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We've said it before and we'll say it again: The right beard on a good face makes that face even better. Who could forget how Captain America was completely transformed from all-American Boy Scout to a burly, brooding man in mourning for the dusted? Of course, beards can be grown from sadness, but they can also serve many other purposes.
From the continuing excellence of a bespoke-suited assassin to those slightly more vagrant vibes, SYFY WIRE FANGRRLS is paying tribute to all our favorite beards from the last year.
Some guys grow full beards with good coverage. Keanu Reeves doesn't fall into this category, and yet the patchiness is part of his facial hair charm. So much about Keanu as John Wick is perfect; from his love of dogs, his ability to turn anything into a weapon, and his sharp style, it is heartening to see his beard isn't on this level. Anyway, it's not like John has any time for grooming in Chapter 3 in between the many attempts on his life, not that he needs it. The rugged texture is the perfect level of facial fuzz to go with his long locks. If only Ted Logan wasn't so fresh-faced. RIP John Wick's beard. Gone too soon. - Emma Fraser
Thor in Avengers: Endgame
We all have a lot of feelings on Thor in Avengers: Endgame. There are cases to be made for and against this physical evolution for Asgard's semi-finest. In a film all about grief and its impact, Thor symbolized a particular brand of nihilism coupled with guilt. He was the one most crushed by his inability to save the universe, exacerbated by familial trauma, particularly over the death of his mother, and decided to respond by giving up and closing himself off from the responsibilities. It would have worked better had the film not continued to kick down with lazy fat jokes. His beard — longer, shaggier, far more Viking-esque than his previous facial fuzz — was another symbol of his bleak outlook on life. Why bother? It'll just grow back if he cuts it. By the time comes for him to once again reclaim his power and purpose, the beard gets braided oh-so-prettily and is ready for action. I do prefer a closer shave for Hemsworth, both in terms of beard and hair, but if we want to talk about the beards of 2019 that got the job done thematically as well as aesthetically, it's all about those braids. - Kayleigh Donaldson
Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones
Jaime Lannister started the Game of Thrones final season with honor. Offering his much-needed fighting services to those in the North revealed the impact Brienne had on him. He was no longer the selfish, arrogant (and clean-shaven) guy from his last visit to Winterfell. A beard is vital for keeping warm and it ingratiates Jaime with the other men of the North. They might hate who and what he represents, but they can’t knock his valiant facial hair effort. It’s also easy to see why Brianne has been crushing hard because damn, does he look good. However, much like the final season, Jamie’s choices are ultimately a letdown. But we’ll always have his beard. - Emma Fraser
Lord Asriel in His Dark Materials
Listen, as a reader of Philip Pullman’s books, I know not to trust Lord Asriel. His ambition knows no bounds and he is willing to sacrifice children in order to achieve his goals. But also he wears a lot of knitwear and leather, is played by James McAvoy, and spends a lot of his time yelling about academia. All the while having the perfect amount of salt and pepper in his beard. I AM ONLY A HUMAN WOMAN. Asriel is whatever the cozy (yet secretly cruel) version of a leather daddy is, and that beard puts the emphasis on “daddy.” The beard burn would be 100% worth it. - Alyssa Fikse
Brixton Lore in Hobbs & Shaw
I hope in 2020 and beyond we see more Idris Elba playing villains with beards. Thanks to his character in 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw, I have a mighty need for this particular Idris Elba role. Brixton Lore may have not actually been the Black Superman, but his seemingly unshaved face and cocky demeanor had me wondering if the enhancements he received were good for more than just trying to kill the movie’s namesakes. To be honest, Brixton made me think of how aesthetically pleasing his whole look would have been on Idris if, in some other universe, he played the role of Superman in his all-black Reign of the Supermen look. Only one of the best beards in 2019 could invoke such inspired thoughts. Brixton’s beard has that well-meticulously groomed thing going for it. It’s a beard that says this man walks in the spirit of BDE. A beard that says “As long as you’re with me, you’ll always have a place to sit.” A beard that is worthy of the title for Best Beard of 2019. - Stephanie Williams
Hiccup in How To Train Your Dragon 3
I guarantee I was not alone in gasping out loud when this trailer dropped and we were all treated to the ultimate glo-up for our favorite dragon trainer and newly-crowned Viking chief of Berk. Hiccup's come a long way since the first How to Train Your Dragon movie almost a decade ago(!) and that beard is proof of that. Not only is Hiccup rocking THE MOST Jake Gyllenhaal vibes with that beard and that smolder by the time the third movie rolls around, but he's also dealing with the perils of what happens when your boy dragon is sweet on a girl dragon. (Spoiler alert: the results are very, very cute.) Anyway, this beard doesn't just represent literal growth; it represents character growth too, and it couldn't have happened to a more charming animated individual. - Carly Lane
Jason Mantzoukas in... well, everything
Heynong, man. You didn't think we'd get through this list without the luxurious beard of the Tick Tock Man. From John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum to reprising his role as an upgraded and far fancier Derek on The Good Place (you might say a Maximum Derek) to a full-on rap battle against the Hiphopopotamus himself, Jemaine Clement, on Legion, Zouks and his blessed face sweater were a constant in an otherwise untethered and uncertain year. And while his beardless visage is its own brand of thirst-giving, my preference will always be my furry Bae-son Mantzoukas. - Courtney Enlow