This thread is for everyone to put their top 15 or top 10 favorite NPCs in Skyrim. This only includes named NPCs, not random ones (so guards, imperial soldiers, and enemy types do not count). Everything else, daedra, companions, random civilians, etc. all count, so please feel free to add your opinion. Now here is my list, in no particular order:
Serena (She reminds me in many ways of one of my closest friends, at least in terms of personality. Also pretty badass)
Balimund (He was one of the first NPCs I befriended. While there is not much special to his character I have always seen him as a good friend)
Teldryn Sero (While a bit annoying at times, the character perfectly pulls off the "grizzled merc" feel. His cynical attitude and experience really help sell the feel, and he seems loyal while still remaining professional and objective)
Paarthurnax (Definition of badass. Awesome voice, cool personality, and very helpful. Just an awesome NPC all around)
Vilkas (I know a lot of people were expecting Varkas [who I also am a fan of] on here instead, but Vilkas is a great character in his own right. He seems to be the most level-headed one amongst the Companions, and while not as strong as his brother, he is intelligent in his own right, and can still wield a sword pretty well himself)
Sheogorath (Definition of insanity. Remember the Joker's personality in Batman: The Animated Series? Now imagine that but slightly less sadistic [slightly] and with the powers of a god. He's incredibly likeable and entertaining, and always fun to be around, even when he uses your intestines for jump-rope)
I agree with Liam lore-lover. My list has some similarities with yours :
Serana : easy one. She's has a crappy family, always complains about the light, the weather ... (kinda sounds like me), also she's one of the best mage follower in the game and she has an interesting background.
Brynjolf and Karliah : TG is my favourite guild but some members are just lazy and never move their ass from the Ragged Flagon (I hate Dirge, I hate Vex, I tolerate Tonilia). In fact except those two Sapphire is the only one you find outside, doing her job. They are likable rogues and I like them in the main questline. I think we don't have enough of them since he stops talking when you become the TG master and she's never come back in the HQ.
Paarthurnax : Great design, great delivery, great character.
Vilkas and Farkas : characters with opposite personnalities. I like them both, I how like Vilkas is an ass and how Farkas is a nice guy (and to me, the game failed at making him stupid because he's not). I like the backstory behind the Circle too.
Cicero : He's so over the top, his lines are so WTF
Balgruuf and Idgrod Ravencrone : Since I can't rule Skyrim, can I have one of them instead? Balgruuf seems like he's competent and actually cares about his people, same for Idgrod. He stayed neutral in the Civil War as long as possible and she has visions.
Jenassa : I'd like more characters like her. I like Dunmers, I like rogues. She has an interesting dark nature, some character devloppement would have been great.
I'm sure I forget some, but there's a lot of people living in Skyrim.
Cicero-he's such a crazy lunatic but after reading his journals and completely finishing the DB questline he became my favourite character. He's unpredictable and hilarious (especially that first interaction after sparing his life where he says he's back to kill the Drahonborn only to reveal its a joke)
Serana-I feel for her so much, her family is so messed up but she's so elegant and amazing. She goes through so much and is a cool follower
Sheogorath-must I really explain? God of Madness. Nuff said
Fralia Graymane-she loses her son in the midst of the war as he becomes a Thalmor prisoner, hates the feud between her family and the Battleborns and ends up losing her other son when he goes to hide with his brother
Nazir-he's sarcastic and annoying and doesn't take nothing from no one. Except maybe Astrid. But she's dead. So not her.
Mirabelle Ervine-while she's not really one of my favourite characters, she died trying to get everyone out of the College before Ancano killed them all
1. Sheogorath: All hail the Daedric Prince of Madness and the Lord of the Never-There! He is my all-time favorite character in all of The Elder Scrolls Universe. Even though he is can only be interacted with in the "Mind of Madness" quest, I still go and visit him from time to time through the console - he never really leaves, but you can't talk to him.
2. Neloth: At first, I considered him to be very annoying (probably because I decided to take a break from the Dragonborn questline at the "Path of Knowledge" quest and he kept randomly appearing out of nowhere and running of like I should follow him to the Dwemer Ruin from Markarth or something) but then I realized that his personality is awesome and he somehow manges to be charismatic and arrogant at the same time.
3. Alduin: I know, I know - he's evil, but for some reason he's one of my favorites. I have no idea why. If there was a choice, I might have even joined him in destroying the world (or ineffectively tried to reason with him).
4. Paarthurnax, Odahviing and Durnehviir: They are all on the same level, but Paarthurnax might be an inch higher than the others. They all have awsome personalities (even though you don't see much of Durnehviir and Odahviing's) and are amazing allies. Plus, I love dragons.
5. Saguine (Sam Guevenne): He's fun to hang out with. All that needs to be said.
6. Teldryn Sero: He is fun to walk around with and sometimes appears to read my mind. He is probably my favorite follower.
7. Spectral Assassin (Lucien Lachance): Welp. He lives again! He can be quite annoying, but I just felt sorry for him in Oblivion, so I summon him a lot.
8. Cicero: That guy is mad. Not as mad as Sheo, but he's getting there. A little bit bloodthirsty, but still as fun as a breakdancing horker.
9. Kharjo: He is very likable (like all other Khajiits except for Shavari. And J'zargo just has a different personality) and loyal and is a Khajiit (one of my three favorite races).
10. Azura: I don't know why. She's just cool.
11. Barbas: He's a dog. Dogs are awesome. Favorite quote from Barbas - "Woof."
12. Clavicus Vile: He's an asshole, but for some reason he's fun at the same time.
13. Ulfric Stormcloak AND General Tulius: I don't even know whom to believe anymore! They're both cool. I just think that the Emperor was weak. I don't believe that any of the Septims would have allowed the Empire to fall.
Neloth, Balimund, Brelyna Maryon, J'xargo, Brynjolf, Sanguine, [Sheogorath failed to make my list]. and Jimmy (Steadfast Dwarven Sphere). Oh Nazir, Gabriella and The Mallory brothers. Devin and Glover, Nruin, Vipir, and Thrynn.