Athelstane of Coningsburgh
Athelstane is a high-born Saxon noble, descended directly
from the last Saxon kings of England. However, he is slow-witted
and physically sluggish, which has earned him the nickname of
Athelstane the Unready. He is more concerned with food and drink
than anything else, although he does possess courage when it
is called for, and he a good-natured man. He wishes to marry
Rowena, but he is thwarted by her complete lack of interest
Aymer, Prior of Jorvaulx
Aymer is a monk who likes to enjoy the good things in life,
such as fine clothes, food, drink, and female company.
Lucas de Beaumanoir
Lucas de Beaumanoir is the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar.
He is old, and was a formidable warrior in his youth. He is an ascetic, but suffers
from spiritual pride. It is he who insists on the trial of Rebecca. He is eventually
forced to retreat from the castle of Templestowe after his authority is successfully
challenged by Richard the Lion-hearted.
Brian De Bois-Guilbert
Brian De Bois-Guilbert is a knight of the Templar Order. He has fought in the Holy Land
and is distinguished by his prowess in battle, although Ivanhoe defeats him at the tournament.
De Bois-Guilbert joined the Templars not from religious or spiritual idealism but because he was
betrayed by the woman he loved. Consumed by ambition and the love of power, he wants to become
Grand Master of the Order, although he believes in none of its doctrines, which he regards as
superstitions. De Bois-Guilbert falls in love with Rebecca and kidnaps her during the battle
for Front-de-Boeuf's castle. He dies in the trial by combat with Ivanhoe.
Maurice De Bracy
Maurice De Bracy is an unscrupulous, pleasure-seeking knight who is the leader of a band called
Free Companions. These are mercenaries belonging to no nation but attached to any prince who pays them.
De Bracy has attached himself to Prince John. His main enterprise is trying to acquire Rowena as his wife,
and to this purpose he disguises himself as an outlaw in order to kidnap her. De Bracy is defeated and captured
by Richard in the battle for Front-de-Boeuf's castle. Richard spares his life, and De Bracy decides to flee to Flanders.
Cedric the Saxon
Cedric the Saxon is a plain-spoken Saxon landholder who resents the supremacy of the Normans. He wishes
to marry off his ward Rowena to Athelstane, so that they can restore a Saxon dynasty. Cedric is quick-tempered
and uncouth, full of energy, courageous, and basically good-natured. He is moved to tears by Wamba's willingness
to sacrifice himself to save his master, and he grants Gurth his freedom because Gurth helped to rescue him from
Front-de-Boeuf's castle. Cedric is eventually reconciled to his son Ivanhoe, whom he banished, and his dislike of
the Normans decreases because King Richard treats him well.
Waldemar Fitzurse is Prince John's chief adviser. He is a cunning and unscrupulous politician. On Prince John's orders,
he leads a band of armed men to kill or capture Richard. He is defeated. The king spares his life but banishes him
from the country.
Reginald Front-de-Boeuf is the most cruel of the Norman knights. He has spent most of his life in battles,
feuds and other disputes, and he is ruthless when it comes to expanding his power. He is big, his face is scarred,
and his presence is intimidating. He is killed in combat by Richard the Lion-hearted during the battle for possession
of his castle.
Gurth is Cedric's swineherd. He deserts his master and disguises himself in order to attend Ivanhoe at the tournament.
Cedric recapture him, but Gurth escapes when Cedric and his party are set upon in the forest. He takes part in the
battle for Front-de-Boeuf's castle and Cedric pardons him, gives him his freedom and some land. After this Ivanhoe
refers to Gurth as his squire.
Isaac of York
Isaac of York is a rich Jew. He is treated badly by the Christians, who are nonetheless forced to deal with him
because he lends them money. Isaac is avaricious, but his redeeming quality is his love for his daughter Rebecca.
Isaac also treats Ivanhoe with kindness, supplying him with horse and armor for the tournament and arranging for him
to be cared for after he is wounded. Isaac eventually tires of being persecuted in England and moves to Spain with his
Prince John is the brother of King Richard. During Richard's absence he plots to take over the throne.
But Prince John has none of Richard's admirable qualities and knows little about how to manage people.
He loves the power his position brings him, but he is unable to wield it effectively. He lives in fear of
Richard's return, and knows that his hold on his own followers is weak. Richard is magnanimous towards him,
however, and pardons him.
Locksley (Robin Hood)
Locksley, also known as Robin Hood, is the leader of the band of outlaws that live in the forest.
Locksley is known for his archery skills, and he wins a contest at the tournament. He refuses an offer
from Prince John to join the prince's service. In the forest, Locksley wields his authority wisely and he
is respected by all his men. Although he is an outlaw, he believes in justice and fairness. He finds common
cause with the Black Knight and they attack Front-de-Boeuf's castle together. When the Black Knight reveals
who he is, Locksley pledges allegiance to him.
Philip and Albert Malvoisin
The brothers Philip and Albert Malvoisin are both Knights of the Templar Order, close colleagues of De Bois-Guilbert.
They are both malevolent characters. Albert in particular is hypocritical, putting on a show of sanctity to cover his
ambition. Richard orders them both to be executed.
Rebecca is the beautiful daughter of Isaac. She heals Ivanhoe of his wounds, and becomes very fond of him,
but he does not reciprocate because she is a Jewess. De Bois-Guilbert becomes infatuated with her, and this leads
to her being accused of sorcery by the Grand Master of the Templar Order. She is put on trial, during which she
bears herself with dignity and courage.
Richard the Lion-Hearted
Richard the Lion-Hearted is the King of England. On his return from the Crusades in the Holy Land he is
imprisoned in Austria. When he is released he returns to England disguised as the Black Knight. He
intervenes in the tournament at Ashby and saves Ivanhoe from defeat. He befriends the outlaws in the
forest and leads the attack on Torquilstone, Front-de-Boeuf's castle. Then he reveals who he is and reclaims his throne.
Richard is a doughty warrior who deals justly with people, unlike his brother Prince John and the Norman nobles. He is
generous in spirit and does not insist on pompous displays of his authority. He is daring, but sometimes seems to
covet danger and adventure just for the sake of it, rather than thinking about the welfare of his kingdom.
Lady Rowena is the beautiful young ward of Cedric. She is directly descended from Alfred, the last Saxon king.
Cedric wants to marry her off to Athelstane, so they can recreate a Saxon dynasty, but she is interested only in
Ivanhoe. She and Ivanhoe eventually marry.
Friar Tuck is also known as the Clerk of Copmanhurst. He is a follower of Robin Hood, who keeps him well supplied
with venison (illegally hunted) and wine. Friar Tuck breaks all the rules of priestly behavior, but because he is
allied with the outlaws he is presented sympathetically as a cheery, stout-hearted Englishman.
Ulrica is the daughter of Torquil Wolfganger, the friend of Cedric's father. She is now an old woman.
When she was young, she had to watch as her father and seven brothers were killed by the elder Front-de-Boeuf.
She was forced to live as the paramour of her father's killer. Ulrica gets her revenge by setting fire to the castle
and taunting Front-de-Boeuf as he dies. She also dies in the flames.
Wamba is Cedric's jester. He shows admirable character when he volunteers to disguise himself as a monk and
enter Front-de-Boeuf's castle. His finest moment comes when in the castle he offers to change places with
Cedric, so that Cedric can escape. He is well rewarded for his loyal service, and attends the wedding of
Ivanhoe and Rowena in a new cap and a gorgeous set of silver bells.