1: 1. Rust Cohle - Matthew McConaughey's brooding detective in season one left a lasting impression. 2. Marty Hart - Woody Harrelson's flawed but compelling partner brought depth to the story.

2: 3. Frank Semyon - Vince Vaughn's complex gangster added intrigue to season two's plot. 4. Ani Bezzerides - Rachel McAdams' fierce and determined detective stood out in the ensemble.

3: 5. Ray Velcoro - Colin Farrell's troubled cop showcased his range in a standout performance. 6. Nic Pizzolatto - The creator's writing gave unique voices to these memorable characters.

4: 7. Jeremy Saulnier - The director's vision brought a gritty realism to the series' atmosphere. 8. Alexandra Daddario - Her brief but impactful role left a lasting impact on viewers.

5: 9. Lera Lynn - The musician's haunting performances set the tone for many pivotal scenes. 10. Michael Potts - His portrayal of Detective Maynard Gilbough added a fresh perspective.

6: 11. Matthew McConaughey - His portrayal of Rust Cohle brought a philosophical depth to the show. 12. Woody Harrelson - Marty Hart's journey of redemption added heart to the dark narrative.

7: 13. Vince Vaughn - Frank Semyon's tragic arc showcased Vaughn's dramatic acting chops. 14. Rachel McAdams - Ani Bezzerides' complexity and strength made her a standout character.

8: 15. Colin Farrell - Ray Velcoro's internal struggles made him a relatable and compelling figure. 16. Nic Pizzolatto - The mastermind behind the series created a rich and layered world.

9: 17. Jeremy Saulnier - The director's dark and brooding style elevated the tension of the show. 18. Alexandra Daddario - Her enigmatic character added a layer of mystery to the narrative.