Pierre Gringoire: An aspiring poet and playwright with a sunny disposition and nothing to his name but he clothes on his back. He sounds the alarm when Quasimodo attempts to kidnap Esmeralda and in return she agrees to a platonic marriage with him to save him from the Truands. He unwittingly helps Frollo, his former teacher, when he organizes the Truand uprising and effects Esmeralda’s removal from the church. When faced with the choice of accompanying Esmeralda to safety or saving Djali, he chooses to rescue the goat with which he has developed a mutual affection.
La Esmeralda: A beautiful orphan girl raised by gypsies of about 16 years of age. Her public dancing attracts the attention of Claude Frollo, who develops an all-consuming passion for her, and the Sachette who vilifies the gypsy until she realizes that Esmeralda is her long lost daughter Agnes. Esmeralda falls in love with Captain Phoebus but he treats her love lightly and she suffers for her devotion to the handsome but insincere soldier. Claude Frollo arranges for Esmeralda’s conviction and intercedes to guaranty the girl’s death on the gibbet. She is rescued by Quasimodo but through Claude Frollo’s deception, she is eventually killed at the gibbet.
Djali: Esmeralda’s pet she-goat who is trained to perform seemingly miraculous tasks such as spelling answers to questions with a wooden block and impersonating public personages. Pierre Gringoire and Djali are fond of each other and Gringoire rescues Djali from the mob.
Quasimdodo: The maligned and misunderstood hunchback bell ringer of Notre Dame whose terrible ugliness and deformities mask a good-hearted soul. As a child he was abandoned at the church and adopted by Claude Frollo who named him for the mass delivered on that day. He is completely subservient to Claude Frollo and like his master is disliked by the Parisian populace. His one joy in life is to ring the bells of Notre Dame which have made him deaf. After Esmeralda shows him kindness he develops deep affection for the girl and saves her from being executed and he joins her in death after she is killed.
Claude Frollo: The Archdeacon of Notre Dame, Claude Frollo was from his youth a dedicated scholar of a serious character. After the death of his parents, Frollo adopted his younger brother Jehan and entered the church. As a young priest he took pity on Quasimodo and raised the hunchback to atone for whatever sins his brother might commit. Although he had long feared and hated both women and gypsies, Frollo develops an intense passion for Esmeralda which undermines his research in alchemy and gives rise to long repressed sexual urges. He determines to destroy Esmeralda if she will not love him and succeeds in his task only to be killed by Quasimodo.
Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers: A young soldier of noble birth but poor means, Phoebus rescues Esmeralda from Quasimodo and earns the young girl’s love. Although she believes him to be a gallant soldier and his fiance believes him to be a refined gentleman, his natural tendency is toward ribaldry and profanity. His attempt to take advantage of Esmeralda’s love is interrupted when Claude Frollo stabs him. He later marries Fleur-de-Lys.
The Sachette of the Tour-Roland: The current occupant of the cell in the Tour-Roland, this woman remains in a posture of abject sorrow, pining for her infant daughter stolen by gypsies fifteen years prior. Destitute of all comfort and dependent upon the citizens of Paris for her sustenance she prays to a single tiny shoe, the only relic of her daughter. We learn that her true name is Paquette-la-Chanterfleurie, a country girl beguiled by handsome aristocrats and left with a child and a reputation for sin. She has a deep hatred of gypsies and discovers too late that Esmeralda, the gypsy she hates the most, is her long lost daughter.
Jehan Frollo: Claude Frollo’s young brother. A poor student but a good maker of mischief, he offers witty observations during Gringoire’s play and Quasimodo’s trial. A perpetual drunkard and reveler, and a good friend of Captain Phoebus, Jehan begs money from his brother and spends it on wine and women. Finally rebuked by his brother, he joins the Truands and dies dramatically when Quasimodo throws him from the precipice of Notre Dame.
Fleur-de-Lys: The young heiress engaged to marry Captain Phoebus. She perceives Esmeralda as a threat and mocks her.
Maitre Jacques Charmolue: The King’s Advocate who apprentices himself to Claude Frollo. He serves as a prosecutor at Esmeralda’s trial and using the commands that Frollo gleaned from Pierre Gringoire succeeds in prosecuting the goat Djali as well.
Clopin Trouillefou: King of Truands and a master at arranging false wounds to benefit his panhandling. He leads the Truands on their ill-fated mission to sack Notre Dame and rescue Esmeralda. Clopin dies heroically during the battle with the soldiers.
King Louis XI: The capricious and merciless aged king of France who orders his soldiers to destroy the Truands and hang Esmeralda.