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White King

White King in AMA

White King in AMR

Biographical information
Provenance

Wonderland

Physical description
Gender

Male

Hair color

White

Personal information
Allies

Alice Liddell, White chess pieces

Enemies

Red chess pieces

Occupation

Monarch (formerly)

Image gallery (5)
I'll show you the meaning of sacrifice!
— White King to Alice Liddell[1]

The White King was the ruler of the White Castle in the Pale Realm, alongside his queen. A year after Alice Liddell's victory over the Queen of Hearts, he was restrained to the door of the Heart Palace and the only way for Alice to pass through was to kill him. He had already accepted his fate and warned her about the Executioner before he was destroyed.[1]

Biography

Through the Looking-Glass

Alice first met the White King in the Looking Glass house, where she helped him and his wife reunite with their daughter Lily. When Alice first sees the White King, having passed through the eponymous looking glass, he is a chesspiece of normal size, but animate, and, for whatever reason, cannot hear or see Alice at this stage. Alice, not realising this, picks both him and the White Queen off the floor and places them on a table, leading them to believe that some unseen volcano blew them up there. Afterwards, however, she has some mischievous fun by manipulating the King's handwriting from behind while he writes so that he comes out with nonsense in his memorandum book ("the White Knight is sliding down the poker. He balances very badly"). She soon leaves him alone, however, when she sees the poetry-book in which "Jabberwocky" is written.

When Alice sees the White King next, in a later chapter, he is, along with many other characters in the story, the size of a normal adult. Humpty Dumpty, as a chesspiece, is "taken" (symbolised by his notorious fall from where he sits) and the White King appears with his soldiers, presumably in hopes of putting him back together. He and Alice begin characteristic Wonderland/Looking-Glass banter, as well as the usual Carrollian word play ("I only wish I had such eyes...to be able to see Nobody"). His imperial status as a king, as well as his tendency to take things literally, is reflected in such statements as "it isn't respectable to beg" when Alice simply says "I beg your pardon" and he also remarks that he needs his two messengers Hatta and Haigha: "one to come and one to go... one to fetch and one to carry". When Haigha arrives he claims, in all seriousness, that there is "nothing like eating hay when you're feeling faint", and having eaten two ham sandwiches consumes some hay just as casually. He expresses mixed feelings about two other characters, the Lion and the Unicorn: amusement at the fact that they are "fighting for the crown" even though it is his own crown they are fighting over, but at the same time nervousness when the "two great creatures" stand on either side of him. However, given that they, as chesspieces, are protecting him from danger from the red side, there is, as Carroll tells us, "nothing to be done about it".

His identity as a king in a game of Chess is revealed all the more when he admits that he can never quite catch up with his spouse, because, like all chess-queens, she moves too fast and for too many squares ahead of him for him to overtake her. Indeed, a more extreme version of this relationship can be seen on the opposite side of the game, in which the Red King remains asleep throughout the whole story, and the Red Queen runs her famous race.

American McGee's Alice

During Alice's journey through the Pale Realm, she became entangled in the eternal conflict between White and Red Kingdoms when she stumbled upon a red troupe abducting the White Queen. The White King bargained with Alice; in return for her services, he promised a part of the powerful Eye Staff, a requirement to breach an otherwise impenetrable curtain of souls and access Queen of Hearts Land.[2]

In the ending scene, the White King appeared with the White Queen in Wonderland restored to its peace.

Alice: Madness Returns

White King sacrificing himself

The White King reuniting with Alice.

When Alice arrived at the Queen's castle, she saw the White King tethered to the door and the only way to get in was by killing him. Before he was destroyed, he told Alice that he will show her the meaning of sacrifice and the existence of an "out-sized killer." Afterwards, Alice proceeded to kill him and he ended up in broken pieces in and around the door.[1]

Trivia

  • After the Dollmaker's defeat, Alice was not shown resurrecting anyone (the Cheshire Cat also mentions that they cannot go back home). Since Kings and Pawns are the only chess pieces that can not be resurrected, the damage done to both the Red Realm and the Pale Realm may be permanent.
  • In the Extra Content, Alice remarks how the White King reminds her of her father, Arthur Liddell. He and the White Queen are possibly confirmed Wonderland representations of her very own parents. In the second Alice book, however, Alice speculates that the Queens and Humpty Dumpty are Dinah and her kittens.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Least Wing. Level: Chapter 4: Queensland.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Castling. Level: Looking Glass Land.

External links

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