The color inserts of Pandora Hearts volumes feature each character with a unique chair. All of these chairs have something to say about their character, with clues and patterns that can be very revealing. (Click on the pictures for a larger version.)
Volume 1: Oz VOLUME 1: Oz

Oz is sitting on a red chair with a golden rim.

He is wearing his post-Abyss clothes, which somewhat dissociates the chair from having a part in his Coming of Age ceremony, though the cat on his head links him to his carefree past.

Red is the color of the Bloodstained Black Rabbit, and Alice rabbit dolls have been known to sit on red cushions. But ever since Oz contracted with Alice, he's also been associated with the color red: a passionate color that often implies blood.

There are twin chains hanging on the chair, one on each side of Oz.

The golden rim of the chair is a wild mix of spirals and wings. Golden wings around a green gem is the crest of the Vessalius dukedom, and though there is no green gem here, the top of the chair has well-defined golden wings framing a square inside of which a gem might fit.

The square also has four lines linking into it, which is similar to the Pandora Cross' central square with four gates linking into it. It may be indicating a special relationship the Vessalius have with the Abyss. For more on the golden wings of Vessalius and the Pandora Cross, see the Wings & Feathers and Crosses sections.
Volume 2: Gilbert VOLUME 2: Gilbert

Gilbert is leaning against a purple chair with a gold rim. His beloved hat rests on the cushion.

I know what you're thinking. Why is the chair purple?!? ...Well, that's what I was thinking... Purple is a color normally associated with Glen, Break, and Alyss, whereas Gil's color is decidedly blue. But here's the thing... I'm pretty sure it's not his chair! As I'll demonstrate later, the pearl cushion lining and seashell design is unique to Glen's furniture.

Gil isn't even sitting in this chair, he's protecting it for someone else. He's probably looking down at his left hand - the one that releases Raven - because Raven was the first Chain that Glen was supposed to transfer to him. This chair being on Gil's volume insert is showing his "abnormal" loyalty to his Master.

There is a golden chain coming down from the middle of the chair's back and disintegrating on the ground towards Gilbert. Could this be symbolic of his past ties to Glen being cut off? 

Volume 3: Break VOLUME 3: Break

Break has the most dynamic pose, perched as he is on a tilted chair. Is he about to fall or is he balanced? Of course, someone of Break's skill and dexterity can maintain such a precarious equilibrium, and his contemplative expression shows that he's in control. But, at the same time, it shows that he's literally living on the edge. Poor Emily is holding on for dear life!

His chair is purple, which is fitting, but his outfit has some uncharacteristic colors. The lining of his coat is purple, but the coat itself is navy blue. He has yellow belts around his right leg and there are yellow roses in his blue hat. Unlike the coat in his cover picture, this one is tattered on the bottom.

This is the outfit he wore 10 years ago, when he convinced little Gil to be adopted by the Nightrays, so perhaps the odd color scheme represents a transition phase from his old Kevin self to what we know of him now. He holds a lollipop in his right hand because, well, he loves candy.

This is also the only chair whose back cushion isn't connected to the seat cushion. Maybe this represents a conscious severance of his old life from his new one. The rim design is very sharp and prickly, with pointy curves that look like crescent moons, maybe indicating his occasionally thorny personality. There are lines spiraling up the chair's legs, which themselves look like bamboo stalks.

Volume 4: Sharon VOLUME 4: Sharon

Sharon sleepily reclines on a pillow in a deluxe pink armchair rimmed with gold.

This chair shows the luxury of the lifestyle to which she is accustomed. Lilies are sculpted into the gold rim, the flower of purity and majesty associated with Sharon.

Break's influence is all around her. The Emily doll is at her side and she has Break's white outer coat draped over her. He probably covered her with it while she slept as a brotherly (or, as Break might think, "fatherly"), protective gesture. But Break's kindness seldom comes free. At Sharon's feet is Pandora paperwork with a candy on top which he probably wants her to do for him. All in good fun.

Volume 5: Vincent VOLUME 5: Vincent

Vincent is the mortal enemy of anything with stuffing. He has disemboweled the brown rabbit and decapitated the white one. Not even the couch was spared his cathartic wrath.

And now he's bored.

Then again, his posture is very compact and drawn inward, suggesting that he's reacting to something unpleasant... as I imagine would be the case if he felt the urge to stab everything in sight. He's pulling away from the brown rabbit. His right hand is gripping the arm of the couch, his left hand is propping up his head, and he's looking down at that rabbit, and those scissors... thinking.

The couch Vincent is sitting on is dark green (I know it's hard to tell here, but it is green in the printed version) with a yellow rim. These are typically Vessalius colors, but the symbol in the bottom middle is the sword-cross emblem of the Nightrays. The inside of the circle on the right of the couch's back is lined with keyholes - four or five of them.

The Baskervilles did entrust to Vincent the task of gathering the keys of the Abyss gates in Pandora's possession, so maybe it's symbolic of that. But Vincent's first encounter with an Abyss gate was when he was little, and Miranda Barma asked him to open the gate that plunged Sablier into the Abyss. Perhaps the keyholes are symbolic of that, too.

Volume 6: Lottie VOLUME 6: Lottie

Lottie is the poster child for "torture with a smile," and she gleefully provides this valuable service.

Few people would want to sit on her chair. It is riddled with sharp spikes and metal restraints. The chair has scratches and cracks on it, suggesting this isn't the first time she's used it. Lottie lovingly decorates it with a pink rose. Probably has a name for the chair, too.

Though on the cover Lottie was strangling a rabbit clothed in B-Rabbit's dress, representing Alice, the rabbit she has shackled to the chair is wearing a red tie, representing Oz. This is the volume where Lottie began molesting and questioning Oz, and this chair is perfect for enhanced interrogation techniques.

Volume 7: Jack VOLUME 7: Jack

Jack sits sadly on an azure-white couch. His left hand is reaching down to the other cushion, as if he's missing someone who would normally sit beside him. Jack is wearing red teardrop earrings, in contrast with the blue ones he wore on the much happier cover.

A red Baskerville cloak is draped over the next seat. Is it Glen's? Jack feels terrible about being forced to fight and kill Glen during the tragedy of Sablier, so this would explain why he looks so depressed. The cloak also has white streaks across it - are these representative of sword wounds?

This is the same couch that appears in Glen's volume 10 insert below. I'm pretty sure this is Glen's couch. It wouldn't be unusual for Jack to sit on it, since he snuck into the Baskerville mansion to visit Glen on a regular basis, and his own family probably couldn't afford something like this. Plus we've never seen Glen visiting Jack's place, yet he stands by this couch.

Jack and Glen's inserts match quite nicely, and can practically be superimposed on each other (except that the cloak isn't slashed up in the other one, eheheh). But Glen isn't sitting on the other seat, he's standing behind it. Jack isn't looking at him if you align the pictures.

Can we assume that Glen would sometimes sit in the second seat anyway, and that the disparity in their positions is the result of the pictures being from different points in time? Or is there something else going on? Had somebody else sat in that seat? Could Jack here be mourning for Lacie, with Glen's(?) slashed cloak here symbolic of how far he went for her?

Perhaps one day we'll see a volume insert with either Glen or a third person sitting in that second seat, and then we'll know.

Volume 8: Cheshire VOLUME 8: Cheshire

Cheshire is sitting down, contentedly rubbing against a chair overflowing with white rabbit dolls. Leaning over the seat of the chair is the same doll he was cradling on the cover.

Maybe the sheer amount of white rabbit dolls are symbolic of Alyss' multiple personality and wild mood swings. But, most of these dolls, aside from the one loved by Cheshire, look male. The one directly behind the actual W-Rabbit even has bandages over its left eye, drawing a parallel to Break even though the clothes don't resemble him at all.

Father Harris Watson, the Priest from the Pandora Hearts pilot who was taken over by powers of the Will of the Abyss, later appeared in art with a white rabbit head. Maybe the white rabbits here represent various Contractors, who get their power (Chains) from the Abyss and the Will herself.

The chair itself belongs to Alyss. It is purple and looks like it's on a revolving leg, allowing her to see in all directions, being the Abyss goddess that she is. The top of the chair is split into three parts, referencing the concept of "trinity." Only the middle section is lined with pearls. Thorny purple roses grow around the chair, symbolic of enchantment and caution. The arms of the chair end in spirals.

Volume 9: Echo VOLUME 9: Echo

Echo sits on a chair shaped like a bear, with a stuffed bear on her left, while she is hugging a stuffed rabbit. Echo is often seen with these drooling bear dolls that have a noose around their necks, but one was also hanging off Cheryl's fan, and she used another it to represent one of the sealing stones.

The bear is a Janta puppet that Echo got on St. Belligeron's Day. On the jacket-less cover of volume 10 it is anthropomorphized as a bashful girl. The bottom right box says: "Echo's mascot, who has turned into a human, is shocked by this fact and now is trying to find ways to revert to its doll form in order to return to Echo once again. A natural super masochist, its favorite quote is 'I apologize by hanging myself.'" I guess that explains the noose.

The bear does have some similarities with Vincent. The noose could be showing Echo's irritation at him. The drooling could be a reference to hibernation and parallel Vincent's narcolepsy from exposure to his Doormouse Chain. Bears are very dangerous when awoken or inconvenienced, and this is likewise true of Vincent. And, well, Echo is sitting in the bear's lap here, just like she sits in Vincent's. What is this, Pedobear?? XD

But, when Echo was hesitant to talk about her annoyance at Vincent during the festival, Oz encouraged her by saying no-one would find out, so she told it to the Janta puppet instead. This would make little sense if the puppet is supposed to be Vincent. Instead, as Echo's mascot, the doll probably represents Echo's own masochistic tolerance of Vincent's abuse. Maybe even thinking she deserves it.

Echo is wearing her blue-winged outfit from St. Belligeron's day, hugging a brown rabbit with a red tie, representative of her affection for Oz. She looks quite mopey, perhaps dwelling on the happy time she had at the festival with Oz and wishing she was still there.
Volume 10: Glen VOLUME 10: Glen

Ahh, finally, we get to Glen's couch! And what a magnificent piece of work it is! He stands regally beside it, with his right hand touching the top of the seat Jack was sitting in volume 7. The Lacie music watch lies there instead as Jack's placeholder. Is Glen missing his best friend? If yes, then why is he looking away with his eyes closed?

There's a lot of stuff going on in this couch. (Click the picture for a closer look.)

Its whiteness links it to the Will and possibly Lacie. The backs of the couch have a tri-pronged structure, like a very subdued version of Alyss' chair from volume 8. They are also outlined in pearls, and a fancy seashell design connects the backs of the two seats. The pearls appear again towards the bottom of the seats, arranged in a pattern which looks like undulating waves. These are all very aquatic symbols that could be associated with the Abyss.

In the dips below the seats are intriguing winged crosses with diamonds under their arms. Flowers, possibly lilies, are carved into the dips between the winged crosses. These designs are similar to ones found on the Lacie music watch, explained in more detail in the Crosses section.

Note also that the color of the couch here is more purplish and paler than the vibrant azure sheen present next to Jack in volume 7.

The red Baskerville cape here is undamaged.

Volume 11: Reim VOLUME 11: Reim

Reim isn't even sitting on his chair. He's sitting cross-legged on the ground and leaning on the chair with his right elbow instead. He looks rather frustrated by the mounting piles of paperwork awaiting his attention. Unlike his cover picture, these piles are neatly organized and have writing on them.

The chair is black, perfectly rectangular, and its cushion isn't very lenient. This shows that Reim likes order and structure in his life. A yellowish orange flower which I can't identify winds around the chair.

Volume 12: Ada VOLUME 12: Ada

Ada's chair is very top-heavy. It's flared out at the head and much thinner at the bottom.

It is a very black chair, with black cushions rimmed with sculpted black roses, clashing with the yellow-orange of Ada's attire. She wears yellow roses, blue feathers, and a red ribbon in her hat. Taken together, the black-yellow-blue-red color combination suggests a lot of versatility.

Hanging off a chain from some black roses on her right side is a cage with a skull inside it. Is this hinting at a Chain contract?

A thorny blue rose grows along its side, littering blue petals inside the cage and under it. It's interesting that most characters have roses, but they are typically whole. Sometimes they may have petals swept up by the wind, but Ada seems to be actively gathering petals.

Hanging off some black roses on her left side is a torture device, probably from her occult dungeon, showing that she's not nearly as meek and innocent as she appears. The cushion behind her is also scratched, with stuffing coming out, indicating some violence.

She looks much happier here than she did on the cover

Volume 13: Lily VOLUME 13: Lily

Lily doesn't have a chair, exactly. She has a rocking horse, err, wolf. Perhaps she's too hyper to have a chair and needs something which allows motion. Or maybe it just shows that she's too young and innocent, and so her chair is a toy.

The wolf represents her Chain, Bandersnatch, but she's not sitting on him, either. She'd rather put poor beat up March Hare doll there, representing Reim. The stars behind Lily show that she's being playful, but the hare's tears show that he's not enjoying this at all. Lily tries to engage him, and even slapped some bows on him to make things better, but it's not working.  He's too terrified and wounded to move.

Volume 14: Elliot VOLUME 14: Elliot

Elliot sits on a dark blue stool playing a phantom piano, which seems to be generating a pale blue cloud of lights. His eyes are closed and he looks very content. He's wearing his white Lutwidge Academy outfit, but his left pant leg is black and has hatching lines on it, similar to the one had on part of his outfit on the cover.

Aside from being brave and principled, piano playing is probably Elliot's defining trait. It is what brought Elliot and Leo closer together, and the reason Oz sought them out at all. It shows his gentler side and recalls a more innocent time when everyone could still laugh together.

The scene has a very ghostly feel to it, preparing us for the fact that Elliot is on his way out of the mortal world. This way things come full circle. Elliot played himself onstage, and now he plays himself off.

Volume 15: Rufus VOLUME 15: Rufus

Rufus is sitting on the floor, with Cheryl's wheelchair behind him. It's only fitting since he constantly drives her around everywhere. They've been friends for a long time, and have a history of Rufus trying to woo her.

The single red rose is probably a reference to that and normally means "I still love you," which is certainly true for his feelings towards Cheryl, but the way it lays on the ground tied with yellow ribbon looks like a gesture of farewell. Rufus doesn't look very happy, either. Not that he normally looks happy. But here he appears pensive or regretful.

His active right hand is hidden, and his left hand is gripping his knee in a restless manner, perhaps trying to get himself to act.

Maybe this was foreshadowing of his plans to part ways with Cheryl and stage her death for the Baskervilles. If Cheryl is still sitting in that chair, she wouldn't be able to see Rufus or know what he's plotting. This is a literal symbolism of him doing things behind her back.

Volume 16: Leo VOLUME 16: Leo

Just as Leo and Elliot have matching yet inverted covers, so do they have matching yet inverted inserts. They both have a pale blue cloud of ghostly lights around them, but while Elliot's is in front of him, Leo's is behind. Both have hatching lines on their pants, but while Elliot's are on his left leg, Leo's are on his right leg. Joined at the hip, so to speak.

Leo is also sitting on the same piano stool as Elliot, but he is looking the opposite way, and instead of wearing the white Lutwidge Academy uniform, Leo is wearing the outfit he put on after Elliot's death - all black and white except for the bright purple tie and gem that accents his connection to Glen.

Depending on how you superimpose the two inserts, Leo can be facing either towards or away from Elliot. However, if you orient yourself by the cloud of lights, you see that it wraps around the chair and arches upwards exactly as in Elliot's insert. This could mean that Leo and Elliot are sitting on the very same chair - back to back!

Except, of course, Elliot is a ghost. But this doesn't stop Leo from hearing and enjoying his music. Or is he just reminiscing about the times they've had? Either way, Leo looks innocently happy, and slightly sad in a bittersweet way.

This theme of Leo and Elliot as complementary contrasts - two halves of a whole - has always been around, and is one of the things that makes their relationship so powerful and endearing.
Volume 17: Lacie VOLUME 17: Lacie

Here we finally see who was sitting on the Baskerville cloak, completing the trinity with Jack and Glen. Lacie grew to be a wise and dignified lady. Her posture is restrained and compact, reflective of her caged existence.

Her expression is kind but melancholy. She is one who knows all the harshness of the world, yet she is filled with love for it, and admires it ephemeral beauty. Despite her fate as a sacrifice, she is glad to have been born and shared of herself what she could, for however brief a time.

Her outer dress is Glen's purple, since her social identity is that of the next Glen's sibling. Her inner dress is mourning black. It is her private persona, symbolic of her suffering as a Child of Misfortune and the darkness of the Abyss core into which she will be cast. It is the blackness she feels spreading inside her.
Volume 18: Levi VOLUME 18: Levi

While the cover depicts Levi as a scheming mastermind, the insert shows the more nurturing side of this eccentric Baskerville patriarch. He was, after all, the one who raised Oswald and Lacie, as well as Alice. And so, the refined elegance of Baskerville furniture is here beset with the disheveled mess that childhood leaves in its wake.

Levi is out of his formal outfit and wearing clothes more fitting for chasing down unruly kids. His attempt to read them a story has apparently fallen by the wayside, he has toys and clothes in each hand, and he is either grimacing or calling to them in annoyance.

It's interesting that he's holding three toys, mirroring the three chains on the cover. Even though we now know that the rabbits are litterally Oz, they are still closely associated with the Alice twins as beloved plushies. If the two rabbits represent the Alices, would the mysterious yellow-dressed doll represent Lacie to complete the trinity and harmonize with the cover's symbolism?

The couch behind him is purple, the color of Glen. Sprawled on the couch are red garments, the color of Baskervilles. But Levi himself is wearing a turquoise vest, the color usually associated with Jack and the Abyss. Maybe this emphasizes the connection between Levi and Jack.
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DISCLAIMER: Pandora Hearts and all the characters, story, and art therein is copyright Jun Mochizuki. No copyright infringement is intended, and I hope that this essay inspires more people to read/watch Pandora Hearts! Translations are by Yen Press and Fallen Syndicate. Visit the Thanks page to see who else helped!