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"Who's that fat kid with the crown supposed to be?"

King Zog Grunkwitz[1] is a major character of Disenchantment. He is the unscrupulous father of Bean and Derek, and the proud (and tyrannical) ruler of Dreamland.

King Zog is voiced by John DiMaggio.

Appearance

Zog typically wears a green robe with yellow trims on the sleeves and hem. His cape is a darker shade of green, bordering on a greenish-grey. He has orange hair accompanied with large nose, eyes and ears. He has spiky hair as well as a mustache in the shape of a hair-comb. He has a golden crown with two red gems: one is in the center of the crown, and another rests on top of a strange, antenna-like protrusion emanating from the tip of the crown. During his youth, Zog appeared much as he did now with the exception of having well defined muscles and bore an extremely fit physique, having turned fat from overindulgence and grief after the supposed death of his wife.

History

Zog was formerly known as "The Warrior Prince". After his older brother and heir to the throne of Dreamland, Yog, died from being mysteriously poisoned, Zog found himself to be King. He wasn't a "ruler", but a fighter, who enjoyed competing in events such as caber-tossing.

Personality

As King, Zøg is a stereotypical tyrannical king of old, ruling with only his self-interest in mind. He is cruel, teasing his son Derek mercilessly; he yells a lot, especially at Bean;  and he is vain, as any lies other than flattery are a mortal crime, but also wishes not to hear the truth. His personality seems to have been embittered as a result of the loss of his beloved and "perfect" wife Queen Dagmar who had turned to stone 15 years ago, and whom he dearly misses; in an attempt to save her, he ardently seeks the Elixir of Life to restore her to his side. His own insensitivity and inability to deal with female emotions means he struggled to have a healthy relationship with his daughter Bean, who instead was brought up by her handmaiden Bunty and numerous drinking buddies. Despite his issues with her, he realizes that he is the cause of Bean's misery and alcoholism, but he cannot do anything about it except yell.

Relationships

  • Queen Dagmar: Bean's mother, deceased (at least until Dreamland Falls). He wishes to restore her to his side because she was the love of his life. In the events of Dreamland Falls, he learns of her attempt to poison him and has a hard time coping with it; he is also one of the few survivors of her attack on Dreamland.
  • Bean: His only daughter with Dagmar. He has had a difficult relationship with his daughter Bean ever since her mother was turned to stone, though it has recovered somewhat.
  • Queen Oona: Zog's second wife. After Queen Dagmar was turned to stone, he was forced to marry with Oona to secure an alliance (and thus end the conflict) with Dankmire. Obviously she was angry at him with Dagmar's return.
  • Derek: His only son with Oona, and heir to Dreamland.

Running Gags

  • Describing Out Loud:
    • When inspecting something King Zog has a habit of doing so out loud. The running gag is that the final item to be inspected is in some way unexpected or upsetting.
    • The gag is established in the first episode when inspects the wedding cake: he does so from top to bottom, with everything being satisfactory until he reaches the message rearranged by Bean from "Great Bentwood Dreamland Alliance" to "Get Bent Dad". This causes him to freak out.
    • The pattern is repeated in the third episode when the King inspects "the suspect" from bottom to top. He freaks out when he realizes it is (quite obviously) Bean.
    • On the third occasion, the King returns to his castle after being 'treated' for a stomach bug caused from drinking dirty water. He documents his journey from the front entrance to the throne room, and seems disappointed when nothing was out of place. He obviously expects the place to be trashed, and accounts for his meticulous documentation being caused by a stroke on the way back from the spa. The expectation is in his mind (and the audiences) that something will go wrong. This expectation is averted (nothing to see here) until a little later on when the body parts fall from the chimney. (This is a delayed punchline).
    • The pattern is repeated with the ear explosions: they fail to go off when he expected them to, instead going off in an unexpected manner.
  • Talking Cat: he believes Luci to be one.

Cultural References

  • Zog I of Albania (1895-1961): King Zog has a reference in the first and only King of Albania.

Trivia

  • Zog claims to be a patron of the arts.
  • He was one of the co-hosts of the event "Harvest Blessing" which took place in Dreamland. The report was shown in the episode "Swamp and Circumstance".
  • He can read. This is an uncommon trait, because in medieval times literacy was uncommon even amongst the nobility. Despite this, Zog isn't a great fan of reading.
  • A giant hay effigy of him is created and burned at the harvest festival.
  • While performing a play marking the history between Dreamland and Dankmire, a Dankmirian child is dressed up to look like him.
  • His coat of arms is a tree with branches and roots clearly visible, separated by two colours. This is almost identical to that of Sir Bedevere's (Terry Jones) in Monty Python and The Holy Grail.[2]
  • Zog does share similarities with the Scotsman from the Cartoon Network animated series, Samurai Jack, (which John DiMaggio also voiced). Both are Red-haired (and moustached) skilled warriors. Both ill-mannered and stubborn that they (sometimes) wouldn't list to reason and are known for yelling constantly. Both are passionate about their wives and do anything to keep them safe and alive, and both have daughters that are also skilled warriors as well (for Zog he as Bean, while for the Scotsman he has his 28 daughters, which appeared in season 5)
  • He has a jester for entertainment, a news reader (otherwise known as the Herald) and enjoys watching executions.
  • Zog's character is strikingly similar to Robert Baratheon's from the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin. Both were highly skilled and fit warriors in their youths but turned fat upon becoming king due to a mixture of overindulgence and grief (for Zog this happened after Dagmar's supposed death); ascended to the throne with reluctance; had a woman they loved only for them to be taken away (in Zog's case it was temporary; Robert's was supposedly kidnapped) and had a political marriage that left them miserable (for Zog it was his second marriage).
    • The similarity of character is down to the fact that both are tokens of the trope of "fat royalty", known as "adipose rex" (literally "fat king").[3] In short, G.R.R. Martin utilised this trope in the creation of Robert Baratheon, and the writing team behind Disenchantment utilised it in the creation of King Zog. It is unknown to what extent Zog is inspired by Robert, as they are both tokens of the same trope, but given the amount of dragon eggs, it cannot be ruled out.

Quotes

King Zog: It's hard to know what to do without yellin'.

King Zog: Cancel all other crusades - we'll find the one true god next year.

King Zog: Lying to me in any other way than flattery is a mortal crime.

Bean: I've just realised, you're the reason I have a drinking problem.
King Zog: Of course I am - I'm your father.
Bean: You know what else you are? You're selfish, you're a terrible king and even if you do find a way to live for eternity, no-one in their right mind would want to spend it with you!
King Zog: Take her away until she stops pointing things out.

King Zog: (sympathetically) Everytime that girl gets a little responsibility, somebody winds up alive...

References

  1. Bean's full name is Princess Tiabeanie Mariabeanie de la Rochambeau Grunkwitz, not "Drunkowitz" - she just called herself that while drunk. Grunkwitz is Zog's family name from the House of Grunkwitz (like House of Windsor or House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg) - Twitter post of Josh Weinstein's verified account
  2. Sir Bedevere's Coat of Arms in MPATHG pathe.nl
  3. Adipose Rex allthetropes.org