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Monday, April 15, 2013

Female Heroines Who Kick Butt

In recent years there has been influx of strong female characters in books; whether for adults or teens.  These heroines serve as role models for many young women.  When I was in school most of the books I had to read had a male protagonist.  But in recent months that has changed.  There is a demand for strong female characters that are able to hold their own in a fight.  I am certain this trend will continue as I myself love the fact that more and more books are making women the protagonist instead of eye candy.

With the rise in books such as Hunger Games and Divergent I decided to present a few of my favorite female characters.

1.  Kahlan Amneill (Sword of Truth Series

Kahlan is  the Mother Confessor in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series.  She is strong-willed and able to defend herself.  One touch from her and you could become her personal slave.  However, Kahlan is very aware of her magical powers and tries to use them only when necessary.  As the Mother Confessor, she is charged with protecting Richard, the Seeker and later the man she falls in love with.  

I love the Kahlan has a grace and beauty that most women want.  But she is also a strong leader and in some of the books she even leads the Dahara A=rmy into battle many times.  She issues commands when needed with an air of authority none question.  Yet she can also be gentle and forgiving.

2. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games

Not to be clichéd, but I really like Katniss’ character in the Hunger Games.  Katniss isn’t a warrior woman in the traditional sense, but she is very strong willed.  When her sister is chosen to participate in the hunger games, Katniss takes her place.  Prim is the only person she really loves.  She knows that she is going to her death, but she goes anyway to protect Prim.  This is an admirable quality.

While in the arena, Katniss proves that she is no wall floawer and is far from stupid.  She can use a bow and is an avid hunter.  She also uses her smarts to try and avoid the other contestants; letting them kill each other off or she blows up their supplies so they can’t rely on them.

Katniss has a protective nature about her.  She tries to help Rue, another contestant.  And when Rue dies, she shows mercy and compassion when others do not.
On the flip side, Katniss has an openly defiant nature.  Without realizing it, her actions in the arena defy the Capitol and its rules.  When she and Peta are faced with the protect of fighting each other, she proposes that they commit suicide.  This forces the government to bend to her will.   Katniss doesn’t set out to be a hero.  She is just sick and tired of the Capitol’s rules and oppressiveness.

3. Sarah Connor (Terminator 2)

They ay that mothers are very protective of their children and that couldn’t be more evident in Sarah Connor’s case.  It can’t be easy having been chased by a machine bent on killing you, learning that your son is the future leader of some resistance and that machines will take over the world.  This woman you would not want to meet in a one on one fight.  She arms herself with assaut rifles, military grade explosives.  Who else would break out of a mental institution, blow up a corporation, and destroy the T-1000 just to protect their son? 

4. Marian Ravenwood (Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark)

 Marian may not be the star of the movie, but she is a strong female character.  When she first meets Indiana Jones she punches him in the face.  When the Nazis try to steal a medallion that her father left her, she fights to keep it.  And I don’t know any women who can win drinking contests, but she certainly does.  She is spunky and aggressive and doesn’t like it when people mess with her or her friends.

5. Merida (Brave

Brave is one of those movies that I thought would be cute and turned out to be phenomenal.  Merida is a princess who just wants to change her mother so that she can change her fate and avoid an arranged marriage.  In doing so she ends up turning her mother into a bear.  Then she has to embark on an adventure to reverse the spell and learns something about her country’s history.

Merida is very spirited and prefers archery and horse back riding over the duties of being a princess.  She can best anyone with a bow  and even manages to face a full grown bear.  She is very independent minded and fiercely protective of her family.

6. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

Hermione may be a bit of a supporting character, but she is vitally important.  She has a superb intellect and remembers almost anything she reads.  In fact, her brains saves Harry and Ron many times.  Without her, Harry never would have been able to defeat Voldemort—Shh don’t say his name! 

Besides be highly intelligent, Hermione is courageous and loyal to her friends.  She faces many dangers that would make the average person quake.  Many times she faces Deatheaters in her efforts to help defeat You Know Who.  She helps Harry break into Gringots to get a horcrux and shows an incredible amount of bravery during the battle at Hogworts.

7.  Princess Leia (Star Wars

Though a princess, Leia is anything but dainty.  She fights the empire and defies Darth Vader.  She holds her own during phaser fights.  When tortured for information about the rebels, she manages to not reveal anything.  Leia even helps plan the battle against the Death Star.  When Han Solo is taken prisoner, Leia tries to save him.  And she plays a pivotal role in the battle on Endor as the rebels try to defeat the Empire once and for all.  Besides, who else could befriend a bunch of teddy bears and convince them to join forces against Vader and the Emperor?

8.  Emma (Once Upon A Time)

Though completely unaware of her parentage, Emma stumbles upon Storybrook where she gets caught up in a world of story book characters.  Though skeptical, she stay because of her son Henry.  He is convinced that every one is a character from fairy tales.  Emma soon discovers that there is more going on than what it seems and that Henry’s life might be in danger.

She becomes the sheriff of Storybrook and challenges the evil Regina each day.  At the end of season one, Emma battles a dragon just to retrieve some potion that might save Henry from certain death.  Wow!

9. Starbuck (Battlestar Galatica)

Starbuck is someone you do not want to make angry.  She is an excellent pilot.  Though her language can be crude, she smokes cigars, gambles, and if you anger her she will beat you to a pulp, Starbuck has a gentler side.  She is fiercely loyal to those she loves despite her defiance towards authority.  She hates cylons and will stop at nothing to kill any who get in her way or threatens those she loves.  And she risks everything just to help the last survivors of humanity find the mythical planet of Earth.

10. Amborese (Legends Lost: Amborese

Now what kind of author would I be if I didn’t like my own characters?

Amborese starts out as a bit timid, but after being forced to flee from home she learns to find courage.  Thrust into a world she knows nothing about, she discovers that she is the lost heir to throne and must reclaim it.  However, someone else wants it as well.  Pursued by strange and dark creatures and with danger at every turn, Amborese is forced to shed her timidity and become the leader she is meant to be.

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