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The Kingdom
The Kingdom may refer to the trope about a monarch's territory. If you're looking for that, see below.

You might also be looking for the following works:

If you were looking for one of those (or any other) works, and were lead here by a direct wick, please correct the link in the concerned page so that it points towards the proper article.


133: Last Rule of Politics: Kingdoms are good. Empires are evil

The Empire is evil. The Federation is generally good, often neutral and occasionally evil. The Kingdom, on the other hand, is almost always good.

Often very small, sometimes just a single city-state or a castle with a few outlying villages, but it often has wealth or power beyond its size, usually large natural deposits of precious metals or Green Rocks, sometimes as a result of some form of Applied Phlebotinum. (May be somewhat larger in a Feudal Future.) Often containing large stretches of the Ghibli Hills and Arcadia, punctuated by the Shining City.

The Kingdom is the Damsel in Distress of nations, almost always being the one to fall under a witch's curse or be invaded by The Empire. Usually the standard setting for Fairy Tales, and when it's not, will often look as if it came out of a fairy tale anyway, even if it's in a sci-fi setting. If a kingdom is doing something evil, the king has most likely been deposed, or brainwashed, or replaced with an evil duplicate, or hasn't been paying enough attention to the Evil Chancellor's extra-curricular activities with the troops. Remember, a kingdom is only pure if the "true" monarch is in charge. The Evil Prince is not a "true" monarch, mind you. Nor is the Queen if she decides to take over by killing her husband, which happens quite often; in fact, a Queen in charge is often a bad omen (though there are exceptions). And obviously, nor is the Puppet King.

Since Everything's Better with Princesses, any self-respecting Kingdom has one. She is usually benevolent and loved by the citizens, as well as gorgeous, of course and is commonly The Hero's love interest. (The obvious exception being when The Hero is, himself, the heir to the throne or a young and probably deposed king trying to save his own kingdom - in these cases, he will simply take a likely and kindhearted peasant girl to uplift into an honorary version of those tropes.)

One of the most common forms of Magical Land.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Later Mobile Suit Gundam entries like the notion:
    • The Sanc Kingdom in Gundam Wing (princess: Relena Peacecraft).
    • Gundam SEED has Orb Union (princess: Cagalli Yula Athha).
      • And Kingdom of Scandinavia as well (princess: Lacus Clyne. not really, but close — Clyne family is related to Scandinavian royalty)
    • Gundam 00 has Azadistan (princess: Marina Ismail), a very thinly veiled Expy of Iran, which was The Kingdom in Real Life until fairly recently. Azadistan is a deconstruction, since it's really anything but peaceful or homogenous. They conquered Kurdistan years ago, look down on Kurds or outsiders of really any type, are home to a boatload of religious extremists, and it's garnered the name Povertistan for a reason. The country soon descends into civil war, with the idolized princess being quite ineffectual, and has to be saved by the Gundams.
    • In fact, the original Mobile Suit Gundam's Republic of Zeon started off sort-of Kingdomish (Princess: Artesia Sum Deikun). Once it was taken over and renamed into a Principality by Zeon Sum Deikun's Evil Chancellor and his family, though, it moved rapidly towards The Empire.
  • Fleed from UFO Robo Grendizer -one of the Mazinger Z series- fits into this, in spite of being the entire planet. Benevolent monarch? Checked. A prince who is also The Hero (Duke Fleed) and a Princess (Maria Grace Fleed)? Checked. Princess has a romantic relationship with one of the heroes Kouji Kabuto? Checked. Ghibli Hills surrounding the Shining City? Checked. Invaded -and conquered- by The Empire? Checked.
  • Windbloom from Mai-Otome.
  • Altea in Go Lion (princess: Fala).
  • Lupin III: The franchise occasionally uses this trope, but none are as easily described as Miyazaki's first feature film.
    • The Castle of Cagliostro was a dutchy; a small kingdom ruled by a Duke. The duke and his wife died in a large fire, while his daughter was at a religious convent. The Count was in a different castle, and now rules as regent. He plans on marrying Clarisse to become regent-for-life and discover the secret to the Cagliostro kingdom.
  • The Kingdom of Forland in Murder Princess (princess: Alita Forland).
  • Fanelia and, to a lesser extent, Asturia in Vision of Escaflowne. No princesses in Fanelia, sadly, but much of the action of the series involved the king fighting off The Empire so he can take the throne. Asturia is a pawn of The Empire under the old king, but has a plethora of princesses, and as soon as one gets married and a clear line of succession is restored, they pull a Heel-Face Turn. Despite being a Duchy, Freid might almost count, although things don't turn out too well for them; the new ruler is not the heir by blood right and they wind up conquered by and ultimately cooperating with The Empire.
  • The Kingdom of Tristain in Zero no Tsukaima. To be fair, most of the other nations in the setting are kingdoms as well, but Tristain is The Kingdom.
  • The Valley of the Wind in the anime version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Though not surrounded by Ghibli Hills, it keeps some points for being the film that kick started Studio Ghibli in the first place.
  • The Pretty Cure franchise has the Garden of Light, the Land of Fountains, the Palmier Kingdom, the Sweets Kingdom, Major Land, Märchenland, and the Trump Kingdom. Several more appear in the movies.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has the Kingdom of Ostia (princess: Arika Anarkhia Entheofushia of Vespertatia), a Floating Continent which, according to the back story, was stuck in the middle of a war between the Hellas Empire and the Confederation. It was later destroyed in order to save the Magical World from the plan of the Nebulous Evil Organisation, and as a result, its princess was used as the scapegoat due to the displacement of its inhabitants.

    Comic Books 
  • Wakanda, the African Utopia in the Marvel Universe. Subverted with Latveria, which is not good. Though its run rather efficiently and pseudo-benevolently. And Doom referr to himself as "Emperor" every now and then, indicating that the kingdom of Latveria is really the (small) empire of Latveria.
  • Atlantis from the DC Universe.

    Films - Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Naboo in Star Wars (Queen: Amidala/Padme), which portrays this despite being a planet. Planetville in action, folks. The Naboo monarch is elected by popular vote, and serves terms of four years.
  • Druidia from Spaceballs (Princess: Vespa) is also a planet kingdom, and one with its own enclosed atmosphere.
  • The Danish Olsen-banden movies tend to take place in such a version of Denmark, with the title gang of bumbling sympathetic petty criminals often foiling the plans of villainous international capitalists, thereby saving the entire country.
  • In Scanners, the Mega Corp. ConSec fills this role, recruiting the heroic drifter Cameron Vale to neutralize the diabolical saboteur who has sworn a vendetta against them. Making them a weapons corporation is part of the film's elaborate plot to make us not really care about the stakes; the movie aims less for mere entertainment and more for making you uncomfortable.

    Literature 
  • The Star Kingdom of Manticore from David Weber's Honor Harrington series. The Applied Phlebotinum that makes this work is the Manticore Wormhole Junction, which allows the Kingdom to become massively wealthy through the sheer volume of trade the Junction supports.
    • In the recent books, though, it got subtly subverted by the fact that first the Star Kingdom of Manticore itself finally discovers joys of imperialism (Word of God has it that its name is now the Star ''Empire'' of Manticore), and second that the previous Empires are now either more or less good guys, or fair game for them.
  • The Kingdom of Oz.
  • The Old Kingdom in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom books. It has no other name, which fits as it is magically kept in Medieval Stasis in contrast to its neighbor to the South. And if the rightful rulers are not present, the Kingdom will fall into disrepair.
  • Subverted in the Discworld's city-state (and former kingdom) of Ankh-Morpork. Despite being a City of Adventure and frequently a geographical Distressed Damsel, it is ruled by the Patrician Havelock Vetinari, since the line of kings ended ...messily, and as they assert in Guards! Guards!, you'd be hard-pressed to find an eligible virgin amid its masses, let alone a pretty princess. However, it does have a wise, just and benevolent Fisher King who keeps the peace, saves the city and shapes it to his will. He'd just much rather you thought of him as that nice policeman Captain Carrot.
    • Played a little straighter (though not much) with the kingdom of Lancre, which is highly magical, presided over (currently) by a good and just king and queen, and actually ruled by a rather democratic mob of witches (who are in turn bossed about by Granny Weatherwax).
      • Well, the royalty in Lancre don't actually do anything; their job is to look official, the peoples' jobs are to politely ignore the royalty and get on with whatever they happen to do with themselves, and the thing in charge is actually the land itsself.
  • Andor in The Wheel of Time fits this trope perfectly.
    • Except for the bit about a Queen in charge being a bad omen ...
  • In the story "The Eternal Champion" by Michael Moorcock, Ekrose is summoned to help the human kingdom of Necranal, which is at war with the Eldren. At first, it is played straight, but as the story progresses, Ekrose finds this trope becoming subverted with the human kingdom, with Fantastic Racism having a much larger role in the war than expected. It turns out to be played straight with the Eldren kingdom.
  • The land of Osten Ard in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn has several political regions based on various Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, but the most typical of this trope is Erkynland, modeled strongly on Medieval England and home of The Hero, Simon. It rose to domination of Osten Ard on the strength of King Prester John's prowess in battle and remains there through the present time of the story. In contrast with the typical use of the trope, the majority of human nations in Osten Ard are mundane, but they are built on a land steeped in magical powers that humans only vaguely comprehend.
  • This trope is almost certainly why the area governed by Big Bad Galbatorix in the Eragon books rules an empire.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms are, well... fractured fairy-tales in exactly that setting, with enough variety built in that there will always be a beautiful princess, a tyrannical king, a scheming chancellor, etc. available whenever The Tradition requires one.
  • In the Skolian Saga by Catherine Asaro, the Skolian Imperialate is The Kingdom in the books which take place after Spherical Harmonics, in which the Ruby Pharaoh overthrows what is nominally Her Majesty's Government in a military coup and resumes direct rule. This is a rare case of The Kingdom being called an Empire. Indeed, even before the events of Spherical Harmonics, the Skolian Imperialate is not The Empire — it is The Federation. Ironically, The Empire of the Skolian Empire series calls itself a "Concord".
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there's the Hapes Consortium, an alliance of several dozen worlds ruled by a hereditary monarchy. Also, since it's a matriarchal society, the ruler is always a queen.
  • Gondor is a kingdom-in-exile. The line of kings there die out about 1000 years before The Hobbit, and since then has been ruled by the Stewards, making it a combination of this and The Federation. The good news is is that the last Princess of Gondor married the last King of Arnor, their fellow Successor State to the Kingdom of Númenor. It is from the latter line that the Rangers were established. The title of the last book indicates how Gondor turns out. Rohan is also a Kingdom of sorts, and what parts of this Trope Gondor lacks, Rohan makes up for. Also, kingdoms are everywhere in the prequel The Silmarillion.
  • Barrayar in the Vorkosigan Saga calls itself an empire. However, it is only composed of three planets, and it is in many ways closer to this then to being an empire. It has a fairly compact government and is only a medium-sized state by galactic standards, lacking the sprawl characteristic of both The Empire and The Federation, as well as the spectacular tyrannies of many variations of The Empire. Moreover while it has a Secret Police and a Deadly Decadent Court, both of these are rather toned down and are far less sinister than many variations of this trope; at least they are since Aral's Regency.
  • The Kingdom of Delain in Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon. The undetected cancer in its body is the evil ageless magician Flagg, whose machinations through the centuries have caused repeated disaster and turmoil in what might otherwise have been a peaceful land.

    Live Action TV 
  • Merlin Camelot is essentially good, though the anti-magic stance makes some people feel differently. Arthur will obviously eventually make it more like the usual 'good' Camelot in time. There were aversions as well, Cenred's land for a while, for example. He only cared about himself and couldn't be bothered with the villages.
  • The 2009 NBC series Kings was set in the Kingdom of Gilboa, a modern-day monarchy ruled over by King Silas Benjamin, with the Shining City of Shiloh as its crown jewel. It is at war (but vying for peace) with the neighboring country of Gath.

    Music 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Bretonnia in Warhammer is a mercilessly dark parody of this trope, with Quixotic knights and kings living in luxury at the expense of the peasantry and a society kept in Medieval Stasis while the rest of the world develops technologically. It's managed to remain independent of the rival human realm of The Empire thanks to the valor of its knights, magic that makes them Immune to Bullets, and the fact that the local Fair Folk are covertly manipulating their nation.
    • Plus, of course, the Royal Air Force. The Bretonnians have easily the best aerial troops in the game.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has an unusual example - the realm of Ultramar, eight systems ruled by the Ultramarines chapter of Space Marines. Its worlds manage to be both technologically-advanced and prosperous without turning into industrial hells, and under the benevolent leadership of the Ultramarines the citizenry is so happy that Ultramar is visible as a bright constellation of positive energy in the Warp. The kicker is that Ultramar is part of the setting's Empire, the Imperium of Man, a brutal totalitarian state.
  • The Kingdom of Aldis in Blue Rose is an excellent example of this — it's got all the trappings of a medieval fantasy kingdom, but magic and Magitek are sufficiently advanced and widespread that it's at least as nice a place to live as a modern first-world country, with excellent medicine, sanitation and communications. They've even got legal and accepted same-sex marriage.
    • Trappings is kind of the right word. The monarchy isn't hereditary, but is appointed by what amounts to an angel. Decisions are made via a small council where the monarch has 2 votes. The "nobility" is actually a civil service mandarinate, entered via egalitarian testing (including a morality test).
  • Obviously seen in Dungeons & Dragons, though "pure" cases may be a bit more rare than one would think — official D&D settings tend to feature quite an oddball mix of cultures, and this variety extends to forms of government as well. Still, quite archetypical canonical examples like Cormyr in the Forgotten Realms or the Kingdom (nee Grand Duchy) of Karameikos on Mystara definitely exist.

    Video Games 
  • The Dukedom of Riskent in Super Robot Wars Original Generation (princess: Shine Hausen).
  • Ferelden in Dragon Age: Origins is mostly good (until Loghain takes over, anyway), just somewhat ineffectual.
  • Neverwinter is technically a city-state and ruled by a Lord (who happens to lack daughters), but otherwise fits this trope perfectly.
  • Almost every kingdom in a Final Fantasy game ever. The only real exception is Alexandria in Final Fantasy IX, during Queen Brahne's reign.
    • Final Fantasy VI's Figaro probably is the most remarkable. Figaro Castle itself is in fact a machine that can travel underground between the two deserts on the continent, and its King, Edgar, is one of the heroes that resist the evil Empire. It doesn't have a Princess though, much to Edgar's dismay.
    • Final Fantasy XII invokes this trope to the letter. The Archadian empire invades the smaller, peaceful kingdom of Dalmasca, which even sports a beautiful princess.
    • While it is not called a kingdom, the Freestate Amsterdam that is Fisherman's Horizon qualifies, especially when put next to Galbadia and Esthar.
  • This article reads like a description of the kingdom of Hyrule (princess: Zelda) from The Legend of Zelda series. Hyrule seems to be working more like a a loose confederacy that a centralized kingdom, but the general theme is the same.
  • The eponymous setting of The Neverhood is a bare-bones version of The Kingdom, with very few residents besides the king himself.
    • Mostly because he was forced into hibernation before he could finish populating it.
  • The Mushroom Kingdom from Super Mario Bros. is an obvious example. It has Princess Peach, though all other officials are strangely absent...
  • Wyndia counts as this (to greater or lesser extent) in every Breath of Fire game it appears in (all but the fifth), and in the fourth also is part of The Federation against The Empire (which respectively fit these tropes). There is some minor subversion of this in the second, though, involving the Obligatory Princess.
  • The Fire Emblem series has several. And it's usually of the "Sacked by The Empire" variety.
    • FE 4 is notable, as The Empire, Grandbell starts off as this, then it goes on a warpath, invading several countries simultaneously (And winning). Then an Anti-Villain comes into power— and it goes back to being The Kingdom for about 9 years. Then... his son takes control... and it becomes The Empire. Until The Hero kills both the Anti-Villain of a previous Emperor and his son, then he and the Princess take control of the Empire, and it goes back to being The Kingdom.
  • Fantasinia and Bronquia (probably Embellia too) in Yggdra Union - except that the princess, Yggdra, is The Hero instead of the love interest.
  • The Pharastia Kingdom of Vanguard Bandits is cleanly this in the Kingdom Branch of the game. Then Subverted on the Empire Branch, as it becomes clear that the Kingdom isn't fully on the up-and-up either. A harsh lesson for the hero to learn, after a lifetime of idealizing it.
  • Despite being technically a Principality, Gallia in Valkyria Chronicles counts. The ruling dynasty, especially its Archduchess is loved by the people. It's another story, however, when it comes with both the bureaucracy and aristocracy in general.
  • Rakios in Eien no Aselia. The king is probably the least sympathetic character in the game after Soma, but Lesteena is nice. And just before she moves to assassinate him to save the country, someone else does it for her.
  • The Kingdom of Boron in the X-Universe qualifies, though its government is technically a constitutional monarchy akin to modern-day Great Britain (i.e. Queen Atreus is a figurehead for an elected government). They're portrayed as good guys, are constantly under threat from the Split Dynastynote , and have the smallest territory of the Commonwealth races. They've also got a few unique pieces of Applied Phlebotinum, such as ion weapons.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic the planet of Alderaan which has been called the soul of The Republic.
  • The Empire in The Elder Scrolls, which despite calling itself an empire isn't that trope.
  • Battle for Wesnoth has a good kingdom that is turned to evil when the Queen has the King murdered during a war. The resistance centers around the last legitimate heir (or so he thinks) to the king that managed to escape assasination. The Princess on the other hand is misguided by her mother, and only a Enemy Mine situation gets her on the right side eventually.
  • Kryta, the last standing human kingdom in Guild Wars 2, and the homeland of the playable humans. Fittingly enough, ruled by The High Queen who's a Reasonable Authority Figure, and in a state of constant siege from all directions. This is actually a regression from the original Guild Wars, where humans ruled most of the known world. It's implied that The Empire still exists far beyond the sea, but has closed its borders, kicked out all non-humans, and is inaccessible anyway because of the Elder Dragons blocking all the sea routes.
  • The Eastern Kingdom of Mikado in Shin Megami Tensei IV. However, it subverts some elements of this as it's fairly clear from the start it has its own faults, mainly a brutally classist Fantastic Caste System, hiding the demons lurking just underneath the capital, and the hoarding of knowledge and relics by the Monastery. Further horrors come out to light, and in the end the bucolic kingdom must face the reality of what it is.
  • As far as kingdoms to rescue, there's one called 'Loathing' that could use an adventurer or two. No official princesses, though. There's a rebellious one that hangs around, but she's not said to be part of the actual political hierarchy.

    Webcomics 
  • Trent and Mercia fill this role during the "Storm Breaker Saga" of Sluggy Freelance, though they're treated a little more cynically than most.
  • The Tower in Tower of God. Ruled by King Zahard, it gets by pretty well, however, there is a reason why the heroes are Sticking It To The Man: The inner section of the Tower is a giant Thunderdome. Being tested on each floor, people are trying to reach the top to fulfill their greatest wishes, often harming each other. Usually, thousands of people give up, get injured, fall into despair or die for every person that reaches the top. Rules of power conservation tend to tear apart families and the Ten Great Families aren't really nice to their relatives. The Kingdom is not a very nice place to live in anymore and people want to change that.

    Web Original 
  • The Kingdoms within the British/Restored Empire from Decades of Darkness fits this trope more or less.
  • The City of Axiflos in Open Blue is a neutral city-state that was forced to defend itself from larger neighbors whoo tried to force it to join their sides. Suffice to say, it can't really be considered a Distressed Damsel, as centuries of defensive buildup has turned it into a Stone Wall that not even the largest empires dare to invade nowadays. Such was its reputation that the Axifloan Coalition was named after it.

    Western Animation 
  • Equestria fits the description quite nicely, even though technically (as it's ruled exclusively by Princesses) it's a Principality rather than a proper Kingdom.
    • The same with the Crystal Empire, as it's only The Empire in name only (it's tiny and - at least in recent times - good, governed by a Princess and formerly ruled by a King).
  • The Northern Water Tribe from Avatar: The Last Airbender fits this trope better than the actual Earth Kingdom (which is more like The Federation), especially since it comes under siege by The Empire. It also has a princess, Yue. The three Water Tribes (including the Foggy Swamp Tribe) only have one evil character (Hama) in canon.
    • The Earth Kingdom does fit a little, in that Long Feng had been keeping the king oblivious to everything, and had been doing sort-of-evil things in his name.
  • Animaniacs: In "King Yakko" Yakko became king of a country so small a magnifying glass was needed to see it on the map, whose economy was based on production of anvils. And then they were invaded by a neighboring dictator who wanted their national product, which the royal house of Warner was only too glad to give him.

    Real Life 
  • Most real-world kingdoms and small countries see themselves as The Kingdom, especially the governments themselves.
    • Most constitutional monarchies see themselves this way, especially the ones in Europe and the Commonwealth. This is especially true since the two main powers of the Cold War were far bigger federal unions, the USA and the USSR.
  • For many Brazilians, the Empire of Brazil under Dom Pedro II. It was a sad inversion of Good Republic, Evil Empire.
  • Kingdoms in Real Life can differ much. There were kings like Louis XIV of France who reigned absolutely and could say "L Etat Cest Moi" (well okay, not really, but let's just consider 'absolutist' rulers absolutist for the sake of simplicity, m'kay?), medieval kingdoms where the power of the king was limited by his vassals (Ur Example for the anglosphere could well be the way the barons of England forced King John to sign the Magna Carta), and nowadays we have many representative monarchies which are essentially republics with a crowned head of state. In the past, there were even kingdoms where the king was elected! (the workings of which paralleled the 'noble republics' of Italy where a small group of wealthy families monopolized power, the only difference being councils of nobles versus councils of wealthy merchants and freemen voting for the top dog. And a certain amount of pomp and grandeur).


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