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Best-Written Female Characters

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Now, before you start, I’d like to add a small caveat. I’m not talking the most badass or even the smartest female characters, though this adds bonus points to the final tally. I’m talking the most well-written, interesting, and engaging female characters of any medium you so desire.
Tis a tricky field to traverse, and few have tried it until relatively recently, so this should get some fun answers.
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Chell. She never says a word, and yet you can tell so much about her personality from just the things she does. Truly, being able to write a great female character without having her say a single word takes talent. She is long-suffering, patient, thoughtful, tenacious, resourceful, and compassionate (assuming saving the oracle turret is canon since you get an achievement from it), and is one of my favorite fictional characters in general.
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Daenerys Targaryen.  
Started off a meek little girl under her brother’s thumb, and we get to see her develope into a badass, slave-freeing hope bringer. That’s when we get to see how she interacts with people in the world with her black/white morality, and I look forward to situations that challenge that worldview, because she can adapt and perform actions that reflect how she’s constantly growing.
I don’t think she’s a good character because I like her so much, I like her so much because I think she’s such a good character.
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(or Aeryn Sun, or Roslin from BSG, or Echo from Dollhouse…)

I really doubt that there are any well-written, interesting, and engaging female characters in any story on the whole world.

I agree. Game of Thrones has some really strong female characters and Daenerys is one of them. I’m a fan of Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Ollena too. Those characters shine even more by the fact that they remain strong in a male dominated society.
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Iji. Just Iji.  
It seems the less talking female characters do the better, because once they open their mouth everyone needs to pigeonhole them towards their particular agenda. No one since the 40s can simply WRITE a character as just a character, there’s gotta be 10 hours of brainstorming about what agenda their inclusion can push. See also: Gay characters. It’s really quite sad.
And when they aren’t pushing an agenda, they’re pushing a fetish. LoL Other M.  
That’s probably why my favourite female characters are all either traumatically mute, sociopathic little girls, or fighting game characters like Jeanne Gadeux/Jane Gado/Shina.  
Plus just look at that delicious muscle tone! Hnnnnghf!
also yeah the Game of Thrones characters are awesome, all of them, even Tyrian’s ho has incredible depth, but then the author IS really involved in it. I also dig that Revenge show, even if it could lose half the tweeeests and plot and be all the better for it. Too much new shit coming in lately before they even finish a damn plotline.
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lol, it’s closer to Dexter S4 onwards in that regards. Writing in new characters and tweeests now seems as if it’s done with Executive Boardroom Dartboard for sheer randumbness. After they killed off this one girl and the bad guy announced his running for governor’s office near the end of last season, this season is an endless ream of rotating one-shot characters that keep getting killed by the end of that episode or the next as part of an even newer person’s offscreen machinations/plot tweeeests. Killing this one girl off felt like killing off Rita on Dexter, it was done entirely for shock value, and only afterwards did the writers seem to realise how utterly horrendously they fucked up, with no way to turn back. They keep lobbing in replacement goldfish who get wiped out in one or two eps to fill the void, but then I think they realise the new people don’t have the right connections to ‘stay safe’ in the story and so they must be dumped.  
So yeah, amusing trainwreck this season, will be fun to see if there’s any recovery at all in the fall. Dexter sure didn’t recover.
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Sky funeral
I’m horribly out of touch with a lot of my TV so I don’t have anywhere to stand as someone familiar with the show. Though as a hobbyist writer I can at least chuckle at all the characters that they’re running through the grinder. That’s not at all very good.
Duck - Niggoslav_Kwaczyk
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Damn, I forgot the Japanese name. I knew it was missing something!  
I never actually got around to playing BG&E and by the time I wanted to, saw the way it was being mistreated by its makers and just kind of lost heart in checking it out. I go through that enough with tv, thank you!  
She might dress skimpy, btw, but I think my personal favourite RPG heroine has to be Millenia from Grandia II. Game Arts’ other characters are good, but also really cliche’d intentionally. Game Arts has a thing about doing Cliche, but doing it WELL such as in flagship series Lunar. Millenia is different from the way they normally write though, she’s a demon that while quite a bloodthirsty kinkydomme (just check out her specials sometime) she is more loving and considerate and self-sacrificing towards her nakama and innocents than the so-called ‘chaste and noble’ priestess chick, or any of her pseudo-Catholic flock that condemn her and want to burn her are, really. And yet her completely-at-odds-with-self personality doesn’t lead her to mope or be somber about everyone’s mistrust and hate, she giggles and takes it in stride. She is like the Pinkie Pie version of Planescape’s Falls-From-Grace. (in fact, before the bounty hunter main hero is defrosted, he basically gives no fucks about a child whose life is threatened, while the DEMON’S response is along the lines of “How dare you threaten that blind child you fanatical bitch, IF YOU HURT HER I WILL TEAR OUT YOUR FUCKING RIBS AND STAB YOU IN THE EYES,” but of course in more kid-friendly E-rating printable language) She was just all kinds of amazing.
Ah ok. I rarely keep up with TV either but these were sorta like MLP to me, I got rec’d over and over, then I started watching mid-season of 2, archive binged, became a fan of everything from background gags, well constructed story arcs, snappy dialogue, really got into the fandumz etc. If you’ll excuse the tl;dr explanation here is basically what went wrong in S4
My post ran pretty long so I decided to pastebin the actual S4 commentary.
All that in there is basically why I hate mainstream styles of writing. My guess is studio execs were like “Make it more like X which has twice your viewership, couch potatoes aren’t smart enough to continue following this plotweb.” ignoring the fact they probably dropped long ago, and then it’s just instantly ‘lel randumb M Night twist’ and loads of people getting killed for no reason. Those two series started out being written more like good books, and then all the expository scenes got cut down, fights occurred more often, guns came out faster, etc and so forth. All felt like crutches to avoid having to actually plot out intelligent sequences. I never watched Firefly but if what its fans said was true about Fox’s involvement, if they hadn’t canceled it outright then it would be going this route. Space Above and Beyond was the last primetime series I remember having an interest in, and it went that way for exactly one ep, then was completely canceled after the viewer revolt.
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I gotta agree with this tbh for reasons that Niggoslav pointed out. Female characters can never just be a character it seems.
And honestly, I don’t care about the “strong woman” characters because they are either a) could have been a man with no meaningful impact or b) like Lightning from FF13.
My favorite female characters tend to be very feminine for better or for worse.  
For example, I like Sansa more than Daenarys. Sansa’s chapters were interesting because of how strong the character change was.
Dany on the other hand routinely annoyed me with her black/white morality, her constant “I’m the mother of dragons”, and how she always succeeds with no setbacks (which makes her struggle seem pointless)  
I’m glad at how the fifth book turned out for her, it was a welcome change of pace.  
But mostly I grow weary of how she’s seen as this final puzzle piece to complete the world and how there’s an unspoken expectation to like her.
While Sansa actually caught my interest when reading because her chapters were all about her character.
I guess ultimately, I find many of the “female empowerment role model” characters to be bland and boring.
Duck - Niggoslav_Kwaczyk
Solar Supporter - Fought against the New Lunar Republic rebellion on the side of the Solar Deity (April Fools 2023).
A Perfectly Normal Pony - Drinky_Butt
The End wasn't The End - Found a new home after the great exodus of 2012

I found them both equally interesting at first, but yeah Daenarys quickly landed in sue territory. It would have been more interesting if she had to fight her ‘own people’ and unite them with both bribery and force within the Dothraki to keep them together, like a Khan or Chieftain’s wife (which occasionally happened when an Irish chief died with no close relations still living and no immediate heir)  
The rest of the world is painstakingly realistic, and then there’s Danaerys, who had one little fumble from trusting an angry shaman, and then was handed the universe on a platter.
Yeah Brienne is probably the most awesome of the 3, if only because she’s paired with possibly the best foil to slam against her worldview, Jaime. Them travelling together creates as impressive verbal/moral duels as Bronn and Tyrian. Brienne could easily have turned out as a fetish-y ‘tough chick in hot leather/mail bikini’ even in the original work, she is in the perfect position to have been written that way. But she wasn’t, she was written and acted more like a Hospitaller, yet at the same time the situations faced would not be faced by men (unlike other portrayals of knightly women, like every Joanne of arc depiction ever), and Jaime’s existence in the duo acts as the counterpoint, and also as a bit of ‘viewer/reader reaction.’ If only Dany was as realistic. Dany should be Elizabeth I or Mary with dragons, especially since she’s trying to impress the shit out of a hyper-masculine Mongol-esque tribe, but she doesn’t. They leave immediately, and those that remained behind instantly latched their lips to her bum, and of COURSE everybody that deserts from either side in Westaros immediately seeks her out instead of finding someone closer, yes THAT’S realistic indeed. It would have been better for them all to see it, and then constantly expect her to live up to that amazing feat 24/7, with her slowly breaking as she saw desertion after desertion of people she thought she was befriending/winning over. “Yeah, big whoop khalessi, you can sit in a fire and not get cooked like the witch, but what use is this on horseback if your horse can’t do the same? What will you give our people what we are already taking for ourselves without your help?”
It’s funny that the rest of the series goes so much against standard fantasy writing (such as killing off Ned, who would have been at the very least Hero Mentor if not Hero in any other work with his crazy nobility-at-all-costs outlook), both high and low, and then Danaerys is always portrayed as “True and rightful heir and 99% likely she’ll be the last one standing.” And the problem with this portrayal is that if she does die or get deposed some other way, then the readers/viewers will think someone forced this upon them, even if it was planned from the beginning. (See: Dexter season 4, Rita’s death, and how she flipped personalities from S3ep12 to S4ep1, apparently in order to cause viewers to want her gone. It’s obvious in hindsight they planned it from ep1 as a ‘shock’ because they drastically changed the personality, but it still felt like an asspull when it happened because you’re led to believe if they’re ever driven apart it will be something Dexter himself screwed up on, or that the emotional change made them tired of being with each other, not LOLRANDUM MURDER)
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