The challenge; write an ode to six badass women of Geekdom. Lists, upon lists accumulated and we continued to dwell deeper into this universe until we found the ultimate six that deserve recognition. We of course thought of all the obvious badasses, but decided to take it to the greats with cult followings. Disclaimer: This piece may contain SPOILERS! So tread carefully through these lands, and sit tight as we take you on a journey through space, time, and all things “wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey.”
River Song, Doctor Who
A badass from birth, Professor River Song, or should I say Melody Pond, is dangerous in her own accord, and knows how to use a gun. Appearing for the first time in 2008 in the two-part episode titled “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” of Doctor Who, Professor Song was a mystery. She became a fixture in the Doctor’s timeline, but the order they meet in is random and never chronologically sane. Brought up to be the Doctor’s doom, River marries him instead. Defacing historical monuments with “cute” messages for the Doctor, breaking out and back into her jail cell, the one thing we’re certain about is that this femme fatale is never the victim.
“You said ‘bubbling’.”
A happy evening star, Yvaine spent most of her life people-watching and craving adventure. That is, until she, literally, got knocked out by the Royal Ruby of Stormhold. Taking human form upon impact in Faerie, she finds herself pursued by a number of threats. Witty, sharp-tongued, and quick on her feet Yvaine is not a force to be reckoned with. Anger her, and she might unleash a waive of starlight so bright it’ll turn you to dust. The ultimate badass of Gaiman’s imagination, Yvaine has the ability to lash out with a demeanour of grace and dignity, even when she’s making Tristran’s life difficult. Did we mention she befriends a unicorn along the way?
Valentine Wiggin, Ender’s Game
“We may be young, but we’re not powerless.”
The thing about Valentine Wiggin is – the reason she is rejected from Battle School is actually her strength. ‘Too compassionate and mild,’ she is in some ways exactly what society expects from a woman. Still, Valentine is brave, intelligent, wise and calculating. She serves as Ender’s protector when their brother, Peter tries to torture him and has no problem standing up to Colonel Graff when he tries to pressure her into his plan involving Ender’s training. She finds power in empathy and expertly manipulates her surroundings with the belief that she can make a difference. An intellectual badass – by the age of ten.
Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter
“We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.”
Oh Minerva. There’s so much to love about the strict Professor who scares the living hippogriff out of you, but somehow still manages to command your respect. She’s a leader who is fearless in the face of danger, a fiercely loyal friend no matter the circumstances, and funny in the most deadpan of ways. Professor McGonagall is no-nonsense, a woman not to be crossed and only loses her cool when she is feeling most passionate. From unabashedly screaming and shaking her fist at cheating Slytherins during Quidditch, to yelling ‘Charge!’ and leading transfigured objects, not to mention actual bits of the building, into the Battle against Voldemort. Whatever you’re up against, you’re going to want Minerva McGonagall on your side – after all, she is rather good at magic.
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
“I hate tombs.”
English aristocracy and a ladyship in the bag, this explorer would much rather go on an adventure than a ball. Beautiful, intelligent, and athletic are just some ways to describe this badass. A true action hero, Lara Croft went from being sweet to ruthless, with a top priority to survive. Even though her first incarnations were considered crude and distasteful, her latest self is the epitome of badass. Nobility aside, this 21-year-old reincarnation of herself doesn’t rely on her looks to get the job done. Exploring and retrieving archaeological treasures is her thing, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop her. Resourceful and tenacious, Lara Croft is a great example of a badass (even if she is fictional).
Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica
“Our job isn’t to be careful, it’s to shoot Cylons out of the frakking sky!”
The reimagined Battlestar Galactica presents us with a universe and civilization where women being equal is a given and not a fight. So, while there was controversy when the original Starbuck was made a woman for the new series, Kara Thrace is presented in much of the same way as her predecessor; a rogue soldier – strong, reckless and cocky, the best damn Viper pilot in the Colonial Fleet. Starting out as a loose cannon, as the series progresses, her personality grows until she becomes a fearless and admirable woman ready to do the right thing, make hard choices and not let pressures veer her from her beliefs. All with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. “Kara Thrace and her special destiny? That sounds like a bad cover band.”
There you have it! Let’s give it up to our six badass women of the Geekverse. Till next time, we bid you farewell. “So say we all.”