The Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide
Readers have requested a Black Dagger Brotherhood character guide and I am happy to oblige! There are soooo many BDB characters and it can definitely be difficult to keep track of them all. I had to go ahead and create BDB family trees just to make sense of everything! I’m a visual learner, what can I say. Anyway, I’ve tried to keep this Black Dagger Brotherhood character guide fairly brief, which is a true challenge for me. We’ll see how well that goes once I piece it all together!
Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide:
Here you will find information on each main character in The Black Dagger Brotherhood books/world by J.R. Ward. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The female lead from the short story Prisoner of Night. She is looking to free her brother after his abduction, but in doing so meets and falls in love with Duran.
Anne (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead from the audio original story Darius. Anne is Beth’s mother who died in childbirth.
A vampire who came to Caldwell from the Old Country, and the male lead in The Thief. He dabbles in drugs and drug dealing, even doing deals with the enemy, but ultimately becomes an ally of the Brothers. He rescues and falls in love with Sola.
Autumn (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
Also known as No’One, Autumn is the female lead in Lover Reborn. Back story reveals that she was raped by a sympath, and she killed herself after giving birth. She was given a chance for redemption, though, which lead to her meeting and falling in love with Tohrment.
The male lead from the Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Vow. In his story, he meets and falls in love with Elise. He helps her investigate the murder of her cousin, and also works as her bodyguard while she takes classes at the human university.
Balthazar (Band of Bastards)
An ally of the Brotherhood but also a member of the Band of Bastards. Came from the Old Country and was unfortunately possessed by the demon Devina. He is likely to end up with a human police woman named Erika Saunders.
Bella (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead from Lover Awakened and Father Mine. Shellan to Zsadist, mahmen to Nalla, and younger sister to Rehvenge. Bella was kidnapped by lessers, rescued by the Black Dagger Brother Zsadist, and eventually they had Nalla together.
Beth (Queen, Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead from Dark Lover and The King. Shellan to Wrath, the King of the Vampires, and thus the official Queen. Daughter of Darius and Anne, mahmen to Little Wrath. Beth never knew her parents and didn’t realize she was a halfbreed vampire until she met Wrath. She also was responsible for Butch O’Neal joining the world of the Brotherhood.
Blaylock (Black Dagger Brother)
Mate to Qhuinn and one of the two male leads in Lover at Last and A Warm Heart in Winter: A Caldwell Christmas. Step/adopted father to Lyric and Rhampage, Qhuinn’s twins with Layla. Blay is a redhead, a perfect gentleman, and pretty much the ideal mate. He used to be with Saxton, but his heart always belonged to Qhuinn.
The male lead in the Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Truth. Boone helps the Brotherhood fight and also helps Butch investigate a series of recent murders. Helaine’s sister was one of the victims, which is how the two meet and fall in love.
Butch O’Neal (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Revealed and mate to Marissa. Butch is a halfbreed who would have stayed human were he not introduced to the Brotherhood world. His transition was forced so he could fight with the Brothers and be with Marissa long term. He was kidnapped by The Omega, but this resulted in him having the ability to destroy lessers. After he does this he is healed by Vishous. Butch is a half-brother to Manny Manello and Jo Early. All three of them are children of Robert Bluff and distant cousins to Wrath.
The female lead in The Story of Son. Claire is kidnapped and provided as a blood source to a mysterious vampire being kept captured by a rich couple. She helps save the vampire, known as Son, and goes on to fall in love with him. He changes his name to Michael and they have children together.
Cormia (Black Dagger Brother Shellan, Chosen)
A member of The Chosen, shellan to Phury and the female lead in Lover Enshrined. Cormia is set to become the First Mate, a very special Chosen who is the first to be with the Primale, Phury. Ultimately she falls in love with Phury, and with living an independent life, and she supports Phury as he dismantles the whole system. One deleted scene shows her and Phury as parents to baby Ahgony, but this has yet to happen officially in the books.
The male lead in the Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Kiss. He joins the Brotherhood’s training program alongside Paradise, who he meets and falls in love with.
The male lead from The Lair of the Wolven series Claimed, and the love interest for Lydia.
Darius (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead from Darius: A Black Dagger Brotherhood Love Story. Darius is a well-bred vampire with a Brother for a father and a member of the aristocracy for a stepfather. He falls in love with a human woman, who becomes pregnant with their child but dies in childbirth. Darius dies before meeting their daughter, Beth (Queen of the Vampires) but is reincarnated as John Matthew.
A demon, created by The Creator, who balances out Lassiter the fallen angel. She loves clothes and sex but secretly desires true love.
The male lead from the short story Prisoner of Night. Duran’s father was a cult leader who betrayed him and led to him being imprisoned. He meets Ahmare as she searches for her lost brother, and they fall in love.
The female lead in Love Avenged and shellan to Rehvenge. Ehlena is a nurse who meets Rehv at Havers’ clinic, and eventually risks her job to get him medicine that he desperately needed. She now works with Jane and Manny at the Brotherhood’s private clinic.
The female lead in the Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Vow. Axe is her bodyguard, and he helps her investigate her cousin’s death. During the process, they fall in love.
The female lead in the Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Truth. She meets and falls in love with Boone when he investigates the death of her sister.
One of the Shadows and one of the two male leads in the Black Dagger Brotherhood novel The Shadows. The other male lead is his twin brother, Trez. iAm is also the head chef at Sal’s Italian restaurant, and is mated to Maichen, the Queen of the Shadows.
The female lead in the novella Dearest Ivie. She meets Silas in a bar and they fall in love.
The male lead in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Prison Camp book The Jackal. The Jackal, AKA Jack, is wrongfully jailed in the prison camp for decades. He meets Nyx when she comes searching for her sister, and eventually they both escape. The Jackal is also a half-brother to Rhage.
Jane Whitcomb (Human/Ghost, Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead in Lover Unbound and shellan to Vishous. Jane is a human that was turned into a ghost by The Scribe Virgin. She is now immortal and works full time as a doctor for the Brotherhood. Jane helped heal V both physically and emotionally when no one else, not even Butch, could.
Jo Early (Half Breed, Shellan)
The female lead in The Sinner and shellan to Syn. Jo is a human/vampire halfbreed reporter who learns about the vampire species and has to be dealt with. While waiting for her possible transition, she meets and falls in love with Syn. Jo also discovers that she is the daughter of Robert Bluff, which makes her the half-sister to both Butch O’Neal and Manny Manello.
John Matthew (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Mine and mate to Xhex. Is Darius, reincarnated, but is unaware of this fact. Genetically he Darius’ son, making him Beth’s brother. He is best friends with Qhuinn and Blay, and a member of the Brotherhood. John Matthew was abandoned at birth and raised at a Catholic orphanage, not knowing his true heritage as a vampire. He was adopted by Tohr and Wellsie shortly before his transition, but moved into the Brotherhood mansion after Wellsie was murdered and Tohr disappeared.
Lash (Demon/Former Vampire)
Lash was originally an aristocrat, and son of the leader of the glymera, along with being Qhuinn’s cousin. Later, however, we discover that he was secretly adopted by the vampires, and is in fact the child of The Omega and an unknown vampire female. Lash became one of the Brotherhood’s greatest enemies. He was defeated but has recently returned due to Devina’s actions.
Lassiter (Angel/God Figure)
The male lead from Lassiter and a fallen angel/the current reigning deity in the world of the Brotherhood. Lassiter is larger than life, with a love for pop culture and a particular knack for annoying the Brothers. He has recently met Rahvyn and will hopefully find his HEA with her!
Layla (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead in The Chosen and shellan to Xcor. Layla is a fallen Chosen who became pregnant with Qhuinn’s children. She fell in love with Xcor when he was an enemy of the Brotherhood who tried to assassinate the King. Xcor redeemed himself, though, and their love is now accepted and encouraged.
Little Tohr (Young)
Tohr and Wellsie were expecting a child when Wellsie was killed by a lesser. That child, Little Tohr, is now in the fade with her.
Little Wrath (Young)
Wrath and Beth (the King and Queen) have one child, a son named after his father. They call him Little Wrath, or L.W.
The male lead from The Wolf, from the Black Dagger Brotherhood Prison Camp series. Lucan is a wolven who deals drugs for the prison colony, but his life is changed forever when he meets Rio.
The female lead from Claimed/The Lair of the Wolven series. Lydia works for a wolf conservation project and meets a handsome drifter, Daniel, who becomes very important to her. Their story continues in the next book in the series, Forever.
Daughter (biologically) to Qhuinn and Layla, and twin sister to Rhampage. She is the adopted daughter of Qhuinn’s mate, Blay, and Layla’s mate, Xcor.
Mae (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead in Lover Unveiled, and shellan to Sahvage. Mae meets Sahvage when she is searching for a book that will help her save the life of her brother. She uses dark magic and eventually needs Sahvage’s help against the demon Devina.
One of the two female leads in The Shadows, and mate to iAm. Maichen becomes Queen of the Shadows over the course of her book, and falls in love with iAm in the process.
Manny Manello (Half Breed)
The male lead in Lover Unleashed, and mate to Payne. Manny and Jane knew each other well in the human world, and Jane reaches out to him to save Payne’s life. Manny is an accomplished surgeon and able to hold his own against the Brothers, even though he is not a vampire. He is a halfbreed, but he never transitioned. His time with Payne is giving him some sort of undefined immortality/everlasting youth that is serving him well so far. His father is Robert Bluff, which means that he is cousin to Wrath and half-brother to both Butch and Jo.
Marissa (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead in Lover Revealed, and mate to Butch. Marissa is a member of the glymera and known to be the great beauty of the race. She begins as Wrath’s intended mate, but they never consumate the union. When Wrath meets Beth, he frees Marissa of her obligation to him. Marissa falls in love with Butch, and supports him through his forced transition. She is the founder and main person in charge of Safe House, which is a home for women and children facing domestic violence or other difficult circumstances.
Mary Luce (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead in Lover Eternal, and shellan to Rhage. Mary is a human who lives next door to Bella. She meets John Matthew, and when she introduces him to Bella, Bella realizes his vampire connection. This is how Mary meets Rhage, who falls in love with her almost immediately. Mary is a cancer survivor who almost succumbed to the disease, but was saved by The Scribe Virgin. She was granted immortality and now can live as long as she wants. She is the main therapist for the Brothers. Mary and Rhage adopted Bitty and now have a happy family of three.
Son is the male lead in The Story of Sun: A Story of Dark Vampire Romance, originally published in Dead After Dark. He is a blood slave held captive and alone until he is rescued by Claire. He changes his name to Michael and they end up in love and having children. This is not a book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, but it is about a vampire in Caldwell, so I include it in my BDB Reading Order guide.
Murhder (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in The Savior, and mate to Sarah. Murhder was a member of the Brotherhood who was shunned for crimes he didn’t actually commit. He returns and meets Sarah as they both investigate a lab that is experimenting on vampires. They rescue Nate and adopt him as their son.
The daughter of Bella and Zsadist, niece to Phury and Cormia. She plays a large role in the novella Father Mine, about her relationship with Zsadist.
Nate was born in captivity and experimented on until shortly before his transition. He was rescued and adopted by Sarah and Murhder in the book The Savior.
The female lead in the Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Fury, and shellan to Peyton. Novo is one of only two females in the Brotherhood’s training program, and she’s a fierce warrior. Her personal life is complicated, though, and it only becomes more so when she falls for the aristocrat Peyton.
The female lead in The Jackal, and shellan to Jackal/Jack. Nyx discovers the race’s prison camp while searching for her long lost sister. She infiltrates the camp with the help of the Jackal, and the two fall in love.
The Omega (Devil Figure)
Somewhat the equivalent to the devil in the vampire world. The Omega was created by The Creator and is brother to The Scribe Virgin. Together they provide balance – good and evil, creation and destruction. The Omega was recently defeated, largely due to the prophecy involving Butch O’Neal as The Dhestroyer.
The female lead in Blood Kiss, a Black Dagger Legacy book, and shellan to Craeg. Paradise’s father works for the King, and that’s how she becomes aware of the Brotherhood’s training program. She joins and meets Craeg, later falling in love with him.
Payne (Vampire, Shellan)
The female lead in Lover Unleashed and shellan to Manny Manello. Payne is V’s twin sister, and daughter of The Scribe Virgin and the Bloodletter. She was imprisoned by her mother for many years, but eventually released. She needs medical help, which is how she meets Dr. Manello. They fall in love, and she discovers that she has a special healing power derived from her mother.
The male lead in Blood Fury, a Black Dagger Legacy book, and mate to Novo. Peyton is an aristocrat who is expected to marry rich and lead a respectable life. Instead, he joins the Brotherhood’s training program and falls in love with Novo.
Phury (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Enshrined and mate to Cormia. Phury is the identical twin brother to Zsadist, and the Primale of the species. In his story, he commits to being the Primale – the father of the race, so to speak. He is expected to mate with the Chosen, but he falls in love with just one, Cormia. He rejects the definition of his role and basically transforms the entire structure of the race’s spiritual world.
Qhuinn (Black Dagger Brother)
One of the two male leads in Lover at Last and A Warm Heart in Winter: A Caldwell Christmas. Qhuinn is hellren to Blay, and father to twins Lyric and Rhampage. The children are being raised by Qhuinn (biological father), Blay, Layla (biological mother), and Xcor (Layla’s mate). Qhuinn came from an aristocratic family but was always an outcast. Through the course of several books he realizes that he has always been in love with Blay, and they end up with their HEA.
A magical vampire who is presumed to be Lassister’s HEA in the upcoming book Lassiter.
Bella’s brother, Ehlena’s mate, and the male lead in Lover Avenged. Rehv is half-vampire, half-sympath, and the King of the Sympaths. He used to be a club owner and drug dealer but has now (mostly) gone straight. He’s a powerful ally to the Brothers.
Rhage (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Eternal and mate to Mary. Rhage was cursed by The Scribe Virgin and now has a dragon/beast counterpart that emerges when he’s in danger. Together, Rhage and Mary adopted Bitty.
Son (biologically) to Qhuinn and Layla, and twin brother to Lyric. He is the adopted son of Qhuinn’s mate, Blay, and Layla’s mate, Xcor.
The female lead in The Wolf, a book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Prison Camp series, and mate to Lucan. Rio is second-in-command to a notorious drug dealer, but things change when she meets Lucan and he saves her life.
Ruhn’s story extends over several books, but his romance with Saxton occurs in Blood Fury, a Black Dagger Legacy book. Ruhn is Bitty’s uncle, and he originally comes to Caldwell to adopt her. But, seeing how happy she is with Mary and Rhage, he instead becomes a member of their family. In doing so, he gets to know Saxton, and the two find HEA together.
Sahvage (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Unveiled, and mate to Mae. Sahvage is a long-time member of the Brotherhood who was thought to be long dead. He’s actually immortal, thanks to some magic done by his cousin, Rahvyn, and he found his way back to the Brotherhood. This occurs right when he meets and falls in love with Mae.
Sarah (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
The female lead in The Savior, and shellan to Murhder. Sarah is a genetic researcher who realizes that something is seriously wrong at the lab she works at. She ends up rescuing Nate, with the help of Murhder, and they form a family together.
Qhuinn’s cousin, Blay’s ex, and Ruhn’s mate. Saxton is an accomplished lawyer with storylines over several books, however, his romance with Ruhn occurs in Blood Fury, a Black Dagger Legacy book.
The Scribe Virgin (God Figure)
The creator of the vampires and the Virgin Mary equivalent in their world. The Scribe Virgin was blessed with one act of creation, which she used to bring forth the vampire race. She wanted to experience life more personally, though, so she assumed human form and brought forth the twins, V and Payne. She passed on her deity duties to Lassiter because she can’t really continue without the balance of her brother, the defeated Omega.
Selena (Vampire, Chosen)
One of two female leads in The Shadows and shellan to Trez. Selena is a Chosen who came down to Earth and fell in love with Trez. Unfortunately, she had a medical condition that lead to her life ending much too soon. She is reincarnated as Therese in the Caldwell Christmas book Where Winter Finds You.
The male lead in Dearest Ivie and mate to Ivie. Silas is a mysterious vampire that meets and falls in love with Ivie quickly. He has a medical condition that should take his life, however, Ivie helps find a way to save him.
The female lead in The Thief and shellan to Assail. Sola is a cat burglar who encounters Assail when she is hired to get information on him. She is kidnapped by powerful drug dealers and rescued by Assail. She eventually discovers that he is a vampire but they do find their HEA.
Syn (Band of Bastards)
The male lead in The Sinner and mate to Jo Early. Syn was a member of The Band of Bastards and is now working alongside the Brotherhood. He meets Jo Early and is in fact hired to kill her, but he falls in love with her instead.
The female lead in the Caldwell Christmas book Where Winter Finds You. Therese moves to Caldwell after a falling out with her family, and meets Trez shortly thereafter. She looks exactly like the shellan he lost, Selena, and at first his attraction is only based on this similarity. They fall in love for real, though, and get their HEA.
Tohrment (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Reborn and mate to Autumn. Tohr is a Black Dagger Brother that used to be mated to Wellsie. Together, they adopted John Matthew. Tohr and Wellsie were pregnant and expecting a son when Wellsie was murdered by lessers. Much later, Tohr meets Autumn and learns to heal with the help of her love. Even later, we discover that Xcor is his half-brother.
One of two male leads in The Shadows and the male lead in the Caldwell Christmas book Where Winter Finds You. Trez is a Shadow, and twin brother to iAm. Trez falls in love with Selena, but they are separated too soon when she loses her life. He is despondent, but this changes when he meets and falls in love with Therese. Therese is the reincarnation of Selena and looks exactly like her.
Vishous (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Unbound and mate to Jane. V’s parents are The Scribe Virgin and the Bloodletter, and his twin sister is Payne. V meets Jane when he is shot and taken to a human hospital. She saves his life, and they fall in love. V has special healing powers courtesy of his mother. He uses these to heal Butch, his best friend, whenever Butch uses his special power to destroy lessers.
Wellsie (Black Dagger Brother Shellan)
Former shellan to Tohr and adoptive mother to John Matthew before she was murdered by lessers, along with her and Tohr’s unborn child.
Wrath (King, Black Dagger Brother)
King of the Vampires and the male lead in Dark Lover and The King. Wrath was destined to be King since birth, but rejected this responsibility for a long time. When he meets and falls in love with Beth, though, his whole life changes. He embraces the Brotherhood and his race and becomes a great leader. He is father to Little Wrath and the democratically elected King of the species.
Xcor (Band of Bastards)
The male lead in The Chosen and mate to Layla. Xcor is the leader of the Band of Bastards and one of the greatest redemption stories in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. He begins as an enemy who attempts to assassinate the King, but ends up as a beloved family member. He is half-brother to Tohr and adopted father to Lyric and Rhampage.
Xhex (Black Dagger Brother Shellan, Vampire/Sympath)
The female lead in Lover Mine and shellan to John Matthew. Xhex is half-vampire, half-sympath, and a close friend of Rehv’s. She meets John Matthew before his transition, when he comes to the club she works at. Slowly they fall in love, and this culminates when he searches for her after her kidnapping. They both help each other heal from deep trauma and find their HEA together.
Zsadist (Black Dagger Brother)
The male lead in Lover Awakened and the short story Father Mine. Z is mate to Bella, twin brother to Phury, and father to Nalla. He was stolen from his family shortly after birth and kept as a slave. Phury eventually rescued him, but incredible damage had already been done. Z is marked by tattoos since he was kept as a blood slave. He is completely numb to the world until Bella breaks through to his heart. When she is kidnapped, Zsadist rescues her, and they fall in love.
Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide Resources
Here are some quick links, guides, and resources that you may find helpful as you get to know the Black Dagger Brotherhood characters and their world.
Official Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide: This book will introduce you to the initial main characters and give you a ton of inside information – slices of life, deleted scenes, interviews, and more. It’s the official Black Dagger Brotherhood character guide and an essential resource for any BDB fan.
Black Dagger Brotherhood Reading Order
BDB Reading Order: My post with the complete reading order for all books and novellas in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world. It’s also a guide to the main Black Dagger Brotherhood couples for each book.
Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide with Family Trees
BDB Family Trees: My Black Dagger Brotherhood family character guide post, with links to family tree charts for the main characters in The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide with FAQs
BDB Cheat Sheet: My guide post with FAQs about Black Dagger Brotherhood characters and couples.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood Book Series by J.R. Ward
J.R. Ward’s Amazon Page: I’ve included links for all the books mentioned below, but you can find all the J.R. Ward books on her Amazon page.
J.R. Ward’s Website: Get to know the Warden, see the official Black Dagger Brotherhood reading order, read character guide FAQs, and more.