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Reclining Reigner
Cleopatra, helping make this trope Older Than Feudalism

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.

Sister Trope to Slouch of Villainy and Super Trope of Grapes of Luxury.

Compare Idle Rich. Not to be confused with Reluctant Ruler. Some ladies may even wear Diamonds in the Buff while taking this pose.


Examples:

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.

Comics
  • 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.

Film

Film - Animation

Literature
  • 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.

Live Action TV
  • 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.

Pinball
  • Though she's not a queen, Bally's Mata Hari pinball depicts the spy in such a pose on the backglass.

Tabletop Games
  • Warhammer's Greasus Goldtooth, Overtyrant of the Ogre Kingdoms, travels to battle and even fights like this, on a moving carpet of Gnoblar bearers. The model for Greasus (who is morbidly obese, even by Ogre standards, and possibly even can't walk under his own power) depicts him lying back at ease, giant haunch of meat in one hand, fabulous jewel-encrusted sceptre in the other. To further enhance his aura of disgustingly opulent excess, he has more gnoblars spread a carpet of gold coins in front of him wherever he goes. Subtlety is not a quality valued (or, indeed, understood) by ogres, so when they go in for a look, they don't to it by halves.
  • Similarly, Dominar Rasheth of the Skorne Empire is a morbidly obese warlord carried into battle on an agonizer-borne palanquin.

Video Games
  • 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: eight thrones have a slouchy animation programmed into them.
  • Gwynevere in Dark Souls is depicted reclining on a sofa when you meet her in person.
  • In Civilization V, Empress Theodora of the Byzantines is show reclining at all times on the diplomacy screen.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • Futurama: Hedonism Bot takes this to its logical conclusion: he's built into a sofa.

Real Life
  • 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.
  • Cats are absolute masters of this Trope, particularly long-haired breeds like the Persian.


People Fall Off ChairsSeated TropesSlouch of Villainy
Recitation HandclaspStock PosesRebel Relaxation
Private TutorLuxury TropesRequisite Royal Regalia
Please Spare Him, My Liege!Authority TropesRisking The King
Reckless PacifistCharacterization TropesRedemption Quest
Raised by WolvesOlder Than FeudalismReincarnation Romance
Rebel RelaxationAdded Alliterative AppealRecurring Riff

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