Lady of War
Demure meets Deadly.

Basically, the Lady of War is a female fighter who retains an air of grace and reserve not usually associated with violence. If not an actual Badass Princess, she tends to be otherwise highly placed, or at least look and act like it. If she's not gentle-mannered she may be an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl or arrogant and generally prissy and might become subject to a Defrosting Ice Queen scenario. Often, she's simply The Stoic.

In RPGs, female roles tend to be limited to magic use, but sometimes women get to take on more physical roles in combat, and that leads us to a different Odd Couple pair: the Lady of War and the Cute Bruiser.

Character-design wise, she doesn't tend to be overtly sexualised in the way that other types of female warrior often are, or at least not to such an unsubtle degree. The Lady of War does have her own charm in a cool, collected, Nicole Kidman way. She's also very unlikely to be paired with the protagonist — that's what White Mages are for — unless there is no White Mage. In any case, she almost certainly occupies a firm place in the hearts of at least a minority of the fandom. (see Amazon Chaser)

A Lady of War is almost always given an elegant weapon that emphasizes her femininity — often a bow, rapier, naginata, steel fan, or even an umbrella, all weapons that have a certain choreographic element in the way they're wielded. They also allow her to avoid getting her hands dirty and usually invoke Wouldn't Hit a Girl as a result. If guns are the norm, she's likely to prefer an easily-concealed revolver with deadly aim, as opposed to an automatic. If the story deals with martial arts, she'll use a "refined" fighting style like Tai Chi or Aikijutsu, or will be given the gymnastic prowess to engage in some variant of She-Fu.

Also expect her Impossibly Cool Clothes to still reflect her position. She might even wear a Battle Ballgown.

In terms of physical capabilities, she's usually some form of the Fragile Speedster (and/or Glass Cannon, if a ranged fighter), but it's not unheard of for her to be a Jack-of-All-Stats or Mighty Glacier/Glacier Waif, especially if she wears armor. It is possible a degree of Sarashi will be necessary to deal with an inescapable physical reality which might impede free movement in combat.

If she were a preteen, she'd be a Little Miss Badass.

Contrasted by Short Tank or Bokukko Cute Bruisers. Where the Lady of War is about grace and reserve, the tomboyish Cute Bruiser is more about unrestrained passion and power. The former also tends to be older than the latter. There is the possibility of having the Cute Bruiser grow up into a Lady of War, but it's not that common. See also Girly Bruiser.

Expect anyone with the title "Lady" in an Action Adventure story to be this.

Compare Royals Who Actually Do Something, Rebellious Princess, Badass Princess, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery and Officer and a Gentleman. Contrast Princess Classic, Prince Charming. Compare/Contrast Modest Royalty. If she's based on Joan of Arc, she's a Jeanne d'Archétype. Compare Silk Hiding Steel, for a woman who does her fighting in the court or parlor and with a fan and words instead of spear and shield.

A subtrope of Action Girl, though not all Action Girls qualify as Ladies of War if they lack the calm, dignified demeanor. Essentially, she's the Distaff Counterpart to an Officer and a Gentleman. A Lady of War who uses magic rather than a melee weapon is a Lady of Black Magic, although a female Magic Knight can fit both. May be the female half of a Battle Couple. Like a male Cultured Warrior, some incarnations have a chance of being developed into a Warrior Poet.

Please list examples in alphabetical order.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kuroyukihime aka Black Lotus aka World End in Accel World. Her Duel Avatar has no feet and instead glides around just above the ground giving her movements a smooth, graceful quality. This is because her feet, arms and hands have blades in their place which will tear apart anyone short of any of the other Kings of Pure Color or their most experienced and high level subordinates.
  • Lind from Ah! My Goddess is who Heaven calls when they want something completely destroyed. She's actually a very considerate and friendly person, when she's not on the job.
    • To an extent, Belldandy also qualifies, especially considering that her weapon of choice is a staff and her angel uses a bow and arrow.
  • Maria of All Rounder Meguru meets the combat specifications as well as a sport like kickboxing allows, as a mature and elegant woman who can dismantle larger and stronger opponents without taking damage using her superior timing and technique. Her demeanor belies a mischievous and perverse personality, however.
  • Attack on Titan has Mikasa Ackerman, who was ranked 1st among the 104th Trainee Corps. An Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, she's a calm soldier who is a prodigy in using the 3D Maneuver Gear and two blades, which she uses to cut down Titans with grace and deadly speed.
    • Annie Leonhart's fighting style is heavily influenced by Muay Thai and focuses on precise kicks that remove larger, stronger opponents' size advantage. In demeanor, she's cold, aloof, and graceful.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has Vietnam, who is described as such by Himaruya. Ukraine appears to be a Fragile Flower, but her profile practically describes her as this. Not only that, but she also carries an elegant saber with her military uniform. Oh, and given the fact that she beats up Prussia sometimes, Hungary counts.
  • Caerula Sanguis in Battle Angel Alita: Last Order uses twin Chinese straightswords and incredibly graceful techniques. She was more flashy during the flashback issues, but needs that flash less afterwards, relying instead on a single, all-encompassing tactic.
  • Casca of Berserk is a downplayed case before the Eclipse, being a Tomboy with a Girly Streak. She acts tough, has short hair, and wears male clothing, but she uses a lighter sword and armor with subtle touches of femininity in their design, enabling her to fight more gracefully than her male comrades using nimble flips and somersaults.
    • Farnese is a Double Subversion of this trope. At first, she can't really fight despite being the leader of the Holy Chain Knights, but after she makes her Heel–Face Turn she starts genuinely working towards this trope, including teaching herself to fight with a dagger and learning sorcery from Schierke.
  • Black Butler has Frances Middleford, a proper lady and expert markswoman and fencing master, who fights a ship full of zombies on a sinking cruise ship alongside her husband and son, kicking just as much ass as they do, if not more. In the same story arc, the audience learns that her daughter, Elizabeth Middleford also qualifies as a prodigy swordswoman.
  • Sephiria Arks in Black Cat is quiet, dignified, wields a relatively small, ladylike cutlass, and one of the deadliest people in the series.
  • Black Lagoon has Balalaika, the head of the Russian Mafia group Hotel Moscow, and Sister Yolanda, head of the Church of Violence. The former was the captain of a Russian army squadron with enough manpower to potentially fight and hold on their own should World War III occur, the latter holds the guise of a nun, while actually being an arms dealer. Both of them hardly ever swear or raise their voices, maintain a distinct air of grace and respect when speaking or spoken to, and would probably shoot you without hesitation.
  • Blade of the Immortal has Otono-Tachibana Makie, whose sheer grace and aloof demeanor in battle is both beautiful and eerie. Anotsu himself describes her skill as "what I can never be, dancing before me." She's so talented that she can even evade the blood her blades spill, without a drop landing upon her.
  • Bleach: Rukia Kuchiki initially doesn't look like she qualifies. She's hot-tempered, her uniform is ill-fitting, and she's not adverse to chewing out her male friends if she thinks they're being idiots. However, this rough exterior hides an inner grace that only comes through when she fights. This inner grace has given birth to a zanpakuto that is acknowledged as one of Soul Society's most beautiful zanpakuto. Her theme is inspired by Chinese dance; her zanpakutou is called Sode no Shirayuki (Sleeve of White Snow), a nod to Chinese water dancing, and possesses a long white ribbon on the sword hilt which is swung into specific patterns to activate the zanpakutou's powers (a nod to Chinese ribbon dancing). The techniques themselves are called dances during activation commands.
  • In Casshern Sins, Sophita simply due to the sheer grace and beauty of her combat style. In the single episode she's in, you watch her dance throughout battle, using her insanely long sword almost as more of a pivot point than a weapon, only bringing it around (rarely with both hands) for a killing blow.
  • Satella Harvenheit of Chrono Crusade is a borderline example—dressed in heels and an elegant dress trimmed in fur, with a high-class background and somewhat snobby demeanor, she has her moments where she fits this trope nearly perfectly, but she summons spirits to battle for her with jewels, which allows her to come across as elegant and mysterious, but also means she's not doing a whole lot of the actual fighting herself. She's also a Fiery Redhead, which causes her to at times lose her cool and fight much more viciously and much less elegant. However, fellow jewel summoner and Satella's sister, Florette "Fiore" Harvenheit is a much better example. She uses her powers to summon a jeweled scythe, so her attacks are much more direct, and show off her elegance more, and her personality during battle is cool, efficient, and unfailingly polite. She even curtsies right before she enters a battle for the first time.
  • Claymore, being a World of Action Girls has many. Galatea is the dignified and elegant Number Two, Hysteria invented the most beautiful technique, Teresa is always eerily serene and the most powerful Claymore of all time, and Miria is the composed Guile Heroine who uses a speed-based fighting style. In fact, pretty much every female Claymore evolves to a Lady of War thanks to wielding swords and the professional requirement to keep a cool head at all times to avoid Awakening.
  • In Detective Conan, Heiji's Almighty Mom Shizuka Hattori is a former Kendo champion. In a case where she's one of the suspects, she shows that she hasn't lost her skills via helping Conan and Kogoro to capture the real culprit, who's in the middle of a dangerous Villainous Breakdown and swinging around a katana... by blocking said suspect's attacks with a paper fan.
  • D.Gray-Man has Lenalee Lee, a feminine and softspoken Dance Battler. Her Innocence is the Dark Boots, which she uses to perform graceful acrobatics and kick her enemies with great strength and speed. Klaud Nine and Lulu Bell also fit, with their calm, reserved attitudes and use of more ladylike whips as weapons.
  • Digimon:
    • Renamon in Digimon Tamers, especially in her final forms. Her partner, Ruki, is an angry Ineffectual Loner, but becomes a Lady Of War when they Fusion Dance into Sakuyamon. Only while they are Sakuyamon, of course.
    • Lalamon from Digimon Savers is pretty goofy-looking and her Crowning Moment Of Awesome is fighting with sausage nunchucks, and none of her evolved forms fare much better until her final form, Rosemon, a dignified lady whose primary mode of attack is a rapier; also present in Savers is BioLotusmon, who's pretty much the same thing.
    • Mervamon of Digimon Xros Wars leans toward this, as does her partner Nene, who actually spent some time masquerading as an elegant Digimon fighting against the forces of Dragon Land and succeeded at it.
  • Fairy Tail has several.
  • Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist is a Four-Star Badass whose fighting style focuses on using her sword with sheer speed and grace. She's cool, powerful, incredibly competent, and an Ice Queen.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Motoko Kusanagi can be quite ladylike when she's conducting undercover investigations. The rest of the time she's just a Major Badass.
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try: Shia Kijima's combat style is extremely elegant, almost ballet-like. Lady Kawaguchi calls her a "prima", and not in the negative sense that "prima donna" is somtimes used in. The opera gloves she wears are a subtle way of emphasizing her elegance, too.
  • Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight from HeartCatch Pretty Cure! is older than her teammates and adored for her 'elegance' in the ways she does things (like behaving herself or tending to flowers). Which doesn't go away whenever she started kicking ass with graceful movements and flips and decisive and precise blows, which hurt like hell.
  • Pharangese/Farangis, the warrior priestess, in The Heroic Legend of Arslan. She's one of the best fighters in the cast, a beautiful, graceful lady who is one of the best with a sword and bow among the main characters, she's utterly loyal to the Prince she's been ordered to serve. She can also drink experienced carouser Gieve under the table, without ever losing her poise.
  • Highschool of the Dead: As the former captain of Fuijimi High's Kendo Club, Saeko Busujima's skill with a sword is matched only by her beauty and her insatiable bloodlust. Which has lead some to believe she may have been Born in the Wrong Century, as she'd be far better suited for the battlefields of the Tokugawa Era. As seen in chapter 29, when she tossed a bamboo parasol in the air, long enough to sprint forward and cut down a zombie, in time to catch it before it could hit the ground.
  • In Ikki Tousen, Kan'u Unchou skirts this since she uses more raw power than grace, but compared to her friend Chouhi who is in the complete territoriality of raw power, she's more like the Jack-of-All-Stats. She has the attitude of Lady Of War, though. On the other hand, her other colleague, Chou'un Shiryuu, is a complete Lady Of War, not just on the polite and cool attitude, but the fact that she practically is the only girl who almost never receive a Clothing Damage in a series where clothes are made to be easily torn. That speaks a lot of her skill, reserve and grace in battle.
  • Inuyasha has some examples.
  • In Kara no Kyoukai Ryougi Shiki, wades into battle with an almost romantically beautiful combat style with a single dagger, (or occasionally a katana blade) and with her Mystic Eyes of Death Perception she becomes an unstoppable spinning warrior capable of retaining remarkable grace while carving her enemies up in fine fashion.
  • Tsukumo in Karneval specializes in acrobatics and has an elegant yet strong fighting style. Her personality is generally stoic as well.
  • The title character of Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran qualifies as one . . . her craving for sake not withstanding.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has a villainous Lady Of War: Mikumo Kushinada, who is not a weapon user, but uses a very elegant and efficient Aikijutsu-like style of fighting.
  • Satsuki Kiryuin of Kill la Kill. The Iron Lady of Honnouji Academy, she has a composed and dignified demeanor when using Bakuzan, and is very calculating in battle. However, she breaks from usual standards for a Lady of War with her monstrous physical strength.
  • Kujibiki Unbalance parodies this with Kasumi Kisaragi, an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl Kid Samurai Ojou Defrosting Ice Queen Stepford Smiler Miko Yakuza Mafia Princess Student Body Vice-President.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
  • Umi from Magic Knight Rayearth fits this trope the best. She's in the fencing club at school and immediately strikes the proper form with her borrowed weapon in Cephiro, and her movements during battle match. When using magic, it's accompanied with a sharp snap of the fingers. It's a contrast to Hikaru's rougher kendo and Fuu's BFS.
  • Ren Hakuei and Ren Kougyoku from Magi – Labyrinth of Magic. Both are elegantly-dressed Badass Adorable princesses, who also happened to be Dungeon Capturers, a General of an army (Hakuei), and King Candidates. In addition, their own metal vessels are very much Proper Lady items; Hakuei's being a feathered-fan, and Kougyoku's being her own elaborate hairpin. Dunya Mustashim is also another example of this trope, as she first appears as a demure and polite princess dressed in pink...and then that facade falls away.
  • Mai-HiME:
  • Maken-ki!:
  • Balsa in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. She's able to read the situation and assess the battle, uses a spear as her Weapon of Choice, prefers to fight her opponents honorably (even if they don't), looks quite graceful while doing it. But she's always mindful to spare her opponents' lives. If she loses her spear though, she becomes quite the brawler and fights dirty. She's not above smashing your face in with a rock.
  • Naruto:
    • Konan, an elegant and stoic Paper Master fond of turning into origami butterflies and forming angelic paper wings. She gives There Is No Kill Like Over Kill a new meaning when she made Tobi lose his arm and part of his mask, and literally killed him with the Paper Angel Technique which contained 600 billion explosive tags.
    • Hinata Hyuga slowly evolves into this in Part II. Her fighting style is perfect for the trope, since it's based less on brute strength and more on swiftness, chakra blocking, speed and exploiting the enemy's weakness; combine this with her long flowing hair and you get a pretty graceful female fighter. She finally achieves this status through both the Fourth Shinobi World War and The Last: Naruto the Movie, the latter of which she personally retrieves her little sister Hanabi's lost eyes by ripping them out of the eye sockets of the Big Bad who stole them and later becomes Naruto's Battle Couple partner as they seal away the Big Bad together.
    • Temari also becomes one in Part II. She's more graceful, wears more feminine clothing as seen with her kimono and skirts, and uses her giant iron fan to use powerful Wind Release jutsu to attack enemies from afar. She's also a master strategist able to keep up with her future husband Shikamaru and, as of Part II, a diplomat between the Hidden Leaf and Sand Villages.
  • In One Piece, Nico Robin is a composed Lady of Adventure whose fighting style is both refined and serene, sprouting her body parts from any surface she wants to take down scores of enemies without moving an inch. Flower petals even appear when she uses her powers, adding to her grace in battle.
  • Lady Eboshi from Princess Mononoke, when compared to the more primal and savage San, is elegant, calm, calculating and has an arsenal of rifles at her disposal that can pierce samurai armor like paper.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Mami Tomoe. While using guns, her fighting style has a heavy emphasis on precision, grace and high calculation instead of brute force. She also tends to finish her fights with a curtsy like a Proper Lady and whip out a cup of tea to drink post-battle. In fact, the one time she replaced her precision with recklessness at the thought of having friends, it leads to her brutal death by Charlotte due to missing her weak point. In Rebellion, she still is this and much stronger than ever enough to to overpower Homura with her clone alone alongside knowing her opponent's ability beforehand and took a precaution to be immune from it. It showcases what will happen if Mami isn't burdened by her trauma of losing her parents, managed to overcome her loneliness, and gained reassurance via Madokami's Law of Cycles.
    • Homura falls on the Aloof Dark-Haired Girl end of the spectrum. She's always calm and never in a hurry, yet seems even more experienced and dangerous than Mami. The first witch we see her fight inexplicably explodes after she casually dodges it a few times. Time Stands Still and a Hyperspace Arsenal are a handy combination.
  • In Pumpkin Scissors, Alice L. Malvin amazes her sisters and the troops of Section III with how graceful and elegant her moves are during a duel that spans most of the final episodes of the anime. She can't dance on a dance floor, but put her in a fight and she suddenly becomes amazing.
  • Utena and Juri from Revolutionary Girl Utena. In fact, most of the cast of Utena are dignified female fencers. (Those who aren't Bishōnen.)
  • Sailor Moon has a fair amount with its many Magical Girl Warriors.
    • Michiru Kaiou, aka Sailor Neptune. An elegant, refined, rich, famous, classy, and beautiful violin player who has no problem kicking ass by whatever means is at her disposal. She has a pretty devastating attack in which she uses a violin to blast enemies to oblivion.
    • Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury becomes one after gaining her water blast-based attacks, which have an elegance of their own. She goes Musical Assassin too with Mercury Aqua Rhapsody, in which she attacks with a harp made of water.
    • Rei Hino/Sailor Mars also counts as one. One of her favorite attacks is the very graceful Mars Flame Sniper, in which she elegantly summons a bow and arrow made of fire.
    • Setsuna Meiou/Sailor Pluto is the owner of the beautiful Garnet Rod, a Cool Key which she handles very gracefully.
  • Sara from Samurai Champloo. She's a blind assassin who fights with a modified walking staff. She is so good that she wounds Jin enough that he makes a desperate exit and kicks Mugen's ass from pillar to post. The only reason Sara didn't finish the job then is because Fuu threw herself between them. She would've won their second bout but pulled away from a blow that would've split Mugen in two. She does this all with an eerie elegance that makes it look as if she's toying with Mugen and Jin.
  • Sekirei features a few, in contrast to the many Cute Bruisers among the titular female aliens. Miya Asama, the Yamato Nadeshiko landlady of the main characters, is an exceptional Master Swordsman and teaches Musubi to not rely so much on brute force. She is also #01, The High Queen of the Sekirei. In contrast, Karasuba manages to be both this and a Combat Sado Masochist. She is a graceful and rarely presents anything but an affable demeanor while carrying out her official duties......which happen to involve massive amounts of bloodshed.
  • Asuna from Sword Art Online, at least during the Aincrad arc. Not only is she the sub-leader of the frontline guild "Knights of Blood", she uses a Royal Rapier as her weapon, and quite gracefully so with a fighting style that focuses on speed.
  • Octavia from Tears to Tiara is a swordswoman who teaches technique and control as opposed to the hot-blooded flailing around of Arthur.
  • General Adiane from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an elegant fighter who can create massive amounts of water from thin air, and uses her Femme Fatalons as melee weapons and scorpion tail to deflect bullets without getting a single scratch. She is called Adiane the Elegant.
  • Tokyo Ghoul and its sequel have several of these.
    • Akira Mado is an Investigator who is noted for her beauty and graduated top of her class in every subject. Fittingly, she has the talent to use the weapons from her collection of Quinque gracefully, with some being infamous for their difficulty to master. By the time of Tokyo Ghoul:re, she can use the Fueguchi One to kill numerous Ghouls at once, all while looking fabulous.
    • The legendary Special Class Kiyoko Aura, the first woman to ever achieve such a rank in the CCG. She is an elegant woman noted to be considered the idol of all female Investigators and known for being a deadly warrior. She is the current Chief of the organization's combat division, and was classmates with Akira's mother. On the battlefield she shows the utmost poise, firing the Zebizu and wielding it as twin blades with considerable grace.
    • Matsumae, the head servant of the Tsukiyama Family. An elegant woman always dressed in tailored suits, she has refined her abilities to allow her to create barriers or a sword and shield with her kagune. Unlike most Ghouls, her fighting style is equally elegant and borrows heavily from classical fencing.
  • Variable Geo: It's made clear, from the start, that Reimi Jahana is the woman to beat. Not only does she wield tremendous Ki, her fighting style embodies such precision, grace, and poise, that she's practically a goddess. Then again, she's actually held that title ("Virgin Goddess") two years in a row, and was the favorite to win again. Which is why her mother had to cheat to get rid of her.
  • Considering how she's very elegant but damn deadly with the monsters she summons through her cards, Ishizu from Yu-Gi-Oh! is the closest to this in a cards game.
  • Naomi Fluegel from Zoids: New Century. A beautiful, renowned Zoid warrior, she is cool and confident in battle, using her Zoid as a sniping machine to attack from afar. She's so good using it that she's famed for never losing a one-on-one battle, and flies solo until she's saved by Leon.

    Audio Plays 
  • In Starboard Captain Saeth of the outlaw ship Taranau commands her crew with efficiency and strength, and most of them are undyingly loyal to her as a result.

    Comic Books 
  • Winged Victory of Astro City is an outspoken advocate of women's rights and equality, and predictably draws controversy to herself as a result. She flies into battle with a broadsword and full armor.
  • Lady Shiva from Batman and related books. Possibly the deadliest martial artist in the world, her fighting style is a masterpiece of elegance with no wasted motion whatsoever.
  • In The Incredible Hulk, Caiera from Planet Hulk fits many of the requirements, being fast, graceful, and wielding an elegant weapon. She breaks from standards however, by being one of the few non-Asgardians who can not only take a punch from the green goliath, but return the favor in kind.
  • Lady Sif from The Mighty Thor. In some portrayals the Goddess of War is distinctly a lady-like fighter, but remains one of Asgard's best warriors and swordsmen nevertheless.
  • Peggy Carter, a competent agent who manages to be composed even in the heat of battle.
  • Wonder Woman, who is a master of many forms of combat and stated by Batman to be the best melee combatant in the world. She uses her bulletproof bracelets and Lasso of Truth to great effect and, while unarmed, graceful maneuvers and powerful blows, all while having a regal demeanor as Princess of Themyscira.
  • Psylocke from X-Men. She's stoic and ruthless, and her mastery in martial arts gives her movements a sense of smooth, graceful lethality. Her Psychic Powers tend to manifest as butterfly motifs, and allow her to form an elegant telekinetic katana as her weapon.

  • Blood and Honor: Sanguis is the Imperial equivalent of nobility and carries herself as such, striving to be self-possessed, well-mannered and gracious. Her fighting style is characterized by agility and grace rather than brute strength.
  • Bloood In The Water has Naomi, who is the Pokemon Champion of the Champion League—meaning that Blue, Lance, Steven, Cynthia, and Alder all report to her. She's usually seen wearing an elegant olive green gown and her hair is always done up. Also, she keeps her Dragonite with her at all times. Even when she is usurped by Josh, she still retains her composure and the civilians of Konar look to her for guidance. She actually leads the charge against the Elite Four and personally defeats two of them, Aubree and Daniel.
  • In Co Op Mode, Taylor ends up choosing this as a theme for her cape name, as well as playing with Medieval European Fantasy as Lady Bug. However, unlike most examples of this trope, Taylor doesn't wield the usual weapons, forgoing the usual rapier, naginata or steel fan for a steel bat. This might change in time, but as of the current chapters Taylor has stated her newfound preference for metal bats.
  • The canonical Lady Assassins of the Discworld have become this in the fics of A.A. Pessimal. Assassins briefly referenced in the canon have been expanded on, and OC's have joined them. While Assassins are not there to fight as conventional infantry in wars - save as a sort of Special Forces - they inescapably get involved. In Let's Bungle In The Jungle, one Assassin finds herself organising a Rorke's Drift style defence, and leading an assorted crew in a real stand-up battle. The Lady Assassins with her fight conventionally. But effectively.
  • Evangelion 303: Rei. Unlike Asuka -that oozes passion and fierceness- and Mari -that is nuts-, Rei is calm, tranquil and graceful when she is piloting and fighting.
  • Futari Wa Pretty Cure Dragon has Susan Chan, who even as Cure Fortune tends to be graceful in her fighting style.
  • Buffy, from Heroes And Villains models herself on this trope fairly successfully. She greatly enjoys her various physical powers and abilities, but she is positively obsessive about her appearance at all times, and strives to project an air of elegance and cool superiority.
  • Kin in Teenage Jinchuriki Shinobi is far more graceful in combat than her fellow Action Girl peers Sakura and Himeko. Her movement with her knives are displayed as incredibly fluid.
  • The Dragon Age: Origins retelling Shadow And Rose has one of these in Elissa, the Warden, who hails from the Human Noble origin. She's a Badass Princess and later Queen who behaves like a lady at all times - and has no problem kicking darkspawn ass in the same breath.
  • Princess Luna Equestris, from RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse.
  • Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations: Just like in every Metroid game she appears, Samus is this as a whole while in battle with or without her Powered Armor. This trope is taken even more literal when Samus constructs and equips a symbiotic suit in the form of the Athena Suit (click here). Interestingly enough, true to the suit's name, Samus lives up to it to the point where she is compared to the Greek goddess of wisdom of the same name. Samus's response?
    Samus: In fact, I'm not playing God. All this time... I've been playing human!note 
  • Janine from The Sanctuary Telepath is a Victorian lady - even if her actions often counted as scandalous back then, her demeanor is one of her age. She's also a graceful fighter with her long (and short) knives and a very capable telepath.
  • Cassandra Pentaghast (as in canon) and Victoria Trevelyan are a pair of Mighty Glacier Ladies of War in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird.

    Films — Animated 
  • Brave is often subverted when Merida, a "plucky princess" with a heart of gold, has a fighting style similar to Rose Quartz (sword) and Belldandy (bow and arrow), fighting alongside her "collected queen", Queen Elinor (after being turned into a bear by a witch as a part of the curse).
  • The titular character from Shrek comments how feminine Fiona looked after she kicked the butts of Robin Hood and his men. She indeed makes a good job looking graceful when doing her Waif-Fu.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Matsu in the Female Prisoner Scorpion films is an interesting subversion in a few ways. First, she's the protagonist. Second, she's a prisoner for much of the series, so stuff like social position, weapon and costume choice don't really apply, but despite this, her basic attitude exudes grace and reserve, she's aloof by nature and she's certainly stoic. Thirdly, on occasions when she does have some choice of how she equips herself, she totally rejects the idea of keeping her enemies at a distance, and opts for a knife and a Badass Longcoat with a Nice Hat, all in black, which contrives to be very feminine without being overtly sexy.
  • The Gamers: Dorkness Rising has Daphne, the Lawful Good Fragile Speedster female fighter in the game-within-a-show Her fighting style emphasizes speed and precision over brute force, and she generally behaves with more dignity than her fellow PCs, although there are times when she lightens up a bit.
  • Mothra of Godzilla fame is a butterfly-esque Kaiju rather than a human woman, but qualifies for this trope nonetheless. In contrast to most kaiju, she's a Gentle Giant who is nearly always kind and careful (though if you know what's good for you, don't touch her eggs), and in combat scenarios favors a combination of high-flying acrobatics and Air Jousting, creating a graceful combat style that contrasts against the Mighty Glacier style of the Big G himself.
  • Pictured above is O-Ren Ishii from Kill Bill, "Queen of Tokyo's Underworld". She's polite, demure, and keeps a stone cold expression throughout the movie, even when decapitating one of her subordinates for insulting her heritage. When fighting the The Bride to the death, she wears an elegant kimono and uses her katana with an air of cool and honor. She's even the Expy of Lady Snowblood another notable Lady Of War.
  • Star Wars:
    • Padmé is this in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. She's a refined, dignified noblewoman who prefers negotiation and discussion, but is a dead shot with a blaster when she needs to be.
    • Her daughter Leia follows in her footsteps, though she is less dignified and more of a firebrand, especially in A New Hope.
  • Even though Selene from the Underworld can rip most her enemies to shreds with her bare hands, she always prefers killing them more elegantly, with weapons and acrobatics, if she can avoid it. This is in a particularly striking contrast to the brutal fighting styles of Michael and their daughter Eve in Underworld: Awakening.
  • Mariko Yashida from The Wolverine has the dignified demeanor of one when she fights.

  • Ciaphas Cain: When we first see her, Jenit Sulla is the 597th's quartermaster with major Leeroy Jenkins tendencies. On Cain's recommendation, she's made a captain, and eventually becomes the first Lady General of the Imperium (the highest rank in the Imperial Guard), so clearly she had some sense knocked into her (but not literary aptitude).
  • The Chronicles of Narnia books have Susan Pevensie. Called Queen Susan the Gentle, she is armed with her bow and arrow, fighting more like a gentlewoman than her sister.
  • Codex Alera
    • Lady Placida is a calm, regal woman who cares about those under her charge and will stand up to the Citizens if one is about to harm those she has come to respect. She is the only woman to attain Citizenship by virtue of winning an Juris Macto battle in her teens while the other women, save Isana, earned the title by marriage.
    • Invidia is something of a hybrid of this and Dark Action Girl. Amoral and carefully calculating, she is a powerhouse on the battlefield and able to firecraft so precisely in a confined space and not hurt anyone present.
    • Gaius Isana, First Lady of Alera is not as combat-able as either of the two above, but she will not shy away from combat in later books, having fought a High Lord to his defeat by means of her own strength and willingness to sacrifice herself and opening his eyes to his own deep hatred and took down six powerful vord that were covered in metal with just water attacks.
    • Hashat,the Marat clanhead of the Horse Clan, is a powerful fighter on and off her chala. She fights in First Calderon, where Princeps Septimus died, and personally took on his singulares, his personal bodyguards. After the battle, she took one of their swords, baldric, and cloak pin as trophies. She also, in the traditions of her kind, ate their hearts to honor them.
      Jim Butcher: She shot a couple of them in the neck/face with arrows while riding by on her horse, killed one with a stone knife after her horse had knocked him down and stunned him, then took his sword and fought the last Aleran alive, one of the exhausted singulares, one-on-one, and killed him.
  • In Dragonlance, Laurana is an incredibly beautiful and graceful elven princess and a deadly shot with a bow. She is later promoted to General of the Knights of Solamnia.
  • Though usually The Vamp, Lara Raith of The Dresden Files has more than once proven that she's no slouch in physical combat either. She moves "blinding speed and utterly inhuman grace" and is implied to be even faster and just as hypnotic as her brother when fighting.
    Harry: (narrating) In that moment, Lara was more than simply a vampire of the White Court, a succubus, pale and deadly. She was a reminder of the days gone by, when mankind paid homage to blood-soaked goddess of war and death, revered the dark side of the protective maternal spirit, the savage core of the strength that still allowed tiny women to lift cars off their children, or turn upon their tormentors with newfound power. Lara's power, at the moment, hovered around her, deadly in its primal seduction, its sheer strength.
    Not long after
    Marcone: My God. It is the most beautiful nightmare I have ever seen.
  • The Felix Castor books. Juliet's fighting style is often described as graceful and balletic, albeit lightning-fast and incredibly destructive (and if you pause long enough to appreciate it, she'll have already disemboweled you with her fingernails).
  • Honor Harrington fits this description, up to a point, as a cool, reserved, unconventionally beautiful warrior woman. At the same time, she subverts some elements of it with her preferred fighting style, the Coup de Vitesse, and while her movements are graceful, the genetic modifications she inherited on her father's side make her extremely strong, even for her already large stature.
  • As a vampire, Camille from The Infernal Devices can fight, but as a lady of high social standing she carries herself with a dignified manner. Tessa has difficulty imitating her during The Infiltration.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Both Sabrina and Briza are described as fighting with deadly grace and elegance that is also a wonder to behold. The latter has the classy reserve while the former is simply aloof and focused.
  • Éowyn from Lord of the Rings manages to keep an air of grace and beauty while still being a very capable warrior.
  • Europe from the Monster Blood Tattoo series takes this trope a bit sideways. She is graceful, poised, dressed to the nines, and a duchess-in-waiting - but her weapons are electricity manipulation and a pair of staves, she's second only to the main character in how much damage she can take (a lot), and she kicks as much ass as it is possible for a single person to kick in the series.
  • Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments is the daughter of an old, prestigious, Shadowhunter family. She herself is a very talented Demon Slayer and manages to fight quite effectively even while wearing dresses and high heels. Her preferred tactic is to Whip It Good using her weapon of choice, an enchanted whip made of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver). Also noted for Beauty Is Never Tarnished — she can join her brothers fighting monsters underground without getting dirty even as they are covered in filth. When asked how she manages it, she remarks:
    Isabelle: I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt.
  • Lyra, the mercenary Magic Knight from Passing Through evokes this even in very harsh circumstances. Despite being on the run, and in a cold and muddy forest a hundred miles from anywhere, she remains cool, aloof, beautiful and reserved. Before going into battle she takes time out to brush and arrange her hair, and never once fails to speak and act with elegance and dignity.
  • Since society in the universe of Red Rising does not have stricly enforced gender roles, this trope is fairly common. Notable examples include:
    • Antonia and her older sister Victra.
    • Mustang
    • Aja au Grimmus
  • China Sorrows is practically the poster child for this in Skulduggery Pleasant. Calm in every situation, she's more than capable in fighting some of the strongest people in the world.
  • In the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams, Queen Saqri of the Qar is known for her calmness, elegance and grace, in battle as well as in her usual demeanour.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a notable inversion in Brienne of Tarth. Nobody can dispute the "of War" bit... it's the "Lady" part she completely pounds into the ground. She's not demure, ladylike, refined nor in the least bit pretty: even at rest, she moves more like a bloke. She's even called "Brienne the Beauty" as an Ironic Nickname. You won't catch her wearing a dress unless overwhelming force has been involved, mainly because she's all too well aware that she comes across as a fairly tall, well-built guy trying unsuccessfully to pass. Otherwise, she's one of the closest things to a Knight In Shining Armour you can find in the series.
    • There are some straighter versions: most of the younger women of House Mormont (and other women on Bear Island) are this trope. When they're not just a little too young, and being Action Girls, instead, of course. Or, have managed to survive to becoming a bit too old, and have graduated from well-trained Action Moms to Never Mess with Granny or Old Master levels. They pull the trope off a lot easier than Brienne manages, as Bear Island's culture is better adapted to accepting (and training) warrior maids to also be Ladies with it.
  • From the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, Sirella (Martok's wife). She holds herself with grace and dignity at all times, while retaining the fierce and violent aspect of a Klingon noble. Other characters comment on this all the time. In fact, Sirella goes out of her way to be a Lady of War, and in one scene is visably unhappy when she admits that the villain's Compelling Voice caused her to momentarily lose her composure.
  • The Star Trek: TNG novel Gulliver's Fugitives has Shikibu, a security officer. She is described as very soft-spoken and incredibly composed, and practices Zen Archery. This involves holding a (titanium) arrow in firing position in a heavy-draw bow, with emphasis on never consciously deciding the moment of release, which happens when it happens. This comes in handy when thought-reading robot probes menace the Enterprise; since they couldn't read her intent, they didn't realize the threat. This stands as a contrast to Worf, a Proud Warrior Race Guy whose people tend towards The Berserker as a hat.
  • While Sten is packed with Action Girls that kick ass and chew bubblegum, Lady Atago personifies this trope. She's The Stoic Aloof Dark-Haired Girl Proud Warrior Race Guy who puts Honor Before Reason and makes a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind features a number of them. Most notably, Kahlan Amnell fills this role in the books as well as in the TV series Legend of the Seeker. It is even noted in the book that Richard was amazed that Kahlan could fight numbers of merciless assailants and yet not get a drop of blood on her white Mother Confessor dress.
  • The eponymous lead of Jessica Amanda Salmonson's Tomoe Gozen Saga, based on the legendary 12th century lady samurai.
  • Although many of them are Lady by title, the Tortall Universe rarely depicts combat as elegant (it having very much a War Is Hell message) and the Action Girls are pretty pragmatic in battle, but there are some. Keladry of Mindelan prefers the naginata to swords thanks to her upbringing in the Yamani Isles and draws admirers whenever she practices its pattern dances in public. Queen Thayet is the World's Most Beautiful Woman and wields a crossbow during her travels with Alanna, as well as learning the glaive from her future daughter-in-law.
  • Cordelia Vorkosigan in the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, given that she's managed so far to take out an entire mutiny using only her brains and a stunner and end a civil war by bringing the offending man's head back in a shopping bag without ever losing her dignity.

    Live Action TV 
  • Lexa from The 100. She's her people's leader, is always calm and composed, and, by the standards of her Barbarian Tribe, she dresses and acts rather regally. She hasn't had too many fight scenes, but when she does fight, it's with a swift and graceful economy of movement.
  • Peggy Carter of Agent Carter, much like her comic book-counterpart. Elegant and stylish, she maintains her impeccable grace as she calmly shoots at enemies and even when using brutal punches and kicks or improvised weapons. She first appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger where she was Steve's main love interest and was Lady of War there too; her popularity led to her getting her own series, thus becoming the first solo heroine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Angel: Cordelia Chase becomes one following a few lessons in swordsmanship by Angel.
  • Arrow has two notable examples in its female League of Assassins members.
    • Sara Lance. Reserved and merciless, she moves gracefully in battle, employing gymnastic flips and dance-like movements, and batons that can combine to form a bo staff. She also dons a more elegant outfit as the White Canary in Legends of Tomorrow. However, unlike most Ladies of War she displays a fun-loving attitude outside of missions.
    • Nyssa Al-Ghul, daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul, is a ruthless, poised warrior whose regal demeanor carries over to combat. Her preferred weapon is even a bow and arrow.
  • In Chinese Paladin, Ling'er develops into this, as her calm, quiet and reserved personality, minimalist fighting style, and dress style contrasts with the more rambunctious and tomboyish Yue'Ru. Although Ling'er primarily uses magic as a ranged weapon, she can also handle a sword and staff.
  • Madame Vastra in Doctor Who is a dignified, very intelligent Lipstick Lesbian Silurian onna-bugeisha who ate Jack the Ripper.
  • Aeryn Sun from Farscape. Her status as official series badass is cemented in the first episode and restated innumerable times thereafter. Even after her defrosting, she continues to regularly kick metric tonnes of ass, especially when a certain child is involved. This leads to one of her many Crowning Moments of Awesome ("It's a boy. In case you were wondering.") as well as a Crowning Moment of Funny ("But shooting makes me feel better!") in the miniseries.
  • Kahlan from Legend of the Seeker, who frequently battles in slow-motion with knives without mussing her pretty medieval dresses.
  • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Miyuki Ozu and her Power Rangers counterpart Udonna. They each have her own ranger transformations and their fight scenes have a sense of grace the rangers themselves lack. Also, in Magiranger, Miyuki's patron Heavenly Saint was the female Snowgel, a rare Bare-Fisted Monk Lady Of War.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine plays it straight with Jadzia Dax, an elegant and graceful fighter who knows Klingon martial arts and has a Bat'leth. Averted harshly with Kira Nerys, who grew up under the Cardassian Occupation and was a leader of the Bajoran Resistance and as a result is a Combat Pragmatist of the first order.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron certainly fits a number of the characteristics, especially in regards to her absolute calm, feminine grace, and physical ability. Though in her case, much of it is due to the fact that she is also a very scary robot. But don't let her catch you calling her that.
    • Weaver fits the trope even better in personality and dress sense. Being a Bullet-Proof Fashion Plate also helps. Although we don't see her fighting very often, because she could probably curb-stomp all of the other characters at once.
  • Michonne and Carol Peletier from The Walking Dead. Michonne is of noble character, and coolly disposes of Walkers with grace and quickness. Carol is a mature and composed Team Mom, and kills with knives and firearms whilst maintaining a stoic expression.


    Mythology And Religion 
  • Deborah from The Bible, fourth Judge of Israel. So inspirational that her appointed military leader didn't think he could win the impending battle without her.
  • In Classical Mythology, the goddess Athena (known as Minerva to the Romans) is primarily the goddess of wisdom and crafts, but is also a goddess of defensive and strategic warfare (as opposed to Ares, who deals in offensive war, brutality, etc). She is portrayed as a "virgin goddess," meaning that either she never got laid or she never married (or both), and is portrayed as calm, wise, sly and dignified. She intervenes on the side of the Greeks on several occasions in The Iliad, and helps Odysseus on multiple times in that epic and in The Odyssey. She was also the patron goddess of Athens (which was named for her). Thanks to Athena, this trope is Older Than Feudalism.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • La Revolución Domincana's La Morena, la reina del estilo y la violencia, la prieta del swing.
  • Simply D'Vyne's mantra was to win by any means necessary, even if it came to lying, cheating or stealing, so long as it could be done with style and grace.
  • Kimber Lee, the so called "First Lady Of The Combat Zone", besides having a vision for the company where men were equal to women, also joined Drew Gulak's campaign to create a more respectable Combat Zone by ending abuse of officials and cutting back on Garbage Wrestling. This lead her to attacking Christina Von Eerie, who besides displaying some surprising agility, was the very opposite of graceful in every way and viewed as a cultural degenerate for her nontraditional ring gear, numerous tattoos, mohawk, tendency to weaponize whatever isn't bolted down and of course, spitting.
  • In spite of the name, Made In Sin like to think of themselves as classy and are hurt by any accusations toward them that sound unbecoming of proper ladies. However, pearl necklaces and wine glasses do little to obscure the fact Allysin Kay is still a thug at heart and they both like to load their "insurance policy" down with various foreign objects. Rival tag team Better Than You also self identify as "class" but are less defensive about it, caring as much about public perception as the name implies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Forgotten Realms, Red Knight, the Faerunian goddess of strategy and tactics (that is, her holy symbol is a chess knight), has elements of this. Her intelligence and reserve make her a natural counterbalance to the berserker war deity Garagos.
    • Not that there was a shortage of stylish warlike nobility on Faerun, including female nobles, due to elven influences. For that matter...
    Ilsevele: Don't you dare suggest that it might be too dangerous for me, Araevin. I am one of the best spellarchers on this island and I am an officer in the Queen's Guard. note 
  • Magic: The Gathering has a few, most notably Mirri, an elegant cat woman from the Weatherlight saga ("Full of beauty and grace, with a predator's instincts..."), and Jeska, a steely female barbarian from the Odyssey storyline ("My brother and I both come from Balthor's forge. Kamahl has a temper of fire. I have a temper of steel.").

  • In John Milton's Comus, the elder brother invokes this in the Greek goddesses:
    Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow
    Fair silver-shafted queen for ever chaste,
    Wherewith she tamed the brinded lioness
    And spotted mountain-pard, but set at nought
    The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men
    Feared her stern frown, and she was queen o' the woods.
    What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield
    That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,
    Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone,
    But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
    And noble grace that dashed brute violence
    With sudden adoration and blank awe?

  • Gali from BIONICLE. She's notable for being The Smart Guy, The Heart and having invented her own martial arts/gymnastics discipline just to qualify for this trope. Her five brother-Toa? They're pretty direct, inelegant, and can't work together well even if they're friendly. In-universe, Gali essentially invented this trope whole-cloth.

    Video Games 
  • Advanced V.G. II: Kyoko Kirishima, in every possible aspect - from her beauty, to the elegant design of her kimono, and her fighting style. She's easily one of the most visually stunning and graceful grapplers you'll ever see.
  • Anonym and Marilyn Sue from Akatsuki Blitzkampf. Anonym is a Church Militant Long-Range Fighter who handles two revolvers very gracefully, while Marilyn Sue is a Femme Fatale with a vicious yet elegant Kung Fu-based fighting style.
  • In BlazBlue, Tsubaki Yayoi uses quite some dignity when fighting with her sword. However, the more appropriate title seems to go to Litchi Faye-Ling as not only she's the adult female, her moves has quite the emphasis on fluid, graceful, classy movements, reserved chi control, and she supports it with having a nice and motherly personality to back the 'Lady' part up.
  • The video game version of Brave (for PlayStation 3) had Merida who is a badass, tough-as-nails archer-like Lady of War that does not give up when she battles her way through all 4 elemental levels to break the curse and to defeat Mor'du (the demonic bear).
  • Dead or Alive 5 has Lei Fang and her Virtua Fighter counterpart, Pai Chan. The former is a prodigy of Tai Chi Quan, while the latter uses Ensei-Ken. Both their fighting styles are fluid and highly advanced, and each kicks plenty of ass in ornately designed Chinese garb - ranging from Lei Fang's signature red Qipao, to Pai Chan's VF5 attire.
    • The series has plenty of others, including Helena Douglas, the calm, collected CEO of DOATEC who won the fourth tournament, and Christie, a cold and calculating English assassin who fights with snake-style kung fu and uses quick, precise strikes. The kunoichi Kasumi and Ayane could also be counted, as their fighting styles emphasis speed and precision.
    • Sarah Bryant, the other female guest character from Virtua Fighter, also fits, as she always keeps her composure and fights with more grace that her brother Jacky. Aoi from the VFseries fits the most, using Aiki-jujutsu and properly timed counters to break limbs while always dressing and acting like a proper Yamato Nadeshiko.
  • Dragon Age:
    • A possible choice for a female Grey Warden in Dragon Age: Origins, should she be a non-mage (and sometimes even then, taking the Magic Knight option). Most obvious if playing a dwarf or human noble. Leliana, also qualifies to an extent, as can, potentially, Wynne as a Badass Grandma version of the trope should the player give her the Arcane Warrior specialization.
    • Although most of her badass-itude is purely political, Queen Anora has more than a few traits of this, especially if she leads the final battle in Origins.
    • In Dragon Age II, whether warrior or rogue, you can play female Hawke as soft-spoken, graceful, complete and utter badass. One could even extend this across the board to include a female mage Hawke too, since magic staffs now double as functional melee weapons.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition gives us two such ladies: Cassandra and Vivienne; both ladies are magic knights if from opposite approaches (Cassandra's a warrior with Anti-Magic abilities, Vivienne is a mage who conjures a Laser Blade), and both have a calm, regal demeanor. While Cassandra may seem the rougher of the two, she has a decidedly feminine love of romance novels and if you pursue her as a love interest, she demands proper courtship. Vivienne, on the other hand, is an ice queen through and through and can't be romanced.
  • The Final Fantasy series has several examples of this.
    • Final Fantasy V has Lenna, a plucky, kind-hearted princess who can wield any weapon thanks to the job class system. She is made to look feminine in all of them and is portrayed as much more graceful and feminine than her more tomboyish sister Faris. Yoshitaka Amano and the CGs from Anthology also depict her with a sword.
    • Final Fantasy VI: Celes is cool-headed, graceful and looks beautiful in an opera dress. She is also a skilled fighter who can use swords, knives and maces. Her artwork even shows her striking an elegant pose while holding a sword.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Beatrix and Freya. Freya is calm, polite and dignified even when dealing with opponents and is an excellent fighter while Beatrix is a gentlewoman who looks feminine without being over the top about it and is a skilled swordswoman.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has Lightning. Cool, or even cold, and calmly collected even when taking down mooks with her sword/gun while spinning in the air acrobatically. Relatively simple clothes for Final Fantasy, yet radiates style.
  • Fire Emblem has many of these.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: Princess Eirika starts as one fresh out of training, and evolves into a full-blooded one through the game. She fights with a rapier in the most graceful manner.
    • Fire Emblem Tellius: Elincia is a Princess Classic with a graceful demeanor who checks all the boxes for this trope except for being able to fight- that is, until late in Path of Radiance, when she grabs a sword, jumps on a Pegasus and Takes a Level In Badass, at which point she qualifies for this trope perfectly.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening: Say'ri, Badass Princess of Chon'Sin. Her flowery method of speaking and purple-colored clothing are perfectly at home holding court in a palace or mowing down Mooks on the battlefield.
      • Fellow Badass Princess Lucina. She fights with acrobatic flips, graceful twirls, and fast slashes with her Falchion, making for a lithe and elegant swordswoman.
      • The Female Avatar counts as well. As The Strategist and second-in-command of the Shepherds, she's composed, calculating, and dignified in battle.
      • Sumia can potentially evolve into this, whereas Cordelia and Cherche are almost there when they appear. The three are mounted units who fight either with lances (Sumia and Cordelia) or axes (Cherche)
    • Fire Emblem Fates has the Female Avatar and Princess Azura. The Female Avatar is reserved and cool-headed in combat and fights with a sword, magic and dragonstones; Azura has a calm and graceful bearing, employing fluid spins and twirls while wielding a lance.
      • Women in both the Nohr and Hoshido sides fit this trope. The Nohrians have Effie, a feminine and gentle knight who's very protective of others with her lances, Princess Camilla who's eerily serene even as she tears enemies apart with magic and an axe, and Camilla's subordinate Beruka who also rides a wyvern and kills people with her own axe; the Hoshidans have Queen Mikoto, a calm and regal War Priestess, Kagero, a cool-headed kunoichi from nobility, and Oboro, who's fashionable, feminine, and wields naginatas with notable finesse.
  • All of the female characters from Gemfire can feasibly qualify, but Keyla, of the Lyle family, is an outstanding example.
  • Millia Rage from Guilty Gear has a quiet and completely non-brazen demeanor, and her fighting style reflects that. Her animate golden hair flows gracefully, tends to incorporate flower and wing motifs into its strikes, plus it leaves the rest of her body free to contribute to the trope with dance-like movements.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Aqua, who remains very poised in battle. She dodges with graceful cartwheels and twirls, has unusually elegant keyblades, and takes down almost every Big Bad singlehandedly. It does help she was named Keyblade Master in the beginning of the game.
  • The King of Fighters
  • League of Legends has some female Champions who quality.
    • Ashe the Frost Archer, who is Queen of the Freljord and wields a bow, has a graceful and focused personality. Her play style requires calmness, composure and knowing when to shoot instead of rushing, and she's versatile in what she does as an archer from slowing down to stunning the enemy. It's saying something that in the right player, Ashe is pretty much capable of starting a fight without being in there. She's also in a marriage to Tryndamere, making an example of Guys Smash, Girls Shoot.
    • Fiora the Grand Duelist is a noblewoman from a Demacian family known for their style when using swords. Her fighting style focuses on using her rapier fluidly, precisely, and agilely, and she's even dressed in graceful armor for combat. In manner, suiting her status, she's sophisticated and even chastises her opponents for having "suched unrefined style" in combat.
    • Irelia the Will of the Blades. She has a calm and reserved demeanor and doesn't even hold her swords. Instead, she uses telekinesis to move them around, giving her attacks a sense of grace in not even touching her weapons to fight. Her fighting style is a Logical Extreme of the belief that ladies don't rely on strength to fight.
    • Leona the Radiant Dawn is a Knight in Shining Armor and very dignified when in her armor and wielding a sword. Her armor even bears some elements of a Battle Ballgown.
    • Riven the Exile was a high-ranking soldier before leaving the Noxian army, and her play style based on dashes and Combos has much less brute force and more efficiency when compared to other Fighter Champions. Her gameplay designer even said he intended for her to be a "battle dancer", moving swiftly in and out of battle.
  • Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda when she has a chance to fight. Ever so regal and graceful, when she fights alongside Link she's armed with the Light Arrows. She becomes more of a Lady of War in Super Smash Bros. and Hyrule Warriors where she's given more elegant fighting styles, with open hand attacks in the former and a rapier in the latter.
  • Rue of Magna Carta 2 is the dedicated protector of the resident distressed princess, uses graceful 'katana' or 'shuriken' styles, and maintains an air of cool, detached competency throughout the entire story. She's also the only female on the team who shows no interest in romance and is not fanservice-y in design/presentation.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2: Samara has all the qualities: grace, reserve, the voice of a classy woman, honor, a graceful fighting style using biotics, and a full awareness of her role in the universe wherever it takes her. Most of all, she's the only female player character in the entirety of Mass Effect who can't be successfully romanced by Shepard. You can try, and it results in a sad, character revealing scene for Samara that results in her proclaiming that it's impossible even if she herself desires it deep down.
    • Also from Mass Effect 2, Miranda also qualifies with her elegance, calm (if cold) demeanor, and preference for biotics over firearms. And unlike Samara, she is a possible love interest.
    • Liara is also this, which especially shows by Mass Effect 3. She wears a more elegant white outfit and has become more emotionless, never raising her voice. Bonus for having biotic powers and being a member of the most elegant alien race in The Verse.
    • FemShep, who despite typically acting as The Squadette during her off-duty hours, nonetheless, manages to remain focused, reserved and cool-headed at all times throughout combat situations. Particularly if playing as a Infiltrator, since she has no special biotic abilities, no offensive tech abilities and her primary weapon is simply a large sniper rifle that can punch through tanks. A female Vanguard Shepard can also wield a shotgun that is designed for a krogan to wield and can pack quite a devastating punch.
  • The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Grace, reserve, and quick, efficient bone-breaking CQC to execute fast field-strips and wreck opponents' weapons. She commands so much respect that she intimidates Volgin by just questioning him, and is very wise in warfare due to spending decades as a soldier.
  • Kitana has long been Mortal Kombat's klassy lady. She fights with steel fans and has a regal demeanor befitting her station as Princess of Edenia. Her mother, Queen Sindel, also counts when she's not Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere uses a magic spear rather than any kind of sword, but considering her noble warrior attitude and the fact that her battle outfit is based on a ballerina costume, she definitely qualifies.
  • Almost all adult woman characters in Onmyōji.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3, Mitsuru Kirijo fits the personality to a tee, being elegant, reserved, formal, and favors a classy rapier as her weapon. However, her persona's ice spells makes her better as a Lady of Black Magic. The actual female physical powerhouse, Aigis, is a Robot Girl who uses guns.
    • The female main character in the Persona 3 Portable rerelease qualifies. She even uses a Naginata as her weapon.
    • Eriko/Ellen Kirishima from the original Persona and Persona 2 is the franchise's original elegant Ojou fencer.
    • Mitsuru reappears in Persona 4: Arena and she hasn't lost a touch of her elegance. Considering this is a fighting game, fellow Lady of Black Magic Yukiko Amagi is promoted into this. Fitting, as she's heavily based on the Yamato Nadeshiko archetype in her origin game.
  • Diantha from Pokémon X and Y is as close to this as possible in a Mons Series. She's a very elegant, world-renowned actress with a refined and mature demeanor. As a trainer, her signature Pokémon is the graceful Mega Gardevoir, and she's the Pokémon Champion of Kalos.
  • Project Justice's Yurika Kirishima is this. Despite being a trained Musical Assassin, she dresses and acts like she belongs in at a fancy party or in an orchestra, not a fight. She fights with her violin as if it were a rapier, and even calls fighting "meaningless" when taunting.
  • In Riviera: The Promised Land, Fia generally takes over the role of Healer in the group, however, she uses a rapier as her primary weapon and is the only character in the game who can use the full power of the Kiku-ichimonji, making use of the attack "Oboro-garasu". Her Overdrive skills also carry an "air of grace" with them, and are named after musical terms (Vivace, Cadenza, Presto, Brilliante).
  • Karin Koenig in Shadow Hearts: Covenant fits this role well, alternate costumes be damned. Her weapon of choice is the rapier, she learns new battle techniques by collecting Wagnerian manuscripts and genuinely fights in a graceful manner as befitting the role. Karin is also the female lead of her game.
  • Xiuying from Shenmue. Soon after making her debut in the second game, she curb stomps Ryo, effortlessly avoiding his attacks and putting him in his place with bare minimum force. Later, when the first fight against Don Niu on Kowloon goes awry, she steps in as Ryo blacks out. And from the tone of Don Niu's yell after the fade to black, she pounds him in short order as well. Oh yeah, in both times she's wearing a simple but elegant Chinese dress.
  • Blaze the Cat from Sonic the Hedgehog, down to a poised fighting style with graceful spins and twirls and being a Princess. However, she's a bit of a Defrosting Ice Queen as well.
  • Setsuka from the Soul Series. There's nothing more ladylike than gracefully strolling into an arena in a kimono, with an parasolwhich doubles as her weapon—at her side.
    • Xianghua has one foot here and another in Cute Bruiser. Nevertheless, she has a very elegant fighting style that combines aspects of swordplay and fencing with fluid, near ballet-style movement. "Poetry in motion" doesn't begin to do it justice.
    • In turn, there's Raphael's adoptive daughter Amy; she takes after him in terms of swordplay and she's just as graceful with her rapier, if not moreso.
    • Hilde. She even curtsies before a battle.
  • In the Street Fighter series, Chun-Li also really counts. While most would associate her with straight-on Action Girl, she moves gracefully and fluidly in each of her attacks. Her fighting style does also quite resemble Tai Chi Quan, and she possesses chi control as shown in her Kikouken or Kikoushou.
  • Chris Lightfellow, AKA the Silver Maiden, from Suikoden III. Graceful, upper-class and with a social ineptitude that expresses itself as cold arrogance, the Supreme Commander of the army in a country where female soldiers are unheard of. Amusingly, the gang of kids who model themselves after the knights interpret her as the White Magician Girl sidekick to one of her male colleagues.
    • In Suikoden I, there's also Odessa Silverberg, who is quite handy with her bow and since she's born from a family of strategists, utilizes lots of reserve and tactics in combat. It's also speculated that in the first game, her growth rate is somehow the best in the game. Unfortunately...
  • Super Smash Bros. has both goddess characters fall into this: Palutena keeps a composed stance in the battlefield, something that carries over to her attacks, while Rosalina's style is elegant and dance-like, something fitting with her status as The High Queen.
  • Tanit in Tears to Tiara 2, the Super-Powered Alter Ego of Goddess of War Ashtarte, who's a Cute Bruiser.
  • Jun Kazama from Tekken. She is usually a Mixed Martial Arts user, but it's mainly based on Aikido with emphasis on grace. Personality-wise, she's described as demure and focused, but if pushed far enough, especially if her child is in danger, she'll calmly open a can of whoop-ass to even the Devil himself. Her Spiritual Successor Asuka Kazama also uses Aikido, but subverts it that her fighting style is more direct in-your-face and brash, like her personality.
  • In Touhou, Sakuya Izayoi is a Meido version of this trope. One just doesn't call her Perfect, Elegant (Ninja) Maid for nothing.
    • Scarlet Weather Rhapsody brought us Iku Nagae, who fights using a frilly scarf and whose attack poses resemble dance moves.
  • Orie in Under Night In-Birth, a blue-haired rapier-wielding classy girl with a calm, composed aura. And has a Persona/Stand-like spirit helper.
  • Raquel Applegate in Wild ARMs 4. A Mighty Glacier with a tragic past, a cool demeanor, and a quest for beauty and friendship.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY has several, specifically:
    • Blunt attitude aside, Weiss Schnee is the most feminine and elegant fighter in the series. Her fighting style appears to be a combination of fencing and figure skating. She remains cool and calmly collected in battle, and uses her Myrtenaster with precision and calculation.
    • Blake Belladonna relies more on acrobatics, speed and stealth than brute strength or large weapons when she fights, and fights with a whip/gun/katana. She is also very composed; usually moreso than Weiss.
    • Pyrrha Nikos, who's a renowned three-time champion of the Vytal Tournament, is armed with a sword and shield, which she summons using her semblance, and fights with a fluid and graceful manner. This becomes even more the case when it revealed that she also uses her semblance to subtly "nudge" her opponents' attacks off-center, creating the impression that she's untouchable.
    • Neo, Roman Torchwick's bodyguard, is a villainous example. Neo is petite, never speaks, and completely did Yang Xiao Long in by casually dodging her punches, deflecting her attacks with a Parasol of Pain, and using her own attack to knock her out, all while maintaining a dignified air and smirking the entire way through. She even took the time to pose gracefully every so often during the fight, just to mock Yang and piss her off.
    • Winter Schnee, like her younger sister. She attacks with much agility and precision using a saber, and is very aloof and dignified. One of her glyphs involves a hail of birds flying at her enemy. However, she does have a quick temper and can be easily goaded into charging her enemy.
    • Cinder Fall, although usually a Lady of Black Magic, is a dark one like Neo. Maintaining an air of calm and reserve even in the heat of battle, when she infiltrates Beacon Tower, she initially employs stealth, then fights the guards in a spinning and whirling style that makes it appear as though she's dancing. When Ruby confronts her, she makes summoning forth a bow and arrows while engaging in leaping dodges look effortless.

    Web Comics 
  • On the rare occasions her more feminine side shows through, Almond from Cucumber Quest. Her combat showing during the Beauty Contest in the Flower Kingdom is a notable example of this, during which, using her sword, she swiftly disarms several of her opponents of the flower pins necessary to remain in the contest, never actually hurting any of them, and all the while never tarnishing her newly-acquired Pimped-Out Dress.
  • Therkla from The Order of the Stick, albeit as much as the limited art style can allow. As a McNinja, she always favors stealth and opportunistic strikes over direct confrontation, and in the rare moments she's in direct combat she tends to use acrobatic maneuvers and grappling far more than any other female character.

    Web Original 
  • In The Whateley Universe, while Fey of the Super Hero School Whateley Academy is a mage, she fits this trope pretty well. She's been given a magic scimitar which she learns to use, and she's learning to wield the bow. She's literally a princess, since part of her is an ancient Sidhe queen. And her fighting style is Tai Chi with grace, since her Faerie glamour won't permit anything else.
  • In Worm, Contessa is described as extremely graceful in combat, and incapacitates the Chicago Wards and Weaver mainly by letting them hit each other, without even getting dirty.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Emotionless Girl Mai, who prefers throwing knives to getting her hands dirty and maintains an air of calm in victory and defeat alike.
    • The former Avatar Kyoshi has a very regal and imposing presence due to her physical size, calm deep voicenote , and dress. Her followers, the Kyoshi Warriors, wear the same uniform: modern day war fatigues, make-up that serves as war paint, and metal fans which can be used as ranged throwing weapons. They all look the part but their personalities are as diverse as Suki to Ty Lee.
  • Like its predecessor, The Legend of Korra has its Ladies of War.
  • Rose Richards (from the short-lived toy-based-cartoon Peppermint Rose TV special) had a alternative fighting style which does involve singing, foiling the "collected queen" Queen Beeteelya's evil plans of stealing the magic flower of the same name (as a "plucky princess").
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power has all the earmarks... high-born, sword-wielding Action Girl with a calm demeanor. Unlike most Ladies of War, however, she displays a cheerful, pleasant attitude and a willingness to joke and laugh with the rest of her cast...probably due to being The Heroine of her show.
  • Although actually genderless as opposed to female, Pearl from Steven Universe fits this trope. She fights primarily with a magical spear, though she also uses swords, and her fighting style is based around ballet, so it includes lots of graceful twirls and spins. This trope is taken further with her calm and perfectionist nerve in combat.
    • Opal, the fusion of Amethyst and Pearl, has Pearl's coolness and composure and battles with flowing, graceful, and precise archery.
    • Rose Quartz. Her appearance and demeanor scream either "plucky princess" or "collected queen" depending on her mood. She was soft-spoken and kind, and made the decision to be a mother at the cost of her own corporeal existence. She also led a successful rebellion against Homeworld and was extremely capable of fighting with or without her sword and shield.
  • Emma (from Stoked) uses her alternative fighting style on the Hawaiian waves (which, in turn, is based around the art of surfing) while doing extreme jumps and spins.
  • While she was a Little Miss Badass in her youth, Ahsoka Tano has grown into a full example by Star Wars Rebels, graceful, composed, and one of the deadliest combatants in the series. She's even addressed as "Lady Tano".
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender has Princess Allura. The feminine and graceful leader of the Paladins, she pilots the Castle of Lions with a resolve of steel. If needed to get physical, she doesn't disappoint with her Super Strength and skill with a Simple Staff.

    Real Life 
  • In Japan, certain martial arts are considered highly compatible with traditional feminine ideals - among them are archery and naginatajutsu.
  • Saint Joan of Arc, at least in popular legend. Some historians have concluded that she was actually a charismatic standard-bearer with a talent for inspiring the troops. But this made her no stranger to battle, as being a standard-bearer was one of the more dangerous duties one could have on a battlefield.
  • Artemisia, Queen of Halicarnassus in the Greco-Persian Wars sailed in the Battle of Salamis in her own trieme. She was cunning and ruthless but at the same time she had a streak of style that makes it easy to see why sailors would follow her even though she was a Woman of Antiquity. The Persian King of Kings, when he got the report of her performance as opposed to the male commanders, is said to have quipped, "My men fight like women, and my woman fights like a man."
  • Any Finnish woman who has graduated from RUK (Reserve Officer Academy). The Finnish armed forces is notorious in the respect that it gives absolutely no handicaps for anyone because of gender. Those women who have made it through Reserve Officer Academy have done it with exactly the same requirements and standards as their male brethren. Many become later career officers or policewomen.
  • The Israelis. The Israeli army is based on universal conscription, including women, and those Israeli women who have served are tough as nails.
  • A pedantic note; female fighters of the samurai class were not unknown in mediaeval Japan, although the term "samurai" was never used: the term "onna-bugeisha", which can loosely be translated "lady of war", was employed.