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Reclining Reigner

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A Stock Pose across many forms of media. The best way to show that the ruler of a country is powerful, decadent, hedonistic, and/or comfortable within their power is to show them reclining on their throne or another lavish piece of furniture.

For kings, sultans, emperors and other rulers, they're often portrayed as being surrounded by servants while being fed grapes or cooled by giant fans, all the while with a very troubled/bored expression. Female characters usually recline on something like a sofa, futon, or bed while wearing next to nothing.

Some rulers will even travel on a litter so that they can continue this look when on the move.

Although not exclusive to villains, they are the most common form of the trope, since Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy.

Often used as a Modeling Pose if the product modeled is meant to make the customer feel regal.

Sister Trope to Slouch of Villainy and Super-Trope of Grapes of Luxury. Might overlap with Reclining Venus.

Compare Idle Rich. Not to be confused with Reluctant Ruler. Some ladies may even wear Diamonds in the Buff while taking this pose.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Don Achino in the One Piece anime. He's quite chubby and is content to just lie on his sofa thing. He is very competent in battle though.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Most noble Roman patricians are drawn in a reclined position at some point in this comic book series. Most prominent characters of them and actual rulers are Caesar and Cleopatra.
  • The Mighty Thor: Hela has spent thousands of years making this trope into an art form. She does this on numerous occasions.
  • Dejah Thoris in Warlord of Mars is frequently drawn in this position.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • In the Wonder Woman feature from issue 39 of Sensation Comics, Nero Maximus spends his time lying on a chaise longue. His wife Empress Fausta prefers to sit in a plush chair and force a slave to hold a pillow in their lap and act as a footrest.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Aphrodite is seen resting on a chaise lounge while arguing with Mars.

    Fan Works 
  • Brainy relaxes on a royal chaise lounge as he reprises his role as King Smurf in an Imaginarium fantasy setting in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Virtual Smurfality".

    Films — Animation 
  • In Aladdin, Jafar does this, in a definite overlap with Slouch of Villainy.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Yzma gets to do this after taking over as the reigning empress, just before finding out that Kuzco is still alive.
  • In The Thief and the Cobbler when Zigzag the evil vizier meets the Mighty One-Eye, he's seen reclining on a throne with a bored look on his face. Oh, a throne composed by his own harem of buxom, scantily-clad One Eye girls.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • I, Claudius: Romans ate their meals on reclining couches.
  • The Peshawar Lancers: Queen-Empress Victoria II is described as having been this, in complete antithesis to her namesake.
  • Quo Vadis: There are quite a few lavish banquets at Nero's palace and in Petronius's house, and guests are eating and drinking half-sitting, half-lying.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for Laughs in promo material for How I Met Your Mother, featuring Marshall and Lily's honeymoon in Scotland. Because of Marshall's obsession with Nessie the Loch Nech Monster, they miss a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Lily forces Marshall to do a dramatic reading of the play just for her, while she lies luxuriously in a reclined position like Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Lily is eating the obligatory grapes.

  • Though she's not a queen, Bally's Mata Hari pinball depicts the spy in such a pose on the backglass.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition: In The Complete Book of Necromancers, the illustration for Kazerabet, Former Queen of Ysawis and philosopher-necromancer, is of her reclining while consulting a book, attended by servants.
  • Rocket Age's Princess Stephanika, ruler of the Martian city-state Melikia, is a notorious Femme Fatale and is depicted in this fashion. The fact that she is the only character shown this way is telling.
  • Warhammer:
    • Greasus Goldtooth, Overtyrant of the Ogre Kingdoms, travels to battle and even fights like this, on a moving carpet of Gnoblar bearers. The model for Greasus (who is morbidly obese, even by Ogre standards, and possibly even can't walk under his own power) depicts him lying back at ease, giant haunch of meat in one hand, fabulous jewel-encrusted sceptre in the other. To further enhance his aura of disgustingly opulent excess (Ogres charge a very hefty fee to let merchants use the equivalent to the Silk Road), he has more gnoblars spread a carpet of gold coins in front of him wherever he goes. Subtlety is not a quality valued (or, indeed, understood) by ogres, so when they go in for a look, they don't do it by halves.
    • Similarly, Dominar Rasheth of the Skorne Empire is a morbidly obese warlord carried into battle on an agonizer-borne palanquin.

    Video Games 
  • In Civilization V, Empress Theodora of the Byzantines is shown reclining at all times on the diplomacy screen. Even when you're at war, she simply turns so she has her back to you.
  • Gwynevere in Dark Souls is depicted reclining on a sofa when you meet her in person. Justified in that she's an illusion created by Gwyndolin, so having her laying down is significantly easier to make believable than sitting or standing.
  • In Chapter 2 of Deltarune, Queen is repeatedly seen leaning on the armrest of her mobile throne, tying in with her regal status and comedically hedonistic personality.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Most of the Jarls recline when sitting on their thrones, excluding Jarl Elisif the Fair. The in-universe reason is that all the other Jarls have been at it for some time and have grown somewhat jaded (except for Siddgeir, who's just a spoiled piece of shit), while Elisif is brand new to the position, having taken over after the very recent death of her husband, and hasn't gotten used to ruling yet. In actuality, this posture is determined by the throne, not the character: every Jarl's throne except Elisif's in Solitude has a slouchy animation programmed into it, so your character can also sit on one and slouch regally.
  • Mass Effect: Aria T'Loak, the unofficial ruler Omega, has a large couch in the Afterlife bar that she gives orders from, making it a kind of unofficial throne. During the events of the Omega DLC in the third game, there is an optional quest to recover this couch.
  • In Super Smash Bros., King Dedede's crouch animation has him laying on his side as if reclining.


    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: Hedonism-Bot is a robot designed to do nothing but be languid and decadent and is designed to resemble an ancient Roman emperor. Naturally, he takes this trope to its logical conclusion: he's built into a sofa.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Romans during certain historical periods ate their meals/banquets on reclining couches, as depicted in many works set during the Roman Empire.
  • In the Passover seder, Jews traditionally recline at the table, to symbolize being free rather than slaves. This practice may have been influenced by the aforementioned Greek and Roman custom.
  • Cats are absolute masters of this Trope, particularly long-haired breeds like the Persian.