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     Stephanie Edgley / Valkyrie Cain

Stephanie Edgley, who later takes the name "Valkyrie Cain", is the protagonist of the series, who is unintentionally thrown into the hidden world of magic after her uncle Gordon's death. She learns the ways of sorcery from Skulduggery Pleasant, eventually becoming a powerful sorcerer in her own right.

  • The Anti-Christ: Valkyrie was hoping to be an Anti Anti Christ. In the end, she and Darquesse become separate entities.
    • In Bedlam she's revealed to be a child of the faceless rather than of the ancients so the jury is still out
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Has shades of this in earlier books when her internal monologues show her being distracted by stuff or pointing out irrelevant details. Becomes more sinister in later books when you realize that the voice is Darquesse pointing things out to her.
  • Bi the Way: According to Landy, she is "predominantly straight", but might experiment. Valkyrie at least. Darquesse seems to be more destruction-sexual than anything else.
    • She's asked on a date by Militsa Gnosis in Resurrection, but turns her down due to not looking for a relationship at the moment, as opposed to not being interested in women. However, she openly flirts with Militsa in Midnight, and as of Bedlam, the two are officially dating.
  • Break the Haughty: Last Stand of Dead Men. First she finds out about Ghastly. Then Stephanie tries to kill her and drives her out of the house. Then she kills someone in a fight. Then Darquesse takes over, seemingly for good.
  • Broken Bird: Has become this as of the end of The Dying of the Light, and it's taken even further in Resurrection when it's made clear that she's experiencing PTSD.
  • Broken Pedestal: When she finds out that Skulduggery is Lord Vile.
  • The Chosen One: The necromancers think she is their saviour, the Death Bringer. They later find a new one. The Remnants also see her, or at least Darquesse, as theirs
  • Combat Pragmatist: Even without any combat experience, she instinctively knows to attack her opponents weak spot. She puts it to good use when stuck alone in a cell with Scapegrace.
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Despite being two years younger she ends up briefly taking this role for Carol.
    • To Alison
  • Cool Loser: Valkyrie, who is funny, confident (if a little arrogant) and clever, has no real friends until meeting Skulduggery.
    Valkyrie: Tell [Mum] I'm spending the night at a friends.
    The Reflection: What friend?
    Valkyrie: I don't know. Pick one.
    The Reflection: But you don't have any friends.
    Valkyrie: Tell her I'm sleeping over at Hannah Foley's.
    The Reflection: Hannah Foley doesn't like you.
    Valkyrie: Just do it!
  • Dissonant Serenity: She was totally fine after being tortured by Melancholia. It was implied that Darquesse was the one calming her down.
  • Elemental Powers:
    • Picks up Necromancy.
    • She loses her magic when Darquesse is forced out of her body, but when she gets her Surge, her powers are Shock and Awe
  • Enemy Within: Darquesse
  • Enemy Without: The Reflection. Which has started calling itself Stephanie Edgley. Seriously.
    • And even Darquesse gets upgraded to this in The Dying of the Light, turning into a ghost- sorry, an "untethered entity"- and possessing the body of Stephanie.
  • Evil Feels Good:
    Skulduggery: Power is intoxicating.
    Valkyrie: That's a good word for it.
  • Foil: Is increasingly becoming one to Skulduggery. Whereas Skulduggery is working hard, partially thanks to her influence, to redeem himself and become a better person (and it seems to be working—contrast his actions in the first war to the one in The Last Stand of Dead Men), Valkyrie is taking several levels of jerkass, and seems to be attempting to emulate the person he was, rather than the man he's trying to be, as Fletcher points out. They're also foils in how they deal with their Super-Powered Evil Side. Whereas Skulduggery appears to be more or less in control of Lord Vile as of The Last Stand of Dead Men, in which he uses powerful Necromancy without his armour, and even before that took steps to lessen its influence, Valkyrie's alter-ego has taken complete control of her and refuses to change.
  • Hearing Voices: Probably not a good sign. They continue after Darquesse is gone.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has a minor breakdown in Last Stand of Dead Men after Stephanie tries to kill her and drives her out of the house, but she goes practically catatonic after killing a woman in a fight. Darquesse takes full advantage.
    • Suffers another after the end of The Dying of the Light due to having had to kill her own sister. Even once the story is over, she leaves her home and lives in America for five years in an attempt to recover. She's still showing signs of this by Resurrection.
    • Happens again at the end of Midnight once she discovers that, even after reviving her dead sister, she grew up without a soul because of Valkyrie's actions.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Davina Marr accuses her of this and being smitten with Skulduggery in Dark Days, but it's more prominent from Death Bringer onward.
  • Meaningful Name: See Name of Cain.
  • Morality Chain: She and Skulduggery are mutual ones for each other. He's talked her out of becomes Darquesse three times now and it was the thought of her that stopped him from becoming Lord Vile.
  • Name of Cain: She chose it after Skulduggery mentioned she shared his penchant for "raising cain".
  • Pet the Dog: She starts being a little nicer to her reflection in Kingdom of the Wicked.
  • Power of the Void: Removing Darquesse from Valkyrie leaves her with no True Name; and direct access to the Source of Magic in the form of white lightning.
  • Precocious Crush: Davina Marr accused her of having one of these on Skulduggery in Dark Days. Valkyrie's response is to try and hit her.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: In book six. More sulking than actual rage.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: Skulduggery stopped one of Serpine's men from killing her, and the rest is history.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Sealing her name pretty much gave Darquesse free reign when a Remnant tried to possess Valkyrie. Thankfully, it didn't last.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: In Last Stand of Dead Men.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Darquesse, oh so much.
  • Tagalong Kid: At first. By the end of the first series, she's not a kid anymore, and definitely no tagalong.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: According to Fletcher, she's become this. It sort of rings true.
  • Thanatos Gambit: When cornered by Lord Vile, she gets Melancholia to kill her on purpose. Darquesse comes to play instead.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While she was always competent even as a normal 12 year old, once she discovers her magic and gets trained up by an Action Girl, a Guile Hero and a Necromancer she becomes quite formidable. Then she becomes Darquesse for two minutes and becomes terrifying.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While she isn't intentionally cruel, she's had an increasing number of Kick the Dog moments from "Death Bringer" onwards.
  • The Watson: One of the features of being raised as a mortal. She's usually the one to ask who someone is, how magic works, what a magical artifact does, what the vague backstory that everyone's alluding to is, and, in general what the hell is going on, so the audience doesn't have to.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kills her baby sister to give her control of the Sceptre of the Ancients. She brings her back to life instantly, though she still feels terrible about it.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Fletcher in "Death Bringer".

     Skulduggery Pleasant
I'm sophisticated, charming, suave, and debonair, Professor. But I have never claimed to be civilized.

The titular Skeleton Detective, a centuries-old sorcerer with endless charm and wit. When his old friend Gordon Edgley dies under mysterious circumstances, Skulduggery's investigation leads to him taking Stephanie under his wing, eventually becoming her mentor and partner.

  • Action Dad: Though his child is long dead.
    • Though his possible child by Abyssinnia lives on...
  • Annoying Patient: Skulduggery's response to being treated by Nye.
  • Awesome Ego: In-Universe. Valkyrie notes his "warm arrogance".
  • Ax-Crazy: While he seems perfectly normal (aside from the obvious lack of flesh and organs) a few people, including Skulduggery himself, have alluded to him becoming a bit of psycho after his family died. It started to show after Dark Days.
    • Lord Vile definitely fits this.
  • Black Comedy: He doesn't spare himself, either; twice he's made jokes about his dead family.
  • Blood Knight: Suggested to be one. Pretty much confirmed by Death Bringer.
  • Cultured Badass: Wears exquisitely-tailored suits, drives a Bentley, knows how to ballroom dance and whistles 'The Girl from Ipanema' while waiting to be rescued from a torture dungeon.
  • The Dead Can Dance: Being a suave, four hundred year old badass and all.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Serpine used his dead body as an example after he murdered him. He got better. Then he got angry.
  • Defective Detective: Skulduggery is considered to be the greatest detective around in-universe. He's also an absolute cesspool of mental issues.
  • Determinator: While Tenebrae made it possible, it was through sheer will alone that Skulduggery came back to life as a skeleton.
  • Elemental Powers: He can manipulate all four elements, and starts teaching Valkyrie as well.
  • Enemy Within: Lord Vile.
  • Enemy Without: Lord Vile's armour can animate itself when Skulduggery is feeling unstable.
  • Foil: Is increasingly becoming one to Valkyrie. Whereas Skulduggery is working hard, partially thanks to her influence, to redeem himself and become a better person (and it seems to be working—contrast his actions in the first war to the one in The Last Stand of Dead Men), Valkyrie is taking several levels of jerkass, and seems to be attempting to emulate the person he was, rather than the man he's trying to be, as Fletcher points out. They're also foils in how they deal with their Super-Powered Evil Side. Whereas Skulduggery appears to be more or less in control of Lord Vile as of The Last Stand of Dead Men, in which he uses powerful Necromancy without his armour, and even before that took steps to lessen its influence, Valkyrie's alter-ego has taken complete control of her and refuses to change.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's nice enough as long as you stay on his good side. If not...
  • Hero's Classic Car: Drives a 1950s Bentley. It's been magically repaired so many times it is said that if it takes so much as a scratch, it will implode. But he won't adopt any other for his daily driver; only ever using other cars when he needs to avoid Metallicar Syndrome.
  • Horrifying Hero: Most people are utterly terrified of him, at least before getting to know him. (And even then...) Even Val fainted the first time she saw him, sans disguise.
  • I Hate Past Me: He's really not proud of a lot of the things he did pre-series. Don't even get us started on Vile.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sacrificing someone else's soul to turn off the Accelerator would have been a real dick move if it wasn't Ravel.
  • Magnetic Hero: Before he "died". China comments on how he "inspires loyalty."
  • Meaningful Name: "Skulduggery" means "underhanded or unscrupulous behaviour", and he's certainly known for besting his foes through trickery rather than fighting fair. However, he rarely fails to be impolite or "pleasant" at the same time.
    • Meaningful Rename: After the deaths of his family and his resurrection, he was so broken and so full of hate, he just wanted to kill things. He didn't care who had to suffer, or what, even he was killing. He just wanted to slaughter everything he could. And what did he call himself during this phase? Vile.
  • Morality Chain: Valkyrie is this for him but it turns out that he's one for her too.
    • His family was his Morality Chain before he "died". Taking them away ended... badly.
      • It went so badly that he switched sides with the sole motivation of being able to kill things. Mevolent's other generals believed that bring back the faceless ones was the correct thing to do. Vile wanted them back so he could try and kill a God
  • Names to Run Away From: Skulduggery Pleasant might not sound so bad but "The Skeleton Detective" is a little more ominous. Most sorcerers have heard of his reputation and would rather surrender than face him.
  • Nice Hat: part of his stylish look
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Normally, he never shuts up. If he's not making snarky remarks, the situation is pretty serious. But if he stops talking altogether? Run for your fucking life.
  • Our Liches Are Different: They wear suits, drive nice cars, solve cases and snark.
  • Quizzical Tilt: A habit of his.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Four hundred and fifty-ish.
  • Redemption Demotion: Lord Vile can (and has) beaten the crap out Skulduggery.
    • Justified in that Lord Vile's armour acts as a vessel for Skulduggery's necromancy. Without it he can't use necromancy anywhere near as well
  • The Red Mage: Was capable of using Necromancy even before he died and can use it even without Lord Vile's armour.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At first it seems like this was Skulduggery for a period of a few weeks after his family's death. He reveals in Death Bringer that it was several years before he managed to calm down. The entire time he spent as Lord Vile was basically this, with the whole world as his target.
  • Rousing Speech: Used to be quite good at these apparently. Not so much anymore, though he still has his moments.
    Skulduggery: I used to be so good at these...
    Skulduggery: I don't know where this speech is going but I know where it started and that's what I want you all to take from it. Has anyone seen my hat?
  • Sad Clown: Skulduggery does love his wisecracks, but is also one of the most screwed up characters in the series. Some of his jokes tend to be rather dark. His "fun for the whole family" remark after Serpine decides to torture him comes to mind.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He likes wearing suits.
  • Skeletal Musician: He sings "Me and Mrs Jones" to Valkyrie and is apparently a very good whistler.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: See Lord Vile for details. No. Really.
  • That Face Is Dead: Why his façade tattoo generates a new face each time.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he's feeling homicidal.
    Skulduggery: You're waiting to see if I'm angry.
    Ghastly: I already know you're angry. You're sitting very still and you're talking very quietly. You're getting ready to kill someone.
    Skulduggery: [[I just need a name.]]
    • Everyone has heard of Skulduggery's temper and the fact that he stops talking after pretending to kill Valkyrie really scares Scapegrace.
    • The fact that he has only ever said a single word as Lord Vile indicates just how angry he was after his family's death
  • Unstoppable Rage: Famous for this. They weren't kidding.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Kenspeckle has given him a few verbal lashings for putting Valkyrie in danger.
    • He got this from Valkyrie in Death Bringer after she finds out about Lord Vile.
    • Dexter Vex tears into him after finding out about Darquesse.
    • Melissa Edgley calls him out for putting her daughter in danger. She later apologises and admits that, while she was right, the good outweighed the bad.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The deaths of his wife and child lead to him snapping and becoming Lord Vile.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He attempts to shoot Kitana out of necessity more than anything else in Kingdom of the Wicked. He is, however, unwilling to use lethal force on the young recruits that the American Sancturary has blocking their path in Last Stand of Dead Men.

     Ghastly Bespoke

A kindly tailor and former boxer, and longtime ally to Skulduggery. He has born gruesome scars all over his head since birth.

  • Badass Adorable: He may be scary to look at, but he's a big softie. Particularly when trying to ask Tanith out on a date.
  • Best Friend: To Skulduggery. Word of God says they've known each other since they were teenagers.
  • Big Brother Mentor: For Fletcher, particularly after a nasty breakup.
  • The Big Guy: Which is why Skulduggery always drags him along when he needs back up during a case.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Badass boxer and tailor. And later Elder to his chagrin. He hates the outfit
  • Elemental Powers: Is an Elemental Sorcerer but prefers fighting with his fists.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How his alternate meets his end at the hands of Lord Vile.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Becomes this after Tanith is taken over by a Remnant.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Doesn't have the highest opinion of magic and would rather live a normal life.
  • In the Back: At the hands of Ravel.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Book 8
  • Meaningful Name: "Ghastly" could be used to describe his scarred, intimidating face, while "bespoke" refers to his profession as a tailor.
  • Morality Chain: It's implied that Skulduggery came back to his senses when Vile tried to kill Ghastly after killing Ghastly's mother.
  • Nice Guy: He is shown to be somewhat stubborn but is nonetheless one of the nicest character in the series.

     China Sorrows

A librarian and magical researcher who always seems to have her own agenda. Fluent in the language of magic, and so ethereally beautiful that anyone who lays eyes on her can't help but fall in love immediately.

  • Action Girl: When it suits her, she can kick your ass in a second.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Ironically, she loves the one person who doesn't love her back. Skulduggery.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She's on Valkyrie and Skulduggery's side. Allegedly. Maybe? "Please don't tell me you're trusting her these days."
  • Cool Big Sis: Replaces Tanith as this for Valkyrie after Tanith is possessed by a remnant. It doesn't last.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Her magic is based on sigils which she has carved into her apartment, her furniture, her library, tattooed all over her body (and even on her horse) which range from creating energy beams to making her stronger or even throwing all the furniture at her attacker. When Skulduggery came back, Mevolent had her carve one onto her torso that would ensure that he would really stay dead.
  • Dark Secret: One she's willing to kill for.
    Crux: China Sorrows, China Sorrows. She's the one, she's the one. Nefarian Serpine killed Skulduggery Pleasant, but China Sorrows led his family into the trap.
    • As of Death Bringer, the secret is out.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Well, maybe 'defrosting' is too strong a word, but she's definitely becoming warmer towards Skulduggery and Valkyrie... until Death Bringer, that is.
  • Even Morally Ambiguous Pragmatists Have Loved Ones: Despite attempting to murder him several times, she does love Mr Bliss. She's also fond of Valkyrie and in love with Skulduggery.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Gender has no impact on having every character fall madly in love with her.
  • Femme Fatale: She's drop-dead gorgeous, and extremely dangerous. Even her closest friends don't trust her as far as they can throw her. She can, however, be a Heroic Seductress when it suits her.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: She gets shot in Dark Days and uses her symbols to heal herself. She spends the rest of the book recovering though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in Last Stand of Dead Men. China uses a particular spell devised by Mevolent, of all people, to burn herself alive in an attempt to take down Madame Mist, which succeeds. However, even after a Dying Declaration of Love to Skulduggery, she survives thanks to Darquesse's intervention.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: "Blue as ice and twice as cold."
  • If I Can't Have You...: Implied to be the reason she stayed a disciple of the Faceless Ones and went after Skulduggery's family.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: She likes her horse for this reason. It could possibly be the reason she's so fond Valkyrie and Skulduggery.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Falls victim to this occasionally. She briefly considers wearing leather like Tanith Low but comes to her senses. "Class is a gift that gives eternally."
  • It's All About Me: She is ridiculously self-centered. She knows it, too.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: China is neutral to use her own word. But when she fights... she really fights.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Isn't above using her magic to make people fall hopelessly in love with her just so she gets what she wants.
  • Meaningful Name: "China" refers to her beautiful facade (which has been known to shatter and reveal the cruel woman beneath), while "sorrows" hints at the pain she feels at being unable to be with the man she loves.
  • Not So Stoic: She has a Heroic BSoD when Skulduggery is dragged into the alternate dimension and is decidedly less than stoic when apologising to Skulduggery in Last Stand of Dead Men..
  • Pet the Dog: Acts this way towards Valkyrie every now and then. She even hesitates in killing Darquesse.
  • Put on a Bus: In Kingdom of the Wicked. But her Alternate Universe counterpart plays a prominent role.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She's somewhere around Skulduggery's age.
    Skulduggery: I have to admit, she wears it better! [laughs]
    Skulduggery: Because I'm a skeleton.
  • Ship Tease: There was loads of it between her an Skulduggery in Death Bringer. In Last Stand of Dead Men it turns out her feelings for him are (mostly) unrequited.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems to ship Skulduggery and Valkyrie. Or at least be resigned to the fact.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As of Death Bringer, Skulduggery is seriously pissed off with her to say the least. Valkyrie's not too thrilled with her either. She's amicable with Valkyrie by Last Stand of Dead Men and seems to have reached some kind of understanding with Skulduggery, even if he can't forgive her.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Has no issues with using lethal forced against possessed people.
  • Woman Scorned: Implied to be the reason behind going after Skulduggery's family.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated to be so numerous times.
  • Yandere: Towards Skulduggery in the back story. If her attitude towards Valkyrie is any indication, she's mellowed considerably since.

     Tanith Low

An English woman who is a skilled sword-wielder. Forms a close friendship with Stephanie after they meet in China's library.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: remnant Tanith knows that Valkyrie is Darquesse and like all Remnants sees her as a messiah. Valkyrie is understandably freaked out
  • Action Girl: Oh, yes! She's an extremely capable fighter, even by the standards of this series.
  • Book-Ends: Combined with Mythology Gag. She was supposed to have been killed by the White Cleaver in the first book. Derek Landy was told that too many people were dying; so she was given a different fate instead. Finally, in the last book; she faces what it turned into, the Black Cleaver; and comments that she may have originally been destined to die during their first fight.
  • Bi the Way: The only 'romances' involving her that we see are with Ghastly and Sanguine, but she also casually mentions having once had "a bit of a thing" with Aurora.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Frequently the victim of this because the author wasn't allowed to kill her off in the first book.
  • Cool Big Sis: A surrogate sister for Valkyrie.
  • Creator's Pest: Landy intended to kill her off in the first book but was forced to let her live due to his publisher's Executive Meddling. Because of this, she tends to take a severe beating in any book she appears in.
  • Demonic Possession: Of all the people who could have gotten permanently possessed by a remnant.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Spends half the series as a bad guy because of that remnant.
    • Heel–Face Turn: In The Dying of the Light, shortly before losing her Remnant.
  • Fangirl: Really, really loved Gordon's work.
  • Really Gets Around: Both Davina Marr and Sanguine have commented on it.
    Sanguine: You seem to have dated everyone else...
  • Slut-Shaming: From characters like Mar and Sanguine. No one else seems to really care all that much.
  • Tyke Bomb: Revealed to be trained as an assassin since the age of eight.
  • Villain Protagonist: In her spinoff book The Maleficent Seven.
  • Wall Run: Her main magic power.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Has shades of this in the first book. She feels really guilty about sending Cleavers to their deaths to save Skulduggery, something that Skulduggery and Ghastly have come to accept.

     Fletcher Renn

An English boy who becomes the Last of His Kind in The Faceless Ones when all the other Teleporters are hunted down and killed. He is brought under the protection of Skulduggery and Valkyrie, later joining their team as a fully-fledged member.

  • Combat Pragmatist: Puts it to great use with fighting Pennant and Caelan.
  • Dating Catwoman: So far his love interests include Darquesse (the harbinger of the apocalypse), Myra (an Australian assassin who is trying to kill him), and Stephanie (a murderous Ambiguously Evil reflection). Dude cannot catch a break.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: With Stephanie. Although he's not thrilled when he finds out about Carol.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Deconstructed, as he ends up not having much of a life outside of being Valkyrie's boyfriend, and it's one of the reasons why they split up.
  • Distressed Dude: He gets thrown into danger a lot, and he's not as equipped to handle it as Valkyrie.
  • Hot Teacher: Becomes a Teacher at Corrival Academy in Phase Two.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not really a bad person, once you get past the parts that make you want to punch him.
  • Last of His Kind: He's the only surviving Teleporter as of The Faceless Ones.
  • Living MacGuffin: In The Faceless Ones, the Diablerie need him in order to open a gateway to the Faceless ones dimension.
  • Meaningful Name: "Fletcher" is the word for someone who makes arrows, while "Renn" comes from the German verb for "to run" - both refer to his speed as a teleporter.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Valkyrie briefly wonders if it's problems with his father that causes Fletcher to try and get Skulduggery's approval.

     The Reflection / Stephanie Edgley 

Skulduggery brings Stephanie's reflection to life by casting a spell on her mirror. The reflection takes her real self's place at home and at school when she's out with Skulduggery.

  • Crueland Unusual Death: While she may not be that well liked her slow painful death at the hands of Darquesse is most definitely cruel and hard to read and you can't help but feel sorry for her afterwards.
  • Face–Heel Turn: When she decides she'd be safer without Valkyrie
    • Heel–Face Turn: In Last Stand of Dead Men, where she essentially replaces Valkyrie as the protagonist once the latter goes full Darquesse
  • Gas Lighting: Tries to convince Valkyrie that she let her out of the mirror in Mortal Coil when clearly she got out of the mirror herself.
  • Meaningful Rename: After Stephanie's declaration at the end of Kingdom of the Wicked, even the narration switches from 'it' and 'the reflection' to 'Stephanie' and 'she'.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Part of the reason she went evil is because Valkyrie and Skulduggery don't treat her very well. Ironically, Valkyrie started being nice to her reflection around the time Stephanie decided to kill her.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: It's suggestion for dealing with Moore, and it's plan to protect it's family from Darquesse.
  • Not So Above It All: For someone who insists she wants a normal life, her attempted use of a one liner suggests she's enjoying Valkyrie's life of adventure.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: She really hates Valkyie.
  • Treacherous Advisor: It seems to be trying very hard to prevent Valkyrie from confiding in Skulduggery.
  • Walking Spoiler: As you've probably guessed from the spoilers. Even knowing they're a spoiler probably qualifies as a spoiler.
  • What Is This Feeling?: The reflection's reaction to suddenly feeling terrible about having killed Carol and to freaking out after watching Darquesse decimate an entire army.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Skulduggery and Valkyrie kind of treat it like crap, which has... consequences, later on. Valkyrie starts treating it a lot better in Kingdom of the Wicked out of loneliness. She's outright stated that she considers it a person now. Unfortunately, it agrees.
    Reflection: I'm not a thing. I'm not an it. I'm a person. I'm a her. I have a family who loves me. I have parents and a little sister who I'm going to take care of. I have friends in school, and I want to go to college. I want a normal life. A happy life. A life. And I'm going to take it.

     Omen Darkly 

A teenager attending Corrival Academy, and the newest member of the team in Resurrection. He is the brother of the famous Chosen One, Auger Darkly, who is prophesied to save the world from a great evil.

  • Book Dumb: He often forgets his timetable and annoys his teachers.
  • Chew Toy: Born several minutes too late to be the Chosen One, instead his life becomes a never-ending spiral of poor luck.
  • Kid Hero: By the time he enters the narrative in Phase Two, even Valkyrie has reached adulthood, making him the youngest of the main cast.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Owing to the lack of respect shown to him by most everyone who meets him, Omen tends to put himself down a lot. One of his friends points out to him in Midnight that he doesn't think of himself as "someone worth worrying about".
  • Nice Guy: Omen is nice to everyone. Which is why everyone likes him.
  • Non-Action Guy
  • The Unchosen One: His brother, Auger, is The Chosen One, while Omen grew up largely ignored. In this way, the heroics he eventually accomplishes in Resurrection are entirely due to his own merit.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His parents care little for him, showering all their affection on Auger instead. It's implied that his desire to have adventures of his own stems from wanting attention from them.

The Dead Men


Skulduggery Pleasant

See Main Characters

Ghastly Bespoke

See Main Characters

     Dexter Vex

     Erskine Ravel (SPOILERS) 

  • Asshole Victim: Neither his extensive torture by Darquesse or being thrown into Accelerator by Skulduggery get him much sympathy after he killed Ghastly and Shudder.
  • Big Bad Friend: Orchestrated everything bad that happens in Last Stand of Dead Men, except for the attack on Roarhaven and Darquesse's arrival (which were both still his fault, but less intentionally).
  • Enemy Mine: He teams up with Skulduggery and the gang to fend off the invading Warlocks at the end of Last Stand of Dead Men.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He seems to genuinely regret having to kill Anton Shudder and Ghastly.
  • Karmic Death: Used to switch of the Accelerator mere moments after using it himself.
  • Killed Off for Real: When Skulduggery gives him up to the Accelerator.
  • Man Behind the Man: Particularly in Dark Days and Last Stand of Dead Men, but his presence is still felt throughout the series.
  • Meaningful Name: "Ravel" undoubtedly refers to his numerous, tangled schemes throughout the series.
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: To a different extent than Geoffrey Scrutinous. Anyone who he hires or talks to will forget almost everything about him, hiding his identity as the Grand Mage of Ireland.
  • Mole in Charge: When someone unknown is trying to push the Sanctuary into war, you'd have thought the Grand Mage would be above suspicion, but no.
  • Mysterious Employer: For Davina Marr, Tesseract, Tanith and many more.
  • No Place for Me There: Says that once his plan is complete, he will either hand himself into the authorities for his crimes, or go into exile.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Absolutely no mention before the fifth book, yet apparently Valkyrie's known him for years.
  • The Reveal: The main characters know that Ravel has golden eyes, but the reader doesn't. Ravel's eye colour is never specified until he murders Ghastly.

     Anton Shudder 

  • Badass Gay: As revealed posthumously in Midnight.
  • Meaningful Name: It's only reasonable that a man named "Shudder" would have a rather terrifying and frightful form of magic.
  • One-Man Army: Not Anton himself, but the gist inside him.

     Saracen Rue 

  • Author Avatar: Derek Landy has confirmed via Q&A at a book signing that Saracen Rue would be his taken name. His power of "knowing things" is him simply knowing what's coming up next in the book at convenient times seeing as he's the author.
  • Bi the Way: According to the Author.
  • The Casanova
  • Drama Queen: Downplayed, but it is considered notable when he's not the first one to complain about something.
  • Psychic Powers: Apparently not, but he "knows things". Only Ravel knows what exactly his power is.
  • Really Gets Around:
    Saracen: Remember the psycho sisters? What were their names? [...]
    Shudder: Did you seduce them too?
    Saracen: No! Well, not at the same time...



  • Man Hug: Attempt to give one to Shudder. Which turned into a wrestling match.
  • Posthumous Character: Murdered by Serpine in Wales, months before the end of the war.
  • Taking the Bullet: Died saving Dexter Vex from Serpine's Red Right Hand.
  • Sixth Ranger: Was an occasional fill in (notably when Ravel was injured and Skulduggery went "walkabout") but officially joined the group after Hopeless dies.

Major Villains

     Nefarian Serpine 

A former general of the sorcerer Mevolent, responsible for the deaths of Skulduggery Pleasant's wife and child, as well as Skulduggery himself. The Big Bad of the first book in the series, who tries to bring back the Faceless Ones by obtaining the Book of Names.

  • Evil Gloating: You can totally tell that his conversations with Skulduggery are the most fun he's had in years.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Lampshaded.
    Nefarian: So here we are again, detective. You, at my mercy, me, merciless.
    Skulduggery: You, talking. I thought you'd have grown out of the whole villainy thing by now, Nefarian.
  • Fatal Flaw: See Complexity Addiction above.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Re-read the part where he's having his little moment with Skulduggery. If it weren't for the fact that Skulduggery was chained to a chair, it almost would seem like they really are, as Skulduggery puts it, "two guys chatting."
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Doubles with Exact Words: By turning himself undead, the Sceptre of the Ancients (which cannot be used unless the last owner is dead) will respond to him, and anyone else who uses it, and Skulduggery is able to use it to kill him permanently.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Skulduggery, using the Sceptre of the Ancients.
  • Meaningful Name: "Nefarian" comes from "nefarious" (ie. "evil"), while "serpine" comes from "serpent" - suitable for a snakelike villain.
  • Our Liches Are Different: while making himself undead doesn't seem to affect his magic he becomes impervious to harm and immune to pain. Aside from that he's no different than a usual necromancer.
  • Red Right Hand: Literally. Anyone he points it at suffers an agonizing death. Unless they're already dead...
  • Villain Ball: Surprisingly enough, Skulduggery was just going to arrest him. He just had to go and point that Red Right Hand of his at Valkyrie.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After his inevitable defeat at the hands of Skulduggery...well, let's just say he freaks out a little. A good sport he is not.
  • Wicked Cultured
  • Would Hurt a Child: He was perfectly willing to kill Valkyrie to get to Skulduggery, even though she was twelve when they met. Not to mention what he did to Skulduggery's child in the backstory...

     Baron Vengeous 

Another former general of Mevolent's, a zealot and devout follower of the Faceless Ones. He plans to call them back to this reality by using the Grotesquery in Playing With Fire.

  • Would Hurt a Child: Especially if said child was the key to bringing back the Grotesquery.


The mastermind behind the Diablerie's plot to bring back the Faceless Ones - a mortal farmer born into a family of mages. He desires to become a vessel for the Faceless Ones. The Big Bad of The Faceless Ones.

     The Faceless Ones 

A race of formless beings who enslaved humanity thousands of years ago, ruling over them as gods. They were sealed away into another dimension by the Ancients.

  • Back for the Finale: Although the only one who directly encounters them is Darquesse.
  • Bigger Bad: They serve as this for the first three books of Phase One, as each of the main villains in these books are trying to bring them back. However, in Dark Days, they are practically shunted aside to make way for the new Bigger Bad - Darquesse.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Inflicted on Skulduggery after he's dragged into their reality at the end of The Faceless Ones.


A Russian assassin for hire, whose body is cursed to slowly rot away. He wears a mask that injects a serum into his flesh in order to prevent the decay. Hired by the Man with the Golden Eyes in Mortal Coil to murder Davina Marr.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. From the heroes' perspectives he's a Professional Killer, stoic, silent but deadly, and seems to be able to handle anything that gets in his way. In chapters from his perspective he retains most of these features, but also is very intelligent, yet constantly making mistakes and having bad luck and only just managing to stop them being a serious problem.
  • Buried Alive: He survives, too.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: To everyone else he's an unstoppable killing machine, able to take out everyone he comes across, but his thought process is... definitely quirky.
  • Cool Mask: Has medicinal properties for some unknown disease in him.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He prefers to kill when his victim is asleep, or when their back is turned, or on one occasion, when they were already dying from a heart attack.

     Lord Vile 

The final of Mevolent's three generals, and the most powerful. A feared Necromancer of peerless power, who held all of his magic in his suit of armour. His true identity is that of Skulduggery Pleasant, whose rage after his family's death led to him becoming a Necromancer after being resurrected as a skeleton.

  • Blood Knight: He doesn't fight for any particular cause; he just wants to cause as much bloodshed as he possibly can.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Mevolent wanted to bring back the Faceless Ones. Lord Vile wanted to bring back the Faceless Ones so he could kill them.
  • The Dreaded: The most feared man during the war, perhaps even more so than his general. He was the only one the Dead Men feared after he spent one of their missions toying with them in the most horrifying way possible for a fortnight.
  • Face Stealer: Alternate Lord Vile does this in The Dying of the Light. China Sorrows isn't around to make him a pretty facade so he cuts off some guys face. It looks like he's smiling.
  • Fallen Hero: When Skulduggery confronts alternate universe Vile, he accuses him of giving into his rage instead of fighting and becoming a better person, something Skulduggery managed to do in his own timeline.
  • Hero Killer: The most notorious in-universe example (even more so than Mevolent).
  • One-Man Army: short of Mevolent himself he was the strongest and most terrifying mage in the war
    Ghaslty: We had a rule back in the day. You never went up against Lord Vile alone. You waited till there was an army at your back and hoped one of you got lucky
  • Meaningful Name: Vile is a completely remorseless and unstoppably powerful mass-murderer, making his appellation entirely suitable. Notably, it also contrasts with his previous taken name - "Pleasant".
  • Memetic Badass: Described by Ghastly as one In-Universe. Everyone was scared to fight him. He more or less lives up to his reputation.
  • Mysterious Past: A little less mysterious as of Death Bringer.
  • Quizzical Tilt: A trait he shares with Skulduggery. Used hilariously in Kingdom of the Wicked, where he sees Skulduggery and looks baffled for a moment as Skulduggery waves.
  • Run or Die: The general plan of attack when facing Lord Vile.
  • Silent Antagonist: Has only ever said one word in the entire series. "Valkyrie." He whispers to Skulduggery at the end of Mortal Coil but technically no one was in the armor..
  • The Voiceless: He doesn't say much. The only thing that Lord Vile said in Death Bringer was "Valkyrie". Which was... strangely heartwarming.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's really hard to talk about his role in Death Bringer without giving away a huge chunk of the plot. And that's not even counting his reappearances in later books due to the Godzilla Threshold being crossed.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Has no qualms whatsoever about beating Darquesse, Melancholia or Kitana into a bloody pulp.

     Melancholia St Clair/The Death Bringer 

A young Necromancer who is "selected" by her master, Vandameer Craven, to become the Death Bringer - the saviour of the Necromancers. Craven carves symbols into her flesh that cause her to continuously undergo the Surge that most sorcerers only experience once in their lifetime, granting her massive amounts of power. One of the major villains in Death Bringer.

  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Almost does this to Valkyrie. Lord Vile (AKA. Skulduggery on a really bad day) gives her a dose of her own medicine. Valkyrie saves her.
  • The Dragon: To Craven.
  • Meaningful Name: "Melancholia" means "deep sadness", and indeed it's accurate to describe her mental state as such which Craven preys upon in convincing her to become the Death Bringer.
  • Pet the Dog: Shows something vaguely resembling sympathy towards Valkyrie after she bites the...thing ... that was trying to kill her.
  • Power Incontinence: Sometimes extremely powerful, sometimes so weak she can't stand.

     Alternate Universe Mevolent 

The very same sorcerer who tried to conquer the world centuries ago, albeit a version from a timeline in which he succeeded. An Elemental sorcerer of incredible power and skill, and follower of the Faceless Ones.

  • Meaningful Name: "Mevolent" is clearly derived from "malevolent", meaning "evil" or "sinister".
  • Memetic Badass: People claim he's 10 foot tall, has dragon wings and eats babies. In truth he's only 8 foot tall, he does not have dragon wings and in his own words "only eats babies that had it coming".


The true name of Walden d'Essai, who seeks to grant magic to everyone in the world in order to achieve peace and equality. One of the major villains in Kingdom of the Wicked.

  • Adaptive Ability: It's implied that he can learn to use other forms of magic just by seeing them in use.

     The Man With the Golden Eyes 

A mastermind lurking behind the scenes for a large part of the series, working with the Roarhaven mages towards some inscrutable goal. Capable of wiping the memories of anyone who speaks with him, leaving his identity a mystery until Last Stand of Dead Men.

See Erskine Ravel


A sorcerer of unstoppable power, predicted to destroy the world and lay waste to humanity. The ultimate Big Bad of Phase One of the series. She is the true name of Valkyrie Cain, and manifests as a remorseless, murderous personality that begins to wrestle control of Valkyrie's body away from her as time goes on.

  • Body Surf: Does this in order to survive as an untethered entity (a.k.a. ghost) before eventually settling down in Stephanie's body.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Darquesse seems to enjoy having Lord Vile beat the crap out of her. It's not certain if Lord Vile feels the same. He doesn't exactly say much.
  • Dark Action Girl: Even without her magic, Darquesse still has the same training Valkyrie does.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even after being separated from Valkyrie she still has her moments.
  • Enemy Without: Eventually she's forced out of Valkyrie and possesses Stephanie's corpse instead.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Darquesse gets pretty pissed off with Ravel for murdering Ghastly and goes out of her way to punish him in The Dying of the Light. She's also in love with Skulduggery. This does not stop her from trying to maim/kill him, but she does feel bad afterwards.
  • For the Evulz: She could easily win most fights from a distance without getting her hands dirty but she enjoys pointless violence, murder and chaos.
  • Giant Woman: Her new form as of Bedlam, although she chooses to return to her mortal shell once she's persuaded to come back to the Prime Dimension.
  • Giving the Sword to a Noob: Hilariously averted, when Darquesse tries fighting with the God Killer.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: It's a good thing that Darquesse can heal otherwise her fights with Lord Vile and Mevolent would have been remarkably one sided.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the form of "Kes", a fragment of herself she leaves behind in her home dimension who only Valkyrie can see and hear. While initially seeming antagonistic as usual, she soon settles into a Spirit Advisor type role.
  • How Much More Can She Take?: Lord Vile slits Darquesse's throat, shoves his thumb in her eye and generally delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that leaves her on the brink of death. She pretty much walks it off. On one hand... yay! Skulduggery didn't kill Valkyrie! On the other hand... Darquesse. Just. Doesn't. Die.
    • In Kingdom of the Wicked she survives her heart being crushed, her jaw being burnt off and beheading.
  • It Amused Me: Having fun and experiencing new things is pretty much the motivation for everything she does, without the slightest care or second thought as to the consequences of her actions.
  • Killed Off for Real: Subverted. She crosses over to the Faceless Ones' dimension at the end of The Dying of the Light and is believed by everyone in the Prime Dimension to have been killed by them. When Sebastian Tao tracks her down in Bedlam, he finds only her dead body - only to then discover that she's merely absconded her human form and become a giant godlike being of pure light.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Her response to having her head cut off is simply, "Oh, hell."
  • Not Worth Killing: Darquesse considers Ravel this.
  • Off with Her Head!: Courtesy of Mevolent.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Darquesse is prophesied to be this, but has mainly restricted herself to tearing apart people who are trying to kill her or in her way. She outright stated that she doesn't want to destroy the world because "it's funny." She goes all the way in The Dying of the Light. Thankfully, it's a trick.
  • One-Man Army: Darquesse literally takes out an entire army in Last Stand of Dead Men.
  • Pet the Dog: Darquesse saves China after the latter hesitates in trying to kill her.
  • Reality Warper: Not only can Darquesse fly, create massive blasts of energy and generally bend the laws of psychics to her will she has demonstrated the ability to use black fire to erase things and people from existence fundamentally breaking the conservation of energy law.
  • Sadist: She admits to getting satisfaction and pleasure from fighting, killing and destroying.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: To Valkyrie
  • Teens Are Monsters: She's 18 by the end of the series and a psychotic, omnicidal mass murderer.
  • Walking Spoiler: Not so much in later books, but knowing her identity spoils The Stinger in Dark Days.


An enigmatic masked figure who leads the anti-Sanctuary in their goal to both resurrect Abyssinia, and bring war between sorcerers and mortals. Has held a man named Savant Vega hostage for five years in order to force their husband into the anti-Sanctuary.

  • Actual Pacifist: As Savant Vega.
  • Adaptive Ability: Learns how to deal with his opponents as he fights them, meaning he'll start and end fights on opposite sides of a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: His suit is filled with Smoke's corruption magic.
  • Big Bad Friend: He isn't holding Savant Vega hostage, he is Savant Vega.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Wears a full body Necronaut suit, complete with mask.
  • Meaningful Name: "Lethe" was the name of the river from the Greek mythological Underworld, which erased the memories of any who touched its waters. This foreshadows the revelation that Lethe is Savant Vega after having his past and identity removed.
    • Lethe's original taken name also counts: "savant" refers to a person of learning, which reflects his magical ability of being able to learn incredibly quickly. "Vega" is the name of a star that, in some stories, represents a long-lost lover who was separated from their beloved - much like how Savant was taken from his husband, Richard Melior.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: His suit was originally used for basically holding someone in stasis while they travelled through different dimensions.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Or at least order someone else to.


A powerful sorceress who served under Mevolent before finding incredible power of her own. Subsequently killed by the combined forces of the Dead Men and the Diablerie, she was reduced to a heart and locked away.

  • Back from the Dead: She's introduced in a book called Resurrection for a reason.
  • Came Back Strong: Was very efficiently killed by Lord Vile, but came back years later even stronger than before.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She cares greatly for her son, Caisson, and puts her evil plans on hold just to rescue him when he's endangered.
  • From a Single Cell: Regenerates from a heart, but she needs the life force of three sacrifices to do it.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The anti-Sanctuary work on her orders despite being long dead, and Cadaverous Gant was already working for her when he makes his first appearance in The Dying of the Light.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Crepuscular Vies, after having lost the power that brought her back previously.
  • Meaningful Name: "Abyss" can refer to a dark void, but the word "Abyssinia" was also the name of an ancient empire - fitting for the name of a sorceress who wants to conquer the world.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Skulduggery's.
  • Posthumous Character: Is long dead by the time of Resurrection. Until the end of the book, that is.
  • The Corrupter: When Skulduggery was at his lowest, she was there to push him well and truly off the deep end.
  • The Starscream: To Mevolent.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Nobody did figure out how she survived getting gutted and thrown to the rocks by Lord Vile. It's finally revealed in Bedlam that, after being gravely wounded, she received the power of her father - the King of the Darklands - which kept her alive and allowed her to recuperate. It's that same power that enables her to stay alive and conscious even after being reduced to a heart in a box.

     Cadaverous Gant 

A member of the anti-Sanctuary, and loyal servant to Abyssinia. His old appearance hides great strength, which is only magnified when he's fighting in his "domain".

  • The Dragon: To Abyssinia, being her longtime and most loyal servant. At first, that is. Once he realises that she ''doesn't plan to destroy the Sanctuaries in favour of restoring her son to power, he plots to turn on her.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's very fond of his partner-in-crime, Jeremiah, whom he treats like his own son. He even swears a personal vendetta against those he sees as responsible for his death - Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain.
  • Evil Old Folks: Was already in his seventies when he received the power of magic. As a result, while his aging greatly slowed as it does for every sorcerer, his old age has already taken its toll on his body.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Alice Edgley.
  • Meaningful Name: "Cadaver" means "corpse", and Cadaverous undoubtedly created many corpses throughout his career as a serial killer.
  • The Starscream: Betrays Abyssinia and kidnaps her son, Caisson, once he learns that she has been lying about her motives.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kidnaps seven year old Alice in Midnight and forces Valkyrie to play a "game" to try and rescue her, promising to kill Alice if Valkyrie breaks any of the rules.

     Crepuscular Vies 

A mysterious, scarred sorcerer who acts as a secret adviser to the United States President and works from within the shadows of the White House. He harbours a hatred of Skulduggery Pleasant.

Recurring/Minor Villains

     Vaurien Scapegrace

The self-proclaimed "Killer Supreme", an incredibly ineffectual mage who has yet to actually kill anybody. A bumbling, but tenacious foe of Valkyrie and Skulduggery. Gets turned into a zombie by Dreylan Scarab in Dark Days.

  • Back from the Dead: Sanguine kills him in Dark Days after finding out he's not a killer, but Scarab decides they may as well put his death to good use, and makes him a zombie. Then in Kingdom of the Wicked he gets Dr Nye to bring him completely back to life. See Gender Bender.
  • Break the Haughty: The final book has him finally face the fact that he's nowhere near as badass as he'd like to be. He actually takes it pretty well.
  • Butt-Monkey: Seriously. He gets humiliated or injured in every appearance.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He's very proud of his status as a murderer. (Er... wannabe murderer.)
  • Determinator: He simply does not give up. Much good it does him.
  • Gender Bender: Nye gives him the wrong body.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Decides to become a superhero in Last Stand of Dead Men. The Dark and Stormy Knight.
  • I Can Still Fight!: With his head chopped off.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He's so dreadfully awful at being a bad guy, it's hard not to pity him, just a little, especially as Valkyrie and Skulduggery use his incompetence for their own plans. Though he does pretty much deserve it.


Scapegrace's eventual sidekick, and the first man he turns into a zombie after becoming one himself. Doggedly accompanies his master, and may be the only person more ineffectual than him

     The Torment 

A Child of the Spider with a hatred for mortals, who lives in Roarhaven - a town made up entirely of sorcerers. A grouchy and malicious old man, capable of transforming into a massive spider-like creature.

  • Bad Black Barf: He even spews it up and it turns into monstrous spiders. Or turns him into a monstrous spider.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Or rather, Would Order Someone to Murder Their Beloved Partner, Who Also Happens to be a Child.


A vampire who is hired by Baron Vengeous to assist in his plans. Clashes with Valkyrie in Playing With Fire, swearing revenge against her after she permanently scars his face.

     Billy-Ray Sanguine 

A hired killer from America, who wears sunglasses at all times in order to hide his empty eye sockets. His powers include being able to tunnel through the earth, and he also owns a straight razor that inflicts scars that cannot heal.

  • Berserk Button: Taking his razor.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Valkyrie causes him to lose his tunneling power when she almost kills him with Tanith's sword. He slowly gets better, but still needs a Doctor to repair his wounds.
  • Cool Shades: He wears sunglasses in order to cover the holes where his eyes should be.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Often refers to himself as "Momma Sanguine's favourite son".
  • Everyone Has Standards: In Kingdom of the Wicked, Sanguine is shocked when a dismembered head in Dr Nye's office speaks to him, despite him accepting several other undead things as normal.
    Sanguine: You got a head in a jar.
    Nye: So?
    Sanguine: It spoke to me!
    Nye: What did you think it was going to do, shake your hand?
  • Eyeless Face: Of the empty eye-socket variety.
  • It's Personal: With Valkyrie after she permanently wounds him.
  • Killed Off for Real: By the Black Cleaver.
  • Knife Nut: His knife (or razor) is unique in that the cuts caused by it will leave nasty, disfiguring scars no amount of magic can heal - a form of magic in its own.
  • Ladykiller in Love: His crush on Tanith was pretty hilarious. Until Mortal Coil.
  • Meaningful Name: "Sanguine" is the colour of blood - suitable for an assassin/serial killer.
  • Psycho for Hire: This means he sometimes ends up on the hero's side with enough incentive.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After spending the last few books magically crippled thanks to Valkyrie, he is in full badass mode in The Maleficent Seven.
  • Tunnel King: His main power note  is being able to tunnel through walls and the ground. He can also grab you, pull you into the ground and leave you there so you're stuck.

     Spring-Heeled Jack 

A legendary English serial killer known as the "Terror of London", whose magic allows him to leap great heights and distances. A battle with Tanith Low drags him into the paths of Skulduggery and Valkyrie.

     Davina Marr 

An American sorcerer who is hired by the Irish Sanctuary, but is secretly working for the Man with the Golden Eyes.

  • Stupid Evil: Dropping Valkyrie's Necromancer ring on the floor to taunt her? Not a smart move. Pushing Valkryie onto the floor where she can pick it up? Stupid.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has no issue smacking around Valkyrie purely for the fun of it.

     Doctor Nye 

A mysterious and infamous scientist who sided with Mevolent during the Great War. Valkyrie visits it in order to have her True Name sealed, but it takes advantage of her helpless state to experiment on her body.

  • Ambiguous Gender: Nobody is sure whether it's a he/she/whatever. It eventually turns out that Nye's species doesn't have genders.
  • And I Must Scream: Perpetrator and victim. Its eyes and mouth have been sewn shut at one point and someone cut off its nose.
  • Ax-Crazy: Certainly seems unstable from time to time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It has it's moments.
  • Dirty Coward: Openly admits to running away from its fair share of conflicts.
  • For Science!: It only agreed to give Scapegrace a body to see if it could do it. It sort of succeeded - it managed to put Scapegrace's brain into a new body, but not the one he wanted.
  • Friendly Enemy: Seems to be on these terms with Valkyrie after the operation.
  • Graceful Loser: After operating on Valkyrie during life-threatening circumstances, it seems to take it rather well considering the fact that it lost an opportunity to look for a soul (And y'know, the fact that it threatened to kill her).
  • The Medic: Replaces grandfatherly and grumpy Kenspeckle in Death Bringer.
  • Noodle People: One of the few things described. It's seemingly "Spider-like".
  • The Noseless: A bloody scab where it should be.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Barely described. Whatever is described seems... inhuman.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Nye spends most of its time in Mortal Coil being condescending, sick and twisted, and is not at all intimidated by Valkyrie, even when she's alive with her magic. When she is dead with necromancer magic, on the other hand, it's practically wetting itself with fear. This is a hint that Lord Vile is also dead
  • Shout-Out: When it dissects the conscious Valkyrie on the operating table, it's very reminiscent of Claire Bennet's trials and tribulations in Heroes.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: It does this to Valkyrie after sealing her name.
  • Torture Technician: Nye laments the fact that the undead people it experiments on cannot feel the pain of the procedure.

     Eliza Scorn 

The head of the Church of the Faceless Ones, and longstanding rival to China Sorrows. She plots to bring her organisation back to its former glory.

     Kitana's Gang 

Kitana, Sean, Doran and Elsie - a group of teenage mortals who are granted dangerous amounts of power by Argeddion in Kingdom of the Wicked. They use their newfound magic to wreak havoc and kill anyone who tries to stop them, eventually causing Elsie to leave the group.

  • Back from the Dead: Kitana, Doran and Sean get killed by Vile and Darquesse and brought back by Argeddion.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Valkyrie and Skulduggery are the better fighters but simply aren't strong enough to take them down and get curbstomped. Vile and Darquesse? Not so much.


A powerful sorcerer who leads the warlocks.

  • Anti-Villain: Ultimately just trying to protect his people.
  • Genius Bruiser: Despite his size, and brute strength he see's past Golden Eye's plan for the warlocks to attack the mortals, and goes after Roarhaven.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Stephanie.

The Necromancers

     Solomon Wreath 

A pleasant man who becomes Valkyrie's mentor in Necromancy after Skulduggery is taken away by the Faceless Ones. One of the more sociable of the Necromancers.

  • Blue and Orange Morality: Doesn't mind about killing 3 billion people but does mind about killing a few million, because then the plan wouldn't work. Valkyrie lampshades how screwed up this is.

     Auron Tenebrae 

The leader of the Necromancer Order in Ireland, who hides his fair share of secrets.

     Vandameer Craven 

A sycophantic aide to Tenebrae, who secretly plans to overthrow him using Melancholia St. Clair's newfound power as the "Death Bringer".

  • Killed Off for Real: Got a bullet in the head from Skulduggery.
  • Meaningful Name: "Craven" means "coward", and Vandameer does indeed behave like one throughout the series.

     The White Cleaver/The Black Cleaver 

A skilled soldier of the Sanctuary who is captured by Nefarian Serpine and killed, before being brought back to life in an experiment. Seemingly unstoppable, and he serves whichever Necromancer is the strongest.

  • Back from the Dead: Naturally, as he is a zombie. Done once again in Last Stand of Dead Men when he becomes the Black Cleaver.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He switches sides a lot. Justified, as he becomes the servant of whichever Necromancer is the strongest.
  • The Worf Effect: He's a completely unstoppable badass, who lasts all of five seconds against Lord Vile before he's ripped apart. Similarly, the Black Cleaver beats the crap out of Skulduggery until he uses Necromancy.

The Edgley Family

     Desmond Edgley 

Valkyrie's father, and younger brother of Gordon and Fergus. A bumbling but caring figure who rarely seems to take anything seriously.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Desmond is normally the nicest chap you could ever hope to meet. Then a thief hits Melissa. Desmond throws him into a pharmacy window.
  • Bumbling Dad: He's very nice and means well, but he did drop Valkyrie into a penguin enclosure as a child.

     Melissa Edgley 

Valkyrie's mother, who cares greatly for her daughter and does her best to reign in her husband.

  • Love at First Sight: She saw Desmond, and that was it. Her heart was gone.
  • Mama Bear: Verbally tears Skulduggery a new one when she finds out what's been happening.
  • Only Sane Man: Easily the most normal member of the Edgley family. May have something to do with the fact that she married in.

     Gordon Edgley 

Valkyrie's uncle, a famous author who became a part of the hidden world of magic and based all of his works on stories he had heard from real-life sorcerers. His death is what kickstarts the events of the series. A form of him returns as a memory dwelling in an Echo Stone, allowing him to become Valkyrie's adviser even after his death.

  • Obi-Wan Moment: When Darquesse erases him from the Echo Stone he gets enough time to calmly say goodbye to Valkyrie. He even mentions the Trope Namer.
  • Posthumous Character: His death sets the plot of the first book into motion.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Dated Melissa, but graciously stepped aside when he realized she and Desmond were in love. He didn't hold it against them, but it's implied he never quite got over her.
  • Spirit Advisor: He still manages to help Valkyrie out after death, with a little help from an Echo Stone.

     Beryl Edgley 

Valkyrie's snobbish aunt, the wife of Fergus and mother of Carol and Crystal.

     Fergus Edgley 

Beryl's meek husband, and brother to Desmond and Gordon.

     Crystal and Carol Edgley 

A pair of sisters Valkyrie labels "the Toxic Twins", the children of Beryl and Fergus, who act nothing but rude to their cousin. As the series goes on, their attitudes towards Valkyrie soften however, and they become closer.

  • Dumb Blonde: They're.... not bright, to say the least. One of many reasons Gordon couldn't stand them.
  • Elemental Powers: Carol can manipulate fire.
  • Formerly Fat: Crystal. Carol is worried that she's going too far in the other direction and even made a point of comparing her to Skulduggery.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: Carol describes Crystal as this. It's Played for Drama.
  • Spoiled Brat: They're extremely annoyed that Gordon Edgley left them a car and a boat, while Valkyrie got a house.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not so much a level, more of a small step, but hey... they saved Valkyrie from a Remnant.
  • The Unfavorite: Gordon had no children, but he made it very clear he preferred Stephanie to these two. Really, can you blame him?
  • Properly Paranoid: In Midnight it is mentioned that Crystal is getting treated for capgras delusion.


     Mr. Bliss 

A man with incredible physical strength, making him one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world. The somewhat-estranged brother of China Sorrows.

  • Defector from Decadence: Like his sister, he eventually turned his back on the Faceless Ones, albeit much sooner than she did.
  • Reverse Mole: In the first book, he secretly works for Serpine... so he can defeat him.
  • Super Strength: His strength is beyond legendary.
  • Tranquil Fury: His anger isn't the screaming and shouting kind (usually), but if he's pissed off, God help you.
  • World's Strongest Man: Skulduggery describes Bliss as physically the most powerful individual on the face of the planet.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: His Reverse Mole status in the first book is revealed when he is ordered to kill an helpless Valkyrie. He point-blank refuses.

     Finbar Wrong 

A seemingly-clueless tattoo artist who doubles as a skilled Sensitive capable of foreseeing the future.

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite all appearances, Finbar genuinely is a powerful Sensitive who Skulduggery and Valkyrie come to rely on more than once. On the other hand, he seems to be a pretty terrible tattoo artist.

     Professor Kenspeckle Grouse 

A grumpy old sorcerer who specialises in healing and science magic. Forms a close bond with Valkyrie despite their differences.

  • The Atoner: He's the man who built the Desolation Engine.
    • Subverted, sort of. He says he's not this trope, but has still changed his behaviour and feels sorry about what he's done.
  • Badass Pacifist: He hates fighting... but he will if he has to.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The pink hospital gown he makes Skulduggery wear.
  • Demonic Possession: He gets better... but not before nailing Tanith to a chair.
  • For Science!: Used to have this mindset. Grew out of it.
  • Grumpy Old Man: A result of having to put up with Skulduggery endangering Valkyrie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Spends most of his time berating Skulduggery. Adores Valkyrie.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the most disturbing, violent way possible by remnant!Clarabelle.
  • Meaningful Name: To "Grouse" means to complain, and Kenspeckle certainly does that quite often.
  • The Medic: He's usually the one to patch Valkyrie up after a particularly bad scrape.
  • Only Sane Man: He, along with Ghastly, points out how utterly insane it is to bring Valkyrie, a child, into Skulduggery's work. Skul admits he has a point.
  • Papa Wolf: For Valkyrie. He frequently chews Skulduggery out for endangering her, and does what he can to protect and help her.


Professor Grouse's sweet assistant, who seems utterly detached from reality.

  • Axe-Crazy: Unlike all the other remnants who seem lucid and have a clear cut goal, Remnant!Clarabelle is batshit insane.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Partially deconstructed. She never has very many friends, other than Scapegrace and Thrasher, or possibly Kenspeckle Grouse. And she ends up murdering Kenspeckle while possessed by a Remnant.

     Remus Crux 

A Sanctuary detective who is hired to replace Skulduggery after the Skeleton Detective is fired.


A youthful-looking vampire, who was cast out from his society for murdering a fellow vampire. Works with Valkyrie to bring back Skulduggery from the realm of the Faceless Ones, but develops an attraction for her.

     Madame Mist 

A sibling of the Torment's - a fellow Child of the Spider living in Roarhaven. During the political crisis, she is elected a Sanctuary Elder, although her true allegiance lies withe the Man with the Golden Eyes.

     Frightening Jones 

A sorcerer and old friend (and previous lover) of Tanith Low's.

  • Amicable Exes: He and Tanith are still on good terms, and he frequently checks on her to make sure she's alright.
  • Eye Beams: His ability.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Don't let the name fool you. He's actually quite nice.

     The Monster Hunters (Donegan Bane and Gracious O'Callaghan) 

A pair of men who make a name for themselves by hunting down dangerous creatures and writing about their exploits.

  • Hand Blast: Bane fires off a couple here and there.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Their idea of a perfect kid's book is a version of Where's Wally? where the Wally figure is hidden is a pile of corpses.
  • Super Strength: Gracious is strong enough to knock the ten-foot slab of meat that is Charivari on his ass.
  • Those Two Guys: Introduced as part of Dexter Vex's team in the Maleficent Seven and have yet to be seen apart.

     General Mantis 
  • Ambiguous Gender: Like Nye, Mantis is only referred to as "it". We eventually learn that their species doesn't have genders.
  • Cool Mask: A gas mask, for some reason.
  • The Heavy: For much of Last Stand of Dead Men Bisahalani's the guy calling the shots on the opposing side, and the Man with the Golden Eyes is the Big Bad, but Mantis is the one leading the Mooks, so it's the most direct antagonist.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Once the Sanctuaries stop fighting each other and start fighting the Warlocks.
  • Mercy Kill: Given one by Skulduggery.
  • Mook Lieutenant: In charge of Grand Mage Bisahalani's army.
  • Never Bare Headed: Never takes off its gas mask.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: It only opposes the heroes because it happens to work for the opposing Sanctuary. Before and after the War, it worked along side the protagonists against greater threats.
  • The Strategist: The battle's it commanded were always successful.


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