Firstly Happy International Women’s Day.
Secondly, let’s talk about some strong, funny, badass and brilliantly wonderful women in fiction…
Regina Mills /The Evil Queen ~ Once Upon a Time.
Simply put, Regina Mills a.k.a ‘The Evil Queen’, is quite possibly my favourite fictional character of all time. She’s badass, evil and dangerously smart. Yet, at the same time, she’s broken. She has a kind heart, dreams of love and cares with her whole being for the ones she loves. But I think my favourite thing about Regina, is her vulnerability. It makes her feel so human and to me, it’s her vulnerability and fear/hesitance to show that side of her, that makes her so relatable (despite, of course, the whole being an evil queen thing?) Her character growth throughout the series is incredible and she probably has the best character arc/growth I’ve ever seen. I could honestly go on about my love for Regina and her character for days and days. I’ve said numerous times that I would give anything to be able to write/create a character as multidimensional, layered and complex as Regina. All I wish is for her to get the love and happy ending she deserves because, my oh my, despite everything she’s done and been through, I whole heartedly believe she deserves a happily ever after. She’s unapologetically herself and unapologetically flawed. She show’s people that they don’t have to be perfect to be loved, nor are they not allowed to make and grow from their mistakes. She’s entirely imperfect and in my eyes, pretty much a perfectly flawed character.
Kamala Khan ~ Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson.
Kamala Khan is quite possibly, the coolest female superhero in the Marvel
universe. She’s hilarious, relatable, badass, clumsy, gutsy and all round brilliant. I’ve only read the first two volumes so far but I already wish I was half as awesome as she is. If Marvel doesn’t give this girl a movie asap, I’m suing (okay, maybe won’t sue one of the biggest, riches corporations but I won’t be happy. Plus, I’ve just always wanted to say that…) At sixteen years old, Kamala is everything I wish I’d had in a fictional character at sixteen. She’s got the perfect balance between ‘I’ve got this’ and ‘I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing’ (which is a balance I personally never had) and I love her for it. The battles she goes through, both literally and internally, are awe inspiring. She not only has to try to defeat the same kind of ‘bad guys’ that Captain America and Iron Man deal with, but she does that at only 16 years old, whilst trying to come to terms with herself, her place in society in terms of her religion and culture, whilst also being ostracised because of those things. Simply put, Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel is totally and utterly brilliant. Marvel, give her a movie now. (please.)
Molly Weasley ~ Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
Molly Weasley, one of the greatest and yet most painfully underrated characters from the Harry Potter series and once again, another of my all time favourite female characters. The strength this woman has is unparalleled. The way she welcomed Harry into her family without a moments doubt, unceremoniously and instantaneously treating Harry like one of her own with no exceptions (well, maybe a few), still warms my heart to this day. She’s the ultimate mother figure, she’s funny, warm, motherly, a tad bonkers, full to the brim with love, compassion and just the right amount of motherly embarrassment. The things she has to go through, constantly fearing for the lives of her children, seeing a child essentially disown the family and another die. Her ability to stand strong for them and keep on pushing due to sheer love and commitment to her family is outstanding and yet, taken for granted. She’s also the voice of one of my all time favourite lines in the Harry Potter series. “Not my daughter you bitch!” Iconic. Absolutely iconic.
Matilda ~ Matilda by Roald Dahl. It would be wrong of me not to include Matilda in this list. This is the character that, for longer than I should probably admit, caused me to truly believe, if I tried hard enough and believed in myself enough, I would be able to move things with my mind. (Come on, we’ve all tried it. Right?…) Matilda is undeniably her own person. She so easily could have allowed her to swallow her believes and morphed into those around her, but she didn’t. She stayed true to herself and only grew stronger by the day. She teaches us that kindness prevails and that believing in ourselves is often the strongest magic. (Equally does Miss Honey, but even her strength, I’m not sure compares to Matilda’s.) Matilda continues to tell children that it’s okay to love books, in fact she does even more than that, she teaches them that it’s okay to be unapologetically yourself, to stand up for yourself and others and that no matter who they are, they deserve love. Matilda is without a doubt a character I would be more than happy for my hypothetical future children to look up to and I will without a doubt be introducing them to her. She’s a character that has never and will never leave my heart. (And yes, she may occasionally inspire me to see if I can turn on the tv with my mind. What?…)
Lorelai Gilmore ~ Gilmore Girls.
Another mother because, fictional or not, mum’s are great, aren’t they? Yet, I don’t feel mothers in fiction (whether that’s tv, film, literature etc.) get the attention and appreciation they deserve. I said earlier that I wish I could have been half as awesome as Kamala Kahn at sixteen, well, Lorelai Gilmore is the person I wish I could be always and I’d happily take one sixth of her awesomeness any day. Lorelai Gilmore, to me, is the ultimate ‘human goals’. She’s funny, quick, witty, smart, determined, strong, so full of love and loyalty and somehow manages to eat everything and never gain weight (what is this Gilmore magic and where can I get some?!) Gilmore Girls has been one of my favourite tv shows for years and Lorelai has not once been bumped from the top spot of ‘favourite character’. (Okay, maybe once but this blog post isn’t the time or place to go into my love for the painfully underrated Dave Rygalski.) I adore the entire Gilmore Girls cast with my whole heart, it wouldn’t be my favourite show if I didn’t. Luke, Jess, Laine, Sookie, Rory, Kirk, Richard, Emily, Dave. I love them all but Lorelai will always top them all. Her relationship with Rory is my favourite Mother/Daughter relationship. I’m pretty sure the only one that tops it is my own relationship with my own mum and even then, it makes me stupidly happy whenever we act, say or do something that’s even somewhat reminiscent of the Gilmore girls. Lorelai Gilmore has had to deal with so much and yet somehow, she still managed to come out on top and create a life for herself and Rory that she could call her own. Pretty much everything she achieved in her life, she managed to get by her pure strength and determination. She took business classes at 30, took risks in her career and relationships and never let what she’d been through hinder her future or make her feel as though she couldn’t create a worthwhile life for herself. And that is why Lorelai Gilmore, to me, is so incredibly inspiring and why she’s without a doubt, one of my all time favourite women in fiction, ever.
I could easily continue with this list for pages and pages (honestly I kind of want to) but since these five wonderful fictional ladies were more or less the first five to spring to mind, I think I’ll end it with just a few honourable mentions.
- Brooke Davies ~ One Tree Hill. She’s brave, hard working, compassionate, loyal, witty and showed me that it’s okay to be all these things but be vulnerable and allow that vulnerability to show once in a while.
- Jo Montfort~ These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. Gutsy, Smart, Brave, Head Strong and Stands up for what she believes in. She defied the expectations put upon her and women during those times and did it all with compassion, a willingness to learn and without letting her privilege cloud her judgement.
- Liv Moore ~ iZombie. Funny, Smart, Loyal and will do whatever she can to protect the ones she loves, even at the extent of her own happiness and safety but she is no means a pushover. She looks out for herself and compromises, showing that life doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
- Mona ~ Mona the Vampire. Yep. Mona the freaking Vampire. Probably one of the coolest character I had in my life as a child and one I will never forget. How could I? I’m certain she’s the reason behind my love for mysteries, crime and thrillers etc. She’s smart, brave and entirely bizarre and deserves so much appreciation. Plus, she has a cape…
- Professor McGonagall ~ Harry Potter. “Have a biscuit Potter.” Need I say more? Professor Minerva McGonagall is, well, she’s McGonagall and that’s more than enough reason for why she’s more than deserving to be on this list.
So those are just a few of my favourite women in fiction and it is taking everything for me to not continue frantically adding name after name to this list. Instead I will leave you with what some very lovely people had to say, when I asked twitter who their favourite fictional ladies were and a question:
Who are your favourite women in fiction?…