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The Mad Hatter – Top 10 Weird Facts About the Character!

This article will tell you about the iconic character from ‘Alice in Wonderland. Who is the Mad Hatter? Why do we call some people Mad Hatters?

Mad as a Hatter is a commonly used etymology, and it owes its origin to Lewis Carroll’s internationally renowned fantasy fiction novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The Mad Hatter first shows up at the Mad Tea Party and poses as a heinous and eccentric character in the story. This character was later adopted widely as a supervillain in DC Comics and other movies.

The Mad Hatter: Top 10 Weird Facts

Now, let us look at some interesting trivia about the weird character.

1. The Mad Hatter

Though this character is popularly known as the Mad Hatter, Lewis Carroll never used this locution even once in his entire novel. 

The word Mad tagged along, following the aberrant demeanour of the character.

The phrase ‘Mad as a Hatter‘ became famous after the novel’s publication. Still, the phrase was already known before the novel’s release in England. It refers to people who worked in the Hattery domain in Bedfordshire. 

The people were susceptible to mercury poisoning during the hat-making process, and long mercury exposure caused damage to the brain and nerves, making the people behave whimsically.

2. Theophilus Carter

This furniture dealer from England is believed to be the impetus for the depiction of the Mad Hatter in both the novels of Lewis Carroll. 

Theophilus Carter’s actions justify the resemblance to the Mad Hatter, for he is known to stand in front of his shop in Oxford wearing a similar hat to that of the Mad Hatter.

Though this notion hasn’t been officially revealed, witnesses and facts give us more than a reason to believe this theory.

 Sir John Tenniel is rumoured to have visited Oxford to sketch him, but surprisingly, Carter rumoured that he never knew that he had been a model for the Mad Hatter.

Character Exploration // The Mad Hatter // Alice in Wonderland // Drama Lesson

3. October 10

In the comic illustrations and the movies, the Mad Hatter wears a top hat with a fascia reading ‘In This Style 10/6’. 

The inscription 10/6 represents the cost of the hat, which is 10 shillings and 6 pence. Now this date is celebrated around the world as Mad Hatter Day.

4. DC Supervillain

The Mad Hatter found his way into the DC Comic Universe in 1948. He is portrayed as a brilliant and vivid scientist who specializes in neurotechnology. 

The Mad Hatter turns out to be the antagonist in Batman Comics.

The Mad Hatter begins by performing neurological experiments on rats and other animals, and later, he invents a powerful chip that provides him access to control animals and humans.

According to the comics, he is first forced to use the chip on two robbers he encounters while he is with Alice.  Then he commands them to jump off a bridge with his chip, and that’s when Batman comes to their rescue, and Mad Hatter evolves into his arch-rival.

From the DC Batman Comics published in 2001, one could interpret the insanity of the Mad Hatter. 

In these comics, Batman comes across many robberies and thefts throughout the city, and when he finds out why, he is dumbstruck. It is later revealed that the chaos was caused by him, not for money but only to wreak havoc around Gotham city for no reason. 

The thefts were reportedly carried out by the police officers who the Mad Hatter controlled.

Another issue of DC Comics featuring the Mad Hatter, published in 2010, reveals his fetish love for teas and his obsession with Alice. 

In this issue, he attempts to write a book, and in the meantime, he works towards overcoming his cravings, like wearing hats and drinking tea.

He is also obsessed with every blonde woman in the town and wants them to be named AliceThis story elucidates his desire to be loved, but by the end, he succumbs to his obsessions of wearing hats and drinking tea.

The Noxious DC Super-Villains
Icy Canada

5. Disneyland

Alice, Mad Hatter, and the Evil Queen in Fantasyland - Disneyland Resort

Fantasyland is a part of Disneyland Park, where you can meet all your favourite characters from storybooks. The Mad Hatter is often spotted around Fantasyland in Disneyland Park, wearing his signature top hat. 

The Mad Hatter is mostly found along with other significant characters like Alice, Peter Pan, and Tinker Bell. The Cheshire Cat and March Hare from Alice in Wonderland can also be spotted in the Park.

The Mad Hatter is also the name of a shop in Fantasyland. The shop sells a diverse range of Disney-themed hats and is a trendy place to find a souvenir when leaving the Park. 

There is also a street named after the Mad Hatter. If you look into the large mirror at the Mad Hatter shop in Disneyland Park, you would probably confront the Cheshire Cat wearing his signature mischievous grin on his face.

A conversation with the Mad Hatter will be one to cherish and perplexing. He is known to celebrate every day that isn’t his birthday. 

So you could cheer up when you say it isn’t your birthday. How can you not discuss tea, for the Mad Hatter loves Tea Parties? 

You can also talk about other significant instances from the novel, like the Riddle and Hats.

6. The Raven Riddle

Why Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk?

One of the most famous instances from the novel is the riddle posed by Mad Hatter to Alice, ‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’. 

After giving it a decent try, Alice cedes only to find that the Mad Hatter himself is clueless as he quotes, “I haven’t the slightest idea!”

This riddle became the reader’s brain twister as they came up with plenty of satisfactory answers and urged the author to reveal the true answer. Carroll later came up with this answer:

 “Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is NEVAR put with the wrong end in front!” 

Ironically, he came up with the word ‘never’ instead of never, for it pronounces Raven when reading backwards.

Still, this answer didn’t satiate the readers and fans of the book. So they came up with more exciting and reasonable responses. Some of the best responses are as follows:

  • ‘Because one is good for writing books and the other better for biting rooks.’
  • ‘Because a writing desk is a rest for pens and a raven is a pest for wrens.’
  • Puzzle geek Sam Lloyd answered, ‘Poe wrote on both!’ Edgar Allan Poe is an American writer and poet who wrote a poem titled The Raven, published in 1845.

There were plenty of other answers, too; perhaps you could try your hand at it!

7. The Mad Counterpart

Another substantial character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the March Hare. 

The prominent member of the tea party, along with the Mad Hatter, is known to be as mad as the Mad Hatter but is overshadowed by the former.

In the early chapters, when Alice confronts the Cheshire Cat and asks about her way to Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat responds, 

“In that direction lives a Hatter, and in that direction lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: They are both Mad!”

The phrase ‘As Mad as a March Hare’ was a common saying even before ‘Mad as Hatter’ became famous. 

The month of March is known to be the breeding season for most animals, including hares, and so they tend to behave outlandishly during this time. That’s how they caught up on this phrase.

Incidentally, the Mad Hatter had an imposter who was featured in several issues of DC Comics. 

In one of the issues, he is collecting several kinds of hats, suits, and masks, and he seeks Batman’s Cowl to complete his collection. 

He goes to every extreme to acquire it. The exciting thing about this is the harmless motives of the Mad Hatter and his imposter, thanks to his eccentricity and outlandish obsessions.

8. Tarrant Hightopp

The Mad Hatter is featured in the following films of the Disney Franchise. 

Alice in Wonderland (1951), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972), The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987), and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). 

In the novels and films, his name was Tarrant Hightopp, known as the Hatter. There is also a Disney film titled The Mad Hatter, released in 1948, but this features a character from the Mickey Mouse franchise, Woody Woodpecker.

The Mad Hatter appeared in several TV Shows and Comics under a profile different from the origins. But his craziness towards tea parties never changed, for you could find plenty of their references in DC Comics.

One such issue is from 1993, written by Doug Mench from the Knightfall storyline. In this issue, the criminals from Arkham Asylum are set free by Bane in Gotham to make Batman work harder to make the city crime-free. 

But suspicion arouses in the Mad Hatter’s mind regarding the reasons for their release, and he wonders if the specialist in mind control himself is being controlled by someone anonymous.

He tries to unriddle this by organizing his signature Mad Tea Party with plenty of the rogues who were set free and plays his cards by taking command over them with his unique hats. 

He then uses them to find the person responsible and uncover the mystery.

9. Jervis Tech

Gotham | Jervis Tetch | Mad Hatter - Melanie Martinez

The Mad Hatter is also featured in the 1960s Batman TV Series as the antagonist, where he uses his special hat to hypnotize people and pull out other tricks from it. 

He appears in 4 episodes of the series under the name Jervis Tetch and is portrayed by David Wayne. Contrary to the comics and film, Mad Hatter remains dispassionate about the novel’s character Alice.

In the same TV Series, Mad Hatter is known to have a brother called the Clock KingThis character eventually turns out to be another Batman antagonist and ends up scheming vicious plans with his brother Mad Hatter and other associates.

The Batman Animated Series also featured the Mad Hatter, but this time, the plot was based on the comics, and he was obsessed with Alice, just like in the novels. 

He was a genius scientist working on mind-controlling devices that he experimented on animals and predictably used them wrongly to end up as the bad guy.

Another instance of Mad Hatter’s obsession with Alice can be construed from the 1994 edition of Batman Comics. In this edition, the Mad Hatter abducts many kids, including the Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. 

He then dresses her up as Alice from Wonderland and forces her to join him at a tea party along with the other kids dressed as his Mad Tea Party members.

10. The Batman Film

DC Comics is set to produce another solo feature film of Batman after the successful Dark Knight Trilogy. 

This film is gearing up to be the biggest movie of the franchise and is directed by Matt Reeves. The film is prepped for release in October 2021.

The film features at least six supervillains from the DC Comic arsenal. The Mad Hatter, who turned out to be a recurrent villain in the Batman Comics and the TV Series, is reportedly cast in the vile villain roster of the film.

Closing Thoughts

Since the novel’s first publication, there have been about 40 movie and TV show versions of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece.

There are even some games where you can unlock a mad hatter costume (including a mad hatter’s hat)  or get him as a playable character to fight.

There are many instances where other characters from other games collaborate whenever mad hatter appears with his white rabbit. 

Alice in Wonderland is one of the most impactful fantasy novels ever, and the characters left behind an impressive impression. 

Mad Hatter’s journey from being the deuteragonist of a fantasy novel to a prominent Villain in the DC comics and Batman shows defines the character’s impact.

Despite being portrayed as the antagonist, the mad hatter makes a significant threat of no result, unlike other supervillains. 

He has evolved into an eccentric human being psyched by his inability to garner people’s love and attention and often freaks out. 

His obsession with tea parties and top hats has been one of the spotlights of his quirky character, and it will probably continue to be a significant element of the major steam culture for a long time.

Last Updated on by Priyanshi Sharma


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