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Arthur Curry / Aquaman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aquaman_01.jpg
"A son of the land and a king of the seas. I am the protector of the deep. I am Aquaman."
Click here to see him unarmored 
Click here to see him wearing his Justice League outfit 
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Species: Human-Atlantean hybrid

Citizenship: American-Atlantean

Affiliation(s): Justice League, Atlantis (Royal Family)

Portrayed By: Jason Momoa, Kekoa Kekumano (age 16), Otis Dhanji (age 13), Kaan Guldur (age 9), Tainui & Tamor Kirkwood (age 3)

Voiced By: Enrique Cervantes (Latin-American Spanish), Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese/adult), Ayumu Murase (Japanese/young), Xavier Fagnon (European French), Louis-Philippe Dandenault (Canadian French), Francisco Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese)

Film Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Justice League | Aquaman | Zack Snyder's Justice League | Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

Appearances in Other Media: Peacemaker | The Adventures of Aquaman & Mera

"I'm nobody. I came 'cause I have no choice. I came to save my home and the people that I love... And if that's not good enough, then screw you!"
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Arthur Curry is the crown prince of Atlantis and protector of the oceans. He was born from an Atlantean royalty mother, Queen Atlanna, and a human father, lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry.

He grew up away from Atlantis, and although he trained with his Atlantean mentor Nuidis Vulko, Arthur resented his heritage from there, preferring to help a remote and poor human village in Iceland and remain under the radar. Then a second invasion of Earth by forces from Apokolips and a lecture by the Xebellian princess Mera compelled him to become a hero to the whole world.

After joining the Justice League and repelling said invasion, he was called upon by Mera and Vulko once more to claim his royal heritage to protect both the kingdoms of the Seven Seas and the human world from the folly of his half-brother Orm. He found the legendary trident of King Atlan that grants tremendous powers over the ocean, defeated Orm and became the new king of Atlantis. However, he also inadvertently created a deadly enemy in the form of Black Manta, who is hellbent on Aquaman's destruction.

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    A-K 
  • Achilles' Heel: Steel weapons from the surface world cannot hurt him, but Atlantean steel weapons can, as he finds out when fighting Black Manta.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Blond in the comics and most media. Here, it's blond and dark brown to accommodate the Race Lift.
  • Adaptational Hairstyle Change: Traditionally, Aquaman's hair is usually very short in the comics, but he has Barbarian Long Hair thanks to Jason Momoa keeping his hair length. It helps that Aquaman famously adopted this look in the 90s with sporadic future appearances.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Aquaman's Atlantean name, Orin, from the comics and other media has been Adapted Out for this incarnation of the character with him only going by his given name of Arthur or his codename. When he becomes King of Atlantis, he's announced as King Arthur, keeping the name his father gave him. Though it is worth noting that the name "Orin" did not emerge until the 90's.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Much like in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, this Aquaman is more of a Boisterous Bruiser.
  • Age Lift: In the comics, Arthur is around his mid-20s when he becomes Aquaman and helps form the Justice League. Here, he's a founding member of the League when he's in his early-to-mid 30s.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Most Atlanteans shun him because he's the son of their disgraced queen and a human, considering him a mongrel "half-breed". Arthur returns the favor by resenting them for ordering his mom's execution because of their Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • Alternate Self: He has these on Earth-Prime, Earth-9, Earth-167 and Earth-N52.
  • Amazon Chaser:
    • In the theatrical cut of Justice League, when he's accidentally sitting on Diana's Lasso of Truth, he goes off on a tangent about how "gorgeous, fierce, and strong" he thinks she is.
    • Mera is also gorgeous and fierce.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: In the winter, he helps a poor village in Iceland get food, bringing them fish from the sea. In exchange, the villagers are his secret keepers (they seemingly don't know his identity anyway, given how far he was born).
  • Anti-Hero: While a good man at heart, Aquaman tends to get portrayed as being the guy the audience is meant to disagree with when contrasted against more idealistic characters. His noble side only kicks in when he fully realises just how big the threat is, such as when Steppenwolf invaded Earth and Orm declared war on the surface.
  • Apparently Human Merfolk: There's very little to visually distinguish him from a human apart from the fact that he can breathe underwater and swim faster than a human ever could.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Becomes the King of Atlantis at the end of Aquaman. He damn deserves it after what he went through, and that’s not even counting his deeds during Steppenwolf’s second invasion of Earth!
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Arthur gets the traditional scenario after besting Orm in combat for all of the kingdoms to see, but his true moment of crowning occurred earlier when he first grasped the Trident of Atlan, as being able to wield the weapon makes Arthur King of the Sea by providence.
  • Badass Baritone: He has a very deep, powerful voice.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Arthur's got long dark hair with streaks of blond.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: He obviously doesn't engage in this, but a rumor that pops around frequently in Peacemaker (2022) is that he fucks fish. He voices his displeasure for the rumor when he makes a cameo appearance in the show's season 1 finale, when Peacemaker himself tells him to do just that, and when Barry Allen tells him it is no rumor, he just says "Fuck you, Barry."
  • Big Damn Heroes: He does this quite a bit, despite acting like he doesn't care.
    • Arthur swoops in to block Steppenwolf's axe when he overpowers Mera.
    • He then saves the rest of the Justice League from drowning after Steppenwolf floods the tunnel they're fighting in.
    • When Jesse Kane and his pirates attack a submarine, Arthur shows up and curb-stomps all of them.
    • Just as Orm starts his attack on the Brine kingdom, Aquaman reappears riding the Karathen and wielding the Trident of Atlan.
    • Ultimately subverted in Peacemaker (2022) where he and the Justice League arrive too late to help the crew in taking out the Butterflies and their Cow, when Peacemaker and the others have already taken them all down.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Defied. Arthur was very much enthusiastic when he found out he had a little brother and hoped to meet him one day to assure to him that he wasn't alone. Much to his disappointment, Orm turned out to be quite a dick.
  • Black Sheep: Despite being the son of an Atlantean queen, Arthur is shunned by ocean-dwellers with the exceptions of Vulko and Mera. He's later accepted as their king when he shows up with the Trident of Atlan.
  • Blood Knight: Arthur shows quite the enjoyment when fighting along with his several thrill-seeking antics where he is shown having a blast when going up against powerful foes. One key example is when he skewers parademons while plummeting from the sky.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He's quite hilariously gung-ho and devil-may-care when kicking ass in the Final Battle of Justice League, and tends to shout "YEEEHAA!" when jumping from heights, most often in battle.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: During the trek through the Sahara Desert to find an Atlantean outpost, Arthur acts like a mouthy goofball over every little thing while Mera can only roll her eyes at his childish nature.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": His belt buckle's symbol is shaped like an "A", as in "Aquaman". It appears to be a symbol associated with ancient Atlantis - Mera's belt buckle is the same shape, as is the point on the lower end of the Spear of Atlan.
  • Brutal Honesty: Forcibly invoked when he sits on Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: David Kane/Black Manta considers Aquaman to be his arch-nemesis, but Aquaman sees him as little more than another bad guy to beat up, at least until he gets upgrades courtesy of Orm.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: He refuses to come with Mera to Atlantis to reclaim the throne initially. Then a tsunami caused by Orm hits his birth town and almost kills his father, which changes his mind.
  • Cain and Abel: Aquaman and Ocean Master are half brothers and they come to blows. Interestingly, they can both be seen as "Abels" because both of them are loyal sons to their respective fathers and work for the good of their own home/culture.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: He and the rest of the Justice League (sans Batman and Cyborg) arrive too little too late in the finale of Peacemaker (2022) with Peacemaker himself directly cursing out Arthur as he passes by him.
  • Character Development: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League show him as something of a loner, not working as a hero and mostly helping out those in need in seaside cities and towns. When Bruce comes to see him, he isn't overly impressed and it is only after a What the Hell, Hero? by Mera that Arthur starts his path into becoming a greater hero by helping Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Cyborg in defeating Steppenwolf. This continues into Aquaman where he is now much more confident as a superhero, becoming a "celebrity" in the process, and after Mera finds him yet again and both go after a trident that could help turn the tide against Arthur's brother Orm's war against surface dwellers, Arthur has fully become what he has meant to be.
  • Character Tics: Hitting the ground with the back-end of his trident.
  • Characterization Marches On: In both cuts of Justice League, he expresses nothing but hatred and bitterness towards Atlanna whenever she's mentioned on top of his contempt towards Atlantis. In Aquaman, however, he loves her and never says so much as a bad word against her; in fact, his hatred for Atlantis is mainly motivated by them having her executed for the "crime" of his existence.
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League implies that his attitude towards his mother changed after seeing how distraught Cyborg was over his father's death. Most notably, he's the only member of the League who makes his sympathies clear while the rest are focused on the bigger picture.
  • Chick Magnet: Several attractive women in the remote Icelandic village he's helping sing a lament for him as leaves. Although untranslated the lyrics are quite clear about their feelings for him and one of them smells the coat he left behind on the shore.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Of Atlantis and human civilization, which is lampshaded several times in his namesake movie.
  • The Chosen One: Zig-Zagged a bit in the movie. While it was prophesied that a king would emerge to use Atlan's trident and unite the kingdoms, it doesn't specifically mention who it would be or the details surrounding their identity. Arthur just happened to fit the criteria of being able to use the trident and command the sea. If Orm hadn't decided to start conquering the other ocean kingdoms and start a war with the surface, Arthur would have never had any reason to claim his birthright given his disdain for Atlantis. He eventually becomes a king who will unite the surviving kingdoms of the seas in peace, unlike Orm, who subjugates other kingdoms through threats of war.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the battle on the fishing boat he kills a pair of Trenchers with a harpoon and stabs another in both eyes before tossing it overboard.
  • Composite Character: Seems to incorporate elements of both the "hook and beard" era of Aquaman, and his New 52 incarnation. There's also a few OUTRAGEOUS! characteristics pertaining to his Large Ham depiction in Batman: The Brave and the Bold counterpart, given how gung-ho he is in the fights against Parademons. There are even some nods to his Super Friends incarnation.
  • Costume Evolution:
    • The suit he dons in both versions of Justice League is Atlantean battle armor, the same kind that was worn by the unnamed Atlantean king during the first battle against Steppenwolf in ancient times. What he did of that suit after the Justice League defeated Steppenwolf is unknown.
    • He dons a gladiator-like armor when challenging Orm in a duel for the throne of Atlantis.
    • He eventually dons a royal Atlantean suit, a golden top and green pants suit that's the closest to the comics. Much of this outfit was salvaged from King Atlan's long lost armor, which Arthur finds still being worn by the remains of Atlan that still hold onto the Trident.
  • Create Your Own Villain: While David Kane was certainly no angel, what with being a murderous pirate and scavenger, it was Arthur's decision to let Kane's father die while Kane begged him for help that caused him to devote his life to enacting revenge on Arthur, and becoming Black Manta. Arthur acknowledges this after suffering the consequences.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Has very pale (almost white) eyes that are heavily contrasted against his swarthy features. Undersea footage in Batman v Superman shows they're also bioluminescent, like those of many deep-water creatures.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Played With, Arthur comes off as kind of a buffoon at first but he's far from an idiot and is actually a very competent fighter.
  • Cultured Badass: Thanks to his father, he's well-versed in ancient history, and can identify major Roman figures by their statues.
    • He's also quite the linguist, knowing at least five different languages, including Icelandic and Russian. Or at least he knows enough to get by.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "I'm missing happy hour for this."
  • Death Glare: He's got quite the "Don't piss me off!" expression on his face when Bruce Wayne meets him for the first time, but mellows out considerably afterwards.
  • Defrosting Ice King:
    • He's got a perma-Death Glare and exhibits Good Is Not Nice behavior when we first meet Bruce Wayne, but loosens up after joining the Justice League.
    • When meeting some of his fans in a bar, he acts a bit put out at first, but eventually starts partying enthusiastically with them.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Arthur is easily overpowered by the Karathen. He manages to stump her by revealing that he can speak to sea life, which he punctuates with a "screw you".
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • In Man of Steel. While not making a physical appearance on screen, rumor has it those whales showing up and helping Clark ashore after saving rig workers from an exploding oil platform was his handiwork.
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He's seen on archive footage emerging from a boat wreckage and destroying an underwater drone before propelling himself in the water the same way Superman takes off in the sky.
    • In The Stinger of Suicide Squad, his file and photo appear in the documents Amanda Waller hands to Bruce Wayne as they conclude their deal.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • In his first appearance, he's seen destroying an underwater drone.
    • Another testament would be the rumor surrounding Man of Steel. Word of God says a precariously convenient pod of whales just happened by while Kal was adrift in the ocean, near crude-contaminated waters no less, now who could've been behind that?
    • The first thing he is seen doing in adulthood in Aquaman is the rescue of a Russian submarine that's being hijacked by Jesse Kane's gang of Submarine Pirates.
  • Fish out of Water: Literally inverted. Aquaman is amphibious but due to spending most of his life on land, he's not used to fighting underwater which puts him at a severe disadvantage during his first fight with Orm.
  • Foil: For Wonder Woman. Diana grew up royalty in a society long forgotten by the world and believed to be an ancient Greek myth, then came to the outside world where she pretends to be an ordinary person. She came into the modern world full of idealism and learns that people aren't as perfect as she always thought. Arthur was raised in the normal world as the son of a lighthouse keeper then became royalty in a society long forgotten by the world and believed to be an ancient Greek myth. He started out with nothing but contempt for Atlantis and its people, but eventually came to stop hating them.
  • Genius Bruiser: Arthur possesses a wealth of knowledge pertaining to (at the very least) Mediterranean history and he has working knowledge of at least four foreign languages.
  • The Ghost: Word of God implies that he was the one who sent the whales to rescue Clark in Man of Steel, but he does not appear in the film.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • His eyes light up when he's trawling the ocean depths.
    • As a child, his eyes were also glowing when he started communicating with sea life.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • He helps a downtrodden Icelandic coastal town enough to earn a reputation as a kind stranger who brings fish when the tide sets in... and yet is more than willing to slam Bruce Wayne up against a wall when slighted. Likewise, after saving a fisherman whose boat got wrecked by Parademons, he simply drops him on a bar table without caring any further (mostly for being dumb enough to fish during a storm).
    • In Aquaman, he has no problem leaving David Kane and his father trapped behind to drown (he later does realize that not showing David and his father mercy resulted in him making himself a new dangerous enemy).
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Everyone in Atlantis, with the exception of Vulko and, of course, Atlanna, look down on Arthur for his half-human heritage, although Mera eventually gets better after spending enough time with him on the surface.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half-human, half-Atlantean. He is the son of Thomas Curry, a human lighthouse operator, and Atlanna, a fugitive Atlantean queen.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Most people (including Batman) find talking to fish a rather weak power. Arthur shows otherwise as he is able to command all forms of life in the water, ranging from sharks, whales to the Trench and even the Karathen once he gets King Atlan's trident.
  • Heavyworlder: His strength and durability come from the fact that he and his fellow Atlanteans acquired this power from the scientific incident that sunk Atlantis.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Parodied. When being trained as a boy Arthur asks if he can get a sword instead of his mother's trident. Vulko tells him that the trident is the traditional weapon of Atlantean royalty, so that's what he's getting, period.
  • Heroic Bastard: His brother Orm never fails to remind him that he was conceived out of wedlock and almost acts as if that's Arthur's own fault.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Despite his gruff exterior, he reveals insecurities about living between two worlds and never fully embracing who he can be. Of course he reveals this while sitting on the Lasso of Truth.
    • His movies shows that although he thinks with his fists first, Arthur is also fluent in several languages, some rather esoteric (English, Atlantean, Russian, Italian and Icelandic, at a bare minimum) and that he's knowledgeable in history, easily recognizing statues of Roman historical figures and what they did in life.
    • He also has some knowledge of marine biology as befitted a person who spends most of his time underwater: this comes in handy when he realizes that the creatures of the Trench, having lived in the dark trenches on the ocean floor, would be very sensitive to light, and so he carries multiple flares with him as he and Mera travel to the ocean floor, using the flares to keep the swarm of Trench people away.
  • Hunk: Between the weathered tan, rugged beard and chiseled physique, he checks every box for this.
  • Hybrid Power: He's notably stronger than any of the pure blooded Atlanteans when they're unarmored. He's capable of taking on 3 highly skilled and armored soldiers. After he's captured it takes six other Atlanteans to hold his chains, and they are struggling the entire time. Orm seems to be closer to him in strength, but is a challenge more for his skill at underwater combat than being able to match his brother in raw strength.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Wasn't introduced in the DCEU until its second film entry.
  • Idiot Hero: Admits this midway through his movie; he's used to just beating down his problems with his fists, and that's why he kept getting his ass kicked. Character Development ensues, and he starts thinking and listening to Mera more, becoming a far more effective hero.
  • Immune to Bullets: Against Manta's pirates, he took an assault rifle bullet without harm which surprised both Aquaman and the pirate. After that Arthur still stuck with using the steel hatch he tore off as a shield. Also, while bullets don't do serious damage to him, full auto fire seems to cause him enough pain to stagger him (as seen when he fights Black Manta for the first time), so he can't No-Sell machinegun fire in the same way Superman can.
  • In a Single Bound: His strength extends to his legs, allowing him to leap incredible distances. It lets him to keep pace with the rest of the Justice League when they charge Steppenwolf's base, culminating in a spectacular group shot.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's fish-man, not fish boy.
  • I Work Alone: His initial attitude when approached by Batman. He even quotes a saying to that effect, which Bruce actually points out means the opposite of what Arthur believes it means. He eventually grows out of it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Arthur is a gruff and cynical loner who initially refuses Bruce's offer to join the League, yet he still dedicates his life to the fishing village because he believes no one else would help them. As he joins the heroes, he acts like a Sour Supporter, though he genuinely admires the other members' idealism.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Arthur's Establishing Character Moment in both versions of Justice League has Bruce Wayne speak of his charitable deeds towards an Icelandic village - with the locals' admiratiion of him backing this up - and Arthur shoots down Bruce's request for an allegiance because he prefers to keep to himself.
  • Kubrick Stare: Due to having a distrustful view of people - along with abnormally bright eyes for a man of his ethnicity - it's Arthur's default expression.

    L-Z 
  • Large and in Charge: He's the ruler of Atlantis and stands at an imposing 6"4.
  • Large Ham: Jason Momoa is clearly having a blast playing the character.
  • Leitmotif: "Arthur". It has regal horns over synths and guitars, and basically embodies everything every Aquaman has ever been.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's huge, very strong and he moves with surprising speed. This trope really comes into play when he's underwater when he can move at incredible speeds and hit like a truck.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Noble heritage notwithstanding, Arthur is a blunt-and-boisterous beer-guzzling jock who is prone to raucous-laughter and vulgar-humor, making him a liability at a Duchess' party but the star of any pub crawl.
  • Manly Facial Hair: He sports a beard based on his "barbarian phase" in the comic books, and surely has the badassery to match.
  • Meaningful Name: Named after King Arthur, another legendary king with a special destiny. Coincidentally he was given it during the arrival of Hurricane Arthur, another unstoppable maritime force.
  • Messianic Archetype: Similar to Superman, Aquaman has a few parallels, albeit a more Kung-Fu Jesus variety as opposed to Superman's Greater-Scope Paragon version. Aside from looking the part, he provides starving masses with fish, has "There is a Kingdom" play right before he goes diving, is imbued with a mystical power that only the king of his people may inherit and is treated like an outcast by a monarchy that takes influence from Greek and Roman cultures.
  • Missing Mom: His mother, Queen Atlanna, was sacrificed to the Trench for being in love with his human father, and was believed to be dead for many years.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He goes topless quite a bit, due to being a swimmer.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Arthur loves to drink. After saving a fisherman he drops him off at a seaside bar, helps himself to a free drink and tells the bartender that his rescuee will pay the bill. He also tells an entire submarine's worth of crewmen that he's missing Happy Hour for their benefit.
  • Precision F-Strike: He responds to Barry saying that he fucks fish was true in their cameo appearance in Peacemaker (2022) is a resounding:
    Fuck you, Barry
  • Nature Hero: Self-describes himself as "Protector of the Deep" when his reign as king of Atlantis starts.
  • Nerves of Steel: Subverted. When he notices that Superman isn’t quite all there after being revived from death, he starts internally panicking and this is quickly noticed by Cyborg and Supes himself.
  • The Nicknamer: Quite a creative mind when it comes to it too. Called Vulko "Cobra Kai" and Mera "Fight Club" (specifically when she threatened to hit him in the Sahara)
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: On land, Aquaman is one of the most powerful heroes alive. However, as all Atlanteans evolved super strength and durability to survive crushing ocean depths, when captured by Orm, two grunts are able to hold him down, albeit with difficulty. Also, as Aquaman has spent most of his life on land, he's literally out of his element when fighting underwater which allows Orm to curb stomp him in their first fight.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution:
    • He pulls this early in Justice League. Batman tries to get him to help defend the Earth, if not for all Earth than at least the villagers who he helps out in secret. Aquaman simply shrugs this aside. When Batman points out the environmental impact of Steppenwolf's armies, Arthur says that if the world was covered in ocean, it wouldn't be so bad for him.
    • In Aquaman, he doesn't really care about Atlantis at first. He's going up against Orm because Orm and Atlantis are a threat to his home and father. It's only later (after reuniting with his mother) that he accepts his duty to Atlantis as well.
  • Omniglot: He can speak English, Icelandic, Italian, Atlantean and Russian.
  • Outside Ride: He climbs on the Batmobile for a ride during the Final Battle in Justice League.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After they hijacked a submarine and killed parts of its crew, Arthur had no problems whatsoever with leaving Jesse and David Kane behind to drown. He would have let them both escape, but when Jesse shoots at him, he pins him underneath a torpedo and ignores his son's pleas for help.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before he leaves Jesse Kane to his death in spite of his son's insistence, he gives a Shut Up, Hannibal! and tells him, "You ask the sea for mercy."
  • Prodigal Hero: He avoided returning to Atlantis for quite some time, until the day Steppenwolf showed up. Then Mera actively pushed him to reclaim the throne.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: He has two variations on this; His mother's quindent and later on the Trident of Atlan. See their folders below for more information.
  • Properly Paranoid: He destroys drones that get too close to him and slams Batman against a wall when he starts prying. Given how poorly people have reacted to metahumans in some of the movies, his desire to keep his own existence a secret is entirely reasonable. Then he dropped this after Justice League, as his existence is now public knowledge.
  • Psychic Link: He can telepathically communicate with nearby sea creatures. Atlan's trident amplifies this power, granting him a psychic link to sea creatures at a much greater range and allowing him to command them all at once.
  • Race Lift: Aquaman has been white in most incarnations. Jason Momoa has Hawaiian, European and Native American ancestry, and Arthur is Polynesian (possibly Hawaiian) on his dad's side. It makes his half-breed status more prevalent among the (mostly) white Atlanteans.
  • Raised by Humans: He was abandoned by his Atlantean mother Atlanna and raised by his human father, Thomas Curry. For this reason, most Atlanteans scorn him as one more "surface dweller".
  • Rated M for Manly: What with the beard, Barbarian Longhair and gung-ho attitude in battle. He also has a fair amount of shirtless scenes that show off his Heroic Build and tattoos.
  • Refusal of the Call: He doesn't have much interest in ruling Atlantis or in helping Bruce Wayne (Batman) protect the world, at least at first. Mera talks him out of this, motivating him to both join the Justice League in the eponymous film and claim the throne of Atlantis in Aquaman.
    Vulko: [throws Atlanna's trident to Arthur's feet] You can't turn your back on the world forever, Arthur. Above or below.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Arthur makes no attempt to rescue both Jesse and David Kane from drowning, since the two had murdered a bunch of innocent Russian sailors and Jesse tried to shoot at him when he gave them a chance to escape.
  • Reluctant Ruler: The prospect of ruling Atlantis realy doesn't appeal to him, but he sets out to do it nonetheless, after Orm fires warning shots on the surface world.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • In order to resist the water pressure and swim as fast as they normally do, all Atlanteans are much stronger and more crush-resistant than normal humans, and Aquaman's half-Atlantean parentage granted him such abilities.
    • He is also immune to the cold of sea depths. He has no trouble swimming shirtless in the icy waters of Iceland for instance.
    • He can see in the dark since there is little light in the ocean depths.
  • Rightful King Returns: He sets out to claim the throne of Atlantis with Mera's support in order to put an end to Orm's plan to use the armies of the remaining Atlantean kingdoms for war against the surface world. He's the elder of the two brothers, so it belongs to him by birthright.
  • Royal Bastard: He's son of the Queen of Atlantis, Atlanna, and a lighthouse keeper.
  • Royal Blood: He is the son of Atlanna, queen of Atlantis.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Towards Atlanteans. It takes Mera saving his father from drowning and his mother actually being alive for him to let go of his grudge against them.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Introduced to the DCEU in its second film entry via recorded underwater footage.
  • Shirtless Scene: Justified when he doesn't wear a battle suit, since casual surface clothes serve next to no purpose underwater (his body resists cold and water pressure) other than covering his legs and what's between.
    • The footage cameo scene from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice shows he was shirtless when confronting the underwater robot.
    • There are also two of them in Justice League: one when he warms up to the idea of joining the League, and one other when he encounters Steppenwolf underwater.
    • In Aquaman, he rescues a Russian submarine from Jesse Kane's pirate gang shirtless, and he's brought before Orm shirtless and in chains.
  • Sour Supporter: He is cynical and generally thinks the worst of any situation in Justice League. He believes most of the League's actions are pointless, yet he joins anyway because he admires the other members' dedication to their ideals, and also because Mera gave him a good dose of What the Hell, Hero?.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: He can telepathically communicate with sea life and Atlan's trident amplifies this. It is a huge case of Heart Is an Awesome Power, since Arthur can communicate with all life forms of the sea, compelling sharks to protect him as a kid, befriending a whale so that he and Mera can hide inside its mouth, or communicate with the Karathen, the most terrible sea monster on the planet, and ask it to fight by his side. This seems to be a result of half-human heritage as none of the other Atlanteans have this power; Mera is completely shocked when he uses it to have a whale rescue them from Orm.
  • Strong, but Unskilled: Arthur is trained in underwater combat and weapon fighting but he spends half his time on the surface, giving him a disadvantage among elite Atlanteans like Orm who spent all their time fighting underwater and with Atlantean weapons. He can still hold his own, but repeatedly said to be literally "out of his element."
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: If Arthur really draws out his Atlantean powers, then his eyes glow gold. It happens first when he talks to the fish in an aquarium, but another impressive moment is when Arthur controls an entire army of sea creatures to fight the Altantean army.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: He can breathe normally underwater like all Atlanteans.
  • Super Strength: In order to resist the water pressure and swim as fast as they normally do, all Atlanteans are much stronger and more crush-resistant than normal humans, and in this regard, Aquaman's Atlantean genes apparently prevailed since he's half-human. He can lift a human effortlessly or trade some punches with Steppenwolf for instance, but he's not as strong as Superman. Possibly in combination with his Making a Splash powers he manages to bring a submarine out of the water. In the submarine, he effortlessly tears through its heavy metal doors.
  • Super Toughness:
    • He can take blows from Superman and Steppenwolf and keep coming, to say nothing of the fact that he can survive the crushing depths of the ocean.
    • He can take a 5.56mm bullet at point blank range with no harm, take a parachute-less fall from a plane, shrug off grenades, and survive a plasma beam that blew up a hill with only severe burn injuries, but not without getting projected backwards.
  • Takes Ten to Hold: When Arthur is captured and knocked unconscious by his half-brother's men, he later awakens to find himself chained to the ground before Orm and the rest of Atlantis' High-Born, with five guards on the other end of the chains struggling to keep him still. He very nearly snaps the chains and easily overpowers the guards when Orm begins talking about their mother...
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Jason Momoa is 6'4.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Jason Momoa played on his imposing physical appearance with the character.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The trope-namer himself. Aquaman shows just how awesome the ability to talk to fish can be in his solo film.
    • During a trip to the aquarium in his childhood, Arthur intimdates some bullies by calling on a great white shark.
    • When Arthur and Mera go on the lam, Arthur summons a blue whale to provide them a hiding spot in its mouth. Said whale also transports them to safety.
    • When Arthur was overpowered by the Karathen, he revealed that he can talk to her. Taken aback, the Karathen allows him a chance at claiming the Trident of Atlan.
    • Aquaman shows up during the attack on the Brine Kingdom with legions of sea creatures. they overwhelm the tech-based armies.
    • Even before his own movie, Arthur's superpower helped out in smaller yet practical ways. He lured schools of fish to an Icelandic village to keep the locals from starving.
  • Thrill Seeker: The man whoops and hollers when he's doing death-defying stunts.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He's a gruff Jerk with a Heart of Gold when he's first introduced in Justice League but over the course of both it and Aquaman he mellows out considerably as he discovers the truth about his past and comes to terms with his bitterness towards Atlantis.
  • The Unchosen One: What Arthur is closer to than the Chosen One. While Arthur did fit the criteria to be the chosen one of the ancient Atlantian prophecy about a king who will unite the ocean kingdoms, several outside events had to occur to make it happen and these events were in no way guaranteed to happen. Orm needed to not only become king but also forcefully unite the kingdoms and attack the surface world. Arthur needed to find where King Atlan's trident was hidden, and Arthur needed to overcome the giant sea monster to gain the trident. On top of all of this, Arthur was was adamant about his Refusal of the Call and if things hadn't happened in just the right way, he would have never gone on his journey to seek out his birthright.
  • Unknown Rival: Towards the future Black Manta. He doesn't know or care who the guy is, despite Manta having anticipated meeting him for a while.
    Arthur: Am I supposed to know who you are?
    Manta: I scavenge the high seas. You’re the Aquaman. We were bound to meet at some point.
    [They fight, and Arthur gets the upper hand.]
    Arthur: Let's not make it a habit.
  • Verbal Tic: Arthur has a habit of saying "how 'bout that" when something catches his interest.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Arthur and Barry have a bit of this going on. The two are rarely shown being chummy, but they're rarely hostile towards each other.
    Aquaman: I'm getting really fucking tired of that (fish-fucking) rumor.
    The Flash: It's not a rumor.
    Aquaman: Fuck you, Barry.
    (both snicker)
  • Warrior Poet: Arthur shows a philosophical side on several occasions. He justifies his lone wolf status to Bruce Wayne with a quote by Friedrich Schiller, shows skepticism towards reviving a dead Superman using a mixture of binary logic and a quote from Hamlet and mentions his father telling him of an Atlantean saying about how resurrecting the dead always comes with a cost.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: His character development in his titular film is him overcoming this. He soon realizes that he's in way over his head and his standard solution of violence isn't cutting it anymore.
  • Wolverine Wannabe: Arthur's not a million miles away from the most famous of the X-Men. He's a gruff loner with wild hair, abnormal abilities - including superhuman strength and durability - and a romantic arc with a superpowered redhead. His trident also echoes Wolverine's three-pronged claws.
  • Wonder Child: As the son of an Atlantean Queen and a human; he has all the abilities of your average Atlantean plus his ability to speak and communicate to marine life which is very unusual, as Mera is completely shocked when he gets help from a whale to hide them from Orm. In the film Aquaman, this is implied to be not completely unique, but a very rare trait that King Atlan also had.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: He frequently gets this from Mera. For all of his bravado and thrill seeking he's racked with insecurities about his worthiness to become king of Atlantis, though he gets over it with enough of Mera's encouragement.
  • You Killed My Mother: Arthur resents the Atlanteans for sacrificing his mother to the Trench, that is until he finds out that she is still alive.
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: Arthur makes it no secret that he cares little for Atlantean customs, seeing them as little more than violent elitists. By far the most impressive take on this trope is when he defeats Orm, leaving the latter begging for an honourable death, to which Aquaman spares his life as a demonstration of his moral superiority.
    Orm: Mercy is not our way.
    Aquaman: Maybe you haven't noticed, but I'm not one of you.

    "Knightmare" Aquaman 

"Knightmare" Aquaman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ex_cepsxaamnzgr_copie.jpg

Appearances: Zack Snyder's Justice League

Aquaman perishes against Darkseid in the nightmarish alternate future Cyborg sees glimpses of when interacting with the Mother Boxes.

See also the Knightmare page for more on that setting's characters.

  • Alternate Timeline: Cyborg sees a vision of Darkseid killing Aquaman, but in Bruce's vision it's implied that Superman killed him after being subjected to Anti-Life.
  • Character Death: Aquaman was killed in a confrontation with Darkseid.
  • Cool Crown: He wears the same crown as the Atlantean king who acquired one of the three Motherboxes.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Darkseid comes for Aquaman after killing Wonder Woman. Mera takes his place on the Knightmare equivalent to the Justice League.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Darkseid impaled him with his own trident.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Meets his end by getting stabbed right in the chest.
  • The Lost Lenore: The sole purpose of Mera's life after his death is to kill his murderer.
  • Posthumous Character: Aquaman's already dead when Batman organizes the Insurgency, and Mera sets out to avenge him.

Items

    Atlanna's Quindent 

Atlanna's Quindent

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_20210804_115532_samsung_internet.jpg
"The time has come, Arthur. Take up your mother's trident!"

Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Justice League | Aquaman | Zack Snyder's Justice League

"You wield our mother's trident. Powerful, but flawed. Like her. I wield my father's, and it has never known defeat!"
Orm

The heirloom once held by Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis. It was entrusted to nuidis Vulko, who passed onto her firstborn son Arthur in the hopes he would rise up to his duties. Aquaman would use the quindent during Steppenwolf's invasion and again in his first match with his brother Orm, where it was destroyed.

See this page for information on the quindent's former owner.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Even after skewering several parademons, the quindent is still sharp enough to impale Steppenwolf, who previously shrugged off several arrows to the torso.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Passed from mother to son. It's unknown exactly how far back the quindent's lineage goes.
  • Glass Cannon: The quindent possesses formidable offensive power, but has weak defenses. Arthur found out the hard way when he tried using it to block Orm's attacks.
  • Insistent Terminology: Everyone refers to the quindent as a trident, despite having five prongs instead of three.
  • Making a Splash: The Quindent grants Arthur some powers over water, such as stopping a flood long enough for the rest of the League to escape the tunnels after Steppenwolf trapped them there.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Naturally, as the signature weapon of the last queen of Atlantis and her firstborn son.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: The quindent can unleash shockwaves strong enough to block an oncoming flood, as seen when Aquaman steps in to help the Justice League.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Orm shatters the quindent during his first match with Arthur.

    Trident of Atlan 

Trident of Atlan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_20210803_170351_youtube.jpg
"In the wrong hands it would bring destruction. But in the hands of the true heir, it would unite all our kingdoms above and below."

Appearances: Aquaman | Peacemaker

"It was forged by the greatest weapon-masters in history. Crafted from Poseidon-steel for King Atlan, the first ruler of Atlantis. Legend says the trident was imbued with the power to command the sea."
Vulko

The legendary trident wielded by the last central king of Atlantis. Forged from Poseidon's steel and bearing godlike powers, the trident grants its bearer absolute control over the ocean.

See this page for information on the trident's former owner.

  • Amplifier Artifact: The Trident of Atlan supercharges Arthur's ability to speak to sea creatures when he claims it allowing him to command the Karathen, the Atlantean army's own shark-mounts, and even The Trench.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Has only ever had two bearers; Atlan and eventually Arthur.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: Averted. Not only is the trident not covered in anything as one would expect (such as barnacles), it also still radiates.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: On at least two occasions the Trident has sided with nature over Atlanteans.
    • When King Atlan tried to use the Trident to power his city's machines, it sunk the seven kingdoms.
    • Arthur uses the Trident to call upon all the marine life (including the Trench) to meet Orm's armada head-on.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The Trident of Atlan is far brighter than any other Atlantean weapon seen, most of which are a dull silver.
  • Legendary Weapon: It's stated to be forged from a steel provided by the God Poseidon himself. This weapon is so revered that the wielder is guaranteed to be crowned the true king.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The trident chooses its wielder, as countless explorers have tried to claim it only to be rejected and eaten by the Karathen.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: The Trident of Atlan is only something that could be handled by the rightful heir to his line. Its guardian, the Karathen, boasts to Arthur how many have tried to gain it and failed — with their skeletons literally surrounding Atlan's long-dead corpse. Curiously enough, even his own mother, Atlanna, technically belongs to this line, but she never managed to get even with the Karathen — not even after decades of exile. Arthur's ability to speak to marine life, which was not seen to be utilized by anyone else, is implied to be one of the qualities needed.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Naturally, as the signature weapon of whomever rules Atlantis.
  • Story-Breaker Power: King Atlan initially used its powers to control all sea creatures. His attempt to experiment with its power resulted in the entire Atlantis sinking under the sea. When Arthur gets his hand on it, he uses it to singlehandlely turn the tide of the battle between the Brine and Orm's army by using the Trident to turn sea mounts against their masters, control the nigh-invulnerable kaiju-sized monster Karathen and even the Always Chaotic Evil Trench people to brutal efficiency.

 
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