Webcomic: A Fairytale for the Demon Lord

A Fairytale for the Demon Lord is a Korean Manhwa webcomic about a knight who rescues a princess from the wicked demon lord who has kidnapped her.

Sort of. Black and Gray Morality (perhaps even Black And Black Morality) abound.

The scanlations of this webcomic are usually updated weekly and can be read here. For those who want to see the original Korean version, go here. A sequel comic has come out, A Fairytale for the Demon Lord: Season Two.

(Be warned that spoilers abound below; the worst of them have been tagged, but it's hard to list any tropes at all for this work without spoiling some things.)

The Tropes associated with the series

  • All Just a Dream: An omake for Season 2 reveals that Part 1 was all just a dream Loki was having.
  • Alternate Timeline: The author's note after Chapter 47 implies this is the case for Part 1, where in one future Loki becomes King Odin (the young one) and the other he becomes the Demon Lord Ragnarok.
  • Big Bad: The old king Odin. The Nameless Knight becomes this when he becomes the final Demon Lord.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Somewhere between this and flat-out Evil Versus Evil.
  • Blind Seer: Mimir, though she's not blind in Season 2.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Just about anyone and anything who fights the Nameless Knight and who isn't clearly the Big Bad dies in one panel, but most obviously Balder, who has a lengthy build-up as The Dragon and then dies less than one panel, cutting instantly from his multi-page Badass Boast to his broken and dying body. He gets a bonus chapter complaining about this (along with several other villains who were unceremoniously killed.)
    • At the very least, in the final timeline, the Balder slain by the final Demon Lord was a clone.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first chapter and much of the second makes it seem like the Demon Lord is going to be the main character. Or is he the main character after all?
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: The main character allows his own arm to be cut off so he can embed it in Odin's chest, then use his Charge Sword technique to summon a sword inside Odin's body. Of course, his insane healing abilities make this less of a sacrifice than it seems.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Part 2 reveals that Loki is having visions of the future, where he is reborn as the Nameless Knight and becomes the Demon Lord Ragnarok.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Puginn is a guy but looks a lot like an androgynous woman.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: After the Nameless Knight becomes a Demon Lord the Princess no longer recognizes him, due to her regeneration, which gave him Odin's appearance, having worn off.
  • Evil Overlord: The demon lords seem to be an entire series of identical evil overlords, not just one.
  • Flashback: The majority of the story is dedicated to showing how the Nameless Knight became the Demon Lord seen in Chapter 1. Or is it a Stable Time Loop? Or do the same events just repeat themselves naturally over and over again? Good luck trying to figure it out from the ending!
  • Fountain of Youth: Odin goes from a decrepit old man to the Nameless Knight's doppelgänger.
  • Gainax Ending: Despite all the ridiculous plot twists that build up during the story, by the end they've mostly settled down...then the ending finally shows up, and turns the whole thing into a Mind Screw of MASSIVE proportions...again. It's such an unexpected twist that even Muninn is taken by surprise.
    • The ending makes a lot more sense if you realize that losing to the Demon Lord is Odin's goal. If the Final Demon Lord has the princess, he will stay with her in his castle instead of destroying the world.
    • Part 2 reveals that Part 1 was All Just a Dream, specifically a vision of the future.
  • Healing Factor: The Nameless Knight can recover from losing half his body near-instantly.
    • The Demon Lord also has an innate regeneration ability, though it's much slower. It's because they're the same person.
  • Healing Hands: The princess heals the Nameless Knight and gives him Odin's face in the process.
  • History Repeats: Either this taken to literal extremes or a flat out Stable Time Loop; it's not yet clear which.
    • As it happens it's a regular case of History Repeats. The confusion arose because Odin has been conducting thousands of experiments to find the exact sequence of events that would encourage the Final Demon Lord to effectively seal himself away.
  • Interquel: Part 2 opens with Odin conducting a simulated battle and then engaging the final Demon Lord, Ragnarok, in battle. Then reveals it was all just a dream the Demon Lord Loki was having, and he's abruptly confronted by a female Knight he names Nir after the Princess, who she is identical to. In an omake, the author even admits that technically Part 2 begins in Chapter 4.
  • Implausible Deniability: Loki denies being a Demon Lord after the Female Knight confronts him sitting on a mountain of dead Knights and wearing a trademark Demon Lord helmet.
  • Kick the Dog: Several, but by far the most dramatic is when the Nameless Knight coldly kills Liddel even after the boy has earnestly promised to trust him, simply to be completely sure that he remains silent.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Garmr has wolf-like ears and a tail due to being a Fenrir. He also has blue hair.
  • Love Makes You Crazy and Evil: The protagonist. Also, Mimir.
  • Mission Control: Puginn fills this role for the protagonist, frequently.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast The Final Demon Lord Ragnarok. The first Demon Lord was Loki.
  • No Name Given: The protagonist is referred to as the Nameless Knight and later as the Demon Lord. Odin gives him the name Ragnarok in Part 2, and he's referred to as Loki by the female Nameless Knight.
  • Noble Demon: The demon lords are often this; one of them even goes so far as to bless Odin's efforts as he fades away after the guy kills him, even while telling him that You Can't Fight Fate.
  • Not So Different: In Part 2, Loki makes the observation that Demon Lords and the Nameless Knights aren't as different as they might believe.
  • Not Quite Dead: Balder. Despite his "death" in the main story, he was shown later in one of the side stories, personally digging up the remains of his dead troops so that he could give them proper burials, claiming that as the sole survivor of their group, it was his duty to erect their tombstones, and write their epitaphs with the blood of the person who killed them.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Nameless Knight could just tell the princess who he is, when she fails to recognize him, you know? At the very least, it wouldn't hurt.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: The Nameless Knight's love for the Princess causes him to throw himself headlong off the slippery slope and become the final Demon Lord.
  • Reincarnation: It's implied in Part 2 that the Nameless Knight/final Demon Lord of Part 1, Ragnarok, is the reincarnation of Loki, and that Princess Nir is the reincarnation of, the Female Knight.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Part 2 appears to be setting this up in the case of Part 1, with the Nameless Knight who becomes the Demon Lord Ragnarok being Loki's reincarnation, and Princess Nir being the Female Knight's reincarnation.
  • RPG Mechanics Verse: A subtle version — subtle enough that it's hard to be sure — but much of the technology and many of the rules of this world seem to subtly work in ways that match those of an RPG; in a way, it's like a dark take on what world like that would really be like. Unlike most, it's not at all played for comedy.
  • Save the Princess: Played straight, subverted, inverted, and played with in just about every other possible way at various points in the story.
  • Screw Destiny: Almost every named character has this as their goal in one way or another. Several characters will flat-out flip their lid if you mention fate in front of them at all. They all more or less fail in the end.
    • Until the continuation, where it turns out that the events of the first series and the thousands of other identical simulations Odin ran have potentially averted the destruction of the world.
  • Schizo Tech: They seem to have technology capable of instantaneous long-range teleportation and communication, materialization of objects from nowhere, and prediction of the future. Yet to fight, they rely on swords.
    • Well, since so many seem to be able to heal quickly, swords are just the easiest way to tear enemies to pieces. So there is nothing left to heal
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: On hearing a prophecy that an inevitable death is coming for him, Odin decides to marry and then sacrifice the princess in order to extend his own life, which of course causes the knight to hunt him down and kill him first.
    • Gets even better in the sequel: The events described above were Odin's attempt at enraging the the knight enough to become the Demon Lord and claim the princess. This is to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Ship Tease: Between Loki and the female Nameless Knight in Part 2.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Nameless Knight, to Odin.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The Nameless Knight is the Demon Lord by the end of the story through what seems to be a Stable Time Loop.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Puginn turns from a crow into a — person.
  • Yandere: The Nameless Knight for the Princess.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Odin created the Princess to break fate. He failed. In Part 2, the Female Knight addresses Loki as the one who is destined to become the Demon Lord Ragnarok.