the 5 most memorable TV characters of 2016
For different reasons, 2016 might not stay long in the memory, but when it comes to TV series, the last twelve months were definitely impressive.
We take a look at the best shows of the year - and the most memorable characters:
- Eleven - Stranger Things
- Negan - The Walking Dead
- Cersei Lannister - Game of Thrones
- Dr. Robert Ford - Westworld
- Luke Cage - Luke Cage
+++ SPOILER ALERT +++ Possible spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen these shows yet!
It was THE series of the year Stranger Things, the Duffer brothers’ nostalgic masterpiece, caused more of a stir than any other show in 2016 (did you catch all of THESE 1980s references?) The eight episodes of the sci-fi adventure with cult star Winona Ryder wowed enthusiastic audiences and critics alike who hailed its homages to classic films like E.T., The Goonies and Stand By Me.
In 1983, a boy disappears from a small town in Indiana just as a troubled girl named Eleven with supernatural powers is discovered. The audience is then taken on an eerie adventure as the characters’ worlds are quite literally turned upside down.
While it is 90s icon Ryder who contributes the series’ star power - the most captivating character from Stranger Things is clearly little Eleven. The young Brit Millie Bobby Brown is completely convincing in the role of the mysterious girl and she more than holds her own with the adult members of the cast. The shaved head also deserves kudos.
The Walking Dead
When Season 6 of The Walking Dead ended in April 2016, it was a real cliffhanger for fans of the zombie series. In a nerve-wracking finale, supervillain Negan was finally seen for the first time before killing at least one of the fond figures from Rick Grimes’ trusted circle. It remained a mystery who caught the brunt of baseball bat Lucille right up to the start of season 7.
Negan’s first appearance also left a lasting mark on the show’s audience. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the charming psychopath so convincingly that his speech to the survivors still makes some fans break out in a cold sweat. And in Season 7 he is the same. Negan remains an incredibly entertaining character who you sort of like, despite his evil and brutal nature.
Game of Thrones
This year, the runaway mega-series Game of Thrones primarily focused on the story of Cersei. Impressively portrayed by Lena Headey, in Season 6 the Lannister lady has little to lose and goes on a bloody vendetta against the High Sparrow during which several characters die in a gigantic explosion.
In the end, another part of the old prophecy comes true: Cersei’s last son Tommen dies - he commits suicide after Margaery was killed because of his mother’s plot. Cersei becomes the sole ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and may follow in Aerys Targaryen’s footsteps as the next Mad Queen.
2016 also saw the launch of Westworld, a lavishly produced sci-fi western series, which was met with rave reviews and even attracted more viewers than Game of Thrones in the US.
In a futuristic amusement park, rich visitors can immerse themselves in the Wild West and live out their darkest fantasies. This is made possible by the employees of the park, humanlike androids who are all seemingly oblivious to the outside world. Until now.
Alongside actress Evan Rachel Wood, the show, produced by JJ Abrams, is also notable for the presence of acting legend Anthony Hopkins. He plays Robert Ford, the brilliant inventor of the park and the first creator of lifelike androids. The mysterious Dr. Frankenstein-type character charms the audience but betrays an arrogant and sometimes scarily sinister side.
Also this year, the Netflix hit Luke Cage reached our screens, the first series with a black superhero in the title role. The show is based on the eponymous comic strips from the Marvel universe and, along with Daredevil and Jessica Jones, is the third in a series of planned shows that will ultimately lead to the crossover The Defenders.
Luke Cage possesses superhuman strength because of a sabotaged experiment that also gives him bulletproof skin. However, Cage doesn’t want to be a hero and is just trying to get his life together without attracting attention. But at some point, the reluctant crimefighter sees no other option but to take a stand against the gangsters in his city.