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Why was he called the "Lone Ranger" when Tonto was always with him?


4394 day(s) ago

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Mr. Boxy

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The Lone Ranger was once a staple of children's entertainment with decades of radio shows, TV shows, and movies. Even if you're not old enough to have seen the masked rider, you're probably familiar with the show's intro:

Unsurprisingly, there have been a few discrepancies in the character's history. The Lone Ranger actually has two origin stories, one from a movie and one from a serial. Both were produced in 1938.

The movie history is generally considered to be the "official" history. The Lone Ranger was originally John Reid*, one of six Texas Rangers who went after the Cavendish Gang. The other five Rangers died, but Reid's lifelong friend Tonto nursed him back to health. When Tonto buried the other Rangers, Reid had him make a sixth grave so it looked like all the Rangers had died. He swore vengeance for his fallen comrades, becoming the "Lone" Ranger.

According to the serial, Tonto wasn't always with him. They met after Tonto had been injured in an explosion at a gold mine. Originally one of the men working the mine wanted to kill Tonto, but the Lone Ranger showed up and forced the man to help him. Later the same man wanted to murder his partner and frame Tonto for it. Again, the Lone Ranger intervened. Nothing specifically is said about why Tonto ends up following him aside from appreciation for his help.

So, the Lone Ranger is "lone" because he's the last of his group of Texas Rangers, and depending on who you believe he was the Lone Ranger before Tonto became his sidekick.

*Like his origin, there is some speculation of the Lone Ranger's first name. The name "John" comes from the liner notes of an album and was later used in a movie. Another serial claims his name was "Dan" after name found engraved in his dead mother's locket.

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