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* ''Series/{{Alphas}}'': WellIntentionedExtremist Stanton Parrish breaks out all but two inmates of Building Seven, without anybody but the main characters knowing he's involved. He has a lady hypnotize and brainwash anyone in his organization down to the lowest minion to ensure complete loyalty. He lectures the stupid guards as he escapes from custody, and then almost steals psychic's powers. He's had his counterpart's daughter spying for him since before he even knew he existed. And when people finally become aware of his existence, after they foiled a terrorist attack of his that would have murdered an entire city? He hijacks the counter-measures the heroes put in place, and manipulate it so that by defending themselves he can launch an attack that would kill the entire country for what he feels is for the ultimate benefit of the greater good.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Daniel Holtz was once a great force for good, a heroic vampire hunter whose family was destroyed by Angelus and Darla. Succumbing to vengeance, Holtz allows himself to be taken to 20th century LA where he builds an army of fanatics from those who have lost loved ones to vampires to use and manipulate, before focusing on how best to make Angel suffer. Holtz sees Angel's newborn son and manipulates Wesley into kidnapping the child before stealing the baby Connor away, intending to raise Connor himself far from Angel. When caught, Holtz elects to dive into the worst demon dimension with Connor, but survives and raises the boy there, later returning, seemingly at peace with Angel. Pulling off his final masterstroke, Holtz has himself murdered in a way to simulate a vampire attack, framing Angel to Connor so Connor will try to destroy Angel himself. Consumed by revenge and showing how far a true force for righteousness can fall, Holtz did more damage to Angel than even demons and gods have managed.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'':
** Slade Wilson/Deathstroke introduced himself as TheManBehindTheMan to Brother Blood, who was conducting illegal experiments to raise an army of super-soldiers to take over Starling City. He then kidnaps Oliver's sister and reveals her true parentage to her, all in order to cause confusion among the Queen family while he frees all the inmates imprisoned by the Arrow for his super soldier army. He even had Isabel Rochev usurp Oliver's company so that he could use it for his plans, all of it just to make Oliver suffer. By the time Oliver/the Arrow realised the full nature of his plans, he had already set his army upon Starling City. His biggest mistake was that he underestimated Oliver's allies since he was mainly focused on making him suffer more than anything else.
** Keeping up with his comic book and live-action film counterparts, ComicBook/RasAlGhul has ascended to this position with style towards the end of Season 3. With an objective to secure Oliver as the heir to the League of Assassins, he had his followers impersonate the Arrow to kill several criminals around the city in order to frame The Arrow. He then kidnaps Captain Lance in order to expose Oliver Queen as the Arrow, thus staging a nearly successful gambit where The Arrow would have to accept his terms or rot in prison.
* ''Series/Babylon5'':
** Alfred Bester is a charming psychic operative who combines ruthless scheming with an infuriating charisma that drives the heroes crazy even as they are forced to respect his skill. Bester can do this even when his telepathic powers have been removed, frequently arriving on Babylon 5 and twisting events to suit his purposes or the purpose of the Psi-Corps. In one such instance, Bester tricks a prisoner by claiming he can read his mind, even when Bester has been blocked from doing so, relying on bluffs and gambits to get the information he desires when he simply suspected the prisoner ''must'' be lying. Bester frequently enacts daring schemes either for the benefit of the Corps or himself, only breaking from his self-serving nature when the woman he loves is threatened by the Shadows, stating that it has made Babylon 5's war his own
** Londo Mollari, despite his buffoonish exterior, steadily grows into true magnificence. In one famous instance, Londo blackmails his rival, the monstrous Antono Refa into helping him because "Because I have asked you. Because your sense of duty to our people should override any personal ambition. And because I have poisoned your drink." He goes on to describe how the poison comes in two parts, one of which was in Refa's drink. If he does not comply, one of Londo's agents in the Royal Court will introduce him to the second half of the poison. Londo proceeds to create a plan to rescue the Centauri from their mad Emperor Cartagia and later arranges a plan to lure Refa to his death at the hands of Narns when Londo believes Refa murdered the love of Londo's life. For this, Londo simply tells the truth about Refa's horrific crimes and vows to free Narn prisoners in exchange for the Narns murdering Refa. Londo later even manages to outwit the Shadows and their servant Morden, blowing up an entire island to wipe out the Shadow presence on Centauri, even ascending to the throne himself. even when the Drakh think Londo defeated and broken, he works against them to ensure the freedom of Centauri, even at the end when it costs his own life with his once greatest enemy turned best friend G'kar of Narn.
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'': The third Blackadder, Edmund Blackadder, is the butler to the idiotic Prince George of Regency England. A roguish cheat who constantly scams money out of his employer, Blackadder is also left with the task of running the country, manipulating the election of his completely idiotic sidekick Baldrick to the House of Commons to vote down a measure harmful to the prince by setting up a Rotten Borough and taking over the position as the only voter as well as the supervisor of elections by murdering his predecessors. When a bet is made for him to one-up the Scarlet Pimpernel, he simply opts to head down to a coffee house and find an aristocrat at the French embassy. When the real Scarlet Pimpernel is about to reveal his treachery, Blackadder promptly murders him and wins a great award from Prince George by claiming to be the true Scarlet Pimpernel. Even in the finale, Blackadder sees Prince George dead when they've switched identities and takes the chance to claim to be the real prince to the insane King George III, gleefully ascending to the throne of England several years later.
* ''Series/TheBlacklist'': Raymond "Red" Reddington starts the show by turning himself over to the FBI to assist them in taking down a supposedly-dead terrorist, who is just the first out of many in the eponymous Blacklist. He follows that up by constantly manipulating the Feds and criminals to pursue his own agendas. Raymond goes against the worst criminals in the world, constantly outplaying them and leading them to ruin while working towards his own master plan, using others as bait or pawns in his schemes. In one famous incident, he outwits human trafficker Floriana Campo and leaves her poisoned out of his revulsion towards her business, but not before destroying her good name and watching her beg for her life. Despite his ruthlessness, Raymond truly respects those who work for him and cares greatly about series heroine and FBI agent Elizabeth. A man with nerves of steel, Reddington rarely ever loses his temper or composure, frequently playing cop and criminal for his own mysterious ends.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'': Charlie "Lucky" Luciano and his best friend Meyer Lansky spend the first four seasons learning at the sides of the greatest mobsters of the age and put their lessons into ruthless practice in season 5. Luciano has his former mentor and boss Joe Masseria assassinated after manipulating him to his death, seizing control of his outfits and having his rivals killed. Luciano and Lansky proceed to force the other mobsters to submit to them or convince them it is in their best interest to give in and 'partner' with them before forcing Nucky Thompson's capitulation by kidnapping his nephew to use as leverage. Realizing that the criminal Valentine Narcisse may also prove a problem, Luciano and Lansky allow him to think he is safe for a time before having him publicly assassinated, ending the season as the dominant masters of organized crime, sitting down to do business with a new coalition of their making.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Gustavo "Gus" Fring]] once [[StartOfDarkness lost his best friend]] Max to the ruthless Hector Salamanca and Don Eladio. [[FromNobodyToNightmare Building a drug empire]] with his own connections, wits and intellect, Gus launches a crusade for revenge, [[BestServedCold slowly bringing the Salamanca family to ruin]] and tormenting the now invalid Hector in his nursing home over it. Gus controls the meth trade with an iron fist, frequently seeing through Walter "Walt" White's plans and rendering Walt as helpless before him more than once. Upon returning to Mexico, Gus destroys Don Eladio's cartel in one swift move before returning to the US in triumph. Even after his death, the empire Gus has built endures and only Walt's incompetence manages to destroy it. [[FauxAffablyEvil A suave, sophisticated, even friendly seeming man]], Gus repeatedly shows why he is the true master in the game the others are playing.
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'': Doug Judy is the [[GentlemanThief Pontiac Bandit]], an [[AffablyEvil affable car thief]] known for stealing 200 cars. Making himself known to [[TheProtagonist Jake Peralta]] by pretending to be an informant, Doug sends Jake on a wild goose chase to the barber Doug framed, while he slips past him unnoticed. When Doug unexpectedly encounters Jake, he gives him the drug manufacturer of giggle pig in exchange for a four-star hotel suite where he collaborates with the suite's waiter on his escape, with Jake being too busy capturing the manufacturer. When Doug learns of a hitman trying to kill him he contacts Jake for help, making sure to meet Jake on a cruise ship, where Jake has no jurisdiction, while escaping said ship once Jake catches the hitman. When Jake needs Doug’s help to capture his adopted brother, Doug uses this opportunity to get immunity on all 600 crimes he committed in return for his assistance. Getting Jake’s attention again by holding hostages, Doug gets Jake involved in a plan to rescue his mother from a drug lord, before escaping from Jake once more. Always being Jake’s most elusive adversary, Doug Judy’s master planning was only matched by his [[TheCharmer unlimited charm]].
* ''Series/{{Camelot}}'': Morgan Pendragon is the daughter of the former king and the legitimate heir to the throne of England. Ambitious, intelligent, ruthless and a great manipulator with a talent for the The Plan, Morgan will stop at nothing to become queen and gets most of the English people on her side by virtue of her incredible charisma and assisting them with their own goals so she can bind them to her service and win their loyalty. Morgan frequently displays herself as getting the best of King Arthur, with most of the characters in show cheering her on in her ruthless schemes.
* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'': Iris Crowe is a fairly spectacular example. The sweet, innocent spinster sister of Brother Justin? Has not only spent her entire life playing XanatosSpeedChess with her brother's true nature, but burned down her brother's church to get him publicity, allowed an innocent man to go to jail and eventual execution for what she did, lured an innocent woman out beyond the camp and then bashed her over the head with a boat oar, to keep her from talking about how evil Justin really is and kept the secret of Sofie's paternity from everyone. After the big battle, when Ben and Justin are lying dead in the cornfield, the New Canaan faithful have almost been completely slaughtered by Justin, and the Carnivale has had to slip away for fear of the authorities in the early morning hours, what is Iris doing? Cooling her heels as the Last One Standing.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': Once a nameless child born of a twisted breeding experiment by the Scarrans, Scorpius schemed his way to freedom and murdered his abusive caretaker Tauza. After finding out about the horrific circumstances of his birth via the rape of his mother by a Scarran soldier, Scorpius dedicated himself to destroying the Scarrans in retribution Becoming a top officer in the normally fiercely xenophobic Peacekeeper armada, Scorpius tries to hunt down the Wormhole technology in hero John Crichton's head, constantly manipulating others to his ends, using and betraying others in his way and destroying his enemies while the crew of Moya barely remains a step ahead of him, proving himself the single most brilliant and dangerous enemy John has ever faced who will stop at nothing in pursuit of his goals to destroy the Scarrans.
* ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'': Hannibal Lecter himself maintains a sense of charm and genteelness that is unmatched in other portrayals, despite being a cannibalistic SerialKiller. Hannibal delights in nothing more than 'winding others up to watch them go' and manipulates events, gaslighting people and driving them to insanity or horrible deeds simply to watch what will unfold. Manipulating the FBI perfectly, especially Will Graham who Hannibal fixates on, he manages to elude suspicion for a frighteningly long time, even triggering one captured FBI agent with a trigger to shoot Dr. Chilton who he has a special contempt for. Hannibal also manipulates the dysfunctional Verger siblings until their relationship is at a bloody head before he mutilates and paralyzes the sadistic Mason Verger solely due to dislike of him. Hannibal does rouse himself to save the life of Will from a vengeful Mason later, and in the series finale proves his care for Will and desire for them to become a murderous couple when he rescues Will from the Red Dragon serial killer. A killer with [[AGodAmI a god complex]] and SatanicArchetype who views the world as full of food or toys for him, Hannibal repeatedly demonstrates his joy in manipulating others.
* ''Series/HouseOfCardsUK'': Francis Urquhart plots, schemes, manipulates and backstabs his way up the political chain in the hopes of becoming Prime Minister; remaining above suspicion among all of his colleagues. He does it with class, skill and style, all the while giving conspiratorial No Fourth Wall asides to the audiences, explaining his thoughts on his opponents and next steps. He commits terrible deeds, frequently exposing scandals of rivals and supposed friends, manipulating others into doing his bidding and in some cases resorts to outright murder to get his way. Urquhart ends up as Prime Minister, determined to remain in office longer than even Margaret Thatcher, a goal which he absolutely achieves by the end, showing himself no less a cultured player of the grand game in the office as he was outside it. Even after his assassination, his machinations have ensured he will be remembered as a beloved figure in English history, his true villainy always concealed beneath the one line: "you may very well think that. I could not possibly comment."
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'': In amidst all the white supremacists, drug addicts, {{stupid crooks}}, and other human wreckage that comprised the gangsters of rural Harlan County, there was the occasional villain with some charisma and flair, and the according ability to run rings about series' protagonists [[CowboyCop Raylan Givens]] and [[VillainProtagonist Boyd Crowder]]:
** Mags Bennett was the BigBad of Season 2 and matriarch of the Bennett family, a BanditClan of {{hillbilly moonshiner}}s and marijuana farmers whose influence was felt throughout Harlan County. Ruling her namesake township of Bennett as not just a CorruptHick but an uncrowned FeudalOverlord, Mags controlled the Bennett Police Department through her son, Doyle, and the marijuana trade through his brothers, Dickie and Coover, making her the final arbiter on near everything that happened in town. Rallying the people of Harlan at large and Bennett in particular against Black Pike Mining's attempts to buy up the county, Mags secretly cut a deal with Black Pike behind the backs of her fellow townsfolk, selling most of the county to Black Pike in exchange for extensive personal profits that she planned to use to get her grandchildren out of crime. Staying her hand when her son Coover was killed by Raylan (whose family the Bennetts had long [[FeudingFamilies feuded with]]), Mags returned to action when Dickie started a war with Boyd and proved capable of matching him trick for trick. In the end, only the unexpected return of Mags' foster daughter, Loretta, to Bennett, and the ensuing intervention by the Marshal Service proved able to bring the Bennett township tyrant down.
** Ellstin Limehouse, was the unofficial king of Noble's Holler, the one black community in rural white Harlan. Concerned with keeping his people isolated and safe, Limehouse played Harlan's criminals and law enforcement against one another with seeming impunity, always evading responsibility, and coming out on top. In Season 3 he outmaneuvered Boyd, [[BigBad Robert Quarles]], [[BigBadWannabe Dickie Bennett]] and Raylan, setting in motion a plan that saw Quarles killed, Boyd and Dickie imprisoned, and Raylan unable to touch Limehouse. In Season 4, he successfully ripped off Boyd and the Detroit mob both, while at the same time, saving the life of frightened hooker Ellen May ''and'' extricating Noble's from the Harlan underworld. Making his final appearance in Season 6, Limehouse again got the better of Boyd, before vanishing from Harlan, one step ahead of the Marshal's Service. No other villain on the show has walked as fine a line between good and evil as Limehouse, and none has ever come close to matching his achievements or his ability to get away with everything.
** Drew Thompson was a Detroit mobster with a unique penchant for taking RefugeInAudacity. After witnessing [[TheDon Theo Tonin]] commit a murder, Drew realized that he had to get out of town before Theo killed him to cover it up. Shooting Theo in the eye, Drew stole an airplane and faked his own death, shoving his accomplice, Waldo Truth, out of the plane, then parachuting into Harlan County where he exchanged his cocaine and drug money for a new identity, helping Bo Crowder and Arlo Givens become rural mafiosi while he himself became Shelby Parlow of the Harlan Sheriff's Department. Eventually elected Sheriff himself, Shelby used his position to undermine Boyd's control over Harlan and the office of Sheriff alike, while also joining the recently revitalized search for "Drew Thompson" whose survival, but not identity, had been discovered. Found out in the end and arrested by Raylan, Drew Thompson nevertheless enjoyed a decades long career in law enforcement, and his machinations set in motion the eventual collapse of Boyd's criminal enterprises--the very same enterprises Drew had helped Boyd's father Bo, assemble in the first place.
** Loretta [=McCready=] was the foster daughter and BastardUnderstudy of Mags Bennett, and while she might have sided with Raylan against Mags, the passage of time proves that it was Mags' influence that lasted. Aspiring to become a marijuana kingpin in the same vein as her foster mother, Loretta spent Season 6 buying up agricultural land throughout Harlan County under both her real name and various aliases, and putting herself in direct competition with [[BigBad Avery Markham]] and the various gun thugs in his employ. Allying herself with Boyd, Loretta turned the entire town against Markham with a single speech at a party that Markham himself was hosting, and bought up most of the land in the county. Even the implosion of Boyd's empire and the loss of his protection could not stop Loretta; when Markham cornered her she persuaded him that she should become ''his'' new partner, thus surviving until Raylan and Boyd killed off Markham and his [[PsychoForHire enforcer]], Boon. Only a [[TeenGenius teenager]] when the series ended, Loretta demonstrated that she was more capable than most of the adult criminals on the show, and was left in a perfect position to pick up where Mags and Boyd left off, as the reigning queen of the Harlan underworld.
* ''Series/{{Kings}}'': King Silas of Gilboa is a brilliant, Machiavellian ruler who spends the season destroying his enemies and securing his crown. Silas presents as a ruthless mastermind, though he is in truth far more given to self doubt of the favor of God. Silas attempts to overcome his destined successor David, even succeeding in bringing David down temporarily before an assassination attempt is made on Silas.In the finale, Silas outwits his enemies, performing an UnflinchingWalk past a battalion of armed soldiers to retake his crown, has scared his enemy William Cross into hiding, has other members of the attempted coup captured and forces David to run from Gilboa. At the end, Silas has decided he answers to nobody for his crown, not even God himself.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'': Ryan O'Reilly is an Irish convict in the Emerald City wing of the Oswald State Correctional Facility. More than any other inmate, O'Reilly is frequently at the center of whatever intrique is going in the prison, forming alliances with other inmates to take over the drug trade inside Oz by arranging the deaths of various gang leaders and even becoming a major figure in a prison riot. O'Reilly also gets Dr. Gloria Nathan to fall in love with him after putting out a hit on her husband, uses various dirty methods to ensure that his brother Cyrill will win the prison boxing championship, and has Officer Claire Howell, whom O'Reilly is sleeping with, to kill his rival Stanislofsky after a dispute over a contraband cell phone turns sour. Ryan O'Reilly possesses a sense of charm and bravado unmatched by many of the thuggish inmates in Oz, and his uncanny ability to get others to do his dirty work for him and turning his enemies against each other makes him one of the few characters to successfully survive the entire run of the show.
* ''Series/PennyDreadful'': Dracula, the final villain of the series, kidnaps and turns Mina Murray to manipulate the heroes into chasing her in order to lure his true quarry, Vanessa Ives, into his grasp. While also outplaying his brother Lucifer, Dracula becomes close to Vanessa under his mortal guise of Dr. Alexander Sweet, while genuinely falling for Vanessa. Even after she discovers his true identity, Dracula still wins her to his side with the strength of his charm and charisma. Dracula then sets about his conquest of the world, so powerful that none of the heroes are able to even touch him, only departing to honor Vanessa's promise not to harm her friends after Vanessa's HeroicSacrifice.
* ''Series/{{Profit}}'': Jim Profit is an amoral [[TheSociopath sociopath]] whose life's goal is to become [[CorruptCorporateExecutive President of Acquisitions]] at the multinational company Gracen & Gracen Enterprises, thus giving him control over one of the most powerful economic entities in the world. He uses various schemes such as leaking bad stories to the press and blackmailing his predecessor's secretary in an attempt to get him fired before later having him [[FrameUp framed for murder]] to permanently dispose of him. Jim also ingratiates himself with the company elites and their loved ones, zeroing in on their personal demons and shortcomings to use against them and sow discord, such as causing a falling out among the Gracen brothers to maneuver himself into becoming the CEO's right hand man and using his equally manipulative stepmother Bobbi to seduce and further control his boss. When the head of security catches on to his scheming, Jim forces her psychologist to perform hypnosis on her and then presents himself as her rescuer to discredit her claims against him. Jim Profit is an expert manipulator and schemer whose machiavellian plots allow him to get away with murder, extortion, and ruining people's lives multiple times and [[XanatosSpeedChess always has more cards left to play when faced with adversity]].
* ''Series/{{Reaper}}'': The Devil not only arranges for Sam to get an apartment next to a pair of rebel demons whose plan to destroy him would actually have worked, and manipulates Sam into infiltrating the rebellion with a new (doomed) plan to kill him, he also signs Sam's lease with his name and sends him clues as to what is going on that Sam, Sock and Ben can only work out moments after it is too late to do anything about it. He then repeats this plan with the few survivors of the rebellion, and is still witty, charming and diabolically affable.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}'': Gaius Julius Caesar conquers the entire land of Gaul, while masterfully manipulating the Roman senate into declaring him a criminal to give him an excuse to march on Rome, scattering the Senate and seizing ultimate power while acting humble to continue winning the love of the populace. Caesar continues a series of masterful political maneuvers to entrench himself while maintaining the loyalty of his soldiers and closest allies, even rewarding a veteran for defying his explicit orders when the man's actions win favor with the crowd, securing himself a trusted bodyguard in the process. In almost every moment, Caesar continues to show how he is the true master of Rome and is seen as almost divine even before his assassination.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Season 2's ''[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E3ElementaryDearData Elementary Dear Data]]'', introduces a hologram of [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Professor Moriarty]], created to be an opponent capable of defeating Data at Holodeck games. Accessing the computer to learn of his past and the ship, Enterprise, Moriarty kidnaps Dr. Pulski, revealing he is self aware, and taking control of the ship's computer. Sealed away until the crew finds a way to free him after making an agreement with Picard, Moriarty returns years later in ''[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS6E11ShipInABottle Ship in a Bottle]]'' when he's accidentally released. Angry at the crew's failure to free him, Moriarty demands to be released along with his beloved, Countess Regina Barthalomew. Taking control of the ship when Picard refuses, Moriarty threatens to crash it unless he and his loved one are set free. Although Picard wrestles back control of the ship, Moriarty traps Data and Barclay in an illusion on the Holodeck, before accessing Picard's access codes to the real ship, willing to die alongside everyone on board unless his dreams are granted. Although eventually trapped in virtual reality with the countess, Picard had to compromise by allowing Moriarty to live in the bliss of exactly what he wanted to save his crew from the brilliant criminal.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Elim Garak presents himself as merely a plain, simple tailor, but is quickly revealed to be much more then that. A former member of the Cardassian Intelligence outfit, the Obsidian Order, Garak is exiled from Cardassia and forced to live on Deep Space 9. Garak is able to defeat several of his enemies, outwitting arrogant Cardassian military officials like Gul Dukat and Gul Toran. Garak also is able to manipulate the heroes as well, spotting an assassin on the station sent to kill him, Garak blows up his own shop to get Odo investigate the situation and deal with the assassin and gets Worf to defy his orders by playing to his sense of honor. After Cardassia joins the Dominion, Garak is resolved to freeing Cardassia from the Dominion. Garak's master stroke is forcing the Romulan Empire to declare war on the Dominion, by manipulating Sisko into manufacturing evidence of an up coming attack on Romulus and presenting it to a Romulan Senator. When the Senator decides the evidence is fake, Garak blows up his shuttle, so that the Romulan Empire will think the Dominion killed him and declare war on the Dominion. In the final season, Garak works with Colonel Kira and Legate Damar and uses his skills to help a Cardassian resistance movement overthrow Dominion rule on Cardassia.
* ''Series/{{Supergirl}}'': Season 2's "[[Recap/Supergirl2015S2E19Alex Alex]]" gives us [[VillainOfTheWeek Rick Malverne]], a former classmate of the Danvers sisters who bored witness to Kara surviving a horrific accident and using her powers to save people. Remembering this, Rick pieces together her past identity once Kara publicly reveals herself as "Supergirl" to National City. Taking the opportunity to free his criminal father from prison, Rick kidnaps Alex and places her in a glass cage, located in a building laced with lead to deter Kara, while slowly filling it with water. Giving Kara and her friends 36 hours to either free his father or watch Alex drown. After being apprehended, Rick remains calm and sees through J'onn's attempt to shape-shift into his father, failing to trick Rick. Even when his plan is foiled when his father reveals the location of his trap, Rick graciously congratulates Alex for surviving his trap and accepts his imprisonment without malice.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Azazel, the mightiest of the [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils Princes of Hell]] and one of the first demons made by Lucifer. The first to find Lucifer and formulate the plan to free him, Azazel begins cultivating the 'special' children and shaping their lives to enhance their psychic powers, including Sam Winchester. Later completely outwitting the Winchesters and defeating them, he convinces father John Winchester to sacrifice his life to bring Dean back to life, eliminating his greatest enemy and sending John to hell so the demons can begin working on breaking the 66 Seals. Azazel manipulates the psychic children further into a gauntlet to determine who will open the gates of hell to free Lilith herself, all for the sake of the winner destroying her to eventually unleash Lucifer while being ready and available as the fallen angel's vessel. Azazel remains one of the most dangerous and [[ItsPersonal personal enemies]] the Winchesters had ever faced, whose charm and ruthlessness have rarely been matched with his [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes love for his demon children]] making him a [[EvilCounterpart dark mirror]] to John Winchester himself.
** Crowley starts as a lowly demon salesman who realizes Lucifer's intentions to wipe out humanity. Assisting the Winchesters to help bring Lucifer down, Crowley later relies on [[FromNobodyToNightmare his wits and power to ascend to become the King of Hell]] where he becomes the Winchesters' deadly enemy. Using Castiel to assist him into mining Purgatory for the power of the souls within, Crowley usually manages to stay a step ahead of the Winchesters, frequently coming out on top and strengthening his position while eliminating his enemies and rivals. Upon the return of Lucifer, Crowley manages to even outwit and briefly helps imprison the fallen angel before his escape. Even at the end, Crowley manages to achieve a victory against Lucifer by sacrificing his own life, proving that when one faces Crowley, even when he loses, he will win in the end.
* ''Series/{{Taboo}}'': James Keziah Delaney is a brooding ByronicHero who returns to London after the death of his father to take over his trading business and his land claim to Nootka Sound, a strategic area in the Pacific Northwest contested between the British Crown, the East India Company, and the United States of America. James proceeds to play all factions against each other to set up his own monopoly trade, enlisting figures in the city's underworld to do his bidding, surviving multiple assassins going after him, executing a daring raid of an EIC compound so he can manufacture more explosives, and using various mind games to gain access to his half-sister Zilpha's bedchambers. After being captured on orders of the King and tortured in the Tower of London, James refuses to break and secures his own release. James emerges from the intrique as the triumphant party, leaving London with all of his allies on a ship bound for the new world after killing TheMole who spied on him for the EIC and ensuring that his chief enemy, EIC director Sir Stuart Strange, will be bombed in his own office.
* ''Series/ThunderboltFantasy'': Rin Setsua is the beautiful, playful young man who involves himself in Tan Hi's quest to keep a magic sword holding back a demon god out of the hands of the wicked Betsutengai. Rin Setsua manipulates fighters into joining the quest, including the vicious [[BloodKnight Screaming Phoenix Killer]] by promising him a match at the end. Rin Setsua then proceeds to double cross the team for Betsutengai's Onyx Demons, [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder then betrays the Onyx Demons]] again after luring out potential traitors in Tan Hi's group. Finally facing Betsutengai, Rin Setsua proceeds to utterly humiliate him in combat, revealing his greatest pleasure is to [[BreakTheHaughty humiliate and humble the proud and haughty]].
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