This is a summary of the Heroine archetypes from ''The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes'' (see the footnote on the index page, Literature/HeroesAndHeroines). You can also find the Hero archetypes on RomanceGenreHeroes. Most of the Heroines are female versions of the Heroes.

Also listed are the villainous versions of the Hero archetypes; these come from the website of one of the authors (again, see the footnote on the [[Literature/HeroesAndHeroines index page]]).

[[folder: Quick Overview ]]

The eight Heroine archetypes presented are as follows:

* [[IronLady The Boss]]
** Female version of ''The Chief'', decisive but sometimes inflexible, only with all the baggage that comes with the fight for equal opportunity.
* The Seductress
** FemmeFatale whose cynical, manipulative nature stems from a [[FreudianExcuse rough childhood]].
* [[GirlNextDoor The Spunky Kid]]
** Female version of ''The Best Friend'', roughly; a PluckyGirl who's always ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work.
* [[WildCard The Free Spirit]]
** A possible {{Cloudcuckoolander}} [[ManicPixieDreamGirl prone to flights of fancy and acts of whim]].
* The Waif
** The DamselInDistress who can't fight back against her oppressors but [[StoicWoobie can]] [[BadassPacifist endure whatever]] [[BreakTheCutie they throw]] [[PluckyGirl at her.]]
* [[HotLibrarian The Librarian]]
** Female version of ''The Professor'', she's got the etiquette down but needs a class in social skills. Likely BeautifulAllAlong.
* [[LadyOfWar The Crusader]]
** Female version of ''The Warrior'' - another tenacious protector.
* [[TheCaretaker The Nurturer]]
** The cheerful caregiver who "nourishes the spirit" and puts everyone else's needs above her own.

Their villainous versions are as follows:

* [[AlphaBitch The Bitch]]
** Self-centered version of ''The Boss'' who "lies, cheats, and steals her way to the top."
* The Black Widow
** Evil version of ''The Seductress'', TheVamp who can charm her way into anything.
* The Backstabber
** Evil version of ''The Spunky Kid'' who uses your secrets to get her way.
* The Lunatic
** Insane version of ''The Free Spirit'' who is less eccentric and more "unbalanced madwoman."
* [[TheLoad The Parasite]]
** Self-serving version of ''The Waif'' who ''could'' free herself but chooses to participate in atrocities rather than give up comfort and security.
* The Schemer
** Evil version of ''The Librarian'' who uses "elaborate plans, intricate schemes" to ruin reputations and end lives.
* The Fanatic
** Self-deluded version of ''The Crusader'' who "justifies her actions by her intent, and merely shrugs her shoulders at collateral damage."
* [[EvilMatriarch The Matriarch]]
** Deluded version of ''The Nurturer'', a "[[MyBelovedSmother motherly oppressor]]" who controls the lives of her loved ones.

[[folder: Character Examples ]]

* '''The Boss:''' Janeway from ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''.
* '''The Seductress:''' Sally Bowls from ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}''.
* '''The Spunky Kid:''' Rikku from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. Kaylee from Series/{{Firefly}}
* '''The Free Spirit:''' [[Literature/HarryPotter Luna Lovegood]]. The book mentions Lucy from ''Series/ILoveLucy''.
* '''The Waif:''' The book gives us Dorothy from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''. It also mentions ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' and ''Disney/SleepingBeauty''. There's also Madoka Kaname from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''.
* '''The Librarian:''' Samantha Carter from Stargate: SG-1, despite being more action-y than most. The book also notes Diane from ''Cheers'' and Scully from ''The X-Files''. Belle, from the film of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' counts as well. Adele Mundy from the Republic of Cinnibar series. Twilight Sparkle from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''.
* '''The Crusader:''' ''Manga/{{Gunnm}}'' would fit right in. Book mentions Series/{{Buffy|TheVampireSlayer}} and Series/{{Xena|WarriorPrincess}}. Delenn and Ivanova on Series/BabylonFive.
* '''The Nurturer:''' Tohru from ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' may be the quintessential one in this role. The book notes ''Film/MaryPoppins'', and we'd be very wrong to forget [[Literature/HarryPotter Molly Prewett Weasley]].

* '''The Bitch:''' History has a few queens who fall under this role. The Queen in "Literature/SnowWhite" might count, even though her fight is more about being on the top of the ''beauty'' ladder.
* '''The Black Widow:''' The female lead of ''Double Indemnity''.
* '''The Backstabber:''' There is one who fits this, and yet fits the Bitch, the Schemer, and towards the end, the Fanatic as well. She is one of many faces. Her name is [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Azula.]]
* '''The Lunatic:''' "[[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Ophelia! Ophelia! Don't go picking those flowers, dear, you'll hurt yourself!]]"
* '''The Parasite:''' Crops up occasionally in crime dramas.
** One episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' had a girl who appeared to be an abuse victim of her serial-killing boyfriend, but was later revealed to be the serial killer in charge of the whole mess. This kind of villain doesn't count, since she ''wants'' to do the crime and isn't just going along with the perps.
* '''The Schemer:''' Lucrezia from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''. Ursula from ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''.
* '''The Fanatic:''' Miko Miyazaki from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Starlight Glimmer from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''.
* '''The Matriarch:''' [[spoiler:Akito]] from ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' probably falls under this role. The mother from ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' too, in a fashion.

[[folder: Comparing the Gender Roles ]]

Let's consider the Hero/Heroine pairs. These subdivide as follows:

* A. Roughly the same thing regardless of gender:
** ''The Chief'' and ''The Boss'' are both goal-oriented leaders who don't usually back down.
*** ''The Boss'' usually gets a layer of equal rights propaganda thrown in.
** ''The Professor'' and ''The Librarian'' are both data-oriented introverts who don't know how to connect with other people (and often don't care).
*** ''The Librarian'' gets a layer of BeautifulAllAlong, which is something ''The Professor'' usually does ''not'' get. (Please list exceptions under the Examples section!)
** ''The Warrior'' and ''The Crusader'' are both tenacious protectors who can easily snap into {{Determinator}} mode.
*** ''The Warrior'' gets nuanced by whether he's willing to accept The Call, whereas ''The Crusader'' gets nuanced by whether she's trying to save the world or just her little group.
* B. Rough counterparts who still amount to the same general idea:
** ''The Bad Boy'' and ''The Seductress'' are both scarred by childhood and have troubled connecting with other people.
** ''The Spunky Kid'' and ''The Best Friend'' are both dependable allies who are always ready to help when the chips are down.

And then there are those who don't seem to pair off as well. ''The Charmer'', ''The Lost Soul'', and ''The Swashbuckler'' don't seem to have female counterparts, while ''The Free Spirit'', ''The Waif'', and ''The Nurturer'' don't seem to have male counterparts.

In other words, according to the book, when working in the Romance genre:

#A guy can be an irrepressible rogue who shows you a good time but doesn't stick around when it's over, but a girl is less likely to be like this.
#A girl can be a quirky eccentric who lives life to the fullest and doesn't care what the neighbors think, but a guy is less likely to be like this.
#A guy can be a gung-ho action hero with an eye for adventure and a blindness to possible risk, but a girl is less likely to be like this.
#A girl can be a DamselInDistress, a child-like innocent who needs to be protected but yet has great strength of will, but a guy is less likely to be like this. (But we knew this one already, right?)
#A guy can be a brooding loner, a sensitive and vulnerable artist with a Gothic outlook on life, but a girl is less likely to be like this.
#A girl can be a selfless caregiver who listens to your problems and warms your spirit with her genuine optimism, but a guy is less likely to be like this.

If you're going to defy gender stereotypes, those six are a great place to start.

* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': According to Creator/LaurenFaust, the main girls are based around these.
** Twilight Sparkle is The Librarian.
** Pinkie Pie is The Free Spirit.
** Applejack is The Boss.
** Fluttershy is The Nurturer.
** Rainbow Dash is The Crusader.
** Rarity is The Waif.