Hair to the Throne

As ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ hit our screens, there’s an overload (or is that overlord?) of silver hair.

From Princess Rhaenyra’s lustrous locks to Saruman the White’s flowing mane, silver hair makes quite the entrance.

On Facebook, one silver sister group member proudly proclaimed that a stranger had asked her: “Do you have Targaryen ancestry?”

Fire, blood, and bubble baths

In the ‘Game of Thrones’ saga, the Targaryen dynasty bear several distinguishing features and skills.

These include: white hair, dragon riding, the ability to sit in a hot bath without gingerly dipping a toe in the water and quickly retreating with a crimson foot to the repeated cries of “ouch!”, and hatching a dragon egg, while still naked from your now tepid bath.

Now, if we overlook the madness, the incest, the violence and the burning, what we’re really envious of is hair so silver that even Father Christmas is wondering if he should change his brand of purple shampoo.

I’m an avid fan of the ‘House of the Dragon’ series, but I’m distracted by the amount of hair bling on screen.

Those with Valaryian/Targaryen lineage mainly have silver hair. I’m surprised the dragons aren’t flying about with immaculate silver plaits.

You shall not pass (for a natural brunette)

I have often joked about my ‘Lord of the Rings’ style quest to reach the summit of Mount Platinum where there is one hair colour to rule them all, forged in the white hot fires of L’Oreal.

We mere mortals can only aspire to the grey-tness as Dany Targaryen (Game of Thrones) and Galadriel (Lord of the Rings).

I’ve previously blogged about this fantasy hair, here:

And here:

The silver is a badge of honour. It distinguishes them from others. I was, however, more ‘Anna the Tortie’ during my transition.

My silver is quite uniform, but I’m still envious of their pattern. Do they use purple shampoo, perhaps extracted from the veins of dragons?

I guess the well water helps with yellowing, but all that sunlight and fire can’t be good for their silvers. And as for the blood and mud, it’s just not practical.

Then again, their hair is magical. Maybe it isn’t prone to being soiled by a rogue eyeliner or wonky lipstick application.

“It’s a wig,” my husband points out, as I gush over the platinum tresses on screen. “No wonder it’s so perfect.”

I don’t care. Real or unreal, it looks good.

5ft too

Plus, that’s two Targaryen princesses, who are a little over 5ft like me. Although I’m more of a Hobbit really.

In 1982, my aunt – who has a rather wicked sense of humour and frequently reminds me how short I am – took my cousins and me to see ‘The Dark Crystal’.

She nicknamed me ‘Gelfling’ after the main elf characters (because I was small and skinny with elfin features). But I didn’t mind being compared with such otherworldly beings.

My precious

The realms of fantasy beckon me. Like the ring summoning Gollum, the hair dye was “my precious”, my master, my demon.

Nobody came between my roots and me. I was a shadow of my former naturally brown haired self, crying out for my fix. Crawling around for box dye No.5 on the supermarket shelves.

During lockdown I confess that the power of the dye plunged me into murky depths.

My friend queued for hours at the supermarket when visits and goods were supposed to be ‘essential’ only.

She asked if I needed bread or milk. No thanks, but could she please bring me a box dye? “Any colour, any brand,” I said in desperation, having read on social media that there was a ‘stampede’ on dye.

I would dye for you

I realised I was hair dye’s servant, and it had an evil grip on me. The dye summoned me:

Hair dye: Glints under the store strip lights.

Me (grasping for the box): “My precious!”

Hair dye: Reveals the inscription: ‘Because you’re worth it.’

Me (eyes like saucers): “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.”

Hair dye: Promises me invisibility.

Me (catching a glimpse of my grey roots in a puddle outside ‘Boots the Chemists’): “They cursed us with silver hair and drove us away. And we wept, Precious, we wept to be so alone.”

Stand out with silver

The eye of Sauron catches a glimpse of my silver roots. It knows! It knows I am not a natural Mahogany Brown. Merlin’s Beard!

The down side of silver hair is it’s hard to disguise. I used to joke with my mother that I could spot her dyed platinum blonde hair anywhere, but now she can pick me out, unless I’m shopping at Boundary Mill (a UK store visited predominantly by the over 65s).

I’m not used to standing out. As a brunette, I often watched as my two blonde best friends garnered attention.

Currently, my silver hair is bob length, but I’m thinking of growing it to my waist and braiding it like a Norse Goddess, just for kicks.

Beautiful creatures

It’s great to see this amount of silverware on TV, but are showrunners depicting white-haired characters as misfits and icons? Not ordinary people.

Should I be flattered to be among such magical, mystical creatures, or offended that silver hair might be translated as “weird”?

Take ‘The Witcher’ for example. A superhuman force with long titanium hair, played on TV by Henry Cavill.

There are social media groups dedicated to The Witcher and Henry. My personal favourite being: ‘Friends who like The Witcher and Henry Cavill’.

Henry – especially with his Witcher greys – is rated as “hot” by followers. Even hotter than with his brown hair. I wonder if a famous woman who transformed to silver would be viewed the same by men?

Of course, in reality normal people with silver hair experience root grow outs and yellowing. It’s not so enchanting.

You’ll never see Gandalf or Dumbledore with a demarcation line. The irony is, in these fantasy realms we see more silvers than in our day-to-day existence.

I may not know how to ride a dragon, or speak High Valyrian, but I am qualified to own my silver crown.

Who are your favourite silver-haired characters in TV/film? Would you like to see more of them?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section, and don’t forget to subscribe!


2 responses to “Hair to the Throne”

  1. This blog is amazing so much thought gone in to it you are a very talented funny writer. Love the pictures your shiny silver hair is very attractive x

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