Check Out the Royal Family Tree in ‘Black Panther’

We have all been waiting for our grand introduction into Wakanda, and Ryan Coogler is finally ready to unveil his marvelous Black Panther. If you’re a true Marvel fan, then you probably know the Black Panther comics quite well, the history behind Wakanda, T’Challa’s lineage, and all of the things that we can expect from the film.

However, some of us have only gotten our education from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To put the film in perspective, we’ve broken down the royal family tree in Black Panther.


A comic book featuring Bashenga on the cover.

Bashenga’s story began long ago. | Comic_Collector via Instagram

Every superhero has a legendary lineage as is the case with T’Challa (played in the movie by Chadwick Boseman). Black Panther’s origins began with Bashenga. A very long time ago, Bashenga was the first to envoke the power of the Black Panther god. His sole purpose was to protect the vibranium mound in Wakanda. (We all know how folks love to pillage resources from Africa.)

Bashenga began the royal lineage of Wakanda, which would birth many kings who also ruled as the Black Panther. Since Bashenga was the original, we don’t expect to see him in Coogler’s film, but he may very well be hinted at.

Next: The warrior who protected Wakanda from Hydra

Azzuri the Wise

Azzuri the Wise wielding a sharp weapon on each hand.

Azzuri the Wise also protected Wakanda. | Marvel

Jumping forward in the future just a tad, we’re going to examine Wakanda during World War II. Like the rest of the world, Wakanda was in shambles. The criminal-terrorist group Hydra tried to invade the country. Basically, Hydra believes that humanity can’t be trusted with their own freedom, so they feed crisis and try to incite wars.

Azzuri the Wise was not with the nonsense. During the war, he, along with his wife Nanali, protected the border and defended the kingdom. The had two sons, N’Jobu (S’Yan in the comics), their youngest, and T’Chaka, their oldest.

Next: T’Challa’s father


John Kani at the 'Black Panther' movie premiere.

John Kani plays T’Chaka in Black Panther. | Jesse Grant/Getty Images

The eldest son of Nanli and Azzuir and the father to T’Challa and Shuri, T’Chaka (John Kani) was killed during the events of Captian America: Civil War in the bombing of Vienna International Centre in Austria by Zemo.

Black Panther opens shortly after his death and deals with his son’s T’Challa’s rise to power as the new king.

Next: The new king


T'Challa looking downward.

T’Challa is the version of Black Panther we’ll see. | Marvel

Before Captain America: Civil War, no one really knows that Wakanda is an advanced civilization until T’Challa was forced to reveal himself. Picking up directly after the events of the 2016 film, Black Panther follows the new king’s return home to Wakanda.

Since he stayed away in an attempt to avenge his father’s death, Wakanda isn’t exactly stable. Reeling from the death of the king, inner turmoil, and new attention from the outside world, T’Challa must decide if he wants to honor the country’s traditions or embrace a new path that would expose the real Wakanda to the world.

Next: A fearsome queen mother


Ramonda's side profile.

Ramonda | Marvel

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ramonda (Angela Bassett) is T’Challa and Shuri’s mother. A stabilizing force for the siblings who are dealing with the loss of their father, Ramonda remains steadfast and fearless in the face of adversity.

Boseman told Screen Rant, “I think it shows the matriarchal African society, she’s not a figurehead mother.”

Next: The tech genius who can outwit Tony Stark


Shuri looking fiercely ahead.

Shuri | Marvel

T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is also a legend on her own. For the film, Coogler has updated the character significantly.

In the comics, T’Challa is one of Marvel’s greatest geniuses. In Black Panther, his abilities have been bestowed on Shuri, who is a weaponsmith and a technician. Those incredible suits that you see T’Challa and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) wearing is all Shuri.

Even smarter than Tony Stark, Shuri is the head of the Wakanda’s Design Group. And her role in Infinity War showed us just how important she is to the MCU.

Next: Spear-wielding warriors 

The Dora Milaje

 Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, and Lupita Nyong'o in 'Black Panther'.

Be sure to look for the strong female characters in the film. | Marvel

The Adored Ones or The Dora Milaje aren’t exactly members of the Wakandan royal family, but they are regal enough that we just had to include them. Wakanda’s all-female group of warriors are sworn to protect the Wakandan throne and King T’Challa.

However, we would be doing these ladies a huge disservice if we were to suggest that their only role was to be TChalla’s bodyguards. They are literally the soldiers of the country.

In this film, the Dora Milaje General Okoye is played by Danai Guri while Lupita Nyong’o—who plays Nakia is T’Challa’s ex-bae.

Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.

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