First, a definition of terms. „Heroine“ doesn‘ t mean „favourite character“, i.e. I won’t list my favourite female villains here, or those highly ambiguous ladies like Skyler White. However, I don’t just use “heroine” as equivalent of “main protagonist”, either, but as “female character prone to heroic actions” (which allows me to draft the occasional supporting character *g*). And
all the characters I list are fictional. So. This being said. In no particular order:
- Jo Grant (Doctor Who
): let’s be honest, I could give a Companions only reply post, and then it would be still incredibly hard to choose just five. But I have an incredibly soft spot for Jo, possibly because she was badmouthed to me so much before I got to “meet” her – she was presented as the epitome of the “bad” Companion, “useless screamer”, “brainless bimbo” and what not. Whereas I found her to be brave, with a talent to escape (Jo’s joke about being an escapologist is fact-founded), funny, kind, very loyal and loving but able to make up her own mind if she disagrees with the Doctor on something, and committed to making the world a better place beyond her time with the Doctor; when Russell T. Davies brought her back after decades for the Sarah Jane Adventures
two parter “Death of the Doctor”, I was thrilled to learn Jo has spent those last decades travelling the world as a hippie activist and matriarch of a large family of hippie activists. In a word she likes to use, Jo is groovy. And I love her to bits.
- Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer
): Buffy wasn’t originally my favourite on BTVS, that was Cordelia, but she became my favourite heroine and
BTVS character in the later seasons and has remained so in the years since. Quips, penchant for shoes, inferiority and superiority complex all wrapped up into each other, strong capacity for friendship and uneven love life, the entire package.
- C.J. Cregg (The West Wing
): because C.J. is who I along with a lot of other people want to be when I grow up, even though I’m nearer to fifty than to forty now. First she made being the press secretary of the White House heroic (nobody managed this one before or since), and then she moved on to saving the world on a daily basis as chief of staff. Also she’s tall and never made an attempt to hide it. And nobody sings The Jackal the way she does.
- Jadzia Dax (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
): because Jadzia is a scientist, a good fighter and
knows how to party; because she really enjoys hanging out with other species, and not just the “cool” ones (Dax & Quark friendshipper forever!), and not with that somewhat patronizing air some Federation types have; and because she is arguably ST’s first on screen canonically bisexual regular character. Also? She has a way with words. “Pity. You’d be surprised what I can do in a pair of size 8 boots.”
- Sister Julienne (Call the Midwife
): the show made the entire Midwife profession look heroic (long overdue, that), and I love all the characters in various degrees, but Sister Julienne, the head of Nonnatus House, played by Jenny Agutter, is the graceful, quietly strong anchor for everyone else. Not that she’s always serene and invulnerable to loss of confidence; we’ve seen her upset and grieving, and having a crisis, too. But then she rallies, be it alone or with the help of her colleagues whom she has supported through their crisis (this show is great on female solidarity). If I had to pick a fictional medical professional to be at my side when I’m in bad shape, I’d pick Sister Julienne no matter whether this involved a gynological problem or not. I’d have complete faith in her ability to help me through. Now that’s a heroine for you. The other days