10 Best Characters from Peaky Blinders

As the dust settles on Season 6 we’ve created a list of our 10 Best Characters from Peaky Blinders.

SPOILER WARNING

SEASON 6 and other parts of Peaky Blinders will be mentioned in this article. 

10. Duke Shelby (Conrad Khan)

To enter the list having only appeared in 3 episodes of a 6 season long series speaks volumes on the presence Duke Shelby’s character holds. The long lost son of Tommy – Duke Shelby is quick to exhibit a variety of traits his father shows. Furthermore Duke sheds a brighter light on the Shelby gypsy roots with many of his beliefs and morals tied to his life as a romany gypsy. Duke commands respect at his young age and seems to be the next in line to run Shelby Company Ltd. 

9. Johnny Dogs (Packy Lee)

The Loyal Irishman. Johnny Dogs is always there when the Peaky Blinders need him. Ever the pessimist about some of the plans and people Tommy involves him with. However, he does whatever’s asked of him and provides constant merriment for the viewers and his fellow Blinders. 

8. Father John Hughes (Paddy Considine)

Our first antagonist. Our second Irishman. Father John Hughes is the main villain in Series 3 of Peaky Blinders, and what a villian he is. As a representative of the Economic League, a group of influential men in powerful positions and as a result he manipulates Tommy throughout. Responsible for inflicting trauma on many members of the Shelby family, Hughes manages to create a sense of fear and frustration throughout Series 3. Undoubtedly the lead up to his demise are some of the best scenes in the show cementing his place at 8. 

7. Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle)

Ada has been a communist, a capitalist but she’s always been a Shelby woman. Ada’s role has changed throughout Peaky Blinders and she’s become a fan favourite. Even though Ada tries to fight her ‘Shelbyness’ but by season 6 she’s firmly aware of her place in society as a Peaky Blinder. The series has used her to challenge racial and gender stereotypes and she does so with aplomb. A feisty individual but we’d expect no less from a Shelby.  

6. Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin)

Based upon a real man, who did indeed start the British Union of Fascists and have Hitler attend his wedding. Oswald Mosley both in Peaky Blinders and in real life was truly frightening. Claflin does an amazing job of creating a sense of fear through power and arrogance. Mosley was the product of the rising fascist movement around the 1930s in Europe and the effect this had on society is still felt today through WW2. The fact he is never overcome is a testament to the power of hate and as one of Tommy’s greatest adversaries he’s earned his name on this list. 

5. Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson)

Arthur’s battle with morality adds a necessary dimension to Peaky Blinders. On one hand the most reliant and brutal of the Peaky Blinders. Always there when the criminal needs of the organisation need to be met. However, his relationship with his deeply religious wife Linda, provided a crisis for Arthur whose mental state rapidly deteriorated as a result. By season 6 Arthur’s battle with darkness has consumed him and this is perfectly portrayed by Paul Anderson. One of the BBC’s best characters without a shadow of a doubt.

4. Duchess Tatiana Petrovna (Gaite Jensen)

Devilish Charm and Cursed Sapphires. Duchess Tatiana was a baby faced menace throughout season 3 wreaking havoc in Tommy Shelby’s life. In the game of chess that is season 3, Tatiana is most certainly a queen. Continuously dictating the mayhem while living by her own rules gives Tatiana’s character many levels and gives a different perspective on how her character is sexualized. A major manipulator with dangerously ambiguous motives makes her one of the most memorable members of the Peaky Blinders cast. 

3. Polly Shelby ( Helen McCroy)

A Romany Queen. First things first, rest in peace Helen McCroy. Her contributions to British film, TV and theatre will be remembered forever. Her passing before season 6 was clearly felt with her presence and name carried every episode by the remaining cast members. Polly communicates with spirits, has a fierce yet delicate approach to gender roles and effortlessly commands respect. She will be a character whose memory will live on for many years just like the actress who played her.

2. Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy)

Tommy Shelby will go down as one of the top 3 main characters of British Tv. His presence is felt throughout the show and as a result he has gained global cult status. The three piece suit, the baker boy cap, the walk and the posture were strokes of genius and add a stylistic depth to Tommy that has made his persona iconic. Even when the storylines have been complex, Cillian Murphy’s performances have garnered patience from the global audience. The progression of his struggle with power has taken various twists and turns and it’s sad to see it come to an end. But what an end.

1. Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy)

Most would’ve thought this had to end with Tommy Shelby. However, despite not appearing in the majority of episodes, Alfie Solomons plays a vital role in the show. Tom Hardy is no stranger to playing the villain with ambiguous morals but this role allowed him to take that persona to a new level. Tommy Shelby’s character is so powerful that most of the supporting roles pale in scenes with him. Only Alfie Solomons reminds the audience that the god-like behaviour of Tommy Shelby can be humbled to mere mortality. Cut-throat business deals, a lack of compassion and empathy and a stern realism make Alfie Solomons the charming brute force that always brings life to the series when it starts to slow. 

Honourable Mentions

Luca Changretta

A nod to the mafia, and more precisely the godfather, and a perfectly executed one at that. 

Aberama Gold

A Gypsy mercenary on the face of it but much more than that. Aberama’s two season stint cemented himself as a fan favourite and Polly’s husband … almost.

Lizzie Shelby 

A fierce woman who is forced to put up with Tommy’s darker more personal side and even then she stands by him even after losing her daughter. 


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This has been post has been written and put together for you by:

Louis Davis

Louis Davis