Tuesday, December 13, 2016

6 Amazing Antiheroines

Nobody’s completely black or white in a well-written story, but some characters relish living in the gray area more than others. Thus we have antiheroes: protagonists lacking in “conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, or morality,” (thanks, Wikipedia!). This post focuses on the female side of things; here are six antiheroines who run the gamut from crabby to murderous.

1. Elliot Reid (Scrubs)

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She’s the goofiest character on this list and the most innocent, if only by comparison. Elliot starts off as medical intern who uses words like “bajingo.” She’s also shrill, hyper-competitive, and way too dependent on her frigid parents. She starts growing a backbone once they cut her off, and by the end of the show she’s mellowed out—a little. Even in her worst moments, Elliot’s both adorable and hilarious.

2. Arha (The Tombs of Atuan)

Rebecca Guay The Tombs of Atuan
Art by Rebecca Guay
In the world of Earthsea, names are the root of magic, so it’s fitting that “Arha” means “the eaten one.” It’s not her true name, but the title given to every High Priestess who serves the Nameless Ones. Arha grows up precocious and incredibly lonely, with a cruel streak to match. She’s also smart enough to know when she’s being manipulated and wise enough to accept help and compassion, even from an unlikely source.

3.   Gemma Teller Morrow (Sons of Anarchy)

Don’t expect a redemption arc for this one. Gemma goes from bad to worse (by the end of the show she’s pretty much been upgraded to an outright villain), always convinced that she’s doing what’s best for her family. Or at least what’s best for herself. She’s still impossible to hate, thanks to bucket loads of charisma and the odd selfless moment. Being played by Katey Sagal helps, too.

4.   Mary Woodhull (Turn: Washington’s Spies)

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Mary is devoted to her husband, Abe, but also pragmatic. He’s cheating on her? Fine, as long as he keeps things discreet. He’s carrying out spy missions for General Washington? She’ll block him at every turn, but if that doesn’t work, she’ll make sure he never gets caught. Like Gemma, Mary’s main goal is keeping her family together, at whatever cost.

5. The Queen of Attolia (the Queen’s Thief series)

Art by Vince Natale
The Queen of Attolia and the Thief of Eddis were engaged not long after she ordered his hand chopped off. Their marriage is mostly described through the viewpoints of other characters, and widely assumed to be a sham. It isn’t. The Queen has a knack for ruthless politics, terrifies almost everyone she meets, and loves her husband as much as he loves her. Watching their relationship develop—from fear to hatred to love—is one of the highlights of the series.

6. Elektra Natchios (Marvel’s Daredevil)

The newest MCU version of Elektra first appears in season 2 of the Netflix series. Her true origins are unknown, but she was adopted by a Greek diplomat after (briefly) being trained by a group of vigilantes known as the Chaste. Intelligent, charming, and willing to kill almost anyone, Elektra also longs to be a better person. Morally, she’s just as complex as Matt Murdock, her on-again, off-again partner in crime.

Who are some of your favorite antiheroines?

1 comment:

  1. AHH! Thank you for mentioning the Queen of Attolia. I need to reread the series. Next book in the series, Thick as Thieves, is coming out next year!! HOORAY.