Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Top 3 Favorite Fictional Female Characters

At the request of my fabulous friend and beta Zak Tringali (and if you do not follow his blog, get on that because he posts awesome stuff on writing, and the ingredients of good books), today I present to you my top three Fictional Female Protagonists, cross-genre and cross-media!

Firstly, this is the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. Only three?! From ALL fictional works?!!? My brain melted a little bit at the thought, and because of that, I reserve the right to change my answers in the future.* Also, this list should not necessarily be considered in any particular order! And I swear it is totally accidental that all of these women are a little bit (totally) sci-fi.


1) Princess Leia Organa
Because Star Wars is how I roll, and Princess Leia never let anyone stand in her way. Not giant walking carpets, not the scoundrel of a love interest, and certainly not the EVIL EMPIRE she was fighting to bring down. I mean, I don't know about you, but I think she deserves first place for not even FLINCHING when she was brought before Darth Vader in ANH. She just raised her chin, put on a mask of disdain, and gave him what for. On top of that, she's a senator and a leader of the Rebel Alliance. Best Female Role Model Ever.

The Proof.

2) Cordelia Naismith 
From Shards of Honor and the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold.
She never flinches either. Nor does she ever let a man draw lines in the sand. Cordelia is a woman of her word, no matter how much it costs her to keep it, and even though she is determined to see the best in the people around her, it doesn't make her any less ruthless in acting against her enemies. Somehow Cordelia embodies honor, compassion, and bad-assery in one AWESOME package, while still being a reluctant hero. A word to the wise: do not mess with her family and friends. You do not want to be on this woman's bad side.

If Cordelia and Princess Leia ever met, Chuck Norris and Mike Rowe would tremble.

3) Killashandra Ree
From The Crystal Singer Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey.
Killa knows what she wants and won't be stopped from getting it. What does she want? NOTHING LESS than to be NUMBER ONE. Sure, it's not exactly a heroic struggle against evil, but the determination to overcome all obstacles is still something to be admired. Threat to life and limb? No problem! Killa doesn't believe in giving anything less than 100% of herself to make it happen anyway. This woman is a force to be reckoned with, and  no matter where she goes, or what she applies herself to, the people around her wind up dancing to her drumbeat in spite of themselves. I guess you could call her the ULTIMATE career woman.

So now that we've gone ahead and thrown down the gauntlet (and be sure to head over to Zak's blog to see his TOP PICKS)-- Who are YOUR favorite women in fiction?

*by future, I mean two seconds after I post this, when I realize whoever you named in the comments is ZOMGAWESOME too. 


  1. Wow, that's a really hard question! And I don't think it's a coincidence that thre's a tendency towards sci-fi, and I bet when everyone comments the majority will be sci-fi as well - it's a sad but true fact that women can play the most interesting roles if they're in a fictional, forward-looking world.

    I've no idea which 3 to name. I'm halfway through The Hunger Games at the moment, and Katniss is a brilliant heroine - frustratingly stupid, irritatinglym dense and cold but sympathetic anyway (just like one of my favourite male fantasy protagonists, FitzChivalry Farseer from Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy). But top three of all time...

    OK, off the top of my head:
    1. Aeryn Sun, Farscape (TV)
    2. Eowyn, The Lord of the Rings
    3. Lucy Pevensie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    CS Lewis had some problems understanding adult women, but he wrote Lucy perfectly - I *was* her as a child!

  2. Hello Amalia!

    Great question to ask...hmm... I only know Leia out of the ones you've mentioned here. For me, I think...

    1. Yelena Zaltana from the 'Study' Trilogy by Maria V Snyder
    2. Elena Michaels from Kelley Armstrong's Otherwold Series
    3. Anita Blake from Laurell K Hamilton's series (of which I much prefer the early books)



  3. Great list, Amalia! Leia deserved top spot.My favorite Female antagonists are

    1) Granny Weatherwax from the Discworld series. The Hag with the power.

    2) Miss Marple ballsy detective in the 1950's

    3)Anne Shirley/Blythe from Green Gables. Nuff Said.

  4. Juliette: Katniss is definitely strong, but I'm not sure she'd even make my top ten. Loved the books though! Aeryn and Eowyn are both great choices! I have to admit that I haven't read The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, but the way Lucy's portrayed in the movies drives me nuts. She must be a lot more interesting in the books!

    Blake: I haven't heard of any of yours! I will have to look them up and add them to my wishlist :)

    Monica: Ohhhhh. ANNE! How could I forget Anne?! I thought about including Elizabeth Bennet, but somehow I totally overlooked Anne! So silly of me!

  5. I think I like Katniss because she reminds me of Fitz (who I love, though he's an idiot) and because she gets to be the tough one! I loved Lucy because I just felt like I was her when I was five years old, I can't imagine what it's like to read her for the first time as a grown-up!

  6. Wow, you're seriously the first person I've met who has also read those books! Love those picks! Must add my own tho - Harimad-sol from the Hero and the Crown (Robin McKinley - really, all her heroines), Lessa of Pern (Anne McCaffery), and Honor Harrington (David Weber).

  7. JUST three?! Fine, fine! Oh, this is going to be tough.

    1) Eowyn from LoTR
    2) Eve Dallas from the In Death series by J.D. Robb
    3) Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books

    Katniss is brilliant. Different, believable, and very real, but not in my Top Three. I also wanted to put Samantha Carter from SG1 on my list, but I don't think the developers of that show utilized her character and developed her enough.

  8. Juliette: my favorite character in Hunger Games is Finnick :)

    Cait: YES! High Five! I LOVE Hari so much, too! For Pern, I've always liked Torene, Moreta, and Sorka more than Lessa, I think. Lessa always came off as kind of hmm... she's a little bit mean :) Not that I blame her! But she just isn't my favorite. I haven't read Honor Harrington yet, but my husband has those books, so maybe I should!!

    Ahh! Hermione! Good choice! I haven't read an J.D. Robb. Zak named Eowyn in his top 3 too, if you haven't gone over to see his post yet!

  9. 1) Auriane from "The Light Bearer" and "Lady of the Light" by Donna Gillespie. She's so real and vulnerable, and yet so kick-ass. She takes down gladiators, and then shivers under the stare of the Holy Nine. <3

    2) Auriane again, cause there are two books and she's that awesome. Or her daughter, Avenahar, who is trying to be as kick-ass as her mother but is so much better as a healer than a war-monger.

    3) Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy. She's also got that humble-yet-kickass quality that I love so much.


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