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A list of major and supporting characters from the 2015 version of Poldark. There will be spoilers, so it is advised that the first series is watched in full before reading the below.


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Poldarks by birth

     Ross Poldark 

Captain Ross Poldark, Esq.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3e4a6921a61f28c24d9c150c56e24527.png

Portrayed by: Aidan Turner


  • Arch-Enemy: George Warleggan. They are absolutely pitched against each other, and Ross is the person that has the ability to make George feel inferior more than anyone else. He strives to get the respect he feels he deserves, but Ross is the person who cares least about that, and is least afraid to put him in his place.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Exhibits this to his younger cousin Verity, and the pair are very close. He tries to look out for his other cousin Francis, but he generally is too proud to accept his help.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Season 4 premiere, when Drake and Sam Carne are sentenced to hang along with Jago Martin, he convinces Sir Francis Bassett to remove the Carne brothers from the scaffold at the last minute through a speech to Bassett.
  • Blue Blood: Ross is from the "landed gentry", a largely historical, privileged British social class, consisting of land owners who, whilst not titled, could live entirely off rental income.
  • Byronic Hero: A classic example, he's physically attractive with a magnetic personality, is prone to bouts of melancholy and world-weariness, he is very rebellious, having a distaste for social institutions and norms, and is disrespectful of rank and privilege, despite his own privileged status.
  • The Chains of Commanding: He takes his position of authority within the community very seriously, and feels directly responsible for the livelihood of all those who live within his employ, especially the miners at Wheal Leisure.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Ross's love of cards is established in the first episode, and mentioned in the fourth in a build up to his gambit in episode 5, where he outs Matthew Warleggan as a Card Sharp.
  • Did Not Get the Girl / Love Hurts: When he returns to England in episode 1, he finds that his sweetheart Elizabeth is engaged to his cousin Francis, which causes him a great deal of anguish and confusion.
  • Everyone Can See It: The popular rumours about Ross and Demelza, which may be exaggerated, but were inspired by their obvious attraction to each other.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Ross is a war veteran with mining and farming experience.
  • A Father to His Men: He takes great care of his close friends and employees, especially Jim Carter (even going so far as to bust him out of Bodmin prison), despite the class chasm between them.
  • The Hero
  • Hunk: Aidan Turner's dashing good looks and rippling torso are undoubtedly part of the reason for the series's unprecedented popularity.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Despite his status within the community, and very old family name, he occasionally hovers dangerously near the bread-line himself.
  • Interclass Romance: Between him, a member of the landed gentry (albeit impoverished) and Demelza, an illiterate peasant girl who starts out as his kitchen maid.
  • Internalized Categorism: On more than one occasion, he voices contempt for his own class.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Oh yes — he's been dubbed this generation's "Mr Darcy" by the popular press. Very much helped by his fondness for getting shirtless.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Very much so — most of those he classes as his best friends are actually in his employ at Wheal Leisure, and his sense of pastoral responsibility for their welfare is very apparent.
  • Non-Idle Rich: He actually works in the fields and mines himself. Although initially he's been impoverished, he still keeps working alongside his men after earning enough money not to need to.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: He's a British Army officer, and returns to his home in Cornwall from the American Revolutionary War as the series begins.
  • Pragmatic Hero: He shows shades of this in the second series, and his defense at his arraignment over an alleged connection to a smuggling ring near the end thereof isn't even the worst thing he does in that regard.*
  • Rescue Romance: Ross rescues Demelza when she is attacked at the market, kicking off their romance arc.
  • Rugged Scar: Received one from his time in the Americas, battling the revolutionaries.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: A man of contradictions, Ross has a strong sense of social justice but a contempt for authority.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Ross is offered money to start a new life by his uncle, but turns the offer down out of duty.
  • Shirtless Scene: He's very fond of these, which kicked off with his now famous "threshing scene".
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: When he arrives back in Cornwall, everything has changed for him: his father has died, his land is barren, the local tin mines are going through a hard time and laying off workers, leaving the region on its knees, and he's lost Elizabeth, his childhood sweetheart who he expected to marry on his return.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome
  • Vigilante Man: Regularly takes the law into his own hands, whether that's busting Jim Carter out of jail, or pilfering goods from wrecked Warleggan brigantines.
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     Charles Poldark 

Charles Poldark, Esq.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/17c7c07f5cd5f0100555bf6cb8d532a3.png

Portrayed by: Warren Clarke


  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The head of it, in fact.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: The christening of Geoffrey Charles coincides with his first heart attack. Lampshaded by Agatha, who points out the poignancy of a man's health declining in tandem with the birth of a grandchild of the same name, claiming: "t'is a sign!".
  • Blue Blood: Charles is the elder statesman of the venerable Poldark family.
  • Character Death: Charles dies from heart complications mid-way through the first series. In a tragic twist of fate, his actor Warren Clarke died very shortly after filming the show, his final role.
  • Old Windbag
  • Parental Substitute: He's Ross's uncle, and in the absence of his late brother, he treats his nephew as something of a surrogate son — even showing him a little Parental Favoritism over his own son, Francis.
  • The Patriarch: Of the Poldark clan.

     Francis Poldark 

Francis Poldark, Esq.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ff6df35d614f7fda5592710cd147eb19.png

Portrayed by: Kyle Soller


  • Always Someone Better: He is not as capable as his father or his cousin Ross and his struggles become instantly apparent. Francis has one of the starkest journeys of all the characters in this series and has huge self-confidence issues, constantly living in the shadow of his cousin Ross.
  • Awful Wedded Life: When Ross was presumed dead, Francis stepped in and became engaged to Elizabeth. However, the marriage is a disaster, and neither party are happy — mostly due to Ross and Elizabeth's lingering feelings, and his subsequent jealousy.
  • Big Brother Bully: To Verity. He justifies most of his actions as being done in protection of her honour, but mostly he's just overly controlling and enjoys having her around to wait on the family hand and foot. However, he becomes notably kinder in Season 2 and they do reconcile.
  • Blue Blood: Born into wealth, Francis stands to inherit the greater Poldark Trenwith estate from his father, Charles.
  • Butt-Monkey: Of the Poldark family.
  • The Corruptible: George Warleggan expertly takes advantage of Francis's jealousy of Ross when he manages to extract the full list of Wheal Leisure shareholders from him. At the time, Francis was particularly vulnerable to his influence, and was enraged with Ross because he suspected him of acting as his sister Verity's go-between for her forbidden love affair with Captain Blamey.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: A huge problem for him is the fact that he feels constantly over-shadowed by Ross.
  • Get Out!: After Demelza comes clean and reveals that it was she who had been acting as Verity's go-between for her secret love affair with with Captain Blamey, Francis explodes with rage and tells her to get out of Trenwith and never return. However, all is resolved by the finale (see below)
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Any time Ross comes within yards of Elizabeth.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He's great friends with the manipulative George Warleggan, Ross's sworn enemy and the series designated villain. Francis appears to really have no clue about George's wicked side.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Becomes one, having gambled away Grambler (his mine, and source of income) in a rigged game of cards with George Warleggan's cousin.
  • Love Hurts: He does love Elizabeth in his way, but his jealousy destroys their relationship.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Kyle Soller is American, and his accent does slip through occasionally, but not disastrously.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Just after reconciling with his brother, Francis dies in a mining accident.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Despite his dramatic fall-out with both Ross and Demelza, after the "putrid throat" strikes the community, Demelza steps in to nurse the Trenwith household and saves the life of Geoffrey Charles, but loses her own child Julia after having been in close proximity to the disease. Francis and Elizabeth are both horrified at Ross and Demelza's loss, and unbelievably grateful thereafter.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: When he finds out that Verity has been seeing Captain Blamey (an apparent wife-beater) behind the family's back, he challenges the captain to a duel with pistols — and ends up nearly dying when he is shot in the neck.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In George Warleggan's schemes to bring down Ross.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He struggles with having an over-bearing father who he feels he can never please. The fact that Charles lavishes more praise on Ross than Francis really doesn't help.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Regularly sleeps with the local prostitute.

     Verity Poldark 

Mrs Verity Blamey (née Poldark)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b25aa9ed1dd39ac41f8952c7c9f046e7.png

Portrayed by: Ruby Bentall


  • Big Brother Worship: She's very close to her cousin Ross, and takes an active interest in his well-being — not so much to her actual brother, though.
  • Blue Blood
  • Christmas Cake: She says it herself — a woman of over 25 was considered past it in the late 1700's.
  • The Confidant: Verity acts as Ross's confidant on various matters, and keeps his continued love for Elizabeth a secret.
  • Extreme Doormat: Having not managed to land herself a husband, Verity still lives at home at the age of 26 (unusual for the period), and is gradually slipping into the role of family caretaker.
  • Forbidden Friendship: With Captain Blamey. After a rocky start, and massive disapproval from her own family, the two eventually tie the knot at the end of the series.
  • Love Hurts: Her paramour, Captain Blamey is slandered within the local community as being a wife-beater, and Verity is greatly torn between following her heart (she doesn't believe the rumours one bit) and loyalty to her family's wishes.
  • Nice Girl: Very sweet and kind.
  • Old Maid: At 26, she's resigned to the fact that marriage is now unlikely.
  • Parent with New Paramour: She is very worried that her husband's adult children will not like her or want her as their stepmother. Blamey's daughter (Esther) is cold to Verity, but his son (James) is warm and accepting.
  • Plain Jane: Poor old Verity.
  • The Unfavorite: She gets treated quite poorly by her family who don't seem to recognise what a great person she is and take advantage of her kindness.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Her and Captain Blamey — They Do, despite her family's massive disapproval.

     Agatha Poldark 

Miss Agatha Poldark

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/109de33c4b8a1dbf6c08de1c65b75298.png

Portrayed by: Caroline Blakiston


  • Berserk Button: Don't deny her her 100th birthday party, or she will tell you an unpleasant truth about your supposed offspring you do not want to hear.
  • Blue Blood
  • Heroic RRoD: How she's finally done in. Worked up over the denial of her 100th birthday party by George, she reacts by telling him the bitter truth about his newborn son: that he was born of Ross. Then she expires.
  • Made of Iron: When the "putrid throat" (Cynanche Maligna) strikes the local area, and incapacitates the entire Trenwith household, she is the only person to remain miraculously unaffected, despite being 93 years old.
  • Maiden Aunt: She's Charles's ancient aunt, and due to being an unmarried spinster, she still lives with the family at Trenwith.
  • Old Maid: Aunt Agatha is the trope codifier for this (let's see... old, check; skinny, check; favorite pass-time is spinning, check; uses Tarot Cards, check). Verity is worried that she might become this too, as she is 26 years old, plain, and unmarried.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: She's pretty bonkers, and is prone to mild outbursts of advice or chastisement in equal measure.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Very bossy, especially to poor old Verity.

     Geoffrey Charles Poldark 

Geoffrey Charles Poldark

Portrayed by: Harry Marcus


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Carnes by birth

     Demelza Carne 

Mrs Demelza Poldark (née Carne)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d84c3057b6e2c4c6c22e4c5a70bc9493.png

Portrayed by: Eleanor Tomlinson


  • Abusive Parents: She runs away from her physically abusive father in the first episode.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books Demelza is a brown-eyed brunette, but here she is a blue-eyed redhead. It might be a case of Original Cast Precedent as the 1975 version's Demelza (Angharad Rees) also played her as a redhead.
  • Age Lift: Demelza is 13 at the start of the first book, and she seems to be closer to 17 in the show, which is good as she has sex with Ross in episode 3.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Demelza is very kind, and very loving, and very loyal, but that doesn't stop her backhanding Ross so hard she actually knocks him down the morning after he's spent the night with Elizabeth.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Demelza's singing skill is shown off at least once in each episode in the buildup to her performance to the Poldark family at Christmas dinner.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: In the first episode, her father is depicted as an abusive drunk who organises a posse of thugs to march on Nampara and drag Demelza home after she runs away. After some time, when rumours circulate as to the nature of Ross and Demelza's relationship, her father, now a sober but crazed religious zealot, once again comes to Nampara and denounces their relationship as ungodly.
  • Death Glare: Has a fairly epic one. When she's angry enough, she looks like she wants to set someone on fire through sheer force of will.
  • Fiery Redhead: Due to her rough upbringing, she knows how to look after herself — as seen when she rugby tackles Jud across the Nampara courtyard for stealing a pie she has baked for Ross.
  • Fish out of Water: Amongst the local upper-classes, once she's married to Ross. Luckily for her, Verity is on hand to guide her through the maze of societal decorum.
  • Green-Eyed Redhead: Possesses flame-red hair and eyes of an unusual aqua-marine green.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: She starts out as Ross's live-in servant, at least at first...
  • Insecure Love Interest: Due to his past infatuation, she's often worried that Ross will cast her aside for Elizabeth. If she hadn't been unconscious at the time, Ross sharply telling Elizabeth "You can pray to God I do not lose the love of my life!" should have put paid to that.
  • Interclass Romance: Between her, an illiterate peasant girl, and Ross Poldark, a member of the landed gentry.
  • Naming Conventions: Right at the southern tip of the British mainland, Cornwall has for centuries had its own distinct heritage and culture, language and names — Demelza is typically Cornish. Female names from the region are characterised by the (comparatively unusual) use of the letter "z" — Demelza, Tamzin, Kerenza etc.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her attempts to act as a go-between and note-passer for Verity and her forbidden love Captain Blamey end in disaster when Francis finds out and presumes that it was Ross. In revenge, Francis drunkenly betrays Wheal Leisure's list of shareholders to George Warleggan — something which has a huge impact on the entire local community.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Demelza helps out Francis and his family when they're stricken by the "putrid throat" epidemic, despite his rudeness to her in the previous episode, thus exposing herself to the virus and passing it on to her baby daughter, who tragically dies in the series finale.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: It's apparent she has no idea of how attractive she is.
  • Plucky Girl: She is extremely resilient and has a streetwise edge to her, but never loses her vulnerable charm.
  • Quirky Curls
  • Rags to Riches: Though it's not exactly riches, she starts off as a dirt poor drudge with worn clothes and wild hair but ends up mistress of Nampara mid-way through Series 1.
  • Scullery Maid: Initially, she starts life at Nampara as Ross's servant.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Despite being so scruffy that she is mistaken for a boy in the first episode, Demelza becomes magically beautiful by the end of episode two, and stunning by the end of episode three.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Despite her dramatic shift in status to mistress of Nampara following her marriage to Ross, she never quite manages to tame her wild mane of red, curly locks. Compared to the other ladies in local Society, she is far less coiffed.

     Drake Carne 

Drake Carne

Portrayed by Harry Richardson.


    Sam Carne 

Sam Carne

Portrayed by Tom York


  • Big Brother Instinct: Messing with Drake is a sure way to anger him.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He's the responsible sibling to the more foolish Drake.
  • Good Shepherd: Genuinely cares about the well-being of the community he his preaching to.
  • Nice Guy: Sam is the kind of man you can bring home to meet your mother: a good-doer who treats women with the utmost respect.
    Emma: Walk me home. And mind ye, don't lay yer hands on me behind a hedge.
    Sam: I - I never would!
  • The Fundamentalist: A Methodist, and a very committed one at that.

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Chynoweths by birth

     Elizabeth Chynoweth 

Mrs Elizabeth Poldark Warleggan (née Chynoweth)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/97c7649138ad6089c72f017dd6967099.png

Portrayed by: Heida Reed


  • Adaptational Dye Job: In the books, she is blonde.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: She is rather more warm-hearted in the TV series than in the books where she was a bit of an Ice Queen.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: A classic example: pretty, tall, dark haired and well-composed, with a reserved personality.
  • Awful Wedded Life:
    • Her marriage to Francis starts off well enough, but his resentment and jealousy festers and they end up barely speaking.
    • She tells Morwenna that her marriage to George is more successful than her marriage to Francis, but she is still unhappy and has taken to Drowning Her Sorrows.
  • The Beautiful Elite
  • Blue Blood: She's the eldest daughter of the influential Chynoweth family.
  • Death by Childbirth Dies in the Season 4 finale, due to poisonous side effects from an illicit substance she took to induce premature labour.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Very skilled on the harp.
  • First Love: For Ross.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Always immaculately turned out. Her dresses emphasize her femininity: she pretty much exclusively wears purple, pink, and blue. This is a notable contrast to Demelza, who wears earth tones.
  • I Will Wait for You: Elizabeth promises to wait for her first love Ross while he goes off to fight for the British in the American War of Independence, but she marries Francis after everyone believes Ross has been killed.
  • It's Personal: She has a personal stake in keeping George in line after her cousin told her about her repeated violations at the hands of Reverend Whitworth, who George had coerced her into marrying.
  • Lust Object: For quite a few men in local Society, including the Poldark's arch-enemy George Warleggan.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Her son Valentine who is born in series 3, could be either George's or Ross's. He is born early if the former, implying that Ross is the father.
  • Meadow Run: Ross and Elizabeth do this in a flash-back in the first episode as a sort of love exposition.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This is Elizabeth's reaction to Morwenna telling her and George in no uncertain terms what kind of monster Osborne Whitworth was and that she holds them both to blame for the years of hell she endured in that marriage they arranged for her.
  • Proper Lady: Very dignified, elegant and composed, she's very much a lady of her time, trapped in a restrictive world. It is important for her to know her place in Society and be respected by those around her.
  • Regal Ringlets: Like most women in the late Georgian era, her hair is piled high up on top of her head, with either one large or several small ringlets draped over one shoulder.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: She remains remarkably composed throughout the series, despite the scenarios she finds herself faced with (Ross's return, Francis gambling their mine away etc), and resolutely refuses to succumb to high drama or emotion.
  • The Stoic: With regards to her feelings for Ross; morally she feels she must do the right thing even if she suffers for it.

     Morwenna Chynoweth 

Morwenna Chynoweth Whitworth

Portrayed by: Ellise Chappell


Warleggans by birth

     George Warleggan 

George Warleggan, Esq.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a089d164fd2497f1a637d5057f11257d.png

Portrayed by: Jack Farthing


  • Alas, Poor Villain: While the other characters end season 4 on happy or at least hopeful notes, he is left mourning Elizabeth, whose death deeply affects him.
  • Ambition Is Evil: George is an ambitious young banker who will stop at nothing to make a killing, even if it means seeing his closest friends financially ruined. The ultimate goal is to break the back of the "great families" and install the Warleggans in their place, unmovable.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ross Poldark. They are absolutely pitched against each other, and Ross is the person that has the ability to make George feel inferior more than anyone else. He strives to get the respect he feels he deserves, but Ross is the person who cares least about that, and is least afraid to put him in his place.
  • Berserk Button: Insinuating that he had anything to do with the failure of Pascoe's bank. It's enough for him to, in a rare public outburst, loudly threaten to see Ross expelled from Parliament.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Of the whole series, along with his uncle, Cary.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Does seem to genuinely care for Elizabeth and wants her to be happy. He is also clearly heartbroken by Elizabeth's death due to complications from childbirth.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Is genuinely disgusted when his uncle expresses glee that the death of Ross's daughter will keep him out of their hair.
  • Evil Duo: With his uncle.
  • Evil Former Friend: In the loosest sense, to the Poldarks.
  • False Friend: To Francis — he acts like they are best mates, but only wants to use Francis as a pawn to get back at Ross.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As Society dictates, he must never be seen to be openly hostile or rude to his fellow gentlemen, and hides behind a polite, but sinister façade.
  • Freudian Excuse: He sees his mission to bring the older upper class families to their knees financially as teaching them a lesson for their contempt at his nouveau riche status.
  • I Own This Town: As Ross mentions to Enys, the Warleggans are gradually taking over the entire area, due to the vast influence of their bank and the hold it has over the inhabitants lives.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: The fact that he is from a nouveau riche family bothers him, and it's likely this feeling of not quite being accepted in Society that drives his machinations against the older, blue-blooded families like the Poldarks.
  • Kick the Dog: He not only has Morwenna cast out of her house upon hearing she's to marry Drake, he also sends his gatekeeper after her.
  • Malicious Slander: His specialty.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manages to tease the list of Wheal Leisure shareholders out of Francis with a glass of wine and a few carefully selected, inflammatory remarks about Ross.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: The Warleggans make their money from shady loan contracts and the massive rates of interest the Warleggan Bank charges.
  • Nouveau Riche: From humble beginnings as blacksmiths, the Warleggans strived to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Cornwall.
  • Oddly Small Organization: From the way they are talked about, one would imagine the Warleggans to be like some sort of Cornish mafia, but in fact most of their diabolical scheming takes place between just George and Cary in their rather nice drawing room.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • There are two instances where he drops his gentlemanly demeanor in public in Series 4.
      • When Ross publicly accuses him of corruption, he loudly declares his intention in front of everyone to see him pay dearly for it.
      • In the next episode, he violently throws down a late payment of Monk Adderly's debt offered by Ross. Ross suspects there was something more to George's reaction than simply his involvement in Adderly's demise, and indeed he now truly believes by this point that Ross was Valentine's father all along.
    • When Ross comes to check on Elizabeth, George allows him to see Elizabeth's dead body for himself, blaming not just Ross but also himself from Elizabeth's death, the latter most evident in his screaming at Ross to "see what we've brought her to".
  • Pet the Dog: Takes the time to genuinely express sympathy for Ross's loss after his daughter dies.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He's less given to rashness than his uncle, and when Ross is acquitted at the start of the second series he simply considers it a small setback compared to his uncle's opinion on the matter, carefully planning his next move in the plan to ruin Ross.
  • Sugary Malice: His default mode in conversation.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Basically his reaction in a nutshell when he thinks his thugs murdered Jud after he specifically ordered them to simply beat him up, knowing that Ross will most likely find out and, when he does, go after him.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: An explosive confrontation with Ross in front of Valentine results in Elizabeth taking the birth control drug which ultimately kills her.
  • Villainous Crush: On Elizabeth Poldark — he makes it quite clear in the first series finale that he wants her as his wife, despite the fact that she is married to his "friend", Francis.

     Cary Warleggan 

Mr Cary Warleggan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a19572adbcbbfdbc8eb4c088427adb3e.png

Portrayed by: Pip Torrens


  • Evil Duo: With his nephew — and he seems to be even crueler than George.
  • Evil Plan: Bankrupt any local gentry who oppose them and take over the county — simple as that.
  • Grumpy Bear: He's thoroughly aggressive most of the time he's on screen.
  • Kick the Dog: Gloats that Ross's child dying is a good thing since it will keep Ross out of their hair. Notably even George is somewhat appalled and taken aback.
  • The Man Behind the Man: George is equally villainous and acts as his mouthpiece, but it is Cary who is providing most of the instruction.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: The Warleggans make their money from shady loan contracts and the massive rates of interest the Warleggan Bank charges.
  • Nouveau Riche: Ostensibly so — the vast Warleggan fortune was made in his lifetime, and he retains many of the traits that betray his humbler, blacksmith origins.
  • Obviously Evil: Unlike George, who hides his malice behind a veil of gentlemanly charm, Cary is overtly aggressive and rude, to the point where even George finds himself keeping him in check from time to time.
  • The Patriarch: Of the Warleggan clan.
  • Perpetual Frowner

Penvenens by birth

     Caroline Penvenen 

Caroline Enys (née Penvenen)

Portrayed by: Gabriella Wilde


  • Adaptational Dye Job: Was ginger in the books, but blonde in the series.
  • Break the Haughty: Dwight does this to her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's quite witty and tends to navigate her way through society by making smart-ass comments.
    Ray Penvenen: Are you confident, Unwin?
    Caroline: Winning his seat or my hand?
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Dwight in their romance arc.
  • Heroic BSoD: After the death of her daughter Sarah.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Despite her best efforts to act like she doesn't care, her kindness shines through in her actions.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She calls off their elopement to Bath after Dwight fails to show up for it and leaves for London, arguing that a marriage between them would've been ill-fated from the start as having to desert his poor Cornish patients and treat a genteel clientel instead would've made him unhappy.
  • Lady in Red: Is constantly walking around in eye-catching red redingotes in season 2.
  • Not So Stoic: Ross essentially makes it his mission to make her face her grief after she flees from her feelings after the death of her infant daughter. He's successful.
  • Odd Friendship: With Demelza.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Her guardian and uncle, Ray Penvenen, does not approve of her plans to marry Dr Enys because of their differences in wealth and status. He eventually comes around.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Gives off the impression of a pretty rich girl at first, but is actually very intelligent and perceptive as well as eqipped with a good portion of willpower.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Caroline is intelligent, bold, pretty, independent, outspoken and generally one of the most modern female characters of the show. While she enjoys the popular past-times of her class like attending balls, socialising and horse-riding, she proves herself to be good with money and is not above nursing her uncle and later Dwight.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Has shades of Rich Bitch earlier on in the series but is kind at heart, making this trope apply more. Ross says that she likes to hide her own goodness as though it were something to be ashamed of.
  • The Fashionista: Her gowns are always the most fashionable and up-to-date among the ladies of the show.
  • The Stoic: Instead of grieving openly, she shuts down after her infant daughter dies and turns into somewhat of a Stepford Smiler in the direct aftermath.
  • Wealthy Philanthropist: After Dwight tells her of the outbreak of scurvy in the area due to a lack of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables, she anonymously donates him a cart of oranges.

     Ray Penvenen 

Portrayed by: John Nettles


  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Ray is generally a kindly old man who loves his niece Caroline unconditionally, however he is also terribly prejudiced against Dwight due to his low status and lack of money.
  • Overprotective Dad: The uncle version.

Other Characters

     Dwight Enys 

Dr Dwight Enys

Portrayed by: Luke Norris


  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows one whilst captive in a French prisoner of war camp.
  • Break the Cutie: During his time as prisoner of war in France, a guard kills one of Dwight's patients for sport - cue Dwight breaking down sobbing.
  • Chick Magnet: Particularly among his female patients.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Despite being a rather gentle soul, he's quite intelligent and not easily fooled.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Before the hair department decided to let Luke Norris keep his natural hair colour, anyway.
  • Hospital Hottie: He's a handsome doctor.
  • Friend to All Children: He's consistently shown to be good with kids. Too bad his own firstborn daughter dies in infancy.
  • Nice Guy: He's a kind, collected kind of person who treats his fellow humans with respect regardless of how well he actually likes them and thus gets on with almost everyone (with the notable exception of Osborne Whitworth).
  • Only Sane Man: Turned Up to Eleven when Ross chooses him as his second in an unnecessary duel with Monk Adderly. Dwight tries to talk some sense into all participants, but ultimately fails.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Suffers from PTSD after his rescue from a prisoner of war camp in France.
  • Voice of Reason: To Ross.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even though he does lose some of his naïveté over the years, Dwight holds fast to his ideal of providing healthcare for everyone regardless of their financial situations.
    Dr Choake: The only cases are miners, and they rarely pay.
    Dwight: I wonder if healing is not its own reward?

     Jud & Prudie Paynter 

Jud & Prudie Paynter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5e9d2323245c5997321188f7461b5423.png

Portrayed by: Phil Davis & Beatie Edney


  • The Alcoholic: Jud, who doesn't even bother to hide it. He goes too far in Episode 7 when Ross overhears his slandering, and both he and Prudie are cast from the house.
  • Catchphrase: “T'int right, t'int fair, t'int fit, t'int proper!”
  • Common Law Marriage: They have one.
  • Disney Death: Jud, when George's servants beat him half to death for betraying him early in the second series.
  • Fat Slob: Both of them are overweight and horribly grimy. In the first episode, when Ross arrives back at Nampara out of the blue, he finds the house full of rats and chickens, and both of them asleep in his bed.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Over time, Demelza and Prudie become less antagonistic of each other and start to get along.
  • Lazy Bum: Again, both of them. Ross keeps them on in recognition of their relationship with his late father, but it is a struggle to get them to clean the house, or even themselves.
  • Legacy of Service: Jud and Prudie were Ross’s father's servants, but they are drunken, lazy, and not averse to stealing from their master’s drinks cabinet.
  • Old Retainer: They've both been in the Poldark family service for years.
  • Put on a Bus: Jud does not appear in Series 3 and his absence is hand-waved away with a line from Prudie explaining that life is more peaceful since he "carted off".
  • Servile Snarker: Both are shockingly cheeky to Demelza when she becomes mistress of Nampara, and even to Ross himself most of the time.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Prudie is noticeably nicer and more helpful after Jud is gone.
  • Weasel Co-Worker: Demelza ends up doing most of their duties when Ross takes her on while they put their feet up.

     Osborne Whitworth 

Reverend Osborne Whitworth

Portrayed by: Christian Brassington


  • Asshole Victim: Dies in a fall from a horse. Pretty much no one bar his mother mourns him.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With George Warleggan, for the third season and the first half of the fourth.
  • Dirty Old Vicar: He's very lecherous.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: His attempt to have Morwenna institutionalized through an accusation of sinfulness-induced madness reeks of what would in modern times be known as "alternative facts" thanks to the madness of His Majesty, and Dr. Enys calls him on it, warning him that if he tries to have Morwenna institutionalized on those grounds he could risk a treason charge being hung on him.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He is quite close to his mother, who in turn continues his Evil Plan to ruin Morwenna and spite Drake.
  • Fat Bastard
  • Hate Sink: The most unrelentingly loathsome character in the series.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He conducts an affair with Morwenna's sister Rowella when she refuses his sexual advances. Rowella's husband finds out and attacks Whitworth alone in a forest one night, leading to the good Reverend to fall from the saddle and be dragged to his death by his panicking horse.

     Lady Whitworth 

Lady Whitworth

Portrayed by: Rebecca Front


     Hugh Armitage 

Lieutenant Hugh Armitage

Portrayed by: Josh Whitehouse


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