Although most TV characters that claim power and respect are typically made to be men, for anyone who has seen the entire first two seasons of Netflix’s House of Cards, you know that Claire Underwood isn’t one any person—male or female—would want to mess with.
Just an conniving and cold-blooded as her husband Frank, Claire uses moxy, smarts and extreme intelligence to strategically put herself at the forefront of a number of different issues on the show, proving to have quite the power herself.
That got me thinking about some other ladies who have been known to do the same thing, with these, the most powerful women TV characters.
5. Juliette Barnes – Nashville
If there’s one thing that will bring out the ugly in a person, it’s the desire for power and fame.
That’s why Nashville‘s Juliette Barnes earns her spot on this list, because, though young and unestablished, she’s playing the necessary game it takes to become successful.
Feisty and unapologetic, Barnes uses a vindictive attitude to make sure she stays on top of the country scene.
4. Diane Lockhart – The Good Wife
Don’t be fooled by the name of the show, because Diane Lockhart is anything but good. In fact, she’s actually a bit ruthless.
As the Senior Partner of a law firm, her sole purpose is seeking revenge on former colleagues and politicians who squashed her efforts at earning a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court.
With money and purpose on her side, Lockhart is a dangerous combination.
3. Olivia Pope – Scandal
Not only did she successfully help win the Presidency for Fitz Grant, but Olivia also launched her own crisis management consultant agency—proving that she has the wherewithal to be the boss.
As the ultimate warrior wearing a suit, Olivia and her employees take on an attitude that is “do or die,” and aren’t discrete in displaying that nearly every episode.
2. Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones
The TV show Game of Thrones has completely blown-up since coming on-air, turning nearly every viewer who has seen an episode become a full-fledged fan.
And a lot of that has to do with Daenerys Targaryen who, as the last living Targaryen, believes it’s her birthright to control the Seven Kingdoms that her late father used to rule.
Going from a shy character to a grown woman able to oversee warriors and place them as she wants to, Daenerys can do no wrong.
1. Claire Underwood – House of Cards
As mentioned earlier, Claire Underwood is absolutely ruthless, using her charm, looks and intelligence to scheme plans that most people would consider unethical.
Without giving away any spoilers for those who aren’t all caught up with House of Cards, just know that Claire and husband Frank stop at nothing to cover up their past, while also devising plans for the future.
Everything the Underwood’s do is with reason—and it’s Claire who often leads the efforts.
[Photo via Macall B. Polay/HBO]