Coronation Cinema: 20 Best Kings In Movies

As the coronation of King Charles III approaches, we thought it would be fitting to list our 20 favourite big-screen kings.

20. King Arthur – The Green Knight (2021)

Sean Harris plays an aged and wearied king in David Lowery’s exceptional medieval fantasy. (Any excuse to get this excellent film on a list!)

19. King Triton – The Little Mermaid (1989)

King Triton hates humans and forbids his daughter, Ariel, from making contact with them. He’s got a point, doesn’t he?

18. King Mongkut of Siam – The King and I (1956)

In this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, a widow travels to Bangkok to tutor the many children of King Mongkut of Siam. This king also appears in the Andy Tennant film, Anna and the King, which stars Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-fat.

17. King Henry V of England – The King (2019)

Timothée Chalamet portrays King Henry V’s journey from rebellious adolescent to heroic warrior.

16. King Harold – Shrek 2 & 3 (first appeared 2004)

King Harold gave us one of cinema’s most memorable deaths. Live and let die!

15. King Aurvandill War-Raven – The Northman (2022)

Ethan Hawke as a Norse king? One of a multitude of reasons to love this fierce film.

14. Henry VIII – The Private Life Of Henry VIII (1933)

Charles Laughton’s iconic portrayal of Henry VIII is credited with shaping the popular image of the 16th century monarch.

13. Leonidas, King of Sparta – 300 (2006)

Easily the most ripped king on this list, Leonidas is a warrior leader who demonstrates incredible bravery.

12. King Henry V of England – Henry V (1989)

Kenneth Branagh delivers one of the finest performances of his career as Henry V.

11. King Julien – Madagascar (2005)

Voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen, this ring-tailed Lemur steals the show in Madagascar, including some fun scenes with his loveable friend Mort.

10. Jareth – Labyrinth (1986)

Probably the creepiest king on this list – and that’s saying something. Once you’ve seen Labyrinth, you’ll never forget the goblin king… and his costume.

9. King Louie – The Jungle Book (1967)

Let’s be honest, this singing and dancing Orangutan king would be considerably more entertaining than King Charles III.

8. King George III – The Madness of King George (1994)

Nigel Hawthorne received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of King George III’s declining mental health.

7. King George VI – King’s Speech (2010)

Colin Firth won an Oscar for his portrayal of King George VI, who contends with a stammer as he prepares to make his first wartime radio broadcast upon Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.

6. Agamemnon – Time Bandits (1981)

Sean Connery’s role as Greek king Agamemnon is one of the highlights of this cult classic.

5. King Kong – King Kong (1993)

We’re not entirely sure what the monarchial structure of Skull Island is, but cinema’s favourite giant gorilla has to make this list.

4. King Arthur – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

“On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.” This iteration of King Arthur is the brave and noble king we all crave.

3. T’Challa / Black Panther – Black Panther (2018)

The king of Wakanda is one of the most beloved and culturally significant kings on this list. Fellow superhero Aquaman could have also made it onto this list, but he’s nowhere near as cool.

2. Simba – The Lion King (1994)

Simba ascent to power is littered with tragedy and catchy tunes. In The Lion King, we witness Simba learn his adult responsibilities and reclaim his crown from the villainous Scar.

1. Aragorn – The Lord Of The Rings (2001)

In the quest to destroy the One Ring, Aragorn emerges as a brave and inspirational leader. The trilogy ends as Aragorn is crowned King of both Gondor and Arnor.

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