15 of the most interesting female monsters in fiction

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1. Xenomorph Queen

Feeling a little unsatisfied with all of these self-aware monsters? They make for compelling stories, to be sure. However, when presented all at once, the sheer weight of all the sadness and anger dealt to these female monsters can start to get to you. Again, it’s not that anyone reasonably thinks all of the bloodsucking and flesh-rending is okay. It’s just difficult to feel completely absolved of sympathy for a struggling beast.

If you’re looking for something of a break, then, you should definitely look to the Alien Queen. She doesn’t make an appearance in Alien, the 1979 sci-fi horror film that’s since become a classic. Instead, she appears in the follow-up, 1986’s Aliens directed by James Cameron. This sequel is more of an action-adventure ride, but it contains one heck of a good monster.

Essentially, Aliens centers on Ellen Ripley, the heroine of the previous film who has just awoken after 57 years of stasis. Hopefully, she’s well-rested, as the denizens of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation want her to head back out and deal with an alien infestation at LV-426, an exomoon that’s home to a terraforming colony.

Along with some memorable space marines, Ripley kicks lots of alien butts (or whatever the xenomorphs have that can be effectively kicked). However, towards the end of the film, she’s almost defeated by the Alien Queen.

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Said Queen is the head of the xenomorph hive. As such, she’s bigger, badder, and more visually distinctive than her drone-like children.

Of course, Ripley prevails. She’s got two more films to star in, after all. At least we get a good look at a truly alien monster. The Queen is so strange and threatening that she is akin to the strange visions that stalk your worst and most mind-bending nightmares.

From pitiable to terrifying, these 15 female monsters show that there’s room for all kinds of things in fiction.