Created By: MarkusWolfeFebruary 19, 2010
Troped

Beard of Barbarism

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Accepting better titles.

Barbarians usually do not have access to good shaving blades or mirrors. So it is not unusual to see a barbarian with a huge Badass Beard that puts all other beards to shame. Not only do they dwarf the beards of civilized men, but they also have really awesome braids and dreadlocks. He may even have bodyparts from his slain enemies stuck in there. Anyone with a beard like that is immediately flagged as a Berserker, a Blood Knight or both.

The more barbaric the man is, the more of these traits (largeness, dreadlockedness, braidedness, number of enemy parts) his beard has. As such, the Beard of Barbarism is used to contrast barbarians with civilized soldiers, who are either clean shaven or have tamed facial hair. These beards can also help determine seniority among the barbarians, as the older men have longer beards.

Usually paired with Wild Hair.

Compare Seadog Beard, contrast Wizard Beard. Subtrope of Badass Beard and sometimes Beard Of Evil

Examples:

The Barbarian King from God of War

The Barbarian From Diablo III

Vikings

Thor

Most of the Viking Pantheon, in fact.

This guy

And this guy

and this guy too
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • February 16, 2010
    Chabal2
    • The Dwarf Mountain King in Warcraft 3 has skulls (presumably) from his defeated enemies attached to his mustache.
    • This guy. And guess what This Troper looks like, given my handle...
  • February 16, 2010
    Fanra
    The very word 'barbarian' is derived from the greek word for 'beard'.

    No, it doesn't.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/barbarian

    1338, from M.L. barbarinus, from L. barbaria "foreign country," from Gk. barbaros "foreign, strange, ignorant," from PIE base *barbar- echoic of unintelligible speech of foreigners (cf. Skt. barbara- "stammering," also "non-Aryan"). Barbaric is first recorded 1490, from O.Fr. barbarique, from L. barbaricus "foreign, strange, outlandish." Barbarous is first attested 1526.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarian

    The word "barbarian" comes into English from Medieval Latin barbarinus, from Latin barbaria, from Latin barbarus, from the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (bárbaros). The word is onomatopoeic, the bar-bar representing the impression of random hubbub produced by hearing a spoken language that one cannot understand, similar to blah blah and babble in modern English.

  • February 16, 2010
    randomsurfer
    BRIAN BLESSED often plays people with one of these.
  • February 16, 2010
    duralict
    We don't need this. Badass Beard covers it.
  • February 17, 2010
    MarkusWolfe
    Whoops. Fixing greek error.....
  • February 17, 2010
    karstovich
    It's a subtrope of Badass Beard, although frankly it doesn't have to be; Barbarians are not necessarily Badass.
  • February 17, 2010
    Chabal2
    When most people think barbarian, they think "Muscle-bound KILLMAIMBURNRAPE" types, which at least look badass.

    • Alexander The Great had his men shave regularly, so as to avoid giving the enemy an advantage (pull on your opponent's beard, his head's going to go where you want it to).
  • February 17, 2010
    RossN
    When most people hear barbarian they probably think Conan, who isn't bearded.
  • February 17, 2010
    lukebn
    There are a lot of etymologies for "barbarian", and one of the most popular ones is the beard one, meaning that even if that's not really what barbarian comes from (the real answer is nobody knows), the popular association exists.
  • February 17, 2010
    VampireBuddha
    Wulf in Strontium Dog is another Viking character with an impressive beard.

    Hmm... I wonder if Viking Beard is common enough to warrant its own trope.
  • February 19, 2010
    MarkusWolfe
    Alright, we're looking good. A few more examples and changes to the definition and we launch sunday!
  • February 19, 2010
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    In traditional fantasy, Dwarves.
  • February 19, 2010
    Fanra
    Many "barbarians" come from cold climates (Vikings) which is another reason why they have a beard.
  • February 19, 2010
    Tannhaeuser
    It is true, however, that "barbarian" derived from Latin "barba" has been a popular folk etymoology. (Greek for "beard" would seem to be "geni.")
  • February 19, 2010
    RossN
    Traditional fantasy Dwarves are not barbarians. They're usually at least as civilized and technologically advanced as the human cultures in the setting.

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