Created By: czzl on July 2, 2013 Last Edited By: czzl on July 9, 2013

Just a Humble Monk

A scheming, worldly, ambitious monk cultivates an appearance of simplicity and humility.

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I'm sure I don't know what the emperor thinks. I'm just a humble monk. I'm just trying to get by.
-- Jigo

Dressed in a burlap sack, this monk has his fingers deep in the sweaty political intrigue of the world. An adviser, traveler, or emissary, he may carry some ancient wisdom gleaned in a dusty library, but in the clinches he's going to look out for number one.



Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • July 3, 2013
    Real Life: Rasputin. (however the real Rasputin was a preacher, not a monk, the general public thinks he was a monk).
  • July 3, 2013
    I don't remember the name, but the female Bajoran "Kai" from Star Trek: Deep Space 9 appears to be an example.
  • July 3, 2013
    "is the trope namer" isn't a description btw.
  • July 3, 2013
    • Master Li from Jade Empire, who is secretly Sun Li the Glorious Strategist and brother to the Emperor. His martial arts school is part of a twenty-year-long Gambit Roulette aimed at training your character to kill the Emperor so that Sun Li can steal the throne.
  • July 3, 2013
    Lu-Tze from the Discworld series. He's a monk that even the other monks think is just a humble monk, but turns out to be a deviously clever guy.
  • July 3, 2013
    I'm sure there must have been scheming monks in fiction before the Miyazaki film was made. I doubt Jigo is really the trope namer in that regard. It's always silly to assume things like that for foreign fiction, because we're not going to be totally immersed in their culture enough to make a proper judgement.
  • July 3, 2013
    I think that OP meant the trope namer for "just a humble monk", as it is Jigo's quote above.

    But also this may just be Sinister Minister. Or Hiding Behind Religion.
  • July 3, 2013
    ...or Dirty Old Monk, which lists the Princess Mononoke example already.
  • July 3, 2013
    Yeah, this is covered by Hiding Behind Religion, I think. If not that, then the other listed tropes.
  • July 3, 2013
    Lut-Tze isn't even a monk, he's the monastery's cleaning guy. He's one of the original and most literal examples of Almighty Janitor.
  • July 8, 2013
    I think this trope would be better as a more generic Pretending To Be Humble, which would allow not only monk examples but others which follow the same theme. I'm thinking of the Charles Dickens story (I think it was Great Expectations) with the butler who was always claiming to be "too 'umble" when he was actually a schemer.

    Come to think of it, another alternate name would be "Always So Humble" which is almost exactly what the butler keeps saying about himself (minus the cockney accent).
  • July 8, 2013
    The suggested title is exactly the opposite of the trope definition. Not good.
  • July 9, 2013