Top Ten Tuesday – favorite “Kick-Ass” Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme sponsored by the creative bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week should be a fun one. I decided that “kick ass” heroines need not be physically kick ass (although it doesn’t hurt). Here’s my stab at a top ten list, ranked in order.

10. Meg Merrilies – from Sir Walter Scott’s “Guy Mannering”

OK, more of a minor character than a true heroine, but this matriarch of the Gypsies put fear into the hearts of all the men of Galloway. (below: Merrilies heaping curses)


9. Ellen – from Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth”

De facto wife of Tom Builder and protective mother of Jack, she is both fearless and fearsome.

8. Electra – from Sophocles’s “Electra” and Aeschylus’s “Electra”

She was so badass two of the big three tragedians wrote plays about her.

7. Eowyn – from J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy

Admittedly, I’m swayed by the winsome Miranda Otto’s portrayal in the movie adaptation (who wouldn’t be??) but there’s no heroine better if you find yourself in a sword fight.

6. Hermione Granger – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Sure, she’s just a kid, but you don’t want to mess with her if her wand is handy. She just might treat you like you’re in the house of Slytherin.


5. Elizabeth Bennett – from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”

Anyone who can face down the withering condescension of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and not blink makes my list. SHE is the one not to be trifled with, Lady C! (below: Judi Densch as Lady Catherine. Still no match for Miss Bennett)


4. Katniss Everdeen – from Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” series.

For her work with the bow (even Legolas would be impressed) AND with a nest of angry tracker jackers! (or whatever those wasp-thingys were called)


3. Scarlett O’Hara – from Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind”

Yeah, I may not have liked her, but she knew how to get what she wanted, sometimes with great ruthlessness. She’ll never go hungry again.

2. Eustacia Vye – from Thomas Hardy’s “Return of the Native”

No man on Egdon Heath was immune from being under her spell. Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bewitching portrayal in the Hallmark Movie may be influencing me. Yes, that’s possibly true. Yeah, definitely. 🙂  (below: Eustacia and her chosen man, Clym Yeobright)


1. Lisbeth Salander – from Stieg Larsson’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series.

It was a close decision between my final three or four, but – when in doubt – I go to my trusty tie-breaker. Does she have a tattoo?


Well, that’s it for me. What about you? Do you know any kick-ass heroines you’d like to introduce me to…?


  1. October 30, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Hermione and Katniss \o/ 🙂
    I have yet to read the rest of these books to see how badass these girls are 🙂

    My TTT


    • Jay said,

      October 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Ula,
      For sure! Those two were on a lot of lists today!


  2. October 30, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I love your choices! They are so diverse but each kicks ass. 🙂


    • Jay said,

      October 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks, Lori. I think I did a pretty good job – even if I do say so myself! Lol

      I realized I forgot Arya Stark from The Song of Fire & ice series. She deserves a spot.


  3. Jane said,

    October 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Brightened my morning. Although I was not familiar with all of your heroines, the ones I did know, I found myself saying outloud, “You go Girl”!


  4. Falaise said,

    October 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Nice choices – and good pictures, Jay!


    • Jay said,

      October 30, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks, Falaise. They are, for the most part, quite easy on the eyes aren’t they? 🙂


  5. Wick said,

    October 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Nice list. Molly from Neuromancer comes to mind.


  6. stuckinva said,

    October 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve been watching the Reelz mini series based on World Without End, and now I really need to pick up a copy of it–it looks fascinating!


    • Jay said,

      October 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      I’d like to watch those miniseries, but whenever I see them on, it’s somewhere in the middle…


      • stuckinva said,

        October 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        you can pre-order it from Amazon! 😀

        But, honestly, if you wait long enough, I’m sure they’ll replay it enough that you can catch all the parts.


        • Jay said,

          October 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

          Haha! Both are worthy plans!


  7. Dale said,

    October 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Jay, I’d forgotten about Ellen in “Pillars of the Earth” – she was great! “Gone With the Wind” is a definite for 2013.


    • Jay said,

      October 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      I liked Aliena too, but Ellen was badder. 🙂 You’ll like GWTW. I should respond in kind and try W&P next year…


  8. October 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I love how you have Elizabeth Bennet on your list! I totally forgot about her, but she is indeed a badass in her own right 🙂


  9. Nancy said,

    November 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Would you look at that?! Great list, Jay! Two thumbs up for Hermione and Lisbeth. Don’t you just love those tattoos? I do! 🙂



    • Jay said,

      November 6, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Thanks, Nancy. 🙂 Yeah, gotta admit I’m a tattoo guy. Well, love them on others, but not on myself. I missed being part of the tattoo generation by a couple years.


  10. November 6, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Am super late in commenting but great list Jay! Ellen from Pillars of the Earth was very fierce indeed. Thanks for dropping by my blog last week! =)


    • Jay said,

      November 6, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Hi Lianne,
      No worries. All comments are welcome. You’re right, Ellen is the last person I’d like to have angry with me. 🙂


  11. Dave Young said,

    November 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Please ignore the Vonnegut gravatar! One of my favorite bad-assed girls is Nastassja Kinski, child lover of Roman Polanski and star of “Cat People” (1982).


    • Jay said,

      November 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Agreed. I loved that movie back in the day…


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