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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Older posts on this discussion page are here.

Wicked223:) Come on guys, make up your minds. Johan can't be a Complete Monster and a Magnificent Bastard. Which one is he?

Mr Etaoin Shrdlu: Yes, he can. Both are subjective tropes, so one man's Magnificent Bastard can easily be another's Complete Monster.

Kingogtheingdaw: Complete Monster isn't labeled Subjective >_>

Wicked223: Righty then. Someone make a case as to how Johan can be a Complete Monster and Magnificent Bastard, taking into account the updated definition of the former.

Kahsm: New version is totally wrong. What is described is some subtrope of Villain, not a Magnificent Bastard at all. How about we rename this to Magnificent Villain, then actually bring back the Magnificent Bastard description — they are more WildCards playing Xanatos Speed Chess and putting themselves into play more often than using Mooks or even The Dragon as a Villain would. Longer post on the forum.
This troper totally agrees with the previous statement. Change it back!

Fishsicles: I'll agree that some examples of the Magnificent Bastard are heroic. I think the reason that they're gone is that they've been moved to Guile Hero.

Jerkass: I don't understand why several of these examples got removed.

Thrawn: What difference does it make that he's a Villain Sue? He fits the exact definition of a Magnificent Bastard. He makes total runs circles around the entire galactic republic. He keeps those aliens in slavery for 40 years. He would have had the entire rebellion done and over with within a week had he been in the movies. And you people want to remove him because he's too good at it?! And even if you did make the case that he is a villain stu, the man HAS suffered a good deal of defeats and setbacks. And like any magnificent bastard, he bounces back from them! And you condemn him for it?

Light, L, Near, and Mello: I think these go without saying. They were all in an intellectual mindgame, all used underhanded tricks to get what they want, and all succeed to a degree. They were pretty bad about some of the stuff they did. L himself tortured a girl through sensory deprivation for weeks on end because of his suspicions, so please don't tell me that they were too nice. You don't have to be a COMPLETE bastard to be a magnificent one. While I'm at it, this would probably apply to Tyrion Lannister, who another person said that he was removed for being too nice. And why is light not here? If anyone of these deserve a MB place, it's him. I've seen other people ask why, but no one has answered yet.

PS: I just looked over the list, and there is even a nice MB listed in the anime section (Mabel the fortune teller). So if a MB CAN be nice, why the hell aren't these characters there.

Saint Dane: This one cannot have been taken off as he has never even been suggested. Why? Has no one heard of this series or what? The man carries the entire Pendragon series on his back. If not for this magnificent bastard, Pendragon would fade into generic modern fiction obscurity. Instead, he manipulates societies into war everytime he enters a place, shrugs off his defeats as if they were nothing, and nearly constantly has the upper hand, though he is not without his defeats. As of the latest book, it turns out damn near everything was according to his plan and he has now all but taken over the universe...all by manipulating the protagonist in the palm of his hand.

There are probably much more magnificent bastards from series I have not seen, but from what I have, I don't see why these characters atleast are not there. I could just as easily call out several magnificent bastards listed there on other failures. Lelouch's numerous asspulls, especially his endgame one with Schneizel. If that WAS Kayser Soze at the end, then he is ***ed, even if he evade automatic capture by the police officer. Palpatine only succeeded because the galaxy was run by idiots. Azula had an EPIC villainous breakdown, but Magnificent bastards are not suppose to have breakdowns. I could go on.

Yet, people take off plenty of examples because much less, more personal things like because a character is nicer than he should be or because a troper believes he's villain stu(which is not only very subjective, but has no impact on the whether a person is a MB either way). These things shouldn't matter because a magnificent bastard is someone who combines the elements of a Chessmaster, the Trickster, and the Manipulative Bastard (sometimes throwing in a bit of Large Ham). His best weapons are his audacity, his charisma, and his self-reliance. A Magnificent bastard bounces back from victories, and uses tricks to get what he wants, usually having the ends (but not definitively) be evil.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that there are many legitimate reasons for taking off a characters name when things have gotten out of hand. Totally agree that Haruhi should not be on here. House, not so much as he did pull some gambits to sinister means, but I can definitely understand the reasoning. But characters like Thrawn? For being too good at his job? The characters from deathnote where the struggle for being the more magnificent bastard is a struggle between life and death itself? Those I don't understand.

Stranger: I'm okay with Thrawn being here. The thing about him, though, is that others may see him as if not a Villain Sue, than a badly written Magnificent Bastard. (see the Tropes Are Tools page.)

Jerkass: Okay, fine. I really disagree with that as nearly all his gambits were explained and I don't remember too many actions that had to do with Thrawn's Gambits being too stupid, on either side. There was the occasional stupid move, but the only one I remember is that smuggler, but he was SUPPOSE to be an idiot. But fine. Lets assume I agree with the motion that the gambit victims were idiots and that's why Thrawn got away with everything he did. Then how in the Seven Hells is Palpatine on there? The entire Jedi council was made up of idiots waiting for Darwin to take his reward. Yet he is on the MB page for his gambit while Thrawn is shafted? Explain this to me.

Stranger: I can't. I actually think the opposite and don't get why Thrawn should be on the page but not Palpatine. Can't we keep them both on?

Jerkass: Thrawn should be on there because he qualifies as a magnificent bastard and palpatine shouldn't because by the very link you send me that described how a magnificent bastard can be written badly, Palpatine qualifies. The entire Jedi counsel were a bunch of idiots (check the What an idiot page for their section), so, using your perspective, Palpatine is more of a villain sue than Thrawn. But I don't really care. When I first wrote all this, thrawn and light and other magnificent bastards were being kicked out and I don't understand why. If you think Palpatine belongs here, I'll concede, but I didn't and still don't understand why Thrawn and Light were kicked out in the first place.
fleb: Went trawling through the edit history to find the bustard. Here are some of the old images and captions:
  • [1]
    • [[caption-width:245:IMAGE UNRELATED, becase you always wind up fighting over the picture anyway.]]
    • [[caption-width:245:When it came to the image, all we could agree on was what a true Magnificent Bustard looked like.]]
  • [2]
    • [[caption-width:207:Awwww, [[http://www.bogleech.com/arcade-chimerabeast.html Eaters]] ate the example image. Too bad (burp.)]]
    • [[caption-width:207:Due to circumstances beyond our control, Eaters have devoured the example image. We apologise for the inconvenience.]]

Madrugada: Do not cut this. Yes, it's big. Yes, it's unwieldy. Yes, it takes ongoing attention. That does not make it a candidate for cutting.

Twin Bird: The ongoing attention doesn't seem to be coming, though...

Mr Etaoin Shrdlu: I added a preliminary notice explaining that it only refers to villains who make brilliant plans on a whim, rather than just being charming. 'Course it doesn't matter now, seeing as Twin Bird and his cronies will cut it anyway...

Twin Bird: You make it sound like I'm the ringleader. My involvement basically started when I saw those asinine comments on the discussion page, dearie. Go on the forums, where I'm not registered (lost my password a million years ago), and try talking to the actual frequent editors, who don't consider discussion pages like these worth discussing things of this magnitude. Most of them hate me for fighting for Two Words: Obvious Trope as an editor's tactic, and against Tropers Law as the idiotic self-righteous smugness it is. Hell, I basically started the fall of IANMTU when I posted "Vader is Luke's father" without demonstrating anyone having speculated to that effect beforehand. Maybe, by actually showing that there's something to this trope beyond "this villain is awesome" or "I was mildly surprised by this thing here" you can save it.

Ano Sa: Well, how about this? It's about as old as you can get — Ulysses was quite definitely one, if you read the Odyssey and see some of what he does. Somehow he stays the hero, gets a happy ending, and has everything bad that happened to him attributed purely to some of the gods taking a dislike to examples of this trope. (Incidentally, he's also proof that it's not always a villain who displays this, and more than a few readers have actually developed a definite hatred of him because of what he does.) This particular trope can result in "this villain is awesome" if it turns up in a story where the example is the most interesting person there, and as for the "Mildly surprised" thing you mentioned? There's a really easy solution: use the edit button at the top of the page. It probably would also help a lot if the description was rewritten in a more concise manner; currently it's MEGO-inducing. Twin Bird, maybe you have time for fixing the description? I know you must be very busy, to not have time to request a new password for the forums or give good directions for those of us who want to try talking to these 'actual frequent editors' you mention...?

Count Dorku: I say "refine and keep". Deletion should be the last resort, not a way of saying "this needs fixing but people are too lazy to do so". A clarified description would be nice, but it's legit. Keep. On another note, I haven't seen the latest Star Trek film, so I can't say whether Nero counts - but the description of him certainly doesn't indicate any kind of connection with this trope. If anyone can't argue for his inclusion, I'll cut it tomorrow - assuming this trope is still here tomorrow.

Airship Canon: Dammit. STOP DOING THIS! STOP IT WITH THE RANDOM CUTS BECAUSE X GETS BIG AND/OR RANDOM NAME CHANGES. DEFINITE KEEP. And agreed. Nero's more of a Complete Monster and NOT a Magnificent Bastard, he doesn't come up with anything brilliant on the fly nor is he charming. He's just insane and want to wreak his vengance.

Grimace: The main problems I think are thus: 1) People simply don't get the fact that a character is capable of being awesome, without being a Magnificent Bastard. They have a character, they like em, so they add him/her here. And 2) "Magnificent Bastard" is fun to say. Go on, try it. It rolls off the tongue. Since calling people a MB is fun (bear with me here), people again are pretty liberal with applying it to their fav character. So while cutting it may be extreme on the one hand, it's clear no one's bothering to read the requirements, so simply cutting it back isn't going to achieve diddly either. (Still think cutting outright is nuking an anthill, but just thought I'd weigh in).

Charred Knight: Here's the problem. We tried to fix it, the problem is that everyone wants to put their favorite villain in no matter how little the villain fits. It's a mess, the standards are ridiculously low (have you manipulated the hero once? Your in Are you suave? Your in. Are you cool? You're in

Azvolrien: If the main concern is the page becoming too unwieldy or ill-defined, I think a decent compromise would be to make it a 'no examples, please' trope. That way, we've not outright removed a legitimate trope from the wiki, but we don't end up with umpteen examples that are - as people have said before - just villains that editors like, whether they fit or not. Just make the page a straightforward explanation of exactly what the trope is, and explain why the examples are gone.

The Pein: Cutting the example section could seriously do the trope some justice. Right now people just keep throwing in villains from f*cking everywhere because of the Fan Boy-syndrome. I'm not being a hypocrite here, I've done it countless of times myself, but now... it's just spiraling out of control. 80% of the examples would fit perfectly under other tropes, but have been stuffed in here like freaking candy filling because of the trope name. F*CK!Rant Inducing Slight!

Count Dorku: Agreed. If a sniper rifle doesn't work, move up through machine-guns and grenades before breaking out the atomic weaponry. All those in favour of a "no examples, please", say aye.
  • Aye.

And any votes against?

Random: Shouldn't we just shorten and simplify the definition so that there's no way in Hades people could miss it? Like, say, the 3 no ifs-ands-or-buts for qualification: 1. Villain MUST be stylish in appearance and/or attitude. 2. Villain MUST make well thought-out plans with a very frequent success rate. 3. Villain MUST NOT fall into Complete Monster territory, with few exceptions (such as the Joker, who is so insane that he slides in and out of Complete Monster territory with relative ease.)

Count Dorku: Worth a try, I suppose.

Inkblot: How about we make it an index for all "badass villain" tropes?

alliterator: For those who don't visit the forums, Meta Four came up with some great criteria for being a Magnificent Bastard. They have to meet one of the following criteria:
  • Their opponent in-story expresses admiration for their bastardry.
  • A significant portion of the fandom expresses admiration for their bastardry.
"Yeah, proving the second bullet one way or another could be a pain, but it is objective in theory." So, uh, discuss.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: The trope is off the Cutlist for now - it does have over a thousand links, and it isn't yet in IANMTU territory. I'll refine the description anyway.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Description rewritten. It ought to be clearer now.

Stranger: Removed the part about "not crossing the Moral Event Horizon", though. Several Magnificent Bastards listed here (Sir Crocodile, Light Yagami, Norman Osborn, SATAN, etc) have crossed the Moral Event Horizon and didn't cease to be Magnificent.

Other than that, the new definition is great. Hopefully it'll make people learn the definition of a trope that, IMO, isn't that much of a headscratcher to figure out. If not, than we can just delete any false new examples.

Mr Etaoin Shrdlu: Kudos to whoever streamlined my description and carried it into effect for most of the article. Also to Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan for saving this trope from the cut list.

Beforet: I know this was already brought up in the archive, but does this trope really warant a Troper Tales page? The very concept of the MB is almost impossible to recreate in real life. It requires just a little too much luck, charisma and, to a certain extent, precognition(sometimes throwing in a bit of Idiot Ball) for it to honestly happen outside of fiction.

Twin Bird: Forum discussion is here. Keep in mind that, as IANMTU proved, the forums take the meat of these discussions.

Count Dorku: I'm glad the trope's been saved, but I have to ask: why do the forums take the meat of these discussions, even though the Defend/Discuss link on the cutlist goes to the discussion page?

Ano Sa: Well, Count, it was Twin Bird's idea, since Twin Bird seems a bit trigger-happy and can't remember his password for the forums.

Twin Bird: I, being from a long line of scapegoats, despite my lack of self-sufficiency or contribution to society, loud bisexuality, and history of mental illness, do believe I've finally made my father proud. *Sniff*

Storm: As much as I love the new summary (kudos to the writer of that) I have to object to the fact that the characters admire the villain. This is very rarely the case, I find. I'll take an example everybody can agree is a Magnificent Bastard: Megabyte. Sure, he has the guitar scene and the characters respect him for that, but later on, especially in season 3, the characters all despise him and don't find anything redeeming about him. At least, that's how I saw it. Additionally, I'm also in big favor of removing the Troper Tales section.

Charred Knight: I agree on the hero admiring the villain to be a completely useless judge of Magnificent Bastard. That says more about the hero in cases such as Sherlock Holmes, or L than it does about the villain. Unless you have someone like L who is in it for the challenge than having your heroes admire your villain is a good sign that you created a Villain Sue and not a Magnificent Bastard. "You caused millions to die in a horrific war that saw you become ruler of the world, but I can't help but admire your brilliance."
Mullon: What if we had one of those image link things like they do on the Humongous Mecha page?

Storm: I think people will eventually complain too much about certain characters. Why not just bring back the "this is your favorite one" picture? That satisfied everybody!

Mullon: But you can put everyone in the image link thingy.
Beforet: Removing the Napoleon Bonaparte example from the real life folder. Other than an awesome quote, there is not much magnificent about him. Also, I still think MB is impossible in real life. The reason why I am deleting Napoleon is because I was the one to put him there in the first place...
Dausuul: Ahhh, here we go again. Random said: "Shouldn't we just shorten and simplify the definition so that there's no way in Hades people could miss it?" See, here's the problem: We've done that. A couple of times now. It doesn't work. People just keep right on shoving their favorite villains in; sometimes because they've internalized the old definition, and sometimes because they just figure their favorite villain must be a MB because he's so obviously magnificent. So... yeah, I vote for eliminating the examples section.

Wascally Wabbit: I agree with Dausuul.

Stranger: It may be for the best to do that... but then we'd never know who's a Magnificent Bastard and who's not. Either the examples should be archived or we just keep the examples and only delete any newly added ones that are completely misplaced.

And BTW, it's not just people's favorite villains anymore. People seem to think that any character who's intelligent and pulls off Xanatos Gambits or Roulettes are Magnificent Bastards.

Ronnie: I am quite thoroughly opposed to this becoming another case like I Am Not Making This Up. Misuse by a few people doesn't mean no examples should be listed, that applies, IMO, to a page about smooth villains as well as a page about patent absurdity.
Matthew The Raven: Cut this out -

So what is he? It seems like he's just abducting kids and being an asshole. What's magnificent? Where's the scheming?
LE Xicon 712: How about we have a poll on who exactly will be the Magnificent Bastard whose image will grace the top of the page. I nominate Lelouch from Code Geass, because he is regal and a master strategist. Not to mention he's bishonen. He has all the qualities of being a Magnificent Bastard, not to mention he's the protagonist of the show.

Storm: Haven't we established this just doesn't work? Everybody disagrees with the choice whenever it's put up.

Arutema: Agree. I'd nominate Ocelot, but if we're going to have a picture we might want to use Rommel, just for being the trope namer.


tnu1138: I'd like to ask before putting it on the page seeing the controversy that is involved with this Trope but i fela the need to ask. Does The Major from Hellsing count as an example of the Trope? he's a snappy dresser, sophisticated and quite a leader and strategist. but as i've said before i want ot clarify wi th someone who kno ws better then me on the matter

T Beholder: how does Yelu Chucai qualify? Granted, he was instrumental in turning Horde from "now we all can act together, so let's kick all our old enemies' asses" endeavour into really working empire, and one of largest in the history at that. But this just means he was really good in politics and management — he was not showy Dark Moody Bad Ass or something.


Master Ghandalf: There's one section of the new description that I disagree with- the idea that a Magnificent Bastard must be a villain. While this character certainly can't be a hero (due to pure morality disqualifying them from the "bastard" requirement), there are several anti-heroes who certainly should qualify. Captain Jack Sparrow, Kelsier from Mistborn and even Albus Dumbledore (though Your Mileage May Vary on his last scheme) are hardly villains, but all are expert manipulators of events and people, who do it with flare and style, therevy earning the respect even of people who don't like them, and are more than willing to do morally questionable things to ensure their goals. As a result, I'd propose amending the restriction 'is a villain' to 'is never a purely heroic character, but can be villain, anti-villain, or even anti-hero'. Thoughts?


Dausuul: We've been over the villain thing multiple times. There is a vocal minority that wants to remove the villain requirement, but general consensus is that this should be strictly a villain trope. (I ran a poll on the subject way back when, listing a number of candidates for the title of Magnificent Bastard and asking people to vote yea or nay; Jack Sparrow was on the list, along with a few other heroic characters. All were voted down.)

I also made some changes to the definition, separating out the three traits that really seem to be at the center of the trope (evil, Xanatos Speed Chess master, and Manipulative Bastard).

Master Ghandalf: What about anti-villains? Ozymandias, for example, was a hero in his own mind and may well have saved the world from destruction- does the fact that he did some truly terrible things along the way qualify him as a villain for purposes of this trope? Or is it the fact that he was the opponent to the main protagonists? In that case, does Xanatos stop being a Magnificent Bastard when he starts working with the Gargoyles rather than against them? I'm not trying to be nitpicky, it's just that I think a character can do evil things without being a "villain" per se, depending on their role in the story. I guess I'm just trying to find the demarcation line between a Magnificent Bastard and a smart Anti-Hero with flare.

(I must admit I'm very surprised that Jack failed the poll- he's referenced as a Magnificent Bastard in tons of places on this site, including the main POTC page and the Magnificent Bastard trope page.)

T Beholder: hmm, good point. Also considering all 3 Forgotten Realms examples. It seems that making a character Anti-Villain (or even easily flippable Anti-Hero-Anti-Villain) is one of best ways to have at least Affably Evil, thus better fit to grow as "Magnificient" as authors want.

Stranger: Okay, what the fuck motivated that edit with the definition back there? I'm getting sick of this; this trope should not be that difficult to define.

Tokuiten: I've put up a YKTTW for a heroic analogue; hopefully, this will help give a stronger definition to Magnificent Bastard. I'll warn you that it badly Needs a Better Title.


Someone apparently doesn't think that certain examples (Gendo, Crocodile, Johan, and Madara Uchiha) don't belong here. Which leads me to think that the defenition for this trope is STILL unclear to many people if we can't decide who definitely is or isn't a Magnificent Bastard. Can we do something to reinforce that this is a subjective trope and thus people will have different opinions on who or who not qualifies for the trope? Or should we just redefine it to simply mean "Any Chess Master villain who is exactly like Lionel Luthor or David Xanatos?"

Some New Guy: And now the same guy tried to remove freaking Ozymandias. Next thing you know, he'll take out Light, Lelouch and Master Albert...

Amitai: Look, it's not just that this trope is subjective, it doesn't make sense. All I get out of this is "Hey guys! Post your favorite Chessmaster here!" And that's exactly what people seem to be doing (with the case of the examples I tried to remove, since I see no difference besides them being your favorite).

Stranger: The laconic definition is a villain who outsmarts and outdoes everyone and looks cool doing it. It's not just any Chessmaster who can qualify as a Magnificent Bastard. It's the ones who are particularly stylish and awesome about doing it. I still don't see how this is so complicated for so many people.


Caswin: I actually haven't seen Othello, but even based on what little I know about it, it sounds like an editor is getting carried away in their villain-worship. (How does "motiveless malignity" excuse anything? That's like saying causing trouble out of boredom is better than a clearly-defined grudge.) Can anyone who's actually seen the play help?

Stranger: Iago is pretty much a monster who ruins everyones' lives in the play for no definite reason. However, he is in many ways the Villain Protagonist of the play and many are still drawn to his wit and charisma. You'd have to see the play yourself to know why he's considered what he is.

Caswin: I can buy that. The entry just seems to outright excuse everything he does on the grounds that he doesn't have a motive and claim that he's just "kind of the bad guy", barely even villain material.


McJeff: I removed Vince Mc Mahon because I feel he fails two criteria of Magnificent Bastard. 1) He gets made an ass of far too often. True magnificent bastards never get smacked in the face with a bedpan and have iv tubes shoved up their ass. 2) Vince's actions after Owen Hart's death push him into Complete Monster territory. First, he held that tribute show against the direct and specific request of Owen's widow, and second, he smuggled a video camera into Owen's funeral and broadcast it (violating a legal thing of some sort - he ended up paying Martha Hart $18Million).


I just separated Magnificent Bastard into separate pages, and now it's back into folders in one page. What gives?


Some New Guy: ....You have got to be kidding me. DO. NOT. CUT. Why are all the Tropes of Legend being cut requested or chainsaw edited lately?!

lrrose: There's been several attempts to cut this trope before with the same justification and they've all failed. It might be my imagination, but since the split, there haven't been as many instances of Square Peg Round Trope lately. I vote to keep.

Amitai: I think that either this should be cut, or The Chessmaster should be fused with it, since they are pretty much the same trope and all examples overlap. Personally, I find it absurd that a trope can become so popular despite no one knowing what it is.

Heh Man: Keep. Tropes of Legend should never under any circumstances be cut.

PuppetChaos: Wh-why would anyone want to cutlist this? It's worth keeping just for the title.

Stranger: I think this trope has been actually holding up well lately. Most examples are legit. Do not cut.


batfan: I'd like to call into question the recently added example of Myotismon. I'm not deleting it outright yet, because I want to get other opinions, but I really don't think he counts. Sure, he was quite an effective villain, especially at the end of Digimon Adventure 02, and he certainly had the coolness factor in the first series. However, in the first series he eventually reached full-on Villain Sue status, and he pretty much lost the respect of the fandom for his Clipped Wing Angel at the end of his own arc in Adventure and his crippling Villain Decay at the end of 02, cemeted by his tremendously embarrasing defeat. I think you can make the case for him starting out as a Magnificent Bastard, but I'm afraid that now-adays all that most fans remember when they think of him is "I wanna be a doctor!" *dead*.

Stranger: He, along with Nakago, has been removed. They just don't quite fit the criteria.
Dausuul: Somebody keeps putting this in: Note that as part of the standards and practices of this wiki, where a term has the word 'bastard' it does include women; we would still refer to a female in this role as a 'magnificent bastard' not as a 'magnificent bitch' because 'bastard' has a well-established connotation; the term 'bitch' is subjectively weaker and in many cases does not have the same strength.

We don't need this, folks. It's just cluttering up an already cluttered page. From a technical point of view, the term "bastard" is gender-neutral anyway; it refers to anyone of illegitimate birth, male or female. If you're really worried that the term Magnificent Bastard seems to exclude female characters, lobby for a name change, don't put in a Justifying Edit.

Deleted the above, then removed all gender-specific language from the definition, as well as tightening and cleaning up generally.