Stranger Things Steve Harrington has exhibited one of the greatest redemption arcs that fans can’t get enough of. Starting as an arrogant heartthrob who was on top of the world, Steve received a few blows that ultimately freed him from his pride and selfishness. He now stands as one of the most beloved characters due to his patience, tenderness, bravery, and unlimited support for those he cares about.
Like Steve, there have been many other cherished characters on TV that embarked successfully on the journey toward greatness. Every TV character is unique, which makes the redemption of villains so enticing and encouraged by fans. Similar to Steve Harrington, many individuals become more popular than the main characters due to their relatable flaws and noteworthy growth.
9 Dwight Shrute – The Office
Dwight Shrute from The Office stands as one of television’s most iconic and hilarious villains. In his quest to acquire power and destroy his desk mate, Jim, Dwight often ridiculed others and himself along the way. His harsh view of the world was greatly softened by the end of the show.
For a long while, Dwight stood as the obvious villain to more likable characters like Jim and Michael. As his character began to develop more kind and understanding traits, Dwight slowly turned into a beloved antihero that a lot of fans adore more than the other classic characters.
8 Schmidt – New Girl
Schmidt delivers some of the most cringeworthy moments in New Girl throughout his extensive character development. He started out as an overbearing frat boy who didn’t value anybody’s opinion except his own. The self-proclaimed ladies’ man often pushed others down to feel more important.
Schmidt soon became a hilarious source of wisdom, knowledge, and acceptance that came as a shock to some fans. When he let go of his pride, Schmidt became a better friend in the loft and a more sincere lover to Cece. He stands as an example to anybody who decides to value relationships over worldly things.
7 Theon Greyjoy – Game Of Thrones
Theon is a character who experienced many hardships in his time in Game of Thrones. He began his journey as a selfish and arrogant teenager, who grew up to survive many terrors both in battle and as a prisoner. But fans cherished his rich growth and strong morals that came after.
No other character has endured as much torture and loss as Theon and rarely has the strength to rise against the evils that raged. Theon’s redemption arc carried him to the heart of many fans and changed his legacy to be a hero who valued his relationships and things worth fighting for.
6 Cordelia – Buffy The Vampire Slayer And Angel
Cordelia started out as every other teen villain, bad-tempered, entitled, and cruel to people she thought were below her. The growth of her character was refreshing and completely necessary as she became a key protagonist later in the shows.
When Cordelia matured and recognized what was worth fighting for, she grew into a loving and compassionate friend to the other characters. Fans loved to see her put all of her energy and personality into the thoughtful and brave heroine that she grew into throughout her time in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel.
5 Michael – The Good Place
Michael is one of the Good Place’s best demons. The rollercoaster that Michael’s character embarked on was extremely entertaining for viewers, as they could never quite see what was coming next. His eventual loyalty to humanity sealed him as a fan favorite with a powerful redemption arc.
Like many redeemed characters, Michael’s original personality highlighted his negative traits during his despicable journey for power. From a character that completely disregarded the torture he inflicted on others to a man who switched his entire belief system, this drastic evolution granted him immense growth and fan support.
4 Petra Solano – Jane The Virgin
Fans have rallied and currently stand behind Petra, deeming her one of the best characters of Jane The Virgin. At the start of the show, Petra was nothing more than a bully who felt threatened by the main character, Jane. In time, she became a loving friend and source of peace to those in need.
Most of her character growth came when she became of mother to her twins. Suddenly, Petra desired a new life for herself outside of the manipulation and grief she had with her own family. By acting on the good intentions of her heart, Petra redeemed herself and became the woman fans rooted for the most.
3 Bellamy Blake – The 100
Bellamy Blake was decidedly not a fan favorite at the beginning of his introduction in The 100. He was an entitled villain who couldn’t care less about the lives of other people, so long as he was out of evil’s way. His selfish tendencies eventually changed into bravery and loyalty to his friends.
An important motivator for any character working towards redemption is the necessity of having something worth changing for. When Blake finally recognized the importance of humanity and the relationships he had with other people, he became a powerful leader and example to other characters and fans.
2 Helena – Orphan Black
Helena gives viewers a peek at her growth through both her actions and quotes in Orphan Black that show her personality. She started her time in the show as a violent and sadistic serial killer, gaining her a reputation as a terrifying villain. Miraculously, she turned her entire life around.
Fans began to empathize with Helena when her dark history disclosed that she was manipulated and forced to be a killer. When Helena got a taste of kindness and joy, she clung to it which led to a much happier existence with her sisters and her children. By turning her rich character around, she became a fan favorite.
1 Alexis Rose – Schitt’s Creek
Like the rest of her family in Schitt’s Creek, Alexis started out as an extremely annoying and entitled individual. She had never worked a day in her life and would complain about every minor inconvenience that crossed her path. Her growth throughout the series is undeniable.
Alexis turned her outlook and personality around, and instead of being a bratty antagonist, she embraced her new life. By gaining a more mature outlook and understanding of the world, she began to thrive in her career and in her relationships. Her journey brought her more appreciation and admiration from fans.
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