Goneril Ross

Previously a Rowntree, Goneril married into the Ross family by way of their only child, Edgar Ross, and even provided him a daughter for all that they certainly were not in love — but she wanted a guaranteed place at the right hand of the heir to the Ross fortune. These days, the two rarely share the same bed, but remain a functional unit of family all the same where both parents have their own separate priorities and aspirations. Edgar wants to enjoy life, whereas Goneril would prefer to conquer it.

She is a mechanic of some skill, a talent she picked up with books about automobiles when she was a teenager — her attempt at being eccentric, was the general view on it, seeing as Goneril was not well known for a work ethic or getting her hands dirty. She uses her knowledge and access to parts to help with trade with the out-of-Dornie fuel hoarders, which she intends to be but one puzzle piece in the grand picture of galvanising the two clans into one, with her and Edgar at its heart. Or just her.


Full Name: Goneril Ross (née Rowntree)
Age: 34
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Light brown

Status: Alive
Occupation: Tradeswoman
Origin: Dornie, Scotland
Allegiance: Clan Ross

First Seen:
Last Seen:

Description: Mahogany-coloured hair worn long frames a pale, heart-shaped face, fringe brushing full, dark brows and making hazel eyes beneath all the more striking. Goneril pays attention to her appearance, making sure her wavy tresses are in some semblance of order, and that her face is clean and clear. When she smiles, and she does so often, the prominent cupids bow of her mouth stretches thin while her lower lip retains more of its full tear drop shape.

Halfway through her fourth decade, Goneril doesn't look the part of a mechanic, but she's never felt that being feminine is excluded by her trade. She dresses practically, but flatteringly for her slender 5'6” frame. She's just as often found in durable work boots, trousers, and button-down shirts, as she is in skirts and blouses.


Portrayed by: Amelia Warner


The youngest of Marcus and Helen Rowntree's three children, it didn't take Goneril long to figure out her place in the world: squarely behind her two elder brothers. She was born into power and influence, and enjoys both those things, but found herself discontent with being the heir to nothing. When she was old enough to understand how such things worked, she began attempting to foster a romance with Edgar Ross. To her, Edgar loving her was inconsequential to her plans. If he did, so much the better, but all she really needed was for him to believe that she would make the best partner. It helps that her parents and his both supported the union, either realising Goneril's plans, or devising such a political marriage on their own. At any rate, Goneril got her wish, even if Edgar was somewhat reluctant to go through with it.

For all that her marriage isn't one of love, Goneril did make good on her promise to be a good partner for Edgar. His interests are her interests, and she does her best to help further them as she can. They are allies, and Goneril was convinced that nothing in the world would matter more to her than her and his positions in Dornie until the birth of their first child. With the mortality rate as high as it is among infants, Goneril would not allow herself to become excited, even as the child grew in her belly. She was rather cold and detached about her pregnancy, for the most part, perhaps unusual for a girl of only nineteen. It was Edgar that named the child, though Goneril refused to allow that for the first month of their daughter's life, out of such a terrible paranoia that she would not survive if they were too keen to embrace her. But once named, Cordelia Ross became the one person Goneril cared more about than her own ambition.

Subsequently, Goneril's new ambition was to build a legacy for her daughter to inherit someday. She wanted to be certain that Cordie would have all the power and wealth she could be afforded when that time would come. As the years passed, she continued to further her husband's standing, as well as offering her support to her brothers and her parents where it was needed. Often she would offer to go to bat on her eldest brother Edmund's behalf, as she enjoyed the political realm where he did not. But it was that love of politicking that would make her wary of her other brother, Duncan, but also encourage her to keep him close. She could never guess that Duncan would be a legitimate threat to Cordelia's inheritance through his own illegitimate parentage. If she were aware – if anyone but Helen Rowntree, and the Rosses were aware – it would change the way those so inclined would play the game entirely.

Goneril has always been first and foremost concerned with her daughter's needs ahead of Cordie's wants. Much to her mother's chagrin, Cordie's wants include humanitarian efforts over learning trade skills. While Edgar would encourage the girl's desires, Goneril felt she needed to temper that idealism with practicality, and promised her daughter an apprenticeship with her brother's wife Aislinn if she would agree to first learn the basics of mechanics. Such give and take works just as well in politics as it does in childrearing, fortunately. Goneril can see how deeply affected her daughter is by her work as a physician's assistant, and though she feels bad for her, she is eager to see the altruistic streak bled out of her. With Cordelia at fifteen, Goneril needs to begin considering the best match for her, and which union would bring the most benefit to Clan Ross. She's acutely aware of those who would take advantage of her daughter, and as such is excessively protective of her personal relationships. After all, she first began her manipulations in earnest at Cordie's age.


Goneril was unquestionably born into privilege, and married further into it out of a sense of entitlement. She firmly believes she is meant to be where she is, and though she's aware that she has to work to maintain what she has, and to obtain more, she feels it is her right to have all that she does. She does have pity for those who have less than her, but feels it's due to their misfortune, while she benefits from the luck of the draw.

For all that her ambition is apparent, Goneril does her best to be genuinely charming, believing in the adage about catching flies with honey. When the situation calls for it, however, she's unafraid to be perfectly caustic and flaunt her influence to get her way. Her anger comes nowhere close to rivalling that of her eldest brother's, but she's been known to have her moments. It is also her own nature that causes her to be mistrusting of the motives of others.

There is no love in Goneril's marriage, a fact she accepted the moment she realised she would need to marry into Clan Ross in order to enjoy more than her Rowntree heritage affords her – anything else would have been a step backward. But there is a certain fondness for her husband. She considers Edgar her friend, and partner, even if he is rarely her lover. Despite this, Goneril doesn't seek to fill this void in her life. She'd swear it's because she has all she needs in her home with Edgar and Cordie – that her daughter's love makes up for any she could get from a husband – but the truth of the matter is that she will not risk scandal. Anything that might be used as an excuse to oust her from Clan Ross now that she has provided Edgar with an heir is avoided at all costs.