Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for King

Having grown up with Arthurian legends and fairy tales, I've long been fascination with kings and royalty. As the head of a monarchy, kings are supposed to represent both power and fairness, and the honor of a nation. One of my favorite plot lines follows the heir to the throne's journey to take their rightful place as king. However, this is not the only common plot in which the protagonist is a king. A blind or tyrannical king, or one who proves too trusting, is a threat to the land they rule over and everyone in it. Here are a few of my favorite examples of these two types of stories . . .

K is for King


King Arthur (Le Morte d'Arthur and Arthurian legends)– The boy who pulled the sword from the stone, the once and future king, Arthur is the hero of legend. Made king after he pulled Excalibur from its stone imprisonment, Arthur unites the mythical land of Camelot and established the Order of the Round Table. Unfortunately, Camelot is rife with unrest, and through the betrayal of Arthur's trusted friend and wife, and the scheming of his bastard son Mordred and Morgan le Fay, Arthur meets his death and Camelot falls. 

Simba (The Lion King) – Adapted from Shakespeare's Hamlet and MacBeth, Simba is the son of Mufasa, king of the Pride Lands. Exiled after his father's death at the hands of his uncle Scar, the Pride Lands fall into turmoil while under tyrannical rule. It's up to Simba to return to his home and take his rightful place as king, thus bringing balance back to the animal kingdom. 

King Lear (King Lear) – King Lear is the perfect example of a flawed and weak monarch, valuing appearance over substance. Lear enjoys the adoration he receives as king, but refuses to fulfill the duties of a ruler and govern his people. When it comes time to retire, he basis the decision of who should rule after him on flattery rather than merit and love, thus dooming his weakening his kingdom and himself and his one loyal daughter to death. 

Nome King (The Oz series) – The main antagonist in Frank L. Baum's Oz series, the Nome King is the ruler of the underground dwelling (g)nomes, who hide precious jewels and metals in the earth and loath the "upstairs people". He often reeks havoc on Oz, attempting to conquer the emerald city and enslave its inhabitants. 

King Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings) – Hidden away in Rivendell after the death of his father, Aragorn grows up without knowing his royal origins. It's not until he's twenty years old that he learns of his true heritage and destiny. He acts as the foil to his weak ancestors who gave into their desires to posses the ring, fighting the temptation to take the ring for himself and helping bring an end to Sauron. 

And there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Kings. What are some of your favorites? 
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This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2013. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is character types and tropes. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the other participants, simply click here.

33 comments:

  1. You can never go wrong with The Lion King!

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  2. I love Richard III. He was so evil - a bit like Macbeth but without a conscience or a wife. ;-)

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    1. Richard III was awesome. But the reports of his being evil have been greatly exaggerated.

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  3. Totally loving this a to z series, great examples :)

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  4. I love heroes and none more so than Aragorn. You could probably do an A-Z challenge just using Tolkien's characters from Middle Earth.

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  5. Any one of the kings in The Game of Thrones. Lol!

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    1. Yeah, if I'd had one more space Game of Thrones would have been on there. Sigh. Why did I have to say "top 5"?

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  6. So long as Arthur and Aragorn are on the list, I'm happy, but I love Mina's suggestion of the Game of Thrones kings. Well, maybe not Joffrey...

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  7. Very interesting series for the A to Z. For my own list, I would add some kings from non-fiction--King David, King Solomon, King Cyrus.

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  8. It's too early; my mind is blank.

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  9. I'm a big fan of Simba, but I also really like many kings from the Belgariad series: Belgarion, Rhodar, Zakath, etc.

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  10. Nice post! I have to say, Aragorn is one of my favorites. Although appearing brave, strong and decisive, he's emotionally flawed and JRR does a beautiful job of developing and healing him until he's ready to take the throne. Makes you wonder if he would have made it without the fellowship, Gandalf and of course, Arawyn.

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  11. I'd add the Kings and Queens of Narnia.

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  12. What a wonderfully chosen and awesomely described collection of Kings!
    I am fascinated with King Tutankhamun and a variety of other actual, non fictional Kings. If I had to choose fictional Kings, I would simply choose you beautiful and mindful list. You must be a wonderful writer!
    Best Wishes,
    jean

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  13. The Nome King! Let's go ahead and toss in Aslan. he was a king, right?

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  14. I think I have to agree on your list of kings. And you are right, great minds DO think alike. ;)

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  15. Another great post. I'm with you on Aragon and King Arthur. Hate king Joffrey, lol!

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  16. There's King Grisly-Beard of the Grimm Brothers. He married his daughter off to a poor fiddler because she was haughty and unkind to others.

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  17. He is an obscurity from UK TV back in my childhood, but I loved a character called King Rollo when I was little! He was fabulous :0)

    http://ih3.redbubble.net/image.12691382.2833/sticker,375x360.png

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  18. Good post - fascinated by the Arthurian legends. A recent entry in to my top list of kings would have to be Richard III Yes, he was a murderous, conniving child-killer, but I'm from Leicester where he was recently discovered! What a story. It's doing wonders for our tourist industry too.

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  19. Great list of kings, including my favorites, King Arthur and Aragorn. As Alex J. Cavanaugh mentioned, the Kings and Queens of Narnia would be on my list.

    And a just-sayin' about Simba being based on Hamlet and MacBeth, strangely I grew up watching my favorite animated lunch time show Kimba the White Lion in the late 60s. I would look there as the real inspiration for The Lion King.

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  20. Kings fascinate me. As for a favorite...I think you've covered them all. (It's Friday night. I can't think of any.)

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  21. Great 'K' choices. Anything to do with King Arthur is so interesting. I didn't realize the connection between the Lion King and Hamlet and MacBeth. Very interesting.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

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  22. How about King Kong? No other king looked as good on the Empire State Building.

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  23. This is a great article. All of your tropes have been good so far. Looking forward to reading more.

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  24. Some great kings! They're so fun to read about. I really love a good story about royalty.

    Rinelle Grey

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  25. I especially love King Joffrey from a Song of Ice and Fire!!

    said no one ever.

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  26. Love Simba. King Verence of Lancre (Wyrd sisters, Terry Pratchett) is a fun character too. He'd murdered at the beginning of the book, and is a ghost plotting his revenge in the rest of the novel. :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog yesterday!

      Following you now, loved your blog!
      http://skaypisms.blogspot.com/

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  27. Good choices! Diverse. I enjoyed how Arthur was portrayed in the new Merlin TV series by BBC.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  28. I LOVE all of the kings you picked. :D

    Brett from http://booksquirt.com

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