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Skulduggery Pleasant is an Elemental and the main male protagonist and title character of the Skulduggery Pleasant book series. He is a living skeleton, the only of his kind and the mentor of the main female protagonist, Valkyrie Cain .

Personality[edit | edit source]

Skulduggery, despite his bizarre appearance which he hides while in public with a disguise, is something of a dapper gentleman. He has a polite, old-fashioned way of speech, and a velvety-smooth voice which enraptures Valkyrie when they first meet. As well as a powerful sorcerer, more specifically an Elemental, he is particularly enthusiastic about detecting, always searching for clues, much to Valkyrie's and Tanith's chagrin. He is also a flamboyant egotist, vocally exalting his own plans, complimenting himself, and showing off his magical abilities to Valkyrie, at one point walking on the ocean's surface after falling from a cliff.

Skulduggery is a clever strategist, usually forming the plan the team uses, when they actually have a plan, and sharpening his wit on Valkyrie's, taking pleasure in his own wisecracks. The two partners develop a relationship throughout the books. He also reveals that he used to be great at motivational speeches, although he has obviously lost this talent, as his attempt to psyche up the party before they confront the Grotesquery with:

"I want you all to know that we are the first line of defence. In fact, we practically the only line of defence. If we fail, there won't be a whole lot anyone else will be able to do. What I'm trying to say is that failure at this point isn't really the smart move to make. We are not to fail, do I make myself absolutely clear? Failure is bad, it won't help us in the short term and certainly won't do us any favours in the long run, and I think I've lost track of this speech, and I'm not too sure where it's headed. But I know where it started and that's what you've got to keep in mind. Has anyone seen my hat?".

Skulduggery's suave demeanor hides a desire for revenge. Because he died hating Serpine and his hatred brought him back, it forms part of his existence. At Valkyrie's questioning, he describes his true nature as a "dark, twisted thing." Several characters throughout the series have commented about his legendary rage, which manifests itself in the form of Lord Vile, who is Skulduggery's evil side and shows how deadly the skeleton detective can really be since Lord Vile was arguably the most powerful necomancer who had ever lived. When Skulduggery transforms into Vile his is capable of appalling acts including slaughtering hundreds of people, one of the most notable being the mother of one of his closest friends Ghastly Bespoke. However Skulduggery has also shown a very strong will and has managed to fight off his darker urges and managed to help Valkyrie do the same when she transformed into Darquess. He is also deeply remorseful for the terrible acts he committed as Lord Vile and has spent his entire life, or more accurately his afterlife due to the fact that he was dead, trying to redeem himself. Despite the darker side of his nature, witnessing the murder of his family makes him sensitive to the loss of others. Although he accepts sacrifice of individuals as part of war, he is highly reluctant to allow this to happen. He protects Valkyrie diligently throughout the novels; originally only about to arrest Serpine, he is forced to kill him when he attempts to kill Valkyrie.

When the Faceless Ones returned to Earth, Skulduggery is sucked into the vortex along with them and trapped with them in a different universe. This ordeal seems to have had a lasting effect on his sanity, testament to this being when Valkyrie came to rescue Skulduggery he thought she was a hallucination and he mentioned he had been hallucinating a lot.

On an interesting note, the head he was wearing was not his own; he won it in a poker game. His real head was stolen from him by goblins while he was asleep. When Skulduggery came back to Earth, a lot of characters believed him to be unhinged, but he said he was faking this side of his personalty. Skulduggery particularly hates being shot at, as he finds it very rude.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

While his former appearance remains unknown, although he claims to not have been bad to look at, Skulduggery currently resides in the form of a skeleton. He can commonly be seen wearing suits made by his friend Ghastly, Skulduggery wears a hat, scarf, wig and glasses to cover up his face when in public, the wig being described as having fuzzy hair. Before the series he got his skull stolen by some Goblins, while he was meditating. Since he has been using one he won in a poker game, however he is reunited with it in Dark Days. It is noted that his old skull has higher cheek bones.

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