It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of female-led films, but while we wait for that to change, we can at least fondly watch the strong female characters that we’ve been gifted through TV shows. Set in medieval times, the modern age or the future, TV shows over the years have delivered in producing female characters we can learn from, stand behind, and cry with. They have been molded by their show’s plots and vice versa. In honor of Women’s History Month, these are some of the most influential female TV characters to ever hit our screens.
Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl
The headband-wearing Upper East Side princess had no dearth of bitchy moments, but you have to admit that she didn’t ever receive anything she didn’t deserve. She didn’t glide through life like Serena, wasn’t afraid to put anyone in their place, and had a conviction that her destiny wasn’t up to anyone else but her.
Offred – The Handmaid’s Tale
Offred is living out every female’s nightmare, and she’s not only fighting for her own freedom but those of others. Convincing Janine to keep her baby out of harm’s way despite giving her empty promises and reminding Moira that their lives aren’t over, Offred teeters on the edge of hysteria throughout the season. She keeps herself going for the sake of her daughter and husband despite the fact that a reunion seems highly unlikely in their modern-day dystopia.
Arya Stark – Game of Thrones
Though her disdain for anything girly appeared to be a barrier to becoming a proper lady during her season one introduction, it’s exactly what kept Arya alive after her family’s downfall. Disguised as a boy at one point, Arya receives sword training throughout the seasons and becomes a master assassin, rivaling the skills of Brienne of Tarth. You no doubt cheered when she avenged those who were wronged, and she didn’t even need a gown to do it.
Annaliese Keating – How to Get Away With Murder
Viola Davis fully commits in every role she plays and she proves that female characters don’t always have to be likable. Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks so as Viola became the first African-American female to score an Emmy for her performance as a ruthless lawyer.
Eleven – Stranger Things
Millie Bobby Brown has a way of conveying Eleven so well, from killing predatory creatures one day to being a slow-dancing preteen at the Ball the next.