What Makes A Great King? Exploring The Best Archetypes

We all love films with a just king, they give us courage and inspiration. If you like Lord of the Rings, Game Of Thrones, and Braveheart then you’ll really enjoy this video because it gives some pretty cool insight into the role and purpose of a king, and shares how the king archetype is primal in each man and that it can also be the closest thing a man can come to divinity. 

There are many qualities a king carries and there’s also two functions of a king he must abide by, so here’s a quick breakdown.


A king remains the central archetype and is known for overseeing and ruling his world or kingdom which is ordered and organised. Outside of the king’s realm lies chaos or demonic forces, usually a king’s biggest challenge. The king’s task is to know where his kingdom begins and ends, within the boundaries he is responsible for establishing a right order by leading, building up society and setting examples.  

Providing fertility and blessing

If a king embodies what is true and righteous, his kingdom will flourish and be prosperous. We can see this in The Lion King when it rains and makes the land lush again or when Aragon reclaims his throne and the white tree blossoms. 

Kings provide blessings, affirmation and praise for the goodness and virtue of his people. A king shows this by listening to his subjects, bestowing them with honour and rewards. 

However, not all kings carry that same value. When they fail to have the right order or provide blessings they can fall into two different categories, the active tyrant archetype or the passive weakling archetype. These king’s hate and fear new life and may perceive it as a threat, and they usually act violently and have a lack of structure. A shadow king sees himself as the priority, he needs to be seen otherwise he is nothing, we can see these motives in Scar. These types of kings create conflict and give a challenge to virtuous kings.

So what makes a great king in the movies and TV shows we watch? A king who knows his mortality, acts out of the responsibilities putting his selfish desires aside, knows he’s a servant to something higher and is able to bring life to his people. We too can bring these qualities into our own life which is why I think we all love a heroic action movie, who’s your favourite king from these popular movies?



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