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“HONK!” -

Zøg, The Madness of King Zøg

King Zøg Grunkwitz[1] is a major character of Disenchantment. He is the unscrupulous father of Bean and King Derek and the previous dethroned ruler of Dreamland. He is voiced by John DiMaggio.

Zøg's coronation.

He was accidentally shot by Bean in the Electric Princess after Bean scuffling with Sir Pendergast to keep the "Dragon Whistle" (Revolver), the weapon that Skybert (Sky Gunderson) was supposed to deliver to help Arch-Druidess kill him.

After being plotted against after being accidentally shot, buried alive underground and seeing Pendergast's head, who was killed by Odval and Arch-Druidess, he went clinically insane, of which symptoms were honking noises, random screams, and the inability to take surprises. Eventually, he ends up being sent to Twinkletown Insane Asylum at the end of Season Three, with his escorter being Chazzzzz.

Appearance

Zøg 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 large handlebar mustache. 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. In "Bean Falls Down", the crown's antenna was revealed to be a spy camera for Alva Gunderson. During his youth, Zøg 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 Dagmar.

History

Prince Zøg was the second born son of King Xøg. He was formerly known as The Warrior Prince. After his older brother and heir to the throne of Dreamland, Yog, died from being supposedly poisoned by Odval's secret society (though he later reveals it was a plot to toss Zøg over the brink of insanity, so it remains a mystery), Zøg found himself to be King. He admitted 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, insulting and generalizing Derek relentlessly; he shouts a lot, even stating he found it difficult to solve things without yellling; and he is vain, as he made the law that any lies other than flattery are mortal crimes, 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, 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 made him struggle 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. Despite his penchant for flattery, he does admit his flaws as he once admit that he is not a healthy man. He also appears to have a very, very bad relationship with his relatives, as while buried alive he tries to convince himself of the bright side, that he would see his family again, but he immediately worries, after remembering that he had most of them murdered.

Relationships

Family

Bee-Baw

She is the late mother of Yog and Zøg's. Zøg seems to love his mother very much as he was mortified that Bean had been caught robbing his mother's necklace in their family crypt and promised that Bean could not get away with that.


Yog

Yog was Zøg's older brother and the original heir to the throne of Dreamland. It is unknown what kind of relationship the two may have had but Zøg didn't seem unsettled when his elder brother was poisoned and died.


Bean

Bean is his eldest daughter that he had with Dagmar. He has had a difficult relationship with his daughter Bean ever since her mother was turned to stone and Zøg could become very angry at her when she refused to behave like a proper princess or refused to be married off but eventually relented and let her live her life her own way, even though he believed her to be "crazy" and even called her that in front of her. However, he still punished her when her shenanigans get out of hand such as throwing a party that ended up in many people dead and stuffed in his chimney.

When Zøg saw Bean leaving with her mother during Dreamland Falls, he believed that Bean was a traitor working with Dagmar and went so far as trying to kill her, however, Bean managed to get him to bring him back to his senses and their relationship was returned back to normal, in a way. Later in Season Three, Bean appeared to have a "soothing influence" over him during his insane state, with her being the only one he would try to communicate with, whether it was through sounds, or "Freckles", the puppet.


Derek

Derek is Zøg's only son through Oona and reinging king to Dreamland. Zøg seems to be irritated with Derek's childish behavior and at one point smacked him in the head even though Derek hadn't done anything wrong. Derek once recalled how he could wake his father up from his nap and Zøg chased him through the castle to punish him.

Friends/Allies

Enemies

Queen Dagmar

Zøg and Dagmar's wedding and Zog with a mullet.

Dagmar is Zøg's first ex-wife and the mother of his eldest daughter, Bean. Zøg fell in love with her at first sight, married her and they had a child together. Zøg adored his wife and dedicated his entire life to her, unaware that she was just using him to conceive a child and fulfill her family's prophecy. After Dagmar was turned into stone, Zøg never overcame her loss and did whatever he could to get the Elixir of Life in order to revive her. Even after marrying Oona, Zøg did not forget Dagmar and kept her portraits in the castle's walls.

In the events of Dreamland Falls, he learns of her attempt to poison him thanks in part to Luci's past time of crystal-gazing, and has a hard time coping with it; he is also one of the few survivors of her attack. After the kingdom was saved, Zøg got over his feelings for her and burned her portraits.

Other

Queen Oona

Zøg's second ex-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. Neither Oona nor Zøg loved each other but remained civil with the other, with Oona playing the role of proper Queen and giving birth to Zøg's heir while Zøg could sometimes talk to her about his problems.

However, after Dagmar is revived Zøg focuses on her and ignores Oona, which enrages her. When the attacks on Dreamland begin, Zøg blames Oona and even tells Odval to kill her but Oona managed to escape and followed the Maruvian boat that carried Dagmar and Bean.

When Oona returned to Dreamland Zøg, who had just found out Dagmar's true nature, begged her to take him back, most likely out of fear of being alone but she refused and after the divorce was official she got a slight revenge against him by stealing the castle's keys, locking him outside.


Elfo

Zøg (inspired to find the Elixer of Life) captures Elfo in a cage, poking holes in the bottom so Elfo can dance and prance, and subjects him to blood tests, but it is apparent that he liked Elfo, and was genuinely upset about his passing.


Luci

He shares a (developing) friendship with Luci the Demon, believing him to be a talking cat. At first, he utterly dislikes him, kicking him whenever he would talk, but around Dreamland Falls, he begins talking more and more with Luci, sharing his feelings with him.


Ursula

Zøg met Ursula while going hunting to distract himself from Dagmar's betrayal. When he first saw her she was in her bear form so they attacked each other until he found that Ursula had turned into a woman so after they healed each other's wounds she explained that she was a forest selkie and when she put on her bear skin she turned into a bear but otherwise she was a woman.

Zøg then took her to the castle, had her dressed up and the two spent some time together which ended up with them spending the night together. Zøg once again fell in love, and wanted to marry Ursula but he was afraid she could go back to the forest so he hid her bear skin from her in order to keep her with him but after seeing how much Ursula missed her free life in the forest he reluctantly returned her skin to her, which she immediately put on and left.

FrecklesWhile in his psychologically broken state, Zøg purchases a puppet named Freckles with Bean's help from a shop whose owner looks suspiciously like Dagmar, which he later uses to express himself, as he had stated "I can't even honk no more" while using Freckles in his final conversation with Bean before being sent to the insane asylum. However, the puppet doesn't seem to be only a puppet, with the ominousness surrounding the shop, and it...

Running Gags

  • Describing Out Loud:
    • When inspecting something King Zøg has a habit of doing so out loud. The running gag appears to be that the final item is to be revealed as something unexpected for him, 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 "The 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 "villain" from bottom to top. He freaks out when he realizes it is Bean (which was, in a way, obvious).
    • 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 that something would have happened was half-thought, as shown from his usual narrative, but this time, with a bored tone, suggesting he thought he knew what was to come. This expectation is averted, however, until a little later on when the body parts fall from the chimney when he tried to start a fire to warm himself, as 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 a talking cat after Bean came up with that on the spot, and oftentimes kicks him away, until Dreamland get's turned to stone, where he begins to warm up to him and talk to him more. Luci also acted as an emotional support "cat" for him, after he recovered from being shot, and was put in a state of insanity.
  • Liking a Violent Bean: In multiple times through Season One he tends to like Bean more when she is doing, or talking about violent topics, such when she threatened to bite out his spinal chord if he mentioned her buck-teeth again in the end of Faster, Princess! Kill! Kill!, to which he replied a nonchalant, "That's my girl.", chuckling, or when he walked in on Bean and Luci, asking if they're doing anything suspicious that he should know about, to which Bean replies "Just making murder plans with my cat." Unsurprisingly, Zøg casually replies, "Oh that's nice. Goodnight, sweetie."

Cultural References

  • Zog I of Albania (1895-1961): King Zøg the only reference to a real life Zøg appears to be the only modern King of Albania.

Trivia

"The emotionally unstable king"

  • Zøg claims to be a patron of the arts.
  • He has the tendency to execute people by pit trap in which they fall to their doom at the sea level below the castle.
  • 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, Zøg 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]
  • Zøg 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 Zøg he as Bean, while for the Scotsman he has his 28 daughters, which appeared in season 5)
  • His character resembles that of real-life king Henry the VIII of England, as well as Richard the IV from the comedy series Blackadder.
  • His battle cry "Bite my shiny metal axe!" when attacking a beast with his axe is a homage to Bender's catchphrase "Bite my shiny metal ass!", also voiced by John DiMaggio.
  • He has a jester for entertainment (whom always sends falling off the castle into the water in some way), a news reader (otherwise known as the Herald) and enjoys watching executions.
  • Zøg'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 nobles that were never meant (or wanted) to be king, that ended up being on a throne without the skills or knowledge on being a ruler. Both were highly skilled and fit warriors that turned fat upon becoming king due to a mixture of overindulgence and grief (for Zøg this happened after Dagmar's supposed death); had a woman they loved only for them to be taken away (in Zøg's case it was temporary; Robert's was supposedly kidnapped) and had a political marriage that left them miserable (for Zøg 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 Zøg. It is unknown to what extent Zøg 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 Zøg: It's hard to know what to do without yellin'.

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

King Zøg: 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 Zøg: 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 Zøg: Take her away until she stops pointing things out.

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

Luci: Me? Ow! Uh, meow! That's what cats say, right?
Zøg: I'm not here to answer cat questions. (Kicks Luci away nonchalantly)

Zøg: Ladies, ladies, please! (to Odval) I'm much more embarrassed than I am aroused!

Zøg: Well I guess the only bright side is, now I got nothing left to lose. (Hangs head sadly, crown falls) (weak stretching) Heh... Except for the thing...that says I'm a KING! OH COME ON (frustrated screams)

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 Zøg'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
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