When Teen Wolf first aired in 2011, Stiles became an instant fan-favorite. Who knew he’d end up being so much more than just comic relief?

It’s easy to peg Stiles Stilinski as the sidekick to main character and all around hero Scott McCall. Stiles is, after all, human and doesn’t get to have cool superpowers or run around leading a pack of his own. But over the course of six seasons, Stiles has grown into a complex and integral character.

Related: For the love of Derek Hale: Why we adore ‘Teen Wolf’s’ resident sourwolf

Meeting Stiles Stilinski

Our initial introduction to Stiles saw him hanging upside down from the roof, attempting to convince his best friend to look for a dead body. Season 1 saw him begin as an instigator, but he quickly became Scott’s sole support system. He knew right from day one that Scott was a werewolf, and even though it was new territory for both of them, Stiles did everything in his power to make sure Scott didn’t do anything he would regret.

Teen Wolf Stiles Stilinski season 1

In season 1, Stiles’ other main story included his attraction to the out-of-his-league popular girl Lydia Martin. What at first seemed like just a crush was revealed to be much deeper, with Stiles seeing past the facade and the walls Lydia built and finally showing his true feelings for her.

But with Lydia in the hospital at the end of season 1, we had no idea where their tentative relationship would go. Season 2 brought us a more determined and investigative Stiles Stilinski. He was still as funny as he had ever been, but he was now diving deeper into the mysteries of Beacon Hills.

Related: For the love of Lydia Martin: Why Teen Wolf’s banshee is so badass

Not only was he continuing to grow closer to Lydia, but Stiles vehemently protected her when Derek and his pack thought she may be the Kanima. Stiles was much more central to the plot in season 2, having ended up kidnapped and beaten by the finale’s end. Though he felt helpless as several of his superhuman friends fought their own battles, Stiles had still been an important key to discovering and finally stopping the Kanima and its master.

Teen Wolf Stiles Stilinski season 2

The first episode of Teen Wolf season 3 ended in tragedy for Stiles, though he did not know that right away. His childhood friend was taken and sacrificially murdered, launching Stiles’ obsession with the mystery of the Darach. More like his father every day, Stiles wouldn’t rest until he figured out the cause of all the deaths in Beacon Hills.

Worried that he’d be at the center of the sacrifices himself, it’s a shock when his father is taken by the Darach. Stiles and his friends make the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect their families, knowing full well that their temporary deaths will have lasting consequences. Fortunately, with nothing more than his trademark bat, Stiles saves the guardians and helps them to escape the Darach’s clutches.

Teen Wolf Stiles Stilinski season 3A

Season 3B is without a doubt Stiles’ season. His sacrifice during season 3A resulted in a change within him that let in a dark entity. It wasn’t until a few episodes into season 3B that we got confirmation of Stiles’ nogitsune possession, but once it was revealed, it was no holds barred from then on.

This half of the season allowed Dylan O’Brien to show off his acting skills on so many levels. Most poignant, however, was his portrayal of Void Stiles, a version of the character that had no connection with or feelings for his loved ones. This was most obvious in his relationship with Scott, where Stiles stabbed his best friend with a sword and, ultimately, called forth the demons that ended Scott’s first love’s life.

Teen Wolf Stiles Stilinski season 3B

Throughout this entire season, it became harder and harder to remember that Stiles used to be the fun-loving, carefree, rebellious boy we fell in love with in season 1. Season 3’s depiction of the younger Stilinski was not unwelcome, but rather reminded us how much this character has already lived through. Losing his mother, constant worry for his father, panic attacks, and friends in jeopardy on a daily basis are not easy to deal with. It’s a small miracle Stiles still has the ability to laugh and make others share in his humor.

Related: For the love of Scott McCall: Why Teen Wolf’s hero is so unique

Season 4 was, thank goodness, a positive departure from the darkness that was season 3. While he and his friends were still reeling from Allison’s death, Stiles also does his best to work with Malia and incorporate her into society and his circle of friends. Their connection was immediate, but genuine, and her presence has helped to counteract some of the melancholy that has crept into his life.

Season 4 also centered around another large mystery. This time, it was the identity of the Benefactor. Working with Lydia, Stiles helped to solve the puzzle, while also aiding his best friend in coming to terms with his role as an Alpha and now having his own Beta. Throughout it all, Stiles balanced life concerns like financial hardship with supernatural problems such as new creatures in Beacon Hills — and he did it all with his trademark wit and humor.

Teen Wolf Stiles Stilinski season 4

Stiles Stilinski’s ending

If you thought the pain and hardship was over for Stiles, then season 5 must have come as a shock. Though it was an accident, Stiles did end up killing Donovan and decided to keep it a secret from his best friend. Scott and Stiles’ relationship was on a rocky road for some time, but the two found their way back to each other, as we knew they would, by the time they needed to take down the Dread Doctors.

Stiles struggles with his darkness, especially in the middle of Teen Wolf’s six season run, but he continues to fight against that in order to stand by his friends and protect his hometown. Season 6 was about Stiles’ absence more than his presence, thanks to the fact that he was kidnapped by the Ghost Riders, but the impact he’s made on this show and on this friends was as clear as ever.

Fans of this character were pleased that he decided to become an FBI agent, and though this took him away from Beacon Hills for some time, in the end, he showed up exactly when he was needed. In fact, he was an integral part of taking down the Anuk-Ite, and it was a perfect ending seeing him with Lydia, Scott, and his other friends as they walked off into the night during the Teen Wolf season 6 finale.

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