Damon_Tor

Origin of Red Hair?

13 posts in this topic

I'm wondering if anyone can help me figure out where the earliest accounts of red hair come from. It seems to be an unusual trait. The First Men and Rhoynar seemed to be brown haired while the Andals were more often blonde, while Targaryens have their silvery hair, but red hair doesn't have a clear origin.

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I tend to think that is a trait present since the First Men, given that the Freefolk present it (albeit very rarely,) but also present and maybe a little more prevalent in the Andals.

Instances of red hair are present all over Westeros: from the Redwynes to the Tullys (and therefore the Stark children), to the Dornish Marches (Anguy and Beric Dondarrion) to the Iron Islands; but the fact that the Free Folk consider it "lucky" and a beautyfing trait is a signal of its scarcity beyond the Wall.

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Posted (edited)

It isn't that unusual, at least south of The Wall. There are several houses and characters with red(ish) hair, Conningntons have red, Tullys have auburn, Redwynes have orange, Rohanne Webber had strawberry blonde and these are just the ones I can remember.

By the way Rhoynars are black haired

 

Below are great houses that were on westeros before the conquest, with their hair colors.

 

Lannisters have blonde hair, they descend from Lann the Clever who lived in age of heroes so they are descended from first men.

Tyrells have brown hair, they descended from Gardeners through the female line, again first men.

Though their land was granted by Vances (Andal), Tullys are a first men house, They have auburn hair.

Nymeros-Martell are Andal through the male line and Rhoynar through the female line, black haired.

Arryns are Andal descendants, blonde haired.

Starks are first men, brown haired.

We have one andal, one andal&rhoynar and four first men.

FM: two browns, one brown-red and one blonde

A: Blonde

A+R: Black

As can be seen, blonde hair doesn't come from the andals, first men also had it. But in the case of red hair, if it must be traced to a single "race" of men, then it sure must have be from the first men; though rare, wildlings have red hair, and their chance of mingling with Andals and Rhoynar are almost non existent, very few, if any, among the black brothers would have red hair to introduce it to the wildlings if first men didn't have any, making it impossible to have red haired people spread across the lands beyond the Wall. As for  stealing women, even the lords do not marry with southern houses much, and even then it will likely not be a "pure andal" genetic wise, small folk will have no oppurtunity get themselves andal or rhoynar brides.

 

Edit to above:

It occured to things occured to me while writing my post and after seeing yours; It will likely be as rare in 7k as it is beyond the wall, among the common folk at least. noble houses have a higher chance to preserve their genes, marrying only among themselves, so they have a smaller gene pool and more chance of not losing specific traits over time. And this seems to be what happened or else we wouldn't have things like "traditional stark look", even their statues or ancestors in Bran dreams from thousands of years ago have those looks.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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On 6/15/2017 at 3:32 AM, Loose Bolt said:

Danelle Lothston.

And she's important, I think.

I'd love it if I could find something which could indicate for sure whether or not the Tully's had red hair in their line before any intermarriage with Lothstons or Whents.

 

On 6/15/2017 at 2:41 PM, Corvo the Crow said:

But in the case of red hair, if it must be traced to a single "race" of men, then it sure must have be from the first men; though rare, wildlings have red hair, and their chance of mingling with Andals and Rhoynar are almost non existent, very few, if any, among the black brothers would have red hair to introduce it to the wildlings if first men didn't have any, making it impossible to have red haired people spread across the lands beyond the Wall. As for  stealing women, even the lords do not marry with southern houses much, and even then it will likely not be a "pure andal" genetic wise, small folk will have no oppurtunity get themselves andal or rhoynar brides.

Two minor hypotheses of mine are:

  1. House Hoare carried a red hair gene. "Harren the Red" was called such because he had red hair.
  2. Lord Commander Hoare (first name unknown, brother of Harren Hoare) is Craster's ancestor. I substantiate this only with a few odd lines describing him as having "black blood" (a phrase used prominently to describe House Hoare)

Put together and add 300 years and it would stand to reason that red hair would start popping up here and there.

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On Invalid Date at 7:37 AM, Damon_Tor said:

And she's important, I think.

I'd love it if I could find something which could indicate for sure whether or not the Tully's had red hair in their line before any intermarriage with Lothstons or Whents.

 

Two minor hypotheses of mine are:

  1. House Hoare carried a red hair gene. "Harren the Red" was called such because he had red hair.
  2. Lord Commander Hoare (first name unknown, brother of Harren Hoare) is Craster's ancestor. I substantiate this only with a few odd lines describing him as having "black blood" (a phrase used prominently to describe House Hoare)

Put together and add 300 years and it would stand to reason that red hair would start popping up here and there.

By here and there do you mean the entire Westeros (and Essos if there are known redheads there) or beyond the wall?

In either case, we aren't given any description of Harren the Red, whether he has red hair or got his name through gelding of Gargon the Guest or some other feat, we do not know and it is safer to assume even if he was a real Hoare, he'd probably "Black of hair, black of eye, black of heart." as a member of the "black line". And even if he did have red hair, as a self proclaimed grandson of Harren the Black, this doesn't mean his grand uncle would also have red hair to spread it beyond the wall, and it doesn't explain where Harren the Red got it in the first place.

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Red haired characters in Westeros are: House Tully (First Men heritage), House Redwyne (First Men heritage) and some Wildlings (First Men heritage). Maybe the first Tully, Gilbert of the Vines and any other mythical founders of houses/Wildling ancestors were leaders of groups of First Men with red/auburn hair who passed their traits to the next generations.

Melisandre and Rohanne Webber are individuals so they do not count.

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On 7/5/2017 at 5:59 PM, Endymion I Targaryen said:

 

Melisandre and Rohanne Webber are individuals so they do not count.

Do we think Melisandre counts as a traditional "redhead"? We have Ygritte's fire look and the Tully auburn (which, based on the descriptions, are not necessarily the same look), and then we have the "red woman."

We know she uses glamour and her true appearance isn't clear. Maybe she even dyes her hair-- even the Tyroshi use that blue dye. 

We don't have much solid background on her true origins, right? 

I'm guessing the auburn and red would come from the First Men. TWOIAF describes the Andals as being blonde or light-haired, I believe.

This could be a stupid question, but: The Children of the Forest didn't breed with men or the First Men, did they? They are shrouded in mystery. "Crannogmen" could refer to their descendants- we learn they aren't actually green in color, but wear green clothing. Maybe the auburn is derived from that heritage. 

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Melisandre has red hair, and she's from Asshai, the shadowlands in Essos. The people living there are very strange and ghostlike. Dothraki people are wary of them. Apparantly it might be where the first dragons were born. The fire R'hllor faith of the Red God comes from the shadowlands. Red hair could come from Essos.

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On 7/5/2017 at 0:39 AM, Corvo the Crow said:

By here and there do you mean the entire Westeros (and Essos if there are known redheads there) or beyond the wall?

In either case, we aren't given any description of Harren the Red, whether he has red hair or got his name through gelding of Gargon the Guest or some other feat, we do not know and it is safer to assume even if he was a real Hoare, he'd probably "Black of hair, black of eye, black of heart." as a member of the "black line". And even if he did have red hair, as a self proclaimed grandson of Harren the Black, this doesn't mean his grand uncle would also have red hair to spread it beyond the wall, and it doesn't explain where Harren the Red got it in the first place.

 

Red hair is recessive, and the Riverlands seem to be redhead ground-zero for whatever reason. If Harren's mother was a Riverlander (and it's entirely possible she was seeing as his father famously had very little to do with the Iron Islands) then both Harren and his brother could have a single copy of the gene but still have black hair.

Then all that's required for Harren the Red to have red hair is for his father (presumably one of Harren's sons who somehow survived? Unclear) to marry someone who also carries the red hair gene.

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On 10/7/2017 at 9:32 AM, Reisendame said:

Do we think Melisandre counts as a traditional "redhead"? We have Ygritte's fire look and the Tully auburn (which, based on the descriptions, are not necessarily the same look), and then we have the "red woman."

We know she uses glamour and her true appearance isn't clear. Maybe she even dyes her hair-- even the Tyroshi use that blue dye. 

We don't have much solid background on her true origins, right? 

I just say she appears as a redhead. I too think this is a glamour and her true appearance is unknown.

In Arianne I, Winds of Winter, Valena and Teora Toland are described as redheads too. But no further information is given about traditional Toland looks or their origins.

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17 hours ago, Damon_Tor said:

 

Red hair is recessive, and the Riverlands seem to be redhead ground-zero for whatever reason. If Harren's mother was a Riverlander (and it's entirely possible she was seeing as his father famously had very little to do with the Iron Islands) then both Harren and his brother could have a single copy of the gene but still have black hair.

Then all that's required for Harren the Red to have red hair is for his father (presumably one of Harren's sons who somehow survived? Unclear) to marry someone who also carries the red hair gene.

 

Again, no mention of Harren the Read being red haired, at least I can't find any. And even if we think ASOIAF genes are mendelian, there's the problem of introducing more than one copy of the gene. Wildlings are very strict on not marrying within the family, they do not even marry within their own band/clan or at least prefer not to. Gerrick Kingsblood comes from the line of the little brother of Raymun Redbeard, obviously named after the color of his beard. Raymun Redbeard died in 226, while Harren the Red died sometime after 37. Considering Raymun would need to be born and grow up to do battle and die, not to mention spend some time winning the allegiances of the wildlings, there's not even 200 years to spread these recessive genes, and hope lucky Raymun would catch two of them from his parents, who would need to have a copy each and this is if the genes are mendelian at all.

Even if all the above is correct, this doesn't explain where Hoares, who are black of eye and hair and blood got a copy. Did they so luckily mutate so late in the evolution of men? If they did, again time problems with all the redheads all around westeros with so little time. Tullys, Redwynes, Cunningtons, Redbeards, Ygritte, Rohanne Webber (who may have been born even earlier than Raymun)...

Though we do not know of Conningtons (at least I don't), other families that have a tendency for red hair are known for their first men origin, and most characters we know for their red hair are known first men descendants, some like the wildlings are pure first man or with very little blood mixing through possible lusty rangers or traders coming to hardhome. Most likely explanation is that red hair came with the first men when they crossed the arm, or the mutation happened shortly after they arrived to Westeros.

 

17 hours ago, Damon_Tor said:

 

 

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On 10/07/2017 at 11:05 AM, Wolfgirly said:

Melisandre has red hair, and she's from Asshai, the shadowlands in Essos. The people living there are very strange and ghostlike. Dothraki people are wary of them. Apparantly it might be where the first dragons were born. The fire R'hllor faith of the Red God comes from the shadowlands. Red hair could come from Essos.

There are a lot of incorrect assumptions in here. Mellisandre is not from Asshai, she recalls in her POV chapter in ADWD being sold as a child. Lot seven, and the memory of being called Melony. Seemingly as she was taken from her mother.  So we can couple that information with the fact that there are no children is Asshai, meaning no reproduction there and no births, and so no one is "from" asshai. And lastly Mellisandre tells us her tears were of flame, which seems an odd way to describe her tears, but when we look at Tyrions descriptions of the slaves of Volantis it rings an alarm bell, the prostitutes there have tattoos of tears on their cheeks and we learn the red Temple tattoos it's slaves with flames, in either a wreathed head for the priests and a hand for the Warriors, but he also tells us there are temple prostitutes, who by logical conclusion must have tears of flame. All of which points to her having been taken from somewhere unknown as a child and sold to the red temple in Volantis. We also learn in the World book that people travel to Asshai to practice the more nefarious aspects of their religions including the Red Priests. And again in her POV chapter, she tells us uses the phrase "before Asshai" meaning she lived somewhere else first. The religion of R'hllor can not be described with accuracy as coming from Asshai, the city does not seem to have any dominant faith, but rather many faiths as well as non-religious practitioners, and we also know R'hllor was one of the many gods worshipped in Valyria and that the Red Temple at Volantis was constructed by Dragon Lords. As it is included in a book about the Wonders of the dragonlords. detailing their architectural achievements.  Also though the story of Azor Ahhai is documented in a scroll in Asshai we don't have any proof it is a prophecy from Asshai. There are many archaic and important texts kept there.  And when examined in its wording as much as we know it and taken with Aemon's inter use of the words it seems more than likely that AAR and TPTWP are in fact the same prophecy. And given that TPTWP is a Targaryen specific prophecy it is unlikely this stems from Asshai. Also take note that Mellisandre goes to the Targaryen homeland since they decamped from valyria-Dragonstone to look for TPTWP and she settles upon Stannis Baratheon on of the only remaining living people from the Targaryen blood line. As her AAR. No, I think it unlikely that R'hllor is from Asshai.   

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