Parris Mitchell, an orphan who lives in Kings Row with his German-born grandmother. He studies medicine in Vienna and becomes a staff physician in the Kings Row insane asylum. Through Louise, he discovers the tragedy caused in Kings Row by Dr. Gordon’s needless operations. During an absence in Europe, he is accused of profiting from the sale of land to the hospital, but nothing comes of the charges. He broods over the many tragedies of his hometown.
Drake McHugh, Parris’ friend, another orphan, an idler obsessed with women. After his guardian absconds with Drake’s money inherited from his aunt and uncle, Drake gets a railroad job through Randy’s father. Following an accident, Dr. Gordon amputates Drake’s legs. Randy marries Drake, and Parris gives them the Tower property that he had inherited. They start a real estate business in which Parris is a silent partner. Drake dies from an illness that Parris attributes to the unnecessary amputation performed by Dr. Gordon.
Randy Monaghan, a railroad employee’s daughter, who marries Drake after he loses his legs. Following Drake’s death, she cares for her brother Tod.
Cassandra Tower (Cassie)
Cassandra Tower (Cassie), Parris’ friend, who gives herself to him. She is shot to death by her father, who afterward kills himself.
Dr. Tower, Cassie’s father, a strange physician who commits suicide after incest with Cassie and who wills his money and property to Parris.
Elise Sandor, a newcomer to Kings Row, Parris’ friend whose father buys Madame von Eln’s home. Parris falls in love with her.
Jamie Wakefield, Parris’ friend.
Renée, Parris’ first love, who moves away from Kings Row.
Madame von Eln
Madame von Eln, Parris’ grandmother.
Dr. Perdorff, Parris’ piano teacher.
Dr. Gordon, a physician who amputates Drake’s legs; a medical butcher, obsessed with performing surgery.
Louise Gordon, his daughter, who reveals to Parris her father’s butcheries.
Dr. Nolan, Parris’ superior at the asylum.
Tod Monaghan, Randy’s mentally incompetent brother.