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Magnificent Bastard
"Rommel... you magnificent bastard, I read your BOOK!"
George S. Patton, Patton

If there was ever a character that deserved to be called "Magnificent", that character is the Magnificent Bastard. The Magnificent Bastard is what happens when you combine The Chessmaster, The Trickster, and the Manipulative Bastard: bold, charismatic, independent, and audacious. 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:

While usually an antagonist, especially if they're the Big Bad, the Magnificent Bastard can be aligned on either side of a conflict. Hell, they're so amazing they tend to forgo the idea of good and evil altogether, instead following their own agenda, choosing to help whichever side will further their goals. However, it's true that their penchant for manipulation at the expense of others means it's common for them to be a Villain, Villain Protagonist, or at least an Anti-Hero, but purely heroic examples exist. Either way, they're usually in charge of whatever organization they're involved with, or might as well be.

Aside from all the various aspects which come together to define the Magnificent Bastard, compare and contrast the Smug Snake, who fell short due to his own arrogance. When a villainous Magnificent Bastard becomes so over the top that he is no longer believable, then he becomes a Villain Sue (a regular Mary Sue for the heroic version). Also compare the Guile Hero, who uses cleverness, trickery and manipulation but lacks the flair and depth of-planning to elevate him to Magnificent Bastard status. Despite the term, he is not likely to be a Bastard Bastard, thanks to that person's inherent daddy issues, but there's nothing preventing him either.

Bonus points if at one point he or she offers the enemy a Sadistic Choice and gives a Slasher Smile.

Rarely a Complete Monster, because audiences are likely to find it harder to admire such a character, but some bastards are so magnificent that they can get around this. Being a Smug Snake is a common trait of bastards trying to be magnificent.

As Willing Suspension of Disbelief and popularity can vary from person to person in an audience, so will which characters qualify for the title or fall under some other trope such as those stated above. Check this page out if you want to Write A Magnificent Bastard of your own.

Now divided into:

Manipulative BastardPt/Índice de TraduçãoThe Dark Arts
Loveable RogueThe Utterly and Completely Definitive Guide to CoolNerves of Steel
Nature Is Not NiceSliding Scale of Villain EffectivenessThe Chessmaster
Magically Binding ContractOlder Than SteamMalaproper
Kick the DogOverdosed TropesJustified Trope
The JuggernautGender Dynamics IndexManly Men Can Hunt
Magic BusThis Index Is Not an ExampleMan, I Feel Like a Woman
Mad OracleCryptic ConversationRiddling Sphinx
Manipulative BastardJustForFun/Tropes of LegendCloudcuckoolander
Mad ScientistVillainsBastard Understudy
Ineffectual Sympathetic VillainSliding Scale of Character AppreciationNoble Demon
Liberty Over ProsperityAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Man Child
Lovable TraitorThe TricksterManipulative Bastard
Magic Franchise WordYMMV/Home PageMagnum Opus
Magic Franchise WordYMMVMagnum Opus
Wave Motion GunAwesome/Video GamesSomething Awful
Hidden VillainGambit IndexBastard Understudy

alternative title(s): Magnificent Bitch
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