Royal Knights Lore

whatthechuck3

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Hey all. I have a question. I know that the Royal Knights and Demon Lords have become a major part of Digimon lore and canon over recent history, but I’m confused as to where they really came from and when they rose to prominence. They played no part of the original V Pet or Pendulum lore, not were they part of the first 3 anime series (characters like Magnamon, Omegamon and Dukemon excluded, as they seem to have been added to the roster after the fact). All of a sudden they seemed to have become the major face of the storyline. Anyone have any idea where that really came from?

side/follow up question: how do you feel their impact on Digimon canon has impacted things as a whole? Do you think it’s been a positive or negative change?
 

Digiforlife

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I think Royal Knight group is probably derived from "Holy Knight" type digimons and gradually increase members over time. There were only 2 royal knights in Frontier (Dynasmon and Crusadermon) and introduced Alphamon in X-evolution shortly after. By the time Savers came out the number of royal knights have increased to 12 (and 9 of them showed up in anime). Later on Hackmon/Jesmon is introduced as the 13th and supposed final royal knight and the whole group showed up later on Cyber Sleuth game. I also tend to think demon lords are introduced in a similar manner too.
 

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If I’m not mistaken the Royal Knights where first eluded to in Dukemon’s profile provided outside of the anime.
 

e105zeta

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The Demon Lords were first mentioned in Beelzebumon's profile and Demon was retconned into being one of their members. I quite like them. They're fun antagonists, but the potential they have for in-fighting (given that we've had heroic versions of Leviamon and Beelzebumon) was totally wasted in the X-Chronicle. I'm not sure that any of them would take orders from Lucemon.

The Royal Knights pretty much started as one thing - a gathering for the Ultimate levels of each anime to join. That's why the original three members are Omegamon, Magnamon, and Dukemon - with Imperialdramon Paladin Mode being a founder but not a member and Ulforce V-dramon having a spot reserved.

I think at some point they realized that they wouldn't have 13 different seasons of Digimon and started making up original members to fill out the ranks.

I don't like most or the Royal Knights because the majority of them are dragon men - out of 13 only four can definitively said to be not draconic and it makes the group very, very, very boring and repetitive. It's one thing to say "Oh, that's because the main character always has a dragon in Digimon" but then you have Dynasmon, who is essentially just a wyvern for the sake of having another dragon man and has no real reason for existing and kind of looks like Ulforce V-dramon in slightly different armor.

Then on top of that they've told the story of the Royal Knights civil war 4 times - CyberSleuth, Chronicle X, Tri, and Savers. This also gets very, very boring.

TLDR: 7 Demon Lords are fun because they're mostly unique. Royal Knights mostly boring because they're too similar and keep telling the same story with them.
 

Sparrow Hawk

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Not so much different from having Banchou or Olympus Twelve to bring often more than 4 times if with similar roles of heroic or something like that. I'd imagine
 

e105zeta

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I think you're trying to say that all the groups would get boring with too much focus and I'd have to agree to some extent. I do think that the Royal Knights are especially bad at this, though, given that their theming is a lot more similar to each other compared to the other groups. Olympus 12 all have wildly different domains, the Bantyo's have similar personalities but totally different designs and weapons that only barely sync up, the 7 DL are all heels but in different ways, etc. etc.

I also do blame the Royal Knights for taking oxygen away from angel Digimon, since instead of getting angels for Judeo-Christian storylines about theological facism we still get dragons in paladin armor.
 

Quinlan58

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I was under the impression Dukemon's profile in the Tamers website called him a Royal Knight, despite the series itself giving no indications to that. Omegamon and Magnamon got grandfathered in (to steal a phrase, they were the "Digimon Avengers") and then Dynasmon and LordKnightmon got added in Frontier as antagonists. Ulforce-Vdramon got added for the same reason Omegamon and Magnamon did.

I think what cemented them as THE digimon group was the X-Program storyline. The Pendulum X roster included versions of every RK then and introduced Alphamon, the Chronicle mini-manga put a lot of focus on the actions of Dukemon and Omegamon in the context of their roles as Royal Knights (plus of course Alphamon was the protagonist) and finally X-Evolution adapted Chronicle except with no human tamers and thus the Royal Knights and Dorumon/Alphamon were even more relevant now.

Then, of course, came Savers and put them in a show as "the most powerful group of digimon", having them be pivotal to the final arc.

As for my opinion on them? A lot of them are cool when taken separetely, but put them all together and they just blend into each other. To me they were at their best in X-Evolution, when there were only 3 (plus Alphamon), with distinct and important roles in the story, different character arcs that utilized their supposed role as the protectors of the Digital World (and the heroes of your childhood too) to its utmost potential.

After that... Craniummon was excellent in Savers, but the others blended into each other (except Sleipmon for obvious reasons, and Duftmon for being more uncaring than the others). Almost all of them got a chance to shine in Cyber Sleuth, but other than Alphamon, Omegamon, LordKnightmon and Examon, all of them felt unnecessary, like you could take them out of the story and not lose anything. It also commited the cardinal sin of having every previous protagonist RK be in the side of the humans, so you didn't even have the shock value of X-Evolution. Chronicle X... was more interested in being nostalgia fodder than anything else.

As people said before, they're also aesthetically similar enough that you don't feel meaningful differences between each of them. Put the Olympus XII in the same shot and you can get a sense of the role each has. Put the RK in the same shot and, if you're not already familiar with them from other media, it's just a group of armors that are cool in exactly the same ways. Not only that, but a lot of the most recent digimon, like Zubamon or GraceNovamon, had clearly been created in the mold of the RK, which made the designs feel monotonous even if there was nothing wrong with each of them per se. Also as said before, they keep telling the same story, which cheapens them. I liked the stories of Savers and Cyber Sleuth, but as far as the RK were concerned they were just X-Evolution lite.

The Royal Knights should be used as small groups, or even individuals. When the story includes a legend of the Digital World that serves the closest thing to God, it's epic. When the story includes 13 of them... not so much.
 

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I think you're trying to say that all the groups would get boring with too much focus and I'd have to agree to some extent.
Yeah pretty much. But I did say I imagine so we barely have any more new anime series besides 2020 Adventure.

We are struck with same repeating patterns of Digimon's but not so much from seeing Pikachu and Pikachu clones per new game everywhere like Youkai Watch with 1000 Cat recolor/reskin designs over other Youkai monsters. To compare with this, I didn't suffer that much from being tired of something like that. Thankfully, Digimon news kept us alive and entertained to look out for something worthy.

Well good thing they focused on designing new types like Saver Deeps with Pendulum Z so we won't have to see more new Dragon/Dragon Man types although they might release few new ones... With no Dramon in name or Dragon related types... So sneaky eh?

I do think 2020 Adventure now can finally focus on Angel / Holy types since Seraphimon statue was revealed in ep 4. So your wish already got granted. Although I'm not sure about the final villians.
 

VanChizzle

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The Royal Knights as a concept isn't uninteresting in of itself, though I do think they would've benefited from a little more mystique by not being revealed almost all at once for the X-Antibody storyline. I think it's worth pointing out that they do explore the theme of righteous tyranny (the Knight Templar trope), as it introduces the idea of morally grey characters who aren't necessarily "good". IIRC, at the time it was fairly common to have the traditional good vs. evil dichotomy so making the franchise more complex story-wise was a positive development in my view.

I do wonder what the best way to portray them is going forward, as they've featured quite a few times in various media and the story typically seems to be variations of the same idea: Yggdrasil being a genocidal oppressor of some sort (whether towards Digimon or humans) and the RK falling in lock-step with the exception of a few individuals. As others have mentioned, it doesn't really help that so many of them are all so similar thematically.
 

Quinlan58

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The Royal Knights as a concept isn't uninteresting in of itself, though I do think they would've benefited from a little more mystique by not being revealed almost all at once for the X-Antibody storyline. I think it's worth pointing out that they do explore the theme of righteous tyranny (the Knight Templar trope), as it introduces the idea of morally grey characters who aren't necessarily "good". IIRC, at the time it was fairly common to have the traditional good vs. evil dichotomy so making the franchise more complex story-wise was a positive development in my view.

I do wonder what the best way to portray them is going forward, as they've featured quite a few times in various media and the story typically seems to be variations of the same idea: Yggdrasil being a genocidal oppressor of some sort (whether towards Digimon or humans) and the RK falling in lock-step with the exception of a few individuals. As others have mentioned, it doesn't really help that so many of them are all so similar thematically.
What do you mean? The only Royal Knight that was added for the X-Antibody storyline was Alphamon. The others were either already established or were introduced years later.
 

Paruseruru mafubu

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According to the Digital Monster - Artbook Ver. 1 ~ 5&20th, their existence was revealed when Omegamon was born due to the powerful wills of everyone who wished for good, and with Alphamon who manifested from the world of mythology, they became an order of thirteen. Because of its role in protecting the Ancient Digital World from an unprecedented crisis in the distant past, Imperial Dramon Paladin Mode who acquired the power of the holy knight Omegamon, is considered to be the founder of the Royal Knights by its members. They were gathered by Yggdrasill to manage the world and boast absolute power in the Digital World (Chronicle X). It is common knowledge that many of the members rarely show their faces and some like Alphamon are myth even amongst the other members of the order.

What's interesting to me is that according to Jintrix and ReArise, the Dukemon of the Royal Knights was originally a Megidramon of the Four Great Dragons, the greatest sin of the Digital Hazard, who became Dukemon after its redemption and is a being of contradictions as a result. Being a Holy Knight type that carries the Digital Hazard.
 

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What's interesting to me is that according to Jintrix and ReArise, the Dukemon of the Royal Knights was originally a Megidramon of the Four Great Dragons, the greatest sin of the Digital Hazard, who became Dukemon after its redemption
when was this said? Do you have a source?

As an Olympos XII fanboy, I definitely agree that they blend into eachother a lot less than the Royal Knights. You have members who are actually physically weak for megas but get their god status in other ways like Vulcanusmon whose god level power entirely comes from being a craftsman of legendary skill as he powers up himself and everybody he's allied to as a result from his gear, Venusmon who wins her battles through pacism and removing aggression from her opponents like Marine Angemon does, and Dianamon who is a master illusionist and wins by turning her opponent's mind into her own plaything. You also have Digimon with very divergent body shapes like Neptunemon, Ceresmon, and Bacchusmon (who also is a comic relief role that the Royal Knights could benefit from as their members all seem way too serious) and you have members who are antiheros but are still amazing protectors of their domain like Marsmon, Mercurymon, and Minervamon. Outside of a few slight exceptions, you don't find this diversity in the Royal Knights, they all just feel like lawful good dragonmen characters who win through physical force. Unfortunately, the Olympos XII have yet to have a real story outside of Aegiomon in Digimon Crusader as the Royal Knights have priority in portrayals due to their popularity and the Olympos XII are also tucked away into an entirely seperate Digital World (a world that interests me that I want to see as we have never even had a glimpse of it)
 
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He's referring to the flavor text of 1-053, which is a nod to the events of Digimon Tamers.
 

Bartz

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The Royal Knights as a group isn't bad in concept, but the way the series has used them has made them probably the most monotonous group in the franchise. Their designs are too similar to each other with most being dragon men and only five (one of which is a big dragon) being the exception. It also doesn't help that their 'story' has been retreaded multiple times with little variance to break them up, so they feel overplayed in even that respect. They're the most influential on the franchise, but also do little with that influence to make them worthwhile to see constantly, so they come off as more like bland faces to market to the fans.

I do wonder what the best way to portray them is going forward, as they've featured quite a few times in various media and the story typically seems to be variations of the same idea: Yggdrasil being a genocidal oppressor of some sort (whether towards Digimon or humans) and the RK falling in lock-step with the exception of a few individuals. As others have mentioned, it doesn't really help that so many of them are all so similar thematically.
Quinlan58 mentioned this already, but I feel if they're going to use the Royal Knights again then only focusing on a small few would probably be best. There are aspects to each that could make for a story on their own if touched upon such as Sleipmon being a guardian of ancient ruins or Examon being a Dragon Emperor, but those usually get glossed over or are shoved haphazardly into the Yggdrasil plotline. Just grabbing a few and expanding on them would do a lot more for their characters then focusing on a group that does little for the whole, and I feel they're missing some potential by not doing the former over the latter more often.
 

Grovyle48

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I have complicated opinions regarding the Royal Knights. On the one hand, I like them as a concept and I enjoy their designs. On the other hand, I definitely feel like they're way over-used. ...Yet, hypocritically, I've also been writing a long-running Royal Knights fanfiction series for the past nine years. xD So, I guess I'm sort of part of the problem.

I do think they the things they appear in kind of does them a disservice, and it would be nice for other groups to get the chance to shine. I would definitely like to see the OXII, the Warrior Ten, and the Bantyos more. With that said, in my own writing, I do my best to make them unique and complex characters and I genuinely enjoy writing them. I think part of the reason why I started writing them was because I felt they were written kind of generically.

So, yeah, I definitely have some complex feelings about how I feel about the Royal Knights. xD
 

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They could do to be a little less self-serious in my opinion. I normally hate using this term... but they do kinda come off as "Mary Sues" when they show up and they're all super cool and powerful and important. They can't all be The Cool One. I think that's part of what makes it so tedious when they show up in every other story, the other part of course being the fact that they keep telling the same story over and over again. And probably why the similarly overexposed Seven Great Demon Lords don't feel quite as tired as the Royal Knights, with every member feeling much more like a different, unique character.
 

e105zeta

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They could do to be a little less self-serious in my opinion. I normally hate using this term... but they do kinda come off as "Mary Sues" when they show up and they're all super cool and powerful and important. They can't all be The Cool One. I think that's part of what makes it so tedious when they show up in every other story, the other part of course being the fact that they keep telling the same story over and over again. And probably why the similarly overexposed Seven Great Demon Lords don't feel quite as tired as the Royal Knights, with every member feeling much more like a different, unique character.
I always feel like it's a missed opportunity to not have Magnamon act basically like V-mon considering he skipped a bunch of levels to cheat an Adult-stage into Ultimate-stage. He should basically be like the DC universe's Shazzam is in the Justice League. "Yeah guys, I'm TOTALLY another grown up, just like the rest of the Royal Knights!"
 

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I always feel like it's a missed opportunity to not have Magnamon act basically like V-mon considering he skipped a bunch of levels to cheat an Adult-stage into Ultimate-stage. He should basically be like the DC universe's Shazzam is in the Justice League. "Yeah guys, I'm TOTALLY another grown up, just like the rest of the Royal Knights!"
yo, I would LOVE that! Especially if he got along super well with child Hackmon. I would also like to see more of a chaotic good side to Examon and Dukemon more, especially if they dragged along Craniumon who doesn't know better. Conflict between Duftmon trying to lead the team and Lord Knightmon refusing to follow him would also be nice to see, although, to be honest, Lord Knightmon should conflict with almost anybody
 
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Sparrow Hawk

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Sounds like... Hot Rod from Transformers.
 

sirtao

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I honestly think the RK needs more not-RK side-chacracters and relationships between RKs and other mons.
 
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