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Kingmaker Scenario

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"In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. 'Do it,' says the king, 'for I am your lawful ruler.' 'Do it,' says the priest, 'for I command you in the names of the gods.' 'Do it,' says the rich man, 'and all this gold shall be yours.' So tell me—who lives and who dies?"

A Kingmaker Scenario occurs when two sides in a conflict are evenly matched and the third one is unable to overpower the other two. The third power then becomes the "King Maker": while it cannot win itself, it can ally itself with one of the other two, breaking the stalemate and bringing victory to its chosen side ("crowning them king"). The term "kingmaker scenario" comes from the game theory and was most likely inspired by Richard Neville a.k.a. Warwick the Kingmaker, who, while not suitable for the English throne himself (owing to a lack of Royal Blood), installed and deposed two sovereigns in short succession during the Wars of the Roses.

In multiplayer games, a King Maker is a player who, while unable to win himself, is able (or forced) to determine which of the other players will win. This will usually end up being the one who the "kingmaker" likes more at the time. This scenario is disliked by players except in games where personal politics play a role in the game's outcome by design (such as Diplomacy), and a game where such a scenario occurs frequently is referred to as having the "Kingmaker Problem".

The kingmaker problem has roughly three degrees of severity, from worst to least-worst:

  • The king-chooser who must declare another player the winner of the game without gaining anything for himself. Example: A rule that says "Award one point to the player to your right or your left" when both are one point away from winning. As this makes the game come down to "Who do I like more?", it's usually considered bad form in game design.
  • The king-maker who may declare another player the winner of the game without gaining anything for himself. Example: A player who has no chance of winning can throw all his military might against another player so they are both weakened and can be scooped up by a third player, just to make the game end faster. While the problem is nearly impossible to avoid, the usual motivation behind it can be circumvented by not making players feel they have no chance at winning before the game is over.
  • The king-breaker who may make it impossible or at least harder for another player to win without being in a position to profit from it. Example: A rule that says "Take one point from the player to your right or your left" when you're still trailing far behind them and the unhindered one will likely win. This is the least of the kingmaking sins and very hard to avoid because doing so also kills many completely fine game mechanics.

A more detailed examination of possible Kingmaker Scenarios can be found in this article, at least until the link dies. A subtrope of Mêlée à Trois. Compare X Must Not Win. The party that makes the difference may be Vicariously Ambitious for one of the sides in the stalemate.

Compare and contrast Offered the Crown and Unexpected Successor, when one or all of the involved sides decide to install an outsider candidate to settle on.

Since real-life examples tend to degenerate into a political Conversation in the Main Page, they have been deemed unnecessary. noreallife


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the fourth round of Liar Game, Akiyama's group become this by having control of their own 5 man alliance and the Extras alliance.
  • In Requiem of the Rose King there are several scenarios with a king maker, who is the trope namer himself.
  • During the Freeza Saga of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta tries to convince Krillin, Gohan, and Dende that they can't defeat Freeza on their own, but they can help Vegeta wish for immortality so that he can defeat Freeza. They're understandably reluctant, but end up going along with it - except Guru passes away right before they can make the third wish.
  • Battle Girls: Time Paradox has Oda Nobunaga faced with Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin. Both of them hold a part of the Crimson Armour that Nobunaga is trying to complete; being Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, they've fought 598 fights to 598 draws. Akechi Mitsuhide thus proposes that they join forces with one, claim the Armour piece of the other as spoils of war, and request the Armour piece of the first as payment. Nobunaga takes away her glasses for even suggesting it.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, this came into play when Seto wrested control of KaibaCorp from Gozaburo. Seto formed a voting bloc with the five department heads, controlling 49% of the shares between them. Gozaburo holds another 49% himself, meaning that the remaining 2%, held by Mokuba, determined who would become the new CEO.
  • In One Piece, at the opening of the Battle of Marineford, Sengoku claims that Whitebeard took in Portgas D. Ace, who was actually Gol D. Roger's son and made him part of his crew so that he could raise him to be the new Pirate King, which was something Whitebeard himself couldn't do. Ace protests this saying he joined so he could make Whitebeard King, but Sengoku retorts that he is the only one who actually believes that.
  • In Yuri is My Job!, the cast, which works at a salon in which they roleplay as students at Liebe Girls' Academy, holds an election to choose Lady Blume, a student who will gain the power to make a decree. The two frontrunners are Mitsuki Ayanokouji and Sumika Tachibana, the former of whom has a significant but not insurmountable edge by the time of the final vote. Since each of the salon employees get a vote worth 90 ordinary votes, Kanoko considers backing Sumika on the condition that she use her decree to abolish the schwester system. While Sumika refuses Kanoko's request, she does ultimately get Kanoko's vote and win the election, with 1,869 votes to Mitsuki's 1,751- Mitsuki would have won if Kanoko had chosen her instead.
  • Kaguya from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has no real chance of inheriting the family business empire due to being an illegitimate child, but she had Hayasaka collect a wealth of blackmail material on all three of her older brothers that could tip the scale in any of their favor. This also paints a massive target on Hayasaka's back when she decides to retire from her role as Kaguya's valet.
  • Axis Zeon spends most of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam on the sidelines, with both the AEUG and Titans trying to make alliances with Haman Karn so they can get her onto their side. Haman uses this to play both of them into annihilating each other, subverting the trope and allowing Axis to emerge as the strongest power in the outer Earth Sphere.

    Card Games 
  • This can come up in multi-player Magic: The Gathering games. If one plays frequent games with more than two players, Kingmaker decks can become handy things to have...
    • Especially common in the popular Commander format, which is intended to be multi-player from the get-go. It's a frequent occurrence where one player has the resource to defeat one other player, but not all of them, and is in a position to be defeated by any of those players regardless of who he or she takes out first.
    • Since the game is resource-based and is timed on a turn-by-turn basis, it's actually not that uncommon for the kingmaker to turn the tables on his ally and claim victory for himself. (E.g: if the victor of the stalemate spends all his resources to beat the stalemate, leaving himself vulnerable to the kingmaker)
  • This is at the heart of Apples to Apples, which switches which player is the "kingmaker" every round. The main strategy of the game is appealing to the judge's ideas of a given quality.
    • Played properly, though, the judge doesn't know who played which cards until he picks the winner.
  • In three-person Kaiser, a player with the 5 and the 3 but an otherwise weak hand is in this position. In the standard four-person version, they're simply a support to their ally.
  • The Vampire: The Eternal Struggle CCG is designed around this. In multiplayer games, the rules dictate that a player can attack the player on his left on his turn, and only that player. In return, he need only defend himself from attacks by the player on his right. (Hunter > Player > Hunted, proceeding clockwise.) This leads to (and indeed, the game encourages) discussions, arguments, and deal-making among the players, as a player can offer not to attack his target, leaving the target free to devote resources to attacking his own target, or the player can offer concessions to keep another player off his back while he launches a full-fledged assault. In addition, when a player is eliminated, the hunting order skips over him to the next player, making long-term planning a must.
    • Also relevant is that the rules specify a way for a player to withdraw from the game without necessarily losing, though not to reenter. In fact, the first player out of the game could end up as the winner (though that's unlikely). The possibility of players having in-game motivations other than to be the "last one left" makes the game even more political.
  • It is commonly accepted that in Munchkin, you need at least one other player helping you if you want to make the jump from level 9 to 10.

    Fan Works 
  • My Father's Son: Tywin Lannister ends up in this scenario TWICE!
    • First, in the middle of Rhaegar's Rebellion, he had the Westerlands declare the same neutrality as he did in canon. Yet as the fights continued, his daughter pointed out that they could get more concessions out of helping Rhaegar since Aerys was fighting from a position of authority. And when Melisandre presented him with a possibility of losing his legacy, he arrived just in time to help turn the Decisive Battle in the favor of Rhaegar.
    • Second, there was the 4th Great Council, where the realms were basically split over whether to have Aegon son of Elia, or Baelon son of Lyanna as Crown Prince of the Seven Kingdoms. note  While the royal family wanted to make the switch for Egg's long term health, the various regions had their own desires, as most of the kingdoms ended up splitting their votes. However, Tywin was such a feared and respected leader that "If he wanted it, he could order the Westerlords to jump off Casterly Rock", making him one of the few united voting blocks besides The North. Tywin saw much more political prospect (and the pleasure of denying his princely rival more effectively) by supporting the position of Baelon, and so helped legalize the change in inheritance. This was part of a multiyear plan to regain influence, but in the short term, all he asked for was to have Gerion installed as royal master-at-arms.
  • Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything: L doesn't get the respect he deserves because he's openly gay but he has enough power and influence to greatly help Light's career.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The basic plot. Everything seems to have stalled between the Power Groups competing to bring down the Black Tower, so the four are brought into the mix and told to throw their support behind one of the groups. The four aren't powerful enough to bring down the Black Tower themselves, but they have enough power that their support should tip the scales in someone's favor.
  • The King Nobody Wanted: At the start of the story, by sending Lyanna and her son abroad and opting to support Viserys instead, the surviving Targaryen Kingsguard who had been at the Tower of Joy were deciding who should be king. This is not what you want in a royal bodyguard.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Both Angel Eyes and Tuco know the name of the grave site — Blondie is initially disadvantaged as he only knows the name on the grave itself, but will eventually become the Kingmaker and the other two know this. After Angel Eyes finds out Tuco's half of the secret, the film spends a little time watching the two fighting over who gets Blondie. (He sides with Tuco in the end, but out of choice. No-one gets to tell the Man With No Name what to do.)
  • Inverted in the ending of Gore Vidal's The Best Man, in which two presidential candidates, played by Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson, are tied in their race for the nomination. Fonda's idealist, unwilling to falsely smear Robertson's sleazoid as a homosexual in order to win, yet also unwilling to let Robertson win the nomination on the strength of allegations regarding Fonda's medical history, throws his support to the dark horse candidate who has been mired in third place throughout the balloting, who goes on to win.
  • At the end of The Chronicles of Riddick, in the final fight between Riddick and the Lord Marshall, he gets caught in mid-teleport and realizes that he's screwed. There are two places he can re-materialize from his teleport: at one of them, Riddick will kill him; at the other, Vaako will. He chooses to die by Riddick's hand, thus fulfilling a prophecy that he will be killed by a Furyan. Since You Kill It, You Bought It is the Necromonger way, Klingon Promotion ensues, resulting in Riddick becoming the new Lord Marshall.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow is in this position in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Every other pirate has voted for themselves for Pirate King, and if he does the same, the result will be a deadlock and no one will be Pirate King. This is against his interests, so he gives the one candidate who shares his interests the vote needed to make them Pirate King.
  • This is the premise of the Kevin Costner film Swing Vote. The protagonist Bud's daughter attempts to vote on his behalf on election day, only for a technical error to invalidate said vote. When the two presidential candidates are tied in the election, the decision of who will become President of the United States falls onto Bud's shoulders.
  • Pretty much the entire plot of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Grindelwald is trying to take over the world. The only wizard powerful enough to fight him on even ground is Dumbledore; it's implied the two are so powerful that no other wizard or collection of wizards has a chance against either. However, Dumbledore and Grindelwald refuse to fight each other directly because they quite literally can't; a blood oath made in their youth binds them not to. Dumbledore tells Newt that a long time ago Grindelwald, a seer, had had a vision of an obscurial killing him. He'd gone to New York in the first movie trying to find said obscurial and found him in Credence. He thus spends the entire film trying to recruit Creedence, whom he claims is Dumbledore's long lost brother. Although Grindelwald is a known liar and manipulator, add some conflicting information and you have a very suspect revelation. The film ends with Credence joining Grindelwald, though we won't know how things shake out until later movies are released. It's worth pointing out that Credence- not being familiar with the wizarding world- doesn't know about the war and is completely unaware of his status as Kingmaker.

  • Criston Cole, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard was literally called "The Kingmaker" in A Song of Ice and Fire. He championed Viserys I's younger son Aegon II over his chosen heir, elder daughter Rhaenyra. This led to the Dance of the Dragons, a bloody civil war that tore the realm in half (including the Kingsguard itself) and led to the death of most of the Targaryen dragons. Aegon II won, but was ultimately succeeded by Rhaenyra's son, Aegon III.
    • A variation happened in A Storm Of Swords when the Night's Watch was electing their lord commander. Their custom is when a lord commander dies, a voting is done every day until someone gets at least two third of the votes. The most popular nominees were Cotter Pyke and Denys Mallister, with Janos Slynt, a Smug Snake sent by the Lannisters, at the third place, continuously increasing in popularity. If either Mallister or Pyke would have resigned in favor of the other, Slynt would have immediately lost, and Sam Tarly goes to both trying to convince them to do so. Unfortunately both Pyke and Mallister have diametrically opposed ideas of what a lord commander should be, and viewed each other as unsuited to the position. At this point Sam decided to Take a Third Option and he convinces both Pyke and Mallister to resign in favor of Jon, who wasn't even a candidate at that point, in order to keep Slynt from winning. They both urge their supporters to vote for Jon, and Jon promptly becomes the new lord commander.
    • The series itself is rife with this (see page quote). A running theme in the ongoing civil war is for the noble houses to swing the balance of power by switching sides. As of the end of the fifth book, there is still one Great House that hasn't committed to any faction — House Arryn of the Vale, which Littlefinger has taken de facto control of.
    • Most people believe Jaime Lannister assassinated Mad King Aerys as part of his father's power play. Jaime had nothing to do with it. He had far better reasons to kill Aerys.
    • And of course there's Eddard Stark who proclaims the rightful but unpopular Lord Stannis Baratheon king despite objections that this means war. It does and Ned and his men become the first casualties.
    • Lord Mace Tyrell, Head of the powerful Tyrells, plays this part well. He supports Robert's youngest brother Renly in their attempted usurpation of the Iron Throne when they marry his daughter. After Renly's death, he switches his support to the Lannisters so their candidate, Joffrey, can marry his daughter.
    • Former Kingsguard Ser Barristan Selmy wants nothing to do with kingmaking, as befitting an honorable knight of the Kingsguard. Unfortunately, he's such a great example of an honorable "True Knight" that any candidate for the throne would gain legitimacy just by having him on their side. His very nature makes him a Kingmaker whether he likes it or not (and he doesn't).
    • More than one character notes in passing the role the Iron Bank of Braavos could take in affairs if anybody were stupid enough to, say, default on any outstanding loans they may have accrued over the course of, say, the War of the Five Kings. Then Cersei repeatedly tells them (quite undiplomatically) where to go, and they visibly and invisibly move into action like a well-oiled machine. It's not instantaneous, but over just one book, the Bank's various actions start having very direct effects on the stability of the Seven Kingdoms, and the Lannister-Frey-Bolton alliance finds itself inexplicably attacked from multiple, incredibly well-funded (and otherwise unrelated) sides in the midst of a quite unpredictable credit crisis with resulting liquidity freeze. Just when they appeared to be beginning to solidify their hold on their powerbases, too. Almost like an carefully engineered political pincer manoeuvre to hit them when they're still getting their feet under them. Funny, that.
  • The New Jedi Order series of Star Wars has one in the novel Destiny's Way. The secondary plotline deals with the New Republic Senate and government trying to regroup and reorganize on Mon Calamari, after the capital of Coruscant fell to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. New Republic Chief of State Borsk Feyla died in a (successful) attempt to destroy military archives and data at the presidential residence to keep them out of Yuuzhan Vong hands, a case of Redemption Equals Death in his case. As such the Senate needs to elect a new leader quickly. There are five candidates for the office: Cal Omas, Fyor Rodan, Talaam Ranth, Cola Quis, and Pwoe. Quis has no real chance to win, and Pwoe is widely despised as a traitor after he tried to illegally declare himself Chief of State and was only interested in fighting long enough to surrender to the Yuuzhan Vong. He only gets three votes in the end. As such, the election is really between Omas, Rodan, and Ranth. Omas is the good candidate, wanting to work closely with the Jedi, and get the meddling politicians out of the military decision making (something that led to the invaders making it as far as they have). Rodan meanwhile is shady, arrogant, and has an Irrational Hatred of Jedi. Ranth meanwhile knew he couldn't beat the other two from the very start, planning all along to build up enough support to play the kingmaker. The first few rounds of voting having Omas and Rodan neck and neck, with Ranth in third with a pretty strong voting bloc. However, it ultimately proves unnecessary. Omas eventually pulls far ahead of Rodan, and by the time Ranth drops out and endorses him, Omas is all but assured a win and a majority on the final ballot. Omas wins with 85% support!!
    • That said, the circumstances of Rodan's abrupt loss of support are quite suspiciousnote , and even though Luke doesn't know the details of what's happening, he suspects that a lot of these votes are only grudging at best, and that it would be in Omas's best interest to court Ranth for longer-term support for after the election. Omas therefore promises a high position in the new government for Ranth, and Ranth agrees, releasing his supporters to vote for Omas. In the end, Ranth achieved what he'd hoped for in becoming a kingmaker, even if it didn't quite happen how he expected.
  • In The Inheritance Cycle, Orik's election to king comes down to this. He (favoring support for the Varden against Galbatorix and the Empire), Íorûnn (motivation unknown), and Nado (favoring withdrawal of support for the Varden) are the three frontrunners for the position, with each having backers of their own. After an assassination attempt on Eragon's life ends in Vermund of Az Sweldn rak Anhuin being removed, Orik forces through a vote for the kingship. After ten votes, Nado and Orik each have five votes, with Íorûnn and her backer Hreidamar both having yet to cast their votes. With dwarven policy being that if a deadlock remains after a round of voting, the candidate with the fewest votes is removed and voting recommences, and so Íorûnn essentially cannot simply vote for herself. So she instead has Hreidamar and herself cast their votes for Orik, noting that they needed to stand together against Galbatorix or be annihilated, regardless of their feelings for the Varden.
  • Raul re Flo, who is more or less an expy of the original Warwick the Kingmaker, is also this in Arcia Chronicles. However, his nickname is "King of Kings".
  • Subverted by Yrael from the Old Kingdom series in the backstory. The Destroyer and the Seven Bright Shiners were evenly matched in their war over whether the world would exist and have life; Yrael was weaker than both sides on his own, but was enough that whichever side he chose would win. However, he refused to join either side, earning Neutrality Backlash from both; when the Seven eventually won and sealed the Destroyer in a can, they made Yrael Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear, and forced him to serve the Abhorsens.
    • But played straight when the heroes have to try and re-seal the Destroyer and release Yrael from his Restraining Bolt, giving him the choice again whether to fight for or against the Destroyer.
  • Invoked in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy in the second book; knowing that one army will be marching on them they manipulate a second into showing up so they can play this role, though with the aim of weakening both enough that they'll have to retreat. The approach of a third army composed of barely controlled inhuman berserkers does throw their already risky plans off a bit though.
  • The Dresden Files: The Summer and Winter Knights and Emissaries. The Summer and Winter Courts of Fairie are always evenly matched in power, but the Knights and Emissaries are mortal, and have the potential to tip the balance of power.
    • Aurora's Plan in Summer Knight was pretty much this. She wanted to end the war between Summer and Winter. She doesn't have the power to win the war for Summer, but she can give some of Summer's power to Winter, tipping the balance and causing Winter to win.
  • One of the potential King parties, Gaia, in Foundation's Edge engineers a kingmaker scenario. They very likely could have manipulated things to win without it (of the two other parties, only one of them was even vaguely aware of Gaia, and this was limited to deducing their possible existence from statistical analysis until evidence was deliberately provided), but they don't trust their own judgement as to which vision of the future would be best since they're inherently biased in favor of themselves — so they manipulate things to create a Mexican Standoff between themselves, the First Foundation and the Second Foundation, with a single specific individual of near-preternatural intuition being able to tip the balance to any of the three factions. Whichever faction won the standoff would be able to gain a firm edge over the other two, and be set to have their vision be the dominant one.
  • In Stupid White Men, Michael Moore describes Ralph Nader in such terms when talking about the run-up to the 2000 US presidential election. Polls showed that Nader had approximately a whelk's chance in a supernova of winning the election, but those who did support him were overwhelmingly liberal, and his support was just high enough to push Al Gore into second place. Thus, if Nader was to drop out of the race and endorse Gore, Gore would have won; if not, victory would go to George W. Bush.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Serpents Among the Ruins, the negotiations between the Federation and the Romulans at Algeron are in a stalemate. Both sides are trying to court the neutral Klingons to their side in order to gain leverage over the other side. A Starfleet Intelligence False Flag Operation results in Romulans looking even more dishonorable than usual, so the Klingons have no choice but to take Federation's side. With the deck stacked against them, the Romulans decide to retreat to their space, only demanding that the Federation not make use of any cloaking devices, something they had no intention of doing anyway. Thus one problem goes away, and another becomes an ally.
  • Sherlock Holmes: In "The Second Stain", the Prime Minister sees Great Britain as having the role of kingmaker in European politics; this is why a certain document, which could cause friction between Britain and one of the factions if published, is wanted by several spies.
  • The Sunne in Splendour features the Trope Namer, The Earl of Warwick, in a supporting role where he serves as a Parental Substitute to the protagonist, Richard of Gloucester, early in the book. Richard takes the earl's falling out with his older brother, Edward IV hard as he dearly loves both men. This quarrel also leads to the breaking off of Richard's betrothal to his childhood sweetheart, Warwick's daughter Anne.
  • The civil war preceding the main events of Labyrinths of Echo began and ended that way. The various power-hungry magical Orders were almost evenly matched in their ability to drain the world's magic, so the King picked "the one ally worth counting on" – the Order of the Seven-Leaf, led by a cunning and pragmatic wizard – and declared war on the rest, eventually emerging victorious.
  • The Virgin Widow: The trope namer, The Earl of Warwick, is the protagonist's father in this novel about Anne Neville.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: House Tyrell serves as this by supporting the Lannisters in the War of the Five Kings.
    • House of the Dragon: Ironically for a person who was ruled out in the kingship election to succeed King Jahaerys, Rhaenys Targaryen finds herself in situations where her support can determine who the lords, kings or queens will be:
      • Viserys gives her the final word on the crisis of the Velaryon succession, and she confirms Corly's wishes to make Lucerys and not Vaemond the heir to Driftmark.
      • She ultimately casts her lot with the Blacks on the crisis of the Targaryen succession after Otto Hightower's coup crowns Aegon II. It's even discussed In-Universe beforehand and brought up as part of the reason for the Hightowers imprisoning Rhaenys as quickly as possible following Viserys's death. With Rhaenys, Rhaenyra has a clear advantage and thus a good chance to strike first, making war a certainty; without Rhaenys, Alicent is hopeful that Rhaenyra can be persuaded to negotiate instead.
  • Deliberately used in Survivor - the eliminated contestants vote between the final two or three for the winner.
    • This also frequently showed up as a result of the last Immunity Challenge when the show used a Final Two: with three players in the last vote before the finals, two would be forced to vote against one another (as they couldn't vote for themselves or the challenge winner) and cancel each other out; leaving the challenge winner free to choose exactly who they faced in the finals. The winner of the challenge would either choose a weaker opponent that they could crush, or they would be the weaker opponent no matter who they chose and become a Kingmaker deciding which player gets to beat them. The show has since made Final Three the standard specifically to avoid this situation, as having four players in the penultimate vote means everyone's vote matters.
    • In the first season, the final three consisted of Rudy, who everyone liked, and two fairly-hated contestants. Richard Hatch threw the last immunity challenge, forcing the other hated contestant to be kingmaker, which in this case is a bad thing; she had to vote Rudy off (she would have lost the final vote against him), which made her even more hated, giving Hatch a close win. If Hatch had been kingmaker, he almost certainly would have lost the final vote no matter who he let through.
      • Hatch, however, only won due to a Spanner in the Works, in his favor...namely, one swing vote guy voted for him, for a...rather racist reason.
  • The Apprentice usually does a take on this in the final episode of the season - eliminated contestants will come back and work for the finalists on a big final project. In some cases, they do their jobs in an exemplary manner. In others... not so much.
    • Hell's Kitchen does this as well, with pretty much the same results except for the addition of a badass sous chef threatening to hunt people down if they ruin the finalist's chances.
  • During the second season of Jericho (2006), this plays out between the Allied States Of America and the remaining pieces of the United States Of America. Whichever side can convince the now-independent Republic of Texas to ally with them will be able to defeat the other.
  • This is perhaps the best way to describe the latter act of Kamen Rider Gaim. Two of the characters express a disinterest in taking the Golden Fruit for themselves and would rather have people they trust grab it. In the end, they don't become kingmakers but rather the heroine of the show, with a little assistance from the local Bunny-Ears Lawyer. Though even then, she doesn't decide between two parties but rather (unintentionally) thin the number of potential people to three people and have the lawyer go from there.
  • In an episode of Just Shoot Me!, Jack takes a holiday and leaves Maya, Elliot, and Nina jointly in charge of the magazine. Maya and Elliot can't agree on anything, while Nina doesn't care one way or the other; this gives her complete control as the others spend the entire episode vying for her swing vote.
  • The Yes, Minister 1984 Christmas Special episode "Party Games" hinges on this. Over the course of a Cabinet shakeup necessitated by the unexpected retirement of the Prime Minister and a scandal forcing his most likely successor (the Home Secretary) to resign in disgrace, the party is evenly divided over who should be their next leader and thus the next Prime Minister. Hacker (as Party Chairman) is the last remaining member who has yet to declare one way or the other, and so both leading candidates (The Chancellor Of The Exchequer or the Foreign Secretary) try to persuade him to back themself. The problem is that the two candidates are extremely divisive figures from opposing ends of the Party's political spectrum; the only question is if the party splits in months or weeks. Hacker is unable to decide one way or the other until Humphrey (who doesn't want either to win because he doesn't believe that they would be easily managed by the Civil Service), with some help from the Chief Whip, suggests an alternative - enter the race himself, and persuade both of the other frontliners to withdraw and back him instead to prevent the other from winning (achieved through Sirs Humphrey and Arnold supplying Hacker with plenty of Blackmail material from each candidate's Confidential Files). The episode ends with Humphrey delivering three important words to Hacker: "Yes, Prime Minister!"
  • Brought up in an episode of NUMB3RS revolving around a rigged voting machine scheme. Since the scheme was done in California, which has the most voting electors, it quickly becomes clear that the masterminds behind the scheme are shaping themselves up to be kingmakers.
  • The Trope Namer, Richard, Earl of Warwick, is a supporting character in The White Queen where he serves as something of an Anti-Villain after his falling out with Edward IV. He may oppose the king and his wife, who is the protagonist of the series, but he comes off as honorable, thoughtful and brave, and he's not portrayed as wrong for feeling unappreciated and insulted by Edward. Edward sees him as a Worthy Opponent and takes no pleasure in his death.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the scenes in the sample campaign from Nobilis is explicitly this. There's a miracle duel between two rival powers in the home base of the PCs. The GM's advice points out that, since the players are a handful of demigods of the same power level as the competitors, the winner is going to be the one who gets help from the PCs.
  • For the longest time, the Capellan Confederation in BattleTech was viewed as sitting in this scenario. They were unlikely to make it to the top of the heap in a setting full of political intrigues and Humongous Mecha when they were often plagued by both severely crazy rulers and the smallest army of the five Successor States. However, what they had was the ability to 'king' almost any of the other four houses by virtue of choosing who they fought. While such a fight could doubtless reduce the Capellan Confederation to little more than a memory, it would also weaken the enemy they fought enough for that nation's other foes to gain the upper hand. Flanked as they were by the Federated Suns and the Free Worlds League, throwing themselves fully at the Suns would result in the eventual victory of the Draconis Combine and the League, while spending themselves against the League would result in inevitable victory for the Lyran Commonwealth and by extension their Federated Suns allies. This Unstable Equilibrium almost fell apart during the Fourth Succession War, and completely went to pot during the Post-Jihad era.
    • Something similar happened in the Clans as well, as the Home Clans (Clans which did not physically participate in the invasion of the Inner Sphere) were potential kingmakers for the six or so Clans that actually punched into the Inner Sphere itself. Any of the weaker Clans could expend themselves to weaken a rival Invading Clan, but a combination of hidebound honor and a culture-wide focus on the survival of one's Clan meant that this was rarely the case.
  • Quite frequently appears in Settlers of Catan, where two players will be roughly equidistant from winning when a third rolls a seven. Seven allows you to steal a card from a player and put the bandit on any part of the grid to block production, which can be used to cripple a vital resource.
  • White Wolf's Prince of the City, based on their Vampire: The Requiem RPG was probably designed for this. The winner is the player who has the most Prestige and is not in Torpor at the end of the final round. This means that one player can have an insurmountable lead over the others in terms of Prestige, only to have every other player beat him into Torpor and hand victory over to number two. "Everybody loves him! He must DIE!"
  • Common in Risk. The game will often devolve to a point where only some players have a chance at winning. To maintain fairness, the others are supposed to turtle up and defend as long as they can. Considering how much fun that tends to be (i.e. not at all), many a losing player shortens their suffering by a suicidal charge that weakens themselves and another player to a point where someone else can easily take over both territories.
  • Avalon Hill's Kingmaker is based on this trope. Set during the Wars of the Roses, each player controls a group of nobles, and tries to capture the royalty in each of the two conflicting houses. Once one of the houses is wiped out, the winner is the one with the most senior member of the surviving house. Neville the Kingmaker, mentioned above, is one of the stronger nobles in the game (though Percy is the most powerful).
  • Avalon Hill's Third Reich has a mild version of this trope. The game takes place in Europe during World War II and is balanced so that either side can win while the rules guide both sides into making decisions similar to what happened historically. The Italians are the weakest of the six playable factions but bear enormous influence the final outcome based on what they do in 1939 and 1940. A skilled Italian player can conquer Yugoslavia and Greece without German help and tie up half the British military while also remaining neutral.
  • While not official, it is very common in a Monopoly game for a player to just hand over all his savings and property to another and leave the game. In a more official capacity, sometimes a player who's ahead will be shut out of trades because the other players don't like said player; instead, they choose to deal with a second player who has a chance of winning. At least one Monopoly championship was decided in exactly this manner.
  • The Shadow Hunters board game has this as a basic mechanic. Players are divided between Hunters, Shadows, and neutrals, with specific roles being hidden at first. Hunters and Shadows win by finding and defeating the all members of the other side, but neutrals are not allied with either and each has their own objectives. Many of the neutrals have objectives that encourage them to play kingmaker. Examples include a neutral who wins if a player to one side of them wins, or ones that win just by surviving 'til the end of the game. There's nothing like seeing the 8-year-old girl whose objective was survival, who spent the entire game collecting protective/healing cards and begging others to not harm her, suddenly turn on the last Hunter and brutally murder him just to end the game and ensure they win.
  • In Cards Against Humanity, the Card Czar is always in this position. Since this person doesn't play a white card on this turn, they can't win the round; however, they're the one that picks the funniest card, and thus the round's scorer.
  • The Ironclaw scenario "Lost Heir of the Rinaldi" has the player characters hired to find the recently-deceased king's missing son. He turns out to be catatonic from a curse, and another party has presented a very convincing, and functional, impostor already. Players might want to strike a deal with them instead of trying to cure the real prince.
  • Diplomacy, being a game based around negotiations and personal politics, incurs kingmaker scenarios frequently by players who are still alive but are far behind the leaders in terms of supply centers by choosing to ally with one of them to help them to victory. Especially skillful players can also Subvert the scenario altogether if they end up taking the lead themselves and winning outright, which however improbable is always possible so long as they aren't eliminated. In Diplomacy terminology, a player who is not out to win for themselves, but instead to support another player (likely because their chances of winning for themselves are minimal), is called a "janissary".
  • Res Arcana: If you play at three or more players, you may sometimes find yourself in situations where you can't win, but will decide which one of your opponents will win. Example scenario: Alice currently has ten points and no way to gain more. Bob has eight, but his engine can get him to twelve if the round is allowed to continue. You are too far behind to catch up, but you do have a Place of Power with a "check victory now" power. So, do you use the power and hand the victory to Alice, or pass and allow Bob to catch up and win during the end-of-round victory check?

  • In Hamilton, the Election of 1800 between Jefferson and Burr ends up being a tie. The people look to Hamilton and ask who he thinks should be the third President of the United States. Hamilton chooses his ideological rival Jefferson over his old friend Burr. His reasoning is that Jefferson at least has an ideology, while Burr just wants power for its own sake. And if you know history, it ends badly for Hamilton.

    Video Games 
This type of scenario is very common in any single player game where the player has a mutually exclusive choice between joining one of two or more factions that are opposed. Almost without fail, the faction that the player chooses will end up victorious in the end due to their efforts, while the factions not chosen end up defeated or otherwise less successful.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, one mission of the East Anglia arc is indeed called "Kingmaker" since it involves Eivor having to help make Oswald, who was the consort to the previous king, rise up to become the king of the region to secure an alliance with Ravensthorne.
  • The Drinking game in Puzzle Pirates can result in a Kingmaker Scenario when played with three or more players. It is possible (and not terribly uncommon) for two players to be one move away from a win simultaneously, while a third player is active with possible moves that would allow them to "steal" 20 points from either of the two leaders, allowing the other leader to win on his/her next move.
  • Can happen in Galactic Civilizations II quite a bit, as the AI plays smart enough to make several-way-stalemates a common occurrence. Also, an empire facing military defeat will frequently surrender to one of the attacker's rivals to deprive the invader of their resources.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Part of the plot of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: the Demi-Fiend himself cannot create a Reason (due to his demonic body), but he can choose to support those created by others. Whichever Reason he supports will succeed without fail (or as close as you can get in an Atlus game). The problem with this system: There are six endings and only three Reasons. The Demi-Fiend is not strictly required to support any of them.
    • Occurs early on in Digital Devil Saga: the Maribel and Solids Tribes are at a standstill, so the Embryon's tactician suggests forming an alliance with the former to destroy the latter. He later acknowledges he would have done the same thing with the Wolves and the Brutes had the Wolves lasted long enough.
    • Devil Survivor 2 has the Protagonist being the Kingmaker for the entire cosmic scenario: it is, ultimately, his allegiance to a certain faction's plan (Tokyo's two potential plans, Nagoya's, Osaka's, or the Anguished One's plan) which breaks the stalemate and pushes said faction to win the right of recreating the world. One of the ending achievements gained from siding with a specific faction is even called "Kingmaker"!
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV plays it more or less like Nocturne, with the caveat that in the Chaos path, as Chaos philosophy invokes rule of the strongest, which you have proven yourself as by ensuring the destruction of Merkabah, you end as Mikado's new king.
  • Dragon Age: This is the Modus Operandi of the Grey Wardens. In exchange for unwavering duty towards fighting the darkspawn for a lifetime, the Grey Wardens have iron-clad treaties from almost every nation that demand drafting from all citizens - from the lowest criminal to the highest king, all crimes and duties are dismissed in the face of wardenship. In between Blights, Wardens are encouraged to avoid politics, as it's ended badly before, and the treaties are as binding "as a clever tongue can make them". During a Blight, however, their authority is theoretically absolute. In the first game, the Warden protagonist can decide the ruler of two separate nations:
    • In the Orzammar portion of Dragon Age: Origins, you come into such a scenario, between the named-heir Pyral Harrowmont, and King's son Bhelen Aeducan. Makes for an interesting scenario when your origin is Bhelen's older sibling or his new wife's sibling. Of course, no matter what your origin is, you can't become the ruler of Orzammar yourself.
    • This also applies to deciding Ferelden's ruler if your character isn't a human noble. Otherwise, there's also an option to marry one of the contenders for the throne yourself.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the mission to avert Empress Celene's assassination turns into a scenario where you decide who will rule Orlais by the end of the party. Note that choosing anyone other than Celene means allowing the assassination to take place, with you stepping up to "avenge" her. In fact the situation ends up having four factions involved in addition to yours, two of which were trying to play kingmaker themselves (one openly and one in secret); the Inquisition's influence on the result is less about direct influence and more about what uncovered plots and counter-plots from the resulting mess they reveal to who. One of the potential endings is to blackmail the three remaining sides into making a truce by revealing you have enough on all of them to play kingmaker, which in their culture of The Great Game basically equates to winning at politics.
  • The major arc of Fallout: New Vegas involves deciding which power bloc gets dominion over the Mojave. The "kingmaker" in this case is a single individual, although the main way you influence the war is by persuading other minor factions to join your chosen side (or destroying them so they can't join the enemy). There's also a subversion in that the player can supplant one of the major players and take power for themselves.
  • Fallout 4: There are four factions with different policies for Synthetic Humans: Kill Them (Brotherhood of Steel), Free Them (Underground Railroad), Enslave Them (The Institute), and Who The Fuck Cares (Minutemen). Each has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and those with more power are also more entangled/hindered, so the conflict has come to an even standstill. You can side with any of the first three and kill the other two, use the fourth to destroy the third yourself, or broker an alliance between the Brotherhood and Railroad with the Minutemen as ambassadors and wipe out The Institute.
  • In Might and Magic VII, you play as a quartet of new royals. Halfway through the game, you have to choose between allying with the side of light or the side of darkness. The side you ally with wins, because one of your main quests is to tip the political balance in your favor by killing the other team's counterpart to the one who gives you the quest in the first place, all for the sake of getting one more Control Cube. IF it were possible to not choose a side at all, you would then have to kill the leaders of both sides, and you'd never be able to repair the Heavenly Forge anyway or the portal to the Gateweb (as you wouldn't know the location of the Lincoln)...
    • The Human-Elf War can look like this, although your influence can both tip the balance to one side and change the nature of the peace (after a few relatively minor skirmishes and actions, or after a bloody war). It isn't: if one has actively taken a side by doing the War-time quests, the option is opened to do something that will allow you to win and establish a Kingdom of Harmondale, either as a compromise after the early skirmishes, or after bloody warfare exhausting both powers.
    • In Might and Magic III, one of the quests is to give eleven (out of thirty-one) Orbs of Ultimate Power to the King of Good, Neutrality or Evil, which gives them theoretical governance over Terra and destroys the other two kings.
  • The Darkling class in Dokapon Kingdom is made for kingmaking; they can't advance in the quest for gold, and only the player in last place can fall to darkness, but the class is designed for dragging other players down. Also, through an exploit, the Darkling can be used to give overpowered equipment to another player with no penalty: Darkling gear vanishes when you stop being a Darkling, but only if it's in the Darkling player's hands. (In theory, a Darkling player could trade his equipment off to another player and then ask for it back when he comes out of it, but expecting the other player to follow through is a wee bit unlikely.)
  • In Mario Kart 64's Battle Mode, anyone who runs out of Balloons when there are still 2 or more players left becomes a Mini Bomb Kart. They've officially lost that match but can drive right up to any remaining players and explode in their faces, putting the bomb out of the game but costing their target a life.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Near the end of Daggerfall's main quest, you come into possession of a powerful artifact which allows a person of royal blood or supernatural power to control the Numidium. You cannot utilize it yourself,note  but you can choose one of several Iliac Bay powers to hand it over to, allowing them to tip the balance of power in the region in their favor. (Later games reveal that, canonically, all of the possible endings happen in a Merging the Branches scenario, thanks to a Reality Warping Time Crash known as the "Warp in the West."
    • In Skyrim's Civil War questline, you get to be this for whichever side you choose to support. By leading that side to victory (essentially being an unstoppable One-Man Army), their leader (Elisif for the Imperials, Ulfric for the Stormcloaks) will be placed on the throne.
  • In Crusader Kings II, rival claimants to a contested throne don't always have their own landed titles, so they'll often depend on the backing of a powerful noble within the realm to lead Factions to enforce their claims. These nobles frequently end up being Kingmakers both figuratively and literally, at least when their faction wins.
  • Something of an inversion happens in Star Control II: There is a war raging between the two most powerful races, and a victory by either side would be very bad for the rest of the galaxy. At several points in the game, the player can get another faction to attack the leading side in an attempt to even out the fight. It doesn't change the outcome, but it does prolong it, which gives the player more time to find the third option.
  • In League of Legends, Kayn has this built into his gameplay. The champion is actually two persons: Kayn, a human assassin, and Rhaast, the sentient Darkin scythe he wields. Kayn wants to expel Rhaast and master the scythe, and Rhaast wants to take Kayn's body for himself. In gameplay, killing ranged and melee champions will further Kayn or Rhaast's respective positions, and whoever ends up with the most power will eventually force the other out, allowing the player to specialize in either squishy-hunting (Kayn) or tankbusting (Rhaast).
  • In Worms it's possible to reach this point in a multiplayer match. If three players each possess only a single worm, an attack which eliminates one enemy will all but ensure the other enemy claims victory.
  • Similar to the Skyrim example, the Geneforge series involves a number of Kingmaker plots. In each game, the factions present are in relative deadlock that the player character can tip.
  • In Sengoku Rance, warmongering Takeda House has gotten itself tied up in a war with both Uesugi House and Hojo House. Its resources are spread too thin, but if you attack either Uesugi or Hojo, Takeda will instantly conquer the other. This is especially problematic on later playthroughs, as Uesugi and Hojo are both home to one of the heroines whose plots you can follow for an alternate ending. You can attack Takeda itself, but that will only convince it to turn on you almost full-time, and they have four endgame-level generals, a blitzkrieg strategy and a unique cavalry unit. Good luck with that!
  • The final choice that determines the climax of Lunarosse is this. Do you side with Corlia or Yliandra to determine who wins the ten-year-long war and rules Lunarosse? The smart thing is to align with neither. This opens up a new area where you can proceed to the best ending.
  • Killer7: The Smiths are hired to take out Matsuken, the leader of a significant, 10 million-strong voting block, before he can rig the US presidential elections. Statistically, he commands less than 1% of the vote, but since in this case the state elections are near-tied, if Matsuken herded all of his followers into a single small state and had them vote his way, he could win the election for whichever kiss-ass the Japanese favor. And then you find out this was all a big distraction so nobody would realize the Department of Education has been swapping out ballot machines.
  • Civilization V: The City-States are the kingmakers for the Diplomatic Victory path, which requires a supermajority vote at the United Nations. They don't count as world powers themselves, but each adds its voting power to the civilization with which it's allied; a civilization that's gained the support of every city-state can sometimes* appoint itself World Leader over every other civilization's opposition.
  • Subverted at the end of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's World of Light adventure mode: the player can choose to either destroy Dharkon and thus allow Galeem to bathe the world in light, or destroy Galeem and allow Dharkon to shroud the world in darkness. The third option which leads to the Golden Ending? Destroy both at once.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • Fire Emblem Fates is built around this. Early in the game, Corrin has to choose to side with their biological family or the family they were raised with; this decision tips the odds in favour of their chosen side, ultimately leading to that country winning the war and that side's older brother being crowned king. Corrin can also refuse to pick a side, in which case everybody lives, both sides come together to defeat the real enemy, and both older brothers get to be kings. Reflecting this, Corrin's epithet is 'crux of fate'.
    • Happens in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, where the seemingly innocuous choice of which house Byleth chooses at the beginning of the game and the far more nocuous choice of whether to side with Rhea or Edelgard at the end of one version of Chapter 11 determines who wins the war at the end of it. That said, the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind endings result in Byleth becoming ruler of a unified continent, Azure Moon places them in a position of power as Archbishop of the Church of Seiros, and both Azure Moon and Crimson Flower allow them to marry the ruler of the continent and become their consort.
    • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes has two of them:
      • Shez, naturally. The house they choose at the beginning of the game will always end up as one of the two nations in good shape at the end of the game.
      • The Leicester Alliance. At the beginning of Part II, they inevitably ally with one of the other two nations. In Scarlet Blaze's good ending and Golden Wildfire, they ally with the Empire, and the game ends with the Empire putting the Kingdom on the back foot, killing Rhea, and having plenty of leverage to force a surrender. On the Azure Gleam route, they ally with the Kingdom, and the game ends with the Kingdom overthrowing the Empire's (puppet) emperor and killing every other major leadership figure in the Empire before marching south to finish things for good. In Scarlet Blaze's bad ending, they ally with the Empire only to betray them later, and the game ends with things devolving into a three-way war with no end in sight.
  • This frequently happens in Town of Salem - three people from different factions will be left standing, and it is up to one of them to decide who wins by providing the second vote needed for a lynchingnote . One role in specific, the Survivor, has this as its main strategy - many killing roles will avoid killing them, since they can win with any other factions (as long as they survive) and generally agree to act as the kingmaker vote in exchange for not being attacked.
  • The storylines of Beyond Skyrim's High Rock and Cyrodiil projects will give the Dragonborn the oppotunity to respectively crown both a new High King of the former and a new Emperor of the latter.
  • Xion and Roxas are in this position in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, even if they don't know it until the end of the game. Whoever gains control of them gains control of Sora's fate, and he is critical to the failure of Xehanort's plans in the long run. Also, it means Organization XIII loses both of their Keyblade wielders, which makes their job a lot harder. It takes a lot of effort, manipulation, and a virtual reality to achieve it, but eventually both of them choose Sora over the Organization.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker and the Pathfinder adventure module it's based on aren't necessarily an example, as the player character is building a kingdom and taking power themself rather than determining which other party will rule. Nyrissa, the nymph who "helps" you in the beginning, on the other hand...
  • In Choice Of The Petal Throne, a civil war has broken out among the children of the the late Emperor of Tekúmel. One of the three heirs that the player character's family can support is Princess Ma'ín, who rather than seeking the throne on her own behalf aims to marry one of her brothers and make him emperor.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist: One of the requirements for the Golden Ending is to get Governor Lum voted out by the six-person Council, of which each member needs to be individually convinced. Among them, Antecedent has a opinion of Lum that is mixed enough that she won't vote against him on her own, but should at least three other members of the Council be confirmed to want to do so, she'll go along with their decision. Because of this, Antecedent's vote can only be secured once three others have been.

    Web Original 
  • The Runaway Guys:
    • They encountered a kingmaker scenario with the Mario Party 4 board "Koopa's Seaside Soiree". NCS/Tim was at Boo, and could steal from ProtonJon, netting Chugga/Emile the win, or could steal from Emile, netting Jon the win. He stole coins from the AI, denying Emile the Coin Star — so, indirectly, he stole from Emile.
    • In their first round of Fortune Street, on "Yoshi's Island", Emile found himself with no real hope of winning, while there was a tight contest between Tim and Jon. Emile decided to deliberately tilt the balance in Tim's favor as much as possible, mostly because he didn't want to see Jon win.
    • A similar scenario unfolded years later on Fortune Street's "Alefgard" board. This time, Emile found himself lagging behind Jon, Tim, and MasaeAnela; at one point, Masae comments on how he's never been less relevant, only for Jon to point out that the exact opposite is true. If Emile goes Bankrupt, that instantly ends the game... and at that juncture, the race between the three of them was so tight that any one of them could end up with the most money. Especially if it was one of their spaces that Bankrupts him. Ultimately, Jon gets the kill-shot.
      Emile: "What a great honor: choosing whoever wins the game that's not myself."
  • A nearly-identical situation happened in Steam Train's playthrough of Fortune Street; in this case, Ross played kingmaker and helped Arin beat Suzy.
  • In Youth & Consequences has this happening with a High School Student Council President election. Lovable Alpha Bitch Farrah is so influential in school that both candidates are desperate for her support. When both get on her bad side, she raises her own candidate at the last minute, Grace Ho who manages to win the election, mostly thanks to Farrah's support.

    Western Animation 
  • In Exo Squad, the Pirate Clans become the kingmaker in the Neosapien War, since despite their military strength being too small to beat both Exofleet and Neosapiens, their allegiance proves crucial for either side to win the war. From the moment Simbacca allies himself with Winfield in the first arc of season two, it becomes clear that Exofleet is going to win (as long as the alliance persists).
  • In Gargoyles, Findlaech seemed to be a Kingmaker, or at least Duncan saw him as such (and ordered him murdered so that he couldn't raise his son Macbeth to the throne).
  • In Transformers: Prime, Starscream manages to find himself in such a scenario. He has the keys to reactivate Cybertron, but he has no army to enforce his will or any ability to play this to his political advantage. So he's forced to pick a side. He picks the Decepticons, using the keys as bargains to regain Megatron's favour and forgiveness.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): King Maker, The Kingmaker


Dragon Age: Origins

At the end of the quest "A Paragon of Her Kind", the Warden returns to Orzammar with the crown forged by a dwarven Paragon to decide on which one between Lord Harrowmont and Prince Bhelen would become the next King of Orzammar.

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