The definitive ranking of characters in Lost
On Saturday a friend linked me a list of a definitive ranking of 43 Lost characters. It was wrong. This is ranking is definitive, where definitive means “based on much I liked them for a variety of reasons, with little thought or consistency”. There will be spoilers.
43. Boone – consistently annoying, pointless, helpless and whingy. So glad when he died.
42. Shannon – consistently annoying, pointless, helpless and whingy. So glad when she died. But she finishes above Boone because she gets points for being hilariously manipulative and having nice legs.
41. Paolo – pointless and couldn’t act.
40. Nikki – pointless and couldn’t act, but could look pretty, so therefore better than Paolo.
39. Rose & Bernard – Ugh. Bernard is ok, if forgettable and annoyingly trite in flashbacks. Rose is just dull.
38. Christian Shepherd – his character is basically just there for Jack to whinge about, but at least he occasionally intersperses that with escaping from coffins and being an entertaining alcoholic.
37. Michael – god, Michael was an annoying dick. I get that you were supposed to come to understand that he was just getting to know Walt in series 1, and wasn’t really his full-time dad at that point. But still, he was an annoying dick all the time. Also, his cunning plans were lamentably stupid (which is fine), but they often made Locke look stupid (which isn’t fine).
36. Juliet – I almost liked her for a bit when she was happy with Sawyer in the Dharma Initiative. But I couldn’t tell whether her character was supposed to be calm, or whether Elizabeth Mitchell just couldn’t be bothered acting. Or couldn’t act. I’ve seen her in Revolution. It’s probably the latter.
35. Ana Lucia – I don’t care about Ana Lucia. I care about her so little she ranks lowest of the characters I don’t care about. She spent her time being pointless and whinging about how pointless she was. Amusingly, her death was also pointless, so she died the way she lived.
34. Vincent – he was a dog. He was one of those big dumb dogs that you love to tease, but no one ever teased him, so I’m not sure what his purpose on The Island was. I’d watch an animated tale of Vincent’s Island Adventures though, because I bet he got up to some mad shit.
33. Radzinsky – I don’t understand why he’s listed. Of the minor characters there are plenty who could be here ahead of him. Keamy. Karl. Arzt. Tom. Mikhail. None of them would get a reaction beyond “I’d forgotten about them”, so Radzinsky is representative of them as a group. Although if it was Mikhail he’d rank slightly higher because of his eyepatch.
32. Libby – could have been interesting, wasn’t really. She had a good death though. But her dying made Hurley sad, which is a bad thing.
31. Dr Chang – mainly forgettable, kind of a dick to Miles. I liked his eye.
30. Aaron – he was a baby, so he was always going to struggle to make an impact. He wasn’t even particularly cute either.
29. Alex Rousseau – the best thing about her is that she was in Malcolm in the Middle. That still makes her better than quite a few characters.
28. Jacob and the Man in Black’s Mum – I’m not sure why she is listed out of all the other one-episode stars. Probably because she is Alison Janney. That’s enough to rank her highest of the characters I don’t have any strong feelings about.
27. Horace Goodspeed – he looked cool, and Horace Goodspeed is a fantastic name, but that’s it. Which is why he ranks lowest of the characters I vaguely like.
26. The Man in Black – kind of a dull character when he wasn’t Locke, but he was Titus Welliver, and Titus Welliver is always fantastic, so therefore I liked him. Also…
25. Smoke Monster – … he’s Smoke Monster, and Smoke Monster was cool as fuck. The series may have been better if Smoke Monster was replaced by Titus Welliver though. Imagine Titus Welliver smashing Eko around.
24. Charles Widmore – kind of dull, but gave some great threats and put downs. Never really got as the central to the plot as it felt like he was going to become.
23. Rousseau – of all the Lost characters that I liked simply because they were utterly insane, Rousseau ranks lowest, mainly because she wasn’t in it as often as the other utterly insane people. Nice hair, good death.
22. Ethan – because he’s creepy, he’s Canadian, and “he wasn’t even on the plane” is among my favourite moments.
21. Lapidis – he was always cool. I’d have liked him to have been the actual pilot, and have survived the crash. If he had he’d probably have been in the top 15.
20. Jacob –His giving-not-a-fuck-about-their-feelings approach to getting people on the Island was much appreciated. This is the big good guy, and he got Sayid on the Island by basically causing his wife to get run over. The good guy. I like Mark Pellegrino in everything he’s in (although it was confusing when he was playing Satan in Supernatural at the same time as Season 6 of Lost).
19. Claire – she was nice, and funny, and had Charlie around her most of the time. She seemed to disappear quite often without anyone either noticing or caring though, which has to be a mark against her. Actually, on reflection she was often a complete bitch to Charlie, and probably deserves to rank lower, but I’m not changing all the numbers.
18. Sun – Sun was lovely, but a bit dull.
17. Penny – Penny was also lovely, but also a bit dull. She seemed very trusting, putting up with all of Desmond’s complete shit.
16. Richard Alpert – he was always interesting. I liked how it didn’t matter whether he was sidelining people for Jacob or getting sidelined by Jacob, he just seemed happy that people were talking to him. Being on a slave ship will probably do that to folks.
15. Jin – pretty shitty for the first series, but good fun after that.
14. Walt –WALT! was interesting in the first series. Mainly because he just treated his dad like the dick that he was, when no one else was calling Michael on being a dick. Honestly, Locke was a fucking saint to Michael in that series. It was a shame he got pubertied out of the show.
13. Miles – look, he talks to dead people, but does it with honesty. What’s not to love? Plus, him and Hurley’s double act was always amazing. I don’t think he said anything of note when Hurley was fixing Empire Strikes Back, but he still gets credit for being there.
12. Charlotte – aww, I really liked Charlotte. She was barely in it, but when she was she was cute and lovely and interesting. Poor Charlotte.
11. Jack – I used to hate Jack, but after rewatching I came to sort of not disliking him. He’s interesting enough, even if he moans too much about his dad. I will now admit that the show would not have been better if he’d died very quickly and painfully.
10. Kate – Kate was probably the female Jack – intermittently dull, too whingy about one particular thing, but interesting enough. Plus, oooh pretty.
9. Eko – Jesus stick carrier, church builder, drug runner. Those three things are normally points against someone, but Eko made them work. Probably because he was properly insane. I wish he’d stayed in it more, as an even-more-faithy counterpoint to the Locke/Jack science/faith thing. And he gets bonus points for being in Ace Ventura 2.
8. Sayid – he tortured people, which was always fun. Whinged too much to rate higher though, as he never seemed to be having as much fun as he should have been. I loved his ability to come up a plan in seconds, and the ability for his plans to fall apart in a few more seconds.
7. Desmond – the drunk and mental time weirdo should rank high on any list. He also had amazing hair. He will always be my constant.
6. Ben – just top notch creepiness. I also liked that despite him trying to seem like he was a calm, calculating chap, the entire plot of the series basically revolved around the consequences of his petty revenges, which is great.
5. Sawyer – source of nicknames, entertainment, violence and twists. Gets a bit whingy about birds though. He was lucky that the quality of literature that survived the crash was bizarrely high (especially given the general level of idiocy displayed by most characters)
4. Locke – the most mental of all the mental people. He was awesome, but Jesus, I wouldn’t have let him anywhere near the camp at any point no matter how many boars he brought, cos he was a proper, proper nutter. I wish he’d fucked Jack up good and proper at the end though. I never did get the Jeremy Bentham thing though.
3. Charlie – Charlie was great. His character arc was utterly mental, but he was cool. And if the phrase “Not Penny’s boat” doesn’t instantly upset you I don’t want to know you.
2. Faraday – wasn’t actually mental, despite how mental he seemed. And he seemed really mental: his solution to FIX TIME was to NUKE TIME and IT WORKED. Obviously mad though. I love Jeremy Davies in everything I see him in as well.
1. Hurley – none of these other characters have got a major American rock band to do an album cover that is just their face. Hurley has. His rants were the best. His clothes were the best. His being mostly insane was the best. His attempts at physical activity were the best. And the fact that in the end he won is the best. He’s the best.