Beth Harmon - Updated Jun 2024

Updated On June 3, 2024
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Beth Harmon

Beth Harmon is a fictional character. Beth Harmon is the main supporter in Walter Tevis’s novel ‘The Queen’s Gambit’.

Who is Beth Harmon?

Beth Harmon’s full name is Elizabeth “Beth”originated in Kentucky. She is a fictional character in a movie and the main protagonist in the Walter Tevis novel ‘The Queen’s Gambit’. And, the Netflix drama miniseries with the same name. There, she is portrayed by ‘Anya Taylor-Joy’.

Moreover, Taylor-Joy’s performance was widely praised. Therefore, Beth won the ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film’ and the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie’.

Beth Harmon

Caption: The Queen’s Gambit’s cover photo. Source: WallpaperAccess

Beth Harmon – Character’s biography

Beth Harmon is a chess genius who was orphaned at age 9 when her mother died in a car crash. And, while growing up in an orphanage, she was taught chess by the custodian ‘Mr. Shaibel’. Then soon, she became a strong player. In the orphanage, she struggles with an addiction to tranquilizers.

And, in her teens, Beth got adopted and started her rapid rise in the chess world. Therefore, subsequently challenged the top Soviet players. Moreover, as her skill and profile grow, her struggles with tranquilizers and alcohol worsen.

Beth Harmon – Development

Diana Lanni is a New York chess player present with Tevis. He contributed to the USA at the ‘1982 Chess Olympiad’ in Lucerne, suggesting she was at least in part the inspiration for the Beth Harmon character. Also, her friend Grandmaster ‘Larry Kaufman’ was the inspiration for the book’s Harry Beltik character.

Therefore, Diana believes it is plausible she got Tevis’ attention while playing at the outdoor tables at Washington Square Park as the only woman, and as someone with depression and addiction problems. And, other real-life chess players said to have inspired her include Bobby Fischer and Tevis himself.

Nevertheless, Tevis denied any of his characters were based on real-life people. And, he also said he found it more interesting to write a female character.

Beth Harmon

Caption: Beth playing chess. Source: The Irish Times

Beth Harmon – Television adaptation

After many aborted attempts to bring the novel to the screen, Netflix disclosed they had acquired the rights. And, Anya Taylor-Joy declared as the show’s lead, on 19 March 2019, with a Twitter post by Netflix Queue.

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