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    21 TV Characters Who Had The Best Redemption Arcs Of All Time

    Growth at its finest.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which TV characters had the best redemption arcs of all time. Here are the characters they hated at first, but grew to absolutely love:

    🚨🚨 WARNING: Spoilers ahead!!! 🚨🚨

    1. Steve Harrington in Stranger Things (2016–present)


    "He started out as the typical asshole high school dude who spread terrible rumors about Nancy and tried to ruin her life. Now, he is the doting mother of an unruly gang of teenagers and together they all keep saving the world. An excellent redemption arc."


    2. Cordelia in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel (1997–2004)

    The WB

    "She went from a bad-tempered, egotistical, cheerleading, richy-rich mean girl to the most compassionate, thoughtful, brave, and nurturing friend and team member. Angel would be nothing without Cordelia."


    3. Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones (2011–2019)


    "He transformed from a selfish teen to a meek son, to a ruthless backstabber, to a prisoner, to Reek, and then his redemption to a hero. Truly, his character arc was so well-written and well-executed by Alfie Allen. I don’t know why it doesn’t get more praise."


    4. Alexis Rose in Schitt's Creek (2015–2020)


    "She went from being a whiny, spoiled brat in Season 1 to becoming an amazing, strong woman with a thriving career in Season 6. And she was able to understand and make incredibly difficult decisions that showed how much she had matured."


    5. Michael in The Good Place (2016–2020)


    "He went from a demon whose purpose was torturing humans to literally becoming a human! Seeing him grow into an empathetic, emotional being who was hell-bent on making the afterlife better for all of humanity was a joy. Ted Danson played Michael perfectly."


    6. Guzman in Élite (2018–present)


    "He started as the typical rich asshole but ended up being so caring and loving, especially toward Nadia. Plus, he redeemed himself with his relationship with Samuel, when he found out Nano wasn't Marina's killer and they became the best of friends."


    7. Petra Solano in Jane The Virgin (2014–2019)

    The CW

    "She went from a flat, heartless villain in Season 1 to an extremely nuanced, sympathetic, and inspiring character by the end! She was probably the most interesting character in the entire show."


    8. Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)

    The WB

    "This list would be incomplete without including Spike. He went from being a major big bad in Season 2 to learning to love Buffy and ultimately sacrificing himself for her and the world in the finale! Without a doubt the best character development ever."


    9. Bellamy Blake in The 100 (2014–present)

    The CW

    "He went from being a selfish jerk who was A-ok with the death of innocents if it meant covering his own ass, to a strong leader and Clarke's best friend."


    10. Don Keefer in The Newsroom (2012–2014)


    "In the first episode, he was was a horrible man who treated Maggie like dirt, ditched Will as soon as he had the chance, and was unnecessarily rude to and threatened by Jim. By the end he was an absolute sweetheart and found his true companion in Sloane. He mended his relationship with Will and Maggie, but the best thing about his redemption arc was his adorable bro friendship with Jim."


    11. Mickey in Shameless (2011–present)


    "He went from going to prison just so he wouldn’t have to admit that he’s gay, and pushing Ian away because he was afraid of his dad, to being out and proud and standing up to his dad so he could marry Ian."


    12. Schmidt in New Girl (2011–2018)


    "The first two seasons he was made to look like the quintessential douchey man-boy: money hungry, pompous, and pretentious. As the show moved forward, we got to see him become the funniest, most down to earth, and most caring man in the show. The last season? Stay-at-home dad. I hated him for two seasons, then he became my favorite out of the whole cast."


    13. Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones (2011–2019)


    "The guy went from chucking a child out of a window to hide the fact that he's banging his sister, to being a fan favorite and one of the most chivalrous characters on the show (we don't acknowledge the last season in this house)."


    14. Helena in Orphan Black (2013–2017)


    "It's hard to believe when watching later seasons that she started off the show as a ruthless serial killer. Later on we learned that she was abused and manipulated through childhood in order to become the killer she was. She received love and acceptance from her sisters, and became a wonderful mother..."


    15. Nathan Scott in One Tree Hill (2003–2012)

    The CW

    "Nathan Scott was a pile of hot garbage, a bully, a partier, and a hothead, but then he met someone who changed the way he saw things. He took responsibility, proved his father wrong, changed his life, married his girl, respected boundaries, and became an amazing father."


    16. Alex Karev in Grey's Anatomy (2005–2020)


    "Excluding his lame-ass return to Izzy, everything up to that was fantastic. He went from a crass, careless frat guy who wanted to go into plastic surgery to a badass pediatric surgeon who cared about his friends."


    17. Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl (2007–2012)

    The CW

    "In the beginning, he was shown as a horrible person who forced himself onto girls. After he fell for Blair, he became a much better person and apologized for what he did."


    18. Klaus in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals (2011–2018)

    The CW

    "He was a great villain in TVD. I hated him in all the best ways. Then in The Originals, after he had Hope, he became a sort of antihero and watching him sacrifice himself for his family over and over was great."


    19. Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones (2011–2019)


    "She went from being a whiny, ungrateful child to Queen of the North. She learned to love the family she was a part of instead of being ashamed of them, and built a real relationship with Jon Snow and Arya."


    20. Regina Mills in Once Upon A Time (2011–2018)


    "It took her almost six seasons of development and evolution to move on from her evil past and own her mistakes. Granted, she hit some bumps along the way, but she learned to be resilient and to not return to the person she once was."


    21. And Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005–2008)


    "He started off as, let’s face it, a whiny brat who was hell-bent on finding the Avatar at any cost to restore his honor and return to the Fire Nation. As the show went on, he realized that no matter what, he would never restore his honor in the eyes of his father, which made him realize he had to grow for himself."


    Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.

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