Created By: fishsicles on May 2, 2010 Last Edited By: fishsicles on May 2, 2010
Troped

Mouth Of Sauron

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He told us what to call this, but somebody else probably came up with it.

A character may strictly be He Who Must Not Be Seen, but they need to transmit orders to their subordinates and intimidate their enemies.

The solution? Hire this guy. His job (although sometimes not his only job) is to talk for (and sometimes even impersonate) the real He Who Must Not Be Seen, who often is standing somewhere in the background.

The Mouth Of Sauron often serves as The Dragon, and can sometimes be a villainous counterpart to The Aragorn: when the real villain is in the background pulling strings, he needs someone to go out and lead his Evil Army against the forces of good.

Sometimes, the Mouth Of Sauron is set up to be the Big Bad and is even believed to be so by everyone except the real Big Bad's most trusted advisers. In this case, it overlaps with The Man Behind the Man.

While many examples and the Trope Namer are villainous, this is not necessarily an "evil-only" trope: any heroic Mysterious Employer is likely to have one.

Rolling Updates, Needs a Better Description

Examples:

Anime And Manga

  • In Death Note, the unseen "Kira" at first only attracts a widely scattered cult following, but as his influence grows and he becomes a Villain with Good Publicity, it becomes necessary for Kira to select an official representative. The position is most successfully filled by Kiyomi Takada, who also passes secret messages between Light and Mikami and is actually entrusted with the killings for a while.

Comic Books
  • Lewis Prothero in V for Vendetta is the Voice of Fate, the person who speaks on behalf of the government.

Film

Literature
  • The Mouth Of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, who serves as Evil Overlord Sauron's herald and lieutenant.
  • Walker, from Simon R. Green's Nightside series is the Voice of the Authorities, the hidden rulers of the Nightside.
  • Metatron and Beelzebub for Good Omens.
  • In the Wheel of Time series, Shaidar Haran (nicknamed "Superfade" by fans) acts as the mouth of the Dark One, never getting personally involved but giving direct orders (and threats) to the Forsaken.

Live Action TV
  • Bosley from ~Charlie's Angels~, for Charlie... though the phone is a more literal example.
  • This is effectively Richard Alpert's job on Lost: to act as a representative for Jacob so Jacob doesn't have to interact with anyone directly.
  • Eve and Marcus in Angel Season Five.
  • Mr. Morden in Babylon 5.
  • Felix Dreifus acts as this for Management in Carnivāle.

Tabletop RPG
  • In the Back Story of In Nomine, the angel Metatron acts as the voice of God. Lucifer kills him, starting off the events of the Fall.

Video Games

  • The Collector General in Mass Effect 2 serves this role for Harbinger.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • April 14, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
  • April 14, 2010
    Game_Fan
    • One character in Dogma claims to be the Voice of God.
  • April 14, 2010
    witchdoctor
    The Collector General in Mass Effect 2 serves as this for Harbinger.
  • April 14, 2010
    Desolator22
    Metatron IS the Voice of God...
  • April 14, 2010
    Sackett
  • April 14, 2010
    witchdoctor
    I think either one would work here since Lord Of The Rings is well known enough for the original title to work plus it's pretty self-explanatory to boot.
  • April 14, 2010
    Prfnoff
    In Death Note, the unseen "Kira" at first only attracts a widely scattered cult following, but as his influence grows and he becomes a Villain With Good Publicity, it becomes necessary for Kira to select an official representative. The position is most successfully filled by Kiyomi Takada, who also passes secret messages between Light and Mikami and is actually entrusted with the killings for a while.
  • April 14, 2010
    amazinglyenough
    • In V For Vendetta, Lewis Prothero is the Voice of Fate, the one who speaks on behalf of the government.
  • April 14, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Eve and later Marcus of Angel Season 5.
  • April 14, 2010
    jason taylor
    Mr. Morden in Babylon Five.
  • April 14, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • Mr. Kobeyashi from The Usual Suspects.
    • Felix Dreifus acts as this for Management in the television series Carnivale.
    • Walker, from Simon R. Green's Nightside series is the Voice of the Authorities, the hidden rulers of the Nightside.
  • April 14, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Does Bosley from Charlie's Angels count?
  • April 14, 2010
    Generality
    The Batman Begins example is backward. Ducard serves as the mouthpiece for the fake Ra's.
  • April 14, 2010
    fishsicles
    Really? I saw it as fake-Ra's seemingly leading the group, but relaying the orders of the real Ra's. Ducard was just his apparent Dragon, and the one who trained Bruce Wayne. For the Mooks and the League Of Shadows in general, fake-Ra's was the mouthpiece.
  • April 15, 2010
    Medinoc
    I think Ra's / Ducard is another trope, like Amidala: It's the classic strawman ruse.
  • April 15, 2010
    TheJackal
    This is effectively Richard Alpert's job on Lost: to act as a representative for Jacob so Jacob doesn't have to interact with anyone directly.
  • April 16, 2010
    Duncan
    Darth Vader for the Emperor?
  • April 29, 2010
    witchdoctor
    ok, is the OP updating this or am I going to have to ASSUME DIRECT CONTROL?
  • April 29, 2010
    RainKrystal
    Metatron and Beelzebub for Good Omens?
  • April 29, 2010
    DracMonster
    The Majordomo? (A majordomo is a chief spokesman and "order-giver".)
  • April 29, 2010
    caravaggio
    I was going to say the Evil Metatron but Villainous Mouthpiece is great so I'm seconding that. Plus the photo still works.
  • April 29, 2010
    Dcoetzee
    • In the Wheel Of Time series, Shaidar Haran (nicknamed "Superfade" by fans) acts as the mouth of the Dark One, never getting personally involved but giving direct orders (and threats) to the Forsaken.
  • April 30, 2010
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • In the Back Story of In Nomine, the angel Metatron acts as the voice of God. Lucifer kills him, starting off the events of the Fall.
  • May 2, 2010
    fishsicles
    Updated; sorry I kept forgetting to do so. As for Villainous Mouthpiece, I like the name. However, there are non-villainous examples as well...
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