Wednesday, June 19

My Favorite Romance Heroine

"Do you promise not to hurt him?" That's Princess Buttercup from "The Princess Bride". One of my favorite movies and one of my favorite books (yes, I saw the movie first, yes, I think the book is better…we've talked about my abiding love obsession with TPB before. In a pinch I'll watch or read either).

Princess Buttercup is one of my all-time favorite romance heroines, even though she's so not a 'today' heroine because she allowed too much to happen to her. When Westley was 'killed' she holed up in her room to cry and die. When Prince Humperdinck proposed she went along with him. She rode her horse and quietly lived in the castle - not asking for anything, not demanding anything. She didn't fight off Vizzini or the Giant or Inigo. She didn't even scream. Okay, if a 7-foot-giant was coming toward me I might not scream, either. She did jump into eel-infested waters...but then she gave up.

And yet.

"Do you promise not to hurt him? If I return with you, will you promise not to hurt this man?"

When every other woman in her time would have stayed silent and allowed Westley and Humperdinck to fight for her...she spoke up. They were outnumbered. Westley would surely have been killed by one of Humperdinck's men. So she did what she could - she tried to get a promise from Humperdinck for her man, giving up her freedom in the process. It's a simple line, but a very powerful one, I think, from a heroine who truly had no power. Women in her time didn't vote. The had no jobs, at least the princesses didn't. And they certainly didn't have a choice in marriage and relationships. Still, she tried to do something. She tried to ensure Westley's freedom because the world without Westley in it was too dark. Even if they couldn't be together, she wanted to know that he lived. Somewhere.

Then there are the other things she does once she's found Westley alive and returned to the castle - she believes she has rescued him, and gets a promise from Humperdinck to send ships to find Westley (Humperdinck, of course, lies) and even threatens her own death. All for the love of a pirate ...

Of course she doesn't have to kill herself because Westley cheats death with the help of Miracle Max, Inigo and the Giant. He saves Buttercup, just as she has tried to save him.

I just have to sigh a little at that. Who is your favorite romance heroine?


  1. I've never seen or read TPB, but now I have to :)

  2. While I have to agree that TPB is one of the bestest books ever written--I'm going to go with Bridget Jones as my favorite heroine. She's flawed, funny, and a hopeless romantic. And she gets her Mr. Darcy :)

    As far as the movies go, if I had to choose between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, I'd be betwixt as well.

  3. My favorite romance heroine...I'm drawing a complete blank this morning.
    Maybe the Elf Princess in Lord of the Rings?

  4. Loved the movie The Princess Bride and those words...."as you wish" the hero goes rolling down the There are so many great heroines in the books I read and movies I write, it's hard to choose just one. Like the princess Giselle in the movie "Enchanted", who knows her mind and will not be swayed in her happy ever after. And the women in Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold series who each deal with their problems head on and prove that strong can be sexy.

  5. "I suppose you think you are brave?"
    "Only compared to some."

    How could she not be an all time favorite!! I think I still know almost every line in that movie. :)

  6. The Princess Bride? You are forever a puzzle. Great post. Wishing you many sales. You deserve it!
    -R.T. Wolfe

  7. My favorite is Curry James from Kathleen Gilles Seidel's AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. Because she takes a whole load of lemons and makes lemonade and isn't dramatic about it. Age--not that I have any, of course--has taught me much respect for heroines who don't bother kicking ass simply because they're too busy taking care of business.

  8. I like TPB, too, for so many reasons--and one liners like "Have fun storming the castle." As for favorite heroines, I like so many I can't think of just one right now. Although the moment I hit enter, a half dozen will likely pop into my mind :) Good post. Barb Bettis

  9. Margery, you'll love it!

    Margie, we'll wax poetic about TPB together. I do love Bridget...but I'd go for Westley over Daniel or Mark. *ducks flying tomatoes*

    Oh, Brenda, that is one of my all time favorite lines! And Renee, I *can* still quote it!! :D

    D'Ann, the elf princess was pretty cool!

    Oooh, Liz, she sounds like my kind of heroine...I'm gonna scurry off and check that one out!

    Thanks for visiting, Barbara! Another fave: the camaraderie/friendship between Inigo and Fezzik - "I really think he is short on...chaaarm" "He doesn't mean any...haaaarm". *sigh*

    Tee-hee, goal is to keep y'all guessing!! :D

  10. I do love TPB...looking forward to enjoying with my daughter--she's not quite old enough for it yet. I'm a big Heyer fan and my favorite romance heroine is Venetia. I just love her. She's witty and self-effacing and honorable and occasionally, under duress, snarky.