I wanted to make a list of my top five kick-ass heroines, but I also felt like there needed to be two categories; physically kick-ass gals and gals who kick-ass without physically kicking ass. So to be more specific, I’m not just listing some of my favourite characters, I’m listing some ladies that accomplish incredible things without kicking teeth in. My next post will feature some more physically kick-ass characters. These are in no particular order as I am far too indecisive to pick a solid ‘favourite’ anything! It was difficult enough to pick five. There are also likely heaps of people that I have completely forgotten about so these are by no means my only answers to this!
This first one may be a little controversial, but come on, this is one lady who takes zero rubbish, and gets stuff done:
Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin. Now, I’m assuming most people have watched Game of Thrones and know who Cersei Lannister is. She’s the one who vindictively has everyone murdered, disrupts everything, yearns for the crowns, wants her younger brother murdered, appears to have zero regret, and always has something else up her sleeve. Yes, okay she isn’t the most likeable character and most of us are hoping she’ll be killed off in the next season, but you can’t deny that she is badass. Technically it is her fault that a lot of heads roll, but she isn’t the on actually wielding the sword, she’s the mind behind the massacre’s, which means she makes this list! I’m referring to both book Cersei and tv-show Cersei has one in this as well. I never really hated Cersei, except maybe when she had Sansa’s Direwolf, Lady, killed in season one, but even then my hatred was more for her son Joffrey. But it wasn’t until the end of season six that I really began to respect her. After losing all three of her children, her father, and her power, Cersei wreaks havoc and decimates her main opponents, Margaery Tyrell + family, and the high sparrow in one brilliant swoop. Whatever your thoughts on this brutal Queen, there is absolutely no denying that she is smart, manipulative, and creative, and will do whatever it takes to get what she wants: the throne.
Secondly, we’ve got everyone’s favourite bushy-haired bookster, who is of an entirely different breed to Cersei Lannister:
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. This list would not be complete with Hermione, who is probably one of the most well-loved female characters of all time. Sassy, smart, stubborn, proud, and loyal, Hermione is an incredible role model for girls everywhere. Hermione is the sole reason that Harry and Ron survive half the things that they do, and without her Voldemort would never have been defeated and the wizarding world would probably be a pile of ash ruled by fear, horror and violence. Not only is she intelligent enough to solve most problems, but Hermione is also brave, gentle and kind. She faces challenges without hesitation, and she would do anything for her family and friends. She takes away her parents memories in order to save them, despite the pain that it causes her, and she never once sways from Harry’s side. I know I don’t really have to preach Hermione Granger to anyone, but I can’t resist an opportunity to rave about her.
Next up is a character that comes from one of my favourite series’ of all time, a kooky, brave, blue-haired individual:
Karou from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. Karou is practically an orphan, raised by monsters behind a secret door in Prague. She partakes in dangerous activities, travels abroad in order to obtain teeth from shifty dealers, gets attacked by an angel, loses her family when the secret door is burned, and determinedly searches for said monster family. And this is only in the first book. While Karou does possess some physical attributes that advantage her, her strength still stems primarily from her quick-thinking, tenacity, bravery, independence and desire to do good. She is such an interesting character in a terrifying world where the lines of good and evil are incredibly blurred. She plays a central role in bringing two warring sides together, and pretty much saves the world? She is extremely resilient and also an excellent role model for girls and women!
This next character is one who relies heavily on gaining knowledge from the pages of books and the written word, and her strength stems from this knowledge:
Tessa Gray from the Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare. Tessa is thrown into a world where physical strength and ability with a weapon is something that is almost essential. The world of the Shadowhunters is a dangerous one and when she is rescued and brought to the London Institute, she is forced to confront these dangers. Her own identity puts her at risk and she must adapt quickly. Her ability to shape-shift (one she was unaware she had) makes her a huge advantage for missions, and thus she is often in dangerous situations, despite her lack of skills in physical self-defence. She builds up a resilience, and her bravery and wit ensures her survival throughout the series. She is a great example of someone who manoeuvres dangerous situations and violence well, despite being unable to wield a weapon or throw a very good punch. She aids the shadowhunters in defeating a terrible threat and does so without stabbing everyone.
The final lady on this list does possess physical abilities but not of the fighting/kicking-ass kind, which is why she is including on this list and that is…
Nina Zenik from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. Nina is a heartrender, which means that she can manipulate flesh and has particular talent as a healer. Technically these could be described as ‘physical’ abilities, but Nina primarily uses her skills for healing, and alongside her charming personality, and gift for languages, she is a force to be reckoned with, without fists involved. She is outgoing, likeable and brave. As an integral member of the dregs (the gang in the novel), she is the heart of the group, and evidence that you can be both a criminal and a genuinely lovely person. She faces some horrible hardships throughout both books, and does so without losing her positivity (mostly), and retains the charm that we all love. She is stubborn and strong and takes on dangerous tasks without hesitation, and with a fierce loyalty to her friends.
These are just some of my favourites, and I’m sure that after I post this I will remember some that fit perfectly into this category! Please let me know your favourite kick-ass gals who don’t actually kick-ass and feel free to make a post of your own! I’d love to hear your ideas!