User:Looney Toons/sandbox/Called Before the King
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One or more principal characters receives an invitation they can't refuse -- the monarch or other ruler of the nation or region they're in wants to see them -- now. Sometimes it means they're in trouble, and sometimes it means they're about to receive a reward or honor of some sort. Either way, they can't say "no", not if they don't want to suffer some unpleasant repercussions.
When somebody shows up at court without being summoned, that's What's Up, King Dude?
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- the start of Shrek 2 where Shrek and Fiona get a royal message (complete with trumpets)
- Hit or Myth, the fourth MythAdventures book, starts with the protagonist, Skeeve, being summoned to appear before King Roderick - in private. Since Skeeve is at that time Roderick's Court Magician, he has no choice but to present himself... and thus does the novel's plot begin.
Oral Tradition, Myths and Legends
- Royal command performances are this for entertainers -- the monarch "requests" that they appear before them to perform their act.