Created By: Nin3DS on April 29, 2012 Last Edited By: CaveCat on June 25, 2013
Troped

Nepharious Pharaoh

Ancient Egyptian rulers as stock villains

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The other stock Egyptian style villain alongside the Mummy.

The appearance of this character is pretty recognisable, chances are, you will see a striped head dress, called a 'Nemes', and perhaps some sort of ancient looking robe with sceptre.

And if the work in question isn't set in Ancient Egypt, they may be found sealed inside some kind of tomb or pyramid and vow to curse any explorer who comes near.

In video games, this character has a 50% chance of being the Boss found in Shifting Sand Land, with the Mummy being the other.

See also Aristocrats Are Evil and Mummy, the latter is arguably a sub trope.

The Trope Maker, Trope Codifier, and Ur-Example is probably The Bible, with that nasty pharaoh as one of the villains of the Old Testament, making this Older Than Feudalism.


Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

  • Soul Eater: Witch necromancer Samantha tries to summon Wrath of the Pharaoh, a malevolent spirit residing in the Pyramid of Anubis. The sarcophagus of the Pharaoh is perfectly symmetrical, making it impossible for the Super OCD Kid to destroy it. Then the Pharaoh steps out of the sarcophagus to give the final strike, and he is revealed to be horribly asymmetrical. Cue Kid's Berserk Button hitting the floor.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]

  • Black Adam in the Shazam (Captain Marvel) comics. After learning how to use the word "Shazam!" to gain super powers, he overthrows the pharaoh of Egypt and assumes the throne.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The villain Kang the Conqueror (who may or may not be a future version of Doctor Doom) first appeared as the pharaoh Rama Tut; he had gone back in time to ancient Egypt to conquer from there.
    • The Living Pharaoh, an X-Men villain who later became upgraded to The Living Monolith when he learned how to grow to colossal size.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

  • In the Secret Series, Lord Pharaoh is a prime example of this: evil, single-minded dedication to living forever and quite possibly taking over the world someday.
  • Dios the High Priest in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Pyramids -- effectively the ruler of the kingdom, manipulating a succession of essentially benign but hopelessly confused Pharaohs -- for three thousand years. Pratchett offers a subversion of this idea, suggesting that the pharaoh is essentially a powerless figurehead and real power resides elsewhere in an Ancient Egypt-like country.
  • The Armenian national epic David of Sasun has Melik, the evil Egyptian king. He was probably based on the pharaoh from Exodus, and given the fact that Egypt has never actually conquered Armenia, is also probably a sort of No Celebrities Were Harmed Expy of the Turkish or Iranian sultans.
  • Cthulhu Mythos: One of the many forms of Nyarlathotep is the Black Pharaoh, a haughty Egyptian pharaoh wearing a brightly colored robe. He also used to be worshipped in Ancient Egypt.
  • The main villain of the first novel in the Island Rus series by Sergey Lukyanenko is an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who pursues the Time Traveling heroes throughout history.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • King Tut, one of the supervillains from the 1960's Batman. He wore clothing appropriate for a pharaoh and liked to use Eygptian-themed dialogue. He was actually Professor William McElroy, an Egyptologist at Yale University. Every time he gets hit on the head he develops a split personality that thinks he's a reincarnation of the original King Tut. Hitting him on the head again restores his original personality.
  • Stargate SG-1 also uses the general imagery for the Gou'ald, at least the first ones encountered.
  • Doctor Who has Sutekh, a Sufficiently Advanced Alien with an Egyptian theme and Mooks disguised as Mummies from the Fourth Doctor story, "Pyramids of Mars."

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
  • Necrons in Warhammer 40K have always had some Egyptian-ish design elements, but after the latest codex they have embraced this trope. The Necron leaders in the new codex are called "Phaerons" and their armour and headgear has some very obvious Egyptian influences. A lot of the Necron lords also have Egyptian-esque names, such as Imhotek (strangely enough, the ones that don't seem to have Polish names. Go figure).
  • The Tomb Kings of Warhammer are this, as the priests who were supposed to grant them entry to the afterlife instead brought them back as undead corpses. In an interesting variation, they all still think themselves the rightful rulers of Khemri, which doesn't go well with the previous and following rightful rulers of Khemri.
  • In LEGO Games' Ramses' Pyramid, the Mummy King, who wears the steriotypical headdress, is both this and The Mummy.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Pharaoh Man is one of the Robot Masters fought in Mega Man 4. He's not an actual pharaoh, though he was originally built to explore pyramids. His stage begins as a Shifting Sand Land and progresses into a Temple of Doom.
  • Tutankoopa in Paper Mario is the boss of Dry Dry Ruins and keeper of one of the kidnapped Star Spirits. He attempts to frighten Mario away from the ruins, even calling himself the "remorseless king of the desert" in his first warning.
  • The latest Sakura Taisen game has King Tut trying to take over New York City. During The Roaring Twenties. And the only people capable of stopping him are a Magitek Steampunk spec-ops team who masquerade as a theatre troupe.
  • Vampires Dawn has Pharaoh Ustrah. While he isn't really important in the first game, he becomes one of the main villains of the second game.
  • Dark Pharaoh Tekahn in World of Warcraft is the leader of a faction of very sphinx-like creatures who allied themselves with Deathwing, the Big Bad of the "Cataclysm" expansion.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Bender from Futurama episode "A Pharaoh To Remember":
    "Citizens of me! The cruelty of the old Pharaoh is a thing of the past!"
    [crowd cheers]
    "Let a whole new wave of cruelty wash over this lazy land!"
    [crowd cheers, then is confused]
  • The first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Museum Madness" had Bogus come upon a young child-like pharaoh who behaved this way, after he and Ratty accidentally wind up in a secret chamber hidden within the Egyptian exhibit of the museum. Although to be completely fair, the kid pharoah actually possessed an ancient scarab that had been stolen for many centuries, but Bogus was able to reclaim the scarab and return it back to its rightful place after making quick work of the child.
  • King Bob briefly becomes one of these in one episode of Recess, when he changes his title to Pharaoh Bob and makes the other kids work like slaves to build a mud-brick pyramid in his honor.

[[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 62
  • April 29, 2012
    Weaver
    Would Nyalathotep's Black Pharaoh mask count?
  • April 29, 2012
    reub2000
    • Bender from Futurama episode "A Pharaoh To Remember".
      Citizens of me! The cruelty of the old Pharaoh is a thing of the past!
      [crowd cheers]
      Let a whole new wave of cruelty wash over this lazy land!
      [crowd cheers, then is confused]
  • April 29, 2012
    Hertzyscowicz
    Film: Stargate uses the general imagery, although the bad guy was the god Ra.
  • May 1, 2012
    aurora369
    The Trope Maker is probably The Bible, with that nasty pharaoh as one of the villains of the Old Testament.
  • May 1, 2012
    chicagomel
    King Tut from Batman....was he in the comics too? I'm not sure.
  • May 1, 2012
    Nomic
    Necrons in Warhammer40k have always had some Egyptian-ish design elements, but after the latest codex they have embraced this trope. The Necron leaders in the new codex are called "Phaerons" and their armour and headgear has some very obvious Egyptian influences. A lot of the Necron lords also have Egyptian-esque names, such as Imhotek (strangely enough, the ones that don't seem to have Polish names. Go figure).
  • May 1, 2012
    StevenT
    Subverted in The Prince Of Egypt. While Seti and Rameses commit a number of evil acts, they're portrayed as human beings with depth.
  • May 1, 2012
    cjapplesauce
    In the Secret Series, Lord Pharaoh is a prime example of this: evil, oneminded dedication to living forever and quite possibly taking over the world someday.
  • May 1, 2012
    JonnyB
    Stargate SG 1 also uses the general imagery for the Gou'ald, at least the first ones encountered.
  • May 2, 2012
    Melorian
    Vampires Dawn has Pharaoh Ustrah. While he isn't really important in the first game, he becomes one of the main villains of the second game.
  • May 2, 2012
    TheEvenPrime
    Pharaoh Man frm Mega Man 4, although he's not an actual pharaoh.
  • May 2, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ x 7 @chicagomel: According to our Batman TV series page, King Tut originally appeared in the TV series and was added to the comic book in 2009, but with some differences from the original.

    Comic Books
    • Black Adam in the Shazam (Captain Marvel) comics. After learning how to use the word "Shazam!" to gain super powers, he overthrows the pharaoh of Egypt and assumes the throne.
  • May 2, 2012
    Nithael
    Dark Pharaoh Tekahn in World Of Warcraft is the leader of a faction of very sphinx-like creatures who allied themselves with Deathwing, the Big Bad of the "Cataclysm" expansion.
  • May 2, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Marvel Comics villain Kang the Conqueror first appeared as the pharaoh Rama Tut; he had gone back in time from the 30th Century to ancient Egypt to conquer from there.
  • May 2, 2012
    Chabal2
    The Tomb Kings of Warhammer are this, as the priests who were supposed to grant them entry to the afterlife instead brought them back as undead corpses. In an interesting variation, they all still think themselves the rightful rulers of Khemri, which doesn't go well with the previous and following rightful rulers of Khemri.

  • May 2, 2012
    SKJAM
    Also from Marvel Comics is The Living Pharaoh, an X Men villain who later became upgraded to The Living Monolith when he learned how to grow to colossal size.
  • May 2, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Tabletop Games:
    • In LEGO Games' Ramses' Pyramid, the Mummy King, who wears the steriotypical headdress, is both this and The Mummy.
  • May 27, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature

    Dios the High Priest in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Pyramids - effectively the ruler of the kingdom, manipulating a succession of essentially benign but hopelessly confused Pharaohs - for three thousand years. Pratchett offers a subversion of this idea, suggesting that the pharaoh is essentially a powerless figurehead and real power resides elsewhere in an Ancient Egypt-like country.
  • June 7, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Don't mind me, just fixing namespaces and such in the write-up.
  • June 7, 2013
    StarSword
    Same.
  • June 7, 2013
    hevendor717
    Cat becomes one in an episode of CatDog.

  • June 7, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    The movie Land of the Pharaohs, in which the Pharaoh's determination to have the ultimate tomb becomes oppressive.
  • June 7, 2013
    Surenity
    The Armenian national epic David Of Sasun has Melik, the evil Egyptian king. He was probably based on the pharaoh from Exodus, and given the fact that Egypt has never actually conquered Armenia, is also probably a sort of No Celebrities Were Harmed Expy of the Turkish or Iranian sultans.
  • June 7, 2013
    CaveCat
    • The first act of the Mr Bogus episode "Museum Madness" had Bogus come upon a young child-like pharaoh who behaved this way, after he and Ratty accidentally wind up in a secret chamber hidden within the Egyptian exhibit of the museum. Although to be completely fair, the kid pharoah actually possessed an ancient scarab that had been stolen for many centuries, but Bogus was able to reclaim the scarab and return it back to its rightful place after making quick work of the child.
  • June 8, 2013
    MrRuano
    • The Mummy Trilogy has the central antagonist of the first two movies be Imhotep, who was an actual Pharaoh from Ancient Egypt.
  • June 8, 2013
    DracMonster
    Nefarious Pharaoh for some alliteration.

    Or maybe... Ne-pharaoh-us??
  • June 8, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! I love that pun so very much! Seconding Ne-pharaoh-us!
  • June 8, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    I think The Bible or Egyptian Mythology may be the maker, codifier, and namer of the trope.
  • June 8, 2013
    Astaroth
    • King Bob briefly becomes one of these in one episode of Recess, when he changes his title to Pharaoh Bob and makes the other kids work like slaves to build a mud-brick pyramid in his honour.
  • June 8, 2013
    Ryusui
    Nobody's gonna remember how to spell that.

    Nefarious Pharaoh would be a decent compromise. Or just Ancient Egyptian Evil.
  • June 8, 2013
    Arivne
  • June 8, 2013
    StarSword
  • June 9, 2013
    arbiter099
  • June 9, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Seconding Ne-Pharaoh-Us. And Nefarious Pharaoh.

    Videogame example: the latest Sakura Taisen game has King Tut trying to take over New York City. During The Roaring Twenties. And the only people capable of stopping him are a Magi Tek Steampunk spec-ops team who masquerade as a theatre troupe.

    Yeah... it's odd like that.
  • June 9, 2013
    CaveCat
    I organized the examples, and I gave you a hat.
  • June 9, 2013
    Rotpar
    • The Secret World features the Black Pharaoh Akhenaten. Akhenaten heads the cult of the Aten and is trying to free his dark god and end the world. He is also the Pharaoh who opposed Moses in the Book of Exodus. The game's Akhenaten is a Historical Villain Upgrade of the actual Akhenaten, King Tut's father, who attempted to turn Egypt into a monotheistic state worshiping Aten and was stricken from history by later Pharaohs.
  • June 9, 2013
    arbiter099
    Fixed the Stargate example, The Movie came before SG-1.
  • June 10, 2013
    Frank75
    Trope Maker, Codifier and Ur Example would be The Bible, full stop. In Egyptian Mythology, the pharaoh was at least first servant of the gods, if not a god himself. They would be the last ones to vilify him.
  • June 10, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Holy cats, that pun is horrible.
  • June 10, 2013
    DracMonster
    Although I came up with it, I was really joking - without the laconic it's kind of confusing. Nefarious Pharaoh or maybe Nepharious Pharaoh is probably a better idea.
  • June 12, 2013
    DracMonster
    • Subverted in Darkstalkers, the mummified pharaoh Anakaris is set up to look like a bad guy at first, but his ending reveals he's actually a pretty benevolent ruler. The cartoon version played the trope straight, though.
  • June 13, 2013
    MattStriker
    Regarding the Mummy example: The historical Imhotep was never a pharaoh. He was a high priest, advisor and architect to the pharaoh, and a commoner who was eventually granted divine status (god of medicine). The movie version is definitely done in the style of the trope, but he's still 'only' the high priest, so it's a matter of Playing With rather than the trope played straight.
  • June 13, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    I like the current name.

    Several of the examples are Zero Context Example's: from Batman, Yu Gi Oh, Cat Dog, Paper Mario, Mario Pinball Land, and Mega Man Four. Can people familiar with these works please add context before this gets launched?
  • June 14, 2013
    Arivne
    Expanded the Batman King Tut example.
  • June 14, 2013
    AP
    King Tut would eventually immigrate to the Batman comics over 40 years later.
  • June 14, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Elaborated on Paper Mario and Mega Man 4, as well as alphabetizing the Video Games folder.
  • June 17, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    Ah, OK I can remember a Soul Eater example, but not the details. Kid Death and his 2 girls/guns go into this set of pyramids somewhere, and they fight this mummy/pharaoh who offends Kid Death by being asymmetrical. It's the anime episode where Kid Death screws up everything and gets "demoted" to starting from scratch, near the beginning of the show I think?

    Can anyone help me out writing a proper example?

    Edit: With this guy.
  • June 20, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    I just noticed that " Most works based off the Book Of Exodus from The Bible, like The Prince Of Egypt and The Ten Commandments." is a Zero Context Example that needs to be expanded, or else moved into the description.
  • June 22, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    [[folder:Anime and Manga]]
    • Soul Eater: Witch necromancer Samantha tries to summon Wrath of the Pharaoh, a malevolent spirit residing in the Pyramid of Anubis. The sarcophagus of the Pharaoh is perfectly symmetrical, making it impossible for the Super OCD Kid to destroy it. Then the Pharaoh steps out of the sarcophagus to give the final strike, and he is revealed to be horribly asymmetrical. Cue Kid's Berserk Button hitting the floor.
    [[/folder]]

    [[folder:Literature]] [[/folder]]
  • June 22, 2013
    Ryusui
    Is someone going to fix the title, or should I? Because "nefarious" is with an "f," not a "ph."
  • June 22, 2013
    arbiter099
    ^ [1]
  • June 22, 2013
    Koveras
  • June 22, 2013
    peccantis
    Just mention The Bible in the description ok? Peple have mentioned before why.
  • June 22, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    Any more help for those Zero Context Examples?
  • June 22, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Do the examples all have to be pharoahs? En Sabah Nur was never the Pharoah of Egypt, though he the first Mutant in existence, and would become one of the most powerful threats to the entire world under the name of Apocalypse.
  • June 23, 2013
    MrThorfan64
    There is the Mad Pharaoh, an Iron Man villain. http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/madphara.htm Also Vandal Savage was an Egyptian Pharaoh.
  • June 23, 2013
    MrThorfan64
    I think a better name is needed to allow other villains from Egypt. Perhaps Nepharious Egyptian?
  • June 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    @DRCEQ and MrThorfan64: If this trope is about pharaohs as stock villains, it would be pretty weird allowing characters that are not pharaohs. I don't think "Egyptians as stock villains" is really tropable.
  • June 23, 2013
    MattStriker
    In that case somebody should get rid of the Imhotep example already :P.
  • June 23, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    The image added doesn't show how he's a villain. He doesn't even look much like a Pharaoh.

    Again, please help with the Zero Context Examples. Or sponsor, please delete them or let us delete them.
  • June 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Maybe this picture from The Prince Of Egypt, with a caption: "Nefarious enought to earn divine punishment? Check..."
  • June 23, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    But it still doesn't look like a pharaoh or a villain. To me it looks like a natural disaster destroying statues.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=43ci0xoc71o8wvbi5rmolvgz&trope=NephariousPharaoh