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The ruling class are monstrous/supernatural. The literal Blue Bloods
, if you will.
This is nominally about supernatural creatures who have their own upper class (who are very likely to be more powerful than the lower-class supernaturals
), but it can include characters who happen to be both supernatural and upper-class, characters who are supernatural because
they're upper-class, or characters who are upper-class because they're supernatural. Due to the proud tradition of Asskicking Equals Authority
and Authority Equals Asskicking
, all four possibilities are likely to be true. Their lower-class subjects can be supernatural, "normal", or a mix of the two.
In some ways, the martial skills of feudal aristocracies (who were often the only skilled fighters at the time) could be compared to the supernatural skills of these elites. There's probably some element of Social Darwinism
at work here.
Some ancient cultures believed this to be Truth in Television
(or at least the subjects were supposed
to believe that), e.g. concerning the Pharaoh of Egypt.
Vampires Are Rich
is a Sister Trope
(if not a subtrope).
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Anime and Manga
- All residents of Seireitei (lit: "The Court of Pure Souls") count as this. It's where all the privileged souls reside in the afterlife. That includes government officials, shinigami, nobles, vassals, peacekeeping forces, and others. Every other soul either resides in Rukongai (lit: "Wandering Soul City") or suffers a Fate Worse Than Death elsewhere.
- Quincies are split into Echt and Gemischt depending on purity of blood line. However, Uryuu Ishida's social status is murky because he is the Gemischt son of a high-ranking Echt father and a Gemischt Ninja Maid. Made worse upon introduction to Quincy society, where he is immediately Kicked Upstairs to become Unexpected Successor to The Emperor.
- In The Twelve Kingdoms, the elites are immortal, can speak any language, and the kings and queens are so strong that killing demons is child's play to them.
- The Empire from Star Wars is led by the Sith, wielders of the dark side of the Force who possess powers that are magical in everything but name. The ability to wield the Force is innate - an average person cannot be trained in it. The Republic (both old and new) and the Rebel Alliance likewise have the Jedi, wielders of the light side of the Force. The Jedi do not lead the Republic, but they act as its elite warriors, even replacing the regular army by the time the prequels start.
- In Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series the Comym are seen as this. The mythical origin is that they have divine ancestry. But in reality they are Half-Human Hybrid descendants of humans and a race a Space Elves with Psychic Powers.
- The Red and White Courts of vampires in The Dresden Files both appear to operate on an aristocracy-based system, particularly the Red, and the two Faerie Courts have monarchies and nobles.
- This appears in the Deryni works, and King Kelson Haldane in particular holds that his arcane powers, which he distinguishes from those of Deryni in general, are a manifestation of divine favour, signifying his right to rule. He says as much during an archiepiscopal tribunal investigating Duncan McLain's marriage:
"Deryni are not the only ones to have this power, Bishop Arilan....We Haldanes can tell when a man is lying. It is a power of our sacred kingship."
- The Psi Lords of Takis in the Wild Cards series have built up this mystique around themselves, although in practice they are really just products of a Super Breeding Program to produce ever-greater telepathic powers.
- All European royals and nobles in Neil Gaiman's short story A Study in Emerald (an Intercontinuity Crossover between Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos) literally have blue blood. They're all either Eldritch Abominations or the half-human progeny of Eldritch Abominations.
She was called Victoria, because she had beaten us in battle, seven hundred years before, and she was called Gloriana, because she was glorious, and she was called the Queen, because the human mouth was not shaped to say her true name. She was huge, huger than I had imagined possible, and she squatted in the shadows staring down at us, without moving.
- Supernatural has the alphas, who are also the first of their kinds.
- In True Blood, the vampires operate on a feudal system. A Vampire King/Queen claims a territory and appoints sheriffs to administer it for him/her. Usually the most powerful and/or oldest vampire becomes the monarch, however, the position can be reached if a vampire is politically connected with the Authority who seem to be a governing council above the monarchies.
- Vampire Diaries has the Originals, who seem to be the original vampire family. They're the strongest vampires around and can compel lesser vampires to do their bidding. They cannot be killed with standard anti-vampire methods. They're mostly unknown among younger vampires since the Original Klaus hunted down the rest of his family and put them into a suspended state.
- In the Doctor Who serial State of Decay, the Three Who Rule are vampires, feeding off the peasants whom they rule.
- Angel: in the rushed series finale Angel et al. go up against the Circle of the Black Thorn, who are supernatural rulers/elite.
- In Exalted, the Scarlet Dynasty, the ruling class of the Realm is composed largely of the Terrestrial Exalted.
- Hell is also organised into a hierarchy of serfs, citizens and Unquestionable.
- Warhammer Fantasy's many supernatural creatures provide a number of examples:
- The Nehekharan undead, an entire kingdom of resurrected egyptian-styled humans, were governed by kings, an aristocracy and a priesthood in life, which has translated into a hierarchy of undead types in death thanks to the various degrees of mummification and preservation each class enjoyed. The rulers of the Nehekharan tomb-cities are the Tomb Kings and Tomb Princes - who became fully-fledged mummies. Their royal guards, chief architects and highest courtiers were only partially mummified, so became less powerful and less independent wights. The common folk did not receive any kind of mummification, and so were resurrected as near-mindless animated skeletons. The priesthood, being scholars of death and necromancy, never died and persisted as liches.
- Warhammer's Daemons of Chaos are organised along hierarchical lines, with Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes ruling over Lesser Daemons (the most important of which are known as Heralds and Champions), who in turn have dominion over daemonic beasts and daemonic mounts. Each of the four Gods of Chaos has its own parallel hierarchy of daemons along these lines. The lowest of the low are the Furies, with no divine patron, who are little better than scavengers and looked down upon by the rest of daemonkind.
- The Vampire Counts of Sylvania maintain a vampire aristocracy ruling over a human peasantry.
- The Treemen, Branchwraiths, Branch Nymphs, Dryads and Spites of the Loren Forest seem to have their own hierarchy.
- The main feature of the Birthright tabletop game. All the rulers in the realm are 'scions', who have inherited some supernatural powers. (The first scions received the powers when the gods of the realm perished in battle.) It's a variation on the "divine right of kings"; an unpowered ruler couldn't hope to get the trust of the populace.
- The maesters of Final Fantasy X are mostly unsent souls who simply aren't interested in giving away their power, even after their deaths.
- In Darkstalkers, the house of Aensland is the ruling family for all of Makai.
- Nippon Ichi games have this to varying degrees in their games. Laharl is a prince, generally respected within his castle. Zetta, who has to regain the kingdom he accidentally destroyed, earns varying levels of respect and obedience from his vassals. He gets none from the vegetables, who thought they were an autonomous collective.
- In the obscure PS2-game Kagero: Deception 2, humans are basically second-class to a nobility consisting of 'Timenoids' - blue-skinned immortals. As the player, you are initially a slave to the Timenoids, but eventually, you must decide whether to help them brutally suppress an emerging human uprising, help La Résistance destroy the Timenoid elite, or just Kill 'em All.
- In Tsukihime, the True Ancestors don't exactly have a proper hierarchy, but the highest-ranking of the True Ancestors are the ones closest to manifesting the Crimson Moon — Arcueid and Altrouge Brunestud are considered the princesses of the True Ancestors.