Captain Bluntschli A professional soldier from Switzerland who is serving in the Serbian army. He is thirty-four years old, and he is totally realistic about the stupidity of war.
Raina Petkoff The romantic idealist of twenty-three who views war in terms of noble and heroic deeds.
Sergius Saranoff The extremely handsome young Bulgarian officer who leads an attack against the Serbs which was an overwhelming success.
Major Petkoff The inept, fifty-year-old father of Raina; he is wealthy by Bulgarian standards, but he is also unread, uncouth, and incompetent.
Catherine Petkoff Raina's mother; she looks like and acts like a peasant, but she wears fashionable dressing gowns and tea gowns all the time in an effort to appear to be a Viennese lady.
Louka The Petkoffs' female servant; she is young and physically attractive, and she uses her appearance for ambitious preferment.
Nicola A realistic, middle-aged servant who is very practical.