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The first ruler of a country. The person who founded the nation/empire/kingdom. The Pater Patriae. Sometimes, the actual founder of a kingdom is Shrouded in Myth (for example, Real Life China and Rome). Often this person is regarded as a larger-than-life figure, one against whom modern rulers cannot hope to measure up. It's not rare for this figure's name to have become the name of the country, or the title of its ruler in general.

Often seen as a statue of Our Founder. A common theme includes having the figure turn out to be a Broken Pedestal, where it turns out he was not so great as people made him out to be.


Anime and Manga

  • Rudolf in Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Reinhard von Lohengramm counts too since he conquered the Free Planet Alliance and established New Empire.

Comic Books

  • In Tintin there are a few:
    • In The Broken Ear, there is a statue to General Olivaro, the "Liberator of San Theodoros", an obvious analogue to Simón Bolívar aka El Libertador.
    • In King Ottokar's Sceptre, there is Muskar I, the 12th-century founder of the kingdom of Syldavia, and 14th-century king Ottokar IV, the "true founder", without whose sceptre no king may reign.
    • Marshal Kûrvi-Tasch is portrayed according to this trope in Bordurian propaganda, most notably in The Calculus Affair.
  • Cornelius Coot is the founder of Donald Duck's hometown of Duckburg. In one story Scrooge McDuck and the Maharajah of Howduyustan compete at erecting ever-bigger statues to his memory.
  • In Star Wars Legacy: Jagged Fel is this to the Fel Empire.


  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Elendil for Gondor and Arnor.
    • Elros for Numenor.
    • Eorl the Young for Rohan.
  • In the Silmarillion each of the chiefs of the three tribes of the Edain can be counted as this. Durin is the founder of Moria. And so on.
  • Faykan Corrino I for the Old Empire of Dune.
  • The Kingdom of Valdemar from the Heralds of Valdemar series, was founded by, you guessed it, some guy named Baron Valdemar, who was presumably from the Eastern Empire.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magicians Nephew: Frank the cab driver becomes Narnia's first king, codifying that Narnia will only flourish when a Son of Adam or Daughter of Eve is on the throne.
  • Gaius Primus from Codex Alera.
  • Played with in The Bible, where Saul is the first king (Broken Pedestal version) of Israel, but ruled centuries after the nation's founding by God using the prophet Moses (to separate the nation from Egypt) and the military commander Joshua (to conquer the land for the nation to occupy).
  • Kungas in the Belisarius Series refounds the Kushan Empire after spending his life soldiering.
  • Hazal-rah in Watership Down
  • Queen Eleanor in Septimus Heap.
  • The various realms of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire have these, most of whom are legendary:
    • Bran the Builder for the North.
    • Lann the Clever for the Westlands.
    • The Winged Knight for the Vale of Arryn.
    • The Grey King for the Iron Isles.
    • Durran and Elenei for the Storm Lands.
    • Mors Martell and Nymeria the Warrior Queen for Dorne.
    • Aegon the Conquerer and his sisters Rheanys and Visenya for Westeros as a whole.

Live Action TV

  • Kahless the Unforgettable for the Klingon Empire.
    • Surak, the philosopher on whose teachings Vulcan society is based, and Gint, the author of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, hold similar status in their respective cultures.
    • The shapeshifting Changelings who established The Dominion are literally referred to as the Founders most of the time.
  • Doctor Who has Rassilon and Omega as the long dead founders of Time Lord society. It seems every second Time Lord artifact is the Something of Rassilon, or the Floggle-Toggle of Omega. The Expanded Universe adds another mysterious founder simply called The Other.
  • Dylan Hunt in Andromeda is the founder of the new Systems Commonwealth.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Tiber Septim for the Tamrielic Empire in The Elder Scrolls. He got deified as Talos for this.
      • Well, not exactly...
    • Reman I for the Reman empire, a precursor to the Septim Empire.
    • Saint Alessia the Slave Queen for the First Cyrodilic Empire, precursor to the Reman empire.
    • Indoril Nerevar for Morrowind. The Tribunal rule in his name, though they may in fact have secretly killed him, depending on whose history you believe. Still, Nerevar is credited as the first King, founder of the first council, and unificator of Morrowind.
  • Aradesh for the New California Republic of Fallout and the town of Shady Sands that it developed from.
    • Edward "Caesar" Sallow is this for Caesar's Legion.
  • King Calenhad Theirin for the kingdom of Ferelden in Dragon Age.
    • Emperor Kordillus Drakon I for the Orlesian Empire.
    • Archon Darinius for the Tevinter Imperium
    • Ashkari Koslun for the Qunari

Real Life

  • Sir John A. MacDonald, first Prime Minister of Canada and easily the Father of Confederation that people will remember the most. Essentially founded the Dominion of Canada as he led the push for confederacy. Less commonly remembered are that Queen Victoria was the first head of state for Canada (hence why Victoria Day is a national holiday) and Viscount Charles Monck was the first Governor-General.
  • George Washington, the first president of the United States. In fact, when the other founding fathers were designing the new governmental system, the office of president was specifically based upon the kind of leader that Washington was. So he was the first president, and the office of president was based on him.
  • England is an interesting case. The very real Alfred the Great tends to get the credit as the historical founder of a kingdom of England, but has been comprehensively overshadowed by King Arthur, who may go one beyond being Shrouded in Myth by just being, well, mythical. Alfred has been written about by historians; Arthur has been the central character of more poems, novels and Hollywood films than you can shake a stick at.
    • What's really funny is that by modern standards, King Arthur was not English but Welsh. Also, his enemies are frequently identified in the Welsh legends as Saeson, or Saxons, or in other words, Englishmen. The Welsh for their part tend to put more emphasis on Owain Glyndwr, who was more "Occupiers Out of Our Country!" than Founder of the Nation, although Arthur is still quite important in Welsh legends.
  • Simón Bolívar is this for several countries.
  • Romulus, and to a lesser extent Remus, at least according to Roman legend, were this for Rome. Lucius Junius Brutus was also widely revered for founding the Republic.
  • The founder of Scotland is probably Kenneth McAlpin, who was the first king of the Scots and the Picts, the two peoples who inhabited the country in those days.
  • Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Modern China also has Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and founder of the Republic of China, who is revered in both the mainland and Taiwan.
  • Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan.
  • Lycurgus of Sparta, the Ur Example of Drill Sergeants Nasty. Guess which trope he invented?
  • Egypt has three:
    • Ancient Egypt had the Pharaoh Menes, who united Upper and Lower Egypt and founded the first dynasty.
    • Modern Egypt has Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian general who declared Egypt's independence from The Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century and started attempting to modernize the state and economy.
    • Modern Egypt also has Gamal Abdel Nasser, who overthrew Muhammad Ali's (by then corrupt) line and founded the Egyptian republic, and also went to great lengths to modernize the country.
  • Iran has a number of these, but the most celebrated is Cyrus the Great.
  • William the Silent, leader of the Dutch rebelion against Spanish rule.
  • Poland has Mieszko I, who converted the Polans to Christianity and turned the tribes into a state.
  • Russia is so often bloodily reformed into unrecognizable shapes that it has many.
    • Prince Rurik is considered the founder of the pagan Kievan Rus.
    • Prince Vladimir the Saint converted the Eastern Slavs to Christianity and started Kievan Rus proper.
    • Ivan III the Great created the Muscovite Tsardom.
    • Peter the Great created the Russian Empire.
    • Vladimir Lenin created the Soviet Union.
    • Boris Yeltsin started The New Russia, much to the chagrin of many Russians.

Western Animation

  • Not a country, but Jebediah Springfield of The Simpsons? It's not a nation, but he fills the same kind of concept (heroic figure, founder of the place).
    • Cousin-marrying Shelbyville Manhattan for Springfield's rival city.
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