A show as expansive as The Last of Us requires dozens of memorable characters. The HBO series adaptation of the PlayStation game is an amalgamation of a few different genre tropes rendered into something bold and unique. This being a road trip story at its heart, however, means that our leads, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), must navigate the continental United States to reach their destination—and come across a bevy of unforgettable characters along the way. It’d be easy for the series to focus on just the leads, but The Last of Us continues to introduce new people on a weekly basis, each of which makes an incredibly strong impression on the audience. 

The Last of Us is already finished with its first season, and viewers are still talking about the impact of Bill and Frank’s story in the third episode or even the heart-wrenching tale of Henry and Sam. What makes these characters so captivating is how they serve as a mirror to Joel and Ellie while also showing the ways in which the world can corrupt or inspire them accordingly. So, naturally, we’re going to rank them.

Reflective of a world that’s as brutal as The Last of Us, it’s a tough job to determine which character comes out on top, so we’re choosing our favorites from Season 1 and listing them from worst to best. The Last of Us has no bad characters, but there can be only one winner. So join in on this survival of the fittest to see which of your favorites made it into the top spot.