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Action Girl / Myths & Religion

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  • The Scythians, which in Real Life had female warriors and their most well known rulers are war mongering queens like Tomyris, had Tabiti as their Top God. Other deities like Argimpasa and Api had kurgan depictions holding decapitated heads.
  • The Bible:
    • In Chapter 4 of Judges, Deborah, a prophetess and leader (or "judge") of Israel, leading her people to victory against a foreign enemy. Boudicea-like, she is a skilled charioteer.
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    • In the same story there's Jael, the wife of one of Deborah's generals, who put a tent peg through an enemy king's head. She's more of a Guile Hero, however, having manipulated the guy first before killing him when distracted.
    • Rahab, the madame of a brothel, gleans secrets from enemy soldiers in moments of distraction and passes them to the Israelites who are besieging the city.
    • There's also Plucky Girl Judith, who tricks an enemy general and cuts his head off to free the Jews from him.
  • In The Death of Koshchei the Deathless, Princess Marya Morevna is apparently a fierce and vicious warrior. However, she does come off as a bit of a Faux Action Girl when Koshchei the Deathless kidnaps her, turning her into a Damsel in Distress and forcing her Non-Action Guy husband to go on a quest to save her.
  • Egyptian mythology has Sekhmet, the very bloodthirsty lion-headed war goddess with titles like "Mistress of Dread" and "Lady of Slaughter".
  • Greek mythology features goddesses Athena, goddess of wisdom/intelligence, justice and war and Artemis, goddess of hunting, nature and the Moon.
    • Many goddesses actually, rather ironically given the patriarchal Greek culture. Hera was at times worshipped with a warrior aspect, and kicked the crap out of Artemis in the Trojan War. Selene, the Moon goddess, fought against freaking Typhon, many primordial goddesses are clearly much more powerful than Zeus himself (Nyx, for starters, which is why he never messes with her children), and Aphrodite had not only associations with war, but many nasty epithets associated with death and violence.
    • Also, the mortal heroine Atalanta, who was best known as a huntress (and unsurprisingly a devout follower of Artemis). She was the first to injure the Calydonian Boar, took part in Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece.
  • Durganote , from Hindu Mythology, is the goddess of victory of good over evil and very, very good at killing demons.
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  • St. Margaret of Antioch, also called Margaret the Dragon Slayer. Margaret fought off the advances of a local governor and was thrown into a dungeon with a dragon which she subdued with a crucifix. In art, the crucifix is actually a spear or longsword, the hilt forming the cross, and she battles the dragon in the same manner as St. George. After defeating the dragon, Satan appeared to her, and she wrestled him to the ground. She is also one of the saints that Joan of Arc claimed appeared to her.
  • The character of Hua Mulan, known for joining the army in place of her elderly father and too-young brother, fighting to the West of China, then going home and eventually dying of old age.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Freyja, the leader of the Valkyries. When she gets angry, she can make the whole of Asgard shake.
    • Sunna, who is on war with evil sky wolves, and actually left behind the Sowilo rune, which symbolises victory.
    • The valkyries are basically an Amazon Brigade of death incarnate.
  • In some depictions, Maid Marian of the Robin Hood legends. There's even a ballad (one of the Child Ballads) where Marian went to seek Robin, armed and in man's clothes, and when she met him, he was also in disguise — so they fought, for "at least an hour or more", before recognizing each other. Ironically, Marian started out as an Action Girl only for much later Hollywood adaptations (as in Errol Flynn's The Adventures of Robin Hood) to cast her as the Damsel in Distress. Only recently has she regained her original Action Girl status (Judi Trott in Robin of Sherwood and Lucy Griffiths in Robin Hood), though just as often she comes across as a Faux Action Girl (as in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves).
  • Mai Bhago was a Sikh woman who rallied fleeing warriors with her urges and taunts and her leadership ability and took them into battle against the forces of the Grand Mogul. As all Sikh women are princesses (which is what the common feminine Kaur, means), perhaps she would also be a Pretty Princess Powerhouse.
  • Nora of Kelmendi in Albanian legends was considered the greatest warrior woman in Albania (as well as the most beautiful one being compared to Helen of Troy), being born into a Roman Catholic warrior clan from the highlands and trained by her father since he had no sons to help him fight against the Ottoman Empire. She slayed an Ottoman warlord in a duel after refusing his proposal to join his harem because the law of Albanian Kanum forbidded marriage with non-Albanians. According to one version of the legend, she also led an army of 300 women into battle to defend her village from his army.
  • Victorious viking chief Odd of "The Story of King Odd" is actually a disguised woman.
  • The fairy tale character, Tatterhood (No relation to Little Red Riding Hood). She fights trolls (in some versions witches) while wielding a spoon and riding on a goat.
  • Celtic Mythology has Scathach, the warrior maiden who put the folk hero Cu Chulainn through Training from Hell.


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