open/close all folders
- The Ace: Buck is strong, intelligent, bold, clever, patient, and just about whatever else he needs to be. By the end of the story, he's a legend in Alaska.
- Berserk Button: God have mercy on your soul if you hurt John Thornton in front of Buck, as evidenced by Black Burton (whose throat gets torn by Buck for shoving John out of the way) and the Yeehats (for killing John).
- Break the Haughty: He starts out as a pampered manor dog and lord of all the animals there. After being kidnapped, he is subjected to brutal treatment that leads to his leveling up.
- Big Damn Hero: He saves John Thornton from drowning.
- Character Development: From spoiled town dog, he turned into a badass sled dog and wolf pack leader.
- The Leader: He becomes leader of the wolf pack at the end of the book.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Buck goes on one after John Thornton is killed by the Yeehats.
- This Is My Human: At the start of the book, Buck refers to himself as the Judge's "steward" and thus views all of the other animals and humans as beneath him. He sheds this attitude when he's beaten and brought to the Yukon wilderness to be a sled dog.
- Took a Level in Badass: Buck at first was a weak dog, but after some time spent in Alaska, he manages to kill the lead dog and later several members of the Yeehats tribe.
- Undying Loyalty: To John Thornton
- Anyone Can Die: She is the first dog that died, and her death played a big impact in the story as it showed Buck how hard life in Alaska is.
- Big, Friendly Dog: As a Newfoundland, this fits the bill of her being big and friendly. Sadly, being big and friendly doesn't save her from being killed by a horde of huskies.
- The Cutie: She had a big heart.
- Kill the Cutie: And that heart doomed her.
- Eaten Alive: Only because she was trying to become friends with the other huskies.
- Sacrificial Lamb: The first dog who gets killed.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She was only introduced at the end of the first chapter and killed in the beginning of the next chapter without doing anything important in the story.
- Everyone Has Standards: In spite of his bullying ways, Spitz will not approach Sol-leks by his blind side.
- Jerkass: Canine example. He laughed when Curly was eaten by other huskies and had a rivalry with Buck.
- Karmic Death: He's certainly not laughing when Buck defeats him in combat, and he meets the same fate as poor Curly.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Spitz is the canine equivalent of this. He is described as having snow-white fur and has a rather cruel temperament.
- Mercy Kill: A sickness takes hold of Dave, so much so that he can't work properly anymore. In spite of this, though, Dave still wants to run with the other dogs in the sled until he gets tired. Once it happens, the mushers take him out of the sled and lay him gently in the snow.
- The Determinator: He's a very determined dog, willing to work at the front of the sled no matter who's in charge. He even wants to keep working in spite of dying from a sickness.
- The Stoic: Aside from being annoyed plenty of the time, he's still a rather quiet dog.
- Berserk Button: Due to being blind in one eye, he hates being approached by his blind side. Even the bullying Spitz keeps his distance from Sol-leks, but Buck accidentally approaches him on his blind side. This earns him a slash on the shoulder, and he learns not to make the same mistake again.
- Meaningful Name: His name means "The Angry One", shown when Buck approaches his blind side.
Hal, Charles and Mercedes
- Alpha Bitch: Mercedes is a spoiled, selfish, and sentimental woman.
- Asshole Victim: They show no remorse when abusing the dogs and making them pull heavy sleds.
- Comic Trio: They were this until their stupidity doomed the dogs.
- The Generic Guy: Charles. Unlike his wife and brother-in-law, he doesn't have much personality.
- Hate Sink: There are no redeeming qualities to them, and they show complete Lack of Empathy for the dogs.
- Hysterical Woman: Mercedes.
- Jerkass: Hal and Charles.
- Kick the Dog: Hal and Charles beat the dogs with their clubs just to vent their frustration.
- The Load: All of them, but Mercedes is the queen of this. She's useless, rides on the sled (instead of lightening the load by walking), and drains the dogs' strength.
- Spoiled Brat: Mercedes.
- Too Dumb to Live: Hal, Charles, and Mercedes. Though they are completely inexperienced and unsuited for the icy wilds of the North, they refuse to take the advice of more experienced explorers and try to make it their way. This gets them killed.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Mercedes is nice to the dogs at first, but as time goes on, she becomes more selfish.
- Anyone Can Die: He was killed by Yeehats, and he truly loved Buck.
- Big Damn Heroes: His first interaction with Buck is punching Hal for beating Buck, warning him that he'd kill him if he hurt Buck again. He also tears Buck loose from the sled and nurses him back to health.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Not only does he shower Buck with love, but he also shares the love with two other dogs: a female Irish setter named Skeet and a bloodhound/deerhound mix named Nig.
- Insult of Endearment: A borderline example, as he lavishes Buck with loving-toned curses and insults, which Buck comes to enjoy.
- Power of Love: He is only person that showed true love for Buck.
- Sacrificial Lion: He is pretty much the most important person in Buck's life, and he is killed by in last chapter.
- Asshole Victims: Well, they killed John Thornton