The Danish Girl Characters

The Danish Girl Character List

Lili Elbe / Einar Wegener (Formerly)

Born Einar Wegener, she was a landscape painter, married to Greta whom she had met at the Royal Academy. She discovers her true self after posing as a woman for Greta’s portraits, and becomes increasingly determined to live her life as Lili and leave Einar behind. Einar was quite shy, and was even conflicted when Greta initially asked him to pose as a woman. Lili on the other hand, is flirtatious, and playful, and seductive. She is more free than the conflicted Einar.

Greta Wegener

Greta is a portrait painter married to Einar. She is initially frustrated by her lack of professional success compared to her talented landscape painter of a husband. She is the one to awaken Einar’s true self, and is incredibly supportive throughout the novel. She does not believe him to be insane as most doctors insisted. She cares deeply for her spouse, and continues to live with Lili after her transition, despite their separation. She only refuses to support Lili’s decision to undergo an ovarian transplant, as she believes it is much too dangerous.

Baron Hans Axgil

Hans is Einar’s childhood friend. When they were children, Hans had kissed Einar one day, when he was wearing his grandmother’s apron. Hans recalled Einar looking so pretty he felt as though he had to kiss him. He is now an art dealer in Paris, who begins to fall in love with Greta. They eventually decide to move to America together after Lili decides to do a final surgery that would potentially enable her to have children of her own.

Carlisle Waud

Carlisle is Greta’s brother. He is incredibly supportive of his sister and Lili’s journey. He seems much more invested in his sister’s determination to help Lili, rather than helping Lili herself. That being said, he remains a true ally in Lili’s transition and is the one who ends up accompanying her for her final surgery in Dresden.

Professor Alfred Bolk

Bolk is a doctor who has developed a surgery to physically change a man into a woman. He claims to have already met a man like Einar once, and is therefore not of the mind that he is mentally deranged. He is the first to meet with Lili and offer to perform a gender reassignment surgery. Bolk is a fictitious character, as the real doctor to perform Lili’s surgery was named Kurt Warnekros.

Anna Fonsmark

Anna is an opera singer who poses for a portrait to be painted by Greta. It is when she cancels a session that Greta pleads with Einar to pose for her, leading to Lili being born.

Henrik Sandahl

Henrik meets Lili at the Artist’s Ball, and is instantly taken with her. Although the character is not particularly developed, his driving trait is his love for Lili, despite her not having always been a woman physically.

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