Thursday, May 20, 2010

Top 10 LOST List -- Major Characters

Recently, Todd VanDerWerff at the LA Times posted his selections for the top 10 character on LOST. You can find the post here. It's a great post, and his explanations for why he loves each of these characters are spot-on and well-written.

As for me, I still need to chime in. Yesterday, I posted on my Top 10 favorite minor characters -- those unsung heroes who push the plot along, serve as a foil for our protagonists, etc. -- which means today I need to follow through and share my picks for the best major characters in LOST history.

I'll be honest, my picks are not that clever, or shocking, but they're mine. If you have something to add, share.

10. Sun and Jin Kwon (First appearance: Pilot, season 1)

They represent the enduring power of love to me. Love can conquer time and space.

9. Juliet Burke (First appearance: A Tale of Two Cities, season 3)

I had a major crush on Juliet, mostly because she was so elusive. She wore her emotions too close to her chest, which only made her death that much more powerful as she shouted out Sawyer's classic "Son of a--" as she pounded on the Jughead.

8. Daniel Faraday (First appearance: The Beginning of the End, season 4)

He made time travel understandable, and he rocked the skinny tie. I love that he loved Charlotte. And I love how noble he became near the end as he tried to convince Jack, Kate, and himself that detonating Jughead was the best thing to do. Besides, his death has to be the most fucked-up ever on LOST. Getting killed by your own mother? I challenge you to find something more fucked-up than that.

7. Sayid Jarrah (First appearance: Pilot, season 1)

Sayid was a walking contradiction, a living symbol of the war between spirit and flesh within a man's soul. His search for redemption is one of LOST's highpoints in terms of chracterization. And the twist we got in season four that he worked as Ben's hired gun once off the Island was a highlight of the series.

6. Desmond Hume (First appearance: Man of Science, Man of Faith, season 2)

Desmond is just cool. He consciousness travels, can stand blasts of electromagnetism, and tried his damndest to save Charlie's life during season three. He is also the focal point of maybe LOST's greatest episode, "The Constant." What makes him most "special," though, is his love for Penny Widmore. Desmond is the soul of LOST.

5. Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (First appearance: Pilot, season 1)

If Desmond is the soul of LOST, then Hurley is its heart. Hurley was unlucky once he won the lottery, yet all he brought to the lives of the other castaways was joy, hope, and love. I love that he was also the pop-culture geek among the survivors of Oceanic 815; he became our voice, especially when things would get weird.

4. James "Sawyer" Ford (First appearance: Pilot, season 1)

Sure, he's a lot like Han Solo, as many other commenters have said. But, Sawyer is a better character. He started the show as a wounded boy clinging to a letter and a grudge that started in childhood, and has finished the show as a full-fledged man, who is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Besides, Sawyer has given us some of the show's best dialogue.

3. Jack Shephard (First appearance: Pilot, season 1)

Sure, Jack was whiny and teary during the middle years of LOST, but I was always certain that this had to be his path in order to make him the hero he was destined to be. If it hadn't been for his glorious turn in season six, though, he might not have made this list.  Nonetheless, Jack is my Shephard.

2. Benjamin Linus (First appearance: One of Them, season 2)

Ben became one of the great characters from that moment he said, "Got any milk?" He was an enigma wrapped in a riddle, etc. Since then, he was revealed as the leader of the Others, involved in a war over control of the Island with Charles Widmore, and most recently as the pawn of the infamous Man-in-Black. It is in his relationship with Alex, his stolen daughter, that placed Ben this high on the list. It was the only thing that humanized him and made him the lovable bastard he is.

1. John Locke (First appearance: Pilot, season 1)

I have a t-shirt that says WWJLD. The answer is simple: have faith and be proven a sucker. Locke's story is easily the most tragic as it played out with the highest stakes involved. The Sideways World looks to redeem him, but no matter how it all plays out, the idea that Locke could believe the Island had a plan for him, only to wind up in a coffin with no one to show at his funeral is pathetic, depressing, and amazing writing. There has never been another character like John Locke.

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