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Ruling Family Massacre

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"When [Zimri] began to reign, as soon as he seated himself on the throne, he struck down all of the house of Baasha. He did not leave him a single male of his relatives or his friends."

In many Historical Fiction and Fantasy narratives (and of course in many Real Life events), the first thing that follows a successful invasion or government overthrow is a thorough massacre of the target land's current ruling family, be it Royal Blood or just a noble house of whatever. The reasons for such brutality (even children are usually murdered alongside their parents) may be emotional, but it may also be simple shrewdness and pragmatism: La Résistance is inevitable, so why make their job easier by leaving a potential leader/banner alive?

This trope is naturally countered by a Hidden Backup Prince (if the ruling family in question is productive and prudent enough) or by a Sole Survivor lost orphan who somehow escapes the massacre. If the ruling family are villains, however, that can end up as Pyrrhic Victory for the resistance forces.

A Sub-Trope of The Purge and Family Extermination. Also, this is a Death Trope that often makes a Wham Episode! You Have Been Warned.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attempted in the Back Story of the original Mobile Suit Gundam: to usurp the leadership of the space colonies, Degwin Sodo Zabi murdered their enlightened ruler Zeon Zum Deikunnote  but failed to finish off his children Casval and Artesia, who were saved by an old family friend. The entire series can be also interpreted as one man's crusade to apply this trope back: Casval, now grown up and going by the new identity of Char Aznable, goes about systematically wiping out the Zabi family (with the ultimate prospects of becoming the new ruler of the space colonies, though vengeance is the most important part of the plan to him). Notably, though, unlike some historical examples, while Casval does eventually get revenge on most of the Zabis in glorious fashion (including one truly memorable example involving a bazooka to the face), he absolutely cannot bring himself to murder then-five-year-old Mineva Lao Zabi, who wasn't even alive when the Deikuns were destroyed. After all, a child shouldn't suffer for the sins of her family. This ends up being a matter of some consequence.
  • Romeo × Juliet begins with the massacre of the Capulet family, with little Juliet being the only survivor.
  • In Attack on Titan, one of the major reveals of the series involves such an event. Grisha Yeager massacred the royal family, consuming Freida Reiss to steal the Founding Titan before killing her mother and siblings. Rod Reiss managed to escape the massacre, ruling in his daughter's stead until several years later. After learning that Eren was in possession of the Founding Titan, Rod intended to use his illegitimate daughter Historia/Krista to reclaim the power. Ironically, it backfires when Historia rejects her father's plans and is ultimately crowned Queen after defeating her father's Government Conspiracy.

    Comic Books 
  • In Black Moon Chronicles, Wismerhill does this to the leaders of one of the tribes that followed him when it turns out they'd started practicing Human Sacrifice despite his forbidding it. He specifically cites not wanting to deal with the heirs twenty years down the line when asked about the kids. He then tells the wimpy chancellor that he's in charge, and knows what's waiting for him...
  • Hellboy: The Wild Hunt reveals that, after King Arthur died in battle, his enemies tracked down and killed all of Arthur's legitimate and illegitimate sons. Unknown to them, Arthur also had a daughter, and she escaped unharmed. Hellboy's human mother was a direct descendant of that daughter.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron: As Plourr Ilo is an Expy of Anastasia, during her backstory her family was overthrown and then later slaughtered, though she and her little brother managed to escape. Though her brother immediately tried to tell the revolutionaries where she was.
  • Star Wars: Legacy opens with Darth Krayt and his One Sith trying to do this to Emperor Roan Fel and his family, backstabbing them after a war they manipulated the Fel Empire into fighting to begin with. It goes horribly wrong, however, as Roan figures out the betrayal is coming beforehand and manages to get himself, his family, and some of his Praetorian Guard to safety as the coup goes down, sparking the Enemy Civil War that makes up much of the story as the Empire gets split between Fel loyalists and Sith Quislings (most of whom are serving out of fear).

  • In the Code Geass Alternate Universe Fic Mosaic, the Chinese Federation attempts to massacre the Japanese Imperial Family. They almost succeed, but thanks to Lelouch, Prince Suzaku survives.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines mentions King Kahele of Alola, whose family established the bases of their current culture and civilization. An ambitious man named Kamehameha rose through the ranks and eventually plotted to overthrow Kahele, killing him and every last one of his descendants, and plunging the Alolan islands into civil war.
  • The Masks we Wear (JiggleWigs) starts with one of these against the Fire Nation's Royal Family. Ozai, Ursa, and their two children survive, but Ursa and the kids are forced to disguise themselves as Earth Nation peasants afterwards.
  • The two-shot By the Hands of the People revolves around a rebel army capturing Queen Elsa and her sister Princess Anna. When news of Prussia coming to save the siblings due to the duo having German ancestry, the rebels decide to kill Elsa and Anna.
  • Four years prior to the first Heart of a Lioness: Through the Eyes of a Queen book, a group of rogues overthrew the Pridelands by attempting this. Queen Aza survived along with her newborn daughter, however she was killed four years afterwards. Aza's daughter Jolina survived and later took back her kingdom.
  • It's mentioned in Let the World Smile that the Gerudo killed the ruling families of both the Twili and Subrosian.
  • The Victors Project: Within days, if not hours of President Lucius's death, his sons have died in a boating accident and his grandsons have disappeared. In the Backstory The Sea Kings of what would later become District 1 were executed in a coup after wanting to go to war with the Capitol, rather than submit to their will. Their heads are presented to the Capitol's army, along with the heads of their wives, children, and other relatives.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Anastasia, Rasputin bewitches the Russian people into an overthrow of the Tsar and executing his entire family... except they miss Anastasia. This story is (loosely) based on the Real Life massacre of the Romanov family by the Bolsheviks.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The main events of Kull the Conqueror are kicked off when the King starts to murder his heirs left and right, as well as anyone who may legitimately lay a claim to the throne. He manages to slaughter his immediate family before being stopped and mortally wounded by Kull. Slightly subverted in that there is a remote member of the family who immediately demands the crown, only to have the general (also of noble blood) claim that it's his by right. The dying King decides to give them a final "screw you" by handing the crown to Kull. The high priest acknowledges that this makes Kull the new king, despite the fact that he's a barbarian.
  • Happens to the ruling family of the United Kingdom in a freak accident (they are all electrocuted while posing for a family photograph) at the beginning of King Ralph, which leaves a Las Vegas lounge singer as heir to the throne.
  • Part of the back story to The Court Jester; which ends with the rightful heir — the sole surviving royal baby — being enthroned.
  • This is Lord Nelson Rathbone's plan in Shanghai Knights: in exchange for giving Wu Chow the Imperial Seal of China, Chow will kill the nine members of the British Royal Family ahead of him in the line of succession and then frame Wang's sister Lin for the deed.

  • Ascendance Series: In The False Prince, the entire royal family of Karthya is poisoned at once, leading to the plot to create a successful impersonator of the youngest prince, who had been lost at sea several years ago. And then it turns out that the "winning" impostor was the real Hidden Backup Prince all along.
  • In the backstory of The Belgariad, the royal family of Riva was killed by assassins sent by Queen Salmissra of Nyissa. Only the youngest Prince survives by jumping into the sea. This event is shown in the prequels Belgarath the Sorceror and Polgara the Sorceress.
  • The opening chapter of Black Trillium sees the Ruwendan royal family making a Last Stand during the sack of their capital by the neighboring Labornok. They are massacred by the Labornok troops off-screen, while the three Ruwendan princesses are being led to safety by their servants.
  • A Brother's Price has this as a part of its backstory: The royal family split up, and the husband of the older sisters was infertile, so the younger sisters demanded that their children become heirs to the throne. This caused a civil war, after which the losing half was put to death. All of them. Except Prince Alannon, who didn't want to be a backup prince and chose to stay hidden. The main plot of the novel is some villains' attempt to overthrow the royal family by killing them all and using what weak claim to the throne a marriage to Alannon's grandson Jerin and being the royal family’s former sisters-in-law can provide to become Queens instead of the Queens.
  • In the Deryni series, seventy-odd years before the events in the first novel, a band of adventurers from a neighboring kingdom slipped into Gwynedd and murdered King Ifor Haldane and all his family. Then their leader Festil took the throne for himself. The massacre is described as seen through the eyes of the only survivor, a four-year-old prince who was saved by one of the servants, and it is horrifying.
  • In the backstory of the first book of the Dragonriders of Pern series, the ruling family of Ruatha Hold is slaughtered by the invading Warlord Fax. Unfortunately for him, he misses one...
  • Attempted by Baron Harkonnen against House Atreides in Dune to usurp their place as the governors of Arrakis, but he only manages to kill Duke Leto, while his concubine and son (and unborn daughter) manage to escape the assassins and take their revenge.
    • Also, in the prequel books, an unnamed House attempted this by nuking the former Imperial capital world of Salusa Secundus. Some of the members of House Corrino were killed, but others survived and continued the line, moving the capital to Kaitain. In response, all the other Houses wiped out the unnamed House and had its name stricken from all history books. It turns out that House Moritani is secretly descended from the unnamed House and seeks to finish the job.
    • Also from the prequels, House Vernius of Ix is nearly wiped out by the Tleilaxu (secretly backed by the Emperor, who has a score to settle with Earl Dominic Vernius). Averted initially in that all four members of the house survive and manage to escape. Then the Earl and his wife are hunted down and eliminated by the Emperor over the years, while their children are protected by the Atreides. Then Kailea Vernius ends up committing suicide after accidentally killing her and Leto's son and crippling her brother Rhombur. Rhombur survives but is unable to bear children, so his wife impregnates herself from the seed of a member of a distaff line. Rhombur ends up dying, while Bronso (the child from his wife's act) ends up being, eventually, executed by Alia for "spreading lies" (in fact, speaking the truth) about Paul. Thus, the entire Vernius line ends up being wiped out in less than a century.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: Ancar pulled this trope off-page after he took over Hardorn. In Storm Breaking, we learn that he was so thorough about killing distant relatives (both male and female) that Duke Tremaine, who isn't even Hardornen, has as strong a claim to the throne of Hardorn as any of the surviving nobles.
    • In the Last Herald-Mage Trilogy, the ruling family of the tiny kingdom of Baires covets their equally tiny neighbor Lineas. A family of mages, they'd sent off their scorned non-magical daughter to Lineas for some Altar Diplomacy and later launched a magical attack that killed the Linean royal family except for her son Tashir. A representative of the Baires family then got in a mage-duel with Vanyel Ashkevron which had all his mage-kin linking with him to feed him power, but this also meant that when Vaneyl killed him, all of them died simultaneously. This left only Tashir as the Sole Survivor of both families and the heir to two kingdoms, which he promptly arranged to have annexed by their larger neighbor Valdemar.
  • Heroics for Beginners mentions an attempt at this that failed epically because of just how large the family in question was - the overthrown ruler had nineteen kids, seven of which escaped in the confusion of the coup. In addition, the ruler had seven siblings, each of whom had their own families, some of whom also escaped. In total, the usurper ended up with thirty-four unaccounted for claimants to his throne, and eventually was killed by the stress of worrying about the possibility that one of them might try to reclaim the family title.
  • In Honor Harrington, Grayson's backstory involves an attempt at this that nearly works. At the time, Grayson is split between moderates and religious fanatics (who would eventually become the crazed Masadans). The Protector (the ruler of Grayson) is among the moderates. The fanatics concoct a plan to gather all the opposing Steadholders in the same room with the Protector and his family and then eliminate them in one fell swoop. The Protector and many of the Steadholders are indeed murdered, but an armsman manages to get the Protector's young son out of the room and safely hidden, and the Steadholders have heirs of their own. The resulting civil war ends with the moderates kicking the fanatics out and relocating them to a planet in the neighboring system.
  • Averted in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, as not only does Door and also her younger sister survive her family's murder, but the Big Bad never wanted to actually wipe out the House of Portico, just coerce one of its members to use its hereditary powers on his behalf.
  • Old Kingdom: In the first book, the Kingdom has been in a bad state for two hundred years thanks to one of these, perpetrated by the Big Bad so he could try to break the Charter. As a result, the royal family, whose existence is necessary to the Kingdom's stability, is believed to be extinct. There is one royal still alive, hidden away in magical suspension.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil, one of these happened in the backstory: when the Dread Empire of Praes invaded and ultimately took over the Kingdom of Callow, the Black Knight (genre-savvy as he is) had the entire ruling Fairfax family killed, children included so that they couldn't serve as a rallying point for the populace.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Dayless the Conqueror began his rule with a purge of the royal family after taking over Hamahra, executing the queen and her young daughter himself before ordering every aristocrat in the country to be killed as well.
  • Shatter the Sky: The entire royal family of Ruzi, aside from Sev, were killed by the emperor for treason over opposing him.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • In the Back Story, the Targaryen family that ruled Westeros for centuries had been all but wiped out by Robert Baratheon's rebels following the cruel actions of Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King. Tywin Lannister sent his men to murder Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's children Rhaenys and Aegon as House Lannister had remained neutral during the war so far and Tywin wanted to establish his loyalty, though Ned Stark remained angry at Tywin for murdering children. Only two very young children (Rhaegar's much younger siblings Daenerys and Viserys) were successfully smuggled to another continent by their retainers. The fifth book, however, reveals that Rhaegar's child Aegon was also smuggled away to Essos and is being groomed to rule by Jon Connington and the Golden Company, but Tyrion Lannister (and the readers) have some doubts about his legitimacy.
    • The infamous Red Wedding between Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey saw the traitorous houses of Frey and Bolton try to slaughter every member of the Starks, former ruling family of the North, to usurp said lands. It wasn't as successful as they wanted, because there were some Starks who were falsely presumed dead and thus not targeted. They also move against the Tullys but aren't actually planning to kill them all yet. Though they kill Edmure Tully's sister Catelyn, they originally intended to keep her alive but murder her after she goes mad with grief from her son Robb Stark's death - which backfires on them horribly when she is resurrected as a vengeful revenant termed Lady Stoneheart who takes control of the outlaw Brotherhood Without Banners and sets about hanging any Frey the Brotherhood get their hands on. As for Edmure they keep him alive but imprisoned, though his wife fears her father will have Edmure killed if she secures the Frey takeover of the Riverlands by bearing Edmure's son. Also one Tully did not attend the wedding at all (in the books) or took a lucky leak and escaped (in the series).
    • The first Targaryen king, Aegon the Conqueror, wiped out two ruling houses, the Hoares and the Gardeners, using his dragons. However, when he killed Harren "the Black" Hoare and all his sons by burning their castle of Harrenhal, he had the support of most of the Riverlands due to Harren being a brutal tyrant. As for Mern IX Gardener, he and all his family were killed at the Field of Fire, the only survivor being a nephew who died from his wounds three days later.
  • A variant of this happens in Mary Doria Russell's Children of God, the sequel to The Sparrow. The perpetrator wants to liberate his people and the only way he can begin is to kill off every member of his own family.
  • This is the ultimate fate of the ruling family of Troy in The Trojan War as related in The Trojan Cycle, various Athenian tragedies, and The Aeneid. In the sack of Troy, the Greeks massacre every single male member of the House of Priam, including the child Astyanax (Hector's son), to prevent one of them becoming an avenger in the future. Neoptolemos also kills Priam's daughter Polyxena as a human sacrifice to appease the spirit of his father Achilles. Agamemnon took Priam's daughter Cassandra with him to Mycene, where she was killed with an axe by his wife Clytemnestra while her lover killed Agamemnon. This left Hecuba, Priam's widow, the only survivor; in some versions, e. g. The Trojan Women by Euripides, she is still able to exact revenge on some Greeks for the killing of her family.
  • The Wheel of Time: One of the Dark One's most powerful servants massacres the ruling family of the Seanchan Empire to sow chaos before the Final Battle. It works, up until the last princess comes out of hiding, takes the reins as empress, and ultimately allies with The Chosen One.
  • In the Wings of Fire series (specifically the book Darkstalker), this happened to the SeaWing royal family when the animus dragon, Prince Albatross, went crazy and killed his sister, Queen Lagoon, her husband, King Humpback, his own children, Prince Eel, Princess Manta and her husband Prince Reef, Eel's son, Prince Scallop, and Lagoon's daughter, Princess Splash. Also killed was Princess Sunset of the SkyWings and an unnamed SeaWing musician. The massacre ended when Albatross' grandson, Prince Fathom, and his future wife, Indigo, stabbed him. The survivors were Prince Current, son of Eel, who became a nervous wreck and was taken prisoner by the NightWing, Queen Vigilance, Eagle, a SkyWing ambassador, Fathom, Indigo, and Fathom's 5 year old sister, Princess Pearl, who was promptly crowned Queen as the only surviving female.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Season 6 of Game of Thrones revealed one storyline which was not yet shown in the books: Queen Cersei Lannister stayed in the Red Keep on the day of her trial because she wants to watch her enemies (the Faith Militant under the High Sparrow and House Tyrell of the Reach who are her in-laws) burn to the ground with wildfire at the Sept of Baelor. While she finally got rid of them for good, there is still one Tyrell who was not caught up with the flames (because fortunately she didn't want to be caught by the High Sparrow and went home instead), and that Tyrell allied with the returning rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Daenerys Targaryen, in order to avenge the deaths of her family. In season 7, the Lannisters manage to turn her own bannermen against her for siding with foreign invaders, and sack Highgarden. Together with the Iron Fleet's attack on the Ironborn who sided with Daenerys and were ferrying other highborn allies of hers, both the Tyrells and Martells are completely wiped out as a result. However, in Season 8, there is an unnamed Prince of Dorne though it was never confirmed if he's distantly related to the Martells.
  • In The Powers of Matthew Star, Matthew is secretly the Crown Prince of a distant planet whose parents were killed during a hostile revolution. He and his caretaker are hiding out in Southern California until he grows up and is able to mount a counterstrike; in the meantime, they're on the lookout for people wanting to kill Matthew in order to wipe out the ruling family.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003). When the Quorum of Twelve refuse to support Zarek's attempted coup, he leaves the room and orders his men outside to immediately execute them. From his point of view, this is an act of ruthless but necessary pragmatism — if no one in the previous administration supports you, better to wipe them out and present your own rule as a fait accompli. Gaeta is shocked at the massacre and refuses to accept this argument; instead he insists on holding a Kangaroo Court for Commander Adama that fatally delays the transfer of power.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • In The Bible, this happens to several successive ruling families of the (ten-tribe) Kingdom of Israel, who unlike the Davidic monarchy of Judah did not have the unending blessing of divine right, thus meaning that the nation's history was rife with assassinations and hostile takeovers (the longest dynasty was four generations because that is how long God promised King Jehu's line would have the throne). The most notable examples are the families of kings Jeroboam and Ahab, where God Himself mandates that their male line will be wiped out as punishment for their sins.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech universe has the usurper Amaris murdering the entire extended Cameron family once he takes over the Star League. After he is deposed and executed himself, all his relatives are killed as well. This of course leads directly into the Succession Crisis that dominates the setting's history for the next four hundred years.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A drow house that eliminates another house must kill all the nobles because these are the only ones who can accuse them of the attack. While they don't exactly conquer the house in question (although their position can get elevated if it was above them in the city hierarchy, as is usually the case), they do take in any surviving enemy soldiers.
    • 1st Edition supplement Empires of the Sands. In the nation of Tethyr, after the ruling family's castle was overthrown, everyone who was even suspected of being a member of the royal family was hunted down and put to the sword. The only one who escaped was Prince Lhaeo, who had been sent to the sage Elminster as an infant for training and protection.

  • Inverted in Hamlet, in which the foreign takeover occurs because Prince Fortinbras of Norway happens to be passing through Denmark at the same time that a Gambit Pileup leads to the royal family massacring each other. (Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film depicts Fortinbras' arrival as an actual invasion, but the royal family has already taken care of the hard part for him.)
  • Macbeth initially subverts this, in that Macbeth tries but fails to prevent Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, from getting away, which comes back to bite him; however, as he slips into paranoia, he starts ordering that more of his enemies and their families be murdered, most notably all of Macduff's family, children included — which also comes back to bite him, as it sets Macduff off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Damned if you do, damned if you don't — and Macbeth is certainly damned.
  • This was attempted by Mombi years ago in The Kansas Collection. She tried to kill King Pastoria and his daughter Ozma. Pastoria saved Ozma by creating a portal and hiding Ozma in a fold of time. Mombi later killed Pastoria, though Glinda and her companions later killed Mombi.

    Video Games 
  • A Dance with Rogues starts with a somewhat interactive cutscene depicting the sack of Betancurian royal palace, wherein the entire royal family is massacred by the Dhorn. Only the youngest princess, who is also the Player Character, escapes with her life by sheer luck (whether it's good or bad luck is debatable).
  • MechWarrior4: Vengeance has Steiner murdering the family of the Kentares Duke except for one nephew they install as a puppet ruler. Three more survive due to either being away or fleeing; one dies, one more can die during the game, the last one is the protagonist.
  • In BATTLETECH, this is one of the possible reasons for the player making a new life for themselves with their family's Blackjack BJ-1. Their family could be betrayed with the player having defeated those that usurped them but leaving them as the Sole Survivor of their house.
  • The Human Noble origin in Dragon Age: Origins concerns the massacre of the Cousland family (teyrns/dukes of the largest province of Ferelden) by a treacherous vassal who usurps their titles and lands. Only the heir apparent, who is away fighting Darkspawn at the time, and his younger sibling (the Player Character), who is saved by the Grey Wardens, survive — but should the player pick another origin, Fergus (the aforementioned heir) remains as the Sole Survivor.
  • When Gornar, capital of the Gorn Hegemony, fell to the Klingons in the backstory of Star Trek Online, the hardliners on the Klingon High Council wanted to have the Gorn royal family executed as per Klingon S.O.P. However, Chancellor J'mpok decided to test King Slathis' character and fought him in an honor duel, and Slathis fought well enough to badly wound J'mpok and greatly impress him. He chose to spare their lives and grant the Gorn self-rule as a vassal state of the Klingon Empire.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the series' backstory, the forces of Emperor Tiber Septim, founder of the Third Tamriellic Empire, sacked Mournhold, the capital city of Morrowind, home of the Dunmer (Dark Elves). His legions slaughtered the entire noble family, down to their young daughter, Barenziah. Septim's Dunmeri General, Symmachus, convinced Septim to spare Barenziah in order to groom her as a Puppet Queen who could look out for Imperial interests in Morrowind after the armistice was signed joining Morrowind to the Empire as a Voluntary Vassal.
    • At the beginning of Oblivion, the Mythic Dawn Apocalypse Cult/Religion of Evil carries out coordinated assassinations of Emperor Uriel Septim VII and his three legitimate sons to clear the way for their Daedric master's invasion. However, The Emperor's last bastard son is saved just in the nick of time by the Player Character to lead Cyrodiil's defenders.
  • Exit Fate: The first action of the Almegian forces after they invaded St. Renard was to execute the entire Royal Family of Kirgard under the orders of General Ash.
  • Final Fantasy VI: The town of Tzen located in the Southern Continent had a royal family that was executed by The Empire prior to the events of the game.
  • The first Galaxy Angel videogame starts out with the Traansbal Palace falling to the forces of the exiled prince Eonia, where the Emperor and pretty much every member of the royal family (except Prince Shiva) are killed in the onslaught.

  • Blindsprings has the ruling Llyn family killed by a mob. Interestingly, the man who dethroned them wanted to avert this trope; he put Power Nullifiers on all of them and placed them in house arrest. Two sisters survived, though, thanks to the empress making a pact with spirits to save her two youngest daughters. Turns out that after a failed rescue attempt, the house guards decided to kill all the Llyns, and the whole incident was whitewashed.
  • Unsounded: The Foi-Hellicks were the noble family of Avelpit, ran the district's mine and otherwise ruled there. They were slaughtered by the greater Aldish government for their involvment in their district's attempt to break away from Alderode in a revolution that meant to abolish the castes and nobility in Avelpit and make it back into its own country.
  • The roleplays of White Dark Life involve, in part, the lunar wizard Mysta repeatedly attempting to kill Blaze and take her kingdom for himself. (This frequently ends with Mysta being immolated by Blaze herself and/or hurled around like a ragdoll by an extremely irate Silver.) After the Time Skip, Mysta also starts trying to murder Blaze's children and their love interests.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • After Alexander the Great's death, during the Macedonian Succession Wars which followed, his regents Perdiccas and Antipater tried to protect the King's wife, Roxana, who was pregnant at the time of his death. Eventually she came to Macedonia where she was cared for by Olympias, Alexander's mother. Roxana gave birth to King Alexander IV. However, Antipater's son Cassander wanted to grab the throne from Alexander's descendants and went to war against them. After the war with atrocities on both sides, Cassander finally ordered the execution of Roxana, Alexander IV, and then Olympias who was stoned to death by families of her victims after Cassander's own soldiers refused to carry out his order because they couldn't kill the mother of Alexander.
  • After Roman emperor Caligula was assassinated in 41 AD, the conspirators also killed his wife and his little daughter. They were too late to get Caligula's uncle Claudius, who was rescued from the palace by guards loyal to Caligula (he'd been hiding behind a curtain), and wound up becoming an emperor himself. This was the point at which the guards had realized that keeping their (very well-paid) jobs required having an emperor to protect and saw the supposedly-stupid Claudius as the perfect choice.
  • China has had several different ways of dealing with regime changes. Wang Mang, when he overthrew the Han dynasty, averted this trope and left the Liu family alive. This later came back to bite him. Xiao Yan of Liang took a middle road and only murdered Emperor He of Southern Qi’s brothers. However, several founders have massacred the old ruling family:
    • Liu Yu and Liu Zhun, the last emperors of the Liu Song dynasty, were controlled by the powerful general Xiao Daocheng. Eventually Xiao decided he wanted the throne, forced the eleven-year-old Liu Zhun to abdicate to him. A month later Liu Zhun was murdered and Xiao decided to massacre the rest of the Lius.
    • When Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou overthrew the rival kingdom of Northern Qi, after an initial period of treating the old Gao family well, framed the last emperor Gao Wei of treason, and had the entire family executed, including Gao Wei’s seven-year-old son.
    • Yang Jian ruled through Yuwen Chan, the child Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou (Emperor Wu’s grandson). He eventually forced the eight-year-old to abdicate to him and murdered all of his relatives. Then he had Emperor Jing quietly killed. However, Yang Jian averted this trope when he took over Southern Chen and Western Liang: instead of murdering the old ruling family, he integrated them into his government.
  • When the Abbasid Revolution overthrew the Umayyad Caliphate in 750 AD, the Abbasids killed most of the Umayyad family, meaning quite a lot of people; apparently, they declared amnesty for members of the family, eighty Umayyads gathered in Jaffa to receive pardons — and all of them were massacred. One cousin of the family, Abd ar-Rahman, escaped by the skin of his teeth, spent five years on the run, and eventually reached Moorish Spain, where he was adopted as a leader with royal prestige by a local faction, and ended up establishing the Emirate of Cordoba, which is therefore considered an extension of the Umayyad Dynasty. The Abbasids sent an invasion force to retake Spain and kill him, but Abd ar-Rahman defeated them and sent the heads of their leaders back to the Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur. He planned on retaking the Empire, but problems in Spain prevented him from ever being able to accomplish this.
  • When the Liao dynasty invaded Balhae, they hunted down and executed every member of Balhae's royal family that they could find. They didn't succeed in completely wiping out the family; Crown Prince Dae Gwang-hyeon survived and escaped to Goryeo (Korea), and many of his descendants are still living in South Korea today.
  • Henry VI of England was held captive by his Yorkist opponents for five years, 1465-70, but was not killed, presumably because his son Prince Edward was still free. Henry was recaptured in 1471 after having been briefly restored to the throne. Prince Edward was captured alive at the battle of Tewksbury and killed by the Yorkists. King Henry was then murdered in the Tower of London a couple of weeks later. The Lancastrian claim was taken up by a cousin, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who became Henry VII, founder of The House of Tudor.
  • In 1903, Alexander I and his wife Draga, King and Queen of Serbia, were massacred along with some of Draga's brothers and ministers by the Black Hand — the same organization whose assassination of Archduke Ferdinand would trigger World War I eleven years later.
  • The murders of the Romanovs by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War, after the October Revolution. They had initially hoped to put the Tsar on trial in the fashion of the French and English revolutionaries, but the Soviets at Ekaterinaburg, fearing the encroachment of White soldiers into their territory, ordered the execution of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their son Alexei, and all four of their daughters, as well as four servants, on July 17, 1918. All of the other Romanovs in the hands of the Bolsheviks were murdered as well. Nicholas's brother Michael was killed four days before the Tsar. Several other members of the extended Romanov family were thrown down a mineshaft near Alapayevsk the next day — despite the use of guns and hand grenades, most of them starved to death. Four more grand dukes were executed on January 28, 1919. A few members of the House of Romanov managed to escape Russia, and as a result, the house currently survives to the present day, but it’s hard to determine who the legitimate head of the household should be due to multiple morganatic marriages having taken place over the years reducing the number of possible claimants.
  • During the 1958 July Revolution that turned Iraq into a republic, the revolutionaries executed the Hashemite King Faisal II, his uncle and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, as well as his grandmother and two aunts. An aunt managed to slip out of the country alive, while the rest of the royal family were living overseas when the revolution happened, including the king's great uncle Zeid, who was welcomed by the still-Hashemite-ruled Jordan. Zeid and his descendants continue to claim the Iraqi throne to this day.
  • When the Kingdom of Laos was overthrown in 1975, King Sisavang Vatthana, Queen Khamphoui, Crown Prince Vong Savang, and the king's brothers were imprisoned in a camp where they disappeared. The communist government claimed they died of malaria, but it's almost certain they were murdered.
  • During the 1975 military coup in Bangladesh, the conspirators not only murdered founding father and sitting president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but also his wife, younger brother, three sons, two daughters-in-law, a nephew and his pregnant wife, plus a brother-in-law. The only survivors among Sheikh Mujib's immediate family were his two daughters, Hasina and Rehana, who were living in West Germany at the time. Both later returned to Bangladesh and entered politics, with Hasina becoming a prime minister, and under her rule, Mujib would get his legacy vindicated.
  • At the turn of the 21st century, Nepal inverted this: rather than a regime change causing a royal massacre, a royal massacre led to regime change. On June 1, 2001, Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra went on a killing spree in the royal palace, killing his father King Birendra, his mother Queen Aishwarya, and seven other members of the royal family before shooting himself. His shot left him alive but in a coma, technically making him king for three days until he also died, leaving his uncle Gyanendra on the throne. Gyanendra—who was suspected by some of orchestrating the rampage—proved to be a tyrannical and oppressive monarch who so thoroughly alienated the Nepalese people that they overthrew him and abolished the monarchy in 2007.