From the producers of Xena.
Kahlan is a kind, compassionate soul who gets called to protect the hero on his quest. So kind, compassionate Kahlan takes out her daggers and starts slicing through anyone in his way.
Not only is she a badass, throat-slitting, terror-inducing warrior goddess, but she's also what they call a Confessor, born with the power to enslave people through her touch. Literally, what happens is she brainwipes them into falling in love with her -- becoming instantly and single-mindedly so devoted that they'll do anything she asks, like puppets on a string.
Kahlan being a hero, she only uses her power to make enemies surrender and give up information.
Not pictured: the loss of all personal will.
A fun part of Confession is that it can't be controlled during "the moment of ecstasy" (wink, wink). This is actually a major plot point between Kahlan and Richard, because it means their love CAN NEVER BE CONSUMMATED, FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND, because if they have sex he'll get Confessed and thus become her mindless drone instead of the savior of the midlands.
Kahlan is famous for two things. One, her swooshy battle hair:
And two, her outfits.
That's the white Confessor's dress, and this is her adrenaline makeover in S2:
Cleavage! Straps! Laces! Boots!
Pictures like this are so pretty and peaceful until you notice the BIG HONKING DAGGER IN HER FUCK-ME BOOTS.
In addition to knives, swords, the occasional arrow, and the power of removing your entire personality with one touch, Kahlan can also -- in times of great disstress -- slip into what they call her blood rage, which is basically the homicide portion of her brain lighting up without an off switch, her one and only thought being "KILL THEM ALL."
She just wants to give you a hug!
Another bonus of blood rage: psychotic asskicking skills.
So that's Kahlan. Swooshy hair, lots of pointy objects, and only her morals holding her back from commanding an entire army of living zombies.
Cara is a Mord Sith, one of the villian's evil dominatrix minions. They wear leather and torture their victims with BDSM and their "communities" are really nothing but hierarchical lesbian S/M orgies. Cara defects -- joins the good guys in season two -- but it doesn't change who she is: she remains a ruthless battlemonger who gets her kicks frolicking through blood and entrails, it's just that now she does it for great justice.
She's a hero, honest.
Cara's weapon of choice is an agiel, which is basically a magical leather phallus that delivers intense pain on contact -- even if you're just holding it. The Mord Sith aren't immune, simply trained to overcome the pain of wielding it.
Cara uses two.
You may be thinking, what's a bloodthirsty, death-dealing sadist doing with the heroes? Well, Cara joins them for personal reasons, not any great moral calling. You can often find her snarking and eyerolling when the gang insists on lending a hand to -- and I quote -- "helpless children or distressed farm animals."
What Cara thinks of your birthday party:
Of course, she starts to melt eventually. Her soul may be a blackened marshmallow, but the marshmallow is still there. After a full season of things like friendship and teamwork and emotional bonding, Cara has thawed enough to realize her squishy inner core of goodness -- which makes her stalk around like "I DON'T HAVE FEELINGS. FEELINGS ARE GROSS." while everyone nods indulgently.
She's still hardcore, though.
Squishy inside or not, would you want to see that coming for you?
See that outfit? Skintight red leather.
Keep in mind she's usually smirking and tossing her hair in obvious pleasure at her bloodlust, which ups the hotness from WOW to OH MY FUCKING GOD MY SCREEN IS ON FIRE.
Which brings me to...
At first Kahlan and Cara don't get along:
There are little things like Confessors and Mord Sith being deadly enemies, and the fact Cara used to serve the tyrant Kahlan sacrificed everything to bring down. They do a lot of threatening and throat-grabbing and it's full of sly looks and (of course) eyesex.
Eventually they stop fighting each other and start fighting together:
IT'S EVEN MORE AWESOME THAN IT LOOKS. Pity anyone on the wrong side, because a Kahlan and Cara doubleteam isn't exactly sunshine and puppies so much as mass graves.
They don't just pass the Bechdel test, they slay it. There's no love triangle, no cattiness or competition. They have their own relationship that progresses naturally and has nothing to do with men -- in fact, in one episode Richard tries to come between them and play mediator, and he's basically shoved aside because it's their business and they will work it out. And they do!
They even get the hang of the whole proximity/friendship thing:
Well, most of the time.
They travel together, fight together, egg each other on about their love lives...
And they always get their man.
Wait, did you want to see that again? Of course you do.
It's important to remember that this is a deeply plotty show... from every angle.
You don't have to feel guilty, by the way. LOTS is all about fanservice for everyone -- the male characters take off their shirts and get erotically tortured all the time, so the blatant objectification goes both ways. It's okay to enjoy the ladies being sexy. Go on, I know you saved the kissing gif.
The awesome ladies of LOTS, including Kahlan and Cara.
Lightning Field (mostly Cara)
Going Under (Kahlan)
Chinese Burn (Kahlan/Cara action)
Fan trailer for Kahlan/Cara.
Richard/Kahlan sexytimes (yum!)
O Death (ensemble, I just really like this one)
You can also find plenty of clips, vids, picspams and all-around Kahlan/Cara fangirling if you feel like dipping in fandom. It's not shy about appreciating the girlpower -- in fact, I'd even say it's one of the major draws of the show. Not many people find LOTS and say "wow, the story of a humble hero on an epic quest? I've never seen that before!" But fierce women warriors with their own story arcs and emotional journeys who are treated just as important as the men? Yeah, that appeals.