Choose Your Spirit Guides

Thanks to Sunless Nick for this one! It took me ages to think of three… and then it was just like ‘OMG! These are my women!

You know what? Whenever the hero needs a ghostly spirit to encourage them on their way, it’s almost always a freaking man. So here’s this week’s challenge: Choose the women you thing would make great spirit guides, encouraging our plucky heroines in their journeys to save/discover stuff.

The rules: she has to be dead, or ascended, or in some canonically way not strictly living. Or, if it’s vague, have popular opinion lead towards it. I say that last bit because one of my picks is…

1. Bonnie Duncan, a recurring character in Iris Johansen’s books. Bonnie is the missing daughter of Eve Duncan, who disappeared as a child and hasn’t been seen – alive or dead – in a good decade. This not knowing prompted Eve to become a forensic sculptor; she takes badly damaged heads (extreme fire, brutal bashing etc) of children and builds them to what they would have been like in life. She did it out of her own limbo of not knowing so she could help bring the other children home. At some point (I read the books out of order so I don’t know the exact chronology), Bonnie starts to visit Eve, encouraging her to get on with her life, embrace new love with Joe, who eventually becomes Eve’s husband/Bonnie’s stepfather; there’s usually half a dozen conversations with Bonnie in each book, usually on the theme of ‘be strong’ and ‘be brave’. Oh, and just in case you though Eve was hallucinating in her state of uncertainty/grief, Bonnie also visits Joe and her biological father John, who never knew of Eve’s pregnancy/Bonnie’s existence and is rotting away in a Korean cell when Bonnie first comes to him. Also, Eve’s mum Sandra was an alcoholic/drug addict who cleaned up her act to help Eve take care of Bonnie… and never went back to the booze/drugs following Bonnie’s disappearance; Eve says Bonnie had a kind of effect on people that stayed even after she left. This girl has one awesome mojo.

2. Cordelia Chase from Buffy/Angel. Goes from spoilt rich girl to broke overnight, embraces demonhood in order to cope with the pre-cognitive abilities that assist Angel, was a higher power, then calls in a favour from The Powers that Be to say goodbye to her friends before she dies. Bet she’s got a lot of knowledge and insight tucked away there.

3. Sarah Conner. OK, I usually refuse to recognize Rise of the Machines as Terminator canon, but in this case, it’s handy from me to have Sarah dead. I specifically have Sarah in mind for a warrior’s spirit guide (like spirit guide/hallucination Kyle was at the beginning of T2) – very much a woman’s ‘keep going, soldier’ kind of spirit guiide.

Your picks?


  1. says

    We should probably stick a spoiler warning on this entire thread, shouldn’t we?

    Avatar Kyoshi from Avatar: The Last Airbender (and possibly The Legend of Korra.) Every incarnation of the Avatar can contact his or her past lives through meditation, to seek advice and wisdom about being the Avatar. Kyoshi was the second Avatar before Aang – (and the third before Korra, but Korra cannot contact her past lives yet).
    As an Avatar she invented a whole new fan-based martial art, created an island in the process of destroying a conquering warlord, and lived to 230 years old.
    Her advice is generally “don’t take any crap from anyone and be decisive in your actions.” She is one of the more awesome Avatars.

    Earth Two Wonder Woman (DC Comics), yes, I took a little liberty, but she is dead on Earth Two, and who would make a better spirit guide than Wonder Woman? The avatar of Truth, who is practically a personification of compassion, respect, and being able to kick everyone’s ass from here to next Sunday.

    I’m running out of the door now, but I’ll be back with a third!

  2. says

    Frances Brown is the ancestor of the main character in Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire. She was the throwing knives act in a traveling circus until the circus was attacked by a monster. After that she joined up with a monster-hunter because, y’know, monsters. How could you go back to a boring circus life after that? She would be my spirit guide because she’s very practical and hard to shake. Her advice would usually be the direct approach.

    Ruth Winterbourne from Stolen by Kelley Armstrong. The leader of a coven of witches, she ends up being murdered while trying to protect an orphaned little girl she’d just met. She’s kind and gentle, and pacifistic to a fault. Her advice would usually be to gather more information and try to talk things out. Her over-cautious approach would balance out Fran’s over-zealous approach.

    Alice from Demon Bound by Meljean Brook. She lived in Victorian England and died rescuing her husband from the fire he’d set intending a murder-suicide (which ended up just a murder). She ends up as Heaven’s librarian. While her actual advice would probably be worthless because I’d never be sure if she was joking or not, she’d always be able to quote me any precedents and background information I needed.

  3. Nina says

    The sword/warrior-priestess Need from Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books – she has a lot of experience being a spirit guide, since that’s what she does for ages as a sword. She is finally free of the sword and actually able to move on by the end of her story arc, but I hope she would stick around to give me advice now and then. With centuries (more?) of experience, she has pretty much seen it all and is very tough and no-nonsense about things. Also, she could definitely handle the teaching-physical-combat angle that sometimes comes with spirit guiding.

    Snow from Jim Hines’ Princess books – she has a great sense of humor and could give advice on my love life and anything magical, as needed. She would be a good balance for Need since she is younger and more fun-loving.

    Eileen O’Reilly/Merope Ward from Connie Willis’ “Blackout” and “All Clear” – I figure she counts since by the “present” (which is to say, the latest in time the books occur) she has died. She is optimistic, but also practical and resourceful and good at soldiering on in the face of terror and hardship. She would be morale-boosting and also give practical advice on surviving during wars and living through one’s fears.

  4. emylie_bo_bemylie says

    This is such a fun game/activity!

    I haven’t participated in one of your “choose your someones” before, and I’m mildly worried that I don’t know all the parameters, my apologies if I break a rule.

    1) Kendra Young from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she was the slayer that came into play after Buffy died the first time. I don’t necessarily have a good reason for choosing her as a spirit guide, I just thought she was cool and was sad when she died.
    2) Toph from Avatar the last airbender. She’s totally alive in Avatar the last airbender, but in Legend of Korra, she’s deceased. I just find her surly demeanor really enjoyable.

    Okay, i’ll get back to y’all w/ a third pick!

  5. Jennifer says

    I’d pick Eve from the Women of the Otherworld series–badass angel– and Georgia Mason from the Newsflesh trilogy. Don’t really have a third in mind.

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