Lafayette Reynolds, True Blood
“Who ordered the Aids burger?” Lafayette’s challenge to a homophobic customer at Merlotte’s diner in the 5th episode of season 1 of the HBO series, sets out the stall for his character: unashamed, unapologetic and uncowed by homophobic Louisiana rednecks who might take exception to him.
Flamboyant and flirty, Lafayette is a master of pithy put-downs, all delivered in his gravelly bass and served with the succotash at Merlottes. But there is a sensitive, wounded side to Lafayette seen in his interactions with eternally-imperilled cousin Tara and lovely boyfriend Jesus.
After being taken hostage and tortured by sexy Scandinavian Eric Northman in season 2, poor Lafayette suffers from severe vampire-related PTSD and becomes a gibbering wreck.
And did I mention he’s also a medium? In a particularly moving (and spoilerific, so look away now if you’ve not seen season 4) end to season 4, insane, recently-deceased witch Marnie (played by Fiona Shaw) possesses Lafayette and forces Jesus to transfer his powerful demonic ‘brujo’ magic into Lafayette’s body, killing Jesus in the process.
When Marnie’s spirit is finally ejected from Lafayette, he has to face having killed his true love. Some sad stuff, wonderfully acted by Nelsan Ellis.
Trivia alert: In the Sookie Stackhouse book series upon which True Blood is based, Lafayette is killed off relatively early (in book two). In True Blood, he is one of the rare survivors, lasting all the way up to the final episode.