Strong Female Characters

Looking for a place where all my posts on Strong Female Characters are all neatly ordered? Want to see all the scores alongside them? Want to see a picture of a kitten in a hat?

Then have I got the page for you!



NOTE: The Strong Female Characters series is now over! This is it – I will not be looking at any new characters.  Enjoy!


Introduction – The Problem With Strong Female Characters

Katniss Everdeen – 8.5/10       PASS

Hermione Granger – 8.5/10       PASS

Buffy Summers – 8/10       PASS

Princess Elsa – 8/10       PASS

Sansa Stark – 8/10       PASS

Hazel Grace Lancaster – 5/10       FAIL

Belle – 6/10       FAIL

Clara Oswald – 4.5/10       FAIL

Princess Leia – 6/10       FAIL

Lizzie Bennet – 7.5/10       FAIL … but only just

Granny Weatherwax – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Tris Prior – 6.5/10       FAIL

Ramona Flowers – 1/10       FAIL

Sailor Moon – 8.5/10       PASS

Bella Swan (April Fools’ Edition)

Katara – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Lisbeth Salander – 8.5/10       PASS

Dorothy Gale – 5/10       FAIL

Matilda – 8.5/10       PASS

Marion Ravenwood – 4.5/10       FAIL

Regina George – 9/10       PASS

Black Widow – 5/10       FAIL

Jane Eyre – 9/10       PASS

Sophie Hatter – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Beca Mitchell – 9.5/10       PASS

Leslie Knope – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Sarah Williams – 6.5/10       FAIL

Emma Swan – 6/10       FAIL

Claire Dearing – 6/10       FAIL

Dr Ellie Sattler – 6.5/10       FAIL


Scout Finch – 8.5/10       PASS

Coraline – 9.5/10       PASS

Princess Bubblegum – 8.5/10       PASS

Peggy Carter – 7.5/10       FAIL … but only just

Wyldstyle – 9/10       PASS

Korra – 9/10       PASS

Tiffany Aching – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Lucy Pevensie – 6/10       FAIL

Liesel Meminger – 9/10       PASS


Lady Macbeth – 8/10       PASS

Dolores Umbridge – 8/10       PASS

Amy Elliott Dunne – 8/10       PASS

Princess Azula – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Ursula – 8/10       PASS

Trinity – 1.5/10       FAIL

Daenerys Targaryen – 8/10       PASS

Morticia Addams – 5.5/10       FAIL

Nancy – 6/10       FAIL

Bella Swan – 0/10       **EPIC FAIL**

Jessica Jones – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Eowyn – 6.5/10       FAIL

Elizabeth Swann – 5/10       FAIL

Clary Fray – 3.5/10       FAIL

Juliet Capulet – 7/10       FAIL

Sandy – 4/10       FAIL

Rose Dawson – 8/10       PASS

Bridget Jones – 9/10       PASS

Lyra Belacqua – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!


Mabel Pines – 9.5/10       PASS

Daisy Buchanan – 3.5/10       FAIL

Ginny Weasley – 8.5/10       PASS

Liz Lemon – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Catherine Earnshaw – 6.5/10       FAIL

Toph Beifong – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Princess Tiana – 8.5/10       PASS

Kimmy Schmidt – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Padme Amidala – 4/10       FAIL


Rebecca de Winter – 8/10       PASS

Rachel Watson – 9.5/10       PASS

Sara Crewe – 5.5/10       FAIL

Evey Hammond – 4.5/10       FAIL

Gracie Hart – 9/10       PASS

Evelyn O’Connell – 5.5/10       FAIL

Offred – 8.5/10       PASS

Harley Quinn – 7.5/10       FAIL … but only just

Sophie – 8/10       PASS


Erin Gilbert – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Eponine Thenardier – 7/10       FAIL

Katherine North – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Amy Santiago – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Delphini Diggory – 7/10       FAIL

Wednesday Addams – 7.5/10       FAIL … but only just

Christine Daae – 6/10       FAIL

Susan Sto Helit – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Esther Summerson – 7/10       FAIL


Esmeralda – 4.5/10       FAIL

Door (from Neverwhere) – 7/10       FAIL

Emily, aka. The Corpse Bride – 7/10       FAIL

Blanche DuBois – 8/10       PASS

Fa Mulan – 9/10       PASS

Scarlett O’Hara – 9/10       PASS

Ellen Ripley – 9/10       PASS

Ogino Chihiro – 10/10       PERFECT PASS!

Sookie Stackhouse – 5/10       FAIL

Anastasia Steele – 0/10       **EPIC FAIL**


What I Learned

How to Use the Test

93 thoughts on “Strong Female Characters”

    1. I’d love to do Xena but I haven’t seen the original series – that post probably won’t be coming for a while yet! Glad you’ve been enjoying the posts!

  1. Could you do a post about Emma Swan from ABC’s Once Upon a Time? She’s my favourite character on the show and, IMO, one of the most well written characters on TV. I think she could easily pass your test *crosses fingers*
    Really enjoying your posts, and I adored what you wrote about Sansa Stark! 🙂

  2. Could you also have a look at Korra or Asami? I know you’ve already talked about Katara, you just don’t want to talk about female characters that belong to the same universe?

    1. I’d really like to look at some more Avatar characters, actually! Korra and Asami are excellent suggestions, and I was also thinking of doing Toph or Azula too. It’s definitely not a one-per-fandom rule, but I’d like to leave a sizeable gap in between posts from the same book/film/TV series.

  3. What about Rose from Titanic? I’d like to know how well she would do in your test, given the fact that the movie she’s in is widely regarded as very romantic. Would she automatically fail your test because of that?

    1. Thanks for the suggestion – I hadn’t thought of that!

      And no, she wouldn’t automatically fail just for being in a romance story. I included that question to assess whether the characters I’m looking at have a personality/goals beyond their role as love interest, so as long as their characters are properly fleshed out it wouldn’t be an automatic fail 🙂

  4. It’s no Saturday without your posts!
    That’s not meant to be a criticism, I know that you’re taking the right time to write about Bella and it will totally worth the waiting! 😉
    It’s just a chance to say to you how much I LOVE to read your blog every Saturday morning. Thank you for posting! You’re doing an awesome job, keep it up! 😀
    (Sorry for my English)
    Kisses from Italy!

  5. Interesting argument from the person who suggested analyzing Titanic, to see how female characters fare in romantic movies. Pretty much like your villain of the month theme. Please do it at some point

  6. I just saw Inside Out, which is a female-driven film that has gained quite a bit of popularity, does that interest you?

      1. And what about Juno? The site I previously listed points out how she is a complex and well-defined character, however there is the issue of how stories involving unwanted pregnancy generally have the woman making it her own decision to carry the baby to term and everything turning out for the better because of it. This is because abortion is a hot issue in the US, and Hollywood aims to appeal to both camps by having its female characters disregard abortion, thus allowing for freedom of choice while framing abortion as the “wrong choice,” which is problematic because it stigmatizes women who do abort.

  7. What about doing Magrat Garlick or Polly Perks from Discworld? Polly from Monstrous Regiment is one of my favorite characters and the book has a lot to say about gender!

      1. How about:

        Mrs. Brisby from The Secret if NIMH
        Lois from Malcolm in the Middle
        Jenna from Waitress
        Marge Gunderson in Fargo
        Marge Simpson
        Peg Bundy
        Joy “Ma” Newsome from Room

        I don’t want to burden you too much, I know you have a lot of requests already.

  8. You’re welcome. Also I saw the movie Spy last night and I think that would be worthy of consideration.

  9. Keep up the good work! And may I also suggest Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs.

  10. Eadlyn from The Heir? I think there’s a lot about her that has flaws, and a lot of people hate her for being a whiny character, even though she’s the main character. I’d like to see what you think.

  11. You must have quite a long list by now. I don’t think I should ask who’s on it so I can be surprised by who comes up.

  12. Could you do a post about Jane Villanueva from Jane the Virgin? I think Jane’s a well written character and the show manages to have Jane’s romantic life, work, school, and family dramas in a pretty good balance. She has a wide range of relationships with women which grow and change naturally. She’s got plenty of flaws that hold her back, and she has to work on them. More people need to watch this show, it’s so good!

  13. How about Eleanor from The Good Place? She definitely has flaws, being a selfish and amoral person who has to learn to be more ethical in order to justify her inclusion in the better part of the afterlife. However there aren’t a lot of other female characters with whom she has a relationship.

  14. Would you be willing to do a review of Trixie Belden? She’s an interesting character from a mystery series. The publishers used ghost writers, so she isn’t always consistent. However, she seems to be a more realistic type of teenage sleuth than say, Nancy Drew, and I’m curious to see what you’d think of her.

  15. There is a lot of strong female characters in the Witcher Series, like Cirilla or Yennefer of Vengerberg:)

  16. Hey! I’ve been reading your posts and they are great! There are some characters of the Wynnona Earp (Canadian series) that you may want to analyse and why not, enjoy the story: Wynnona Earp herself, her little sister Waverly Earp and her girlfriend Nicole Haught, this show has representation of all types and even, in season 2, the series manage to get embraced the principal’s characters pregnancy, I think it would be an interesting one to analyse, this is a two season series so it will be easier to catch up, greetings from Mexico 🙂

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you like it! The Strong Female Characters series is actually finished now, so I won’t be doing any more posts looking at specific characters. I appreciate the recommendation though 🙂

      1. Sad to hear that, really enjoyed reading those 🙂

        Glad to let you know that (finally) I´m starting my own blog about movies and series, not sure if it will be written, recorded or filmed or all of them!

        But it will be, for sure, about strong, diverse and multicultural women in series, movies, plays, and real life women, why not?

        Your blog was so inspiring and I connected so well with it that I wanted to have something as good an inspiring as yours,

        Sending all the happiness, good vibes and love you deserve in this quarantine times,

        xoxo Maggie

  17. Hello!

    I found myself really interested in your Strong Female Characters series. After reading a few characters, I found your method really accurate. I just loved it! And I completely admired it.

    I have a blog, too, but I have no content in it. In order to start posting some content, I would consider it an honor if you allowed me to translate your articles and post them into my blog. The target language is Spanish.

    Of course I would credit you and I would state your name as clear as the water in each one of the posts. Once I finished translating all of your Strong Female Characters series, I would go ahead and start doing new articles with my own method, which would be somewhat similar to yours.

    What do you think? I you have any condition, please let me know it. After all, it is your work.

    I will be kindly waiting for your response. Thank you beforehand!

    1. Hey! First off, I’m really glad you like the blog!

      If you wanted to post Spanish-language translations of my existing posts that’s fine but please include a link back to the original. I’d be happy for you to post further stuff as well as long as it was all in Spanish – I might come back to the series later on, but I’d obviously want to write in English!

      Best of luck!

  18. I know you’re done with this series, however I’m still interested in what you have to say about Elle Woods, Marge Gunderson (Fargo), Eleanor Shellstrop (The Good Place), Death (from Sandman), Ariel, Princess Jasmine, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Flame Princess, Lumpy Space Princess, Kaylee Frye, Joy (from Inside Out), Tracy Turnblad, Roxie Hart, Angelica Pickles, Mary Poppins or Juno Maguff. Would it be okay if I posted about these characters?

    1. I’d be happy with that if you included a link to my blog in every post. I have officially stopped the series but coming up with the test and applying it to so many characters was a lot of work, so I’d like to have that acknowledged. Other than that I say go for it!

  19. Aw, Lucy Pevensie failed. But I’m glad Jane Eyre passed :)(I’m an old fashioned lit geek)

  20. I know I am super super late… But thank you for sharing all this!
    having so many nice analysis to look and understand is a great help when I am trying to create new ones.

  21. Hello,
    i like your articles, that you really develop and explain your points. And i wanted to know if you could do a character that is recent . it’s Lia Nautilus in the books Mer chronicles from Tobie Easton. It’s not a well known series but i like it

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you like it! Great suggestion on the character front but unfortunately the Strong Female Characters blog series is now over. I’ll definitely add the books to my reading list though!

  22. Hello I just happen to find this blog and it’s fascinating to see someone point out the criteria what makes female characters strong (& complex in a sense). Probably I’m late & have no chance to request it, but if you happen to know Violet Baudelaire from “a series of unfortunate event” I want to know your point of view about her if she’s a strong female characters or not. And also love your blog!

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! I’ve discontinued the Strong Female Characters series so I won’t be adding any more posts, but I’d be interested to hear what you think!

  23. Maybe you can do some more fictional redheads like Mary Jane from Spider-Man trilogy, Kim Possible from title series,Jessica Rabbit,etc.

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