[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kings-king-silas-david1_4369.jpg]]

Debuting on the [[GeniusBonus 15th of March]], 2009, Creator/{{NBC}}'s '''''Kings''''' is like some bizarre tonal clash of ''GossipGirl'' and ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}''. It tells the biblical story of King David, but set in another world not unlike PresentDayPresentTime, in which the kingdom of Gilboa, where King Silas Benjamin (played by ''Deadwood'''s Ian [=McShane=]) has just inaugurated the new capital of Shiloh. Two years later, when Gilboa is at war with the neighboring kingdom of Gath, a plucky young soldier named David Shepherd goes behind enemy lines to rescue hostages, singlehandedly destroying a [[MeaningfulName Goliath]] tank on the way. Then one of the hostages turns out to be Jack Benjamin, the crown prince... and so David's political life begins. Also stars Creator/SusannaThompson (the second [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Borg Queen]]), Christopher Egan, Eamonn Walker, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Miller.

Canceled due to extraordinarily poor ratings (no episode ever placed higher than 4th regardless of which night it aired) and an extraordinarily high budget (estimated at $4 million per ''episode'' with the pilot coming in at a staggering $10 million), although [[WordOfGod the series creator]] [[http://www.courthistorian.com/2009/07/the-new-king-part-2.php disputes the second part]].

On a side note: the story of David and Saul comes from ''The First Book of Samuel'', not ''Kings''.
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!!''Kings'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AllThereInTheManual: Quite a lot of CharacterDevelopment for some of the less prominent characters ended up being deleted for time constraints, but their scenes are included on the DVD.
* AlmightyMom: Jessie Shepherd. Told off ''the king'' and lived to tell the tale.
* ArcWords: In "The Sabbath Queen", every time that some one mentions that "the lights are off," take a shot.
** FridgeBrilliance: Not operating lights (usually leaving them off) is part of old Judaic/Israelite Sabbath observance.
* AffablyEvil
** Meet Abadon, the king of one of the nations existing before Silas unified them into Gilboa, a real tyrant and monster, or so it is implied. He's played by Brian Cox, chats amiably with Silas, gives him advice on kinging, and shows real depth of humanity at one point...as well as a severe lack of it at others.
** Similarly, Cross, during an outbreak of plague, offers every medical lab he has in the city to the public, free of charge.
** To a degree, Silas himself.
* AlternateUniverse: Either that, or a particularly enigmatic AlternateHistory. It avoids being a NeverWasThisUniverse thanks to several references clearly linked to our real historical Earth (Franz Liszt apparently existed as a music composer in the show's setting as well, etc.). And there's even a theory that... Well, take a look at the WMG section.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Everybody, sort of. The specifics of religious life in the kingdom aren't addressed, although the line in the episode "Prosperity" wherein Rev. Samuels says to Capt. Shepherd "dreams are a sixtieth part prophecy" is a direct quotation from the Talmud, specifically [[http://www.yutorah.org/daf.cfm/6004/Berachot/57/b Berachot 57b]].
* AnachronismStew: Given that the real King David is estimated to have lived in the 11th century [=BCE=], only to be expected with a modern retelling.
** A particularly intriguing and possibly deliberate one occurs in the fifth episode (sixth, if you count the two-hour pilot as two). Jack references "cutting babies in half" as a somewhat cynical reference to supposed Solomonic wisdom. The Biblical King Solomon, however, was David's ''son''.
** [[HollywoodTactics 21st century]] soldiers with modern gear and modern tanks fighting via WorldWarOne trench warfare tactics.
** The whole "autocratic hereditary king in modern times" shtick. {{Lampshaded}} in the finale. "Kings? A monarchy, in this day and age?"
* AnimalMotifs: Gilboa's heraldric butterfly, [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's pigeons]], the sacrificial deer... the list goes on.
* AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler:Rev. Samuels]] after his murder.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning
** Silas ''loves'' to tell that story about the butterflies landing on his head in a perfect circle. Then, at the end of the pilot, [[spoiler:the butterflies throw him over for David.]]
** Subverted in the last episode when [[spoiler: Jack's near crowning is a spartan affair, with him fantasizing about the exuberant crowds he wishes were there, and an ersatz crown.]]
* BastardUnderstudy: Andrew Cross. He's a fast learner.
* BattleButler: Thomasina
* TheBeard: Lucinda Wolfson, for Jack.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Or rather, because God says so. Or Death.
* BloodKnight: Abner, to a tee. [[spoiler:Live by the sword, die by the sword, I guess.]]
* BodyguardCrush: Jack has an affair with his bodyguard Stu.
* BombThrowingAnarchists: Belial.
* BrokenPedestal: How David's attitude toward Silas is quickly heading.
* ChekhovsGun
** Comedy B-plot pigeons.
** The knife in "Brotherhood" is also a rather straightforward example. Silas is shown to sleep with it under his pillow. [[spoiler: Later, he kills Abner with it.]]
* TheChessmaster: Rose
* ChessmasterSidekick: Andrew Cross. [[spoiler:He studies his father's doings, then throws him under the bus in order to ingratiate himself to Silas and Rose.]]
* TheChosenOne: David, obviously.
* CoDragons:
** General Linus Abner, played by Wes Studi. King Silas has him arrange the deaths of anyone who annoys him. Including David in the second episode.
** A lampshade is hung on the fact that Thomasina, the king's loyal and incredibly powerful personal secretary, is actually his dragon as well.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Nearly all the symbols and iconography related to Silas are orange.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: William Cross; he's willing to prolong the war to keep his company profiting.
* CultureChopSuey[=/=]SettingUpdate: Gilboa is basically biblical Judea with an outer layer of 21st century North America. The kingdom's main adversary, Gath, is [[FantasyCounterpartCulture a stand-in for the Phillistine tribes]], but with 20th century CommieLand attributes and a bit of {{Ruritania}} thrown in for good measure.
* DavidVersusGoliath: Oh, you have three guesses and the first two don't count.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: Assassinations, machinations and politics, oh my.
* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler:For Michelle to live, Silas has to give up his crown to the better man, [[LawOfConservationOfDetail whoever he is]], or face his name being wrought to the ground and dragged in the dirt.]] And general bad stuff.
* DepravedHomosexual: Subverted with Jack. He's both gay and a pretty bad guy, but the one thing has nothing to do with the other, and most of his PetTheDog moments come when he starts to come to grips with his sexuality.
* DeusExMachina: Some of David's escapes are a little too lucky to be anything else... but then, this being the story it is, that's only to be expected. Deconstructed when David is charged with treason, as his constantly being in the right place at the right time looks awfully suspicious to the court.
* DisappearedDad: David's father was killed in combat, [[spoiler:apparently on Silas's orders]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Putting aside the Biblical stuff for a moment, [[ColdWar Gilboa and Gath]].
** OlderThanTheyThink: Gilboa is actually a mountain in the book of Samuel, and Gath is the city that Goliath came from in the Bible.
* DoubleStandard: Brought up in-universe. When racy photos of Michelle are about to leak, the Queen notes that people will attempt to shame her, while others will congratulate David.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Katrina Ghent.]] But handled so well that it's almost a CrowningMomentOfFunny / CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* EvilChancellor: Inverted: Perry is the ''good'' chancellor to an evil king.
* EvilMentor: Abbadon, to Silas.
* FakeAmerican: Oh so many. We've got three Englishmen (Silas, Helen, and Rev. Samuels), an Australian (David Shepherd), an Italian-born actress (Michelle), a Romanian (Jack), and a Scotsman (Vesper Abaddon) all playing characters that are rather American in nature.
* GenderFlip: Jessie Shepherd takes her name from the biblical David's ''father'', Jesse.
* GeneralRipper: Abner, who constantly argues in favor of escalation against Gath in any situation and [[spoiler:begins secretly arming terrorists to attack them after Silas signs a peace treaty]].
* GildedCage: [[spoiler:Jack is confined to his well-appointed bedroom after his unsuccessful coup]], in stark contrast to the dungeon Abbadon inhabits.
* TheGoodChancellor: Perry
* GoodIsNotNice: Silas firmly believes this. God, however, has other ideas.
* GoodShepherd: Reverend Samuels.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: There is one character who seems to be white and one who seems to be black, but the rest fall somewhere in between. In the end, not even the Reverend Samuels is completely pure, and even the vile Abbadon has someone he cares enough about to relinquish his hoarded gold.
* HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday: Jack, by necessity.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Jack; [[spoiler:Silas]]
* HellholePrison: Gehenna, the secret prison complex where Abbadon (and eventually [[spoiler:David]]) is housed in 24-hour-a-day solitary confinement. The name is kind of a tipoff.
* HolyHalo: The crown of butterflies that bestow God's favor (and the kingship) on Silas [[spoiler:and later, David]].
* {{Hypocrite}}: Both Silas and Rose, when it comes to Jack's sexuality. Silas lectures Jack that he must stop having relationships with men because "we give up what we want when we want power," then hops in his car to go spend a few days with the SecretOtherFamily he was supposed to have given up to become King. Rose, meanwhile, gives Jack a speech on how the one thing she hates most of all is lies. Then he tells her he's gay, and she slaps him and starts shouting that it isn't true. Of course, Rose was probably knowingly demonstrating how one must believe and insist that the truth is a lie to maintain a certain public image, which Jack was refusing to do.
* KangarooCourt: [[spoiler:At David's trial for treason, Silas (who trumped up the charges to begin with) is both judge and jury. Jack [[HeelFaceTurn sets it right]].]]
* KnightTemplar: Silas. He believes that doing evil things for a good cause makes them good, and is honestly flummoxed when God seems to disagree.
* LouisCypher: [[MeaningfulName Vesper Abaddon]], kept prisoner in Gehenna. Was once king of Gilboa's neighboring nation of Carmel until Silas overthrew him in the Unification War, then sent down to reign in his prison. Made deals with Silas; money, knowledge, power, [[spoiler:then laughed as he took two bullets to the chest, by his own hand.]] If that doesn't tell you he's Satan incarnate, what will?
* LuckySeven: David mentions that he has six older brothers, making him the seventh son.
* MagicalRealism: Seriously. Butterflies.
* MedalOfDishonor
* MegaCorp: [=CrossGen=], which is so rich and powerful that its backing installed Silas on the throne. During the course of the series, its CEO, William Cross, almost singlehandedly bankrupts the entire nation by withdrawing its gold from the national treasury, and blacks out all of Southern Gilboa with a single phone call. In the GrandFinale, he [[spoiler:buys control of the entire Gilboan military, in order to install Jack on the throne]].
* TheMessiah: David. To the point that he can [[spoiler:impregnate a sterile woman]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Abbadon is the Bringer of Death in the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Revelations]]. Belial is a demon mentioned in passing in the Book of Corinthians. Depending how strong the viewer's association is, [[LordOfTheFlies Jack]] might count as well.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler:Nice job, Silas, sending David on a suicide mission and succeeding only in giving him the idea to take your crown]]
* NoBisexuals: Jack has clearly had sexual relationships with women in the past, and at one point comes on heavily to Katrina Ghent, but {{Word of God}} is that he's gay, not bisexual.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: The queen. Subverted on a few occasions. She's surprisingly controlling at times.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Silas is very homophobic, which the writers use to mine a number of KickTheDog moments in his interactions with Jack in the last three episodes.
* PreacherMan: Reverend Samuels, who certainly knows what he's doing.
* PropheticDreams: "Don't go!"
* RagsToRoyalty: Silas, who started as a foot soldier. [[spoiler:And presumably David, some time in the future.]]
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic: Silas has a tendency to go very biblical in his speechifying.
* RebelliousPrincess: Michelle. Although she keeps her rebellion within the system.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Reverend Samuels]]
* RetiredMonster: Vesper Abbadon
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The whole royal family are either involved in governing or have their own causes to champion, like Michelle.
* SadisticChoice: [[spoiler:Katrina Ghent]] forces Rose to choose whether Jack or Michelle is publicly humiliated in "Pilgrimage".
* ScrewDestiny: Silas tries this to save his own ass, then [[DeusExMachina God]] shows up and explicitly tells him [[YouCantFightFate he can't fight fate]].
* SecretOtherFamily: Silas' wife and son in the countryside.
* SecretRelationship: Michelle and David, Jack and Joseph.
* SinglePreceptReligion: The show is maddeningly vague on what sort of church "Reverend Samuels" heads, and why a population of no visible ethnicity thinks that "God gave this land to us."
* SmugSnake: William Cross. He plays a mean gambit, but not nearly at the same level as Silas.
* TheSociopath: Andrew Cross. After he [[spoiler:arranges for pictures humiliating to Michelle to be publicly aired]] in order to hurt Silas, he describes what he did as "I broke his favorite thing," indicating that he sees her as an object, rather than a person.
* StealthPun: [[DontExplainTheJoke Yes, they are monarch butterflies.]]
* StraightGay: Jack
* TankGoodness: Gath's [[MeaningfulName Goliath]] tanks ([[AwesomeYetPractical though, yeah, they're clearly Russian T-55s in all but name]]). David becomes a celebrated war hero after rescuing the crown prince and [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic taking down one of the tanks single-handedly]].
* ThoseTwoGuys: The palace guards.
* ThrownFromTheZeppelin: [[spoiler:Jack]] has a government minister who questions his plan to [[spoiler:be crowned king, even though Silas still lives]] shot in the back of the head in front of the others.
* TooDumbToLive: Though informed somewhat by [[spoiler:the revelation that she has vowed to do God's work regardless of the cost to herself]], Princess Michelle falls into this trope with such stunning regularity that it's amazing she survives a season. One episode she's [[spoiler:deliberately exposing herself to an incurable plague]], the next she can't come up with any potential downside to [[spoiler:David having naked pictures of her]].
* TransparentCloset: Jack can fool the ignorant masses with his playboy act, but he can't fool his father.
* UnequalPairing
** Michelle and David.
** Also, Tomasina and the palace guard.
* TheUnreveal: What Andrew Cross did to be exiled.
* UnusualEuphemism: As hinted by Andrew Cross, and revealed in the final episode, "exile" actually means indefinite solitary confinement.
* TheUriahGambit: Silas sends David on a solo mission to recover the stolen National Charter of Gilboa, armed only with a pistol and an envelope of cash, in the hopes that he will either be killed or refuse to return after failing. Ironic, considering David's Biblical namesake is the TropeNamer.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Belial practically uses these exact words when questioned by Jack on his plan to bring down both Gath and Gilboa, ushering in a new order.
* VillainousBreakdown: William Cross has a bit of one after [[spoiler:it turns out Silas is alive]]. And Silas has the full monty when [[spoiler:God tells him that David is now his favorite]], and a less extreme but more public one when [[spoiler:Jack turns against him and accuses him of orchestrating the KangarooCourt against David]].
* WarForFunAndProfit: William Cross firmly believes that war is good for business, and that's good for everyone. His decision to overthrow Silas is motivated entirely by his desire to keep the war with Gath going.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: "The Sabbath Queen" plays out the metaphor literally, with a regionwide blackout.
* WhyAreYouNotMySon: Oh, ''guess''.
* WickedCultured: Abbadon has fallen pretty far, but he can still tell a fine wine's maker and vintage from a single sip.
* XanatosSpeedChess: The maneuvering between the Queen and the Minister of Information.
* YoungestChildWins: David is the youngest of seven sons and had the series reached a proper conclusion he would have become king of Gilboa (and possibly Gath, too).
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