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    Tristan Thorn 

Tristan Thorne
Played by: Charlie Cox

The young protagonist of our story.

  • Action Hero: In the climax.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Originally Tristran in the novel, but changed to the more conventional sounding Tristan for the film.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Yvaine, before they confess their love three quarters into the film.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Shakespeare gives his hair extensions when he starts his training with the pirates and he takes a level in badass.
  • Nice Guy: Despite the incredible Belligerent Sexual Tension between him and Yvaine and his rude behaviour toward her (of course, she doesn't make things any easier), Tristan is a very sweet and romantic guy.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Wakes up before Yvaine so he can give a lock of her hair to Victoria (as per their agreement) and then tell her he's no longer interested, intending to get back before she wakes up. Sadly, Yvaine wakes up before he gets back and interprets his actions differently...
  • Out-of-Character Moment: And a pretty jarring one, too. The otherwise sweet, romantic, considerate Tristan's first reaction on seeing an injured woman on the ground is to force her to walk on her injured leg for a several-day journey to his village, just so he can present her as a gift to his crush. Granted, he had originally intended to use the Babylon Candle to get back, then opted not to use it so he could give it to her to get home afterwards, but that's still pretty callous. He comes round pretty quickly, however, once he stops focusing solely on Victoria.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Tristran is the son of Princess Una, and thus in line for the throne of Stormhold. This comes to light after his seven uncles have all been killed, making him the remaining heir.
  • Scars Are Forever: Quite uncommonly for a fairy tale, he never heals his burnt hand. Either there is no cure available (which is quite difficult to believe, given that he became a king in a world full of magic), or both he and Yvaine just eventually decided to keep their handicaps.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Yvaine.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The book opts for a Bittersweet Ending by having him die of old age, leaving Yvaine to rule in his stead. The movie avoids this with a Prophecy Twist: thanks to their love, he metaphorically possesses Yvaine's heart, and therefore benefits from the immortality it confers. The two use a Babylon Candle to join the stars once their children are old enough to rule.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Halfway through the movie when he gets a Training Montage from Captain Shakespeare and his crew.
  • Unexpected Successor: His uncles all end up dying and have consigned themselves to being stuck as ghosts together for the rest of eternity, as they can only pass on when a new king is crowned, and all the known potential male heirs are dead. Then Tristan picks up and accidentally restores the ruby. Said uncles then learn that the young man accompanying the star that two of their brothers have encountered is actually the bastard son of their long-lost sister, and thus their nephew, making him the sole remaining male heir to the Stormhold bloodline.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: One can only assume the otherwise sweet and considerate Tristan forces injured Yvaine to walk on her bad leg just so he can give her as a present to his crush because she's a star, therefor not worthy of the same kindness as he gives other human beings. Either way, he sees the error of his ways (and does intend to give her the remains of the Babylon candle to get home, which only has one use left, rather than just using it to zap them back to Wall and leave her to swing in the wind).


Played by: Claire Danes

A fallen star.

  • Abled in the Adaptation: Crashing to Earth injured her leg and gave her a limp in both the book and movie. In the movie, however, Lamia heals her leg with magic while in the book her limp was permanent.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Tristan and plenty. Even when she confesses to Tristan, she openly states that love can easily be mistaken for hatred. And a lot of her early conversations with Tristan are filled with disdain and snark.
  • Break the Cutie: When she thinks Tristain left her for Victoria the morning after they slept together.
  • Crash-Into Hello: A pretty big crash-into, as Tristan is sent rocketing through the sky after using a Babylon candle and crashing into Yvaine, mistaking her for his mother.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: When Tristan dazzlingly mistakes Yvaine for Victoria, Yvaine is annoyed and replies, "I think I preferred mother."
  • Deadpan Snarker: For a star who spent most of her life by herself in the sky, she sure can be quite snarky.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Initially is very cold and rude to Tristan —considering they met when he chained her up and forced her to walk a good number of miles on her injured leg just so he could present her to his crush, it's kind of hard to blame her for not liking him at first—, but eventually warms up to him and even falls in love with him.
  • Fish out of Water: She is quite naïve and not exactly well-versed in human behaviour; for example she has no idea what a massage is. Justified in that stars can only watch from a distance; they can't hear or interact with earthlings.
  • Fountain of Youth: Anyone who consumes the heart of a star is restored to their youth along with everlasting life. The happier the star when killed, the more years added.
  • Not a Morning Person: Or a day person, really. Stars come out at night.
  • Phosphor-Essence: Yvaine glows more brightly the happier she is.
  • Power Glows: Her ability to shine happens when she's happy. However, it's more than aesthetic, as Yvaine completely vaporizes Lamia when she really shines.
  • The Power of Love: What allows her to defeat Lamia.
  • Road Trip Romance: Falls for Tristan on their way back to his village.
  • Scars Are Forever: Quite uncommonly for a fairy tale, she never heals her leg, and retains a lifelong limp. Either there is no cure available (which is quite difficult to believe, given that she became a queen in a world full of magic), or both she and Tristran just eventually decided to keep their handicaps.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Tristan.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Well, fluent unicorn at least. This trope is hinted at when Yvaine is riding atop the unicorn that freed her from the magic chain Tristan was leading her around on and telling him all about her greivances with mainly Tristan. Whether or not the unicorn can fully understand her and is asking her to tell him more or if she's just venting is neither confirmed though not denied.
  • Stars Are Souls: And in this case people, when they fall to Earth.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Finds herself on the receiving end of this quite a bit. Otherwise kind and gallant Tristan thinks nothing of forcing her, an injured woman, to walk a few days' journey to give as a present to his crush just because she's a star rather than a human, and several other characters think nothing of wanting to butcher her and eat her heart just to restore their own youth.


Click here to see her old appearance 
Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer

An evil witch that desires Yvaine's heart to remain young and beautiful.

  • Adaptational Villainy: While her goal is still essentially the same in both versions, she's a lot nastier in the movie. In the book, she's a Graceful Loser once she realizes she's lost Yvaine's heart for good, and there's no hint that she'd ever betray her sisters. The movie plays up her vanity and selfishness much more, to the point where she rejoices when her sisters die because it means she won't have to share Yvaine's heart. Of course, her actions towards everyone else up until the climax are the same in the book and the movie, so she was never nice.
  • Big Bad: Plays this role, despite the attempts of Septimus to usurp her, and her sisters.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Every time she uses her magic, she loses a little more of her youth and beauty.
  • Evil Brit: Played as such by Michelle Pfeiffer.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Even when she knows she'll either hex or kill them if they don't (or even if they do) give her what she needs, Lamia will always be professional and amiable when dealing with others. This doubles for Yvaine whom she's not only dead-set on gruesomely killing, but even telling Yvaine so, while almost always pleasantly addressing her as "my love" or "my dear".
    Lamia (opens the carriage door to reveal herself to Yvaine): "Planning to enter Wall, were you?"
    Yvaine looks at Lamia, shocked and somewhat fearful.
    Lamia(Walking over to Yvaine with a slightly evil smile): "If death is what you wish for, my dear, I'd be more than happy to assist you".
  • The Hecate Sisters: Takes the role of the Maiden, as she is the most active and outwardly youthful of her sisters.
  • Hot Witch: When she regains some of her youth at the beginning of the film.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Specializes in offensive enchantments, and dresses to the nines as soon as she restores her youth.
  • Ms. Fanservice: This is Michelle Pfeiffer we're talking about, after all.
  • Pet the Dog: Lamia has two semi-moments of this: One is when she runs into a fellow witch Ditchwater Sal and politely requests to share a meal with her, though this is ruined when Sal puts Limbus Grass in her food to find out why Lamia was traveling the other is after magicking up an inn to lure the injured and soaked Yvaine to her, when Lamia heals Yvaine's twisted ankle. Though granted this is just so Yvaine will glow with happiness making the star power greater for when Lamia would cut out her heart, the fact that Yvaine and Tristan make it out OK and now that Yvaine can walk and dance without pain make it a nice gesture upon second viewing and in the long run in-universe.
  • Showing Off the New Body: When she becomes young again, she drops her robe and looks at herself naked in the mirror. But not without giving the audience a sexy look as she does so.
  • Skyward Scream: Indulges in this in the Big NO! variety after failing to stab Yvaine after her and Tristan use a Babylon Candle to teleport their way to safety.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Lives in a crumbling manor/castle in the middle of a wasteland with her two sisters.
  • Technicolor Fire: Her magic manifests as a green flame.
  • Vain Sorceress: Her main goal in the film is to eat Yvaine's heart to completely restore her youth and beauty.


Played by: Mark Strong

The heir of the crown of Stormhold searching for the royal crown that Yvaine wields.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the books, his preferred weapon was poison, and he dies quite easily against the Witch. In the film he's a blade-wielding badass, that ends up killing one of the witches before being defeated.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Lamia. At least, until Lamia kills him off and takes her status as the sole Big Bad. However, his goals initially do not clash with Tristan's, and they team up to take on the witches.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Ultimately proves no match for Lamia and her sisters, as after he kills one, Lamia easily finishes him off and turns him into an undead puppet.
  • Determinator: Being repeatedly set on fire just seems to annoy him.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Unlike his brothers whose souls turned blue upon ascending above, Septimus' soul turns red and goes down below.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Una disappeared for years and is presumed dead, and Septimus is known to have killed several of his older brothers, but he is still deeply offended that everyone assumes he must have killed Una as well. As he points out, he would have no reason to kill her, given that Stormhold is an Heir Club for Men—as a daughter she's not in the line of succession anyway.
  • Pet the Dog: A minor one, but he does offer to let Primus live if he does not pursue the stone, something unheard of in Stormhold history. Later on, he also lets Bernard live after the rest of his men get killed fighting Shakespeare's crew.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: To a tee, with his snark being every bit equal to the likes of Yvaine.

    Captain Shakespeare 

Captain Shakespeare
Played by: Robert de Niro

A "fearsome" air pirate.

  • Canon Foreigner: There was a lighting harvesting ship captain in the book but outside of the profession and retrieving the heroes, Shakespeare is a completely different character with a much larger role in the story.
  • Camp Gay: His dark secret. Turns out everyone knew anyway.
  • Everybody Knew Already: When he's accidentally outed as Camp Gay in front of his crew, they tell him they always knew.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: He pretends to be tough and threatening in front of his crew, but is secretly Camp Gay and quite a nice guy.
  • Large Ham: You can tell Robert de Niro had fun playing this role.
  • Nice Guy: Under his gruff facade, he's one of the outright nicest characters in the film.


Victoria Forester
Played by: Sienna Miller

The spoiled lady occupying the heart of Tristan.


Played by: Jason Flemyng

The second heir of the crown of Stormhold.

  • Adaptational Wimp: He was a lot more cunning in the story. He was always highly suspicious of Septimus, and in the book, Tertius was killed by poison, while Primus always made sure to carry his own prepared drink. In the film, Primus only survives the poisoning through sheer luck (though by Lamia's inn, he's wise to it, and makes sure not to drink anything but his own drinks). Other scenes, like when he outwits Septimus at the harbour, were omitted.
  • Blue Blood: The first born son of Stormhold's king. Also turns out to be a literal example of the trope when he gets his throat cut by Lamia.
  • Naked People Are Funny: He dies in the bath at the hands of Lamia and when he reappears as a ghost, he wears nothing but a Modesty Towel.
  • Nice Guy: While still a bit snooty (he is a Prince), he is friendly and welcoming to Tristan.
  • Token Good Team Mate: He's pretty much the one unambiguously decent guy out of all the Princes of Stormhold. Except for Tristan, not that anyone but Una knows it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Zig-Zagged. He's smart enough not to accept the drink, but he does walk straight into Lamia's trap.

    The Stormhold Royal Family 

The King
Played by: Peter O'Toole

The dying elderly king of Stormhold.

  • Evil Old Folks: He doesn't mind having his sons murdered by their own brothers to be the heir of the crown. After all, he did the same thing in his youth. Though, he considered an ancient alternative by finding the royal jewel.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His decision of retrieving the royal jewel is what sets the whole plot.

Played by: Rupert Everett

  • Decoy Protagonist: He enters his dying father's bedroom to heroic music in fancy red clothing, tosses his hair... and is pushed out of the window by Septimus.
  • Prince Charming: He's even played by the guy who was Prince Charming in the Shrek films!
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In a manner of speaking. Introduced early in the movie, and swiftly killed by Septimus. In the book he was dead before the story started.

The Ghost Princes
Played by: Mark Heap (Tertius), David Walliams (Sextus), Julian Rhind Tutt (Quartus) & Adam Buxton (Quintus

The ghosts of the former crown princes of Stormhold.

  • Death by Sex: In the book, Tertius dies having sex with a prostitute.
  • Greek Chorus: Only visible to the audience, they love commenting whatever is happening during the course of the film.
  • Power Perversion Potential: One of the brothers spy on Tristan and Yvaine when they have sex during their night at the inn.

    The Slave Girl 

The Slave Girl / Princess Una

Played by: Kate Magowan

A beautiful woman enslaved by the witch Ditchwater Sal that seduces Dunstan Thorn and then gives birth to Tristan.

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: There is a seven-year age gap between the actress playing the slave woman and the actor playing Tristan. It's possible that her prolonged youth is part of the spell she's under.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Ditchwater Sal typically keeps her as a bluebird, only changing her back into her human form when she has a task for her.
  • Blue Blood: She is actually princess Una.
  • Made a Slave: Some time ago, she was enslaved by Ditchwater Sal.
  • Mama Bear: In a non-biological way towards Yvaine. "The Slave Woman" has a subtle Mama-Bear moment when Lamia followed Yvaine and "The Slave Woman" down to Wall to capture her. This is a downplayed example in that "The Slave Woman" doesn't lose her temper, threaten or throw a punch like the usual example of this trope would. But instead she stands tall against Lamia and body-shields Yvaine from her as a realistic mother would do to protect their child from a stranger.
  • Missing Mom: She decided to give Tristan to Dunstan and never had the chance to raise him. They met later when Tristan reached his twenties and arrived to Stormhold.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: She has seven brothers, and is the only princess of the Stormhold Royal Family..
  • Women Are Wiser: She is much more caring and not ambitious as her brothers.

    Ditchwater Sal 

Ditchwater Sal
Played by: Melanie Hill

An old witch and trader, and the master of Tristan's mother.

  • Affably Evil: She enslaved Tristan's mother and would have used Yvaine for her own purposes if she knew what she was, but she does keep her promises such as taking Tristan to the market even though she turned him into a dormouse.
  • Your Head Asplode: Lamia kills her by vaporizing her head with a fire blast.

    Ferdy the Fence 

Ferdy the Fence
Played by: Ricky Gervais

A chatterbox and sly merchant.

  • Deadpan Snarker: Like most of the cast.
  • Jerkass: Let's face it, he's kind of an ass. Not especially malicious, but not pleasant, either.
  • Motor Mouth: He never, ever shuts up so Lamia turns his voice into that of a monkey. This winds up being his downfall at the hands of Septimus.


Played by: Henry Cavill

Tristan's rival for the affection of Victoria.

  • Ambiguously Bi: Or Ambiguously Gay. Or perhaps just a heterosexual crossdresser. In the coronation scene at the very end, he's seen sharing a wink with Captain Shakespeare, to the confusion and/or frustration of Victoria.
  • The Bully: To Tristan.
  • Jerk Jock: Humphrey gets a line that implies he's been bullying Tristan since their school days—specifically that he whupped him in their fencing lessons.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When Tristan reveals his new sword and confidence, Humphrey simply says "Ah." and puts his own sword back in its sheath rather than go through with fighting Tristan.

    Empusa and Mormo 

Empusa and Mormo

Lamia's equally villainous witch sisters.

  • The Beastmaster: Mormo's main power. Though unfortunately, the animals eventually turn against her and maul her to death.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Mormo takes the role of the Matron, as she is rather plump and motherly-looking, while Empusa takes the role of the Crone, as she is more spindly in appearance and seems the most bitter and sarcastic of the three.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Empusa gets stabbed through the chest by Septimus.
  • Karmic Death: Mormo gets torn to pieces by the animals she keeps around for the sisters to use as divination sacrifices.
  • Playing with Fire: Empusa's speciality, though Lamia's no slouch either.

    The Wall Guard 

The Wall Guard
Played by: David Kelly

"Give my best to your father."

The guard of the limits between the town of Wall and the fantasy world of Stormhold.

  • Old Master: Despite being over 90 years, he can still fight using martial arts as demonstrated against Tristan when he tried to cross to Stormhold like his father did.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After witnessing a battle between two witches through the gap in the wall, he starts leaving just as Tristan shows up.
    Tristan: What happened?
    Guard: Be my guest. I quit. Eighty years, I've stopped you people going out. What I should have been worrying about was those people from the other side coming in.
  • Simple Staff: His weapon of choice. At first like a support for an elder man, he actually uses it like a martial arts bô.


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