There are many shows that come to mind when talking about some of the greatest television series of all time. One name that will inevitably come up in this conversation at some point or the other is The Sopranos, which is perhaps the greatest show ever made that centers around the life of the mob and crime. Unlike what most people would believe, the life of a mobster isn’t glorified by The Sopranos — rather, it’s shown in a pretty nuanced light and depicts a very human side to these criminals.
A big part of what made The Sopranos such a massive success was the fact that it featured some truly excellent characters that turned the series into a must-watch show with their riveting character arcs. The main characters, in particular, have some truly engrossing character arcs that one would certainly want to witness from start to end… even though some of them might not be as entertaining as others. Keeping this in mind, here are all the main characters of The Sopranos ranked on the basis of their character arcs.
While Silvio might’ve appeared in pretty much every season of The Sopranos and played a fairly major role across the series, one can’t really say that he was particularly memorable as a character.
His presence seemed like something that was required in a mob family, and nothing more. Honestly, the only notable thing that happened to him in the series was that he fell into a coma by the end of the series and presumedly died.
However, while Silvio might’ve been largely forgettable throughout the series, the same can’t be said for Paulie, one of Tony’s closest friends who eventually became the underboss in the DiMeo crime family.
Paulie has had several memorable moments throughout the series and is always a treat to watch. However, as a character, he remains pretty stagnant throughout the series just like Silvio… but one can’t deny that he’s just all that more entertaining to watch regardless.
However, one character who is definitely more irritating than entertaining on the screen is definitely Janice Soprano, Tony’s sister who is about as manipulative and two-faced as one can get.
The fact that she even planned to kill off her brother at one point and generally brought ruin to the men in her life can prove to be quite an irritating character trait… but the manner in which The Sopranos deftly showcases this without it getting overbearing should definitely be given due credit.
Out of the entire Soprano family, one can argue that Meadow probably had the weakest and most non-consequential character arc of the lot.
However, her character still had her highs, with the death of her ex-boyfriend Jackie Jr. being a turning point in her life that made her question her dad’s business… only for all of this to be scrapped as she suddenly was fine with her mob connections once again.
The wife of Tony Soprano definitely knew when to stand on her own two feet whenever the need arose, turning Carmela into one of the strongest and most enjoyable characters to watch on the show.
She was one of the few characters that could actually admonish Tony for treating her badly and get away with it — something that was quite enjoyable to watch, regardless of how likable Tony Soprano may be.
The fact that The Sopranos opens up with a scene between Tony and his psychiatrist should be enough to prove just how important her character really is in the grand scheme of things.
For the most part, Jennifer might seem like a stoic and collected individual, but there are moments in the series when her character takes center stage… albeit for some truly horrible reasons. However, the manner in which she powers through these horrible occurrences without giving into her dark side is a testament to how mature and collected this character really is.
Adriana La Cerva
The story of Adriana La Cerva is truly one of the most heartbreaking ones ever shown on television. She was a great woman with a heart of gold who unfortunately got stuck with a horrible boyfriend in the form of Christopher Moltisanti.
It’s this abusive relationship that ultimately leads to her downfall — after telling Chris that she was acting as an informant to the FBI, her boyfriend sold her out to the mob and got her whacked. It’s a horrible end for an amazing character who was always a joy to watch, no matter what.
The initial stages of The Sopranos made it seem like A.J. — the youngest son in the Soprano family — would be nothing more than a character meant to reinforce the trials and tribulations of raising a family for Tony and Carmela. The people who thought that couldn’t have been more wrong.
A.J. shows a glimpse into the life of a person whose unaddressed mental health issues are worsened by unimpeded access to the internet and social media, eventually overpowering him and compelling him to take his life at a young age. It’s a hard thing to witness and finally sheds new light on A.J., while simultaneously making the viewer realize how easy it is to ignore the problems of a teenager.
Christopher Moltisanti is easily one of the most intriguing characters in the entire show, with a large number of events in The Sopranos revolving around him and Tony… including his death.
By no means is Christopher a guy anyone can root for, and one need only look at his treatment of Adriana La Cerva to understand why this is the case. However, he’s still one of the most interesting characters on the show and constantly serves up highlight upon highlight on the show with his erratic and drug-fuelled antics.
Of course, it was only a given that the main character of such a brilliant show would inevitably take center stage when it comes to comparing the character arcs of everyone on the show.
The Sopranos is very much a show that revolves around Tony Soprano’s life, with every other story taking a backseat to his. He is easily one of the greatest protagonists of any TV show ever, namely due to his incredible depth as a character and the moral ambiguity of his actions.