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Playing With / The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask

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Basic Trope: A female leader's land is in peril, so she steps up her game and does not show weakness.

  • Straight: Alice is the ruler of her country, which is at war. She becomes a cunning strategist to give her people hope, and finds her act tiring.
  • Exaggerated: The nation is facing its darkest hour and only Alice's genius level intellect and horrific sacrifices can slow their inevitable doom.
  • Downplayed: The country is in a bit of a sticky situation and Alice needs common sense and make some small sacrifices to make things right again.
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  • Justified: Alice's leadership is the only thing holding the nation together.
  • Inverted: Alice enjoys acting The High Queen.
  • Gender Inverted: Bob is the ruler of his country and has to act like a cunning strategist.
  • Subverted: The nation is in peril and Alice regally confronts the enemy, only to flubb it completely and look like an idiot.
  • Double Subverted: Which works because pretending to be stupid makes the enemy nation relax, saving Alice and her nation from plans of total destruction.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Alice is the figurehead monarch in a constitutional monarchy, and the actual decision making is made by the ministers, so she has a fair amount of room to make harmless gaffes in protocol.
  • Enforced: The author has been criticized for writing a string of God Save Us from the Queen! types, leading to accusations of misogyny. This character is an attempt to avert the trope...leaving open the possibility to deconstruct it later.
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  • Lampshaded: "You think Queen Alice isn't completely broken under that mask? She's keeping it together because the damn country will fall if she doesn't!"
  • Invoked: Regent Charles has been grooming Princess Alice for this role since the death of her parents in her infancy, knowing she's the only heir the realm has.
  • Exploited: "Work with me people. No soldiers will die for a junta of overaged generals and bureaucrats. Just pretend Queen Lovely is giving all the orders."
  • Defied: "Hold on a minute! I have to worry about foreign enemies, my own nobles, a rebellion, and possibly find a suitor in all of this mess? Fuck that! I'm not sticking around for this!"
  • Discussed: "Queen Alice acts the part of the perfect queen because she needs to. Have you seen the rest of that court?"
  • Conversed: "In a world like this, female rulers come in two flavors; either the one who is dehumanizing herself to keep the kingdom together or the one who dehumanizes everyone else and to hell with the kingdom."
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  • Deconstructed: The effects such a style of rulership has on Alice's mental health are... not pretty. This in turn feeds back into her ability to make rational decisions, so which leaves her vulnerable to attack anyway.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice's being slightly unhinged also makes her unpredictable, which makes certain enemies much less likely to actually attack her, essentially giving her a few Terror Hero traits.
    • Alice has The Confidant in someone (a maid, a lady-in-waiting, a secret lover) etc. who gives her space to vent and relax. This plus time in the royal wine cellar makes her burden bearable.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice's air of composure essentially amounts to complete and total nonchalance in regards to everything. While this has its badass moments, more often than not, she's The Comically Serious.
  • Played For Drama: Alice's life is an unending nightmare where the enemy state and backstabbers masquerading as allies are always trying to weave vile plots to either control or dethrone her. She has to stay on top of them all for the rest of her reign while smiling. She has several nervous breakdowns in private, unceremoniously rejects all suitors indefinitely, and her sitting the throne at all is effectively a lifelong Heroic Sacrifice.

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