The King of the Golden River is a magically powerful gnome of disputed existence.
The King of the Golden River is, according to the eponymous fairy story, a powerful gnome who rules over the Golden River, rewarding the unselfish by allowing them access to the River's titular golden boon. In 1958, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck and their uncle Donald impersonated the King, believing him to be fictitious, to teach Scrooge McDuck a lesson about selfishness, having figured that the "trick" to controlling the flow of gold was nothing magical, but simply a matter of whether or not some hot springs were connected to the main riverbed. However, in the course of this adventure, one account states that one of the children briefly caught a glimpse of a gnome identical to the way Scrooge had imagined the King…
Behind the scenes
As a fiction, the King of the Golden River is mentioned in the 1958 Carl Barks story Uncle Scrooge and the Golden River. The story remains ambiguous over whether the gnome really existed, but a 2009 illustration by Don Rosa seems to confirm that he did.