Is it possible to turn a seemingly evil woman who is also obnoxious into the protagonist main love interest? I was thinking about a story where there's this woman and she is extremely obnoxious and seemingly evil like Harley Queen from Batman, but I can't seem to find a way to make her likeable and turn her into a sort of perfect woman and the main character's main love interest. Is this even possible, or it's one of those things that will turn off a lot of readers like a Deux-Ex Machina?

  • 1
    Why do you want to turn an obnoxious, evil character into the protagonist's love interest in the first place?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 15:12
  • If she has enough redeeming qualities, sure. "Seemingly evil" means not actually evil, so there's room for redemption there. And obnoxiousness is a character trait she could grow out of with time (and possibly help from the protagonist). Have you ever seen anime (or read manga) with a tsundere character? They can be pretty obnoxious, to start with.
    – user54131
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 15:44
  • "turn her into a sort of perfect woman" there are a lot of things wrong with this phrase, enough so that I'm willing to -1 the entire question because of it Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 16:39
  • "turn her into a sort of perfect woman" - are you looking to do a [Heel–Face Turn ](tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeelFaceTurn) (TV Tropes warning)?
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 16:45
  • Maybe she really is evil and obnoxious, and the protagonist is simply unlucky in love or has very poor judgement or for some other reason is attracted to her anyway? Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


I think it is possible, and in fact I've seen it done: I highly recommend the series "Killing Eve." (In fact the series finale is on tonight).

In this series, a woman named Villanelle is a sociopathic assassin for a criminal organization. At the beginning, Eve is an investigator, Villanelle is assigned to kill her. Well, Villanelle is truly evil, she portrays sociopathy pretty accurately, and she falls in love with Eve, and eventually becomes Eve's love interest. All the while, Villanelle is killing innocent people in nearly every episode.

It's pretty weird, but it is well written and makes sense and I have found it very entertaining.

Part of the believability is Villanelle's emotions, she is not cold, and definitely not robotically evil. She feels hurt, disobeys orders, kills people "off-book" for insulting her. She gets hurt and feels betrayed. She sometimes kills assholes just because it is the right thing to do. She goes to try and make up with her abusive mother, and ends up killing her mother and burning the house down.

Her emotions make her an interesting character. Sometimes she is killing just because it is her job and she doesn't question it. Other times she is killing out of anger or her hurt feelings or just on her own personal quest for information. You start to feel sympathy for her, once you get used to the idea that she can kill without compunction, and is very good at it.

  • That sounds like an interesting TV show. And fortunately I'm impervious to spoilers, so you haven't just ruined several plot lines for me :p
    – user54131
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 16:29
  • @towr Sorry, this is a writing forum; people learning to write plots and such. Spoilers are to be expected in such lessons. I'm not suggesting watching "Killing Eve" for the purpose of entertainment; but to observe the techniques the writers use to make Villanelle a credible romantic interest despite her evil. Much the same reason professional stand-up comics may not be laughing at the good jokes at a competitor's show. It is not out of jealousy or resentment, but because they are in an analytic frame of mind, figuring out timing, expressions and wording tricks that make the jokes "work".
    – Amadeus
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 10:49
  • Eh, well, I just thought I mention it because last time I posted an answer with character deaths in decades-old movies, some people complained about spoilers. And Killing Eve is a lot more recent.
    – user54131
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 11:02
  • @towr My sympathies; they did not understand the purpose of this forum.
    – Amadeus
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 11:29

If the woman is openly evil and obnoxious, if she does not gossip or scheme. If she ends up behaving in an anti-conformist manner unintentionally. Then she might inspire some sort of trill of confusion or rebellion that drags the protagonist far from his usual world. In that case I would add to the woman character a bit of sarcasm.

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