[[quoteright:307:[[NapoleonBonaparte http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/napoleon-throne.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:307:When ruling just [[UsefulNotes/{{France}} one country]] isn't enough.]]

->''[[BadassBoast No world shall be beyond my rule. No enemy shall be beyond my wrath.]]''
-->-- '''[[MeaningfulName The Immortal God-Emperor of Mankind]]''', ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''

The ruler of an Empire, usually but not always TheEmpire. Historically, Emperors outranked Kings, so when you need an authority figure to convey the highest possible power and rank, you can't get any higher than making them The Emperor (unless you go to ThePope, or into the speculative realms of CelestialParagonsAndArchangels, DemonLordsAndArchdevils, and GalacticConqueror and at the most accepted highest tier, GodEmperor). The next steps down are GodSaveUsFromTheQueen, TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask, TheHighQueen, SheIsTheKing, TheGoodKing and PresidentEvil.

If a ruler is known as The Emperor, it's almost a sure sign that he's an EvilOverlord. Kings, Lords, and Presidents are as likely to be good as they are to be bad, but somehow The Emperor is almost always the story's heavy. This is probably for the same reasons as GoodRepublicEvilEmpire.

The Emperor is often distinct from the EvilOverlord in that he's much more likely to be the ruler of the world, or at least the ruler of the largest and most influential country in it, instead of simply being a Sauron/Kim Jong-Il PresidentEvil cackling it up over in Latveria[=/=]{{Mordor}}land. Besides being evil, you can often expect The Emperor to be the BigBad, especially if you're in a Fantasy setting. They will frequently invoke AuthorityEqualsAsskicking, which can often make them the most dangerous man on the planet.

In Western media, characters known as The Emperor will almost inevitably be EvilOverlord {{Big Bad}}s. Only in historic plotlines involving the leaders of the real-life Roman Empire will they get any sympathetic depiction at all, and even then they're usually portrayed unflatteringly. In contrast, in China and Japan Emperors actually served as legitimate rulers for most of recorded history, and thus Eastern media (particularly Chinese wuxia films, but also occasionally anime) do have the occasional non-evil Emperor. However, if the Emperor is legitimate and non-malevolent, his role in the plot is usually purely as a background character; plot-significant Emperors usually serve in the role of BigBad.

For some reason Emperors have a tendency to be {{Disc One Final Boss}}es. It is very common for a villainous version to be hyped up initially, before being superseded by TheDragon either after their defeat by the heroes or after [[TheStarscream betrayal]] from in their organization. When used like this it's often for escalation purposes, the initial Emperor is often fairly normal within the setting besides his political power and ([[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking sometimes]]) exceptional skills, where as their successor often has far more intimidating powers at their command.

'''The Emperor might be:'''
* The EvilOverlord, a very standard BigBad (often complete with SpikesOfVillainy and ShouldersOfDoom), is essentially a cliché bully who, despite having no real diplomatic or political skills, has attained his position through [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority strength or special combat skills]]; if this is seen as too oafish, a very powerful EvilSorcerer or EmperorScientist, who still lacks subtlety, will suffice. Expect him to abuse his followers, intimidate his subordinates, [[TinTyrant wear battle-armor all the time]], and be [[LargeAndInCharge built like a tank]]. The LegionsOfHell and most AlwaysChaoticEvil races are this guy's {{mooks}}. A GeneralRipper, if significantly promoted, is a more intelligent derivative of this type.
* The [[TrueFinalBoss Shadow Emperor]] is an extremely powerful form of The Emperor, who rules from [[ManBehindTheMan behind-the-scenes]] with much Machiavellian scheming, delegating much of his powers, and almost always has a [[HiddenAgendaVillain hidden agenda]]. Though they are usually not as physical as {{Blood Knight}}s like the EvilOverlord, they will probably have hidden magic or PsychicPowers. [[Franchise/StarWars Emperor Palpatine]] (who was originally President Charisma) and [[Anime/CodeGeass Charles zi Britannia]] are prime examples. Of all these types, the Shadow Emperor will be the most likely to try and obtain {{immortality}}. He's likely to be TheGhost for at least the first part of the story, usually operating through {{Mooks}} or TheDragon.
* The [[PresidentEvil President Charisma]], typically a leader of EagleLand, is a VillainWithGoodPublicity, who always puts on a good face for the public, but is probably a conniving ManipulativeBastard behind the scenes. A more [[TruthInTelevision realistic]] and politically-oriented emperor, he is often a TakeThat at the nation's current administration (or somebody else's). An EngineeredPublicConfession is one of his more common foes. Examples include most {{President Evil}}s, and virtually all fictional references to RichardNixon. The [[ComicBook/VForVendetta Norsefire]] leader attempted to be this, and most other [[AdolfHitler Hitler]] [[{{Expy}} expies]] will usually come off as one (in his own country, anyways).
* The [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Benevolent]] [[TheGoodKing Emperor]]. Usually located in East-Asia ([[FantasyCounterpartCulture or an equivalent]]), the wise king is a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin benevolent]] (if usually distant from the heroes and their struggle) leader, who sides with the heroes when he finally shows up, and acts more as a promoted spiritual guide or priest than pure authority. The few western examples will just be an expansion of the wise RoyalBlood "True King". The Emperors of ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' and ''Film/TheLastSamurai'' are prime examples. A President Charisma may be confused for this before TheReveal.
** A common derivative is a once-great benevolent Emperor who has grown senile and surrounded by corruption.
** A KnightTemplar Emperor tries to be this, but usually ends up becoming one of the above.
** Messiah-Emperors usually qualify as one of these, though like all benevolent leaders ([[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} some cases]] [[{{Dune}} in particular]]) may use heavy amounts of NecessaryEvil.
** Roughly half of the [[TheRomanEmpire Roman Emperors]] depicted in fiction will be of this sort. The other half will be [[TheCaligula Caligulae]] to a man.

This trope isn't necessarily related to GodEmperor, but it may be.

See also JustTheFirstCitizen. DoNotConfuseWith the BlackMetal band Music/{{Emperor}}.

Of course, just because the trope is titled "The '''Emperor'''" doesn't preclude the existence of actual '''[[DistaffCounterpart Empresses]]''', as some of the examples in both fiction and RealLife illustrate. An Empress is likely to be depicted more sympathetically than an Emperor, often incorporating elements of TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask (if mature) or the less-frivolous Princess tropes (if youthful).
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has Yhwach, the King of the Quincies and the Emperor of the Wandenreich, as the BigBad of the final arc. He's a hands-on military leader, not the "isolated on the golden throne" type, so he's got the BadBoss and AxCrazy evil emperor traits in spades.
* Souther from ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' follows the EvilOverlord template to a tee. He calls himself the "Saint Emperor" and has his minions kidnap children to use as slave labor in the construction of a giant pyramid dedicated to his dead master, and he is one of the few villains in the series to hand Kenshiro an outright defeat.
* The BigBad Emperor Charles zi Britannia in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' presides over a WorldHalfEmpty, and does everything in his power to keep it that way. [[spoiler:This appearance is actually a front for his plans to cause {{instrumentality}}]].
* The BigBad of ''Vision of Escaflowne'' is the Zaibach Empire's Emperor Dornkirk, [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy who is actually Sir Isaac Newton]], and is currently a 200-year-old man inside a pickle jar with a telescope attached.
* ''SamuraiSeven'' has the unnamed Emperor who kidnaps women from peasant villages and implants clones of himself within them to create a perfect line of successors. He apparently had a lot of such clones: [[spoiler:Ukyo, the series' true BigBad, is revealed to be his 49th clone. He promptly kills the old Emperor and takes his throne for the purpose of world domination.]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'', Ken's villain persona "the Digimon Emperor" fits this trope as well as his name would suggest. A whip-wielding EvilOverlord with a Floating Base of Doom and a costume which includes gold shoulder pads and a cape, his goal is to enslave all Digimon and take over their world. All at the tender age of eleven, too.
* Azusa Masaki Jurai, the Juraian Emperor in ''TenchiMuyo'', is an interesting case. In the anime he is somewhat of a jerk, [[AllThereInTheManual but actually]] leans to the Benevolent Emperor category, and is a kind of [[TheDitz a ditz]], easily controlled by his mother-in-law, for whom he still keeps an immense crush, despite being HappilyMarried (twice). You see, [[RoyallyScrewedUp Juraian royalty]] are indeed one BigScrewedUpFamily.
** His mother-in-law can control him '''''more''''' than because he has a crush on her. She's one of the most dangerous people in the universe to anyone: to her enemies because she is an expert tactician and leader; to her allies because she loves to use them for humor, often causing sheer chaos.
* Shi Ryuuki from ''SaiunkokuMonogatari'' is a rare benevolent emperor and a main character of his show.
* Emperor Hotohori or Saihitei from ''FushigiYuugi'' is another example of a [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Benevolent Emperor]] who genuinely cares and works for the improvement of his nation. [[spoiler:When he first visited Tamahome's house, he was surprised by the poverty he found there and is seen making a mental resolution to do something about the problem, although Tamahome was his rival in love.]] He also went to war for his country and [[spoiler: died fighting.]]
** Later, we meet [[spoiler: Hotohori's son and sucessor, [[AChildShallLeadThem little]] Boushin alias Emperor Reiteizei.]] With the help of [[spoiler: his kind mother, Empress Dowager Houki]], he's shaping into a ReasonableAuthorityFigure, and he gains a CrowningMomentOfAwesome via [[spoiler: telling [[JerkAss Mayo]] to shut up and [[MaliciousSlander stop lying]] about Miaka.]]
* ''{{Grenadier}}'' gives us a benevolent Empress, [[spoiler:though she is imprisoned and impersonated by her identical (villainous) bodyguard for the most of the story, so her ''other'' identical bodyguard has to free her]].
* ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'' has the Humankind Empire Abh as it's series focus and at the top is none other than Empress Ramaj. A relatively benevolent figure considering she responded to provocation by plunging half of humanity into war with the other half.
* TheEmpire in ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' is, naturally, ruled by The Emperor, an inherited title of the ruling Goldenbaum family, whose dynasty has continued unbroken since the Empire's foundation. The emperor at the beginning of the series is Friedrich IV, an old peaceful man who never aspired to the throne due to [[SpareToTheThrone being far down on the list of claimants in his youth]]. He's uninterested in ruling or the ongoing war with TheFederation and content with living in peace and enjoying the finer things in life, like his private rose garden, and lets his chief of staff and admirals run things. He's consequently quite impotent as an actual ruler, but reasonable and harmless and quite fond of main character Reinhart von Lohengramm.
** [[spoiler:His natural death of old age one third through the series kicks off an imperial civil war between the old noble houses who seek to keep the status quo, and a reformist faction of the military and lesser houses led by Reinhard. Reinhard wins a crushing victory and takes effective control of the empire, eventually disposing of the Goldenbaum dynasty nonviolently and establishing the Lohengramm dynasty in its stead. Reinhard becomes a reformer and rules as an enlightened and quite benevolent emperor, though he thinks nothing of using his imperial authority to force reforms through.]]
* Emperor Ganishka of ''{{Berserk}}''.
* And here's a fascinating absence. Japan, home of anime, is ruled by an emperor. Yet in any anime set in the "real" Japan, modern, historical, or future, the actual emperor of Japan '''''never''''' makes an appearance. Ever. Go on, try to think of any remotely successful anime where a real Emperor of Japan has so much as a cameo.
** It should probably be pointed out, though, that for much of its history, the Emperor of Japan had very little concrete power. For many centuries, Japan was ruled by the Shoguns, and nowadays the country is ruled by the democratically elected government led by the Prime Minister. The most well known period when the emperor directly ruled the country is known as ImperialJapan (from the Meiji Restoration to WWII).
* ''OnePiece'' has the Four Emperors (Yonko), the four most powerful pirates in the world, and the rulers of the New World. Currently among them is Shanks, generally the nicest one and MainCharacter Luffy's childhood idol, Big Mom, a woman who doesn't give a damn about anything except her candy, [[spoiler:Blackbeard, major contender for overall series BigBad]], and Kaido, who is the closest to the actual trope in terms of being an EvilOverlord, despite not having made an official appearance yet. Former includes [[spoiler:Whitebeard, the WorldsStrongestMan, who died at the Paramount War]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Ming the Merciless of ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'', Emperor of Planet Mongo. Decadently evil, magical powers (in some adaptations), the works.
* ''StarWarsLegacy'' is a comic that takes place a [[TimeSkip hundred and thirty years]] after the movies. The Sith are all over the place, the Empire is back in power, there is an Emperor - but the Sith and the Empire aren't on the same side. Emperor Fel (confirmed as the descendant of [[AcePilot Soontir Fel]] and the sister of [[ImprobablePilotingSkills Wedge Antilles]], possibly also Leia and Han) isn't quite evil, though in [[DarkerAndEdgier that setting]] there's not a whole lot of difference.
** BigBad Darth Krayt ''also'' uses the title Emperor (of the Sith and Sith-aligned Imperials). So the series has ''two'' emperors, one unambigiously evil, and the other ruthless but well-meaning. In fact, Roan Fel's empire not only lets women and aliens serve as stormtroopers, but also has more reasonable economic solutions and foreign policy. The remnants of Fel's empire even join the Jedi to fight Krayt's resurgent Sith.
* Tsar Vladimir the Conqueror in ''NikolaiDante'' is somewhere between the evil overlord and shadow emperor.
* ''{{Fables}}'' seems to have been written by someone taking notes from this page. The Emperor: Spikes of evil and shoulders of doom, check. NighInvulnerable in battle, check. Built like a tank, check. (He's maybe 30-50 feet tall.) Abuses and executes subjects, check. Secretly controlled by an unassuming ordinary man hiding in the shadows, check.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* Emperor Vakudos from ''[[http://alaxr274.deviantart.com/gallery/37280372 Hottie 3: The Best Fan Fic in the World]]'', later his daughter "Princess Lotora" becomes empress.
** In the SpinOff, [[http://fanfiction.wikia.com/wiki/Hottie_x_Supetastic_6:_March_Madness Hottie x Supetastic 6: March Madness]], Princess Jody declares herself Crowned Princess and Empress after converting the Anti-Monitor's body (from GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries) into her new throne.
* ''FanFic/MyHostageNotYours'': After Zim conquers the Earth, he declares himself Emperor. Despite that, he's still subservient to the Tallest, the true rulers of the Irken Empire.
* The BigBad of ''FanFic/LegendsOfEquestria'' is a being known only as The Emperor, leader of a race of highly advanced reptilian beings and ruler of a world-wide empire of which Equestria is merely "a speck".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The Chinese Emperor in ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' is depicted as noble and wise, even grandfatherly.
* Lord Shen from ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'', who is the tyrannical peacock ruler of China who actually wants to threaten his subjects with a barrage of cannons and destroy kung fu.
* Emperor Kuzco, the antihero of ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'', is a rare example of an Emperor who is neither old, evil, powerful, or particularly impressive at all. At the end, after he's [[AnAesop learned his lesson]], he starts edging into Benevolent Emperor territory.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Emperor Palpatine of ''Franchise/StarWars'' is probably the archetypical example, being an EvilOverlord, the series' main BigBad, and an incredibly powerful Sith Lord famous for blasting people with lightning.
* ''[[TheMummyTrilogy The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor]]'' features the Emperor of China (who knows Kung Fu and has superpowers) as the main villain.
* In ''Film/{{Hero}}'', the Emperor of China fills an ambivalently antagonistic role. The heroes of the story want to kill him due to the losses they suffered in his war to unify the five kingdoms into a single country (they were from the four losing kingdoms), but ultimately the main character decides to spare the Emperor's life since unifying the kingdoms is the only way to stop them from constantly fighting each other and thus bring peace. Regardless, midway through the film a failed assassination fight scene shows the Emperor is perfectly capable of matching a master swordsman blow-for-blow.
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' shows Marcus Aurelius as a Benevolent Emperor, and his son [[KlingonPromotion and successor]] Commodus, [[TheCaligula not so benevolent]].
* The Emperor of the Galaxy from ''{{Starcrash}}''. An interesting subversion is that the Emperor is one of the Good Guys.
* Emperor Hirohito is the namesake of ''Film/{{Emperor}}''. As portrayed near the end, [[spoiler: he's actually really awesome!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Anaander Mianaai from ''Literature/AncillaryJustice''. He's not ''evil'', exactly, but he does oversee the aggressive militaristic expansion of his multi-system [[TheEmpire empire]] to create a buffer zone for the [[BigDumbObject Dyson's Sphere]] at its center and he has no problem with turning people into meat puppets for his ships' AIs. Oh, and he oversees everything personally by using [[HiveMind thousands of linked identical clone bodies]] and [[BodyBackupDrive has been alive for a few thousands years]].
* Emperor Jagang is a ''communist'' EvilOverlord and the BigBad of the ''SwordOfTruth'' series, especially the later books in the series. [[TheProtagonist Protagonist]] Richard Rahl also rules an Empire, although he doesn't use the title himself.
* In ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia'', Aslan's father was known as the [[{{God}} Emperor-Across-the-Sea]]. Also, when the Pevensie children are made rulers of Narnia, one of Peter's titles as High King is ''Emperor of the Lone Islands''.
* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' (and [[Film/TheNeverendingStory the films based on the same]]) featured the benevolent Childlike ''Empress''.
* Leto Atriedes II, the God Emperor of ''{{Dune}}''. And before him, his father Paul who usurped the position from Shaddam Corrino IV.
** All Padishah-Emperors and Paul and Leto II can be traced back to the ruling dynasty of the Old Empire. The Corrino line was founded by Faykan Butler (who took the name Faykan Corrino at crowning) and his wife, who is descended from the Old Emperors. Paul Atreides also has Corrino lineage through his grandmother Helena.
* Emperor Gregor Vorbarra of the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' matures over the series into a noble, good-hearted, and just ruler. If you didn't frequently get to see him in non-Emperor mode he'd be too good to be true. Contrasted (sort of) with Emperor the haut Fletchir Giaja of Cetaganda, who isn't precisely ''evil'' per se, but is definitely not someone you'd trust further than you could comfortably spit a dead rat.
** Contrasted much more directly with his grandfather, the late Emperor Ezar Vorbarra, who was such a scheming bastard that he died praying there was no such thing as an afterlife, because he knew the kind of welcome he'd get if there actually was one. But all his [[{{Chessmaster}} machinations]] ended up getting [[TheKingdom Barrayar]] more or less on the right track, as well as putting grandson [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Gregor]] on the throne as opposed to his son [[TheEvilPrince Prince]] [[TheCaligula Serg]], so it was definitely a case of [[IDidWhatIHadToDo doing what he had to do]].
** All of the above are much better than [[TheCaligula Emperor Yuri]], who appears in such backstory references as "Yuri's massacre", "Yuri Vorbarra's Defenestration of the Privy Council", and "the Dismemberment of Mad Emperor Yuri".
* In David Wingrove's ''Literature/ChungKuo'' series, each of the Seven T'ang, or kings, rules a part of the world-city Chung Kuo, and together they exercise a sort of collegial emperorship.
* Emperor Mage Ozorne of the ''Literature/TheImmortals'' series by Creator/TamoraPierce. He's power-hungry, narcissistic, and vengeful, ending up as the BigBad of the next book too. His nephew, Kaddar, who takes the throne after him, is a much nicer person who actually cares about ruling the country properly.
* Two examples in the third series of Pierce's ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' books.
** Empress Berenene of Namorn, who makes no bones about enjoying sport and the company of handsome young men, but is also an extremely skilled politician and ruler who has the love (and fear) of her courtiers and no intention of having her wishes subverted. The whole book is titled ''The Will of the Empress''. She's based on Catherine the Great of Russia, which Namorn is a FantasyCounterpartCulture of.
** Emperor Weishu of Yanjing is emperor of Circleverse China, more militant and capricious than Berenene. He likes to flaunt his ''considerable'' power, deals [[YouHaveFailedMe lethal punishment]] for the tiniest mistakes, and wants to conquer Gyongxe to increase his standing.
* In David Eddings' ''{{Literature/Belgariad}}'', Emperor Zakath of Mallorea is depicted as being effective, ruthless and icily insane. In the Malloreon [[spoiler:his insanity is revealed to be a major plot point and we get to know all the whats and whys and he becomes a full fledged member of the good side.]]
* David Eddings likes this trope. In ''[[TheElenium the Tamuli]]'', Emperor Sarabian is personally charming, intelligent and one of the few people at court who isn't corrupt. Bizarrely, [[spoiler:his eventual coup which overthrows the quasi-democratic government and institutes an absolute monarchy under martial law is something of a CrowningMomentOfAwesome]].
* In Creator/NickPerumov's ''Literature/DiamondSwordWoodenSword'', we have a '''good''' emperor, fighting against the [[TheMagocracy evil Magocracy]], which turns out not so evil (and by fighting them he [[NiceJobBreakingItHero actually helps the true baddies]], though he understands this in time to help ruin their plans). He is ruthless enough (when needed), however, to be a realistic emperor portrayal.
* In the ''{{Sten}}'' series (Bunch, C and Cole, A), the Immortal Emperor starts out as a pretty nice guy, devoted to ''laissez-faire'' capitalism, and long-forgotten recipes and skills, who only sends in the troops when the realm is genuinely threatened with instability. It helps that he has a nigh-unbreakable monopoly on [=AM2=], the fuel that the Empire runs on, and it is worth noting that someone developing/finding another source of [=AM2=] counts as a threat of destabilising the Empire. [[spoiler:And then a ''successful'' assassination attempt and a random bit of meteor damage to his Resurrection Ship turn him into a megalomaniacal despot who is not only ridiculously tyrannical, but no longer capable of supplying [=AM2=] and, more importantly, ''no longer immortal'']].
* In ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'', there are the good ''and'' the bad kind, Charlemagne and Baligant. Naturally, they end up in a personal life-and-death clash of civilizations.
* Emperor Titus from the two ''Literature/DarkLordOfDerkholm'' books by Diana Wynn Jones is a case of a benevolent emperor being surrounded by corruption. He was shown in a very positive light, in sharp contrast to the corrupt politicians of the senate trying to undermine his authority and kill his sister for being of marsh-woman blood.
* Emperor Mornhaven of the ''GreenRider'' series. He's the heir to the Emperire of Arcosia, although after sailing to Sacoridia and losing contact with the Empire he declares himself Emperor of a new empire, Mornhavia.
* Empress Lionstone XIV of the early ''Literature/{{Deathstalker}}'' series was the original BigBad and after her death she stayed a boogey-man. Not even [[EldritchAbomination the Recreated]] could truly supplant her.
* In ''TheWheelOfTime'', Empress Radhanan of the Seanchan Empire is only known by name in the books, and is later [[spoiler:succeeded by her daughter, Tuon, who becomes Empress Fortuona.]] Whilst the Seanchan are antagonists, they are not evil (excepting the slave trade), just very different.
* King Gorice of Witchland in E. R. Eddison's ''Literature/TheWormOuroboros'', EvilOverlord and BigBad of the book.
* [[GodEmperor The Lord Ruler]] in ''{{Mistborn}}'' is somewhere between the EvilOverlord and Shadow Emperor types [[spoiler: until he's killed off. In the last book [[BadassBookworm Elend]] becomes Emperor, and though he tries his hardest to be a Benevolent Emperor he's very worried about following in the Lord Ruler's footseps]].
* Several of the characters in the Literature/BelisariusSeries are Emperors(or some sort of equivalent title) which makes sense as it is about an epic war between Empires. The Malwan Emperor(before being overthrown that is) is Evil and the rest are to a greater or lesser degree ReasonableAuthorityFigure s.
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': The first one is Gothon, emperor of Baalaria, who expands his domain by swallowing those of others. [[spoiler: The second is Taurok, who succeeds Gothon. Rana elavates from Princess to Empress by marrying him.]]
* In ''The Psalms of Isaak'', [[spoiler: Ahm Y'Zir]] is a Shadow Emperor; the founder and ruler of TheEmpire of Y'Zir (which reveres him as a living god), he's a hideous cyborg kept alive by a combination of LostTechnology and BloodMagic. Exactly how much direct power he has remains unclear (Regent Eliz Xhum handles the day-to-day running of things and [[spoiler: Ahm's daughter]] the [[DarkMessiah Crimson Empress]] is being groomed to take the throne once she comes of age), even his physical location remains hidden, and the processes which keep him alive have left him ''quite'' [[TheCaligula insane]], but it's made clear that the Empire marches to the design he set for it two thousand years ago, and he still has hold of his ancestor's spellbook and with it enough power to pop into his enemies' dreams and threaten them.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the Targaryen dynasty conquered all of the kingdoms on the continent of Westeros, making them effectively emperors, but they never actually use the term. Instead, they use the somewhat confusing term King of the Seven Kingdoms.
* In ''TheWitcher''-saga Emperor Emhyr var Emreis of the brutal and expansionist Nilfgaard Empire, also known as the White Flame Who Dances Upon the Barrows of His Foes, is a major antagonist in the main storyline, but develops into a more well-rounded character than his EvilOverlord reputation might suggest. He's still an amoral tyrant, but not entirely without sympathetic goals or standards.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The Dalek Emperors from ''Series/DoctorWho''. [[EmperorScientist Davros]], their Kaled creator, held the title of Dalek Emperor for some time, sparking a civil war between Imperial (Davros) and Renegade factions. The most recent one showed up at the end of the 2005 series, having narrowly survived the Time War and developed a [[AGodAmI god complex]] after saving its followers from extinction.
** The Draconian Emperor from "Frontier in Space" is a ReasonableAuthorityFigure who doesn't favour war with Earth. The Doctor was apparently on good terms with the 15th Emperor for saving the Draconians from a plague and was made a nobleman.
* ''Series/IClaudius'', across its truly epic span, takes in [[BrianBlessed Augustus]] (who only avoids looking evil by comparison to what comes after him), his scheming MagnificentBastard of a wife [[TheManBehindTheMan Livia]], her son Tiberius (a colossal pervert and largely useless as a ruler), the original [[TheCaligula Caligula]] (for more detail, consult his page), Claudius (unwillingly thrust onto the throne, but proves rather good at it - except for his complete blindness to the machinations of his ''own'' scheming third wife), and, in its last moments, Nero. Anyone who comes away from a complete viewing without at least ''some'' republican (in the original sense) sentiment brewing in their breast should be barred from ever holding any kind of political office.
* The emperor of the Centauri Republic in ''Series/BabylonFive'' was a rather benevolent ruler at the start of the series, even apologizing to the Narn for his predecessor's atrocities. Unfortunately he died early in the second season and was replaced by [[TheCaligula Cartagia]], [[spoiler: who was assassinated by Vir Cotto and Londo Mollari and succeeded by Londo who was in turn succeeded by Vir]].
* [[PowerRangers Lord Zedd]], [[UnholyMatrimony with]] Rita Repulsa as his Empress.
* The Goa'uld in ''Series/StargateSG1'' were divided between a number of {{Evil Overlord}}s with [[AGodAmI claims to godhood]], but several aspired to control over the entire Goa'uld domain. Ra of the first movie was retconned to have been a symbolic Emperor who maintained the fiction of unity, with subsequent infighting breaking out among the other System Lords [[EvilPowerVacuum over his succession]]. Several come close, but Ba'al is the only one to outright claim to be the 'Sovereign of the Goa'uld Domain' in his near-victory.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has Karl Franz of TheEmpire, one of the few benevolent figures in the setting, a savvy ruler, and a military genius who leads from the back of his griffon while wielding the titular [[DropTheHammer warhammer]]. Other emperor figures include Lord Settra The Imperishable of Khemri, who is able to boss around the ''other'' [[{{Mummy}} Tomb Kings]], and the dragon-riding Witch King Malekith of the Dark Elves, who is a real [[ParentalIncest momma's boy]].
* One of the major figures in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep is known only as]] [[GodEmperor The God-Emperor]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin of Mankind]]. An incredibly powerful psychic genius, he guided humanity as a Shadow Emperor before launching the Great Crusade to reunite mankind in an enlightened, secular galactic empire. But the HorusHeresy wrecked all that, so the Emperor has spent the last ten thousand years stuck on a [[PoweredByAForsakenChild soul-eating]] life support system that powers the psychic lighthouse necessary for interstellar travel, while his [[TheEmpire Imperium]] has devolved into a totalitarian VestigialEmpire that praises him as its god even while jumping over the MoralEventHorizon in His name.
** The fluff suggests that the modern Imperium's worst actions are misinterpretations of the Emperor's original intent, but the more we learn about the guy in the HorusHeresy series, the more morally ambiguous he comes across as. He definitely wanted the best for humanity, but to that end he [[FlatEarthAtheist ruthlessly suppressed religion]] in an attempt to [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly starve the Chaos Gods]], and while not as xenocidal as the modern Imperium, still offered human colonies influenced by alien civilizations a choice between forsaking their old ways and annihilation. His intelligence and psyker powers led him to claim an OmniscientMoralityLicense, but he made some catastrophically poor decisions leading up to the HorusHeresy, and was a terrible parent to his clone-sons. All in all, the Emperor wavers between the MessianicArchetype and a WellIntentionedExtremist.
* The Scarlet Empress in ''{{Exalted}}'' cultivates an appearance of moral ambivalence: while responsible for saving the world, and running one of the most stable nations she also ruthlessly pursued war, and deliberately made her government so that it would fall apart with out her and raised her children to fight among themselves for her favor. In ''actuality'', she originally gained control of the Imperial Defense Grid via human sacrifice, and just recently sacrificed her youngest daughter (just 12 years old!) to one of the rulers of Hell in a failed attempt to gain immortality...and at least in the first case, [[IDidWhatIHadToDo saved Creation by doing so]]. The setting goes out of its way to make the Empress' morality as grey as possible.
* Empress Kiova in ''TabletopGame/{{Heroscape}}'' started out evil, but turned good. Also, oddly enough, her husband bears the title of "General."
* ''LegendOfTheFiveRings'' has had several emperors over three dynasties. As the game is based on East Asian myths, the emperors are usually the benevolent variety, but at least one was the EvilOverlord variety, and another was a mix of that and the Shadow Emperor style after a DemonicPossession.
* Emperor Strephon in the ''{{Traveller}}'' default time of the GURPS version is a ReasonableAuthorityFigure.
* Queen Abrogail II of Cheliax in ''TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}''. Though she doesn't bear the title of empress, she still rules over not just Cheliax but also the neighboring lands of Nidal and Isger, who follow her edicts through puppet governments.
** On the other hand, the only character in the Inner Sea region who actually calls himself an emperor (among other titles) is Grand Prince Stavian III of the Empire of Taldor--a small, sniveling little man too small for his imperial crown who can barely keep his shambled empire together. He claims rulership over all of Taldor's former holdings, including Cheliax, but has no power to actually enforce his rule. He barely does anything as emperor, leaving the actual rule of Taldor to the empire's overburdened and inefficient bureaucracy.
* First the Giovanni dinasty and later the Barbados dinasty in ''TableTopGames/AnimaBeyondFantasy''. Not only Emperors (Empress in the case of the current one), but also the head of the [[CrystalDragonJesus Church of Abel]].
* The Emperors of the Third Imperium in ''TableTopGames/{{Traveller}}''. For the most part they [[UnreliableNarrator are presented by canon]] as [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Reasonable Authority Figures]].
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'': In last days of the Terran Hegemony, Stefan Amaris assassinated the young First Lord Richard Cameron, and the rest of the Cameron line, and took over the Hegemony, he stamped out rebellion with nukes, and executed anyone who failed him the slightest. In the end Aleksandr Kerensky and the SLDF captured him and was executed by the Star League. Even today Amaris remembered as the most sinister man in the Inner Sphere.
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[[folder:Troper Works]]
* ''Literature/{{Eclipse}}'' has Auerbach, the Emperor of Apocesis - essentially a "domestication" center for Ghouls (demons that are not sufficiently human-looking). He runs it like an officer in a concentration camp and acts in a manner very similar to a TortureTechnician.

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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' was the first {{JRPG}} to play with this trope in detail, though it's since become genre standard fare. Emperor Mateus starts out as a typical Big Bad who commands [[TheLegionsOfHell monsters from hell]] and wants to [[TakeOverTheWorld conquer the world]], well, just because. Then the heroes kill him, which has [[NiceJobBreakingItHero unforeseen]] [[FromBadToWorse consequences]]: [[spoiler: his spirit goes to Hell, takes over, and comes back stronger than before.]] The GBA remake adds a sidestory where we learn that [[spoiler:his soul was actually split in half at death, and his 'good' side has not only gone to Heaven, but taken over ''there'' as well.]] Light Is Not Good, indeed.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' likewise features TheEmpire as the main enemy, led by Emperor Gestahl. Until one of his lieutenants, Kefka Palazzo, already a messed-up-in-the-head PsychoForHire, decides to go OmnicidalManiac...
* Ganondorf from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series is arguably this, considering that he repeatedly is shown as ruler of the whole Dark World, a shadow mirror of the game's world.
** He would become one whenever he takes over Hyrule on top of whatever dark realm he had control of at the beginning of the game, otherwise, he's referred to as "The King of Evil" (or "Thieves", before the evil).
* ''SuikodenI'' features the Scarlet Moon Emperor as the BigBad and FinalBoss, although the ''real'' villain is [[TheManBehindTheMan the (Wo)man Behind the Man]], Lady Windy.
* ''BreathOfFire I'' features as antagonists the Dark Dragons, who are led by Emperor Zog (who, oddly, is the only Dark Dragon who is actually, you know, a dragon. All the other Dark Dragons are insectile monster thingys). Furthermore, while Zog is the Emperor, the Dark Dragons' organization never seems to be referred to as an Empire.
** ''Breath of Fire IV'' features Fou Lu, the founder and first emperor of the Fou Empire, being persecuted by the very empire he founded under the orders of incumbent Emperor Soniel.
* In ''NinjaGaiden'', the enemies are all members of the demonic Vigoor Empire, and naturally the game's BigBad is a superdemon known only as the Vigoor Emperor.
* ''JadeEmpire'' features the Emperor as the BigBad. He's also a kungfu-fighting undead ghost... thingy...
** After he's dead, TheStarscream claims the throne and takes over as the BigBad. On the other hand, the Open Palm ending has the first Emperor's daughter ascending to the throne, and the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue says she's a good leader.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series features the rare Western example of a benevolent (albeit Roman-like) Emperor, who also happens to be 1) your boss in all but one of the games (in some way or another), and 2) PatrickStewart.
** He does fulfil the Shadow Emperor role in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' though, albeit in a non-evil capacity.
** Also, he's kind of the exception in-Universe too. The original Tiber Septim was (usually) nice enough, [[BerserkButton just so long as you didn't threaten his legacy, like Barenziah.]]
** In the backstory of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', Titus Mede II was responsible for both leading the Empire to victory against the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]] and signing the highly controversial White-Gold Concordat, a treaty that bans the worship of Talos throughout the Empire (though it is heavily hinted to be a purely political move to buy the Legion time to prepare for the inevitable next war with the Thalmor). In the game, the player only meets him [[spoiler:at the end of the Dark Brotherhood questline, where he's your target.]] He comes off as a surprisingly personable individual and remarkably calm for a man [[spoiler:facing his killer.]] When you take into consideration all the things he has done up until your meeting, the worst thing that can be said about him is that his successes are overshadowed by his failures.
* An alien Emperor is the BigBad and final boss of ''MDK 2''. He's so big that part of the fight involves him eating you, and you fighting his internal organs.
* Emperor Percival Tachyon, the BigBad of ''RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction''. "Emperor" is likely a self-imposed title, but he has conquered a galaxy, so not many folk are in a position to object.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has Emperor Peony IX, a Benevolent Emperor -- this is the man that commissions battle costumes for the party and goes incognito to fight crime. Despite his goofy tendencies and extreme informality, he's the most reliable ReasonableAuthorityFigure in the game.
* Since ''{{Avernum}}'' features TheEmpire, it makes sense that it features emperors as well. Emperor Hawthorne was a BigBad in ''Avernum 1''. After your adventuring party assassinates him, Empress Prazac takes charge and is definitely benevolent. She gets assassinated in turn at the start of ''Avernum 5'' and the choices your adventuring party makes decides who becomes the next emperor.
* The Emperor of Cantha in ''GuildWars'' is shown to be a decent and well-meaning man, but one who's hopelessly out of touch with the people he rules.
* One player in each galaxy plays the emperor in ''ImperiumNova''. Because an actual player plays the emperor, the style of rulership in the game is quite varied. Every one of them is inevitably labeled an EvilOverlord by his or her opponents.
* Emperor Solarius of ''OverlordII'' is of the Shadow Emperor variety, having risen from power by taking advantage of the people's fear of magic due to the plague [[spoiler:which he himself unintentionally caused]] by presenting himself as something of a DarkMessiah out to exterminate magical beings. He's never seen personally addressing his people, a duty he leaves for his ProfessionalButtKisser Marius and constantly hides behind a mask to hid the fact that [[spoiler:he's an Elf]]. His true plan however is to [[spoiler:collect all the magic from the lands to prepare for his [[AGodAmI ascension to Godhood]].]]
* Emperor Geldoblame of ''BatenKaitos'' is an obvious EvilOverlord. He eventually [[spoiler:gets deceived and betrayed by [[TheManBehindTheMan Melodia]]]], but that's not to say he didn't have it coming.99
* The Emperor is the BigBad in ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', sending out his [[CoDragons Dragons]] to undo seals on the [[McGuffin Mana Seeds]] in order to unleash a ForgottenSuperWeapon in order to rule the world! [[spoiler:But gets taken out by the ManBehindTheMan Thanatos, who wishes to destroy it.]]
* The usual BigBad of ''MortalKombat'', Shao Kahn. In storyline, Onaga came before him, though.
* ''CommandAndConquer: RedAlert3'' has [[GeorgeTakei Emperor Yoshiro]], who also believes in AuthorityEqualsAsskicking.
* Emperor Strada from ''AsurasWrath'', a rare good guy example. [[spoiler: He gets killed off by Lord Deus in the second episode of the game]]
* ''StarCraft'' when Mengsk overthrew the Confederacy, he immediately makes himself as the Emperor of the new [[TheEmpire Terran Dominion]].
* In a figurative sense we have ''Franchsie/StreetFighter''[='s=] Sagat, whose RedBaron title is "Emperor of Muay Thai". He has no political power, but '''is''' one of the most {{badass}} fighters in the whole series. (Plus he was a high-ranked member of the Shadaloo organization, but ultimately left them.)
** In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'', the BigBad Gill can be seen as the emperor of his {{cult}}, which may be a PathOfInspiration.
* Out of all the rulers seen in ''FireEmblem'', the ones that hold the Emperor/Empress title are few:
** ''FireEmblemAkaneia'': [[spoiler: Hardin]];
** ''FireEmblemJugdral'': Second Generation's [[spoiler:Arvis, formerly the Duke of Velthomer, who becomes Emperor after marrying the Princess of Grannvale (Dierdre) and unifying a good part of the continent under his leadership... which later turns into a tyrannical reign under the indluence of the Lopto Sect]]. Also, [[spoiler: Seliph at the end of the game (who ironically is the son of Dierdre with another man, [[TragicHero Sigurd]]. It's... a long story.)]].
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'': "Silent Emperor" Vigarde of Grado. Before the main game, Grado was a rare example of a ''good'' [[TheEmpire Empire]], with Emperor Vigarde spending a large chunk of his day listening to the needs of his people and his son Prince Lyon being a kind-hearted [[spoiler: (if [[EvilIsNotAToy slightly]] [[ArtifactOfDoom misguided]])]] soul who truly wished to use his knowledge of DarkMagic to aid his people and the world at large.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'': Sanaki, Empress of Begnion. [[spoiler: Though technically speaking, the true Empress should be her long-lost older sister, [[RagsToRoyalty Micaiah]]. Sanaki remains as Empress, however, whereas Micaiah becomes the Queen of Daein instead.]]
* While his official title is merely "Demon King", [[BigBad Bowser]] of the Franchise/SuperMarioBros series fits this trope, as he has a massive empire that he plans to expand, sometimes [[AGodAmI across the entire universe]]. He even has countless Kings as mere [[KingMook high-ranking minions]] of his.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyDimensions'', the Emperor of Avalon [[spoiler:also known as Elgo]] looks like an EvilOverlord TinTyrant type [[spoiler:at least his empty suit of armor does]] but he's actually a Shadow Emperor scheming to obtain eternal life and power from the Crystals. He's such a serious threat that the Crystals split the world into two dimensions just to get away from him. [[spoiler:He "aids" the Warriors of Light and Darkness so he can [[MacguffinDeliveryService personally rip the Crystals' power out of them.]]]]
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' Princess Voluptua's dad is the Emperor of the local space empire (which includes Earth, though humanity is unaware of it). She clearly has some issues with him, as do his subjects the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons of planet Butane]], but there have been no indications that he is actually evil.
* ''Webcomic/{{Drive}}'': The current Emperor killed his uncle for the position, and framed one of the protagonists. He fits the President Charisma description above.
* KarateBears have [[http://www.karatebears.com/2011/05/empire.html a very SMALL empire.]]
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', Takeshi Ofuchi is the Emperor of Yamato at the beginning of the Unification of Yamato arc in the Third Age. He's very much a selfish tyrant and a SorcerousOverlord, but he's eventually betrayed by one of his trusted generals, Shogun Masamori Hyuga, who assassinates him and takes his place as the leader of Yamato (albeit Masamori never crowns himself emperor and instead keeps using the title shogun).
* The cleric Asher Walters becomes a literal Messiah-Emperor at the end of [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7153098/1/The_Chronicles_of_Utopia The Chronicles of Utopia]]. After resurrecting an army of warriors that had been forced into serving a lich, he carves out an Empire for himself by deposing the Mad Overking Ivid and taking over his lands, turning it into a bastion of reason and enlightenment in [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7893756/1/The_Chronicles_of_Utopia_Volume_II The Chronicles of Utopia Volume II]].
* In ''ImperiumNova'' each galaxy has an Emperor, initially the first player on the server but later the senate or the GM can install a new imperial house. Depending on the galaxy and the current RP the emperor may be an all-powerful overlord or an ignored figurehead.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. When the BigBad, Fire Nation's Fire Lord Ozai decides to promote himself to ruler of the entire world, the title he comes up with is simply "Phoenix King", even though there is already an "Earth King" (and several lesser Earth Kingdom Kings, like King Bumi). This was probably done because "Phoenix Emperor" is way too many syllables to be practical.
* In ''{{Transformers}}'', the Decepticon leader commonly carries the title of Emperor of Destruction.
* ''TheFairlyOddParents'': Tired of being ignored by her husband and her son, the Queen of Yugopotamia used Baby Poof's scary (by Yugopotamian standards) cuteness to rule through him, passing baby Poof as Emperor.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Western tradition of this trope can be traced back to [[TheRomanEmpire the Emperors of Rome]], who during their reigns ruled one of the greatest empires in the world. Rulers from earlier eras ({{Alexander the Great}}, the High Kings of Persia) had a similar level of power and authority, but the title of Emperor originated with [[EmperorAugustus Caesar Augustus]] from ''Imperator'', or "commander", as Rome had historical reasons to oppose anyone who claimed the title of King.[[note]]Augustus didn't invent the term; it had already used for some time for successful military commanders - notably, it could not be bestowed by authority, only proclaimed by a general's own soldiers - and was considered one of the highest honours in republican society. In that respect, Augustus was simply the latest of many ''imperatores''. Even he himself didn't personally attach the current sense to it, since he always claimed to be JustTheFirstCitizen, preferring the less formal title of "''princeps''" (itself a contraction of "Primus Inter Pares" which translates as "First Among Equals" and is the root of the word "Prince") or "chief" if he had to be singled out for special status. Nevertheless, it was thanks to Augusts and the tradition he established that it did acquire its modern usage, so in that sense, it did indeed originate with him.[[/note]] Similarly, the German and Russian words "Kaiser" and "Czar" are both derived from "Caesar".
** During the Dark and Middle Ages, European rules who called themselves "emperor" were specifically invoking TheRomanEmpire. The ByzantineEmpire ''was'' the Roman state so their claim was obvious, the HolyRomanEmpire laid claim to the former Roman empire in the West which (initially) they contested with Constantinople, the Russian Czars and Ottoman Sultans both claimed to be Byzantinian continuations, and Serbia and Bulgaria both based it on Roman/Greek traditions.
** Only in later eras did the title become removed from a continuation of the Roman Empire, and became used when a country was really frickin' big or powerful, prime examples being Mexico, Brazil, and [[NapoleonBonaparte Napoleonic France]]. Other times it was used to make a political point: the Kings of {{Prussia}} declared themselves [[ImperialGermany German Emperors]] to make themselves higher-ranked than other German kings (like the one of Bavaria) without having to demote them; Napoleon III did it to link his regime to that of his uncle; the rulers of Austria needed a new title after the HolyRomanEmpire disappeared and didn't want to step down in rank; Queen Victoria had herself declared Empress of India to make it clear that Britain was more powerful than Germany (and because she didn't want to be outranked by her daughter, who had married the heir to the German throne); and a couple others besides. However, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Bedel_Bokassa Jean-Bédel Bokassa's]] short-lived Empire was little short of a farce.
*** According to TheOtherWiki England had already been technically an empire since [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_in_Restraint_of_Appeals 1533]], however the titles King and [[TheKingdom Kingdom]] were retained. Maybe an unexpected example of GenreSavvy? It is however unknown, what effects the Acts of Union had on this…
* The trope codifier in East Asia is QinShiHuangdi, the "First Emperor" of China. The word for "emperor" in Chinese and Chinese-influenced languages was first coined by QinShiHuangdi himself, by combining the two characters hitherto used for semidivine sage-kings from ancient Chinese mythologies.
* Many polities outside of the West, such as Ethiopia, China, Japan, and the Incas also had imperial titles. Persian rulers claimed the title Shah of Shahs (King of Kings), and both the Persians and the Ottoman Sultans used the imperial title Padishah (later popularized in the Dune novels).
* Interesting RealLife twist on the trope: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico]]. [[AuthorityInNameOnly He wasn't really a ruling emperor]]; he was just some British guy who [[CloudCuckooLander went a little bonkers]] following a bad trading deal that left his funds in shambles. [[EnsembleDarkhorse He was enormously popular among the inhabitants of San Francisco, though]] - he got entry to the city's finest restaurants and theatres for free, had his own currency which was officially accepted by the city, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome single-handedly prevented a violent Anti-Chinese riot from breaking out]], the townsfolk rallied to get him released when he was unjustly arrested by the San Francisco Police Department, and his funeral was attended by 30,000 people at a time when San Francisco's population was 230,000.
** Most of the tales surrounding Emperor Norton are really PR ploy invented by San Francisco's businesses and citizens, however. While many businesses were happy to use Norton as a prop to accentuate the city's image for tolerance and eccentricity, the man himself was actually treated miserably most of the time. His dogs were poisoned. He was kicked out of many business establishments. He lived in a crummy room at a cheap boarding house with only shabby clothes and not much more to his name. Only his funeral, ironically, matched the hype.
* ''Literature/TheBible'' had Solomon.
* EdwardTheFirst and his grandson Edward III were the closest pre-UK England had for Emperors as they are the only monarchs powerful enough to get the title "Arbiter of Europe".
** Henry II and Henry V had significant continental possessions as well, the latter being the ''only'' English monarch to have his claim to the throne of France legitimized in treaty.
** Later, QueenVictoria took the title "Empress of India". Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, and George VI were all styled "Emperor of India" after her until the title was abolished. Sometimes they were referred to as "King-Emperor".
** As noted above, the status of the British monarchs is complicated, TheOtherWiki even has an extra article for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Emperor British Emperor]].
* Medieval Spain had Several [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperator_totius_Hispaniae Emperors of all Spain]].
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--->''[[{{Warhammer40000}} The Emperor Protects]]''