King River Butterfly (né Johansen) is a supporting character in the Disney XD animated series, Star vs. the Forces of Evil. He is the former king of Mewni, Queen Moon's husband and the father of Star Butterfly. Born into the Johansen clan of barbarians, River was crowned King of Mewni through his marriage to Queen Moon Butterfly.
After Eclipsa assumes the throne of Mewni, River now helps his wife in maintaining a society of Mewman refugees.
Despite seeming just as formal and strict as his wife, it is revealed in "Diaz Family Vacation" that he enjoys fighting monsters like Star does, whenever his duties as king bore him.
Although seeming just as formal and strict as his wife, it is revealed in "Diaz Family Vacation" that River enjoys going off to fight monsters like Star does when his duties as king bore him. Like his daughter, River is belligerent, headstrong, and prefers battle to diplomacy. Despite this, however, he is a skilled warrior, a dedicated king, and a loving father.
In his youth, River was timid and very shy, being nervous about speaking up around others and easily unnerved when his opinions were rejected. However, he would occasionally speak out against others in defense of Moon, such as toward Count Mildrew.
River is a short, stout, light-skinned man with blond hair (with a bald spot under his crown) and light blue eyes. The crown atop his head is golden with a large pink jewel on the top. He also has a thick, large mustache and a beard that splits in two ways. River's attire usually consists of a blue ruffled coat with gold shoulder pads and periwinkle tufts, periwinkle cuffs at the end of the sleeves, a blue cape with periwinkle fur, gray pants, and black boots.
In "Moon the Undaunted", teenage River has a full head of hair, with bangs styled in a similar fashion to Star and Moon's. He wears a blue shirt with light-blue trim and sleeve cuffs, a purple belt, a gray and white ruffled collar, large gray trousers, white boots with black soles, and a small gold crown on top of his head.
As of "Coronation", River takes to wearing a full-body bear costume, with only his face visible.
Powers and abilities
- Physical prowess: River possesses above-average physical prowess. He is able to fight monsters and wield a spear in "Diaz Family Vacation", wield a club in "Royal Pain", and survive for extended periods of time in the wilderness and run ten miles in five minutes in "Camping Trip".
- Magical Staff: River wields a staff with a crescent moon-shaped crystal ornament at the tip that is capable of firing off lightning blasts.
- In "Storm the Castle" it is revealed that King Butterfly's first name is River.
- River's pre-marriage surname, "Johansen" is a Scandinavian patronymic surname meaning "son of Johan".
- "Camping Trip" reveals that River is very strong and athletic, able to run ten miles in five minutes while carrying Star and Marco (equivalent to 120 miles per hour), and he claims he "used to be able to do it in four" (equivalent to 150 miles per hour). "Game of Flags" reveals that his family, the Johansens, are just as strong and physically capable as he is.
- Like most Mewmans, he has a fondness for corn, to the extent where he goes into a crazed frenzy should he see his supply threatened.
- According to Dominic Bisignano, the Johansen family uses a calendar based on felled stags, and River is 17 "felled stags" old.
- He has a powerful dislike for the Pie Folk, due to their con artist ways. As such, he violently rejects the Pie King's claim that Moon is descended from them.
- "Amelia Lorenz Post". Tumblr (July 29, 2017).