Magnificent Bastard / Other

Honourable Mention
  • Amazingly, Erwin Rommel, the Trope Namer himself, is not an example. Rommel was an Anti-Villain at worst, sparing or even rescuing enemy prisoners and refugees where his fellow commanders would've shot them personally. He was Magnificent not because he was a Bastard with style, but because he wasn't an apathetic Bastard at all. In fact, he was popular enough with both his rivals and his enemies that he was allowed to commit suicide rather than face trial and execution for treason (the difference being the latter would've had his family executed as well). note 


Fan Works
  • Alexandra de Velan of the fan-made expansion to Neverwinter Nights The Bastard Of Kosigan definitely qualifies.
    • Annoyingly, despite the fact that she and the hero are lovers, there is NO WAY to ensure she lives past the French attack on Kosigan.
  • Kyrio Streika, from New Dawn. While like Aizen in many ways, he prefers to masquerade as a "normal man with some interesting ideas in his head" and manipulate people and events rather than simply hit things with brute force. He absolutely never changes his bemused expression, not when a setback happens, nor when it comes time to murder someone. It is safe to say he views everyone as a chess piece...well, except for Matthew. That would be his soft spot. He is ostensibly doing all of this to help his son...though not without some genuine enjoyment thrown in there.

  • Some tellings of "The Scorpion and the Frog" depict the scorpion as being this, in stark contrast to how the original story depicted him. After convincing the frog to let him ride him across the river, the scorpion stings and kills the frog because he knew how to swim all along; he knew the frog was too much of an altruist to refuse help, so he lied in order to trick his hated enemy into making himself vulnerable.

  • Doctor Steel has loyal followers proclaiming devotion all along the globe, all simply because of catchy music. Is this real? Or is he just stringing us all along? Who knows? Who cares? Magnificent, indeed.
  • The Offspring's song "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid": "Show me how to lie; you're getting better all the time, and turning all against one is an art that's hard to teach. Another clever word sets off an unsuspecting herd, and as you step back in line a mob jumps to their feet. Now dance, fucker, dance. Man, he never had a chance, and no one even knew it was really only you." If that's not this trope in lyrical form, I don't know what is.
  • Lord Donald in the Fairport Convention song "Matty Groves", upon finding his wife cheating on him, insists on allowing her lover to get dressed and even gives him a sword to fight him with. He kills the lover and his wife, but insists that she be buried on top because "she was of noble kin."
  • Evillious Chronicles' Ma. To put things in perspective, one of the people she is manipulating is a Magnificent Bastard himself. And she's pretty much united the awakened vessels so that they can achieve her plan.
  • Voltaire's "When You're Evil" is so gleeful as he recounts all his evil deeds.
    • I'm the fear that keeps you awake/ I'm the shadows on the wall/ I'm the monster they become/ I'm the nightmare in your skull/ I'm the dagger in your back/ the extra turn upon the rack/ I'm the whimper of your heart/ a sudden pain a sudden start

Professional Wrestling
  • Ric Flair was probably wrestling's prototypical Magnificent Bastard. "Limousine riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheeling, dealing son of a gun" that he was, he always had four aces up the sleeves of his impeccable suits and gaudy ring robes, and a couple of them in his boots too for when things got really desperate. As a heel, he also delighted in constantly reminding the other wrestlers, and everybody watching, that they'd never, ever be like him, no matter how much they wished otherwise. Wooooooooooooooooooooo!
  • "Rowdy" Roddy Piper fit the bill better than any wrestler before or since. Magnificent? Despite never winning a World Title he was one of the top heels of the 80s. Charismatic? Oh yeah, just listen to one of his promos. Audacious? He hit Jimmy Snuka in the head with a coconut, you can't get more audacious than a random sneak attack with a concealed and slightly racist weapon. Bastard? Dear God yes. Trickster? To quote the man himself, "Just when you think you have the answer, I change the question!". And a Karma Houdini? Not always but frequently. Piper was a brilliant heel, but almost as good as a face, and he could shake karma by getting the fans back on his side.
  • Piper's successor might have very well been "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, especially between his win at King of the Ring '96 and his first title win at Wrestlemania XIV. Magnificent? Even Bret Hart was calling him the best in the business. Charismatic? Oh, hell yeah. Audacious? He was breaking into houses, randomly attacking officials, and threw the Intercontinental belt in a river just to spite The Rock. Nevertheless, people cheered especially after his famous Wrestlemania XIII match. After that, Austin could do anything he wanted and still get massive cheers.
  • Jake "The Snake" Roberts is a funny case. The Moral Event Horizon of what keeps a heel from being cool has shifted much further back by now (compare Jake getting furious heat for slapping Elizabeth to the Dudleys getting over for powerbombing women through tables), and nowadays he comes across as a classic Magnificent Bastard.
    "Yeah, reach out for me! I'm a snake. Never trust a snake."
  • Edge, in his "Ultimate Opportunist" gimmick, has established himself as a dangerous threat to any world champion, and a cunning adversary for any respective challenger, with his ruthless exploitation of any circumstance he deems favorable. As such, even after the most embarassing of defeats, he almost always bounces back.
  • WWE Chairman Vince McMahon could qualify as this, both on-screen and in Real Life. In the early 80s, he was the only promoter to really see the potential of cable television. Through a series of risky deals, he turned his father's World Wide Wrestling Federation into the largest professional wrestling promotion in North America that has held a monopoly on the sport ever since, bar a short period in the late 90s when WCW dethroned his company. He also managed to turn real-life fan hatred of him due to the Montreal Screwjob into legitimate Heel heat, becoming the "Mr. McMahon" character, which was his own personality only more so. Mr. McMahon even became one of WWE's most enduring characters and a huge draw in his own right. As well as a Magnificent Bastard, despite, or perhaps because of, his ability to suffer extreme humiliation (remember that time Steve Austin attacked him in the hospital and hit him with a bedpan?) and in the long run stay on top of his company anyway.
    • However, Vince's repeated humiliation when trying to expand outside wrestling (see also: WBF, XFL) cuts into his magnificence, and his exploitation of his workers, and his antics after Owen Hart's death (that ended up costing him $18 million in a civil suit by Owen's widow) pushes him into extreme Jerkass territory.
  • Shawn Michaels is another great Magnificent Bastard beloved by fans whether a face or heel. Egotistical yes, but far from being a Smug Snake due to his success. His colorful relationships with the likes of Marty Jannetty, Bret Hart and Triple H over the years shows he knows how to run the gauntlet. Always willing to put his livelihood or career on the line for the chance to win a championship or etch another notch in his amazing career. Did I mention he knows how to make an entrance?
  • Triple H begun transforming into this in 1999 and completed the process in 2000. His Face–Heel Turn at Wrestlemania XV turned him from a fan favourite wrestler to one of the most hated on the planet, but he got his first WWF Championship win that August, though he lost, regained and relost it over the following months. He responded by beating the crap out of Vince McMahon at Armageddon `99 and marrying his daughter (kayfabe, later for real), who turned out to be Evil All Along. Fans unimpressed by him (as Edge later put it) "marrying his way to the top" were won over when, Champion again, he defeated Cactus Jack in two brutal matches at Royal Rumble and No Way Out, which each counts as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for both wrestlers. This was about the time he began to be known as "The Game" and "The Cerebral Assassin", and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Raven during his ECW run was (and still is) considered to be one of the most intelligent, manipulative and charismatic wrestlers in the business. He's also an outright Genius Bruiser, having an IQ of 160.

Religion and Mythology
  • From Norse mythology; Loki. Not even counting his cosmic Face–Heel Turn after the death of Baldur, in itself a grandiose act of Bastardry, his consistent use of clever, cunning plots and charismatic trickery combined with Thor's brute strength in the stories of their journeys together make him one of the most entertaining characters of Scandanavian myth, even when he's being a total prick. One example has him turn into a female horse to distract an ice giants horse. He ends up giving birth to one of the great horses.
    • Loki is a trickster and a manipulative bastard, but he's not as smooth and forethinking as the usual magnificent bastard, and he often got caught or even tricked by giants and the like, unlike a typical magnificent bastard.
    • Also, Odin, in his Trickster guise as the one-eyed Wanderer, performs some glorious Bastardry, but outside of that his defining Bastard act is encouraging humanity to continue slaughtering itself in pointless wars so that his Valkyries can gather the souls of enough valiant warriors to bolster Odin's armies in Ragnarok.
  • Satan, the Devil, in just about every portrayal since Milton (and Marlowe, and Goethe...) has shifted from the nasty but easily-duped Trickster of early medieval times to a charming, smooth-talking soul dealer and patron saint of Magnificent Bastards. The appeal of this version has led to it becoming increasingly popular to portray the Devil as tragic, misunderstood, sympathetic or even an out-and-out AntiHero. Despite this, he's rarely given Woobie traits and usually remains unrepentant literally until Doomsday, dodging Badass Decay and making him truly Magnificent. Some fans of this interpretation take it so far as believing it's God who's the real bastard, and sometimes a Magnificent one in His own right.
  • Nearly any trickster god worth his salt will be one of these. It's basically their role to be magnificent bastards, taking down gods and monsters in such ingenious ways that you can't help but admire in their sheer audacity.
  • Odysseus might be too much of Guile Hero for this. His possible father, Sisyphus, who twice talked his way back from the dead is not.
  • Morgana Le Fay in Le Morte d'Arthur who manipulated Mordred into exposing Guinevere and Lancelot's affair, forcing Arthur to go to war with his best knight, allowing her to control Camelot through her puppet, Mordred. When Arthur and Lancelot put aside their differences and threatened to drive Mordred out of Camelot, the two sides formed a truce which Morgana thwarted, resulting in a massive battle in which Arthur was killed. She didn't gain the throne in the end but she destroyed Arthur's dream.

  • Makuta Teridax from BIONICLE. Schemed to wrest control of the universe away from Mata Nui and succeeded! Even though he's prideful and has a tendency of underestimating his opponents, the Master of Shadows really is awesome in all the ways it takes to fulfill the criteria of this trope. Basically every story year has a Batman Gambit inside of a Xanatos Gambit; if the Toa lose, he eliminates his competition, and if they win, they just unknowingly further his plans.