Honorable mention: Astrid, How To Train Your Dragon series
1. Black Widow, Marvel studios
Do I need to explain her? Black Widow is smart and strong, able to kick anyone’s butt. She is a former Russian operative, but then worked for SHIELD and now, The Avengers. Black Widow is very popular for her smarts, strength, and independence. But some criticize her for being the “weakest” Avenger, as in, no special powers. Those people make me want to laugh. Her agility and martial arts skills can definitely count as a power. I dare you to imagine Thor, or Captain America, or Iron Man, or the Hulk, attempt to replicate her fighting skills, and try not to laugh. So don’t put her down just because she doesn’t have “super powers.” She is one of the strongest and most capable members of the Avengers.
2. San, Princess Mononoke:
San is probably the fiercest female character from Studio Ghibli. Her parents abandoned her as a baby, and she was raised by Moro, the leader of a wolf pack. San can easily stand her ground with the wolves, and she will do anything to protect the forest from other humans. She’s one of the most popular Ghibli heroines, but I have rather mixed feelings about San. On one hand, she’s an interesting character who’s strong, has a heart, and has great development. But on the other hand, in the beginning, she seemed rather bratty and overly impulsive. Of course, some of the fault lies in the storytelling, but she just seemed a little petty at moments. So while I like her quite a bit, she isn’t my favorite Ghibli heroine. She’s a developed character, but I can’t bring myself to love her like everyone else seems to.
3. Sarah Connor, Terminator: Judgement Day:
In the first Terminator, Sarah Connor was just an ordinary girl. But in the second one, she was a mother preparing for a war between humans and machines. She was also seen as clinically insane by doctors and her own son. However, she definitely became stronger, physically and mentally. And I have to admit I’m impressed that she was able to trust the second Terminator, as he looked like the machine that tried to kill her in the first movie. I haven’t seen these movies in a long time, so this will be short; basically, I think she had fantastic development between the two films, and it was her emotional strength and mental power that made her so strong.
4. Mulan, Mulan:
Mulan is easily one of the strongest Disney princesses. (I’m talking about princesses only here. The Disney heroines like Esmerelda, Meg, Nani, Kida, etc. are a different story). Anyway, she goes off to war dressed as a man to keep her aging father from having to go instead. I mean, that’s pretty darn courageous. And yet she grows and becomes even stronger throughout the movie. Mulan is one of the most beloved of the Disney princesses, and for good reason; she’s brave, kind, family oriented, and was one of the first princesses to rescue others rather than just being saved. And yes, Mulan does get “saved” at one point, but keep in mind that that was after she had basically stopped her entire military squad and captain from being killed by the Huns.
5. Wonder Woman, Batman Vs. Superman:
I think everyone can agree with me when I say that Batman Vs. Superman was pretty meh…until Wonder Woman appeared. The last couple of minutes were awesome with her in it, and the actress they chose was perfect. She was one of the few heroes to be able to really fight Doomsday, and she was her own hero; she wasn’t “with” Batman or Superman. And she was even cooler in her own movie. She proved to have her own direction and capability. She makes her own decisions, and although she is one of the strongest women to have ever existed, it’s her loving heart that gives her so much power. She’s kind and compassionate, yet that doesn’t weaken her; instead it makes her even stronger.