Redheaded Hero

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    Some Heroes Want Redheads. Some heroes are redheads.

    Considering that, of all hair colours, red is the least common, it isn't surprising that it is used when writers want someone to stand out, at least in shows that don't give random extras blue and green hair.

    One distinction between red-haired heroes and villains is that where heroes tend to have bright-colored hair (almost reddish-blond), villains have darker-colored, almost brownish hair. Red is second only to blonde hair for a hero (see Law of Chromatic Superiority).

    Frequently, they'll have a Fiery Redhead personality to go with their hair.

    Contrast Evil Redhead, Redheaded Stepchild.

    No real life examples, please; we'd be here all day.

    Examples of Redheaded Hero include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Shirou from Kazuma Kodaka's Midare Somenishi.
    • Kyo Sohma, one of two main male leads of Fruits Basket, certainly has the Fiery Redhead part down, as well as being somewhat of a Redheaded Stepchild.
    • The Japanese definitely like using redheads and the color red in general. Take the Mobile Suit Gundam series, for example: Amuro Ray is a redhead, while Char pilots red mecha (that are three times faster).
    • Star Driver plays this straight with Tsunashi Takuto.
    • Shana in Shakugan no Shana. Although, when in her "human" form, she has normal black hair, when she turns into a Flame Haze, her picture could be the title image for this trope. It's not just red, it glows and flame-like embers come off of it. Did we mention that it glows?
    • Kenshin Himura of Rurouni Kenshin.
    • Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion (anime only; in the manga, she has strawberry blonde hair).
    • Subverted with Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk, who dyes his hair red.
    • Gene Starwind from Outlaw Star.
    • Yoko of The Twelve Kingdoms.
    • Hikaru Shidou in Magic Knight Rayearth.
    • Mai Tokiha from My-HiME has orange reddish hair. Her mischievous opposite, Nao Yuuki, has bright crimson hair.
    • Half of the time, the hero is a redhead in Ranma ½. And everybody wants her, unless they want him.
    • The Slayers neatly reverses the gender on this by having the protagonist Lina be a spunky redhead and her love interest Gourry be dumb as a post and blonde to boot.
    • While Kinomoto Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura) is mostly considered a brunette in the anime, she is more of a redhead in the few colour pictures of her in the manga. Same goes for her princess alter ego in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, but she goes under Heroes Want Redheads.
    • Momomiya Ichigo of Tokyo Mew Mew twists this: her human form has red hair, but post-Transformation Sequence, when she's actually doing heroic things instead of complaining, her hair is pink.
    • Davis Motomiya (Motomiya Daisuke) from Digimon Adventure 02.
    • Rika (Ruki) from Digimon Tamers.
      • Interesting fact about Digimon: the more Hot-Blooded a group leader is, the redder their hair is. Taichi was somewhat hotheaded but had a fairly balanced temperment, so he has brown hair with a slight red tint, though it's practically not noticible. Davis/Daisuke was very Hot-Blooded and has reddish-brown hair. Takato is the calmest Digimon leader and has straight brown. Takuya resumes the Hot-Blooded pattern and has brown that leans toward reddish-brown. Marcus/Masaru is the worst of the lot and is as close to red hair as you can get and still technically be brunette.
    • Himeno Awayuki from Prétear, nicknamed "Tulip Head" by Hayate (though he stops calling her this after a while).
    • Ahiru from Princess Tutu—which, incidentally, has the same director as Prétear.
    • Negi Springfield and his partner, Asuna, from Mahou Sensei Negima. His father, Nagi, was one too.
    • Hot-Blooded Kallen Kouzuki, Lelouch Lamperouge's Lancer and bodyguard from Code Geass.
    • Lavi and General Cross (although Allen might choke on 'hero" for that one) from D.Gray-man.
    • Tooya from Ayashi no Ceres, called "Tamahome with hair dye and contact lenses".
      • Cyborg Guy's hair isn't natural. In flashbacks to before the accident and after he becomes an Evoluder, his hair is a pretty normal brown. Mikoto, on the other hand...
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Vita and Teana have red hair. Nanoha herself has reddish-brown hair.
    • Saiyuki has both a hero with bright red hair, Sha Gojyo, and a villain with dark red hair, Kougaiji. This is pointed out when Gojyo's older brother, Dokugakuji, admits that one of the reasons he started working for Kougaiji was because he reminded him of Gojyo. This may actually be playing with the trope a little, since, much of the time, Punch Clock Villain Kougaiji behaves more like a classical hero than the protagonists.
    • Daisuke from D.N.Angel, though he lacks the stereotypical temperament (he's very calm most of the time).
    • In the Sailor Moon manga, Sailor Mars has red hair in many colored images. Sailors ChibiChibi, Kakyuu, and Vesta have red hair as well. Sailors Moon, ChibiMoon, Ceres, Lethe, and Mnemosyne all have pink hair at some point and all are eventually good guys.
    • Yu Yu Hakusho has got two red heads on the Five-Man Band: Kuwabara and Kurama. Kuwabara's hair is sort of a reddish-blond while Kurama's is dark crimson; though Kurama's hair does change color when he assumes his true form.
    • Tsubomi Hanasaki from Heartcatch Pretty Cure has literal red hair, which contrasts with her Innocent Flower Girl nature. It turns pink as Cure Blossom, though.
    • Juliet of Romeo X Juliet is a redhead. Red seems to be the theme color for the Capulets, with the Montagues are blue.
    • Luna, in Uninhabited Planet Survive!.
    • Shirayuki, in Akagami no Shirayukihime. Invoked Trope here, as the author wanted to write a story loosely based on "Snow White", with the eponymous heroine being red-haired. In this manga's universe, this hair color is very rare, making the heroine sought after by various ill-minded people.
    • Fairy Tail Erza who got her last name from her hair.
    • Lieutenant Kate Curtis, the titular red-headed protagonist of the Hentai Bondage Queen Kate.
    • Yoko Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
    • While Sae from Magic Users Club has a long, winding, pitfall-ridden road to get to the point where she is worthy of the "hero" part of this trope, her dedication and belief in her companions pay off in the end when she frees the world from alien control by turning The Bell into a giant tree. While not the protagonist, resident Bishonen Aburatsubo also qualifies as one of the most competent members of the magic user's club who often saves the day when the group gets in trouble.
    • Anne, the spy and protagonist of the Hentai Spy of Darkness.
    • Ryoko Mitsurugi from Real Bout High School plays this very straight.
    • Sun Otonashi who is also (although snarky) The Messiah.
    • Ibara from Hana no Kishi.
    • Princess Nakaba from Reimei no Arcana.
    • Ayano Kannagi from Kaze no Stigma.
    • Yumeji and Merry from Yumekui Merry both have shades of this.
    • Played with in the movie Sword of the Stranger, as No Name has red hair, though we only ever see it once, briefly, because he dyes it black to make himself less conspicuous.
    • Rai of Tai Chi Chasers.

    Comic Books

    • Red Sonja.
    • Brenda Starr, from the film and comic book of the same name.
    • Jean Grey, Rachel Summers, Wolfsbane, Shatterstar, Banshee, and Siryn of the X-Men.
    • Wally West (the third Flash). When he was running around with an open-topped cowl as Kid Flash, he dyed his hair brown (at super-speed), because, for once, red hair was acknowledged as being unusual.
      • The Tornado Twins, children of the second Flash.
      • The second Impulse, Iris West, daughter to the third Flash, Wally West.
      • Apparently, DC's colorists have taken to turning Bart Allen's hair color into a reddish-brown in later issues; it's a flat-out flame-red in some appearances, where, initially, it was a chocolate-brown shade. Getting lighter with age, maybe?
    • Rorschach of Watchmen, although he's more of an Anti-Hero.
    • Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. Former Daredevil villain Typhoid Mary also has red hair. As per the trope, she's drawn with significantly brighter hair after making a Heel Face Turn.
    • Lightning Lad/Live Wire and Lightning Lass/Spark/Light Lass, twins from The Legion of Super Heroes.
    • Mariah from The Warlord.
    • If that Gen13 one-off counts, The Authority's Midnighter - though you wouldn't know it, as (on the rare occasions he's seen without his mask) every artist gives him a different colour. Word of God says he just likes to dye it.
    • Jason Blood, human anchor for Etrigan the Demon, red with a white streak.
      • Also, for some reason, Jim Corrigan, the Golden Age host of The Spectre.
    • Cyclone, one of the newest members of the Justice Society of America and granddaughter of the Golden Age Red Tornado.
      • Al Pratt, the Golden Age Atom, was Cagneyesque not only in his short stocky build, but also in his ginger hair.
    • Though counter intelligence specialist Scarlett is the most well-known, G.I. Joe has never been short of redheads. Examples include Flash, Ace, Wild Bill, Thunder, Deep-Six, Cover Girl, Dusty, Blow Torch, Ripcord, Barbecue, Crankcase, Taurus, Steam-Roller, Cross-Country, Knockdown, Outback, Charbroil, Long Range (the original), and Big Bear. Amusingly, this list includes two out of three G.I. Joe flame weapons specialists and the G.I. Joe firefighter. Odds are good that late-run flamethrower Ice Cream Soldier is also redheaded beneath his masked helmet.
    • Finny, the Irish co-protagonist in Sinister Dexter. Well, Anti-Hero.
    • Vic Sage as The Question, although the special gas he uses to change the colour of his clothes and make his mask stick to his face properly also darkens his hair.
    • Kate Kane, the modern age Batwoman.
    • Link and Zelda in the comic book adaptation of The Legend of Zelda's first two games.
    • Roy Harper, the first Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow.
    • Guy Gardner: Green Lantern and all around badass ginger.
    • X-Men villain and Trope Codifier of The Juggernaut, Cain Marko has had a few moments in which he was a hero. He has bright red hair.
    • Chassis.

    French Belgian Comic Books

    • Spirou from Spirou and Fantasio.
    • Obelix from Asterix.
    • Tintin was sometimes represented as a redhead (when he wasn't blonde or light chestnut).
      • The animated series decided on an orangey hair color, as did the 2011 CGI film (Haddock even refers to him as ginger at one point).
    • Mélusine.
    • Boule et Bill.
    • Jeannette Pointu.
    • Soda.
    • Lanfeust.

    Fan Works

    • Chloe in Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy has literal red hair in civilian form. Hanae is a more believable redhead (having orange hair), but gains literal red hair as well when turned into Cure Tangerine. However, both subvert the Fiery Redhead trope when it comes to personality, as Chloe is described as a gentle and kind-hearted girl, while Hanae is just a Shrinking Orange. The fiery one of the team happens to be purple-haired Ayameko.
    • In the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen parody Just the Best Mary Sue Ever!, the main character, Fellauroralisterinavetta Aanjulle O'Bamfwryter, has spectacularly glossy hair that looks like a halo of copper-colored worms.


    Legend and Mythology

    • Judas was traditionally depicted red-haired, even though his hair color is not actually in The Bible. An reference to Judas having red hair is found, for example, in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
    • Odysseus of The Iliad and The Odyssey: his hair was described as "crisping red-golden".
      • Menelaus of the same definitely was; "red-haired king" was among his epithets. Which is odd, because his name, Menelaus Xanthus, means "Menelaus the Blond"; he's called a red-head because, apparently, scholars never met any blond Greeks (they do exist). But something strange was going on originally because "Xanthus" also referred to slaves (foreigners, mostly). There's something metatextual going on there.
    • Thor, before Marvel Comics turned him blond.
    • Older Than Feudalism: in some versions of the Trojan War, Achilles has red hair to denote his fiery temper and badassery (and matches his common epithet as "blazing Achilles"). Menelaus and Agamemnon may have had red hair as well. Neoptolemus definitely was a redhead, even if his father, Achilles, wasn't. He was also known as Pyrrhos, which is Greek for "fiery red".
      • Achilles himself, when he hid out in king Lycomedes' palace disguised as a girl (and, in the process, fathered Pyrrhos with Lycomedes' daughter Deidameia), called himself Pyrrha. Some think that Neoptolemos' alternative name may have been derived from his father's alias (he only got his name Neoptolemos, "young warrior," when he joined the Greek army before Troy).
    • In many retellings, Arthurian legend's Sir Gawain. Occasionally, Arthur himself is portrayed as a redhead.
    • Red hair is seen as the mark of Gilgamesh.


    • Madeline.
    • Pippi Longstocking.
    • Several Robert A. Heinlein protagonists - most notably, Lazarus Long (nee Woodrow Wilson Smith) (biggest role was in Time Enough for Love, he did appear in later Heinlein works) and his mother, Maureen Johnson Smith (most prominent in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, she plays a minor role in several earlier Heinlein novels). And many were redheaded twins; The Rolling Stones, Time for the Stars, Laz and Lor from Time Enough for Love. Other adventurous or heroic redheads include "Slipstick" Libby, Hazel Stone, and a long list of others.
    • Sir Apropos of Nothing, though he'd be more of a red-headed Anti-Hero...
    • Several from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, four from the Skywalker family/bloodline alone: Mara Jade Skywalker (Luke's wife and the reason there's redheads in the bloodline at all - green-eyed), Ben Skywalker (her son and the kid in the former article image; this is Lampshaded at one point - blue-eyed), Kol Skywalker (her great-grandson - green-eyed, again), Tenel Ka (Jacen's wife and current ruler of Hapes), and Allana (Jacen and Tenel's daughter - gray-eyed).
    • Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson in Discworld. And Mort.
    • Anne of Green Gables.
    • Howard Roark from The Fountainhead. Again, depends on your definition of hero.
    • Alanna of Trebond, from the Tamora Pierce universe, combines red hair with purple Technicolour Eyes. Arguably also a case of Heroes Want Redheads: despite the fact that the text repeatedly points out that she isn't particularly good looking, she does end up with proposals from the Crown Prince and the King of the Rogue. Also, Tris from the Circle of Magic books by the same author. She is certainly a Fiery Redhead, but also a grouch who sometimes borders on Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Cordelia Vorkosigan is a redhead. In fact, it's one of her character markers; whenever a woman with "roan-red" hair shows up, it's her, or reminds Miles of her. He comes to realize that one of the reasons Sgt. Beatrice's death affected him so much was that, as a tall redhead, she reminded him of his mother.
    • JK Rowling loves redheads and includes several of them in the Harry Potter books:
      • The entire Weasley family.
      • Dumbledore, too, before it turned white.
      • Lily, Harry's Missing Mom (from whom he gets his Green Eyes).
    • Dairine Callahan from Young Wizards.
    • Kvothe, of The Name of the Wind, is known for his bright, flame-red hair. Good for attracting both women and unwanted attention.
    • In Robert Graves' King Jesus, Jesus has red hair, this being one of the eight "signs of royalty".
    • Cord from Douglas Hill's ColSec Trilogy. He's at least something of a Fiery Redhead...but, interestingly enough, his hair is specifically described as dark auburn.
    • Rand Al'Thor from Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time has reddish-blonde hair. This is because he's half Aiel. Elaine also has red-gold hair, whatever that means. When it's not referred to as red-gold, it's consistently just described as blonde, with Aviendha as the redhead of the Blonde, Brunette, Redhead trio. That sounds like a jazzed-up description of strawberry blonde hair.
    • Bill Denbrough and Beverly Marsh, two of the original seven Losers from Stephen King's IT.
    • Both major POV characters of the Doctrine of Labyrinths series are redheads, this is actually a major plot point as, in the city they grew up in, no one else is, thus providing easy proof that Felix and Mildmay are brothers.
    • In E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series, red hair is specifically the genetic marker of ancestry from Atlantis. Many in the human Lensman breeding program are redheads including Clarissa MacDougal.
    • Maria from The Little White Horse.
    • Princess Eilonwy of the Prydain Chronicles is often referred to by the narrator as "Eilonwy of the red-gold hair".
    • Most of the protagonists in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover universe. Justified, since, in this setting, redheads are special.
    • We can't forget Karen in The Three Worlds Cycle. She's arguably one of the major heroes of the first part of the cycle, being instrumental in the main changes to Santhenar over the course of the books. Oh, and she just happens to be a redhead.
    • John Tardy, also known as the "Half-pint Posted" (really, though, he's just grateful to get a nickname other than "Red") of the Gordon R. Dickson novel Spatial Delivery.
    • The eponymous character of JRR Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham. The whole story, in a way, subverts Medieval hero-tales, as the king and his knights are worse than useless, and the only person who can effectively deal with the dragon is a fat, red-headed farmer who doesn't like tresspassers, especially destructive ones.
    • The 39 Clues: Amy Cahill - although hers is more "reddish-brown".
    • Pumuckl, the kobold protagonist of a German children's series.
    • The eponymous character of The Adventures of Blue Avenger is, ironically, a redhead.
    • Red-headed twins Isabeau and Iseult, the two leading characters of Kate Forsyth's "The Witches of Eileanan" series (fantasy).
    • Time Scout: Margo Smith. A Red Headed Heroine to die for. Or because of.
    • In the later Nancy Drew mysteries, Nancy is described as being a redhead.
    • Lord John Roxton in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World is repeatedly described as having red hair, and his various adventures and heroic exploits in South America (like killing slavers) have earned him the nickname "Red Chief" amongst the Amazonian natives.
    • Tarl Cabot of the Gor series. Notably, while he has a Heroic BSOD and becomes Bosk, his hair becomes sandy; but then, when he goes back to being Tarl, it gets red again. In the first book, he mentions that he often had to defend his honor as a schoolboy just for having red hair.
    • Freckles of Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles
    • Although A Song of Ice and Fire has lots and lots of protagonists (although less "good" characters than one would think), Robb Stark stands out as being firmly heroic. His little sister Sansa and mother Catelyn, too.

    Live-Action TV


    • Ziggy Stardust's final, iconic look included vibrantly red hair.
      • This carried to his other "incarnations", Aladdin Sane (Aladdin Sane) and Halloween Jack (Diamond Dogs).
    • The Spin Doctors claimed three brunette members and one member with red-gold curls. Guess which one was the Face of the Band.
    • Party Poison (otherwise known as Gerard Way).

    Video Games

    Visual Novels


    Web Original

    • Obscurus Lupa.
    • Ryana 'Ri' Taylor of Last Secret and other Kostemetsiverse arcs. Hasn't been updated in a while. Apparently, Taylor also subverts all the other tropes about redheads, being an intelligence operative with no public personality and no romantic involvements.
    • Fey, the uber-mage of Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe.

    Western Animation