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A futuristic version of Cinderella
- Action Girl: She's able to fight if necessary, be it with her finger that can shoot darts, her lunar gift, or by simply using her wits to get out of a tight situation.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Naturally.
- Ambiguously Brown: In-universe. She's described as having "tanned skin" and fits in fine in New Beijing (relatively speaking), but according to Word of God her appearance is vague enough that she could fit in just about anywhere. (For the record, her appearance was based on that of Japanese actress Mew Azama.)
- Cinderella Circumstances: Naturally. Complete with a Wicked Stepmother and an Evil Stepsister.
- Composite Character: Takes the role of the Sea Witch in "The Little Android", as she provides a new body to the main character.
- Curtains Match the Window: She has brown hair and eyes.
- Cyborg: It's right there on the cover. She was turned into one after being in a horrific hover accident; she would have died without the implants, and would have been crippled without the artificial limbs. At least, that's what she grew up believing.
- Deadpan Snarker: Is she ever. It's heavily implied to be a defense mechanism developed due to the crap she's been put through her entire life, something that is made most apparent when she snarks the hell out of Dr. Erland while she's been held for execution.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted. Her mother, Queen Channary, was just as much an evil witch as Levana, if not more. Though this is arguably played straight with her stepfather, Garan.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards a few characters, most clearly Thorne.
- Determinator: Definitely in the first book, and even more so in the second.
- Expy: She has the tough attitude of Sailor Moon's Rei Hino, and the mechanical know-how of Ami Mizuno. Her backstory, meanwhile, loosely evokes that of Princess Serenity: a princess of the Moon who met a tragic fate due to the machinations of an envious evil sorceress, and who is now being sought by the sorceress's enemies.
- Face Death with Dignity: This is her plan while being held for execution: don't fight back, don't try to escape, and just let Levana kill her because she's not worth fighting a war over. As it turns out, she is worth it. She faces survival with less dignity than her impending death; she'd resigned herself to being executed, but not to having to shoulder the burden of being the only person who can dethrone Levana and save Kai, his country, and possibly the planet. Ultimately, she decides to choose survival over death.
- Financial Abuse: Is a victim of this. Being her legal guardian, Cinder's stepmother, Adri, directly receives the money Cinder earns as a mechanic, which she uses as her main source of income. She hypocritically accuses Cinder of "stealing" the money she rightfully earned whenever she learns that she had bought something.
- Friendless Background: Cinder states multiple times that Peony, her youngest step-sister, is her only human friend.
- Identity Amnesia: Cinder can't remember anything from before waking up on an operating table with new limbs at the age of eleven. Justified: when her brain interface was installed, some damage was done to the hippocampus, affecting her memory.
- Fully justified in Scarlet: In reality, Levana tried to kill her when she was three years old by burning down her nursery. She was kept in suspended animation for eight years while she was being operated on and getting her cyborg implants installed. In the meantime, her brain was hooked up to a machine to keep it stimulated so her brain would develop normally. She was also given a netlink installed in her head so she could instantly look up facts she wasn't able to learn, but would have known had she been conscious and living, in order to hide any suspicion. Cinder herself didn't realize anything was amiss until she found the secret operating room where she had been kept. She simply doesn't have any memories to recall.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Cinder's most risk-tasking, dangerous action concerns her sneaking into the ball in Peony's silver dress, to warn Kai about Levana's true intentions. She is also wearing said dress when she shoots at Levana. It's all wrinkled and wet and her fancy gloves have grease stains on them, but still fancy as heck.
- King Incognito: She only tells a few people that she's actually Princess Selene, with Thorne only finding out at the end of the second book, and Kai in the third. This was mainly a tactical reason, though, as she needed to keep her identity and whereabouts a secret from Levana and those who would turn her in.
- Modest Royalty: She's not used to how people treat royalty, and isn't too keen on staying the queen of Luna the rest of her life, unlike the rest of the Lunar royals.
- Mr. Fixit: People say that she's the best mechanic in New Beijing, and she's shown that she's good at handling portscreens, androids, and spaceships. The cyborg implants in her head help her access and download information on them.
- The Protagonist: While Scarlet, Cress, and Winter are primary characters, Cinder's story is what sets off theirs, and much of the story is about her journey to reclaim the throne of Luna.
- Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: For someone who's known as the best mechanic in Beijing to the point where even the prince himself seeks her out, Cinder doesn't seem to have much of a client list.
- At one point it's mentioned that a lot of people tried to hire her for jobs, but at the time she was refusing all work to spite Adri. Also, the fact that she's a cyborg probably dissuades the vast majority of people from securing her services.
- Reluctant Ruler: She does not want to be Earth's only hope for peace, so it's unfortunate for her that she is.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: The hell they don't! Cinder's plan to save Kai involves sneaking into the ball in Peony's silver dress.
- Really Royalty Reveal: She is the long-lost moon princess, Selene, which makes her the true blood-heir to the Lunar throne. Although, she is technically the queen.
- Sarcasm Mode: Goes into this often, with Adri and Thorne being the most common targets.
- Son of a Whore: Not a professional one, but Queen Channary was quite the little vixen. It is why we do not know who Cinder's father is.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Her glamour is noted to look similar to her mother, Channary's.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Cinder is not really tomboyish by nature; her having to wear rags and work as a mechanic is more inflicted on her by her stepmother than anything, but she fulfills this to a degree. Cinder and Pearl function as the "girly-girl being a spoiled brat who loses to more sensible tomboy" version of this trope. Cinder also works this way with Peony, and later, Cress, both reversing it to be "the girly girl is more innocent than the jaded tomboy" version of this trope.
- It also works this way with Iko, Levana, Winter, and pretty much every other female she knows, save for Scarlet.
- The Unfavorite: Her stepmother prefers her natural children to her.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Thorne.
- Wrench Wench
- Youngest Child Wins: Averted. She is the middle daughter.
A futuristic Little Red Riding Hood
- Action Girl: Of The Gunslinger variety. Her grandmother gave her a pistol for her 11th birthday and made sure she knew how to use it.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Well, if her reaction to Wolf is any indication...
- Toyed with. She's genuinely freaked out by his ruthless, animalistic fighting. She digs the scars though.
- Badass Normal: No cybernetics, no military training, no Lunar abilities or any kind of resistance to Lunar abilities. She's just a farm girl with a gun. A farm girl who killed a thaumaturge.
- She is part Lunar, however, but this doesn't really affect her abilities much.
- Composite Character: In addition to Red Riding Hood, she and Wolf bear more than a little resemblance with Beauty and the Beast, especially after Wolf is further mutilated.
- Deadpan Snarker: Suitably enough for a Fiery Redhead.
- Defiant to the End: When she's brought before Queen Levana for interrogation, she makes sure to tell her that she's a fake and Cinder is going to overthrow her. She pays for it, but thanks to Winter's intervention, manages to keep her life.
- Determinator: She is going to find her grandmother, no matter what stands in her path or what she has to suffer.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She badmouths Queen Levana to her face.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Averted; she's the only one of the four heroines not to be even mentioned in the first book. Her grandmother, on the other hand...
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French
- Expy: Most of the Sailor Moon influences of the series are blended into other elements, but Scarlet is pretty much a direct expy of Makoto Kino: statuesque, curly-haired, fierce and almost suicidally brave when her loved ones are threatened or her strong sense of justice is provoked. She's also a good cook, and she and Wolf bond over food on a couple of occasions.
- Fingore: She's telepathically forced to cut off her own pinkie.
- The Gunslinger: She always carries a small pistol with her, and knows how to handle a shotgun as well.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Her grandfather was a Lunar, making Scarlet one-quarter Lunar herself. She has not displayed any potential for powers, however, and she is not a Shell, as the Lunar glamour works perfectly on her.
- Hot-Blooded: She's very opinionated and passionate, and tends to act rashly without thinking.
- Interspecies Romance: She's one-quarter Lunar, Wolf is full-Lunar with some wolf genetics thrown in the mix.
- Kid with the Leash: She's the only one who can calm Wolf down from his blood frenzies—though even she has some difficulties.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Following the events of Scarlet, she's pretty much Wolf's sole reason for living and the main thing keeping him sane. When she's captured early in Cress, only the faint hope of somehow rescuing her keeps him held together, and that just barely, making everyone around him very nervous about him until they find each other again in Winter.
- Meaningful Name: "Benoit" is similar to the French phrase bonne nuit, meaning "good night".
- Mind Rape: Before her interrogation, she spent a week being mentally tortured and played with by a Lunar child.
- Nerves of Steel: It takes a special kind of gutsiness to calmly talk down a blood-raged wolf-Lunar hybrid, after watching your grandmother die and nearly being killed yourself.
- Out of Focus: She isn't seen in Cress very much, due to being kidnapped by Sybil and held on Luna for interrogation.
- Phrase Catcher: "Like the hair?", as a response to learning her name is Scarlet. She's very tired of the joke; one of the first things that starts to endear Wolf to her is his entirely straight-faced reply of, "What hair?"
- Raised by Grandparents: Moved from the city to her grandmother's farm as a child, and loves her more than anyone.
- Red Is Heroic: She has red hair and always wears a red hoodie that her grandmother gave her.
- Red Riding Hood Replica: Scarlet is based off of Red Riding Hood, with red hair and a red jacket, lives with her grandmother and falls in love with a man whose genes were spliced with those of a wolf nicknamed "Wolf".
- The Tease: Played With. Her interest in Wolf is genuine, but she does flirt with Ran to prove to herself she can seduce a man, in a fit of frustration over Wolf's refusal to respond.
- Unwitting Pawn: Wolf plays her like a fiddle. Of course, to be absolutely fair to Scarlet, he wasn't really acting.
A futuristic Rapunzel
- The Atoner: Cress was forced to create the spyware Levana's been using to obtain information about earth, and so Cress has been actively trying to prevent further damage. To be fair, she had been trying from the start to only obtain useless information, but it had Gone Horribly Right.
- Broken Bird: How does she keep her hopes up with a life of imprisonment and constant abuse? Simple, she doesn't.
- Character Tic: Twists her hair when she's nervous. Her one annoyance with her Important Haircut is that now she doesn't have anything to do with her hands.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She gets very upset whenever Thorne shows attraction to other girls, even though she admits she has no right to.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Possibly averted. It is implied that she might be Dr. Erland's long-lost daughter, in which case, her dead mother sold her into slavery. This would also be averted with Dr. Erland, himself, since he is, well, not dead Double subverted.
- Determinator: Crossed the Sahara desert without complaint.
- Ditzy Genius: Naive, romantic, silly and extremely entrenched in her own imagination - but also smart enough to carry on six different board games at once against an AI. That she programmed to speak in her own voice. At the age of ten.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted, what with being a Queen's hacker and all.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in the first book and is actually a pivotal character. Why else would we have so much to say about her?
- Expy: Again, from Sailor Moon, with the intelligence of Ami Mizuno with the romantic streak of Minako Aino.
- Fangirl: She has looked up everything she could for Carswell Thorne.
- Hacker Cave: The satellite where she spent her seven-year imprisonment. Semi-unintentional, as she needed all that tech stuff to spy on Earth and, well, hack.
- Love at First Sight: Her reaction to Thorne.
- Muggle Born of Mages: She is a "Shell," a Lunar without powers, though this also give her immunity to glamours, which even humans lack.
- No-Sell: What happens if a Lunar tries to use their glamour on her. Being a Shell, she is immune.
- Not Quite Dead: She is Crescent Moon, Dr. Erland's thought-to-be-dead daughter.
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: She gets angry when Thorne is kissed by a Lunar who glamours him, and scolds him for not fighting it hard enough because it didn't look like he was upset (due to the mind control).
- The Pollyanna: Played With. She keeps an upbeat, positive attitude, but it's something she does only to keep her spirits up.
- Punny Name: Cress, her nickname, is an edible, leafy garden plant - just like rampion, also known as rapunzel.
- Rapunzel Hair: Probably not as drastic enough as her fairy tale counterpart, but it's still pretty long.
- Shrinking Violet: She gets rather nervous around people she's never met, but she later averts this, as she's more open once she gets used to the others.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Cress used to hold a lot of hope that people would love and accept her, despite her genetic anomaly, if she worked hard enough. Despite losing this idealism over time, she still retained her sense of romance, and has a rose-tinted view of several things, Earth and Thorne in particular.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes she's a Damsel in Distress who will be swept off her feet by a handsome prince and they will go on to live happily ever after. She was right about the "distress" part, but everything else doesn't exactly play out the way she wants it to.
A futuristic Snow White
. Queen Levana's stepdaughter.
The Crown-Prince of New Beijing.
- 100% Adoration Rating: You'd better believe it. And half the girls in the country are head-over-heels in love with him.
- Dogged Nice Guy: He was rejected by a servant-girl he was in love with (it was admittedly puppy-love, though), and technically he is this with Cinder. Cinder genuinely likes him, mind you; there are just a few issues that prevent her from being with him: being a cyborg, Levana trying to kill her, being a Lunar, Levana trying to kill her, her stepfamily would probably not make things any easier, Levana trying to kill her, and the fact that she needs to leave the country to escape her stepmother. Also, Levana is trying to kill her.
- Distressed Dude: Levana plans to manipulate him into marriage, and then kill him.
- The Emperor: He ends up one after his father's death.
- Expy: The other straight expy from Sailor Moon, Kai is based heavily on the manga characterization of Mamoru Chiba / Prince Endymion - handsome and noble but also kind of a dork and prone to playfully teasing the object of his affection, as well as being a prince of the Earth in a star-crossed romance with a princess of the moon while being targeted by an evil sorceress-queen.
- The Good King: He's trying to be.
- King Incognito: He disguises himself with a grey hoodie when going to meet Cinder. The book lampshades how ridiculous this is, though Cinder notes that it must be working better than she thinks, considering the lack of a throng of screaming girls following him around.
- Locked Out of the Loop: While the rest of the characters are elsewhere during Scarlet and much of Cress, Kai ends up not learning that Cinder is Selene until the end of the third book. He initially thought that she was simply on the run with Thorne as her partner until then.
- Maid and Maiden: The Maiden to Torin's (the royal advisor) Maid
- Modest Royalty: Very modest. He actually apologizes to Cinder for asking her to put fixing Nainsi at the top of her client list, and the only reason he even asks for special treatment at all is because Nainsi might have information that could save his country.
- Non-Action Guy: Unlike the other primary male characters, Kai never engages in any physical fights. He prefers to use his mind and his words.
- Reluctant Ruler: Although it's not so much that he doesn't want the role at all as the fact that he feels that he's not ready to take it.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Is quite the looker. Pales in comparison to his awesome personality. Good hell, his personality...
- Time to Step Up, Commander: After his father dies. Kai is convinced that he'll be an awful ruler, but so far he's proven to be quite diplomatic, considering he's been trying to outmanoeuvre and play nice with a mind-controlling lunatic who intentionally allowed his father to die because she figures she'll have a better chance at controlling and marrying Kai, and thus becoming empress of New Beijing, turning its entire population into slaves, waging a war against the rest of the planet, and taking over the world. So far he's managed to avoid marrying her and hasn't caused World War V. All things considered, he's doing well.
- Then the end of Scarlet happens. He's still a great ruler, but he got played hard. Now if only he realized that Cinder is Princess Selene....
- What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?: Kai does not want to marry Levana, but she has the antidote that would save billions of lives. He asks Cinder this question and, oblivious to why he's asking it, "What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?" is essentially the answer she gives him. He reluctantly agrees. Of course, this is before he finds out that Levana's plan is to kill him and wage war on Earth. This knowledge quickly changes his priorities, as suddenly his life is worth a lot in comparison — without him, Levana will win.
- It's more than just not wanting to marry a horrible woman, though. If he married her, she would mind control his entire empire into obedience, and he knows it. The only upside to sacrificing his entire country like that would be that at least they are still alive, and it would avoid a war. So it's more like What Is One Country's Existence In Comparison. There's more than his personal happiness, or even his own life, at stake right from the beginning.
- Unfortunately, in Scarlet, Levana forces his hand by sending genetically-engineered super soldiers to attack Earth, resulting in an absolutely staggering death toll in one night. Kai knows that she plans to kill him, but he decides that the sacrifice is worth it. Cinder does not take the announcement well.
- Even then, the fact remains that he knows she's going to take over Earth via the Commonwealth anyway. Agreeing to the marriage at that point is a delaying tactic/ the lesser of two evils at best. Still not a selfless decision, but it's literally the best and only thing he could do at that point.
- The Wise Prince: Complete with fate trying its best to screw him over, but thus far, he's not going down without a fight.
Kai's head advisor and closest aide. Stern and experienced, and fiercely loyal, he's often the prince's voice of sense and pragmatism.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He was cold and disparaging of most of the heroes and disapproved of their influence on Kai, but this makes absolute sense if you consider the events unfolding from his point of view. He lightens up as the series goes on, and even helps Cinder escape with Kai in Cress. By Winter, he's fully on their side and pulling for the revolution.
- Maid and Maiden: Though only being the royal advisor Torin became more of friend and responsibility figure to Kai.
- Not So Above It All: At one point he rolls up his trousers and takes a dip in Artemisia's lake with Kai.
Cinder's youngest stepsister. Decidedly not-wicked
- Alliterative Family: Pearl and Peony.
- Not Quite Saved Enough: Cinder has the antidote, but arrives only minutes too late to save her.
- Mythology Gag: Her personality is a reference to how in both the Grimm and Perrault versions of Cinderella, the younger stepsister is nicer than the older one, though probably not as much as Peony. This could also be a reference to the original Chinese version of the story, where there was only one evil sister (though a half-sister, not a stepsister) to begin with which could also explain her death.
- Zombie Infectee: Averted. While Peony is utterly terrified and knows that she's going to be taken away (probably to die, considering the currently mortality rate of the disease), she still tells Cinder to stay away from her so the infection won't spread and goes willingly with the medbots.
Cinder's eldest stepsister. Wicked
Cinder's Wicked Stepmother
- Fainting: She collapses when it's revealed that Cinder is a Lunar.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards cyborgs.
- Financial Abuse: As mentioned above, being Cinder's legal guardian, she gets the money Cinder makes as a mechanic, which she uses as her sole source of income and mostly uses on indulgences for herself and her own two daughters. She cruelly accuses Cinder of theft for spending the money, which she rightfully earned.
- Especially considering she used it to buy herself a new foot, which she needed to upgrade for years.
- Evil Is Petty: A throw-away line implies Cinder does most of the housework as well.
- Humble Pie: Prince Kai shames her and Pearl at the ball after she tries to publicly beat Cinder, revealing that she is his personal guest.
- Hypocrite: Accuses Cinder of stealing the money that Adri is stealing from Cinder in the first place.
- Just a Machine: Holds this view towards androids and cyborgs; the way she treats Cinder is nothing short of utterly heartless and cruel.
- Not So Different: You'd fit right in with the arrogant, heartless Lunar court, wouldn't you, Adri?
- Slave to PR: Even when medbots invade her home, her daughter is taken away, and she's utterly distraught, Adri still refuses to make a scene. God forbid her neighbours realize everything isn't perfect.
- Too Dumb to Live: Isn't all that quick on the uptake. When Cinder is announced as Emperor Kai's personal guest, it completely fails to register as a sign that she lacks some important information and maybe should proceed with caution.
- Would Hurt a Child: Aside from selling Cinder for plague research, she also had Iko dismantled and sold off any of her component parts that had any value. Luckily, she didn't get rid of or destroy Iko's personality chip, so Cinder is eventually able to bring her back.
- You Should Have Died Instead: Adri tells Cinder this in regard to Garan and Peony.
Cinder's adoptive father; Adri's husband; father to Pearl and Peony. Deceased.
- Face Death with Dignity: When he finds out he has the plague.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He was an inventor who figured out how to make someone immune to a Lunar's bioelectric manipulation. The same tech could also prevent a Lunar from using their gift..
"Captain" Carswell Thorne
A young man with a long criminal history. Currently in jail for theft, and in solitary for leading a prison riot because the soap the prison provided was drying out his skin.
- The Captain: He claims this to be his rank, but in actual fact, the highest rank he reached was cadet.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: It's practically his trademark. In Cress he actually starts making out with the title character in the middle of a firefight. The man exaggerates a lot of his talents, but his ability to fake calm is second to none.
- The Charmer: He tries to be — and the fact that he managed to get a portscreen while in prison out of the only female guard certainly supports this — but it doesn't really work on Cinder.
- Combat Pragmatist: Smash a chair over a guy's head? Totally. Steal his watch? Sure, whatever.
- Cool Starship: He's very proud of his stolen ship and won't hear a word against her. Not even from Iko, who becomes the ship's auto-control system.
- Expy: Subverted. Being a handsome and sarcastic Loveable Rogue who falls in love with a version of Rapunzel makes him a dead ringer for Flynn Rider, but Word of God confirms that Thorne was developed before the film came out. In a straighter example, he derives many of his character traits from Han Solo.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He and Cinder become this. Breaking out of prison with someone and evading arrest together for several days will do that.
- Genius Ditz: Certainly seems like an airhead... until you learn about the good-sized spaceship he stole from the American military. Even Cinder is impressed. Even more so when he opens Cinder's brain wiring to turn her back on after said spaceship drains her power cell.
- Guile Hero: Not nearly as squeamish about manipulating people with bioelectricity as Cinder is.
- Handicapped Badass: He's blinded in the beginning of the third book.
- Odd Friendship: He's about the last person you would expect to befriend Cinder, and yet...
- One Head Taller: With Cress - pretty easy, since she's barely five feet tall.
- OOC Is Serious Business: If Thorne is panicking, things are very, very bad.
- Overranked Soldier: Of the Improbable Age category, since he's only twenty. Subverted when Cinder looks him up and sees that he's actually a cadet who stole his Cool Starship and just thinks "Captain" sounds better.
- Stepford Smiler: Becomes painfully evident in Cress when he keeps the same strained smile while trekking across the Sahara for two days. Even after being blinded he keeps trying to prove he can be the cool action hero.
- This Is No Time to Panic: In a dangerous situation, he's always the one to stop another character from freaking out - not because his presence is so comforting, but because crying in a desert dehydrates you and a bar fight is a stupid place to have a Heroic BSoD. He simply has the best ability to shelve away panic until a more sensible time.
- Use Your Head: A variant: when Cinder starts panicking during an Lunar pack assault in a tavern, Thorne's hands are cuffed, so he headbutts her to snap her out of her BSOD.
- What Could Have Been: According to a first draft of Cress, his name was originally going to be Alexander Woods.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Eye surgery. Awkward.
Wolf / Ze'ev Kesley
A mysterious street fighter. Plays the part of the Huntsman For more specific (and spoilerific) tropes that apply to Wolf, see Ze'ev Kesley, under the Lunar tab
- The Reveal: He doesn't actually belong in this section, seeing as how he's actually a genetically-engineered Lunar operative by the name of Ze'ev Kesley. Oh, and he was part of the team that was tasked with kidnapping Scarlet's grandmother, although he himself was not personally involved in any of the proceedings.
- Sense Freak: He's never had fresh vegetables until Scarlet introduces him to them, and takes a particular liking to tomatoes. He grew up in a poor mining district of Luna where food is strictly rationed and fresh produce is rare, and the Lunar wolf-soldiers are mostly fed meat by their masters.
Wing Commander Michelle Benoit
Scarlet's grandmother, an ex-pilot for the European Federation's military, and later a farmer who hid the child Princess Selene in suspended animation in her basement for eight years while she underwent life-saving cyborg surgery.
- Doting Grandparent: Teaches her young granddaughter to live more simply, work outdoors and in general be less of a spoiled city mouse. She and Scarlet love each other to bits.
- Interspecies Romance: If you consider Lunars to be genetically different enough from Earthens to be a different species. She's Earthen, but her old flame Logan Tanner - Scarlet's grandfather - was Lunar.
Currently the ruler of New Beijing; Kai's father.
- 100% Adoration Rating: By all accounts, he had this. Even the newscaster is genuinely choked up when she announces that he's entered the fourth and final state of letumosis.
- The Emperor: Well, obviously. He's a good example, though.
- The Good King: Well, he did seemed to have a 100% Adoration Rating, and he certainly managed to keep his country free from the Lunars.
- King on His Deathbed: And he dies quite early on in the story, leaving a grief-stricken Kai as the new Emperor.
Former empress of New Beijing; Kai's mother. Deceased.
Former Lunar Queen; Levana's older sister; Princess Selene's mother. Deceased.
- Missing Mom: She is Cinder's mother
- Not So Different: You would think she would be a good, just ruler in contrast to her evil sister. You'd be wrong. Oh, so wrong.
Dr. Dmitri Erland/Dr. Sage Darnel
The current head of plague research at the palace in New Beijing.
- Consummate Liar: Is he ever. He lies to Kai without a single hesitation or twitch that might give him away, spinning stories to hide Cinder's status of plague research subject, cyborg, and Lunar. He's also managed to hide his Lunar identity for at least ten years.
- Death Bed Confession: Dying of Letumosis, Dr. Erland tells Cress he is her father.
- Defiant to the End: As he was dying from the mutated letumosis virus, he told Levana that Cinder would defeat her.
- Freudian Slip: When he says "our" instead of "your" while talking about the biochemical makeup of Lunars. Of course, it was obvious almost immediately to the reader that he's a Lunar.
- Hypocrite: He freely admits that he was this before his HeelFace Turn and coming to Earth. Up until his Shell daughter was born he completely supported the law that declared that Shells were a danger to society and had to die. But not his little girl. He'd planned to take her and flee to Earth, but his wife handed their daughter over to the authorities before he had the chance.
- Incurable Cough of Death: After he's infected with Letumosis.
- It's Personal: The reason he wants Levana dethroned so much is his thought-to-be-dead daughter.
- Mad Scientist: He has shades of this, although with an emphasis on the 'mad'. Years of never using his Lunar gift to manipulate people has done a number on his mental stability, though he mostly manages to hold it together.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He is perfectly understanding of the many prejudices that Earthens have against Lunars, and he'll be the first one to admit that, as things stand, those prejudices are pretty much entirely justified.
The Lunar Queen.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Prince Kai. It has nothing to do with how she looks though apparently she's not beautiful at all, it is just the fact that she is evil and will likely use her powers to mentally enslave him. Though it turns out, she wants to kill him, since she knows he's looking for Princess Selene in hopes of dethroning her.
- She was also this to Evret in her backstory.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Although Levana remains utterly unforgiven, Cinder can't help but take pity on her in the end.
- Always Someone Better: From Channary to Solstice Hayle to her own stepdaughter, most of Levana's mental issues stem from her jealousy of others.
- Big Bad: She is partially responsible for Cinder and Cress' predicaments, the plague, the war...and this is all before Winter's book, where she is supposed to be the main villain!
- Black Widow: Murdered her husband so she could be free to go after Rikan, then Kai.
- Broken Bird: Starts out as one in Fairest and things only get worse from there.
- Classic Villain: She represents Envy, Pride, and Ambition, with a side dressing of Wrath.
- Covered in Scars: Her sister forced her to stick her body into a fire when she was young, leaving ugly burns and scars all over the left side of her body that she hides with her glamour.
- Cruel Mercy: Loves this trope. When she decides to murder her stepdaughter, she gives the grisly job to Jacin, knowing the two are hopelessly in love. She claims that that is precisely why Jacin is the perfect murderer; he will give her an easy death. When this doesn't work out, she goes in the opposite direction, hoping to kill her in the most painful and degrading way imaginable. She also attempted to justify her attempted murder of Selene with this, stating that while death by burning is horrid, it is a kindness that she wouldn't be forced to continue living with the horrible disfigurements Levana herself suffers with.
- Defiant to the End: She's downtrodden and on the verge of coming to terms with defeat during the final confrontation, but still seizes every chance she gets to turn the tables.
- Dirty Coward: During the climactic final battle in Artemisia, Levana, after having her true visage exposed, retreated to her throne room while others fought on her behalf.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One of her narration chapters in Winter shows that she truly did love Evret, in her own twisted way.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She's appalled at Aimery's sexual preferences.
- Evil Is Petty: Perhaps her cruelest lapse into this comes in Winter, when she purposefully infects Winter with Letumosis instead of simply killing her. Killing would be a mercy — she wants to princess to die ugly, and revolting, and in unfathomable pain.
- The Evil Prince: Make that Princess! Although, despite rumors, she didn't actually kill Channary to obtain the throne; the elder sister really did of an illness that doctors didn't think to test for. Her niece on the other hand.....
- Evil Uncle: Evil aunt, in this case, and how. She blew up her infant niece, Princess Selene, in order to make sure that she herself would be able to claim the throne. Unfortunately for her, Selene is still alive.
- Facial Horror: Fairest reveals that Levana's glamour hides burn scars on the left side of her body.
- Freudian Excuse:
- Her parents were killed by a Shell. Particularly flimsy, considering that she'd probably hate them anyway for being immune to her glamour.
- She also has a legitimate one in the form of Channary bullying her in their childhood, confirmed with Fairest. Channary is not only the cause of Levana's scars, but also a great deal of her emotional problems.
- Friendless Background: Also why she latched onto the first act of genuine kindness shown to her, and never let go.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She's a very good ruler, but her morals leave something to be desired.
- The Good Queen: A twisted example, but she actually was this in the wake of her aloof and careless predecessors. Alas, it didn't take long for her to become a tyrant.
- Hero Killer: She comes extremely close to killing each of the four main heroines.
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: Invokes this at the end, agreeing to relinquish her throne if she's able to keep her "beauty."
- I Surrender, Suckers: Accepts Cinder's peace terms, but immediately makes one final attempt to strike when her guard is down.
- Just a Machine: She makes no bones about the fact that she holds this view of androids. Also probably cyborgs—she's at least completely disgusted by them.
- Lack of Empathy: Just because she can control your emotions doesn't mean she cares.
- Lady in Red: Her wedding dress is a bright red ensemble with a gold veil, in traditional Commonwealth colors.
- Love Hungry: Due to the abuse she took from her sister and the mocking for being scarred, Levana has an almost psychotic need to be loved by everyone, even if she has to force them to do so.
- Mad Love: Her obsession with Evret destroyed his life.
- Near-Villain Victory: Comes within a hair's-breadth of succeeding multiple times.
- Not So Different: A recurring theme between her and Cinder; Levana even invokes this in the final novel. She is also far more like Channary than she cares to admit, despite greatly despising her sister.
- Oh, Crap!: Without a doubt, this is her reaction upon realizing that the young woman known as Cinder standing in front of her is none other than Princess Selene, the niece she tried to murder... and the rightful heir to the Lunar throne.
- Really Gets Around: She scoffs at the idea of monogamy.
- Wicked Stepmother: To Winter. She mocks and insults her relentlessly and then complains about how much trouble Winter is to her, made her disfigure her own face, and tries to force Jacin to kill her and later tries again by infecting her with letumosis.
- Would Hurt a Child: She's perfectly fine with killing shell children, and tried to have her niece killed in a horrific fire.
- Yandere: For Evret. She took his acts of kindness towards her as declarations of love, and did not give him the chance to say otherwise.
Channary's daughter; Levana's niece. Presumed dead. Actually alive and well—or as well as you in her situation.
Torin: Kai, the entire bloodline, every last one of them has been greedy, violent, corrupted by their own power. Believe me when I say that Princess Selene, even if she were alive, would be no better.
- Rightful King Returns: Kai is planning to invoke this trope if he ever finds Selene in order to dethrone Levana. Though he doesn't realize it, he has found her, and he's fallen in love with her. Selene is Cinder.
- Villainous Lineage: Invoked by Torin, Kai's advisor; he believes it would be true about Selene even if she were still alive. Her mother was just as much of a monster as Levana is, and while Kai is hopeful that Selene's time on Earth might have endeared her to humans, Torin sees no reason as to why she would be any different from her family.
Mistress Sybil Mira
Head thaumaturge to the Lunar Crown; Cress' stepmother
- Driven to Suicide: After being put through a brutal Mind Rape at Cinder's hands, she leaps off the roof of the Commonwealth palace to her death. Good riddance.
- False Innocence Trick: At one point glamours herself as Cress to manipulate Thorne.
- Fostering for Profit: She forces Cress to create spyware for her mistress, Queen Levana. It's uncertain if Levana even knows about Cress's existence or if Sybil is taking all the credit herself.
- Just a Machine: Like Levana, she's quite vocal about her disdain for androids.
- Lack of Empathy: Her reaction to Emperor Rikan's death is to offer insincere condolences and then insult his foreign policies.
- Villainous Friendship: Implied to be the case with Levana in the later chapters of Fairest. Possibly a subversion though, as Levana brushes off her death without much care.
- Walk Like an Egyptian: Indulges in Egyptian symbolism.
A second-tier thaumaturge serving Levana, later becoming the Head Thaumaturge after Sybil's death
- Bullying a Dragon: Constantly acts in a creepy manner towards Winter and later tries to kill her. He didn't expect that she would eventually fight back.
- Pædo Hunt: Implied. Winter recalls him as a highly unsettling figure, and it's clear that he's long made her uncomfortable. Later, he makes a comment about having waited a very long time to consummate a relationship with her; she's only seventeen. Either way, his sexual appetite (which tends to focus on "broken" girls) is enough to earn derision from even Levana.
- Smug Snake: He's quite prideful and used to getting what he wants.
A genetically-engineered Lunar Special Operative. Despite being first introduced as 'Wolf' in the story mimicking Little Red Riding Hood, he actually plays the part of the Huntsman.
- Becoming the Mask: His task was to gain Scarlet's trust, coax information out her, and then deliver her to a Lunar thaumaturge to be tortured. He fell in love with her instead. It definitely helped that he spent a good deal of time outside of Jael's influence, giving him the opportunity — for the first time in his life — to gain true control over himself and act the way he chose.
- The Big Bad Wolf: He's implied to be one, considering his name and abilities, but in fact it is his little brother who truly holds the title.
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves Scarlet from being slaughtered by Ran. Of course, then he nearly kills her himself afterward in a fit of Lunar-induced violence, but still. It's unclear if he would have gone through with it if Cinder hadn't intervened.
- Bilingual Bonus: Ze'ev is the Hebrew for "wolf".
- Child Soldier: He was raised to be a killer from the age of twelve.
- Cradle of Loneliness: Cress catches him in one of these with Scarlet's pillow after she gets captured.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: For a good three-quarters of the book.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Genetically enhanced weapons with wolf-like characteristics. For bonus points, they do get their modifications from the moon, although literally 'on the moon when modified'.
- The Power of Love: This is the reason that Wolf is able to resist his programming and both come back to protect Scarlet and keep himself from killing her.
- Intrinsic Vow: Overlaps with this; because he loves her, his wolf side considers her his mate, and the instinct to protect her was enough to override his More Than Mind Control instinct to kill. Even after he's re-conditioned and further altered by the Lunars during Winter, he goes right back to protecting Scarlet as soon as he's reunited with her.
- Reluctant Monster: Even before meeting Scarlet, Wolf didn't like being the monster that he was. He exerted himself to excel as a Lunar Special Operative largely to make sure his masters would have no reason to further alter him.
- Tyke Bomb: As mentioned above, Ze'ev was raised from childhood to be a killing machine.
- Walking Spoiler
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: He has a moment like this, viciously and hatefully demanding of Scarlet what she's done to him. He abandoned his duty and came back to protect her, and he does not want to kill her, something that goes against all of his training, instincts, and the mental control Jael has over him.
Michelle Benoit's late lover and Scarlet's grandfather.
- Amazon Chaser: His lover was an Ace Pilot in the European Federation military, so he was almost definitely one.
- Interspecies Romance: He is a Lunar and he had a relationship with the human Michelle.
- Posthumous Character: Died before the events of Scarlet.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's never seen alive or on-page, but he was the one who brought Princess Selene to Earth where she was rebuilt as a cyborg and renamed Cinder.
- Token Good Teammate: At the very least, he was willing to defy Queen Levana by saving the life of Princess Selene.
A Lunar palace guard.
- All Work vs. All Play: His seriousness, dedication to his duties, and protectiveness towards Winter sometimes clash with her more fun-loving nature.
- Anti-Hero: He's willing to work with Cinder, but only because he hates Levana more.
- Bodyguard Crush: Levana appoints him as Winter's personal bodyguard in Winter, and he's been in love with her for years. She feels the same way.
- Childhood Friend Romance: He and Winter have been friends since they were children and they eventually start a romantic relationship.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He betrays both sides at least once. Out of love and loyalty to Winter, but still.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He's one of Sybil's guards in Cinder.
- Exact Words: Cinder's lie detector doesn't go off when he tells her his loyalty is solely to "my princess." Unfortunately for Cinder, he's not referring to Selene, and he's entirely willing to double-cross her the moment he thinks doing so will help him get back to Winter.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: He first appears as one of Sybil's guards, and is later shown to know about Cress' situation, though did nothing about it. Then he joins Cinder, but later turns on them to help Sybil out. Later, he betrays Queen Levana and helps the heroes again. This is mainly because he's loyal to whichever side is currently the best for keeping Winter safe.
- HeelFace Turn: Acting on Levana's orders in Cinder, later joins Cinder's rebel band in Cress.
- Heroic Neutral: He is motivated primarily by his loyalty to Princess Winter and his own self-interest, and will side with whomever he feels can best aid him in his goals.
- Hidden Depths: This snarky and distant guard actually has dreams of becoming a doctor.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's aloof and cynical, with Winter seemingly being the only person he really cares about. However, he establishes a type of friendship with the rest of the heroes and proves to be their ally.
- Morality Pet: His true loyalty isn't to Levana or Selene, but to Princess Winter. She even gets upset when she learns that he might be dead.
- Perpetual Frowner: He almost never smiles.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: To Cinder and crew in Cress. He later makes up for it in Winter.
- The Stoic: His face is perpetually a mask of coolness, and he almost never expresses emotion. The main exception is around Princess Winter.
- Token Evil Teammate: In Cress. Sure, he's on Cinder's side now, but that doesn't mean he has to be polite about it.
a futuristic version of the Big Bad Wolf; Zeev/Wolfs younger brother
- Cain and Abel: A case in which the younger brother is the clear villain. He challenges Wolf to a direct fight for his position in Scarlet, with the implication hes done so before. Then he deliberately goes back in order to kill Scarlet, for no reason other than to spite his brother. He also tries very hard to kill Wolf, but is much weaker and fails repeatedly
- The Big Bad Wolf Talks to Scarlet on the train, who sees no harm in saying that she is going to visit her grandmother. Disguises himself as her grandmother using Lunar glamours in order to lure her into a false sense of security. Violently attacks Scarlet in the climax, nearly killing her, and successfully kills her grandmother. Hes pretty clearly one of the main villains in Scarlet, and ticks off more boxes than people like Jael and Levana as the antagonist from Little Red Riding Hood.
- The Evil Prince: Moreso a case of Klingon Promotion then being an heir by blood, but ultimately Ran is trying to kill his brother in order to take his place as Alpha.
An android belonging to the Linh family.
- Cute Machines: While Iko isn't exactly described, her personality is adorable.
- Deceptively Human Robots: Differentiated from the similar trope below when she finally gets an escort body - those are specifically designed to be nearly impossible to tell from humans. Even the royal wedding planners take advantage of this, using a number of escorts as the wedding staff because they can't be glamoured. This makes it that much easier for Iko to sneak in.
- Genki Girl: She's extremely excitable and energetic.
- Girly Bruiser: She acts like the stereotypical teenage girl for the most part, but you do NOT want to be on the opposing side when she's in fighter mode. Slightly downplayed since she doesn't actually have a fighter mode; she wasn't programmed with fighting instincts. On the other hand, she can do some pretty serious damage when provoked.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: Apparently androids' personality chips are designed to do this - the longer an android has been around, the more complex their personality gets. Given enough time and interaction, it's not uncommon for robots to simulate emotions. Iko is a weird example, since she actually came that way, thinking and feeling to the point where she frequently forgets she's not human.
- Hero of Another Story: Becomes the protagonist of the graphic novel series that takes place after the novels.
- Just a Machine: She's treated this way by the Linh family, with the exception of Cinder and Peony, who treat her like a person and consider her a friend.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Due to a "fault" in her programming, Iko acts like a slightly flighty young woman who has a fondness for makeup, boys, and pretty clothes. She herself says that sometimes she forgets she's not human. She dreams of being installed in an escort model.
- Sapient Ship: In Scarlet, Cinder installs her personality chip into the Rampion. Iko's not happy about it, but eventually resigns herself to it until they can find her a proper body. She turns out to be extremely useful in her capacity as a spaceship, however. She even figures out how to show emotion without having a face of any kind - raising the temperature for a blush, blowing a gust of air out the oxygen vents for a sigh, and so on.
- Statuesque Stunner: When she's finally given an escort-droid's body in Cress, the very word "statuesque" is used to describe her.
An android belonging to Prince Kai.
- Artificial Intelligence: Obviously, but notable because Cinder notes that after being "alive" for around twenty years, Nainsi's personality has likely evolved into something quite complex.
- Personality Chip: As mentioned above, after twenty years, Nainsi has become much closer to a human being in terms of personality than an android. Which, like Iko, makes her a...
- Ridiculously Human Robots: She expresses emotion, and when she learns of the Emperor's death, she tells Kai that her "heart is broken" over the news.
- Spy Bot: A very understated version. She was tasked by Kai into hunting down information on the missing Princess Selene. Unfortunately, due to her programming being tampered with, she was unwittingly transmitting that information to another party — namely Levana, by way of a reluctant Cress.