Sovereignty has always been a pivotal engine in the world, both current and past. In fact, historically, nobility and royalty have always been an interesting engine for stories: from the rise to power of King Arthur to the figure of Don Rodrigo, anyone who holds such a great form of power is often seen or as a figure of inspiration for acts. noble or as an execrable individual who abuses his power conscious of not having to answer to anyone.

This article is reborn as a result of what we are experiencing these days regarding the death of a sovereign and the rise to power of her son. Who knows what face of sovereignty we will see in the future.

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Sovereignty as an archetype

However, if we analyze sovereignty as an archetype, Jung places sovereignty and the Sovereign (with a capital S, yes) as the most interesting archetype within his analysis of the human psyche.
The Sovereign is the organization, the inspiration, the ability to govern not through prevarication but through example. If the knights are the intermediaries between the king and the people, the men and women who carry on the word and the verb of their lord, the sovereign is the one who acts as a link between the world of ideas and the material world. The figure of him guarantees the kingdom a dream around which everything revolves.

Although the contrast in Eastern and Western philosophies often points to seeing two alien worlds seeking dialogue, the figure of one who commands by divine mandate, obviously with declinations with respect to the justification of these different authorities, is one of the points that unites the analysis of the world. Those in power have a heavy duty on their shoulders, they are the guarantor of order and social structure and that throne is well aware of how fragile and at the same time burdensome it is.

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Sovereignty in the game

An interesting example of how this divine mandate weighs on the shoulders of those who carry it we have in FATE, a saga born from a series of video games which then evolved into anime and manga. Ancient heroes are summoned to fight for the Grail in the name of their masters. Fundamental to this analysis is the dialogue between Arturia the king of knights, the crossgender version of King Arthur of the saga, and Iskandar, Alexander the Great, the king of the Conquerors on the subject of what a king really is.

While Arturia tells how his greatest dream is to be able to erase his figure from history so as not to make Camelot fall, Iskandar points out how by doing so he disrespects the sacrifices of his subordinates as a King must rise above ordinary mortals.
A King for Alexander the Great must embody the best and worst of anything, he must be an individual whose ambition, ferocity and nobility are so extreme that he is both admired and hated at the same time as he must be a man with a dream. so great that his subjects must aspire to be like him and dream with him.

Moving instead to another product, this time purely role-playing, "The Legend of the 5 Rings", An RPG originally written by John Wick and currently produced in its fifth edition by Fantasy Flight Games and imported into Italy by Need Games, presents us with a fantastic world of oriental origin where the question of what royalty is receives various answers.

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The ruler in Rokugan

If in fact in Rokugan, a world built by uniting the entire imaginary linked to the East under the same sky, the figure of the Emperor is fundamental for the keeping of the Empire since he is the reference point for the keeping of order in the eye of the people, the divine lineage of the imperial family is not the absolute guarantee of government.
In fact, the imperial family is only one of the eight families descended from the Kami expelled from Heaven. The nobility commands by divine mandate and is not in the hands of a single bloodline, although the other seven clans obviously accept and respect the rule of the Hantei family, thus assuming the role of subordinates of the Chrysanthemum Throne as the world needs structure. .

If we analyze each clan as a small kingdom in its own right, as a small world where each original Kami has dictated the internal laws of their own people, we can see how even within such a hierarchical structure there can be more sovereigns.
And so while the noble clan of the Lion, the right hands of the Emperor, applies bushido focusing on the theme of value and sacrifice, on the other hand we have the Crane, the left hands, which focus on the importance of perfection and diplomacy. Among the shadows are the Scorpios, spies and traitors, whose ancestor, Bayushi, has imposed on them to be the hands in the shadows of the Emperor.

The nobles whose true sacrifice lies not so much in their own lives as in being considered the execrable since a kingdom needs both nobility, honesty and honor and betrayal, lies and dishonor to prosper. The sacrifice of the Scorpions is obviously also part of another in a very interesting narrative topos, but at the moment I think it is enough to dwell on how much, despite having to respect the imperial mandate, each clan of the Rokugan has more levels of nobility and more noble Sovereigns to obey, to the point such that some accept with peace the fact of living in a paradox because in serving their ancestor they still serve the Empire.

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rokugan sovereignty

Conclusions

Here is what makes the Sovereign so interesting within the stories: a tyrant is an enemy to be defeated because he abuses his responsibility, but a Sovereign aware of what he must do, aware of the weight of that throne, is a source of inspiration and admiration such as to paradoxically make even the most execrable acts just because he is the guarantor of the nobility of those acts for the ultimate purpose of his Dream and as long as the Dream continues it does not matter who wears that metaphorical crown since the Sovereign is only the voice on earth of something bigger.

The nobility of the Sovereign in fiction is therefore this: people can die, but the Sovereign will always find a new protagonist in which to incarnate to carry on the ideas he represents, thus allowing the Dream to continue to thrive as the narrative engine of the Kingdom, in short.

The King is dead, long live the King. Or in this case, the Queen