“Strong female character” doesn’t quite cut when it comes to describing Game of Thrones leading lady Daenerys Targaryen. She’s a ferociously just, power-wielding, dragon-wrangling leader supreme. And anyone who’s seen the Game of Thrones season 5 previews knows this season is going to be all about the Mother of Dragons seizing power.
But she’s not the only fierce and complicated woman that will grace the small screen this spring. While the film industry is only now getting the message that female protagonists are good for girls and good for business, television has been consistently producing strong and diverse female characters that mirror the real-world women who watch them. This kind of representation not only helps break the celluloid ceiling in Hollywood, but it provides women and girls with a multitude of ways to envision and reflect upon their own lives through television—beyond the stereotypes of romantic lead or goofy best friend.
So in honor of Daenerys’ triumphant return, here are all the strong female characters we’re glad to see back in action this spring. Tell us your favorites in the comments!