Top 10 Violent Characters in Television Series

Script written by Jamie Leslie These small screen guys could definitely benefit from learning to express themselves with words. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Violent Characters in Television Series. For this list, we'll be exclusively focusing on characters from live action television shows that use physical force or power to cause harm to others. Special thanks to our user governmentfree for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Jamie Leslie

Top 10 Violent Characters In Television Series

These small screen guys could definitely benefit from learning to express themselves with words. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Violent Characters in Television Series.

For this list, we’ll be exclusively focusing on characters from live action television shows that use physical force or power to cause harm to others. You won’t find any cartoon characters on this list, because they use a brand of violence that’s all their own.

#10: Tony Soprano
“The Sopranos” (1999-2007)

You have to pay the price if you want to be the boss. Tony turned to a life of crime at a very young age through his father’s affiliation with the Mafia. Due to the distant relationship he shared with his parents, the De Facto boss grew to become unfamiliar with conventional forms of empathy – and thus was totally desensitized to violence and organized crime as he got older. Never afraid to get his hands dirty for the greater good, Tony will willingly whack – sometimes to the point of murdering - rats, snitches, and informants; or at least express his concerns to them through a classic Jersey beatdown. And as a Boss, he’s of course sent many orders to have others killed.

#9: Ragnar Lothbrok
“Vikings” (2013-)

When you’re a Norseman, violence isn’t only a way of life, but a means of expression. Ragnar’s thirst for enlightenment is matched only by his bloodlust on the battlefield. Being skilled with a variety of bladed and blunt weapons has allowed Ragnar to be one of the most feared warriors in all of Denmark, a reputation he often has to back up with his actions. As per Viking nature, there is no greater joy than a good ol’ raid ‘n’ pillage, and this farmer-turned-Earl-and-eventual-King just happens to do it best.

#8: Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin
“Gotham” (2014-)

Every major villain has to start somewhere. While canon depictions of the character carve him out to be a well-established crime boss, “Gotham” portrays the younger iteration as an unstable small time gangster on the rise to glory. On the outside, Oswald appears to be timid and feeble, yet he’s proven to be one of the most cold and calculating criminals on the show. He’s also been shown to exhibit no remorse for killing the innocent as long as it is serves as a means to one of his ends; whether that end is taking over Gotham, or just releasing some pent-up stress.

#7: Russell Edgington
“True Blood” (2008-14)

Some vampires are known for their charm, sex appeal, and even fashion sense. And then there are those that make a name for themselves for their sheer brutality. The Vampire King of Mississippi falls into the latter category. Sharing the Earth with humans for almost 3,000 years made this bloodsucker bitter and resentful, and upon his rise in the 21st century, he demands that his race re-inherit the planet. Russell’s disdain for humans allows him to kill them without mercy, mostly in ways that demonstrate his dominance over them. Due to his age and experience, Russell is also considered one of the strongest vampires in the world, as shown in his ability to rip through humans like toilet paper.

#6: The Governor
“The Walking Dead” (2010-)

Is The Governor an example of survival of the fittest or is he just a delusional psychopath? In “The Walking Dead,” the zombie apocalypse has dealt some pretty tough cards to many that survived the outbreak, even allowing ordinary family men to rationalize mass murder. The Governor initially poses as a charismatic leader in the new world in order to gain a massive following for his sanctuary. However his lack of compassion and desperation are soon revealed when he plots to eliminate innocent lives. Killing soon moves from a way to survive to a means of coping with his harsh reality, which seems to make The Governor even worse than the undead creatures he once damned.

#5: Crixus
“Spartacus” (2010-13)

The rules of the arena are fairly simple: kill or be killed. Gladiators such as Crixus have taken these words as truth. Before freeing himself from the Roman Empire, Crixus lived as the Champion of Capua, aka the most capable combatant the House of Batiatus has ever seen. When it comes to the arena, the gorier the better, and the hardened gladiator was infamous for his animal-like ferocity. Despite Crixus’ hot-headedness, the warrior is only ever at his most savage whenever the life of his love Naevia is threatened.

#4: Dexter Morgan
“Dexter” (2006-13)

As far as sociopathic serial killers go, this one has our seal of approval. Dexter’s fixation for murder can be attributed to the heavy exposure he’s been subject to since infancy – starting with the death of his mother. In order to quell the dark passenger that lurks within him, Dexter has adopted a solemn oath to only kill those deserving – in other words, those who are murderers themselves - although he’s managed to bend the rules in his favor once or twice. As much as he tries to separate his family and social life from his alter ego, murder appears to be a permanent part of his conflicted life.

#3: Gregor Clegane
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

Size ain’t everything, but having that advantage sure makes it easier for one to squeeze in a head or two. Unlike the cold and psychological assault that Ramsay Bolton prefers to inflict on his victims, Gregor Clegane is about as physical as it gets. Referred to throughout Westeros as “Tywin Lannister’s Mad Dog,” The Mountain kills with zero remorse, having no mercy for either women or children. He’s notorious for his seemingly inhuman body proportions and strength, which causes him to be an impenetrable force on the battlefield. Couple this with his unmatched temper, and you’d best hope you’re not in arm’s reach – ever.

#2: Wilson Fisk / Kingpin
“Daredevil” (2015-)

To rebuild a city, one must destroy the city, and it may require some blood. While he’s managed to fool most of New York into believing in his gentle giant facade, deep down Wilson Fisk is an utterly disturbed man that’s been born into violence. On account of the crime boss’ mild-mannered behavior, those around him are appalled to see what atrocities he’s truly capable of once he gets angry. Despite the trance Fisk undergoes once he is in his fits, the villain is conscious of his actions – as we see when they appear to haunt him in his dreams.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Sylar
“Heroes” (2006-10)
- The Miniature Killer
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000-15)
- George Foyet [aka ‘The Boston Reaper’]
“Criminal Minds” (2005-)
- Joe Carroll
“The Following” (2013-15)
- Norman Bates
“Bates Motel” (2013-)
- Otto Delaney
“Sons of Anarchy” (2008-14)

#1: Dr. Hannibal Lecter
“Hannibal” (2013-15)

This iconic sociopath possesses a very distinct “taste” for murder. In this television adaptation, Dr. Lecter is a manipulative psychiatrist that aids Special Agent Will Graham in solving murders that Lecter himself committed. Distinguishing himself from most serial killers, Hannibal views his homicidal acts as art and a means to create highly refined culinary dishes. Each murder he commits represents part of a bigger picture, and ingesting the victim afterwards is how he proposes to honor them; it’s also something he’ll graciously offer to any of his unsuspecting dinner guests. In addition, Hannibal is likely to keep alive those around him that pique his interest, which makes him a sophisticated type of monster.

Do you agree with our list? What television character do you think is the most violent? For more brutal Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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