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King John Characters

King John

King John is the youngest of Elinor’s three sons and the last one living; he takes the throne despite the fact that the second of the three brothers left an heir. 

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Prince Henry

Prince Henry is King John’s son and heir. He is an obedient child, insistent that his dead father’s wishes be carried out, and loves his father deeply. 

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Arthur, Duke of Britain, is John’s nephew, the son of his dead older brother Geoffrey. 

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Earl of Pembroke

Earl of Pembroke is one of King John’s noblemen. He lets his disapproval of John’s second coronation be known, but does not overly object to it, as he had been chosen to be the noblemen’s spokesman for requesting that Arthur be put at liberty. 

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Earl of Essex

The Earl of Essex is one of John’s noblemen. He is the first to hear of the Faulconbridge dispute, and asks that John judge it.

Earl of Salisbury

Earl of Salisbury is one of King John’s noblemen. He is sent to give the news of the peace between France and England to Constance, and is uncomfortable in the duty. 

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Lord Bigot

Lord Bigot is one of John’s noblemen. He joins Salisbury and Pembroke in their search for Arthur’s body. Arthur’s death convinces him to join the others in their betrayal of John. 

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Robert Faulconbridge

Robert Faulconbridge, son of Sir Robert Faulconbridge, is a young gentleman of Northamptonshire who is convinced that his elder brother Philip is in fact the bastard son of the former King. 

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Philip, the Bastard

The Bastard, first known as Philip Faulconbridge, is knighted and renamed as Sir Richard Plantagenet by King John when the latter comes to agree that the young man is his brother Richard the Lionhearted’s bastard son. 

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James Gurney

James Gurney is a servant of the Faulconbridges, who accompanies Lady Faulconbridge when she rushes to court to defend her honor.

Peter of Pomfret

Peter of Pomfret is a poor man who has foreknowledge of the future, and tells everyone he meets that John will give up his crown before Ascension Day. This leads to his arrest and imprisonment.

Philip, King of France

Philip, King of France, is an able politician who uses Constance’s claims on behalf of Arthur as an excellent excuse to make war on England and try to wrest control of England’s lands in France. 

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Melune is a French Count, a friend of Hubert de Burgh’s, and one of Lewis’s chief counselors during the Dolphin’s war against England. 

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Chatillion is a nobleman of France, set as an ambassador by King Philip to John, to formally challenge the latter’s right to the throne. 

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Queen Elinor


Queen Elinor, widow of Henry II, is King John’s mother. History’s Eleanor of Aquitaine, she is an old and decrepit woman still in full possession of her senses. 

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Constance is the widow of King John’s elder brother Geoffrey, and Prince Arthur’s mother. 

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Blanch of Spain

Blanch of Spain is King John’s niece and daughter to the King of Castile. She is an obedient girl who is willing to be used as a political pawn until war breaks out again and she finds her loyalties torn. 

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Sheriff [mute role] brings the case of the Falconbridge inheritance to the King.


Executioner does not like to be ordered to help blind a young boy, insisting that the order must be legitimate. He is nevertheless prepared to carry out his job, though he prefers not to witness the actual deed.

The Messenger

The Messenger comes from France to warn John of the coming invasion, of which he is scared. He also has to report the death of the Queen Mother to the King. He is later sent by the Bastard to request that John retreat.

French Messenger

The French Messenger reports to Lewis that the English lords have abandoned him.


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