With a mysterious box of human remains, an eclectic troupe of morally questionable characters and an idyllic hotel so expensive you’ll want to cry, “The White Lotus” proposes a variety of interesting questions but doesn’t spoon-feed the answers.
While the HBO series centers around privileged hotel guests and their distressed staff counterparts, creator, director and writer Mike White doesn’t quite lay out who the heroes and the villains of the story are. As star Fred Hechinger told Variety, “He lets them be surprising and sees their failures without trying to sugarcoat them, and he lets you be aware of their hopes and aspirations.”
Others have taken stabs at assigning “White Lotus” characters to moral alignment charts, but no categorization or list can accurately portray the complexity of White’s creations. For example, labeling Natasha Rothwell’s Belinda as lawfully good is a given, but pinning down the ethics of Brittany O’Grady’s well-intentioned yet impetuous Paula or Murray Bartlett’s charismatic yet conniving Armond… not so easy.
That being said, as this season comes to an unsettling close and viewers celebrate the series’ recently announced second installment (set at another White Lotus property with a new cast), Variety attempts to rank “The White Lotus” characters from best to worst, or from pure to pure evil.
SPOILER WARNING: Do not read if you haven’t finished “The White Lotus,” available on HBO and HBO Max.