For male action heroes, it’s all about the hair
With “Game of Thrones” not returning to the small screen until 2019, viewers of prestige dramas may be wondering where to turn for their Sunday night entertainment.
“Outlander,” based on Diana Gabaldon’s extremely successful book series about time travel, Scottish rebellion and true love, hits the small screen for its season three premiere at 7 p.m. Sunday. This swashbuckler takes viewers on a thrill-induced ride from the highlands of Scotland
to Paris, Jamaica and, finally, the New World.
The books and series are anchored by a larger-than-life hero, Jamie Fraser, and the time-traveling woman he adores, Claire Randall.
Alas, “Outlander” travel is limited to horseback, wagon, boat or foot. There are no dragons in the Scottish Highlands.
The Masterpiece series “Poldark” follows a wounded British soldier during the American Revolutionary War who returns to his Cornish home to find his girlfriend married, his mines bankrupt and his father dead. Unlike the so-called “perfect Jamie” in “Outlander,” Ross Poldark’s character flaws are clearly visible.
“Poldark” is also based on a popular book series by the same title written by Winston Graham between 1945 and 1953.
“Game of Thrones” is purely fantasy, while “Outlander” combines fantasy with historical fiction and “Poldark” is straight-up historical fiction.
While varied, however, these series have one major thing in common – a male lead with long, flowing locks of hair.
Jamie Fraser’s hair is red and curly, often tied back with a colored ribbon as befitting mid-18th-century style. Ross Poldark and Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen) both have unruly, long, dark hair that makes them look as if they have just come through a windstorm, snowstorm, or have just fought a battle against the undead.
These action heroes are following a tradition in many cultures in which hair is believed to be a gift of nature that helps increase vitality, intuition and tranquility. Native Americans are often recognized by the length and glory of their hair. They have long held that the cutting of
hair by oppressors represents submission and defeat.
Long-haired male action heroes on the big or small screen are often portrayed as conquerors – whether in getting the girl or physically dominating an opponent on the battlefield.
These heroes are often passionate, short-tempered and stubborn. Think Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” or Mr. Rochester in “Jane Eyre.”
So, in honor of the return of my favorite show “Outlander” after more than a year off the air, here is a list of the best hairy hunks to ever grace the screen.
Played by Viggo Mortensen in the “Lord of the Rings” series, Aragorn’s hair, usually stringy and dirty, was his defining feature.
Capt. Jack Sparrow
Johnny Depp sported dreadlocks in his unforgettable portrayal of Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.
Who can forget Jason Momoa’s long, thick ponytail in season one of “Game of Thrones?”
Far from long and luscious, Alan Rickman’s dark, lank hair was a trademark in the “Harry Potter” series.
Mandy Patinkin and his long curls were perfect in “The Princess Bride.”
Chris Hemsworth with long, flowing blond locks. Need I saw more?
Brad Pitt with luxurious flaxen-colored hair. Too bad ‘Legends of the Fall” was reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy.
Sylvester Stallone as the perfect action hero – compete with long, flowing locks.
Daniel Day-Lewis with perfect hair, perfect cheekbones and immense talent in “Last of the Mohicans.”
Mel Gibson sported some luscious locks for his portrayal of the Scottish hero in “Braveheart.”
Jeff Bridges’ career-defining portrayal in “The Big Lebowski” comes with plenty of hair.
Who can forget Heath Ledger’s curly locks in “10 Things I Hate About You?”
Orlando Bloom had some seriously long hair and pointy ears in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Let us know who your favorite, long-haired action hero is by emailing Susan Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.