It’s no coincidence that some of our most badass and beloved characters on our favorite TV shows have beards. Take Game of Thrones, the cast is essentially just one big bearded ensemble.
It doesn’t matter if your trekking the post-apocalyptic wastelands of a zombie infested world, leading a horde of savage raiders, or your a drug kingpin in the Southwest United States, our characters all have one thing in common, badass beards.
These beards aren’t just any type of thing you’d see walking down the street.
Down in the wooly stems of these great manes are the stuff of legend. Kings and conquerors, feared and loathed, respected and envied, these are the bearded brothers of our most coveted TV shows.
Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead
Imagine waking up from your clean shaven comatose slumber to find out the world has become a zombie wasteland. This is exactly what happened to our main lead Rick Grimes. Throughout his time on the show he has grown from a pragmatic post-sheriff, to calling his own Ricktatorship in full force.
When your fighting off legions off the undead every day and living people too, you’ve got to be tough. The evolution of Rick’s morales and character development conveniently follows the trajectory of his beard growth.
Rick went from debating whether or not to kill his best friend, who wanted to not only kill him but take his wife, and raise his son, to literally ripping throats out and asking questions later.
Following his shave last season, he’s almost lost his town, friends and family to a mass horde of walkers. Rick’s beard has come a long way, picking out zombie guts, conquered blood, and the tears of his enemies. Here’s to hoping he grows out that scruff to a full proper mane again. He’s going to need it.
Khal Drogo – Game of Thrones
Coming from a fictional culture that prides itself on all things manly and strong, what could you expect from their fearless leader. Khal Drogo is the leader of the Dothraki, a savage group of nomadic horse lords.
They are forced to cut their hair if defeated in battle. With hair flowing below his waist to a beard tied above his chest, you could tell, Drogo has never been defeated.
Khal Drogo, an imposing leader, struck fear throughout the fictional continent of Essos, alongside his Dragon Queen Daenerys, they made quite the power couple of the land. When you’ve got a beard bun, the things that can stop you are few and far in between.
Walter White – Breaking Bad
Oh Walter White. A once timid chemistry teacher turned Meth Kingpin, Heisenberg. The evolution of Walter White was a slow affair. His wispy mustache slowly crept its way across his face before turning into a defining goatee.
Our anti-hero leapt into the criminal underground armed only with his knowledge of science, goatee, and signature hat. Walter battled the forces of the DEA, inconspicuous drug lords, pyscho Neo-Nazis, and the everyday drudgery of family life.
When the danger comes knocking, Walt doesn’t falter as he put it in those eternal words, “I am the danger.”
Crixus – Spartacus: War of the Damned
A slave turned Gladiator of Rome, Crixus, the Undefeated Gaul and Champion of Capua. Crixus is actually a real person from Ancient Roman times. He was enslaved and eventually became the leader of a slave uprising called the Third Servile War.
Crixus, not to be overshadowed by the legend of Spartacus, was a true gladiator and warrior in his own right. With his passionate and fiery personality, he led scores of slaves to annihilate their Roman captors. He was Spartacus’s right hand man and occasional rival throughout the series.
The brothers in Spartacus define what it means to be rugged. The Roman handshake is also infinitely cooler then any contrived handshake you could think of. Simple too. Grasp the forearm and shake. Done.
Ragnar Lothbrok – Vikings
Finally we have our Viking King. Ragnar the mastermind who went from simple farmer before becoming King of all vikings. Another TV character who is based on the real-life historical Ragnar figure. Though his real history is shrouded in mythology, Ragnar is brought to life in epic proportions.
He is one of the first Vikings to have the idea to sail west to unknown lands to raid and plunder. Ragnar becomes a menace to the mass of Christians in England, who see Vikings as demons incarnate. At home he battles an upwards power struggle he’s been unwillingly thrown into.
Through hard won battles, showing his enemies the Blood Eagle, the most Viking execution method ever to exist, Ragnar shows he’s the most badass King to exist in a society filled with the roughest around.
Rounding up our most badass selection was no easy feat, as we’re in a TV beard arms race. There has and will continue to be bearded legends passing through our screens.