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The characters of Pierce Brown's literary series Red Rising.

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     In General 
The worker ants of The Society. Reds are unskilled laborers used for a variety of menial jobs in society. HighReds are generally used as servants in wealthy households or aboard luxury spaceships, while LowReds are conditioned for manual labor in brutal environments like the Helium mines on Mars.
  • Born into Slavery: The LowReds have been mining under the surface of Mars for generations, but then, just about everyone who isn't a Gold qualifies for this trope.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Red hair and red eyes.
  • Fiery Red Head: A common trait in many members of this caste.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: While other colors have no hang-ups over same-sex relationships, Red culture was explicitly engineered to be rigorously heteronormative.
  • Only One Name: To indicate that they are considered property rather than people.
  • Slave Race: Their function in the hierarchy. Unlike the Browns, who function as servants, Reds are explicitly referred to as slaves.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: How the caste was created.

     Darrow au Andromedus 
A Helldiver from Lambda clan in the mining colony of Lykos on Mars. After his wife is executed for protesting Gold's rule, Darrow begins his quest to avenge her death.
  • Action Dad: At the end of Morning Star.
  • Anti-Hero: Darrow is initially a Nominal Hero focused solely on achieving his wife's dream so he can join the afterlife and be with her there. He becomes an Unscrupulous Hero throughout the course of Red Rising, not unwilling to resort to Gold tactics, recruit and ally with evil people such as Tactus and The Jackal. Darrow often questions his own morality and has traits of a Dark Messiah, being willing to force others to serve him, deceive them, and do some pretty nasty things, but he is genuinely a Guile Hero. The books make it very clear that while Darrow is Becoming the Mask and has elements of Gold, even joining their society in many ways, he is also trying to make a better world and loves his people. Once the war's over, he settles back down into being a Pragmatic Hero.
  • Battle Couple: Eventually with Mustang in the first book.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows on while imprisioned during Morning Star
  • Becoming the Mask: Downplayed example; after talking to a HighRed in Morning Star, Darrow realizes he knows the Gold world better than the low Colors.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: He has captured the Jackal and pinned his hand to the table but decides to smugly gloat by giving him a Life or Limb Decision. This gross underestimation of the Jackal's determination lets him escape and costs Pax his life.
  • Born into Slavery: Reds are little more than slaves in the Society.
  • Combat Pragmatist: From hiding in dead horse carcasses, bombing his mentor's garden and even selling out his own men to secure a military alliance in an "enemy of my enemy" situation, there are few things Darrow won't do to achieve victory.
  • Crusading Widower: A typical example, although his wife chose to commit an act that would escalate her punishment from flogging to public execution, in hopes of martyrdom. He took up her dream of rebellion because of her tragic death.
  • Dark Messiah: He may be saving his people from slavery, but the process is brutal.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Considering all the homoerotic subtext he has with his male friends (most of whom are bisexual), it's safe to say he qualifies.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: His slingBlade becomes his signature weapon, and he deliberately avoids using it in front of potential enemies so they won't know how to counter a curved blade.
  • Faking The Death: Although it wasn't his choice everyone thinking he died helped him to become a Gold.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: A possibly illiterate Red, who didn't know what shampoo was before coming to the surface, he still manages to outsmart the Gold elite. He is even mildly teased for topping the chart of the Institute's placement exam. His intuition, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired.
  • Famed In-Story: Modestly so in Golden Son and by Morning Star, The Reaper is infamous throughout the entire Solar System.
  • Guile Hero: On a massive scale, considering his tendency towards lateral strategy and the Batman Gambit.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Darrow becomes a One-Man Army and a brilliant strategist, but he is also broken by the death of his wife. He does eventually come to terms with her loss, however.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: One of Darrow's greatest fears is that he's abandoned the way of his people, the Reds, and is genuinely turning into something of a Gold. He practices Gold slavery at the Institute to win their war games, uses their tactics, allies with the worst among them, and is left hoping that he doesn't become one of them. Thankfully, he doesn't. He ends up being as heroic as he intended to.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Darrow's biggest flaw is how he trusts people when he shouldn't, mistrusts when he shouldn't, and pushes them away when he shouldn't. At the end of Golden Son, his misplaced trust ends with most of friends either killed or in hiding, and his capture.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Reaches its peak in Morning Star, when he destroys the Ganymede Dockyards.
    Holiday: You sure you want to do this, sir?
    Darrow: Want to? Since when has any of this been about what we want?
  • In-Series Nickname: Referred to as "The Reaper" quite frequently.
  • The Leader: His goal is to find the highest point in the Society in order to have the power to free the Reds from slavery.
  • Magnetic Hero: Very good at welding disparate groups into an army.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Keeps pushing Mustang away because, well, he's The Mole.
  • Morality Chain: The memory of Eo and her dream for a better world serves as this. Mustang does as well, especially at his duel with Cassius.
  • Red Baron: Is widely known as The Reaper.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Any number of times, Darrow is completely out of options. That's when he'll Take a Third Option that's absurd, ridiculous, unlikely, and win.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Averted, Darrow is intent on making Eo's dream a reality, not vengeance. On the other hand, his attack on Olympus after the Proctors kidnap Mustang plays this straight.
  • Sheep In Wolf's Clothing: His body is altered surgically from a typical sturdy Red to the downright superhuman Gold. The transformation includes new skin, hair and eyes as well as brutal bone-density alteration and an ID chip in his frontal lobe.
  • The Strategist: Acts as the brains for House Mars during their early victories in the Institute, and while he has flaws and failures, generally succeeds in accomplishing any long term military goals he has. His biggest weakness is politics, and is twice betrayed by friends at the height of his success.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Many, not least of which was determining how to mete out justice as a leader in the Institute. Struggles with them even more as the leader of the Rising.
  • Undying Loyalty: Has this for his friends and inspires the same.
  • The Unfettered: He never wanted to be a revolutionary, he just wanted to be a husband and father and win the Laurel for his clan. He let all that go when his wife was killed, and he became a tool to bring her dream to reality.
  • Unstoppable Rage: A common trait among those in House Mars. Their house is where they send the mad dogs of the Institute to bicker and burn out while wiser houses prevailed. Having said that, part of his initial Character Development is him quickly turning this into Tranquil Fury.

Darrow's wife. While Darrow is perfectly content to keep his head down and live a quiet life, Eo wants more for them both, actively encouraging him to live for more. When the two of them are caught trespassing on a forbidden section of the mines at her urging, she's brutally whipped as punishment. In an attempt to motivate Darrow into becoming a rebel, she deliberately sings a song of rebellion for which the only punishment is immediate execution. Her death is what finally motivates Darrow to begin the fight against the Golds as he joins the resistance to avenge her.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Sings a forbidden song in hopes that it will inspire other revolutionaries, before being hung for her crime.
  • Inspirational Martyr: Her demise is the catalyst that drives Darrow to become a revolutionary, thus setting forth the events in the trilogy. Discussed by Dancer after the Sons of Ares rescue Darrow from being executed.
    Dancer: She belongs to her people now, Darrow. And they remember the old tales of a goddess stolen from her family by the god of death. Yet even when she was stolen, death could not forever keep her... Beauty incarnate can touch life even from the grave; that's how they think of your wife."
  • Memetic Mutation: Becomes an in-universe trope, with her defiant last song becoming famous enough that even Golds are heard humming it, and graffiti images of her show up throughout the series.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Golden Son reveals that she was pregnant, and had not yet told Darrow, at the time of her death. Darrow takes the reveal... poorly.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Arguably. She deliberately chose to escalate into a situation that could only end in her own death.

Darrow's Uncle. At first, he's believed to be nothing more than a useless alcoholic, before he turns out to be an informant for the Sons of Ares.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Executed by the Jackal in Morning Star with a gunshot to the head.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Seems to be a cowardly drunk in Red Rising. But is an informant for The Sons of Ares, as mentioned in Hidden Depths, and becomes the commander of his own squad, The Pitvipers, in Morning Star.
  • Faking the Dead: Faked his own death in order to take an active part in the Rising.
  • Hidden Depths: Appears to be a cowardly man who's constantly getting drunk. Turns out to be an informant for the Sons of Ares.
  • Killed Off for Real: By The Jackal in Morning Star.
  • Number Two: Becomes Dancer's second-in-command after Golden Son.

One of the leaders of the Sons of Ares. He functions as Darrow's mentor before the Institute and serves as second in command to Ares himself.
  • Handicapped Badass: Still a fighter despite his injured leg.
  • The Lancer: To Ares himself.
  • Parental Substitute: He becomes a father figure to Darrow in the course of the latter's preparation for the Institute.
  • Silent Scapegoat: The war refugees in Tinos blame him for everything that goes wrong, even when he's barely holding the rebellion together.
  • Silver Fox: Dancer's somewhere in his 40's or 50's and considered "old" for a Red. Despite this and his status as a Handicapped Badass Darrow does describe him as a handsome man with rugged features.

Dancer's lieutenant in the first book. She breaks away from the Sons of Ares after the end of the first book, and becomes more concerned with short-term vengance than long term success. .
  • Artificial Limbs: she lost an arm in between books and has a robotic arm when Darrow sees her again in Golden Son.
  • Fantastic Racism: In Golden Son, she's developed this towards anyone who isn't a Red.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In Golden Son, she's willing to kill Golds at any cost, no matter how many innocent lowColors get caught in the crossfire.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In Golden Son, she no longer cares about the Sons of Ares' long term goals and only wants to kill as many Golds as she can.
  • Manipulative Bastard: She almost tricked Darrow into performing a Senseless Sacrifice by revealing Eo's secret pregnancy.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Forms one between Red Rising and Golden Son due to differing views on how to run the Sons of Ares.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: By the time of her appearance in Golden Son.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Morning Star she's mentioned as leading a violent revolutionary faction called the Red Legion, but after that she's never mentioned again.

Darrow's older brother

Eo's sister. She married Darrow's brother, Kieran at some point between the first two books.
  • Happily Married: To Kieran in Morning Star
  • Secret-Keeper: The only one throughout the first book who knew that Eo was pregnant when she died.

Fitchner's wife and Sevro's mother. Her execution by the Board of Quality Control for breeding with a Gold is what inspires her husband to start the Sons of Ares.

One of the earliest members of the Sons of Ares.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The 5th issue of the comic mentions that he was in love with Ryanna, but she didn't love him back.
  • The Faceless: Like all the other early Sons of Ares, he conceals his face with an ancient Greek theater mask until the end of the third issue.
  • Killed Off for Real: Killed by Devourers in Issue #4
  • Leroy Jenkins: Given his reluctance for violence and his slip ups forcing Ryanna to kill their hostage to avoid revealing their identities, it's a wonder how he ended up involved with the Sons.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: In contrast to Fitchner, Fenix, and Ryanna, Doran is naive about what it is they're getting into.
One of the original members of the Sons of Ares And Bryn's younger sister.
  • Action Girl: If How quickly she kills Varus in the second issue is any indication, she definitely qualifies.
  • The Faceless: Like all the other early Sons of Ares, she conceals her face with an ancient Greek theater mask. Averted when she appears without her mask at Fitchner and Bryn's wedding.
  • The Lancer: She appears to fill this role to Fitchner in Sons of Ares.
  • Smurfette Principle: The only major female character among the original Sons of Ares.
  • Undying Loyalty: Displays this toward her sister, Bryn, and her brother-in-law, Fitchner.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She survives the comic, but as Sevro's aunt, it's unclear where she was during the original novels.


     In General 
Unparalleled in beauty, Pinks are bred for the arts of physical pleasure, with occupations ranging from prostitutes to masseuses.
  • Beauty Is Best: All of them are bread to look as beautiful as possible.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: All Pinks are this regardless of gender
  • Breeding Slave: All Pinks are sterilized, with the exception of those set aside for reproducing to keep the population afloat.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Pink hair and pink eyes.
  • Designer Baby: Eugenics and genetic manipulation means that all Pinks are designed for physical perfection and statuesque beauty.
  • Only One Name: As with Reds, they are considered property rather than people.
  • Sex Slave: Many of them fill this trope.

Mickey's sex slave who serves as Darrow's nurse when he's recovering from being carved into a Gold. She later joins Haromny's splinter faction in Golden Son before becoming The Atoner in Morning Star.
  • The Atoner: Becomes this in Morning Star over her involvement in Harmony's splinter faction
  • Broken Bird: As Mickey's sex slave.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: It's implied she gets a bit sweet on Darrow after months of acting as his nurse. It helps that he was handsome even as a pockmarked Red with crooked teeth.
  • Put on a Bus: After Darrow leaves for the Institute, she isn't seen again until the next book.
  • Sex Slave: Comes with being part of the Pink caste.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Becomes much more violent in between the first two books.

A Pink hired to teach Darrow how to talk and behave like a Gold after his carving.
  • The Bus Came Back: He's never seen again after Darrow leaves for the Institute before returning in Morning Star as Quicksilver's husband.
  • Camp Gay: It's not known whether Pinks have the luxury of sexual preference—and the highLingo is a bit fey to begin with—but by his own admission he well knows his way around a scrotum. Is revealed to be Quicksilver's husband in Morning Star.
  • Etiquette Nazi: Why he was brought on. He was apparently good at his job, reshaping Darrow and his caveman manners into someone who uses all the proper highLingo and knows what shampoo is. Mostly by hitting him.
  • Happily Married: To Quicksilver
  • Put on a Bus: After Darrow leaves for The Institute.

Darrow's chief of staff in Golden Son. She becomes a key leader in the Rising by the time of Morning Star.
  • Never Mess with Granny: It's mentioned that she's old enough to start showing wrinkles, and despite not being combat capable, her connections among the other Pinks allow her to create a large network of informants when she joins the Rising after Golden Son.
  • Politeness Judo: Her scene in the Augustan villa on Luna drips with this, and the other Pink is left a stuttering wreck when he realizes how badly he's screwed.
  • Servile Snarker: She's technically Darrow's servant, but she can snark as well as he can.


     In General 
A monstrous race bred only for war, Obsidians are physically imposing warriors raised to be unstoppable killing machines.

     Ragnar Volarus 
A Stained Obsidian in service to the Ash Lord. He pledges his loyalty to Darrow after the latter takes control of the Ash Lord's flaghship in Golden Son. Eventually, Darrow tells him the truth about being a Red, and he becomes a key leader in the resistance from then on.

     Sefi The Quiet 
Ragnar's sister and heir to the Valkyries.
  • Action Girl: Leads her own Amazon brigade.
  • Blood Knight: Like her brother Ragnar.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The low-tech culture of the Obsidians causes her to come off as this when she interacts with the advanced technology of the rest of the universe.
  • Genius Bruiser: Uses the near lynching of Cassius to establish herself as leader of all Obsidians, not just the Valkyrie.
  • Self-Made Orphan: A rare heroic example, as her mother was one of Les Collaborateurs.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Is initially more concerned with killing the Golds who uphold the hierarchy. After Cassius's "trial" and the Jackal's nuclear devastation of Luna, she chooses to follow in her brother's footsteps.

     Alia Volarus 
Leader of the Valkyrie clan of Martian Obsidians and Ragnar's mother.


     In General 
The police and military personnel of society.
  • Gung Holier Than Thou: Many Grays have this attitude towards those beneath them on the color hierarchy.
  • Hired Guns: They can either serve in the Gold legions, or become mercenaries.
  • Private Military Contractors: One of their roles in society.
  • Slave Mooks: Less so than the Obsidians, but still technically the case, even if they do have more freedom that other castes.

     Ugly Dan 
A Gray working as a police officer in Lykos.
  • Artificial Limbs: Has a robotic arm after he lost his original one in battle.
  • Jerkass: He treats the Reds in the mines horribly.
  • Elite Mook: One of the only Grays from Lykos referred to by name.
  • Police Brutality: Prone to this when making arrests.

     Holiday ti Nakamura 
A member of the famous Thirteenth Legion and a spy for the Sons of Ares. She and her brother Trigg break Darrow out of prison at the beginning of Morning Star and she becomes a key player in the Rising from then on.
  • Action Girl
  • Big Sister Mentor: To her younger brother Trigg.
  • The Mole: She and her brother are spies for the Sons of Ares within the ranks of the Thirteenth Legion.
  • Parental Neglect: She describes her father as being the kind of man with "a different family in every port"

     Trigg ti Nakamura 
Holiday's younger brother and a member of the Thirteenth Legion. He and his sister are spies for the Sons of Ares who break Darrow out of prison at the beginning of Morning Star.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Killed by Aja with a razor through the chest.
  • The Mole: He and his sister are spies for the Sons of Ares within the ranks of the Thirteenth Legion.
  • Parental Neglect: His sister describes their father as being the kind of man with "a different family in every port"
  • Rasputinian Death: Stabbed with a razor, then made to suffer as he's held in the air like a speared fish, then thrown off a bridge to smash into the jagged rocks below.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Gets killed off within a few chapters of his introduction.
  • Straight Gay: He was married to a man named Ephriam.

     Ephraim ti Horn 
Trigg's unseen husband.

One of the earliest members of the Sons of Ares.


     In General 
The artists and other creatives of society.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Many of them specialize in this.
  • Mad Artist: Many of them are forced to take drugs while working, resulting in this trope.
  • Gratuitous Special Effects: Some artists, called carvers, specialize in creating genetically engineered monsters just because they can.

A Carver hired by the Sons of Ares to surgically alter Darrow from a Red into a Gold.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He uses Evey for sex but he also gets very affectionate with Darrow after carving him.
  • Agent Peacock: He's quite a flamboyant fellow.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Mickey has the privilege of reshaping Darrow's body into a golden god.
  • Character Development: To quote Darrow in Morning Star: "From carver to slaver to slave to wedding officiant."
  • Jerkass: Is implied to be abusive towards his sex slave Evey in Red Rising. He grows out of it in Golden Son and works to atone for it in Morning Star.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Harmony's splinter faction gives him a taste of how he'd treated Evey when they break off from Ares.
  • Mad Artist: He is a Violet, so he was born to be creative. His handlers fed him 'candies' to enhance his artistic potential, giving him visions for days.
  • Mad Doctor: He carves his dreams and nightmares into reality, and sees Darrow as his latest and most terrifying creation. He's good enough that those new Gold bodies he carves for Darrow and later Victra are remarked to be superior to normal Gold ones.
  • Mauve Shirt: Doesn't get as much screen time as the main characters, but still undergoes a lot of character development.


     In General 
The programmers and developers of technology.

     Cylax si Nexiti 
One of the original members of the Sons of Ares. He originally served as tech support for Fitchner at Triton's terraforming operations.
  • Cowardly Lion: His relucance to confront Golds in direct combat appears to be second only to Doran.
  • The Faceless: Like all the other early Sons of Ares, he conceals his face with an ancient Greek theater mask. He finally appears without his mask in the third issue of Sons of Ares.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Fitchner, who he used to work with on Triton.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He survives the events of Sons of Ares, but it's unclear if he's still alive in the novels.


     In General 
The doctors, psychologists, and scientists of the society.

A doctor serving with the Rising in Morning Star.


     In General 
Pilots and astronavigators
  • Ace Pilot: All of them are raised to be the best pilots possible
  • Danger Deadpan: Their speech patterns are devoid of almost all emotion even in emergencies.
  • Tron Lines: They have them on their skin.

     Orion xe Aquarii 
A Blue serving aboard the Vanguard in Golden Son. When Darrow and Sevro capture the ship on behalf of House Augustus, she is appointed to be the ship's new captain.
  • Bald of Authority: A rare female example.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Darrow gives her command of the Pax after he kills the warship's Gold officers.
  • Mauve Shirt
  • Pirate Parrot: Desperately wants one in Morning Star. Early information about the Sequel Series indicates that she gets one eventually.
  • Servile Snarker: Her belligerence is what convinces Darrow to give her the position as captain over her colleagues, who are too busy bickering and listing their accomplishments.
  • Space Pirates: She spends the one year Time Skip between Golden Son and Morning Star causing chaos and attacking Society ships.
  • Straight Gay: The author confirmed she's a lesbian.


     In General 
The lawyers, administrators, and bureaucrats of the solar system.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: While its presumed that not all Coppers are corrupt, none of the ones named in the series are portrayed sympathetically.
  • Punch-Clock Villains: Many of them are simply doing their jobs. There are a few exceptions.

     Timony cu Podginus 
The chief administrator of the mine of Lykos on Mars.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Implied in the first book and then confirmed in Golden Son when Darrow points out that the mine's output doesn't match up with the totals he reports.
  • Holier Than Thou: Acts as if he's superior to the other colors in Lykos.

     Bondilus cu Tancrus 
A member of the Board of Quality Control sent to ensure that students don't cheat on the entrance exam.
  • Les Collaborateurs: He's part of the Board of Quality Control, making him a great deal more involved in the oppression of the masses than the other Coppers.
     Licenus cu Coriba 


     In General 
Innovators, financiers, and businessmen

     Regulus ag Sun a.k.a. Quicksilver 
Head of Sun Industries and the richest man in the solar system. Later revealed to be the secret financial backer of the Sons of Ares.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's not a physical fighter, but with his financial resources and his mind, and his connections to the Sons of Ares, he's a force to be reckoned with.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Zig-zagged. You don't become the richest man in the solar system by playing nice. But when he finally appears on screen he's an Honest Corporate Executive behind closed doors. But on the other hand, this is partly justified since he's secretly funding La Résistance.
    • He does lean closer to corrupt in the prequel comic, blackmailing Fitchner into his service by threatening to reveal his marriage to Bryn, and then extorting Fitchner into indefinite indentured servitude in exchange for help rescuing her from the Board of Quality Control.
  • Creative Sterility: Believes Golds are enforcing this in humanity both technologically and culturally and wants to break free from it.
  • Fiction 500: He's rich enough to have multiple Golds, who are already wealthy aristocrats in their own right, in his pocket.
  • For Science!: His main motivation for funding the Sons of Ares. He believes that humanity's technological progress has stagnated under Gold rule and wants the human race to continue to advance.
  • Happily Married: To Matteo.
  • Hidden Depths: Built up to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive throughout the second book. Then it's revealed in the third book that he's the one who provides the Sons of Ares with their funding and resources.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Zig-zagged. Because of the world he lives in, he behaves like a Corrupt Corporate Executive in public, but is really this trope behind closed doors.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side!: Funded the Jackal in Golden Son because he thought Adrius would be the lesser of two evils compared to Nero. He was wrong. As soon as he realizes what he's done in allying with the Jackal, he begins facilitating negotiations between Mustang and Octavia as part of his efforts to remove Adruis from power. And then when Darrow returns from his apparent death, Quicksilver decides to finally throw all his cards in with the Rising.
  • Straight Gay: Morning Star reveals that he and Matteo are married.


     In General 
The fiercely intelligent rulers of humanity

House Augustus and allies

     Nero au Augustus 
ArchGovernor of Mars, father of The Jackal and Mustang.
  • Above Good and Evil: He believes that his grand vision for humanity gives him the right to treat people any way he damned well pleases, up to and including torture and murder.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Left the Jackal in the wilderness to die as an infant for three days just because he already had one son. The Jackal is not light on stating how awful he has no love whatsoever for Nero.
    • In Golden Son, Darrow describes his love for his childrean as conditional dependent on their ability to prove their worth. Case in point, in that same book, he calls his daughter a whore for her failed attempt at a Honey Trap and then smiles in approval when she manipulates everyone into supporting Darrow's plans for the war with House Bellona.
  • Character Death: The Jackal ends his life in Golden Son as part of his greatest scheme.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Gets backstabbed by Pliny and The Jackal. Plus he adopts Darrow as his heir.
  • I Have No Son!: His last words before The Jackal kills him.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone except the Sovereign refers to him either by his title or by his last name.
  • Nepotism: Rigs the Institute so that his son will win.

     Adrius au Augustus/The Jackal 
Son of Nero au Augustus. At the Institute, he becomes Primus of House Pluto.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Mustang cries for him as she helps hang him, pulling his feet down and finishing him off to remind him that she loved him as he died.
  • At Least I Admit It: Jackal is unlike other Golds in that he has no pretenses whatsoever that what he does is awful; while they're disgusted by him, he happily admits to his every brutal crime and makes it very clear that he's just fine with being seen as evil for what he does. He doesn't quite make it to Card-Carrying Villain territory, however, as he's still in denial about the idea that he's well and truly evil.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Essentially the rule of the Golds, and Adrius embodies it. He's a tactical and social genius, an effective enough fighter to kill Pax, and he absolutely knows it. He's unafraid to flaunt his brilliance.
  • Bait the Dog: A complicated and ambiguous variation. Virginia talks about how Adrius would make her puzzles and mazes to solve when she was a child, and would always praise her cleverness once she solved them. Then, she discovered he was actually using them to test his edge against her, and would self-harm every time she succeeded. While she tried to deceive him to keep him from hurting himself, he always forced her to finish the mazes, albeit still praising her. Finally, he created one that she couldn't finish, and he was satisfied with himself. What initially seems to be a sweet bonding activity representative of how he Used to Be a Sweet Kid turns out to implicitly be another attempt to prove his superiority to his sister.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to his sister's Abel. Also the Cain to his older brother, Claudius, in a way. As it is eventually revealed that his death at Karnus au Bellona's hand in a duel was all because of Adrius's scheme.
  • The Chessmaster: Adrius is a capable manipulator who runs scheme upon scheme upon scheme, plot upon plot, and has been ever since he was a child. He plans every move in advance, pulls off elaborate plans with his media empire, and is a brilliant tactician who can successfully deceive and ally with even people who despise him.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Jackal does not care for allegiances or for loyalty. He does whatever conveniences himself and his spiteful whims, meaning he will betray and murder as he pleases.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Technically he never operates in the series without some kind of superior. However, from the second book on, he displays a talent for media control and spy networks beyond any of his masters.Culminates with him holding the moon hostage with stolen nukes to become the new Sovereign.
  • Dirty Coward: Downplayed Trope, as the guy's got Villainous Valor for days in the first two books, but once things go off the rails, he degrades to impotent screaming and whining, and uses his nukes to start massacring cities in exchange for his freedom. That said, he recovers in time to be hanged with dignity.
  • The Dreaded: Most of the Institute is terrified of him. For very good reason, as The Jackal is one of the most treacherous and ruthless Golds out there, accompanied by brutal intelligence and effectiveness.
  • Enfant Terrible: Boasts that he arranged a murder when he was ten years old.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Adrius loved his mother, and his anger at her is solely because she died and he feels she left him by doing so.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Virginia never stops loving her twin brother, no matter how cruel he is. In the end, she finishes him off when he's hanged to remind him that someone did love him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • A dubious variation. It's left ambiguous exactly how much Adrius still cares about his sister Virginia, but at least in his childhood he definitely cared for her, and she for him in turn.
    • Played straight with his mother. He genuinely loved her despite his claims otherwise, and the closest he expresses to hatred is rage that she left him by dying.
  • Evil Genius: Even those who hate Adrius are forced to acknowledge that he is extremely intelligent and powerful, and not someone you would want to mess with if you don't want to see everyone you love die a horrible death.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When the Jackal is ultimately hanged, he faces it with a calm disposition in sharp contrast to the Villainous Breakdown he pulls earlier.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Jackal is seemingly polite, but nobody buys it. His false kindness is extremely shallow, but definitely an omnipresent trait.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Jackal is The Unfavorite of the family, being mistreated by his father through his entire life, considered to be a failure compared to his siblings, having to resort to cannibalism to survive, and it's generally easy to see exactly why he became a sociopath.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Pax in Red Rising, and Uncle Narol in Morning Star.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Pretty much his routine. After unifying every House in Red Rising, Darrow has to face him. In Golden Son, he betrays Darrow and becomes his nemesis. Finally, in Morning Star, he declares that he will become the new Sovereign.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: How he earned his nickname. After his entire house at the Insitute was trapped in underground caves, he and his allies resorted to cannibalism until they could escape.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: While Adrius turned into a complete sociopath over time, there are hints throughout the books that what he really wants, or at least wanted initially, is love and approval, due to his "Well Done, Son" Guy tendencies and the feelings he expresses toward his late mother.
  • Kick the Dog: Adrius is typically the epitome of Pragmatic Villainy, but he has his moments of insane cruelty.
    • Adrius damaged Quinn's brain and murdered her, and even pondered doing it and sending her back with brain damage to see if her friends would still care for her in that state.
    • Adrius has Darrow and Victra horribly tortured for no reason beyond simply wanting to.
    • Adrius sends Darrow footage of him shooting Uncle Narol dead, even admitting he just wants to make Darrow watch as he kills him.
  • Life or Limb Decision: He sawed his arm off to escape from Darrow. With a dry remark and nonchalance, no less.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Smoothly manipulates everyone around him without anyone realizing that he's doing so. Even those that recognize how cruel and slimy he is generally find him useful enough that they let him stay on.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: His nickname of "The Jackal" is the only thing known about him for most of the first book, and it's a hideously deserved nickname.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: His cannibalism was a case of Pragmatic Villainy, but no one ever forgets it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The thing that makes Adrius so dangerous is that, while he's spiteful, cruel beyond belief, and generally just awful, he's genuinely smart and pragmagtic. While you'd never find him having genuine standards, he will do whatever he feels is necessary to get what he wants, including doing something good if it conveniences him. He's far from Stupid Evil, and everything he does he does for a purpose.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: House Augustus has connections, and he uses them. Even without those connections, he's setting up his own media and espionage empire to bail him out of any situation.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Kills his father while monologuing about his hatred and the way his life has gone up until this point.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Virginia. Darrow loves Virginia and hates Adrius with passion.
  • The Sociopath: While far from the only one among the Golds, he's the greatest example. A high-functioning sociopath, Adrius doesn't care for anyone but himself, will stoop to any low whatsoever if it means he will achieve his desired result, and is extremely prone to cruelty and violence, while at the same time being calculating and cold. Any semblance of humanity from Adrius is a facade thanks to a long life of abusive Gold upbringing.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the first two books, Adrius seems Faux Affably Evil and has a certain level of respect for Darrow and his sister. Morning Star, however, shows him at his worst, depicting him as cruel and erratic, with him engaging in Nero's practices, from slut-shaming his sister to taunting Darrow about his loved ones that Adrius murdered in cold blood. It's clear that finally getting what he wants has allowed him to unleash himself.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Virginia can recall a time when Adrius genuinely cared for her and wasn't so bad.
  • The Unfavorite: The fact that his father left him in the wilderness to die as a baby should be a big clue.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In Morning Star, Adrius freaks out upon his defeat, screaming and shouting after finally having been outwitted and generally childishly yelling, before pulling out his last-ditch maneuver and nuking millions. He does recover, however.
  • Villainous Valor: When confronted with a Life or Limb Decision, The Jackal saws off his own hand without hesitation, proving that his evil is matched in his bravery.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: With his father, the ArchGovernor of Mars. Ultimately subverted; by the end of Golden Son, he doesn't want his father's approval. He wants to kill him, and he does.

     Claudius au Augustus 
Nero's oldest son and older brother to The Jackal and Mustang. He was killed before the start of the series by Karnus au Bellona.
  • Cain and Abel: Although he was killed in a duel with Karnus au Bellona It is revealed in Golden Son that Adrius was the one that set it all up.
    Adrius:"I paid Karnus au Bellona seven million credits and six Pinks to sully Claudius's girl. I knew Claudius's honor would lead him into the ring."
  • Posthumous Character: He's been dead since the series began.

Primus of House Minerva at the Institute. She's later revealed to be the daughter of ArchGovernor Nero au Augustus and sister to The Jackal.
  • Action Girl: She knows how to fight and scheme.
  • Action Mom: In Morning Star, she has a son and is as capable of kicking ass as before.
  • All-Loving Hero: By far the most competent and compassionate Gold in the series, possibly because the Telemanus family raised her to admire King Arthur, Jesus, and other such heroes.
  • Animal Motif: She is introduced riding on a horse, and her nickname "Mustang" comes from this fact.
  • Battle Couple: Becomes one with Darrow.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to her brother's Cain.
  • The Chessmaster: She was placed in House Minerva for a reason. Virginia may not be the same sort of brilliant schemer and cold villain that her brother is, but she's a genius strategist on her own and a skilled manipulator.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: One of the few heroic Golds in the series.
  • Instant Allegiance Artifact: Uses her Standard as a weapon in battle, turning slaves against their former masters.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Left her son in the care of the Telemanus family while she was off fighting a war in Morning Star.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: She's suffered a lot in life, knows how horrible her society is, and knows the prices she has to pay to change it. Despite that, she wholeheartedly believes in a better world including Darrow's vision, and hopes to create such with as little bloodshed as possible.
  • Manipulative Bastard: A heroic example. She excels at manipulating people, yet does so for noble ends.
  • Meet Cute: She made a crack at Darrow while he struggled to learn how to ride.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Kept her pregnancy secret from everyone in order to keep her brother and the Sovereign from finding out she was pregnant with Darrow's child.
  • Official Couple: With Darrow.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Adrius. Darrow loves one and hates the other one with passion.
  • Second Love: She's the second partner for Darrow.
  • The Strategist: Virginia is noted to be the finest and most prominent tactician among Darrow's forces. She often uses elaborate schemes and plans to win various battles.
  • White Sheep: Not just among her family, but among Golds as a whole. Though her hands are hardly clean, Mustang is easily the most idealistic character in the series.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Convinces Darrow of this after he's left for dead by Cassius

     Pliny au Velocitor 
Nero's chief politico and advisor. He's constantly seeking to undermine the standing of Darrow, Mustang, and the Jackal in his superior's eyes in order to increase his own power.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: His only loyalty is to himself.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Darrow's narration in Golden Son identifies him as one of the unnamed Golds who attended Eo's execution in the first book.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Darrow's narration of his cameo in Red Rising mentions him wearing makeup.
  • Smug Snake: Thinks of himself as the Chessmaster, only for Darrow and Mustang to swiftly strip away his power and outmaneuver him repeatedly, resulting in his own allies turning on him in favor of Darrow.
  • The Starscream: Betrays the ArchGovernor to the Sovereign for his own personal gain.

A young lancer for House Augustus who Nero officially adopted as his heir at Pliny's suggestion.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Darrow's narration in Golden Son reveals that he was one of the unnamed Golds who attended Eo's execution alongside Augustus and Pliny.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Invoked. Pliny specifically hired him because of his similarities to Claudius.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Killed by the Jackal in the midst of the fight with Bellona on Luna a few chapters after being introduced.
  • Uniqueness Value: wields a rainbow colored sword.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Killed within ten chapters of being introduced.

     Kavax au Telemanus 
A friend and ally of Nero au Augustus
  • Boisterous Bruiser: His kids had to get it from somewhere in the family tree
  • BFS: His sword is as large as Darrow
  • Blood Knight: Loves to fight
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Dotes on his pet fox, and also one of the biggest badasses in the series.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: constantly talks to his pet fox and believes that gnomes steal earwax from his ears while he sleeps, yet still an undeniable badass.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: His wife believes that his Bunny-Ears Lawyer tendencies are a result of one too many blows to the head. His son just thinks he's this trope.
  • Fantastic Racism: Is extremely distrusting of Obsidians. He gets over it by the end of Morning Star.
  • Large Ham: Pax had to learn it somewhere.
  • Nice Guy: Everyone likes Kavax.
  • Parental Substitute: while Nero is still acknowledged as Mustang's father, Kavax is the one who practically raised her and served as a parental figure to her.

     Pax au Telemanus 
A physically towering member of House Minerva at the Institute and Kavax's youngest son. His family is allied with House Augustus, and so he and Mustang grew up as childhood friends.

     Daxo au Telemanus 
Pax's older brother.
  • BFS: Like his father, he wields a gigantic blade as big as Darrow.
  • Blood Knight: A family trait
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Less so than the rest of his family, but it's still there
  • The Big Guy: Just like the rest of the family.
  • Facial Markings: Has angel tattoos on his head.
  • Large Ham: Less boisterous than his father and brother, but he still has his moments.
  • Mauve Shirt: Never gets to be part of the main cast, but he's the most memorable of his siblings aside from Pax.

     Tactus au Rath 
A young man who serves in Darrow and Mustang's army at the Institute.
  • Ambiguously Brown: his skin is described as looking like honeyed oak. Word Of God confirms he's of mediterranean descent.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tactus is fully capable and willing of turning on anyone. Ultimately subverted, however, as he turns back to Darrow's side.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Any Gold with dark skin automatically qualifies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In spite of being a true Token Evil Teammate with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder who uses drugs and is guilty of Attempted Rape, Tactus has some lines he won't cross. Specifically, and importantly, he Wouldn't Hurt a Child.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Whether Tactus is a good guy or not depends heavily on circumstances. While he does genuinely have a certain friendship with Darrow, he's also willing to switch sides on a dime.
  • Hidden Depths: Revealed to be a skilled enough musician that Darrow, attempting to encourage their friendship, gives him a Stradivarius. Unfortunately, his upbringing leaves him so leery of gifts he sells it... or at least tried to. Apparently, he kept it, and was practicing to repay Darrow with some music before he broke ranks from Augustus.
  • Jerkass: Tactus is a misogynstic asshole fully willing to betray and murder his own allies. He eventually softens up into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and dies a noble death.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Since he refuses to kill Lorn's grandchildren, Darrow and he reconnect their friendship for all of a few minutes before Lorn kills him in retribution.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Darrow allies with various parties through the course of the books, but Tactus proves among the most depraved, being a ruthless, backstabbing attempted rapist with a vile streak a mile wide, although he has his Hidden Depths and good qualities to be sure.
  • Tragic Villain: Oh, yeah, Tactus is a bad fellow, being an attempted rapist, addict, and traitor. All that said, it's made clear that Tactus doesn't know what to do with his life, just wants the approval of his family, and any Gold is bound to have serious personality defects due to their upbringing. Tactus is a Token Evil Teammate for a reason, but that doesn't keep Darrow from allowing him on his side due to seeing that he can be better, and his death remains tragic, with him dying just after choosing the side of good and befriending Darrow.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite his backstabbing tendencies, he still believes that Darrow is worth following.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Tactus truly wants the approval of his family, which drives him to some of his worst acts.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: Tactus, for all he's awful, refuses to hurt or kill children.

     Roque au Fabii 
The son of a prominent senator. He's drafted into House Mars at The Institute, and becomes a lancer for House Augustus after he graduates.

House Bellona and allies

     Tiberius au Bellona 
Patriarch of House Bellona, father of Cassius, Karnus, and Julian. He serves as the Imperator of the Sixth fleet.
  • Decapitation Presentation: His head is mounted on a pike in Agea after the siege of Mars in Golden Son.
  • Hen Pecked Husband: He's submissive towards his wife after Julian dies.
  • Only Sane Man: Seems to be the only member of the Bellona family not obsessed with getting revenge for Julian's death.
  • The Unfought: Darrow never faces him in the series.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He gets one cameo at the end of Red Rising, one speaking appearance in the first half of Golden Son, and the next time we see him his head is mounted on a spike.

     Julia au Bellona 
Matriacrch of House Bellona, wife of Tiberius, and mother of Cassius, Julian, and Karnus.
  • Ascended Extra: Only gets two lines during the entire trilogy. Previews for Iron Gold indicate she'll play a more prominent role in the Sequel Series.
  • Revenge Myopia: Blames Darrow for Julian's death, even though she's fully aware that Augustus rigged The Passage to kill off a Bellona as part of the ongoing feud between the two families.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Refuses to eat until someone kills Darrow in revenge for Julian's death.

     Cassius au Bellona 
Member of House Mars at the Institute and brother of Julian. He and Darrow are friends for the beginning of their time at The Institute, but he turns against Darrow and leaves him for dead when he discovered that the latter was the one who killed Julian in the Passage.
  • The Ace: Considered the all-around greatest heir of his house, being handsome, intelligent, and dangerous.
    • Broken Ace: Becomes this in the second book after losing his duel and an arm to Darrow. The murder of his family makes him even more broken.
  • Affably Evil: Outside of being a bit of an arrogant prat, he's a decent person who just happens to be on the wrong side. He loses the "evil" part eventually.
  • Big Brother Instinct: With Julian, despite them being twins.
  • The Casanova: He's dated Antonia, Mustang, Victra, Quinn... As Darrow put it, every woman of their generation has dated and/or slept with him at some point or another. And that's just the ladies...
  • Duel to the Death: Despite the ArchGovernor's role in ensuring Julian's death, he blames Darrow and challenges him to a duel. When Darrow recovers from near-death injuries and challenges him again in the second book, he loses, sparking a civil war.
  • Evil Virtues: Has so many that if he weren't Gold, he'd probably be the series hero. Then he finds out Octavia killed his family and becomes one.
  • Moral Myopia: Following The Passage, he has a joking attitude and looks down on those who are saddened to have been forced to kill. However, he's enraged when he finds out that his brother, Julian, was killed in the Passage. Also, when he finds out about Titus raping other students, he's enraged- but it isn't just Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil- he's specifically angry that Titus treated Golds like Pinks.
  • Noble Demon: Keeps to his code of honour as best he can.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Julian. While Cassius, just like his brothers, wants to bring glory to his family Julian is more of a dreamer.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Survives the series after he performs a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Revenge Myopia: Despite him blaming Darrow for Julian's death, he never even mentions the person he was forced to kill. Apparently your death only matters if you're Bellona.
  • The Rival: A clear cut and initially unapologetic example, even so far as to be The Champion of his house against Darrow for House Augustus, even taunting him over dating Mustang.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Goes from somewhat sympathetic to being a straight-up Dragon for the Sovereign, enjoying killing and dueling for its own sake.
    • And then he goes back to sympathetic again when his entire family (with the exception of his mother) is massacred at the end of the second book.
  • True Companions: Briefly with Roque and Darrow. It doesn't last.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Darrow got off to a rough start but eventually become friends working together. Learning that he killed Julian leads to Cassius vowing a blood feud.
  • Worthy Opponent: Has this from Darrow (who actually seems not to begrudge him on a personal level) and returns it in kind in the third book. The respect between them in spite of Cassius's proclamation of blood feud even plays into Cassius's Heel–Face Turn.

     Julian au Bellona 
Member of House Mars and brother of Cassius. He's killed by Darrow in the passage at the beginning of their year at the Institute, and his death motivates the feud that erupts between Darrow and Cassius for the rest of the series.
  • Glove Slap: Challenges Sevro to duel the first time they meet.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: After befriending Darrow, he is forced to fight him for access to the Gold academy. Darrow wins, breaking his own heart.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Introduced only to be killed a few chapters later.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his twin Cassius and also his other brothers. While they want to bring glory and honour to the family name, Julian is more idealistic.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Spends the whole Passage in complete denial and is fully convinced that he can peacefully talk Darrow into surrendering, and they'll both be to leave alive.

     Karnus au Bellona 
Cassius and Julian's older brother. His family sends him to the Academy with the explicit goal of murdering Darrow as revenge for Julian's death.
  • Ax-Crazy: Referred to as the family killing machine
  • Blood Knight: He proves it at the gala.
  • Jerkass: Views Julian as a weakling.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Darrow refers to him as the monster his family lets out of the basement when they want him to kill someone.

House Lune and allies

     Octavia au Lune 
Sovereign of the Society. She rules the solar system from her throne on Luna after she overthrew her tyrannical father.
  • Big Bad: of the second and third books.
  • Blatant Lies: She tends to do this.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Did this to her father to become Sovereign. She's the one whose head is being presente at the end of Morning Star.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She loves Lysander.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Darrow fatally stabs her.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: An evil, female Sovereign.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As the Sovereign, she's the main villain of the entire trilogy, although she's only directly involved in the plot for the last two-thirds of it.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Overthrew her tyrannical father only to become a tyrant herself.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Rules with an iron fist despite her age.
  • Offing the Offspring: According to rumor at least.
  • Older than They Look: Described as having an ageless face in Red Rising, even though she has been Sovereign for about 60 years and is at least a 100 years old. However, her age is starting to show when Darrow comes face-to-face with her in Morning Star. By then her hair is streaked with deep rivers of grey and tendrils of blue worm through the corners of her eyes from relapsed cellular rejuvanation therapy. The very thing that supposed to keep her looking "ageless". Of course, the Low Colors revolting, losing the Sword Armada and The Jackal blackmailing her with the threat of setting off the nukes on Luna might have been taking a toll on her as wel...
  • Patricide: Became Sovereign by presenting the Senate with her father's head.

     Lysander au Lune 
Ocatvia's grandson and heir to the Morning Throne.
  • Ascended Extra: Only had a few scenes in the original trilogy, but goes on to become one of the main characters of the Sequel Series
  • Children Are Innocent: Relatively speaking. He's not as innocent as real-world children, but he's still more innocent than the rest of the cast.
  • The Exile: He and Cassius go into exile together at the end of Morning Star.
  • Lost Orphaned Royalty: At the end of the original trilogy, his grandmother is killed. While Darrow and Mustang have no intention of harming him, Cassius takes him into exile because they all know that not everyone in the solar system will be as forgiving.
  • Morality Pet: Serves as one for his grandmother.
  • Raised by Grandparents: His grandmother raised him after his parents died in a shuttle accident that she was rumored to have engineered.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After Octavia is killed in Morning Star, he is forced to flee Luna to escape persecution from anyone seeking to eliminate the Lune bloodline.

     Aja au Grimmus 
One of Octavia's Furies and an Olympic Knight

     Moira au Grimmus 
Aja's sister and the Sovereign's chief politico.

     Magnus au Grimmus/The Ash Lord 
ArchImperator of the Scepter Armada and father of the Furies.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Aja and Moria had to get it from somewhere.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone fears him over his destruction of Rhea.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: He regrets his actions in the destruction of Rhea, yet his infamy means he'll never be able to forget it.
  • Red Baron: His actions on Rhea earned him the nom de guerre "Ash Lord"
  • The Unfought: Despite his reputation, his only appearance in the series is over a holo-conference during a battle that Darrow and Mustang don't participate in. After Octavia's assassination, he retreats to Mercury and Venus with the other Gold loyalists.

The Board of Quality Control

     Varus au Celinius 
A Gold responsible for maintenance of Board of Quality Control facilities. The early Sons of Ares captured and interrogated him in order to track down Bryn.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Ryanna executes him when Doran accidentally reveals Fitchner's name in front of him.
  • Defiant Captive: Refuses to cooperate with the Sons when they try to get his dataPad password. At least until they start torturing him.
  • Fingore: Ares cuts his hand in half to get him to talk.
  • He Knows Too Much: He's killed when Doran slips up and reveals the names of the early Sons of Ares.
  • Hidden Depths: His initial dialogue depicts him as the stereotypical decadent Pixie, yet he effortlessly identifies his captors by the way they talk and.
  • Sherlock Scan: Identifies his captors' colors based on various cues like language (only Reds use the word "Bloodydamn") or body odor (Greens smell like caffeine from all the coffee they drink and oil from their implants).

     Arturius au Vardan 
Fitchner's friend from the Institute. He was Primus of House Jupiter for his year, and went on to become a Prefect for the Board of Quality Control.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: It turns out that he fell in love with Fitchner, but Fitchner had already married Bryn.
  • Big Bad: Of the Sons of Ares comic. He's responsible for Sevro and Bryn's abduction, along with Bryn's execution.
  • Big Bad Friend: He knows Fitchner married and had a child with Bryn, and their abduction was intended as his idea of a favor to help Fitchner avoid the consequences of his actions in exchange for taking a position at the board of Quality Control.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: When his mother orders him to sever all ties with Fitchner, he complies with her demands.
  • Broken Pedestal: Fitchner takes his reluctance to oppose his mother rather hard.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: his actions in the second half of the comment are motivated by his unrequited attraction to Fitchner.
  • I Have Your Wife: He's the one who took Bryn.
  • Put on a Bus: He disappears in Issue 3 after Fitchner leaves Mars...
  • The Bus Came Back: ...Only to return in the next issue when Fitchner learns he's become one of the leaders of the Board of Quality Control.

Other Golds

     Fitchner au Barca 
Proctor of House Mars at the Institute, father of Sevro, and leader of the Sons of Ares.
  • Character Death: Fitchner doesn't make it out of Golden Son, his head delivered to Darrow in Adrius's moment of triumph.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Fitchner initially seems like a fool, but he turns out to be not only an effective combatant and strategist, he's been Ares the entire time, plotting the downfall of Gold society.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: He and Sevro don't have the best relationship, but it's likely because Fitchner needed to make Sevro strong and smart enough to survive the Passage. And then there's also the fact that he's Ares.
  • Decapitation Presentation: At the end of Golden Son, Darrow receives his head in a box, his mouth filled with grapes and his eyes slashed out.
  • Eye Scream: Apparently he was quite horribly tortured before his head was presented to Darrow, as his eyes are slashed out.
  • Generation Xerox: Sevro wasn't the only one who was supposed to die in the Passage.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the Golds have Roman names and surnames. Curiously, Fitchner's surname originates from Carthage, Rome's most notorious rival, specifically it's famed general Hannibal Barca. Fitting considering his role as leader of the resistance.
  • Misery Builds Character:
    • He teaches this to his students at The Institute.
    • Later revealed that this applies to his own backstory as well: being injured in an explosion on the job lead to him falling in love with a Red, and her execution for marrying a Gold drives him to start the Sons of Ares.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Hannibal Barca.
  • Praetorian Guard: Becomes one of the Sovereign's Olympic Knights in Golden Son.
  • Red Baron: He goes by Ares, God of War when on his true job, but as the Sovereign's bodyguard he is known by the official title of the Rage Knight.
  • Snark Knight: Fitchner is not a kind man, being cynical and dry, but he's a surprising badass and an effective soldier, not to mention Ares himself.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With his now deceased wife: She was a Red, he was a Gold.
  • Trickster Mentor: Plays this to House Mars and Darrow, often appearing deliberately unhelpful, but then offering guidance/hints when they ask the right questions. It gets a further edge when in Golden Son it is revealed that he's Ares and has been "in charge" of Darrow the whole time.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The comic reveals him to be this in regards to his past.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Fitchner is more than willing to play politics, aim for power shifts, and put civilians in harm's way, but he's genuinely trying to help Darrow. In fact, he's even more clearly this after the revelation he's Ares; he'll abandon and mistreat his pupils, induct people by force, and lie to his own forces, but he truly cares about every last one of them and did what he felt had to be done.
  • Walking Spoiler: Aything relating to his role beyond the first book is a major spoiler.

     Sevro au Barca 
A shorter than average Gold drafted into House Mars at the Institute. Revealed to be the son of Fitchner, the House Mars Proctor at the end of the first book. After discovering Darrow's status as a Red, he remains loyal to the Reaper and becomes one of his most devoted supporters.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Harbors a one-sided crush on Quinn, who is Roque's girlfriend/lover.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Has an unrequited crush on Quinn and ultimately ends up marrying Victra, but has enough moments of Ho Yay towards Darrow to make one question whether she's not the only one he was in love with.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Victra. Their insults and squabbling is underlaid with many held gazes, flirtations, and rare moments of genuine worry. By the end of Morning Star they're Happily Married.
  • Blood Knight: He loves fighting. Scratch that, he's crazy about fighting.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Sevro was born to a Gold and a Red.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Spends most of his time in the woods, filthy and eating whatever he killed.
  • Disney Death: Appears to be killed by Cassius in Morning Star. But it was all part of the plan and he was faking it.
  • Eye Scream: Lost an eye to Lilath sometime after Darrow and Cassius' schism.
  • Happily Married: To Victra in Morning Star.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Losing his father and Darrow in Golden Sun, combined with the stress of leading the Sons of Ares, leads to him becoming increasingly brutal. Darrow manages to call him on this and bring him back from the brink, though.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: Not that huge, but Sevro's noticeably short for a Gold, putting him below most of the Gold women. Including his eventual wife; Darrow teases him at his wedding for needing to stand on tiptoes to kiss Victra.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Tries using this as defense for some of his actions in Morning Star. It's implied he knows it doesn't hold water.
  • In Harm's Way: In Golden Son, tells Darrow that he and the other Howlers live for this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He swears like a sailor and constantly insults everyone around him. He's also unflinchingly loyal to Darrow, even after learning that Darrow is a Red.
  • The Lancer: Eventually becomes this in relation to Darrow.
  • Legacy Character: Assumes the identity of Ares in Morning Star, replacing his now dead father.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Hannibal Barca
  • Nature Hero: He spends a good chunk of his time in the Institute with wolves to avoid the unrest inherent to House Mars. Ultimately, he kills a pack leader and is respected as their new alpha.
  • Nemean Skinning: He wears his wolf cloak in this fashion, and eventually so does his team.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Sevro enjoys odd things, like keeping an enemy's eyeball or eating roaches.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Is head and shoulders smaller than any of the other (Gold) cast members—and hands down the best killer.
  • Pungeon Master: Apparently spent his time on Pluto sending Darrow, Roque and Tactus videos of him reading puns.
  • Primal Stance: Spends as much time on two legs as on four.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: ...Is weirdly obsessed with unicorns.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Has an extremely foul mouth. Ninety percent of his screen time will involve him swearing.
  • You Killed My Father: Has a vendetta against Cassius in Morning Star because the latter was the one to kill Fitchner

     Titus au Ladros 
A psychotic Gold sorted into House Mars at the Institute. He spends the war games doing little more than raping and torturing his fellow students before the other factions within House Mars ally to take him down. At his execution, Darrow realizes that he's another Red Carved to infiltrate the Institute.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Darrow is very conflicted about his fate.
    Darrow: I hope his pain fades in death. I did not love him until he was dead; and he should be dead, but he is still my brother.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Debatable. When he is bored with tormenting his first slave, he leaves her where her house members unintentionally trample her when riding out to save her. However, Titus becomes this upon raping Golds, exactly like they did to the person he loved.
  • Misplaced Retribution: At some point in his past, someone he loved was raped by Golds. He chooses to enact revenge on them by sexually violating slaves and house members alike, who had nothing to do with the incident other than the fact that they are also Golds.
  • Paying Evil Unto Evil: That's how he fights Golds.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He is a violent rapist, and doesn't see anything wrong with it. A mutual disgust of his actions is what drives the other factions within House Mars to form an uneasy alliance to oust him. Even the Proctors don't seem all that upset during his execution.

     Antonia au Severus-Julii 
A highly intelligent young woman drafted into House Mars at the Institute. She establishes early on that she will back stab whoever it takes to win.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Darrow notes several times how beautiful Antonia is. In Morning Star, after brutally murdering the Howler Thistle, her sister Victra gives her such a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that Antonia's beauty is well and truly tarnished.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Victra's Abel
  • The Chessmaster: One of her defining character traits, as she is a backstabbing schemer with plenty of intelligence.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: To the detriment of House Mars in the first book, and House Augustus in the second.
  • Dark Action Girl: Prefers getting physical in a fight, but also works as a long-term schemer.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: It takes a while to expire in but it finally does in Morning Star. First she receives some comeuppance in the form of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Victra after she killed Thistle and finally she gets excecuted by Aja for abandoning Roque to save her own skin.
  • Lady of War: A trait she shares with her sister.
  • The Mole: She was one in House Mars for the Jackal, killing Lea and capturing Roque.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Part of her last name is derived from the Julii Caesares, the Roman family that produced Julius Caesar
  • Rich Bitch: Displays this attitude consistently throughout the series.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Murders her mother at the end of Golden Son.
  • You Have Failed Me: executed by Aja in Morning Star when she abandons Roque to save her own skin.

     Victra au Julii 
Antonia's older half-sister. She serves with Darrow at the Academy in the beginning of Golden Son and remains loyal to him to the end.
  • Action Girl: As good in a fight as she is in command of a spaceship.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Heavily implied to have a crush on Darrow throughout Golden Son.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Sevro. Their insults and squabbling is underlaid with many held gazes, flirtations, and rare moments of genuine worry. By the end of Morning Star they're Happily Married.
  • Blood Knight: She and Sefi actually bond over how much they love a good fight, and likely she does the same with Sevro.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Before Morning Star.
  • Broken Bird: In Morning Star, she claims she has nothing to live for but revenge, believes she's poison to everyone, and Darrow notices an odd emptiness in her eyes. A year of torture will do that to you.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Antonia's Cain.
  • Disney Death: Antonia shoots her In the Back at the end of Golden Son, only for her to still be alive at the beginning of Morning Star.
  • Happily Married: To Sevro in Morning Star.
  • The Heart: Is genuinely kind and caring... for a Peerless Scarred Gold.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: She's taller than Sevro, though not so much as the trope implies.
  • Lady of War: One of the only things she and her sister have in common.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Her last name is derived from the Julii Caesares, the Roman family that produced Julius Caesar
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: She spends the second and third books convinced that she's as terrible as her sister because Antonia's Ax-Crazy tendencies are genetic. Her Character Development involves realizing that she's not her family.

     Cyriana au Tanus/"Thistle" 
A member of House Mars and one of Sevro's Howlers. She later defects to The Society's Side in Golden Son and becomes one of The Jackal's Boneriders.
  • Broken Pedestal: Began to doubt Darrow's leadership as a fleet commander after his strategic mistake caused the death of many of her friends in Golden Son. Which led to her defecting to The Society's side during Darrow's Triumph and downfall along with Roque.
  • Evil Makeover: Lightened her hair and eyes to fit in better with the other Golds inMorning Star. Likely so that she no longer looked like a "Bronzie".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In Morning Star Thistle expresses remorse for having betrayed Darrow and The Howlers back in Golden Son. She even wants to give them any information they might need. She never could thanks to Antonia...
  • Turncoat: Leaves Sevro's Howlers and joins The Jackal's Boneriders somewhere between Golden Son and Morning Star.

     Lorn au Arcos 
The retired Rage Knight and grandfather to Lysander.
  • The Dreaded: He calmly threatens to kill anyone who gets within two meters of Darrow when confronting Pliny in Golden Son, and nobody is willing to call his bluff.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Has one brief appearance during the Drafting in Red Rising, before returning as a major character in Golden Son.
  • Fantastic Racism: despite being nice to all of his servants, he views Obsidians as little more than mindless killing machines.
  • Mauve Shirt: Only part of the cast for one book, but his scenes are memorable ones.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Greets each of his servants by name.
  • Old Master: One of the most famous in the whole solar system. Is well over a hundred years old and can still kick ass.
  • Retired Badass: Until Darrow drags him out of retirement kicking and screaming in Golden Son.

     Romulus au Raa 
Heir to house Raa. Becomes ArchGovernor of Io after his father is assassinated at the end of Golden Son, after which he declares the Rim's independence from Luna and becomes Sovereign of the Rim.
  • Affably Evil: Polite to all of his opponents, regardless of their Color, and keeps his word when he offers someone hospitality.
  • Enemy Mine: Forced to team up with the Rising in order to survive.
  • Good Old Ways: A firm believer in this. He thinks that the core world Golds have become petty, decadent thugs and lost the honor and strength that once allowed them to conquer the solar system.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: His name comes from one of the founders of Rome.
  • Noble Demon: Darrow admits that despite upholding the hierarchy, Romulus isn't petty and cruel about it like other Golds.
  • You Killed My Father: His father and daughter's deaths at the end of Golden Son prompt him to declare war on the Sovereign.

     Baby Pax 
The infant son of Darrow and Mustang. Pax was born during the time skip between Golden Son and Morning Star. In order to protect him from her enemies, his mother left him in the care of Kavax au Telemanus' wife before returning to war. After Mustang's coronation as Sovereign, he's brought to Earth and reunited with his mother as he's introduced to his father for the first time.

     Proctor Apollo 
The instructor for House Apollo at the Institute. He is the one who organizes the other Proctors in rigging the game for the ArchGovernor's son.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: His primary weapon.
  • Eye Scream: Darrow kills him by stabbing him in the head through his eye.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Intends to do this to Darrow in order for The Jackal to win, only for Darrow to turn the tables and be the one to kill him.
  • Pretty Boy: How he's described in the book.
  • Starter Villain: He's one of the primary antagonists of the first book, but only as an obstacle to Darrow's advancement. Once's he's dead, the story puts the focus on the real villains.

     Proctor Mercury 
The instructor for House Mercury at the Institute and the God Loki in Asgard.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns as the "God" Loki in Morning Star
  • Character Death: Averted, he survives the assault on Olympus in Red Rising. But played straight in Morning Star as he was likely executed along with the other Golds that claimed the be the Obsidian's "Gods".
  • Younger than They Look: Described as a small, squat and baby faced man with coiled golden hair.