The King of Hell (presumably Queen of Hell if female) is the title that is given to the being that is in charge of the goings-on in Hell. In addition to acting as head jailor and torturer, the King of Hell is also that realm's deadliest prisoner: should the King of Hell be released upon another place of existence, disaster will follow. Thankfully, extensive metaphysical safeguards prevent the King of Hell from leaving their realm under almost any circumstance.
Assuming the ThroneEdit
Any being, mortal or otherwise, can become the new monarch by killing the current King of Hell: a difficult feat, considering that the King of Hell is immortal in their own realm and must be released from Hell before they can be slain. Once the appropriate rituals and sacrifices have been performed, a portal to Hell will open and its monarch will step forth- once clear of the portal, the King of Hell may be killed. The challenger's victory is not assured, given that the King of Hell will probably possess excellent combat skills and powers similar to those of a god.
Once the King of Hell is slain, the heir presumptive's rise to power is not voluntary: the heart of the being that kills the King of Hell will begin to blacken with darkness immediately after the old monarch is slain. The new King or Queen need only return to Hell to complete the transformation and assume the throne. The forces of good have a vested interest in ensuring that the coronation is swift: a portal to Hell will remain open, corrupting everything around it, until the new monarch enters it. This effect occurs in addition to the corruption and darkness being spread by the heir presumptive.
The only way for the heir presumptive to avoid this fate is for another being to perform the Seven Deadly Sins. The sinner may then enter the portal in the heir presumptive's stead and assume the throne: the portal will close and the original sucessor will find the darkness has lifted from their heart. The only known time this method was used, an archangel was manipulated into performing the Sins: it is not explicit that this method would work if the target were a god or mortal (though presumably, it would).
Two beings are known to have carried the title.
- Mephistopheles, the King that ruled Hell until Xena killed him.
- Lucifer, the King that followed Mephistopheles after Xena tricked him into performing the Seven Deadly Sins.
Xena was Hell's heiress presumptive until she tricked Lucifer into being corrupted. Sin, one of the antagonists from Be Deviled, identified herself as the ruler of a realm that sounds very much like Hell and might have been Mephistopheles in disguise, or his predecessor.