Created By: MrThorfan64 on June 17, 2013

Caligula Nephew

Someone who is evil to their Uncle or Aunt

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I made the Uncle Claudius page as I felt one on avunculicide and evil nephews was needed. However I changed the name from Evil Nephew as I wanted to put real life examples down. Yet now I feel focusing on Uncles isn't working out and I should put the focus back to Nephews/Nieces. Should I do so and what should I call it? I am thinking of calling it Caligula Nephew, as Caligula is accused of murdering his great-uncle Tiberius and humiliating his uncle Claudius. Do you agree? Here is what I have so far.
"Caligula preserved his uncle Claudius mainly as a butt for practical jokes."
-- Life of Caligula The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius (translated by Robert Graves)

We know about the Evil Uncle. It looks like nephews in these families have a difficult time.

But don't think that uncles always have it fine. Sometimes they can be the ones who have trouble. This trope is for Uncles who get badly treated, sometimes they are the Butt-Monkey, sometimes they are subject to avunculicide, the act of killing an uncle.

This can happen when the nephew is the one who succeeds to power and the uncle is still a member of court. But his nephew may be The Caligula and treat the uncle badly.



[[folder:Mythology and Folklore]]
  • Apparently the last ruler of the Shang Dynasty, Zhou Xin, was like this. When his Uncle Prince Bi Ghan criticised him he had Bi Ghan's heart cut out as sages were supposed to have seven openings to the heart and he wanted to check this. His other Uncle Ji Zi feigned madness and was imprisoned.
  • Odin and Loki in original Norse Mythology were blood brothers, despite what is shown in Marvel Comics. One of Loki's sons, the Wolf Fenrir, would eventually devour Odin at Ragnarökkr. And for the Comic version another of Loki's sons, the Midgard Serpent Jörmungandr would eventually kill Thor, though die itself.
  • Then with King Arthur, there is his evil nephew and son Mordred, illegitimate son of Arthur's half-sister Morgause or half-sister Morgana. Mordred would kill Arthur in battle as Arthur killed him.
  • The founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, accidentally killed their grand-uncle, Amulius.

  • In Action Comics #293 Prince Endor of a planet of Sorcerers is nearly overthrown by his nephew Lord Nomed.

  • In Herodotus' Histories, Artabanus, Uncle of Xerxes (yes the one from 300) has elements of this. When he criticises his plan to invade Greece Xerxes tells him to stay at home with the women and says that if Artabanus wasn't his uncle he would suffer even more. By the next day Xerxes has reconsidered and apologises.
  • King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov has Franz intend to murder his uncle; the narrator tells us that later on he will be "guilty of worse sins than avunculicide".
  • Happens in How to Train Your Dragon with Stoick, as his nephew Snoutlout has been made Chief while he has become a slave.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • Claudius from I, Claudius inspired this page. His nephew Emperor Caligula treats him like this, among other acts. He humiliates him, forces him to be the doorman at a brothel, and has him thrown in a river. Caligula also plots the murder of Great-Uncle Tiberius, though not actually performing it. Later Agrippina, niece and wife of Claudius, poisons him so her son Nero can become Emperor. However Claudius knows she is planning to murder him, which is part of his Thanatos Gambit to restore the Republic.

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In God of War III, Kratos kills his uncles Poseidon, Helios and Hades in brutal fashion.

[[folder:Western Animation]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
  • Claudius is the Trope Namer. A description of this provides the page quote. However some of what happened may be exaggeration and gossip on the part of Suetonius.
  • In 685, Hlothhere of Kent succumbed to his wounds after his nephew Eadric of Kent led the South Saxons to take his throne.
  • In 1385, Bernabò Visconti died after his nephew Gian Galeazzo Visconti had him imprisoned and presumably poisoned.
  • In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his nephew, Faisal bin Musa'id.
  • In 2001, Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal killed his uncle Dhirendra during the Nepalese royal massacre.
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