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10 Toughest Female Characters On TV

October 27th, 2013 1:00pm EDT

Arya Stark We’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Toughest Women on TV. See who made the cut below.

10. Arya Stark, Game of Thrones (HBO)

This girl is not yet a woman but she is definitely worthy of this list. Arya Stark has gone through a lot in her youth, she’s seen things no normal 13-year old should see. She’s been on her own since the first season (we’re now heading into the fourth. Throughout her everlasting search for her family, she’s had to pretend being a boy (up until this season where it’s clear she’s becoming a woman). She hasn’t gotten a full night’s sleep because she’s been busy protecting herself, even if protection comes in a very scary murderous beast- Sandor Clegane. When she does find her mother and brother…they’re being slaughtered at her uncle’s wedding and all she can do is hide in the shadows and watch. Although she’s spent most of her time running, she isn’t afraid of fighting, in fact she’s always been a fighter. She was raised a princess, but refused to let that stop her from playing with swords and shields.

The fourth book (and fourth seasn) holds more potential for the young Stark girl. She’s really going to find her path…this show is all about the underdogs and I can’t wait for Arya to rise up and unleash the direwolf inside her.





9. Piper Chapman, Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Piper’s the newest addition on this list; with a brand new show on Netflix- Orange is the New Black. Piper in the beginning of the season is not the same Piper at the end of the season. She goes through a huge transformation, but I think that’s what makes her such a strong character. No character is perfect, that wouldn’t make for great TV, but Piper’s journey is definitely an entertaining ride…she’s not as innocent as she seems.

Piper gets sentenced to a low security all female prison, her journey starts right when the guard asks her to bend over to check her butt for contraband. She’s seems like an innocent white girl, but we see Piper hone her survival skills. It’s all about the different challenges, whether it be with the other inmates or even the guards. Piper’s smarter and surprisingly stronger…as the season unfolds we see a whole new side of Piper.





8. Fiona Gallagher, Shameless (Showtime)

Fiona Gallagher may be an emotional wreck…but she is one tough woman when it comes to taking care of her younger siblings. When her parents abandon her and her five siblings, Fiona steps up to the plate and makes it her mission to pay the bills and make sure everyone gets to school on time. On top of working two or three jobs, she makes a point to get her GED since she had to drop out of high school to take care of her siblings.

Fiona doesn’t have it all together all the time; it’s easy to forget that she’s just a 20 year old and ultimately has her own life to live. But she always comes back to the fact that if she wasn’t there, those kids would have nobody. And it’s not just the 16-year olds she’s taking care of, she’s feeding and changing diapers for their half black brother- baby Liam.  Such an amazing character, and we salute Fiona for being the best housewife even if she ain’t no wifey just yet.





7. Mary Crawley (Downtown Abbey)

1920s English countryside was not a fair time for women, their roles were pretty straightforward, train to be a lady until a man comes along and decides to marry you. Or your family just arranges the entire thing. So it’s understandable that Mary Crawley of Downtown Abbey is a very snappy and unhappy young lady.

The first season opens up to the death of her fiancée and she really doesn’t give a hoot. As the season goes on she ultimately finds another love interest that warms her up a little. From there her storyline changes so drastically that create different opportunities for her, we uncover a whole new side of this woman who is now in a powerful position.





6. Deborah Morgan, Dexter (Showtime)

I think it’s safe to say there would be no Dexter without Deborah. And there would be no Deb without Dex. Deborah is another emotional wreck, but she kept it together for the most part of the show….until the final two seasons, then she just goes cray cray. But she always remained good and she always played a strong support for main character Dexter.

If it hadn’t been for the series finale, Deborah wouldn’t be on this list. Yes she was fantastic throughout the entire series, yes she had been a tough cookie all along, but that finale just summed up everything she was, and gave her a really beautiful ending…even if it was uber cheesetastic. She always put Dexter’s happiness before hers and wouldn’t let anything come between Dex and his son Harrison. Althoug she had a rough exterior, she knew what it meant to be family and always kept them close.

We love Deborah for all the f bombs she’s dropped…we love Deb because she proved any woman can still be a main character and have horrible wardrobe…and that workplace relationships really do work. Deb you really were a tough woman in TV and you’ll be missed. Sorry we didn’t like the series finale.





5. Joan Harris, Mad Men (AMC)

Joan is probably the big shocker on this list. I really contemplated whether she deserved to be here, and well…here we are. I think most people would consider Peggy to be the tough female in Mad Men, but Joan is a different kind of tough. First off, she’s had one if not the biggest improvement of any character on that show. She started off as the big boob secretary in the office that only had screen time when she was having an affair. Now she’s playing with the big boys, and the best part of it all is that she still knows how to act like a lady. She’s never tried to be ‘one of the guys’ she embraces her strengths and advantages as a woman in the work force, and gets what she wants. She is an independent woman honey! You go girl.





4. Gemma Teller, Sons of Anarchy (FX)

Joan is probably the big shocker on this list. I really contemplated whether she deserved to be here, and well…here we are. I think most people would consider Peggy to be the tough female in Mad Men, but Joan is a different kind of tough. First off, she’s had one if not the biggest improvement of any character on that show. She started off as the big boob secretary in the office that only had screen time when she was having an affair. Now she’s playing with the big boys, and the best part of it all is that she still knows how to act like a lady. She’s never tried to be ‘one of the guys’ she embraces her strengths and advantages as a woman in the work force, and gets what she wants. She is an independent woman honey! You go girl.





3. Olivia Pope, Scandal (ABC)

Because any woman who can deliver a 30 line monologue in under 30 seconds deserves to be on this list. It’s true, Olivia Pope isn’t just good at delivering epic speeches, she’s also a strong, smart, and sassy gladiator in a very expensive and fine tailored suit. She’s not really a gladiator, but that’s what her and her coworkers call themselves. They’re ‘fixers’ in Washington, and Olivia is on the ball round the clock trying to save what’s left of her clients’ reputation. But what really drives her? We don’t know too much about this motivated heroine, but we’re starting to learn more about her life in this new season. Furthermore, I don’t think anyone but Kerry Washington could’ve played Olivia Pope. These two women blend together so effortlessly, it makes the character that much more believable. Olivia always knows what to say, and more importantly…she knows what to wear. Girl has good taste.





2. Lana Winters, American Horror Story:Asylum (FX)

Lana was a close first for me, in my opinion American Horror Story is the best show on TV right now. Not because of the blood or because it’s scary…or because of Jessica Lange…it’s because Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy have created such brilliant and beautiful characters against a dark and lustrous backdrop, something spectacular is bound to happen. Lana Winters had an amazing journey through the second season of AHS, it didn’t even matter what else was happening in the show- we just needed to know Lana was safe.

She was falsely admitted into a psych ward, she was rescued by her doctor only to be kidnapped and raped by him. When she did escape she realized she was pregnant and had his baby who turned out to be a psychotic killer like his father. She went on to write several novels about her crazy life which paid her in fame and money. In the end, after one of her interviews, she comes face to face with the killer that calls her ‘mommy’. And she doesn’t hesitate…she kills him right there on her living room floor. Lana Winters survived all of this…I think that makes her a pretty tough woman.





1. Khaleesi, Game of Thrones (HBO)

I don’t think you have to be a Game of Thrones nerd to understand why Khaleesi will go down in TV history as the toughest character under 6 ft. She is the ultimate heroine, she is the mother of dragons, she will seek her revenge and it will be amazing.

She has a come a long way in a very short amount of time. There’s a lot that happens in the Khaleesi chapters in the novels. She on the rise, building her army, and now that her dragons are growing rapidly, she feels stronger than ever.Although she’s a mother, it doesn’t mean Khaleesi loses any swagger…quite the opposite. The birth of the dragons gives her a surge of confidence no man could ever replicate. Because of this, she knows how to work it to get what she wants from her soldiers, and for that we love her. I haven’t finished reading all the books, but I think it’s obvious she will end up being the one that conquers all. There is nobody tougher than her.








Related: Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Orange Is The New Black, Shameless, Sons of Anarchy, Television, Evergreen

Photo Credits: HBO, Netflix, Showtime, PBS, FX, ABC, AMC

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