There is nothing like your best friend. Check out Bookstr’s top 10 best friends of literature!
For much of history, much like in real life, female characters in fiction were sidelined, often not promoted to the front like their male counterparts until recently. But this has begun to change, with strong and nuanced female character coming to the forefront of genres like fantasy, science fiction, historical and more! And even looking back throughout literary history, there are numerous examples of kickass women who paved the way forward. Here some of the best, counting down from ten!
10. Offred- The Handmaid’s Tale
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The Handmaid’s Tale tells of a future where women have been reduced to the role of reproductive slaves in a society run by a religious order, made into the property of men and forbidden from reading, writing, or holding positions of power. Offred, whose real name is June, is a woman who dreams of a better life and despite all the hardship she endures, she instills the spark of rebellion, piece by piece, through her actions and inspires women around her. She may not be an action hero but it’s clear she’s the strongest character, holding power over the men who claim to own her.
9. Sabriel- Sabriel
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In a world where the dead walk the earth, one young women holds the key to countering the dark evil rising from the depths of the underworld. Enter Sabriel, an eighteen-year-old girl who is finishing her work at an all female college where she sees a vision of the dead walking out from the other realm beyond her own to infest the earth. Sent by her father to stop a group of Necromancers, Sabriel is fierce, ferocious, but also very human and showcases a quiet inner strength that allows her to overcome Death itself.
8. Nancy Drew-Nancy Drew mystery stories
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Nancy Drew was created in 1930s but nevertheless emerged to become an icon for countless generations. A young girl working as an amateur detective, Nancy Drew constantly went headfirst into danger, exploring abandoned castles, creepy mansions, slimy swamps, and dark basements to solve mystery after mystery. The character has been updated to become stronger and older as the years went by, letting her evolve while also staying true to her roots, always a girl as brave as any boy and sniffing out the next case to crack.
7. Matilda- Matilda
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Another young girl, Matilda emerged as one of the best characters of Roald Dahl’s novels who has a love of reading and kindness while also possessing rad telekinesis. She overcomes adversity not through brute force, contrasting her nemesis, the Trunchbull, a massive tyrant of a headmaster who bullies the children in her care. Matilda’s mind is her greatest asset and is gleeful to see her emerge as the smartest person in the room. You can’t help but cheer as she overcomes the Trunchbull, letting her mind flow freely to literally grab the brute of a woman and give her a taste of her own medicine.
6. Princess Cimorene- Dealing with Dragons
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This princess turns the classic trope of a fair damsel getting kidnapped by a dragon and rescued by a knight on its head. Cimorene runs away from her kingdom where her parents try to make her marry an undesirable prince, runs to a dragon, and takes up a job under the dragon’s wing. Cimorene takes charge of her life from the first chapter, showcasing her strength, wit, and skill to get a life she wants, not the one the story has set out for her. And she gets to be best friends with a dragon, which is badass.
5. Isabella Trent- A Natural History of Dragons
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Written as a memoir by supposed famous dragon naturalist Lady Trent, A Natural History of Dragons chronicles the adventures of Isabella Trent who strives to become the authority of dragonology. Written as a bookish, very English sort of woman, Isabella is prim and proper, erudite and sophisticated while possessing a true passion for the dragons of the world. She would sooner examine a dragon up close than scream in terror, being truly fascinated and possessing a scholarly disposition that makes her quite lovable. It’s wonderful to watch her evolve as the series go on, seeing her adventures with dragons and showcasing how she is the most brilliant mind in the room.
4. Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games
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Thrust into The Hunger Games, a bloodsport that pits her against teens from fellow Districts, Katniss Everdeen rises to the occasion to take control of her destiny. Refusing to play by the Capital’s rules, she fights against the game at every opportunity, first refusing to kill her supposed ‘enemy’ Peeta at the game’s end, threatening to kill herself if the Capital doesn’t let them both live. Eventually, she becomes the leader of a rebellion against the District entirely, becoming a full fledged warrior as the Districts rise around her to overthrow President Snow. Katniss is a champion for inner strength, fierceness, and stone cold badassery.
3. Scout Finch- To Kill a Mockingbird
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Scout is great because of how real she feels. She narrates the book from her POV, showcasing her child’s view of the world, making us fall in love with her mannerisms and her fiesty attitude. She’s curious, always ready to get into a fight, and a tomboy, contrasting with the small town atmosphere around her that disapproves of her unladylike ways. She is at once relatable, yet always reminding us she’s a child and has a lot of growing up to do. But Scout is always wonderful, a great protagonist who showcases the spirit of a women beneath her childish exterior.
2. Arya Stark- A Song of Ice and Fire
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One of the protagonist of Game of Thrones, Arya began as an immature girl, the third child of Ned Stark who was interested in very unladylike things, being fiesty and independent. But as the series progresses, she grows into a fully fledged warrior, swearing revenge on those who killed her family and becoming one of the Faceless Men, learning their skills as an assassin. She wields an awesome sword named Needle and ventures across Westeros, trying to complete her list of named targets. Extremely popular with fans, Arya is vicious despite her small size and should never be underestimated.
1. Hermione Granger- Harry Potter
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One of the iconic figures in the series, Hermione is arguably more capable than Harry, being an intelligent teenager with a gift for magic, an aptitude for history, and often described as a walking encyclopedia. Favoring brains over brawn, she comes up with the plans throughout the series and often represents a clear headed contrast to the more impulsive Ron or even Harry. She isn’t without her flaws, with her fear of failure driving her to nearly kill herself as she drowns herself in schoolwork, but she always prove herself a strong young woman, ready to smack anyone who challenges or insults her.
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The Harry Potter universe is one of the most vast, intriguing worlds in fantasy, full of detailed depictions about the life of wizards, magical creatures, and the foundations of the magical world. One of the coolest aspects of it was the spells, each uniquely designed and showing off a cool effect via the simple Latin incantation with the flick of a wand. From the simple to the grandiose, here are the top ten coolest spells in the Potterverse.
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Muffliato is a charm that is one of the most useful spells Harry learns. Created by Severus Snape, aka the Half-Blood Prince, muffliato. Its effect makes a buzzing sound in other people’s ears, making them unable to hear nearby conversations. Whenever Harry, Ron, or Hermione need to have a private conversation, they simple cast this spell, enabling them to speak freely even in public, crowded settings. This spell would be great in the real world: just imagine chattering away about whatever you want and no one takes notice!
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One of the most dangerous and downright destructive spells in the Potterverse, fiendfyre manifests as a huge maelstrom of cursed fire that transforms into living spirits, seeking out their target while consuming everything in their path. The spell is incredibly difficult to control and anyone who uses it without proper knowledge of the Dark Arts is taking their life into their hands. This is seen in the final book where Vincent Crabbe uses it, resulting in the fiendfyre going wild, resulting in his own death and destruction of the Room of Requirement. Luckily, it has an added bonus: fiendfyre is strong enough to destroy a Horcrux, which is does as it consumes Slytherin’s locket as it pursues the trio.
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Accio is one of the most practical and useful spells in the Potterverse, a summoning charm that, well, summons objects to the caster. This might not sound flashy but its worth is proved again and again throughout the books? Any object you need that its a nearby vicinity you can summon right to you, from broomsticks to wands to living animals. Harry uses it multiple times, summoning his Firebolt during the Triwizard Tournament, getting his wand back when he’s disarmed, or even stealing objects. Imagine its usefulness in real life: ‘Accio Remote!‘ or ‘Accio Pizza!‘ It’d be fantastic.
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Another simple spell, this one has a much darker purpose. Morsmodre conjures the image of Voldemort and his Death Eaters, the Dark Mark, into existence. The Dark Mark consists of a green skull with a snake slithering out of its mouth and is left at locations where Voldemort either committed murders or foreboding that chaos would soon come. While not doing anything explicit, the terror it conjures is put to good use and those who remember Voldemort’s original reign of terror recall the Dark Mark conjured from place to place, this spell leaving a terrifying memory on those who see its visage.
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A brutal spell, this is another derived from Severus Snape’s personal book. It acts as a severing curse, slashing the opponent as if by an invisible strike by the same movement of the wand. Essentially, slashing through the air with the spell and you’ll wound your enemy by a strike that cannot be seen. The cuts inflicted by the curse are extremely deep and anything severed is cut off permanently (ouch). The brutal effect of the spell is best seen when Harry wounds Malfoy badly with it, to his own shock and horror. Definitely not one for widespread use but the idea behind it is rather cool nonetheless.
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Traveling is a snap with this spell. Essentially teleportation, all the user is required to do is have a wand and have a clear visual of where they want to go. Once done, the user will disappear from their current location and poof into existence at their intended destination. Mastery of this spell is tricky, however, and the further one attempts to Apparate to, the risk of mutilation or even death increases. A botched Apparition isn’t pretty, so only experienced wizards should attempt to travel vast distances. However, despite these risks, Apparition is fantastic and allows one to poof from place to place very easily, making walking, cars, and airplanes a thing of the past.
A handy spell for going up against boggarts, riddikulus enables the user to change the boggart from one of their worst fears into something far less threatening, enabling them to overcome the creature in question. For example: when faced with a boggart, Neville’s boggart changed into Severus Snape, whom Neville was terrified of. But through the use of this spell, the boggart was turned into Snape wearing Neville’s grandmother’s clothes, provoking laughter rather than fear and robbing the boggart of its power. A cool spell indeed!
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This one is mocked frequently for how much Harry uses it during wizard duels but there’s no denying its useful. Expelliarmus is a practical spell that allows the user to disarm their enemy of whatever object they are holding, which often translates into a wand. Many duels have been resolved by simple blasting a wizard or witch’s wand out of their hands, robbing them of their weapon for magic. The spell is of course considered Harry’s signature one, to the extent the Death Eaters considered it synonymous with him at the end of the series.
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A spell used to erase or modify the memory of another, obliviate destroy a victim’s memories, giving them amnesia or even erasing their recollection of their lives entirely. Gilderoy Lockhart accidentally uses it on himself when attempting to blast Harry with it, erasing a chunk of his own memories in the wand’s accidental backfire. More darkly, Hermione uses it on her own parents in order to protect them before she runs away, making it so they don’t remember having her at all. Its certainly not a spell to be used lightly, enabling the user to modify another’s mind against their will.
1. Expecto Patronum
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You knew this one was coming. Expecto Patronum is the coolest spell in the Potterverse, the only known defense against Dementors. A difficult spell to master, Expecto Patronum calls on the user’s happiest memories to ward off Dementors, manifesting as a magical animal that chases the creatures off in force. Multiple users throughout the series use this curse to fight off the dark forces of Dementors, with Harry teaching Dumbledore’s Army the spell to prepare them for battle. Each user’s patronus manifests as a different kind of animal, with Harry’s own appearing as a stag, Snape’s appearing as a doe, and Dumbledore’s appearing as a phoenix. Its the most awesome spell in the Potterverse and we wish we could have our own!
What are your favorite Potter spells? Let us know in the comments!
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And one thing you need to know is that…she is 39! Yes, she’s born in 1979, according to Mama Rowling.
Let’s see how Hermione fans celebrate her birthday:
— Professional Book Nerds Podcast (@ProBookNerds) 2018年9月19日
happy birthday hermione granger we love you girly pic.twitter.com/JsUPlisSNo
— cameron?? (@GRANDESDEVOTlON) 2018年9月19日
9/19 Happy Birthday Hermione Granger pic.twitter.com/MmgI5PBNIL
— かぴるす (@kprk_pkrs) 2018年9月19日
Happy birthday to the magical hero who taught us the importance of a good education and the excitement of breaking a few rules: #HermioneGranger. ??✨ @HarryPotterFilm #HarryPotter #LEGOHarryPotter pic.twitter.com/aGCeIynUsa
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) 2018年9月19日
Happy birthday to the most beautiful and smartest wizard in the world, Hermione Granger? pic.twitter.com/pbT67D4Kcp
— morgane – 10 (@expectomlinson) 2018年9月19日
Happy Birthday to Hermione Granger! I’m so sorry for doubting you early in the series, because Harry, Ron, Hogwarts, and the entire Wizarding World would probably be dead without you. Bless you, your intelligence, and your patience with the two most stubborn boys ever. https://t.co/7cSZrJ3nsp
— Potterless (@PotterlessPod) 2018年9月19日
Happy birthday to Hermione Granger! While there can only ever be one Hermione, these other brainy, brave heroines from young-adult and middle-grade fiction remind us of her in some important ways. https://t.co/mlOiJO8GHi
— NY Public Library (@nypl) 2018年9月19日
Happy birthday to Hermione Granger! Enjoy this sneak peek of Brian Selznick’s original 20th-anniversary cover artwork. Just over 2 weeks until it goes on view in “Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” open Oct. 5! #HarryPotterNYHS
Art by Brian Selznick ©2018 by @Scholastic Inc. pic.twitter.com/SjHY9SKCRX
— N-YHistoricalSociety (@NYHistory) 2018年9月19日
Bookstrs, what do you wanna say to our beloved birthday girl?
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