The Beast Master (trope)

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A type of character who uses the assistance of an animal, force of nature, or just some sort of not-highly-sentient creature (with free will) to help them fight.

There are a few variations to this:

In video games, the Beastmaster either has complete control over their ally, an ally that follows the "Monkey-see, monkey-do" mentality and follows the master's actions, or the ally just does what it wants in range of its master. As the AI isn't always very good at doing actions that don't kill everyone, the playerbase may regard the job as unpopular. This will normally not be the case in other forms of fiction, as no computer is directing the ally's actions, as that's now the plot's job.

Due to the fact that the ally is, at best, another damage dealer/damage taker, Beastmasters are generally able to do things on their own in an MMORPG environment.

Named after the Beastmaster class in Final Fantasy XI.

Dragon Rider, Marionette Master, and The Minion Master are specific subtropes, compare with Summon Magic also see Mons. May overlap with Fluffy Tamer.

Not to be confused with The Beastmaster, which was a 1982 fantasy movie and a 90's show about a Nature Hero, very, very loosely adapted from a 1959 science fiction book series, or the Shoujo manga BeastMaster.

Examples of The Beast Master (trope) include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Pokémon anime is pretty much a multi-series embodiment of this trope. It's the entire point of the video games as well; see below.
  • The Anima from Tower of God. Special in this case would be the fact that they are all aquatically themed, since the Tower is filled with water-like Shinsoo.
  • Naruto:
    • Kiba and the rest of the Inuzuka clan use one or more dogs.
    • As the living nest of a colony of bugs, Shino is an example of a Beastmaster with way more than just one ally.
    • Several ninja make pacts with summonable creatures. Kakashi can summon dogs, Temari can summon a weasel, Jiraiya and Naruto can summon toads, Tsunade can summon slugs, and Orochimaru can summon snakes.
  • Meiko Rokudo in Ghost Sweeper Mikami is able to control 12 powerful Shikigami (beast-like spirits or monsters), with different abilities. However, Meiko is very powerful but also ditzy, inexperienced and extremely insecure; she not only considers these spirits more like pets, but is easily scared by little things (little spiders, a balloon that bangs), and then she summons instinctively enormous quantities of energy causing massive destruction. On the other hand, Meiko's mother (as the Shikigami's former master) can control all of the twelve Shikigami perfectly.
  • Caro Ru Luche from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has two dragons she controls in battle, Freid and Voltaire.
    • She doesn't control Voltaire, as she stated herself she is merely "borrowing his power" and only when it is absolutely necessary. She likens herself to a priestess of his.
  • Shido Fuyuki of GetBackers is nicknamed "Beastmaster" because of this ability. He also Speaks Fluent Animal.
  • In Read or Die the TV (and Read Or Dream), Maggie's paper specialty is to form various creatures out of paper (such as birds for flight, or lion-like creatures for fighting)
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Paio II, who uses Sand Worms equipped with Naughty Tentacles for handling bounties and boobies.
  • Zazie The Beast, one of the Gung-Ho Guns in Trigun. He controls enormous sandworms in the anime—his manga counterpart is... squickier.
  • Sei Arisaka can physically control animals via Mind Control but he can get them to do his binding, such as whistling to make a group of doves appear or merely telling them to "go to sleep" will make them instantly fall asleep.
  • Katherine McDonald of Kaze no Stigma has three separate 'beings' of summoning, of different power levels.
  • One Piece has... the Beast Master, the first-mate of the Buggy Pirates. He rides a giant lion and his hat (hair?) changes from season-to-season to different animals.
    • Other examples are Apis from an early Filler arc and Chopper who can speak with animals, not to mention Princess Shirahoshi, who has the ability to telepathically summon gigantic Sea Kings.
  • Kimba the White Lion can summon other animals to help him fight or accomplish tasks he can't do on his own; he's the King of Beasts in his jungle after all.
  • Snake in Black Butler is capable of communicating with and controlling, you knew it, snakes.

Comic Books

  • Comicbook/Aquaman, who can command any ocean animal.
  • Marvel Comics own Squirrel Girl. If you can summon squirrels to beat Doctor Doom, Thanos, MODOK, and Pluto you deserve to be on this list.
  • B'wana Beast has the power to both combine and command animals.

Fan Works

  • In Vathara's Upon A Fiery Steed some of the residents of the L3 colony, and some residents of another planet visited in the story, are Beastmasters; people with the ability to communicate with, partially control and fight alongside animals. Examples shown in-story are bat-winged cat-like creatures called esmeril, hawks, dogs and lizards.


  • Appears in Brotherhood of the Wolf.
  • Avatar. All the Na'vi are beastmasters to an extent, thanks to the Bio-USB.
  • Dar in The Beastmaster. He can telepathically communicate with animals, first seen when he mind-controls a bear to leave him and his foster-father alone and can see through the eyes of his falcon scout. And don't forget the loveable ferret scouts/thieves and the black tiger.
  • Jennifer from Phenomena can telepathically communicate with insects and command them to attack people.


  • Andre Norton was quite fond of this trope.
    • The Beast Master: An early literary version of this was in this science fiction novel and its sequel Lord of Thunder.
    • Catseye: Troy gathers some True Companions, of which he is the only human member. The Zero Stone features Eet, kinda a cat. Etc.
  • Fitz from Robin Hobb's "Fitzchivalry" and "Tawny Man" trilogies.
  • Tortall Universe: In Tamora Pierce's Immortal's Quartet Daine the Wildmage can communicate with animals and even shapeshift into them.
  • Several characters in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire qualify. The Stark children all possess direwolf cubs. Hints are dropped that all of them can actually project themselves into the creature's mind, though only Bran actively develops the ability, while it remains a passive one with Jon and Arya. Also, Varamyr Sixskins, a wildling.
  • In Shadow Ops, "Whispering" is an application of terramancy that allows the user to control animals. It is also very illegal, right up there with gate magic, entropy magic, necromancy, and creating sentient elementals, due to its sheer destructive potential. One doesn't realize how dangerous Whispering is until the person using it calls for literally every animal in range (including millions of nearby insects) to literally swarm the target.
  • In Who Cut the Cheese? by Stilton Jarlsberg, the cat belongs to Hi.

Live Action TV

  • The Legend of Dick and Dom: A character who is actually called "The Beast Master" is the Big Bad. He's seen controlling many types of animals, although he tends to foil his own schemes by (for example) trying to get ants to capture his ememies. Prone to throwing tantrums when he fails- he's seen roasting a pair of pigeons at one point. Can also turn parts of his body into animals ("My powerful caterpillar arm will devour you!"), and other people into animals, who are then under his power.
  • Merlin is this way with his powers as a Dragonlord. He can call the dragons and they are bound to obey him, and it also works on their relatives the wyverns.

Tabletop Games

  • This is an aspect of many Dungeons & Dragons classes, though the Druid is the king of it. And of course, there are monsters with such abilities, like Werebeast and Beastweres commanding their non-sentient cousins or Vampires calling upon "children of the night".
    • AD&D2 era sourcebooks provided several kits with this theme. The Complete Fighter's Handbook has Beast-Rider (barbarian "knight" specialized in dealing with and riding exotic mount species of choice), The Complete Ranger's Handbook got Beastmaster and Falconer specialized in commanding critters beyond the basic class abilities. The Complete Barbarian's Handbook got Forest Lord - the totemist version. The Complete Druid's Handbook has Beastfriend and Hivemaster.
    • Dark Sun with all those monsters, has "beast master" as a fairly common occupation, mainly for telepaths: Athasian peoples[1] tend to depend on domesticated animals for transport, warfare and just about anything else. The Will and the Way has Beastmaster kit. Dragon Kings has specialized power "Beast Mastery" that works only on living animal or semi-intelligent monsters with psionic abilities, temporarily turning them into one's followers. The Complete Gladiator's Handbook has Beast Trainer, who trains the beasts for gladiatorial games.
    • Forgotten Realms has specialized priests of Malar the Beastlord called the Beastmasters, who tend to live in wilderness, use magic to become leaders of most local predators and clash with local druids, if any.
    • The Ranger of 4th Edition has a Beastmaster build option which allows him to fight alongside a beast that he has forged a bond with. The build even gives the ranger a ritual that he can use to raise the beast should it die in battle.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the players themselves may count as this if they're playing the right creatures, but there are specific character examples as well, such as the planeswalker Garruk Wildspeaker.
  • Ogre Hunters in Warhammer Fantasy Battles can be accompanied by one or two trained sabertoothed tigers (Sabertusks) that they have trained.
    • The Amber Wizards and the Beastmen as well. In fact, anyone capable of using the wind Ghur can be this.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The Dark Eldar beastmasters generally use three different types of beasts - clawed fiend (large behemoth resembling yeti with oversized teeth and claws), khymera (semi-material beast literally born of nightmares), and razorwing flock of carnivorous, sharp-feathered birds). There are, of course, more exotic creatures, like Helspider or Megasaur (those are considered difficult - by the same people who beat into submission living nightmares, yes).
    • Ork Runtherdz specialize on raising, training and herding squigs and grots. Squigs are creatures of many breeds, but averages on little more than a toothy mouth with legs, tiny eyes and vicious attitude.
    • The Kroot keep Kroot hounds, knarlocs, great knarlocs and krootoxes (the last 3 are used as mounts as well as attack beasts), which are presumed to be non-sapient offshoots of Kroot. Though they don't have dedicated specialists.
    • Space Wolves hunt, domesticate and sometimes ride Fenrisian Wolves - predator from their home world (an average adult is the size of a horse, except of stockier and more solid build, and a large adult is the size of an APC).
  • The power of the Animalism discipline in both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem.


  • The Mask of Rahi Control grants this power in Bionicle.
    • All Makuta can do this as well.

Video Games

  • The Heroes of Might and Magic series is this trope, the game revolves around the strategy of recruiting monsters and using them to fight other heroes and creatures.
    • In Heroes of Might and Magic III there is a class of heroes called Beastmasters, who control creatures of the swamp such as Hydras, Basilisks and Wyverns.
  • Final Fantasy XI has the Beastmaster class. Also, the Dragoon class receives a pet wyvern.
    • While the MMO is the Trope Namer, Final Fantasy V started the tradition. In addition to the Trainer class which used whips and could capture and control enemy monsters, the archery-focused Hunter could summon animals to achieve random effects.
      • The GBA remake retroactively named the class Beastmaster, just to drive it home.
    • Final Fantasy X-2 has the Trainer dress-sphere.
    • Beastmaster is also a class in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for Nu Mou. They play instruments to control enemy monsters, making them good matches for blue mages and hunters.
    • Hilarity Ensues if you force a monster through a Beastmaster to break the law and watch the monster get sent to jail.
    • Final Fantasy VI has Shadow who's dog Interceptor will randomly counterattack for Shadow, Relm has a skill called Control which allows her to take control of an enemy monster.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has Rinoa who uses her dog Angelo to assist her in Limit Break.
  • Hunters in World of Warcraft can have animal companions that assist them in battle. The Beast Mastery talent tree works with the bond between Hunter and pet, and ultimately grants access to Exotic pets that other Hunters can't tame, such as Devilsaurs, Core Hounds, Silithids and Chimaeras.
    • World of Warcraft also gives the Warlock class pets, although they are more limited in nature than the hunter ones (Hunters can tame pretty much every animal and customize it, using it as a friend and companion; Warlocks have a set number of demons with fixed abilities and names, that are enslaved).
    • Frost Mages can summon a Water Elemental as a permanent pet/companion as a perk of the Frost talent tree.
      • Going into the realm of NPC's, there's the half-orc Rexxar, who is essentially a Hunter minus The Archer aspect and the Beastmastery taken up to eleven.
      • In Warcraft 3, the hero class that Rexxar belonged to is actually called the Beastmaster. All its abilities summon different kinds of animals (bear, hawk, boar, and STAMPEDING GIANT LIZARDS). Other hero types can also summon minions, but the Beastmaster's arsenal is entirely based around it, letting him summon a self-supporting army.
  • Diablo 2 Druids can summon wolves and ravens, among other things.
    • It also has Necromancers, who have an archetype called the "summonmancer", they are generally held to make better pure summoners then druids (Druid summons are mainly for support)
  • Ultima Online had tamers as a skill set who depending on the circumstances could be either pretty powerful or near useless. They were commanded by typed commands or clicked ones. Tamers would need to make sure both that their pets would attack when needed and protect them when needed as well.
  • City of Heroes has the Mastermind class, capable of calling upon a number of controllable minions. A recent update even added a powerset called Beast Mastery, enabling the player to call wolves, lions and birds aid them.
    • A number of other archetypes can also summon pets or allies to aid them, with top-end powers making it available for every class. Unlike the Mastermind, however, these allies are rarely fully controllable and usually only stay for a few minutes.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle Online has the Squig Herder (a goblin and his pet fungus creatures), and the White Lion (an elf and his pet . . . white lion).
    • Although in the tabletop game, the aforementioned elves are only called White Lions because they have to hunt, kill, and skin one as an initiation test. They then wear the skin as a cloak.
    • They do, however, now have a chariot in which two elves ride, pulled by actual lions. That's gotta be awkward...
  • You, and a very large number of the NPCs in the Pokémon games are essentially Beastmasters.
    • Most notably used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where the Pokémon trainer is the only character to stand in the background while his Mons are the ones who do the fighting.
  • Guild Wars contains a few different types of this. Rangers can charm certain animals that then follow them into combat, Necromancers animate undead minions from fallen enemies, and both Rangers and Ritualists can summon spirits to aid the party.
  • Alchemists in Ragnarok Online can create and program artificial life forms (Homunculi) to fight for them. The programming bit is player side. That is, Homunculi run on a specially written coding language, which is stored in text files in the game folder. Players are encouraged to attempt to modify the AI files as they wish.
  • The player is Lost Magic can amass a small armada via careful use of the Dark Rune.
  • Samurai Shodown has a few of these. Galford (with Poppy the dog), Nakoruru (with Mamahaha the falcon or Shikuru the wolf), Rimururu (with Konru (or is it Konril?), an ice Nature Spirit), Cham Cham (with her brother (Tam Tam) as Paku Paku the monkey), Mina (with Champuru, an annoyingly cute man-eating monster in disguise) and even SNK Boss Mizuki (with Maju, some sort of dog-shaped demon) all feature. Oddly, of the ones listed, only Mina's is completely useless in combat. Pets in attack mode are subject to attacks, too, just in case you try sending the dog to rush through a tornado.
  • Arietta the Wild from Tales of the Abyss usually brings in her beasts whenever she fights, except when there are other God Generals around. It also helps that those beasts actually raised her.
  • Jao from Tales of Xillia. He's accompanied by wolves whenever he's alone, and in your first fight with him, he'll keep calling in more monsters to assist him if you get rid of the ones that are with him initially.
  • In Age of Empires III, European explorers can get a canine companion that follows them around and helps them fight.
    • Native Warchiefs take it to another level. They can train animals and convert treasure guardians, which frequently results in the warchief being followed around by a menagerie of jaguars, wolves, and bears.
  • In Nethack the player character always starts out with a pet and may end up taming additional monsters. The care, feeding, and proper use of such pets is a science of its own since a number of parameters influence their behavior.
  • Aruruw of Utawarerumono adopts the tiger Mukkur early in the storyline, which apparently carries a title and makes her 'Mother of the Forest.' A mook who tries kidnapping her finds out she is not just a helpless Token Mini-Moe princess and is brutally killed and eaten by said kitty. Mukkur is generally a pretty amiable fellow though. Later, she also makes a pet of Gacatar, some sort of small ferrety creature with special powers that allows her to perform her ultimate technique. She can talk to both and is essentially Mukkur's mother.
  • Every class in Geneforge has at least a basic ability to do this, with Shapers, Lifecrafters and Shock Troopers specializing in it. Somewhat unusually, you make your own monsters through genetic engineering, sacrificing essence until they die or you "absorb" them.
  • Free Korean MMORPG Mabinogi includes a pet feature. All pets possess a number of abilities beyond combat; including healing and carrying items. Certain pets possess additional useful and entertainment abilities such as rideable mounts, combat-oriented transformation, "fetching" random items, producing crafting supplies (such as wool from pet sheep), and dancing. The Mabinogi pet system is different from most, in that pets have a selectable AI, with a powerful scripting language available to create custom AIs far more complex than those used by monsters. Players can also play as their pets, instead of their characters, which is good for level grinding. Pets also grant variable stat boosts, and are subject to the same levelling, aging and hunger mechanics as player characters.
    • The Dark Knight released in Generation 3 possesses the Control of Darkness skill, which allows the player to control any animal or "Fomor" (non-human sentient beings). Control is far more limited than with pets, and is predominantly combat-oriented.
    • Starting with Generation 7, all players have access to a similar ability with the Taming skill. Like Control of Darkness, it allows only very basic control over the creature.
  • The new Elven Warden from Runes of Magic has the ability to summon a pet to help him do his fighting.
  • The free-to-play Russian WoW knock-off Allods Online has the Warden archetype.
  • Disgaea 2 added such a class (female, if you must know), purely for additional support for monster-types, since the first game lacks such a class. They were added into Disgaea 3 as well, showing off new monster-supporting evilities.
  • The Turtle Tamers in Kingdom of Loathing can be considered beastmasters. One strategy used is to increase their familiar's weight (i.e. level) with buffs and equipment.
  • One of the bosses in Albion is called The Beastmaster. He's more of a beast tender, really, since his job is to raise the various beasts the Kenget Kamulos use for training. Although when encountered, he does sic a number of predators on the player before finally deciding to fight.
  • Borderlands includes one in Mordecai, the Hunter class avatar. He uses his pet bird-of-prey Bloodwing to aid in attacking enemies.
  • Lieza of Arc the Lad II an a gifted ability to communicate with beasts and allow them to join the party.
  • The player character from Adventure Quest can become a beastmaster as a class.
  • As with Pokémon, most Shin Megami Tensei protagonists qualify.
  • The Beast Master kit in Baldur's Gate II. It gets the special abilities of Summon Animals (a low-level druid spell) in return for the inability to use metal weapons and armour. It is generally considered to be the worst or second-worst kit in the game, its only main competitor being the Wizard Slayer.
  • Matsu from Sengoku Basara has the unique ability to summon animals to aid in her attacks, including boars, hawks, moles, bears and a white wolf.
  • The summoning tree of magic in Arcanum begins this way. Unfortunately it doesn't make for a very powerful build in and of itself.
  • The Ranger specialization in Dragon Age: Origins allows characters to summon wolves and bears to help out in combat.
  • Greyback from Battle Realms has animal magnetism is so strong that wild wolves will never attack him, and will instead automatically attach themselves to him as bodyguards and fight with him to the death.
  • ADOM has a villain employing such methods: the last level of the dungeon of Keethrax the Black Druid is populated with animals, including kinds more dangerous than usual at that character level.
  • Fluttershy is shaping up to be this in My Little Pony Fighting Is Magic.
  • Arguably, you are one of these in Pikmin.

Web Original

  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe's Menagerie can not only can assume the shapes of animals, she can communicate with them and command them. Brazilian hero Junglemaster controls both plants and animals. Archdruid adds weather control to Junglemaster's power set.
  • DC Nation's Fauna has this ability, bribing local raccoons to watch Dr. Thompson's clinic, gathering information from stray dogs, and so forth. She tried to use it when a right-wing militia was attacking her hometown, recruiting everything from flocks of birds to the local livestock, only to get soundly scolded by Nightwing for reckless behavior. She hadn't used it since, even though she will still talk to animals.
  • Whateley Universe: Whateley Academy student Dragonrider has a dragon she can command. She created it and gave it life. Other students like Aquerna and Arachne have command over one type of creature: squirrels and spiders, respectively.
  • In's Photoplasty contest 28 Inspirational Image Memes (Revised for Honesty), #5 is "If at first you don't succeed, command an army of birds."

Web Comics

  • Tavros of Homestuck can psychically control pretty much any kind of animal or creature, including the trolls' guardian lusii. This control also extends to the enemies they fight in the Medium, ironically making him one of the most powerful players in their session (although he refuses to actually hurt any of them). Then it turns out that this power extends to Becquerel, and that he's successfully controlled said reality-warping god-dog before.
  • Girl Genius got Dimitri Vapnoople, "the greatest monster wielder of the century", as summarized by one of his creations. These don't seem "hard" controlled by him, but instinctively attached.

Western Animation

  • Although it was not an ability held by his original comic book incarnation, several versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Rat King possess the ability to control rats, and use them to attack. It becomes especially troublesome when fighting against Splinter, since he can control him as well.
  • Soundwave from Transformers. One of his most distinguishing traits is the menagerie of loyal animal (and two humanoid) robots that he can release from the tape compartment that makes up his chest.
    • Occasionally his Autobot counterpart, Blaster, has his own set of tape-bots as well.
  • The youngest prince in Conan the Adventurer has this as his ability, though mostly he's only good enough to command his loyal ferret.
  • Jar Jar kriffing Binks, of all people, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • Fluttershy in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic can win over and command anything from a herd of rabbits to a full grown dragon and a cockatrice. Unfortunately, on the rare occasion that her creature-charming fails, she suffers a fair amount of Sanity Slippage and resorts to physically chasing and trapping the animals so that they may love her!
  • Ma'ti of Captain Planet can communicate and guide any creature on Earth.
  1. even Thri-Kreen packs who aren't complete savages, though to a lesser degree