23 Fictional TV Royals For Whom We Would Bend the Knee

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Whether they are born to it, achieve it through combat or guile, or have it thrust upon them by circumstance, the crown (or the title which implies a crown) raises the expectations a leader must meet.

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So what commands your respect? Ethics? Experience? Sheer unmitigated, terror-inducing presence? 

Or maybe it depends on what they command already. Minions of the Underworld? Magical powers? Dragons?

We've listed here a pantheon of rulers, crowned and self-acclaimed, who demand allegiance.

Which banner would you follow?

1. Daenerys Targaryen -- Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen -- Game of Thrones
In a show completely chock-a-block full of royals and monarchs and wannabee rulers -- seriously, it's the foundational basis for the entire series -- Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons is poised to take Westeros after carving a name for herself through Essos. Not only does she literally demand other rulers bend the knee, did I mention her DRAGONS?

2. Ezekiel -- The Walking Dead

Ezekiel -- The Walking Dead
Self-proclaimed leader of The Kingdom, with his pet tiger Shiva at his side, "King" Ezekiel fights, works, and sacrifices for the people he leads. Even after astounding set-backs, he cannot turn away from the chance to save the Kingdommers. A true survivor, his wise yet theatrical ways provide focus for the community around him.

3. Louella Simms -- Killjoys

Louella Simms -- Killjoys
As Seyah, the title for the head of a ruling house in the Quad, Louella inherited her responsibility after her mother died from a pathogen and her sister was murdered. Louella's first order of business was to punish those who let her sister's killer go free by infecting them with robotic bugs that kill them from the inside out.

4. Russell Edgington -- True Blood

Russell Edgington -- True Blood
The Vampire King of Mississippi is possibly the oldest, most definitely the craziest, vampire personality to emerge in True Blood's run. Whether he was running with werewolf mercenaries, snacking on fairies, or ripping the spine out of a newscaster on a live broadcast, he always exhibited the royal ennui that indicated he'd done it all before.

5. MU Philippa Georgiou -- Star Trek: Discovery

MU Philippa Georgiou -- Star Trek: Discovery
Her most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominos of Qo'noS, Regina Andor, Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius is responsible for wiping out multiple civilizations in subjugating the universe to Terran rule. Being brought to the Prime Universe against her will has barely slowed her stride as she was immediately recruited to Section 31, allegedly under the command of Captain Leland although who actually commands who is highly questionable.

6. Xena -- Xena, Warrior Princess

Xena -- Xena, Warrior Princess
Introduced as a fearsome villain on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena brought her considerable skills to the fight for good once she began the road to redemption. Given her Warrior Princess moniker from a powerful mentor and healer, she grew to embody it through her travels with Gabrielle. Even more impressive was the sense of humor she developed along the way.

7. Silas Benjamin -- Kings

Silas Benjamin -- Kings
A soldier in the Unification War, Silas Benjamin was crowned king by God himself when he resolved to rebuild Shiloah, the capital city of Gilboa. Modeled on the biblical King Saul and played to perfection by Ian McShane, Silas would rather negotiate with than attack his opponents in the interests of peace and prosperity.

8. Teresa Mendoza -- Queen of the South

Teresa Mendoza -- Queen of the South
As the alter ego for protagonist Teresa Mendoza, The Queen of the South appears when things are looking their worst, providing Teresa with the emotional support and advice to survive. She is cool, collected, and ruthless. She is Teresa's potential future as leader of the Vargas cartel.

9. Eleanor Henstridge -- The Royals

Eleanor Henstridge -- The Royals
The only daughter of a fictional British royal family, she's gone from stoner party girl to a royal focusing on social causes who is in a committed relationship with her former bodyguard. Multiple deaths and the realization of a serious addiction will do that to a person, I guess.

10. Crowley -- Supernatural

Crowley -- Supernatural
Talk about working your way up the ladder. Crowley's admission to Hell is bought by a deal his human persona struck to increase his penis length. Centuries of punishing torture later, he makes the leap to demonhood and then excels at that to win the King of the Crossroads title. After that, it's a hop, skip, and a jump to King of Hell. Not that holding onto that title has been easy. Seems like every year or two he needs to fight off a challenger for that particular throne.

11. Margo Hanson -- The Magicians

Margo Hanson -- The Magicians
Pretty sure this is the first ruler to win authority on the write-in ballots of talking animals. As High King of Fillory, Margo has been a force for social justice amongst the many invested (and often combative) parties. Trained in the use of magic through her time at Brakebills, her quick-thinking strategy skills are all her own by nature.

12. Regina Mills -- Once Upon A Time

Regina Mills -- Once Upon A Time
Regina Mills may have been evil and may now be good but she maintained her queenliness throughout it all. From the primary antagonist and the caster of the First Dark Curse (who knew there would be so many?) which created Storybrooke to the popularly appointed Queen of the United Realms, this is a character who demonstrated some extreme skills for adapting to a rapidly changing environment.

13. Lucious & Cookie Lyon -- Empire

Lucious & Cookie Lyon -- Empire
The undisputed king and queen of Empire Entertainment, the only thing that could possibly topple them is their own personal power struggle. They fight. They scheme. And everyone's got a horse in the race to see who will survive the final lap.

14. Katherine Pierce -- The Vampire Diaries

Katherine Pierce -- The Vampire Diaries
First a witch, then a vampire. Once she'd been mortally wounded, she ended up in Hell and took it over. Katrina Petrova, aka Katherine Pierce, was so powerful that the only way to be truly rid of her was to DESTROY Hell itself. Seriously.

15. Pasiphae -- Atlantis

Pasiphae -- Atlantis
Power-mad, Pasiphae manages to become ruler of Atlantis not once, not twice, but THREE times despite many of her underhanded and unethical methods coming to light. With supreme confidence, she is able to assemble armies and frame rivals. Nothing stands in her way except the fear of the repercussions from the gods for killing her own son.

16. King Richard -- Galavant

King Richard -- Galavant
He begins as a bumbling fool of a king and by the finale, he has lost the throne (and a lot of his jerkheadedness) but gained a DRAGON. Oh, Tad Cooper, you redeemed the irredeemable.

17. Diana Prince -- Wonder Woman (1975-79)

Diana Prince -- Wonder Woman (1975-79)
Our original warrior princess, an Amazon from Paradise Island who returns with Major Steve Trevor to join the fight against the Nazis of World War Two. When she returns in the 1970s (Season Two), she becomes an IADC agent and fights crime, espionage, and alien invasions with Trevor's son.

18. Mags Bennett -- Justified

Mags Bennett -- Justified
The matriarch of the Bennett clan, she was clearly the Queen of Harlan County. Not only was she smarter than all of her male family members put together, she ran a successful business and made a mean apple pie moonshine. Real mean.

19. Ra's Al Ghul -- Gotham

Ra's Al Ghul -- Gotham
The Demon's Head has been making appearances all over the television landscape, always looking for an heir. Gotham's iteration of this leader of the League of Assassin's initially tapped Barbara Kean but withdraws his offer then dies a couple of times while making Bruce Wayne's life infinitely more complicated.

20. Ander Elessedil -- The Shannara Chronicles

Ander Elessedil -- The Shannara Chronicles
A youngest son of a royal line, he turns his party-boy lifestyle around to save his people and secure their lands from the Demon threat. In the process, he loses all of his family and his true love. It's a high price to pay and a lonely reward to reap.

21. Minerva, The Widow -- Into the Badlands

Minerva, The Widow -- Into the Badlands
A revolutionary spirit born of years of abuse and witnessing the mistreatment of women in the Badlands, Minerva takes the traditional route to Barondom -- killing the previous Baron, in this case, her husband -- only to be refused recognition by the other Barons who fear the revolution may be coming for their way of life.

22. Bilquis -- American Gods

Bilquis -- American Gods
"Our queen's power which is the power of all women, the power of rebirth and creation, it makes some men kneel in awe and give gifts. But it makes other men angry," says Mr. Nancy on American Gods Season 1 Episode 8 of Bilquis, aka the Queen of Sheba. She is an Old God and is rejuvenated and empowered by the willing prayers and offerings of lovers and consumes them whole during the sex act. But not with her mouth. In Season Two, she has become a go-between from the New to the Old Gods, warning her compatriots,"Evolve or die."

23. Dru-Zod -- Krypton

Dru-Zod -- Krypton
Krypton inaugural season had a lot of highs and lows but it had an exceptional finale, with Superman's House of El logo transforming and a Phantom-Zone-time-travelling Dru-Zod, aka General Zod, imposing martial law over the city of Kandor (possibly the whole planet) with the infamous phrase,"KNEEL BEFORE ZOD."

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