Karkat Vantas

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Name: Karkat Vantas
Title/Rank: Knight of Blood
Status: alive
Fandom: Homestuck
Other: Trollian Handle: carcinoGeneticist
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Karkat Vantas is one of the main characters in the webcomic Homestuck by Andrew Hussie. He is the first of the trolls to be introduced to the reader, and is Jade Harley's patron. He uses Trollian - an Instant Messaging application - to communicate with his friends prior to entering the game. His chosen username is carcinoGeneticist. His associated zodiac sign is Cancer.


Karkat comes from "Karkata," the Sanskrit astrological equivalent of Cancer, though his name may be drawn from "Karkinos," a giant crab who fought Hercules of myth, also the origin of the Cancer astrological sign. Vantas, on the other hand, is a prostate cancer treatment drug.

His Trollian handle is a play on the medical term "carcinogenesis" which is the development of cancer in the body (or carcinogens, cancer-causing substances), and "carcinology," the study of crustaceans. The first part of his handle might also be related to "Karkinos", like his first name.

Canon Biography

Canon Relationships

Early throughout the series, Karkat has multiple budding relationships. Due to the trolls' quadrants, he has multiple interests in both humans and trolls alike.


  • During Act 5 Act 2, John Egbert garners Karkat's interest as a kismesis, the troll equivalent of a very potent arch-rival. However, John rebuffs him, saying he is "not a homosexual".
  • Dave Strider later in the story becomes Karkat's canon matesprit. Pre-retcon, Dave and Karkat were nearing kismesissitude. John initiated a retcon, changing the alpha timeline to prevent it from becoming doomed. Post-retcon, Dave and Karkat grew much closer while Terezi spent time with Vriska. Eventually the two become official matesprits, confirmed by Jasprosesprite^2 here. In the credits, Dave and Karkat are frequently pictured together, implying they maintained their relationship.
  • Jade Harley was at one point implied to be the target of some red feelings by future Karkat. This did not end up developing.


  • Gamzee Makara was Karkat's former moirail, pre-retcon. During Gamzee's vicious rage, Karkat was the only troll to be able to calm him down. They are no longer moirails, even post-retcon.
  • Karkat possibly held black feelings for Sollux Captor, though those feelings quickly diminished.
  • Terezi Pyrope was one of Karkat's major romances. At one point, a future Karkat says that he "wanted her in every quadrant like a desperate fool". Terezi and Karkat broke off their matespritship, mostly because Karkat kept giving off mixed signals (quadrant vacillation between blackrom and redrom).
  • Nepeta Leijon had a flushed crush on Karkat, which went unrequited.
  • Eridan Ampora was a possible moirail for Karkat, though it never happened, because Eridan is a flaming douchebag and remains loveless forever.


  • Jade seems to auspisticize between Karkat's future and current selves.
  • On multiple occasions, Kanaya Maryam seems to consider auspisticizing between Karkat and another person. It was either Gamzee or Dave, though she eventually did not do so.
  • Pre-retcon, Karkat proposes a group vacillation set-up between him, Terezi, and Dave. Dave rejects the proposal.

Fandom Reception

Karkat is one of the most popular characters in fandom.

Popular Ships

Karkat is one of the most shipped characters. His most popular ships are John/Karkat, Dave/Karkat, Karkat/Terezi, and Karkat/Gamzee.


There are 9292 works on AO3 and approximately 4200 works on fanfiction.net with Karkat listed as one of the characters. Some of the more popular include:

  • Unwanted Free Ugly Troll (series)
  • Battlefield Terra
  • The Serendipity Gospels
  • Real Men Wear Tights