Top 10 Supporting Female Characters in Fantasy and Science Fiction Films

Script written by Q.V. Hough They might not have been leads, but these are still some of the most compelling women in all fiction. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Supporting Female Characters in Fantasy and Science Fiction Films. For this list, we’re focusing specifically on female characters that may have played a big part in fantasy and sci-fi productions, but didn’t quite lead the narrative. With that said, a leading female character like Sarah Connor has been excluded, as she was the driving force behind “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”
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Top 10 Supporting Female Characters in Fantasy and Science Fiction Films


They might not have been leads, but these are still some of the most compelling women in all fiction. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Supporting Female Characters in Fantasy and Science Fiction Films.

For this list, we’re focusing specifically on female characters that may have played a big part in fantasy and sci-fi productions, but didn’t quite lead the narrative. With that being said, a leading female character such as Sarah Connor has been excluded, as she was the driving force behind “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”.


#10: Éowyn
“The Lord of the Rings” franchise (2001-03)

Although she first appears in “The Two Towers,” this unexpected female warrior plays a pivotal role in “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, and specifically in the Battle of Pelennor Fields. As the niece of King Théoden of Rohan, Éowyn lives a comfortable life. Yet through freewill alone, she is forcefully assertive, and always looks for an opportunity to prove herself. The movie character may differ slightly from the book character, but Eowyn’s brilliant strategy and contributions to the battle in “The Return of the King” provide for one of the more iconic moments of the trilogy. She’s a female character that refuses to abide by societal norms, which ultimately leads all who underestimate her to finally see her worth.

#9: Jenette Vasquez
“Aliens” (1986)

As the smartgunner of the USS Sulaco, this strong female presence brings much-needed levity to the Hadley’s Hope terraforming operation. Initially skeptical of the traumatized Ellen Ripley, Jenette Vasquez eventually fights bravely alongside her once they locate the Xenomorphs. While some would struggle in such circumstances, Vazquez keeps her cool – well, she shoots up some aliens, anyway – leading to a final act that further establishes her legacy. Aside from Vasquez, the “Alien” franchise has given us many formidable ladies, like Nostromo navigator Joan Lambert, another women who made a statement on personal identity. But it’s Vasquez that’s a tough Marine who keeps the courage of her convictions no matter what happens.

#8: Maria
“Metropolis” (1927)

In Fritz Lang’s influential dystopian film, the character Maria finds herself at the heart of a Metropolis meltdown. Living in a bleak society where she is but a humble worker, Maria is able to maintain some optimism, predicting that someone will ultimately save Metropolis by bringing together its divided social classes. Then Robot Maria shows up and all hell breaks loose. Maria the Robot is a symbolic figure, representing the Frankenstein Complex, an expression conceived by Isaac Asimov to describe the discomfort and skepticism humans harbor towards artificial life. But more than that, she also embodies class struggles and oppression, themes that remain relevant even today.

#7: Murphy ‘Murph’ Cooper
“Interstellar” (2014)

With an inquisitive NASA pilot for a father, this woman’s life has been a curious one. As the narrative of “Interstellar” unfolds, Murph Cooper grows from a precocious and intelligent child into a headstrong woman, acting as the epitome of perseverance along the way. She even manages to keep her life together after her father literally drifts away while working with another determined woman, Dr. Amelia Brand. Despite being separated in time and space, Murph connects with the ideals she learned from her father and manages to find a higher truth. She’s a relatable character, at least in terms of raw emotion, but her life experiences are truly extraordinary.

#6: Samantha
“Her” (2013)


She’s not a girl and not quite a woman. In fact, this female character is actually a futuristic operating system. Even if she’s not human, however, Samantha understands how to relate to people, especially writer Theodore Twombly. She may not be able to provide any physical love in the traditional sense, but Samantha manages to build a unique bond with her male acquaintance, thus allowing him to view the world through a unique lens – although their relationship still seems a bit unorthodox. As a character, Samantha’s hyper-intelligence is only a part of the identity she creates for herself. But it does help support the film’s narrative and leads viewers to consider the concept of relationships in the not-so-distant future.

#5: Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-)


While Scarlett Johansson’s voice can be directly connected to our previous entry, here she embodies a character that plays by a different set of rules. Originally appearing in “Iron Man 2,” Natasha Romanoff shows off her manipulation skills by fooling Tony Stark with her assumed S.H.I.E.L.D. identity, later joining the Avengers team to help fend off Loki. On a team with the best battlers in the biz, Black Widow doesn’t let the fact that she’s not superhuman or a god slow her down, using her incredible training and tenacity to more than keep up with the gang. That speaks volumes about the efficiency of the Black Widow, a dominating presence in the Marvel Universe.

#4: Trinity
“The Matrix” franchise (1999-2003)


Dressed in all black and talented beyond belief, this woman is the shining light in Neo’s life. “The Matrix” trilogy draws from many religious and philosophical sources, so with a name like Trinity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she plays a crucial role. For one, she’s a legendary hacker, which makes her a valuable friend to have. Trinity can also flat-out fight, dropping the Double Eagle on her foes. Yet despite her severe fighting tactics, she is also capable of tenderness, especially with Neo, showing time and time again that these two are meant to be together. If Neo ever needs help, she’s there, consistently proving herself as the defining female character in “The Matrix.”

#3: Ava
“ex_machina” (2015)

An effort to create the world’s first artificially intelligent life form, this woman represents an actual, possible future for humankind. Beautiful, smart and seemingly as innocent as a child, Ava is poised to challenge mankind’s very notion of humanity and the value of life. In truth, this story touches on ideas already set forth in “Metropolis” with the Robot Maria. But in this case, Ava – despite her heightened intelligence and conversational skills – is still seen by her creator as a work in progress, and as a result is placed under heavy isolation and scrutiny. Ultimately, she forces both the characters in the film and the audience to see the world from a different viewpoint, and despite her robotic exterior, makes it impossible to see her as anything less than human.

#2: Hermione Granger
“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)


Educated, practical, and resourceful as anyone, this Muggle-born witch is a mainstay throughout the entire “Harry Potter” series. Of course, we must also give a shout-out to Minerva McGonagall, whose warm presence yet no-nonsense attitude gave the franchise yet another strong female presence. But Hermione’s development as a character and importance to the overall story sets her apart. Throughout the franchise, Ms. Granger magically and beautifully evolves into a modern, self-confident woman. She does run into a few roadblocks along the way, but by relying on her natural abilities and demonstrating a readiness to solve problems efficiently, Hermione sets a strong example for young women everywhere. Oh, and NEVER underestimate her.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Johanna Mason
“The Hunger Games” franchise (2012-15)

- Rachael
“Blade Runner” (1982)

- Kim Boggs
“Edward Scissorhands” (1990)

- Galadriel
“The Lord of the Rings” franchise (2001-03)

- Raven Darkhölme / Mystique
“X-Men” franchise (2000-)

#1: Princess Leia
“Star Wars” franchise (1977-)


“Star Wars” has had an immeasurable impact on both cinema and pop culture as a whole, and this feisty gal was instrumental in the franchise’s rise. A fiery female character like Rey brought new life to the franchise in 2015, but it was Princess Leia who ignited the flame in the late ‘70s. Her role within the films not only moved the series forward, but also showed a different type of female character who didn’t stand back and accept her perceived role as a frightened woman living among hardened men and other life forms. Princess Leia accomplishes her goals by actively engaging with her enemies and showing no fear. With each passing film, her legend continues to grow as she embodies the ideals fans have admired since day one.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite supporting female character in a fantasy or science fiction film? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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