The Best Female Characters in Literature Fictional Characters
0Ultimate List
originally by  tags 16,604 votes 1,972 voters 44,826 views 94 items f p @

The Best Female Characters in Literature

List Criteria: Favorite women and girls in books, plays, poetry, etc. - No comics

List of the best female characters in literature. From the evil to the undeniably perfect, these are the greatest female characters from literature of all genres. This list includes the best female characters of all ages, from the youthful Matilda (“Matilda”) to the ever-so-adult Evelyn Couch (“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”).

 Why do female literary characters stay with readers long after they’ve finished reading the novels these characters are featured in? Often, it’s due to the intimacy with which readers have come to know a character. Jane Eyre (and all of her desires and feelings), for example, becomes so real to readers that they feel as if they’ve met and understood this amazing female character.

 Other times, readers love female characters in literature because of the audacity of their actions. Scarlett O’Hara (“Gone with the Wind”) was exceedingly bold for a woman of her time, while Madame Defarge (“A Tale of Two Cities”) is an exemplar of tireless villainy. Some of the most popular female literary characters manage to embody both wholesome and defiant, becoming reflections of the complex nature of women.

 For the wide range of personality traits we find in these great female characters (and the audacious actions they’ve performed), these women have earned their titles as the best female characters in literature. They may be young or old, charming or black-hearted, but they are all memorable. Whether you love them or love to hate them, all the famous fictional heroines are here in this list of the best female characters in literary history. 

  • 13 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 523
    - 124

    Pride and Prejudice

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 349
    - 118

    most listed
    Little Women, Little Women, Little Women

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 739
    - 154

    Harry Potter series

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 418
    - 107

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 307
    - 138

    A Song of Ice and Fire

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 352
    - 155

    The Hunger Games

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 218
    - 90

    The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 184
    - 50

    Jane Eyre

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 305
    - 115

    Alice in Wonderland

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 320
    - 77

    Harry Potter series

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 146
    - 99

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Macbeth

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 159
    - 77

    My Fair Lady, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 300
    - 92

    Matilda

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 244
    - 70

    Anne of Green Gables

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 261
    - 81

    Mary Poppins series

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 124
    - 93

    the people's #1 & often listed
    Anna Karenina

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 218
    - 69

    Nancy Drew series

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 214
    - 119

    Gone with the Wind

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 159
    - 94

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 240
    - 73

    The Lord of the Rings

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 194
    - 83

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 138
    - 89

    The Scarlet Letter

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 178
    - 96

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 211
    - 118

    A Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones  

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 94
    - 103

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Great Expectations

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 158
    - 66

    Much Ado About Nothing

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 91
    - 50
    ) open
  28. 28
    + 153
    - 68

    Pippi Longstocking

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 179
    - 86

    Little House on the Prairie

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 63
    - 29

    Sense and Sensibility

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 148
    - 74

    The Book Thief

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 59
    - 84

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Madame Bovary

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 121
    - 85

    Silence of the Lambs

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 87
    - 28

    added by carlybobarly
    The Chronicles of Narnia

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 95
    - 97

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bridget Jones's Diary

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 94
    - 64

    Beezus and Ramona

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 58
    - 31

    Les Misérables

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 111
    - 51

    Charlotte's Web

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 117
    - 56

    Charlotte's Web

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 72
    - 91

    Wuthering Heights

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 63
    - 69

    A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 51
    - 88

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 34
    - 60

    Les Liaisons Dangereuses

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 64
    - 82

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 35
    - 10

    added by LaurenTaryn
    Kate Daniels Magic Series

  46. 46
    + 98
    - 59

    ranked low on reranks
    The Color Purple, The Color Purple

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 56
    - 83

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fight Club

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 47
    - 22

    added by carlybobarly
    The Secret Garden, The Secret Garden

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 68
    - 141

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 57
    - 32

    ranked low on reranks & added by carlybobarly
    Elphaba Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

95 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >