In order to engage an audience, characters should go through an inner journey and be shaped by the events that happen in the story so that they are different by the end. This is a character arc, and makes characters more believable and relatable to the audience. Television is the best format for character arcs, as it enables this journey to spread out over several seasons (as opposed to around two hours in film). Here are 10 of the greatest character arcs that have graced our television screens, with not all of these characters becoming better people by the end.
10. Ben Linus – Lost
The character development in Lost is often overlooked due to the sci-fi elements and the mystery behind the show. It is a show that was not without its flaws, but it featured some fantastic characters who go through some major inner journeys over the six seasons. Arguably the greatest character arc was that of Ben Linus. He begins as an antagonist in the second and third season as he was the leader of the Others, and he is the master of manipulation. After his allies are destroyed, he becomes involved with the survivors and is an uneasy ally to them, although his motives remained unclear (this is what kept it intriguing). His flaws and deep insecurities were soon revealed, and by the final season he has gone from being the puppeteer to the puppet, and manipulated by many of the people that he once controlled.