A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is so fun, five terrible rulers! I wasn’t sure if we should do real or fictional so I did a mixture, there is a fair amount of ranting in the post so be warned, also the numbers don’t mean much because I hate them all.
1. King Henry VIII of England (1509-1547)
My hatred for this guy runs deep. I mean where do I start, in my opinion the reason Henry was so unfit to rule is because he was brought up as a second son. His older brother Arthur was the Prince of Wales so Henry got away with doing what he liked, that is why he was so arrogant and had no way of coping with the pressure of ruling. The real reason I hate him so much is because of how he treated his wives. Catherine was a loving and loyal wife and he humiliated her and ruined her life. After the divorce, Catherine was not allowed to see her daughter Mary and died alone. But of course Henry would never be content, the woman that he had turned the entire country upside down for, also displeased him. Anne Boleyn did in no way deserve the end she got. I don’t believe that she would have been stupid enough to have affairs with anyone under Henry’s nose. Anne gave birth to one of our greatest monarchs Elizabeth I but never got to see her grow up, thanks to Henry. The real reason he wanted to get rid of Anne was because he had fallen for one of her ladies in waiting, Jane Seymour. Then Anne of Cleves was humiliated by Henry but had a narrow escape. Young Katherine Howard was not so lucky and again was executed on claims of adultery. Catherine Parr understandably didn’t want to marry this repulsive man and spent most of her marriage to him paranoid that she would also be killed. Thankfully she survived him and went on to look after Elizabeth and Edward. Henry also spent stupid amounts of money, his father had saved well during his reign but Henry was a disaster with money, even after he seized all the churches and monastries lands and money, he still didn’t have enough to keep up with his lavish lifestyle. Historians predict that anywhere from 57,000 to 72,000 people were executed during his reign. A great portion of which were the people that got close to him and those of Catholic faith. My only consolation is that Henry had a terrible wound in his leg from a jousting accident in 1536, the wound festered and never healed for the remainder of his life. He was in pain all of that time and that my friends is karma.
2. Mad King Aerys II of Westeros (262-283)
Aerys Targaryen is from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. When we say mad, it’s almost an understatement. Aerys was paranoid and cruel, towards the end of his reign he became convinced that his own son Rhaegar was plotting against him. The court was split in two, there was talk of another civil war, but thanks to Rhaegar’s idiotic actions the North and the Stormlands rose up in rebellion instead. Aerys had become obsessed with wildfire, a powerful potion which creates a fire that burns through everything, even water. He hatched a plot and had pots of wildfire planted throughout his capital city. “Let him be King of the Ashes.” He was reported to have said about Robert Baratheon, he would rather burn 250,000 people alive than loose the war. Aerys also had some of his enemies burned alive. Rickard Stark demanded a trial by combat to defend his honour but the King chose fire as his champion. Rickard was burned alive by wildfire as his son Brandon was forced to watch, strapped to a wall at the neck, he strangled himself in his attempts to save his father. That was when four of the Seven Kingdoms rose up against Aerys, the North, the Stormlands, the Riverlands and the Vale. Before his death Aerys ordered his pyromancer to burn the city as the war was lost. But thankfully Jaime saved the city and killed both men.
3. King John of England (1199-1216)
What a mess John’s reign was! Before he even became King he was causing trouble, Richard the Lionheart was John’s brother but spent most of his time fighting in the Crusades. While he was away John tried to take his throne, foolishly Richard forgave his brother. During his time as king, John lost England’s lands in Normandy, he also had countless affairs with his nobleman’s wives, which was a pretty bad idea. He fought with France, Scotland and the Pope. The people were sick of John spending all their tax money on pointless wars in France. The Magna Carta was created to protect ‘the rights of free men’. It promised the protection of church rights, protection from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, new taxation only with baronial consent. A council of twenty-five barons would be created to monitor and ensure John’s future adherence to the charter. But John refused to have the barons monitoring him so the rebels waged war against him. He was incredibly unpopular, his people didn’t trust him, he over taxed them and has been portrayed for years as a villian and a fool.
4. King Robert Baratheon I of Westeros (283-298)
Robert is also from ASOIAF. Robert was an awful person but the reason he was such a terrible ruler is because he literally did nothing. He let his council do all the work while he drank, ate, had countless affairs and spent way too much money. He was abnoxious, gluttoness, lazy and arrogant. And he really reminds me of Henry VIII. When he won his throne there were two Targaryens that escaped, they were very young children and he sent assassins after them. He was happy for children to be murdered because they happen to be Targaryens. I hate this guy! He met his end via boar, he was hunting it and got very drunk and the boar gave his a grievous injury. Did Cersei have a hand in it, yes. Do I blame her for getting rid of his abusive arse, no!
5. Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic (1990-1996)
I don’t hate Fudge as much as the others and he was a pretty good Minister until things got dangerous in the Wizarding World. When Harry and Dumbledore told him that Voldermort was back, Fudge was so scared he accused them of lying and being mad and buried his head in the sand. He only believed them when he saw Voldermort for himself and by that time it was too late to stop him. Fudge lost his job as soon as the Wizarding community found out about his incompetence. He wasted a whole year when they could have been preparing for Voldermort’s take over. Fudge was weak and afraid and he inflicted Umbridge on the students of Hogwarts, a true crime!
I really enjoyed making this post, I hope it hasn’t got too much ranting in it! Have a good week everyone, stay safe.