Triton is the king of the underwater Kingdom of Atlantica. He is a huge merman, husband of Queen Athena, brother of Ursula and the father of seven daughters: Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, Allana, and Ariel. He is also the father-in-law of Prince Eric and the grandfather of Ariel and Eric's daughter Melody.
He has a powerful magical trident which appears to be made of gold, it emits a glowing light and typical sound when in use. Furthermore he has a crown and two arm bracelets, which also appear to be made out of gold.
History with Ursula
His sister and arch-enemy was Ursula, the old sea-witch who was once a senior member of the Court of King Triton. She has for many years been seeking a way to exact her revenge upon King Triton for banishing her from the kingdom.
Triton is a firm, strict, and easily angered monarch, but cares the world for his daughter, but is often too hard on her. He is dangerous when he is angry. He is also seen to know a thing or two about the Keyblade and Keyhole. He seems to be a stubborn, cruel, and mean person, but all he cares about is the safety of his world and his daughter, and understands the importance of bearing the Trident. He is distrustful to beings that live outside his kingdom, both humans and inhabitants of other worlds, given by the fact that he immediately states that humans are evil creatures and that the Keyblade brings nothing but destruction and ruin. However, he is also accepting if someone proves otherwise.
King Triton is an old, large merman with bushy, light grey eyebrows and long, white hair. He has a thick, white beard and mustache and a widow's peak hairline. He is well muscled and wears gold gauntlets with several studs on them on each wrist. As a merman, Triton's lower body is that of a dark blue fish with cyan, translucent fins. As signs of his royal status, Triton wears a yellow, five-pointed crown that somewhat resembles a sea star on his head, and carries the legendary trident, a golden, three-pronged weapon with powerful magical abilities. He also has blue eyes.
When the original film begins, Triton is xenophobic toward humans, and Ariel's fascination with humans casts a strain on their relationship. According to Triton, contact between the human world and the merworld is strictly forbidden. After an initial argument over Ariel over her latest trip to the surface, Triton orders his loyal servant, Sebastian, to keep an eye on her. When Triton learns that Ariel has saved the life of -and fallen in love with- a human being, he loses his temper and, determined to turn Ariel over to his views of humans, destroys her collection of human things, completely ignoring his daughter's pleas to stop. In the aftermath, Triton, instantly regretting this action, leaves a tearful Ariel alone in her grotto. Later on, after Ariel runs away from home in search of the sea witch Ursula, Triton orders a search for her, unaware that she has accepted Ursula's deal and become a human. When Sebastian, who had been watching over Ariel, arrives from the surface and tells the king about Ursula's scheme, Triton quickly goes out with Sebastian to find her. When Triton learns that Ariel has signed an agreement with Ursula, he willingly takes his daughter's place despite knowing the cost of his choice. Triton is temporarily transformed into a polyp, but when Ursula is killed, he is restored to his original form and regains both his crown and his trident. By the end of the film, Triton has softened his attitude towards humans, and allows Ariel to marry her love, Prince Eric, the man who killed Ursula and, subsequently, saved Triton's life.
King Triton also appeared in The Little Mermaid animated TV series. According to the cartoon series, Triton was the son of Poseidon, his grandfather was called Neptune, and as a child, his nickname was "Red" for his red hair. Although his anti-human sentiments remained, he could sometimes be persuaded to recognize his mistakes, such as when he apologized to Ariel for scaring her so much that she failed to return home after a human charm bracelet was accidentally locked around her wrist, or when he was persuaded to help Ariel rescue a man trapped in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean (Implied at the end of the episode to be Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote the original tale).
Triton appears in the sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea. He seems to trust humans by the the time of this film. His weakness in the film is his love for his granddaughter Melody, and this is exploited by Morgana, Ursula's younger sister and his second rival. But when he has his trident back, he punishes Morgana by freezing her in a giant ice cube. Triton's character in this film is less menacing and intimidating when compared to his other appearances in all other films and the TV series.
In the 2008 direct-to-DVD prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, an opening prologue shows King Triton's wife, Queen Athena. The pair had a loving relationship, but after Athena was killed by pirates, Triton was broken-hearted, banned music from Atlantica and forced everyone to follow a strict daily schedule. Ariel's free-spirited personality is what casts a strain on their relationship in this film, and he is particularly angered when he discovers that the leader of the (illegal) Catfish Club is Sebastian, throwing his confidante into prison for this. He eventually comes to see the error of his harsh decisions, pardons Sebastian, lifts the ban on music and appoints Sebastian as his court composer at the end of the film.
As a child, Triton showed interest in mortal affairs during his smiting lessons with King Neptune. He tells his father that he wants to play baseball (called ball and stick game by Triton). His father then smites a single light post and sets it aflame. He tells his son that he could hit a home run and Triton leaves, as he wants to be alone. When he is grown up, his father finds him successfully making a cure for all mortal d iseases. King Neptune destroys it and realizes Triton needs to learn to be the god he expects him to be. So Neptune locked his son in a cage in the Island in the Sky, where he will be, in his case, 10,000 years (although Triton's only been in the cage for about 1,000 years). When SpongeBob lets him out, he is seeking revenge against his father. Later, the two reconciled their differences with each other and hugged after Triton destroyed a lot of the town. The citizens of Bikini Bottom put the blame upon SpongeBob and Patrick for the destruction that happened.
Role in the series
King Triton is a member of the High Council, and reprises his role from the films. He is the son of Poseidon, and therefore a God.