I was reading this blog entry, and it got me thinking about character development/progression, and more to the point some of my favourite characters and how they change over time.
If you don't want Harry Potter/Angel/Wheel of Time spoilers, don't read on!!
The first character, who was mentioned in the blog entry above, is Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. He starts out as completely clumsy and dorky, and turns into a bit of a warrior by the end. Of course, by the very end he's a teacher at Hogwarts and a little more low key. But I just love how he goes from clumsy dork to bad-ass DA soldier.
The second has a similar progression I suppose (maybe I've got a thing for dorks turned deadly machines? Haha). It's Wesley from the Angel TV series. He starts out as a complete and utter dork, far more so than Neville mentioned above, and turns into a bitter and twisted (not to mention scarred and totally buff) hardened warrior over the years. This is probably my favourite character progression.
The third character I can think of off the top of my head is Rand al'Thor from the Wheel of Time series, and I guess the way he changes isn't so much sexy and kick-arse as...sad, depressing, and a little scary. He goes from a lovely, warm and caring farmboy to a deadened, ice-cold machine who doesn't have time to cry over dead friends. I haven't read the entire WoT series yet, naturally since the last book isn't out yet, and I'm only in the middle of book 11, so I can't say how he turns out in the end. But time will tell, and at present it's looking pretty bleak.
I can't think of any characters of mine that undergo such dramatic changes, but it's something worth thinking about.