We ask to what extend the SL(2,C)-character variety of the
fundamental group of the complement of a knot in S^3 determines the
knot. Our methods use results from group theory, classical 3-manifold
topology, but also geometric input in two ways: The geometrisation
theorem for 3-manifolds, and instanton gauge theory. In particular this
is connected to SU(2)-character varieties of two-component links, a
topic where much less is known than in the case of knots. This is joint
work with Michel Boileau, Teruaki Kitano and Steven Sivek.