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The Black Monarch's Castle
The original LEGO castle theme. Along with LEGO Space and LEGO City, this is one of the longest-running of all LEGO themes.

The earliest sets appeared in 1978-1979 and were among the first to feature more specialized building parts outside of the usual bricks and minifigures (new items included simple-shaped medieval helmets and melee weapons like halberds, lances and shields). Sets from the first half of the 1980s started to get more sophisticated and added a lot more unique parts including swords and - notably - purpose-built horse models (despite a small esthetic overhaul in the 1990s, the basic template for LEGO horses hasn't really changed all that much for 30 years).

It received a Spinoff in the early 2000s, titled Knights' Kingdom, even though it had little to do with the original Knights' Kingdom subtheme. Another spinoff called Nexo Knights began in 2016.

The Castle line has been out of circulation for a few years, with Harry Potter being the main source of castle buildings, although the LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith and LEGO Creator 31120 Medieval Castle have provided at least a small revival (with both sets having soldiers in Black Falcons heraldry).

Eras and sub-themes (often based on a respective faction) in chronological order:

  • LEGOLAND Castle or just Castle (1978-1983) - the original showcased a generic medieval kingdom with sets revolving around generic medieval locations and events (e.g. castles, jousts, men-at-arms escorting wagons); as evidenced by the title, it is often distinguished from the sub-themes that came after it by the "LEGOLAND" prefix (named after a common feature of LEGO box art from the 1980s and early 1990s).
  • Crusaders (1984-1992) - the first somewhat more specific theme that evolved from the original, the Crusaders were a heroic faction locked in battle against the Black Falcons; their heraldic figure was a lion.
  • Black Falcons (1984-1988) - introduced alongside the Crusaders, the Black Falcons served as the first antagonistic faction of LEGO Castle and constantly battled against the Crusaders and, later, the Black Knights. Their heraldic figure was a falcon.
  • The Forestmen (1987-1990) - the first outlaw sub-theme, with Loveable Rogue bandits in the style of Robin Hood. Their heraldic figure was a deer.
  • Black Knights (1988-1992) - notable for showing a kingdom ruled by "The Black Monarch" and The Teutonic Knights-like Order of Black Knights, featuring a lot of cultural elements from the Baltic, north German and Scandinavian Middle Ages (LEGO being a Danish company, this is probably intentional). Their heraldic figure was a blue dragon.
  • Wolfpack Renegades (1992) - the second, more grittier and morally grey outlaw sub-theme. Their heraldic figure was a silver wolf head.
  • Dragon Masters (1993-1995) - a group of dragon-themed Magic Knights (complete with dragon-themed horse armor), who had assistance from the Merlin-like wizard Majisto and several tamed dragons (this sub-theme is notable for introducing the wizard minifig accessories, unique horse armor and the iconic LEGO dragon figure with detachable red wings). The Knights' heraldic figure was (of course) a green dragon with red wings.
  • Royal Knights (1995-1997) - the introduction of King Richard and his brave and gentlemanly Royal Knights, a very straight example of The Good Kingdom. Their heraldic figure was a roaring lion head with a crown.
  • Dark Forest (1996) - short-lived subtheme expanding on the previous two bandit subthemes. Only included three sets. The heraldic symbol of the bandits appearing in this subtheme was a golden deer head with black antlers on a green background.
  • Fright Knights (1997-1998) - a campier villainous faction than its predecessors, featuring Willa the Witch, Basil the Bat Lord, black dragons, spookier castles and the titular successors to the Dragon Masters, who had a prominent bat motif going on (from armor and helmets to various tiny details on their architecture), with a bat being their obvious heraldic figure.
  • Ninja (1998-1999) - Spinoff with a Jidaigeki / Wutai setting.
  • Knights' Kingdom (1999-2000) - best described as a revival of the Royal Knights theme with some updated esthetics, King Leo gained a formidable new enemy in the cunning warlord Cedric the Bull, who led a rebel army with higher than usual morale and an excellent arsenal of various siege engines. Bull's heraldic figure was a red-eyed black bull head; this sub-theme also received a (pretty much forgotten) video game adaptation.
  • Knights' Kingdom 2 (2004-2006) - a major departure from the usual formula, taking place in a more fantastic and magic-based setting with a very character-driven storyline as the knights of Morcia defend their kingdom from the forces of Lord Vladek; this theme was also notable for several lines of BIONICLE-esque action figures.
  • Castle (2007-2009) - intended as a return to the series typical style and as a Continuity Reboot of sorts, with King Revet defending his kingdom from the undead armies of the evil wizard Mallock the Malign. The line also features dwarf and troll factions, with the former allying with the Western Kingdom, while the latter aligns with Mallock.
  • Kingdoms (2010-2012) - departing from the more fantastic themes of Knights' Kingdom 2 and Castle, Kingdoms returns to LEGO Castle's roots and depicts the war between the Lion Knights and the Dragon Knights in a more realistic fashion.
  • Castle (2013) - returning to the more fantastic themes of the 2007 Castle line, the newer line features yet another group of Lion knights defending their kingdom from the attacks of yet another group of Dragon knights (this time led by another evil wizard with actual dragons).
  • Nexo Knights: A wacky sci-fan spinoff of the classic Castle, with five knights trying to stop the evil Jestro from conquering the kingdom of Knighton with his monster armies.

Tropes used in this LEGO theme include:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: The story book Knights Kingdom Medieval Mischief and Mayhem reveals that Cedric the Bull is actually the 13th son of a king from a distant land. But when the king died the land was divided up to be ruled by the king's sons. However all parts of the land were taken before Cedric got his share leaving him with no land left to rule. Although we don't actually get a proper scene of when it happened it's easy to assume Cedric didn't take this very well at all.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In Europe, Count Batlord and the Fright Knights were heroes who defended their kingdom from the evil Wicked Witch (whose name varied from region to region, including Hubble Bubble, Izralda, and Hylia).
    • In most story materials from the Dragon Masters subtheme, Majisto was portrayed as the villain. Since then, he's more likely to be portrayed as a hero these days.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In North America, Basil the Bat Lord and the Fright Knights were Obviously Evil and worked for Willa the Witch.
  • Animal Motifs: The various heraldic creatures of the different factions. Wolves, lions, bulls, dragons, bats, you name it.
  • Art Evolution: More unique and specialized items, accessories and minifigs (horses, ghosts, skeletons, witches, wizards, dragons, medieval weaponry and armor) got gradually introduced as the years went on. A good example of this is the case of the horses, which overlaps with Early-Installment Weirdness : The horses from the late 1970s sets were still abstract constructs made from LEGO bricks until proper horse minifigs were introduced in the early 1980s.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Ghost minifigs were introduced in this theme, specifically in the Black Knight sets, and they had this appearance.
  • BFS: Lord characters always wielded bigger and shinier swords than the regular soldiers.
  • Black Knight:
    • In the UK, the Black Knight was the leader of the Black Falcons faction (though his armour was black and red rather than wholly black).
    • The Black Knights, natch, who were characterized by the dark color schemes in both their uniforms and sets.
  • Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": The 2007 Castle line features green-skinned humanoid monsters that are rivals of dwarves, with red eyes and prominent tusks on their lower jaws, and they are about the size of a human. Fans often refer to them as orcs and goblins. Officially, however, they're trolls.
  • Call-Back: The Fright Knights line came after the Royal Knights and Dark Forest lines, but a Royal Knight and a Dark Forestman both appear in the Fright Knights sets as prisoners.
  • Captain Ersatz: While Robin Hood himself appeared as the leader of the Forestmen, the leader of the Dark Forest merry men was named Rob N. Hood instead.
  • Chest Insignia: Sometimes, knights had their factional coat of arms printed on the center of their torsos.
  • Cool Horse: Since the 1990s, the various factions often had unique horse armor at their disposal.
  • Cool Ship:
    • The Black Knights were the only faction to prefer coastal or river environments and owned quite a lot of ships and boats. The biggest ship set of the castle theme, the war cog "Sea Serpent", fully fits this trope.
    • The 2007-2009 Castle line features the Skeleton Ship and the Troll Warship.
  • Crossover: The Fright Knights surprisingly featured numerous crossovers with the concurrent UFO theme. It was hinted at in a commercial advertising the two lines, and then expanded upon in a series of comics in the LEGO World Club magazine.
  • The Engineer: Cedric the Bull's faction sure loves building various siege engines.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Possibly the Black Knights. Unlike their predecessors, the Black Falcons, they are never seen directly in combat with the heroic Crusaders, but instead show up at the local jousts.
    • Count Batlord and the Fright Knights may look scary despite being the heroes, but only in the European version of the story.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • The Wizard Classic of the Dragon Masters is named Majisto in North America, Merlin in the United Kingdom, Cerlin in Germany, and Pokus in the Netherlands.
    • The Wicked Witch of the Fright Knights goes by many names, including Willa (North America), Hylia (Denmark), Hubble Bubble (United Kingdom), and Izralda (Germany).
    • The Bat Lord is named Basil in North America, Count Batlord in the United Kingdom, Count Bat in various European countries, Count Batluck in France, and Floris the Batknight in the Netherlands.
  • The Dragon: Basil the Bat Lord to Willa the Witch in the North American story.
  • Dragon Rider:
    • Majisto the Wizard, Basil the Bat Lord, and even Cedric the Bull are all known to ride dragons.
    • In the 2007 line, one of Mallock's skeletons rides a black dragon while one of Revet's knights rides a green dragon.
    • Played with by Willa the Witch. She doesn't ride on the back of a dragon, but a dragon carries the Witch's Windship around.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In 1980's Town Square Castle Scene the castle and horse are in the original LEGOLAND castle style, but the men-at-arms are wearing the lion badges that wouldn't come to prominence until 1984.
  • The Evil Prince: An interesting case with Cedric the Bull. He's not related to King Leo but instead the 13th son of a completely different king unrelated to Leo. While Cedric is after Leo's throne due to him being left with no land to rule back in his home kingdom, he has no intention of killing Leo and his family, just banish them into exile. Also Cedric had no plot to try and overthrow one or all of his 12 other brothers; he just left his homeland and traveled as a bandit until he came to Leo's kingdom.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Played almost completely straight. Several of the Ninja sets had early Japanese firearms and one of Cedric Bull's siege engines looked and worked awfully like a cannon.
  • Gang of Hats: All the factions, some by attitudes, some by their preferences for certain types of weaponry, some by the use of magic, etc.
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Granted, this is Medieval European Fantasy for kids, so despite some obligatory level of grittiness, don't expect any Darker and Edgier hyper-realistic portrayals of the Middle Ages.
  • The Good King: King Richard, King Leo, and King Revet are all portrayed as benevolent kings for the heroic factions. In fact, before LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers revealed his name, King Revet was only known as the "Good King" on the LEGO Castle website.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The Ninja line. However, despite the title, a lot of the sets from this line also contains Samurai-themed sets and minifigs. The line could be more accurately called "LEGO does feudal Japan", but Ninja was apparently a shorter title... and, you know, more awesome sounding.
  • Green and Mean: The 2010 Dragon Knights, the antagonist faction of Kingdoms, had green as a secondary color alongside black.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The 2022 Lion Knight's Castle set has Black Falcon knights (the "bad guys" of the 1984 era) peacefully visiting the Crusaders' castle, with box blurb saying that the two factions have finally become friends, but the longevity of this peace is uncertain.
  • Jidaigeki: While the European-themed sets are grounded in a realistic Medieval European Fantasy world, the Ninja sets play this trope for all its worth.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: They feature prominently in the Ninja sets, but this gets subverted by the presence of various other medieval Japanese weaponry. Besides, the swords look "generic Japanese" enough to possibly represent various other actual sword types similar to katana, but not the same as them.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The theme as a whole invokes this. But in particular King Leo and the crusaders.
  • Light Is Not Good: Cedric the Bull surprisingly gets some shiny silver heroic looking chrome armour consisting of a sword, shield, breastplate and helmet. The chrome pieces themselves were sold separately in 4 sets.
  • Long Runner: One of the three longest-running LEGO themes. Also, a lot of the still-being-used medieval and creature models.
  • Loveable Rogue: The Forestmen are your typical dashing Robin Hood-esque rogues that you want to root for.
  • Low Fantasy: While The Black Knights and Wolfpack still remained relatively realistic and down to earth with their themes, they were the first to introduce an element of supernatural with the ghost minifigs included in their sets.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • As was the case with many other early LEGO themes, many Castle sets had completely different names in different markets. For example, set 6082 was named "Fire Breathing Fortress" in North America and "Castle Carreg" in the United Kingdom.
    • The Dragon Masters theme is known as Dragon Knights in Europe.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Though some of the factions have a certain degree of Fantasy Counterpart Culture to them, they are mostly "generic medieval". E.g. King Richard's Royal Knights and the Forestmen play this straight (generic western European kingdom and generic Robin Hood-style outlaws), but the Black Knights are a more concrete analogue of a real historical group (Baltic/German / Scandinavian-style nobles and knights with an affinity for sailing ships and coastal castles).
  • Noble Demon: Cedric is surprisingly civil; with his only intention upon capturing King Leos' Castle and securing land for himself to rule over, he will choose to have King Leo, his family, and his Lion Knights sent into exile without any harm as opposed to imprisonment or execution.
  • Pet the Dog: The manual of Lego Creator Knights Kingdom reveals that Cedric found the character Weezil abandoned in the forest, took the boy under his wing and raised him as his own son. Instead of leaving the poor boy to defend for himself and potentially to either starve or be killed by wild animals
  • Point Defenseless: Averted by King Leo's castle, which includes defensive catapults to counter an enemy's barrage.
  • Public Domain Character:
    • The leader of the Forestmen was Robin Hood himself.
    • In the United Kingdom, the Dragon Masters' Wizard Classic is Merlin.
  • Recycled Title:
    • The 2000 and 2004 subthemes are both titled Knights' Kingdom but share no story connections.
    • The 2007 and 2013 subthemes are simply known as Castle.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Fright Knights, the Bull Knights, Mallock the Malign's army, and the 2013 Dragon Knights all use red and black color schemes to show that they're villainous.
  • Shown Their Work: Granted, there are lots of fantastical and kid-friendly elements present in the theme, but a lot of the architectural, ship, siege engine and weapon designs are rather period-accurate or at least realistic.
  • Siege Engines: Featured as early as the second and third generation (Crusaders and Black Falcons), but Cedric the Bull from the Knights' Kingdom era took this up to eleven (to the point of it being his gang's hat). The Dragon Masters also had a large trebuchet-like catapult with stylized dragon decorations.
  • Wicked Witch: Willa the Witch from the Fright Knights line is your archetypal evil witch, dressed in all black with a pointed hat, an ugly face with missing teeth (and, in LEGO Time Cruisers comics, a long pointed nose), and an evil cackle as she brews potions and rides a broomstick.
  • Wizard Beard: A long white beard was introduced as a minifig accessory with Majisto in the Dragon Knights sets.
  • Wizard Classic: Majisto has a long white Wizard Beard, a black cape, a blue pointed hat, and a magic wand in his hand, making him the archetypal wizard.
  • Word Salad Title: One of the sets from the Crusaders sub-theme era was called "Dungeon Hunters". Furthermore, a small Royal Knights set showcasing King Richard and his personal weaponry was titled "Royal King".


Video Example(s):


Cedric the Bull

The main antagonist of Knights' Kingdom who fights against King Leo to try and claim his kingdom for himself. Cedrics' actually the youngest son of 13 to a deceased King that was left with no territory of his own and not wanting to fight his twelve brothers decided to just go conquer another kingdom for himself. He found a young Weezil in the forests and took him in as his own son, and plans on just exiling King Leo and his family once he takes over the Lion Castle.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / NobleDemon

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