Only in fantasy stories do kings wake up and cast off their Wormtongues. This is because Wormtongue is the reality of the innate and necessary corruption of Authority–the compelling of behavior by “legal” violence, despite the most noble of rulers and their noble intentions.
You see, in reality, it is Wormtongue who speaks the truth to the King; and it is the King’s conscience which lies. A “good King”–that is, a truthful and honest king, who is consistent with the metaphysic which demands Authority to compel obedience to Law–will abide Wormtongue and banish love.
Is this good, rationally speaking? Of course not: but again, it is good IF we accept the axiomatic definition of Man which necessitates the idea that it is appropriate to govern him. And by “govern” I mean: organize his behavior, specifically his interactions with himself (men and women associating with others), by codifying moral behavior (Law), and thus moving it outside of its only true and natural source, the individual, and thereby making morality utterly abstract and thus utterly subjective as far as man is concerned, and thereby necessitating an Authority–be it a King or any other incarnation of State Violence (that is, the State, period), even “democratically elected public officials” (and by the bye, a greater example of raw, meaningless, subjectivity you’ll not find anywhere than those words)–whose authority transcends any real rational integrity, and who fundamentally exists for the sole purpose of using force and threats to cause the obedience of the denizens.
And what is this definition of man?
It is that he is not him Self. He is not “I”. “I” is an illusory existential frame of reference–a lie–which, by its inexorable and infinite hold on him, makes him unable to perceive the Truth: which is that he is, in fact, nothing at all. That he qua he (he as Individual), is really an infinite collection. He is the group, yet never OF the group. He is “race”, or “class”, or “sex”, or “nation”, or “church”, or “minority”, or “underprivileged”, etc.. The individual is the group; which contradicts his individuality, and thus demands that it be sacrificed by the Authority into the collective “reality.”
And so I say again, any honest King, with even the slightest apprehension of just what the fuck his whole point is, and whether he admits it to himself or not, understands that he is Violence to men, and literally nothing else. He IS the force which compels everyone and everything into the collective Ideal. He is The Efficacy of the Ideal…of the Utopia…of the Collective Paradise. And thus, he IS the very Ideal itself. And this being true, it is his duty to incessantly invite Wormtongue to stifle whatever compassion he may be tempted towards. For to deny the raw and unfettered subjugation and sacrifice of men is to deny the Ideal, and thus deny himself.
There is no such thing as a King with a conscience. Any such King admits, whether he knows it or not, that he is a fraud, and that sooner or later, the kingdom MUST collapse.
And it will.