Warrior Women in TV and Film

Buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-1-promo-hq-04-1500 Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

At first glance, she looks like the first one to die in a horror movie: blonde, not super smart, cheerleader, she’s definitely gonna be the one to run away from the killer, screaming, the one who stupidly trips and falls, as the bad guy nears, right? Wrong. So very very wrong. Buffy was the most kick butt lady on tv in the 90’s (and well into the 2000’s). It was exactly her looks that lead a lot of big bads to their death at her hands. At 16 years old she faced the lord of all vampires, ancient werewolves, a giant scary bug lady, and death (which she came back from). Buffy is the picture of a modern woman warrior. She can take out the bad guys and still have time to party.

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Xena (Xena Warrior Princess)

A Warrior Princess who fights evil in a land of magic. Is there anything New Zealanders can’t think up? Xena makes her first appearance in the tv show Hercules. Initially a villain who sets out to kill him, she has a(n off-screen) change of heart and in her adventures (and her spin-off series) helps those in need in order to redeem her of her dark past. Joined by her sidekick (and some would say girlfriend) Gabrielle, the two venture out into the world, swords ready, skirts a-flyin, and lipstick on point.

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Sailor Moon (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon)

One of the most well known Japanese characters in the world, Sailor Moon is the poster girl for the magical girl genre. What many people might not know though is that she’s the poster girl because she revolutionized the way magical girls could function (in that genre). Before magical girls were just that, strictly magical. There were no fights to be had, no villains to defeat, but then along came Sailor Moon and the rest of the Sailor Guardians and now girls could fight evil and look cute while doing so. She came on to the scene as a lazy, lovesick school girl, but when she became Sailor Moon she could fight and she didn’t need the help of a man (even though it she had it in the form of Tuxedo Mask) to fight the bad guys.

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Yu Shu Lien (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

Shu Lien is a strong woman warrior. That sentence is not only boring, but it is true. She possesses grace, she’s smart and cunning, kind and wise, and can stand toe to toe with her male counterparts. Sword-wielding, flying through the air, there’s nothing that Shu Lien can’t do except profess her love for Mu Bai but that’s another thing altogether.

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Nikita (Nikita)

Not all warrior women are heroes (which isn’t a bad thing), and that certainly is the case for Nikita. A teenage junkie turned mercenary, and reluctant warrior at first, she eventually overcomes her situation, making the choice between death and causing the death of others to become an extremely good killer. She’s forced into this situation by a secret organisation and becomes a pawn in their plans. She goes along with it for as long as she can, but after the man she loves finds out about her work life, he persuades her to end it by having her cut her ties and by disappearing. Her ending is left ambiguous, but it is implied that she was taken out by her employers. I however believe that she was able to outsmart them and eventually got free but that’s a story for my fanfiction.

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