Ranking TV's Top 20 Badass Female Characters

HBO; BBC America; Showtime/E! Illustration

It’s time to say goodbye to Carrie Mathison.

After eight seasons and two Emmy awards for star Claire Danes‘ portrayal of the CIA agent with a knack for sniffing out terrorist operatives, Homeland is signing off, airing its series finale on Sunday, April 26. And when the landmark Showtime series fades away into that good night, it takes with it a groundbreaking character that not only made Danes the second actress to ever win all five main TV acting awards for her performance in the lead actress categories, but allowed for a female spy to be as complicated and competent as her male counterparts.

In other words, Carrie felt real. 

While it remains to be seen if she’ll be able to save the day in the show’s ultimate hour, what can’t be disputed is just how badass she was. Whatever anyone thinks of the show itself, which has certainly cooled in public opinion over the years, there’s no denying Carrie will go down as one of the all-time great TV characters. But how does her badassery stack up against the ladies who either came before or since her?

Before we bid Carrie adieu, let’s see where she lands in our ranking of TV’s top 20 badass women!

Killing Eve

BBC America

The X-Files


Grey's Anatomy


The Flash

The CW

Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Favorite TV episodes

F. Scott Schafer/NBC

Homeland, Claire Danes


Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell


Scandal Series Finale


Batwoman, Ruby Rose, New Fall Shows, 2019


Stranger Things Costumes, Season 3


Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman

CBS via Getty Images

Melissa Benoist, Supergirl

The CW

The 100

The CW

The Walking Dead


Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless


Jennifer Garner, Alias

Norman Jean Roy/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Arya Stark, Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones

Watchmen, Regina King


Law and Order: SVU


Buffy The Vampire Slayer, scythe

The WB Television Network

Homeland‘s series finale airs Sunday, April 26 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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