Jennifer Lawrence is portraying Katniss Everdeen in a movie adaptation of The Hunger Games.

The job is a big one. The Hunger Games, the first novel in Suzanne Collins' wildly popular trilogy, is a story about children who are forced by their government to fight each other to the death until only one is left. The character of Katniss has been received well for the most part by fans and critics.

It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable, Publishers Weekly wrote in a review of the first book.

Lawrence joins a long line of actresses who have portrayed beloved fictional heroines for television and film, including Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series), Jennifer Ehle (Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice), and Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind).

Check out these photos of 15 other talented actresses who have taken on some of the biggest fictional heroine roles. Who's your favorite?