Top 10 Most Complex Fictional Characters

In fiction, some characters are very simple and can be described in a few words. Others however have layers upon layers of intricate backstories, character development and traits which make them complex characters, not to mention that many characters can change so much that at the end of their story, they are not the same character they were at the beginning. Let's see which are the best and most complex characters across fiction.
The Top Ten
1 The Joker (Batman) The Joker is a fictional super villain created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson who first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940) published by DC Comics. Credit for the Joker's creation is disputed; Kane and Robinson claimed responsibility for the Joker's design,... read more

There are perhaps no other characters more complex than The Joker. For years, fans never even knew what the character's true identity was and how Joker came to be. His actions and motives are never easy to understand either. One thing is for sure though, he is obsessed with Batman.

Cool list it would take a lot of thinking about the works mentioned to grasp the intricacies of these characters.

Hardly any other character can compete with Joker. The guy is unpredictable and insane.

2 Darth Vader (Star Wars) Darth Vader is a Star Wars character and the main antagonist of the first three original Star Wars films and the main protagonist of the Star Wars prequel trilogy under his original name Anakin Skywalker. He had been trained as a Jedi but defected to the Sith lord and Galactic Chancellor Palpatine... read more

Darth Vader is considered by many the greatest character in science fiction. This character had the chance to develop through movies, TV shows and comic books. The movies gave him a mysterious and menacing aura while the comics go more in depth with his backstory and his inner conflicts.

3 Walter White (Breaking Bad) Walter "Walt" Hartwell White Sr. is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Breaking Bad, portrayed by Bryan Cranston.

When thinking of complex characters, more specifically TV characters, Walter White often comes to mind for many people and for good reason. This character has layers upon layers of character development. He changes so much that from season to season in Breaking Bad, he is never the really the same man.

4 Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs) Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a character in a series of suspense novels by Thomas Harris. Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.

Hannibal Lecter is a cannibalistic serial killer and the quintessential villain turned anti-hero turned monster. He is highly intelligent and cultured, with refined tastes and impeccable manners. He is deeply offended by rudeness, and often kills people who exhibit bad manners.

5 Spider Man (Marvel) Spider-Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics existing in its shared universe. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, and first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) in the... read more

Spider Man, real name Peter Parker, is easily one of the most recognizable comic heroes of all time, a layered and complex character with a rich history from both movies and comic books. Peter displays a great deal of internal conflict. He is always torn between his duties as Spiderman and his wants and needs as Peter Parker, who is just a normal, feeling individual.

From a normal individual into a hero. That is Superman.

6 Reptile (Mortal Kombat) Reptile is a video game character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise created for Midway Games by Ed Boon and John Tobias. He debuted in Mortal Kombat as a hidden opponent and appeared in subsequent titles as a playable character, also appearing in the merchandise and other media related... read more
7 Two-Face (Batman) Two-Face/Harvey Dent is a fictional villain from DC Comics. Harvey Dent was one of Gotham's most trusted citizens until he had acid poured on his face making him go insane and become a criminal by the name Two-Face. In film, he has been portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in Batman, Tommy Lee Jones in Batman... read more
8 Carnage (Spider-Man) Carnage (Cletus Kassidy) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, usually as an enemy of Spider-Man. He appeared for the first time in The Amazing Spider-Man #361.
9 Zarbon (Dragon Ball Z) Zarbon is Frieza's right hand man and highest ranking Commander and General in an army of millions. He is always beside his master and emperor, Lord Frieza, following his orders and carrying out his dirty work alongside his comrade, Dodoria. Zarbon is responsible for advising Frieza on numerous matters,... read more
10 Brendan Filone (The Sopranos)
The Contenders
11 Margos Dezerian (The Shield)
12 Darth Maul (Star Wars) Darth Maul is a fictional character in the science fiction franchise Star Wars. Trained as Darth Sidious's first apprentice, he serves as a Sith Lord and a master of wielding a double-bladed lightsaber. Darth Maul debuted in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and has made subsequent appearances... read more
13 Ronald Barlog (Oz)
14 Brian Moser (Dexter)
15 Larry Purvis (Alien: Resurrection)
16 Michael Corleone (The Godfather) Michael Corleone is the main character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the three films based upon it, all directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Michael Corleone is cold-blooded, ruthless, smart, and determined. His ability to think clearly under fire, to be decisive, and to command respect makes him an excellent Godfather. He wasn't always this way however, that's what makes him a complex character with great character development. He was a optimistic and loving man, but once the love of his life and their child died, he became a completely different person.

17 Itachi Uchiha (Naruto) Itachi Uchiha is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto.

I thought I'd include a fictional character for anime fans out there as there are definitely complex characters in anime, one of which is Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. At first, he appears as a regular villain who is after power, but as the story progressed, his backstory and his goals were revealed to be more complex. He went from being this badass and edgy looking criminal to being considered a hero who sacrificed everything, even his own clan, for his village.

18 Rinaldo Pazzi (Hannibal)
19 Batman (DC Comics) Batman aka Bruce Wayne is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27. In film, he has been portrayed by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael... read more
20 John Marston (Red Dead Redemption) John Marston is a central character and the main protagonist of Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare. He is portrayed by Rob Wiethoff.

John Marston has so far been able to develop as a character in both games of the Red Dead series made by Rockstar. In the first game, he is a character with purpose and strong-will, determined to do everything for the well-being of his family. But in RDR2, which takes place before the first game, he wasn't very bright, wasn't sure he wanted the responsibilities of being a father and seemed very lost.

In the video game world, definitely one of the best and most complex characters.

21 Marge Gunderson (Fargo)
22 Ragnar Lothbrok (Vikings)

Ragnar was a complicated character. He was a natural leader, clever, courageous, and family-oriented. Although he is a bloodthirsty warrior, Ragnar is also completely dedicated to his family members, even to those who might not deserve it, like his brother Rollo. Ragnar is also loyal to his friends and values his warriors greatly. As the show progressed, the higher status he enjoyed and the more success he reaped, the deeper he sank into depression and despair.

23 Tony Soprano (The Sopranos) Anthony John Soprano is a fictional character and the protagonist in the HBO television drama series The Sopranos, portrayed by James Gandolfini.

Tony Soprano is one of the most well developed characters in television, although his character admittedly doesn't change too much during the series. He doesn't grow as a person at all, if anything he just becomes worse. Where his character shines is when something big happened in his life like his family trying to have him whacked, discovering his best friend was snitching on him, his family issues or his uncle shooting him.

24 Alexander Anderson (Hellsing)
25 Shou Tucker (Fullmetal Alchemist) Shou Tucker is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa.
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