Based loosely on the story of the real-life lethal Birmingham gang, Peaky Blinders is not only a cinematic delight but also has captivating plots and power-hungry characters that make audiences come back for more. Pure ambition and ruthlessness form the foundation of the show and motivate almost every character from Tommy to even Jessie Eden.
The tussle for power and authority got many of the best Peaky Blinders characters in big trouble, and even worse, resulted in their death, but gave them a high like never before. Still, their influence over the land and their gangs were considerable.
10 Alfie Solomon
The volatile and unpredictable sometimes-ally, sometimes-enemy of Tommy Shelby had considerable authority over many territories. A former Captain in the First World War, the vicious antagonist of Peaky Blinders ruled the racetracks in many areas, had a rum distillery, and even ran a jewelling business.
Money was no problem for Alfie as he charged important people large sums of money to do their dirty work for them, and he had a large number of people tending to him in Camden and other spots.
9 Michael Gray
Initially, Michael Gray was an innocent, adopted boy, but his inner thirst for power grew when he rejoined Polly and the Shelby family as an official member. He set his sights on the Shelby empire and longed to make it his own, along with his wife Anna.
Michael had considerable might which came from being a part of the ruthless family, but he also had a violent streak in him which made him a lot likelier to survive and thrive than others. With his connections to the Americans, he singlehandedly aimed to oust Thomas which makes him a formidable foe and a powerful duo with his wife.
8 Polly Gray
The feisty and tough-as-nuts Polly Gray was easily one of the mightiest characters in the show. As the matriarch of the Shelby clan, she successfully held the fort while the boys were away at war, and even when Thomas returned and took control, she continued to be the force behind the company and his most trusted confidante.
As the treasurer of the Shelby Company, Polly had huge assets in her control as well as the protection of the Blinders. It remains to be seen how the beloved character will exit the show following Helen McCrory’s tragic and untimely death.
7 Arthur Shelby
What Arthur Shelby lacked in business acumen and focus, he made up for in his violent ways. By himself, Arthur could be a liability, but he was also deadly, having maimed and killed more men and even young boys than one could count. His self-preservation was very active which made him someone to watch out for.
As the oldest Shelby and under Tommy’s protection, Arthur was almost untouchable. Being Chairman of the Board, Arthur tries to lead the company several times, and while his attempts were not all successful, he is one of Tommy’s most trusted wingmen.
6 Thomas Shelby
Protagonist Tommy Shelby was legendary, and he’s cheated death in Peaky Blinders by sheer intelligence and quick thinking. As the leader of the Blinders, he held the most power, and his business dealings with the right (or wrong?) men got him out of Birmingham and into the government as a Member of Parliament.
Tommy’s lethal instincts and brutal ways of conducting business made him cunning beyond measure, and he played some important moves in business and trade which got him out of small town gang wars and into the big leagues where he had more assets than ever before.
5 Winston Churchill
While a secondary character, Churchill was one of the most powerful men on the show by virtue of being Churchill. He was Secretary of State for the Colonies between 1921 and 1922 and shared a complex relationship with Thomas.
He had the police under his control, and turned on Shelby, but also saved his life when he had to. Thomas was paid to carry out kills for Churchill through a few seasons, and the future PM held Tommy’s fate in his hands more than once, making him hugely powerful.
4 Oswald Mosley
Mosley was a sickening character who helped found the British Union of Fascists, a party out to spread fascism far and wide. The reason why he was able to influence so many people and escape his own assassination (one of the biggest plot twists in Peaky Blinders) was because of the high positions of power that he held and the network he had.
He held many titles: Minister of the Duchy of Lancaster, deputy to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Cabinet adviser to the Prime Minister, and also MP for Smethwick. He was enmeshed in the government, which made him one of Tommy’s most powerful enemies.
3 John Shelby
The sadly deceased John Shelby may have fallen prey to the Black Hand by the Changretta family, but he was a vital member of the Blinders while he was alive and was the muscle as well as the brains behind many of their operations.
He held a third of the Shelby Company and did the books for the company, and he did it well. Thomas used to trust him to carry out many important missions, and his aggression added to his might.
2 Jessie Eden
Activist and union convener Jessie Eden had a different strength than the other men on the show, which made her one of the most powerful women on the show. She got together female factory workers in Sparkhill and made them protest — one that even Polly, Linda, Esme, and Lizzie marched in.
She could inspire hundreds of men and women to come out and speak their truth, and call for what was rightfully theirs, which made her hugely influential.
1 May Carleton
May’s force and authority came from her elevated social status and her wealth. She had a large estate, owned a horse company that was profitable on the tracks, and was well-connected to most big-wigs from the War Office to Racing Board.
May lived the high life and rubbed shoulders with the who’s who of British society and racing crowds. Her life was a lot easier because of how rich she was, even if it bored her.