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Quirk Books is linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top 10 Tuesday! This week we’re sharing our favorite fictional heroines… the kick-butt female types, not the drug. The internet told me that a heroine is “the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.” That wasn’t good enough for me, so I searched online a little deeper (I just clicked the next link, but no one really needs to know that) and found a much better definition: “a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.” Yes. That sounds good.

#1. Arya Stark (from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin)

This girl. She has more courage than I could ever ask for in my entire lifetime. She knows how to swordfight with the best of ‘em and channels all her grief and loss and confusion and fear into confidence and dedication. A true hero.

#2. Matilda Wormwood (from Matilda by Roald Dahl)

This girl deserves to be on this list if only for her love of books. I don’t think anyone has ever checked out so many books from the library. Not to mention her psychokinetic powers that get her (and others) out of horrible situations.

#3. Sarah Manning (from Orphan Black)

You can change the character name to your clone of choice because it doesn’t really matter. This show is filled with incredible female characters who are dealing with the horrifying truth of what it means to not really know who or what you are.

#4. Hermione Granger (from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

You knew she’d be on this list. Harry and Ron would be nowhere without Hermione’s intelligence. She gets courage bonus points for dealing with teenage boys. Her ability? Clever magic. She also loves books.

#5. Alana (from Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples)

So, Alana can kick some serious butt. Seriously. She also really loves this one particular romance novel, so she stands for every nerdy girl everywhere who loves something that someone else thinks is uncool.

#6. Olivia Dunham (from Fringe)

Olive is one of my all-time favorite characters. A special agent in the FBI’s Fringe Division, she handles every supernatural event with a ridiculous amount of calm and intelligence. I want to be her when I grow up.

#7. Buffy Summers (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Welll, she is the chosen one. Bless Joss Whedon for creating Buffy Summers for the rest of us to admire.  She has no problem slaying vampires while wearing high heels, balances her sometimes-evil-sometimes-not first love with cheerleading practice and the threat of an apocalypse, and somehow manages to not give up when the weight of the world is on her shoulders.

#8. Agatha (from The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani)

A true heroine turns every stereotype around to carve a new path for herself, and this is exactly what Agatha does. She can’t be bad even if she tries, and she stands up for friendship over everything else. What a rock star.

#9. Elphaba Thropp (from Wicked by Gregory Maguire)

I love the Wicked Witch of the West! Elphaba’s really not all that wicked, but you’d never know that by what other people say of her. She doesn’t even identify as a witch, but no good deed goes unpunished.

#10. Mindy Lahiri (from The Mindy Project)

So this last character isn’t quite like the others. Mindy is the only character on my list who isn’t part of a book or TV show that uses elements of fantasy or science fiction. But that doesn’t make Mindy any less of a heroine. Oh no. Her distinguished ability? She’s a doctor. Her brave deeds? Standing up for herself on several occasions. Her noble qualities? Sarcasm and an excellent fashion sense.

Let me know your favorite heroines in the comments! I want to know which books/tv shows/movies I need to check out next! 


Maria Vicente's picture

Maria Vicente

Maria Vicente is an Associate Agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She is also the Wicked Witch of the East Coast.