Ye olde eras gone by could be rather miserable—the people at the bottom wallowing in their own filth and working day and night, the people at the top held by The Chains of Commanding, and everyone else... well, there wasn't anyone else. The Acting Chief knows how to break that monotony with a good show. He commands the masses through the power of pageant—dances with them, sings with them, makes them laugh, makes them cry when he dies on stage for the seventh time that week—and is generally well-liked for it. So long as the performance wasn't all part of some patriotic brainwashing plot and he didn't force them to attend and threaten to spear them through the sternum if they didn't like it. In more extreme cases, kingdoms and sovereign territories may operate in "dramocracy", where the ruling class is composed of those who can entertain the people the most. Sister trope to Benevolent Mage Ruler, Emperor Scientist, and The Philosopher King. Compare Sorcerous Overlord and God-Emperor.
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Anime And Manga
Film - Animation
- Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas is the Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town. Since Halloween Town is a world populated with monsters with the sole purpose of managing Halloween every year (a theatrical holiday in its own right), Jack Skellington is himself a showman. He is the center of the Halloween Parade in the "This is Halloween" song sequence, he uses drama and ambiance to explain Christmas to the residence, is a Dance Battler and is very popular among the people.
- Several characters from the world of A Song of Ice and Fire have done this:
- Mance Rayder, aka The King Beyond the Wall is a talented musician who also happens to be badass enough to unite the fractious wildling clans into a single force and a capable military commander.
- Posthumous Character Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was known for playing lovely music on the harp.
- From the prequel Tales of Dunk and Egg story "The Mystery Knight" John the Fiddler (who claims to just be a poor hedge knight despite dressing in fine clothes and giving orders to lords who would instantly cut down an actual hedge knight who dared to talk to them that way) is actually Daemon Blackfyre, an illegitimate descendant of the Royal Family with ambitions of overthrowing the legitimate rulers.
- At one point in Heroics for Beginners, Prince Kevin thinks back to when he took his then girlfriend to a small jazz club, only for his father King Eric the Totally Cool to show up in his trademark Cool Shades and a saxophone to jam with the band.
Kevin: Parents should not be cooler than their children.
- A singing picture from The Divine Comedy shows King David dancing and singing in front of his subjects with no shame whatsoever. Such forward and honest expression is used as an example of humility to the calculating and glory-driven who are in Purgatory for sins of Pride.
- The Monty Python German special Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus, King Otto of Happy Valley spends all day in his castle jamming on his electric piano and Scatting. He would have his subjects sing with him at random gatherings and eventually played the pipe organ at his daughter's wedding.
- In Adventures in Wonderland, the Red Queen has been known to perform for her subjects.
- In Starmites, Diva, the queen of the Banshees, enjoys performing, using her Banshees as her backup singers.
- In The Elder Scrolls Online, Jorunn the Skald-King, who is the High King of Skyrim and leader of the Ebonheart Pact - earned his epithet for being a bard (skald) in addition to being king. He's seen singing in a scene of the book that came with the collector's edition of the game.
- In Long Live the Queen, you can train Elodie as one. She can potentially win the music contest at the tournament, and there's an ending where she can talk an invading overlord into calling off his armies by singing to him.
- Adventure Time
- Marceline is often referenced as "Marceline the Vampire Queen" and usually found writing songs and performing them publicly on her bass. While she is no queen to vampires (having exterminated all of the other vampires centuries prior), her father is the Ruler of the Nightosphere, so the trope still technically applies.
- Flame Princess takes up rapping, jamming with Finn in "Bun Bun", with Neptr in the talent show in "The Music Hole" and rapping for the right to rule her kingdom in "Son of Rap Bear."
- When Dave from Dave the Barbarian is temporarily made king of Udrogoth, he enacts laws that start of as well-liked but soon creates unrest in the citizens. While at first feeling vengeful for their insolence, he quickly decides that it would be better to win them back by inviting all of them to he one-person play "Oh Pastry". The play was so bad that when the Darklord Chuckles the Silly Piggie (having just usurped Dave) makes his first law that musical theater is banned, he is greeted with applause.
- The French king Louis XIV (the Sun King) was well known for participating in ballets and theater in his youth, and was quite good at it by all accounts.
- Several English kings participated in tourneys under different colors or in representations of Arthurian myth.
- Roman Emperor Nero sang and acted on the stage, and also competed in gladiator races. Many old-school upper-crust Romans disapproved, believing that Nero was undermining the dignity of his office. (Pliny called him an "actor-emperor".)
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