Top 5 Old(er) Ladies in literature

One thing is for sure, the lucky ones among us are going to get old someday. What better way to celebrate than to take a look at the glorious golden girls from our most beloved books! I've written a rundown of my top 5 favourite older ladies, some of whom are seriously sassy!

Olenna Tyrell - A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

She's as ferocious as any lion when it comes to her grandchildren and her house. She even managed to verbally spar with Tywin Lannister, which not even Tyrion is able to do! When I am older, I only wish to be as sharp witted as Olenna Tyrell, the aptly named Queen of Thorns!

Maud - Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

'Elizabeth is Missing' is centred around the narrator-protagonist, Maud, who has dementia. She knows that something in the world isn't quite right, but she can't quite grasp on to what it is as her memories from the past mix with her present, and people don't take her seriously because of her health condition Little do they know, she's onto something. Highly recommend this - it's a beautiful narrative and Maud is bad-ass!

"Most Grandmothers are lovely, kind, helpful old ladies, but not this one.

She spent all day and every day sitting in her chair by the window,

and she was always complaining, grousing, grouching, grumbling, griping

about something or other." -Roald Dahl

George's Grandma - George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Everyone loves a villain! This old woman was the first I'd seen of her kind in any book as a child. A typical miser, grouchy and unloving, she's the antagonist that so many of us could have in our lives! Roald Dahl's descriptions of villains are brilliant in that they give you an instant idea of character in just a few short sentences.

Granny Weatherwax - Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

Granny Weatherwax is an epic source of wisdom for everyone around her - whether it's a word in your ear or a slap around the back of your head, you know that once you've spoken to her for a while, you were an idiot and you've learned better. She is a straight-talking, wise old woman with a penchant for natural magic, and we could all learn a lot from her!

“She'd never mastered the talent for apologizing,

but she appreciated it in other people.” - Terry Pratchett

Professor McGonagall - Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling

How could I finish this list without McGonagall? Another incredibly witty old witch, who can't be stopped. She is just the right combination of stern and kind when it matters most - she's a counsellor, a teacher, a role model and also later, a friend. Her moral compass is infallible and I always thought she'd make a better head-teacher than Dumbledore (don't hate me!)

So there you have it! The rundown of my favourite older ladies in the fiction business; but what are yours? Let us know!


Amy is a regular contributor to The Big Comfy Bookshop and also runs her own blog at

Writing Into The Ether.

#Amy #List #HarryPotter #Gameofthrones #top5 #RoaldDahl #Discworld #TerryPratchett #EmmyHealy #Books


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