Big Good

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Also, he can transform into a truck.

Whereas the Big Bad is considered the ultimate evil to be defeated, the Big Good is the cornerstone of any heroic organization. This character is explicitly stated to be a counterpart to combat the forces of evil, likely calling all the shots in the organization and is normally the highest ranking or the absolute most powerful. Since The Hero is usually, but not always synonymous with the protagonist, the Big Good does not always fill that role, as it is usually more dramatic for the protagonist to work upwards from the bottom. In fact, it may even be stated (at least in the beginning) that The Hero is expendable whereas this character is not. The Big Good is simply the most valuable member of the heroic movement in a given work, whether in terms of rank, function or wisdom. If not The Hero, then they will most definitely be the mentor to craft The Hero into being the weapon they need him to be.

Authority Equals Asskicking is in full force most of the time, with the Big Good usually starting off several orders of magnitude more powerful than The Hero. The character may even be servant to a greater good just like his or her evil counterpart is servant to a greater evil. Unlike the Big Bad, however, the Big Good can be taken down rather early- to show just how powerful the enemy has gotten by that point or as part of a greater plan. One of the more common ways this is done is to have the two Bigs confront each other directly, with the Big Good coming up short. For extra pathos, the Big Bad was once their second in command. Expect The Hero or some other member of the True Companions to take up the mantle by time the Grand Finale comes round.

At the beginning of a series, expect the Big Bad to be much more worried about this character than about The Hero. In fact, The Hero may not even register on any antagonist's radar while all of them will be out to off the Big Good.

To illustrate, in the Five-Bad Band, The Dragon is far more often the Rival or Worthy Opponent to The Hero than the Big Bad is. If that is the case the counterpart of the Big Bad would be the Big Good.

Do note that this trope is about a character role and as such there are multiple Heroic Archetypes that can fulfill this role, including but not limited to:

At its most general, the Big Good title simply refers to the leader of the largest group opposing the Big Bad. Keep this in mind when suggesting examples.

Examples of Big Good include:

Anime and Manga

  • It's difficult to decide which lead from Legend of the Galactic Heroes better qualifies. While Reinhard continuously rises through the ranks and spends most of the series pretty much being the driving force of the Empire, he is much more morally flawed compared to Yang, who never attempts to rise past the rank of Admiral.
  • Kamina, and later on (to a greater extent) Simon, from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Kittan fills Kamina's role while Simon is having his Heroic BSOD, and continues to be a secondary Big Good while Simon has the helm.
  • Alex Row from Last Exile.[context?]
  • L from Death Note - a more uncommon Anti Heroic example.[1]
  • The Elder from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Almost certainly the strongest character in the series, it's fortunate that he's on the side of good.
    • Lampshaded at one point when Sakaki, the tough-guy karate master, says he's going to capture Kushinada, the female jiujitsu master, and bring her to the Elder as a trophy. Kenichi has to remind himself that Sakaki is the good guy and Kushinada is evil.
  • Played straight with Griffith from Berserk. Brutally subverted after that.
    • Nowadays, the Skull Knight qualifies, being the most powerful opposition to the Godhand, a rival to both the leader of the Godhand and one of the strongest Apostles, and a particularly major ally to Guts, acting as a sort of cynical mentor towards him.
  • The various Hokages in Naruto, notable in that the post changes hands relatively often.
    • Chapter 515 has the Raikage made the supreme leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces, making him the current Big Good.
  • Sandman from Gravion.
  • Gen Fudou from Genesis of Aquarion.
  • Arguably Uzumi Nara Athha from Gundam SEED. Lacus Clyne later takes on this role, in both SEED and SEED Destiny serving as the political face of the Clyne Faction/Three Ships Alliance & Terminal, while positioning herself as a philosophical counterpoint to the likes of Muruta Azrael, Patrick Zala, and Gilbert Durandal. Several of the villains are aware of the level of influence she has-in SEED both Patrick Zala and the genuine Big Bad Rau Le Creuset try to put her out of commission, while in SEED Destiny Durandal not only tries to have her killed, but hires a Body Double named Meer Campbell to take her place.
    • In the first part of Gundam AGE, Grödek Ainoa, the sole leader of the few willing resistance soldiers in the corrupt, incompetent Federation in the face of the mysterious enemies.
      • In the final arc, former hero Flit Asuno himself.
    • Berah Ronah aka Cecily Fairchild in Crossbone Gundam.
  • Integra Hellsing from Hellsing.
  • Captain Bravo from Busou Renkin. Then the second half of the series introduced a Bigger Good Guy who was his captain. He even makes the bigger part somewhat literal—whereas Captain Bravo's weapon is a body-fitting armor, his superior's weapon is a Humongous Mecha suit of armor.
  • King Kai from Dragonball Z run. He's a mentor to Goku, one of the Physical Gods of the afterlife, and in most of the movies he takes time to inform Goku on various threats. Supreme Kai counts as well, though apparently anything that doesn't threaten the entire universe is beneath his notice.
  • Koutarou Taiga from GaoGaiGar. (Not actually more powerful, but The Hero is a super-advanced cyborg and Taiga is a Badass Normal who can fight off the enemy boss with a golf club.)
  • Lord Mallory from Full Metal Panic!.
  • Hayate for Riot Force Six in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS.
  • Primus serves this role in Transformers Unicron Trilogy.
  • Hakuoro of Utawarerumono. He was both The Hero and emperor of his country, which under his leadership went around smiting bad guys.
  • Captain-Commander Genryūsai Yamamoto of the Gotei 13 (read: 13 Court Squads) in Bleach.
    • Kindasorta. Still better than the other side, though.
    • Depends on who you ask, but this seems to be shared equally among four contenders: Yamamoto is the Big Bad's equal in power, Kisuke Urahara is the Big Bad's equal in intellect, Shinji Hirako somewhat combines the two as the most direct threat to the Big Bad personally, and Isshin Kurosaki is able to take on the Big Bad in one-on-one combat.
  • Dr.Riddles in Gash Bell for Kiyo, Zatch and Gang. He trains the heros and organizes them to fight against threats like ancient demons and Faudo.
  • The Queen in Futari wa Pretty Cure.
  • In the manga and second anime of Fullmetal Alchemist, against Father, the role of Big Good is split between Colonel Roy Mustang and Van Hohenheim, the two filling the roles of Supporting Leader and The Messiah respectively. While Hohenheim is the only one that can match the Big Bad's sheer power, Mustang's efforts coordinating the Amestris military can't be ignored.
  • Pope Benedict in The Legend of Koizumi, who leads the world's Mahjong-based defense against the Fourth Reich, who live on the moon and shoot meteors at major cities. It's Personal for him for some reason, probably due to his having grown up in the third one.
  • Soul Eater's Big Good is Death, ironically. He's the head of the school that trains the heroes, gives them their missions and is the only one capable of going head to head with the Big Bad. Also, he's the one the villains are worried about; the heroes themselves are a much lower priority.
  • One Piece,
    • Silvers Rayleigh seems to operate in this capacity, being likely the strongest and most traveled ally of the Straw Hats, being Gol D. Roger's first mate and taking on a mentor/trainer role for Luffy. Rayleigh was merely a Retired Badass despite being powerful enough to hold this role all along, until Luffy's determination (and similarity to Roger) impressed him enough to get him to come out of retirement.
    • Two of the strongest pirates alive, "Red-Haired" Shanks and Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate until his death could also qualify. In particular, during the Whitebeard War, the rather morally-sound Newgate led the battle against the more reprehensible Marines into battle, but it was Shanks himself that ended the war, simply by threatening to attack anyone that wanted to continue fighting!
    • Possibly the biggest candidate for Big Good to date is Revolutionary Leader and Public Enemy #1 (to the World Government, at least), Monkey D. Dragon - Luffy's father.
    • And finally, (huge' spoiler here), Joy Boy. Something of a messiah figure, he lived during the Void Century, made some sort of bargain with Poesidon, and created the Poneglyphs that contain information on that time period and the location of Laugh Tale, the site of Gol D. Roger's legendary treasure. The treasure, in fact, whatever it is, belonged to Joy Boy initially, and it seems Roger's crew discovered it 20 years too early. To early, that is, for Joy Boy's return, as he was prophesized to make a "second coming". And he has, because Luffy is, in fact, the reincarnation of Joy Boy himself.
  • Ceiphied, AKA the Flare Dragon of Slayers, fought the Big Bad Shabranigdu to a draw (of sorts) 5,000 years ago, thus saving the world from being a rather gloomy place. He also perished in the act, but his released essence gave birth to a whole hierarchy of lesser dragonlords who still keep the Mazoku (demons) in check.
  • The Three Dark Lords of Rosario + Vampire, or at least the two who are still alive, seem to fill this role.
  • This was Erza's role in the earlier chapters of Fairy Tail, until Makarov, then Gildarts was introduced.
    • Erza still has the capability to become this in the future. She's arguably stronger than Natsu and definitely more levelheaded. The main thing holding her back is her age (which is never actually given, but she's somewhere in her late teens or early twenties).
      • She was 19 about the time of her introduction - as seen here. Half a year has passed by since then, but it is unknown if she has turned 20.
  • Byronic Hero Zero of Code Geass, althought possibly is only a Villain with Good Publicity. he is, however, the absolute leader of what is hard to deny as the absolute and possibly only righteous organisation in the series that isn't a school. Upon his apparent death, we cut back to their home to find the vast majority of it's several hundred thousand population in despair and mourning. And he's gotten some animosity from his immediate subordinates when they realise that they're pretty much incompetent without him, even though, by the end and after a lot of work, they possess a strong military base from which a skilled leader could easily use well.
      • Alternatively, there's Milly, Ashford Council Student President, who has people from both sides who are fond of her, and Kaguya, who leads the series' UN-equivalent.
    • Of course, Lelouch suffers from not being all that big, as Authority Equals Asskicking is not in effect, despite a common front-lines presence... At least, not for him.
  • There are a few examples in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, though none of them are without their twists (or spoilers):
  • Dr. Saotome in Getter Robo, being the one that invented the eponymous robot and currently employs the protagonists as its pilots. He's one of the few people in the setting with an almost complete understanding of the nature of Getter Rays, and how to use them against the various threats to humanity.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Ryou Shirogane, owner of Cafe Mew Mew and the head of Project Mew Mew, leads the heroes.
  • Miaka Yuuki from Fushigi Yuugi. In fact, all of the Mikos are supposed to be this for their countries and warriors.
  • Rex Godwin in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is the Evil Mentor to the heroes, a weird case where a character is the Big Bad and Big Good at the same time, at least in Season One.

Comic Books

  • Superman is traditionally the chairman (and often acknowledged as the most powerful member) of the Justice League, and even when not acting in his capacity as a Leaguer most other heroes tend to defer to his authority and judgment if only out of respect. Sometimes generalized to the "Big Three" where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman collectively comprise the Big Good of the JLA. And of course, the JLA itself is in a sense the Big Good of DCU superteams and/or the metahuman community in general.
    • Explicitly shown in the Trinity maxi-series, to the point where the three literally become gods.
    • In any story involving the entire Bat Family, Batman will be this even more so than Superman. Alfred Pennyworth is a kind of this even more than Batman.
    • In a similar capacity, Captain Marvel is often treated like this, even in comparison to Superman, possibly due to Children Are Innocent. It's explicitly stated in the comics that Billy Batson would be Marvel full-time to help people, if not for the wizard Shazam insisting that Batson himself deserves some happiness in his life, too.
  • Captain America (comics) is to the Marvel multiverse what Superman is to the DC universe. Though he's far from the most powerful hero, Steve Rogers is basically the embodiment of Good in the Marvel Universe.
    • Especially when he was the director of SHIELD.
    • Spider-Man fufills this at points, if Steve is the Soul of the Marvel Universe then Parker is definately the Heart. He manages to unite even the most cynical of heroes and loathesome villians together or brings out the best in them with his optimism and true everyman nature.
  • Jolt was the Big Good to Baron Zemo's Big Bad in the first few years of Thunderbolts. In some ways Hawkeye was the Big Good after he joined.
  • Professor Xavier from X-Men, except that one time he was the villain.
  • Trevor Bruttenholm, director of the BPI in the Hellboy comics.
  • Admiral Gar Stazi for the Galactic Alliance Remnant in Star Wars Legacy.
  • The Guardians of the Universe in Green Lantern used to be this for the DC Universe but the more cynical modern take on them has them acting aloof and manipulative instead.
  • Darkseid's opposite in the New Gods mythos, Izaya, Leader of New Genesis, is supposed to be the Big Good of the Fourth World saga- but he hardly ever gets used, to give the spotlight to characters like Orion, or even Earth heroes like Superman.

Fan Works

  • In the Command & Conquer/Mass Effect fanfic Renegade, Kane of all people seems to be taking this role, manipulating GDI and the Council into working together against Saren and warning Shepard about the Reapers.
  • Undocumented Features has the Wedge Defense Force, and later the International Police Organization.


  • Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien himself has referred to Gandalf as an "angel incarnate".[2]
  • Mufasa from The Lion King.
  • Morpheus from the The Matrix, shifting quite quickly to Neo.
  • The eponymous TRON from Tron.
  • Star Wars:
    • Mon Mothma in the classic trilogy.
    • Yoda and Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy, although Queen Amidala arguably played the role in Episode 1.
  • Master Oogway, for the first half of Kung Fu Panda. After he passes away, master Shifu takes his place.
  • Fung from Shaolin Soccer.
  • John Connor in The Terminator films is fated to be one of these, and in Terminator Salvation he consequently is.
  • Raiden from the Mortal Kombat movies, which most people agreed was a great use of Pragmatic Adaptation. The character in the games was not quite top-tier despite being a Physical God.
    • Regardless, he is usually the one calling the shots for the heroes. In the first game he was in it for himself and personal glory but after realizing the kinds of evil were threatening Earthrealm, he takes up the mantle of Big Good. He organizes the Outworld mission for II and gathers and protects the warriors chosen to fight in 3. It is only after Deception that he Came Back Wrong into a neutral standing with a twisted view of the realms and their inhabitants, which causes him to become a Well-Intentioned Extremist. He seems to have come to terms with his folly by the arrival of Mortal Kombat 9 and attempts to reclaim his place as the heroes' hero by changing the course of history for the better.
  • The White Queen from the Disney and Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland
  • Odin is portrayed this way in the new Thor film. Most of the film is about Thor proving himself worthy to succeed him as king of Asgard.


  • Dumbledore in Harry Potter.
    • Subverted in that while everyone else thinks the Big Good is Dumbledore, Dumbledore thinks the Big Good is Harry, and even mentions that he himself is expendable. Also subverted in that while he is the leader of Good against all Evil, he himself takes some reaaally questionable methods every now and then. All for the Greater Good and justifiable, but he isn't a white dove. Then again, the leader should never be.
    • Harry himself in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even though he does not exactly lead anyone, he continues to inspire hope and is a rallying point for the students of Hogwarts, Dumbledore's Army, and the Order of the Phoenix.
      • In the practical sense, however, Moody and, after he dies, Kingsley, seem to be Dumbledore's designated successors.
    • Off-screen, Neville is this for Hogwarts during Deathly Hallows: it's implied by the way he talked that he stood up and took a lot of crap so the other students wouldn't have to, he was the only leader of the DA to remain at school for the entire year, and during the Second Battle of Hogwarts, he was explicitly shown leading an attempt to kill Death Eaters en masse using Mandrakes.
    • McGonagall also serves as a Big Good at Hogwarts in Dumbledore's absence: she protects the students from the sadistic Carrows, overthrows Snape (unaware that he's good), and leads the resistance against Voldemort when Harry returns.
    • Godric Gryffindor himself is described this way, being a man of honor and courage, a champion duelist, and an enlightened fighter against the discrimination of Muggle-borns, and the model to follow for not just Gryffindors, but any of the ouright good guys.
  • Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings; after the Ring and Sauron are gone, Aragorn takes over to lead Middle-earth into the Fourth Age.
    • Middle-earth has several levels of this, actually. Gandalf was sent to rally the Free Peoples against Sauron by the Valar and their leader, Manwe, who are the highest authority for good on the physical plane, and above them is Eru, who is, in a nutshell, God.
  • Aslan in the Narnia books. Naturally, given just what he is.
  • Most of the Atreides rulers in the Dune novels, outside of their origin stories.
  • Anastasius Focht, despite his dubious past, comes closest to this in BattleTech. As head of the ComStar Guards and Militia, he led the Inner Sphere's largest single military force. When the Clan invasion started, he was focused solely on defeating them across all of the Inner Sphere, while many other house lords either were concerned solely with their own territory or trying to take advantage of the situation. Focht was able to buy a 15-year truce from the invasion. He ultimately failed to see the threat of the Word of Blake, but that was only because he felt the Clans were the bigger concern.
  • Captain Azarcon in the Warchild Series would most likely count. His morals are undoubtedly in the right place, and he commands the respect of his men and the aliens of La Résistance. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats of the universe don't seem to agree.
  • M, in the James Bond series.
  • Kelsier from Mistborn in the first book. With the new backstory revealed in the third book, this also applies to the primordial god Preservation. In fact, on a cosmic scale the apparent Big Bad of Mistborn, the Lord Ruler, turns out in the end to have been the Big Good. In a twisted sort of way.
    • Until the third book, Vin seems to have taken up his mantle.
  • Mentor of Arisia, in the Lensman series.
  • The His Dark Materials trilogy has an interesting subversion: Because he is the leader of the forces opposing the Big Bad, Lord Asriel could be said to fill this role, despite being pretty firmly an Anti-Villain. Of course, because the other leaders are not so morally questionable (as far as we know), all of them could more easily be said to be the collective Big Good.
    • Xaphania, perhaps?
      • If only she was still around instead of suffering A Fate Worse Than Death for her original rebellion against the Authority.
  • Gesar from Night Watch.
  • Lews Therin and Rand al'Thor from The Wheel of Time series fit this to a T. Not only are they the absolute leaders of the forces of light in their respective ages, but are the only real hope against the Dark One. Of course, the former messes it up pretty badly, we'll have to read and find out how the latter fares.
    • Hardly. The first quote at the beginning of the first book is from historians of the Fourth Age. The first paragraph of the first book makes it plain that the series takes place in the Third Age.
      • Called the Third Age by some rather(since the preceding age was not called the second by its inhabitants, who knows what the consensus for the current one is). Even then, was the quote from the fourth age the upcoming age, or the last fourth age. Reincarnation and repeated playings of the same basic conflict with the same people leaves the door open.
      • It is revealed in the second to last book that while the quotes we see are actually from the next age and all the prophesies we know about the Fourth Age are true, that doesn't necessarily mean the Rand won since they are actually how the Fourth Age would be if it occurred and if Rand doesn't win, time will cease to exist.
  • Great Mage Urtho in the Mage Wars prequel trilogy of the Heralds of Valdemar series. The entire conflict revolves around a massive war between him and the Big Bad, Ma'ar, and their mutual deaths cause a cataclysm that shapes the world for thousands of years afterwards.
  • Michael in The Guardians series is the Doyen of the Guardians. He's their leader and it's his job to recruit new Guardians, enforce the Rules and facilitate the Fall or Ascension of retiring Guardians. He was also the first Guardian ever changed.
  • Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, most notably the novels. According to George Lucas' Word of God Anakin had the potential to become far more powerful than Emperor Palpatine, but due to his injuries on Mustafar had difficulty realizing that potential during his lifetime. Luke inherits that power and realizes it to the point where he becomes the most powerful Force User who has ever lived in the entire Star Wars canon. Luke has countless feats to his name but some that stand out include: Walking directly on top of a lava flow in order to impress an apprentice, during the Yuuzhan Vong War took on over a hundred enemy troops who individually could take on hundreds of Republic soldiers and cut them down with such alarming speed that fellow Jedi could only see Luke's after-image, manipulating the gravity of a black hole and moving it so as to prevent it from destroying the Galactic Republic's forces and sends it back to the enemies who cast it, and perhaps most impressive of all defeating a resurrected Emperor Palpatine in single combat by cutting off his hand which is especially notable as Palpatine is considered the most powerful Sith user and one of the greatest lightsaber duelists who ever lived. By the time Luke is in his prime it becomes easily understood why Luke became the Grand Master of the New Jedi Order, one even more powerful and wise than Yoda ever was.
  • Dallben, from the Prydain Chronicles. Competes with Prince Gwydion for the title, with the former raising the protagonist and the latter being the warrior-prince he aspires to be.
  • In The Man Who Was Thursday, there's the "man in the dark room" who made the protagonists policemen, though he doesn't seem to play much of an active role in the story; it's more that his very existence is a source of inspiration and hope for them. He may or may not also be God -- and he is certainly also Sunday, who the protagonists thought was the Big Bad but who was really doing it all for their own good. It's kind of complicated.
    • He implicitly denies being God, but he is pretty clearly of a higher order than all the other characters.
  • Princess Ozma and Glinda the Good Witch both qualify for this in the Oz books.
  • First Lord Gaius Sextus from the Codex Alera, though he's also a Magnificent Bastard perfectly willing to Shoot the Dog for a good cause. After he dies, Tavi and Aquitainus Attis, formerly a borderline Big Bad, split the role. When Attis dies, Tavi takes it completely.
    • Of course, if you asked the Marat, they'd say their chieftain Doroga was the Big Good, and the Canim would put Warmaster Varg up for the office.
      • But if you asked Doroga or Varg personally, they'd probably say it was Tavi.
  • Boron, from the Guardians of Ga'Hoole books fits trope quite well, being King of Ga'hoole and therefore leader of the Guardians, though the some of other senior Guardians (like Boron's wife, Barran, or Ezylryb) also fit the trope more of less quite well. though the traits of a Big Good in these characters are shown to be somewhat more definitive and pronounced in the film adaptation.
  • In the John Carter of Mars books, Tardos Mors, the ruler of Helium—and perhaps even more so John Carter himself, once he gets the title of Warlord of Mars.
  • Christopher Robin is this to the animals in Winnie the Pooh. Not that there are any Big Bads to contend with, but everyone holds Christopher Robin in high esteem, and his word is Law for resolving all conflicts (as seen in the "Poohsticks" chapter).
  • Ardneh in the Empire of the East trilogy by Fred Saberhagen. So much so that the good guys, or some of them at least, worship him as a god, even though he denies being one.
  • Allanon in the first The Sword of Shannara and its many sequels. Just because you're the Big Good doesn't mean you're nice.
  • D'ol Falla from the Green-Sky Trilogy becomes this after making up her mind to atone for her actions while leading the Geets-Kel.
  • Firestar in every Warrior Cats arc after the first.[3] He is the leader of the main Cast Herd, ThunderClan, and is always trying to stop evil and create peacer between the Clans.

Live-Action TV

  • Almost every Power Rangers series has one.
    • Zordon from the first series up to Power Rangers In Space.
    • Supreme Commander Fowler/Doggie Cruger from Space Patrol Delta.
    • Captain Logan and Alex Drake from Time Force
    • Captain William Mitchell from Lightspeed Rescue.
    • Animus from Wild Force.
    • Sensei Kanoi Watanabe from Ninja Storm.
    • The Mystic Mother from Mystic Force. Actually a famous villain and former Big Bad after a Heel Face Turn.
    • Andrew Hartford from Operation Overdrive.
  • Commander Adama from the original Battlestar Galactica and his counterpart William Adama from the new series.
  • Rebel/Micah Sanders in Volume 4 of Heroes. Also, Angela Petrelli in Volume 3, which is jarring because she and the Company had been portrayed as villains in the first two seasons.
    • Richard Drucker, an opponent of the Company, served this role in the Season 2 graphic novels plotline, but had no role in the main show's plot and appeared to be killed by the Company after a couple of appearances. The Volume 4 graphic novels show that Rebel was inspired partially by Drucker's legacy, though.
  • The Chief, in opposition to Carmen Sandiego.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Gul Dukat asserts himself as the Big Bad, Ben Sisko was brought up by The Prophets (who are usually unconcerned with mortal dealings) to become the ultimate force for good.
    • It's a bit of a disservice to say Ben Sisko was the embodiment of good. He was an accessory to two murders of Garak's, tricked the Romulans into the Dominion War which resulted in numerous Romulan deaths and he poisoned the atmosphere of a Maquis planet to spite Michael Eddington. All of that may be justifiable...but it wasn't "good".
  • Subverted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where Giles is nominally this but in practice tends to defer to Buffy.
  • Jacob from Lost. Somewhat subverted in that he's a very "hands-off" kind of Big Good, doesn't put in any actual appearances until the final season, and he turns out to be a bit of a dick. The entire show was his giant Secret Test of Character in order to find his replacement because he self-consciously realized he wasn't cut out for this whole Physical God thing. Accidentally turning your own brother into the ultimate incarnation of evil and the Big Bad tends to do that to you. In the end, the best possible candidate (Hurley) ends up succeeding him.
  • Batman in the live action series is basically this for Gotham, owing to an extremely cordial relationship with the police and citizens, who hold him in awe. One episode in which he went missing lampshaded this, as Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara were basically paralyzed, reeling in horror at the prospect of actually having to try solving a case themselves.
  • The Super Sentai franchise as a whole has AkaRed. He's the closest thing to a Physical God Ranger. Though originally an Original Generation character for Boukenger vs Super Sentai, his role in Gokaiger has him expanded into this.
  • President David Palmer (Senator in the first season) in the early years of 24. As the President of the United States, he's the guy coordianting all the efforts to stop whatever bad thing is going on, while Jack Bauer is the one in the trenches actually fighting the terrorists and stopping the nuke/virus/nerve gas/whatever. The relationship of complete and absolute trust that exists between him and Bauer is what makes David Palmer the straightest and most iconic example of this trope in the show: while other Presidents show up in later years, they're usually more of an Obstructive Bureaucrat (if not an outright President Evil).
    • President Allison Taylor fulfills this role in the final two seasons, a refreshing change from the incompetent, obstructive, or outright evil presidents that followed Palmer. At least until her Face Heel Turn in late Season 8, though she manages to pull herself back at the critical moment.


Mythology and Religion

  • King Arthur, in his capacity as King of the Britons. Many of the stories focus on individual knights of the Round Table, such as Gawain, Lancelot or Perceval, with Arthur as something of a background character. However, he represents the benevolent authority that they are all loyal to (when things are going well, anyway).
  • Santa Claus
  • Yahweh, obviously. Same goes for His son, Jesus. Actually something of a subversion in that while He is undoubtedly the universal Big Good, His narrative role in the universe is closer to that of The Man Behind the Man,[5] and He generally has a prophet or representative[6] to serve as functional leader to handle day-to-day management and policymaking of the forces of good whenever He needs something done.
    • In the old pre-exilic Israelite religion, El was the King of the universe and head of the Divine Council. YHWH was his firstborn and most beloved son who by far outranked and superceded the others in every respect.
    • Depending on your interpretation of His place in the universe, it could be said that He isn't the Big Good, because He is greater than even that. He is the Big Everything, because nothing is beyond His vision or power, with Evil just being another tool in his toolbox.
  • Hinduism has a plethora of these. Vishnu on a cosmic scale, some of his avatars like Rama on the wordly scale, and Indra of the early Rig Veda. Yudhishtir is another one.
    • Interestingly, the different sects of Hinduism are basically distinguished by who they believe is the cosmic Big Good: for Vishnaivites it's Vishnu, for Shaivites it's Shiva, for Shaktas it's Devi, certain spin-off religions and the Hare Krishnas believe it's Vishnu's avatar Krishna, and Smartas give the Mathematician's Answer and say it's all of them.
  • Many, though not certainly not all, religions with a deity or deities view them as this—although some of the polytheistic ones have some as big goods, others as big bads, and others as bystanders, of course.

Tabletop Games

  • The Unconquered Sun of Exalted was created to be an ultimate hero-type being in order to give the Cosmic Principle of Villainy, the Dragon's Shadow (eventually the Ebon Dragon) something to compare himself against and therefore the ability to actually do stuff.
  • The Emperor of Mankind (almost) died for our sins and remains humanity's only defense against being snuffed out like a candle in a hurricane. Of course, as he's a near-corpse on a chair that eats humans, whose only real input on the Imperium is psychic landing lights through the warp, whether he's the actual "leader" as opposed to the figurehead whose will is interpreted by legions of bureaucrats and spread around the galaxy as literal gospel (as well as whether the Imperium itself is not the "Big Bad" itself) can be debated. Except in the presence of the Commissar.
  • The leaders of the three POV organisations (Boris Ivanov for the Institute, Buran for DEFENDER, and Akela for Utopists) in Age of Aquarius. Semyon Nikolaev may count as the overall Big Good.
    • Note that this is a universe where gods and even God definitely exist and are active. No, they are not any kind of Big Good.

Video Games

  • They tend to vary in Super Robot Wars, but whoever the canonical big goods of various series usually are will defer to one (though there can be more) major Big Good to lead them and the rest of the troops, and in most games Bright Noah usually gets this task due to overall command experience.
  • Yen Sid, as of the more recent games in the Kingdom Hearts series. Leon / Squall leads most of the supporting cast, but Yen Sid is the guy King Mickey goes to for advice. He's currently co-ordinating the effort to rescue those suffering and prepare for Xehanort's reincarnation.
  • The various leaders of the three home nations in Final Fantasy XI, as well as the Archduke of Jeuno. He actually pulls double duty, as all the problems with the Shadow Lord in the present are because of him and his brother.
  • Statesman in City of Heroes, Alternate Company Equivalent of Superman, is the main signature character of the game, and avatar of the original lead developer Jack Emmert.
  • The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker has a clear one in the King of Hyrule, similar to the Big Good in the The Legend of Zelda CDI Games. In The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, it's the Twilight Princess. In some installments, Zelda would probably be the best fit.
  • Yuna from Final Fantasy X, which is just as well, since she is almost literally The Messiah.
    • Though most of Spira would say that it were the Maesters of Yevon.
  • Gran Kiltias Anastasis from Final Fantasy XII, though after Judge Bergan has a bit of fun, the onus falls on Larsa. Larsa is wildly subverted in that in his current state, he has absolutely no power, isn't the leader of La Résistance, and is a proponent of the Empire. However, there is consensus between more or less everyone that it isn't Vayne, Venat, or Doctor Cid, but Larsathat needs to be on the throne, and that only then will peace return to Ivalice.
    • Final Fantasy XII has an interesting take on The Big Good, in the sense that much of the game after the Tomb of King Wraithwall is Ashe refusing the temptation to become The Big Good, because, at first, it would politically be suicide, and later, because the power of the nethicite would make her The Big Bad.
      • It's also interesting that Vayne probably considers himself The Big Good, in the sense that he is the leader of the 'resistance' against the Occuria.
  • As Myrrah from Gears of War cements herself as the Big Bad, it would seem that the Big Good of the story is Adam Fenix, Marcus' father who had apparently died some 4 years before the games. Except his voice at the end of the second game credits...
  • Every World of Warcraft expansion tends to have one. In the Burning Crusade, A'dal stood at the literal center of Outland, and occasionally players would kite monsters to him to see A'dal deal ridiculous damage. In Wrath of the Lich King the role belongs to Tirion Fordring, the leader of the Argent Crusade. In Cataclysm, we have Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, queen of the dragons and Deathwing's heroic counterpart. Also, to some extent, this applies to most of the faction leaders in the game (Thrall, Varian Wrynn, etc.)
    • The straightest examples among faction leaders are probably Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall, slightly less Cairne Bloodhoof, and of course the Prophet Velen.
  • In Chrono Cross, Belthasar is the big good, as well as The Chessmaster.
  • Cosmos from Dissidia Final Fantasy. Chaos summons villains, she summons heroes, and neither of them gets personally involved in the fighting unless they have no other choice.
  • The Precursors in Jak and Daxter, especially after it becomes clear that they're neither extinct nor merely using recordings to communicate their advice and objectives to Jak.
    • Nor nearly as "big" as they made themselves out to be... Not that it stops them being the most important aid the heroes get in the end.
  • The Council trio in Mass Effect, to the extent that succesfully convincing them of the existence and nature of the Big Bad would end the story early. Sovereign's whole scheme basically revolves around avoiding a direct confrontation with the Council armada, because it'd definitely get its ass kicked in a fair fight. That is, unless you let them be killed so that humanity can take over the galaxy in the Renegade ending.
    • Shepard becomes the Big Good for humanity in Mass Effect 3 as s/he tries to rally the rest of the galaxy against the Reapers. In return, s/he'll need to unite the other leaders of the races into cooperating with each other.
    • Admiral Steven Hackett from the same game as well. He's become the de facto leader of humanity and the allied galactic forces.
    • Admiral (formerly Captain and/or Councilor) Anderson fills this role for the human resistance back on Earth. The three of them essentially form a Big Good Ensemble.
  • In Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy, Luke Skywalker, as the head of the Jedi Academy (and probably the most powerful Jedi ever, by other sources).
  • Queen Fay in Overlord II is the ruler of Light Magic beings and the Evil Overlord's foil. Later on however while sacrificing her energy during an Enemy Mine with the Overlord she ends up being corrupted and driven mad by his dark magic, becoming the Fallen Hero Dark Fay.
  • Dr. Light, serving as an invaluable mentor/father figure to Mega Man, Proto Man, Mega Man X and even Zero, the latter two of which continue trying to build his dreams of a peaceful world.
    • Later, Ciel takes the place of Dr. Light as this in Mega Man Zero, with the former Lancer Zero himself now as The Hero aiding her in fulfilling their dreams for a better future.
  • Merlon from Super Paper Mario. He helps out Mario and his friends by constantly researching the Light Prognosticus and instructing where to go next after recovering one of the Pure Hearts.
  • The Grey Wardens as a whole are the Big Good in Dragon Age, though in Origins one of your primary goals is to restore Arl Eamon to health, as he serves this role in unseating Loghain Mac Tir. Since the Wardens themselves are cut off from helping the player in Origins, they naturally have to fend for themselves. This effectively makes the Player Character the Big Good, since he's one of the only Wardens in Ferelden, and the others more or less defer to his/her leadership.
    • In Dragon Age II, Viscount Dumar is this for the second act, desperately trying to keep the peace which ultimately fails when the very pissed off Arishok ultimately kills him in his takeover of Kirkwall. In act III, Grand Cleric Elthina is the only person keeping Knight-Commander Meredith and First Enchanter Orsino actively acting out against each other. Her death at the hands of Anders leads to open war between the two.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has the role split between Satele Shan, Grand Master of the Jedi order, and Janarus, Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.
  • The Master of Whispers in Guild Wars: Nightfall runs an ancient organization of informants and agents watching for the return of dark powers. He soon joins you on the front lines of the struggle as one of the game's customizable Hero NPCs. Equally good but not quite as big are Evennia, leader of the Shining Blade revolutionaries, and Kormir, nominal leader of the Sunspears after the group is shattered. Though Kormir becomes very big of a good when she ascends as the Goddess of Truth.
    • Queen Salma in the War In Kryta arc, and in Guild Wars 2, Queen Jennah for humans and the imperators of each legion for the Charr. A strange case in that each of the Guild Wars 2 Big Goods are Big Bads of sorts for the other race.
  • Yukari Yakumo serves this role in the Touhou series after she's introduced, being the creator and maintainer of Gensokyo. Often, she would prod Reimu to get off her lazy butt and go into action, and woe betide you if you should endanger Gensokyo to the point where she herself would intervene.
    • Calling Yukari a Big Good is a little farfetched. She's a Chaotic Neutral Trickster Archetype who serves her goals and hers alone, but she definitely doesn't want to see Gensokyo destroyed.
  • In StarCraft it is the Overmind, of all characters. He is revealed in the sequel to have seen a vision of the future and that he orchestrated all of the events of the first game so that all of the races in the sector may have a fighting chance against the Xel'Naga when they return and that the Zerg may be free from the corruption of The Void
    • For the Protoss its Tassadar and Zeratul.
    • And on the Terran side we have Jim Raynor.
  • Convoy in the Vigilante 8 games.
  • Altaïr and Ezio, the focus characters of Assassin's Creed games, each become the head of the Assassin Order after the events of the main series games end. We only get to hear about Altaïr's deeds through his journal, but Assassin's Creed Brotherhood actually focuses on Ezio as a Master Assassin, recruiting and training new members. Desmond, the overall protagonist of the series, may end up going this way, since he's the Chosen One (and also because the Bleeding Effect gives him knowledge and experience from Altaïr and Ezio).
  • Mr. House from Fallout: New Vegas. Sure, he seems about as sinister and self-interested as every other major player in the Mojave, but his actual plan is to make New Vegas rich enough to support a new space program so that humanity can escape Earth's slow decay.
    • Alternately, the leaders of the NCR can be seen as this, especially compared to Caesar.
      • President Kimball is a clearer example judging from what is shown of him, though he is a jingoistic imperialist; the military leaders may be Necessarily Evil, but they're too much General Ripper to fit the trope. His predecessor Tandi fit this role much better however.
    • Elder Lyons in Fallout 3 fits the role more closely, especially in his Optimus Prime-esque tendency to put Honor Before Reason, as seen in how he runs the Capital Wasteland in the Broken Steel add-on.
  • Various Onikiribe leaders (there are many, many groups) in Girls Love Visual Novel Akai Ito and Aoi Shiro. Wakasugi Tsudura from Akai Ito is the biggest good by the time of events in Aoi Shiro.
  • LittleBigPlanet 2 has Larry Da Vinchi, the leader of The Alliance.
  • Daniel Carrington, founder and head of the Carrington Institute in Perfect Dark fits this. Although, apart from opposing dataDyne, one has to wonder what it is they actually do.
    • The Carrington Institute develops advanced computer software, hardware, and weaponry (all of which is put to good use by their agents). They are also the creators of the "null-g" technology, which lead to the development of hovercars. As a diplomatic party, they maintain peaceful relations with the Maians.
  • Shuji Ikutsuki fron Persona 3, leader and founder of SEES but not a frontline fighter and Persona user. Horribly subverted when it turns out he's been using S.E.E.S. to bring about the Fall.
  • In the Neverwinter Nights series, the Big Good is Lord Nasher Alagondar, ruler of Neverwinter.

Web Comics

  • Lord Shojo of the Sapphire Guard starts out as Order of the Stick's Big Good, later to be replaced by his nephew Hinjo.
    • Except that in this case the polity represented by both of them was actually conquered by the Big Bad - Hinjo is still an active force, but much less important now than earlier on. Though, to be fair, a large part of the defeat of their force for good was one of their own going insane in her attempts to impose order and virtue.
    • You could make a case that the Big Good is Roy, since he seems to be the strongest currently-living Good character and the most dedicated to thwarting the Big Bad.
  • Baron Klaus Wulfenbach from Girl Genius, assuming you label him one of the good guys.
    • If you don't, he's at least the Vetinari, in that his rule keeps everyone from killing everyone else.
  • It had seemed for awhile that Mr. Verres of El Goonish Shive was this prior to being Kicked Upstairs. It's been practically confirmed in a recent[when?] strip, where he was explicitly compared to both Dumbledore and Gandalf.

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Look among the oldest members of your extended family. Chances are one of them is this.
  • Winston Churchill in World War II was a source of inspiration for all of Europe. Britain managed to keep London's day to day activities going throughout daily bombings, despite the fact that the Royal Air Force was one-third the size of the Luftwaffe at the start of the attacks. Although in this case "good" is relative.
  • Conversely, Abraham Lincoln became this for the Union during the American Civil War, while Franklin Delano Roosevelt fit the bill as this for America during World War II.
  • The Big Good of America, George Washington, who not only fathered the country, but by law was given the rank of General of the Armies of the United States which means he can never be outranked by any other Military Officer in the U.S Military.
  • Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the political head of the Libyan rebels in the 2011 civil war.
  • Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa. Also, Bishop Desmond Tutu.
  1. Type IV
  2. Which of course he is, being a Maiar.
  3. and excluding the fifth, which will be a prequel
  4. Of course, some Fanon theories on the cause of this include Santa Claus being the Big Good.
  5. mostly because looking at Him makes you explode, which is something of an inconvenience when it comes to public speaking
  6. Moses, The Kohanim, Kings Saul/David/Solomon, The Popes, Mohamed, etc.