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* ''Literature/TheFellOfDark'' centers on various factions attempting to stop or hasten the arrival of the first vampire Azazel. Azazel himself just stays in the background and flashbacks but is indicated to be far more dangerous then any of the various competing factions.


* In ''Literature/TheMouseWatch'', the BigBad is {{Cyborg}} MadScientist Dr. Thornpaw. However, Thornpaw is working for a NebulousEvilOrganization called [[FunWithAcronyms R.A.T.S.]], whose leader is not introduced until the novel's epilogue. [[spoiler:His name is Kryptos, and all we learn about him is that he wants to TakeOverTheWorld, he thinks rats (the species) "deserve more" than just ordinary lives, and he anticiapated Thornpaw's failure and is ready to start another EvilPlan.]]

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* In ''Literature/TheMouseWatch'', the BigBad is {{Cyborg}} MadScientist Dr. Thornpaw. However, Thornpaw is working for a NebulousEvilOrganization called [[FunWithAcronyms R.A.T.S.]], whose leader is not introduced until the novel's epilogue. [[spoiler:His name is Kryptos, and all we learn about him is that he wants to TakeOverTheWorld, he thinks rats (the species) "deserve more" than just ordinary lives, and he anticiapated anticipated Thornpaw's failure and is ready to start another EvilPlan.]]


** Then there's Katie [=McVoy=], a bit character who is only mentioned in two short letters published in ''The Maze Runner Files'' whose [[SmallRoleBigImpact not-so-small role]] involves [[spoiler:suggesting the method to kill half of the world population using the V C321xb 47 virus AKA the Flare virus, which mutated unpredictably, as in, ''setting off all this mess in the first place'']]. By the events of ''The Maze Runner'', however, [[spoiler:she is already long dead due to catching the virus and committing suicide to prevent it spreading over as her last act of redemption]].

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** Then there's Katie [=McVoy=], a bit character who is only mentioned in two short letters published in ''The Maze Runner Files'' whose [[SmallRoleBigImpact not-so-small role]] involves [[spoiler:suggesting the method to kill half of the world population using the V C321xb 47 virus AKA the Flare virus, which mutated unpredictably, as in, ''setting off all this mess in the first place'']]. By the events of ''The Maze Runner'', however, [[spoiler:she is already long dead due to catching the virus and [[DrivenToSuicide committing suicide suicide]] to prevent it spreading over as her [[DeathEqualsRedemption last act of redemption]].redemption]]]].


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* In ''Literature/TheMouseWatch'', the BigBad is {{Cyborg}} MadScientist Dr. Thornpaw. However, Thornpaw is working for a NebulousEvilOrganization called [[FunWithAcronyms R.A.T.S.]], whose leader is not introduced until the novel's epilogue. [[spoiler:His name is Kryptos, and all we learn about him is that he wants to TakeOverTheWorld, he thinks rats (the species) "deserve more" than just ordinary lives, and he anticiapated Thornpaw's failure and is ready to start another EvilPlan.]]


* The Father in ''Literature/Utopia58'', the leader responsible for turning Isonomia into the eponymous utopia that it is, as well as being the one forcing the nation to fight off Zion and other nations who oppose Isonomia's regulations.

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* The Father in ''Literature/Utopia58'', ''Literature/Utopia58'': [[spoiler:The [[LegacyCharacter original Father]] was the leader responsible for turning Isonomia into the eponymous utopia FalseUtopia that it is, as well as being the one forcing the nation to fight off Zion and other nations who oppose Isonomia's regulations.regulations. The current Father and BigBad is his successor, Ellie.]]





* In ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'', it's established early on that [[EvilSorcerer Arunis]] (most dangerous individual member of TheBigBadShuffle the series has going on) worships entities called the Night Gods. These gods later turn out to be very real, and Arunis doesn't just worship them, he [[AGodAmI wants to be one]]. They've set him a task to complete before they'll accept him into their ranks- namely, scouring Alifros, the world where the books are set, of life- but otherwise take no direct part and Arunis (and the other villains) stand and fall by their own merits.

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* In ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'', it's established early on that [[EvilSorcerer Arunis]] (most dangerous individual member of TheBigBadShuffle the series has going on) worships entities called the Night Gods. These gods later turn out to be very real, and Arunis doesn't just worship them, he [[AGodAmI wants to be one]]. They've set him a task to complete before they'll accept him into their ranks- ranks -- namely, scouring Alifros, the world where the books are set, of life- life -- but otherwise take no direct part and Arunis (and the other villains) stand and fall by their own merits.



** Sauron himself as the Necromancer during ''Literature/TheHobbit'' - he definitely exists and will later be revealed as the canonical ultimate evil, but has no direct role in the story's plot, except as a device to give Gandalf a reason to leave the group for chapters at a time to go get information on him.

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** Sauron himself as the Necromancer during ''Literature/TheHobbit'' - -- he definitely exists and will later be revealed as the canonical ultimate evil, but has no direct role in the story's plot, except as a device to give Gandalf a reason to leave the group for chapters at a time to go get information on him.


* Creator/LindsayBuroker's ''Literature/FallenEmpire'': The initial villains are various criminals and thugs, but as the series progresses, the machinations of an evil [[PsychicPowers Starseer]] [[spoiler:who is also the protagonist's uncle]] become more and more apparent. In works by Buroker herself and authors in Amazon's Kindle Worlds program set before the events of the main series, [[TheEmperor Emperor Markus of House Sarellian]] is the ultimate villain even if the on-page antagonists are various Imperial soldiers.

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* Creator/LindsayBuroker's Lindsay Buroker's ''Literature/FallenEmpire'': The initial villains are various criminals and thugs, but as the series progresses, the machinations of an evil [[PsychicPowers Starseer]] [[spoiler:who is also the protagonist's uncle]] become more and more apparent. In works by Buroker herself and authors in Amazon's Kindle Worlds program set before the events of the main series, [[TheEmperor Emperor Markus of House Sarellian]] is the ultimate villain even if the on-page antagonists are various Imperial soldiers.


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* ''Literature/{{Allegiant}}'':
** It's revealed that Jeanine Matthews, the BigBad of the first two books, obtained the serums used for execution and mind controlling Dauntless members from [[spoiler:the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, the mastermind behind the experiment in Chicago and several other metropolitan cities for more than eight generations]].
** It's also revealed that [[spoiler:the experiment was done to produce genetically pure children from the genetically damaged, who were the subjects of an earlier experiment to "correct" human genes of their "imperfections". So, ultimately, whoever had the insane idea to do the "correction" in the first place is this]].



* Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Literature/MySonThePhysicist": Mr Cremona is a government physicist, and when a [[{{UsefulNotes/Jupiter}} Jovian]] expedition that went missing over four years ago with only enough supplies for one year suddenly phones home from {{UsefulNotes/Pluto}}, he immediately suspects extraterrestrial involvement. However, the alien threat merely colours the setting, making it urgent to communicate clearly and concisely with the recently re-acquainted expedition.
* Creator/LindsayBuroker's ''Literature/FallenEmpire'': The initial villains are various criminals and thugs, but as the series progresses, the machinations of an evil [[PsychicPowers Starseer]] [[spoiler:who is also the protagonist's uncle]] become more and more apparent. In works by Buroker herself and authors in Amazon's Kindle Worlds program set before the events of the main series, [[TheEmperor Emperor Markus of House Sarellian]] is the ultimate villain even if the on-page antagonists are various Imperial soldiers.

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* Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Literature/MySonThePhysicist": Mr Cremona is Quite a government physicist, few of Laird Barron's works (specifically the short stories "The Broadsword," "The Men from Porlock," "Mysterium Tremendum," and when the novel ''Literature/TheCroning'') feature a [[{{UsefulNotes/Jupiter}} Jovian]] expedition that went missing over four years ago race of {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s with insidious intentions for humanity, who are the spawn of an interplanetary entity only enough supplies for one year suddenly phones home from {{UsefulNotes/Pluto}}, he immediately suspects extraterrestrial involvement. However, known as Old Leech.
* In The ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' and ''Literature/TheMalloreon'',
the alien threat merely colours King of Hell is mentioned several times as a demon god SealedEvilInACan who controls the setting, making it urgent to communicate clearly [[TheLegionsOfHell single nastiest faction in existence]], but because he isn't part of the conflict between the Light and concisely with the recently re-acquainted expedition.
* Creator/LindsayBuroker's ''Literature/FallenEmpire'': The initial villains are various criminals
Dark Prophecies, he to all practical intents and thugs, but as purposes sits the series progresses, the machinations out. A couple of an evil [[PsychicPowers Starseer]] [[spoiler:who is also the protagonist's uncle]] become more and more apparent. In works by Buroker herself and authors his top minions ''do'' show up in Amazon's Kindle Worlds program set before the events of the main series, [[TheEmperor Emperor Markus of House Sarellian]] is the ultimate supporting villain even if roles, but were likely acting independently.
* ''The Brethren'', by Creator/JohnGrisham, makes reference early on to one Natli Chenkov, a Russian politician and Communist hardliner who is suspected of planning to stage a coup and start a war
the on-page antagonists director of the CIA doubts America can win. The main action of the book involves three former judges (the titular Brethren) who run a blackmail scheme from prison and unwittingly hook the congressman whom said CIA director hopes to install as President to beef up the military and block Chenkov's ambitions, bringing down the CIA's wrath on them. Whether this makes Teddy Maynard (the CIA director) the BigBad (albeit a WellIntentionedExtremist) or the Brethren [[VillainProtagonist Villain Protagonists]] (albeit sympathetic ones) is arguable, but Chenkov is hardly mentioned after the initial explanation.
* Creator/DaleBrown's books have portrayed the Chinese presidents and high commands that tacitly condone the generals' and admirals' actions as this, in contrast to the Russian presidents who have directly been {{Big Bad}}s.
* In ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'', it's established early on that [[EvilSorcerer Arunis]] (most dangerous individual member of TheBigBadShuffle the series has going on) worships entities called the Night Gods. These gods later turn out to be very real, and Arunis doesn't just worship them, he [[AGodAmI wants to be one]]. They've set him a task to complete before they'll accept him into their ranks- namely, scouring Alifros, the world where the books
are various Imperial soldiers.set, of life- but otherwise take no direct part and Arunis (and the other villains) stand and fall by their own merits.
* ''Literature/TheLastBattle'' reveals that [[spoiler:the chief Calormene god Tash]] was this all along throughout ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'':
** Arawn Death-Lord who played the role of the BigBad for ''The Book of Three'' and ''The Black Cauldron'', is this for ''The Castle of Llyr'' and ''Taran Wanderer''. By ''The High King'', he's the BigBad again.
** There's also Gwyn the Hunter's unnamed lord. Even Gwydion doesn't know his name or identity, but believes that he's greater in power than Arawn -- although not necessarily evil, since Gwyn's function (basically a GrimReaper figure) is a necessary one.



* [[EldritchAbomination The Nameless]] in the ''Literature/ColdfireTrilogy''. He/she/it/they (it's complicated) is far and away the most powerful evil in the series, but while it features prominently in the backstory of [[VillainProtagonist Gerald Tarrant]], the bad guy actually responsible for the conflict is [[TheCorrupter Calesta]]. The Nameless's only real role in the present-day story is to [[spoiler: punish Tarrant for apparently backing out on the DealWithTheDevil they made]].
* Creator/BrandonSanderson's ''Literature/TheCosmere'': [[spoiler:The Shard Odium]] is shaping up to be the most powerful evil, though some WordOfGod indicates that something more subtle but even more dangerous ''may'' be out there. [[spoiler: Odium takes the role of BigBad proper]] in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''.



* In ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', [[TheHeartless the Serpents]] are led by the Royal One, but though he appears in the fourth and fifth books, afterwards he plays no direct role in the story, leaving the jobs of TheHeavy of the series and TheFace of Serpents as a faction to his minion [[ManipulativeBastard Sang-drax]]. [[AntiHero Haplo]] also speculates that the Serpents as a whole are merely the minions of some even greater evil power, but if this is true, such a power never makes itself known directly.
* The Shadow Lord in ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'', an [[EvilOverlord Evil Overlord]] and part-time ascended [[CosmicEntity Cosmic Entity]], is responsible for most of the immediate antagonists of each book but is rarely seen or directly faced. While the focus shifts towards the Shadow Lord as the endgame villain in the later books of each series, the primary focus stays on a smaller-scale villain (though often orchestrated by the Shadow Lord himself). Exceptions where the Shadow Lord could be considered the [[BigBad Big Bad]] are [[spoiler: the finales of the first and especially second series.]]



* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', the evil deities frequently play this role in the novels, such as Hiddukel in the Taladas Trilogy, or Takhisis in Chronicles. There is also [[spoiler: Morgion]] in the Minotaur Wars Trilogy.
* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "[[TheManBehindTheMan Black Council]]". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and is told its name is “Nemesis”. That said, its influence is only ever felt indirectly, and it has only ever spoken through intermediaries. It’s still unclear whether the Black Council is controlled by it, or perhaps working alongside it. But Literature/PeaceTalks has basically confirmed the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series is [[spoiler:the Outsiders. They’re constantly trying to break into our reality, and if they ever get in “[[ApocalypseHow Everything stops. Everything.]]” (Implying a potential class 6, but on a cosmic scale.) Nemesis is one of theirs (described as an infiltrator) and they are implied to be connected to the Black Council as well.]]
* ''Literature/{{Edgedancer}}'' (a novella of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Nale is the main antagonist, as he doesn't believe the Desolation is coming and is trying to stop the people who have the means to stop it, but the novella reveals that he's been set on this path by [[spoiler:another Herald, Ishar]], who convinced him that the signs of the upcoming Desolation are anything but. Whether the latter is treacherous or merely insane, he's certainly a bigger problem going forward.
* In Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''Empire of the East'', the eponymous evil [[TheEmpire empire]] is ruled by mortal men, particularly by Emperor John Ominor, the BigBad. It was founded, however, by Orcus, the king of all demons, whom Ominor overthrew in a coup and imprisoned. It will probably not surprise anyone to learn that Orcus eventually escapes.
* ''Literature/EphemeralPrince'' reveals the Lord, Rizec, is responsible for ruining the lives of Edgar, Lina, Soan, and Xiri, causing them to become the main villains of the [[VideoGame/StarStealingPrince prequel game]]. [[spoiler:He had his underling, Zuan, manipulate Soan into eating the demon Xiri, leading to Xiri going insane and manipulating Soan to destroy his own kingdom. He also torched the kingdom of Sabine, forcing the residents to flee to the remains of Soan's kingdom and pushing Edgar and Lina over the DespairEventHorizon. This leads to the couple backstabbing Soan to steal his power and sealing Xiri inside of Snowe, causing the events of the game.]]
* Creator/LindsayBuroker's ''Literature/FallenEmpire'': The initial villains are various criminals and thugs, but as the series progresses, the machinations of an evil [[PsychicPowers Starseer]] [[spoiler:who is also the protagonist's uncle]] become more and more apparent. In works by Buroker herself and authors in Amazon's Kindle Worlds program set before the events of the main series, [[TheEmperor Emperor Markus of House Sarellian]] is the ultimate villain even if the on-page antagonists are various Imperial soldiers.
* The Bellon-Tockland Institute in Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/FalseMemory'', a semi-fascistic psychology think tank. The main villain of the book, [[MeaningfulName Mark Ahriman]], is a psychologist who develops a form of mind control and employs it both on behalf of the Institute and for his own deviant amusement; the trouble he causes for the main characters stems from [[spoiler:his grudge against the stepfather of two of them, another academic who spammed Amazon with with negative reviews of Ahriman's work, as well as a previous affair with the wife/mother which ended badly]]. Although we do see Ahriman manipulate a patient into [[spoiler:biting off the nose of the U.S. President]] as a "message", and the Institute's connections are used in the BackStory to explain how he has escaped any accountability for his murderous pastime, the Institute's plans have no direct bearing on the novel's events and [[VillainWithGoodPublicity they are ultimately cleared]] [[KarmaHoudini of any connection to Ahriman]] after [[spoiler:the protagonists break his control on them and another one of his unstable pawns randomly kills him]].



* In the ''Fever'' series by Karen Marie Moning, [[spoiler: the Unseelie King is the ultimate evil force but makes no obvious appearance until the end of book five where he saves the day. Seemingly still evil since he is still technically the originator of all the evil things going on because he created all the Unseelie.]].
* ''Literature/TheFifthSeason'' and ''Literature/TheObeliskGate:'' [[spoiler: Father Earth himself, causing massive disasters and toppling civilizations because Orogenes cost him his only child; the Moon.]]



* In ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', the true villains are Ernest and Irena. They're both responsible for Ture's and Nikita's psychological instability -- and, by extension, Ture's actions in the story -- and Irena has been manipulating Nikita from the start to be her perfect little weapon.



* Creator/DanielHandler's ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': The Man with a Beard but No Hair, and The Woman with Hair but No Beard are clearly much more important members of TheConspiracy than the fortune-seeking Count Olaf and the [[spoiler: Baudelaire parents]]. In fact, they turn out to be very influential citizens of the state and pillars of the respectable society as [[spoiler: they are Judges which immediately allows them some critical decision-making in public matters as well]]. Despite this their relevance and plans are not directly tied to the Baudelaire's story outside of two novels, and even then, Olaf is still the major villain, while they hang out in the background and act out their own plans, only slightly influencing Olaf's own.

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* Creator/DanielHandler's ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': The Man Morbin Blackhawk from ''Literature/TheGreenEmber'' rarely appears throughout the series, and he's never the direct source of conflict in any of the books. Nevertheless, Morbin's slaying of King Jupiter several years ago is what led to the country spiraling into turmoil, and every BigBad or ArcVillain is working for or with him to some extent.
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'':
** Though it might be nitpicking quite
a Beard bit, but No Hair, and The Woman with Hair but No Beard all things in this universe, including the BigBad [[spoiler:Gaea]] can all ultimately trace ancestry to [[PrimordialChaos Chaos]], the void beneath [[{{Hell}} Tartarus]] where everything that falls down would dissolve into nothingness. But well, all things are clearly much more important members of TheConspiracy than all things; the fortune-seeking Count Olaf and good guys wouldn't exist without Chaos either, so it's like saying that the Abrahamic God is this because everything is ultimately His creations. It only really counts as this because [[spoiler: Baudelaire parents]]. Akhlys]] refers to it as "my father"; whether she means it literally or metaphorically is anyone's guess.
**
In fact, they turn out to be very influential citizens one of the state and pillars short stories included in ''Literature/TheDemigodDiaries'', it's revealed that all of the respectable society as demigods' deaths due to monsters throughout the history can be attributed to [[spoiler: they are Judges which immediately allows them some critical decision-making in public matters as well]]. Despite this their relevance Lamia, a queen who had [[JerkassGods her children killed by Hera because she had a relationship with Zeus]], who had [[RevengeByProxy woven a spell that caused all demigods from then on to possess a certain smell that attracts the attention of monsters]]. Notably, Lamia herself is [[KarmaHoudini still alive and plans are not directly tied kicking]], as she is protected by her mother, [[MamaBear Hecate]] (even though, y'know, Hecate's ''own demigod children'' might have been the victims of Lamia's spell as well).]]
* Charles "Trout" Walker in ''Literature/{{Holes}}'', the even worse deceased grandfather
to the Baudelaire's story outside BigBad. The entire plot ultimately stems from his [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain racially-motivated murder]] of two novels, Sam the Onion Man, which caused Green Lake to dry up and even then, Olaf is still Sam's lover Kate Barlow to cross the major villain, while they hang out DespairEventHorizon and become an outlaw, ultimately burying treasure in the background desolate lakebed. Trout became obsessed with finding the treasure, even forcing his granddaughter to help him dig, [[FreudianExcuse which is why she forces other children to dig in the present]].
* The planet Mesa
and act out Manpower Inc. was eventually revealed in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series to be ultimately responsible for the long and bloody war between Manticore and Haven. When their own plans, role was revealed, ''then'' it was discovered they were merely a front for the secretive Mesan Alignment organization. Manticore and Haven were.... less than impressed to find out just who was responsible for their long, bloody conflict. [[TheAlliance So they decided to do something about it.]]
* Set, in Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' and ''Literature/{{Kull}}'' stories.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'':
** In the first book, Katniss is
only slightly influencing Olaf's own.interested in surviving the Hunger Games and not in taking down the government, so the main antagonists are the other Tributes. However, the other tributes are also just trying to survive; [[PresidentEvil President Snow]] is the only truly evil character. He is downgraded to BigBad in later books.
** Snow implies that [[spoiler:District 13]] caused the Dark Days in an attempt to rise to power, only to back down when the Capitol defeated them and the rebelling Districts, causing the rise of the Hunger Games. [[spoiler:He says this when he realizes that Alma Coin was playing this trope from the beginning for that exact same reason. Thankfully, Katniss decides to bump her down to the BigBad and off her afterwards]].



* Creator/BrandonSanderson's ''Literature/TheCosmere'': [[spoiler:The Shard Odium]] is shaping up to be the most powerful evil, though some WordOfGod indicates that something more subtle but even more dangerous ''may'' be out there. [[spoiler: Odium takes the role of BigBad proper]] in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''.
* ''Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium'':
** Melkor a.k.a. Morgoth was always the ultimate evil presence in Middle-Earth, but after his defeat and imprisonment at the end of ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Sauron took over the role of the active BigBad, overlapping with DragonAscendant. Morgoth was not destroyed, however, and Tolkien's writings indicate he will free himself in time to command the forces of darkness once again at the Last Battle.
** Sauron himself as the Necromancer during ''Literature/TheHobbit'' - he definitely exists and will later be revealed as the canonical ultimate evil, but has no direct role in the story's plot, except as a device to give Gandalf a reason to leave the group for chapters at a time to go get information on him.
%%* ''Literature/VampireCity'': The unseen Evil priest %%How are they a "greater scope"?
* Several of Creator/TadWilliams' works feature an entity called Unbeing or Old Night, which is the representation of entropy and ultimate decay. It's never any of the {{Big Bad}}s, but is portrayed as being tied to their actions, and at least one (Hellebore of ''Literature/TheWarOfTheFlowers'') planned to deliberately unleash it.
* ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime'': IT is the BigBad, and the Man with the Red Eyes may be [=ITs=] [[TheDragon Dragon]], while the Black Thing is more a manifestation of Evil as a concept. On the other hand TheMovie states that the Black Thing was created by IT, making IT the biggest villain of that adaptation.

* In The ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' and ''Literature/TheMalloreon'', the King of Hell is mentioned several times as a demon god SealedEvilInACan who controls the [[TheLegionsOfHell single nastiest faction in existence]], but because he isn't part of the conflict between the Light and Dark Prophecies, he to all practical intents and purposes sits the series out. A couple of his top minions ''do'' show up in supporting villain roles, but were likely acting independently.
* The Crimson King was presented as the central evil in Creator/StephenKing's metaverse; however, in an example of TheDevilIsALoser, when he's finally confronted in the GrandFinale of ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series he's revealed to be nothing more than an insane old man armed with nothing except [[Literature/HarryPotter suspiciously]] [[ShoutOut familiar]] flying grenades, who is promptly defeated in one of the most ignoble manners possible. It's later revealed he had relied on ancient technology to give him most of his seemingly multiverse-spanning omnipotent powers, and when he lost that through the efforts of various heroes on various realities he was reduced to the pathetic wretch confronted by Roland.
* ''Literature/TheRiftWarCycle'': Nalar, Raymond E. Feist's God of Evil, is slowly revealed to fill this role, and being imprisoned in another dimension, can do little more than be the influence for the various Big Bads in his books [[spoiler: and the ''true'' BigBad, the Dread, has nothing to do with him]]. Leso Varen, his minion, fills this role as well (making Nalar a GreaterScopeVillain).



* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'':
** Arawn Death-Lord who played the role of the BigBad for ''The Book of Three'' and ''The Black Cauldron'', is this for ''The Castle of Llyr'' and ''Taran Wanderer''. By ''The High King'', he's the BigBad again.
** There's also Gwyn the Hunter's unnamed lord. Even Gwydion doesn't know his name or identity, but believes that he's greater in power than Arawn - although not necessarily evil, since Gwyn's function (basically a GrimReaper figure) is a necessary one.
* ''Literature/TheLastBattle'' reveals that [[spoiler:the chief Calormene god Tash]] was this all along throughout ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', the evil deities frequently play this role in the novels, such as Hiddukel in the Taladas Trilogy, or Takhisis in Chronicles. There is also [[spoiler: Morgion]] in the Minotaur Wars Trilogy.
* [[UltimateEvil The Void]] of ''Literature/TheWordAndTheVoid'' is the Greater Scope Villain to each of the trilogy's respective villains. Due to its status as an AllPowerfulBystander it never intervenes in the plot, and as such, has little impact beyond merely existing. CanonWelding by the author makes the Void the Greater Scope Villain of the [[LongRunner long running]] ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series as well, where it has ''less'' of a direct role.

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* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'':
''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'':
** Arawn Death-Lord who played the role of Set is the BigBad for of the first novel, but at the end, it is revealed that he is ultimately manipulated by [[spoiler: Apophis, the Serpent of Evil who seeks to annihilate Ma'at, the essence of order. He]] takes up the BigBad spot in the next two books.
** Again, like the Chaos example above,
''The Book Kane Chronicles'' also has its own nitpicky example: the Sea of Three'' Chaos (named Nu in the real-life mythology), located deep below Duat. It is the ultimate origin of everything in the universe. The sea attracts everyone who comes closer and would dissolve them if they touch it.
* All of horror novelist Brian Keene's works are connected by the Labyrinth, in which dwell the Thirteen, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that existed in the PrimordialChaos before the birth of the universe. Among them, the Thirteenth is the most powerful and feared.
* The Crimson King was presented as the central evil in Creator/StephenKing's metaverse; however, in an example of TheDevilIsALoser, when he's finally confronted in the GrandFinale of ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series he's revealed to be nothing more than an insane old man armed with nothing except [[Literature/HarryPotter suspiciously]] [[ShoutOut familiar]] flying grenades, who is promptly defeated in one of the most ignoble manners possible. It's later revealed he had relied on ancient technology to give him most of his seemingly multiverse-spanning omnipotent powers, and when he lost that through the efforts of various heroes on various realities he was reduced to the pathetic wretch confronted by Roland.
* The Cthaeh is this for every evil in
''The Black Cauldron'', Kingkiller Chronicles''. It was the Cthaeh's manipulation that sparked the war between the Shapers and the Namers, the Cthaeh who arranged the creation of the Chandrian, the Cthaeh that set in motion whatever catastrophe is going on in the background as Kote tells his story to the Chronicler.
* The Ix from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]. They trump Gwilanna hands down.
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Kthonia is the most powerful villain in
this for ''The Castle of Llyr'' and ''Taran Wanderer''. By ''The High King'', he's story but she is neither involved, [[spoiler: aware of, or inclinded to assist with]] Jihadain's EvilPlan. [[spoiler: When Kalak kills Jihadain, however, she becomes the TrueFinalBoss.]]
* ''Literature/MagnusChaseAndTheGodsOfAsgard'': Like the real-life mythology, Loki is presumably set up as
the BigBad again.
** There's also Gwyn
of the Hunter's unnamed lord. Even Gwydion doesn't know series, but the first book focuses more on his name or identity, but believes that he's greater in power than Arawn - although not necessarily evil, since Gwyn's function (basically a GrimReaper figure) is a necessary one.
* ''Literature/TheLastBattle'' reveals that [[spoiler:the chief Calormene god Tash]] was this all along throughout ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'',
son, Fenris Wolf, and the evil deities frequently play this role fire giant Surt, while he is relegated to appearing in Magnus' dreams.[[spoiler:He steps down to BigBad after being freed from his chains in the novels, such as Hiddukel in the Taladas Trilogy, or Takhisis in Chronicles. There is also [[spoiler: Morgion]] in the Minotaur Wars Trilogy.
* [[UltimateEvil The Void]] of ''Literature/TheWordAndTheVoid'' is the Greater Scope Villain to each of the trilogy's respective villains. Due to its status as an AllPowerfulBystander it never intervenes in the plot, and as such, has little impact beyond merely existing. CanonWelding by the author makes the Void the Greater Scope Villain of the [[LongRunner long running]] ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series as well, where it has ''less'' of a direct role.
second book.]]



* Set, in Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' and ''Literature/{{Kull}}'' stories.
* The Bellon-Tockland Institute in Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/FalseMemory'', a semi-fascistic psychology think tank. The main villain of the book, [[MeaningfulName Mark Ahriman]], is a psychologist who develops a form of mind control and employs it both on behalf of the Institute and for his own deviant amusement; the trouble he causes for the main characters stems from [[spoiler:his grudge against the stepfather of two of them, another academic who spammed Amazon with with negative reviews of Ahriman's work, as well as a previous affair with the wife/mother which ended badly]]. Although we do see Ahriman manipulate a patient into [[spoiler:biting off the nose of the U.S. President]] as a "message", and the Institute's connections are used in the BackStory to explain how he has escaped any accountability for his murderous pastime, the Institute's plans have no direct bearing on the novel's events and [[VillainWithGoodPublicity they are ultimately cleared]] [[KarmaHoudini of any connection to Ahriman]] after [[spoiler:the protagonists break his control on them and another one of his unstable pawns randomly kills him]].
* The Otherness from the ''Literature/RepairmanJack'' series, a vast, impersonal cosmic force locked in an endless war to conquer the multiverse. In our world, its goals are carried out by the immortal [[BigBad Rasalom]] and his disciples.

to:

* Set, in Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' ''Literature/MartinFierro'': All the misfortunes Fierro and ''Literature/{{Kull}}'' stories.
all the [[{{Gaucho}} Gauchos]] suffer in that book are by design: RealLife PresidentEvil Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (who never appears at the book) had decreed the [[{{Dystopia}} “Conquest of the desert”]] so the Indians will be subjected to KillThemAll and the Gauchos will be replaced by the Gringos (immigrants of European descent).
* ''[[Literature/TheMazeRunner The Maze Runner Trilogy]]'':
** Chancellor Paige, the head of all the mess that is WICKED. [[spoiler:Eventually, though, the cruelty of that position gets to her and she decides to cut their losses and stop torturing people for a cure that might never come]]. Notable in that she is [[TheGhost never seen]] in the series, barring TheFilmOfTheBook.
** Then there's Katie [=McVoy=], a bit character who is only mentioned in two short letters published in ''The Maze Runner Files'' whose [[SmallRoleBigImpact not-so-small role]] involves [[spoiler:suggesting the method to kill half of the world population using the V C321xb 47 virus AKA the Flare virus, which mutated unpredictably, as in, ''setting off all this mess in the first place'']]. By the events of ''The Maze Runner'', however, [[spoiler:she is already long dead due to catching the virus and committing suicide to prevent it spreading over as her last act of redemption]].
* The Bellon-Tockland Institute Widow (a.k.a. Indira Gandhi) in Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/FalseMemory'', a semi-fascistic psychology think tank. ''Literature/MidnightsChildren''. The fate that Saleem suffers in the climax is performed at her orders, but Saleem never encounters her directly, only her subordinates.
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', Asmodeus is too busy overseeing the destruction of entire worlds to get involved in day-to-day evildoing. Until his son [[spoiler:Magnus]] summons him in ''City of Heavenly Fire'', at which point he briefly appears in humanoid form and acts as a DeusExMachina before returning to his more cosmic interests. This is standard for all of the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Princes of Hell]], most especially [[{{Satan}} Lucifer]]. While they can be summoned (or at least avatars of them can) they do not dirty their hands with normal villainy, instead focusing on warfare against {{God}} across TheMultiverse.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's "Literature/MySonThePhysicist": Mr Cremona is a government physicist, and when a [[{{UsefulNotes/Jupiter}} Jovian]] expedition that went missing over four years ago with only enough supplies for one year suddenly phones home from {{UsefulNotes/Pluto}}, he immediately suspects extraterrestrial involvement. However, the alien threat merely colours the setting, making it urgent to communicate clearly and concisely with the recently re-acquainted expedition.
* From ''Literature/TheNeverEndingStory'' we have the mysterious beings who created the Nothing and sent G'Mork to kill Arteyu. They are mentioned once by G'Mork and never play any role in the story after the Nothing is defeated. If they're even sentient creatures is up for debate.
* In [[Literature/NewSeriesAdventures "Prisoner of the Daleks"]] Dalek X (the Dalek Inquisitor-General) serves as the main villain. However it is mentioned he answers to the Supreme Dalek.
* Derek Leech, who appears in the background of various stories by Creator/KimNewman, is a monstrous hybrid of Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch, and also TheAntichrist. He is clearly plotting some kind of evil Tory apocalypse, but has been known to help sympathetic characters fight other evil types whose preferred apocalypses would [[EvilVersusOblivion clash with his own]]. There are some stories, including the short stories "The Original Dr. Shade" and "Organ Donors" and the novel ''Literature/TheQuorum'', where he plays a more directly antagonistic role, but even then usually he's enabling the story's
main villain of rather than being the book, [[MeaningfulName Mark Ahriman]], is a psychologist who develops a form of mind control villain himself and employs it both on behalf of it's made clear that whatever the Institute and for his own deviant amusement; villain's up to is just a part of Leech's real plans.
* In
the trouble he causes for the main characters stems from [[spoiler:his grudge against the stepfather of two of them, another academic who spammed Amazon with with negative reviews of Ahriman's work, as well as a previous affair with the wife/mother which ended badly]]. Although we do see Ahriman manipulate a patient into [[spoiler:biting off the nose of the U.S. President]] as a "message", and the Institute's connections are used in the BackStory to explain how he has escaped any accountability for his murderous pastime, the Institute's plans have no direct bearing on the novel's events and [[VillainWithGoodPublicity they are ultimately cleared]] [[KarmaHoudini of any connection to Ahriman]] after [[spoiler:the protagonists break his control on them and another one of his unstable pawns randomly kills him]].
* The Otherness from the ''Literature/RepairmanJack''
''Literature/{{Nightrunner}}'' series, a vast, impersonal cosmic force locked in an endless war to conquer the multiverse. In our world, its goals are carried out by GodOfEvil Seriamaius seems to encourage his followers, especially necromancers, (and others) in villainous actions, but never appears as an actual character except in prophetic dreams. Granted, none of the immortal [[BigBad Rasalom]] and his disciples.more benign gods put in personal appearances either.



* [[spoiler: Florence de Peyser]] in Creator/PeterStraub's ''Ghost Story''.
* ''Literature/{{Edgedancer}}'' (a novella of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Nale is the main antagonist, as he doesn't believe the Desolation is coming and is trying to stop the people who have the means to stop it, but the novella reveals that he's been set on this path by [[spoiler:another Herald, Ishar]], who convinced him that the signs of the upcoming Desolation are anything but. Whether the latter is treacherous or merely insane, he's certainly a bigger problem going forward.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', the Dark Forest serve this role during the ''Power of Three'' arc. They are recruiting an army to destroy the Clans, and are made up of the most powerful villains the heroes have ever faced. However, this is mostly going on in the background, as the main driving point of the arc is uncovering the secrets of the past and defeating the villain Sol, who is trying to make the Clans destroy each other.

to:

* [[spoiler: Florence de Peyser]] ''Literature/NinaTanleven'': ''The Ghost in Creator/PeterStraub's ''Ghost Story''.
* ''Literature/{{Edgedancer}}'' (a novella of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Nale is
the main antagonist, as he Third Row'' has [[spoiler:Andrew Heron, who doesn't believe the Desolation appear at all but is coming and is trying revealed to stop the people who have filled both his wife and daughter with stories about how he was innocent and was set up to take the means fall for Lily Larkin's death, and unwittingly inspired Lydia to stop it, but try to shut down the novella reveals that he's been set play based on this path by [[spoiler:another Herald, Ishar]], who convinced him that the signs story of the upcoming Desolation are anything but. Whether the latter is treacherous or merely insane, he's certainly a bigger problem going forward.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', the Dark Forest serve this role during the ''Power of Three'' arc. They are recruiting an army to destroy the Clans,
he, Lily and are made up of the most powerful villains the heroes have ever faced. However, this is mostly going on in the background, as the main driving point of the arc is uncovering the secrets of the past and defeating the villain Sol, who is trying to make the Clans destroy each other.Edward Parker.]]



* [[EldritchAbomination The Nameless]] in the ''Literature/ColdfireTrilogy''. He/she/it/they (it's complicated) is far and away the most powerful evil in the series, but while it features prominently in the backstory of [[VillainProtagonist Gerald Tarrant]], the bad guy actually responsible for the conflict is [[TheCorrupter Calesta]]. The Nameless's only real role in the present-day story is to [[spoiler: punish Tarrant for apparently backing out on the DealWithTheDevil they made]].
* ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'' gives us the ''first'' Marquis de Saint-Evremonde. By the time the story begins, he's already dead, but it's revealed in a flashback that he was the linchpin for everything bad that happened when he [[spoiler: raped [[BigBad Madame Defarge]]'s sister, causing the good Madame to [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge swear revenge and mark the Marquis' entire family and anyone who would help them for death]]]]. Unfortunately, [[RevengeByProxy this includes the completely innocent main characters.]] In fact, everything bad includes bad things that have befallen said completely innocent main characters, with Charles Darnay forced to reject his name and emigrate to England (and according to his uncle they would have him imprisoned if they could for doing) and Dr. Manette rotting away for most of his youth in the Bastille for refusing to condone said atrocities.

to:

* [[EldritchAbomination ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': The Nameless]] BigBad of the first two books is [[spoiler:Luke Castellan]], and the third has [[spoiler:Atlas]]. However, both are only servants of the Kronos, who [[spoiler:steps down to BigBad for the last two books in the ''Literature/ColdfireTrilogy''. He/she/it/they (it's complicated) series after being freed [[SealedEvilInACan from Tartarus]]]].
* ''Literature/RedWall'' has a very obscure, but nonetheless ominous, mention of a possible GreaterScopeVillain pervading the entire series in the book The Taggerung. Vulpuz
is far mentioned as both [[EverybodyHatesHades ruler of the Hellgates, where evil Redwall creatures go after they die]], and away the ancestor of [[AlwaysChaoticEvil the foxes]] who are one of the most powerful prominent evil species in the series.
* The Otherness from the ''Literature/RepairmanJack'' series, a vast, impersonal cosmic force locked in an endless war to conquer the multiverse. In our world, its goals are carried out by the immortal [[BigBad Rasalom]] and his disciples.
* ''Literature/TheRiftWarCycle'': Nalar, Raymond E. Feist's God of Evil, is slowly revealed to fill this role, and being imprisoned in another dimension, can do little more than be the influence for the various Big Bads in his books [[spoiler: and the ''true'' BigBad, the Dread, has nothing to do with him]]. Leso Varen, his minion, fills this role as well (making Nalar a GreaterScopeVillain).
* Creator/DanielHandler's ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': The Man with a Beard but No Hair, and The Woman with Hair but No Beard are clearly much more important members of TheConspiracy than the fortune-seeking Count Olaf and the [[spoiler: Baudelaire parents]]. In fact, they turn out to be very influential citizens of the state and pillars of the respectable society as [[spoiler: they are Judges which immediately allows them some critical decision-making in public matters as well]]. Despite this their relevance and plans are not directly tied to the Baudelaire's story outside of two novels, and even then, Olaf is still the major villain, while they hang out in the background and act out their own plans, only slightly influencing Olaf's own.
* The ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'':
** The first two BigBad characters ([[VillainWithGoodPublicity Nefarian Serpine]] and [[GeneralRipper Baron Vengeous]]) were only the men they were because of their now-dead master [[SorcerousOverlord Mevolent]]. Mevolent was considered the BigBad of the setting prior to his death before the beginning of
the series, but while it features prominently in ''he'' wouldn't have gotten there without ''his'' master, the backstory of [[VillainProtagonist Gerald Tarrant]], so-termed '[[UltimateEvil Nameless One]]'. Furthermore, Mevolent, along with Serpine, Vengeous, [[StandardEvilOrganizationSquad the bad guy actually responsible for Diablerie]] (whose [[IJustWantToBeSpecial leader]] is the conflict is [[TheCorrupter Calesta]]. The Nameless's only real role in the present-day story is to [[spoiler: punish Tarrant for apparently backing out on the DealWithTheDevil they made]].
* ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'' gives us the ''first'' Marquis de Saint-Evremonde. By the time the story begins, he's already dead, but it's revealed in a flashback that he was the linchpin for everything bad that happened when he [[spoiler: raped [[BigBad Madame Defarge]]'s sister, causing the good Madame to
BigBad of book three), [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge swear revenge Dreylan Scarab]] (BigBad of book four) and mark [[MagnificentBastard Eliza Scorn]] (who is yet to be a BigBad but is still a significant threat in later books) were all primarily motivated by their [[ReligionOfEvil worship]] of the Marquis' entire family [[EldritchAbomination Faceless Ones]], evil gods who were themselves worshipped ([[EvenEvilHasStandards albeit also eventually banished]]) by the long-dead [[AbusivePrecursors Ancients]]. Meanwhile, possibly the most powerful magician in the setting is Mevolent's one surviving lieutenant, [[PersonOfMassDestruction Lord Vile]], who [[DragonWithAnAgenda wasn't actually loyal to Mevolent]] in the first place, simply wanting to [[OmnicidalManiac kill everything]], but has yet to significantly impede the heroes as he is usually kept mostly subdued on account of being [[spoiler: Skulduggery's SuperPoweredEvilSide]]. And on the subject of [[spoiler: {{SuperPowered Evil Side}}s]], there are all these prophecies about how [[ApocalypseMaiden Darquesse]] [[spoiler: AKA Valkyrie Cain]] is destined to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, but seven books in she's still yet to come to the fore.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has a BigBadEnsemble with Littlefinger, the Lannisters, the [[spoiler: Boltons
and anyone who would help Freys]] (although they're working, sort of, for the Lannisters), and [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] [[spoiler: Varys]] and Melisandre. Overshadowing them for death]]]]. Unfortunately, [[RevengeByProxy this includes all by many degrees, however, are [[MonstrousHumanoid the completely innocent main characters.]] In fact, everything bad includes bad things that have befallen said completely innocent main characters, with Charles Darnay forced Others]]. Not to reject his name mention the generalized threat of "myth" and emigrate [[TheMagicComesBack magic coming back]] in other dangerous, if somewhat less maliciously deadly, shapes to England (and according to his uncle complicate ''everything'' they would have him imprisoned if they could for doing) also represent.
** The NeglectfulPrecursors of the current Lords
and Dr. Manette rotting away for most Ladies offer a different -- and possible straighter -- example. Martin goes out of his youth way to show that one VERY big reason that Westeros is such a CrapsackWorld -- almost on par with the {{Realpolitik}} -- is that [[CycleOfRevenge no one ever forgets their grudges]] [[SinsOfTheFather even when the people responsible are long dead]]. Oaths broken, wars fought, people killed -- the actions of the past shape the ways the nobility interacts in the Bastille present [[InherentInTheSystem and will continue doing so well into the future]]. Tyrion sadly lampshades how each generation puppets the generation that comes after from beyond the grave.
* Salocin, the evil entity from ''Literature/SpectralShadows'', is basically responsible
for refusing all the evils in Ra's Universe. If there's something evil or something corrupt, chances are it can be traced back to condone said atrocities.him in ''some'' fashion.



** The WhamEpisode online novella ''[[http://www.starwarstimeline.net/Supernatural_Encounters.htm Supernatural Encounters]]'', which had been stuck in DevelopmentHell for over a decade before seeing release in 2018, reveals that the greatest villains of the Star Wars Legends universe were, are, and always have been [[spoiler:the Old Ones, a pantheon of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s who members include such luminaries as [[Literature/FateOfTheJedi Abeloth]], [[Literature/TheCrystalStar Waru]], and the Bedlam Spirits from Alan Moore's Marvel UK comics. Among other things, they are the collective ManBehindTheMan to the aforementioned Abominor, the [[Literature/BlackFleetCrisis Yevetha]], the [[ChurchMilitant Pius Dea]], and the various mystical menaces from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Ewoks}}'' cartoon; one of them, Typhojem, invented the very idea of worship of TheDarkSide in the first place, thus without him the Sith and most of the other Force-using antagonist groups would never have existed. There is one villain even greater than the Old Ones, however - Nakhash, Father of Shadows, a renegade [[CelestialParagonsAndArchangels Celestial]] of whom even this story says little but who appears to serve a role in the cosmology similar to [[Literature/TheSilmarillion Morgoth]] or [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Nyarlathotep]]. In fact, it's implied he tempted the first generation of Old Ones into evil in the first place]].
* In the ''Fever'' series by Karen Marie Moning, [[spoiler: the Unseelie King is the ultimate evil force but makes no obvious appearance until the end of book five where he saves the day. Seemingly still evil since he is still technically the originator of all the evil things going on because he created all the Unseelie.]].
* The planet Mesa and Manpower Inc. was eventually revealed in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series to be ultimately responsible for the long and bloody war between Manticore and Haven. When their role was revealed, ''then'' it was discovered they were merely a front for the secretive Mesan Alignment organization. Manticore and Haven were.... less than impressed to find out just who was responsible for their long, bloody conflict. [[TheAlliance So they decided to do something about it.]]
* The ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'':
** The first two BigBad characters ([[VillainWithGoodPublicity Nefarian Serpine]] and [[GeneralRipper Baron Vengeous]]) were only the men they were because of their now-dead master [[SorcerousOverlord Mevolent]]. Mevolent was considered the BigBad of the setting prior to his death before the beginning of the series, but ''he'' wouldn't have gotten there without ''his'' master, the so-termed '[[UltimateEvil Nameless One]]'. Furthermore, Mevolent, along with Serpine, Vengeous, [[StandardEvilOrganizationSquad the Diablerie]] (whose [[IJustWantToBeSpecial leader]] is the BigBad of book three), [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Dreylan Scarab]] (BigBad of book four) and [[MagnificentBastard Eliza Scorn]] (who is yet to be a BigBad but is still a significant threat in later books) were all primarily motivated by their [[ReligionOfEvil worship]] of the [[EldritchAbomination Faceless Ones]], evil gods who were themselves worshipped ([[EvenEvilHasStandards albeit also eventually banished]]) by the long-dead [[AbusivePrecursors Ancients]]. Meanwhile, possibly the most powerful magician in the setting is Mevolent's one surviving lieutenant, [[PersonOfMassDestruction Lord Vile]], who [[DragonWithAnAgenda wasn't actually loyal to Mevolent]] in the first place, simply wanting to [[OmnicidalManiac kill everything]], but has yet to significantly impede the heroes as he is usually kept mostly subdued on account of being [[spoiler: Skulduggery's SuperPoweredEvilSide]]. And on the subject of [[spoiler: {{SuperPowered Evil Side}}s]], there are all these prophecies about how [[ApocalypseMaiden Darquesse]] [[spoiler: AKA Valkyrie Cain]] is destined to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, but seven books in she's still yet to come to the fore.
* ''The Brethren'', by Creator/JohnGrisham, makes reference early on to one Natli Chenkov, a Russian politician and Communist hardliner who is suspected of planning to stage a coup and start a war the director of the CIA doubts America can win. The main action of the book involves three former judges (the titular Brethren) who run a blackmail scheme from prison and unwittingly hook the congressman whom said CIA director hopes to install as President to beef up the military and block Chenkov's ambitions, bringing down the CIA's wrath on them. Whether this makes Teddy Maynard (the CIA director) the BigBad (albeit a WellIntentionedExtremist) or the Brethren [[VillainProtagonist Villain Protagonists]] (albeit sympathetic ones) is arguable, but Chenkov is hardly mentioned after the initial explanation.
* All of horror novelist Brian Keene's works are connected by the Labyrinth, in which dwell the Thirteen, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that existed in the PrimordialChaos before the birth of the universe. Among them, the Thirteenth is the most powerful and feared.
* Morbin Blackhawk from ''Literature/TheGreenEmber'' rarely appears throughout the series, and he's never the direct source of conflict in any of the books. Nevertheless, Morbin's slaying of King Jupiter several years ago is what led to the country spiraling into turmoil, and every BigBad or ArcVillain is working for or with him to some extent.
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Kthonia is the most powerful villain in this story but she is neither involved, [[spoiler: aware of, or inclinded to assist with]] Jihadain's EvilPlan. [[spoiler: When Kalak kills Jihadain, however, she becomes the TrueFinalBoss.]]
* In ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'', it's established early on that [[EvilSorcerer Arunis]] (most dangerous individual member of TheBigBadShuffle the series has going on) worships entities called the Night Gods. These gods later turn out to be very real, and Arunis doesn't just worship them, he [[AGodAmI wants to be one]]. They've set him a task to complete before they'll accept him into their ranks- namely, scouring Alifros, the world where the books are set, of life- but otherwise take no direct part and Arunis (and the other villains) stand and fall by their own merits.
* In Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''Empire of the East'', the eponymous evil [[TheEmpire empire]] is ruled by mortal men, particularly by Emperor John Ominor, the BigBad. It was founded, however, by Orcus, the king of all demons, whom Ominor overthrew in a coup and imprisoned. It will probably not surprise anyone to learn that Orcus eventually escapes.
* Creator/DaleBrown's books have portrayed the Chinese presidents and high commands that tacitly condone the generals' and admirals' actions as this, in contrast to the Russian presidents who have directly been {{Big Bad}}s.
* The Ix from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]. They trump Gwilanna hands down.
* Charles "Trout" Walker in ''Literature/{{Holes}}'', the even worse deceased grandfather to the BigBad. The entire plot ultimately stems from his [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain racially-motivated murder]] of Sam the Onion Man, which caused Green Lake to dry up and Sam's lover Kate Barlow to cross the DespairEventHorizon and become an outlaw, ultimately burying treasure in the desolate lakebed. Trout became obsessed with finding the treasure, even forcing his granddaughter to help him dig, [[FreudianExcuse which is why she forces other children to dig in the present]].
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has a BigBadEnsemble with Littlefinger, the Lannisters, the [[spoiler: Boltons and Freys]] (although they're working, sort of, for the Lannisters), and [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] [[spoiler: Varys]] and Melisandre. Overshadowing them all by many degrees, however, are [[MonstrousHumanoid the Others]]. Not to mention the generalized threat of "myth" and [[TheMagicComesBack magic coming back]] in other dangerous, if somewhat less maliciously deadly, shapes to complicate ''everything'' they also represent.
** The NeglectfulPrecursors of the current Lords and Ladies offer a different - and possible straighter - example. Martin goes out of his way to show that one VERY big reason that Westeros is such a CrapsackWorld - almost on par with the {{Realpolitik}} - is that [[CycleOfRevenge no one ever forgets their grudges]] [[SinsOfTheFather even when the people responsible are long dead]]. Oaths broken, wars fought, people killed - the actions of the past shape the ways the nobility interacts in the present [[InherentInTheSystem and will continue doing so well into the future]]. Tyrion sadly lampshades how each generation puppets the generation that comes after from beyond the grave.
* ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' "Alien Bodies" has the Enemy and the [[YouCannotKillAnIdea Celestis]] in this role. The Doctor does encounter them, though in his future.
* ''[[Literature/TheMazeRunner The Maze Runner Trilogy]]'':
** Chancellor Paige, the head of all the mess that is WICKED. [[spoiler:Eventually, though, the cruelty of that position gets to her and she decides to cut their losses and stop torturing people for a cure that might never come]]. Notable in that she is [[TheGhost never seen]] in the series, barring TheFilmOfTheBook.
** Then there's Katie [=McVoy=], a bit character who is only mentioned in two short letters published in ''The Maze Runner Files'' whose [[SmallRoleBigImpact not-so-small role]] involves [[spoiler:suggesting the method to kill half of the world population using the V C321xb 47 virus AKA the Flare virus, which mutated unpredictably, as in, ''setting off all this mess in the first place'']]. By the events of ''The Maze Runner'', however, [[spoiler:she is already long dead due to catching the virus and committing suicide to prevent it spreading over as her last act of redemption]].
* In [[Literature/NewSeriesAdventures "Prisoner of the Daleks"]] Dalek X (the Dalek Inquisitor-General) serves as the main villain. However it is mentioned he answers to the Supreme Dalek.
* In the ''Literature/{{Nightrunner}}'' series, the GodOfEvil Seriamaius seems to encourage his followers, especially necromancers, (and others) in villainous actions, but never appears as an actual character except in prophetic dreams. Granted, none of the more benign gods put in personal appearances either.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'':
** In the first book, Katniss is only interested in surviving the Hunger Games and not in taking down the government, so the main antagonists are the other Tributes. However, the other tributes are also just trying to survive; [[PresidentEvil President Snow]] is the only truly evil character. He is downgraded to BigBad in later books.
** Snow implies that [[spoiler:District 13]] caused the Dark Days in an attempt to rise to power, only to back down when the Capitol defeated them and the rebelling Districts, causing the rise of the Hunger Games. [[spoiler:He says this when he realizes that Alma Coin was playing this trope from the beginning for that exact same reason. Thankfully, Katniss decides to bump her down to the BigBad and off her afterwards]].
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', Asmodeus is too busy overseeing the destruction of entire worlds to get involved in day-to-day evildoing. Until his son [[spoiler:Magnus]] summons him in ''City of Heavenly Fire'', at which point he briefly appears in humanoid form and acts as a DeusExMachina before returning to his more cosmic interests. This is standard for all of the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Princes of Hell]], most especially [[{{Satan}} Lucifer]]. While they can be summoned (or at least avatars of them can) they do not dirty their hands with normal villainy, instead focusing on warfare against {{God}} across TheMultiverse.
* Derek Leech, who appears in the background of various stories by Creator/KimNewman, is a monstrous hybrid of Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch, and also TheAntichrist. He is clearly plotting some kind of evil Tory apocalypse, but has been known to help sympathetic characters fight other evil types whose preferred apocalypses would [[EvilVersusOblivion clash with his own]]. There are some stories, including the short stories "The Original Dr. Shade" and "Organ Donors" and the novel ''Literature/TheQuorum'', where he plays a more directly antagonistic role, but even then usually he's enabling the story's main villain rather than being the villain himself and it's made clear that whatever the villain's up to is just a part of Leech's real plans.

to:

** The WhamEpisode online novella ''[[http://www.starwarstimeline.net/Supernatural_Encounters.htm Supernatural Encounters]]'', which had been stuck in DevelopmentHell for over a decade before seeing release in 2018, reveals that the greatest villains of the Star Wars Legends universe were, are, and always have been [[spoiler:the Old Ones, a pantheon of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s who members include such luminaries as [[Literature/FateOfTheJedi Abeloth]], [[Literature/TheCrystalStar Waru]], and the Bedlam Spirits from Alan Moore's Marvel UK comics. Among other things, they are the collective ManBehindTheMan to the aforementioned Abominor, the [[Literature/BlackFleetCrisis Yevetha]], the [[ChurchMilitant Pius Dea]], and the various mystical menaces from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Ewoks}}'' cartoon; one of them, Typhojem, invented the very idea of worship of TheDarkSide in the first place, thus without him the Sith and most of the other Force-using antagonist groups would never have existed. There is one villain even greater than the Old Ones, however - -- Nakhash, Father of Shadows, a renegade [[CelestialParagonsAndArchangels Celestial]] of whom even this story says little but who appears to serve a role in the cosmology similar to [[Literature/TheSilmarillion Morgoth]] or [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Nyarlathotep]]. In fact, it's implied he tempted the first generation of Old Ones into evil in the first place]].
* In ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'' gives us the ''Fever'' series by Karen Marie Moning, [[spoiler: ''first'' Marquis de Saint-Evremonde. By the Unseelie King is time the ultimate evil force story begins, he's already dead, but makes no obvious appearance until the end of book five where he saves the day. Seemingly still evil since he is still technically the originator of all the evil things going on because he created all the Unseelie.]].
* The planet Mesa and Manpower Inc. was eventually
it's revealed in a flashback that he was the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series to be ultimately responsible linchpin for everything bad that happened when he [[spoiler: raped [[BigBad Madame Defarge]]'s sister, causing the long and bloody war between Manticore and Haven. When their role was revealed, ''then'' it was discovered they were merely a front for the secretive Mesan Alignment organization. Manticore and Haven were.... less than impressed good Madame to find out just who was responsible for their long, bloody conflict. [[TheAlliance So they decided to do something about it.]]
* The ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'':
** The first two BigBad characters ([[VillainWithGoodPublicity Nefarian Serpine]] and [[GeneralRipper Baron Vengeous]]) were only the men they were because of their now-dead master [[SorcerousOverlord Mevolent]]. Mevolent was considered the BigBad of the setting prior to his death before the beginning of the series, but ''he'' wouldn't have gotten there without ''his'' master, the so-termed '[[UltimateEvil Nameless One]]'. Furthermore, Mevolent, along with Serpine, Vengeous, [[StandardEvilOrganizationSquad the Diablerie]] (whose [[IJustWantToBeSpecial leader]] is the BigBad of book three),
[[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Dreylan Scarab]] (BigBad of book four) swear revenge and [[MagnificentBastard Eliza Scorn]] (who is yet mark the Marquis' entire family and anyone who would help them for death]]]]. Unfortunately, [[RevengeByProxy this includes the completely innocent main characters.]] In fact, everything bad includes bad things that have befallen said completely innocent main characters, with Charles Darnay forced to be a BigBad reject his name and emigrate to England (and according to his uncle they would have him imprisoned if they could for doing) and Dr. Manette rotting away for most of his youth in the Bastille for refusing to condone said atrocities.
* ''Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium'':
** Melkor a.k.a. Morgoth was always the ultimate evil presence in Middle-Earth,
but is still a significant threat in later books) were all primarily motivated by their [[ReligionOfEvil worship]] after his defeat and imprisonment at the end of ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Sauron took over the role of the [[EldritchAbomination Faceless Ones]], evil gods who active BigBad, overlapping with DragonAscendant. Morgoth was not destroyed, however, and Tolkien's writings indicate he will free himself in time to command the forces of darkness once again at the Last Battle.
** Sauron himself as the Necromancer during ''Literature/TheHobbit'' - he definitely exists and will later be revealed as the canonical ultimate evil, but has no direct role in the story's plot, except as a device to give Gandalf a reason to leave the group for chapters at a time to go get information on him.
* ''Literature/TheTrialsOfApollo'' reveals that the mortal threats [[spoiler: Luke and Octavian]]
were themselves worshipped ([[EvenEvilHasStandards albeit also eventually banished]]) by the long-dead [[AbusivePrecursors Ancients]]. Meanwhile, possibly the most powerful magician in the setting is Mevolent's one surviving lieutenant, [[PersonOfMassDestruction Lord Vile]], who [[DragonWithAnAgenda wasn't actually loyal to Mevolent]] in the first place, simply wanting to [[OmnicidalManiac kill everything]], but has yet to significantly impede the heroes as he is usually kept mostly subdued on account of being helped by a greater scope villain -- [[spoiler: Skulduggery's SuperPoweredEvilSide]]. And on The Triumvirate]]. They turn out to be the subject of [[spoiler: {{SuperPowered Evil Side}}s]], there are all these prophecies about how [[ApocalypseMaiden Darquesse]] [[spoiler: AKA Valkyrie Cain]] is destined to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, but seven books villains in she's still yet to come to the fore.this series.
* ''The Brethren'', by Creator/JohnGrisham, makes reference early on to The Father in ''Literature/Utopia58'', the leader responsible for turning Isonomia into the eponymous utopia that it is, as well as being the one Natli Chenkov, a Russian politician forcing the nation to fight off Zion and Communist hardliner other nations who is suspected of planning to stage a coup and start a war oppose Isonomia's regulations.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'',
the director of the CIA doubts America can win. The main action of the book involves three former judges (the titular Brethren) who run a blackmail scheme from prison and unwittingly hook the congressman whom said CIA director hopes to install as President to beef up the military and block Chenkov's ambitions, bringing down the CIA's wrath on them. Whether Dark Forest serve this makes Teddy Maynard (the CIA director) role during the BigBad (albeit a WellIntentionedExtremist) or ''Power of Three'' arc. They are recruiting an army to destroy the Brethren [[VillainProtagonist Villain Protagonists]] (albeit sympathetic ones) is arguable, but Chenkov is hardly mentioned after the initial explanation.
* All of horror novelist Brian Keene's works
Clans, and are connected by the Labyrinth, in which dwell the Thirteen, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that existed in the PrimordialChaos before the birth made up of the universe. Among them, the Thirteenth is the most powerful and feared.
* Morbin Blackhawk from ''Literature/TheGreenEmber'' rarely appears throughout
villains the series, and he's never heroes have ever faced. However, this is mostly going on in the direct source of conflict in any background, as the main driving point of the books. Nevertheless, Morbin's slaying of King Jupiter several years ago arc is what led to uncovering the country spiraling into turmoil, and every BigBad or ArcVillain is working for or with him to some extent.
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Kthonia is the most powerful villain in this story but she is neither involved, [[spoiler: aware of, or inclinded to assist with]] Jihadain's EvilPlan. [[spoiler: When Kalak kills Jihadain, however, she becomes the TrueFinalBoss.]]
* In ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'', it's established early on that [[EvilSorcerer Arunis]] (most dangerous individual member of TheBigBadShuffle the series has going on) worships entities called the Night Gods. These gods later turn out to be very real, and Arunis doesn't just worship them, he [[AGodAmI wants to be one]]. They've set him a task to complete before they'll accept him into their ranks- namely, scouring Alifros, the world where the books are set, of life- but otherwise take no direct part and Arunis (and the other villains) stand and fall by their own merits.
* In Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''Empire of the East'', the eponymous evil [[TheEmpire empire]] is ruled by mortal men, particularly by Emperor John Ominor, the BigBad. It was founded, however, by Orcus, the king of all demons, whom Ominor overthrew in a coup and imprisoned. It will probably not surprise anyone to learn that Orcus eventually escapes.
* Creator/DaleBrown's books have portrayed the Chinese presidents and high commands that tacitly condone the generals' and admirals' actions as this, in contrast to the Russian presidents who have directly been {{Big Bad}}s.
* The Ix from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]. They trump Gwilanna hands down.
* Charles "Trout" Walker in ''Literature/{{Holes}}'', the even worse deceased grandfather to the BigBad. The entire plot ultimately stems from his [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain racially-motivated murder]] of Sam the Onion Man, which caused Green Lake to dry up and Sam's lover Kate Barlow to cross the DespairEventHorizon and become an outlaw, ultimately burying treasure in the desolate lakebed. Trout became obsessed with finding the treasure, even forcing his granddaughter to help him dig, [[FreudianExcuse which is why she forces other children to dig in the present]].
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has a BigBadEnsemble with Littlefinger, the Lannisters, the [[spoiler: Boltons and Freys]] (although they're working, sort of, for the Lannisters), and [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] [[spoiler: Varys]] and Melisandre. Overshadowing them all by many degrees, however, are [[MonstrousHumanoid the Others]]. Not to mention the generalized threat of "myth" and [[TheMagicComesBack magic coming back]] in other dangerous, if somewhat less maliciously deadly, shapes to complicate ''everything'' they also represent.
** The NeglectfulPrecursors of the current Lords and Ladies offer a different - and possible straighter - example. Martin goes out of his way to show that one VERY big reason that Westeros is such a CrapsackWorld - almost on par with the {{Realpolitik}} - is that [[CycleOfRevenge no one ever forgets their grudges]] [[SinsOfTheFather even when the people responsible are long dead]]. Oaths broken, wars fought, people killed - the actions
secrets of the past shape the ways the nobility interacts in the present [[InherentInTheSystem and will continue doing so well into the future]]. Tyrion sadly lampshades how each generation puppets the generation that comes after from beyond the grave.
* ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' "Alien Bodies" has the Enemy and the [[YouCannotKillAnIdea Celestis]] in this role. The Doctor does encounter them, though in his future.
* ''[[Literature/TheMazeRunner The Maze Runner Trilogy]]'':
** Chancellor Paige, the head of all the mess that is WICKED. [[spoiler:Eventually, though, the cruelty of that position gets to her and she decides to cut their losses and stop torturing people for a cure that might never come]]. Notable in that she is [[TheGhost never seen]] in the series, barring TheFilmOfTheBook.
** Then there's Katie [=McVoy=], a bit character who is only mentioned in two short letters published in ''The Maze Runner Files'' whose [[SmallRoleBigImpact not-so-small role]] involves [[spoiler:suggesting the method to kill half of the world population using the V C321xb 47 virus AKA the Flare virus, which mutated unpredictably, as in, ''setting off all this mess in the first place'']]. By the events of ''The Maze Runner'', however, [[spoiler:she is already long dead due to catching the virus and committing suicide to prevent it spreading over as her last act of redemption]].
* In [[Literature/NewSeriesAdventures "Prisoner of the Daleks"]] Dalek X (the Dalek Inquisitor-General) serves as the main villain. However it is mentioned he answers to the Supreme Dalek.
* In the ''Literature/{{Nightrunner}}'' series, the GodOfEvil Seriamaius seems to encourage his followers, especially necromancers, (and others) in villainous actions, but never appears as an actual character except in prophetic dreams. Granted, none of the more benign gods put in personal appearances either.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'':
** In the first book, Katniss is only interested in surviving the Hunger Games and not in taking down the government, so the main antagonists are the other Tributes. However, the other tributes are also just trying to survive; [[PresidentEvil President Snow]] is the only truly evil character. He is downgraded to BigBad in later books.
** Snow implies that [[spoiler:District 13]] caused the Dark Days in an attempt to rise to power, only to back down when the Capitol defeated them and the rebelling Districts, causing the rise of the Hunger Games. [[spoiler:He says this when he realizes that Alma Coin was playing this trope from the beginning for that exact same reason. Thankfully, Katniss decides to bump her down to the BigBad and off her afterwards]].
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', Asmodeus is too busy overseeing the destruction of entire worlds to get involved in day-to-day evildoing. Until his son [[spoiler:Magnus]] summons him in ''City of Heavenly Fire'', at which point he briefly appears in humanoid form and acts as a DeusExMachina before returning to his more cosmic interests. This is standard for all of the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Princes of Hell]], most especially [[{{Satan}} Lucifer]]. While they can be summoned (or at least avatars of them can) they do not dirty their hands with normal villainy, instead focusing on warfare against {{God}} across TheMultiverse.
* Derek Leech, who appears in the background of various stories by Creator/KimNewman, is a monstrous hybrid of Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch, and also TheAntichrist. He is clearly plotting some kind of evil Tory apocalypse, but has been known to help sympathetic characters fight other evil types whose preferred apocalypses would [[EvilVersusOblivion clash with his own]]. There are some stories, including the short stories "The Original Dr. Shade" and "Organ Donors" and the novel ''Literature/TheQuorum'', where he plays a more directly antagonistic role, but even then usually he's enabling the story's main villain rather than being
defeating the villain himself Sol, who is trying to make the Clans destroy each other.
* Several of Creator/TadWilliams' works feature an entity called Unbeing or Old Night, which is the representation of entropy
and it's made clear ultimate decay. It's never any of the {{Big Bad}}s, but is portrayed as being tied to their actions, and at least one (Hellebore of ''Literature/TheWarOfTheFlowers'') planned to deliberately unleash it.
* [[UltimateEvil The Void]] of ''Literature/TheWordAndTheVoid'' is the Greater Scope Villain to each of the trilogy's respective villains. Due to its status as an AllPowerfulBystander it never intervenes in the plot, and as such, has little impact beyond merely existing. CanonWelding by the author makes the Void the Greater Scope Villain of the [[LongRunner long running]] ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series as well, where it has ''less'' of a direct role.
* ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime'': IT is the BigBad, and the Man with the Red Eyes may be [=ITs=] [[TheDragon Dragon]], while the Black Thing is more a manifestation of Evil as a concept. On the other hand TheMovie states
that whatever the villain's up to is just a part Black Thing was created by IT, making IT the biggest villain of Leech's real plans.that adaptation.



* The Widow (a.k.a. Indira Gandhi) in ''Literature/MidnightsChildren''. The fate that Saleem suffers in the climax is performed at her orders, but Saleem never encounters her directly, only her subordinates.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': The BigBad of the first two books is [[spoiler:Luke Castellan]], and the third has [[spoiler:Atlas]]. However, both are only servants of the Kronos, who [[spoiler:steps down to BigBad for the last two books in the series after being freed [[SealedEvilInACan from Tartarus]]]].
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'':
** Though it might be nitpicking quite a bit, but all things in this universe, including the BigBad [[spoiler:Gaea]] can all ultimately trace ancestry to [[PrimordialChaos Chaos]], the void beneath [[{{Hell}} Tartarus]] where everything that falls down would dissolve into nothingness. But well, all things are all things; the good guys wouldn't exist without Chaos either, so it's like saying that the Abrahamic God is this because everything is ultimately His creations. It only really counts as this because [[spoiler: Akhlys]] refers to it as "my father"; whether she means it literally or metaphorically is anyone's guess.
** In one of the short stories included in ''Literature/TheDemigodDiaries'', it's revealed that all of the demigods' deaths due to monsters throughout the history can be attributed to [[spoiler: Lamia, a queen who had [[JerkassGods her children killed by Hera because she had a relationship with Zeus]], who had [[RevengeByProxy woven a spell that caused all demigods from then on to possess a certain smell that attracts the attention of monsters]]. Notably, Lamia herself is [[KarmaHoudini still alive and kicking]], as she is protected by her mother, [[MamaBear Hecate]] (even though, y'know, Hecate's ''own demigod children'' might have been the victims of Lamia's spell as well).]]
* ''Literature/TheTrialsOfApollo'' reveals that the mortal threats [[spoiler: Luke and Octavian]] were themselves being helped by a greater scope villain - [[spoiler: The Triumvirate]]. They turn out to be the villains in this series.
* ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'':
** Set is the BigBad of the first novel, but at the end, it is revealed that he is ultimately manipulated by [[spoiler: Apophis, the Serpent of Evil who seeks to annihilate Ma'at, the essence of order. He]] takes up the BigBad spot in the next two books.
** Again, like the Chaos example above, ''The Kane Chronicles'' also has its own nitpicky example: the Sea of Chaos (named Nu in the real-life mythology), located deep below Duat. It is the ultimate origin of everything in the universe. The sea attracts everyone who comes closer and would dissolve them if they touch it.
* ''Literature/MagnusChaseAndTheGodsOfAsgard'': Like the real-life mythology, Loki is presumably set up as the BigBad of the series, but the first book focuses more on his son, Fenris Wolf, and the fire giant Surt, while he is relegated to appearing in Magnus' dreams.[[spoiler:He steps down to BigBad after being freed from his chains in the second book.]]
* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "[[TheManBehindTheMan Black Council]]". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and is told its name is “Nemesis”. That said, its influence is only ever felt indirectly, and it has only ever spoken through intermediaries. It’s still unclear whether the Black Council is controlled by it, or perhaps working alongside it. But Literature/PeaceTalks has basically confirmed the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series is [[spoiler:the Outsiders. They’re constantly trying to break into our reality, and if they ever get in “[[ApocalypseHow Everything stops. Everything.]]” (Implying a potential class 6, but on a cosmic scale.) Nemesis is one of theirs (described as an infiltrator) and they are implied to be connected to the Black Council as well.]]
* From ''Literature/TheNeverEndingStory'' we have the mysterious beings who created the Nothing and sent G'Mork to kill Arteyu. They are mentioned once by G'Mork and never play any role in the story after the Nothing is defeated. If they're even sentient creatures is up for debate.
* ''Literature/{{Allegiant}}'':
** It's revealed that Jeanine Matthews, the BigBad of the first two books, obtained the serums used for execution and mind controlling Dauntless members from [[spoiler:the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, the mastermind behind the experiment in Chicago and several other metropolitan cities for more than eight generations]].
** It's also revealed that [[spoiler:the experiment was done to produce genetically pure children from the genetically damaged, who were the subjects of an earlier experiment to "correct" human genes of their "imperfections". So, ultimately, whoever had the insane idea to do the "correction" in the first place is this]].
* Salocin, the evil entity from ''Literature/SpectralShadows'', is basically responsible for all the evils in Ra's Universe. If there's something evil or something corrupt, chances are it can be traced back to him in ''some'' fashion.
* In ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', the true villains are Ernest and Irena. They're both responsible for Ture's and Nikita's psychological instability - and, by extension, Ture's actions in the story - and Irena has been manipulating Nikita from the start to be her perfect little weapon.
* In ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', [[TheHeartless the Serpents]] are led by the Royal One, but though he appears in the fourth and fifth books, afterwards he plays no direct role in the story, leaving the jobs of TheHeavy of the series and TheFace of Serpents as a faction to his minion [[ManipulativeBastard Sang-drax]]. [[AntiHero Haplo]] also speculates that the Serpents as a whole are merely the minions of some even greater evil power, but if this is true, such a power never makes itself known directly.
* Quite a few of Laird Barron's works (specifically the short stories "The Broadsword," "The Men from Porlock," "Mysterium Tremendum," and the novel ''Literature/TheCroning'') feature a race of {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s with insidious intentions for humanity, who are the spawn of an interplanetary entity only known as Old Leech.
* The Shadow Lord in ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'', an [[EvilOverlord Evil Overlord]] and part-time ascended [[CosmicEntity Cosmic Entity]], is responsible for most of the immediate antagonists of each book but is rarely seen or directly faced. While the focus shifts towards the Shadow Lord as the endgame villain in the later books of each series, the primary focus stays on a smaller-scale villain (though often orchestrated by the Shadow Lord himself). Exceptions where the Shadow Lord could be considered the [[BigBad Big Bad]] are [[spoiler: the finales of the first and especially second series.]]
* The Father in ''Literature/Utopia58'', the leader responsible for turning Isonomia into the eponymous utopia that it is, as well as being the one forcing the nation to fight off Zion and other nations who oppose Isonomia's regulations.
* ''Literature/TheFifthSeason'' and ''Literature/TheObeliskGate:'' [[spoiler: Father Earth himself, causing massive disasters and toppling civilizations because Orogenes cost him his only child; the Moon.]]
* ''Literature/MartinFierro'': All the misfortunes Fierro and all the [[{{Gaucho}} Gauchos]] suffer in that book are by design: RealLife PresidentEvil Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (who never appears at the book) had decreed the [[{{Dystopia}} “Conquest of the desert”]] so the Indians will be subjected to KillThemAll and the Gauchos will be replaced by the Gringos (immigrants of European descent).
* ''Literature/EphemeralPrince'' reveals the Lord, Rizec, is responsible for ruining the lives of Edgar, Lina, Soan, and Xiri, causing them to become the main villains of the [[VideoGame/StarStealingPrince prequel game]]. [[spoiler:He had his underling, Zuan, manipulate Soan into eating the demon Xiri, leading to Xiri going insane and manipulating Soan to destroy his own kingdom. He also torched the kingdom of Sabine, forcing the residents to flee to the remains of Soan's kingdom and pushing Edgar and Lina over the DespairEventHorizon. This leads to the couple backstabbing Soan to steal his power and sealing Xiri inside of Snowe, causing the events of the game.]]
* The Cthaeh is this for every evil in ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicles''. It was the Cthaeh's manipulation that sparked the war between the Shapers and the Namers, the Cthaeh who arranged the creation of the Chandrian, the Cthaeh that set in motion whatever catastrophe is going on in the background as Kote tells his story to the Chronicler.
* ''Literature/RedWall'' has a very obscure, but nonetheless ominous, mention of a possible GreaterScopeVillain pervading the entire series in the book The Taggerung. Vulpuz is mentioned as both [[EverybodyHatesHades ruler of the Hellgates, where evil Redwall creatures go after they die]], and the ancestor of [[AlwaysChaoticEvil the foxes]] who are one of the most prominent evil species in the series.
* ''Literature/NinaTanleven'': ''The Ghost in the Third Row'' has [[spoiler:Andrew Heron, who doesn't appear at all but is revealed to have filled both his wife and daughter with stories about how he was innocent and was set up to take the fall for Lily Larkin's death, and unwittingly inspired Lydia to try to shut down the play based on the story of he, Lily and Edward Parker.]]

to:

* The Widow (a.k.a. Indira Gandhi) in ''Literature/MidnightsChildren''. The fate that Saleem suffers in the climax is performed at her orders, but Saleem never encounters her directly, only her subordinates.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': The BigBad of the first two books is [[spoiler:Luke Castellan]], and the third has [[spoiler:Atlas]]. However, both are only servants of the Kronos, who [[spoiler:steps down to BigBad for the last two books in the series after being freed [[SealedEvilInACan from Tartarus]]]].
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'':
** Though it might be nitpicking quite a bit, but all things in this universe, including the BigBad [[spoiler:Gaea]] can all ultimately trace ancestry to [[PrimordialChaos Chaos]], the void beneath [[{{Hell}} Tartarus]] where everything that falls down would dissolve into nothingness. But well, all things are all things; the good guys wouldn't exist without Chaos either, so it's like saying that the Abrahamic God is this because everything is ultimately His creations. It only really counts as this because [[spoiler: Akhlys]] refers to it as "my father"; whether she means it literally or metaphorically is anyone's guess.
** In one of the short stories included in ''Literature/TheDemigodDiaries'', it's revealed that all of the demigods' deaths due to monsters throughout the history can be attributed to [[spoiler: Lamia, a queen who had [[JerkassGods her children killed by Hera because she had a relationship with Zeus]], who had [[RevengeByProxy woven a spell that caused all demigods from then on to possess a certain smell that attracts the attention of monsters]]. Notably, Lamia herself is [[KarmaHoudini still alive and kicking]], as she is protected by her mother, [[MamaBear Hecate]] (even though, y'know, Hecate's ''own demigod children'' might have been the victims of Lamia's spell as well).]]
* ''Literature/TheTrialsOfApollo'' reveals that the mortal threats [[spoiler: Luke and Octavian]] were themselves being helped by a greater scope villain - [[spoiler: The Triumvirate]]. They turn out to be the villains in this series.
* ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'':
** Set is the BigBad of the first novel, but at the end, it is revealed that he is ultimately manipulated by [[spoiler: Apophis, the Serpent of Evil who seeks to annihilate Ma'at, the essence of order. He]] takes up the BigBad spot in the next two books.
** Again, like the Chaos example above, ''The Kane Chronicles'' also has its own nitpicky example: the Sea of Chaos (named Nu in the real-life mythology), located deep below Duat. It is the ultimate origin of everything in the universe. The sea attracts everyone who comes closer and would dissolve them if they touch it.
* ''Literature/MagnusChaseAndTheGodsOfAsgard'': Like the real-life mythology, Loki is presumably set up as the BigBad of the series, but the first book focuses more on his son, Fenris Wolf, and the fire giant Surt, while he is relegated to appearing in Magnus' dreams.[[spoiler:He steps down to BigBad after being freed from his chains in the second book.]]
* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "[[TheManBehindTheMan Black Council]]". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and is told its name is “Nemesis”. That said, its influence is only ever felt indirectly, and it has only ever spoken through intermediaries. It’s still unclear whether the Black Council is controlled by it, or perhaps working alongside it. But Literature/PeaceTalks has basically confirmed the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series is [[spoiler:the Outsiders. They’re constantly trying to break into our reality, and if they ever get in “[[ApocalypseHow Everything stops. Everything.]]” (Implying a potential class 6, but on a cosmic scale.) Nemesis is one of theirs (described as an infiltrator) and they are implied to be connected to the Black Council as well.]]
* From ''Literature/TheNeverEndingStory'' we have the mysterious beings who created the Nothing and sent G'Mork to kill Arteyu. They are mentioned once by G'Mork and never play any role in the story after the Nothing is defeated. If they're even sentient creatures is up for debate.
* ''Literature/{{Allegiant}}'':
** It's revealed that Jeanine Matthews, the BigBad of the first two books, obtained the serums used for execution and mind controlling Dauntless members from [[spoiler:the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, the mastermind behind the experiment in Chicago and several other metropolitan cities for more than eight generations]].
** It's also revealed that [[spoiler:the experiment was done to produce genetically pure children from the genetically damaged, who were the subjects of an earlier experiment to "correct" human genes of their "imperfections". So, ultimately, whoever had the insane idea to do the "correction" in the first place is this]].
* Salocin, the evil entity from ''Literature/SpectralShadows'', is basically responsible for all the evils in Ra's Universe. If there's something evil or something corrupt, chances are it can be traced back to him in ''some'' fashion.
* In ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', the true villains are Ernest and Irena. They're both responsible for Ture's and Nikita's psychological instability - and, by extension, Ture's actions in the story - and Irena has been manipulating Nikita from the start to be her perfect little weapon.
* In ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', [[TheHeartless the Serpents]] are led by the Royal One, but though he appears in the fourth and fifth books, afterwards he plays no direct role in the story, leaving the jobs of TheHeavy of the series and TheFace of Serpents as a faction to his minion [[ManipulativeBastard Sang-drax]]. [[AntiHero Haplo]] also speculates that the Serpents as a whole are merely the minions of some even greater evil power, but if this is true, such a power never makes itself known directly.
* Quite a few of Laird Barron's works (specifically the short stories "The Broadsword," "The Men from Porlock," "Mysterium Tremendum," and the novel ''Literature/TheCroning'') feature a race of {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s with insidious intentions for humanity, who are the spawn of an interplanetary entity only known as Old Leech.
* The Shadow Lord in ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'', an [[EvilOverlord Evil Overlord]] and part-time ascended [[CosmicEntity Cosmic Entity]], is responsible for most of the immediate antagonists of each book but is rarely seen or directly faced. While the focus shifts towards the Shadow Lord as the endgame villain in the later books of each series, the primary focus stays on a smaller-scale villain (though often orchestrated by the Shadow Lord himself). Exceptions where the Shadow Lord could be considered the [[BigBad Big Bad]] are [[spoiler: the finales of the first and especially second series.]]
* The Father in ''Literature/Utopia58'', the leader responsible for turning Isonomia into the eponymous utopia that it is, as well as being the one forcing the nation to fight off Zion and other nations who oppose Isonomia's regulations.
* ''Literature/TheFifthSeason'' and ''Literature/TheObeliskGate:'' [[spoiler: Father Earth himself, causing massive disasters and toppling civilizations because Orogenes cost him his only child; the Moon.]]
* ''Literature/MartinFierro'': All the misfortunes Fierro and all the [[{{Gaucho}} Gauchos]] suffer in that book are by design: RealLife PresidentEvil Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (who never appears at the book) had decreed the [[{{Dystopia}} “Conquest of the desert”]] so the Indians will be subjected to KillThemAll and the Gauchos will be replaced by the Gringos (immigrants of European descent).
* ''Literature/EphemeralPrince'' reveals the Lord, Rizec, is responsible for ruining the lives of Edgar, Lina, Soan, and Xiri, causing them to become the main villains of the [[VideoGame/StarStealingPrince prequel game]]. [[spoiler:He had his underling, Zuan, manipulate Soan into eating the demon Xiri, leading to Xiri going insane and manipulating Soan to destroy his own kingdom. He also torched the kingdom of Sabine, forcing the residents to flee to the remains of Soan's kingdom and pushing Edgar and Lina over the DespairEventHorizon. This leads to the couple backstabbing Soan to steal his power and sealing Xiri inside of Snowe, causing the events of the game.]]
* The Cthaeh is this for every evil in ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicles''. It was the Cthaeh's manipulation that sparked the war between the Shapers and the Namers, the Cthaeh who arranged the creation of the Chandrian, the Cthaeh that set in motion whatever catastrophe is going on in the background as Kote tells his story to the Chronicler.
* ''Literature/RedWall'' has a very obscure, but nonetheless ominous, mention of a possible GreaterScopeVillain pervading the entire series in the book The Taggerung. Vulpuz is mentioned as both [[EverybodyHatesHades ruler of the Hellgates, where evil Redwall creatures go after they die]], and the ancestor of [[AlwaysChaoticEvil the foxes]] who are one of the most prominent evil species in the series.
* ''Literature/NinaTanleven'': ''The Ghost in the Third Row'' has [[spoiler:Andrew Heron, who doesn't appear at all but is revealed to have filled both his wife and daughter with stories about how he was innocent and was set up to take the fall for Lily Larkin's death, and unwittingly inspired Lydia to try to shut down the play based on the story of he, Lily and Edward Parker.]]


* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' has the mysterious power behind the Nothing who sent Gmork to kill Atreyu. It or they are mentioned once by Gmork and never play any role in the story after the Nothing is defeated. If they're even sentient creatures is up for debate.

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* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' has the mysterious power behind the Nothing who sent Gmork to kill Atreyu. It or they are mentioned once by Gmork and never play any role in the story after the Nothing is defeated. If they're even sentient creatures is up for debate.


* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "[[TheManBehindTheMan Black Council]]". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and he dubs it "Nemesis". That said, even the most knowledgeable beings in the series so far only theorize about what the Nemesis is, as its influence is only ever felt indirectly, through its many, many (often unwitting) agents. It’s still unclear whether the Black Council is controlled by it, or perhaps working alongside it. But Literature/PeaceTalks has basically confirmed the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series is [[spoiler:the Outsiders. They’re constantly trying to break into our reality, and if they ever get in “[[ApocalypseHow Everything stops. Everything.]]” (Implying a potential class 6, but on a cosmic scale.) Nemesis is one of theirs (described as an infiltrator) and they are implied to be connected to the Black Council as well.]]

to:

* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "[[TheManBehindTheMan Black Council]]". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and he dubs it "Nemesis". is told its name is “Nemesis”. That said, even the most knowledgeable beings in the series so far only theorize about what the Nemesis is, as said, its influence is only ever felt indirectly, and it has only ever spoken through its many, many (often unwitting) agents.intermediaries. It’s still unclear whether the Black Council is controlled by it, or perhaps working alongside it. But Literature/PeaceTalks has basically confirmed the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series is [[spoiler:the Outsiders. They’re constantly trying to break into our reality, and if they ever get in “[[ApocalypseHow Everything stops. Everything.]]” (Implying a potential class 6, but on a cosmic scale.) Nemesis is one of theirs (described as an infiltrator) and they are implied to be connected to the Black Council as well.]]


* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "Black Council". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and he dubs it "Nemesis". That said, even the most knowledgeable beings in the series so far only theorize about what the Nemesis is, as its influence is only ever felt indirectly, through its many, many (often unwitting) agents.

to:

* Throughout the first few volumes of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry fights standalone monsters of the book, but eventually begins to suspect that there may have been a single guiding hand behind all of them. His suspicions are partly confirmed in ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', when his mentor Ebenezar [=McCoy=] agrees that the circumstances are too much to be just a coincidence, and the two of them dub this hypothetical group "Black Council"."[[TheManBehindTheMan Black Council]]". Later, in ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry arrives at a conclusion that the AncientConspiracy he envisioned may not be what he thinks it is, but rather something right out of the [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Genre]], and he dubs it "Nemesis". That said, even the most knowledgeable beings in the series so far only theorize about what the Nemesis is, as its influence is only ever felt indirectly, through its many, many (often unwitting) agents. It’s still unclear whether the Black Council is controlled by it, or perhaps working alongside it. But Literature/PeaceTalks has basically confirmed the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series is [[spoiler:the Outsiders. They’re constantly trying to break into our reality, and if they ever get in “[[ApocalypseHow Everything stops. Everything.]]” (Implying a potential class 6, but on a cosmic scale.) Nemesis is one of theirs (described as an infiltrator) and they are implied to be connected to the Black Council as well.]]


* Despite the fact that most adaptations have established ''{{Literature/Dracula}}'' in the public consciousness as "merely" a very powerful vampire, in the original novel it is openly stated that his vampirism is the result of a damning DealWithTheDevil and only a sample of the dark sorcery that he has been taught in the occult academy of the Scholomance. The black magic that has transcended the natural limits of life and death makes him nothing but a mere student who still serves the powers of darkness and his headmaster, Satan himself, by crawling in the shadows of his hideous unlife.

to:

* Despite the fact that most adaptations have established ''{{Literature/Dracula}}'' in the public consciousness as "merely" a very powerful vampire, in the original novel it is openly stated that his vampirism is the result of a damning DealWithTheDevil and only a sample of the dark sorcery that he has been taught in the occult academy of the Scholomance. The This black magic that has transcended the natural limits of life and death makes him nothing but a mere student (if a very good one) who still serves will always serve the powers of darkness and his headmaster, Satan himself, by crawling in the shadows of his hideous unlife.unlife and never become a teacher himself.


* ''{{Literature/Dracula}}'': Despite the fact that most adaptations have established Dracula in the public consciousness as merely a very powerful vampire, in the original novel it is openly stated that his vampirism is the result of a damning DealWithTheDevil and part of the dark sorcery that he was taught as a disciple of Satan in the occult academy of Scholomance. This black magic that has transcended the natural limits of life and death makes him come across as a mere sinner who was tempted into becoming one by the powers of darkness and still serves them by crawling in the shadows of his hideous unlife.

to:

* ''{{Literature/Dracula}}'': Despite the fact that most adaptations have established Dracula ''{{Literature/Dracula}}'' in the public consciousness as merely "merely" a very powerful vampire, in the original novel it is openly stated that his vampirism is the result of a damning DealWithTheDevil and part only a sample of the dark sorcery that he was has been taught as a disciple of Satan in the occult academy of the Scholomance. This The black magic that has transcended the natural limits of life and death makes him come across as nothing but a mere sinner student who was tempted into becoming one by still serves the powers of darkness and still serves them his headmaster, Satan himself, by crawling in the shadows of his hideous unlife.


* In ''Literature/AFrozenHeart'', a tie-in novel to ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' that's half PerspectiveFlip, while Hans is the main villain despite being [[PlotIrrelevantVillain indirectly responsible for the plot]], [[spoiler:his father, the King of the Southern Isles]], was responsible for shaping Hans into what he is. While Hans had a [[WellDoneSonGuy desire]] to appease them despite being TheUnfavorite of thirteen sons, they played a role as TheCorrupter to most of their sons, including Hans. By the end of ''A Frozen Heart'', their [[TheCorrupter toxic influence]] has slowly poisoned Hans into becoming an unfeeling and ruthless man, driving him to dehumanize everyone (namely Anna and Elsa) in his quest for power.

to:

* In ''Literature/AFrozenHeart'', a tie-in novel to ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Frozen|2013}}'' that's half PerspectiveFlip, while Hans is the main villain despite being [[PlotIrrelevantVillain indirectly responsible for the plot]], [[spoiler:his father, the King of the Southern Isles]], was responsible for shaping Hans into what he is. While Hans had a [[WellDoneSonGuy desire]] to appease them despite being TheUnfavorite of thirteen sons, they played a role as TheCorrupter to most of their sons, including Hans. By the end of ''A Frozen Heart'', their [[TheCorrupter toxic influence]] has slowly poisoned Hans into becoming an unfeeling and ruthless man, driving him to dehumanize everyone (namely Anna and Elsa) in his quest for power.


* Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/JamesBond'' novels often have the Soviet Union sponsoring some or all the activities of a novel's main villain. Notably, ''Literature/FromRussiaWithLove'' reveals that SMERSH was behind the events of ''Literature/CasinoRoyale'', ''Literature/LiveAndLetDie'' and ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}''.

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* Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/JamesBond'' novels often have the Soviet Union sponsoring some or all the activities of a novel's main villain. Notably, ''Literature/FromRussiaWithLove'' reveals that SMERSH was behind the events of ''Literature/CasinoRoyale'', ''Literature/LiveAndLetDie'' and ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}''. SMERSH continues to be behind Literature/{{Goldfinger}}'s scheme to create economic chaos in the West.

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* ''Literature/DarkShores'': The Seventh god, also known as the Corruptor. Gods of Reath usually do not interfere directly and only act through their chosen. And while Derin's queen Rufina, the BigBad of ''Dark Skies'', is marked by the Seventh, Lucius Cassius, the BigBad of ''Dark Shores'', might be acting independently. Or not.

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