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Characters / Spellsinger

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The main cast

Jon-Tom, Mudge, Clothahump and Talea, appearing in most books of the series


Jonathan Thomas Merriweather

An American pre-law student and amateur rock guitarist who is summoned into another world by Clothahump, thought to be an otherwordly wizard known as the En'geenear. Jon-Tom indeed turns out to be talented in magic, but unrelated to Clothahump's scientific magic: he becomes a Spellsinger, a bard capable of warping reality with his songs.

  • Bizarre Instrument: his duar, an exotic type of lute with two sets of strings that intersect in the fourth dimension.
  • Blade on a Stick: his weapon of choice, disguised as a Simple Staff.
  • The Chosen One: Played with but ultimately averted. At first when Clothahump summons Jon-Tom it seems to be an utter mistake, a mix-up caused by Jon-Tom's job title and his state of mind at the time. Later when it turns out he can spellsing, he still has to practice and learn a great deal before he can even be reliable with his magic, let alone save the day—he does manage to stop the Plated Folk invasion, but mostly by accident. As the series progresses, he does learn enough to become a proficient spellsinger and be able to do what he wants, most of the time, as well as combating various threats to the world, but in the end all he wants to be is a singer and husband to Talea. When he discovers the Lost City in book six and learns the One True Sword can be drawn only by a true hero, he actually has hope it's meant for him. It isn't...and he is perfectly fine with that.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: by the standards of Clothahump's world, Jon-Tom is an amusing foreigner who knows nothing about the world that surrounds him, and possesses magic powers he can barely control. However, while his magic music results in humorous misadventures mid-plot, it never fails to vanquish evil in the final showdowns.
  • Dreadful Musician: apparently, when fate made him a spellsinger, it forgot that he was a guitarist, not a singer. His playing is skillful enough to passably imitate Van Halen. His voice, however...
  • Exact Words: well, Jon-Tom technically was an engineer. A sanitation engineer, i.e. a janitor (his part-time job at campus).
  • Freudian Trio: He's the ego to Mudge's id and Clothahump's super-ego.
  • I Choose to Stay: At the end of the sixth book, Jon-Tom finds a stable portal to return to his home dimension, but he's grown so comfortable in the fantasy world, he returns home on a tentative basis and decides to return to the fantasy for good, taking as many goodies from Earth such as songbooks as he can with him.
  • Inept Mage: he is a powerful magic-user, but he has problems actually getting what he wants without side effects.
  • Magic Music: his greatest power, and sometimes greatest embarassment.
  • Mundane Solution: he thinks quickly and often finds non-magical solutions to his problems, utilizing his knowledge from Earth. Sometimes it's pop psychology, sometimes it's political philosophy, sometimes it's aerobics.
  • Overly Long Name: his real name, Jonathan Thomas Merriweather, is too long by the standards of Clothahump's world (only one local, Caz the Rabbit, has a full name longer than his). So he was quickly dubbed "Jon-Tom" by Mudge.
  • The Power of Rock: his repertoire mostly consists of classic rock, hard rock and some heavy metal.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Jon-Tom's magic powers. They are slapstick comedy if the situation isn't very serious. They are world-shaking if it's a final confrontation.
  • Trapped in Another World: though he eventually chooses it over Earth when given the choice.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: with Mudge.
  • Wandering Minstrel: this is what he claims he is when he doesn't want to advertise his magic powers.



Mudge the Otter

A thief, petty con artist, drunkard and womanizer that Got Volunteered to become Jon-Tom's faithful sidekick. Eventually he becomes a true friend to the bumbling spellsinger.

  • Accidental Misnaming: Mudge does not like ten-dollar words and foreign toponyms, and tends to mispronounce them.
  • The Alcoholic: a high-functioning one, but prone to days-long binges.
  • Animal Stereotypes: he is an otter, which means he is playful and Crazy Awesome.
  • Butt-Monkey: if someone ends up in a comedic misadventure, it's him. And he does not even want the adventures!
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: from time to time, opportunity arises for him to escape Jon-Tom and/or Clothahump and return to his normal roguish life. He always comes back.
  • Drama Queen: when Mudge feels even a little bit uncomfortable, he never shuts up about how he hates adventures, doesn't care for Jon-Tom and his magic and wants home. It's mostly just whining to vent negative emotions, he is never serious.
  • Everything's Wetter with Otters
  • Freudian Trio: he's the id to Jon-Tom's ego and Clothahump's super-ego.
  • Got Volunteered: every time except the final adventure in Chorus Skating when he joins Jon-Tom actually voluntarily.
  • Ladykiller in Love: his eventual transition from pervert to monogamous after he met his future wife Weegee.
  • Loveable Rogue: for a certain definition of "loveable". Yes, he's as cute as any otter, but he's also a gambling, hard-drinking, harder-wenching bastard who's hello to Jon-Tom is to stab him with a rapier.
  • Malicious Misnaming: he is prone to do this to anything he doesn't care about.
  • Nice Hat: his Robin Hood style hat.
  • Really Gets Around
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: with Jon-Tom



A venerable wizard, master of secret lores and sciences, reclusive and wise if a bit eccentric and cantankerous. In other words, the local version of the classic fantasy wizard. He is an anthropomorphic turtle.

  • Animal Stereotypes: he is a Wise Old Turtle
  • Arboreal Abode: he lives in a hollowed-out oak that is Bigger on the Inside.
  • Deadpan Snarker: he also never forgets to remind that sarcasm is bad for your liver if you are younger than him.
  • Dude Where Is My Respect: he is one of the nicest and wisest characters in all Warmlands and was instrumental in saving everyone from the Plated Folk invasion. Everyone still thinks he is a senile old fraud.
  • Exact Words: no, he does not have any gold. Gems, that he has. But no gold.
  • Find the Cure!: in the third book, he tests Jon-Tom's character by pretending to be dying of a severe illness and sending him in a quest to find the cure.
  • Freudian Trio: he's the super-ego to Jon-Tom's ego and Mudge's id.
  • Functional Magic: by reciting verses with scientific terms, he can throw lightning, create gold and chocolate of thin air, levitate boats and see things that are far away.
  • Inconvenient Summons: if he wants to see you, pronto, you won't like it.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: one of his favourite lessons to his apprentices. He subjected Jon-Tom to pointless quests twice, knowing that he will become smarter, wiser and more skilled in these quests.
  • Omniscient Morality License: sometimes he may seem as a manipulative jerk-ass rather than a grandfatherly mentor. Of course, he knows better, and his manipulations turn out to be for the greater good.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: his usual manner of speech.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: if Clothahump stops using long and smart words and says "shit", it means that shit has really hit the fan.
  • Techno Babble: his Language of Magic.
  • Trickster Mentor extraordinaire.
  • Wizard Classic: subverted in that he turns out not to be into robes and pointy hats and cannot even grow a beard; however, he fits the rest of the trope perfectly.

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