Top 10 Greatest Television Kings

They are the greatest and most memorable small screen royals to sit on the throne. We already took a look at the greatest movie kings, so it's time to pay our respects to television's royalty. From those in fantasy and cartoons to comedy and drama. there have been many to entertain us while wielding their power over their subjects. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 TV Kings.

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Top 10 Television Kings

They are the greatest and most memorable small screen royals to sit on the throne. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 TV Kings.

Just to be clear, we’re including kings from all television, including mini-series and made for television movies. We’re also accepting any ruler of similar position, even if he’s not called “king.”

#10: Henry VIII “The Tudors” (2007-10)

Kicking off our list is the star of this drama, which centers on the king’s reign and many marriages. More than any other king you’ll see on this list, Henry VIII’s motivation is his growing desperation for an heir. From his first wife to his obsession with Anne Boleyn, the show follows the real life tribulations of this historical figure, including how the Cardinal comes to pull all the levers of power behind his back.

#9: King Horik “Vikings” (2013-)

He is the respected Viking ruler of Scandinavia. A benevolent king, despite his storied, brutal and vengeful ascent to the throne, this bearded royal is of course based on an historical king of the same name. While he’s notable for being a lawful and fair king, despite the age he lives in, he has been known to demand the occasional sacrifice. Nobody’s perfect.

#8: King Leopold “Once Upon a Time” (2011-)

One of the few characters in this fairytale show that doesn’t have a counterpart in the town of Storybrooke, Leopold is the father of Snow White. A standout, he was the husband of the evil Queen Regina. Despite her wickedness, he ruled the kingdom with kindness, wanting nothing except the happiness of his subjects. He’s so nice, he even frees a genie, but of course that backfires and costs him his life. Nice guys finish last.

#7: King Uther Pendragon “Merlin” (2008-12)

Before a young and noble Arthur could ascend to the throne, this stubborn and hard-hearted king ruled the legendary kingdom his way. This meant a strict ban on all sorcery, fearing the practice and desiring to do without the sort of shenanigans that could ultimately usurp him. A well-meaning king despite his appearance otherwise, he shows Arthur tough love, while his war against magic gains him many enemies, including Morgana.

#6: King Babar “Babar The Elephant” (1989-91)

Straight out of the novels is this elephant that fled the jungle only to return and form a kingdom in the Elephant realm. He’s crowned king, marries his second cousin Celeste and calls his kingdom Celesteville. A fair and noble ruler, Babar’s entourage includes the monkey Zephir, his councilors Cornelius and Pompadour, his cousin Arthur, and his three children. Of course, all his troubles come from the Rhino kingdom…

#5: Richard IV “Blackadder” (1983-89)

Next up is the outrageously hilarious royal, played by the legendary Brian Blessed. Reveling in crusades, this loudmouthed and boisterous king is said to have defeated the entire Ottoman horde singlehandedly with nothing but a fruit knife! Despising Turks and deliberately mis-quoting the bible, he went insane when he caught the bubonic plague.

#4: Khal Drogo “Game of Thrones” (2011-)

This chieftain of the nomadic Dothraki is one of many memorable kings on the series. Unlike those, he is the ruler of a people outside the seven Kingdoms. A feared warlord king, his power and ego lead him to promise his bride, the true Queen of the realm through birthright, that he’d retake her kingdom for her. He’s memorable for being a ruler who gets his hands dirty, and for being extremely savage about it.

#3: Joffrey Baratheon “Game of Thrones” (2011-)

Easily the youngest and vilest on this list is the illegitimate inbred ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. He doesn’t have an ounce of noble blood since he was the lovechild of his mother Queen Cersei and her brother Jamie. An unfeeling and sinister creep, he spends much of his time on the Iron Throne terrorizing his subjects, especially Sansa Stark.

#2: The Ice King “Adventure Time” (2008-)

One of our favorite animated characters ever, this ice wizard of the post apocalyptic future rules the ice-covered portion of the land of Ooo. With penguins as his only subjects, and his magical crown stealing his sanity and memories of his former life, he spends his days trying to kidnap and marry princesses. He’s not all bad, just lonely.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

#1: Fire Lord Ozai “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (2005-08)

Taking the top spot on our list is the ruler of the Fire nation. A fire bender who rules with a flaming fist, he is notable because he enslaved the entire world and the other elemental benders. He even takes pride in having burned his own son’s face and banishing him, while favoring his deranged daughter. Ultimately, Ozai goes completely maniacal when a comet powers him up – that when he declares himself the Phoenix King!

Agree with our list? Which television king rules your television set? For more regal top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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