The Creon is basically the [[NumberTwo right-hand man]], [[TheGoodChancellor king's]] [[EvilChancellor advisor]], chief general, TheDragon, or other somesuch person of considerable power or influence who is not himself at the pinnacle of the pyramid. He's the second-in-command. However, unlike TheStarscream, The Creon is decidedly ''not'' gunning for the first spot. Maybe he doesn't want the responsibility; maybe he's just fine where he is; or maybe the top spot is just too dangerous a place for a person like him. His job as second-in-command suits him just fine, and even if offered the top spot he just won't take it - regardless of how lucrative the offer.

Creons are not always good people. Their motivations may be completely selfish. On occasion, a Creon will be perfectly willing for his superior to be replaced by someone else - but not by the Creon himself. Most often however, The Creon will be the best right-hand a leader could ask for.

To qualify as a Creon, the character must have had at least one chance to take all the power for himself, and actively refused to do so, whether for altruism, cowardice, lack of interest in leadership, or any other personal reason. If there was no other choice, and the Creon did in fact have to take the top spot, he must have relinquished it ''voluntarily'' as soon as the actual leader returned. The Creon always gravitates back to the second spot on his own accord, rather than being forced to stay there by circumstances, etiquette or regulations.

This trope is the opposite of TheStarscream, who spends almost all his time scheming to get rid of his superior and assume the top spot. TheCreon may be TheGoodChancellor, a SarcasticDevotee, or even a PoisonousFriend - there are many options.

* The TropeNamer is Creon of Thebes, Son of Menoeceus, a character who appeared in several Ancient Greek Dramas. In Sophocles' ''Theatre/OedipusRex'' he actually says quite frankly that he's not interested in being king, and finds it much more pleasant to be the one with the power and not the responsibility. However he does become leader of Thebes in Sophocles' ''Antigone'', and sure enough, doesn't do very well.
** The name "Creon" (Κρέων), however, simply means "ruler" in Classical Greek (the feminine "Creousa" also shows up occasionally). So the Creon in Sophocles' Theban plays, while undoubtedly the most famous character to bear that name, is a deliberate ironic subversion of the more usual portrayal of Creons in Greek theatre and literature - he's a man called "ruler" who doesn't want to rule. Other Creons (such as Creon of Corinth in Euripides' Medea) tend to simply be straightforward in-charge types representing power, rulership and authority.
* Commander Riker of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' is another famous example of this. During the many seasons and movies he's been repeatedly offered his own command of various starships, yet chose to remain as second-in-command on the Enterprise regardless. In "The Best of Both Worlds", his entire subplot revolves around him learning to accept having command of his own, which he eventually does... only to be [[StatusQuoIsGod right back in the first officer's seat in the next episode]] (and for another whole decade).
** In fairness, the show also repeatedly explained that Riker didn't want to be promoted to command of his own ship, because it would be a case of KickedUpstairs: he'd much rather serve as the second-in-command of a prestigious flagship, than command his own tiny ship out in the middle of nowhere.
** Before Riker, Spock was this on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''. He did become Captain of the Enterprise at the start of ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', but relinquished command as smoothly as [[HalfHumanHybrid half]]-[[IncrediblyLamePun humanly]] possible - and not just because Kirk outranks him either.
** In the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Original Series]]'' episode "Mirror, Mirror", alternate Spock is this too: claiming to have no desire for the Captaincy, for the same reasons as the original Creon did.
** This is fairly standard for first officers in Star Trek. In ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'', Major Kira starts out quite irate that the Federation placed one of their own people in charge after her people had spent decades fighting the Cardassians. She eventually turns around and becomes extremely loyal to Sisko, and not just because he's technically the MessianicArchetype of her religion.
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'', Chakotay starts out as the captain of his own ([[DeathByOriginStory doomed]]) ship, making his position as Commander something of a demotion. Nevertheless, he immediately becomes one of Captain Janeway's strongest supporters, and even makes it clear to his Maquis that he doesn't want them even thinking about mutiny.
* Saul Tigh from the new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}''. He is forced to take command of the fleet briefly [[spoiler: when Boomer shoots Adama]] but it doesn't go very well and he happily returns command to Adama.
* Zoe from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' fits this trope perfectly - she's always supportive of Mal.
* Cid in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''. While he's older than Cloud, far more learned than Cloud (e.g. a science education and an accomplished pilot as compared to Cloud's InformedAbility) and arguably shouldn't have given Cloud leadership back after Cloud's incident... decided to do so anyway because being TheLeader wasn't his thing.
* Alistair from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. First, he gives up leadership of your group (he actually never brings up the leadership issue, despite being the senior Grey Warden still alive in Ferelden). But much more than that, he doesn't want [[spoiler: to inherit ''the kingdom'']] because leadership is not his thing; you have to talk him into it, if that's the route you want the game to take.
** Seneschal Varel from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening''. He is effectively the ruler of Amaranthine while the Warden-Commander (you) is off adventuring, yet maintains his subordinate position.
** Bryce Cousland, the [=PC's=] father if you're playing as a Human Noble, is perfectly content in being the Teryn of Highever and supporting King Cailan. Rumor has it he was offered the crown when King Maric died, but turned it down because he believed someone with Theirin blood should be on the throne.
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' - The three Lords Mollic, Joochun and Flux, who govern taking turns while King Zahard is hibernating.
* The Bene Gesserit from the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' universe do this for many, many centuries. They hold that if you grab supreme power, you're going to fall just as hard. Instead they manipulate power in the known universe from the position of a "trusted advisor" to Emperors and great houses. In addition, much of what they do is a huge breeding program designed to create a super-being to serve as the ultimate emperor and be directly under their control, so even at their greatest moment of triumph they're still not looking for the top position, just to have full control of the person in the top position. Naturally this fails once the super-being comes to existence and basically turns the tables on them.
** Part of the purpose of the 3,000-year highly oppressive reign of Leto II was to force the Bene Gesserit to get out of the shadows and take over. Millennia later, they have started to do so, controlling dozens of worlds directly. Herbert's notes (thoroughly ignored by the "sequel" writers, whose sequels were in turn [[FanonDiscontinuity ignored by devotees]]) indicate that the Bene Gesserit, whose internal procedures had long been essentially democratic (if heavily deferential to seniority), were to form the nucleus of a new democratic galactic government.
** Roderick Corrino is this to his brother, Emperor Salvador.
** Moneo could fit this in ''Literature/GodEmperorOfDune'', Malky even comments to Leto II on how Moneo has never tried to take the "whole shebang" from him.
* Faramir from ''TheLordOfTheRings'' is this - and especially in the novel: He outright rejects the power that The One Ring could've given him, contrary to his brother Boromir who desired that power (albeit briefly). In the movies Frodo convinces him that the Ring is just too dangerous to wield, somewhat blunting this point.
** Furthermore, whereas Faramir's ancestors (and particularly his father) ruled as Stewards while coveting the kingship, Faramir himself does not covet that title at all: He gratefully accepts the titles of Steward and Prince under Aragorn after the war without so much as a question.
* Silvio in ''TheSopranos'', in his own words, always pictured himself as a behind-the-scenes advisor and, though his wife urges him to consider the possibility of taking over, very much does not enjoy his reluctant role as regent while Tony recovers from his gunshot wound.
* Watch-Commander Vimes in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' to King-in-hiding (for a certain value of "hiding") Captain Carrot. The twist is Carrot doesn't want to rule either and is content to be a good copper, and Vimes's own second-in-command, while Lord Vetinari actually runs the city.
* Gekkei from ''Anime/TheTwelveKingdoms'' is a DoubleSubversion of this trope. Firstly, although he is initially portrayed as loyal to the king, he later leads a rebellion and kills him. The subversion is doubled because [[IDidWhatIHadToDo it was what he needed to do]], and once the revolution is succesful he rejects the other officers' pleas for him to take the throne, and is even about to quit his charge after the incident. He then reconsiders and stays in charge - not because he wants to, but because if there's nobody in charge, the kingdom will fall (literally, since each kingdom is ruled by a FisherKing. He is just faithfully holding the throne for the next true ruler.
* In ''TheWestWing'', Leo [=McGarry=] describes himself and Josh Lyman as not wanting to be the guy, but instead being the guys that that guy depends on.
* Cyclonus from ''{{Transformers}}'' is smart, strong, and sane enough to rule the Decepticons outright or as a power behind the throne, but instead dedicates his life to carrying out Galvatron's every whim. Which is very wise because he saw what Galvatron did to the TropeNamer of TheStarscream.
** On the Autobots' side, we have Optimus's second-in-command, Ultra Magnus. Strong, brave, respected, and honorable to a fault, he's naturally the dying Optimus Prime's first choice to succeed him as leader. Magnus accepts the post very reluctantly, feeling he isn't worthy--and sure enough, [[ThePeterPrinciple he actually doesn't do a very good job because he's too inflexible]]. Yet when Rodimus becomes leader, Magnus goes back to being second-in-command and excels at it.
** Soundwave from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. Officially the communications officer of the Decepticons, he's unofficially Megatron's right-hand man and most reliable soldier. It's hinted that he's actually stronger than Megatron, but unlike Starscream he has no desire to usurp Megatron's position.
* Ser Kevan Lannister, non-ambitious yet highly competent younger brother to the powerful Lord Tywin, is this, both in ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' and ''Series/GameOfThrones'', the HBO adaptation. Set up as a yes-man with no ambition, but it is revealed he followed Tywin because he believed his decisions were mostly right. ''A Dance With Dragons'' reveals that he fits this trope even better than previously thought; many characters (while acknowledging him as an exceptional HyperCompetentSidekick,) believed he would be completely lost without someone strong to follow, but in the aftermath of [[spoiler: Cersei]]'s EpicFail at ruling, he takes the reins in his own right (though not in name,) and does an excellent job.
** Barristan Selmy, the former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, never sought any great political influence and considered doing so the worst thing any Lord Commander could do. After this, he serves as an advisor to Queen Daenerys Targaryen, and only very reluctantly agrees to act on her behalf when she goes missing.
* In TheDeparted, undercover cop (and aspiring HyperCompetentSidekick to TheDon) Billy Costigan diverts suspicion from himself by suggesting the existence of a plot against [[BigBad Frank]] from his subordinates. When Frank asks Billy if he wants to lead, Billy [[BadassBoast says that he thinks he probably could do it]], but doesn't want to be Frank. Perhaps surprisingly for a profession that one would expect to be a breeding ground for [[TheStarscream starscreams]]. Frank has no problem accepting that "Heavy lies the crown", with an implied increase in respect towards Billy for recognising this. Franks's lack of suspicion at this excuse is possibly because he has a genuine VillainousFriendship with [[TheDragon Mr French]], who has been totally reliable and never tried to take over.
** French himself is an example of TheCreon, although we never see whether his acceptance of second fiddle is due to a lack of ambition or because he recognises he wouldn't do as good a job of ruling as Frank.
* This type of [[TheDragon Dragon]] outnumber most others in PowerRangers, notable mentions
** Goldar from MightyMorphinPowerRangers whilst not 100% behind Rita Repulsa (except for the first season) is undoubtedly loyal to Lord Zedd.
** Ecliptor from PowerRangersInSpace stands out because he raised Astromena, and yet serves ''her'' for the forces of evil.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', the [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils Demon Lord]] Graz'zt has an advisor and servant named Verin, who is as loyal to him as it is possible for a demon to be. When Graz'zt was captured by Iggwilv the Witch Queen, Verin took control of his realm and successfully repelled several invasions by Graz'zt's rivals, but willingly stood down and returned power to Graz'zt when his master returned.
* Tagon in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' says that Thurl has told him that 'If I ever promote him an inch above Chief Warrant Officer he'll quit.' Why? Less getting shot at, that's why.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'', Maurice serves King Julien [[ServileSnarker reluctantly]], but never even considers taking over - even though he'd be much more capable. At least, except for that time he went mad because of some fruit.
* In ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'', any powerful direct vassal with the "Content" trait is likely to be this. The trait makes him much more fond of his liege, and thus far less likely to rebel or conspire. Players will often choose to take their vassals' heirs as wards, specifically to try and teach them to become Content - grooming the future generation to be nonthreatening to the liege's title.