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Characters In John Wick Franchise Who Are More Important Than You Realize

When Keanu Reeves burst on the scene as the titular character in the "John Wick" franchise in 2014, he brought a level of authenticity and suaveness to the role. Already seasoned as an action star from films like "The Matrix" and "Speed," Reeves seamlessly transitioned into ex-hit man Wick, seeking revenge on the Russian Mafia in control of New York City. Starring alongside him are veteran actors Laurence Fishburne, Willem Dafoe, Lance Reddick, and Halle Berry, and all of them make strong impacts on the series.

Following the success of "John Wick" in 2014, multiple sequels have come out, including "John Wick: Chapter 2" and "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," while "John Wick: Chapter 4" is set for release in March 2023. And while Reeves is undoubtedly the star of the franchise, the other characters played by supporting actors and actresses are just as critical. Without them, the plot would suffer and devolve into a gratuitous orgy of violence with no larger story. In their honor, these are the characters in the "John Wick" franchise who are more important than you realize.

Jimmy the cop

While you might not think of Jimmy the cop (Thomas Sadoski) as being very important in the "John Wick" franchise, his character actually hints at something much bigger and more sinister than is acknowledged. Jimmy's first appearance comes in the original "John Wick," when he shows up at Wick's house after a hit squad tries to take our hero out. The two have a brief but friendly conversation, showing they already know each other. Jimmy — noticing the dead bodies in the house — casually asks Wick if he's "working again" which Wick denies.

Jimmy's final appearance comes in 2017's "Chapter 2" after Wick's house is blown up. Jimmy again asks Wick if he's working, but this time he isn't given an answer. Jimmy is not seen again and it's never revealed how they know each other, but a few things can be surmised from their interactions. The fact that Jimmy and Wick are on good speaking terms — even though Jimmy knows Wick's history as an assassin — indicates that he probably was or is on the payroll for the Tarasov Mafia.

In addition, when he sees Wick's blown apart house he asks if it was from a gas leak, showing that he has likely experienced this situation before and is already familiar with the coverup. He might not be the most memorable character, but Jimmy definitely had more going on than the audience was led to believe.

The Bowery King

The Bowery King (Fishburne) in the "John Wick" franchise is one of the most interesting characters. In "Chapter 2," it's revealed that the King was originally a target of Wick when he was working as an assassin, but Wick spared his life. This apparently completely changed the King's outlook on life, and he goes on to become the head of the underground bowery system in New York City.

In his only appearance in "Chapter 2," the King gives Wick a gun with seven rounds, representing the $7 million bounty on his head. In 2019's "Chapter 3," the King is punished by the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) for aiding Wick previously and ends up getting cut seven times, one for each bullet. At the end of the film, the King and Wick decide to team up to take on the High Table and the Camorra family.

What's interesting about the King is how he becomes more and more important as the second and third films progress. When we first see him, he seems like a powerful crime boss but is relatively insignificant as far as the plot goes. It's not until the very end of "Chapter 3" that it's finally revealed he and Wick are going to team up, giving Wick an ally for the first time since the death of Marcus (Dafoe) in the first movie, and completely changing the course of the franchise.


In the first film, Aurelio (John Leguizamo) seems like a very low-key and unimportant character, but in reality, he's essentially the catalyst for the entire franchise's series of events. When we are introduced to Aurelio, we learn that he owns a mechanic shop that does work with the Tarasov mafia. Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) brings the 1969 Boss 429 Ford Mustang that he steals from Wick to Aurelio's shop, which proves to be a huge mistake. Aurelio instantly recognizes the car and hits Iosef out of anger, causing Iosef to tell his father.

When the elder Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist) calls Aurelio, he calmly informs the mobster that he punched his son because he stole Wick's car and killed his dog, and Viggo immediately understands. Aurelio then informs Wick that it was Iosef who wronged him, leading Wick down his non-stop homicidal path toward revenge.

While his role initially seems relatively minor and inconsequential, if you think about it, Aurelio is one of the most important characters in the franchise. If Iosef never brings the Boss 429 into Aurelio's shop, then Aurelio has no way of telling Wick who stole his car and killed his dog. Obviously, Wick can't pursue vengeance if he doesn't know who he's looking for, making the Aurelio connection incredibly vital. Wick probably could have used other connections to find out it was the Tarasovs, but that's not guaranteed. And either way, it would drastically alter the franchise if Aurelio's part never existed.

Iosef Tarasov

While Iosef is definitely one of the main characters in the first film, it's truly impossible to overstate just how important he is to the "John Wick" franchise. It's Iosef who spots Wick's 1969 Boss 429 Ford Mustang at a gas station and inquires about it, which then leads him to break into Wick's house with his friends and steal it, in the process severely beating Wick and killing the puppy his wife gave him.

After this, Wick goes on a manhunt throughout New York City to find Iosef and exact revenge, killing countless Tarasov associates in the process. Wick finally corners Iosef and shoots him at point-blank range (considered one of the best shootouts in the franchise), before going after his father for his final revenge. Simply put, without Iosef there is no "John Wick" franchise. If no one is there to kill his puppy and steal his car, then there is no reason for Wick to rejoin the criminal underworld.

What's more, in "Chapter 2," Santino D'Antonio (Ricardo Scamarcio) tells Wick the only reason he decided to call in his marker is because Wick got back into the game. So, not only did Iosef's actions cause Wick to reenter the criminal underworld to seek revenge, but they also had the effect of trapping Wick and instigating the events of the subsequent films. In terms of the franchise plotline, Iosef might be the most important character besides Wick himself.

Gianna D'Antonio

Gianna D'Antonio (Claudia Gerini) is another character in "John Wick" who has a massively outsized impact compared with their relatively meager screen time. Gianna is the brother of Santino, and they are both members of the Camorra crime family. Santino calls on Wick to kill his sister because he wants to take her place as the head of the Camorra family.

We only see Gianna briefly, mainly when Wick confronts her at her coronation in Italy. It's obvious they know each other and may have previously had a relationship, and Gianna slashes her wrists when she realizes that he is there to kill her. Wick mercifully puts a final bullet in her head to ensure that she is dead, thereby reluctantly fulfilling his marker with Santino.

Gianna's importance lies in the fact that she inadvertently causes Wick to be forced back into the criminal underworld he is trying to escape. Following his revenge on Iosef and Viggo Tarasov, he is able to make peace with the family so he can go home and try to live for the memory of his deceased wife. However, Santino drags him back into the fold so he can kill Gianna. It's not her fault, but her mere existence compels Wick to come back, setting up the events of "Chapter 2" and beyond.

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Winston Scott

Winston Scott (Ian McShane) is another one of the characters in the "John Wick" franchise that creeps up on you and becomes more important as it goes along. Winston is the owner of the underworld hotel, the Continental, and he tries to give Wick various moments of counseling as the films proceed. His influence is hinted at several times, such as his ability to make people "excommunicado" and his connections with the High Table.

Winston is such an important character because of how powerful he is. When he is in charge of the Continental, he has seemingly limitless control of running things on hotel grounds as he pleases. When the High Table turns against him, he is still able to count on the loyalty of Wick, Charon the concierge (Reddick), and other staff members who fight for him. 

In addition, though the backstory is not revealed, it's possible that the Continental does not exist without Winston in the first place. While it's shown that the High Table authorizes the Continental to play a role in the criminal underworld, they don't seem to interfere in the day-to-day operations, making it possible that it is completely founded and run by Winston alone.

Charon the concierge

Charon the concierge is one of the biggest enigmas in the entire "John Wick" franchise. In "John Wick" and "Chapter 2," Charon plays the part of the discreet but mysterious concierge at Winston Scott's Continental hotel. He watches Wick's dog multiple times when Wick goes on his various homicidal rampages, and they gain mutual respect for each other as the series progresses. Yet, it's not until "Chapter 3" that Charon really ups the ante.

In "Chapter 3," Charon goes from concierge to mercenary, and he starts fighting alongside Wick for Winston. He is shown to be very adept with a gun and very intelligent, and he ruthlessly mows down assassin after assassin alongside Wick in defense of the Continental. At the end of "Chapter 3," he seems to side with Winston's betrayal of Wick, remarking that his actions were "well played."

It's pretty incredible, but Charon goes from being one of the least important to the most important characters in the entire franchise. In the beginning, the audience is led to believe that he is completely neutral and just a concierge, but he completely shatters that when he takes up arms and shows his immense skills. Nobody in the audience saw Charon's transformation coming, but he definitely stakes a claim as one of the more important members of "John Wick" by the end.


Though confined to "Chapter 2," Cassian (Common) has one of the most memorable roles in the entire franchise. He is the bodyguard for Gianna D'Antonio, and he relentlessly pursues Wick after Wick plays a role in her death. The two chase each other through subway stations around New York, firing round after round at each other in the midst of huge crowds of people.

After a very climactic fight scene on the subway, Wick gets the best of Cassian and lodges a blade deep within his aortic artery. However, instead of killing him, Wick gives Cassian an ultimatum out of "professional courtesy." He tells Cassian the blade is stuck in his aorta and if he removes it to kill Wick as he is walking away he will die. However, if he does not remove the blade and allows Wick to leave, he will survive.

What makes this scene and Cassian so important is that it shows, of all things, Wick's humanity and humility. Even though he has reentered the criminal underworld and become the very thing he wanted to avoid, he still has not completely lost his edge. In giving Cassian an ultimatum, the same one that he previously gave to the Bowery King, Wick is acknowledging the ruthlessness of the underworld but is still able to keep his code of ethics (as diluted as they may be). It shows that the real Wick is not completely lost, and he still wants a chance to regain his life.

The Adjudicator

The Adjudicator already seems like she has a pretty important role in "Chapter 3" just from her position. As an adjudicator, she acts as a representative of the High Table and is authorized to make decisions and judgments on their behalf. She carries out punishments at their behest as well, such as attempting to remove Winston Scott as manager of the Continental and having the Bowery King sliced by the High Table's assassin, Zero (Mark Dacascos).

Yet, for as powerful and important as the Adjudicator is brought up to be, she has the potential to make even more of an impact. While it's not clear if there is some kind of mechanism for the High Table to verify if her decisions are correct, she seemingly has the ability to manipulate them if she really wants. When Winston decides to betray Wick and repledge his fealty to the High Table, she instantly accepts on their behalf with so much as a consultation.

Depending on where her motives lie, the Adjudicator has the ability to completely change the circumstances of Wick's position within the underworld. She can either continue to work against him or if she is so inclined, she can probably help Wick ingratiate himself back to the High Table. Either way, the Adjudicator definitely seems like she is holding more cards than she is playing.

Tick Tock Man

Another character with a small role but great importance is the Tick Tock Man (Jason Matzoukas) from "Chapter 3" He only has a few appearances in the film, but they hint at something much larger than the character himself. We first see him at the very beginning of the film when Wick is still trying to complete his last tasks before he is officially "excommunicado." The Tick Tock Man is one of the fake homeless people who is a part of the Bowery King's network, and he taunts Wick by telling him "tick tock, no time to dilly-dally Mr. Wick."

We see him again whenever we see the Bowery King, and he is the one who dumps Wick's body at the King's feet at the end of the film. While the Tick Tock Man himself might not be the most important character in terms of the plot, what makes him so vital is what he represents. In essence, the Tick Tock Man is the representation of the King's vast power.

Along with the other fake homeless people, the Tick Tock Man is able to keep the King apprised of everything that is going on in the city. He helps him to track Wick, eventually bringing him to the King. Without the huge power apparatus, the King would not be in a position to help Wick or take on the High Table, leaving Wick to fend for himself.


Recruited by the Adjudicator to carry out the punishments and assassinations for the High Table, Zero is one of the top characters in "Chapter 3." She tracks him down in Japan and informs him that she wants him to fulfill the "excommunicado" contract on Wick, and he pledges fealty and agrees. He also carries out the punishment on the Bowery King, cutting him seven times with his massive sword. Later, Zero and Wick have an epic fight scene that ultimately ends with Zero dying after Wick gets the best of him. He weakly asks Wick if he at least put up a good fight, which Wick begrudgingly acknowledges.

Similar to the Tick Tock Man, Zero's importance lies in what he represents. He is the hand-picked assassin by the High Table to go after Wick, and while he puts up a fight, in the end, he is truly no match and is easily dispatched. While Wick's bona fides as a hitman and fighter have already been well established by this point through hundreds of brutal deaths by his hand, his killing of Zero is almost more impressive. Zero is such a skilled assassin with the sword, and for him to get annihilated by Wick is very telling. He serves to reinforce just how powerful and deadly Wick truly is.


Ares (Ruby Rose) is one of the most fascinating characters in "Chapter 2." She is hearing impaired and unable to speak, but still maintains a role as the enforcer for Camorra crime boss Santino D'Antonio. Being such a powerful character while living with a disability already makes Ares one of the most underrated and important characters in the franchise. 

As far as the plot goes, Ares' character is important because she stands as the last remaining barrier between Wick and Santino. She is his personal bodyguard, and as soon as she dies, Santino immediately checks in to the Continental in a vain attempt to stop Wick from killing him. She is almost like the final boss that Wick must defeat before he can reach Santino. Ares is by far one of the most memorable members of the franchise, and though it's somewhat hidden, she is also one of the most important, too.