5 Fandom Friday (13)

5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Don't forget to link up at SuperSpaceChick's blog and to tweet at @thenerdygirlie!

This week's theme: Favorite Fictional Couples I Ship (Valentine's Day)

Since I don't really do the shipping thing too much anymore (though I will always ship Laurie and Jo from Little Women, and yeah, I'm kinda on board with Olicity as well...), I'm going to change-up this week's theme. So...

New Theme: Favorite Fictional Females in honor of Galentine's Day!

Source: gifstelevision tumblr
It's a day - traditionally the day before Valentine's Day (so today!)- to celebrate all the cool women in your life, and the term and celebration were coined on Parks & Recreation (which I really ought to watch...) by Leslie Knope.

TBT to about 2 years ago, fake-laughing with some of my favorite gals.

I recently did a vlogagram about my Top 5 Female Characters, where I focused on book characters. So I'm going to talk about book characters again here, but with new picks since there are many awesome girls and women in books.

While it's easy to hold up female characters like Katniss or Arya Stark because they're competent (or excelling) at the challenges thrown at them and they tend to be doing well in traditionally male roles, it's easy to overlook the awesomeness of women who don't physically kick ass. So I'd like to highlight female characters that are badass in different ways than what we're used to seeing when we're given a "strong female character."

1) Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle

As a young and old woman, Sophie knows how to take care of herself. She may not have magic powers or killer moves, but she manages to hold her own in a world of vain magicians, fire demons, curses, and moving castles. Her no-nonsense approach to the curse that befalls her and the strange company she ends up keeping earns her the respect and admiration of the people around her. And along the way, she learns that maybe she wasn't fated for a "dull life" after all.

2) Seraphina from Seraphina (and the upcoming sequel Shadowscale)

Seraphina's heritage is one she must keep secret, but she doesn't let that stop her from pursuing her love of music and joining the court. She struggles with self-acceptance, with having to lie to her friends/allies, with the terror of being discovered, but still she manages to help when she can. She manages to save and protect people with only her wits and words.

3) Suzume from Shadows on the Moon

This is one of the best YA Cinderella retellings I've read, and Suzume is a big part of it. Yes, she is gifted with an illusion magic, but it's not a gift she is immediately adept at. She learns to use it, just as she learns to see herself as strong and worthy of love. She is driven by so much anger, hurt, sadness, and vulnerability to begin with, but she slowly starts trusting and re-examining herself as the story progresses. I loved her for her flaws as much as her resilience.

4) Phaedra from the Lumatere Chronicles

I give a shout-out to the entire female cast of the Lumatere Chronicles in my vlog because this trilogy contains some of the most nuanced and varied portrayals of women I've ever seen. It is masterful. I named Evanjalin in the vlog because she leaves an immediate, strong impression, but I wanted to talk about Phaedra (who doesn't appear until Book 2, which I've linked) here because she's a wonderful example of a woman in a fantasy in a traditionally female role who is nonetheless freaking amazing. She starts out as this ostracized, self-doubting foreigner in a strange land, who seems helpless, a little clueless, and unhappy. But she gets this incredible character arc that doesn't include her transforming into some warrior princess; she simply finds her confidence and her voice, and she learns to use them. She goes from this kind of meek character to a character who embodies gentle strength.

5) Allyson from Just One Day

Most of my picks are from fantasy books because that's my preferred genre, so I added in a contemporary heroine. I saw so much of myself in Allyson - her insecurities, her naiveté, her feelings of being trapped in a situation. She has one of the best days ever to one of the worst days ever, and she spends a year figuring out how to recover from it. And she's awesome because after she mopes for a few months, she takes the plunge to do something out of her comfort zone, to actively pursue a chance.

Happy Galentine's Day, my fellow geek girls!!! (And Valentine's Day too!)

What are your favorite fictional females (or tell me your ships, I like those too!)?


Cateaclysmic said...

Sophie is such a great character, I adore her <333

♥ Cateaclysmic ♥

Anonymous said...

Woohoo for Galentine's!

Kristin Hackett said...

I love your spin on this weeks topic!! And I am such a huge fan of Leslie Knoppe. You HAVE to watch Parks & Rec!!!

Julie Dao said...

I love that you listed Sophie! I identify with her so strongly <3

Katie Hogan said...

Sophie! She's amazing, has the courage to stand up to a witch, live with and kinda break a curse AND helps ground a powerful wizard - simply amazing!

Connie Keller said...

I love Leslie too. My daughter introduced me to Parks and Rec, and I've really enjoyed it.

As for the books, I haven't read any of them. ACK! I've been hiding in my writing cave much too long.

ChikSolo said...

I really like how you did your list and explained why you chose each character. I'm also looking forward to checking out some of these books!

Anonymous said...

I have Shadows on the Moon, but I haven't read past the first chapter. Which says nothing about the book, honestly. The style of writing was incredible. I'm just a very distracted reader. This makes me realize that I need to get invested in this book though. I really want to read it!