"Da Kini" in his youth.
Ludwig the Second, born Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm von Wittelsbach was king of Bavaria
from 1863 to 1885, and the last king to rule it as an independent state. He was famously eccentric and built many of the most beautiful castles in Bavaria, the most famous of which is Neuschwanstein
. He enjoyed myths and legends and Wagnerian opera
, which earned him the nickname "Märchenkönig" ("fairy-tale king"). However, the king's well-known eccentricity also brought him the less flattering nicknames "the crazy king" or "Mad King Ludwig".
It was largely Ludwig's patronage that allowed Richard Wagner
to create his famous operas detached from financial concerns.
Works that feature Ludwig II of Bavaria:
- Ludwig II (1922)
- Ludwig by Luschino Visconti (1972)
- Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King, another 1972 film
- Ludwig 1881 (1993)
- Ludwig der Zweite, König von Bayern (1993)
- Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs ("Splendor and End of a King") (1995)
- Ludwig II
- Ludwig2: The New Musical
- My Letters from Ludwig: A Novel about King Ludwig II of Bavaria
Tropes frequently associated with King Ludwig:
- Ambiguously Gay: There are theories.
- Born in the Wrong Century: He built castles in the Late 1800's. Thought he was the reincarnation of Parsifal, Lohengrin, and the Last 4 Louis's of France.
- Break the Cutie: He started out well loved and eager to be king. Dirty political dealings happen. He ended up exiled under a mental health watch and "drowned".
- The Chains of Commanding: He didn't like politics and he didn't like war, but it was his inheritance.
Toxic Friend Influence: Politicians at the time thought this of Wagner.
Übermensch: He had his own ideas about this
While Rome Burns: He had a tendency to go fantasize in his castle in the country, while his nation was in various wars
Wide-Eyed Idealist: When he began his reign.
The Woobie: He was this towards the end of his life
- Cryptic Conversation: His most famous quote was "I wish to remain an eternal enigma to myself and others."
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: As his cousin Elizabeth of Austria said: "The King was not mad; he was just an eccentric living in a world of dreams."
- Escapist Character: Not himself, but he liked to Cosplay as his favorite Opera heroes
- Everyone Is Related: His Mom was a Prussian Princess and his cousin was Empress of Austria. The Seven Weeks War was uncomfortable for him.
- The Exile: At the end of his life, he was sent to a homely castle on an island, never to return.
- Fan Nickname: "Da Kini"* ("the King").
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: His father took the King's job so seriously that he worked to death.
- I Kiss Your Hand: The only romantic relation he had with his engagement partner Sophie
- Ideal Hero: What he wanted to be/Thought he was
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: He found most other nobles boring, and only liked Richard Wagner. After Wagner died, it he shut himself in completely.
- Intergenerational Friendship: When they met he was 18 and Wagner was in his fifties. They were the best of friends.
- Large and in Charge: He was 193cm (6ft 4in) tall and also had impressive physical strength which he honed through sports.
- Loners Are Freaks: The Bavarian public did not think well of his solitary get aways.
- Mad Dreamer: He was the Dream King, after all.
- Misery Builds Character: His dad ordered that his children should never be fed until sated.
- Mood Swinger: Especially in his love life
- Mr. Imagination
- Never Got To Say Goodbye: His last night with Wagner, before Wagner died, was all annoyances and arguments
- No Social Skills
- Not Good with People: Type 1- He liked horses better
- Not Helping Your Case: Much Political change was happening, he was building Castles.
- The Perfectionist: Everything, Castles to Opera, had to be just so for the magic to work.
- Properly Paranoid: Incurably Paranoid was one of the things the doctors found to exile him for. He "drowned" three days later.
- Shrouded in Myth: Some people see him this way.
- Silly Walk: He developed one later in his life, while trying to imitate Louis the Fourteenth.
- Team Switzerland: He would flee to Switzerland, so that he did not have to deal with his country's wars.
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: After being relieved of his position, he "drowned" in Starnberg Lake, together with his personal doctor (who had previously co-conspired with the scheming statesmen). The Guglmänner, a Brotherhood of Funny Hats and an ancient Bavarian Royalist/Loyalist Sect are the main defenders of this trope. And well yes, there are some pieces that do not fit together, making their concern maybe just a tat realistic. Just take a look at them on the Conspiracy Theories page.note