So the officials pondered the situation for a while, then shrugged and listed the cause of death as drowning, because what the hell else are you going to do with a dead 19th-century ex-king? Carry out a proper investigation or something?
There was just one minor hiccup: Ludwig II had no water in his lungs at all. The king and the doctor had also forbidden Ludwig's aides from following them as they wandered off to do whatever it is that got them killed. Furthermore, Ludwig had gone on record several times stating that he wished to become an eternal enigma to both himself and others.
Aaand that's pretty much what we've got. Oh, there are tons of legends and theories -- head to the comment section and chances are you'll find at least half a dozen. Some say it was an elaborate suicide, created solely to fuck with the world that had stripped Ludwig of his power (presumably, the good doctor would have assisted with the suicide and got promptly strangled by the dying king for his troubles). There's another faction that insists the king was attempting to escape his handlers with help of loyalists and got murdered during the attempt, which would also make sense but doesn't answer certain fairly important questions, such as how? And by whom?
"Mermaid babies got 'em. Case closed!"
Pauli's Favorite Theory:
Dude was shot, presumably by the orders of the people who removed him from power. Yep, despite zero tangible evidence pointing toward gunfire of any kind. Back in 2007, a 60-year-old German man came forward with the story that 50 years ago he and his mother met one Countess Josephine von Wrba-Kaunitz, who over coffee and cakes decided to show her assorted guests her most prized possession: the coat Ludwig was wearing when he died.
A coat with two distinct bullet holes in the back.
Now, it just so happens that the coat has since been lost in a fire, and unless the authorities decide to exhume a king's body over some random dude's 50-year-old story, there is a giant cloud of eau du bullshit wafting around this particular theory. It's just that I can't help thinking: Which story sounds more likely -- that literally the most famous person in the country at the time managed to off himself in a way that no one was able to figure out? Or that he was unceremoniously assassinated and the coroner took care not to notice the bullet holes because it's generally not a good idea to piss off powerful people who just killed a fucking king?
Yeah, that's what I thought.