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The Kingslayer

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"Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes wasn't a pillar of society. He killed a king with his own hands. It needed doing, but the community, whatever that was, didn't always like the people who did what needed to be done or said what had to be said."

A character, for one reason or another, assassinates the King, the Emperor, the President, that one powerful guy whose position has massive mystique and glamor and charisma attached to it, no matter how badly they chose to use it. Usually the one to kill him is of the Praetorian Guard or someone equally close and trusted. However, it doesn't need to be a betrayal: it could perfectly well be an absolutely lawful execution after a fair trial. It won't matter to the people. They have slain a King.

The reason why killing a monarch has always been such a big deal is twofold: one aspect of it is that before the rise of nationalism, the monarch was the carrier of the state's sovereignty (afterwards, it was the people through the social contract). In simpler terms, the monarch was their country, so anyone attacking them automatically set themself against all the state institutions. Likewise, any revolution against the King was effectively de-legitimizing all the institutions (Church, Army, Titles) that had formerly depended on royal patronage, or which had legitimized royalty before. Kings who ruled by Divine Right were likewise considered to be ruling with God's approval—and anyone attacking an anointed monarch automatically infringed upon God's prerogative of deciding who is a suitable ruler and who should go. This is especially the case in nations like England and Russia, where royalty was part of the Church hierarchy as a whole. However, there were some theoreticians who allowed Tyrannicide. Additionally, monarchs had very good reason to disapprove of regicide, even towards rival monarchs, since they obviously wanted to discourage any thoughts of disposing of monarchs in general.

This is one reason why killing a president (while a serious crime and probably high treason — as is the murder of any high-ranking state official) does not pack the same punch in modern days, even if some Presidents have become glorified into King-like figures. However, because attacking the person and office of the King is essentially an action against the state, people in modern societies are not too keen on stories about attacking royalty either, even more so when royalty is brought to trial, since that would imply that any and every head-of-state and their respective governments can be brought to trial. A precedent which even the most advanced democracies are rarely interested in putting into practice or enforcing for a variety of reasons.

Expect them to never be allowed to forget it, and carry this moniker or a variation thereof for all their lives, if they don't get executed for it. In some instances this is an attempt to get a Klingon Promotion, possibly involving The Coup. May overlap with Hero Killer. Someone aiming to Kill the God is not satisfied with mere mortal monarchs, though the tropes may overlap if they target divine monarchs. This trope also usually doesn't apply to killing a King in battle. In this situation, the character is not the Kingslayer, but rather The Usurper (if they get Historical Villain Upgrade) and The Conqueror (if they get Historical Hero Upgrade). This is because there is a sense that defeat in battle and in combat is considered "fair play" as opposed to killing a King by assassination, or even by trial and legal execution.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch killed his father, Emperor Charles, by geassing "god" to erase the king from existence. No one would ever have found out about it (as only Suzaku and C.C. witnessed this) except Lelouch freely boasted about it to the Imperial Court, at a televised conference, in front of millions of people watching worldwide!
    • In the Grand Finale, Suzaku kills Emperor Lelouch as Zero which is intentional as part of their Zero Requiem plan. He also did this before when he was a child, murdering his father the Prime Minister to stop the Honor Before Reason fuelled destruction of Japan in the face of the power of Britannia's forces.
  • Kingdom: Being set in the Warring States Era, it is full of characters who are this or are trying to be this, usually to gain power for themselves. Seikyou and Ryofui attempt to kill and overthrow King Ei Sei of Qin unsuccessfully
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1999) makes it explicit than Ganondorf murdered Princess Zelda's father when he took over Hyrule.
  • In One Piece, Capone Bege gets a kick out of killing leaders. He began with gang leaders and moved up to world leaders once he gained power and influence. He has no aspiration to take their power, however. He just likes to off the person in charge because he likes watching the violence ensue as people fight for the throne.
  • Vinland Saga: After King Sweyn forces Askeladd to choose between no longer aiding his son Canute or having his ancestral homeland of Wales raided by the Danes, Askeladd picks a third option: decapitate Sweyn where he stands.

    Comic Books 
  • In Star Trek Countdown, Nero kills the Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire and the survivors of the Imperial Senate as they flee Romulus' destruction in the Hobus supernova in revenge for the Senate not listening to his and Spock's warnings earlier, costing the lives of billions.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy, the renegade Imperial Knight Eshkar Niin slew Empress Elliah Fel before being mortally wounded by his former pupil Antares Draco. Niin survived, unbeknownst to Draco, and defected to the Sith, renaming himself Darth Havok.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm goes with the fan theory that the Winter Soldier assassinated President Kennedy, with the Black Widow setting up Oswald as a patsy, then seducing Jack Ruby into killing him.
  • The primary human conflict in ''A different weasel makes a difference is known as "The War of the Eight Kings", so there are quite a few of these:
    • At the Battle of King's Landing, Joffrey Baratheon decides to start shooting his own deserting soldiers. The enraged soldiers and commoners present attack and literally tear him apart.
    • Balon Greyjoy and Renly Baratheon both die the same way as their book counterparts (see below).
    • During the Battle of Four Armies, the Royal party (including King Tommen Baratheon and Queen-Regent Cersei Lannister) enter the Great Sept of Baelor through a secret passage. The on edge guards wind up accidentally killing King Tommen. Cersei, having lost both of her sons and (falsely) believing her daughter to be dead, goes crazy and tries to kill Tyrion (whom she naturally blames). He kills her instead, making him qualify for this as well.
    • The aptly named battle Doom of Kings, is the final battle to determine who will rule the South. Euron Greyjoy kills Aegon Targaryen, and then Stannis Baratheon kills Euron. Leaving him and Robb Stark the only Kings to survive the war.
    • King-Beyond-The-Wall Mance Rayder is killed by Qhorin Halfhand.
    • Finally, the Others are lead by the Night's King and the Night's Queen. The Night's King is killed King Robb Stark, and the Night's Queen is killed by Ygritte.
  • From Behind Bars: The hyenas are subject to so much Fantastic Racism from lions because they killed the previous king of the Pridelands, Ahadi, for enforcing such strict traditional rules about hunting. Ahadi's heir and the current king, Mufasa, subsequently banished not only those specific hyenas but also banned all hyenas from the Pridelands.
  • Averted in A Scotsman in Egypt. There's a guy running around with the name of Niels "Tyrantslayer" Ebbesen, but his title is never explained, and he dies in battle against ordinary soldiers instead of the king. That'd be this chap.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: During his duel / Villainous Breakdown with the Wolf, Euron claims to have killed a king. The Wolf asks if it was through poison or paid assassins, then counters that this puts him in the company of an old woman (Olenna Tyrell, who had Joffrey poisoned), a one-armed man (Jaime, who killed Aerys the Mad), and a pig (the boar that killed Robert Baratheon). Oddly enough, in a later conversation with Jaime the Wolf doesn't seem to know about the deed for which Jaime became infamous (to be fair, he had two hands at that point).
  • Twilight Sparkle, Ace Attorney: The Royal Turnabout has Rarity being accused of trying to kill Prince Blueblood, which is even worse than performing a normal murder successfully. However, Princess Twilight reveals that Prince Blueblood's attempted murder was just an assault and, while attempted assassination of royalty calls for the same kind of punishment as a successful murder, "there is no law that makes assaulting royalty any different from assaulting anypony else", and therefore the true culprit got left out with a lighter charge.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Yellow Dwarf", the titular antagonist kills the King of the Gold Mines with his own sword when he catches him talking to the captive Princess Toutebelle.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Rourke punches the king in the stomach to make him tell him where the crystal chamber is. Later on, the king dies from internal bleeding.
  • The Lion King:
    • In The Lion King, Scar murders his brother Mufasa for the throne, then later tricking his nephew Simba into believing that he is the one responsible.
    • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, this is the Outlanders' plan. Zira has raised her son Kovu with the intention of having him kill Simba and take his throne. Subverted when Kovu falls for Simba's daughter and decides to not betray him.
  • NIMONA (2023): Main character Ballister Boldheart has been framed for the murder of his nation’s queen. He seeks to catch the real killer and clear his name.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 47 Ronin, during the climax battle in Lod Kira's castle, the leader of the ronin managed to defeat Lord Kira and take his head, signifying their victory.
  • Flash Gordon. Flash kills Emperor Ming by driving a rocket ship's prow into his back.
  • The end of Inglourious Basterds sees Adolf Hitler get gunned down by Ulmer and the Bear Jew.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • In the prologue, the Dark Lord Sauron kills King Elendil in the Battle of the Last Alliance with a single blow. His son, Isildur, then takes up his sword and slices off the Ring from Sauron's hand.
    • The Witch King of Angmar mortally wounds King Theoden during the Battle of Pelennor Fields. His daughter, Eowyn, slays him before Thoden's final moments.
  • Return of the Jedi. Darth Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the reactor shaft to his doom to stop him from killing Luke.
  • The Return of the Musketeers is a loose adaptation of 20 Years After (see below). King Charles I of England is to be executed, so Queen Anne of Austria sends d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Raoul to rescue him. They attempt a rescue by knocking out the executioner, but Justine de Winter takes his place and beheads Charles.
  • Among those killed the first time Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath in Shin Godzilla are the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: The assassination of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon threatens to derail the burgeoning peace process between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. While Kirk initially takes the fall for it, Spock launches an investigation aboard the Enterprise to find the two hitmen, which he does after they've been killed to protect the rest of the conspirators.

  • In 20 Years After, Milady de Winter's son Mordaunt becomes involved in the English Civil War and commits regicide, executing King Charles I, in spite of the efforts of d'Artagnan and the three former musketeers to prevent it.
  • The renegade officers from the disbanded French Foreign Legion hire an English assassin in Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal specifically because he is known to have killed some prominent targets. Although one of these was a tin-pot dictator, he maintained a cadre of bodyguards and took many precautions against assassination. "The Jackal" nevertheless managed to waste the despot. This kingslayer reputation lets The Jackal command a half-million dollars as his fee, which the renegades pay in full.
  • Discworld. "Old Stoneface" Vimes, ancestor of the current Vimes, chopped off the King's head after he was sentenced to death by a tribunal for his horrific crimes. He was the only one with the balls to do it. He was later executed, his body getting the Osiris treatment. His bad reputation was so powerful, his descendants many generations later are still being bugged about it.
    Sam Vimes: (testily) It was only one king. It wasn't as though it was a habit.
  • At the end of Dragon Blood, Garranon kills high king Jakoven, the man who killed his father, was responsible for the soldiers who raped Garranon and his younger brother, and took the teenage Garranon as his "beloved". We never learn whether he lives it down, as all characters present when it happens concur that Jakoven needed killing.
  • Isaac Asimov's Forward the Foundation: In "Cleon I", the (retroactively recognized as) last good Emperor of the Galactic Empire is murdered by Gruber, a palace minion who killed him for getting promoted against his will to Chief Gardener, rather than for political reasons. However, the result is the same, drawing the Empire one step further towards the impending chaos that psychohistory sees coming.
  • Heimskringla: Three years after King Olaf Haraldsson's death the Battle of Stiklestad, Kalf Arneson, one of Olaf's chief enemies at Stiklestad, conspires with other Norwegian chiefs to bring back Olaf's son Magnus from exile, overthrow the Danish rule, and make Magnus king instead. Kalf is subsequently one of Magnus' closest advisors; however their relationship deteriorates until Magnus forces Kalf to visit the battlefield of Stiklestad with him and tell him how his father Olaf died. From Kalf's account of the scene, Magnus realizes that Kalf witnessed Olaf's death up close and takes this as evidence that Kalf himself has given Olaf the deadly wound. Kalf denies it, but fearing Magnus' anger he leaves Norway to live in exile. Years later, Magnus' successor Harald (Olaf's half-brother) allows Kalf to return on the condition that Kalf must join Harald's war expeditions; soon after, Kalf is killed in battle with the Danes under circumstances that suggest Harald was trying to get him killed.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • King Roger III of Manticore officially died in a grav-skiing accident, but Manticore's security agencies are privately well aware that it was an assassination by the People's Republic of Haven in hopes that Queen Elizabeth III would be more pliable. This backfired, resulting in Elizabeth openly hating Haven. Haven's next attempt to annex Manticore, during the main series, is a straight-up invasion and a miserable failure.
    • At the end of The Short Victorious War the Citizens' Rights Union led by Robert Pierre executes a coup d'etat against the government of Haven, killing Hereditary President Harris and most of his family with an airstrike at the outset and taking out the rest of the Legislaturalist class in the following purges. They then frame the People's Navy for the whole shebang as having attempted a Military Coup.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay first subverts this then plays it straight, by having Katniss refuse to kill President Snow... and then killing President Coin.
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle:
    • Murtagh gains this title after killing Hrothgar, King of the Dwarves, in Eldest. Galbatorix warns him not to make a habit of it.
    • In the end, it is Eragon who kills Galbatorix, the Big Bad and current ruler of Alagaesia.
    • Galbatorix himself is one: Oromis mentions to Eragon that Galbatorix's first act upon defeating the Riders was to descend on the city of Illirea, capital of the Broddering Kingdom, depose and murder King Angrenost, then claim Angrenost's crown and kingdom as the first part of his Empire.
  • Kvothe, the protagonist of The Kingkiller Chronicle, alludes in the telling of his story to this happening (but as a trilogy in progress, we won't find out how until the third book comes out.) Some regard him as a hero, some as a miscreant, but whatever public opinion, he had a role in starting a war and is living under a false identity.
  • In Mentats of Dune, Josef Venport, the director of Venport Holdings, the only foldspace company to use Navigators, lures Emperor Salvador, whom Venport views as weak and incompetent, onto Arrakis and leaves him in a spice harvester to be eaten by a sandworm. Despite Venport's best efforts, Salvador's brother Roderick discovers Venport's role in Salvador's death and declares him an outlaw as soon as he's crowned Emperor. In Navigators of Dune, Roderick sends a sizable chunk of the Imperial forces to take Korhal, the headquarters of Venport Holdings, punish Josef Venport, and learn the secret of creating Navigators. However, the EsconTran foldspace carrier ends up popping up in the Korhal system too close to the sun and is destroyed along with over a hundred Imperial warships. For his part, Venport simply can't understand why Roderick is taking Salvador's death so personally. After all, Venport is the one who's responsible for the much more competent Roderick becoming Emperor and hopes they can work together to crush the fanatical Butlerians, who are responsible for the death of Roderick's daughter.
  • October Daye technically has never killed a king or queen, but was responsible for the ouster of a false queen and false king in two different kingdoms and getting them replaced by the rightful rulers. After that she has a reputation of being a "kingbreaker," and there's snarky comments about whether or not she'd be allowed to visit other kingdoms ever again.
  • The Powder Mage Trilogy kicks off with Field Marshal Tamas organizing a revolution and executing the King and most of the aristocracy. The King's surviving court mage is under a magical obligation to avenge the King's death by killing his killer, but doesn't want to kill Tamas, who is among other things the father of his best friend. So he finds the actual headsman and kills him, fulfilling the technical requirements of the geas.
  • The Saga of the Jomsvikings: Palnatóki, foster-father to the young Svein Forkbeard, instructs his foster-son to raise a rebellion against his own father Harald Gormsson, King of Denmark. In the night after the first (indecisive) battle, Palnatóki sneaks near Harald's camp and kills him with a well-aimed arrow. With Harald dead, his troops submit to Svein, and Svein is made king. As king, Svein hosts a remembrance feast for his father at which he presents the arrow which killed Harald and interrogates all guests about what they know about Harald's murder. Palnatóki bluntly admits that he killed Harald, upon which Svein at once (even though he owes his kingship to him) wants him killed. Palnatóki and his men can escape from the hall, but go into exile and never return to Denmark.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantasy epic about the game of thrones, which (as Cersei Lannister puts it) "you win or you die." It's also a series where Anyone Can Die. Consequently, there are quite a number of regicides running around:
    • Jaime Lannister's In-Series Nickname is "The Kingslayer". In the backstory, he killed the arguably evil, and unarguably mad, King Aerys II Targaryen. In doing so, he ended a massive Civil War and saved over half a million lives, as the Mad King had hatched a Taking You with Me plot that was intended to burn the entire capital city to the ground. That being said, he was also a member of the king's Praetorian Guard — and, more importantly, only one other character (and the audience) have ever actually learned his motivations. As a result, he is reviled throughout Westeros as The Oathbreaker, Once Done, Never Forgotten; plus, he's also a scion of the arriviste Lannister family that the rebels saw as "Johnny come latelies" who parlayed their opportunistic actions to grab royal favor. And, of course, he's engaging in Twincest and, when a child found out about it, he threw that child out a window. In short, he is seen by many as a disagreeable Karma Houdini who should at the very least be Reassigned to Antarctica rather than continue his career as a royal bodyguard. A big part of his Character Arc is deciding to show the world — not by self-serving excuses, but by word and deed — that he is more than an opportunist.
    • Brienne undergoes similar prejudice when she is thought to have killed Renly Baratheon, having been found in his tent with him just after he dies. In reality he was murdered by a shadow assassin conjured by a witch who was in league with Renly's brother Stannis Baratheon, though as Stannis had more right to the Iron Throne, and Renly was clearly The Usurper and intended to kill Stannis that day this doesn't seem so great a crime. Later Renly's secret lover Ser Loras Tyrell meets Brienne and demanded she be punished for Renly's death, even though the Tyrells are currently allied with the Lannister regime, which Renly intended to overthrow.
    • Stannis may be considered partially guilty of the deaths of all the other four Kings in the War of the Five Kings, though from his perspective they are all usurpers. After his defeat at the Blackwater, with the assistance of the Red Witch Melisandre, Stannis uses three leeches filled with King's Blood thrown onto a brazier to curse Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark. All three of them die shortly after this curse.
    • Balon Greyjoy apparently dies when he falls of a bridge during a storm. However, shortly after his death, Balon's villainous brother Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy returns to the Iron Isles and takes control of them. A vision by the Ghost of High Heart implies that a Faceless Man was hired by Euron to perform the deed. The apparent assassin was a member of an organization who specialize in deaths that look like accidents.
    • Lord Roose Bolton murders his King Robb Stark during The Red Wedding, which he planned with Lord Walder Frey. Following this assassination, the Boltons take control of the North.
    • At his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, Joffrey Baratheon is poisoned by his grandmother-in-law Olenna Tyrell, as she fears his cruelty towards her granddaughter. A reread of the positioning during the wedding, indicated that one of Margaery's brothers, Garlan Tyrell, may have carried out the poisoning. Joffrey's uncle Tyrion Lannister is blamed for the murder and eventually convicted, but escapes Westeros before the sentence can be carried out.
    • Queen Cersei Lannister is the mastermind behind the death of her husband, King Robert Baratheon. She let her cousin, Lancel, give more potent drink to Robert, which got him killed by a boar during their hunting trip. Later on, Lancel wasn't proud for what he had done and took a Heel–Faith Turn which got Cersei exposed for adultery and murder by the Church Militant.
    • There have been numerous historical examples:
      • When Aegon and his sisters conquered Westeros, they also killed the kings who ruled over the Reach (Mern IX Gardener), the Iron Islands and the Riverlands (Harren Hoare), and the Stormlands (Argilac Durrandon). Loren I Lannister of the Westerlands, Torrhen Stark of the North, and Sharra Arryn of the Vale chose to bend the knee, and as a result their houses were spared and allowed to rule as vassals in Aegon's new realm, the Seven Kingdoms.
      • Queen Visenya might have poisoned her nephew and stepson, Aenys I, to make way for her son, Maegor, to ascend to the Iron Throne. While the rumor is unconfirmed, Visenya did provide major backing for Maegor while she was alive, to the point that his reign began to fall apart after she died.
      • Maegor himself was found dead in the Red Keep's throne room during the rebellion led by his nephew Jaehaerys, his neck impaled by one of the spikes of the Iron Throne. To this day, nobody knows how it happened, and theories ranging from his wife Elinor Costayne (whose first husband was killed by Maegor's forces) to a member of the Kingsguard to a random smallfolk who desired revenge against the king being possible suspects. Ominously, some even believe that the Iron Throne itself killed Maegor, having decided that he was unworthy of the crown.
      • Aegon II was poisoned as Cregan Stark approached the city towards the end of the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Even though Cregan was fighting against Aegon II, he still felt a King's murder should be punished. He arrested many of those present, sending most of them to the Wall, executing those who refused to take the Black, but pardoning Corlys Velaryon under political pressure. Who poisoned Aegon is still unclear though.
      • Daeron I was assassinated during an expedition to conquer Dorne, being ambushed by a bunch of Dornishmen whom he convened for a peace meeting.
      • Baelor the Beloved could have been poisoned by his uncle Viserys II, who was the next King, but may have acted as he had been running the realm efficiently for years and Baelor's pious policies threatened this (some believe Baelor wished to invade the North and the Iron Islands to convert them to the Faith of the Seven by force). However many people believe Baelor died from his excessive fasting.
      • Ironically, it was rumored that Viserys II, who died a year after Baelor I, was poisoned by his son Aegon IV "The Unworthy".
      • Maekar I was crushed to death by a boulder while quelling the Peake Uprising in the Reach.
  • In the Star Trek Novelverse Federation President Nanietta Bacco survives one attempt on her life by a Breen assassin in Cold Equations: Silent Weapons, which proves to be part of a ruse to divert Starfleet. She's then successfully assassinated in The Fall: Revelation and Dust at the new Deep Space 9's opening ceremony. The Tzenkethi are initially fingered (like the Breen, they're members of the rival alliance the Typhon Pact), but in fact it was done by the True Way (a Cardassian terrorist group) with the connivance of Councillor Ishan Anjar of Bajor who was trying to bring about a more militaristic Federation regime (ironically to protect Bajor from the Cardassians).
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Silmarillion, the dwarven jewelsmiths who killed the great elven king Thingol. It started the whole Elves Versus Dwarves shtick in the whole of Middle-Earth (and, after that, in many other fantasy universes that ripped off the Elves Versus Dwarves shtick from Professor Tolkien). Now that is a regicide with repercussions!
    • It takes a king, Isildur, to slay Sauron, the Sorcerous Overlord of the dark forces in the backstory of The Lord of the Rings. However, Sauron's One Ring of Power acts as a Soul Jar, keeping him kind of sort of alive until Frodo Baggins goes on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Ultimately, though, it's Gollum who destroys the Ring and Sauron—and he does it completely by accident.
  • Clan leaders dying is par to the course in Warrior Cats. They have nine lives to help work around that, but even then a very serious injury can take multiple or even all lives at once.
  • In Wings of Fire, this is the traditional method of royal succession for most of the dragon tribes: a daughter, granddaughter, sister or niece of the queen may claim the throne by challenging the queen to a duel to the death and defeating her. The main conflict of the first story arc, the War of SandWing Succession, was caused by Queen Oasis being killed by a human, leaving her three daughters to start a civil war for the throne, eventually dragging the other tribes into it as well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • "The Coming of Shadows": As the Centauri Emperor Turhan was making a state visit to Babylon 5, G'Kar was making plans to kill him at the reception held in his honor in revenge for the prior Centauri occupation of Narn, but Turhan, already near death, collapsed on his way there and died shortly thereafter.
      G'Kar: I was ready. I had prepared myself, I had made my peace with the Universe, I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own. Never in my life have I seen a worse case of timing!
    • In Season 4 Londo Mollari conspires with G'Kar and several members of the Centauri court to assassinate the insane Emperor Cartagia. In the end it's his aide Vir Cotto who delivers the killing blow in "Into the Fire"; he feels considerable anguish about it afterwards. Later, when it looks like the Vorlons are going to destroy Centauri Prime because the emperor-in-waiting, Londo, was a former associate of the Shadows, Londo tries to convince Vir to kill him, but the Vorlon planet killer is recalled to join the battle with the Alliance at Coriana VI in the nick of time.
    • In a Bad Future seen in "War Without End", Emperor Londo arranges to have G'Kar kill him to free the Centauri Republic of the Drakh keeper controlling his actions. Londo has drunk enough alcohol to put the keeper into as stupor for this, but it wakes up partway through and strangles G'Kar in a Mutual Kill. This is also implied to have happened in the prime timeline during the Time Skip between season 5 and the Distant Finale "Sleeping in Light", as Vir has succeeded Londo as Emperor by that time.
    • President Clark and Mr. Morden both participated in the death of President Santiago, who dies when EarthForce One explodes. The proof came from a transmission that Ivanova managed to capture with the Great Machine. Only Clark is seen, commenting how he's wanted Santiago dead for a long time, but Morden's voice is heard assuring him that EarthForce One will not return and that the power is now Clark's.
  • On Forever one Victim of the Week turns out to be a king-in-exile. He was only a child when he was deposed over 50 years ago and was forced to flee to the United States. Dying of cancer, he decided to apply for permission to return to his home country so he could die and be buried there. The day he makes his wish public, he is murdered. Henry tries to determine if the man was murdered because he was a king or because of more prosaic reasons.
  • Game of Thrones, the HBO Adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire above, not only outpaced the books eventually, but added a few twists of its own:
    • Unlike in the books which was rumored that a Faceless Man, sent by Euron, killed his brother and the king of the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy, Euron is the one who kills him personally by pushing him off the bridge at Pyke during a rainy day.
    • In the Season 6 finale, Cersei Lannister blows the Sept of Baelor, killing Queen Maegery Tyrell and her brother and father. She also indirectly responsible for the death of her son, King Tommen Baratheon, who jumps off the Red Keep after learning of his wife's demise.
    • In the series finale, Jon Snow kills Queen Daenerys Targaryen after he realizes that she is already Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. This action leads Grey Worm and the Unsullied to arrest him, culminating for the newly appointed King Bran Stark to send Jon into exile at the far North.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O has one in the form of Kamen Rider Geiz's Geiz Revive form, who, in an alternate timeline, killed Oma Zi-O, by using its Gouretsu and Shippu forms plus it having a instantaneous form change mechanic allowed him to keep Zi-O from getting a clear advantage, by negating Zi-O II's Combat Clairvoyance with pure speed, then changing to power once in close combat. Problem is, it's a Deadly Upgrade, as Geiz Revive's powers comes from it contracting and super expanding time around Geiz's body.
  • The White Queen: King Edward IV assassinates Henry VI in the Tower of London with a Vorpal Pillow, accompanied by his brothers Richard of Gloucester and George of Clarence as his accomplices (the former holds the victim's legs down, while the latter pays off a guard for his silence and to leave the premises).

  • Peter Gabriel's "Family Snapshot" is narrated from the perspective of an anonymous gunman who's apparently attempting to kill the President of the United States. The parallels with Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of JFK are obvious, but Gabriel's claimed inspiration was Arthur Bremer, who attempted to assassinate Alabama governor and Democratic presidential candidate George Wallace (the attempt failed, but Wallace was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life). The shooter denies being politically motivated; his real desire is for notoriety.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Perseus kills King Polydectes by turning him to stone using Medusa's severed head. Since Polydectes had threatened and abused Perseus' mother while he was away, it's pretty easy to call what he did justified.
    • King Minos was killed by Daedalus with the assistance of the Sicilian King Cocalus' daughters. While he was taking a bath, they scalded him to death with boiling water.
    • During the Sack of Troy at the end of The Trojan War, Achilles' son Neoptolemus kills King Priam at an altar of Zeus.
  • Happens on numerous occasions in The Bible.
    • Ehud arranged a meeting with Eglon, the king of Moab. He told the king he had a secret message, so the king told his attendants to leave the two of them alone. Once they'd left the room, Ehud stabbed Eglon, locked the doors and snuck out.
    • A nameless Amelekite tells David that he has killed King Saul (at Saul's own request, no less). Since Saul had been trying to kill David, the Amelekite clearly expects to be rewarded for this. Instead, David has him executed for daring to kill God's anointed king.
    • Nadab, second king of Samaria, was killed by a military officer named Baasha.
    • Jehu managed a two-for-one, killing king Jehoram of Samaria and mortally wounding king Ahaziah of Judah while they were in talks.

  • The plot of The Chronicles Of Oz starts when Dorothy accidentally kills a queen when her house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East. No one believes that Dorothy unintentionally did what others had failed to do for decades. The death accidentally leads to a civil war in the Munchkin Kingdom between the Witch's enemies and her followers.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Seth Rollins is a giant Game of Thrones fan, and so in his storyline feud with Triple H (known as The King of Kings), he began talking about how he was going to become "the Kingslayer". He debuted a new "Kingslayer" shirt (which also had a red lion on it) and upon his Wrestlemania 33 victory over HHH, has been officially dubbed this by the commentary team.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech, Stefan Amaris is infamous for killing the First Lord of the Star League, ending the golden age of humanity and plunging it to the succession wars.
  • Traveller edition MegaTraveller. Archduke Dulinor personally murders Emperor Strephon in an attempt to seize the Iridium Throne, which causes the Third Imperium to dissolve into civil war.

  • Older Than Feudalism. In Oedipus Rex Oedipus the King of Thebes has to find out who killed the previous king in order to stop a famine. Turns out it was Oedipus himself, though he didn't know it.
  • William Shakespeare
    • Macbeth. Macbeth murders King Duncan in order to become king himself.
    • Hamlet. Hamlet's father King Hamlet is murdered by Claudius, and Hamlet later murders King Claudius.
    • Julius Caesar. Caesar is assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and the other conspirators (precisely to stop him from becoming a king).
    • The title character in Richard III is an accomplished kingslayer: in Henry VI Part 3 he personally murders Henry VI (having already taken part in the murder of Henry's son and heir), and in his own eponymous play he arranges the murder of his nephew, Edward V (along with the many other non-kings he kills or has killed). He manages to avoid falling victim to the trope himself, though, as he's killed in battle (as he was in Real Life).

    Video Games 
  • In Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, it is implied that when Hugin and Munin went online, that their first objective was to eliminate Rosa Cossette d’Elise, as the Erusean Radicals had no further use for her after Farbanti had fallen. She somehow survived, and warned the remaining Osean and Erusean pilots that one of them was still flying after Trigger shot down the other.
  • In Crusader Kings ascension by assassination is a regular occurrence. Getting caught at it significantly impacts your relations with other rulers and vassals. And if the victim was a relative and you get caught you gain the Kinslayer trait that permanently lowers your Diplomacy rating by 3. The sequel gives you a unique sobriquet (defaulting to "the Kingslayer", probably as an ASOIAF Shout-Out) if you execute your own king or emperor rank liege.
  • Prior to the events of Diablo King Leoric was killed by his own Knights, specifically Lachdanan, when they realized the depth of his madness and that he had become a threat to his own people. It did not end there, however. After he was risen as the Skeleton King he was killed again by his own son, Prince Aidan. He rose again when the Fallen Star caused the dead to stir and this time was killed by the Nephelem, for good this time. Or so the prophecy says.
  • Dishonored: Daud, the leader of the Whalers, was hired to murder Empress Jessamine Kaldwin by Lord Regent Hiram Burrows, who wanted to silence her in fear to hide the fact he was responsible for the rat plague. He saw it as another job, justifying that he's killed plenty of nobles in his line of work, but he later comes to greatly regret his decision. Out of guilt, he protects her heir, Emily, from having her body hijacked by the witch Delilah, and when he encounters Corvo, he confesses his guilt and doesn't resist to being killed out of revenge.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, you can let Grand Duchess Florianne kill the Orlesian Empress Celene in order to let Grand Duke Gaspard take over as the new Emperor.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls In-Universe Books: The In-Game Novel 2920: The Last Year of the First Era, Loosely Based On An In-Universe True Story, ends with the assassination of Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III by the sister of his ex-mistress, in revenge for her unjust execution for treason. This happens with the backing of the Dunmer assassins' guild, the Morag Tong, with the tacit support of the Akaviri ambassador who then takes over rulership of the Empire as Potentate.
    • A few hundred years later, the Colovian King Cuhlecain, with the aid of his Dragonborn General Talos, had re-captured the Imperial City and was preparing to take the throne as Emperor, the first since the death of Reman III. However, a Nightblade from High Rock assassinated Cuhlecain and attempted to assassinate Talos, slashing his throat (which prevented him from using the Thu'um ever again.) Talos survived and would be crowned Emperor in Cuhlecain's place, taking the name Tiber Septim. (At least, that's the story according to Imperial orthodox history. More "heretical" stories say that Talos had a hand in the assassination, and may have even murdered Cuhlecain himself in order to usurp the throne.)
    • In Oblivion, the main antagonists are the Mythic Dawn Apocalypse Cult, who become notorious in the opening for successfully assassinating Emperor Uriel Septim VII, along with his three publicly known sons, as part of their plan to allow a Daedric Prince to invade Nirn. This notoriety lasts for hundreds of years (as you find out if you do a particular sidequest in Skyrim).
    • During the 200 year Time Skip between Oblivion and Skyrim, the Thalmor assassinate Potentate Ocato (who served the latter Septim Emperors as High Chancellor and Imperial Battlemage) as part of their grand scheme to destabilize the Empire. It works, as no other ruler is able to hold the crumbling Septim Empire together again. The Thalmor, now the leaders of the Altmeri government, secede from the Empire, annex Valenwood, and re-form the Aldmeri Dominion of old.
    • Skyrim:
      • Just prior to the events of the game, Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak set off the Civil War by killing Torygg, the High King of Skyrim. Skyrim is fiercely divided on whether this was a lawful duel for the High King's throne in the old way (as Ulfric and those under his banner see it) or a murder and usurpation of the throne due to Ulfric's use of the Thu'um against Torygg (as the Empire sees it).
      • The climax of the Dark Brotherhood questline has the player contracted to assassinate Emperor Titus Mede II during a state visit. Titus chooses to Face Death with Dignity, requesting only that the player next turn their blade on the person who requested his death. In the backstory, the Dark Brotherhood is also responsible for the assassination of Emperor Pelagius in the 3rd Era.
  • Final Fantasy XII has the infamous knight Basch fon Ronsenburg, universally despised for murdering King Raminas after the king's surrender to the Archadian Empire at the end of the war two years before the main plot. The murder, motivated by misguided patriotism, ended up serving as a pretext for the Empire to assume complete control over the kingdom as its own province. Turns out the poor guy didn't do it, and rather than being executed as is publicly believed he's been locked in a dungeon for the past two years.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Patch 2.55 ends with Nanamo Ul Namo, sultana of Ul'dah, apparently murdered by a poisoned drink and the Player Character and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn blamed for her death. However, the Heavensward expansion reveals that it was subverted — Lolorito of the Syndicate learned of Teledji Adaledji's plan to murder Nanamo and was able to have the poison swapped with something that simulated death. He claims he would have cleared the heroes' names had they not bolted, but seeing as Lolorito is a massive Jerkass, it's hard to believe he would have done so.
  • King Ferid and Queen Arshtat are killed in Suikoden V during a coup. Despite the coup, it's strongly believed that Georg Prime killed them. In reality, Arshtat used her powers to fight back against the raiders, but lost control and killed several others, including Ferid. Georg Prime kills her to stop her rampage.
  • Fire Emblem: In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones the queen of Jehanna, Ismaire, is killed by Caellach when she refuses to give up a Sacred Stone. In her dying breath she reveals her missing heir is Joshua, who ran off some time ago but has been recruited by the player's party.
  • Shiro Tagachi, the Big Bad of Guild Wars: Factions, became mad after watching a prophecy sent by the evil god Abaddon and killed Canthan emperor Angsiyan, who he bodyguarded before.
  • The unnamed King in King's Heir: Rise to the Throne is killed very early in the story in a coup. The coup also involves pinning the blame on the Ulmer brothers, one of which is unknowingly the true heir to the kingdom, although the person who actually killed the king is Badrick, the Queen's brother.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: It's not shown but it's heavily implied that Ganondorf killed the King of Hyrule when he took over, given how Impa took Zelda and bolted out of Hyrule Castle with Ganondorf hot on their heels and in the future no mention is made of the king at all, only the princess.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: During Zant's takeover he has the ruler of the Zoras, Queen Rutela, executed as an example to her people prior to freezing the Zora's Domain over. She appears as a spirit to Link, asking him to help her son, who is now the last member of the Zora royal family.
  • Long Live the Queen's plot kicks off with the death of the queen of Nova by a Lumen named Togami, which makes the princess Elodie next in line for the throne, but being too young to take it means that the goal of the game is to prevent this trope from happening to her. Poor choice of actions can result in being killed by Togami, a different Lumen that has been pissed off too much, an Ax-Crazy nobleman out to avenge his family, and spies poisoning you. Elodie's father, the dead queen's husband, can also get murdered by Togami in a particular branch.
  • In the climax of Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, Kerrigan storms the Korhal Palace and kills Emperor Arcturus Mengsk in a violent psionic explosion, an act that ends his tyranny over his people.
  • In RuneScape, your objective in the aptly named Regicide quest is to assassinate King Tyras. As it turns out later, King Tyras was one of the good guys.
    • During The Fremennik Isles quest, the player must slay the Ice Troll king and bring back his head to the burgher of Neitiznot.
  • Star Trek Online: Chancellor J'mpok of the Klingon Empire attained his current post by killing Chancellor Martok under questionable circumstances in 2393. To wit, the two went into a closed-door meeting to try and avert a civil war in the Empire after a long power struggle between the pro-Federation moderates led by the House of Martok and the traditionalist Klingon hardliners under J'mpok. Three hours later J'mpok emerged saying Martok was dead and that he was now chancellor. This did absolutely nothing to end the power struggle: J'mpok's supporters naturally claim that he killed Martok in honorable combat, but Martok's widow Sirella has sworn revenge. Years later, the truth was ultimately revealed - J'mpok did kill Martok in honorable combat, but Torg of House Torg hijacked his body, revived him and tortured him. When Martok came back to the Empire, he decided to let J'mpok keep the position because he really didn't want it back.
  • Discussed in Sonic and the Black Knight. Merlina warns Sonic that if he takes up Caliburn and defeats the tyrannical King Arthur he "will forever be known as the worst of knights: slayer of kings". Sonic brushes it off, simply saying he "can't be the hero every time".
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • The Jedi Knight's story ends with them confronting and killing the Sith Emperor himself. Come The Shadow of Revan, though, it turns out he's Not Quite Dead, and now his spirit has escaped into the galaxy to get up to who knows what sort of mischief.
    • Happens again in Knights of the Fallen Empire where the Outlander kills Emperor Valkorion, and Valkorion happens to be the Sith Emperor's latest incarnation. He is imprisoned in carbonite, but Valkorion resides in the Outlander's body. They finally finish the deed for good at the end of Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  • Zigzagged in Tales of Xillia. At various points in the story, the Kings of both major nations, Gaius and Nachtigal, find themselves aligned against the player, and both show up as bosses (Gaius actually ends up being the Final Boss). However, the player doesn't actually kill either of them—Nachtigal appears to be undergoing a Heel–Face Turn after his boss battle, but is then assassinated by a third party. Gaius, on the other hand, does undergo a Heel-Face Turn after surviving the Final Boss Battle, and he becomes the protagonists' most influential ally in the epilogue.
  • Warcraft:
    • Garona Halforcen killed Stormwind's King Llane between the events of the first two games, right in front of his son, Prince Varian. She had actually formed a bond of trust between them but due to magical controls placed on her mind, when the Shadow Council directed her to kill the king, she had no choice.
    • Warcraft III's human campaign ends with Arthas, post-Face–Heel Turn, murdering his father, the king of Lordaeron, to cement the Undead Scourge's takeover of that part of Azeroth.
    • "Kingslayer" is a title which can be earned in World of Warcraft for killing the Lich King.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, naturally. Geralt gains this reputation when he's discovered standing over the body of the king whom he served as bodyguard. He has to track down the real assassin in order to clear his name. Depending on how you play, he can have a hand in killing another king, although he does not deliver the final blow.

    Web Animation 
  • The prologue of Assassin School shows that John Tanner was slain by the Red Units after the destruction of a universe, truly showing their villainy. The pre-episode flashback scenes point to the fact that the murder motive was that Tanner is collecting evidence of who the Red Units are and what they are.
  • This is the entire premise of Double King. The titular character kills many kings and queens on his quest for crowns.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • On the Dream SMP, Technoblade has killed 4 people on the SMP while they were in positions in power; he accidentally killed Schlatt, the Emperor/President of Manberg, when the latter got caught in the crossfire of his Secretary of State, Tubbo's execution, he killed Tubbo again after he was named president by Wilbur after they retook L'Manberg from Schlatt's dictatorship, and he assassinated George after Dream made him king of the Greater Dream SMP. The latter two are not considered canon deaths, though.
    • Quackity also gets in on the action after one mistreatment too many by his boss and romantic partner, when he assassinates Schlatt while escaping the country after his resignation as Vice President of Manberg, resulting in the loss of Schlatt's second canon life.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: In "My Three Suns" Fry accidentally kills the emperor of Trisol, whose population are water-people, by drinking him. This makes Fry the new Emperor. But Regicide is fairly common on that planet with most Emperors only lasting a week until they're killed, often by being drunk, half were drunk at their coronations and someone even tries drinking Fry. It turns out the Emperor is still alive inside Fry, almost getting Fry killed when he orders his people to let him out. Finally Fry is able to cry the Emperor out.
  • Invader Zim: The cancelled episode "The Trial" would have revealed that Zim accidentally killed two previous Tallests by means of creating a blob monster that he immediately lost control of, leading to it eating them.
  • The Red Lotus in The Legend of Korra wish to destroy all forms of government, and their leader Zaheer manages to personally murder the current Earth Queen.
  • Steven Universe: The Diamonds are Homeworld's rulers, revered as being perfect lifeforms, and it's revealed at the end of the third season that Rose Quartz killed Pink Diamond to prevent Homeworld from destructively colonizing Earth. The season 5 episode "The Trial" explores this further, where a Zircon suggests that one of the other Diamonds was involved in Pink Diamond's death. Later, the actual answer is that "Rose" was Pink Diamond's Secret Identity, which she assumed after Faking the Dead.

    Real Life 
  • In a bizarre trend running from William Henry Harrison until Ronald Reagan, every US president elected in a year ending in 0 died in office, four of them by assassination. The men who killed them:
    • Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth, over anger at the South losing The American Civil War.
    • James Garfield: Charles Guiteau, over being passed over for a government position. At that time the president was responsible for appointing all federal jobs. Garfield's assassination prompted the creation of the modern civil service.
    • William McKinley: Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who had lost his job in the 1893 economic depression and believed he was standing up for the common man (drawing inspiration from the assassination of King Umberto I of Italy by an anarchist the previous year).
    • John F. Kennedy: Lee Harvey Oswald, of course, but his motives are unclear since he was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby two days later.
    • Narrowly averted with Ronald Reagan, who was shot by John Hinckley Jr., but survived in part due to improvements in trauma surgery since the Kennedy assassinationnote . There's also an anecdotal subversion where Reagan was at a press conference after these attempts on his life and a photographer's flash bulb burst; he visibly flinched.
  • Red October. Yakov Yurovsky and his firing squad, who executed Emperor Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian royal family. There is controversy among historians whether this hit was ordered by Vladimir Lenin himself or a spur-of-the-moment decision made by the local Soviet in fear of the arrival of a White Army contingent at Yekaterinburg since no official orders from Lenin had ever been given. This action was highly controversial even among leftists who felt that at the very least the English and French Revolutionaries convened a trial and put the sentencing to vote. Indeed, the Bolsheviks had planned to put the Romanovs on trial but the Civil War prevented them from doing so.
  • Charles I of England was sentenced to death and executed in 1649. The executioner was masked and disguised, and there is still debate over his identity. After the Restoration in 1660, a list was made of the 59 judges who signed Charles' death warrant. Some were executed, others were imprisoned, others fled the country and some who were already dead had their bodies desecrated.
    • It should be noted that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was called Glorious because the Dutch army James II's daughter Mary and her husband William led across the Channel did not have to directly engage with any forces loyal to the king (who fled England with his head still attached to his neck), as the English armies were loyal to Parliament and Parliament had invited William and Mary in the first place. This did eventually lead to the Hanover-Stuart Wars (as William and Mary had no surviving issue, and Queen Anne had similarly bad luck in that department). The nature of the glorious revolution has led later English conservatives to oppose radical revolutions on behalf of democracy, forgetting that the power of Parliament over monarchy was in a large sense established during the English Civil War.
  • Happened a few times in French history.
    • Jacques Clément was a fanatical Dominican monk who asked to be left alone with King Henry III, claiming he had a secret message. Once the King's attendants left, he mortally wounded him with a hidden dagger. Clément was killed on the spot by the returning attendants.
    • Another Catholic zealot, François Ravaillac, ambushed Henry IV in his carriage and stabbed him to death.
    • During The French Revolution, after the August 10, 1792 insurrection when the French public stormed the Palais de Tuileries, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette sought refuge in the Legislative Assembly, who promptly renamed themselves the National Convention and placed the royal family under arrest. In the subsequent trial, the Revolutionaries declared the King guilty of plotting against the French revolution (of which he was guilty) and executed him by guillotine in January 1793; later that same year, the Queen was also executed. The Revolutionaries saw the King as another citizen (they called him Citizen Capet during the trial) and not a sovereign. However, during the brief Bourbon Restoration, which restored a Constitutional Monarchy, the delegates who voted for the King's death were retroactively labelled regicides and exiled from France to invoke this trope.
  • Walter Audisio, the man who shot Benito Mussolini.
  • John Bellingham has the distinction of being the only person to ever assassinate a British Prime Minister, killing Spencer Perceval because he was angry at his lack of compensation for being falsely imprisoned in Russia.
  • There is a local tradition that the reason why no British monarch has ever visited the town of Marple, Cheshire, is that a man who signed the death warrant on King Charles I came from there. Amusingly, a woman with Queen-like status (not least in her own self-esteem) Margaret Thatcher, was physically attacked in Marple. By an indignantly furious seventy-three year old woman keen to express her opinion of Thatcher's impact on the North of England. note 
  • King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his own nephew Faisal bin Musaid. The assassin shot to death his uncle, while the king went to embrace him at a majlis. Faisal bin Musaid was publicly beheaded with a gold handled sword three months later.
  • Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in a conspiracy of over forty people, led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, and Marcus Junius Brutus.
  • Considering how many Roman Emperors were murdered, it's no surprise that a lot of people in the Roman Empire fit this trope.
    • Cassius Chaerea was the leader of the group that stabbed Caligula to death, and struck the first blow.
    • A wrestler named Narcissus strangled Commodus while the latter was taking a bath.
    • Victorinus was murdered by Attitianus, one of his officers, supposedly for seducing his wife.
  • Kim Jae-gyu (no relation to the Kim dynasty of North Korea) assassinated controversial South Korean president Park Chung-hee by shooting him during a banquet.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the longest-serving PM in history and came from a prominent family that dominated the Japanese Political System since World War II, but soon after he left office he was assassinated by 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami with a homemade shotgun. After his arrest, Yamagami explained that the Church of Happyology known as the Moonies bankrupted his family and brainwashed his mother with Abe's family allowing them to run amok due to their support of right-wing values, and Abe became his primary target to avoid making the Moonies' leader a martyr. Once this came to light, the Japanese government decided Villain Has a Point and began cracking down on the Moonies to prevent further tragedy.
  • Liberian Rebel Leader Prince Johnson (no, he's not royalty; that's his name) oversaw the torture and death of Samuel Doe, the country's president.
  • Vlado Chernozemski was a Bulgarian revolutionary whose main claim to fame is assassinating King Alexander I of Yugoslavia.
  • This happened a lot in Persian/Iranian history.
    • Xerxes I was murdered by an official and/or general (it's not clear) named Artabanus, who either took the throne for himself or became regent. Artabanus himself would be killed a few months later by Artaxerxes I, a son of Xerxes.
    • Darius III, archenemy to Alexander the Great, was murdered by a satrap named Bessus, with the aid of an officer in the palace guard named Nabarzanes. When Alexander took charge of Persia, he had them brutally executed.
    • Orodes II of Parthia murdered his own father, Phraates III, to become king.
    • Mirza Reza Kermani shot Nassereddin Shah Qajar in 1896.
  • The Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great personally murdered Odoacer, who became King of Italy after forcing Romulus Augustulus (the last Western Roman Emperor) to abdicate.
  • A soldier named Linghu Xingda strangled the Chinese ruler Emperor Yang of Sui with the emperor's own scarf. He didn't act alone; this was part of a greater coup against the Sui dynasty led by a general named Yuwen Huaji.
  • Tiye, a secondary wife of Pharaoh Ramesses III, led the Harem Conspiracy that killed him. Her motivation? She wanted her son Pentawer to become the next Pharaoh.
  • Hantili I usurped control of the Hittite Empire by murdering his brother-in-law Mursili I.
  • Philip II of Macedon (Father of Alexander the Great) was murdered by one of his bodyguards, Pausanias of Orestis.
  • An Egyptian army officer named Khalid Islambouli planned and successfully carried out the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the then-President of Egypt.
  • Francisco Macías Nguema, the first President of Equatorial Guinea, was executed on the orders of his nephew after a successful coup.
  • Iraq's 24th Prime Minister, Abd al-Karim Qasim, was executed after a brief trial following the Ramadan Revolution.
  • Popes aren't immune to this trope, whatever one may think.
    • Benedict VI was strangled by a priest named Stephen on the orders of Antipope Boniface VII.
    • John XIV was either starved or poisoned in prison, again on the orders of Boniface.
  • Shaka Zulu was assassinated by his half-brothers Dingane and Mhlangana, with the help of an inDuna named Mbopa.
  • An Israeli ultranationalist named Yigal Amir assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's prime minister, due to opposing his peace initiatives.
  • Francisco Pizzaro ordered the execution of the Inca emperor Atahualpa. The sentence was initially death by burning, but after Atahualpa converted to Catholicism, he was strangled instead.
  • Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic, was killed in an ambush by numerous conspirators. Some of the notable plotters include Antonio de la Maza, Amado García Guerrero, and Antonio Imbert Barrera. The extent of CIA involvement in the killing has been widely debated.
  • Indira Gandhi was killed by two of her own bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh (no relation). The assassination was motivated by anger at Operation Blue Star, a controversial attack on Sikh militants holed up in the Golden Temple complex.
  • A White Russian émigré named Paul Gorguloff assassinated French president Paul Doumer in 1932.
  • Burkina Faso's controversial communist leader, Thomas Sankara, was killed in 1987 by soldiers loyal to Blaise Compaoré in circumstances that remain unclear to this day.
  • A parliamentary messenger named Dimitri Tsafendas killed South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd by stabbing him to death during a parliamentary session. He told police that he was motivated by disgust at apartheid, but he was found not guilty by reason of insanity due to his schizophrenia.
  • Gaetano Bresci was an Italian anarchist who assassinated King Umberto I of Italy. He holds the dubious distinction of being the first European to be convicted of regicide but not executed.
  • Michele Angiolillo murdered Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo in 1897.
  • Alexandros Schinas was a Greek anarchist who killed King George I of Greece.
  • King Carlos I of Portugal and his heir-apparent Luís Filipe were shot dead by two republican activists — Alfredo Luís da Costa and Manuel Buíça — in the Lisbon Regicide.
  • Jalal al-Din Mangburni, last emperor of the Khwarazmian Empire, was assassinated in 1231. His assassin's name hasn't been recorded, but the motive was apparently revenge: the assassin's brother had been killed when Jalal al-Din invaded Ahlat.
  • World War One was triggered by Gavrilo Princip, a young Serbian nationalist, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A chain reaction of events that followed the Archduke's murder, along with various alliances and long-festering political issues, dragged one country after another into the war.
  • The kingdom of Kakheti (now part of Georgia (Caucasus)) suffered several cases of this.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Regicide


The Death of Sargon of Akkad

Unwilling to stand by and watch his king continue his mad quest of conquest, Ushar, who had once spared Sargon's life, finally ends it.

How well does it match the trope?

3 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheKingslayer

Media sources: