Anne With An E: 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Characters

Svetlana Sterlin
6 min readNov 7, 2021

From Sebastian Lacroix and Matthew Cuthbert to Nathaniel and Josie Pye, here are the best (and worst) characters on Anne with an E.

Anne with an E is the gritty adaption of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series. The books are eternally optimistic and dreamy, but they also gloss over some of the issues pertinent to Montgomery’s time. Moira Walley-Beckett’s Netflix series doesn’t shy away from exploring the historically taboo topics of gender inequality, racism, sexuality, and assault, among other issues.

The series introduces characters who don’t appear in the books, such as Trinidad native Sebastian Lacroix and his family, or the First Nations tribe living near Avonlea, as well as numerous LGBTQ+ characters. It’s hard to narrow down these well-developed and researched characters, but here are five of the best and five of the worst.

10. BEST: Sebastian Lacroix

Sebastian, otherwise known as “Bash”, is the first Black character introduced to the show. He is funny and teasing and makes a great friend to Gilbert. His personality is layered and revealed gradually, as a real person’s would be.

As a black man in nineteenth-century Canada, he’s no stranger to discrimination, but that doesn’t dampen his spirit. He gets on with his life and treats everyone with respect. However, he’s not perfect himself. When he first meets Mary, he’s extremely presumptuous but soon learns better. He also has a complicated relationship with his mother, which adds a tone of maturity to the show.

9. WORST: Billy Andrews

Billy Andrews is the local bully who thrives on putting others down. He makes Anne feel small and unwanted and teases Gilbert for liking her. He also belittles Cole and even causes him a serious injury in season 2.

In season 3, Billy’s worst traits are revealed. He abuses Josie, who, as awful as she may be, does not deserve his unwanted and forceful attention. A glimpse into the Andrews household reveals the source of Billy’s entitled behavior: his father. Billy’s sister Prissy has just returned from college after running away from her wedding and accuses them both of exuding toxic masculinity. She’s not wrong.

8. BEST: Matthew Cuthbert

Matthew is the first person in Anne’s life to accept her and love her for who she is. Though a little uncertain at first, he is quickly taken by the way she runs on about how beautiful everything is.

He convinces Marilla to let Anne stay and provides her the nourishment and care she has craved her entire childhood. He even buys her first dress, complete with puff sleeves and all. Overall, Matthew is a sweet and caring brother and father figure.

7. WORST: Mr. Phillips

Mr. Phillips is easily one of the most despicable characters in the series. As a school teacher, he should be something like a role model for his students, but instead, he takes his pent-up negative feelings out on them.

He begins by humiliating Anne for her orphan status, her appearance, and the way she behaves herself. Later, he puts Cole down because he feels threatened that Cole understands who he really is. Perhaps worst of all, he takes advantage of Prissy Andrews, who as a young girl doesn’t really understand what’s going on.

6. BEST: Miss Muriel Stacy

In contrast, Miss Stacy is exactly what a great teacher should be. Anne and the rest of her pupils all look up to her, so much so that they lead the fight in convincing Avonlea’s old-fashioned residents to let her stay on as their teacher.

Miss Stacy is very proud of who she is and doesn’t seem to heed others’ opinions. Her bold character inspires other women to embrace themselves, and she supports the students in their ambitious goals of telling important stories through the school paper.

5. WORST: Mr. Andrews

Billy’s father is responsible for a lot of harmful and backward thinking in Avonlea, especially in his own children. In fact, Mr. Andrews goes so far as to defend Billy’s actions towards Josie in season 3, embarrassing the Pye family, even though they’ve done nothing wrong.

Prissy confronts her father in season 3, but the series was canceled before the storyline could be further explored. Mr. Andrews’ oppressive beliefs may be the reason his wife is so determined to lead the Avonlea women in a force of change.

4. BEST: Diana Barry

Anne’s best friend is Diana Barry, who comes across as shallow and unoriginal at first, but grows over the three seasons to become a young, independent woman. She refuses to allow her parents to dictate her future, even after being raised in their household with the intention of being sent to finishing school.

Diana takes the entrance exam for Queen’s Academy behind their backs and is accepted to the school. After initial reluctance, her parents acquiesce and allow her to attend. A few hints throughout season 2 suggest that Diana wants to be a traveling musician, but her strict upbringing causes a lot of internal conflicts.

3. WORST: Josie Pye

Josie is the resident mean girl of Avonlea. Anne doesn’t really let Josie bother her, but she does contribute to Anne’s feelings of exclusion and isolation, no matter how much she pretends to ignore her comments.

Josie rallies the other kids in disparaging Anne and making fun of her, and her sense of entitlement and privilege is so strong that she thinks she can have anything and anyone she wants (even Cole). She can’t accept that not everyone likes her or that Anne is trying to help her in season 3 after Billy abuses her.

2. BEST: Anne Shirley-Cuthbert

Without a doubt, Anne is the best character in Anne With An E. The entire series revolves around her and her growth. She begins as an orphan who feels that nobody wants her, but still manages to see the beauty in the world that few others notice.

Despite her glaring differences, she manages to win over the hearts of many Avonlea families and capture the attention of Gilbert Blythe, who sees her for who she truly is and wants others to appreciate her, too. Anne is a dreamer who uses her imagination to create a world better for herself and those she loves.

1. WORST: Nathaniel

Nate and Mr. Dunlop are not part of the original story of Anne Of Green Gables. Their introduction was not welcomed by fans, who felt that the conflict they introduce is a waste of time. Nate and Mr. Dunlop are first introduced in the last episode of season 1 when they beat up Jerry and steal the Cuthberts’ money from him.

They become recurring characters at the start of season 2 when they board at the Cuthberts’ and fool the town into paying for gold that doesn’t exist. Mr. Dunlop is the lesser of two evils; Nate tries to flatter Marilla, says horrible things about Anne, and taunts Jerry about his traumatic experience. He’s ready to take all of the money for himself, even if it means hurting innocent people.

[Originally shared with ScreenRant.]

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Svetlana Sterlin

Svetlana Sterlin lives and writes in Brisbane, Australia, where she completed a BFA. Her work appears in several online and print publications.