This week on the blog, we’re talking about the monarch archetype. Now this one is very similar to the tyrant archetype, because monarchs can indeed be tyrants. But I do classify them as different for a few reasons.
1. Monarchs have a more regal bearing about them. Tyrants more often are war lords and dictators. Monarchs are royalty. Now of course the line here is thin and easily crossed. The Lord Ruler, for instance, who we talked about earlier, certainly had a regal bearing. But this leads to my second distinction:
2. While tyrants are those who seize power, monarchs are usually born into it. This causes very different character traits. Tyrants believe they have earned their power while monarchs are born thinking they have an inherent right to it. This often means very different character arcs and goals. Again theirs a fine line if some monarchs come into their power by dethroning the previous dynasty, but you get the gist.
Of course this distinction is my own and can’t be found any books. Its also very likely that I made this a separate category to brag about more villains. I only want to spotlight two villains a week… because I’m particular about patterns in that way.
One of the reasons spotlighting monarchs is so important is because we get some of our best evil women from this category!
Evil queens! Evil queens everywhere. From Disney, to Game of Thrones, to Once Upon a Time. Some of the most iconic villainesses come from this category and they make their bad deeds so fabulous.
Some of my favorites include Queen Cersei from Game of Thrones, Regina from Once Upon a Time, and of course her ancestor, the original Evil Queen.
As stated before, any villainous monarch can deal with a lot of interesting issues. They often think the world is owed to them because of how they have been raised. But there is a great variety to be found here. Some are petty and treat their kingdom like a child might a toy. Others believe they are working for the greater good but their actions get lost among the way. You can make a monarch villain as complex and sympathetic or as completely horrible as you like...
We’ll get to you later, Joffery.
Whatever the case, its important to consider how their roots have effected them and how their lavish way of life might explain their terrible actions. This will make them human. And that, if you might have noticed, is the theme here in our keys to successful villains.
Join me on Friday for a look at two of my favorite monarchs! Warning, expect a lot of fangirling J