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Characters / The Wizards of Once

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Xar was a wild young human boy who belonged to the Wizard tribe. He was a cheerful scruff of a boy, with a tremendous quiff of hair shooting upward from his forehead as if it had accidentally come into contact with some invisible vertical hurricane. Xar was the most disobedient boy in the Wizard kingdom in about four generations, and forbidding things only encouraged him.

Xar is one of the two main characters of the series. He is the son of Encanzo the king of wizards, but still magic less at thirteen year old.



Warrior princesses, of course, ought to be impressively tall and absolutely terrifying, like Wish’s mother, Queen Sychorax. But Wish was neither scary nor large. Wish had a curious little face that was rather too interested in the world around her and hair that stuck out too wispily, as if she’d accidentally hit some unnoticed bit of static electricity. A black patch covered her left eye.

Wish is one of the two main characters of the books. She is the daughter of iron warrior queen Sychorax, but secretly keeps an enchanted spoon as pet.

  • All-Loving Hero: Wish is friendly to everyone. Loves Xar’s snowcats the second she meets them (despite the fact that Xar himself tried to kill her). She adores her mother
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Wish loves her mother dearly.
    In most people’s eyes, Wish’s mother, Queen Sychorax, was the most petrifying Warrior leader in the entire western wildwoods, known for her stern punishments, her short temper, and her dungeons of interminable depth.
    In Wish’s eyes, her mother was the most wonderful, beautiful, splendid person in the entire world.
  • Eyepatch of Power
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Xar and all his companions.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Wish actually dies stopping the ancient Kingwitch from stealing her power and gaining his freedom. Then she manages to put herself back together. It happens again in book two when she seals the Kingwitch away in iron, and Sychorax for the only time ever is relieved that Wish is magic.
  • Insistent Terminology: Even after learning of her mother's atrocities, Wish insists that Sychorax isn't "wicked," but rather "mistaken".
  • I Owe You My Life: Wish wants to save Squeezjoos because he saved her from the poisonous witch's blood.
  • L Isfor Dyslexia: Wish has dyslexia of the non comedic variety.
  • Noodle Incident: Wish has a long and regal name no one ever uses.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Wish is a Great Enchanter, and can come back to life if she is killed.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sychorax delivers a particularly painful one to Wish in the beginning of book 2.
    Queen Sychorax: Hair disgraceful, height poor, general Warrior turnout utterly substandard. Spelling appalling, disobedience unspeakable, deportment tragic. Yes, it’s definitely her.
  • Spoon Bending: Duh.
    • In book 2 she bends more than spoons.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When the Witchsmeller in book two nearly sniffs out Wish's magic, Xar happens to be attempting to burgle back his Spelling Book from her but realizes they have to escape together. Wish goes along with it and starts screaming that Xar is kidnapping her. Sychorax follows suit to save Wish from the Witchsmeller's fanatic approach.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Wish sees crying as a weakness her mother does not approve of, and thus tries to keep her tears to herself.
  • The Un-Favourite: Both Wish and Xar to their parents.


Bodkin was an anxious, skinny boy about the same age as Wish. He was finding being the Assistant Bodyguard to the princess really rather testing, because he didn’t like fighting very much, he had an unfortunate tendency to fall asleep in situations of physical danger, and trying to control the uncontrollable little princess was an impossible task.

Bodkin is Wish’s anxious assistant bodyguard. He unwillingly gets dragged into all her adventures.

  • Ascended Extra: While never really an extra, the unknown narrator insists that this is a story with two heros, Xar and Wish, and Bodkin isn't one of them. At the end of book three, however, the unknown narrator changes their mind, so one can hope that Bodkin may be given the credit he deserves in the intro to book four.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Played with. Bodkin is the one having a one-sided crush and Wish is the one doing the saving.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Wish is objectively more competent than him.
  • Bookworm: Bodkin loves books.
  • Fainting: Bodkin has a medical condition that makes him fall asleep in dangerous situation.
  • Father, I Don't Want to Fight: Bodkin feels pressured to become a bodyguard, even though he dislikes violence.
  • Intelligence = Isolation: His classmates don’t want anything to do with him because he got a promotion at only 13.
  • Legacy of Service: His family have been bodyguards too.
  • Lovable Nerd: Whenever he is not obstructing the adventure by fainting.
  • Nervous Wreck: Downplayed with Bodkin, although he is always the cynical one.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Every single adventure.
  • Servile Snarker: Often replies with a dry comment whenever Wish comes up with another dangerous plan.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Bodkin wrestles with his duty to guard Wish and his need to assist her. He ultimately chooses assisting Wish each time.
  • Tooka Level In Badass: A small one.
  • Vetinari Job Security: He is the replacement of Wish’s regular bodyguard. While he is on duty, all the shenanigans in book 1 happen.

     Queen Sychorax 

Sychorax was scary. But then she was a very great queen, and as Wish said, maybe great queens HAVE to be scary.

The scary iron Warrior queen and Wish’s mother. She is disappointed in Wish, for a number of reasons, most of them relating to Wish not being a proper Warrior.

     Encanzo the Enchanter 

He was such a very powerful Wizard that there was something very scary about him, even when he was just standing there quietly.

Xar’s father and king of wizards. He struggles to be a good parent, as Xar’s disobedience often drives him up the wall.

  • Bald of Awesome: He is bald on all illustrations, and also the most powerful wizard in the wildwoods.
  • Emotional Powers: The buzzing clouds above his head change depending on his mood.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Encaro and the wizards believe that Xar killed the witch in his bedroom. This is entirely logical because they had no idea that Wish sneaked into the fort.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: With Sychorax in book 2. They get a bit of Ship Tease at the end, when he gives her a backhanded compliment about her nose and she still calls him by his old name.
  • Go to Your Room!: Encanzo sends Xar back to his room bound in magic.
  • Hand Blast: He is so powerful he does not need a staff to perform magic.
  • I Have Many Names: Three as far as we know of, and even more aliases.
  • Magic Kiss: His kiss gave Wish her magic powers.
  • Parental Favoritism: Looter is Encanzo’s favorite son.
  • Parental Neglect: Wheras Sychorax is emotionally abusive, Encanzo borders on this trope. He basically leaves the parenting to Caliburn.
  • Parents as People: Both him and Sychorax. The two of them are the most important secondary characters.
  • Parting Words Regret: Encanzo regrets that he sent Xar to his room, while the latter shouted that he wanted a magical child and not him, and then it seems that a witch attacked Xar. When Xar goes missing, Encanzo is worried that his son is dead.
  • The Power of Creation:
    Encanzo: It is easy to destroy, but I am not like a Warrior, impressed by destruction. It is far harder to create, and creation is what we Wizards are all about.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: While undoubtably less ruthless than Sychorax, he is a tricky king with terrifying magical powers. However, he is not feared.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Can turn into [[Animorphism a bird]] at will.
  • War Ship: With Sychorax.


Characters from the Wizard Encampment


A raven who is Xar’s mentor and advisor. His task is keeping Xar out of trouble.

  • I Just Want to Be Free: Played with on multiple occasions, but ultimately when Encanzo does "free" him and Ariel, they both refuse to leave Xar.
  • Indentured Servitude: For unknown reasons Encanzo
    Encanzo: Xar will need you for a little while longer. I will not release you [...] until the boy grows up into a wise and thoughtful adult.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Caliburn is a Great Enchanter too, and has lived previous lifetimes already.
  • Old Retainer: Genuinely cares for Xar, and has been around for quite a while.
  • Private Tutor: To Xar.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Is casually mentioned in book three to have previously been the Wizard Pentaglion, which does explain why Castle Death has a raven motif.


Xar’s slightly stupid young sprite.

     Xar’s other magical creatures 

Xar: I These are my companions. My wolves, my bear, my snowcats: Kingcat, Nighteye, Forestheart. My bird, Caliburn. My giant, Crusher. And my sprites: Ariel, Mustardthought, Tiffinstorm, Hinkypunk, Timeloss. The hairy fairies, Bumbleboozle and the baby and—


Xar’s smug older brother.

  • Baleful Polymorph: Xar accidentally turns his older brother into an imaginary creature in book two due to some magical misfiring. He leaves the instructions to turn him back with Looter before running away with Wish to stop the witches.
  • Big Brother Bully: Looter is downright nasty to Xar for no reason, even if he makes a point that Xar is a troublemaker.
  • Smug Snake


     Other wizard characters 

  • The Rival: Swivelli to Encanzo. So far it’s unknown whether he is a serious threat or a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Played with. Wizards wear long fur coats and are seen as barbarians by the warriors.
    Queen Sychorax: The ignorance of these poor Wizards. We are civilization. We are progress. Look at us. Look at our weapons, our clothes, our tapestries, our furniture. You Wizards, in comparison, are barely better than animals…

Characters from the Warrior Fort


A perfectly normal iron dinner spoon... except that it is alive. Wish keeps him as secret pet.

     Wish’s Sisters 

Drama and Unforgiving.

     Other warrior characters 

  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Everyone fears queen Sychorax. Bodkin calls her a terrifying tyrant, and they are too afraid to talk back to her. She removes the heads of people who speak kindly to her, which explains their fear.
    • The soldier who has to inform her of a wizard attack is clearly afraid to do so.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Book Two reveals that Queen Sychorax serves an Emperor who is even more strictly anti-magic than she is.
  • Pest Controller: Completely averted with the Witchsmeller.
  • Wicked Cultured: The warrior fort in general. Even Xar is secretly impressed.

The rest of the Wildwoods

     The Kingwitch 

The thing had a nose like a knife, so razor-sharp and pointy at the end that it looked like you could cut onions with it. There were just two black holes instead of eyes on either side, like deep wells with something flinty and slimy as mercury glinting queasily at the bottom of them. The mouth dripping that revolting black saliva from the fangs. Jaws that could unhinge to swallow a deer in one gulp. A body like a human mixed with a panther and those black feathery wings. All in all, the Kingwitch was not a pretty sight.

     Other Witches 

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Witches are considered to be the ultimate evil beyond redemption. Xar thinks he can use a dead witch's blood to gain powers, but witch's blood is poisonous to magical creatures.
  • Ancient Evil
  • Black Magic: The witches, obviously.

     Characters from Castle Death 

Pentaglion, his giant Proponderus and his sprite Eleanor Rose.


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