The Seven Deadly Sins of "Firefly".

After having read about how the creator of Gilligan’s Island based it on the seven deadly sins, it occurs to me that you could apply that idea to just about any show with a sufficiently large cast. I think it works pretty well, though not perfectly, with Firefly. Hear me out:

Shepherd Book is God. He is the only one not beholden in some way to Mal. He tries to offer guidance to follow the path of good, but is frequently not listened to. He is the most mysterious, has no origin story, and is almost ineffable.

Malcolm Reynolds is Satan. His name itself, “Mal”, is the Latin root for “evil”. He leads the crew into crime and temptation, and they follow. When asked by the operative what his sin was, Mal said, “Hell, I’m a fan of all seven”.

Inarra Serra is Lust. That one’s pretty easy.

Hoban “Wash” Washburn is Gluttony. The guy wears a Hawaiian shirt 24/7. You see anybody do that and you just know that they’re pounding barbecued ribs and beer when you’re not looking.

Jayne Cobb is Greed. The dude is a mercenary that would push his own grandmother down a flight of stairs for the coins in her pocket. He will shoot you down if he is getting paid.

River Tam is Sloth. Go with me on this. She is a talented genius with almost inhuman martial arts skills, but she does not lift a finger for most of the series. She is so inert that when we are first introduced to her character, she is asleep in a box.

Zoe Washburn is Wrath. Like Mal, she is still furious about the Battle of Serenity. She will never forgive the alliance, and will shoot you down even if she isn’t getting paid.

Kaylee Frye is Envy. When she’s not mooning over the good doctor, she is gushing about how interesting Inara’s lifestyle must be. She is a brilliant mechanic, but constantly wishing for something more glamorous.

Dr. Simon Tam is Pride. He comes from a rich and privileged background - and everything about him tells you so. He views himself above and apart from the rest of the crew and would not even associate with them if circumstances hadn’t forced him too. He does not even notice Kaylee’s overtures because she is too far beneath him.
I know, it doesn’t fit perfectly and I had to stretch on a few of them, but I think it works even better than the Gilligan’s Island thing.

Wash? Don’t you think he’s a little scrawny to be gluttony?

If anyone’s eating too many ribs, I’d say it’s the reavers…though it might be best not to dwell on that.

And Wash did have that terrible mustache. That’s a sin, right?

Mostly when he’s gettin’ paid.

IIRC the first thing River said when we met her was “Mal means bad”.

Naah, these are almost all too much of a stretch, other than Jayne.

Hey, there! I resemble that remark, and I’ll have you know that it’s not 24/7.

I take it off to shower.
Other than that it’s a fair cop.

Well, he would be if they had any real food to eat!

Wait, that link didn’t explain which sins the characters in Gilligan were supposed to be besides the obvious ones.

Indisputable: Ginger = Lust, Mr. Howell = Greed, Skipper = Gluttony
Debatable: Gilligan = Sloth, Maryanne = Envy, Professor = Pride
Dubious: Mrs. Howell = Anger ???

Mrs. Howell is bland and sinless.

I think Jonas is Anger and Lovie is Gluttony. Look at all the clothes she “consumed/packed” just for a 3 hour tour.

That’s the thing. Most of these lists end up having two or three obvious ones, and then everyone else just ends up being shoehorned in by process of elimination. Sure, Inara as Lust and Jayne as Greed are straightforward enough, but you could just as easily use any other permutation at all on the others. Like, maybe Kaylee is Gluttony: Interrogating the buffet table? And have we forgotten the strawberry so quickly? She’s the only one we see having really significant scenes involving food. Or maybe River is Wrath: She’s been done wrong, pretty badly so, and she ends up getting very graphic revenge.

You’re absolutely right, Chronos, but shoehorning the characters into the various slots is what makes creating this type of list fun. I don’t believe for a second that Joss Whedon meant for them to symbolize anything, and that’s not really not my hypothesis anyway. My idea, if you can call it that, is that with a sufficiently large and diverse cast of characters, it’s possible to assign them each one of the seven (or nine in this case) archetypes. It’s not meant to be deep, but rather more of just a fun puzzle.

Someone should do another show next. The Walking Dead, maybe? That could maybe fit.

Well, Shane is Lust, Carl is Boring, everyone else is Stupidity.


Try the firefly cast as the Seven Dwarfs instead of the Seven Deadly Sins. Probably fits better.

Doc = Simon
Grumpy = Mal
Sleepy = Jayne or Inara
Happy = Wash or Kaylee
Sneezy = Zoe
Dopey = Jayne or Wash
Bashful = Book

Nope. They don’t fit very well either.

Wash is always talking about how hot his wife is. He and Zoe are Serenity’s resident hosebeasts. And besides,…

That was a porno 'stache if ever there was one. So maybe Wash is Lust?

Better: The seven dwarves as the seven sins:

Doc is Pride. Always the smart one. At least he thought so.

Grumpy is Wrath. That’s easy

Sleepy is Sloth. That’s ridiculously easy

Happy is Lust. No one smiles like that unless they’re oversexed.

Dopey is Envy. It’s all an act. Deep down inside, he wishes he waswarves as the seven sins as capable as his brothers.

Bashful is Gluttony. The reason he doesn’t talk is he has an an eating disorder. His breath smells horrible after binging and purging all those half eaten evil apples. No one knows that, because he hides affliction.

Crap, I missed Sneezy.

I’m going to shoehorn him in as greed. The guy could easily walk to the nearest village apothecary and get some antihistamines, but he doesn’t. Why? Because he will miss out on that sweet, sweet Snow White money once the story’s over.

Ooo, this is terribly fun. Someone do The Wizard of Oz, I don’t know enough to.

Mad Men.

Gluttony Paul. 'Cause he’s kind of chubby?
Greed Pryce. He embezzled, after all. And his name is a homophone of “price”. Or maybe Peggy, being the most ambitious person on a show full of ambitious folk.
Pride Peter with his manlinless issues. Notice how of all the things that brothel chick tries, the line that finally flips his switch is, “My King…”
Sloth Ken Kosgrove. He wants to write, and doesn’t put up much of a fight covertly nor openly when ordered to stop doing what he loves on his own time.
Wrath Adam? The dude was mad enough to kill somebody…
Envy Roger, with his aging issues, marrying a younger woman and whatnot.
Lust Well Don, of course.

God Joan. She’s what everyone’s searching for, except for a couple of folks who want to be her in various ways (not all of whom are female). Powerful, and people have put some pretty important words in her mouth. Now lately she’s been “profaned” and you could almost make the whole Jaguar thing out to be a messianic gesture.
Satan Bert Cooper. A leader figure whom we rarely see for long, who openly enjoys most of the other sins and encourages self-interest in others. And just look at that facial hair!

Plus, he’s dead.


Ha! The Wizard of Oz is a great challenge.

Scarecrow is Sloth. Before Dorothy came into his life, he was was just leaning against a stick in the ground and yelling at birds. He’s Sloth.

The Cowardly Lion is Wrath. He just wants it too badly. If he had a say in this list, he’d pick wrath. Let him have it. He’s wrath.

The Wizard is Gluttony. That one is almost too easy.

The Wicked Witch of the West is Envy. Her motivation was all about how she wanted the goddamn shoes. Her sister got crushed by a house, and what does she want? She still wants those damn shoes.

Toto is Greed. He’s a dog, of course he’s Greed.

The Tin Man is Pride. Interesting one this, he’s the mightiest of them all. But in his past he struck opponents down heartlessly.

Dorothy is Lust. Sexy farmer’s daughter gets three able bodied men to obey her every whim. Hell, Dorothy is such a sexy archetype that that little dress she wore is up there with school girl uniforms.