"Never start a marriage with a kidnapping, both of you promise me that."
—King Richard, "Joust Friends"
King Richard is one of the main characters, and central antagonist for 5 episodes of the ABC short sitcom, Galavant. His first appearance was on the Season 1 episode "Pilot". King Richard is portrayed by Timothy Omundson.
When Richard was a child his parents were too busy ruling to pay him any attention. His only friend growing up was an elderly servant named Pearl, whom Richard felt was the only person who ever loved him. As a child he chose to eat his feelings (along with a lot of bread), resulting in him being overweight. When his father passed away he attended a ceremony in which his elder brother Kingsley was going to be sworn in as King. However, Kingsley refused, preferring not to be handed his own rule. Richard was chosen next after he announced his presence to the gathered crowd with a fart. A young squire called Gareth was made his personal guard and the sword of the King was to be given to him to symbolize his rule. Richard was humiliated when Kingsley grabbed the sword instead, just before leaving to conquer his own kingdom. This affected Richard into adulthood, as he always feels like he is everyone's second choice.
As he grew into adulthood, his hobbies as King included raising taxes and upsetting the poor people. One day he noticed Galavant's lady Madalena, and was instantly smitten. After his attempts at wooing her failed, he had her kidnapped by Gareth. Madalena was taken back to his castle where Richard planned on forcing her to marry him. Galavant interrupted the wedding ceremony to reclaim his love, but was shocked when Madalena chose Richard over him. However, the marriage was unsatisfying, as it was never consummated since Madalena claimed to have taken a vow of chastity. The relationship became further strained due to Madalena's shrewish attitude towards Richard. To please her, he invaded and conquered Valencia simply to acquire a precious gemstone for her. During this time he grew to despise Galavant, due to his wife's constant habit of unfavorably comparing him to her ex-lover. Because of this, Richard decided to put his focus on killing Galavant instead. To that end he blackmailed Valencia's Princess Isabella to help lure Galavant into a trap.
A long year of marriage later King Richard conquers the kingdom of Valencia in hopes of retrieving the priceless Jewel of Valencia for his unhappy wife Madalena. Upon no success he threatens to kill the King of Valencia in front of his queen, luring Isabella out of hiding. He then plots to use Isabella to lure Galavant to him so that he can kill him in front of Madalena and hopefully earn her respect and win her affection. (Pilot)
While at dinner one day with his queen, the king fails to impress his beloved by using the chef to feed him like a child. Gareth states that maybe he should feed himself before Madalena leaves in disgust. Gareth then tells the king that maybe he should "Butch up" a bit in order to earn her respect to which he agrees. Later the next night him and his queen sit down for dinner with big changes to his attitude regarding eating himself, despite this, and even after sharing some light on his childhood maid Pearl (who he refers to as the only person who loved him), Madalena still states her hatred towards him by stating he's unlovable. (Joust Friends)
Richard makes the surviving locals listen to Jester's joke about them. Madalena grows bored and Richard tells her that he's not going to stop giving up on them as a couple. Bored himself, Richard has the eunuch come up and confirms that he doesn't feel pain when he's hit in the groin. The king invites everyone else to take a go at it, and tells Madalena that they should have a ball. She agrees and goes off with Jester to work on some "routines." As the remaining Valencians prepare for the ball, Chef reminds Richard that he burned all the crops so that the Valencians have no food. Since they executed all the musicians when they invaded, Richard decides to have the executioners improvise. They manage to bang out a dance number based on an executioner's march and Richard tells them to keep working on it.The Valencians actually have fun, and Richard finally gives them permission to speak the truth about him. Hesitantly at first, the Valencians start telling Richard what they really think of him. Richard approves, and Madalena slips away with Jester. The eunuch notices and says that Richard is the only one that doesn't know his wife is banging the court jester. The ball grinds to a halt and Richard has Gareth kill the eunuch.(Two Balls)
At the palace in Valencia, Richard and Gareth watch Madalena take Jester off for another romp. Richard tells his loyal henchman that he knows what he has to do. Once Jester is done, Richard confronts him with a sword and says that he knows what Jester has been doing with his wife. He then stabs Jester with a sword... and it bends. Jester is less than amused, and Richard admits that he isn't very funny. He figures that's what Madalena wants in a man and asks Jester to give him comedy lessons.(Comedy Gold)
Isabella, Sid and Galavant successfully infiltrate the castle only to be greeted by King Richard. Galavant briefly fights with the guards until he notices that Gareth is holding Isabella hostage. Once Galavant surrenders the King taunts him by revealing Isabella's complicity and has them all taken to the castles dungeon. The King informs them that Galavant is to be killed soon as Isabella tries to explain her actions.Over at the gallows platform, Richard taunts the latest hooded prisoner assuming it to be Galavant. He removes the cowl and is shocked to discover it's actually the Chef. (Completely Mad...Alena)
Over at the gallows platform, King Richard is angered that his wife clandestinely saved Galavant's neck from the noose by substituting it with the Chef's. When Gareth gets summoned away by the Queen, Richard whines about why he lets people disrespect him. The Chef interrupts his moment of angst to prevent the King from accidentally activating the hanging mechanism. He suggests they visit the magician called Xanax to discover the source of his problems.Having just returned from Xanax's place, Richard is happy to hear this. He orders Gareth to lock Madalena up in the dungeon but she has other plans. She announces they have a guest who then makes his presence known. It's Richards brother Kingsley who declares his intention of taking back the kingdom.(Dungeons and Dragon Lady)
Richard is as surprised as anyone at the news, and Kingsley suggests that they duel if he feels so strongly about it. The king accepts and immediately declares that they'll choose champions. However, Kingsley chooses Gareth before Richard can, and Gareth has no choice but to accept. When Richard who can fight with a sword, no one volunteers at first. However, Galavant grabs Gareth's sword and takes down the guards, but then drops the weapon and says that in return for the prisoners' freedom, he will fight for Richard. Richard accepts and Galavant tries to sing about his moment coming, but an irritated Kingsley chloroforms him unconscious and walks away.Rather than have Gareth fight, Richard announces that protocol requires that they have a pre-duel welcome feast.
At the feast, Gareth finally has enough and tells Richard that he has to act like a man rather than a king. Richard finally has enough and says that only he can execute Chef. Kingsley dares his brother to do something about him, and Richard announces that he will fight his own duel. Satisfied, Kingsley says that he will still have Gareth as his champion. (My Cousin Izzy)
When he hears what Galavant has to say, Richard has Gareth bring the hero to his bedchambers and listen to the hero's description of Madalena's feet. Galavant suggests that they commiserate together over drinks, and Gareth advises against it. When Richard asks him to sing the lullaby their nanny Pearl sang to them as children, Gareth quickly leaves and the two men go to a tavern. As they drink--a lot--Richard finally admits that he never slept Madalena because he's not that kind of a man. He admits that he's a virgin, and Richard suggests that Richard kill Kingsley in his bed. Richard finally accepts that it's a good idea and loudly asks for a round of drinks to celebrate the assassination.
Once both men are drunk, they sneak into the palace and head for Kingsley's room. They come to Madalena's room and discover a line of men outside, auditioning for the role of the queen's new consort. Richard advises them to check Madalena's feet and they go to the dungeon. Galavant rambles on about how beautiful Isabella is and that he wishes he had kissed her, and then goes off with Richard to kill Kingsley. They enter Kingsley's quarters and Richard thanks Galavant for taking him out and treating him like a friend. He asks Galavant to promise not to tell anyone that he's not a virgin... just as Kingsley, Gareth, and the guards step out from hiding. Kingsley chuckles at Richard's virginity, takes his crown, and promises Gareth everything he could ever want if he fights for him.
In the dungeon, Galavant collapses and Richard asks Gareth to sing Pearl's lullaby with him. Gareth, upset, says that it's not his fault that he has to kill Richard the next day because Richard never stood up for himself. Once he leaves, Richard sings the lullaby by himself. Everyone in the kingdom hears it and is lulled, except for Gareth, who tries to block it out.
Richard wakes up in the dinghy and assures Galavant that they'll have fun.(It's All in the Executions)
King Richard was famous among the realms for his petty cruelty to the poor and unfair rule. He took enjoyment out of the torture of his underlings and saw it all as a childish game. From a young age he was insecure, feeling like he was second best to his older brother; this reflected onto his rule as king. Richard became spoilt and whiny, complaining when things didn't go his way and relying on others to do his work for him---such as having his chef feed him like a toddler---which was most likely due to his nanny Pearl doing everything for him when he was young. Constantly being egged on by his best friend and personal guard Gareth to become more of a man, Richard stole his bride and forced her hand in marriage. However, this did nothing to improve Richard's childish attitude. In fact, it only led him to become more insecure as Madalena still refused to love him.
Richard slowly began to become more of a 'man,' realising that he no longer needed others to do things for him, even going so far as to declare himself to be the first royal to fight his own duel, despite never going through with it.
Richard also has a very sensitive personality and wears his heart on his sleeve, bursting out in fits of rage, sadness or excessive happiness at a regular rate.
- Timothy Omundson based King Richard's voice on Prince John from Disney's Robin Hood (1973).