Monday, February 14, 2011

Female Characters We Love to Love

I find myself constantly evaluating characters in books, on TV and in the movies. What makes them interesting and loveable. Sometimes we love to hate them--Why? Sometimes we cheer for them and become so emotionally involved with these fictional characters that they feel like a friend. Okay, maybe I'm starting to sound a little pathetic, but isn't it true?

I recently wrote a post about the character of Mattie Ross from True Grit so today I thought I would mention a couple of my other recent favorites female characters.

1- Catniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games Trilogy. Big surprise.

In a nutshell--Catniss is young, strong, loyal, mentally tough, resourceful, conflicted emotionally, skilled, dangerous. She faces incredible danger and unfair circumstances but is victorious because of her inner strength. She is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. She can be emotionally cold and morally ambivilant but that just gives her texture and makes her feel more real.

2- Veronica Mars from the TV show. Who? I said, VERONICA MARS. Cool name and a cool girl.

Like Catniss, she is young and headstrong. She is witty and cute. She's an intelligent private investigator (even in high school) who is able to manipulate adults and fellow students to get the answers she needs in bringing justice to the world. She follows her own moral compass which may not always line up with yours or mine but she is consistent and true to herself. She's the kind of friend you want when you get into a jam because she will find a way to solve your problems and make you look like a superstar.

Mattie Ross, Catniss Everdeen and Veronica Mars. Strength, loyalty, intelligence, honesty, resourcefulness are all inspiring characteristics.

Do you have a favorite female character? What makes her interesting?


  1. I love Fiona Glenanne on Burn Notice. She's beautiful, smart, funny,a very adept and skilled pyromaniac, and always stands by her man. gotta love her:-)

  2. If I ever need to blow anything up I'm calling Fiona.

  3. Steve, Steve, Steve. There are just too many good female characters to name! Here are some of my standouts.

    Xena! She's an incredible character who started out as a mass murderer and warlord before repenting. She spends most of her TV series trying to make up for the horrible acts she's committed, and asks us to ponder whether it's ever really possible to make up for what we have done. She struggles with guilt and shame but uses her warrior skill and healing knowledge to help others in need.

    Polgara from David Edding's Belgariad series is the ultimate mother figure. She cooks tasty dishes, enjoys mundane housework (she even lives on a farm in part of the story, Steve!) but secretly, she's the Queen of Sorcery who uses magic to defend her loved ones against demons, assassins, and a dark sleeping god. Does it get any cooler than that?

  4. Dan, Dan, Dan. Way to pull Xena kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    I can't say she's one I ever cared for.

  5. Buffy! Now we're talking.

    Any favorites in books- excluding Jane Austin characters?

  6. I started thinking about it more. Dana Scully from the X-Files was a strong lead. Educated, carried a gun. The recent show on Syfy called Haven, the lead, also FBI is very good. The new Battlestar Galactica's Starbuck. We are seeing more and more strong female roles on TV and at the Movies, I for one am happy to see this movement.

    From Books...
    Eona from Eon:Dragoneye Reborn - forced to live as a boy until...

    Katsa from Graceling (if you've read the Hunger games series, this one you'll like)

    Vin from the Mistborn trilogy

    All of these characters impress me, hard and tough, with hints of vulnerability.

    And if I go back to my youth... Nancy Drew would have my vote!

  7. Love Veronica Mars!!! How about Rachel from "The Commish" What a strong, loving, supportiv wife and mother. I just love her. Then there's also from my youth Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew.

  8. Too many good ones to name them all. Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew take me back to my childhood. How about Jo from Little Women? There was a woman who dared to step out of the socially accepted norm for the role of women yet managed to still persuade us that love and family are the most important things in life. Another childhood fave was Laura Ingalls from the Little House books. She helped me not be afraid to explore my world and do big things despite the limitations of my environment...and again, how to make family number one.
    My fave female TV characters are Brenda Lee Johnson from The Closer, Abby on NCIS (she makes me laugh constantly), and on NCIS - LA it's hard to top Hetty. She helps us see how our stereotypes are often way off the mark and that anyone can do anything if they have the desire and will. I also loved Natalie on Monk, as she was a loyal, patient, caregiver and friend to someone who most people couldn't have spent an hour with let alone days and years on end. I get Natalie, as I have an OCD child...I truly understand what that takes. She also helped me laugh at the absurdities that sometimes were not so funny in real life. It helped to make things easier to deal with.

  9. I gotta say Kaylee from Firefly. She's cute, she's an uber-talented ship mech and she can shoot. Of course Zoey from that same show kicks some serious keester too. They absolutely should bring that show back. Firefly had stellar writers and a fantastic story line.

    We loved Veronica Mars too. She was just sassy enough to be watchable without making me want to smack her.

    We're also liking the kids from Castle (I have a soft spot for the male lead anyway). Again, mostly because their chars are so well-written.