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Literature / The Inkworld Trilogy
aka: Inkheart

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The Inkworld Tetralogy is a German YA novel series by Cornelia Funke.

  1. Tintenherz (Inkheart, 2003)
  2. Tintenblut (literally "Inkblood", but translated as Inkspell for the English version, 2005)
  3. Tintentod (Inkdeath, 2007)
  4. Die Farbe der Rache (The Color of Revenge, 2023)

Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father Mo, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and Meggie's bibliophile great aunt Elinor and tries to force him into service. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother Resa went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called ''Inkheart'' and released characters into the real world.

The Film of the Book came out in late 2008, starring Eliza Bennett as Meggie, Andy Serkis as Capricorn, Paul Bettany as Dustfinger, Helen Mirren as Elinor and Brendan Fraser as Mo.

Tropes found in the Inkworld series include:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Roxane. By the time Dustfinger finally returns home, he's been gone a decade, and Roxane has a son (by another man) who is nearly that old, so she can't have waited for him very long.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In The Film of the Book, Dustfinger's horned marten was changed to a ferret. Because, well, horned martens don't exist.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Firefox. He is used to test the capabilities of the immortality book by his boss, made immortal and then killed callously by his master; to add insult to injury, his body is then discarded like trash. While hardly a sympathetic character, the scene is worded in such a way as to to express absolute horror at the nature of his pitiful end.
  • All Just a Dream: Discussed. Several characters hope in vain for this at different points in the series.
  • All Stories Are Real Somewhere: All books are apparently their own worlds, and characters can read themselves between them.
  • Anti-Hero: Dustfinger. At one point, he veers into Lovable Traitor territory, but events teach him quickly and painfully that he's made a terrible mistake by trusting Capricorn to keep his word.
  • Archnemesis Dad: The Adderhead is something of this to his daughter, Violante.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The only halfway-sympathetic aristocratic character is Violante, who looks positively sweet next to her father, but even she is hard and demanding and can be cruel.
  • Arranged Marriage: Violante and Cosimo. Violante's mother claimed this was the case for herself and the Adderhead, but really they fell in love and ran away together.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Invoked several times in-universe with Fenoglio having to write out what will happen in order to save everyone's skins.
  • Back for the Dead: This shows up with a strange twist in Inkdeath. Basta was already dead and removed from the story, but when he was brought back as a monster, we aren't even told that it's him until Dustfinger recognizes him seconds before killing the creature.
  • Back from the Dead: Dustfinger exchanged his life for Farid's to bring him back from the dead. Later Mo got Dustfinger back from the dead. Cosimo as well, although it's a copy of him. Unfortunately averted with Capricorn.
  • Becoming the Mask: Mo becomes the Bluejay, much to the distress of his wife and daughter.
  • Betty and Veronica: There are shades of this in book 3 with Doria and Farid, Doria being the nice, reliable one and Farid the fun and exotic but often faithless one.
  • Big Bad: Capricorn is this in the first book, while the Adderhead fills the role in the second and third books and could be considered the big bad of the entire series since he's the man behind Capricorn.
  • Black Knight: While not a knight, the Black Prince is characterized something like this in the robber stories.
  • Bookburning: This happens to every existing copy of Inkheart save one in the first book. Capricorn's fireraisers also burn all the books in Elinor's library.
  • Broken Pedestal: Violante is shattered when it turns out her mother wasn't really a trapped victim of her father, The Adderhead, but actually fell in love with him and ran away with him. Sucks when your childhood hero and the person you are indirectly trying to avenge was lying to you all along.
  • Came Back Strong: Dustfinger and Mo come back to life with powers and insight they had not possessed before meeting Death.
  • Character Development:
    • Mo gets a whopping dose, especially in the last book. In the first book, he's a goofy and loving dad, if sad underneath, and while he may be physically imposing, he's a thoroughly nerdy Non-Action Guy. He starts to undergo some alarming changes in book 2, and by book 3 he is a complete badass, and sometimes just an ass. He finally does find a happy medium, though, going back to his old life as much as he can.
    • Dustfinger gets some — in a way — in Inkheart. While the character himself really doesn't change, the way Meggie (and the audience) perceives him develops over the course of the story. He goes from mysterious and creepy in the beginning, to mysterious and treacherous, to mysterious and sad at the end.
    • Elinor slowly but surely grows from a book-obsessed loner who dislikes people in general, to valuing people over her precious books, to being unable to live without what she never knew she was missing, relatives who love her.
    • Fenoglio gets the biggest chunk of his development in book 2, where he is humbled and ultimately devastated by the realization that, just because he wrote the book, doesn't mean he has ultimate power over it. He loses a lot of his arrogance, but he pretty much bounces back by the end of book 3.
  • Child Soldiers: Not one of Violante's devoted "army" is over fifteen.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Mostly discussed rather than actually used in the story, but some pretty gruesome stuff is described, and the worst part is that most mentioned are taken from actual history.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • In-universe, some catastrophic attempts to right wrongs in his story ends with Fenoglio losing all confidence and vowing never to write again. That doesn't last too long.
    • And in real life. Cornelia Funke's husband died of cancer in 2006, which almost certainly accounts for the much darker tone of Inkdeath and its themes of death, loss, and grief.
  • Creator Career Self-Deprecation: It probably wasn't an accident that the author made both of her writer characters (Fenoglio and Orpheus) arrogant jerks who put too much stock in their own importance and ability to change the fictional world around them to suit themselves. Though Fenoglio, at least, was a decent guy with good intentions.
  • Death of a Child:
    • Notably Dustfinger's youngest daughter, who never appears in the story because she died of fever while he was stranded in our world, and the kids who were killed in a riot in Inkdeath.
    • Also, Farid is brutally killed during a battle. He may be more of a subversion, though, because in that setting a boy of his age is thought of as a man anyway, and he doesn't actually stay dead very long.
    • Invoked and lampshaded in the film.
      Mo: Meggie, just pretend you're in a book. Children always survive in books.
      Meggie: No they don't. Remember The Little Match Girl? They found her in that alley frozen to death.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Between modern-day Earth and the medieval-inspired Inkworld. In spades.
  • Disappeared Dad: Dustfinger, through no fault of his own, though. He was accidentally magically summoned to our world and stuck there for ten years.
  • Disney Villain Death: Mortola a.k.a. The Magpie falls to her death in Inkdeath after she is struck by an arrow thrown by Orpheus while trying to fly away in her magpie form.
  • Distant Finale: The last scene is quite a few years after the previous events.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: When the Inkworld's incarnation of Death shows up in the final books, she shows no anger at Mo despite that he's trying to defy the natural order by bringing Dustfinger back without making another sacrifice — mostly noting that her daughters will miss him. She is actually willing to make a (hefty) bargain — if she revives Dustfinger, Mo has to ensure the Silver Prince's death by the end of the coming winter; if he fails, Dustfinger will die again and she will take Mo as well. While risky, she is upfront and honest about the deal, never reneges on it, and is perfectly personable throughout the conversation with him.
  • Doorstopper: Inkheart is just over 500 pages long and Inkspell and Inkdeath are almost 700 pages long. The trilogy as a whole is 217 chapters long, so if you read the entire trilogy reading one chapter a day, it would take you more than seven months to finish it.
  • The Dragon: Basta is Capricorn's dragon in the first book and the Piper is the Adderhead's dragon in the last two books
  • Dreams of Flying: Because his mother took the form of a swift while she was pregnant with him, Resa's son dreams of flying like a bird with his mother. The dreams are so realistic he sometimes can't tell them from reality.
  • Driven to Suicide: Discussed in Inkdeath. Elinor is so desperate not to be left alone that she threatens to drown herself in the lake to convince Darius to stay with her.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In Inkdeath, Mortola has been set up as a major villain, having tried to kill Meggie and the Black Prince — and nearly succeeding with the Prince — only to be struck by an arrow from Orpheus almost at random. She then falls to her death.
  • Drowning Pit: The dungeon of the castle in the lake in Inkdeath.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Shadow. It's immortal, invulnerable, created out of the ashes of countless sacrificed sentient beings, and it can kill with a mere touch.
  • Empathy Pet: Gwin, Dustfinger's "tame" marten. Has two tiny horns on its head, but is otherwise a normal animal.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Played straight with Jacopo — he is a rotten Spoiled Brat with a foul temperament and he looks up to his grandfather, wanting to rule... but he truly, utterly loves his (considerably kinder) mother Violante, and when Conflicting Loyalties start to (somewhat) come into play, he chooses his mother in the end. It's also hinted in the epilogue that Love Redeems and he might grow into a better person thanks to her tempering influence over him.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Capricorn doesn't love anyone but himself, least of all his mother, and even tries to hide the fact that his "maid" is even related to him. However, she loves him with an almost obsessive devotion that sends her over the edge when he is killed.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Played with. Mortola's love for her son sends her on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, but all the other villains love no one but themselves.
  • Famed In-Story: The Bluejay (Mortimer), Firedancer (Dustfinger), The Black Prince, Cosimo the Fair, etc. are all real people Shrouded in Myth thanks largely in part to Fenoglio's writing of heroic ballads after he was sent into his own story.
  • Fate Worse than Death: As several characters know, being dead is not unpleasant, so by the time of Inkdeath, the definition of "a fate worse than death" is much broader than you might think. Especially the Adderhead's declining health, and literal decomposition while still alive.
  • Foreshadowing: There is an unintentional (as Funke wasn't planning on writing any sequels at that point) bit of foreshadowing near the beginning of Inkheart where Mo playfully threatens to cut Dustfinger into "very thin slices" if he continues to tell Meggie scary stories. This becomes something of a Cerebus Retcon later on when Mo becomes Just Like Robin Hood and starts regularly cutting people to bits for real.
  • Fourth Wall Shut-In Story: The main characters are simply fans of the story, but the author himself got trapped in his own writing, too. He wasn't doing too badly there... for a time.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Orpheus goes from an annoying, self-absorbed minor character to a very powerful, very evil villain who is arguably just as scary and hateful as the story's official Big Bad.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Fenoglio falls out of a tree and is caught by a giant.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Dustfinger has three pale scars running across his face, courtesy of Basta.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: The robbers dress up as women to take captive children to safety.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: When Mo kills the Piper and when Dustfinger banishes the Night Mare.
  • Human Notepad: In the film, creatures conjured by the Big Bad have random lines of text covering portions of their body, and Meggie writes the words that kill Capricorn all over her arm.
  • Icon of Rebellion: The face of the commoners' uprising was the fabricated folk-hero, the Bluejay. He was known by his fairness, thieving, and mask rather than his face, but the songs of the Bluejay stirred public favor for the uprising without a face.
  • I Have Your Wife: Done several times to Mo over the course of the books.
  • Immortality Hurts: The Adderhead cannot die, but as the magical book that keeps him alive starts to decay, so does his body, keeping him in constant pain and discomfort.
  • Intrepid Fictioneer: Meggie, Orpheus, Dustfinger, Farid, Mo and Resa, Darius and Elinor all purposely send themselves into Inkheart at various points and for various reasons in the latter two books.
  • I Will Wait for You: Mo and Resa wait for each other in separate universes, though Meggie does recall Mo's halfhearted dating attempts. Dustfinger has no interest in anything about the real world, apparently including its women (save Resa, though nothing ever came of their relationship), and he wants nothing more than to get back to his home and family. Roxane, on the other hand, may have wanted to wait for Dustfinger, but the survival of her family depended on having a male protector/provider.
  • Karma Houdini: Orpheus, at the end of the series, escapes into the northern regions of the Inkworld and presumably escapes any retribution for his actions, although "it's hoped he froze to death". Unless Funke decides to write another book in the series, it's likely that he never receives any punishment... This trope was lampshaded by Fenoglio himself in the first book.
  • Large Ham: Orpheus, and Fenoglio at times. In The Film of the Book, Andy Serkis is clearly enjoying himself as Capricorn.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Elinor and Fenoglio in the later half of Inkdeath.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Violante is more like her father than she would ever admit, and her son Jacopo seems to be an even mix of his father and grandfather.
  • Living Shadow: Orpheus' Night-Mare (who is actually Basta's corrupt spirit) in the third book.
  • The Load: Elinor tags along and adds some color to the story, but she rarely does anything useful and often gets in the way, slows things down, or outright screws things up. The most useful she is in the story is in Inkdeath when she helps out as a nurse/babysitter and gets Fenoglio out of his slump by irritating and arguing with him and giving him the occasional good idea or kick up the back side he needs to get over himself for a few minutes.
  • Love Hurts: Elinor, Violante, Resa, Mo, Roxane, Dustfinger, and Meggie (and even Orpheus in his own twisted way) know how much love hurts whether because of loss or betrayal.
  • Macabre Moth Motif: Indeath's cover art depicts a pair of death's head hawk-moths as part of its prominent skull motif.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Inkheart: "I don't know much about killing, and I'm not about to learn for you." In Inkdeath: "I don't know much about killing, but for you I'd learn." Said by Dustfinger. These lines also mirror the change in tone between the first and third books.
  • Meaningful Name...or at least an Informed Meaningful Name, since if I were an aspiring Evil Overlord who wanted to choose an intimidating astrology-themed name for myself, it sure as hell wouldn't be Capricorn. Also goes for certain nicknames, like "Silvertongue" for Mo.
  • Meaningful Rename: Doesn't happen very much in-story, but paying attention to what each character is called in narration can tell the reader a lot about that character. This, of course, applies only to characters with multiple names, and especially to Mortimer, who is the most prone to taking on personas as the Story demands it. He's called Mo through most of the the first book, which is mainly from Meggie's point of view, where his main role is that of a father and protector. Different characters have different names for him, but watch out when even the narrator starts calling him Silvertongue or the Bluejay. Especially in Inkdeath, where what he is called by the narrator mirrors his struggle between being himself and playing a character in the story.
  • Missing Mom: Resa in Inkheart because she was Trapped in Another World. We also don't know what happened to Elinor's mother, only that she and her sisters were "raised" by her father.
  • Mr. Exposition: Dustfinger in book 1, when he tells Meggie just how incredibly evil Capricorn is supposed to be.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Singing calms an attacking giant in book 3.
  • Nerd Glasses: While the actual shape/condition of Darius's glasses isn't described, they are meant to add to his nerdiness.
  • Non-Action Guy: Mo is this at the very beginning, but Darius and Fenoglio remain non-action guys throughout the books.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Played with. Mortimer is not afraid of Death, but dying on the other hand... Especially because of the various creative methods that he's threatened with.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Each successive book makes huge, irrevocable changes in the characters' lives that they have to adapt to.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • There are several cases of this in the books: We are told that "Capricorn" is a name he gave himself, but we never know what his real name is. The same with Orpheus (who gets it double since Farid only calls him "Cheeseface"). The Magpie's real name is Mortola, but she is very rarely referred to that way in the first book. "The Adderhead" and "the Laughing Prince/Prince of Sighs" are names given to them by their subjects. Also the Barn Owl, Nettle, Firefox, Sootbird, the Piper, Flatnose, Cockerell, Cloud-Dancer, and the Black Prince, as well as all the robbers in Book 3. Finally, even though it's never mentioned that he has another name, Dustfinger could easily be an example of this as well. Since his world is full of regular names like Roxane, Basta, and Minerva, it's probably safe to assume that this is a nickname rather than what his parents named him.
    • Mortimer is an interesting variation of this. While most people call him by his proper name, Dustfinger, Capricorn, and the other characters from Inkheart refuse to call him anything but "Silvertongue", which he doesn't like. He is also known only by a nickname to his daughter, Meggie, who "had never called her father anything but 'Mo'", and his wife.
  • Only One Name: Many characters in the Inkworld, justified by it being modeled after medieval Europe where most people had only one name anyway, but there are also characters from our world that only have one name, such as Fenoglio and Darius.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Invoked in-universe.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Death's daughters, the White Women who appear to people before they die in the Inkworld, whispering their name and taking them to the land of death.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Actually not; they're smaller than some of the trees. They're definitely different from most fantasy giants, however.
  • Parental Neglect: Elinor's father thinks books need more attention than children. He's absent so much that, after he dies, his daughter barely registers any difference; it's just as if he's locked himself in the library as usual.
  • Parents in Distress
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Discussed. Fenoglio says that one solution to their problems is to give Elinor to the Adderhead and let her "talk him to distraction" until he just gives up.
  • Plain Name: In the Inkworld most women and children have regular names, but there are few men who don’t go exclusively by a nickname or title. Possibly justified, though, since they probably have regular names even if they go by something else.
  • Plot Armor: In-story. Fenoglio tries to reassure Meggie that Doria can’t die because Fenoglio has already written stories about the boy grown up.
  • Plot-Triggering Book: In Inkheart, Mo reads a book called Inkheart as a bedtime story for his daughter, which ends up resonating with his power to turn stories real when read aloud. Various characters from the book, including the Big Bad, end up appearing in the real world, along with Mo's wife getting dragged into the world of the book.
  • Portal Book: Technically, every single written work in existence, given someone with the right voice.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Shown in-universe with Orpheus making changes to the Inkworld as he sees fit.
  • Public Execution: One of the Adderhead's favorite forms of entertainment. As the Inkworld is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to medieval Italy, these are a common occurrence.
  • Purple Prose: Funke spends paragraphs on end describing the scenery and minute details of the world.
  • Reality-Writing Book: In a variation, Meggie and Mo can read things (and people) in and out of books.
  • Refugee from TV Land: Dustfinger constantly complains about all of the bad aspects of the Real World and wishes for Mo to read him back into Inkheart all through the first book. In the film, he doesn't seem to have much of a personality outside wanting to go home.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Doria becomes Meggie's boyfriend in Inkdeath after the harsh Ship Sinking that Meggie/Farid went through.
  • Rule of Symbolism: After the climax of Inkdeath, it starts snowing. The whiteness is explicitly compared to an unwritten page.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The first time the Adderhead ever feels "fear of another man" is when the fire reflecting off Orpheus's glasses obscures his eyes for a moment.
  • See-Thru Specs: Orpheus claims this about his own glasses to intimidate the people of the Inkworld, who have never seen spectacles before.
  • Shapeshifter: Death, Mortola, Resa, and her unnamed son at the very end.
  • Ship Sinking: After two novels of setup, the back-and-forth Meggie/Farid Ship hit a reef. In the beginning of Inkdeath: Meggie and Farid seem to be together, until a few chapters before the end... However, Farid and Meggie's relationship was gradually going downhill, with Farid constantly ignoring Meggie for Dustfinger's company, making out with countless other girls, and then expecting her to take him back the minute he happened to want her. Throughout the entire book, Doria was there for her when she needed someone most, so observant readers saw the shipwreck coming from the very beginning.
  • Ship Tease: Dustfinger and Resa, which is painfully teased throughout the trilogy. Not that anything could come of it since they're both happily married to other people, but their relationship is so extremely close that even Mo, Meggie, Farid, and Roxane at different points of the trilogy have their suspicions about it. It's in fact implied that there was something between Resa and Dustfinger while she was working as Capricorn's maid. However, she still loved her husband.
  • Shrinking Violet: Darius, though an atypical example as a grown man, is painfully shy and self-conscious, mainly because of his pronounced stutter. He is, of course, a nice and helpful guy, but doesn't ever really do much.
  • Sliding Scale Of Fate Vs Free Will: Type 2, where "fate" is the story written. The story maps out what each character will do, but the characters can defy it (Inkdeath) if they try or if outside events prevent the story’s regular course from continuing (Inkheart).
  • Speech Impediment: Darius has a stutter that worsens as he gets nervous or scared, which is nearly all the time when he's a prisoner of Capricorn. This severely affects his reading aloud for Capricorn, resulting in his being punished each time he reads something or someone out of a book. His stuttering while reading is the reason for Cockerel's limp, Resa's muteness, and (supposedly) Flatnose's ugly squashed face (though it's implied that, for once, Darius read Flatnose out perfectly, and his face just always looked like that).
  • The Starscream: The Adderhead is so hated, and apparently attracts ambitious and ruthless people, that many of the people closest to him are this, most notably Orpheus, as well as his own daughter, Violante, and even 7-year-old Jacopo!
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Resa dresses as a man during her time alone in the Inkworld and (being one of few people who can read and write) works as a market scribe.
  • Token Black Friend: Subverted. The Black Prince is Dustfinger's best friend, and he is black, but he doesn't fit the description of the role of "Token Black Friend" very well. He's much more of an independent character.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Mo starts to show signs of badassery in Inkspell, but there has been an obvious changed in the few months between the end of book 2 and the start of book 3.
    • The same goes for Orpheus, even though "badass" might not be the most appropriate word for him. His level of power, influence, and evilness, however, do take a huge spike in between books 2 and 3.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Resa and then Fenoglio are unwillingly and unintentionally sent into Inkheart, but they both find ways to cope in the Inkworld, though not how to get home by themselves.
  • Trilogy Creep: Inkdeath was intended to be the final installment of the "Inkheart Trilogy". However, the book did not received positive reception, with Funke's writing likely affected by her husband's recent passing. In 2020, 13 years after Inkdeath was published, Funke announced a new sequel (The Color of Revenge) that would serve as a continuation and a new finale for the series.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting becomes Involuntary Shapeshifting the longer you do it. This happens to Mortola and Resa. The power carries over to her unborn child, who continues to change years later.
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me: Resa fears that her unborn baby will be affected by her shapeshifting while pregnant. Turns out she was right.
  • Wild Card: Dustfinger in the first book and Violante in the third
  • Word Power: The whole point of the second and third book, even more than in the first. Meggie reads herself and Farid into the Inkworld with words written by herself. Later she saves Mo's life by reading and rereading a passage written by Fengolio how a father survives an almost fatal wound and always hears his daughter's voice. Later she sings and recites all the ballads about the Bluejay to protect Mo from being caught or hurt. And Orpheus—having no confidence in his own words—more or less steals Fengolio's words to put them together anew to manipulate the Inkworld as he wishes. And Fengolio writing Cosimo Back from the Dead ... let's say, in a world created by an author, words are more dangerous weapons than swords.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Pick any villain.

Tropes found in the movie:

  • Adaptation Personality Change: While Dustfinger was somewhat likable and had an understandable motive for what he did, he acts more selfish and isn't concerned about other people. He does go through some development and starts caring about Meggie and Farid.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Dustfinger's pet Gwin was changed from a horned marten in the books to a horned ferret in the film, likely for practical reasons since ferrets are easier to acquire and train.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Helen Mirren is riding a unicorn. Your argument is invalid.
  • Book Burning: After capturing Mo, Meggie and Elinor, Capricorn's men start a bonfire with Elinor's books, much to her horror.
  • Casting Gag: Paul Bettany's real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly, plays Dustfinger's wife, Roxane, in a cameo at the end of the movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Farid keeps asking Dustfinger to teach him "Dragon's Breath". In the finale, he masters it just in time to help Dustfinger burn down the castle. Meggie's wish to become a writer (and her practise writing stories about her missing mother) stands her in good stead to write The Shadow out of existence.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: It’s implied that after Dustfinger escapes from Capricorn’s village alone, he turns around to go save Meggie and Fenoglio.
  • Consummate Liar: In The Film of the Book, nearly everything that comes out of Capricorn's mouth is a lie. Even when he admits he was lying. It gets to the point where he mocks the heroes for being fooled... again.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Flatnose is surprised that Capricorn wants to execute Toto just for barking at him.
  • Flanderization: A few characters undergo this treatment.
    • Dustfinger's desire to go home pushes him to do things like lie about Resa's whereabouts in order to get another copy Inkheart and be read back into it. The bond he forged with Meggie in the book is completely ignored.
    • Elinor's bibliophilia is taken to an extreme degree when she and her family are captured by Capricorn's men. While she was upset over the destruction of her books in the novel, she showed earlier signs that she cared about what happened to Mo and Meggie.
  • Large Ham: Capricorn is deliciously hammy in the film adaptation.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Flatnose is a lot sillier in the movie than his book counterpart.
  • Parent Service: In The Film of the Book, Dustfinger's fire-breathing Shirtless Scene is absolutely this.
  • Pet the Dog: In a futile attempt to show his softer side to Meggie, Dustfinger pulls out her mother's copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the book burning pile and tries to give it to her. Meggie just glares at him.
  • The Queen's Latin: In The Film of the Book and the English audiobooks, all the characters are given various British accents despite all being explicitly Italian, implicitly German, or from an Italian Fantasy Counterpart Culture. Or the Arabian Nights.
  • Sequel Hook: Blink and you might miss it but, although the film mostly tied up loose ends (unlike the novel) with Dustfinger returning home, and Farid staying with Meggie, it did leave one aspect intact - Basta and Mortola are not shown dying onscreen unlike the other major villains, suggesting that if the film had produced any sequels they might have followed on with their stories as they were written. Of course, the film bombing made this a moot point.
  • Ship Tease: When they're on screen together, Meggie and Farid have some of this. Given what happens in Inkdeath, Farid/Meggie shippers may enjoy these moments.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Mortola keeps the key to Resa's chains in her cleavage.

Alternative Title(s): Inkheart, Inkdeath, Inkspell