Top Ten Tuesday: Heroines

top-tenTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely people of The Broke and the Bookish – the number of people who participate is simply crazy and I always find interesting lists there, so go check it out.

This week’s topic is favourite heroines, which is the reason I did a post on heroes a few weeks back when we had a freebie. This list was surprisingly hard to write. Sure, I have liked a bunch of heroines from books, but which ones really stayed with me?

These girls and women can kick some serious ass (both literally and figuratively speaking) and are a good reason to give any of these books a try.

  1. hermione-grangerHermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Ok, she needs no introduction and was the most obvious choice for this list. She’s the smartest witch in the whole generation, a great friend, and a really brave kid who grows up into an amazing woman. I loved seeing this transformation.
  2. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Another obvious one. Lizzy is the ultimate romantic heroine. She’s smart, has a really strong backbone, and isn’t afraid to admit that she’s wrong. If anyone ever deserved Mr. Darcy, it’s her!
  3. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. It took me a while to fall in love with this series but fall in love I did. Celaena’s an assassin and could probably kill anyone with a cooked spaghetti. 
  4. Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. Her name means “hope” in Chimaera and that’s exactly what she is. She’s compassionate, loyal, and brave. She also has blue hair and has an awesome mean streak.
  5. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Again, a famous one. As much as I dislike girls and women sacrificing themselves all the time, Katniss actually has a chance of winning the games – and then proceeds to show everyone how badass she is. I wish the series ended differently, but that doesn’t diminish Katniss’s strength.
  6. sansa-starkSansa Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I know, I know, most people would choose Arya instead of Sansa. But I like how the girl starts thinking with her own head, how she grows up quickly because she needs to, and how smart she gets once she realizes her full potential. I hope we’ll be seeing more of her soon. Also: Sophie Turner is *gorgeous*.
  7. Sabetha Belacoros from The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. I was SO RELIEVED that she’s wonderful after we’ve been mooning over her along with Locke for the duration of the first two books. She’s a first-class thief, incredibly intelligent, and has a really cool gift for mischief.
  8. Ronia from Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by Astrind Lindgren. She’s a childhood favourite. She’s the essential tomboy, running free through the forest. She’s also the reason an ancient feud ends, which is really cool, because, you know, she’s only about 12 years old.
  9. Stephanie Plum from One for the Money (and all the sequels) by Janet Evanovich. First of all, that woman is hilarious. She’s clueless, a total chicken (which I definitely relate to), and confused about her role in life. But she faces the life head on, learns from her mistakes, and is great at making the bad guys pay (although that’s largely accidental).
  10. Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. She’s the original bookworm. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and isn’t above using her abilities to scare the living daylights out of people. Roald Dahl is still one of my favourite authors and I can’t wait to see my kid discover his stories!

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Which literary ladies would you put on this list? Would you erase any of mine?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! :)

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People, I am so, so sorry if my blog ate your comment. :( I’ve been doing some anti-spam plugin updates (OBVIOUSLY the best time to do this is on a Tuesday which is a busy day thanks to this meme…) and the spam filters may have been overzealous. If so, resubmit your comment if you can (and sorry for the maths, it’s here to stay for a while).

  • Great list! Some of these made my list as well, and although Sansa isn’t on it, I couldn’t agree more. :)

    • Kaja

      Thanks, Petra! :) Yeah, Sansa is pretty special. I wonder if I’ll be seeing her on other lists this week!

  • Oh oh I have Matilda on my list too! SHE IS SO ADMIRABLE AND AMAZING. I also love Hermione (of course!) and Celaena. Except I can never spell her name right. -_- And I 100% believe she could kill someone with spaghetti. I admire her but I don’t know if I’d survive being friends with her, hehe. Karou is amazing and Katniss is forever my favourite because The Hunger Games started me reading YA!
    Here’s my TTT!

    • Kaja

      Hi, Cait, thanks for the comment!
      Ugh, Celaena’s friends do have a habit of dropping dead, right? And I have a problem spelling her name, too – and pronouncing it. Is it like “Selena”?
      Yeah, Matilda was always my bookish bff. I was a huge bookworm even when I was little, so I could relate (minus the horrible parents, mine are great!).

  • Matilda’s such a good choice! :) And Sansa, yes! It really bugs me that in a series of full of murderers and rapists, the character that gets the most hate is a teenage girl. Because there’s nothing worse than a teenage girl. -_- Some people need to sort out their priorities.

    I’ve always seen Arya and Sansa as two sides of the same coin; no I doubt Sansa would have survived if she’d ran away like Arya did, but there’s also no way Arya would have survived at court. They’re both playing very different games, but they play them equally as well.

    Great list!

    • Kaja

      You’re right, Arya would be equally out of her element in court as Sansa would be in the wilderness. I never thought about it this way!
      And I don’t get why people hate Sansa, she’s a confused kid when the series starts, of course she makes mistakes and listens to those who flatter her. But it’s her personal growth that makes her so impressive!
      Thanks for stopping by, Jess :)

  • I totally forgot about Sabetha! Such a good pick, she’s brilliant!

    • Kaja

      Thanks! :) I really liked her – and I’m curious to see what will happen with her in the next book (I hope it will be published soon!).

  • I am just kicking myself that I forgot to include Matilda for today’s TTT. I just love her! And of course I love Hermione and Stephanie Plum. I almost included Stephanie on my list, but bumped her down a bit. There are just so many heroines that I love!

    • Kaja

      It’s been a struggle to whittle the list down to 10 for me, too. Stephanie is just… I don’t know. As much as the series is hilarious and extreme (in the sense of exaggerated adventures), she’s REAL. So often, heroines SAY they’re a mess, that they have fizzy hair and a big bum, but Stephanie is the real deal, down to bad food habits and zero money for rent :)

  • Awesome list :D
    And that proof thing is awful, I’m terrible at maths!
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

    • Kaja

      Yeah, working on that math thing… I don’t know what else to do to keep the spam out! It’s really efficient at that.
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • Aw, Karou, good pick! Also love for Matilda!

    • Kaja

      Yep, those ladies are great! :)
      Thanks for stopping by, Nikki!

  • I love Sansa too, for all the reasons that you mentioned. I put Arya on my list too. I know they’re very different, but both heroines in their own way.

    I love Matilda as well – a heroine and a bookworm, what more could you want in a lead character :)

    • Kaja

      Arya would have made my top 20, probably, as would Brienne. Martin writes some awesome women!
      Matilda is such a fun character (I had to choose between her and the grandma from The Witches, though, that old lady is seriously cool!).
      Thanks for stopping by, Lily! :)

  • Good choices, Kaja! I haven’t read a fair few of these (yet!), but they sound great and several are on my TBR list. And I had no idea Astrid Lindgren had written a version of the Robber Girl tale! I will have to hunt that one down – I love fairy- and folktale retellings, and I love Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking books, so I really want to see what she did with the Robber Girl.

    • Kaja

      If Pippi is all you’ve read by Lindgrem, you have a treat coming your way: try both Ronia and Brothers Lionheart, those were my two favourites! I recently reread both and they’re still wondrful.
      Thanks for stopping by :)

  • I’ve read a fair few of these and they are all standout heroines – definitely memorable. I’ve actually only read the first of the Throne of Glass series and I really struggled so I am interested to hear you say that it took you a bit to warm up and get into it. I love your inclusion of Sansa – Arya is my favorite character in that series and I’m kicking myself for not including her – BUT you are totally right about Sansa. She adapts and changes more then any of the Starks, and it’s awesome to watch her find that strength inside herself!

    • Kaja

      Yeah I didn’t immediately love the Throne of Glass series, either. It took Heir of Fire to completely throw me, but of course it just might not be your thing. Not everyone loves it! I was just interested enough to buy books 2 and 3, and I’m not sorry.
      I’m really looking forward to seeing more Sansa in the books! :)
      Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!

  • I absolutely loved your answers, especially your reasoning for Sansa. My favourite character in the books is Arya because… ARYA! =D But I can see why Sansa would be loved as well. Really enjoyed this post! Keep up the great stuff.

    • Kaja

      I love Arya, too! But she’s a kid still, so we didn’t get THAT much character development yet with her (though her storyline is amazing!). She would have made my top 20 for sure ;)
      Thanks for this awesome rain of comments!! :)