Dagobert VIII
Fictional Character
Shared Universe Story
"Trantor Falls"
Science Fiction
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Galactic Empire
Occupation: Emperor of the Galaxy
Children: Dagobert IX (son)
Affiliations: Galactic Empire, Neotrantor

Dagobert VIII was the last Emperor of the Galaxy whose government was seated on Trantor, though Gilmer claimed to be his successor, a claim that was not widely recognized. He is generally considered to have been the penultimate ruler of the Galactic Empire.

Dagobert VIII ruled Trantor when it came under attack by Gilmer's navy. Dagobert's uninspired military and political leadership led many of his soldiers to fight half-heartedly, to desert, or to defect to Gilmer altogether. This left Dagobert by turns indignant and disbelieving. However, he was touched by the near-fanaticism shown by the citizen-soldiers recruited from the students and faculty of the Galactic University. Dagobert did not realize that they were not fighting for him, but for their own purposes.

Dagobert evacuated Trantor ahead of Gilmer's forces. He set up a government-in-exile on the agrarian world of Neotrantor, where he lived out the rest of his life. He never returned to Trantor, and neither did his descendants.

Literary NoteEdit

The character of Dagobert VIII was created by Harry Turtledove based on some clues left by Isaac Asimov in his 1945 novella "The Mule," which would later be reprinted in Foundation and Empire in 1952. Asimov does not name the emperor who was forced to abandon Trantor, but does introduce us to an emperor-in-exile named Dagobert IX, presumably the son, namesake, and heir of Turtledove's creation. Dagobert IX led (in name only) a government-in-exile on an agrarian world renamed Neotrantor. He retained legal sovereignty over some twenty inhabited planets until his death, forty years after the events of "Trantor Falls."