This article is about the 2010 live-action character. For 1951 animated character, see The Mad Hatter.
- “You ran out on them to save your own skin, you guddler's scuttish pilgar-lickering, shukm-juggling sluking urpal. Bar lom muck egg brimni!”
- ―Tarrant Hightopp speaking to Chessur
Tarrant Hightopp, also know as The Mad Hatter or simply The Hatter, is a major character from the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland and its sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. He is a hat maker that has been poisoned by mercury, hence his orange hair. He is part of the resistance to bring down the Red Queen's command of Underland and thus end her bloody rule. He is portrayed by Johnny Depp.
Tarrant's origins involve him with the Hightopp Clan, which was destroyed by the Jabberwock, sent by the Red Queen during a visit by the White Queen to their village on the "Horevendush Day". Though the White Queen was safely spirited away, the Vorpal Sword (as well as her crown) was lost in the confusion. Tarrant is the only member of his clan left- everybody and everything else was killed or burned to the ground. Tarrant only escaped the destruction because he led the White queen's panicked horse away from the initial attack. He returns after to find the village burnt to the ground, a shocked look on his face he bends down to pick up his trademark hat. When we next see his face it is clear from the half smile that his sanity has shattered. A scene of Tarrant's past can be seen-the Jabberwock blowing fire down on the clan, when he and Alice are traveling and they pass through the remains of his home, causing him to briefly flash back to the destruction.
The destruction of his clan broke something in Tarrant's mind - causing him to become detached from reality and also develop a slight split personality. When he becomes upset his eyes change from green to a golden yellow and he begins speaking in a noticeable Scottish brogue. Tarrant can become violent in this state unless someone snaps him out of it. Mallymkun the Doormouse snaps him out of it the first time by shouting, "Hatter!!" when he is about to attack the Chesire cat who he blames for the attack on his clan. Alice later snaps him out of one of his episodes when he is imprisoned at the Red Queen's castle making hats. Tarrant himself is vaguely aware of his personality problem telling Alice that he has to get out of the Red Queen's castle saying its getting harder for him to think clearly there.
Tarrant Hightopp first met Alice Kingsleigh when she was a young child at the age of nine. They became friends quickly, even enjoying tea together. Alice forgot these memories while she was away from Underland, but at the age of nineteen, Alice fell down the rabbit hole once again. She had no recollection of Tarrant when she rediscovered his tea table of friends and joined them in their rebellion against the Red Queen.
Tarrant quickly tries to help Alice, especially when the Red Queen's minions came to him looking for her. He gave Alice a potion that shrinks her, then hid her in a teapot and pretended that he'd never seen her, even after being choked by the Red Queen's Knave of Hearts, Stayne.
After Stayne leaves, Tarrant took Alice on a journey to Marmoreal and explained the Red Queen's reign of terror over Underland on the way. Soon, the Red Queen's minions picked up Alice's scent and start chasing them. With no other options, and the enemy approaching, Tarrant put Alice atop his hat and threw it across a river to the opposite side (saving her from the Red Knights), but then draws attention to himself and got captured in the process. He is taken away as Alice watches on.
Stayne tried to torture him for information on Alice's location but his insanity protected him from the torture methods. When Alice arrived in Crims, Tarrant was brought into the throne room, and decided to distract the Red Queen from executing him by hatting her. During his time as her prisoner, he makes many hats for her to try on. However, when the Queen tried them on, she hated all of them.
After Alice was discovered and escaped, Tarrant was ordered to be executed. However, at the execution, he and the Cheshire Cat worked together to help him escape. The cat disguised himself as Tarrant using his shapeshifting abilities and his hat, thus leaving Tarrant free. After the ruse is discovered, Tarrant angered the Red Queen by turning her people against her, then retreated to Marmoreal. There, the White Queen decided that they must have a champion to destroy the Jabberwock. When Alice, the prophesied slayer of the beast, doesn't step up, Tarrant is the first to say that he will do it. Alice, however, is the only one that can defeat the Jabberwock, and no one else can take the position. Alice shockingly arrives and is ready for battle against the foul beast. They marched towards battle together.
The Red Queen quickly sent forth her champion, so Alice stood forward, and the battle between the two began. However, Tarrant quickly interfered with Alice's battle with the Jabberwock by pricking its tail with his sword when it threw Alice down rather forcefully. There is noticeable fury in his eyes. This starts a war between the Red Queen and the White Queen's armies.
Stayne drew his sword, and he and Tarrant quickly engaged in a sword fight. Not long after, Tarrant disarmed Stayne and knocked him to the ground, raising his sword above his head, and ready to impale Stayne. At this point it is recognizable that he is in a state of madness because his eyes are yellow.
Tarrant nearly kills the Knave, but is stopped when he notices Alice slaying the Jabberwocky. He then threw the sword aside, disgusted. After the battle, and victory, Tarrant celebrated with his famous dance, the Futterwhacken. Alice chose to leave Underland later, to the sadness of Tarrant. He bid her farewell, and she left Underland.