I realise that I’ve done one of these types of Top Five’s before, but to be honest – I wasn’t really happy with my first list and have been wanting a chance to redo it – as I think I have MUCH stronger examples in this one. And seeing that today is International Women’s Day – I’m flying my feminist flags and celebrating today by bring you my pick for the Top Five Awesomely Kickass Heroines!
Now, just to clarify, awesomely kickass doesn’t mean that all the girls on this list are super powered goddesses that can beat the tar out of anyone that crosses them (in fact I have deliberately excluded many superheroines from this list for the sake of having it as balanced as possible), it just means that all the females on this list are awesome in their own right. These are the type of girls that can stand on their own, be there when they are needed, and don’t need a man to save them (although a couple on this list do – but they still get their moment of awesome)! There probably will be a few spoilers in this post, so read at your own risk.
So, in no particular order, let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by counting down the Top Five...
Crowd Chanting: ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA!
Ah, yes! Elsa from Frozen. Arguable the most popular female at the moment! Indeed I have heard a lot about this character and been told that she is one of the greatest feminist icons in ages. So it would be silly of me NOT to include her on this list.
However, here’s the thing... I haven’t actually SEEN Frozen yet, even though it is on my list of films to see. And the rules for Top Five’s state that I can only include things that I have seen/read/played in order to give a fair review of it. So, sorry, Elsa – you’re not getting ANY love this time.
Hushed gasps from the Internet – followed by a barrage of boos and hisses.
OK! OK! OK! Calm down people! Here, maybe this first one will cheer you up!
1. Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Hopefully this will make up for not including Elsa on the list! Hopefully...
Now, I’m gonna be honest with you guys – I am NOT a fan of Disney Princesses (geez, hardly into my first one and I’ve already PO’d most of my readers!). That’s not to say that I HATE them exactly – most of them have a good personality and stand out on their own. But for the most part, they are little more than damsel in distresses that serve little more than to be rescued – and everyone knows I HATE those types of characters. There are, of course, obvious exceptions – and Belle is one of them.
Technically though, she isn’t a Princess to begin with – she’s a regular girl with real dreams and aspirations. That makes her more relatable and realistic compared to a lot of other Disney Princesses. However, a fateful encounter with the Beast and she becomes the key to saving him from his curse. Whilst the Beast is a jerk to her at the beginning, he soon warms to her and she sees the good in him.
Yes, Belle DOES have to be rescued from Gaston at the end – but in my opinion it’s Belle that turns out the hero of the story? Why? Ok, I suppose I should give a SPOILER warning here, but if you don’t know how this story ends by now then where the hell have you been? Lol. Anyway, as Beast lays dying, Belle declares her love for him, breaking the curse and saving his life. She saves the Beast – not the other way around! And come on, admit it, you cried at the end when you thought Beast was dead – it was a very sad scene.
Belle’s greatest strength is her love and the ability to see PAST the monster and into the human inside. And love is the greatest strength of all in my opinion. Belle is a tough cookie in her own right, but it’s her love that frees the Beast from his damnation. And, at the risk of losing any manliness I may have, I love a good romantic story (blame Mysti Parker for that – her books turned me round!).
Belle, we salute you in honour of International Women’s Day – you prove that love can truly conquer all!
2. She-Ra from She-Ra: Princess of Power
Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t gonna include many superheroines in this list – but I didn’t say I wasn’t gonna include any! I decided to pick one for the list – and I went for my favourite of all time! She-Ra: Princess of Power!
The twin sister to He-Man, She-Ra was created to introduce a wider audience to the Master of the Universe franchise – in this case the female market. And whilst she didn’t last as long as her brother did, she arguably attracted a greater following and fan base. I myself was one of them and still am to this day! I know that there had been plenty of superheroines in the past (Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Emma Peel to name a few), but She-Ra was the first superheroine I got into. Until I saw She-Ra, most of the female characters in cartoons were just damsel in distresses. Then I saw She-Ra, and saw this uberpowerful woman totally dominating everyone WITHOUT the need of a man – I was just in awe. I think if anything, She-Ra taught me to respect women and... er...
Ok, ok, I had the hots for She-Ra – there I said it! But come on – even today I still think she is one of the sexiest women in fiction. She combined beauty and raw power to create an unstoppable force that will make sure all the bad guys pay. BUT she also encompasses a strong moral fibre to protect those in need, including the ones she cares about. If it wasn’t for She-Ra, there would be no Daniar Dragonkin from the Draconica series.
So to She-Ra, we salute you! Thank you for teaching me to respect women, for showing the strength of females and for showing us that you don’t need a man to protect you. And what’s more, she does all this – whilst wearing the most ridiculously low cut top and short skirt, and hardly showing ANY cleavage or panty shots! Now THAT’S classy! XD
3. Olenna Redwyne from Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
When people talk about their favourite female characters in this series, the most prominent ones on people’s lips are usually Daenarys or Arya. But for me, if you want a no-nonsense, balls to the wall (ooer) female in this series, look no further than Olenna Redwyne!
In Westerosi culture, women generally have a somewhat diminished role in society – and most of the time they were just there to look pretty and speak only when spoken to. Olenna totally does away with that! This is a woman that will speak her mind and she will NOT be silenced. Her tongue is sharp as her wit, gaining her the nickname “Queen of Thorns” – and woe betide anyone that is on the receiving end of one of the taunts!
Olenna has been around for a few years and seen all the hypocrisy and bloodshed that politics and war have brought. She has lost her husband to war and now her granddaughter is to be wed to the horrible King Joffery. In her twilight years, she sees no reason to hold back and speaking her mind. She is quick to let you know what she feels about you and won’t sugar-coat her words in anyway, whether you’re a peasant or prince. And she does it in the wittiest way she can, silencing any male that dares speak back to her. Even Tywin and Tyrion are put in their place at her words – and few can honestly do that!
Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail about her character as I don’t want to give any spoilers for those watching Game of Thrones – at least before season 4 comes up. But trust me, this woman will make a large impact in the story. Let me just say this, Olenna is awesome because she does what she wants, when she wants and HOW she wants. And in a society where men are supposed to be in control, that is a scary thought for most of them.
And if you still don’t think Olenna is one of the strongest feminists in fiction – in Game of Thrones she’s played by Dame Diana Rigg, one of the greatest feminist icons of her time. And, let’s be honest, Diana Rigg is just awesome anyway!
So let’s send a salute to Olenna Redwyne – a woman that shows that you can be a lady without needing to sit and look pretty. All you need is fire in your belly and a sharp tongue!
4. Carrie Mathison from Homeland
Now this is a character that I’ve wanted to talk about for a LONG time. Carrie Mathison is, in my opinion, one of the strongest females in television. She is the perfect mixture of a strong, independent woman, mixed with heartbreaking vulnerabilities. She’s the sort of woman that you just want to give a big hug to and say “You’re doing fine, girl. Everything will be ok”.
A C.I.A. operative in Homeland, Carrie is brought into a conspiracy when Nicolas Brodie (a soldier that was lost in the Middle East for many years) is found and returned to US soil. But, is he still an American soldier – or has he been brainwashed by a terrorist cell? Carrie has her suspicions and the more she digs into Nicolas Brodie, the more her personal feelings shine through for him and conflict with her work ethic.
Carrie is a kind of “Dirty Harry” character, always willing to do what it takes to try and stop the bad guys – but often halted by plenty of red tape and procedures and all other crap that stops her from doing the right thing. But Carrie is resolute in her beliefs and will find ways round it, whether through her frienemy (yes frienemy) Saul Barrington (who has one of the COOLEST beards ever). Often, Saul knows that Carrie is right – whether he wants to admit it or not, and will try and help her where he can. It’s Carrie’s Never-Say-Die attitude that I think makes her a great character.
But there is another reason – Carrie suffers from bi-polar disorder and she is on heavy medication. Speaking as someone that does occasionally get huge bouts of depression, and who also knows people with bi-polar disorder, I really appreciate this level of nuance. Often Carrie will be erratic in her behaviour – up one moment, down the next, then breaking down another. This adds a level of uncertainty to her character – is she right, or is it just her condition blinding her? Even Carrie herself doubts herself on occasion – and we really hope that she is right. It’s this character trait that makes her so loveable and you support her every step of the way.
My only complaint about her? Ever since Claire Danes has become Executive Producer of Homeland from season 3 onwards, it feels that ALL the attention seems to be focused on Carrie – and as such many other characters get pushed to the background. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carrie – but there ARE other characters to drive the story.
This aside though, I have no problem in repeating my earlier statement that Carrie is one of the best female leads to appear on TV in years. So to Carrie Mathison, we give you a salute. You show us that you can show vulnerabilities and emotions – and yet STILL be a strong role model. Not just for women, but for ANYONE that suffers from a mental disorder. You’re doing fine, girl.
5. Ellen Ripley from the Alien Movies
Do I even need to say anything – it’s ELLEN RIPLEY from the Alien movies.
Ok, I suppose I better for the sake of the post. XD
Ellen Ripley is definitely one of my favourite heroines in fiction. In fact she’s probably most people’s favourite heroine – and one that has made Sigourney Weaver a household name. And what’s not to like about her? She goes through such an amazing journey from the first film to Alien Resurrection (and even plenty of stories in the expanded universe), and has to fight some of the most terrifying monsters the Universe has to offer.
In Alien, she becomes an unlikely hero, being the sole survivor of an xenomorph attack on her ship (well her and the cat!). At the time, considering how most females in horror movies were little more than “Scream Queens” or dead bodies – the idea that Ripley actually stands up to the beast and fights back was a big thing. How can forget the awesome moment when Ripley blasts the alien out into space? Now that was cool!
In Aliens, she is reluctantly brought along with a group of marines to help clear out a colony that has been invested by millions of the little beggars. Discovering a lone survivor in the form of Newt, Ripley becomes a surrogate mother to her – and in newt she finds new strength. After newt is captured by the xenomorphs, Ripley has to literary go into hell itself to drag her out – coming face to face with the Alien Queen. It’s almost like Dante’s Inferno, with Ripley going to the very bowels to face the devil herself.
When we think the alien queen is destroyed, she comes back for one last attack, going after newt once again. And this is when Ripley gets her crowning moment of awesome when she steps out of the cargo bay, powering the loader suit, walks up to the queen and says the immortal lines “Get away from her you BITCH!”
I LOVE this line! It really is one of those “Oh hell yeah, it’s on now!” moments. And the fight scene is just epic! A true battle of good versus evil, David versus Goliath, Liverpool F.C versus Manchester United... and so on! It’s the moment where Ripley has lost all her fear and she is going to confront her demons.
There’s not much more to say about Ripley – as I’m sure I’ve covered everything needed to be said. So let’s just raise a salute to Ellen Ripley, in honour of International Women’s Day for – hell, just for being Ellen Ripley! She’s just awesome!
With so many strong females out there, I’m sure I missed out a lot of your favourites. So please tell me, who are your favourite fictional females? Please leave a comment below to let me know. Thanks for reading guys, Happy International Women’s Day and... huh?
Oh, hey Zarracka – and Elsa?
Zarracka: Yeah, haven’t you heard? Me and Elsa are BFFF’s.
Zarracka: Best Frozen Friends Forever XD. Anyway, what’s this I hear about you NOT including Elsa in this list? What, have you got a death wish or something?
Me: Oh... that! Well... as I said, I haven’t seen Frozen, so I couldn’t include her on the list...
Zarracka: You haven’t seen Frozen? HELLO! The best selling Disney film of all time, multiple award winner AND the only Disney film in ages where the girls save the day?
Elsa: Not to mention the song Let It Go is the most popular song around at the moment!
Me: Yeah... I actually don’t like that song...
Elsa: (fixes me with a glare that could melt ice) What... did you say?
Me: Er... I'm not saying it’s a bad song... I just... really... don’t think it’s the best song ever... It's ok, I guess. That's... just my opinion...
(Elsa and Zarracka look at each other – and I know instantly that I’m screwed!)
Zarracka: Did he just insult your song? Your OSCAR WINNING SONG?
Elsa: Let’s ice this sucker!
Me: No, no, no, NOOOOOOO!!!
Zarracka: Don’t worry folks, we’ll thaw him out for the next blog. Maybe... ;)
Kisses Zarracka and Elsa x x x x x
Disclaimer: Zarracka Dragonkin is my character - but all other characters/images are owned by respective copyright holders. Their use is purely for this blog and I claim no ownership of them whatsoever.
Additional Disclaimer: Don't **** with Disney Princesses! XD
Picture of Zarracka and Elsa by http://elangkarosingo.deviantart.com/