The cast of Shut Hell and associated tropes. Beware of unmarked spoilers.
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Shut Hell, "The Evil One"
The title character and protagonist of the story. Once a common rank-and-file soldier in the Tangut army by the nickname of Little Sparrow, the loss of her fortress and all her comrades at the hands of Mongol forces traumatizes her and transforms her into a tenacious, brutal warrior. Desiring nothing more than the deaths of those who wronged her, she roams the land, killing Mongol forces wherever she goes, and becomes known as Shut Hell.
While looking for the commander of the forces that attacked her fortress, Harabal, she meets Yurul. Knowing that she can use him as a lure to attract Harabal, the two begin traveling together, and slowly become closer than either could expect.
After the events that lead to her death by hanging, her role in the narrative takes a step back, with her consciousness coming out of her body only occasionally to kill Mongols. Her consciousness returns in full after she fights Harabal once again. Thereafter, she and Sudou take turns sharing her body as the story progresses.
- Animal Motifs: A wolf. After defending the corpses of her comrades from hungry wolves, she is never seen without a wolfs pelt on her, and she kills a lot of people by biting out their throats; and in at least one occasion, her shadow has been stylishly depicted as that of a giant wolfs.
- Anti-Hero: Shes pretty morally ambiguous. Goes from being a Nominal Hero to Unscrupulous Hero once she starts caring for Yurul.
- Action Girl: One of the few in the story.
- Ax-Crazy: What else can you call someone who rips out the throats of her enemies and listens at their chests as they die to hear their last heartbeats?
- Back from the Dead: As part of the First Episode Resurrection. In a variation, since its Sudou in her body instead of her properly, her mind is mostly dormant.
- The Berserker: Her fighting style is very brutal and ferocious. Shes prone to killing people very violently.
- Blood Knight: Hell yes. Her fighting style is incredibly bloody, and the first time she kills Mongols while Sudou is in her body, he notes that he felt a rush of insane joy from doing so.
- Break the Cutie: What happens to Little Sparrow. The ensuing transformation into an out-for-revenge murderer is dramatic.
- The Dreaded: The Mongols were one of the most powerful armies in history. For them to call her Evil One, its safe to say she earned the title.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: Little Sparrow's regiment, leading to her huge Break the Cutie moment.
- Expository Hairstyle Change/Letting Her Hair Down: She had her hair in a bun before her comrades deaths. Afterwards, she lets it down as an indicator of just how badly things have gone.
- Fiery Redhead: Very passionate and prone to anger.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Just a normal Tangut soldier before she turned into the warrior she is now.
- He Who Fights Monsters: As Harabal points out to Shut Hell when they first meet, her need to avenge her dead comrades makes her worse than the army that wiped them out, since she gains nothing from it.Harabal: "For the sake of the dead, you brought more death into this world. You already smell like a rotten corpse."
- Laughing Mad: Upon being provoked during her fight with Bektel. Notably, Bektel joined right in.
- Man Bites Man: In one memorable scene, with her hands bound behind her back, she resorted to using her bare teeth to rip out the throats of a group of Mongol soldiers. Not the last time she does this either, as she seems to have developed a taste for this kind of thing after the incident.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: She stayed around her friends' corpses and talked with them after they died. Not to mention how rabidly she defended them against hungry wolves.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is unknown. Even before being Shut Hell, we only know her other nickname, Little Sparrow.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Hell-bent on killing the "Tiger" (Harabal) and any of his accomplices, as revenge for killing all her friends.
- Scars Are Forever: Has many scars, most noticeably on her arms.
- Slasher Smile: She's very good at making these.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: She might be able to communicate with wolves, though it's not clear if it's all wolves, or just the one (suggested to be a Mongol god), or if they're both special, or even that it wasn't a hallucination.
- The Unfettered: Revenge is the only thing in her mind up until she meets Yurul. She slowly grows out of it when Yurul starts teaching her how to write.
An ordinary high-school student in modern-day Japan, and either Shut Hells reincarnation or her descendant (its unclear). After having dreams of Shut Hells life and being approached by Suzuki, his mind is mystically transported backwards in time to Shut Hells hanged body.
Though he starts out as the audiences viewpoint to the storys events, after recalling the events that led to Shut Hells hanging, his mind briefly returns to the modern-day, where he realizes that if he doesnt return to the past and protect Yurul in Shut Hells body, Suzuki and the Tangut language might disappear from the present.
- Audience Surrogate: His role in the story, essentially.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Some chapters after the extended flashback ends, Shut Hells hair gets cut short in a fight. This is mostly for the audience's benefit, to distinguish Sudou from her.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: His hair grows to full length whenever Shut Hell comes out to kill Mongols.
- Friend to All Living Things: With wolves, at least. In contrast to Shut Hell, he befriends several of them after a particularly exhausting battle, and they feed and care for him for some time.
- Naked on Arrival: When Sudou travels back in time into the body of Shut Hell, s/he's...very naked. This is because she was just executed.
- Parental Abandonment: He briefly mentions in the first chapter that his parents ran out on him.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Had dreams of the past before the story's start.
- Past-Life Memories: Possibly. He remembers Shut Hell's memories as he is told the story from the start by Yurul, although as mentioned, it's not clear if he's Shut Hell's reincarnation in the first place.
- Took a Level in Badass: After getting used to Shut Hell's body, he becomes able to kick ass with ease on his own, although still nowhere near her level of skill.
Yurul, "The Little Prince"
The storys Deuteragonist, Yurul was raised as the younger son of the leader of the Tsog tribe, which is under Mongol control, but is secretly a son of the Khan. As such, he was groomed from an early age to be a scholar, with the hopes that one day he could be used as a bargaining chip to improve the Tsogs power.
Fascinated with the words and cultures of the enemies his tribe stamps on as they advance, and hating the violence and brutality of the plains, Yurul decides to run away from his home, determined to save as much culture as he can from the Tangut, even a bit. Helped by Boldo, he discovers an immense treasure hidden by his adoptive mother - nine slabs of jade engraved with Tangut letters, known as the Voice of Jade. Setting out to deliver them to safety, he meets Shut Hell, and finds his destiny intertwined with hers.
- Badass Bookworm: He's scholarly, well-read and peaceful, but after taking a level in Badass, also strong-willed enough to do what it takes to achieve his goals.
- Loners Are Freaks: Lampshaded by Harabal, who tells him he's "always alone," and that his music is always sad, so it always drives people away. Yurul responds that he's "no good with people," and the things he values don't make sense to other people.
- Loyal Animal Companion: His pet eagle Yaralt.
- Morality Pet: Towards Harabal. Harabal's father, the clan leader, notes that Yurul is one of the few things Harabal holds precious and dear.
- Later becomes one towards Shut Hell, as teaching her how to write manages to bring back some humanity into her.
- The Quiet One: At first, but he becomes less shy and more talkative as he matures.
- Rebel Prince / Royal Blood: Secretly the Khan's son, but he's not aware of this.
- The Runaway: Becomes this of his own accord (taking along Boldo).
- Scars Are Forever: Gets a long diagonal one running across his face near the beginning of volume 5.
- The Stoic: He can be considered this. Most of the time, his face doesn't show nearly as much emotion as the other characters.
- Took a Level in Badass: After Shut Hell's capture, Yurul hardens up and finds a reason to take up a bow, deciding that it's better to act than to do nothing.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Starts off as this, and while he retains that idealism, as things progress he becomes more willing to recur to violence to solve his problems.
Yuruls reincarnation or descendant (as with Sudou, its unclear). Unlike Sudou, her role in the story is mostly minimal.
Harabal, "Melgen", "The Tiger"
Yuruls older brother, the son of the Tsog tribes leader. An incredibly powerful and ruthless warrior who fights for the Mongols, he is known as "Melgen (Gods Arrow General)", for his great skill with the bow. A commander of great renown within the Mongols, he is the one that butchers the forces of the fortress occupied by Little Sparrow, and unknowingly starts her rampage.
He spends the majority of the story pursuing Yurul after he runs away from home.
- Animal Motifs: A tiger. Besides wearing a hood made of tiger skin, he is ferocious, proud, and very strong.
- Anti-Hero: A Type 3, Pragmatic Hero.
- Archer Archetype: Fits all the points of the character type, from being a skilled archer to not letting his emotions get in the way of his judgement.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Yurul. Yurul doesn't seem to feel nearly as much towards him, though.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Apparently the family trait of his family, as he shares them with his father.
- Blood Knight: Likes fighting a lot, much like Shut Hell.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: His bow has daggers attached to it, allowing him to fight with it even in melee. Later, he gets a weighted staff from Gulshan.
- Heroic BSoD: After finding out that his entire tribe was wiped out on the Khan's orders.
- Tranquil Fury: He doesn't show much of it, but it's clear that he's furious about it from then on.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Capable of casually pulling off Multishots, among other unrealistic feats that can at least be thought of as possible, if extremely difficult.
- Not So Different: Makes this explicit between him and Shut Hell when they meet, but also makes it clear that he fights for the sake of his clan and its future, whereas Shut Hell only wants to satisfy her revenge, a crucial difference.
- Perma-Stubble: Harabal, probably to distinguish him from his bearded father.
- Pet the Dog: Ruthless though he may be, Harabal genuinely cares for Yurul. He even literally pets him.
- Scars Are Forever: Has quite a few scars on his face that are from childhood.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Towards Shut Hell, as described in her He Who Fights Monsters entry. Since both of them are rather morally ambiguous, this highlights that Harabal is on a slightly higher moral ground.
An old Tangut servant that accompanied Ifa, Harabals mother, to the Tsog tribe. Charged with protecting the Voice of Jade, he reveals its existence to Yurul as he tries to leave his tribe, and accompanies him on his journey.
A shady and amoral merchant that takes on jobs nobody else does. Out of fascination for Shut Hell, he arranges circumstances to that she and Yurul meet, leading to them traveling together, along with him.
- Dead Person Conversation: Some volumes after his death, Yurul has a conversation with him in the middle of a snowstorm, where he assures him that they won't speak like this again. Given the story's supernatural angle, it's quite likely this actually happened, instead of Yurul just imagining it.
- False Friend: Towards Yurul. The only reason he stuck with him was to get closer to Shut Hell.
- FaceHeel Turn: Though initially helpful, he eventually turns on the group, and poisons Yurul to force Shut Hell to return to her bestial nature.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Towards Shut Hell. He's shown to get crazy excited when he sees her killing.Alfald: "Yes, show me even more, Shut Hell. More than gold, more than women, fascinate me more. With this wind of violence only you can show me. Take away my soul!"
- Posthumous Character: Sort of. Yurul makes a throwaway reference to him at the story's start, saying he's 'no longer here'. From there, it's easy to guess he's already dead.
- The Unfettered: Explicitly tries to not be bound by any norms or rules. This is what attracts him to Shut Hell - to him, she took this to such an extreme that she resembled an animal more than a human being.
A Tangut woman, daughter of an official of the Academy at Khar Khot. She is mother of Harabal (biological) and Yurul (adoptive).
The father of Ifa, and a high official of the Academy of Khar Khot. He was the one responsible for hatching the plan of hiding the Voice of Jade within the Tsog tribe.
- Feeling Their Age: Old, but capable of keeping up with Harabal and nearly beating him. According to him, the only reason he lost their fight was because hed grown slower with age.
- Go Out with a Smile: Dies smiling, upon realizing Harabals relation to him.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Finds out Harabals mother was Ifa before being killed by him, although he doesn't reveal it.
- Warrior Poet: Very philosophical, and he spends his last moments before his fight with Harabal writing and talking with him.
A Mongol general from a family that has been a vassal of the Khan for a long time. A powerful and ruthless warrior.
- Blood Knight: Loves to fight. Its noted that on the few occasions that he went to the front of battles, it would be a gruesome victory.
- Disability Superpower: Realizing that peoples senses or abilities increase if you take away something from them, like senses or forms of movement, he decided to cut off his own nose to improve his eyes and ears.
- The Noseless: he cut off his nose because he believed it would make his eyes and ears better.
- Laughing Mad: Laughs along Shut Hell in the middle of their fight, to highlight just how unhinged the two are.
- Mook Chivalry: Ordered his soldiers not to interfere in his fight with Shut Hell, out of wanting to fight her on his own.
A strange and pretty European woman dressed as a nun, who serves as an important messenger and adviser to the Khan. Cold and calculating, she leads the search for the Voice of Jade after Shut Hells revival.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Dissonant Serenity: With few exceptions, she is always very serene and calm.
- The Dragon: One of the few people the Khan seems to trust, and while she doesn't hold so much power compared to others, she fits the role for the story.
- Scars Are Forever: Has scars from brands on her back, a pentagram and the word "maga" (witch).
- Torture Technician: Lets just say that shes very skilled in the use of her surgery tools.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Used to be this, as a young nun.
The Khan, Temujin
Genghis Khan himself, the ruthless leader of all Mongol tribes and conqueror of everything that gets in the way of his forces. A distant presence in the narrative, he still manages to be the main antagonist for the story, as his forces advance swiftly over the lands, impeding the protagonists. Specific for the story, he seems to bear a particular hatred towards Tangut script.
- Birds of a Feather: The reason he and Veronika like each other is due to the scars both of them bear. Its easy to see why the two would bond over them.
- Determinator: He is this naturally, to have the willpower to achieve all he has.
- The Dreaded: Very much so, as is fitting for a man of his reputation.
- The Heavy: He is the single reason the story exists at all, so naturally he is this.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The story amps up his ruthlessness and changes his general motivation to better serve as a villain.
- Made of Iron: "Temujin" means Iron Man, and he certainly shows it in his Start of Darkness flashback.
- Scars Are Forever: Has scars on his back of Tangut words saying hell be a slave to them forever. This is his true motive for conquest, wanting to get rid of the Tangut and their words so that one day nobody will be able to read those words.
- Start of Darkness: During his childhood, he and his friends were captured by Tangut soldiers, who told him theyd let them all go if he managed to withstand being marked as a slave with iron-hot brands without making a sound. Managing to do so, his friends promised him theyd stay with him all their lives. However, as time went on they became less respectful of him, until eventually he killed them all for their ingratitude, swearing to wipe off Tangut words off the face of the world.