top of page

Why Do These Characters Wear Green?

Video Transcript:

If you've seen any of my videos...(let's be honest, there's a 99.9%... 99.97% probability that you haven't seen notta one - Let's Continue) - I attempt to explain why we see certain colors used for costumes and how the use of color helps to explain the character and can also help to "predict" what's going to happen next.

For this video, I decided to take a slightly different avenue - so instead of explaining how green is used in film in general, I'll be covering why the color was chosen in relation to the overall essence of each character.

This is by far not an all-inclusive list, but I felt these characters had interesting background stories that I hope you find interesting as well.


The original Green Lantern that Martin Nodell created was named Alan Scott, first appearing in the 1940's All-American Comics #16.

"He adorned a red shirt and a purple cape, looking nothing like the other Green Lanterns who would follow in his footsteps. When the character was initially created, rather than being from outer space, Alan Scott's ring and lantern were ancient magical artifacts, which he came upon by chance and uses to fight criminals, Nazis, and supervillains throughout the 1940s. In addition to appearing in All-American Comics, Green Lantern soon got his own title, and became a member of the Justice Society of America in the pages of All-Star Comics."

Describing the motivation for Green lantern's character, Martin Nodell stated. "I picked out the name from the train man on the tracks who was waving a lantern, going from red to green,"... "Green meant go and I decided that was it. Then I needed a colorful and interesting costume. I was interested in Greek mythology and so the costume took on elements of that. It just all fell into place." Martin Nodell

Based on the creators interview - I searched "the meaning of green in Greek mythology". During my search, I kept being re-directed to the general definition of green and at first I couldn't figure out why - but as I dug a little further, the picture became abundantly clear and I'll explain That later in this video....

MAD HATTER (Batman) - (DC Comics)

The Mad Hatter made his first appearance in the "Golden Age of Comic Books in All-American comics" in 1940 before his move to DC comics in 1948

The Mad Hatter is a Batman villain whose real name is Jervis Tetch. He frequently wears a green suit, complete with an over-sized top hat. He has appeared in The Batman/Superman Hour,

Batman: The Animated Series,

and The New Adventures of Batman and Superman: The Animated Series.

"While the Mad Hatter has no inherent superpowers, he is a brilliant Neuro-technician with considerable knowledge on how to dominate and control the human mind, either through hypnosis or direct technological means. Usually, the Hatter places his mind control devices in the brims of hats, but has been known to utilize other devices as well. More recently, he has been able to directly influence the minds of others at a distance without any apparent equipment. However, this is most likely not a newly-emerging metahuman ability; more likely, his skill at miniaturizing and concealing technology, and advances upon his original technology, have probably allowed him to develop technology that permits him to use a device hidden upon his person (such as in his hat) to project mind-controlling powers in the manner of a meta-human ability such as telepathic powers."

"The Mad Hatter is not above using his own inventions on himself, such as creating a hat that can cause him both extreme bliss, as well as return him to lucidity when he deems it necessary."

Other versions

Disney released their version of the mad hatter character in the 1951 film - Alice in Wonderland. At first glance it may seem like Disney "borrowed" the idea, but being that Disney and DC Comics are under the same Time warner umbrella - it made sense that these characters would have interchanging qualities.

When searching for why the mad hatter wears green, the most I could find was in regards to his skin color - which is exactly Not what I was looking for...I found something on Quora about the 10/6 ticket on his hat, which confirmed to me that the green of his costume had some deeper meaning as well.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the exact answer I was looking for, but I was able to find and create theories that fall in line with why green was chosen for the design of his character.

1 . It's possible that the Mad Hatter was drawn to resemble "Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer near Oxford. Carter was known in the area as the Mad Hatter, partly because he always wore a top hat and because of his eccentric ideas."

If this real person was the inspiration - green would represent money or wealth, since he was a merchant

2. The hatter uses a high level of technology to control the minds of his victims - One of the core definitions for green is environment - which is why it's a color used for recycling and environmental awareness. The mad hatter uses technology to control the environments of those that fall under his spell by having full control of their minds. It sounds like I'm pulling that connection out of a hat, until I think of the matrix - which also used the color green to announce the characters that were a part of the A.I. system.

This leads us to....


The oracle is a matriarchal character in the matrix trilogy that helps to guide and direct the residents of Zion maneuver within the matrix.

The oracle character acts a mother figure, but she's also at the core of the operating system meaning that her directions are not always in the best interest of the crews that seek guidance from her - but are instead in the best interest of the matrix itself.

Green has more than one representation in the matrix trilogy which adds to the multilayers of symbolism already present in the series. If you're interested in seeing my break down...Right about now, you should see a link to watch part one of my interpretation of the the Matrix symbolism...part one...annnnd - there it is...


According to Cory Santos - a postgraduate researcher at the University of Lincoln

The story of Robin hood may be a fictional one, but it has real life ties to a man that lived in the town of Lincoln in the Middle ages.

According to Santos -

"Lincoln was a prosperous and thriving city, not just because of its farming links and minting of money, but also through its various merchants. the most famous of the city’s wares were its beautifully colored and highly prized textiles, with two shades in particular being the most coveted: Lincoln green and Lincoln scarlet." Cory Santos

Along with being renowned throughout the kingdom for the high quality of the dyes used, Lincoln wools were also known for consistency of color.

The color green was the normal color for commoners at that time and Lincoln created two shades to choose from, Lincoln green and Kendall green. Most commoners wore Kendall green due to it being the least expense of the two fabrics - while Lincoln green was worn by commoners who could afford to spend a little more.

Red or Lincoln scarlet garments, were the most expensive due to the dying processes and plant extractions needed to create the color. As a result, Lincoln Scarlet wool was the more coveted garment choice of the affluent.

According to writings, Robinhood and his men wore the more expensive Lincoln green garments with higher quality and when Robin Hood went to social gatherings and meetings he wore a red cloak to show authority over his men.

This portion of the historians writings told me, the possible real-life Robin Hood had a little more than most commoners and was high enough in society to attend events that were exclusive to the wealthy.


It's been widely recognized that the green arrow was created with robin hood in mind...

Like Robinhood, the Green arrow adorns green attire and is a wealthy hero that uses his finances and influence to attend to the ills of the less fortunate.

In both instances, these characters wore green and used their wealth, influence and skill to fight for the poor. The costumes tie back to some of the general meanings of green, representing finances, ambition and environment.


As I mentioned earlier in this video

When I searched for the terms "what does green in Greek mythology mean", I found that the only results were either related to the general meaning of green, or I was referred to the meaning from other ancient symbols or religions. When we think of symbols, in general - we think of actual drawings, carvings or artifacts, but colors serve as symbols in and of themselves - providing the same visual representation of something more tangible, but with a stealthier delivery.

These symbols mean different things in different cultures and religions, and many of the definitions we use to describe colors today actually come from these religions and belief systems.--- so to ask what a color means in mythology is almost like asking any other metaphorical question - which came first the chicken or the egg - does a tree make noise when it falls if no one is there to here it (Yes) - and so on and so forth.

We might not realize a deeper meaning is there - more often than not, it is.


Green Lantern

Mad Hatter

Robin Hood

Green Arrow

Thank you

bottom of page