tv characters The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1

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List Rules Series regulars who did not appear in the first season of the show only. Vote up the ones you now can't imagine the series without.

Some of the best TV shows - the ones that eventually soar to critical acclaim and garner millions of die-hard fans - don't always hit the ground running. It can be pretty hard to find your footing that first year. In fact, there are a lot of TV characters added after Season 1 that went on to become integral to their shows.

One of the most tried and true methods that showrunners use to stabilize a shaky first season is introducing new characters. A new character can energize a lagging plot line, or even lead to a new plot line entirely, taking the show in directions that may not have been originally intended.

Not all new characters work. Many are summarily dismissed. But some of these new characters feel so enmeshed in the fabric of the show, it's hard to believe that there was a time when they weren't a part of it at all.

This is a list of the greatest television characters who weren't in the first season. Vote up the series regulars who became most integral to their series. And if you don't like the order this list is in, feel free to rerank it. In fact, it's highly encouraged. Make your voice heard for the best TV characters who weren't in Season 1.
Maggie Greene 
    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: AMC
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8 people just voted on Maggie Greene


It's hard to imagine the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead without Maggie Greene. But long-time fans will remember we didn't get to meet her until early the second episode of Season 2, "Bloodletting," when the survivors end up on Herschel's farm. Lauren Cohan's Maggie and her relationship with Glen provide a glimpse of a promising future in an otherwise desolate world.

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Series: The Walking Dead

Actor: Lauren Cohan

Episode: Season 2, Episode 2 "Bloodletting"

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Butters Stotch 
    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: Freebase/Fair use
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Butters Stotch


Aw, Butters. Sweet, happy, wholesome Butters Stotch had been a friend of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman on South Park for years, but he was never actually introduced (or allowed to speak) until midway through Season 3 in an episode called "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub." Even when he's (poorly) planning destruction as his alter ego "Professor Chaos," you just can't help but root for the lovable little guy.

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Series: South Park

Actor: Matt Stone

Episode: Season 3, Episode 8 "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub"

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#26 on The Greatest Breakout Characters in TV History

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Frank Reynolds 
    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: FX
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Frank Reynolds


Wait, you mean Frank Reynolds wasn't always there? It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia existed without him?

It's true. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had a seven-episode first season where there was no Danny DeVito to be found. He joined the gang at the start of Season 2 in "Charlie Gets Crippled" and has been deplorable and hilarious ever since.

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Series: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Actor: Danny DeVito

Episode: Season 2, Episode 1 "Charlie Gets Crippled"

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#31 on The Funniest Characters Currently on TV

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Brienne of Tarth 
    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: HBO
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Brienne of Tarth


Has there ever been a more loyal and fully realized female character than Brienne of Tarth? Gwendolyn Christie brings a touching humanity and a sly sense of humor to this powerful warrior, though we don't get to meet her until the third episode of Season 2, "What Is Dead May Never Die." Game of Thrones is not short on powerful women, to be sure. But Brienne has a true heart (and a great sword) that elevates her above all around her.  

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Series: Game of Thrones

Actor: Gwendoline Christie

Episode: Season 2, Episode 3 "What is Dead May Never Die"

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#6 on The Best Female Characters on TV Right Now

#34 on Game of Thrones Death Pool

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#32 on The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

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Woody Boyd 
    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: CBS
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6 people just voted on Woody Boyd


Cheers had a good thing going with Nicholas Colasanto as "Coach" Ernie Pantusso, the sweet old bartender of the Boston bar. But in 1984, Colasanto left the show. Cheers needed to find someone equally lovable and dim-witted to fill Coach's shoes. Luckily, they found Woody Harrelson. Relatively unknown at the time, Harrelson played Woody Boyd as a naive hayseed from Indiana and instantly fit in with the cast from his first appearance in the Season 4 opener, "Birth, Death, Love, and Rice."

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Series: Cheers

Actor: Woody Harrelson

Episode: Season 4, Episode 1 "Birth, Death, Love and Rice"

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#4 on The Greatest Fictional Bartenders

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Saul Goodman 
    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: AMC
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Saul Goodman


Saul Goodman puts the "criminal" in "criminal lawyer." Bob Odenkirk's pitch-perfect portrayal of the sleazy attorney didn't actually appear in Season 1 of Breaking Bad. He swooped in halfway through Season 2 in the episode "Better Call Saul" to help get one of Jesse's buddies out of a tight spot and remained a fixture from that point on.

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Series: Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul!

Actor: Bob Odenkirk

Episode: Season 2, Episode 8 "Better Call Saul"

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#37 on The Greatest Breakout Characters in TV History

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Margaery Tyrell 
    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: HBO
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Margaery Tyrell


"I don't want to be a queen. I want to be the queen."

With those words, Natalie Dormer introduced us to Margaery Tyrell early in "What Is Dead May Never Die," the third episode of Season 2 of Game of Thrones. For those who don't know Margaery, here's a brief history: she married a king. He died. She married another king. He died. She married another king. Then the real trouble started.

Beautiful and cunning, it's hard to imagine Westeros without her.

More About

Series: Game of Thrones

Actor: Natalie Dormer

Episode: Season 2, Episode 3 "What is Dead May Never Die"

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#20 on The Best Female Characters on TV Right Now

#11 on The Best Game of Thrones Characters

#47 on Game of Thrones Death Pool

#50 on The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

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Ben Wyatt 
    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: Freebase
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Ben Wyatt


What is Leslie Knope without Ben Wyatt? Parks & Recreation had a shaky start and a lot of early characters (like Paul Schneider's Mark Brendanawicz) didn't make it out alive. But the show found its footing when Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) came to Pawnee late in Season 2 in "The Master Plan." The relationship that followed between Leslie and Ben truly gave Parks & Rec the heart that balanced out the comedy which made the show so special.

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Series: Parks and Recreation

Actor: Adam Scott

Episode: Season 2, Episode 23 "The Master Plan"

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#29 on The Best Fictional Characters You'd Leave Your Man For

#38 on The Best Male Characters on TV Right Now

#5 on Fictional Characters Named Ben

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