|Occupation(s)||Red King ♛|
|Family|| The King of Hearts (cousin)|
|Relationships|| The Red Queen (wife)|
|Friends||The White Queen, The White King|
|Portrayer|| Patrick Culliton (1985)|
Michael Medwin (1998)
The Red King is a fictional character from the novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll. He is based upon the chess piece of the same name.
Since the whole story revolves around a game of chess, he is characteristic of the king in such a game in that he has all of the pieces on his side available to perform the work for him; unlike his white counterpart, though, he does not move at all throughout the story. Indeed, when Alice first meets him he is fast asleep ("fit to snore his head off", as Tweedledum says) and Alice, even prior to seeing him, mistakes the sound he is making for "lions or tigers". (During this time, Tweedledum and Tweedledee state that if she is part of the Red King's dream, as they suspect, then she will "go out—bang!—like a candle" when he wakes.)
The match ends by Alice's checkmating of the king, an action coincident with the taking of the Red Queen. In the final chapter of the book, Alice acknowledges that the Red King had, after all, been asleep throughout the whole game, and is left wondering whether the whole experience was her dream or his. In the 2010 film, he is briefly seen as a decapitated head, floating in the Red Queen's moat, killed because the Red Queen was afraid that he would leave her for her sister, the White Queen. The Red King is one of the book's characters with the most potential, but is frequently ignored by those adapting the books.