I love strong female characters. And since it’s women’s history month, I thought a blog about some of my favorite badass female characters in TV, movies and literature and why they rock, would be fun. So here it goes!
Hermione Granger, the Harry Potter series (books and movies)
Let’s see, she’s smart and seriously powerful. While Harry and Ron are turning frogs into splats of green goo, she’s making them fly. Admittedly, I don’t love the treatment of her in the first two books so far (I’m only on book two) and I never appreciated how oftentimes in the movies her nagging overpowered her power. (She is by far the smartest and best wizard at Hogwarts, not to mention reasonable, reliable, studious, devoted and numerous other positive traits and yet she’s often treated like she’s an annoying, shrill nuisance.) I think most people saw the badass girl behind all of that because she’s a pretty beloved character.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy (books and movies)
I’m going to make a confession. I’ve never read The Hunger Games. At the time the books came out, the thought of reading about kids killing each other was more than I could handle. Then I saw the movies and I generally find the movies can ruin the books if you go backwards. So I just haven’t read them. That said, Katniss is a badass female character whose strength comes from her bow and arrow skills and her ability to inspire others to resist and fight back. Maybe I should rethink reading the series…
Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars (TV show)
Ms. Mars may not have super powers or wield some sort of pointy object, but she knows how to use a camera and her brain. (And she’s pretty handy with a taser too.) This teen private eyes’ strength comes from her smarts and her resolve. I think that’s pretty badass. Plus, her snarky comebacks are epic. (Marshmallows of the world, can we inundate Rob Thomas with pleas for another movie please??? I’ve read the books that came out after the movie and while fun, they just aren’t as satisfying as seeing Veronica Mars in action on the big screen! I’ll take the little screen too.)
Bonnie Bennett, The Vampire Diaries (TV show)
As I write this, I am shedding a metaphorical tear for the end of one of my favorite TV shows. (Series finale of TVD just aired!) In the show, Bonnie had many powerful roles, including super strong witch, supernatural huntress, anchor to the “other side” (aka where all the dead people hung out) and psychic who turned hell backward on itself and destroyed it. She also pretty much saved (or brought back from the dead) everyone on the show and the town of Mystic Falls on numerous occasions. Essentially, all of the characters would have died (for good) if not for Bonnie. They really should thank her. Of course it should be noted that Bonnie’s character is loosely based on a character in the books of the same first name (different last names and family histories). While the book character and her story arc are interesting, I think the Bonnie of the TV show is the real badass.
Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones (books and TV show)
A “high born” woman in a medieval-type land where women wear dresses who turns away from her family to be a knight? Yes please! She’s unconventional in the best way, loyal and just plain good in a world that, let’s face it, isn’t so fun for women and makes some of even the most honorable characters compromise their moral integrity. She’s truly a character that girls and women can use for inspiration.
Michonne, The Walking Dead (Comic Book & TV show)
Admittedly I don’t watch The Walking Dead and I’ve never read the comic. (As I’ve established previously I really do not like zombies). However, my husband is a huge fan and will talk to me about the show. I also find myself reading recaps of it online or looking up plot lines in the comics. It’s almost like a morbid curiosity. Perhaps this is how Michonne’s badass notoriety transcended my aversion. With her Japanese sword wielding, zombie dominating ways, she’s a fan favorite for a reason. Michonne was voted #86 on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.
Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show and comic books)
Given it is the 20th anniversary of the iconic show and people are still talking about it’s greatness, I don’t think it’s hard to understand why Buffy is on this list. The graveyard patrolling vampire destroyer vanquished the Vampire “Master,” a God, a Mayor that turned into a giant snake thing, a weird military Frankenstein monster, the First Evil and saved Sunnydale so many times I lost count somewhere in season 1. All with a little help from her friends. (Seriously, why did anyone live in that town?) She’s strong both in body and spirit, but also has a vulnerable side that makes her relatable, which is probably why she’s still a beloved character, even two decades later. Of course, the snarky one liners helped too. (Special shout out also to the badass witch Willow too.)
And, because it’s the 20th anniversary, let’s celebrate with some great Buffy one-liners, for a fun ending to Monday’s blog.
She irons her jeans. She’s evil!
If I were at full slayer power, I’d be punning right now.
If the Apocalypse comes, beep me
Ah,Buffy you are missed. Of course, you can always revisit Buffy or discover her anew on Netflix! (Note: If you haven’t had your fill of Buffy there are comic books that take her past the end of season 7 – they go up to season 11 I believe – and currently a series that adds to stories in high school. My daughter just ordered volume 2!)