A Stock Pose
across many forms of media. The best way to show that the ruler of a country is powerful, decadent, hedonistic, and/or comfortable within their power is to show them reclining on their throne or another lavish piece of furniture.
For kings, sultans, emperors and other rulers, they're often portrayed as being surrounded by servants while being fed grapes
or cooled by giant fans, all the while with a very troubled/bored expression. For women, this tends to get taken Up to Eleven
, usually with the female reclining on something like a sofa, futon, or bed while wearing next to nothing
Some rulers will even travel on a litter
so that they can continue this look when on the move.
Although not exclusive to villains, they are the most common form of the trope, since Evil Is Cool
and Evil Is Sexy
to Slouch of Villainy
and Super Trope
of Grapes of Luxury
Compare Idle Rich
. Not to be confused with Reluctant Ruler
Anime & Manga
- Don Achino in the One Piece anime. He's quite chubby and is content to just lie on his sofa thing. He is very competent in battle though.
Film - Animation
- The Mighty Thor: Hela◊ has spent thousands of years making this trope into an art form. She does this on numerous occasions.
- Astérix: Most noble Roman patricians are drawn in a reclined position at some point in this comic books series. Most prominent characters of them and actual rulers are Caesar and Cleopatra.
Live Action TV
- I, Claudius: Romans ate their meals on reclining couches.
- Quo Vadis: There are quite a few lavish banquets at Nero's palace and in Petronius's house, and guests are eating and drinking half-sitting, half-lying.
- Played for Laughs in promo material for How I Met Your Mother, featuring Marshall and Lily's honeymoon in Scotland. Because of Marshall's obsession with Nessie the Loch Nech Monster, they miss a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Lily forces Marshall to do a dramatic reading of the play just for her, while she lies luxuriously in reclined position like Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Lily is eating the obligatory grapes.
- Though she's not a queen, Bally's Mata Hari pinball depicts the spy in such a pose on the backglass.
- Most of the Jarls in Skyrim recline when sitting on their thrones, excluding Jarl Elisif the Fair.
- This in fact is determined by the throne, not the character. There are eight recliney thrones with a slouchy animation programmed into them, and one upright one.
- Gwynevere in Dark Souls is depicted reclining on a sofa when you meet her in person.
- Futurama: Hedonism Bot takes this to its logical conclusion: he's built into a sofa.
- Truth in Television: Romans during certain historical periods ate their meals/banquets on reclining couches, as depicted in many works set during the Roman Empire.