Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old genius. The youngest in a long line of criminal masterminds, Artemis puts his extraordinary intelligence to work plotting evil missions. He has little compassion for others besides his parents and himself. Despite this, he also has a close relationship with Butler, who is the closest thing he has had to a father since his real father, Artemis Sr., has gone missing. He also has an affinity for Juliet, Butler's little sister.
Artemis has a pale, waxy complexion: "Sun did not suit Artemis. He did not look well in it. Long hours indoors in front of a computer screen had bleached the glow from his skin. He was white as a vampire and almost as testy in the light of day" (3).
Despite the fact that Artemis does not feel sympathy for those who are not in his immediate circle, he experiences some character growth over the course of the novel. As he spends more time with Holly, he begins to feel bad for how he is treating her. Despite this, however, he keeps her as a hostage until the very end. He does eventually give her her half of the ransom when she is released, but only when she grants him a wish.
Julius Butler ("Butler")
Butler is Artemis's bodyguard and assistant. He has worked for Artemis since Artemis's birth, twelve years ago. Though he is essentially Artemis's servant, their relationship is much deeper than that of master and servant: "Artemis was the closest thing Butler had to a friend, and Butler was the closest Artemis had to a father, albeit one who obeyed orders" (16).
To everyone outside of the Butler and Fowl families, Butler is a terrifying presence. Early in the novel, Nguyen can see that Butler is incredibly cold: "Nguyen glanced into Butler's eyes. They were a deep blue, almost black. There was no mercy in those eyes" (8).
Butler is very loyal to Artemis, until the very end. His only weakness is his little sister, Juliet, who he loves very much. He is in extreme distress near the end of the novel when Juliet's life is in danger.
Holly Short is an elf who lives most of her life underground with the rest of the fairy population. She is the first female officer to work in the elite LEPrecon branch of the Lower Elements Police in history. As the text describes, Holly has "brown skin, cropped auburn hair, and hazel eyes," (32). Similarly, her nose has a hook and her ears are pointy. She is exactly three feet tall. Her great grandfather was Cupid and her mother was a European elf.
Holly has a strong sense of what is wrong and what is right. She has compassion for all living things, including Artemis Fowl by the end of the novel. Despite this, she does have a fiery temper, and is quick to fight back in the face of perceived injustice. She is also brave—she has fought a deadly troll twice and has lived to tell the tale.
Juliet is Butler's little sister. She is sixteen years old, has blue eyes, and blonde hair. She is obsessed with wrestling and is just waiting for someone to try out her wrestling moves on. She has been working for the Fowl household for three years. She has a sweet personality, and while she isn't always a step ahead of everyone like Artemis, she is very bright.
Angeline Fowl is Artemis's mother. When Artemis Senior went missing, she lost her mind: "Angeline Fowl was bedridden. She had been since her husband's disappearance. Nervous tension, the physicians said. Nothing for it but rest and sleeping pills. That was almost a year ago," (20). Before she became bedridden, however, she was a doting mother. For most of the novel, she is confined to her room. At the end of the novel, however, she has been healed by Holly Short.
Commander Root is Holly's boss and the leader of the elite Recon unit of the Lower Elements Police. He is a grumpy man, which is often reflected in his complexion: "Root's face was purple with rage. This was more or less his general state of existence, a fact that had earned him the nickname 'Beetroot.' There was an office pool running on how long he had before his head exploded," (35). He is about 600 years old.
Despite the fact that he is short-tempered, he has a soft spot for Holly. He goes to great lengths to make sure that she is safely returned home after Artemis kidnaps her.
Foaly works in Ops and manages most of the technology, surveillance, and transportation of the Lower Elements Police. He is "a paranoid centaur, convinced that human intelligence agencies were monitoring his transport and surveillance network. To prevent them from reading his mind, he wore a tinfoil hat at all times," (41).
Foaly is one of the only beings alive who can push Commander Root's buttons and live to tell the tale. He can do this only because he is so valuable to the LEP: "Driving up Root's blood pressure was one of the few perks of the job. No one else would dare to do it. That was because everybody else was replaceable. Not Foaly. He'd built the system from scratch, and if anyone else even tried to boot it up, a hidden virus would bring it crashing about their pointy ears" (78).
Additionally, Foaly is singlehandedly the reason that fairy technology is so advanced: "Not only had Foaly built their communications network from scratch, but he was also a pioneer in the field of flare prediction. Without him, human technology could very easily catch up with the fairy brand," (85).
Mulch Diggums is a kleptomaniac dwarf. Like all dwarfs, he has the power of unhinging his jaw, allowing him to ingest several pounds of earth per second. He can quickly build tunnels beneath the surface of the earth through any kind of material. While he tunnels beneath the earth, the ingested earth "is processed by a superefficient metabolism, stripped of any useful minerals and . . . ejected from the other end, as it were," (156). Like all dwarfs, his body rejects sunlight, which means he spends most of his life in the dark.
Mulch has devoted himself to a life of crime: "Born to a typical dwarf cavern-dwelling family, Mulch had decided early that mining was not for him, and resolved to put his talents to another use, namely digging and entering, generally entering mud People's property. Of course this meant forfeiting his magic. Dwellings were sacred. If you broke that rule, you had to be prepared to accept the consequences. Mulch didn't mind. He didn't care much for magic anyway. There had never been much use for it down in the mines" (155). At the beginning of the novel, he is being placed in jail. By the end, however, he has escaped the People and has even managed to scrounge twelve bars of gold from the ransom. He heads off to live a new life, considering posing as a rich human dwarf in New York City.
Lieutenant Cudgeon is the Retrieval Squad's leader. He and Root have been close friends for centuries, and he is one of perhaps five fairies alive who call Root by his first name. After the LEP Recon Squad has trouble rescuing Holly, he goes behind Root's back and the Council promotes him to acting Commander of the mission. His idea to release a troll in Fowl Manor, however, goes awry. By the end of the novel, he has been put back in his place by Foaly and Root and will soon have to answer for his mistake in front of the Council.
Nguyen Xuan is the Vietnamese contact that leads Artemis and Butler to the alcoholic sprite in Ho Chi Minh City. Despite the fact that he is wearing a disguise when he first approaches Artemis, Artemis sees through it right away: "'You are wearing handmade loafers, a silk shirt, and three gold signet rings. Your English has a tinge of Oxford about it, and your nails have the soft sheen of the recently manicured. You are not a waiter. You are our contact Nguyen Xuan, and you have adopted this pathetic disguise to discreetly check for weaponry'" (4).
The sprite from Ho Chi Minh City
Xuan leads Artemis and Butler to an alcoholic sprite in Ho Chi Minh City. Having developed a dependence on alcohol, the fairy is reduced to living in the human world, healing others in exchange for payments of alcohol. Her features are otherworldly and ragged: "In the green glow of the night-vision goggles, her features leaped at Artemis like a Halloween mask. The fairy's nose was long and hooked under two slitted golden eyes. Her ears were pointed, and the alcohol addiction had melted her skin like putty" (11).
Artemis Fowl the First
Artemis the First is Artemis's father. He has been missing for nearly a year. He was put in fatal danger after trying to build new shipping lines in Europe after the breakup of communist Russia: "New consumers, he reasoned, would need new consumer goods. The Russian Mafia did not take too kindly to a Westerner muscling in on their market, and so decided to send a little message. This message took the form of a stolen missile launched at the Fowl Star on her way past Murmansk. Artemis Senior was on board the skip, along with Butler's uncle and 250,000 cans of cola. It was quite an explosion" (29).
Artemis Fowl Questions and Answers
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