History Main / TheWrongfulHeirToTheThrone

8th Mar '16 5:30:19 PM NickFalcon
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** Azula herself is also an example of this: despite being named the rightful heir to the throne by her father, it becomes apparent ''very'' quickly that as good a commander as she might be, she is ''not'' cut out to be a leader off the battlefield.
12th Feb '16 2:11:03 AM KeithM
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* The Queen in Tanya Huff's ''A Woman's Work'' is well aware that her son is not up to her standards of Evil Overlordness and is a romantic idiot. After the conquest of a neighbouring kingdom, she notices that the youngest princess of the deposed royal family has a very ''practical'' frame of mind who quickly agrees to a marriage to the Queen's son, after having arranged for her two brothers to die in a failed suicide attack and her eldest sister to have unfortunately become deceased. Queen Arrabel cheerfully expects that her son will suffer a tragic accident very soon after their first child is born, making the daughter-in-law the new heir to the throne, and is quite pleased at the thought of having a competent successor. She's also quite careful not to eat any food given to her by her new daughter-in-law.

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* The Queen Arrabel in Tanya Huff's ''A Woman's Work'' is well aware that her son is not up to her standards of Evil Overlordness Overladyness and is a romantic idiot. After the conquest of a neighbouring kingdom, she notices that the youngest princess (and sole survivor) of the deposed royal family has a very ''practical'' frame of mind who and quickly agrees to a marriage to Arrabel's son. The princess is the Queen's son, after having arranged for sole survivor because she convinced her two brothers to die in launch a failed suicide attack on Arrabel during the family's last stand and arranged for her eldest older sister to have unfortunately become deceased. Queen Arrabel cheerfully expects that her son will suffer a tragic accident very soon after their first child is born, making the daughter-in-law the new heir to the throne, and is quite pleased at the thought of having a competent successor. She's also quite careful not to eat any food given to her by her new daughter-in-law.
12th Jan '16 6:19:40 PM nombretomado
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* In ''RuneScape'', a [[RightfulKingReturns returning rightful king]] has done some unpleasant things in his attempts to claim his birthright. The nature of these things suggests that he is perhaps not the most benevolent potential ruler.

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* In ''RuneScape'', ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', a [[RightfulKingReturns returning rightful king]] has done some unpleasant things in his attempts to claim his birthright. The nature of these things suggests that he is perhaps not the most benevolent potential ruler.



* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': Your crew has to sort out a crisis on Kashyyyk (the Wookiee homeworld). Turns out [[TheBigGuy Zaalbar]] is the younger son of the local chieftain Freyyr, exiled because he attacked his older brother Chuundar (and used his claws, a ''major'' taboo among Wookiees) after learning that Chuundar conspired with [[MegaCorp Czerka]] to have his own people harvested as slaves. Chuundar justifies this by saying Czerka has the resources to burn their forest to the ground, Czerka supplies weaponry and technology, and if a few villagers (including political enemies) get shipped off-world in chains, then it's a fair deal. He also sent his father into exile to keep the arrangement intact. Your actions determine how the mess pans out.

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* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': Your crew has to sort out a crisis on Kashyyyk (the Wookiee homeworld). Turns out [[TheBigGuy Zaalbar]] is the younger son of the local chieftain Freyyr, exiled because he attacked his older brother Chuundar (and used his claws, a ''major'' taboo among Wookiees) after learning that Chuundar conspired with [[MegaCorp Czerka]] to have his own people harvested as slaves. Chuundar justifies this by saying Czerka has the resources to burn their forest to the ground, Czerka supplies weaponry and technology, and if a few villagers (including political enemies) get shipped off-world in chains, then it's a fair deal. He also sent his father into exile to keep the arrangement intact. Your actions determine how the mess pans out.
28th Dec '15 1:53:53 PM Menshevik
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* Tsar Peter III of Russia was an idiot who was allowing the country to go to the crapper. His wife, their union an {{arranged marriage}} when he was younger, was Sophia, a German princess from a poor family, and she was a tad more competent and deposed him. She's better known today as UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat.
** Most of the stories about Peter's madness were in fact made up by Catherine's spin doctors, but the guy still managed to piss off many influential people in his empire, including the [[PraetorianGuard Life Guards]]. Maybe not an idiot or madman, but definitely not a competent, shrewd ruler.

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* Tsar Peter III of Russia was is often portrayed as an idiot who was allowing the country to go to the crapper. His wife, their union an {{arranged marriage}} when he was younger, was Sophia, a German princess from a poor family, and she was a tad more competent and deposed him. She's better known today as UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat.
** Most
UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat. Howver, most of the stories about Peter's madness were in fact made up by Catherine's spin doctors, but the guy still managed to piss off many influential a number of people in with his empire, including hero-worship of UsefulNotes/FrederickTheGreat of Prussia and announcing crazy projects like phasing out serfdom. Unfortunately for him, many of these discontents were to be found in the [[PraetorianGuard Life Guards]]. Guards]], which enabled Peter's Tsarina to oust him from power and have him offed. Maybe not an idiot or madman, but definitely probably not a competent, shrewd ruler.and decisive ruler (it is speculated that if he had not hesitated to strike at once, he might still have been able to quell Catherine's palace revolution with troops loyal to him). Since Catherine "the Great"[[note]] the title was awarded to her by a legislative commission set up by herself[[/note]] basically sold out the serfs to their landlords, on whose support she depended, there were several peasants' rebellions during her reign. The most serious was led by Yemelian Pugachev, who managed to increase his base by announcing that he was in fact Peter III, miraculously escaped from the forces of the Empress. So even in 1773-1775, over a decade after his death, Peter III was a lot more popular than his consort with a lot of people.
28th Dec '15 11:40:16 AM Anddrix
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* In one ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' story, the team put Latervia's hereditary ruler, Prince Zorba, back on the throne, only for him to be as bad or worse than DoctorDoom. When they overthrew Zorba, Doom managed to take power again. Well, at least he's good to his people, [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]].

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* In one ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' story, the team put Latervia's hereditary ruler, Prince Zorba, back on the throne, only for him to be as bad or worse than DoctorDoom.Doctor Doom. When they overthrew Zorba, Doom managed to take power again. Well, at least he's good to his people, [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]].
5th Dec '15 8:26:22 PM ArcaneAzmadi
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* Commodus from ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''. While his father Marcus Aurelius is preparing to ''revoke'' Commodus' right of succession (partially because he sees that Commodus is an InadequateInheritor), his death prevents him going through with it, thus Commodus is technically his legitimate successor.

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* Commodus from ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''. While his father Marcus Aurelius is preparing to ''revoke'' Commodus' right of succession (partially because he sees that Commodus is an InadequateInheritor), his death prevents him going through with it, thus Commodus is technically his legitimate successor. Although admittedly said death happens because [[spoiler:Commodus murders him]].
23rd Nov '15 12:17:08 PM JustKnown
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* A double dose in ''ThePrisonerOfZenda''. The legitimate ruler, Rudolf, is a drunken boor who is unpopular with the people. The usurper, Black Michael, isn't the most charming or popular guy either, but at least he's competent and respected. But the impostor, Rudolf Rassendyl, puts them both to shame and would make a better king then either of them, prompting young von Tarlenheim's quote at the head of this page.

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* A double dose in ''ThePrisonerOfZenda''. The legitimate ruler, Rudolf, is a drunken boor who is unpopular with the people. The usurper, TheUsurper, Black Michael, isn't the most charming or popular guy either, but at least he's competent and respected. But the impostor, Rudolf Rassendyl, puts them both to shame and would make a better king then either of them, prompting young von Tarlenheim's quote at the head of this page.
23rd Nov '15 4:10:52 AM Morgenthaler
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* The movie ''{{Dave}}'', where the lookalike is better at the job than the real deal.
* ''Film/TheManInTheIronMask'' has King Louis XIV of France, who is bankrupting the country with unpopular wars and keeping many mistresses. His brother Philippe is kept prisoner to prevent him from claiming the throne.
* Commodus from ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''. While his father Marcus Aurelius is preparing to ''revoke'' Commodus' right of succession (partially because he sees that Commodus is an InadequateInheritor), his death prevents him going through with it, thus Commodus is technically his legitimate successor.



* In the first film, Film/{{Thor}} initially isn't ready to be king of Asgard because he's an immature, impulsive prat. By the [[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld second film]], he's gained the maturity and wisdom required to be king [[spoiler: but has matured enough to realize that he doesn't have the necessary ruthlessness, and voluntarily gives up his claim to the throne. He'd much rather be facing evil, protecting the innocent, and fighting the good fight than sacrificing others and having them die for him, however necessary it might be.]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', Prince Einon is a spoiled brat of a prince that thinks making war is fun. The first time he tries to participate in such an endeavor, during a peasant uprising, he almost dies; the result of this is that he's gifted with half the heart of a dragon. During the same peasant uprising, his father (a similarly nasty piece of work, especially to judge by the novelization of the film) is killed, making Einon a spoiled juvenile brat of a king with half a dragon's heart. He's functionally immortal so long as the dragon with whom he shares a heart remains alive, he's got the political power of the kingship allowing him to do pretty much anything he wants, and he grows up to become a full-blown sadist who happily cracks down even harder on the peasantry and personally abuses almost everyone around him. The alternative ruler would have been his mother, the kind-hearted and sympathetic queen, but she just ''had'' to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero save her child]]. [[spoiler:She quickly realizes what a mistake this was, and spends a large part of the next several years trying to [[SpannerInTheWorks undermine his worst plans]], up to and including hiring dragon slayers to hunt down his benefactor.]]

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* In the first film, Film/{{Thor}} initially isn't ready to be king of Asgard because he's an immature, impulsive prat. By the [[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld second film]], he's gained the maturity and wisdom required to be king [[spoiler: but has matured enough to realize that he doesn't have the necessary ruthlessness, and voluntarily gives up his claim to the throne. He'd much rather be facing evil, protecting the innocent, and fighting the good fight than sacrificing others and having them die for him, however necessary it might be.]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', Prince Einon is a spoiled brat of a prince that thinks making war is fun. The first time he tries to participate in such an endeavor, during a peasant uprising, he almost dies; the result of this is that he's gifted with half the heart of a dragon. During the same peasant uprising, his father (a similarly nasty piece of work, especially to judge by the novelization of the film) is killed, making Einon a spoiled juvenile brat of a king with half a dragon's heart. He's functionally immortal so long as the dragon with whom he shares a heart remains alive, he's got the political power of the kingship allowing him to do pretty much anything he wants, and he grows up to become a full-blown sadist who happily cracks down even harder on the peasantry and personally abuses almost everyone around him. The alternative ruler would have been his mother, the kind-hearted and sympathetic queen, but she just ''had'' to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero save her child]]. [[spoiler:She quickly realizes what a mistake this was, and spends a large part of the next several years trying to [[SpannerInTheWorks undermine his worst plans]], up to and including hiring dragon slayers to hunt down his benefactor.]]


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* The movie ''Film/{{Dave}}'', where the lookalike is better at the job than the real deal.
* ''Film/TheManInTheIronMask'' has King Louis XIV of France, who is bankrupting the country with unpopular wars and keeping many mistresses. His brother Philippe is kept prisoner to prevent him from claiming the throne.
* Commodus from ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''. While his father Marcus Aurelius is preparing to ''revoke'' Commodus' right of succession (partially because he sees that Commodus is an InadequateInheritor), his death prevents him going through with it, thus Commodus is technically his legitimate successor.
* In the first film, Film/{{Thor}} initially isn't ready to be king of Asgard because he's an immature, impulsive prat. By the [[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld second film]], he's gained the maturity and wisdom required to be king [[spoiler: but has matured enough to realize that he doesn't have the necessary ruthlessness, and voluntarily gives up his claim to the throne. He'd much rather be facing evil, protecting the innocent, and fighting the good fight than sacrificing others and having them die for him, however necessary it might be.]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', Prince Einon is a spoiled brat of a prince that thinks making war is fun. The first time he tries to participate in such an endeavor, during a peasant uprising, he almost dies; the result of this is that he's gifted with half the heart of a dragon. During the same peasant uprising, his father (a similarly nasty piece of work, especially to judge by the novelization of the film) is killed, making Einon a spoiled juvenile brat of a king with half a dragon's heart. He's functionally immortal so long as the dragon with whom he shares a heart remains alive, he's got the political power of the kingship allowing him to do pretty much anything he wants, and he grows up to become a full-blown sadist who happily cracks down even harder on the peasantry and personally abuses almost everyone around him. The alternative ruler would have been his mother, the kind-hearted and sympathetic queen, but she just ''had'' to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero save her child]]. [[spoiler:She quickly realizes what a mistake this was, and spends a large part of the next several years trying to [[SpannerInTheWorks undermine his worst plans]], up to and including hiring dragon slayers to hunt down his benefactor.]]

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23rd Nov '15 4:09:58 AM Morgenthaler
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* This is a very common trope in Shakespeare's history plays, especially the plays dealing with the rise and fall of the House of Lancaster.
** ''Theatre/RichardII'' was also this due to his capricious incompetence, and was eventually deposed by his cousin who would become ''HenryIV''.

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* This is a very common trope in Shakespeare's history plays, especially the plays dealing with the rise and fall of the House of Lancaster.
Lancaster.
** ''Theatre/RichardII'' was also this due to his capricious incompetence, and was eventually deposed by his cousin who would become ''HenryIV''.



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3rd Nov '15 6:50:33 PM LadyNorbert
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* In the first film, Film/{{Thor}} initially isn't ready to be king of Asgard because he's an immature, impulsive prat. By the [[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld second film]] he's gained the maturity and wisdom required to be king [[spoiler: but has matured to realize that he doesn't have the necessary ruthlessness and voluntarily gives up his claim to the throne. He'd much rather be facing evil, protecting the innocent, and fighting the good fight than sacrificing others and having them die for him, however necessary it might be.]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', Prince Einon is not only a spoiled brat of a prince that thinks making war is fun, he's got half of a dragon heart inside him because the first time he tried it for real during a peasant uprising he nearly died. In the same battle his father - who wasn't ''cruel'' but he was far from the most giving of kings, hence the peasant uprising - also died, making Einon king. Now he's still a spoiled juvenile brat, he's unkillable (as long as the dragon he shares a heat with lives) and has the political power of kingship behind him. This turns him full-blown sadist, giddily cracking down even harder on the peasantry and personally abusing anyone he can get away with. The alternative would have been his mother, the kind-hearted and sympathetic queen, but she just ''had'' to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero save her child]]. [[spoiler:She quickly realizes what a mistake this was, and spends a large part of the next several years trying to [[SpannerInTheWorks undermine his worst plans]], up to and including hiring dragon slayers to hunt down his benefactor.]]

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* In the first film, Film/{{Thor}} initially isn't ready to be king of Asgard because he's an immature, impulsive prat. By the [[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld second film]] film]], he's gained the maturity and wisdom required to be king [[spoiler: but has matured enough to realize that he doesn't have the necessary ruthlessness ruthlessness, and voluntarily gives up his claim to the throne. He'd much rather be facing evil, protecting the innocent, and fighting the good fight than sacrificing others and having them die for him, however necessary it might be.]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', Prince Einon is not only a spoiled brat of a prince that thinks making war is fun, he's got half of a dragon heart inside him because the fun. The first time he tried it for real tries to participate in such an endeavor, during a peasant uprising uprising, he nearly died. In almost dies; the result of this is that he's gifted with half the heart of a dragon. During the same battle peasant uprising, his father - who wasn't ''cruel'' but he was far from (a similarly nasty piece of work, especially to judge by the most giving novelization of kings, hence the peasant uprising - also died, film) is killed, making Einon king. Now he's still a spoiled juvenile brat, he's unkillable (as brat of a king with half a dragon's heart. He's functionally immortal so long as the dragon with whom he shares a heat with lives) and has heart remains alive, he's got the political power of the kingship behind him. This turns allowing him to do pretty much anything he wants, and he grows up to become a full-blown sadist, giddily cracking sadist who happily cracks down even harder on the peasantry and personally abusing anyone he can get away with. abuses almost everyone around him. The alternative ruler would have been his mother, the kind-hearted and sympathetic queen, but she just ''had'' to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero save her child]]. [[spoiler:She quickly realizes what a mistake this was, and spends a large part of the next several years trying to [[SpannerInTheWorks undermine his worst plans]], up to and including hiring dragon slayers to hunt down his benefactor.]]



** The people who accept Joffrey and his siblings' illegitimacy generally view Stannis as the legitimate heir to the throne. While he would certainly make a better king than Tommen, he is a stubborn, self-righteous and inflexible man and he would not hesitate [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to sacrifice all and everything in Westeros to make sure what he sees as "the right thing" happens]]. His rule would be inaugarated by a bloodbath in which the nobility would suffer heavily, though the realm would probably be a much better place for the smallfolk. Later on, Stannis proves his mettle when he listens to Ser Davos define what a real king does:
--> '''Ser Davos''': A king protects his people, or he's no true King at all.

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** The people who accept Joffrey and his siblings' illegitimacy generally view Stannis as the legitimate heir to the throne. While he would certainly make a better king than Tommen, he is a stubborn, self-righteous and inflexible man and he would not hesitate [[IDidWhatIHadToDo to sacrifice all and everything in Westeros to make sure what he sees as "the right thing" happens]]. His rule would be inaugarated inaugurated by a bloodbath in which the nobility would suffer heavily, though the realm would probably be a much better place for the smallfolk. Later on, Stannis proves his mettle when he listens to Ser Davos define what a real king does:
--> '''Ser Davos''': A king protects his people, or he's no true King king at all.




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* In ''Legacy'', a novelization of the life and queenship of Elizabeth I, Henry VIII sees his younger daughter as this, though for no fault of her own. Following Anne Boleyn's death, he has such a powerful retroactive hatred for the woman that, although he does retain affection for Elizabeth, he can't stand the thought of Anne's daughter ever inheriting his throne. He consoles himself with the idea that his son Edward will get married and father a bunch of sons, and that even if that should somehow not happen, his elder daughter Mary would be next in line. Of course, as history shows, all three of Henry's children eventually inherited his throne, and Elizabeth held it longer than both of her half-siblings combined.






* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': Your crew has to sort out a crisis on Kashyyyk (the Wookiee homeworld). Turns out [[TheBigGuy Zaalbar]] is the younger son of the local chieftain Freyyr, exiled because he attacked his older brother Chuundar (and using his claws, a ''major'' taboo among Wookiees) after learning that Chuundar conspired with [[MegaCorp Czerka]] to have his own people harvested as slaves. Chuundar justifies this by saying Czerka has the resources to burn their forest to the ground, Czerka supplies weaponry and technology, and if a few villagers (including political enemies) get shipped off-world in chains, then it's a fair deal. He also sent his father into exile to keep the arrangement intact. Your actions determine how the mess pans out.

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* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': Your crew has to sort out a crisis on Kashyyyk (the Wookiee homeworld). Turns out [[TheBigGuy Zaalbar]] is the younger son of the local chieftain Freyyr, exiled because he attacked his older brother Chuundar (and using used his claws, a ''major'' taboo among Wookiees) after learning that Chuundar conspired with [[MegaCorp Czerka]] to have his own people harvested as slaves. Chuundar justifies this by saying Czerka has the resources to burn their forest to the ground, Czerka supplies weaponry and technology, and if a few villagers (including political enemies) get shipped off-world in chains, then it's a fair deal. He also sent his father into exile to keep the arrangement intact. Your actions determine how the mess pans out.



* PlayedWith in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': the Fire Nation seems to have a system where the firstborn is the heir, but the reigning Fire Lord is allowed to pass him over if he chooses. [[HeelFaceTurn Zuko]], who is [[VillainousVirtues honorable even when he is a villain]], is [[BigBad Ozai]]'s oldest son, but eventually gets rejected in favor of his psychotic sister, [[TheSociopath Azula]], forcing him to challenge her for the throne in the finale.

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* PlayedWith in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': the Fire Nation seems to have a system where the firstborn is the heir, but the reigning Fire Lord is allowed to pass him over if he chooses. [[HeelFaceTurn Zuko]], who is [[VillainousVirtues honorable even when he is a villain]], is [[BigBad Ozai]]'s oldest son, child, but eventually gets rejected in favor of his psychotic sister, [[TheSociopath Azula]], forcing him to challenge her for the throne in the finale.
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