Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s popular classic novels, Anne with an E is a Netflix series with a modernized approach to the beloved story of Anne Shirley. Anne is an orphan who is taken in by an elderly brother and sister living on Prince Edward Island in Canada, though they admit to wanting a boy at first.
At first, Anne faces a lot of prejudice from the community because of her lowly social status. Over time, she wins over the hearts of her friends and their families, but other characters enter the story who face even more discrimination. Each character is given a fleshed-out arc and personality, which means that audiences understand most of them enough to like them.
10 Rachel Lynde
Rachel Lynde is Marilla’s best friend, though the two rarely ever seem to get along. They’re constantly arguing and bickering about something, and Marilla often feels that Rachel is overstepping her bounds.
She can bossy, judgemental, and harsh, as she is when she first meets Anne and offends her. Still, Rachel changes over time – even if it does take a long time – and learns to be more loving and accepting. She’s still a very enjoyable character to see onscreen, especially with her sharp humor.
9 Diana Barry
Diana is Anne’s best friend, and she isn’t exactly the brightest of people. However, she teaches Anne the value of friendship and proves herself to be a true friend on numerous occasions.
She takes Anne in when nobody else will, and she sticks by her through everything. Even so, viewers can sometimes find it hard to like Diana. She’s quite harsh to certain other characters, like her sister, or Jerry in season 3.
8 Marilla Cuthbert
Marilla is a severe woman who adopts Anne. Their relationship doesn’t get off to the best start when Marilla sends Anne away after mistakenly accusing her of stealing her brooch. She takes Anne back, but their relationship remains stiff and cold for a long time.
By season 3, Marilla is a loving mother, but sometimes she can be a little too protective. In fact, she wants to hold on to Anne so desperately that she hurts her. She’s also still rather prejudiced against the native peoples living in the area, even though Anne is friends with them.
7 Jerry Baynard
Jerry, the Cuthberts’ farm boy, is of French descent and lives on the outskirts of town with his large family. He comes to fancy Diana, but in the earlier episodes, he’s mostly a hassle to Anne. In any case, their friendship is endearing as it progresses.
Anne helps Jerry learn to read and write, and he even accompanies her on a few adventures. He’s always friendly, cheerful, and in the mood for a joke or two. He brightens up Green Gables, which wouldn’t be the same without his presence.
6 Gilbert Blythe
Gilbert is Anne’s academic rival, friend, and true love. It takes them a while to get on good terms after Gilbert ruins their first meeting by pulling on her hair and calling her “carrots”. Still, the relationship is sweet and endearing, and the pair become great friends before realizing their feelings for each other.
Gilbert is devoted to his academic studies, which leads him to pursue the admirable path of medicine. He’s ambitious and has big goals for himself, while also sensitive to others’ emotions – usually.
5 Sebastian “Bash” LaCroix
Gilbert meets Sebastian at the start of season 2 while working on a ship. The two strike up a great friendship, which eventually leads to Bash living with Gilbert in Avonlea, where he meets his wife Mary. She calls the two of them brothers.
Bash has faced many struggles throughout his life, even in his childhood in Trinidad. Still, he is high-spirited, full of energy and life, and always up for a joke. He helps Gilbert through some of the toughest decisions of his life and changes the lives of the Cuthberts forever.
4 Miss Muriel Stacy
Introduced at the end of season 2, Miss Stacy comes to Avonlea to replace Mr. Phillips as a teacher. She is unconventional in her methods and her lifestyle, which makes her an icon for some, like Anne, and someone to look down upon, like Rachel.
The students love her so much that they fight for her to stay at a town meeting. They love her because she involves them in the lessons rather than forcing them to recite lines of verse or heed a strict regiment. She’s one of Anne’s biggest inspirations.
3 Cole Mackenzie
A soulful artist, Cole becomes one of Anne’s best friends. He is soft-spoken, quiet, but has strong opinions. He almost never acts out, but when he does, he makes his moments count. He’s also a big lesson for Billy, though the bully doesn’t change much throughout the series.
Cole accompanies Anne on her journey to find out who she is and moves to live with Josephine after he realizes that he is gay. He becomes proud of who he is, which makes the audience proud of him and for him, too. Cole is a great friend, an interesting character, and a kind but tortured person.
2 Anne Shirley-Cuthbert
The main character of this story is Anne herself. She’s a curious creature, eccentric, effervescent, lively, and bold. Her imagination is broader than her reality, but that means that her life is lived brighter. She also welcomes others into this bright world and shares in the fun.
Anne goes on many adventures and learns a lot about herself and the world while she’s at it. Even though she makes some mistakes, viewers can’t help but love her. Most importantly, she’s so easy to empathize with, and seeing her find happiness after a painful childhood is heartwarming.
1 Matthew Cuthbert
Matthew is Anne’s sweet adoptive father. He suffers from social anxiety, and it takes him a long time to even attempt to overcome it. Like Cole, he’s quiet, but when he wants to be heard, he tells the truth as it is.
He is shy but always, always kind to everyone he meets. He’s had a painful past, but he doesn’t let that stop him from trying to make Anne’s life the happiest it can be. Simply put, no character is kinder or more lovable than Matthew.
NEXT: Anne With An E: 10 Inspirational Quotes
5 Shows On Premium Networks That Should Never Have Been Canceled (& 5 That Went On For Too Long)