Top Ten Tuesday: My top 10 favorite heroic women in fiction (plus a few extra… )

Top 10 Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books (or movies or TV)”.  The term “heroines” suggests a certain amount of adventure and thrilling heroics, and we’ve got plenty of that here. These women (and girls) take the lead, take charge, and are just overall amazing.

We Can Do It

1) Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser (Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon): Claire is the strongest, smartest woman around in any century. Fiercely loyal, dedicated to her friends and family, a gifted scientist, and a passionate lover, Claire’s got it all. Plus, who else do you know who makes home-made penicillin?

2) Mercy Thompson (The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs): Auto mechanic, martial arts master, magical shape-shifter, and just overall an incredibly brave woman. Definitely the person you’d want on your side when the big baddies come to call.


3) Lyra (His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman): Lyra is dedicated to her friends, loves adventure, is highly curious, and puts herself at risk even when she’s afraid, if there’s something important on the line.

4) Diana Bishop (All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness): Witch and historian, Diana is a perfect combination of brains and magic.


5) Cassie Sullivan (The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey): How do you keep going when everything you know is gone? Bravery, commitment to a promise, and a sheer determination to make things right or die trying.

6) Scout Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird): Okay, what’s not to love? Scout is a little Southern tomboy who learned her values from an amazing father. Scout stands up for the people she loves and doesn’t understand injustice. Love her.


7) Harry Crewe (The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley): Harry goes from sheltered daughter to a wielder of a magical sword and one hell of a horsewoman, among other achievements. She’s a perfect example of a fantasy fiction woman who most definitely is not a damsel in distress.

I want to use the rest of my list to give shout-outs to a few bunches of amazing women:


8) The women of Fables (by Bill WIllingham): I love just about everything about this graphic novel series, especially the amazing female characters such as Snow White, Rose Red, Cinderella, and Beauty, to name but a few. These are no Disney princesses. Really, if you haven’t read Fables, go get volume one immediately! You’ll be happy you did, I promise.

9) The Stark women (A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin): Arya, Catelyn, even Sansa — all have been through enormous trauma, and manage to hold onto their courage even in the face of unbearable loss and misery.

10) The women of Harry Potter (the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling): Hermione is amazing, but so are Molly Weasley and Minerva McGonagall, not to mention Luna Lovegood, Lily Potter, Nymphadora Tonks, and so many more.

Okay, that’s 10 — but I do want to give three cheers to some of my favorite women on TV right now:

  • Elizabeth Jennings (The Americans)
  • Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)
  • Jane Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)
  • Zoe Hart (Hart of Dixie)
  • The women of Black Sails: Eleanor Guthrie, Anne Bonny, and Max. (Does Max have a last name? Couldn’t find it.)

Oh, and one more just because no list of powerful women is complete without the one and only Slayer, Buffy Summers:


Who are your favorite heroines? Please share your links!

(Note: All images scavenged from miscellaneous Pinterest boards…)

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out my regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!


Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!



29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My top 10 favorite heroic women in fiction (plus a few extra… )

  1. Fables is next on my graphic novels to-read list after Y: The Last Man — I totally scoured your GR graphic novels shelf for ideas because I’m totally hooked now. Also been in the mood for quicker reads, so these have been perfect — I think I will need to put in a LOT of library requests to get through all of Fables though 🙂

    • Fables is long, but so worth it! There’s also a spin-off series and a few stand-alones, so you can have a lot of fun in that world. I’m so glad you’re a fan of Y: The Last Man! I just treated myself to the hardcover editions (replacing my beat-up paperworks) — every time a good certificate or book-related credit came my way this past year. Fun!

    • Ooh, I’m a day behind on Agent Carter! I’m excited to watch, but I’m sad that it’s the finale! I hope there’s more too — she’s a great character, and I think the show has been so great!

    • Definitely give Buffy a try! People were trying to convince me for years to watch the show, and once I finally gave in, I was pretty much instantly hooked. 🙂

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