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Barbarians usually do not have access to good shaving blades or mirrors. So it is not rare 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 dreadlocks and Braids of Barbarism. He may even have body parts from his slain enemies stuck in there. Anyone with a beard like that is immediately flagged as a Berserker, a Blood Knight or both. There's a reason 'Beard' and 'Barbarian' are thought to be derived from the same root (see discussion page).

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 either are 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. Dwarf beards also fit this trope most of the time, though with less barbaric conotations as Dwarves are usually depicted as at least as civilized as the humans around them.

Subtrope of Badass Beard and sometimes Beard of Evil. Combine with Seadog Beard for pirates; compare and contrast Wizard Beard.

Examples of Beard of Barbarism include:

Comic Books

  • 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.


  • Aversion: When most people hear barbarian, they probably think of Conan, who isn't bearded. The Aesir, Vanir and other barbarians that he occasionally fought, on the other hand, did have full beards.
    • Cohen the Barbarian, on the other hand, has a beard so long he's been said to not actually need his loinclothh to remain decent. Being mostly a parody of Barbarian Hero types, it's to be expected.
  • Hagrid. The famous comb-breaking, beetle-infested beard.
  • Inverted and played straight in Cormac Mc Carthy's The Road. The book's most central character sports an unkempt beard (rarely mentioned except when he gets the opportunity to shave it off) and is also the least barbaric character in the novel. Played straight by a small band of cannibals seen briefly, in which the only adjective that describes the men is "bearded."

Live Action TV

  • D'Argo in Farscape has a Beard Of Barbarism made up of a mixture of hair and tentacles.
  • The hill tribes in Game of Thrones have rather large beards.


  • One of the reasons that the Badass Beard is so popular in Heavy Metal subculture. Particularly relevant to performers and fans of viking and folk metal, most famously Amon Amarth front man Johan Hegg.


  • Thor
    • Most of the Viking Pantheon, in fact-how wild is up to interpretation and research (see above example).

Real Life

  • Aversion: 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 go).
  • Vikings-stereotypically. Actual Vikings tended to go forfairly short, neat beards. This was both for the same practicality concerns Alexander the Great had and because the Norse people were very hygenic for the Middle Ages -- it was normal to wash and comb one's hair daily. Being beardless, however, was considered unmanly, and "thin-bearded" was a fighting word.
  • This guy. Suggested by Chabal 2. Guess what he looks like...
  • Brian Blessed often plays a character with one of these.
  • The Latin word for beard ("barba") is related to the Latin word for barbarian ("barbarus"). One theory holds that the word barbarus comes from the fact that the Romans were clean shaven, while the barbarians were not.
  • While the beardedness of the Celts is debatable, they are confirmed to have some pretty big mustaches.

Video Games

  • The Barbarian King from God of War.
  • The Barbarian From Diablo III. Note that The Barbarian of Diablo 2 was bald and shaved.
  • The Dwarf Mountain King in Warcraft 3 has skulls (presumably) from his defeated enemies attached to his mustache.
    • In World of Warcraft, this trope is exemplified by the vrykul, whose men always have this kind of beard. Additionally, any male player-character Orc or Dwarf can have a beard with multiple braids and rings hanging from it.
  • Thok, Master of Dungeoneering from Runescape
  • Bearded Nords in Skyrim would probably qualify.

Western Animation

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