Created By: Ardiente on June 10, 2011 Last Edited By: StarSword on March 6, 2015
Troped

The Kingslayer

A character who slew the supreme leader of a nation.

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A character, for one reason or another, kill the King, the Emperor, the President, that one powerful guy whose position has massive mystique and glamor and charisma attached to it, no matter how badly they chose to use it. Usually the one to kill him is of the Praetorian Guard or someone equally close and trusted. However, it doesn't need to be a betrayal: it could perfectly be an absolutely lawful execution after a fair trial. It won't matter to the people. He or she has slain a King.

The reason why killing a monarch has always been such a big deal (well, as at least in the Western culture) is twofold: one aspect of it is that before the rise of nationalism, the monarch was the carrier of the state's sovereignty (afterwards, it were the people)—in simpler terms, the king was his country, so anyone attacking him automatically put himself against the entire state institutions. The other aspect was that kings are usually anointed by The Church, thus ruling with God's approval—and anyone attacking an anointed king automatically infringed upon God's domain of deciding who is a suitable king and who should go.

This is also why killing a president (while a serious crime and probably high treason—as is the murder of any high-ranking state official) does not pack the same punch in modern days (except to people who see their presidents as king-like figures).

Expect them to Never Live It Down, and carry this moniker or a variation thereof for all their lives, if they don't get executed for it. In some instances this is an attempt to get a Klingon Promotion, possibly involving The Coup. May overlap with Hero Killer.

As a Death Trope, spoilers will be unmarked on this page.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass: Lelouch killed his father, King Charles, by geassing "god" to erase the king from existence.

    Comic Books 
  • In Star Trek Countdown, Nero kills the Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire and the survivors of the Imperial Senate as they flee Romulus' destruction in the Hobus supernova in revenge for the Senate not listening to his and Spock's warnings earlier, costing the lives of billions.

    Fan Works 
  • Averted in A Scotsman in Egypt. There's a guy running around with the name of Niels "Tyrantslayer" Ebbesen, but his title is never explained, and he dies in battle against ordinary soldiers instead of the king.
  • The main premise of Twilight Sparkle, Ace Attorney: The Royal Turnabout is that apparently Rarity tried to kill Prince Blueblood, and is therefore seen as a kingslayer. Subverted once Princess Twilight reveals that Prince Blueblood was actually assaulted.

    Film — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The Trope Namer is Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire. He killed an evil, mad king, through Back Stab. He did a lot of good to the realm. No-one will let him forget it, though.
  • Discworld. "Old Stoneface" Vimes, ancestor of the current Vimes, chopped the King's head after he was sentenced to death by a tribunal for his horrific crimes. He was the only one with the balls to do it. He was later executed, his body getting the Osiris treatment. His bad reputation was so powerful, his descendants many generations later are still being bugged about it.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Silmarillion, the dwarven jewelsmiths who killed the great elven king Thingol. It started the whole Elves Versus Dwarves shtick in the whole of Middle-Earth (and, after that, in many other fantasy universes that ripped the Elves Versus Dwarves shtick from Professor Tolkien). Now that is a regicide with repercussions!
    • It takes a king, Isildur, to slay Sauron, the Sorcerous Overlord of the dark forces in the backstory of The Lord of the Rings. However, Sauron's One Ring of Power acts as a Soul Jar, keeping him kind-of-sort-of alive until Frodo Baggins goes on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Ultimately, though, it's Gollum who destroys the Ring and Sauron—and he does it completely by accident.
  • Kvothe, the protagonist of The Kingkiller Chronicle, alludes in the telling of his story that this happened (but as a trilogy in progress, we won't find out how until the third book comes out.) Some regard him as a hero. some as a miscreant, but whatever public opinion, he had a role in starting a war and is living under a false identity.
  • The Powder Mage Trilogy kicks off with Field Marshal Tamas organizing a revolution and executing the King and most of the aristocracy. The King's surviving court mage is under a magical obligation to avenge the King's death by killing his killer, but doesn't want to kill Tamas, who is among other things the father of his best friend. So he finds the actual headsman and kills him, fulfilling the technical requirements of the geas.
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle:
  • In the Star Trek Novelverse Federation President Nanietta Bacco survives one attempt on her life by a Breen assassin in Cold Equations: Silent Weapons, which proves to be part of a ruse to divert Starfleet. She's then successfully assassinated in The Fall: Revelation and Dust at the new Deep Space 9's opening ceremony. The Tzenkethi are initially fingered (like the Breen, they're members of the rival alliance the Typhon Pact), but in fact it was done by the True Way (a Cardassian terrorist group) with the connivance of Councillor Ishan Anjar of Bajor who was trying to bring about a more militaristic Federation regime (ironically to protect Bajor from the Cardassians).
  • Honor Harrington:
    • King Roger III of Manticore officially died in a grav-skiing accident, but Manticore's security agencies are privately well aware that it was an assassination by the People's Republic of Haven in hopes that Queen Elizabeth III would be more pliable. This backfired, resulting in Elizabeth openly hating Haven. Haven's next attempt to annex Manticore, during the main series, is a straight-up invasion and a miserable failure.
    • At the end of The Short Victorious War the Citizens' Rights Union led by Robert Pierre executes a coup d'etat against the government of Haven, killing Hereditary President Harris and most of his family with an airstrike at the outset and taking out the rest of the Legislaturalist class in the following purges. They then frame the People's Navy for the whole shebang as having attempted a Military Coup.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay first subverts his then plays it straight, by having Katniss refuse to kill President Snow... and the killing President Coin.
  • At the end of Dragon Blood, Garranon kills high king Jakoven, the man who killed his father, was responsible for the soldiers who raped Garranon and his younger brother, and took the teenage Garranon as his "beloved". We never learn whether he lives it down, as all characters present when it happens concur that Jakoven needed killing.
  • The renegade officers from the disbanded French Foreign Legion hire an English assassin in Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal specifically because he is known to have killed some prominent targets. Although one of these was a tin-pot dictator, he maintained a cadre of bodyguards and took many precautions against assassination. "The Jackal" nevertheless managed to waste the despot. This kingslayer reputation lets The Jackal command a half-million dollars as his fee, which the renegades pay in full.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • "The Coming of Shadows": As the Centauri Emperor Turhan was making a state visit to Babylon 5, G'Kar was making plans to kill him at the reception held in his honor in revenge for the prior Centauri occupation of Narn, but Turhan, already near death, collapsed on his way there and died shortly thereafter.
    G'Kar: I was ready. I had prepared myself, I had made my peace with the Universe, I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own. Never in my life have I seen a worse case of timing!
    • In Season 4 Londo Mollari conspires with G'Kar and several members of the Centauri court to assassinate the insane Emperor Cartagia. In the end it's his aide Vir Cotto who delivers the killing blow in "Into the Fire"; he feels considerable anguish about it afterwards. Later, when it looks like the Vorlons are going to destroy Centauri Prime because the emperor-in-waiting, Londo, was a former associate of the Shadows, Londo tries to convince Vir to kill him, but the Vorlon planet killer is recalled to join the battle with the Alliance at Coriana VI in the nick of time.
    • In a Bad Future seen in "War Without End", Emperor Londo arranges to have G'Kar kill him to free the Centauri Republic of the Drakh keeper controlling his actions. Londo has drunk enough alcohol to put the keeper into as stupor for this, but it wakes up partway through and strangles G'Kar in a Mutual Kill. This is also implied to have happened in the prime timeline during the Time Skip between season 5 and the Distant Finale "Sleeping in Light", as Vir has succeeded Londo as Emperor by that time.
    • President Clark and Mr. Morden both participated in the death of President Santiago, who dies when EarthForce One explodes. The proof came from a transmission that Ivanova managed to capture with the Great Machine. Only Clark is seen, commenting how he's wanted Santiago dead for a long time, but Morden's voice is heard assuring him that EarthForce One will not return and that the power is now Clark's.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Traveller edition MegaTraveller. Archduke Dulinor personally murders Emperor Strephon in an attempt to seize the Iridium Throne, which causes the Third Imperium to dissolve into civil war.

    Theatre 
  • Older Than Feudalism. In Oedipus Rex Oedipus the King of Thebes has to find out who killed the previous king in order to stop a famine. Turns out it was Oedipus himself, though he didn't know it.
  • William Shakespeare
    • Macbeth. Macbeth murders King Duncan in order to become king himself.
    • Hamlet. Hamlet's father King Hamlet is murdered by Claudius, and Hamlet later murders King Claudius.
    • Julius Caesar. Caesar is assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and the other conspirators.

    Video Games 
  • Warcraft III's human campaign ends with Arthas, post-Face–Heel Turn, murdering his father the king of Lordaeron to cement the Undead Scourge's takeover of that part of Azeroth.
  • Kingslayer is a title which can be earned in World of Warcraft for killing the Lich King. Wait, is that even possible?
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books: The In-Game Novel 2920: The Last Year of the First Era ends with the assassination of Emperor Reman Cyrodiil by the sister of his ex-mistress in revenge for her unjust execution for treason. This happens with the backing of the Dunmer assassins' guild the Morag Tong, with the tacit support of the Akaviri ambassador who then takes over rulership of the Empire.
    • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the main antagonists are the Mythic Dawn Apocalypse Cult, who become notorious in the opening for successfully assassinating Emperor Uriel Septim VII, along with his three publicly known sons, as part of their plan to allow a daedric prince to invade Nirn. This notoriety lasts for hundreds of years (as you find out if you do a particular sidequest in Skyrim).
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
      • In the game's backstory Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak set off the Civil War by killing Torygg, the High King of Skyrim. Skyrim is fiercely divided on whether this was a lawful duel for the High King's throne in the old way (as the Stormcloaks under his banner see it) or a murder and usurpation of the throne due to Ulfric's use of the Thu'um against Torygg (as the Empire sees it).
      • The climax of the Dark Brotherhood questline has the player contracted to assassinate Emperor Titus Mede II during a state visit. Titus chooses to Face Death with Dignity, requesting only that the player next turn their blade on the person who requested his death.
  • Star Trek Online: Chancellor J'mpok of the Klingon Empire attained his current post by killing Chancellor Martok under questionable circumstances in 2393. To wit, the two went into a closed-door meeting to try and avert a civil war in the Empire after a long power struggle between the pro-Federation moderates led by the House of Martok and the traditionalist Klingon hardliners under J'mpok. Three hours later J'mpok emerged saying Martok was dead and that he was now chancellor. This did absolutely nothing to end the power struggle: J'mpok's supporters naturally claim that he killed Martok in honorable combat, but Martok's widow Sirella has sworn revenge.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Jedi Knight's story ends with them confronting and killing the Sith Emperor himself. Come The Shadow of Revan, though, it turns out he's not quite dead, and now his spirit has escaped into the galaxy to get up to who knows what sort of mischief.
  • In Crusader Kings ascension by assassination is a regular occurrence. Getting caught at it significantly impacts your relations with other rulers and vassals. And if the victim was a relative and you get caught you gain the Kinslayer trait that permanently lowers your Diplomacy rating by 3.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: It's not shown but implied that Ganondorf killed the King of Hyrule when he took over, given how Impa took Zelda and bolted out of Hyrule Castle with Ganondorf hot on their heels and in the future no mention is made of the king at all, only the princess.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: During Zant's takeover he has the ruler of the Zoras, Queen Rutela, executed as an example to her people prior to freezing the Zora's Domain over. She appears as a spirit to Link, asking him to help her son, who is now the last member of the Zora royal family.
  • Prior to the events of Diablo King Leoric was killed by his own Knights, specifically Lachdanan, when they realized the depth of his madness and that he had become a threat to his own people. It did not end there, however. After he was risen as the Skeleton King he was killed again by his own son, Prince Aidan. He rose again when the Fallen Star caused the dead to stir and this time was killed by the Nephelem, for good this time. Or so the prophecy says.
  • Zigzagged in Tales of Xillia. At various points in the story, the Kings of both major nations, Gaius and Nachtigal, find themselves aligned against the player, and both show up as bosses (Gaius actually ends up being the Final Boss). However, the player doesn't actually kill either of them—Nachtigal appears to be undergoing a Heel–Face Turn after his boss battle, but is then assassinated by a third party. Gaius, on the other hand, does undergo a Heel-Face Turn after surviving the Final Boss Battle, and he becomes the protagonists' most influential ally in the epilogue.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar-killing in Avatar: The Last Airbender is probably even worse morally than kingslaying, more akin to killing Kung-Fu Jesus. The Protagonist of the story takes great pains to avert this trope when it seems inevitable given the nature of the King in question.
  • Futurama: In "My Three Suns" Fry accidentally kills the emperor of Trisol, whose population are water-people, by drinking him. This makes Fry the new Emperor. But Regicide is fairly common on that planet with most Emperors only lasting a few weeks until they're killed.

    Real Life 
  • U.S. Presidents and the man who assassinated them
    • Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth, over anger at the South losing The American Civil War.
    • James Garfield: Charles Guiteau, over being passed over for a government position. At that time the president was responsible for appointing all federal jobs. Garfield's assassination prompted the creation of the modern civil service.
    • William McKinley: Leon Czolgosz
    • John F. Kennedy: Lee Harvey Oswald
    • Narrowly averted with Ronald Reagan, who was shot three times over the course of his presidency but survived in part due to improvements in trauma surgery since the Kennedy assassination. There's also an anecdotal subversion where Reagan was at a press conference after these attempts on his live and a photographer's flash bulb burst; he visibly flinched.
  • Special mention to James Earl Ray who shot Martin Luther King Jr. He was a King literally In-Name-Only but still a powerful guy with charisma.
  • Red October. Yakov Yurovsky and his firing squad, who executed Emperor Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian royal family.
  • Charles I of England was sentenced to death and executed in 1649. The executioner was masked and disguised, and there is still debate over his identity. After the Restoration in 1660, a list was made of the 59 judges who signed Charles' death warrant. Some were executed, others were imprisoned, others fled the country and some who were already dead had their bodies desecrated.
  • The French Revolution. Off with their heads!
  • The War of the Roses had this twice..

Community Feedback Replies: 76
  • June 10, 2011
    Ardiente
    No love for this trope?
  • June 10, 2011
    kentdyson88
    Real Life examples: John Wilkes Booth, Charles Guiteau, Leon Czolgosz and Lee Harvey Oswald. All of whom killed Presidents. Special mention to James Earl Ray who shot Martin Luther King Jr. He was a King literally In Name Only but still a powerful guy with charisma.

    Fictional example: Hamlet's father
  • June 10, 2011
    Generality
    I dunno if regicides are common enough to validate this trope. You've mentioned the only one I knew of.
  • June 10, 2011
    c0ry
    Kingslayer is a title which can be earned in World Of Warcraft for killing the Lich King.
  • June 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In Isaac Asimov's final Foundation book Cleon I, the last good Emperor of the Galaxy, is killed by a gardener he took a liking to and decided to make Head gardener. The gardener didn't want to be Head gardener because he'd have to become a bureaucrat instead of a gardener.
  • June 11, 2011
    Arivne
    Film

    Tabletop RPG
    • Traveller edition MegaTraveller. Archduke Dulinor personally murders Emperor Strephon in an attempt to seize the Iridium Throne, which causes the Third Imperium to dissolve into civil war.
  • June 11, 2011
    jatay3
  • June 11, 2011
    Tiiba
    By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
  • June 11, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    • Shakespeare has the aforementioned Macbeth, Claudius from Hamlet (and Hamlet himself in the end), and Brutus and everyone else who took part in Julius Caesar's assassination.
    • And again, Scar from The Lion King, who murdered his brother Mufasa for the throne.
  • June 12, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^^^ Explain.
  • June 12, 2011
    Specialist290
    Whoops, not an example after all.
  • June 13, 2011
    Elle
    • Kvothe, the protagonist of The Kingkiller Chronicle, aludes in the telling of his story that this happened (but as a trilogy in progress, we won't find out how until the third book comes out.) Some regard him as a hero. some as a miscreant, but whatever public opinion, he had a role in starting a war and is living under a false identity.
  • June 14, 2011
    aurora369
  • June 14, 2011
    aurora369
    In The Silmarillion, the dwarven jewelsmiths who killed the great elven king Thingol. It started the whole Elves Versus Dwarves shtick in the whole of Middle-Earth (and, after that, in many other fantasy universes that ripped the Elves Versus Dwarves shtick from Professor Tolkien). Now that is a regicide with repercussions!
  • June 15, 2011
    Micah
    • One of the three protagonists of The Lions of Al-Rassan kills a caliph in the prologue, as a very young man. By the time the actual book takes place, twenty or so years later, it's a large part of the reason he's Shrouded In Myth.
  • June 16, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^Holy shit, as a Muslim I can confirm this is, like, Serious Business, man. No fucking wonder he got a reputation... but not specifically one as a Bad Ass: Caliphs were cultural figures for most of their run, kind of like the Emperor of Japan during the Shogunate.
  • June 17, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
  • June 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • June 20, 2011
    AmbarSonofDeshar
    Question: this trope isn't for just anyone who kills a king/president/etc, right? It's for those who slew a king in the backstory, and have since then been defined by it, correct? Because a lot of these examples simply seem to be: guy who, at some point, killed a king. A variation on Never Live It Down.
  • February 14, 2013
    Dragonslayerslayer
    There are 21 real life examples at wikipedia. Also one for Video Games: The Kingslayers, also known as Assassins of Kings, are a mysterious organization made up of a handful of witchers from the School of the Viper in the service of Nilfgaardian Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. The organisation's task was to spread chaos in the kingdoms of the North by killing kings and sorceresess. Most notable kingslayers were Letho, Serrit, Auckes and an unknown witcher from The Witcher outro.
  • February 15, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced, italicized and cleaned up the example section.
  • February 15, 2013
    reub2000
  • February 15, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    • Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, who set off the Civil War by killing Torygg, Skyrim's High King. Skyrim is fiercely divided on whether this was a lawful duel for the High King's throne in the old way (as the Stormcloaks under his banner see it) or a murder and usurpation of the throne due to Ulfric's use of the Thu'um against Torygg (as the Empire sees it).
      • During the Dark Brotherhood questline, you get the chance to assassinate Emperor Titus Mede II himself.
  • December 26, 2013
    Koveras
    The reason why killing a monarch has always been such a big deal (well, as at least in the Western culture) is twofold: one aspect of it is that before the rise of nationalism, the monarch was the carrier of the state's sovereignty (afterwards, it were the people)—in simpler terms, the king was his country, so anyone attacking him automatically put himself against the entire state institutions. The other aspect was that kings are usually anointed by The Church, thus ruling with God's approval—and anyone attacking an anointed king automatically infringed upon God's domain of deciding who is a suitable king and who should go.

    This is also why killing a president (while a serious crime and probably high treason—as is the murder of any high-ranking state official) does not pack the same punch in modern days (except to people who see their presidents as king-like figures).
  • December 26, 2013
    Druplesnubb
    I think this should be limited to people who kill "their own" king/president/whatever, or atleast one ruling a country their own nation is on good terms with. Killing the ruler of an enemy country often doesn't carry the same stigma. Or do you want to add half of every big conqueror ever to this list?
  • December 26, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ I concur.
  • December 26, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    "Discworld. "Old Stoneface" Vimes, ancestor of the current Vimes, chopped the King's head after he was sentenced to death by a tribunal for his horrific crimes. He was the only one with the balls to do it. He was later executed, his body getting the Osiris treatment. His bad reputation was so powerful, his descendants many generations later are still being bugged about it."

    • Specifically, the fact that his ancestor committed regicide means Vimes cannot officially be ennobled because his line is now permanently disqualified from the peerage. But everyone calls him Lord Vimes anyway.
  • December 26, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • Oedipus Rex: In order to stop a famine, Oedipus the King of Thebes has to find out who killed the previous king. Turns out it was Oedipus himself, though he didn't know it.
    • Futurama: In "My Three Suns" Fry accidentally kills the emperor of Trisol, whose population are water-people, by drinking him. This makes Fry the new Emperor. But Regicide is fairly common on that planet with most Emperors only lasting a few weeks until they're killed.
  • December 26, 2013
    XFllo
    Tropeworthy, but the description needs help and most examples need more context. I'm tempted to take away one hat.
  • December 26, 2013
    Druplesnubb
    The mongols believed that the earth would be offended if you spilled royal blood on it, and this belief extended to foreign kings as well as their own khans. Unfortunately for the rulers they conquered, this just meant that thy would give you a Cruel And Unusual Death that didn't result in any blood being spilled o nthe ground. Examples include but aren't limited to: getting your ribcage punched in, getting rolled into a carpet and then trampled on, or being stuffed between boards that the mongols then sat on while they ate.
  • December 26, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    As a Truth In Television trope, this needs a better, more detailed description. the current single paragraph won't cut it.
  • January 29, 2014
    XFllo
    Bumping.
  • January 29, 2014
    Chabal2
    Averted in A Scotsman In Egypt. There's a guy running around with the name of Niels "Tyrantslayer" Ebbesen, but his title is never explained, and he dies in battle against ordinary soldiers instead of the king.
  • January 29, 2014
    Bisected8
  • January 29, 2014
    chicagomel
    • Morgana in Merlin , possibly- She didn't stab Uther, but her amulet killed him with Merlin's magic
      • Later,Mordred.
    • Morgana,again, in Camelot directly kills Uther this time.
  • January 29, 2014
    Quag15
    Babylon 5's example has no context.

    Also, I don't think the Red October example fits this trope. It was an execution squad, which means he was sentenced to death by other authorities.
  • January 29, 2014
    DAN004
    Wouldn't you think this happens a lot in many old games, especially RP Gs? Fighting an evil king was a common story back then.
  • January 30, 2014
    Bibliophile
  • February 20, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump
  • February 20, 2015
    Dalillama
    • The Powder Mage Trilogy kicks off with Field Marshal Tamas organizing a revolution and executing the King and most of the aristocracy. The King's surviving court mage is under a magical obligation to avenge the King's death by killing his killer, but doesn't want to kill Tamas, who is among other things the father of his best friend. So he finds the actual headsman and kills him, fulfilling the technical requirements of the geas.
  • February 21, 2015
    zarpaulus
    • Babylon Five: In Season 4 Vir Cotto assassinates Emperor Cartagia, he feels considerable anguish about it afterwards. Later, when it looks like the Vorlons are going to destroy Centauri Prime because the new Emperor, Londo Mollari, was a former associate of the Shadows Londo tries to convince Vir to kill him, but it becomes unnecessary. Still, Vir becomes Emperor himself after Londo's eventual death.

    • In Crusader Kings ascension by assassination is a regular occurrence. Getting caught at it significantly impacts your relations with other rulers and vassals. And if the victim was a relative and you get caught you gain the Kinslayer trait that permanently lowers your Diplomacy rating by 3.
  • February 22, 2015
    Arivne
    Compare the YKTTW proposal Ruling Family Massacre.
  • February 22, 2015
    Aquila89
    Charles I of England was sentenced to death and executed in 1649. The executioner was masked and disguised, and there is still debate over his identity. After the Restoration in 1660, a list was made of the 59 judges who signed Charles' death warrant. Some were executed, others were imprisoned, others fled the country and some who were already dead had their bodies desecrated.
  • February 24, 2015
    DAN004
    Maybe I'll turn this into "Murdered State Leader" and make Kingslayer its Internal Subtrope?
  • February 24, 2015
    Tallens
    ^^^^Couple details wrong there, Londo did not become emperor, he was prime minister. G'Kar is the one who eventually kills Londo, both of them strangling each other to death.

    Also from B5:
    • As the Centauri Emperor Turhan was making a state visit to Babylon 5, G'Kar was making plans to kill him at the reception held in his honor, but Turhan, already near death, collapsed on his way there and died shortly thereafter.
    G'Kar: I was ready. I had prepared myself, I had made my peace with the Universe, I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own. Never in my life have I seen a worse case of timing!

    • Star Wars The Old Republic: The Jedi Knight's story ends with them confronting and killing the Sith Emperor himself. Come The Shadow of Revan, though, it turns out he's not quite dead, and now his spirit has escaped into the galaxy to get up to who knows what sort of mischief.

    Might add Klingon Promotion as a possible motivation.
  • February 28, 2015
    rcmerod52
    Fan Works
  • March 2, 2015
    aurora369
    2 Quag15: It is still a historical blank spot (and a hotly debated question) whether the execution of the Romanovs was mandated by any official court (Kangaroo or not) or was it just a voluntaristic massacre by the local Bolsheviks. The modern Russia's courts, when asked to posthumously rehabilitate the Romanovs, invariably answer that there's nothing to rehabilitate them from, there was no prosecution, just some criminal monkey business.
  • March 2, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ "rehabilitate"? Do you mean "pardon"?

    And these ZCEs are making a mess. Seriously.
  • March 2, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Literature
    • It took a king, Isildur, to slay Sauron, the king of the dark forces in JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth. However, Sauron's One Ring of Power acted as a Soul Jar, necessitating Frodo Baggins to journey to Mount Doom to dispose of the wicked monarch once and for all. Though, technically, it wasn't Frodo that did the deed...
  • March 3, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ Is Sauron actually a king? I'm honestly asking because I haven't read the books and don't recall that in the films, although I suppose it's a logical conclusion.

    That said, the last sentence seems needlessly sly. Don't beat around the bush, just say whatever it is.
  • March 3, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ Sauron is a Sorcerous Overlord, yeah.

    The one who did the deed was Gollum, when he stole the ring from Frodo. Accidentally, at that.
  • March 3, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ Ah. My lack of interest in LOTR is showing. :p Well, then I'd just say:

    Literature
    • It takes a king, Isildur, to slay Sauron, the king of the dark forces in the backstory of JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. However, Sauron's One Ring of Power acts as a Soul Jar, keeping him kind-of-sort-of alive until Frodo Baggins goes on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Ultimately, though, it's Gollum who destroys the Ring and Sauron—and he does it completely by accident.
  • March 3, 2015
    StarSword
    Video Games:
    • The Elder Scrolls:
      • The Elder Scrolls In Universe Books: The In Game Novel 2920: The Last Year of the First Era ends with the assassination of Emperor Reman Cyrodiil by the sister of his ex-mistress in revenge for her unjust execution for treason. This happens with the backing of the Dunmer assassins' guild the Morag Tong, with the tacit support of the Akaviri ambassador who then takes over rulership of the Empire.
      • The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion opens with the assassination of Emperor Uriel Septim VII by an Apocalypse Cult called the Mythic Dawn. In one mission of the main quest you're able to get a would-be recruit to the Mythic Dawn to give you information that lets you undertake The Infiltration by informing him they were behind the assassination.
      • The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim:
        • In the game's backstory Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak used the thu'um to kill Torygg, the High King of Skyrim, in a challenge duel over the question of Skyrim's independence from the Empire. This is extremely controversial in Skyrim—some view it as murder—and feeds directly into the civil war questline.
        • The climax of the Dark Brotherhood questline has the player contracted to assassinate Emperor Titus Mede II during a state visit. Titus chooses to Face Death With Dignity, requesting only that the player next turn their blade on the person who requested his death.
    • Star Trek Online: Chancellor J'mpok of the Klingon Empire attained his current post by killing Chancellor Martok under ambiguous circumstances. To wit, the two went into a closed-door meeting to try and avert a civil war in the Empire after a long power struggle between the pro-Federation moderates led by the House of Martok and the hardliners under J'mpok. Three hours later J'mpok emerged saying Martok was dead and that he was now chancellor. This did absolutely nothing to end the power struggle: J'mpok's supporters naturally claim that he killed Martok in honorable combat, but Martok's widow Sirella has sworn revenge.
  • March 3, 2015
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • In the Star Trek Novelverse Federation President Nanietta Bacco survives one attempt on her life by a Breen assassin in Cold Equations: Silent Weapons, which proves to be part of a ruse to divert Starfleet. She's then successfully assassinated in The Fall: Revelation and Dust at the new Deep Space 9's opening ceremony. The Tzenkethi are initially fingered (like the Breen, they're members of the rival alliance the Typhon Pact), but in fact it was done by the True Way (a Cardassian terrorist group) with the connivance of Councillor Ishan Anjar of Bajor who was trying to bring about a more militaristic Federation regime.
  • March 4, 2015
    Arivne
    As far as I know the only titles Sauron was given were "Dark Lord", "Lord of the Rings" and such. As far as I know he never took any kind of royal title, so calling him a "king" doesn't really fit. However, I think you could call him "the ruler of the Dark forces".
  • March 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^^^ That Oblivion example is written super-confusingly with the ambiguous pronouns. For the sake of clarity, I'm not sure anything after the first sentence needs to be mentioned; none of it seems overly relevant to the trope, and the phrasing is confusing.

    If the game opens with the assassination, surely the event is significant in the context of the main storyline? Maybe mention what events are triggered by the assassination. Or if I recall correctly, aren't the Mythic Dawn trying to do something big and important that the assassination is just one part of? Maybe mention how the assassination ties into their overall scheme.
  • March 4, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Yes, that was my thought: a character who slays The Supreme Leader, regardless of his actual title. After all, the Darth Vader example fits, despite Palpatine never being called "king." The real qualifier, as I understand it, is that this leader command one or more armies. Anyone who can deploy a force of thousands of mooks / redshirts on command has the equivalent authority of "king," unless he's The Dragon to a Bigger Bad. And I worded my example that way to avoid spoilers. Revealing the surprise twist ending seemed ... unnecessary. Frodo Baggins marched all the way from the Shire to Mordor with the intent of ending Sauron forever; give him credit for doing 99% of the work.
  • March 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    > Using the word "spoiler" unironically when discussing a book that was published nearly 60 years ago and is one of the most well-known fictional works of all time

    > Lol

    Besides, if you're going to say "It wasn't Frodo that does the deed", it's just drawing attention to it.

    Also, this is a Death Trope, so spoilers are expected.
  • March 4, 2015
    StarSword
    This is actually Up For Grabs, as it turns out. I'm going to take it over.

    @Solip Schism: You have a point re: the Oblivion example. I'll fix that when I add it.
  • March 4, 2015
    Tallens
    May be the end result of The Coup.
  • March 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    It's too bad I could never get into Oblivion, otherwise I could tweak it myself. I played through the opening sequence and got to the burning village/gate to Oblivion, but the game was just (A) unpleasantly hard, and (B) the stilted interface made me want to punch babies. So I remember everything about the assassination itself, and some Pop Cultural Osmosis about the overall plot, but hell if I know what Septim's assassination had to do with the Evil Plan. Weren't they trying to resurrect Mehrunes Dagon? What did Septim's death have to do with that?

    Skyrim, though. Dat Skyrim.

    I would really like to play Oblivion's storyline with Skyrim's interface.

    Come to think of it, I'd like to play Arena and Daggerfall and Morrowind on Skyrim's interface.
  • March 4, 2015
    StarSword
    ^IIRC the idea with the assassination was that the Septims were one of the bloodlines of Dovahkiin, representing a pact between mortals and the Aedra (the closest thing in TES mythology to gods in the Judeo-Christian sense) to keep the Daedra from being able to establish a permanent presence in the plane of Mundus. Killing off the Septim bloodline with no heir apparent meant the fires at the Temple of the One, another piece of the barrier, couldn't be relit, and thus it was possible to create gateways to planes of Oblivion and eventually to summon Mehrunes Dagon, one of the daedric princes, into Mundus.
  • March 4, 2015
    DAN004
    I wish this CAN apply to kings murdered in a war.
  • March 4, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^^Aha—so the short version is that killing off the Septim bloodline fulfilled one of several conditions necessary to summon Dagon. That's cool. And you clearly have a handle on it since the example looks good. I would suggest potholing it to Breaking Out The Boss (at least, I think that's the trope that applies to what they're trying to do). But at this point it's just gravy, the example looks good as-is.
  • March 4, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Okay, maybe I can earn a reprieve here. Let's try this one:

    Literature
    • The renegade officers from the disbanded French Foreign Legion hire an English assassin in Frederick Forsyth's The Day Of The Jackal specifically because he is known to have killed some prominent targets. Although one of these was a tin-pot dictator, he maintained a cadre of bodyguards and took many precautions against assassination. "The Jackal" nevertheless managed to waste the despot. This kingslayer reputation lets The Jackal command a half-million dollars as his fee, which the renegades pay in full.
  • March 5, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ Looks good to me.
  • March 5, 2015
    Gowan
    • At the end of Dragon Blood, Garranon kills high king Jakoven, the man who killed his father, was responsible for the soldiers who raped Garranon and his younger brother, and took the teenage Garranon as his "beloved". We never learn whether he lives it down, as all characters present when it happens concur that Jakoven needed killing.
  • March 5, 2015
    Tallens
  • March 5, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^ The first sub-bullet is basically a ZCE (Implied Trope is a method of Playing With Tropes, not context—to provide context, it needs to explain exactly how it's implied). The second sub-bullet is solid though.
  • March 5, 2015
    DAN004
    • Code Geass: Lelouch killed his father, King Charles, by geassing "god" (the name was something along "the collective subconscious", I forgot) to erase the king from existence.
  • March 5, 2015
    Tallens
    ^^Then add this: ...when he took over, given how Impa took Zelda and bolted out of Hyrule Castle with Ganondorf hot on their heels and in the future no mention is made of the king at all, only the princess.

    • Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country: The assassination of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon threatens to derail the burgeoning peace process between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. While Kirk initially takes the fall for it, Spock launches an investigation aboard the Enterprise to find the two hitmen, which he does after they've been killed to protect the rest of the conspirators.

    And another from B5:

    • President Clark and Mr. Morden both participated in the death of President Santiago, who dies when Earth Force One explodes. The proof came from a transmission that Ivanova managed to capture with the Great Machine. Only Clark is seen, commenting how he's wanted Santiago dead for a long time, but Morden's voice is heard assuring him that Earth Force One will not return and that the power is now Clark's.

  • March 5, 2015
    StarSword
    Launching this tomorrow after work. Good night.
  • March 5, 2015
    DAN004
    • In 47Ronin, during the climax battle in Lod Kira's castle, the leader of the ronins managed to defeat Lord Kira and take his head, signifying their victory.
  • March 6, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^^^ I'd call that an improvement on the Zelda example. Might tweak the grammar for clarity but the information is good.
  • March 6, 2015
    Tallens
    • Prior to the events of Diablo King Leoric was killed by his own Knights, specifically Lachdanan, when they realized the depth of his madness and that he had become a threat to his own people. It did not end there, however. After he was risen as the Skeleton King he was killed again by his own son, Prince Aidan. He rose again when the Fallen Star caused the dead to stir and this time was killed by the Nephelem, for good this time. Or so the prophecy says.
  • March 6, 2015
    SolipSchism
    Video Game:
    • Zigzagged in Tales Of Xillia. At various points in the story, the Kings of both major nations, Gaius and Nachtigal, find themselves aligned against the player, and both show up as bosses (Gaius actually ends up being the Final Boss). However, the player doesn't actually kill either of them—Nachtigal appears to be undergoing a Heel Face Turn after his boss battle, but is then assassinated by a third party. Gaius, on the other hand, does undergo a Heel-Face Turn after surviving the Final Boss Battle, and he becomes the protagonists' most influential ally in the epilogue.
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