Characters are a vessel that all shows use. They're the emotional hook. They drive the plot. They get us to care. Well, good characters at least. In an age of Hollywood where money trumps emotion and story, characters often get left by the wayside. In so many modern flicks the characters are almost irrelevant, and their names are even more meaningless.

When done right, characters can become icons, their names and stories known by people who have never even seen the show they come from. They connect with us in a primal way, which inevitably gets us hooked on their exploits, and have us watching them for hours without rest.

They can be a brand for their show and this means money. You'd think more studio executives would be on board with this, rather than churning out faceless, lifeless heroes time and time again.

Thankfully, there are still those in Hollywood who buck the flashy trends and invest in a writer's most valuable asset: Characters.

Below, are some the best examples of amazing T.V characters that have driven their respective shows. Often, they have glued our eyeballs to the nearest device for hours on end.

Joffrey Baratheon ('Game of Thrones')

Before you allow the simmering rage that you feel when you read this name overwhelm you, consider this. Almost every movie or T.V. show in history, with some principal villain, has tried to achieve what George R.R Martin has done with Joffrey - create a villain who is passionately despised.

None have come close to levels of sheer hatred this character managed to attract. Many do not even get within the realm of it. To achieve something that every actor tries for but no else grasps, is sheer genius.

The Joker (‘Justice League Action’)

From one psychopath to another: The Joker. Joker, in many respects, is a similar character to Joffrey yet garners the complete opposite reaction. This is partly driven by the amazing performance by Mark Hamill, but it's also by amazing writing.

To have a character who is so deliberately evil and so invested in tearing down the society in which we all live, to be so loved is rather mind-blowing. Audiences cannot seem get enough of this character to the point where he is (unnecessarily in some cases [VIDEO]) injected into shows and movies to engage the audience.

Homer Simpson ('The Simpsons')

Well, any list of TV personalities has to have Homer Simpson. His sheer numbers are staggering. For more than twenty years, this character has dominated the airwaves.

Like many on this list, his list of attributes is largely negative. He's lazy and stupid. He's abusive to his son. He's an alcoholic. He is used as a tool to put on display the ugliness of American culture and its excesses. Although all this doesn't sound like a recipe for a likable character, it's definitely worked.

Even if you have never seen a single episode of "The Simpsons" you still know who this character is and what he is all about.

Walter White (‘Breaking Bad’)

Walter White is a man that, if he were real, many of us would be hoping he ended up in prison, or dead. We certainly wouldn’t be cheering for this teacher-come-drug dealer, who goes from a quiet suburban teacher and family man to a full blown psychopath over the course of the series.

Drugs, and drug dealers, are such pariahs in our society that to have a series where we are actively hoping one evades the law is staggering. By rights it shouldn’t even happen. Yet, through the sheer genius of the writing (lead by Vince Gilligan), “Breaking Bad” is a gripping, emotional roller coaster, driven at the helm by this incredibly well versed and written character.

Jamie Lannister (‘Game of Thrones’)

Arguably, one the greatest characters in T.V, Jamie Lannister is simply a massive credit to the genius of George R.R. Martin. The arc and transformation this character goes through is simply breathtaking, done so subtly and gracefully, many never even realised it was occurring at all.

It truly is the ultimate redemption arc. he went from attempting child murder and engaging in (shall we say) activities with his twin sister, to being one of the principal heroes of the show.

The contempt many have shown for this character since episode one was palpable. To see it all stripped away with incredible writing was remarkable. To have our own pre-convinced judgments about this character thrown back in our faces was unbelievable. To have the façade revealed, to see what this character has truly gone through, was truly shocking.

All around, this character is simple writing genius. What do you think? Feel free to share your comments.