Not since an angry blue man that wasn't Poppa Smurf shouted the immortal words "YE CANNY TEK MA FRRRRREEEEEDOMMMM", have we had a decent Scottish hero. Mark Renton was disgustingly cool, but also willing to crawl into Glasgow's alter of faeces and shame for suppositories of smack, so perhaps not the best material for idolatry. Gregory, haphazardly chasing his girl, was undoubtedly a cutie- but too concerned with spots and hard ons for heroics. Red Road's Clyde is a nutcase, and the bad kind of ginger; Loch Ness's Nessie probably doesn't even blooming exist. Greyfriars Bobby was pretty plucky, but he was a dog- and a wee-legged Scottie dog at that, which rather seriously throws into question his ability to kick some badass butt, unless Scotland's freedom and dignity is being threatened by a Chihuahua.
But this summer, cinema could be giving us a new Scottish hero in the form of Merida, the flame haired heroine of Brave. Taking her fate into her own hands, defying her Mother and eschewing the geeky boy Princes who look like they should topple over from the weight of their animated conks, makes for a bona fide, kick-ass, feistier-than-Boudicca-on-her-period Warrior Princess. She is, actually, a testament to the fact that (in or out of Scotland) it's always the girls that do action better. It's the element of surprise, the foxiness that accompanies the death blows, the sweetly sultry one liners as they run off into the sunset- alone, of course, flying the flag for all the independent laydeez (throw your hands up at me) and girls who dream of judo throwing their tyrannical boss into terrified submission, under the pseudonym Daria von Crushaman.
So in honour of Merida's service to the Warrior Princess set, and so we can all revel in the wonders of oestrogen-fuelled fury, here's a round up of the best warrior princesses ever committed to celluloid.
Ass-kicking ability- 7
Pin-up for- Anyone who gets turned on at the mere thought of Comic-Con. When she's Jabba the Hut's slave woman, however, anyone with a pulse- male or female.
Do say- Nice buns.
Don't say- Anything about incest.
Ass-kicking ability- 4 (although I wouldn't want to test her)
Pin-up for- Anyone who can find a cartoon sexy. Probably not Walt Disney though... he'd have her for his slave.
Do say- Hoooooow.
Don't say- Oh do grow up.
Xena, Warrior Princess
Ass-kicking ability- 10
Pin-up for- Anaemic masochists who live by the light of their computer screen(s).
Do say- Kalimera! The Hellenic era is like, soooo feminist.
Don't say- Weren't you just Hercules' side kick/sex toy?
Ass-kicking ability- 8
Pin-up for-Big green smelly noisy farty men. Or men who don't mind big green smelly noisy farty women.
Do say- Conforming to the body-type norm imposed on us by society is for dim-witted Disney princesses.
Don't say- What's that smell?
Eowyn (Lord of the Rings) Ass-kicking ability- 9
Pin-up for- Wood-dwellers who enjoy sturdy velvet frocks/cross-dressing.
Do say- Faramir is well fit.
Don't say- But Aragorn is fitter.
Ass-kicking ability- 3 (she largely just hits people with a saucepan, then tells them to sing and hug)
Pin-up for- One Direction. Anyone with the mind or body of an under-10.
Do say- Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!
Don't say- These extensions are SO convincing!
Tamina (Prince of Persia)
Ass-kicking abilities- 8
Pin-up for- Sorry, what? I was distracted by Gemma Arteron's... everything.
Do say- لحظاتی بعد از شهرنشيني، عاليجناب ! Which translates- Kick some butt, Your Highness! In Persian. Thank me later.
Don't say- I always preferred Lara Croft.
Ass-kicking ability- 9 (by the end)
Pin-up for- Anyone with a predilection for extremes... Mulan is a Geisha, or Hun-slicing boy, nothing in between.
Do say- Mulan kicks Hun ass better than the boys!
Don't say- Did you know that when you masquerade as a big tough man, your chosen name 'Hua Ping' is a play on the Mandarin word huāpíng, figuratively meaning eye candy?
This is the space where I should dutifully say that Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman was a Princess, and yes she went to war. But try as I might, I can't imagine K-Stew shaking off studied indifference for long enough to kick anyone's ass in anything. Unless it was an angry staring competition. Or a steal someone's husband competition. Big, fat Feisty Test FAIL. But, an honourable mention for your effort. Keep on frownin'.