Since it premiered on SyFy in 2016, Wynonna Earp has routinely been one of the most innovative and most inclusive supernaturally themed series on television. Based on the Image and IDW comic book series by author Beau Smith, Wynonna Earp follows the titular character, a descendant of the legendary gunslinging hero Wyatt Earp, as she goes about ridding her hometown of Purgatory of the various demons and revenants that live there.
These revenants have a special kind of bone to pick with Wynonna, too, seeing as they're the reincarnations of the various criminals that Wyatt Earp killed during his lawman days. Wynonna is the current Earp heir - the eldest member of the Earp family, in possession of the family gun, Peacemaker. It's the duty of the Earp heir to kill all the revenants that they can, because for decades on end, the criminals Wyatt killed have been returning from the dead.
In the series' three seasons so far, there have been six Earp heirs, and not all of them have been created equal at all. Here, we take a look back at the heirs' legacies and officially decide which heir stands out as the best of the best.
6 Willa Earp
Ugh. Willa. Earp heirs really don't get much worse than the traitorous Willa Earp. Willa was technically the oldest of the three Earp daughters - Willa, Wynonna, and Waverly - so truthfully, she would be the rightful heir of this generation of Earps. But after the raid of the Earp homestead in 2000, Willa was presumed dead, but in reality stolen away by the revenant Bobo del Rey.
It was in his captivity that Willa became truly evil, falling in love with the demon and vowing to help him free the revenants from the captivity of the Ghost River Triangle. When she entered back into the lives of her sisters, Willa fundamentally altered the reality they had known for so long, and once again assumed the role of heir alongside her sister, Wynonna. But in the end, Willa would meet a violent death, as her attempts at betraying the Earps and their family's legacy proved unsuccessful.
5 Ward Earp
Ward Earp was the biological father of Willa and Wynonna Earp, as well as the father in name only of youngest Earp child, Waverly Earp. Not much is known about Ward, despite the significant role he had in the lives of the Earp girls. But the little we do know about him sure doesn't sound that great. We don't know much about how successful he was as the heir, but he served in the role from 1993 to 2000.
Ward was killed during the attack on the Earp homestead - not by any of the attackers, but by a stray bullet fired by Wynonna in the ensuing conflict. Not much is known about his parenting skills either, but according to Willa at least, he was a bad husband, routinely harming their mother, Michelle.
4 Josiah Earp
There isn't much we know at this point in time about Josiah Earp, the son of Wyatt Earp himself. But he's arguably better than Willa and Ward both, just by process of elimination. He was also the first of the Earp heirs to be targeted - and tragically killed - by the Seven, a particularly vengeful group of revenants who devoted their lives to taking out as many of the Earp heirs as they could.
According to the revenant Two-Faced Jack in the series' first season, Josiah was the most courageous of all the Earp heirs so far. We don't know exactly what that translates to, in terms of how successful he was getting rid of the revenants and cleaning up the Ghost River Triangle. But if the revenants themselves thought he was courageous, that definitely says something about his character.
3 Edwin Earp
Edwin Earp - Ward's father; Waverly and Wynonna's grandfather; and Wyatt Earp's grandson - is only discussed in passing in the series so far. But the little we know about him at this point makes him one of the most impressive Earp heirs of them all, considering the short period of time that he was actually in the role of Earp heir.
Edwin only lived to be 28 years old, putting him in the position of Peacemaker-wielding heir for only year from 1967 to 1968. But during that time, he managed to dispatch of almost every single one of the revenants all on his own, which earned him the moniker of the "One Year Wonder." At least according to Wynonna. It's tempting to imagine what life in Purgatory could have been like, had he lived longer and actually finished the job he'd set out to do.
2 Wyatt Earp
The man who started it all, Wyatt Earp was the most fearsome and just man in all the land during his lifetime. Best friends with Doc Holliday, the lawman was responsible for killing the 77 individuals who would go on to become revenants and torment generations of Earps for the foreseeable future. After running afoul of Bulshar and Constance Clootie, since he was responsible for killing the pair's sons, Wyatt found himself and his family burdened with the duty of protecting Purgatory and all those who inhabited it.
While Wyatt was never an heir bound by the duty of the Earp legacy himself, he was the man who started it all, and his actions would dictate the lives of all his descendants as a result of it. He, therefore, represents the first true heir of the Earp name, and the Peacemaker gun along with it.
1 Wynonna Earp
Could any other Earp possibly top this list? When Wynonna Earp first began, prodigal daughter Wynonna Earp wasn't exactly thrilled about returning home to Purgatory, or taking on the hero's mantle that awaited her. But over the course of the seasons that followed, Wynonna has routinely proved herself to be the best tasked for the job out of all the Earp heirs so far. She is a sister, a friend, a lover, and thanks to a surprise storyline in the second season, a mother. But above all else, she's Wynonna, and that's all she needs to be.
Fiercely protective of her family in all its many forms, Wynonna has shown time and again that she has the wit and strength necessary to take on the most fearsome of foes, whether Bobo del Rey, her own sister Willa, the psychopathic Bulshar and Constance Clootie, or any of the many other demons and revenants that have been dispatched with Peacemaker during her tenure.
In the third season finale, Bulshar puts an end to the Earp heir legacy once and for all, thereby securing Wynonna's status as the final Earp heir. But, whenever season four arrives, it's clear that Wynonna's duties are far from over. And we have nothing but total confidence in her abilities to keep Purgatory, her family, and all other residents of the Ghost River Triangle totally safe.