[[quoteright:324:[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mouth-of-sauron_2908.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:324:"[[TropeNamer My]] master, Sauron the Great, bids thee welcome."]]

->'''Metatron:''' Metatron acts as the voice of God. Any documented occasion when some yahoo claims that God has spoken to them, they're speaking to me... Or they're talking to themselves.\\
'''Bethany:''' Why doesn't God speak for himself?\\
'''Metatron:''' Human beings have neither the aural nor the psychological capacity to withstand the awesome power of God's true voice. Were you to hear it, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode within your chest; we went through five Adams before we figured that one out.
-->-- ''Film/{{Dogma}}''

A character may be strictly HeWhoMustNotBeSeen, 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 HeWhoMustNotBeSeen, who often [[TheManBehindTheMan is standing somewhere in the background]].

The Mouth Of Sauron often serves as TheDragon, and can sometimes be a villainous counterpart to a SupportingLeader: when the real villain is in the background [[TheChessmaster pulling strings]], he needs someone to go out and lead his EvilArmy against the forces of good.

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

While many examples and the TropeNamer are villainous, this is not necessarily an "evil-only" trope: any heroic MysteriousEmployer is likely to have one, and this is frequently the role played by the ArchangelGabriel (or, as shown by the page quote and plenty of examples here, The Metatron) regarding [[{{God}} the big guy himself]].

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', the unseen "Kira" at first only attracts a widely scattered cult following, but as his influence grows and he becomes a VillainWithGoodPublicity, it becomes necessary for Kira to select an official representative. The position is filled first by Hitoshi Demegawa, and then more successfully by Kiyomi Takada, [[spoiler:who also passes secret messages between Light and Mikami and is actually entrusted with the killings for a while]].
** Watari is this for L who speaks via a laptop before agreeing to meet the police.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Pain is considered the unseen "God", and Konan is his "messenger angel".
* In ''OnePiece'', it becomes clear that Miss All-Sunday aka Nico Robin was serving as one when the top Baroque Works agents were finally brought together to meet the leader of the organization. They were all stunned to find that their leader was none other than the well-known and popular hero of Alabasta Crocodile who was also one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Lewis Prothero in ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' is the Voice of Fate, the person who speaks on behalf of the government. The general population are led to believe that the Voice of Fate is the supercomputer Fate itself, rather than a spokesman, and the first serious hit the government takes is when V exposes the ruse as a side effect of driving Prothero mad.
* In ''Comicbook/FearItself'', the Serpent has his "Mouth", a lizard-like representative with a huge tongue sent to recruit Hela.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
* Metatron shows up as one of the central characters of ''Film/{{Dogma}}''. Amusingly, he is not a part of Christian {{canon}} at all.
** He ''is'' a legitimate part of ''Jewish'' canon, though.
* ''StarWars'': Darth Vader, in addition to serving as TheDragon, performs this duty for Emperor Palpatine. It's not obvious at first glance, but notice that Vader has frequent contact with Imperial commanders, to whom he frequently gives commands. Palpatine is ''never'' shown speaking to any of his other underlings except Vader in the original trilogy.
* "Mr. Kobayashi" serves as the voice and agent for Keyser Soze in ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. It turns out that this person [[spoiler:is one of the few factual elements from Verbal's story]].
** [[spoiler: His existence is factual at any rate. Anything Kint said about his involvement is open for debate.]]
* In ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'', Libria dictator "Father" is all over the television, but almost no one meets him personally. Vice-Council Dumont is explicitly described as "Father's Voice." Turns out [[spoiler:to be a subversion: the real Father died years before, and Dumont is actually running things while ''pretending'' to be the MouthOfSauron]].
* ''Film/TheAvengers'' has a character like this called "the Other" who greatly resembles the TropeNamer[[note]][[http://i.imgur.com/0XA0x1v.jpg If you recognise Alexis Denisof underneath the makeup and phalanging, you win a star.]][[/note]] and, in the opening scene, facilitates the deal with Loki for an army in exchange for the Tesseract. Midway through, the two of them have a psychic conversation about how much Loki owes their master and how boned he'll be if he can't make good on his word. [[spoiler:TheStinger reveals that he's working for Thanos.]]
* Guy Shepard from ''Film/TheWorldsEnd''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* The [[TropeNamer Mouth Of Sauron]] from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', who serves as EvilOverlord Sauron's herald, and lieutenant of the Dark Tower. He comes out of the Black Gate to insult the Fellowship and try to persuade them Frodo is dead, but Aragorn and Gandalf refuse to believe him.
* Walker, from Simon R. Green's ''Literature/{{Nightside}}'' series is the Voice of the Authorities, the hidden rulers of the Nightside.
* Metatron and Beelzebub, for God and Satan respectively, in ''Literature/GoodOmens''.
* ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' is another example of Metatron in this role, with the twist that [[spoiler:he's also TheStarscream]].
* In the WheelOfTime series, [[http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Shaidar_Haran 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. [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed that Haran essentially ''is'' the Dark One, or at least a less powerful copy of his personality, and gets reabsorbed into him when the Dark One is able to affect the world enough that he doesn't need a mouthpiece anymore]].
* Creator/EEDocSmith's [[Literature/{{Lensman}} Galactic Patrol]] features the Eddorian mouthpiece who always starts his speeches "Helmuth, speaking for Boskone".
* The [[CorruptChurch Obligators]] from ''{{Mistborn}}'' are basically a whole ''organization'' of these; [[EvilOverlord the Lord Ruler]] is almost totally uninterested in the day-to-day running of his empire and almost never makes public appearances, so it's their job to keep everything running and keep the noble/skaa class system functional.
* In the ''StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** Palpatine's Grand Vizier, Sate Pestage, also has elements of this about him. Per some sources, he was originally created for ''Empire Strikes Back'' but was cut because having Vader take his orders from a flunky rather than the Emperor himself made him seem too weak.
** In ''StarWarsLegacy'', Darth Wyyrlok (I, II and III), whenever Darth Krayt went into stasis, served as "Voice" of the [[EvilOverlord Dark Lord of the Sith]].
*** This continued even after Wyyrlok III [[spoiler:killed Krayt]]. At least until Krayt decided that was going too far, and [[spoiler:killed Wyyrlok back.]]
** In the ''Literature/NewJediOrder'', [[TheJester Onimi]] will occasionally be used for this, transmitting orders that [[EvilOverlord Shimrra]] sees as beneath him or doesn't want made public. [[spoiler: Except it's actually the other way around, since Onimi controls Shimrra telepathically; as a member of the Shamed caste he could never rule the Yuuzhan Vong himself, but he ''can'' do it by using Shimrra as the face and spokesman for his rule with everyone else in the dark as to who's really calling the shots]].
* In ''Literature/ConsiderPhlebas'', Bora Horza Gobuchul, the primary protagonist who hates Literature/TheCulture alleges that his Balveda is one of these for the Culture, in that while she (an attractive humanoid) presents herself to outsiders as its representative, the actual representative of the Culture is the knife-missile armed drone hovering next to her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Bosley from ''Series/CharliesAngels'', for Charlie... though the phone is a more literal example.
* This is effectively [[spoiler:Richard Alpert]]'s job on ''Series/{{Lost}}'': to act as a representative for [[spoiler:Jacob]] so [[spoiler:Jacob]] doesn't have to interact with anyone directly.
** Lennon also does this for Dogen in season 6 as well as act as a translator, although it's a less solid example, as Dogen is always present for these conversations and [[spoiler:it's soon shown that he can understand English perfectly, he just doesn't often care to directly interact with people]].
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** Eve and Marcus in Season Five are representatives of the Senior Partners. Holland Manners and Lilah Morgan also acted in this capacity once each after their deaths. It's in this capacity that Holland gives his TheReasonYouSuckSpeech. Marcus was also their [[TheDragon Dragon]], but the other three were strictly there to talk.
** Likewise, the Oracles and the Conduit served in a similar capacity to the Powers That Be.
* Mr. Morden in ''Series/BabylonFive'' is the human mouthpiece of [[BigBad The Shadows]].
* Samson acts as this for Management in ''Series/{{Carnivale}}''.
* A latino gang in an episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' was essentially being run by someone pretending to be this. Gibbs reveals this to some lower gang lieutenants, revealing that they and Gibbs' team were both played for fools, and that Gibbs has nothing he can stick on him, implying that the other gang members need to dispose of the Mouth of Sauron member for his duplicity.
* Number Two in ''Series/ThePrisoner'' serves as public face and chief administrator on behalf of the Village's unseen authority, Number One.
* This originally is the role that [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Locutus]] was meant to play for the Borg (even [[MeaningfulName his name]] is Latin for "he who has spoken"). ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' {{retcon}}ned this so as to make Locutus's primary function that of a "counterpart" for the [[HiveQueen Borg Queen]].
** On ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Weyoun serves as this for the Female Changeling.
* In the Kromaggs' first appearance on ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', they stood in the shadows and telepathically communed with a human slave who spoke on their behalf. She explained that the xenophobic aliens refused to speak a human language. [[spoiler:The ending revealed that they do speak English, and the supposed interpreter was only there to win the sliders' trust as a HeelFaceMole.]]
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': The BiggerBad [[NebulousEvilOrganization Americon Initiative]] communicates with the Graysons through their assassin the White Haired Man. After [[spoiler:he is framed and killed]] in early season 2, a woman from the Initiative starts speaking to Conrad directly.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Very few of the angels have actually seen God, so their orders are passed on from the ones who have. Though later it's revealed that none of their orders come from him, they're actually from the corrupt higher-level angels and Joshua is the only one God actually speaks to.
** Metatron's job was to write down the Word of God, which can only be read by prophets. (See the Religion section.)
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': Edison Po is the only member of [[NebulousEvilOrganization Centipede]] who speaks directly to their [[TheGhost mysterious]] leader, The Clairvoyant, and passes on his orders. [[spoiler: In "The Magical Place", the Clairvoyant kills him and replaces him with [[TheHeavy Raina]]. And after Raina's arrest, at the end of that episode Ian Quinn seems to have replaced her. As of ''his'' arrest in "T.RA.C.K.S.", the Clairvoyant seems to have abandoned having a Mouth of Sauron in favor of a [[TheBrute Brute]], Deathlock.]]
* In the first season of ''{{Series/Alias}}'', Mr. Sark served in this role for "The Man," who revealed their identity in the season finale. Afterward, he just became TheDragon and, often, TheHeavy.
* In ''Series/FallingSkies'' the aliens have to use one of these, as the Espheni are a purely telepathic race and the Skitters speak an incomprehensible language. They typically use a harnessed child, with [[spoiler:Karen]] as one for the primary Espheni, eventually becoming TheDragon. [[spoiler:And later still, a DragonAscendant]].
* In [[Series/DoctorWho Doctor Who]] though the Time Lords in the Classic Series occasionally appeared they would often send one of them to relay a message to the Doctor. In "Terror of the Autons" one travels 29,000 light years to warn the 3rd Doctor the Master has come to Earth, though his coordinates slipping means he appears in mid-air. In "Genesis of the Daleks" in a scene partially based on [[Film/TheSeventhSeal The Seventh Seal]] a Time Lord appears to tell the 4th Doctor he has been sent to Skaro to avert the creation of the Daleks.
** In BigFinishDoctorWho, in the New Eighth Doctor Adventures and the first Dark Eyes Straxus takes this role.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Religion]]
* The Metatron, or the Voice of God: an archangel who WasOnceAMan, the prophet Enoch, and served as an intermediary between God and mankind in Jewish theology. He is identified with the Pillar of Fire from the Book of Exodus. He does not explicitly appear in Christian canon, the only oblique reference being in Genesis: "Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." (Every other human mentioned in the passage describing the lineage is said to have 'died'). He is sometimes used by theologians as an explanation for why God's judgement seems much harsher in the Old Testament than the New--in the Old Testament, God's interventions are actually Metatron acting on God's behalf and suffering from either HumansAreBastards himself or, now being [[PureIsNotGood pure]] due to being raised to an archangel, is particularly disgusted by his own people and hard on them.
* There's also a Christian (Catholic) version of this idea: In the works of Thomas Aquinas and St. Denis, angels are described as beings who transmit the words or will of God to human beings through a divine game of Chinese whispers. This was done mostly to reconcile Christianity with Neoplatonic idealism. Basically God tells the Seraphim and Cherubim, they tell the Dominions, Virtues and Powers, and they in turn tell the Principalities, Archangels and Angels. Only the Archangels and Angels interact directly with the world as we know it.
* The prophets of most modern religions can also be considered this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In the BackStory of ''TabletopGame/InNomine'', Metatron holds his traditional role. Lucifer kills him, starting off the events of the Fall.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': Due to endemic ChronicBackstabbingDisorder amongst the [[BigBad Deathlords]] they are rarely able to leave their seat of power for an extended time, necessitating the Abyssals to hold this position. Doubly so when the Deathlord in question has corruption of mortal societies as part of their agenda.
** [[UpToEleven Particularly disturbing example]] is the Abyssal known as Weeping Raiton Cast Aside (or just 'Raiton'), who claims to serve the [[BiggerBad Neverborn]] directly, making her the Mouth in respect to the Deathlords.
** ''Any'' character can be a Mouth of Neverborn. Spend a long time in the Labyrinth and listen to their Whispers, and eventually their Will as well as their Secrets will become clear to you. [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Not for the faint of heart.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'', the Dreaming Dark- essentially a living nightmare of god-like proportions and the GeniusLoci of the DreamWorld [[note]]confusingly, also the name of an organization dedicated to serving said entity[[/note]]- is one of the most powerful, evil threats facing the setting. However, it is so vast and incomprehensible that even its quori minions- nightmare spirits that themselves are somewhere between [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]] and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s- cannot commune with it directly without being overwhelmed. Only one quori, the Devourer of Dreams, possesses sufficient power to talk to the Dark directly, and his job is to tell the other quori what their master/god/thing wants done.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', the main characters are technically criminals and mercenaries-for-hire, and most people who hire shadowrunners want to avoid publicly associating with them. Hence came the system of the "Mr. Johnson", a MysteriousEmployer responsible for directly contacting, hiring and paying the shadowrunners without their bosses getting anywhere near them. In some rare cases the Johnson is the employer directly, bust mostly they are just representing whoever wants the job done.
** Also, dragons in the setting commonly had interpreters (when the dragons first awakened, they could only communicate telepathically and didn't speak English) who often made public appearances on their patron's behalf. Since dragons can [[VoluntaryShapeShifting shape-shift]], some of them even exploit this by appearing as their own MouthOfSauron (though given they're easier to kill in metahuman form, most don't).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* The Collector-General in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' serves this role for [[spoiler:Harbinger]], though Shepard never sees him, either (unless you play Arrival before the final mission). We sure do hear him, tho- '''''[[InterruptingMeme ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL.]]'''''
* Kel'thuzad for the Lich King in ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII''. The dreadlords would like you to believe that they do the same job, but really they work for the Burning Legion and are there to ''control'' the Lich King, rather than serve him.
* The Speaker in ''VideoGame/EmperorBattleForDune''. It serves as a mouthpiece for the Executrix -- all four of them.
* Metatron also shows up in the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' series, holding its usual role. YHVH does actually speak for himself in some of the earlier games, but starting with ''[[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne Nocturne]]'' YHVH stopped taking direct action in the games' plots and now speaks exclusively through Metatron.
** Beelzebub also serves Lucifer in this capacity as well, though the big man himself is quite active.
* In ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' Death's Hand appears to be abusing his position, with Emperor Sun Hai reduced to a figurehead- but it's eventually revealed that, rather than using his authority for his own advancement, Death's Hand is merely a tool of [[spoiler: the Emperor himself, who's avoiding taking the blame for the various atrocities he's having committed.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', Mr. House always communicates to the NCR and the Three Families via his robots, or, alternately, ''[[PlayerCharacter you]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'', Hugo abuses his privileges as the 'mouthpiece' of Prophet Noah, who the Alistel citizens have complete and total faith in. They trust Noah, and by extension, trust whatever Hugo tells them to do, [[spoiler:until the war goes bad and they demand to see Noah for themselves. They eventually break out in a panic when they see he has been DeadAllAlong]].
* Thomas Macabee, the Necron Pariah in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'': ''Dark Crusade''. Sort of. His master isn't this great unseen evil, in fact it's the Necron Lord of Kronus, your main HeroUnit in the campaign. It's just that [[TheVoiceless regular Necrons can't speak]], so the Pariah speaks in his stead.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series has the Listener of the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]], whose job is to receive contracts through [[EldritchAbomination The Night Mother]] and relays them through the Black Hand.
* TheFourthAgeTotalWar is notable for using the TropeNamer himself to play with this trope. Namely, He/It survived the fall of his master and Mordor and fled into the shadows, only to assume the mantle of Dark Lord and BigBad [[spoiler: and the name of Herumor for himself. He's spent the last several years orchestrating]] the enemy attacks from without and corruption from within the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Rohan that have brought it low and seriously weakened it. It gets to the point that the part of the realm secedes as the "Kingdom of Adunabar" in Ithilien and Mordor. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, this kingdom and its' leader are in the thrall of Herumor and thus its' King is the MouthOfSauron to the former trope namer.]] However, since Adunabar can choose its' own destiny, this trope might wind up [[NiceJobFixingItVillain backfiring on the Shadow.]]
* ''TheWorldEndsWithYou'' has the Reaper games led by the Game Master who enacts the will and design of The Composer. While the Composer's influence is felt every step of the way, the players never actually see or hear him directly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Hammerhead from ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. Everyone knows that the Big Man of Crime is New York's most powerful ganglord, but because the Big Man keeps his true identity secret, he uses Hammerhead as his public face and voice of his organization. [[spoiler: Later in the second season, the Big Man loses confidence in Hammerhead's competence and takes direct control of his empire; this leads the insulted Hammerhead to become TheStarscream]].
[[/folder]]

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