10 Of The Greatest TV Series Characters

There are thousands of television series available from various networks. However, there are only a handful of characters that stick with us forever. Take a look below for our list of 10 of the greatest TV series characters.

1. Walter White from Breaking Bad

Walter Hartwell White Sr., also known by his clandestine alias Heisenberg, is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Breaking Bad. He is portrayed by Bryan Cranston. A chemistry honors graduate of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Walter co-founded the company Gray Matter Technologies with his close friend Elliott Schwartz and his then-girlfriend Gretchen. He left Gray Matter abruptly, selling his shares for $5,000. Soon afterward, the company made a fortune, much of it from his research.

Walt subsequently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he became a high school chemistry teacher. Breaking Bad begins on Walt’s 50th birthday, when he is diagnosed with Stage IIIA lung cancer. After this discovery, he resorts to manufacturing methamphetamine and drug dealing with his former student Jesse Pinkman to ensure his family’s financial security after his death.

He is pulled deeper into the illicit drug trade, becoming more and more ruthless as the series progresses, and later adopts the alias “Heisenberg”, which becomes recognizable as the kingpin figure in the local drug trade. Series creator Vince Gilligan has described his goal with Walter White as “turning Mr. Chips into Scarface” and deliberately made the character less sympathetic over the course of the series. Walt’s evolution from the mild-mannered school teacher and family man to ruthless criminal mastermind and murderer is the show’s central focus.

2. Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother

Barnabas “Barney” Stinson is a fictional character portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris and created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother. One of the main characters, Barney is a womanizer who uses many ‘plays’ in his ‘playbook’ to help him have sex with women.

The character is known for his love of wearing expensive suits, laser tag, alcohol and various catchphrases, including “Suit up!”, “What up?!”, “Legendary”, “Wait for it” (often combining the two as “legen—wait for it—dary!”), and “Daddy’s home”. In later seasons, he has a few serious relationships, marries, divorces, and has a child with an unnamed woman from a one-night stand.

3. Dean Winchester from Supernatural

Dean Winchester is one of the two protagonists from the American drama television series Supernatural. He is portrayed primarily by Jensen Ackles. Other versions of the character having been portrayed by Hunter Brochu (toddler), Ridge Canipe (child), Nicolai Lawton-Giustra (pre-teen), Brock Kelly and Dylan Everett (teen), and Chad Everett (elderly).

Throughout the series, Dean hunts demons, spirits and other supernatural creatures with his younger brother Sam. The brothers are assisted by a rotating cast of friends and allies, such as father figure Bobby Singer (deceased), the angel Castiel, and Crowley the demon King of Hell (deceased).

4. Homer Simpson from The Simpsons

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short “Good Night” on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks’ office.

Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

As patriarch of the eponymous family, Homer and his wife Marge have three children: Bart, Lisa and Maggie. As the family’s provider, he works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant as safety inspector. Homer embodies many American working class stereotypes: he is crude, obese, incompetent, lazy, clumsy, dim-witted, hot-tempered, childish and addicted to beer, junk food and watching television.

However, he often tries his hardest to be a decent man and is fiercely devoted to his family, especially when they need him the most. Despite the suburban blue-collar routine of his life, he has had a number of remarkable experiences, including going to space, climbing the tallest mountain in Springfield by himself, fighting former President George H. W. Bush and winning a Grammy Award as a member of a barbershop quartet.

5. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory

Sheldon Lee Cooper Ph.D., Sc.D., is a fictional character in the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory and its spin-off series Young Sheldon, portrayed by actors Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory and Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon (with Parsons as the latter series’ narrator). For his portrayal, Parsons has won four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a TCA Award, and two Critics’ Choice Television Awards. The character’s childhood is the focus of Young Sheldon: the series’ first season is set in 1989 when nine-year-old prodigy Sheldon has skipped ahead five grades, to start high school alongside his elder brother.

The adult Sheldon is a senior theoretical physicist at The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and for the first ten seasons of The Big Bang Theory shares an apartment with his colleague and best friend, Leonard Hofstadter ; they are also friends and coworkers with Howard Wolowitz and Raj Koothrappali. In season 10, Sheldon moves across the hall with his girlfriend Amy, in the former apartment of Leonard’s wife Penny.

He has a genius level IQ, but displays a fundamental lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of humor, and difficulty recognizing irony and sarcasm in other people, although he himself often employs them. He exhibits highly idiosyncratic behavior and a general lack of humility, empathy and toleration. These characteristics provide the majority of the humor involving him, which has cause him to be described as the show’s breakout character.

Some viewers have asserted that Sheldon’s personality is consistent with Asperger syndrome and obsessive–compulsive disorder. Co-creator Bill Prady has stated that Sheldon’s character was neither conceived nor developed with regard to any of these traits, although Parsons has said that in his opinion, Sheldon “couldn’t display more traits” of Asperger’s.

6. Castiel from Supernatural

Castiel is a fictional character portrayed by Misha Collins on The CW’s American television series Supernatural. An Angel of the Lord, he first appears in the fourth season, and is used to introduce the theme of Christian theology to the series. In the series, Castiel brings Dean Winchester back from Hell and frequently helps him and his brother Sam in their battles with various demons and angels along the way.

During his travels with the Winchesters, Castiel develops friendships with both men. As an angel, he possesses a number of supernatural abilities, including the ability to kill demons. Initially, the character demonstrates complete devotion to God and little emotion. However, his interactions and experiences with Dean Winchester and Sam Winchester, as well as certain revelations about God and his fellow angels, have a humanizing effect on him. This, despite the stress and harm it causes his character, allows him to develop an independent will as the series progresses and helps the show address topics related to free will.

Unlike the stereotypical portrayal of television angels, Castiel does not always help people, and is willing to kill innocents if needed. Collins originally read for the part of a demon, as series creator Eric Kripke did not want fans to find out that angels were being introduced to the series. Collins prepared for the role by reading the Book of Revelation, and based his portrayal on his younger brother.

7. Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead

Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC’s horror drama series The Walking Dead. The character was created for the television series by writers Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice specifically for Norman Reedus, and does not have a counterpart in the comics, on which the series is based. The character was introduced in the first season as a southerner, expert tracker, living in the shadow of his older brother, Merle.

Despite his ill temper and volatility, he is tolerated by the core group of survivors due to his skills in hunting animals and fearless efficiency in killing walkers. This is particularly important in the early days of the apocalypse, when people with survival skills and the moxie to confront the undead are in short supply.

After Merle’s disappearance, Daryl sheds his aloof personality and starts to bond with the group, particularly Carol Peletier after her daughter’s disappearance, and Beth Greene after the two split off together in season 4. The character becomes the cooperative right hand man and protector of protagonist Rick Grimes and leads several supply runs. He is the longest surviving character of the television series.

8. Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad

Jesse Bruce Pinkman is a fictional character in the television series Breaking Bad, played by Aaron Paul. He is a crystal meth cook and dealer, and works with his former high school chemistry teacher, Walter White in a meth operation. Jesse is the only character besides Walt to appear in every episode of the show. Paul reprised the role for the 2019 spin-off film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, a sequel to the series set after the events of the show’s series finale.

Despite plans to kill off the character at the end of the first season, Paul’s performance convinced showrunner and head writer Vince Gilligan to keep Jesse in the show. The character and Paul’s performance has received acclaim from critics and fans alike. Critics especially praised Jesse’s character development from an unsympathetic drug dealer to the moral compass of the show as he becomes increasingly guilty and remorseful for his and Walter White’s actions while involved in the drug trade.

9. Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones

Tyrion Lannister is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. He is a prominent point of view character in the novels, having the most chapters out of all at 49.

Tyrion is a dwarf and member of House Lannister of Casterly Rock, one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the fictional continent of Westeros. In the story, Tyrion uses his status as a Lannister to mitigate the prejudice he has received all of his life, even from his own family, especially his father and sister. Knowing that no one will ever take him seriously, he soothes his inadequacies with wine, wit and self-indulgence.

As the peaceful rule of King Robert Baratheon begins to decay, Tyrion sees how ill-equipped his family are at holding everything together. He first saves his own neck from the vengeful Catelyn Stark and her sister Lysa Arryn, and then is sent by his father Tywin to impose order on the capital of King’s Landing, as well as his nephew Joffrey, the new king, as civil war begins.

Tyrion struggles to strengthen and protect the city and family who hate him and refuse to see the peril they are in; when his father returns, Tyrion becomes vulnerable to the wrath and machinations of the self-serving courtiers who surround Joffrey, including Tyrion’s own scheming sister Cersei. Tyrion escapes death again but at great cost and in fleeing Westeros finds himself in even more danger and without his usual Lannister resources.

10. Stewie Griffin from Family Guy

Stewart Gilligan “Stewie” Griffin is a fictional character from the animated television series Family Guy. He is voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane and first appeared on television, along with the rest of the Griffin family, in a 15-minute short on December 20, 1998. Stewie was created and designed by MacFarlane himself, who was asked to pitch a pilot to the Fox Broadcasting Company, based on The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve, two shorts made by MacFarlane featuring a middle-aged man named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve. After the pilot was given the greenlight, the Griffin family appeared in the episode “Death Has a Shadow”.

A highly precocious infant, Stewie was initially obsessed with violence, matricide and world domination. He is the youngest child of Peter and Lois Griffin, and the youngest brother of Meg and Chris. Over the duration of the series, particularly following the two episode arc “Stewie Kills Lois” and “Lois Kills Stewie”, the violent aspects of Stewie’s personality were toned down, and he has evolved into an eccentric, friendly and flamboyant scamp.

He has also come to have a very close friendship with the family’s anthropomorphic dog, Brian. Stewie is considered to be the show’s breakout character and has received numerous award accommodations from writers such as Jodiss Pierre.

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