Magnificent Bastard: Fan Fic

  • Chaos from the Tamers Forever Series. Let's break it down, shall we? He has spent centuries manipulating humanity's most powerful figureheads in order to create worldwide chaos,. He is a ruthless tactician and a nigh unstoppable Bad Ass. Not to mention being quite a hit with the ladies. (Although how much of that last part is simply his own bragging is up for debate). And he tops it all of by being witty, funny, charismatic and all in all, just a joy to watch.
  • Draco from Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality took lessons on how to be one, but so far he's only a beginner. The true Magnificent Bastard of this fanfic is, of course the one and only Professor Quirrell. Without spoiling anything:
    • Exhibit A: The Pioneer plaque is a horcrux.
    • Exhibit B: The remains of a beautiful blue beetle are seen in his office suggesting that he has killed Rita Skeeter.
    • Exhibit C: Bellatrix Black has been broken out of prison by him and Harry.
    • Exhibit D: The reason he did ridiculous things like name himself Voldemort and his followers Death Eaters? He never expected them to succeed. He was trying to gather all the most rotten elements of wizarding society in one place, but they turned into the most terrifying terrorist group in the world by accident because he couldn't pretend to be that stupid.
  • Shinji from Shinji And Warhammer 40 K, who eventually gets Gendo fired and imprisoned by punching himself in the face.
    "Gendo was left alone, blinking, wondering... 'What the hell just happened?'"
    "I am Jack's smirking revenge." Directly lifted... and only adding to his brilliance.
    • A few chapters later, Fuyutsuki invokes the trope by name when Gendo returns to power.
  • Loki, the Big Bad of My Little Avengers, who has the rather telling nickname of "The Magnificent". True, he probably gave himself the title as a bit of ego stroking, but he definitely lives up to it. At the climax of the story, he reveals that the entire plot up to that point was a Gambit Roulette: by removing Celestia as a potential threat via depowering her, he causes a Mass Empowering Event that lays the potential for the world ruled by magic he's long envisioned, and more importantly insures that Big Mac will end up with teammates — teammates that Loki can threaten in order to force Mac to surrender Thor's powers to him. And it works perfectly, with him only being defeated afterwards due to Pinkie being a bigger Spanner in the Works than anticipated. He also shows that he anticipated Trixie's betrayal and deals with it effortlessly. Hell, he even manages to die with style — as he lays dying from his own reflected spell, he revels in the fact that the magic released by his death will mutate all of Equestria, creating the world ruled by magic he's always wanted, then dies with a smile.
  • Axel is portrayed as this in almost all of Kingdom Hearts fan fic, both Canon and Alternate Universe.
  • The Naruto fanfic "Yakuza" makes one out of Hinata, of all people. Let me break it down for you: the Rookie 9, Team Gai, and the Sand Siblings all play a game of Yakuza, with Lee and Hinata as the yakuza. They both manipulated everyone into killing the Genin they didn't kill themselves, and at the end, Hinata betrayed Lee, causing him to kill himself in confusion, and refused to kill Naruto, leaving them the sole survivors, with Naruto taking her for ramen to celebrate.
  • V in a A Cure for Love. She is literally behind everything in the first arc before she is ultimately Out-Gambitted by Light. She stole Kira's (Higuchi's) power and she manages to fool L into thinking she is trustworthy. She integrates herself onto the Kira taskforce and L's investigation while the entire time she is in actuality the leader of Astraea, the terrorist organization that the taskforce is investigating. if not for Light and Matsuda she would have succeeded in killing L with a letter laced with sarin and if not for Misa and Rem she would have succeeded in stealing power from Kira. She is also the one who manipulated events so that Light would regain his Kira memories-this would ultimately lead to her undoing.
  • Game Theory turns Precia into one of these. This version of her did not go Ax-Crazy, and she remains pragmatic, methodical, and highly effective, affecting an outward veneer of compassion while still being a ruthless, Manipulative Bastard who plays Nanoha like a fiddle. Ultimately, she fools the TSAB into thinking she is dead and succeeds in bringing her daughter back to life.
  • Erasmius Servius from the Elder Scrolls fic 434: The Last Year of the Third Era definitely qualifies. He manipulates every one of his enemies with relative ease, and even when Plan A of his bid to become emperor fails, he doesn't panic at all; he simply falls back on his other plan: trapping the Daedric Lord Molag Bal and using him to power a thousand-foot tall war machine. And true to the trope, when he wakes up in the afterlife and finds out he's likely going to have his soul torn apart by the Daedra for daring to outsmart them, he doesn't do much besides accept defeat calmly and enjoy what little solitude he has left before eternal torment.
  • In The Wizard in the Shadows, or rather, its sequel, Draco Malfoy is showing signs of this, after casually pulling a Sherlock Scan on some of the most dangerous people in existence while drinking tea.
    Draco: Potter, when people expect to see a pretty face, that is all they see.
  • Lately, this has started to be seen with Albus Dumbledore in many Harry Potter fics. We'd list them, but there are too many to list.
  • Harry Potter in What Would Slytherin Harry Do? is an expert Rules Lawyer and he makes frequent use of Xanatos Gambits.
  • The Uplifted series features a few examples of this trope. Erwin Rommel is the trope namer and best example in the series, but it is really Admiral Halid Zorah who takes the cake. A brilliant diplomat and negotiator, he is responsible for organizing the coup against the Nazis. Hanala Jarva seems to be one in training, as she is brilliantly manipulative and cunning, despite her youth and inexperience which shows. John Hoch, from what we've seen in the interludes is certainly one, and Joachim Hoch seems to have the potential, at least in his later years. Not surprising as John and Joachim are actually the ancestors of the Illusive Man.
  • Ivana M. Kiljoy from the Rescue Rangers epic fanfic Rhyme And Reason is this in spades. Without spoiling too much, she manages to kidnap Monty, Dale, Gadget and Zipper and subject them to tormenting and deadly challenges, while at the same time, making Chip travel all over the city in order to find rhyming hints to save them. She demonstrates an incredible intellect and genre savviness, a deep knowledge of the Rangers' personal histories (almost all of her clues and trials relate to a past case in some way), and an utter disregard for both human and animal life.
  • A Brief History of Equestria:
    • Princess Platinum, due to the throne of the Kingdom of Unicorns being effectively a figurehead by the time she takes it, was forced to spend her entire reign manipulating her entire Deadly Decadent Court in order to get things done the way she wanted. Then, after the Warming, she realized that the nobles were risking the newfound peace between the tribe, so she had most of them killed — something that was both viewed in universe as a Kick the Son of a Bitch moment and had had the groundwork laid years in advance — before stepping down from the throne for the newly formed Equestria. And then she kills herself (making it look like an accident, of course) in order to end the royal line and finally break what power the nobles had left.
      • Though you'd never know it from the main narrative, side stories deconstruct this trope, showing how someone who thinks in such detailed plans would have trouble seeing the line between casual interaction and the shuffling of chess pieces.
    • General Wind Whistler, who spent her whole career as a Chief-Of-Staff standing up to Commander Sullamander and denying as many of her outrageous decrees as possible, and managed to survive her defiance. Then, on top of that, she manipulates several of her fellow Generals into staging a coup against Sullamander — simultaneous to a Gladiator Revolt led by her lover Hurricane — that succeeds in bringing her down though it costs Wind Whistler her life as well.
    • Lady Cripps the Pink, who's such a tactical genius that during the Lake Trot Crisis, she not only beats the Celestine Junta — the greatest military force in the world — but her forces suffer only one casualty... who dies from choking on a sandwich.
  • Professor Moriarty in Children of Time. Having survived Reichenbach, he Came Back Wrong (with Merlin Sickness), Took a Level in Badass... and now vividly demonstrates just what a monster can do if he does comprehend Good. He's The Chessmaster, The Corrupter, the Consummate LiarDangerously Genre Savvy and Unfettered. Having somewhat more of a heart than he did in the Canon actually makes him that much more dangerous, which Sherlock Holmes very quickly discovers.
  • In Child Of The Storm there at least eight of these already: Loki, Dumbledore, Lucius Malfoy, Odin, Director Nicholas Fury, Peter Wisdom, Chthon and, apparently playing all of them like a violin, Doctor Stephen Strange. Needless to say, this is leading to a Gambit Pile Up of epic proportions.
    • Loki while good (mostly) is Reformed, but Not Tamed and The Chessmaster to boot, being all the more terrifying for being sane, as he is no longer burdened by Smug Snake tendencies. He also tells fellow Magnificent Bastard Dumbledore that he knows of his schemes - which he demonstrates through a chess metaphor, and he is willing to tolerate them, even assist them, but if they hurt his brother or his nephew (Harry) - and he will know, because he will be watching - then he will have nowhere to hide.
    • Dumbledore smiles. This suggests that in his eyes, it is All According to Plan. And yes, this is a story that can lead to something of a Mind Screw if you try and disentangle it.
    • Odin, meanwhile, has proved his ability to manipulate Loki (who is aware of it, and equally aware that it's so brilliantly done that he can't do a thing about it).
    • Fury, though no slouch himself, admits that his Arch-Nemesis Lucius Malfoy is smarter than he is, while Malfoy holds Fury in a strange mixture of hatred and wary admiration.
    • And all parties on the side of Good have concluded that Doctor Strange is playing them, they just have no idea how, or to what end.
  • Lord Silvertongue comes up with a plan that will further his goals. If that plan fails, he twists the failure so precisely that it becomes a success somehow as part of a new plan. His manipulation, charisma, and silver tongue allow him to get the better of every creature he interacts, including Nihila, a goddess that exemplifies evil traits, including deception.
  • From Young Justice: Darkness Falls we have both Vandal Savage and Lex Luthor. While Savage is more diplomatic than magnificent, he still organizes the attack on the watchtower, takes control of war world, and even plots to have all earth converted into One World Order like a boss. Luthor is much more of a bastard, and perhaps even more so when he betrays the operations of the light in order to weaken their positions so that when Vandal stepped over the line, he might become leader of the light. He also worked in plain sight as a UN representative, almost taking total political control of the league, and still managing to cover his tracks when his own bodyguard helps one of Darkseid's pawns escape. Luthor is just in control of his actions and influences for most of the fic.
  • Mercury from the Inheritance Cycle fanfic series "A dance of Shadow and Light" by Ocadioan. While undoubtedly a Manipulative Bastard with Nerves of Steel all the way through, he becomes even more devious and charismatic the further down he is on the morale spiral that the series seems to focus on.
  • Harry Potter aka James Moriarty in Business creates a criminal underworld for the Wizarding World and within four years, functionally rules the entirety of Wizarding Britain.
  • Kyuubi/Kuushou in Swapping The Cage knows exactly how to manipulate people around him to further his goals. From a few choice comments to help subvert Anko's loyalty to Konoha to getting Sasuke to utterly destroy Sakura's image of him. It helps that 1) he's a demon with thousands of years experience. 2) He's from an alternate world so he knows how the people around him could be under the right circumstances. 3) Everyone to some extant still considers him the Idiot Hero the original Naruto was.

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