The idea behind Monarchs in Solo Leveling – explained

The idea behind Monarchs in Solo Leveling - explained

Solo Leveling’s manhwa came to an end in October 2018, with 270 chapters collected into 14 volumes. Following its huge popularity, Crunchyroll and A-1 Pictures collaborated to make an anime adaptation of the same. After considerable anticipation, the anime’s first episode was broadcast on January 6, 2024, and while it was a success, it is off to a rocky start. In Chugong’s popular webtoon Solo Levelling, Sung Jinwoo has faced his fair share of opponents as he progressed from being the world’s weakest Hunter to being the world’s strongest. He’s had to fight orcs, insects, and assassins, but the Monarchs are his most formidable adversaries yet.

The Monarchs are a group of entities committed to destroying the planet, and Jinwoo is the only thing standing in their way to achieve their goal. In this article, we will try to decipher what the Monarchs in Solo Leveling are and how they came to be!

ALERT: The following contains some definite spoilers for the Manhwa, anime-only be warned!

What are the Monarchs and how were they created?

In Solo Leveling, the Monarchs are a group of ancient monsters aiming to exterminate the human race from the face of the planet. They play the role of key antagonists in Chugong’s story. There are nine Monarchs in Solo Levelling, all of whom are ready to destroy the planet with their destructive powers. The Monarchs are creatures with a variety of looks; some look horrific, while others appear to be more human.

The idea behind Monarchs in Solo Leveling - explained
The Monarchs in Solo Leveling manga. (Image credit goes to D&C Media)
  • The Absolute Being (the God of the Solo Leveling universe) separated Light and Darkness at the dawn of time.
  • Light was split to create the Rulers, and Darkness was split to make the Monarchs.
  • Given their contrasting natures, the Monarchs were designed to destroy the planet, whilst the Rulers were meant to protect it.

As a result, they were engaged in a disastrous conflict. Regardless of how many times they slaughtered each other, no side ever emerged victorious because the Absolute Being refused to have a winner. Its sole source of amusement was seeing both sides kill one another.

The Rise of Darkness from the Light – The Shadow Monarch

The conflict and chaos between the Light and the Dark had continued for ages, which eventually enraged the Rulers into overthrowing the Supreme Being. The structure set by the Absolute Being came crumbling down and chaos took over all the planes of the Earthly and the Unearthly when his rule was overthrown and he was murdered.

The idea behind Monarchs in Solo Leveling - explained
The Monarchs and Jin Woo in Solo Leveling manga. (Image credit goes to D&C Media)

The only Ruler, known as the Greatest Fragment of Brilliant Light, who stayed loyal to the Absolute Being was gravely wounded. But the Absolute Being had one more trick up his sleeve: he had buried power within his last devoted subject. On the verge of death, the Ruler was reincarnated as the ninth Monarch, King of the Dead and Shadow Monarch. Thus, out of the Light, now emerged a new darkness, in the form of the Shadow Monarch.

The Rulers took advantage of the circumstance, using instruments containing bits of their power to track down the Monarchs. They were successful in capturing the Monarch Legia alive, which swung the conflict in their favor and gave them a significant step towards triumph.

New Allies and Betrayals

Further, in the Solo Leveling plot, the Shadow Monarch Ashborn swiftly understood the situation and came out to the Monarchs, offering his assistance. They had no alternative but to reluctantly welcome him as an ally. As a result, while Ashborn played an important role in stabilizing the power balance and keeping the battle going, his strength frightened both sides.

  • This eventually led to two monarchs, Rakan and Baran, betraying him.
  • They ambushed him with their troops but were unable to overcome Ashborn’s might, and Baran died as a result.
  • However, they were able to seriously injure his shadow army. Driven by a desire for vengeance, Ashborn fled to replenish his army.
The idea behind Monarchs in Solo Leveling - explained
Sung Jinwoo in Solo Leveling anime. (Image credit goes to A-1 Pictures)

This enabled the Rulers to claim triumph and forced the Monarchs to flee to the crevices between worlds. Ashborn subsequently returned and rejoined the Monarchs, alongside the strongest Monarch, Antares, who was still weakened and recovering from their defeat.

Nearly eradicating humanity, the battle reached Earth. The Rulers tried to rewind time to preserve mankind, but the Earth was too weak to endure their struggle with the Monarchs. This is how the Hunters and Gates were founded. The Gates were required to increase mana, and Hunters were designed to combat the creatures that erupted from them. Both Rulers and Monarchs must employ a human vessel to descend, and the Shadow Monarch picked Jinwoo as his vessel.


With the aid of the Shadow Monarch’s abilities, Jinwoo has vanquished many opponents on his own, but as a vessel, he hasn’t entirely understood it. However, Jinwoo and the Shadow Monarch will eventually become one. Jinwoo, the world’s most powerful Hunter, is well aware that he, as well as his loved ones, remained the Monarch’s targets. To know more about the Solo Leveling universe, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter at Spiel Anime!

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