WHAT IS A KING?

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What does it truly mean to be a king? I, myself, never wore a crown, sat on a throne, or led people, but after much research and analysis I think I have an idea of what a king really is. Many kings thought that they wielded absolute power simply because they wore a crown on their heads. However, the grim truth is that a king really has no rights at all, but he has many obligations, responsibilities, and countless privileges that give him the illusion of rights.

Several kings thought they could do whatever they wanted by skipping their duties, but they never could escape the burden that was placed on them the day they were born. The crown and throne are symbols of power, but they are also shackles that enslave the kings to their subjects while the castle he lives in becomes his glorified prison. A king cannot escape his preassigned role because he is born into it and cannot choose his own path. If a king wishes to stay on the throne he needs to win the hearts and minds of his people, but if he is a tyrant his subjects inevitably become his executioners when they rebel and overthrow him. There is no middle ground!

The main character in my fantasy series will start out as an average person only to find out that he is the true king. Part of the story will involve how he psychologically processes and adapts to his new role and how big the burden of kingship is. This will add extra drama to the plot and the protagonist’s character development.

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2 thoughts on “WHAT IS A KING?”

  1. Most don’t understand the legal power of a king. There were absolutes monarchs, that’s what people most think of, but that was a brief time and mostly Authorial style fantasy. The main power of a king was that he was commander and chief of the military and could ignore the civil laws he wanted (Kings often still answered to the reigning religious leader). The king or queen didn’t make or interpret law. That often fell to others. At lease that’s how it was in much of Europe. The Aztec royal family worked completely differently, as did the Vikings who held elections for their king who was much more like the American President in power and responsibility.
    I think the last seasons of Babylon 5 do the best job of showing the absolute slavery of the person with absolute power. It’s like being a kid looking up and saying “I want to be an adult so I can do what I want” then we find out the consequences of those choices. (Sorry for the long rambling post posting while on cold meds might be a bad idea for me)

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