The 13 Best Raised By Wolves Characters, Ranked

Created by Aaron Guzikowski, "Raised by Wolves" is an unsettling science fiction series launched under the directorial eye of Ridley Scott — and with the notorious director of "Alien" involved, some body horror is inevitable.

In "Raised by Wolves," humanity leaves a ravaged Earth behind as warfare boils between the Atheists and the religious Mithraists. When two Atheist-programmed androids incubate and raise human children, their surviving son, and the Mithraic children kidnapped by Mother, divisions and resentments soon rise. Meanwhile, a mysterious and menacing force on Kepler-22B wreaks havoc and makes puppets of androids, Mithraists, Atheists, and agnostics alike.

A domestic drama largely focused on the androids' developing sentience and their questionable parenting methods, season 2 of "Raised By Wolves" explores the fraught family residence in the Atheist collective and Mother's interest in the serpent child she birthed at the end of the previous season. Now that the latest season has concluded, we've ranked the best characters on the show. Note that the less biologically human they are, the more likely they were to be selected.

13. Paul

Perhaps if Scott and the other "Raised by Wolves" directors had pushed Felix Jamieson to give a more transformative and muscular performance, his character would have fared better on this list. The tribulations, progressions, and regressions that Paul undergoes are more interesting than Jamieson's work indicates.

But Paul does have an interesting rapport with the other characters, particularly his imposter parents and his "brother" Campion; his relationship with the faith that has sunk its claws deep into his heart and brain is compelling as well. Corrupted by the alien signal and the belief that Sol has singled him out for a specific purpose, Paul's frustrating actions and ever-changing loyalties are understandable given his age, his situation, and just how thoroughly he's been indoctrinated.

12. Lucius

In spite of his cultish jerkiness and subsequent lust for power, Lucius is probably one of the more sympathetic adult Mithraic due to his initial idealistic loyalty and the way his faith is questioned when Marcus' ruse is revealed. By season 2, when he's imprisoned, you can't help but to root for him when he refuses to accept Marcus' prophetic garbage.

Lucius becomes one of the few Mithraics who reject Marcus's self-proclaimed authority, but he hasn't renounced his cultish religion. Delusions of grandeur ultimately claim Lucius, but he still has enough humanity to try to warn Mother about Mary and Paul's impending fate.

11. Hunter

Hunter is not likable, nor is he written as such. He's deliberately depicted as a product of his upbringing, and "Raised by Wolves" shows how his cloistered life has shut him off from the humanity of those outside his religious sphere. As the son of a high-ranking Mithraic, he's cocky about his social status, particularly when it comes to the other children, and incompetent when it comes to labor. 

It's clear that Hunter feels predestined to grow up pampered and respected like other Mithraic clerics. Like many of the kids, Hunter largely had to grow up on his own, and he deserves a thwack on the back of his head for his sanctimonious nature and the way he bullies Campion and others. However, his abrasiveness does not come from nowhere. His dissatisfaction is realistic for a kid in his surreal situation.

By season 2, Hunter has humbled himself enough to question things. Mostly, he's resigned to his circumstances, later announcing to Father that he plans to move out and deal with life in his own way. He remains an insensitive brother, but he has slightly better intentions.

10. Karl (or any medical robot)

The medical bots on the dour "Raised by Wolves" are the closest thing the show has to the long-suffering battle droids of "Star Wars": expendable to the point that they're sacrificed for chuckles, with a dash of C-3PO's frankness. Just listen to the first robot assure Marcus that facial surgery will only "marginally" hurt.

Then there's Karl, who has about 20 minutes of screentime — and one of the series' most dryly funny lines, "I am not a blood bag." Karl is a helpful, if expositional, fellow who helps Mother unearth one of the series' biggest shocks while injecting doses of levity into the proceedings. See, he's the one who ran the diagnostics on Mother to examine the "tumorous" mass in her body, which turns out to be a pregnancy.

Despite being confined to the role of a messenger and failing to live beyond half of one episode, Karl manages to make an impression with his likability, even if his developing soul is in doubt when compared to Mother's burgeoning humanity. He shares a theological conversation with Mother, and his understanding of his obligations helps Mother challenge her own programming. When Karl phases out of life, you can't help but feel pity for his cessation, and that he couldn't feel much beyond the drive to serve others. But such is the sad purpose of the medical robot: to prioritize others while barely considering his own self-preservation.

9. Cleaver

Let's get this out of the way: Cleaver is one of the hottest characters because of his glasses. The human leader of the Atheist Collective and the lieutenant of the supercomputer called the Trust, Cleaver carries his natural charisma and faith in a way that's innocently endearing without chipping away at his professional exterior and his willingness to commit unsavory actions for the presumed good of the Collective.

Whereas the Mithraic worship the unseeable Sol, Cleaver is an Atheist who has faith in a tangible (and relatively more knowable) force: the algorithmic Trust that organizes the Collective's tasks and policies. When your source of social clarity, comfort, and confidence has an off-on switch, you're bound to be disillusioned and to fade into an empty shell, as Cleaver soon discovers. You don't feel bad when Cleaver gets comeuppance for harming Mother's children, but Peter Christoffersen's performance exposes the humanity in a desperate military man who has clung to a source of faith in order to find the sense of order that was denied to him on Earth. His wretched expression when the Trust is shut down is probably the saddest expression on the show.

8. Vrille

In "Raised by Wolves," Vrille is subjected to a classic sci-fi trope: a parental figure who projects a human identity onto a robot. Props, then, to Morgan Santo for embodying a creepy android and inviting sympathy for her plight while imbuing Vrille with a childlike innocence. Designed in the likeness of the Mithraic Decima's deceased child, Vrille was a welcome addition to the show's roster of creepy bots. Like Mother and Father, you don't doubt that Vrille is on the verge of realizing her autonomy. Unlike the adult androids, however, Vrille was given a child's mindset, so she is still processing her place in the universe and where she fits in among the humans she serves. When Vrille rampages, her face popping from her skull, the carnage briefly turns "Raised by Wolves" into a horror series. Despite her pint-sized physique, she is not to be trifled with when she's enraged and her impulse control goes AWOL.

When an android like Vrille has to balance her programmed obedience with self-preservation, it's a recipe for disaster. She can only function for so long while living up to maternal expectations. In this way, Vrille feels like a real child, with her own secrets, a rebellious streak, and a desire for playmates like Campion. Her relationship with Campion, a child of androids, is one of the strangely sweet spots in a dark show. When Vrille dies, she does so tragically, trying to be part of a family but feeling bound to an identity other than her own.

7. Campion the Younger

In any good domestic drama, a kid grows up to challenge their parents. "Raised by Wolves" explores how children grow beyond their parent's grip and become harder to control much faster than even the best-intentioned parents can adapt. Campion is the only survivor of the six human children incubated by Mother and Father, so he begins his coming-of-age with sorrow, grief, and confusion over his upbringing. 

Named for Mother and Father's human programmer, Campion the Younger grows up throughout the series with his understanding of the world shifting and evolving, making space for universal mysteries. For all of Mother and Father's plans for Campion's maturation, they learn that a human like their son will inevitably carve their own path — often fighting against their parents' expectations. Soon, the unpredictable future foils Mother and Father's designs. Campion begins to entertain concepts outside of his atheist upbringing and grows distant from Mother.

Even as Campion's voice gets deeper, he's still the loving boy who extends consideration and compassion to all life forms, be they sentient androids like the unpredictable Vrille or the serpent (which he later realizes is his sibling). Campion the Prometheus who's willing to take the fire and disobey his parents to find himself.

6. Whatever the alien signal is

As an antagonist, a great seducer that you can't see is the one of the scariest things you could possibly find on an unknown planet. The cast of "Raised by Wolves" often wonders if they believe in a merciful deity, a ruthless one, an ambivalent one, or a complete lack thereof. No matter what this "alien signal" (as Mary calls it) is, it's seeping into the cracks of the human consciousness and laying the foundation for its grand design.

The signal's wavelengths are elusive, reaching out to its selected subjects and injecting thoughts, whispers, and hallucinations into their minds. If you are among its "chosen ones," then good luck to you. This force is so all-encompassing that you virtually cannot run from it, and androids like Mother can be caught in its snare. Whether it is an infection in the android brain or a force in the human mind, the signal has been the basis of multiple fan theories. It is also, essentially, the biological parent of the parasitic serpent that Mother gives birth to.

The signal reaches Paul and tempts him to shoot Mary. It twists Marcus into a fanatic. It uses the ghosts of dead children to toy with Mother and Father. Much like the serpent that tempts Eve in the Book of Genesis, the signal flicks the mental switches in people's heads and assumes the shapes of its victims' loved ones and deepest desires. It is truly the Big Bad of the series, but it relies on desperate humans and androids to do its bidding.

5. Tempest

Jordan Loughran gives one of the stronger performance of the cast of kids and has a bucket of written trauma and strength to work with, even if early season 2 underserves her character at times. Impregnated by a cleric rapist, young Tempest has to deal with trauma that Mother and Father are not equipped to address (they were programmed by a man fixated on repopulation and gender roles, after all). Like anybody in this universe, Tempest is trying to grasp agency as the cages of expectations and pressures squeezes her in its cooker. Living in a timeline where abortion is not an option for her, Tempest is forced to endure Mother's insistence in being enthusiastic and instinctive for pregnancy. It's not easy living with a mother who thinks that shutting out sexual trauma is like flicking off a light switch and can be overcome by rigid definitions of maternal instincts.

Tempest is that ideal foil to Mother. Whereas Mother is programmed and dogmatic to the mantle of the ideal mother, Tempest thrashes against maternal pressures like a sardine in a net. Tempest defies the paragon of perfection and nicety. She learns to hunt, takes charge, she disobeys. She finds strength and agency in her disobedience and subverts expectations. She takes charge of her own complicated emotions for babies, including the child she was forced with.

4. Grandmother

Grandmother debuts as an empty shell, a side hobby for Father as he grows exhausted with Mother. Called "Grandmother" by Campion due to her ancient body, this cipher of an android makes a celestial impression on human eyes. Discovered to be a Mithraic creation, Grandmother is analogous to Biblical angels with a sun-blinding luminosity. She has committed ethereal acts, is almost assumed to be Sol by Campion, and is possibly responsible for accelerating the growth of Tempest's fetus.

For a while, she's a literal plot device that irradiates an ominous haze. With her face veiled, Grandmother is distant from the humanity we have seen in many of the series' other androids. She invokes the mysteries surrounding her creators and her purpose on Kepler.

Once her veil, an emotion inhibitor, is cast off and passed to Mother, Grandmother's mystery only grows more palpable, even when she states her agenda: to revert — or devolve — humanity to a blissfully happy existence. Like a stereotypical mother-in-law (i.e., a "grandmother") or a Pygmalion project for the father figure, she evolves into a disruptor of family stability, standing in as a substitute matriarch over Mother, and, with Freudian undertones, insinuating that she could be a better mate for Father. Although her motives are exposed as nefarious in the season finale, Selina Jones beautifully etches out the contours of Grandmother's sentience and emotional investment in her mission.

3. Mary

Mary's journey has been one of compelling identity crises that test her beliefs, her familial loyalties, and her personhood. With Marcus, Mary has to assume the skin of a Mithraic to escape a ravaged Earth, which affects her emotionally and hardens her resolve to remain herself. Though her true nature is hidden in an imposter's skin, Mary holds onto her sense of self by practicing empathy whenever she can, especially when Paul falls under her care.

Mary (or "Sue," as she's known in her secret identity) is a favorite human throughout the series, owing largely to Niamh Algar's ability to lean into her decisions and paradigm shifts, including helping a pregnant Mother or praying to the alien signal to save her son despite her hardcore atheism. Note that, at that pivotal turning point, Mary doesn't resort to an immediate belief in religion, but rather figures that, because the signal has proven tangible, she'll humble herself on bended knees and pray. She's too morally complex to be ideal, but she serves as a healer and a nurturer to the best of her ability. It's a shame that the mysterious not-Sol force had to morph her into a Tree of Knowledge, only for her new body to be ingested by the serpent.

2. Father

What makes "Raised by Wolves" such a compelling sci-fi domestic drama is its demented tapestry of a family that consists of androids with human learnings, a "firstborn" bred from an incubator, and adopted (ahem, stolen) Mithraic children who replace the ones lost to the elements. The show is nothing without its androids, who are performed by actors who balance their emotional bandwidth with their robotic remove.

"Dad-Bot" is a suitable nickname for Father — he's literally programmed to make corny dad jokes that make his kids' eyes roll. But those jokes become a source of comfort for Campion and the Mithraic children. Even as a program, Father injects warmth and humor into a dour series through Abubakar Salim's humane, callow performance. Like Mother, Father bears his imperfections and his insecurities, and the series' best scenes come when they debate their parenting methods and what's ethically just to keep Campion safe, both physically and morally.

Marriage — or partnership — isn't all it's cracked up to be. The more he reckons with conflicting interests, the more Father's discomforts and challenges come to a head. As his partnership with Mother frays in season 2, Father begins to unravel and look for ways to blow off steam, like sparring with a boxing android or reconstructing Grandmother. He's just like a human husband who's undergoing a mid-life crisis.

1. Mother

All the compelling family drama is woven together — and is ripped apart at the seams — by Mother, brought to life by Amanda Collin's bone-chilling performance. Mother can be a repressed housewife looking for a sexual and romantic outlet, a devoted or overprotective mother, a dogmatic teacher, and a war criminal. Equipped with a fatal shriek, Mother turns out to be a flying death machine, and she leans to grapple with — or reconcile — her killer capabilities with her maternal protectiveness. She has her own earthly desires, like her attachment to her giant serpent child, that she chalks up to her pesky programming. Over both seasons, Mother grows disaffected by her partnership (which is essentially an arranged marriage) with Father, and becomes more territorial about her emotional needs as they brush up against, clash, and uneasily overlap with her family obligations.

Mother is the suffocating axiom that "Mother knows best" incarnate, especially when she errs on the side of "I do what I think is best." Do not cross this mama android. Through the plasticity of her approving stares and smiles, Mother is the most multi-chromatic character in the central family unit on "Raised by Wolves."