The Grishaverse
The Grishaverse

"Wanting is why people get up in the morning. It gives them something to dream about at night. The more I wanted, the more I became like them, the more real I became."
— The Rat King, The Soldier Prince

The Rat King is a character from the Kerch folktale The Soldier Prince. He was a sugar mouse that became real and helped the nutcracker do the same.


Clara Zelverhaus used a sugar mouse as one of the enemies for her nutcracker to fight. She imagined him to be a monstrous, seven-headed rat, who the nutcracker defeated. However, he began to desire—first to be eaten, but then to eat, and that wanting allowed him to become real. The Rat King cut off six of his heads, escaped from the cabinet, and took up residence with other rats in the walls of the house.

During Nachtspel, the Rat King approached the nutcracker to talk. He told the nutcracker his journey to becoming a real rat and made the nutcracker confront the truth: he was not real unless he was with Clara. The Rat King advised the nutcracker to strengthen his desire and become real, and warned him about Droessen.

When Droessen tried to throw the nutcracker into the fire, the Rat King led his rats to attack the clocksmith, freeing the nutcracker. He reminded the nutcracker to want, thereby helping him become real.

Physical description[]

The Rat King had grey fur, pink claws, a pink tail, and a high and reedy voice. He wore a felt cloak and a crown atop his head.