10 best characters, ranked

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Although his costumes are sumptuous and his dialogue witty, which Great apart from other period dramas, these are his characters. Far from being the subjects of scholarly universities or of oil paintings, these historical figures feel like real people. As Catherine, Elle Fanning inspires fans to care about her struggle not only to fit in, but also to use her position as an objective observer to make a useful contribution to the empire. And as Peter III, Nicholas Hoult even makes a cheeky ruler and party animal charming and hilarious.

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The series easily switches between drama and farce, which works surprisingly well as extreme reactions abound when the characters constantly live with fear of the country’s future. As Catherine strives to overthrow her husband and become – as history has shown – Russia’s most progressive and beloved ruler, the series does the impossible – she has almost no characters. inimitable, simply misunderstood characters. Huzzah!


ten Vlad


Vlad (Louis Hynes) looks worried on The Great

With his green velvet coat, brass buttons and powdered wig, it’s not hard to miss Vlad as he blends into the background of the palace. However, he becomes more than a silent servant in the first few episodes and soon becomes an intimate part of Catherine and Marial’s plans for revolution.

Vlad represents the malleable spirit of all young Russians who are hopeful and hungry for change, and Catherine seizes the opportunity to sow the seeds of progress in her mind. Unfortunately, some events do not allow them to flourish, but they do a lot to show Marian that all is not dead and rotten in her own garden of knowledge.

9 Grigor


Grigor acts like a parrot of Peter’s Worst Impulses and is generously rewarded with an estate and land, but his enviable position in court offers little solace when it comes to matters of the heart. It’s hard not to sympathize with him, viewers realize that his loyalty has cost him the stability of his marriage, and his heart sinks every time his wife visits Peter’s bedroom.

Grigor may have Peter’s bravado, but he’s introspective enough to be a boon to Catherine if she tempted him with her budding revolution. Even though Grigor is slowly tempted by thoughts of rebellion to Peter’s right, he seems more interested in destroying himself. It’s not hard to see why he’s so full of self-loathing, watching his dreams of country retirement slip through his fingers.

8 Archie


A Great Fans of the characters love to hate it, the Archbishop turned Patriarch (or “Archie” as Peter calls him) is partly a furious visionary like Nostradamus and partly a political schemer like Rasputin. Threatened by Catherine’s radical notions of literacy, egalitarianism and freedom of thought, he seeks to reduce his influence in court by turning Peter against her.

Archie may appear to be playing the role of the benevolent spiritual leader, but he is not above corruption and manipulation for the benefit of the church (which invariably means his own). By appealing to Peter’s darker fears and feelings of inferiority in the shadow of his esteemed father, Archie knows he can wield far more power than helping him find the light.

7 Leo


Leo (Sebastian de Souza) smiling on Le Grand

Catherine’s touching lover Leo is as charming as he is intellectually stimulating, and Catherine can’t help but fall in love with him even though she doesn’t care about the circumstances that brought them together. Far from being just a pretty face, it offers her mental stimulation as well as physical satisfaction.

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Leo retains the cheerful disposition of a man who knows he can be killed at any moment and therefore has nothing more to lose, which makes it fascinating to see Catherine trying to get him to envision a future he doesn’t think of. to have. In return for his efforts, he offers Catherine a sounding board for her revolutionary ideas and shows her what a comprehensive and communicative partnership can look like.

6 Aunt Elisabeth


Aunt Elizabeth (Belinda Bromilow) at court in The Great

Aunt Elizabeth may be an eccentric presence at court, but she is one of Peter’s greatest mentors and she enjoys great influence. Eventually, she takes Catherine under her wing, seeing in her a kind of soul through their shared love for unconventional thinking and problem solving.

Aunt Elizabeth has learned that by appearing “crazy” she can enjoy a lot of freedom at court, and far fewer people poke their noses into her business. She has some of the best quotes in Great, both frivolous and insightful. She appeals to his inane words, but also because under her thin veil of perceived madness hides an insidious spirit, which gives her more complexity than just playing the idiot.

5 General Vellementov


Peter’s loyal military tactician, General Velementov is in charge of Peter’s military campaign in the Russo-Swedish War. Throughout most of the series, Russia is at war with Sweden, and Velementov responds to his emperor’s insults while trying to shoot.

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Velementov is as much at war with himself as against Sweden. He laments the sending of fresh-faced young men to their deaths, but lacks the capacity to change why they have to leave. A warrior monk, he is capable of much more imagination and introspection than he thinks he is, and instinctively knows that the strategist who sheds the least blood is the winner of wars, and not the other way around.

4 Count Orlo


Count Orlo (Sacha Dhawan) at his desk in Le Grand

A self-proclaimed slack bureaucrat whose prudence kept him from making waves in the courts for a decade, Orlo disagrees with his emperor on almost every matter but dares not say anything for fear of incurring his anger. Catherine sees “a small man” but imagines “a bigger one”, and Orlo grows up to be the courageous ally she needs him to be.

Orlo is the voice of reason on the show, acting as devil’s advocate for Catherine’s thoughtless decisions. He tempers his ideas with practicality, and in the process, his courage rubs off on him and he undergoes one of the most important developments of his character. At the end of the first season, the fire of revolution was successfully kindled in Orlo’s chest.

3 Marian


Catheirne (Elle Fanning) in search of crosses while chatting with her maid Marian (Phoebe Fox) in The Great

As Catherine’s maid and trusted confidante, Marial has many tasks, all of which she accomplishes with incessant cynical commentary. Having been a lady at court herself, she understands the inner workings of palace politics and does her best to give Catherine advice. Together, they form one of the best female duos on television.

Marial’s tongue-in-cheek humor and sardonic beards are certainly fun, but it’s her portrayal of the audience’s perspective that is often most helpful. When Catherine is incredibly naive, or Orlo is too despotic, or Peter is too ridiculous, Marial must make sense of situations that could implode into chaos, while also facing grave guilt over the deaths of two close friends.

2 Peter III


Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) giving a toast to the court in The Great

Peter III can spend a lot of his time being an absolute boor, but he’s also loyal, hilarious, and fearless. It is clear that he has never known love that was not conditional and abusive, so his ability to be vulnerable is truncated, and although he begins the series by seeing Catherine as his subordinate, his challenge continues. of his beliefs keeps him on his guard.

Peter’s level of exuberance is contagious, and although he is a reckless man-child (this is historically correct for the series), it’s hard not to be carried away by his enthusiastic displays or moments of surprising tenderness. . It is clear that he is not an altogether cruel man, but an oblivious man who never saw the point in questioning his beliefs because they were automatically the best by virtue of his right to eldest daughter.

1 Catherine


Catherine (Elle Fanning) surrounded by court ladies in La Grande

Though she arrives at the court of Peter III, a young naive, unprepared for his recklessness and court vulgarities, she quickly adapts into a shrewd ruler who finds ways to make the most of her situation. She knows the only way the Russian people can prosper is to overthrow the Emperor and put a more progressive ruler in his place.

Where Peter considers himself amazing in everything and regards those around him as inferior, Catherine sees the best in others, even when she is hard on herself. She does not give up and does not let the brutalities she undergoes change her altruism, her optimism or especially her empathy, which is nothing other than a great act of rebellion in a cruel and inhospitable country.

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