Courage is a more nuanced thing than we are led to believe at first glance. We admire the Hermione Grangers and Katniss Everdeens for taking a stand against the tyranny of their respective days, but it’s easy to be brave when evil stares you so blatantly and concretely in the face. It’s arguably much harder to be courageous in the face of the kind of cruelty and oppression that’s insidious, the everyday horrors that have worked their way into the culture and institutions and points of view that characterize our times. Sometimes it takes more guts to tell your husband — the man who crushes your spirit every time he opens his mouth bu also controls all your property, your money, your life, essentially — that you’re leaving anyway than it does to shoot a couple of arrows during a war set in a dystopian future. So here’s to our favorite heroines in the unconventional sense of the term, and to remembering that courage comes in all shapes, sizes and situations.
P.S. This is nowhere near an exhaustive list. Let us know in the comments which characters deserves to be included with the ones below.