Some of you are probably already upset by my use of the term ‘warrior women’ but I just really love alliteration. This list could probably more accurately be called top ten female soldiers, but warrior women is so much more fun don’t you think? Anyway this list is about women who are also soldiers, and heroes. Known for their physical abilities and often associated with their incredibly cool weapons these fantastic women are just like their male counterparts only female. It doesn’t matter what else you say about them, in the event of any combat situation, these are the girls you want on your side.
10. Kendra Young (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Buffy could be considered a soldier in her own right but it’s the slayer that was called after Buffy brief death at the end of Season 1 that really fits the bill. While Kendra only appeared in a small number of episodes the idea of a girl that was raised to be the slayer was an intriguing one. Unfortunately Kendra was disciplined to the point of detriment, and it ultimately led to her downfall. Poor Kendra was too easily controlled – a life of obedience will do that to you – but during her short stint on the show she captured my heart.
9. Cameron (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
Technically she’s a robot from the future but as she was designed as a soldier/ assassin and her physical appearance is based of a real woman, I decided she counts. She’s completely amazing because essentially she is Arnold Schwarzenegger from the second and third Terminator films but female. Okay so she’s not perfect but she kicks butt and get’s the job done. Her character is somewhat inconsistent but overall intriguing (as more than just an adolescent boys fantasy).
8. Mulan (Once Upon a Time)
Mulan is already a pretty cool warrior woman in her own right, but I am particularly fond of the depiction in Once Upon a Time. She is a warrior and an expert soldier. She can hold her own against any man in the kingdom. Mulan’s armor is practical, which is unfortunately a rarity for female characters, and she’s not afraid to admit when she needs help (although she doesn’t like it). Plus she’s been known to rescue the occasional fair maiden (particularly a sleepy soul by the name of Aurora).
7. Martha Jones (Doctor Who)
Although Martha is technically a healer not a warrior, during the final of Series 3 (post 2005) she spends a year fighting the resistance against the Master, which turns her into a disciplined and dangerous soldier. Martha is practical and incredibly intelligent. She keeps her cool in terrifying situations and while she is generally very compassionate she can be ruthless when necessary. Perhaps her best quality is that she understands the importance of the individual. Always taking the time to get to know the people around her.
6. Diana Prince (Wonder Woman)
She’s an Amazonian princess – do you need any more explanation than that? In the 1970s television series Wonder Woman, which is set during WWII, the Amazonian princess took the identity of Navy Yeoman Petty Officer First Class. Basically she fought Nazi’s (when she wasn’t busy rescuing her boyfriend). In the second and third season it was less soldiers and more espionage but Wonder Woman is and always will be the ultimate warrior woman… why have they not made a movie yet?
5. Allison Argent (Teen Wolf)
Introduced as a typical ‘love interest’ for the protagonist hero Allison became so much more. Constantly battling with her internalized misogyny Allison is determined to not be that girl. This leads her to make some terrible decisions out of fear. But whether or not you agree with her actions, you can’t deny that Allison is a badass warrior. Allison Argent is a natural hunter it’s much better to be on her good side than not. Her archery skills are exceptional and when given all the facts she has proven she can save the day on many occasions.
4. Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess)
What would a list about warrior women be without Xena? She is the warrior princess after all… of course she doesn’t always use her skills for good. But considering the fact that this series is basically one long redemption arc it’s good that she was so very very bad. Xena is a master swordsman and her signature weapon is the chakram. She also is pretty good with pressure points, which comes in handy when trying to get information. After learning the error of her ways, Xena travels the world fighting for good, and she’s damn good at it.
3. Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)
Brienne of Tarth is a true knight in a world of pretenders. She’s loyal, headstrong, honourable and chivalrous. Brienne is part of Renly Baratheon’s Kindsguard but don’t hold that against her. She’s not the first knight to be taken in by a pretty face. After Renly’s death she pledges fealty Catelyn Stark and after being tasked with rescuing Sansa she never wavers from her goal. Brienne is awash with contradictions, so beholden to the romantic ideals of chivalrous culture but never fully accepted by it. Brienne of Tarth is a true warrior woman.
2. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (Battlestar Galactica)
One of the most controversial things the Battlestar Galactica remake did was recast fan fave Starbuck as a woman. It was a risk but it certainly paid off because Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is one of the most interesting television characters ever. She’s a gifted Viper pilot with an attitude and her willingness to sacrifice herself for others borders on suicidal although that shifts slightly over the series run. She’s a complex character and a brilliant pilot – she does have a bit of trouble with the obeying orders part of soldier life though.
1. Zoe Washburne (Firefly)
Before she was Zoe Washburne this wonderful warrior woman reached the rank of Corporal under Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds. She is a true Browncoat and for her and Mal the war never really ended. She’s incredibly loyal, but also rather snarky. While she almost always follows Mal’s orders she’s not afraid to voice her opinion. She’s handy with a gun and level-headed in dangerous situations (even after the worst she is able to maintain control and keep fighting). It’s understandable as she was a carrier military; it was her job to remain calm as the people around her died. Zoe Washburne is everything a soldier should aspire to be and the ultimate warrior woman.
There you have it, my top ten warrior women. I know there are so many that I wanted to put on the list, but after days of contemplation this is these are the women that made the final cut. Feel free to disagree, I’m always open to suggestions.