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5 reasons why Trevor Phillips is one of the best protagonists in the GTA series

(Image via Rockstar Games)
(Image via Rockstar Games)
Rahul Bhushan
ANALYST

Trevor Phillips is not a silent character in GTA 5. Instead, he explodes onto the screen and makes one heck of a mess while doing it. The moment Trevor appears after the prologue in GTA 5, the game seems like it changes gears and goes into hyperdrive purely because of Trevor's presence.

Trevor adds a level of excitement, thrill, and danger to GTA 5, often making the player uncomfortable with the depths of his depravity. Yet, the character is far from one-dimensional, as he is often credited as one of the most brilliant works of writing in video game history.

This article dives into a few reasons why Trevor Phillips is one of GTA history's best protagonists.


5 reasons why Trevor Phillips is one of the best protagonists in the GTA series

1) He is unfiltered

There are a few characters in the history of video games that embody chaos and violence in Trevor Phillips's way. As described by Michael, Trevor is an essential "hell walking the earth," and that description fits like a glove.

Unhinged doesn't even begin to describe what Trevor is, as he casually munches down on human eyelids and bashes people's heads in.

However, what makes Trevor so interesting is how upfront and honest he regards his depravity. Unlike Michael, Trevor has completely embraced the depths of rage and proclivity for violence, which oddly makes him more human than any other protagonist.

Trevor makes no excuses for his terrible behavior and overall "evil," which makes him all the more compelling.

2) A proxy for the typical GTA player

Many in the GTA fanbase theorized, and perhaps correctly, that Trevor is essentially representative of the average GTA player. Mindlessly murdering everything in their path, completely unabashed in their approach, and a proclivity for rage.

Trevor embodies that sentiment better than any other character in the series and carries that energy throughout the game. The fact that the entire character is essentially one long metaphor and a stand-in for the player is fascinating for players to explore.

3) An intriguing character study

Trevor Phillips has provided streamers and content creators with opportunities to create content and spend hours analyzing his existence. One of the fanbase's favorite activities is to break down exactly what Trevor's character means and the origins, or lack thereof, of his evil.

Much like the Joker in the Batman comics, Trevor seems to have an endless cache of both trauma and intrigue. There is no particular event that players can point to as the definitive Trevor moment, as he always seems to be in a constant state of transformation.

Trevor can be warm and forthcoming in some situations and then brutally murder someone in the next instant. This kind of unpredictability and lack of context makes Trevor absolutely fascinating.

4) Quote-machine

There are only a handful of characters better than GTA 5's Trevor Phillips when it comes to comedic genius and the occasional philosophical conundrum. The character seems to operate at a level of intelligence and brilliance far beyond the average person while also being blissfully idiotic at times.

Trevor rattles off instantly quotable lines like nobody's business and is often the screen's funniest character. While his brand of humor isn't everyone's cup of tea, it is hard to ignore just how brilliant Rockstar's writing is when it comes to giving Trevor a unique sense of humor.

GTA 5 has many well-written, funny characters, but Trevor always seems to be a major standout.

5) Steven Ogg's unhinged performance

Steven Ogg has had an extensive career in film and TV with major roles in series such as Westworld and a brilliant couple of episodes in Better Call Saul. However, the video games community will forever hold up his performance as Trevor Phillips as one of the best in the medium's history.

GTA 5 is packed to the brim with great performances, especially from the trio of Ned Luke, Shawn Fonteno, and Steven Ogg. While the other two protagonists have some ounce of realism, Trevor Phillips is perhaps the most difficult assignment of the three.

Simply because there are very few reference points, as there haven't been any characters like Trevor Phillips, Steven Ogg knocked it out of the park in GTA 5 and cemented his name among video games acting royalty.

Edited by Srijan Sen
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