Kraft Lawrence (クラフト・ロレンス) is the protagonist of Spice and Wolf. At the start of the main series, he was a twenty-five-year-old traveling merchant who went from town to town selling, buying, and trading various goods in order to make a profit. Lawrence’s dream was to save enough money to become a town merchant with his own store. While doing business in Pasloe, he found Holo one night in the back of his cart and agreed to help her return to Yoitsu, her homeland in the North.
Lawrence is a fairly tall man (1.78 m or 5' 10") of average build, with short silver hair, spiky bangs that part on either side of his face, and gray eyes. He has been described as handsome, although his constant travels and work prevent him from grooming any more than necessary to present a professional appearance to potential buyers and sellers, which results in him having a beard. He typically wears a brown jacket, a white long-sleeved shirt with a high collar, a green vest laced in the front, and black pants.
Lawrence is quite mature compared to the other men his age in the series. He excels in everything related to business and takes pride in that fact. He enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge with Holo, who is a quick study, and he sometimes doesn't give enough credit to her. He has traveled alone for most of his life so he doesn't always pick up social cues especially from Holo and other women. Holo sometimes has to spell things out for Lawrence until he gets it. Lawrence is practical and frugal toward material possessions and rarely purchased things he did not need until Holo joined him. Lawrence takes his word seriously and keeps his promises as best as he can, especially with Holo.
Lawrence grew up in a poor village to which he is not attached by particularly fond memories. When he was twelve, Lawrence became an apprentice to a merchant relative and set out on his own at eighteen, with his trusty horse as his first purchase. He had been working independently for seven years when he met Holo. By then he had established a decent reputation and a network of business contacts in the region.
Lawrence is shocked to say the least when he initially discovers a nude Holo in the back of his wagon, and even more so when he takes notice of her wolf ears and tail. Skeptical that Holo is indeed the town's "god" and not a young girl possessed by the devil he demands she change into her true form. However, upon witnessing Holo's transformation for the first time, Lawrence panics and falls off the back of his cart. When he comes to Holo is gone and Lawrence is left questioning what really happened. He returns to Pasloe shaken, but mentions nothing of his encounter with Holo. Speaking with his merchant friend Chloe, he sympathizes with Holo's situation, being alone and basically forsaken by the townsfolk. He passively defends Holo against Chloe's criticism, an action that might have been witnessed by Holo from afar, causing her to seek Lawrence out again.
Not long afterward, Holo finds Lawrence in his bed, already seeming slightly intrigued by the merchant. Lawrence apologizes for his behavior, feeling foolish that Holo was kind enough to prove herself before him, while he acted cowardly. Lawrence agrees to accompany Holo to her homeland and sneaks her out of town so she is not discovered by anyone, especially members of the Church.
Early in their journey, Holo's behavior confuses, frustrates and bewilders Lawrence. Although having the appearance of a 15-year-old girl, Holo speaks like an adult to Lawrence as if he were a child much to his annoyance. As Holo's true form is that of a giant wolf, she is not used to the concept of nudity and clothes, resulting in several awkward moments for Lawrence. Also, Holo's desire for finer food, clothes, and alcohol cause his temperament to flair at times, reminding her of her increasing debt from the money he lends her. After several heated mentions of the money Holo owes him, she asks if it the nature of their relationship is only business and not even platonic. Lawrence agrees that truthfully he has no problem lending the money to Holo, but his life as a merchant has made him accustom to such matters being his primary focus and apologizes, not wanting Holo to feel that she is just "cargo". Accepting his apology, she assures Lawrence that she will repay her debt with interest, but for now, asks him to be patient with her.
As they travel more, Lawrence explains the world of business to Holo, and she in return explains her view of things through wolf eyes. In effect, they begin to understand more about one another's perspectives. As they grow closer, Holo has fun flirting with Lawrence, and takes great delight in making him blush. Their relationship begins to change as Holo proves herself both charming and witty when it comes to business negotiations. Lawrence is impressed when Holo convinced another merchant to pay far above the standard price for furs.
Holo's keen senses allow her and Lawrence to escape thugs from Medio Trading who were waiting outside their room at the inn. They go as far as they can together before it becomes clear that only one of them will be able to reach the Milone Trading house's safety. Lawrence is clearly reluctant to leave Holo, as she assures him that everything will be all right and she will await his rescue. They share an intimate moment together, Holo revealing that she does indeed have faith in Lawrence. Before he can stop her, Holo causes a distraction leading the Medio thugs away and allowing Lawrence to reach safety. It isn't until Holo is taken captive by Medio Trading that he realizes how close to Holo he has grown. When he realizes that they have discovered she is the deity Holo the Wise Wolf, he completely panics, worried about what they will do to her especially if they hand her over to the Church.
While Holo spends time in captivity, Lawrence works with Milone Trading to attempt a daring rescue operation. When they are reunited in the underground sewer system during their escape, Holo acts very cold to Lawrence. Holo explains her encounter with Chloe who is working for the Church and the shame she felt being berated by a citizen of the town she was once worshiped in. In a moment of anger she yells at Lawrence, angry that he did not rescue her sooner, that because he is a man it should have been natural for him to come for her. Seeing that Chloe's words deeply affected Holo, Lawrence comforts her as she cries before him a second time; something she hates doing. Lawrence convinces her that it is not a completely bad thing that the townsfolk no longer need her, getting her to see there is a liberating aspect, and that she may return to the north guilt-free.
Here, Lawrence's feelings toward Holo take another change as they are pursued through the underground sewer system. Lawrence put himself between Holo and their assailants defending her. However, after a skirmish Lawrence is stabbed and begins losing blood. Holo does her best to patch him up and find a way out, but can't keep Lawrence from blacking out. Caught in a dead-end, Lawrence decides to fight or go down swinging. To complicate matters, Chloe attempts to convince Lawrence to give Holo up, reminding him of the dream of the two of them owning a shop together. Much to Holo's dismay, Lawrence admits that owning a shop with Chloe has been his dream for a long time. However, Lawrence cannot bring himself to turn Holo over saying: "I'm not sure what I did to deserve to this turn of events but I just happened to meet a strange wolf. She wants to return to the north and I made a contract to accompany her. I cannot break that contract; I gave my word." This broke off his friendship with Chloe.
Hearing Chloe gives approval to kill Lawrence (as they need Holo alive to be delivered to the church) and knowing Lawrence in his weakened state will not prevail in a fight, Holo chooses to step up, throwing Lawrence to the ground. Since Lawrence is the only person who has ever protected Holo, she protects him by morphing into her wolf form using his blood as a catalyst. Knowing the visceral being she will become, Holo pleads with Lawrence to look away, not wanting him to see her in such a feral state. In her true form, Chloe's thugs are no match for Holo and she makes short work of them. It is unclear if Holo intended to kill Chloe or simply terrify her for what she said to Holo, but Lawrence pleads with Holo to not kill her. By this time, Lawrence has lost a significant amount of blood to the point where he can’t stand up straight. Unsure of herself, her stance with Lawrence, and the impact of her transformation before the group of mercenaries, Holo (still in wolf form) decides to leave humiliated. Lawrence calls out to her from the ground, too weak to chase after her, pleading for her to come back. Lawrence, in a mix of desperation and anger, brings up the fact that she owes him money and swears he will follow her until the debt is paid. He soon blacks out from blood loss.
When Lawrence awakens, now in the care of Milone Trading with his arm bandaged, he is told by Richten Marlheit that Holo had made sure Lawrence was moved to safety before leaving without saying where she was going. This news deeply affects Lawrence, not thinking of the debt Holo owes him, but rather that she left without even saying goodbye. Once he receives an invoice, Lawrence rushes to the loading area, hoping that items purchased were by Holo, and indeed they are. A solemn Holo in her new clothes explains that she will not have Lawrence follow her to the north to collect and that she will not return home without settling her debt. A delighted Lawrence agrees, however, it is clear to the onlookers, including Marlheit who had trailed after him, that Holo's company means much more to Lawrence than debt collection. Richten Marlheit looks onward at the duo as they shake/hold hands making the comment: "Spice and wolf seems fitting enough to me.”
Following these events, Lawrence and Holo are back to business as usual. They spend a day shopping for clothes and discussing the various ways to enjoy apples. Holo now flirts and teases Lawrence more, making him jealous when she flirts with other men. However, Holo assure Lawrence that while teasing other men (such as the money dealer Weiz) can be fun, they know it is a game. She prefers to tease Lawrence, and admits that it’s nice to speak with an "intelligent male", insinuating, but not confirming, that her affection for Lawrence goes beyond playful flirting. By this point Holo has also become more openly affectionate toward Lawrence, enjoying holding his hand and being by his side. Although she does rebuke him after she attempts to hold his hand a second time, only to have Lawrence move both times without realizing what he was doing. However, Lawrence "[catches] the happiness" on her third attempt, reinforcing their blossoming relationship and foreshadowing events to come.
Through most of the first season, Lawrence is very tolerant of Holo's behavior. He enjoys making smart remarks in regards to her drinking and eating habits, provoking Holo to punch/hit/pinch him in response; a behavior becoming a mime theme in their relationship. Even so, when Lawrence finds himself stuck with a large debt after the arms market collapses, Holo refuses to leave his side, wanting to help think of a solution. Lawrence, who generally keeps a good nature, especially with Holo, begins to feel the weight of his circumstance when he can find no one who will loan him money. In a moment of frustration after a potential loaner accuses Lawrence of not being honest about his financial situation (thinking that he was still well off enough to keep a "girl" around) he blames his luck on Holo unjustly. A dejected Holo decides to return to the inn, while Lawrence is left regretting his words, fearing he might not be able to fully take them back.
Upon returning to the inn late that evening, Lawrence heartfully apologizes for his behavior. Holo in return becomes upset that Lawrence is not angry with her as she rightfully admits that it was because of her that he could not get a loan. She rebukes him for his good nature towards her, but Lawrence tells her he had no right to blame her for his misfortune when she came along to help. Here, Holo admits that she was "selfish", wanting to be by his side, causing every potential loaner to reject Lawrence. It is clear that Holo is more upset with herself rather than Lawrence, she blames herself, but Lawrence explains that he is simply grateful that she is still here as he was worried he might have said things that he couldn't take back.
Again, the pair find themselves coming very close to revealing how they feel about each other. Lawrence, although prompted by Holo to do so, admits that she is very special to him. However, Holo's defensiveness kicks in, covering up the intimate moment with a joke, even though it is clear that Lawrence feels the tension between the two of them is anything but.
Holo presents Lawrence with a plan to repay his debt involving Nora Arendt and smuggling gold past a security checkpoint (untaxed and unregulated gold being quite profitable on the open market). Involving Nora (who is a shepherd) in her plot illustrates Holo's attachment to Lawrence. Not only are shepherds an enemy of wolves (individuals who Holo admits she does not like "one bit"), but she is clearly showing signs of jealously when Lawrence takes a liking to Nora. Having Nora involved in their scheme shows how intent Holo is on helping Lawrence, being able to put aside her contempt for Nora's profession and jealously for Lawrence's affection. Holo admits to Lawrence that she wants the scheme to be over quickly so they can continue their travels together alone. She even kneels before another wolf deity who is much younger than she so they may pass through its forest territory without trouble. Again, this is significant as Holo is a very proud wolf and doubtfully would kneel under other circumstances.
In the time when Holo is dealing with the younger deity, Lawrence is betrayed by Remelio Trading who holds his debt. He manages to free himself, and chases after them to be found in the mud by Holo. Again, she rebukes him for his kind nature, noting that even in roughed up shape, he still thought to fold her robe to keep it dry. Upset that greed on behalf of Remelio Trading has ruined her plans, Holo vows that they all shall pay. Lawrence begs Holo to hold off on attacking Hans Remelio himself, and save Nora, who was told Holo and Lawrence were found dead after a wolf attack. Again, proving her commitment to Lawrence, she agrees to save Nora from Remelio's, reminding him of her personal feelings toward shepherds. Lawrence again expresses how grateful he is to her. After dealing with Remelio's men and saving Nora, it is Lawrence who convinces Holo that murdering all those involved is not the best choice. He agrees that in her wolf form, she could dispose of any resistance or revenge, but the repercussions of Remelio Trading going bankrupt would affect people who had nothing to do with the betrayal. As Holo the Wise Wolf, taking advice from a mere human is rare, but Holo sees Lawrence's reason, scoffing that she has the most "troubling" companion.
Once everything is settled with Remelio Trading and Lawrence's debt is paid off, he meets Holo at the inn. Deciding to go for a walk, Holo and Lawrence walk the darkened streets until dawn. Holo asks Lawrence who's the name (hers or Nora's) he cried out when during the battle when it looked as if Holo (lost in bloodlust and in her wolf form) would turn her aggression toward Nora and her sheepdog. After a long silence, Lawrence tells Holo he called her name, but Holo's ears detect the lie in his voice. Lawrence admits it is a lie, and truthfully he doesn't know what name he called out, but admits it was more than likely Holo's because it is much shorter. This answer infuriates Holo, preferring that he'd just said he called Nora's name rather than hers if that was the only reason. Remembering how unskilled Lawrence is with women, she grants him one last chance to tell her (referencing when she told him that sometimes there are things you want to hear even if it is a lie). Lawrence then notices the clocktower will soon strike the top of the hour. Once the bells start chiming, whatever answer Lawrence gives her is drowned out by the noise. Holo is seen looking quite frustrated, mouthing something inaudible to Lawrence, who innocently raises a hand to his ear as he cannot hear her either probably only to get on her nerves, prompting Holo to start hitting Lawrence until she is too exhausted to do so. When the bells silence again, Lawrence softy replies "Holo... yeah, I think I like that name better after all."
- "We are both of us merchants, and I'll promise you one thing. We will not laugh until we get the money, and we will not cry until we go bankrupt. And guess what? We are going to laugh." (to Holo)
- "I'm not sure what I did to deserve this turn of events, but I just happened to meet a strange wolf. She wants to return to the north, and I made a contract to accompany her. I cannot break that contract. I gave my word." (to Chloe, Season 1, Episode 6)
- "The wise wolf whose pride is her wisdom isn't so sharp as drunk." (to Holo, Season 1, Episode 7)
To be added...