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[[quoteright:350:[[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1191006_bigthumbnail.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The job ''always'' comes with a silly hat.]]

A character (or several) that leads the religious group they belong to. They can be either [[GoodShepherd good]] or [[SinisterMinister evil]], depending on whether the religion in question is a SaintlyChurch or ReligionOfEvil, respectively. It can be a bit more iffy in a CorruptChurch, since the character may not know of its corruption, or may be working to root it out. The High Priest usually resides in a Vatican-style HolyCity, especially if the church worships an [[CrystalDragonJesus Abrahamic-analogue God]].

A common variation is for the character to be a Priest King, who leads their people both spiritually and [[TheEmperor physically]].

Expect AuthorityEqualsAsskicking to be in full effect in fantasy fiction, especially if ReligionIsMagic.

UsefulNotes/ThePope is the TropeCodifier, hence why many High Priests resided in Vatican-style cities, worshipped Abrahamic-analogue Gods, and [[ChristianityIsCatholic borrowed Catholic aesthetics]]. Compare the GodEmperor, who usually leads and is worshiped by the religion in question. There is a good chance he will carry a StaffOfAuthority. If the High Priest is also the leader of the government, you've likely got TheTheocracy.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Father Cornello, the priest of Leto's Church in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. Evil.
* The Elder on the Assasi Village on ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', who founded a CargoCult around an abandoned [[HumongousMecha Gammen]]. Not evil, but does use his religion to make killing children ForTheGreaterGood more palatable.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' has a couple of late arcs in which we start to learn who exactly our main character is and why he inhabits a puzzle, and it turns out that Seto Kaiba, an early antagonist who edged toward NobleDemon since his second return from PutOnABus defeat, though he never quite accepted that DefeatMeansFriendship, is the reincarnation of the the High Priest who served under the Puzzle Spirit three thousand years ago[[note]]in some lost period of New Kingdom history, apparently, unless you follow another translation and make it five thousand, which makes him the Scorpion King or something and doesn't agree with the architecture[[/note]], and apparently only betrayed him because of MindControl from his own dead father, the previous High Priest [[BigScrewedUpFamily and the previous Pharaoh's younger twin brother]]. Who made the magic gold jewelry by ''burning [[AxCrazy Bakura's]] family alive.''
* Knight Carim Gracia of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', current head of the [[SaintlyChurch Saint Church]].

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The protagonist Prometheus in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7893756/1/The_Chronicles_of_Utopia_Volume_II The Chronicles of Utopia Volume II]]'' becomes the High Priest of Pelor, the major god of Light, and a major priest of Bahamut, Lord of all Metallic Dragons, on the planet of Oerth in Greyhawk where he rules as Emperor.
* ''FanFic/QueenOfShadows'': Sanshobo, as General of the [[ChurchMilitant Kamikiri tribe]], is this for the Shadowkhan and their worship of the Queen as a divine [[GodEmperor Goddess-Empress]]. He's TheFundamentalist, but played mostly for laughs.
* ''Fanfic/AgesOfShadow'': After [[FallenHero Jade]] takes over the [[{{Cult}} Shadow Walkers]] and reorganizes them into a ReligionOfEvil based on the [[AGodAmI worship of her "Yade Khan" persona]], she grants her appointed leader the title of "Himinion" (clearly a portmanteau of "High Minion"). The two accepted means of gaining this position are direct appointment by Jade herself, or earning it by [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority ritual trial]]; the Fourth Himinion took the title via [[KlingonPromotion covert assassination]], which got him killed and replaced almost instantly by Jade.
* In ''Fanfic/{{Ripples}}'', Meridian's official religious body, the Sisterhood Covens, are led by an elite group called the High Coventors, who appear to have a first among equals based on seniority. However, after Phobos' purging of the covens following [[KnightTemplar Allora's]] failed coup, the faction that pledges loyalty to him instead appoints its leader the title of Grand Abbess.

* In the film ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', the Na'vi tribe Jake meets is led by a husband-wife pair: the husband is the military chief, and the wife is the high priestess. Their daughter, [[TheChiefsDaughter Neytiri]], is to follow in this tradition and be the next high priestess.
* [[http://thisislandrod.blogspot.com/2011/03/beastmaster-1982.html High Priest Maax]] from ''Film/TheBeastmaster'' (third one down).
* [[http://akizukifantasycritic.blogspot.com/2010/10/movie-version-of-thulsa-doom.html Thulsa]] [[http://swellco2000.com/tag/conan-the-barbarian/ Doom]] from ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982''.
* Sarm the Priest-King in the film version of ''Literature/{{Gor}}''. The Priest-Kings in the book are nothing like that.
* [[http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/10/29/a-dangerous-idea-that-stubbornly-refuses-to-die/ Mola]] [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm473086720/ch0001075 Ram]] from ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''.
* [[http://limoday.blogspot.com/2011/01/limhotep.html Imhotep]] from the black and white ''Film/TheMummy1932''.
* ''Film/{{Help}}'' has Music/TheBeatles, Ringo specifically, pursued by an Eastern death cult, led by high priest Clang, who at one point chats amicably with an Anglican priest about the importance of human sacrifice to focus the congregation.

* In Literature/TheBible, Israel went through a period of being ruled by "Judges" like Samuel. God was actually [[AristocratsAreEvil very displeased]] when the Jews asked for a regular king.
** The actual office of High Priest and its duties in Ancient Israel are described, including the vestments to be worn and the proper way of butchering a sacrifice. The office was hereditary and dominated by the line of Aaron, Moses' brother, and of the Tribe of Levi. This fell out of joint a bit after the Babylonian Exile and while the office was restored by the returnees, it was destroyed along with a large amount of the Jewish religious hierarchy during the UsefulNotes/JewishRevolts. There hasn't been a High Priest since then. The rabbinical class to some degree took the place of the priesthood, but rabbis can't do sacrifices, one reason that modern Jews don't sacrifice anymore (the other is that there is no Temple). There are, however, many Jews who are hereditary priests--the last names Cohen, Kahn, Kahane, Kane, Katz, and others all come from the Hebrew word kohen, or priest, and signify priestly families--and they do still have some special religious duties, such as giving blessings to the congregation on holidays. There is no high priest, or kohen gadol, because the method for selecting the high priest (there were different selection methods in the first and second Temples) became defunct when the Temple was destroyed.
** One [[OneSceneWonder famous example]] from the Literature/BookOfGenesis was Melchizedek, a Canaanite priest-king who gave Abraham and Sarah some food and blessed them. He is also noted for acknowledging the Abrahamic {{God}}, although it is not clear whether Melchizedek was a monotheist or merely worshipped {{God}} as part of a larger pantheon.
** ''Literature/BookOfExodus'' has Aaron, as mentioned above.
* High Priest Hughnon Ridcully is the High Priest of the Ankh-Morpork clergy in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', of the sort that regards actual religious-ness as one of those tiresome things that you just have to put up with when what you really want to concentrate on is getting the pews organised.
** In ''Discworld/SmallGods'' Deacon Vorbis of the Omnian church plots to take over the Omnian High Priest post (The Cenobiarch) and usher in a new age of religious terror.
*** One of the effects of the Prophet Brutha's revelation on the Omnian church was to abolish the Cenobiarch and ("let there be a thousand voices") start a long train of schisms, meaning Omnians stopped running around ruling an empire of grandeur and oppression and the suppression of science and got busy arguing theology all the time and became harmless and handed out a lot of pamphlets. Which is a ''tad'' problematic if you look at some of the awful shit Protestants have pulled in the last four hundred years, but the Disc can be like that.
*** The Omnian in the Ankh-Morpork Watch (we never learn his exact denomination) is actually ''named'' Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets. They call him Visit. Of course, given Brutha achieved his great transformation from stupid youth to politically savvy prophet largely due to absorbing an {{Expy}} of the Great Library of Alexandria before it was burnt down, there may be rather sound theological reasons for those pamphlets. Although Visit was invented before Brutha.
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', the main antagonist is High Priest Dios. Although the previous examples of Discworld high priests aren't evil, according to Pyramids, high priests have a general tendency to be evil. "There is no such thing as a good GrandVizier. A predilection to cackle and plot must be part of the job spec. High Priests are much the same way. No sooner than they get the funny hat they start goving orders about feeding babies to the sacred crocodiles and throwing virgins into volcanoes."
* Deacon Hollingshead, the head of the Dominion of Jesus Christ in ''Literature/JulianComstock''.
* Tenar/Arha, the Eaten One, the high priestess of the Powers in ''Literature/TheTombsOfAtuan''.
* Lord Reston in ''Literature/JustElla'' by Margaret Peterson Haddix, who is priest to the king (although the king is technically the leader of the church.)
* ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' has Foster, the founder of the Church of the New Revelation, and his successor, Supreme Bishop Digby. Valentine Michael Smith, as the leader of the Church of All Worlds, also fits.
* High Priest Jakan, head of the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]] religious caste, is a recurring supporting villain during the last third of the Literature/NewJediOrder (and was the father of Elan, a one-off villainess from earlier in the series). His boss, [[EvilOverlord Supreme Overlord Shimrra]], is somewhere between Priest King and GodEmperor.
* High Priestess Viviane and Archdruid Taliesin in ''Literature/TheMistsOfAvalon''.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has a [[CrystalDragonJesus Pope-equivalent]] called the High Septon. The ones seen in the series have been fairly bad, including a corrupt glutton who was killed by a starving mob; the glutton's substantially (but not totally) better replacement, regarded as a decent man but also a weak-willed pawn, who was killed by political enemies; and most recently, an incorruptible, but fanatical and misogynistic KnightTemplar.
* In ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' [[SmugSnake Lord Prelan Tevidian]] is High Priest of the CorruptChurch, one of the chief lieutenants of [[GodEmperor the Lord Ruler]] and [[spoiler: the father of heroine Vin]]. There is a faction in his church, led by [[WasOnceAMan the Steel Inquisitors]], that want to get rid of him and put the head Inquisitor, Kar, in his place [[spoiler: and they succeed, offing Tevidian brutally before he has a chance to really do anything on-page, though Kar himself is then killed before he can enjoy his new position]].
* In ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' the title of "Holy Hekkador" basically means "Priest King" among the [[PathOfInspiration Therns]]. During the time of the novels, it's held by Matai Shang, very much a villain.
* The ''Literature/GreenSkyTrilogy'' has D'ol Falla, described as high priest of the Vine. Since the Root of the Vine is all that stands between the good people of Green-sky and the revelation of a horrific truth, the high priest of the Vine is the ultimate authority on the planet. She lives in the Vine Palace at the heart of the Temple Grove.
* In the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, Karse is always ruled by the High Priest and Son of the Sun, the most recent being Solaris, the first female to ascend the position after the god Vkandis decided to do a little rearranging of the heirarchy with a BoltOfDivineRetribution.
* A few in ''Literature/TalesOfTheBranionRealm''. The Hierarchpriest of Cannonshire, while possibly an expy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is treated as a secular position and seems to be second in command next to the monarch, although he/she does have some religious duties. A truer high priest is the Archpriest of the Flame, the kingdom's god, and to a lesser extent the Archpriests of the other three [[SentientCosmicForce Aspects]]. There's also the Essussiate Pontiff (expy of the Pope) and his various bishops and abbots.
* In ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'', ''Wyrn'' is the title of the high priest of the [[ChurchMilitant Derethi]] faith, who is also the temporal leader of the [[TheTheocracy Fjordell]] [[TheEmpire Empire]]; the office is currently held by Wyrn Wulfden IV. Directly subordinate to him are approx. twenty lesser high priests called ''Gyorns'' (roughly analogous to cardinals); the Gyorn [[AntiVillain Hrathen]] is one of the novel's three core POV characters.
* Acatl in the ''Literature/ObsidianAndBlood'' trilogy is a High Priest of Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec God of the Dead. This doesn't give him as much power or authority as you'd imagine; the God of the Dead is actually a lesser deity in the Aztec pantheon, and in fact Acatl was practically disowned by his family for taking up the priesthood instead of the more "honorable" profession of a warrior.
* Shirain in ''Literature/TheRogueKing'' is the High Priestess of the God of Lust and responsible for the protagonist's fall.
* In ''Literature/{{The Heroes Of Olympus}}'', [[spoiler: Octavian declares himself 'Pontifex Maximus' in the final book, The Blood Of Olympus. It doesn't work out too well for him, and by the epilogue, Jason is bestowed the title and builds temples all over New Rome for all the gods.]]
* In ''Literature/TheElenium'' series by Creator/DavidEddings, the main religion of the Eosian continent is run by a whole council of {{High Priest}}s -- some good, some evil -- called patriarchs. They are roughly analogous to the cardinals of the Catholic church, with a Popelike leader called the Archprelate.
* The Sworn Church from ''The Shadow Campaigns'' is actually set up to have ''three'' of these, each with specialized emphasis. The Pontifex of the White handles spiritual, theological, and philosophical matters; the Pontifex of the Red handles the church's bureaucracy and politics; the Pontifex of the Black is head of the inquisition. The last post was officially dissolved in an attempt to curb corruption a century before the novels begin [[spoiler: but is implied at the end of the first book and confirmed at the end of the second to still operate in secret; the other two Pontifexes are aware of the Black and take his input on matters concerning his sphere, but treat him as their TokenEvilTeammate and the Church at large is generally unaware of his activities]].
* ''Literature/OneNationUnderJupiter'': Emperor Piissimus, who serves as both Emperor and ''Pontifex Maximus''. Verus and Falsa Sperus fill this role to a lesser extent as well.
* Christianity in ''Literature/TheTraitorSonCycle'' has two high priests - the Patriarch of Rhum and the Patriarch of Liviapolis, with most of the world subscribing to one or another's variety of faith. They are, respectively, a villain and an ally of the heroes.
* ''Literature/TheToughGuideToFantasyland'': Jones describes and [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the two types of high priests you are likely to meet in a typical cliched fantasy story. High ''priests'', whether fat and ugly or thin and unpleasant, will always be evil and corrupt. High ''priestesses'', who will always be either stern, serious and thin or good-looking and cheerfully helpful, will always be good.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'' has had three. Nimueh was the High Priestess of the Old Religion until her death at the end of season 1. It was revealed later that Morgause had become the new High Priestess, and when Morgana killed her as the blood sacrifice to open the veil between worlds, she became the new High Priestess.
** There was also Alator, a high priest of the Catha.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'' the Grey Council has three representatives from the warrior, religious, and worker castes respectively. Delenn is in the religious caste making her a High Priestess.
* On ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', the Kai is the Bajoran equivalent of the Pope. Kai Opaka is wise, open-minded, and politically moderate. Unfortunately, she's soon replaced by Kai Winn, a SinisterMinister who cares about [[ItsAllAboutMe her own self-aggrandizement]] more than the good of Bajor.

* In [[UsefulNotes/TarotCards Tarot]] we've as Major Arcana The High Priestess (II), who represents among other things hidden knowledge and wisdom, and the Hierophant (V), who represents stuff like relationship with the divine or education. They were originally (and indeed in some places still are) The Popess and The Pope.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', the High Priest of the Unconquered Sun angers Sol so much, he turned his face from his Exalted, and let the Usurpation happen without any intervention. Said high priest claimed that Sol backed a tax increase, without having bothered to check with him.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'': [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=214352 Elesh]] [[http://www.planeswalkerslibrary.com/images/action/Elesh_Norn.jpg Norn]], Grand [[TheBlank Cenobite]] is the leader of [[TheLegionsOfHell New Phyrexia's]] [[LightIsNotGood white-aligned]] faction, the [[ReligionOfEvil Machine Orthodoxy]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has several:
** Ecclesiarch, the head of the Adeptus Ministorum, or Eccelsiarchy, the state church of the Imperium of Man.
** The Fabricator-General of Mars, the leader of the Adeptus Mechanicus and senior priest of the [[MachineWorship Machine Cult]].
** SpaceMarine Chapters have their own Chapter cults revering the God-Emperor and their Primarch, led by the Master of Sanctity or High Chaplain.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Anima Beyond Fantasy}}'', the Holy Sacred Emperor (now Empress) is also the head of the Holy Church of Abel, even if some of its members haven't recognized her as that and have instead named a Summum Archbishop. However, (s)he leads it rather spiritually and the Church itself is governed by said Summum Archbishop.

* Music/GiuseppeVerdi's ''Theatre/{{Nabucco}}'' has two - the [[SinisterMinister High Priest of Baal]], and [[BadassPreacher Zacaria, the High Priest of the Jews]].
* Sarastro in ''Theatre/MagicFlute''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Habaruku/Habalk]] in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' is the High Priest of the Church of Eva. [[spoiler: [[OffscreenTeleportation He also masquerades as the village priest in the tiny town of Gate.]]]]
* Galius from ''VideoGame/ExitFate'', High Priest of Cento while also Governor of Oischin.
* A handful of characters with this title appear at certain specific points in ''VideoGame/NetHack''.
* The Lord High Priest in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' lives in a special residence on the Holy Isle of Neos and functions as the spiritual leader of the world's major religion.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge''
** The Divine is the head of the Andrastian Chantry. After a schism, there are currently two separate Chantries, each with its own Divine.
** Before the founding of the Chantry, the [[TheMagocracy Tevinter Imperium]] worshipped seven draconic figures known as the Old Gods. Each of the Old Gods had their own high priest, called the Sidereal Magisters. The seven Sidereal Magisters are, according to legend, responsible for corrupting [[{{Heaven}} the Golden City]] and unleashing [[TheCorruption the Blight]] on the world.
* The Paranid Empire, a theocracy in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series, is ruled by Xaar, the Priest-Emperor or more formally the Pontifex Maximus Paranidia.
* Tyrande Whisperwind, High Priestess of the Moon and, along Malfurion Stormrage, leader of the night elves in the ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' universe. Doubles as a LadyOfWar too.
** As of Legion in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' [[spoiler: after King Varian's death]], Anduin Wrynn is this for the Alliance.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSimsMedieval'', the Jacoban priest can become this after reaching a certain level.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'', Rausten is [[TheTheocracy a theocracy]] founded by the {{All Loving Hero}}ine Latona, and whose King or Queen tends to be known as its Pontifex. During the events of the game their Crown Princess, L'Arachel, becomes a member of the cast; her uncle/ParentalSubstitute and the current Pontifex, Mansel the Divine Emperor, later helps out the group itself [[ParentsInDistress after they rescue him]].
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'', the Apostle is said to be able to speak to the Goddess Ashera, making her both Ashera's high priestess and the Empress of Begnion. [[spoiler:The offices were accidentally separated when the current Apostle was nearly killed along (Micaiah) with her predecessor (her grandmother) and the Apostle's younger sister (Sanaki) was installed as a puppet empress. Micaiah herself would later reign over ''another'' land while Sanaki, who managed to get ''actual'' power with the help of the cast, stayed in the Begnion throne.]]
* Prelate Lucius is the chief cleric in the Otheran army in ''VideoGame/QueenAtArms''. He's a kind man who tends to the wounded soldier, and is a potential {{love interest}} for the {{player character}}.
* Pontiff Sulyvhan in ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'', who rules over Irithyll and leads the Deep Church, dedicated to worshipping Aldrich. Since Aldrich himself seems content to hang out in his room and occasionally [[ImAHumanitarian eat people (and gods)]] who are sacrificed to him, Sulyvhan is the guy doing most of the actual ruling.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** After defeating the [[AbusivePrecursors Ayleids]] and [[FounderOfTheKingdom founding]] the First Cyrodiilic Empire, St. Alessia upheld her end of the BargainWithHeaven by making the religion of the Eight Divines (which worships the eight [[OurGodsAreDifferent Aedra]] who [[DivineIntervention aided her]] during the Alessian Revolt) into the official religion of her new Empire. This new religion was a compromise between the traditional [[OurElvesAreBetter Aldmeri]] pantheon (which her Cyrodiilic followers, as slaves to the Ayleids, were accustomed to) and the Nordic Pantheon of her [[HornyVikings Nord]] allies, who refused to accept any "Elven" gods. Thousands of years later, through several Empires, the religion of the Eight (later Nine) Divines continues to serve as a SaintlyChurch to much of Tamriel.
** The Dunmeri (Dark Elf) Tribunal Temple was formed to worship the Tribunal, a trio of [[PhysicalGod living flesh and blood]] gods. The Tribunal (Vivec, Almalexia, Sotha Sil) were the formerly mortal advisors to [[FounderOfTheKingdom Lord Nerevar]], the leader of the ancient (then known as Chimer) Dunmer people, who [[DeityOfHumanOrigin obtained godhood]] by tapping into the power of [[CosmicKeystone the Heart]] of a [[GodIsDead "dead" god]]. For thousands of years, the Tribunal lived and worked among their people. However, they still had "Archcanons" responsible for running the more practical business of leading the Temple. A few centuries prior to the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the Tribunal's ancient enemy, Dagoth Ur ([[KingInTheMountain long presumed to be dead]]), returned and ambushed the Tribunal on one of their annual pilgrimages to restore their divinity at the Heart. He managed to capture two of the three tools needed to tap into the Heart, depriving the Tribunal of the ability to recharge. After this, in order to conserve power, the Tribunal was forced to withdraw from the day-to-day affairs of their people. More and more responsibility fell onto the Archcanons and other mortal leaders of the Temple, leading to [[CorruptChurch significant corruption]]. During ''Morrowind'' itself, it is possible for the PlayerCharacter to become the new Archcanon of the Temple.

* From ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** [[TheDragon Redcloak]] is the high priest of the Dark One.
** Malack in [[TheEmpire The Empire of Blood]] is the high priest of Nergal.
** Each of the [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse-inspired]] Northern Gods has a high priest among the dwarves, with the High Priest of [[TopGod Odin]] leading the group.
*** [[spoiler:The vampire possessing Durkon]] is the high priest of Hel, thanks to being the ''only'' priest of Hel.
* [[BigBadDuumvirate Angelo]] from ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'' is the high priest of '[[PathOfInspiration Angelo's Kids]]' on account of founding the religion himself. He's also an obscenely powerful user of both [[TheArchmage arcane]] and [[ReligionIsMagic divine]] magic who can direct-dial miracles, so [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority the shoe fits]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Fire Sages in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' seem to be this, only 1) there's a roughly equal group of them and 2) they spend most of their time on an island separate from the rest of their countrymen and 3) it's unclear what the tenets of their faith are supposed to ''be'', anyway, besides supporting the Avatar and crowning the Fire Lord.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{The Brothers Grunt}}'', the Poobah presides over the Grunt Brotherhood's rites and celebrations.
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' has the aptly-titled High Priestess of the [[ReligionOfEvil Cult of Aku]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBeavers'', the leader of the Girl Raccoons in the episode "[[GodGuise The Mighty Knothead]]."

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/ThePope for Catholicism. "Pope" is actually a courtesy title for the Bishop of Rome, who is given primacy over all other Bishops, and therefore runs the Church itself. One of his styles is even ''Pontifex Maximus'', which can be roughly translated as "high priest".
* The Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs are nearly the exact analogue of the Pope in UsefulNotes/OrthodoxChristianity, with the significant difference of there being many of them who don't answer to any higher (earthly) authority.
* Ancient Egypt often actually had these; not of the entire 'religion' so much as of specific powerful cult-centers, since a particular god in ascendancy generally only had one location that was at the center of his or her worship. Since it behooved the ruler to be aligned as closely as possible with the most important of the gods and vice-versa, and since Pharaoh was a religious position, High Priest was often a highly government-affiliated job.
* Constitutional Monarchs bear some interesting analogies to this, being in charge of ritual-of-state while their ministers actually do the business of ruling. They are not always religious in concept though they might have some religious duties. But the mystical air about them gives room for comparison. One or two monarchs actually were closer to being High Priests then rulers, like the Emperor during the Japanese shogunate period, or the Archon-Basilus in Ancient Athens.
* The British monarchy is an interesting example in and of itself, as the reigning monarch is also the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Governor_of_the_Church_of_England Supreme Governor of the Church of England]], though in both the political and spiritual realms most of the actual day-to-day administration is conducted by others.
* While there are no real "priests" in Islam, historically the Caliph was something similar to a HighPriest. Because believers were originally led by the prophet Muhammad, his successor was supposed to be the highest civil and religious authority in the Islamic World. Various Muslim rulers have claimed the title over the years, the last such being the Ottoman Sultan. However, even when there was a generally-recognized caliph around, his religious authority was shared by the community of scholars and jurists.
* The Imam of Shia Islam is a much straighter example. Much like the High Priesthood in Judaism, the imamate is hereditary, derived from the prophet through his daughter Fatima. Whomever the individual was, he is supposed to be infallible in matters of faith and religion, and to receive direct revelation from God. However, for the majority of Shia Muslims, the office of Imam is not held by a living person, while some believe he is alive, but [[HesJustHiding in hiding]].
* Sikh gurus were sort of priest kings.
* The emperors of China were the highest priests of the state religion. The emperor's religious duties, which only he could perform, included sacrificing and making a report to Heaven on the state of the Empire in the Temple of Heaven each year, and ceremonially plowing the first furrow for the planting every spring.
* Emperor Akbar of the Mughal Dynasty made ''himself'' high priest and prophet of his own religion, Din-e-Ilahi, which syncretized elements of Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. Interestingly enough, he was also the only priest of his religion, which forbade religious hierarchy.