Created By: Ye Olde Luke on March 15, 2010
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Mary Tzu

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More common in works revolving around warfare, a Mary Tzu is a military commander with unrealistic tactical abilities. He can pull a win out of any battle no matter how outnumbered, outgunned, or outmatched, he can guess any enemy commander's plan no matter how convoluted or how little information he has to work from, and any plan he comes up with will work perfectly, resulting in total enemy defeat and another smashing success for General Tzu's track record. Sometimes he comes complete with a Big Book of War, possibly written by him.

Named for Sun Tzu, a Real Life Ancient Chinese general whose Art of War is still used by many militaries around the world and is considered one of the greatest treatises on warfare ever written.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • March 15, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • March 15, 2010
    foxley
    Benedict from The Book Of Amber.
  • March 15, 2010
    Treblain
    This is close to The Strategist, so it might be considered But More So. But I guess it could work if it only deals with unrealistically good tacticians. For example, I know that was a complaint often leveled at Grand Admiral Thrawn. Merely great commanders like Ender wouldn't apply, as long as they're fallible and plausible.
  • March 15, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
    Not just unnaturally good, but everyone should gush about this character, and treat this character as a paragon, as per the standard Sue traits.
  • March 15, 2010
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    I feel like we have this somewhere... which is a shame, because this is a great title.
  • March 15, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    If we have it, we will rename it.
  • March 16, 2010
    Camacan
    We would have more Marty Tzus than Mary Tzus in practice.
  • March 16, 2010
    Amazingly Enough
    To me the name implies a Chinese Mary Sue, although that may be because I'm more familiar with Lao Tzu than Sun Tzu.
  • March 16, 2010
    dotchan
    Yeah, "Tzu" is just a courtesy title given to teachers. Hence Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, Kong Tzu (a.k.a. Confucious)...

    I suggest "Marty Sun Tzu" for clarity.
  • March 16, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    My vote goes for Mary Tzu
  • March 16, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Code Geass is chock full of them. Lelouch, Cornelia and Tohdoh to name a few.
  • March 16, 2010
    EgregiousEric
    I love the name.
  • March 16, 2010
    Grazzt
    Is Zhuge Liang of Romance Of The Three Kingdoms Sue-ey enough?
  • March 16, 2010
    Ye Olde Luke
    I think the name "Tzu" is most commonly associated with Sun Tzu, at least by the general public. If you Google Tzu, most of the top links are to Sun Tzu or the Art Of War.
  • March 16, 2010
    karstovich
    The problem is that Zhuge Liang is a historical figure. Even if he wasn't quite the tactician and strategist the Romance makes him out to be, he was very, very good.
  • March 16, 2010
    ViktorCrowford
    They often employ Hollywood Tactics, probably because for most writers the only way to make them stand out is have them use very unconventional tactics, which would hardly ever work in real life.
  • March 16, 2010
    callsignecho
    BRILLIANT name. And OMG Science Fiction loves this trope. And, much as I adore her and the series, I have to admit this chick fits the trope to a T:

    Literature
  • March 16, 2010
    SylviaSybil
    Mary Tzu is a brilliant name. :D
  • March 17, 2010
    joeyjojo
    good name.

    wasn't there That Guy in Star Wars who could instantly work out how to defeat a culture simply by looking at their art? If so he fits to a 'T.'
  • March 17, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    That's Thrawn.
  • March 17, 2010
    Ye Olde Luke
    There must be loads of fanfic versions. I wish I read more fanfics.
  • March 18, 2010
    Grazzt
    @karstovich, I just mean the Rot K version of Zhuge, and of course the versions that one inspired (like the Dynasty Warriors version). We can add a disclaimer about the historical one.
  • March 19, 2010
    callsignecho
    Isn't Batman so Crazy Prepared it sometimes falls under this trope? Cause there's all this "I Know You Know I Know you know I Am Not Left Handed so I planned for this" Xanatos Gambiting going on in batman comics. Although I guess he's not a military commander...
  • March 19, 2010
    Doug S. Machina
    Love the name.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=x3zcsv0tlfpyrrgq5lvvdqz4&trope=MaryTzu