History Main / AuthorityInNameOnly

23rd Aug '17 5:12:49 PM ANTMuddle
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Authority In Name Only is when someone claims to hold a title, but that title is a sham. Either it is a purely symbolic function with no actual power, or the title itself is made up, and it has no genuine authority over its "subjects". As such, most characters of this trope have no one (except for the occasional YesMan or ProfessionalButtKisser) who actually respects their non-existent authority. May often be referred to as the Pretender to the Throne.

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Authority In Name Only is when someone claims to hold a title, but that title is a sham. Either it is a purely symbolic function with no actual power, or the title itself is made up, and it has no genuine authority over its "subjects". As such, most characters of this trope have no one (except for the occasional YesMan or ProfessionalButtKisser) who actually respects their non-existent authority. May often be referred to as the Pretender to the Throne.
Throne or claim he's StillTheLeader.



Another important point about your average one of these - as long as you don't do anything to shake their delusions of authority too badly, they'll be so busy enjoying said delusions of authority that you can put them through all sorts of mistreatment real people wouldn't even begin to take. So even if nobody likes them, they can be useful to have around as sort of a idiocy sink (like a heat sink, but for stupidity).

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Another important point about your average one of these - as long as you don't do anything to shake their delusions of authority too badly, they'll be so busy enjoying said delusions of authority that you can put them through all sorts of mistreatment real people wouldn't even begin to take. So even if nobody likes them, they can be useful to have around as sort of a idiocy sink (like a heat sink, or {{hate sink}}, but for stupidity).
17th Aug '17 4:57:25 PM Ezclee4050
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** Similarly, Music/ElvisPresley's manager Colonel Tom Parker's title was an honorary one for the Louisiana State Militia, given to him for helping out with Jimmie Davis' successful campaign for governor in 1944.
24th Jul '17 10:57:59 AM gb00393
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** Cersei's title as Queen Mother only holds weight before Joffrey, and later Tommen, were officially wed. Despite sitting in on Small Council Meetings, Cersei technically has no real authority. Her title as Queen Cersei, first of her name, also counts as this since she only gained this position after killing most of her political enemies and usurping the position for herself and she has no allies to speak of apart from Jaime and those at King's Landing. And even those are under extreme question at this point. In the Season 7 premiere, Jaime even brings this up.
--> '''Cersei:''' I'm the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
--> '''Jaime:''' Three kingdoms, at best. I'm not sure you understand how much danger we're in.
24th Jul '17 9:00:31 AM cdrood
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* In ''Film/AnimalHouse'', Hoover is the chapter president of Delta. However, it's the more charismatic Otter that everyone actually follows.
15th Jul '17 2:36:42 PM Bissek
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* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', Burgomeister Zurken of Mechanicsburg's only job is to be officially in charge in the eyes of the Baron and tourists. All real work involved in actually running the city is done by the Heliotrope family (now known as Von Mekkahn), hereditary seneschals to the Heterodyne family. This fake ruler arrangement is necessary because the Heliotropes officially died when the Other attacked Castle Heterodyne, and they don't want Baron Wulfenbach to learn otherwise.
31st May '17 8:26:04 PM nombretomado
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* In ''Literature/WheelOfTime'', King Ailron of Amadicia holds no power whatsoever. Pedron Niall, commander of the Children of the Light, is the true ruler of Amadicia.

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* In ''Literature/WheelOfTime'', ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', King Ailron of Amadicia holds no power whatsoever. Pedron Niall, commander of the Children of the Light, is the true ruler of Amadicia.
27th Mar '17 2:00:10 PM ultimomant
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* In ''Fanfic/ASparkOfIceAndFire'', Agatha Heterodyne taunts Queen Cersei because while she's become a national hero through hard work, Cersei doesn't actually do anything other than sit and look pretty.
27th Mar '17 6:57:31 AM ZimFan89
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** This is actually true of most Commonwealth nations that recognize the British monarch as their head of state.
7th Mar '17 10:53:06 PM 20person
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* In theory Canada has the British Queen/King as head of State, and he/she is represented by a Governor General who is allowed to exercise most of the monarch's power on their behalf, including the power to appoint anyone to be the Prime Minister. Of course in practice the Governor General simply appoints the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament and the Governor General is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister (reads: he tells her who to pick), which means the powers of both positions are mostly symbolic.

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* In theory Canada has the British Queen/King as head of State, and he/she is represented by a Governor General who is allowed to exercise most of the monarch's power on their behalf, including the power to appoint anyone to be the Prime Minister. Of course in practice the Governor General simply appoints the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament and the Governor General is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister (reads: (read: he tells her who to pick), which means the powers of both positions are mostly symbolic.
7th Mar '17 10:51:57 PM 20person
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* Most monarchies have been slowly transitioning towards this over the centuries, with most of the official duties of the crown being ceremonial, and the remainder being things they technically only do when the elected government asks them to do it. For example, the Monarch of England is the only person with the authority to name a Prime Minister, and has the authority to name whoever he/she chooses, whenever he/she chooses, but in practice the Monarch always selects the leader of the party or coalition of parties that controls the House of Commons, and does so only when the party leadership or control of the House of Commons changes.
* In theory Canada has the Queen/King of England as head of State and the Prime Minister is nominated by the Governor General, the monarch's appointee. Of course in practice the Governor simply nominates the party leader with the most elected deputies and the Governor is being chosen by the Queen but on the Prime Minister's advice (reads: he tells her who to pick) which makes both symbolic power in the government.

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* Most monarchies have been slowly transitioning towards this over the centuries, with most of the official duties of the crown being ceremonial, and the remainder being things they technically only do when the elected government asks them to do it. For example, the British Monarch of England is the only person with the authority to name a Prime Minister, and has the authority to name whoever he/she chooses, whenever he/she chooses, but in practice the Monarch always selects the leader of the party or coalition of parties that controls the House of Commons, and does so only when the party leadership or control of the House of Commons changes.
** Parliamentary republics work in a similar way, except that they have ceremonial presidents instead of monarchs.
* In theory Canada has the British Queen/King of England as head of State State, and the Prime Minister he/she is nominated represented by the a Governor General, General who is allowed to exercise most of the monarch's appointee. power on their behalf, including the power to appoint anyone to be the Prime Minister. Of course in practice the Governor General simply nominates appoints the leader of the party leader with the most elected deputies seats in Parliament and the Governor General is being chosen appointed by the Queen but monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister's advice Minister (reads: he tells her who to pick) pick), which makes means the powers of both symbolic power in the government.positions are mostly symbolic.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.AuthorityInNameOnly