Okay. I’m going to name a few YA heroines, super-famous ones, whom you’ve probably heard of, and when you read all their names, what is one collective word you can use for them? Answer!
- Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games
- Tris Prior, Divergent
- Celaena Sardothein, Throne of Glass
- Mare Barrow, Red Queen
- Feyre, A Court of Thorns and Roses
- Shahrzad, The Wrath and the Dawn
Okay? So what is that word!?
I might be totally wrong in guessing your answer, but one thing which is common for all of them : badass. They’re all strong, quick-witted, sharp, smart, attractive, intelligent, hardy, fighters, impulsive, frank, sassy, and witty.
And fact it? I’m tired. I’m tired of heroines all being like these. I’m not trying to be sexist here and say that girls can’t be strong or girls can’t be all of the above things at once, I’m just saying that human beings in general, cannot be all of the above. Even if they can, not everyone is, and the few badass people which exist in real life, they too have a limit, for god’s sake. But lately, I’ve been reading just too much of such heroines, and I just need a break.
I know that fantasy itself doesn’t have any obligation to match the real world, but I just feel that this ‘badass heroine’ trope is far, far too overused. I’ve just read so many of these heroines that they all now appear the same to me. Like, what is even the difference? They’re pretty much the same, except for different names and different love interests.
Initially, when I started reading fantasy and dystopian, with The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen was a wonder. She was strong, and inspiring, and I’m sure every thirteen-year old reading the books had, in some part of her, wanted to be like the strong, determined character that is. And if you ask me now, years after I’m done with the series, I’d still say that yes, Katniss Everdeen is a remarkable character.
What I have a genuine problem is the various replicas of Katniss Everdeen. I’m tired of reading about the same old badass heroine who ends up saving others and winning the show. I’m tried of characters who are unrealistic. I just hate how every YA fantasy series HAS to have a badass heroine nowadays to work.
This feeling was further reinforced when I was reading The Raven Cycle series, and how lovely Blue Sargent is. She isn’t a fighter. She isn’t insolently quick-witted or sharp-tongued (though she has an amazing sense of humour). She is a warm, lively, realistically human character who is both strong and flawed, and beautiful inside out. Her character just further proved to me how YA fantasy does NOT need a badass female heroine all the time. I feel like there should be more variations, and authors should try to humanize their characters than fit them into any kind of ‘trope’.
I mean, I do not want the heroine to be a Bella Swan, but why does she have to be either of the two extremes? Either fierce and stronger-than-anybody-else-in-the-book or the-weakest-pathetic-excuse-of-a-protagonist? Why can’t a heroine be safely placed between the two extremes?
I adore Katniss.
What Tris did at the end of the series (according to me) was not heroic and irrational.
One more time quotes like ‘She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius—and she would not be afraid.‘ and ‘She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph. ‘ appear – I’m just SO done with this series.
Mare, in Glass Sword, was annoying AF. Here’s the small something I posted on GR about this book :
Feyre suddenly transformed from whimpering, crazy-in-love gentle little human to full-on fierce badass in a matter of two minutes in this book.
Shahrzad was a bit too much of a rebel and too impulsive, but I have to admit, she grew on me. But thankfully, it was just two books so I never really could get a chance to hate her or anything.
That’s it! I’m sorry if I offended anyone. Do you like badass heroines?!