Even amongst monarchy there is a hierarchy; some kings are more kingly than others, entire reality shows are dedicated to picking the best queen, and with so many Disney princesses how are you to choose? Be they leaders of government, warrior monarchs, whether they reign over nations, planets or worlds, all were considered.
From games, from films, books and television, we assemble and crown the king of kings, the bluest of bloods, and the regalist of… regals. Here’s the Top 10 Royal Characters.
10) Flame Princess – Adventure Time
Why Phoebe over Bonnibel Bubblegum? While both are royalty and avatars of their respective elements, Bonnie is far more driven to create more subjects, more people, more weapons of war, and frankly displays more scientific acumen than leadership skills. Flame Princess holds court directly over her people, holds her wicked father imprisoned and curtails her inherited villainy to be a true leader to her people.
Flame Princess keeps the history of her people alive, stokes their very literal fires, and adjudicates fairly among disputes. She also leads her people to war… although that was once she’d lost her mind and given over to her violent nature along with her entire nation. Even then she manages to unite the infighting and general melee of the enormous Fire Nation, and drive them to tear down the Candy Nation. Good for you Phoebe, way to rule.
9) Princess Fiona – Shrek
Princess Fiona was put in a tower, which was guarded by a dragon. Cursed so she turns into an ogre at night time, she was doomed to fail and be unable to lead her kingdom once more. Alas, this was all set up by the Fairy Godmother, who wanted her son, Prince Charming, to save the Princess and to save her from the curse. This turned out to be a huge mistake, as instead she was saved by Shrek, an ogre who lives in a shack in the swamp, whom she eventually married.
In the original Shrek film, you don’t really see much of her status – She’s effectively a damsel in distress. By the time we get to Shrek 2, we find out her Kingdom is Far Far Away (both physically and in name), which is sort of like this strange mix of fantasy and television adverts. We learn that the power of the royals is a tad questionable when the Fairy Godmother was doing so much controlling of the king. All of this really puts Fiona’s tenure as a princess even more at question. Nevertheless, she’s captured the hearts of many – Well, at least three men in those two films.
8) Aquaman – DC
It’s easy to mock Aquaman, less easy now that he’s also Jason Momoa, but he’s still broadly regarded as the most laughable of the JLA because he’s a fish-psychic. Let us not forget however that he is also incredibly strong, durable, capable of flight, and dragging the ocean behind him when he’s inland. Oh, and also he’s the King of Atlantis.
A big part of Arthur’s story is his fight to retain his throne from his brother’s clutches and maintaining peaceful diplomatic relations with those on the surface who Atlantis shunned for generations. He may not appear very often for Justice League meetings or to help save the world, but he does have about two-thirds of a planet to run, and it turns out there’s more than just fish down there.
7) Elsa – Frozen
Let it go, let it go~!
All jokes about the meteoric rise of Frozen’s popularity aside, this was one of Disney’s greatest achievements. It managed to effectively come from nowhere, with Elsa at the throne (hah) of capturing the attention, and the wonderful imagination of people everywhere. It’s truly quite amazing how much of an authority she has over the real world – But what about her own loyal subjects?
Elsa is a princess of Arendelle, the heiress to the throne. She was born able to manipulate snow and ice, which could grow greater and greater in power – So she was locked away in her bedroom for the most part. After she inherits the throne, she accidentally reveals her powers to all of her subjects, which shocks and angers them. Elsa flees, making a frozen tundra of the kingdom and she lives in isolation. We’ll give no more spoilers away here, but effectively, she fled her own kingdom, which is down to the fact she was put on the throne far too early. She didn’t mean to hurt anyone, which is why she is truly a wonderful character.
6) Aslan – Chronicles of Narnia
King of Beasts, King of Narnia, leader, conqueror, allegory of Jesus. He may not be the first lion king you think of, but neither Simba nor Mufasa had to go to war with the avatar of an entire season, a sorceress, and a mad queen all wrapped up in one freezing cold bundle of crazy. And while Disney’s lion kings may reign over a highly divided menagerie of animals, they don’t also have to contend with fauns, centaurs, mermaids and the like.
Aslan is a philosopher, warrior, leader, a pillar of strength whose power far outreaches him, all creatures willingly shed blood for him across the many nations of Narnia. He wanders their lands imparting his wisdom and leadership. Despite the fact that each have their own royalty, Aslan is highest amongst them.
5) Aragorn vs Galadriel – Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings is absolutely riddled with kings and queens – So which of our two picks is the best?
Aragorn, or Strider, depending on how he wants you to know him, has been the king of both Gondor and Arnor, as well as the high king of both. We get to know him as a proud, strong warrior, who is also a powerful leader who obtained a reforged sword befitting a king, known as Andúril. Pivotal in the war against Sauron, he’s a man who is king of two kingdoms and uniting them as their high king. That is truly royal!
Galadriel is the lady of the Elves of Lothlórien, although she and her husband Celeborn, do not take a royal title. However, just because she’s being humble doesn’t stop her being a royal by nature. The guardians of the forest, Galadriel has a ring which disguises the forest in which they live, protecting them from evil. With the One Ring having been obtained, Galadriel was responsible for the Fellowship of the Ring itself existing. Her influence spreads further than her own people.
4) King Arthur of Camelot
It’s time to get mythic… well maybe.
It’s still a matter of speculation where the line between fact and fiction is with Arthur, because there have been strong allusions to a king and his round table of trusted knights uniting the britons of old, son of Uther Pendragon, ruling from his throne in Camelot… or Avalon. No doubt the pursuit of the Holy Grail, beckoning the sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, and war with the sorceress Morgan le Fay are firmly in the mythology, but there’s a man lost somewhere in the legend.
Sites across Britain, actual historical figures and recorded battles are attributed with a sliver of the Arthurian legend, leaving blurry grey lines between the fact and fiction of our most dramatised monarch and his council. It is also widely known that his father Uther Pendragon smelled strongly of elderberries and copulated with hamsters.
3) Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum – Final Fantasy XV
Prince Noctis is the main protagonist for Final Fantasy XV, the latest instalment in the franchise. He’s a fairly care-free young guy in his early 20s, who is also the heir to the throne of Lucis. His father made sure he lived a full life, as Noctis would go on to have to make a huge decision. But further than that, Noct is to wed lady Lunafreya, allowing a union of nations to come about. The wedding would be such a spectacle that people will travel to come and see it.
Unfortunately, Noct’s father is killed and Noct himself is presumed dead. With his friends, Gladio, Ignis and Prompto at his side, Noct attempts to go and meet up with lady Lunafreya still. The wedding must go on, after all – Peace depends on it. Noct understands what’s required of him; although he has to learn a lot on the fly, but he always wants to succeed for his people.
2) Daenerys Targaryen – A Song of Ice and Fire
Daenerys Stormborn, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, The Unburnt, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Queen of Meereen, the Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, and truest heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros. She’s a paragraph in her own right, and still incredibly young, but there’s no denying that she’s proven rather conclusively that she’s a capable leader. Not only has she earned the devotion of nations through her own force of will and the legend she has amassed around her, but she also has the competence to heed the advice of her advisors.
At this point the majority of Game of Thrones fans are either hoping she’ll end up Queen of Westeros or John Snow will be king. Here’s wishing her good luck in retaking the Iron Throne before winter comes, because that could get very messy.
1) Padmé vs Leia – Star Wars
Once again we find ourselves with a conundrum, and at the number one slot no less. Allow me to outline the problem as we see it:
Leia is an incredibly competent military mind, leading the rebellion through impressive guerilla feats against the Empire and helping rebuild a new Republic and an alliance of free worlds in the face of incredible odds. No doubt she’s a born leader despite not having the help of her mother, but on the subject…
Padme is a strong civic leader of Alderaan and a military force to be reckoned with in the Clone Wars. As a representative of Naboo in the Senate she is forced into a far more labyrinthian web of politics than her daughter had to tackle at her age.
Both are incredible leaders of their people, shrewd and charismatic, just and righteous. At the same time they’re more than able to get into a real one-on-one scrap, engage in stealth and subterfuge, and think tactically on the spot. Leia’s first act is one of absolute strategic brilliance, but Padme couldn’t have survived the arena on Geonosis without being quick on her feet.
So who then is the better queen/princess/senator/leader? We leave that to you.
King Boo – Mario
King Boo is the king of the Boo’s. No really, I bet you couldn’t put two and two together for yourself there to figure that one out, right? Anyway, he’s an ally of Bowser, however King Boo works better alone. A useful ally for Bowser, as King Boo has a lot of powers which come in useful when dealing with the red plumber, Mario.
He has a lot of story, however the problem we have with King Boo as a royal is that he doesn’t exactly have his own kingdom. This is an important distinction, as without a kingdom, you’re a leader more than you are a king. Regardless, we do love King Boo and his royal crown, even if he is a baddy. Now, if you see a Boo hanging around in future, just ask yourself: Do you follow King Boo?
King Knight – Shovel Knight
Ah King Knight, by your title and by your appearance, you are indeed a noble king. Albeit a corrupt one at that – You rule over your land with an iron a golden fist, but you are only a king by title. Indeed, you are not fit to be a real king! Instead, you mock royalty by being a king by gimmick only. You have all the pomp and the trimmings of a king, but yet you do not possess that royal bloodline; nor did you truly inherit the throne!
Nay, instead you are beaten at your very own throne room, by a man in drab and dirty armour, who wields not a noble sword, but a peasant’s shovel. Whilst he who is named Shovel Knight might defeat you, at least you keep your title. Ah well, your title isn’t the only thing you’ll have to your name, as you will be the next free downloadable content for Shovel Knight, in your very own kingly quest!
Roll up the red carpet, your royal highness has passed by and we can finally do away with all of these fancy festivities. No, Joel, put down the royal bugle, we’re through with this week’s list. Now quickly, let’s go and address our own loyal subjects and see what they would like to see in our next royal decree. With all said and done, it is time for you all to vote for the heir to this list.
With the polls collected, it’s time for us to put down the royal scepter and listen to you in our court. What did you make of this week’s Top 10? Did we put the best royals in, or did we forget a really important royal from your favourite franchise? Did we put the royals in the right order? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.