"Lanius is savage. Savagely loyal, too, but only to me - he has no love for the Legion. But this has its uses. He has no attachment to his men, no compunction about battlefield losses. All he cares about is destroying the enemy. When another Legatus or Centurion fails to achieve results, I send Lanius to make things right. His first step is to beat the failed commander to death in front of his assembled troops."The Big Bad's top enforcer, or the Evil Counterpart of The Lancer in the Five-Bad Band. Some Dragons are ferocious fighters who leave the heavy thinking to the boss. Others are smart, detail-oriented administrators who oversee the day-to-day running of the evil organization. Either way, defeating the Big Bad almost always requires The Hero to overcome the Dragon first. A common but by no means universal theme is to have the Dragon pose a physical challenge to the hero, while the Big Bad poses a mental or moral challenge. The Dragon will occasionally commit a Heel-Face Turn when confronted by the heroes. If he does so, chances are very good that he will end up killing the Big Bad when the heroes cannot bring themselves to do so; often by joining the villain in death as a final act of redemption. If, instead, his Heel-Face Turn comes earlier in the series, he may redeem himself and join The Team. The Dragon is an integral part of the Five-Bad Band dynamic. If there's a Quirky Miniboss Squad, the Dragon is often the unofficial leader. And he tends to be physically stronger than The Brute. Please note that effectively being the Big Bad's secretary, or constantly hanging around them is not enough to be a Dragon. This role is somebody the Big Bad can rely on (or thinks they can rely on) in a time of trouble to step up and beat the living heck out of The Hero, or maybe just take charge for a while, should the Big Bad not be around to do the job. Tropes related to Dragons:
— Caesar on his second-in-command Legate Lanius, Fallout: New Vegas
- Beta Bitch - Number Two to the Alpha Bitch.
- Co-Dragons - Two or more characters split the Dragon role between them.
- Demoted to Dragon - A previous Big Bad is revealed to be, or is reduced to being, the Dragon to another villain.
- Devour the Dragon - The Big Bad kills the Dragon in order to become stronger.
- Dragon Ascendant - When he takes over from the Big Bad after the latter is defeated or leaves.
- Dragon-in-Chief - When he is more dangerous than the Big Bad and the de facto main villain of the story. Like Dragon with an Agenda, may be The Man Behind the Man. Not to be confused with The Heavy.
- Dragon Their Feet - When the Big Bad is defeated or killed first. The Dragon may or may not show up afterwards to rescue or avenge him, but he might just take his business elsewhere.
- Dragon with an Agenda - When he has different goals from the Big Bad. If those goals are mutually exclusive, The Starscream, Rule of Two or Dragon-in-Chief may be in play.
- The Heavy - The "active" villain that drives most of the plot. This is more often the Dragon than the Big Bad, since most authors want to keep the Big Bad in the background and mysterious for most of the story. Not to be confused with Dragon-in-Chief.
- Mook Lieutenant: When the Dragon is merely the leader of the Big Bad's minions when the Big Bad isn't around.
- Mouth of Sauron - When the Big Bad himself is almost never seen taking an active role, The Dragon is usually the one who picks up the slack on reminding people why they're afraid of the Big Bad in the first place.
- Noble Top Enforcer - When the Dragon is an Anti-Villain that is considerably more virtuous than his master. Likely to turn on the Big Bad if their actions piss him off enough.
- Number Two for Brains - When the Dragon is an idiot.
- Rule of Two - A standard Big Bad and Dragon dynamic where betrayal is expected, and often inevitable.
- The Starscream - A traitorous Dragon.
- Villainous Friendship - When a Dragon is good friends with the Big Bad.
- Anime and Manga
- Board Games
- Card Games
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Professional Wrestling
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Animation
- Web Original
- Western Animation