Dejah Thoris

Dejah Thoris is a fictional character and princess of the Martian city-state/empire of Helium in Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of Martian novels. She is the love interest and later the wife of John Carter, an Earthman mystically transported to Mars, and subsequently the mother of their son Carthoris and daughter Tara. She plays the role of the conventional damsel in distress who must be rescued from various perils, but is also portrayed as a competent and capable adventurer in her own right, fully capable of defending herself and surviving on her own in the wastelands of Mars.

Dejah Thoris
Barsoom character
Princess of Mars large
John Carter and Dejah Thoris from the cover of the first edition of A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, McClurg, 1917
First appearanceA Princess of Mars
Created byEdgar Rice Burroughs
Portrayed byTraci Lords
(Princess of Mars)
Lynn Collins
(John Carter)


Except for some jewelry, all of the planet's races seem to eschew clothing and look down upon Earth's inhabitants because they do wear clothing. As Burroughs describes Dejah Thoris:

And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure, similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life... Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect.

She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.

Publication history

Dejah Thoris first appeared as the title character in the initial Mars novel, A Princess of Mars (1917). Written between July and September 28, 1911, the novel was serialized as Under the Moons of Mars in the pulp magazine The All-Story from February to July 1912. It later appeared as a complete novel only after the success of Burroughs' Tarzan series. For its October 1917 hardcover publication by A.C. McClurg & Company, the novel was retitled A Princess of Mars.

She reappeared in subsequent volumes of the series, most prominently in the second, The Gods of Mars (1918), the third, The Warlord of Mars (1919), the eighth, Swords of Mars (1936), and the eleventh, John Carter of Mars (1964). Dejah Thoris is also mentioned or appeared in a minor role in other volumes of the series.

Other media


Dejah Thoris has appeared in numerous adaptations of the Martian stories, such as in a 1995 storyline of Tarzan's Sundays comic strip and various comic book series featuring her husband John Carter. She is mentioned in the first issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II during a conversation between John Carter and Gullivar Jones.

She is a prominent character in Dynamite Entertainment's 2010-11 comic miniseries Warlord of Mars, based on A Princess of Mars. She first appears in issue 4. Dejah Thoris is also the main character of the Dynamite spinoff comic Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, which ran 37 issues. Set 400 years before A Princess of Mars, the first story arc portrays Dejah's role in the rise to power of the Kingdom of Helium, as well as her first suitor. The second story arc will depict her as the "Pirate Queen of Mars", other story arcs are: "The Boora Witch", "The Pirate Men of Saturn", "The Rise of the Machine Men", "The Phantoms of Time", and "Dual to the Death". Each were collected into a trade paperback. The entire series is being collected into a series of omnibus volume, the first collecting the first 20 issues. There was also 2 other mini-series, the 4-issue Dejah Thoris and the White Apes of Mars (2012) and the 12-issue Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars (2013–14).

Dejah Thoris is the name of a boat that Professor Xavier is seen on in Uncanny X-Men #98.

Other novels/short stories/games

In Pierce Brown's book Morning Star, Dejah Thoris is the name of a dreadnought battleship, which belongs to a character nicknamed Mustang.

Dr. Dejah Thoris "Deety" (for D.T.) Carter, née Burroughs, is a protagonist in Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. Burroughs's Dejah Thoris is also referred to in Heinlein's novel Glory Road by the protagonist when contemplating his female companion, Star.

In the story "Mars: The Home Front" by George Alec Effinger, Dejah Thoris is kidnapped by the sarmaks and taken to their space gun base. John Carter assembles a Barsoomian force to both rescue her and foil the sarmaks' plan to invade Jasoom.

In the earlier prequel short story "Allan and the Sundered Veil" by Alan Moore, a 'time lost' Carter sees a vision of himself fighting a Green Martian and winning Dejah Thoris in a "chrono-crystal aleph" (from Jorge Luis Borges's "The Aleph")

In The Apocalypse Troll by David Weber, Richard Aston refers to the very human-looking female he has rescued from a sinking UFO as Dejah Thoris.

In the Junot Diaz book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Oscar describes a neighbor girl as being "so pretty she could have played young Dejah Thoris."

In the board game ANDROID, one of the six murder suspects, a human woman from the Mars colony, is named Dejah Thoris.


Traci Lords portrayed Dejah Thoris in The Asylum's direct-to-DVD film Princess of Mars.

In the Disney film John Carter, released on March 9, 2012, she is played by Lynn Collins.[1] In this version, she is the daughter of Tardos Mors, rather than his granddaughter, and is also Helium's leading scientist.

She is the name of the "Belgium Witch of Marwencol" in the documentary Marwencol, which the film Welcome to Marwen is based upon.


  1. ^ Kit, Borys (2009-06-12). "Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins blast off to Mars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of his Barsoom series. It was first serialized in the pulp magazine All-Story Magazine from February–July, 1912. Full of swordplay and daring feats, the novel is considered a classic example of 20th-century pulp fiction. It is also a seminal instance of the planetary romance, a subgenre of science fantasy that became highly popular in the decades following its publication. Its early chapters also contain elements of the Western. The story is set on Mars, imagined as a dying planet with a harsh desert environment. This vision of Mars was based on the work of the astronomer Percival Lowell, whose ideas were widely popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Barsoom series inspired a number of well-known 20th-century science fiction writers, including Jack Vance, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, and John Norman. The series was also inspirational for many scientists in the fields of space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life, including Carl Sagan, who read A Princess of Mars when he was a child.


Barsoom is a fictional representation of the planet Mars created by American pulp fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first Barsoom tale was serialized as Under the Moons of Mars in 1912, and published as a novel as A Princess of Mars in 1917. Ten sequels followed over the next three decades, further extending his vision of Barsoom and adding other characters. The first five novels are in the public domain in U.S., and the entire series is free around the world on Project Gutenberg Australia, but the books are still under copyright in most of the rest of the world.

The Barsoom series, where John Carter in the late 19th century is mysteriously transported from Earth to a Mars suffering from dwindling resources, has been cited by many well known science fiction writers as having inspired and motivated them in their youth, as well as by key scientists involved in both space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life. Elements of the books have been adapted by many writers, in novels, short stories, comics, television and film.

Dynamite Entertainment

Dynamite Entertainment is an American comic book publishing imprint of Dynamic Forces that primarily publishes adaptations of franchises from other media. These include licensed adaptations of film properties such as Army of Darkness, Terminator and RoboCop, and licensed or public domain literary properties such as Zorro, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Alice in Wonderland, Red Sonja, Tarzan (as Lord of the Jungle) and John Carter of Mars (as Warlord of Mars). It also publishes superhero books such as Project Superpowers.

Creators who have produced Dynamite's books include Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Matt Wagner, Garth Ennis, Howard Chaykin and Frank Miller.

John Carter, Warlord of Mars

John Carter, Warlord of Mars is a comics series published from 1977 by American company Marvel Comics. Created by Marv Wolfman (writer) and Gil Kane (penciller), it was based on the Barsoom series of Edgar Rice Burroughs and featured the eponymous character.

The entire series (with few exceptions) takes place between the third and fourth paragraphs of chapter 27 of Burroughs' novel A Princess of Mars.

The series ran from 1977 to 1979. In 1978 it won the "Favourite New Title" Eagle Award.

John Carter of Mars

John Carter of Mars is a fictional Virginian—a veteran of the American Civil War—transported to Mars and the initial protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories. His character is enduring, having appeared in various media since his 1912 debut in a magazine serial. The 2012 feature film John Carter marked the 100th anniversary of the character's first appearance.

Llana of Gathol

Llana of Gathol is a collection of four science fantasy stories by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, which were originally published in Amazing Stories in 1941. The first collected edition of Llana of Gathol was published in 1948. It is the penultimate book in the Barsoom series and the last to be published during Burroughs's lifetime.

The stories in Llana of Gathol have a somewhat more humorous tone than earlier entries of the Barsoom series, and this book is considered to be an example of Burroughs engaging in self-parody late in his career.

Lynn Collins

Viola Lynn Collins (born May 16, 1977) is an American actress. She has made television appearances in True Blood and Manhunt: Unabomber, and is recognized for her roles in films such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and John Carter.

Paul Renaud

Paul Renaud (born 1975) is a French comic book artist and illustrator, and working for both European and French markets.

In 2004 Budd Root's Basement comics published Paul Renaud 's Cavewoman: The Movie comic book. Other American publishers Renaud has done work for include Image Comics (Fear Agent #8, Invincible), and Dynamite Entertainment (Red Sonja and Athena).

Renaud cover work for Dynamite include Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, The Darkness Vs. Eva, Vampirella, Danger Girl and Army of Darkness, The Green Hornet: Parallel Lives.

His cover work for Marvel Comics includes "War of Kings", Timestorm 2009-2099, All-New Savage She-Hulk, Astonishing X-Men, Thunderbolts, Ms. Marvel.

In 2014, Renaud did the interior art and colors on Uncanny Avengers Annual #1 and Captain America #24. In 2015 came Secret Wars #0, S.H.I.E.L.D #6, and Sam Wilson: Captain America #4.

Renaud frequently does the coloring on his comics, or work with colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Princess of Mars

Princess of Mars (retitled and re-released in 2012 as John Carter of Mars) is a 2009 direct-to-DVD science fiction film made by American independent studio The Asylum, loosely based on the 1917 novel A Princess of Mars by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film's promotional art mentions how the original story inspired some elements of James Cameron's Avatar, but the credits or promotional material of the film do not mention Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is not to be confused with the higher-budget 2012 film John Carter, which is also an adaptation of the novel. In Europe, the film was released with the title The Martian Colony Wars.

Swords of Mars

Swords of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the eighth of his Barsoom series. It was first published in the magazine Blue Book as a six-part serial in the issues for November 1934 to April 1935. The first book edition was published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. in February 1936.

Synthetic Men of Mars

Synthetic Men of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the ninth of his Barsoom series. It was first published in the magazine Argosy Weekly in six parts in early 1939. The first complete edition of the novel was published in 1940 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

Despite a successful career stretching back more than two decades, Burroughs had trouble finding a publisher for the serialized version of the novel. Both Liberty and Blue Book turned him down; Argosy was his third choice. He received US$1200 for the magazine rights.

Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas is a fictional character in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series. A great warrior and leader among his people (the brutal and mirthless Tharks), he possesses a sense of compassion and empathy uncharacteristic of his race. In the first novel, A Princess of Mars, with the help of the newly arrived Earth man John Carter, he becomes Jeddak, or king, of the Tharks.

Tars Tarkas is the first Barsoomian John Carter encounters when he appears on Mars. When Tars Tarkas discovers Carter inspecting the Tharks' incubator (in which the tribe's eggs are sealed for up to five years prior to hatching), he attempts to kill Carter. The attempt fails, and Tars Tarkas instead takes Carter prisoner and transports him back to the nearby dead city, in which a group of Tharks have taken up temporary residence. When Carter kills one of the Tharks in combat, Tars Tarkas informs him he has gained his opponent's rank and possessions.

Over the course of the next weeks, Carter comes to respect Tars Tarkas for his abilities as a warrior and statesman. Carter also discovers that Tars Tarkas has a secret: long ago he fell in love and had a child (egg) with his lover, Gozava, two actions punishable by death in the Tharks' culture. Tars Tarkas and Gozava hid the egg and incubated it in secret. Tars Tarkas was ordered away on a long military expedition, and when the child finally hatched, Gozava managed to mingle her child with the newborn children from the communal incubator. Gozava's maternity (although not the child's identity) was discovered, and she was tortured and killed by the Tharkian chieftain Tal Hajus for the crime of childbearing. However, even under torture she refused to reveal the name of the child's father. The daughter's name is Sola, and she befriends Carter and tells him the story of her birth and the identity of her father.

When he learns this, Carter's sympathy and admiration for Tars Tarkas increases, and he resolves to do all he can to help. Over time, the two become friends, and Carter, after escaping the Tharks in the course of his pursuit of Dejah Thoris, returns to them and helps engineer a duel between Tars Tarkas and Tal Hajus, the Jeddak of Thark. Tars Tarkas wins the duel, and according to Tharkian law becomes Jeddak. In exchange for Carter's help, Tars Tarkas becomes one of Carter's closest allies. He appears in a number of the other novels in the series.


Thark or Tharks are a fictional tribe of fierce Green Martian warriors on the fictional planet of Barsoom (based on Mars), created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and first featured in the 1917 novel A Princess of Mars.

The Gods of Mars

The Gods of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the second of his Barsoom series. It was first published in The All-Story as a five-part serial in the issues for January–May 1913. It was later published as a complete novel by A. C. McClurg in September, 1918.

As in many of his novels, Burroughs begins with a frame story that explains how he (Burroughs) came into possession of the text, implying it recounts true events.

The Number of the Beast (novel)

The Number of the Beast is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1980. The first (paperback) edition featured a cover and interior illustrations by Richard M. Powers. Excerpts from the novel were serialized in the magazine Omni (1979 October, November).

The Warlord of Mars

The Warlord of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the third of his Barsoom series. Burroughs began writing it in June, 1913, going through five working titles; Yellow Men of Barsoom, The Fighting Prince of Mars, Across Savage Mars, The Prince of Helium, and The War Lord of Mars.

The finished story was first published in All-Story Magazine as a four-part serial in the issues for December, 1913-March, 1914. It was later published as a complete novel by A. C. McClurg in September, 1919.

Thuvia, Maid of Mars

Thuvia, Maid of Mars is a science fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the fourth of the Barsoom series. The principal characters are Carthoris (the son of John Carter of Mars) and Thuvia of Ptarth, each of whom appeared in the previous two novels.

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