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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 princess, she tends to be otherwise highly placed, or at least look and act like it. If she's not a gentle-mannered Yamato Nadeshiko, she may be Tall, Dark and Bishoujo 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 held up as a sex symbol the way most female warriors are, or at least not quite so obviously. 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 Hot Amazon)
A Lady of War is almost always given an elegant weapon that emphasizes her femininity -- often a bow, rapier or naginata, 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.
In terms of physical capabilities, she's usually some form of the Fragile Speedster (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.
A pre-teen Lady of War is always Little Miss Badass.
Contrasted by Shorttank 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.
Pretty much anyone with the title "Lady" in an Action Adventure story will 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 Archetype. 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.
Note, a Lady of War is not just any female character who can fight or participates in combat. That would be an Action Girl, although nearly all Ladies of War are also Action Girls. A Lady of War is further distinguished by her grace and dignity as well as her combat aptitude. Essentially, she's the Distaff Counterpart to an Officer and a Gentleman. A Lady of War who uses magic instead of a more corporeal weapon is a Lady of Black Magic. 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.
Anime & Manga
- 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.
- Subverted, the only reason she uses her axe/glaive is that she's holding back, she's actually deadlier and more brutal without it.
- 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.
- Axis Powers Hetalia plays with this trope quite a bit. Vietnam seems to play this straight, but Hungary and Belarus both have the looks despite the fact that they are actually Boisterous Bruisers. Ukraine appears to be a Fragile Flower, but her profile practically describes her as this. Not only that, but she also carries a saber with her military uniform.
- Elizabeth Middleford of Black Butler. So much. This sweet, adorable and harmless Damsel in Distress reveals herself as such in Chapter 57. She desperately wanted for her fiancé Ciel to not see her "uncute" side, so she deliberately hid her badass side. Right up until when Ciel despite his best efforts ends up injured and unable to save her in danger himself, then she leaps into the air and takes down the zombies with swords in both hands while tearfully declaring that she'll protect him.
- Lizzie's mother qualifies as well.
- In Berserk, Farneze looks like this when she first appears, but turns out to be anything but. Casca during her time with the Hawks was also an example, at least until the Eclipse went down.
- Mion Sonozaki from the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni altverse sequel manga, Yoigoshi-hen. This also applies to her twin sister Sion, whose body she is possessing.
- Bleach has a few examples of these.
- Rukia Kuchiki doesn't look like she qualifies for this trope initially - she's hot-tempered, her uniform is ill-fitting, and she not adverse to chewing out her male friends if she thinks they're being idiots (while being hot-tempered but nurturing to her female ones). However, this rough exterior hides an inner grace that only comes through when she fights. This inner grace has given birth to a zanpakutou that is acknowledged in the manga as being a strong contender for being Soul Society's most beautiful zanpakutou. Her fighting style is based on Chinese ribbon and water dances, with her zanpakutou being named Sode no Shirayuki (Sleeve of White Snow - a nod to Chinese water dancing) and possessing 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 powers themselves are called dances during the activation command. When Rukia finally achieved Bankai, she fits in her to a T too - she even gains a more regal look as she pretty much becomes trhe Shinigami version of a Yuki-Onna, not unlike Shirayuki herself.
- Retsu Unohana is one of these according to the Bleach Character Book of Souls and Official Bleach Bootleg. She is considered the most beautiful woman in Soul Society and is amongst the most serene and gentle in demeanour and behaviour. However, shinigami are terrified of incurring her wrath and her kendou abilities are supposed to be unsuppassed. Unfortunately, for a long time the manga didn't show what the data books said, other than a Death Glare or two... And completely but awesomely averted it when it did: Unohana is actually a terrifying Blood Knight when she finally gets to fight.
- Sephira in Black Cat.
- 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 win World War III, 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 kill your ass without hesitation.
- Blade of the Immortal has Otono-Tachibana Makie. Achievements so far: At the approximate age of ten she sliced a rabid wild dog in two, lengthwise, and then proceeded with butchering another 3-5 dozen of them; The Hero of the series, Manji, an immortal swordsman, lost to her BIG TIME; the Big Bad of the series, Anotsu Kagehisa, has admitted, while she effortlessly slaughtered a dozen shingyoutou-ryuu samurai, that he has always known that he will never catch up to her; the other Big Bad Habaki Kagimura knows right away she can kill him and all his goons after two of them run away from her and wind up trembling at the thought of fighting her. Naturally, she is much Too Powerful to Live and develops tubercolosis.
- Zakuro-chan, Dokuro's little sister from Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan.
- In Casshern Sins, Sophita combines this with Hot Chick with a Sword, 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. She may be a bit simple for this trope, but I don't think that "chick with sword" honestly describes her well enough.
- 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 two things stop her from being a full example. One, her attack style as a "jewel summoner" (summoning spirits to battle for her with jewels) allows her to come across as elegant and mysterious...but it also means she's not doing a whole lot of the actual fighting herself. Two, 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, but also 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!
- CLAMP has Ladies of War all over the place in their series, two good examples of many being Karura of RG Veda and Amaterasu of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, as well as her differently-named RG Veda counterpart.
- Magic Knight Rayearth Umi and Fuu (rapier and bow respectively) Even when the whole team gets their weapons switched for two-handed swords, they still fight like this...
- Sakura Kinomoto becomes this when she uses the powers of The Sword to fight, contrasting with her usual Magical Girl Warrior approach as well as with Li Meiling's Cute Bruiser.
- Arguably, also Ruby Moon. While they are non-gendered, as Nakuru they like to identify themselves as female...
- Claymore has Galatea, with Teresa and Miria being close seconds. 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 Code Geass, Princess Cornelia is a more vicious than usual example. The Black Knights have Todou's lieutenant, Nagisa Chiba.
- It's implied that Empress Marianne also fits the bill. In one of the licensed novels, she uses her Humongous Mecha to threaten a snotty fellow consort who was harassing her children...all without dropping her sweet, motherly attitude. Action Mom, indeed.
- Implied again when the Knight of One, the strongest fighter in the Empire, noted that the only person who forced him to use a Geass in combat outside Kururugi Suzaku was Marianne.
- Implied no more: when Marianne returns in the body of Anya Alstreim, she shows that being dead for eight years did absolutely nothing to degrade her piloting skills.
- Crest/Banner of the Stars has several, including but not limited to Lexshue, Spoor (although she's of the more Axe Crazy variety), and Loic. Lafiel is a very successful Lady of War in Training.
- D.Gray-man has Lenalee Lee, a friendly, softspoken Dance Battler who serves up coffee in her spare time. Klaud Nine and Lulu Bell also fit, with their reserved attitudes.
- 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 (Gainaxing aside) 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 she succeeded at it.
- Dog Days gives
PrincessYour Majesty, Leonmichelle and Brische.
- Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail. Unlike most Ladies of War she tends to provide as much and more Fan Service as every other woman in this manga, as her magical power is conjuring various magic armors, most of which seem to be designed for making her sexier at least as much, as for enhancing her combat abilities. Word of God says that after getting fed up with the lack of pretty armor available she scared a major fashion designer into designing all her outfits for her. However, that does not prevent her from being one of the strongest warriors in the manga and the biggest resident Badass.
- Also Urtear, Ikaruga and Angel as villianous variants.
- Juvia as well.
- Freezing has Satellizer, Elizabeth, Chiffon.
- Yu Lan in Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid.
- Captain Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa is a Moe of War. She's not much physically, but she's one of the more dangerous tacticians and strategists.
- Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist. She is legitimately terrifying, cool as a cucumber, powerful as hell, incredibly competent, and also a bit of a dick. She can call Ed short and he doesn't even try to argue. She refuses to abandon her subordinates, though she refuses to actually admit she cares. They are very loyal.
- Riza and Lan Fan as well.
- Fushigi Yuugi gives us again a male example: Hotohori, the Emperor of Konan. It certainly helps that he looks like one.
- 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
- The Gundam series has several.
- Mobile Suit Gundam had one of the very first anime examples in Princess Kycilia Zabi, eldest sister and Evil Genius of the Zabi family. She's generally considered one of the highest ranked officers in all of Zeon, an excellent strategist and a noteworthy ship captain. Near the end of the series, she Assassinates her brother and The Starscream Prince Gihren to usurp command of Zeon, upon the grounds that he had just killed Sovereign Degwin and would've been executed anyway. This doesn't last long, however, before Char comes by and delivers a headshot with a BAZOOKA, through the shield of her flagship.
- Zeta Gundam has the character of Haman Karn. Although initially the Man Behind the Man for the growing powers of Axis, she eventually becomes the full-on leader. She has an impressive mind for military tactics, but her skill truly shines on the battlefield, inside her trusty Quebely, in which she's able to defeat even Char Aznable.
- Note that both of the above are rare villainous examples. Yoshiyuki Tomino seemed to really like this trope for his villainesses. Two examples coming from the fields of the good guys would be Lieutenant Emma Sheen, the Team Mom of the AEUG in Zeta Gundam, and Cecily Fairchild/Belah Rona from Mobile Suit Gundam F91.
- Gundam Wing has Lady Une, Lucrezia Noin and Dorothy Catalonia. Relena Darlian gets a tiny honorary mention for shooting at Lady Une while wearing a white gown and for wearing a military uniform in both artwork and the second OP.
- Gundam Seed has Cagalli Yula Athha. She's the Rebellious Princess of Orb who first infiltrates Heliopolis to discover evidence of Morgenrate's double dealing, then travels to war torn North Africa to fight as part of a guerrilla band against Andrew Waltfeld. She later meets Athrun Zala and nearly kills him on two occasions before falling in love with him. She pilots the Sky Grasper when fighting alongside the Archangel and eventually gets the Strike Rouge. After her father's death she becomes the commander in chief of the remaining Orb forces and fully becomes this trope. During the sequel she tries in-fighting and fails, temporarily becoming The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask... but in the second half she resurges and solidifies her power, facing down Durandal first with her new golden Akastuki Gundam and later with the combined forces of the Terminal and the Orb space fleet. At the end of the series, she and her close friend Lacus Clyne are the most powerful people in Earth and space respectively all at the age of 18. Oh and she is the twin sister of the Ultimate Coordinator Kira Yamato.
- 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.
- Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing from Hellsing, who's more than willing to take to the battlefield when necessary.
- 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 has Saeko and Yuriko, Saya's mom.
- In Ikki Tousen, Kan'u Unchou skirts between this and Hot Amazon 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.
- Infinite Stratos has Houki, Chifuyu, Cecelia and Charlotte.
- Kikyou and Sango in Inuyasha, particularly impressive in Sango's case since, rather than any of the usual weapons, her weapon of choice is a pseudo-empathic Precision-Guided Boomerang bigger than she is. She does also have a sword, but seems to use it only as a backup weapon (along with an assortment of hidden blades and other neat tricks). Nevertheless, she is the Yamato Nadeshiko to Kagome's Plucky Girl. Not to mention Kagura, who's weapon is a pretty fan and her attacks are named after dances.
- Shizuku Sango in Kämpfer.
- In Karano 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.
- Ryouko Kurosaki in Kemeko Deluxe .
- Weapons master Shigure in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.
- The same manga also 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.
- Also Miu as well graceful and she takes care of the Ryozanpaku.
- Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? has Seraphim, Yuu, Seras and Kyouko.
- Kujibiki Unbalance parodies this with Kasumi Kisaragi, a Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Kid Samurai Ojou Defrosting Ice Queen Stepford Smiler Miko Yakuza Mafia Princess Student Body Vice-President.
- Lady Snowblood who was also one of the inspirations for Kill Bill's O-Ren Ishii, pictured above.
- A number of females in Mahou Sensei Negima could qualify. Princess Arika in particular.
- Kaede is also an excellent example, as is Setsuna.
- Fate Testarossa in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, especially in later seasons. In Nanoha A's, Signum is even more so. Fate is a Fragile Speedster, while Signum has sufficient defense and attack strength to be a Jack of All Stats or even a Lightning Bruiser.
- Nanoha herself qualifies, especially in Nanoha Striker S. A Yamato Nadeshiko armed with Wave Motion Gun, and when she fights, she fights.
- Also, Ginga Nakajima, who is a Yamato Nadeshiko in regular life but extremely deadly in a fight. This is especially evident in contrast with her Bokukko little sister (actually, a fellow, albeit younger clone of their late mother) Subaru.
- Mamoru Nagano. Due to his aestethic preferences most of his female characters are these, especially in The Five Star Stories. Almost all females there are both a) Action Girls, and b) Ladies of War.
- 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, and ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT KILL HER OPPONENTS!!! 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.
- In Mai-HiME, Shizuru Fujino is always ever-so-graceful, even when holding a giant naginata in her hands. Just don't make her angry, or win her affection.
- Her counterpart from Mai-Otome, Shizuru Viola, is probably an even better example. Everything Fujino has, she has too, without the whole 'goes batshit insane' thing. On the other hand, she's a bit more sexualized as well.
- Miss Maria Graceburt was this when she was young, wielding a mean rapier and possessing lightning-fast reflexes.
- Her counterpart from Mai-Otome, Shizuru Viola, is probably an even better example. Everything Fujino has, she has too, without the whole 'goes batshit insane' thing. On the other hand, she's a bit more sexualized as well.
- Konan is an elegant and stoic Paper Master who gives There Is No Kill Like Overkill a new meaning. 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 which explodes for ten full minutes, and even after being stabbed through the chest, she was about to show another technique.
- Hinata Hyuuga evolves into one as a part of her Character Development. The swift, elegant yet deadly traditional fighting style of the Hyuuga clan already was very fitting for this trope, and when she becomes stronger and more confident she makes it work VERY well.
- In One Piece, Robin has phlebotinous powers that mean she can take down scores of enemies without moving an inch.
- Boa Hancock puts a whole new meaning to the
tropeterm: Love Hurts when she takes anyone who pisses her off (but lusts for her) for granite. If she's in a good mood, she'll simply be a Jerkass to you. Partly, 'cause she trusts no one. Except Monkey D. Luffy. If it comes down to hand to hand, she favors kicking people in the face, which has a certain elegance of its own, and when combined with her stone powers is freaking effective.
- Boa Hancock puts a whole new meaning to the
- Twilight Suzuka in Outlaw Star. She uses a wooden sword, but in her hands it performs little differently from a LIGHTSABER.
- Pokémon has several female trainers who are very much like this as they command their Pokémon in battlefield. Some of them are: Erika, Jeannette/Kaoruko, Prima/Lorelei, the Kimono Sisters (sans the youngest, Sakura-chan, as she's too young and inexperienced to fit the trope, but is starting to get there), Katie/Kaede, Clair/Ibuki, Lucy/Azami, Anabel/Reira, Soledad/Saori and Cynthia/Shirona.
- Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke. We actually get to see the warrior part first, when she shoots a giant wolf. Then we meet the lady part, and finally the warrior part emerges again in an attempted invasion of her town, and the fight against San, who was Raised by Wolves.
- Miyazaki is quite fond of ladies of war. Nausicaä and Princess Kushana from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind also apply.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Tomoe Mami. 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 bow like a proper lady and whip out a cup of tea to drink it post-battle. In fact, one moment she replaced her precision with recklessness at the thought of having friends, which proves to be disastrous as she's brutally killed by Charlotte due to missing her weak point.
- She even shares a name with Tomoe Gozen (look under Real Life). That HAS to be significant.
- 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.
- Ranma ½ has Nadoka Saotome, the title character's mom. A friendly, ladylike, calm woman who seldom isn't wearing her sword. However, her actual skill is debatable (and like much else in the series runs on Rule of Funny.) She's fumbled it often and nearly accidentally impaled people... and when actually wanting to do damage, has sliced through walls like butter.
- Ai from Real Bout High School can be a brutal opponent, and is one of the only characters who can stand up to G... but she's far too shy and reserved for her own good.
- Utena and Juri from Revolutionary Girl Utena. In fact, most of the cast of Utena are dignified female fencers. (Those who aren't Bishonen.
- Lady Oscar from Rose of Versailles.
- All of the dolls in Rozen Maiden qualify to some extent, none more so than Shinku.
- Michiru Kaiou, aka Sailor Neptune, from Sailor Moon. An elegant, refined, rich, famous, classy, and beautiful violin player who has no problem kicking your ass by whatever means is at her disposal. In fact, in the manga she has a pretty devastating attack in which she uses said violin to blast enemies to oblivion.
- Ami/Mercury is a bit of this when she gains more water blast-based attacks. In fact, she goes into Musical Assassin too with the Mercury Aqua Rhapsody.
- Rei Hino/Sailor Mars would also count as one, at least in the manga. In the anime, she's more Hot-Blooded, but her favorite attack as of the Super S series is the very graceful Mars Flame Sniper, in which she elegantly summons a bow and arrow made of fire.
- Setsuna Meiou/Sailor Pluto, owner of the pretty spiffy Garnet Rod.
- Takane Shishidou, from Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo.
- 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, who is simultaneously Badass, elegant, and dangerously insane.
- Astharoshe "Asta-san" Asran from Trinity Blood.
- While Reiha and Miyu from Vampire Princess Miyu are Ladies Of Black Magic, Miyu's rival from the second OAV, Ranka, lands herself a spot here due to being both a puppeteer and a Razor Floss user.
- Angel Salvia from Wedding Peach.
- Reina Sohou from Witchblade, at least in terms of ass kicking. Otherwise, she's a laconic Hot Scientist with some serious social interaction problems. She's also an Action Mom by the way.
- Karen/Cure Aqua from Yes! Pretty Cure 5. She even occasionally uses a sword: it's not a rapier, mind you, but since the standard for Pretty Cure is fists, it's reasonably the local equivalent.
- Yumekui Merry has Engi Threepiece.
- Naomi Fluegel from Zoids: New Century Zero is the Lady of War to Lina Toros's less-than-cute Berserker. Though they both use the same model of Zoid -- the Gunsniper -- Lina has turned hers into a walking gunboat, to facilitate her unrestrained carpet-bombing tactics. Save for a custom red paint-job (which should raise warning flags to Genre Savvy viewers), Naomi's Zoid is unremarkable. She uses it as the excellent sniping machine that it is, and she's very, very good at it.
- 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.
- Ishizu Ishtar of Yu-Gi-Oh!. She may fight using card games, but considering how she's very elegant but damn deadly with the monsters she summons through said cards, she fits here PERFECTLY.
- Lady Chian, from Arion Lord Of Atlantis, captain of King D'Tilluh's royal guard,.
- Lady Quark from Crisis on Infinite Earths and L.E.G.I.O.N.
- Alice from Lullaby, who is also the Hand of the Queen and The Hero of the series, in addition to being the most competent fighter in the group. She also single-handedly won a tremendous war.
- 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.
- Katana, from Outsiders and Batman and the Outsiders (who actually Is Just Better, thanks for asking) of the various series.
- Also from the DC/Batman universe is Lady Shiva.
- Sorceress-Major Maya Antares from The Red Star. Her best friend Captain Goncharova is more of a Cute Bruiser.
- Most of the Angels that appear in Spawn.
- The main cast of Sisterhood Of Steel.
- Wonder Woman, in her most recent incarnation.
- Storm from the X-Men.
- Miho from Sin City.
- Princess Kavatah from Megalex. She wears elegant - if revealing - dresses and also leads her troops to war.
- In Costanza / Costanzo, Costanza combines all the ladylike graces, and great learning, with this. It helps when she's Sweet Polly Oliver.
And over and above all these excellencies she mastered completely the art of war in learning how to gentle horses, and to handle arms, and to run in the lists as if she had been a strong and well-trained man-at-arms and not a damsel. In jousting, indeed, she was so skilled that she ofttimes came out of the contest victorious, just as if she had been one of those valorous knights who are held worthy of the highest honour
- Blood 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.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure Dragon has Susan Chan, who even as Cure Fortune tends to be graceful in her fighting style.
- Avatar has Neytiri.
- In The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Susan Pevensie (otherwise known as Queen Susan 'the Gentle') is most definitely one.
- In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale's Muriella tries to be this, but her only fights are a training session with Tavish at the beginning and a short magical duel with Gallian at the end. When faced with Fallow and his men, she simply runs away, letting the wood nymphs handle them.
- 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.
- 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.
- O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, and also the Japanese character she was based on, Lady Snowblood.
- In Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler usually wears victorian dresses and walks with a grace about her. However, she is very adept with a dagger and if you are not careful, you could end up naked and handcuffed to a bed.
- The Star Wars movies. Padme Amidala from the prequels participates in aggressive negotiations when given no other choice.
- Her daughter, Leia, naturally takes after her.
- Underworld Selene (Kate Beckinsale). Who said gun slinging can't be elegant?
- Also her spiritual predecessor of sorts, Sonja, though she goes for more traditional longswords... and dual wields them!
- Wuxia films. Pretty much a standard character class:
- Marion Loxley in Ridley Scott's version of Robin Hood is shown fending off poachers with her excellent archery skills and can hold her own against the invading French soldiers in a sword fight. She sleeps with a dagger too. Oh and she does it all while wearing long dresses.
- Serafina Pekkala and the rest of the witches in The Golden Compass in their three minutes of screentime make for one awesome Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Nina Yashenko in Silk Stockings. At 16, she was "the head of an anti-aircraft gun crew." Two years later, she was "the captain of a woman's tank corps" in the Soviet Union in World War II.
- Elizabeth: The Golden Age makes Elizabeth I into one of these. Historically accurate to a point at least, although she didn't actually fight.
- Agent Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger is always the classy lady with perfect poise, who steps toe-to-toe with the most grizzled Army generals.
- Weird example, but Mothra of Godzilla fame. Sure she's a gigantic insect, but she's quiet, respectful, plays mom to both her own larva and the people of her island, acts as a mix of The Smart Guy and The Chick in team-ups, is probably the smartest monster in the series, and is genuinely friendly to people. She's very feminine in appearance as well (being you know, a giant butterfly), and in terms of badassery, well, she killed Godzilla in one of the movies, something that creatures like King Ghidorah can only dream of.
- Good Omens has, well...War. The sexy, elegant incarnation of destruction and combat. She fights only once, when she gets her sword after centuries of waiting, and that is described very, very briefly. Carnage, however, does not even enter into it.
- 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.
- Though Lucy certainly qualifies when she matures, even learning the bow herself so as to lead troops into battle instead of remaining simply The Medic.
- Mitrian, after receiving training from Rache and Colbey in the Renshai trilogy.
- The Renshai tribe is pretty much built on this.
- Averted with most other tribes, leading to Mitrian running away from Santagithi's Town.
- The Renshai tribe is pretty much built on this.
- The majority of major the female characters in Dragaera. Especially Aliera and Sethra Lavode.
- Though averted with Daro, Countess of Whitecrest. Her prowess with a sword is implied, but in the only scene in the entire saga in which she has a sword on hand she is almost immediately whipped by the assassin there to kill Khaavren.
- 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.
- The series is, in fact, full of dignified female warriors. MWW seems to love this trope, and Eric Flint is obviously the same here.
- To elaborate: Coup de Vitesse (french for "Fast Blow") is a balls-to-the-wall offensive style. It has defensive maneuvers, but overall it's predicated on the theory that no defense is as good as being the only one left standing.
- The Old Kingdom series. Sabriel grows into this role over the course of the first book. Her successor tends a little more towards the "magic" side of the Abhorsen's Magic Knight-like role.
- Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. Even before she disguises herself as a man to fight in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, she makes it clear that she knows how to handle herself in a fight, since the women of Rohan are trained in swordplay to defend their homes. Arwen was set up to be a Lady of War in the film adaptation of the first book, but her plot fizzled in the second and third, where she remained mostly off-screen.
- In The Silmarillion, Arwen's grandmother, Galadriel, actually was one in canon.
- According to one version of Tolkien's drafts, elven women can fight as well as men and the only reason they don't is that it reduces their elven healing powers.
- Luthien Tinuviel. Not only does she rescue her beloved by defeating Sauron in a contest of magic but together they steal a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth himself. Luthien was the most beautiful being in the history of Middle Earth and she was the baddest of badasses. With Beren she founded a loooong line of mortal and immortal folk one wouldn't want to mess with.
- In the Lost Tales version of the Fall of Gondolin, Idril is one, fighting with a sword to defend her young son.
- In The Silmarillion, Arwen's grandmother, Galadriel, actually was one in canon.
- Queen Selenay from Valdemar, when she has to be.
- 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.
- In The Bible, there's Judge Deborah and Judith the widow. Possibly Lady Yael as well.
- The Tortall books by Tamora Pierce, Keladry fits this trope perfectly. Alanna is close, though she's more like a Magic Knight who happens to be female. We also have all the Yamani women, which makes sense since the Yamani Isles are basically the Tortallverse's equivalent of Japan.
- And in the prequel Beka Cooper Trilogy, we have Lady Sabine.
- And Queen Thayet, and most Yamani women.
- Holding the Zero by Gerald Seymour. Meda, the charismatic Kurd peasant girl.
- Nasuada, leader of La Résistance in The Inheritance Cycle.
- 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.
- Jennsen Rahl
- Verna Sauventreen
- Nicci and the other Sisters of the Dark.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has Tenel Ka the princess, and later Queen Mother, of the Hapes Consortium. She trained in her mid to late adolesence at the Jedi academy at Yavin IV before taking the throne in early adulthood.
- Even more so than in the films, Leia can switch between effortlessly gliding through galactic high society, and dicing baddies with a lightsaber.
- Rhian from Godspeaker Trilogy by Karen Miller.
- Miss Gard from The Dresden Files. While there's very little finesse about a massive axe and a huge Viking-style shield, she certainly has the personality down. Being a Valkyrie helps.
- Murphy, too, what with the refined fighting style, compact but deadly-accurate gun, and the katana.
- The Bennets in Pride and Prejudice And Zombies. It's the natural path to take when turning Pride and Prejudice into a zombie-packed action fest.
- 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).
- In Dragonlance, Laurana is an incredibly beautiful and graceful elven princess and a deadly shot with a bow.
- Bananach, also known as Lady War, from Wicked Lovely. Her title says it all, really.
- While Sten is packed with Action Girls that kick ass and chew bubblegum, Lady Atago personifies this trope. She's The Stoic Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Proud Warrior Race Guy who puts Honor Before Reason and makes a Heroic Sacrifice.
- In Seven Men of Gascony, Nicholette is a cantiniere(wine-seller) with a French infantry regiment. She was raised on campaign as a girl camp follower , and knew all the tricks of surviving by the time she was sixteen. In the she is romanticized as being ladylike and graceful as well as hardy fitting the romantic picture of cantiniere's . Real Life ones of course were nothing of the sort, though they were tough gals as indeed they had to be.
- Hulik do Eldel in The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz. Beautiful, graceful, tough, resourceful, and ladylike. (Does not particularly like being chased by robot spiders. Shreds the baddie who does so.)
- Discworld's Lady Sybil. While she spends most of her time darning socks and trying to get her husband to eat right, she makes a point that women in her family have quite a history with this trope:
Lady Sybil: Sir Reynold, in the Year of the Lice, my great-grandmother once cooked, personally, a full dinner for eighteen in a military deboubt that was entirely surrounded by bloodthirsty Klatchians, and she felt able to include sorbet and nuts. My grandmother, in the Year of the Quiet Monkey, defended our embassy in Pseudopolis against a mob, with no assistance but that offered by a gardener, a trained parrot, and a pan of hot cooking fat. My late aunt, when our coach was once held up at bowpoint by two desperate highwaymen, gave them such a taling-to that they actually ran away crying for their mothers, Sir Reynold, their mothers. We are no stranger to danger, Sir Reynold.
- Also, she raises dragons.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lady Maigrey Morianna in Margaret Weis's Space Opera series The Star of the Guardians. Cool, composed, beautiful plus a master swordswoman and an ace pilot.
- Yambu, the Silver Queen, is this in the Books of Swords. She is fairly earthy in her manner, however, at least for a queen.
- Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is full of these. From the various holders of the title of Amyrlin Seat (mostly), to several warrior queens, to Faile, and Elaine. Most prefer to be generals.
Live Action TV
- Maid Marian in some versions of Robin Hood, notably the 2006 BBC series, in which she provides an interesting contrast to Djaq, the Cute Bruiser. Though the Lady of War is usually the elder of the two fighting warrior-types, in this case the refined Marian is definitely the younger of the two women.
- Firefly/Serenity has Inara. An elegant, graceful, cultured, highly educated and very feminine, glamorous woman, she's trained in sword-fighting, a skill she once tries to teach Mal. She has some unarmed combat skill, which we get a brief glimpse of in "Our Mrs Reynolds" and in the film, she reveals archery skill. It's also possible that graceful River Tam will also develop into this in time, given her own training.
- "Princess" Yaeko in Heroes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Morgana from the BBC series Merlin is quite literally a Lady, and she can kick your ass.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine plays it straight with Jadzia Dax, an elegant and graceful fighter, but averts it harshly with Kira Nerys, who grew up under the Cardassian Occupation and was a leader of the Bajoran Resistance and as a result is not afraid to fight dirty.
- Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5. She is very pretty, and her uptight manner just makes her more attractive. She is also very classy and dignified in bearing. But not one to be triffled with.
- Delenn too, though she is officially a diplomat. She is one of the most ladylike ladies of war in fiction but she can be remarkably ferocious.
- Actually she is quite a bit more then a diplomat; she is The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask. It is hard to pin down her exact status at times, not least because that varied with the vagaries of Minbari politics. We know she was a Satai and was once considered for head, as well as once making herself head by blackmailing everyone else with attempted Self-Immolation. She is also Entil Zha. We don't know her other titles though she obviously has a lot of official clout in the religious caste. It is safe to say that with her official and unofficial power she is the most powerful woman in Minbar.
- Ivanova seems more warlike and Delenn more ladylike on the whole. Susan has something of a militaristic bluntness to her which Delenn doesn't have; Susan looks odd in civvies for instance, and often acts as One of the Boys. Susan is a soldier, no ifs ands or buts. Delenn is an aristocratic Proper Lady; she is also The Heart, though that makes it all the more striking when she is being a Badass Princess.
- Delenn too, though she is officially a diplomat. She is one of the most ladylike ladies of war in fiction but she can be remarkably ferocious.
- Ziva David from NCIS.
- Also Kai, the North Korean assassin from S7 Ep7, "Endgame."
- Rommey from Andromeda. Heck she was a gigantic warship!
- Kahlan from Legend of the Seeker, who frequently battles in slow-motion with knives without mussing her pretty medieval dresses.
- Amanda King from Scarecrow and Mrs. King. She is seemingly gentle and timid but she can be remarkably effective at covert warfare.
- Doctor Who's River Song keeps a cool attitude, while making even the Daleks beg for mercy.
- Chuck has General Beckman.
- Nikita from the CW show Nikita fulfills this trope with her beautiful clothes and flowing hair. Sometimes her partner, Alexandra Udinov, crosses into this trope as well.
- Teyla from Stargate Atlantis fits this trope, able to kick ass in a long skirt just as well as in fatigues.
- Miyuki Ozu and her Power Rangers counterpart Udonona. They eacg 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.
- Jadzia Dax in Deep Space Nine. Besides being skilled at modern warfare, she knows Klingon martial arts and is a Hot Chick With A Bat'leth.
- Star Trek TOS: The female Romulan commander in "The Enterprise Incident".
- Captain Kathryn Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager is definitely one. She's also unafraid to get her hands dirty when the situation calls for it.
Mythology And Religion
- In Babylonian Mythology, Ishtar was a goddess of love and war.
- Sekhmet in Egyptian Mythology.
- Greek mythology. Goddess Athena (known as Minerva to the Romans) is primarily the goddess of wisdom and crafts, but is also a goddess of defensive 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. Thanks to Athena, this trope is Older Than Feudalism.
- Athena was more the goddess of strategic and efficient warfare, whereas Ares was responsible for fighting for fighting's sake.
- She also emphasized training, martial discipline etc. in keeping with provenance over wisdom, knowledge and philosophy. In other words Ares was a warrior who started fights, and Athena a peacekeeper who ended them. So, a Lady of War and a Badass Bookworm in one.
- Actually, it was Eris that went around starting fights/wars.
- Artemis, goddess of the hunt, probably also counts.
- In The Illiad, Homer specifies that, while she is very good at battle and vengeance as well as hunting, Artemis was not a martial goddess and sided with the Trojans for her brother's sake. Then again you get the feeling he doesn't like her much. He has her run crying to Zeus after getting boxed around the ears by Hera, nagging and getting told to shut up by her twin brother who is usually friendly and even overprotective, and healing the son of Aphrodite, who killed one of her favourites (Hippolytus) and is constantly making Zeus fall in love with/rape her virgin followers. She was also describe as tom-boyish and wild, not elegant, being the goddess of hunting and nature and all.
- In Norse Mythology, Freyja was a goddess of love, beauty, fertility, magic, war, battle and death. Freyja receives every other slain Norse warrior after a battle. They dwell in her field of Fólkvangur, whereas the other half goes to Valhöll, Óðinn's hall.
- In Biblical Mythology, you have Deborah, the 4th Judge of Israel and someone so badass that the male General she appointed refused to go to war without her.
- 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."). Other minor examples include Livonya Silone, Purraj of Urborg, Fumiko the Lowblood, and Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile.
- Many angels in the game also seem to embody the trope, if only because, well, they're angels, and they're often depicted as women.
- 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. 
- Alusair Nacacia Obarskyr, also known as "Steel Princess" and later "Steel Regent" of Cormyr. While her father still ruled, she wrote the "Field Guide to Tactics" for her army -- backed up by lots of personal experience. About from the age when she was able to ride she was largely absent in the palace except on official occasions... which was good for everyone involved.
Hell on horseback, all ego and fury, with talent to match. Every time she comes home, bets are heavy among the kitchen staff as to how long it'll be before she and her father get into a row about politics that breaks half the goblets and platters!
- In Warhammer 40000, female Inquisitors and Imperial Guard officers tend to fall into this category, as do some Sisters of Battle and most female Eldar (their dwindling numbers mean that all Eldar must be able to take up arms if their Craftworld is threatened, if not as a full fledged Aspect Warrior then as part of a Guardian militia). The Sisters as a whole, however, like to avoid this, as they tend to be scarred, muscular, and carry the same heavy weapons into battle as the all-male Space Marines.
- Legend of the Five Rings is all over this trope. There are entire schools dedicated to turning out Lady of War samurai, most notably in the Unicorn and Lion clans.
- Exalted has, among many other exemples, Tepet Ejawa the Roseblack, Dragon-Blooded general and member of House Tepet. Loved by her troops, popular in the Realm and considered a threat in the bid for succession.
- Gali from Bionicle.
- Most Toa of Water would qualify really.
- Inphyy from Ninety-Nine Nights.
- Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda series, on the occasions when she fights alongside Link, contributes as The Archer. In Super Smash Bros, she's either a Glass Cannon sorceress or a Fragile Speedster Ninja, depending on her form.
- In Spirit Tracks, she's fighting as an Animated Armor, the complete opposite of her previous two battle-forms. Thought it is played straight in the final battle against Malladus.
- In Twilight Princess, it's also implied that the lady knight Ashei falls into this category. However, we see very little of her in actual battle.
- Nariko from Heavenly Sword.
- The Final Fantasy series.
- Final Fantasy VI has General Celes Chere.
- Final Fantasy IX has both a heroic version, Freya Crescent, as well as a villainous before her Heel Face Turn version, General Beatrix. Every time you have to fight her, it's a Hopeless Boss Fight, where she knocks you down to 1 hit point and leaves you utterly defeated. She then subverts Good Is Dumb by briefly fighting on your side later and being even more powerful.
- Final Fantasy XII has Ashe, although with an outfit like that, the "not a sex symbol" bit is rather dubious. Then again, that game also had Fran, so it's relative.
- Judge Magister Drace. It doesn't get more Lady of War than the highest-ranking military authority in the Archadian Empire, decked out head-to-toe in armor, and so devoted to justice and to the Law as to call out Vayne, the recently self-appointed autocrat right to his face.
- 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.
- Final Fantasy Tactics' Agrias falls into this. She's the Princess's dedicated bodyguard, and a lady knight of considerable power. She doesn't take the 'refined' weapons, though: she uses regular swords and high-powered knight swords just like the other special knight classes.
- Also from the same game, the Templar Knight Meliadoul, very fond of destroying your weapons and armor with a single hit when you first meet her.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Vieras were somewhat less Stripperiffic than in Final Fantasy XII and could wield only rapiers, katanas, and bows for physical damage.
- Frimelda Lotice from Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 also fits this trope.
- In Persona 3, Mitsuru Kirijo fits the personality to a tee and favours a rapier as her weapon, but her persona skillset makes her a better example of the Lady of Black Magic. The actual female physical powerhouse, Aigis, is a Robot Girl who uses guns.
- The Atelier series.
- Fee, from Atelier Iris 2, her dainty weapon being twin blades.
- Kyrielich from Atelier Marie.
- Katarina from Atelier Violet.
- Mia and Gardenia in the '.hack// franchise, as well as Endrance, in a way.
- Sumire Kanzaki from Sakura Taisen is a high-class and ladylike naginata-user. Maria Tachibana, the stoic but genteel gunwoman, might also count. Bow-wielding Hanabi Kitaoji definitely does.
- The Fire Emblem series has MANY of these:
- The Akaneia games have Caeda, Minerva, Palla, Catria and, in the remake, Athena. Additionally, through the reclassing feature in the remakes, even the white mages can become this.
- Gaiden and its remake, Echoes, has Mathilda, Palla and Catria, plus Clair and Yuzu as potential examples. Celica mixes this and Lady of Black Magic whereas the Canon Foreigner Female Villager of Echoes, Faye, can be this if the player puts her in the Cavalier or Pegasus Knight lines.
- Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has Lachesis, Erinys, Ethlyn and Ayra. And their daughters (Nanna, Fee, Altenna and Larcei, respectively) follow the suit (though Larcei may almost be more of a Cute Bruiser, what with her rough attitude).
- In the same game, Erinys's sister Annand! And Annand's Evil Counterparts Pamela and Deetvar, too. Made very ironic when Pamela actually kills Annand.
- Thracia 776 has Evayle, Selphina, Misha (who happens to be Deetvar's daughter), Amalda, Eda, and Nanna again. Mareeta is half this, half a Cute Bruiser.
- Binding Blade has Igrene, Miledy and Yuuno. Sue, Gwendolyn, Shanna and Thea can be promoted into this.
- Blazing Blade has Lyndis (especially after promotion), Fiora, Louise, Isadora, Falcoknight!Florina and Sniper!Rebecca.
- Fire Emblem the Sacred Stones has Princess Eirika, Syrene, Princess Tana, Vanessa and Marisa. And Ismaire, if you unlock her.
- In both games of the Tellius canon, Lucia, Tanith, Sigrun, Astrid, and Titania. Elincia becomes one by Radiant Dawn, although she's definitely a White Magician Girl in Path of Radiance.
- Nephenee uses a Blade on a Stick, has enough speed and skill to described as graceful easily, and according to Ike, looks like she's "about to keel over". (She ain't)
- General Petrine of Daien is a villainous example. She's fast, elegant, and utterly brutal.
- Fire Emblem Awakening: The Female Avatar (double if she uses more weapons than magic), Cordelia and a well-trained Sumia. Among the younger girls there's Lucina, the well-trained Noire (even with her Split Personality) and Severa.
- Fire Emblem Fates: Again, the Female Avatar. Also Azura, Princess Camilla of Nohr, Princess Hinoka of Hoshido, Camilla's retainer Selena aka the aforementioned Severa etc.
- Fire Emblem: Heroes: Princess Sharena is mostly a Genki Girl, but fights like this. There's also Princess Eir (pictured above), Princess Fjörm and Princess Laegjarn. Thórr is implied to be one, and the Easter Alter of Loki is more fanservicy than usual but does fit in otherwise.
- Fire Emblem: Warriors: Princess Lianna is one in training. Minerva, Lyndis and Celica play it straight.
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses: The Female Avatar, Princess Edelgard (for the Black Eagles), Ingrid Brandl Galatea (for the Blue Lions), Shamir Nevrand (when she's recruited) and Judith (in the second part of the Verdant Wind/Golden Deer route). Seiros/Rhea subverts it: she has the looks... but the flashbacks show that she not only relays on her swordmanship, but on her dragon form (the Immaculate One) and, if needed, on her bare fists.
- 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.
- There's also Valeria from the previous Suikodens, who predates Chris.
- Suikoden I has Sonya Schulen, Kasumi, Cleo and Milia.
- Suikoden II has Yoshino and Hanna.
- Suikoden III has Yuiri, Queen, Ayame, Sanae.
- Suikoden IV has Kika, Mizuki, Gretchen, Frederica and Paula.
- Suikoden V has Lelei, Hazuki, Sagiri, Alenia, Urda, Isabel, Carthari and Bernadette. Loads and Loads of Characters, indeed, though there's surprising diversity in their "voices" as characters.
- Amongst the Non-Stars of Destiny, 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 of the game. Unfortunately...
- Chrodechild and her sister in Tierkreis. Shairah is also this, while doubling as Ms Fanservice.
- Many characters in the Soul Series, but especially Taki and Ivy Valentine.
- Setsuka as well. There's nothing more ladylike than gracefully strolling into an arena in a kimono, with an umbrella--which doubles as her weapon--at her side. (Keep in mind that Setsuka is native to Europe, not Japan.)
- Hildegard von Krone in SCIV, however, takes this trope and runs with it beyond the horizon.
- 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.
- A custom female character in III and IV and be this. Make a strong yet feminine voice, give her a kickass weapon and some armor, and you have yourself a lady of war.
- The Dead or Alive series has a few, but most notable is Helena, whose win quote mentions elegance.
- The Tales of Destiny remake. Male example (!!): Leon Magnus. Starting from his 'graceful style that consists of dancing swords', his personality and position in kingdom (bordering male Tsundere), as well as girlie-sounding Titles. And he's also a Bishonen and quite a Fragile Speedster. Real Men Wear Pink indeed.
- 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.
- Lise from Seiken Densetsu 3, who wields a spear as her primary weapon. She seems to be modeled after the Valkyries of Norse Mythology. Her first light-aligned class is even called "Valkyrie".
- The girl from Seiken Densetsu 2 might also count.
- Bastila Shan from Knights of the Old Republic.
- In Mega Man X8, one could say Layer fits in this category, not only for how she wields a rapier when you unlock her but also for how her style of navigation focuses on tactics and strategy against your opponents.
- Raquel Applegate in Wild Arms 4. A Mighty Glacier with a tragic past, a cool demeanor, and a quest for beauty and friendship.
- Mazzy Fentan from Baldur's Gate is a Lawful Good halfling lass with a posh accent. She is dangerous. To a lesser extent, this also applies to fighter/druid Jaheira.
- The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater. Grace, reserve, and quick, efficient bone-breaking CQC.
- Tyrande Whisperwind is probably the only known Lady of War in the World of Warcraft thus far. The rest of the Action Girls of the series have taken different aspects (Jaina is a Badass Bookworm, Maiev has gone into Knight Templar territory, Sylvanas is now Dark Action Girl, though her sisters may still qualify).
- World of Warcraft's Lady Liadrin, the Matriarch of the Blood Knights, can also qualify.
- Aribeth from Neverwinter Nights, before and after her Face Heel Turn.
- Halo: Reach gives us Kat.
- 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.
- Several characters from Valkyrie Profile, most notably the Valkyries themselves. The only times they get defeated in-story are either by other Valkyries, Freya (the patroness of the Valkyries), a party headed up by a Black Magician Girl, or an angry anti-hero empowered by the goddess of the underworld. And the last one is implied to be because Lenneth let him win because she felt guilty.
- Dynasty Warriors and the other Koei hack and slash titles have a few, including Yue Ying and Zhen Ji.
- Jenna from Golden Sun: The Lost Age. She is the only female character in the series who can use a bladed weapon (a rapier).
- Meladee and the temporary party-member Kutz from Brave Story: New Traveler. Meladee uses dual swords and actually wears armored skirts. Kutz, in the short time that you can use her, uses a whip and has one special attack where she can halve the opponents HP. Both Meladee and Kutz are the chiefs of the Highlanders in their divisions and it is shown that they have a friendly rivalry between them.
- 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.
- 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).
- The titular character of Jeanne D Arc. (naturally: see the Real Life examples below.) Also her childhood friend Liane who, by game's end, if you complete the Bonus Dungeon to get her back, is the most powerful character in the game.
- 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.
- Princess Kitana from the Mortal Kombat series. Her steel fans certainly fulfill the ladylike weapon requirement. She even manages to be more of a Lady of War than her mother, Queen Sindel.
- Kitana's best friend Jade may count too.
- Jade blurs the line between this and Action Girl. One could make a strong argument for Ashrah as well.
- Princess Yggdra and several others in Yggdra Union.
- Colonel Corazon Santiago from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is the elegant Latina security officer of the UNS Unity, and now the leader of the Spartan Federation: a heavily armed and superbly trained faction of dedicated survivalists who see no problems with running a police state.
- Resident Evil has Ada Wong.
- 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 Tales of Vesperia, Estelle is a mix of this trope and White Magician Girl. On one hand, she's the healer of the party, a naive noble with a mysterious power, and is probably the girliest member of the party. On the other hand she's a well-trained fencer, has unusually high defense for a magic-using character, and is generally depicted as a competent fighter.
- Judith from the same game counts as well: a well-spoken, calm Krytian that fights with spears and graceful moves and jumps. However, she's also the Ms. Fanservice and seems to enjoy battling a little too much.
- In Tales of Innocence, Ange, the refined and motherly young lady, is similar to Estelle: a White Magician Girl with good melee abilities. However, she specializes in very fast knife slashes and acrobatic artes. And she still pulls it off while wearing a dress and heels that look way more impractical than Estelle's.
- Blaze the Cat from Sonic the Hedgehog, down to being a Princess. However, she's a bit of a Defrosting Ice Queen as well.
- In Lightning Warrior Raidy, Raidy is the H-game equivalent to this. She's actually a pretty nice girl when she's not beating the crap out of something, and is even very worried about the women she rescues from sexual torture, but get her in combat (or meting out justice to a female boss she just won against), and she goes full blown Knight Templar on them.
- As Pokémon Trainers go, Erica and Sabrina (from Pokémon Red and Blue), Clair (from Pokémon Gold and Silver), Winona and Glacia (from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire), and Fantina and Cynthia (from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl), would fit this.
- In Mercenaries, Jennifer Mui is a diplomat's daughter, typically very reserved and professional (at least compared to her coworkers, especially Mattias), and is said to enjoy the finer things in life. But tick her off (or have a high enough price on your head, with "high enough" meaning "any"), and she will wreck everything standing in between you and her, even if that includes a global superpower. In the first game, she did not conform to standard action game female protagonist dress code, but does in the sequel.
- Selan from Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals. Her status as a Lady of War is constantly talked about in the game. Also subverted in that, although she's skilled enough with a sword to put up a good fight even against Maxim who is the main character that she ends up pairing with, she's primarily a magic-user.
- This is even more obvious in the remake
- Sarah Lyons from Fallout 3.
- Grolla Seyfarth from Rosenkreuzstilette. It helps that the third boss in Sepperin's castle, Raimund Seyfarth, her grandfather, was the war hero of the holy war that happened prior to the events of the series.
- In Valkyria Chronicles, Selvaria Bles is a villain example of this. She is a capable army commander and has huge powers in her disposal power that she also has) and is pretty much an invincible force in the battlefield, unless your army has other 'invincible force' (Alicia), you're pretty much fucked with her.
- The female player character of Dragon Age, should she be a non-mage (and sometimes even then, taking the Magic Knight option). Most obvious if playing a dwarf or human noble, but be it dual-wielding, using a massive two-hander, fighting with sword and shield, or playing archer, the female Grey Warden is a graceful and lethal badass. Leliana, the only non-mage female companion, 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 at level 14 (not much point in doing so, but it is an option).
- Ser Cauthien, Loghain's Dragon. One of the toughest opponents in combat in the game.
- Dragon Age II has Aveline Vallen, a stoic, (Ferelden-born) Orlesian shield-maiden. Much to the dismay of the fans, she is not romanceable. A Female!Hawke who isn't a Mage also counts after regaining her noble title in Kirkwall. And there's also the Big Bad Knight-Commander Meredith.
- Actually, Meredith subverts it big-time with her Big Damn Heroes rescue of Hawke near the end of Act II when she hacks the head off a Qunari Saarebas. Grace and elegance be damned!!!
- Female Mage Hawke actually might qualify, being polite and soft-spoken up until the point where you give her reason to sling a fireball at you and beat you senseless with her staff. Its also worth noting that when fighting in close quarters she literally resorts to sparring with what is essentially an enchanted quarter-staff. Most of Mage Hawke's combat style actually shows they are highly acrobatic and athlethic in nature, likely due to the fact that as an illegal mage, Hawke would have to know how to defend themselves without resorting to magic.
- Arguably, any of the female player characters in Jade Empire... Radiant Jen Zi, Scholar Ling, and Wu the Lotus Blossom... also qualify for this trope, as well as one of your possible followers, Silk Fox, who turns out to be Princess Lian.
- Dawn Star is a better example, Silk Fox has some differences when it comes to personality.
- In Mass Effect 2, Miranda begins as a high-ranking terrorist with access to operational details. By the end, she can lead the suicide mission without taking casualties. And she was trained, raised and engineered, by both her father and her employer, to be the perfect woman. If you like her, you can romance her.
- Samara, Liara, Tali, and downloadable character Kasumi could also fit this trope.
- If anything, Samara actually fits the trope more than any of the others including Miranda. She has all the qualities: Grace, reserve, the voice of a classy woman, honor, a graceful fighting style using psionics, and a full awareness of her role in the universe wherever it takes her. Most of all, she's the only female character in the entirety of Mass Effect who can't be successfully romanced by either Shepard. You can try, and it results in a sad, character revealing scene for Samara...but results in her proclaiming that it's impossible even if she herself desires it deep down.
- A Paragon Female Infiltrator Shepard could fit this trope as well.
- Samara, Liara, Tali, and downloadable character Kasumi could also fit this trope.
- Ridley, Elwen, Alicia, Lenneth Valkyrie, and Natalie from Radiata Stories.
- Alicia from Bullet Witch is a combination of this and Black Magician Girl.
- Nel Zelpher, Maria Traydor, and Mirage Koas from Star Ocean 3.
- Eris from Drakengard 2. She wields a spear, is decked out in full plate mail, and before her Character Development, had some Knight Templar tendencies.
- 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.
- In Blaz Blue, 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 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.
- Kingdom Hearts has Aqua: dodges with cartwheels, has unusually elegant keyblades, and takes down almost every big bad singlehandedly. It does help she was named Master about 5 minutes into the game.
- Tales of the Abyss has Tear, Legretta and Natalia.
- The Zerg queen from Starcraft certainly projects an air of graceful power that is absolutely deadly.
- Rynn from Drakan.
- Lady Opéra from Solatorobo.
- Sgt. Byrd in Spyro the Dragon: Year of the Dragon commands an entire army of female hummingbird soldiers. Who are also French. They're graceful, brave, and incredibly loyal to their commander.
- 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 competancy 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.
- Tekken has Jun Kazama, both Williams sisters (but Anna moreso than Nina), Emilie de Rochefort aka Lili, Kunimitsu and her daughter and Kazumi Mishima (until she transforms due to her Devil Gene).
- Saber from Fate/stay night. One of the few examples to wear armor, and with a sword that doubles as a Wave Motion Gun, she's a Jack of All Stats. As Saber Alter, she becomes a Mighty Glacier.
- Tsukihime's Akiha Tohno is the epitome of elegant badassery.
- Many of the characters from Drowtales could fit the bill, but Sil'lice's cold (pun intended) demeanor, haughty pride in her nobility, refined comportment in combat, and just how lovely and shiny her armor is, makes her the best Lady of War to be seen so far.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Jones seems to be more of a diplomat than a fighter, but she can still win fights against people twice her size. She doesn't have a weapon of her own, preferring instead to disarm her opponent and use their weapon. Or just block it with her face.
- Mamma Gkika from Girl Genius wears a huge, elaborate red dress with a brass bodice corset, maintains bars for both Jaegers and tourists. She has yet to be seen in an actual combat, but stopped cranky Gil just fine; later Oublenmach who entered her bar with a gun and hostage had her awakened too early in the morning and wound up in Neck Lift.
- Garanos: Of royal blood, very skilled with a sword, yet never offered up for fanservice. Generally cool as a cucumber when she doesn't have demon spider legs sticking out of her back.
- Jill, a Villain Protagonist from Darken, manages to combine this with Black Widow. She fights wearing a dress containing hidden armor and using bladed fans.
- Zara, the main character of Legend of Setar, fits.
- Tonya from Gold Coin Comics.
- Derrexi Tzelan from Nahast: Lands of Strife is the eldest daughter of a noble family who ran away to join a warrior order. This is obvious enough that even characters who are probably unaware of her heritage call her 'Lady Tzelan'.
- Open Blue's Backstory features two. Caesar Octavia Augustus of the Iormunean Imperium and the supreme commander of her Praetorian Guard, Templar High Executor Altara Sigrdrífa. Both went down fighting during the Imperium's Gotterdammerung, with the latter refusing to abandon her Caesar even when given the chance.
- Celestina Barbieri from Fate Nuovo Guerra, a Blue Blood mage who prefers to fight with a longsword, buffing it with Razor Wind to make her attacks more effective.
- 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.
- Sasha Hunter and Eleonora of Greek Ninja are true ladies of war, as well as Lady Nishimura and Danae Eliades.
- Lady Lily and her daughter Nadeshiko from Tasakeru. Apparently, it runs in the family.
- Elita One from Transformers Generation 1.
- Arguably a better example is Beta from the Season Three episode Forever is a Long Time Coming, combining take-charge leadership and combat prowess with her rocket-launching crossbow.
- 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. Avatar Kyoshi's manner and bearing fit the trope as well, and her devotee Suki looks like she'll grow up to be one.
- The Sky Surfer Strike Force member Sliced Ice.
- While Mulan spends most of the movie as a Sweet Polly Oliver, she graduates into a Lady of War as soon as the disguise comes off. The Emperor of China even gives her a job as a strategic advisor.
- 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.
- Carmen Ibanez from Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles. Smooth, cool, and able to blow the living hell out of an incoming bug at 900 yards.
- In Blazing Dragons, Princess Flame is a skilled fighter, in the third episode winning a tournament in which the winner will win her hand in marriage, and soundly defeating Count Geoffrey in the fourth episode (ending with him nearly being crushed under a rock). Also, in the second episode, she has knocked out Evil Knight 3 with a mace and held Flicker up with one arm while wearing plate mail.
- Rarity of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is a sophisticated, dress-making unicorn who fancies herself as a proper lady... and isn't afraid to kick manticores in the face or knocking out changelings with a swift right hook.
- Warrior Princess from Adventure Time.
- When Princess Allura from Voltron: Legendary Defender gets to join the cast in the battlefield, she becomes this.
- The Blade of Marmora have Keith's estranged mother Krolia, whereas the Galra Empire has Lotor's bodyguard Acxa.
- 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.
Jeanne d'Arc: I loved my banner forty times better than my sword. And when I went against the enemy, I carried my banner myself, lest I kill any. I have never killed a man.
- In the case of Japanese history, look no further than Tomoe Gozen. And possibly many other Japanese females, since the daughters of the samurai were required to know at least the basics of self-defense (specially the use of naginata halberds, included in the dowries of said ladies) to protect their households on their own.
- Mongolian women traditionally practiced archery. And horse racing. And horseback archery. From pre-Horde period to... our time. Their warriors' firm belief that even in the worst case their civilian relatives at home still can turn anything moving they'd consider as a threat into a hedgehog may or may not be one more factor that helped the Horde's campaigns to reach the Adriatic Sea.
- At least some Mongolian women -- those who showed the most aptitude in their training -- went beyond defending the home front, and became full warriors, joining the men in battle.
- Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. I refer you to her entry in Badass of the Week. 'nuff said.
- Nancy Wake . Newspaper reporter who escaped Occupied France to Britain after her resistance cell was betrayed, then parachuted back to liaise with another resistance group. Killed an SS scout with her bare hands to prevent his raising the alarm. Led 7,000 resistance fighters in battle against 22,000 Nazis.
- Despite the general low quality of historical documentation, an argument could be made for Boudica of the Iceni Celts. Roman sources describe her as an accomplished warrior and charismatic leader, who commanded her troops from her chariot, accompanied by her daughters, during the Iceni and Trinovantes uprising. Some sources portray her as aristocratic, others as rougher and more passionate in her opposition to the Romans.
- Unlike many Ladies of War, she was no Mary Tzu. The Romans, terribly outnumbered, simply crushed her revolt through superior armor, training, position, and a Celtic lack of command and control. Whether this was due to her mistaken self-assurance that her numbers were large enough, her army's lack of discipline, or a lack of understanding of strategy on Boudica's part is open to debate.
- Excavation of ancient Celtic and Sarmatian graves uncovered evidence that women were buried with weapons, leading some archaeologists to believe that they were warriors of high standing. A thesis on this can be found here (opens to PDF file).
- There may also have been female warriors amongst the ancient Scythians, based on archeological evidence (such as women found buried with weapons, with evidence of battle wounds on their remains, etc). Some say these warrior women inspired the Greek legends of the Amazons.
- Shieldmaidens were Scandinavian women who chose to become warriors over a thousand years ago. While today they are mostly remembered as mythical figures, there is historical evidence that real female warriors provided the inspiration for these myths.
- Vikings spent as much time raiding each other as they did raiding non-vikings and there would often times be occasions when a settlement was caught with most of it's military age men away at sea. Whether or not it was common for Viking women to be warriors per se, there was enough motive for them to learn how to minor in asskicking.
- Sikelgaita, second wife of Robert Guiscard, accompanied her husband on his conquests in full armor and is credited for rallying the troops during a battle against the Byzantines.
- Fu Hao was one of the wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang Dynasty (circa 1200 BC) and also served as a military general and high priestess. She is reported to have commanded powerful generals and over 13,000 troops in various extended campaigns.
- 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. Xerxes later remarked that during the battle the men had become women and the women men.
- During the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods, Persia had a fair number of female warriors and commanders. Some women remained in positions of military authority as late as the Safavid period.
- Albert-Barbe d'Ernecourt, a seventeenth-century French aristocrat who lead the local militia on over two dozen outings in defense of her village and the surrounding area during the Thirty Years War.
- Queen Gorgo of Sparta (though subverted because she never went to battle herself). Actually not just Gorgo, all of the women of Sparta. Though there is not a great deal of recorded history for it, we do know that at the age of seven, just like the boys, they were sent to a training school. Which judging from the the women that came out on the other end, was just as hard and brutal. They were expected to be able to fight and compete just as well as any man. The chief example was Queen Gorgo (who was a Princess and sole heir to the throne of Sparta), while she never went to the battle field herself, she advised Sparta during the Greco Persian Wars.
- That was because Spartan women were expected to defend the city while all the able-bodied men were away at war.
- Or just because in Sparta even the women had Testosterone Poisoning.
- That was because Spartan women were expected to defend the city while all the able-bodied men were away at war.
- Ayesha, wife of the prophet Muhammad, commanded an army during the Battle of the Camel.
- Æthelflæd Lady of the Mercians and her brother Edward fought the Danes at the Battle of Tettenhall. As she was the daughter of Alfred the Great, one would say that it's In the Blood.
- Queen Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's first wife) found herself facing a war against King James of Scotland while her husband was fighting in France. Catherine rallied troops and sent them into battle against James's Scottish forces. She didn't fight herself because she was pregnant. Needless to say, she sent James's bloody coat to France as a gift to her husband.
- One Rajput warrior in a battle with the Maratha's in India decided that the battle was lost and that therefore his job was to save his wife. When he got to her he saw that she had set herself on fire to show that A)she considered him dead(because Indian women didn't commit suttee until then, and B}that he had nothing more to lose. Thus inspired he went back to the fighting-and died.
- Lady Katherine Cochrane wife of genuine Blood Knight Sir Thomas Cochrane. Together they make a Battle Couple so Badass that they would intimidate Chuck Norris.
- Antoninia wife of Flavius Belisarius accompanied her husband on campaign at times and was trusted with important duties. She naturally became an important character in a sci fi dedicated to her husband.
- and later the sovereign in another place. After they parted ways.