The Musketeers is a television series from the BBC, loosely based on the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Similar to previous BBC shows Robin Hood and Merlin, it is not a direct adaptation of the original storyline but uses the characters and setting for various adventures.
The main cast includes Luke Pasqualino (d'Artagnan), Tom Burke (Athos), Howard Charles (Porthos), Santiago Cabrera (Aramis), Maimie McCoy (Milady de Winter), Peter Capaldi (Cardinal Richelieu), and debuting in the second series, Marc Warren (Comte de Rochefort).
The first series began airing in January 2014 and that February the show was renewed for a second series, but without Capaldi who took on the role of the Doctor on Doctor Who. The second series began airing in January 2015, and the show was renewed for a third and final series in February.
See here for more adaptations.
This series provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The first episode of the second series makes a big deal about how the dead Richelieu left all kinds of plans for posthumous revenge on the Musketeers and specifically how he suspected that Aramis was the Dauphin's father. Absolutely nothing comes of this at all, and when Louis comes to know about the affair in the third season it's purely because he finally worked it out for himself.
- The Ace: Athos thinks d'Artagnan has it in him to be this, and calls Captain Treville out in 1.08 for not making him a Musketeer despite his skill.
- Action Dress Rip: A rare male example in the third season premiere, in which Aramis tears his monk's habit so he can better manoeuvre in battle.
- Actor Allusion:
- According to the mob in Emilie, Santiago Cabrera looks kind of Spanish.
- Once again a character played by Santiago Cabrera finds himself in love with an unattainable Queen.
- Peter Capaldi plays an amoral, high-ranking political officer who schemes and plots for both his and the country's benefits. Really, the only difference between Cardinal Richelieu and Malcolm Tucker is that the former doesn't swear and has even less scruples than the latter.
- In episode 8, Richelieu tells the murderous thug Labarge, "Your reputation for violence is established. Now put it to use." Labarge is played by sometime soccer thug turned hard-guy actor, Vinnie Jones.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Richelieu was for the most part a Worthy Opponent for the musketeers, at times bordering on Friendly Enemy. Here, the cardinal has his mistress murdered for disloyalty in the very first episode to establish his ruthlessness, in the mid-season generally seems to be on the side of stable government, sometimes collaborating with the main characters, and in the final episodes, well and truly Jumps Off The Slippery Slope by trying to have the Queen killed for not being fertile enough.
- And in the second season, Rochefort is also much more villainous than he was in the novel, to the point of actually betraying his king and country to spy for the Spanish crown.
- Always on Duty: The four main Musketeers; nobody else seems to do anything. Somewhat justified, since King Louis seems fond of them and likely requests their services for all the important jobs.
- Amazon Brigade: The Musketeers stumble across a village full of these during Series 3. Thanks to war, these women have been left to fend for themselves. The Musketeers quickly learn these woman are more than capable of defending themselves against anyone who tries to harm them.
- Anachronism Stew: The daughter of Count von Mellendorf warns the King in Episode 10 Series 1 that 'his many relatives and friends in Sweden and Prussia' would not be happy if anything happened to him. Prussia won't exist for another 70 years and Sweden is already emproiled in the 30 years war.
- And This Is for...: D'Artagnan does this when whipping Marcheaux with a chain before killing him, mentioning first his getting Sylvie publicly whipped by framing her for printing broadsides mocking the Queen, then the bombing of the garrison, and finally just his own satisfaction.
- Attempted Rape: In episode 1.10 Milady states to d'Artagnan this was the reason why she killed Athos's younger brother Thomas, which resulted in Athos sentencing her to hang. However this was not mentioned as a reason for the murder in an earlier conversation between her and Athos in 1.03. At that point Athos accused her of killing Thomas because he discovered her true identity. She did not refute the accusation, claiming Thomas was "a fool and a hypocrite and deserved to die" and she did it "to protect our love!"
- In 2.05, Baron Renard captures Jeanne and ties her to a bed for his son to rape (and apparently his friends too), but the Musketeers free her in time.
- At the end of 2x08, after Rochefort's Anguished Declaration of Love to Queen Anne, he does this. He is fortunately interrupted by Constance, but not before being stabbed in the eye by Anne with her hairpin.
- Audible Sharpness: When swords are drawn, as is common for swashbuckler media but not in real life.
- Automaton Horses: Averted in "Commodities" when Bonnaire tries to escape by galloping off on his horse. After a few miles the horse comes to a dead stop and refuses to go any further because it's too tired. When d'Artagnan catches up he smugly points out that if Bonnaire hadn't overworked the horse he might have escaped.
- Badass in Distress: All the Musketeers, including Treville, take their turn, but it happens most with Aramis.
- Beard of Evil: Cardinal Richelieu sports a moustache and goatee, like in real life. Then again, so do many other characters, good or evil.
- Becoming the Mask: Heavily implied with Milady when she was married to Athos, which explains why she's so obsessed with getting revenge on him after he ordered her execution.
- Berserk Button: Slaves are a touchy subject with Porthos since his mother was a slave.
- Probably best to steer clear of anything involving Athos's wife or his brother around him.
- Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: D'Artagnan is tricked into this.
- Betty and Veronica: Constance Bonacieux and Milady for d'Artagnan.
- Monsieur Bonacieux (her husband) and d'Artagnan for Constance.
- King Louis and Aramis for Queen Anne.
- Series 2 gives us King Louis and Rochefort for Queen Anne as well as Queen Anne and Milady de Winter for King Louis and Lady Marguerite and the Queen for Aramis, turning the whole thing into a Love Dodecahedron.
- Big Brother Instinct: The older musketeers for d'Artagnan. Especially in 1.04 where ex-musketeer Marsac made a threatening move towards d'Artagnan and Porthos immediately stepped between them and warned him to not go there if he enjoyed breathing. And from the Death Glare Athos was giving Marsac in the background, he would have done the same.
- Big Damn Kiss: Happens between Athos and Milady in 2.09, after two seasons' worth of unresolved romantic tension and complete with swelling orchestral music.
- Blood on These Hands: Played literally in 2.07. After Monsieur Bonacieux is killed, d'Artagnan goes to break the news to Constance, with Bonacieux's blood all over his hands, and then hers too when she reaches out for d'Artagnan. This represents d'Artagnan's guilt at deliberately hesitating over whether he should help Bonacieux.
- Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Pauline in 3.04.
- Bo Diddley Beat: The theme tune opens with a heavily stressed use, to help imply that this isn't a traditional costume drama adaptation of the stories.
- Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Vadim and his gang in the second episode want to blow up the King and Queen but he's really planning a royal treasure heist. Cartoon Bombs are used because of the time period.
- Bound and Gagged: Various characters throughout the series. The Spanish Governor of a Prison in 2.01. In 2.05 happens to Jeanne.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: Constance does this to d'Artagnan so her husband doesn't have him executed on the Cardinal's orders when he discovers their affair.
- British Brevity: Three 10-episode series over three years.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Lebarge's reaction to d'Artagnan's accusations about the burning of the latter's farm.D'Artagnan: You burned down my farm.Lebarge: I've burned down a lot of farms. What makes you think I can remember yours?
- Card Sharp: Porthos is introduced playing at cards with a Cardinal's Guard. He's accused of cheating, and a fight ensues, but the guy was right.
- Casting Gag: In the Japanese dub, Aramis is voiced by Yūichi Nakamura, who already dubbed a movie about The Three Musketeers, except that time, he voiced the Big Bad, The Duke of Buckingham (played by Orlando Bloom).
- The Cavalry: Downplayed in the ninth episode when Treville shows up to help Athos and Aramis, who are under siege at a convent. Unfortunately, since all the other musketeers were out on a hunting trip, the only men he brought with him besides Porthos and d'Artagnan were an old man, a one-eyed old man, and the stable boy. Oh, and Treville himself is still recovering from an injury he received in the previous episode.
- Chained to a Bed: Jeanne in 2.05, so Baron Renard's son Edmund can rape her. The Musketeers rescue her in time.
- Chekhov's Classroom: D'Artagnan in the eighth episode, where Athos tells him that his main weakness as a swordsman is his tendency to let his heart rule his head. D'Artagnan struggles with this lesson for a while, and as you would have it faces off against a foe who tries to provoke him using insults in a duel later in the episode.
- Chekhov's Gun: A literal gun in the first episode. Aramis leaves his pistol in his lover's house and it leads to her death... in fact, it's actually used to kill her.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The guy who Porthos cheated at a card game was an accomplice to the Evil Plan of the first episode.
- The City Narrows: The court of miracles is a Wretched Hive if there ever was one, and based on reality to boot.
- Clear Their Name: In the first episode, Musketeers are framed for murder and robbery, harming their reputation in the King's eyes, and Athos in particular is arrested. Aramis and Porthos set out to clear his name and that of the corps. D'Artagnan becomes involved to avenge his father, who was one of those murdered.
- Porthos in episode 5, after being found passed out drunk next to a dead man, his gun and a melon.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: as always, the Cardinal's guards in red and black and the Musketeers in blue.
- Combat Medic: Aramis. In addition to providing the necessary needlework on battle wounds, he has shown an in interest in forensics and demonstrated a working knowledge of how to treat a victim of poisoning.
- Composite Character: At the end of Series 3, Aramis seems to take over the role of real-life Cardinal Mazarin, Richelieu's chosen successor, first minister, very close to Queen Anne, a tutor and father figure for young King Louis XIV.
- Crash-Into Hello: How d'Artagnan meets Constance Bonacieux, followed by a Fake-Out Make-Out to escape pursuers.
- Crazy-Prepared: Vadim in the second episode. In case d'Artagnan managed to get free of a room full of explosives with a lit fuse, he rigged the door to start a lot of secondary fuses.
- Create Your Own Villain: In 1.10. Athos thinks he made Milady into what she is by hanging her. Before they were married, she was just a professional thief. After he hanged her for murdering his brother, she joined up with the Cardinal and become a professional spy and assassin.
- Crusading Widow: Catherine, who had been betrothed to Tomas, Athos' younger brother. Once Athos tells her that Milady is still alive and living it up as the King's mistress, she immediately leaves Pinon with nothing but her late fiance's firearms, declaring she 'cannot breathe in the same world with [Athos'] wife while she still lives.'
- Da Chief: Captain Treville fills this role for the Musketeers. Even after he gets demoted by the King, he's still called Captain by the other Musketeers.
- Dark Action Girl: Milady.
- Deadly Bath: Milady kills a Spanish envoy this way in an inn, then pins the blame on d'Artagnan, who was staying in the same inn.
- Deadpan Snarker: All of the main Musketeers (including Captain Treville), Cardinal Richelieu, Constance and Milady demonstrate this quality frequently, but the master of the trope is undoubtably Athos.Athos: If you'd told us what you were doing, we might have been able to plan this properly.Aramis: Yes, sorry.Athos: No, no, by all means, let's keep things suicidal.
- Death by Adaptation: D'Artagnan's father, yet again, like in the 1993 and 2001 movie versions.
- Destination Defenestration: Aramis offers unwanted advice to an Ax-Crazy fanatic in 2.06 and gets treated to a non-fatal example.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Invoked when d'Artagnan accidentally reveals his love for Constance. Luckily for him, she reciprocates the feeling.
- Dies Wide Open: Isabelle/Sister Helen in Knight Takes Queen. The Mother Superior closes her eyes.
- Also Lady Marguerite and Rochefort in the series 2 finale. With Rochefort those present deliberately leave his eyes open - the implication being he doesn't deserve that level of respect.
- Dirty Old Cardinal: Richelieu, despite being a high-ranking man of the cloth, has absolutely no qualms about his desire for beautiful women. (This is not only Truth in Television for the real Richelieu - he was reportedly quite a playa' - but for many Catholic priests and monks through the ages.)
- Dishonoured Dead: In the second season, the Queen prevents anyone from respectfully closing the eyes of the dead Count Rochefort, who among a whole lot of other evil things attempted to rape her.
- Disney Death: Aramis's teenage friend Luc gets pointlessly stabbed by the thug holding him hostage, but turns out to have been wearing a home-made breastplate under his habit.
- Distressed Dude: The first episode revolves around Athos getting framed and jailed, and the other Musketeers have to rescue him.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Emilie of Duras is a prophetess given visions from God who rides around France on a horse wearing armor and a sword with throngs of adoring fans willing to cause great disturbances in her name. It's even noted in-universe that some people call her "the next Joan d'Arc". This turns out to be in-universe; her mother is drugging her to produce the "visions" and presumably shaping her image to invoke Joan.
- At one point, we see Grimaud cooking something gummy in a spoon over a candle flame for Ferron. Despite Ferron's opiate habit, he's actually melting some wax to seal a letter.
- Doomed New Clothes: In 1.09, during a practice fight, d'Artagnan wanted to keep his new uniform as clean as possible. Porthos and Athos did their very best to get scratches and dirt all over it, much to d'Artagnan's dismay.
- The Dragon: Milady to the Cardinal in Series 1; initially Grimaud to Feron before his arguable Heel–Face Turn, then Marcheaux to Grimaud.
- Dragon Ascendant: Grimaud first appears to be The Dragon who did Feron's Dirty Business, but he never hesitates to harm th men he supports and is the actual main antagonist of Series 3. See also: Milady was The Dragon to the Cardinal in Series 1... And unlike him, she's still alive by the end of the series.
- Dramatic Drop: In 1.10, Cardinal Richelieu dropped the paper he was holding when he realized Queen Anne heard his confession to ordering her assassination.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: The second series opens with Richelieu's funeral after he dies of natural causes.
- Louis was dying anyway but 3.08 sees him suddenly cough up blood and drop down dead before the intro even rolls.
- Drowning My Sorrows: In his first scene, Athos's room is strewn with wine bottles, and later he doesn't carouse with the rest, drinking alone and thinking of his lost love.
- Dual Wielding: Several different instances:
- Porthos seems to have the habit to dual wield pistols when he's up to assault a place. He's done this in the 2 first episodes.
- Several characters fight with a rapier and a dagger, Athos and d'Artagnan in their first duel, for instance.
- Aramis wields a short musket and a pistol in episode 1.02 and the intro.
- Porthos and Aramis fight with a rapier and a pistol in episode 1.02.
- During the Musketeers vs Red Guards fight at the end of episode 1.08, Aramis ends up wielding two rapiers after taking one from an opponent by flipping it up from the ground with his foot and wielding it with his left hand.
- Luke Pasqualino and Santiago Cabrera discuss their characters' Dual Wielding in 2.05 towards the end of this Behind the Scenes interview
- Due to the Dead: Averted for Rochefort. Aramis moves to show his respects, but the Queen stops him. "No, Aramis. Not for him." Kind of understandable.
- Duel to the Death:
- In the first episode, d'Artagnan seeks out Athos at the Musketeer headquarters and forces him to duel. Athos doesn't want to hurt him, but he keeps attacking, so Aramis and Porthos intervene and it becomes three against one until he's disarmed.
- The second episode starts with d'Artagnan duelling another man. They are interrupted by the Cardinal's Guards because duelling is illegal. D'Artagnan is arrested and imprisoned, while the other guy escapes. It's a ploy by the Musketeers and the Cardinal to get d'Artagnan in the same cell with the notorious criminal Vadim, so that he can spy on him.
- Dying Curse: Bonacieux curses both d'Artagnan and Constance before he dies, telling d'Artagnan that they are both 'doomed' and will never be happy.
- Dysfunction Junction:
- Athos is a Heartbroken Badass from having to execute his wife Milady after she had killed his brother.
- Aramis was one of only two survivors from the Savoy massacre (and the other deserted immediately after the massacre).
- Porthos' mother was a former slave who committed suicide when he was young, and he grew up in poverty as a supposed orphan. The second season reveals that Porthos and his mother were abandoned in the slums at the request of his father who is still alive.
- And d'Artagnan is orphaned before the opening credits of the first episode.
- Elite Army: The King's Musketeers and the Cardinal's Red Guards.
- Enemy Mine: Richelieu, Treville and the Musketeers have to work together to protect the king and queen on several occasions; surprisingly there's relatively little Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- D'Artagnan fights off two men attempting to rob him and proceeds to hunt down the person he believed murdered his father, showing his talent at swordsmanship and how he lets his emotions rule over his head.
- Athos wakes up with an extreme hangover surrounded by empty bottles and promptly sticks his head in a bucket of freezing water, hinting at a darker past but puts on his uniform anyways to do his duty as a Musketeer and to gather up his friends.
- Porthos as the Boisterous Bruiser beats a Red Guard at cards, is accused of cheating, fights off the Guard with a fork and laughs his way throughout the whole thing.
- Aramis, being a romantic at heart, first appears in bed with the Cardinal's mistress and his reckless love of danger is then immediately showcased when he needs to escape as the Cardinal returns and is shown hanging by his fingertips from the lady's upstairs bedroom window (and grinning like an idiot when Athos and Porthos catch him at it).
- Constance is introduced when d'Artagnan needs cover and uses a complete stranger for a Fake Out Makeout. She then proceeds to kick him very painfully, grab a knife, and threaten him should he touch her again, establishing that she is a Plucky Girl. It swiftly changes tone when d'Artagnan starts looking like he's going to pass out and she expresses concern. He wakes up in her house with her semi-reluctantly tending to him, showing that she's also a kind and compassionate person even when she has reservations.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Baron Renard in 2.05. He's spent the last several months (if not years) terrorizing the villagers living in Athos' lands, burning and poisoning their crops. He thinks himself better than the ordinary folk, likening them to animals and lesser beings (and considers Athos as such when he voluntarily renounces his title). He also has no qualms about kidnapping young peasant girls and having them gang-raped under his orders, even saying that he gets pleasure from their screams. And yet he clearly loves his only son Edmund, and howls with grief when he gets killed by Catherine after the fight for Pinon.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The fake Princess Louise of Mantua - professional assassin and spy - detests men who beat their wives. Which is why she's so quick to shoot Bonacieux in the stomach with a crossbow after she sees him slap Constance.
- Richelieu turns out to be the one who refused to pay the ransom to release Rochefort from the Spanish, as he felt (despite Rochefort's loyalty to him) that Rochefort was too dangerous to save.
- Evil Chancellor: Richelieu, the Prime Minister. Somewhat of an Anti-Villain since he believes he's acting for the good of France, and he doesn't seek the throne for himself (unlike some adaptations). But he is bent on controlling it, and will coldly mete out death to further his ends.
- Rochefort takes this role in Series 2, but he plays it a lot straighter.
- Evil Matriarch: Marie de Medicis, who Louis banished for trying to overthrow him. She is still planning to overthrow him using the infant son of Louis' deformed twin, and rule France through him. This largely seems to be Truth in Television, apart for the secret son and grandson.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: The Spanish clearly believed they could use Rochefort to further their own goals by appointing him as their agent in France. They realise too late that he's too unstable and brutal to control.
- Exact Words: Done nastily by the King in the second episode of the second season, to the disgust of the Musketeers. He offers "clemency" to one of the slavers who helps him escape in the end (largely for self-serving reasons), but the "clemency" turns out to be having him stabbed to death instead of slowly and painfully publicly executed for treason.
- Eyepatch of Power: Rochefort wears one starting 2x09. He sustained his injury in his Attempted Rape of Queen Anne.
- Eye Scream: As Rochefort's Attempted Rape is interrupted, his would-be victim Queen Anne stabs him in the eye with her hairpin. This is an homage and gives the audience that Shout-Out to Christopher Lee's Rochefort who was the first to wear the Eyepatch of Power that has almost become a staple for the character.
- Face Death with Dignity: Both Constance and Queen Anne accept their would-be executions with solemn serenity, until some Big Damn Heroes moment kick in.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: D'Artagnan and Constance Bonacieux twice.
- Faking the Dead: Athos faked his death in 1.10.
- False Flag Operation: Richelieu's men ambush a troop of Musketeers on a secret diplomatic mission, steal their uniforms, and commit crimes to make the Musketeer corps look bad. The King is uncritical enough to consider disbanding them.
- False Roulette: While sweating a perp in the first episode, Aramis goes through the motions of shooting him with his musket. The scene has a short Truth in Television speech by Aramis about the musket's inaccuracy at long ranges, so he takes aim at very close range.
- Femme Fatale: Milady, the alluring agent of the Cardinal. She seduces d'Artagnan in short order.
- Finger in the Mail: When the Spanish ambassador bribes Rochefort's prostitute to assassinate him, he receives her severed ear in a box as proof his plan failed.
- Fire-Forged Friends: How d'Artagnan and the other Musketeers became friends, after he mistakenly believed Athos murdered his father and duelled Athos and the others for it and then decided to help Aramis and Porthos clear Athos's name.
- First-Name Basis: Only the King can call Cardinal Richelieu Armand. So can his mistress.
- Foreshadowing: Ferron's voiceover at the beginning of 3:6 about how the day you die always begins normally. He's the one who dies.
- Frame-Up: Subverted. While it's true that Queen Anne and Aramis slept together (and he might be the Dauphin's father), their accuser - Rochefort - doesn't want them punished because they broke the law, but because Anne rejected him and fought off his sexual assault. Then there's the fact that he plans to implicate them both in the poisoning of the King.
- Freudian Trio: Among the original trio with Porthos as the Id, Aramis as the Ego and Athos as the Superego. A change from the novel, where a more calculating Aramis fits the role of Superego, and a less damaged Athos plays the part of the Ego.
- Friendly Sniper: Aramis is the best shot in the Musketeer regiment, and more often than not he's quite cheerful about it.
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": Only Aramis, Porthos, d'Artagnan and Treville knew that Athos wasn't dead. While Treville was attempting to be solemn as he delivered the eulogy, Aramis and Porthos were snarking in the background.
- Genius Bonus: The name of Porthos' mother is revealed to be Marie-Cessette in 'The Prodigal Father'. Marie-Cessette was the name of Alexandre Dumas African slave grandmother.
- Genius Bruiser: Porthos, at least for the time period. A former street urchin who taught himself to read and write and has enough general knowledge to drop names like Nostradamus in casual conversation.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: In "The Return", just about every character at some point dresses Athos down for wallowing in his wangst about the past rather than dealing with his peasants' problems.
- Ghost Extras: The silent, nameless Musketeers that hang around the barracks, are occasionally used as cannon fodder and are otherwise completely ignored by the main cast.
- Give Away the Bride: When d'Artagnan and Constance get married, Athos is tasked with walking the bride down the aisle.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Aramis and Athos play these parts when questioning Vadim's mistress. Athos is quietly threatening and Aramis flirts sympathetically.
- Good Is Not Soft: Most of the Musketeers are fairly friendly and amiable people to be around but when duty calls or if you get on their bad side, be prepared for the worst.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Aramis has a few on his body, the ladies think it makes him look dashing.
- Also Porthos, with one over his eye.
- Group Hug: In the finale.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: The characters in this show have much more shades of grey than it is usual for a cape and sword drama. Richelieu is an egoistical corrupt murderer who does genuinely care for his king and for France, Treville is an honourable soldier who will do dirty jobs and agree to lie to the king "for his own good", d'Artagnan is a hot-head who pursues a married woman, Aramis is a serial seducer who slept with a queen, which is nothing short than high treason and almost all characters have their merits and their flaws morality-wise.
- Happy Flashback: When Athos returns to Pinon he stares out at the meadows and recalls his happiness with his wife Anne (who would become Milady de Winter).
- Hard Head: Too many examples to list. Suffice it to say, people get knocked out a lot on this show and never suffer adverse effects from it unless it's funny.
- Heartbroken Badass: Athos.
- Heel–Face Turn: After spending much of the third series planning to off Louis, Ferron, Louis's bastard half-brother, finds out that Louis loves and respects him and he stands up to Grimaud, saying he would no longer take part in their plan. He lasts less than a minute after saying this.
- Heroic BSoD: Athos shuts down in episode 3 when he finds out his wife Milady whom was executed turned out to be alive.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Tariq blows himself and the cyphering machine up so that neither the Spanish or the French get his super-explosive formula.
- Historical Beauty Update: Inevitable, considering the source material and the cast, but quite played up with Marie de Medicis: it's pretty much testing the Willing Suspension of Disbelief to portray a Rubensesque middle-aged royalty◊ into the Rosa Klebb-ish plotter who carries on an affair with her bodyguard that we saw Tara Fitzgerald portray◊.
- Hollywood Costuming: The Cardinal's day-to-day wardrobe is mostly black (playing up the Sinister Minister aspect), while the traditional bright red Cardinal's robes are reserved for public ceremonies and processions. This is in contrast to most depictions which have him wear the red robes at all times.
- Truth in Television: The Cardinal didn't historically wear his bright red robes all the time, and there's several paintings where he's one of the main focal points and wasn't wearing his robes.
- Seventeenth century costumes (at least for the upper classes) were fairly flamboyant, brightly coloured suits with lots of ruffled lace and feathered hats. To the modern eye, this might look a bit silly as outfits for action heroes (which to be fair to the historical French Musketeers, they were◊, so the musketeers here wear biker leather outfits in dark colours, including anachronistic leather trousers.
- Hollywood History: The third episode seems to imply that Porthos and Aramis are not members of the nobility. It's quite unrealistic that, at this period of French history, someone without a noble background could have embarked upon a military career, up to becoming a musketeer. This is especially true for Porthos, since it's now canon that his mother was a former slave from Africa and that he was a street urchin in his youth.
- However, the Musketeers of the Guard were not reserved for the nobility; they did, however, require evidence that the applicant had the financial means to support themselves, and a letter of recommendation. This ironically means that Porthos and Aramis might well be eligible, regardless of background.
- And the dates of birth and death of significant historical figures take quite a knock to satisfy cast changes and other plot lines. Notably the death of Cardinal Richelieu and the birth of the Dauphin (who may be the future King Louis XIV, although Queen Anne historically miscarried in the 1631 time frame, so the dauphin could equally represent that lost baby).
- While the Dauphin (and future King Louis XVI) was four years old when his father died, he's six years old in Series 3 when King Louis finally succumbs to "white plague".
- Hollywood Tactics: Series 3 opens with French cavalry charging a line of Spanish pike-and-shot, supported by cannon. For those of you unfamiliar with such tactics, that's like trying to stop a firing squad by headbutting the bullets. It doesn't end well. We soon learn that the French charge was supposed to be supported by artillery, but they're out of gunpowder. Which also explains the lack of rifles on their side.note
- Horrible Judge of Character: King Louis becomes convinced Rochefort is a loyal hero and the only one he can really trust, thus alienating everyone else. In fact, Rochefort wants him dead.
- He also believes that his half-brother Ferron is one of the only truly loyal people left to him though Ferron has been planning the king's downfall for ages. Ferron changes his mind about killing Louis and dies at Grimaud's hand as a result. Louis never finds out about Ferron's traitorous nature.
- Hot-Blooded: One of d'Artagnan's main traits. In the first episode, he recklessly challenged Athos to a duel to death, whom he mistakenly believed murdered his father and attacked Porthos and Aramis when they stepped in to stop the fight.
- I Call It "Vera": Old Serge named his blunderbuss "Cleopatra."Serge: Been responsible for more deaths than her namesake.Porthos: Looks just as ancient.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Lemay comes out with "I'm a doctor, not an alchemist", when asked to determine if some soup was drugged or not.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The show constantly depicts characters pulling off ridiculously accurate shots with smooth-bored, muzzle-loading weapons.
- Improvised Lockpick: In one episode, Aramis picks the lock of some manacles with a cross attached to his rosary beads.
- Improvised Weapon: Porthos uses a fork after his sword is nabbed by his opponent. And in a later episode, Athos and Aramis beat up some Red Guards using the books of the Comtesse De Larroque's library.
- Indy Ploy: In contrast to Richelieu's complex plans, Rochefort does evil stuff on the spur of the moment and somehow makes it work out for him. That's not to say Rochefort doesn't have his own plans, or is a in anyway bad at, he just very good at improvisation.
- Inter-Service Rivalry: The Musketeers and the Red Guard hate each other's guts and would love nothing more than to see the other fail. It doesn't help that their leaders, Treville and Cardinal Richelieu, appear to have a rivalry of their own.
- Ironic Name: Baron Renard is not a super-intelligent Magnificent Bastard, but a Stupid Evil thug who is simultaneously one of the nastiest and least subtle villains to appear in the show.
- It's Personal: Out of all the Musketeers, Athos is singled out to be framed and executed because his wife Milady, who he believes dead (by his orders), is among those behind the plot.
- Jail Break: D'Artagnan gets himself into one, which involves a Mexican Standoff and the Queen herself being taken hostage.
- This is the plot of 2.01, with the rescue of a French general from a Spanish prison.
- Milady does this for Aramis in 2.10.
- Jerkass: Being the king, Louis is prone to being a spoilt brat, and a jerk to those around him.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After the events of 1.07, in which the Cardinal barely survives an assassination attempt from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Richelieu declares that he will abandon all pretense of serving others ("No person...no nation...no God will stand in my way...") to further his own ambitions. He begins in spectacular fashion in 1.09, by attempting to have the Queen assassinated.
- Arguably Rochefort towards the end of Series 2 - after the Queen rejects his Anguished Declaration of Love and fights off his advances, he loses his rag a little and begins racking up the body count, even at one point declaring himself God.
- Jumping on a Grenade: Aramis in episode 2. But since it's a Cartoon Bomb he's able to smother the fuse.
- Just Following Orders: Said by one of the Cardinal's henchmen when he is found out.
- Used by Captain Treville in episode 4.
- Used as an excuse by Captain Marcheaux in Series 3.
- Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Porthos's father murders his son-in-law for purely selfish and personal reasons, even though the son in law was a violent, murdering pimp.
- King Incognito: Deconstructed in episode 2 of the second season. The King goes out incognito with the Musketeers for a night on the town, against everyone's advice, and by chance gets kidnapped by slavers. The result is a horrible mess with a huge body count, and Louis completely fails to learn any kind of decency, compassion, or humility. He ends up blaming the Musketeers for the whole thing as well.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In 2.07, Bonacieux hits Constance when she tells him she wants to be with d'Artagnan, and orders her back home, even if he has to drag her from the palace himself. Its him going back to later try and enact this threat, that leads to him getting shot with a crossbow and bleeding to death before the end of the episode.
- Leave Behind a Pistol: In episode 5, Treville does this for Emile de Mauvoisin once the latter's plot falls through and he signs a confession. Which is a bit jarring since, as a devout Catholic in seventeenth century France, the very thought of suicide should be repugnant to him, to say nothing of blowing his brains out without attempting to gain absolution from a priest. The whole 'eat a gun to regain my honor' branch of thought didn't come along until later.
- On the other hand, the episode implies that he may have not been as concerned about religion as he tried to appear. It's also possible that he was too desperate to think clearly and only wanted to escape the hopeless situation. It's obvious that suicides still happened despite the common attitude toward them (otherwise there wouldn't have been a reason to combat them so harshly) so the urge must exist in people despite the fear of heavenly (or secular) punishment or disgrace. Treville's actions are harder to explain.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In the first episode, after Aramis, Porthos and d'Artagnan sneak into the mooks' hideout, d'Artagnan rushes out shouting right after Aramis tells the rest to wait for his signal.
- Lethal Chef: In Knight Takes Queen, Queen Anne attempts to be helpful to her rescuers by cooking some fish. She thoroughly burns them. The musketeers are too chivalrous to make a mention of it, forcing themselves to eat their respective portions and making up an excuse when she offers them more. To be fair, it was her first time cooking, ever.
- Like Brother and Sister: Word of God states that Louis XIII and Queen Anne are this, when they're not at odds with each other. Which is a bit awkward, considering they've been married ten years and still haven't produced an heir..
- A bit Truth in Television in this case, Louis and Queen Anne had apparently a quite poor sexual relationship.
- Lover's Ledge: Aramis is left clinging to a window ledge in the "Friends and Enemies" episode after Adele's other lover, the Cardinal Richelieu, arrives home early.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: It's heavily implied in 1.10 that Aramis, rather than King Louis, is the father of the child Queen Anne is carrying. Cardinal Richelieu suspected this as well, and left a chilling message for Aramis after his death to say that he knows all his secrets.
- Manchild: Louis is pretty much one of these; naive, childish, and prone to temper tantrums and storming off when he doesn't get his own way.
- Man Hug: In 1.08, after d'Artagnan defeats Lebarge and finally becomes an official Musketeer, d'Artagnan proceeds to hug Aramis, Porthos and Athos.
- A Group Hug version is done in 1.10.
- The Man Makes the Weapon: As described above, Porthos's Establishing Character Moment has him fighting with a fork.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Downplayed, but you'd still be forgiven for thinking that Athos, Porthos, Aramis and d'Artagnan make up the entire regiment.
- Manipulative Bastard: Porthos's father tries to poison him against Treville and persuade him to kill his brother-in-law (who probably deserved it, but the motivation was purely selfish).
- Rochefort is a much better example, his main tactic is to learn everyone's secrets, desires or weaknesses then play them like a violin. He's so good he quickly has the king around his finger, and even the Musketeers are left with no idea just how dangerous a man he is until the very end.
- Maternity Crisis: Elodie gives birth to Marie-Cessette in the middle of a battle.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In 2.04, a woman named Emilie of Duras has visions that she claims are from God, ordering her to bring her peasant army to attack Spain. After Constance suffers a nightmare when she drinks soup from Emilie's bowl, Aramis discovers that Emilie's visions were caused by her mother deliberately poisoning her with a hallucinogenic drug. However, it's implied that Constance's dream (which foretold the death of King Louis - which is Rochefort's ultimate aim, as he plans to rule over France with Anne) may be a real premonition.
- Men of Sherwood: Whenever they appear, the rest of the Musketeers regiment is just as effective on the battlefield.
- The Mistress: Being a Cardinal certainly doesn't stop Richelieu from having a mistress, Adele Bessett. Not that she lasts too long ...
- Milady becomes Louis's mistress in Series 2.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: In 2.07 Sophia Martinez shoots Bonacieux when he stumbles upon her assassination attempt. She later claims this was to do a favour to Constance and d'Artagnan.
- Mood Whiplash: In the midst of the completely happy ending of Series 2, Louis darkly tells Treville (and the audience) that Spain has 'overreached herself' by sending a spy so close to the heart of his kingdom. War is officially declared on Spain before the episode ends.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: D'Artagnan meets Athos... It's almost a Shout-Out to The Princess Bride. See You Killed My Father below.
- Named by the Adaptation: D'Artagnan's father is named Alexandre, though d'Artagnan himself is only known by his surname.
- Never My Fault: In The Challenge, the Red Guards are quick to blame the Musketeers for the death of their captain, despite the Musketeers warning the Red Guards that the prisoner Labarge was not to be taken lightly and the resulting fight between Labarge and the Red Guards led to a Guard accidentally killing his captain. Milady also seems to have a case of this, blaming Athos for Milady holding Constance as a hostage in 1.10.
- Never Mess with Granny: The elderly Mother Superior of the convent in 1.09, who has no qualms with getting her hands dirty in defence of her home.
- New Meat: D'Artagnan.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In 2.03, the Musketeers are giving a crucial mission to safeguard General Alamand - a Spanish Moor and former general turned fugitive - and his kidnapped daughter Samara, as well as the formula for white gunpowder (which is supposed to be used to barter Samara's release). The exchange takes place in a crowded market place and everything hinges on Aramis sniping the kidnapper as quickly as possible. Due to his worry over the Dauphin (who might be his son), Aramis doesn't take the shot when he has the chance, and the whole thing escalates to a gun battle that leaves civilians dead, and both Samara and an injured Porthos taken captive. The chain of events that follow end with Alamand using what he has left of the gunpowder to kill himself and the kidnapper, and also destroy the formula for the explosive so no-one can use it. Franco-Spanish relations deteriorate even further, and the Musketeers get deeper into the King's bad books due to the botched operation.
- Athos inadvertently sets Catherine down a road of vengeance when he tells her that Milady - who killed her then-fiance and Athos' brother - is still alive and living as the King's mistress. Even after Athos points out that Milady's the King's mistress and going after her is tantamount to high treason, she still leaves.
- No Escape but Down: Twice in the first episode. Aramis escapes his lover's house through a window as her other lover, Cardinal Richelieu, arrives. He's left hanging on the ledge as Athos and Porthos arrive to mock him.
- Super Window Jump: D'Artagnan then leaps out of a closed window, after being blamed for a murder he didn't commit.
- Happens again in the fifth episode: a man jumps out of the window after attempting to shoot Aramis.
- No, You: In episode 4, Marsac snarks at d'Artagnan that he shouldn't be here since he isn't a Musketeer. D'Artagnan fires back that neither is Marsac.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Zigzaged, some French names are pronounced quite well, like "Bonacieux" or "Vadim", some are not. "Athos" and "Porthos", notably, should be pronounced "Atos" and "Portos".
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In episode 3, after discovering his wife Milady was actually alive, Athos simply shuts down and when he dazedly tried to explain what happened and became more frantic, d'Artagnan was noticeably alarmed.
- Oh, Crap!: Cardinal Richelieu looks completely pole-axed when he's tricked into revealing that he engineered the Queen's assassination, only for the Queen herself to come forward. The only reason he's left alive and not imprisoned is because he's far too important for France's stability to be dealt with properly.
- One-Steve Limit: Averted. Along with the presence of Queen Anne, it's revealed in 2.05 that Athos knew Milady as Anne (as he did in the original books), though not certain whether or not this is her real name.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Constantly.
- Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan are caught in an explosion in 1.02, and the force is enough to knock the first two men out for a short period of time. Even d'Artagnan, who was the closest to the blast, gets up unscathed, apart from some soot smudges.
- Flea gets shot, and while she's not immediately running around, but she's on her feet not long after, and acting fine.
- Averted, when Porthos is injured in episode 3; he has to be treated immediately to save his life and spends the rest of the episode severely restricted by the wound (even at the very end, which we have to assume is a little while later, he reprimands Athos for patting him on the shoulder.)
- Happens again to him in 2.03: He takes an arrow to his knee during an operation and spends the night in complete agony before removing the weapon himself. He spends the rest of the episode walking with a visible limp.
- Subverted to a degree in 1.10, when d'Artagnan is shot in the side by Athos, who is counting on this trope. The bullet grazes his ribs and while it's not dangerous, it's not portrayed as nothing, and he expresses pain when touched there for the rest of the episode.
- In 2.06, Porthos' shoulder is dislocated. Once it's popped back into place, it never bothers him again. In the same episode, Aramis falls out a window and lands on scaffolding hard enough to knock him out. He's walking stiffly for a bit, but he's fine.
- Both subverted and not subverted in Series 3; Athos, Porthos and d'Artagnan are all injured in episode six, but Athos is the only one still bothered by his injuries in the next episode. Of course it's possible his injuries were just more severe.
- In 3.09, d'Artagnan is stabbed. Apart from causing pain while the blade is actually in his shoulder, it doesn't even appear to slow him down and he's only captured because he's outnumbered. It's neither bandaged nor bleeding afterward.
- Constance in 3.10 is caught in the explosion of the Garrison, carried out after being in a burning building for several minutes, not breathing, with a pulse slow enough Aramis can't detect it. Once she wakes up and coughs the ash out of her lungs, she is quickly back on her feet nursing the other victims.
- Outlaw Town: The "Court of Miracles" where Porthos grew up.
- Papa Wolf: Causing any harm to one of Athos, Aramis or Porthos and the other two (plus d'Artagnan) would bring upon a world of misery on that person.
- Parenting the Husband: Queen Anne seems to have fallen into this role with king Louis.
- Pass the Popcorn: The Cardinal munching on snacks certainly seems to be enjoying watching Treville fighting for his life against Labarge.
- And earlier in the episode, d'Artagnan literally passes Aramis some food to munch on while they watch Porthos beat up someone in the trials to compete for the honour of the regiment.
- It's hard to catch, but d'Artagnan is snacking while watching the others try (and fail) to wrangle a feisty horse. When he finally chooses to intervene, he's chewing and swallowing.
- Pet the Dog: Monsieur Bonacieux may be a jerk, but he does seem to care for Constance in his own way. The first thing he does with the money he steals from d'Artagnan is to buy Constance jewelry, with promises that their lives are going to get better. And when he finds out about Constance and d'Artagnan's affair, he is genuinely hurt.
- Taken even further in the series one finale. Monsieur Bonacieux tries to kill himself when he thinks Constance has run away with d'Artagnan.
- Playful Pursuit: In a flashback to their early marriage, Athos is depicted chasing Milady through a meadow.
- Plot Armor
- A character gets shoved out a window from a height that would definitely kill—if not for the conveniently-placed scaffolding directly below that particular window that we didn't see before.
- A building gets dropped on Porthos and d'Artagnan in 3.06 and they're mostly able to walk it off.
- Constance survives the building she was in exploding at least twice, Athos, Aramis, and Porthos survive one such explosion, and d'Artagnan survives three, all in the first few minutes of the same episode.
- Police Procedural / Forensic Drama: As much as allowed by the time period, with several episodes featuring analysis of shoot-out and streetfight locations and even trips to a mortician who is a 17th-century version of a forensic pathologist. Some fans affectionately dub the show "CSI Paris 1630."
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Balthasar expresses (wildly anachronistic) pseudo-scientific racism towards Tariq.
- Pragmatic Villainy: What Cardinal Richelieu sees his actions as. If there's another solution to a problem that doesn't call for bloodshed, he'll pursue it.
- Pseudo-Crisis: The Cold Open of 3:6 has Ferron giving a creepy voiceover speech about how the day that you die always begins normally, while we see Aramis being blindfolded, Athos being disarmed at gunpoint, and d'Artagnan having a razor held to his throat. It turns out that Aramis is being blindfolded for a trick-shooting challenge, Athos is playing a kinky sex game with Sylvie, and d'Artagnan is being shaved by Constance.
- Race Lift: Porthos is played by an actor of black descent. Word of God says it was inspired by Alexandre Dumas's father being a part-black Frenchman who became a general. It actually becomes a pretty major plot point in episode 3.
- There is also a vague hint of some Spanish ancestry for Aramis. Not only is he played by Santiago Cabrera, but he demonstrates fluency in Spanish for no discernible reason plot-wise (this might also be a minor case of The Cast Showoff, demonstrating the actor's multilingual skillz just coz).
- Racial Face Blindness: Porthos lampshades this when his manipulative and evil father gives him a miniature portrait of a random black woman claiming that it's a picture of his mother. Porthos, of course, remembers exactly what his mother looks like and isn't impressed.Porthos: You thought I was too young to remember her, but the one thing you never forget is your mother's face. You probably bought this in some junk shop somewhere, thinking I wouldn't know the difference between one black woman and another.
- Rasputinian Death: Rochefort. Shot, then stabbed in the back, then punched several times, then run through. And he still has time for some last words. Justified in that he is known to have previously endured an incredible amount of torture at the hands of the Spanish.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Peter Capaldi was cast in Doctor Who as the Doctor while making this series. Instead of recasting him, the writers adjusted their plans and wrote Richelieu out of the second season.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain Treville.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The fake Princess Louise gives a short one to Bonacieux after she shoots him with a crossbow, telling him that he pretty much deserves to die after she sees him hit Constance.
- Remember the New Guy?: Feron in Series 3. No one's ever heard of him, but all of Louis' family recognise him on sight!
- Rescue Romance: How Queen Anne began to fall for Aramis after he saved her life twice in 1.02.
- Retirony: Perales gets a speech about how the Spanish king has told him he can retire to Valencia and grow oranges just before Milady poisons him on Rochefort's orders.
- Royally Screwed Up: Invoked in "The Return", when after outwitting some depraved noblemen, Aramis says "Centuries of inbreeding is making the aristocracy (taps the side of head) stupid."
- Secret-Keeper: Athos was the only one who knew that Aramis slept with Queen Anne in 1.09.
- That is until Constance sees them kissing each other in 2.04. Queen Anne even Lampshades Constance's Secret-Keeper status.
- Settle for Sibling: It's revealed that Athos was once betrothed to a woman named Catherine, but when he unexpectedly married Milady, Catherine was passed on to his brother Thomas so the family could keep their promise to her father.
- Sex Slave: Porthos's family turn out to be in the business of luring naive country girls to Paris and forcing them to act as prostitutes.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: Episode 9 opens with Queen Anne going for a swim. Naturally she's dressed and her soaking clothes are played for fanservice.
- Happens again in Episode 2.01, but this time it's d'Artagnan. He starts out in long trousers and a sort of night shirt thing, before losing the shirt when he gets out.
- Shirtless Scene: Aramis is introduced with one, dallying with the Cardinal's own mistress. D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and (guest star) the Duke of Savoy later take turns at it as well.
- Shot at Dawn: Athos is sentenced to death by firing squad in the first episode - but he's saved of course.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: When Richelieu and Treville inform King Louis that he's under threat from attack and that he should avoid public appearances, Louis starts on about how his father always went out among the people. Richelieu deflates this by pointing out that "Your father was assassinated." (Of course, the cardinal reckoned without Queen Anne...)
- Shoot Out the Lock: Tried in 1.05 episode: it doesn't work. The musketeers proceed to kick the door down instead.
- And in 2.01, Athos seems to intentionally combine the two tactics which works well enough.
- Silk Hiding Steel:
- Queen Anne is quiet and reserved, but don't for a moment think she'll back down from anything. When she completely overrides Richelieu and Treville's attempts to dissuade King Louis from making a traditional journey, Richelieu comments - with possibly a hint of admiration - "Perhaps I misjudged that." It can be implied that the Queen's subtle influence on King Louis might be why Richelieu was so eager to have her assassinated in 1.09, and used the King's drunken ramblings as an excuse.
- Sinister Minister: Richelieu, who even dresses in black.
- Smug Snake: Marcheaux, the captain of the Red Guards in the third season, is a sadistic, self-satisfied bully who gloats at every opportunity but is a complete loser whenever anyone gets a chance to attack him when he isn't protected by his position or his mooks.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The final episode of the first season has Milady failing to kill Constance and Athos sparing her life, as opposed to the original novel and most other adaptations where Milady kills Constance and is then summarily executed by the Musketeers.
- The Spymaster: Varas, is this for the Spanish as such he becomes instrumental towards the end of the second season as he is the only one who can prove Rochefort is (or rather was as he's gone rogue by this point) a Spanish spy and break his hold over the king.
- Stupid Evil: Baron Renard and his son Edmond, to the point that Aramis suggests that it can only be explained by generations of rural incest. Athos is happy to hand his land over to them, only for them to try to flog him to death, abduct one of his peasants with the gloating intent of raping her, and announce their intent to massacre all said peasants. All seemingly just to be arseholes.
- Survivor's Guilt: In episode 4, ex-Musketeer Marsac suffers through this since he and Aramis were the only two to survive the massacre that killed their friends, which led him to throw away his uniform and becoming obsessed with finding out why they were attacked.
- Suicide by Cop: Marsac's death has a strong suggestion of this. He certainly forced the best shot in the regiment to fire on him at close quarters and his dying words also reinforce the notion.Marsac: Better to die a musketeer than live like dog.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: After a particularly dark and violent third (and final) season, the series finale is this personified. Queen Anne becomes Regent of France, firmly in charge of her son's future, and appoints Aramis as her first minister, so he can also be there for his son and for her. Porthos reunites with a single mother he befriended in a previous episode, he is appointed general in the army and proposes to her. Athos resigns as captain of the musketeers, returns to his country estate with a pregnant Sylvie and hands over the captaincy to d'Artagnan. All four Musketeers are finally happy in love and with a better position as Happy Ending music plays over the credits.
- Sword Sparks: During swordfights at night.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: How Richelieu disposes of a mook who failed him and was threatening to blab.
- In 2.09, Rochefort poisons King Louis, right after Louis confides in him that he's afraid of being assassinated via poisoning because of how painful it is.
- Theme Music Powerup: During d'Artagnan's final duel with Labarge, the theme music begins to play
- Throw-Away Guns: In fights where the main cast don't have the time to reload, given the slow reload time of pistols of the era, they tend to do this unless they have enough time and cover to reload.
- Time Skip: Four years elapse between Series 2 and three.
- Took a Level in Badass: The nuns in 1.09; none are willing to leave to save themselves, and by the time the attack is underway they're cutting siege ropes and throwing straw beehives (ouch!) and brandy-flask molotov cocktails at the enemy.
- The villagers of Pinon, who get trained into an acceptable militia and defend themselves from Baron Renard's men.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Bonacieux, big-time. In the first season, the worst that can be said about him is that he treats Constance more as an employee than his wife, but there are still moments that show he does care for her. Come the second season, however, his misogyny increases tenfold, culminating in him hitting Constance for telling him she's in love with d'Artagnan.
- Trash the Set: In the final episode, Grimaud blows up and burns down the Musketeers' garrison building, killing most of the nameless ones.
- True Companions: Let's face it, this trope was mandatory. Say it with me, "All for one and..."
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: In-universe with Constance and her husband. While Monsieur Bonacieux isn't ugly, quite a few people comment how he is plain and dull next to his younger and prettier wife.
- The Un-Favourite: Athos implies that he filled this role in his well-to-do family, especially after he married Milady, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere with no traceable family or lineage.
- Unflinching Walk: Vadim do this in the second episode, while grenading the royal palace, no less.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Catherine, who would have been Athos' wife if he hadn't fallen in love with Milady. While she was 'content' with his younger brother Tomas, it's clear she still has feelings for him.
- The Upper Crass: Porthos genuinely is working-class, but one episode has a villainous example in Baron Renard, a Stupid Evil brute who rapes and kills peasants for fun and can't understand why Athos is upset about it. Porthos suggests that he and his very similar son must be the result of rustic inbreeding.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: The "white gunpowder" whose recipe is the MacGuffin of 2.03 may be a reference to the real French explosive known as "poudre blanche" which was one of the first smokeless gunpowders, and in reality would not be invented until the late 19th century.
- Villainous Fashion Sense: While the Cardinal's dark wardrobe tends to give off this vibe, it is Marie de Medici's wardrobe and hairstyles — which look like a cross between a dominatrix and Maleficent — that take the prize. If you didn't catch on to her antagonistic intent as soon as she first came on screen...
- War for Fun and Profit: Richelieu has his agents steal secret letters from the King for his counterpart in Spain, proposing peace between their countries. When the King finds out they're missing, he admits all to the Cardinal, who convinces him to let the war continue to show France is strong - and so his hold over the King is reinforced.
- Wham Episode: 3:6. It starts with an unusually brutal beat down of one of the main characters, Grimaud's true plan is revealed, Louis tells Aramis that he's dying, Aramis confesses to Louis that he slept with the Queen, and Ferron is killed.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: When Queen Anne is attacked in episode 9 she's in the company of two ladies-in-waiting. The Musketeers whisk her away into the forest, and her attendants are never again seen or mentioned. Did they just walk home?
- Whole-Plot Reference: Marie de Medicis' plan of dethroning her son Louis XIII via a baby who is apparently the son of her first, deformed and deceased son Philippe was pretty much lifted from the last novel of Dumas's d'Artagnan Romances, The Man In The Iron Mask (which, if eventually portrayed in the series, will make this Foreshadowing and Call-Forward).
- Widow's Weeds: Constance starts wearing the traditional black dresses after her husband is killed. D'Artagnan is confused by the decision as she never loved Bonacieux but Constance insists on mourning him properly. After a conversation with Queen Anne she decides to ditch the mourning attire, claiming "black was never my colour".
- William Telling: This is used as a form of Perp Sweating. When it doesn't seem to be having the desired effect, d'Artagnan hands his musket to Cadet Brujon, who holds it nervously as he aims shakily at the apple. Once the Mook has told the Musketeers everything they want to know, Porthos throws the apple in the air, and Brujon hits it with a single shot.Mook: I thought you said he was a cadet.
D'Artagnan: He is. He's a cadet musketeer.
- World of Badass: Not just the Musketeers, but Treville, Milady, Constance, Sylvie and many minor characters plus the definitely villainous Grimaud.
- Would Hurt a Child: Nobody directly but in The Exiles it is pointed out this could happen due to Henry being the rightful King.
- Wretched Hive / Outlaw Town: The Court of Miracles.
- Paris has slowly become this since the events of Series 2.
- Yandere: Implied with Milady towards Athos, especially in 1.07 when she takes an especial glee in destroying Ninon's reputation in court, and then going further to threaten all the women under Ninon's care with being burned at the stake unless she gives a false confession. And all because Ninon and Athos flirted with each other in her parlour!
- You Have Failed Me: Not only does Richelieu poison his mook, he also has his mistress shot for disloyalty.
- You Killed My Father: D'Artagnan initially thinks Athos killed his father and demands a duel to the death, but when he is convinced Athos was framed, he joins forces with Porthos and Aramis to clear the Musketeer's name and find the real culprit.D'Artagnan: I'm looking for Athos.Athos: You've found him.D'Artagnan: My name is d'Artagnan of Lupiac in Gascony. Prepare to fight. One of us dies here.Aramis: (ironically) Now that's the way to make an entrance.Athos: Can I ask why?D'Artagnan: You murdered my father.Athos: You're mistaken. I'm not the man you're looking for.D'Artagnan: (charging with his sword drawn) MURDERER!!!
- Possibly played with in The Challenge, where d'Artagnan's speech to Labarge at the Bastille (at swordpoint, no less) sounds very reminiscent of Inigo Montoya's... except without the father part, or the death part.Labarge: What do you want?D'Artagnan: My name is d'Artagnan of Lupiac in Gascony. You burned down my farm.
- Possibly played with in The Challenge, where d'Artagnan's speech to Labarge at the Bastille (at swordpoint, no less) sounds very reminiscent of Inigo Montoya's... except without the father part, or the death part.
- You Said You Would Let Me Go: Milady promises to let Sophia Martinez go in episode 2.07 in exchange for telling Milady who hired her - but then announces her intention to kill Sophia instead, which provokes this line. Milady points out that she can't keep her word now she knows it's Rochefort who hired Sophia.
- Another earlier example between King Louis and a Heel–Face Turn bandit in 2.02. See Exact Words above for the details.