Architruc, the narrator. He is king of Fantoine and Agapa. He describes himself as fat, with varicose veins, a flat head, pimples, sandy-colored hair, a nose like a potato, and cauliflower ears. When Architruc is fifteen years old, his father is killed in a revolt, and his mother assumes the regency until the youth comes of age. He mopes about the palace, delighting only in a garden that he plants with lily of the valley and crowfoot. He falls in love with Baga, who is also the lover of Architruc’s mother; as soon as Architruc becomes king, he names Baga as his prime minister. At first Architruc travels about his kingdom to dispense justice, but eventually he becomes bored with this practice and, like his father, cloisters himself within the palace. For him, each day is identical: He arises at noon, performs a few simple exercises, and examines his collections of pebbles, shells, leaves, eyeglasses, and watches. Then his barber arrives to shave him. Afterward, Architruc waters his plant, Ducky, and sponges its leaves. Dressed in white, the king next appears at lunch, his chief delight, and always eats beef, an omelette, and cheese before he retires to his room once more. War with Novocardia disrupts this pattern. Following his victory, he retires for a century to a hut in the forest. When he returns to the palace, a visit from Queen Conegrund again upsets his routine. While overseeing the construction of a castle in the valley of Rouget, he wanders off to join a small convent and becomes a woman for a time.
(The entire section is 640 words.)