This women’s history month, I am choosing to celebrate it by sharing some of my favorite strong literary women that I have read over the years.
Here are five amazing fictional ladies I consider strong and I would recommend to everyone!
- Annabeth Chase
Book: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus- Rick Riordan
Honestly, my favorite character of all time, so I might be a little biased here.
Annabeth really has it all. She tough and she will beat you up, but she is also fiercely loyal and cares deeply about her friends. It doesn’t matter what comes in her way—she knows what she believes in and she will fight for it. Annabeth is also super ambitious. She knows what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to take it. She wants a quest—she seeks one out until she gets one.
When her best friend, love interest, and hero of the series is clearly the star of the show, Annabeth is still able to carve a place for herself within the books that is separate from him and allow for her own character development.
Further, she is not perfect. Annabeth can 100% be a bossy know-it-all who can get insanely jealous. She’s deeply flawed, but does doesn’t let her flaws define her either. She represents a woman who can be both strong and emotional, and that girls don’t have to sacrifice the parts of themselves that other people don’t like in order to be accepted or strong.
- Inej Ghafa
Book: Six of Crows duology- Leigh Bardugo
Inej Ghafa—what a queen. A knife-weilding spy for a powerful gang, she is strong and will cut you. She knows everything about everyone in the city, and she isn’t afraid to use that information against people for the advancement of her group.
But Inej isn’t all sharp edges—she is the definition of well-rounded. She is kind and caring, shown to be feeding the birds outside her gang’s house and in her actions for her friends. Despite her actions, she is also deeply religious, and each of her knives is named after one of her saints, highlighting how important her religion is to her. She values family and kindness, but knows where that line stops and where action needs to be taken, and she isn’t afraid to be the one who acts. When her friends need her, she is there.
- Nina Zenik
Book: Six of Crows duology- Leigh Bardugo
Nina Zenik is the most unapologetic character I have ever read. She is selfish and acts for herself in every sense. She eats when she’s hungry; she sleeps when she’s tired. She loves to live a luxurious life and enjoys things like nice clothes and good food. She laughs loudly and makes horrible jokes. She does what she wants, and doesn’t let others determine what she does.
But at the same time, she helps those in need and cares deeply for others. When facing death in a sinking ship, Nina still takes the chance to save the life of someone who’d rather let her drown. She loves her friends, and would do anything to help and protect them, even if its at her own expense.
Nina isn’t perfect. She has things that she’s done that she isn’t proud of, but she works in the present to make up for them. She tries her hardest to help the people that she has hurt and demonstrates her care for them in the most Nina ways possible, but cares for them all the same.
- Felicity Montague
Book: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy- Mackenzi Lee
Felicity Montague is not your typical heroine. She loves to read and would rather study at a university than go on some adventure. She’s been on an adventure, and I’m pretty sure she would have rather spent the whole time reading. But she’s ambitious. She knows the world doesn’t want an educated woman, but she isn’t going to let that get in her way, and she is willing to use whatever means she can to craft a path for herself in the world so that she can get what she wants.
Like many amazing women, Felicity is far from perfect. She can be a little closed-minded and shallow. She often thinks of herself as better than other women because she values books over beauty, and that women who care about their looks aren’t smart. But if Felicity is good at anything, its learning; she’s willing to listen to those around her and grow as a person, expanding her world view even more. Personally, I think this is the strongest part about her.
- Ginny Weasley
Book: Harry Potter series- J.K. Rowling
Book Ginny and Movie Ginny were not created equal. Movie Ginny has about three lines per movie, and I think almost all of them have to do with Harry.
Book Ginny, on the other hand, is a hex-throwing, quidditch queen badass who really comes into her own and creates a place for herself at Hogwarts, despite the reputation and legacies of her older brothers and the control some of them (mainly Ron) put on her while she is at school. She is unapologetic in who she is and isn’t afraif to call people out (mainly Ron); she has a voice, and she is determined to use it. When Ron tries to slutshame her, she brings up the double standards she faces and put her brother in his place, and then goes back to making out with her boyfriend.
Yet, despite being tough and a strong fighter, she is unbelievably kind. Over and oveer, Ginny is shown being kind to both Luna and Neville, sticking up for them and being there for them when others wouldn’t. In the fourth book, Ginny goes to the Yule Ball with Neville when no other girl will. Ginny has been friends with Luna for years, deespite Luna’s reputation for being strange.
Book Ginny definitely doesn’t get a lot of credit for being an excellent 3D character who is well-rounded and individualized. In my opinion, she might be one of the only truly strong female characters Rowling was able to write.
While this is a short collection of strong fictional women, I hope if my selections show anything, they represent that there is no one way to define a strong female character. Each character is strong in her own way and each one comes with their own flaws and challenges that they have to overcome.
Happy Women’s History Month, and happy reading!