CarterMatt Awards 2017: Carl Grimes, Olivia Benson, Walt Longmire among TV’s best heroes

Best HeroWhat makes a great hero on television? We think that it’s a few different things — a strong sense of resolve, determination, a willingness to put yourself in danger, and also an understanding as to when you’ve done enough to walk away. You cannot win every battle; you should just be set up to win as many as possible.

This is the lead-up to Best Hero, one of two new categories this year at the CarterMatt Awards. Part of the inspiration from this category comes from the simple fact that we’re in an era where good guys don’t always win, and also one where we are in need of more heroes than ever before. They mark an escape from the world and bring out the best in all of us.

Below, you can see all of our nominees for 2017, which are compiled by the CarterMatt staff. There’s a poll at the bottom of the article for voting!

(Note: If you are on mobile and cannot see the poll, scroll to the bottom of the article and click to view the non-AMP version.)

Voting for this category is going to remain open from now until Friday, December 29 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time (1:00 pm. Pacific), when the results will be posted in a separate article. To see more categories / results and view official voting rules, check out our CarterMatt Awards landing page.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the nominations.

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), The Flash – By day, he works as a CSI working to solve crimes in Central City. At night, he finds himself working as a superhero. While the midseason finale somewhat renders him unable to do either one of these jobs all that well, we know that Barry will find a way to get out of his current predicament okay — and without hurting any innocents along the way.

Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Law & Order: SVU – She doesn’t have a cape or a costume — her badge pretty much fills that role. Olivia’s heroism is often unheralded and comes courtesy of some solid police-work and making sure that justice is served no matter what. She’s not afraid to stand up to authority or even put her life on the line. She’s a grounded hero viewers can look to as inspirational.

Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), Supergirl – What makes Kara such an interesting inclusion to this list is that she’s not just a hero when she has on a costume — she works as a reporter in her day job and does everything within her power to ensure that she brings truth to difficult situations. We think that in today’s climate, which is not exactly easy on journalists, this work is especially critical.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), NCIS Gibbs has been around the block for a while now and, as a result of that, has absolutely seen quite a bit of turmoil. Nonetheless, he perseveres, he solves crimes, and he has a designated list of rules in which he lives by. We’re not sure that there is a more straight-laced hero on TV than this guy. He’s a leader, and while he may be stubborn he finds a way to get the job done.

Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), Gotham – One of the most interesting things about Gordon is that even though there’s a darkness within him, he still wants to do the right thing. He’s been subjected to having to work with villains at times, he’s been forced to kill people, and he’s definitely had his life on the line. He’s probably the most flawed hero on the list in terms of what he’s had to do to get justice, but we’ve seen that the world of Gotham is so much better with him there.

Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), The Walking Dead – While many may think of Rick as the hero of this show, for us it’s Carl. While Rick goes in guns blazing and asks questions later, Carl has been looking to play the long game and build a future that’s more then just being able to survive. He’s a character that understands that there is a time to make the hard calls, but that having hope in humanity and building that community is the only real way to ensure that this world moves into a more organized and stable future. He’s the only character on this show that has grown up in this world and has the best understanding of how to really make something like this happen.

Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), Longmire – While the public perception of him in Absaroka County may have labeled him a rogue sheriff with an itchy trigger finger, we know the truth — Walt Longmire is as heroic of a guy as they come. He’ll make mistakes, sure, but he also will stop at nothing to arrest those he deems to be guilty. So long as you’re not trying to cause trouble in his county, there’s a good chance you won’t run into him.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Game of Thrones – Is he the Prince who was promised, or is he just the right man for the job regardless of prophecy? From our vantage point the only thing that really matters with Jon Snow is that he is the hero who has the capacity to save Westeros. He’s not the only hero, but when you watch him he is the one character whose heart always seems to be in the right place.

Now … we turn this over to you!

Be sure to vote for your favorites below; meanwhile, like CarterMatt on Facebook if you do want to book more insight on every show we cover.

Update: This category is now closed. View full results here.

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