The 31 Strongest Female Characters On TV

Who needs the men on TV when you have the ladies? 2014 is a banner year for women on television. Dracarys!

31. Bernadette Rostenkowski and Amy Farrah Fowler - The Big Bang Theory

Played By: Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik

The addition of brilliant scientists Bernadette and Amy to the cast of The Big Bang Theory has only made the most popular comedy on TV better, and that’s saying something.

30. Temperance Brennan - Bones

Played By: Emily Deschanel

Brennan is a genius scientist who learns how to forge real human connections while also solving grisly murders using only bones. And she gets to marry Angel! That lucky duck.

29. Santana Lopez - Glee

Played By: Naya Rivera

Santana is one of the more positive and openly proud lesbian role-models currently on network television and not ABC Family, and we all thank her for keeping Rachel and Kurt in line.

28. Abby Sciuto - NCIS

Played By: Pauley Perrette

Abby’s perfect mix of forensic brilliance and bizarre behavior make her easily one of the most lovable and beloved characters on NCIS. And she is single-handedly keeping the “Caf-Pow” corporation alive.

27. Fiona Gallagher - Shameless

Played By: Emmy Rossum

Fiona may not be the nicest person in the world (no one is “nice” on Shameless), but you cannot deny her love of family - she dropped out of high school to care for her siblings and went to court to become their legal guardian.

26. Katherine Pierce - The Vampire Diaries

Played By: Nina Dobrev

How is it that Elena Gilbert can be so naive and useless while Katherine is always amazing? The fact Nina Dobrev plays both characters with such individuality is a testament to her immense acting skills. TEAM KATHERINE FOREVER.

25. Joan Holloway - Mad Men

Played By: Christina Hendricks

Starting as a secretary and working her way up the corporate ladder to partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Joan embodies the can-do attitude of a woman who knows exactly what she wants. And Roger Sterling is in love with her, which is just an added bonus.

24. Emily Thorne - Revenge

Played By: Emily VanCamp

Emily could be higher on this list if she stopped messing around with Aiden and got to the point of her entire plan, which was to destroy the Graysons. I understand it’s difficult and all, but wasn’t her whole mantra to leave no prisoners?

23. Kristina Braverman - Parenthood

Played By: Monica Potter

No one can say they watched Kristina battle cancer with dry eyes. No one.

22. Carrie Mathison - Homeland

Played By: Claire Danes

Carrie was such a strong, albeit medicated CIA agent during Homeland’s first two seasons, but then once she fell in love with Brody things started to fall off the wagon. Here’s hoping season 4 brings back the old Carrie.

21. Donna Meagle - Parks and Recreation

Played By: Retta

Donna is knows how to treat herself, hilarious and is related to rapper Ginuwine. She’s responsible for 50% of the awesomeness of the Pawnee Parks department on any given day, basically.

20. Jessica Pearson - Suits

Played By: Gina Torres

Yes, Zoe Washburne is a bad-ass corporate lawyer who is not afraid to break several major laws in order to keep her powerful law firm. She’s just as awesome as you think she’d be.

19. Selina Meyer - Veep

Played By: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

Vice-President Selina Meyer isn’t always the kindest crayon in the box, but she wants something (the Presidency) she goes full-steam ahead. Selina 2016, Yes We Can (Maybe).

18. Virginia Johnson - Masters of Sex

Played By: Lizzy Caplan

Caplan brilliantly captures Virginia Johnson’s sexually liberated yet emotionally complex secretary to Michael Sheen’s William Masters in the repressed 1950s.

17. Melisandre - Game of Thrones

Played By: Carice Van Houten

Melisandre is one of George R.R. Martin’s most polarizing figures, as she is both incredibly powerful and also super untrustworthy. I mean she had a demon smoke baby? WHO DOES THAT?

16. The Dowager Countess - Downton Abbey

Played By: Dame Maggie Smith

The original B.A. I hope someone finally told her what a “weekend” was.

15. Elizabeth Jennings - The Americans

Played By: Keri Russell

Soviet spy Elizabeth Jennings has a hard life, she has to pretend to be a suburban American mother while spying on the U.S. government for her mother country, AND she has to be a travel agent. Yikes.

14. Red - Orange is the New Black

Played By: Kate Mulgrew

If you learn any lesson from Orange is the New Black, its that you don’t insult Red’s cooking. Ever.

13. Carol Peletier- The Walking Dead

Played By: Melissa Suzanne McBride

Carol is straight up the most ruthless person on this season’s The Walking Dead, and I only mean that in a positive way. She literally will kill anyone she thinks is a threat, and I would 100% want her in my “survive the apocalypse” group. Unless I got bitten, obviously.

12. Diane Lockhart - The Good Wife

Played By: Christine Baranski

Diane usually plays the fair, even-minded lawyer opposite fiery Will Gardner, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a total badass. From dating (and marrying) a gun-toting Tea Partier to helping Alicia be the best lawyer she can be, Diane is the total package.

11. Michonne - The Walking Dead

Played By: Danai Gurira

Michonne uses a katana, has a passion for art, and doesn’t talk too much (Andrea anyone?). She’s easily one of the best female characters on the Walking Dead who doesn’t murder people every other episode.

10. Peggy Olson - Mad Men

Played By: Elizabeth Moss

Mad Men, beyond detailing the life and times of ad man Don Draper, shows the growth and perseverance of Peggy Olson - the plucky secretary who becomes an ad salesman in her own right. Although she should really never drink at work.

9. Arya Stark - Game of Thrones

Played By: Maisie Williams

Arya Stark isn’t just a Game of Thrones fan favorite, she’s also a female character who is in no way defined by her relation to men, and who actively seeks out new challenges and adventures after the rest of her family meets a unfortunate fate. Valar Morghulis indeed.

8. Sarah and the other clones - Orphan Black

Played By: Tatiana Maslany

Sarah Manning is a troubled soul who wants to escape her dark past, Allison Hendrix watches her best friend choke in a kitchen sink, Helena is actually insane, and Cosima has great hair. What more do you need from your favorite clones?

7. Claire Underwood - House of Cards

Played By: Robin Wright

Claire has an icy exterior that only softens to reveal a more threatening interior than any woman in politics. She’s not afraid to threaten an unborn baby to get her way, and the way Season 2 ended, I’m not sure who can really stop her now.

6. Regina Mills/The Evil Queen - Once Upon A Time

Played By: Lana Parrilla

Regina has seen some of the best character development on Once Upon A Time, going from the storybook villain to a conflicted and troubled mother who just wants the best for her son. And she gets the best lines, which always helps.

5. Olivia Benson - Law & Order: SVU

Played By: Mariska Hargitay

Oh Olivia, if you didn’t grace our screens every week to put away another serial killer/rapist, I would have no faith left in humanity.

4. Leslie Knope - Parks and Recreation

Played By: Amy Poehler

Leslie Knope is one of the best TV characters of all time, and is played to perfection by Amy Pohler. Friends, work, waffles.

3. Olivia Pope - Scandal

Played By: Kerry Washington

I’m sorry, did Olivia Pope say something super inspiring and wear a knockout white pantsuit? Then it’s probably Thursday.

2. Alicia Florrick - The Good Wife

Played By: Julianna Margulies

The Good Wife is one of the best shows on television, and the main reason for that is the character of Alicia Florrick, who rose from an infidelity scandal to being partner at her own law firm. Truly the new modern mother.

1. Daenerys Targaryen - Game of Thrones

Played By: Emilia Clarke

I’m sorry, but the Mother of Dragons is speaking now.

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