%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1344309958088610800
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_golden_throne-imperial_webway_415.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Wow... CrystalDragonJesus in a [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Tier 9 armor set]] looks absolutely epic.]]

->"''You are a madman. And you are arrogant if you believe you can subjugate the stars with warriors such as these. They are powerful to be sure, but even they are not capable of such a thing. [...] It is a dangerous road you travel. To deny humanity a thing will only make them crave it all the more. And if you succeed in this grand vision of yours? What then? Beware that your subjects do not begin to see you as a god.''"
-->-- '''Uriah''' to the Emperor of Mankind (pictured right), ''[[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/The_Last_Church The Last Church,]]'' ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''

A God Emperor is a sovereign who is claimed, either [[AGodAmI by self]] or others, to be a PhysicalGod. This trope can apply to anything from a tinpot tyrant with delusions of grandeur to a GalacticConqueror or DimensionLord with perfectly accurate assessments of grandeur.

Note that this means that if the character in question is ''[[AGodIAmNot not]]'' claimed to be a god that disqualifies them from this trope even if the ruler ''is'' godlike in power.

Given its extreme usefulness in either helping found new religions or unify the recently-conquered into new nations, this trope is OlderThanDirt, and long a staple of fiction or fact. Named after Leto II, self-proclaimed Literature/GodEmperorOfDune.

In RealLife, declaring themselves gods has been very common to the rulers in ancient history. It handily brought religious and secular power together, and gave the ruler absolute power, which was always welcome. The God-Emperors of Rome are the most famous example of the trend. Note that this shouldn't be confused with the divine right of kings, which was a doctrine holding that kings derive their authority directly from {{God}}. This gives similar advantages but acknowledges that the king himself is mortal.

Compare with EmperorScientist and SorcerousOverlord, which is how a good many of them get their start; and TheEmperor, to whom the God Emperor trope may apply also. Compare [[HighPriest Priest King]], when the ruler is head of both Church and State, but not worshiped themselves. If you're looking for an emperor/king/leader of the gods themselves, see [[TopGod King of the Gods]].

%%If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', [[DemBones Baraggan Louisenbairn]] in Hueco Mundo. Incidentally, he got ousted by [[spoiler:[[BigBad Sosuke]] [[BitchInSheepsClothing Aizen]]]], who himself wants to be this trope on a much ''larger'' scale.
* Ancient Belka from ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' had the so-called ''Heiliger Kaiser'' or ''Sankt-Kaiser'' (literally: Holy-Emperors or Saint-Kings), who claimed to be, saintly (while it is yet uncertain whether the Sankt Kaisers were worshipped in their time but the modern Sankt Kaiser Church on Mid-Childa is built around worshipping the last one) and wielded magical powers close to that of a PhysicalGod. For a comparison, an untrained, six-year-old [[CloneJesus clone of the last Sankt Kaiser]] went toe-to-toe with one of the strongest Aerial Mages on Mid-Childa, and would have defeated her eventually, had she gotten serious. Considering that with her final PowerLimiter removed, Nanoha scores [[RankInflation S+ on the aerial mage ranking scale]], it would put Vivio and the other Sankt Kaisers ''at least'' into SS zone (something that only [[PersonOfMassDestruction Hayate]] has achieved so far, but Hayate's SS is only a composite rank), with the potential to reach SSS (the highest possible ranking) with sufficient training.
* Emperor of Darkness, BigBad from ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' (the first ''Anime/MazingerZ'' sequel) was emperor of all Mykene and in later retellings it was stated he was [[spoiler:Hades, Greek God of Underworld.]] Given that the Mykene were an ancient Greek civilization [[BeneathTheEarth lived underground]], it fit.
* Emperor Zule, RealityWarper PhysicalGod BigBad of ''{{Godmars}}''.
* Emperor Muge Zorbados, EldritchAbomination DimensionLord BigBad of ''{{Dancougar}}''.
* The kings of TheTwelveKingdoms. Ruling a kingdom comes with such perks as immortality and the ability to speak and understand any language. (Or at least Chinese, Japanese and whatever language is spoken in the Twelve Kingdoms) and quite a few very nice palaces. The downside is that if they rule badly the ''kirin'' who chose them to rule in the first place will begin to sicken and die, which means they will die sooner or later as well, along with the weather and youma running wild in the kingdom. If the king doesn't change their ways the only way to avoid this is to step-down from the throne and commit suicide.
** Mind you high ranking civil servants and even their own servants also get immortality and language ability, so those aren't unique to the kings. And they don't have to worry about answering to Heaven the way kings do.
* Father from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' could qualify as this, as he manipulated the country of Amestris since its inception, after obtaining immortality and immense powers [[spoiler:from sacrificing an entire country to make a Philosopher's stone]].
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', after Pain seized control of Rain, he was both its ruler and widely regarded as a god by his shinobi.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'' has a low-key example in the form of Lord Death. Few questions that he is most powerful being there is, he wields tremendous executive authority, and has done so for thousands of years. From Death City, he commands international paramilitary forces that can cross any border and attack any target without interference. That said, he tends not to meddle much in the affairs of [[{{Muggles}} people who aren't]] [[HorrorHunger would-be Kishin]], [[WickedWitch Witches,]] [[EquippableAlly Weapons]], [[ImprobableWeaponUser Meisters]], or engaged in the production or use of [[AncientArtifact Magic Tools]]. The only reason Death City exists is because Lord Death [[BarrierMaiden sealed himself to that location]] in order to [[SealedEvilInACan lock down Asura the Kishin]] ("demon god"), a former member of the Grim Reaper's right-hand men who turned himself into [[EldritchAbomination a monster Death wasn't sure he could kill]]. Now the Grim Reaper can't leave the city, even if Asura were to escape. This is why he got himself a son (somehow), to eventually replace him as a fully-mobile Guardian of Life and Souls.
* Eneru from ''Manga/OnePiece'' claims divinity, and has power to back it up. Within his domain he knows all, he can smite anyone from the heavens. He is physically invulnerable. He can travel at will instantaneously, meaning he's nearly omnipresent too. His official title is, in fact, ''God''. However,it turns out he's just using a variety of super powers technically available to anyone with the right results in the SuperpowerLottery, and the title of ''God'' is just what they call all their kings. He's ''totally insane.''
* [[BigBad Gargoyle]] of ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'' makes this [[BlasphemousBoast boast]] towards the end of the series, [[AGodAmI about himself.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[Comicbook/DoctorStrange Dormammu]] is an EldritchAbomination / DimensionLord / MultiversalConqueror who rules his own universe as a torture chamber, and wants to take over all other life and afterlife to give it the same treatment. Likely one of the most extreme examples.
* Ghaur, high priest of the Deviants, at first connives to take over from the king of Lemuria and after doing so calls himself Priestlord, but when he hijacks the powers of the Deviants' god, a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Celestial, he upgrades himself to Godlord. And keeps the title even after losing said power.
* The UltimateMarvel version of Thanos is both god and king of a star-spanning empire.
* {{Darkseid}}. As he says in TheDCAU, "Here [on Apokolips], I am ''God''." "Darkseid is."
* Charon from ''Negation''. Bonus points for Charon ruling the entirety of his universe ''and'' it's his official title.
* Torquemada from ''ComicBook/NemesisTheWarlock'' is TheEmperor who, after coming back from the death several times, earns himself nickname "Torquemada The God"
* The Joker became this in the ''ComicBook/EmperorJoker'' arc in ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'', where he managed to gain RealityWarper powers by stealing them from [[GreatGazoo Mister Mxyzptlk]]. In a similar manner to Kefka Palazzo from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' when he ascended to godhood, the Joker ravaged the world and turned it into a twisted parody where he could commit all the murder that he wants, including devouring China or killing Batman and Luthor over and over again. Eventually, he decides to destroy all existence so someone like himself would never exist. Thankfully, he managed to stop himself when Superman points out that Batman is what defines him.
* ''ElfQuest'''s "Kings of the Broken Wheel" story arc has the human warlord Grohmul Djun declaring himself this after the Palace of the High Ones crashes in his territory post-timeskip and "spirits" (elves and trolls both) start to make their presence known, in order to keep his subjects from getting ideas about him somehow ''not'' being the ultimate authority and lord of all he surveys. It doesn't really help for long.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''Fanfic/InTheBeginningThereWasMan''. An online text game on Sufficient Velocity featuring Warhammer 40k's God Emperor in His quest to save [[http://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/in-the-beginning-there-was-man-wh40k-x-sc-aka-omake-quest-aka-40k-warp-god-waifu-simulator.9721/ Mankind]]
* Princess Jody from ''[[http://alaxr274.deviantart.com/gallery/33810717 Super Milestone Wars]]''
* The Biggest Bad from ''[[http://fav.me/d4lv1qv Super Milestone Wars 2,]]'' his title is "God Emperor of Evil".
* ''FanFic/ShinjiAndWarhammer40K''. Shinji (yes, [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion that one]] ...[[ForWantOfANail sort of]]), whose {{Memetic Badass}}ery has acquired him more and more power as the story progresses, both literally and metaphorically. Not that he's happy about it.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4811481/1/StarGate_Galactic_Imperium Stargate: Galactic Imperium.]]'' Not shown in either of the series, Area 51 has a computer scientist, Dr. Kevin Leed. Well, his alternate reality self got his hands on An'ran's reality jumping device. And he's got the collective knowledge of the Tok'ra. And he's a ''bit'' power-hungry. Result: he decides to use his extensive sci-fi knowledge to infiltrate the Odyssey, copy the Asgard core, steal Atlantis' database then create a huge empire spanning multiple universes. Oh, and did I mention he's a huge fan of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''?
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4907261/1/Golden_Dawn Stargate: Golden Dawn.]]'' Amann Adar of the Alesian Empire is a half ascended being that could crush entire battalions of enemies with little effort. Any of the Alesian Council in this story is this trope really.
* In ''FanFic/{{Embers}}'', [[FisherKing Earth King]] [[BewareTheNiceOnes Kuei]] [[ConversedTrope is this]], although unlike his arrogant ancestors he's too humble [[AGodAmI to think this way]]. His powers are based on those the Emperors of China were said to have had in real life due to their CelestialBureaucracy, altered to fit the setting of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''and the story's [[BlueAndOrangeMorality interpretation]] of [[EldritchAbomination spirits]]. In the Avatarverse, spirits will object when nature is ravaged by humans (the forest spirit, for example). The only reason a city of Ba Sing Se's size can exist is that the Emperor [[BarrierMaiden keeps it safe]]. He's exactly one rung on the CelestialBureaucracy beneath the entities the Earth Kingdom worships as gods, and demonstrably more powerful than an entity [[SadlyMythtaken generally thought to be]] on that level.
** The one time Kuei demonstrated his power, he [[spoiler:kicked the [[MagicLibrarian Knowledge Spirit]] Wan Shin Tong, one of the Embers' universe's [[MagnificentBastard power players]] and all of his kitsune agents out of the Earth Kingdom.]] No wonder everyone prostrated themselves before him [[spoiler:except the Fire Nation refugees. Even they went to one knee.]]
* In WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'s [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6291003/1/ unofficial novelization,]] [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic N. Bison]] is constantly referred as "the God-Critic". This is an example, in glorious PurpleProse:
-->The Nostalgia Critic stood at the army's forefront, dressed in a uniform to rival the greatest generals of the ages. A [[NiceHat peaked cap]] sat upon his brow, marked by a winged insignia of great power and vanity. [[BadassCape His cape]] flowed down to his knees, colored grey like the skies underneath which he was born. A polished chain linked the two lapels of the cape together, and it shined under the Nevada sun like gold mined in neighboring California. Underneath his cape he wore an armored bodysuit of crimson and ebon black, which reached all the way down to boots that reached to his mid shins. He wore white gloves accompanied with silver gauntlets that cradled his forearms of average girth. This was no longer a mere critic. This was a god in human form.
* Innumerable ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fanfics depict [[RealityWarper Yukari]] [[SuperpowerLottery Yakumo]] as one of these, albeit an [[TheSlacker incredibly lazy one]] that [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything doesn't do much]]. Most of the conflict surrounding Yukari in ''FanFic/ImperfectMetamorphosis'' is that many other authorities in Gensoukyou are annoyed/furious that Yukari has for the longest time asserted herself as the highest "office" of the land, partly because they don't like obeying her and partly because [[ManipulativeBastard she can't be trusted]].
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8340387/1/Space-Defender-Negi Space Defender Negi]] [[note]]MahouSenseiNegima reimagined as a SpaceOpera[[/note]] features Asuna as Twilight Empress of the Holy Ariad Empire, and has apparently been upgraded to full-on PhysicalGod since she can apparently hear the prayers/thoughts of those who worship Her, has displayed instant teleportation to wherever she's invoked, and can bend physics to give normal humans BatmanCanBreatheInSpace. She's also called the Unmaker.
* ''FanFic/TheGodEmpressOfPonykind'': [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Princess Celestia]] is ''the'' [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Emperor]], just in the body of a pony. She is a bit more benevolent than her previous incarnation.
* ''FanFic/QueenOfShadows'': The Shadowkhan view their Queens as divine, due to them being the only ones capable of creating more of their race (the fact that the original Queen was an actual demigod probably helps with this opinion of them).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Ra in ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' is an alien who passes himself off as a god to rule a low-tech world in the manner of a pharaoh.
* Persian King Xerxes in ''Film/ThreeHundred'' known as the God-King. [[spoiler:This doesn't hold up well, because while his men successfully wipe out the Spartan 300-man unit, Leonidas cuts his face by throwing a spear at him, utterly humiliating the so-called "God-King."]]
* The sequel, ''Film/ThreeHundredRiseOfAnEmpire'', indicates that Xerxes really is a supernatural being, although it's unclear whether that translates into any specific abilities other than being really tall and talking like a Goa'uld.
* Ming the Merciless from the ''Film/FlashGordon'' film.
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers3Marauder'' reveals the Bugs' supreme leader, Behemecoatyl, who is explicitly referred to as the "Bug God".
* ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned''. Like the Pharaohs, the first vampire Queen Akasha was seen as a God-Queen when she ruled over Ancient Egypt.
* The goal of the protagonists in ''Film/TheManWhoWouldBeKing'' is for one of them to achieve this status, by finding a remote and relatively primitive society and playing on their superstitions to be thought supernatural beings.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Franchise/{{Dune}}''. God Emperor Leto II, the first of the two standard {{Trope Codifier}}s. Also possibly the UrExample of the [[Literature/GodEmperorOfDune [[construct-title of God-Emperor]]", at least in the English language.
* ''Literature/ElConquistador'', from Creator/FedericoAndahazi, features the Aztec Empire, and his emperors are treated that way.
* The titular Emperor Mage from the third book of Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/TheImmortals'' series banned sacrifices/offerings to the gods, saying that if people wanted to make sacrifices, they could make them to him instead, as he has more direct power over their lives. Eventually this pissed off the country's {{Trickster}} patron deity, and the shit ''really'' hit the fan... bottom line, DontTryThisAtHome.
* The Lord Ruler from ''{{Mistborn}}''. And God-King Susebron from the same author's ''{{Warbreaker}}'' [[spoiler: though he's much more god than king, being a figurehead whose primary purpose is to be worshipped, rather than to actually run the state]].
** Also from ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'', God ''Empress'' Vin. Though it should be noted that she became a God and an Empress separately and in two different ways.
* In Creator/DavidEddings' ''Malloreon'' cycle (the sequel of ''Literature/TheBelgariad''), it is revealed that the emperors of Mallorea are divine per definition, due to the original emperor being a [[PhysicalGod LITERAL God]], Kal Torak. The emperor thus holds the official name of 'Kal Zakath', and becomes a major character... but at the end of the book, he changes the policy and drops the 'Kal' (Which is Mallorean for God-King, in case you didn't guess), actually crossing it out in an official letter because, as he puts it, "Now that I've seen some REAL gods in action, it just seems ostentatious". That said, he was never entirely thrilled with it from the outset and only took it because his administrators were so worried the empire would fall apart after Torak's death they wouldn't stop on about it until he did so. It wasn't until he saw the real gods in action that he finally climbed out of his [[EmptyShell apathy]] enough to put his foot down and get rid of it.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' novels and ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign setting, the last Kingpriest, Beldinas Pilofiro, tried to turn himself into this. It didn't work so well.
* Creator/JRRTolkien: in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', the [[FallenAngel evil Vala]] Morgoth (originally Melkor) is worshipped as the god of darkness and death by many frightened slave races, including Man. Ages later in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', his [[DragonAscendant once-lieutenant]] Sauron is given much the same treatment by the orcs. Both of them are of course already actual "gods", or as Tolkien referred to them, Powers of Arda; while Morgoth aspired to be {{God}}-with-a-capital-G, Sauron was content only to be seen as such after [[SealedEvilInACan how Morgoth wound up]].
* On the Literature/{{Discworld}}, specifically seen in ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', the ruler of Djelibeybi (FantasyCounterpartCulture to ancient Egypt) is believed by their subjects to be a god, even if they are largely a figurehead [[spoiler: until the end of the book]]. Because of the Disc's ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve nature, this also gives them minor "godly" powers.
* The Autarch Sulepis of the nation of Xis in TadWilliams' Shadowmarch series is regarded as a living god, with absolute control over his vast empire and designs on ruling the world. Also once ordered a man to be tortured to death in his library so he could read and listen to his screams at the same time.
* ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' gives us His Most Beloved, the Ascendant [[MeaningfulName Ma'elKoth]], who fulfills this trope [[spoiler: until being sent to Earth at the end of Heroes Die]]. After [[spoiler: the climax of Blade of Tyshalle]], he abandons the PhysicalGod aspect and just becomes [[PowersThatBe a nonmaterial deity]], leaving the Emperor bit to [[spoiler:Deliann]].
* Although the God Emperors from ''Literature/TheStoneDanceOfTheChameleon'' begin life as mortals, when they ascend the throne they undergo apotheosis, at which time their blood turns into pure ichor.
* The Eternal Emperor of the [[{{Sten}} Sten Chronicles]] books fits the profile pretty well.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
** Lanfear's plan is to set herself and Rand up as God Emperors using the infinite powers which they have by using the Choedan Kal to overthrow the Dark One and then challenge the Creator.
** In the last book [[spoiler:it's revealed that Demandred is more-or-less one of these in TheEmpire of Shara, having taken on the persona of Bao the Wyld, He Who Is Owned Only By The Land, the dragonslayer. The prophecies he followed to attain this position are heavily implied- and confirmed by WordOfGod--to parallel the ones about Rand. His followers practically worship him, and their morale is shattered when he dies]].
* In R.A. Salvatore's ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' novels, [[{{Badass}} King Obould Many-Arrows]] is blessed by the orc god Gruumsh with divine power. His subjects begin to see him as the physical incarnation of Gruumsh on the mortal plane, referring to him as Obould-Who-Is-Gruumsh. He gives little actual weight to these ideas, keeping a fairly realistic assessment of his limitations, but uses the moral that belief in him inspires as a tool to establish the first stable, recognized orc state. [[spoiler:Ironically, given how he didn't actually believe he was a PhysicalGod, after his death he [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Ascended To A Higher Plane]] to become a literal (demi)god.]]
* The Godkings from ''Literature/TheNightAngelTrilogy''. The people of Khalidor literally believe them to be gods. The Godkings themselves know they're not gods, but they tend to behave like they think a god would to fool their people. The first and last one was pure evil and they groom their children to be just like that.
* In the [[HornyVikings Kargad]] [[FantasyCounterpartCulture lands]] of the ''Literature/EarthseaTrilogy'', the (apparently mortal) Godking is worshipped as a deity, which, by the time of The Tombs Of Atuan, has severely pissed off the [[HeWhoMustNotBeNamed The Unknown Nameless Ones]].
* ''Literature/MosesManOfTheMountain'' has this, both with the obvious example of the Pharaoh, and with Moses himself, who is seen like this by the Hebrews. He's somewhat disturbed by this, as he does not see himself as a god ''or'' a king.
* The Supreme Overlord of the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]] from the ''NewJediOrder'', while not considered to be on par with the Yuuzhan Vong pantheon, is certainly regarded by his followers as something greater than mortal, and apparently has the powers to back it up. [[spoiler:Said powers turn out to be the doing of the ''real'' BigBad, the Supreme Overlord's deformed, Force-using jester Onimi]].
* In the ''Literature/{{Retief}}'' story, "The Hoob-Melon Crisis", the Groaci ambassador to an empty planet declares himself king, since there's no one around to dispute the claim, and then manages to use the argument of the divine right of kings to get himself accepted into the official Groaci pantheon as a God, since he was the one who made himself king.
* Subverted in the ''BooksOfSwords'' and ''BooksOfLostSwords'' series by Fred Saberhagen: the Emperor actually ''is'' God. It's just that the Emperor isn't the secular ruler of anywhere, and most people think he's just a wandering clown and mountebank.
* In Saberhagen's earlier trilogy ''The Empire of the East'', set thousands of years earlier in the same world, this is played straight with Orcus, mightiest of all the demons and founder and ruler of the eponymous [[TheEmpire empire]], until he was overthrown by his [[TheDragon right-hand man]], John Ominor.
* While normally just a badass emperor, Richard of the ''SwordOfTruth'' briefly becomes this in the last book of the Chainfire trilogy, but gives it up after he's made the changes he thinks are necessary.
* In ''AStudyInEmerald'' by NeilGaiman, Queen Victoria (not to be confused with the historical queen of the same name) is technically a [[EldritchAbomination Great Old One]] Empress, but as far as her subjects are concerned, there is very little difference.
* ''JohnCarterOfMars'': Issus, ruler of the black Martians, is known as a goddess even beyond their realm. Actually she's just an old crone without any special powers, which the blacks are so angry to find out that she doesn't survive it.
* The ruler of Fiona Patton's {{Branion}} is this -- the monarch of an alternate Britain and the Vessel of a fire God's power. Book 3 revolves around the faithful trying to get the throne ''back'' when the royal family converts to another faith and [[StopWorshippingMe denies its own divinity]].
* The Shaggat Ness from ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'' is an interesting one. The Mzithrin Empire is normally ruled by an alliance of five kings (hence why it's also known as the Pentarchy) but forty years before the series began King Ness, one of the five, suddenly went mad, proclaimed himself ''Shaggat'' (Mzithrini for "King and God") and launched a massive crusade to become ruler first of the Mzithrin, and then the world. The other kings put his rebellion down and he fled, only to be captured by the rival Empire of Arqual, who faked his death and imprisoned him on a remote isle with the intention of one day returning him to his still-fanatical worshippers in order to weaken the Mzithrin at a critical moment. Ness himself remained absolutely convinced of his own divinity and scarily charismatic for an AxCrazy maniac, even convincing his Arquali prison warden, who held him in terrified awe. [[spoiler:It later turns out that it was Ness's advisor [[EvilSorcerer Arunis]] who convinced him he was a god, as the first step of an elaborate plan to kickstart the apocalypse]].
* In M.C.A. Hogarth's ''Literature/FlightOfTheGodkinGriffin'', the Godkindred believe that cross-species breeding will enable them to ascend to godhood, and that their ruler, the Godson is closest to that goal. It turns out that [[spoiler:he actually is a god, but apparently from sheer force of will rather than breeding, and after Angharad destroys his physical body by channeling the power of Shraeven's disembodied gods his spirit remains as the kingdom's patron god, with Angharad as his Priestess-Queen somewhat ironically.]]
* Nicolae Carpathia claims to be this in the ''Literature/LeftBehind'' book series during the Tribulation, and Jesus Christ is simply this during the Millennial Reign.
* Jarlath the king in Dave-Brendon de Burgh's ''Betrayal's Shadow'' is considered one by most of the populace. It helps that he can communicate over long distances with his generals and even possess them in order to use his magic. A laid back and relatively brutal dictator [[BlackAndGrayMorality that also happens to be on the 'good side']].
* In the ''Literature/ParadoxTrilogy'', the Sainted King of Paradox is viewed as divine by Paradoxians, who credit him with the power to perform miracles. His powers are real, but not necessarily divine in origin; while psychic powers are considered mere superstition on Paradox, psychic energy called plasmex is a well-documented phenomenon on other worlds, and there are plasmex-users who are capable of performing similar miraculous feats. Even after learning of the existence of plasmex, however, the protagonist Devi remains a devout believer in the Sainted King's divinity.
* TheWorldOfIceAndFire: The rulers of Yi Ti are referred to as God-Emperors. [[VestigialEmpire There are currently three, none of whom hold real power outside their respective home cities.]] The island of Leng is ruled by a God-Empress.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** Kahless the Unforgettable's clone, at least insofar as his becoming figurehead Emperor of the Klingon Empire due to his genetic code having being effectively divinized by the Klingons.
** The Founders of the Dominion.
-->'''Weyoun:''' Pah-wraiths and Prophets. All this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense.
-->'''Damar:''' You believe that the Founders are gods, don't you?
-->'''Weyoun:''' That's different.
-->'''Damar:''' [laughs] In what way?
-->'''Weyoun:''' The Founders ''are'' gods.
** Weyoun, the Female Founder's personal Vorta adviser, lampshades this trope:
-->'''Odo:''' Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you believe the Founders are gods is because that's what they want you to believe? That they built it into your genetic code?
-->'''Weyoun 6:''' Of course they did. That's what gods do. After all, why be a god if there's no one to worship you?
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Dalek Emperor that survived the Time War started styling itself as "The God of the Daleks" after it rebuilt them as religious fanatics loyal to it. The Doctor realises that this means the Daleks, who by design refuse to believe in any higher lifeform, have gone absolutely insane.
** Davros ''[[InvokedTrope tried]]'' to become this, with his creations the Daleks as the supreme rulers of existence and he as their master, but unfortunately he was too {{Genre Blind|ness}} to recognise [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters the logical conclusion]] of a non-Dalek trying to rule a species deliberately designed to hate anything not like them.
* Illyria from ''Series/{{Angel}}'', [[EldritchAbomination God-King of the Primordium]]. Except the show is set several million years after her death, and by the time she returns her demonic empire has crumbled to dust and her mortal worshippers are reduced to a handful of [[AncientConspiracy cultists awaiting her return]].
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Emperor Cartagia didn't think he was a god ''yet'', but he believed he could ascend to godhood and become a God Emperor with his dealings with the Shadows.
** Subverted in an early episode when Londo asks Vir how many gods there are in the Centauri pantheon. Vir is unable to give him a clear answer because so many of the Empires numerous emperors have declared themselves Gods.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The Goa'uld System Lords, who pose as Gods. In fact, most of them actually [[AGodAmI buy their own propaganda]].[[note]]Pretty much the only one who doesn't is the DangerouslyGenreSavvy Baal, who's rather flippant about his godhood when speaking to those who already know the truth. It's also implied that Lord Yu might have known better before he went senile, since his identity is a CompositeCharacter of mythological but not strictly divine Chinese emperors.[[/note]] The primitive people they enslave and oppress believe them to be gods, however.
** Also, the Ori, ascended beings who masquerade as gods in order to gain worship from people who don't know the truth. Unlike the Goa'uld, though, they can actually back up their claims of divinity, being able to alter matter with a thought, create life, and having technology several thousands of years beyond anything almost anyone else has (the Asgard excepted). And they actually [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly get stronger from being worshiped]].
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' had an immortal who got into this in 'Little Tin God'. He killed the previous immortal ruler of a South American tribe and set himself up as "the decapitator". The people bought it because when he killed other immortals, it produced the light and sound show of the Quickening.
* ''{{Lexx}}'': His Divine Shadow, a succession of hosts to the essence of the last of a race of planet-sized insects who ruled an entire universe (one of two).
* ''Series/MythQuest'': Alex temporarily becomes Osiris, an Egyptian god who unified Egypt and became the first Pharaoh.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology & Religion]]
* Most codified monotheistic religions give this, or close enough, as one of the myriad titles of its given subject deity.
** Eric Peterson, a prominent Catholic theologian, pointed out that some early Christian writers referred to the Christ as the Emperor and to His reign as the ''Imperium''.
* ''Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh'' uses the God Emperor idea found present in its contemporary cultures in the region but not in its own Sumerian civilization. One might ask whether it was LifeImitatesArt or TruthInTelevision (well, truth in ancient stone tablets).
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Emperor The Yellow Emperor]] being accredited with the invention of traditional Chinese medicine, he supposedly found the secret to {{Immortality}} and so, his "death", at the end of his supposedly 100-year-long reign, was supposedly just him [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascending to heaven atop of a dragon]]. Well, that's not to mention that he was actually worshiped for a time.
* [[WordOfDante Apparently]], TheAntichrist will declare himself this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** The Immortal God-Emperor of Mankind, the second of the two standard {{Trope Codifier}}s. Funnily enough, unlike other examples he specifically said he ''wasn't'' a god[[note]]past tense is crucial; he's almost certainly a god ''now''[[/note]] and wanted to create a society of {{Flat Earth Atheist}}s (supposedly to starve [[UltimateEvil the Chaos gods]] of their [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly required sustenance]]). But after the Literature/HorusHeresy happened, he was immobilised and stuck on life support for ten thousand years, and the Imperium became a [[CrapsackWorld totalitarian fanatical nightmare]], which was his last demand before being put into the throne, since he realised that the Chaos Gods feed more on emotion than prayer.
** Sigmar in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' was also deified after he disappeared. His religion became the offical religion of the empire and a major political force (they have three votes for who gets to the emperor) much to chagrin of Cult of Ulric who used to be the major power (they even crowned Sigmar).
** Daemon Princes, in both ''[=40K=]'' and regular ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. After achieving the ultimate power of Chaos, they spend the rest of eternity mostly ruling over their followers and shaping their own corner of the warp to their liking.
* ''[[TabletopGame/TheChroniclesOfFate Chaos]]''. Josh, God-Emperor Of The Multiverses.
* Iuz the Old in the ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' campaign setting. As an actual demigod he rules his realm as a literal God-Emperor and most of the functionaries running things are his clergy.
* The God-Kings of Mulhorand in the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' setting. Before the end of the Time of Troubles, Unther was ruled by an [[PhysicalGod avatar of Gilgeam]], the last god of the Untheric pantheon that neither was dead nor had bolted for another pantheon (or just plain bolted -- for reasons to do with interplanar magic and an interdict on divinities, the Mulan gods had to keep their avatars on Toril to keep a link to the world). He was ''not'' a good ruler, especially not at the end, but he was the only thing keeping an ancient peace treaty between the Mulhorandic and Untheric pantheons - and therefore between Mulhorand and Unther - valid...
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''.
** Though neither were actually gods, the Scarlet Empress and Solar Queen Merela both had strong elements of this trope, particularly in the power department. Also, a common term for First Age Exalted rulers in general is "god-kings". And, this being ''{{Exalted}}'', it is entirely reasonable for the player characters to have attaining this status as one of their long-term goals.
** Given the nature of the powers of the gods and the Exalted, Exalted are powerful enough that apotheosis would be a step ''down'' in rank.
** While many Exalted can be god-kings in principle, the Zenith Caste of the Solars (and their Abyssal and Green Sun Prince counterparts) exemplify it (at least in so far as some can blur the line between priest-king and god-king, though all are made to be kings).
** Exalted can get worship from mortals, which has a host of benefits.
** Malfeas has settled on the upper edge of this power belt after his post-War castration. Before that? He had so much power, he couldn't be constrained by a physical form. And the beings he ruled ''made'' the gods. And the world. And then kinda got rolled for their lunch money by the Exalted and shoved into hell.
* ''LegendOfTheFiveRings'':
** The Emperor of Rokugan is not a god, but does have literal divine blood due to being directly descended from the original gods of the sun and moon. The first dynasty was founded by their youngest son Hantei, but after the fortieth Hantei emperor died without an heir the throne was taken by the former Lion Clan Daimyo Toturi, himself a direct descendant of the sun and moon's eldest child Akodo.
** Taken further in that all of the great clans are ruled by direct descendants of the sun and moon, most of them founded by one of their children. The Mantis Clan, which was granted Great Clan status more than a thousand years after the founding of Rokugan, was still founded by a great-grandson of the sun and moon.
** The [[{{Mordor}} Shadowlands]] to the south was long ruled by another child of the sun and moon, Fu Leng.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' novels and ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign setting, the last Kingpriest, Beldinas Pilofiro, tried to turn himself into this. It didn't work so well.
* TabletopGame/IronKingdoms gives use Lord Toruk the dragonfarther, all mighty ruler of the Nightmare Empire of Cryx, he happens to be a Franchise/{{Godzilla}} size Dragon/ EldritchAbomination that wants to kill everyone and turn them into zombie robots.
* Razmir the Living God in ''TableTopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'', ruler of Razmiran. The text explicitly states that he is a charlatan, but the players may or may not know this.
* The Lord of Blades in the ''TableTopGame/{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting for ''TableTopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' is a Warforged who hopes to lead a kingdom of his race to subjugate the humanoids that created them, and some Warforged clerics pray to him for spells.
* The One King of the Firstborn of ''TabletopGame/Chronopia'', he was all powerful being who liberated humanity from being enslaved by the Blackbloods, Elves, and Dwarves. He was once killed by the Devout, but his soul went to the other side and fought the Devout's god the Dark One. He defeated the evil god and came back to life to lead his people.
* Subverted in {{Vampire: Dark Ages}}: A sourcebook for the game, ''The Erciyes Fragments'' was written from the in-universe perspective of Cain. At one point, he states that the Great Flood was sent to destroy not sinful humans, but the childer and grandchilder of Cain that have set themselves as gods to be worshipped by the descendants of Cain's brother, Seth. Cain refuses to either warn or help them, explaining that they have aroused YHWH's jealousy with their hubris. He advises future generations of vampires to let the mortals do the declaring and worshipping of their own volition, rather than by command, because then the whole matter is the result of the free will that YHWH gave humans to begin with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Dominions}}'' series revolves around this concept in a more literal fashion. Every player takes on the role of a pretender god, very powerful creatures and mages that are making a bid for God-hood, now that the former Pantokrator is gone. This Pretender is represented in-game as an actual unit. You even get your own religion, temples and priests! One particular Pretender type, the Divine Emperor, goes double by being a literal emperor who managed to use the fact that he's technically the Son of God (due to Roman-style post-death deification of emperors) to leverage himself into Pretender God status.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'':
** A downplayed example: The Dark Elves worship the Tribunal, a trio of living, flesh and blood gods (actually, they are just elves who received many supernatural powers via an ArtifactOfDoom). In the modern day they exert great influence, but aren't officially the government and their powers have waned greatly; rather, there's a separate King of Morrowind, who reports to the Emperor. But before Dagoth Ur's return and the Imperial conquest of Morrowind, they really did fit this trope.
** Tiber Septim, the first Emperor of the Third Era, achieved apotheosis and is worshiped by Imperial citizens as Talos, one of the Nine Divines. He has an especially strong following in the Legion.
*** While Talos, as the Ninth Divine, is the most prominent of the post-death apotheosized Men, at least two other rulers got the same: Cuhlecain, Septim's predecessor (Tiber was his general, and took over and continued the work when Cuhlecain was assassinated) with 'the Cult of Emperor Zero' and Reman Cyrodiil, founder of the Second Empire (also known as the Worldly God and the Light of Man).
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' worship of Talos has been banned thanks to a humiliating treaty forced on the Empire by the fascistic [[CantArgueWithElves Aldmeri]] [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Dominion]]. One [[UnreliableNarrator in-universe book]] speculates that he was originally three separate men, one a BodyDouble of the others, who upon becoming one at the end of ''Daggerfall'', Talos [[RealityWarper rewrote the past]] to become a single living demigod in the past.
* The God Emperor Fou-Lu of ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV''. In fact, specifically ''summoned'' as a god ''and'' emperor by the previous dynasty, which was [[VestigialEmpire in a state of civil war]].
* The Overmind, for the rest of the Zerg, in the original ''VideoGame/StarCraft''; all the more so given the fact that every Zerg, especially the Cerebrates, were manifestations of different aspects of his/its personality.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'': Though the Brotherhood of Nod's religion primarily seems to venerate [[GreenRocks Tiberium]], their leader [[DarkMessiah Kane]] is also highly venerated by the Brotherhood's fanatics, and his word is considered divine law. [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens There's]] [[TheAgeless a good reason]] [[CainAndAbel for that]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'''s [[BigBad Emperor]] has land, resources, and technology...but he's still just a sorcerer. [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning Then the heroes kill him]], the next step in his EvilPlan that results in him taking over Hell, ''[[UpdatedRerelease taking over Heaven]]'', and then coming back to the human world to finish what he started. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice one, Firion.]]
* Kefka Palazzo also became this in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. Basically, he was technically already made Emperor after he [[spoiler:betrayed and murdered Gestahl]], but when he [[spoiler:also absorbs the Warring Triad's power during the year of his reign, and even by the time he moves the Triad out of alignment]], he pretty much became God and Emperor.
* ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'': "Kain is deified. The Clans tell tales of Him. Few know the truth. He was mortal once, as were we all."
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has Suwako Moriya. In a reversal of how this trope usually goes, she ''started'' as a Mountain Goddess, then became the ruler of what would become the kingdom of Moriya. Somewhere in there, she single-handedly tamed the Curse Gods of the land. Suwako defended her kingdom from other gods who wished to conquer it, until she was tactically outmaneuvered by Kanako Yasaka, a Wind Goddess, to whom she surrendered. Kanako then become the God-Queen of Moriya, but the humans and Curse Gods didn't accept her, so she had to settle for joint-rulership with Suwako. This arrangement worked out very well for everyone involved, and continued until [[DeathOfTheOldGods the twilight of human faith in the modern era]], at which point Kanako decided to move herself, her old friend, and her friend's descendant into Gensoukyou [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly to gather new faith]].
** Before either Suwako or Kanako, there was, back in the PC-98 game ''Mystic Square'', Shinki, TheHighQueen and [[PhysicalGod creator goddess]] of the demon dealm, Makai, as well as [[CreatingLife all life in the realm]], which effectively also made her ''Touhou'''s gender-swapped {{Satan}}.
* Pretty much what the ''VideoGame/BlackAndWhite'' series is all about, but reversed. You play a disembodied god making your wishes known through supernatural means.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', Caesar's Legions view of Caesar himself is best stated around here, with them believing he is the son of Mars and a God. This goes a long way to explain their fanatical devotion to the Legion. Caesar himself has no such delusions, but his ego is no less massive.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight. The leader of the various godly Lords and father of several gods on his own, he rules over man from Anor Londo in Lordran.
* Claimed by Emperor Sun Hai and [[spoiler: Sun Li]] in ''JadeEmpire''. [[spoiler: Sun Hai is delusional. [[PhysicalGod Sun Li can back it up]].]]
* Shao Kahn of ''MortalKombat'', while not specifically referred to as a god, he's a powerful, apparently ageless warlord of a DeathWorld. In ''MortalKombat9'' he proclaims himself to be one near the end and [[spoiler: before the TimeyWimeyBall, it's revealed he had won ''Armageddon'' and achieved omnipotence]]. His predecessor, Onaga, though very mortal, was also extremely powerful, and displayed power over life and death. When he died his army allowed Onaga's holy men to mummify themselves alive so they could serve again if he returned.
* TheLastRemnant has a man who they call the God Emperor, who ruled the land for a long time before the start of the game. By the start, however, his power is only relegated to the area he lives in, as everyone has developed into monarchy-like city-states, leaving him God Emperor InNameOnly.
* The ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' contains several individuals who may fit the requirements to be considered God Emperor:
** First we have the founder and (not acting) leader of the [[LegionsOfHell Burning Legion]], [[TheDevil Sargeras]]. He originally was the greatest warrior of [[ThePrecursors the titans]], who was appointed by them to hunt down and imprison all the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil demonic races]] who sought to prey upon the ordered worlds they had created. After killing one too many demons and seeing one too many races corrupted by them, he went mad and [[KnightTemplar decided that universe itself to be fundamentally flawed]] and that [[WorldOfSilence it must be destroyed and recreated anew without imperfection]], for which effect he released all the demonic races he had imprisoned and gave them the option to help him destroy the universe or be killed by him, [[MortonsFork guess which one they chose]]. Due to the fact that he could probably destroy Azeroth single-handedly, he was {{Put on a Bus}}, by banishing his spirit into the Twisting Nether following his corruption of Medivh, which didn' stop the legion [[OmnicidalManiac from carrying on his mission]], and his [[TheDragon Dragon]] Kil'Jaeden taking command in his name, but never trying to usurp command, simply considering him to be "absent". Though he has godlike powers, he doesn't seem to encourage his minions to worship him, but mortal groups like the shadow council, who seek the favor of the legion, do so anyway . There's also the widespread belief among the community he will be the final boss of the final expansion of WOW, so how can he not be godlike if his death signals the end of {{the verse}}.
** Second, we have the BigBad of the second expansion, The Lich King, tough he originally was the orc (read: mortal) shaman, Ner'Zhul, who had a prominent role in allowing the Burning Legion to corrupt the orcish race into TheHorde they were prior to their redemption by Thrall. Once the horde failed to take over Azeroth following their defeat in the second war, he tried to escape the wrath of the [[TheDragon Legion Lord Kil'Jaeden]], but was captured by him, [[AndIMustScream had his soul ripped off from his body and trapped in the frozen throne]], and sent back to Azeroth, this time to raise an undead army with [[AnimateDead necromantic magic]] and a [[TheVirus zombie plague]], to finish the job the horde had started. Though he succeeded in destroying the kingdom of Lordaeron, he was GenreSavvy enough to know that Kil'Jaeden will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness eventually dispose of him]], so [[ManipulativeBastard he engineered]] the FaceHeelTurn of the human prince Arthas Menethil, in order "merge" with him and be truly free of Kil'Jaeden control, [[AGodAmI gaining godlike powers]] in the process, [[spoiler:though that may have backfired since it is implied only Arthas is in control following their MentalFusion]]. Anyway the second expansion, depicts Lich King Arthas, as having powers to raise and control the dead, both mindless and sentient, which causes the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Vrykul]] and the [[PettingZooPeople Tuskarr]] to identify him with their respective patron deity of death. It is also [[ReligionOfEvil evident in it's very nature]], that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the cult of the damned]], the still living and willing servants of the Lich King worship him as a God, and expect to be [[LivingForeverIsAwesome blessed with the immortality of undeath]] as a [[ImmortalitySeeker reward for their faith]].
** Thrall himself is a borderline case as he gave up his Warchief Mantle(read: stopped being an emperor), before gaining proper [[PhysicalGod godlike]] [[MessianicArchetype powers]] in the third expansion. [[LoopholeAbuse Technicalities aside]], some orcs (who were at the time not members of the horde, and arguably had no idea how powerful can you become with proper training in WOW) expressed doubts that he could be mortal upon seeing him for the first time, so that would probably count as "worship".
** The fourth expansion, brings us the Last (pandaren) Emperor of Pandaria, Shaohao, who upon learning from his local [[FishPeople Jinyu]] Oracle that [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the sundering]] was coming, decided to search for a way to save Pandaria from it. The method he came up with tough required him to purge himself from his negative emotions, using masks that created {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of them, and then [[EnemyWithout beating the crap out of them]]. [[spoiler:It is implied that this is what released the [[EldritchAbomination the Sha]] from their imprisonment, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero which would go on to cause problems for his people for millenia to come]], but then again considering [[EarthShatteringKaboom the alternative]], he [[TheExtremistWasRight may have had a point]].]] After purging himself from negative emotions, and becoming a "[[MessianicArchetype being of pure light]]", he returned to the vale of eternal blossoms, to commune with the land, but failed until he realized he needed to save his enemies the [[BeePeople man]][[ProudWarriorRaceGuy tid]] as well if he wanted to save Pandaria, so [[BalanceOfGoodandEvil with that in mind]], he succeeded in "[[MessianicArchetype becoming one with the land]]" and when the Sundering came, Pandaria drifted quietly into the ocean and became enveloped in impenetrable mists, hidden away from the rest of the world, while his mortal body disappeared, leaving only his clothes behind. In modern times, the pandaren don't really worship him, but it is clear that they admire him and consider him to have become more than mortal in his quest to save Pandaria, having achieved some sort of EnlightenmentSuperpowers:
-->'''Lorewalker Cho''': Would that we could all live like our most sacred emperor. That we could put aside all our burdens and exist in harmony with the cosmos.
* Raidriar the God King from the ''VideoGame/InfinityBlade'' series is a self-proclaimed example, though he is merely one of the Deathless, albeit one of the most powerful. According to [[spoiler:Galath the Worker of Secrets]], Raidriar is unique in that [[spoiler:he is the only Deathless who genuinely believes he is a god. The others never forgot their original human roots and merely pretended to be divine to rule over humanity.]]
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowGatOutOfHell'': After [[VideoGame/SaintsRowIV defeating the Zin]], The Boss is now apparently "President / God Emperor for Life of the Universe".
* In ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} V: Brave New World'', one of the beliefs you can select for your religious pantheon is God-King, which causes the palace in your capital city to generate one extra unit each of culture, faith, gold, production, and science.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Bahamut, god and king of dragons, in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'', who rules by his own divine mandate. Several characters remark that it must be a pretty sweet job and is probably something you have to be born into.
* Lt. Pibald from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' is ''not'' a God Emperor, but claimed to be one on one of his dozens of applications for the demolitions expert position. [[spoiler:Petey]] seems to be closer to the mark.
* King Zahard from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'', who, in the words of the author, is a godlike existence to the residents of the Tower. Also he is immortal. [[OnlyICanKillHim Well, for the most part]].
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': At the end of one story, it seems that alternative reality America is about to elect the Goddess of Goodness their president. You can't even refer to her ''without'' calling her a goddess. Her enemy the Demon King of the Dimension of Pain is also at least heavily implied to be a god by his subjects, particularly when he's pointedly worshipped as an evil CrystalDragonJesus in one guest story.
* Recurring villain Kelelder the Planet Thief in ''Webcomic/{{Jix}}'' is an immortal Ambis who assassinates nobles and claims their planets for fun, and is worshipped as a god by a legion of loyal followers. [[spoiler:And it seems he's planning to make the "emperor" part official by adding the Ambis emperor to his trophy wall.]]
* In ''Webcomic/BeyondTheVeil''
** Nicodemus Aurelius was one before he was betrayed and deposed. And there is still a cult devoted to him 300 years after his "death".
** Uriel, the one who deposed him, seems to evoke this to some extent as well. At the very least the governor of a seemingly medieval planet sets [[http://beyondtheveilcomic.com/?p=410 herself up as a goddess.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''OrionsArm'':
** The cyborg God-Emperor of the Solar Dominion, who founded the religion of Solarism and now serves as the avatar of an Archailect known as the Lord of Rays.
** Also the major empires are controlled by [=AIs=] that are at the point of being {{Physical God}}s so far as anyone can tell.
* Jayle, in Literature/LandGames.
* Seems to be the most common form of government in the ''Literature/TalesOfMU'' universe. The emperor of Magisteria ([[FantasyCounterpartCulture the America equivalent]]) is unique in being a mere mortal, while the Nameless One that the founder of his dynasty rebelled against is still alive.
* WebVideo/DiamandaHagan, ruler of Haganistan, actually has a pretty good case for divinity. Thus far, she's [[spoiler:[[BackFromTheDead risen from the dead]] three weeks after committing suicide ''just to see if she could'', possessed several other internet reviewers, come back from the dead ''[[ResurrectiveImmortality again]]'', and transformed a minion into an unused vibrator in its original packaging using the power of her mind.]] Supernatural powers aside, it's also implied throughout the first couple seasons that she's a genius--and given that omniscience is also a part of godhood...
* The Captain [[spoiler:ie. the Star Stalker ([[{{Reincarnation}} past life]] of [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo]])]] from the WhateleyUniverse "ruled" a major star system thousands of years ago, and became deified after she disappeared.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] promotes himself to this as "The Phoenix King" during the GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', planning on committing genocide to celebrate his inauguration. Fortunately he was stopped before that plan got off the ground.
** Chief Unalaq from the SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' also takes a stab at this by proclaiming himself the Dark Avatar. He's able to back up his claim better than Ozai, due to fusing with an EldritchAbomination.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': The two [[PrincessesRule princesses ruling]] Equestria, Celestia and Luna, come really close, but it's implied rather than stated. They ''are'' the stewards of day and night, respectively, and [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows control the associated celestial bodies]]. [[OhMyGods Phrases]] such as "thank Celestia", "in the name of Celestia", and "as Celestia as my witness" have been used, hinting the ponies themselves view her as divine as well as regal (Luna is just less well known, to make a long story short). All that's missing is anyone actually calling them "gods", a word that has never, ever been used in the show.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Roughly 75% of the history of AncientEgypt.
* Japanese emperors before 1945. Usually though, Japanese emperors always claimed ''descent'' from Amaterasu, but playing at being a PhysicalGod really only happened under the fascism within parts of Hirohito's reign.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by the Roman Emperors who were GenreSavvy enough to follow the lead of [[UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} Augustus]], the first emperor, and leave orders to deify them after death.
** Including perhaps the most GenreSavvy, Vespasian, whose dying words were 'I think I am becoming a god', a direct reference to the apotheosis of Emperors.
** It has also been said to be one of the reasons for the whole problem with Christians: as they only had one god, they didn't accept the divine nature of the emperor, who in turn didn't accept them. On the other hand, once most Roman Citizens were Christians, the practice of Caesaropapism began, in which Imperial decree gave legitimacy to the ecumenical councils that he called in the first place to try to end all the squabbles that were messing with Imperial unity.
** [[UsefulNotes/{{Caligula}} Gaius Caligula]] jumped the gun and started when he was alive: he even wanted [[BerserkButton to put his statue in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem]]! You can imagine how well that went over. The funny thing is, he thought he was being ''nice'': every ''other'' religion had a statue in its Holy of Holies, so he figured the Jews must just have been too poor or something to deck out their Temple properly. His response to this was like, "I know! ''I'm'' a god--and I've got way too many statues lying around! Here! Have one! Wait, you don't want a statue? Weirdos." (Truth be told, most of the Mediterranean didn't really get the whole "thou-shalt-make-no-graven-image" thing.)
** Generally the worse an emperor is depicted as being in our sources the more likely it is that they will state that he claimed to be divine while alive (the other obvious candidate being Commodus, of ''Gladiator'' fame). State worship of the Emperor in Rome was generally considered a big no-no throughout the Empire's existence. Outside Rome was another matter.
* Despite [[HollywoodHistory common belief]] as ''Film/ThreeHundred'' might lead you to believe, the Persian King-Of-Kings was not worshiped as a God, as the Persians were monotheistic Zoroastrians. The misconception arose among the ancient Greeks, who mistook the Persian practice of [[KneelBeforeZod proskynesis]] before the monarch for an act of divine worship, when it was in fact a secular social ritual.
* North Korea:
** Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il "rule" over and are "worshiped" in North Korea. (Note the present tense for both "rule" and "are worshiped". Though Kim Il-Sung died in [[TheNineties 1994]] and Kim Jong-Il in 2011, the elder Kim retains his position as "Eternal President" and the younger is still referred to as "Dear Leader" and "Eternal General Secretary of the Party".) The cult revolves around the elder Kim's revolutionary activities and the transformation of North Korean system.
** Official North Korean history places Kim Jong-Il's birth at the foot of the holy mountain of Paektu, beneath a new star and a double rainbow. In fact he was born in in an army camp in Siberia. Official history also claimed that he played 38-under-par on his first try at golf and that he never defecated. He personally claimed he could create rain on command and that he invented the hamburger.
** A few journalists have reported that they ''are'' directly worshiped, or at least prayed to. Nobody knows yet whether the new leader, Kim Jong-Un, will receive the same treatment.
* Before the Republican revolution of the 20th century, Chinese Emperors were each known as the "Lord of Ten Thousand Years." Hong Xiuquan, who led the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing dynasty in the mid-19th century, called himself the Heavenly King and believed he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ.
* A running theme in Thai history. Spend any time in Thailand and you will see people praying to icons of King Rama V. King Thaksin the Great went one better, and declared himself to be the reincarnation of the Buddha. (Which is shockingly blasphemous in Thai Theravada Buddhism: it amounts to denying that the Buddha achieved nirvana in death, at which point he would have stopped reincarnating, which basically denies that he ''was'' the Buddha.) The current King, Rama IX, has attracted his share of veneration, given that he is: a, the longest-serving head of state on Earth; b, reigned over the greatest expansion of Thai prestige and economic growth in history; and c, is listed on this very wiki on the CoolOldGuy page.
* Meanwhile, in China, the rulers had what was called The Mandate Of Heaven, which basically means that as long as they made sure things were going well in the kingdom, they obviously had the blessings of heaven with them. However, when the emperor started caring more about his own pleasures than helping the people, and his officials started making life miserable for everyone, well, it was obvious that the Mandate Of Heaven was removed, and it was time to go kill the emperor, his lackeys, and anyone else who was doing a crap job of ruling the country, and put in someone competent. Of course the origin of the Mandate was from the Zhou Dynasty, whose first ruler made this to justify overthrowing the Shang Dynasty by claiming that the Shang ''also'' did this too. \\
\\
This was of course very convenient, as it both gave justification for imperial rule (Heaven favors this person to run the country) while also justifying revolt and rebellion through explaining the corruption that dynasties inevitably suffer over time. The Mandate essentially condensed the [[BalkanizeMe historical pattern of inevitable disintegration]] of {{space filling empire}}s in a controllable, constitutional form.
* Despite not being considered a god (at least not in Ethiopia), Haile Selassie's full title was "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Elect of God". Meanwhile, he was (and is) considered the second coming of Christ by the Rastafarians. He was quite surprised (and perhaps disturbed on religious grounds, being Christian and the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) to find this out upon visiting Jamaica in 1965. However, out of respect he didn't disabuse their belief.
* Wilfried Daim published a photograph of a document signed by UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. This document ordered the "Immediate and unconditional abolition of all religions after the final victory", and proclaimed Hitler as the new messiah.
* Many rulers (of both nations and religious sects, mostly Christian ones) play with this. They don't claim that they are Gods, but claim themselves/their blood line has been chosen by God, giving them a divine right to rule. After many political upheavals and the destruction of European Monarchies' power ([[RoyallyScrewedUp plus the]] [[TangledFamilyTree degrading of royal lines]] [[IncestIsRelative from excessive inbreeding]]), most nobles refrain from declaring this notion openly anymore.
* There is a village in Vanuatu which harbours [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Philip_Movement a cult worshipping Philip of Edinburgh as a god.]]
[[/folder]]
----