Rituals play a recurring role in The King Must Die. They demonstrate the similarities and differences between cultures. Not only do the varying rituals elucidate the different deities that people believe in, they also indicate what people's lives are like. In Troizen and Eleusis, where the people depend upon good harvests and good weather for their survival, the rituals are taken very seriously. In Crete, on the other hand, where the nobles are incredibly wealthy and collect many taxes from other areas, the rituals are lax—Ariadne knows ahead of time what she will prophesy. The rituals demonstrate the degree to which the people are removed from necessity, and they also help unite and revitalize the people. Therefore those societies that lose touch with the rituals, although they will be more prosperous, will also be more likely to decay and come to ruin.