Whereas the Big Bad is considered the ultimate evil to be defeated, the Big Good is the cornerstone of any heroic organization. This character is explicitly stated to be a counterpart to combat the forces of evil, likely calling all the shots in the organization and is normally the highest ranking or the absolute most powerful. Since The Hero is usually, butnotalways synonymous with the protagonist, the Big Good does not always fill that role, as it is usually more dramatic for the protagonist to work upwards from the bottom. In fact, it may even be stated (at least in the beginning) that The Hero is expendable whereas this character is not. The Big Good is simply the most valuable member of the heroic movement in a given work, whether in terms of rank, function or wisdom. If not The Hero, then they will most definitely be the mentor to craft The Hero into being the weapon they need him to be.
Authority Equals Asskicking is in full force most of the time, with the Big Good usually starting off several orders of magnitude more powerful than The Hero. The character may even be servant to a greater good just like his or her evil counterpart is servant to a greater evil. Unlike the Big Bad, however, the Big Good can be taken down rather early- to show just how powerful the enemy has gotten by that point or as part of a greater plan. One of the more common ways this is done is to have the two Bigs confront each other directly, with the Big Good coming up short. For extra pathos, the Big Bad was once their second in command. Expect The Hero or some other member of the True Companions to take up the mantle by time the Grand Finale comes round.
At the beginning of a series, expect the Big Bad to be much more worried about this character than about The Hero. In fact, The Hero may not even register on any antagonist's radar while all of them will be out to off the Big Good.
The Dragon is far more often The Rival or Worthy Opponent to The Hero than the Big Bad.
Do note that this trope is about a character role and as such there are multiple Heroic Archetypes that can fulfill this role, including but not limited to:
At its most general, the Big Good title simply refers to the leader of the largest group opposing the Big Bad. Keep this in mind when suggesting examples.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star. Any heroic organization in the series eventually has him front and center, inspiring and dishing out the biggest doses of whoop-ass. In the second series, Bat becomes this to the Hokuto Army.
It's difficult to decide which lead from Legend of the Galactic Heroes better qualifies. While Reinhard continuously rises through the ranks and spends most of the series being the driving force of the Empire, he is much more morally flawed compared to Yang, who never attempts to rise past the rank of Admiral.
Considering the later parts of the story; Yang is the Big Good to Julian as The Hero. Reinhard is an overall Big Good as the 'good' he does (the reformation of the Empire) remains at the periphery of the main narrative. In the earlier parts, where the narrative has a narrower focus on them, they each fill the role of The Hero.
The Elder from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Almost certainly the strongest character in the series, it's fortunate that he's on the side of good. Lampshaded at one point when Sakaki, the tough-guy karate master, says he's going to capture Kushinada, the female jiujitsu master, and bring her to the Elder as a trophy. Kenichi has to remind himself that Sakaki is the good guy and Kushinada is evil.
Played straight with Griffith from Berserk. Subverted after that. Nowadays, the Skull Knight qualifies, being the most powerful opposition to the Godhand, a rival to both the leader of the Godhand and one of the strongest Apostles, and a particularly major ally to Guts, acting as a sort of cynical mentor towards him.
The various Hokages and other Kages in Naruto, notable in that the post changes hands relatively often. Chapter 515 has the Raikage made the supreme leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces, making him the current Big Good.
And in the latter half of the War, Naruto becomes the Big Good and single handily turns the War around for the Alliance. He's also fighting both Obito and Madara who was behind him all along at once along side with Kakashi, Gai, and Killer Bee.
Later, the previous Hokages join the party, and quickly take over the Big Good baton. First Hokage Senju Hashirama directs the allied force during revival of the God Tree, and is the new Big Good.
Arguably Uzumi Nara Athha from Gundam SEED. Lacus Clyne later takes on this role, in both SEED and SEED Destiny serving as the political face of the Clyne Faction/Three Ships Alliance & Terminal, while positioning herself as a philosophical counterpoint to the likes of Muruta Azrael, Patrick Zala, and Gilbert Durandal. Several of the villains are aware of the level of influence she has-in SEED both Patrick Zala and the genuine Big BadRau Le Creuset try to put her out of commission, while in SEED Destiny Durandal not only tries to have her killed, but hires a Body Double named Meer Campbell to take her place. In the first part of Gundam Age, Grödek Ainoa, the sole leader of the few willing resistance soldiers in the corrupt, incompetent Federation in the face of the mysterious enemies.
Captain Bright Noa in any Gundam series he appears. Many fans consider him the moral compass of the UC timeline, because he is one of the few high-ranking Federation officers who is undeniably not corrupt.
Captain Bravo from Busou Renkin. Then the second half of the series introduced a Bigger Good Guy who was his captain. He even makes the bigger part somewhat literal — whereas Captain Bravo's weapon is a body-fitting armor, his superior's weapon is a Humongous Mecha suit of armor.
Soul Eater's Big Good is Death, ironically. He's the head of the school that trains the heroes, gives them their missions and is the only one capable of going head to head with the Big Bad. Also, he's the one the villains are worried about; the heroes themselves are a much lower priority.
In more recent chapters of One Piece, Silvers Rayleigh seems to operate in this capacity, being likely the strongest and most traveled ally of the Straw Hats, and taking on a mentor/trainer role for Luffy. Rayleigh was merely a Retired Badass despite being powerful enough to hold this role all along, until Luffy's determination (and similarity to Rayleigh's old captain, Gold Roger) impressed him enough to get him to come out of retirement. Two of the strongest pirates alive, "Red-Haired" Shanks and Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate until his death could also qualify. In particular, during the Whitebeard War, the rather morally-sound Newgate led the battle against the more reprehensible Marines into battle, but it was Shanks himself that ended the war, simply by threatening to attack anyone that wanted to continue fighting!.
Ceiphied aka the Flare Dragon of Slayers. Fought the Big Bad Shabranigdu to a draw (of sorts) 5,000 years ago, thus saving the world from being a rather gloomy place. He also perished in the deed, but his released essence gave birth to a whole hierarchy of lesser dragonlords who still keep the Mazoku (demons) in check.
An even Bigger Good was introduced by the ghost of Mavis Vermillion, the First Master of Fairy Tail .
Zero of Code Geass provides another Anti-Hero example. As a charismatic and brilliant revolutionary, Zero leads the Black Knights in their campaign against Britannia, but he's very willing to utilize questionable methods against his enemies, and he's gotten some animosity from his immediate subordinates once they see how far he's willing to go to defeat Britannia. In some ways, he's a Villain with Good Publicity, as many civilians look to Zero as their hero, their savior and their leader, and to others, he's a Hero with Bad Publicity, since his actions, although gray, are considerably less atrocious than Britannia, but he gets flak for it anyway.
And, finally, again in the latter half of the Grand Finale, we have Kyubey, of all people. Ironically enough, given his earlier status in the series and his true nature, he's probably the straightest example here, now that the system dictates that it's more profitable for him to work in the magical girls' favour rather than manipulating them.
Dr. Saotome in Getter Robo, being the one that invented the eponymous robot and currently employs the protagonists as its pilots. He's one of the few people in the setting with an almost complete understanding of the nature of Getter Rays, and how to use them against the various threats to humanity.
In Tokyo Mew Mew, Ryou Shirogane, owner of Cafe Mew Mew and the head of Project Mew Mew, leads the heroes.
Miaka Yuuki from Fushigi Yuugi. In fact, all of the Mikos are supposed to be this for their countries and warriors.
Queen Serenity from Sailor Moon. Her daughter, Usagi Tsukino, takes on this role after the Queen makes her last appearance, both as Neo Queen Serenity and as the eponymous Champion of Justice herself.
Taichi Kamiya fulfills this role in Digimon Adventure. His status as the Big Good is best exemplified during his temporary disappearance after Etemon's defeat. Without their leader, the DigiDestined not only go separate ways, they also fail to accomplish anything significant for almost three months.
Superman is traditionally the chairman (and often acknowledged as the most powerful member) of the Justice League, and when not acting in his capacity as a Leaguer most other heroes tend to defer to his authority and judgment if only out of respect. Sometimes generalized to the "Big Three" where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman collectively comprise the Big Good of the JLA. The JLA itself is in a sense the Big Good of DCU superteams and/or the metahuman community in general.
Explicitly shown in the Trinity maxi-series, to the point where the three become gods.
In a similar capacity, Captain Marvel is often treated like this, even in comparison to Superman, possibly due to Children Are Innocent. It's explicitly stated in the comics that Billy Batson would be Marvel full-time to help people, if not for the wizard Shazam insisting that Batson himself deserves some happiness in his life, too.
Captain America is to the Marvel multiverse what Superman is to the DC universe. Though he's far from the most powerful hero, Steve Rogers is the embodiment of Good in the Marvel Universe.
Especially when he was the director of SHIELD.
Spider-Man also fulfills this when he can. If Cap is considered the Soul of the Marvel Universe's hero community, then Peter Parker is definitely the Heart of the heroes of the Marvel Universe. He manages to unite even the most cynical of heroes and loathsome villains together or brings out the best in them with his unceasing optimism and true everyman nature.
Jolt was the Big Good to Baron Zemo's Big Bad in the first few years of Thunderbolts. In some ways Hawkeye was the Big Good after he joined.
Subverted in the Hellboy. If you come in by the movies, you'd expect Trevor Bruttenholm to fill the role. But he gets killed off in the first issue of Seeds of Destruction. Played straight in stories set before that.
As of the Blackest Night arc, the Big Good for the DC Universe is The Entity, the embodiment of the Light (as in "let there be") that created the universe.
Light Is Not Good as it turns out — the Entity's unforgiving of deviation from its plan.
Darkseid's opposite in the New Gods mythos, Izaya, Leader of New Genesis, is supposed to be the Big Good of the Fourth World saga- but he hardly ever gets used, to give the spotlight to characters like Orion, or even Earth heroes like Superman.
Highfather is more or less purely defensive/reactive, which makes him kind of boring when compared to the more active New Gods like Orion or even Lightray. He's mentioned a lot more than he's shown. Also referenced-but-not-shown is The Source, the ultimate Big Good of the DC Universe (as interpreted by the New Gods). The Source Wall has actually been shown in the comics, which is presented as a kind of barrier around the universe. It's composed of the frozen-into-stone bodies of mortals (and more than a few immortals) who dared to try to venture past it.
In the Command & Conquer/Mass Effect fanfic Renegade, Kane of all people seems to be taking this role, manipulating GDI and the Council into working together against Saren and warning Shepard about the Reapers.
Winnie the Pooh: Owl would be this, but due to his bumbling tendencies he's the villain by accident. And you thought Rabbit was best suited to be the villain in story reenactments (e.g. the Three Little Pigs) by the characters...
Queen Tara from Epic. The rulers of the forest are this in general.
Kung Fu Panda is unusual in having the position of Big Good pass from one character to another... that is not The Hero. Notably, Shifu is not okay with being the Big Good: he was more comfortable as right-hand man to the Big Good.
John Connor in the Terminator films is fated to be one of these, and in Terminator Salvation he consequently is.
Raiden from the Mortal Kombat movies, which most people agreed was a great use of Pragmatic Adaptation. The character in the games was not quite top-tier despite being a Physical God. (And in some non-canonical video game endings involving him, he is depicted as being evil and/or blindly destructive.)
The White Queen from the Disney and Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland (There are hints, however, that the character's true nature may actually be just as evil - if not more so - as her sister the Red Queen, and keeping this true nature in check is a constant stuggle for her.)
Odin is portrayed this way in the 2011 Thor film. Most of the film is about Thor proving himself worthy to succeed him as king of Asgard.
In Valkyrie this role is filled by Ludwig Beck, the leader of the German resistance. Even when Stauffenberg assumes control of field operations, he still acknowledges Beck as his superior and the new head of state of liberated Germany.
Most obviously Albus Dumbledore at the start. Head of the school, known as the most powerful wizard of the age and the only one Voldemort feared, and an important mentor figure.
Harry himself in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even though he does not exactly lead anyone, he continues to inspire hope and is a rallying point for the students of Hogwarts, Dumbledore's Army, and the Order of the Phoenix. In the practical sense, however, Moody and, after he dies, Kingsley, seem to be Dumbledore's designated successors.
Off-screen, Neville is this for Hogwarts during Deathly Hallows: it's implied by the way he talked that he stood up and took a lot of crap so the other students wouldn't have to, he was the only leader of the DA to remain at school for the entire year, and during the Second Battle of Hogwarts, he was explicitly shown leading an attempt to kill Death Eaters en masse using Mandrakes. This interpretation of his role is brought to fruition in the legendary Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness.
McGonagall also serves as a Big Good at Hogwarts in Dumbledore's absence: she protects the students from the sadistic Carrows, overthrows Snape, and leads the resistance against Voldemort when Harry returns.
Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings; after the Ring and Sauron are gone, Aragorn takes over to lead Middle-Earth into the Fourth Age.
Middle-Earth has several levels of this, actually. Gandalf was sent to rally the Free Peoples against Sauron by the Valar and their leader, Manwë, who are the highest authority for good on the physical plane, and above them is Eru, who is, in a nutshell, God.
The Rifter: Ji. She was a leader of the Fai'daum rebellion, perhaps more important than its nominal chief Sabir; she mentored John in controlling his powers; and thanks to her foresight as a seer, she did quite a lot of shepherding events to a good conclusion, such as killing Fikiri in Kyle's timeline so that he could become Kahlil, and sending the key to Nayeshi. In a more remote sense, the creator god Parfir — maybe. Ravishan is sure that Parfir is orchestrating everything for the good; John remains skeptical to the end.
Most of the Atreides rulers in the Dune novels, outside of their origin stories.
Abbot Mortimer in the first Redwall book. By default, the current Abbott or Badger Lord is the story's Big Good.
Anastasius Focht, despite his dubious past, comes closest to this in BattleTech. As head of the ComStar Guards and Militia, he led the Inner Sphere's largest single military force. When the Clan invasion started, he was focused solely on defeating them across all of the Inner Sphere, while many other house lords either were concerned solely with their own territory or trying to take advantage of the situation. Focht was able to buy a 15-year truce from the invasion. He ultimately failed to see the threat of the Word of Blake, but that was only because he felt the Clans were the bigger concern.
Captain Azarcon in the Warchild Series would most likely count. His morals are undoubtedly in the right place, and he commands the respect of his men and the aliens of La Résistance. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats of the universe don't seem to agree.
Bill Denbrough from Stephen King's IT. In the book, The Turtle takes over this role near the end.
Kelsier from Mistborn in the first book. With the new backstory revealed in the third book, this also applies to the primordial god Preservation. In fact, on a cosmic scale the apparent Big Bad of Mistborn, the Lord Ruler, turns out in the end to have been the Big Good. In a twisted sort of way. Until the third book, where Vin seems to have taken up his mantle.
The His Dark Materials trilogy has an interesting subversion: Because he is the leader of the forces opposing the Big Bad, Lord Asriel could be said to fill this role, despite being pretty firmly an Anti-Villain. Because the other leaders are not so morally questionable (as far as we know), all of them could more easily be said to be the collective Big Good.
Ganscotter the Enchanter from The Squire's Tales. He's rarely part of the action, but most of the Seelie Court seems to serve him. He claims to be himself the servant of a greater power.
To a lesser extent, King Arthur. He's practically never part of the action, but he's always presented as wise and good beyond compare, and it's because of him that England is as it is and the Knights of the Round Table exist.
Lews Therin and Rand al'Thor from The Wheel of Time series fit this to a T. Not only are they the absolute leaders of the forces of light in their respective ages, but are the only real hope against the Dark One. The former messes it up pretty badly, we'll have to read and find out how the latter fares.
Great Mage Urtho in the Mage Wars prequel trilogy of the Heralds of Valdemar series. The entire conflict revolves around a massive war between him and the Big Bad, Ma'ar, and their mutual deaths cause a cataclysm that shapes the world for thousands of years afterwards.
Michael in The Guardians series is the Doyen of the Guardians. He's their leader and it's his job to recruit new Guardians, enforce the Rules and facilitate the Fall or Ascension of retiring Guardians. He was also the first Guardian ever changed.
Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, most notably the novels. According to George Lucas's Word Of God Anakin had the potential to become far more powerful than Emperor Palpatine, but due to his injuries on Mustafar had difficulty realizing that potential during his lifetime. Luke inherits that power and realizes it to the point where he becomes the most powerful Force User who has ever lived in the entire Star Wars canon. Luke has countless feats to his name but some that stand out include: Walking directly on top of a lava flow in order to impress an apprentice, during the Yuuzhan Vong War took on over a hundred enemy troops who individually could take on hundreds of Republic soldiers and cut them down with such alarming speed that fellow Jedi could only see Luke's after-image, manipulating the gravity of a black hole and moving it so as to prevent it from destroying the Galactic Republic's forces and sends it back to the enemies who cast it, and perhaps most impressive of all defeating a resurrected Emperor Palpatine in single combat by cutting off his hand which is especially notable as Palpatine is considered the most powerful Sith user and one of the greatest lightsaber duelists who ever lived. By the time Luke is in his prime it becomes easily understood why Luke became the Grand Master of the New Jedi Order, one even more powerful and wise than Yoda ever was.
Luke and the other Heroes of Yavin - basically the main heroic characters of the films - are more or less this in Galaxy of Fear, especially the last half of the series where our heroes are on the run from the Empire. They want to meet back up with the most high-ranking Rebels they'd yet meant, in the hopes of finding safety, but it's easier said than done.
In The Man Who Was Thursday, there's the "man in the dark room" who made the protagonists policemen, though he doesn't seem to play much of an active role in the story; it's more that his very existence is a source of inspiration and hope for them. He may or may not also be God — and he is certainly also Sunday, who the protagonists thought was the Big Bad but who was really doing it all for their own good. It's kind of complicated.
He implicitly denies being God, but he is pretty clearly of a higher order than all the other characters.
Princess Ozma and Glinda the Good Witch both qualify for this in the Oz books.
First Lord Gaius Sextus from Codex Alera, though he's also a Magnificent Bastard perfectly willing to Shoot the Dog for a good cause. After he dies, Tavi and Aquitainus Attis, formerly a borderline Big Bad, split the role. When Attis dies, Tavi takes it completely. If you asked the Marat, they'd say their chieftain Doroga was the Big Good, and the Canim would put Warmaster Varg up for the office. But if you asked Doroga or Varg personally, they'd probably say it was Tavi.
Boron, from the Guardians Of Ga'Hoole books fits trope quite well, being King of Ga'Hoole and therefore leader of the Guardians, though some of the other senior Guardians (like Boron's wife, Barran, or Ezylryb) also fit the trope more of less quite well. The traits of a Big Good in these characters are shown to be somewhat more definitive and pronounced in the film adaptation.
In the John Carter of Mars books, Tardos Mors, the ruler of Helium — and perhaps even more so John Carter himself, once he gets the title of Warlord of Mars.
Christopher Robin is this to the animals in Winnie the Pooh. Not that there are any Big Bads to contend with, but everyone holds Christopher Robin in high esteem, and his word is Law for resolving all conflicts (as seen in the "Poohsticks" chapter).
Ardneh in the Empire of the East trilogy by Fred Saberhagen. So much so that the good guys, or some of them at least, worship him as a god, even though he denies being one.
Firestar in every Warrior Cats arc after the firstnote and excluding the fifth, which will be a prequel. He is the leader of the main Cast Herd, ThunderClan, and is always trying to stop evil and create peace between the Clans.
The Thomas Covenant novels have The Creator, who is a very hands-off sort of Big Good. He can't actively intervene in affairs in The Land because doing so would destroy the Arch of Time, but apparently he is allowed some leeway (mainly limited to giving the protagonists from our/the real world encouragement and cryptic prophetic hints before they go to The Land).
Trapped on Draconica: Dronor, the oldest and most powerful dragon. He's a champion of good, the most powerful on the side of good, and is even prayed to by mortals.
Kathryn Queen, Prime Minister of Mantically Aware Britain, in the Mediochre Q Seth Series. Better known as Queen MAB. In theory, there's a Mantically Aware United Nations above her, who are the highest authority on the planet when it comes to protecting the mantically-aware world, but we never actually see them.
Discworld: Several, mainly because of the many, MANY spheres of operation. Probably the highest rung of operation is Death, who generally staves off the most powerful and dangerous threats to the Disc. Patrician Vetinari, Sam Vimes, Granny Weatherwax also qualify while Susan and Carrot seem to be Big Goods in training.
Vimes is usually a pawn of Vetinari - in most of the Ankh-Morpork or watch-based books, Vimes is The Leader while Vetinari is the Big Good. Sometimes Vetinari is in a Big Good Duumvirate with Lady Margolotta Von Uberwald, and at least once Vetinari's aunt served as The Man Behind the Man to Vetinari.
On a cosmic scale, Azrael the Great Attractor, Life and Death of Universes is the Big Good of Discworld canon, being Death's boss and the guy in charge of basically making sure everything happens properly. He's a bit hands-off though.
This is debatable. Azrael is more of a Big Unclassifiable. Azrael just is. He is sympathetic, at least.
In Bryan Miranda's The Journey to Atlantis, Gaia acts as the Big Good, giving orders to Luna and Sol to protect the teens so they don't die.
Zordon from the first series up to Power Rangers In Space.
Supreme Commander Fowler/Doggie Cruger from Space Patrol Delta.
Captain Logan and Alex Drake from Time Force
Captain William Mitchell from Lightspeed Rescue.
Animus from Wild Force.
Sensei Kanoi Watanabe from Ninja Storm.
The Mystic Mother from Mystic Force. Actually a famous villain and former Big Bad after a Heel-Face Turn.
Andrew Hartford from Operation Overdrive.
Commander Adama from the original Battlestar Galactica and his counterpart William Adama from the new series.
The Doctor. His name inspires hope in all that is good and terror in all that is evil. Where he goes, freedom (and explosions) quickly follow.
Rebel/Micah Sanders in Volume 4 of Heroes. Also, Angela Petrelli in Volume 3, which is jarring because she and the Company had been portrayed as villains in the first two seasons. Richard Drucker, an opponent of the Company, served this role in the Season 2 graphic novels plotline, but had no role in the main show's plot and appeared to be killed by the Company after a couple of appearances. The Volume 4 graphic novels show that Rebel was inspired partially by Drucker's legacy, though.
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Gul Dukat asserts himself as the Big Bad, Ben Sisko was brought up by The Prophets (who are usually unconcerned with mortal dealings) to become the ultimate force for good. It's a bit of a disservice to say Ben Sisko was the embodiment of good. He was an accessory to two murders of Garak's, tricked the Romulans into the Dominion War which resulted in numerous Romulan deaths and he poisoned the atmosphere of a Maquis planet to spite Michael Eddington. All of that may be justifiable...but it wasn't "good".
Jacob from LOST. Somewhat subverted in that he's a very "hands-off" kind of Big Good, doesn't put in any actual appearances until the final season, and he turns out to be a bit of a dick. The entire show was his giant Secret Test of Character in order to find his replacement because he self-consciously realized he wasn't cut out for this whole Physical God thing. Accidentally turning your own brother into the ultimate incarnation of evil and the Big Bad tends to do that to you. In the end, the best possible candidate (Hurley) ends up succeeding him.
Batman in the live action series is this for Gotham, owing to an extremely cordial relationship with the police and citizens, who hold him in awe. One episode in which he went missing lampshaded this, as Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara were paralyzed, reeling in horror at the prospect of actually having to try solving a case themselves.
President David Palmer (Senator in the first season) in the early years of 24. As the President of the United States, he's the guy coordianting all the efforts to stop whatever bad thing is going on, while Jack Bauer is the one in the trenches actually fighting the terrorists and stopping the nuke/virus/nerve gas/whatever. The relationship of complete and absolute trust that exists between him and Bauer is what makes David Palmer the straightest and most iconic example of this trope in the show: while other Presidents show up in later years, they're usually more of an Obstructive Bureaucrat (if not an outright President Evil). President Allison Taylor fulfills this role in the final two seasons, a refreshing change from the incompetent, obstructive, or outright evil presidents that followed Palmer. At least until her Face-Heel Turn in late Season 8, though she manages to pull herself back at the critical moment.
For seasons 1-7, Stargate SG-1 had Major General George S. Hammond, commanding officer of Stargate Command. He was replaced for season eight by SG-1's commander Jack O'Neill, then Jack was Put on a Bus and replaced with Maj. Gen. Hank Landry.
On a galactic level that role would fall to the ever-benevolent Asgard, and particularly their leader, Supreme Commander Thor. They try to help every planet to the best of their ability and become the most crucial allies to the humans of Earth, among other things, against the Goa'uld. Unfortunately their unparalleled technological prowess also makes them a massive Story Breaker Power, so the Forever War against the Replicators was written, which is just about the only reason why they can't just wipe out the Goa'uld. All they could do was put several worlds (including Earth) under the Protected Planets Treaty with the Goa'uld which was basically a major bluff that said "leave these worlds alone and we won't kick your asses faster than you can yell 'Kree'", while in reality they didn't actually have the military power available to fight the Goa'uld if it came down to it (due to the aforementioned Forever War). Despite that they are possibly the most inspirational race in the Stargate Verse and eventually even leave all their knowledge and technology to Earth as a final gift.
Dr. Donald Anspaugh on ER, head of County General. In his first couple appearances he's actually implied to be a tyrant, but after receiving a surprising amount of Character Development in season 4, wherein he cares for his leukemia-stricken son and resists a buyout attempt by a sleazy drug company exec, he stays firmly in this trope.
The Great Spirit Mata Nui in BIONICLE. Although he doesn't lead anyone for much of the story (partly due to being in a coma, and partly because that isn't his original purpose), he is regarded by all other beings as God and has numerous agents acting out his will, or what they perceive as his will. Later on he becomes an active character, even The Hero for a short while, taking on the usual attributes of a normal Big Good, before giving up his position to let society go its own way instead of worshiping him.
King Arthur, in his capacity as King of the Britons. Many of the stories focus on individual knights of the Round Table, such as Gawain, Lancelot or Perceval, with Arthur as something of a background character. However, he represents the benevolent authority that they are all loyal to (when things are going well, anyway).
In the Abrahamic religions, Yahweh/God/Allah, obviously. (In Christianity, the same goes for His son, Jesus.) Actually something of a subversion in that while He is undoubtedly the universal Big Good, His narrative role in the universe is closer to that of The Man Behind the Mannote mostly because looking at Him makes you explode, which is something of an inconvenience when it comes to public speaking, and He generally has a prophet or representativenote Moses, The Kohanim, Kings Saul/David/Solomon, The Popes, Mohamed, etc. to serve as functional leader to handle day-to-day management and policymaking of the forces of good whenever He needs something done.
Depending on your interpretation of His place in the universe, it could be said that He isn't the Big Good, because He is greater than even that. He is the Big Everything, because nothing is beyond His vision or power, with Evil just being another tool in his toolbox.
Hinduism has a plethora of these. Vishnu on a cosmic scale, some of his avatars like Rama on the wordly scale, and Indra of the early Rig Veda. Yudhishtir is another one. Interestingly, the different sects of Hinduism are distinguished by who they believe is the cosmic Big Good: for Vishnaivites it's Vishnu, for Shaivites it's Shiva, for Shaktas it's Devi, certain spin-off religions and the Hare Krishnas believe it's Vishnu's avatar Krishna, and Smartas give the Mathematician's Answer and say it's all of them.
Many, though not certainly not all, religions with a deity or deities view them as this — although some of the polytheistic ones have some as big goods, others as Big Bads, and others as bystanders.
In Norse Mythology we have Thor, god of thunder and protector of mankind.
In The Sydney Scroungers, Rachel Zhu, the Marshall of the Sydney Shatterdome is revealed to be this after the first story arc.
The Unconquered Sun of Exalted was created to be an ultimate hero-type being in order to give the Cosmic Principle of Villainy, the Dragon's Shadow (eventually the Ebon Dragon) something to compare himself against and therefore the ability to actually do stuff.
The Emperor of Mankind (almost) died for our sins and remains humanity's only defense against being snuffed out like a candle in a hurricane. As he's a near-corpse on a chair that eats humans, whose only real input on the Imperium is psychic landing lights through the warp, whether he's the actual "leader" as opposed to the figurehead whose will is interpreted by legions of bureaucrats and spread around the galaxy as literal gospel (as well as whether the Imperium itself is not the "Big Bad" itself) can be debated. Except in the presence of the commissar.
Many of the Good-aligned deities in Dungeons & Dragons can fulfill this role, depending on the campaign. Heironeous is especially heroic (being defined by his enmity with Hextor, Lawful Evil god of Tyranny), and Pelor (God of the Sun and ultimate enemy of unlife) makes an excellent Big Good in a campaign centered around Undead (for example, "The World Born Dead" from Elder Evils).
BattleTech Victor Steiner-Davion takes the role during the Clan Invasion, and the Fedcom civil war.
They tend to vary in Super Robot Wars, but whoever the canonical big goods of various series usually are will defer to one (though there can be more) major Big Good to lead them and the rest of the troops, and in most games Bright Noah usually gets this task due to overall command experience.
In the game where Bright is not present, either there is no definitive Big Good, or the Task is given to other character. It is interesting to note that so far, Blessfield Ardygun is the only Original Generation who is also the Big Good.
In the OG series, its either Commander Laker, or one of the Battleship captains, particularly Daitetsu Minase.
For the Endless Frontier, its Sanuki Nanbu and John Moses, both being the King of their respective country(the latter is practically a King, according to Kaguya). Ezel Granada become one in the sequel.
Yen Sid, as of the more recent games in the Kingdom Hearts series. Leon / Squall leads most of the supporting cast, but Yen Sid is the guy King Mickey goes to for advice. He's currently co-ordinating the effort to rescue those suffering and prepare for Xehanort's reincarnation.
The various leaders of the three home nations in Final Fantasy XI, as well as the Archduke of Jeuno. He actually pulls double duty, as all the problems with the Shadow Lord in the present are because of him and his brother.
Gran Kiltias Anastasis from Final Fantasy XII, though after Judge Bergan has a bit of fun, the onus falls on Larsa. Larsa is wildly subverted in that in his current state, he has absolutely no power, isn't the leader of La Résistance, and is a proponent of the Empire. However, there is consensus between more or less everyone that it isn't Vayne, Venat, or Doctor Cid, but Larsathat needs to be on the throne, and that only then will peace return to Ivalice.
Final Fantasy XII has an interesting take on The Big Good, in the sense that much of the game after the Tomb of King Wraithwall is Ashe refusing the temptation to become The Big Good, because, at first, it would politically be suicide, and later, because the power of the nethicite would make her The Big Bad.
As Myrrah from Gears of War cements herself as the Big Bad, it would seem that the Big Good of the story is Adam Fenix, Marcus' father who had apparently died some 4 years before the games. Except his voice at the end of the second game credits...
Every World of Warcraft expansion tends to have one. In the Burning Crusade, A'dal stood at the literal center of Outland, and occasionally players would kite monsters to him to see A'dal deal ridiculous damage. In Wrath of the Lich King the role belongs to Tirion Fordring, the leader of the Argent Crusade. In Cataclysm, we have Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, queen of the dragons and Deathwing's heroic counterpart. Mists of Pandaria has two -Varian Wrynn for the Alliance and Vol'jin for the Horde. Varian Wrynn is the High King of humanity and de-facto leader of the Alliance, while Vol'jin leads the good parts of the Horde in rebellion after Garrosh Hellscream turns from Anti-Hero to outright villain.
Dr. Light, serving as an invaluable mentor / father figure to Mega Man, Proto Man, X and Zero, the latter two of which continue trying to build his dreams of a peaceful world centuries after his death. Later, Ciel takes the place of Dr. Light as this in Mega Man Zero, with the former Lancer Zero himself now as The Hero aiding her in fulfilling their dreams for a better future.
Merlon from Super Paper Mario. He helps out Mario and his friends by constantly researching the Light Prognosticus and instructing where to go next after recovering one of the Pure Hearts.
The Grey Wardens as a whole are the Big Good. Though, in Origins one of your primary goals is to restore Arl Eamon to health, as he serves this role in unseating Loghain Mac Tir. Since the Wardens themselves are cut off from helping the player in Origins, they naturally have to fend for themselves. This effectively makes the Player Character the Big Good, since he's one of the only Wardens in Ferelden, and the others more or less defer to his/her leadership.
It can depend on how the character is played. If you play a character from an origin that has no political clout (ie: anyone other than the human or dwarf nobles) then Eamon is the Big Good, as no one would take your challenge to Loghain seriously without his and Alistair's support behind it.
The Cousland family, who have for centuries stood as the Big Good towards all of Ferelden. It's worth noting that Highever is actually a Principality of Ferelden, being mostly independent, self-governed and Teyrn Cousland is old friends and on a First Name Basis with all of the people who owe fealty to him. It's even mentioned that he was once even offered the throne and turned it down, since as an ardent royalist, he believed that it should fall to Cailan, the rightful heir. When the Darkspawn threat arose, Teyrn Cousland was prepared to march into battle with the King's Army, alongside his firstborn son, in order to defend Ferelden. Unfortunately, most of the line was brutally murdered by their treacherous friend, Arl Howe, aside from the Warden, should they have the Human Noble origin.
In Dragon Age II, Viscount Dumar attempts to be this during the second act, desperately trying to keep the peace between the Qunari and the various groups in Kirkwall. Unfortunately, he keeps being kowtowed by various political pressures, making him somewhat ineffectual. He ultimately fails and gets killed by the very pissed off Arishok, during the Qunari takeover of Kirkwall. In Act III, Grand Cleric Elthina is the only person keeping Knight-Commander Meredith and First Enchanter Orsino actively acting out against each other. Her death at the hands of Anders leads to open war between the two.
Hawke is the closest thing to a Big Good of the entire game, eventually earning them the title of "The Champion of Kirkwall". Due to the Grey and Gray Morality of the game, depending on their personality, Hawke can either be played as a Messianic Archetype, Chaotic Good or Noble Demon respectively. But as Varric's narration makes absolutely clear, Hawke is only person in Kirkwall actively trying to make the City of Chains a better place for everyone to live in and repeatedly puts their life on the line in order to go out of their way to help people.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has the role split between Satele Shan, Grand Master of the Jedi order, and Janarus, Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. The latter ends up either retiring in shame or killed/frozen in carbonite by the Bounty Hunter.
The Master of Whispers in Guild Wars: Nightfall runs an ancient organization of informants and agents watching for the return of dark powers. He soon joins you on the front lines of the struggle as one of the game's customizable Hero NPCs. Equally good but not quite as big are Evennia, leader of the Shining Blade revolutionaries, and Kormir, nominal leader of the Sunspears after the group is shattered. Though Kormir becomes very big of a good when she ascends as the Goddess of Truth.
Queen Salma in the War In Kryta arc, and in Guild Wars 2, Queen Jennah for humans and the imperators of each legion for the Charr. A strange case in that each of the Guild Wars 2 Big Goods are Big Bads of sorts for the other race.
In StarCraft, it's the Overmind, of all characters. He is revealed in the sequel to have seen a vision of the future and that he orchestrated all of the events of the first game so that all of the races in the sector may have a fighting chance against the Xel'Naga when they return and that the Zerg may be free from the corruption of The Void.
To be clear, the Overmind is enough of a Big Good that he was corrupted by the Big Bad into effectively being his dragon, and the Overmind still spent the better part of a few millenia concocting and executing a plan to get his army on the side of good, all while being literally physically and mentally compelled to do what the Big Bad wanted.
For the Protoss, it's Tassadar, Zeratul and, though he's been dead for a while, Adun.
And on the Terran side, we have Jim Raynor and Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk
Altaďr and Ezio, the focus characters of Assassin's Creed games, each become the head of the Assassin Order after the events of the main series games end. We only get to hear about Altaďr's deeds through his journal, but Assassin's Creed Brotherhood actually focuses on Ezio as a Master Assassin, recruiting and training new members. Desmond, the overall protagonist of the series, may end up going this way, since he's the Chosen One (and also because the Bleeding Effect gives him knowledge and experience from Altaďr and Ezio).
Daniel Carrington, founder and head of the Carrington Institute in Perfect Dark fits this. Although, apart from opposing dataDyne, one has to wonder what it is they actually do. The Carrington Institute develops advanced computer software, hardware, and weaponry (all of which is put to good use by their agents). They are also the creators of the "null-g" technology, which lead to the development of hovercars. As a diplomatic party, they maintain peaceful relations with the Maians.
Shuji Ikutsuki fron Persona 3, leader and founder of SEES but not a frontline fighter and Persona user. Horribly subverted when it turns out he's been using S.E.E.S. to bring about the Fall.
The archangel Tyrael is the closest thing the world of Diablo has to one of these, and is especially cemented in Diablo III, where he renounces his status as an archangel so that he can aid humanity against Hell directly.
After becoming the new archangel of Wisdom, he may be the biggest good in the series period.
Thomas Zane seems to fill this role in Alan Wake, though he has mysterious motivations and is not always straightforward about things. He acts as the embodiment of light in the struggle against the Dark Presence, providing Alan with guidance and directly opposing the Dark Presence on a few occasions.
In Xenoblade, it's the benevolent goddess of Mechonis, Lady Meyneth, who, ironically enough, was indirectly assumed to be the enemy at first.
The Suikoden series, due to it's nature, often has the heroes as this. But there are a few others that can serve as this.
Suikoden I starts out with Odessa Silverburg, the leader of the Resistance. until she dies when the hideout at Lenankamp is attacked.
Suikoden II has Riou as the Big Good, and it's invoked by Freed during a war battle.
Suikoden III has the Flame Champion, who protected Grassland from Harmonia. Of course, he's dead at this point in the game, and a successor takes up his rune
Suikoden IV has Lino en Kuldes, King of Obel. Eleanor actually worries whether the army would splinter over choosing to follow him or Lazlo, the player character. A duel settles it, and Lazlo is cemented when Lino concedes.
Suikoden V starts with Salum Barows, who takes in the Prince, the player character, and Sialeeds. Of course, Salum is a schemer who cannot be trusted, and you leave his company soon after his treachery is revealed.
Lord British of the Ultima series, who rules over Britannia. He is also the Author Avatar of creator Richard Garriot.
In Eternal Darkness, Mantorok is the Big Good guiding the protagonists throughout history through the Tome of Eternal Darkness. You know the setting's dark when an ancient abomination is the Big Good. His motivations are actually fully selfish, initially just vengeance against the other Eternals and afterwards either gaining control of/destroying all existence or escaping from his prison.
The Order of the Stick: Lord Shojo, leader of the Sapphire Guard and ruler of Azure City, largely fills the role for a time in the comic while Azure City remains a major base for the good guys. His nephew Hinjo succeeds him, but his claims for relevance are less impressive. Other than that, you could make a case that the Big Good is the main protagonist, Roy, since he seems to be the strongest currently-living Good character and the most dedicated to thwarting the Big Bad.
Critic himself after taking on the Plot Hole in To Boldly Flee, giving him higher ranking and therefore giving him the ability to ask Santa Christ to bring Spoony back from the dead and tell all his other friends that everything is fine now.
White Knight on Generator Rex is nominally this, being in charge of the greatest force keeping the world from succumbing to destruction. He's also callous and calculating, willing to sacrifice just about everyone for the greater good. The show both highlights his flaws while showing that he does have a point with many parties trying to achieve power that justifies his fears. He comes to understand that while his goals are good, his methods need work, and softens into a more traditional example.
In The Legend Of Korra the position is now held by the new titular Avatar. Aang's son, Tenzin also counts, being Korra's main mentor.
Azmuth in the Ben 10 franchise is this. Ben Tennyson himself is on his way to becoming one.
To be more accurate, three characters qualify for the position: Azmuth, because he is the creator of the Omnitrix, and as such the one Ben got his powers from to begin with; Max Tennyson, because he is The Mentor to Ben; and Paradox who acts more like a Trickster Mentor helping Ben indirectly to solve conflicts on Time Travel scale.
Batman in Young Justice, who may seem (and sometimes is) hard and strict on the team, but he ultimately praises them and encourages them to work together.