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Emma Stanton (nee Caldwell)A twenty-one year old baker's daughter from Lake-town who flees to Erebor after being forced into an unwanted marriage, where falls in love with Thorin.
- Affectionate Nickname:
- Emma's brother Billy calls her 'Emmie'.
- A decidedly non-endearing example from Frederick, who refers to Emma as "sweet-pea". She despises the pet name and coming from Frederick, it comes across as condescending and creepy. It actually becomes a plot point, as when Frederick - pretending to be Emma's father - calls her sweet-pea, it triggers her Repressed Memories as Frederick's the only one who ever called her that.
- Awful Wedded Life: Emma technically spends just one day as Frederick's wife and it's made abundantly clear that their marriage would've been living hell (for her at least).
- Big Brother Instinct: Or rather, big sister instinct in regards to Billy. She does her best to comfort him when their parents argue and shield him from the more unpleasant parts of their life. When she regains her memories, after getting over the shock her immediate goal is to find Billy and make sure he's safe.
- Broken Pedestal: Briefly towards Kate after learning she's a prostitute. She gets over it pretty quickly, realizing her mother only did it to provide for her and Billy, and deeply regrets how she treated her after finding out she's dead.
- Child Marriage Veto: Emma tries to run away when she finds out that her father betrothed her to Frederick. Unusually for this trope, her mother is also opposed to the match and tries to help her escape; sadly, their efforts are for naught as Emma runs straight into Frederick's minion, Clay.
- Interspecies Romance: With Thorin, a dwarf.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Emma technically cheats on Frederick with Thorin, but considering what an utterly horrible person he is and that the marriage was forced on her, Emma is definitely this trope and is not portrayed negatively.
- Thwarted Escape: Emma is moments away from setting off in her family's boat to escape Esgaroth and her forced marriage to Frederick...only for Clay to catch her.
- You Remind Me of X: Kate thinks to herself that Emma reminds her of her own father, in that they both tend to be rather fastidious and anxious people.
- You're Not My Father: She doesn't say it to his face because she vows never to see him again, but she privately disowns William as her father after learning he has murdered her mother.
Kate Caldwell, nee StantonThe mother of Billy and Emma, and wife of William. She is a baker who does what she must to support her family.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: She's this, as it turns out. She only became a prostitute to support her impoverished family, she is a loving mother and hands out free bread to poor families.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She mainly stayed with William - even when Neil offered to take her in - because she believed it was wrong to take her children away from their father. She doesn't seem to realise until William gives Emma away like property that William doesn't give two hoots about his kids.
- The Pollyanna: Kate usually tries to look on the bright side no matter the situation and Emma describes her as being an "eternal optimist".
- Sacrificial Lamb: She's depicted as a loving, optimistic, put-upon mother and Hooker with a Heart of Gold, who is murdered by her abusive husband in the third chapter for trying to defend their daughter (though her death isnt confirmed until a few chapters later). This results in Emma having to look after Billy on top of all her other problems; unlike some examples, Emma also grieves for Kate for the rest of the story.
- Sweet Baker: She ostensibly bakes bread for a living after losing her father's winery, and is a kind and generous person who gives her products away for free to families in need.
Billy CaldwellKate and William's youngest child and younger brother to Emma.
- Harmful to Minors: Poor Billy. In addition to growing up in an abusive home, it's implied he witnessed (or at least overheard) his father murdering his mother, he lives on the streets for several weeks afterwards, fending for himself, and later he is nearly fatally poisoned by Leena.
- Like a Son to Me: Though she doesn't refer to him as such, it's all but stated Dis comes to view him as a surrogate son, treating him in a maternal manner and doting on him, especially as Billy has recently lost his mother whilst Dis lost her sons, Fili and Kili.
- Minor Living Alone: Four year old Billy lives alone for several weeks after his mother is killed and his dad is sent to jail.
- Son of a Whore: His mother is a prostitute, though because he's only four and Kate hid this part of her life from her family, he doesn't appear to be aware of this.
William CaldwellKate's husband and father of Emma and Billy. He is an alcoholic and gambler, who mistreats and neglects his family.
- Abusive Parent: Towards Billy and Emma. He's a neglectful jerkass who essentially sells off his daughter when he gambles away their house. Kate doesn't dare leave Billy alone with William because she doesn't trust him to look after him.
- The Alcoholic: Doubling as an Alcoholic Parent. He spends most of his time drinking down the local tavern or hungover in bed, which doesn't improve his attitude and his relationship with his family any.
- Domestic Abuse: He is verbally abusive towards his wife Kate and he sometimes physically abuses her too, given Emma sees her with a bruised face after they argued. He eventually kills her.
- The Gambling Addict: The reason his family is so poor is because he either drinks or gambles away their money. He also gambled away the family winery and he even gambles away the house at the beginning of the fic, prompting him to try and trade his daughter as a wife to Frederick in place of the house.
- Lazy Husband: He does nothing around the house or to help with his wife's baking business (their only apparent source of income), leaving all the work to his wife and daughter. The fact he's often drunk or hungover doesn't help.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: William never appears again after the first few chapters; it's mentioned that he was thrown in prison for murdering Kate. In the end, Emma is told he is dying and asked for her, but she refuses to see him.
- The Resenter: Towards his wife and even his own daughter. He feels they both look down on him as a waste of space who can't provide for them. He doesn't appear to grasp that it's his own actions that make them contemptuous of him, and even then they tolerate a lot of his behavior until he forces Emma to marry Frederick.
- Unwanted Spouse: For Kate. If they ever loved each other, those days are long gone, but she still stays with him because she feels it would be wrong to take the children away from him despite the fact she's found a new love in Neil, who offered to take her and the children in.
- Would Hit a Girl: He physically abuses his wife, then he takes it a step further when he murders her.
Frederick DevlinA merchant based in Lake-town who owns several successful businesses. He is one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the area, but also one of the most power-hungry and unscrupulous.
- Abhorrent Admirer: He openly lusts after Emma and forces her to marry him. She makes it plain she finds him repulsive.
- Asshole Victim: Absolutely no one is sad when Frederick falls from his horse and breaks his neck trying to escape from Thranduil's guards.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Frederick leaves Emma in a room by herself, with the window unlocked and no guards. No prizes for guessing what happens next. He himself states he underestimated her and doesn't intend to make the same mistake twice once he gets her back.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He is killed around half way through the story, with Leena becoming the main antagonist for the rest of the fic.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can turn on the charm when he wants to, but any of his attempts to be kind or generous are only to serve himself. He initially acts welcoming and friendly towards Emma, encouraging her to eat dinner, giving her a pet name and trying to reassure her about their marriage, though it's always with an underlying tone of "Or else". When Emma refuses to play along, he quickly drops the act and becomes hostile towards her.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: He acts this way towards Emma pretty much constantly. He takes it to its logical, horrifying conclusion and outright forces himself on her after they're married.
- Manipulative Bastard: He pretends to be an amnesiac Emma's father in an attempt to recapture her and lies to King Thranduil's face about Thorin 'kidnapping' his wife (Emma was given shelter in Erebor to escape his abuse) to persuade him to help him get Emma back with no questions asked. Luckily, Thranduil isn't stupid and turns on Frederick the moment he gets Emma's side of the story.
- Meaningful Name: His surname of Devlin. Switch the "L" and "I", and take out the "N", and you get "Devil".
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Because Emma was still married to Frederick when he died, she inherits all his money and lands, including his winery, which originally belonged to Emma's family before her father gambled it away. As a result, she becomes a wealthy and successful Self-Made Woman.
- Obviously Evil: Although it's more down to his behaviour than his appearance (though he's noted to be tall and imposing, and rather ugly). The very first thing we're told about him is that he's a "hateful scoundrel". His attitude is generally one of sneering condescension to everyone around him, if not outright hostility.
- Rich Jerk: He's one of the wealthiest men in Esgorath, thinks his wealth makes him untouchable and indeed uses it to get away with all kinds of horrible things...until he comes up against Thorin and later Thranduil, that is.
- Slimeball: Frederick is quickly established to be an utter scumbag, described as being an "unscrupulous man who grew wealthy at the expense of those less fortunate than he. When things did not go his way, he often resorted to violence by way of two thugs which he kept under his employment". He had no problem taking the Caldwells winery from them after winning it in a game of poker, even though it was their only source of income, or lying and cheating to get what he wants. His very creepy, unsubtle attraction to Emma who makes it plain she does not reciprocate makes him even sleazier. Finally, he agrees to exchange the Caldwells' house for Emma's hand in marriage and also takes the time to tell William about his wife being a prostitute, purely to stir up trouble.
- Unwanted Spouse: For Emma. She never wanted to marry him and barely hid her contempt for him even before their betrothal. She is intimidated into marrying him and flees the same night after he abuses her. Even after regaining her memory, she avoids mentioning he's her husband.
- Would Harm a Senior: Mabel claims that Frederick wouldn't think twice about beating a frail old woman like her if she displeased him (hence why she didn't try to intervene when he raped Emma). Given what we see of Frederick, she's probably right.
- Would Hit a Girl: When Emma resists his sexual advances, he violently assaults her, leaving her covered in bruises and limping. Mabel is also intimidated by him and believes he would physically hurt her if she irked him.
NeilA innkeeper from Dale who has a close friendship with Kate.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's an innkeeper in Dale who Kate tells Emma to seek out early in the story when she tries to flee her forced marriage, saying he will help her. Emma never makes it out of Esgaroth and so is unable to reach Neil but much later she goes to find Neil after she discovers Thorin has married Leena due to a misunderstanding, feeling she can no longer stay in Erebor. Neil not only helps her get back on her feet and becomes a friend to her, it turns out he was actually in love with Kate and even wanted her to leave William to be with him, which is why Kate knew he'd readily help her daughter.
- Did Not Get the Girl: He never did get with Kate, due to her untimely death at her husband's hands.
- Nice Guy: Neil is very friendly and generous; he never judged Kate for being a prostitute, travelled all the way to Esgaroth to check on her children after she was murdered and immediately agrees to help Emma despite having only met her that same day.
ClayOne of Frederick's hired thugs, who is happy to do anything his employer asks of him.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Emma; he's a thug who threatens her with her violence while also lusting after her.
- Attempted Rape: He tries to rape Emma late in the story and he likely intends to kill her too. Mabel thwarts him.
- Avenging the Villain: Part of his motive for trying to rape and kill Emma is to avenge Frederick, blaming her for Frederick' death (even though his death was accident and it was his own actions that led to it.
- The Dragon: He's Frederick's right-hand henchman, happily carrying out his boss' dirty work.
- Dragon Their Feet: He outlives Frederick and turns up at Emma's house much later in the story, attempting to kill her. Mabel kills him in self-defense, which leads to her and Emma becoming closer; the incident also leads to Thorin demanding Emma move to Erebor permanently to prevent any future incidents.
- The Resenter: Towards Emma after she escapes, because Frederick takes it out on him and threatens dire consequences should he fail to find her. After Frederick dies, Clay loses his livelihood and he decides to blame Emma, plotting to hunt her down to take revenge.
MabelAn elderly servant working for Frederick.
ColinAn elderly winemaker employed by Frederick. He once worked for Kate's father.
King Thorin II OakenshieldThe King of Erebor, who was responsible for restoring the kingdom after it was decimated by the dragon Smaug. He's doing his best to be a good ruler, but his growing affection for Emma conflicts with his duties.
Princess DísThe sister of Thorin and mother of his late nephews, Fili and Kili. She serves as one of Thorin's closest advisors and confidants.
- Big Brother Instinct: Inverted; Dís is actually Thorin's younger sister, but she's frequently looking out for him. She tries to keep Leena away from him so she won't bug him and because she's (rightly) suspicious of her, and she's initially furious with Emma for hurting Thorin's feelings by running off without telling anyone.
Lady LeenaA dwarven noblelady and Dain's niece by marriage. She is betrothed to Thorin as part of an alliance. She desires to be a queen more than anything and is willing to go to any lengths to achieve this.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Leena's death is generally treated as an avoidable tragedy and despite her being nigh-universally hated, no one rejoices in it.
- Ambition Is Evil: A lot of Leena's despicable actions are driven by her desire to be queen.
- Asshole Victim: Her death, though horrific, is deserved considering all of the horrible things she'd done; not to mention it's implied her own actions contributed to her demise. Case in point, most people are more upset about her baby dying.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: She gets exactly what she wants when she becomes Thorin's queen...only to find it's not nearly as great as she thought it would be. Thorin can barely stand to be around her, let alone loves her, and is still in love with Emma. Her sister-in-law openly dislikes her and none of her subjects care for her either. Before long Leena is utterly miserable.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She comes across as one to everyone, save for Dís, who sees right through her from the moment they meet.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: For Thorin, to the point of trying to kill both Emma and her brother.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Leena hates that few people in Erebor are willing to constantly bow and scrape to her simply because she's the future queen, and lets everyone know it. This doesn't exactly endear her to people.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Leena is deeply unpopular amongst her subjects for her snobbery and spoilt ways, and isn't above using murder to get her own way or to simply settle petty scores. Most people are not looking forward to her becoming Queen of Erebor and she makes it plain from her thoughts and conversations with Vini that she fully intends to abuse her power to serve herself. Of course, Thorin catches on eventually and after being found guilty of trying to murder Billy and Emma, Leena spends most of her reign confined to her chambers, with Thorin's intention being to strip her of her title and send her packing.
- Incest Is Relative: Leena claims her uncle Dain took her virginity, though it turns out to be a lie to curry sympathy from Dís and hide the real reason she's not a virgin anymore.
- The Ingenue: Leena acts like one around most people, though in reality shes the exact opposite.
- Manipulative Bitch: Leena is by far the biggest Manipulative Bitch in the fic. There is no one she wouldn't try to weasel her way around, she's spent most of her life scheming her way to power and almost everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie.
- Narcissist: Leena fits all four criteria; she's extremely vain and self-absorbed, craves power and respect, and is deeply offended and upset when she feels she's not getting the adulation she 'deserves'.
- Princess in Rags: To an extent near the end of the fic. Although she still lives in luxury, any power she had in Erebor is gone after Vini spills the beans on her mistress's dark doings. She's confined to her rooms until her baby is born, with the intention being to strip her of her title and send her back to her family to answer for her crimes. She still acts like she's the queen, but it's pretty clear she's little more than a prisoner in a fancy cell. The sole reason she isn't thrown in the dungeons or sent away immediately is because she's carrying the king's child.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Leena can come across as one, especially when she throws tantrums when she can't get her own way, though she usually hides this side of her from most people...At first.
- Rich Bitch: Leena, through and through, combined with Aristocrats Are Evil.
- Royal Brat: And this is putting it mildly. She's not just entitled and snobby, she's prepared to bloody her hands to get what she wants.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Leena's general attitude is this; she's been getting away with stuff all her life by batting her eyelashes and flirting. Unfortunately for her, Dis and Thorin aren't as willing to put up with it.
- Unwanted Spouse: She eventually becomes this for Thorin. Although he willingly goes through with their marriage, it couldn't be made any clearer he's only doing it for the good of Erebor and he grows to dislike her more and more with each passing day. She's extremely put out by this, but doesn't do much to actually endear herself to him.
- The Vamp: She uses her beauty to manipulate others, and it's revealed she's used sex in the past to get men to do her favors. She tries the same on Thorin, although he is mostly immune to her due to already being in love with Emma, as well as Dís ' efforts to keep them apart.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Vini cannot bring herself to kill Emma, Leena goes completely Ax-Crazy, having a screaming fit and repeatedly slamming Vini's head onto the floor.
- Would Hurt a Child: She attempts to poison little Billy.
King DainThe cousin of Thorin and Dís , and king of the Iron Hills. He is Leena's uncle by marriage.
ViniLeena's devoted maid and confidant.
- The Confidant: Vini serves as this for Leena. She's described as being Leena's most trusted servant and she frequently confides in her about her plans, vents to her about her problems and gloats to her when things are going well for her. Vini often offers her mistress comfort or advice, and keeps all her secrets. This doesn't turn out so well for Leena eventually; after she viciously attacks Vini for failing her, Dis is able to persuade a dying Vini to tell her what she knows about Leena. Vini has quite a lot to say, which proves Leena's undoing.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: She gets her head bashed in by Leena repeatedly smashing it against the floor and dies hours later in agony (presumably from haemorrhaging).
- Et Tu, Brute?: She is truly heartbroken when Leena turns on her and fatally injures her, as she had served her faithfully for years and saw her as a friend.
- Everyone Has Standards: Vini does lots of dirty work for Leena, but not even she can bring herself to murder Emma in her sleep on her orders.
- Only Friend: She's the only real friend Leena has. Leena even refers to her as such, though in her case she's mostly manipulating Vini and sees her as disposable. Vini, however, really does see Leena as a friend and does whatever she can to help her.
- Redemption Equals Death: Poor Vini. The one time she defies her mistress and in doing so saves Emma's life, Leena flies into a rage and badly injures her by smashing her head against the floor. Vini only lives long enough to air all of Leena's dirty laundry to Dis.
- Sycophantic Servant: She is absolutely devoted to Leena and meekly serves her even when Leena takes out her frustrations upon her or insults her. She genuinely cares for her mistress and wants to see her happy more than anything, despite knowing just what an awful person Leena is.
- Undying Loyalty: Subverted in regards to Leena. Despite her creepy levels of devotion to her mistress, she is unable to bring herself to kill Emma for her. Leena doesn't take this well.
- Yes-Man: To Leena. She constantly agrees with everything Leena says, showers her with praise and blindly follows her orders at least until she asks her to murder Emma.