Hello. Having watched a few fantasy films recently to get me in the mood for elemental, I got to wondering who would be a decent Empire sovereign. Here’s some suggestions-
Queen Bavmorda (Willow)-
Magical abilities- Pig turning, Turn citizens to stone, levitate enemy, fire bolt.
Talents- Baby killing, er…
Weaknesses- Bad luck, disloyal offspring.
Children- One Daughter (treacherous).
Queen Bavmorda was the Hillary Clinton of the Willow world. When she wasn’t committing infanticide that would make King Herod look like a slacker, she liked nothing better than to turn the citizens of enemy kingdoms to stone. Less is known about her attempts to alleviate hunger in her kingdom, presumably by turning peasants into pigs and handing out free bacon sandwiches.
Bavmorda would seem quite formidable until you remember she was beaten by a dwarf, an old woman and a baby. At least Hillary got beaten by white guilt.
The Beast (Krull)-
Magical abilities- spit fiery bolt things, change appearance, shape-changing minions.
Talents- Advanced troops.
Weaknesess- Liked a bit of royal skirt.
Children- I hate to think of them if he had succeeded.
With a giant black flying fortress as his pimp-mobile, you’d think The Beast (real name Alan) would have his choice of any girl he wanted in the Universe, but oh no, he has to have a princess betrothed to a handsome prince instead. Despite several ham-fisted attempts to kill the said beau, he was finally defeated by the mystical Glaive. Wait, did I say he was defeated by the glaive? What I meant to say was he was defeated by the fires of love. No, really. Watch the end on YouTube if you don’t believe me.
Thulsa Doom (Conan the Barbarian)-
Magical abilities- Snake arrows, turn into snake.
Talents- Hypnotic charisma, inspires fanaticism.
Weaknesses- poor personal security, Vulnerable to decapitations.
Children- Probably none, or alot.
The L. Ron Hubbard of Hyboria, Thulsa Doom set up a cult devoted to the snake-god Set. With fanatical devotees, powerful champions and sinister powers, Thulsa Doom nearly had it all, until an act of enslavement came back to bite him. Lesson- if you’re burning down a village, make sure you don’t enslave vengeful kids to cover costs.
Sauron (Pre-hand chopping)-
Magical abilities- Lots.
Talents- Seductive power, unsurpassable craftsmanship, breed monsters,
Weaknesses- Existence tied to a bit of jewellery.
Children- Pre-hand chopping- I don’t think so.
Post-hand chopping- Hard to imagine little fiery eye towers in diapers.
Sauron was a putz. Aside from throwing away every chance at redemption put before him, he came up with a half-witted scheme to control the elves through magical rings. Apparently his palantír seeing stone was working fine, but his Magic 8-Ball failed miserably as a planning aide. He also employed the most incompetent, stupid and unhygienic minions of all- the orcs. That’s Equal opportunities for you.
Evil (Time Bandits)-
Magical abilities- Turn to dog, Turn to pig, fire bolt things, Control device, Inflate, mind control, many more.
Weaknesses- Idiot minions, powers offset by supreme being.
Children- None. Possibly Dick Cheney.
Evil would make an excellent Empire sovereign. Both comical and sinister, and possessing of a snappy dress sense, Evil was played by David Warner who voiced Irenicus in BG2, making him doubly awesome.
Having said this, he had a problem that has beset fantasy bad guys since day one- being constantly thwarted by midgets.
The White Witch (Chronicles of Narnia)-
Magical abilities- Summon Turkish Delight, turn to stone, destroy world, perpetual winter.
Talent- superhuman strength, strategist, ruthless, recruit monsters.
Weaknesses- Vulnerable to cats.
Children- None. I think.
On paper the White Witch would make an excellent Sovereign. Army of monsters? check. Magical powers? Check. 7ft tall powerhouse? Check. Basic knowledge of safari? FAIL.
Witch-king of Angmar (LotR)-
Magical abilities- Morgal Blade (weapon), er…
Talents- Scary, Fell beast rider.
Weaknesses- Women (don’t we all…)
Children- Not that I’m aware of.
The Witch King, when not moonlighting in a second job as a Black Rider, served Sauron as commander of his armies. The scene in the afterlife must have been a tense one for the Witch-king and his former boss-
Sauron- ‘So, you got beaten by a girl’
Witch-king- ‘At least I didn’t get beaten by midgets’.
Now I think of it the Witch king and the White witch would make a cute couple; Moonlit fell beast rides… swapping potion recipes… long conversations over dinner on the best way to destroy the powers of good…
Magical abilities- None.
Talents- Industrialist, managerial prowess, strong recruiter, advanced weapons.
Weaknesses- Actually apart from failing to kill gods, not that many. These career girls don’t allow for weakness.
Okay, not exactly a fantasy character per se but Eboshi knew how to motivate a workforce without resorting to turning wannabe trade unionists to stone (Bavmorda, I’m looking at you). With her employees including former prostitutes and lepers, one can imagine company picnics to be both great fun and scary at the same time, especially the buffet in the case of the lepers.
In all not a bad candidate for Sovereigndom. The lack of magic is a hard one to cover over, though.
Magical abilities- Lots.
Talents- Commanding voice,
Weaknesses- Careless industrialist.
Children- None, unless you count the Uruk-hai, though one wonders what ‘input’ he had in their creation… *nudge nudge wink wink*
Saruman seemingly has it all as an evil sovereign- a wizardly appearance, magical powers, ages of experience… unfortunately his nominal boss was the Lord of putz himself; Sauron. He stood no chance really, especially with evil scheme-thwarting midgets running around.
In fact I can’t help but think Christopher Lee would make a better sovereign than Saruman would.
So who else would make decent sovereign material? I’ve done evil ones as they are more fun. Out of nine of these characters five were directly or indirectly defeated by midgets. Maybe all empire sovereigns should have ‘vulnerable to midgets’ weakness or something.
I’ve only covered movies so who else on film and in games would cut it?