Main The Dragon Discussion

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10:45:23 AM Feb 11th 2015
Excuse me but I would like to request permission to add a character to The Dragon archetype from E.Lynn Harris's novel "My Father's Keeper". The character in question is Sterling Sneed someone who was instructed to get models [more specifically bisexual and homosexual models] for some kind of event hosted by the main antagonist dusguised as a party event that was actually some kind of sex exhortion party. The Dragon Sneed also seems to be very aqquainted to the main antagonist and has played roles into darker plots conspired by the main antagonist. If it is not an example I apologize and the only reason why I am posting it as a discussion topic is so that it will not be automatically removed.
08:29:11 PM Dec 6th 2012
Should there be a sub-trope for a Random Mook being inexplicably declared The Dragon out of the blue.

That JUST happened on The Vampire Diaries, a random Hybrid we never saw before is suddenly refereed to as Klaus's "Right Hand man".
08:18:30 PM Oct 12th 2011
If The Hero faces the The Dragon in a Big Good vs Big Bad situation, who the hell does The Lancer go against?
03:32:24 AM Jun 4th 2012
Also The Dragon, only he gets beaten to show just how much the hero has grown compared to The Lancer thanks to friendship/love/guts/whatever.
01:56:57 PM Aug 19th 2011
why the hell were the Real Life examples removed???
06:02:30 PM Sep 19th 2011
That's something I'd like to know, too. Frankly, I'm getting pretty pissed at all these Real Life examples being removed. At this rate, we'll have no Real Life examples at all.
03:40:38 PM Sep 27th 2011
who is in charge of this website? do they even listen to what their followers have to say? I could maybe understand if it's on the YMMV pages (which I still don't understand why exist) but not when it's a plain fact

I had a great example too — Edward Teach aka Blackbeard was originally The Dragon to Benjamin Hornigold; after Hornigold retired and Blackbeard became The Captain, he had his own Dragon, an African chieftain dubbed Caesare, who had successfully led a revolt on the slave ship that had captured him
12:51:31 PM Mar 29th 2011
edited by Meeble
This page is being split due to length. It has reached a size where it is in danger of causing server performance issues. See this thread for details.

To alleviate this, I split off the current content along the lines of the current folder structure. New examples should be placed in the appropriate media sub-pages.
09:55:40 PM Mar 6th 2011
edited by
06:20:40 PM Dec 30th 2010
I Remove To kallen, Because she is a Hero (Although her boss is a bastard)
12:55:45 PM Dec 26th 2010
Is there a trope for when The Dragon has his own Dragon?

An example situation would be that Bob is the Big Bad and Alice is The Dragon, but it is revealed that Carol is The Man Behind the Man and is the true Big Bad and that Bob is her dragon. What does that make Alice?
12:07:36 AM Dec 8th 2012
03:09:50 PM Dec 12th 2013
I'm pretty sure that in that case Alice is still technically The Dragon to Bob, but Bob is The Dragon to Carol. They're both dragons that serve different masters in the same hierarchy.

It's definitely something that should be expanded upon, though. Especially since there are instances in fiction where The Dragon also has their own number 2 guy.

An example from Star Wars would be General Grievous being The Dragon to Count Dooku who is The Dragon to Darth Sidious. Another example from the same franchise would be with how Darth Maul was The Dragon to Sidious who was The Dragon to Darth Plagieus. (Though, in that instance things aren't so clear cut since Sidious and Plagieus become sort of a Big Bad Duumvirate.)
09:54:48 AM Jun 30th 2010
Is it possible to have a Heroic version of this trope, and if so, what would you call it? I know that The Dragon is supposed to be the evil counterpart to The Lancer, but the two can be, and often are, very different, seeing as The Lancer is a trusted confidant, whereas The Dragon is simply the most dangerous of the Big Bad's servants, who has to be confronted before he/she can be defeated. For instance, what would you call a character who the villain's must go through before they can get to The Hero or The Big Good? Is there already a trope for that, or would it still fall under The Dragon? Just curious.
10:02:05 AM Jun 30th 2010
Well, a sidekick often serves a similar purpose. The villain has to do something to the sidekick before getting a serious response from the hero.
10:32:56 PM Jun 30th 2010
That's not actually what I'm referring to. I'm talking about The Hero or Big Good having a bodyguard or otherwise equally dangerous friend who the villain has to go through in order to have a chance of facing the hero, as opposed to the Sidekick example, which is more of the villain having to hurt someone close to the hero in order to make the hero mad enough to take the fight seriously. Think king's champion in stories set during medieval times
10:48:02 AM Jul 1st 2010
You mean like Lancelot?
08:40:54 PM Jul 1st 2010
edited by AmbarSonofDeshar
Pre Face–Heel Turn, yes. The character may or may not double as the Lancer (or any other member of the Five-Man Band, including The Hero if they're Dragoning for the Big Good), but essentially, they're primary objective plotwise is to do the fighting, dirty work, etc for The Hero or the Big Good. Other examples that immediately spring to mind for me are Kira Yamato to Lacus Clyne in Gundam SEED and especially Gundam Seed Destiny: she's the poltician, he's the Born Lucky fighter, anyone trying to kill her absolutely has to go through him first, and so on. Rachel, from Animorphs, in addition to being The Big Guy, also tends to do duty as Jake's Dragon: she's the toughest member of the team, he bounces ideas off Marco and Tobias but uses her to do the killing, and entrusts her with the most dangerous missions etc. I'm sure I could think of more examples if I thought about it. Essentially we're talking about a character who, from the villainous side, looks like The Hero's Dragon. Would that be listed as The Dragon, put on a different trope sheet (that I've just overlooked), just not common enough to merit a mention, or what? Thanks to everyone who's tried to help out so far, by the way, I appreciate it.
09:19:35 AM Jul 2nd 2010
Just found an even better example of what I'm talking about: Areo Hotah, a minor (so far) character from A Song of Ice and Fire. He's the Captain of the Guard for Prince Doran of Dorne, but his loyalty goes beyond that of a mere bodyguard. He's one of the few people the Prince allows to attend on him when he's watching the children play, helps move the Prince from place to place, attends most of his meetings without speaking, etc. He's also a Badass Grandpa with An Axe to Grind, who has subordinated his entire life to protecting the Prince; he's no hired bodyguard, as without Doran he really doesn't seem to have a life. He's the only person Doran entrusts to capture his rebellious daughter without harming her, defeats a Knight of the Kingsguard in combat, and is implied to be one of, if not the most Bad Ass fighter in Dorne. He and Doran are also, without a doubt, two of the good guys (at least so far) and would be in any series; in one with a setting like that of ASOIAF, they are definitely on the side of the angels (Doran's goal is to get justice for his murdered sister by bringing back the previous royal family). Hotah isnt' The Lancer in the way the trope is usually used; if they were the villains he would likely be on this page as The Dragon. Is there a page for someone like that, or the two examples I'd previously posted above?
04:40:22 PM Aug 3rd 2010
edited by fishsicles
The Lancer describes a character who is, from the trope page, a character who "has the same well-rounded skill set as [The Hero], but lacks his pure leadership ability and team spirit." They are generally similar with a few tweaks to differentiate the characterization for The Lancer.

Number Two is specifically the second-in-command to The Captain, there to take over when the captain is off doing other things.

The Dragon is the far stronger subordinate of a weaker, smarter mastermind, who serves as the leader of their forces and their general offensive force in general. They can be anything from pure fighters who let their boss do the thinking, or detailed administrators who do the day-to-day work while letting their superior deal with the grand scheme of things. They also have an extremely great loyalty to their master, and if you want to defeat the master you need to defeat the Dragon first.

Note how I removed any references to The Dragon being an evil trope, and it still matches every example. The first two are definitely not counterparts of this trope; they have very little in common. Sure, The Lancer could overlap with a heroic Dragon but they are definitely not the moral counterparts.

I say we put this to crowner.
05:43:59 PM Aug 3rd 2010
Uh...I'm pretty sure the definition for The Dragon is, and always has been, the Big Bad's second in command/main servant etc. :/
07:18:37 PM Aug 3rd 2010
edited by fishsicles
Yes, that is true. The issue is, we are not discussing what it was, we are discussing what it could be. If the question was "Does The Dragon include heroic examples?", your answer would be an appropriate conclusion. This is "Can The Dragon be expanded to include heroic examples, and if so, should we?", which is a more detailed inquiry.

The issue is, there are heroic examples that do not fit its two "good counterparts", The Lancer and Number Two, which as I detailed above are not really good versions of this trope at all. The alternatives are creating a new trope for those few examples, or simply ignoring them. Personally I think the second one takes up too much space for just a few examples. I do not wish to discuss the third.
08:42:16 PM Aug 5th 2010
edited by AmbarSonofDeshar
Hi, I'm the guy who originally asked the question. I wasn't actually trying to start a big argument, or force the creation of a new trope or anything.

Anyway, I wouldn't suggest deleting the part about The Dragon serving The Big Bad, because they almost inevitably do. Heroic examples would be few and far between, and many of them are likely just The Hero serving a Big Good or somesuch. Maybe there should just be a comment about how the inverse is possible and let people add it to character sheets/trope pages instead of putting it here? There's already some character sheets for morally ambiguous shows that will have someone listed as The Dragon.

And The Dragon isn't always tougher than his boss, just tougher than everyone else who works for his boss. They're The Big Bad's strongest enforcer, and they have to go down before he does, but that doesn't mean that they're stronger than The Big Bad. Take a look at Vader and Palpatine, the page image. Vader is undoubtedly the Emperor's right-hand man, and strongest servant, but as Palpatine proves, he's even stronger. Or is that a redundant comment?

EDIT: "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." It's already in the title. It would be possible I suppose to leave The Dragon alone then, and create a new trope for the stronger master/weaker servant dynamic, and just put the link in there somewhere. For some reason I don't like that idea, although I can't quite put my finger on why. Also, that wouldn't necessarily cover the heroic examples, as there's sure to be a few where the character who does the hero's dirty work isn't stronger than he/she.
04:17:39 PM May 20th 2010
"In classic Fairy Tales and folklore, the hero must often slay a dragon, or other semi-intelligent monster, before he can confront the intelligent (but weaker) master villain."

Examples? I am sorry, but I think this trope is seriously misnamed. I know the combination of master villain + protector monster only from 20th century fantasy literature / movies / games, it doesn't show up in fairy tales. In most instances (classic & modern) where dragons show up they are the big bad or at least an obstacle in their own right. The fact that a trope called 'The Dragon' is illustrated with Darth Vader should already be a hint that actual dragons fulfilling this trope are rather sparce.
09:52:55 AM May 21st 2010
Not that I'm arguing with this being a bad name, but it's got nearly 3000 wiks and it's been around forever. You can give it a shot at Trope Repair if you like, but it will be an uphill battle.
10:04:56 AM May 19th 2010
Vulpy: Was it just me, or did the contestant Parvati on the most recent series of Survivor: Heroes versus Villains refer to herself as The Dragon to Russel, whom we were left to assume was the Big Bad? (In a fit of Genre Savviness, her candid admission of less-than-noble tactics almost won her the big prize)
07:07:21 AM May 20th 2010
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