What is the appeal of a loner? After all, they tend to shy away from social interactions, are nearly impossible to get to know, and can be downright rude. Thus, when you meet them in real life, it can be quite an unwelcoming experience. Yet, on television, the characters who display these traits not only tend to be more interesting than the rest, but are often times the most popular. We don't know why that is, but our favorite loner of all just returned to TV this Sunday, and we couldn't be happier. So let's just start there. Share on Facebook
Daryl Dixon - "The Walking Dead"
Yes, with "Breaking Bad" having come to a close two weeks ago, there is a huge hole to fill in terms of riveting television. While it's hardly fair to call "The Walking Dead" an equal replacement in those terms (as what else really compares?), we can take comfort in knowing we've at least got the hardcore antics of crossbow-wielding Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) to look forward to. It's amazing to think about how much he has come to resonate with the fans of the show, especially considering all we really know about him is that he has a brother and knows how to kill a squirrel. Here's hoping TV's coolest loner comes out of his shell a bit more in Season 4.
Fans of "The Walking Dead" should also check out 15 Big Differences Between 'The Walking Dead' Comic Book and TV Show
Mike Ehrmantraut - "Breaking Bad"
Though we thoroughly enjoyed watching the second half of the final season of "Breaking Bad" play out, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention how much more badass the end would have been if Mike (played by Jonathan Banks) were still around. Imagine how much easier he could have taken down Jack and his gang of Nazis, for example. He was truly the series' loner that we couldn't help but love, and with so much happening during the final episodes, we almost forgot how much we enjoyed having him around, even if he probably wouldn't give a crap what we think.
Jon Snow - "Game of Thrones"
Jon Snow was pretty much born a loner, what with being the bastard child of the Lord of Winterfell and all. As if serving on the Night's Watch doesn't keep someone isolated enough, he eventually betrays even that group and heads off on his own. Is it symbolism that his only true companion is a lone wolf named Ghost? Eh, probably not, but for the sake of this piece, let's just say it is.
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Ryan Newman - "Wilfred"
Who says a loner can't be extremely demented as well? Even though Ryan (played by Elijah Wood) himself may not be the most interesting guy in the world, his alter ego (or so we are assuming) Wilfred is what differentiates him from your run-of-the-mill recluse, and is more often than not the driving force behind getting him to rectify his loner tendencies. Albeit he does so in various twisted ways, but that's the fun in watching this show about Ryan's life after attempting suicide in the pilot unfold, making him one of the most complex loners on this list.
Dr. Perry Cox - "Scrubs"
If you had to deal with him in real life, Dr. Cox would be that guy at work that you dread having to interact with for any reason. It's not just because he is all around unpleasant, but also because he rules by tough love, with an emphasis on tough and the love part pretty much being there just for show. But viewing him from an outsider's perspective for nine seasons, the show did a great job of gradually breaking down his emotional wall, proving him to be one of the finest examples of the "hardass with a heart of gold" characters that television has ever seen (mostly due to the superb acting of John C. McGinley).
Don Draper - "Mad Men"
Even though everything on the show revolves around him, is Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) not one of the saddest, most lonesome and introverted men there is? He may be the big kahuna when it comes to ad sales, but calling him one of television's most popular loners isn't that far of a stretch. He's hardly got a friend left in the world, is constantly cheating on the women in his life, and deep down, we know he's horribly depressed and alone. Yet, even with all his flaws, we still come back for more every week.
Also check out The 12 Hottest Women of Mad Men
Dylan McKay - "Beverly Hills, 90210"
Sure, he was actually more of the bad boy who plays by his own rules, but when you get down to brass tacks, Dylan McKay was the closest thing to the loner of West Beverly High as you could get. And just to hammer that point home, when he was written out of the series at the beginning of the sixth season, it was done so via a brutal accidental mob hit on his fiancee, causing Dylan to skip town so he could be alone with his thoughts. Typical loner move.
Jack Bauer - "24"
Poor Jack Bauer. He's more badass than probably everybody on this list and Chuck Norris combined, but just because a guy can break someone's neck with both arms tied behind his back, doesn't mean he isn't hurting on the inside. He was able to stop numerous terrorist attacks every season, but it almost always came at the expense of people he cared about, causing him to let his emotional guard down less and less as we tuned in more and more. And just look at his sad loner walk at the end of this video. Tragic!
Angel - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel"
Here's a loner who's actually more of a victim of circumstance than anything else. Angel lived lifetimes as a murderous vampire before being cursed with a soul and driven to the life of a reclusive private detective to try and atone for his misdeeds. To make matters worse, the curse also contained a stipulation to where if he ever experienced a moment of true happiness, his soul would again vanish, causing him to again wreak havoc on those around him. With a backstory that interesting, we're starting to understand a bit what makes these loner characters so intriguing.
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Dr. David Banner - "The Incredible Hulk" (1978)
The epitome of loner can be witnessed during the closing credits of the 1970s television series, "The Incredible Hulk," which played a theme aptly titled "The Lonely Man Theme." The series centered around David Banner, a scientist exposed to gamma radiation then framed for a crime he didn't commit. He must then let the world think that he is dead until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that--okay, you get where we are going with this. We hope you enjoyed our list. Let us know in the comments which of your favorite loners were left out, and thanks for reading.