The 7 Fiercest Warrior Queens: Part 2

Well here is the second part of our look at some of history’s most BADASS WARRIOR WOMEN! We can’t tell you how much fun we’ve had reading about all these amazing and inspiring ladies.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading about them all!

Rani Lakshmi Bai

Manikarnika was born to a noble family in Jhansi, India in 1828. She grew up to lead a resistance against the British Raj that instilled a sense of hope and admiration that has lasted through to this day.

Her mother died when she was only 4 and her father worked in the court of the Peshwa of Bithoor, a Prime Minister type position. The Peshwa took a shine to her and she was encouraged to learn how to shoot, fence and ride horses along with the other boys in the court.

Damn right babe! Via Giphy

In 1842 Manikarnika was married to the King of Jhansi, who was a widower and 25 years her senior. Her name was changed to Lakshmi Bai and she was now royalty, ruling over Jhansi with her husband, though she didn’t act like other royal wives, continuing to shoot, fence and ride as well as any other pursuit that took her fancy.

At the time of British Imperial rule over India, the British only recognised Kingdoms with legitimate heirs. Manikarnika did bear a son, but he died a few months after his birth, they decided to adopt an heir and hope this kept their kingdom under their rule.

Portrait of Rani Lakshmi Bai. Via Wikipedia

The king passed away in 1853 and the British Empire took this as their shot and pushed to take over Jhansi as they saw no legitimate heir. They offered her an annual pension and told her to get the fuck out of dodge.

Manikarnika was not having this, and in 1857 to 1859 she rallied her armies and fought a bloody rebellion to keep the British out of her lands. She dressed as a man and made a fearsome sight on the battlefield, riding with a sword in each hand.

FUCK YES! Via Giphy

However eventually the British broke through her ranks at the fort of Gwalinor so Manikarnika had to flee with her adopted son. She strapped him to her back and fought her way through the battle on horseback with a sword in each hand, holding the reins in her mouth!

She got away to safety but was mortally wounded. She was said to have been found by a hermit, and she handed her son to him and asked that he burn her body so the British couldn’t defile it. 


Lozen and her brother Victorio were part of the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache tribe. Victorio was the chief and Lozen was his personal warrior and a prophet.

Her tribe was forced to relocate to the harsh San Carlos Reservation, it was known as Hell’s 40 Acres… probably not a nice place.

No shit… Via Giphy

The conditions were deplorable, so the tribe left the reservation in 1877 and they began raiding the lands that had once been there’s while avoiding military capture.

Victorio said of his sister

“Lozen is my right hand… Strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people.’

Lozen was also kind at heart. She led women and children from her tribe to safety across the Rio Grande, encouraging the terrified group to cross the river by going in first. An account from that time from James Kaywaykla (one of the children) paints an amazing picture

“I saw a magnificent woman on a beautiful horse—Lozen, sister of Victorio. Lozen the woman warrior! High above her head she held her rifle. There was a glitter as her right foot lifted and struck the shoulder of her horse. He reared, then plunged into the torrent. She turned his head upstream, and he began swimming”

Her beloved brother was killed in 1881, during a battle she was not present at (she was safely accompanying a mother and new born back to her tribe) and Lozen immediately rode to the survivors’ aid.

Us too. What a woman!!! Via Giphy

Lozen and the survivors took a bloody revenge and teamed up with Geronimo as they fought against the American Military who were taking over their homes. She was eventually captured, and she died while a prisoner of war. Her body was released to her tribe, so she could be buried with honour.

Nakano Takeko

Nakano was an Onna-bugeisha, a female Samurai. That’s badass.

She was born in Edo, Japan in 1847, and was the daughter of an Aizu official. Her Dad was off on official business a lot, so Nakano was adopted by martial arts trainer Akaoa Daisuke and he trained her up trained up in various forms of martial arts and weapons combat. She was also educated to a very high standard and was just an all-round excellent pupil.

Photo of Nakano. Via Wikipedia

She ran a martial arts school with Akaoa for a while, which is just an amazing achievement in itself, but Nakano went to her father in Aizu in 1856. Our girl was destined to fight in the Boshin Civil War that raged on in Aizu from 1886 to 1889.

The Imperial Japanese Army of the Ogaki domain mounted a campaign to take over the lands there and a resistance in Aizu was forming. Nakano trained up 20 women in the art of combat and weaponry. She trained her own all female killer army!!!


They fought alongside the all-male Aizu Army, though they weren’t officially recognised. Nakano’s weapon of choice was a naginata, which is a long pole, with a curved blade at the end.

During a high point of one battle Nakano led a charge against the Imperial Japanese Army. She was fatally shot in the chest. She didn’t want the opposition defiling her remains or using her as a scapegoat so she persuaded one of her army to decapitate her and bury her head where her enemies wouldn’t find it.

Understatement here… Via Giphy

She was buried under a pine tree at the Hokai Temple (modern day Fukushima) and a monument to her was erected beside her grave. She’s still celebrated now! For the Aizu Autumn Festival women take part in the procession, wearing traditional hakama and headbands  to commemorate Nakano and her women army.

Sara Westrop is passionate about making history accessible (and fun!) for everyone. A disabled, queer writer from just outside London, who loves writing about the unsung chapters of history.

The 7 Fiercest Warrior Queens: Part 1

This year as we celebrate the centenary of women getting the right to vote we wanted to focus on bringing you some of our fave ass kicking (and we mean this literally) bitches.

None of these babes is backing down from a fight, so let these glorious women empower you and enjoy part 1 of History’s Fiercest Warrior Queens!

Lady Triệu

Born in the 3rd century Lady Triệu was a Vietnamese warrior who grew up under the regime of the Chinese, her parent died while she was a child, so she lived with her older brother and a total bitch of a sister in law.

One day she decided she’d had enough. So she killed off her sister in law and decided to raise an army to fight off the Chinese. As you do.

It’s so fucking on 💀

She managed to raise an army of some 1,000 soldiers with the plan to fight off the Wu Chinese armies who’d been invading their towns.

Her brother was obviously a little wary of this plan and begged her to reconsider. Her response was thus;

“I only want to ride the wind and walk the waves, slay the big whales of the Eastern sea, clean up frontiers, and save the people from drowning. Why should I imitate others, bow my head, stoop over and be a slave? Why resign myself to menial housework?”

Lady Triệu was said to be a fearsome sight on the battlefield, dressed in bright yellow tunics, and riding into battle on a war elephant!

Lady T
Apparently she threw her sizeable tits over her shoulders when riding. NICE!

She beat the Chinese back and reclaimed her territories, BUT the Chinese army eventually took them down because they just couldn’t compete with the sheer number of soldiers they had at their disposal.

Lady Triệu fled and then committed suicide at the age of 23.

Her bravery inspired Vietnam for centuries, where she’s still a well beloved figure of resistance; there’s even streets named after her today.


Tomyris was a ruler of a nomadic people known as the Massagetae, who lived in central Asia waaaaay back in 6th Century BC .

They were known for being fierce warriors and had a cannibalistic rep because they had a ritual that involved them sacrificing and eating one of their elders in a stew!


Now the tribe occupied a sweet spot which would become modern day Iran and this dick King of Persia, Cyrus the Great (eyeroll) really had his eye on their land.

First, he tried proposing to the widowed Tomyris. She told him to do one, so he took it well, and as plan B declared war on the Massagetae.

He captured Tomyris’ son who commanded her armies. Kind of but not really luckily, Tomyris’ son immediately killed himself, so he couldn’t be used as a bargaining chip.

Tomyris was obviously enraged and sent a letter to Cyrus challenging him to a battle, he accepted, convinced he’d have an easy victory…


Tomyris’ armies won and absolutely massacred Cyrus’ forces. Legend has it he was crucified and then beheaded.


Tomyris then took his head and stuffed it into a wineskin full of human blood before declaring

‘”I warned you that I would quench your thirst for blood, and so I shall”



We cannot have a list of warrior queens and not mention Boudicca, the scourge of the Romans.

Boudicca looking fly as fuck!

Boudicca was Queen of a Celtic Inceni tribe (basically the East of England), while her husband was alive he ruled over their domain and had a will drawn up that left his land to be split between the Roman Empire his daughters.

Well, hubby popped his clogs and the Romans basically ignored the will and flogged Boudicca and raped her daughters.

Big fucking mistake.

Boudicca was rightly very pissed off and wanted revenge. She was a well-respected figure and had no trouble raising her tribe and some of the surrounding tribes to join her in a revolt against the Romans.

She gave a speech to her armies before their first assault on her need for revenge;

“It is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body, the outraged chastity of my daughters,”

She’s gunna murder you all 🗡

Her army tore through three major cities of Camulodunum, Verulamium (what’s now St Albans) and Londinium (guess what that one is).

They burned the cities to the ground and smashed their way through Roman and their British allies alike.

It’s estimated Boudicca and her armies killed between 70,000-80,000 Romans and British during her campaign of revenge. But every party must end sometime.

Eventually Boudicca and her armies were defeated at the Battle of Watling Street in 61 CE and then it was rumoured she committed suicide by poison, rather than being captured.


Now Khutulun was born a badass, after all, she was the great grand daughter of history’s bloodiest tyrant Genghis Khan, AKA that bloke who liked putting heads on spikes.

Born into a fearsome Mongol Horde back in 1260, she grew up learning the fighting skills of her tribe (because women were also trained to fight in battle) learning archery, horsemanship and physical combat.

Khutulun’s father, Kaidu, made her the leader of his armies and he trusted her skill and intelligence above his 14 other sons.

I repeat: She beat her 14 brothers to a position at her father’s side.

YES KHUTULUN! Let ‘em know who’s boss!

Her Dad was desperate to marry her off, but Khutulun wasn’t interested.

Our girl K was a seriously gifted wrestler, so to appease her Dad she challenged any potential suitor to a wrestling match asking or 100 horses against her promise to marry the victor. SHE WAS UNDEFEATED!

Apparently she ended up with 10,000 horses and eventually went on to marry a man of her choosing.

Her father wanted Khutulun to take over a head of the tribe when he died but her brothers were not keen on that idea. (boo!!!)

Eventually the tribe went to someone else and Khutulun passed away five years after her father when she was in her late 40s.

A fictionalised version of her life was made into this swanky opera.

She was the last of the Mongol warrior princesses.

Sara Westrop is passionate about making history accessible (and fun!) for everyone. A disabled, queer writer from just outside London, who loves writing about the unsung chapters of history.

%d bloggers like this: