4 Kdrama Heroines Who Deserved Better Heroes

There are few things as disappointing to me as awesome heroines paired with lackluster heroes.  Why would I root for a wonderful woman to end up with someone mediocre (or downright awful)? Here are four kdrama heroines who deserved better heroes (and what I wish would happen after the last episode):


#1 – Cha Eun-sang from Heirs

Poor Eun-sang had to deal with two boys who just did not care about what she really wanted and used their power, wealth, and privilege to harass her constantly. The second lead finally backed off at the eleventh hour with the hint he may have learned something from all the torment he put her through; the hero’s happy ending was envisioning her locked up in his bedroom, just waiting for him to tell her she could come out and have fun with their friends.

My headcanon: Eun-sang goes to college while her boyfriend is in the army, figures out what she really wants, and dumps him while he’s on leave.


chun-song-yi#2 – Chun Song-yi from You Who Came From the Stars

Personality-wise, Song-yi is one of my favorite heroines. She was hilarious, in practically every circumstance, and when it came to love, she went in with all her heart. Unfortunately, her hero revealed himself to be a gaslighting jerk enamored with his own mainpain, who for some reason couldn’t spit out the words hey, just so you know, that guy you’re pretty close to is actually a murderer who wants you dead.

My headcanon: After the bliss of their deus ex machina reunion wears off, Song-yi realizes that her boyfriend won’t ever talk to her about important things unless he can’t keep it a secret anymore and dumps him.


shin-joo-yeon#3 – Shin Joo-yeon from I Need Romance 3

Joo-yeon’s home was invaded by a former-childhood-friend-now-grown-up-stranger who was obsessed with her. He could have stayed in a hotel or did a short-term rental–he was wealthy enough–but no, he had to be in her space because he “loved” her so much. In the end, his persistence is rewarded with her affection, because apparently you can make a woman fall in love with you by stomping all over boundaries and gaslighting her about her feelings.

My headcanon: After about a year, Joo-yeon wakes up and realizes that she needs something more than first dibs to sustain a relationship and moves out of that house so her mother can’t force her to undergo round two of exposure romance.


secret-garden#4 – Gil Ra-im from Secret Garden

Ra-im was another unfortunate instance of a heroine being browbeaten into love by yet another rich hero who felt he was entitled to her simply because he was attracted to her and wasn’t used to hearing “no.”  He steadily sucked all the spunk out of her character and did very little to shield her from his mother’s wrath (and occasionally joined in on the low assessments of her worth).

My headcanon: Ra-im files for divorce after her children return from a visit to grandma’s and repeat the horribly cruel things her mother-in-law is saying about her and her husband refuses to stand up for her (again).


What other heroines do you think deserve to be on this list? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “4 Kdrama Heroines Who Deserved Better Heroes

  1. Julia Kr says:

    gaslighting jerk enamored with his own mainpain, who for some reason couldn’t spit out the words – it’s true that there was a lot of noble idiocy from Do Min Joo that drove me batty but I could understand, sort of, where it was coming from. Anyway, I’m not here to defend his character, we can all have our differing opinions but I’m actually just surprised by such a harsh statement against him, I haven’t seen that in kdrama webverse much.

    But I totally agree with your on Heirs and Secret Garden. I’m still shocked by the popularity of those two dramas and how the show romanticized the manipulative, abusive ways in which the heroes treated the heroine. I don’t think I’ve seen a drama worse than Heirs, period.

    • Audrey says:

      For me, Min-joo was a perfect storm of pet-peeves, which is why I am not kind to him. Song-yi thought she was having hallucinations/was doubting what she was seeing/her memories–it was drastically affecting her mental health, and Min-joo kept gaslighting her about it even though he knew how it was affecting her. And he knew 100% that her childhood friend/neighbor/whatever-he-was was targeting her and said absolutely nothing about it until he was forced to. Noble idiocy is a terrible trope when it comes to someone’s physical safety. If she doesn’t know she is in danger, she cannot protect herself, and Min-joo’s own powers were failing (and so was his ability to protect her). He risked leaving her fatally ignorant and vulnerable for no good reason. What makes it worse for me is that I really did enjoy them at the start–until Min-joo started in on all of the above. (That felt like a huge betrayal of their budding relationship and was a major frustration of mine.) Instead he chose to center everything on himself and his feelings, almost at the expense of Song-yi’s life. So…yeah, I don’t have a very high opinion of the character.

      I’m surprised at how popular Heirs and Secret Garden are–Heirs is almost always in DF’s weekly top ten watched shows, and even kdrama newbies still cite Secret Garden as one of their firsts. There are so many better shows out there! (Says the person who has written over 80,000 words of fix-it-fic for Heirs…)

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