Solo Leveling: Who are the Monarchs?

Solo Leveling was one of the most exciting new shows that ended just ahead of the ongoing Spring 2024 anime cycle. There’s no denying that it has already surpassed our expectations with its unique narrative. However, not many anime fans are aware that everything in the Solo Leveling universe started when nothing existed except for light and darkness. That’s when the Absolute Being created the Rulers and Monarchs. While the former held the responsibility to protect humanity, the latter wished to wipe out the entire human race. Well, if you want to know who Monarchs exactly are, let’s dig deeper to find out.

Spoiler Warning This article contains information from the source material. So, we highly suggest you read the manhwa beforehand to avoid ruining your intended experience.

The Origins of Monarchs Explained

A still from Solo Leveling Manhwa
Image Courtesy: Solo Leveling Fandom

Light and Darkness were the two pre-historic forces that were split by the Absolute Being in order to bring the Rulers and the Monarchs into the frame. The Rulers were the good guys who were created to save humankind, while Monarchs came out of darkness with the intention to cause destruction.

Monarchs are powerful beings that do not have the freedom to enter the human world in their true form. That being said, they can certainly take humans as their hosts, like Jujutsu Kaisen’s Sukuna. Even though a Monarch is a formidable entity in its spiritual form, possessing a human allows it to become more powerful physically. However, as humans are mortal beings, they possess their own set of weaknesses.

Each Monarch boasts unique abilities that make them stronger than the robust S-Rank Hunters in Solo Leveling. Apart from that, every Monarch has an army that serves as their backup during the deadliest combats.

Role of the Shadow Monarch

When the eternal enmity between Rulers and Monarchs started, the former race requested the Absolute Being to bless them with more powers. They wanted to end the battle once and for all.

However, the Absolute Being was an entity with a God complex, so he decided not to take them seriously. Also, he wanted the war to continue for eternity, so he never really favored any side. Ashborn knew about this, but he still followed the Absolute Being without question because of his undying loyalty.

Realizing the Absolute Being’s selfish motives, Rulers killed him and ceased one of the Monarchs named Legia. That’s when Shadow Monarch, aka Ashborn (then a Ruler), decided to go against his own race and help the Monarchs for the sake of the Absolute Being’s unfulfilled wish, which was to keep the war last for eternity.

sung jinwoo along with his shadow army in solo leveling manhwa
Image Courtesy: YouTube/ D&C Webtoon

When Ashborn lent a helping hand to the Monarchs, they had to take him as an ally as they didn’t have any better option. Ashborn’s dominant powers made two Monarchs, Rakan and Baran, break the chain and attack him with their armies. Even though Ashborn killed Baran and overwhelmed Rakan with his powers, he couldn’t save his army.

As Ashborn’s army was destroyed, he decided to go on hiding for some time and come back to the battlefield after reviving the lost army. Meanwhile, with Ashborn gone, Monarchs ended up losing the battle against the Rulers and fled from the cracks of the World.

The Endless War Reaches Earth

After being humiliated by the Rulers, the Monarchs decided to revamp their armies after several centuries. Their possession of the humans started when Rakan sensed the presence of his former enemy, the Shadow Monarch, on Jeju Island. So, when Rakan went digging for more information, he came across the Frost Monarch, who revealed the same thing to him. The duo then decided to continue the war that was left unfinished centuries ago.

Around this time, Rulers sent Legia (the Monarch they held captive) to Earth, who was killed by Jinwoo after the Jeju Island arc (one of the best Solo Leveling arcs). The Monarchs then decided to enter the human world in search of the Rulers. The battle began with the murder of Christopher Reed, who was not only one of America’s potent hunters but also the host of one of the Rulers.

After killing the US-based hunter, the Monarchs abducted and murdered the S-Ranked Brazilian hunter, Jonas when he was about to attend the International Guild Conference. These killings raised the Monarchs’ confidence, and they started looking for the Rulers with more determination.

However, with time, they realized that in the human world, Sung Jinwoo was the biggest threat to them as he was the vessel of the mightiest Ashborn.

List of the Monarchs in Solo Leveling

Here’s the list that will help you get a better picture of every Monarch in the Solo Leveling Universe:

AshbornThe Monarch of Shadows
YogumuntThe Monarch of Transfiguration
TarnakThe Monarch of the Iron Body
AntaresThe Monarch of Destruction
RakanThe Monarch of Fangs
HochwanThe Monarch of Frost
QuerehshaThe Monarch of Plagues
BaranThe Monarch of White Flames
LegiaThe Monarch of the Beginning

So yeah, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about the Monarchs that will be joining Jinwoo in the Solo Leveling universe in the coming season.

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