The television world today is full of name-taking, ass-kicking, fully-formed women characters. Sometimes, they fly high for new discoveries. Other times, they lead the good fight. And there are times when they uphold the law and order of the land.

But there are also times when they BURN. IT. DOWN.

For this year’s International Women’s Day, join us as we toast five TV women who tore down patriarchal systems, toppling old regimes to stand atop the rubble.

Yennefer of Vengerberg – The Witcher 

Yennefer screams with tears in her eyes as blood streaks her face in The Witcher TV series.

Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) unleashes her fury against the Nilfgaardian army.

Born powerful but deformed, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) found her place and beauty among the mages of Aretuza. But the Brotherhood deemed that she would best serve them in the political courts of The Continent, so she was deployed.

When she tired of the petty squabblings and trivial concerns of royalty, she went rogue and forged her own path despite her mentor, Tissaia deVries (MyAnna Buring), warning her that her sloppiness would draw the Brotherhood’s attention.

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When her life dovetails with Geralt of Rivia’s (Henry Cavill), their on-again, off-again relationship causes a shift in her priorities. To save The Continent from Nilfgaard, she literally burns out her Chaos. 

She risks everything to regain her powers but has to sacrifice herself when the price agreed upon proves too great. She saves Ciri (Freya Allan) and delivers a vast evil to another dimension. 

When the dust settles after the Destruction of Tor Lara, it is Yennefer and her allies standing where once only the Brotherhood held sway.

Osyraa of Orion – Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

Osyraa of Orion is an alien with green skin and darker green hair. She wears a black leather ensemble while standing with her hands folded in front of her in Star Trek: Discovery.

“The Sanctuary” — Ep#308 — Pictured: Janet Kidder as Osyraa of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Yes, admittedly, Osyraa (Janet Kidder) was a villain and a murderer, but she had immense vision. 

Under her leadership, the Emerald Chain reached levels of interstellar influence never dreamed of before. However, she saw that Orion’s future lay in alliances that could improve the lives and prospects of her species.

Unfortunately, on her way to this vision, she committed innumerable crimes against a multitude of Federation allies as well as her own people.

RELATED: Catch up with our Star Trek: Discovery recaps here!

This meant that her offer of peace and cooperation to Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr) could only be accepted if she sacrificed herself and faced justice for her actions. She’d never played by other people’s rules. Why would she start now?

Her final bid for victory nearly succeeded but was ended by another woman disrupter, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green).

She-Hulk – She-Hulk: Attorney at Law 

Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, wears a pink t-shirt while standing in a tropical paradise. She has green skin and darker green long hair.

Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer “Jen” Walters/She-Hulk in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Obviously, we can’t talk about smashing patriarchies (and superhero tropes) without including Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) from She-Hulk.

When superpowers are thrust upon her, causing her well-ordered and perilously balanced life to implode, Walters is forced to say the quiet part out loud for those who fool themselves into thinking women have achieved gender equality.

RELATED: She-Hulk: Everything You Need To Know About Jennifer Walters

In the premiere, she fem-splains anger management to Cousin Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) in the scene that lit the Marvel-verse ablaze.

“I’m great at controlling my anger. I do it all the time: When I’m catcalled in the street; when incompetent men explain my own area of expertise to me. 

“I do it pretty much every day because if I don’t, I will get called emotional, or difficult, or might just literally get murdered. So I’m an expert at controlling my anger because I do it infinitely more than you.”  

She has all the opportunities to control and direct that anger as she takes on a prejudiced legal system, bridesmaid duties, copyright infringement and the fourth wall. By forcing K.E.V.I.N. to rewrite her finale, she quite literally shapes her own destiny. 

Eileen “Mama” Sun – The Brothers Sun 

Eileen "Mama" Sun holds up an electric drill in a rubber-gloved hand. Her hair is tucked into a shower cap and she wears a white apron. She is back lit with sunlight coming through a kitchen window behind her.

The Brother Sun Season 1 Episode 1. Courtesy of Netflix

Is there a role where Michelle Yeoh doesn’t blow the roof off the place?

As Eileen “Mama” Sun in Netflix’s The Brothers Sun, she once again proves that intelligence and patience can outlast and outplay the most powerful regimes.

Before escaping the Taiwanese triad life with her younger son, Bruce (Sam Li), Mama Sun is known as her husband Big Sun’s (Johnny Kou) greatest asset. With the knowledge of the true identities of all the triad leaders, she is a threat to all of them, giving the Jade Dragons an upper hand in triad dynamics.

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More importantly, she inspires loyalty in their minions as well as her sons. 

So, when the opportunity arises to assume the leadership of the Jade Dragons, it’s only logical for her to step up. And even when her supposedly comatose husband returns, you can’t count her out of the fight. The foundation she builds of allies and goodwill serves her well, and those who would stand in the way of the Dragon Queen do so at their peril.

Laura De Mille/Madame Rouge – Doom Patrol 

Still of Michelle Gomez in Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 5 Dada Patrol

Pictured: Michelle Gomez in DOOM PATROL, Season 3 Episode 5. Photo credit: Bob Mahoney/HBO Max.

As a revenge-driven, time-traveling sociopath, Michelle Gomez could be accused of playing to a type as Doom Patrol‘s Madame Rouge definitely feels like a take on Doctor Who‘s Missy.

However, her vengeance on The Chief (Timothy Dalton), as well as her boomerang assault on the Brain (Riley Shanahan) and Monsieur Mallah (Jonathan Lipow) as the remaining vestiges of the Brotherhood of Evil, prove to be only practice runs for her ultimate victory over the Bureau of Normalcy.

RELATED: Catch up on all the weird sh*t with our Doom Patrol recaps!

Rouge’s initial appearance on Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 1 is mysterious and impressively crass while simultaneously providing the origin story for the series’ final opponent, the narcissistic and all-powerful Immortus, aka Isabel Feathers (Charity Cervantes).

While she grows to become a part of the Doom Patrol, her natural tendency for destruction and deception worries her. However, once she lets herself own that part of her nature, she finds the perfect outlet when she returns to the Ant Farm and BURNS. IT. DOWN.

Honorable Mention: Charlie Cale – Poker Face 

Charlie leans against a large trunk while standing outside with her hand on her hip in Poker Face Season 1 Episode 8, "The Orpheus Syndrome."

POKER FACE — “The Orpheus Syndrome” Season 1 Episode 8 — Pictured: Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale — (Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Peacock)

While this list has been concerned with television women who have torn down and/or assumed control over major organizations and systemically unjust circumstances, let’s not forget that change can happen on a small scale, too.

If there’s any woman who calls B.S. when she hears it, it’s Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne), the human lie detector.

RELATED: Check out more articles about amazing women for International Women’s Day here!

Over the course of Poker Face Season 1, Charlie develops a delightful Littlest-Hobo-meets-Columbo system of solving murders as she flees from town to town, trying to leave her wrathful boss, Sterling Frost Sr. (Ron Perlman), in the rearview.

But at the heart of her haphazard approach to life are her good intentions. And because of the truths she brings to the world through her sleuthing, she not only resolves a string of random murders, she shines a light on the international exploitation ring that led to her friend Natalie’s (Dascha Polanco) murder.

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