Movies & TV Shows

The 15 Best Characters, According To Reddit

Regarded as one of the finest TV shows of the 21st century, Peaky Blinders is a show full of incredible characters, both in the titular gang and those who oppose Tommy and his ambitions. It is these characters that have earned Peaky Blinders its place of critical acclaim in pop culture.

RELATED: The 20 Most Shocking Peaky Blinders Deaths, Ranked

The past year has been a busy one for Peaky Blinders fans on Reddit, who took to the platform to share their theories and suggestions for the show’s next season. Reddit is a great place for fans to bounce popular and unpopular ideas off of each other and to discuss their favorite characters and storylines.

Updated on April 9th, 2022, by Rhys McGinley: With the epic ending of Peaky Blinders’ new season, “Lock and Key,” the show has finally finished its incredible run. The final season may have underutilized some characters such as Ada, Arthur, and even Alfie, but it also hugely developed a few and reaffirmed fan opinion that they are some of the best Peaky Blinders characters. Like so many great franchises, Reddit has a vocal Peaky Blinders portion who put their opinions forth, including on who are the best Peaky Blinders characters.

Oswald Mosley

Oswald Mosley Speech In Peaky Blinders

Many fans were wondering who would be the Peaky Blinders villain in season 6 that would be the central opposition to Tommy. Even though Michael and Tommy have a final face-off, Oswald Mosley and his fascist ideals have been set up to be the final big boss of the series.

Many see him as one of the best villains in the show, including Redditor TelmoxD, who notes that “He’s [osley] the most challenging to Tommy.” Given the fact that Mosley has survived two seasons opposing Tommy and the Blinders and will likely be the main villain of the movie, it is fair to say he pushes Tommy more than any villain before him, making him one of the show’s best characters.

Curly

Promo shot of Curly in Peaky Blinders

Curly is never positioned as a central character in the show, nor does he get any sort of real arc or a tonne of involvement in every main story. But his constant presence in Small Heath and with the Blinders helped make him one of the show’s most loved characters.

Many fans share this feeling for Curly, including Redditor nachofries3003, who simply says, “Curly Appreciation Post for being the best character,” with the character getting a lot of love in the comments below the post. He is an innocent and almost comforting presence that fans are happy to see in most episodes.

Charlie Strong

Alongside Curly, usually in the yard, is the owner of said yard Charlie Strong, non-biological uncle of the Shelby boys, and a Peaky Blinder. Many fans love Charlie, such as Redditor AyTies, who, along with many others, was happy to see Charlie survive the events of the show.

They say that “Charlie is one of my favorite characters in Peaky Blinders.” While he is another individual who does not get too much individual focus, he is a welcome presence when he pops up in just about every episode; good for a couple of great quotes too.

Inspector Chester Campbell

Inspector Campbell and his forces raid homes in Sheath, Birmingham in Peaky Blinders

Before his days of battling Italian mobsters and fascism itself, Tommy Shelby’s main enemy as he climbed the ladder of power was Chester Campbell. He lasted two seasons opposing Tommy, establishing himself as one of the best Peaky Blinders characters and villains.

He is many fans’ favorite villain, including PlatinumKH, who boldly says, “In my opinion, Inspector Campbell was the only perfect villain in the show.” Campbell definitely had a complexity about him that set him apart from some of the show’s future villains, and at that time in Tommy’s life, in the early years of his rise to power, he was the perfect antagonist.

Johnny Dogs

Tommy and Johnny Dogs flip a coin for Tommy's car and Johnny's army in Peaky Blinders.

There are a good few characters which are constant presences in the show’s six seasons, alongside Tommy and Arthur Shelby. One of them is Johnny Dogs, who many fans grew to quickly love, and who got involved in most big storylines in the show.

Redditor mchamp20 believes that “Johnny Dogs is probably the most underrated character, and he is amazing,” commenting on how he is a loyal friend and has great one-liners. These points are hard to argue with. Johnny is one of the show’s funniest characters and proves himself loyal to Tommy right to the end, with Michael’s death scene, in which he helps Tommy, being the perfect example.

Ada Shelby

Ada Shelby is one of the most likable characters on Peaky Blinders, and it’s no surprise that Reddit user Loose-Situation-1515 is a fan. Ada’s resilience has been key to her character’s reliability. “She’s such a strong character, and I adore the actress – Sophie Rundle – too,” says the Reddit user.

RELATED: 10 Best Quotes From Peaky Blinders’ Sixth Season

The Shelby sister has had to make her own decisions and has consistently held her own when it came to retaining her sense of identity, which is no mean feat, considering how overbearing the Shelbys can be at times.

Alfie Solomons

Reddit user madlass_4rm_madtown admires Alfie, saying, “Alfie Solomon’s [the] most ruthless gangster of the all. Came back from the dead,” and he is not the only one who thinks he is one of the best Peaky Blinders characters.

The verbose, intimidating gangster appears to be invincible. Not only does he refuse to cower in front of his more powerful rivals, but he also comes back from the dead, somewhat miraculously, surviving to the end of the show. This only helps Alfie’s character grow more fascinating and makes him a force to be reckoned with.

John Shelby

John Shelby in a shootout outside his house, right before he is shot

Unlike Tommy, John was quite vulnerable to his own emotions and often succumbed to his instincts. But what made him so endearing was his loyalty and his love for his family.

Reddit user fiftysvn finds John’s loyalty to be his most redeeming quality and what makes him the best character. “Aside from Tommy, one of my favorites is John. He is not the brightest, but he is loyal and trusting,” shares the Reddit user. His harrowing death is still one of the hardest scenes to watch.

Lizzie Stark

Thomas offers Lizzie money to test if she is really loyal to John

Reddit user Fun-Ad3090 thinks that the fact that Lizzie makes peace with the transactional nature of her and Tommy’s relationship makes her more intriguing as a character. “Anyway, when you really think about where she’s been and where she is now, Lizzy’s come so far and is overall a likable character who’s been the unfortunate victim of Tom’s callousness,” the Reddit user writes.

It’s not surprising that many fans love Lizzie’s character. There is an authenticity to her, and, much like John or Arthur, she is easy to read and thus more reliable.

Arthur Shelby

Arthur takes over Sabini's nightclub in Peaky Blinders

Reddit user Rogue_4TW points out the many complexities in Arthur’s character. “Even though he has got an anger issue and killed a kid, he still has a soft spot. IMO he is naive because he got tricked by his own father,” the Reddit user wrote.

Fans widely believe that Arthur may be a better Peaky Blinders character than Tommy, but nearly all fans love their relationship with one another. Arthur had to overcome significant odds, and even Tommy had often been quite insensitive towards his needs, be it regarding his battle with addiction or his PTSD. Arthur tries hard to be stronger than he is and pushes away his vulnerabilities, in spite of being aware of them, which makes him endearing to fans. Many fans wondered would Arthur die in Peaky Blinders’ sixth season, but he survives at least until the movie.

Luca Changretta

Luca Changretta

Luca’s character divided the Peaky Blinders fan base, as some deemed the villain to be too stereotypical. But one Reddit user argues that Luca’s sense of bravado and mafia boss antics were spot-on. Moreover, Luca’s persona needed a sense of flamboyance and drama, considering it was meant to counteract Tommy’s stoicism.

RELATED: 10 Biggest Twists & Surprises In Peay Blinders Final Season

“His character was written well, his Italian arrogance was on point, and he was a perfect portrayal of his imagined form … During the times he does carry his mafioso bravado, his acting is excellent, and the scenes with him (like in Tommy’s office) are excellent. I just think people should take it for what it’s worth and chill out on the nit-picking,” the Reddit user writes.

May Carleton

May Carleton in Peaky Blinders

Fans have often (rather unfairly) played Grace’s character against May. May had to make peace with being Tommy’s second choice, which adds a sense of sadness to her personal narrative. Since she had a discerning storyline that was also quite engaging on its own, many fans believe her arc on the show needed a stronger anchor. Reddit user DeErvarenMaagd loves May and also thinks she has more character than Grace.

“I might be late with this, but I recently rewatched the series, and boy do I like May. She has so much more character, Grace is just so bland man,” the Reddit user says. May is really different from Grace, and fans have enjoyed this contrast since she brought out a different aspect of Tommy. In a way, she made him see the man he wanted to be, which also led to Lizzie feeling threatened by May.

Polly Gray

Helen McCrory Polly Gray Suit Peaky Blinders

It has been difficult for the show’s viewers to cope with the loss of the incomparable Helen McCrory, not only because it is generally tragic and heartbreaking, but because of how precious and impactfulPolly’s character was to them.

Reddit user gjta89, for instance, can’t imagine the show without Polly’s character: “I can’t imagine peaky blinders without Polly Gray. How are they going to continue the series?” the Redditor user asks. Polly wasn’t just one of the most empowering female leads on television, but she also broke the rules of how women are written for a predominantly male-starring show. One of the biggest questions going into the final season was what would happen o Polly? It is safe to say she was given a fitting tribute deserved for such an incredible performer and character.

Michael Gray

finn cole as michael gray in peaky blinders

Even though he is detestable, Michael Gray is a fantastic character, and Reddit user yungmunnie420 points out that Michael is the only character who can hold his own in a room full of Shelbys, especially in a crisis.

“Michael’s the only one in the show who can handle himself competently (except for the whole stock market thing), but otherwise, his level of ambition and his hard-ass nature of willingly getting in the face of Thomas and Arthur is the perfect role we needed in this show,” the user wrote. It’s quite true that Michael has always been assertive and his steely resolve makes fans compare him to Tommy; in the end, though, Tommy beats Michael by shooting him in the face.

Tommy Shelby

Tommy tells Polly, John, and Arthur that they will attack the Changretta's in Peaky Blinders

Fans of the show have wondered for years what makes Tommy Shelby tick. Reddit user Yummi points out that, in spite of being a quintessential alpha male who is usually  Graythe voice of authority in any room, Tommy does not come across as obnoxious or power-hungry.

“I, for one, have watched each season 4 times now (except for season 5) simply because Tommy is such an intriguing character to me,” the Reddit user wrote. Tommy’s intelligence and his sense of class loyalty also contribute to his character’s self-awareness, making him many fans’ favorite on the show. Tommy has an incredible ending in the series, and fans hope that the movie will give him the fitting sendoff he deserves as he is the very best Peaky Blinders character, and one of the best anti-heroes in television.

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