Title: My favorite heroine
T'Keira Lea - April 16, 2012 09:56 PM (GMT)
Okay this is a working in progress for an upcoming blog. Here's the first question. If you can play along this would be really helpful.
My favorite heroines are _____________ (list up to five).
Shinar - April 17, 2012 01:25 AM (GMT)
Lucy (from the Chronicles of Narnia)
Runners up in no particular order: Polgara (David Eddings), Elspeth (Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books), Kari (Mythbusters), Elizabeth Swan, Iella, Mirax, Jaina (unfortunately the character has been so mishandled she can't make the top 5 :( ), Eve (Wall-e), Padme, Katniss, Sarah Harding (Michael Crichton), Bones. Also rather fond of Meredith Ann Pierce's Tek and Ariel.
For me it came down to who do I want to be like? Which one of them would I want the kiddo to look up to? Those five came out strongest.
oldjedinurse - April 17, 2012 02:36 AM (GMT)
1. Mara Jade Skywalker
2. Jaina Solo Fel
3. Katniss Everdeen
4. Arwen (LOTR)
5. Saba Sebatyne
6. Cinder ("Cinder" by Marissa Meyer)
7. Iella Antilles
8. Mirax Horn
9. Amy ("Across the Universe" by Beth Revis)
10. Padme Amidala
11. Leia Organa Solo
12. Eowyn (LOTR)
EmpressJainaSoloFel - April 17, 2012 04:21 AM (GMT)
4. Siri Tachi
Chimpo - April 17, 2012 07:00 AM (GMT)
1. Mara Jade from Star Wars
2. Kate Beckett from Castle
3. Jaina Solo from Star Wars
4. Natalia "Natasha" Alianovna Romanova aka Black Widow from Marvel Comics
5. Laura Kinney aka X-23 from Marvel Comics
6. Jarael from Knights of the Old Republic comics
7. Elena Fisher from Uncharted series.
T'Keira Lea - April 17, 2012 11:37 AM (GMT)
I have a list that I need to narrow it down from :p
Jaina, Princess Leia, Katniss, Mara, Tyria, Susan (Narnia), Kate Beckett, Wonder Woman, Marasiah, Padme, Sarah Connor, Zoe (Firefly), Buffy, Elizabeth Swan, Storm (X-men)
I've left some off too. Now to wheedle it down.
millernumber1 - April 17, 2012 03:27 PM (GMT)
Somewhat arbitrary top five (in no order):
Lara Notsil (Aaron Allston)
Fanny Price (Jane Austen)
Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Harriet Vane (Dorothy Sayers)
Runners-up (also in no order):
Mara Jade (Timothy Zahn)
Emma Woodhouse (Jane Austen)
Amy Dorrit (Charles Dickens)
Idril Celebrindal (Tolkien)
Jane (Orson Scott Card)
Honour/Beauty (Robin McKinley)
Keladry of Mindelan (Tamora Pierce)
October Daye (Seanan McGuire)
Jill Pole (C. S. Lewis)
Fiona Glenanne (Burn Notice)
Kaylee Frye (Firefly)
Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
I also love a lot that were already named, so I kind of selected my list to work around those.
Elastigirl (The Incredibles)
Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Spider-Man, J. M. Straczynski)
Viola (Twelfth Night)
Wonder Woman (Greg Rucka)
Sheeta (Castle in the Sky)
T'Keira Lea - April 17, 2012 06:49 PM (GMT)
Okay so here's an interesting question out of the start of responses - if you could narrow down Jaina's portrayal or Tahiri's portrayal to one author or a certain set of books as millernumber1 was very specific with whose version of Wonder Woman, would that make a difference? Are there other characters that would apply to and why?
EmpressJainaSoloFel - April 17, 2012 07:35 PM (GMT)
For Jaina, I found her most relatable in Dark Journey. She was a human there, making mistakes but coming around to face them in the end. She's also very relatable and "human" in Allston's books. Christie Golden had bright moments in Omen, and fell apart in Allies. I liked Dennings portrayal of her in Invincible, but (obviously) not DNT. As much as I disliked Traviss on the whole, I think she handled Jaina's interaction with the Mandos well. There was a lot of careful introspection there, and how it was done worked for me. Destiny's Way was completely off for me. It was like he hadn't taken a single look at any of the books previously, but I liked her in Ylesia. I really think it's a shame that some of the most poignant moments for her have been consistenly left off-screen. Her reunion with Jag, her wedding, her recovery after Caedus... There was a lot they could have done to make her more relatable that hasn't been touched.
millernumber1 - April 17, 2012 08:01 PM (GMT)
I think Mara Jade is another great case. Zahn created her, and I find her most compelling (and plot-important) in his books. However, Allston has a really nice balance of her vulnerability, humor, and fierceness. Stackpole has a great sense of her competence and intelligence. Kathy Tyers did a good, if less compelling job in a similar vein to Stackpole, while Karen Traviss (though I can't read Sacrifice without nearly bursting a blood vessel) did write a Mara who was pretty awesome.
Denning in particular stands out as someone who just didn't get the character at all, but he's hardly alone.
For Wondy, I love Rucka's take on her strength, intelligence, and compassion - and also develops her relationships so she's a hero in context and community. Too many authors focus too much on one aspect - usually her strength, but sadly also her "feminine" compassion. Rucka's Wondy has intense empathy and mercy, but never hysterical terror as a result.
oldjedinurse - April 17, 2012 10:35 PM (GMT)
The author absolutely makes a difference. If you narrowed your question, say, so that we had to choose heroines from a specific series or set of books, you'd get different answers related to how well the author was able to make the character(s) come alive. At least from me.
That said, I think that Mike Stackpole, Aaron Allston, Tim Zahn - the usual SW suspects - have done the best, most consistent job of presenting well-rounded female characters. I agree with the examples cited above, and would add that I loved Mirax, Jaina, and Mara written by Stackpole; Aaron is very skilled at writing heroines in general; and Zahn so cares about Mara that she totally leaps off the pages of his books.
I don't think Denning gets women in general. However, he wrote Saba Sebatyne (who is on my list) and somehow "gets" her - probably because she is so different
from human females. :heehee: Think I'll stop on that thought before I get myself in trouble.
I appreciate Katniss for the richness and depth of her portrayal by Suzanne Collins, who wrote excellent characters regardless of gender, IMO.
Some other women - in the Star Wars EU alone - who crossed my mind as "favorites" (or at least strong women) but had small roles, have been gone for a long time, or have not been well used, therefore I dismissed them:
- Tenel Ka
- Kirana Ti (I always kind of identified with her for some reason :eyebrow:)
- The Vicious Queen Mother and her D-I-L Teneniel Djo
- Tahiri (I'm truly sorry to put her in this category)
- Winter (ditto as for Tahiri)
- Grandmother Rel (kick-ass attitude)
- Gaeriel Captison (I thought she had guts even though the book didn't :p)
- Mon Mothma
There. That'll muddy the waters.
Shinar - April 17, 2012 10:36 PM (GMT)
if you could narrow down Jaina's portrayal or Tahiri's portrayal to one author or a certain set of books would that make a difference?
Absolutely. Get rid of everything post-NJO (especially the bug trilogy and Traviss's books) and Jaina would make my top 5 again.
Shinar - April 17, 2012 10:39 PM (GMT)
Some other women - in the Star Wars EU alone - who crossed my mind as "favorites" (or at least strong women) but had small roles, haven't been gone for a long time, or have not been well used, that I dismissed them:
Scrubs has a great point, I used to adore both Winter and Mon Mothma but they've both been shoved to the background and at this point I'm happy about that. How sad is it I want beloved characters forgotten about so they can't be screwed up? I wish they had forgotten Tenel Ka and Tahiri, both of them had SO much potential but now it's like they are broken (starting in the NJO for Tahiri, both of them are clearly ruined by later series). . . :shakeno:
FelsGoddess - April 18, 2012 05:19 PM (GMT)
5. Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison's Hollows series)
if you could narrow down Jaina's portrayal or Tahiri's portrayal to one author or a certain set of books as millernumber1 was very specific with whose version of Wonder Woman, would that make a difference?
Yes, massively so. I'd consider Tahiri worthy of placement on a top 10 list given her portrayal by the end of NJO. Since then? Absolutely not. Hope for the future is a contributing factor for keeping Jaina high up on the list. Whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know.
T'Keira Lea - April 18, 2012 05:35 PM (GMT)
Okay I love the answers. Working on a poll idea.
Solo_and_Fel - April 19, 2012 02:29 AM (GMT)
No particular order (mostly because I'm tired):
Zoe Washburn (Firefly)
Kate Beckett (Castle)
Kara Thrace (BSG)
Honorable Mentions: Elastigirl, Tianna, Belle, River Tam, Leia Organa Solo, Ellen Ripley, Mara Jade, NJO Tahiri Veila, Hermione Granger, Jane Eyre
(Also - Box Office Mojo has a list of grosses for movies they deem "action heroine" from the 80s through today:http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=actionheroine.htm
Darth Lex - April 20, 2012 03:01 AM (GMT)
Adding mine, also no particular order --
Next four would probably be --
ccp - April 20, 2012 04:27 PM (GMT)
It took me a while to come up with this Leia, Jaina, and Mara are kinda easy as are Iella, Mirax, Tionne, and many of the star wars characters and as i do like books and movies with strong female leads or at least female characters who hold their own I'll give my non star wars list.
Vivian Gray - Oblivion Society
by Marcus Hart, got to respect someone who can go from grocery store clerk to leader of the known survivors of apocalypse.
Keepsie Branson - Playing for keeps
by Mur Lafferty, a super hero with a third rate power who winds up being more powerful than anyone expected, but doesn't abuse it.
Summer Pitt - From Clive Cusslers later Dirk Pitt novels, Dirk Pitt's daughter she is kinda like a female version of her father, intelligent, educated, and highly skilled at a number of physical and technical activities, but still manages to maintain her femininity.
Leonie Barrow - From the Johannes Ca bal series
she is the title characters pseudo nemesis/pseudo conscious.
Lisa Hays - from Robotech, duty bound but not without feelings, often forced to make the choice between desire and want.
Went ahead and decided to see if I could come up with 5 that hadn't been mentioned here already. Put in the links to some of the books because they are definitely worth checking out.