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October 11 2009

The top five Joss Whedon characters. Which characters feature on your top five list?

Could be wrong but I don't think we've ever done this 'best of' list before.

So many great Joss Whedon characters to choose from. Based solely on the criteria of whom I enjoyed watching the most, my list would be..

1. Wesley
2. Malcolm Reynolds
3. Anya
4. Spike
5. Jayne
Since I'm tired and need sleep I'm just gonna list them straight up:
1 Willow
2 Fred
3 Kaylee
4 Wesley
5 Faith
5. Mal
4. Lindsey
3. Fred
2. Wesley
1. Angel
As per usual with this kind of list, it's very hard to choose..
My love tends to go to the most evolving characters, those who end up having discovered much about themselves they didn't know they were. And also, of course, to those who I mostly related to while watching (but usually those two things coincide).
Anyway, my list would be...

Spike
Billy/Dr Horrible
Buffy
Wesley
Whiskey/Dr Saunders

With a mention of honor to: Topher, cause I think if the character keeps evolving like he seems to be, he will be in the top 5 soon. Mal: he's awesome and he's Captain Tightpants, he didn't make the list mostly because I can relate to him less than I do with my 5 picks. Lorne: I loved the mention in the article..but can't comment further cause that would get me weepy. Wash: because Alan is so awesome I would almost pick Alpha as well..!
Wesley
Spike
Mal
Willow
Anya
So hard to pick! I've made this list before and it always changes slightly...but right now, my list looks like:

Spike
Buffy
Mal
Wes
Lorne
Mal
River
Buffy
Wesley
Illyria/Fred or Dr. Saunders/Whiskey

Hard to pick just five - Mal is my definite #1 but all the other characters could easily take spots 2-5 depending on what episode I was watching. And Amy Acker is just awesome and I had a hard time picking between her roles on Angel and Dollhouse. I think Amy was the best thing about Dollhouse and now she's gone (hoping she comes back if the show doesn't get canceled).

Oh crap - just saw that JotheCat put Billy/Dr. Horrible - damn, five spots is just not enough!!
Hmmmm....

5 Mal
4 Oz
3 Anya
2 Topher
1 Giles

Why aren't there more Oz's on these lists? I'm appalled. :)
Darn this is hard.

River, Mal, Wesley, would certainly be on there somewhere... I'm tired, I'll do this tomorrow after I've slept. I wonder if any of the Dollhouse fellows have made it yet. Ballard or Whiskey/Saunders... maybe Topher. But I'll have a real top 5 tomorrow, though I can't promise it'll be in any order.
1. GILES!
2. Book
3. Faith
4. Wesley
5. Topher
I think I have to go with JotheCat on this one. If I had to pick 'the top five' people in the Whedonverse, I would go with her list of the people I think evolved the most over whatever time we got to see them. In no particular order:

Spike
Buffy
Wesley
Billy/Dr. Horrible
Dr. Saunders/Whiskey/?

and an honourable mention for Topher who is already starting to develop on his road to the possible future we saw in Epitaph One.

If we were talking about my favourite Whedonverse characters, I would definitely include Mal on the list. :)
Oh, bloody hell, I forgot Giles.. how did I not mention Giles?! Mention of honor to Giles, too!

Samatwitch, wow, total agreement on the top 5 (6..and 7..:-D)..that's rare ;-)!
1. River
2. Faith
3. Anya
4. Mal
5. Winifred/Illyria
I filled my quota by Buffy season 3.

The Mayor
Giles
Angel
Wesley
Buffy

Next time we'll do the top 100 Joss characters.
My order would be Mal, Wesley, Giles, Jayne, Oz. At least, that's what I first came up with. It's hard not to put Dr. Horrible or Topher on some place, though, and Kaylee and Wash deserve to place.
This is impossible.

I want to fit Alpha and/or Captain Hammer into mine so badly but I don't think it's going to happen.
1.Spike
2.Buffy
3.Giles
4.Faith
5.Topher

and limiting to five really is hard, because this list is sorely missing my firefly favorites.
1. Faith
2. Fred
3. Cordelia
4. Wesley
5. Topher
Angel, Buffy, Mal, Willow, River
Any list of Whedon's best characters that doesn't include Wesley or Mal is a pretty bad list.


My top 5:

Wesley
Xander
Mal
Fred
Billy/Dr. Horrible
1. Spike
2. Giles
3. Tara
4. Angel
5. Lorne
This is torture. But here it goes... without thinking too much:

1. Xander
2. Fred/Illyria
3. Faith
4. Kaylee
5. River
1. Illyria
2. Willow
3. Mal
4. Winifred
5. Giles

"I wish to do more violence"

"This is grief. I'm watching human grief - it's like offal in my mouth."

I could listen to Illyria talk about how the human race disgusts her for hours. Acker's delivery with those lines had such a poetic distain to them.
1. Darla
2. Fred
3. Illyria
4. Faith
5. Anya

Give it some time and I think Adele will end up on that list!
1. Zoe
2. Tara
3. Anya
4. Faith
5. Spike

Runners-up include: Dr. Horrible, Captain Hammer, Topher, Fred, Lorne, Giles, Xander, Willow, Oz, Mal, Simon.
This thread reminds me of Doctor Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory counting Catwomen.

Cooper: "If I were to pick my top five favorite Joss Whedon characters I'd have to say River Tam, Winnifred Burkle, Willow Rosenberg, Rupert Giles, and Wash - oh wait I forgot Topher. That'd be Topher, River, Fred, Willow, Giles, oh no I skipped Bad Horse! That'd make it Topher, River, Bad Horse, Fred, Willow.. Ooh but then I can't include Wash or Giles. I guess that means Willow has to go. But which do I pick to replace her, Giles or Wash?"

Wolowitz: "WILL YOU JUST GO TO SLEEP!??"
1. Wesley
2. Faith
3. Anya
4. Mal
5. Illyria

[ edited by ShanshuBugaboo on 2009-10-11 10:09 ]
Oooh difficult one. For me it's....

1.Spike
2.Angel
3.Giles
4.Wesley
5.Xander
1. Willow
2. Mal
3. Giles
4. Wesley
5. Spike
5. Anya
4. Angel
3. Fred
2. Mal
1. Spike

The top 3 are pretty stable, but ask again next week and the others may change.
5 is too little. I'll give my top 11 so they can play in a soccer team together.

1. Spike
2. Mal
3. Buffy
4. Wesley
5. Jayne
6. Anya
7. Giles
8. Fred
9. Willow
10. Faith
11. Wash
5 is not enough.. I'll make it top 10.

1. Wesely
2. Spike
3. Mal
4. Willow
5. Giles
6. Tara
7. Faith
8. Fred
9. Anya
10. Glory
I sorely disagree with that list. Spike is most definitely not Joss's greatest creation. Thankfully.

1. Connor
2. Riley
3. Dawn
4. Mr. Dominic
5. Justine

(Just kidding.)
Nice to see my boys doing so well! :) Oh, my list:

1) Spike
2) Buffy
3) Topher
4) Illyria
5) Giles

[ edited by Enisy on 2009-10-11 12:03 ]
Ooh it hurts to choose buuuut...

1. Spike
2. Lorne
3. Fred
4. Wesley
5. Anya

Aah, I couldn't even fit in some Kaylee? What's wrong with me?
To repeat the general consensus, five is not enough.
1- Xander
2- Spike
3- Buffy
4- Giles
5- Dawn
Difficult question is ridiculously difficult. My answers might vary depending on the day of the week, the alignment of the planets or how much sleep I've had recently, but for right now I will declare:

1. Topher
2. Mal
3. Whiskey/Dr.Saunders
4. Billy/Dr. Horrible
5. Zoe

I was having trouble deciding between Wash, Zoe or Kaylee for that last spot. Really the entire Firefly cast and most of the Dollhouse cast are all my favorites. ;)

Edit: Oh yeah, and the entire Doctor Horrible cast as well! Naturally. Especially with Captain Hammer as a runner-up, because of the hilarity he instills. And though I have seen very little of Buffy - from what little I have seen, Giles, Anya and Xander are pretty cool.

Gorram it, can we just make a list where we attempt to order them all and describe why we love each of them in the process? It would be simpler!

[ edited by CZGoldEdition on 2009-10-11 12:31 ]
This is so difficult!

1)Angel (and Angelus)
2)Buffy
3)Spike
4)Lorne
5)Mal

If I could go on it'd be:
6)Dru
7)Xander
8)Willow
9)Fred
10)Giles

Honourable mention to (in no particular order): Gunn, Faith, Wesley, Wash, Dr Horrible, Captain Hammer, Topher, Oz, Anya, Tara, Doyle, Jayne, Topher, Dr Saunders, Illyria, The Mayor...

I love them all, really. 5 is not enough!
My Snoopy Dance is in high gear with Spike being number one on the list. He is my favorite character ever on TV from any show. So my list is:
1 Spike
2 Angelus, Angel was just way to boring, but send in Angelus and the show picked up.
3 Lindsey
4 Wes
5 Illyria/Fred
I know just top 5 but
6 Anya
7 River
8 Lorne
9 Mal
10 Whiskey
11 Willow
Hmmmm....I think it would go like this

1- Angel
2-Spike
3-Darla
4-Mal
5- Wesley
I agree with a couple of others - Spike is not only my favorite whedonverse character, but my favorite character from any TV series, ever.

1>Spike
2>Buffy
3>River
4>Wesley
5>Willow

Honorable mention to Topher, he's already on my short list. And I'm really surprised that so many others have mentioned him as well.
Also hard to leave out Darla, Fred, Lindsey and Xander. Needs to be a top 10.

EF:typo

[ edited by Shey on 2009-10-11 12:57 ]
Great to see all the Topher love. I hope Fran hears on the grapevine how popular he's getting.
My top 5 would be:

5. Topher
4. Illyria/Fred
3. Wesley
2. Willow
1. Mal
5. Topher
4. Inara
3. Andrew
2. Tara
1. Wesley

With Giles, Skip and Xander in a potential top 10.
I love the diversity on these lists! So many different and amazing characters.

I will have to say though that I don't understand people grouping Fred and Illyria together. In my opinion they are completely different characters, which personally is why I found the transformation was so powerful. I love them both for COMPLETELY different reasons.
Buffy (way out in front)
Spike
Cordelia
Angel
Wesley

Just missing out: Xander, Zoe, Whiskey, Jayne, Mal

Strangely enough I think if it was a question of favourite actors my list might be different (not that I don't think the above acted well but the likes of Enver Gjokaj and Summer Glau would definitely be pushing for places).
Top 5 favorite, in no particular order because it changes.

Willow
Spike
Wash
Zoe
Illyria

Topher and Claire are already in my short list though, in the top section of the ranking.
Anyone else notice Echo is not very popular? Almost feel sorry for her. Oh well here goes.

1. Buffy
2. Victor
3. Angel
4. Spike
5. Cordy (really sorry to see her arc die)

Had trouble coming up with a 5th... So many memorable charaters...
Illyria
Wesley
Lindsey
River
Faith

Not in any order, don't make me choose!
Anyone else notice Echo is not very popular?

Yeah, you're the first to even mention her in this thread. Atleast Eliza is more appreciated for Faith.

Here is a little list of the character most mentioned in the thread, not necessarily in lists, I suppose, but it's some indication of their popularity.

1. Mal - 28
2. Spike - 26
3. Wesley - 26
3. Giles - 25
5. Fred - 22
6. Topher - 21
7. Angel - 18
8. Willow - 17
9. Buffy - 16
10. Anya - 14
11. Faith - 13
12. River - 11

I'm really surprised how male dominated the top of the list shapes up to be so far. Especially considering the renown of Joss' strong female characters.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-10-11 15:09 ]
1. Faith
2. Willow
3. Wesley
4. Darla
5. Illyria

This probably changes everyday though.
1. Spike
2. Buffy
3. Anya
4. Willow
5. Giles

But love so many more than that.
By the way, I noticed while on that web site that Buffy is coming to the Sci Fi channel. Did we all know this already? It says the episodes will be shown in their entirety. Good news for new fans.
http://www.scifi.co.uk/blog/buffy-the-vampire-slayer/buffy-heroes-and-villains/

[ edited by Xane on 2009-10-11 15:26 ]
Oh, god, what a challenge. This is much harder than a favorites/worsts episodes list. There are so many complex characters in all 5 shows. I need to break it into two categories: Buffy-verse, and other.
1. Anya 2. Wesley 3. Buffy 4. Illyria
5. Cordelia 6. (sorry) Drusilla/Giles

Firefly/Dollhouse/Dr. Horrible
1. Mal 2. River 3. Whiskey/Saunders
4. Jayne 5. Billy/ Doc H
This is hard.

Wesley
Fred
River
Mal
Willow

The top two are constant and the other two came easy but I really struggled with the final spot, could have been any of: Illyria, Wash, Darla, Kaylee, Xander.
5. Lorne
4. Spike
3. Willow
2. Wesley
1. Fred/Illyira

It was very difficult. I could easily put other characters in there. Every Whedon show has great characters.
In no particular order:

Buffy
Angel
Dr. Horrible
Firefly
Dollhouse


... What? I like 'em all.
1. Wesley
2. Giles
3. Illyria
4. Jayne
5. Lorne
I want them all!!

*cough* I meant, they could all very well be my fav depending on the scene/moment.

But, who'll always be up there:


1. Spike
2. Lorne (So much potential but painful with Andy's loss)
3. Xander
4. Jayne
4. Ethan ()
5. Oz/ Angel (with "us"/and in his own show)/ Topher / Buffy / Willow (pre-KenDoll) / Cordelia (pre-blonde) ...
5. The Groosalugg
4. Jayne and Wash (love them equally)
3. Anya
2. Andrew
1. Spike

With Lorne, Kaylee and Dr. Horrible warming up the bench.
Looks like someone is ManEnoughToAdmitIt is too hard to pick a favorite among an awesome cast of characters..LOL..!
My list is based entirely on how much the characters developed, not on who I like the most. Which unfortunately kept any Firefly folks off on account of them not having nearly as much time to develop. Also, Oz.

1. Wesley
2. Spike
3. Giles
4. Willow
5. Illyria
Hmm....

Here's a contrarian list, five whom I really like that I think haven't been getting enough love in others' top five lists:

* Tara. Ignore her relationship with Willow and her death, and she's still a really cool person. I'm shocked she's so noticeably absent.
* Boyd. I've been really liking him since DH 1.2, and I think he's got more to show us. Besides--using a revolver in 2009? That exudes self confidence in classic choices.
* Jonathan. For a damsel-in-distress (Earshot), turned incompetent badguy (s6), turned sacrifice (s7), he's had a good, yet subtle, arc. That, and Superstar is one of my favorite episodes. He's more of a "flavor" character than anything, but think about how much less BtVS would have been without him.
* Inara. She exudes sexuality and mastery of both her emotions and her destiny, yet, strangely, she's also subtly vulnerable.
* Gunn. For a multi-season regular, he's not getting a lot of love--maybe because his arc is from something most can't understand (homelessness) to something we can understand but not empathize with (lawyer) to a vampire who doesn't ever sleep with anyone. I'm liking "Angel: Only Human", and I think it's the only Angel continuuationn comic so far that is unquestionably better than simply leaving well enough alone.
l gotta go with

1. Buffy
2. Angel
3. Spike
4. Willow
5. tie Faith and Xander
although Oz and Giles should get honorable mentions.
1. Wesley
2. Angel
3. Xander
4. Giles
5. Illyria
1. Spike
2. Wesley
3. Buffy
4. Fred
5. Topher

Kinda random (off the top of my head without much deliberation) except for the first two spots which eclipse everything else in the 'verse in my opinion.
Too ridiculously hard. But I have to mention Lilah because no one has yet & I love her.

And the character I'm most excited about right now is Whiskey/Dr. Saunders.
1. Wesley
2. Buffy
3. Lorne
4. Dawn
5. Gachnar

OK, I couldn't decide on a 5th, so our favourite little fear demon is acting as a placeholder until I do...

The top 4 are solid though, and have been for years.
1. Buffy
2. Spike

After that, it's a free for all fight for 3rd, 4th, and 5th place. May the best man win!

Dr. Horrible/Billy, Jayne, Giles

Honorable mentions to Wash, Kaylee, River, Anya, and Andrew
1. Spike
2. Buffy
3. Giles
4. Anya
5. Dr. Horrible
Just a quick preface on my list. I'm going for most intriguing (best) characters so I'm erring on the side longer arcs and the most changed (and I haven't read the comics so I've missed that canon). Firefly falls off my list because the characters didn't appreciably change enough in the first season. Whether or not they were my favorite isn't always applicable.

1. Wesley - Comic relief to tortured soul to ruthless company man to heartbroken hero.
2. Willow - nerd to slightly confident to confident to arrogant to broken and back to only slightly confident.
3. Cordy - waspish to slightly less waspish to losing everything to following dreams to starting the hero's journey to becoming a hero to finding her love of Angel (I won't comment after that since technically Cordy didn't exist.)
4. Angel/Spike I can't decide. They are really 4a/4b depending on how I feel during the day. Same idea done two completely different ways.
5. Paul - Down into and lost in the rabbit hole. A process started in season 1 has left a character so detached from his moral code and his own goals that he is the most enigmatic character to me. If he develops "attack of the cliche behaviour", Topher takes this spot.

I think someone mentioned Echo being absent. But as I look back at these lists, most of the leads are only mentioned occasionally anyway. Some mentioned they don't like Caroline, but that's like saying Wesley is horrible because he was a joke in Buffy S3. I just think Echo's personality hasn't been developed enough yet. Right now, it's like getting intellectually stimulated by your neighbors 12 year old child.
Five is horribly confining. Lots of strong characters didn't make the cut :-(

Anyway, in no order:

1. Giles
2. Mal
3. Spike
4. Angel
5. Wesley ("Kill them all!")
1. Spike
2. Fred
3. Angel
4. Buffy
5. Lorne

My 6th placed character would be Wes
1) Spike
2) Buffy
3) Angel
4) Mal
5) Cordelia

I don't know if this is the order I'd put them in, but hands down my favorite characters of all time.
1. Wesley
2. Dr Horrible
3. Mal
4. Dr Saunders
5. Buffy
I'm going to amend my previous list and add explanations and switch out a character.

1. Wesley- only wanted to do the right thing, spiraled downwards, came back up, but was corrupted from his spiral.
2. Jonathan- Not a popular choice at all, but he's the unsung hero of the Buffyverse to me.
3. Giles- evolved past the stuffy Brit stereotype into a great character.
4. Jayne- Jaynestown was an amazing character piece on Jayne, I love him.
5. Lorne- I thought he was just the funniest thing ever. Have a limited edition figure of him. :)
1. Jayne
2. Angel
3. Spike
4. Zoe
5. Wash

Apparently, I have a thing for the bad boys.

And if I could be anyone else, I'd be Zoe. Inside this mild mannered, short, white 30-something woman is a kick a** beautiful, tall, black goddess. Or so I'd like to think.

And Wash is just funny and loveable and holds everyone together.
Yeah, this is really not easy. Think I'll go with:

1. Willow
2. Wesley
3. Mal
4. Buffy
5. Angelus

But fifth was very nearly Faith. If I start listing honourable mentions, there'll be no stopping. There's just so many great characters.
1. Spike
2. Jane
3. Giles
4. Angel
5. Cordy

Right. Too few numbers and too many characters.

6. Wash
7. Gunn
8. Lorne
9. Zoe
10. The Mayor
1. Faith
2. Anya
3. Lorne
4. Badger
5. Drusilla
1. Willow
2. Buffy
3. Spike
4. Captain Tight-- er, Mal
5. Angel/Angelus
Buffy, Mal, Xander, Inara, Fred
*Crosses arms in a huff* It is hard enough to pick five from each show dammit, without it being from all the shows. Harrumph...

Oh ok, today the top five are:

Buffy
Angel
Spike
Mal
Wesley
Spike is my top five. But I love them all. Well, maybe not Topher. But that will probably come too.
1. Spike
2. Spike
3. Jayne
4. Buffy
5. Mal

Spike is just too big to fill just one spot...he is my favorite character from any show. I think James Marsters has something to do with it....
Mal is my favorite out of all of them, but I'm not even going to try to narrow the rest down. Too many great characters.
Where's the love for Charles Gunn? I see a lot of Gunn in Paul Ballard. Unfortunately, J.A.R's character never got the respect he deserved.
My problem with both Gunn and Fred is that while they started and ended as interesting characters, there was a period in the middle, both before and after the killing of Fred's professor, where I feel like they fell into a bit of a holding pattern as characters and didn't really go anywhere. I think the writers even admit on one of the commentaries that they didn't know what to do with Gunn in terms of character progression. I still really like them both, but they're not among my absolute favourites.
1. Giles
2. Buffy
3. Lorne
4. Dr. Horrible
5. Fred
Charles Gunn is actually one of my favorite characters. There was a lot more potential that wasn't utilized. I think the lack of progression was to give people the impression that he was just the "muscle" until he was 'upgraded'. There was so much conflict whether accidental or deliberate with this character.
I think they've taken Gunn to a much more interesting place in the comics, but he definitely flatlined as a character for a few seasons there.... however, there are worse things that not developing as a character (just look at what they did to cordelia in season 3 and 4 of angel) Horrible character development.
I love Gunn. But he didn't have that much of a story compared to the Buffy characters.
From Angel my favorites are Gunn, Lorne, Fred, Lilah, Drusilla, Wes, I mean the list of favorite characters is neverending.
What is with the Wesley fans!! That spooked me. Good Wes or Bad Ase Wes?

Captain Mel
Angel
Spike
Faith
OZ
River

Tooo hard!!!!!
!- Tara 2-Harmony 3-Jonathan 4-Wesley 5-Lorne

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