King of the Gods

As polytheistic systems evolve, there is a tendency for one deity, usually male, to achieve preeminence as king of the gods. This tendency can parallel the growth of hierarchical systems of political power in which a monarch eventually comes to assume ultimate authority for human affairs. Other gods come to serve in a Divine Council or pantheon – such subsidiary courtier-deities are usually linked by family ties from the union of a single husband or wife, or else from an androgynous divinity who is responsible for the creation.
Historically, subsequent social events, such as invasions or shifts in power structures, can cause the previous king of the gods to be displaced by a new divinity, who assumes the displaced god's attributes and functions. Frequently the king of the gods has at least one wife who is the queen of the gods.
Examples of this displacement of kings of the gods include:
According to feminist theories of the replacement of original matriarchies by patriarchies, male sky-gods tend to supplant female earth-goddesses and achieve omnipotence.
There is also a tendency for kings of the gods to assume more and more importance, syncretistically assuming the attributes and functions of lesser divinities, who come to be seen as aspects of the single supreme deity. Examples of this include:
The leaders of the various pantheons include:
The following are the characteristics shared by virtually all Kings of the gods: