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Fisher King

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As within, so without. Light begets plenty, darkness begets famine.

Verence I: Remember, good sisters, the land and the king are one.
Nanny Ogg: One what?

A house says a lot about the people living in it: their social and economic status, their religion and culture, their cleanliness. The same can be said about a king and his kingdom. You're unlikely to find Moloch the Despoiler ruling Hippity Hoppity Happy Hare Hill, and a place like the Firepits of Wrath is most certainly not going to be ruled by the iron-fisted Tooth Fairy (unless, of course, he's that Tooth Fairy)...though the Orcs would have had much better dental hygiene.

The land of the Fisher King not only reflects the kind of rule they impose, but their moral alignment, state of health, and in some cases even their mood. ("The Land and the King are One.") In this kingdom the "Divine Right of Kings" extends to a righteous link with the land. This is either a blessing or a curse, because though their joy brings eternal spring and bounty, their sadness and anger heralds rain and thunderstorms respectively. If the king is dying or goes mad, expect the kingdom to become sickly and its inhabitants unhinged. If he's replaced by a villain, they either "inherit" the link or the kingdom itself resents this affront to the natural order and becomes a truly depressing Mordor-like place to live (or even wintry). It is much more justifiable in-universe when the rulers are supernatural in any way. At other times it is just Rule of Drama and Empathic Environment having their hand in that. A more mundane explanation that could apply for everything but the weather, is that a good and respectful ruler cares about the well-being of his land and his subjects and invests time and effort to make his kingdom as pleasant as possible for as many as possible, while a selfish and uncaring one will only care for his own prosperity at everyone else's misery.

The replacement of the Big Bad on the throne can produce remarkably quick changes. Either Cue the Sun or Happy Rain is possible, depending on what effect the Big Bad had. A full blown World-Healing Wave isn't out of the question if they were really bad.

May require a king of the right family. Of course, in those works, the rightful king tends to be The Good King.

The Trope Namer is the guardian of the Holy Grail in some versions of the Arthurian legends. He is wounded in the leg or the genitals and unable to rule; so he takes up fishing, while his lands rot (though in fact it's a pun on the similarity between the French words for "fisherman" (pêcheur) and "sinner" (pécheur).). To cure the king and his realm and win the Grail, The Chosen One (usually Perceval or Galahad) must ask him a specific question, which varies between accounts: usually something about the Grail, asking the king what ails him, or the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia is the Super-Trope where the land doesn't necessarily have to change based on who rules it for the bad guys to live in a wasteland while the heroes live in a prosperous place. Compare Medical Monarch. Contrast Friend to All Living Things and Enemy to All Living Things, where their mere existence causes the changes (on a small scale). If the link is so strong that offing the king will instantly destroy the kingdom, he’s a Load-Bearing Boss.

If it's an explicit power of the ruler rather than the link being merely figurative, then it's also Royalty Superpower. See also No Ontological Inertia, Terminally Dependent Society, and Genius Loci. If the place has this effect on its inhabitants, it's a Fisher Kingdom. If you are looking for the film of the same name, hop on over to The Fisher King.

Oh, and this has nothing to do with the Grand Fisher of Bleach, Carrie Fisher, an ex-king of the Chess world or the character called Fisher King from the novel Lady of the Lake. And Huey Long, the Louisiana politician of the '30s known as the Kingfish, is completely out.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, the land of Cephiro is directly connected to how devoted its ruler, the Pillar, is to it. One of the major conflicts in the series occurs when the heroines ask whether or not this is right, after the Pillar summons them to kill her since she has fallen in love with her right-hand man and cannot rule properly anymore..
  • Each country in The Twelve Kingdoms is governed by an immortal ruler chosen by a holy creature called a kirin. If the ruler rules his or her kingdom effectively and with benevolence, the land prospers. If the ruler grows corrupt, the land is beset by plagues and natural disasters. Also, the kirin sickens and dies, which, in turn, causes the ruler to sicken and die. If the ruler reforms before the death of the kirin, both can become well again - although such a thing has yet to happen in the recorded history of that world. There have, however, been instances of rulers committing suicide upon recognizing the illness of their kirin, which let them get better and be able to choose a new king - like Queen Joukaku of Kei, who did that to save her land and her kirin Keiki; and king Shishou of Sai, whose death saved his kirin Sairin and let her choose his adoptive mother Chuukin as Queen..
  • The films of Hayao Miyazaki tend to be full of this, with "good" represented by "natural".
    • In Castle in the Sky, by the end, after its destructive capabilities have been destroyed, Laputa is left as a great tree surrounded by the overgrown gardens.
    • In Princess Mononoke, after the death of the Shishigami and Lady Eboshi turning over a new leaf, Irontown's exterior becomes covered with greenness.
    • Commentary about Howl's Moving Castle reveals that the art division wanted to give the castle a total makeover for the end, but because that wasn't realistic, they settled for letting the garden grow over the sides.
    • In Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Ponyo's half-way status causes enormous floods and draws the moon close to earth.
  • Not magical in nature, but Lupin III: Dead or Alive demonstrates this with the difference between the royal regime before the film, and General Headhunter's leadership during the film. The complaints of taxism, the bank of television monitors, and the nation's history of being state-of-the art in nanotechnology, all point to the country suffering severely under General Headhunter's leadership.
  • In Kubera the emotions of the king of a sura clan will affect all lesser sura, as well as the half-sura half-humans of their clan. During the Cataclysm, the emotional resonance was so intense that all the Halfs went crazy and slaughtered everyone close at hand. This causes the Fantastic Racism of the present day where Halfs are hunted and harvested for their body parts and need magician sponsors to even be allowed within a city.
  • Justified in Pokémon 3. Due to the Reality Warper nature of the Unown, the crystals that cover the Hale's mansion change depending on Molly's emotional state.
  • In Cells at Work!, if something is happening externally to the body, it is reflected in some way in the cells' plane. For example, when the person is suffering heat stroke, it is depicted as a massive heat wave and the "land" drying up.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, Mitakihara morphs to reflect the mood of Homura, as it is her witch labyrinth. When she finally learns about her situation and the evil plot associated with it, fires break out all over the city. Even before this, the fisher-king effect hints at the big twist, such as when a field of flowers blooms and wilts to match her emotions as she has a difficult conversation with Madoka.
  • In One Piece: Under the rule of Kozuki Oden, Wano was a prosperous and bright Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Feudal Japan. Under Kurozumi Orochi, it's an industrial hellhole stricken by famine. The trope is actually being intentionally invoked. Orochi wants revenge on the citizens of Wano for hunting down his clan, so as Shogun he deliberately misrules the country, allowing Kaido to build factories and raise an army there and generally doing his best to make everyone miserable.
  • In Dragon Knights, Draqueen falls apart without a healthy Dragon Lord in command of the land—and they have to be magically suited to the role.

    Comic Books 
  • The Dreaming, the kingdom of Morpheus in The Sandman (1989); he literally is his kingdom, and it obeys his commands and bends to his will. This leads to the inhabitants knowing he was angst-ridden when it rained for months on end.
  • In the spinoff series Lucifer, Elaine, guardian spirit of Lucifer's world, inadvertently causes the environment around her to decay when she's angry. When Mazikeen points this out, Elaine controls her temper and the environment is restored.
  • Aquaman is this to the sea. No Pun Intended. Some of his more successful stories are his re-acquisition of the throne from his brother Orm or others.
  • Isis in 52 brought beautiful flora to the country of Kahndaq, until she became saddened, then it poured with rain for weeks - and when she fell ill, the plants withered and died.
  • Discussed in Once & Future. The story of the maimed Fisher King is brought up as the one man who knows where the Holy Grail is. Bridgette's husband willingly acts as one to give Galahad a path to the Grail, before shooting himself in the head to prevent Bridgette from following. Bridgette, as both mother and father figure to Duncan, decides to shoot herself to become a surrogate Fisher King, allowing Duncan to pursue Galahad.
  • X-Men:
    • Though not always the official ruler of anything, Storm has this effect; her mutant weather-control powers tend to cause local weather to change to reflect her mood (in X-2, Xavier knows she's upset because the weather is overcast). In her past, this caused villagers to worship her as a goddess; unlike a true Fisher Queen, the power is not dependent on her location, though it could be interpreted as being linked to the Earth itself.
    • The rulers of the hell dimension Limbo can make the landscape whatever they choose. Demons will always remain though, and time in Limbo inevitably corrupts its ruler into a demon themselves.
  • The Justice League once fought Rama Khan, ruler of the hidden magic kingdom of Jarhanpur. Not only was the land a paradise so long as the Khan was happy, but he could also cause the earth of his country itself to rise up and smack people around when they displeased him. Likewise, the loss of his heir threatened to destroy the entire nation.
  • In W.I.T.C.H. the Oracle is this for Kandrakar, as the Fortress changes to reflect the reigning Oracle. Already hinted when Phobos managed to take over the position for a while and Kandrakar became similar to Meridian under his reign and resumed its previous appearance as soon as Himerish returned the Oracle, it was confirmed at the end of the New Power story arc, when Yan Lin becoming the new Oracle changed the look of the Fortress as soon as she decided it.
  • In Marvel Zombies Destroy!, it's shown to be the case with Odin. One bite from a zombie turns the whole of Asgard into zombies.
  • In Mage: The Hero Discovered, the big bad of the first series is hunting "the fisher king" to use him in a ritual to bring an age of darkness to the world. Though it is subverted slightly in that it is not an actual king or ruler but an actual embodiment of goodness. Last time the ritual succeded brought about the world war 2 and before that the dark ages.
  • Mentioned by name in Fables during the "Cubs in Toyland" arc, though this one overlaps with both the magical and mundane Fisher Kingdom. Nine-year-old Therese Wolf is taken to the ruined wasteland of Discardia, a realm of toys who accidentally killed their children (by choking, catching fire, falling on top of a sleeping baby and smothering it, etc.). The toys had brought her there hoping that a good queen would have a restorative effect on their deteriorating bodies, but a combination of starvation (nothing grows there,) and the sort of Heroic BSoD you might expect from a somewhat spoiled, selfish child suddenly taken away from her loving family and landing in this situation ends up turning her into a killer, and the land remains blighted and Therese continues to starve as had all the previous child monarchs with whom the toys had tried this. The toys discuss the overlap with Fisher Kingdom when one points out that instead of the land and their bodies being improved by her presence, she's being diminished by theirs. It's only when her brother kills himself, mixing the effect of his Heroic Sacrifice and the Blood Magic provided by their powerful mixed parentage, that the land heals enough to provide food for Therese, at which point she mentally and physically grows up, and leads the toys in atoning for their crimes. After an unclear amount of time passes with their mission being successful, the land is vibrant and fertile, and the toys are healed/repaired, though Therese remains guilt-ridden and broken-hearted.
  • Superman: The 5th Dimension, home of Superman's long-time nuisance Mr. Mxyzptlk, is one of these, or was, and will be... When the King-Thing's wife dies in childbirth, he falls into a deep depression that turns the entire dimension grey and gloomy, only being lifted when Mxyzptlk appears to perform magic that cheers the king up again.
  • Wonder Woman
    • Wonder Woman (1942) Vol 1: Artemis is the ruler of the moon, and when Mars drugs and kidnaps her the moon goes dark.
    • Wonder Woman: Black and Gold: In the story, "Without Love", the world becomes monochrome and devoid of the emotion of love when Erosnote , god of love and sex, rips out his own heart with Eris' encouragement.
  • In Zombies Christmas Carol, mankind's dim prospects and the encroaching zombies have made the Ghost of Christmas Present into a lumpy, troll-like figure who's somewhere between full to bursting and emaciated.
  • The Nightshade's Lands reflect the state of their ruler. Once they were a fantastic land filled with oddities but beautiful, then when the deposed Queen was murdered everything started to decay and was slowly twisted to reflect her murderer who had now possessed her son. When her son his possessor were killed by her daughter Nightshade everything sort of disintegrated, though Nightshade still uses the place to teleport through.

    Fan Works 
  • Bird features Elle as a prominent example - her powers and the changes she works on her surroundings, change based on her intentions and emotions.
  • Discussed during the epilogue of the first book of Coby's Choice. The citizens of Weatheria are pretty sure the storm that occurs while Nami is giving birth is because of her going through it, but that is never confirmed.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami features this as a side-effect of the dungeon hearts. Often manifesting in a manner that reflects the Keeper involved (Mercury is An Ice Person and a water elemental so hers usually manifests as a sleetstorm) Some of the more powerful keepers can make use of it like Zarekos' perpetual night. Furthermore, Mercury has been experimenting with ways to make greater use of hers in dungeon defense, among other things.
  • Embers (Vathara): Earth King Kuei, with regards to the palace specter who appeared in his absence:
    She who only appears if the Imperial Palace is abandoned. If no king rules here, Shirong recalled. The spirits will not recognize Azula as our ruler. No matter what the cost.
  • Harry Potter and the Duke's New Clothes:
    Lucius: Magical titles work slightly differently Harry. As the land is the Lord, the Lord is the land. Your health and happiness informs the health and happiness not only of your lands but of all your retainers and of magic itself inherent in your estates.
  • The Heir to Prince Manor:
    [Harry] recalled reading in Sev Half Blood's journal that the land and the lord were one, and in Merlin's time, the lord was bonded to his land, and it reflected the state of the lord's mind and health. If the lord were well, the land prospered, crops were plentiful and herds increased dramatically. But if the lord grew ill or turned evil, the land reflected that as well, crops withered, herds died, and the people were miserable.
  • Some Hetalia: Axis Powers fan works tend to show the Nations as this: if something's wrong with them, the effects trickle down to everything in their respective countries. Usually (both in canon and in fanworks), it's portrayed the other way around, however.
  • The Last Queen of Greenwood uses this trope for the forest that became Mirkwood in The Hobbit. There is a connection between the forest and its king. When the forest becomes ill (in chapter 19), so does its king.

    Films — Animation (Disney) 
  • Aladdin: Agrabah reflected the alignment of the ruler. Sultan Hamed made it a sunny place of wonder, Jafar a dark and dreary land. In the original treatment, Jafar's first wish was not only to be sultan but to always have been sultan. This would cause a wave of magic to spread out over the kingdom, retroactively changing it to a gloomy and poverty-stricken place (with Aladdin spared because the Carpet protected him by wrapping him up).
  • In Beauty and the Beast, the castle matches the prince's appearance and demeanor. When he's The Beast—sullen, spoiled, vain, and angry—the castle is gothic, dark, and with scary gargoyles. When he returns to being human and is reformed, the castle is turned into white marble, and the gargoyles become statues of angels.
  • Brave: The Demon Bear Mor'du lives alone in a decayed, weather-worn ruin of an old castle which is devoid of living things and littered with the bones of the dead, a visual metaphor for how actions such as he committed as a human and when he first lost his humanity bring collapse and ruin to a nation, and how he's ended up alone with many wanton deaths caused.
  • Frozen: Elsa's ice powers are tied to her emotional state, and early on the troll shaman Grandpabbie warns her "Fear will be your enemy." During the film's climax, as Elsa grows more afraid, the blizzard forming around Arendelle grows fiercer and more dangerous. When Hans breaks her spirit by telling her that Anna was dead because of her, Elsa went numb, prompting the blizzard to stop suddenly. After Anna's Heroic Sacrifice reverses the curse that was freezing her heart, Elsa's love for her sister helps her overcome her fears and restore the kingdom to summer.
  • In the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of Fun and Fancy Free, Happy Valley is kept that way by a magic harp, whose music gladdens the hearts of its citizens. When the harp is stolen by the giant, Happy Valley is turned into, as Charlie McCarthy it, "Gruesome Gulch". The river dries up, crops wither, and peasants live in misery under a brownish overcast sky.
  • In Inside Out, it is day or nighttime in Riley's mind world depending on whether she's awake or asleep. Then when she is running away and becomes apathetic, everything becomes dull, foggy and dark.
  • The Lion King (1994): The Pride Lands reflect the rule of their king. The savanna turns into a desolate wasteland under Scar, just like the Outlands, partly the result of and partly a symbolic indication of how he has forced the pride to overhunt their territory until the natural "circle of life" is unbalanced and disrupted. (It starts raining the second Simba takes the "throne".) What makes this an even better, and more moving, example of the trope is that the kingdom of the Fisher King could not be healed until the king himself was — i.e., the Pride Lands are restored not just because the good and proper king has taken the throne, but because Simba, himself, in honoring his father, defeating his treacherous uncle, and earning his place in the circle, has finally overcome and recovered from his trauma.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): The condition of the sea reflects how King Triton is feeling; the sea is calm when he is in a "friendly-type mood", like when he was to attend a concert held in his honor, and becomes choppy and stormy when angered, like when he is furious at his daughter Ariel for missing the concert and depressed for having to be so cross with her.
  • In Moana, after Maui stole the Heart of Te Fiti, which contained the power of creation, Te Fiti was replaced by the corrupted lava giant known as Te Ka. The things she created began to became unmade, making the seas turbulent and causing life on the islands to begin dying off. The title character's quest to return the Heart is jumpstarted when the blight reaches her home island of Motunui.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, tweaked a little. King Candy's land appears fine despite his being an evil usurper, but when Vanellope returns, it magically restores the damage done during the film.

    Films — Animation (Other) 
  • In Barbie: Mariposa, as Queen Marabella becomes sick from Henna's poison, the lights that protect Flutterfield begin to go out, one after another. When she is healed by the antidote, all the lights come back on.
  • Chanticleer's farm from Rock-A-Doodle is always sunny and bright, but when the evil owl arranges for him to be distracted by a fight and makes the Sun rise without him, all of Chanticleer's friends make fun of him and as a result Chanticleer gives up and moves to the city, causing the Sun to set and stop rising altogether, and therefore allowing the evil owl to terrorize all of the farm animals in constant darkness. But then some kid gets turned into a cat by said evil owl...
  • After Count Grisham's death at the end of The Scarecrow, Grisham Heights is renamed Swingtown and becomes a much more lively town.
  • When Prince Charming takes over Far Far Away in Shrek the Third, he turns it from a beautiful kingdom to a barren ghost town, and even renames it "Go Go Away."
    • Shrek Forever After. Seen in Far Far Away after Rumplestiltskin takes over, though the sheer luxury of his palace implies it's simply because he's so greedy he doesn't spend any money on maintaining his kingdom.
    • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish: Whoever holds the magical map to the wishing star is this for the Dark Forest. The map sees inside the hearts of whoever looks upon it, which causes the woods to transform into obstacles fit for a person. Puss, who is trying to get back his lost lives, gets a fiery, deadly wasteland, while Kitty Softpaws, who wants to wish for someone she can trust, gets a desolate and lonely bog. Goldilocks, who wants to wish for a family of her own, gets a recreation of the Three Bears’ cabin, which is the forest’s way of trying to tell her the bears are her family. And Perrito, who has no wish, gets a serene meadow with flowers that are only deadly if the traveler doesn’t smell them.
  • The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie: When Plankton takes over Bikini Bottom, he turns it into an evil reign empire and renames it "Planktopolis". The watery sky also changes from happy blue to corrupted brown.
  • In The Tale of Despereaux, The Good Kingdom turns cloudy and the colors go away when the king is grieving.
  • In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, when Lady is left stuck in Muffle Mountain unable to come to life, her railroad begins to start fading and becomes a dark forest filled with thorns and incredibly bumpy. In the film proper, this threatens to kill the Conductor family due to a lack of gold dust, and destroy Sodor and all of its inhabitants completely, while leaving Shining Time a massive wreck. Lady's revival towards the end of the film results in her healing the railway, destroying the forest, and turning it into a wonderful sunny place.
  • In Over the Moon, Jade created the city of Lunaria and its inhabitants from Chang'e's tears. Partway through the movie, her crying causes a storm that hinders Fei Fei's attempt to get the Gift. In the climax, losing Houyi again sends her past the Despair Event Horizon, causing the entire city and most of its citizens to disappear.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Excalibur, and the way Britain falls apart as King Arthur does, but after he drinks from the Holy Grail the sun emerges and the trees blossom.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Justified by the Titans' Physical God elemental powers. Ghidorah — an extraterrestrial whose powers upset the very natural balance of the Earth, and an Omnicidal Maniac who is actively seeking to destroy all non-kaiju complex life on the planet — is constantly accompanied by a hurricane of black clouding filled with his yellow lightning wherever he goes, and once he becomes the ruling King of the Monsters (and in essence the king of the planet), almost every location on the Earth's surface that the heroes visit is being pelted by torrential storms created by the onset of Ghidorah's Apocalypse How. Mothra is the most benevolent and firmly life-aligned of all the Titans, and whilst her egg's 10,000-year-old chamber is teeming with plant and insect life, Mothra's also able to disperse Ghidorah's apocalyptic storms; refusing to submit to Ghidorah's rule, and seeking to restore the natural balance which Ghidorah is trying to obliterate. To a lesser extent; when Rodan is awakened, there's a reddish-orange sky representing his Hot-Blooded temperament and how he's not one of the more benevolent Titans, to say nothing of the volcanic eruption he triggers.
  • Pop Fisher in The Natural, as if the name weren't a dead giveaway.
  • In Super Mario Bros. (1993), when Koopa takes over he turns the king into a fungus, using his evolution ray to de-evolve him all the way back to a fungal state. Under Koopa, the dinosaur city was a giant slum infested with fungus. On Koopa's defeat, the fungus recedes when the noble king is restored (thanks to how much of it was actually him, turned into the stuff by Koopa).
  • Laura in Men in Black II is the semi-divine daughter of an alien queen and has a similar link to the weather.
    Agent K: Whenever you get sad, it always seems to rain.
    Laura: Lots of people get sad when it rains.
    Agent K: It rains because you're sad, baby.
  • The 2003 movie version of Peter Pan uses this trope abundantly; Neverland is locked in winter when Peter is away, and rapidly transforms into summer when he returns. Later, Hook and the pirates assume that because it's snowing and a raging storm has suddenly appeared, Peter has to be dead (he's not, he's grieving for Tinkerbell's Heroic Sacrifice). When the storm suddenly becomes a shining summer day (when Tinkerbell returns to life), Hook immediately realizes that it means Peter's still alive.
  • Pleasantville: Although Pleasantville slowly changes to color throughout the film, the town only fully changes over to become a fully realized world after both George and The Mayor are changed in quick succession. Either character (or both) might be considered the Fisher King in this case as the former was the last of the in-show "Protagonist Family" to change and sets off an entire crowd when he does change while the latter is the highest authority in the town and is the only character to actually be shown changing on-screen.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, the captain of the Flying Dutchman has this effect on the ship. A good captain (or at least a captain who does the job) has a nice ship, but a corrupt one who doesn't (e.g., Davy Jones) makes the ship a little fishy. Thus, when Will Turner becomes the captain in the third film, the ship's appearance improves, and the sailors are no longer human-fish hybrids. In fact, you can see the fishy bits falling off of his crew when he takes over. Will's father even takes the starfish off his face on camera. Unfortunately, the latest film seems to retcon this, as Will is shown to be turning into Davy Jones Lite despite Elizabeth waiting for him and Will doing his job.
  • David Lynch's Dune (1984) ends with Paul Atreides taking up his rightful place as the Kwisatz Haderach, at which point Arrakis, a planet defined by its absurd dearth of water, is consumed by a torrential downpour of rain. Subtle. In the book, it took years of terraforming. note 
  • In Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, the area around the crystal castle is barren and gloomy while the Skeksis are in power. Once the UrSkeks return and hand it over to the Gelflings, cue sunshine and green grass everywhere.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • The corruption of Sauron is reflected in the harsh barren landscape of Mordor, although this is an inverted example as the land was like that before he settled there. Played traditionally after Sauron's overthrow, where the land literally opens up and swallows his army (it's handled a bit better if, less visually interesting, in the book).
    • This trope is reflected in the Tree of the Kings in Minas Tirith, used as the symbol of Gondor. In the prologue, it is shown in full bloom on Gondorian armour, but by the time of the Ring Quest, it is completely whithered as a reflection of steward Denethor, with the line of kings missing. The coming of heir Aragorn causes a single flower to appear on the tree, and by his coronation, it is alive and well again. This contrasts the books where Aragorn had to find a new tree to replace the dead old one.
    • Inverted with Arwen, who sickens as evil contaminates the land, and heals as it is driven back.
  • In the infamous 1932 film adaptation of Sanders Of The River, Commissioner Sanders (AKA "Lord Sandi") is a somewhat downplayed version of this; when he is present, his district is stable, but when he takes sick leave and heads to the coast, and gun-smugglers spread rumors that he is dead, all hell breaks loose, and it takes Sanders's return to end the violence.
  • Scotland, PA is a black comedy adaptation of Macbeth. The Fisher King trope of the original is inverted: When Joe McBeth kills Norm Duncan and takes over Duncan's Cafe (renaming it "McBeth's") business starts booming. After McBeth's death, Lt. McDuff turns it into a vegetarian restaurant and business completely dries up.
  • Thomas and the Magic Railroad. With Lady not having been in steam and running on it for decades, the eponymous Magic Railroad has become overgrown by of vines and apparently sunk below ground, and is in danger of vanishing. When Lady is steamed up again and travels on the tracks once more, the railroad is revitalized. Light shines through, brighter and brighter. The rails gleam and the foliage shrinks away, shortly after which Lady's face reappears.
  • In Mirror, Mirror, the weather turns bad the instant the evil queen ascends the throne, and the sun comes out the moment Snow White knocks her off of it.
  • In What Dreams May Come, everyone in the afterlife is ruler of their own personal Heaven, and it shifts to fit them uniquely. Interestingly, the protagonist's "paradise" is heavily influenced by his still-living wife, as it's originally based on her paintings.
  • In Snow White & the Huntsman, King Magnus originally had the kingdom as a grand, prosperous country. When Ravenna takes over, the place becomes poor, rainy, and muddy, plus there's the Dark Forest to worry about, though areas outside of her influence (the sanctuary in the forest, the Duke's lands) seem like they're still the way they used to be. When Snow White kills Ravenna and becomes queen she is given a blooming branch, and the kingdom begins to return to the way it used to be.
  • In Matilda, while Miss Trunchbull resides in the former Honey mansion, it has a dark, dingy and foreboding atmosphere; once Trunchbull skips town and Miss Honey reacquires the house, it returns to its former bright, pristine glory.
  • The Hundred-Acre Wood of Winnie-the-Pooh is treated in this fashion in Christopher Robin; it's a bright and cheerful paradise when Christopher is a boy, goes through seasons of snow and winter as he becomes an adult and life knocks him around a bit, is gloomy and sinister to reflect his depression and isolation when he returns as an adult, begins to brighten up a bit as he reconnects with his old friends and begins to lighten up, and finally at the end when he visits again with his family is once again idyllic and warm.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Metaphorically done in the first two seasons of The Crown (2016) with the depiction of Britain's government and the decline of the British empire. Though played with, in that it's not the monarch who represents the decay — the series focuses on the early reign of the young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth II — but her Prime Ministers, pretty much all of whom are elderly men who are increasingly frail and sickly. Practically spelled out in one episode, wherein Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden plan to hold a summit following the first Soviet atomic weapon tests to demonstrate British resolve and leadership during the crisis, only for both men to suffer major health problems and forcing the summit to be cancelled.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A non-magical example. The War Doctor and his TARDIS are shabby from lack of upkeep, with a dingy, bare-bones TARDIS console cobbled together from scrap, and restoring the original roundels to signal a return to his scientific roots. Nothing too fancy, not even a whole lot of order to where things are placed. In his Ninth and Tenth incarnations, the Doctor begins to flesh out the console room into a coral layout. Though the TARDIS for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors remains basically the same, the TARDIS is lit in a more dark-green way while Nine is still in a dark state of mind from the Time War. After he regenerates, the TARDIS is more brightly-lit, but it arguably gets a lot less inviting as he sulks from postwar trauma, looking shabbier than ever, with exposed wiring, rusty rails, and mechanical groans. Mind you, the Tenth does not appreciate people calling attention to it (he hits the roof when Wilfred criticizes his housekeeping, and again when War is aghast to see Ten has "let this place go a bit", and Eleven dismisses it all as his counterpart's "grunge phase"). The 11th Doctor finds himself with a new lease on life, and the TARDIS changes into a brightly-lit rumpus room to reflect this frivolity.
      • This isn't the only time the TARDIS specifically changes to accommodate a shift in the Doctor. As of "The Snowmen", after the loss of Amy and Rory, the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS interior has been remodelled with a darker colour scheme, the decoration has become more spartan and sterile and he's not bothering to turn on the lights. It has nothing to do with his depression, seriously!
    • In "The Three Doctors", every time Omega gets annoyed, his fortress rumbles, shaking visibly as the anger increases. Justified because the fortress, and indeed the entire environment within the black hole, is shaped by Omega's mind.
    • Under his Master's rule in "Last of the Time Lords", it's more mentioned than shown, but under the Master's reign, the Earth's landscape has experienced drastic change within a year. It's also considered by the intergalactic community to be facing "terminal extinction", whatever precisely that means.
    Martha Jones: "I travelled across the world — from the ruins of New York to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe; and everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves."
  • Game of Thrones:
    • It's heavily implied that the Bizarre Seasons Westeros has been experiencing for the past several millennia are caused by the Night King's magical presence, as before his creation, the lands North of the Wall were shown to be lush and green. After his defeat, in the last episode, the weather is shown to be much more mild, with grass even shown sprouting past the Wall despite winter having only started very recently within the show's time frame, implying that the seasons are returning to normal.
    • In Season 7, Dragonstone has obviously been scaled up to accommodate Dany's arrival and where it was always shown as a kind of Mordor-esque castle under Stannis, the new Dragonstone evokes Minas Tirith (complete with castle on an elevation with winding steps to the top), and it's shot in broad daylight with greenery sticking out. This is also reflected in Cersei's map on the floor, which also has Dragonstone gleaming in white for some reason, when it's well known for being made out of black stone.
  • The trope namer is featured in a season 3 ep of Merlin, where his kingdom and he are under a curse, and Arthur travels to him to retrieve an artifact. Merlin secretly gets an artifact of his own from the king before allowing him to die and end his suffering.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Fort Salem thrives organically when Alder is healthy, but begins to die if she is injured or otherwise weakened, such as if one of her biddies is dying.
  • An episode of Red Dwarf features a "psi-moon", which models itself after Rimmer's twisted psyche, features including the Swamp of Despair, the Wood of Humiliation and the Chasm of Hopelesseness. The crew escapes by making Rimmer feel better about himself just long enough to fight off his Self-Loathing, the dominant emotion of Rimmer's psyche.
  • In The X-Files the agents visit a town where the weather is the reflection of the emotional state of one man. Inverted in that the man in question is only the town's TV Weatherman.

  • In Sinéad O'Connors song "Nothing compares 2 U", there's a line about how all the flowers in the garden died after her boyfriend left, although this could be interpreted as just meaning she had no idea how to take care of flowers.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Trope Namer is from Arthurian Legend.
  • A variant is Demeter, the goddess of verdant stuff in the Classical Mythology, especially in the story of the kidnapping of her daughter Persephone by Hades. When she is with her daughter, the world is lush and green. When her daughter is away with her hubby Hades, the world is cold and barren. Give yourself a pomegranate seed! Persephone goes away for half the year. This is, of course, the origin story of the change of seasons.
  • In some ancient cultures, the king and his personal piety and virility were equated with such things as the success of the crops and life of the land in general. So, in the early ages, the Pharaoh of Egypt masturbated into the Nile annually at the festival of Shemu to ascertain the flood. note  It's not entirely surprising that this was Truth in Television, in a sense - succession was rarely a smooth business, and as such, any king who perpetually managed to hold on to life generally ensured an era of stability and well-being for his people. While no sovereign actually has sympathetic magical control over their lands, good governing generally means stability and well-being for the people, while bad governing means a rough time.
  • The ancient Indian epic Ramayana features a semi-demonic king whose emotions seem to effect the whole world's climate. When he becomes lovestruck, the seasons change rapidly, and time itself stops temporarily.
  • Chinese emperors believed themselves to be responsible for the well-being of the land in varying degrees ("The Mandate of Heaven," which even modern communists try not to upset too much- ever see a government official slack off when a Chinese natural disaster strikes?), and thus instituted a number of rituals in which they'd attempt to appease the heavens; some of them apparently have been heard to directly appeal to the gods to punish them instead during natural disasters. People who worked for the emperor were often savvy about this, sending memorials to the Imperial palace about bad omens like solar eclipses in various places (which have been calculated by modern scientists to be impossible at that time and place) simply to politely tell the Emperor that his policies were unpopular in (X) Province.
  • Oedipus, who kills his father, marries his mother and becomes the king of Thebes. This moral stain — even though he has no idea that they are his parents — brings year-long famine to the land.
  • Older Than Dirt: A variation appears in Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld. The Mesopotamian fertility goddess Inanna mourned her husband Dumuzi each year when he died. Her grief (and guilt for killing him) transformed the earth into a parched wasteland where nothing could grow. Only the annual return of Dumuzi could cheer her up.
  • The Hellenic philosophy "Hermeticism" had a catchphrase for this: "As Above, So Below", meaning any change in microcosm is reflected in the macrocosm.
  • The pagan Swedes tended to sacrifice their kings in case of famine.
  • In Pacific Mythology, there is a "Just So" Story about why there is a leeward and windward side to (specifically) the Big Island. Pele fell in love with a trickster demigod named Kamapua'a. Sometimes their relationship was happy; other times not so much. In one incident, they got into a terrible domestic dispute. Pele sent her lava out, and Kamapua'a covered Hale'u'mau'mau Crater (her official home) with large fern leaves to suffocate her with her own smoke. When the two lovers realized that their Belligerent Sexual Tension would likely destroy both of them, they called a truce. They called off the relationship for good, and divided the island of Hawai'i in half, with Kamapua'a getting the rainy (but fertile) windward side, and Pele getting the drier and sunnier leeward side.
  • Fraser's Golden Bough described several kings like this. They were often so constrained by traditions and taboos that they could never conduct statecraft and were more akin to a High Priest then what occidentals would think of as a king.
  • In The Bible, God makes this an explicit promise and threat against the people of Israel: if they obey His commandments, God will make their land prosper, but if they disobey, God will send famine and drought to punish them.
    • As he was nearing his death, King David was described as having become impotent. As the fertility of the king was considered to have a direct effect on the fertility of the nation, his counselors sent Abishag of Shuenem, a beautiful concubine, to lie in his bed and hopefully reawaken his vigor. It did not work and David died a few months later.
  • A prominent part of Celtic Mythology, to the point were a deformed, crippled or in any way "incomplete" man would not be permitted to become a king in Celtic society for fear of invoking this trope. Likewise, it is said that when a truly righteous king rules, such as Eochu the first High King, that rain does not fall during their reign, only dew.
  • In "The Rightful King" when Prince Fergus' stepbrother Art assumes the throne, there's a severe storm on the day of his coronation and the land is beset by war, famine and blighted crops, which the druids say are signs of a usurper. When Fergus returns and takes the throne from Art, bright sunshine appears despite it being midwinter.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the Smart Marks' eyes, Vince McMahon is a meta example over WWE. When he's feeling passionate and pragmatic enough, you get a highly esteemed environment such as those of the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras. But when he's feeling complacent and paranoid beyond all reason, you get a widely panned environment such as that of the PG Era.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Nobilis, a powerful PC (or least one with a lot of Realm) will affect their Chancel this way - in one of the book's Flash Fictions, a Noble being drowned causes the entire kingdom to flood.
    • In third edition, Realm is no longer an attribute and as a result, anyone who wants to do the whole Fisher King thing would be advised to take a secondary Estate of "things of my Chancel". Chancels can also have an Erus, a kind of pseudo-Noble who has a degree of control over it automatically, and who doesn't cost anything because they tend to spend a lot of time treading on Powers' toes and otherwise being inconvenient.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In 5th Edition, when a dragon takes on permanent residence in an area, their magic bleeds into their surroundings and causes a number of supernatural effects within them. Most commonly, these include the easing or hampering of certain types of magic, the attraction and proliferation of wild animals of specific types, and, in the case of gem dragons, the growth of veins and formations of the dragon's associated gemstones.
    • Birthright is all about this trope. The players play a regent and his court (or multiple regents) who literally has the blood of gods in their veins and the state of their kingdom is tied heavily to the nature of its ruler. When the king is well, the kingdom is well; if the king turns evil, the citizens will start to turn distrustful of one another and crime and corruption will grow rampant; if the king grows ill or dies, disease and famine will wrack the land.
    • Planescape:
      • Domains of gods and other "powers" are closely tied to their owners and have their will as one of "laws of nature". This includes becoming stale and decrepit if the owner dies or otherwise is cut off thoroughly enough.
      • The outer planes are heavily shaped by the people who live there. If enough people sharing the same Character Alignment live in one area of a plane that corresponds to a conflicting alignment, then that area may shift out of that plane and merge with a different one. In extreme cases, it is possible for an entire layer of an outer plane to shift into another. Arcadia, the plane between Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral used to have three layers before the influence of an extremist faction caused one layer to shift away from good and drop into Mechanus, the plane of pure Lawful Neutral. This may also eventually happen to the 471st layer of the Chaotic Evil Abyss due to forces of good fighting to save a group of children trapped there, which is causing the plane to slowly become greener and more hospitable.
    • Ravenloft: The various Domains are karmic prisons for their Darklords, which reflected their crimes. The Domains and their lords vary wildly, ranging from lands that reflect every whim of their public rule, to realms where the Darklord is a hounded, outcast monster. Even then, all the realms are intrinsically tied to their Darklords, who can close the borders of their realm at any time.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Daemon worlds change to reflect the whims of their masters.
    • The God-Emperor's continued existence (however limited) is vital to the interstellar travel and communications of the Imperium. As his presence wanes, the outer regions are lost, and few would want to be there when he dies completely.
  • In Changeling: The Lost, every single True Fae is a god unto their own realm in Faerie, having control over every single aspect of their home, from whether the sky is blue to the conditions as to when a fire will or will not cook a person's food. The Changelings, human slaves abducted to act as servants, have to enter pacts with every element in order to even survive. The world changes according to what a Faerie thinks is entertaining. The True Fae are powerful outside their realms but have nowhere near this level of control over other domains.
    • To a lesser degree, there is a Fatebound Merit named after the Trope Namer. As long as the holder is not suffering from serious damage, all their Social Merits function at double efficiency, but they suffer serious damage whenever a member of their Court dies and unrest in their kingdom is physically painful.
  • Unknown Armies has the True King, an archetype that characters can become Avatars of. True King avatars have a supernatural connection to whatever their "kingdom" is: the realm reflects their physical and emotional state, they can heal themselves by draining the fertility and well-being of their realm (or vice versa), and lose their powers if they have no realm to rule over. In return for this power over their Realm, they must answer any calls for aid by their subjects that they are capable of providing, or else their power wanes.
    • Another example is the M.V.P., a sports hero who improves the social conditions of his home town by winning.
  • Vampire: The Requiem has a Bloodline known as the Bron, whose members believe themselves to be descendants of the Fisher King. Their curse is that any land they claim as their domain instantly becomes harder to control — feeding checks are made at greater difficulty, and so on. Ironically, the line's split down the middle on their true origin — members in the Lancea Sanctum (Christian vampires) believe themselves to descend from the Fisher King, whereas members in the Circle of the Crone (pagan vampires) believe they come from Bran the Blessed.
  • GURPS Fantasy provides highly abstract rules for this as an Advantage. Due to its limited nature and serious drawbacks, it is not particularly expensive to have.
  • In Infernum, this is the effect of one of the Noble Mutation chains (sets of powers that a demon can acquire by taking control of sufficient territory). With the Chain of The Screaming Sky, the demon can make its land hotter, colder or darker. At first level, it merely determines the weather. By third level, its kingdom is either under a permanent night sky or swallowed up amidst either glaciers or volcanoes. A similar Noble Chain is the Chain of The Burning Land, which ties a demon more strongly to its kingdom — this makes it more powerful in its home turf, as well as giving it early warnings of things like gatherings, invading armies, riots, Et cetera.
  • Played with in Magic: The Gathering. Each color or Mana is tied to a specific land type. That Mana also holds dominion over certain ideals and emotions, so they all tend to come as a package deal. The end result is that things like angelic avatars of justice tend to be associated with open, sunlit plains, while ambitious necromancers consort with demons in dreary swamps.

  • William Shakespeare: Macbeth, of course. Upon the king's murder and replacement by said murderer, the sky is covered in thunderclouds and the horses start eating each other. When the king's perfectly normal son takes over, everything's good.
    • King Lear, too. When Lear is stripped of the last vestige of his power and goes mad, it's accompanied by a terrible storm. Some productions balance this by associating his recovery / Cordelia's return with sunshine and birdsong.
    • Downplayed in a lot of Shakespeare's history plays; there's an entire scene in Richard II in which a pair of gardeners discuss the title character's misrule in terms of bad gardening, and in the Henry IV plays, King Henry's physical decline is paralleled with the political chaos in his realm, but in both cases it's the state, rather than the land itself, that's depicted as in danger.
  • Exit the King takes this trope absolutely literally; the king's mental and physical decline shrinks and collapses his kingdom on a scale reminiscent of The Nothing in The Never-Ending Story. It even extends into time.
    "All the wars you'd won, you lost. And all the ones you lost, well, you lost them over again."
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream, disharmony between fairy king and queen Oberon and Titania produces disharmony in the land and seasons.
  • In Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian references the myth by mocking Antony for spending all his time fishing while he is the nominal ruler of Egypt. This is an inversion, as the point was to demonstrate that Antony's job was so cushy and undemanding that Egypt continues to run perfectly well regardless of how he spends his time.
  • In Hadestown, Hades and Persephone's deteriorating marriage is responsible for the inclement weather plaguing the world, with their argument in "Chant" causing an increasingly bitter storm up top that Eurydice becomes caught in.

    Video Games 
  • American McGee's Alice: Alice becomes Wonderland's fisher king.
  • The lands (and skies) under your control in the Black & White god games change to reflect your alignment. More pronounced in the sequel, where Good cities are teeming with wildflowers, butterflies, and pristine marble architecture; whereas Evil cities are surrounded by shadowy volcanic plains and haunted by the lamentations of the miserable peasants.
  • Conquests of Camelot is a variant on the Arthurian legend, in which the Fisher King is Arthur himself. Gwenhyver's love for Lancelot causes Arthur to become depressed, causing his kingdom to sink with him, as explained by Merlin during the intro sequence.
  • In Chapter 2 of Deltarune, Spamton frequently models locations he inhabits after himself to some extent following his initial encounter.
    • Spamton's shop features a wall painted like a sunny sky, contrasting the dark room with a phone on the back that looks like it's draining its colors away. When you transfer him to the EmptyDisk, the whole thing melts away before your eyes to monochrome, the soundtrack turns to a slower, lower-key version, and the lamp over the phone is shut off, leaving that area pitch-black.
    • The normal Spamton NEO fight sends the Delta Warriors from the basement to an entire cityscape modeled after his likeness. The background changes to the sunny wall if you help him sever the threads holding him up, leading to some jarring Mood Whiplash when, after the last wire is cut, he collapses on a silent black screen, immobilized (since the wires were the only thing keeping him up).
    • This also happens to Queen's mansion once he takes it over on the Weird route. The place becomes awash with spammy and glitchy ads, all the paintings of the Queen are changed to have Spamton's face, and there are pipis everywhere. Queen, hilariously, seems to be completely unaware of any of this.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest I: Defeat the Dragonlord, and not only do all of the other monsters disappear from the game, but the poisonous swamps will be replaced by fields of flowers in the remakes.
    • Dragon Quest VIII: A subplot revolves around the depressing castle town of Ascantha, in mourning two years for their deceased queen, before the heroes help the king to get over her death and he and the town return to their former jovial state. The king did this to his town by edict, however, not by mystical power, making this a Subverted Trope.
    • Dragon Quest XI: After stealing the Heart of Yggdrasil and destroying the World Tree, Mordegon turns Erdrea into a monster-infested land of darkness.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The realms of the Daedric Princes in Oblivion are part Genius Loci and part Eldritch Location. The Princes rule their own realms as Dimension Lords, inside of which they possess almost absolute power to create, change, and alter at will. Anything that causes one of the Princes to change, however, be it a Hijacking Cthulhu situation or through their own actions, also affects their realm. For example, in the 4th Era when Clavicus Vile was separated from his external conscience, Barbas, his realm of is said to have literally shrunk.
    • In Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion, you visit the titular realm of Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness. It is appropriately insane. However, as part of an Eternal Recurrence known as the Greymarch, Sheogorath reverts to his true form, that of the Daedric Prince of Order Jyggalag. Life in the Isles begins to die off and crystal spires grow out of the ground, signalling the beginning of the Greymarch. Naturally, it is up to the Player Character to put an end to this recurrence and save the Isles.
  • The Final Fantasy games make heavy use of this from time to time.
    • In Final Fantasy, this applies to the rotting earth, especially the much more noticeably decayed earth on the subcontinent surrounding the Earth Cave, home of Lich the Earth Fiend.
    • In Final Fantasy V, the world after having all its elemental crystals shattered and under the siege of the Void. With the elements decaying, their constituent natural forces are stagnating, and large areas of land appear as black pits where the Void sucked up entire countries.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, the world is all but destroyed when the Warring Triad's balance is broken, and their power is usurped by Kefka as the new source of magic. This leaves the land barren and desolate, and Kefka's rule over it keeps it the land from recovering (his razing it with the almighty Light of Judgment doesn't help things, either.) However, when Kefka is destroyed and magic dissipates, life across the world blooms triumphantly.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, the future world of Ultimecia under her domination, and most especially her castle.
    • In Final Fantasy XV, The death of the Astrals and Lunafreya and the disappearance of Noctis allows Ardyn to take control of Lucis, ruling over a dark world filled with demons. Like the FF 6 example, this ends upon Ardyn’s death, but the damage done in this case seems irreversible.
  • God of War III: killing gods changes the world for the worse as each god effectively holds back the blight of whatever they were in charge of: Kill Poseidon, and the seas flood the coasts. Kill Hades, and the souls of the dead escape from Tartarus. Kill Helios, and the sun is shrouded by the clouds. Kill Hermes, and pestilent swarms of insects are released. Kill Hera, and all plant life dies. Kill Zeus, and the constant lightning storms begin.
  • Infamous: Cole's moral choices determine the weather in the postgame: Empire City is a sunny paradise if Good Cole defeats Kessler, and a hellish disaster area with red skies if Evil Cole does.
  • Legacy of Kain: The series does this with the Pillars of Nosgoth - the twist being that not only are the pillars literal pillars, but they're also represented by a person. When the Pillar of Balance is murdered and her lover, the Pillar of Mind (with all the psychic power that implies), goes mad... Nosgoth itself suffers and suffers more later as a result of Kain's climactic choice.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past features the Dark World, originally known as the Sacred Realm before it fell under Ganon's rule and was warped into a dark and twisted version of Hyrule. The Dark World has the ability to turn anyone who ventures into it without the Moon Pearl into an animal or monster supposedly reflecting their "true nature" - e.g., a bully becomes a fanged and horned demon, and an indecisive kid becomes a bouncy pink immobile ball; hence it is also a Fisher Kingdom. Link becomes a helpless pink bunny, and Ganon, himself, is a massive boar.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Zelda's castle and city become corrupted once Ganon takes control of them. Though not seen, Zelda also mentions that the Sacred Realm has once again become a place of evil due to Ganondorf's pouring of his malice into the Triforce when he attempted to gain possession of it. It becomes his prison after his defeat when the Sages seal him inside the Dark Realm.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Justified Trope; when the evil Zant takes over Hyrule, the land becomes cloaked in perpetual twilight, because he's actually using dark magic to bring the Twilight Realm to this plane. Things look pretty bad there, too, what with the sky darker than ever and the inhabitants all gone or turned into the Shadow Beasts you repeatedly fight. Normally, it's actually pretty nice under its rightful ruler, Midna, the titular Twilight Princess.
    • Hyrule Warriors: In the first stage, under Zelda's rule, Hyrule Field is lush and vibrant. In the final stage of the main story, after Ganondorf takes over, it's a hellish landscape pierced with many a building-sized greatsword.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U: Bowser manages to take over Princess Peach's Castle, and the surrounding area becomes a Lethal Lava Land just like what usually surrounds Bowser's own castle in games that feature it.
    • Fawful takes over both Bowser's and Peach's castles in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and shapes them into his image, even making Peach's Castle into a very gloomy area with washed-out colors and bleak music.
  • Overlord: Both your tower and the entire domain are like this in the first game, where it's especially prominent in the endings.
  • In Might & Magic VII, you become the Lords of Harmondale, which is already in pretty bad shape, as is the whole continent, which is in a state of war. Whether it becomes better or worse depends on your actions and whether you choose the Path of Light or Dark. The continent, that is — Harmondale gets better either way.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker has the player's realm reflect the character of its ruler in background dialogue and inhabitants.
  • Piglet's Big Game revolves around Piglet entering the dreams of his friends and helping them. Each dream world has a different atmosphere to reflect the personality of whoever is dreaming. Pooh has a Sugar Bowl dessert dream, Roo has a cardboard playroom dream, Owl has an endless library dream, Eeyore has a dark and drab castle dream, Rabbit has a humongous carrot garden dream, and Tigger has a four season dream full of various things he likes to do, such as striped trees, a carnival, and an ice cave.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers: The mental state of the god of time, Dialga, is reflected by the physical state of Temporal Tower, his hidden abode.
  • Psychonauts: The mental realms. Obviously. This trope is taken to the point where everything in a mental world corresponds to the personality and mental state of the mind-holder, from the general layout (a Germanic Depressive character whose psychic specialty is turning repressed emotions into firepower has a mind consisting of a large black, white, and grey cube floating in dark purple space) to the Figments (several plot points are hinted at upon close examination of the Figments in each mind) to the characters (in a paranoid schizophrenic's mind, the mailboxes have eyes and stalk you).
  • RuneScape: The quest "Holy Grail" takes the entire storyline of the quest from the Arthurian legend, and the Holy Grail is indeed held by the Fisher King, who rules a Fisher Kingdom. It gets better when you get Sir Percival to take over.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the Expanse changes according to what entities currently rule over it. Without anyone, it's a barren, desolate landscape, with a sea perpetually frozen in time at the background. With the White in charge, the place becomes the Monochrome Forest, a White Void Room spanning the whole plane. With the revival of the Goddess of Tokyo, the landscape heals and the sea is unfrozen, making it far more pleasant to be in.
  • Wild ARMs 2: The Encroaching Parallel Universe, Kuiper Belt, is gradually eating the entire universe, and strikes Filgaia with a phenomenon called the Stain Paradigm, which rots away the sky, the land, the water, the forces of nature, everything, as Kuiper Belt grows more powerful. Named after but very different from the real Kuiper Belt, a ring of countless Plutoid planetoids surrounding the main Solar System, some of which occasionally stray into the main Solar System like Pluto does every few centuries.
  • The whole plot of the game King's Bounty is that King Maximus is linked to the life of his kingdom by the Scepter of Order. When Arech Dragonbreath steals the Scepter, the country descends into chaos and anarchy, and both Maximus and the land itself start to sicken and die. The object of the game is to recover the Scepter, restoring both Maximus and the land to health.
  • In the Pride Lands level of Kingdom Hearts II the land has remained barren because Simba still had doubts about his abilities as a leader and is plagued by the Heartless ghost of Scar. That, and the Pride Lands obviously weren't restored to their former glory instantly, there's at least four months between when Simba takes the throne and Kiara's "christening" seen at the end of the film and the epilogue of the game. This is nature we're talking about, not magic, even if it is a Disney version of nature.
  • The city of Dunwall in Dishonored seems to be this. It becomes noticeably worse off after the Hiram Burrows takes over following Empress Jessamine's assassination. Also, a high chaos run (read, if the player goes on a killing spree) will result in far more rats and Weepers than low chaos ("pacifistic") run. Doubles as a case of Fridge Brilliance in that though Corvo is not a ruler himself his actions directly influence Emily, Jessamine's daughter, ultimately shaping what kind of person she becomes.
    • Dishonored 2 continues using Dunwall as the fisher kingdom. At the beginning of the game, the city looks normal, with the sun shining overhead. When Emily or Corvo finally return following Delilah Copperspoon's coup, the sky is permanently cloudy and the city looks just as rundown as it actually is, with debris and bodies scattered everywhere as Delilah's coven of witches are given the run of the place.
  • In Armello the kingdom gets worse as the game progresses and the King gets more corrupted, not merely because his proclamations become more insane but also more Banes appear and they get stronger.
  • Seen in the bonus chapter of the seventh Dark Parables game. The goddess Flora is a divine Fisher Queen, and an evil enchantment has caused her to lose both her memory and her proper form. She becomes trapped in the body of Thumbelina, and since she's the goddess of nature's balance, the entire world is beginning to unravel without her to keep order.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, the Spirit Tree controls the Elements of Light that maintain the forest of Nibel. After Sein, the spirit who is "the eyes and light of the Tree", is separated from it by Kuro during her Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the accidental death of her children, the forest is "blinded" and falls into decay, being overrun by thorny weeds, toxic water, and hostile wildlife. Thus begins Ori's quest to reactivate the three Elements and return Sein to the Tree, restoring Nibel to it's prior glory.
  • While nothing happens to the actual kingdom in Star Stealing Prince, the introduction does state that the title royal's emotions directly influence those of his subjects - therefore, if he's happy/sad/etc. then they are too.
  • The wellbeing and sanity of the soldiers and citizens of each Land in Drakengard 3 are tied to whether the ruling Intoner is around or not. When events cause each Intoner to no longer be present to rule, well...
  • Used in Total War: Warhammer. The landscape in territories changes to represent the influence of the power who controls it. Provinces controlled by the Empire are farmed Arcadias, provinces controlled by the Vampire Counts turn into haunted Uberwalds, Greenskins turn lands into barren wastes dotted with ramshackle fortifications, tribal totems and giant mushrooms, and lands controlled by Chaos become Mordors dotted with lava flows, obsidian spires and arcane portals.
  • Similarly in For Honor, the maps change with the controlling faction. Land occupied by the Knights is temperate, land occupied by the Samurai becomes foggy marshland, and land occupied by the Vikings becomes rather frigid.
  • In Shadow Warrior (2013), the demon maiden Ameonna brings life-giving rain to the demon world, but only when she's crying. When she meets and falls in love with Hoji, it starts a slow decline into their world's destruction, causing Enma to forbid them from seeing each other. Hoji, in a fit of grief and envy, poisons her, sending her into eternal sleep as she can't die, damning the world of demons to destruction unless the Nobitsura Kage is reforged and an immortal is sacrificed to revive her.
    • According to the sequel, there's a different stream of fluids she can cry out - of her other mouth. As such, the demon world has chaotically merged with Earth to form a constantly shifting procedurally generated killing floor. Everything sucks unless you're having as much fun murdering everything in sight, as Ameonna has during her sex tapes.
  • Super Robot Wars X: The Empire of Misurugi has an unusual example. Under Jurai and Sophia, it used to be a peaceful nation despite its persecution of the Norma that promoted art and sports. When Julio launched his coup and exiled Ange, he turned the Empire into an aggressive military state that sought to take over multiple worlds and kill not only the Normas but all other unallied non-Mana users as well. And that's not counting the fact the people persecuted the Norma because of Embryo, who governs all of Mana from the shadows.
    • After Julio and Embryo are killed and the Light of Mana is shut off, Sylvia and Ange lead the survivors on healing the damage and rebuilding Misurugi into something more benevolent.
    • Al-Warth itself turns out to be an even bigger one, with Ende's decision to recognize it as existing being all that sustains Al-Warth's existence. When he stops caring about it, the universe begins to literally come apart at the seams.
  • In Fe, territories occupied by the Silent Ones are overcast with an ominous red-orange haze. Once they are driven out and the animals liberated, the skies clear and the colors return to the standard blue-violet palette.
  • In The Spectrum Retreat, the Penrose Hotel becomes "infected" with Alex's memories as they return, from pictures in frames filling up with his family photographs to various posters and leaflets being replaced with ones reading "Vote Crow", growing more menacing and unsettling as the game goes on.
  • Gwynevere, the Princess of Sunlight, from Dark Souls is solely responsible for Anor Londo being in a state of perpetual sunset. Killing her casts the city into eternal night instead. This is because the Gwenevere you see isn't real, but an illusion created by her brother Gwyndolin (the real Gwenevere left a long time ago,) and so is the sun over Anor Londo. The eternal night is the true state of the city.
  • Inverted in The Artifact Of The Pharoah Solitaire. Horus comments to Marik that as Egypt recovers from the curse upon it, his father will also recover.
  • In Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand, the return of the eponymous lost kingdom causes desertification of the surrounding lands.
  • Zyll: Zyll eventually turned the once-prosperous country into a dark and barren wasteland.
  • Tick Tock Isle: Smaller scale — just an island with a single house. While the head of the family, Rod, is busy watching TV and making up excuses, the house slowly falls into disrepair, as the time traveller Strike can clearly see. After Rod's wife and Strike force Rod to work, the house and the garden remain in best condition, and even the weather improves.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: A Dangerous Forbidden Technique known as a "Reality Marble" shows the inner workings of a Mage's soul by making a world that represents that Mage overlap the real world. These worlds, being shaped by the Magi's inner nature, are of the Fisher King nature. One inner world shown during the course of the game and the anime is Unlimited Blade Works, which belongs to Archer ( and by extension, Emiya Shirou).
    • Other Reality Marbles mentioned include that of Tsukihime's Nrvnqsr Chaos (pronounced Nero Chaos), which is always active and allows him to join his being to other creatures, giving him a body that is incapable of dying so long as at least one part of it remains alive and he can maintain magic energy to feed it. Unless you're Shiki. Satsuki's Reality Marble represents her loss without gain (Isn't it sad? No, really, not just a meme in this case) and passively destroys any mana in a radius around her that is not contained in a living being. Reality Marbles are bizarrely specific and produce equally strange results.
    • There is also the group of beings called the Ultimate Ones, the final singular lifeform that embody the hereditary of the now-dead planet of which it originates. Their very presence is enough to cast a permanent denial of reality sphere called Alien Order, overwriting Earth's laws of physics with those of their original planet as it was when it still bore life. In the main series, this is the effect Type-Mercury is having on a region in South America. In the far-flung future of Notes, the body of Ultimate One Type-Venus is blown out of the sky and, crashing onto the dead Earth of the future, its "corpse" is the only place that can still sustain life, albeit Venusian life.
    • The prequel of Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, also has Servant Rider's shared Reality Marble, "Ionioi Hetaroi", which summons the Badass Army which conquered half of the world in his lifetime. (For context, Rider is Alexander the Great.)

  • Blindsprings has a case of this. It has not yet been revealed how exactly this works, but the royal family (who was overthrown in a bloody revolution/ academic coup d'état, with only one person surviving) had a pact with some nature spirits, who in turn seem to be connected to the magic in this world. While the country is not all brown and withered yet, this or something similar is implied to be a danger looming in the near future. It is also something of a dystopia, with the new rulers oppressing a certain kind of magic user with Nazi-like methods.
  • The Master of Paris in Girl Genius due to Simon spending at least 200 years making Sparky updates to himself and the city they are very well integrated. When Beausoleil murders him he does so using a sword that purges him from the systems of Paris it causes the entire city to go dark briefly before his death causes his partially integrated daughter Colette to have a Traumatic Superpower Awakening and take over as the new Master:
    Tarvek: How-How do you know?
    Colette: Because it is happening here in Paris and here in Paris I know all.
  • Homestuck:
    • The reason why Beforus was a happier place than its successor is because its universe's Feferi ruled it benevolently. It had highbloods caring for lowbloods and the planet was a happier place overall. Now it's Alternia, not so much.
    • Invoked with Post-Scratch Earth, by the exact same person who turned Alternia into its current state. While it originally had a history similar to Pre-Scratch Earth, the Condesce landed on it specifically to turn its people into the Proud Warrior Race of her home planet. Jake and Jane's time includes an imperialistic Mega-Corp and imported Lusii as a result, and by Dirk and Roxy's time, it's become a flooded-over wasteland with several rebellions under its belt.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, the mage safe spaces are influenced by their mage's mood or will:
    • Lalli makes a moving tree grow out of nowhere when he kicks Reynir out of his space.
    • A storm starts in Onni's when he spots Reynir in his own space. It calms down when Reynir recognizes him from Tuuri's family photo.
    • The sheep in Reynir's space are seen fleeing in panic when he is protecting himself from the ghosts.
    • While her nature is unclear, "Pastor A" has her church briefly change from its Old World beauty to the impromptu Rash hospital it had become near the end as she tries to remember its physical location.

    Web Videos 
  • The Briarwoods and the de Rolo family in Critical Role are this to the city of Whitestone, a sacred city of the Dawnfather Pelor. Under the heel of the Briarwoods, the farmlands are barren and the sky is perpetually overcast and dark; the people are starving and miserable, ruled over by the undead, and the land is being stripped of material for use in the Briarwoods' dark magic cult ritual in service to the lich Vecna. Once Vox Machina defeats them and gives control of the city to Percival and Cassandra de Rolo—the last survivors of its original ruling family—the land begins to heal and the city flourishes once more, and the ensuing Winter's Crest festival is a joyous celebration.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, the kingdom of Quirkistan is enchanted to reflect the mood of the king, a spoiled child. When he is in a foul mood the land starts dying, sadness causes downpours, and happiness causes the land to become fertile and rich. Just don't make him angry; lightning and volcanoes happen when he's not even fully mad.
  • Amphibia: After King Andrias reveals his true colors in the season 2 finale and starts building an army to take over Earth and other worlds, Amphibia's color scheme goes from happy green to murky brown, most of the foliage that hasn't been ripped up completely has wilted, and is overpopulated by Frobots.
  • In The Neverending Story: The Animated Adventures of Bastian Balthazar Bux, the Childlike Empress is the ultimate wellspring from which all Fantasia springs, and harm to her can cause harm to the kingdom. In the episode "Missing Memories", Xayide steals the Empress' memories from Yor's Minroud Mine; when she destroys a memory, that portion of Fantasia is erased from existence. In the end, Bastian has to rebuild her memory from scratch to recreate Fantasia.
  • Reversed in one of the episodes of Captain N: The Game Master based on The Legend of Zelda (1989). Mother Brain's minions steal parts of the Triforce, and Captain N and his friends have to help Link and Zelda try to get it back. But with the Triforce missing, Hyrule is dying - and therefore, so is Zelda.
  • Evil Prince Aragon from Danny Phantom is a Jerkass whose isolated stuck-in-the-Dark-Ages (literally) kingdom reflects his aggressive rules. It's only when his timid sister, Princess Dora finally gets the gumption to dethrone him did the dying kingdom regale in happiness. It's expected it'll only get better from here; Dora's first act is restoring time so they can catch up to the rest.
  • Played twice on The Emperor's New School with both the protagonist and the antagonist. When Kuzco wishes he'd never been an emperor to begin with... guess who becomes the ruler in an alternate world? Cue a dark (and very purple), cruel kingdom run by Yzma. However, in another episode Kuzco, despite not being an Emperor yet (again) takes over the entire school and turns it into a bleak and empty "kingdom"... literally. He locks the background colouring artists in the dungeon together with the other characters.
  • When Crocker and later Vicky Take Over the World in The Fairly Oddparents, Dimmsdale becomes bleak and barren, with debris abound. Once they're off the throne, Dimmsdale becomes beautiful again (though, you could argue, no less miserable).
    • During Crocker's turn, there was a sign reading "Welcome to Slavesdale - Population: (Depends on Crocker's mood)
    • Also extended to Timmy's dad when he got to be Mayor for a day after winning the Miss Dimmsdale pageant. Though that may have just been set up to mess with Dinkleburg.
  • I ♡ Arlo: When Arlo's swamp is under the control of the Bog Lady in the Season 1 finale, it goes from bright and cheerful green to dull and miserable grey, and is coated with thorns and vines.
  • Parodied in the "King Wrong" episode of Inspector Gadget, when Gadget is assigned to the fictional kingdom of Pianostan and meets his lookalike, a king whose sadness and misery pleases his subjects, but if the king is ever happy, the subjects won't be happy; in short, when the king is feeling happy or sad, his subjects' feelings will be the direct opposite of the king's mood.
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Me-Me-Nopoly", Mr. Cat becomes the king of Smileyland, and the sky turns red.
  • In The Legend of Korra, the Avatar is this in the Spirit World. If the Avatar's negative thoughts and emotions dominate, the world around him or her - including the resident spirits - will turn dark, frightening and hostile. Positive emotions, on the other hand, reverse this effect, bringing light and peace.
  • The Briarwoods in The Legend of Vox Machina, much like in the source material, are this to the city of Whitestone. Percy describes it as a lush and beautiful land of plenty, and his flashbacks show vibrant farmland and the majestic, divine Sun Tree in the center of it all. Under the Briarwoods' reign, it's perpetually cloudy and the lands are barren, to say nothing of the undead giants roaming the streets, and the Sun Tree is nearly dead and used for public hangings. (It's to their benefit for the city to be overcast, as Sylas Briarwood is a vampire.)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Whenever Discord rules Equestria, he transforms the land into a nonsensical, chaotic hellhole. By contrast, when Celestia is on the throne, Equestria is a nice and peaceful place to live. It's not a perfect utopia, but it's fairly close.
    • Nightmare Moon qualifies as well. Under her power, Equestria would never again see the light of day.
    • In "Hearts and Hooves Day", Apple Bloom has an Imagine Spot where, due to Cheerilee and Big Mac neglecting their jobs, Ponyville is blanketed by stormclouds and overrun with starving uneducated ponies.
    • A local example. When, in "Putting Your Hoof Down," Fluttershy decides to seal herself away so that she can't hurt her friends with her newfound assertiveness, which she took way too far. When she does so, her house and the area immediately around it becomes much more drab and dreary, complete with darkened sky, and the small stream turning to a mud puddle.
    • King Sombra's powers turned the Crystal Empire into a Mordor-like land of jagged black rocks, and it was said that the rest of Equestria would've eventually followed suit if he hadn't been stopped (which was ultimately demonstrated by one of the Bad Futures during the Season 5 finale).
    • When the main cast has their destinies altered in "Magical Mystery Cure", the citizens of Ponyville turned surly and angry, showing just how much an effect Pinkie's cheerfulness has on the town, Carousel Boutique turned decrepit and covered in cobwebs, and Sweet Apple Acres turned fallow and barren, despite the switch appearing to have only been in place for less than a day. Fans have suggested that the spell was retroactive. They instantly switch back once Rarity, AJ and Pinkie's destinies are restored.
    • During the climactic battle with Tirek after he has reached Physical God status, the environs around Ponyville also take on a Mordor-esque appearance.
    • In the season 5 finale, each alternate universe's equestria physically reflects the villain that conquered it, biome and all. Tirek Lethal Lava Land, Chrysalis Darkest Africa, etc.
    • In the Season 6 finale, the land around the Changeling hive is a barren wasteland due to an Anti-Magic field generated by Queen Chrysalis's throne, which means no maintenance of the land or weather by pony magic. With Thorax having ousted Chrysalis and become The Good King of the Changelings, the land regained its vitality in time, shown to becoming verdant in later appearances.
  • Done in a Da Vinci Code spoof episode of The Simpsons, Maggie, who was revealed to be a special child who would usher in true peace, is put on a chair that would fulfill her fate, people stop fighting, flowers bloom, all and all good stuff happens...unfortunately, Marge would rather have her daughter than world peace, and Homer leaves the nuns with Bart, who causes the rapture tribulation when he sits on the throne.
  • In Sweet Sea, when the Royal Necklace is with Sweet Sea, the kingdom is happy and bright, and when in Sheeba's hands the kingdom falls into disrepair and darkness.
  • Justified in W.I.T.C.H.: Meridian was Mordor under Phobos's rule, but that was because he was draining the energy from it. Once Elyon became queen, she restored everything.
    • There's also the fact that Elyon is pretty much a Reality Warper and Phobos, while not as strong, is still quite a powerful Evil Sorcerer. They really do have the power to mold their kingdom to suit their aesthetic preferences.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fisher Queen


Dream returns to his realm

After more than a century imprisoned, Dream returns to the Dreaming to find it in ruins from his absence.

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