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I was about to dub the Arrested Development one as the winner, but this one is nearly perfect. As with pretty much all of them when related to complex characters, all of these are relative – and it’s cool to see Evil mixed up with non-Street characters appropriately.

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I actually considered putting Maurice Levy at LE since he’s an even better fit, but Stringer was too awesome not to put on the chart.

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quirkygeekgirl said on December 9th, 2010 at 10:01 am

Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe it, just re-watched the series last month, you could easily do two charts with all that The Wire has to offer in its range of characters.

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Perfect for every character shown. The only sad thing is no season two characters.

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Die Macher said on December 9th, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hey, Broyles from Fringe is there! :-)

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I was wondering how you were going to handle this since the cast of the whole show is so effin’ immense, but you pulled it off. I’m glad to see that I call’d Daniels for LG and Bubbs for NG.

Insomuch as I said, “Hey, if MGK does a Wire Chart, I bet these guys will go in these spaces . . .”

And hey, Snoop and Marlo work great for CE, so glad to see her on there with him.

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Like Stringer, Avon definitely deserves a place on the chart, but for my money the best CN right down to “how people actually played the damn alignment” on the whole show is Ziggy Sobotka. Too many good characters, not enough alignments.

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I love every part of this except one–I have a hard time seeing Avon as either chaotic or neutral. This is a guy who drops witnesses to his crew’s murders; he’s also a guy who’s appalled when Stringer calls a hit on a Sunday. I see him as more NE.

Not a whole lot of chaotic neutral characters on a show that’s all about people trapped by the institutions they work for. Ziggy is perfect for “how most people played CN,” which is also why he’s one of the most annoying characters on the show.

If you take CN as being pure self-interest and damn the consequences for anybody else, I’d have to go with Scott Templeton.

Really love this, though. Wish it had space for Bunny Colvin (“Chaotic Lawful Good”) and Herc (“Lawful Fuckup”).

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Perfect.

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Ok, this AL chart is dang near perfect. I may be biased, because while watching The Wire, I had discussions with friends on how Daniels and McNutty were the representations of LG and CG, and how Stringer Bell and Marlo were LE and CE.

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I have a hard time seeing Avon as either chaotic or neutral. This is a guy who drops witnesses to his crew’s murders; he’s also a guy who’s appalled when Stringer calls a hit on a Sunday. I see him as more NE.

I don’t see him ordering murders as proof of evil given that he’s simply living up to societal norms and needs as his subculture defines them. Drug dealers kill threats to their existence; to be evil you need to be particularly callous about it (eg Stringer having his best friend and partner’s little brother killed to protect the business). Omar kills a lot of people too, but I wouldn’t call him evil, nor Proposition Joe for that matter (who would do anything Avon does to protect his business).

As for Avon’s horror at the church shooting, I think that gets outweighed by his willingness to conduct his business how he sees fit even when he knows full well it’s a bad idea. I think he’s N with strong C tendencies. I agree that Templeton is a better fit at CN, but 1.) I couldn’t find a good image of him and 2.) I couldn’t find a good quote either and 3.) Avon’s a more important character.

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ladypeyton said on December 9th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

No Bubbles?! No D’Angelo?! Your chart is invalid! ;^D

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No Bubbles?!

He’s RIGHT THERE.

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ladypeyton said on December 9th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Also I don’t think there’s a more Chaotic Evil person on the planet than Snoop. She was freaky evil. That scene where she bought the nail gun? *shudder*

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ladypeyton said on December 9th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

“He’s RIGHT THERE.”

Doh! Is that a picture of him from The Wire? I was looking for more hair and my eyes skipped right over him. I think I’ve gone blind!

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Swap bell and omar. Stringer was true neutral didn’t want to kill anyone, just did what he felt he had to do to modernize.
Omar would kill and rob as long as it was within his code.

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What? No Prop Joe? Sheeeeeit! He should be placed in Neutral Evil. Any man who’s willing to set-up Stringer Bell for a hit all the while taking the man’s money and his drugs while setting up a suppose peace summit between Stringer and Omar, now if that ain’t pure evil I don’t know what is.

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The lack of Lester Freamon really annoys me. Not least in that he’s very very hard to place.

[Also, would love Prez and Carver to be included, but it’s hard to place both of them as they actually grow. Probably Carver ultimately NG, with Prez v hard to place.]

Jay Landsman would be another excellent choice for True Neutral, to contrast nicely with Avon. If only it didn’t involve losing Omar.

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“I don’t see him ordering murders as proof of evil given that he’s simply living up to societal norms and needs as his subculture defines them.”

Thank you Professor McFeelyheart. As much as the show is great about explaining exactly where the Bodies and Michael Lees and D’Angelos of the world come from, it’s also great about explaining just how socially corrosive the drug trade is. And it shows plenty of characters who turn their backs on it (Cutty), express serious misgivings about it (D’Angelo), or try to run it in less violent and confrontational ways (Prop Joe, Stringer to some extent). Avon is none of those. He’s a guy who kills anyone who crosses his path, from rival dealers to his own runners to witnesses to ex-girlfriends he got sick of. The guy’s straight-up evil, and it’s part of the horror of The Wire that just when he goes down we realize there are others who are even worse.

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I’m gonna go out on a limb and say McNulty shouldn’t even be in the “good” row. Slot him at Chaotic Neutral. The guy only cares about showing how much better he is than everyone else, the fact that he’s on the good guys’ side is irrelevant. Freeman, he’s chaotic good.

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Because THE WIRE has such an incredibly large and diverse cast, it is clear that it needs two charts.

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Couple changes would make this better.

1) Lester Freeman as Neutral Good. He fits right in between Daniels and McNulty over the five season, always willing to go outside the normal protocol but always cognizant of the need for legal procedure.

2) Move Omar over to Chaotic Neutral and Avon down to Neutral Evil. Omar’s actions were constantly changing everything in a similar manner to McNulty, they’re supposed to be seen as similar characters. And Avon was a huge dealer who did run a fairly ruthless empire – just think back to the first episode and how D’Angelo beats the murder charge. And although societal pressures might explain Avon’s morality, it doesn’t excuse it. You’re taking a look through rose colored glasses if you try and categorize Avon as anything other than evil on this chart.

3) Now for the big one – True Neutral. Going of the many interviews David Simon gave in which he talked about the main character in the show being the city of Baltimore, I think it has to be the True Neutral. I realize that this leaves no place for Bubbs, but he doesn’t really fit on this chart. And Baltimore was the most important part of the show.

Make those changes and you’ve got a winner.

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See, you could make multiple charts for “The Wire.” Maybe like, a secondary character alignment chart? I think mine would go like…

Lawful Good – Rhonda Pearlman: Everything by the book. A little career minded, but actually had an interest in taking bad guys off the street.

Neutral Good – Kima and Bunk: It was too hard to separate the two, so I just put them in together. They both had their faults; philandering, alcoholism, stubborness, but in the end, they stopped short of taking shortcuts. Highpoints, Bunk’s speech to Omar, Kima refusing to finger her shooter.

Chaotic Good – I’m going with Prezbo, seasons 1-3. He was capable of fine detective work, but eventually his flaws would catch up to him. Sometimes in the same episode. He was a passive aggressive McNulty for a while.

Lawful Neutral – Randy Wagstaff/Wallace: Once again splitting the difference. They were just stupid kids, trying to make it through their adolescence while tip toeing around the game. Unfortunately they both witnessed something they couldn’t shake, and out of some sense of duty, told the truth and paid the price.

True Neutral – Slim Charles: Watching the Wire again, I was captivated by Slim Charles’ rise through the game. Unlike most of his generation, he respected the rules of the game. He occasionally asked questions (The Clay Davis?) , he didn’t fly off the handle, and handled the business in the mold of his mentor, Prop Joe.

Chaotic Neutral – Herc: What an asshole. Through his action or inaction, cases were made or unmade, lives and careers were lost, Marlo was arrested and freed. Through it all, Herc was oblivious to the damage that he caused.

Lawful Evil – Stanislaw Valchek was the epitome of evil in the Baltimore police department. No wonder Herc went to him after the blowjob incident. He knows all the rules (Within his sphere of influence) and uses that knowledge to railroad anyone who stands in his way. He even outwitted Irvin Burrell, who was the grandmaster of political survivors in the Police Department

Neutral Evil – The only thing that mattered to the Greek was the accumulation of money, and anonymity. You never got the sense that things were personal for him. If you did good for him, you would make your money. If you screwed up, he’d have you killed. No hands, no face. Simplicity.

Chaotic Evil – This one might be easy, considering he’s the descendant of Marlo, but Kenard was a little bundle of evil. In two seasons, he busted Dukie’s balls, stole Namond’s stash, tried to light that cat on fire, and killed Omar. All out of boredom (That’s my theory) and disrespect. Baltimore better watch out when he gets out of Baby Booking.

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“Thank you Professor McFeelyheart.”
@Marc: thanks for adding the much missing rude perspective to the conversation.

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I’m not fully willing to get behind McNulty as Good, especially considering Season 5. I’d put him at a firm CN with very slight and occasional G tendencies, and leave him off the chart.

I’d also put Bubbs at CG rather than neutral. He’s got plenty of chaos in his life, and snitching against the dealers is not lawful enough to balance that out [it balances out to mostly neutral itself, being supportive of the larger social order but dramatically against the code of his subculture.] That leaves a hole at NG for Beadie, which lets you represent season 2 and at least one of the show’s females in the chart.

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quirkygeekgirl said on December 9th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Can you do a Deadwood chart now?

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The simplest answer is to do separate charts based on the various faction.

One for the police/lawyers.
One for the politicians.
One for the reporters.
One for the docks.
One for the streets.

Because that way we can get all the characters involved.

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Hominid–sorry if I don’t respect the argument that running a drug gang and ordering multiple murders are justifiable under any “subculture.” That’s a late-night dorm lounge parody of moral relativism, it’s incredibly insulting to the people it claims to respect, and it deserved to get called out.

But if rudeness troubles you so, you could always withhold your own contribution to the conversation.

Jonathan–I think calling Baltimore a character is a bit of a dodge, actually, and Omar does strike me as neutral in the sense that he maintains a strong personal sense of honor while remaining completely lawless (and he is willing to compromise on that code when he gets desperate in season five). I think CN just isn’t going to be a good fit for a show like the Wire, so it’s probably relegated to bit players like Ziggy or Templeton.

McNulty would come very close to CN if we didn’t see that he actually does care about policing, esp. when he sobers up in season four. And he only goes back to detective after Bodie gets killed, not to validate any intellectual superiority, so yeah, there is a moral center there.

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This is great. Shows the depth of The Wire from a whole new direction. I would have swapped Avon and Clay Davis. Avon is a cold blooded killer and I would put him down as evil. Also makes his partnership with Stringer more sensible. Clay flaunts the rules but is not a killer.

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“Doh! Is that a picture of him from The Wire? ”

It’s from the last season, where he was starting to clean himself up.

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Freeman and McNulty definitely need to be paired somehow, it’s almost tossup as to whether that’s NG/CG or CG/CN but I lean to the latter: both are aiming at the same place, but Freeman prioritizes properly, McNulty rebels even when he knows full well it’ll make things worse. Doug’s suggestions for the evil row are all perfect, but the Greek embodying the evil in the show is straight on, especially with his FBI links.

Slim Charles is way too comfortable with killing not to slide a little into NE, but Bodie is as TN as it gets, he does exactly what’s expected of him by society, and expects it to stay the same even though he’s aware that parts of it are fucked up, he only stands up when it starts to change and the stability of the system is threatened.

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[…] classic AD&D alignments mapped onto familiar Wire characters. I agree on most choices, but Avon Barksdale definitely belongs on the bottom row. Filed […]

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Snap Wilson said on December 12th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Deadwood works really well for this idea (I think I’m going to actually make this poster):

LG: Bullock
NG: Sol Starr (or Ellsworth or Doc Cochran, if you like, but I’m going with Sol)
CG: Calamity Jane
LN: Merrick (although I would be tempted to go with Commissioner Jarry in order to use the “you do not fuck the future, sir, the future fucks you” quote)
TN: Wu (although my first thought was Richardson and it would be hilarious to have him at the center of it… screw it, I may need to make two posters)
CN: Al (it took me a while to place him, but the more I think about it, the more it works)
LE: Hearst
NE: Tolliver
CE: Wolcott

You could also put Farnum in Neutral Evil if you didn’t want to leave E.B. out and shift Tolliver over to Chaotic Evil, but Wolcott is/was one of the scariest fucking characters in television history and pretty much the definition of “Chaotic Evil.”

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Please, the Lawful Evil slot SHOULD go to Maurice Levy. He is the epitome of evil lawyer!!!

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[…] dei veri nerd). Qua sotto quelle di Mad Men e Big Bang Theory, ma sul sito ci sono anche quella di The Wire (che è un po' spoilerosa, per questo non ve la metto), 30 Rock, Arrested […]

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CoolerKing said on December 17th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Absolutely friggin’ PERFECT.

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[…] an aside, I can’t make a post on The Wire without pointing you to the alignment poster for the show.  They really have clocked each character perfectly. But a warning:  Very NSFW […]

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although this series and its characters are complex and intricate, there are overarching parallels between the different modes of society that pervade the show. while each mode in nature seems radically different, there is bureaucratic manipulation and distorted agenda are of the same mold in all of them. thinking in terms of these parallels and how each character operates within his/her respective infrastructure makes this kind of categorization easier. anyway, i agree with each of your placements. well done.

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[…] seen this graphic years ago, before I’d seen the show, and of course I didn’t really “get” […]

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[…] ALERT* Uma análise interessante que encontrei de alguns personagens. Mostra claramente como é cinza a linha entre o bem e o […]

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