The Kingslayer

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Checkmate.
Image by dehahs.

"Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes wasn't a pillar of society. He killed a king with his own hands. It needed doing, but the community, whatever that was, didn't always like the people who did what needed to be done or said what had to be said."

A character, for one reason or another, assassinates the King, the Emperor, the President, that one powerful guy whose position has massive mystique and glamor and charisma attached to it, no matter how badly they chose to use it. Usually the one to kill him is of the Praetorian Guard or someone equally close and trusted. However, it doesn't need to be a betrayal: it could perfectly well be an absolutely lawful execution after a fair trial. It won't matter to the people. He or she has slain a King.

The reason why killing a monarch has always been such a big deal is twofold: one aspect of it is that before the rise of nationalism, the monarch was the carrier of the state's sovereignty (afterwards, it was the people through the social contract). In simpler terms, the king was his country, so anyone attacking him automatically set himself against all the state institutions. Likewise, any revolution against the King was effectively de-legitimizing all the institutions (Church, Army, Titles) that had formerly depended on royal patronage, or which had legitimized royalty before. Kings who ruled by Divine Right were likewise considered to be ruling with God's approval—and anyone attacking an anointed king automatically infringed upon God's prerogative of deciding who is a suitable king and who should go. This is especially the case in nations like England and Russia where the Kings were part of the Church hierarchy as a whole. However, there were some theoricians who allowed Tyrannicide.

This is one reason why killing a president (while a serious crime and probably high treason — as is the murder of any high-ranking state official) does not pack the same punch in modern days, even if some Presidents have become glorified into King-like figures. However, because attacking the person and office of the King is essentially an action against the state, people in modern societies are not too keen on stories about attacking royalty either, even more so when royalty is brought to trial, since that would imply that any and every head-of-state and their respective governments can be brought to trial. A precedent which even the most advanced democracies are rarely interested in putting into practice or enforcing for a variety of reasons.

Expect them to Never Live It Down, and carry this moniker or a variation thereof for all their lives, if they don't get executed for it. In some instances this is an attempt to get a Klingon Promotion, possibly involving The Coup. May overlap with Hero Killer. This trope also usually doesn't apply to killing a King in battle. In this situation, the character is not the Kingslayer, but rather The Usurper (if he gets Historical Villain Upgrade) and The Conqueror (if he gets Historical Hero Upgrade). This is because there is a sense that defeat in battle and in combat is considered "fair play" as opposed to killing a King by assassination, or even by trial and legal execution.

As a Death Trope, spoilers will be unmarked on this page.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch killed his father, Emperor Charles, by geassing "god" to erase the king from existence. No one would ever have found out about it except Suzaku, C.C. and Lelouch who freely boasted about it to the Imperial Court, at a televised conference, in front of millions of people watching worldwide!
    • In the Grand Finale, Suzaku kills Emperor Lelouch as Zero which is intentional as part of their Zero Requiem plan.

    Comic Books 
  • In Star Trek Countdown, Nero kills the Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire and the survivors of the Imperial Senate as they flee Romulus' destruction in the Hobus supernova in revenge for the Senate not listening to his and Spock's warnings earlier, costing the lives of billions.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm goes with the fan theory that the Winter Soldier assassinated President Kennedy, with the Black Widow setting up Oswald as a patsy, then seducing Jack Ruby into killing him.
  • Averted in A Scotsman in Egypt. There's a guy running around with the name of Niels "Tyrantslayer" Ebbesen, but his title is never explained, and he dies in battle against ordinary soldiers instead of the king. That'd be this chap.
  • Twilight Sparkle, Ace Attorney: The Royal Turnabout has Rarity being accused of trying to kill Prince Blueblood, which is even worse than performing a normal murder successfully. However, Princess Twilight reveals that Prince Blueblood's attempted murder was just an assault and, while attempted assassination of royalty calls for the same kind of punishment as a successful murder, "there is no law that makes assaulting royalty any different from assaulting anypony else", and therefore the true culprit got left out with a lighter charge.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Yellow Dwarf", the titular antagonist kills the King of the Gold Mines with his own sword when he catches him talking to the captive princess Toutebelle.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King:
    • In The Lion King, Scar murders his brother Mufasa for the throne before making believe to his nephew that he is the one responsible.
    • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, this is the Outlanders plan. Zira has raised her son Kovu with the intention of having him kill Simba and take his throne. Subverted when Kovu falls for Simba's daughter and decides to not betray him.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Jaime Lannister is known as "The Kingslayer". In the backstory, he killed the arguably evil and unarguably very mad King Aerys Targaryen. It did a lot of good for the realm, saving over half a million lives that the Mad King was just about to end and putting an end to a destructive civil war. No one will let him forget it, though, because he was the King's own personal bodyguard and oathbound to protect him, and he's also the son of the arriviste Lannister family that the rebels saw as "Johnny come latelies" who parlay their opportunistic actions to grab royal favor. He is seen by many as a disagreeable Karma Houdini who should at the very least been Reassigned to Antarctica rather than continue as bodyguard. The fact that he saved the city from wildfire annihilation is unknown to everyone in Westeros save Brienne and the reader.
    • Brienne undergoes similar prejudice when she is thought to have killed Renly Baratheon, having been found in his tent with him just after he dies. In reality he was murdered by a shadow assassin conjured by a witch who was in league with Renly's brother Stannis Baratheon, though as Stannis had more right to the Iron Throne, and Renly was clearly The Usurper and intended to kill Stannis that day this doesn't seem so great a crime. Later Renly's secret lover Ser Loras Tyrell meets Brienne and demanded she be punished for Renly's death, even though the Tyrells are currently allied with the Lannister regime Renly intended to overthrow.
    • Stannis may be considered partially guilty of the deaths of all the other four Kings in the War of the Five Kings, though from his perspective they are all usurpers. After his defeat at the Blackwater with the assistance of the Red Witch Melisandre he uses three leeches filled with King's Blood thrown onto a brazier to curse Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark, who all die shortly after this.
    • Balon Greyjoy apparently dies when he falls of a bridge during a storm. However, shortly after this his villainous brother Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy returns to the Iron Isles and takes control of them. A vision by the Ghost of High Heart implies a Faceless Man, who specialize in deaths that look like accidents, was hired by Euron to perform the deed.
    • Lord Roose Bolton murders his King Robb Stark during The Red Wedding, which he planned with Lord Walder Frey, after which the Boltons take control of the North.
    • At his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, Joffrey Baratheon is poisoned by his grandmother-in-law Olenna Tyrell, as she fears his cruelty towards her granddaughter (though a reread of the positioning during the wedding shows it is likely one of Margaery's brothers, Garlan Tyrell, may have carried it out). Joffrey's uncle Tyrion Lannister is blamed for the murder and eventually convicted, but escapes Westeros before the sentence can be carried out.
    • Queen Cersei Lannister is the mastermind behind the death of her husband, King Robert Baratheon by letting her cousin, Lancel, gave more potent drink to Robert, which got him killed by a boar during their hunting trip. Later on, Lancel wasn't proud for what he had done and took a Faith–Heel Turn which got Cersei exposed for adultery and murder by the Church Militant.
    • There have been numerous historical examples, such as Aegon II, who was poisoned as Cregan Stark approached the city towards the end of the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Even though Cregan was fighting against Aegon II he still felt a King's murder should be punished. He arrested many of those present, sending most of them to the Wall, executing those who refused to take the Black, but pardoning Corlys Velaryon. Who poisoned Aegon is still unclear though.
    • Baelor the Beloved could have been poisoned by his uncle Viserys II, who was the next King, but may have acted as he had been running the realm efficiently for years and Baelor's pious policies threatened this. However many people believe Baelor died from his excessive fasting. Ironically Viserys died the following year, possibly poisoned by his son Aegon IV "The Unworthy".
  • Discworld. "Old Stoneface" Vimes, ancestor of the current Vimes, chopped off the King's head after he was sentenced to death by a tribunal for his horrific crimes. He was the only one with the balls to do it. He was later executed, his body getting the Osiris treatment. His bad reputation was so powerful, his descendants many generations later are still being bugged about it.
    Sam Vimes: (testily) It was only one king. It wasn't as though it was a habit.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Silmarillion, the dwarven jewelsmiths who killed the great elven king Thingol. It started the whole Elves vs. Dwarves shtick in the whole of Middle-Earth (and, after that, in many other fantasy universes that ripped off the Elves vs. Dwarves shtick from Professor Tolkien). Now that is a regicide with repercussions!
    • It takes a king, Isildur, to slay Sauron, the Sorcerous Overlord of the dark forces in the backstory of The Lord of the Rings. However, Sauron's One Ring of Power acts as a Soul Jar, keeping him kind-of-sort-of alive until Frodo Baggins goes on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Ultimately, though, it's Gollum who destroys the Ring and Sauron—and he does it completely by accident.
  • Kvothe, the protagonist of The Kingkiller Chronicle, alludes in the telling of his story to this happening (but as a trilogy in progress, we won't find out how until the third book comes out.) Some regard him as a hero, some as a miscreant, but whatever public opinion, he had a role in starting a war and is living under a false identity.
  • The Powder Mage Trilogy kicks off with Field Marshal Tamas organizing a revolution and executing the King and most of the aristocracy. The King's surviving court mage is under a magical obligation to avenge the King's death by killing his killer, but doesn't want to kill Tamas, who is among other things the father of his best friend. So he finds the actual headsman and kills him, fulfilling the technical requirements of the geas.
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle:
    • Murtagh gains this title after killing Hrothgar, King of the Dwarves, in Eldest. Galbatorix warns him not to make a habit of it.
    • In the end, it is Eragon who kills Galbatorix, the Big Bad and current ruler of Alagaesia.
  • In the Star Trek Novelverse Federation President Nanietta Bacco survives one attempt on her life by a Breen assassin in Cold Equations: Silent Weapons, which proves to be part of a ruse to divert Starfleet. She's then successfully assassinated in The Fall: Revelation and Dust at the new Deep Space 9's opening ceremony. The Tzenkethi are initially fingered (like the Breen, they're members of the rival alliance the Typhon Pact), but in fact it was done by the True Way (a Cardassian terrorist group) with the connivance of Councillor Ishan Anjar of Bajor who was trying to bring about a more militaristic Federation regime (ironically to protect Bajor from the Cardassians).
  • Honor Harrington:
    • King Roger III of Manticore officially died in a grav-skiing accident, but Manticore's security agencies are privately well aware that it was an assassination by the People's Republic of Haven in hopes that Queen Elizabeth III would be more pliable. This backfired, resulting in Elizabeth openly hating Haven. Haven's next attempt to annex Manticore, during the main series, is a straight-up invasion and a miserable failure.
    • At the end of The Short Victorious War the Citizens' Rights Union led by Robert Pierre executes a coup d'etat against the government of Haven, killing Hereditary President Harris and most of his family with an airstrike at the outset and taking out the rest of the Legislaturalist class in the following purges. They then frame the People's Navy for the whole shebang as having attempted a Military Coup.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay first subverts this then plays it straight, by having Katniss refuse to kill President Snow... and then killing President Coin.
  • At the end of Dragon Blood, Garranon kills high king Jakoven, the man who killed his father, was responsible for the soldiers who raped Garranon and his younger brother, and took the teenage Garranon as his "beloved". We never learn whether he lives it down, as all characters present when it happens concur that Jakoven needed killing.
  • The renegade officers from the disbanded French Foreign Legion hire an English assassin in Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal specifically because he is known to have killed some prominent targets. Although one of these was a tin-pot dictator, he maintained a cadre of bodyguards and took many precautions against assassination. "The Jackal" nevertheless managed to waste the despot. This kingslayer reputation lets The Jackal command a half-million dollars as his fee, which the renegades pay in full.
  • In Mentats of Dune, Josef Venport, the director of Venport Holdings, the only foldspace company to use Navigators, lures Emperor Salvador, whom Venport views as weak and incompetent, onto Arrakis and leaves him in a spice harvester to be eaten by a sandworm. Despite Venport's best efforts, Salvador's brother Roderick discovers Venport's role in Salvador's death and declares him an outlaw as soon as he's crowned Emperor. In Navigators of Dune, Roderick sends a sizable chunk of the Imperial forces to take Korhal, the headquarters of Venport Holdings, punish Josef Venport, and learn the secret of creating Navigators. However, the EsconTran foldspace carrier ends up popping up in the Korhal system too close to the sun and is destroyed along with over a hundred Imperial warships. For his part, Venport simply can't understand why Roderick is taking Salvador's death so personally. After all, Venport is the one who's responsible for the much more competent Roderick becoming Emperor and hopes they can work together to crush the fanatical Butlerians, who are responsible for the death of Roderick's daughter.
  • This is a part of SandWing monarchies in Wings of Fire. A daughter challenges and kills their mother in exchange for her throne. Prior to the book, a human killed the previous queen. Her three daughters have since started an over 20 year war over who will be the new queen.
  • Clan leaders dying is par to the course in Warrior Cats. They have nine lives to help work around that, but even then a very serious injury can take multiple or even all lives at once.
  • The Powder Mage Trilogy kicks off with Field Marshal Tamas organizing a revolution and executing th King and most of the aristocracy. The royal families were appointed by the gods, who promised they'd come back to defend them. After the revolution, one does. So one of the protagonists shoots him in the face.
  • In Forward the Foundation the (retroactively recognized as) last good Emperor of the Galactic empire is murdered by a gardener who was promoted against his will to head gardener, rather than for political reasons. However the result is the same, drawing the Empire one step further towards the impending chaos that Hari Seldon sees coming.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • "The Coming of Shadows": As the Centauri Emperor Turhan was making a state visit to Babylon 5, G'Kar was making plans to kill him at the reception held in his honor in revenge for the prior Centauri occupation of Narn, but Turhan, already near death, collapsed on his way there and died shortly thereafter.
      G'Kar: I was ready. I had prepared myself, I had made my peace with the Universe, I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own. Never in my life have I seen a worse case of timing!
    • In Season 4 Londo Mollari conspires with G'Kar and several members of the Centauri court to assassinate the insane Emperor Cartagia. In the end it's his aide Vir Cotto who delivers the killing blow in "Into the Fire"; he feels considerable anguish about it afterwards. Later, when it looks like the Vorlons are going to destroy Centauri Prime because the emperor-in-waiting, Londo, was a former associate of the Shadows, Londo tries to convince Vir to kill him, but the Vorlon planet killer is recalled to join the battle with the Alliance at Coriana VI in the nick of time.
    • In a Bad Future seen in "War Without End", Emperor Londo arranges to have G'Kar kill him to free the Centauri Republic of the Drakh keeper controlling his actions. Londo has drunk enough alcohol to put the keeper into as stupor for this, but it wakes up partway through and strangles G'Kar in a Mutual Kill. This is also implied to have happened in the prime timeline during the Time Skip between season 5 and the Distant Finale "Sleeping in Light", as Vir has succeeded Londo as Emperor by that time.
    • President Clark and Mr. Morden both participated in the death of President Santiago, who dies when EarthForce One explodes. The proof came from a transmission that Ivanova managed to capture with the Great Machine. Only Clark is seen, commenting how he's wanted Santiago dead for a long time, but Morden's voice is heard assuring him that EarthForce One will not return and that the power is now Clark's.
  • On Forever one Victim of the Week turns out to be a king-in-exile. He was only a child when he was deposed over 50 years ago and was forced to flee to the United States. Dying of cancer, he decided to apply for permission to return to his home country so he could die and be buried there. The day he makes his wish public, he is murdered. Henry tries to determine if the man was murdered because he was a king or because of more prosaic reasons.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Seth Rollins is a giant Game of Thrones fan, and so in his storyline feud with Triple H (known as The King of Kings), he began talking about how he was going to become "the Kingslayer". He debuted a new "Kingslayer" shirt (which also had a red lion on it) and upon his Wrestlemania 33 victory over HHH, has been officially dubbed this by the commentary team.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Traveller edition MegaTraveller. Archduke Dulinor personally murders Emperor Strephon in an attempt to seize the Iridium Throne, which causes the Third Imperium to dissolve into civil war.
  • In BattleTech, Stefan Amaris is infamous for killing the First Lord of the Star League, ending the golden age of humanity and plunging it to the succession wars.

    Theatre 
  • Older Than Feudalism. In Oedipus Rex Oedipus the King of Thebes has to find out who killed the previous king in order to stop a famine. Turns out it was Oedipus himself, though he didn't know it.
  • William Shakespeare
    • Macbeth. Macbeth murders King Duncan in order to become king himself.
    • Hamlet. Hamlet's father King Hamlet is murdered by Claudius, and Hamlet later murders King Claudius.
    • Julius Caesar. Caesar is assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and the other conspirators.

    Video Games 
  • WarCraft:
    • Garona Halforcen killed Stormwind's King Llane between the events of the first two games, right in front of his son, Prince Varian. She had actually formed a bond of trust between them but due to magical controls placed on her mind, when the Shadow Council directed her to kill the king, she had no choice.
    • Warcraft III's human campaign ends with Arthas, post-Face–Heel Turn, murdering his father the king of Lordaeron to cement the Undead Scourge's takeover of that part of Azeroth.
    • Kingslayer is a title which can be earned in World of Warcraft for killing the Lich King.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books: The In-Game Novel 2920: The Last Year of the First Era, Loosely Based On An In-Universe True Story, ends with the assassination of Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III by the sister of his ex-mistress, in revenge for her unjust execution for treason. This happens with the backing of the Dunmer assassins' guild, the Morag Tong, with the tacit support of the Akaviri ambassador who then takes over rulership of the Empire as Potentate.
    • A few hundred years later, the Colovian King Cuhlecain, with the aid of his Dragonborn General Talos, had re-captured the Imperial City and was preparing to take the throne as Emperor, the first since the death of Reman III. However, a Nightblade from High Rock assassinated Cuhlecain and attempted to assassinate Talos, slashing his throat (which prevented him from using the Thu'um ever again.) Talos survived and would be crowned Emperor in Cuhlecain's place, taking the name Tiber Septim. (At least, that's the story according to Imperial orthodox history. More "heretical" stories say that Talos had a hand in the assassination, and may have even murdered Cuhlecain himself in order to usurp the throne.)
    • In Oblivion, the main antagonists are the Mythic Dawn Apocalypse Cult, who become notorious in the opening for successfully assassinating Emperor Uriel Septim VII, along with his three publicly known sons, as part of their plan to allow a Daedric Prince to invade Nirn. This notoriety lasts for hundreds of years (as you find out if you do a particular sidequest in Skyrim).
    • During the 200 year Time Skip between Oblivion and Skyrim, the Thalmor assassinate Potentate Ocato (who served the latter Septim Emperors as High Chancellor and Imperial Battlemage) as part of their grand scheme to destabilize the Empire. It works, as no other ruler is able to hold the crumbling Septim Empire together again. The Thalmor, now the leaders of the Altmeri government, secede from the Empire, annex Valenwood, and re-form the Aldmeri Dominion of old.
    • Skyrim:
      • Just prior to the events of the game, Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak set off the Civil War by killing Torygg, the High King of Skyrim. Skyrim is fiercely divided on whether this was a lawful duel for the High King's throne in the old way (as the Stormcloaks under his banner see it) or a murder and usurpation of the throne due to Ulfric's use of the Thu'um against Torygg (as the Empire sees it).
      • The climax of the Dark Brotherhood questline has the player contracted to assassinate Emperor Titus Mede II during a state visit. Titus chooses to Face Death with Dignity, requesting only that the player next turn their blade on the person who requested his death. In the backstory, the Dark Brotherhood is also responsible for the assassination of Emperor Pelagius in the 3rd Era.
  • Star Trek Online: Chancellor J'mpok of the Klingon Empire attained his current post by killing Chancellor Martok under questionable circumstances in 2393. To wit, the two went into a closed-door meeting to try and avert a civil war in the Empire after a long power struggle between the pro-Federation moderates led by the House of Martok and the traditionalist Klingon hardliners under J'mpok. Three hours later J'mpok emerged saying Martok was dead and that he was now chancellor. This did absolutely nothing to end the power struggle: J'mpok's supporters naturally claim that he killed Martok in honorable combat, but Martok's widow Sirella has sworn revenge. Years later, the truth was ultimately revealed - J'mpok did kill Martok in honorable combat, but Torg of House Torg hijacked his body, revived him and tortured him. When Martok came back to the Empire, he decided to let J'mpok keep the position because he really didn't want it back.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • The Jedi Knight's story ends with them confronting and killing the Sith Emperor himself. Come The Shadow of Revan, though, it turns out he's Not Quite Dead, and now his spirit has escaped into the galaxy to get up to who knows what sort of mischief.
    • Happens again in Knights of the Fallen Empire where the Outlander kills Emperor Valkorion, and Valkorion happens to be the Sith Emperor's latest incarnation. He is imprisoned in carbonite, but Valkorion resides in the Outlander's body. They finally finish the deed for good at the end of Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  • In Crusader Kings ascension by assassination is a regular occurrence. Getting caught at it significantly impacts your relations with other rulers and vassals. And if the victim was a relative and you get caught you gain the Kinslayer trait that permanently lowers your Diplomacy rating by 3.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: It's not shown but it's heavily implied that Ganondorf killed the King of Hyrule when he took over, given how Impa took Zelda and bolted out of Hyrule Castle with Ganondorf hot on their heels and in the future no mention is made of the king at all, only the princess.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: During Zant's takeover he has the ruler of the Zoras, Queen Rutela, executed as an example to her people prior to freezing the Zora's Domain over. She appears as a spirit to Link, asking him to help her son, who is now the last member of the Zora royal family.
  • Prior to the events of Diablo King Leoric was killed by his own Knights, specifically Lachdanan, when they realized the depth of his madness and that he had become a threat to his own people. It did not end there, however. After he was risen as the Skeleton King he was killed again by his own son, Prince Aidan. He rose again when the Fallen Star caused the dead to stir and this time was killed by the Nephelem, for good this time. Or so the prophecy says.
  • Zigzagged in Tales of Xillia. At various points in the story, the Kings of both major nations, Gaius and Nachtigal, find themselves aligned against the player, and both show up as bosses (Gaius actually ends up being the Final Boss). However, the player doesn't actually kill either of them—Nachtigal appears to be undergoing a Heel–Face Turn after his boss battle, but is then assassinated by a third party. Gaius, on the other hand, does undergo a Heel-Face Turn after surviving the Final Boss Battle, and he becomes the protagonists' most influential ally in the epilogue.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, naturally. Geralt gains this reputation when he's discovered standing over the body of the king whom he served as bodyguard. He has to track down the real assassin in order to clear his name. Depending on how you play, he can have a hand in killing another king, although he does not deliver the final blow.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, you can let Grand Duchess Florianne kill the Orlesian Empress Celene in order to let Grand Duke Gaspard take over as the new Emperor.
  • In the climax of Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, Kerrigan storms the Korhal Palace and kills Emperor Arcturus Mengsk in a violent psionic explosion, an act that ends his tyranny over his people.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Patch 2.55 ends with Nanamo Ul Namo, sultana of Ul'dah, apparently murdered by a poisoned drink and the Player Character and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn blamed for her death. However, the Heavensward expansion reveals that it was subverted — Lolorito of the Syndicate learned of Teledji Adaledji's plan to murder Nanamo and was able to have the poison swapped with something that simulated death. He claims he would have cleared the heroes' names had they not bolted, but seeing as Lolorito is a massive Jerk Ass, it's hard to believe he would have done so.
  • King Ferid and Queen Arshtat are killed in Suikoden V during a coup. Despite the coup, it's strongly believed that Georg Prime killed them. In reality, Arshtat used her powers to fight back against the raiders, but lost control and killed several others, including Ferid. Georg Prime kills her to stop her rampage.
  • Fire Emblem: In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones the queen of Jehanna, Ismaire, is killed by Caellach when she refuses to give up a Sacred Stone. In her dying breath she reveals her missing heir is Joshua, who ran off some time ago but has been recruited by the player's party.
  • In RuneScape, your objective in the aptly named Regicide quest is to assassinate King Tyras. As it turns out later, King Tyras was one of the good guys.
  • Long Live the Queen's plot kicks off with the death of the queen of Nova revealed to be killed by a Lumen named Togami, this makes the princess, Elodie next in line for the throne, but being too young to take means that the goal of the game is to prevent this trope from happening to her. poor choice of actions can result in being killed by Togami, a different Lumen that has been pissed off too much, an Ax-Crazy nobleman out to avenge his family and spies what can kill you with poison is 2 occurrences (one of which involves chocolate). Elodie's father and the dead queen's husband can also get murdered by Togami in a particular branch

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The Red Lotus in The Legend of Korra wish to destroy all forms of government, and their leader Zaheer manages to personally murder the current Earth Queen.
  • Futurama: In "My Three Suns" Fry accidentally kills the emperor of Trisol, whose population are water-people, by drinking him. This makes Fry the new Emperor. But Regicide is fairly common on that planet with most Emperors only lasting a week until they're killed, often by being drunk, half were drunk at their coronations and someone even tries drinking Fry. It turns out the Emperor is still alive inside Fry, almost getting Fry killed when he orders his people to let him out. Finally Fry is able to cry the Emperor out.
  • Steven Universe: The Diamonds are Homeworld's rulers, revered as being perfect lifeforms, and it's revealed at the end of the third season that Rose Quartz killed Pink Diamond to prevent Homeworld from destructively colonizing Earth. The season 5 episode "The Trial" explores this further, where a Zircon suggests that one of the other Diamonds was involved in Pink Diamond's death.

    Real Life 
  • In a bizarre trend running from William Henry Harrison until Ronald Reagan, every US president elected in a year ending in 0 died in office, four of them by assassination. The men who killed them:
    • Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth, over anger at the South losing The American Civil War.
    • James Garfield: Charles Guiteau, over being passed over for a government position. At that time the president was responsible for appointing all federal jobs. Garfield's assassination prompted the creation of the modern civil service.
    • William McKinley: Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who had lost his job in the 1893 economic depression and believed he was standing up for the common man (drawing inspiration from the assassination of King Umberto I of Italy by an anarchist the previous year).
    • John F. Kennedy: Lee Harvey Oswald, of course, but his motives are unclear since he was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby two days later.
    • Narrowly averted with Ronald Reagan, who was shot by John Hinckley Jr., but survived in part due to improvements in trauma surgery since the Kennedy assassination. There's also an anecdotal subversion where Reagan was at a press conference after these attempts on his life and a photographer's flash bulb burst; he visibly flinched.
  • Special mention to James Earl Ray who shot Martin Luther King Jr. He was a King literally In-Name-Only but still a powerful guy with charisma.
  • Red October. Yakov Yurovsky and his firing squad, who executed Emperor Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian royal family. There is controversy among historians whether this hit was ordered by Vladimir Lenin himself or a spur-of-the-moment decision made by the local Soviet in fear of the arrival of a White Army contingent at Yekaterinburg since no official orders from Lenin had ever been given. This action was highly controversial even among leftists who felt that at the very least the English and French Revolutionaries convened a trial and put the sentencing to vote. Indeed, the Bolsheviks had planned to put the Romanovs on trial but the Civil War prevented them from doing so.
  • Charles I of England was sentenced to death and executed in 1649. The executioner was masked and disguised, and there is still debate over his identity. After the Restoration in 1660, a list was made of the 59 judges who signed Charles' death warrant. Some were executed, others were imprisoned, others fled the country and some who were already dead had their bodies desecrated.
    • It should be noted that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was called Glorious because of the fact that the Parliament managed to establish its power over the rulers by means of peaceable transfer of power from the Stuarts to the Hanovers. Eventually this did lead to the Hanover-Stuart Wars however. The nature of the glorious revolution has led later English conservatives to oppose radical revolutions on behalf of democracy, forgetting that the power of Parliament over monarchy was in a large sense established during the English Civil War.
  • During the French Revolution, after the August 10, 1792 insurrection when the French public stormed the Palais de Tuileries, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette sought refuge in the Legislative Assembly, who promptly renamed themselves the National Convention and placed the royal family under arrest. In the subsequent trial, the Revolutionaries declared the King guilty of plotting against the French revolution (of which he was guilty) and executed him by guillotine in January 1793; later that same year, the Queen was also executed. The Revolutionaries saw the King as another citizen (they called him Citizen Capet during the trial) and not a sovereign. However, during the brief Bourbon Restoration, which restored a Constitutional Monarchy, the delegates who voted for the King's death were retroactively labelled regicides and exiled from France to invoke this trope.
  • Walter Audisio, the man who shot Benito Mussolini.
  • John Bellingham has the distinction of being the only person to ever assassinate a British Prime Minister, killing Spencer Perceval because he was angry at his lack of compensation for being falsely imprisoned in Russia.
  • There is a local tradition that the reason why no British monarch has ever visited the town of Marple, Cheshire, is that a man who signed the death warrant on King Charles I came from there. Amusingly, a woman with Queen-like status (not least in her own self-esteem) Margaret Thatcher, was physically attacked in Marple. By an indignantly furious seventy-three year old woman keen to express her opinion of Thatcher's impact on the North of England. note .
  • King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his own nephew Faisal bin Musaid.
  • Considering how many Roman Emperors were murdered, it's no surprise that a lot of people in the Roman Empire fit this trope.
    • Cassius Chaerea was the leader of the group that stabbed Caligula to death, and struck the first blow.
    • Victorinus was murdered by Attitianus, one of his officers, supposedly for seducing his wife.
  • Kim Jae-gyu (no relation to the Kim dynasty of North Korea) assassinated controversial South Korean president Park Chung-hee by shooting him during a banquet.
  • Liberian Rebel Leader Prince Johnson oversaw the torture and death of Samuel Doe, the country's president.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheKingslayer