History Main / ThePuppetCutsHisStrings

8th May '16 12:52:46 AM Gess
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** A very straight example with the Centauri emperor Cartagia. Put on the throne by a conspiracy of noblemen believing he's nothing but a dimwitted and weakwilled leach, he not so much cut the strings as [[AxeCrazy hacked them off with an axe while laughing manaically]] and was on the verge of turning his entire planet into a sacrificial pyre for his own ascension to godhood promised to him by the resident CosmicHorror.
10th Apr '16 6:48:56 PM FordPrefect
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* We somehow have this for Palpatine in StarWars (the "hidden chessmaster" flavour). While never depicted as a weak person, as a chancellor he poses as an efficient but soft-spoken and cautious leader, and he is put into power by a coalition led by Padme mostly to enforce her policies (and those of her Jedi allies) in a time of trouble. Of course, he secretly engineered the trouble from the beginning just so he could take power, have his own army, exterminate the Jedi, get rid of most of the Galactic Republic's democratic structures ans proclaim himself Galactic Emperor.

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* We somehow have this for Palpatine in StarWars (the "hidden chessmaster" flavour). While never depicted as a weak person, as a chancellor he poses as an efficient but soft-spoken and cautious leader, and he is put into power by a coalition led by Padme mostly to enforce her policies (and those of her Jedi allies) in a time of trouble. Of course, he secretly engineered the trouble from the beginning just so he could take power, have his own army, exterminate the Jedi, get rid of most of the Galactic Republic's democratic structures ans and proclaim himself Galactic Emperor.
13th Sep '15 6:51:06 PM FF32
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* A DownplayedExample on ''Series/Babylon5''. Captain Sheridan was chosen by [[PresidentEvil the Clark administration]] on the basis of his [[MyCountryRightOrWrong loyalty to Earth]] (including a highly public [[CurbstompCushion incident]] during the Earth-Minbari war where he destroyed one of their war cruisers). Unfortunately for them, after he took command, he wasted no time in establishing that he was loyal to ''Earth'' -- not necessarily the man leading it.

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* A DownplayedExample on ''Series/Babylon5''.''Series/BabylonFive''. Captain Sheridan was chosen by [[PresidentEvil the Clark administration]] on the basis of his [[MyCountryRightOrWrong loyalty to Earth]] (including a highly public [[CurbstompCushion incident]] during the Earth-Minbari war where he destroyed one of their war cruisers). Unfortunately for them, after he took command, he wasted no time in establishing that he was loyal to ''Earth'' -- not necessarily the man leading it.
8th Sep '15 4:29:33 PM Benjamin1986
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For reasons that should be obvious, No Real Life Examples, Please.
14th Aug '15 5:57:33 AM Kitchen90
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There are mostly two types of this :
* Most of the time, the PuppetKing is just much more capable and strong-willed than expected, and eventually realize he is able and willing to be a competent ruler without blindly following his shady "advisors"' directives. This may just be personal skills that were not apparent but are revealed when he access nominal power, or it may be triggered by some dramatic event which makes him [[HeelRealization realize its weakness and cowardice]] and find some new strength. There are many ways this can [[HeelFaceDoorSlam end up]] [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness badly]] [[HeroicSacrifice for]] [[RedemptionEqualsDeath him]].

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There are mostly two types of this :
this:
* Most of the time, the PuppetKing is just much more capable and strong-willed than expected, and eventually realize he is able and willing to be a competent ruler without blindly following his shady "advisors"' "advisers"' directives. This may just be personal skills that were not apparent but are revealed when he access nominal power, or it may be triggered by some dramatic event which makes him [[HeelRealization realize its weakness and cowardice]] and find some new strength. There are many ways this can [[HeelFaceDoorSlam end up]] [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness badly]] [[HeroicSacrifice for]] [[RedemptionEqualsDeath him]].



This trope can feature a clear moral reading grid with the redempted (and thus good) PuppetKing eventually opposing the evil conspiracy, but is far more likely to have a GreyAndGrayMorality.


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This trope can feature a clear moral reading grid with the redempted redemptive (and thus good) PuppetKing eventually opposing the evil conspiracy, but is far more likely to have a GreyAndGrayMorality.

GreyAndGrayMorality.
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26th Jul '15 1:44:19 AM JamaicanCastle
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[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* A DownplayedExample on ''Series/Babylon5''. Captain Sheridan was chosen by [[PresidentEvil the Clark administration]] on the basis of his [[MyCountryRightOrWrong loyalty to Earth]] (including a highly public [[CurbstompCushion incident]] during the Earth-Minbari war where he destroyed one of their war cruisers). Unfortunately for them, after he took command, he wasted no time in establishing that he was loyal to ''Earth'' -- not necessarily the man leading it.
20th May '15 11:49:22 AM Berber
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So. TheConspiracy managed to do it : they put a PuppetKing on the throne and now rule as TheManBehindTheMan. The puppet was carefully selected to be stupid, ignorant, tractable and totally dependable on them, and yet look like a ReasonableAuthorityFigure to the other people. They now have free rein to enforce their agenda without anyone realizing anything before it's too late.

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So. TheConspiracy managed to do it : they put a PuppetKing on the throne and now rule as TheManBehindTheMan. The puppet was carefully selected to be stupid, ignorant, tractable and totally dependable dependent on them, and yet look like a ReasonableAuthorityFigure to the other people. They now have free rein to enforce their agenda without anyone realizing anything before it's too late.
5th Apr '15 7:53:29 PM Gizbit99
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* Lord Shojo, a character from the D&D webcomic Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick, pretends to be an incompetent ruler who talks to his pet cat, but is quite privy to the machinations of the advisers in Azure City.

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* Lord Shojo, a character from the D&D webcomic Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick, pretends to be an incompetent ruler who talks to his pet cat, but is quite privy to the machinations of the advisers in Azure City.City.
--> I have found it easier to let them believe that I am senile and easily swayed. When I rule in their favor, they assume that they controlled me. When I rule against them, they assume that one of their rival nobles controlled me. I can make the decisions I feel are necessary without worrying about being killed over them.
23rd May '14 12:32:02 PM TSBasilisk
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* The titular ''Film/{{Dave}}'' continued to impersonate President Mitchell so his senior staff could continue to reap the benefits of controlling the White House. This continued until Dave learned Mitchell's policies were going to shut down a homeless program and he convened a budget meeting to slash redundant programs. When the staff tried to stop him, he quite calmly pointed out he was President and began actively pushing his own agenda to help the disenfranchised.
29th Sep '13 4:49:49 PM EndyFourbe
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* Again in ''Literature/WheelOfTime'', this happens with Elaida and Alviarin. Initially, after her [[spoiler:coup against Siuan]], Elaida is the Amyrlin Seat, Alviarin is her Keeper of Chronicles (secretary) and there is no much more to it that it seems (well, except that [[spoiler:Alviarin is the head of the Black Ajah]]). But after [[spoiler:the botched attempt by the Tower to capture Rand]], Alviarin blackmails Elaida and effectively turns her into her puppet, threatening to spill the inconvenient truth about her failures (which would at the time be enough to have her deposed and probably stilled) is she ever disobey her. This goes on for a while, then Alviarin leaves for a few months on [[spoiler: Black Ajah]] business. During that time, Elaida manages both to clear herself by putting the responsibility of her own failures on other people, and to discredit Alviarin enough to have her removed as Keeper and destroy much of her influence. When Alviarin finally returns, Elaida is free, she is in control, and she exerts painful revenge on her former blackmailer.


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