A hunter from Skogr and father to Alette, Rook takes on the role of leading the caravan of refugees from Skogr. Compared to the other caravan leaders, he's very charismatic. He's also very protective of Alette. In game he's a Hunter, wielding both an axe and a bow with a special melee ability that gives all friendlies in range a free attack at the target.
- Badass Normal: Rook is not a varl or a mender but kills dredge just as well anyway.
- Bow And Axe In Accord: Uniquely, he can both use a bow and fight effectively in melee.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mostly with Iver.
- The Determinator: During Onef's mutiny Rook is seriously wounded but continues to carve through the traitors, only fainting when Onef is dead and Allete is safe.
- Death Seeker: If Allete falls to Bellower, then in the second game he'll charge at a horde of dredge alone in the hopes that they will put him out of his misery.
- The Hero: He's more or less the main protagonist of the first game.
- Heroic BSoD: If Allete is the one to fall to Bellower. By the second game, he has become a full on Death Seeker in response.
- Out Living Ones Offspring: His greatest fear. It can come true if Allete is killed by Bellower in the first game's finale.
- Papa Wolf: Fiercly protective of his daughter.
- Ship Tease: With Oddlief throughout the first game. They hook up in the sequel if Rook is still alive.
- Sole Survivor: The rest of his family died when he was young.It can happen again if Allete dies.
- Supporting Leader: Becomes this in the third game. He has to try to keep Aberang safe and sane as Iver leads another band to stop the end of the world.
- The Leader: Of the Skogr caravan.
- The Hero Dies: Despite being more-or-less the main character of the first game, Bellower can kill him in that game's ending.
- If you send Rook out to make peace with the dredge alone in the third game, he will be killed by a rioter for making peace with the creatures who have caused so much destruction.
- Red Is Heroic: Wears a red cloak and is one of the main heroes of the series.
- Rousing Speech: Can give one after the evacuation of Skogr.
- Viking Funeral: If Belltower kills him, Alette and Iver put his corpse on a boat which they burn. The first game ends with the boat arriving in what appears to be the afterlife.
- You Are in Command Now: He effectively becomes chief of Skogr - or what's left of its people.
Rook's daughter and a formidable hunter, Alette nonetheless hates harming varl or humans, though she has no problem with killing dredge. The player can themselves decide whether to force her to do that or to keep her from battle. Her mother died when she was very young, leaving Oddleif to take on the role of a maternal figure for her.
- Daddy's Girl: Loves her father deeply and strives to become more like him.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Eyvind can teach her to become a mender in the second game.
- Fiery Redhead: She refuses to be passive and insists on helping her father fight against the dredge.
- In the Hood: She dons her hood on in the end of the first game and the second game after her father's death in which Iver told her that she must be strong as a leader and that she could return as "Alette" in another day.
- The Heart
- Mage Marksman: Can learn some basic mending from Eyvind in the second game.
- Supporting Leader: Becomes this in the third game. She has to try to keep Aberang safe and sane as Iver leads another band to stop the end of the world.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: At the beginning of the game she is reluctant to kill humans or varl. You can force her to overcome this or respect her opinion by keeping her out of fights involving human or varl enemies. You even get an achievement out of it! She drops this tendency in the second game, as if she's alive at that point, she's the caravan's leader and she needs to be willing to kill to protect her people. She also might be forced to kill Olef, depending on whether you allow him to join the caravan.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the second game, she's far more confident and willing to fight.
- Survivor Guilt: If her father is killed by Bellower, she wishes that she had died instead.
A varl warrior who lives in Skogr with the humans and a friend of Rook. Even Rook however, does not know what Iver was before he came to Skogr and Iver prefers it that way. Iver does explain that he's killed dredge in the past but refuses to elaborate.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments of snarkiness on multiple occasions.
- Death Seeker: He admits to Alfrun that he believes that he deserves to die for what he did to Raze and that he confronted Bellower at Einartoft in the hopes that he would kill him.
- Dented Iron: He accumulates more and more damage throughout the course of the games. In the first game he gets a scar on his face and loses an arm after his duel with the Bellower. In the third game his horn and his eye get damaged as well.
- Deuteragonist: He's the second protagonist of the third game.
- The Dreaded: In Banner Saga 3, it is revealed he has a notorious reputation among the dredge, being called the Destroyer.
- Friendless Background: Even before coming to Skogr where he was the only varl, it's implied he wasn't very sociable with other members of his race.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets a scar across his face after his duel with the Bellower.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The only outright blond Varl, and one of the gentlest in the series.
- Handicapped Badass: He loses an arm after his duel with Bellower, but he remains as strong as he was before.
- If you choose to save Folka from Bolverk, he'll also lose an eye and crack his horn for his troubles.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Contrasting the heroic treatment he gets from most people that know him, Iver is full of doubts and self-loathing, and never takes credit for his accomplishments even to himself.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Tells Rook in one of his dialogues that he thinks weak humans are a worse plague on the world that the dredge - though in this case this was more of a humourous nibbing on a friend.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Not only does losing his shield arm at the elbow in no way diminish his combat skill; his post- amputation skill tree arguably makes him more powerful. Pre-injury, he was a very effective tank, like almost all Varl. Post-injury, he still has tankish traits, but he also develops some devastating damage-dealing abilities.
- The Lancer: Alongside Oddleif, he's one of Rook's most trusted advisors.
- Medal of Dishonor: Iver left the varl after he was named kendr (the heir to the varl throne) for killing the Sundr Raze. Ivar was disgusted that he was being rewarded for killing a mother and her baby.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Before he came to Skogr, his name was Yngvar. He fought in the Second Great War and managed to kill a Sundr one of the leaders and generals of dredge race... because said Sundr turned out to be a female dredge, and she was nursing her son in a snowstorm. He threw his axe at her but the wind caused him to miss and kill the son, incapacitating the Sundr with grief for him to easily finish. When he returned to the varl, they hailed him as a hero. When they tried to name him king, he just walked away and later appeared in Skogr under the new name of Iver.
- Use Your Head: After losing his shield arm to the Bellower Iver starts headbutting enemies instead of bashing them with his shield while using his combat ability.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Rook argue a lot, but they are close friends. In fact, if Rook is killed by the Bellower in the end of the first game, in the second game Iver tells Alette that in all of his long life Rook was the closest thing to a friend that he ever had.
A young human warrior from Skogr. While inexperienced, he's still a capable fighter and if allowed to, will fight alongside Rook and Iver during the invasion of Skogr.
- Ancestral Weapon: His metal shield, which was made by his father.
- Heroic Sacrifice: If he and Alette are allowed to help search the houses in Skogr, then he will sacrifice himself to save Alette from a dredge (unless Rook decides to keep watch and shoot Alette's attacker, that is).
- Irony: Although he is probably the best protected character thanks to his metal shield, he can be Killed Off for Real in six different ways: In Skogr protecting Alette, By Onef at Frosvellr if the player loses, at Einartoft if Rook decides to defend the bridge but doesn't come along, by Onef again during his mutiny, by rioters at Arberrang if the Skogr caravan leader spends too much time preparing for the battle against Ruin, and by the warped if you don't assign any heroes to oversee Arbarrang's walls.
- Mauve Shirt: He's unique among the sword and board soldiers in that his shield is obviously made of metal as opposed to the wooden ones everyone else has. In addition, he gets comparatively low amount of character development, and is the easiest character to lose permanently to the point that there is an achievement you get for keeping him alive the entire first game.
- Nice Guy: He's a kind young man.
- Relationship Upgrade: If he survives the first game, he gets a couple with Alette. He'll confess his love at the godstone Lauga in the second game, and in the third game's endgame Alette can reciprocate by kissing him.
- Stone Wall: He's a tank, and elaborates that the shield was crafted out of solid metal by his father, and that he's spent his entire life adjusting to the heft of it. His class ability is also named "Stone Wall", which grants a flat damage reduction against any attacks made against him until his next turn.
A human archer, married to the Chieftain of Skogr. During the attack, she leaves with Rook and the caravan and becomes one of Rook's most trusted allies. Before the game begins, she took on the role of mother for Alette and taught her archery among other things. Despite this, she and Rook rarely spoke.
- All Girls Like Horses: Horses were driven extinct in the Banner Saga setting. However, Oddleif grew up hearing stories about them so by now she is fascinated by them, treating them as some sort of fairy tale beasts.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: All but invoked. While almost all of the female characters are quite pretty by Northern European standards, Oddleif's bio states that she is unusually beautiful, and that Skogr's late chieftain was considered extraordinarily lucky to have found a wife who was beautiful, faithful, and an excellent co-ruler.
- Berserk Button: Endangering the caravan as a local drunk finds out.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Platinum blonde and heroic through and through.
- The Heart: She is the most compassionate member of the caravan, possibly even more so than Rook or Alette, as she always advocates decisions that involve helping or making peace with others. Even going as far as making peace with the dredge in the third game.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In 3, if she comes with you to make peace with the dredge outside Aberang, when a human inside the walls attacks you with a spear, she steps in the way to save your life, dying in the process. That is, unless youre playing as an Alette who learned mending and can heal her.
- The High Queen: Despite technically being merely a clan Chieftain's widow, she can practically become this in 3, if Rook/Alette gets assassinated for making peace with the Dredge. With King Meinolf already dead, this leaves her as Arberrang's de facto ruler. Technically Ludin ought to succeed his father, but even he recognizes that Oddleif has proven her worth to lead people. Her appearance, her courage, and her magnanimous personality round the trope out.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": She can barely contain herself when she gets a chance to ride into battle atop a horseborn's back.
- The Lancer: Shares this role with Iver for the Skogr caravan.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: She and her late husband were childless, and she suspects that she is barren, but she can end up carrying Rook's child after no more than two trysts with him. See Someone to Remember Him By below.
- Made of Iron: Stabbed by Onef during the mutiny but survives no worse for wear.
- Plot Armor: In Chapter 6, Onef severely wounds both Oddleif and (if he's alive) Egil. Oddlef will always survive this, but Egil will always die.
- Rain of Arrows: Her special attack, which functions as a trap - any unit who moves into the square she targets will be hit by the arrows on their way down, dealing damage and interrupting their turn.
- Second Love: She and Rook can become this for each other if they survive long enough.
- Someone to Remember Him By: If you have Rook start a romance with Oddleif, and he didnt bring the dredge baby to the dredge outside Arberrang, then Rook dies while trying to make peace with the dredge, and, in the epilogue, Aleo notices that Oddleif seems to be pregnant.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She will chew Rook or Alette out if they accept Rugga's deal in Arberrang, telling them that she didn't entrust her late husband's banner to their care so they could sew it to that of a slimeball like Rugga.
- Widow Woman: Her husband dies early in the first game.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: She definitely wears a mask of being a "strong" woman, showing little emotion after her husband's death, but tells Rook how she really feels.
- You Are in Command Now: If Rook/Alette goes out to make peace with the dredge alone in 3 without the dredge baby, they will be killed by a rioter moments later. Oddleif will become the focus character of the Aberang party after that.
A human spearman from Skogr, he's described as being the guy you hope doesn't sit next to you in the tavern. In the first game, he's only available to Kickstarter backers, but joins the caravan in the second game regardless.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He appears to have some form of young-onset dementia. In the third game he has a 'moment of clarity', as those suffering from dementia often do, where he is briefly able to communicate and reason like a normal person before the disease clouds his mind again.
- Badass Moustache: Has one to rival Hakon.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His insanity does not hinder his fighting skills.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Show traits of this such as refering to himself in the third person.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: He basically tells you that people who wear helmets are untrustworthy. Sure enough, Ekkill is as crazy as Tryggvi, and Onef will turn traitor if recruited.
- Fauxshadowing: His "Yellow and blue will lie to you." remark seems to foreshadow some sort of great danger, and the ending of the second game seems to confirm that he was talking about Canary. But the beginning of the third game, it's revealed that Canary had no ill designs on the caravan after all. Instead, it seems to have been a rather benign warning about Nid, who lied to Alette about her family egg recipe.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: If you didn't recruit him in the first game, he shows up in the second and mutters something about how his sudden appearance in your caravan wouldn't be so confusing if you had supported him (read: the Banner Saga Kickstarter) earlier.
- Mad Oracle: Despite his insanity, he seems to be able to predict future events such as Onef's mutiny.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The second game reveals that Tryggvi used to be a kragman, but he grew tired of the lifestyle and left for Skogr. Now Tryggvi views his former people with contempt. The feeling is mutual. If you send Tryggvi to negotiate with the Kragman, they'll kill him for abandoning their culture.
- Reluctant Psycho: It turns out that he's well aware that he's insane and is quite upset that everyone thinks that he's a freak.
- Fantastic Racism: He doesn't even bother to remember the names of individual humans.
- Honor Before Reason: He repeatedly denies Eyvind's requests to blow up the bridge at Einartoft even though failing to do so would most likely mean the end of the varl race. Jorundr would rather his people go extinct than destroy their greatest legacy. The sequel reveals that his refusal to abandon Einartoft led to his death once the dredge attacked the city.
- Plotline Death: Dies during the dredge siege on Einartoft after the Skogr caravan's departure.
Next in line to the varl kingship, Vognir appears in Strand after the Skalfings are dealt with. He is accompanied by Hakon.
- Aborted Arc: Mogr suspects that the dredge weren't the ones who killed Vognir, and that Ludin is a likely suspect, but this plotline is abandoned after the first game. According to Stoic, Mogr was just being paranoid.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Mogr finds him being slain by a few dredge unlikely after his battle record, and suggests Ludin might have had something to do with his sudden fatality. Nothing else comes out of Mogr's statement of his theory, however.
- Sacrificial Lamb: The first of the game's many casualties.
- An Axe to Grind: He fights with a large battle axe.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: Although Ludin definitely takes the crown for jerkiest ambassador, it really is astounding how many chances you get to knock out Ludin as Hakon — not to mention the variety of insults you'll lob at him.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He is a renowned fighter even by varl standarts, and this is what ensures that he gets entrusted with progressively higher positions of authority throughout the games.
- Badass Moustache: One notable thing about Hakon is that in the whole series he's the only varl without a beard.
- Bash Brothers: He is famous for fighting side by side with Vognir during the first great war with the dredge.
- The Cavalry: He brings the whole Banner of Princes to join the Banner of Skogr, just in time for the final showdown with Bellower.
- Deuteragonist: The first game's second major playable character with chapter three focusing entirely on his story.
- Fantastic Racism: Hakon still remembers the brutality of the horseborn from the last time they invaded the lands of men and varl and despises horseborn to this day.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Vognir are the closest of friends.
- The Lancer: He is Vognir's second in command.
- The Leader: Became this to the Banner of Princes after Vognir's death.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Hakon is rather pragmatic in his thinking, and because of that he can be much more easier to come to agreement with than other varl, willing to aid and work alongside the leader of the Skogr caravan even if previously you made decisions that did not go well with him.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Continues to fight on the front lines after becoming prince of the varl, and later their king.
- You Are in Command Now: He has to lead the army after Vognir's death. After the fall of Einartoft, Hakon becomes the new King of the varl.
A varl tax collector who serves as the main character for chapter one. At the beginning of the story, Ubin arrives at the trading town of Strand to collect the tribute the town owes, and is promptly drawn into a local conflict. By his own estimate he's the second oldest varl alive. In the first two games, he was the only main character so far not to engage in combat, however he becomes a playable character in the third game.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the third game, he returns to even the odds during the battle against Ruin.
- The Cavalry: As literal example as it is possible within the setting, as in the example above he returns with an army of horseborn allies.
- Cool Old Guy: A snarky but friendly old varl.
- Cunning Linguist: Fluent in at least three languages: those of the varl, humans, and horseborn.
- Non-Action Guy: In the first two games, he doesn't actually fight in the present.
- Promoted to Playable: Thanks to a stretch goal for the third game's Kickstarter, Ubin becomes a playable character in The Banner Saga 3.
- Narrator: His name in the game files. He is also the journalist and narrator of all chapters he appears in during the first game, as well as the second game's opening cutscene.
- Put on a Bus: In the sequel, he eventually leaves the caravan to visit the Horseborn lands, figuring that since, as a noncombatant, he doesn't contribute anything to the caravan, he might as well explore the world while it's still there.
- The Bus Came Back: Returns in the third game with some much needed help.
- Retired Badass: Apparently used to be quite the fighter back in the day, though he doesn't see the big deal. He comes out of retirement in the third game."I haven't swung a hammer in a century, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten how!"
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He leaves Einartoft to join the Banner of Skogr, bringing Gunnulf with him.
- Still Got It: As his above quote and his subsequent performance in battle attest.
A varl warrior who is essentially the second-in-command of the varl Caravan. In the past, he actually lead his own clan, but quickly grew tired of it and now finds himself travelling with Ubin and Hakon. In game he's a shieldbanger, the party's designated tank.
- The Chains of Commanding: He refers to them it as "rope", citing the old phrase "Give him enough rope to hang himself with" in regards to how well his attempt at a leadership position went.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He can lead a diversion to allow the rest of the caravan to escape the dredge without another fight. Doing so costs him his life.
- Noodle Incident: He never explains what exactly happened during that time when he had enough "rope" that he is so reluctant to assume leadership position again.
- Number Two: Mogr becomes Hakon's second-in-command and most trusted adviser.
- Stone Wall: He's a tank.
Ubin's varl bodyguard. He is generally silent and not much is known about him. In game he's a warhawk, dealing massive amounts of damage in each swing but having little armour.
- Dumb Muscle: Judging by what little he says, he's not particularly smart. His grammar can also be noticeably stilted; it's possible he's not very fluent in the language of men, as he seems to have more trouble talking to Rook than he does Ubin or Hakon.
- Glass Cannon: He can dish out a lot of pain with one hit, and his Tempest ability lets him damage a crowd, but he's not well-armored.
- Heroic Sacrifice: If the Siege of Arberrang in 3 goes on long enough, Gunnulf will die holding up a collapsing wall so that some trapped humans can escape from underneath it.
- Honor Before Reason: Why he'll try to save the above-mentioned wagon from falling. So much this that in fact you'll be learning this from him just answering "My duty." in response to trying to get him to stop that and continue heedlessly. You have to press him about it again to save his life from it.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He impulsively tries to save a wagon full of treasure from falling off a cliff with a exploding-ready dredge attached to it. This is guaranteed to get him killed if he is allowed to keep on trying to do it.
- Blood Knight: In contrast to Ubin, who is a Retired Badass, Krumr is still a warrior. At several points, he'll insist on fighting even if it's not the best option.
- Fantastic Racism: He doesn't think much of humans. He only lets the party into Wurmtoe because Iver insists.
- Fauxshadowing: There are several points in the game where he goes off to make a distraction, but returns alive and well despite a bad feeling some characters get. In the first game he takes forty varl in order to distract the dredge, and Ubin comments that this departure feels different. He comes back later, triumphant. In the second one he also ventures out of Bolverk's party to assist other varl fighting overwhelming dredge forces, and returns alive and well with survivors in tow even if Bolverk does not back him up. Subverted during the third game - if Iver's group is pursued by the Bellower, this time Krumr will die when he goes off to provide a distraction.
- Noodle Incident: Drops hints on some bizarre events from his past, such as when he filled a dead yox with whale teeth. Since he never follows up on these tales it's most likely his way of subtly trolling people, whether or not these stories are true.
- Old Master: The varl is a badass even compared to other varl. In fact, they come to his village in order to learn his secret fighting skills.
- Old Soldier / Perilous Old Fool: It's debated by the cast which he falls into. Regardless, this is represented in gameplay by his unique ability to pull another ally to next in turn order.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the sequel, he quits the Skogr caravan to join the Ravens.
A varl warrior who isn't happy to be serving under Hakon.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: If Hakon responds to Griss's grumbling about being under command of Hakon (because Vognir is dead) by beating Griss up, Griss will later ask to join the party.
- Flat Character: His description as one of your heroes says it all - he's simply an exemplary varl warrior...aside from how he shoots off his mouth sometimes.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He can be killed in the second game's first chapter if you order him to charge a large dredge horde.
A varl warrior and experienced commander who warns Hakon of the dredge massing at Ridgehorn.
- Disney Death: He appears to die in the first game, either from getting killed by the dredge off screen or from being killed by the Skogr caravan defending the Einartoft bridge. The second game reveals that he survived, although he was gravely injured.
- Dumb Muscle: Averted. In fact, implying that he is such is almost a Berserk Button for him.
- Fantastic Racism: Like most varl, he's not too fond of humans. He hopes to enforce the ban on humans entering Einartoft as well.
- Hidden Depths: He practically invokes this, not just for himself but for the varl as a race in his dispute with Oddleif during the siege of Arberrang."Bah, this one! You think we are just large men with simple minds. I have been alive for hundreds of years! You rush around fearing for your short lives, like babies calling for their mothers! How we live is more important than how long!"
- Honor Before Reason: From a human perspective, his behavior can seem like this: he obeys his king's orders even when they're self-destructive, and he disdains tactical thinking in favor of straightforward combat. But he would disagree, and at one point he tongue-lashes Oddleif for judging him by humanity's fundamentally different values.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Recognizes that Jorundr's refusal to destroy the bridge at Einartoft will doom the varl, but agrees to hold the line anyway.
- Practical Taunt: His ability.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Hardly the only such Varl, but he defends his race's ethos fiercely when Oddleif accuses the varl of having a "death wish." See his quote under Hidden Depths.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: If the bridge at Einartoft was destroyed, Fasolt will be royally pissed off at Rook for his part in it, with that animosity transferring to Alette if Rook dies. Hell even tell her to her face that he cant wait for the dredge to kill her but if Hakon is along for the ride, Fasolt will join up out of loyalty to his king.
BolverkThe leader of the Ravens mercenary band, he's first encountered during the last act of the first game, where his band is tasked with defending and keeping order in the besieged town of Boersgard.
- Animal Motifs: Bears. He wears a bear skin, his axes are called Claw and Fang, and one of his special abilities is called Bear Rage. Once during the story he narrates that he used to "hibernate" in caves during winters. And perhaps the most of all, his cross and unpredictable temper is very much like that of a bear.
- Anti-Hero: Bolverk is not a nice person at all. Even if you make heroic decisions while playing as him, it's made clear that he's a brute who only does what's right when it benefits him.
- The Berserker: He's one of the last remaining varl Berserks. When he fights, he tends to go into a rage and attacks enemy and ally alike. Which means that he can randomly attack allies that are adjacent to him when he attacks enemies. He also lives up to the literal meaning of the word "berserk" by wearing a bear skin.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He only makes a brief appearance in the first game, but is a player character in the second game.
- Crutch Character: Of a sort. He isn't the most durable character, but he is very strong, and if you play him right he can single handedly dominate a battlefield. This will mean that the other Ravens who don't have the same raw power will be hurting for XP though. And if you let him suck up too much experience (and don't level Iver enough), he may be impossible for you to defeat as the final boss. This doesn't make the game Unwinnable though, it just changes the ending.
- Deuteragonist: Bolverk is the secondary protagonist of the second game.
- Demonic Possession: He starts to have strange dreams of Bellower and finds himself thinking that he's a dredge for a few minutes after waking. His condition gets worse as the game goes on and by the final battle he's completely under Bellower's control.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Due to being The Berserker he's difficult to control, but if you get a hang of him and manage to point him in the right direction, he can tear through rows of enemies singlehandedly.
- The Dragon: He becomes the Serpent's chief agent and most of Iver's chapters in the third game are spent running away from Bolverk and his warped minions.
- Dual Wielding: The only character in the game seen using two weapons at once, instead of a single one-handed or a two-handed weapon or a weapon and a shield. This allows him to attack twice in one turn, although since Bolverk is a Berserk, the second blow hits a random target adjacent to him, even if that target is an ally.
- Dying as Yourself: Seems to no longer be under Bellower's direct control by the end of the third game, but is so angry at the Valka for using him, and has become so sympathetic to the Dredge from Bellower's previous influence that he fights the party anyway.
- Final Boss: He's the final opponent in both the second and third games.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He's the only varl with broken horns and is the most brutal member of his race seen in the first two games. Nikels mentions a rumor that Bolverk's axes are made from his horns, but Bolverk neither confirms nor denies this. Folka later confirms this rumor as true as she recovers the axe he launches at Eyvind's head.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The slightest insult can send him into a berserker rage.
- Healing Factor: In the second game's final battle, he gains Bellower's ability to regenerate health.
- I Call Her "Vera": Bolverk's axes are named Claw and Fang.
- I Gave My Word: Always keeps the oaths he gives, and oaths and keeping them in general is Serious Business for him.
- Immune to Mind Control: Juno's mind controlling abilities do not work on him, possibly due to him being perpetually angry.
- Jerkass: Even if you play him benevolently, Bolverk is an unrepentant asshole. There's even an achievement for playing Bolverk as an amoral, murderous jerk.
- Like a Son to Me: He ended up serving as a father figure to Folka when the Ravens picked her up, which explains why he cuts her more slack than to others. Subverted, as it's still not enough for him to stay his hand in her case when he turns against the party.
- More Than Mind Control: In the third game, while Bolverk is clearly affected by Bellower and the Serpent, he really is so furious at the Valka's manipulations that he is willing to kill his Ravens and doom the world just to get revenge on Juno and Eyvind.
- Nemean Skinning: Wears a bear pelt like this.
- The Red Baron: He's known as Bloodaxe for his weapons of choice and his sheer brutality.
- Principles Zealot: As mentioned in the I Gave My Word entry above, keeping oaths and promises is a very big deal to him. A large part of his antagonism in the third game comes from Ravens "abandoning" him, and he doesn't even care that they did it because of Juno's mind control.
- Religious Bruiser: Bolverk may be a brute, but he was very religious in his youth. Bolverk appears to be especially sad about the gods' deaths and one of the few times he shows remorse is when he comes across a Godstone that he broke by accident fifty years ago in a fight: the gods may be dead, but Bolverk still tries to show them respect.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Surprisingly, he was this (or a varl equivalent of this, since varl don't seem to really have childhood). In his first century Bolverk was a much more sensitive soul, so much entranced by the grandeur of the gods and the beauty of the world that he even earned a nickname Dreamer from other varl, for his habit of spacing out in awe. A far cry from the cynical brute we know him as.
A Shieldmaiden in the Ravens. She's Bolverk's second in command.
- Alone in a Crowd: Describes herself as this once.
- Blood Knight: Like many of the Ravens, she enjoys fighting.
- Brawn Hilda: Strong, huge for a human, with rough features, comes from a scandinavian-esque culture - yep, she fits.
- Dark and Troubled Past: And unlike the rest of your companions she never openly spits it out to you, in fact cutting you off if you try to prod. But you can still peice it together from bits she lets out here and there. Apparently, she was abandoned by her real parents and cast out by her community and adopted by the Ravens as a child, eventually graduating from their Tag Along Kid to Bolverk's second in command.
- Deadpan Snarker: Is the only person among Ravens (and probably in the whole world) who can safely talk back to Bolverk, and so she gets to snark at him (and anyone else, for that regard) when opportunities arise.
- Girlish Pigtails: Has them, even though she's the opposite of "girly".
- Heroic Safe Mode: Spends most of the third game in this. She's not happy about Juno mind-controlling them into following her into the Darkness, and is still upset about Bolverk on top of that.
- The Lancer: She's Bolverk's unofficial second in command because she's the only one with the courage to stand up to him. Folka's perpetual level headedness makes for a significant contrast to Bolverk's Hair-Trigger Temper.
- Story And Gameplay Integration: She's the only character who can stand next to Bolverk in battle and not get hit by his randomized second attack.
- Parental Substitute: Bolverk is the closest thing she had to a father figure, which explains why she clings to him so much and why, when he becomes their enemy, she is hit so hard by this.
- Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: If Bolverk is the one pursuing Iver's caravan in the third game she will attempt to placate him like this, offering him to strike her down in hope he won't be able to through with this, and come back to his senses.She is wrong, and unless Iver interferes Bolverk will kill her on the spot.
- Stepford Snarker/I Just Want to Be Loved: Her tough attitude conceals her desperate need for affection. So much so that her indignation at the revived Bolverk's callous disregard for her can end in her death.
- Stone Wall: Her stats and abilities focus on reducing damage for both herself and her allies.
- The Strategist: Her role among the Ravens. She is a skilled and acute tactician, and provides a sound advice in some situations in the third game.
- Tears of Fear: Cries before the battle against a dredge horde at Old Fort, in part because of her fear of death, and in part because of her fear of Bolverk dying, or worse.
- The Stoic: Few things can get under her skin.
A varl member of the Ravens mercenary band. Is really fond of alcohol.
- The Alcoholic: Figures that getting drunk is a good idea when dredge are about to raid the village he's in.
- Guest-Star Party Member: In the first game, he leaves the party to return to the Ravens after a grand total of one battle. In the second game, he becomes a regular party member once you gain control of the Ravens.
- Sour Supporter: He has several scenes where he complains about Bolverk's leadership, and is the only named Ravens' character to do so.
An elderly human member of the Ravens. He has the ability to insult enemies, moving their turn to the end of the enemy turn queue.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: This talkative and eccentric old man is a hell of a survivor. If Bolverk sends him to deal with the dredge horde pursuing the Ravens' caravan, Sparr manages to return alive even though all the fighters sent to accompany him die.
- Cool Old Guy: He's got a lot of great stories, he's survived many battles, and he's one of the friendliest Ravens to outsiders. He even offers Iver an extremely valuable and powerful heirloom for no other reason than that he's a guest.
- I Shall Taunt You: His Insult ability allows him to force an enemy target's turn to the back of the enemy turn queue by taunting them.
- Old Soldier: He's been fighting for fifty years.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He likes to trade insults with Bolverk, but he is completely loyal to the Ravens.
A new Ravens recruit. He specializes in throwing axes and drinking ale. His throwing axes allow him to attack at both close and long range.
- The Alcoholic: He drinks a lot.
- Drunken Master: Oli claims that he's a much better fighter when he's drunk. It turns out that being drunk somehow gives Oli the ability to mend, which allows him to guide his throwing axes. He literally can't fight when sober since he can't mend unless he's drunk.
- Nailed to the Wagon: Once the Ravens eventually run out of meade for him to drink, he grouses that "sober" is no way to live.
- Plot Armor: In Chapter 13, if Ekkill died or wasn't recruited in the first game, Oli will charge at the dredge in Ekkill's place. While Ekkill will die if Bolverk doesn't back him up, if Bolverk leaves Oli to his fate, Oli will show up alive and well at Oldford.
- In addition, if Folka is killed in Banner Saga 3, he'll take over as roles that were meant for Folka.
The king of Arberrang. Meinolf is a skilled ruler, but he can be ruthless when he needs to.
- Failure-to-Save Murder: If Ludin dies before reaching Arberrang, Meinolf will blame Hakon for failing to keep Ludin safe and will banish the varl from Arberrang.
- Flunky Boss: When he's attacked, his bodyguards take damage for him. Defeating Meinolf requires defeating all of his bodyguards first.
- Jerkass: He's almost as unpleasant as Ludin was in the first game.
- Redemption Equals Death: Agrees to let all of the refugees into Arberrang shortly before he dies from Rugga's poison.
- Shoot the Dog: He strictly limits who gets to enter the safety of Arberrang's laws because if he lets everybody in, the city will starve and no one will be safe.
A human prince who's in line to become King. He joins the party with Vognir and Hakon, en route to the varl capital Grofheim to seal the alliance between human and varl. Compared to the rest of the caravan, he's quite cynical and believes the ends justify the means. In the game, he wields a spear as the spearmaster class, which allows him to attack enemies from an extra tile away.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: Despite being on a mission of peace between humans and varl, he's quite contemptuous and snobby.
- Badass Beard: He grows a beard in the second game, which grows thicker and longer in the third.
- Character Development: He's a rude, entitled prick when he first meets Ubin and Hakon, but grows up a lot after surviving the events of the first game. By the end of the third, he's a team player through and through. He even renounces his claim to the throne of Arberrang because he acknowledges the Skogr chief is a much more skilled leader than he could be.
- Jerkass: He's unpleasant to just about everyone. He mellows out if he survives to the second game.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He will make a suicidal charge against the dredge forces at Ridgehorn which is guaranteed to get him killed if Hakon doesn't join him or knock him out first.
- Non-Idle Rich: If you put him to work on the front lines as a spearman.
- Ship Tease: He suggests to Alette that she would be a great queen of Arberrang, before hurriedly backpedaling and clarifying that he doesn't necessarily mean that it implies being the queen to his king.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He becomes more humble and compassionate if he survives to the second game, as fighting for survival while the world has ending has made him realize how horrible he was in the first game.
- Upper-Class Twit: Being a human prince causes his attitude to be very toxic.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Ludin seeks his father's approval and never gets it. Even if Ludin makes it to Arberrang, Meinolf still doesn't respect Ludin.
- The Wise Prince: Not at first— in the beginning of the saga, he's a snobby and unpleasant Royal Brat. If he survives long enough, he'll start learning from the example that Rook or Alette sets, and resolves to follow their lead in becoming an effective leader of men.
- Ambiguously Brown: Bersi is the only character to be noticeably non-white.
- Badass Bookworm: He is reading when Hakon first approaches him, though Hakon notes that he doesn't seem like the reading type.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Valka hired him to kill Alfrun for failing her training and being too powerful to let live, but he doesn't remember her because the Valka have hired him to kill so many failed menders over the centuries.
- Enigmatic Minion: According to in-universe rumor, he's not actually working for Ludin. All that's really known about him is that he says he used to be a bandit and he has an interest in keeping Ludin alive.
- Only in It for the Money: He's about as mercenary as they come. Even while helping the Ravens save the world, he's only thinking about staying alive to make more coin in the future.
- Out of Focus: He doesn't get a single line of dialogue in the second game.
- Palette Swap: He's identical to Gunnulf, but swarthier and with an axe instead of a greatsword.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: The Valka asked him to track down Iver before the events of the game. He returned to them empty-handed, but lets on to Iver that he knew exactly where he was and simply chose not to come after him.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He deserts the Skogr caravan to join the Ravens if he survives the first game. In the third game, he reveals that Juno paid him to join the Ravens.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: A rumor that Ludin and Yrsa are lovers ended when Yrsa got wind of it. Whether it's true is unknown, but Ludin seems to be one of the few things she cares about beyond fire. Given that Yrsa is implied to be Ludin's half-sister, the rumor is probably false.
- Never Found the Body: She shows up at the end of the second game's first chapter regardless of what happened to her in the first game. Since, if she leaves the caravan in the first game, her death is only implied and not shown, it's not particularly jarring.
- OOC Is Serious Business: It's jarring when she says to stay away from blue fire in the Old Wood.
- Pyromaniac: She always advocates for solutions that involve fire. And it's all she wanted to do in life, apparently, as she leaves the party if she is allowed to set a whole forest on fire.
- Troll: She loves playing up the rumors that she's a witch to make other uncomfortable.
- Undying Loyalty: Yrsa's hard to read, but it's clear that she is completely loyal to Ludin. The third game implies that she is Ludin's illegitimate half-sister and that she is loyal to him because he is family.
- Wicked Witch: She openly states that she is a witch, and that people shouldn't mess with her or else. She seems to rather relish the fear of her flaming arrows causes in varl (...that are also on her side).
PetrusCaptain of the Arberrang royal guard.
- A Father to His Men: He cares deeply for the men under his command, and it pains him greatly to see them killed by dredge, warped monstrosities, and rebellious clansmen.
- The Consigliere: He was one to King Meinolf, and when Meinolf places him under the caravan leader's direction, suggests that Rook or Alette treat him the same way.
- Enemy Summoner: A heroic version; Petrus is able to call in reinforcements from his Royal Guard to join him on the battlefield.
- Mr. Exposition: He advises the Skogr caravan leader on the rapidly deteriorating political situation within Arberrang.
- Apocalypse Maiden
- And I Must Scream: Juno's plan to save the world involves being sealed within the new inner sun of the world for the rest of eternity, alive and conscious. She has accepted this fate willingly though.
- Barrier Warrior: Is able to deflect the Serpent's attacks with little notice.
- Blade on a Stick: Wields one.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: She specializes in using mending to alter minds. She uses this plenty of times throughout the whole series, but fortunately her intentions are fully benevolent and so she only uses it for good. The second game reveals that mind-altering mending is a capital offense among the Menders Council and that Juno was executed sometime before the first game after using her powers on Eyvind - to turn him into a god according to other Valka, but actually to try and cure his budding insanity.
- Charm Person: Her most used ability is to calm the minds of others to make them more suggestible or just dissuade them from attacking. When she becomes a playable character in the third game, she can use this to make enemies attack each other.
- Dented Iron: As mentioned in her other entires, she cannot die - but as she survives some truly close calls throughout the games, she starts appearing more and more haggard and ghoulish.
- Ms. Exposition: Her main role in the first episode is to tell Rook how to defeat Bellower.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Has the look, and her mysterious demeanour only adds to her eeriness.
- Expy: Of Gandalf. A senior magic user who is implied to be a divine being who wears all grey, is resurrected after falling in battle, and acts as chief expositor for the cast. She also pays tribute to Gandalf's own pregenitor, Odin, as she wields a spear rather then a staff.
- Hot for Student: She is Eyvind's mentor, yet loves him.
- Meaningful Name: Juno was the Roman incarnation of Hera
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: When first encountered, she is found dead by the Banner of Princes. She gets better.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Whatever Eyvind did to save her life after the menders executed her made it impossible for her to die. This is reflected in gameplay: if Juno is defeated, her spirit will leave her body and she can collect strands of shadow energy to heal herself and revive.
- Odd Name Out: Yet another thing that makes her stands out among the cast - while the rest of the characters have norse or celtic names, she is the only one with a roman name.
- Our Zombies Are Different: She is essentially a revenant, running on the energy stolen from the Black Sun and the Serpent. Technically she is already dead, which is probably why Hakon's caravan abandoned her when they found her and Eyvind unconscious, as she most likely did not have any signs of life they could spot.
- Promoted to Playable: After spending the entirety of the second game on the sidelines, Juno finally becomes a playable hero in the third game.
- Troubled Fetal Position: Sacrificing herself to restore the dark sun leaves her curled up in a ball in the center of the sun for eternity.
- Unexplained Recovery: Hakon's caravan finds her dead at Ridgehorn. She later turns up alive with little explanation. The second game reveals that the Valka executed her for using mending to alter minds sometime before the story began. Eyvind managed to revive her, and now Juno cannot die.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: She is quick to believe her invincibility is bad news. She's ultimately right.
- Almighty Janitor: He's just a rank and file Mender, but he is more talented than most Valka. Subverted when it's revealed that he used to be the leader of the Valka.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Eyvind has some sort of mental disorder. It isn't exactly stated what it is, but Juno says it eats away at his mind. This actually is what leads to the events of the entire game. Juno is executed for trying to use weaving to modify Eyvind's mind which is forbidden by the Valka, and Eyvind in his grief absorbs the power of the world's inner sun to revive Juno and this begins the end of the world.
- Anti-Villain: Eyvind is the entire reason that the apocalypse is occurring. Juno was executed for using forbidden techniques in an attempt to cure his ailing mind, and out of insane desperation, Eyvind draws from the power of the world's inner sun to bring Juno back to life. In the process, he overdrains the sun and accidentally releases the Serpent who is fated to destroy the world. He cares more about Juno than about saving the world itself, and although he is somewhat willing to go along with Juno's plan to save the world, he is willing to make a deal with the Serpent to give the Serpent all of the world already consumed by the darkness in exchange for freeing Juno from the fate that awaited her otherwise. Iver can convince him that Juno wouldn't want him to make that bargain though.
- Beware the Nice Ones: This humble young man is actually an incredibly powerful mender. Also, he's the one who summoned the dark sun that the dredge are fleeing from and the one who stripped the Serpent of its immortality, causing it to rampage on the surface.
- Godhood Seeker: The Valka Dusi and Alfrun suspect that Eyvind tampered with the Black Sun to become a god. Subverted when it turns out that he just wanted to save Juno.
- It Runs in the Family: Both his parents were Menders. This may be why he developed the unique talent of calling lightning, which no other Mender can do. In addition to that, his madness mentioned above is hereditary.
- Locked into Strangeness: In the second game, his hair starts to go grey after he exhausts himself building a land bridge across a massive chasm for days. Promotional art for the third game shows that his hair goes fully gray.
- The Mourning After: If he's alive, it's heavily implied he will never get over Juno's sacrifice after the series' ending.
- Nice Guy: Most of the time he is a friendly and affable if nervous man, even possibly teaching Alette a bit of mending seemingly out of nothing but altruism.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When the Serpent swallows Juno in the second game, he apparently goes as far as chase down the serpent on foot and blast its side open with lightning. We never see it for ourselves.
- Shock and Awe: His Chain Lightning special shocks enemies in a diagonal row.
- Simple Staff: Wields one, although his low stats mean that using him in melee is foolish.
- Squishy Wizard: He has pretty bad stats. He relies on his unique magic to be a strong support character.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: To revive his lover Juno, he channeled the power of the world's Dark Sun, which kickstarted the apocalypse.
- Wizard Classic: He's got the staff and robes from his first appearance, but in the first game, he's a young-looking man with brown hair and a short beard. By the third, he's performed enough incredibly taxing feats of magic to age himself significantly, which gives him a much longer and grayer beard that Gandalf would be proud of.
- Written by the Winners: If Juno sacrifices herself to the black sun, the credits show a new Godstone depicting Juno as a sun goddess, created by Elvynd, implying he was the one who crafted it.
- You Shall Not Pass!: He tries to hold off a dredge Stonesinger, as well as Bellower, despite being a Squishy Wizard.
An elderly Valka that Bolverk finds defending Bindal from the dredge. Her spells allow her to make her allies stronger.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the third game, she flies into Arberrang right before the Darkness can consume it so she can instruct the Menders there on how to hold the Darkness back.
- Blow You Away: Her specialty is wind magic, though she does not use it offensively. In gameplay, she uses enchanted winds to buff and speed up allies. In narrative, she is seen using winds to fly.
- Ms. Exposition: She tells Bolverk what's really going on with Juno, and later tells the Skogr caravan leader how to hold out for Juno to save the world.
- Like a Son to Me: Treated Nikels like that. Which makes her sacrificing him to ward off Eyeless even more tragic.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She can be harsh, but she's looking out for refugees, treats the Ravens with respect, and is actually willing to facilitate peace with the dredge.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Eyeless shows up to the Battle of Oldford possessing his corpse.
- Fanboy: Practically squees when he meets Bolverk and the rest of the Ravens, infatuated with them from tales of their victories - he even knows some events that Bolverk himself has forgotten. At one point he will even ask if he can join the band.
- Heroic Sacrifice: During the first fight with Eyeless, he consents to Zefr having the universe "skip" him, killing Nikels but stopping Eyeless's attack from collapsing the cavern.
- Plotline Death: His death in the first fight against Eyeless is inevitable.
A witch who knows much of the Valka and dredge's secrets.
- Combat Medic: One of only two characters in the whole roster with a straight-up healing ability, able to increase a character's strength mid-battle. Unlike the Apostate, she can only affect one target at a time but can do so immediately without waiting for a charge up, and not sacrificing their armour. It does not remove injuries obtained after getting downed in previous battles however.
- The Exile: After she failed the Menders's tests and the Valka deemed her too dangerous to live without being a fully trained Mender, Alfrun was forced to flee to the dredge, the one place where she would be beyond the reach of the Valka's assassins.
- Ms. Exposition: She teaches Iver about dredge culture, and is one of the few members of Juno's caravan who has been to the dredge's homeland.
- Hit-and-Run Tactics: Ride The Lightning, which teleports her towards an enemy for a quick jab with her spear before returning her back to her original position. The further she had to travel towards her target, the harder it hits.
- Take a Third Option: Offers Iver one in the third game when she calls Juno and Eyvind's motivations into question. This means killing Eyvind and letting Alfun seal Juno away. Since she's less skilled at mending than Eyvind, though, this kills everyone at the White Tower.
An advisor to the Governor of Strand, Eirik is described as the person who gets things done in the city. He's shown to have contacts around the city, and isn't afraid of fighting himself. In game he's a warden, allowing him to boost the willpower of allies.
- Back for the Finale: If Hakon lets Eirik return to Strand in the first game, Eirik returns in the third game along with Valgard to join Juno's caravan when the caravan visits Strand after it has been consumed by the Darkness.
- The Beastmaster: In the second game, he can potentially tame Spinegrinder, a kragman war bear, allowing him to summon it in battle. If he was sent back to Strand in the first game, then when he returns in the third, he'll have tamed a polar bear named Frost Kiss.
- Deadpan Snarker: His early conversations establish him as this.Eirik: Hadd, I'm not in the mood today.Hadd: For what?Eirik: Talking to an idiot.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: He is both political and economic advisor to Strand's governor, and an excellent flanking fighter besides.
- Put on a Bus: In the first game, he can leave the varl caravan to escort survivors of a dredge attack to the safety of Strand.
- Self-Deprecation: Eirik will offer to escort refugees back to Strand in Chapter 3. Regardless of how he's convinced to stay, he'll respond with a self-deprecating remark.
A warrior in Strand who helps Ubin and Eirik to assault the skalfings in the Nobleman tavern.
- Back for the Finale: He returns as a full party member in the third game when Juno's caravan visits Strand after it has been consumed by the Darkness.
- Dynamic Entry: He kicks down the door of the Nobleman tavern.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Joins the party for one battle in the first chapter. He becomes a full party member in the third game.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He wears black and he did some nasty things, but in reality he's nowhere near as evil as he appears to be.
- Hidden Depths: The man is quite thoughtful for a vicious thug.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ekkill's a ruthless bastard and a bandit, but he actually cares for Alette and doesn't want her to be corrupted by the cruelties of the world.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In the second game, he'll attempt to charge a small army of dredge. Unless Bolverk goes with him, Ekkill will die.
- Meaningful Name: Ekkill means "widower" in Icelandic. It's actually a nickname Onef made up for him to make him sound scarier. Ekkill's true name is never revealed.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the second game, he deserts the Skogr caravan to join the Ravens.
- Sword Plant: His special, Guts, has him leaping into the air and slamming his axe into the ground.
- Twitchy Eye: His signature animation.
- With Us or Against Us: He can be either a great ally, or a vicious enemy.
A Human Warrior from Frostvellr, he offers to join you after you defeat him and the rest of Ekkil's thugs in battle. His special ability allows him to charge through enemies, damaging them twice while moving through them.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betrays Ekkil, his brother-in-law, and then betrays Rook and the caravan if he's recruited.
- Foreshadowing: His class is Backbiter. Think about it.
- Hypocrite: He justifies mutinying against Rook because he thinks that Rook's new allies can't be trusted and will take over the caravan. In the very same scene, Onef proves he cannot be trusted when he stabs Rook and tries to take over the caravan.
- Jerkass Has a Point: One of the reasons Onef gives for his mutiny is that he disapproves of Rook bringing Eyvind along. Onef doesn't trust Eyvind because Eyvind never explained what he was doing in Ridgehorn or why he believes that Juno, whom Hakon's caravan confirmed was dead, is alive. The second game shows Onef's suspicions towards Eyvind to be completely justified.
- The Mutiny: Pulls this on Rook's caravan, killing Egil in the process
- Toxic Friend Influence: Toxic brother-in-law, in fact. Onef is the one who is the real scumbag of Frostvellr, and he was the one who corrupted Ekkil into what he is today.
A widow that Oddleif can teach archery to. Her special ability allows her to shoot enemies at longer range than most archers.
- Friendly Sniper: Out of all the playable archers, she's the best fit for this role: her active ability is Bird of Prey, which extends her attack range well beyond what most ranged characters can manage.
- Mama Bear: She learned how to fight so she could protect her children.
- Outliving One's Offspring: One of her children dies offscreen during the second game.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: During the siege of Arbarrang, Nid decides to flee the city on a boat, which is certain death since the Serpent's blood has poisoned the oceans. Fortunately, the Skogr caravan leader can talk her out of it.
- Widow Woman: Her husband was killed by the Frostvellr bandits.
The mayor of Boersgard. He is corrupt, but politically savvy.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After Meinolf dies, the Skogr caravan leader has the opportunity to beat Rugga to death. Rugga argues that the caravan leader can't kill him, both because he's the only person who can keep Arberrang unified and because he's instructed his followers to keep instigating riots in the event that he is killed. It's up to the player to determine whether to listen to him.
- The Chew Toy: There are several opportunities to pummel, humiliate, and even execute Rugga. Of course, he deserves every bit of it and more.
- Didn't See That Coming: He always expects the worst out of people, so when Rook/Alette say they want to make peace with the dredge outside Aberrang's walls, Rugga announces to the crowd that Rook/Alette plans to go out of the city unarmed to offer peace to the dredge, clearly expecting them to back down and look like a fool. If you agree to it, he is clearly shocked that you called his bluff.
- Evil Cripple: He's missing a hand and he's a very ruthless person.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a noticeable scar across his neck, implying that at one point he survived hanging or a cut throat.
- Hate Sink: Keeps inserting himself into the plot. Doesn't have a single redeeming trait. Doesn't seem to care.
- It's All About Me: The world is dying, and he still cares only about becoming the king of men.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Literally if you beat him to death in the Arberrang jail. Even more poignant case happens if he survives till your third return to Arberrang, where you can shut his mad ramblings with an arrow to the face.
- Pet the Dog: He warms up to the Skogr caravan leader if they demonstrate a willingness to be ruthless for the greater good.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He'll treat Alette less than seriously if she's the Skogr caravan leader, and he calls Oddleif a "bitch" if he's allowed to live and Oddleif proposes making peace with the dredge..
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Meinolf appointed Rugga mayor of Boersgard to keep him away from Arberrang after Rugga attempted to overthrow Meinolf.
- Smug Snake: He talks big, especially in the third game, but ultimately he is only a power-hungry opportunist, and has no more solutions to the grand problems the world is facing than the protagonists.
- The Sociopath: Pathologically self-centered, rewards help with betrayal, and sees other people as little more than tools.
- Villain with Good Publicity: His political skills let him build up a reputation as a champion of the common folk against the tyranny of King Meinolf, even though Rugga generally views common folk as dead weight.
- Villainous Breakdown: If you spare Rugga and have to return to Arberrang four times in Chapter 21, Rugga goes insane from the world's impending doom, proclaims himself King of what little remains of Arberrang, and orders the Skogr caravan leader executed. The Skogr caravan leader responds by efforlessly shooting Rugga dead, tossing him out into the darkness, or letting their clansmen take care of Rugga, in which case Rugga accidentally kills himself with his own sword.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If you spare his life after Meinolf dies and beat Chapter 21 without having to return to Arberrang four times, Rugga's ultimate fate is never revealed.
Rugga's bodyguard. He is unfailingly loyal to his employer.
- The Dragon: He's Rugga's right hand and fights in place of his employer.
- Guest-Star Party Member: He'll only join your party if go after the dredge during the Battle of Lundar and you accept Rugga's help, which gets Ludin killed if he didn't die in the previous game. After that battle, Dagr leaves the battle party to go back to guarding Rugga.
- The Quiet One: He never speaks.
- Recurring Boss: Can be fought up to three times across the trilogy. First is if Rugga decides to mutiny. Second is if you side with Meinolf in the civil war. Third is in the riot that happens if you execute Rugga. Executing Dagr after the first fight means that he won't be present for the other two.
- Satellite Character: Nothing is known about Dagr other beyond his being Rugga's bodyguard.
- Ungrateful Bastard: If you spare his life after defeating Rugga's mutiny, Dagr kills several of your fighters and escapes anyway.
- Epic Flail: Their weapon of choice in melee, compared to swords and axes favoured by humans and varl.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Unlike humans and varl who have a scandinavian flavour, horseborn seem to be based on celtic tribes.
- Javelin Thrower: They don't seem to use bows, preferring throwing spears instead.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Another sentient species, like varl seemingly created from a fusion of humand and animal. Unlike varl, they can breed. Unlike typical centaurs from other media, their "human" half is also covered with fur.
A horseborn warrior. He speaks the tongue of man somewhat more fluently than the rest of his kind.
- Intrepid Merchant: He's a well-traveled trader, which is noteworthy in and of itself given how insular the horseborn are. It's how he became familiar with the language of men.
- Nice Guy: He's a decent person who is eager to help.
A proud horseborn warrior.
- Leeroy Jenkins: During the Battle of Lundar, Ro'etch runs off to fight a rival herd without waiting for the rest of the caravan to follow. It gets him, Derdriu, and Oddleif injured if the caravan doesn't back them up.
- Hot-Blooded: Very temperamental and aggressive, even more so than Ro'etch.
- Revenge Before Reason: She will jump at every opportunity to get back at the chieftain of a rival herd of horseborn, galloping blindly into enemy lines on her own. This in fact can kill her in the third game during the siege of Arberrang, when she and Canary get into a fight.
- Satellite Character: She doesn't get much character development beyond being Ro'etch's mate.
- Undying Loyalty: She is completely loyal to Ro'etch.
The leader of a large herd of horseborn. Her real name is Cainánóiridhe, but she is fine with other races calling her "Canary". She worships the Serpent as a god. Unlike most of her kind, Canary is fluent in the tongue of man.
- Because Destiny Says So: She allies with the Skogr caravan because a prophecy of her religion told her that she should ally with humans and varl who walk alongside horseborn, as the Skogr caravan has done with Scathach and his herd.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Canary and her herd join the Skogr caravan after being defeated.
- Obliviously Evil: She and her herd destroyed the village of Tolir in a supply raid shortly before they joined the caravan. She's confused when the Skogr caravan leader is horrified by this: raiding villages for supplies is a common practice in horseborn culture.
- You No Take Candle: She speaks and understands the human tongue the best out of all horseborn characters, but it's still a bit wrong.
Captain of the guard of Bindal. He is primarily a defensive unit.
- Handicapped Badass: He's blind in one eye, but he's still deadly in combat.
- Stone Wall: He's a tank.
A strange and quiet man who sneaks his way into the Ravens' caravan at Bindel. Gudmundr is the only person who knows anything about him. He can go into stealth when he's next to an allied unit, allowing him to bypass some of his target's armor.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: His appearance is based on the actor Thomas Middleditch.
- The Load: Dytch's carelessness causes the Ravens to get ambushed twice by the Warped inside the Inner Earth. The other Ravens give him a good thumping after the second time to shut him up.
- Motor Mouth: Normally he's pretty quiet, but when he gets going, he'll blather for hours.
- Nervous Wreck: He's very jittery, although that's understandable when trying to talk to a guy like Bolverk.
- The Nondescript/The Generic Guy: This is where his ability to sneak around comes from— for whatever reason, people just don't seem to notice him. It's served him well as a thief and assassin, but really stymied his career in regional theater.
- Noodle Incident: Reels off a string of them when talking to Iver, who mostly tunes him out, but we learn that his first theft was a fruit basket, he used to be an actor, and once got stranded on a ship after stowing away to kill a man who had wronged him.
- Stealth Expert: He can go into stealth mode.
Mogun & Hogun
Twins who join the caravan after it leaves a village. Though similar in both personality and appearance, they nonetheless share a rivalry. Their special abilities allow them to attack an enemy several times for small armor and health damage.
- Blood Knight: Mogun seems to think that if they're all going to be fighting for their lives anyway, they might as well enjoy it. Hogun starts to show tendencies of this in the second game, which disturbs him.
- Divergent Character Evolution: In the second game, Mogun's Blood Knight tendencies escalate and he winds up deserting the Skogr caravan to join the Ravens. At the same time, Hogun becomes worried about the impact of all his fighting on his family life and considers hanging up his axe.
- Hidden Depths: Hogun is a family man and cares deeply for his wife and child.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hogun tends to be calm and collected and just wants to look out for his family. Mogun loves fighting and sleeping around. This is also reflected in their stats - Hogun has a slightly higher maximum armor stat while Mogun's maximum strength stat is slightly higher than Hogun's.
- Retired Badass: In the second game, Hogun can be convinced to step down as a fighter so he can take care of his family.
- Those Two Guys: Twins who always seem to get into trouble.
- Too Dumb to Live: After joining the Ravens, Mogun approaches Bolverk with suggestion to open the cart they were trusted with by Juno. Even if you tell him in no uncertain terms that trying to open the box will get him killed, he will dismiss this as tough talk and keep pressing his suggestion. It's up to you whether the trope will be played straight or averted, as you can intimidate him into backing down and let him go with a warning, or actually follow through with your threats and kill him on the spot.
A Skald that the caravan rescues at the start of the second game.
- Happily Married: He's very much in love with his wife.
- I Shall Taunt You: He can learn Insult, which allows him to push an enemy's turn to the back of the turn queue by insulting them.
- Large Ham: Uses flowery and hammy phrasing when he speaks. Probably due to his occupation as a skald.
- Mr. Exposition: He tells stories about the various godstones that the Skogr caravan passes through.
- Plot Armor: During the Battle of Lundar, if you go after the dredge, Ludin is alive, and you agree to Rugga's plan to have Dagr and Ludin flank the dredge, Ludin will die in the fighting. If Ludin died before the Battle of Lundar, then Aleo will volunteer to assist Rugga and he'll survive the battle.
- Quirky Bard: His main role in combat is to buff allies by praising them.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Not just in his songs— he does it while speaking, sometimes by accident. He's self-conscious if the caravan leader points it out to him, and resolves to try to curb the habit, ending with a Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion.
- The Storyteller: As a bard, it's his stock-in-trade. He even composes an epic saga recounting the events of the trilogy— it's made up of all the chapter titles in the three games.
The leader of a group of refugees that the Ravens come across on the road to Bindal. He lost his mind when his wife died and now he talks to his spear, Lofn, like it's a person. His special ability gives him a higher critical hit rate depending on how many allies Bak is adjacent to.
- Black Speech: They communicate in bizarre worbly sounds that noone seems to be able to understand. It's not even transliterated unlike with other languages that heroes hear but don't understand (such as with the Serpent or horseborn), making it look that stranger. Ultimately, however, it's just a language. Most if not all Valka seem to know it, and Alfrun picked it as well during her life with them.
- Mayincatec: Their design aesthetics is based on this - the look of their armour and weapons (as well as the fact that they are made out of obsidian) is decidedly mayincatec-ish. Having them look like that in an otherwise predominantly scadinavian-esque setting only emphasises their strangeness and otherness compared to other races.
- Tragic Monster: They are this both in the past and present.
- In the beginning, they were created by a petty god angry at the Loom-mother for creating life, so he created the dredge for the sole purpose of destroying life. They however did not enjoy their purpose, but it was all they could do so for a time that is what they did. However, the Valka made a deal with them that they would live beneath the world in peace away from the other races in exchange for the Valka teaching them how to weave, and by extension create. The dredge found new purpose in this and kept their agreement for a time.
- In the present, they are this because even though they raid and pillage wherever they go, they do it for supplies and resources to stay alive, just like the humans, as they flee from the darkness that is beginning to engulf the land. They also lay siege wherever they go because they believe the Valka broke the pact by overdrawing from the world's inner sun (the Valka did not do this, a rogue Eyvid did).
ApostateA dredge stonesinger that the Ravens can save in the second game. It joins the Ravens in the third game.
- Action Bomb: His stonesinger ability to cause dredge to explode works even on warped dredge. Useful.
- Combat Medic: Has all the abilities that enemy stonesingers had, including the ability to increase the strength of every ally in the field in exchange for some armour loss.
- Difficult, but Awesome: All of his abilities have charge-up time, requiring you to plan several moves ahead for them to be effective. But once you figure him out he can provide amazing results.
- I Owe You My Life: Joins the Ravens if they save it from the warped dredge.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: It lacks the fear of and hatred for humanity that most dredge possess.
KiviA dredge stoneguard who believes that the dredge should make peace with the other races. Available as a pre-order bonus.
- Meaningful Name: "Kivi" means stone in Finnish.
- Mighty Glacier: Kivi is slow, but he has some of the highest strength and armor among the playable heroes.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Was part of a dredge movement that tried to convince the dredge to ally with the other races against the Darkness. While pro-war dredge wiped out this movement, Kivi still holds to its ideals.
CastawayA dredge slinger that the Ravens can save from a bunch of human racists.
- I Owe You My Life: Joins the Ravens if they save her.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Has access to the Shatterstone ability, which deals damage to armor and health over a five-tile area, functioning much like a grenade.
BastionA dredge stoneguard participating in the siege of Arberrang.
- Mighty Glacier: Bastion is slow, but he has some of the highest strength and armor among the playable heroes.
- The Quiet One: As are most dredge. Unlike the Ravens, the Arberrang party doesn't have anyone who can translate his language, so he communicates solely through body language.
RazeA Sundr with the ability to destroy any fortification with ease. She was killed in the Second Great War.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Before Raze died, the varl had no idea that there were dredge women and dredge babies.
- Posthumous Character: She is centuries dead, but her death is what turned Yngvar into Iver.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Yngvar accidentally killed her baby, she stopped moving and didn't do anything to resist him when he finished her off.
- Anti-Villain: Rather surprisingly theres a very good reason behind the invasion. They are refugees, driven of their homeland by something only known as "the Darkness" and have no other choice than attacking settlements and caravans if they dont want to starve. In the end Bellower only wants to save his kin. Just like Rook.
- Big Bad: He's the primary antagonist of the first game, as he commands the dredge horde pursuing the Skogr caravan. He also winds up being the final boss of the second game.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: As soon as he starts believing that he lost his immortality he can be injured and killed. Eventually, however, hes going to realize that hes not really dead and gets up again. And then it turns out that said belief is so strong, his soul gains the ability to exit his body and he possesses Bolverk to continue leading the dredge-and removes the Silver Arrow in the bad ending.
- Complete Immortality: Dredge live forever unless they are killed. And Bellower can regenerate from any injury. No matter how many times he gets hit, he just cant die. In the end the heroes can only temporarily stop him by tricking him into thinking that he's dead-and even that doesn't stop him, because then he believes he's a ghost in all aspects, including the fact he can possess people. Successfully.
- Demonic Possession: In part 2, even while in an enchanted sleep, he is able to attempt to take over people near his body. He at first tries to take over Rook/Allete (as seen by the fact they have a dream where they are him), but then the Black Ravens take his body in a different direction and he settles on possessing Bolverk. He succeeds and as Bolverk is the final boss.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Raze was his lover and he was the father of her child. He hates Iver for killing them.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Its special ability is to bellow loudly, knocking back your party and stunning a target.
- Healing Factor: He regenerates armor every turn.
- He's Back: In the bad ending of 2, the Silver Arrow is removed and he wakes up.
- It's Personal: Iver suspects that Bellower is pursuing the Skogr caravan to avenge Raze. The second game reveals that Bellower was actually after Eyvind for summoning the Darkness. That being said, the Bellower-possessed Bolverk is furious with Iver for killing Raze and her child.
- Large and in Charge: The leader of the invading dredge forces, and towers over a varl the way a varl towers over a human.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Hes red. He also has more armor and strength than any other unit in the game.
- Rip Van Winkle: The Bellower's fate at the end of the game. After being struck by the Silver Arrow, Juno casts a spell that makes him think that he has been fatally wounded. He will remain "dead" until he believes otherwise. In the Banner Saga 2 though, turns out being "dead" is also only a severe inconvenience.
- Silver Bullet: Or arrow as it goes. It's his only weakness.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If you successfully stop Bolverk from removing the silver arrow at the end of part 2, Bellower never appears again. But as he is immortal, he is still out there somewhere, and someday he is going to realize he isn't actually dead unless he too was warped by the darkness, in which case he'd be destroyed once Juno succeeds in restarting the sun.
A Sundr stonesinger with the ability to possess the dead.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: The corpses she possesses are zombie-like If the Ravens didn't kill her in the second game, she can show up in the third game as one of the warped.
- Body Surf: She possesses corpses by leaping into them.
- Eye Scream: Her name comes from how her eyes appear to be stiched shut. She usually wears a mask to hide it.
- Kick the Dog: She shows up at the Battle of Oldford possessing Nikels's corpse. This presents no tactical advantage for her: she does it to taunt the Ravens.
- Large and in Charge: She's even taller than Bellower, though much lankier.
A Sundr who has the ability to seemlesssly maneuver an anchor that is as large as she is.
- Avenging the Villain: She is Raze's sister and it's implied that one of the reasons she's besieging Arberrang is because she believes that Iver is there.
- Disc-One Final Boss: While the previous two Sundr were fought late in their games, Ruin is fought about halfway through the third game's Arberrang storyline.
- Gravity Master: She can control gravity. This allows her to use her anchor as a siege weapon despite it appearing too big for her to throw and also allows her to constrict the movement of the playable heroes.
- Handicapped Badass: She's missing an arm, but is still as absurdly powerful as the rest of the Sundr.
- Healing Factor: She can create a barrier that slowly heals her, although she's nowhere near as good at this as Bellower.
- Large and in Charge: Seems to be a recurring thing with the Sundr.
- Alien Blood: The Serpent bleeds green blood that is poisonous to any who consume it. However, it also manages to revive Bolverk after Iver grievously wounds him and Eyvind collapses a whole tower on his head.
- Big Bad: It commands the darkness and is the ultimate antagonist of the Banner Saga
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: It wants to eat the world, and is angry that the darkness is consuming the world instead.
- Clipped-Wing Angel: Turns out that the Serpent isn't fully developed since it was released early. It is still plenty big enough to cause all sorts of chaos, but it isn't grown enough to properly destroy the world as it was fated to. Because of this, Juno realizes if she can reform the inner sun of the world to destroy the darkness, the Serpent will be annihilated and won't be able to destroy the world in the future as it was meant to.
- The End of the World as We Know It: It claims to be destined to destroy the world. Apparently something even worse is preventing it from fulfilling its destiny though.
- Evil Is Petty: Acts like a petulant child when he reveals to Juno that some darkness is keeping him from fulfilling his destiny of eating the world.
- Godhood Seeker: It claims to have been created by a god to become a god.
- It's Personal: The Serpent has a personal grudge against Juno because by drawing on the power of the Black Sun to sustain her life, she is preventing the Serpent from completely devouring the world..
- Outside-Context Problem: No one has a clue just what the hell the serpent is. It's not mentioned in any of the various prophecies that are still known by men or varl. The gods might have known what it is, but the gods are dead now.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The god that created the dredge created the Black Sun as an egg for the Serpent. The god's intent was that the Black Sun would hatch when the Serpent grew to full strength, whereupon the Serpent would devour all life in the world, thus giving the god vengeance against the Goddess Loom-Mother, creator of all other life, to spite her for murdering him.
- The Unfought: Given that it is massive and could effortlessly crush and devour the entire caravan, it is never fought directly. Juno defeats it by mindcontrolling a warped Eldritch Abomination into attacking it. The Serpent survives, but is too badly wounded to attack the Ravens and is forced to try to bargain with Ivar and Eyvind.
- We Can Rule Together: It tries this after the final battle. Surprisingly, this crazy idea has some merit: The serpent is as crippled as Iver. If Iver chooses to let it devour Juno and retrieve its power, it will not have enough strength (get it) to destroy the entire world, and will limit itself to devouring the warp, effectively saving what little civilization remains from the corruption, though the serpent's new goals are ambiguous. Alternatively, you can let it bleed out and die for good, but then Juno will become a new potential apocalypse and creatures of the warp will survive.
The Jealous GodThe long-dead God who created the dredge.
- Hated by All: He has no worshippers, as by creating the dredge, he made himself an enemy of all the other races. Even the dredge don't worship him, as they hate him for creating them with no abilities or knowledge beyond killing.
- Jerkass Gods: Created the dredge with the sole purpose of killing other life, just to spite the Loom-Mother for creating life in the first place. He also created the Serpent to destroy the entire world.
- The Man Behind the Man: He is the one who created the Black Sun and the Serpent, although Eyvind's meddling caused them both to be released long before the Jealous God intended.
- No Name Given: His name is long forgotten.
- Posthumous Character: Like all the Gods, he is long dead, but as the one who created the Black Sun and the Serpent, the entire Darkness crisis is his fault.