WOMEN WHO RULE: Why We Are Obsessed With TV’s Most Formidable Females

Right now there’s a revolution going on in television land. Some of the biggest shows - attracting massive male and female audiences worldwide - feature strong, empowered women in the lead roles.
And by empowered we don’t mean ballsy, women-acting-like-men characters. We are talking about women who are multi-dimensional, intriguing and flawed. Some are leading the nation, some are barely surviving - all are real and absolutely compelling to watch. Here’s our list of TV women who rule:

Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) Big Little Lies

Madeline McKenzie

She’s smart, forthright, educated and confident. And when she’s passionate about something, get out of her way. If Madeline Mackenzie has a cause to champion she will fight for it to the death. She’s also loyal and bitingly funny, the kind of person everyone wants to hang out with. Time to make her your new best friend.

“I only do 20 hrs a week max. Between you and I, I try and maintain my full-time mommy status, so I can lord it over women like Renata and the other career mommies.”

Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) Veep

Selina Meyer

Being the first female president of the United States means you have to be doing something right. And in Selina Meyer’s case, it’s whatever is right for herself. Arrogant and entitled, she has defied the female odds and clawed her way to America’s highest office. She can browbeat any congressman into line but she’s way from perfect as a world leader – actually rather incompetent, which just makes this Emmy smash hit more realistic and hilarious. For a woman that packs the perfect political punch-line, we Vote1 Selina Meyer in Veep.

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) Game of Thrones

Sansa Stark

You could be forgiven for questioning Sansa’s inclusion in our list of “Women who Rule” if you had only watched her in the first season of Game of Thrones. Back then she was naive, idealistic and foolish. But Sansa has undergone one of the most complex character growths of this ground breaking series. The teen royal who endured unspeakable trauma has transformed into a shrewd, politically-savvy woman. Now unafraid to deliver ice-cold insults to Peytr Baelish or challenge her brother, the King in the North, Sansa is, above all things, a survivor. Something she will need now that Winter is here.

Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) Big Little Lies

Celeste Wright

When everyone admires your beauty, your hot husband, your perfect children and your luxurious lifestyle, the last thing you want to do is reveal the ugly truth, or worse, admit it to yourself. Instead Celeste focuses on her family’s happiness and her friends’ needs, supporting them generously and lovingly. This is a woman as complex as the predicament in which she finds herself. No one would want to step into her shoes but every viewer wants to walk alongside her...

Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) Westworld

Dolores Abernathy

Like Sansa Stark, Dolores Abernathy knows what it is to be at the mercy of men, particularly those who know nothing of such a virtue. Dolores is shy, passive and been subjected to untold suffering. Yet instead of it destroying her, Dolores discovers the strength and courage she needs to take control of her destiny. This is female empowerment at its best. Dolores Abernathy will no longer be defined by her past because now, she is the one taking control and seeking revenge.

Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) Big Little Lies

Jane Chapman

When 24-year-old single mum Jane Chapman arrives in money-soaked Monterey there seems nothing particularly remarkable about her. Yet that is precisely what makes her so interesting. And as we witness her trauma-riddled flashbacks, we discover that Jane is carrying a harrowing burden she has never shared with anyone. Hiding such a secret is not surprising but how Jane copes with it is honest, thought-provoking and undeniably great TV.

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) Game of Thrones


How good would it be to have a friend like GOT’s Brienne of Tarth? Loyal beyond comprehension, brave and a total gun in any fight, physical or verbal, Brienne of Tarth is a woman you want on your side. Just ask Jaime Lannister, who developed unexpected feelings for her. While he had only ever had eyes for Cersei, Jaime saw in Brienne the qualities that elevate her above so many others: honour, kindness, integrity and utter fearlessness.

“All my life men like you have sneered at me. And all my life I've been knocking men like you into the dust.”

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