Of Figure Sovereign, nobility or royalty in general, have always been an interesting engine for stories.
From King Arthur's rise to power to Don Rodrigo, anyone wielding such a great form of power is often seen as either an inspirational figure for noble deeds or as an execrable individual who abuses his power consciously accountable. to nobody.
However, if we analyze sovereignty as an archetype, Jung puts us the Sovereign as the archetype among the most interesting within his analysis of the human psyche: the Sovereign it is the organization, it is the inspiration, it is 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 forward the word and the verb of their lord, the Sovereign he is the one who acts as a link between the world of ideas and the material one, the figure who guarantees the kingdom a dream around which everything revolves.
Although the contrast in Eastern and Western philosophies on various points often leads to seeing two alien worlds that seek dialogue, the figure of those who command 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: whoever is in power has a onerous task on his shoulders, he is the guarantor of order and of the social structure and that throne is well aware of how fragile and burdensome it is at the same time.
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FAIRY, Grail and the Sovereign in its forms
An interesting example of how this divine mandate weighs on the shoulders of whoever bears it is found in FATE, a saga born from a series of video games which later evolved into anime and manga, where ancient heroes are invoked to fight to obtain 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 theme of what a king really is.
While Arturia tells of how his greatest dream is to be able to erase his figure from history so as not to make Camelot fall, Iskandar underlines how in doing so he disrespects the sacrifices of his subordinates since a King must rise above ordinary mortals. A King, for Alexander the Great, must embody the best and worst of everything, must be an individual whose ambition, whose ferocity and whose nobility are so extreme that he is both admired and hated because he must be a man with a dream so big that his subjects must aspire to be like him and to dream with him.
The Legend of the Five Rings and the Sovereign
Moving instead to another product, this time purely role-playing, "The Legend of the Five Rings", a role-playing game originally written by John Wick and currently produced in its fifth edition by Fantasy Flight Games and imported into Italy by Need Games, we sets before a fantastic world of oriental origin where the question of what royalty is receives different answers.
If in fact in the 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 maintenance of the Empire since he is the point of reference for the maintenance of order in the eyes 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, and so the nobility by divine mandate is not in the hands of a single bloodline, even if the other seven clans obviously accept and respect the rule of the Hantei family , thus taking on the role of underlings of the Chrysanthemum Throne as the world needs structure.
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The Clans and the relationship with the sovereignty in Rokugan
But if we analyze each clan as a small kingdom in its own right, like a small world where each original Kami has dictated the internal laws of his own people, we can see how even within such a hierarchical structure there can be more rulers.
And so while the noble clan of the Lion, the Emperor's right hands, applies bushido focusing on the theme of valor and sacrifice, on the other side we have the Crane, the left hands, which focus on the importance of perfection and diplomacy while in the shadows lurk the Scorpions, the spies and traitors, whose ancestor, Bayushi, forced them to be the Emperor's hands in the shadows, the nobles whose true sacrifice lies not so much in their own lives as in being considered the execrable because a kingdom to prosper needs both nobility, honesty and honor as well as betrayal, lies and dishonor.
The sacrifice of the Scorpions obviously also falls into another in a topos very interesting narrative, but at the moment I think it is enough to dwell on how much even though they have to respect the imperial mandate each clan of Rokugan has more levels of nobility and more noble Sovereigns to obey, to the point that some accept with peace the fact of living in a paradox as in serving their ancestor they still serve the Empire.
So here's what makes the Sovereign so interesting within the stories: a tyrant is an enemy to be brought down as he abuses his responsibility, but a Sovereign aware of what he has to do, aware of the weight of that throne, he is such a source of inspiration and admiration that paradoxically makes even the most execrable acts just since he is the guarantor of the nobility of those acts for the ultimate goal of his dream and as long as the Dream carries on no matter who wears that metaphorical crown since the Sovereign it is only the voice on earth of something greater.
The nobility of Sovereign in fiction it is therefore this. People may die, but the Sovereign he will always find a new protagonist in which to embody himself to carry on the ideas he represents, thus allowing the Dream to continue to flourish as the narrative engine of the Kingdom, in short…
The King is dead, long live the King.