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Characters / The Phantom of the Opera

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Due to Adaptation Overdose, unless otherwise indicated, all tropes listed refer to characterizations in the original novel by Gaston Leroux.


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    Erik 

Erik (a.k.a The Phantom)

A physically deformed and mentally disturbed charismatic genius who was one of the architects who took part in the construction of the opera. He has been extorting money from the Opera's management for many years and enters into a conflict with the new managers once they don't listen to his demands. He falls in love with Christine and begins to tutor her, telling her that he is the Angel of Music of whom her father had spoken.
  • Broken Ace: Erik is a genius in music, art and architecture, and possessing the most beautiful voice any man or woman on the face of the earth could ever posses, but due to his deformities and the way the world had treated him because of them, he cuts himself off from humanity, growing into a psychopathic murderer.
  • Compelling Voice: His hypnotic voice is what helps Christine become the opera singer she dreams of being and seduces her with it.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: He does not handle Christine's interest in Raoul well.
  • Cultured Badass: He is a genius in art, science and music, and a skilled assassin as well.
  • Dirty Old Man: Usually it's implied that he's been tutoring Christine since she was a child or young teenager, which also reeks terribly of grooming.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Every show builds up to how deformed his face, each varying from the other one.
  • Entitled to Have You: Erik sees Christine's love for Raoul as a betrayal.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Christine expects the Phantom to rape her during her abductions, but he actually has the decency not to do so. This after he has murdered a number of innocent people, especially via his penchant for hanging traps; declared that he owns Christine; and other not-so-nice things.
    • He isn't proud of his part in 'the rosy hours of Mazenderan' aka killing people to amuse the little Sultana and teaching her to kill in turn; he's actually saddened when speaking of them.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Raoul is just as irresistibly enchanted by Erik's voice as Christine is.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Reversed, since he was ugly, the world made him out and treated him like he was evil, which he had no choice but to become just that.
  • Foil: To both Raoul and the Daroga in the roles he tries to present himself as to Christine.
    • To Raoul as the role of a lover. Raoul might be a bit weird and clumsy when it comes to protecting Christine and he can get jealous, but he genuinely values her happiness over his own and leaves her be when she desires so. The Phantom has her under constant surveillance and will kill anyone who tries to take her away from him, regardless of how much it traumatizes her. He even says that she's only allowed to leave him is if she kills herself.
    • To the Daroga as the role of a father. The Daroga doesn't hesitate to put himself in danger to help Christine and save her. He goes out of his way to try to inform the staff of the opera of the danger she's in and when he fails to gather a group he simply rushes in with Raoul. He also seems to be pretty supportive of Christine and Raoul's love. The Phantom forbade Christine to even speak to other men and takes her away when she disobeys him.
  • Freudian Excuse: When even your own mother can't bear to touch you because of your face and forces you to wear a mask - to say nothing of the rest of an unaccepting, close-minded world - it hardly inspires warm feelings towards your fellow man.
  • Giftedly Bad: At least in the 25th Anniversary show of the musical, the Phantom's passionate organ playing is mediocre at best, painful at worst, and the opera he wrote, Don Juan Triumphant, is apparently so bad, that an entire chorus along with the three main singers of the Opera Populaire (Carlotta, Piangi, and Christine) can't make it sound less cacophonic.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Towards the end of the novel and the show, he decides to let Christine go. Even though she chooses to stay with him, out of pity and of threat, he decides that she would be happier with Raoul than with him.
    (To Christine:) I know you love the boy... don't cry anymore!
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: As noted in Broken Ace. As a sort of karmic counterweight to his deformity, Erik has a lot of incredible skills; his music skills need no introduction, but he's also a gifted mechanic, ventriloquist, architect and even covert assassin.
  • Large Ham: He is very much a drama king.
  • Love at First Note: Towards Christine. Especially mentioned in the lines "He was bound to love you when he heard you sing."
  • Love Redeems: When Christine shows him affection, it being the first time he gets it from anyone in his life, he realizes the weight of his actions and how cruel he has been to the woman he claimed he loved ans thus lets her be with the man she wants.
  • Mad Artist: A psychopathic murderer, but nonetheless a virtuoso of music.
  • Mad Scientist: Subverted. He built a Robotic Torture Device / Death Trap and a Deceptively Human Robot at the middle of the 19th century, but his tragedy, as the Narrator lampshades in the Epilogue, is that he is so ugly he could never become a scientist, but rather a toyman or Stage Magician.
  • No Name Given: In most adaptations. Interestingly, while Webber's play just refers to him as "The Phantom", the play Phantom developed at around the same time refers to Erik by name.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Especially clear in the book, Erik was by no means an inherently evil person, just a genuinely troubled man who poorly handle the cards that life and society had dealt him.
  • Only One Name: Mostly. One adaptation did give him the last name "Destler" though, and as a result, he is often referred to as Erik Destler in many Alternate Universe Fan Fic.
  • Professional Killer: His skill with the Punjab lasso made him a favorite of the Shah of Persia, who would have him kill with this technique for the entertainment of the court.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Persian and Erik himself lampshade Erik's attitude as childish despite his multiple talents. He is not interested in sex but to have a beautiful wife and a life like any other guy. It's only when he actually triumphs that he realizes how impractical those dreams are.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His masquerade attire uses a red and black color scheme.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Dies pretty quickly after he lets Christine and Raoul go.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: Threatens to blow up the opera house if Christine doesn't marry him and then threatens to drown Raoul if she doesn't promise him she won't kill herself.
  • Theatre Phantom: The Trope Maker unsurprisingly; the success of the film adaptation sparked a great many versions and references of this character for years in other media.
  • Together in Death: Originally planned to do this with Christine. He changed his mind later on and decided he wanted to be with his living wife.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: He's known as "The Phantom of the Opera" or "Opera Ghost" to the people he terrorizes, but his real name is simply "Erik".
  • Tragic Monster: He was born with a disfigured face and was rejected by just about everyone he encountered. It's the constant fear and rejection that plunged him into a villainous life.
  • Two-Faced: His musical counterpart. The original Erik had a completely disfigured face.
  • Yandere: For Christine. He developed an unhealthy obsession for her and donated his time and life towards being with her. In the climax, he forces her to choose between being with him for the rest of her life or refuse him. Unfortunately, refusing him would result in the Opera House being blown up, killing everyone in there. His musical counterpart doesn't go that far, but he does threaten to kill Raoul if she doesn't choose him.
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    Christine 

Christine Daaé

A young Swedish soprano who becomes torn between her loyalty for her mentor Erik, and her love for her childhood friend Raoul de Chagny.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: She's blonde in the book, but most musicals usually cast a brunette actress as Christine.
  • All-Loving Heroine: Christine sincerely loves everyone, even Erik. Even after everything he's done, including kidnapping Raoul and The Persian, and threatening to blow up the Opera House, killing everyone unless she marries him, she kisses him out genuine sympathy and compassion. This act alone redeems Erik, seeing what true human kindness is, releasing her, Raoul and the Persian and letting her live her life without his interference ever again.
  • Bad Liar: She tries to distract Erik from killing Raoul and The daroga by asking him questions about the house. It doesn't work out.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: The reason Erik is drawn to her, for her ethereal voice.
  • Beast and Beauty: With Erik.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Raoul.
  • The Cutie: Christine is kind to everyone.
  • Damsel in Distress: Whenever she's kidnapped by Erik.
  • Driven to Suicide: Attempts to kill herself to escape the phantom by banging her head against a wall. She doesn't succeed.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In the novel. Most productions of the musical make her brunette, though, like Sarah Brightman who created the role. However, some productions go back to her original blonde hair.
  • Happily Adopted: By Madame Valerius after her father died.
  • The Heart: She's regarded as the kindest and most loving character in the whole novel.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The Phantom stops her from killing herself and ties her up.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Part of her attraction to The Phantom is that he reminds her of her father.
  • May–December Romance: Erik is old enough to be Christine's father.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: Christine eventually tells Raoul to take her out of the country away from Erik no matter how much she protests later.
  • Plucky Girl: Christine is a Swedish peasant girl trying to make her way in the world and a name for herself with her singing, not to mention all the physical, mental, and emotional torture she has to endure, mostly on her own unless she's trying to protect her boyfriend as well.
  • The Protagonist: Yes, this is the original protagonist.
  • Raised Catholic: Her strong religious faith actually ends up being a tool for Erik's manipulations and seductions. In the novel he would appear, well at least be heard by her during her daily prayers in the Opera House's chapel, claiming to be an Angel from Heaven sent by her father to teach her to sing. Since her father promised he would ask God to do this for her when he was on his death bed, she believes the Phantom.
  • Redundant Rescue: Raoul's and the Persian's rescue mission ends with Christine forced to save them from the Phantom's Death Trap.
  • Sexy Scandinavian: While "sexy" isn't the exact word, she is a very beautiful Dude Magnet, Swedish and blonde-haired in the novel.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Before their reunion at the Paris Opera, Raoul and Christine were Childhood Friends and last met on the verge of adolescence and strange new feelings that they couldn't understand.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Lampshaded with No Matter How Much I Beg.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Once she gets a glimpse of his face behind the mask, she feels sorry for him and understands his situation.
  • Tender Tears: She sheds them for Erik.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Christine never lets Raoul push her around and has no problem telling him to mind his own business.

    Raoul 

Viscount Raoul de Chagny

Christine's childhood friend and love interest.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Erik's Veronica for Christine's Archie.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Stated to be the youngest of four.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Christine.
  • Distressed Dude: The climax features him (and the Persian in the novel) being in danger.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Just happened to by outside Christine's door as she was speaking with the phantom.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Offers to wisk Christine away from the phantom and keep her safe. When she's kidnapped he rushes to her rescue... and is captured and has to be saved by her.
  • The Load: To the Persian.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Not to the phantom's degree, god no, but he does get a bit obsessive when he finds out someone else loves Christine. Fortunately for him, that someone is a man Christine would like to get away from.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Christine is not at all impressed when she finds out about him listening at her door. And then he goes and hides in her closet...

    The Persian 

The Persian

A mysterious man from Erik's past. He is known as a fixture of the Opera, considered an eccentric Persian who was allowed to wander backstage where he pleased.
  • Adapted Out: Despite being a very important character in the book, the Persian gets this treatment in nearly every adaptation of the story, along with most of Erik's backstory.
  • All-Loving Hero: He's a good-hearted man who wants nothing more than to help people, he doesn't even hesitate to help Raoul save Christine when he realizes what kind of danger she's in.
  • Blue Blood: He's a very minor member of the Royal Family of Persia, which why even though he was banished he still receives a pension from the government.
  • Bystander Syndrome: By the time the novel takes place, Erik has been killing for a while but the Persian let him get away most of the time with a lecture. Erik's second kidnapping of Christine finally convinces the Daroga that Erik needs to be stopped (Likely helped by the fact that it's pretty clear this time it's permanent)
  • Cool Old Guy: He's most likely in his late fifties or early sixties by the time the novel takes place.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He saved Erik from being executed by the Shah of Persia and for his troubles, he was banished and Erik repaid his kindness by committing murders.
  • No Name Given: He is only called the Persian, or Daroga, which is his former job description — a title of the members of the Shah's secret police. He's called Nadir Kahn in the Susan Kay novel, and this tends to be the name that fans go with in fan works.
  • Only Sane Man: Oh yes. In fact, Christine only got to leave the first time thanks to the Persian's influence on Erik.
  • Save the Villain: And boy does he regret it now.
  • Token Minority: He's notably the only one in the novel that isn't white. Justified, given his backstory.

    Richard & Moncharmin 

Richard and Moncharmin

The new managers of the opera house. They believe "The Phantom" it's just a rumour and don't listen to his demands, which causes a great conflict with Erik.

    Madame Giry 

Madame Giry

The caretaker for Box Five, which is reserved by Erik. She knows Erik and is in good terms with him. She is fired when she tries to tell Richard and Moncharmin about "The Phantom".
  • Adaptational Job Change: In the book, she's a concierge who looks after patrons of the Opera. In the musical, she's a ballet choreogtapher and teacher.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the book, it's never mentioned that she knows Christine. In the musical, she's Christine's ballet teacher who suggests her for the main role.
  • Age Lift: She's usually portrayed slightly younger in the musical than in the book.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Just like the Persian in the book, Madame Giry doesn't do much to stop the Phantom, even when he's killing people, until Erik's second kidnapping of Christine.
  • Composite Character: In the musical, she is this for herself and the Persian. While both are Erik's Secret Keeper in the novel, in the musical she takes on the Persian's knowledge of Erik's boobytraps and role of aiding Raoul at the climax.
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    Carlotta 

Carlotta

A spoiled prima donna, the lead soprano of the Paris opera house and Christine's rival. She is threatened by Erik that if she performs at the Opera House instead of Christine "a great misfortune will strike". She shrugs the warning off and performs anyway. When she does, however, croaking noises come out of her mouth and the chandelier comes crashing down. Ashamed, she hides from the public view for a few weeks, before making a return to the opera house.

    Philippe 

Count Philippe de Chagny

Raoul's elder brother.

    La Sorelli 

La Sorelli

The lead ballerina of the opera.
  • Adapted Out: She's not seen in the musical, unless she's one of the unnamed ballerina.
  • Beta Couple: With Philippe

    Meg Giry 

Meg Giry


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Meg is described as having “eyes black as sloes, hair black as ink, a swarthy complexion and a poor little skin stretched over poor little bones" in the book. Most of the actresses playing in the musical her don't fit this description in the slightest.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Black-haired and black-eyed in the book, but most musicals cast a blonde actress with blue eyes to play her.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the book, she's spoiled and rather dismissive of Christine's ability to sing. In the musical, she's the one who volunteers Christine as the main role of Hannibal once Carlotta leaves.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: She's never stated to be friends with Christine in the novel. In the musical, she's Christine's closest friend.
  • Age Lift: In the book she's only fifteen years old, but most musicals age her up to be the about the same age as Christine.
  • Ascended Extra: In the original novel Meg Giry only shows up briefly in the first three chapters of the book and never interacts with any of the main characters; she's even rather dismissive of Christine's singing ability. In the show, although she's definitely a secondary character, she's aged up and promoted to being Christine's best friend.
  • Spoiled Brat: In the book, she adores attention and having things done her way.

    Gaston Leroux 

Gaston Leroux

No not the actual author but his in-universe avatar, who narrates the story through his journalistic reports.
  • Author Avatar: Based on the author himself, who was also a journalist before becoming a novelist.
  • The Narrator: Narrates the story through his inquiries and articles.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Concludes the story by letting the readers know his belief that Erik may have been a monster, but not for his own volition, but due to how he had been treated by society. He also makes it clear had the world not shunned Erik the way they did because of his deformities, he most certainly could have been one of the great celebrated minds of the century.
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