Grey’s Anatomy fans have watched Meredith’s struggles and triumphs for so long, they may not realize just how much she has changed.
Meredith Grey from the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy has become one of the most iconic television characters for over a decade and a half.
Grey’s has had an overwhelming spate of ups and downs throughout its run, but it was its central character Meredith who changed the most over the course of the series. Having started out as a slightly superficial young woman, she went on to become a powerhouse of strength and a brilliant surgeon.
10 Season 1 & 2: Lost & A Tad Whiny
Meredith was first introduced as an attractive young woman just starting out as an intern at Seattle Grace Teaching Hospital. She was a bit green and lost and wasn’t entirely sure she had made the right decision with regard to her profession.
She was also a tad whiny, and very selective about the kind of roommates she wanted, being rather obstinate, even to the point of being annoying. She was clearly smitten with McDreamy and had every right to be angry when she found out about his wife, Addison Montgomery-Shepherd, but she lacked the gravity at the time to deal with it more maturely.
9 Season 3 & 4: Struggling On
Meredith got together with Derek Shepherd and continued to make small strides in her career as she went from being a surgical intern to a resident at the hospital. Her attachment with Cristina gradually grew stronger going on to become something of a legendary friendship on popular television.
Meredith overcomes her mother’s death at this time and settles into her life as a budding surgeon and as the impressive neurosurgeon’s girlfriend.
8 Season 5 & 6: A Wedding & A Traumatic Incident
In season 5, Meredith takes a big step when she decides to marry Derek, and true to their style, the two write their marriage vows down on a post-it. The unpretentious wedding speaks to the couple’s modest philosophy of life, in spite of Derek being quite well-off himself.
Fans might remember that season 6 ended with Derek being shot and operated on, at gunpoint, by Cristina Yang. Meredith had a major trauma at the time as she saw her husband being almost killed and lost her baby at the same time. In hindsight, this might have been the season she grew up in.
7 Season 7 & 8: Crucial Choices
In seasons 7 and 8, Meredith made some crucial choices in her life, when she decided to risk her career and reputation as well as that of Derek’s by disrupting the Alzheimer’s trial. However, debatable as the step was, it came from a place of deep loyalty and fondness for Richard, the only father figure in Meredith’s life.
Meredith and Derek also decided to adopt baby Zola, which was a huge step for them both. This was the time that Meredith went on to take on bigger responsibilities,
6 Season 9: Stronger Through Disaster
Season 8 had ended with the devastating plane crash that caused the death of Meredith’s young sister Lexie and Dr. Mark Sloan.
The disaster was one of the biggest tragedies Meredith had seen in her life and she had seen more than her fair share. She pulled it together slowly and managed to turn her life around after the incident, becoming one of the owners of Seattle Grace which then went on to be known as Grey Sloan Memorial, in honor of those who had died in the tragedy. She also had her first baby in this season in complete darkness and managed to pull through despite having a complicated birth.
5 Season 10: Moving On
The tragedy of season 9 had made Meredith stronger somehow and with a heavy heart, she managed to let Cristina go when the latter decided to take a prestigious job in Switzerland.
It would have taken a lot of strength for Meredith to come to terms with losing her best friend, her ‘person’ who had been by her side through thick and thin.
4 Season 11: A Life-stopping Event
Season 11 was the most devastating to date for Meredith Grey. Not only did she start having difficulties in her marriage with Derek, and take the decision to stay back in Seattle where she had her own life and career, she lost Derek after he died in a car accident.
Another episode in her life when Meredith found herself all alone, in spite of having friends who looked out for her, the widowed mother of two gave birth to Derek’s posthumous baby alone. Time stopped for her until she had found the motivation to come back to her old life. With that one incident, Meredith grew a few years in age and maturity.
3 Season 12: Mature & Forgiving
Meredith went on to struggle with life, now as a single mother of three. She also showed extraordinary power when she was able to forgive the woman, Penny, whom she held somewhat responsible for mishandling her husband’s treatment.
She threw herself into work, now one of the most reliable and top surgeons in the hospital. Every trauma from her past had made her stronger and more mature in life and as a person.
2 Season 13 & 14: Big Achievements
Meredith went on to win the prestigious Harper Avery award, an award her mother Ellis Grey had won twice.
Meredith also tried to move on after Derek’s death, finally allowing herself to date other men, whether the dashing new surgeon Nathan Riggs or the handsome new surgical intern Andrew DeLuca.
1 Season 15 & 16: Life Goes On
By season 15 and 16, Meredith has had some of the most amazing surgeries to her credit and had probably saved more lives than she could remember.
Her years of hard work were also validated when all her past patients came to speak up on her behalf during the trial to reinstate her medical license in season 16. Meredith grew steadily more strong and independent over the years, although she still retained her impulsive behavior, when she decided to commit insurance fraud to make life easier for one of her patients, leading to her license being revoked in the first place.
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