- The actual author of The Princess Bride,
as well as many other well- reputed books and screenplays. Goldman explains that this is his favorite book, the book his father used to read to him when he was sick. He casts himself as the "good-parts editor," rewriting the original S. Morgenstern version so that we can enjoy it the way he did when he was young.
- The fictional Florinese author of The Princess Bride.
We know nothing about him other than what William Goldman extracts from the original version.
- The most beautiful woman in the world and the heroine of this story. Buttercup loves Westley and her horse. She is feisty and tomboyish.
in-depth analysis of Buttercup.
- Buttercup's beloved Farm Boy. Westley is a brave, multi-talented man who leaves to seek his fortune, is reportedly murdered by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and returns, costumed as the Man in Black, to rescue Buttercup from everything that threatens her.
in-depth analysis of Westley.
- The heir to the Florinese throne. Humperdinck is squat, hunting-obsessed and rather ridiculous. He prefers fighting and adventure to domestic duties, and so he plots to murder his soon-to-be-wife, Buttercup; frame the Guilderians across the sea; and start a war.
in-depth analysis of Prince Humperdinck.
- A Sicilian man of genius. Vizzini is the brains behind the trio (himself, Fezzik and Inigo) were hired by Humperdinck to kidnap and murder Buttercup. He is smug, ruthless, and killed quickly in a battle of wits against Westley.
- The timid, large-hearted and obedient giant who accompanies Vizzini. Fezzik loves rhymes and his friend Inigo, and he is excellent at lifting heavy things.
in-depth analysis of Fezzik.
- Vizzini's man of steel. Inigo is the world's youngest sword-fighting wizard and an extremely skilled and dangerous man. He has spent his life learning the sword in order to avenge his father's death at the hands of Count Rugen. He is an inherently good and loyal man, and he loves swordfighting, brandy and Fezzik.
in-depth analysis of Inigo Montoya.
- Prince Humperdinck's right-hand man. Count Rugen has six fingers on his right hand. He slew Inigo's father, and in the end is slain by Inigo. He loves torture and spends many hours studying it.
- The Count's wife. The countess is the most fashionable woman in what would become Europe. Her attentiveness to Westley stirs envy in Buttercup.
- The King of Florin, and Humperdinck's father. King Lotharon, by the time of the story, is quite old, deaf, and difficult to understand.
- The Queen of Florin and Humperdinck's stepmother.
- Once the king's leading miracle man, but Humperdinck fired him and so he retired. However, Max still knows enough magic to resurrect Westley from the dead.
- Miracle Max's wife. Valeries stands in as his witch, since all miracle men must have their own witches.
- The strange and silent character who takes care of Humperdinck's Zoo of Death.
Dread Pirate Roberts
- The most feared pirate name on the seas. Dread Pirate Roberts captured Westley, and passed the name onto him.
- The Chief of all Enforcement in Florin City. Along with Count Rugen, Yellin is Humperdinck's only confidante.
- Inigo Montoya's father. Domingo was a great sword-maker who was killed by Count Rugen.
- Madrid's most famous sword-maker, for whom Inigo's father made back-order swords.