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Characters In The Expanse Ranked By Impact

Conflict, turmoil, and constant political upheaval plague the future population of our solar system in "The Expanse." The series focuses on an unlikely band of do-gooders who hail from Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt. This mish-mosh of characters is unlikely because of the conflicts between Earth, Mars, and the Belt. Typically, they despise each other. But the crew of the Rocinante buck the established order of the universe and form a familial bond as they set out to mend fences and stop galaxy-threatening alien bio-weapons.

Jim Holden, Naomi Nagata, Amos Burton, and Alex Kamal act according to their own will and sense of morality, as opposed to the commanding orders of a military aligned with Earth, Mars, or the Belt. Political forces like the two-timing Sadavir Errinwright or the merciless terrorist Marco Inaros pose threats to the unity within the Sol System that most good-natured folks are striving for. Let's take a look at the characters of "The Expanse," ranked from the least impactful to those having the greatest effect on the solar system at large.

18. Diogo Hiari

A proud Belter, Diogo was abandoned in space by his uncle after his uncle violently protested against the Martians for shutting down his ice mining efforts. The Martians destroyed his uncle's ship while Diogo was afloat helplessly in space. He was eventually recovered, however, and began living on Tycho Station under the command of Fred Johnson. Diogo joined Joe Miller and many others to quarantine the protomolecule on Eros, while Fred Johnson rammed the Nauvoo vessel into the floating station so that it would set course for the sun and be destroyed. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. Eventually Diogo joins the Outer Planets Alliance (O.P.A.) under the command of Anderson Dawes –0 a move which Joe Miller warned him against, as the O.P.A. is known to be a band of brutal gangsters and terrorists.

Later Diogo finds himself reporting to Klaes Ashford aboard the O.P.A. ship Behemoth -– formerly the Nauvoo. Diogo looks up to Ashford as an O.P.A. legend and grows antagonistic toward another Belter commander, Camina Drummer, after she seemingly disrespects Ashford's authority. Eventually, the crew of the Rocinante alongside Drummer hatch a plan to shut down the fusion core with the other ships inside the protomolecule Ring in order to save them. Diogo pursues Holden and attempts to kill Drummer but is killed when Naomi drops an elevator on him.

Diogo was ultimately a follower, not a leader. As a result, he managed to leave behind a minimal lasting impact on the overall narrative.

17. Frederick Lucius Johnson

A former citizen of Earth, Fred Johnson forsook his home planet after his regretful actions as a military commander: He killed Belter insurgents and countless civilians on Anderson Station. This earned him the title of "The Butcher of Anderson Station." He became an ally to the Belters and an advocate of the O.P.A. Fred Johnson's assets on Tycho station enabled him to assist the Rocinante in their attempts to destroy the protomolecule. However, Fred often had ulterior motives. He sought military assets as a means of protecting the belt. He once gained the control of 30 missiles from Earth during an operation and held onto the missiles as a deterrent. Fred also sought control of the protomolecule as a means of furthering the power behind Tycho station and protecting Belters.

While Fred always held good intentions towards the Belters, his actions often proved to cause further volatility in the solar system. Ultimately, he died at the hands of Belters who saw him as an obstacle towards their extremism. While Fred managed to keep the plight of the Belters rather civil for a time, his resistance toward extremism ultimately ended his reign. Because he wasn't seen as a revolutionary or a martyr, any hope of Fred's influence enduring into the future was snuffed out with his own life.

16. Amos Burton

One of the four that make up the legendary crew of the Rocinante, Amos Burton is ranked rather low as he is mostly bolsters the characters he's loyal to. He's not entirely ineffectual as far as the plot is concerned, but he isn't a leader who sets out to make ground-breaking decisions either. Amos is ultimately the muscle at Jim Holden's side. He initially despised Holden, but had a deep connection with Naomi Nagata. Eventually, he learned to trust Holden's judgement and became fiercely loyal to the captain.

Throughout the Rocinante's adventures attempting to suppress the spread of the protomolecule, Amos played the roles that Jim Holden wanted him to play. Amos understood that he had a rather dark and conflicted past, and is seemingly incapable of following a moral compass or feeling remorse for regretful actions. He understands that Jim is a good man and realizes that, if he follows him, he won't ever be steered wrong. To that end, Amos's legacy is intrinsically tied to the actions of the Rocinante and it's leader, Jim Holden. Without Holden, Amos wouldn't have had any real impact in the fight for the protomolecule.

15. Filip Inaros

As the son of Naomi Nagata and Marco Inaros, Filip is seemingly a child of destiny. When he was just an infant, Marco hid him from Naomi and she was forced to abandon him as she didn't approve of Marco's misguided "lofty" ideals and violent tendencies as a Belter champion. Because he was raised by his father, he's been brainwashed to think like his father, harboring a hatred for inners. He has shown a willingness to kill them without mercy.

Filip's agenda is the same as his father's. He's loyal to Marco and carries out his orders without hesitation. He infiltrates and occupies a scientific vessel called the Hasami. Filip's unflinching duty to his father enables Marco to enact his most heinous plan of directing asteroids at Earth. While Naomi tries her best to reason with her son, Filip ultimately refuses to heed her words despite some hesitation. Filip had the chance to play a pivotal role in the history of humanity had he allied with his mother and seized power from his father. However, Filip remained a loyal stooge, causing him to leave nothing of consequence behind but heartbreak for Naomi.

14. Klaes Ashford

Known for being one of the best pirates in the Belt, Klaes earned the title through his illegitimate career as "The Ghost Knife of Callisto." He is allied with Anderson Dawes and the O.P.A. and is given the control of the Behemoth. Over the years, Klaes has grown past views of violence and war. He wishes for the belters to begin elevating themselves to the standards that the others in the Solar System espouse. Later, he bonds with Camina Drummer and explains to her that he feels like progress can only occur through cooperation.

Despite Klaes's intentions, he forces the Rocinante's hand when he plans to destroy the Ring. The most likely outcome would be that everyone within the Ring would be stranded. There was also the possibility that the resulting implosion would cause a supernova, one that would vaporize all human life in the solar system. The Rocinante crew thwarts Klaes's efforts and shut down the fusion reactors of the participating ships.

Klaes later pursues the vicious terrorist Marco Inaros. When he is captured by the belters, the faction leaders (including Camina Drummer) all vote to spare his Marco's life — except Klaes. Later, Marcos ambushes Klaes and his team. He then spaces Klaes, killing him. 

Klaes's death catapults Drummer into action after she overcomes her regret for letting Marco live. Klaes's legacy and vision for the belt will endure by those who respected him.

13. Monica Stuart

Monica begins her journey as a filmmaker, documenting the crew of the Rocinante as they travel to the Ring. She eventually finds herself in a precarious position, as Jim Holden is framed for the destruction of a UN ship by Clarissa Mao. Monica later boards the Behemoth and acts as a reporter to all those within the Ring, as many seek medical attention inside the Behemoth's safe atmosphere. In a climactic moment during Season 3, she sent a message to all the ships in the Ring to shut down their reactors in an effort to convince the alien station that they were not a threat. This caused the alien station to open 1,300 Ring gates, leading to random locations throughout the universe. Monica's actions led to the next stage in the evolution of the protomolecule network.

Later, she questioned Holden on the whereabouts of the protomolecule sample, which fell into Fred Johnson's possession. She later obtained sensitive information about someone attempting to steal the sample, but she was kidnapped. Holden was able to track her down and rescue her. Shortly thereafter, she alongside Holden witnessed Marcos Inaros's attack on Earth. Ultimately, her singular role within the ring left an indelible impact bringing about an age of pioneers who'd journey to new worlds through the new portals.

12. Roberta W. "Bobbie" Draper

As a Martian soldier, Bobbie Draper led a military unit on Ganymede Station. When UN soldiers seemingly charged her team, they responded with force. However, the UN forces were fleeing a humanoid protomolecule weapon, one which killed Bobbie's team and left her as the sole survivor. After the Martian leadership attempted to gaslight Bobbie about the events, she realized they knew the truth: They were covering it up, as the MCR top brass were testing a new weapon and her team was the collateral damage. She defected to the United Nations after testifying of the events, and began serving as a body guard to UN Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala.

Bobbie eventually discovers, alongside the Rocinante, that Project Calliban is a conspiracy that both the UN and the MCR were in on. She is eventually able to return to Mars and be pardoned for her crime of treason and be fully reinstated. During the events of Season 3, she helps Holden and crew avoid catastrophe, as Klaes enacts a plan that would trap everyone within the Ring. In the fifth season, she and Alex pair up in an effort to fight and thwart Belter terrorist plots. She also helps rescue Naomi Nagata. Bobbie is a fierce soldier whose dedication to Mars and doing what is right has proven to be a great benefit to the Rocinante and allies for peace in the solar system. Without Bobbie, corruption would've prevailed and Naomi would've perished.

11. Clarissa Mao

Revenge is at the forefront of Clarissa's mind during her first appearance in the world of "The Expanse." Loyal to her father, she seeks to bring down Holden for exposing Jules-Pierre Mao for his criminal actions working with the protomolecule. She attempts to frame Holden for the destruction of the UNN Seung Un ship, which she destroyed as part of her plan against the leading man. Realizing the danger that everyone within the Ring is in, she eventually gives up her quest for revenge and aids Holden and the crew. She incapacitates Klaes and deactivates the Behemoth's comm laser. Her actions helped save everyone within the Ring and caused the alien station to open countless Ring portals to other worlds in the universe.

Clarissa is imprisoned for her crimes, and is later released with the help of Amos Burton during the aftermath of Marco Inaros's attack on Earth. As she treks with Amos across the ravaged American land, she laments her vindictive quest and seeks redemption. Without Clarissa being in a position to aid the Rocinante after a change of heart, it's likely that Klaes would've inadvertently destroyed the Sol System. Clarissa was one of the catalysts of the events in the Season 3 finale, where portals to new worlds were opened.

10. Alex Kamal

As the pilot of the Rocinante, Alex follows the orders of Holden to the letter. Despite his Martian background, he's loyal to the Earther as the crew attempts to uncover the sinister plots behind the protomolecule. As the pilot, he's crucial to executing many of the Rocinante crew's plans. In one instance, when the protomolecule creature boards the Rocinante and pins Holden, Alex comes up with the idea to lure the alien off the Rocinante with a nuclear missile — ultimately vaporizing the creature.

In the fifth season, he and Bobbie made a daring rescue of Naomi Nagati from the clutches of Marco Inaros. Naomi leaps out into space with the hope of a rescue. After executing a high-g maneuver, Alex dies because of a stroke -– a risk spacefaring individuals are well aware of when traveling at such high speeds. Alex's piloting expertise is an essential component of the Rocinante crew. Without Alex's quick thinking, the Rocinante crew would've perished long ago. He surely left a major impact on the show at large despite his untimely demise in Season 5.

9. Sadavir Errinwright

Initially the Undersecretary of the United Nations before Chrisjen Avasarala takes the role, Sadavir was one of the conspiring villains of the series hiding in plain sight. He secretly worked with Jules-Pierre Mao to develop the protomolecule into a weapon to deter or conquere Earth's enemies. Sadavir is partially responsible for the emergence of the protomolecule and everything that followed, including the testing of the weapon on the innocent population of Eros. His goal was always for the UN to become the supreme power in the entire Solar System. His despicable actions in the proliferation of an alien weapon were simply a means to an end.

Sadavir was eventually arrested for his crimes against the UN and humanity, and removed from his position of power. This resulted in Chrisjen Avasarala ascending to power as Secretary General of the United Nations. Despite the unveiling of his dirty deeds, Sadavir's support catapulted the protomolecule to menacing levels. There's no way that Jules Pierre-Mao would've had the resources or flown so far undercover for as long as he did without Sadavir's help. As a result, Sadavir is one of the more influential characters in the series at large.

8. Jules-Pierre Mao

The protomolecule is wreaking havoc in the Solar System almost entirely because of Jules-Pierre Mao. As the owner of Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile, he's engaged in the rather inhumane and highly unethical research of the protomolecule, often subjecting child hosts to its destructive and seemingly torturous tendencies. Despite his corruption, he managed to hide his activities for so long thanks to his collusion with the UN Undersecretary Sadavir Errinwright. Despite his own daughter Julie succumbing to the very bioweapon that he dedicated his life to, he stayed the course believing in his own scientific breakthroughs.

Everything from the massacre of Eros to the weaponization of the protomolecule on Ganymede were a result of Jules-Pierre's actions. Much of the thrust of the series is a result of the impact that Jules-Pierre had on the population of the Solar System. Thankfully, Jim Holden exposes his misdeeds and he is held accountable for them.

7. Julie Mao

Julie Mao, daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao, might have little screen time compared to other "Expanse" characters. However, her influence on the destined outcomes of the overall narrative is wide and far-reaching. She rebelled against her father and joined the O.P.A. while on Ceres. Julie's data broker hacked her father's database and obtained information on the classified project concerning the protomolecule. During a mission to intercept the protomolecule, Julie's ship, the Scopuli, was overpowered and boarded by the crew of the ship carrying the mystery alien bioweapon. Most of the crew were killed, and Julie was infected with the protomolecule.

She later arrived on Eros, where she locked herself away as she slowly succumbed to the protomolecule that'd eventually kill her. Her consciousness transferred into the alien organism and began having a significant influence over it. Joe Miller investigated her story and attempted to track her down and save her.  Even if he couldn't save her, the investigation of Julie Mao broke the story of the protomolecule wide open — a move the ultimately set Joe Miller on his destined path.

6. Joe Miller

Joe worked for Star Helix Security while on Ceres, his home colony. He was assigned a case to look into the missing O.P.A. member, Julie Mao. As he uncovered more information behind the exploits of Julie's father and the protomolecule, he joined forces with Holden and the Rocinante to stop the spread of the alien bioweapon. Joe also became emotionally attached to Julie, a woman he had never personally met, simply because of the depths he went into understanding her story. He was visibly distraught when he learned of her death.

Joe later played a pivotal role in saving Earth from the threat of the protomolecule. The bioweapon buried itself deep in the core of Eros and took control of the floating station and targeted Earth. Joe traveled into the depths of Eros to find the consciousness of Julie realized by the protomolecule and influenced her to send Eros on a different path. It eventually crashed into Venus seemingly killing Joe. However, Joe's consciousness also became a part of the protomolecule hivemind, and he later appeared to Holden to help him uncover the secrets behind the Rings. 

Joe was instrumental in saving life on Earth as well as guiding Holden in gaining more knowledge regarding the protomolecule's history. Joe's impact on the series can't be understated.

5. Chrisjen Avasarala

Chrisjen Avasarala is one of the strongest political forces in "The Expanse." While her primary goal was to protect Earth and the UN from their Martian and Belter adversaries, she eventually adopted a stance of unity. She attempts to bring the warring factions of the Sol System together by whatever means necessary. Because of her position, she was highly influential regarding Earth's relationship with both Mars and the O.P.A. at large.

Later, she is responsible for sending the Rocinante to New Terra through the Ring to understand the nature of the new world the Belters had colonized. As such, the entire plot of the fourth season was because of her decision. She is later beaten by her political opponent Nancy Gao, only for Gao to perish during Marco's terrorist attack on Earth. As a result, she once again takes a leadership role under the Acting Secretary General David Paster. Chrisjen's quest for unity within the Sol System has kept the UN in good standing with the Rocinante and their plans to uncover the secrets of the protomolecule. Nearly every decision Chrisjen makes as a leader is a defining moment in the overall narrative of the series.

4. Naomi Nagata

One of the four primary crew members of the Rocinante, Naomi Nagata comes from a Belter background and hard a hard and tragic childhood. She eventually became a highly educated and skilled engineer. Naomi had a relationship with the big bad O.P.A. terrorist Marco Inaros, with whom she shares a son named Filip. Because Marco hid Filip from her as an infant, she was never able to develop a relationship with her own son until the fifth season.

Naomi and Jim Holden have a romantic relationship that stands the test of time and tribulation. Because she is his confidant, she also has no qualms about sharing her opinion on the ethics of their duties. She often holds heavy influence over the decisions made aboard the Rocinante. At one point, Naomi hides a sample of the protomolecule without Holden's knowledge. A part of her still remains loyal to the Belt and thinks that it's important that they have a means of deterring further oppression. She later strikes it out on her own apart from the Rocinante, and enlists under the command of Camina Drummer aboard the Behemoth. In the climactic fifth season, she becomes a prisoner of Marco's and makes a desperate escape which results in the death of Alex Kamal during her rescue. 

Naomi is the heart and soul of the Rocinante. Without her guidance and engineering experties, the crew wouldn't have gotten very far. Her impact is far reaching and can be felt in nearly every episode of "The Expanse."

3. Camina Drummer

A true fan favorite, Camina Drummer's grit and willingness to make the hard decisions have made her popular among audiences. As a leader, she is steadfast and rarely wavers. Being a Belter, she once proudly served under Fred Johnson's command aboard Tycho Station. She later took control of a Nauvoo ship and saw it reborn as a the war ship known Behemoth. Camina ultimately helped pioneer the world behind the Ring gate as she took the Behemoth into the slow-zone –- the space within the Ring that forces drastic deceleration of any moving object.

She is often makes difficult decisions, including having conversations and even working together with sworn enemies. Camina also ensures that the Belter factions stay unified to the best of her ability. She swears heavy pursuit of Marco Inaros after the terrorist killed her former colleague and friend, Klaes Ashford. Her determination to stay in the fight has gained the respect of the Belters and the show's audience. Camina is the level-headed, stoic commander needed in times of war and conflict. Her influence is powerful and, with many of the Belters falling prey to Marcos's extremist attitude, she holds the key to forging alliances with the inners.

2. Jim Holden

Arguably the lead character of the show as the captain of the Rocinante, Jim Holden is the moral backbone of "The Expanse" and always pushes to do what is morally just. Also a utilitarian, he always seeks the benefit of the greater good. Unlike most characters on the show, Holden has no room or time for petty biases or prejudices towards other humans throughout the Sol System. The divide between Earthers, Martians, and Belters is an obstacle that he loathes and constantly has to tackle in his daily operations.

Without Holden's command, the protomolecule may have likely overtaken Earth following the infestation of Eros. Additionally, many of the criminals like Jules-Pierre Mao were exposed and brought to justice by Holden and his team. In the fourth season, Holden and the crew embark on a journey to keep Earther scientists from massacring fleeing Belters on the protomolecule world of Ilus. He may have been the most impactful character of the "The Expanse," if it wasn't for the show's greatest villain.

1. Marco Inaros

Finally, there's Marco Inaros, a ruthless and idealistic terrorist. He may have a bit of a god complex, and feels like he is on the right side of history. Marco sees his crusade against the inners as a righteous one, seeking to protect and secure power for the O.P.A. and the belt at large. Many years of perceived injustice is now being repaid through Marco's "righteous" rage.

Marco's impact extends as far as the extremely elaborate and gut-wrenching plot he enacted against the inners. He rigged asteroids to bombard earth and shielded them with stolen Martian stealth technology so the UN couldn't see them in time to react. The result was a devastating loss of life on Earth and is considered the single greatest casualty event in the history of the world. Marco also orchestrated a bombing of the MCR Parliament and the coup on Tycho station that resulted in the death of Fred Johnson.

Marco's extremism knows no bounds, and he has gripped the entire Sol system with terror and fear. He now seeks to claim the worlds beyond the ring for himself setting himself up to control the gate through force. Marco has altered the course of countless lives. Several of the main characters were affected by the attacks, and everyone seems to know someone who was killed in the attack on Earth. For that reason, Marco Inaros has had the greatest impact and influence within the world of "The Expanse."