Follow TV Tropes


Offered the Crown

Go To
This. To wear over your head.

Worf: What I have done was for the Empire. A new day must dawn for our people. I am not the man to usher in that day. But there is a man here who can.
Martok: Worf, I do not seek the leadership.
Worf: Kahless said, "Great men do not seek power... they have power thrust upon them."
[Worf hands the Chancellor's robes to Martok]
Worf: Hail Martok, leader of the Empire! Leader of destiny!

A character is offered the crown of a kingdom that he has not inherited through a normal line of succession, even if he has Royal Blood. A kingdom may be an Elective Monarchy and normally select their kings rather than have them inherit. Others resort to it when the last line become extinct, or is deposed, or when there is no previously existing line of succession (in a newly independent country or a country that is replacing some other form of government with a monarchy).

Frequently a culmination of A Protagonist Shall Lead Them, if the character was not heir to the throne. Leads to an Awesome Moment of Crowning often enough, though he may refuse and make it stick. (Some reluctance is usually considered becoming.) In contrast to Standard Hero Reward, there is no bride, and usually there is no king already, so the character becomes the monarch, not the heir.

Contrast Unexpected Successor, where the rules just lead to someone unusual, and the Rightful King Returns. If the character is offered the crown because he possesses a specific MacGuffin, that's Finders Rulers. May be a Cincinnatus when the government becomes a republic after the character refuses the crown. If the villain offers the hero this, it is often We Can Rule Together. Sometimes results from the assumption that Heroism Equals Job Qualification. If successful, it usually results in a Reluctant Ruler.

See also Easily Elected, when a person somehow manages to get the position of power despite not having the qualification to run for the office.

The prospect of this can lead to a Succession Crisis as nobles intrigue about whom to offer it to. And it has not always settled the matter.

Truth in Television.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Death Note, when the detective L was killed by Kira, Mello and Near (his two candidates for succession) are called to their caretaker's office, to inform them of this fact...and that having not anticipated his death, L hadn't actually picked out a successor yet... but that perhaps, maybe, possibly they could work together to catch Kira, the way he would have wanted. Near is ambivalent, but Mello freaks out and refuses to work with Near. He technically gives the role of Successor to Near before storming off in a fit of sour grapes and leaving for Los Angeles, California (just like B from Another Note before him).
  • At the end of one Tournament Arc in Dragon Ball, Goku is offered the seat of God by Kami-sama Himself. Goku thinks that would be a boring job and turns it down.
    • Considering how we rarely see Kami doing anything, he's probably right.
    • At the end of Battle of the Gods, Goku is once again offered a God Job: the God of Destruction in this case. Again he turns it down.
  • At the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Olivier and Roy allow Grumman to be the Führer in place of Bradley, because Olivier doesn't want the hassle and Roy is blind. Roy gets better, though, and Word of God says he becomes the Führer down the road.
  • In Naruto, Jiraiya is asked to become Hokage because of his status as one of the Legendary Sannin and his experience. However, he turns down the position, agreeing to bring back a replacement he thinks is more suitable: fellow Sannin Tsunade.
  • In Sailor Moon Neo Queen Serenity became the ruler of Earth this way, being elected as queen at 22 (under unspecified circumstances in the manga, after saving the world from a sudden ice age in the anime).

    Comic Books 
  • In Invincible, the alien hero Omni-man leaves Earth and encounters a peaceful race of short-lived insectoid aliens. These aliens live for only a few months or years and when they find out that Omni-man is thousands of years old, they quickly make him their king. Later in the series, fellow Viltrumite Thragg becomes monarch of that species because of his age.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd has been asked to be the new Chief Justice of Mega-City One on several occasions after having saved the city from grave dangers that wiped out or killed off the previous sitting ruling order. Every time, Dredd turns them down as he can't stand the more bureaucratic side of Justice Dept. and prefers dispensing justice on the streets. He does run for the office of Chief Judge during Sinfield's reign, as he figures being Chief Judge is the lesser of two evils compared to Sinfield in charge. Of course, he does find a way out of it.
  • At the end of The Others (1995) #3, Guardd is formally named as the new King of the Enclave after the death of King Skyglider. He turns it down, instead declaring that the Elders will rule in his place until Skyglider's original heir, the bunny-girl Alarm, comes of age.
  • In the epilogue of the CrossGen comic The Path, the honorable general who served under the evil emperor out of loyalty not knowing he was already dead and possessed by an evil god offers his head to the hero Obo-san in penance. Obo-san instead has a harsher punishment in store for him. He makes the general the new emperor and leaves him with the task of rebuilding the empire after the brutal civil war. The new emperor has served his people well ever since.
  • In the prologue of Sojourn, the hero Ayden rallied an army and defeated the Dark Lord Mordath and personally struck down the villain with a magical arrow. His army then asked him to become their new king. Ayden refused, stating that he was a king once, and not a very good one. He then vanished into the horizon, promising that he would return if needed.
  • The Star Wars Legends Distant Prequel comic Jedi Vs Sith introduced the Jedi Lords, Jedi Knight Errants who struck out on their own to vulnerable systems during the New Sith Wars and spearheaded their defense, with the grateful citizenry naming them barons or kings to get them to stay.

    Fan Works 
  • A.A. Pessimal: One of several reasons why Olga Romanoff runs away from home is that she knows her family history. Being a Witch is a big factor — this is seen by her noble family as a peasant affliction. Another reason for Olga to run is her knowledge that the Triple Tiara of the House of Romanoff is in the family strongroom. She is the only daughter of the eldest son of the grandson of the last uncontested Tsar. If her people ever re-unify and look for a Tsarina, remote though the possibility is, she really doesn't want to be in Far Überwald when or if that happens.
  • FFS, I Believe in You: When the lizalfos retrieve the Zora's sapphire, a number of them offer it and the rulership it represents to General Isolda. She rejects it, as she has no wish to be queen and the lizalfos' history of promoting generals and warlords to the throne gave them nothing but terrible rulers.
  • knight of the dreadfort (the ballad of the red king): House Ryswell has a very unorthodox succession in that the lord nominates his successor from his own family. The current sitting lord Lord Rodrik would have picked his nephew Ser Mark, who was described as The Ace; unfortunately he was killed late in Robert's Rebellion 15 years earlier. So at the onset of the War of the Five Kings the current candidate is a nine-year-old boy named Little Rick.
  • The Parselmouth of Gryffindor: Hermione anticipates that Slughorn is going to nominate her as Acting Minister for Magic after Fudge disappears — and flat-out refuses. She's too busy already.
  • The Weaver Option: Cegorach is able to capture two purified essences of Slaanesh and devises a plan to incubate them into new Eldar gods. He offers an essence to Lelith Hesperax who flatly refuses; two other Drukhari accept instead.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Bee and the Orange Tree," a king offers to make a nephew his heir.
    ...while her father, thinking her at the bottom of the sea, was making up his mind to choose another heir. When the king spoke of this matter to the queen she told him to do what seemed right, for her dear Amy was dead, and she could hope for no more children. He had waited long enough, she said, and after the fifteen years that had passed since she had lost her, it would be out of the question to expect ever to see her again. The king, therefore, determined to ask his brother to choose from among his sons the one most worthy of reigning, and to send him the prince at once.
  • In "The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa", the archer is offered the crown of the dead tsar.
  • In The Grateful Beasts, Ferko is made king after the wolf has his fellow wolves eat up the wicked king, Ferko's wicked brothers, and the court who supported the king. (Though he does marry the princess as well.)
  • "The Story of King Odd" ends with the king giving his kingdom to a winter-guest who helped break the curse on the king.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Army of Darkness: In the end, Ash is offered to become the new ruler of the medieval kingdom that he saved from an undead army, but he elects to return to his own time instead.
    Ash: Sure, I could have stayed in the past. I could have even been king. But in my own way, I am king.
  • Towards the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor abdicates his role as Asgard's king and calls on Valkyrie to succeed him, citing that she's a much more capable leader than he is.
  • At the end of Conan the Destroyer, the newly crowned Queen Jehnna asks Conan to be her king. Manly Barbarian Hero that he is, Conan prefers to win a crown with his own sword rather than as Hot Consort. But that is another story...
  • The Dark Crystal: The urSkeks basically left Jen in charge of the castle and the Crystal after he restored the latter. He became king, with Kira as queen, as shown by the comics The Power of the Dark Crystal.
  • Norville Barnes inherits Hudsucker Industries in The Hudsucker Proxy due to the fact that he happened to stumble into the top floor at exactly the right time, with the right amount of dim-witted, to be perfect for Sidney Mussburger's plan, following Waring Hudsucker's 44-story drop.
  • Judge Dredd. In one of the rare moments in the movie that is entirely in-character for Dredd, after he saves the day the remaining Judges ask him if he would like to be the new Chief Judge, after Rico had already murdered Judge Griffin and the rest of the Council of Five. Just like in the comics, he insists that he prefers patrolling the city streets.
  • In Kingdom of Heaven, Balian is offered a chance to rule by way of marrying Sibylla, the sister to the dying King of Jerusalem, which would place him in a position of great power note . Though he wants the same outcomes the King does and would love to marry Sibylla (with whom he has been having an affair), Balian ultimately refuses because the plan would require the death of Sibylla's current husband and he doesn't want that on his conscience.

  • In the Babar books, Babar is offered to become the King of the Elephants after the Old King dies, because his human upbringing and experience with civilization makes him well-suited for the position.
  • John Moore's Bad Prince Charlie has a very unusual example. If the king doesn't designate an heir, it's up to the surviving members of the royal family to choose one. Charlie has no desire to be king, and he expects his uncles to choose one of themselves, but they have other plans. The kingdom is in big economic trouble, and they'd prefer to simply merge it with a neighboring kingdom. But the people are fierce and independent, and won't stand for it. So they want Charlie to accept the job of king, temporarily, and then do such a bad job that the people will want to depose him and will accept the merger in return for the neighbor's help getting rid of Charlie.
  • In The Belgariad, the kingdom of Sendaria chose their first king by election. (Their previous ruler had been the Duchess of Erat aka Polgara the Sorceress, who had spent several centuries conditioning the population towards sensibility and levelheadedness, so it makes sense.) Due to the lengthy and muddled voting process, the winning regent (a rutabaga farmer) had completely forgotten he was in the running and was a bit worried when all these nobles showed up and fell to their knees before him. Mostly because he was busy fertilising the field they knelt in.
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, protagonist Taran is stunned when his old friend, the childless King Smoit of Cadiffor, offers to adopt him and make him his heir. He declines, however, out of a genuine desire to find the identities of his birth parents, and later is declared High King of the entire country anyway.
  • The Crimson Shadow: Eriador has no native monarchy left apparently so after it gains its freedom, their king becomes Brind'Amour, the Big Good ancient wizard who aided them in their liberation.
  • At the climax of The Darkangel Trilogy, six different countries ask Aeriel to accept rulership of their nations; she refuses all of them (because Ravenna has already chosen her to rebuild the world, which is a very long-term, very solitary job).
  • Discworld:
    • In Wyrd Sisters, how Verence becomes king of the kingdom of Lancre. Though the witches made everyone else, including Verence, think he was a legitimate successor.
    • In the Back Story, General Tacticus is an example: a general of Ankh-Morpork, he was chosen as Genua's king — and promptly attacked Ankh-Morpork as the greatest danger to Genua.
    • In Guards! Guards!: When the dragon incinerates the prospective king, the high priest instead offers the crown to the dragon. Although the dragon doesn't take it (it's imitation gold, and the priest gets roasted instead) people aren't exactly lining up to point out this technicality. At the end, Vetinari is weighing up the way the future might potentially go; the crown of Ankh-Morpork is - tacitly - offered to Carrot Ironfoundersson, who he suspects is the legitimate heir, but Carrot refuses.
    • In Feet of Clay, the latest conspiracy against Vetinari offers the crown to Nobby Nobbs of all people, who runs in horror from the idea, partly because it's volunteering, and mostly because Mister Vimes (whose ancestor decapitated the pedophilic last king) would go spare.
  • In the second Elemental Blessings novel, it is revealed that the young heir to the throne is mentally stunted to the point where she will never be able to rule. Eventually, the heads of the five most important noble families get together and decide to crown the regent as king, as he'd been doing the job for years anyway.
  • Played with in Garfield's Pet Force: King Jon was literally offered the crown by the old king on his deathbed — the king's brother, the rightful heir, had a much larger head, so the crown was just offered as a keepsake. Jon thought it meant he was supposed to rule, so he took over (and everyone decided to humor him until the king's brother reached the palace). When the palace staff learned that the king's brother had died en route (his ship had crashed), they figured Jon was doing a decent-enough job, and he was officially crowned.
  • The General's President: General Thomas Cromwell is brought to the White House during the middle of a national emergency and told that the beleaguered president is ready to resign as soon as he appoints a new vice-president. He wants Cromwell to be that Vice-President. Cromwell is told that new legislation will allow the president swear in Cromwell as vice-president without the approval of Congress and will also give him unrestricted powers to solve the financial crisis. Cromwell has the opportunity to seize all of that power with nothing standing in his way. Instead, he emphatically refuses and sets out to find someone better qualified for the job.
    Cromwell: I'll accept if it comes to that. But don't do it to me, Charles, unless you absolutely have to. My first name is Thomas, for Christake, not Oliver.
  • Heralds of Valdemar:
    • In Mage Storms, Duke Tremane (formerly of the Eastern Empire) is offered the crown of Hardorn on condition that he is Bound to the land, as he has separated ties with his former country and Emperor and is proving himself to be a good leader.
    • Valdemaran tradition claims that the refugees who originally founded the kingdom tricked Baron Valdemar into being crowned king.
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: The plot is set in motion when the King of Elfrieden abdicates the throne and leaves it to Souma. Despite the initial struggles and opposition he faces, he quickly proves himself to be The Good King by solving the country's inner troubles, and gains the support of both his people and the neighboring countries.
  • In Inheritance Cycle Eragon is offered the chance to lead the Empire, but he declines, as being a Dragon Rider is enough for him. And also because he's afraid of turning into a tyrant similar to the one he just overthrew. The council also toys with the idea of offering the crown to Eragon's cousin Roran, but conclude that given his questionable (albeit mostly successful) methods of leading large groups of people in the past, as well as his general inexperience in governance, he's not really cut out for the job.
  • In Katherine Blake's The Interior Life, when Amalia has returned with the artifact that can kill the Evil Overlord and is demanding that everyone bring all their military forces to support her, they gather — and crown her queen because they need a leader. She is doubly reluctant because she knows the last prince is still alive, but she's caught so she can't refuse, and she does need them to obey her.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars is offered several thrones. He suggests friends of his for everyone, except for his father-in-law's, where he says the father-in-law is not proven dead, so his son will act as regent.
  • In The Kingpriest Trilogy, Brother Beldyn, a monk with some of the most powerful clerical magic ever seen, is revealed as the mythical Lightbringer. But even though the Lightbringer prophecies say nothing about the throne, Kurnos, the reigning Kingpriest, nonetheless sees him as a threat to his power and so uses dark magic borrowed from Fistandandilus to try and eliminate him. Between Kurnos' violent overreaction to Beldyn and a rebellion in a faraway province, along with Beldyn's incredible healing powers which cures an otherwise uncurable plague in that region, Istar's public favor swings rapidly in Beldyn's direction, leading him to eventually overthrow the Kingpriest and claim his throne.
    • More literally, Beldyn seeks to claim the Miceram, or Crown of Power, from its hidden resting place. After entering the lower sanctum and encountering ghouls that render Beldyn unconscious, Cathan MacSeverin encounters the spirit of the last Kingpriest to hold the crown, who offers to give the crown to him rather than Beldyn. He refuses, insisting that the Miceram doesn't belong to him, but to the Lightbringer. However, due to some creative prophecy interpretation, it is later revealed that Cathan really was the true Lightbringer, and thus the true heir to the Kingpriest's throne. However, this comes long after Beldyn (now named Beldinas) has tipped all the way into Knight Templar status and stretched the Balance to the breaking point. Cathan learns of this after crossing the continent with the Discs of Mishakel, far too late to stop Beldinas from demanding supreme power from the gods and causing the Cataclysm. He angsts over What Could Have Been, but the god Paladine consoles him by telling him that it really couldn't have gone any other way for him. Now, Lord Soth, on the other hand...
  • L. Frank Baum:
    • Queen Zixi of Ix: Bud is offered the crown after the king dies and the laws decree that the forty-seventh person to pass through Nole's eastern gate at sunrise is the new monarch.
    • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Dorothy is asked to be the Queen of Winkie Country in the place of the Wicked Witch of the West. After insisting that the Tin Man and Scarecrow be put back together first, she declines, and returns to Emerald City to get home again. Instead, the Tin Man becomes the ruler.
  • Valentine remembers this in his Back Story in Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg.
  • Merry in the Merry Gentry series is an official heir, but is probably not going to get it due to her bloodline. Then she is first-and-a-half in line due to some interesting politics. Then she gives up her chance at the crown to save Frost from being inhuman for no-one-knows-how-long. Then, as a now non-heir, she is offered the crown again, in a straight example of this trope.
  • In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, Prince Rupert recounts how his fathernote  was offered the crown of Bohemia — and held it briefly, until military defeat drove him off. Although this is an alternate history, that was taken from Real Life.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Liu Bei is offered on multiple occasions Jingzhou, a critically strategic province, by its ruler, Liu Biao. He turns it down out of respect to Liu Biao and his heirs, much to the frustration of his generals and advisers.
    • Also heavily subverted. Usurpers force the people they're usurping to offer them their throne...then turn it down in the name of propriety and force their victims to do it again. Usually, they only accept on the third offer.
  • In Rupert of Hentzau, the sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda, Rudolf Rassendyll is offered the crown in earnest, after the death of the king of Ruritania whom he exactly resembles.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Scarlet Citadel", Arpello offers to control things until they choose a king — and then refuses to abdicate.
  • At the end of Shogun, Toranaga notes that his goal is not to claim the title of Shogun by force, but to manipulate events so that the Emperor will offer him the position, which he will then humbly accept.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • In the backstory, Maester Aemon was offered the crown, even though his position would normally remove him from the line of succession. He turned them down. And to make sure wars would not be fought over this, he took ANOTHER vow that would keep him from inheriting a title, by joining the Night's Watch.
    • After Ned Stark's execution, the outraged Northern lords call for the secession of their region and demand from Robb, Ned's son, that he takes the restored crown of the North.
    • The Greyjoy family normally follows the same rules of primogeniture as the rest of Westeros, but this is complicated when King Balon dies with all but one of his sons dead, and the surviving son presumed dead and castrated to boot. His daughter Asha would be next in line, but the Isles had never been led by a ruling queen, so they held a "kingsmoot" where, theoretically, anyone could have been crowned. They went with Balon's brother Euron.
  • Evil Magician Trent at the end of A Spell for Chameleon is told that his exile will be rescinded on two conditions. First, he must marry; second, he must accept the crown.
  • The Sunne in Splendour: The future Richard III is dealing with the politically fraught nature of being Lord Protector to a boy king who is also a bit of a Royal Brat. When Richard is privately given information that indicates his brother's marriage was invalid and his nephews illegitimate, he has to decide whether to press his own claim. He does, and Parliament offers him the crown. Truth in Television, if you believe Richard believed the evidence brought to him.
  • In Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno, how their father becomes King of Elfland.
  • Talion: Revenant: King Tirrell offers to abdicate in Nolan's favor near the end of the book. Nolan originally dreamed of this, but by then turns it down, having grown beyond the desire.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn is of Royal Blood and has shown the traditional "signs" of kingship, but the Kingship has been in abeyance for hundreds of years (and the line of descent he claims has been rejected by Gondor before), so Faramir asks the people of Gondor if Aragorn should be king. They say yes.
    • The Fall of Númenor:
      • The first kings of Númenor had the custom of willingly passing the Sceptre to their eldest child when they became too old to rule. Over time, the kings would drop this old custom and cling to power until their deaths, one of the first signs of their civilization's decline.
      • Meneldur, fifth King of Númenor, passes the Sceptre to his son Aldarion due to feeling under-qualified to deal with the war-like situation in Middle-Earth.
    • The Silmarillion: Maedhros would have become High King of the Noldor after Fëanor's death, but he abdicated in favor of his uncle Fingolfin in an attempt to end the feud between him and the House of Fëanor.
  • The Twilight Saga: Jacob inherited the position of Alpha male, but didn't want the responsibility so he gave it to Sam. This is what allows him to disobey the 'Alpha's' orders in Breaking Dawn by running away and forming his own pack with Leah and Seth.
  • Victoria: Guerrilla leader John Rumford is eventually offered the post as chief of the general staff in the Confederation.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Rand was already the de-facto ruler of Tear, Cairhien, and Caemlyn when he invaded Illian and killed the Forsaken Sammael. After that, the Illianers offer the Laurel Crown to Rand, who renames it the Crown of Swords.
    • Rand later offers the crown of Tear to High Lord Darlin in order to end a rebellion of Tairen nobles.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Not a king per se, but the Narn people offer to make G'Kar an absolute ruler after he more or less single-handedly liberates the planet by organizing and supplying the rebellion, then working with Londo to orchestrate the Centauri withdrawal. He is horrified and disgusted at the suggestion, as although he's the last member of the Kha'Ri from before the war, they spoke with many voices, not just his one. He will sit in the Kha'Ri when they do reform it, however.
    • Londo, however, is offered the Imperial Throne and takes it. He does so long after he lost all ambition for it, and then he only accepts because he fears what will happen to his people if someone else takes it. So does Vir. Delenn refuses leadership of the Grey Council several times, only taking it to break the old council. Then there is Sheridan...
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Seeking aid in retaking the North, Stannis offers to raise Jon to Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Jon refuses this longtime daydream, out of his sense of duty and because he took a vow for the Night's Watch. He ends up getting crowned anyways at the end of Season 6.
    • In Season 8, Jon Snow refuses the Iron Throne multiple times. As the hidden legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark instead of Ned Stark's illegitimate son, as Jon believed for all his life, he is the heir to the Iron Throne. Sam, and later Varys, implore Jon to take the throne but Jon refuses, abdicating his claim in favour of Daenerys Targaryen's. Daenerys fears the truth of Jon's parentage, afraid people will force Jon on the throne over her if they know the truth. Jon tells Daenerys that he doesn't want the throne and he'll refuse because she is his queen but he must be honest with his family, certain they will keep it secret and that he, Daenerys, Sansa, and Arya can all live together as one. However, when Jon confides the secret of his true parentage to his sisters and swears them to secrecy, Sansa breaks her promise to Jon. She tells Tyrion, who tells Varys, who betrays Daenerys and tries to put Jon on the throne despite Jon's refusal.
    • At the end of the show, Bran Stark is elected as the new king of the Six Kingdoms when Westeros is left without a ruler.note  Bran himself is not interested in politics but Tyrion insists it because he was able to survive the odds and became the Three-Eyed Raven.
  • House of the Dragon: Ser Erryk Cargyll of the Kingsguard considers Aegon as The Usurper, steals the Targaryen crown when Aegon is crowned during The Coup of the Hightowers, and brings it to the one he considers as the legitimate heir, Rhaenyra.
  • The song "Alligator King" from Sesame Street. It's about an alligator king whom, because of his constant unhappiness, orders his seven sons to bring him gifts as an attempt to cheer up their father, and the one whose gifts are liked the most is given the King's crown. The first six sons attempt to do what the King tells them to, but they unfortunately fail, and in the process, the King is hurt when he falls down. Finally, the youngest son offers to help his father get back up and as a reward, he inherits the King's crown.
  • Stargate Atlantis, "The Tower":
    Weir: They didn't offer you King?
    Sheppard: I turned that down too!
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation's Worf at least twice, once as Regent for Life with the Duras Sisters, and again after a Klingon Promotion. That second case, as just saying no wasn't exactly an option in the circumstances, leads to Worf turning it around and doing it to someone else — Martok.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: On their first meeting, Weyoun boasts about the Dominion's intel on Sisko and how well he already knows him, then tries to tempt Sisko into siding with the them by offering to make him absolute ruler of the Federation, with no president or Starfleet chief of staff looking over his shoulder. Sisko, having only a few months earlier derailed an attempted coup d'etat by an Admiral with those same ambitions, dismisses the offer out of hand and tells them their intel needs work if that was supposed to be a tempting offer.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • The Bible:
    • Gideon is offered the crown after he defeats the pagan invaders; prior to this Israel had had no set king. He declines, saying their only ruler should be God. However, God would later appoint a king, Saul, through the prophet Samuel. Saul accepted only reluctantly. (Though he was quite keen on holding onto the throne when God changed His mind...)
    • Jesus is offered kingship of the nations by Satan if He would bow down and worship Satan, but Jesus refuses and tells Satan to worship and serve the Lord God only. In the Gospel of John, following His miraculous feeding of the masses with five loaves of bread and two fish, the same crowd also offered to make Jesus their king, but he refused that offer.
  • The Emperor Yao-Di in ancient China, who instead of letting one of his nine sons to succeed him, offered the crown to a virtuous farmer called Shun. Likewise, Shun eventually let another commoner, Yu the Great, to the throne, because Yu had done the populace a great service by quelling an intractable flood. — This was the golden age in Chinese mythology, when everyone was selfless, lived humbly, and made rational decisions.
  • Happens occasionally in European legends as well. For example, the first ruling dynasties of Poland and Bohemia were said to be founded by a virtuous peasant, whom the people chose as their leader.
  • Happens to Folk Hero William Tell: After he kills the tyrannical reeve Albrecht Gessler and triggers a successful Swiss rebellion, the people want to make Tell their new king. He refuses, preferring to continue his life as an archer and herdsman in the mountains.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Several Pathfinder adventure paths, including Curse of the Crimson Throne and Reign of Winter, can end with PCs becoming rulers (though there's always at least one good NPC candidate, too, in case no one is interested). In Kingmaker the players become rulers at the start of the second adventure and growing their kingdom is a significant part of the gameplay.
  • In Rocket Age the priests of the Martian city-state of Herscal actually created a false prophesy to offer the crown to a Venusian who had just slain the mercenaries who killed the state's royalty. This arrangement is less than ideal as the new prince is essentially a communist, but it has helped keep the nation united.

  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' The Emperor Constantine, the Army offers Constantine the crown. He was seen making preparations for it beforehand, feigns reluctance, and takes it.
  • William Shakespeare:
    Casca: I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown;—yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets;—and, as I told you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it.
    • Richard III is offered the crown after the "unfortunate deaths" of his nephews. Though he is actually the successor to the throne at this point, having killed everyone else off, he refuses it twice to win over the people. The third time, he "caves" and allows himself to be made king.
    • Titus Andronicus is offered the crown at the start of the play, but he turns it down. This act does not end well for him.

    Video Games 
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, at the end of the Sandsea saga, the people of the Sandsea, who are without a ruler for the first time in centuries, offer the Hero the crown of the Sands in thanks for defeating Zahart and Tibicenas. The Hero proceeds to relinquish the crown to Zhoom instead, since there's still a lot of enemies that the Hero needs to take on.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, in the DLC Tyranny of King Washington, the epilogue features a phantom created by the Apple of Eden suggests that Washington crown himself king of the United States. Washington rebukes such a proposal before the phantom disappears after Connor drops the Apple in the ocean.
  • In The Bastard of Kosigan, your character ends up being offered the title of Count of Kosigan by virtue of everyone with a better claim having been killed off by each other/you/Alex/French assassins.
  • In the ending of Baten Kaitos Origins, the prequel to Baten Kaitos, the Senate practically begs Geldoblame to become Emperor since he's the only suitable candidate left after the deaths of Baelheit and Verus. Geldoblame, having gone off the deep end thanks to Verus' betrayal, laughs and accepts. His first orders set up the plot of Baten Kaitos.
  • This happens to Velleman at the end of one of the routes of Blaze Union.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: Catie at the end of the first game. It happens again with Shift as a gag in the sequel.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins, depending on player choices.
      • According to one NPC in the Human Noble origin, it's said that many nobles in Ferelden would have preferred Teyrn Bryce Cousland to have taken the throne after King Maric died, instead of King Cailan, the rightful heir. However, the Teyrn is an ardent royalist and refused to even consider the prospect out of loyalty to the royal family.
    • In the Templar Path of Dragon Age II, Hawke becomes Kirkwall's new ruler after the people practically beg him/her to do it. It doesn't last, however.
    • As of the Trespasser DLC of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric has been made Viscount of Kirkwall. The way he tells it, they didn't so much offer him the crown as they pushed it onto his head.
  • Dragon Quest:
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, a Downplayed version occurs during the Time Skip between Oblivion and Skyrim to High Chancellor Ocato. After the deaths of Emperor Uriel Septim VII and his last remaining heir, Martin, Ocato exhausts every alternative before reluctantly accepting the title of Potentate (Regent) in accordance with the Elder Council Charter.note  For the next ten years, Ocato served capably in this role and, against all odds, held the strained empire together. Thanks to his successes, many nobles thought he would (and even should) declare himself Emperor. Unfortunately, the Thalmor would have him assassinated in a successful attempt to destabilize the empire, allowing for the rise of the Aldmeri Dominion under their leadership. No other leader would come even close to Ocato's successes in the two centuries that followed.
  • At the end of Final Fantasy IV, Cecil is the new King of Baron. The After Years later revealed that Yang became King of Fabul. In both cases, it actually makes sense. The previous King of Baron had died with no blood relatives alive, and Cecil was his adopted son. The King of Fabul was an old man who also had no heirs, so he abdicated in favor of Yang, who was the commander of Fabul's army.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • At the end of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Micaiah becomes the Queen of Daein despite having no blood relation to any of its former rulers and having more of a birthright to the Empire of Begnion instad. This can happen one of two ways: If former King Pelleas is alive, he appoints Micaiah as the new Queen before revealing his own lack of royal blood and deciding to stay by her side as her advisor. If he's dead, then Micaiah is crowned at her subject's entreaty.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, after the Golden Path is completed, Azura should be the Queen of Valla since she's the daughter of the deceased king and queen. The Avatar, however, becomes the King or Queen instead (despite being the child of the king's murderer), as Azura willingly relinquishes her own birthright on him/her (that is, unless Azura is married to the male Avatar herself, in which case she rules as his consort). However, it helps that Azura and the Avatar are canonically cousins (their mothers being sisters). But the issue is still a bit muddied as the game never really makes it clear which of Azura’s parents had the original claim to the throne.
  • The canonical King's Quest games have this for Graham (King's Quest I) and Alexander (King's Quest VI). The Fan Remake version of King's Quest II has this as an option during the Air Gem test where Connor (the protagonist of the controversial eighth game) can be declared First Knight of Daventry.
  • In the Neverwinter Nights module A Dance with Rogues, the protagonist becomes a Countess during the extended ending. Of course, the player character was already a princess, albeit of a country that has been conquered by The Dhorn Empire.
  • In Octopath Traveler II, King Jigo would rather have Hikari take over as King of Ku than Mugen. Mugen is significantly older and stronger than Hikari, making him the "proper" heir to the throne. However, Jigo realizes that his second son is much better as an actual ruler due to being more popular with the actual people of Ku, and asks Hikari to consider ruling instead. Unfortunately, Mugen does not take this well, torching half the castle town, killing Jigo, and exiling Hikari in retaliation. Hikari does end up taking over at the end of his storyline after defeating Mugen.
  • In Planescape: Torment you are offered the throne of the Undead Nations after you discover the Silent King is long (and permanently) dead. Accepting it leads to a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Princess Maker: The King can do this to the daughter and transfer power by giving the daughter his crown in an Awesome Moment of Crowning:
    King: You have delivered salvation to our nation.
    I do not have the ability to be the guardian of this nation,
    or even to give you a sufficient reward.
    In light of this, I wish to give my throne to you.
    The king took off his crown and offered it to [Daughter].
    The people cheered as they watched from afar.
  • The hero at the end of Quest for Glory II is adopted as a son by the Sultan in return for saving the city, earning him the title Prince of Shapeir, although he doesn't stay.
  • At the end of Quest for Glory V, you are offered the crown of Silmaria and can choose whether or not to accept it, among other possible choices.
  • This tends to happen to the heroes at the end of Suikoden games, though without an actual crown since they're usually setting up some sort of republic having just overthrown a monarchy or empire. Though some games let you accept, canonically the heroes always refuse.
  • Yakuza series: At the end of the first game, Kiryu resigns as Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan and gives the title to Yukio Terada, an ally of his father figure Kazama from the rival Omi Alliance. This ends up causing tension between Kansai and Tokyo that spills into Yakuza 2, and Terada is assassinated in the first thirty minutes of the game. Kiryu then offers the Chairmanship to Daigo Dojima, the disillusioned son of his former boss, and Daigo leads the Tojo Clan for the rest of the series until Yakuza: Like a Dragon when he chooses to dissolve it to avoid coming under the thumb of corrupt Governor Ryo Aoki.

    Web Animation 
  • In Princess Natasha, King Karl was installed on the throne after the citizens of Zoravia voted his older brother Lubek out of office.
  • RWBY: The World of Remnant videos explain that this is what happened at the end of the Great War eighty years prior to canon. After years of fighting between the Four Kingdoms, the King of Vale decided to personally lead the Final Battle in Vacuo. Apparently, he was so bloody and terrifyingnote  that the other three rulers all offered him their kingdoms just to make him stop. He instead elected to set up a lasting peace treaty, convert all four kingdoms into democracies, and establish the four Huntsmen Academies from the series proper, all in hopes of preventing another Great War.

  • In Homestuck, long after PM, a simple Parcel Mistress, informs the White Queen about Jack's assassination attempt and helps her out in her plan to counter him, the Queen offers PM the crown in her place. This fits in with Chess Motifs in that PM was originally effectively a pawn but, by reaching the other end of the board, she was promoted to a queen. PM refuses, though, finding the whole idea very bothersome. She does put the ring on later, though, to gain its powers and avenge AR's death and WV's injury.
  • In The Silver Eye, the enigmatic Velvare Bamidele was offered the crown of Gallitan after its king and queen died because of his involvement in a peace treaty that ended years of conflict. This is despite the fact that no one knew his real name, or had even seen his face. He turned it down, but later adopted their prince, becoming the ruler anyways.

    Western Animation 
  • On Adventure Time, the goblins offer to make Finn their king, and he reluctantly accepts. It doesn't last, however.
  • An Offscreen Moment of Awesome on American Dad! has Klaus somehow go to some other dimension and coming back with a crown and a sword after cutting his way out of the stomach of a monster that appeared in his place when he disappeared.
    Klaus: I was gone sixty years! How long was it here?!
    Roger: What, where'd you go?
    Klaus: I don't know, but wherever it was, I am their king now.
  • The Avatar: The Last Airbender finale has a discussion about who should be Fire Lord after Ozai's defeat. Zuko, Ozai's son, wants his uncle Iroh to take it, but Iroh convinces Zuko that he really is a worthy heir himself. For added fun, Ozai himself had passed the title onto Azula, his remaining loyal heir and Zuko's younger sister. And Azula and Zuko had just fought a formal duel for throne, with an... ambiguous outcome. And Ozai only got the title through a Klingon Promotion just as the eldest son and heir-apparent was half a world away, suffering from severe depression after the death of his son and in no shape to oppose him. It's been a while since the Fire Nation has had a plain old normal succession.
  • In Craig of the Creek, after he defeats Xavier, the kids of the Other Side acknowledge Craig as the new king, but he immediately turns the position down, as he feels the Creek is better off without one.
  • Disenchantment: In the Grand Finale, Zog, Bean and Rulo all step down as royals, and Rulo gives the crown of Dreamland to Mop Girl, having realized she is far more fit to be queen despite not being royalty.
  • At the end of Disney's Goliath II, the titular elephant is made the new leader of his herd just for saving them all from an attacking mouse.
  • It's revealed in supplementary material that this was the case for Celestia and Luna in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. After the three tribes (that each had their own leader) united, the obvious question of who would lead was averted by inviting two worthy outsiders to oversee a federation. Though Celestia's powers and authority have grown considerably since that time, she likewise elects successors from among the common folk (Cadance and Twilight Sparkle) to rule beside her. It's unstated if she's sired any blood heirs during her rule, but if she has they don't seem to hold any political power.
  • On The Simpsons, a Zorro movie has — among other historical inaccuracies — King Arthur abdicating and declaring Zorro the new King of England.

    Real Life 
  • The Discworld example of Tacticus is probably based on the real-life example of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's marshals who was offered the Swedish crown (strictly speaking he was offered to become crown prince, but the actual king was old and given the throne pretty much because he was old, heirless and not all that interested in doing any ruling stuff), took a few moments to review the situation, accepted it, and then promptly declared war against Napoleon. His family still reigns today.
    • Bernadotte had been a staunch Republican and anti-monarchist in his youth. According to some sources, he actually had the Republican slogan "Death to Kings and Tyrants" tattooed on either his arm or his chest, which would be rather embarrassing once he got a throne of his own. Supposedly he never revealed his bare torso to anyone upon taking the throne until his death!
    • There was actually a small political crisis when news of the offer came back to Sweden — the man who asked Bernadotte to take the throne hadn't actually been authorised to do that, only to inquire with Napoleon about acceptable monarchs (the circumstances that led up to all of this involved Sweden getting into war with some of Napoleon's then-allies and losing. The first choice was to offer the crown princehood to one of the sons of the monarch of one of the winning countries — Denmark — but that candidate ended up dying while touring Sweden). It was quickly decided to roll with it, since Napoleon seemed okay with it and at least it wasn't one of Napoleon's own family (see below).note 
  • Speaking of Napoleon, he offered half of Europe to members of his own family. In 1806, he gave to his brothers Joseph and Louis the crowns of Naples and Holland respectivelynote , and that of the grand duchy of Berg to his brother-in-law Joachim Murat. The following year he offered his youngest brother Jerome the crown of Westphalia (a completely artificial North German country that Napoleon had just made up) in part to sweeten Napoleon's decision to annul his brother's marriage to the American socialite Elizabeth Patterson (as that marriage went against Napoleon's program of intermarrying with European royals). In 1808, Joseph was shifted to become King of Spain, and was replaced as King of Naples by Joachim Murat.note  Napoleon also declared that after his death, his stepson Eugène de Beauharnais (son of Joséphine from her first husband) would become King of Italy (he already served as Napoleon's viceroy in Italy).
    • Formally, Napoléon Bonaparte became emperor because the Senate elected him. In practice he already had all the power (as "First Consul", on paper sharing power with the Second and Third Consuls) since a successful coup, and the Senate was merely giving him the right title.
      • It ran in the family: his nephew Louis Napoleon became de facto dictator of the Second French Republic and had a referendum legitimize his powers, and then had another referendum elect him emperor Napoleon III. This regnal name was in recognition of his cousin Napoleon Francois Charles Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon I's only legitimate offspring) who was nominally Emperor of the French as Napoleon II for 16 days (at the age of 4), a reign which essentially no one outside the family recognized.
  • George Washington, as referenced in the Assassin's Creed III example. In 1782, Col. Lewis Nicola suggested the formation of a country on the west coast of North America, and that Washington be its king, but Washington harshly refused, claiming "No incident in the course of the war in me triggers painful feelings as your message, that such ideas are circulating in the army, as you expressed it."
    • During the Revolutionary War, some of Washington's officers got fed up with the lack of pay, and considered rebelling against the rule of Congress. But Washington was loyal to Congress and he convinced the rebellious officers not to go through with it. This is what led to the myth that Washington had been offered kingship and refused.
  • Oliver Cromwell was offered the crown twice by Parliament, but refused because of the objections of his military allies and his own belief that God had categorically rejected the position via the result of the Civil Wars. As the civilian establishment really wanted him to accept (for one because it would widen support and limit the authority of the army), they settled for making the Lord Protector position pretty much a king in all but name. In fact, Cromwell had even fewer limits on his authority than any recent King of England.note 
  • Carl Gustaf Mannerheim was Regent of Finland in 1918, and was considered for the position of King before Finland became a republic the next year. He went on to command Finland's army and become its President (and still a national hero).
  • C. B. Fry, a famous British sportsman, politician, diplomat, academic, teacher, writer, editor and publisher (also a relative of Stephen Fry), claimed that in 1920 he was offered the Albanian throne, but declined. This was probably made up.
    • Otto Witte, a German circus acrobat, claimed to have been crowned king of Albania and "reigned" for five days in 1913 by pretending to be the nephew of the Turkish sultan whom Albanian Muslims wanted to rule their country. The story is almost certainly bogus, but Witte was allowed to have "former king of Albania" inscribed on his calling-cards and his gravestone.
    • When Albania became independent, Franz Nopsca, a Hungarian nobleman, palaeontologist, adventurer, and perpetrator of the world's first ever aircraft hijacking, had a deep affection for Albania, and offered to become its king and marry a rich American heiress to fund its independence.
  • The Ostrogoths offered to support Byzantine general Belisarius as ruler of the Western Roman Empire after he invaded Italy on behalf of Eastern Emperor Justinian and they realized they simply couldn't defeat him. Belisarius, ever loyal, refused.
    • He actually pretended to accept in order to gain access to the Ostrogothic capital city and then, once Belisarius and his forces had entered the city, claimed the city in the name of the Emperor Justinian. None of this seemed to allay Justinian's suspicion that his extremely capable and popular general had his eyes on the throne and Belisarius was recalled to Constantinople and replaced by less-able commanders.
  • Miklós Horthy was offered the position of Regent of Hungary; in a twist on the usual ways this plays out, he refused the position because he wanted more power than he was being offered. Once they confirmed that the position would have some actual power, as opposed to being a merely symbolic position, he accepted.
  • In order to fill a power vacuum in the early 1830's (after the murder of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the newly independent Greece), the crown was offered to a Bavarian prince named Otto. He ruled as King of Greece until his exile 30 years which point the Greeks offered the crown to a 17-year-old Danish prince, Prince Christian Wilhelm Ferdinand Adolf Georg of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, who took the throne as King George I of the Hellenes ("George" being much more Greeknote  than Christian, Wilhelm, and Adolfnote ). He reigned long and well (being assassinated less than two weeks short of his 50th anniversary as King) and his dynasty lasted (with an interruption from 1924 to 1935) until 1967 (technically until 1974, but a coup exiled King Constantine in 1967). One of its junior princes, Philip, eventually married Elizabeth II.
    • A really interesting point is that George wasn't the Greeks' first choice; in a plebiscite, 95 percent of voters chose Queen Victoria's second son Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to become the next king. However, a treaty forbade the royal house of any of the Great Powers from taking the throne of a smaller country, and in any case, Mama was opposed to the idea. So George got it instead; and just to make this particularly funny, George's male-line descendant, the aforementioned Philip, actually took the title "Duke of Edinburgh". Even funnier, Philip's (and therefore George's) descendants have sat the British throne since the accession of Philip's son Charles III in 2022 and will likely do so far into the future.note 
  • When Belgium split off from the Netherlands, after some negotiations, the throne was offered to Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a minor German prince, widower of Princess Charlotte of Great Britain, and uncle of the future Queen Victoria. He took it.
  • When Norway declared its union to Sweden dissolved, it offered the throne to someone else in the Swedish royal familynote . When the King of Sweden refused it, they looked around — the Great Powers were out, and after some consideration of a Greek or Spanish prince they offered it to a Danish prince — who just happened to have a young only son and be Bernadotte and Desirée's great-great grandsonnote . When the King of Sweden officially refused to let any Swedish Bernadottes take the throne, his Danish great-nephew accepted.
    • Prince Carl (as he was then known) was wise enough to request a referendum in Norway before he accepted the offer, as he wanted to ensure it truly was the will of the Norwegian people to reinstate a Monarch. The result of the referendum was a landslide in favour of the Monarchy (79% in favour, 21% opposed), which resulted in the peculiar situation of Prince Carl becoming King (and choosing the old Norwegian regal name Haakon VII) ahead of his father, the Crown Prince of Denmark (later Frederik VIII of Denmark from 1906-1912) and his older brother (later Christian X of Denmark from 1912-1947). (Incidentally, his paternal uncle, the aforementioned George I of Greece, also did the same, becoming a king a few months before his father Christian IX of Denmark, and several decades before his older brother, the aforementioned Frederick VIII of Denmark.)
      • When Haakon returned to Norway after the Nazi occupation he asked for a referendum to see if the people still wanted him; they did. When Haakon died and his son succeeded, he insisted on another referendum; it passed. Hence, the people of Norway chose a monarchy three times in 100 years. Helps that Haakon turned out to be The Good King, even when World War II forced him to act directly against his usual duties of being a figurehead, and his descendants have continued fulfilling the duties of constitutional monarchs. Those being, doing nothing.
  • In 1868 the Spanish revolted and overthrew the then-Queen Isabella II. Though she had a son, the leaders of the coup were so fed up after a long string of bad monarchs that they decided no member of the Bourbon dynasty should occupy the throne again. So they offered it to a number of people including a retired general and war hero, and then to several minor members of other European royal houses, and all of them refused or were turned down because none of the candidates approved the nature of the new regime. One prince of the German Hohenzollern dynasty was about to accept but he was vetoed by Napoleon III of France, and the ultimate result was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 that finished the French Empire. Then Prince Amadeo, a younger son of Vittorio Immanuele II of Italy (of the House of Savoy) accepted the throne after being offered it for a second time, and became King Amadeo I... for 3 years, after which he abdicated. After another year of wacky shenanigans, another coup proclaimed Isabella's son king, and the Bourbon dynasty has been the royal house of Spain to this day (though they had a rather long interruption of not being actual monarchs from 1931, when the Second Spanish Republic was founded, to 1975, when Juan Carlos I succeeded Francisco Franco as head of state of Spain).
    • The retired general was Baldomero Espartero. Juan Prim (leader of the revolutionaries) offered him the Crown first specifically because he knew that he would refuse it. Prim was then "forced" to look for a foreign prince as a "replacement", which had been his first plan all along, since a foreign prince would be unlikely to favor one of the loosely allied revolutionary factions in particular. Sadly, his choice was Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
    • Juan Carlos I was offered the crown by Franco (though only to receive it after Franco's death) instead of his still-living father Prince Juan (the heir to King Alfonso XIII, who had been deposed by the Second Republic). Franco mistakenly thought he had groomed Juan Carlos as someone who would rule as an absolute monarch and basically be a not-quite-fascist with a crown. Instead, Juan Carlos opted to restore democracy to Spain and reign as a constitutional monarch.
  • During the Revolution of 1848 a deputation of the short-lived German parliament offered the Imperial Crown to Frederick William IV, King of Prussia. He declined, because he would not accept a crown based on the will of the common people. In his own words, he would not accept "such a diadem of dirt and clay".
  • During King John's turbulent reign, the barons opposed to him offered the crown to Prince Louis of France in exchange for his aid in getting rid of John. Of course, when John finally died, the barons seemed to reconsider having a French king and responded by switching their allegiance to John's son, Henry III (who was nine at the time and not in any position to go around bossing noblemen).
  • In a way, this is how the selection of popes happens during Conclave. The College of Cardinals elect a new pope by secret ballot, and when there's an agreed majority of votes, the now pope-elect is offered the Papacy. By tradition, the new pope-elect turns down the initial request out of humility before "reluctantly" accepting. In the distant past, there were popes who made considerably more effort to turn down the crown, and sometimes had to be all but forced to accept it.
  • Similarly, many saints and blessed in Catholic tradition were hermits dragged out of seclusion to serve as bishops or priests on the orders of ecclesiastics (sometimes by the pope himself).
  • Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel, Albert Einstein was offered the opportunity to be its Presidentnote  though he ended up turning it down.
  • The Glorious Revolution of 1688 had the British Parliament overthrow the Catholic James II and offer the throne to the Dutch Protestant William of Orange.
    • Actually, it was offered to James' daughter, Mary, along with William, who was her husband (and first cousin; both were grandchildren of Charles I). This was one of the only instances in British history in which the king and queen were officially co-rulers, rather than one simply being the monarch's spouse.
    • This (although it has never really been repeated) asserted Parliament's right to choose the monarch over the so-called "legal line of succession" if it so desired. It's for this reason that documentaries or news stories claiming that so-and-so in such-and-such a country is the "real" heir to the British throne are nonsense: since 1688 the British monarch is whomever Parliament says it is. Though this has become more complicated since the end of the British Empire; the former colonies and dominions have become independent nations but most of them still retain the same monarch. All 15 of the Commonwealth Realms rather like this arrangement and don't want to end up with different monarchs on account of inconsistent succession laws. As such, they all agreed in 2011 that any future changes would have to be agreed to by the parliaments of all 15 kingdoms rather than just by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.note note 
      • This also justifies the idea that the British monarch reigns by the consent of the British people; if the people didn't want a particular person as monarch, Parliament could either (a) change the line of succession to exclude him/hernote  or (b) actively remove him/her if need be (although the procedures for doing so are most unclear, the previous circumstances being somewhat...irregular. By which we mean, the Glorious Revolution, i.e. a coup).
  • In the semi-mythical Roman Kingdom that preceded The Roman Republic, most kings of Rome were not of Roman ancestry (of the seven+1, two were Romans, two and Romulus' co-king were Sabines, two were Etruscans, and the remaining one was the son of a Latin outsider who had died fighting against Rome and had his pregnant wife enslaved and brought there). This was an Enforced Trope: while Romulus and his co-king Titus Tatius were of royal blood (Romulus as a grandson of the kings of Alba Longa and Titus as the king of the Sabines who joined Rome), the Romans did not trust hereditary kingship and would try and elect someone, who had the right to refuse.
  • Near the end of The Roman Republic, once during the Lupercalia festival, dictator Julius Caesar was offered, in a semi-staged and semi-serious way, a laurel "crown" by Mark Antony to show that he was worthy of being made king. But, seeing that the crowd was rather hostile to the idea due the last king having been horriblenote , Caesar judged it better to push away that symbol of royalty. Anyways, the event was another reason for his enemies to want to assassinate him.
  • In the Roman Empire, emperors without sons would often adopt a promising man as their successor. Legally, they'd be considered the emperor's son, and inherit on his death. This was most notable with the "five good emperors", where the first four chose their own successor. The last left it to his biological son (after his first choice refused the crown and the second died early). Things didn't turn out well.
    • The first of the "five good emperors", Nerva, was this as well even though he wasn't chosen by his successor. After being chosen by the senate, he was mostly accepted because he was old, childless, and fairly inoffensive.
    • By law the emperor was proclaimed by the people, Senate, and army of Rome. In actual practice, however, the emperor could usually get the Senate and people to recognize his son as co-emperor, ensuring he'd succeed upon his death, and a rebellious general would get elected by his own troops first and by the Senate only after offing the reigning emperor. For much of the early Roman Empire, the emperor was also not officially a monarch, though he ruled with every bit as much power as a king. It took a long time before the pretense of republicanism was discarded.
    • Even then, Roman emperors were always acutely aware of the need to maintain the support of at least two of three major groups—the Senate, the people, and the army—and to not overly piss off any one of the three. Unlike other monarchies, Romans regarded the imperial throne as a magistracy like any other, and mere "royal" blood could not entitle you to office if you could not convince the key groups that you were worthy of it. This perspective persisted even through The Byzantine Empire (during which time "autocrat" was one of the emperor's official titles).
  • The trope image depicts the moments after King Recceswinth of the Visigothic Kingdom (in Spain) died in 672. Gothic Law said that a new king should be elected immediately in the same place where the last king had died, and so the military chose Wamba, an old palace servant, as he was right next to Recceswinth's deathbed. The only problem was, well, that Wamba really didn't want to be king, and kept refusing to wear the crown until a captain of the army drew his sword and told him that he would either put on the crown or lose his head. So Wamba took the crown, and reigned for 8 years... until he was deposed when he tried to pass a law that limited the powers of the army. Considering that a third of the Gothic kings were murdered by their successors, Wamba should probably count himself as lucky. (The people who deposed him eventually got a deliciously ironic reward: About 30 years later, the Muslim armies of the Umayyad Caliphate conquered Spain.)
  • Happened twice in the history of Mexico:
    • Agustín de Iturbide, who in 1821 was the Spanish loyalist commander in the War of Mexican Independence, reached an agreement with the separatists to turn Mexico a separate kingdom only in personal union with Spain. However, notoriously Stupid Evil King Ferdinand VII rejected this. Iturbide then looked for other princes in Europe that would accept the Mexican crown, but since all of them where reluctant because of Ferdinand VII's veto, it was suggested that Iturbide pulled a Napoleon and became the first Emperor of Mexico. He did, but was overthrown and the monarchy abolished within a year.
    • Forty years later, exiled Mexican conservatives decided to turn Mexico into a monarchy again and searched Europe for a prince that would accept the Crown. They found it in Prince Maximilian, the younger brother of Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary, and took over Mexico with Napoleon III's support. But as the war turned to be more costly and longer than expected, Napoleon III pulled out the plug and Maximilian was overthrown and executed.
  • After the end of the Jagiellonian dynasty of Poland in the 16th century nobody could agree as to who should be the next king, so they settled on choosing them each time by the noblemen of Poland-Lithuania. This led to, on one hand, awesome kings like Stephen Báthory (who never learned Polish, but invented hussary) and John III Sobieski (who raised the siege of Vienna), but on the other hand, Poles had kings like Henry II of Valois (he absconded to France not a year after his election to become King Henry III of France following the death of his elder brother, Charles IXnote ) and Stanisław II August Poniatowski (who was a lover of Empress Catherine II of Russia, whose support gained him his crown, but also made him unable to resist the partition of Poland). It did not help that elections not infrequently were decided who could pay more to bribe the noble voters and the result could get Poland involved in costly wars, e. g. the Saxon August II the Strong instigated The Great Northern War and the election of Stanisław I Leszczyński (supported by France and Sweden) in 1733 led to the War of the Polish Succession, which resulted in August II's son August III being put on the Polish throne by Russian and Saxon troops. So it is no surprise that Poles, on the whole, don't look back too fondly at the Election Period.
  • A lot of people tend to think Richard III employed a military coup in order to get the throne, when in actuality the matter of the illegitimacy of Edward IV's children was put to those people who had been elected members of Parliament, resulting in the drawing up of a parchment roll (the text of which became the Parliamentary Act of Titulus Regius) which laid out the reasons why Richard should get the throne and included a petition for him to accept the crown, which of course he did. It should be noted Edward IV himself was not born as heir to the throne, but after his and Richard's father, who had been pressing a good claim in a time of political instability, died in battle and his corpse desecrated by the Lancastrians, a teenage Edward was offered the crown and took it.
  • Pyrrhus of Epirus was offered not one but two crowns simultaneously; after the Battle of Asculum, two messengers came from both Macedon and Syracuse offering the crown. Macedon had lost its king and the two successors of Alexander close enough to view Macedon as a prize worth defending, and Pyrrhus was considered the most successful general of the time with a reasonably large army. The 'large army' part was important, as Macedon was facing an invasion of Celts. Syracuse was having trouble with both Carthage and Messina (which was ruled by mercenaries turned pirates), and went to Pyrrhus for help. Pyrrhus ultimately concluded that he could help Syracuse while fighting Rome, also putting him close to Libya on the North African coast (which was a long term goal of his), and opted for that. Unfortunately for him, both of these offers were time sensitive; he could not take both crowns, and the unwillingness of the Sicilian Greeks to follow his orders meant that he ultimately lost Syracuse (keep in mind, they asked for his help specifically because they believed he could lead them in battle; Syracuse falling to Carthage was not his doing, it was the Syracusans), the time spent away from Italy meant he could not take southern Italy away from Rome, and Macedon and much of Greece had been taken/saved by Antigonus II Gonatas.


Video Example(s):


Purple's Kingdom

When business is booming in the Purple's kingdom thanks to Blue and Green, all of the villagers head for Purple's palace to improve it and build a statue of their beloved monarch. Being amazed of the villagers hard work, Purple crowns both Blue and Green.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConstructionIsAwesome

Media sources: