Favourite Fictional Women

Here’s a list of some of my favourite fictional women, this was really hard work to write as there we so many to choose from! But I think I got the main ones, I may have to do a part two at some point down the line though! Hopefully you’ll find some of your own favourite ladies in this list, if not, well.. write your own!

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 Buffy Summers

She’s really got to be first, she was the first fictional woman I truly adored, my first feminist hero, and she could also slay and talk witty banter whilst she did it. Joss Whedon created Buffy because he was sick of the defenseless blonde female being one of the first to be killed off in every horror film, he wanted to turn the tables and have the blonde female be the thing the Big Bad was running from. It’s safe to say he achieved that. Buffy is probably the reason why I question sexism constantly, because I grew up watching Buffy, and therefore having no reason to ever think a woman couldn’t do anything a man could do. She’s not just the badass hero though, there’s so much more to her than that, she wants to give up through the series numerous times, but she always overcomes any mental and physical obstacles, she shows the importance of inner-strength as well as physical strength. I’m also pretty sure that if I was ever in a fight, all my years of watching Buffy would kick in, and I’d know all the slayer moves. She is wonderful, and she saved the world…a lot.

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Molly Hooper 

(A few spoilers in this one). I love Molly largely because I think she represents what a lot of girls my age would be like in the presence of Sherlock. He is the definition of intimidating. Most of us have acted like a big dork in front of a boy/girl we like, but there’s more to Molly than that, she’s not just there to show how Sherlock can deduce everything but a crush. She’s incredibly intelligent, and she’s one of the few people who can see through Sherlock and work out what he’s really feeling. Molly deduces the hell out of him in The Reichenbach Fall, and it was also proven in that episode that Molly is trustworthy, like, REALLY trustworthy. I also loved that she dated Jim Moriarty, (a psychopath-for-hire I might add), got him to watch Glee, dumped him..and didn’t get herself killed in the process, what a hero. If I could meet Molly in real life, I wouldn’t ask her what she did to help Sherlock fake his death though, I’d ask her what she got him for Christmas; its always bugged me.

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Scarlett O’Hara 

Gone With the Wind is my all time favourite film. I do love the book, but it’s the film that made me fall for Scarlett.. I will happily sit through the four hours over and over again. I adore Scarlett, though it’s sometimes hard to understand why I do. She’s spoilt, manipulative, pines after a man who doesn’t love her, and treats SO badly a man who does. But, what I love about Scarlett comes from a scene in the film just after they get back to Tara, and she’s tired and hungry and she’s lost everything in that moment..But she finds a carrot in her family’s field, the last thing they own, and she clutches it to her chest and says;

‘As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.’

And she never bloody is! She does EVERYTHING in her power to ensure that she’s never in that situation again; she does some awful things to make sure that everything always goes her way from then on. But she does it, and I admire her perseverance, she never breaks, and I think she’s wonderful. Plus, I love that this speech surely inspired the title of Hole’s second album. Grrrl power through the ages.

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Hermione Granger 

Where do I start with Hermione? J.K Rowling says that her feminist conscience is saved by Hermione, “who’s the brightest character” and is a “very strong female character”. She is definitely those things, but so much more. Can you imagine how dead Harry would be without Hermione?! In the Chamber of Secrets she saves everyone even when she’s stuck in a hospital Petrified, she’s amazing. I think her proudest moments are in The Deathly Hallows book though, she shows so much strength. Harry and Ron wouldn’t have even brought a tent without her, let alone a plan. Despite her fearlessness, loyalty and intelligence, I think I love her most for S.P.E.W; I love her compassion. She calls the wizarding world out on its lack of equality, and as a bit of an equality ranter myself, I have always enjoyed her attempts to get Harry and Ron interested in S.P.E.W, maybe she’s where I get it from? Hermione is who I want to be, she never tries to be cool, or anything she isn’t, she’s just herself and she doesn’t feel the need to try a bit less hard, or pretend to be a bit less intelligent to fit in. She is completely herself, and luckily, herself is completely awesome. I love her.

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Liz Lemon

Honestly, what’s not to love? She’s funny, clever and ever so slightly vulnerable. I want her to be my friend. I can relate a lot to Liz Lemon, we both like to spend most of our evenings on our own watching sci-fi and eating crisps, and we’re both kind of a nerd. I love that Liz can be pure comedy one minute, and then break your heart the next. She wants to ‘have it all’, the career and the family, and sometimes you really feel for her, especially when she thinks she’s pregnant. The voice-mail message she leaves on Jack’s phone never fails to break my heart. But I love the layers to Liz’s character; she’s not just a ‘funny woman’, she’s a whole person, she has so much of the depth that many fictional females seem to be without.  Plus, there ain’t no party like a Liz Lemon party cus a Liz Lemon party is MANDATORY.

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Cordelia Chase 

The first ever episode of Buffy is nearly as quotable as Mean Girls, and that is largely down to Cordelia Chase. “WHAT IS YOUR CHILDHOOD TRAUMA?!” “Excuse me, I have to call EVERYBODY I have EVER MET.” Brilliant. But it’s not until Cordelia moves over into the Buffy spinoff Angel, that she really comes into her own. In series one she is as vapid as she was in Buffy, but after being given The Sight by a rather lovable Irish demon WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN KILLED OFF ANYWAY. She has to receive visions from the Powers That Be of people in danger, then send Angel and the rest of the gang to go and help the hopeless. Cordelia is beautiful and funny, and without a doubt the wittiest person on the show, she’s also the heart of the operation.. And sometimes, SOMETIMES! I think she is better for Angel than Buffy ever was. BLASPHEMY! I also feel sorry for her ‘cus she has this tendency to get impregnated with demon spawn, and this one time it takes and she gives birth to Zoe Washburn from Firefly, and the whole thing is pretty creepy.

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Elizabeth Bennet 

Jane Austen was a brilliant satirist, it’s something that is often overlooked, and in real life I bet she was probably one of the most sarcastic people you’d ever meet. But I think a lot of that came through with how she wrote Elizabeth, she has a really funny and quick humour, especially in her interactions with Mr. Collins.. Not that he gets any of it, which is probably a good thing, cus otherwise he’d realise that she was totally taking the piss.

I just think Lizzie is great, she knows her own mind, but is big enough to know when she’s in the wrong, and when to do something about it. Darcy loved her enough to want to be a better man, and she loved him enough to question her actions and opinions. Pride & Prejudice will always be one of my favourite books, and Elizabeth is the reason for that.

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Arya Stark 

I love George R.R. Martin, and this quote is a good representation as to why;

George Stroumboulopoulos: There’s one thing that’s interesting about your books. I noticed that you write women really well and really different. Where does that come from?

George R.R. Martin: You know, I’ve always considered women to be people.

I sometimes think a testament to good writing is when the reader doesn’t truly hate any of the characters. No-one is all bad, and I think good writing can reflect that. When a character has enough depth and flaws, then they are almost real. If you just have ‘bad guy’ and ‘good guy’ it can get a little boring, the best art tends to be in the grey area. I feel like George R.R. Martin gets that brilliantly, Cersei Lannister is a good example of this, she is cold and manipulative, a would-be childkiller, and a loving and doting mother. I may also add that she is fucking brilliant. She shows that you don’t have to be one or the other, not all good and not all bad, and I find that with fictional women, they usually tend to put put in the good category or the bad category and left there. George’s female characters are as developed as their male counterparts and I love getting to know them better. Daenerys, Cersei, Stansa, Catelyn and Brienne are some of my favourite Song of Ice & Fire ladies, but I have such a soft spot for Arya, I love that this little girl already knows where she’s going with her life, and it’s not heading in the direction anyone else wants. She wants to be a knight and an expert sword-fighter, and I hope she gets to be! I’m not up to date with the books yet, so I don’t know what’s in store for Arya. I do know that you can’t count on George R.R. Martin for happy endings, but I want her to have one.

I really fell in love with Arya after this scene in Game of Thrones;

Arya Stark: Now that Bran’s awake, will he come live with us?

Eddard Stark: Well, he needs to get his strength back first.

Arya Stark: He wants to be a knight of the Kingsguard. He can’t be one now, can he?

Eddard Stark: No, but someday he could be lord of a holdfast, or sit on the king’s council, or he might raise castles like Brandon the Builder.

Arya Stark: Can I be lord of a holdfast?

[Ned chuckles and kisses Arya's forehead]

Eddard Stark: You will marry a high lord and rule his castle, and your sons shall be knights and princes and lords.

Arya Stark: No… that’s not me.

I love how simple this is to Arya. That’s not her and she’s not going to do what is expected, but what she wants. Everyone should take that bit of advice from Arya.

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Jess Day 

I know that Zooey Deschanel gets a bit of a kicking for being the kooky girl all the time, but I think people just choose to see kooky when they see her and don’t really look for anything else. Playing a character in a series was a really good choice for Zooey, because when you play a character for that long you get to see more and more of the person behind the initial exterior. Personally, I love a bit of kooky. I’ve been called a kooky girl a few times and I suppose I am one of those girls. I like dresses covered in unicorns and cupcakes and puppies and all that jazz, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to me, or anyone else who likes the same things. Like Zooey says “I wanna be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking peter pan collar!” Jess Day is reclaiming the cutesy girl for us, but showing that she can also be smart and strong at the same time, I loved Jess’s rant at one of Nick’s girlfriends after she continued to insult Jess’s entire personality.

“I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird, and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.”

GO JESS!

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Sookie Stackhouse 

Please note that I used a cartoon Sookie in this picture, because I love BOOK Sookie, NOT True Blood Sookie. My previous post about Eric Northman shows what I think of Alan Ball!

Now we’ve established that, I’ll tell you why she’s one of my favourite female characters. What mainly made me fall for Sookie obviously comes from the way that Charlaine writes her, her inner monologue is so personal, you just get to know her so well and I feel like she’s one of my friends! It’s not like everything she thinks is mind-blowing, it’s just the opposite, she thinks things that I think like ‘Oooh, that was such a crap shift at work, I just wanna go home and put a pizza in the oven and watch a film!’ But I like it, it makes her so human. Obviously my love for her doesn’t just stem from her craving pizza as much as I do! She’s also fiercely intelligent, and often underestimated. She is blonde and busty and works as a waitress, so she often suffers prejudice as a result of this, people constantly assume she’s stupid, but she always thinks outside the box and in every book proves that she is more capable than people presume. Throughout the books she goes through an awful lot of crap, and always comes out stronger as a result. She is sensible, smart, strong, independent and proud and I just think she’s brilliant. Sometimes she can frustrate me to death, but it just adds to the realism, she doesn’t always handle things the way I would, but how real would she be as a character if she did?

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Belle 

I like Belle because she fell in love with the Beast the moment he showed her his library! Beauty & the Beast is one of my favourite love stories, and pathetically it is one of the few films that ALWAYS makes me cry.

As a little kid I related to the girl that always had her head stuck in a book, cus I was just like that. I also loved that she wouldn’t go near Gaston, because she wanted someone that would love her as a whole person, not just as an object or a baby-maker! She was also brave, sacrificing herself for her father. There’s just so much to admire in Belle, she’s a really strong character. I will forever defend the Disney princesses, despite their issues. When I was little I found something to admire in all of them, and no critique can take away how they made me feel empowered, and helped me realise I should never sell myself short. They’re my ladies! My war-fighting, book reading, dream believing, refuse to marry-ing – LADIES.

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Jane Eyre 

In 1966 R.B Martin stated that Jane Eyre was the first feminist novel, and whether intentionally or not, I really think that Charlotte Bronte wrote a feminist masterpiece in Jane Eyre.  Jane’s relationship with Mr. Rochester is built on an equality of the mind, they challenge each-other, and she doesn’t take any shit, as this quote demonstrates;

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”

WHAT AN AWESOME WOMAN. I love that quote so much, and for me it perfectly demonstrates everything I like about Jane, to the casual eye she is seen as unremarkable, plain and poor, but in reality she is anything but, she’s a firecracker!

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Lesley Knope 

I’m quite new to Parks & Recreation, but I’ve already thrown a Galentine’s Day Gathering, so I think that gives me some extra fangirl points. Lesley Knope has kind of become my happy place. I’m pretty sure she is the only idealistic politician, fictional or otherwise.  She just wants to do good, help people and become the first female president in the process, easy! The only downside to Parks & Recreation is the fact you have to fight a near constant craving for waffles with whipped cream whilst you’re watching it; Lesley eats A LOT of waffles. I just think she is an awesome role model, an intelligent, kind-hearted politician who eats a lot of breakfast food, and most importantly, coined this particular mantra; “You know my code. Hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries.” What a lady.

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Bridget Jones

I don’t remember how many times I read the Bridget Jones’s Diary books when I was younger, but it was A LOT. Helen Fielding wrote her so well, I really do feel like I’m just snooping on someone’s diary whilst I read it, Bridget feels very real to me. The books are mainly comedy, but they have an honesty that can sometimes be heartbreaking. I also love how 90s the books are, she spends a lot of her time rewinding the wet-shirt scene in Pride & Prejudice and considering the fact that she would most definitely sleep with Tony Blair, there’s enough 90s references to keep everyone happy. I think lots of girls want Bridget for a friend, I know I do!

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Miss Honey 

I can’t remember ever not wanting to be Miss Honey a little bit. When I was little there was a cottage near where we lived that was really run down, and it reminded me of Miss Honey’s cottage. For that reason I wanted to buy it, and fix it up myself when I was a grown up! But a few years ago someone else fixed it up, and it looks lovely, but it’s not Miss Honey’s cottage anymore.

She is such a wonderful character; she is kind and compassionate with no real reason to be. She had a horrible life, but she still turned into a good person, her love and loyalty towards Matilda is inspiring, and I like that two people who spent most of their life being unloved, find love and family with each other.

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Darla 

What can I say? I love Joss Whedon’s women! Darla sired Angel, so you’ve at least gotta respect her taste in men (literally! *Snorts*). I love Julie Benz in everything she’s been in, and I’ve had to watch her characters die more times than I’d like to, she always plays them so well and I always fall in love with them. But Darla is just an awesome creation, she’s sometimes the badass evil vampire, luring Angel to the dark side, and other times she’s so incredibly vulnerable that I just want to hug her. Despite what she says, I think with or without a soul, she loves Angel. (You can’t tell me otherwise, cus I just won’t listen) She is also hilarious, if you like dry sarcasm from a very very dark place, and I sure do.

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Amy Pond 

I heart Amy Pond, I love her bravery, her sense of adventure, her relationship with Rory, but mostly, I love her relationship with the Doctor. I think that Amy and the Doctor have the strongest Doctor-Companion bond, the Doctor watched Amy grow up, and I think she kind of watched him grow up too. The Doctor, unlike any other companion before, affected every aspect of Amy Pond’s life, from the Crack in the Wall, to Melody Pond and finally, to the Weeping Angels in New York. Every important part of Amy’s life is down to the Doctor, that gives her an insight into how the Doctor thinks and feels better than anyone else, she’s the closest anyone has gotten to actually knowing him. Amy went on a really big journey throughout the series; at first she is torn between the Doctor and Rory, an adventure or a wedding? But by her last appearance in the show she no longer finds it a hard choice, she knows she belongs with Rory, I guess if you’d watched your husband die that many times you’d be a little more attached! But, what I also like is that she didn’t have to pick between a marriage or an adventure in the end, she had both. Marrying Rory didn’t stop the adventure, it continued it, and I like that Amy showed girls and boys that they can get married and not have to stop the adventure there, you can still travel round space and kick butt, with or without a Mr. Pond.

So there you go, there’s my very long list of favourite fictional women, hope some of your favourites were in there too!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Selma
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 13:43:54

    I love this post!!!! So much heroine appreciation, which is not something you see enough. And I agree with all of these so hard – I always loved Cordelia in particular. Another I’d add on here is Kel from the “Protector of the Small” quartet by Tamora Pierce. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it highly. Kel is sort of the fantasy anti-Mary Sue: in a world of magic she has none, she’s big and muscled rather than lithe and delicate, and she’s quiet and stoic rather than fiery. She’s more of a leader than a lone knight in shining armor. Kel is the epitome of “suck it up and deal”.

    Reply

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