Let's face it: there are a lot of really hot characters in the realm of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror — but there's also something special about the redheads. Sure, we all know it's technically caused by a recessive allele on a certain chromosome and blah blah blah (and, in truth, some of our faves were created by the frequent and liberal application of the right color of hair dye), but redheads are a shade apart, and we're not just talking genetically.
So today, in honor of National Redhead Day (yes, that's a thing, you can look it up), we're acknowledging some of our most favorite, most revered, and most thirsted-after redheads in genre.
We couldn't make a list of redheads without mentioning one of the hottest Highlanders to ever step foot onto our television screens (and into our hearts by extension). Jamie Fraser, as played by Sam Heughan in Starz's adaptation of the wildly successful Outlander books, has it all, really: the passion, the dedication, the luscious locks, the kilt. We really can't fault Claire for going back through the stones to spend the rest of her life with this swoonworthy ginger man.
The Girl Who Waited and, ultimately, the heart of the show (the Doctor may have two of them, but STILL), Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) came a long way from working as a kiss-o-gram to becoming one of the most important companions in Doctor Who history, not just for who she later wound up giving birth to (spoilers!) but for her ferocity (no doubt caused by her red hair), unending dedication to her man, and loyalty to her "Raggedy Doctor."
Skillful yet often viewed with distaste for her controversial scientific methods, geneticist Moira O'Deorain was making great strides in her research when she was reportedly tapped by the mysterious shadow organization known as Talon to lend her expertise to their efforts. In the game Overwatch, she's one of the most badass support heroes you can play, with regenerative and damaging biotic abilities as well as the power to literally slow fade her enemies. Oh, and she's hot AF.
Are all of the best scientists redheads? Dana Scully (played by Gillian Anderson) certainly lends credence to that theory. For over 10 seasons of The X-Files (plus two movies), Scully provided the skeptical foil to her conspiracy-driven partner (and sometimes domestic partner, really), fellow FBI agent Fox Mulder. Sure, the show was really about whether or not aliens actually exist, but what would it have been without Scully's fiery mane of red hair, her drive to acknowledge science over all, and all those ridiculously shippy moments?
Daniel "Oz" Osborne and Willow Rosenberg
Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow and Oz (Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green) are the best example of the twofer you get with redheads dating redheads. (Granted, Oz wasn't always rocking the red hair; remember that ink black dye job back in Season 2?) He was a werewolf, she was a witch, and together they were the ultimate ginger power couple. Although they would later break up during what was essentially Buffy: The College Years, they might still remain the only pairing in genre that decided to match each other in the red hair department.
Doctor Who has blessed us over its last few seasons with not just one badass redhead, but two. There's a reason Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) was once described by the Doctor as being the most important woman ever, and while it's probably not a result of her red hair we like to think that's at least part of it. The way she left the show will always be a bit bittersweet, but her outspokenness, wit and quick thinking in tough situations will always be legendary.
Wildling and patron saint of patient girlfriends everywhere, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) certainly didn't care for Jon Snow (Kit Harington) at first (girl literally shot him three times with her bow and arrows at one point, and that was after she taught him a few things in a cave), but in the end the two gave in to their burgeoning affection for one another and sort of became the loves of each other's lives. Alas, this is the world of Game of Thrones, and their relationship was not to be in the end, but Leslie and Harington wound up getting hitched IRL so at least someone got a happy ending.
Whether you loved her or loved to hate her, Alt-livia Dunham (Anna Torv), or "Faux-livia," as she was often referred to, definitely knew how to rock a solid red — and can we please talk about her amazing bangs? She was always a little more ruthless than the Olivia we knew from the main Fringe universe, a little less likely to harbor regrets. And she may have gotten off to a slightly rocky start with Main-livia, but the two later worked side-by-side in pursuit of saving both their universes. Game respects game.
Truthfully, the entire Weasley clan could have made it onto this list, because they're all standouts in their own right, but we only watched one Weasley in particular grow from a tiny-tiny wizard boy with a love for chess and Chocolate Frogs to a pretty buff Quidditch Keeper. Everyone likes to talk about Neville Longbottom's glow-up, but it's past time we acknowledge the fact that Ron (Rupert Grint) came into his own in a big way throughout the books and the films, lending his stalwart loyalty to Harry Potter and unending support to Hermione Granger. In the topsy-turvy world that is life, everyone needs a Ron of their own.