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Ranking the 25 Best Characters of 2016

By Lord Castleton | Game of Thrones | June 14, 2016 |

By Lord Castleton | Game of Thrones | June 14, 2016 |

A word of thank you to everyone who voted in this year’s Pajiba Favorite 5.

This year, we had a lot of TIES. A lot. You’ll see as you scroll down. It just landed that way and because there’s no inherent tie-breaking mechanism, I just tallied them as they lay. I only did the top 15 last year, but we would have lost so many awesome characters that I decided to stretch it out to 25 this year. I think you’ll see why.

And now! The Winners! Woop woop woop!

#25: Kamala Khan, Kimmy Schmidt, Dinesh, Quinn, Vanessa Ives & Lindsay Jillian (TIED)


Lindsey had a big season two in You’re the Worst. People love what Vanessa Ives brings to Penny Dreadful. I don’t know Kamala Khan, but just reading a bit, she seems to be a character who breaks some boundaries and has people excited. Kimmy Schmidt is a fan fave. I just watched the first two eps of UnREAL season two. Quinn is such an interesting, provocative character.

And poor, poor Dinesh. So many of you tried to vote ‘Gilfoyle and Dinesh’ as one vote because they can’t be separated, but they were. Does Dinesh’s BFF make the list?

#24: Claire Fraser , Elektra Natchios , Rogelio De La Vega, Pam Poovey, Holland March & Eliza Hamilton (TIED)


Claire was resplendent this season on Outlander in her Parisian high fashion. Pam Poovey is the only Archer character to make the list. Need to catch up on Daredevil, so I don’t know Elektra. Holland March making the list is an indication that The Nice Guys is something most Pajibans will love. I anticipate him jumping higher next year. Rogelio is supposed to be amazing, and our first Hamilton character makes an appearance.

#23: Hodor, Jared Dunn, Han Solo & Gilfoyle


Hodor. He only got two votes last year but this year he thunders into the top 25. Deservingly so. People joked on the Top 25 TV piece that I chose his GIF for the Game of Thrones image, but it was intentional. I was trying to figure out what wouldn’t be a spoiler but would gut the real G.O.T. fans. I think I picked the right one. Han Solo, our first Star Wars character makes the list. And both Gilfoyle and OJ weigh in ahead of Dinesh. Oh Dinesh, you sad sack. That chain is insane, and not in the membrane. Note: That’s it for Silicon Valley characters. No Erlich Bachmann, which is interesting.

#22: BB-8, Kylo Ren, Louise Belcher & Jane Gloriana Villanueva


Speaking of insanity, Louise Belcher makes the top 22. Jane the Virgin made a big jump in votes this season. And emo frontman Kylo Ren gets the same number of votes as two balls with a cigarette lighter in them. Yes, I love him too.

#21: Chewbacca, Spider-Man & Sansa Stark


Spider-Man saw a resurgence after Civil War. Sansa Stark is an interesting Game of Thrones pick who has far more votes this season than last, though I wish she’d stab Ramsay Bolton in the neck with them. Chewy. Of course. I still say this comic from artist Tyson Murphy is one of the most lasting/memorable things that came out of the SW:TFA exosphere:


#20: Alexander Hamilton, Rachel Goldberg, Ilana Wexler & Samantha “Root” Groves

Lin-Manuel himself (now with a near sweep at the Tonys), the sociopathic star of UnREAL, the Broad City comedian and a Person of Interest investigator. Interesting mix of people who all have long-ish hair.

#19: Elizabeth Jennings & Eliot Alderson (TIED)


The Americans has a die hard fan base and Keri Russell’s character got a huge jump in votes this year. I honestly expected a bigger turnout for Eliot from Mr. Robot.

#18: Angelica Schuyler


Our second Hamilton cast member. Can’t comment. Haven’t seen it. I believe the hype, but I haven’t been able to see it. I’m sure I’ll agree when I do.

#17: Selina Meyer


She’s just amazing. I lost, like, fifty minutes of my life just scrolling through GIFs of her best quotes. She’s a comedy tour de force.

#16:Frank Castle & Kilgrave (TIED)


Big fan of Kilgrave. I thought he made that show (and that’s probably not a good thing). Frank Castle looks bad. ass. I’m excited to catch up on Daredevil.

#15: Gretchen Cutler & Aaron Burr (TIED)


Huge season for Gretchen and she makes what might be the biggest jump of any character that was also voted for last season. Interestingly, not a single solitary vote for Jimmy. Also, Aaron Burr.

#14:Jon Snow

Jon Snoo! The Jesus of the North. Now appearing in, like, 1 of every 3 episodes and looking lost and scared in all of them. Totally worth hanging your hat on. I’ll take HYPED BASTARDS for 500, Alex.

#13: Poe Dameron & Saul Goodman (TIED)


Poe was destined to become the new Han, and good lord, he’s so awesome.

Saul Goodman (Jimmy McGill) also had a strong showing after yet another excellent season.

#12: Bucky Barnes


We’re starting to get all MCU up in this joint. Bucky probably got, like, three total votes last year and two of them were for “The Winter Soldier.” Big showing.

#11: Mike Milligan & Captain Raymond Holt (TIED)


Ray Holt is life. I was thrilled to see him this high. As for Bokeem Woodbine’s character? He was the top vote-getter for Fargo, which only ended up ninth in the TV tally, despite the fact that it’s one of the top two or three shows on television. The trouble is: who was really your favorite character? The format screwed them. They were all amazing. But Mike Millgan, in the eyes of you guys, was the amazingist.

#10: Brienne of Tarth


We’re in the top 10! And now the Game of Thrones characters start to flex a little bit. Brienne’s ride of salvation and last season’s big fight surely helped. She stands alone, powerful and amazing, at 10.

#9: Steve Rogers/Captain America


He had the advantage of getting every vote for Steve Rogers and Captain America. My guess is the CA’s would have beaten the SR’s by about 3 to 1.

#8: King T’Challa/Black Panther


Screen newcomer tops even the All-American Steve Rogers! Chadwick Boseman was so much fun to watch, in both roles.

#7: Tyrion Lannister


“I drink and I know things. It’s what I do.” I also star in brutally written scenes in pyramids with automatons. Also, I clearly don’t know some things.

#6: Jessica Jones & Peggy Carter(TIED)


Two beloved MCU characters get the exact same number of votes. It’s strong and smart and beautiful at #6.

#5: Ser Davos Seaworth


The Onion Night steals the top G.O.T. spot from Tyrion Lannister, who won last year. That may have something to do with the Imp being in story purgatory over the Narrow Sea. When S.D. Seaworth talks, people listen.

#4: Finn


A giant number of votes for John Boyega’s character. Absolutely expected.

#3: Rebecca Bunch


Number three for My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? Wow! I didn’t see this coming, but all I’ve heard is great stuff about the show. Absolutely going to check it out.

#2: Imperator Furiosa & Deadpool(TIED)


I checked the numbers three times to see if these two actually tied and they did. Snarky Deadpool and the smile-free Imperator. That’s a sandwich any Pajiban would love to be the liverwurst in.

#1: Rey


Of course. There was never any doubt and it wasn’t even close. Nearly 40% of respondents added Rey to their top five. She had more votes than the next six characters put together. She is a goddamn icon. Deservedly so. I thought about leaving her off my list and it felt like a war crime. When she force-pulled that saber past Kylo? Come on. She’s amazing. A breakthrough character in a beloved franchise. Her winning is a testament to our good taste. Leslie Knope last year and Rey this year? That’s some good mojo. Pat yourselves on the back, friends. You deserve it.

Thanks for playing! We’ll do it all again next Memorial Day weekend.

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Lord Castleton is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.