History Main / AristocratsAreEvil

19th Nov '16 10:22:39 PM DustSnitch
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One major exception: '''Dukes''' ''are usually relatively nice.'' This may be due to the fact the title was awarded to those who rose to aristocracy as war leaders. Thus, the Duke has a "grass roots" feel to it, and a {{Badass}} quality; as well, much like TheGoodCaptain, military titles are generally for good guys, with the possible exception of '''Major'''. Also, before the 18th and 19th centuries, Dukes were generally too high up the ladder of aristocracy to really have much contact with common people at all. Because of this, Dukes were not the nobles that were directly oppressing the common people, and so didn't receive quite the same stigma… especially since in some local cases, a Duke actually ran interference against a lower-ranking nobleman on behalf of the masses. Dukes (and especially '''Grand Dukes''') can be evil if the Hero is a Royal. Often a Duke is [[TheStarscream scheming to take over the throne himself]].

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One major exception: '''Dukes''' ''are usually relatively nice.'' This may be due to the fact the title was awarded to those who rose to aristocracy as war leaders. Thus, the Duke has a "grass roots" feel to it, and a {{Badass}} badass quality; as well, much like TheGoodCaptain, military titles are generally for good guys, with the possible exception of '''Major'''. Also, before the 18th and 19th centuries, Dukes were generally too high up the ladder of aristocracy to really have much contact with common people at all. Because of this, Dukes were not the nobles that were directly oppressing the common people, and so didn't receive quite the same stigma… especially since in some local cases, a Duke actually ran interference against a lower-ranking nobleman on behalf of the masses. Dukes (and especially '''Grand Dukes''') can be evil if the Hero is a Royal. Often a Duke is [[TheStarscream scheming to take over the throne himself]].



'''Chiefs''' tend to be a leader of a [[TheClan tribal community]], generally a [[BarbarianTribe barbarous one]]. They will likely be {{Badass}} because their culture insists that [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Authority must equal asskicking]] and may even have gotten their job from KlingonPromotion. Alternatively they are chief of a tribe that has acculturated itself to mundane lifestyles. In that case, expect him to wax poetic about the GoodOldWays.

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'''Chiefs''' tend to be a leader of a [[TheClan tribal community]], generally a [[BarbarianTribe barbarous one]]. They will likely be {{Badass}} badass because their culture insists that [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Authority must equal asskicking]] and may even have gotten their job from KlingonPromotion. Alternatively they are chief of a tribe that has acculturated itself to mundane lifestyles. In that case, expect him to wax poetic about the GoodOldWays.



* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': While the Marquise Spinneret Mindfang wasn't ''explicitly'' a villain, she [[ManipulativeBitch definitely wasn't]] [[DepravedBisexual a nice person]] [[CruelAndUnusualDeath by any sense]] [[{{Badass}} of the word]].

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* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': While the Marquise Spinneret Mindfang wasn't ''explicitly'' a villain, she [[ManipulativeBitch definitely wasn't]] [[DepravedBisexual a nice person]] [[CruelAndUnusualDeath by any sense]] [[{{Badass}} of the word]].word.



* {{Averted}} in ''WebVideo/TalesFromMyDDCampaign''. One of the party members is a Marquis, the two kings of humanity are ReasonableAuthorityFigures, and The Duke Of Newland is a {{Badass}} who responded to a call for surrender from the evil Kua-Toa by jumping off the wall of his fort onto the enemy herald.

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* {{Averted}} in ''WebVideo/TalesFromMyDDCampaign''. One of the party members is a Marquis, the two kings of humanity are ReasonableAuthorityFigures, and The Duke Of Newland is a {{Badass}} badass who responded to a call for surrender from the evil Kua-Toa by jumping off the wall of his fort onto the enemy herald.
10th Nov '16 5:39:03 AM Dark_Lord_
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[[AC:{{Live Action TV}}]]
* Subverted with Ryoma Sengoku in ''Series/KamenRiderGaim''. His Rider suit bears the name of Kamen Rider Duke, but he is not of noble descent. And in contrast to most bearers of the title Duke, he is not a good guy in the slightest.




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* The initial antagonists of ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' are a dance team known as Team Baron, with their leader Kaito being able to transform into Kamen Rider Baron. This is a subversion though, as they are not truly evil, nor true nobility. Kaito just chose the name in reflection of his desire to live like a noble, but, with baron being the lowest in terms of titles, still give him the motivation to climb further.


Added DiffLines:

* Almost all of the leaders of the Evil Army Shadow Line in ''Series/ResshaSentaiToqger'' are modeled and named after European aristocracy. Their names are Emperor of Darkness Z, Baron Nero, Madame Noir, Count Nair and Marchioness Mork.
22nd Oct '16 11:19:57 AM Eievie
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It might have been an early way to appeal to the masses, or just due to the way [[BlueBlood aristocrats]] tended to look down on the general public. But it was then and is now ''really'' popular to cast [[BlueBlood aristocrats]] as villains. A variety of MeaningfulTitles exist - people with feudal titles are very commonly evil. Popular titles are '''Count'''[[note]]in Britain, they're guaranteed to be foreign, since the equivalent local rank is "Earl- probably because in the Medieval Accent it [[CountryMatters sounded kind of unfortunate]]"[[/note]], and '''Baron''' -- two titles which are rarely seen on a good guy. (Oddly enough, a '''Countess''' has a better-than-even chance of being a decent woman.) And though it doesn't show up a great deal, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast you should break out in a cold sweat]] when you meet a '''Viscount'''. Unless it's Viscount [[MemeticBadass Horatio Nelson]]. Interestingly, both counts and barons are fairly common titles among Continental Europeans, but rare among the English, which may suggest a regional bias in which aristocrats are cast as villains.

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It might have been an early way to appeal to the masses, or just due to the way [[BlueBlood aristocrats]] tended to look down on the general public. But it was then and is now ''really'' popular to cast [[BlueBlood aristocrats]] as villains. A variety of MeaningfulTitles exist - people exist--people with feudal titles are very commonly evil. Popular titles are '''Count'''[[note]]in Britain, they're guaranteed to be foreign, since the equivalent local rank is "Earl- probably Earl--probably because in the Medieval Accent it [[CountryMatters sounded kind of unfortunate]]"[[/note]], unfortunate]][[/note]], and '''Baron''' -- two '''Baron'''--two titles which are rarely seen on a good guy. (Oddly enough, a '''Countess''' has a better-than-even chance of being a decent woman.) And though it doesn't show up a great deal, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast you should break out in a cold sweat]] when you meet a '''Viscount'''. Unless it's Viscount [[MemeticBadass Horatio Nelson]]. Interestingly, both counts and barons are fairly common titles among Continental Europeans, but rare among the English, which may suggest a regional bias in which aristocrats are cast as villains.



One major exception: '''Dukes''' ''are usually relatively nice.'' This may be due to the fact the title was awarded to those who rose to aristocracy as war leaders. Thus, the Duke has a "grass roots" feel to it, and a {{Badass}} quality; as well, much like TheGoodCaptain, military titles are generally for good guys, with the possible exception of '''Major'''. Also, before the 18th and 19th centuries, Dukes were generally too high up the ladder of aristocracy to really have much contact with common people at all. Because of this, Dukes were not the nobles that were directly oppressing the common people, and so didn't receive quite the same stigma...especially since in some local cases, a Duke actually ran interference against a lower-ranking nobleman on behalf of the masses. Dukes (and especially '''Grand Dukes''') can be evil if the Hero is a Royal. Often a Duke is [[TheStarscream scheming to take over the throne himself]].

Other titles generally have a more neutral feel to them - '''Earls''' tend to be good but quite elderly and senile, while it is rare to see a '''Marquess''' in anything other than a particularly faithful historical adaptation. '''Baronets''' were quite often villains in both Victorian {{Melodrama}} and Wodehousian comedy (not to mention the Creator/GilbertAndSullivan operetta ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}''), probably due to the fact that baronetcies could be more or less openly bought, indicating that the character is not only NouveauRiche, but also [[AmbitionIsEvil ambitious]] and seeking to rise beyond his station (the worst social sin in Victorian Britain). Queens/Kings may be either good or evil. And, of course, EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses [[SubvertedTrope (or is it?)]].

The title '''Sir''' [[KnightInShiningArmor is the best of the lot]], being martial, unprepossessing, and upwardly mobile. [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Even actors like to be called Sir]].

to:

One major exception: '''Dukes''' ''are usually relatively nice.'' This may be due to the fact the title was awarded to those who rose to aristocracy as war leaders. Thus, the Duke has a "grass roots" feel to it, and a {{Badass}} quality; as well, much like TheGoodCaptain, military titles are generally for good guys, with the possible exception of '''Major'''. Also, before the 18th and 19th centuries, Dukes were generally too high up the ladder of aristocracy to really have much contact with common people at all. Because of this, Dukes were not the nobles that were directly oppressing the common people, and so didn't receive quite the same stigma...stigma… especially since in some local cases, a Duke actually ran interference against a lower-ranking nobleman on behalf of the masses. Dukes (and especially '''Grand Dukes''') can be evil if the Hero is a Royal. Often a Duke is [[TheStarscream scheming to take over the throne himself]].

Other titles generally have a more neutral feel to them - '''Earls''' them--'''Earls''' tend to be good but quite elderly and senile, while it is rare to see a '''Marquess''' in anything other than a particularly faithful historical adaptation. '''Baronets''' were quite often villains in both Victorian {{Melodrama}} and Wodehousian comedy (not to mention the Creator/GilbertAndSullivan operetta ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}''), probably due to the fact that baronetcies could be more or less openly bought, indicating that the character is not only NouveauRiche, but also [[AmbitionIsEvil ambitious]] and seeking to rise beyond his station (the worst social sin in Victorian Britain). Queens/Kings may be either good or evil. And, of course, EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses [[SubvertedTrope (or is it?)]].

The title '''Sir''' [[KnightInShiningArmor is the best of the lot]], being martial, unprepossessing, and upwardly mobile. [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Even actors like to be called Sir]].
Sir.]]
17th Oct '16 4:19:18 PM MrThorfan64
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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Plenty of people call themselves Kings or Queens ([[SuccessionCrisis with varying degrees of legitimacy]]) and many of these people are [[BlackAndGrayMorality hard to pin down morally]]. Still, we have a few shining examples such as Aerys II, a.k.a. [[TheCaligula The Mad King]] who was a sadistic nutso that ravaged the kingdom so badly and antagonized so many royal houses that he all but destroyed the future of the Targaryen dynasty. Joffrey I also gets special mention, being only slightly less bad than Aerys due to his relatively limited scope of influence at the time. Robert toes the line, but was more incompetent and oblivious than malicious or cruel (though he caused his share of the suffering by [[SwissMessenger failing to do the right things when it mattered]]). On the flipside, the only real evil queen we've seen thus far is Cersei; Danaerys' enemies have given her this reputation as well, though it's ([[NotQuiteTheRightThing mostly]]) base slander.

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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Plenty of people call themselves Kings or Queens ([[SuccessionCrisis with varying degrees of legitimacy]]) and many of these people are [[BlackAndGrayMorality hard to pin down morally]]. Still, we have a few shining examples such as Aerys II, a.k.a. [[TheCaligula The Mad King]] who was a sadistic nutso that ravaged the kingdom so badly and antagonized so many royal houses that he all but destroyed the future of the Targaryen dynasty. Joffrey I also gets special mention, being only slightly less bad than Aerys due to his relatively limited scope of influence at the time. Robert toes the line, but was more incompetent and oblivious than malicious or cruel (though he caused his share of the suffering by [[SwissMessenger failing to do the right things when it mattered]]). Stannis has a reputation as an EvilOverlord, but shows HiddenDepths and goes through CharacterDevelopment that mean he would probably make a good and progressive King. His younger brother Renly has a good image, but is a vain schemer who intended to kill Stannis and usurp the throne. On the flipside, the only real evil queen we've seen thus far is Cersei; Danaerys' enemies have given her this reputation as well, though it's ([[NotQuiteTheRightThing mostly]]) base slander. Historically there are other examples such as Visenya, who may have poisoned her stepson/nephew Aenys so her monstrous son Maegor the Cruel could succeed.
3rd Oct '16 11:33:32 AM JulianLapostat
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Aristocrats are often willing to be polite and even with people of their own rank. MoralMyopia, however, often limits it to fellow aristocrats. Commoners are just out of luck -- [[NiceToTheWaiter especially servants]].

If they're not actively in charge, expect them to be part of the OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness. A RegentForLife will pick any one of these titles, especially if they run the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. In that case, only when the RightfulKingReturns will harmonious social order be restored to the realm.

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Aristocrats are often willing to be polite and even with people of their own rank. MoralMyopia, however, often limits it to fellow aristocrats. Commoners are just out of luck -- [[NiceToTheWaiter especially servants]].

servants]]. If they're not actively in charge, expect them to be part of the OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness. A RegentForLife will pick any one of these titles, especially if they run the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. In that case, only when the RightfulKingReturns will harmonious social order be restored to the realm.
realm.

In most cases, aristocrats are associated exclusively with monarchical and imperial societies. In actual fact, the word aristocrat comes from Athenian democracy. The word comes from the combination of "Arete" (Greek for "the best" or most virtuous) and "Kratos" (power). In other words "power of the best". It originally referred to the fact that leading members of Athenian families were supposed to be first in battle and represent the highest and best values of society. The "best men" (aristocrats) had the highest voting privileges and greatest power. So an aristocrat is not necessarily exclusive to monarchical and feudal nations.
1st Oct '16 9:12:33 AM erforce
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* The Sharpes from CrimsonPeak are baronets, but they have [[ImpoverishedPatrician fallen on hard times.]]

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* The Sharpes from CrimsonPeak ''Film/CrimsonPeak'' are baronets, but they have [[ImpoverishedPatrician fallen on hard times.]]
30th Sep '16 4:46:02 AM WillBGood
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* In the Literature/LordPeterWimsey stories, Lord Peter's older brother the Duke of Denver is a bit dense but not a bad sort (his wife the Duchess is a terror, though). [[spoiler: And Lord Peter becomes Duke when his brother dies of a heart attack while the estate is burning down. He doesn't like it at all, but he'll do his duty.
]]

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* In the Literature/LordPeterWimsey stories, Lord Peter's older brother the Duke of Denver is a bit dense but not a bad sort (his wife the Duchess is a terror, though). [[spoiler: And Lord Peter becomes Duke when his brother dies of a heart attack while the estate is burning down. He doesn't like it at all, but he'll do his duty.
duty.]]
24th Sep '16 3:15:22 AM HistoryGeekInTown
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* In ''Literature/ThePearlandtheCarnelian'', it's averted with Eleanor. Despite being an "Honourable Miss", she is the sweetest cinnamon roll around. Played straight with... pretty much everyone else.




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* In ''Literature/ThePearlandtheCarnelian'', it's averted with Eleanor. Despite being an "Honourable Miss", she is the sweetest cinnamon roll around. Played straight with... pretty much everyone else.
.
24th Sep '16 3:13:09 AM HistoryGeekInTown
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* In the Literature/LordPeterWimsey stories, Lord Peter's older brother the Duke of Denver is a bit dense but not a bad sort (his wife the Duchess is a terror, though). [[spoiler: And Lord Peter becomes Duke when his brother dies of a heart attack while the estate is burning down. He doesn't like it at all, but he'll do his duty.]]

to:

* In the Literature/LordPeterWimsey stories, Lord Peter's older brother the Duke of Denver is a bit dense but not a bad sort (his wife the Duchess is a terror, though). [[spoiler: And Lord Peter becomes Duke when his brother dies of a heart attack while the estate is burning down. He doesn't like it at all, but he'll do his duty.duty.
* In ''Literature/ThePearlandtheCarnelian'', it's averted with Eleanor. Despite being an "Honourable Miss", she is the sweetest cinnamon roll around. Played straight with... pretty much everyone else.
]]
20th Sep '16 4:39:39 PM Mephistopheles
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* In ''Film/ThirtyOne'', the owners of Murder-World are depicted as looking like French aristocrats.

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* In ''Film/ThirtyOne'', the owners of Murder-World are depicted as looking like French aristocrats.




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* In ''Film/ThirtyOne'', the owners of Murder-World are depicted as looking like French aristocrats.
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