Ja'far ibn Yahya al-Barmaki, Grand Vizier of Caliph [[ArabianNightsDays Harun al-Rashid]], 767-803 AD. He sponsored the academy which was translating Greek works (including Creator/{{Aristotle}}) into Arabic, and convinced the Caliph to open the first paper mill in Baghdad (Chinese prisoners from the Battle of Talas in 751 had taught the Caliphate papermaking). He was beheaded in 803, allegedly for an affair with the Caliph's sister Abbasa -- but probably because the Caliph feared that his family, the Barmakids, were becoming too influential. (His family was executed along with him, supporting the latter theory.)

In the ''Literature/ArabianNights'', he's a minor figure, generally a hero, but Sunni tradition, which thinks very highly of Harun al-Rashid, assumed that Ja'far must have been guilty of ''something'' if the great Caliph had him killed...

Western authors appear to have [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade picked up on this in a big way]], and Grand Vizier Jafar is one of the great stock villains -- the most recognizable modern form of the "Moorish magician," a variety of EthnicMagician. The ''Arabian Nights'' version is TheGoodChancellor, but the Western version is a TropeCodifier for EvilChancellor.

Note that Jafar did not appear in the ''Arabian Nights'' version of "Literature/{{Aladdin}}" -- the story was set in China, and had two villains where [[{{Disney/Aladdin}} the Disney version]] has [[CompositeCharacter one]]. The Grand Vizier is hostile to Aladdin at first, but then [[TheCassandra he has a point]]; the real villain is a magician from North Africa. ([[CultureChopSuey A Moorish magician in a Middle Eastern story set in China...]])

See also NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast.


[[AC:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/MagiLabyrinthOfMagic'' (which is entirely based around the stories of the Arabian Nights) [[BeleagueredAssistant Ja'far]] is one of Sinbad's eight generals.

[[AC:Comic Books]]
* A version of the character more in line with his depictions in the ''Literature/ArabianNights'' appears as a minor supporting character in ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' comic ''Ramadan''.

* ''Film/TheThiefOfBagdad'' is the first 20th century work in which Grand Vizier Jaffar (played by Creator/ConradVeidt) is the villain. Oddly, however, the main character, Ahmad, is referred to as Harun al-Rashid's grandson. It's unclear whether this Jaffar is meant to be the original one or not.
* ''TheGoldenBlade'' -- which has Harun al-Rashid ''fighting him''.
* Literature/SinbadTheSailor needs to fight "Jaffar" in ''SinbadOfTheSevenSeas'', a rather obscure 1989 film starring Lou Ferrigno.

[[AC:Live-Action TV]]
* In the 2000 miniseries ''Series/ArabianNights'', Sultan Shahryar's grand vizier is named Ja'Far; he is one of the good guys, and the father of the heroine Scheherazade. (Incidentally, one of the stories Scheherazade tells is about a ruler named Harun al-Rashid, who is portrayed as a capricious monster.)
* He appears as one of the main villains in ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland'', though while all the characters are meant to be based on their [[AllMythsAreTrue original story]] he is clearly based more on the character from Disney's Aladdin.

[[AC:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII'' has a certain Ja'afar, who works as grand vizier to the sultan Harun al-Rashid. There's no treachery or backstabbing between them, however. You also don't find out that [[KingIncognito the poet]] ''is'' the sultan until near the end, though if you know the ''Arabian Nights'' it's sort of easy to figure out that someone going around with a guy named Ja'afar and knowing everything that goes on in the city ''just might'' be Harun al-Rashid.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia'' and ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia: The Sands Of Time''.

[[AC:Western Animation]]
* [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney's]] ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}''. EvilChancellor, wicked sorceror, and the first and most serious BigBad of the franchise. It's also this version who appears in ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland.'' Basically... [[DontAskJustRun run]].