In the middle of my epic, the deutertagonist's love interest gets brutally killed off and she is forced to watch. For the third quarter of the story, she is trying to deal with the pain and trauma.
The story continues, but her character changes a lot. Examples:
- At first, when she is rescued and wakes up, she is in denial, claiming it was all a dream. Once snapping out of it, she just breaks down completely.
- She behaves and acts more edgy.
- She acts more aggressive and violent when somebody tries to bother or harass her (at one point, she almost kills someone.)
- She shows little to no interest in any activity.
- She tries to do multiple things to try and remove the pain (drugs, alcohol, sex with others, etc.)
- Throughout the story, she jokes around a lot, and is a bit sarcastic. After the tragedy, she will still joke, but her jokes are way darker, and many times insensitive.
- Her playstyle is rather more brutal, killing opponents who beg for mercy and completely looting them with no respect.
Eventually, she gets another love interest (who was already pre-established as a character,) but some trauma sticks on her, making her slightly overprotective.
In the end though, how could I write her so she is tragic and you feel sympathy for her, rather than the typical unbearable jerk the audience/player hates?
Bonus: If there is really no way, then how could I at least make her edgy persona entertaining and liked at least?