D'Artagnan is a native of Gascony from a noble but impoverished family. He is a reckless and hot-tempered young man who often acts without thinking, but who is also capable of great loyalty and bravery. Over the course of the novel, D'Artagnan travels to Paris, becomes a friend and ally of Treville and the Musketeers, and works valiantly to help Queen Anne and Buckingham. By the end of the novel, D'Artagnan has impressed even Cardinal Richelieu and he is rewarded with a position as a lieutenant in the Musketeers.
Athos is the oldest Musketeer. He is often reserved and secretive; for example, he has figured out how to communicate with his servant, Grimaud, without speaking to him. He comes from a noble and long-established family, but is quite mysterious about his past, and never flirts with women. It is eventually revealed that Athos was once married to Milady de Winter. He believes he killed her after learning about her treacherous past. Athos is often shown to be somewhat weary of his difficult life, and by the end of the novel, he is eager to retire from the Musketeers.
Porthos is another of the three musketeers, along with Athos and Aramis. He is very light-hearted and friendly, and also enjoys wealth and luxury. Porthos has a long-standing mistress, who is married to a wealthy man. At the end of the novel, Porthos plans to marry his newly widowed mistress and live a comfortable life.
Aramis is the youngest of the three musketeers, a skillful fighter, and very religious. He prays often and frequently talks about leaving the Musketeers to join the priesthood, which he eventually does at the end of the story. Despite his strong religious convictions, Aramis has clearly been involved with a number of women, including an exiled noblewoman with a connection to Queen Anne. Aramis always handles his affairs very discreetly, and aspires to lives a simple life.
Milady de Winter
Milady de Winter turns out to be the villain of the novel. She is initially introduced as an agent of Cardinal Richelieu, but turns out to be even worse than him. Milady's beauty and charisma allows her to plot and scheme, because she can often seduce men into helping her. Milady begins life as a nun, before she seduces a priest and convinces him to turn to a life of crime. She later marries Athos (a nobleman at this time) without revealing anything about her past. After Athos believes her to be dead, she remarries an English nobleman named Lord de Winter. Milady is willing to kill those who hurt her pride, and her violent death is presented as justified within the world of the novel.
Cardinal Richelieu is a capable administrator and the actual power behind the French throne. He has a sometimes tense relationship with King Louis XIII, but he also wields a great deal of power. In addition to his ruthless drive towards power, the Cardinal is often motivated by revenge, since he was once in love with Queen Anne and was hurt when she rejected him. While he can be crafty and ruthless, the Cardinal also respects and admires intelligence and bravery. By the end of the novel, he has come to a truce with the Musketeers, and he honors his part of the bargain.
King Louis XIII
The King of France is depicted as relatively young and naive. He lacks administrative skills and relies on various ministers, chiefly Cardinal Richelieu, to govern his increasingly complex realm. He is aware that many of the men and women are scheming for their own power, and does not know who to trust. The King is also jealous and suspicious of his wife, and this makes him vulnerable to being manipulated by the Cardinal.
Madame Bonacieux (Constance)
Constance is a beautiful, young woman married to a much older man; she and her husband own the house where D'Artagnan rents lodgings. Constance is responsible for the Queen's laundry, and the idea that she may have knowledge of royal secrets makes her vulnerable. Constance is kidnapped by the Cardinal, in collusion with her own husband, and is later murdered by Milady.
Rochefort (the Man from Meung)
A secondary antagonist who works for the Cardinal and is associated with Milady, the Duke of Rochefort is an aristocrat who spends most of the novel avoiding D'Artagnan. D'Artagnan first encounters Rochefort in the town of Meung, and since Rochefort's true identity is not known for a long time, he is often referred to as "the man from Meung." By the end of the novel, Rochefort and D'Artagnan have come to respect one another, and eventually become friends.
Queen Anne is the queen of France, and the wife of King Louis. She is unhappily married, and is often isolated at court because she is Austrian and not French. In the novel, Queen Anne has an affair with the Duke of Buckingham. Despite being beautiful and wealthy, Queen Anne is lonely, isolated, and has very few people she can trust.
Monsieur de Treville
Treville is a wealthy aristocrat who rose from humble origins to become a powerful and influential figure in the French court. He has influence with the King, and is so powerful that he has become the rival and antagonist of Cardinal Richelieu. Treville is the commander of the Musketeers, who are fiercely loyal to him. Although he is not a fighter himself, Treville uses his mind and political skills to direct the Musketeers.
John Felton is an Englishman who is given the task of guarding Milady de Winter when she is imprisoned by Lord de Winter. Unfortunately, Felton falls prey to Milady's seductive schemes, and helps her to escape. He then murders the Duke of Buckingham because he believes he is avenging her honor.
Lord de Winter
Lord de Winter is an English aristocrat. His elder brother was married to Milady. He is a man of intelligence and integrity, and he tries to prevent Milady from carrying out her evil plans, even though he is ultimately unable to do so.
Monsieur Bonacieux is a Parisian landlord who rents some rooms to D'Artagnan. He is cowardly and easily persuaded to do whatever the Cardinal tells him. Monsieur Bonacieux is much older than his wife, and is not a kind husband to her.
Planchet is D'Artagan's servant. He is very loyal to his master, and also proves himself to be shrewd and brave.
Grimaud, Mousqueton, and Bazin
These three men are respectively the servants of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Their characters mirror the characters of their masters.
Comte de Wardes
Comte de Wardes is an aristocrat who works in the service of the Cardinal and is also Milady's lover. De Wardes and D'Artagnan fight a duel as de Wardes tries to prevent D'Artagnan from sailing to England. Later, D'Artagnan pretends to be de Wardes so that he can sleep with Milady de Winter.
Kitty is Milady's maid. She betrays her mistress because she falls in love with D'Artagnan herself.
The Three Musketeers Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Three Musketeers is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
In the novel's exposition, we meet D’Artagnan, experience his fight and subsequent friendship with the Musketeers, and learn that Queen Anne is most anxious to retrieve the diamonds she's given to her lover, the Duke of Buckingham, before her...