Does Bowser rule the Mushroom Kingdom?

tardograd3

Goomba
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Firstly, the Mushroom Kingdom must be ruled by some king or queen, otherwise it wouldn't be a kingdom at all. So, who is that king/queen?

Let's look at a feature common across many Mario games: Bowser's Castle. How did it get there? Obviously it was made for Bowser, given all of the Bowser-specific decor and arenas. And I doubt it was magicked up on the spot, given that such magic would make castles obsolete in the first place

Whereabouts is this castle? It's clearly not in some foreign land: Mario crosses no border to reach it, there are no obvious changes in culture, demographics, or architecture to indicate a new nation. Hence, we must assume that Bowser's Castle is in the Mushroom Kingdom

Now why would a king have their Castle in another kingdom? Answer is, they wouldn't: hence, the only logical conclusion is that Bowser must be the king of the Mushroom Kingdom
 

Cream

Celebrating the year of the rabbit!
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Actually, there is a Mushroom King, but he doesn't appear in any games and only appears within the Valiant Comics, a coloring book, a Japanese strategy guide for the original Super Mario Bros., and some Nintendo Adventure Books. Here's the Mushroom King article from the Mario wiki, and this right here is a video on the character!

 

tardograd3

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If Bowser ruled the Mushroom Kingdom, he wouldn't be trying to kidnap Peach in order to take over or otherwise topple the kingdom.
Why not? Even if he technically has power over the mushroom kingdom, it's not implausible to imagine that it'd be more politically expedient for him to go down the kidnapping route. There could also be secondary reasons for the kidnapping
 
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MarioWiki
The Shadow Prince
Mario’s forces let Bowser’s army build it to avoid worse potential Mutually Assured Destruction than there already is
 
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