Is there anyway to guess at Vaarsuvius's gender? I know the author has stated he won't give it away, but is it perhaps likely that there are hints, and indicators I may have missed in the comics.

Is it possible to tell? Or is it not?

  • That is the eternal question. And only probably only Belkar knows for sure.
    – BBlake
    Sep 19, 2012 at 19:56
  • How would he know?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Sep 19, 2012 at 19:56
  • 1
    Belkar knows everything
    – BBlake
    Sep 19, 2012 at 19:58
  • 7
    If any of the members know, it would be Haley. If I recall correctly, in a hotel, the wizard states that will only share an room with Haley, and Haley knew that Vaarsuvius was married before any other member, and the readers. But I don't remember Of any indication of Haley possessing that knowledge. Apr 10, 2013 at 19:12
  • 1
    Apparently the fifth OotS book, Blood Runs in the Family, has some commentary by the author that may change the status of this question. If someone owns the book, please post an answer.
    – b_jonas
    Jan 5, 2020 at 14:55

4 Answers 4


Vaarsuvius's gender is intentionally ambiguous; it's a joke on/with the readers. Therefore, the question you asked doesn't have an accurate answer. Both? Neither? We may never know. Rich Burlew goes out of his way to preserve the secret, from the readers, and even other members of the party.

Ambiguity about V's gender is such a well-known joke that it has its own shoutouts, such as this other elf from Looking For Group whose gender is ambiguous (though only to the other characters, in this case).


The Frequently Asked Questions page, written by the Giant himself, says:

Q: Is Vaarsuvius male or female?

A: I will never reveal the truth! Bwahaha! Keep in mind that while certain other characters might refer to V as being male or female, that simply reveals their perception, not the actual reality of the situation.

The Giant elaborates the out of character history in a forum post:

The first time I heard someone question whether V was male or female was right after I posted my first strip. A friend of mine asked me about it; at the time, I simply answered. Luckily for me, that friend has not chosen to reveal what I said then to the world.

At the time of the lime green boots strip, there was a thread separate from the main discussion thread where someone said how nice it was to see two women adventurers who were so different from one another as V and Haley. Brief debate followed, but there were very few posters in those days. I don't think it made it to 12 posts.

By the comic with the belt, I was aware enough of the confusion that I had already taken a poll among an IRC gaming group I was in at the time and asked them what gender they thought he/she was, and the results were split: 4 thought V was a woman, 2 thought V was a man. So I decided to swing the perception the other way with my next strip.

  • This is one of the most frequently asked questions about OotS, along with the species of the Monster in the Dark. Thus, I thought that if we want to have OotS questions on this site, it's worth to answer this one well.
    – b_jonas
    May 2, 2014 at 18:22
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    Wait, how could I get Necromancer for this answer? Necromancy is one of the banned schools of Vaarsuvius.
    – b_jonas
    May 2, 2014 at 18:23

Well, since the author has explicitly said that the gender is ambiguous, even hints you think you've found in the comics probably can't be seen as definitive, since Rich Burlew can retcon it away if he feels that he accidentally pulled the reader towards one answer.

I'm going with "impossible to tell", since that is the express and explicit position of the author.


It is intentionally kept a secret as a joke, however, there is one clue: EVERY SINGLE FEMALE has a special body shape, while EVERY SINGLE MALE has a rectangular body. https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0186.html

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