The King in Yellow

Other appearances


  • Karl Edward Wagner used it as a motif in his 1981 short story "The River of Night's Dreaming". The story was adapted as the sixteenth episode of the TV series The Hunger in 1998.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels contain references to Aldones, Camilla, Cassilda, Carcosa, the cloud Lake of Hali, Naotalba and Hastur. Though Hali is a city by a lake, the characters and places do not otherwise resemble Chambers' characters.
  • Some writers have attempted to write a full or partial text for the imaginary The King in Yellow, including James Blish in his short story "More Light",[15] Lin Carter ("Tatters of the King", 1986),[16] and others.
  • "The King in Yellow" is a 1938 short story by Raymond Chandler. It is a crime story in which the narrator has apparently read Chambers' book and uses the phrase to describe one of the other characters.
  • Vincent Starrett wrote a poem called "Cordelia's Song from The King in Yellow", which was published in the April 1938 issue of Weird Tales.[17]
  • Frank Belknap Long's 1928 story "The Space-Eaters" alludes to Chambers' "The Yellow Sign".[18]
  • Robert Silverberg used the exchange between Camilla, Cassilda, and the Stranger as the epigraph to his novel Thorns (1967).
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast, Zeb Carter mentions the King in Yellow's "world" as one to be avoided.
  • Stephen King, in his novel Thinner (written under the pen-name Richard Bachman), includes a reference to the "King in Yellow" as a head shop from which the protagonist's daughter buys an item.
  • Brian Keene's short story "'The King', in: Yellow", recounts the story of a modern-day couple who attend a performance of the play performed by "actors" who strongly resemble deceased singers and musicians such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley as "The King".[19]
  • The King in Yellow makes an appearance in the final volume of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles.
  • Paul Edwin Zimmer's Dark Border series used a number of the names that feature in The King in Yellow, including Hastur, Hali, and Carcosa.
  • The Doctor Who novel The Death of Art, by Simon Bucher-Jones, starts with a reference to "Naotalba's Song", and includes the art students from Chambers as incidental characters.
  • Cleveland Moffett wrote two supernatural stories collected in the book The Mysterious Card (1912) that were influenced by the stories in The King in Yellow, although they do not refer to any of the names in Chambers' work.[20]
  • Joseph S. Pulver has written nearly 30 tales and poems that are based on and/or include The King in Yellow, Carcosa, and other elements from Chambers' stories. Pulver also edited an anthology of new fiction related to The King in Yellow, titled A Season in Carcosa, released in 2012 by Miskatonic River Press.
  • Michael Cisco's short story collection Secret Hours contains the short story "He Will Be There", based on The King In Yellow mythology and dedicated to his friend Joseph S. Pulver.
  • Lawrence Watt-Evans adopted the name for the immortal high priest of Death in a series of novels — The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu and The Book of Silence — collectively known as The Lords of Dûs.
  • The King in Yellow is the antagonist of Miyuki Miyabe's YA fantasy novel The Book of Heroes.
  • Anders Fager's book Collected Swedish Cults contains the short story "The Queen in Yellow", in which an institutionalized artist transforms into the demi-god "The Queen in Yellow Rampant".[21]
  • Alan K. Baker's book Feaster from the Stars uses The King in Yellow as an adversary to investigators Blackwood and Harrington in the second book of the series.
  • Charlie Stross uses the theft of the last surviving manuscript of The King in Yellow, the lyrics of "Cassilda's Song" and a performance of music from the play as plot points in the Laundry Files novel The Annihilation Score.


  • Blue Öyster Cult's song "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)", from the 1976 album Agents of Fortune, refers to "the King in Yellow and the Queen in Red".
  • In 2002 Rainfall Records released a CD called The King in Yellow, by The Society of the Yellow Sign (a name taken from a story by Joseph S. Pulver), containing songs and spoken-word pieces and songs based on Chambers' creations.
  • British black metal band Anaal Nathrakh have a song called "The Yellow King" on their 2006 album Eschaton, as well as a quotation from the book in the liner notes.
  • Belgian extreme metal band Ancient Rites have a song, "Dim Carcosa", on the album of the same name; its lyrics are directly based on "Cassilda's song" from The King in Yellow.
  • Czech black metal band Root have a song named "Cassilda's Song" on their 1992 album The Temple in the Underworld. The lyrics are exactly the same as they appear in "The King in Yellow".
  • Toyah's 1982 album The Changeling includes a song, "The Packt", that includes the first two quoted couplets of Act I in its lyrics.
  • In 1995, hundred years after the first publication of The King In Yellow, Dutch playwright Frank Rieter wrote the song "King in Yellow" in collaboration with composer Rood Adeo. With lyrics based on the imaginary play, Camilla, Carcosa and the golden mask are being mentioned. The song appeared on Adeo’s 1997 ‘Nighthawks at the Diner’-album Fool’s Tango.


  • The Call of Cthulhu role-playing game has featured the Hastur mythos and the King in Yellow over the years; one prominent example is the campaign Tatters of the King which also includes extracts from the play, as well as an early scene in which the player characters attend an ill-fated performance.
  • Issue 134 of Dungeon magazine featured a Dungeons & Dragons adventure written by Matthew Hope called "And Madness Followed", about a bard who performed The King in Yellow for increasingly larger communities, each time warping the populace into Far Realm horrors.
  • The King in Yellow is an expansion to the Lovecraft-themed Arkham Horror adventure board game, involving a troupe of actors who intend to perform the eponymous play. The King himself does not appear, but if the play is performed to its conclusion, it drives the entire population of Arkham insane.
  • The videogame Persona 2: Eternal Punishment for PlayStation features Hastur as a summonable Persona. The tarot card from which he is summoned is known as the "King in Yellow" card, and is of the Tower arcanum.
  • The final boss in Magicka is a powerful being called Assatur (alternative name of Hastur), the King in Yellow, who threatens to destroy the world.
  • A character in the video game Dark Souls named Xanthous King Jeremiah wears a tattered yellow cloak, and may be a reference to the King in Yellow.


The first season of the HBO original series True Detective uses the phrases "The Yellow King", "Carcosa" and "You, sir, should unmask", as well as other themes and ideas from the book. Its use in the TV series resulted in a spike in sales of the book.[22][23]


  • In 2001, director Aaron Vanek and writer John Tynes adapted much of the book's content into a film titled The Yellow Sign released on DVD by Lurker Films.
  • Carcosa Seri Negara, a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was built as the residence of Sir Frank Swettenham, the first British Resident-General of the Federated Malay States, in 1896-1897. He named it after the city in The King in Yellow.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.