Princess Odette Angeline
The headstrong Princess of Roswald. Her mother died when she was just a child, and after her father's death she ascended the throne at sixteen.
Rothbart's teenage daughter, a tender and affectionate girl who becomes Odette's lady-in-waiting and best friend.
- Daddy's Girl: She is wholeheartedly devoted to Rothbart, so much that she rejects an opportunity to marry her beloved that requires her renouncing her father.
- Dance of Romance: Shares one with Siegfried at Odette's ball, during which Siegfried begins to fall for her for real.
- Friend to All Living Things: She gets on extremely well with animals. It proves crucial when she is able to rescue Siegfried thanks to a horse she steals from Liemerich.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Even more so than Odette. As Odette herself admits, Odile bests her in many of both the feminine skills and the non-feminine ones.
- Harp of Femininity: She can play the harp (she even has one in the abandoned castle).
- Hot Witch: Subverted. Her first appearance at Gertrude's ball (and especially her disappearance from it she turns into a black swan and flies away) certainly suggests it, but she is anything but.
- Inconvenient Attraction: She is horribly ashamed of her attraction to Siegfried first, he is a prince and she is a nobody, second (and much more important), he is betrothed to her best friend.
- The Ingenue: Played with she is very naive in some aspects of life and can be very perceptive at the same time.
- It's All My Fault: At one point, she breaks down in tears, blaming herself for attracting Siegfrieds attention and falling in love with him, even though its him who has been flirting with her in the first place.
Odette: And why is it so terrible or hurtful to you? Or is he being impudent?
Odile: No! I mean, maybe, yes, I dont know. But its not the awful part. The awful part is that I like him! You realize, I like your fiancé!
- Morality Pet: For Rothbart and (to a lesser extent) Odette.
- Only Friend: For Odette, at her court.
- Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Many people suspect she is a wicked witch behind her nice façade. She is not.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Enters Franz Ludwig's castle, disguised as a page. It wasn't intentional she is simply wearing her riding attire at the moment.
- Undying Loyalty: She worships Odette for pardoning her father.
The sorcerer of the abandoned castle and self-proclaimed master of the Swan Lake. Also known as King Roberto, the Great Healer, and Prince Frederico Rodbarto Mario of Naples
. He infamously turns Odette into a swan.
- Adaptational Heroism: The evil wizard in the ballet, he is Driven to Villainy here and gets redemption.
- Adaptational Nationality: Judging by his name, von Rothbart has German origins in the ballet. Here, he is Italian.
- Beast and Beauty: One of the many reasons he doesn't want to pursue a relationship with Odette. It seems the "beast" part is a metaphor, until he reveals that he is cursed to become a monster if he heals three people without magic.
- Being Evil Sucks: Oh, doesn't it. He provokes Siegfried into challenging him just to get rid of his magical powers.
- Berserk Button:
- It's better not to mention Queen Anne to his face.
- Doing any sort of harm to Odette is also a very bad idea.
- Broken Ace: He is an expert in pretty much everything from fencing to cooking. He is also an extremely broken and disillusioned man who is sure he is damned to eternal suffering both on earth and in the afterlife.
- Brutal Honesty: A major trait of his (and one of the reasons why Odette admires him so much).
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was betrayed by his adored wife and the people who used to praise him, nearly burned alive for something he hasn't done, and rescued by a sorcerer who told him that when he heals someone without magic three times, his horrible burns will return. Hadn't it been for Odile, he might have fully slipped into villainy.
- Deadpan Snarker: His usual manner of speech.
Siegfried: If Odile gets stricken by plague, let it strike me too! I could be...
Rothbart: Why do you need the plague as well, when you're stricken by such bottomless stupidity, my friend?
- Determined Doctor: Nothing, not even the threat of his horrible burns coming back, can stop him from healing the sick.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Even during his life of sorcery, he makes sure to raise Odile right.
- Facial Horror: After getting burned at the stake, he faints at the mere sight of his face. His Evil Mentor heals him, but warns him that the monstrous looks will return should Rothbart ever heal three people without magic.
- Foil: To Gottwald. Both are very clever and resourceful, with Deadpan Snarker tendencies. Both have studied sorcery under the same teacher, and can turn into birds of prey. Each of them holds Odette captive at some point of the plot. However, Rothbart is brave and keeps his cool even when he expects Odette to send him to the stake, while Gottwald is a Sore Loser coward. Even in his sorcerer days, Rothbart has Pet the Dog moments towards villagers who live close by, and Gottwald sets a dragon on the villages of the region just to blackmail Odette. Rothbart also rues the day he became a sorcerer and takes the first chance to save his soul by losing a non-magical battle (and later he is eternally grateful to Siegfried); Gottwald, however, uses his spells to the last and rejects the chance of battle offered by Rothbart, getting killed on the run by a random soldier and damning himself forever.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: He certainly used to be one, and can still be counted as a darker version of the trope.
- Graceful Loser: He acknowledges his defeat and remains calm throughout his imprisonment and trial, even though he is sure he is doomed to the stake.
- Honor Before Reason: He could have killed Liemerich easily, taking him by surprise, but he prefers to offer him a chance to fight honorably and save his soul.
- The Kindnapper: He kidnaps his baby daughter from the palace. A rare fully justified example, since otherwise, Odile would have been killed by plotters, and even had they spared her for some reason, they would have turned her into a political pawn, since nobody at court really cared for her.
- Longing Look: For a very long while, it is the only way he shows his growing feelings for Odette.
- Manly Tears: He is extremely calm and composed, but twice in the novel, he can't help but break into tears: first, when he talks to Odette while she's held captive at Tudl and is forced to tell her the return spell, second, when he prays to God for forgiveness and aid during the plague epidemic.
- The Medic: He is an excellent doctor, most notably managing to stop several epidemics and cure Siegfried after the latter swallows a double lethal dose of poison.
- Magical Seventh Son: To the king of Naples.
- Men Can't Keep House: Inverted. He makes the abandoned castle a pretty comfortable place to live in.
- Oblivious to Love: He fails to grasp that his feelings for Odette are mutual. Even after her Anguished Declaration of Love mentioned above he is sure that she cant love him because it just cant happen. She has to spell it out as they reunite after Liemerichs defeat.
- Supreme Chef: In Odette's opinion, he's better than the cooks in her palace.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: And handsome too, according to Odette.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: After getting framed for sorcery, he decides he might just as well be villainous for real at least he can have his revenge this way.
The Prince of Grünwald, second cousin to Odette. He defeats Rothbart and frees Odette and her ladies-in-waiting from the curse.
The ascetic abbot of Holy Archangel Michaels Abbey and confessor to Odette.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Apart from being a Good Shepherd, he is politically savvy and well-educated.
- Good Shepherd: He is very pious (Rothbarts magic cant harm him, and his prayers keep the dragon at bay) and genuinely cares for his flock.
- Must Make Amends: He sided with the Inquisition against Rothbart sixteen years earlier, and now works hard to fix at least some of the consequences.
- Put on a Bus: He leaves for Rome soon after Liemerichs defeat and therefore entirely misses the epidemic, returning in the second-to-last chapter.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Its mentioned that the abbey, despite being on the border of Roswald and Grünwald, is prosperous and well-organized. He also helps the heroes a lot.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He is usually calm, collected and strict in public, but his softer side is no secret to anyone who knows him personally.
Siegfried's ambitious uncle.
Captain Frederick Rimvolt
The staunch captain of the guard at Odettes palace. He used to serve her father too.
Odettes court physician.
Baron Franz Ludwig
Siegfrieds childhood friend.
- False Friend: Played with. Its implied he is a genuine friend to the prince, until working for Liemerich begins to pay better. He is reluctant to agree to the assassination plot at first, too.
- Gold Digger: He is handsome and plans to make an advantageous marriage.
The Princess of Grünwald, Siegfrieds widowed mother.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In the last hours of her life, she realizes she is about to effectively murder an innocent girl whom her son loves. Fortunately, she manages to revoke the plan.
- Sanity Slippage: She is plagued by rapidly increasing paranoia until she dies. Since most of it happens offscreen and Siegfried, naturally, doesnt want to talk of it, her illness is described very vaguely.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She hardly appears and dies offscreen very soon, but her death and especially the actions of her last days trigger the entire main plot.
The last queen of Schwanswald, who marries a commoner against the wishes of her court.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Deconstructed. She is an impulsive, easily-influenced teenager, and it shows. With tragic consequences when she gets tricked into sentencing her husband to die.
- Posthumous Character: She is long dead by the start of the novel.
- Sanity Slippage: After she sentenced her husband to burn at the stake, she descended into madness and died young.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She looked very similar to Odette (her cousins daughter), and her own daughter Odile looks identical to her.