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Crown of Power

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Crowns are usually the first thing one sees on a ruler and have always been a sign of power. However, these crowns are different, the crown themselves give the power!
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Most often used as a MacGuffin, Crowns of Power are headwear items that give power to the ones who wear them. More often than not, said power is a case of Cursed with Awesome, as there's a very likely chance that the crown either won't ever remove itself from the head of its wearer or will only work when the crown is on. Crowns of Power are more closely associated with villains than heroes; expect the Evil Overlord, Sorcerous Overlord, and The Emperor to have one of these.

Just because a powerful character wears a crown does NOT mean it's a Crown of Power. It only counts if the crown itself is the (or at the very least, a) source of power for the character.

Will most often be a Cool Crown of some type. Compare Hat of Power, which is this trope without the crown motif and design. See also Clothes Make the Superman.

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Examples

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    Fan Works 
  • The Palaververse: The Capricious Crown of Capra, an ornate, enchanted crown that just so happens to also be alive and the supreme ruler of the nation of Capra. It speaks in a metallic voice and shows emotion by flashing its gems in different colours. When worn, it takes people over, and inadvertently kills people by using all of their magic at once.
  • Elementals of Harmony: The Element of Magic gives magical power to Equestrians who wear it, in the human world, because there, it just checks for being worn by an Equestrian.

    Literature 
  • Conan the Buccaneer has the Cobra Crown; an ancient artifact allowing mass Mind Control.
  • In The Dark Profit Saga Detarr Ur'mayan uses an artifact called "the Crown of Iron' to create and command a massive undead horde.
  • Harry Potter: The diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw is charmed to give increased intelligence to anyone who wears it; however, it is never used for this purpose in the books.
  • Andre Norton's Ice Crown. On the planet Clio, the ruler of each country wears a high-technology crown. It is a Mind-Control Device that gives the ruler the ability to control every citizen of their nation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: Both the heroes and the villains seek the jewels of the Corona Aurora, the Crown of the Gods, an ancient jeweled relic with inconceivable power.
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    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has many examples from over the years.
    • Greyhawk campaign setting supplement Greyhawk Adventures.
      • The Black Crown of Aerdy gives +2 Intelligence, +3 Wisdom, and a bonus Character Level in the priest or wizard class. However, over time it also turns you Lawful Evil and insane.
      • If the Crown of Blackmoor is put on the head of a dead evil wizard of at least 18th Character Level, the body is changed into a lich.
      • The Iron Crown of the Bandit Kingdoms gives its wearer immunity to several mind control spells and increases a fighter's Character Level by one.
      • The Silver Crown of Veluna. When worn by a Lawful character, it radiates a Protection from Evil effect. If worn by a Lawful Good or Neutral Good character, it gives +4 to Wisdom.
    • GAZ13 The Shadow Elves. Anyone who puts on a Crown of Corruption becomes a Chaotic Evil undead with enhanced abilities, such as radiating Fear and Curse effects nearby.
    • Lords of Darkness. The Dark Crown gives its wearer useful immunities vs. many undead attacks and the ability to destroy undead by touch.
    • Legends and Lore. The Emperor's Crown allows its wearer to use Telepathy and Teleportation, understand anything another person says, know when someone else is lying, and ask the goddess Amaterasu one question per week.
    • Forgotten Realms campaign setting
      • The Ruins of Myth Drannor. The Hooded Crown grants a plethora of powers to its user, some of which work only inside the Myth Drannor mythal and some of which work anywhere. The Crown of Stars allows its wearer to cast the spells Dispel Magic, Lightning Bolt, Death Spell and Meteor Swarm, among others.
      • The Ruins of Undermountain. A Naga Crown grants several useful abilities, including commanding reptiles and immunity to their attacks.
    • Imagine magazine #12. The Crown of Imperium increases its wearer's charisma and allows them to cast an appropriate Charm spell once per day.
    • The Book of Marvelous Magic
      • The Crown of Leadership gives the wearer a Charisma of 18, allows them to apply a Bless effect to others by talking to them, and dispel any kind of fear effect nearby.
      • The Crown of Rulership gives the user several useful powers, including charming and paralyzing opponents.
    • Rary the Traitor. The Scorpion Crown is a powerful evil artifact. It doesn't just change its wearer into a giant scorpion, it changes all of their followers into manscorpions as well.
    • Adventure X13 The Crown of Ancient Glory. The Sorona Crown allows its user to cast the ESP and Legend Lore spells, each once per day.
    • Feast of Goblyns. The Crown of Souls can change humans into goblyns and improve its wearer's stats. However, it will eventually change its wearer's Character Alignment to Neutral Evil.
    • Spelljammer campaign setting.
      • Campaign boxed set. The Crown of the Stars allows the wearer to propel a ship as if they were sitting on a spelljamming helm.
      • Lost Ships. The Crown of the Void gives its user their own breathable atmosphere, allowing them to live in the vacuum of space.
    • Ravenloft campaign setting, supplement "Van Richten's Guide to the Lich''. The Crown of Summation drains several of the wearer's Character Levels and some of their memories. The memories can be absorbed by the next wearer, but the levels of experience are gone.
    • Dragon magazine #139. The Crown of the Unicorns grants a female wearer the ability to speak with unicorns.
    • Dragonlance campaign setting adventure DL8 Dragons of War. If the Crown of Yarus is placed on Yarus's skull, it summons his spirit and allows him to complete the game of Khas he was playing when he died.
  • In Talisman the "Crown of Command" is a powerful artifact, hidden in the center of the most perilous region in the game. Once it is obtained, the wearer can cast the "Command" spell each turn, which takes away a life point from every other player. Obtaining the Crown of Command, and killing everyone else with it, is considered to be the "main goal" of the game (although the actual victory condition — to be the last player remaining alive — can be accomplished without the Crown as well.)
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • The Crown of Domination is a sorcerous artifact that once belonged to Nagash, the greatest necromancer of all time. The last owner was an orc warboss named Azhag da Slaughterer, and while the crown tried to whisper strategies and tactics in his mind that gave him victory, orcs are very strong-willed, and sometimes he'd be seen arguing with the crown.
    • The Crown of Thorns is an item that lets the wearer regenerate wounds.
    • The master Runesmith Alaric forged the Nemesis Crown to empower its wearer to control their own destiny and access the wisdom of previous wearers. Unfortunately he made it out of Warpstone — solidified Chaos magic — so it draws the wearer towards evil and madness instead.

    Video Games 
  • Bug Fables: The gold crown Wasp King wears on his head is an ancient Roach artifact that allows him to use the magic of flame and brainwash wasps to blindly and unquestionably serve his will.
  • Cave Story has the titular Demon Crown worn by the Doctor, which grants him supernatural abilities such as levitation, teleportation, and psychic powers. However, it comes at the cost of making its wearer go mad from power, leading to the Doctor's demise in the hands of Quote. It's later revealed that the Demon Crown is a product of Ballos, and as long as he's still alive, the Demon Crown will continue to resurrect itself even when it's destroyed.
  • Dark Souls 2: The titular Crowns of the Sunken King, Burnt King, and Ivory King have no inherent power alone. However, after getting all of them, King Vendrick will find a way to empower the crowns with the ability to nullify Hollowing as long as the player character wears them.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Downplayed with the Aetherial Crown and the fully assembled Crown of Barenziah. The former allows the Dragonborn to have permanent access to the passive abilities granted by two Power Stones (as opposed to just one), which gets significantly enhanced if the Dragonborn is vampire with the Necromage perk, while the latter, once activated (it cannot be worn), merely influences the Dragonborn's luck by increasing the chances of them finding valuable gems in any container, including Draugr corpses, bizarrely.
  • Played with in Kings Raid; the Abyssal Crown artifact increases, by a percentage, the Attack stat of the character who has the highest attack 30 seconds into a fight, thus making it an item worn by supports to give another character power.
  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land has the Master Crown worn by the dragon Landia. Magolor proceeds to steal it, and its power ends up consuming him.
    "A sad shell possessed by the limitless power of the Master Crown, no more than a manifestation of the crown itself."
  • Mortal Kombat 11: The Big Bad, Kronika, makes use of a crown that has been placed inside the Well of Souls used by the sorceror Shang Tsung so that the crown will amplify her power. Through her abilities and influence, she specifically arranged for the Well of Souls to exist for this purpose. During their playable chapter, Jax and Jacqui Briggs try to confiscate the crown before Kronika can get it, and one of them will even use it against Kronika's daughter, Cetrion. They gain enough power from the crown to defeat even the Elder Goddess until Cetrion forces them to surrender it by threatening the life of their loved one.
  • New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe: Toadette has access to an exclusive Power-Up called the Super Crown, which transforms her into a Princess Peach lookalike named "Peachette" with a Double Jump, Floaty Jump, and Bottomless Pit Rescue Service. Most infamously, Fanon had a field day with making the Super Crown not-so-exclusive, granting potentially every resident of the Mushroom Kingdom Peach's form and abilities on top of their own.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: The Royal Stickers are six crown-shaped stickers with Reality Warping powers. All of the bosses in the game are regular enemies who have put on a Royal Sticker, granting them immense power.
  • In Pathfinder: Kingmaker, when your barony gains independence and becomes a kingdom, you're given a Royal Crown that bestows an impressive +6 boost to all three mental stats.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced the King's Rock, which resembles a crown. When a Pokémon holds it, their moves may cause their opponent to flinch and miss a turn, giving the holder an advantage in battle. It also allows Poliwhirl to evolve into Politoed and Slowpoke to evolve into Slowking if they're traded by holding the rock.
    • Played with regarding Slowking, who evolves by holding the King's Rock, but in the lore it evolves from a Shellder biting a Slowpoke's head, releasing toxins that increase its intelligence significantly upon evolution. The Shellder atop its head strongly resembles a crown, and taking it off a Slowking's head will apparently cause Slowking to revert to low intelligence.
  • Warcraft III:
    • The Crown of the Deathlord is an item found only in the expansion's orc campaign, which greatly boosts the wearer's stats along with giving them the ability to fire bolts of magical pain at enemies for no mana.
    • The Lich King's crown, the Crown of Dominance, contains the soul of Ner'zhul the Lich King and can control the Scourge. It was originally sealed in ice until it was freed by Arthas, where he wears it and become the Lich King. In the end of Wrath of the Lich King, it would be worn by Bolvar Fordragon until it was destroyed in Shadowlands by Sylvanas.
  • The Crown of the Empire in Heaven's Vault is said to be more than just a symbol of power: it contains advanced technology. However, finding out its exact nature is beyond the ability of even Oroi.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Love & Legends, The Witch Queen's power is associated with her crown, which was broken when she was taken down years before the start of the story. Most routes involve the forces of evil putting the crown back together again and returning the Witch Queen's spirit to the world when it's put on the head of the main character.
  • Queen Nakhta in The Pirate's Fate has an extra crown made and enchanted with one of the game's magic coins as part of a perhaps overly elaborate plot to defeat her rival for power non-fatally. Specifically, it's meant to reverse the age of her older sister. Of course, it turns anyone who wears it into her younger sister. And in one route, she re-enchants it to make herself older instead.

    Web Animation 
  • Nomad of Nowhere: This is the backstory of the King El Ray, once centuries ago he was a warrior who discovered a mystical crown that granted him magical powers. Using it he ruled over the lands as a Benevolent Mage Ruler, until in his old age the crown's power began to fade. El Ray summoned a wizard to try to fix the problem, but instead the crown consumed the poor man, stealing his life and power tor recharge. When El Ray put the crown back on, both his power and his youth was returned. Corrupted by the potential for power this gave him, El Ray became a tyrant and went onto consuming all the magic of Nowhere (save the titular Nomad) to ensure his dominion. It's even implied the crown itself is sapient, and very evil.
  • Some of the crowns in Double King are presumably sources of power — a misplaced crown falling on a cloud somehow turns the cloud itself into a monarch. Most remain simply symbols of power.
  • RWBY: In the Remnant fairy tale known as The Indecisive King, a kind, wise king is gifted with a silver crown that gives the wearer knowledge of the future. Initially regarding it as a blessing, he becomes obsessed with a future problem that seems to have no good solutions. He is rescued by a widow who believes the crown is a curse that burdens people with information they're not yet ready to handle. The tale's moral is that, while knowledge can empower people, too much knowledge can leave people powerless. The crown is heavily implied to be the divine Relic of Choice, which was hidden from the Big Bad beneath Beacon Academy by the Big Good, who is implied to have been the Indecisive King in a previous incarnation.

    Web Comic 
  • Subverted in The Order of the Stick: The reason Roy is going after Xykon in the first place is that he killed the mage Fyron to steal a crown from him. Roy assumes the crown must be a magical artifact, but when he finally confronts Xykon, he says it's not magic and he just stole it because it looks cool.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The crown of Ice King in Adventure Time is the source of his power over ice, and is also the source of his insanity, as before the crown corrupted him, he was normal, sane human being.
  • Danny Phantom: Pariah Dark, King of all the Ghosts possessed the Crown of Fire, which when used with the Ring Of Rage enhanced his already impressive abilities to the point of being virtually all powerful. In the ancient times, he used them both to rule over the ghost zone with an iron fist.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: While 5 of the 6 Elements of Harmony took on the form of pendants, Magic was adorned on a crown. This symbolized Twilight Sparkle's role as the leader of her group.
  • Subverted in the first episode of The Owl House. The MacGuffin of the episode, King's demonic crown of power, turns out to simply be an Bland Named Burger King crown that he just really likes.
  • The final season of Avengers Assemble has a story arc entitled "Panther's Quest", about the Black Panther seeking to secure an ancient Wakandan crown. This crown was one of the earliest pieces of vibranium discovered, wielded by Wakanda's first queen, enchanted into a crown shape by Morgan le Fay, and was incredibly powerful even for vibranium. It was also incredibly unstable, and besides corrupting everyone who used it, it also risked a massive explosion if activated anywhere besides the massive vibranium deposit that is Wakanda.

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