River King
River King
Occupation Smuggler
Status Deceased
Affiliation Himself
First appearance "Two Tigers Subdue Dragons"
Portrayed by Lance Nichols

The River King is a recurring character in the first and third season of Into The Badlands. He is portrayed by Lance Nichols.

The River King is an importer and exporter of goods and cogs up and down the rivers through the Badlands. He is also a smuggler, for the right price, he can get you out of the Badlands.

He is considered a neutral party and is respected by all Barons. Barons always deal with him directly, as they need his blessing to move anything up or down the rivers. If they don't get this, the baron's merchandise doesn't get to where it needs to go.[1]

In order to get an audience with the River King, you need a token.[1]


Early LifeEdit

Nothing is known about the River King's early life.

Season 1Edit

Two Tigers Subdue DragonsEdit

ItB S1 E4 0917

The River King takes Sunny token.

Sunny rides to see the River King, he's stopped by two guards but shows them the token Waldo had previously given him. The guards step aside and allow Sunny an audience with the River King.

Sunny walks up to the River King and gives him the token. The River King says that Waldo must hold Sunny in high esteem if he gave Sunny the token. The River King pockets the token and asks what he can do for Sunny.
ItB S1 E4 0938

The River King explains what happened to his shipment of cogs

Sunny states he needs passage out of the Badlands. The River King chuckles and asks if Sunny thinks that going to a new place is going to change who he is or save his soul. Sunny ignores the statement, and explains that he won't be travelling alone. The River King calls him a fool for trying to save someone else. Sunny asks if he can help him or not. The River King says that the token was for Waldo and that he owes Sunny nothing. But out of respect of what Waldo did for him, he's sure they can come to terms.
ItB S1 E4 0953

The River King wants the boy's head as payment

The River King, Sunny and the two guards then travel by boat to The River King's base of operations, a white steamboat. The River King brings Sunny down to the lower deck of the boat and explains the details of a shipment of 28 cogs that were slaughtered by a lone assailant in a murderous rage. Before the last cog died, she was able to identify the assailant.

The River King hands Sunny a wanted poster with M.K.'s face on it, saying that this boy has cost him money and respect. If Sunny finds, clips and then brings back his head, the River King will consider this payment to guarantee Sunny and his companions safe passage out of the Badlands and to a place that no one will ever find them.

Hand of Five PoisonsEdit

ItB S1 E6 0021

Sunny hands the River King his payment

The River King sits at a desk, in his steamboat, when Sunny walks in with a bloody sack in hand. Sunny drops the sack onto the desk, stating that it's his payment in full. The River King pulls out a severed head and studies it. Reaching over he grabs one of the wanted posters to compare.

The River King questions Sunny about the head's missing ear, and if Sunny is sure it's the same boy that the killed his cogs. Sunny nods and says that the boy confessed before he clipped him. The River King smiles.

ItB S1 E6 0029

The River King compares the head to the wanted poster.

Sunny then urgently says that he and his companions need to leave that night. The River King says that he didn't realize that Sunny was the one dictating the terms. Sunny states that they had a deal. The River King says he's not backing out of the deal, the ship will leave at midnight and that Sunny better not be late. Time and tide wait for no man.

Later that night, having grabbed Sunny when he was beaten unconscious by the Abbots, the River King has Sunny chained up in the lower deck of his boat. When Sunny wakes up, the River King stands in front of him and throws down the severed head, a look of anger on his face. He knows that Sunny lied to him and gave him the wrong head.

ItB S1 E6 0929

The River King plans to trade Sunny for lying to him

The River King tells Sunny that no one double crosses him not even the best Clipper in the Badlands and while he's not a killer, he is a trader. A man with talent like Sunny's is a very valuable commodity. He tells Sunny got his wish to leave the Badlands, planning to trade him in the Outlying Territories.

Season 3Edit

Black Wind HowlsEdit

Dragonfly’s Last DanceEdit


Season 1Edit

Season 3Edit


  • In the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en, bodies of water are governed by dragons, the most notable ones being the Four Dragon Kings responsible for the East Sea, South Sea, West Sea and North Sea respectively. Rivers and wells are given to their relatives, who also hold the title of king and are often notorious for causing trouble. The Dragon Kings are worshipped by common people for rain, but they cannot act on their own behalves and must follow the orders of Heaven. Dragons can take human form.
  • More specifically based on the Tuolong (鼉龍; literally “Water Lizard Dragon”)  is located in Black River (黑水河) in Hengyang Valley (衡陽峪). He is actually the ninth son of the Dragon King of the Jing River (涇河龍王), and was placed there by Guanyin to serve as an obstacle for the protagonists. The Tuolong is armed with a Bamboo Linked Bronze Club (竹節鋼鞭). He disguises himself as a boatman, pretends to ferry the protagonists across the river, and captures Tang Sanzang when they are unaware. The Tuolong is eventually subdued and taken away by Crown Prince Mo'ang (摩昂太子), the eldest son of the Dragon King of the West Sea.


  1. 1.0 1.1 104 - Two Tigers Subdue Dragon