Annalise Keating (née Harkness, born Anna Mae) is a fictional character created in 2014 by Peter Nowalk. It was developed for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) legal drama mystery television series How to Get Away with Murder. Keating is a high-profile Philadelphia-based defense attorney and law professor at the fictional Middleton University.
Early in the series, Annalise was reported as a self-sufficient and confident woman. She seemed to have a perfect life and was respected for being a great lawyer and a great law professor, whom her students both fear and admire. Her emotional behavior has been changing according to the occurrence of the story events. After being involved in the murder plot with four of her students, Annalise became a woman with two faces; one of them, a strong woman, was publicly displayed, while the other, a sentimental and destroyed human being, was shown to Nate, her lover.
Keating was the wife of the psychologist Sam Keating (Tom Verica). Their relationship lasted for 20 years, until Annalise later found out that he was cheating on her with a college student, Lila Stangard, whose murder was the center of the murder investigation in season one. Despite the affair, Annalise stayed with Sam until the day he almost attacked her. The two fought and she left. Later that night, Sam was found dead. Although she was suspected, Annalise didn't murder him; the real guilty party was Wesley Gibbins (Alfred Enoch), one of Annalise's students and her most intimate ally.
While Sam was cheating on Annalise with Lila, Annalise was cheating on Sam with the detective Nate Lahey (Billy Brown). Annalise and him were intimate and had a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Nate's wife, Nia, was hospitalized with stage 4 cancer. Nia was aware of Nate's relationship with Annalise. When Nia dies, in the second season, Nate gets angry and breaks up with Annalise, stating that he didn't had enough time to take care of Nia because Annalise framed him for Sam's murder.
In the past, before the series' chronology, Annalise had a relationship with Eve Rothlo (Famke Janssen). Annalise left her home and changed her name—from Anna Mae to Annalise— and later met Eve. They were friends before becoming lovers. They broke up and Annalise later married Sam. Years later, Annalise calls Eve asking for help to defend Nate. During the second season, the two have several romantic moments, but Annalise remains involved with Nate.
Rivalries and friendships
Due to her profession, Annalise is hated by many people. However, the prosecutor Emily Sinclair (Sarah Burns) has a feud with Annalise, even for no reason—Sinclair sometimes says that she wants to take her down.