after her accident, including one with a fellow naval officer, all in the past relative to the books.
Elizabeth Adrienne Samantha Annette Soul Of Steel Winton, Grand Commander of the Order of King Roger, Grand Commander of the Order of Queen Elizabeth I, Grand Commander of the Order of the Golden Lion, Baroness of Crystal Pine, Baroness of White Sand, Countess of Tannerman, Countess of High Garnet, Grand Duchess of Basilisk, Princess Protector of the Realm, and, by God's grace and the will of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth III of the Star Kingdom of Manticore, and Empress Elizabeth I of the Star Empire of Manticore
Queen Elizabeth III is the current ruling monarch of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. She ascended to the throne in 1883 PD (3986 AD), seventeen years prior to the events of On Basilisk Station. Unlike many modern monarchs, the Manticoran Constitution gives her some limited actual executive power. She is often described as being both straightforward and honourable. Unfortunately, she holds grudges for so long that they die of old age; then she has them stuffed and mounted. She also has a hatred of the (People's) Republic of Haven that borders on fanaticism, which isn't too surprising when you consider that the People's Republic was responsible for the assassination of her father, her Prime Minister, her uncle, and her cousin. A whacking great dose of character development, the Manticoran equivalent of Pearl Harbor, and a basketful of unexpected revelations help her get over it.
- Berserk Button: Haven, and justifiably so. Haven was directly responsible for the deaths of her father, an uncle and a cousin.
- Birds of a Feather: In A Rising Thunder, she becomes very close with Eloise Pritchart, President of the Republic of Haven.
- Determinator: Her treecat name is "Soul of Steel". In her case, this is often a bad thing, since her aversion to compromise and tendency towards an explosive temper are part of what the Alignment have been using to manipulate the war between Manticore and Haven.
- Expy: While the name Elizabeth III of the House of Winton is a clear reference to Queen Elizabeth II of the House of Windsor, personality wise she's probably closer to Queen Victoria.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Not usually, but in the rare instances when her temper gets the better of her, watch out.
- The High Queen: She does a good job at it despite her legendary temper.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Unfortunately, when Baron High Ridge and the Opposition cross her in the wake of Duke Cromarty's death, she makes the mistake of openly showing her mortal enmity towards them and throwing them into an Enemy Mine scenario against her that keeps their natural ideological differences from tearing them apart.
- Precision F-Strike: Elizabeth's reaction to finding out the possible Mesan involvement in Admiral Byng's idiocy at New Tuscany:Elizabeth: In fact, I suppose the only thing I'm really surprised about is who seems to have arranged this entire — what's that charming military phrase? Oh, yes. This entire cluster fuck.
- Revenge Before Reason: Justified or not, she is not rational when it comes to Haven. On a smaller scale, she is quoted as "holding grudges until they die of old age, then having them stuffed and mounted on the wall."
- Rousing Speech: An epic one given to the entire Star Kingdom after Oyster Bay, where she declares that despite their recent hardships, they will prevail, and they will be victorious in their war against The Solarian League.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: As noted above, the Manticoran Constitution gives the Crown rather broad powers — although not as broad as on Grayson.
- Royally Screwed Up: She has her issues.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: In her younger years she had it hard. It explains a lot about her later somewhat hardass character.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: With all those titles? You're going to need a bigger card.
Admiral Lady Gloria Michelle Samantha Evelyn "Mike" Henke, Countess Gold Peak
An officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, a titled peer of the Manticoran aristocracy and Queen Elizabeth III's first cousin through their mutual grandmother Queen Samantha II, Michelle was Honor Harrington's roommate at Saganami Island, helped her pass higher-dimensional mathematics, and is her oldest and closest friend. She was first introduced as Honor's executive officer in The Short Victorious War, when Honor took command of the battlecruiser Nike. Later she became Countess Gold Peak when her father and older brother were both killed during the Peep/Masadan assassination attempt on Protector Benjamin and Queen Elizabeth. As a Rear Admiral, she was commanding Eighth Fleet's 81st Battlecruiser Squadron when her flagship was damaged and captured at the Battle of Solon. She was later released as President Pritchart's messenger to Queen Elizabeth, and was subsequently assigned to the Talbott Quadrant as the commander of Tenth Fleet, where her actions have initiated a state of war between Manticore and the Solarian League.
- Birds of a Feather: Her similarity to Haven's Lester Tourville is pointed out by several individuals, both to her face and not, over the course of the later storyline. When they finally meet in person, it's instant friendship (and ship tease) at first sight.
- A Day in the Limelight: The Talbott Quadrant sub-series is this for her, beginning with Storm From the Shadows, as she becomes the anchor character of the series and gets a substantial amount of time as a POV character.
- The Captain: Her preferred role. When she is finally promoted to flag rank she quickly finds herself missing the command chair, though she does come to realise that she also enjoys commanding larger fleet actions.
- Childhood Friend: Though they met as first-year midshipmen at the Academy and not as actual children, Henke otherwise fills this role to Honor — though Honor makes other close friends over the course of the novels, she is at her easiest and most uninhibited with Michelle, whom she has literally known for decades by the time of On Basilisk Station.
- Deadpan Snarker: While there's an awful lot of snark floating around the Honorverse, few characters have 'snarky' as their default mode. Michelle Henke is one of those who does.
- Four-Star Badass: Her tactical prowess is mentioned in the same breath as that of Michael Oversteegen and Aivars Terekhov, which puts her among the best of the best flag officers who aren't too senior for front-line combat duty.
- Loophole Abuse: Henke is paroled by Haven to act as emissary to her cousin, the queen. This, however, means she can't be slotted back into the navy to fight the war against Haven. She is thus stationed to Talbott, releasing some other officer for the Haven front.note
- Number Two: This is how she was introduced in The Short Victorious War, when she served as then-Captain Honor Harrington's executive officer aboard HMS Nike.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Though she isn't at all bitter about it, Michelle is well aware that she, like virtually every flag officer in the RMN, is severely overshadowed by Honor Harrington. What she isn't aware of is that she, too, has a gift for command — one that is quieter and less glaringly obvious than her best friend's, perhaps, but her people would follow her anywhere. This comes center stage in the Saganami Island sub-series.
- Passed-Over Promotion: She actually does this to herself; she's so afraid of using her social position to advance her rank that BuPers doesn't promote her because they know she won't accept it, thinking she won't have won it on her own merits. Then Honor sits her down and smacks some sense into her, after which she shoots from captain to rear admiral in less than two years. Honor rather acidly points out that if she'd actually been promoted as her abilities deserved, she'd have made flag rank at least half a decade before she finally did.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Queen's first cousin and fifth in line to the throne who is a career, front-line naval officer.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Her verbal fencing matches with Oversteegen are some of the funniest moments in the whole 'verse.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Prefers to be called "Admiral Henke" or "ma'am" rather than her noble title or "milady", but has trouble making it stick with people who aren't her subordinates. The fact that Admiral Hemphill is never called Baroness/Admiral Low Delhi irks Henke.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She bickers constantly with Michael Oversteegen and enjoys grinding him under her heel in tactical simulations, but also considers him one of the best officers she knows and trusts him implicitly.
Captain Lord Pavel Young, Eleventh Earl of North Hollow
A generally sad and pathetic excuse for a human being. The eldest son of Lord Dimitri Young, Tenth Earl of North Hollow, he is extremely arrogant due to his exalted birth, family fortune and political power, not to mention a cruel individual and a pathological womanizer who can not take "no" for an answer. He has been known to resort to violence when his sexual advances are rejected; he raped the pilot of his father's personal yacht when he was only sixteen and his actions were covered by his father. At Saganami Naval Academy he tried to do the same to Honor Harrington after she rebuffed his public advances, and she beat the holy living hell out of him. This led to a bitter feud with Honor in which he tried to sabotage her career on numerous occasions, culminating in his attempts in On Basilisk Station. Though it was public knowledge that he attempted to undermine her command at Basilisk, his father's influence was able to keep him on active service and he was later assigned to the same station as Honor. When he withdrew his ship over the protests and outrage of his own crew in the face of a large Havenite task force, and against Honor's direct orders, court-martial charges which would sentence him to death were initiated. His extremely influential father managed to save him from the death penalty, but he was stripped of all rank and titles and dishonorably discharged from the Navy. Afterward, he inherited the title of Earl of North Hollow and planned once again to exact revenge on Honor. He hired an assassin to kill Honor's first love, Paul Tankersley. In revenge, Honor challenges him to a duel and kills him. Oh, and Young, too.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Such a posterboy of this trope, that he is one of the reasons why there were a good ten books before there was a conservative aristocrat who wasn't an utter twit. That was how sour the taste he left behind was. He also highlighted the corruption of several other nobles who rose to his defense for partisan reasons.
- Attempted Rape: Tries to do it to Honor, who demonstrates a far superior grasp of martial arts, using him as a practice dummy.
- Bad Boss: Both as a captain, and even worse as an Earl.
- Beard of Evil: Cultivates a goatee, partly to hide a double chin.
- Blackmail: Had access to his father's dirt on a number of politicians and others. Used it to force Georgia Sakristos to be his sexual plaything and to get Baron High Ridge to back him in Lords.
- Court-Martialed: Ends up in front of a military court after the Battle of Hancock for cowardice and a few other charges. Thanks to the luck of the computer's random draw, half the officers on the panel are people who are either willing or blackmailed allies of his family, he manages to avoid the death penalty, but no amount of influence can prevent his dishonorable discharge.
- Custom Uniform: His dress uniform was noticeably better tailored than others but still within regs. (This is a classic sign of an Upper-Class Twit in the Honorverse, though it's subverted a couple of times by heroes who do the same.)
- Dirty Coward: His greatest defining trait, rivaled only by his lack of regard for other human beings.
- Dying Alone: When he's facing a Duel to the Death, his second is brother. Pavel discovers that, due to their family worldview, his own brother doesn't give a rat's ass about him, not even putting a hand on his shoulder for support.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Honor desperately wishes he had grown up in another system, much less that he hadn't gone to school with her, but unfortunately there's only one Manticoran Naval Academy.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He can't conceive of the notion that anyone who favors Honor isn't receiving favors from her.
- Genre Savvy: Stupid or not, he's rather cunning in a gutter-scum sort of way; when he tries to rape Honor, he slipped Nimitz a mickey because he knew what a pissed-off treecat could do. (Of course, he didn't know what Honor could do.) He is also perfectly aware that war with Haven is inevitable, and uses his influence to ensure that the declaration of war goes through while the Havenites are still reeling from their recent coup.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Tried to do this during the duel with Honor, but failed miserably, which led to his Karmic Death.
- It's All About Me: His chief of security theorizes that Young sees the rest of humanity as cardboard cutouts, there to be used by him. He has no concept that they could stand against him, or could possibly be justified in doing so.
- Karmic Death: It's always dangerous to push one's luck too far. Unfortunately (for him), he was too dumb to understand that.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He forces his (female) security chief to become his lover, holding her with blackmail material. This leads her to give Honor's allies evidence that implicates him in the murder of Honor's lover, Paul Tankersley, ultimately leading to Honor killing Pavel in a duel. She even notes how stupid he is to abuse his security chief this way.
- The Neidermeyer: Textbook example. Pretty much universally detested by his own subordinates, and for good reason.
- Sleeping Their Way to the Top: What Pavel is convinced Honor must be doing with an admiral in exchange for his favor. In actuality, the admiral in question merely thinks (correctly) that she's a brilliant officer, as well as considering her to be the daughter he never had.
- The Sociopath: Specifically described as regarding others as cardboard cutouts in his universe.
- The Starscream: When he's forced to turn to politics, he shows signs of becoming this to Baron High Ridge, but he is killed before anything can come of this.
- Strawman Political: Averted, rather surprisingly. After his court martial, where he is humiliated and expelled from the Navy, Young becomes a member of the House of Lords. But his first action actually helps the good guys - he breaks with the Conservatives to call for a declaration of war against Haven. Part of it was political expediency, but the fact that he was on the receiving end of Haven's opening salvo might have had something to do with it.
- Too Dumb to Live: Evil example.
- Upper-Class Twit: Much of his evilness stemmed from his truly monumental stupidity. There was a lot of deeds to which his much more intelligent Magnificent Bastards of a father and wife, or somewhat less magnificent, but still quite talented bastard of a brother would've never resorted to, if only for their potential to backfire.
Capt. Anton Zilwicki, ret.
Part of the famous Spook Duo, Zilwicki is also a one more proof that appearances can be deceiving. A short, but extremely stocky and broad man, he's so extravagantly muscled that it's visible even when he's in uniform, with comparisons to dwarven kings routinely made in-universe. He is, nevertheless, one of the finest intelligence agents in The Empire — and hotly contests the position of the best hacker in the series with Chief Harkness. While very serious and negative, even dour man, he somehow struck up an odd friendship with Victor Cachat (even when they were technically still enemies), and is hardly seen apart from him, making their books a sort of buddy cop subseries.
- Badass Creed: "From the Highlands!"
- Buddy Cop Show: Any book where he appears, except in his first cameo several books before he becomes a main character, Victor Cachat is always somewhere near.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: While grappling with a would-be Super Soldier, he takes the time to explain to his opponent that he has him in a hold called the Full Nelson, which has long since been outlawed in competitive wrestling tournaments, and that he is about to demonstrate why the hold was banned.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Zilwicki is exactly as strong as he looks, if not more, and his workout regimen, though mentioned only in passing, looks grueling.
- Cultured Warrior: He's an engineer, after all, it's on his job description. When talking with Cathy Montaigne for the first time, he admits that at first he got into reading the classics of literature to show up the upper class twits in Manticoran society, but later learned to appreciate them for their own merit.
- Crazy-Prepared: His basic MO is to go through all possible scenarios and contingencies of a situation beforehand and prepare accordingly. In fact, Crown of Slaves begins with him having considered (and prepared responses for) the rather outlandish scenario that the Queen has invited him and his adopted daughter because a.) a princess who has been kept largely hidden from the public intends to become a spymaster and they want him to mentor her and b.) the Queen and princess intend to run a crazy identity-switch gambit involving his daughter. The only times he is ever genuinely surprised by anything all seem to involve Victor Cachat.
- Deus Exit Machina: An out-system mission puts him out of the way for much of Crown of Slaves.
- Genius Bruiser: Three times Manticoran Graeco-Roman wrestling champion, able to kill a Super Soldier with bare hands (by the full nelson, technically, which amply demonstrates his strength and brawling skills). Excellent spy and best information security specialist in the series.
- Heavy Worlder: Gryphon (1.2 g) isn't as extreme as San Martin (2.7 g) or even Manticore's own Sphinx (1.35 g), but it still has notably higher gravity. Also, unlike Sphinx, where most people sport genetic mods adapting them to higher gravity (making them generally strong, but thin and lean), these mods aren't as widespread on Gryphon, so the people from there tend to be shorter and stockier just like him.
- Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: Cathy is 183 cm (6'), Anton is 160 cm (5'3").
- Knowledge Broker: Retired when the Second Janacek Admiralty beached him, and started private intelligence business, later moving to being full-time Audubon Ballroom spymaster due to his girlfriend's allegiances.
- Large Ham: Despite all his dourness he still finds the time to chew the scenery properly. The scene where he delivered his Badass Creed is unforgettable.
- Odd Couple: With Cachat, naturally.
- Overt Operative: By this time everybody and their dog knows him thanks to an expose in Crown of Slaves. It doesn't hinder him much.
- Papa Wolf: Don't mess with his daughters. If you do, you, and the whole organization you serve, will find a very gruesome death but only after being completely discredited, and providing ample evidence of institutionalized incompetence.
- Second Love: Catherine Montaigne, after losing his wife Helen to a tear-jerker of a Heroic Sacrifice some ten years earlier.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Literally he was a famous competitive wrestler with numerous titles in his youth, so it is not advised to get physical with him: Anton would literally disassemble you limb-from-limb with little effort.
Senior Chief Electronics Mate Aubrey Wanderman
Aubrey Wanderman first appears as a wet-behind-the-ears electronics technician 1st Class during the events of Honor Among Enemies. Promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class for excellent problem-solving, he is viciously beaten by a fellow crew member just for the fun of it. Subsequently taken under the wing of Horace Harkness, he becomes formidable at solving his own problems and subsequently becomes a respected senior enlisted man.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Two of these bookend his growth arc in Honor Among Enemies, one given to him by Randy Steilman and one given by him to Steilman.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: When the Marines take him under their wing, he rapidly fills out and becomes a sturdy, smart fighter.
- Interservice Rivalry: Played down, due to his experiences he muses that he might never have the 'proper' naval disdain for the Marines.
- Plucky Middie: Though he's an enlisted man and not an actual midshipman, he plays to this stereotype in Honor Among Enemies, being very young, very inexperienced, and painfully naive. He grows out of it, having become the Sergeant Rock by his second appearance in Shadows of Saganami.
- Restrained Revenge: What he receives from Captain Harrington after beating down Steilman at the end. They can't completely brush his actions under the rug, but they give him the most lenient punishment possible (docking a week's pay and a day in quarters) to let him know that they approve, but try not to do it again.
- Sergeant Rock: Disappears from the narrative for several books. When he reappears, having jumped from the main series to the Saganami Island spinoff series, he's become this. Reinforced in Shadows of Victory when he's become the Bosun of a repair ship commanded by his old friend, Ginger Lewis.
Master Chief Steward's Mate James MacGuiness
James "Mac" MacGuiness is Honor's Steward (and Major Domo while on Grayson). Retired following Honor's "execution" but retook the post when Honor turned up alive (apparently without re-enlisting). Something of an honorary father figure to Honor, who regularly refers to him (like her armsmen) as one of her "keepers".
- Battle Butler: More butler than battler, but he is a lifetime naval man.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: In the later books he has been discharged, but he doesn't let a little thing like no longer being a member of the Navy impede him in his shipboard duties.
- Rule of Empathy: The only character guaranteed not to die, due to being the author's wife's favorite character.
Dr. Allison Laugh Dancer Benton-Ramirez y Chou Harrington, Lady Harrington
Allison Harrington is a genetic surgeon and the mother of Honor Harrington, Alfred Harrington's wife. She emigrated to the Star Kingdom from the libertine planet of Beowulf, which, she felt, has started becoming too conformist and set in its liberal-nonconformist ways. Ironically, she comes from the very top of that society, as she is a scion of not one, but THREE of the most illustrious and distinguished families of Beowulf, one of the first and, arguably, most developed of original Earth colonies. Among her ancestors were numerous illustrious biomedical researchers, some of whom were even the signatories of the Cherwell convention, a famous anti-slavery treaty, which was one of the most plot-important things as of late.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Allison is certainly one of these.
- Blithe Spirit: Enjoys shocking her more strait-laced countrymen. Let alone what happens on Grayson... She even tweaks the nose of her libertine Beowulf by being unusually conservative (she's strictly monogamous, which isn't the norm there).
- Happily Married: For well over fifty years.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Allison is extremely short, slightly over two thirds Honor's height at 148 cm (4'10"). Her husband, meanwhile, is three heads taller at 6'4".
- I Want Grandkids: To the point of saying she'll bring semen vials to her next meeting with a boyfriend of Honor's. The boyfriend in question doesn't seem too unhappy at the prospect.
- Really 700 Years Old: Closer to one hundred, biologically late twenties.
Dr. Surg. Capt. Alfred Deep Roots Harrington, ret., Lord Harrington
Honor's father, one more in the almost endless line of biologist and physician Harringtons, Alfred is a no less famous in medicine than his wife, but doesn't have the same impact on the story. A top-notch neurosurgeon, his main occupation in the series seems to be patching Honor up after her more demanding adventures and providing some domestic air for the family with his cooking. He does get A Day in the Limelight in the short story "Beauty and the Beast", detailing his first meeting with (and eventual rescue of) Allison Chou.
- The Berserker: And it terrifies him to no end this is why he chose medicine after all.
- Big Guy: At 194 cm he's one of the biggest characters in the series.
- Blood Knight: Deconstructed, as he doesn't like the fact a bit, unlike most other examples. Or rather, he does like it, quite a bit, and that terrifies him. His decision to go into medicine was largely to avoid the negative trappings of this trope.
- Beware the Nice Ones: It's
impliedexplicitly confirmed in "The Beauty and the Beast" that Honor's Sociopathic Hero tendencies came from his side.
- Good Is Not Soft: The one time we see him in a fight, Alfred is clever, calculating, and cold-bloodedly efficient at dispatching his enemies, usually before they have the chance to know that there's a fight on.
- Happily Married: You bet!
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Allison is one of the shortest characters.
- Last of His Kind: He is one of the very few survivors of the Harrington clan after Oyster Bay.
- Living Lie Detector: He is excellent at reading people, picking up on subconcious tics and nonverbal signals in face-to-face conversation. At least, that's what he thinks at first. He's actually got a form of low-level telepathy, similar to what his daughter would later develop. Even at her most mischievous, Honor never dared to try and outright lie to her father as a kid as a result.
- Space Marine: Made Platoon Sergeant in the RMMC before he became a Navy doctor.
- The Medic: Spent almost half a century at the Bassingford Medical Center — the main Manticore's military hospital — until his retirement as Surgeon Captain. He also got to patch his girl up both times she needed it.
- Mindlink Mates: Has an empathic bond with Allison, which kicked in practically the instant they met.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His hobbies include fishing, hunting...and gourmet cooking.
- Rescue Romance: He and Allison were already infatuated with each other (despite having barely spoken to each other) when she was kidnapped by a group of baddies who wanted to blackmail her brother. Alfred tracked them down and enacted a very violent rescue that kicked off their relationship.
- Supreme Chef: Has a friendly rivalry with a Harrington House chief cook, alternating in oner-upping each other.
- Telepathy: As revealed in Beauty and the Beast. It's limited to making him a Living Lie Detector except when he is near Allison.
Chief Warrant Officer Sir Horace Harkness, PMV, CGM, DSO
Petty Officer Harkness was first introduced when Honor asked for any members of the crew who might be familiar with smuggling tricks, no questions asked. One of her older crew members, his career had stalled due to the fact that, while he is one of the best at what he does, what he does also includes smuggling goods on board ship and picking fights with marines. The latter consider his hostility to be a show of respect, not without reason. He later sorta "reforms" note and gets his career back on track, becoming in essence Scotty's staff engineer, despite still being a warrant officer — he just happens to be a genius grav tech and one of the two best hackers in the whole franchise.
- Almighty Janitor: Nobody ever takes him for anything more than a battered old working-class noncom, but behind the unremarkable exterior lurks the mind of a hacking genius clever enough to hack his way into one of Manticore's most-protected military computer systems solely to make sure that he's always assigned to the same duty station as the young officer he's taken under his wing. This comes in extremely handy in In Enemy Hands. Later in the series, his actual authority despite his official rank of Warrant Officer is equivalent to a Commander or a junior-grade Captain. By the end of the series, his reputation for skill and deviousness has become such that when Harkness speaks, Admirals listen.
- A Father to His Men: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, only as an NCO.
- Amazon Chaser: The basis of his marriage.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Not that he is a fan of boasting, really, but he's a cheerful enough guy to lighten the mood rather often.
- Bullying a Dragon: Harkness' major hobby before he met and married Iris Babcock was picking fights in bars with Marines - an avocation that had cost him demotion from Senior Chief Petty Officer to Chief Petty Officer more than once.
- Dating Catwoman: He married a Marine, when previously he had a pathological inability to walk by a Marine without starting a brawl.
- Friendly Enemy: Him and most Marines before Iris Babcock cleans him up. They take his tendency to brawl with them to be a compliment.
- Genius Bruiser: He's really a brilliant engineer and has an instinctive knack for all things technical, but his idea of "fun" really gets into an odds with the law, or at least the other people's teeth anyway.
- Happily Married: Eventually, to a powerful woman who seems able to control his darker side enough to get his career moving again. He still seems to be happy to stick to a specialist side, flatly refusing a commission once.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He meets Scotty Tremaine in his role as advisor-who-knows-about-smuggling-no-questions-asked and they got along so well that he starts manipulating crew listings to ensure they are both stationed aboard the same vessel. Eventually BuPers just adds a note to their files that they're never to be split up. And then Scotty gets senior enough that he can ensure Harkness will always be on his staff.
- In Love with Your Carnage: His hookup with Sergeant Major Iris Babcock happened exactly because the chief (a top-notch brawler himself) was utterly dumbstruck by her grace and effectiveness in a fight.
- Informed Ability: Sees surprisingly little close combat for a character who is introduced as a bruiser. When he does get into a personal-level fight, such as in Honor Among Enemies, he very quickly and efficiently incapacitates his foes.
- Interservice Rivalry: Against Marines, until he married one.
- Lovable Rogue: Especially in his early smuggling, gambling, bootlegging, Marine-bashing days, you really couldn't help but cheer for the guy.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Frequently displays this attitude in regards to his hacking or other trickery.
- Papa Wolf: When somebody picks on a more vulnerable member of the crew, he is usually involved in straightening it out. More often by taking the v-word out of the equation than by direct action.
- Playful Hacker: One of the top four computer wizards in the books (along with Anton Zilwicki, Ruth Winton, and Shannon Foraker).
- Recruiting the Criminal: His introduction and arguably how he started to being reformed.
- Sergeant Rock: Would've be a textbook example if not for his troubles with authorities early on.
Captain (SG) Prescott "Scotty" Tremaine
A longtime student of Honor's and her first protégé, Scotty, as he is universally known, is a recurring secondary character and in many ways, a reader's stand-in. Introduced in the very first novel of the series, On Basilisk Station, as an extremely green Ensign Newbie fresh out of Saganami Island, he then followed Honor wherever she went.
- Ace Pilot: His strongest point. Scotty excels in either piloting and managing everything that flies and is often frustrated when reassigned out of this field, like in In Enemy Hands where he's Honor's electronic warfare officer, or in Mission of Honor where he commands a heavy cruiser squadron — he really hoped to get himself a carrier.
- Action Survivor: He's been in the most deadly hellholes of the galaxy, seen the most terrible atrocities of his time, fought in the largest battle in Humanity's history, — and came back alive.
- BFG: Early in his career he showed a real obsession with the heavy firepower, being the only cadet in his class (except Marines) who qualified with plasma rifle — a heavy squad support weapon almost as long as he's tall.
- Bishounen: He and his Heterosexual Life-Partner are called "Beauty and the Beast". Harkness is the beast. Take from that what you will.
- Ensign Newbie: In the first novel. He was bright and talented, but oh so green...
- Heterosexual Life-Partner: To Chief Harkness, obviously."He glanced for just a moment at Horace Harkness' profile and felt an obscure, irrational flicker of reassurance. Harkness' elemental solidity, his unflappable sense of who and what he was, was like a touchstone. It was a reminder of all the challenges Tremaine had met and surmounted in the twenty T-years since he'd first set eyes on that battered, competent face, and in the wake of finding himself cast in the role of Juggernaut, Scotty Tremaine took a warm and very human comfort from it."
- Intergenerational Friendship: Chief Harkness is thirty years older, though prolong does make it less obvious.
- Morality Pet: It's because of him and Iris Babcock Chief Harkness "reformed" as much as he did. He's also the reason that Honor stopped short of shooting a prisoner in revenge.
- The Watson: In the first several books his inexperience was used as a way to cram several of Weber's infamous Infodumps into the story.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivered the one to Honor in Honor of the Queen when she was ready to shoot the Masadan commander on the spot, thus saving her career.
Sergeant Major Iris Babcock
First introduced as Honor's sparring partner, Babcock is a veteran Marine. Having received first-generation prolong, she appears to be in late middle age. Her unarmed combat skills put Honor to shame at first but the latter learns quickly.
- Action Girl: She drop-kicks a woman who is trying to pull a rifle out of her hands, without either combatant letting go of the rifle.
- Fiery Redhead: Though she's starting to get grey streaks.
- Happily Married: Eventually to Harkness.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Attempted and failed when a team is preparing to find out who hired Denver Summervale to kill Paul Tankersley - in the end someone else lies on her behalf because they figure she should be on the team.
- The Squadette: Often fulfills this role, as the only named woman in a team of Marines if not the only actual woman.
Brigadier General Tomas Santiago Ramirez
First appearing as a Major and the commander of the HMS Fearless' marine detachment in The Honor of the Queen. He led the assault on Blackbird Base, where he helped stop Honor before she destroyed her career by murdering the Masadan base commander for presiding over atrocities against Manticoran and Grayson prisoners. Later, he becomes a colonel and serves again as the CO of Honor's marines on the HMS Nike and was too late to prevent Paul Tankersley from getting in the duel that led to his death. He led the illegal side-mission to wring-out Denver Summerville's confession. He later becomes Brigadier General of the San Martin occupation forces.
- Beware the Nice Ones"'I only said I wouldn't kill you, Mr. Summervale,' the colonel whispered almost lovingly. 'I never said I wouldn't hurt you.'"
- The Big Guy: Type 2, Gentle Giant — except where his hatred of Haven is concerned.
- Dashing Hispanic: San Martin is one of the few worlds that doesn't speak English as its primary language. His pleasant accent is commented on a few times in narration.
- Following in Their Rescuer's Footsteps: His family (well, part of it) barely escaped San Martin before the Peep invaders conquered the planet. Manticore offered asylum, and when Tomas grew up he chose to join the Manticoran Marine Corps.
- Heavy Worlder: Definitely the huge type. Only 182 cm tall, but twice as wide as most solidly built men, with arms as beefy as some people's thighs.
- Immigrant Patriotism: Though he does have bit of skepticism about hereditary nobility.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: See the quote above.
- You Killed My Father: One of many reasons to hate Haven, since his father was lost, fighting heroically to stop Haven from conquering their homeworld. His father isn't dead, though. He's a prisoner on Hades, and they are eventually reunited 30 years later.
Lieutenant Gervais Winton Erwin Neville "Gwen" Archer
Mike's new flag lieutenant after her stint as a Havenite POW, and one of the recent wave of the non-twit sympathetic aristocratic characters like Oversteegen and Terekhov. Noted for his habitual cheer, and equally habitual keenness of thought — his deceptively sunny disposition hides an incredibly sharp mind.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Quite averted, but knowing that a woman he was interested in strongly held this viewpoint was part of the reason he made a point of not telling her that one of his (distant) cousins is Queen Elizabeth III of Manticore. Of course, another reason was that he found the common Aristocrat practice of name-dropping powerful relatives to be distasteful.
- Fun with Acronyms / Gender Blender Nickname: G.W.E.N. Archer.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Distant relative of Queen Elisabeth, with perfect Manticoran upper-class manners.
- Official Couple: His relationship with Helga Boltitz is one of the rare Honorverse romances to get serious screen time.
- Survivor Guilt: Suffers from this after the Battle of Solon, which is what first bonds him to Michelle Henke.
Princess Ruth Winton
Daughter of Duchess Judith of Winton-Serisburg, and adopted daughter of Prince Michael, Queen Elizabeth III's younger brother. A keen hacker, she preferred spycraft to public service. Her introduction to Berry Zilwicki, with whom she became fast friends, started a chain of events that ended with the creation of the Kingdom of Torch, for which she currently serves as spymaster.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Heroic Bastard: Was conceived when a Masadan raped her mother.
- Playful Hacker: Cracks professional security for no reason other than curiosity and boredom.
- Running Gag: Her total disinterest in history and impressive knowledge of contemporary politics always leads to amusing bloopers when she confuses historical characters (or even concepts, like chutzpah) with minor modern politicians.
Michael Janvier, Baron High Ridge
9th Baron of High Ridge and leader of Manticore's Conservative Association, a coalition of Members of the House of Lords who exist as a party solely to preserve and expand the privilege of Manticore's nobility. After the Centrists lose control of the House of Lords in the wake of the Duke of Cromarty's assassination, he becomes the Prime Minster of Manticore in Ashes of Victory. It doesn't end well.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Leader of a party of nobles solely out to preserve & expand their own privilege.
- Corrupt Politician: His party's hatchetman runs everything on Blackmail, and he's not above a little skimming off the top and nepotism.
- Evil Is Petty: Snubs most of his nation's allies and goes back on his predecessor's promises to them for no real reason, causing Manticore to lose most of those allies when the war goes hot again.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: Opposed the war with Haven from the beginning, the middle, the end, and all the way into the next war, largely for selfish motives but also out of genuine myopia.
- Jerkass: He doesn't even notice the hired help, and he'll even play games with people of higher social rank to show them how much more important he is (e.g. by showing up late to make people wait on him).
- Moral Myopia: Following the death of Allen Summervale in Ashes of Victory, the Duke's government collapses. Elizabeth summons High Ridge, Descroix and New Kiev to form a coalition government with William Alexander as PM in order to conclude the war, but High Ridge refuses to do so, and is very smug about the fact, even when Elizabeth threatens him, and becomes PM. However, in War of Honor, Haven goes back on the attack, catching High Ridge flat-footed, especially since his government had been drawing down the military. He goes to see Elizabeth in order to ask that Alexander and the Centrists/Crown Loyalists be invited into his government (mainly as a way of deflecting any political blame onto them as well), and Elizabeth flat out refuses him, which the Baron views as blatant political maneuvering during a time of crisis. Pot, kettle, black.
- Nice to the Waiter: Averted. He tends to ignore his lessers completely. However, he's seen enough cases of The Dog Bites Back to not be a complete idiot about it.
- Obviously EvilIf central casting had sent him to an HD producer for the role of an over-bred, cretinous aristocrat, the producer would have sent him back with a blistering note about stereotypes and typecasting.
- Out-Gambitted: Thanks to an Unwitting Instigator of Doom. His gamesmanship with Haven combined with Giancola's scheming accidentally leads Manticore and Haven back to war again and himself to be out of office, later to be investigated for all the corruption in his government.
- Poetic Justice: He makes the mistake of making an enemy of Queen Elizabeth III in about the most short-sighted, spiteful way possible in Ashes of Victory. When the political tables are finally turned in a later book, she spares no mercy in grinding him under her heel. His screwups, combined with Elizabeth not allowing him to spread the blame around, not only causes his government to fall, he gets expelled from the House of Lords entirely, meaning that he can never recover politically.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: High Ridge disdains the Liberals for actually putting political ideals before pragmatism.
- Smug Snake: Possibly the only nice thing you can say about him is that he keeps his cool.
- Straw Character: There's pretty much nothing redeeming about him or his political views. He exists purely for the reader and the good guys to dislike and to screw up everything in his selfish, snobby wake. He gets a little better in War of Honor, but only because Descroix's utter cynicism makes even High Ridge blanch at times.
Lady Elaine Descroix
Descroix is the leader of Manticore's Progressive Party. She conceals a ruthless and cynical streak behind a sweet and pleasant facade. Under the High Ridge government, she was the Foreign Secretary, in charge of diplomacy with Haven. When the second war erupted, she fled to the Solarian League where she was killed as a now useless pawn of the Mesan Alignment.
- Asshole Victim: Out of all the things the Mesans did, killing her is probably the only one that got them some sympathy points from the readers.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: In charge of diplomacy, rather than a diplomat herself. Noted for putting a few genuine Ass-In-Ambassadors into sensitive positions, like Erewhon.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's described as "sweet-faced," with an "irritatingly winsome little-girl smile" and a "bright, cheerful" voice, and she takes "great pains to project the image of everyone's favorite aunt." Underneath all of that is a cynical, ruthless politician.
- Blue Blood: Averted. She married into the nobility and doesn't have a seat in Lords, which keeps her from the premiership she wants. She'd be The Starscream if given a chance.
- Corrupt Politician: She's pretty much in politics solely for power and money and is cynical and ruthless enough to make even Baron High Ridge appalled on two occasions: framing the Liberals for Progressive & Conservative embezzlement and editing diplomatic exchanges with Haven for public consumption.
- Killed Offscreen: Quietly disposed of due to a combination of knowing too much and having outlived her usefulness at some point between books 10 and 11.
- The Mole: For the Mesan Alignment.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Isabel Bardasano eliminates her after she flees Manticore.
- Nice to the Waiter: Averted. She forgets that servants are even around before starting to broach potentially self-incriminating conversations.
- Rich Bitch: She's all about Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, and a genuinely unlikeable character on top of that.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: One of her reasons for hating Countess New Kiev and the rest of her Liberal allies. Descroix is so devoid of principled stances that the beliefs of the Progressive Party are effectively All There in the Manual.
- She believes her own party's social programs are purely vote-buying measures.
- She calls Harrington's anti-slavery operation a "quixotic crusade" despite the party's opposition to slavery.
- Despite party opposition to imperialism, she's eager to accept the Talbott Cluster and to keep Havenite territory.
- We Have Reserves: The least troubled member of the Conservative, Liberal, Progressive alliance by potential troop losses in war due to her own personal hatred of the military.
Marisa Turner, Countess New Kiev
Countess New Kiev is the leader of Manticore's Liberal Party, and is infamous for a "holier-than-thou" moral certainty behind her beliefs. Under the High Ridge government, she was Chancellor of the Exchequer, until her resignation from politics when the war restarted.
- Actual Pacifist: She's horrified at the possibility of resuming war with Haven due to the potential loss of life.
- Principles Zealot: Catherine Montaigne says that she had so much conviction in the nobility of her purpose that she believed it justified whatever tool she used in pursuit of it.
- Slave Liberation: One of her Party's principles that she strongly believes in. Which is why High Ridge has to keep her away from efforts to whitewash the Manpower Incident.
- Sleazy Politician: A Baron High Ridge notes:It wasn't that she didn't understand political necessity when it looked her right in the eye, but she sometimes found pursuing that necessity... distasteful. Then again, she often looked troubled.Which has never prevented her from pursuing it anyway, he reminded himself cynically.
- Strawman Political: To a greater degree than her fellows in the triumviratenote . She's used to embody Western-style anti-military, pro-welfare-state socialism so that Weber can attack it.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unlike her political allies, Marisa's conscience is regularly troubled by their actions.
Sir Edward Janacek, Admiral and First Lord of the Admiralty
Admiral Janacek was a member of the Conservative Association and who was put in charge of the Navy by the Cromarty government when the Conservatives were still allied with them in the first two books. Later, he regains the position under the High Ridge government. His time as First Lord is largely characterized by political nepotism and horrific mismanagement. He has a legendary, mutual hatred for Earl White Haven.
- Bad Boss: Spiteful, arrogant, and willing to bury people's careers for not delivering results he wants.
- Believing Their Own Lies: Pretty much believes all the negative propaganda about Honor Harrington being a hot-headed, blood-thirsty, maniac even in spite of acknowledging evidence against it. Also goes out of his way to appoint yes-men to the Office of Naval Intelligence, who would never dare tell him that things abroad aren't how he thinks they are.
- Desk Jockey: A lot better at bureaucratic empire-building than actual strategy.
- Driven to Suicide: After his failures come home to roost in the wake of Operation Thunderbolt.
- Idiot Ball: Pretty much a living Idiot Ball for the Navy. The only single decision traced to him that does anything good for Manticore is to station Honor Harrington at Sidemore before hostilities with Haven reignited. And even that an accidental good move, born solely out of spite and political enmity.
- Nepotism: He benches all his political rivals (i.e. every single talented Admiral in the Navy) and promotes based on political gamesmanship instead of merit. Only two exceptions manage to survive his tenure:
- Admiral Theodosia Kuzak, the commanding officer of Third Fleet, who isn't benched only because she is far too popular with the people of San Martin.
- Augustus Khumalo is a competent commander despite his impressive familial and political connections — but until he was confronted with a possible shooting war with the Solarian League, Khumalo didn't know he was a competent commander, and neither did anyone else.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He sneers at the Graysons as "religious zealot neobarbs" and poisons relations with other alliance members by shutting down joint intelligence and R&D programs.
- Pride: His most self-destructive trait, especially when White Haven or the Graysons are involved.
- The Resenter: Towards White Haven.
Rear Admiral Michael Oversteegen, MC, CGM, GS, OCN
Another aristocratic officer, and, as mentioned above, one of the very few non-stupid and generally competent conservatives in the series. He's the distant nephew of the Baron High Ridge, whom he resembles greatly, but, being an accomplished man on his own considerable merits, utterly despises that branch of the family as useless self-important toads who do nothing except protecting that self-importance. Noted as the best system-defence CO in the Navy, despite his relatively junior rank. Currently stationed in the Talbott Quadrant as the commanding officer of Tenth Fleet's Battlecruiser Squadron 108.
- A Father to His Men: It takes him awhile to get his people to trust him to be this, given his remarkable resemblance to the infamous Baron High Ridge, but he is this trope right down to his toes. And after he wins his people's hearts forevermore in Tiberian, he rapidly becomes one of the most respected and admired officers in the Navy.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Averted. First likable member of the Conservative Alliance, despite believing in their goals of preserving aristocratic privilege, thanks to a sense of integrity and noblesse oblige lacking in all other examples seen to date — he thinks aristocratic responsibility is as important as aristocratic privilege, which is a foreign concept to many of his relatives.
- Berserk Button: Aristocrats in positions of power acting like high-handed morons and ignoring their duties. The verbal double broadside he levels at one of his own cousins in Crown of Slaves is a thing of beauty."...I will just take the opportunity t' tell you, since I don't believe I've ever done it before at one of our family gatherin's - not precisely, I mean - just how brainless you are, Deborah. Truly brainless. Not simply stupid. Bar-ain-less. As in: brains of a carrot...."
- Big Damn Heroes: Comes charging to Abigail Hearns' and her Marines' rescue on Refuge, having defeated three heavy cruisers and blown a fourth out of space with a single salvo, to rescue them from pirates in "The Service of the Sword".
- Cultured Badass: The only man to defeat four Solarian CAs in combat at once, the best system defense CO in the RMN, and he can discuss history, philosophy and politics on par with Web DuHavel.
- The Captain: How he's introduced, in the short story "The Service of the Sword".
- Deadpan Snarker: To the point that it gets on other characters' nerves — mostly Michelle Henke's. Which is ironic, because she isn't exactly a slouch in the snark department herself.
- Expy: He's Robert E. Lee IN SPACE! In the navy too, rather than on the ground, but the comparison stands.
- Four-Star Badass: The natural result of promoting someone as badass as he is.
- Funetik Aksent: Do you = d'you, to = t', [verb]ing = [verb]in'. Partially an affectation that he enjoys using to twit people around him, like Mike Henke.
- Mistaken for Racist: It takes poor Abigail Hearns awhile to catch on to the fact that it's not that he doesn't think Grayson is up to Manticoran standards; it's that he thinks Manticore isn't up to Grayson standards. Once she clues in, though, she winds up adoring him.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Right down to a tee — at least, once people get past thinking he's an upper-class twit.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The spacegoing half of the Battle of Tiberian, as the short story that details it, "The Service of the Sword", focused more on Abigail Hearns' adventures dirtside.
- Papa Wolf: Most notable in "The Service of the Sword". Just... don't hurt, insult, make uncomfortable or otherwise harm one of his crew, okay?
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: "Tiberian" is basically a byword for "Don't fuck with Michael Oversteegen."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Nobody expects it of him, as there is a lot of bad blood between the High Ridge government and the Royal Manticoran Navy, but as things turn out, he's not only a brilliant tactician but cares very deeply for his crew.
- Rules Lawyer: He's pretty good at dancing around the rules when he needs to.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gives an absolutely brilliant one to the Mesan Navy commander in Crown of Slaves."At least, Sir, the uniform of the Queen of Manticore has never been sold t' the service of whoremasters, murderers, pedophiles, sadists, and perverts. I suppose, however, that those of you who choose t' serve in the navy of Mesa feel comfortable amid such company."
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Henke. Their verbal fencing matches are some of the funniest moments in the 'verse.
- The Strategist: While he normally serves as The Captain, he is also widely regarded as the best system-defence CO in the RMN.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Greatly resembles his relative Baron High Ridge, but they could not be more different otherwise.
- Unexplained Accent: His drawling accent is described as an "upper-crust" accent possessed by certain strata of the Manticoran aristocracy, but we've seldom seen any other character with the same accent despite having seen two relatives of his and an entire faction of overbred nobles.
- Shadow of Victory introduces Charlie O'Daley, Aivars Terekhov's brother-in-law, who also speaks this way, is an another of the "working aristocrats", and is mentioned to be the Oversteegen's long-time associate, so it's probably an affectation of their social club or other close-knit community within an aristocratic class.
- Upper-Class Twit: Subverted— and no, that's not supposed to be "averted." He has every established marker of a Manticoran Upper-Class Twit except actually being a twit. Web DuHavel notes that his perspectives and beliefs have been formed first being a Conservative aristocrat, and second, most importantly, by being a naval officer who has spent almost his entire career at war.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He bickers constantly with Michelle Henke, with whom he has a friendly rivalry of political opinion, but obviously respects her and has no qualms about following her wherever she may lead, however lunatic her plan may seem at the time. In turn, she enjoys thoroughly humiliating him in simulations, but clearly respects his judgment both as a man and as an officer.
- White Sheep: Far and away the best thing to come out of his close family tree, or at least the part of it that appears onscreen.
Commodore Sir Aivars Aleksovitch Terekhov, KOR, MC, PMV
An officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, served a stint in the Foreign Office before returning to service in the First Havenite-Manticoran War. Terekhov spent some time as a POW before being released following a prisoner exchange with the Republic of Haven. Once cleared for duty he was assigned the HMS Hexapuma and sent to the Talbott Cluster as it was being annexed into the Star Kingdom. In the course of his duties, he came across a plan to take over the Lynx Junction terminus. Using what ships he could scrounge up in a hurry, Terekhov headed right for the source and stopped the plan in its tracks. Subsequently promoted to Commodore, he currently commands CruRon 94 as part of Tenth Fleet.
- A Father to His Men: A Reasonable Authority Figure who cares deeply for his crew.
- Badass Beard: Wears a neatly trimmed beard presumably a-la Abraham Lincoln.
- The Captain: Though promoted to Commodore following the Battle of Monica.
- Character Tic: He is consistently noted as making a 'throwing-away' gesture with his right hand as he moves from one thought to another.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: While his series is more focused on the midshipmen than on the captain, he still qualifies as a foil to Honor. Male instead of female, a Military Maverick instead of a reasonably by-the-book officer, and his character flaw is the opposite of Honor's: though both are highly self-controlled Sociopathic Heroes, Honor is a naturally good person and that occasionally leads to softness at the wrong time and an inability to stand up for herself and what she's due, while Terekhov is known to be a somewhat hard-charging and ruthless man who takes what he needs by fear if he can't get it by persuasion (and doesn't usually try too hard to persuade).
- Culture Chop Suey: An apparent Russian-Latvian in a very British-flavoured society of the fifth millennium...
- The Determinator: Nothing will stop him once he's decided on what course of action to take.
- Forced into Their Sunday Best: It takes the combined efforts of his flag lieutenant and his steward to get him into mess dress. Which, as the flag lieutenant in question notes, is a damned shame, because he was born to wear it.
- Good Is Not Soft: In The Shadow of Saganami, after the Battle of Monica, Terekhov orders the remaining enemy forces to stand down until reinforcements arrive by threatening to destroy the two remaining Solarian battlecruisers ... and specifically states that he will not allow civilians to evacuate. And in case you didn't pick up on it the first time, in Shadows of Freedom, when he finds himself dealing with an enemy threatening to kill masses of hostages, he states it explicitly:"Why is it that people like you always think you're more ruthless than people like me?"
- Happily Married: And frequently thinks of his wife in his POV scenes. He even notes that he can't regret the battle of Monica, whatever the consequences to his career, because if he had done any differently, he wouldn't be the man Sinead loved, and that was more important than anything.
- Licked by the Dog: See Aivars Terekhov. See Aivars Terekhov terrify every naval opponent within two hundred lightyears. See Aivars Terekhov melt like butter when Dicey the Maine Coon cat jumps into his lap and tells the human to pet him. Michelle Henke is highly amused at the sight of one of the most ruthless officers in the Navy instantly giving in to a fluffy feline.
- Memetic Badass: In-universe. As far as Michelle Henke can tell, Talbotters think that the only reason he and station commander Augustus Khumalo don't regularly walk on water is because they don't like wet shoes.
- Military Maverick: Due to his Determinator attitude, he can feed the rulebook and his career into the shredder without blinking if it means getting the job done. Even Queen Elizabeth "Soul of Steel" Winton thinks he's insane when he goes tearing off to Monica.Elizabeth: What sort of raw meat do you people feed your cruiser captains, Hamish?
- No Badass to His Valet: Only two people can cow Aivars Terekhov into submission. One of them is his wife. The other is his steward, Joanna Agnelli. (Though Helen Zilwicki, his flag lieutenant, is getting there — mostly by watching Agnelli and taking copious notes.)
- Officer and a Gentleman: He is of some minor aristocratic descent, and is implied to be quite a wealthy man, but aside from couple offhand mentions that has no impact on the plot.
- Old Money: Mostly through his wife's side where Terekhovs were well-off, O'Daleys were on the obscenely rich level, not to mention an old Navy family on the same note with D'Orvilles and Longs.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Most Manticoran officers hate the killing that their job entails. Terekhov actually enjoys killing bad people, and tends to be a bit put out when they surrender.
- Phenotype Stereotype: A very image of the stereotypical Northern European — a blond blue-eyed guy. His wife Sinead née O'Daley as well — she appears to be a "Red Irish".
- Pragmatic Hero: Quietly and unflinchingly ruthless, with a sociopathic streak. Getting in his way is not advised, regardless of the circumstances, and even Manticorans who disobey his orders are not exempt.note
- Replacement Goldfish: In part, any promising female officer he encounters on the way. Sinead says that they all remind him of his daughter Anastasia, who died in an accident around the time he's been recalled to service after Hancock. Ironically, Nastya was never much into the Navy, unlike both her parents, and was a Sphinx Forestry Service ranger at the time of the accident.
- Revenge Before Reason: Terekhov struggles with this when faced with renegade Peep ships. Fortunately, what he really wanted to do (which was to beat the everloving slag out of them) was also the right thing to do anyway.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Upon returning to Manticoran service, there were concerns if he was ready to be back in command because of this. Monica put those questions to bed with a missile barrage — he was just fine, thank you — but it still took him a bit of time to get there.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:"And honesty compels me to add that neither I nor any other Manticoran officer have conspired with genetic slavers, pirates, terrorists, and mass murderers to commit acts of war on the sovereign territories of at least two independent star nations. Your government has done precisely that. My responsibility to see to it that those unprovoked and murderous assaults end now overrides any responsibility I may have towards your personnel."
- Sociopathic Hero: After long struggling with Revenge Before Reason and Survivor Guilt, in Shadow of Freedom Terekhov finally came to accept that he is somewhat sociopathic, and it does feel good to Pay Evil unto Evil, and decides to just be Genre Savvy about it, keeping it to the acceptable levels.
- Spanner in the Works: OFS's carefully laid plans fell apart because the Hexapuma happened to run across the same ship twice under different names. More specifically, because a midshipman on watch was bored and picked that ship at random for a closer analysis.
- Survivor Guilt: As one of the very few survivors of the Battle of Hyacinth.
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Averted. While he doesn't go out of his way to target noncombatants, he won't hold his fire simply because he'll cause civilian casualties, nor will he necessarily let civilians evacuate from the blast radius.
Admiral Augustus Khumalo
Station commander of the Talbott Cluster, later Talbott Quadrant. Initially put there primarily for political reasons during the High Ridge Government days, Khumalo spent much of his time once the Grantville government came in wondering when he'd be removed from his position. Instead, he distinguished himself by going to the aid of Aivars Terekhov without hesitation, to the surprise of many (and possibly himself). Since then he has continued to grow into a mature, level-headed, and very well-regarded leader, which is quite fortunate given the way things are heating up in his corner of the galaxy.
- A Father to His Men: Has grown into this role since The Shadow of Saganami.
- Badass Baritone: Has a notably deep voice. Total badass. Also the ultimate military authority in the Talbott Quadrant.
- Boring, but Practical: He lacks the strategic and tactical genius and sheer creativity of other characters, but he is dependable, hardworking and competent — particularly as an administrator, which is why he's still in overall command despite the rapid rise of brilliant officers like Gold Peak, Terekhov and Oversteegen.
- Character Development: Starts out as "a station commander who isn't precisely noted for his brilliant and insightful command style" but starts to come into his own as a confident, competent leader following events at Monica.
- Commander Contrarian: He has one in his chief of staff, Captain Loretta Shoupe. People tend to look at him rather closely when they notice that he doesn't simply dismiss her arguments, and the fact that she's not afraid to voice those arguments usually helps him earn people's respect when they don't know him at all, because it's the sign of a commander who is well aware that he doesn't know or think of everything and would rather get it right than be right.
- Dumbass No More: He was never dumb, but he was a merely competent administrator until Monica, which got him thinking outside the box, and he's become steadily more capable as the series goes along. He's still no tactical genius, but he is also smart enough — and self-aware enough — to trust Henke, Oversteegen, and Terekhov, who very much are. The moment he decided against taking tactical command himself at the Battle of Spindle, despite having the seniority to do so, because he knew he wasn't the best man for the job, is quite possibly the moment that made him a true leader.
- Fire-Forged Friends: While they weren't doing the actual fighting, his relationship with Estelle Matsuko got considerably warmer after his decisive action regarding the Battle of Monica. In Shadow of Freedom, Matsuko notes:The [smile] felt a bit strange, but not because she wasnt happy to see the face on her com. Although thered been a time when Augustus Khumalo hadnt been her favorite person, those days were gone.
- Four-Star Badass: Nobody saw it coming, but as it turns out, he is one!
- Gentle Giant: His powerful frame is often noted, and he is at least once referred to as "massive", but he is a truly kind man who genuinely listens to his subordinates, and who is not particularly martially inclined and would rather not fight unless there is no other option. Unless, of course, one makes the mistake of attacking those under his command...
- Good Is Not Soft: Some people mistook "not particularly martially inclined" for "wimp". That was a mistake.
- Hidden Depths: Many people (including him!) are surprised by the calm, commanding, firm and decisive action he takes at Monica.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Platonic example with his civilian counterpart, Estelle Matsuko. She's all of 5'2" and slender. Khumalo, on the other hand, is easily over six feet tall and commonly described as "massive".
- Memetic Badass: In-universe, to the people of the Talbott Quadrant, apparently. According to Michelle Henke, Talbotters think that the only reason he and Terekhov don't regularly walk on water is because they don't like wet shoes.
- Nerves of Steel: From Storm from the Shadows:...[Michelle] found herself looking into [Khumalo's] eyes, searching for some sign of the moral courage he'd displayed when he received Aivars Terekhov's bombshell dispatch.
She didn't see it. Not surprisingly, perhaps. She'd discovered long since that people who looked like warriors too often proved to be Elvis Santinos or Pavel Youngs, while the most outwardly unprepossessing people frequently turned out to have nerves of steel.
- Non-Action Guy: His subordinates handle the action, he handles the administration and politics.
- Non-Idle Rich: He's an albeit somewhat distant relative of the Queen's and is noted to be very wealthy, but is nevertheless a serving naval officer.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Khumalo might lack true brilliance, but he well enough compensated for that by his quiet competence, sound judgement and inborn integrity, which in the end makes him quite a successful commander.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gives one to President Tyler of the Monica System in Storm from the Shadows, described elsewhere on this site as "the polite military version of '...and the horse you rode in on.'"
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: Khumalo was sent to the Talbott Quadrant in the first place because it was a "nothing post" and he had political connections to the High Ridge government. Then he was left there when the Grantville government came in because that government had bigger things to worry about — like Silesia. Much to everyone's surprise, when events in the Talbott Quadrant blew up in spectacular fashion, Khumalo proved himself and then some, and the Grantville government made his post permanent because he had proven himself to be a) the right man in the right place at the right time and b) exactly what they needed out there.
- Took a Level in Badass: Every time he deals with a military crisis, he becomes a better, stronger, and all-over more competent leader.
- Underestimating Badassery: Unusually for the trope, it was his own Navy fellows doing the underestimating, not his opponents — they had considered him a by-the-book administrator lacking both imagination and experience until his handling of the Monica crisis established that he was tough-minded enough for any three officers and willing to back his subordinates to the hilt.
Lady Dame Estelle Matsuko, KGCR, 1st Baroness Medusa
Another career diplomat in Manticoran service, Baroness Medusa, then just Dame Estelle Matsuko, served as a Special Commissioner for the natives' rights in the very first book of the series, On Basilisk Station — for which she was apparently made a peer — and, presumably, in other diplomatic roles during the twenty-year stretch between OBS and The Shadow of Saganami. There she was a special envoy of the Crown representing Manticore's interests during the Talbott Cluster Constitutional Convention, which developed the terms and conditions of Talbott's annexation into the Star Kingdom. Later on, when that long and complicated process finally ended, she was made the first Imperial Governor of the newly formed Talbott Quadrant of the Star Empire of Manticore.
- Ambadassador: She's tiny. She's kind of adorable. She scares the pants off anyone who dares to cross swords with her.
- Badass Adorable: For someone who looks like she could be picked up and tucked into a convenient pocket, she sure has a knack for getting people to do exactly what she wants them to do — and scaring them witless when they don't.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Her talents may not lie in starship command, but that in no way detracts from her incredible diplomatic and political badass.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Poor Estelle has to walk a political tightrope that would make your average circus performer blanch.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Though not actually quoted in-text, she is heavily implied to have let one of these loose in On Basilisk Station when a government official in the pocket of big business tries to tell her to stop trying so hard to catch merchants violating the local trade laws.
- Death Glare: She has one of the deadliest in the 'verse. Notably, when her civilian intelligence analyst reacts to Captain Terekhov's... unauthorised adventures at Monica by slandering the Navy, she is having none of it, and he responds with stammering apologies and total retreat."Don't let your prejudices run away with your mouth before you engage your brain, Gregor." She didn't even raise her voice, but it stung like the flick of a whip. O'Shaughnessy flinched visibly, and she gave him a cold, level stare.
- Even Heroes Have Heroes: By the time of On Basilisk Station, Dame Estelle is already one of the best diplomats in the Foreign Service and has been knighted for her accomplishments in the field of diplomacy. She also adores Honor Harrington, and has since Honor was a mere light cruiser skipper and highly talented junior officer. Twenty years after they first meet, she still holds Honor in extremely high esteem; the highest praise she ever gives Aivars Terekhov, after he takes off for Monica, is, "...he reminds me of another Navy captain I once knew." The feeling seems to be mutual, as the two are established to have kept in contact since their Basilisk days.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Khumalo, following the Battle of Monica. As she notes in Shadow of Freedom:The [smile] felt a bit strange, but not because she wasnt happy to see the face on her com. Although thered been a time when Augustus Khumalo hadnt been her favorite person, those days were gone.
- Good Is Not Soft: Don't piss her off. Please. She has an entire fleet at her disposal and she will use it.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Platonic example with her military counterpart, Augustus Khumalo. She's barely five feet tall and delicately built, whereas Khumalo is not only easily over six feet, but described with words like "massive".
- Iron Lady: On the rare occasion that she drops the silk. People only ever mistake her pleasant demeanor and Politeness Judo for weakness once.
- Multi-Ethnic Name: While this is everywhere in the Honorverse, hers was the first major example of this to appear. "Estelle" is originally French, and "Matsuko" is originally Japanese.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Makes a point of listening to her subordinates' concerns, both as Special Commissioner and later as special envoy and Governor.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She can do more with a glare and a quiet, scathing reprimand than most people can with a shout. Underneath that sweet, composed little bureaucrat is someone who can make Solarians cower in fear.
- Stellar Name: 'Estelle' for star. Given that she's a diplomat who has spent her career travelling the stars, it's fitting.
- Tranquil Fury: If one of her subordinates goes out of line, she can absolutely wither them without so much as raising her voice. (Which, it must be noted, does not prevent her from losing her temper in loud and sulfurous fashion in private.)
Ensign Helen Zilwicki, Jr.
Anton Zilwicki's daughter. She was assigned to Hexapuma for her midshipwoman cruise, getting caught up in the Talbott Quadrant's events. Now Sir Aivars's flag lieutenant.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Briefly mentioned in The Short Victorious War when her mother pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to protect the ship she's on from Havenite raiders.
- Cry into Chest:
- She cries into Paulo's after Ragnhild Pavletic is killed in Shadow of Saganami.
- She also cries into Aivars Terekhov's chest after reporting the destruction of HMS Hexapuma (during Oyster Bay) to him. Initially she's startled, because she is very subordinate to him in the chain of command, but he's also become something of a father-substitute to her, so she quickly gives up and lets herself cry.
- Dead Guy Junior: Retroactively after Captain Helen Sr.'s sacrifice.
- Ensign Newbie: In Shadow of Saganami she's on her very first cruise out of the academy and not even an ensign yet. Tends to be the most junior officer around even in later books.
- Everyone Can See It: Abigail Hearns noted that there might possibly have been an engineering rating somewhere on Hexapuma — one of the type who never got out of the fusion room — who didn't know what was going on between Helen and Paulo, but everyone else most certainly did.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: As Berry's older sister by adoption, she's technically Crown Princess of Torch.
- Identical Stranger: Well, not exactly identical, but looks enough like Suzanne Bannister (Bernardus Van Dort's wife) that both Bernardus, Stephen Westman and Trevor Bannister look at her and cannot help but think of Suzanne.
- Relationship Upgrade: She gets hers with Paulo after thinking she'd lost him during Oyster Bay.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Neither she nor Paulo d'Arezzo were particularly interested in thinking about the feelings growing between them, but they definitely existed. It was resolved in Shadow of Victory, after Paulo narrowly escaped being killed during Oyster Bay and decided to get over his fears and make things official between them.
- Waif-Fu: She's been studying martial arts since she was a young girl, and in fact killed a trio of would-be rapists with her bare hands when she was fourteen.
Ensign Paulo d'Arezzo
An incredibly handsome electronic warfare specialist, assigned to Hexapuma for his midshipman cruise. Promoted after the Battle of Monica, and currently serving as an Assistant EWO* aboard HMS Charles Ward in the Talbott Quadrant. Was born as a Mesan pleasure slave, although he was rescued as an infant, and grew up on Manticore.
- Following in Their Rescuer's Footsteps: Chose to join the Manticoran navy because the navy rescued him and his father from a Mesan slave ship.
- Hunk: If there was a good picture of him, could probably provide the trope image, given his origins as one specifically created to be attractive for customers of Mesa seeking a sex slave.
- Love Epiphany: He admits that surviving Oyster Bay "clarified" his feelings for Helen and convinced him to finally make a move.
- The Quiet One: Keeps to himself a lot. He has a very good reason for this.
- Relationship Upgrade: Gets one with Helen Zilwicki upon arriving in the Talbott Quadrant after Oyster Bay, which had made him realize how much he wanted to pursue their mutual interest in each other.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Justified; the fact that he was designed to be so attractive by Mesa, so as to be a better sex slave, makes him sick to his stomach at times.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Helen, which neither of them wanted to consider too closely.
A prominent economist with a Liberal party affiliation and political ambitions. Sent as second ranking delegation member to Grayson and tried to order Honor and her ships to abandon the Graysons and take the delegation (or rather him) to safety after the First Battle of Yeltsin. This display of cowardice led Honor to strike him, ruining his diplomatic career and making him an enemy for life. Became Second Lord of the Admiralty under High Ridge.
- Armchair Military: He hates the military and regards war as failed diplomacy, but still thinks he could do a better job than the military.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: Rude, coward, idiot, checks all the boxes.
- Berserk Button: Honor is this for him, after Grayson.
- Dirty Coward: His reaction when he realizes that he is technically in charge of the Manticoran delegation is to try to order a retreat, abandoning Grayson to the Masadans. Nobody present complains when Honor knocks him out.
- Insane Troll Logic: One of the main voices insisting that Honor murdered Pavel Young in their duel since his gun was empty, never mind that it had just been emptied into her.
- Jerkass: Thinks of himself as intellectually superior to anybody around him, particularly the military, and makes sure to let them know it.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: During his time as Second Lord of the Admiralty, he was responsible for budget cuts and the like which would later hamper the Navy during the Second Havenite War.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Attempts to use this to bully both Honor and Ambassador Langtry into going along with his cowardice. It didn't work.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Advises this to the Graysons in regards to Masada. As a result, both the Graysons and the rest of the Manticoran delegation consider him Too Dumb to Live.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He and Edward Janacek. Houseman is a military-disdaining Liberal, Janacek is a veteran Admiral Conservative.
Admiral Lady Dame Sonja Hemphill, Baroness of Low Delhi
Cousin of Sir Edward Janacek, "Horrible" Hemphill was the leading advocate of the jeune ecole for most of the series. She was known for aggressively advocating any shakeup to the technology used by the RMN in the hopes of developing weapons systems that smashed the current tactical deadlock. Despite early problems, especially the doomed grav lance/energy torpedo armament mix on the Fearless, she was the driving force behind such developments as FTL communications, missile pods, podnoughts, modern LACs and CLACs, Ghost Rider, and the Apollo missile system. Removed herself from active service following the formation of the High Ridge government after the Cromarty assassination, but returned as Fourth Space Lord under her perennial rival, First Lord of the Admiralty White Haven. She is currently stationed out at Bolthole, where she and Shannon Foraker are very, very busy coming up with new and inventive ways to disintegrate the Mesan Alignment on behalf of the Grand Alliance. Despite her being the current Lady Low Delhi, everyone still calls her Admiral Hemphill.
- Badass Bookworm: The tech she created has repeatedly given Manticoran ships such a technological advantage over their enemies that they end up being unable to even fire back. She was also a serving RMN fleet commander for much of the series, and was mentioned in passing as having defended or taken systems a couple of times.
- Birds of a Feather: Sonja becomes instant best friends with a Havenite admiral in a similar position to her own, Shannon Foraker.
- Brutal Honesty: It's explicitly noted that she has no sense of tact whatsoever.
- Corrupt Politician: Very mildly. She was aligned with the faction who wanted Pavel Young Off on a Technicality at his court-martial, and was the one who prevented his conviction and execution for desertion under fire, though her vote also decided that he would be cashiered. Sonja knew that, if he was convicted of all charges, a declaration of war would never pass Parliament, and she was keenly aware of the defensive needs of the kingdom, being one of its highest-ranking admirals. Though Honor doesn't know who voted that way, she did say that the facts could not support a split vote, and that whoever did that was voting based on political concerns.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Does some truly amazing things with technology. She continually leaves the rest of the military gaping in awe at what she manages to create.
- HeelFace Turn: While never a bad character, she did not get off to a great start with Honor, and therefore with most of the readership, thanks to the Fearless fiasconote . As the war started to heat up, however, she began to develop the above-mentioned tactical systems that would reshape the entire war. As a result, she became much more popular with characters and readers alike.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Any time she does something awesome, it's immediately classified top secret.
- Innocently Insensitive: She doesn't mean to insult people — she's just got her head buried so far inside theory and engineering manuals that she starts stepping on toes without even realising she's doing it.
- Insufferable Genius: When she is introduced in On Basilisk Station, she is this — with an emphasis on the "insufferable". As time goes on, however, it turns out that her faith in her own capabilities is perfectly justified, and the emphasis shifts quite decidedly in favor of "genius". Yes, Sonja Hemphill is just as good as she says she is. She might even be better.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With her Havenite counterpart Shannon Foraker, who by all indications is at least 50 years younger. This concerns neither of them so much as one iota.
- Meaningful Name: 'Sonja' is a variantnote of the Greek name 'Sophia', which means 'wisdom'. Suffice it to say the name is quite appropriate, given what Admiral Hemphill gets up to.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: Though usually busy cooking up awesome weapons for other people to use, she is an officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy, and a tactical specialist to boot, with all the abilities at asskicking in combat that implies.
- No Social Skills: According to pretty much everyone who knows her, even those who like her. She has an ability to infuriate people that is surpassed only by her technological and tactical genius.
- The Rival: As the leader of the jeune ecole, she was continually in opposition with Admiral White Haven, the leader of the "historical" school. Despite their disagreement on tactics, however — and the fact that for quite a few years, Landing hostesses ensured they were not invited to the same parties, as the arguments were that bitter — they respected each other thoroughly, and sat firmly on the same side of the political bench. When Hemphill started making breakthroughs like LACs, FTL, and Ghost Rider, White Haven admitted that he'd been wrong about her.
- Rivals Team Up: She and Shannon Foraker spend most of their time post-Ashes of Victory attempting to outdo one another as the technological geniuses behind their respective navies. After the formation of the Grand Alliance, Sonja and her staff get packed off to Bolthole to combine forces with Foraker and her team, with truly incredible results. Honor promptly nicknames them the "Demonic Duo", and with good reason.
Right Honorable Charles Travis "Charlie" O'Daley
The younger brother of Sinead Terekhov (nee O'Daley), and thus Sir Aivars' brother-in-law, he's on the outside is your common wealthy aristocratic layabout with too much time on his hands and a really questionable sense of humor. Even the fact that he technically has a day job at the Foreign Office, everyone just see it as a sinecure brought in by his brother-in-law's connections. In reality, though, Charlie is a first rate field agent of the Special Intelligence Service, and one of the foremost counterintelligence specialists in the Star Empire. He is the one saddled with the Yawata Strike investigation, after all. This doesn't change the fact that he is as much of Insufferable Genius as "Horrible" Hemphill, and that he shares the same annoying Funetik Aksent with his friend and associate Michael Oversteegen.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: He cannot resist pulling a fast one over on his sister.Sinead: You are so going to die, Charles Travis O'Daley!
- Funetik Aksent: One of the very few characters seen to sport the same speech manner as Oversteegen. Unsurprisingly, they're good friends.
- Insufferable Genius: Most tend to see him as just insufferable, rather than genius, though.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: It's implied that as a field agent, he had his chances of getting physical.
- Overt Operative: Subverted, in that he's indeed very overt, but only a select few knows that he's an operative. In fact, he's the very type of agent Bond was originally supposed to be (and Fleming was) before the character was Flanderized to what everyone knows a globetrotting socialite getting his clues from the very society he mulls about.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Like his sister, of "Red Irish".
- The Prankster: One of the main reason why he's so insufferable. Serious or not, the man simply cannot resist pulling off a good prank.
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Well, he technically has a day job, but it's a pure window dressing.
- Upper-Class Twit: Again, same as Oversteegen all the outwards signs, without actually being a twit.
Lady Georgia Young nee Sakristos/Elaine Komandorski
A security consultant working for the Young family, following Pavel's death she marries his brother Stefan becoming Lady North Hollow. She is actually a genetic slave who sold out a freighter full of escaped slaves in exchange for her own freedom becoming a con artist and corporate spy under the name Elaine Komandorski.
- Con Man: Her Elaine persona ran a number of financial swindles.
- He Knows Too Much: Is believed to have been responsible for a number of murders to cover up her crimes.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Gave information to Honor's friends about Pavel's involvement in Paul's murder mainly because Pavel was blackmailing her for sex.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Is a lot smarter and more dangerous than her husband.
- Put on a Bus: Is on the run from the Audubon Ballroom after Cathy and Anton figure out her true identity and blackmail her into blowing up the North Hollow Files in exchange for a three day head start.
Power Tech 2nd Class Randy Steilman
A lazy bully of a man in Manticoran uniform who's never made Petty Officer but who's been demoted plenty of times. Steilman is one of the first non-noble Manticorans we've seen who wasn't a fan of Honor Harrington - too bad his negative qualities completely undermine the points he makes about the body counts her adventures bring with them.
- The Bully: Explicitly set up as this from his first appearance. Steilman is little more than an aggressive thug in Manticoran uniform.
- Bullying a Dragon: His final confrontation with Aubrey Wanderman. Wanderman doesn't just beat the living hell out of Steilman - he makes it look easy.
- Complexity Addiction: How the murder attempt against Ginger Lewis is uncovered. It wasn't enough for them to bugger her boosterpack - they also made it fry out her comm circuits, which clues Captain Harrington in to the fact that it was an attack, not an accident.
- Death by Irony: Tries to set up one of these for Ginger Lewis, working with a friend to reprogram her space boosterpack to shoot her off in a random direction. Her survival is only by the random chance that she wasn't slammed into the hull by her malfunctioning pack.
- Dirty Coward: He loves money, and hates danger. He also loves picking fights with people too small to effectively fight back, which draws the negative attention of both Bosun Sally McBride and Senior Chief Horace Harkness.
- Evil Counterpart: To Horace. He has Horace's size and pugilism, but not Horace's intelligence or his underlying decency.
- Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Averted. He's just not important enough to warrant it.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He intended to sell Manticoran technical manuals about the capabilities of HMAMC Wayfarer, including her then-revolutionary missile pods, to Haven, and in the end he died not at the hands of a Manticoran firing squad but when a Havenite laser penetrated the core of the hull and incincerated the brig.
- The Mole: Aspires to be this. He's arrested and imprisoned before he can carry out his plans.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given one on-page by Bosun McBride and off-screen by Captain Harrington. Neither has the intended effect.
- Smug Snake: Comes with the territory. He likes hurting people, and that's about it.
- Strawman Has a Point: For all that he's violent and thuggish and lazy and venal, Steilman does make a very good point about the fact that Honor Harrington's glory in battle comes at a hellish price for the people around her.
Treecats in general
- Berserk Button: Anyone who seriously thinks about harming a treecat's human in their presence will find themselves facing a small furry buzzsaw.
- Bond Creatures: Treecats can form a permanent telempathic bond with humans.
- The Empath: Capable of sensing and correctly interpreting human emotions.
- Intelligent Gerbil: Doesn't quite fit here but is closer than any of the other Alien tropes.
- Killer Rabbit: Seven of their eight ends are pointy.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fast and, being Heavy Worlders, strong for their size.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Treecats have "true-hands", "hand-paws", and "true-feet", so they have four arms. And they use them too.
- Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Treecat names are descriptive.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Most humans aren't aware of just how intelligent treecats actually are. The cats are more than happy to be underestimated. Officially they were rated as an .83 on the in universe sentience scale, close to dolphins and above chimps. Later in the series their strategy finally starts shifting as they decide it would be useful to spread out from Sphinx so as to not lose the species if something happens to the planet.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Despite otherwise being carnivores, Treecats love Celery. It's mostly because they just find it so damn tasty, though the presence of a "telepathy vitamin" doesn't hurt.
Nimitz Laughs Brightly
Nimitz, named after American Admiral Chester Nimitz, or, to use his Treecat name, Laughs Brightly, is Honor's treecat (or she's his human), has an empathic link with her and appears in every book that she does.
- Badass Adorable: Fluffy, fun-loving, good with kids...and utterly deadly to anybody threatening his friends.
- Bond Creatures: He has been bonded to Honor since she was a child.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ever since he learned to sign. Note that there was already very little doubt about it, as his sarcastic sense of humor was well known since the very beginning of the series. (Even before his adoption, his name among his fellow treecats was "Laughs Brightly". His nickname among his friends is "Stinker." As in, "Ain't I a...")
- Eye Scream: His quickest method to neutralize enemies given that he is relatively small but fast with enamel claws. In the second book he does almost as much as Honor to fend a large group of attacking assassins- perhaps more, given that he was the first to realize their intentions.
- Genius Cripple: He is telepathically mute to his own kind, from injuries sustained from a State Sec rifle butt, but helped develop 'cat sign language to compensate.
- Properly Paranoid: He and his mate Samantha convince the Treecats that they need to start spreading out to other worlds, because the kind of firepower the humans throw at each other could easily wipe out all life on Sphinx unintentionally. An entire clan of Treecats is killed when a large part of HMSS Vulcan lands near them during Oyster Bay.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Red Oni to Honor's Blue.
- Right-Hand Cat: Except of course that Honor is a hero, not a villain.
- Super Empowering: Honor can receive empathic impressions from those around her through Nimitz and her connection to him later aided her in learning to use her own weak but existing telempathic sense.
Samantha Golden Voice
Samantha is the only treecat known who is both a Memory Singer (a 'cat who can receive and transmit complete experiences to other treecats, like a living first-person-view encyclopedia) and is capable of forming an Adoption Bond with humans. She gave up her prestigious status as a Memory Singer among her own kind for the sake of finding a human to adopt. She's also "married to" (mated with) Nimitz.
She originally adopted Harold Tschu, but Tschu was killed in Honor Among Enemies while defending a merchant fleet from Havenite batlecruisers. The loss would have driven her to suicide, in not for her prior mating to Nimitz. Since then, she's adopted Hamish "Earl White Haven" Alexander.
- Cassandra Truth: Averted. She convinces Bright Water Clan that it's time to drop The Masquerade, and that keeping your whole species on one planet isn't such a hot idea.
- Properly Paranoid: Recognized the existential risk to 'catkind of having only one "nest" (home planet). Boy, did she get proved right.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: A memory singer is almost automatically an Elder (essentially, treecat government). Samantha insisted that she was leaving to form a colony and taking her kittens with her.
One of Samantha and Nimitz's sons.
- Bold Explorer: Said to be the most curious of the 4 treekittens.
- Meaningful Name: Named for the leader of the Argonauts.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter
An older female treecat "colonist" on Grayson.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: Along with Nelson, "attacked" Samuel Mueller. The fact that she only tore his clothes, and not his vitals, is a "warning shot" in treecat terms.
- Team Mom: Samantha is mother to the treekittens, but Hera is unquestionably the matriarch of "Grayson Clan".
- Meaningful Name: Named for the wife of Zeus and queen of the gods.
A Memory Singer of the Black Rock Clan, and the only survivor of that clan following the Yawata strike (Oyster Bay). Comes to Honor to propose a formal alliance between treecats and Manticore.
- Last of Her Kind: The last surviving member of Black Rock Clan, having been visiting her brother, who had mated into Moonlight Dancing Clan, when the Yawata strike hit.
- Meaningful Name: She felt her whole clan die via treecat telepathy. As treecat names change with significant events in a treecat's life, well... Needless to say, she is "singing the sorrow" of her clan's loss.
- This Means War!: Convinces the rest of the treecat species that whoever caused the Yawata strike (known in the treecat language as the Day of Sorrow) must be stopped.
Special Minister Bernardus van Dort
A prominent businessman and politician from the planet Rembrandt, one of the more affluent and developed Talbott worlds, and the creator of the Rembrandt Trade Union — a main intergovernmental association in the Talbott Cluster before its annexation. He first conceived it in an attempt to creating an entity too large and valuable for the Office of Frontier Security to simply gobble up, thus protecting the Cluster from the exploitation it usually involves. To this end, he did his best to extort the best financial advantages he could out of the non-RTU planets to secure the Union's positions. With the discovery of the Lynx Terminus, however, van Dort saw the once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the entire cluster, and spearheaded the annexation of the Talbott Cluster into the Star Kingdom of Manticore, after which he in effect became Dame Estelle's plenipotentiary and chief negotiator.
- Adult Fear: Waved goodbye to his wife and kids when they were leaving for a business trip. The ship never arrived at its destination.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Was this as part of his Well Intentioned Extremism.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for his actions as a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Helen Zilwicki, after she serves as his personal aide in The Shadow of Saganami.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: A lot of it earned, true, but van Dort's generated some hard feelings among others due to the actions of the Trade Union.
- The Man Behind the Man: He often preferred not to influence the things directly from a position of power, but either manipulate events behind the stage, or take a hands-on approach.
- MayflyDecember Romance: With his wife Suzanne. He, as a son of a wealthy merchant, was able to travel to the League with one of his family's ships to undergo prolong treatment. Unfortunately, when he first met his would-be wife, she was already too old for this, thus making their life expectancies, well, different.
- This earned him a lifelong resentment from Montana's Stephen Westman, who, being 14 at the time, had a huge crush on Suzanne (she was his best friend's Cool Big Sis) and felt that van Dort somehow "betrayed" her by that.
- The Mourning After: More than fifty years after his wife Suzanne passed away, it's implied that he's never even looked at another woman that way.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Was willing to gobble up other star systems' economies in order to save as many other systems as he could from the machinations of the OFS. Dropped it the moment annexation into Manticore became an option to save the very systems he had been extorting.
Former politician from Kornati in the Split System. Turned terrorist upon the vote for annexiation by the Star Kingdom, founded the Freedom Alliance of Kornati (FAK), and starts blowing up stuff and people. LOTS of stuff and people.
- Expy: She reminds people In-Universe of Cordelia Ransom.
- Faking the Dead: Set it up, waited about three weeks and then started an "I'm Back" bombing series.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Hides in a small apartment in the lower class parts of town as a young widow. She even gets Unemployment/Social Security compensation!
- I Did What I Had to Do: Her justification. She does it all for Kornati.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: She bombs malls, post offices and what else.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Her point of view at least.
Rich rancher from Montana. Like Nordbrandt he objects to the annexation, but that's where all the similarity ends. Unlike Nordbrandt and her FAK, his Montana Independence Movement (MIM) go to great lengths to not take lives.
- Double Standard: Like most Montanans has those. This means the Manticoran women (see below) get to keep their clothes. He even apologizes to them!
- Fighting Your Friend: Trevor Bannister, the Chief Marshal of Montana, is his best friend. Even then they tend to keep their civility towards one another.
- Gentleman Adventurer: Or, more precisely, Gentleman Freedom Fighter, an image he consciously tries to build up.
- "Get out of Jail Free" Card: At the end, as added incentive to turn in his weapons.
- Honor Before Reason
- Naked People Trapped Outside: His first act is to surprise a survey team from Manticore in the wild, take their tent, their clothes (sans the women) and points them to the nearest City.
- Phrase Catcher: "Goddammit, Steve!"
- Precocious Crush: Implied hat he had one for Suzanne Bannister, Trevor's elder sister and wife of Bernardus van Dort. He did not take the prolong thing well.
- One of the main (subconscious) reasons he opposes annexation is that van Dort is its main proponent. Westman resents him just on too many levels — including both his cutthroat business tactics during his stint as RTU's chief, and blaming him for Suzanne's fate.
- He was fourteen at the time. Hardly all that precocious.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Averted. He accepts he will have to take lives at some point, but he is disgusted at what Nordbrandt is doing.
- The Wild West: Less of the Cowboy and Indians version, more of the Rancher and Cattle western. Montana's Stetson, really.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: He's prepared to fight with the marshals and the military. But he would turn himself and his men in if he hurt an innocent in the process.
President of Kornati. Sent herself as a representative to the Constitutional Convention to "preserve the local traditions and freedoms" of the systems seeking admission in the Star Kingdom of Manticore.
- Permanent Elected Official: Not personally, but her prime goal is to preserve the oligarchic structures on Kornati.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Gets impeached for her actions. From inside her own party.
A native of Dresden, and personal aide to Henri Kriezmann, the Talbott Quadrant's Minister of War. A romantic interest for Gwen Archer.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Believes this very strongly, as do most Dresdeners. Getting over it is a large part of her relationship with Gwen Archer.
Commodore Edward Saganami
Considered the founder of the Modern Manticorian Military. He was in command of the RMN forces that were sent to the Silesian Confederacy to battle pirates who harassed Manticoran shipping in the area. After a battle causing extreme damage to both his fleets and the pirate fleets he split the ships up to escort the captured and stranded merchants he came for back home. His own Battlecruiser was alone when a fleet of 6 pirate vessels sprang a trap. He rammed his battlecruiser at the ships from smallest to largest as each ship destroyed meant another merchant ship would escape. The Saganami Tradition is named after his efforts.
- Famed In-Story: There is a reason that Manticore's Military Academy and three of their most advanced classes of star cruisers are named for him.
- Foreshadowing: His last message to the Queen of Manticore mentioned that the pirate fleet they engaged had been equipped with Solarian-built warships and had Mesan backing.
- Heroic Sacrifice: See above. He's an in-universe Trope Namer.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Took on a pirate fleet at something approaching six to one odds to cover the escape of a Manticoran convoy.
Admiral Ellen D'OrvilleA gifted tactician who once served under Edward Saganami, Ellen D'Orville is the other great hero of the Royal Manticoran Navy. Among other things, she created the Advanced Tactical Course, which in Honor's day is an absolute requirement for anyone who wants to command. Also like Edward Saganami, she went down in a Heroic Sacrifice, saving 1.4 million people, when an assassination attempt against her went awry. Ellen D'Orville Hall, the main lecture hall of Saganami Island, is named for her, and the only ship to be commanded by both Saganami and D'Orville, HMS Unconquered, has an honorary crew and captain selected from the very best of the RMN.
- Famed In-Story: Mentioned in the same breath as Edward Saganami when talking about great Manticoran naval heroes.
- Four-Star Badass
- Heroic Sacrifice: How she lost her life.
King Roger III Winton
The first of Manticore's monarchs to receive Prolong treatment, he spends most of his military career, and after retirement, his reign as King, to prepare the Star Kingdom of Manticore for what he sees as the inevitable war with the Peoples' Republic of Haven. Oversaw much of the Royal Manticoran Navy's pre-war expansion program, despite considerable political pushback both from his senior officers and from Parliament. When he was on the verge of forging an alliance with San Martin against Haven, he was assassinated via an engineered grav-ski accident, leaving his teenaged daughter Elizabeth to take the throne in his place.
- Badass Boast: Which would become the epitaph on his grave:
- Dramatic Irony and Foregone Conclusion: He is the first member of the Royal Family to receive the new Prolong treatments, and is expected to have a long reign as King as a result. Much is made of the fact that there is plenty of time for him to put his various plans into effect (most notably forging an alliance with San Martin, training his daughter in her distant future duties as Queen, and reconciling with his son over a disagreement). And then he is assassinated.
- Guile Hero: Knowing that he will never get Parliament to agree to pay for the research and development programs he needs for the RMN to have a fighting chance against the bigger People's Navy, he simply sets it up in secret, siphoning funds off from various other parts of the budget to fund it.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: He is assassinated via a sabotaged grav-ski, falling to his death.
- Military Maverick: He spends most of his career as an outspoken proponent of an expansion of the Royal Manticoran Navy, as well as a transition from a large force of lighter units (best suited for protecting their vast merchant fleet) to a smaller force of powerful capital ships (better suited for power projection and defense of the home system). Most of his superiors in the Navy feel that such changes in doctrine are unnecessary.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Served for several decades as an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy, and took his duties very seriously. As a matter of fact, he served rather longer than anyone expected him to, given the presumption that he would leave the service at the first opportunity to take up his real duties as a Royal. He never rose above the rank of Captain due to the combination of his refusal to leverage his social status for promotion and his unorthodox views on naval doctrine.
- Young Future Famous People: The one story he appears in features multiple discussions about various junior officers, including an indication that Hamish Alexander and Sonja Hemphill were both already nursing a healthy rivalry back when they were lieutenants.
Travis Uriah Long
An officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy during the 16th Century PD. He was a "mustang", an officer promoted from the enlisted ranks.
- Abusive Parents: A Call to Vengeance cements that Travis's mother isn't just the hands off parent presented in A Call to Arms. She outright doesn't care about her second son, much to his brother's horror when he realizes this.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Travis need for following the rules due to them helping him structuring his life, his comprehension issues with social cues and other elements strongly imply he's somewhere on the Autism Spectrum, though clearly highly functional.
- Awesome by Analysis: Travis is able to figure out that one of the enemy ships has a malfunctioning autocannon due to the way it is maneuvering to keep one side facing their attacks. They exploit this to sneak a missile past that ship to lay in a sucker punch on the battlecruiser it was screening for.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Travis's mother seems to take a near-total disinterest in anything he does, ultimately giving him both ultimate freedom and ultimate lack of guidance. The result is a young man who feels lost in the world.
- Shown to be more in the order of parental neglect as of book 3, as it is revealed that she didn't even both to check if he'd lived or died after the battle in book 2.
- "Join the Army", They Said: Travis joins the RMN on an impulse after seeing the recruiting posters (and the beautiful recruiting officer) advertising an exciting career defending the Star Kingdom and learning valuable skills. As it happens, the RMN of this time period is a demoralized undermanned service seemingly lacking any actual purpose.
- Military Maverick: Averted. Travis is such a stickler for the rules and regulations that he often ends up antagonising not only his crewmates but also his superiors.
- Punny Name: Travis Uriah Long, sometimes known as "Travesty", due to one reading of his name being "Travis U. Long", as in Oolong Tea. Travis Tea.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Gets assigned to instructor duty with the MPRS in A Call to Vengeance. Travis naturally assumes this is a punishment due to his brother being one of Breakwater's allies, but soon learns he loves teaching.
- And again, when he is later transferred to the Bureau of Personnel, where naval careers go to die, but this is a front for his real assignment with a new secret intelligence section.
- Up Through the Ranks: Travis is a "mustang," that is, he is an officer who was promoted from the enlisted ranks.