10 Best Female Characters in Literature




Some of literature’s most memorable characters have been women – whether good or bad, strong female protagonists have stuck with us long after we read these books. Here are some of our favorite heroines in literature.

1. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

How could Hermione not be your #WCW and role model? She kept up with the boys and even excelled past them, most of the time. She was fearless, proud of her nerdiness and fierce, but just as human as the rest of us with her problems.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

2. Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games

Ah, our modern day Xena the Warrior Princess heroine and the narrator of the Hunger Games trilogy who knows her way around a bow and arrow. She was fearless enough to offer to take her sister’s place as female tribute from their district.

 Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

3. Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s Lizzie Bennet knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to go get it. Albeit the time she was born into, she’s a strong woman who fights injustices committed against her, and always speaks her mind.

 Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

4. Eowyn, Lord of the Rings

“I am no man!” Shouted the beautiful and empowered Eowyn, amongst other memorable lines in that famous speech to a monster who just wounded her uncle. She swung a sword and fought the Lord of the Nazgul – to anyone saying they won’t fight a girl because it’s not fair, we dare them to face up against Eowyn.

Eowyn, Lord of the Rings | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

5. Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

Who needs Sherlock Holmes when you have the cunning detective mind of Miss Nancy Drew? She was constantly getting herself into risky situations and casually got kidnapped a bunch, but still fearlessly returned to her detective work the next day.

Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew Mystery Stories | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

6. Professor Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter

We had to give the older ladies of Harry Potter some love as well! Back in the day, witches were made to appear like old ladies, further demonizing women of a certain age. Minerva certainly spins that stereotype on its head with her warm but witty persona.

 Professor Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

7. Ramona Quimby, Ramona Quimby Series

This series was amazing for showcasing all the different ways to be a girl, growing up. It’s a weird and awkward time, and Beverly Cleary definitely understood that. Our protagonist Ramona played with the boys, got messy, and wasn’t prim or proper like her boring sister.

Ramona Quimby, Ramona Quimby Series | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

8. Matilda, Matilda

This girl was the definition of independence. She straight up overcame her struggle by reading books, and becoming a genius with a heart of gold. Plus, we’ll never forget that iconic pancake scene.

Matilda, Matilda | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

9. Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Lisbeth had a fiercer moral code than any police officer we’ve ever seen, and she looked like a baddie while completing her vigilante work. She’s the definition of a girl boss and is never afraid to push herself or live outside the rules.

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty

10. Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins guided others as an agent of moral change and emotional change when it comes to how the English are with children. She doesn’t go by any of that cold and detached nonsense – she believes in comfort, warmth and love. But she has her sassy moments which make her a true feminist, like when she tells Mr. Banks, “Let me make one thing quite clear; I never explain anything.”

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins | 10 Best Female Characters in Literature | Her Beauty