- Achey Scars: Einon and Bowen. After his father is killed during the peasant rebellion, Einon gets the back of his right hand cut by Kara's father and later gets a scar on his chest from the dragonheart ritual. Einon also develops the habit of rubbing the knotted scar on his chest whenever distracted. Bowen later get stabbed in the shoulder by Einon when he confronts the young king the morning after Draco gives Einon half of his heart. Four years later Einon stabs Bowen in the same shoulder during their fight at the waterfall.
- Ascended Extra: Queen Aislinn appears in more scenes than she does in the film and has more dialogue, in the film Felton's minx was a silent background character who now has dialogue and scenes of her own, a young peasant boy bonds with Gilbert and becomes his 'disciple', and the dragonslayers have a larger role in the climax as well as dialogue.
- Badass Creed: While only a portion of the Old Code is told in the film, the book reveals it in full:Inside the table's circle,
Under the sacred sword,
A knight must vow to follow
The code that is unending.
Unending as the table -
A ring by honor bound.A knight is sworn to valour.
His heart knows only virtue.
His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His word speaks only truth.
His wrath undoes the wicked.The right can never die
If one man still recalls.
The words are not forgot
If one voice speaks them clear.
The code forever shines
If one heart holds it bright.
- BattleTrophy/CreepySouvenir: Bowen keeps a trophy shield adorned with the middle talons of the dragons he kills, with Draco's broken middle talon at the center.
- Broken Bird: Kara, after Einon kills her father and later rapes her. Queen Aislinn also qualifies since Einon's father King Freyne invaded her homeland and slaughtered many of her dragon-loving people but kept her for his queen solely for her beauty. It's also implied that an arranged marriage was involved.
- The Brute: Brok.
- Bungled Suicide: After Einon rapes her, Kara takes the dagger she failed to kill him with and turns it on herself before she throws it away.
- Butt-Monkey: Lord Felton. He's always picked on by Einon's men (and occasionally Einon himself), partly because he is poor at hunting (to the point that once he left a dead deer out the day before, claiming to have shot it that day, but didn't realize before telling everyone to look at his "kill" that the carcass had been half eaten by a scavenger overnight). He's caught with his pants down when Draco attacks his village, his house is damaged in the attack, and Bowen steals his money by asking for it in advance and then pretending to have been eaten by Draco. As the peasants train for battle, Brok and Felton come across a group in the woods and he gets his hand cut off by Hewe. Later on, during the battle, his former minx attacks him and Gilbert shoots him in the rear with an arrow, giving a Bond One-Liner to add insult to injury. Immediately after, the young woman knocks Felton out, and then steals his money and his jeweled cuff (which he had been wearing over his stump). In the end, he is stabbed from behind and killed by Hewe.
- Chess Motif: Queen Aislinn is often playing chess. During Einon's childhood she played it with Bowen, who was the only one who saw any value in it; after Einon becomes King she plays against herself.
- Comet of Doom: The night before the battle Draco flies near Einon's castle with Bowen on his back. At Draco's command, Bowen throws away his trophy shield and Draco sets it ablaze. Einon sees it and mistakes it for a comet, an omen of disaster and the death of kings. Aislinn dissuades him by claiming that, based on stories her clan's elders told when she was a child, the "sky fire" is the spirit of his father Freyne that has come to say he's proud of his son, to destroy his enemies, and accomplish what he couldn't by killing the dragon.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Compared to his death in the film, Brok's death in the book is especially graphic. As he fights Kara with an Epic Flail, she uses an ax taken from the corpse of the dragonslayer Ivor impaled to a wall on a giant lance to fend off the brute. After Brok breaks the ax shaft in half, Kara uses it to snap the spiked ball back at Brok and bash it in his face.
- Darker and Edgier: As the novelization is based on an early screenplay, it shows the film was originally envisioned to have a serious and transcendent adult tone but Executive Meddling and Creative Differences reduced it to a family-friendly affair.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: On the eve of battle against Einon, Bowen has a nightmare of the dragons he had killed attacking him only for Bowen to kill them again. Then the dream turns into himself fighting Einon and stabbing him in the heart, only for Einon to turn into Draco and fall off Bowen's sword. After which Bowen is sucked into a dark void in Draco's wound where he calls out for Draco but can't hear himself, only dragons trilling in despair.
- Everyone Has Standards: When Felton cheats Bowen out of his pay for killing the dragon, Gilbert apologizes for judging him and tries to offer what little coin he has for payment. Despite having fallen very deep into bitterness at this point, Bowen refuses to take money from the Church.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence
- Home Base: The waterfall where Bowen and Draco begin their fight serves as their campsite during their partnership. It's also where the scenes in which Draco says he longs for death but fears it and Bowen later gives Draco his new name occur.
- Kick the Dog: Einon rapes Kara after her failed attempt to kill him.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Bowen, before he parts ways with Einon and after the events at Avalon. As he trains the rebels for battle, they give Bowen a new suit of armor and shield they made.
- Lady and Knight: Kara and Bowen, more explicitly clear than in the film.
- Lust Object: Kara to Einon. He compares her to his mother as they both have a fearsome, powerful look in their eyes and the kind of beauty that can only belong to a king. Einon fixates on Kara so much that he can't stand the thought of her and Bowen being together and plotting against him. As his father did with Aislinn, Einon aims to fully possess Kara and purge his fear of her by showing her that he's the stronger one; by killing Bowen and therefore stripping Kara of her power.
- Made a Slave: It's heavily implied that Felton's minx is an example of this trope with shades of Am I Just a Toy to You?. Felton would take a peasant woman from his fields into his home and give her a taste of finer living as a 'respite'. However contrary to many of the women being 'reluctant playmates', the minx is surprisingly compliant but this doesn't stop her from joining Bowen's rebel army later on.
- Man Hug: In the novelization, original screenplay, and storyboards, after Bowen's Redemption in the Rain he sees Draco perched atop King Arthur's monolith. Bowen reaches out to him and Draco wraps his wings around Bowen.
- Named by the Adaptation: In the film the dragonslayers are unnamed but the book reveals their names as Uhlrich, brothers Tavis and Trahern, Cavan, and Ivor. This trope can also be applied to Kara's father and Felton's minx. The former is simply known as Redbeard in the film but the novelization reveals his name being Riagon. It is said that Felton is unable to remember her name but recalls it as beginning with "Ro." A few guesses at her name are Rowena, Rosamund, and Ronalda. A young peasant tinker named Trev is made to be Gilbert's 'disciple' as they train for battle alongside each other.
- Playing Possum:
- During the training scene at the beginning, Bowen does this after falling off a wall to lure Einon closer to him.
- Einon does this later, during his fight with Bowen in the castle, after falling down a flight of stairs.
- Promoted to Love Interest: Kara. Unlike the film, where an attraction between her and Bowen is only hinted at, they actually declare their love for each other when Kara reveals to Bowen that she was raped by Einon and he kisses her hand with the promise of killing Einon. As the they sneak into the castle to rescue Draco, Kara gives Bowen her father's headband as her favor and the two kiss.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Between Einon and Kara.
- Sleep Cute: A while after feeling the pain from Kara stabbing Einon in the shoulder, Draco awakens to find Bowen dozing in the curve of his curled-up body and leaned against him.
- The Lady's Favor: See Promoted to Love Interest.
- Title Drop: Done twice in the story. First when Bowen faces Einon before returning to Draco's cave, then by Kara sometime after Draco is captured by Einon:"Don't you see? It's the heart! The dragon's heart. For Einon to die, Draco must die!"
- Villainous Crush: Einon to Kara.
- Violence Is Disturbing
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Gilbert's mule Merlin and the remains of Sir Eglamore. In the film, Merlin and what's left of Sir Eglamore are never seen or mentioned again after the scene where Draco and Bowen fight to a stalemate. In the novelization, after the fight, Gilbert wakes up the next morning and finds the arm. He mistakes it for belonging to Bowen and when Gilbert reappears at the swamp village, he tells Bowen about burying the arm in the glade beneath a cross with Bowens name on it. Merlin is with Gilbert at the swamp village, taken to Avalon with him, Bowen, and Kara, and then Kara's village afterwards.
Literature / Dragonheart