Second-string Fantasy Feminists

I came across a character I’d never heard of the other day that I immediately wanted on my fantasy feminist team.

I would’ve called the post dedicated to her “The 12th (Wo)man: Rounding out the Fantasy Feminist Line-up.”

Then I discovered a whole host of female characters that I love.

My reasons for choosing these characters are less clear-cut and, in some cases, heavily influenced by aesthetics, hence the second-string designation. Still, I found so many great fictional women (some of them BY ACCIDENT) that I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

My fantasy team continues to grow.

No, Hermione Granger is not on this list.

Bullet from The Killing

During a trip to my beloved TVTropes, I came upon this character from Arrow:

THIS GIRL

Who is THIS!?!?

She’s ADORABLE.

Delving further into this actress’ career, I discovered Bullet:

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IS THAT AN UNDERCUT!?!?

I never see women who look like me on television.

Also, I spend a lot of time imagining what my character’s vibe would be were I to star in a TV show.

THAT vibe. HER vibe. That’s it EXACTLY.

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (2018)

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I loved the new Tomb Raider.

I may have cried. Who can say.

I really responded to the film’s presentation of Lara as a cool, competent, messy woman.

REPRESENTATION IS IMPORTANT.

Vice Admiral Holdo from The Last Jedi

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I also loved The Last Jedi. YOU BETTER BELIEVE.

Aesthetics play a big role here. She’s so tall. You would not believe how sick I am of short heroines. I KNOW THERE ARE OTHER TALL WOMEN OUT THERE.

But I also loved seeing a woman in a place of power who commanded respect and refused to put up with Poe Dameron’s stupidity.

YES, I HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT HER METHODS.

But that spaceship kamikaze left me speechless.

I keep a Holdo bobblehead on my desk for motivation. It helps. Trust me.

Mulan from Mulan

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Did I SERIOUSLY leave Mulan out of my original line-up!?

SHE SAVED CHINA.

Ugh…so cool.

Megara from Hercules

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Megara was somewhat of a revelation in the late ’90s.

Let us check off her great qualities:

  • BROWN HAIR
  • WIT
  • GREAT SINGING VOICE
  • TRAGIC BACKSTORY

Meg was the prototype for every other female character I came to love after 1997. I only rewatch Hercules because of her.

Elise from Assassin’s Creed: Unity

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The Cute Redhead with a Weapon department had a job opening.

I really like the Assassin’s Creed series in theory, so the addition of a female assassin excited me.

I spend a lot of time admiring Elise’s hair. It. Is. Flawless.

Elsa from Frozen

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Weirdly enough, I enjoy an anti-villain who experiences frequent emotional overwhelm.

What an odd choice on my part.

Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle

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As a former otaku, I know how sacrilegious this next statement sounds: I don’t like many Studio Ghibli films.

But if I had to pick one of their films PURELY BASED ON ITS HEROINE, I would pick Howl’s Moving Castle every time.

I love how Sophie takes all the weird plot points in stride.

“Whatever, Fire Spirit, I’m CLEANING THE HOUSE.”

“Okay, centuries-old wizard, stop throwing a magic tantrum.”

“Sure, creepy scarecrow, follow me to my destination.”

“Neat, that traumatic haircut resulted in some truly beautiful hair.”

I can’t stand characters that struggle to accept new magical paradigms (“UGH, HARRY, YOU’RE A WIZARD AND YOU HAVE TO GO TO MAGIC SCHOOL. WHAT ABOUT THAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND!?”)

Sophie accepts the plot as it is and MOVES ON.

Hela from Thor: Ragnarok

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Let the controversial statements continue: Hela was the only part of Thor: Ragnarok I liked.

(My friend Chris, after seeing the movie, remarked, “YES, Cate Blanchett, CHEW that scenery.”)

Her struggle makes so much sense: after millennia of destroying cultures and bending others to your will, your dad suddenly decides he’s no longer into it? AND he wants to pretend NONE OF IT EVER HAPPENED?

Forget him, Hela. You and your giant wolf can join my team.

Moana from Moana

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I watched Moana for the first time last week after years of avoidance.

Girl is LAYERED.

You mean competence can still result in an identity crisis?

You mean pursuing new ideas can get messy?

YOU MEAN ENEMIES CAN BE TRANSFORMED BY COMPASSION?

Moana’s scene with Te Ka brought me to tears.

I would follow her anywhere. She’ll make a great chief.

Serafina Pekkala from The Golden Compass

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I started drafting a contract the minute I saw Serafina Pekkala stab a dude in the chest.

EASILY the best part of The Golden Compass.

Death from The Sandman

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Hold on…there’s a DC superhero that looks like Amy Lee?

WHY DON’T I READ COMICS!?!?

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