There's a reason that the royal family is the one in control of the kingdom. Their bloodline
is the one with the powers. Their line is associated with magic, or telepathy, or some other sort of supernatural ability.
Sometimes this is the product of Superpowerful Genetics
, other times it's an object passed down, or a ritual that the royals invoke that grants them their powers. Other times it is just handwaved as the Divine Right of Kings with a deity granting them their abilities
(especially if it takes the form of healing magic
), or just because Everything Is Better With Princesses
A character unexpectedly exhibiting these powers may result in a Really Royalty Reveal
Subtrope of Royal Blood
and Supernatural Elite
, supertrope of Fisher King
. Compare to Authority Equals Asskicking
and The Magocracy
. See also Hive Queen
, God Emperor
, and Vampire Monarch
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Anime and Manga
- Sailor Moon: Being a Magical Girl in the royal blood with everyone being princesses and passed down from mother to daughter.
- More specifically, the members of the Moon Matriarchy are the only ones who can fully use the Silver Crystal.
- Tenchi Muyo! Tenchi is a member of the Juraian Royal Family. As such, he can operate Jurai's trees.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the kings of the Ancient Belkan era invoked this trope via genetic engineering, turning themselves and their descendents into One Man Armies, as seen with Vivio, who, at six years old, had more raw power than the title character, herself a winner of the Superpower Lottery.
- In Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm series, the royal family of an alternate Britain is associated with a fire god. All the family have glowing eyes, and the sovereign is the god's "Vessel" or avatar.
- In The Lord of the Rings the kings of Gondor (are said to) have healing abilities. The truth is, possibly, a bit more mundane- see Healing Hands.
- Everyone in Xanth has a magical talent, but there's a legal requirement that the king must be a Magician (someone whose talent is particularly powerful). Over the course of the series, one family has kept the throne for several generations because they're descended from a character who was given the gift that all his descendants would have Magician-class talents.
- Labyrinths of Echo explored the implications. The protagonist immigrated to a very rich kingdom. Later his boss explains the reason why here only scholars know what "drought" means: crown princes of several successive dynasties were trained and initiated into a special magical tradition giving the ability to strike deals with the land itself. So they fight off endless attempts to influence them, to the point that "was a crown prince and trained accordingly" is given as a reason why a king-Arbiter managed to control his powers. In many generations of batshit insane mages almost no one tried to overthrow the monarchy or attack a specific king. Rebel mages screamed for blood of the head of a magical order allied with the crown and long after civil war's end avengers popped up once per tenday or so. Not against the King. In the land choke-full of diviners he travels incognito with two guards and a token cover-up: lots of people could track him if they wanted, but no one does.
- Only the nobles in Zero no Tsukaima can use magic, and their children can use magic via Superpowerful Genetics. And in a special case, a user of Void Magic must be descended from the either one of the founding leaders of any of the four countries.
- In The Dresden Files, being a descendant of royalty is one of the criteria for being a Knight of the Cross. Not much of a restriction due to the way heredity spread; for instance, almost everybody in Europe is descended from Charlemagne.
- Both the House of Haldane (rulers of Gwynedd) and the House of Furstan (rulers of Torenth) in the Deryni works are deeply associated with magic.
- The Haldanes ruled Gwynedd long before their powers were discovered; the discovery of the abilities facilitated the restoration of the dynasty to the monarchy after an interregnum of some eighty years. Subsequent Haldanes used their powers to help retain their throne in the face of their rivals' repeated efforts to retake the country.
- The Furstans largely train to use their powers like other Deryni, but the monarch's investiture is a magical ritual involving the tomb of the dynasty's founder, which is depicted throbbing with arcane power. Kelson Haldane and some of his courtiers visit the tomb with the young King Liam and his uncle before the ceremony, and even Liam is noted as avoiding touching the tomb.
- In Dune the Bene Gesserit manipulated marriages between members of certain houses for about ten thousand years in an attempt to breed a Kwisatz Haderach who could access both sides of his lineage's Genetic Memory and see the future perfectly. The end result was Paul Atreides, who used his powers to become the messiah of the Fremen of Arrakis and Emperor of the known universe. His son, the God Emperor Leto II, inherited the same powers and spent the next four millennia selectively breeding his sister's bloodline (including repeated inbreeding with clones of Duncan Idaho) for the ability to not be viewed by prescience.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire members of house Targaryen supposedly have the blood of dragons, though the only current one who is fireproof and can command the loyalty of dragons is Daenerys.
- Melisandre claims that royal blood has power. Since this power can only truly be unlocked through blood sacrifice, this doesn't work out so well for the royals in question.
- In Margaret Weis's The Star of the Guardians series, the ubermensch ruling class have perfect genetics, psychic abilities, and the sanction of God.
- In the Inheritance Trilogy the Arameri royal family has a variety of superpowers- they can command the Enefadeh (a group of powerful gods), and also command weaker members of the family depending on their sigil.
- Members of the Rakan dynasty, rulers of the ancient Golden Anaxia in Reflections of Eterna, wielded magical powers connected to the very fabric of the world of Kertiana, but the knowledge of how to use them has been lost as the dynasty almost died out. Likewise, the four ducal houses of Golden Anaxia also wielded some sort of Elemental Powers but forgotten all or almost all about them.
- In the Hell's Gate series, we have a few on both sides of the inter-universal war. On the Arcanan side, the Mythalans have a Fantastic Caste System, with the magic-using Shakira on top, the supported by the military nobility of the Multhari, and oppressing the mundane Garthan peasantry. On the Sharonan side, the Calirath dynasty has ruled Ternathia, and at one time or another, most of the world, thanks to their family Talent- the ability to predict human suffering and tragedy, and thus act to prevent or minimize loss of life (on their side, when it happens in battle. Chunika s'hari, Halian.Sho Warak.) that gets stronger the closer the Calirath is to the centre of the danger.
- In the Star Trek novel Spock's World, one of the primitive Vulcan tribes discovered that their young were born with a "second eyelid," that allowed their tribesman better vision in the harsh Vulcan desert. When the more warlike protagonist of that sub-story takes virtual control of her tribe, she uses that ability to gain a better water source and better resources from the other tribes of ancient Vulcans. Eventually, her tribe becomes the dominant bloodline for all Vulcans and this genetic feature becomes part of normal Vulcan physiology. (This is what saves Spock's vision in the episode "Operation: Annihilate" in the series.
- The RPG 7th Sea has this. Sorcery in this setting is a special power of nobility and royalty. Its origins vary; in some countries (mostly Romance-expies), it originates from an ancient Deal with the Devil, in some (the England-expy and the Russia-expy) from deals with the local faeries and spirits.
- The emperor's line in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has dragon blood in them and can even turn into dragons.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim we ourselves get a taste of what Tiber Septim, the first Emperor, could do. The new Imperial Family, however, is mundane.
- Radiant Historia: Eruca, the princess, is the only one who can perform the ritual to delay Desertification. The Chronicle users are also royal family members, but they play a totally different part.
- Fire Emblem
- Fire Emblem Akaneia has the royal family of Altea, who's relationship to the hero Anri allows them to wield the holy sword, Falchion.
- Fire Emblem Jugdral has the various noble families of Crusader lineage. Their Holy Blood gives them significantly higher natural abilities than commoners possess (which takes the form of special stat boosts) but more importantly, only those of the right Crusader blood can use their family's respective holy weapon or spell, all of which are devastatingly powerful.
- In Fire Emblem Tellius, the imperial family of Begnion came to power due to their ability to hear the voice of the Goddess. This ability is inherited from the line's non-human ancestor. When the previous Empress tried to reveal this, she was murdered to preserve senate's power and credibility. At the end of the second game, the true Empress decides that her sister has been doing just fine without their ancestor's power, and accepts the crown of a different country.
- In Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, members of the Slaith Royal Family are apparently born knowing how to perform the Ein Zecksclaw technique. Fee's ability to do this in times of great danger ultimately reveals that she is really Princess Audrey, Max's long-lost sister.
- The Legend of Zelda: The daughters of Hyrule's Royal Family named Zelda inherit the spirit of the Goddess Hylia, the powers of the Seventh Sage / Maiden, and The Triforce of Wisdom and the power of the Goddess Nayru. You'd think all the power would prevent them from inevitably being the Damsel in Distress at one point in every story...
- In Choice of Romance, the Kingdom of Iberia has the nobility possessing Life or Death magic (depending on the family). Death mages is mostly good for fighting (e.g. throwing fireballs), while Life mages are usually healers, although it's possible to use Life magic for Mind Control (with some nasty side effects for the user). As per tradition, the magic type of the current ruler must be different from the one before, meaning a Life magic King/Queen must be succeeded by a Death magic heir and vice versa. In Chapter III, a lower noble has figured out how to create Death rods, artifacts capable of storing and using Death magic without being a powerful Death mage, as long as it's been charged by one. The idea is that this would allow the Iberian army to include commoners with powerful weapons to crush all opposition. However, higher-ranking nobles fear that this would undermine the very foundations of nobility. The lower noble also claims that, at a later time, Life rods could be made to allow anyone with rudimentary magical abilities to heal (e.g. Death mages healing themselves in battle).
- In The Cyantian Chronicles, until a recent coup, the three highest ranking castes in the Fox Empire were genetic elites with enhanced strength and regenerative abilities. The Blacks also had the ability to project energy blasts.