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Top 10 Warrior Women in Television

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Mersini Karkoulas These warrior women are fierce! In this countdown we take a look at the Top 10 warrior women in television. We’ve included women like Kara Starbuck Thrace from Battlestar Galactica, River Tam from Firefly, Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Princess Diana from Wonder Woman, Michonne from The Walking Dead and Lagertha from Vikings.

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Top 10 Warrior Women in Television

They’re fierce, they’re fearless, and they’re here to kick your ass. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Warrior Women in Television.

For this list, we’re looking at badass women from live-action television series who can handle themselves in a fight.

#10: Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
“Battlestar Galactica” (2004-09)

Starbuck used to want to be a professional pyramid ball player till an injury forced her to give up the dream and pursue a career in the military instead. It’s there that she flourished and rose through the ranks to become a respected leader. She’s one of the best pilots Galactica has ever seen, and even though she’s made some fatal mistakes in her career, no one can deny that she’s excellent at her job. Quick-witted and short-tempered, every time she takes down a Cylon, we can’t help but cheer her on.

#9: Lexa
“The 100” (2014-)

Having killed all of her rivals for the position of commander, we wouldn’t ever want to be caught face to face with Lexa on a battlefield. She became a pioneering political leader, doing what no other commander before her had done, uniting the 12 clans and keeping the peace among them. A favorite character, her controversial death by a stray bullet almost caused riots among her legions of fans and prompted the show’s creator to issue an apology. Adorned with war paint and sitting on a throne made of twisting tree branches, she is a true leader, as formidable off the battlefield as she is on it.

#8: Lagertha
“Vikings” (2013-)

We all know that the Vikings were some of fiercest warriors of their time, sailing the seas and conquering new lands, and we know that women fought right beside the men. Lagertha, the legendary first wife of Ragnar Lothbrok, is more than just a homemaker, and is widely respected as a shieldmaiden. She is fiercely protective of those she loves, and proves that you can be a warrior and have a tender heart at the same time. A fan favorite, particularly among feminist circles, she charges into battle and eventually becomes a queen in her own right, much to the satisfaction of audiences everywhere.

#7: River Tam
“Firefly” (2002)

No stranger to the wrong side of the law, Captain Mal Reynolds picks up River and her brother Simon as they attempt to evade the authorities. It soon becomes clear that there is something very strange about River. A child prodigy, she is wise beyond her years and understands the relationships between people almost better than the people themselves. Despite her slightly creepy demeanor, she is an asset in a fight, and is one of the scariest, most graceful people we’ve ever seen wielding a blade. There’s no way we’d ever want to get on her bad side.

#6: Michonne
“The Walking Dead” (2010-)

Only the most badass of people could survive the zombie apocalypse, and only the most badass of the badass would think of putting a couple of zombies in chains and using them to escape danger. When we first meet Michonne, she has two walkers missing their lower jaw and their arms as prisoners, and her awesomeness only gets better from there. While able to use guns, she’s an expert with the katana, and can slice and dice her way out of any dangerous situation. Although she does have a soft side, there’s no way we’d risk making her mad.

#5: Nikita
“Nikita” (2010-13)

When you’ve been trained as an assassin by a secret government organization, which then kills the love of your life, the only reasonable response is to make it your life’s mission to bring them down. Nikita, one of Division’s best agents and greatest assets, becomes their worst enemy when she decides she’s had enough of them interfering in people’s lives. She’s highly intelligent and has all the skills she needs to bring Division to its knees, fearlessly taking them on time and time again. With Nikita pushing for their destruction, Division doesn’t stand a chance, and it’s beyond satisfying to see her go head-to-head with them, guns blazing.

#4: Brienne of Tarth
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

Even if you’re only familiar with “Game of Thrones,” in passing you probably know of Brienne of Tarth. All she’s ever wanted was to become a knight and defender of the realm, so she did everything in her power to defy society’s belief that women are just wives, and made her dream a reality. With an unwavering sense of loyalty and expert swordsman skills to back her up, no one could ask for a better bodyguard. She might have her soft spots, but it would cost you your life to think that she’d hesitate in battle.

#3: Princess Diana/ Wonder Woman
“Wonder Woman” (1975-79)

Wonder Woman has become an icon for women everywhere. Existing in a world where most of the heroes are men, she defies the odds and proves that men aren’t the only ones who can save the world. Trained by the other Amazons on her home island, she’s one of the strongest warriors among them. The actress portraying her, Lynda Carter, is just as badass as her character, causing quite a controversy when she performed her own stunt of hanging off a helicopter in mid-air. Wonder Woman became a symbol of courage and strength, and helped pave the way for other women of action.

#2: Buffy Summers
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-03)

Unless you lived under a rock during the late ‘90s, you’ve probably heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A seemingly ordinary teenage girl, she turns into a fighter of the undead when destiny makes her the Slayer. With the help of her friends and Watcher, she dives into the world of the occult and the monstrous. Usually armed with only a stake and her sharp wit, she takes down hordes of vampires and the occasional god. Widely regarded as a feminist figure, by the time the show ended in 2003, Buffy was a household name, and continues to be a character that generations look up to.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some Honorable Mentions:

“Daredevil” (2015-)

Aeryn Sun
“Farscape” (1999-03)

Max Guevara
“Dark Angel” (2000-02)

#1: Xena
“Xena: Warrior Princess” (1995-2001)

Can you imagine a world where Xena and her staff wielding partner Gabrielle didn’t exist? We can’t. A spin-off series, Xena first appeared in “Hercules” where she was so popular that the creators decided she deserved her own show. The series depicts Xena trying to atone for her past sins by fighting evil with her Chakram, and recognizing the value of doing something for the greater good. Now an undisputed feminist favorite, Xena has taken her place as an integral part of pop culture history.

Do you agree with your list? Who’s your favorite warrior woman on television? For more daring Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.


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