Iroedh carries the burden of Rogue Queen's themes. The theme of love is developed through her as she grows from a repressed spirit that could be an emotional child forever to a fully resplendent, loving woman. One of the aspects of Rogue Queen that elevates it above ordinary fiction is the well-rounded characterization of Iroedh. She is not an alien "creature," she is "human"—a word de Camp uses often to describe the Avtini.

At the beginning, she is already unusually independent for a "worker." She studies the ancient civilization of the pre- Communitarian Avtini; and she carries on a close friendship with the drone Antis. These interests are regarded as frivolous by other Elhamni, and she is already a bit of an outsider. By steadily increasing the pressure on Iroedh, the novel forces her to grow and to mature into a fully independent spirit. First, she learns to think for herself, and thereby figures out how to blackmail Bloch and save Antis from execution. Then she rides in Bloch's helicopter and overcomes her fear of flying in order to help Antis. Each time she thinks for herself she becomes freer; each time she overcomes her fears, her character matures and strengthens.

The other principal characters are welldrawn, except for Rhodh of Elham, who is the stereotypical bureaucrat— arrogant toward those beneath her social station and sycophantic toward those above her. On the other hand, Winston Bloch and Barbe Dulac transcend their symbolic roles as examples of Earthly marital customs. Bloch is a shy scientist whose personality is revealed in several stressful situations. In some, he is courageous, particularly when Dulac is endangered. Sometimes he panics and uses poor judgment; other times he is self-absorbed; at other moments he is sensitive to the feelings of those around him. Barbe Dulac takes longer to be individualized, but she eventually emerges as a patient woman with good sense, although she sometimes has trouble understanding the motives of men. By having independent personalities, and by bickering and loving, they form a couple that is at once representative and unique.

Antis' development as a man and as Iroedh's lover is less credible. A drone who was raised to be a sex machine, and who was kept isolated from worldly matters, he too rapidly becomes a canny leader and dominating male. Although he learns to absorb Iroedh's ideas as if they were his own, he does not learn enough from her to make his maturation believable. Even so, his good nature, passion for Iroedh, and ability to understand strange new concepts make him a credible mate for Iroedh by the novel's conclusion.