We like to think we have TV all figured out, don't we? In this age where everyone with a camera who's seen The Critic while channel surfing thinks they're the next Roger Ebert, every trope that television falls back on has been nitpicked and mocked to the point where most of us think we got it all nailed down.
But then comes along the shows that surprise us.
The shows that - for one reason or another - throw us all completely for a loop. And the main way they do this is through characters and their story arcs. This mostly comes from the fact that, when you relate to a character, you like to think you know where their story is going, because hey, this or that choice is what WE would make in those situations, right?
Whether for good or for ill, these ten characters ended their run in their respective shows in VERY different places from where they started, and likely no one watching had any idea that they would end up where they did.
10. Katara (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Part of constructing this list, and what makes it so difficult, is removing hindsight and going back to when the show first premiered. After all, provided the show is good, of course it looks obvious that a character went this or that way, but at the time, who could have predicted that meek novice Katara would have become a master of the freaking ocean?
Like the art of waterbending itself over the course of the series, Katara seems more of a healer, at best. But as the show goes on, Katara - and waterbending as a whole - is revealed to be flat out freaking SCARY. Now, anyone who knows what water can do when going in can guess this, since water is - yes - freaking scary in the right circumstance. But when you're a kid, water is that fun stuff you dive into with your friends on a summer's day. So seeing what Katara pulls off with it later on in the show blows your mind out the back of your head.
Like the rest of the female cast that the show accrues across its run, Katara becomes a frightening, staggeringly badass powerhouse, and it's really something special to see play out.