Follow TV Tropes

The Ice King

Go To

An attractive guy or hunk who is known for being extremely cold and aloof in order to hide his softer side.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Troper321 on Jul 8th 2018 at 6:05:57 AM
Last Edited By:
Troper321 on 15 hours ago
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Ice King is defined as "a man (often attractive) who is popularly known for being cold and aloof". Similar to his female counterpart the Ice Queen, the Ice King is represented by what is considered to be "cold". The Ice King archetype is often an extension of Men Are Tough. Often so, the Ice King is portrayed as having a soft interior with traits that may percieve him as weak, inferior, or even effeminate by others, especially other men. Such as being more In Touch with His Feminine Side, being the Sore Loser nerd, being geninuely caring and compassionate, or initially having a Pretty Boy, attitude.

Becoming the Mask, the Ice King then begins to build a wall of ice to keep others from seeing his true interior personality. Subjecting him to appear and act more harsh and cold. It is not rare for an Ice King to have a Dark and Troubled Past, or been bullied or ridiculed for his original nature. Usually by his Abusive Parents, the Big Brother Bully, the Barbaric Bully, Gang of Bullies, or other groups. This usually leaves him bitter, resentful of others, and often feeling inferior. His exterior is a shell that helps to hide his weakness and pain Beneath the Mask. He may be popularly labeled as the Tragic Hero who has a Hidden Heart of Gold underneath the Hidden Depths.

The Ice King targets specific behaviors that gives him his title as the Ice King. The Stoic who hides his feelings and emotions with an empty gaze that may rival that of the Tin Man; exaggerates a "Don't You Dare Pity Me!" personality to keep from looking weak or having others see him as weak; a nature of Brutal Honesty to isolate himself by being harsh to others; a Cute but Troubled life as he may appear attractive, but underneath is going through war against himself and others; Safety in Indifference, believing it's better that if they don't care or feel then they can't hurt or continue to hurt; and finally, the signature Death Glare which he is widely known for due to the cold and dangerous look in his eye being a direct reminder of why he is crowned the Ice King. He is classified as being dangerous to love, similar to the Ice Queen, because he can't or won't love back.

Women are likely to label extremely standoffish and aloof guys as Ice King's as they refuse to give into their charms and advances unlike most men. "He will attract, but he will not allow himself to be wooed. He will steal hearts, but he will not return the feelings. He would be wanted as a romantic partner, but will answer, "I Work Alone"."


Anime and Manga
  • Bleach: Byakuya Kuchiki is a Pretty Boy nobleman and famously powerful Shinigami who, in his introductory arc, dispassionately hunts down his own sister for execution and cripples Ichigo in a Single-Stroke Battle when he tries to intervene. Later episodes reveal his motives and true character, show how he struggles with The Chains of Commanding, and ultimately make him a staunch ally of the main characters, though he never quite loses the Aloof Big Brother act.

  • Naruto. Sasuke Uchiha's father favored his eldest son, Itachi, over him. Not to mention that his entire clan was destroyed in front of him. Which transformed him into The Stoic and occassional Deadpan Snarker he is. Especially as he denies those who are attracted to him.

Film - Live Action

  • Star Wars. Darth Vader was formerly a good hearted Jedi who now hides Beneath the Mask as a cold and ruthless villain. Love simply doesn't exist in his world.

Video Games

  • Sonic the Hedgehog. Shadow the Hedgehog watched the person he love die. And in retaliation, he pushed away care and compassion, and became a cold, violent, and ruthless person.

Live-Action TV

  • Empire. Lucious Lyon was born in a Dark and Troubled Past that stereotyped men. Which caused him, at a young age, to hide Beneath the Mask as a narcissist and somewhat of a sociopath. Especially to hide his weaknesses as the CEO of Empire. Despite loving his wife Cookie, he often uses her for his own gains including his entire family.


Not to be confused with Ice Person or Ice King from Adventure Time. Compare with Cute but Troubled, Broken Bird, Good Is Not Nice, Real Men Hate Affection, Beneath the Mask, Dark and Troubled Past, The Stoic, Death Glare, I Work Alone, Don't You Dare Pity Me!, Becoming the Mask, Men Are Tough, Men Don't Cry, and Safety in Indifference. May overlap with Mr. Fanservice, Hunk, or Chick Magnet.


Alternative Title(s): Ice Queen

Feedback: 24 replies

Jul 8th 2018 at 6:08:13 AM

I wanted to make a separate trope for the Northic King aka the Ice King because it's more common to see an Ice Queen than an Ice King. And the page that talks about the Ice Queen focuses more on her than the Ice King.

Plus I had to reload this because I wasn't sure if others could see it. This is all being done on a mobile device so please bare with me. Thank you!

Jul 9th 2018 at 10:54:58 PM

Needs A Better Name... made me think of northern wintery rulers, ala Grim Up North crossed with Winter Royal Lady.

Jul 9th 2018 at 11:21:00 PM

Yeah, I thought this was for Lich Kings and similar.

Also, I think the term is Nordic.

Jul 10th 2018 at 12:58:42 AM

  • Blue Linked some TV Tropes page names.
  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added media section titles as per Media Categories.
    • Namespaced work names. Warning: failure to do this can result in being suspended from editing.
    • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.
    • Blue Linked work names.
    • Massively re-wrote the examples to make them better English.
    • Put media sections in alphabetical order.

Jul 10th 2018 at 12:59:31 AM

I had to guess about which namespaces the works had.

I had to add a stub Laconic so I could edit the proposal (a known TV Tropes bug).

Jul 10th 2018 at 2:43:54 AM

Simply calling it Ice King would be better.

Compare Troubled But Cute.

Jul 10th 2018 at 2:46:08 AM

Simply calling it Ice King would be better.

Compare Troubled But Cute.

Jul 10th 2018 at 7:05:59 AM

Not to be confused with the Ice King, who, if anything, is the complete opposite of this.

Jul 10th 2018 at 9:51:38 AM

Based on the examples so far this just seems like The Sociopath. I think a trope that desconstructs/deals with gendered expectations of Ice Queen could be interesting, since Ice Queen subverts the expected female emotionality, whereas being The Stoic is the expectation/ideal for men. That said, most of the subtropes of Ice Queen are not at all female specific. Also, Ice Queen has nothing to do with having actual ice powers.

Jul 11th 2018 at 6:11:43 AM

Ice King would be a terrible name. It's the definition of a Bad Snowclone, no pun intended.

And frankly, the examples are somehow all over the place despite there being only three of them. One of them is a very emotional character who masks it, ones The Sociopath, and the third is The Stoic.

Jul 11th 2018 at 8:27:01 AM

^ they're outwardly icy, which is (probably) the only thing that matters here?

Jul 11th 2018 at 10:14:44 AM

It seems like a key part of the characterization of the Ice Queen would be that they're cold and aloof, but stilll desirable, on some level? The character could be male, too, I think, as long as that "object of desire" element is still in there. Not even necessarily romantic or sexual desire, for that matter — a Defrosting Ice Queen can just as easily warm up to a group of friends as a lover. But without that particular dynamic, the possibility of defrosting, then regardless of whether the character is male or female, it seems like you would just have The Stoic.

Jul 11th 2018 at 2:11:40 PM

I have to agree with everyone else here. This draft is all over the place and I'm unsure what, exactly, this trope is going for. Is having an icy personality really a trope on it's own?

Jul 14th 2018 at 1:10:04 PM

Guys thank you so much for the critiquing, I really appreciate it! Especially those who helped layer out my draft to meet the trope standards!

Looking at the trope, I can tell that it does seem all over the place and I will reedit it today. For those who helped layer out my trope such as the blue links, I could really use your assistance again once my draft is complete.

Once again, thank you! And if you all can, please give some awesome names you think the trope should have. Once again, thanks!

Jul 14th 2018 at 5:16:04 PM

  • Bleach: Byakuya Kuchiki is a Pretty Boy nobleman and famously powerful Shinigami who, in his introductory arc, dispassionately hunts down his own sister for execution and cripples Ichigo in a Single Stroke Battle when he tries to intervene. Later episodes reveal his motives and true character, show how he struggles with The Chains Of Commanding, and ultimately make him a staunch ally of the main characters, though he never quite loses the Aloof Big Brother act.

Jul 14th 2018 at 5:32:40 PM

Intastiel, thank you so much!

Jul 14th 2018 at 8:10:19 PM

This draft has been reedited! If anyone see any problems with the draft you are welcome to edit or tell me!

If you like this trope, leave a comment stating why. If you see flaws with the trope, please critique it and tell me why! I can't wait for your responses, thank you!

Jul 15th 2018 at 12:25:16 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added media section titles as per Media Categories.
    • Edited media section titles so they would display properly.
    • Put media sections in alphabetical order.

20 hours ago

The page has been reedited again! Is it better? Still needs work? Comment below and rate it!

20 hours ago

I look forward to your response!

15 hours ago

This description is an improvement. My biggest concern now is that the examples start with "X would be considered...". Since Tropes Are Not Arguable, the examples need to be edited to be objective.

The laconic might need work now to match the description, as this appears to be a trope about a cold and aloof "hunk" hiding his softer personality, but the laconic doesn't mention the latter part.

15 hours ago

Thank you! I will get on this right away

Top