Asgore Dreemurr

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Character
Name: Asgore Dreemurr
Occupation: King
Title/Rank: King
Location:
Status: Varies based on route
Relationships: Toriel (wife, estranged), Asriel Dreemurr (son, deceased), Chara (foster child, deceased), Undyne (student), Rudy Holiday (friend)
Fandom: Undertale, Deltarune
Other:
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Asgore Dreemurr is a major character from Undertale. He also has a minor appearance in Deltarune.

Canon Overview

In Undertale

Asgore is met at the end of any route of the game. The player is warned about him by Toriel, then hears rumors of how nice the king is from Papyrus and various NPCs in Snowdin, and learns from Undyne that Asgore and the king are one and the same in Waterfall. Monster Kid, the citizens of Hotland, and Undyne in her befriending event all go on to characterize Asgore as a kindhearted person and a "pushover" who cares deeply for the monsters and probably does not want to fight Frisk, and may even let them go if they ask. After clearing the Core, the player will be told by Alphys that the only way for Frisk to leave the Underground is to kill Asgore and take his soul.

While exploring New Home, which is an exact replica of Toriel's home in grayscale, the player learns from the monsters that Asgore declared war on humanity because his son Asriel Dreemurr was killed by humans while attempting to lay the corpse of his best friend Chara, the first human to fall into the Underground, to rest in a patch of golden flowers. He has since collected the souls of six other human children (whom according to Toby Fox and the official Japanese translation of the game, he killed personally), but has had time to regret his decision. However, he still feels obligated to fight Frisk because the thought of freedom is the only thing keeping the monsters going, and he destroys the player's MERCY command in battle, forcing them to fight him.

It is impossible to save Asgore in a Neutral route. If he is spared after his boss battle, he is either killed by Flowey or he kills himself to let Frisk go free. He can only be saved in the True Pacifist ending.

Asgore is still encountered at the end of a Genocide/No Mercy route, wherein he is unable to recognize the player as human. He is killed by Flowey in this route.

Toby Fox made the decision to "make [Asgore] goofy" based on one of his friends at Fangamer.[1] As an archetypal silly dad figure, Asgore is depicted as being politely puzzled by pop culture; he does not know what anime is, and in the Undertale Q&A he misuses the phrase "life hack" (which he apparently picked up from Alphys "[showing] him the internet"). He has a Santa suit for some reason, meaning that unlike other monsters he has at least some vague knowledge about Christmas, and has appeared on Christmas-themed merchandise.[2] A preview for the Undertale Alarm Clock app mentions that he once had a friend named Rudy who was the Rudolph to his Santa, with the implication that Rudy may have since died.[3] This monster would go on to appear in Deltarune.

The voice heard on the Game Over screen is Asgore's; this is implied to be Chara flashing back to their death, as almost exactly the same scene is found recorded on a VHS tape in the True Lab.

Asgore's name is an anagram of the phrase "SAGE OR MURDERER".

In Deltarune

Asgore has a minor appearance in Deltarune as one of the townspeople in Hometown. This version of Asgore is a florist who runs a store called Flower King, and lives out of the back room of the store. He also appears to be in significant financial distress, judging by a threatening letter from his landlord and his nearly empty refrigerator.

For some reason he and Toriel are divorced in this universe too; the circumstances behind this are still unclear, but as with his Undertale counterpart, he appears to not be over her, and still has mementos of their wedding such as photographs and the flowers from Toriel's bouquet. He has friendly relationships with this world's versions of Undyne and Alphys, and with Rudy Holiday (who is still alive in this universe), who was his and Toriel's friend at college; Kris is suggested to be affectionate towards him despite family circumstances meaning they see each other less.

He apparently likes to give flowers away to all his friends, and is depicted as sending or having sent flowers to Rudy, Alphys, and Toriel in the demo. His landlord's letter chastises him for doing this for free instead of selling them.

Fandom

Asgore is the most common target of character bashing in the entire Undertale fandom, usually centering around the fact that he has canonically killed children and forces Frisk to fight him, or due to his estrangement from Toriel, who is especially well-loved. His fans are often harassed and accused of abuse apologism, and fanfiction and ask blogs prominently featuring Asgore are popular targets for hateful comments and hate mail. One common form of character bashing is to bastardize Asgore as a Nice Guy stereotype unwilling to let Toriel go and to portray him as stalking her in fanworks, despite Asgore stating in canon that he is aware that reconciliation with Toriel is unlikely and his hopes of returning to a domestic life with her are just wishful thinking.

Fans who like Asgore affectionately refer to him as "Goatdad" in the same way that Toriel is referred to as "Goatmom". Both fans who like and dislike Asgore borrow the "epic divorce man" dril tweet to make jokes about him, though the jokes vary greatly in tone.

Both the epic divorce man jokes and the Nice Guy bastardization/character bashing increased in frequency after the Deltarune demo came out.

Fan Theories

Building on the speculation that "falling down" is a monster euphemism for dying of depression/lack of hope (as hope is stated in the Snowdin librarby to be an integral element of monster souls), fans theorize that the main reason why Asgore continued to collect human souls despite his own growing disillusionment in his own plan and refusal to use the souls he already has to leave the barrier and harvest more souls is because the idea of freedom and revenge against humanity was the only support that the monster populace had left after Asriel and Chara's deaths. Alphys' work logs in the True Lab indicate that even so many monsters had still "fallen down", so the theory goes that Asgore was desperate to hold up the facade by any means necessary for the people's sake even if it meant suffering in silence.

Speaking to the shopkeeper Gerson in a Genocide/No Mercy route reveals that until Chara fell, Asgore secretly felt that it would be best for monsters to give up on returning to the Surface, because he thought that they would just be wiped out by humans if they rebelled. This canon detail may lend credence to this fan theory.

Astute fans note that Undyne recounts that Asgore is very agile and good at dodging, and that while training with him she was unable to hit him for a long time, drawing comparisons to the way that Sans dodges the player's attacks in his boss battle instead of "[standing] there and [taking] it". They point to Asgore standing there and taking the player's attacks during his own boss battle as a deliberate choice on his part, and therefore foreshadowing that he is suicidal, as is only explicitly depicted in-game if the player tries to spare Asgore a second time.

The question of how and why Asgore knows about Christmas despite other Undertale monsters not knowing what that is occasionally comes up in fandom, as monsters were sealed "millennia" ago, definitely predating the existence of Santa Claus and maybe even of Christianity altogether. Some fans suggest that Asgore may have learned about the holiday through human trash in Waterfall's dump, and other fans (especially those who headcanon Chara as Christian) theorize that Chara might have taught the Dreemurr family about the holiday.

Common Ships

  • Asgore/Toriel (Asgoriel)
  • Asgore/Sans (Sansgore)
  • Asgore/W.D. Gaster (Kingdings)
  • Asgore/Rudy
  • Asgore/Sans/Toriel (Sansgoriel)

Wank

Aside from the aforementioned character bashing, any fics that feature Asgore and Toriel reconciling and resuming a romantic relationship tend to be targeted by anti-shippers as "abuse apologism". Even fans who do not go out of their way to harass others frown on getting Asgore and Toriel back together in fanwork, citing that Undertale is one of the few works that allows a woman to remain angry at an ex-partner and not reconcile with him, instead of prioritizing the male character's feelings. Sans/Toriel shippers especially tend to be vocal in their dislike for Asgore/Toriel, as it is a rival ship.

Fanworks

Fanfic

Fanart

Meta

Archives and Fannish Links

References

  1. with asgore I was really imagining him as an intimidating "..." type until I thought of my friend Reid from fangamer and made him goofy - Toby Fox on Twitter, 8 January 2017 (Retrieved 23 November 2018)
  2. Yule Dudes Mug - Fangamer (retrieved 9 December 2018
  3. UNDERTALE 2nd Anniversary and ALARM CLOCK Development - official Undertale tumblr, originally posted 15 September 2017 (retrieved 9 December 2018)