Top 5

Bookish: Top 5 Tuesday – Badass Female Characters

Top 5 Tuesday.jpgBadass.

informal•North American
  1. 1.
    a tough, uncompromising, or intimidating person.
    “one of them is a real badass, the other’s pretty friendly”
  1. 1.
    tough, uncompromising, or intimidating.
    “a badass demeanour”

For Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm’s Top 5 Tuesday this week she has asked us for our Top 5 Badass Female Characters.

I have provided the definition above if you, like me, needed a little clarification as to what constitutes a badass.

Overall it seems that someone who is ‘badass’ is tough, uncompromising or intimidating. Despite my mind immediately wandering over to females who wield bows and swords or um… dragons, it doesn’t have to be the case.





(Artist: Nonvieta)

I know, I know.

Despite me saying that females don’t have to wield a bow or sword or dragons to be badass I have included quite a few who do. And to start it all off I have picked Katniss from The Hunger Games.

My love for Katniss is pure. Seriously. If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know she appears on quite a few of my lists.

Yes, she is tough and uncompromising and can be incredibly intimidating (at least Peeta thinks so) and she’s handy with a weapon but in the world she lives in, she kind of has to be.

She keeps her starving family alive, volunteers to take her sisters’ place in the games, survives two arena’s, is manipulated to become the figurehead of the rebellion, fights in an active war-zone, watches those she loves die and suffers lifelong PTSD.

There is a tough exterior that allows her to survive her world however this exterior actually hides a heart filled with caring and despite her being ‘tough’ her story shows the damage that her journey has caused her mentally.





(Artist: Charlie Bowater)

Confession time: I don’t like the ACOTAR series and I’m not a fan of Sarah J. Maas.

I won’t go into the details here but am happy to chat about reasons if you ask. Have I read the books though? Yes, sadly I wind myself up with spite reads.

But do you know what’s odd? I find Nesta strangely compelling. I think it’s because she’s tough, uncompromising and intimidating and I dig it.

The thing with Nesta is, she’s not nice. She has the capacity for kindness but she doesn’t always act on it. She’s icier than the iceberg that sunk the Titanic and can be downright vicious at times.

Some readers think she’s vile. I think she’s the most complex character the series has.

If a character can steal from the Cauldron (that worlds most important artifact) in her dying moments then I’m here for her. In fact, she tore magic out didn’t she? Like the badass she is.



(Artist: oliverojm)

Right. Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. Do you want a reason? There are lots and far more than just what happens on a battlefield.

She has to watch her family fall apart through death and sickness. Eowyn views her life as a ‘cage’ and watches as her cousin and brother have the freedom to do as they wish because they were born male.

To top it off, Wormtongue has a ‘thing’ for her and stalks her in her own home as Saruman has essentially ‘promised’ her to him as a reward. Not only is she not allowed freedom to choose her life path but she is also treated as goods.

Is Eowyn a ‘nice’ lady? No. She’s angry at her life.  She’s cold and sharp. But she ultimately takes that anger, joins forces with a hobbit and destroys a figure of ultimate evil.




Elizabeth Bennet.jpg

(Artist: Unknown)

Why do I have Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice on here?


This is why:

“From the very beginning–from the first moment, I may almost say–of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

But Gerry, these are just words. Lizzie doesn’t have a bow or sword or dragons.

No, I know. But someone being a badass depends on the circumstances that are relevant to them. Sure, Lizzie isn’t in an arena or facing down a Nazgul but her circumstances in Regency England mean her priority is to get married.

And don’t forget, Mr. Darcy has an income of £10,000 a year! Blimey! And he owns Pemberley! Double blimey! He just proposed! Triple blimey!

Lizzie is not here for it. He has come into her home, demanding that she listen to him and proceeds to dump all over her life including reaffirming his belief that he did the best thing for his best mate by breaking him up with Lizzie’s beloved sister, Jane.

She delivers a not so subtle ‘eff off’ and a nation of Regency women smirked behind their teacups.




Sansa Stark.jpg

(Artist: IrenHorrors)

I adore all the female characters in A Song of Ice and Fire (even the horrid ones, looking at you Cersei) but I have a one woman mission to bang on about Sansa.

It pains me that she gets a bad rep and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – some people say the most horrific things about this character. I do believe that in part it is because she is naive and uber feminine. Especially when compared to her nearest comparison point – her sister, Arya.

Badass doesn’t mean dragons (though Daenerys is totally badass) or swords (looking at you Arya and Brienne) or even magic (hey, Melisandre) but it can mean the continued survival in a world that is constantly trying to tear you down.

And no one seems to have continued survival down to an art like Sansa Stark.

Here are my 5 badass ladies! Any here that you sort of expected to see? Any here that you didn’t? The Lizzie Bennet inclusion was a bit of a surprise even to me.

See you next week!


19 thoughts on “Bookish: Top 5 Tuesday – Badass Female Characters

  1. YES to this list and YES to this –> “But it can mean the continued survival in a world that is constantly trying to tear you down.” I think it’s so often the female characters who are just trying to survive that get a bad rep (I used this example before but Skylar White from Breaking Bad is another one). And dammit, I told myself I wouldn’t ever pick up ACOTAR, but now you have me interested!! I want to know more about Nesta! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe! I’m glad you approve and I knew you’d join me on the Sansa front because I just want to protect her from the mudslinging!

      Hmmm. I’ll be honest I really don’t like the ACOTAR series but you may enjoy it. Maybe. If you did read it I think you and I would have plenty to say on a lot of things.

      Nesta is genuinely polarised to degrees that I’ve never seen before. Trust me when I say, some ACOTAR fans hate her with a passion and would throw her off a cliff. (But she would survive that cliff fall, come back and destroy them). She is a complex character because she isn’t a villain or evil but she hasn’t done good things in the past but at the same time she has such incredibly levels of emotion that she pushes straight down into herself.

      I want to see how her journey goes but to be honest… It’s taken a turn and is tanking massively.


  2. First I love that you gave us the definition! Second I am so with you on Elizabeth because all my badasses today are NOT sword fighters or …(except one) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *whispers* I think I needed the definition because I wasn’t too sure what a badass meant 😛

      Badass for me means more than physical ‘kicking ass’ so I really wanted to include a few who didn’t.

      I saw you put Kestrel on your list! I almost chose her actually because I really like that she was someone who was motivated by her morals and went against her upbringing, kept up with political intrigue to play the ‘long game,’ her capabilities weren’t in fighting but in strategy and that she still rocked a pretty dress. I don’t know why but that’s important to me 😛


    1. Thank you! Katniss is my number one on so many things. I just adore her and she crops up all over the place on my blog. I even have a Katniss Barbie doll which was a present I requested for my 30th birthday. I may grow old but I’ll never grow up!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!!

      They’re all awesome aren’t they?!

      It’s funny because Sansa and Nesta are so polarising and I’m the same as you… I literally can’t help but love them. I think in part it’s *because* they’re hated but they are both very complex in different ways. Dare I say it… they are also both feminine and non warrior types which may contribute. I think they are foils to each other really, Sansa is a gentle person with a strong core and though Nesta has a strong core she’s ice on the outside because she tries to hide her gentle side. Which we know she has!

      I’m glad you like them too 😉


    1. Eowyn is awesome on so many levels and I’m glad she finds peace at the end within herself. I know Tolkein gets a lot of bad press for not having a lot of female characters but I think he did right by Eowyn. Lizzie is such a badass to me and I adore her!


  3. Wow, How could i have forgotten Elizabeth Bennett? And i love the view you have on Sansa, even though I have not read the books and am only on season 4 of the show. I’m looking forward to her survival!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’s a subtle one I think 😉

      Oh yes, Sansa has a special place in my heart and even more so *because* of the general attitudes towards her. Badassery for me isn’t exclusive from a gentle personality.

      The show has overtaken the book so far and she is alive in both but you never know how things will go. Honestly though I think she is one of the ones who will make it to the end and enter whatever new world is built. We’ll have to see *crosses all fingers and toes*

      Liked by 1 person

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