History Main / ApparentlyPowerlessPuppetmaster

17th Mar '17 8:09:05 AM tyouker
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A not-uncommon strategy in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', where the nobility in general are quick discount any source of power other than military force:

to:

* A not-uncommon strategy in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', where the nobility in general which most rank-and-file nobles are quick discount any source of power other than military force:
17th Mar '17 8:08:07 AM tyouker
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A not-uncommon strategy in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':

to:

* A not-uncommon strategy in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', where the nobility in general are quick discount any source of power other than military force:
17th Mar '17 8:05:32 AM tyouker
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish uses much the same strategy. He's of the lowest possible nobility, being lord of a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a handful of peasants and some rocks, and many see the Master of Coin as just a glorified tax collector. But his financial wizardry makes him a very useful ally, and he's good at convincing people that he's just a craven opportunist who will take whatever crumbs he can get. Then he [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder stabs them in the back]]. And often only the savviest among them even realize he was the one who screwed them.

to:

** Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish uses much the same strategy. He's of the lowest possible nobility, being lord of a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a handful of peasants and some rocks, and many see the Master of Coin as just a glorified tax collector. But his financial wizardry makes him a very useful ally, and while everyone knows he's good at convincing people that he's just a craven opportunist who will take whatever crumbs he can get. Then he [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder stabs them in the back]]. And often dishonest, only the savviest among them even characters realize he was the one who screwed them.true heights of his ambitions or the danger posed by his ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.
17th Mar '17 7:59:43 AM tyouker
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish uses much the same strategy. He's of the lowest possible nobility, being lord of a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a handful of peasants and some rocks, and many of his countrymen see the Master of Coin as just a glorified tax collector. But his financial wizardry makes him extremely useful to have around, and he's good at convincing rivals and allies alike that he's just a craven opportunist who will take whatever crumbs he can get. Then he [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder stabs them in the back]] sometimes without them ever realizing he was the one who betrayed them.

to:

** Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish uses much the same strategy. He's of the lowest possible nobility, being lord of a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a handful of peasants and some rocks, and many of his countrymen see the Master of Coin as just a glorified tax collector. But his financial wizardry makes him extremely a very useful to have around, ally, and he's good at convincing rivals and allies alike people that he's just a craven opportunist who will take whatever crumbs he can get. Then he [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder stabs them in the back]] sometimes without back]]. And often only the savviest among them ever realizing even realize he was the one who betrayed screwed them.
17th Mar '17 7:57:14 AM tyouker
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish uses much the same strategy. He's of the lowest possible nobility, being lord of a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a handful of peasants and some rocks, but his financial wizardry makes him extremely useful to have around, and potential rivals tend to underestimate him and fall victim to his ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.

to:

** Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish uses much the same strategy. He's of the lowest possible nobility, being lord of a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a handful of peasants and some rocks, but and many of his countrymen see the Master of Coin as just a glorified tax collector. But his financial wizardry makes him extremely useful to have around, and potential he's good at convincing rivals tend to underestimate him and fall victim to his ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.allies alike that he's just a craven opportunist who will take whatever crumbs he can get. Then he [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder stabs them in the back]] sometimes without them ever realizing he was the one who betrayed them.
23rd Jan '17 12:40:46 PM Pegase
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

*Who's the most manipulative [[spoiler: human]] puppetmaster in the cut-throat world of British magicians' politics in ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy''? [[spoiler: Quentin Makepeace, the prime minister's favorite playwright.]] [[spoiler: He's primarily known for writing popular plays for the unsophisticated public and amusing the Prime Minister with his flamboyant, jolly ways. He also has a serious axe to grind against the British government and ultimately succeeds in kidnapping them all at the premiere for his last play about the Prime Minister's life.]]
**The [[spoiler: scholar Hopkins]] also deserves an honorary mention for manipulating the Resistance into robbing a dangerously well-guarded tomb and unknowingly stealing a powerful artifact for his patron in the process. In fact, he deserves bonus points [[spoiler: because he has the uncanny knack for being so blandly ordinary that, lacking any distinguishing characteristics, he is very hard to describe or even think about for long.]]
20th Dec '16 1:02:55 PM kome360
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Unfortunately, this becomes his downfall when [[spoiler:the Karishok, who is a philosophy genius but is politically duller than a Warhammer, mistakes his conspiracies as true cowardice from a PuppetKing. He decides to go French on the Viscount]].
5th Aug '16 11:39:42 AM Odacon_Spy
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Emperor Uriel Septim VII from ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series may count. While he is still TheEmperor, his Cyrodiil legions are nowhere near the fighting force they once were and only his elaborate schemes keep his empire from disintegrating into many local kingdoms until his death in part four.

to:

* Emperor Uriel Septim VII from ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series may count. While he is was still TheEmperor, his Cyrodiil legions are were nowhere near the fighting force they once were and only his elaborate schemes keep kept his empire from disintegrating into many local kingdoms until his death in part four.
30th Jun '16 8:42:02 PM PaulA
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Emperor Sarabian of Creator/DavidEddings' ''[[Literature/TheElenium Tamuli]]'': the entire court in Matherion was convinced he was either an utter dolt, a harmless fop, or a simple fool easily distracted by his silly hobbies. He reveals the truth to Ehlana, Sparhawk, and the others, and eventually proceeds to overthrow his own government, take proper control of the empire, single-handedly remove all the corrupt courtiers involved in a failed coup, and become a wise and effective ruler. And he has such a delightful time doing it.

to:

* Emperor Sarabian of Creator/DavidEddings' ''[[Literature/TheElenium Tamuli]]'': the ''Literature/TheTamuli''. The entire court in Matherion was convinced he was either an utter dolt, a harmless fop, or a simple fool easily distracted by his silly hobbies. He reveals the truth to Ehlana, Sparhawk, and the others, and eventually proceeds to overthrow his own government, take proper control of the empire, single-handedly remove all the corrupt courtiers involved in a failed coup, and become a wise and effective ruler. And he has such a delightful time doing it.
23rd May '16 4:49:36 PM MarkLungo
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Lord Varys, the Master of Whisperers, is a lord only by courtesy (the title being applied to anyone who sits on the Small Council), not because he actually holds any lands or commands any men. As a commoner, a foreigner, and a eunuch, he's seldom viewed as a serious threat by the heads of the major Houses, and he has a way of [[VetinariJoBSecurity making himself indispensible]] to whatever party is currently in power, while secretly playing them all for his own ends.

to:

** Lord Varys, the Master of Whisperers, is a lord only by courtesy (the title being applied to anyone who sits on the Small Council), not because he actually holds any lands or commands any men. As a commoner, a foreigner, and a eunuch, he's seldom viewed as a serious threat by the heads of the major Houses, and he has a way of [[VetinariJoBSecurity [[VetinariJobSecurity making himself indispensible]] to whatever party is currently in power, while secretly playing them all for his own ends.



** This is nearly the mission statement and business plan of the [[NGOSuperpower Iron Bank of Braavos]]. Officially, they are mere usurers and market facilitators: wealthy, but without true political power of their own as many rulers judge these things based on land and vassals. And, that's just what they actually are... unless and until you cross them. Then you'll find your liquidity mysteriously hamstrung, while your opponents magically find financial support beyond their wildest dreams... if you're lucky; or, you simply suffer a sudden heart attack care of a Faceless Man if you're not so lucky. Smart rulers know that "they own us all, whether we know it or not" as Tywin Lannister says in [[Series/GameOfThrones the show]], but smart rulers are the exception, not the rule.
* In the ''[[Literature/TheMirrorOfHerDreams Mordant's Need]]'' novels by Stephen R. Donaldson, this is a trick used by [[spoiler:both King Joyse ''and'' Adept Havelock. In Joyse's case, he's spent years pretending to be completely senile to test his allies and lure all of his enemies out so they can be destroyed in a single decisive blow. In Havelock's case, while he really IS insane due to a magical accident, he has a number of moments of greater lucidity during which he can make his own moves and support Joyse's plans. Both work together quite effectively, with almost no one catching on until it's too late.]]

to:

** This is nearly the mission statement and business plan of the [[NGOSuperpower Iron Bank of Braavos]]. Officially, they are mere usurers and market facilitators: wealthy, but without true political power of their own as many rulers judge these things based on land and vassals. And, that's just what they actually are... unless and until you cross them. Then you'll find your liquidity mysteriously hamstrung, while your opponents magically find financial support beyond their wildest dreams... if you're lucky; or, you simply suffer a sudden heart attack care of a Faceless Man if you're not so lucky. Smart rulers know that "they own us all, whether we know it or not" as Tywin Lannister says in [[Series/GameOfThrones the show]], ''Series/GameOfThrones'', but smart rulers are the exception, not the rule.
* In the ''[[Literature/TheMirrorOfHerDreams Mordant's Need]]'' novels by Stephen R. Donaldson, this is a trick used by [[spoiler:both King Joyse ''and'' Adept Havelock. In Joyse's case, he's spent years pretending to be completely senile to test his allies and lure all of his enemies out so they can be destroyed in a single decisive blow. In Havelock's case, while he really IS ''is'' insane due to a magical accident, he has a number of moments of greater lucidity during which he can make his own moves and support Joyse's plans. Both work together quite effectively, with almost no one catching on until it's too late.]]



* ''Series/EarthFinalConflict'' has most everyone believing Ron Sandoval is in the back pocket of Taelon leader Zo'or, shackled by an [[RestrainingBolt alien implant]]. [[spoiler:The truth that Sandoval's "motivational imperative" hasn't been working since at least the top half of Season 2, he's playing ''every'' angle in the conflict (Taelons, Jaridians, human supporters, LaResistance) against one another, and he's letting Zo'or ''think'' (s)he's in charge so that Zo'or takes the fall when it all blows up.]]

to:

* ''Series/EarthFinalConflict'' has most everyone believing Ron Sandoval is in the back pocket of Taelon leader Zo'or, shackled by an [[RestrainingBolt alien implant]]. [[spoiler:The truth is that Sandoval's "motivational imperative" hasn't been working since at least the top half of Season 2, he's playing ''every'' angle in the conflict (Taelons, Jaridians, human supporters, LaResistance) against one another, and he's letting Zo'or ''think'' (s)he's in charge so that Zo'or takes the fall when it all blows up.]]



** His alternate timeline version introduced in ''Warlords of Draenor'' follows in the same vein spectacularly; even after Garrosh meddles with the timeline and convinces Grommash to throw Gul'dan to the dogs, Gul'dan manages to plot his escape and work behind the scenes, acting as if he's helplessly outmatched and on the run...only to reveal he was waiting for the Alliance and Horde to deal with the Iron Horde so he could sweep in and summon the Burning Legion, bringing their forces to Draenor en-masse and convincing the Iron Horde to throw their lot in with them as they did in the prime timeline.

to:

** His alternate timeline AlternateTimeline version introduced in ''Warlords of Draenor'' follows in the same vein spectacularly; even after Garrosh meddles with the timeline and convinces Grommash to throw Gul'dan to the dogs, Gul'dan manages to plot his escape and work behind the scenes, acting as if he's helplessly outmatched and on the run...only to reveal he was waiting for the Alliance and Horde to deal with the Iron Horde so he could sweep in and summon the Burning Legion, bringing their forces to Draenor en-masse and convincing the Iron Horde to throw their lot in with them as they did in the prime timeline.



* Boris III of Bulgaria is arguably this as when he rose to power he was the target of no less than two assassination attempts and a few years later was reduced to a puppet ruler by a military coup. He subsequently planned a counter-coup that placed him in sole control of Bulgaria. He then gave aid to Germany and with Nazi help got back territory previously lost in exchange for use of a single railway.
* UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga acted like an irresponsible fool from the moment he inherited his father's domain until his closest adviser committed seppuku in protest. He earned the epithet "Fool of Owari", but he had to in order to survive having several dozen powerful warlords surrounding his tiny fiefdom. The rest of Japan fell for it -- those who knew were either on his side or dead -- until the Battle of Okehazama, albeit that may have happened because of one of those warlords falling for it.

to:

* Boris III of Bulgaria UsefulNotes/{{Bulgaria}} is arguably this as when he rose to power he was the target of no less than two assassination attempts and a few years later was reduced to a puppet ruler by a military coup. He subsequently planned a counter-coup that placed him in sole control of Bulgaria. He then gave aid to Germany and with Nazi help got back territory previously lost in exchange for use of a single railway.
* UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga acted like an irresponsible fool from the moment he inherited his father's domain until his closest adviser committed seppuku in protest. He earned the epithet "Fool of Owari", but he had to in order to survive having several dozen powerful warlords surrounding his tiny fiefdom. The rest of Japan UsefulNotes/{{Japan}} fell for it -- those who knew were either on his side or dead -- until the Battle of Okehazama, albeit that may have happened because of one of those warlords falling for it.



* Current President of China Xi Jingping followed a pretty similar career path to Stalin. He entered the Communist Party at the bottom and spent most of his life carefully cultivating an image as a party loyalist and competent administrator, but also someone who was unambitious, cautious and thoroughly bland, racking up seniority and influence until he was strong enough to make a play for the top. Apparently he was so good at being [[TheGenericGuy uncontroversial and forgettable]] that to this day people he worked with for years can barely remember him. When the Communist Party voted to put him in charge, probably assuming he would just sit quietly at his desk filling out paperwork, he immediately cast off the guise and starting purging his rivals, including the chief of China's security services. They never saw it coming.

to:

* Current President of China UsefulNotes/{{China}} Xi Jingping followed a pretty similar career path to Stalin. He entered the Communist Party at the bottom and spent most of his life carefully cultivating an image as a party loyalist and competent administrator, but also someone who was unambitious, cautious and thoroughly bland, racking up seniority and influence until he was strong enough to make a play for the top. Apparently he was so good at being [[TheGenericGuy uncontroversial and forgettable]] that to this day people he worked with for years can barely remember him. When the Communist Party voted to put him in charge, probably assuming he would just sit quietly at his desk filling out paperwork, he immediately cast off the guise and starting purging his rivals, including the chief of China's security services. They never saw it coming.
This list shows the last 10 events of 101. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ApparentlyPowerlessPuppetmaster