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Who better to serve the Demon King than a Demon Lord and a Usurper King?
Starscream: As Megatron's first lieutenant, allow me to welcome you back to the winning team.
Megatron: And allow me to clarify the new chain of command. While Starscream will retain authority over military operations, Shockwave will be my first lieutenant in charge of all scientific endeavors.
Starscream: So, you are saying, we shall each report directly to you?
Megatron: Affirmative.

The Big Bad has two or more minions who report directly to them, and are regarded as equally dangerous among the other characters. They will usually have distinctive personalities, roles, or skill-sets, or may perform the same job but in different regions, but just like a single Dragon would be, they are answerable only to the Big Bad and are significant threats in their own right. Unlike the Quirky Miniboss Squad, they don't necessarily have a team dynamic—in fact, they may not interact directly at all. If they do, they'll likely be rivals.

Note — simply having multiple named Evil Minions does not qualify for this trope. This is a case of several characters being powerful, important, and/or feared enough to claim the role of second-in-command or primary executor of the Big Bad's will at one time. A character who does not serve in these capacities, or regularly takes orders from someone not the Big Bad, does not qualify as a Dragon, even if they're an important villain. Compare and contrast Big Bad Duumvirate, where two characters jointly hold the role of primary villain, rather than just primary minion. If there are enough Dragons, they might form the Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy. Also compare Bumbling Henchmen Duo (when the Big Bad's two main minions are comically incompetent) and Terrible Trio.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, the Colossal and Armored Titans are this to the Beast Titan. In their human identities, they have a genuine Villainous Friendship that makes them extremely effective when working together. Each on their own is exceptionally dangerous, but working together they prove to be a horrifyingly effective team. It quite literally requires several suicidal plans to defeat them, with only eight members of the Survey Corps surviving the battle.
  • In Berserk, the God Hand are this to The Idea of Evil.
  • Black Clover:
    • The Third Eye function as Licht's three top lieutenants in the first saga. Among them, Rhya is the most functional one, as Vetto and Fana are insane due to the Reincarnation Magic not being complete at the time they were revived.
    • The Dark Triad’s leader Dante has his siblings Zenon and Vanica in the second saga, while they are technically in a Big Bad Duumvirate Zenon and Vanica are just members, while Dante is the overall leader.
  • Bleach: Shortly after their public defection from the Soul Society, Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tousen serve as the right-hand men to the Big Bad, Sosuke Aizen. Their roles are different however; Gin functions as more like Aizen's tagalong assassin who is always by his side, while Tousen is the one who enforces Aizen's orders among the Arrancar army.
  • Apollo, the Arc Villain of the "Mythos" arc in Cyborg 009, has two right-hands in Achilles and Minotaur.
  • Towards the end of the Death Note series, Villain Protagonist Light Yagami ends up with two people splitting the role of The Dragon after having Misa give up her notebook — Teru Mikami and Kiyomi Takada. The former is the most obvious right hand-man, while the latter is the voice of Kira and uses the real notebook when Mikami is given a fake. Both are fiercely loyal to Kira and work together as a team without even meeting each other.
  • Digimon:
  • Doraemon movies often have the villains employing two dragons at a time.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In the original Dragon Ball, you have Pilaf's co-dragons Shu and Mai.
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza's immediate right-hand men are Dodoria and Zarbon. Zarbon is much stronger than Dodoria, but they seem to function as relative equals. There's also Captain Ginyu, leader of his elite forces and the strongest fighter in Freeza's employ by far, but Freeza doesn't send for him until Dodoria's dead - and Zarbon's gone the same way by the time Ginyu arrives.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Frieza has two new co-dragons in the form of Sorbet and Tagoma. Before Frieza’s return Sorbet has Tagoma and Shisami, once their master returns Sorbet is Demoted to Dragon while Shisami is demoted to being The Brute.
  • In Dr. STONE, Tsukasa's two lieutenants, Hyoga and Ukyo were described as this. Yo even refers to Tsukasa, Hyoga, and Ukyo as the "Big Three". However, it appears that Hyoga has a little more authority than Ukyo. Furthermore, they turn out to be very different people, and only Hyoga is truly evil. He becomes The Starscream, while Ukyo has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Invoked in Eyeshield 21 by the Hakushuu Dinosaurs, who the Devil Bats face in the Kantou Regional Finals. Marco, the team captain describes Juggernaut and Blood Knight Gaou (lineman) as his Right Hand, and In Love with Your Carnage Bishōnen pretty boy Kisiragi (cornerback) as his Left Hand. Between the two of them they more or less carry Hakushuu, with Gaou breaking the opposing line and quarterbacks, while Kisiragi shuts down the recievers and runs interception. Both have a lot of respect for Marco and one another, and are out to prove their strength to the world, no matter what methods they have to use.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Ultear and Bluenote are Hades’ most trusted right-hands, with the former serving as the leader of the Seven Kin of Purgatory, while the latter serves as the sub-commander of Grimoire Heart.
    • August, Irene and Invel all serve as Zeref's closest allies. August serves as the leader of the Spriggan 12 as well as the strongest member, Irene is the strongest female of the 12 who also equals August in power and Invel is Zeref’s chief-in-staff and stays at his masters side at all times.
  • In Fire Force, The Evangelist has Haumea (the true commander of the White Clad), Sumire (implied to have performed a similar role to Haumea's one during the Great Cataclysm), and Yona (implied to be the oldest servant of the Evangelist, and is the one who pulled the strings to create the current culture and beliefs of the Tokyo Empire).
  • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, Northa and Klein serve as Co-Dragons to Moebius. Northa is the most intelligent, the most evil and the strongest of the four cardinal agents and she creates the Sorewatase, not to mention she's the only one of the four with a One-Winged Angel form. Klein serves as Moebius direct secretary, works at the controlls and is also the strongest fighter in Labyrinth when he scales up. Both of them eventually fuse together and become Moebius' ultimate Dragon. And literally.
  • In Another World with My Smartphone has the Wicked Devout's five Generals Indigo, Scarlet, Hazel, Tangerine and Orange acting as de facto Co-Dragons to the Wicked God, due to them having close-cut loyalties to him and have been fanatically worshipping him. But after the Wicked God's fall, they later take his spot as the main antagonist and have an agenda to continue the Wicked God's own mission.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In Part 2, Kars has Esidisi and Wammu, though the former had more authority than the latter due to him and Kars raising and training Wammu into the warrior he is now.
    • In Part 3, Dio Brando has Enya Geil, Vanilla Ice and Enrico Pucci. Enya teaches Dio about Stands and sends the first wave of antagonistic Stand users faced by Jotaro and company their way, Vanilla Ice serves as the final enemy Stand User excluding Dio himself and shows up for a several-chapter fight with the heroes near the end of Part 3, and the latter is the main antagonist of Part 6 and attempts to carry out the deceased Dio's plan to recrate the world in Dio's image.
  • In Kagerou-Nostalgia Rikimaru and Ranmaru are Gessho Kuki's bodyguards and best fighters. Rikimaru has been with him longer. Ranmaru is the more obsessively loyal. They're almost always together (functioning as villainous Heterosexual Life-Partners), have proven to be nearly unbeatable in combat, and take orders from no one but Gessho. One could also make a case for Gessho's frontman, General Kiyotaka Kuroda being another example of The Dragon, as he too takes orders from Gessho alone.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Baron Ashura, Count Brocken, Viscount Pygman and Archduke Gorgon for Doctor Hell in Mazinger Z and its remake/reimaging Shin Mazinger.
    • The Seven generals of the Mykene army for Ankoku Daishogun (who likewise was The Dragon of the Emperor of Darkness) in Great Mazinger: JuliCesar, Hadias, Angoras, Ligern, Scarabeth, Draydou and Birdler. Each one had its own personality quirks and fighting styles.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren Zabi has multiple lieutenants spread throughout the Zeon government and military. There's Dozle (Gihren's younger brother and Space Attack Force commander), Cecilia Irene (Secretary of Evil), Colonel Asakura (go-to guy for dirty jobs) and Vice Admiral Aiguille Delaz (staunch loyalist for Gihren).
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Paptimus Scirocco didn't have a designated Dragon per se since he didn't fully trust anyone, but Yazan Gable, Sarah Zabiarov, Jerid Messa and Reccoa Londe were all his top minions to varying degrees.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: Haman Karn more-or-less had two right-hands in Mashmyre Cello and Chara Soon.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans:
    • The series features a "heroic" Inversion on Tekkadan's side, with Mikazuki Augus and Eugene Sevenstark both serving as Orga Itsuka's right-hand men. Mikazuki is Orga's longtime childhood friend and Tekkadan's best Ace Pilot as well as Orga' triggerman, while Eugene is Tekkadan's Deputy Boss and Orga' second-in-command in the administrative sense. Notably though, when Orga gets killed towards the end of the series it's Mikazuki and not Eugene who rallies Tekkadan to follow through on Orga's orders.
    • On the side of Gjallarhorn, Iok Kujan, Julieta Juris and Vidar all serve as this to Rustal Elion. Iok Kujan is Rustal's key ally among the Seven Stars of Gjallarhorn and Mook Lieutenant for part of the Arianrhod Fleet, while Julieta and Vidar are Rustal's top Ace Pilots and main enforcers.
  • Moriarty the Patriot has William Moriarty's brothers, Louis and Albert, serving as his Dragons.
  • My Hero Academia had Kurogiri and Dabi to Shigaraki. The Former was second-in-command of the League of Villains, while the latter served as leader of the Vanguard action squad. When Kurogiri was arrested, Dabi becomes Shigaraki’s sole dragon.
  • In Naruto, while most of the Akatsuki members continue to fall and the ones that remain have more of their pasts revealed, it turns out that Pain and Zetsu both serve as The Dragon to Tobi, with Pain as Tobi's right-hand man as well as the Akatsuki's field leader and Zetsu is the Akatsuki's spy as he helps Tobi pull off his tricks. After Naruto defeated Pain, Kisame Hoshigaki replaces him as a new Co-Dragon, lending Tobi his great fighting skill willingly. One could argue for Sasuke's inclusion in this, but Tobi seems to treat him more like The Brute.
  • During the "Magical World" Story Arc of Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Dynamis and Tsukuyomi serve directly under the Big Bad Fate Averruncus and seem roughly close in terms of fighting ability. Technically, Dynamis outranks her since he's the General of their secret society, but Tsukuyomi, being a freelance Psycho for Hire, has a lot more freedom to do whatever she wants, so it more-or-less balances out.
  • One Piece has this a lot.
    • In the Buggy Pirates, Buggy the Clown has Mohji and Cabaji, his first-mate and chief of staff respectively.
    • In the Black Cat Pirates, Django, Captain Kuro's first-mate, who has Siam and Butchie.
    • In the Krieg Pirates, Don Krieg has Gin and Pearl as his combat commander and commander of the crew's second unit respectively.
    • In the Arlong Pirates, Arlong has Chew, Kuroobi and Hachi as his officers.
    • For Baroque Works, Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine serve as this for Mr. 3 in Little Garden, and the boss stationed in Alabasta, Crocodile, has Mr.1 and Miss All Sunday (Nico Robin, who ends up joining the Straw Hats).
    • Wapol has Chess and Kuromarimo.
    • Enel has Gedatsu, Satori, Shura, and Ohm as his priests.
    • In the Foxy Pirates, Foxy has Porche and Hamburg as his first-mates.
    • Gekko Moria has Hogback, Absalom, and Perona, making the Mysterious Four of Thriller Bark.
    • In the Kuja Pirates, Boa Hancock had her sisters, Sandersonia and Marigold, but she wasn't an antagonist for long.
    • Magellan had his vice-warden Hannyabal, and chief guards Sadi-chan and Saldeath until post-Time Skip, when he is demoted vice-warden and Hannyabal promoted to chief warden.
    • Fleet Admiral Sengoku had Admirals Akainu, Aokiji, and Kizaru until Sengoku's resignation after the Summit War.
    • In the New Fishman Pirates, Hody Jones has Dosun, Zeo, Daruma and Ikaros Much as officers of the crew.
    • Caesar Clown had Monet, as his assistant, and Vergo; but they were both working first and foremost for Caesar's boss, and were both (ostensibly) killed at the end of that arc.
    • In the Donquixote Pirates, Donquixote Doflamingo has Trebol, Diamante, and Pica as the elite officers of the crew.
    • The Four Emperors' top brass:
      • In the Beast Pirates, Kaido has the All-Stars as the executive officers of the crew, among them being the Three Calamities named Jack, Queen, and King.
      • In the Big Mom Pirates, Big Mom has her three of her children Cracker, Smoothie, and Katakuri as the Three Sweet Commanders, the executive officers of the crew.
    • After becoming the new Fleet Admiral, Sakazuki / Akainu has Admirals Kizaru, Fujitora, and Ryokugyu.
    • After years of appearing to be the leaders of the World Government both In-Universe and out, the Five Elder Stars are revealed to be this trope to Imu.
  • Overlord (2012): While strictly speaking all the Guardians of the Tomb of Nazarick are equal under Ainz, in practice the two most prominent are Albedo and Demiurge. The former is, as the Guardian Overseer, Ainz's right hand minion who handles running the Tomb when Ainz is busy, while Demiurge is his chief strategist who organizes and handles most of the field work.
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Corset has co-dragons in the form of Scanty and Kneesocks.
  • The Swamp Witch Trio in Queen's Blade, composing of Melona, Menace, and Airi. The three do most of the fighting, and carry out the Swamp Witch's commands, Menace however is more interested in rebuilding her kingdom, and soon abandons them.
  • Wagnard and Ashram in Record of Lodoss War.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin Shishio Makoto has Sojiro and Hoji, the former is Shishio’s apprentice and views him like a father figure, while the latter has more leadership skills and commands Shishio’s army.
  • Although there's generally only one Dragon per story arc in Sailor Moon, there are multiple cases of Co Dragons. Season two had Rubeus, Sapphire, Emerald and Prince Diamond all act (unwittingly) as Dragons for Death Phantom. Even more so, one of the major points of arc/season three had Dr. Tomoe trying to resurrect his Co-Dragon Mistress 9.
    • In the manga of the Infinity Arc, both Dr. Tomoe and Kaolinite served that role until Mistress 9 was awakened.
  • In the Phantom Bullet arc of Sword Art Online, it's revealed that Death Gun, or Shouichi Shinkawa has two people assisting him in his murders. They turn out to be his brother Kyouji and Johnny Black, who poison the people whose avatars have been "tagged" via Death Gun shooting them.
  • Tokyo Ghoul sees Uta and Donato Porpora become lead commanders for Kichimura Washuu/Furuta after the Rushima Landing arc when the former helps the latter out of prison. They work together well and share a friendly relationship on account of them being part of the same gang years prior.
  • Lord Gandal and Minister Zurill from UFO Robo Grendizer were King Vega's Co-Dragons.
  • Unicron Trilogy:
    • In Armada, Starscream and Demolisher share this post to Megatron, though they fight over who should be second-in-command at one point, that is until when Thrust arrives and takes over.
    • In Energon, Starscream shares it yet again, this time with Shockblast, until Shockblast betrays Megatron and was demoted.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: Nasch has his twin sister Merag and his right-hand man Durbe. While they aren't necessarily the strongest Barian Emperors under Nasch, they are the closest people under him. This is also reflected by their Over-Hundred Numbers, as Durbe has Number 102 and Merag has Number 103, which numerically follow directly after Nasch's Number 101.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Zarc has four of them: the Four Heavenly Dragons, which is interesting, since unlike other characters in the franchise, his co-dragons are Monster Cards. This is also justified as Zarc becomes a monster himself and treats himself as one.
  • Zatch Bell! has Rodeaux and Jedun in the Faudo arc. Rodeaux is the It's Personal sort of Dragon, having dicked with the heroes previously, while Jedun is pure muscle.

    Comic Books 
  • Birthright: God-King Lore has two Nevermind agents Mikey and Kallista; the former is tasked with assassinating the five mages holding the spell preventing Lore from invading Earth while the latter is charged with hunting down insurgents in Terrenos. Curiously, both of them share the same backstory as fallen heroes that originally opposed Lore until they crossed the Despair Event Horizon and agreed to serve him. Mikey is freed from Lore's influence when his Nevermind is extracted from his body safely, leaving Kallista as his sole Dragon.
  • Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges form an evil quartet modelled after the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but Judge Death is clearly their leader. He refers to the other three as his "lieutenants".
  • Darth Krayt of Legacy has both Darth Wyyrlok, his closest adviser and most powerful servant, and his Hands (Darths Talon, Stryfe, and Nihl) who actually execute his will. All of them serve as his top enforcers and executors, as opposed to other named Sith characters with more specialized side jobs. Talon and Nihl in particular have a rivalry over the job of Hand.
  • Marvel Universe villain The Red Skull has his daughter Sin and his henchman Crossbones as his Dragons.
    • Incidentally, Sin and Crossbones are lovers.
  • In Sin City, the Colonel had both Blue Eyes and Mariah, two female assassins. They're never depicted together, but they apparently have some sort of rivalry going on about which is the better killer.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • The Grandmasters of the various Dark Egg Legion chapters (and Snively) are Dr. Eggman's Dragons; they report only to him, are equal in rank, and those not directly under his command serve as his regional commanders.
    • Eggman added another dragon to his entourage when he makes the newly roboticized Sally his new chief enforcer. In fact, it should be noted that Mecha Sally, along with the rest of the Metal Series, may very well outrank the Grandmasters, as Eggman is using them to keep an eye on the latter and keep them loyal.
    • Post-Super Genesis Wave, the Grandmasters and Metal Series are replaced by the Egg Bosses, an almost entirely different lineup that serves the same role that the Grandmasters did in the old universe.
  • The Transformers (IDW): Megatron has three main Dragons, Soundwave, most loyal, communications officer and espionage expert. Starscream, air-commander, and most active of the three. Shockwave: chief science officer. The role is mostly shared by Starscream and Soundwave, seeing as Shockwave went missing for four million years. Razorclaw was also revealed to be a co-dragon as well, being a high ranking general on par with Starscream.

    Fan Works 
  • In the first volume of Twice Upon an Age, as in canon, the Elder One is served by both Samson and Calpernia. Unlike in the game, however, both of the co-dragons have equal limelight in the story, owing to the fact that the Inquisition recruits both the mages and the Templars. It's eventually revealed that the Elder One is playing them against each other for his favor.
  • Another Journey: Dante and Pride serve as Father's most loyal and trusted subordinates. Pride is the eldest and most powerful homunculus created by Father, watches over the tunnel Sloth digs around Amestris, and reports back to Father any discovery he finds with his shadows. Dante serves as Father's primary human ally, locates and prepares alchemists to become potential sacrifices for Father's Nationwide Transmutation Circle, and is even able to command the homunculi's unquestioned obedience.
  • Blood and Honor: Lord Draahg, Baras's second apprentice, is introduced when the plan to take down Darth Vengean goes into effect. He is nearly on a level with Sanguis in terms of power and Baras treats his two apprentices as equals.
  • Child of the Storm starts off with Lucius having two Dragons in the form of the Winter Soldier and Gravemoss. Later in the story, however, they devolve to being more in line with particularly powerful brutes that he can point at his enemies, with the position of his chief lieutenants falling instead to Baron Zemo and Doctor Zola.
    • In the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, head of the Red Room General Lukin has two main lieutenants — Yelena Belova is his chief physical enforcer, while Sinister is his main Mad Scientist (and clearly the true brains of the operation).
    • Later on in Ghosts, it's established that Dracula has a group of chief minions called the Lords Lieutenant, who he personally turned more than a century previously.
    • Long ago during the War for the Dawn, Surtur had his Great Captains, a group of individuals who willingly joined forces with him in exchange for becoming Physical Gods and leading his armies - though it's strongly implied that the Black Captain a.k.a. Zagreus of the Eternals is the first among equals and is described as "the brains of the bunch."
  • The Clockwork Consequence:
    • Nightmare Moon has the Big Three: Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Trixie. (This story takes place in the "Nightmare Moon wins" timeline that appeared in "The Cutie Re-Mark Part 2".)
    • Chapter five gives us one more dragon: Prince Tana Dreamweaver, Humanoid Abomination a.k.a. the Tantabus. (yes, that Tantabus)
  • The Fall of the Fire Empire: Directly beneath Azula is her inner circle, who are all roughly equal; High Minister Qing Xi, High Admiral Yuan, High General Xia and the Mistress of the Chosen. There is also Zhi, the Chosen who acts as Azula's personal bodyguard and attendant.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles: Shadow Corrupter, the leader of The Cult of Shadow, has Tempera and Armalum. They were both the first two cultists introduced and are both shown to be the most loyal to Shadow out of all his followers, willing to go to any length to serve him. Armalum was the first one to join Shadow's cult, thus being with him the longest, and Tempera fell in love with Shadow the moment she saw him and was by his side as he brought several other members into the cult.
  • Graduate Meeting of Mutual Killing has Valkyrie and Vieiras, who seem to serve as high-ranked members of a very high caliber and answer directly to the same person, Veritas.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Darkseid has Desaad, who is his chief science officer (as well as his torture technician), and Granny Goodness, who is in charge of training his troops.
  • As The Horsewomen Of Las Vegas progresses and Becky Lynch builds her own little criminal empire, she gains two Dragons: Brooke Tessmacher (who runs the business end of things) and ODB (who handles the more violent or underhanded work). The story shows the two have a history and don't like each other much, but come together to save Becky on one occasion.
  • The Immortal Game: General Esteem and Nihilus, who share mutual contempt that borders on outright hostility at times.
  • In I, Warrior, Keenah and Akhi Lian serve as this to the Master, though Keenah eventually establishes herself as dominant over her partner.
  • In the J-WITCH Series, Lord Cedric and Daolon Wong jointly serve as Prince Phobos's chief minions in Season 1. They don't like each other much, though, yet they both have their own plans to overthrow Phobos when the time is right.
  • In The King Nobody Wanted, Oberyn Martell and Garth Tyrell seem to be filling this role for King Viserys in his court.
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic knight of the dreadfort (the ballad of the red king), Roose Bolton employs his sons like this. His illegitimate son Ramsay holds the position of castellan of the Boltons' castle the Dreadfort, while his legitimate son Domeric (who's been Spared by the Adaptation) accompanies his father on campaign. Domeric has never met Ramsay and is in no hurry to do so thanks to what he's heard of his half-brother.
  • Mega Man Dissonance has Grave, Presto, Adagio and Piano of the Element 5, who serve Requiem. This is justified, as they were programmed to function as failsafes in the event that Requiem malfunctions or goes rogue (this obviously didn't work by the time the story started). Grave himself is against his leader's goals, but willingly serves him nonetheless.
  • MLP Next Generation: Know Fear! has the Wing Commanders of the Griffon Empire. Of the four, only two get focus, and of those two (Chalyvas/Steel Wing and Nox/Shadow Wing) the former is killed three-quarters through the story, and the latter turns out to be The Starscream, killing Emperor Stratus for his own ends.
  • In the Girls und Panzer and Saki crossover, Necessary to Win, found here, Maho's two vice-captains; Erika Itsumi and Teru Miyanaga.
  • In the Neomorphs series, the Visser has three lieutenants of roughly equal rank — Guraff, his chief commander; Salheer, his chief political officer; and Kalroth, who's in charge of training the Apostates.
  • Mr. X has the X-Trio in Pokéumans, consisting of Andy the Toxicroak, Dean the Typhlosion and Mindy the Lopunny, the infiltration specialist.
  • In the Dark World of the Pony POV Series, the discorded Mane Six all serve as Discord's enforcers, though Twilight Tragedy arguably has seniority. After Twilight's redemption, followed by Applejack and Rarity, it becomes less clear cut, as some of the remaining Chaos Six and Discord's other minions seem to have a loose power structure. That said, by the time the Elements of Harmony get around to actually Storming the Castle, Discord's remaining minions (Fluttercruel, Angry Pie, and Rancor) are all sent to confront them together, so they could arguably all be grouped under this trope. Rancor is seemingly left sole The Dragon after the battle's conclusion, but then Fluttercruel is revealed to be Not Quite Dead... and Rancor turns out to be a Sixth Ranger Traitor, leaving 'Cruel the only Dragon in the end.
  • Queen of All Oni: Jade's two bodyguard Shadowkhan, Left and Right, who are her chief minions and definitely outrank the rest of the Shadow Hand. That being said, Blankman also has some shades of a Dragon, being directly identified as her Number Two, and who seems to handle all the day-to-day aspects of the organization while Jade's focusing on the masks and tablets.
    • Though once Hebi comes around, her position as General automatically demotes everyone else, and she takes solitary Dragon status.
  • Queen of Shadows: The Circle of Generals serve as this to the Queen of the Shadowkhan. That said, whichever General serves as her Yojimbo (Hiruzen, currently) appears to be first among equals.
  • By the end of the W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Ripples, Cedric and Van have become this to Phobos' court. By the time of the sequel Stirred, they've solidified these positions, and are now both The Dreaded, for different reasons.
  • The Rise of Darth Vulcan: The titular Villain Protagonist eventually gets two Dragons, Chrysalis and Artful Dodger. The former pretty much forces her way into the role due to her Mad Love for Vulcan, and earns it due to power and experience, while the latter simply earns it by means of being made Vulcan's apprentice and taking a few levels in badass.
  • Like in canon, Emerald and Mercury function as this to Cinder in Ruby and Nora. Little Miss Malachite has a pair of bouncers named Kaida and Tracy who both work under her.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: The Wolf uses two men for his more delicate operations: a sorcerer named Sven Swordeater and an Exalted Hero named Akkarulf (formerly known as Theon Greyjoy). While they don't work against each other, there is some friction with the Wolf: Sven because as a Tzeentchian sorcerer, he's practically expected to betray his boss; while Akkarulf yields command of the Iron Fleet to another Ironborn without a fight, which the Wolf sees as cowardice (or rather, Akkarulf yielding followed by the other Ironborn apologizing for his insults to Akkarulf without a fight).
  • Turning Red: Secrets of the Panda: The two corrupted red panda spirits and Howard serve as this to Jason as they hunt down the members of Mei's family.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dick Tracy: Itchy and Flattop.
  • In Enter the Dragon, Bolo and O'Hara serve as Co-Dragons to Mr. Han.
  • Paine and The Brit serve as Dragons to Munroe in The Expendables. Paine is the more prominent of the two, but both are equally dangerous and seem to have equal authority within the bad guys' organization.
  • In Ghostbusters (1984), Zuul and Vinz Clortho serve as Gozer's two powerful minions with the ability to possess humans and use their bodies to summon the Destructor.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Baroness and Storm Shadow.
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Firefly and President Zartan to Cobra Commander.
  • in Good Burger, Troy and Griffin are this to Kurt, the manager of Mondo Burger.
  • Highlander III: The Sorcerer: Kane is introduced with two other evil immortals who seem to work for him, but they're quickly killed off when he sends off one (Senghi Khan) to fight McLeod by himself and betrays and kills the other (Khabul Khan) to absorb his powers.
  • In Hudson Hawk, the Mayflowers' two main henchmen are crooked CIA man George Kaplan, who's past his prime but still very spry and supervises the schemes, and unflinchingly loyal blade-slinging Battle Butler Alfred.
  • In the earlier Sean Connery Bond movies (except Goldfinger), the main villains in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Thunderball serve as Co-Dragons for overall Big Bad Blofeld. Interestingly, in From Russia With Love, both Rosa Klebb and Kronsteen carry out the villainous plan with Blofeld's oversight, and are clearly antagonistic with one another. Dr. No and Emilio Largo run their own respective operations for Blofeld.
    • In Spectre, Big Bad Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld has two Dragons: Mr. Hinx as the chief of operations/top enforcer for SPECTRE, and C/Max Denbigh, as the head of the recently merged MI5 and MI6.
  • In Kiss of the Dragon, the corrupt police captain has two martial artists with matching bleached-blonde crewcuts, one huge and strong, one small and quick.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Big Bad S.H.I.E.L.D. boss Alexander Pierce has two Dragons, the elite Badass Normal agent Brock Rumlow and the ruthless supersoldier "the Winter Soldier". Agent Rumlow is his "casual day" undercover ops Dragon. When things really need to get done, that's when the Winter Soldier is deployed.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch both side with Ultron at first, before they realize that he's not a savior like he claims to be.
  • In Pineapple Express, Ted has three 2nd-in-command's: Carol, who helps him with his drug deals and plans, and his top hitmen Budlofsky and Matheson.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Cutler Beckett has three Dragons- Davy Jones, Admiral James Norrington, and Mercer. Of the three, however, only Mercer is actually loyal- Jones is being coerced and Norrington is, at worst, a Noble Demon, and both eventually turn on him (though for admittedly different reasons, and Norrington does a full Heel–Face Turn with Redemption Equals Death while Jones just starts killing everyone he can get his claws on indiscriminately).
  • Pulp Fiction: Crime lord Marsellus Wallace has Paul as his Number Two, while Jules Winnfield is his lead enforcer.
  • Ready Player One (2018): Sorrento has F'Nale Zandor and i-R0k as his chief enforcers in the real world and OASIS, respectfully.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope has this dynamic between Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin; while Vader is the Emperor's top enforcer, Tarkin governs the entire Outer Rim and is in charge of the Death Star. In fact, Tarkin is perhaps the only Imperial officer on good enough terms with Vader to give him orders.
    • The Force Awakens has Kylo Ren and General Hux serving Supreme Leader Snoke. The former is the most obvious threat, being his closest right-hand man and his apprentice in The Dark Side of the Force, while the latter commands the troops and operates the Starkiller Base. In many ways, they're younger versions of Vader and Tarkin, even if their relationship is far less cordial.
  • Van Helsing: Dracula's vampire brides are Aleera, Marishka, and Verona. Though Verona is the senior and occasionally gives orders to her sisters, Aleera and Marishka tend to do what they want anyways. The only person they obey without question is their lord and husband.
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • Yojimbo: Ushitora has his two younger brothers Unosuke and Inokichi. Unosuke is a conniving schemer and marksman, Inokichi is a good fighter but is dumb as a box of rocks (he can't even count on his fingers).
  • Willow: Sorsha is one of her mother's two lieutenants, with General Kael being the other one. When her mother orders him to have his forces aid her in the hunt for Willow and co., she's miffed and says she doesn't need it, implying a rivalry, at least on her part (Kael doesn't appear ambitious that way).

  • Cat Chaser: Corky and Jiggs both serve as Andres' right-hand men. Jiggs also serves as The Starscream, secretly plotting to rob his boss blind.
  • In the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the three Ravers are always Lord Foul's Dragons. Sometimes he'll add another Dragon, too such as Elena, in The Power That Preserves and Kastenessen in the Last Chronicles, though he probably sees himself as Foul's equal partner.
  • Arxinor and Gorgash from Dragons: Lexicon Triumvirate, two technodragons that do Drekkenoth's dirty work and hound the protagonists.
  • David Eddings loves this trope.
  • Forever and a Death: Former pot smuggler Morgan Pillager, Curtis's former construction foreman turned lackey Colin Bennett and Hong Kong racketeer Jackie Tian are all Curtis henchmen with a fair amount of prominence and authority, although not at all the same time.
  • Diana Ladris and Drake Merwin share this role to Caine Soren in the GONE series... for the first two novels, at least.
  • Harry Potter:
  • R.A. Salvatore's Hunter's Blade trilogy, Gerti Orelsdottr and Obould Many-Arrows are technically Co Dragons working for a group of drow out to cause chaos in the area for the fun of it. They're both dragons with an agenda, to the point where Obould becomes a Dragon-in-Chief, and eventually decides to get rid of the drow altogether.
  • The Steel Inquisitors of Mistborn collectively function as The Dragon to the Lord Ruler; there are about twenty Inquisitors total, but they generally work alone and you'll rarely see more than a half-dozen in one place at one time.
    • Later on in the trilogy, the surviving Inquisitors return collectively working as The Dragon to Ruin
  • James Bond
    • Dr. Anton Murik in Licence Renewed has Caber and Mary-Jane Mashik. Caber is The Brute and the chief of Murik's bodyguards, and Mary-Jane is Murik's close assistant, lover, and a Torture Technician.
    • In Win, Lose or Die, Bassam Baradj, the leader of the organization BAST, has three field officers with equal amounts of authority; Abou Hamarik, Ali al Adwan and Sophii Boudai.
    • Sir Max Tarn in SeaFire has Maurice Goodwin (the head of his security) and Connie Spicer (his muscle).
    • The Changs in Zero Minus Ten, who are three albino brothers working out of loyalty to Guy Thackeray. Before Bond knows anything about them, he dubs them Tom, Dick and Harry.
  • In John Devil (1862) by Paul Féval we have arguably 3. Officially Henri Belcamp makes Robert Surisy the Lieutenant of his private Steampunk navy formed to free Napoleon and destroy England. And Ned Knob manages to become Tom Brown's eye and ears in London's criminal underworld. But his true Dragon is Sarah O'Neil who is the only person from the start in on all the various layers of his compartmentalized Evil Plan.
  • In Keys to the Kingdom, all seven Trustees have three main servants: a Dawn, a Noon and a Dusk. Grim Tuesday has seven: the Grotesques, made from the Dawn, Noon and Dusk.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain: Reviled and E-Claire are sidekicks to Villain Protagonist Bad Penny.
  • Pronto: Jimmy Cap's two main henchmen are notorious hitman Tommy Bucks and his incompetent right-hand man Nicky "Joe Macho" Testa. Both of them hate each other despite having to work together, Tommy because Nicky is an idiot who doesn't know Italian and Nicky because Tommy constantly insults him.
  • In the Redwall book, Lord Brocktree, wildcat conqueror Ungatt Trunn has three dragons by the end in Karangool, the Grand Fragorl, and ex-searat Ripfang.
  • From The Silmarillion, Morgoth had three Dragons, each with a different area of expertise — Sauron, who led various werewolves, vampires and the like; Gothmog, leader of the Balrogs and Field Marshall for Morgoth's armies; and Glaurung, father of the (literal) dragons. Sauron is noted for having been sort of a Dragon-in-Chief, however, while Morgoth sat in the fortress that Sauron guarded. Each of Morgoth's dragons would serve a role as The Heavy for one of Tolkien's Great Tales: Sauron for Beren and Luthien, Glaurung for The Children of Húrin, and Gothmog for The Fall of Gondolin. If you were to make them into a traditional (evil) Five-Man Band, Sauron would be The Dragon, Gothmog would be The Brute and Glaurung would be The Evil Genius. Glaurung was very intelligent, so he qualifies for that regardless. Interestingly, Sauron is the first to be defeated, but is also the only one of the three to survive the war.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Shadows of the Empire introduces Prince Xizor, head of the intergalactic crime syndicate Black Sun and self-considered 3rd most powerful man in the Empire. He loathes Vader, both as a rival and for personal reasons, and the two engage in frequent games of one-upsmanship for Palpatine's favour and do everything they can to eliminate the other. Xizor has no military might, but the Black Sun apparently has the best spy network in the galaxy (aside from the Rebel-aligned Bothans), which gives him an edge as he can provide better intel than Imperial Intelligence. He advises the Emperor in various plans; it transpires that Palpatine's Evil Plan in Return of the Jedi was actually Xizor's idea, and Xizor was the one who really gave the Rebels their Death Star info (with Palp's blessing).
    • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Mara Jade apparently thought she was this to Emperor Palpatine, being his personal right-hand assassin known as "The Emperors' Hand", but Thrawn informs her that she was actually just one of several such "Hands" whose existence was kept secret from one another in order to make them feel more special and thus ensure their loyalty. Thrawn himself has a better claim to being a Co-Dragon than she did, the Emperor begrudgingly accepting his criticisms and advice in military matters simply because Thrawn is proved time and again he was better at them than the Emperor was.
    • Subverted in the Revenge of the Sith novelization, where it's revealed that Dooku's plan was for him and Anakin to become this, with himself leading the corrupted Jedi they'd leave in their wake and Anakin taking Thrawn's role as head of the military. Palpatine however, didn't like the idea of having a division of power and decided You Have Outlived Your Usefulness the second he had the chance.
  • In Those That Wake's sequel, Arielle Kliest has Castillo and Roarke working for her.
  • Moridin and Shaidar Haran appear to be this in The Wheel of Time - Moridin is Nae'blis, the Dark One's empowered human regend, while Shaidar Haran acts as the Dark One's mouthpiece and enforcer. However, it turns out that Shaidar was actually a vessel for the Dark One's consciousness to travel beyond its prison rather than an independent being; when said prison weakens enough for the Dark One to at least partially enter the world directly, Shaidar is discarded; when Rand arrives at Shayol Ghul to confront the Dark One and Moridin, he sees Shaidar's withered remains lying on the ground nearby.
    • From Book 4 until Moridin and Shadar Haran appear (in books 7 and 6 respectively), the Forsaken themselves are Co-Dragons.
  • In the Winds of the Forelands series, both Jastanne and Pronjed serve as Dragons to Big Bad Dusaan.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: An evil Wizarding School has a Gang of Bullies led by a witch named Lily Rutherford. Two members of the clique, Lucille Ballard and Amira Chadid, both serves as Lily's immediate subordinates. They're the two strongest members of the gang outside of Lily herself, and when she has to pick two people to help her try to kill the protagonist, she chooses them.
  • Young Bond
    • In Blood Fever, Smiler is the Count Carnifex’s head henchman and assassin, and the one in charge of stealing stuff from rich households. Haight is the Count's spy in Eton, providing him information to plan art thefts.
    • Ludwig and Wolfgang Smith in Double or Die, who are a duo of criminal brothers who work for anyone who pays them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Boardwalk Empire likes this trope.
  • In The Borgias, Pope Alexander planned for his sons to be this, with Cesare responsible for church matters, and Juan responsible for the military and statecraft. However, in practice Juan largely functioned as The Brute, and proved fairly ineffective even at that.
    • In season 3, Cesare and Cardinal Sforza serve as this, with Sforza as Alexander's primary Vatican official and enforcer in the church, and Cesare as his right hand man on secular matters.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Warren was this to Twilight with Amy and The General in Season 8.
    • Vampire Xander along with Willow.
    • Pearl and Nash to Whistler.
  • Chousei Kantai Sazer X: The Three Shoguns lack an official leader between the three of them and all report to Captain Barder's directly as his chief lieutenants.
  • On Dark Oracle, Creepy Twins Blaze & Violet were the primary antagonists for most of Season 2, and appeared to be a Big Bad Duumvirate. In reality they were Co-Dragons to Doyle's Evil Counterpart the Puppet-Master, who was the one really giving the orders.
  • Season 3 of Degrassi: The Next Generation gave us this with the Candy Bandits. The Big Bad is Jay, and with Sean's Face–Heel Turn, he and Alex become Co-Dragons.
  • Game of Thrones: Euron with Jaime for Cersei, in terms of military. He leads the navy, Jaime the army.
  • Kamen Rider
    • Wiseman in Kamen Rider Wizard has his Chief Phantoms, Phoenix and Medusa, later joined by Gremlin. Medusa is definitely the most loyal, but neither really outranks the other.
    • The Time Jackers in Kamen Rider Zi-O have a very informal hierarchy, with Swartz being the one who leads and Heure and Ora being the ones who follow.
  • In the final season of Lost, Claire and Sayid seem to be this for The Man in Black. They're just brainwashed though, and both betray him by the end.
  • In Married... with Children, Al's NO MA'M group features Jefferson and Griff acting as Al's prominent commanders. They both also act as the Only Sane Man in the organization.
  • Morgana from Merlin had Helios and Agravaine as her Co-Dragons at the end of series 4. They didn't like each other much.
  • Narcos: Pablo Escobar appoints "Kiko" Moncada and Fernando Galeano to be his front bosses while he's in "jail". Though he kills them both in a fit of paranoia one episode later.
  • More or less a tradition in each Power Rangers season after Power Rangers in Space. Generally there's one loyal dragon, and one treacherous one.
    • Though this does predate in Space as well; Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had Goldar and Scorpina in the first season, and the second and third seasons had Goldar and Rito Revolto.
    • in Space: Ecliptor and Darkonda, although their boss was technically the Dragon-in-Chief for Dark Spectre. Ecliptor was the Noble Demon type who mentored Astronema, while Darkonda was the scheming backstabber who stole her from her family in the first place. They couldn't stand each other.
    • Lost Galaxy: Villamax and Deviot - again, Noble Demon mentor to the main villainess / unrepentant Starscream.
    • Lightspeed Rescue: Diabolico, Loki, and Vypra at the start, all of which are loyal to Queen Bansheera. Then Diabolico, the one above the other two, is killed by the rangers and replaced with Bansheera's son Olympius. Then later, Diabolico comes back. All of them are loyal to Bansheera up until the end of the series, when she starts sacrificing them in order to complete her revival; it was ultimately her undoing when that betrayal came full circle.
    • Time Force: Ransik's daughter Nadira and the robot Frax. Turns out Frax Was Once a Man and it was Ransik's fault; he was appropriately treacherous. Nadira and Ransik were mutually loyal to each other, and she eventually led him into a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Wild Force: Jindrax and Toxica. Oddly, both of them were loyal, and then both became treacherous when the Big Bad abused that loyalty. And that happens twice.
    • Ninja Storm: Loads of them, with Vexacus taking steps to eliminate the competition later in the season.
    • Dino Thunder: Elsa and Zeltrax. Zeltrax eventually goes rogue, while Elsa is revealed to have been brainwashed from the beginning.
    • SPD: Mora/Morgana and Broodwing. The former was the loyal one, the latter was demoted from the Big Bad position he held in the original Sentai and was clearly resentful about it to the point of wanting his spot back.
    • Mystic Force: Koragg and Necrolai. Both could be loyal or treacherous, depending on the situation - Koragg started out loyal to Morticon, but when Morticon was replaced with Imperious Koragg worked against him (particularly because of Imperious' own backstabbing tendencies), and ultimately his brainwashing was broken and became a good guy again. Necrolai was more consistently loyal up until the end when she had a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Jungle Fury: A herd of them, most notably Camille and Grizakka; Grizzaka was the treacherous one, and Camille pulled a last-minute Heel–Face Turn, staying loyal to the guy the Big Bad had been possessing rather than the Big Bad himself.
    • RPM: Another ensemble, with Kilobyte, Tenaya 7, Shifter, and Crunch. Shifter eventually became treacherous, while Tenaya was brainwashed and changed sides eventually.
    • Samurai: Dayu and Serrator. Serrator was the scheming treacherous one all the way, even getting to be Dragon-in-Chief for a little while; but Dayu wasn't particularly loyal either - she never acted against the other villains, but did leave for a while when she had been abused too much. There's also Deker, though he was more of an independent Wild Card. There was also Octoroo, The Evil Genius and (more or less) loyal Dragon.
    • Megaforce: A rotating ensemble in the first season, complicated by Vrak's position of Dragon-in-Chief. The series started with Vrak and Creepox as Co-Dragons to Admiral Malkor, then Creepox went down and Biggs and Bluefur were brought on with Vrak as go-between between them and Malkor, and then those two made way for Vrak getting his own personal Dragon, Metal Alice. She was co opted with the Messenger during the finale.
    • Power Rangers Super Megaforce has Damaras, Argus and Levira as Prince Vekar's Co-Dragons. While both Damaras and Levira are complaining about the prince and acting on his back, they both care for him. Argus, on the other hand, is completely loyal to Vekar and his confidant.
      • Damaras and Argus are replaced by Redker and Yellzor after rangers kill them and Prince Vekar.
    • Power Rangers Dino Charge Sledge has four Co-Dragons: Fury, Poisandra, Wrench and Snide. The latter is the only treacherous one.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Steel has Ripcon has the loyal Dragon and Odius as the Treacherous Advisor.
    • Power Rangers: Beast Morphers has Blaze, Roxy and Scrozzle. They're later joined by Vargoyle. While they backstab each other and are in constant competition with one another, they are all loyal to the Big Bad.
  • The Korean drama Queen Seondeok's Lady Mishil has three, her husbands (you heard that right) Seolwon and Saejong and her younger brother Misaeng.
  • Several major antagonists in Resurrection: Ertuğrul tend to have two right-hand men with them.
    • Titus and Marcus to Petruchio in season 1.
    • Also in the first season, Baybora and Alpargu to Kurdoglu.
    • Tankut and Ulubilge to Noyan in season 2.
    • Philip and Petrus to Simon in the third season. Petrus becomes a co-dragon to Vasilius alongside his general after Simon’s death.
    • Eynece and Mergen to Alangoya toward the end of season 4.
    • Lais and Tara to Dragos in season 5, the former being replaced with Uranos after getting publicly executed in Sogut town square.
  • In the 10th (and final) season of Smallville: Granny Goodness, Desaad and Gordon Godfrey are sharing the role of Dragon to Big Bad Darkseid as they prepare the world for his coming.
    • And in the episode "Dominion", Darkseid is shown to have another Dragon in previous Big Bad Zod, who rules over the Phantom Zone in Darkseid's name. Interestingly, Zod is himself a pair of Dragons in one body - Darkseid fused the Phantom of the original General Zod with his clone Major Zod.
  • Azazel and Lilith seem to have been this for Lucifer in Supernatural, though Lilith is said to have outranked Azazel.
    • Azazel's children, Meg and Tom, were this to him in Season One.
    • In a way Alastair and Crowley could be considered this for Lilith, though Crowley was an Unseen Character until season 5 (after Lilith's death). Ruby could also be included, though her rank seems to be only slightly higher than mook.
    • Michael had Zachariah and Raphael under his command.
  • King Monster in Seigi No Symbol Condorman has seven Co-Dragons, who each take a different turn in the lead. Also of note is his faithful Evil Genius, Mad Scienter, who serves him throughout the entire show.
  • Super Sentai features this trope multiple times. These ensembles come in multiple variants. Sometimes, they are just combatants who work together. Other times, each of them commands a different type of Monster of the Week, alternating who takes center stage between the episodes. Its also possible for the multiple Dragons to be at each others throats:
    • The Gozma in Dengeki Sentai Changeman start off with only one Dragon in Giluke, but after Queen Ahames joins the roster she and Giluke begin vying for power, leading the two to end up sharing this role.
      • Giluke himself also has two lieutenants in adjutants Booba and Shiima.
    • Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman has a similar example to Changeman above. Captain Garoa is initially the only Dragon of Zone at first, but after First Captain Chevalier joins the crew and proves himself much more competent than Garoa, Meadow promotes him to her second-in-command and demotes Garoa to janitor. Later on however, Garoa is able to win back favor with Meadow, leading her promote Garoa back up and effectively make both him and Chevalier her Dragons.
    • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger starts of with only one Dragon, being Grifforzer. After the first third of the show, Grifforzer is joined by his wife Lamy and briefly by Burai. After Lamy's appearance, Grifforzer isn't usually seen without her in battle.
    • Gosei Sentai Dairanger is very strange with this. The field commanders of the antagonistic Gorma Tribe are the Gorma Triumvirate, a trio of generals who serve the Gorma Emperor. However, it is shown that some of the Monsters of the Week are of equal rank or even outrank the Triumvirate. In terms of narrative the Triumvirate does fit the role of The Dragon.
    • Kyūkyū Sentai GoGoV starts with three of them, being Zylpheeza, Dinas and Kobolda, each commanding groups of monsters based on the elements of air, water and earth respectively. They are later joined by Salamandes, who commands his own group of monsters based on the element of fire.
    • Mirai Sentai Timeranger has Lira and Gien. Each serves Don Dolnero in a different capacity, but both are his main henchmen.
    • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger has seven of them, each named after a day of the week. Four of them command a band of Monsters and most of them die due to the machinations of their colleagues or the Big Bad.
    • Subverted in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. When Emperor Ackdos Gill first appears he brings with him two enforcers, Yatsurig and Dyrandoh. The former then becomes a Monster of the Week and gets killed off, leaving Ackdos with only one Dragon in Dyrandoh for the remainder of the series.
    • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters plays with this trope, starting with Enter as its sole Dragon for Big Bad Messiah. After Messiah grows impatient, he creates Escape, another Dragon. In the final arc it narrows down to one again, after Enter becomes a Dragon Ascendant with Escape as his sole Dragon.
  • Ultra Series
    • The Dark Four Heavenly Kings in Ultraman Mebius are a council of four powerful kaiju who serve as the top generals in Alien Empera's army.
    • When Ultraman Belial returns with his galactic empire in Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, he has Darkgone and Iaron as his two army commanders.
  • VR Troopers had a lot of them, given that it blended together three separate Metal Heroes shows. General Ivar (commander of Grimlord's air and ground assault forces), Colonel Icebot (top scientist and monster creator) and Decimator (field commander and best warrior) were the main sub-leaders in season 1; season 2 saw Decimator get replaced by Oraclon (a giant gold head that served as a living supercomputer) and, to an extent, Doom Master and Despera (new warrior and The Strategist respectively).
  • The Walking Dead (2010): In the seasons featuring Negan and the Saviors, it's shown that both Dwight and Simon have the same influence and power within the social structure of the Sanctuary, with both answering directly to Negan himself.
  • Chris and Snoop under kingpin Marlo Stanfield on The Wire.

  • Survival of the Fittest has the 'Big Four', consisting of Steven Wilson, Melvin Carter, Jim Greynolds and Sonia Nguyen, all of whom appear to have an equal standing whilst being clear superiors to the remainder of the terrorists. Danya certainly seems to give them equal roles in his organisation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering's Nicol Bolas, an actual dragon, prefers to recruit other (weaker) Planewalkers as his dragons, though given his disposition he rules through fear and intimidation rather than loyalty. Right now he has three co-Dragons; Tezzeret, who owes a debt to the dragon and might be being controlled by a psychic implant, Liliana Vess; who seeks Bolas' power to help free her from a blood pact with several archdemons, and Sarkhan Vol; who comes from a world where dragons are revered as the pinnacle of life, arguably the only one loyal to Bolas.

    Theme Parks 
  • In the 20th year of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, the event's "Icons" (Jack the Clown, The Caretaker, The Director, The Storyteller, and The Usher) were demoted from Big Bads to this role, serving as the minions for "Fear", the Eldritch Abomination personification of fear itself, who was revealed to have been the Greater-Scope Villain behind the event's entire history. This partially occurred again in 2015, when Jack the Clown once again became the main "Icon" and had the others serving as his henchmen.

    Video Games 
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Calisto Yew/Shih-Na and Manny Coachen are Dragons in different ways. The former is more important to the story than the latter and, barring the Big Bad Quercus Alba, is the most important criminal in the game, but the latter is the second in command of the smuggling ring.
  • AdventureQuest Worlds Xing and Xang become this to Drakath After Drakath replaced the good Xang with her very evil 'counterpart' from the Mirror Realm.
  • Robo-Manus and Big Blag of Battletoads are the chief enforcers of the Dark Queen.
  • Bayonetta: The four Cardinal Virtues are all regarded as equal secondary agents in Paradio's army, to the god Jubileus herself. In-game they act as this to the story's Big Bad, each of them being faced as a major boss fight after one to three chapters of buildup.
  • BlazBlue has Hazama/Yuuki Terumi and Relius Clover appear this way at first. Bonus points for the Red Oni, Blue Oni thing they have going on. Then it turns out they're the ones behind everything, and their boss is a puppet. And then Chronophantasma reveals that Saya is possessed by Izanami, the real Big Bad, and she disposes of both of them near the end, leaving Relius suffering from a case of humility and irony and Terumi with a case of (almost) death, while Hazama ends up breaking off and doing his whole own thing.
  • Lord Recluse of City of Villains has Ghost Widow, Sirocco, Mako, and Black Scorpion as his dragons.
    • And as you progress through the story arc for any of them, it is implied that you are on your way to becoming a new dragon yourself.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • Tiny and N. Gin are often Neo Cortex's most consistent two lackeys throughout the games (being his only sincerely loyal henchmen), and often utilised whenever he is put in a Terrible Trio dynamic. In some cases, Tiny is replaced with N. Brio or Nina, Cortex's niece.
    • Cortex himself is often paired with N. Tropy as Uka Uka's Co-Dragons. Though the power chain isn't clear in Warped, in most later games they are equals and rivalistic towards each other. In the GBA, games Uka Uka interchanges between using Cortex or Tropy as his main schemer, while in It's About Time, after they both betray Uka, they form a Big Bad Duumvirate, though with Tropy clearly the spearheading and eventually betraying Cortex as well in favour of a more efficient accomplice.
  • Dead or Alive 5's story has Christie and Rig as Victor Donovan's dragons. The former is a cold-blooded assassin and has been a long-time ally of Donovan, the latter is Donovan's son who pretended to have lost his memories and served as an oil worker, while in reality, him and Donovan plotted out everything that happened in the story.
  • In Dead by Daylight, several of the killers seem to have more freedom than the others - Michael Myers, Pyramid Head, Pinhead, and Sadako. Pyramid Head, Myers, and Sadako can kill survivors without making offerings to the Entity or using perks, while the Lament Configuration (and by extension, Pinhead) showed up in the realm of the Entity one day, with Pinhead's Mori explicitly taking survivors out of the Entity's realm. (not that where they're going is any better)
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, Loghain's two top lieutenants are Ser Cauthrien, his chief enforcer and the leader of his personal bodyguard, and Arl Rendon Howe, an able if ruthless administrator who assumes responsibility for most of the actions that would ordinarily give Loghain bad P.R.
    • In a more minor example, the Archdemon attacks Denerim with two powerful Darkspawn Generals.
    • Downplayed in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Elder One has two lieutenants, Calpernia and Samson, that share equal power. However, one of them will take the bulk of the screentime per playthrough and spend that time acting like they're the only second-in-command.note  You might not notice the Elder One has multiple Dragons unless you pay very close attention or run multiple playthroughs.
    • Inverted with Leliana and Cassandra who were the Left and Right Hand of the Divine, Thedas's religious leader. After forming the Inquisition they become your Co-Dragons, stepping down from a quasi leadership role to grooming you to lead.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II: Atlas, Pazuzu and Belial are Hargon's Unholy Trinity. They guard his fortress and must be fought before reaching Hargon.
    • Dragon Quest X: Antero and his brother, Principal Nadia are Patriarch Orstov's lieutenants sent to lead more monsters into Astoila and get the Hero to come to Nagaland by kidnapping Anlucia and several royals.
    • Dragon Quest XI has Mordegon's generals Jasper and Alizarin. Jasper is technically the leader of the Spectral Sentinels, but remains an Orcus on His Throne until you fight him; Alizarin is the guy making the strongest push against the heroes in the overworld.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Mensouma and Undata are the two closest minions of Dark Force and his most effective commanders.
  • Fallout: New Vegas features Caesar's two lieutenants. Vulpes Inculta is the leader of the Frumentarii, who are scouts, infiltrators and saboteurs; he is responsible for most of the trouble the Legion is causing in the Mojave. Legate Lanius is the leader of Caesar's armies. It's heavily implied that after Caesar's death the two of them will fight for leadership, leading to the eventual collapse of the Legion as neither have what the other does.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, this trope is subverted, and then played straight. Initially, the Four Riders of Daein are held up as Co-Dragons to the King of Daein, being the nation's four top generals and warriors. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that Petrine and Bertram are both taking orders from The Black Knight, and that only the latter has Mad King Ashnard's ear. As the last few chapters approach, however, we are introduced to Bryce, the last surviving member of the original Riders, who serves as Ashnard's bodyguard, believes in My Country, Right or Wrong, and takes no crap from anyone, including the Black Knight. In the sequel, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the Goddess Ashera has Prime Minister Sephiran and Dhenginsea as Dragons.
  • God of War:
    • In God of War III, Zeus has Poseidon and Helios, during the Second Great War against Kratos and the Titans.
    • In God of War Ragnarök, Odin has Thor and Heimdall as his right, and left hands respectively.
  • Horizon Forbidden West: Gerard Bieri, the leader of the Zeniths, has both Erik Visser and Tilda van der Meer respectively serving as his right and left-hands, even though Tilda is the one who goes into The Starscream near the end of the game as she plans to kill Gerard to complete her goal of taking Aloy with her.
  • Injustice
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In games involving the Organization, it's pretty clear that Saix and Xigbar share The Dragon position to Xemnas. Saix was The Starscream who became the mask, and who handles the day-to-day giving of orders to the rest of the organization and is the final battle before Xemnas, whereas Xigbar is the only one who actually knows what's going on because he was the first member to make an alliance with Master Xehanort, Xemnas's true identity, ten years ago. They may cross partially with Dragon with an Agenda and/or The Man Behind the Man depending on how much Xemnas knew and/or remembered.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Vanitas and Braig are this to Master Xehanort. The former is the dark counterpart to one of the protagonists, while the latter joined Xehanort to gain a Keyblade.
    • In Kingdom Hearts III, the position is shared by Ansem, Xemnas, and Young Xehanort, as they are Master Xehanort’s right-hand men in the Seekers of Darkness. Ansem is searching for a mysterious girl called Subject X, Xemnas maintains some of the day-to-day groundwork being laid by the lesser members since he already has experience being their leader, and Young Xehanort researches the bonds between toys and their owners to help engineer the collection of the last Seeker of Darkness needed. During the climactic Keyblade War, the former two serve as Master Xehanort’s main generals in the field, overseeing and providing support to the lesser members during their fights against the Guardians of Light. The penultimate boss fight, fittingly, is against these three all at once. It's also interesting to note that while Ansem and Xemnas are Rank II and III respectively in the Real Organization XIII, Young Xehanort is actually the second-lowest ranking member at Rank XII.
      • In Re:Mind before Ansem, Xemnas, and Young Xehanort return, the position of Co-Dragons fall to Xigbar and Saix, this time to Master Xehanort, When Ansem, Xemnas, and Young Xehanort return in replica bodies to maintain their presence, Xigbar and Saix are demoted to lesser members of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has Koume and Kotake Twinrova, Ganondorf’s surrogate mothers who serve as the penultimate boss.
  • Lord Palethorn in MediEvil 2 has two chief henchmen who work closely with each other: Dogman, a working-class thug who serves as The Brute, and Mander, a smarmy aristocrat who does most of the thinking.
  • Prometheus and Pandora from Mega Man ZX serve this role to both Master Albert and briefly to Serpent under his orders. Crosses over with The Starscream in the second game when they reveal they intend to kill Albert and do just that due to the suffering and abuse they went through because of him. Shame that it wasn't the one they expected, and that Albert planned their betrayal from the start.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Sundowner and Monsoon are Senator Armstrong’s right-hand men.
  • Ridley and Kraid in Metroid and Super Metroid are both literal dragons to Mother Brain.
  • Might and Magic VII starts out with King Archibald Ironfist of Deyja having a group of four mysterious advisers as his main servants, though it quickly becomes apparent that Kastore effectively leads the group. Once Kastore usurps the throne, however, it can return to this trope — the remaining three advisers ( eventually two on the good path) serve equal scientific and leadership roles, and on the evil path your group of four adventurers provides the primary muscle as well as strategic alliances and territory.
  • Khalid Al-Asad and Victor Zakhaev both serve as Imran Zakhaev's dragons in the first Modern Warfare game. Until they die, of course. Then it turns out that all three of them are dragons to another terrorist, Vladimir Makarov.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • In Mother 3, Yokuba/Fassad and the Masked Man both act as dragons to King Porky/Pokey Minch and command their own divisions of the Pigmask Army.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Lord Crump and Beldam are this to Sir Grodus, though strangely they are never shown interacting with each other. Beldam is a Dragon with an Agenda who's using Grodus and his X-Nauts to revive her original mistress, the demonic Shadow Queen.
  • Selvan and Dias are this to Queen Protea in Radiant Historia. Dias heads the army, while Selvan is something like a prime minister.
  • Red Dead Redemption has Captain Espinoza and Vicente de Santa in the Nuevo Paraiso portion of the game. They serve Colonel Agustin Allende though are often at each other's throats as each sees themselves as the more loyal servant.
  • In Rise of the Kasai, the Big Bad Meibisi's top servants are a pair of beautiful twin priestess who keep his evil army in line by brainwashing them, and, like another of his top minions, can turn into literal dragons. It's an odd example as unlike other bosses in the game, they have no dialogue, and don't feature in the story at all until the cutscene right before their bossfight (which is exactly like every other boss in the game except the big bad). They count as his dragons mainly because of their role of enslaving his army, and that they are his most dangerous servants, even briefly managing to mind control the hero.
  • River City Ransom has quite literal version of this: Randy and Andy, known as the Dragon Twins, are Co Dragons for the Big Bad of the game, Slick. The player must face both of them at the same time before fighting Slick.
  • In Saints Row 2, you have four Dragons who aid you in taking over Stilwater: Johnny Gat and Pierce Washington, who handle the Ronin; Shaundi, who aids you in taking on the Sons of Samedi; and Carlos, your man for taking care of Brotherhood.
  • Kiki and Viola DeWynter are set up to be Phillipe Loren's Co-Dragons in Saints Row: The Third, but Loren is quickly killed off at the beginning, and Kiki is killed by new Big Bad Killbane. Viola then does a Heel–Face Turn and joins the Saints.
  • Hideyoshi from Sengoku Basara has Mitsunari and Hanbe. In turn, Mitsunari has Otani Yoshitsugu and Shima Sakon. Nobunaga generally has Nohime and Ranmaru as his co-dragons, though in the fourth game Mitsuhide and Katsuie play this role.
  • YHVH in Shin Megami Tensei has the Metatron, the Four Archangels, and Satan. Yeah, he ain't a nice guy. Lucifer, meanwhile, has Beelzebub, Lilith, Lucifuge, and Asura, though Beelzebub is the most prominent. For a one-game example, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has Odin and Maitreya as the right hands of Krishna in the Divine Powers.
  • Skullgirls has Valentine and Double acting as Dragons to the Skullgirl. Except Valentine is a Dragon with an Agenda, and Double is more a Dragon on loan from their masters, the Mysterious Trinity.
  • In Sol Cresta, Chandor serves as the second-in-command of Mega Zofer, while Dita serves as Mandler's right-hand man.
  • The newer Sonic The Hedgehog games have given Dr. Eggman two robotics; a snarky orb-shaped robot named Orbot, and a clumsy cube-shaped robot named Cubot.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • By the end of their class quests, the only authority the Sith Warrior and Sith Inquisitor report to is The Emperor himself, though the Inquisitor simply ends up as a member of the Dark Council while the Warrior holds the title of Emperor's Wrath.
    • Depending on your point of view and character alignment at the end of Knights of the Eternal Throne, The Outlander and Theron Shan are these to Lana Beniko.
  • Juni and Juli in Street Fighter Alpha 3 are this to Shadoloo leader M. Bison.
    • Balrog, Vega and Sagat (before his Heel–Face Turn) also fit this role back in Street Fighter II.
    • Crimson Viper and Juri to Seth. Notable in that both betray him, although for very different reasons.
  • While Bowser is the Big Bad of the Super Mario Bros. series games, either Bowser Jr. or Kamek serves as the series' Dragon. Occasionally, both Bowser Jr. and Kamek can be seen working together, like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Tekken 6:
  • Twisted Wonderland has Jade and Floyd Leech acting as the intelligent muscle backing up Azul's shady dealings. Justified as the trio are based on Ursula, Flotsam and Jetsam.
  • Archimonde and Kil'Jaeden are Dragons to Sargeras in the Warcraft universe. Unusually for this trope, they are not rivals. They genuinely cooperate, mostly due to their telepathic connection. Kil'Jaeden is The Chessmaster while Archimonde is The Enforcer. Aggramar may or may not also have been this to Sargeras, it's hard to say given that we know very little about what the Legion did on planets other than Azeroth and Draenor.
    • And Tichondrius and Mannoroth (who also served as the Evil Genius and The Brute respectively) were Dragons to Archimonde in Warcraft III. Later, Mannoroth is killed by Grom Hellscream, leaving Tichondrius as his only Dragon. Then Tichondrius is killed by Illidan, apparently Anetheron became Archimonde's new Dragon.
      • And then Archimonde himself was killed, leaving Kil'Jaeden as the sole Dragon and acting leader of the Burning Legion.
    • Lady Vashj and Kael'thas Sunstrider when they betray Illidan become this to Kil'Jaeden as well (Tichondrius and Mannoroth are both temporarily dead at this point in the story). Though they wouldn't consider themselves equals (Kael'thas is Vashj's social inferior due to his relative youth, and elf gender roles), they do both report directly to Kil'Jaeden.
    • Deathwing and Queen Azhara to N'Zoth. Although they aren't really equal in terms of power level, Queen Azhara is merely a powerful mage whereas Deathwing has godlike powers granted to him by the Titans. N'Zoth considers them equally useful though. Points for Deathwing being a literal dragon.
    • The Twin Emperors of the A'qir, Vel'kor and Vek'nilash, to C'Thun. The A'qir are insect people. Like with Archimonde and Kil'Jaeden above, they cooperate. In fact, when you fight them they share their hit points. You have to kill them both within a few seconds of each other, or the surviving one will wipe the raid.
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen has the Chosen, three alien supersoldiers — the Assassin, the Hunter, and the Warlock — elevated to a position of power beyond that of the Elder's other forces. They have been tasked with recapturing the Commander after XCOM liberated them, and each of them are competing with the other to complete the task and win the Elders' favor, and with it, total dominion over Earth.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: After Zanza is revealed to be the actual Big Bad of the game, it's revealed one by one that he has three disciples called The Trinity, which acts as this to him: Dickson, Lorithia and Alvis, though it's clear the first one is really the closest one to Zanza.
  • Yakuza 0 has the three lieutenants of the Dojima Family: Keiji Shibusawa, Daisaku Kuze, and Hiroki Awano. Each of them are competing with one another to secure the rights to the Empty Lot, so that they can be elevated to the position of Dojima Family Captain — in essence, so they can be THE Dragon to Patriarch Dojima.
  • In Yo-Kai Watch 2 and its animated-analogue media, Kin and Gin are co-dragons to "the leader" Dame Deadtime, carrying out their plans of averting the creation of the Yo-kai Watch by messing with the past and avoiding Nate's fateful meetings with the Yo-kai; and they are faced twice (one of these in the climax) in the game as a Dual Boss. Bronzlow, introduced in Psychic Specters, is more of a third wheel, being less intelligent than his sisters and not appearing during the main story, but rather as part og the sidequests set in the post-game.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM, Devack and Roman serve as Marik's top lieutenants.

    Web Animation 
  • Arby 'n' the Chief:
    • Trent Donnovich has two sets of two Dragons: his sisters Victoria and Brittany, and Cameron and Cody, two MLG players Trent hired to be his bodyguards.
    • Eugene Black has two people serving as moderators in his trolling clan: Tyler King and Colin Hunt.
  • The Chorus arc of Red vs. Blue gives us Locus and Felix, two mercenaries who carry out Control AKA the Chairman's plan to wipe out the people of Chorus. All of Control's other grunts answer to them, they are the only ones who have any sort of contact with their boss, and are by far the biggest threat of the arc, even giving Wash and Carolina a challenge.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Some Eager Volunteers

Bishop Maxwell wanted for the Papal Knights to form as part of his 9th Crusade when he was to march upon London. Instead, he got some volunteers.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / CoDragons

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