There is a limitless variety of protagonist-antagonist interactions in all forms of media, whether it’s TV, film, comics, video games, and so on. While these two roles are often opposing forces that tend to balance each other out, there are occasions when heroes and villains share a lot more than hatred for each other.
They can be family members (Jack Morton and Edward Coventry in The Order), enemies-turned-friends (Michael and Eleanor in The Good Place), or even indulge in some romance at times. Interestingly, it’s almost never the case that antagonists actively seduce protagonists when it comes to love — it’s usually the latter’s decision.
10 Daybreak — Josh Wheeler & Samaira Dean
Josh Wheeler’s self-prescribed role in the post-apocalypse world revolves around rescuing his crush, Samaira Dean, from the horde of adult zombies currently populating the streets. He pretends to be beyond emotional pain, but he clearly exhibits signs of insecurity and a surprisingly low level of self-esteem for how bubbly he acts most of the time.
Sam is very different from Josh, and while their relationship is initially filled with moments of genuine affection, her final decision to sit on the “throne” makes it even less clear what her goals are.
9 The Witcher — Geralt Of Rivia & Yennefer Of Vengerberg
Yennefer isn’t a traditional antagonist — fans sometimes refer to her as an anti-hero — but the way she acts underscores a general lack of empathy for others. That said, her horribly painful childhood should be taken into account before judging her.
Geralt’s love for Yennefer forces him to take drastic steps to ensure her well-being, but the situation with the djinn drives a deep wedge between them. Regardless, the relationship between these two characters can be described as on-again, off-again.
8 Buffy The Vampire Slayer — Buffy Summers & Spike
Buffy’s first love, Angel, is a few hundred years older than her, but the show glibly glosses over that fact (and when he reveals that he had feelings for her when she was barely 15).
In any case, Buffy’s first real romance with a villain happens with Spike, whose desperate attempts to get her attention result in nothing for a long time. They hook up with each other in the middle of a fight, before proceeding to develop a bizarre relationship that isn’t healthy for either of them.
7 Westworld — Dolores Abernathy & William
Sweet, gentle William is not the vicious monster he later becomes, and it is important to remember that Dolores falls in love with him, not the Man in Black.
However, it’s possible that William’s innate tendencies would have inevitably exposed themselves if his budding romance isn’t crushed by the algorithmic scripts that control Westworld. Ironically, Dolores later turns into something of a villain herself, causing far more harm than the Man in Black ever could.
6 Good Girls — Beth Boland & Rio
The sexual tension between Beth and Rio is painfully clear to most people who see them interact — batting eyelashes, snide grins, threats of mutually assured destruction, all of which seek to mask their urges for each other.
The ethics of such a relationship aside, it doesn’t seem possible to stop these two from going for it, anyway. Unfortunately, Beth continues her marriage with Dean while she has ambiguous flings with Rio, suggesting that neither of them knows how to build the atmosphere of trust that’s essential to all relationships.
5 Sherlock — Sherlock Holmes & Irene Adler
Sherlock’s fascination for Irene Adler spills over into realms beyond his understanding; what he cannot perceive is that his inability to “cold read” her is a symptom of his emotional state. He has almost always been in control, which is why her presence so effortlessly shatters the imperturbable facade that he shields his heart with.
While John Watson and Mycroft Holmes erroneously assume that Sherlock’s feelings for Irene are closer to respect than passion, Eurus picks up on it with nothing more than a pair of notes on the violin.
4 Frasier — Niles & Maris Crane
Niles and Maris (a completely invisible character) have been married for years before the series begins, but her fickleness and his roving eye don’t bode well for their future together. While both of them make serious lapses in judgment, it is she who turns out to be horribly vindictive when Niles wants to divorce her.
Maris is a classic villain — cold, apathetic, self-serving; Frasier claims that she’s “like the sun, except without the warmth.” Unfortunately for Niles, she’s not the last antagonist he gets entangled with.
3 Game Of Thrones — Jon Snow & Daenerys Targaryen
The inevitability of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s meeting vaguely indicates that their emergent relationship would be steeped in romance.
Regardless of their biological connection (House Targaryen doesn’t frown on incest but celebrates it), it would have been great to see how the pair would have ruled Westeros had things not gone completely awry. Jon is forced to become the ultimate hero by making the ultimate sacrifice: he kills the only villain left in the show.
2 Killing Eve — Eve Polastri & Villanelle
Eve’s morbid fascination for the capriciousness of Villanelle’s crime sprees transforms into what can only be described as a fiery mixture of true love and pure hatred.
The villain herself returns a quota of these feelings, although her methods of expression are quite disturbing. The present status of Eve and Villanelle’s “affair” is as nebulous as ever, but it seems likely that these two characters will take it further from Season 4. How far will they go, though?
1 Brooklyn Nine-Nine — Jake Peralta & Doug Judy
There is no other word to categorize the passion Jake has for his nemesis, Doug Judy, than infatuation. It’s also true that they are also intimate friends (or at least become so after Judy gets tired of/bored with constantly betraying Jake.)
However, the fact that the Pontiac Bandit leads the cop on long and complicated chases is no different from leading him on for no reason. It can be effectively argued that Jake’s affection for Judy increases every time they meet each other.
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