A detective sergeant and a mother, she's thrown into a situation she's not prepared to deal with but her compassion continually shines through.
Rose always puts others first and looks out for people many don't notice. Martha balances what everyone wants from her and stands up for herself. Donna sees the Doctor as he is and encourages people to be their best, even with her own insecurities. Sarah Jane is like another Doctor and adopts *all* the kids.
Win and Joan Thursday
It's the 60s - Win, the mother of the Thursday family stays home and Joan, her daughter, has a job, and both are portrayed as good and important. Joan is funny and a bit adventurous and Win supports her family through thick and thin. (Dorothea Frazil is cool too)
Cully and Joyce Barnaby and Gail Stephens
Daughter and wife of the lead detective, Cully and Joyce both have an interest in the arts (whether as a career or a hobby). Cully knows what she wants and works toward it, and Joyce likes to try new things and be involved in the community. Gail Stephens is a police officer and while junior to Barnaby and Jones, she has a different set of skills to contribute to investigations.
Molly has such a great character arc as she starts out as an awkward, love-sick, mouse and establishes herself and gets the respect she deserves. But it's the two sides of her existing simultaneously that make her so relatable. Also shout out to some other awesome women of Sherlock - Mrs. Hudson, Mary Morstan, Sally Donovan, Anthea, Janine, and Sarah.
The Lord of the Rings
She's a leader and sacrifices what she wants for the good of others, not to mention brave and resourceful and all-around awesome. Shout out to the many other women of Middle-Earth as well.
Her hard work and patient study make her the "brightest witch of her age," and she is strong and flawed and beautiful and loyal and keeps her friends together.
How to summarize the awesomeness of Maya... She seems so real in that she has multiple sides to herself and surprises you as you get to know her. She's quirky and spunky most of the time but doubts her abilities and her worth. Throughout the series she works through personal tragedies while doing anything she can to help her friends. Franziska is also an amazing character I could go on about.
This is getting long so to say a few more:
Lizzie, Jane, and Lydia Bennet from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Ahsoka, Padme, Leia, Siri, Bant, and many others from Star Wars
Carolyn Knapp-Shappey from Cabin Pressure
Emma Swan and others from Once Upon a Time
Fanny Price from Mansfield Park
Several of my favorite characters are guys, but these women are particularly special. I find many of them are realistic, relatable, and a great part of their story. For those in current series, hopefully this will continue! Who are your favorite female characters?