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    Protagonists 

David "Dave" Stutler

Portrayed by: Jay Baruchel, Jake Cherry (as a ten-year-old)

The main character and the titular Apprentice. Dave was just an ordinary ten-year-old boy who lived in New York City when he stumbled upon the antique store of Balthazar Blake. Ten years later, Dave and Balthazar cross paths again. Balthazar tells Dave that he is the Prime Merlinian, a powerful sorcerer destined to stop the evil Maxim Horvath from unleashing the witch Morgana upon the world. Now, Dave must learn the ways of the sorcerer at the same time he tries to earn the heart of his crush, Becky.


  • Action Survivor: At first.
  • Adorkable: Yep, pretty much.
  • Always Save the Girl: When Horvath captures Becky, Dave willingly gives him Merlin's ring and the Grimhold to save her. Balthazar later admits he would have done the same thing.
  • The Apprentice: The one the title is about.
  • Bad Liar: Balthazar says this is a good thing.
  • Badass Bookworm: The reason Dave is good at physics is because he has natural magic talent. Even after becoming a sorcerer, he prefers defeating foes with his intellect and his knowledge of science.
  • Badass Bystander: He was with Becky when she got mugged, and immediately ran after the much bigger and stronger guy, using his newfound powers to mop the floor with him and win Becky's incredulous gratitude.
  • Beam Spam: His main mean of attack after he masters his powers.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Dave would rather avoid fighting, even against villains out to kill him, but if the threat is too big he will not hesitate.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Arrives just in time to save Balthazar from Horvath, telekinetically stopping his daggers.
  • Character Development: His master-apprentice relationship with Balthazar, growing mastery of magic, and blooming romance with Becky gives him much needed self-confidence and assurance. Compare the meek Manchild easily frightened by Horvath (though understandably so), to the badass Prime Merlinean who trounces the Big Bad and takes Becky to Paris on a whim.
  • Chekhov's Skill: His makeshift Tesla Coils. He uses them to turn the tides against both Horvath and Morgana Le Fay.
  • The Chosen One: Dave is the Prime Merlinian.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Several instances.
    • The mugger stood no chance against his magic.
    • In the Final Battle, he knew he was no match against Horvath in a Wizard Duel, but handily used his foes' power-ups against him to turn the tide with science.
    • Morgana overwhelms him at first... But as soon as he made her physical again and vulnerable to his magic, he reduces her to nothing with a barrage of energy blasts she cannot hope to counter.
  • Dork Knight: Dave is a nerd with a capital N, even after becoming a powerful and reliable hero. He even weaponizes his nerdiness in the most awesome way.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: He earns his mentor's respect and his Love Interest affection, saves the day and goes to Paris with his girlfriend for breakfast, flying into the sunrise atop a giant, animated bronze eagle.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Dave Stutler (sounds like "stutter") doesn't sound particularly badass.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: He keeps blasting spells at Morgan after seeing her dodge them all. In fact he pretends to keep firing at her as a distraction, to bewitch the mop that will start the chain reaction leading to her demise.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The nicest guy around, but fully willing to kill Horvath and Morgana, being well aware that this is the only way to stop them for good.
  • Good with Numbers: According to Balthazar, Dave's expertise at physics is proof of his magic potential.
  • The Hero: Not at first. He fully becomes one at the climax.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Downplayed. He is really nerdy and socially akward, with narrow fields of interest. But there is much more to the character, and he undergoes Character Development.
  • Heroic Resolve: He slowly builds it throughout the movie.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: At first. He later fully accepts his responsibilities as the Prime Merlinian.
  • Inept Mage: At first... He quickly gets the geist of his powers and starts taking levels in Badass for breakfast.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dave at fist does not trust Balthzar farther than he can throw him, due to not being told much. But overtime, he starts looking up to him and they become very close.
  • Lovable Nerd: A very endearing one. His playing radio music with his makeshift Tesla Coils help him in no small part earning Becky's affection.
  • Mind over Matter: He gains telekinesis spells that enable him to block revolving doors, levitate trashcans and stop flying daggers, among others.
  • Nerd Action Hero: An Adorkable science nerd who saves the world and kicks Evil Sorcerers' backsides.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Dave is still infamous for supposedly wetting himself and babbling about duelling wizards as a fourth grader. Parts of New York even call a nervous breakdown, "pulling a David Stutler."
  • Now It's My Turn: Says this word for word to the Final Boss, who dodges his attacks and gives an Ironic Echo.
  • Science Hero: Manages to be both a sorcerer and this.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While he is The Hero, Balthazar is the one who does the traditional heroic deeds. Justified, since he is only an apprentice, and therefore, not suited to fight fully trained sorcerers like Horvath or Drake. At the climax, he fully awakens his magic powers and is ready to kick some ass.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: By the end of the movie, Dave is considerably mightier than Balthazar. Though he has yet to become more skilled and accomplished.
  • Teen Genius: Dave is a higly intelligent grade A student, able to build Tesla Coils and conduct music on radio waves with them.
  • Theme Initials: He and Drake Stone share the same initials.
  • Took a Level in Badass: And how! This scrawny, easily scared nerd takes level upon level of badass throughout the movie as he progressively masters magic, culminating in awakening Merlin's powers and blasting Morgana into oblivion.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As Morgana herself lampshades it, Dave awakening as the Prime Merlinean grants him Merlin's tremendous powers and might, but he is not trained enough to fully master it. He more than enough compensates with his intelligence, scientific knowledge and quick thinking though.
  • World's Strongest Man: By the end of the movie, he is the single most powerful sorcerer in existence.
  • You're Insane!: Asks Balthazar if he is insane, which he never truly denies.

Balthazar Blake

Portrayed by: Nicolas Cage

Dave's master and a long-lived sorcerer. Hailing from the Middle Ages, he was one of Merlin's three apprentices, along with Maxim Horvath and Veronica. As time passed, he and Veronica fell in love. Unfortunately, Horvath betrayed his brethren and joined Morgana. After Merlin's death, Balthazar set out to find the Prime Merlinian and stop Horvath. When he finds Dave, he begins training him in the arts of magic.


  • Alliterative Name: Balthazar Blake.
  • Always Save the Girl: When Horvath captures Becky, Dave willingly gives him Merlin's ring and the Grimhold to save her. Balthazar later admits he would have done the same thing.
  • The Apprentice: Along with Horvath and Veronica, he was Merlin's student. Inverted when he trains Dave.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Admittedly retty cool.
  • Badass Bookworm: He is powerful and has a wide knowledge.
  • Badass in Charge: The leader of the Merlineans, and the only one we see in modern times.
  • Badass Longcoat: His trademark outfit.
  • Badass Teacher: Tremendously powerful and Dave's master.
  • Cool Car: He owes one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Boy howdy, is he ever. He's barely capable of speaking to Dave or Horvath without snarking.
  • Dented Iron: He hides it admirably, but it is clear that his centuries of battling evil have taken their toll and that he just wants to spend in remaining years in peace.
  • Disney Death: Don't worry, people. Dave is right here to help!
  • Dramatic Deadpan: He states matters of life and death as if speaking about what he had for breakfast.
  • Good Counterpart: To Horvath.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Good sorcerers versus bad ones. He leads the camp of good.
  • Heartbroken Badass: He is a supreme badass and has painfully missed his girlfriend since he had to seal her away over a thousand years prior.
  • The Hero: While Dave is the main character, Balthazar does the heroic deeds for the most of the movie and the story is about his feud with his Evil Former Friend, which only Dave can end for good.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. He was planning on fighting Horvath and Morgana alone, but Dave intervenes and saves the day.
  • Insult Backfire: When asked if he is insane, he makes a "little bit" hand sign.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: Only implied. After all, this is a Disney movie.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Downplayed, but despite his enormous magic power he is also very good in a purely physical brawl. He did grew up during The Dark Ages after all.
  • Large Ham: Nicolas Cage clearly had fun while doing this movie.
  • Like a Son to Me: Balthazar grows to care deeply for Dave, and the feeling's mutual.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Played with. Balthazar owns an antique shop for a cover. It is always there and Muggles can see it, but the magical stuff is not.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Apprentice to Merlin, teacher to Dave.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: He can't die until the finds the Prime Merlinian.
  • Mentor Archetype: The powerful but ageing master who finds the ordinary college student to tell him about his supernatural potential, his destiny as The Chosen One and training him to defeat the uber powerful Big Bad threatening the entire world. Yeah, he fits the mold to a T.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: He knows he stands little to no chance of survival when confronting Morgana and Horvath on his own, but he does not care. He even sacrifices himself to seal Morgana within him, and later gets nearly killed, but Dave heals him. Disney we tell you.
  • Old Master: Not that much physically, but he has lived for century and he is a tremendously powerful sorcerer with loads of experience and skill.
  • Passing the Torch: He wants to find and train the Prime Merlinean to entrust him with leading the good sorcerers all over the world, like he did for centuries. He does so in the end.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Closer to 1300.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: He was accidentally sealed in a Chinese vase along with Horvath. He escaped ten years later.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Horvath, constantly.
  • Trickster Mentor: Balthazar will make Dave a powerful sorcerer, but if he can get a laugh at his expense or pull out a wierd, embarrassing lesson he won't hesitate.
  • Walking the Earth: Before he set up shop in New York, Balthazar spent years trying to find the Prime Merlinian across the world.
  • Wizard Classic: Was one in the prologue and is now a modern take on the archetype.

Rebecca "Becky" Barnes

Portrayed by: Teresa Palmer, Peyton R. List (as ten-year-old Becky)

Dave's love interest and childhood friend. Aside from attending high school with Dave, Becky is also the host of a radio show. Becky is unaware of Dave's life as a sorcerer, but as time passes, she uncovers the truth.


  • Badass Normal: Gotta grant her that, it takes major guts to climb a skyscrapper while deathly afraid of heigths, and disable a satellite dish on her own. One does not get to know how to fight to be a badass after all.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She is the one who interrupts the Rising and averts The End of the World as We Know It, foiling the villains' Evil Plan.
  • Damsel in Distress: She gets taken by surprised and kidnapped by Abigail Williams.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: She would gladly, and without second thoughts. Becky's and Dave's romance starts blooming when he shows her his Tesla Coils broadcasting music.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Horvath and Abigail kidnap her to force Dave to give up Merlin's ring and the Grimhold.
  • It Was a Gift: Becky is distraught when she gets mugged and has to give up her bracelet, which belonged to her (presumably deceased) grandmother. Dave rushing after the mugger to give it back earns him his first points for potiential boyfriend.
  • Love Interest: Dave has been in love with her since childhood. Their romance mirrors what that of Balthazar and Veronica could have been and gives him a much needed anchor in the normal world.
  • Muggle : A totally normal young woman, but still a major character.
  • Nice Gal: A genuinely sweet young woman, friendly and open with everyone. Even though she witnessd Dave's public humiliation when they were kids, she does not think less of him.
  • Nerves of Steel: Reasonably downplayed. After being kidnapped by a Shapeshifting sorceress, being held hostage, witnessing her Love Interest casting spells, then learning about magic and the incoming apocalypse, she is understandably shaken and frightened. Yet, she quickly regains composure and insists to take part in the battle, despite Dave urging her to stay safe. And taking part she does.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Very nicely Subverted. She has a major hobby and friends apart from Dave, and they spend the movie getting to know each other and growing close, with romance slowly but realistically blooming. She also helps Dave foil Morgana's plot.
  • She's Got Legs: The introduction to her older self is a shot that pans up from her legs.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Becky genuinely falls in love with Dave, who is the sweetest guy she'll ever meet.
  • Spanner in the Works: Becky would obviously be useless in a fight, but that won't mean she cannot help. And she proves essential in derailing the Evil Plan while the sorcerers are out to fight.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She doesn't like heights. Later, she must confront her fears in order to help Dave defeat Morgana.
  • Will Not Be a Victim: So Horvath? You kidnapped her and thought she was just a Damsel in Distress? Say goodbye to you super apocalypse curse.

Veronica Gorloisen

Portrayed by: Monica Bellucci

Merlin's third apprentice and Balthazar's love interest. She and Balthazar were in love with in one another, causing the embittered Horvath to side with Morgana. In an attempt to permanently stop her, Veronica willingly absorbed Morgana's spirit into her own body and sealed herself into the Grimhold, hoping that Morgana would never be unleashed upon the world again. Unfortunately, Horvath has other plans...


  • Action Girl: Spending most of the movie as a Sealed Good in a Can, she gets little chance to shine, but she was apprenticed to Merlin for a reason and is clearly as powerful and skilled as Balthazar and Horvath. The intro show her unleashing powerful magic and taking on the Big Bad herself.
  • And I Must Scream: The poor lady spent about a thousand years trapped in a doll, and within her own mind, not even in control of herself.
  • Demonic Possession: Self-inflicted so that Morgana can be sealed into the Grimhold.
  • Hot Witch: She is played by Monica Belucci herself, what else?
  • Good Counterpart: To Morgana herself, being female apprentice to Merlin and a tremendously powerful sorceress, but altruistic, noble and caring, who greatly respected her master, while Morgana is selfish, ambitious and evil and killed him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She tries to absorb Morgana and almost dominates her soul, but the evil sorceress is too much for her and she ends up overwhelmed.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Just like Dave.
  • Lady of Black Magic: A benevolent example. She is beautiful, noble and poised, and her spells pack a mean punch.
  • The Lost Lenore: Sealed instead of dead, but she still counts. Even nearly a millennium after her disappearance, Balthazar is still pinning for her. Horvath as well demonstrates genuine heartbreak when he sees her rising, fully possessed by Morgana.
  • Love Interest: To Balthazar, which she reciprocates, and to Horvath as well, much to the three's suffering.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Double version. She is the good can in which Morgana is sealed. At the same time, both her and Morgana were sealed in the Grimhold.
  • Sealed in a Person-Shaped Can: Morgana's soul is trapped with her.


    Antagonists 

Maxim Horvath

Portrayed by: Alfred Molina

The primary antagonist. Originally, Horvath was one of Merlin's three apprentices, along with Balthazar and Veronica. He was in love with Veronica, but when he realized she was in love with Balthazar, he joined forces with Morgana to destroy mankind. Balthazar sealed him in the Grimhold, but he manages to escape. Knowing that he will need help to obtain the Grimhold and release Morgana, Horvath accepts Drake Stone as his apprentice.


  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Once apprenticed to Merlin, his betrayal caused his demise.
  • Badass Bookworm: As powerful and skilled as he is well-read, cultured and knowledgeable.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Highly powerful and dressed to the nines.
  • Badass Teacher: He is powerful and the students he releases from the Grimhold are very well taught.
  • Bad Boss: Horvath pretty much screws over everyone he ever works with.
  • Big Bad: He might defer to Morgana Le Fay, but it is Horvath who leads the villains for most of the backstory and the story itself, whose actions drive the conflict, and whose centuries-long feud with Balthazar writes the plot, providing an emotional challenge as well in addition to a magical threat.
  • Cold Ham: Always perfectly poised, dignified and stoic, but still hammy as hell.
  • Cane Fu: He can use his Classy Cane as a blunt weapon.
  • Classy Cane: He is never seen without his ornate cane, completing his Sharp-Dressed Man looks. Overlaps with Magic Staff as it is his catalyst.
  • Cool Hat: A classy bowler hat.
  • Cool Sword: He had one in the prologue, but nowadays it is a Classy Cane.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like Balthazar. His humour is much more macabre and cutting, but his snark hits home.
  • The Dragon: To Morgana.
  • Dragon-in-Chief / The Heavy: While Morgana is the more powerful threat, Horvath remains as the more immediate antagonist. Justified by Morgana's status as a Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Balthazar.
  • Evil Former Friend: With Balthazar. They jump at each other's throat with intent to kill as soon as they see each other, but still trade banter like old friends disagreeing in a philosophical debate.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Averted. His jokes are gloomy and dry, but he does have a witty sense of humour.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Seems incapable of not overacting for more than five minutes straight.
  • Evil Is Petty: And How!! The guy prepares to doom everyone in the planet, simply because he could not handle rejection. Gee! Over-reacting much?
  • Evil Sorcerer: A tremendously powerful one, leader of all evil sorcerers and sorceress.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He is polite, well-manered, poised, cultured and erudite, and perfectly willing to kill innocent people if they get on his way.
  • Gentleman Wizard: A villainous version.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Good sorcerers versus bad ones. He leads the camp of evil.
  • Kick the Dog: That driver definitely should have known better than messing with Horvath.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Horvath steals the rings/amulets of Dave and the various Morganians he's allied himself with, making himself powerful enough to free Morgana unaided. All that extra power, however, makes him an easy target for Dave's tesla coil.
  • Karma Houdini: He's still loose out there by the end. Though given that he was electrocuted and that according to Balthazar electrocution deprives a sorcerer of their power, in addition to loosing his Magic Staff, it can be guessed that he is now powerless and destitute.
  • Love Makes You Evil: His entire reason for becoming Morgana's disciple is because Veronica did not return his feelings.
  • Magic Knight: A considerably powerful sorcerer and a very good fighter. He used to fight with a sword and still fights with one through telekinesis, but nowadays he turned it into a classy but no less lethal cane.
  • Pet the Dog: Fully keeps his part of the bargain and releases Becky unharmed before leaving without killing Dave. Though he still fires a Plasma Bolt.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Well over a thousand years old if not more.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Twice. First, Balthazar traps him in the Grimhold. He escapes. Later, they were both sealed in a Chinese vase. They both escape ten years later.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Impeccably groomed and elegant.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Balthazar, more than once.
  • Villainous Fashion Sense

Drake Stone

Portrayed by: Toby Kebbell

A celebrity illusionist and Horvath's new apprentice. Drake was a sorcerer who used his magic to become a famous stage magician. Being a fan of the Morganians, he joins forces with Horvath. However, he remains unaware of Horvath's true plan.


  • Beware the Silly Ones: Just by looking at his entire attire and mannerisms, he may not seem like the kind of guy you'd take seriously. Then becomes surprisingly more competent as the film progress and even learns to morph and disguise himself as Dave, and manages to stand toe to toe with Balthazar to a certain extent.
  • The Dragon: To Horvath.
  • Master of Illusion: His way to make a living. He can change his appearance to deceive others.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: He uses his magic on public, but people don't really notice.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Drake simply follows Horvath because he admires the Morganians. However, he is not really evil and looks quite uncomfortable when Horvath remarks that his plan involves the death of a few children.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Drake is David Copperfield with real magical powers, or maybe Criss Angel due to his alternative fashion sense.
  • Shrine to Self: Drake Stone sports a couple of partially-naked portraits of himself around the house.
  • Theme Initials: He and Dave share the same initials.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He should have been revived after the ending, but this is never shown.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: Horvath steals Drake's life-force in order to further his plans.

Abigail Williams

Portrayed by: Nicole Ehinger

A legendary witch responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, summoned by Maxim Horvath to do his bidding.


Morgana le Fay

Portrayed by: Alice Krige

The progenitor of all evil sorcerers and Merlin's archenemy. Morgana was first defeated years ago when Veronica absorbed her spirit into her body and sealed herself into the Grimhold. In the modern age, Horvath attempts to release her so that she can continue her plans to destroy mankind.


  • All There in the Manual: It was explained that she was Merlin's first apprentice before becoming his equal and worst enemy.
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: She learnt magic from Merlin, but could not stand his Comes Great Responsibility worldview and ended up in open conflict with him.
  • Apocalypse How: Her plan is either Class 2 or Class 3a by raising an army of undead sorcerers.
  • The Archmage: Far and away the most powerful sorcerer in the story, defeating the ageing Merlin and Curb Stomping his apprentices. Until Dave comes around...
  • Beam Spam: Attacks with deadly rapid-fire barrages of Energy Balls.
  • Cold Ham: She is both poised and regal, and Hammy as Hell.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The only one who can stand against her is Merlin (or his heir) after all.
    • Balthazar and Veronica combining their power stood no chance against her. Granted, they were recovering from her Demonic Possession and the previous battles.
    • Morgana overwhelms Dave at first... But as soon as he made her physical again and vulnerable to his magic, he reduces her to nothing with a barrage of energy blasts she cannot hope to counter.
  • Demonic Possession: Ends up in complete control of Veronica.
    • Balthazar absorbs her within him in the Final Battle, but she promptly escapes.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Greater-Scope Villain to Merlin's Greater-Scope Paragon.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Very much so.
  • Evil Sorcerer: A female example who puts every other in the movie to shame.
  • Final Boss: Ultimately, with Horvath as The Heavy.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Uber powerful, uber evil, uber dangerous, uber scary, yadda, yadda, yadda. But nothing more. She is the threat to overcome and that's that.
  • Grand Theft Me: After spending years trapped inside Veronica's body, Morgana obtains full control of Veronica and uses her body to further her plans. Later on, she abandons Veronica's body and manifests as an energy projection.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The most powerful villain by far, and the one who leads every other, but she spends the entire story as a Sealed Evil in a Can and it is Horvath who does all the villainous stuff, while she provides an epic battle at the prologue and at the end and little more.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Merlin in the prologue and inflicts a Disney Death to Balthazar in the Final Battle.
  • Hot Witch: Evil but beautiful.
  • Lady of Black Magic: She's very elegant, dressed in a feminine black dress and carrying herself with grace and dignity, and a powerful sorceress of black magic.
  • Lady of War: Elegant, graceful, regal and dignified, and deadly with a sword in hand. Just ask Merlin.
  • Made of Air: Morgana exists as a spirit and can completely control her physical form, allowing her to dodge attacks by creating openings for attacks to pass through. Dave beats her by turning the nearby lights into makeshift Tesla Coils, hardening her form so he can blast her apart.
  • Magic Knight: Extremely powerful, and a highly skilled swordswoman, who battles Merlin with a makeshift sword in the prologue with great proficiency.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: Only her soul remains at the end, but it does not make her any less dangerous.
  • Predecessor Villain: Given how powerful and famous she became, all evil sorcerers became known as Morganians.
  • Public Domain Character: One of the most famous villainess of all fiction.
  • Playing with Fire: Unleashes devastating fire blasts.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Combined with....
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: She was trapped inside Veronica's body.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: The enormously powerful leader of all Evil Sorcerers of history, who aims to Take Over the World.
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