Evil Chancellor

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"Grand Viziers were always scheming megalomaniacs. It was probably in the job description: 'Are you a devious, plotting, unreliable madman? Ah, good, then you can be my most trusted advisor.'"

Sometimes it's the monarchy / Head of State who's the Evil Overlord. And sometimes there's these, where instead of the Head of State being the person who has malicious intent, it's his advisor, assistant, second-in-command, or Head of Government (that is if the Head of State and Head of Government are separate positions). Most of the time he's actively scheming to discredit or usurp the throne, and may even be an agent sent for this purpose by an outside power. In other cases, he's perfectly content to be The Man Behind the Man and keeps the ruler around primarily as the figurehead for the ignorant masses and as the fall guy if something goes wrong. He can also tend to have more actual power and real influence than the Head of State, especially in cases where the Government is a Parliamentary system or a Constitutional Monarchy. Sometimes called The Evil (Grand) Vizier instead, in which case he will spend a lot of time tapping his fingertips together and calling everyone "effendi".

In stories set in Presidential democratic societies, an Evil Vice President may play the same role, although it is a lot less common. In the American political system in particular, there is a fairly legitimate reason why the vice president is an illogical position to be filled by someone evil: the vice president has by default very little actual power, unless the president is incapacitated or if he has delegated significant amounts of formal authority to the vice president. (Note: if the President is planned to be assassinated or is an easily controlled fool, this trope would easily apply).

While Chancellors, Vice Presidents, and the like may not be examples of this trope, the title "Grand Vizier" might as well just include "Evil" as part of it, in the eyes of English-speaking audiences, especially if the Vizier's name is some version of "Jaffar". If you see a non-evil Grand Vizier, the author is probably playing with the trope... or you're talking about Real Life (the historical Ja'far ibn Yahya, while a Vizier, was not particularly Evil).

Malicious Slander is a particular favorite of the Evil Chancellor.

If only the King thinks the evil chancellor is his most trusted and loyal subject, he's a Horrible Judge of Character. When only the protagonists see through the evil of this character, it's a Devil in Plain Sight. If he doesn't want to steal the throne himself, then his goal is almost certainly to turn the ruler he allegedly serves into a Puppet King.

This trope is the Evil Counterpart of The Good Chancellor. See also: The Evil Prince, who is usually also after the throne and rather less willing to remain in the shadows. In fantasy settings, will often overlap with an Evil Sorcerer; if his "official" job is to be the ruler's personal magic-user, then he's also the Court Mage. Aspiring backstabbers may refer to the Evil Chancellor List. If the ruler the Evil Chancellor "serves" is also evil, expect overlap with The Starscream.

In terms of the ranks of Authority Tropes, the tropes that are equal are The Good Chancellor, Standard Royal Court and Deadly Decadent Court. The next steps up are The Evil Prince, Prince Charming, Prince Charmless, Warrior Prince, The White Prince, The Wise Prince, and all Princess Tropes. The next step down is The Brigadier. Also see Treacherous Advisor.

Examples of Evil Chancellor include:

Played straight[edit | hide | hide all]

Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Seymour Cheese from Samurai Pizza Cats was a very overt example of this as well.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: After the Time Skip, Rossiu became a Well-Intentioned Extremist chancellor. And when he realizes what he's done, he almost kills himself. Simon has to punch him out of it through hyper space.
  • The Eunuchs in Code Geass R2, keeping a little girl as a figurehead Empress and oppressing the Chinese Federation.
    • Also Schneizel, though subverted in that his father the Emperor is not a weak figurehead, and that both turn to be , like Lelouch, Well Intentioned Extremists in their own fashion, rather than well and truly evil. He is after the throne but his father is fully aware of the fact, and is not overtly concerned ( When Schneizel finally makes his bid, he discovers that Charles has decided to let him have it, his own plans having at last started to come to fruition.)
  • He may not be a royal advisor (his leader is a Ninja boss, and later her granddaughter), but otherwise Tenzen Yakushiji from Basilisk fits the trope to a T.
  • Played straight with Prince Gihren Zabi in Mobile Suit Gundam, and his father Degwin Sodo Zabi before him.
  • Wiseman/Death Phantom, the Big Bad and Cosmic Horror of the second season of Sailor Moon plays the role of advisor/seer to Prince Diamond and the Black Moon Clan all the while using them for his own agenda.
  • Averted in The Cat Returns. The Cat King's adviser is more of a straight man to the mad king.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has a whole group of them, and they've been extremely successful so far.
  • Gargoyle from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is an uncommonly successful example of this trope. He actually pulled off a coup in his backstory.
  • In a filler arc of Naruto the circumstances of a daimyo's death and then that of his daughter raised concerns over treachery from within. This was further compounded by the presence of a vengeful apparition. The prime candidate was the daimyo's chief general. It turned out he was innocent; the guilty part was the other adviser who had passed himself off as a peaceful monk.
  • There's one in the Detective Conan vs. Lupin III special. And he's also the Big Bad and the killer of the week, having murdered his Queen and the Prince Crown of his land to later attempt to murder the Sole Survivor of the royal family, the Broken Bird Princess.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The French comic book character Iznogoud (from the creator of Asterix) is a comic exaggeration of this character type. A short, excitable character who's Grand Vizier to his cousin the Caliph of Baghdad, his sole purpose in life is to try and take the Caliph's place (as outlined in his Catch Phrase "I'll be Caliph instead of the Caliph!"). Naturally, he never succeeds. The comics have been adapted into a TV series as well.
    • And, who could forget Tantri the Mantri in Tinkle digest, whose main goal is to kill Rajah Hooja and become the Rajah.(basically based on Iznogoud). Naturally, he always fails, and injures himself. The Rajah is ignorant enough to believe that Tantri is a devoted servant for getting himself into such dire situations.
    • Before he became President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy was regularly portrayed as Iznogoud by political cartoonist Jean Plantu, because of his obvious ambition to replace Jacques Chirac as President. Chirac has reportedly hated him ever since the 1995 presidential election, when Sarkozy (up until then a Chirac follower) abruptly decided to back Edouard Balladur for president.
  • In Asterix and the Magic Carpet, Hoodunnit is the Grand Vizier of India, and plans to gain power once the only heir (Princess Orinjade) is sacrificed to the rain gods. (In a Shout-Out, he mentions his cousin, Iznogoud, and uses the phrase "I want to be Rajah instead of the Rajah".)
  • Just about every adviser Lilandra had as Empress of the Shi'ar.
  • Yusuf, Sinbad's advisor, in Fables.
  • Oddly enough, Doctor Robotnik (and after his disintegration, Doctor Eggman) in the Archie Comics version of Sonic the Hedgehog. Before becoming the Mad Scientist (or, perhaps, concurrent with being such) and the Evil Overlord, Robotnik served the King of Acorn as his chief advisor and war minister... only to turn on him after the Great War was over.
  • Doctor Doom was one of these, then he orchestrated a couple of robot doubles and waited for a death or two, and had a robot double prince give all the power to him.
  • Darth Wyyrlok is an Evil Chancellor paired with an Evil Overlord - and he's an Evil Sorcerer to boot! He winds up betraying his Master, but it's something of a subversion of this trope- he does it not (primarily) out of ambition, but from a devotion to Lord Krayt's dream of a unified Galactic Empire which he himself has abandoned to pursue personal goals.
  • Currently in The Mighty Thor, Loki is the Evil Chancellor for the new Asgardian prince Balder who, after a good half-century millennium and a half of stories, should really know better.
  • Deputy Chief Judge Martin Sinfield in Judge Dredd is this trope to the current Chief Judge, Dan Francisco. While Francisco is somewhat idealistic and does want to improve conditions for humans and Mutants alike, but at the same time easily manipulated, Sinfield is a cynical bastard who is only interested in his own power, and has used his influence to carry out some deeds of questionable legitimacy.


Fanfic[edit | hide]

  • Chancellor Oznabrag from Super Milestone Wars
  • In Sabaku on DA's remarkably mature Ben 10 fanfic set in the future, the evil adult form of Kenny, called Kenneth has a scheming Evil Chancellor named Kiyomori Taira, based off the rather villainous Kiyomori from history. He also has skills as an Evil Sorcerer and is blatantly more powerful than Kenneth, as seen in ArcadiusD's Time of the Serpent continuation fic


Film[edit | hide]

  • Zig-Zag from the masterpiece The Thief and the Cobbler. And voiced by the master of such characters. Ironically, he is actually The Dragon and not the Big Bad.
  • Jaffar, from The Thief of Bagdad, starts out as an Evil Vizier, although he does wind up usurping the throne rather early in the film.
  • Jafar, from Disney's Aladdin.
  • Chancellor and later emperor Palpatine of Star Wars: Secretly Darth Sidious, master to count Dooku and later Darth Vader. It was a democracy however, so he was second in power to the people or at least the system itself. He still needed emergency powers from the Senate.
  • There's also Yzma from the Disney film The Emperors New Groove. The thing is, she actually succeeds in overthrowing Kuzco, but Kuzco at the beginning of the film is such a jerk that his subjects don't seem to notice the difference (or even care). It's also implied that Yzma's the reason why Kuzco's such a jerk in the first place ("Does he... A little more to the left. (Smashes bust) ...Have any idea who he's dealing with?! I can't believe this! Why, I'm the one who practically raised him! (smashes another bust)").
  • John Heard's secretly-competent version of Dan Quayle in My Fellow Americans is an Evil Vice President variation.
  • Sir Francis Walsingham in Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age is entirely loyal to his queen, but plays the Evil Chancellor role to the extent that he is willing to do the necessary dirty work for which her conscience is too tender.
  • The scheming Empress Dowagers in The Last Emperor qualify. Actually, so do the Kuomintang, the Japanese and the Communists, seeing that this film details the life of a very marginalized and lonely man.
  • The evil wizard from Care Bears Movie 3.
  • The Mayincatec High Priest in El Dorado.
  • The Vizier to the King of Sodom in the movie Year One definitely counts.
    • He never seems to actually do anything evil, apart from opportunistically grab the crown and then put it down and run for his life. He's a parody of stock evil vizier traits, but without the actual villainy. The princess even keeps him around.
  • Sir John Conroy, advisor to the Duchess of Kent and therefore nominally the guardian of the underaged Princess Victoria, in The Young Victoria. As with the Walsingham example noted above, this was another case of Truth in Television.
  • In Miller's Crossing Johnny Casper's chief muscle Eddie Dane combines this trope with that of The Dragon, since he relies more on strength and bullets than brains, which he resents. Tom Regan would be Leo's The Good Chancellor (as much as a gangster who makes recommendations on hits, and sleeps with his bosses wife can be good).
    • Dane may be a vicious bastard, but he was a loyal dragon; it was just dumb romantic indiscretion that made it easy for Tom to convince Casper he was the Treacherous Advisor. If anything, the Tom was the Evil Chancellor; he may be the protagonist, but he certainly wouldn't believe himself "good" for any of the things he'd done.
  • Sir Hiss from Disney's Robin Hood is actually this to Prince John. Subverted however, by the fact that Prince John is already evil from the start.
  • Hedy Lamarr (That's HEDLEY!) to Governor Lepetomane in Blazing Saddles.
  • Jose Ferrer's Vice President in Iron Man 3 is part of the conspiracy orchestrated by Killian, which includes assassinating the President.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Hamman from the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible was a Persian wazir who tried to convince his king to exterminate the Jewish population that was scattered in the Persian empire. Since the queen was secretly Jewish (and her uncle had saved the king's life), this did not go well for him. He is probably one of The Oldest Ones In The Book.
    • This editor recalls reading many stories of Court Jews and/or Rabbis facing off against Evil Courtiers of various stripes in books of Jewish folktales as a kid.
  • In the Arabian Nights tale "The Story of the Slave-Girl Anis al-Jalis and Nur al-Din Ali ibn-Khaqan", Jafar (see Exceptions below) helps Harun al-Rashid take down an evil vizier who's preying on the king and people of Basra and persecuting the titular Nur al-Din Ali (whose father was a good vizier).
  • In Dante's Divine Comedy, the 8th Bolgia (ditch) of the Eighth circle of Hell is reserved for "Evil Counselors," that is, the officers and advisors of rulers who mislead or betray their masters. He includes examples of his era in the poem. When Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote the novel Inferno, doing their own take on Dante, the most poignant example was Benito Mussolini, who, as chancellor of Italy, turned that country to Fascism.
  • Doubly subverted in War and Peace with Speransky, who most characters assume to be an Evil Chancellor until Prince Andrei meets with him and finds him to be a pleasant man only concerned for the betterment of Russia. He is later Put on a Bus when he's discharged from the sovereign's court on charges of corruption and treason.
  • Played straight and averted in the case of Mocha, the evil-as-sin Court Magistrate in the episodic-segment story "What Is This Black Magic You Call Science?". She kills and sacrifices anyone with faint hints of liberalism, even killing a little girl with red flowers in her hair who Chryseis was trying to save. In front of her parents and siblings. Her constant, rivalry-antagonism with Chryseis is also fueled by sibling rivalry, since their father thought Chryseis was a better child. I wonder why. Oh, and she's also the goddess of female power, and a very violent blood mage.
    • Averted in that she does not wish to usurp the throne { rather, she put him on there since she knew he'd not interfere with her wanton killing], and her motives for keeping people so afraid are supposedly that if they left Nifl, they'd see the rotted giantess head at Epoch at find out that gods really can die, and will give them some sort of sovereign power. However, she is slowly losing power since the death of the Red Flower Girl led to public outcry.
  • Parodied in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books, in which the Grand Vizier is automatically assumed to be like this, regardless of the culture involved or the circumstances of meeting them. A prime example would be Lord Hong from Interesting Times, who was Grand Vizier of the Agatean Empire and probably one of the most powerful and dangerous figures to appear in the Discworld series.
    • Pyramids has the hidebound High Priest Dios. He doesn't like the way the new ruler, Pteppic, is trying to run things, but doesn't try to overthrow him; he just "interprets" the commands of the Pharaoh so that things will be run the way they've always been run anyway. Also, he's not really evil, so much as very much steeped in the country's traditions to the point that they are second nature to him.
    • Well, he is really seven thousand years old.
    • Near infinitely old depending if you interpret the ending as a closed-loop time paradox.
    • GURPS Discworld subverts it with the Grand Vizier of Al-Ybi, a sensible and unambitious accountant, who has reluctantly grown a Beard of Evil and practiced his sinister smile, because that's what's expected. He views the whole thing as an unnecessary distraction from balancing the budget.
    • Also subverted at the end of Interesting Times when Emperor Cohen promotes Twoflower to Grand Vizier, on the basis of him knowing nothing about the role..
  • Inverted in A Song of Ice and Fire: Eddard Stark and Tywin Lannister are both highly competent and (though Tywin's a bit of a bastard) they are both trying to do what's best for the realm. Unfortunately, the king Eddard serves is a stupid, brutish, drunken has-been, and both of the kings Tywin serves are products of incest and dangerously insane--one of them tried to burn the city down instead of letting his enemies have it, and the other is a young sociopath who is heavily into revenge and managed to cause a city-wide riot against the aristocracy.
    • Qyburn is an aversion. He's quite shifty, he cuts open people for fun and has an unhealthy interest in reanimating the dead, but by the end of the fourth book he's the only one of Cersei's advisers who is still somewhat loyal to her.
    • And then there's Varys, who arguably fits in the school of the "scheming eunuchs" mentioned below. No one knows who the fuck Varys is playing for, but everyone bets on "himself."
    • Littlefinger qualifies, whoever he's serving at the time.
    • Tywin's son Tyrion is a subversion: he is perceived as this by the common people of King's Landing, and is blamed for the crimes and mistakes of King Joffrey and Queen Cersei, when in fact he is doing everything in his power to rule justly and well. This has been all too common in Real Life (see below).
  • Grima Wormtongue of The Lord of the Rings succeeds in effectively ruling Rohan by manipulating the ailing King Theoden... for a while.
    • Sauron becomes this to the King of Numenor in The Silmarillion. Using the Numenoreans fear of death and envy of the Elves' immortality, he convinces them to worship the fallen Vala Morgoth and to attack the Valar's sanctuary of Valinor, resulting in Eru (God) sinking Numenor.
  • Cabbarus in Lloyd Alexander's Westmark manipulates the king's grief over his dead daughter... but it all gets blown sky high when the daughter turns out to be Not Quite Dead. In the sequel, the king of the next country over has an Evil Uncle doubling as an Evil Chancellor, too.
    • Alexander also uses the trope in The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha, which is sort of Alice in Wonderland meets the Arabian Nights: a boy falls asleep and wakes up to discover that he has been mistaken for the ruler of a delightfully Arabesque kingdom complete with not-so-delightful Vizier. The titular character later deliberately averts the trope by appointing the only person he trusts, a somewhat seedy character, to be his vizier. (Un)surprisingly, he does a better job than the original Evil Vizier.
    • He uses it again in The Castle of Llyr, the third book of the Prydain Chronicles, in which Magg is chancellor to the kindly King of Mona. Unfortunately for King Rhuddlum, Magg's real loyalty lies with the wicked Queen Achren, who has promised him a kingdom if he helps her kidnap Princess Eilonwy.
  • In the Stephen King novel Eye of the Dragon, the king's trusted advisor and magician Flagg plots to assassinate the king and frame the elder (and wiser) prince for the murder. The same character, under the alias "Marten Broadcloak", played the same role in the court of Gilead in the backstory of The Dark Tower series, while at the same time also playing evil vizier to Gilead's rival, John Farson, under the name "Walter O'Dim". All three of these roles, in addition to several others, are assumed by Flagg in his capacity as right-hand man to the Crimson King, to whom he also plays The Starscream.
  • The Word Bearers' Chaplain Erebus fills this role in the Horus Heresy series of Warhammer 40,000 novels. Somewhat different in that rather than scheming to kill Warmaster Horus, Erebus schemes to corrupt him.
  • In the David Eddings Elenium trilogy, the churchman Annias serves as this trope to King Aldreas, the weak-minded ruler of Elenia. Annias needs to control the crown while he works on becoming Archprelate (the story's equivalent of the Pope), and to that end he convinces the king that it's okay to sleep with his own sister, Arissa, who is the mother of Annias's son Lycheas. It keeps Aldreas distracted.
  • In one book of Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series, the title character visits a country which has an evil queen who is descended from an Evil Chancellor who usurped the throne. The Chancellor's name was Reiziv.
  • In Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, Pryrates gleefully occupies this role to the ill-fated King Elias. In the end, he turns out to be The Dragon to the Storm King.
  • In One Good Knight, part of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey, there's an Evil Chancellor. He's lampshaded with a line somewhat like "if the king's advisor was a magician, then according to the Tradition he must be scheming after the throne." Additionally, he and the queen are a couple. Of course, he's planning to betray her.
  • General Zhi Zhong in Lords of the Bow is, for the most part, loyal to Emperor Wei, but outside the royal court openly considers him a foolish weakling. When his army is crushed by Genghis Khan at the Battle of the Badger's Mouth, he returns to Yenking, kills the emperor, and installs Wei's seven-year-old son, Xuan, as the new emperor, with himself as regent. His subsequent refusal to surrender to Genghis Khan quickly leads Yenking to starvation and eventually cannibalism.
  • The Kingpriest in Dragonlance was unlucky enough to be stuck with two of these guys- the conniving Elven ambassador Quarath and the enigmatic Evil Sorcerer Fistandantilus. The two are often contrasted, as the former is a Smug Snake who plays politics for fun and profit, while the latter is a Magnificent Bastard with far more... epic ambitions.
  • The Sword of Shannara has the evil advisor Grima Stenmin, drugging and manipulating the usurper Palance Buckhannah while his brother Balinor is away on the quest.
  • In The Wheel of Time, several Forsaken become the embodiment of this trope once they're free. Semirhage as Lady Anath, the Seanchan Imperial heir's most trusted advisor and Rahvin as Lord Gaebril, the Queen of Andor's lover and avisor are the most obvious example, but Bel'al and Sammael could possibly qualify as well.
    • And of course there are Messana and Aran'gar who control minions (Alviarin and Sheriam, respectively) as the rival Amyrlins' Keepers of the Chronicles.
  • Referenced in Neverwhere (book only): Richard calls the Marquis de Carabas the "psychotic grand vizier" to Door. While certainly a scheming Magnificent Bastard who's only on the heroes' side for his own good, he doesn't actually live up to the trope and betray Door.
  • Chancellor Urtica from Mark Charan Newton's Legends of the Red Sun-series is a textbook example of this trope. In the first book alone he was able to depose the empress he serves by framing her for attempted genocide of refugees (planned by him no less!) who seek to enter her city. Oh, and he is also the head of an outlawed cult that will follow his every order.
  • Count Fenring in Dune. In his case, his chief motive is My Master, Right or Wrong, and he is not an unsympathetic figure.
  • Brodrig of Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire. "The low-born, faithful Brodrig. Faithful because he had to be faithful, since unless he owned the fastest speed-ship in the Galaxy and took to it the day of the Emperor's death, it would be the radiation chamber the day after." Eventually the Emperor comes to distrust Brodrig and execute him.
    • Actually, there is no indication that Brodrig's policy was different from that of Cleon - it's quite likely the Emperor used him to play Good Cop, Bad Cop.
  • Andrew to King James in Harald. Unusual in that James has a perfectly good reason to trust him.

James:While I live, Andrew is my right hand. If I die, my uncle's boy inherits and Andrew goes back to being one more southern lord with better birth than land. He has no reason to seek my life, and much to guard it.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • 24 has had several evil Vice Presidents, the best example being Charles Logan, who was merely incompetent as a vice president but became evil upon his ascension.
  • Played straight and subverted by Noah Daniels. It's made clear he was only on the ticket to add national defense creds. Turns out to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist hell-bent on nuking the Mideast for whatever flimsy justification he can get away with, but when he ascends to power the responsibilities of the office temper his views and he ends up making peace, then giving up the office at the next election.
    • 24 also subverted the trope in season 5; when Vice President Hal Gardner first appears on the show, he's set up to appear to viewers to be The Man Behind the Man. Eventually, it turns out that Gardner is completely unaware of the plot unfolding around him, and it's the president who's calling the shots.
  • Babylon 5 had Vice President Clark of the Earth Alliance, who was a front man for the Shadows and arranged the assassination of the President so he could step in and run Earth to their specifications.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who story The Five Doctors. The "treacherous" counselor was actually innocent and had been set up to take the fall by the President himself.
    • Done straight in the earlier story The Deadly Assassin.
    • Also done straight in The Curse of Peladon, then subverted in its sequel, Monster of Peladon.
  • The Event features an Evil Vice President in Raymond Jarvis, who makes the go-ahead call to assassinate the president. However, he thinks he's doing the right thing.
    • Plus, he himself is just the puppet of the real villain, Dempsey.
      • But, maybe Dempsey isn't such a clear-cut villain after all, and, anyway, Jarvis clearly doesn't learn his lesson from the first assassination attempt and conspires with Sophia to take another crack at it.
  • I, Claudius has a subversion in its presentation of Narcissus and other freedmen advisors of Claudius. These individuals were chancellors of the original kind, highly educated former slaves or the children of slaves who were hated by Rome's aristocrats for their influence over Claudius and probably prompted some of his more unpleasant actions. However, they were completely loyal to Claudius and thus more akin to the Poisonous Friend trope.
  • Jim Profit is an Evil Vice President of Acquisitions.
  • Francis Urquhart in the TV series House of Cards (British series). Throughout the first part of the story he appears to be the faithful ally and Chief Whip to Prime Minister Henry Collingridge, all the while plotting the PM's downfall. Ironically, when Collingridge is forced to resign he throws his support behind Urquhart's own campaign to become PM, still completely unaware of who his betrayer actually was.
  • A borderline example is Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. Not really evil (or if he is, he's a Villain Protagonist), but tricky, dishonest, and manipulative.
  • Chancelor Dungalor from Krod Mandoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire, the Affably Evil villain of the show.
  • Primeval season 2 gives us Oliver Leek.
  • Inverted in the Farscape arc "Look at the Princess" - Rygel becomes the secretly good advisor to the evil queen.
  • On Stargate SG-1, Senator Kinsey eventually becomes the Vice President version of this trope near the end of Season Seven, thanks to backing from the Trust. Hints are dropped that he eventually plans on having the President assassinated and replacing him, but thankfully before that happens, the President fires him in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Kinsey's plans to assassinate the President make even more sense when it is revealed in Season Eight he has at some point become a host to a Goa'uld.
  • Agravaine, Arthur's uncle in Merlin season 4, who is actually The Dragon to Morgana.
  • Subverted in the Flash Gordon series. Rankol is an evil, hero-torturing cybernetic mad scientist whose experiments have endangered two worlds. And he is still aghast at most of the stuff his boss does on a weekly basis. Of course he does work for Ming the Merciless.


Myth and Legend[edit | hide]

  • Sibich, chancellor for king Ermanerich in the legend of Dietrich of Bern. Among other things, he manages to get the king's sons and nephews killed.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • In the original Buck Rogers comic, Oggo was the corrupt prime minister of the Mongol Empire under the Celestial Mogul. The Mogul was actually a Reasonable Authority Figure, but he had allowed Oggo the freedom to run the empire as he wished, while the Mogul puttered about with scientific research, foolishly confident that Oggo was running things justly and fairly.


Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons Al-Qadim setting, A Dozen and One Adventures boxed set. In the city of Al-Anwahr, the treacherous vizier Zeenab tricked Amakim Ibn Issad into overthrowing his brother King Azaltin so Zeenab could steal the book "Eleven Baneful Gates".


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid makes this trope his identity.
  • The medieval chancellor of the royal family of Guardia in Chrono Trigger is kidnapped and impersonated by a vicious monster, Yakra. Meanwhile, his modern-day counterpart is a paranoiac who sentences Crono to death for "kidnapping" the princess and disorderly conduct, and later puts the King himself to trial. He is, in fact, a descendant of Yakra who impersonates the modern-day chancellor in order to get revenge on Crono for defeating his ancestor.
  • Jaffar from the Prince of Persia series. (Notice a pattern?)
    • And the Vizier in Sands of Time.
  • Noah in the first Galaxy Angel game sucked up to Eonia, claiming him for her admirable older brother in a siscon sort of manner while convincing him to do all the evil he did before and during the coup.
  • Variant subversion: In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in Glitzville Grubba the arena owner is portrayed as an eccentric and somewhat dishonest nice guy, while the manager and his assistant, Jolene, is cold and behaves suspiciously. Of course, it turns out that Grubba is a villainous monster who has been draining people's energy to stay young forever, and although Jolene—true to the trope—was working to eliminate him, it was because she was the heroine of this arc who had discovered just what Grubba was.
  • Played straight by Sima Yi and averted by Zhuge Liang (and most other strategists) in Dynasty Warriors.
  • In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Sima Yi is played as one, although he is loyal until almost the end, and Zhuge gets a nice rant about how he's a hero and not about to betray anyone.
  • Ar tonelico:
    • The Tenba/Misha path has the corporate version of this, with a twist. Bourd is very obviously evil... but initially seems to be a loyal servant of his boss, Ayano, who appears to be a villainess, right down to a Stripperiffic villain costume and eyepatch. However, at The Reveal, it turns out that she's a genuinely good person who had no idea Bourd was a villain performing inhumane experiments and perverting her company away from its goal of helping people, not just making a profit, as she was poor at the actual day-to-day management of the business, and left that to Bourd.
    • Played further with in Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, where Alfman Uranous, the very suspicious Chancellor of the Grand Bell (thus the protagonist's superior), responsible for brutal public health and safety policies, closing schools and manipulating the Holy Maiden Cloche, may be a Well-Intentioned Extremist aiming to Rage Against the Heavens.
  • In Jade Empire, Death's Hand appears to fit this trope perfectly: After his rise to power, the normally popular Emperor stopped making public appearances, he's the head of an evil Secret Police that was a peaceful congregation of monks, he slaughters and tortures innocents in secret, and he's building a massive golem army that could easily destroy the Emperor's human one and place him in power. However, shortly before the game's fake ending, it is revealed that Death's Hand really is loyal to the Emperor, and was actually given his position so that anyone who discovered his actions would fall for the red herring and not blame the Emperor. Later, it's revealed that Death's Hand doesn't have any free will at all: He's just a spirit bound to obey the Emperor.
    • It Gets Worse: The poor bastard is the enslaved spirit of the Emperor's little brother.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Lady Prestor, advisor to the young King of Stormwind, is actually giving him terrible advice because she's a dragon, the daughter of Neltharion.
    • The Lich King expansion added Varimathras, a member of a race that has been Exclusively Evil from the start of time to this list, to the surprise of absolutely no one. The spoiler tag probably isn't even necessary
    • Played with by Magatha Grimtotem. She has all the trappings of one (suspicious motives, has shown disdain for Cairne and the Horde's new directions, leader of the Taurn's Evil Counterparts) but hasn't actually done anything to go against them. Not yet, at least.
      • Finally validated in Cataclysm. In an effort to get cozy with the new War Chief, she had Garrosh's weapons coated with a poison during a duel with Cairne and used the chaos following the death of their leader to try and usurp Tauren leadership in the Horde. Garrosh was not amused.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in the Xbox game Metal Wolf Chaos, where Richard Hawk, the vice president of the United States, abandons subtle evil-advisor strategies to terrorize the country in a giant robot. Necessitating the President to don his own giant robot and take it back.
  • In the Fire Emblem titles Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, the Apostle Sanaki and the Senate rule over the Bengion jointly. While claiming to share her interests, they obstruct her ability to discover their corrupt actions. In fact, they killed the previous Apostle, Sanaki's grandmother, and had her installed as ruler at an young age. Because Sanaki was a child at the time of her installment, they made a seemingly minor member of the Senate named Sephiran Prime Minister as he was the only one to calm her tantrums. They thought they could control the two, but Sanaki ended up being politically formidable, and Sephiran became the only man she could trust. However, as events seemed to come into motion that could reveal their plot, the senators launched a coup'de'tat, imprisoning Sephiran as a traitor to the empire and sending Sanaki into "seclusion", essentially securing their personal rule over Begnion, in order to continue their campaign of extermination against the "sub-human" laguz.
    • Of course, unknown to both Sanaki and the Senate, Sephiran actually had his own agenda. Actually an agent of the goddess Ashera, Sephiran was tasked to watch over the two races of Tellius, the normal-human Beorc and the shapeshifting animal-like Laguz, in hopes both races will live in peace. Of course, they failed to do so, and in fact, the assassination of Sanaki's grandmother and the framing (and near extinction) of the Herons was the last straw. So, with the aid of his servant Zelgius, aka the Black Knight, he sparked the war as depicted in Path of Radiance in hopes of having the war engulf the entire continent forcing the goddess to awaken and wipe out all living things. Despite his intentions of having everyone in Tellius killed, he is genuinely concerned for Sanaki.
      • Long story short, the Vice Minister plans to thwart his two superiors and claim power to himself, while the Prime Minister/Chancellor plans to obliterate all life because he lost faith in it.
  • Melvin in Odin Sphere. Exactly how much he planned beforehand and how much just happened on its own after Elfaria's death is debatable. The Three Wise Men are a better, albeit far less prominent, example.
  • Gnarl, an aged minion in the game Overlord serves as the evil advisor of the Villain Protagonist, serving as his guide and giving him hints and tips in-game while also encouraging the player to do as much evil as he can. At the end of the game when the original Overlord returns Gnarl quickly betrays you, but it's depicted more as a duty to the owner of the Dark Tower and tells you that he'll take you back in if you kill the old Overlord.
    • A non-evil chancellor wouldn't be much use to the Overlord, would he?
    • Overlord II's ending suggests that he's biding his time...
      • Why would he be? He handpicked and cultivated from childhood exactly the Overlord he wanted, and as his mentor/custodian can exercise more authority over than Overlord can over him. That's as comfortable a situation as a Man Behind the Man can get.
  • StarCraft's Samir Duran. Twice.
  • In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf begins as the trusted "servant" of the King of Hyrule.
    • Zant in Twilight Princess is also one according to the Japanese text of the game
    • Chancellor Cole in Spirit Tracks. Unlike Zant, he flat out kills the Princess, instead of just transforming her.
  • The Pope of Tales of Symphonia, who is for all intents and purposes the Chancellor of Meltokio, plots the death of the King so he can take over and rule, among other heinous acts (see the Jerkass entry for examples, a trope he fits very well).
  • All of Ansem's students in Kingdom Hearts betrayed him and took his place, when he forbid them to do researches on the darkness, including Xehanort, who even went as far as to steal the name of his teacher, who was trusting him so much. Afterwards, Xehanort banished Ansem into the realm of nothingness, a fate worse than death.
  • Ad Avis from Quest for Glory.
  • Vizier Abdul Alhazred from King's Quest VI attempts to establish dominion in the Land of the Green Isles by becoming a trustworthy advisor to the king. After becoming Vizier, he has Mordack kidnap Princess Cassima, then he goes forward to kill the king and queen and become the de facto ruler while playing Divide and Conquer with the other Islands, keeping them loyal to him and suspicious of each other. We see the full extent of Alhazred's Evil Plan when Cassima returns and Alhazred has her locked in a room while using this opportunity to devise a staged marriage to have himself declared king.
  • In Dungeon Siege 2, the leader of the dark wizards was Valdis's Evil Mentor, procedes to become his Evil Chancellor and Dragon, and turns out to secretly be the Man Behind the Man for both Vadis and the player.
  • Before usurping the throne and becoming an Evil Overlord, Murod of Summoner used to be this.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, prime minister Borg is definitely one of those. He actively plots to use the princess as a bargaining chip to the approaching imperials in an attempt to allow him to be named King in her stead.
  • The kings Chancellor Kronus Maelor in The Horde is a example of the silly blatantly evil type. He will randomly take your money as a bonus for himself, plot to kill Chancey during cutscreens and is The Horde king
  • In Jak and Daxter The Lost Frontier it is inverted. Though you don't deal with them for very long, Duke Skyheed seems like a noble leader while his chancelor seems like a very rude, disagreeable, and scheming sort, turns out Skyheed is the Big Bad and the Chancelor has been helping you all along.
  • Chancellor Jeeves of Gotha in Dragon Quest V.
  • In Final Fantasy XI in the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion Grand Vizier Razfahd, Empress Nashmeira's brother, is pretty evil. His goal was to reconstruct Alexander so that it could fight Odin in a new Ragnarok. Eventually he gets what he wants, but dies in the process. Then much later, you get to fight Alexander again, and we find out he was alive in the avatar dimension. Afterwards he is sorry for the trouble that he caused.
  • Parodied in the flash RPG MARDEK: Chapter 3, where Sslen'ck leaves his village in the hands of his most trusted adviser, Blatantly Evil Chancellor.
  • Vulcanus from Disgaea is the Archangel, second-in-command to Seraph Lamington, Supreme Commander of the Celestial Hosts, got a god complex, is politically incorrect and Obviously Evil.
  • Guild Wars had this in its original Prophescies campaign with Vizier Khilbron. In a bit of a twist, he was the only survivor from destroyed kingdom Orr and thus no longer second in command. He also sends uses the players as unwitting pawns to his ultimate scheme. Late in the Nightfall campaign, we learn that this trope is subverted somewhat, in that Big Bad Abaddon might have been behind his corruption.
  • Corley Motors Vice President Adrian 'Rip' Ripburger in Full Throttle.
  • In the Interactive Fiction game Varicella, the titular character (Primo) is the scheming, effeminate councilor of an Alternate Universe modern-day Piedmont, out to seize power after the sudden death of the King. He's also the player character. Several other games set in the same universe reveal that he was eventually executed for treason.
  • Ancano, of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, acts as an "Advisor" to the ArchMage of the College of Winterhold, serving as a representative for the Thalmor, a Nazi-esque government of Elven Supremacists. Personality wise, he's a massive Smug Snake, a Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrat, and is so Obviously Evil it's impossible not to notice. The College tolerates him, if only to avoid some massive diplomatic issues, but they suspect that he's only using the post to spy on them. He eventually goes on a power bender, gets a hold of a very powerful artifact of unknown origin, uses it to amplify his own magical powers, and then stages a hostile takeover of the College, threatening to unmake the world just to see if he really can. Oh, and he looks like this, in case you needed a visual clue.
  • Rilix, an ancient powerful being of a long lost race of people is this to the King in Shining the Holy Ark. She turns the King into a puppet an attempts to use him to bring back her race, who are sealed in a can.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Parodied to ridiculous levels with the Eight Bit Theater character Chancellor Usurper aka Dark Elf King Astos. When he was about to take over he planned to have the man who would be the next chancellor killed since he knows you can never trust whoever is in that position. Apparently, this is par for course in Elf Land.

White Mage: Your viziers are treacherous?
Thief: It's an Elven court. It's all viziers and they're all assholes.

  • Adventurers! has a comic where upon being introduced to the Chancellor, Karn immediately tosses him out a window for this very reason. Parodied in that that was the GOOD chancellor, his evil duplicate was late to work and hadn't had a chance to kidnap/replace him yet.
  • Subversion/Lampshade Hanging: In Darths and Droids, Qui-Gon is immediately suspicious of Queen Amidala's advisor Sio Bibble (whose name Qui Gon thinks is "Bubble") due to his goatee and the fact that he's a "trusted advisor". However, never ever at all does Bibble do anything that would indicate this to be at all accurate. In fact, the commentary includes a link to this page.
    • Chancellor Zod Valorum is portrayed as (ludicrously over the top) Evil, and he is a Chancellor, but oddly enough, he is not an Evil Chancellor as defined by this trope, because in the Galactic Senate "Chancellor" refers to the equivalent of President or King, rather than an advisor role, so he's more President Evil.
  • Played to the extreme by Advisor Magon in Sluggy Freelance.
  • Lampshade Hanging and subversion in Casey and Andy, where the protagonists visit a fantasy-based parallel dimension. There, the "Evil Grand Vizier" is supposed to be constantly scheming to topple the monarch, and sure enough, the Vizier is easily recognizable as the local version of Casey & Andy's archnemesis... however, in the end it turns out that he's actually a good guy, and that he'd only pretended to be a scheming, unreliable madman in order to get close to the Queen, with whom he was in love. The true Evil Chancellor turns out to be the court wizard Kasor, who plays this fairly straight.
  • Subversion in The Wotch, the character of Kohain Ravime is cunning, brilliant, and the right hand man of Big Bad Melleck Xaos... to whom he is utterly loyal, despite the occasional instance of taking action on his own, even when he knows Xaos wouldn't approve. He is, in fact, incensed when the Uricarn Demon implies that he'd help Ravime overthrow Xaos and seize power, and explains that he instead hopes to make sure the prophesies about Xaos are fulfilled and to enjoy a long and healthy career as Xaos's second-in-command. To some extent, this makes him more of a Man Behind the Man, who knows the second-in-command position is more comfortable than the Big Bad's. He's notable mainly because he seems to fit the trope very well at first. He looks like a duck, he walks like a duck... but at a closer look, he's a goose.
  • In Dead of Summer, Doug Fetterman is somewhere between this and an Evil Prince. It's also a slight subversion in that the good guys know he's evil.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Tarquin and his five adventuring buddies pair up and act as this to three different empires (though they are not necessarily, in this case, opposing in alignment to their bosses) in a careful juggling act designed to give them all wealth and power without the hassles and dangers of being openly in charge.


Web Originals[edit | hide]

  • Associated Space features Ursula Urquart, leader of the loyal opposition, who is apparently out to either take over, or secede her worlds from the Terran Associated States.
  • Somewhat subverted in Cwen's Quest as the three scheming advisors to the Witch Queen, while unscrupulous, are actually a lot nicer than the queen. They briefly actually manage to take over the kingdom by putting a child on the throne after the original Witch Queen's death but when next we see them they've apparently lost control as the new grown up queen is viciously ordering them around.
  • Over-the-top parodied (as most things are) in Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy: The United Nations has a Trusted Grand Vizier, who takes over when the Secretary-General goes missing (in accordance with the U.N. Ancient Texts, of course).
    • "Now, I know how much you hate personal power, Grand Vizier Slitherstab, but --" "I'll cope."
  • The Nostalgia Chick does the vice-president variety in Kickassia when she spends most of the special trying to kill The Nostalgia Critic to take the presidency for her own. Sure, by about halfway through everyone's trying to kill Critic, but she was doing it independent of the rebellion.
  • Spoofed in a Web Cartoon Series called Larry. The Evil Counselor is so obviously evil with his dark clothes, he even talks to other Evil Chancellors characters such Palpantine, Ymza, and Jafar.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The character of Long Feng, head of the Dai Li in the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The DVD Commentary mentions his power was based on that of Imperial Chinese eunuchs (see below).
  • Another comical, over-the-top example is Chancellor Trample from the Tale Spin episode "The Road to Macadamia."
  • The character Stan in Frisky Dingo turns out to be one of these about half-way through the first season.
  • Corvax from Muzzy in Gonaland, though his exact position is unclear.
  • Subverted in a recent episode of The Venture Brothers: Dr. Henry Killinger, Dr. Rusty Venture's new life coach, is trying to get him to join the Guild of Calamitous Intent and become an archvillain to his more capable twin brother, but in rare form Killinger is actually looking out for Rusty's best interests and making him into a more successful, stronger-willed person. It seems to work: we spend the climax of the episode assuming Rusty is signing a form of membership in the Guild, only to find out he's actually signing Killinger's severance agreement.
  • Arguably, Tzekel-Kan in The Road to El Dorado. His actual title is High Priest, but he's a major advisor to the ruler of El Dorado and is scheming to take it over.
  • Pete in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.
  • Something of a Running Gag in Tarkon-based Galaxy Rangers episodes. King Spartos is a Horrible Judge of Character, but his Rebellious Princess daughter isn't.
  • Dorkus in Planet Sheen. His goal isn't to usurp the throne, however, but to get rid of Sheen for destroying his home, taking his place as imperial advisor, and making fun of his name.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Adolf Hitler, despite not being a Grand Vizier, becomes one of the Trope Codifiers in Real Life, and his official title being Reichkanzler (literally "Imperial Chancellor") suggests he might be the Trope Namer as well.
    • Of course, unlike the typical example, his Sultan (or rather, President) was Paul von Hindenburg, who was no innocent old man himself.
  • The eunuchs of Imperial China were notorious for commonly being an entire set of Evil Chancellors. In fact, at one point people were banned from becoming eunuchs as they simply held too much power. Of course, you didn't see many people lining up to become eunuchs anyway...
    • Actually, most imperial eunuchs volunteered to be castrated for the sake of a career. They were preferred for civil service because (1) they could be allowed to live in the palace and could be trusted not to mess with the emperor's wives and concubines, and (2) it was presumed that since they could have no sons of their own, their only family loyalty would be to the emperor's dynasty. Intact men in a position of power would want to use it to advance their own sons. But, of course, if men are denied the pleasures of the flesh, that does not guarantee they will find no pleasure in wealth and/or power for their own sakes; in fact, it mean even increase their desires on those directions.
      • Most eunuchs were castrated as children. The survival rate of the operation was poor, but better for young boys than grown men. As such, any voluntarism would have been highly questionable.
    • Eunuchs are popular villains in Wuxia and Hong Kong cinema for this particular reason. Many portrayals of them tend toward the Evil Sorcerer persuasion.
  • Eunuchs of the Achaemenid Persian Empire were, as in China, preferred for government service and known for court intrigue. Bagoas, a famous power-behind-the-throne, deposed and murdered two kings, replacing them with more tractable candidates. The last such, Darius III, wised up and ordered Bagoas to drink poison (Darius himself was later ousted by Alexander the Great).
  • Otto von Bismarck was something of a Well-Intentioned Extremist version. He was quite ruthless and became the real power behind the throne, but he was doing it for the sake of Germany.
  • Inverted with king Juan Carlos I of Spain to General Francisco Franco
  • Charles Martel, though not normally regarded as evil, was certainly after his master's throne.
    • And he and his son were FAR better as a ruler than their masters. There was a reason why the last Merovingian kings were known as "lazy kings" and the majordomos handled everything.
      • Two reasons actually, one of them being Carolingian propaganda which exaggerated the incompetence etc. of the last Merovingians. At the time it was a situation not unlike that with emperors and shoguns in Japan before the Meiji Restoration, where de facto power was held by the major domos and the Merovingian king could do nothing even if he tried to.
    • Hugues Capet a few centuries later as well, after Martel's dynasty (the Carolongians) started to peter out.
      • Not really, as Hugo Capet was not a chancellor, but a duke and nominally the king's vassal. It was indeed said that when he became king of France he changed from being a strong duke to a weak king because now all the other vassals were out to get him.
  • There appears to be an inverted example in Zimbabwe, as long-time dictator Robert Mugabe has recently made civil rights activist Morgan Tsvangirai his prime minister, presumably as an attempt to pacify the opposition.
  • Henry Clay Frick to Andrew Carnegie.
  • People who dislike a particular US presidential administration sometimes portray the vice-president as an Evil Chancellor. This is unusual since the Vice President has little official power, though most carve out some sort of role for themselves. A more appropriate role for the veep might be The Starscream. The White House Chief of Staff is usually the President's right-hand and "most trusted advisor". Chiefs of Staff in fiction are rarely portrayed as plotting against the President, though.
    • One counter-example would be Dave. Also, in the case of George W. Bush, perhaps the best-known case of where the Vice President was seen in such a role by opponents of the administration, the then-White House Chief of Staff was also often portrayed a kind of evil genius. Another Vice President who has been portrayed that way, especially in conspiracy theories about the assassination of JFK, was Lyndon Johnson, who while he wielded little official power still had a great deal of influence from his time in the US Senate and did come to the Presidency after the murder of his predecessor. But at other times, especially before the emergence of the office of White House Chief of Staff, a leading member of the President's official or even of his "kitchen" cabinet could easily be seen as an Evil Chancellor. Thus for a long time during the Lincoln administration Secretary of State Seward was widely believed to be pulling simple Abe Lincoln's strings.
      • Lincoln brought this on himself by stacking his cabinet with politicians opposed to him (and each other). He did this to unify the fledgling Republican party and force them to work together.
  • Cardinal Richelieu is usually portrayed as this, though he was a bit of an inversion as he wanted more power for the crown, and helped turn France into a true autocratic monarchy. His successor, Cardinal Mazarin usually gets similar treatment.
    • The Three Musketeers also follows the inversion by making the conflict between the Monarchy (mostly the Queen, as the current king isn't too bright) and Cardinal more of a rivalry. This is mainly because Milady is the real Big Bad.
      • The books avert the trope very nicely, presenting all the complicated political intrigues, but most of the movie adaptations simplify it to the extreme Black and White Morality, some even end in a big showdown with the titular musketeers dueling Richelieu.
  • Frequently subverted in real life, as in many countries throughout history, it was taboo to criticize the sovereign directly, so popular discontent would typically focus on the sovereign's advisors, who would frequently be blamed for anything that went wrong, or that was simply unpopular. This phenomenon would get especially nasty if the advisor in question was from a despised minority group; court Jews were often accused of being this, particularly in the Islamic world and in eastern Europe.
  • Hideki Tojo. Prime Minister of Japan during WWII. Manipulator of Emperor Hirohito. Led his country into a war that was not only brutal, but almost impossible to win. Convicted war criminal. Executed by hanging (though he still went off with style, according to some).
    • That really depends on who you ask, as some people, including Japanese people, would argue that he was merely a scapegoat, and the imperial family were the true villains.
  • Mao Zedong had four of these: The Gang of Four. One of them being his own wife.
  • If you're a child emperor of the Byzantine Empire, you'd better beware of a regent for you usurping the throne and doing something bad to you (Andronikos I's murder of Alexios II, Michael VIII's blinding of John IV). John VI Kantakouzenos can be either an aversion or a subdued version of this trope, depending on the historian.
  • Depending on your view of him, Niccolo Machiavelli, Chancellor of the Florentine Republic, may have been one of these.


Exceptions[edit | hide]

Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In the Fanfic The Basalt City Chronicles, Priest-Emperor Zaykar and The Guardian of the Crown Lord Kosgan do not get along well, at least on the surface. However, Lord Kosgan is actually utterly loyal to the Empire; his friction with the somewhat younger Priest-Emperor was originally to make sure that the Empire got a strong ruler


Film[edit | hide]

  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad features a completely good Grand Vizier-albeit one who is currently serving as regent, the Sultan having recently died. The villain is instead an evil prince who is also a wizard—played by Tom Baker, no less


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Grimble in Myth Adventures, while engaging in power struggles with General Badaxe, has no desire to rule.
  • No matter how many Evil Viziers get named after him, Jafar in the original Arabian Nights stories was usually seen as wise, generous, and probably more mentally stable than Harun al-Rashid himself.
  • After Ozma takes the throne of Oz, the Scarecrow cheerfully steps down and becomes Regent of Oz. It's a fine use of his fine brain, and he is very loyal to Ozma and to Ozma's chosen successor, Dorothy.
    • In the "present day" Oz of Tin Man, Ambrose/ Glitch is loyal and devoted to the lavender-eyed queen to the bitter end, destroying plans for an invention that could theoretically used as a doomsday device. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to stop the Witch from taking the plans quite literally out of his head. Years later, he meets up with DG, the Queen's daughter, and becomes equally devoted and protective of her.
  • In Mika Waltari's The Wanderer, Suleiman the Magnificent's vizier Ibrahim seems like this, but is shown to be the sultan's only friend and politically capable. He is somewhat ruthless, but apart from the main character, pretty much everyone in the book is.
  • Robert E. Howard's El Borak series included one story featuring "Al Wazir," which, yes, means "the vizier." He was a man of renowned wisdom and kindliness -- although when encountered in the story he'd temporarily gone insane (he recovered his sanity on basically the next-to-last page).


Videogames[edit | hide]

  • Cristo/Kiryl in Dragon Quest IV / Dragon Warrior IV is completely loyal.
  • High Chancellor Ocato from Oblivion gave no question as to Martin being the son of the emperor and simply knelt down and officially gave him the position.
    • Which makes him an exception in the Elder Scrolls verse. Just look at the other two Imperial Battle Mages in the games: Jagar Tharn from Arena who imprisoned the Emperor in Oblivion and disguised himself to rule in his stead, and Zurin Arctus aka the Underking from Daggerfall who defied Emperor Tiber Septim's policies well into undeath. The Prima guide even lampshades this trope in its description of the Main Campaign near its conclusion.
      • Alternative sources to the Imperially accepted mainstream raised questions whether Zurin Arctus was actually the evil one of the pair, or just who betrayed who first (whatever the truth, the game that introduced him also suggested that the undeath wasn't Arctus fault).
  • Princess Peach's chancellor, Toadsworth, from the Super Mario series is not only loyal to her, but also kind of a father figure.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Figaro's chancellor is also loyal to his king and kingdom. Even when Edgar's gone for over a year, the chancellor continues to go about his business as though the king had just stepped out for a few minutes.
  • There's a man in Final Fantasy IV who is apparently Edge's grandfather (referred to as "Gramps"), who looks after the people of Eblan while his grandson fights to save the world . In Final Fantasy IX, Beatrix also seems to take on this role in overseeing the rebuilding of Alexandria while Dagger and Steiner are off saving the world.
  • The real chancellors in Chrono Trigger aren't seen doing much, but they're good guys.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • In Rice Boy, the Grand Vizier of Satuar is far more intelligent, level-headed, and kinder to Rice Boy than the Prince is.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In The Gamers Alliance, Iblis, the demonic Grand Vizier of Vanna, ended up being a treacherous chancellor. On the one hand he was behind the equally villainous Sultana Adela's rise to power and did his best to aid her over the years, a job in which he succeeded admirably. However, in the end he betrayed Adela during the battle against the Grand Alliance and revealed that he had ultimately been working for the demonic Southern Horde with the sole intention of weakening Vanna from within for his true masters' upcoming invasion. He had thus been playing both Adela and the Alliance against each other while furthering his own goals.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In War Planets (AKA Shadow Raiders), the Grand Vizier of Planet Fire is a narrow-minded, obstructionist xenophobe. However, he is utterly devoted to his prince and the people of Fire. He even goes so far as to make a Heroic Sacrifice. He does make a reappearance afterwards where he tries to get them eaten by the Beast Planet, but like Chrono Trigger, it's an evil replica, not the real Vizier.
  • The Rocky and Bullwinkle story centered on the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam features a Grand Vizier who looks the part and schemes as much as any other, but he is in fact entirely loyal to the ruler of Jaipur and actually shows genuine concern for him. He's also not noticeably more bloodthirsty than the ruler himself, and only to the same people. (Of course, he also requires Exposition about the titular Ruby Yacht early on, so maybe he's just new.
  • In an episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic , Twilight and co. host a play. Twilight's character is a vizier to Rarity's character, and is in fact not as bad as Rarity's character.
  • In the Disney Aladdin sequels Aladdin is picked as Jafar's replacement, and he does not become corrupt.
    • He's offered the position. He doesn't actually take it, becoming instead something of a state hero. (It doesn't seem to pay as well; he doesn't even get to live in the palace.)


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • In the Norman Kingdom of Sicily during the middle ages, several figures can be seen as Evil Chancellors. Most notable is Maio of Bari, who served as vice-chancellor, chancellor and 'emir of emirs' under William I (and, briefly, his father, Roger II). The far from objective contemporary writer Hugo Falcandus (probably not his real name) claimed that Maio had attempted to elevate himself above the king, including openly contradicting the king's orders, hoarding 'royal regalia' such as crowns, appointing members of family to key government positions, and just generally taking over the entire business of ruling the kingdom. The accuracy of this can be discussed at length, but not here. Maio's predecessor, George of Antioch, has also been accused of spreading misinformation about his superior in order to get him executed and take his place, and is described as trying to keep the king concealed from his subjects; the chancellor Robert of Selby was supposedly the only means by which anyone could speak to the king; and the Greek-Sicilian emir Christodoulos was allegedly Roger II's equal in power (a feat which he achieved through making himself completely indispensable as an administrator and military commander).
  • Similarly, Badr al-Jamali in Fatimid Egypt: he was initially asked by the Caliph to put down some troublesome dissidents, but ended up declaring himself wasir/vizier and gradually (but fairly rapidly) accumulating authority over pretty much everything in Egypt.
  • Despite the interesting title, the Shadow Chancellor is generally no more evil than any other politician.
  • Niccolo Machiavelli, despite his popular reputation was very efficient in his position as Chancellor of the Florentine Republic: he built the city walls that managed to hold out soldiers on their way to sack Rome in 1527, he created a militia to defend the city, and helped improve the political situation after the fall of Savonarola and the Medici.
  1. Not the parrot.