King Arthur is the most famous king in the world, regardless of whether or not he actually existed. So of course, the Fate series made sure to include a version of him in the series, since he has potentially the most heroic spirit someone could ask for.
Of course, their version is a little different, and the fact that both Arthur and Mordred are actually women in the series is a big change that requires a lot of finagling to make work. But each of the characters have heroic and kingly qualities that made, or would have made, them into great rulers. Here are five reasons Artoria was a great king and five reasons Mordred would have been a better one.
10 Artoria: A Great General
For the most part, we consider monarchs or leaders of the country to be the heads of the military as well. Even in the U.S., the President is considered the Commander In Chief of the armed forces, even if he’s never actually served in the military. So in medieval Britain, where war and violence were constant, it would make sense that the king should probably be able to make good decisions about war and how to wage it. Artoria was a great war general, able to lead her soldiers successfully into battle any time it was called for.
9 Mordred: Worked Hard To Be A Knight
Mordred wasn’t aware of the fact that she was Artoria’s son for a long time. In fact, she also didn’t know that Artoria was a woman, due to the magic that made Mordred’s birth possible. She just knew that her mother Morgan wanted her to become a knight and to be close to the king, who Mordred admired.
So she did just that, hiding her identity and working as hard as she could to become a great knight. The qualities that make a great king are often the same that make a great knight, and the desire to be the best she could be implies she also would have done her best to be the best king possible.
8 Artoria: Led Battles From The Front
Kings are important figures in a government, obviously, so it would make sense for them to not take center stage when it came to being in battles or going to war; they might want to put themselves in a more protected position. Artoria didn’t believe this, so she let her armies from the front lines, putting herself in the same kind of danger that any of them were in, and refused to show fear in the face of possible death at the hands of her enemies. She led by example and didn’t expect anyone to take any risks she herself wouldn’t take.
7 Mordred: A Great Swordsman
While Artoria was highly successful in battle and was also a great swordsman who worked hard as Sir Kay’s squire when she was young in order to become a strong king, Mordred also had very great abilities when fighting with a sword.
We mentioned above that a king, especially in these times, was also a general, often above all other things since the countries were so often at war. Mordred’s skills as a warrior made her a great fit for this position as she would have been actively helpful in times of conflict.
6 Artoria: Defeated Foreign Invaders
Part of the conflict as Artoria came of age to ascend the throne and become king was that the Roman Empire was no longer offering protection to Britain from foreign invaders, and the country was suddenly on its own to defend itself from others who wanted to encroach on their land. Artoria fought against a lot of enemies to try to protect Britain from these outsiders and was able to defeat all of them, protecting her kingdom’s sovereignty in the process. If she hadn’t managed this feat, with the help of her armies, there would no longer be a Britain for her to rule.
5 Mordred: Was Chivalrous
We mentioned before that Mordred had strong feelings about working hard to be a good knight and what it meant to do so. And part of the reason she was accepted into the knighthood, despite not having a high birth or even anyone who could vouch for her, outside of Morgan, was the fact that she showed a great deal of chivalry, possibly the most important part of being a knight.
These qualities, which meant that she was brave, honorable, and devoted to helping those weaker than her, made her a great knight and also would have translated into being a great king.
4 Artoria: Put Aside Human Feelings
Artoria felt, from the moment that she pulled the sword from the stone, that if a person is going to be a king, that person can’t also be human. This meant ultimately that she felt that human emotions, especially feminine ones, had no place in a person sitting on a throne, so she put aside human feelings in order to rule. This led to her rule being fair and just, with fair punishments and careful considerations of issues not decided on based on anger or resentment, and therefore kept her subjects safe and cared for.
3 Mordred: Was Passionate
On the other hand, Artoria had removed herself from feeling human emotions, which made it harder for people to understand or empathize with her. Her knights were often fearful of her, uneasy about the fact that she didn’t seem to be human, and this distrust ultimately led to her downfall.
Mordred, by comparison, was a passionate person, whose decisions were often made based on her feelings, and while this has its downsides, it also has the ability to give people the confidence to follow in your lead; Mordred was able to speak to the emotions in other people in order to gain a following to overthrow Artoria.
2 Artoria: Brought Peace To Her Country
Prior to her betrayal, Artoria managed a huge victory as a king, which was ending the outside threats to the country for good so that no foreign invaders were trying their hands at taking over Britain anymore; she essentially did away with every army but her own. When she took the throne, the sense of chaos and the uncertainty about the status of their country was overwhelming, but she managed to bring an end to it. This brought peace to her people, which is ultimately the goal of any leader, for their people to be safe, happy, and cared for. It’s difficult to imagine a more important goal than this one for Artoria as a king.
1 Mordred: Leader Of The Rebellion
We just mentioned that Artoria managed to bring a great deal of peace to a country that had been constantly at war for decades. Most people were probably pretty happy about this and felt the sense of relief that comes with the end of constant conflict. But despite that, Artoria didn’t really inspire loyalty as a monarch, and Mordred was able to undercut her influence and, while she was abroad, sowed enough discord among the knights that she came back to an all-out rebellion, with Mordred as their leader, seeking to overthrow her. The fact that Mordred managed to play on the distrust the knights felt for Artoria and essentially commit treason against their king shows that she would have made a good and effective leader.
Artoria was a great king, sure, but looking at the facts, Mordred might have actually been better.