Book readers knew not to expect many appearances from Lord Asriel Belacqua (James McAvoy) in the first season of this HBO fantasy, but if we’re basing speculation off of Pullman’s series, there won’t be much Asriel in Season 2, either. The Subtle Knife doesn’t have much for either him or Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson), but Mrs. Coulter’s role was substantially expanded in the first season. Hopefully McAvoy gets the same treatment in the coming episodes, because his take on Asriel — a harsh, arrogant scholar willing to go to awful extremes to prove his hypotheses — is brilliantly in line with the source material.
Cara Dune, The Mandalorian
Thank goodness Cara Dune (Gina Carano) came back, because she’s one of the most interesting female characters the Star Wars franchise has given us in recent memory. A “good guy” turned “bad guy” seemingly for no other reason than that she missed throwing punches and being in the middle of a firefight, Cara’s complexity — and bada**ery — make her one of the Disney+ hit’s most interesting characters. If we get a new season of The Mandalorian in 2020, here’s hoping she officially joins Mando’s crew.
Victor Strand, Fear the Walking Dead
Although there was quite a bit to be annoyed about in Fear’s fifth season, Season 6 just might offer a glimmer of hope for Strand (Colman Domingo) fans who’ve enjoyed this character since his introduction. In recognizing he can “do more damage from the inside” of Virginia’s organization, the silver-tongued, formerly morally gray businessman hearkens back to his murky roots — and offers fans a hint that the double-crossing, “me-first” version of this character might still be in there somewhere. Plus, it’s nice that he and Alicia are together, since their bond is always fun to watch and is one of the few remaining tidbits from earlier seasons.
Connie, The Walking Dead
Okay, okay, okay. Let’s set all that Daryl (Norman Reedus) shipping stuff aside, shall we? There’s definitely more to Connie (Lauren Ridloff) than a guy she might or might not end up with. She’s a great character: she has an intriguing, yet murky backstory, she’s wonderful disabled representation and she clearly has a good heart. There’s plenty more to her story than what’s been shown onscreen so far. Now, TWD is known for making a character likable and killing them off right quick … especially those closely associated with a certain archer. But if she makes it out of that cave, here’s hoping Connie gets more to do. And as much as fans enjoy seeing her with Daryl, it might be good for her to branch out, too.
Rosita Espinosa, The Walking Dead
While many of Angela Kang’s changes to The Walking Dead and its storytelling format have been welcome, one of the more baffling yarns spun across the last season has been the infamous “love quadrangle.” Even more baffling has been the extent to which that quadrangle has taken Rosita (Christian Serratos) out of any of the action. Sure, she’s a new mom, which also limits her storyline. But she’s also one of the very few characters who’ve been on the show since its fourth season, and given her longevity, it’s time she had more to do than deal with suitors and change diapers.
John P. Johnson/HBO
Dolores Abernathy and William, Westworld
For very different reasons, we’re hoping to see plenty of these two when Westworld returns this year. It’s doubtful we wouldn’t see Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) — after all, she’s a main character! — but we’re looking forward to seeing her learn that not all of humanity is as horrid as the guests in the park … and what her purpose was in Ford’s eyes. As for William (Ed Harris), we’re looking forward to figuring out just what the heck was up with that post-credits scene in Season 2 and where he’ll go from the season’s end, which saw him rescued and supposedly(?) still human. When did he become a host? Was he already a host during the events of the previous season? Is there a young William host somewhere, too?
Raven Reyes, The 100
Aside from losing her boyfriend in the Season 6 premiere, Raven (Lindsey Morgan) didn’t have a whole lot to do. She briefly went to Sanctum, then she went back up to space to debate morals with Abby (Paige Turco), but in terms of plot relevance, she certainly wasn’t front and center. Let’s hope that changes for the final season: although she wasn’t technically a member of the “original 100,” Raven has been a key character since Season 1. It’d be great to see the bada** mechanic of seasons past make a return — she can still have a moral compass, but it’d be great if that compass guided her toward the main plot.
Camina Drummer, The Expanse
Assuming Season 5 is released around the same time next year, we’re hoping Drummer (Cara Gee) steps into the spotlight a little more (though she was by no means on the sidelines this season). Plenty of fans are speculating she’ll be serving as the show’s version of Michio Pa, who eventually becomes an OPA pirate and, later, a leader. Drummer’s already taken several aspects of Pa’s story, including her being Fred Johnson’s second-in-command and serving as captain of the Behemoth. Her becoming a pirate would be an interesting turn for her story to take now that she’s left Belter politics.
On every show, there’s a character — or characters — we want to know more about; someone who’s front and center but still hasn’t been fully fleshed out, or a B or C-tier mainstay we wish would be bumped up to “A” status.
Such is the case with the characters in this gallery. Some are definitely “mains” on their respective programs while others aren’t quite at the center of whatever the unfolding story is. Either way, we’re hoping that when 2020 brings them back to our screens, it’ll do so with them taking part in larger or more cohesive (here’s looking at you, Westworld!) stories.
Click through the gallery above to see our picks for characters who deserve the spotlight next year.