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Nominate Your Fave Older Ladies

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Okay folks, buckle up - this was a brand new idea that won the most recent Top 50 topics poll and it's got a lot of fuzzy edges so I expect some discussion to ensue. But here's the TLDR: We're nominating our favorite fictional women characters over (about) 60. Just to get them out of the way, here's a reminder of the usual Top 50 nomination how-tos:

- Choose your top 25 favorite older fictional ladies, in order starting from most favorite. Less than 25 is fine too.
-- Please list each source work/material/author as appropriate as well, to aid me in tabulating and research.
- PM them to me by the end of day on November 15th, two weeks from now.
- Scores will be tabulated and we'll have ourselves a grand ol' Top 50 thread.

Now on to the nitty-gritty. I submitted this as "Top 50 Fictional Women over 60", but it's not really about some exact chronological cut-off. The spirit of this is to celebrate the seriously under-represented demographic in fiction of older women. So, first off, keep in mind that this is about the character, not the actor or other method of portrayal. As for ages, I don't want to get all biological essentialist, but I think we can acknowledge that one of the big *reasons* historically that this demographic is uncommon has to do with the characters in question being past the ages where they're likely to be valued primarily as a sex object or in terms of having children - so we're targeting characters past those ages. Thus, if you have a character that for some biological or chronological reason doesn't age like a normal human, try to keep in mind instead the life stage that we're going for. So, no 1000-year-old dragons that nevertheless look and act exactly like 15-year-old girls.

As for a few other questions I expect to come up:
- This is fictional characters across all media; books, movies, TV, video games, comics, what have you. If a character is based on a real-life person... well, if the story is basically fiction that may be fine, but if it's straight-up biography that's probably a different list, of awesome older women in real life.
- If a character's canon age is never definitively established, take your best guess and keep in mind the stage-of-life stuff above.
- If a character is portrayed at multiple ages through a work, just ask yourself if they're portrayed in this stage of life for long enough to constitute a significant story. If they're only older in a 5-page epilogue that's probably not a great choice, but if they're mature in an entire book/movie of a multi-part series that's probably fine.
- It hopefully goes without saying that any older character that identifies themselves as a woman / female is eligible.
- Completely non-human characters get fuzzy; if it's a setting where everyone is an animal or anthropomorph and are obvious stand-ins for human issues/characters, then just use the same guidelines. If they're a creature that doesn't even have similar life-stages to humans then they may not be a good fit for this list but I'd be open to arguments.

I'm sure there's lots of other edge cases, so feel free to hash them out in the replies here or berate me for things I haven't thought about. As with most lists, I'm not planning to be a huge stickler about what people submit, but I want to guide things enough that we have reasonable overlap in the voting.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Should we also include the people who have portrayed the lady or will that get out of hand if she has been portrayed by many different people?
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Should we also include the people who have portrayed the lady or will that get out of hand if she has been portrayed by many different people?

I'll probably try to mention both "portrayed by" and "created by" where applicable, but by all means feel free to mention your favorites especially if there's potentially a lot of people involved.

For the most part I assume I'll be combining all votes for the same character so I wouldn't vote for multiple version unless you think a strong case can be made that they're so different as to be completely different characters really, in which case please mention that in your vote.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
There are quite a lot of those, but I've managed to come up with several supporting characters on the protagonist side for my own list so far.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
It's maybe weird to say this about my own Top 50, but making this list up is hard! I mentally skim through a lot of my usual sources of cool characters.... like, say, FF games... and come up with almost nothing. Which of course is the point! They're seriously under-represented! But it's gonna take some real digging.
 
That reminds me, I finally found the podcast episode (starting at about 8:52) that discusses the representation of older women in science fiction and the Nature piece that goes with it. We discussed these at our Women's group at work a couple years ago and it helped introduce me to some new series and definitely made me think. The podcast discussion goes into a lot more detail and discussion yet is only a few minutes long.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
So, no 1000-year-old dragons that nevertheless look and act exactly like 15-year-old girls.

What about a 1000-year-old mythological character that presents as middle-aged or older (A good example I can think of off the top of my head is Hera from the Greek pantheon)?
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
What about a 1000-year-old mythological character that presents as middle-aged or older (A good example I can think of off the top of my head is Hera from the Greek pantheon)?

So, for any character that's essentially ageless (doesn't age as we know it, lives multiple millennia, has no concept of age, etc) I'd go entirely with how they typically present. Hera I'd say is kind of borderline, as "middle-age" is the lower end of our target spectrum, but she does tend to be seen as a matriarch figure and distinctly older than most of the female Olympians, so probably okay?
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
I have a character I want to nominate, but doing so ruins a huge late-in-series plot thing. Heck.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Hmm. I can certainly do spoiler-tags in write-ups, but if the entire fact that a character qualifies for the list is a spoiler, I can see the dilemma... I suppose I could put a whole entry under a collapsible spoiler that says what source material it spoils if necessary? Up to you, but do note the spoiler nature in your submission in case it's something I'm not familiar with.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Sad that Lady Sybil Vimes, nee Ramkin, is too young to make it, even by the end of the Discworld series. But that's a series that definitely isn't hurting for representation.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
So, for any character that's essentially ageless (doesn't age as we know it, lives multiple millennia, has no concept of age, etc) I'd go entirely with how they typically present. Hera I'd say is kind of borderline, as "middle-age" is the lower end of our target spectrum, but she does tend to be seen as a matriarch figure and distinctly older than most of the female Olympians, so probably okay?

*once again, weeps for SMT's Demeter*
 
I'm at 40+ on my list and haven't even gotten to books yet, this is going much better than I expected. There were a lot of NPCs in games that I distinctly remembered and interacted with a lot that worked for this category but I had no idea what their names are, and finding the right search terms took a while. And it turns out there are a lot of older female characters in Skyrim (spoiled in case people don't want to see or be biased), which was frustrating when I was trying to find the specific ones I had in mind but is a good problem to have.

Reluctanly crumples his list of Fire Emblem characters (in alphabetical order), throws it away, restarts from scratch
Yeah, this was slim pickings. There may be more options in ones that haven't been released in English that I'm not aware of. But there is at least one great character who is on my list.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Yeah, I evidently need to play more WRPGs, as this seems to be one area where representation is, while still not amazing, much better there than in most JRPGs. In poking around I've seen a lot of references to cool NPCs in series like the one VV spoilered and others in similar genres.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Lists are nominally due today! I definitely won't start tabulating until tomorrow at the earliest to any time tonight is fine. I only have 7 in so far though, if people are struggling to finish let me know and I'd rather wait a few days and have more submissions if needed.
 

WildcatJF

Valdez Museum of Video Game Box Art Intern
(he / his / him)
I haven't had any time to come up with one, but I don't wanna ask for a postponement just for my sake. If it is, tho, I'd work on one:)
 

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
(they/them)
I'm honestly struggling to get anywhere close to 25 but will submit what I have tonight.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
@WildcatJF If you think you can put something together in the next couple days, go for it. I doubt I'll finish the tally before then. Also no shame if it's less than 25.

I haven't been replying to everyone's submissions so in case anyone's concerned about it getting lost here's who I have so far:
Torz, Johnny, JBear, Bulgakov, Pete, VV, Mogri
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Aw heck. I have one in progress but completely blanked on today being the deadline.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
@Ixo Send it! Heck, keep working on it today if you want to and send it tonight, I don't think I'll finish tallying before late.
That goes for anyone else too!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Also please do not take this as any kind of shaming, I know stuff comes up, but I just wanted to ping folks who voted for the topic but haven't sent lists yet, in case they have a moment to sneak something in. Again, less than 25 is fine!
@Dr. Nerd @WildcatJF @WisteriaHysteria @Zef
 
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