The BAFMC, or Bad-Ass Female Main Character, is a welcome staple of the science fiction and fantasy genres. These are the heroines we don’t often see in other stories. They are tough. They are powerful. They are thrust into a spotlight that they probably didn’t ask for. They are BAFMCs.
Let’s look at BAFMC #2: Katniss Everdeen, the heroine from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
BAFMC Trait #1: she doesn’t know her own strength, but is thrust into the hero’s role. Whether she likes it or not, she’s a bad ass, and the people she loves need her.
Katniss is a badass from the first few scenes of the book,when she sneaks out of her district’s border fence to hunt for food for her family and to trade for other much needed supplies. She never identifies herself as a hero, though others see her as one. She provides her family with the food they need; before she began hunting, they were near starvation.
But let’s dig more into what makes Katniss a BAFMC. The entire reason Katniss finds herself in the national spotlight is because she volunteers as a tribute in the annual Hunger Games rather than letting her little sister Prim go. Voluntary tributes are rare in the poorer districts; going to the games is a death sentence.
But Katniss volunteers, not because she realizes just how strong a contender she could be, but because she loves her sister more than anyone else in the world. She would do anything to protect her. When she leaves for the game, she demands that her mother do a better job taking care of Prim than she did taking care of Katniss after their father’s death. She has her best friend, Gale, promise to protect her family. Katniss has made the ultimate sacrifice to protect those she loves.
But! Even though Katniss goes into the Hunger Games to save Prim, her role as a leader in the Panem revolution only grows from there. Katniss doesn’t just save Prim when she takes her spot as a tribute. She also stands up to the government that keeps her District hungry and poor. She decorates the body of a fallen ally with flowers to demonstrate her love for someone the government wanted to be her enemy. She unwittingly becomes the face of the revolution. Her mockingjay pin serves as a symbol for what happens when the government loses control. Everything she does, whether intentional or not, becomes a sign that the rebels are growing steadily in power, and everything she says convinces more people to join the fight.
So I present to you BAFMC Trait #2: She initially fights for those she loves, but when she does, she becomes a key part of the battle to save her entire community and country.
What do you think? Do all BAFMCs share these traits? What other BAFMCs are you reading about lately?