John Carter Wiki
Tars Tarkas
Race: Thark
Status: Alive
Other Information
Residence: Thark, in Barsoom
Occupation: Warrior
Marital Status: Single
Allies: John Carter, Sola
Enemies: Tal Hajus
Family: Sola (Daughter)
Behind The Scenes
Portrayer: Willem Dafoe

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Tars Tarkas is a Thark with an unusual amount of compassion and sympathy that does not otherwise exist in his race. He becomes an ally of John Carter, partially due to John Carter hearing the story of his only love (falling in love is against the rules of the Tharks) and his daughter, Sola, he had with his lover.

Tars Tarkas first appears shortly after John's arrival, finding the Thern medallion that transported him to Barsoom. Traveling with a contingent of soldiers to the Thark hatcheries, he tries to talk with Carter in Barsoomian, believing Carter's name is "Virginia" in the process. When seeing his incredible jumping ability, he chooses to take him back to his village alive. Carter's stubbornness proves difficult in selling his usefulness to the village until Carter gradually picks up the ability to speak Barsoomian and makes a daring attack on the Zodangan fleet to rescue Dejah Thoris. In honor of his success Tarkas gives John Carter the title of Dotar Sojat or "His Right Arms". Carter still refuses to be a soldier for any particular cause and after discovering he seeks to steal back the medallion and put Sola in danger of blasphemy for entering and potentially desecrating the local temple, allows Carter and Thoris to leave, taking Sola with them to keep her from execution while allowing her to make a pilgrimage to the Barsoom afterlife along the river Issus.

When Carter later returns to build an army to take out Zodanga and stop a final assault on Helium, he finds Tars Tarkas has been overthrown by Tal Hajus and imprisoned and set for execution by the White Apes in the arena. Carter and Sola manage to awaken his broken spirit and upon killing the White Apes and Hajus, Carter rallies the Tharks together to assault Zodanga. Upon finding the city has been mostly emptied and the warriors on their way to Helium, Carter is forced to fly alone until the Tharks lead by Tarkas and Sola decide to break their flying taboo and follow him. They succeed in defeating Sab Than and the Zodangans, as well as forcing Matai Shang to leave Barsoom for good, saving Deja, Barsoom and creating a new alliance between the Tharks and the Red Martians to help Barsoom down the line.