The Most Problematic Fantasy TV Show Characters

Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon and Yennefer from The Witcher. 

From modern hits like Game of Thrones and Netflix’s Wednesday to icons like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fantasy TV shows have some amazing characters. Many of these shows feature epic character arcs that result in well-fleshed-out, appealing heroes and captivating storylines that make the shows great.

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While these fantasy shows have some amazing character development, the evolution of some individuals results in more problematic characters than likable ones. From the tyrannical transformation of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones to the despicable actions of Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, these characters often become the most complicated personalities in fantasy TV.



10 Daenerys Targaryen

Game Of Thrones

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As much as Daenerys was a beloved character in Game of Thrones, she was also one of the most controversial characters. While her story was an inspiring rags-to-riches plotline, the Mother of Dragons slowly transformed into a ruthless ruler reminiscent of her Targaryen ancestors.

One of the most disturbing storylines in GoT was Daenerys burning innocent people within King’s Landing at the end of the War of Two Queens. Though she remains to be one of the most popular characters in the series, her character evolution in the last couple of seasons was certainly problematic.

9 Elena Gilbert

The Vampire Diaries

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Elena Gilbert (played by Nina Dobrev) stands in front of a window on The Vampire Diaries.

For most of The Vampire Diaries, the plot relied on the main character Elena Gilbert and her complicated relationship with the Salvatore brothers. However, despite being the star of the show, Elena is arguably one of the most hated characters on this long-running fantasy TV show.

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Many fans of the series were annoyed by Elena’s moral superiority throughout the series, despite her often getting into situations in which others had to put their lives on the line to protect her. She was even worse when she was a vampire with no humanity that repeatedly tried to harm those close to her and even killed innocents. While vampire-Elena may be excused due to the nature of her situation, there are still other aspects about Elena that were problematic.

8 Yennefer

The Witcher

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Yennefer is one of the most interesting characters in The Witcher, which also makes her one of the most complex characters. She goes to extraordinary lengths to prove herself and become a great sorceress but later regrets some of the things she gave up.

Yennefer goes through an epic ordeal to restore her ability to have children, despite the dangers it puts on herself and others. When she loses her powers, she even puts Princess Ciri in danger and makes the girl vulnerable to the Deathless Mother. While Yennefer and Geralt have a problematic romance in The Witcher, it’s her questionable actions that largely cause this rift between the two lovers.

7 Zuko

Avatar: The Last Airbender

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Zuko feeling awkward in ATLA.

Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender has one of the most epic character arcs ever in a fantasy show. While he starts off as the main villain, he eventually realizes how dangerous the Fire Lord is to the world and joins forces with Team Avatar.

Despite his great redemption, there’s no denying that Zuko has a hot temper that often makes him difficult to be around. He often has quarrels with his allies, causing tension among the group. Zuko certainly redeems himself and goes on to be a good ruler, but his unruly personality was often problematic despite his good intentions.

6 Spike

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

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The vampire Spike and Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer are one of the most popular couples in the series. However, they also had one of the most toxic relationships overall, having affection for one another while often demeaning and berating one another.

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Before Spike got his soul back, he was a vile vampire that killed innocents and even assaulted Buffy while claiming to love her. After he gets his soul, the vampire is unable to cope with everything he did as an evil being, causing the character to be a constant emotional wreck. Every side of Spike throughout the series was dark to some degree.

5 Dean Winchester


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Dean Winchester

As arguably the most popular character, fans were reasonably devastated to see Dean Winchester die at the end of Supernatural. The monster hunter was extremely lovable, with an unwavering dedication to helping people and defeating evil.

On the other hand, Dean was certainly a morally gray character. His belief in the hard line between good and evil often led to him doing terrible things, such as killing monsters that were trying to avoid causing harm to any humans. It was also problematic that he often put his brother Sam before anything else, even if it meant the destruction of the world.

4 Robb Stark

Game Of Thrones

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Richard Madden as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones.

Daenerys wasn’t the only notable problematic character in Game of Thrones. Though there were many controversial characters, especially those deemed villains, some of the heroes even had some terrible faults that are hard to ignore.

Robb Stark was an honorable man that sought revenge after his father was executed in King’s Landing. While this was reasonable, he completely ruined his army’s chance of winning when he wed his lover and broke his arrangement with one of his most powerful allies, Walder Frey. This decision played a large part in his army losing the war by him, his men, and even his mother being slaughtered at the infamous “Red Wedding.”

3 Victor Bennett


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Victor Bennett in Charmed. 

Victor Bennett doesn’t have a substantial role in Charmed, but he does have a significant impact on the lives of his three daughters, Prue, Piper, and Phoebe. Following his wife’s death, and the disagreements with the girl’s grandmother, Victor leaves his children for over twenty years.

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This father eventually makes amends, slowly coming back into the women’s lives and being present for some major life moments, including the death of his oldest daughter. Despite making amends, it’s hard to overlook that he abandoned his children, partly due to an affair his wife had during their marriage, and was never a present parent during their upbringing.

2 Wednesday

Netflix’s Wednesday

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams plays cello

Despite only having one season, Netflix’s Wednesday is already considered a modern classic. The series has some exceptional aspects, including the interpretation of the iconic Wednesday Addams. However, her likability doesn’t mean she’s the most lovable person.

Wednesday’s quirky personality is nearly as strong as her skeptical nature, causing her to shut people out and avoid opening up to anyone. This causes several issues between her friends and family throughout the first season. While the show has plenty more time for character growth, Wednesday’s emotional unavailability so far has made her a problematic hero.

1 Daemon Targaryen

House Of The Dragon

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Daemon looks confused - House of the Dragon

With only one season so far, House of the Dragon is already competing with Game of Thrones for the number of controversial characters. Among these is arguably the most complex characters in a fantasy show. Throughout the first season, Daemon Targaryen was someone that could be hated as much as adored.

Deamon has admirable qualities, such as wanting to do what’s best for his house’s reputation. However, he has an extremely unstable temper, lashing out when he’s provoked. In the final episode, he was even seen striking his queen-wife when she said something that angered him. Though more fans seem to favor Daemon’s side of the impending war, this character is already one of the most problematic in a fantasy show.

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