National Wear Red Day: Fictional Edition
Apparently February 5th is National Wear Red Day?! I just found out a few days ago, and I’m curious how many of you knew about it? Are you wearing red today? If not, no biggie! We won’t pinch you for not conforming . . . at least not until next month. *wink*
Red is the color of love, power, and heat—which can warm or harm, depending on how it is used. Today I’m diving into some of my favorite characters with a connection to the color, as well as the significance of it in their stories.
[P.S. If you like the artwork in this post, click on the photo to be directed to the artist!]
EMMA SWAN (ABC’S ONCE UPON A TIME)
Emma is the main character and hero of Once Upon a Time, born in the Enchanted Forest. When the Evil Queen curses the land, Emma’s parents (Snow White + Prince Charming) send her to our world to keep her safe, but also so she could one day break the curse, saving them all and reuniting the family.
Had she grown up in the Enchanted Forest, she might have worn armor. But of course nothing goes according to plan. Emma ends up growing up in the foster system and committing petty crimes. During this time, she meets someone who claims their leather jacket serves as armor against their emotions. They advise Emma to find her own armor since she is so emotional, especially when it comes to family. A little over a year later, Emma purchases her iconic red jacket.
On her 28th birthday, the son she gave up for adoption years prior shows up on her doorstep, setting in motion a myriad of transformative emotional situations over the course of the show. Eventually, what starts as something to help her feel strong and protected against emotions becomes a reminder of her duty and desire to protect the ones she loves.
RUBY LUCAS (ABC’S ONCE UPON A TIME)
Like Emma’s “armor," Red’s hooded cloak serves as a form of protection; this time from werewolf transformation rather than emotions. In order to protect her from the knowledge of what she is, Red’s Granny had the cloak enchanted and made her promise to always wear it, claiming wolves hated the color. It isn’t until after she accidentally hurts someone that Red finds out SHE is the wolf (or at least one of them) terrorizing her village.
When Regina/the Evil Queen’s curse transports the inhabitants to our world without any magic or their true memories, Red Riding Hood becomes known as Ruby, a waitress at Granny’s Diner in Storybrooke, Maine. After the curse is broken and magic is brought to Storybrooke, Red/Ruby’s werewolf “curse” comes along for the ride. This causes problems until she is able to gain control of her wolfish side and finds her cloak again. After going on a journey to find the pack she descended from, Ruby is unsuccessful, though she does manage to find and save her own true love in another realm.
MANON CROCHAN-BLACKBEAK (THRONE OF GLASS BY SARAH J MAAS)
Manon Blackbeak is an Ironteeth witch, coven leader of The Thirteen and heir to the Blackbeak witch clan. The red cape she wears is a trophy from her first kill— a young witch of the rival Crochan clan. While the color makes her stand out from the other Ironteeth witches, it also marks her as the strongest and bravest for having the guts to wear the signature red cloak of their enemies in front of the Matron.
She later discovers the witch she was forced to kill was her half-sister. This knowledge is one of the catalysts for Manon’s growth from the brutal Blackbeak into the more courageous and loving Witch Queen. Her cloak then shifts from a trophy to a reminder that while Manon was made a monster, she has a choice in who she becomes and what kind of future she creates for her people.
MORRIGAN (A COURT OF MIST AND FURY BY SARAH J MAAS)
As Third-in-Command to the High Lord of the Night Court, Morrigan (or Mor, as she is known by her friends) rules over Velaris and the Hewn City.
Being born into one of the most powerful Night Court families, Mor came into incredible power upon entering womanhood. At this point, her family sought to sell her— and her virginity. Desiring to escape a horrible arranged marriage, she willingly gives herself to an Illyrian Male she deems worthy.
This angers everyone involved, not only because she is no longer a virgin, but because she lost it to a “lesser” faerie, making her unclean in everyone’s eyes. Her fiancé breaks off the engagement once she is no longer "valuable," and her father has her tortured and dumped in another territory, with a note nailed to her abdomen claiming she is no longer his problem.
After being rescued by someone in the High Lord of the Night Court’s Inner Circle, she establishes a life for herself and rises to power on her own. Mor often wears revealing red outfits into the Hewn City as a statement to her family (who are now under her rule) and everyone else of her strength, and that her body belongs to her alone.
The full extent of her power is still unknown, but I’m hoping we might get a sneak peek in the latest installment, A Court of Silver Flames, which is out in just a few more days!
CASSIAN (A COURT OF MIST AND FURY BY SARAH J MAAS)
Speaking of ACOSF, Cassian is the reason I am dying for this book! His honor and opinions, humor, and the big-brother role he takes on in the series make him hard not to love . . . if you know him. Otherwise, the massive Illyrian warrior might seem downright terrifying between his towering build, multitude of weapons, and a temper that can be fiery when provoked.
There’s also the fact that he is one of the most powerful Illryins in the history of Prythian. This is evident in that while the Illryian warriors use Siphons to control and channel their raw power, Cassian requires seven. Each is a brilliant red and helps shield him or create weapons with magic during battle.
DOROTHY GALE (MGM’S THE WIZARD OF OZ)
Okay, the slippers weren’t actually red in the book, but the 1939 film has forever solidified the idea that Dorothy’s slippers were ruby red because of the invention of Technicolor. So here we are!
While red hints at the power the shoes hold, the color also marks Dorothy as the hero for the inhabitants of Oz.
SCARLET BENOIT (THE LUNAR CHRONICLES BY SARAH J MAAS)
This retelling of Little Red Riding Hood is interesting in that both the hoodie she wears and her hair are red. Rather than being a gift to protect her from changing to a werewolf like Ruby, Scarlet’s hoodie is simply a bit of promotion for her grandmother’s farm. That’s not to say that it holds no symbolism.
As redheads are often depicted, Scarlet is a spitfire. Yet a lot of that anger is justified— her grandmother has been missing for weeks, yet the police want to call it quits. She can be short-tempered, impulsive, and harsh, using her anger to make her look bigger and meaner than she is, but it all hides a very tender, loving center. How very true to her Leo Sun!
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS (ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND)
You didn't think I'd make this post without talking about the Queen herself, did you? While it's a bit predictable, I think we can all agree that no matter which version of the character we go with, The Fury is a perfect representation of her court's color. She is impulsive, quick to anger, prideful, powerful, and prone to tantrums when she doesn't get her way.
Enjoy this post? Do you know/like any of the characters on this list? Got one in mind you think should have been added? Let us know in the comments below, or simply join in the conversation!