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Katrina’s Top Favorite Heroines of Film & TV

Evelyn in The Mummy; favorite heroines
Photo: Universal

We live in a golden age of powerful female leads in film and television. Women who are not just “heroines” but heroes in their own right, they can go the distance. It is my absolute favorite thing. The second a sarcastic, gun wielding woman steps on screen I point at the television and say, “she’s my favorite character.” I’m not ashamed, I love strong female characters and I’m not going to apologize for it.

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Like I said, this is a wonderful time for great female characters. There are so many to know and love. Here are my 10 favorite heroines.


#1 Miss Piggy – The Muppets

miss piggy
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

Just listen to me for a second before you completely disregard Miss Piggy as a great heroine.

I get really defensive about two female “pop icons.” Those are Barbie and Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy is my hero and fashion muse and has been since I was little. And, honestly, she should be everyone’s hero. Miss Piggy never lets anyone tell her who she is. When she wants to be a high fashion model she walks right into Lady Holliday’s office not caring that she doesn’t have the body type or the experience. Piggy wants to be a high fashion model so that is what she is going to be. I wonder what the world would look like if more women had the confidence that Miss Piggy has.

#2 Evelyn Carnahan – The Mummy

Photo: Universal Pictures
Photo: Universal

“I may not be an adventurer or an explorer, Mr. O’Connell, but I’m proud of what I am.” “What’s that?” “I am a librarian.”

Evelyn is probably one of the best heroines I have had the privilege of meeting in my movie watching life. She grows a lot throughout her film. Evelyn goes from mousy and willing to let people tell her what her limits are to a great hero. She is cool and calm under pressure, able to translate ancient hieroglyphics on two instances while being attacked. She is the sort of hero who lets her brain do the fighting.

#3 Peggy Carter – Agent Carter/Captain America

agent carter
Photo: ABC

Peggy Carter is my hero! If I could be 1/10th as amazing as she is I would be happy. Not only is she super intelligent and unyielding she is also a skilled fighter. (There is something so satisfying about watching Peggy fight, she just hits men with heavy objects until they fall down.)

What I really love about Peggy Carter is how well she knows her own worth and doesn’t care if anyone else does. Peggy lets the men around her assume she is weak in order to gain exactly what she wants. She is smart and brave and everything I wish I could be.

#4 Princess Leia – Star Wars

Princess Leia in Star Wars
Photo: 20th Century Fox

On the topic of smart and brave…

“I don’t care who you are or where you came from, from now on you do as I say.”

I honestly don’t know why reporters still talk about strong female characters like they are something new when Princess Leia has been around since 1977. Princess Leia is so awesome, she is my standard for all female characters. She may be a princess and a diplomat but she is also a total badass. When the men rescuing her start having trouble, she takes charge,  the way she does in most situations throughout the trilogy and gets them out. She is just as much a hero as Luke and Han and I am willing to fight anyone who says otherwise.

#5 Elizabeth Swann – Pirates of the Caribbean

pirates of the caribbean
Photo: Disney

“Women in London must have learned not to breathe.”

When I watch period films like Pirates of the Caribbean, I always want to celebrate modern women stuck in non-modern societies. Elizabeth Swann was obviously raised and trained in her time period but I consider her a modern woman. She is another character who does not let society’s opinion of who she should be, define her. Elizabeth Swann is outspoken in a time period where women were expected to be quiet. She is brave, if occasionally foolish.

#6 Virginia Lewis – The 10th Kingdom

The 10th Kingdom
Virginia and Wolf
Photo: Hallmark Entertainment

I said in an earlier article just how amazing I think Virginia Lewis is, and I continue to think so.

Virginia’s story is all about becoming the hero who saves the 9 kingdoms. It doesn’t matter that she starts out as a waitress, never expecting anything exciting to happen in her life, anyone can become a great hero for girls to look up to; just like Snow-white.

#7 Claire – Jurassic World

Claire Jurassic World
Photo: Universal Pictures

Claire was really ragged on when Jurassic World came out but, if you ask me, she was the best part of the movie, and I love seeing dinosaurs fight.

Here’s the thing, Claire puts what is important in her life ahead of everything else, and what is really important to Claire is running her fully stocked dinosaur park efficiently and keeping her guests safe. So she lets things that our culture tells us are important fall to the wayside but that is because she has other priorities and we should celebrate that. Claire also saves Owen from pterodactyls and stays calm in incredibly dangerous situations while wearing heels. She is a perfect heroine.

#8 Kat Stratford – 10 Things I Hate About You

Kat 10 Things I Hate About You
Photo: Touchstone Pictures

“Hello Katerina, make anyone cry today?”

Everyone’s teen years are awkward and uncomfortable… Well, everyone except Kat Stratford who skipped over the awkward phase right into the awesome phase.

What I personally find so great about Kat Stratford is the fact that she truly does not care how others see her. She is going to be who she is no matter what, even if who she’s is horribly unpopular and disliked.

#9 Abby – Primeval

Abby in Primeval
Photo: BBC

(Note: Primeval was a British show about breaks in the space-time continuum that dinosaurs came through, and the people who put those dinosaurs back where they belonged.)

Abby is my absolute favorite character in a show filled with amazing characters. Abby is a girly tomboy who works with lizards and saves people from dinosaurs. Talk about awesome. She is a naturally caring person, taking in several dinosaurs who get stuck in our time. Caring doesn’t make her weak but rather makes her into a stronger person who is willing to put herself on the line for others. I love it.

#10 Sarah Connor – Terminator

sarah connor; the terminator; heroines
Photo: Orion Pictures

I chose Sarah Connor as my final heroine because she sacrifices every chance she has for a normal life for her and her son to save the world from an inevitable fate. She is resourceful, strong, smart, and caring. Sarah Connor is a real hero, even if she is never the “hero” in her films. She might be crazy but I wish I could be like her.

That’s it. That’s 10. I hope you enjoyed it. Who are your favorite heroines? Sound off below.

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By on June 24th, 2016

About Katrina Daroff

Part-time Writer/Full-time Dragon Slayer. Katrina Daroff grew up in Western Washington. She studied English at Whitworth University where her love for writing and literature were nurtured into an obsession. When she is not lost in worlds of fantasy and magic, Katrina Daroff enjoys hiking, slaying dragons, and causing trouble at libraries. Someday she hopes to publish her own series of fantasy novels or gain superpowers of her own. For more adventures you can follow her personal blog at hotstrongandsteamed.wordpress.com/.

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2 thoughts on “Katrina’s Top Favorite Heroines of Film & TV”

  1. Awesome list! Loved seeing Evelyn on here and Peggy and all the others. Totally agree with you about Princess Leia. She’s amazing and feels sincerely like a badass, not just some girl “trying” really hard to be cool, lol.

  2. The whole point of Sarah Connor and characters like that is that you grow into a hero. You aren’t born into it, like every hypersexist femsploitation movie Mary Sue ”heroine“ of the last ten years. (Zero character development, while managing to anger *both* men and women.)

    You start out normal, face an epic threat, meet a mentor and friends, and in a series of escalating wins and setbacks, grow above and beyond, for a big pay-off.
    It’s the age-old formula for a good story.

    Turns out men do love female heroines just as much, and always have. They just dislike sexist hate and bad story telling, just like we do.

    (Yeah, the stereotype of stereotypes are the minority of the minority, just like radfems do not really exist.)

    Sarah Connor, and the heroine from the Alien movies were my childhood heroines, and both what I wanted to be to conquer the insurmountable, and what I wanted to fuck with passion and sweat.


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