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Characters / Noughts & Crosses

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This is the list of characters from the Malorie Blackman series, Noughts and Crosses.Due to having Loads and Loads of Characters the character list has been split into subpages by Cast Herd. Spoilers for book 1 are unmarked.

     Persephone "Sephy" Hadley 

Persephone "Sephy" Hadley

One of the main protagonists from all three of the original trilogy. A Cross from an extremely wealthy and influential family, starting out as a Wide-Eyed Idealist and becoming more cynical as the series goes on. She spends much of the series wishing she could go back in time and change

  • Abusive Parents: Sephy's father, Kamal is hardly ever at home and later disowns her calling her "a Blanker's slut". Sephy's mother, Jasmine, loves Sephy but is emotionally distance because of her mental health issues. Sephy grows up dealing with similar issues her mother had.
  • The Alcoholic: Briefly when she was coping with her Mother's mental illness and father's absence.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sephy and Minerva have a few of these moments. Minerva was the only person in her family to support her major life decisions such as going to boarding school and continuing with her pregnancy.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: She calls out her father for his racism after she get pregnant.
  • Beware of the Nice Ones: Sephy may be a self confessed pacifist but she can verbally attack you, and attack you hard.
  • Damsel in Distress: Several times, especially when Callum helps the Liberation Militia to kidnap her.
  • Defector from Decadence: She wants nothing to do with her extremely privileged family, especially after she gets pregnant. Although she ultimately disowns her father, she reconnects with her mother and sister.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: She is the "foolish" to Minerva's "responsible", although Minerva is also haughty and snobbish, while Sephy is genuinely kind if impulsive.
  • Forbidden Friendship: With Callum that gets upgraded to Star-Crossed Lovers.
  • Good Versus Good: With Sephy when it came to dealing with her mental health issues and raising Callie Rose
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With her Aloof Big Sister, Minerva. Sephy often calls her Minnie to annoy her.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Sephy is never completely over Callum's death but she tries dating Sonny and later Nathan finding herself in a love triangle. She marries Nathan and they have a son.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: After she provides Jude with an alibi she is hated by both Noughts and Crosses. The Noughts for not coming to his aid sooner, and the Crosses for coming to his aid in the first place.
  • I Am Not My Father: She takes this attitude towards Kamal once she realizes the depths of his corruption and bigotry.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: She uses her father's status to fight racism her band faced.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She wants to life in a normal sized house and not have to deal with her mother's mental illnesses.
  • Jacob and Esau: Sephy takes after Jasmine in personality while Minerva takes after Kamal. It seems like Jasmine prefers Sephy and Minerva is the only family member not disowned by Kamal.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Specifically in later books where she has grown a hard shell and distances herself from Callie Rose.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Sephy is like her mother a lot more than they both seem to realise:
    • They are both Wide Eyed Idealists.
    • They both have a had some sort of alcoholic issue at some point.
    • They both become neglectful parents due to a mental illness, before reconnecting with their daughter.
    • They both have a Forbidden Friendship with a member of the McGregor family that becomes distant, they later reconnect until one dies to save their decedent.
    • They both loved Kamal at some point before realising his true colours.
  • Mama Bear: In the novella An Eye For An Eye, Jude first gets the idea to get revenge on Sephy by threatening her unborn daughter. Sephy's first instinct is to threaten to kill him if he hurts her child. She dials this down outwardly, but the books make it clear that her protective feelings towards Callie Rose never leave her.
  • Nice Girl: One of the nicest characters in the series who wants to make the world a better place for everyone.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the first book when people protested against Noughts joining her school she called the protesters "Blankers". She had good intentions when she did it, but providing Jude with an alibi for Carla's murder was a big mistake for everyone.
  • N-Word Privileges: Calling racist protesters "Blankers" almost ended her friendship with Callum.
  • Save the Villain: She provides Jude with a false alibi for Cara's murder to spare Meggie the loss of her only living child.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sephy and Minerva are totally different people. Sephy is for the most part a Nice Girl who means well. Minvera is a snobbish Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Callum due to racial and class tensions.
  • Soapbox Sadie: She becomes a Noughts Right Activist.
  • Spoiled Sweet: In the first book only, Sephy is a kind but totally naive idealist who tries to move away from her family's privilege but she still behaves naively.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Goes from a Wide-Eyed Idealist to having a more realistic view of the world. Especially when it comes to Nought Rights. She also becomes more emotionally distant with people.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sephy is so idealistic and naive in the first book that it's almost unavoidable. She later becomes embittered and cruel, and distant to Callie Rose, although not without good reason.
  • Uptown Girl: Sephy, the daughter of a wealthy politician to Callum whose mother used to work for her parents. It's just one of the many obstacles they face.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When she called people protesting in favour of disallowing Noughts at her school "Blankers" Even though she was actually defending the Nought kids, she used a racial slur used against Noughts to describe the behaviour of the Cross students.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Especially in the first book, but she never fully loses it altogether. She was so idealistic she thought her classmates for an all Cross private school would love Callum as much as she did.

    Jude McGregor  

Jude McGregor

"Jude’s life was entwined with his one and only love – the Liberation Militia. No one else could even compete" - Meggie describing Jude

Jude is Callum's older brother and the main antagonist of the series. While a teenager he joined the Liberation Militia, a terrorist organization that fights for equality between Noughts and Crosses, or so it claims. While starting life as a Big Brother Bully but a good person deep down, the suffering of his family turn him into a bitter person full of hate who seeks revenge on all Crosses.


  • Alas, Poor Villain: After everything he went through, it's not hard to feel sorry for him, particularly as racism made him evil and Meggie loses her last child.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Meggie sees Jude this way once she realises that Jude has fallen too far into hate to ever come back.
  • Anti-Villain: Considering everything him and his family went through, it's not hard to sympathise with him.
  • Berserk Button: Anything to do with Crosses and later Cara
  • Becoming the Mask:He originally planned to use Cara for money but found himself having genuine feelings for her. He tried to brush them off but this led to him beating her to death.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Jude released this when he was on the run from the police. He wasn't available to see his mum whenever he wanted, was broke and had to use aliases.
  • Big Bad: He becomes the General of the Liberation Militia
  • Big Brother Bully: Bullied both his siblings before he joined the L.M, Callum for his best friend being a Cross and Lynny for being mentally ill, although this is more a case of Annoying Younger Sibling as he is younger than her.
  • Bigot with a Crush: He finds himself falling in love with Cara, a Cross.
  • Cain and Abel: Played with when it comes to Callum; Jude is the Cain to Callum's Abel. Although instead of wanting to kill Callum, he wants to kill his niece and the love of his life. Callum says that although Jude is his brother he "trusts him far less than an elephant can jump".
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: When he broke in to Sephy's apartment to kill her and her unborn child, he decides that a better way to get revenge on her would be through her child.
  • Character Development: Inverted; he goes from a sweet kid who just wanted to pursue an education to the General of the L.M who seeks revenge on all Crosses.
  • Colour Me Black: He rightly believes that every bad that happened to his family is caused by racism which is why he seeks revenge on all Crosses.
  • The Commandments: Jude has rules that he tries to live his life by. He calls them "Jude's law".
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see Jude he teases Callum about having a "Dagger" friend.
    "Jude, my seventeen-year old brother, grinned knowingly at me. He's a really irritating toad. I looked away from him as well. 'He was with his Dagger friend.' Jude smirked"
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Jude joined the L.M for good reasons such as to fight for racial equality, but over time become more vengeful and prejudice against Crosses.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: His parents loved him a lot.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones – He loves his parents very much and wishes he could see his mother more often. However once his mother (rightly) betrayed him he concludes that he can only depend on himself.
    Jude: But I'm still here, Mum. I still think about you – in spite of Jude's fourth law: Caring equals vulnerability. Never show either. But you're all I have left in the world, Mum. And that means something to me.
    • He is aware that he loved Cara, but has a lot of trouble accepting it. At one point after her death, he recounts dreaming about crying over her and forcing himself to laugh because he doesn't want to care about her.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Callum and Callie Rose. All three of them join the Liberation Militia, have violent tendencies and face discrimination in education. The main different between Callum and Callie Rose and Jude is that Callum and Callie Rose fall in love and allow themselves to be loved. Although Jude had the opportunity to choose love over hate, he chose hate.
  • Evil Mentor: To Callie Rose, whom he manipulates into becoming a suicide bomber.
  • Evil Uncle: To Callie Rose.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Jude McGregor and Kamal Hardly are nemeses.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Jude can appear charming (especially to Callie Rose and Cara), but below the surface, he's always just planning to use them.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: A downplayed example. Jude was the foolish sibling to Callum's responsible sibling in their teenage years. While Callum attended a private Cross school, Jude was in the L.M. Justified as Jude wasn't allowed to attend further education and forced to quit school at 14. Also, it gets reversed with Jude becoming the "responsible" to Callum's "foolish" after Callum makes the romantic, and well-intentioned, mistake of having sex with Sephy while they have kidnapped her.
  • Freudian Excuse: Exaggerated; First, Jude's sister suffers a mental breakdown after being attacked, living in a fantasy where she's a Cross, then commits suicide once she's forced to face reality. Then his father either commits suicide or dies trying to escape prison. Finally, his brother is hanged for a crime he didn't commit.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Most of his enemies know what he's been through but don't believe that excuses his crimes.
  • Gold Digger: Subverted; Jude originally planned to use Cara for money but find himself having genuine feelings for her. He tried to brush them off, but eventually snaps and beats her to death.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Jude becomes like the Crosses he was fighting against.
  • Hypocrite: The laws he makes for himself are usually broken at some point. Expectations are made for his mother and Cara.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: He is sincere in his urgency to get revenge for Callum's death, but he was actually always a spiteful bully towards him and doesn't acknowledge that Callum would actually want him to protect Sephy and Callie Rose.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Is killed by the suicide bomb he spent years grooming Callie Rose to make
  • Karmic Death: See Hoist by His Own Petard - he was killed by his own bomb.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: A not so heartwarming example. Despite being a Big Brother Bully, his primary goal in life is to get revenge on all Crosses because of what happened to his father and siblings. Jude once described his relationship with Callum as hating him and loving him at the same time.
  • The Killer Becomes the Killed: He is killed by Jasmine by his suicide bomb.
  • Knight Templar: He seems to believe that his actions are justified.
  • Malcolm Xerox: He likes to think of himself as this, but in reality he doesn't care about Noughts' rights. Only his revenge.
  • Misery Builds Character: He believes the suffering he and his family endured during childhood makes him a better, stronger person, when all it did was make him angry and destroy his family.
  • Misplaced Retribution: He blames Sephy for Callum's death, a tragedy forced on them by Jamal.
  • Monster Brother, Cutie Sister: The monster brother to Lynny's cute sister.
  • Parent-Child Team: Is this when join the L.M with his father.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He hates all Crosses and refers to them with the slur Daggers. So much so that falling in love with a Cross drives him further into insanity.
  • Siblings in Crime: Jude and Callum become this when Callum joins the L.M. However according to Callum, they hardly saw each other.
  • Society Is to Blame: It is clear that Jude would have never had the chance to become the monster he does were it not for the racist society he lives in.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jude started out as this, even believing that there would be a warning to get the innocent people out of the Dundale Shopping Centre Bombing, but later became a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist, seeking revenge on all Crosses.
  • Villain Protagonist: Knife and Checkmate forces on him as much as the heroes. He's the narrator of a lot of chapters.
  • Villains Out Shopping: We see Jude do some pretty normal things like have lunch with his mother and going to a bar.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He murdered Cara by beating her to death.
  • Would Harm A Child: He grooms Callie Rose to becoming a suicide bomber.
  • The Un-Favourite: Both Jude and Callum claim that they are Meggie's least favourite child and Lynny is her favourite. Meggie has neither confirmed nor denied that.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Jude starts live as a boy who just wanted to go to school but couldn't. This and Lynny's death led him to become a Well-Intentioned Extremist but later he become so hateful, almost all of sweet Jude is gone.

    Meggie McGregor 

Jude, Callum, and Lynette's mother who once worked for the Hadleys. Later becomes the grandmother of Callie Rose.

  • Adult Fear: Aside from outliving all her children. She looses a friendship that clearly meant a lot to her and both her sons to the L.M.
  • Forbidden Friendship: With Jasmine due to race and class
  • Good Versus Good: With Sephy when it came to dealing with her mental health issues and raising Callie Rose
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Zigzagged with Jasmine. The two women were inseparable until Jasmine fires her believing that she purposely didn't provide an alibi for her affair. However, when Sephy suffers for postpartum depression, Meggie believes Jasmine is the only person she could turn to for support and they pick up their friendship were they left off. Later Meggie is the only person Jasmine allows to stop her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: She is a very nice woman who works as a housekeeper/nanny for Jasmine and the Hadleys, and retains her kindness even when she gets unfairly fired.
  • Like A Daughter To Me she sees Sephy as her daughter and admits she loves her as much as Lynny.
  • Mama Bear: She was this with her children, but it's taken Up to Eleven with her granddaughter Callie Rose that it eventually destroys her friendship with Sephy.
  • Never Mess with Granny: While she loved Jude deeply, he found out that messing with Callie Rose was not a good idea.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: All three of Maggie McGregor's children die before her: Lynette by suicide, Callum by execution, and Jude by assassination in a murder-suicide attack.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Although an actually positive version, all of Meggie's sons end up as members of the L.M., while she does little in the way of terrorist attacks.

    Kamal Hadley 
Kamal: God spare us from Liberals and Blankers.

Minerva and Sephy's father, and Jasmine's husband. A Corrupt, racist politician and the Greater-Scope Villain of the series.

    Callum McGregor 

Meggie's youngest son and Jude's younger brother.

  • The Ace: A maths geek who loves intellectual conversations. But also appears to have brawns rising to the Second-in-Command of his cell in the L.M in just a few years.
  • Anti-Hero: Word of God says that she fell in love with Callum's personality, but he makes some stupid decisions.
  • Author Avatar: Word of God says Callum's personality is like her own.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Callum was by far the most intelligent (and kindest) of the McGregors but he dropped out of school, and then got involved with the L.M..
  • In Love with the Mark: Although he was already in love with her, he tries to pretend that he's only faking it when he gets her kidnapped.
  • Nought And Nerdy: A Nought and maths is his favourite subject.
  • Sadistic Choice: Kamal gives him the choice of his life or his unborn child.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sure, most of it comes from his sweetness, but goddamn Callum makes some terrible mistakes.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The scene where he is hanged is rich in this.

    Callie Rose Hadley 

Callum and Sephy's daughter, a rare mixed-race child. She was meant to take Callum's surname, but legally couldn't.

  • Break the Cutie: Starting with her discovering the truth about Callum's death at age thirteen.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Eventually gains this with Tobey.
  • Child of Two Worlds: One of very few mixed-race kids. This is noted at the start of each chapter, where there is a cross layered over a nought to show that she is both.
  • Child Soldiers: Sort of the case when she joins the Liberation Milita, although she only officially joins at age fourteen.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Partly what Checkmate is for her.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Believes that what she is doing is the same as what Callum did when he was alive.
  • Hates Their Parent: With both parents, Callum for what she thinks he did when he was alive, and Sephy for not telling her the truth and believing Sephy only had her to spite her family.
  • In-Series Nickname: Rarely called by her full first name. Sephy and her friends called her "Rose" primarily. During her preteen years, she asked to be called by both of her names. After finding out the truth about her father's death, she rejected the name and stated that she was "just Callie".
  • Near-Death Experience: She doesn't remember, but when she was a baby, she nearly died from suffocation. She believes that Sephy purposely tried to hurt her until she explains that she was holding her too tight.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Believes that Sephy would have rather she died and Callum lived. She doesn't know that Sephy was given the choice to either have an abortion or let Callum be executed, and she chose to keep her unborn child.


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