Just in time for International Women’s Day! The five names brought before you today are fictional women characters who, while in supporting roles, were really strong leaders in their own right. They carried themselves with pride and stood strong when things got tough. Let’s celebrate these women and their contributions to the world of geeky fiction!
5. Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory)
Armed with a PhD in Neurobiology and a great mind besides, one could ask why Amy gave long-time (that’s understating it) boyfriend Sheldon Cooper perhaps too much of herself; making her too giving and perhaps not a strong type of person.
I posit, however, that she was simply very loving and very patient. Sometimes leading is having the strength to be patient while still suffering no fools. What’s more, she was always competent in her scientific field — and in relationships — on her own terms. She was also very much a leader who knew when enough was enough; calling it quits with her beloved Sheldon for a time after finding his selfish attitude too much to bear.
Amy wasn’t just a pro at science! No, when she wasn’t dissecting brains in a literal sense, she did so in a literary sense by writing fanfiction. It takes something to write a mini-novel based on your geeky passion. She’s also a Nobel-winner; having co-discovered Super-Asymmetry. Go Amy!
4. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
A supporting member of Buffy’s “Scooby Gang”, Willow started out as a brilliant computer hacker who evolved into a powerful witch. She grew into a role of leadership over the seven seasons of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series having to make occasional hard choices.
The strongest example was Willow backing off of magic when she was getting rather addicted to it and it caused harm to herself and her friends. When her addiction got Buffy’s sister Dawn badly hurt, Willow learned the hard way that she needed to get a grip for her own sake and for her loved ones; that takes strength of a serious kind. And as a result, even after a serious relapse brought on by the trauma of losing her beloved Tara to gun violence, she became a true guardian of her power; responsible for its cultivation.
3. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series)
Easily the smartest member of the Harry Potter trio of pals! If it weren’t for Hermione, her two friends would be lost; whether it was in academics or in real danger.
But it’s interesting to consider one particular fact: the Sorting Hat put her in a house opposite what seemed her strongest feature — her intelligence. You would think she’d go to Ravenclaw but ultimately the Sorting Hat chose for her Gryffindor; the house known for roles of bravery, courage, and leadership in those qualities.
It shouldn’t surprise considering how often Hermione got her hands dirty in the danger which she and her friends faced; often solving problems with her brain. Going from the books: she solved Snape’s potions challenge, deduced Remus Lupin was a werewolf, solved the fact that there was a basilisk in Hogwarts, and more besides! While Harry Potter would often miss what was obvious to Hermione, he also often recognized her brilliance.
2. Kaylee Frye (Firefly; Serenity)
Don’t let her sweet demeanor fool you! This ship’s mechanic was a leader in that she took charge in her field whether people believed in her or not. Sometimes she would succumb to doubt, but before long she’d rise again and get to what she knew best! Shoot, she could successfully lead Jayne and Shepherd Book into properly repairing the engine while she was seriously injured and fading in and out of consciousness; that’s a leader!
What’s more, when literally and figuratively backed against a wall, Kaylee’s leadership qualities (right down to the will to fight on and live) shine through! And Kaylee always knew what she wanted in life, doing her best to make it happen and enjoy herself like the time she wanted to simply enjoy a party while sporting a pink, frilly dress much to her personal taste.
1. Donna Noble (Doctor Who)
This companion of the Tenth Doctor was easily the latter’s equal and foil. She often called Ten out when he’d get a bit high and mighty or full of himself.
Unfortunately, Donna couldn’t see anything special in herself. This never stopped her from standing up for what was right, or what she believed in, however. Oh, she would indeed be heard! And while her boisterous nature hid a fear that she was not important enough to be heard, I maintain that she wouldn’t push so hard if she didn’t believe to some degree that she was. Sometimes leadership is speaking up for yourself as well as others.
Many other supporting women characters of geeky fiction have stepped up to be leaders in their own ways; these picks, however, are very cool! There will always be another Ellen Ripley, Leia Organa, Sarah Connor, and others who take charge and run with it.
That said, you’ll easily find the aforementioned supporting characters of this list, and others inspired by them, using their own natural abilities to steer the ship in the right direction for everyone else’s good. Both should be celebrated; this list simply recognizes the power of support. If you’ve never seen the shows of these fictional women, see them ASAP!
Any other supporting lady leaders you know of? Comment below! Want more stories about women? Read this Geek News Now (GNN) article reviewing Wonderful Women of the World! For geeky fun, check out GNN podcast The Geek Gauntlet on Saturdays at 10pm EST via YouTube! Also, subscribe to Geek News Now and give its Facebook page a like!