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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Queen Of All Oni: Jade's two bodyguard Shadowkhan, Left and Right, who are her chief minions and definitely outrank the rest of the Shadow Hand. That being said, Blankman also has some shades of a Dragon, being directly identified as her Number Two, and who seems to handle all the day-to-day aspects of the organization while Jade's focusing on the masks and tablets.
Though once Hebi comes around, her position as General automatically demotes everyone else, and she takes solitary Dragon status.
In the Dark World of the Pony POV Series, the discordedMane Six all serve as Discord's enforcers, though Twilight Tragedy arguably has seniority. After Twilight's redemption, followed by Applejack and Rarity, it becomes less clear cut, as some of the remaining Chaos Six and Discord's other minions seem to have a loose power structure. That said, by the time the Elements of Harmony get around to actually Storming the Castle, Discord's remaining minions (Fluttercruel, Angry Pie, and Rancor) are all sent to confront them together, so they could arguably all be grouped under this trope. Rancor is seemingly left sole The Dragon after the battle's conclusion, but then Fluttercruel is revealed to be Not Quite Dead... and Rancor turns out to be a Sixth Ranger Traitor, leaving 'Cruel the only Dragon in the end.
Paine and The Brit serve as Dragons to Munroe in The Expendables. Paine is the more prominent of the two, but both are equally dangerous and seem to have equal authority within the bad guy's organization.
In At World's End, Big Bad Cutler Beckett has three Dragons- Davy Jones, Admiral James Norrington, and Mercer. Of the three, however, only Mercer is actually loyal- Jones is being coerced and Norrington is, at worst, a Noble Demon, and both eventually turn on him (though for admittedly different reasons, and Norrington does a full Heel-Face Turn with Redemption Equals Death while Jones just starts killing everyone he can get his claws on indiscriminately).
In Kiss of the Dragon, the corrupt police captain has two martial artists with matching bleached-blonde crewcuts, one huge and strong, one small and quick.
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 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 movie incarnation of Saruman could also be considered a Dragon along with the Witch-King, though the book version only worked with, rather than for, Sauron to advance his own power.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
And in the episode "Dominion", Darkseid is shown to have another Dragon in previousBig 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.
The show starts off with Nucky as the Big Bad while his younger brother Eli is the crooked sheriff that carries out his edicts. Nucky's other Dragon is his protege Jimmy Darmody, who is a former soldier turned enforcer. Eli and Jimmy seem to be this, with Eli being the official muscle for Nucky while Jimmy takes care of things as a hitman/enforcer who works outside the law and can get dirty. Too bad the first season closes with both of them being approached by The Commodore to become part of a conspiracy to take Nucky down.
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).
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.
AdventureQuest Worlds Xing and Xang become this to Drakath After Drakath replaced the good Xang with her very evil 'counterpart' from the Mirror Realm.
Archimonde and Kil'Jaeden are Dragons to Sargeras in the Warcraft universe.
And Tichondrius and Mannoroth (who also served as the Evil Genius and The Brute respectively) were Dragons to Archimonde in Warcraft III. Later, Mannoroth is killed by Grom Hellscream, leaving Tichondrius as his only Dragon. Then Tichondrius is killed by Illidan, and apparently Anetheron became Archimonde's new Dragon.
Rise of the Kasai, the Big Bad Meibisi's top servants are a pair of beautiful twin priestess who keep his evil army in line by brainwashing them, and, like another of his top minions, can turn into literal dragons. It's an odd example as unlike other bosses in the game, they have no dialogue, and don't feature in the story at all until the cutscene right before their bossfight (which is exactly like every other boss in the game except the big bad). They count as his dragons mainly because of their role of enslaving his army, and that they are his most dangerous servants, even briefly managing to mind control the hero.
Lord Recluse of City of Villains has Ghost Widow, Sirocco, Mako, and Black Scorpion as his dragons.
And as you progress through the story arc for any of them it is implied that you are on your way to becoming a new dragon yourself.
In Kingdom Hearts, its pretty clear that Saix and Xigbar share The Dragon position to Xemnas. Saix was The Starscream who became the mask, and who handles the day-to-day giving of orders to the rest of the organization and is the final battle before Xemnas, whereas Xigbar is the only one who actually knows what's going on because he was the first member to make an alliance with Master Xehanort, Xemnas's true identity, ten years ago. May cross partially with Dragon with an Agenda and/or The Man Behind the Man depending on how much Xemnas knew and/or remembered.
... who are themselves Co-Dragons for Ganon, unless one considers Ganon the Bigger Bad.
Loghain's two top lieutenants in Dragon Age: Origins are Ser Cauthrien, his chief enforcer and the leader of his personal bodyguard, and ArlRendonHowe, an able if ruthless administrator who assumes responsibility for most of the actions that would ordinarily give Loghain bad P.R.
In a more minor example, the Archdemon attacks Denerim with two powerful Darkspawn Generals.
In Fire Emblem Tellius this trope is subverted, and then played straight. Initially, the Four Riders of Daien are held up as Co-Dragons to the King of Daien, being the nation's four top generals and warriors. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that Petrine and Bertram are both taking orders from The Black Knight, and that only the latter has Mad King Ashnard's ear. As the last few chapters approach, however, we are introduced to Bryce, the last surviving member of the original Riders, who serves as Ashnard's bodyguard, believes My Country, Right or Wrong, and takes no crap from anyone, including the Black Knight. In the second game, the Goddess Ashera has Sephiran and Dhenginsea as her Dragons.
Crimson Viper and Juri to Seth. Notable in that both betray him, although for very different reasons.
Selvan and Dias are this to Queen Protea in Radiant Historia. Dias heads the army, while Selvan is something like a prime minister.
In Ace Attorney Investigations, Calisto Yew/Shih-Na and Manny Coachen are Dragons in different ways. The former is more important to the story than the latter and, barring the Big Bad, is the most important criminal in the game, but the latter is the second in command of the smuggling ring.
Kiki and Viola DeWynter are set up to be Phillipe Loren's Co-Dragons in Saints Row: The Third, but Loren is quickly killed off at the beginning, and Kiki is killed by new Big Bad Killbane. Viola then does a Heel-Face Turn and joins the Saints.
Yellow Lantern is the more morally ambiguous of the two. While serving as a loyal enforcer commanding the other Regime members with the same desire to end the Insurgency, he's shown to be an Anti-Villain legitimately regretting his actions. He believes that he's truly fighting for justice, and is always trying to "do the right thing" no matter what. Which he ultimately does in the end by relinquishing his Yellow Lantern Power Ring when good Superman shows up.
Fallout: New Vegas features Caesar's two lieutenants. Vulpes Inculta is the leader of the Frumentarii, who are scouts, infiltrators and saboteurs; he is responsible for most of the trouble the Legion is causing in the Mojave. Legate Lanius is the leader of Caesar's armies. It's heavily implied that after Caesar's death the two of them will fight for leadership.
For most of The Order of the Stick, Xykon (who himself did a brief youthful stint as a CoDragon that was entirely Played for Laughs), had one Dragon, Redcloak. Recently, however, he's started to lose confidence in Redcloak's competence and loyalty, and Tsukiko has been promoted to a Dragon role as well.
Also, while Redcloak is in charge of the goblinoid (goblin and hobgoblin) Mooks, Tsukiko is in charge of leading (and creating) the Zombie Mooks, which would imply a semi-equal rank. Oh, and it should also be noted that she's stated her goal is to completely usurp Redcloak's position and become sole Dragon.
As of strip 830, Redcloak's back to being sole Dragon, by benefit of having killed Tsukiko for knowing too much.
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 Transformers Prime, Megatron goes through a variety of official first lieutenants (First Starscream, then Airachnid, then Dreadwing, and back to Starscream then Starscream and Shockwave sharing the official first lieutenant), but Soundwave is his most loyal minion. Even when officially in command of the Decepticons, Starscream was very cautious to never get on Soundwave's bad side. Airachnid was not... this turned out to be a mistake. While the Lieutenants are entrusted with command of Megatron's troops, he seems to rely on Soundwave much more for technical expertise and to keep an eye on the other Decepticons.
In the first half of the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko appears to be meant as Co Dragon to Azula under Fire Lord Ozai, even if his heart wasn't really in it.
And Azula has something of Co-Dragons in Mai and Ty Lee. Their Heel-Face Turn and the realization that fear does not guarantee loyalty leads to Azula's Villainous Breakdown.
Although Hun initially served as the Shredder's only visible Dragon in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Karai's introduction in the show's second season meant that he eventually had to share the role. Something he despises, but wouldn't show it in front of Shredder.
In Star Wars: The Clone Wars Count Dooku (himself The Dragon to Darth Sidious) has both General Grievous and Asajj Ventress as his Co-Dragons (with Ventress seemingly being the favored one). Eventually he's forced to betray Ventress and replaces her with Savage Opress. This doesn't last long as either as Savage himself betrays Dooku. After this, Grievous remains as Dooku's sole Dragon for the rest of the series.