Strong Female Characters: Princess Elsa

For those of you that don’t know, Elsa is one of the two main characters of Disney’s latest animated musical, Frozen. Set in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, the story deals with Elsa learning to use her secret ice powers and her sister Anna’s attempts to bring her home. The film was a smash hit, scooping several awards, and many hailed Frozen’s storyline as the beginning of a more progressive era in Disney’s storytelling. Elsa herself was inducted into the line-up of official Disney princesses (on Wednesdays, they wear pink) and has been described as a role model for young girls everywhere.

But does she live up to the hype? Let’s find out – but watch out for spoilers!

 

  1. Does the character shape her own destiny? Does she actively try to change her situation and if not, why not?

As Elsa was born with secret magical ice powers (which also cover dress-making and the creation of mindless snow minions), it would be very easy to put her into the kind of ‘Chosen One’ storyline I discussed in my brief look at Buffy. But unlike Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the plot of Frozen doesn’t really call for Elsa to use her powers for a specific purpose, so she has a lot more control over what she actually does. The crux of her storyline is whether she should accept or repress her magical abilities, rather than using them to force her into a pre-determined storyline.

At the very start of the film, these decisions are made for her – her parents decide to teach her to repress her abilities – but this is because when the film begins, she is a small child. Once she grows into adulthood, she becomes responsible for her own decisions. It must be said that a lot of her decisions are responses to her circumstances – she only decides to explore her ice powers after she accidentally reveals them and is ostracised from her kingdom – but as she was not being manipulated into making them by some external force, I’m awarding her the point.

SCORE SO FAR: 1

 

  1. Does she have her own goals, beliefs and hobbies? Did she come up with them on her own?

Elsa only really develops goals and beliefs halfway through the story. Once her ice powers are revealed, she decides she wants to explore her abilities and live a life that allows her to celebrate them. But before that, her beliefs and goals were largely dictated by her parents’ influence – even three years after their deaths, she continued to emotionally isolate herself and repeat the mantra they had taught her as a child. In the three years between her parents’ death and her coronation, we don’t really see anything of Elsa’s character development: to all intents and purposes, she seems exactly the same as she was before they died.

Personally, I think this is a bit unrealistic. Three years is a long time, and given that Elsa is still a teenager when she loses her parents, it is very unlikely that her personality would not have been changed by these events. By the end of the film, she has come up with her own goals and beliefs (although she’s not so strong on the hobby front), but it would’ve been nice to see a bit more of this before her transformation. I’ll give her a half point for trying.

SCORE SO FAR: 1.5

 

  1. Is her character consistent? Do her personality or skills change as the plot demands?

I touched on this in the last question, but I’ll go into more detail on her personality in question six and focus on her skills here.

Elsa’s abilities are pretty sporadic. We’re told at first that she has powers of ice and snow, but we find out later that this translates into dressmaking and the creation of sentient snow minions.

giphy Frankenstein
So does he have ice powers too? (image: giphy.com)

What’s more, Elsa masters her powers in a matter of minutes during the song Let It Go, and in a matter of seconds at the end of the film, when she finally learns how to switch it off. In the beginning of the film, it’s established that she’s been struggling to control her powers for over a decade, so this comes off as a little rushed. Certain aspects of her powers are consistent – for example, she finds it much more difficult to control them when she’s distressed – but for the most part, Elsa’s powers are there to facilitate the demands of the plot, so I’m withholding the point.

SCORE SO FAR: 1.5

 

  1. Can you describe her in one short sentence without mentioning her love life, her physical appearance, or the words ‘strong female character’?

A young woman with magical powers who learns to control her abilities and accept herself.

SCORE SO FAR: 2.5

 

  1. Does she make decisions that aren’t influenced by her love life?

Elsa doesn’t have a love life; most of her decisions are influenced by her fear of her own powers and her love for her family. She’s single for the entire movie, and as she doesn’t spend the whole film moping about it I’m awarding her the point.

SCORE SO FAR: 3.5

 

  1. Does she develop over the course of the story?

Elsa’s character transformation is pretty much central to the plot. She goes from a very repressed young woman to a much more empowered character over the course of the movie, and she does it all in the course of one song (sung here by marines, because why not).

And that is where the crux of the problem lies. In one song – that’s not even four minutes long – she goes from being so emotionally stunted that she can’t even face an argument with her sister, to someone who’s confident enough in her own abilities to leave an entire kingdom behind. After Idina Menzel has finished belting out Let It Go, Elsa is a completely different character. There’s almost no trace of her previous personality. Almost instantly she goes from being consumed by the desire to seem normal to not caring what anyone thinks about the abilities that have led to over a decade of repression and ostracisation – and feeling confident enough to go back to ruling her kingdom, knowing that every single one of her subjects knows exactly what she can do.

I don’t think that this is a realistic transformation. I understand that Frozen is working with a very limited running time, but rushing Elsa’s emotional journey really undercuts some of its impact. It would have been very easy for the writers to have dropped a few hints that Elsa was questioning the emotional repression that her parents instilled in her at the beginning of the movie, and this would have made her journey feel a lot more realistic (and also leant more weight to the moment when her powers are revealed and she runs away). In real life, learning to open up and accept yourself takes a lot longer than four minutes.

SCORE SO FAR: 4.5

 

  1. Does she have a weakness?

Elsa hates conflict, and will go to extreme lengths to avoid it. She’s emotionally closed-off, and withdraws into herself when she’s having a hard time dealing with things. These are all realistic and consistent weaknesses that cause problems for her within the story, so I’m giving her the point.

SCORE SO FAR: 5.5

 

  1. Does she influence the plot without getting captured or killed?

Elsa and her powers are pretty much the driving force of the movie. The plot revolves around Elsa trying to master her powers and save her kingdom, and while she does get captured, this is mainly a device to bring her back to Arendelle rather than a set-up for a rescue mission, so she passes this round.

SCORE SO FAR: 6.5

 

  1. How does she relate to stereotypes about gender?

Elsa relates to gender stereotypes in some very interesting ways. In some respects she is traditionally feminine, particularly at the beginning of the movie, when she goes out of her way to be dignified, calm and demure. She rejects this behaviour through the course of the film, but still doesn’t completely discard it: elements of it are still present in the final few scenes. However, the most interesting ways that she relates to gender stereotypes is in regard to her emotional isolation. Emotional isolation is a very interesting trope when applied to women: it’s an attribute that has been traditionally applied to male characters, but has also been used in recent years as a way for writers to prove that their female characters are ‘strong’.

3ZZ4
This gif is perfect (image: harkavagrant.com)

The narrative treats Elsa’s emotional isolation as negative, successfully shooting down both of these stereotypes. Furthermore, giving her a story defined by familial love rather than romantic love cuts down the traditional gender stereotypes surrounding women (and in particular, Disney princesses), that often value romantic relationships at the expense of everything else in women’s lives. Point to Elsa.

SCORE SO FAR: 7.5

 

  1. How does she relate to other female characters?

Elsa only has one relationship with another female character – her sister, Anna. While her lack of relationships with other women could reasonably be attributed to her emotional isolation, the fact that the movie doesn’t have another named female character with significant screen time kind of undercuts this. Her mother only has a few lines, and as she is never given a name or a scene dedicated to interacting with her daughters, I can’t really count that as a relationship. The same thing can be said of Elsa’s servants.

That said, her relationship with her sister is very well done. A lot of time is devoted to exploring the love, frustration and understanding the sisters feel for each other, and so I’m going to award it a half point.

FINAL SCORE: 8/10

 

Elsa is a young woman who learns to accept herself and come to terms with her own emotional issues. While her development is rushed and her abilities can change as the plot demands, she does have some very realistic weaknesses and her actions and decisions have a real impact on the plot. She’s certainly passed my test!

Next week, I’ll be taking a short break, because of Christmas and junk – I’ll be back in the New Year. On my hit list are Bella Swan, Princess Leia, Sansa Stark and Hazel Lancaster, but I can’t decide who to target next! Leave a comment and let me know who you’d like me to look at next – even if they’re not on the list!

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Strong Female Characters: Buffy Summers

For those of you that don’t know, Buffy Summers is the protagonist of Joss Whedon’s hit TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Set in the American city of Sunnydale, the show follows Buffy’s attempts to rid the world of evil – although she mainly limits that to the undead. The show has been credited as a total game-changer, particular with the way that female characters are written – so naturally it was only a matter of time before I started ranting about it. Many viewers see Buffy as a feminist heroine, and as a role model for young girls everywhere.

But does she live up to the hype? Let’s find out – but watch out for spoilers!

 

  1. Does the character shape her own destiny? Does she actively try to change her situation and if not, why not?

It’s explained in the very first episode that Buffy is the Chosen One – armed with supernatural abilities and destined to try to rid the world of evil. So from the outset, it’s pretty clear that Buffy has not chosen her own destiny in a larger sense. Because of her ‘Chosen One’ status, all sorts of evil entities are going to be seeking her out and trying to kill her, so she’ll be fighting the forces of evil whether she wants to or not. She does question the fate she’s been given – she runs away from home in the season two finale, and alters the way that Slayer powers are passed down in the series finale – but she ultimately accepts it. She is very aware that pursuing her own goals could result in thousands of people dying; she will never really be free to take control of her own life.

However, this is not necessarily a problem specific to her character. The ‘Chosen One’ narrative is very common, and often involves the hero/heroine being forced into situations that they wouldn’t ordinarily seek out. It’s tied up with a lot of other ideas about the inevitability of fate and the question of free will, and while these problems do surface in Buffy, they surface in many other narratives like it due to the nature of this kind of story. With that in mind, I’ll give it a half point.

SCORE SO FAR: 0.5

 

  1. Does she have her own goals, beliefs and hobbies? Did she come up with them on her own?

When she’s not turning centuries-old vampires into powder, Buffy enjoys ice-skating, cheerleading, and making fun of terrible movies. Some of these hobbies are remnants of her pre-slayer life, some of them are not, some she shares with her friends, some she doesn’t – all in all, it’s a very realistic mix of pastimes.

However, as far as her beliefs and goals go, most of them are dictated by her destiny as a Slayer. She wants a normal life, but does not know how she would spend it. She wants to stop vampires from harming people, but there’s no way of knowing if she would still want that if she had not been made the Slayer. When you boil it down to its most basic principle, all she really wants to do is survive. This is made very clear in the episode where Buffy and Willow discuss their plans for after school. Willow has a list of universities she wants to apply for and is already thinking about what she wants to study; Buffy hasn’t even considered it.

Buffy’s goals and beliefs are a direct result of her destiny as the Slayer. It’s impossible to separate them from her wider destiny, and with that in mind, I’m withholding the point.

SCORE SO FAR: 0.5

I TAKE IT BACK (image: giphy.com)

 

  1. Is her character consistent? Do her personality or skills change as the plot demands?

For the most part, Buffy is a pretty consistent character. Her supernatural strength is present through most of the series – and on the occasions where it isn’t, there’s usually a very good explanation for it. Her personality does change over the course of the series, but as all the seasons of Buffy cover her life from the ages of about fifteen to twenty-three, a little change is to be expected. The core elements of her personality are consistent, and so I’m giving it the point.

SCORE SO FAR: 1.5

 

  1. Can you describe her in one short sentence without mentioning her love life, her physical appearance, or the words ‘strong female character’?

A young woman determined to rid the world of supernatural evil, without losing her own identity in the process.

SCORE SO FAR: 2.5

 

  1. Does she make decisions that aren’t influenced by her love life?

Most of Buffy’s decisions are influenced by the Monster of the Week. Occasionally, this does turn out to be one of her ex-boyfriends, but we’ve all been there once or twice. Overall, Buffy’s love life does factor into some of her decision-making, but certainly not the majority of it, so she passes this round.

SCORE SO FAR: 3.5

 

  1. Does she develop over the course of the story?

Does she EVER.

Buffy’s character development is astronomical. She grows up over the course of the series, but in each season she has her own character development arc. Her worldview changes from largely optimistic to much more pessimistic, she indulges – and then learns to avoid – self-destructive behaviour, and she goes from challenging her destiny to accepting it, but on her own terms. That’s some pretty hardcore development, right there.

SCORE SO FAR: 4.5

 

  1. Does she have a weakness?

Buffy has a superiority and inferiority complex all rolled into one. She knows she’s been marked out for greatness, yet she believes she deserves to be socially ostracised because of it. She hates authority figures – which really gets her into trouble with The Initiative – and is convinced she must have total control over her own life (and, in the later seasons, everyone else’s). What’s more, she’s also prone to some pretty serious lapses of judgement, particularly when it comes to her relationships.

Buffy falls for two vampires over the course of the series – Angel and Spike. Both of them repeatedly try to kill her and drink her blood, and yet she still doesn’t really see a problem with jumping into bed with both of them. Call me crazy, but when a guy stalks, murders and eats my friends, HE KIND OF LOSES HIS CHANCE TO BE MY BOYFRIEND. Yet Buffy consistently engages in relationships with vampires, knowing that they must eat people in order to survive, and that some of them have killed her friends. When it comes to her love life, Buffy sometimes forgets that her boyfriends are not always as human as she is, and doesn’t seem able to face up to the reality that those relationships will never work out. It’d be like me dating a bowl of spaghetti – sooner or later, I’m going to get hungry, and that delicious pasta is going to suffer for it.

Me and bae ❤

However, her flaws are consistent, and they impact both the plot and her relationships, so she passes this round.

SCORE SO FAR: 5.5

 

  1. Does she influence the plot without getting captured or killed?

Most of the series revolves around Buffy kicking ass and taking names. While the overall plot of the series is heavily influenced by Buffy’s destiny as a Slayer, her actions dictate the majority of the plot for every single episode, so she passes this round with flying colours.

SCORE SO FAR: 6.5

 

  1. How does she relate to stereotypes about gender?

For the most part, Buffy subverts a lot of stereotypes about gender. In many ways she’s a typical teenage girl who enjoys shopping, cheerleading and talking about cute boys – but she’s also the unquestioned leader of a team of people dedicated to ridding the world of supernatural evil, and destined to save humanity from whatever demonic end the Monster of the Week has planned for it. Such a huge responsibility is rarely given to teenage female characters, and in that respect she’s a very subversive character.

However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all aspects of her personality. Buffy is frequently used as a means of taking down the more overt forms of sexism. We’ve all seen this before: every so often a sexist caricature will underestimate Buffy – usually using the words ‘little girl’ in the process – and she kicks him in the face, everyone cheers, and then they all go to the Bronze for tea and celebratory crumpets (or whatever else they serve to underage teenagers in a place that is CLEARLY A BAR).

They’ve even got those red plastic cups that all Americans are legally required to have at all frat parties (image: fanpop.com)

This doesn’t apply to the more insidious forms of sexism on the show. Xander – one of Buffy’s best friends – consistently whines about how Buffy won’t have sex with him, yet Buffy never once challenges his behaviour, or asks him why he thinks he’s entitled to her body in that way. One of Buffy’s boyfriends, Riley, has a huge problem with her being physically stronger than him, and hates that she doesn’t depend on him, yet she never asks him why his need to be a ‘big, strong man’ means that she has to be weaker. As I’ve already mentioned, Buffy consistently makes poor decisions about her love life, and actually never finds a fulfilling relationship, reinforcing the idea that young women make terrible choices when it comes to men. In some ways, Buffy is a breakthrough character that shattered expectations of gender, but in others, she falls in line with some really dated stereotypes.

SCORE SO FAR: 7

 

  1. How does she relate to other female characters?

Much like Hermione and Katniss, Buffy has a range of different relationships with a range of different characters. She adores her best friend, Willow, has a strange rivalry/camaraderie with her fellow slayer, Faith, and has a strange mixture of hatred and pity for the vampire Drusilla. All in all, it’s a very realistic mix of relationships that is usually handled pretty well.

FINAL SCORE: 8/10

 

Buffy Summers is a well-rounded character who develops over the course of all seven seasons of Buffy. She is hugely influenced by her destiny and, at times, this calls aspects of personality and free will into question, but nevertheless she has her own strengths, weaknesses and abilities that remain largely consistent throughout the series. She’s certainly passed my test!

Next week, I’ll be venturing into the Disney universe – and in the spirit of all things wintry, I’ll be looking at Frozen. Elsa, I’m coming for you.

 

Strong Female Characters: Hermione Granger

For those of you that don’t know, Hermione Granger is one of the main characters in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Set in a secret magical boarding school, the books deal with the adventures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger’s efforts to stop the evil Lord Voldemort (aka. Wizard Hitler). While she’s not the protagonist, Hermione is one of the most important characters in the series, and she has been hailed as a role model for young girls everywhere.

But does she live up to the hype? Let’s find out – but watch out for spoilers!

 

  1. Does the character shape her own destiny? Does she actively try to change her situation and if not, why not?

Unlike the rest of the Golden Trio, Hermione is the only one who consistently has her eye on the big picture. She’s very engaged in the world around her – she keeps up with contemporary politics throughout most of the series – and frequently tries to change it. She’s the one who persuades Harry to start the DA, she’s the one who starts a campaign for elf rights when she sees how they’re treated, and she’s the one who discovers – and makes – the Polyjuice Potion to help them find out more about the Heir of Slytherin.

Hermione is constantly examining and questioning the world around her on a massive scale, and even though she has limited resources, she does her best to change it. In true Granger style, she passes this round with flying colours.

SCORE SO FAR: 1

 

  1. Does she have her own goals, beliefs and hobbies? Did she come up with them on her own?

Throughout the series, Hermione displays some very consistent goals: she wants to do well in school, get a job that lets her make a difference in the world, and maybe defeat some evil on the side. Defeating evil is a goal that many other characters share, but her academic motivation is entirely hers, and she owns it.

Yeah she does. image: pinterest.com
Yeah she does. (image: pinterest.com)

While Hermione’s two main hobbies (reading and knitting) can be a little solitary, her personal beliefs are a mix of her own opinions and what she has learned from other characters in the books. Like many other characters, she believes that blood discrimination is wrong and that Voldemort is evil, but unlike many other characters, she believes that enslaving house elves is wrong, and is more than willing to argue her case. This mixture of beliefs is actually much more realistic than you would usually find in a YA novel, and adds another layer to her character.

SCORE SO FAR: 2

 

  1. Is her character consistent? Do her personality or skills change as the plot demands?

For the most part, Hermione is a pretty consistent character. Her intelligence and compassion remain a constant force throughout the series, and she never wavers in pursuing her goals.

The one place where this consistency falls down is in her attitude to her love life. Hermione has a tendency to get extremely petty over her love life (particularly when Ron starts dating Lavender Brown) and given the emotional maturity she shows through the rest of the series, I don’t feel that this is particularly consistent with her character. However, her tendency to be petty over things she cares about is previously established – just look at how annoyed she is when someone does better than her in a test – and this is an attitude she maintains consistently, so I’ll give her a pass on this one.

SCORE SO FAR: 3

 

  1. Can you describe her in one short sentence without mentioning her love life, her physical appearance, or the words ‘strong female character’?

A fiercely intelligent young witch who’s determined to stop the spread of evil.

SCORE SO FAR: 4

 

  1. Does she make decisions that aren’t influenced by her love life?

Most of Hermione’s decisions are influenced by her own moral compass or her determination to do well in school. Of course, some of her decisions are influenced by her love life, but the majority of them are not. In the final book, she shows that she’s more than capable of making choices without letting her love life influence her: when Ron leaves the Horcrux hunt and asks her to come with him, she refuses even though she has feelings for him because she knows destroying Horcruxes is more important. That’s another point for Gryffindor.

SCORE SO FAR: 5

Four for you Granger, you go Granger image: tumblr.com
Four for you Granger, you go Granger (image: tumblr.com)

 

  1. Does she develop over the course of the story?

Hermione develops very naturally over the course of the Harry Potter series (and no, I’m not going to make a puberty joke). She learns the value of breaking the rules, the importance of standing up for what she believes in despite the costs, and grows up into a young woman who is proud of who she is. This is a very positive message for children everywhere, as well as very realistic character development, and so once again, she passes this round in a blaze of glory.

SCORE SO FAR: 6

 

  1. Does she have a weakness?

Hermione is prone to occasional bouts of irrational panic (usually over her grades), but this is most prevalent in her earlier years; in her final year at Hogwarts, she has grown out of it enough to skip her final year altogether. She’s a stickler for procedure and at times, can be a little close-minded (particularly in her interactions with Professor Trelawney and Luna Lovegood). More worryingly, her greatest weakness is a tendency for petty, sometimes cruel behaviour in her love life, but I’ll go into this in more detail later.

Regardless of the unfortunate implications that some of her weaknesses possess, they do still count as weaknesses, so the point goes to Granger.

SCORE SO FAR: 7

 

  1. Does she influence the plot without getting captured or killed?

Without Hermione getting stuff done, Harry and Ron would probably have dropped dead from sheer incompetence in their first year. Hermione is consistently the character who puts the clues together, who comes up with the solutions, and who makes the plans work. She does occasionally get captured, but they’re usually minor incidents and never the main focus of any of the books, so she passes this round once again.

SCORE SO FAR: 8

 

  1. How does she relate to stereotypes about gender?

OK, hold onto your wizard hats.

LOOK AT HIM HE'S SO MAGICAL (image: crimsonkeep.com)
LOOK AT HIM HE’S SO MAGICAL (image: crimsonkeep.com)

In some ways, Hermione goes against traditional gender stereotypes. She’s very intelligent, stands up for what she believes in, and rises up over gossip and bullying in a way that contemporary stereotypes about teenage girls would have us believe is impossible. In some ways she can be very traditionally feminine (her emotional maturity and interest in knitting, for instance) but this is never presented as a bad thing, and this is all a very positive message for young girls.

Where it all falls down is how she behaves in her love life, particularly in the sixth book. For those of you who need a refresher, the part I’m referring to is where Hermione develops feelings for Ron only to find that he has started going out with another student (Lavender Brown). When she finds out, she sets a flock of birds on him, which leave cuts on his arms that take days to heal. Hermione – not any other character in the book, for that matter – never expresses any remorse for causing physical harm to someone she has feelings for.

WHAT THE HELL, GRANGER??

This is actually really dangerous behaviour that enforces a lot of harmful stereotypes about gender. Hermione – usually a very calm, controlled character – completely loses it when she experiences romantic rejection. Afterwards, she goes out of her way to make Ron jealous – including dating someone she really dislikes and shows little concern for her well-being – and once Hermione and Ron get together, this is never addressed again. This subtly reinforces the belief that women are slaves to their emotions, particularly when dealing with romantic rejection, which is a belief that can have a very harmful impact on the lives of contemporary women. However, this incident also reinforces harmful stereotypes about men, too. If you imagine the situation without magic, Hermione’s behaviour would legally count as relationship abuse, and I have no doubt that if the genders were reversed, it would be treated as such, but the characters just brush it off and the fans often treat it as a joke. This is symptomatic of a much wider trend in fiction where female characters often use unnecessary force to prove their strength, but it reinforces a lot of frankly poisonous stereotypes. By trivialising abuse committed by women against men, it reinforces the beliefs that women are not strong enough to harm men and men are too strong to be harmed by women – a belief which trivialises both female domestic abusers and their male victims in real life.

This is by no means the kind of behaviour we should be endorsing.

SCORE SO FAR: 8

 

  1. How does she relate to other female characters?

Like Katniss, Hermione has a range of different relationships with a range of different female characters. She looks up to Professor McGonagall, looks down on Rita Skeeter and rightfully despises characters such as Professor Umbridge and Bellatrix Lestrange. However, it’s worth noting that over the course of the series, Hermione doesn’t really develop a close friendship with another female character. She is close to Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood – she sticks up for them and seems to know a lot about what’s going on in their lives – but she doesn’t always engage with them. When the reader is presented with scenes that show her interacting with them, Hermione comes across as aloof: she looks down on some of Luna’s more eccentric beliefs, she makes no interest to share Ginny’s passion for Quidditch, and there are not many scenes that show her really engaging her friends in topics that interest them, which is a hugely important part of any friendship.

This takes its toll on the storytelling. Hermione is not a character that is incapable of forming friendships; her bond with Harry and Ron is proof of that. However, Hermione is frequently used as a vehicle to dispense information about other characters, particularly those outside Harry’s house and year. When she tells Harry (and, by extension, the reader) a myriad of very personal details about Ginny and Luna’s lives, yet has no scenes establishing the depth of her bond with those characters, she seems more like a plot device and less like a realistic character. With that in mind, I’m only going to award her half a point, as I feel this lack of depth really undercuts some of her most important relationships with other female characters.

FINAL SCORE: 8.5/10

 

Hermione Granger is a well-rounded character who develops over the course of the Harry Potter novels. While some of her behaviour carries some deeply unfortunate implications about gender, she does display realistic and developed strengths and weaknesses, and has a huge impact on the plot of the series. She’s certainly passed my test – ten points to Gryffindor.

Next week, I’ll be venturing into Sunnydale. Buffy Summers, I’m coming for you.