Guile Hero YKTTW Discussion
Will launch by end of Friday unless there are serious objections. Completing a triangle with the Action Hero and the Science Hero, the Guile Hero is a hero who operates by playing politics and manipulating the bad guys. The Guile Hero trades swords and guns (or science and technology) for charm, wit, political and/or financial acumen, and an in-depth knowledge of human nature. The Batman Gambit, the Xanatos Gambit, and even the Xanatos Roulette are at the Maniuplation Hero's fingertips. Often, a Guile Hero will manipulate the other good guys and a whole bunch of innocent bystanders as part of their scheme to bring down the Big Bad, though they'll take care to ensure the other characters aren't truly harmed in the process. The Guile Hero is likely to be a politician or a businessman. The Guile Hero may be considered a heroic analogue to the Magnificent Bastard; unlike the Magnificent Bastard, the Guile Hero is unambiguously a good guy with the same goals as any Action Hero or Science Hero. While some other heroes may be unhappy with being manipulated by the Guile Hero, it is made clear to the reader that this character both has a heroic goal and is not Jumping Off the Slippery Slope into becoming a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The Guile Hero combines elements of The Chessmaster and The Strategist while being neither. A Guile Hero isn't neccessarily The Chessmaster: the Guile Hero is simply a hero who uses wit, charm, and skill to mislead and set up the bad guys, while The Chessmaster is often devoted to grander schemes, and is always at the top of the food chain. For example, The Chessmaster is likely to be The Man Behind the Man of both The Empire and La Résistance; the Guile Hero is likely a member or supporter of La Résistance plotting to destroy the morale of The Empire's soldiers by creating a financial crisis to render them underpaid and undersupplied.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Rock in Black Lagoon.
- The main character (Ayumu Narumi) from Spiral fits this pretty well.
- Kisuke Urahara in Bleach combines this with Action Hero. He can kick ass when he needs to, but he prefers to use the protagonists to act as his surrogates in his conflict with Sosuke Aizen.
- Lawrence, the main character of the anime Spice and Wolf is the economic type. When Horo is kidnapped by an evil corporation, he uses economic wizardry and manipulation to arrange for her release. Which pisses her off to no end since she'd hoped to see him rescue her personally, all Prince Charming style. Every once in a while, he manages to get himself into deep enough trouble that Horo has to bail him out by Deus ex Machina, but he's still quite the savvy trader...
- Batman. Also very much an Action Hero.
- Tony Stark, Iron Man. Completes the triangle, as he's also an Action Hero and a Science Hero.
- T'Challa, the Black Panther, as written by Priest. Much like Batman, he's also an Action Hero.
- The Chief from Doom Patrol.
- Charles Xavier of the X-Men. Aside from being a telepath, he keeps secrets even from his own team, has faked his own death as a ruse, and has employed secret operatives for when dogs need to be shot.
- Harvey Milk in his biopic, Milk
- Eliza in Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle.
- Mike Stearns in Eric Flint's 1632.
- Gandalf to some degree.
- Odysseus in The Odyssey tends toward this type of hero, making this one Older Than Dirt.
- The Bible: The whole arrest of Jesus thing, and arguably the whole history of humanity, turns out to be a Xanatos Gambit by God.
- Miles Vorkosigan of the Vorkosigan Saga, especially in his later years.
- Matt Parkman from Heroes. Subliminal mind-control (or something like that) is his super power.
- Mr. Chapel, Vengeance Unlimited. His gambits use the services of previous clients.
- From Leverage, Leverage Consulting and Associates as a group, and Nate Ford as a character.
- Ed Deline, from Las Vegas.
- Michael Weston in Burn Notice.
- The scale of his manipulation is not as grand as some others listed here, but Aloysius Pendergast from the Preston/Child novels never hesitates to blackmail anyone into doing his bidding. For the greater good, of course.
- Nippon Ichi loves this trope. Sereph Lamington from Disgaea basically manipulated the entire plot of the first game. Virtuous from Soul Nomad pulls a Xanatos Gambit designed to solve the real problem with the world. Mr. Champloo was part of a Batman Gambit orchestrated by his boss to counter the scheme of the Big Bad of the third Disgaea.
- Revolver Ocelot of Metal Gear Solid.