At her transformation she announces "I am the Sovranty" and explains that her appearance replicates the trials of ruling a kingdom: what can be unpleasant and difficult will eventually become beautiful and good to the right ruler.
Similarly, William Albrecht links the loathly lady story to the Celtic Adventure of Daire's Sons, where "the lady changes herself into a hag in order to test the hero's fitness for the 'Sovranty of Erin' and recovers her beauty when he has gone to bed with her.
In distinguishing vice from virtue, Tacitus was, as the late Oxford historian Sir Ronald Syme once put it, "ever alert for the contrast of name and substance." (35) Tacitus acknowledged that there was, in Syme's British phrasing and spelling, "the nominal sovranty
of law." (36) All the same, he knew that, whatever the appearance, in reality, "sovranty
"--sovereignty--in the Roman Empire had been ceded to one man, and thereby to those who, through the force of their arms, through the force of their martial and financial might, kept that one man in power.