Teen Wolf‘s Lydia Martin has gone from Mean Girl to superhero over the course of six seasons, and we’re here to celebrate every triumphant moment.
About ‘Teen Wolf’
MTV’s Teen Wolf is loosely based on the 1985 film of the same name. In this version, however, Scott McCall is typical high school student in Beacon Hills. He doesn’t become the Teen Wolf until he is bitten by an alpha werewolf. During the first season of the show, Scott (played by Tyler Posey) has to learn how to handle his new found powers and how they affect his life.
With his new powers, of course comes new danger. He must learn how to keep his new identity as a werewolf a secret so that werewolf hunters don’t find him. As well as the dangers that come from other werewolves and supernatural creatures.
At first, Lydia Martin is mostly important to the plot of the show because she is best friends with Scott’s love interest. While she herself is Stiles’ love interest – but in more of a pining way. However, she becomes much more integral to the plot as we learn more about her.
Meeting Lydia Martin
When Lydia Martin was introduced in Teen Wolf season 1, she was your typical high school prom queen candidate. Lydia was popular, beautiful, and she was dating the star athlete. On the surface, it seemed as though there wasn’t much to Ms. Martin, other than to be the unreachable crush for fan-favorite character Stiles Stilinski.
But boy were we wrong.
As we progressed through season 1 of the show, we quickly learned that Lydia was hiding an amazing secret — she was a bonafide genius. Her IQ was through the roof, and that “dumb” exterior was just a front to hide her incredible intellect.
When the gang needed her most, we saw Lydia come into her own and embrace her intelligence. This was especially true in season 1, episode 7, “Night School,” when she made the Molotov cocktails using chemicals found in the chemistry lab. During the finale, this is what finally ended up stopping Peter.
Unfortunately, Lydia wasn’t present to witness all of this, as she was in the hospital after Peter bit her, and we had to wait until season 2 to know her fate.
Teen Wolf season 2 brought us a whole different Lydia Martin, and that’s where this show truly deserves its accolades. Lydia could’ve stayed the popular mean girl, but she finally started to embrace who she really was, even as something mysterious began brewing inside of her.
During season 2, Lydia tried to maintain her previous persona, but it was clear that she’d already begun to change in more ways than one. This season was very much centered around Lydia as she struggled with hallucinations of Peter, which eventually led to her unknowingly bring him back.
Lydia’s mental stability is called into question, but on the outside she never loses her cool. She’s still the sassy Lydia Martin we grew to eventually love in season 1, and yet there’s suddenly a deeper, more conflicted version of her rising to the surface. It’s this dichotomy that makes her so real and likable.
Throughout season 2, we wondered if Lydia could perhaps be the Kanima. If she was, what did that mean for her future on the show, and what did that mean for her relationships with her friends? While it turned out that Jackson was actually the Kanima, we certainly knew that something else was happening with Lydia. She was no longer just the popular girl, or just the main love interest’s best friend. Lydia was something else, just like Scott.
Related: For the love of Scott McCall: Why Teen Wolf‘s hero is so unique
Season 3 is when Lydia blossomed as a character. Not only was she finally officially part of the gang, but Lydia grew closer with each of her friends as a result. With Jackson’s departure to London, Lydia started working more closely with Stiles, and the two became much closer. The Lydia of season 1 would’ve scoffed at that idea.
Season 3A brought us a variety of new characters, and plenty of reveals about the characters we’d already grown to love. Lydia continued to struggle with her growing powers, which were just as confusing and mysterious as ever, while at the same time trying her best to help her friends fight something they had never seen before.
Leading up to the finale, Jennifer Blake attacked Lydia, and while season 1 or 2 Lydia may have covered it up and pretended nothing was wrong, season 3 Lydia proudly wore her marks as a sign of strength and survival. This Lydia was no longer looking at just the surface of herself or other people, but appreciating what was beneath the skin and how that translated into the type of person they were.
This was also the season Lydia found out she was a Banshee, cementing her as not only one of Scott’s pack members, but also one of the supernatural creatures that has chosen to defend Beacon Hills and its inhabitants.
Season 3B saw Lydia putting her powers to the test, though she still did not have a strong handle on them. During this part of the season, she was constantly haunted by the deaths she could feel but never stop in time. This came to a crucial climax when it was her own best friend that died, and Lydia could do nothing about it. The Lydia of years past was certainly not an unemotional robot, but the raw pain we see in the penultimate episode of this season shows us how deeply she feels for those around her.
Season 4 was a difficult time for all of the characters, and while Allison’s death wasn’t at the forefront of the plot, it was always lurking in the background, and Scott and Lydia were perhaps the two characters that felt Allison’s absence the most.
Lydia certainly still hid behind her witty comebacks and her sarcasm, but we saw a more mellowed out and grounded version of Lydia than we had ever seen before. No longer were boys constantly on her mind. Rather, she was concerned for the lives of her friends, as well as finally figuring out what it meant to be a banshee. She went to great lengths for the answers, and by the end of season 4, she learned about her family’s history and why she had innate supernatural powers.
Lydia ended up spending much of her time in Eichen House in season 5, and while this was unfortunate for both the character and her fans, it did allow her to explore more of her Banshee powers. Meredith Walker is a huge reason why Lydia came into her own this season and thanks to her developments, she helped bring down the Beast of Gevaudan.
Lydia Martin’s ending
In season 6, we saw Stiles taken by the Ghost Riders, and while he was certainly missed as Teen Wolf wrapped up its final adventure, Lydia was one of the many reasons why he wasn’t forgotten. The Stydia love story was a long-time coming, and for fans of this pairing, it was the perfect ending to see them together again.
Though we didn’t get much of Stiles in the back half of the season either, Lydia continued to be a fully developed character all on her own. When the Anuk-Ite attacked, it was Lydia’s powers that continuously led the pack in the right direction. It was also Lydia who figured out how to save Scott’s eyes in the finale.
Seeing her and the others walk off into the night together was the perfect ending for one of the best characters on Teen Wolf.
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