Often times when we look at the strong female characters in fantasy, we find ourselves gravitating towards the older, more mature characters. These are characters who have worked hard at their craft, and put time into building a visible portfolio of accomplishments. Characters like #GameOfThrones' Cersei Lannister or #TheWalkingDead's Michonne spring to mind. But of what of the #YoungAdult characters in fantasy? Those who haven't necessarily had so much time to dedicate to their craft, but whose bravery and ferocity in their individual worlds sets them up as forces to be reckoned with.
Here's an ode to a handful of the youngest and bravest ladies in Fantasy!
1. Rose Hathaway - Vampire Academy
Though the 2014 movie adaptation of Richelle Mead's #VampireAcademy was a disappointment to say the least, and an insult to fans of the series, we do need to talk about the fierce and ferocious Guardian, Rose Hathaway. Rose is only 17 in the movie adaptation, but having run away from St Vladimir's Academy (their school) with her BFF and Royal Moroi (benevolent Vampire), Lissa, Rose shows a tenacity and insightfulness well beyond her years. Both girls have been on the run for nearly two years by the time the movie starts, with Rose having taken on the role of protector for the duration of that time. She ensures Lissa's safety and survival by any means possible, and throughout the movie constantly throws herself in front of danger to protect Lissa.
When Lissa is kidnapped (because apparently St Vladimir's doesn't do such a hot job of protecting its students or Royals), it's Rose who goes to save her, fighting and tooth and nail for her friend's life, and nearly killing a former classmate-turned-Strigoi (all-evil, all-murdering Vampire) in the process.
Rose makes this list for her constant selflessness in almost all aspects of her life. A fiercely loyal friend and ferocious fighter, Rose Hathaway begins as a force to be reckoned with; by the end of the books, she's a seasoned badass with the Zvezda and Molnija marks to prove it.
2. Allison Argent - Teen Wolf
It should come as absolutely no surprise that the brilliant and brave Allison Argent makes this list. Allison is the kickass female from #TeenWolf's early seasons, way before it was cool to be a kickass female on the show. Though young, Allison was raised in a family of Hunters and though she looked sweet, light and everything nice, when it came down to a real fight, she was nothing short of a badass.
Allison was a noble character; one who always did the right thing, and acted with her heart. She was incredibly loyal to her friends and family; a skilled huntress and capable fighter, she was a delightful addition to the Teen Wolf universe. Her character growth over the seasons was immense, and though the show sadly killed her off in Season 3 (because that season wasn't painful enough as it was huh, Jeff Davis?), Allison will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of Teen Wolf fans everywhere.
3. Arya Stark - Game of Thrones
It'd be impossible to make a list about the young and the brave and not include Game of Thrones' Arya Stark. She's a character who's gone from strength to strength as we've watched her grow over the years. She started out as the wild and unpredictable little Stark girl with the determination to make a difference — and as she's grown over the years, she's done just that.
Having witnessed the death of her father, and demise of almost her entire family, Arya's journey led her to train with the Faceless Assassins. Her time there has given her the skillset to back up all that tenacity and determination she's shown since her first appearance on the show. A fiercely brave character, and a young woman with a plan, this list couldn't possibly be complete without the Stark's biggest badass, Arya.
4. Bonnie Bennett - The Vampire Diaries
#TheVampireDiaries' Bonnie Bennett has been through hell and back since she discovered she was a Witch, and was thrown into the world of Magic, Werewolves, Vampires and more. She's had her strengths tested almost every season — mainly because the writers don't seem to know quite what to do with her, other than de-power her. She never seems to catch a break, but despite this, she remains an incredibly strong staple on the show, and a fan-favorite character whose power knows no bounds.
Bonnie's selflessness and bravery are probably her most recognizable and highly praised attributes. She's constantly putting her friends and family before her, often sacrificing her own wellbeing for them. She does so largely without hesitation or thought for herself, and in being completely and entirely selfless, is never afraid to throw herself into the deep end of whatever supernatural threat plagues Mystic Falls. It'd be sacrilege to have a list hailing young female heroines and not include Bonnie Bennett. The young witch has given her life for her friends countless times, and it's this bravery, selflessness and incredible loyalty that earns her a spot on this list.
5. Rosalie Hale - Twilight
There'll be some debate as to whether or not #Twilight's Rosalie belongs on this list — and sure, if you're going simply by the movies, then perhaps not. Like Vampire Academy's Rose, Rosalie was the victim of subpar storytelling on screen, but the combination of book and movie Rosalie deserves a place on this list. For those of you who hate Twilight and therefore don't know her story, Rosalie was assaulted by her fiancé and his friends when she was human.
She was brutally beaten, raped, and left for dead in an alleyway until Carlise (Daddy Cullen to you non-Twihards) saved her life by turning her into a Vampire. When she awoke as a Vampire, she was vengeful as all hell, and hunted down the men responsible one-by-one, leaving her former fiancé for last so he'd know she was coming. A self-described theatric, Rosalie has endured far worse than any other Twilight character, having had everything stripped away from her at a time when she was most vulnerable. Her ability to come back from not only the ordeal, but the murders she committed afterwards, is a mark of her strength as a character. Don't go judging this blonde bombshell by her appearance; she may look like nothing special, but she has a incredibly traumatic past, and it is one that she conquers constantly.
Check out our supercut of the most badass women across all ages and genres below!
6. Kira Yukimura - Teen Wolf
Like Allison, Kira is a fan-favourite character among Teen Wolf fans. The young Kitsune resonates with fans, as unlike a lot of shows that portray even the most normal of kids as "cool", Teen Wolf allowed Kira to be uniquely authentic. When her character is first introduced, she's clumsy, a little awkward, and is constantly saying the wrong thing. She's an incredibly endearing character, with the supernatural abilities to kick your ass — and then go and do something hilariously awkward afterwards.
She's been fighting with Scott's pack almost since she arrived on the show, showing incredible loyalty to the gang from day one. She fought alongside Allison against the odds in the forever-traumatic, Nogitsune-infested third season, and has remained a fierce addition to Scott's pack.
She finds herself at odds with her Kitsune side, as it appears to move freely with its own consciousness, separate to hers. Unfortunately, this causes her to decide to leave Beacon Hills in order to hone her skills (because the writers have no respect for her character, and gave her the boot for no reason. Seriously, Jeff freaking Davis...!?). Though we miss Kira's kickass Kitsune ways, she remains an incredibly likeable character, and one whose strength and determination know no bounds.
7. Clary Fray - Shadowhunters
#Shadowhunters' Clary Fray is, like Rosalie, a bit of a wild-card. She's been seen on-screen twice, but it's her television counterpart that makes this list. Clary is a character with an extremely fiery personality, not least because of her vibrant red hair. She's a tenacious character, who throws herself head-first into a world (the Shadow World) she knows nothing about, in order to save her mother.
An incredibly brave character, Clary consistently puts her mother and her friends first, doing everything in her power (and a hell of a lot out of it) to ensure their continued safety. Though she's not a natural fighter like the majority of ladies on this list, like Game of Thrones' Arya, she learns and she trains in order to become the best and most fierce possible version of herself.
Fan of all things Young Adult? Check out these Fangirl-worthy posts!
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With each of these ladies, the most important thing to note is their perseverance. Things don't necessarily always go right for these ladies — hell, one of them's dead (Allison) and another has died way too many times to count (Bonnie, you gotta stop this girl) — but despite this, they never give up. They never stop trying and they never stop fighting, even when the odds are against them, these ladies power on.