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Hive Queen

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Borg Queen: I am the Borg.
Data: That is a contradiction. The Borg have a collective consciousness, there are no individuals.
Borg Queen: I am the beginning, the end, the one who is many. I am the Borg.
Data: Greetings. I am curious—do you control the Borg Collective?
Borg Queen: You imply disparity where none exists. I am the Collective.

Properly speaking, a Hive Mind is a mind arising from the interaction of many individuals. There is no single individual in control of the Hive Mind, any more than there is a single neuron in control of your brain. This makes the Hive Mind a fearsome enemy, both militarily and psychologically, because there's no command-and-control point that you can hit to knock it out, they feel no fear, will willingly sacrifice individuals for "the greater good", and are as impersonally destructive as a tidal wave...

...only, that's inconvenient when it comes time for the Big Damn Heroes to save the day. Inevitably, it transpires that there is in fact someone or something in control of the Hive Mind. This individual is usually — but not always — referred to as the queen. But it's also the one big weakness of the Hive Mind and one would be wise to take advantage. If our heroes manage to kill or incapacitate the Hive Queen, they usually take out the entire hive mind in the process, or at least make the individual members incapable of fighting. Presumably this is by analogy with real-world ants and bees, even though real ant and bee queens exercise little control over their colonies — mostly, their sole job is to pop out eggs.note 

Their methods of control can be anything from Pheromones to Mind Control to cybernetics, but they always exercise iron-clad control over their Hive Drones, whether naturally spawned (going with the insect analogy, it's not uncommon for hive queens in fiction to be a Baby Factory) or forcefully assimilated... usually. On occasion, her control may slip enough for a drone or two to go rogue. Sometimes, but not always, her powers coincide with (or as) The Virus and she can expand her hive to normal people.

Sometimes the Hive Mind is designed with a Hive Queen from the start. At other times, the "control element" gets retconned into the story so that the Hive Mind can be beaten. Indeed, development of a Hive Queen may be the most common form of Villain Decay that threatens Hive Minds, because what was an implacable and usually unstoppable force now has a glaring weak spot. It should be noted that not all hive queens are evil or expansionistic... some are perfectly reasonable, if protective of their "children", it just transpires that since insects — hive ones especially — are seen as grossly alien to us, commie Hive Queens are too.

Also see God Save Us from the Queen!, Monster Progenitor, Vampire Monarch, and Monster Lord. Frequently wants to help individuals lose The Evils of Free Will. Do not confuse with the social role sometimes referred to as a "queen bee", or an actual Insect Queen.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pandaemonium in the Chrono Crusade manga.
  • Last Order in A Certain Magical Index, who is the administrator of the Misaka network. However, due to a few glitches in her growth, she's physically a child (compared to the rest of the network, who are all teenagers), so she's largely treated as an Annoying Younger Sibling by the members of the Hive Mind she's supposed to be overseeing. They still have to obey her orders if she pushes, though. But it turns out even she is still technically subordinate to "The Will of the Network", which is essentially the subconscious "true" Hive Mind that can control and speak through all of them at will, but only intervenes if the situation is important.
  • Anri Sonohara from Durarara!! becomes one after the second arc. Luckily for the district of Ikebukuro, she's one of the few good ones.
  • Diva from Blood+ becomes this.
  • The Anti-Spiral king from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is literally the collective consciousness and will of his entire planet in one body.
  • The mutant/zombie leader in Fort of Apocalypse who is controlling the other zombies within his radius.
  • Mekakucity Actors: The crux of The Plan is to make Marry into one of these, because the snakes' old master, Azami (Marry's grandmother and the original Medusa), is nowhere to be found — and Marry is the nearest substitute.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Slivers have a Sliver Queen, but like all the other Slivers she's a specialized breed, her specialty being, of course, reproduction. Unlike the other Slivers, however, she appears to be unique. The Slivers survive and function fine without her when they're reconstituted by the Riptide Project, but apparently she was something of a check on them, as they rampage aimlessly and in flavor text seem to crave some sort of direction at the same time, eventually resulting in the creation of the Sliver Overlord, which despite the male name is a straighter example of the trope. Finally, it's implied they eventually form a true hive mind, discarding the Overlord and no longer needing a Queen, as the Sliver Legion. The slivers native to their original home plane, however, are still commanded by the Sliver Hivelord (...and although most tournaments' rules prevent it, standard gameplay mechanics don't stop you playing all four at once).
    • Some insect creatures depict hive queens of a more subdued sort, such as Ant Queen and Hornet Queen, which can create weaker insect creatures.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • The villainess Queen Bee is able to take control of people's minds and turn them into her drones.
    • Agent Orange of the Orange Lantern Corps is another DCU example, after a fashion.
    • Another Green Lantern example is Mother Mercy, who created her Lotus-Eater Machine offspring as a way to ease other's pain. She ended up becoming a Green Lantern.
    • Darkseid achieved this level of control over humanity in Final Crisis through the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The villain Swarm is sometimes an example of this trope. He was a Nazi scientist who was eaten alive by bees, surviving as a hive mind that telepathically controlled them and got them to form up around his bones to make him humanoid. Little mention is made of the queen bee, but if his skeleton inside is destroyed, the bees just fly away.
    • Master Mold, who is basically this to the Sentinels when it appears — it's the ridiculously huge Sentinel that houses the AI program that controls and coordinates all Sentinels. It's also a Sentinel production factory in its own right. So you have a giant robot that makes smaller, still giant robots, and which can control them all via the electronic programming equivalent of a Hive Mind.
  • Star Raiders: The Zylon Hive Mind controlled by a Hive Queen that's actually an empathic alien who took control.
  • Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel: The hive mind of the abersyn symbiotes and their hosts is dominated by its most psychologically powerful member, with all other individuals dominated by their will. This individual has absolute authority over the collective, which includes the ability to disassemble it back into individuals at will, but their control last only as long as their focus does — sufficiently strong-willed "recruits" can challenge them for dominance and, should the ruler die or become incapacitated, the hive will likely splinter as their more strong-willed underlings dominate the rest and set up their own dominions.

    Fan Works 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic often has Chrysalis serve as this for the changelings. Whether she's the only one and/or whether she can be replaced by another queen varies between stories.
    • Mirrors in Shadows by TonicPlotter has the changelings purposely try to invoke this mentality as a means of coping with how they live.
    • The Life and Times of a Winning Pony: Chrysalis isn't a crucial node whose destruction jeopardizes the whole swarm. Rather, she's essentially the conscious portion of the Hive Mind itself, and destroying her simply means she'll have to make herself a new body.
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Ghidorah's three heads are the leader and master of the Many, a Hive Mind based gruesome Assimilator that was created from Ghidorah's DNA.
  • Contraptionology!: After becoming contaminated by the mutated she used to create her butter-bee-bats, Fluttershy mutates into a huge version of the things, starts calling herself Queen Flutter-Bee-Bat, and decides to take up life as the queen of the teeming swarm of monstrosities she's created, which obey her every command.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space: Annika Hanson-709 leads a revolution of female cyborgs to Take Over the World. She boasts of how the Hive Mind will replace the inefficient patriarchal and hierarchical systems of humanity, only for her system to crash when the protagonists point out how ridiculous the idea of a Hive Queen is in the first place.
    "You're like a villain who's been introduced for the audience to fixate upon, because the whole idea of a group mind is too unfocussed for them!" scoffed Proton.
    "It is contrary to the entire concept of a collective consciousness," said TuMok. "Your very existence is illogical."
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: The sidestory "Shadows of the Jungle" features a team of Pokémon researchers in an expedition to Guyana to find a Legendary Pokémon. As they advance, Bug-type Pokémon grow increasingly vicious and territorial, so they suspect it must be a Bug-type Legendary that controls them as this. It turns out they're wrong, instead; it's a bloodliner girl.
  • The Bug-Type Queen: Taylor, due to her power linking her to her swarm of insectoid Pokémon. The sense of unity causes the Beedrill to feel loyalty to her, though it's not enforced via compulsion.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn: Empress Tyrania is this to the Gargoyles, as they're all rock animated by a piece of her soul. As such, they're all bond to her will and moral values (or lack of them) and killing her takes them with her.
  • Kitsune: When discussing possibly mutant bees with possible telepathy or pheromones or something else:
    "We've already noticed some signs of changes, particularly with the bees. This latest round seems even more hive oriented than normal. It's almost like the queen is utilizing some sort of mass control. I'm not sure if it's pheromones or some sort of instinctive telepathy." Clarissa looked over some of her sample hives and the attached notes before continuing. "It also hasn't triggered among all the samples either, only one queen seems to be able to do this. I'm working on isolating her DNA and comparing it to DNA samples from the other 'mutated' queens to see if there's a difference genetically between them, as well as comparing them to the DNA from my control groups."
  • Ruby Pair: The Queen of the Carne Bee hive that the Irkens encounter in "Beefus Megabombus", who doubles as the captain of their pirate crew.

    Films — Animated 
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, the Red Death, a dragon that's probably bigger than all the other dragons put together, controls all the other dragons and possibly has hypnotic powers over them (or possibly just keeps them in line with terror); Astrid actually uses a bee analogy to describe it, saying that the dragons are worker bees and the Red Death is their queen (although it's strictly a metaphor since Word of God says that the Red Death is male). Of course, how she actually knows about bees when it snows nine months out of the year and hails the other three is another question.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aliens introduces the Xenomorph Queen, who basically controls the Xenomorph warriors and drones into either attacking or backing off. When Ellen Ripley threatens her eggs, the Queen understands and hisses to the warrior Xenomorphs, making them back off. And when Ripley destroys her eggs after one of them opens up, the Queen gets so enraged, she literally detaches herself from her ovipositor so she can chase down Ripley and Newt.
  • Ben 10: Alien Swarm features the Hive, a race of alien Nanomachines, with their leader being exactly one of these. They've since appeared in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
  • In Edge of Tomorrow, the goal is to destroy the brain behind an alien invasion.
  • In The Faculty, when Zeke does an autopsy on one of the alien Puppeteer Parasites, he notices that it lacks several organs that are necessary to sustain itself independently and thus cannot survive on its own, and from there correctly surmises that there is a hive queen with a telepathic link to all of the parasites. The second half of the film is spent trying to figure out who the hive queen is, with the characters going through a number of incorrect guesses, including Coach Willis and Principal Drake (the latter of whom they kill), before Marybeth reveals herself as such.
  • Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: Megaguirus is the Hive Queen of the Meganulons.
  • The Great Wall has the Tao Tie, a massive swarm of reptilian aliens that lay siege to ancient China every 60 years to consume food and feed it back to their queen. The Tao Tie queen telepathically controls her drones, accompanying them into the battlefield with a small squad of Praetorian Guard to directly command and strategize them. She also seems to be the life source of the swarm itself, as they all drop dead in their tracks upon her death.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence: The Harvester Queen. It's her existence that makes the attack on Earth, the intended extermination of every living being on it (especially humans) and the drilling for the contents of the Earth's core possible. The minute she dies, the fighters around her drop like flies and the mothership automatically withdraws its drill and flies back to their homeworld.
  • In Invasion of the Bee Girls, Dr. Susan Harris (Anitra Ford), once transformed, becomes obsessed with sex with the married men of Peckham CA. She then lures the widows to her lab (supposedly to reveal what happened) to be transformed into Bee Girls and join her.
  • Being the first human infected by the alien parasite, Grant (or at least the grotesque thing the parasite turned him into) in Slither is the center of the invading alien parasites. The various people infected by the parasites take on some of his characteristics (albeit twisted and aimless due to its alien nature) and the heroes are only able to kill the Hive Mind by killing Grant at the center of the grotesque blob-like mass he became.
  • The Borg Queen from Star Trek, who claims to somehow be the Collective rather than simply control it (the characters don't quite get it, either). She may just be a personification of the collective, especially considering the number of times she has come back from the dead. Ever since her debut in First Contact, whether her existence is a good or bad idea has been a matter of great debate. Note "Borg Queen" is a title applied to but not used by her, as she does not call herself the "queen", or even "leader".

  • Animorphs played it straight with termites; after morphing, the heroes were swallowed by the Hive Mind until Cassie managed to turn her head to the side and kill the queen. They averted it with ants and bees, though the former was still a terrifying Hive Mind like the termites.
  • Genderflipped in The Book of the Named series by Clare Bell. The hive-minded clan of hunting cats discovered in the last two books are led by a hive king named True-Of-Voice. It's really a title rather than a name, because when the leader dies, a new one becomes True-Of-Voice.
  • Stephen King's Cell starts out as a typical Zombie Apocalypse, except with the aptly named "Phone Crazies". Then cue the typical Stephen King mind screw about a third of the way through when the characters learn said creatures have a shared hive-mind consciousness and insane telepathic powers. From that moment on they're referred to as "Phone People" instead, since they're dangerous but hardly incapable of thinking.
  • The Vord Queen in Jim Butcher's sword and horse fantasy series Codex Alera, who exerts telepathic control over all other Vord organisms and can sense everything they sense. However, due to the nature of Vord biology and the circumstances of her awakening, the prime Queen has developed a humanlike mind and a curiosity regarding the social-emotional bonds that allow other species to cooperate without the need for psychic domination... neither of which her daughter queens share, and which make them instinctively try to kill her for her aberrancy.
  • In David and Leigh Eddings's The Dreamers quartet, the enemies are poisonous bugs in widely divergent forms who are controlled by a queen. The queen becomes more human as the books, er, "progress."
  • In the Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, the antlike cho'ja are ruled by queens.
    • ... who are, subverting the commie connotation of hive minds, extremely capitalistic.
  • In Ender's Game, each of the Bugger hives is controlled by a telepathic Hive Queen. These Hive Queens can be evil, or at least focused solely on the advancement of their own colonies, but others prove able to cooperate with like-minded Queen relatives.
    • Hell, in later books, the species is solely referred to as Hive Queens, since they're the only sentient "Buggers".
      • Their own internal history begins with the first Queen who actually raised and allied with her daughters (expanding their control beyond a single hive), instead of killing (or being killed by) them.
  • The entity called Spore in Galaxy of Fear is plant-based. It puts its core into one person and shoots vineline strands out of their eyes and mouth to bring others into its control, and the others, instantly turned, can turn still more. If its primary host, the one with the core, is killed and there isn't another nearby to take it, all of the other hosts are freed from its control. However, the primary host is not in charge. None of them are. Spore has access to its hosts' memories but they don't participate.
  • The Main Character of I Don't Want to be the Hive Queen is one. He controls the Hive Mind of an alien race called the Vex, which are basically a Horde of Alien Locusts.
  • Zig-Zagged in InCryptid: Sarah is a Johrlac, a telepathic species (supposedly descended from extradimensional wasps) of which most other members are sociopaths who don't care about any lifeforms other than themselves (including other Johrlac). In Imaginary Numbers, a hive (in this case a temporary gathering) of Johrlac kidnap her and force her to undergo an Evolution Power-Up to turn her into a Johrlac Queen, which summons hundreds more as they attempt to turn her into an Apocalypse Maiden. When her friends arrive to try and stop her from destroying the world, they realize that the Johrlac were originally a Hive Mind species, and tell Sarah to mentally connect to their minds and the hundreds of Johrlac surrounding them to spread out the cosmic equation across many minds and prevent it from frying her mind. After the equation is "killed", she finds she has psychic powers far beyond any other Johrlac, but ironically can't control (or even detect) the surviving Johrlac, whose minds were wiped of anything other than Horror Hunger when she shoved the equation into them.
  • Yammosks in the New Jedi Order are a downplayed form of this. The individual Yuuzhan Vong absolutely have free will, but the telepathic yammosk (also called a "war coordinator" for this reason) can synch up with entire battle groups in combat, feeding them orders and information and allowing them to function in eerie unison (and sometimes serving as bond creatures to Vong commanders, sharing information with them directly and allowing the commander a high level of personal control over the battle). And while killing the yammosk won't break the Vong entirely, it will definitely hurt their morale and seriously impact their ability to work together until order is restored (whether by another yammosk or more conventional means).
  • In The Radiant Dawn, Aaron controls the undead with a telepathic link. His does have limited extent and requires waypoints in the form of specialized undead — he telepathically links to the commanders, who link to the cavaliers, who link to the mindless and flesh golems. However, when the link is broken, mindless don't become any less dangerous. They just shamble towards the nearest living humans, seeking out sustenance.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Worker and Warrior Bugs are controlled by Brain Bugs. If a Brain Bug is killed, the Bugs under its control die too. There are also Queens, but their sole purpose is producing eggs, in fact Bug colonies that are invaded will kill their queen to prevent the Mobile Infantry from capturing her. Whereas Sergeant Zim successfully uses a Brain Bug as an "Arachnoid shield."
  • Sword of Truth shows a mriswith (a race of Lizard Folk with Chameleon Camouflage) Hive Queen, a sentient, dragon sized creature communicating through Pheromones. It is mentioned by one of the mriswith that the previous queen had just died and was eaten by them. She is later shown to lay hundreds of melon sized eggs within hours.
  • The Thrall books by CT Adams and Cathy Clamp feature these.
  • The Wandering Inn: The gigantic hive queen of the Antiniums is able to change the memories of the hive mind. When a certain member died, his memories were still present in all Antinniums, but if the queen had just wished it, no Antinium would have known he had ever existed.
  • The Warrior Cats book Firestar's Quest has a Hive Mind horde of rats led by one that can speak Cat. Firestar actually loses a life in battle with the rats, and then his Spirit Advisor Spottedleaf tells him "Not many, but one." He realizes that this means killing the leader will ensure the cats' victory.
  • The E'clei from What Zombies Fear have one of these in Laura and later someone else. She's the reason the zombies are all genocidal jerkasses.
  • In Worm, Taylor has the rather appropriate power of controlling bugs; she shares their sensory inputs and can direct her entire swarm as if it were an extension of her body. At the climax of the story, she gains the ability to control people in the same manner.
  • In A Wrinkle in Time, the central brain IT plays this role to the mentally synchronised Human Aliens of the totalitarian planet Camazotz. Everyone there moves in tune with IT's pulsating rhythm, to the point where children in Stepford Suburbia even bounce balls in time while standing in the driveways of their identical homes. IT's Mouth of Sauron, known only as the Man with Red Eyes, uses his hypnotic abilities on IT's behalf to assimilate visitors into the Hive Mind.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Wist from Lexx infested her minions with "satellite worms," which were "no more separate from their queen then your blood cells are from you."
  • Jasmine from Angel. Her followers become extensions of herself, and she even refers to them as "Body Jasmine".
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Cyber-Controller might qualify, depending on how much of a Hive Mind the Cybermen are portrayed as having in a given story. (The Cyber-Leader, on the other hand, is simply a function of the Hive Mind and destroying it simply results in another Cyberman being designated Cyber-Leader.)
    • The Gravis. Without him the other Tractators become harmless.
    • Jamie, as Patient Zero who the nanogenes first turned into an Artificial Zombie and used as their template, seems to be this for the gas mask zombies' Hive Mind.
      Jack Harkness: It's [Jamie] controlling them?!
      The Doctor: It is them. It's every living thing in this hospital!
  • Very late in Falling Skies, we find out that the aliens occupying Earth are controlled by a single Queen—so, conveniently, our heroes can destroy the entire enemy invasion in the last fifteen minutes of the series.
  • The Outpost: Yavalla is this to the hive mind created by her kinj. Janzo compares it to one sting-flies (presumably an alternate name for bees) have, saying everything depends on her.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: The Elemental Dragon of Earth known as the Quicksilver Queen serves as this to mercury ants. She's their creator and progenitor, and the legions of their kind serve her adoringly and unquestioningly — going against or even analyzing her orders is literally unthinkable for them.
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Melissidae bloodline are basically vampires as this, using unique takes on Mind Control powers to reduce any and all humans around them to a Hive Mind of "drones" under their complete control. The name is taken from the Latin name for "Honeybee". They were founded by a rather deranged woman who wholeheartedly believed in The Evils of Free Will, and the sourcebook makes no bones about calling out what they have as being "an obscene perversion of nature, even before you account for the soulless undead abomination at its center".
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Tyranids are controlled by a Hive Mind that coordinates the trillions of Tyranid creatures like cells in a vast, living body. It has no centralized "Queen", and the mechanics of the Hive Mind are subject to debate both in and out of universe. That said, it's possible to disrupt the Hive Mind by destroying the "Synapse Creatures" that transmit its will to the rest of the swarm, such as the Hive Tyrants that serve as dangerously capable battlefield generals, or especially the Norn Queens that churn out the countless Tyranids like living factories. Destroying such creatures in no appreciable way damages the greater Hive Mind, but it does make the undirected Tyranids revert back to animals — albeit animals engineered to be the ultimate killing machines.
    • There's also the Swarmlord, who's spawned to take down an enemy persistent enough to resist the Tyranids. It has the highest degree of free will of all 'Nids, but most importantly, the lore states that there's only one Swarmlord. It can be killed, but it will simply be respawned with its memory intact (and likely take care of whatever tactic was used to take it down, ensuring It Only Works Once), and it's been stated that The Swarmlord can be spawned by any Hive Fleet regardless of distance. As such, it is the closest thing to a personification of the Hive Mind.
    • Norn Queens are specialized Tyranid organisms that never leave the hive ships and are believed to play a key role in both shaping new Tyranid strains and direct the Tyranids' hive fleets.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • An elder brain serves as a nexus for an illithid colony's hive mind and rules over it unchallenged, and fosters illithid tadpoles until they're ready to mature. An elder brain's death is a problem for its colony, but not insurmountable — illithids are intelligent beings in their own right and can continue to act on their own, until — eventually — one is born that is capable of maturing into a new elder brain.
    • Hive mothers can telepathically control beholders and beholder-kin, and use this ability to set themselves up as the rulers of hives of mentally linked eye tyrants. If a hive mother is slain, her grip vanishes and her former minions instantly turn on each other or disperse.
    • In early editions, if a giant ant queen is killed, its followers become confused for a few minutes and then leave the nest.
    • Primus, the godlike ruler of the Modrons is similar to the Borg Queen this way, just not as evil or destructive. Its ability to absorb the life-force of any slain modron and replace it immediately makes the modron race nearly undefeatable unless Primus itself is killed. (And they can even recover from that, although should it happens, the whole race is thrown into chaos until a new Primus evolves from one of the four Secundi, and its first action is to stabilize the disorder that has occurred.)
  • Freedom City:
    • The alien Meta-Mind, a collection of millions of Grue brain clusters linked into a coordinating supermind for the entire Grue Unity.
    • Subverted, however, in that the Grue Hive Mind can exist without the Grue Unity, since protean Grue already have individual personalities of their own that coordinate the relatively mindless Drones. It's just substantially harder without the Meta-Mind's massive telepathic potential, and thus one of the agendas of the Unity sans Meta-Mind is to round up enough Grue to reform it.
    • The Paragons setting has the adventure "Unity", wherein an entire small town comes under the control of a psychic Hive Mind, with the original psychic in question being a Hive Queen. Though, this is a borderline example as the Queen in question is comatose.
  • Talislanta: Raknids are evil scorpion/demon hybrids who live in colonies, each one ruled by a superintelligent queen. Which is hardly typical of real scorpions, but who knows what demons are like...
  • Earthdawn: The supplement Creatures of Barsaive describes Greater Termites, which have a queen who controls all of the worker and soldier termites in the nest.
  • Pathfinder: Shriezyx queens are gigantic, powerful version of common shriezyx that direct and control their lesser kin like generals. In this case, even the reproduction angle of real insect queens is gone — shriezyx reproduce asexually, and shriezyx queens were created solely to control the rest of their kind.

  • The Bahrag from BIONICLE are this to the Bohrok.

    Video Games 
  • Case 03: True Cannibal Boy: The original Cannibal Boy is a conglomerate of several spirits, but they always have a representative to bear their collective hatred. Every time the leader is defeated, they're simply replaced by another member of the group. As a result, the exorcist who fought them thirteen years ago had to seal them in a cenotaph.
  • StarCraft:
    • A gigantic brain-like entity called the Overmind functions as the collective consciousness of the Zerg Swarm. There are also lesser control nodes called Cerebrates, which have their own personalities and opinions, but are absolutely incapable of defying an order from the Overmind. The Overmind and the Cerebrates all have a physical form, but they can re-incarnate into new bodies when they "die". Some Protoss are able to use a special energy that can block this reincarnation and finish them for good. It is, of course, one the main plot points in the game and its expansion. Down the chain, the Cerebrates control the Overlords, who themselves provide "control" (as opposed to Terrans' supplies and Protoss' psi) to a specific hive cluster over a given area (in addition to acting as handy air transport for Zerg ground units). Ironically, while the Zerg also have creatures called "Queens," the Zerg Queens have nothing to do with control of the Hive Mind and are merely another assimilated species. The Zerg Queen is, however, slightly closer to real insects in function; its job involves watching over the hive cluster and spawning various parasites.
    • And then there's Sarah Kerrigan, who assumes Queen status and title in the expansion pack after the demise of the Overmind. She also changes the theme of the Zerg race somewhat: brutal and monstrous as they were while under the Overmind, the original objective of the Swarm was to assimilate all organic life into itself and thus become perfect, an objective that was carried out without prejudice or malice. Kerrigan, on the other hand side, is actually Evil with a capital E, scheming, betraying and engaging in quite a bit of sadism along the way, actively using the power of the Swarm to get revenge against those who have wronged her, and put her in a position of power over the local portion of the galaxy. Also, the expansion demonstrates how the killing of the Overmind is a great blow against the Zerg, but by no means impossible to recover from, as it is discovered that Cerebrates can physically merge together to form a new Overmind.
    • In StarCraft II, the Queen unit has changed a bit, now they spawn additional larvae for hives and have a minor command role. And it turns out that Kerrigan replaced the Cerebrates with enhanced Queens called "Brood Mothers", in one mission of Heart of the Swarm a single Brood Mother spawns several zerglings without the use of a hatchery.
  • The Aparoid Queen in Star Fox: Assault controls a race of mechanical beings that, not unlike the Borg, seek to assimilate other races and technologies.
  • Halo has the Gravemind — serving as the Hive Queen for the Flood. This was designed as a bit of a villain upgrade, however, as it explains how a bunch of unorganized "space zombies" could overthrow the Forerunners. Essentially, although individual Flood act as savage, mindless zombies, they are all actually under the direct control of the Gravemind once the Flood attains enough sentient biomass to build a Gravemind, allowing for strategy and tactics to be used against its enemies; this "Coordinated" stage of the species's developmental cycle is stated to be the point at which the Flood becomes truly dangerous. The physical body of the Gravemind is depicted as a gigantic talking "Venus flytrap" built from thousands upon thousands of consumed corpses in Halo 2, while in Halo 3, though it is unseen (but not unheard) aside from a brief appearance from a few of its tentacles, it is upgraded to Unseen Evil status.
  • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Alexia is attempting to become one of these, with all of humanity as the "ants".
  • World of Warcraft sports the Scourge, an army of undead rendered mindless or enthralled (depends on the type) by the Lich King. Notably, one of the player factions is the Forsaken, who are sapient undead who have broken free of the Hive Mind. The Forsaken have a queen, Sylvanas — but she's not a Hive Queen, merely a leader in the more traditional sense of the word.
    • There are hints in the Cataclysm expansion (set after the defeat of the Lich King) that Sylvanas may be moving closer to this trope and generally becoming more and more like the one who did this to her.
    • The Silithid of Ahn-Qiraj play this trope straight—not only do they have a hive mind mentality controlled by leaders, they are actual insects. Their leader, C'thun, is an Old God, who has several high-ranking Qiraj at his command to issue out orders. The hive extends all the way down to insect-like creatures that are barely sapient, but still follow the hive mind. While C'thun was the first example of this seen in WoW, the other Old Gods seem to also be hive queens. The Faceless Ones seem to follow the orders of the Old Gods much like hive workers, and members of other races can be driven to insanity to serve the Old Gods.
  • Should you so choose, humanity's eventual fate in Deus Ex: Invisible War could be a nanotech-fueled transformation into one perfect hive-mind under JC Denton/Helios.
  • Gears of War: The Locust Queen. The chapter in which she is met is called "Hive." All Locust are sapient individuals, but they’re also fanatically loyal to their Queen, and she can talk to them telepathically, so it amounts to standard hive queen behavior in the end.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, we have Vespiquen, which is a Pokémon that evolves from the honeycomb-like Combee only if it is female. Vespiquen command and control the hive of mostly male Combee, which is contained within her body. There are three attacks in-game that uses this: one sends a swarm of Combee out to attack, one heals Vespiquen's health, while another increases her defense.
  • BioWare loves this trope. In chronological order:
    • Jade Empire has a cannibalistic mother demon that you kill by knocking over pillars so the roof collapses on her.
    • Mass Effect has the rachni queen in the first game and the Collector General in Mass Effect 2. The rachni queen is not causing the rachni to attack you; that's due to them being raised away from the queen (this is compared to a human growing up alone in a closet), and the earlier Bug War was caused by them being made Brainwashed and Crazy by either the Reapers or the Leviathan, and the Collector General is being possessed by the Reaper Harbinger, who has assumed direct control.
    • Dragon Age has the Broodmother, who serves as a bloated Mook Maker that creates loads and loads of darkspawn, but (with one exception) don't actually control the darkspawn themselves. On the flipside, the Archdemon seems to have some control over the minds of the darkspawn horde, directing them to band together and attack the surface world to create a Blight event, but he doesn't create the darkspawn.
  • Portal: GLaDOS is something of an odd example, but fits most of the traditional parameters. She's a massive, immobile supercomputer who runs the factories that build turrets, who's also hyper-intelligent and nearly omniscient within the facility.
  • Male Zuul in Sword of the Stars are the centres of their coteries, and killing one will destroy the Hive Mind it shares with all its females and prevent them from sharing consciousness with each other.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has Elizabeth Greene as a pretty archetypal example. She builds hives with her infection surrounded by mindless monsters that will all die if the hives are destroyed and creates stronger versions of her creatures that can give orders to the lesser. Her death slows the infection significantly. Less traditionally, she has a successor in the form of the Supreme Hunter and the player character Alex Mercer notes verbally that he could take her place, despite having quite different capabilities.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has, in Holiday Star, the King-or more properly, the wandering soul of Kazuaki Nanaki, maddened from loneliness and betrayal and transformed by his overwhelming desire for friends who won't betray him into an Eldritch Abomination composed of all the souls tricked on to Holiday Star, who he assimilates into his own consciousness. All the "citizens" you meet are avatars of the group mind he controls, and completely subservient to him. An odd example where he's also convincingly played as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds due to his overwhelming fear of ever being alone.
  • The Final Battle of Might & Magic VI takes place in the Kreegan main base, a dungeon called The Hive, and the Final Boss is, naturally, the Hive Queen. However, for all practical purposes the Kreegan leader is King Xenofex, and while the Hive Queen appears to play an important reproductive role as well as implicitly helping coordinate the mindless Kreegan hordes, the intelligent Kreegan all appear self-willed and independent of her.
  • Sigma in Mega Man X is a male version. As his DNA program doubles as a virus, any reploid that his DNA infects is subject to Sigma's will.
  • In the Kirby Dark Matter Trilogy, Zero is the core of all Dark Matter, and its goal is to spread his will by assimilating the galaxy by possessing the planets with Dark Matter.
  • Romancing SaGa 2 has the eponymous Hive Queen leading an army of termites against Avalon. An Optional Boss called the Dread Queen is a much stronger version of the Hive Queen.
  • Mass Effect has the rachni, a species of intelligent insect aliens, led by a queen, which were inspired by the Bugs from the aforementioned Starship Troopers, who have been around for quite some time. In the past, they've been driven mad by sour notes, and have a bad reputation for being used as invasion forces. Due to Genetic Memory, the rachni queen of this cycle is actually quite peaceful, as if she is let go in the first game, she promises to disappear from the galaxy at large, a promise she keeps. She returns in Mass Effect 3, having been captured by the Reapers. If she's freed, she pledges her full support to stopping them, another promise she keeps.
    • In a direct contrast, the Reaper-created Rachni Breeder, if freed, will hold more true to the trope, slaughtering a number of your war assets and disappearing.
  • The Lucina Spinos in Prismata is a high end unit that looks like a red Xenomorph and can spawn smaller versions of itself.
  • Played with in Destiny: the Vex hive mind doesn’t seem to have a single commanding intelligence, but it does have a bunch of lesser commanders called Axis Minds, which are created on-demand to coordinate particular groups of Vex in completing specific objectives. Destroying the Axis Mind renders the Vex they command directionless but still dangerous as they revert back to their standard programming, which is to convert stuff into more Vex and defend their strongholds.
  • Sunrider has a downplayed example with Alpha. She is the originator of the mindstream that connects all the Prototypes and can use it to issue commands or assume direct control of them as she sees fit. However, her control is not absolute. She can delegate control of the mindstream to her "sister" Alice, and sufficiently strong-willed Prototypes can not only resist their commands but even wrest control of the mindstream away from Alpha. Omega, a Mental Fusion of Chigara and the aforementioned Alice, supplants Alpha as the Prototypes' leader between the second and third games.

  • Commander Kitty: Zenith commands a legion of goons recognizable by their bluish tint and prominent ear tags. They aren't simply brainwashed; they've been replaced entirely by android copies which she has direct control over!
  • Homestuck:
    • A subversion with the Mother Grub, a huge creature that exists only to lay hundreds of thousands of troll eggs. She has no control whatsoever over her progeny, much like the queen of an ant or termite colony.
    • The trolls are ruled by an Empress, which is partly this, and partly an actual traditional ruler. Although she's an ordinary creature who rules as a position rather than through mind control, the Empress is also a unique biological caste that's only born once in a very long time, and are both the most physically powerful Trolls, and are uniquely immune to the psychic powers of the lower castes. She does seem to have hive-like control over the Imperial Drones, but those (at least the red ones) are actually robots.
    • Paradox Space: In "Fiduspawn", certain types of Fiduspawn are shown to have large, aggressive queens that implant other beings in order to produce new generations of Fiduspawn eggs.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Played with. The Toughs hire engineers from the Ot-Skadak, a race of Insectoid Aliens connected in a Hive Mind, and install hypernet links in their heads to allow them to communicate with their central hive from anywhere in the galaxy. When said engineers are killed during a hacking action (during which the ship is jammed to keep the hack from spreading), Tagon, Schlock and the Bosun visit the central hive to deliver a death notice. Said hive, which calls itself Akkro-Afka, greets them through a large node that may or may not be central to its existence, refers to the engineers (which it has named 'Phil' and 'Ares') as its 'sons', and appears to be appreciative of the gesture.
  • Wildlife: The protagonist is an Eldritch Abomination that can create any sort of creature she can think of. Her 'children' do have minds and make decisions of their own, but none have been significantly disobedient so far.

    Web Original 
  • Mortasheen:
    • The greatest example of this is Genetisaur, a grotesque, phallic, female creature that spits out spermlike young that incubate in women before maturing into Genetimorphs.
    • The Harlequeen, who is basically the accumulated minds of all the creatures a Joker hive have consumed.
  • The Magnus Archives has Jane Prentiss, avatar of the Corruption and trypophobe's worst nightmare, once a normal human woman that's over time been completely hollowed out (physically and mentally, with a disturbing amount of willingness on her part) to become a mobile home for the hundreds of thousands of carnivorous worms that make up "the flesh hive." Slightly subverted in that the individual worms don't seem to share consciousness, either with each other or with Jane herself, but since they always attack in squirming droves, the effect persists.

    Western Animation 
  • Godzilla: The Series: Queen Bee (or rather, giant radioactive volcano bee) and Termite Queen.
  • A strange variation in Kim Possible. The robotic Bebes decide to make Alpha Bitch Bonnie their queen simply because Kim identifies her as "the bossiest person on the plent" and are hoping that this will give them an advantage. Really all this translated to doing was strapping her to a chair and reading her mind for ideas, most of which just served Bonnie's petty interests or annoyed Kim slightly by mimicking Bonnie's attitude.
  • Brainiac-5 becomes this for his race in Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • In an episode of Invader Zim, one of these is responsible for an outbreak of head lice at Skool. Even Dib thinks the idea of a "lice queen" is crazy, but they actually find her and use a secretion from Zim's skin to destroy the lice.
  • Trina Riffin becomes one in the Grojband episode "Ahead of our Own Tone" thanks to the implant.
  • The bugs from Men in Black: The Series are all sons of a ruler queen, according to Elle at least.
  • In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, one of Darrell’s remote bodies eventually gains enough individuality and competence to separate himself from the Darrell Hive Mind, allowing him to control all the other bodies, which he calls “Lesser Darrells”. This body takes up the name “Lord Cowboy Darrell” and proceeds to backstab Lord Boxman, taking control of Boxmore and becoming the new Big Bad.

    Real Life 
  • Since biological Hive Minds do not, to our knowledge, exist in Real Life, this trope is obviously not Truth in Television. Real Hive Queens are simply that: queens of an insect hive. They are, in essence, merely the reproductive organs of an organism created from multiple individuals, like the ovaries in a human female. Although they do release pheromones that trigger and reinforce certain pre-programmed behaviors in individual members of the hive, this is a primitive form of communication that cannot be compared to a complex neural network possessing intelligence and higher cognitive functions, but instead is more like an endocrine hormonal regulatory system that triggers certain changes in cells (again, much like ovaries in a human female). Ants that Zerg Rush their enemies to protect their queen don't act on a complex strategy but a simple instinct that just happens to be triggered by the queen's pheromones (and similarly, army ants that Zerg Rush their prey are just simply following a scout unit's chemical trail that may or may not indicate the location of food).
    • In fact, some communal insects will kill their queen when she is old/sick/compromised in some way and replace her with a new queen, most notably honeybees, who will ball around her, vibrate their wings to generate heat, and literally cook her to death.
    • Some hives have multiple queens that share reproductive duties. The infamous Argentine ant can have massive super-colonies with hundreds of queens, and in fact has become a very successful invasive species that has waged war on native ant species around the globe!
    • Some individuals in certain species of hive-insect can secretly reproduce, to Subvert the reproductive monopoly of their queen and get the rest of the hive to raise their own young. If caught, these individual cheaters will sometimes be killed by other members of the Hive (though usually, their eggs just get eaten by the queen to reduce competition).
    • Note that Hive Queen actually started out as a subversion of an older trope, as early beekeepers assumed the single largest bee in a hive had to be its Hive King. Only after naturalists started studying bees in glass-walled beehives, and observed that the so-called "kings" laid eggs, did this error get sorted out.
  • Some species of insect parasitize other species where a female member of the parasite species will kill the host hive's queen, rub herself in the dead queen's pheromones, and then trick the host hive into raising her young as if they were the queen's young. This is a very specialized form of brood slavery.
  • The most iconic example that has inspired many fictional versions of this trope is the termite queen, who is so bloated with ovaries that she no longer resembles an ordinary termite and looks more like a fat white grub. Helpless and immobile, she is completely dependent on her workers to feed and groom her, as she continually pumps out hundreds of eggs a day.
  • An extremely bizarre example of this trope is the naked mole rat, known as the only species of mammal to live in such a hive society similar to insects. Unlike in bugs where the queen has physiologic adaptations for constant reproduction, the mole rat queen just happens to be the largest, most aggressive female in the colony, who constantly antagonizes and intimidates the other females to supress breeding. However, while she is vulnerable after giving birth, other females will in fact go on full regicide mode and try to challenge her right to rule, attacking her or killing her babies. It plays out surprisingly similar to an episode of Game of Thrones.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hive King


Nanomech vs the Swarm

Nanomech fights the swarm's queen while Gwen, Kevin, and Elena hold off the humans under her control.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / HiveQueen

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