Robbie: (walking up stairs) Oh my God! So many stairs! I’d like to find whoever invented the stairs, and push him down these stairs, just to show him how stupid stairs are! Then his legs will be broken, and he will no longer be able to climb the stairs any more! It’ll be ironic, and then his wife will leave him and go be with the man who invented the elevator, because everyone knows that elevators are much sexier than stairs, and oh my God, I’m not even close to being at the top yet! Why are there so many stairs?!?
I always find it funny when people don’t like a character because he or she doesn’t do the right thing, or they should have done something else that wouldn’t cause pain to the protagonist. If all characters always did the right thing there would be no story. Period. And for some characters, they would have no redemption arc if they didn’t start from a place of negativity.
Today’s case in point: Laura Moon from American Gods.
In life, Laura is a deeply unhappy woman who generally feels nothing all the time. She exists. She does things to try to feel anything—huffs bug spray, marries Shadow, sleeps with Robbie, tries to rob the casino where she works. Every awful and good thing she does is to feel something. Anything. Should she have done those super shitty things? Nope. And she knows this. She cops to it, even. It isn’t until she dies and comes back that she finally has the chance to live and to love in an extraordinary way that makes her feel something and she does everything in her power to pursue it. Her journey from there on out is to atone for her first life, to make amends with Shadow because she actually does love him, and now she feels it. She feels so intensely, it makes her strong. Crazy, physically, strong. Strong enough to save Shadow, which she couldn’t have done before.
We aren’t really supposed to like her in the beginning. If we did, the rest of her story would be flat, and her relationship with Shadow would be clichéd and we’d all be yawning.