The Chessmaster, The Trickster, and the Manipulative Bastard: bold, charismatic, independent, audacious and genius. Capturing the audience with their charisma, incredible intellect, mastery of manipulation, and boldness of action, this character is a show-stealer, demanding your reverence at every turn. The term "Magnificent Bastard" was first used by General Patton in reference to Erwin Rommel in the film Patton, upon realizing that he was facing a man who literally wrote the book on deceptive warfare. It acquired its current meaning courtesy of Lionel Luthor of Smallville, who was given this nickname by the Television Without Pity boards. So what makes a character a Magnificent Bastard? Let's break it down:
- They are brilliant and utterly devious. Call it genius, call it virtual omniscience, but they always seem to know what everyone else is planning at any given moment and makes them play right into their hands, and exactly how to arrange the game so they win even when they have been defeated.
- They are a smooth operator. They always have a backup strategy and never lose their cool. Even if on the remote chance something happens that wasn't in their plans, you'd never know it from his actions. Didn't See That Coming doesn't derail them; if their plans are foiled, they can always improvise.
- They have a goal, they're not going to stop until they've completed it, whatever it is. To that end they will do anything. They'll move heaven and hell. Despite their choice of tactics, they are rarely if ever pointlessly cruel, and those who are tend to be so creative in their cruelty that it practically becomes an art form.
- They are charismatic, often charming, their personality is like a physical force. People tend to like them, sometimes even when they know they aren't on their side, and even those who hate their guts have to admit respect. Even when at their darkest, they have traits which one can't help but admire.
- They are Genre Savvy. They do not fall for obvious traps, release the Sealed Evil in a Can or negotiate a Deal with the Devil before having devised The Plan to deal with it. Bringing them down is a long process of getting them cornered, although sometimes it is abrupt and played for shock value to show someone's awesomeness by comparison.
- They are Audacious beyond belief. Probably the biggest thing that sets the Magnificent Bastard apart from The Chessmaster or a Manipulative Bastard is their ability to set themselves goals that seem suicidally over-ambitious and succeed with style.
Now divided into:
- Comic Books
- Fan Fic
- Live-Action TV
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
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- Web Original
- Western Animation