RANKED: Who’s the Biggest Badass in the Expanse?



Image Credit: Phillip Farone / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Warning! There are spoilers here for seasons 1 & 2.

Set in a future where humanity has colonised parts of the solar system, the Expanse is a sprawling series full of tough choices and even tougher characters.

Whether you’re a lowly crewman on an ice hauler or a political power player responsible for the lives of billions, you’ve got to be pretty badass to survive in the world of the Expanse. That’s why we’re counting down our top 10 tough as nails characters.

10. Dr Prax Meng (Terry Chen)

A botanist and soy farmer on Ganymede, he’s ill prepared for the wider world of the Expanse. With few badass qualities, Prax is a good guy, and that puts a big target on his back. The main reason he’s on the list is cause he’s still alive.

Badass Rating: 3/10

9. Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman)

As a disgraced Colonel, Fred Johnson’s done some terrible things. Now he fights for the rights of Belters as Chief of Operations at Tycho Station. Unfortunately, as a reformed badass, he’s a little on the soft side, relying on his second in Command, Drummer (played with grit by Cara Gee) to do much of the dirty work.

Badass Rating: 5/10

8. Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar)

The former Martian Navy pilot finds a renewed sense of adventure piloting the Rocinante, though his relationship with the ship’s silent AI sometimes borders on the creepy. While Alex is a great pilot, he’s also a little worrisome when he’s not in the pilot’s chair, often acting as a foil for the more unhinged Amos.

Badass Rating: 6/10

7. Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper)

The winner of most badass haircut, Nagata can fix just about anything, but isn’t that keen on violence and suffers a bit from ‘Do-the-right-thing’ complex. Usually it works out for her. That’s great and all, but doesn’t exactly a bad ass make. Still, Nagata is tough enough to keep Amos on a leash, so she’s at least a bit of a badass.

Badass Rating: 7/10

6. James Holden (Steven Strait)

James Holden is the genetic offspring of eight different parents who are back on earth fighting to preserve one of the last patches of wilderness, which is a pretty badass story all on its own. While that drive to preserve does run through Holden’s character, it usually just makes the Captain of the Rocinante stubborn to a fault.

James Holden is the genetic offspring of eight different parents who are back on earth fighting to preserve one of the last patches of wilderness, which is a pretty badass story all on its own. While that drive to preserve does run through Holden’s character, it usually just makes the Captain of the Rocinante stubborn to a fault.

Badass Rating: 7/10

5. Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams)

Showing up in Season 2, the Martian marine portrayed with intimidating ferocity by NZ actor Frankie Adams is tough, disciplined and ready to rumble. At least until it all goes down on Ganymede. While we haven’t seen too much of First Lieutenant Roberta Draper, the badass potential looks strong with this one.

Badass Rating: 7/10

Heading back to Bobbie-land soon

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4. Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane)

Miller has one of the weirdest story arcs in the show. A grizzled detective / security guard on Ceres, he doesn’t mind a drink and wears a hat to ‘keep the rain off’ even though it never rains.

He’s a man apart. A Belter, but not a revolutionary, a cop who’s got a problem with authority and a badass with a death wish who survives just about every bad deal, only to give his life in the strangest of circumstances.

It’s that loner mentality that makes Miller a badass. The fact that he falls for Julia Mao also lends to his badass potential. After all, she’s basically sentient alien matter. It takes guts to love a girl like that.

Badass Rating: 7.5/10

3. Anderson Dawes (Jared Harris)

A true revolutionary, Anderson’s Belter origins mean he’s seen just how bad it can be for folks not from Earth. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, Anderson’s solutions might seem extreme, but that’s because he knows sometimes you got to break a few asteroids to make a good space omelette.

In episode 7 of season 2 we get a rare glimpse into just how articulate (and manipulative) the OPA faction leader can be. He’s trying to recruit Diogo, who isn’t sure how hold he is, telling Dawes he thinks he’s 19 years old. Dawes response really captures the struggle of the Belters:

“Even our sense of time comes from them. The time it takes the Earth to spin around its axis, the time it takes the Earth to go once around the sun. On Jupiter, you would be celebrating your first birthday. It’s hard to feel we matter out here, isn’t it?”

Dawes also helped mould Fred Johnson into the man he is today.

Badass Rating: 8/10

2. Amos Burton (Wes Chatham)

There’s little doubt that the Rocinante’s hypervigilant crewman would make the list. But does he deserve the mantle of most badass, or is just a guy who’s a little too excited by the prospect of violence?


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He’s got a soft spot for Naomi Nagata. Badasses aren’t bad unless they’ve got a badass motivation. While we don’t know much about Burton’s past, we do know that he cares a lot about Naomi, and regularly puts his own life on the line to ensure her protection. He’s also killed a lot of people. I mean, a lot!

Badass Rating: 9/10

1. Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo)

The U.N. Undersecretary makes a compelling case for biggest badass in the galaxy. Not only is Chrisjen literally one of the most powerful people in the galaxy, she wields that power like a subtle knife, working the backroom and walking a fine line in the corridors of power.

While she might not have the cutthroat attitude of some of her political counterparts, she’s not afraid to put herself in harm’s way. Sticking around on Earth when Eros was on a crash course with our home planet, and agreeing to meet Mau in deep space with only hardly any backup.

She also has the best threads of anyone in the show.

Avasarala #avasarala #shorehaghdashloo #theexpanse #canadiancinematographer

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The Undersecretary also knows how to burn friends when she needs to. In ‘Remember the Cant’ Chrisjen used her influence with the U.N. Ambassador to Mars to get what she needed, which led to one of the most heartbreaking scenes of Season 1.

Chrisjen knows how to get things done, no matter the personal cost. That’s why she’s out pick for biggest badass on the Expanse.

Badass Rating: 9/10

The Expanse is rated MA.

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