What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From the article: "For some reason there seems to be very few Evil Princesses, perhaps because of the very strong influence of FairyTale (and Disney) heroines."

  • Anonymous: Or, you know, maybe the very strong influence of male-only inheritance?

    • Ross N: Not really. Explicitly male-only (as against male preference) inheritance is fairly rare in real life, and if anything even rarer in fiction. A hypothetical Evil Princess might be a little further down the succession line but given the sort of people this trope is about that shouldn't be a big deal.

Ella Enchanted's bad guy, anyone? (The movie, that is... don't remember the book.)

Gemmifer: I hope the new picture is not too bloody. I think it illustrates the character pretty well.
On the question of John of England as The Evil Prince:

  • For his defense in real life, his elder brother, Richard The Lionheart, essentially abandoned his kingdom for years to fight in The Crusades and left John in charge of financing the campaign. John's choices were essentially either to raise the taxes or face the ire of his brother. This can be seen as an example of historical Flanderization.
  • Well, Richard “left” the kingdom; abandoned is rather a weighted word. The Crusade had already been financed by Richard’s mass sell-off of political offices, and the Regency was left, not to John, but to the Bishops of Durham and Ely; and when Richard was captured, his ransom was raised by his mother. It is at least as arguable that Richard has suffered an Historical Villain Upgrade as that John has been Flanderized.
  • Sorry to be a pedant, but the bit in the article about King Richard and his brother John is incorrect. Richard had raised the money for his crusade before he left (medieval armies required their pay in advance) and once he left on that campaign his regents were his own mother, Eleanor, William Longchamp (Richard's Chancellor) and the Bishop of Durham. John was specifically left out since Richard doubted the man's capability. John started conspiring with Phillip of France while Richard was away and, after Richard was captured, actually offered money to keep his brother imprisoned. Eventually, however, Richard's mother organised the total ransom, Richard was released, and upon his return, in one of the most patronizing displays in history, Richard pardoned his brother claiming that John was just a "child led astray by bad advice". Despite the fact that John was twenty-eight years old! I've noticed the "John was Richard's regent" error elsewhere on this wiki, too... - Quentin George
  • Are you kidding? Richard is the poster boy for Historical Hero Upgrade. Much of the story of John doing evil during the crusade was invented in Ivanhoe (also the source of placing Robin Hood in his time and as an adversary).
  • John Major (the Scottish historian, not the Prime Minister) had already placed Robin in Richard's time in 1521, and the Elizabethans Munday and Chettle picked up on that in their Robin Hood plays, which made Robin John's enemy. Scott may have invented John's atrocities against the Saxons (as, indeed, he largely did the whole racial conflict), but John's treachery against Richard was acknowledged in his own lifetime even by his co-conspirator Philip's offical historian William the Breton, who calls John "that man full of deceit, who betrayed his father just as he did his brother." John was not admired by anyone, until some early Protestants tried to rehabilitate him as an enemy of The Pope. Richard was largely admired in his own time, and for centuries thereafter—though, as I said, his real status is arguable.