Scarlett O'Hara – The willful protagonist of the novel, her Irish forthright blood always at variance with her French teachings of style from her mother. She marries Charles Hamilton, Frank Kennedy and Rhett Butler, all the time wishing she was married to Ashley Wilkes instead. She has three children, one from each husband: Wade Hampton Hamilton (son to Charles Hamilton), Ella Lorena Kennedy (daughter to Frank Kennedy) and Eugenia Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler (daughter to Rhett Butler). She loses the fourth child, one she really wants right from beginning, to an accident caused by a quarrel with Rhett, after he ducked from a punch she threw at him causing her to fall down the stairs. She is blindly dependent on Melanie Wilkes, wife to Ashley. She doesn't realize how true or strong her love for Rhett is.
Rhett Butler – Scarlett's beau and third husband, often publicly shunned for scandalous behavior, sometimes accepted for his charm. Shrewd financially, he loves Scarlett in spite of himself, unable to get over her no matter where he travels. He declares he is not a marrying man and propositions her to be his mistress, but marries her after the death of Frank Kennedy since it is unlikely she will ever need money again and he won't take a chance on her marrying someone else now she is free. He is afraid of declaring his love for her, afraid of being ridiculed.
Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler – Scarlett and Rhett's beloved, pretty, strong-willed daughter. She is headstrong and as Irish in looks and temper as Gerald O'Hara, with the same blue eyes that give her the Confederate nickname. At the end of Gone With The Wind she dies tragically in a horse-riding accident.
Charles Hamilton – Melanie Wilkes' brother, Scarlett's first husband, shy and loving. He experiences love for the first time when Scarlett talks to him at Twelve Oaks and is completely transformed, fortunate enough to experience such a feeling and the fact of having married her, and died in army without any disillusioning about life or love or war and aftermath of war.
Wade Hampton Hamilton – Son of Scarlett and Charles, fearful and adoring of Scarlett and Rhett, free and easy with his aunt Melanie and her son Beau.
Frank Kennedy – Suellen O'Hara's former beau, Scarlett's second husband, an older man who only wants peace and quiet. He originally asks for Suellen's hand in marriage, but Scarlett steals him to save Tara. He is mesmerized even in the first Twelve Oaks barbecue when Scarlett smiles at him and forgets Suellen for the day, but unable to comprehend her fears for survival and desperation to be beyond the gripping hands of occupational government and taxes, unwilling to be ruthless in business with people he knows, portrayed as a pushover who will do anything to appease Scarlett who can be very loving and caring to him when she is not in a bad temper.
Ella Lorena Kennedy – Comely, simple daughter of Scarlett and Frank.
Ashley Wilkes – The gallant Ashley married his cousin, Melanie, because she represented all that he loved and wanted in life, that is, the quiet and happy life of a Southern gentleman of the "Twelve Oaks" plantation. In that role, Ashley fulfilled what was expected of him as civil war drew near. He became a soldier for the Confederate cause though he personally would have freed the slaves his father owned, or at least that is what he claimed. Although many of his friends and relations were killed in the Civil War, Ashley survived to see its brutal aftermath. Ashley was "the Perfect Knight" in the mind of Scarlett, even throughout her three marriages. She became obsessed with unobtainable Ashley, leaving her unable to love another.
Melanie (Hamilton) Wilkes – Ashley's wife and cousin, her character is that of the genuinely humble, serene and gracious Southern woman. As the story unfolds, Melanie becomes progressively physically weaker, first by childbirth, then the effects of war, and ultimately illness. She had her own unique inner spirit of perseverance, as did Scarlett. Melanie loved Ashley and Scarlett unwaveringly, and dutifully supported the Confederate cause, revealing the naivety of her character.
Beau Wilkes – Melanie and Ashley's son.
Gerald O'Hara – Scarlett's strongly Irish father. Scarlett gets much of her willful personality from Gerald. Gerald goes mad after the death of his wife and dies in a horseback riding accident.
Ellen (Robillard) O'Hara – Scarlett's gracious mother, of French ancestry. Married to Gerald O'Hara, twenty eight years her senior. Ellen was a true southern lady, soft spoken and kind but with the household quietly and smoothly ran. Scarlett worshiped her mother completely but wished she could relate to her. Ellen was killed by an illness.
Suellen O'Hara – Scarlett's selfish sister. Engages to Frank Kennedy until he marries Scarlett she ends up marrying and returning soldier, Will Benteen, who helps run The O'Hara plant.
Carreen O'Hara – Scarlett's shy, fragile, beautiful sister who, after the death of Brent Tarleton whom she loved became religious, and after the end of war joins a convent in Charleston.
India Wilkes – Ashley's sister. Almost engaged to Stuart Tarleton, she bitterly hates Scarlett for stealing his attention before he is gone to war (Stuart threatened to kill Charles Hamilton and himself and Scarlett when she got engaged to Charles), where he was killed. She lives with Aunt Pittypat after Scarlett's marriage to Rhett. Rhett won't set up home in the Hamilton home which is half owned by Scarlett, so Aunt Pittypat had to be protected from being alone. Melanie cuts her off for accusing Scarlett and Ashley of infidelity (which was an embrace of a friend in distress that was actually witnessed, no adultery having ever taken place), causing a rift between Hamilton – Wilkes relatives. Melanie, on occasion of Scarlett's wedding to Rhett, declared that she won't allow anyone to call on her if they do not call on Scarlett, accusing her sister in law (truthfully and completely accurately) of being ungrateful of her favors at Scarlett's hands.
Honey Wilkes – Sister of India and Ashley. Originally hoped to marry Charles Hamilton until he fell in love for the first time with Scarlett and married her; following the war, she marries a man from Mississippi, and moves to his home state with him. Her relatives think she is lucky to find anyone at all and are happy she found a gentleman.
John Wilkes – Owner of Twelve Oaks Plantation and patriarch of the Wilkes family, gracious and loving, much loved by Scarlett as a father figure. Killed during the Civil War.
Mammy – Scarlett's nurse from birth; a slave who raised Scarlett's Mother and belonged to her Scarlett's Grandmother before. Cited by Rhett as "the real head of the household." She is the equivalent of the matriarch of the family, has a no-nonsense attitude and is outspoken and opinionated although she knows how to express herself in ways that cannot be faulted, and must be heard. She knows Scarlett often better than anyone else and won't be fooled or put off where others can be managed easily. She is extremely loyal to the O'Haras, especially Scarlett, whom she cares for like a daughter.
Pork – The O'Hara family's butler, favored by Gerald. Won by Gerald O'Hara in a game of poker (along with the plantation Tara) as a valet, and Gerald considers him a prize possession on par with Tara. During Scarlett's years in Tara when food is scarce he brings home food and is wounded, shot once and tended to by Scarlett personally. She gives him her father's gold watch, an heirloom, after his death.
Dilcey – Pork's wife, a strong, outspoken slave woman of mixed Indian and Black decent. Scarlett has pushed her father into buying Dilcey and her daughter Prissy, the latter as a favor to Dilcey that she never forgets.
Prissy – A young slave girl, Dilcey's daughter. She is portrayed as flighty and silly. She is given to Scarlett when Scarlett moves away from home as a handmaid.
Belle Watling – A brothel madam and prostitute; Rhett is her friend. She is portrayed as a kind-hearted country woman and a loyal confederate.
Archie – An ex-convict and former Confederate soldier who is taken in by Melanie. Has a strong disliking for all women, especially Scarlett. The only woman he respects is Melanie.

There are many side characters who play small roles throughout the book.

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