For this list, we’re looking at the best characters from the first four seasons of the critically acclaimed Netflix original series. And of course, given the nature of this video, a spoiler warning is in effect. 

  1. The Lady Macbeth to Frank Underwood’s Macbeth, Claire is perhaps even colder and more ruthless than her husband. Simply put, there’s no Frank without Claire. Her struggle feels more personal at times, and viewers see that she’s not afraid to take on anyone who may oppose her – even her husband. Still, she isn’t quite as self-obsessed as her other half, and her desire to reform the way the military handles rape cases is noble and inspiring. Her display of emotion when she realizes what she puts Megan Hennessy through is equally as revealing. It’s for this reason that no one else could take our top spot.

  2. When we first meet Frank Underwood, he kills a wounded dog with his bare hands in the middle of the street. Little did we know at the time that this was only the beginning. Ruthless and calculating, Frank has lied, cheated, and murdered his way to the Presidency. After being betrayed in regards to his role in the new administration, Frank goes on the warpath, and does not hesitate to remove anyone in his way. Like Walter White and Tony Soprano, Frank Underwood is the anti-hero – one we know we should despise, but one we also can’t help but root for. 

  3. One of the most disturbing characters on the show, Doug is Frank’s right-hand man, and clearly will do whatever it takes to ensure Frank gets what he wants. Doug’s obsession with Rachel and his relapse into alcoholism sidelines him for a period of time, but he returns with a vengeance and reclaims his role alongside Frank. Ruthless, determined, and loyal to a fault, Doug is the first person you’d want as your ally, and the absolute last one you’d want as your enemy. 

  4. No one flip-flops like Remy Danton. Danton has been Frank’s enemy, as seen in season two when he worked as lobbyist for Raymond Tusk, but also as his ally, assuming the role of Chief of Staff when Frank becomes President. However, Danton’s real weakness, at least in Frank’s eyes, is that he values money over power. We do see a more sensitive side to Remy in his relationship with Jackie Sharp, as it’s actually him that asks for a real commitment. What’s more, Remy appears to be one of the few characters that’s managed to escape Frank’s grasp, and may even have a shot at living happily ever after. 

  5. From one tragic story to another, Rachel didn’t ask to get involved with Frank Underwood or Doug Stamper, but soon became a vital cog in their plans. We first meet Rachel as the prostitute who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time when she gets caught in a car with Peter Russo. Frank taps Stamper to keep an eye on her, but he slowly develops an infatuation with her that becomes, frankly, downright creepy. After being alienated from society and forced to move and quit multiple jobs, Rachel is left with no choice but to attack Doug and make a run for it. Sadly, she’s unable to escape for long and becomes another tragic victim. 

  6. Perhaps the first pawn to take the fall for Frank in his grand scheme to reach the oval office, Peter Russo was a Congressman from Philadelphia with a habit of spending time with escorts and alcohol abuse. After going on one hell of a bender, Russo begins to recover and, with the aid of Frank, runs for Governor of Pennsylvania. The heartwarming comeback story is short lived, however, as Frank quickly sabotages Russo, who again falls off the wagon. Unable to trust his next actions, Frank ruthlessly ensures that no one will hear from Peter again. Leaving behind two young children, Peter’s story is easily one of the most heartbreaking on the show.

  7. Whether you loved her or hated her, it’s hard to deny that Zoe Barnes did whatever it took to get ahead. It’s ultimately this ambition that puts her squarely in the path of Frank Underwood and leads to her tragic downfall. Initially, sleeping with a Congressmen to get the inside scoop doesn’t seem to faze Zoe, but she begins to have a change of heart as the series progresses. She can’t leave well enough alone, however, and begins looking into Frank, ultimately getting close enough to the truth that it forces Frank to act and remove her from the scenario once and for all. 

  8. Arguably the greatest threat Frank has faced on the show, Raymond Tusk is truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On the surface he’s a reclusive billionaire who loves bird watching, but we soon find out that he’s actually the one pulling all the strings in Washington. This puts him on a collision course with Frank, and the two square off in an epic battle of wills during season two. Tusk goes after Claire, Freddy, and even the US economy in an attempt to win his war with Frank, but ultimately, like so many others in this series, he fails in the end. 

  9. Another character who’s not shied away from standing up to Frank, Jackie Sharp replaces Mr. Underwood as House Majority Whip when he becomes Vice President in season two. Sharp is one of the few characters on the show willing to assist Frank, and thus is a vital part of his plans. In fact, one could say they’re quite similar – we see Jackie destroy a long-time friend to get ahead, and she even maintains a romantic relationship with Remy Danton and uses that to her political advantage. Her confidence and backbone make her one of the stronger characters on the show, although her inability to see through Frank’s treachery is definitely to her detriment. 

  10. The brutally tough Chief of Staff to President Walker, Linda is one of the few characters on the show that’s demonstrated the ability to stand up to Frank Underwood. In fact, near the end of Season 2, she nearly exposes Frank’s treachery for the world to see. Although she will be remembered as another of Frank’s victims, Linda put up one hell of a fight, and showed throughout the series that she was capable of going toe-to-toe with all of the big egos in Washington. In fact, as Frank even admits, Linda is one of the few characters on the show whom he truly respected. 

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