Genius Bruiser / Literature

  • The War of the Worlds: The narrator's medical student brother. He's up front when a bicycle shop is looted and rides a bicycle with a flat tire several miles before it completely falls apart under him. Described as an expert boxer, goes up against three men to assist Mrs. and Miss Elphinstone - the women travelling in a dogcart and pony. The brother also steers the dogcart across a stream of people fleeing London. The man's enough of a bruiser to be twice mistaken for a railroad employee at Waterloo Station, but intelligent enough to refugee across the Channel with Mrs. and Miss Elphinstone.
  • The Radix: Edgar Wurm is cryptography genius, and a strong fighter. As he puts it, "It always surprises people when they get their ass kicked by a mathematician".
  • Butler from Artemis Fowl speaks several languages, can cook well, is an amazing fighter trained in several martial arts, is a weapons expert, and has many other handy talents. On the other hand, can't find his way through theoretical physics very well. His intelligence is probably above-average, but it's hard to say for sure because almost everyone looks like an idiot next to Artemis Fowl. His little sister is also smart, but has too much compassion to become a bodyguard, and leaves to become a professional wrestler.
  • R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse:
    • Kellhus looks like a tall and strong warrior, but he's also an Impossible Genius.
    • Cnaiur urs Skiotha is a hulking barbarian warlord with a surprisingly penetrating insight and a very fine grasp of strategy.
    • Maithanet is a large and imposing man as well as the genius Shriah of the Inrithi, the fantasy equivalent to the Pope. When Inrilatas tries to assassinate him, he crushes the man's skull with his bare hands.
  • Stephen King and Peter Straub's "Black House", a sequel to "The Talisman", features not one, but a group of examples for this trope. The "Hegelian Scum" are a small motorcycle club just like any other, except for two things. They manage a Brewing Factory for their favorite beer and are all, at the very leasy, graduates from areas like literature and medicine. Best example of this is Doc, who enjoys some poetry between the drugs and the bashing skulls.
  • Loial in the Wheel of Time series is a giant Ogier who has also been reading books for almost a century.
    • The Dragon Reborn eventually gets this when he accepts his past memories as part of his reincarnated self.
    • Perrin thinks that he's a simple blacksmith, but is actually tremendously clever, tactical, and carries Mjolnir besides.
  • Belisarius Series,
    • Anastasius is a huge and ugly brute of a soldier, who wields an enormous longbow which only someone as hugely strong as him can pull, and yet is immensely fond of deep, philosophical musings.
    • Also from that series, Ousanas (wields a ginormous spear, fond of debating philosophy with Anastasius, to everyone else's dismay), Eon (warrior-king...who has one of the largest libraries in the known world and has read most of it), Raghunath Rao (the best assassin in India, one of only two men in the world to have survived a fight with Rana Sanga, argues Ousanas's favourite Greek philosophers are full of it).
  • In the CHERUB Series it's a requirement for joining CHERUB , seeing as the kids are required to be highly-effective spies. They all have at least some proficiency in languages, martial arts and technology.
  • In Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures, Chumley is a giant troll with the mind of a college professor. However, trolls generally play dumb so that they can get a mercenary work.
    • Klahdish bodyguards Guido and Nunzio are also quite bright, despite appearing to be big dumb goons. From what was mentioned, they both got degrees in a college; specifically Guido got a master's type degree in financial college; Nunzio also was at least a schoolteacher and then an animal trainer ("seemed like a logical extension") before joining the Mob.
  • Joe Miller in Philip Josť Farmer's Riverworld books is an 800-lb prehistoric "titanthrop" who is the most fearsome warrior in the series. He is also capable of matching wits with his best friend Samuel Clemens and with Cyrano de Bergerac.
  • Trolls in Discworld fit this trope if exposed to colder temperatures. Their brain is made of silicon, which operates more efficiently in colder temperatures than warmer ones. However, there is an absolute limit, because although being made mostly of rock, trolls can eventually die of exposure as well as any other life form.
    • The scene where it's shown that trolls can die of cold exposure also has one discovering calculus.
    • Diamond, King of the Trolls, a troll born completely composed of, well, diamond. The diamond refracts light and allows his brain exceptional cooling due to the high heat conductivity of diamond.
    • Golems as well, although only the free ones show it.
    • Yet another Discworld example is the Librarian of Unseen University, a wizard transformed into an orangutan who is one of the most intelligent and sensible wizards despite the fact he only communicates by saying Ook or Eek (and is usually understandable to other characters). As an ape he's got easily twice the upper body strength of most humans.
    • Speaking of wizards, the Archchancellor, Mustrum Ridcully. The man can keep up with the resident equivalent of a rocket scientist without that much trouble, is an excellent wizard, as his position in the university would imply, and he's also strong enough that, while he can fireball things to death easily, it's even easier for him to just whack whatever's troubling him with his staff until it stops moving.
    • Another, very specialized Discworld example might be Mr. Tulip, who really is a big dumb bruiser who's not even smart enough to be a proper drug addict - except in the field of art history, where he proves to have both astonishing depth of knowledge and natural instinct...as well of glimmers of humanity and emotion beyond rage.
      • Similarly, Jason Ogg, immensely strong and despite an otherwise limited intelligence, a good blacksmith and the world's best farrier.
    • Discworld orcs seem to have been created to fulfill this trope, although Mister Nutt himself is more of a Badass Bookworm.
    • Captain Carrot, he can punch out a troll if need be, knows at least three languages, and is quite devious. Most people miss this though due to his tendency towards open friendliness, and atrocious spelling.
    • A creepy Discworld example is "Professor" Cranberry, Cosmo Lavish's personal Assassin in Making Money. He's quiet and constantly reading, except when he's killing people. Even Heretofore is unsettled and would rather Cosmo hired a "mindless thug." Cranberry also got into the Guild school on scholarship, which specifically means he showed the aptitude and disposition necessary to be a real Assassin even before he actually got in.
    • A non-Discworld example from Terry Pratchett: Silver the Shand from Strata is a tall, heavily muscled, bearlike being with huge claws. She's also a socialist, linguist, comparative historian and meat-animal herder.
  • While it wasn't his defining characteristic, Sherlock Holmes was from the beginning of the official canon not someone you'd want to mess with. One suspect tried to use his strength to intimidate Sherlock by bending Sherlock's fireplace poker in half. After he left, an unperturbed Sherlock simply bent it back.
  • Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze is repeatedly described as a bronzed Adonis, and those Doctorates weren't honorary. Plus his brilliant but simian looking lieutenant 'Monk' Mayfair and the gigantic 'Renny' Renwick. The other three of the 'Fabulous Five' fit the Badass Bookworm trope. (In fact, given information from three stories, there seemed to be only three skills where Doc fell short of being a genius: singing, cooking, and imitating a female voice.)
  • Leland Hobie Hobart from Michael Flynn's Firestar tetralogy.
  • Honor Harrington is positively in love with this trope. The examples start just from its title character, Honor Harrington, who, in addition to her military genius, is also a very big and strong heavyworlder woman with a 7'th degree black belt in coup de vitesse. There are also Anton Zilwicki (the genius hacker and intelligence officer built like a brick outhouse and a three times Greco-Roman wrestling champion in Manticoran Games) and Sir Horace Harkness, another brilliant hacker and engineer who fights with Space Marines just for fun. A number of marines themselves qualify too — like General Kevin Usher, the chief Havenite cop, who once affected a persona of a drunkard, or Brigadier Thomas Santiago Ramirez, who, being heavyworlder, is much bigger and stronger than most of the cast, or Major Thandi Palane, Victor Cachat's girlfriend... And many, many others.
  • Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt from Gaunt's Ghosts. Two meters twenty (That's 7' 4") of solid muscle and capable of going head to head with a Space Marine, but also a tactical genius with the undying support of his men.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire collects a few:
    • Archmaester Marwyn. He's described as looking more like a dockside thug than one of the leaders of an order dedicated to scholarly knowledge, short and muscular with broad shoulders, an ale belly and a broken nose.
    • Oberyn is a noted warrior but he is known to have spent years traveling the world, studied at the Citadel, and studied rare poisons, which he applies to his weapons. He's in fact a very dangerous warrior, who soldiered in the Disputed Lands and once formed his own sellsword company.
    • Jon Snow is a skilled swordsman at a very young age, and a noted to be very clever since book one. He is quite forward thinking in his approach as Lord Commander: he wants to build "glass gardens" to farm food in the winter (much like in Winterfell), he contemplates raising money to buy glasses in Myr and training apprentices to serve under them. He's also one of the few who submits captured wights to a scientific method and put them under observation to see if there's anything to be learned. He also manages to broker a favorable loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos after haggling with the Braavosi in a manner that impresses the latter.
  • Far from the lumbering moron of the film adaptations, Frankenstein's Monster is a full Genius Bruiser in Mary Shelley's original novel. "The creature" educates himself very quickly by spying on a girl's lessons through a crack in a wall, growing into a remarkably intelligent, eloquent, and philosophical man. He is also an extremely powerful physical specimen, resistant to cold and injury as well as immensely strong, fast, and agile.
  • Similarily, Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan is not quite the muscular simpleton portrayed in the films. Raised by the (naturally) illiterate Great Apes, he teaches himself to read and write English from a bunch of books after finding his dead (human) parents' long-abandoned cabin, then rapidly learns half a dozen other spoken and written languages when introduced to civilization while also picking up the manner and social skills of a well-to-do gentleman, along with developing a witty, somewhat dark sense of humor.
  • Robert E. Howard's Conan. Most people only know the Ahnuld movies, where he is a stoic lump of muscle,note , but in the original stories he's one of the smartest men in the world - not given to academic study before he became king and it became a necessity, but a very quick practical thinker with a vicious cunning, a prodigious gift for languages, and surprising depth of thought when called for.
    • This aspect of the character is probably highlighted most clearly in The Black Stranger, a pirate yarn in which he single-handedly outfights and outwits Pictish warbands, viking raiders, cut-throat pirates, an exiled noble and a hunting demon... most (if not quite all) at once.
    • He also apparently wrote the poem Road of Kings, used as chapter heads in The Phoenix on the Sword, his debut story - and is introduced to the world as a king, drawing up a map of the Northern lands hitherto largely unknown to his Hyborian subjects. And he's a benevolent and quite competent ruler, at that!
      Conan: "Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."
    • Howard hints Conan was actually the most competent ruler of the entire world at his time, if you consider balance between taxes and quality of life a way to know how good a ruler can be:
      Conan: "I found Aquilonia in the grip of a pig like you—one who traced his genealogy for a thousand years. The land was torn with the wars of the barons, and the people cried out under oppression and taxation. Today no Aquilonian noble dares maltreat the humblest of my subjects, and the taxes of the people are lighter than anywhere else in the world."
  • Many of Robert E. Howard's larger-than-life pulp heroes - Conan, King Kull, Solomon Kane, etc. - are not just Genius Bruisers, but Genius Lightning Bruiser Berserkers. The same also goes for many other pulp characters (notably Tarzan, as mentioned above). Seriously, these are very scary people, folks; thank gods they all have scruples...
  • In Temeraire, dragons in general can be bruisers, but Maximus — possibly the biggest, strongest dragon seen yet in the series — has little problem working out mathematical problems with Temeraire, who's smarter than almost any other character.
    • To put things in perspective, Temeraire is a bit less than half Maximus' size... and Maximus is almost 50 tonnes when healthy.
    • Perspicia is a subversion of this, because although she's a dragon and therefore automatically a bruiser and is smart enough to have independently come up with logarithmic tables and the Pythagorean Theorem, she's also a self admitted coward.
  • A not-uncommon component of books by John Ringo.
    • The main protagonist, Michael "Mighty Mite" O'Neal, in the Legacy of the Aldenata, is described as being almost as broad as he is tall, with none of it fat. O'Neal was also one of the primary designers of the Powered Armor he and his troops later use.
    • The Space Marines in particular in the Into the Looking Glass series are all powerfully built, and highly intelligent, having to grapple not only with hostile aliens but with particle physics.
  • King Anheg of Cherek in David Eddings' Belgariad/Mallorean stories is a large, Viking-looking man, quite capable of wreaking havoc in battle, but is also considered clever and scholarly, spending many hours in his extensive library.
    • Ulath, of its Spiritual Successor, The Elenium is seven feet tall, grim-looking and quiet. He also possesses remarkable intellectual depth in the fields of religious study, history, and philosophy. Bhlokw, the Troll-Priest may be another example, being a Troll who cheerfully engages Ulath in philosophical debate.
  • Jean, partner to Gentleman Bastard Locke Lamora, is officially the brawn to his friend's brains, but is book-smart to Locke's cunning. Being the son of a merchant, he's also gifted with numbers.
  • The eponymous Villain Protagonist of Space Vulture.
  • Captain Otto Harkaman of Space Viking is used at least once as a byword for The Big Guy, but he's also an extremely well-read historian who rarely fails to grab a few new history books every time he loots a city. Justified, because there's absolutely frak-all to do on board a ship in H. Beam Piper's Terrohuman Future History during a thousand or so hours in hyperspace before your arrival, leading all officers to adopt hobbies - his crew includes a gunnery officer who's a landscape painter, and an astrogator who's attempting to express physics in music.
  • Sgt. Taura, the eight foot tall genetically engineered super-soldier from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, has an IQ of 135.
  • Most Hork-Bajir are rather dim, but one in every ten thousand has intelligence on par with other more intelligent species. Oh yeah, and they are also seven-foot-tall behemoths covered in blades.
    • There's also the odd examples from the main Animorphs themselves: Rachel and Jake. In early books Rachel is sold as a straight Genius Bruiser, with chapters lingering on her excellent grades and tendency to collect quotations from Sun Tzu, while Jake is presented as an academically mediocre everyman. As the books progress, however, Rachel's Blood Knight nature slowly begins to overwhelm any trace of strategy she might have had, while Jake's years of leading a guerilla force mold him into a brilliant commander.
    • According to Ax, Andalite warriors are supposed to be scientists and artists as well as soldiers. In practice the level of compliance with this ideal varies.
  • Justicar Alaric from the Warhammer 40,000 Grey Knights novels. As a Space Marine he can seriously kick ass, but when crunch time comes, it's his curiosity, intelligence and ability to think on his feet that pulls him through. It's explicitly noted at least once that his sharpness of mind is unusual and seen as a possible danger.
  • Charles Beckendorf from Percy Jackson and the Olympians is not only a skilled craftsman, but also built like a gorilla.
  • Henry, a college student from The Secret History, is a brilliant linguist and scholar, whose physical strength comes as a shock to most people. Including, sometimes, himself. It's implied that he broke open a man's skull by punching him..
  • Brendan Sealock, in William Barton and Michael Capobianco's collab novel Iris, is a hulking, craggy-faced amateur boxer... who just so happens to also be a technological genius.
  • Dr. Impossible, the Villain Protagonist of Soon I Will Be Invincible, began his career in supervillainy after a Freak Lab Accident gives him super strength and speed, to go along with his 300 IQ and mastery of technical things. He's not nearly as strong or fast as any of his heroic nemeses, but he's more than capable of ripping an ATM out of the wall or overturning a semi, he can move in Bullet Time when he concentrates, and bullets simply bounce off his skin (although they do leave nasty bruises).
  • Uther Doul, the soldier/philosopher/historian/possibility theorist from The Scar embodies this trope so hard it's almost a Stealth Parody. Although his fighting style is so ruthlessly perfected and artful, you'd be better off calling him a Bookworm Badass than an anything-Bruiser.
  • Shadow, the protagonist from Neil Gaiman's American Gods, is definitely this trope. It's revealed as the book goes on that as a child he was a nerdy, bookish kid, but by adulthood most people tend to treat him as Dumb Muscle and he actually comes out and says he likes being The Big Guy — people leave you alone and don't demand much of you.
  • In Mary Gentle's White Crow stories, recurring character Baltazar Casaubon. Very tall, very fat but very strong, somewhat spacy, and always an absolute prodigy in his field (which changes from book to book).
  • Derek Souza of the Darkest Powers trilogy. He's in grade 10, but is taking college-level courses in everything, and is a good strategist and tactician. As for the bruiser part, he's over 6 feet tall, built like a linebacker... and is a werewolf. As such, he has enhanced strength, to the point where he once (accidentally) broke a kid's back and quite possibly paralyzed him by tossing him at a wall. Without looking.
  • In The Squire's Tales, Gerald Morris writes Sir Gawain as one of these.
  • Codex Alera.
  • Fandarel of the Dragonriders of Pern series. He is the Mastersmith, the highest-ranking Smith on the planet. He is described as being a giant of a man, tall, broad, and heavily muscled. But he is also a genius when it comes to machinery. In the first book he rebuilds a Lost Technology, namely flamethrowers, after a very short period of studying one example. In later books he is shown creating a telegraph system for Pern, as well as building a set of backup batteries for AIVAS and other feats of ingenuity and reverse engineering. Though AIVAS did help him with the batteries, they were based on a design he had used in making the telegraphs.
  • Murtagh in the Inheritance Cycle. He is a master warrior, possesses superhuman speed and strength, regularly goes toe-to-toe with Eragon himself, and is the acting champion of the Empire, second in power and status only to King Galbatorix. At the same time, he's also a skilled tactician who enjoys reading and scholarship, and is complimented for his intelligence by several other characters.
  • The Hobbit: Smaug, which contrasted to popular characterizations of dragons at the time.
  • Deconstructed and Reconstructed with Major O'Mara from Sector General: he always wanted to be a psychologist but was always assigned manual labor because of his enormous build. This drove him to become a foul-tempered Deadpan Snarker, which made him a better psychologist when he finally became one.
  • Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson, husband of Amelia Peabody, is described by his wife as "Herculean" and also as "the greatest archeologist of this or any other age." His daughter-in-law can do charity medical work safely in the worst slums partly because she is widely loved, but also because "I will tear out your liver" if a hair of her head is mussed.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hell, Calvin, Mephisto's "Bully Boy", turns out to be a college professor.
  • InThe Dresden Files "Cujo" Hendricks is actually one, though his status as The Brute and tendency to not talk much causes Harry to think he's just Dumb Muscle. In the short story Even Hand, however, he's shown to be quite intelligent. He has a degree in Philosophy, is seen writing a thesis, and regularly quotes classic literature when he disagrees with his boss Johnny Marcone.
  • Roman in Sergey Lukyanenko's Competitors looks like a heavyweight boxer and is not shy about punching people out when he has to. He is often seen beside Zinovy, the head of the Seekers, and most assume he is just dumb muscle. Then he gets back to their base and puts on his labcoat. Turns out Roman has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and specializes in AI research. He also barters well. Also Oleg, who is a sysadmin for a local newspaper but is in excellent physical condition and loves sports.
  • Taran'atar in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch. Kira Nerys is used to seeing him in the holosuite, spending his spare time training himself for battle. Usually this consists of fighting hideous and powerful opponents; but on one occasion she finds him studying advanced mathematics - at a level far beyond her comprehension.
  • X-Wing Series: Voort Sa Binring, aka "Piggy". Able to calculate hyperspace coordinates mentally (generally, this task is handled by a navigation computer). Get into a fight with him, you'll almost certainly be incapable of coherent speech for the next half hour or so.
  • Ivor in Perseus Spur is a massive fitness trainer who can use a high-tech collar to enhance his already insane muscle development until he can lift a couple of hundred kilograms, and who is smart enough that he speaks in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, such as referring to his job as "quotidian ennui". He's also a talented chef.
  • Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror, in the novel of the same name.
  • The Boneys from Xeelee Sequence novel Raft. Despite their tribelike mannerisms, they play with orbital mechanics with an ease that rivals trained scientists.
  • Honoria Glossop from the Jeeves and Wooster series: "...in addition to enlarging her brain to the most frightful extent, she had gone in for every kind of sport and developed the physique of a middle-weight catch-as-catch-can wrestler." The same trope applies to her identical-looking cousin Heloise Pringle, who went to the same school as Honoria, but is even smarter.
  • Geralt of Rivia, the main character of The Witcher is one. He is a monster-hunter and curse-breaker for hire, and acknowledged as the finest swordsman alive. His teachers also gave him a thorough grounding in a wide variety of academic fields which are useful in his profession, including (but not limited to) magic, alchemy, anatomy, forensic science, zoology, ecology, history, folklore and political theory.
  • Sharpe's friend Captain William Fredrickson. Fredrickson is a career officer, who lost an eye, eight teeth and half his ear when he was shot in the face. He is not quite as badass as Sharpe or Harper, but can hold his own against them both, both as a leader of men and a fighter. He also loves art, poetry and architecture, has enough knowledge of law to get Sharpe out of trouble more than once, speaks French, Spanish and Latin, and spends his free time making pencil sketches of landscapes and discussing politics with captured opponents.
  • In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Jack Aubrey is a tall, burly, heavily scarred war hero and immensely successful naval commander, who always leads boarding actions from the front. He is also, along with his good friend Dr. Maturin, a Fellow of the Royal Society (Britain's most prestigious academic society). He has written a number of well-received papers on astronomy and geometry, and built his own observatory and telescopes.
  • Karl Edward Wagner's hero Kane, described by Wagner as being one "who could master any situation intellectually, or rip heads off if push came to shove". Over 6ft tall, 300lb of muscle - and one of his former occupations included being a successful sorcerer. Also something of a Villain Protagonist.
  • Amanandrala "Grok" Grookonomonslf in Star Risk, Ltd. is a bear-like alien who is an absolutely terrifying combatant. He's also quite good with tech and cryptography, though not as much as Jasmine King.
  • To general surprise, Professor Hari Seldon turns out to be a skilled fighter in the prequel to the Foundation novels. A pair of thugs try to rough him up early in the book, and he nearly breaks one of their necks subduing them. As one character ruefully reflects, on his planet mathematics and martial arts are not mutually exclusive. The style he practices, Heliconian Twisting, is described as equal parts Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, and Submission Wrestling.
  • Prof. Alois Berg, better known as "Big Al", one of the Escapist's closest friends and allies in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as well as the spinoff Escapist comic. He met the Escapist when both were working at a circus — Big Al was a freak, caged like an animal due to his monstrous size. As he's described in the novel, "He can rip open a steel drum like a can of tobacco, lift a train carriage by one corner, play the violin like Paganini, and calculate the velocity of asteroids and comets, one of which bears his name."
  • Alex Kilgour: the incomprehensibly Scottish heavy-worlder and right hand man to Sten is a genius tactician, communications and demolitions expert.
  • In the second book of The Black Company the Lieutenant is shown wielding a mighty greatsword against the inhuman monsters of the Black Castle. A few scenes later, he's setting up elaborate, comprehensive siege works against the same castle with the finesse of an orchestra conductor.
  • Wächterechsen (Guardian Lizards) in the german e-novel "Magicalogen" are implied to all be Super Soldiers. The one who actually appears is notably bigger than a human with natural armor, claws, ridiculous muscles and jaws full of really scary teeth. He's also a master wizard, a scientist and a spy.
  • Ben in The Leonard Regime.
  • Tsovinar of Glory in the Thunder is a tall, strong woman capable of generating earthquakes with her mind. She's also a published author and spends much of her time studying the nature of Aspects.
  • Philip Marlowe the Hardboiled Detective in the stories by Raymond Chandler. He's tall and as tough as they come as well as extremely Street Smart and an insightful detective. He studies chess in his spare time and occasionally making references to very academic subjects that go right over the heads of the people around him.
  • Dime Novel hero Nick Carter is adept at all the arts and sciences, but is also a highly trained fighter; when that isn't enough, he also carries two spring-loaded revolvers concealed up his sleeves.
  • In the Noob novels, Fantöm is explictly using Awesomeness by Analysis while being The Big Guy in his team.
  • The Runners in The Maze Runner, who are quick thinking cartographers who make-maps while running marathons and have to stand a fighting chance against The Grievers. At a point before the main story, Thomas himself counted; he was a child prodigy Leading WICKED and extraordinarily fit and during the series proves to be a decent fighter.
  • Bear of Fairy Tale Novels is big and strong enough to have been a football player in school, but preferred writing poetry (the best in class) and studying art, later becoming a stonemason.
  • Both Tennyson and Brewster hold this role in Bruiser, Brewster through his sheer size and eidetic memory and Tennyson through extensive training and having two professors for parents.
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Reviled is the main physical brawler of the group owning to the Super Serum, but even Penny admired his smarts before she got hers super-powered.
  • Spells, Swords, & Stealth:
    • Grumph is a half-orc bartender who tends to say as little as possible and mainly sticks to brewing ale and bartending. So when it comes time for four random characters to impersonate four hapless adventurers, the choice of who should play the role of a Barbarian seems obvious. During their first real fight, though, it quickly becomes clear that Grumph is much more suited for the role of Wizard, being able to quickly understand, memorize, and cast complex spells, while also possessing a keen intellect that allows him to pick up on things much quicker than his companions. Despite becoming a mage, he understands that he can't rely exclusively on his friends for protection from physical harm, so he also wields a blade. Later on, when he has to become a mage to officially petition the Guild for help to help his friends, he immediately asks to take the test, which usually requires that a candidate prepare for months. Everyone is shocked and assumes he'll fail spectacularly. However, his solutions, atypical for a normal mage, frequently involve a combination of magic, brains, and good old-fashioned brawn.
    • Bert, a member of the gaming group Russell and Tim form in Split the Party, is a big man described as looking more likely to stuff SS&S players into trash cans than be one himself. However, his character is a gnome Gadgeteer Genius and Bert puts a lot of effort in understanding the game rules to better plan for encounters.
  • The Hunger Games: Thresh spends majority of the Game camped out in a wheat field that not even the Careers want to risk trespassing. Katniss and Peeta notes that not only did it given Thresh the advantage of being the most nourished competitor, but because of all the potential hazards in the field, it would make going after him risky.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness provides a villainous example in the form of Thiazzi, the mage of the Oak Clan. He's so strong that he's regarded as the strongest man of the Forest. He's also a cunning mage, and he demonstrates in Oath Breaker the true extent of his ability to manipulate and fool the masses. He drives the clans of the Deep Forest to war among each other by murdering both sides' mages and taking their places with convincing disguises. He then orates both sides to unite and would have lead them into another war against the clans of the Open Forest had he not been stopped. He's also able to stay one step ahead of the heroes as they chase him throughout the Forest until the climax.
  • Wolf Hall has its protagonist, Thomas Cromwell. While he mainly uses words and manipulation in the present day, he was a brawler in his youth and spent several years as a mercenary in Italy and France and remains quite physically imposing—at one point he drags the Duke of Suffolk, who is taller than him and half in armor, out of a room, and when startled in a dark courtyard has a knife to the man's throat in an instant. He might prefer not to use violence, but everyone knows that he still could, and he's not above taking advantage of that.
  • Steve Perry's Matador Series:
    • Sleel, ex-bouncer turned Matador (high-level bodyguard) is revealed to have several university degrees and to have written a successful series of books under a pen name. Oh, he also amassed a considerable fortune which he uses to fund a number of orphanages.
    • Another Matador, Saval Bork, is a heavy-worlder who sings opera at professional level.
  • The German booklet series Maddrax has the taratzes. They are much bigger, stronger, faster and more resilient than humans, but most of them are not very smart. Compared to humans, they are about as intelligent as toddlers. An exception, however, are so-called taratzes kings. They can be equivalent, or even superior, to a human being in their intelligence, thus qualifying for this trope.
  • The Weakness Of Beatrice The Level Cap Holy Swordswoman has Boo Boo, an Iberian Orc. The "Bruiser" part is apparent from the beginning, given that he's four metres tall, nearly as wide, and can defeat a kilometre-long dragon singlehandedly. The "Genius" part is less apparent, especially since he's Book Dumb (thanks to being orphaned at a young age). However, he is knowledgeable about the things he needs to survive in the wilderness, and as the series goes on, he demonstrates intelligence in other fields. A good example is when he manages to deceive the Sage, a character who was initially presented as being a Future Badass to Beatrice. He claimed that the real Beatrice has a mole on the back of her neck, normally hidden by her hair, and the Sage's lack of this means she must be an imposter. The Sage responded by revealing that she did have the mole... only for Boo Boo to reveal that he'd lied, hence confirming that the Sage was merely copying Beatrice's appearance.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/GeniusBruiser/Literature