Role in the Film
Hero Girl is one of the children who rides on the Polar Express to the North Pole. She first meets Hero Boy after Know-It-All asks him what kind of train the Polar Express is, to which she replies by saying it is a magic train that goes to the North Pole. Later, when Hero Boy pulled the emergency brake to let Billy on the train, the Conductor storms in and scolds him until Hero Girl explains the situation, leaving the Conductor to remind Hero Boy of the train's tight schedule.
After that, when the children were being served hot chocolate, Hero Girl saves a cup to give it to Billy, who was in a different coach and therefore, was not served any. However, before she could go, Hero Boy questions whether she was sure she would manage due to it not being safe to cross between cars alone. The Conductor shows up and helps Hero Girl get to the other coach. However, while they were gone, Hero Boy finds her ticket, which has not been punched, on her seat. He decides to go give it back, but it ends up getting blown out of his hand while he was trying to cross to the other coach. It eventually ends up back and gets stuck on the air vent. Meanwhile, the Conductor realizes he forgot to punch Hero Girl's ticket and goes to her seat to do so, but she could not find it. Hero Boy owes up to being responsible for it and tries to give his ticket to her, but the Conductor tells them that the tickets were not transferable and takes Hero Girl away. They go to the back of the train, climb onto the roof and walk across the train to the locomotive where she is put in charge of driving the train while Smokey and Steamer go to fix the locomotive's headlamp.
Hero Boy finds her ticket stuck in the air vent and tries to return it. He, with the help of the Hobo, manages to get to the locomotive where he finds Hero Girl. Meanwhile, Smokey and Steamer catch sight of something ahead on the tracks and call out to Hero Girl to stop the train. Hero Girl tells Hero Boy that she knows where the brakes were, but she loses her confidence after Hero Boy asks if she was sure. However, Hero Boy decides to trust her and stops the train right before they crash into a heard of caribou. Hero Girl, along with Hero Boy and the Conductor, head to the front of the train to try to help solve the problem. They eventually clear the tracks after the Conductor pulls on Smokey's beard to communicate with the caribou.
Hero Girl, Hero Boy and the Conductor stay at the front of the locomotive while Smokey and Steamer get back to the cab and get the train moving again. However, the throttle gets jammed which causes the train to go too fast. The Conductor tells Hero Girl to call out to Smokey and Steamer to slow down, but they were too busy trying to fix the throttle to pay any attention, so the Conductor uses the ropes from Hero Boy's robe to tie them all to the safety bar in preparation for Glacier Gulch, the steepest downhill grade in the world, and tells them to hold on tightly. After Glacier Gulch, the train ends up on an ice lake where it hits an iceberg, causing it to tilt to one side and Hero Girl to almost fall off, but the Conductor and Hero Boy manage to catch her and, with the help of the Hobo, pull her to safety. Meanwhile, Smokey uses the pin from his hair to fix the throttle and stop the train. However, they get it moving again after catching site of the ice cracking. While they try to get the train back on the tracks, the wind blows Hero Girl's ticket out of Hero Boy's slipper and the two children try to catch and do so successfully just ass the train gets back on the rails. Hero Girl thanks Hero Boy for finding her ticket and the Conductor punches the letters "LE" out of it, the same thing Know-It-All got.
The Conductor and the two children then make their way back to the coaches. Along the way, they pass through a coach filled with abandoned and mistreated toys. The Conductor explains to the children that the train collects these toys from all over the world and takes them to the North Pole where they are refurbished. Hero Girl finds it especially sad that these toys have been treated so badly. After getting back, Hero Girl and Hero Boy both see Billy looking out from the back of the observation car, singing "When Christmas Comes to Town," which Hero Girl joins in. After the song, they watch the Northern Lights form in the sky and the Conductor comes by to inform them that the train has crossed the Arctic Circle. He then points at some bright lights in the distance and tells them it is the North Pole.
When the train stops at the center of the North Pole, the Conductor and all the children get off. However, Hero Boy and Hero Girl notice Billy staying behind in the observation car and tell the Conductor, who says he is not required to come. However, the two children decide to go back and convince him to come anyway. However, Hero Boy accidentally steps on a lever which uncouples the coach from the rest of the train, causing it to become a runaway. Luckily, Hero Boy is able to find a brake wheel, thanks to the help of the Hobo, and use it to stop the coach, which ends up on a spinning turntable. When the turntable stops spinning, the children get off and try to find their way back to the city center by following the sounds of the silver bells, which only Hero Girl and Billy could hear.
Along the way, they end up in a communications room where a few elves are doing some last minute work before taking the pneumatic to get to the center. The children decide to use it too, but they end up in a wrapping room instead. There, they find one last present, which is addressed to Billy, and follow it. They then end up in a big pile of presents. Billy is excited to find out what his present is, but Hero Boy and Hero Girl point out a note on the present saying that he should wait until Christmas day to open it. Suddenly, the presents get enclosed in a big red bag, which is carried to the center by a pair of zeppelins. Along the way, something pulls Billy's leg, but Hero Boy and Hero Girl manage to free him by pulling his arm. It turns out to have been Know-It-All, who was in the pile of presents to find out what he is getting for Christmas. They eventually arrive at the center and the elves help them out of the bag.
Later, Santa's reindeer show up and Hero Girl is able to hear the silver bells from their harnesses, but Hero Boy could not. When Santa Claus shows up and speaks with the children, he compliments Hero Girl for her confidence and Christmas spirit. She also watches Hero Boy being given the first gift of Christmas and Santa Claus flying away in his sleigh to make his annual deliveries. After that, she, along with the Conductor and the other children, get back on board the train. Her ticket is punched again and the resulting word is, "LEAD." She initially pronounces it like the metal (led), but it really pronounced (leed) as in "leadership," "leader" and "lead the way."
On board the train, Hero Girl is one of the children who wants to see Hero Boy's bell, but when he reaches into his pocket, he can only feel a hole. The children decide to go outside and look for it, but the train was already leaving before they could do so. She feels sorry for Hero Boy. Later, when Billy is being dropped off, she and Hero Boy both say goodbye to him and are happy to find out Santa has already been to his house. The train then stops at Hero Boy's house where Hero Girl and Know-It-All both say goodbye to him, though she still feels sorry about him losing the bell.
- Hero Girl is one of many characters from the film to not appear in the book.