Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

I was watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the other day and I began thinking about my favorite characters from the movie. The list surprised me, so I thought I’d share it with you, too:

5. Aslan

I’m sure some people will consider this blasphemy, but Aslan only just made it into the last spot. Regardless, I do love him. The regal voice of Liam Neeson (love that guy!) is a perfect fit for this majestic character. I love his wisdom and mysterious nature, but most of all I just love how much he loves the children.

4. Mr. Tumnus

It was tough putting Mr. T (no not that Mr. T) in this spot, because I really adore this character. He’s such a gentle being, and you can tell that he immediately became friends with Lucy. He’s a flawed character – cowardly and meek – but it doesn’t stop him from doing what is right in the end. He risked his life for Lucy and had to pay the consequences. In the end, though, he was saved by Aslan. Yay!

3. Edmund

Edmund very nearly made it to the second spot on this list. I love Edmund. He’s a flawed character, too. In the beginning he was greedy, mean, sarcastic, and brooding. It’s tough being the second youngest child, and the youngest male in the family. He had a lot of expectations to live up to, and you could tell that it affected him. BUT Edmund learns his lesson – and not the easy way. He almost loses his family, not to mention his own life, on several occasions. In the end, though, Edmund did what was right. He even went on to become one of the most noble and just characters in the entire series.

2. The White Witch

This was probably the most surprising addition to my list, but I stand firm that the White Witch deserves my number two spot. I think this has less to do with the character and more to do with the actress: Tilda Swinton. I love, love, love her! She’s an incredible actress, and I really enjoy when she plays supernatural characters. (My other favorite role of hers, by the way, is Gabriel from Constantine.) The character itself is wonderful – she’s an evil queen, who is intelligent and merciless. She’s not an easy foe to beat. But even better than that is Tilda’s acting. I love that otherworldly look to her face – the alabaster skin, the big dark blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and her high cheekbones. She has a certain way of talking and moving that really lends itself to this character. I’m even a little sad when the White Witch dies at the end (good thing she shows up again in the next movie!).

1. Lucy

Okay, this probably isn’t the most original pick for the number one spot – but can you blame me? Little Georgie Henley is a superb actress. (She’s not so little anymore…she’ll be turning 17 this year.) She did a really great job in this role and brought to life a well-loved character from the series. So that brings up Lucy and why she’s so fantastic. Why is she so well loved? The simple answer is because she’s the youngest (and cutest) Pevensie, and you can’t help falling in love with such a sweet child. But I think it’s so much more than that. Lucy is a dreamer. She believes in what seems to be unbelievable – don’t we all wish we could do that? She kept faith in Aslan even when everything seemed so doubtful. And even though she struggled with her own personal flaws, Lucy was one of the most genuine and loving characters in the entire movie.

The reason why this list was so surprising to me is because when I first started watching the movies and reading the books, I immediately wanted to like Susan. She was more my age and she seemed to be intelligent, pretty, and talented with the bow. What could you not like about that? But, her darker side comes out eventually and you find that she’s one of the most flawed characters in the books. That’s why she’s not on my list. I also thought about adding Peter, but even he couldn’t match up to the likes of Mr. Tumnus and Lucy. He struggled much more with his own fatal flaws and, even though he overcame them in the end, there was just no room for him here.

So, how does my list compare to yours? Did I miss anyone that you feel should be on here? Were any of my choices surprising to you?

We have the immense pleasure of welcoming Jessica O’Neal into our midst today! On Wednesday I told you who my top five favorite villainesses are. Jess is here to tell us her favorite heroines. Let’s see how they match up.

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Hello everyone! I am so thrilled to be hanging out with you here at Karen’s fabulous blog. When she came to me and asked if I would be interested in writing a piece on kick ass fictional women as a companion to her female villainesses I jumped at the opportunity. After much thought and deliberation I have finally come up with a list that I think is pretty rad. I certainly wouldn’t want to be found standing on the opposite side of any of these women.

5. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one tough cookie. Whether you read the books or only saw the movie, you got to see Lisbeth in action. She faces some of the worst torments and abuses that I have ever encountered in a work of fiction, yet she never plays the victim. She takes charge and, literally, knocks those who try to take advantage of her on their asses. She may appear weak and frail, but she is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. And she does.

Best Line: [tattooing Bjurman] “Lie still. I’ve never done this before…and there will be blood.”

4. The Harry Potter series is full of strong female characters and, being a huge fan of the series, I knew I had to include one of them. When I was thinking about who it should be my first thought was Hermione, but then my husband suggested Professor McGonagall and I knew he was right. Minerva McGonagall is one of the most powerful witches in the wizarding world. She is paramount in arranging the defense of Hogwarts when it is under attack and is seen dueling the biggest badies of the series, including He Who Must Not Be Named. Not only is she powerful, she is also a no nonsense woman who does not tolerate insolence. One of my favorite scenes with her is in Order of the Phoenix when she goes toe to toe with the horrendous toad, Umbridge. Minerva McGonagall knows what is right and is confident enough to stand up for it no matter who she has to face.

Best Line: “That doesn’t mean we can’t delay him. And his name is Voldemort, so you might as well use it, he’s going to try and kill you either way.”

3. I think it is pretty safe to say that Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games deserves to be on this list. At the age of sixteen she has to enter an arena where she has to either kill or be killed. Thanks to years of illicit hunting to ensure her family didn’t starve to death she is able to shoot a bow with deadly accuracy. What really makes Katniss an impressive character, though, is that, even though she is able and willing to do what must be done, she still holds on to her humanity and her sense of justice.

Best Line: “And if we burn, you burn with us!

2. This list would not be complete without Buffy Summers. I mean, come on, she is the Vampire Slayer. Vampires, demons, creepy praying mantis teachers – no matter what crazy monster is thrown her way she is able to face it head on and slay it (yeah, I went there). And, what’s more, she does all of this while still maintaining her sense of fashion. That is a true talent that only a woman could possess.

Best Line: “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”

1. Beatrix Kiddo, also known as The Bride, is hands down the most bad ass female I have ever encountered in fiction. She spends the better part of both Kill Bill movies fighting and brutally killing…everyone. And it’s not like she was fighting one poor fighter at a time; she was going up against groups of highly trained fighters all at once. Even in the moments where she was just waking up from a four year coma she was able to recognize that she was being taken advantage of and kill those who were responsible. Yet, in the midst of her extreme bloodlust she still holds on to her moral center, however skewed it may be, and seeks to protect innocents from the carnage surrounding her.

Best Line: “I’ve killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more. The last one. The one I’m driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination, I am gonna kill Bill.”

Well, there you have it. That is my list of 5 kick ass women in fiction. There were so many women that could have been on this list and a variety of reasons for why I left them off, but in the end I am happy with the five I landed on.

What about you? Who would be included on your list? Let us know in the comments.

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Thank you again, Jess! I love how we happened to pull from some of the same movies. ;)

So, what do you guys think? She’s got a tough list here, but how do these women stack up against my picks? We already know how some of these turns out, but what about some of the stranger combinations? Regardless of the outcome, I know I wouldn’t want to face off with any of them!

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is not a statement you should take lightly, and nobody shows this better than reality TV and some of the best blockbusters of all time. Since I hate reality TV, I’m just going to jump right into the movies. Here are my favorite female villains of all time:

5. The last spot should go to Cruella De Vil based on her name alone – didn’t anyone teach them about subtlety? That aside, Cruella earned her stripes – er, spots? – in villain history in this movie. I’m particularly looking at Glenn Close’s portrayal of the villainess in the 1996 adaptation. Not only is she completely comfortable with killing innocent puppies just to add to her wardrobe (not to mention any other creature with a healthy coat of fur), but she’s completely insane. The Devil must have taken her soul a long time ago. *cue theme song* Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil, If she doesn’t scare you, no other evil thing will…

Best Line: “You’ve won the battle, but I’m about to win the wardrobe!”

4. Very few characters – in books or on the big screen – can boil my blood like Dolores Jane Umbridge. I think the reason I hate her so much is that she actually believes, without a doubt, that what she stands for is absolutely correct. Oh, what hubris. What ignorance. Umbridge starts off harmless enough, though that doesn’t excuse her talent for annoying the crap out of me. But then she starts to really bare her fangs – particularly in Harry’s direction – and she starts getting a taste for blood. Umbridge is Rowling’s comment on governmental corruption, and the statement in poignant: no matter if you believe you’re doing the wrong things for the right reasons, they are still the wrong things. Because, in the end, there really was no difference between Voldemort and the Ministry of Magic, except that one was at least honest in his desires for world domination and the suppression of Muggles.

Best Line: “The Cruciatus Curse ought to loosen your tongue.”

 

3. Some of the most frightening villains I’ve ever seen appeared in my childhood. Ms. Trunchbull was one of those villains. She’s one of the scariest, cruelest, most inhuman bad guys from my younger days. I still can’t believe she threw that girl out by her pigtails…and kept her job. However unrealistic that might be, some of the scenes in Matilda are so intense. One of my favorites is when Matilda has to steal the doll back from Trunchbull…right out of her own house!

Best Line:  “They’re all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.”

 

2. How can any list of the best villainesses not include the Wicked Witch of the West? She’s terrifying – her green skin, the way she cackles, her complete disregard for any life other than her own (and her sister’s). She tries to stop Dorothy and her friends at every turn and she nearly succeeds. What really got me as a kid were her minions – those flying monkeys are freaky. But the scariest scene for me was when she had Dorothy locked up in her tower, especially when Auntie Em’s image turns into the witch’s. It always gave me the heebie-jeebies!

Best Line: “Those slippers will never come off, as long as you’re alive. But that’s not what’s worrying me. It’s how to do it. These things must be done delicately!”

1. Okay, my number one villainess was decided well before I even thought of the other four. O-Ren Ishii deserves this spot above anyone else for the simple reason that she would kill all of the others in order to claim the trophy anyway. In Kill Bill: Volume 1 we get her incredible back story. Her parents were viciously murdered in front of her when she was nine. It took her two years, but she got revenge on the man who did it. She stuck a sword through him and blew off the heads of two of his bodyguards. By twenty, she was an assassin for hire. And at age 26, she became the leader of all leaders in underground Tokyo. The best thing about O-Ren is that she doesn’t mess around. She’s not a stupid villain. She takes care of those who oppose her without batting an eye. (All Boss Tanaka had to mention was her Japanese-Chinese-American heritage and he, quite literally, lost his head.) She also keeps the crazies close (Gogo is seriously demented) and has a huge band of samurai sword wielding subordinates to keep her safe. I’m convinced that the only person who was capable of defeating all of them was the Black Mamba herself, and even she almost didn’t live through it. In the end, though, it was down to O-Ren and the Bride, and this is my favorite part about this particular villain – she can handle her own. Not only that, but she recognizes when she is up against a respectable foe. Although, none of that helped her in the end…

Best Line: “Silly Caucasian girl likes to play with Samurai swords.”

I had a bunch of runner ups – some Disney villainesses, and even a few more characters from Kill Bill, but I’m happy with my list. What about you? Have I missed any good ones? What are some of the female antagonists that always scared you as a kid?

Make sure you stick around for Friday! I’ve got the lovely Jessica O’Neal over here, taking on my villainesses with her list of awesome heroines. It’s going to be a close fight!