Pretty Little Liars – Core Characters and Family

I have recently become seriously addicted to PLL and I just cannot get enough. I have decided to do a post about it and share this addiction.

Pretty Little Liars is an American teen drama mystery-thriller television series based on the series of novels written by Sara Shepard. It premiered on 08 June 2010 on ABC Family.

Four friends band together against an anonymous foe who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, whilst unraveling the mystery of the murder of their best friend, Alison. Alison goes missing and the four girls drift apart. They are reunited when the body is found a year later. All four start receiving text messages from the mysterious “A”, who seems to know many of the group’s deepest and darkest secrets. The girls work together to try to find out who this “A” and it just keeps getting more and more intense with more and more twists and turns.

Core Characters:

Aria Montgomery

(played by Lucy Hale)

The group’s “artsy girl”, who returns to Rosewood with her family after spending a year in Iceland. At a bar, she meets Ezra Fitz and kisses him, only to discover on her first day of school that he is her English teacher. They decide to secretly continue their relationship and so for some time, until eventually making their romance public.

Aria and Alison had the weakest relationship and Alison was fairly nice to her compared to the other girls. Due to this loose connection, she is not a frequent target of “A”, but is still forced to deal with the misfortunes “A” brings upon her – ruining her relationships and driving a wedge between her parents.

Am I just destroying everything that I touch?

Hanna Marin

(played by Ashley Benson)

The “it girl” of the group who struggles with self-image issues and bulimia. She was overweight while Alison was alive, but after she went missing, Hanna subsequently transformed herself into the most popular girl in school, along with her best friend, Mona Vanderwaal. She falls in love with Caleb Rivers, a phone hacker.

She is the boldest of the girls and she is not afraid to speak what she really thinks. She is protective and trusting. She tends to get in trouble owing to her impulsive and rebellious nature.

She was constantly mocked by Alison for being overweight and when she won Homecoming Queen, she is reminded of her dorky days as “Hefty Hanna” by “A”.

Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool my best friend and you’re dead freaking meat!

Emily Fields

(played by Shay Mitchell)

 The “jock girl” of the group, with a strong talent of swimming allowing her to be the star of Rosewood’s swim team. Emily was closest to Alison before her disappearance and was also in love with her. A closeted lesbian, Emily was outed by “A”. She also falls in love with and dates Maya St. Germain. During this time, she also befriends Toby, Jenna Marshall’s step-brother, even though she was distrustful of him at first. Emily was distraught about her past girlfriend Maya’s death but then starts to date her swim team mate, Paige McCullers.

Emily is considered to be the weakest link by “A”, even though, she has managed to stay strong and come out on top after all the difficulties she has had to face.

There’s always more to the story

Spencer Hastings

(played by Troian Bellisario)

The “factor head” of the group, she is intelligent and extremely ambitious. She thrives for perfectionism in everything she does and wants to be the best. She is a Hastings after all. She is in competition with her older sister Melissa and their relationship is often strained by the fact that Spencer had a habit of crushing on, and later kissing, Melissa’s boyfriends – Ian and Wren. She is closest with Aria.

Why enjoy today when you could be worrying about tomorrow?

Alison DiLaurentis

(played by Sasha Pieterse)

The “Queen Bee” of Rosewood and the leader of her clique. Alison went missing and her body was discovered a year later. The discovery of the body launches a murder investigation with no suspects in the beginning. The police believe that she was killed by a blow to the head but the girls later discover that she was buried alive and died due to suffocation.

Alison appears throughout the show, in either flashbacks or to some of the girls who then believe her to still be alive.

Shy in the streets, sexy in the sheets


Family Characters:

Byron Montgomery

(played by Chad Lowe)

Aria’s father and a history professor at Hollis College. He had an affair with a student, Meredith. Alison and Aria caught the pair out and he asked Aria to keep it a secret. The secret is revealed by “A” and Ella leaves him. They get back together but it ends and he starts dating Meredith again until she stopped taking her medication and became slightly psychotic.

He was not happy about his daughter’s relationship with Ezra and he tried everything to keep them apart. This was part of the reason why Ella left him for good. They did not agree on how to best handle the situation and Ella could take no more of it and left.

Ella Montgomery

(played by Holly Marie Combs)

Aria’s mother and a teacher at Rosewood High. Ella was unaware of her husband’s affair until “A” sent her a letter. She left and then came back. When Ella found out about Aria and Ezra she was angry but later she decides to understand their relationship. Ella left Byron and is now in a relationship with Zack.

Mike Montgomery

(played by Cody Allen Christian)

Aria’s younger brother and a lacrosse player. He suffers from some sort of mental illness, which causes him to burst into fits of anger and later leads him to break into people’s houses for fun, before he begins to shut down emotionally and withdraw completely from his family. He blames Aria for the trouble between their parents.

Ashley Marin

(played by Laura Leighton)

Hanna’s mother, who works at a bank in Rosewood. Angered by Hanna’s shoplifting she slept with Detective Darren to keep Hanna from being charged. After some financial hardship caused by her divorce, Ashley falls behind on her bills and resorts to stealing money from the safety deposit box of a client; the money is later stolen by “A”. Although she is divorced from Tom, Ashley still has lingering feelings for him and when he comes for a visit they end up sleeping together. She ends the affair when she realises that Tom will never change and starts to date Ted.

Tom Marin

(played by Roark Critchlow)

Hanna’s father, who had an affair on Hanna’s mother with his current wife, Isabel. His wedding to Isabel is interrupted by Hanna, who reveals his affair with Ashley to Isabel. Despite Hanna ruining Tom’s wedding to Isabel, it is later found out that they did end up getting married. Tom later reveals that he would be moving back to Rosewood with Isabel and her daughter, Kate.

Regina Marin

(played by Betty Buckley)

Hanna’s grandmother is quite eccentric but extremely smart. She is very fond of Hanna and Ashley, and is very ambiguous about Tom’s new family.

Pam Fields

(played by Nia Peeples)

Emily’s mother is strict and traditional. She expresses great anger and sadness when she learns that Emily is gay. Believing that Maya corrupted her daughter, she holds a grudge against her, eventually discovering marijuana in Maya’s bag and having her sent away. Her relationship with Emily is strained after this but it begins to heal when Pam stands up to Paige’s father for being homophobic and accusing Emily of getting preferential treatment. Pam is now much more accepting of Emily’s sexuality.

Wayne Fields

(played by Eric Steinberg)

Emily’s father who works in the Military and is currently stationed in Texas. He struggled to accept Emily’s homosexuality at first, but took a liking to Maya when she came over for dinner. When Emily was hospitalised after getting an ulcer, he came to visit her, apologising for pressuring her into getting a swimming scholarship and explaining that he will not mind if Emily gives up on swimming, as long as she is healthy.

Veronica Hastings

(played by Lesley Fera)

Spencer’s mother and as a lawyer she frequently helps the girls out of legal situations. She is a well-educated woman and a caring mother. She is a workaholic and is often out of the house. She is more forgiving and accepting but she has high expectations.

Peter Hastings

(played by Nolan North)

Spencer’s father and a lawyer also. He places great emphasis on winning and he destroys evidence that he fears will implicate Spencer in Alison’s murder. Peter strongly dislikes DiLaurentis, who he claims are “always crossing lines”. It is revealed that Peter had an affair with Jessica DiLaurentis and he is Jason’s father. It is also discovered that he paid a private investigator to look into Alison’s disappearance, as he was afraid that Melissa had something to do with it, since he already found out Melissa had been sending Alison threatening text messages.

Melissa Hastings

(played by Torrey DeVitto)

Spencer’s older sister and rivalry, who is engaged to Wren at the start of the series, but later returns to Ian. A perfectionist and the favoured daughter, she was Spencer’s rival for most of their lives. Their competition lead to Spencer kissing both Ian and Wren, which culminated in Melissa breaking off her engagement with Wren. After the breakup, Melissa rekindled her relationship with Ian and the two eloped, after which Melissa confided in Spencer that she just wanted the fighting between them to stop. Shortly after marrying Ian, Melissa becomes pregnant, which again causes a rift between her and Spencer, who suspects Melissa is covering for Ian. When Ian goes missing, Melissa refuses to believe Spencer’s claims that he is dead, thinking that she is receiving text messages from Ian, who is in hiding. After discovering Ian’s body, however,  Melissa becomes depressed and apologises to Spencer for choosing Ian over her. The girls believe that she is involved in Alison’s murder in some way as they find a video that shows Melissa looking for Alison.

Jessica DiLaurentis

(played by Andrea Parker; previously played by Anne Marie DeLuise)

Alison’s mother who spearheaded a charity fashion show in Alison’s memory. She had an affair with Peter Hastings and produced Jason.

Kenneth DiLaurentis

(played by Jim Abele)

Alison’s father who appears rarely.

Jason DiLaurentis

(played by Drew Van Acker; previously played by Parker Bagley)

Alison’s brother and they often fought. They were both conniving and willing to keep each other’s secrets. Jason attended high school and was friends with Ian and Garrett, and they formed a club called “N.A.T” – We See All. After Ian’s death, Jason returns to Rosewood, moving back into his old house  and papering up the windows, apparently looking for something that Alison hid. He explains to Aria, who he has romantic feelings for, that he cannot remember what he was doing the night of Alison’s murder and that someone sent him a note stating that they knew what he did, causing him to fear he might have killed Alison.


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