Most men have the capacity within them to grow a beard. Some might say that the human male’s face is in its most natural state when it is bearded. Below is a list of men who have chosen to cultivate a mighty facial bush, to achieve heroic ends. It’s not that the beard is responsible for their deeds, but the beard certainly contributed. Jack Sparrow doesn’t feature at all.
OK gang, let’s read this list and think about touching each other’s beards.
Gandalf - Lord of the Rings series
This list could easily have been Top Ten LOTR Beards but that would be a bit self-limiting. Gandalf’s beard is phenomenal in every sense of the word – great length, fantastic coverage, and excellent hair/beard integration. An undoubtedly strong beard all-rounder.
Leonidas - 300
Again, the beards in 300 could constitute a list in themselves. Leonidas’s beard stands out because of its density, and perfect shaping. It’s like a black bone, protruding from the bottom of his face.
Mac - The Thing
The Scientist is a notoriously difficult beard style to pull off – it involves mastery of the ability to look good without putting in any effort at all. A man who can look good while being too busy to think about looking good; a man who can look good while busy in a research station in the South Pole, or piloting a helicopter in a ludicrous hat, or destroying an alien with a flamethrower. Mac does that, in case you didn’t get the idea.
The Man With No Name - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Closely related to The Scientist is The Badass, a beard style with almost the same attitude as the former, but even less kempt. It’s the beard of a man who is similarly distracted from his beard-keeping, but by action, not science. The Man With No Name is also The Man With No Time (For Beard-keeping).
The Man - The Road
The Badass has a beard brother, called The Homeless Badass. This can be a result of the dire financial situation or, in the case of The Road, the end of civilisation. This is the only beard you’ll want to be seen in for those post-apocalyptic wastelands.
Steve Zissou - The Life Aquatic
A beard that is immaculately trimmed, and the perfect length for both fitting into a wetsuit and for facial warmth. Looks great in grey, and works perfectly with a red beanie.
Hagrid - Harry Potter series
The only beard here that could be in LOTR and isn't, Hagrid’s beard is huge. It has to be. He has Gandalf’s hair/beard integration, giving him a great lion’s mane of jet black facial, and head, hair. Excellent for chin protection in the forest, and can be called upon to assist with cleaning a neck-level shelf.
Alan Garner - The Hangover
Alan’s beard is thick, and gives his face definition that it would otherwise lack. There’s probably food in it, or booze, or drugs, but none of that matters. It’s Alan. You want to nuzzle there, but he won’t let you, unless you’re in his wolf pack.
Hans Gruber - Die Hard
This beard is a yuppie beard, but an excellent German one, and all the better for being on the face of Alan Rickman. He’s a psychopathic Teutonic terrorist, but his beard suggests loafers and sophisticated wine. Did it help when he fell from the top of the Nakatomi plaza? We can but speculate.
Gimli – Lord of the Rings series
Of course there’s another LOTR beard… you didn’t think there wouldn’t be, did you? Gimli may be short but his beard is as mighty as any man’s. The plaits add a feminine touch that, when placed in the context of the rest of the beard, actually make the beard more masculine. Also, it’s red. A nice big ginger plaited beard. Gimli is a beard genius.
Ron Burgundy - Anchorman
He may spend most of the film with a fine moustache but, during that dark period he spent not leading the Channel 5 News team and mostly drinking milk on hot days, Burgundy managed to sport a fine beard. Granted, it was a derivation of the Homeless Badass, and he certainly got rid of it pretty quickly, but it was great while it lasted.
Stinky Pete - Toy Story 2
A brother to the Badass, the Animated Badass is notable in that, because the beard takes place in a fictional universe, it isn’t bound to our own real-world physics. It’s an idealised beard, a beard that can exist in the greatest of all possible beard worlds. Stinky Pete’s Animated Badass beard is truly great, and all the better for being in mint condition.
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