Study Guide

Blood Red Road Lewis Ex Eye Vee (Louis XIV)

By Moira Young

Lewis Ex Eye Vee (Louis XIV)

Are you a criminal kingpin who wants people to think that you're a legitimate authority figure? Yes? All right, why not try some historical cosplay, then?

Dress the Part

That's the tactic employed by Vicar Pinch of Blood Red Road, at least. Kept in power by his dominance of the drug trade, Pinch has styled himself as an old-school monarch in an attempt to legitimize his authority. We mean that literally: the dude totally dresses up as "Lewis Ex Eye Vee," which is a hilarious phonetic spelling of French King Louis XIV's name. Hey, if you're gonna do propaganda, do it in style, right?

Enough with the context—let's check out these digs:

Thick black curly hair down past his shoulders an piled high on top. Animal skins thrown over one shoulder, trailin behind him onto the floor. Fancy shirt with frilly collar an cuffs. Short, puffy little britches that show his leg. White stockins. High heeled shoes. Sword at his side. (5.327)

That's more over-the-top than anything you'd see on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Blast from the Past

Notably, Pinch's outfit is an exact reproduction of one worn by Louis XIV in a picture found in Rooster Pinch's book. This makes sense on a practical level, as the King is Rooster's son, but it also raises an interesting question in our minds: did Rooster's ability to read help his son gain power? An ability like that could certainly come in useful when building a complex irrigation system like the one we see at Freedom Fields. Hmm...

As with Tootsie Pops, however, the world may never know. We do know one thing for certain: Vicar Pinch uses the image of Louis XIV to legitimize his authority and connect him with the splendors of a long-lost past.