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Co-Dragons
The Big Bad has two or more minions who report directly to him or her, and are regarded as equally dangerous among the other characters. They will usually have distinctive personalities, roles, or skill-sets, or may perform the same job but in different regions, but just like a single Dragon would be, they are answerable only to the Big Bad and are significant threats in their own right. Unlike the Quirky Miniboss Squad, they don't necessarily have a team dynamic- in fact, they may not interact directly at all. If they do, they'll likely be rivals.

Note - simply having multiple named Evil Minions does not qualify for this trope. This is a case of several characters being powerful, important, and/or feared enough to claim the role of second-in-command or primary executor of the Big Bad's will at one time. A character who does not serve in these capacities, or regularly takes orders from someone not the Big Bad, does not qualify as a Dragon, even if they're an important villain. Compare and contrast Big Bad Duumvirate, where two characters jointly hold the role of primary villain, rather than just primary minion. If there are enough Dragons, they might form the Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy. Also compare Those Two Bad Guys.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball you have Pilaf's co-dragons Shu and Mai.
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza's immediate right-hand men are Dodoria and Zarbon. There's also Captain Ginyu, leader of his elite forces, but Frieza doesn't send for him until Dodoria's dead - and Zarbon's gone the same way by the time Ginyu arrives.
  • In Berserk The God Hand are this to The Idea of Evil.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Dio Brando has both Vanilla Ice and Enrico Pucci. The former shows up for a several-chapter fight with the heroes near the end of Part 3, while the latter is the main antagonist of Part 6 and plays a much larger role in the story.
  • Bleach: Shortly after their public defection from the Soul Society, Kaname Tousen and Gin Ichimaru split The Dragon role for the Big Bad, Sosuke Aizen; but in an interesting variation, those two also happen to fall under Dragon with an Agenda, considering both only ever joined with Aizen so as to further their own individual goals.
  • Although there's generally only one Dragon per story arc in Sailor Moon, there are multiple cases of Co Dragons. Season two had Rubeus, Sapphire, Emerald and Prince Diamond all act (unwittingly) as Dragons for Death Phantom. Even more so, one of the major points of arc/season three had Dr. Tomoe trying to resurrect his Co-Dragon Mistress 9.
  • In Naruto, as Akatsuki members continue to fall and the ones that remain have more of their pasts revealed, it turns out that Zetsu and Kisame are both The Dragon to Tobi, Kisame lending Tobi his great fighting skill willingly while Zetsu is billed as "the magician's assistant", helping Tobi pull off his tricks. One could argue for Sasuke's inclusion in this, but Tobi seems to treat him more like The Brute. As well as Pain as Tobi's figurehead until his redemption equals death.
    • A clearer example would probably be Kimimaro and Kabuto to Orochimaru.
  • During the "Magical World" Story Arc of Mahou Sensei Negima!, Dynamis and Tsukuyomi serve directly under the Big Bad Fate Averruncus and seem roughly close in terms of fighting ability. Technically, Dynamis outranks her since he's the General of their secret society, but Tsukuyomi, being a freelance Psycho for Hire, has a lot more freedom to do whatever she wants, so it more-or-less balances out.
  • Baron Ashura, Count Brocken, Viscount Pygman and Archduke Gorgon for Doctor Hell in Mazinger Z and its remake/reimaging Shin Mazinger.
    • The Seven generals of the Mykene army for Ankoku Daishogun (who likewise was The Dragon of the Emperor of Darkness) in Great Mazinger: JuliCesar, Hadias, Angoras, Ligern, Scarabeth, Draydou and Birdler. Each one had its own personality quirks and fighting styles.
    • Lord Gandal and Minister Zurill from UFO Robo Grendizer were King Vega's Co-Dragons.
  • In Kagerou-Nostalgia Rikimaru and Ranmaru are Gessho Kuki's bodyguards and best fighters. Rikimaru has been with him longer. Ranmaru is the more obsessively loyal. They're almost always together (functioning as villainous Heterosexual Life-Partners), have proven to be nearly unbeatable in combat, and take orders from no one but Gessho. One could also make a case for Gessho's frontman, General Kiyotaka Kuroda being another example of The Dragon, as he too takes orders from Gessho alone.
  • Invoked in Eyeshield 21 by the Hakushuu Dinosaurs, who the Devil Bats face in the Kantou Regional Finals. Marco, the team captain describes Juggernaut and Blood Knight Gaou (lineman) as his Right Hand, and In Love with Your Carnage Bishōnen pretty boy Kisiragi (cornerback) as his Left Hand. Between the two of them they more or less carry Hakushuu, with Gaou breaking the opposing line and quarterbacks, while Kisiragi shuts down the recievers and runs interception. Both have a lot of respect for Marco and one another, and are out to prove their strength to the world, no matter what methods they have to use.
  • Wagnard and Ashram in Record of Lodoss War.
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Corset has co-dragons in the form of Scanty and Kneesocks.
  • Digimon Adventure 02 has Arukenimon and Mummymon to Yukio Oikawa.
  • Digimon Frontier has Dynasmon and LordKnightmon (Crusadermon) to Lucemon.
  • Digimon Savers has Craniamon, Dukemon, Omegamon, and the rest of the Royal Knights to Yggdrasil.
  • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, Northa and Klein serve as Co-Dragons to Moebius. Northa is the most intelligent, the most evil and the strongest of the four cardinal agents and she creates the Sorewatase, not to mention she's the only one of the four with a One-Winged Angel form. Klein serves as Moebius direct secretary, works at the controlls and is also the strongest fighter in Labyrinth when he scales up. Both of them eventually fuse together and become Moebius' ultimate Dragon. And literally.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Jail Scaglietti has Uno, Tre and Quattro. Uno is the Sexy Secretary who commands the other Numbers. Tre is one of the two strongest Numbers and Fate has to defeat her first before she can face Scaglietti. Quattro is the most evil Number besides Due and she is also Scaglietti's Dragon His Feet.
  • One Piece has this a lot.
    • Buggy the Clown has Mohji and Cabaji.
    • Django, Captain Kuro's Dragon, has Siam and Butchie.
    • Don Krieg has Gin and Pearl.
    • Arlong has Kuroobi, Hachi, and Chew.
    • Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine serve as this for Mr. 3 in Little Garden.
    • Wapol has Chess and Kuromarimo.
    • Enel has Gedatsu, Satori, Shura, and Ohm.
    • Foxy has Porche and Hamburg.
    • Gekko Moria has Hogback, Absalom, and Perona.
    • Boa Hancock had her sisters, Sandersonia and Marigold, but she wasn't an antagonist for long.
    • Magellan had Hannyabal, Sadi-chan, and Saldeath until post-Time Skip, when he was Demoted to Dragon.
    • Caesar Clown had Monet and Vergo but they were both working first and foremost for Caesar's boss, and were both (ostensibly) killed at the end of that arc.
    • Donquixote Doflamingo has Trebol, Pica, and Diamante.
  • Zatch Bell! has Rodeaux and Jedun in the Faudo arc. Rodeaux is the It's Personal sort of Dragon, having dicked with the heroes previously, while Jedun is pure muscle.
  • The Colossal Titan and Armored Titan from Attack on Titan. Their master remains unseen, but each is deadly enough on its own. When both show up, there is little humanity can do to stop them. In their human identities, they double as Those Two Bad Guys and have a genuine Villainous Friendship that makes them extremely effective when working together.

    Comicbooks 
  • Darth Krayt of Star Wars: Legacy has both Darth Wyyrlok, his closest adviser and most powerful servant, and his Hands (Darths Talon, Stryfe, and Nihl) who actually execute his will. All of them serve as his top enforcers and executors, as opposed to other named Sith characters with more specialized side jobs. Talon and Nihl in particular have a rivalry over the job of Hand.
    • Shadows of the Empire introduces Prince Xizor, head of the intergalactic crime syndicate Black Sun and self-considered 3rd most powerful man in the Empire. He loathes Vader, both as a rival and for personal reasons, and the two engage in frequent games of one-upsmanship for Palpatine's favour and do everything they can to eliminate the other. Xizor has no military might, but the Black Sun apparently has the best spy network in the galaxy (aside from the Rebel-aligned Bothans), which gives him an edge as he can provide better intel than Imperial Intelligence. He advises the Emperor in various plans; it transpires that Palpatine's Evil Plan in Return of the Jedi was actually Xizor's idea, and Xizor was the one who really gave the Rebels their Death Star info (with Palp's blessing).
  • Marvel villain The Red Skull has his daughter Sin and his henchman Crossbones as his Dragons.
    • Incidentally, Sin and Crossbones are lovers.
  • In Sin City, the Colonel had both Blue Eyes and Mariah, two female assassins.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, the Grandmasters of the various Dark Egg Legion chapters (and Snively) are Dr. Eggman's Dragons; they report only to him, are equal in rank, and those not directly under his command serve as his regional commanders.
    • And Eggman recently added another dragon to his entourage when he makes the newly roboticized Sally his new chief enforcer. In fact, it should be noted that Mecha Sally, along with the rest of the Metal Series, may very well outrank the Grandmasters, as Eggman is using them to keep an eye on the latter and keep them loyal.
  • The Transformers IDW: Megatron has three main Dragons, Soundwave, most loyal, communications officer and espionage expert. Starscream, air-commander, and most active of the three. Shockwave: chief science officer. The role is mostly shared by Starscream and Soundwave, seeing as Shockwave went missing for four million years. Razorclaw was also revealed to be a co dragon as well, being a high ranked general on par with Starscream.

    Fanfiction 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In John Devil (1862) by Paul Féval we have arguably 3. Officially Henri Belcamp makes Robert Surisy the Lieutenant of his private Steam Punk navy formed to free Napoleon and destroy England. And Ned Knob manages to become Tom Brown's eye and ears in London's criminal underworld. But his true Dragon is Sarah O'Neil who is the only person from the start in on all the various layers of his compartmentalized Evil Plan.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Bellatrix shares this role with Severus Snape, whom she both hates and distrusts. The minor rivalry between them continues into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until Voldemort kills Snape to get the power of the Elder Wand. Given that Snape was a Reverse Mole but not the current owner of the wand, Voldemort kept the right Dragon, but for the wrong reason.
    • In the previous book Bellatrix and Lucius could be said to share this role, in a sense—Lucius seemed to have been the leader, but Bellatrix was Voldemort's favorite. After his failure Voldemort kept Lucius and his family around mostly to watch them squirm.
  • From The Silmarillion, Morgoth had three Dragons, each with a different area of expertise—Sauron, who led various werewolves, vampires and the like; Gothmog, leader of the Balrogs; and Glaurung, father of the (literal) dragons. Sauron is noted for having been sort of a Dragon-in-Chief, however, while Morgoth sat in the fortress that Sauron guarded.
  • The Steel Inquisitors of Mistborn collectively function as The Dragon to the Lord Ruler; there are about twenty Inquisitors total, but they generally work alone and you'll rarely see more than a half-dozen in one place at one time.
    • Later on in the trilogy, the surviving Inquisitors return collectively working as The Dragon to Ruin
  • Moridin and Shaidar Haran appear to be this in The Wheel of Time- Moridin is Nae'blis, the Dark One's empowered human regend, while Shaidar Haran acts as the Dark One's mouthpiece and enforcer. However, it turns out that Shaidar was actually a vessel for the Dark One's consciousness to travel beyond its prison rather than an independent being; when said prison weakens enough for the Dark One to at least partially enter the world directly, Shaidar is discarded; when Rand arrives at Shayol Ghul to confront the Dark One and Moridin, he sees Shaidar's withered remains lying on the ground nearby.
    • From Book 4 until Moridin and Shadar Haran appear (in books 7 and 6 respectively), the Forsaken themselves are Co-Dragons.
  • In the Winds of the Forelands series, both Jastanne and Pronjed serve as Dragons to Big Bad Dusaan.
  • R.A. Salvatore's Hunter's Blade trilogy, Gerti Orelsdottr and Obould Many-Arrows are technically Co Dragons working for a group drow out to cause chaos in the area for the fun of it. They're both dragons with an agenda, to the point where Obould becomes a Dragon-in-Chief, and eventually decides to get rid of the drow all together.
  • David Eddings loves this trope. In The Belgariad, Torak has Ctuchik and Zedar as his chief disciples. In The Malloreon, Zandramas has Naradas and Demon Lord Mordja as her second-in-command and primary defence respectively; her rival, Urvon has both Mengha / Harakan as his First Disciple and representative, and Demon Lord Nahaz who protects him physically, leads the army, and is more or less in charge. One could argue that Nahaz and Mordja are also Co-Dragons to their real master, The King of Hell, acting as his agents in the real world and competing viciously for his favour. In The Elenium, Azash has Otha, and Martel; Otha rules his empire for him, while Martel serves as his main agent in the West, and has shades of Dragon-in-Chief.
  • In the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the three Ravers are always Lord Foul's Dragons. Sometimes he'll add another Dragon, too such as Elena, in The Power That Preserves and Kastenessen in the Last Chronicles, though he probably sees himself as Foul's equal partner.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe Emperor Palpatine had 3 dragons. Vader was his right hand man and Prince Xizor was his left hand. The third was Mara Jade, his personal assassin, whose existence was unknown to the galaxy at large.
    • If the EU is to be regarded as canon, Mara may not have been #3, but one of several. Grand Admiral Thrawn calls her on it when she tries to impress him with her status as the Emperor's Hand, asking if she really believed she was the only one. It's never revealed for certain if there were more; there may have been but this is Thrawn we're talking about.
    • The EU novels of Timothy Zahn depict Mara Jade and Vader as being almost co-dragons: Vader is the superior of the two, but mostly the Emperor's agent against the rebellion, whereas Jade is used primarily against internal corruption. Despite this arrangement, Vader apparently dislikes Jade, thinking (wrongly) that she intends to try and displace him as the Emperor's second in command.
  • In the Redwall book, Lord Brocktree, wildcat conqueror Ungatt Trunn has three dragons by the end in Karangool, the Grand Fragorl, and ex-searat Ripfang.
  • Diana Ladris and Drake Merwin share this role to Caine Soren in the GONE series...At least, for the first two novels.
  • In Those That Wake's sequel, Arielle Kliest has Castillo and Roarke working for her.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain: Reviled and E-Claire are sidekicks to Villain Protagonist Bad Penny.
  • In Keys to the Kingdom, all seven Trustees have three main servants: a Dawn, a Noon and a Dusk. Grim Tuesday has seven: the Grotesques, made from the Dawn, Noon and Dusk.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Warren was this to Twilight with Amy and The General in Season 8.
    • Vampire Xander along with Willow.
    • Pearl and Nash to Whistler.
  • More or less a tradition in each Power Rangers season after Power Rangers in Space. Generally there's one loyal dragon, and one treacherous one.
    • Though this does predate in Space as well; Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had Goldar and Scorpina in the first season, and the second and third seasons had Goldar and Rito Revolto.
    • in Space: Ecliptor and Darkonda, although their boss was technically the Dragon-in-Chief for Dark Spectre. Ecliptor was the Noble Demon type who mentored Astronema, while Darkonda was the scheming backstabber who stole her from her family in the first place. They couldn't stand each other.
    • Lost Galaxy: Villamax and Deviot - again, Noble Demon mentor to the main villainess / unrepentant Starscream.
    • Lightspeed Rescue: Diabolico, Loki, and Vypra at the start, all of which are loyal to Queen Bansheera. Then Diabolico, the one above the other two, is killed by the rangers and replaced with Bansheera's son Olympius. Then later, Diabolico comes back. All of them are loyal to Bansheera up until the end of the series, when she starts sacrificing them in order to complete her revival; it was ultimately her undoing when that betrayal came full circle.
    • Time Force: Ransik's daughter Nadira and the robot Frax. Turns out Frax Was Once a Man and it was Ransik's fault; he was appropriately treacherous. Nadira and Ransik were mutually loyal to each other, and she eventually led him into a Heel-Face Turn.
    • Wild Force: Jindrax and Toxica. Oddly, both of them were loyal, and then both became treacherous when the Big Bad abused that loyalty. And that happens twice.
    • Ninja Storm: Loads of them, with Vexacus taking steps to eliminate the competition later in the season.
    • Dino Thunder: Elsa and Zeltrax. Zeltrax eventually goes rogue, while Elsa is revealed to have been brainwashed from the beginning.
    • SPD: Mora/Morgana and Broodwing. The former was the loyal one, the latter was demoted from the Big Bad position he held in the original Sentai and was clearly resentful about it to the point of wanting his spot back.
    • Mystic Force: Koragg and Necrolai. Both could be loyal or treacherous, depending on the situation - Koragg started out loyal to Morticon, but when Morticon was replaced with Imperious Koragg worked against him (particularly because of Imperious' own backstabbing tendencies), and ultimately his brainwashing was broken and became a good guy again. Necrolai was more consistently loyal up until the end when she had a Heel-Face Turn.
    • Jungle Fury: A herd of them, most notably Camille and Grizakka; Grizzaka was the treacherous one, and Camille pulled a last-minute Heel-Face Turn, staying loyal to the guy the Big Bad had been possessing rather than the Big Bad himself.
    • RPM: Another ensemble, with Kilobyte, Tenaya 7, Shifter, and Crunch. Shifter eventually became treacherous, while Tenaya was brainwashed and changed sides eventually.
    • Samurai: Dayu and Serrator. Serrator was the scheming treacherous one all the way, even getting to be Dragon-in-Chief for a little while; but Dayu wasn't particularly loyal either - she never acted against the other villains, but did leave for a while when she had been abused too much. There's also Deker, though he was more of an independent Wild Card.
    • Megaforce: A rotating ensemble in the first season, complicated by Vrak's position of Dragon-in-Chief. The series started with Vrak and Creepox as Co-Dragons to Admiral Malkor, then Creepox went down and Biggs and Bluefur were brought on with Vrak as go-between between them and Malkor, and then those two made way for Vrak getting his own personal Dragon, Metal Alice.
  • The Korean drama Queen Seondeok's Lady Mishil has three, her husbands (you heard that right) Seolwon and Saejong and her younger brother Misaeng.
  • Season 3 of Degrassi The Next Generation gave us this with the Candy Bandits. The Big Bad is Jay, and with Sean's Face-Heel Turn, he and Alex become Co-Dragons.
  • In the 10th (and final) season of Smallville: Granny Goodness, Desaad and Gordon Godfrey are sharing the role of Dragon to Big Bad Darkseid as they prepare the world for his coming.
    • And in the episode "Dominion", Darkseid is shown to have another Dragon in previous Big Bad Zod, who rules over the Phantom Zone in Darkseid's name. Interestingly, Zod is himself a pair of Dragons in one body - Darkseid fused the Phantom of the original General Zod with his clone Major Zod.
  • On Dark Oracle, Creepy Twins Blaze & Violet were the primary antagonists for most of Season 2, and appeared to be a Big Bad Duumvirate. In reality they were Co-Dragons to Doyle's Evil Counterpart the Puppet-Master, who was the one really giving the orders.
  • Chris and Snoop under kingpin Marlo Stanfield on The Wire.
  • Boardwalk Empire likes this trope.
  • Morgana from Merlin had Helios and Agravaine as her Co-Dragons at the end of series 4. They didn't like each other much.
  • In the final season of LOST, Claire and Sayid seem to be this for The Man in Black. They're just brainwashed though, and both betray him by the end.
  • Azazel and Lilith seem to have been this for Lucifer in Supernatural, though Lilith is said to have outranked Azazel.
    • Azazel's children, Meg and Tom, were this to him in Season One.
    • In a way Alastair and Crowley could be considered this for Lilith, though Crowley was an Unseen Character until season 5 (after Lilith's death).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic's Nicol Bolas, an actual dragon, prefers to recruit other (weaker) Planewalkers as his dragons, though given his disposition he rules through fear and intimidation rather than loyalty. Right now he has three co-Dragons; Tezzeret, who owes a debt to the dragon and might be being controlled by a psychic implant, Liliana Vess; who seeks Bolas' power to help free her from a blood pact with several archdemons, and Sarkhan Vol; who comes from a world where dragons are revered as the pinnacle of life, arguably the only one loyal to Bolas.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 
  • Survival of the Fittest has the 'Big Four', consisting of Steven Wilson, Melvin Carter, Jim Greynolds and Sonia Nguyen, all of whom appear to have an equal standing whilst being clear superiors to the remainder of the terrorists. Danya certainly seems to give them equal roles in his organisation.
  • In To Boldly Flee, Terl gets demoted to this when Zod gets forced into his army of minions trying to catch The Nostalgia Critic.

    Western Animation 


The DragonEvil TropesDragon-in-Chief
Dragon-in-ChiefVillainsDemoted to Dragon
Churchgoing VillainAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Complete Monster

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