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The Consigliere

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"Hey Fuyutsuki, how does this look?"
"Very... scheming."
"Good. Carry on."

Walter White: I don't understand. What exactly are you offering to do for me?
Saul Goodman: What did Tom Hagen do for Vito Corleone?

A Number Two who is the Number One's voice of reason. Their advice is valuable to the boss because they're usually right, which puts them in a unique position to "Speak Truth To Power" when other staff might be scared to contradict the boss. This kind of job security is largely self-reinforcing — the boss won't fire him because he needs his uniquely honest advice, but he only has the freedom to be honest because he knows the boss won't fire him. Often the smartest guy in the room, or just a calming influence to a Hot-Blooded boss. There's a high likelihood of his being a retained lawyer.

Similar to The Mentor, but usually the same age or younger than their charge. Possibly, but not necessarily, the Only Sane Man. Might be the Chessmaster Sidekick if it turns out that he's actually the one in charge, or the Hypercompetent Sidekick if their boss would be useless without them. If he uses Obfuscating Stupidity to get away with Brutal Honesty, he's using Mirth to Power (and might be a Court Jester himself). Contrast with Evil Chancellor; compare and contrast The Good Chancellor.

Sometimes, he'd make a better ruler than the real one, but he doesn't want to be in charge for some reason. His boss may even recognise this, which could be a source of jealousy or mistrust.

This position isn't only reserved for employees. It's not unusual for the wife of a powerful ruler or businessman to take on this role, particularly if she is a Proper Lady or Yamato Nadeshiko. They will have the Silk Hiding Steel necessary to point out problems without undermining him. This might overlap with the Lady Macbeth, if her husband is of a less-than-scrupulous character.

Named for the Mafia position made famous by Tom Hagen in The Godfather (so any self-respecting Don will keep one on staff as a matter of principle).

In case you were wondering—con-sill-YEH-reh. Sort of. It's Italian for "counsellor" or "advisor".

The Higher Self is the voice of reason as a character facet, while this trope is that as an external character.

See also Commander Contrarian.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Baccano!, Maiza seems to play something like this role to the Martillo crime family.
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto focuses on this relationship between Cesare Borgia and Miguel da Corella, the latter of whom is usually only remembered for the murders he committed for Cesare. The manga has them at age 16, as leader and consigliere of not much more than their school's Spanish students' association, though they play ambassador to various ducal courts in Italy for Cesare's father (it takes place in the year leading up to Rodrigo's election as Pope Alexander VI).
    • Cesare has a Foil in Giovanni de'Medici, who also has a right-hand man, Draghignazzo. Draghignazzo ends up betraying the Medici, and after he's caught, he warns Miguel not to trust the rich or nobles. Miguel says Cesare is different. Draghignazzo never had the relationship with Giovanni that Miguel has with Cesare, which is what caused Draghignazzo to betray him. Giovanni realizes this after Draghignazzo is dead, and regrets it.
    • Towards the end of the manga, main character Angelo, who has sort of become a second one of these to Cesare, becomes this to Giovanni as he adjusts to his new life as a cardinal and deals with the death of his father. Giovanni was threatened by Angelo's intelligence at first, but by the end, he accepts Angelo's help, and they become close. Even so, Angelo has been spying for Cesare the whole time. Giovanni forgives him and sends him to be with Cesare, since that's where he belongs — Cesare needs both his Angels.
    • Cesare's father also has one, his cousin Juan "Savio" Borgia.
  • In Death Note, Mello plays this role to Rod Ross.
  • Zarbon's role in Freeza's criminal-empire of Dragon Ball Z is virtually identical to that of Tom Hagen's in The Godfather; the effective second-in-command who is not only answerable to the Don himself, but whose advice and voice of dissent are taken seriously without him being executed (vaporized) on the spot for daring to contradict the boss. In fact, in the pre-Super continuity, it was Zarbon's advice to be cautious of a potential Saiyan Rebellion that galvanized Freeza's paranoia towards them and condemned them to extinction.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Riza Hawkeye's explicitly stated job description is to make sure Roy Mustang doesn't stray from the correct path while aiming for the presidency/Fuhrership, to the point of killing him if he goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. Maes Hughes also fills this role to a lesser extent, using his position in the Intelligence division to keep Roy informed about a variety of things. His Plotline Death puts a regrettable end to his ability to assist, however.
  • Vinegar Doppio from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind officially carries this title in the Passione family, second only to the enigmatic Boss himself. He is an extremely unusual example of this trope as he appears to be a rather naive and somewhat clueless teenager as opposed to the lower ranked members, who are all hardened criminals, but he is the only one trusted enough with direct access to the Boss. Later, it is revealed that Doppio is in fact a split personality of the Boss, meaning that Diavolo effectively served as his own consigliere.
    • After Diavolo and Doppio are defeated at the end of the story, Polnareff's ghost takes on the recently vacated title of Consigliere to Giorno. We don't get to see him do much with it, since Araki never returned to Passione after the end of Golden Wind, but it's official nonetheless.
  • K's Kings all have one, most notably Izumo Kusanagi of HOMRA, and Seri Awashima of Scepter 4. The Red King and Blue King are very different personalities, but the roles of their consiglieri are remarkably similar. The two are actually friends in their personal lives — they share information, and (implicitly) commiserate over their similar roles. The prequel novels (and their adaptations in the K 7 Stories series) show that the previous Red and Blue kings had these as well.
  • In Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Siegfried Kircheis and Paul von Oberstein are this for Reinhard von Lohengramm, with Kircheis being Reinhard's childhood friend that equals or possibly surpasses his talent but lacks his ambition and acting as a conscience, and Oberstein being an extremely intelligent and amoral man who desires to reform the Empire but, realizing he lacks the charisma, swore himself to serve Reinhard who shared his goal and had the talent and charisma to reach the top.
  • Masa is the closest thing to this for Sun's dad Gozaburo in My Bride is a Mermaid. Had the show been more serious, it would have been more obvious.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there's one Kouzou Fuyutsuki to Gendo Ikari. It's heavily implied that the main reason he sticks around is out of loyalty to his former student and Gendo's wife Yui rather than any attachment to Gendo himself, as he actually did not like Gendo at all when they first met.
  • One Piece
    • Zoro is this occasionally. Though he respects Luffy's decisions most of the time, he has an innate sense of the burdens of captainship and he will step in and give some harsh, albeit necessary wisdom whenever he feels Luffy is making a mistake.
    • Besides Zoro, Nami also counts. While all the Straw Hats can fill this role for the very dense Luffy, Nami is the one who most often directs him in the right direction with her advice and insight, especially in regards to navigation. Whether or not he actually follows that advice is really up to his mood, however, which is why Nami tries to avoid letting him in on making decisions that would cause the crew problems.
      • In general, she seems to be the one who makes the day-to-day decisions of the crew, such as handling supplies. This is historically accurate, too, since real world historical pirate ships were run mostly by quartermasters, with captains usually only dictating navigation and combat.
    • Many of the First Mates in pirate groups serve as this to the captains. Another example is Eustass Kid's first mate, Killer; despite his name, he's a level-headed guy who tries to rein in his captain's bad temper whenever possible.
  • Deconstructed in The Rose of Versailles: Marie Antoinette has two, the Count de Mercy, who Maria Theresa, Marie Antoinette's mother, sent from Austria specifically for this job because she knew her daughter needed one, and Oscar, who unofficially took the role by herself, but Marie Antoinette doesn't listen, the end result being The French Revolution — and Oscar dying during the Storming of the Bastille, as Marie Antoinette's continued listening to less honest advisors gradually led her to come closer to the more extremist positions and deserting with her troops when ordered to suppress the riots in Paris.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair Mitsuhide to Zen
  • Tsukiuta is remarkably similar to K in the way it shows its unit leaders as kings, despite the fact that it's an idol series. Haru and Kai fit this to a T. Hajime's Season 4 audio drama has him and Haru discussing this exact quality of their relationship, how he needs Haru around because Haru is the only one that he can trust to be honest with him, instead of just seeing him as the king. Kai is often more of a caretaker (or butler) to Shun, but their relationship does mirror Hajime and Haru's. The other units, and stage play original characters, also reflect this off of the original two units.
  • A good part of the role of the kirin in The Twelve Kingdoms is to be an advisor to the Fisher King they choose. And a good part of the ruler's role is to know when to listen and when to ignore the kirin, since the kirin is inherently (and often illogically) compassionate, which is not enough to rule a kingdom.
  • Vinland Saga: Pater from the second arc serves as this to Ketil. A former thrall at Ketil's farm, Pater worked his way up to the status of freedman and from there as the representative for the farm's workers and thralls. While Ketil has the right to overrule him, he seems to value Pater's advice and perspective. Ketil's fall from grace leads him to ignore and overrule Pater repeatedly and makes everything worse for everyone.

    Comic Books 
  • Legacy:
    • Darth Wyyrlok III was this to Big Bad, Evil Overlord and Galactic Emperor Darth Krayt, until he pulls a The Starscream. Wyyrlok is a particularly interesting case as he has no interest in power. He realizes that his master's degenerative condition is driving him insane, and kills him so that he can become an immutable symbol rather then a flawed man.
    • Moff Nyna Calixte, the Only Sane Man of the Moff Council, was also this to Morlish Veed. Until she betrayed him to spy for Roan Fel. Veed found out and apparently killed her.
  • The Punisher MAX: "The Cell" has Frank pursue the criminals responsible for his family's death by getting arrested and sent to Ryker's, where they Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All. The Don's consigliere had become used to being The Man Behind the Man, and the boss starting to get a bit too independent for his liking caused him to think up a murder plot that backfired horribly (the don survived, but Frank's family was caught in the crossfire). Frank doesn't even get to kill the consigliere himself, the don was already finished with him by the time Frank has killed the other goons.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Fledgling Year, Aravis functions in this role for Cor, especially when he needs advice on how to handle the various women their entourage is accumulating, or how to behave around nobility since she was raised as a Proper Lady and he has only been a Blue Blood for a few years.
  • The Horsewomen Of Las Vegas has several examples:
    • Crime boss Charlotte Flair doesn't have an official consigliere, but she does maintain frequent contact with her father, boss emeritus Ric Flair and his top men, the rest of The Four Horsemen.
    • Brooke Tessmacher is essentially this for Becky Lynch, who doesn't have the patience, the diplomacy or the long-range planning skills to be a good boss.
    • The McMahon family has Paul Heyman.
    • The Sammartino family has Joy Giovanni in that role. Her backstory is she was a Harvard-educated former model who began dating a member of the crime family, then married him and eventually outlived him, all the while learning the ins and outs of the business.
  • Queen of All Oni: When Jade takes over the Dark Hand and reforms them as the Shadow Hand, she recruits Valmont to serve this role to her, given his experience in the crime world; he's rather understandably pissed at being Demoted to Dragon for a child, so plots against her. When this fails, she ditches him to be arrested, and replaces with the wizard Blankman, who is more efficient and loyal, though his motives are more mysterious. When Jade goes off to the Final Battle, he steals all the Shadow Hand's money and resources for himself, while setting things in motion to both help the heroes defeat her and steal the Talismans in the chaos.
  • In the My Hero Academia/The Tick crossover fic The Tick Vs My Hero Academia has Chairface Chippendale takes on this role for Shigaraki Tomura especially after the fall of All For One and Shigaraki taking over the League of Villains and deciding to become the new All For One.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • "Number Two" in the Austin Powers movies (with his "Virtucon makes millions legitimately" speech in the first movie).
  • Me'Shell in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, who White Goodman calls his "fitness consigliere".
  • Force of Evil: Joe the lawyer has become this for Tucker the mob boss, helping to launder Tucker's money and giving Tucker advice on how to make the numbers racket a legal lottery. His partner Hobe warns him about how this is a bad idea which could get Joe into a lot of trouble.
  • In The Gentlemen, Raymond serves as Mickey's advisor and chief enforcer. The Coach lampshades it at one point, actually referring to Raymond by this title.
  • Tom Hagen in The Godfather, and any Mafia "consigliere" in general, since that is the job description. Close to a Unbuilt Trope in that Tom, though well-meaning, is not a wartime Consigliere and is unable to smell a rat the way old Genco, the previous Consigliere, would have. Michael replaces him with his father, although he still listens to him until he grows unhappy with Tom in Part II. In Part III, the role is divided among his younger sister Constanzia, who spurs Michael into action, and B.J. Harrison, who handles the financial and now legitimate affairs of the family.
  • Avi in John Wick serves this role to his boss Viggo Tarasov, advising him and trying to keep him from doing anything rash.
  • Ship's doctor Stephen Maturin occasionally plays this to Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander, being a close personal friend. He does get overruled rather frequently compared to other notable examples, however; Jack values Stephen's advice, but Jack is also a man under orders, and orders take precedence. "Subject to the requirements of the service," Stephen muses sadly, when yet another of Jack's personal promises is abruptly cancelled by the needs of the Navy.
  • Another Tom, Tom Reagan, is the right hand of Leo, chief of the Irish mob in Miller's Crossing. He doubles up as The Dragon and is a deliberate nod to Hagen. In this case, he is almost entirely the brains of the organization. The moment he fake defects to Casper's organization, Leo's syndicate starts to fall apart.
  • In Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, Ben Harris is the lawyer and consigliere to Arms Dealer Greg Simmonds. When he turns up to make a pick-up personally, Nathan knows that whatever the merchandise is, it must be something incredibly valuable.
  • In Stiletto, the aging Gus was Virgil's mentor in the Greek crime syndicate, and acts as his consigliere now that Virgil heads the family.

  • Marco is this to Jake in Animorphs.
    • He seems to fall into this role for whoever is the current leader, as he fills the same position for Rachel during her short stint, and also for Tobias when the Animorphs split up into sub-teams. (Usually it's Tobias-Ax-Marco and Jake-Rachel-Cassie.)
  • The Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31. She is described as an efficient administrator and merchantess managing the affairs of a rich Jewish household and hustling through the bazaar.
  • Mary Ann Patten in The Captain's Wife (which is Based on a True Story).
  • Buckwheat in The Cold Moons is the second-in-command to Eldon and is more qualified to be leader than Eldon (who would prefer to sleep and eat over actually doing anything). His insight is more useful than Eldon's and he's more trusted than Eldon. Buckwheat is older than Eldon and was an advisor to his own father Jason as well. He would have likely become leader if the badgers hadn't broken regulation and allowed Eldon to become leader just because he was Jason's son.
  • "Daily Life In Medieval Europe" by Jeffery L Forgeng:
    "Elanor's work at Dover was considerable. There was a continuous flow of messages to and from the Countess who was busy supporting her husband's revolt against the King. She dispatched assistance to him including a certain William the Engineer, who was evidently a specialist in siege weaponry. She procured military equipment for her husband's use, maintained relations with a substantial body of military followers and conducted negotiations with various third parties. Among the visitors who dined with Elanor of Dover, were leading citizens from the port towns of Sandwich and Winchelsea, whose support or assistance she was presumably trying to enlist, and she fostered relations with visiting ambassadors and merchants from overseas..."
  • Before the Interregnum, some of the most important nobility in Dragaera had Discreets, who are something like therapists crossed with advisers. Too bad Adron's Disaster killed all of them except Pel.
  • In the Dred Chronicles, Tam fills this role for gang-leader Dred. She's tougher than him, but he's generally better at politics. He does have his own agenda, but he pursues through making himself indispensable to Dred rather than trying to take over himself.
  • The Dresden Files: Although Hendricks is introduced as Marcone's primary bodyguard, he sports this role in side-stories focused on Marcone's operations. In addition to being built like a linebacker, he has a classical education and a degree in philosophy, and is fond of quoting famous texts to make his points. Marcone not only trusts him with explicit threats to his life, but also with ensuring the boss doesn't make any potentially fatal missteps. Hendricks also serves as a sort of liaison with Monoc Securities (in the form of the ever-present Ms. Gard), to whom Marcone owes a certain amount of his success.
  • Thurfir Hawat and Lady Jessica in Dune are this to Duke Leto.
  • In the Firestar series, Mariesa infiltrates the teachers her scion company has just taken over. One teacher, Barry Fast, makes vehement but sensible complaints; the next time the two meet, she makes him a trusted advisor. They fall out and divorce partially because, consumed with the magnitude of her work, she stops taking his input seriously.
  • John Sutter in The Gold Coast and The Lake House ends up with a Mafia don as his friendly next door neighbor, who co-opts him into this trope. His son tries the same thing in the sequel.
  • The Green Bone clans in Jade City have a position called the "weather man", the one who handles the clan's business operations. Shae winds up as weather man to No Peak after her brother Lan is killed,
  • Jeffrey Pelt is this to the President in The Hunt for Red October.
  • Dirch Frode, family lawyer for the Vanger clan, to patriarch Henrik Vanger, in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Count Bricemer is this to Duke Nobel. He's got a far cooler head than his boss. Later, he serves Persephone in the same role.
  • Oxley is this to Father Thames in Rivers of London, in the court of Mama Thames Tybur...Lady Ty likes to cast herself in this role, but is really The Starscream.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Davos and Melisandre, to King/Lord Stannis. Of course, Melisandre kind of nullifies all Davos' advice, but he tries — and he used to succeed. Stannis chose him specifically because of this trope. He was so brutally honest that his lord appreciated how he'd always say the truth no matter what.
    • Eddard Stark serves this role for his friend, King Robert.
      • In general, the Hand of the King was supposed to serve this role for his King. Various Hands had varying degrees of success.
    • Samwell tries to be this to Jon Snow, with varying degrees of success. He eventually leaves for Oldtown, to earn his maester's chain to better serve Jon, whom he helped make the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
    • Among the duties of Maesters note  assigned to castles is to advise lords of said castles on any topic covered in their studies.
  • Common in Star Wars Legends among the more cultured smuggling and information trading groups in the galaxy. Talon Karrde was the most talented of several advisers and lieutenants to Jorj Car'das, and when Car'das disappeared Karrde was able to move the others out and take over. He later grooms Mara Jade to fill the same role, although their dynamic is in sharp contrast to the usual; he is more urbane and scholarly, and relies on her hard-earned street smarts and Force-enhanced intuition to help judge people and situations more finely. After she leaves to become a Jedi, he hires Shada D'ukal, who has similar qualities, to fill the role.
  • In ''Twisted Cogs" a Stormetouched's Echo can act like this. The main character's Echo is constantly trying to give helpful advice that often falls on deaf ears.
  • The Seanchan Truthspeakers in The Wheel of Time.
  • Thomas Cromwell gets himself into this position for Henry VIII in Wolf Hall. The phrase is particularly apt, as he's following a maxim he learned in Italy: you have to pick your prince, and then carry out everything that your prince wants doing. He first gains Henry's good opinion by sticking by his opposition to war in France even though he's also asking Henry for a favor (and for the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, no less). Given Henry's temper, Cromwell has to be extremely careful (one of his favorite methods is dropping hints about an idea and waiting a week, whereupon Henry will propose it as his own) but he's one of the only people who can maneuver Henry.note 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Cordelia is this to Angel. Doyle originally played this role. Wesley tries to assume it after Cordelia is gone, but by that time his relations with Angel are strained, to say the least.
  • Boardwalk Empire:
  • The Borgias: Niccolò Machiavelli to the Medici family. Yes, that Machiavelli, even though in Real Life his political career was after the Medicis were expelled and when they returned they tortured him and forced him into retirement.
    • In Season 2, Vannozza dei Cattanei, Rodrigo's former mistress and mother to his children, becomes this for the Borgia family and for Giulia Farnese.
  • Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, citing the Trope Codifier: "What did Tom Hagen do for Vito Corleone?" Although by the middle of Season 3, Saul finds himself increasingly out of his depth and almost completely domineered by Walt.
  • Though he started out more as a jerk, David Rossi in Criminal Minds has become the consigliere to Hotch, and to a lesser extent, Morgan.
  • Wilson in Dad's Army ("Do you think that's wise, sir?")
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil: Wilson Fisk has a consigliere in season 1 in the form of James Wesley. In addition to insulating Fisk from the people who do his dirty work for him, Wesley also handles Fisk's personal affairs, like his scheduling, and even supports Fisk's personal dating life when his criminal partners disapprove. Fisk views him as being the closest thing he has to a son. As such, he is devastated when Wesley is murdered by Karen Page, and in season 3, he orders Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter to carry out a hit on her when she reveals this to him.
    • Luke Cage: Hernan "Shades" Alvarez is content being the consigliere in the Stokes crime family. He'll do everything he can to advise whoever his boss is on pragmatic solutions to whatever problem Luke Cage is causing them, though he's also quick to turn on them if he thinks they're crossing a line.
  • Nick George for Tripp Darling, and by extension for the whole Big, Screwed-Up Family, in Dirty Sexy Money. His father had the job before him.
  • Li H'sen Chang in Doctor Who, "The Talons of Weng Chiang", is this to Magnus Greel, reminding him some things are not workable.
  • Eric often fulfills this role to Vince in Entourage.
  • Game of Thrones: Good advisors are an important part of the game of thrones. The office of Hand of the King is built around this trope, though individuals range from The Good Chancellor to the Dragon-in-Chief.
    • Eddard Stark serves as this to his friend, King Robert, who self-admittedly neglects the day-to-day running of his kingdom. He also tried his best to extend justice to the smallfolk even against the tyranny of House Lannister, which fuels the Feuding Families even more.
    • Part of Tywin Lannister's status as The Dreaded was being really good at this office—to the extent that he has ascended to Dragon-in-Chief for all the kings he served (Aerys II, plus his grandsons Joffrey and Tommen).
    • Davos and Melisandre act as co-consiglieri to Stannis, often providing very conflicting advice. Whether it's battle tactics, politics, or just an opinion in general, Stannis places great trust in Davos. Following Stannis's death, Davos becomes this for Jon Snow.
    • Roose Bolton acts as this to Robb in Season 2, advising him on everything from prisoners to new threats with mixed results since he is also the Starks' Token Evil Teammate.
    • Janos Slynt makes himself the right-hand-man of Alliser Thorne in Season 4, at least until he goes against Jon Snow and gets beheaded for it.
    • Samwell Tarly acts as this to Jon Snow in Season 4, discussing matters that Jon never even reveals to his other companions.
    • One of Maester Luwin's job descriptions; he's sworn to serve the Lord of Winterfell even if it is a usurper.
    • The prequel House of the Dragon builds on this significantly, particularly with how honest advice, stewardship and being Vicariously Ambitious can be a really fascinating mess.
      • Viserys I has had two Hands, both of which serve as studies in contrast. Otto Hightower, the first Hand seen, is very visibly a slimy politician who (even granting that he governs well) openly angles at bringing in his bloodline to House Targaryen, succeeding with marrying his daughter Alicent to the King. Viserys's realization of this leads to him replacing Otto with Lyonel Strong, who (despite the scandal his son gets involved in) has been a very honest and honorable servant—actively giving impartial advice even when he could benefit himself. Lyonel had to be assassinated to facilitate Otto's return.
      • This is further played with the other notable magnate at court, Corlys Velaryon. Based on his demeanor, wealth and clear competence, he would really want to be this to Viserys I (either as a dutiful Council member or by marrying his children into House Targaryen). However, because he is the husband of Viserys's previous competitor to the Crown, Princess Rhaenys, many strive to keep him at arm's length. His visible ambition (which he is less keen to hide than Otto) also doesn't do him any favors.
  • Lost's Richard Alpert is described by the showrunners as someone who is not interested in leading the Others but is very influential in finding and selecting a leader. He is described as being similar to a Panchen Lama choosing the next Dalai Lama. The scene where he shows a young Locke a bunch of items and asks him which of them is his is a direct reference to this.
  • Ugo Bencini plays this role to two generations of Medicis in the eponymous series, though the role is understated compared to many on this list.
  • Merlin:
    • Merlin and Gwen tend to act as this for Arthur, especially after he finally becomes King of Camelot. Arthur's acceptance of this tends to Zig Zag.
    • Gaius was meant to be this for Uther, who rarely listened to him.
  • Mrs. Onedin in The Onedin Line is this for her husband's firm. She is loyal, determined, and Good with Numbers . James Onedin married her for a ship she owned, and started to love her because she was so canny a businesswoman. Who says money is unromantic?
  • Roberts is this for Billy Kimber in Peaky Blinders, so much so that Tommy uses Roberts as an example when he's making a similar job offer to Grace.
    • In Season 2, Polly becomes this to Tommy (along with his explicit Number Two), advising him and the rest of the family on business, but because she's just as infamous as he is, she cannot serve as the "public face" of the company the way a consigliere needs to.
    • Polly's son Michael seems to be the perfect consigliere — groomed from a young age for the position, kept very carefully apart from the bloodier, nastier side of the business, and placed into position as company accountant. Michael even lampshades this in the third season.
  • The Sopranos:
    • Silvio Manfred Dante serves as Tony Soprano's consigliere. He's not a bad one either, often giving Tony good advice (contrary to many actual consiglieri in today's Mafia, who tend to be shameless ass-kissers). At one point he tells his wife Gabriella that there'd been talk of promoting him to boss instead of Tony when the role opened up, but he always saw himself as a consigliere, not a boss. When Silvio has to serve as "acting boss" for a time while Tony is indisposed, he is distinctly uncomfortable.
    • Uncle Junior never holds the title, but he also becomes one to his nephew after Junior is put under house arrest. Despite being the official "Boss" of the DiMeo Family, Tony actually holds all the power and can confide in Junior because he isn't a threat anymore. Many times, Junior gives Tony useful advice when a problem arises in the organization, until Junior's Alzheimer's catches up with him.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Bra'tac explains his reasons for teaching Teal'c to mistrust the Goa'uld this way. Teal'c becomes First Prime, essentially Apophis' Second-In-Command and, as such, can temper Apophis' hand at times and prevent some of the worst atrocities. Bra'tac reveals that this is what he did during his time as First Prime, as well. One such time nearly gets Teal'c killed years later, when Apophis orders him to shoot a villager to teach the others a lesson about resisting their god. Teal'c knows there's nothing he can do to change Apophis's mind, so he picks a one-legged man, knowing that, without him, the rest will be able to run away faster next time. The man's son isn't that understanding, of course.
    • Oshu (apparently, a clone of Sun Tzu) does this for Lord Yu, especially when Yu begins to suffer from the Goa'uld version of senility. Oshu does his best to mitigate the damage from Yu's wildly unpredictable commands.
  • Spock and Dr. McCoy, to Kirk, in Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation Data (as Second Officer) tended to fill the role for Picard more often than his first officer, Riker did.
  • In Torchwood: Miracle Day, one of the Families' cronies laments that no one will ever know how many times he stopped them and saved lives in the process.
  • Leo McGarry in The West Wing is the most prominent example in the series for President Jed Bartlet, both as Chief of Staff in Seasons 1-6, and as an advisor later in Season 6. Leo always addresses Bartlet respectfully as "Mr. President", but is the White House staffer who most consistently goes toe-to-toe in arguments with him when he feels Bartlet is making a wrong decision, such as in Season 1 when Bartlet is fueled by rage by Syria shooting down a US aircraft that happened to be carrying Bartlet's physican on board and wanted a far stronger military response than was standard — McGarry stands up and proclaims if Bartlet wanted to turn the Yanks with Tanks into the sword of the Lord he would be the first to raise an army to oppose him. Leo invokes the idea when he calls himself a "wartime consigliere" to Toby in "The Leadership Breakfast". In the pre-series timeline Leo was also this to Jed while he was just a candidate for president as his campaign manager, something which Josh Lyman mirrors to Matt Santos in the latter's presidential campaign in Season 7. Bartlet recognizes the importance of having a good Chief of Staff to back him up in handling the duties and responsibilities of the Oval Office when he talks with Agriculture Secretary Tribby, who is selected as the designated survivor for one State of the Union address:
    Bartlet: You have a best friend?
    Tribby: Yes, sir.
    Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
    Tribby: Yes, sir.
    Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
    Tribby: Yes, sir.
    Bartlet: That's your chief of staff.
  • The White Queen: Anne Neville fulfills the "wife of a powerful ruler" variation for her husband Richard of Gloucester, a royal duke who (with her urging) later becomes King of England. He regularly consults with her on matters of state, listens to her opinions and advice, and more often than not follows them. Anne never loses this role even after Richard's love for her fades in the final episode, so he still recognizes that they're a Ruling Couple and that she's his partner in this venture.
  • Stringer Bell in The Wire — something of a Reggie Kray parallel in the way he tries to calm down his Hot-Blooded gangster boss, and shows impressive business skills when that boss is put in prison. Also Norman to Carcetti, who is kept on staff because of his willingness to "speak Truth to Power".
  • In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell is able to make Henry consider him favorably by being totally unapologetic about opposing Henry's wars in France, even though he's also trying to get Cardinal Wolsey back in Henry's good graces. When Cromwell becomes Henry's right-hand man outright, he is the most capable out of all the court and one of the few who can offer an opposing opinion, although he has to word it very carefully and catch Henry in the right mood for it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder: The Consigliere archetype (in Ultimate Intrigue) allows rogues to be this, and allows the consigliere to take teamwork feats in the place of rogue talents.
  • Shadowrun:
    • The consigliere of the Mafia Finnigan family of Seattle is Albert "Uncle Al" Cavalieri.
    • Other Mafia families also have consiglieri as a potential connection for Runners, with the rulebook also noting that most consiglieri are lawyers as their legal jobs.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Khârn the Betrayer, berserker extraordinaire, Chosen Champion of Khorne, the guy who has a kill counter on his helmet, who slaughtered his Legion alongside the enemy for not fighting hard enough, who gets resurrected whenever he dies so he can keep killing, who hits his own side if he misses in close combat... is the equerry and calming influence to his Primarch, Angron.

  • Iago, to Othello, is a thorough deconstruction. As soon as he feels slighted by Othello passing him over for a promotion (possibly because he wanted to keep him close, as a friend and trusted adviser), he abuses his position of trust and knowledge of exactly what buttons to press to destroy his boss utterly.
  • Hagen in Götterdämmerung pretends to be this, but he's actually The Chessmaster who suffers from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Tom Hagen from The Godfather is probably named thus as a Shout-Out.
  • The sixth Tsukiuta stage play has Taroubou and Jiroubou, the leaders of the black and white Tengu villages, and their companions, Kansuke and Sessai, who perform this role for them. This reflects the relationships between Gravi and Procella's leaders and their partners (example under "anime").
  • Westeros: An American Musical:
    • Catelyn Stark acts as the voice of reason towards her son Robb. She ends up being the only character to have seen two cases of Robb's allies turning on him coming, and at one point suggests simply stopping to fight the war when their army's numbers take a hit because of said lost allies.
    • Davos is this to Stannis, who keeps him around precisely because he tells him the hard truths.

    Video Games 
  • EXTRAPOWER: Daitoku Igor serves this position for the Forcestar household. A capable army general in his prior career with the combat experience to pilot any mech or vehicle, he now serves as Forcestar's butler and gives him wise advice for both the battlefield and daily life. When he's kidnapped partway through the events of Star Resistance to be brainwashed into Dark Force's advisor Big Eagle in Attack of Darkforce, he becomes an indespensible part of Dark Force's command staff, tempering his punishments against Sunny Day and Funny Face's frequent foul-ups to keep both Dark Force and his subordinates on their respective tasks in conquering the Earth. Even after his rescue and upon facing Dark Force in the field of battle, he gives Dark Force one final piece of tactical advice, to which Forcestar admits Dark Force should pay attention to as Daitoku's advice has never been wrong before.
  • Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven has Frank Colletti, Don Salieri's Consigliere and best friend. Although at first mistrustful, he later gives Tommy a motivating speech and is generally a pretty nice guy for a mobster. He later betrays the Don out of concern for his family and Tommy is tasked to kill him, but he lets him go. Frank is killed five years later off-screen after Tommy's betrayal comes out.
  • Mafia II has Leo Galante, consigliere to Frank Vinci, head of Empire Bay's older and more traditional family. He helps Vito out after they meet in prison, and their friendly relationship continues after both of them get out and Vito becomes a made man. It helps Leo after a hit is put out on him a bit later, which Vito rescues him from, and hit helps Vito get out of the shithole situation he gets himself into after Henry's drug deal goes wrong much later. Too bad that it doesn't help Joe.
  • Katakura Kojuro to Date Masamune in Sengoku Basara. It also helps that the otherwise Blood Knight-ish Masamune recognizes that Kojuro is the one man in the Sengoku Jidai who could unfailingly kick his ass every single time if sufficiently motivated.
  • Consigliere is one of the Mafia roles in Town of Salem. Functionally, it acts as the Evil Counterpart to the Investigator role, being able to spy on the other townsfolk and determine their roles, but while an Investigator can only narrow down a target's role to a small handful of possibilities, a Consigliere will determine their exact role with 100% certainty. It's thus also possible for the Consigliere to bluff and claim to be a benevolent Investigator if under suspicion. Because Consiglieri can get the most information in the Mafia, but cannot attack themselves, they usually serve as advisers to their Godfathers and Mafiosos.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Avengers Assemble: If Captain America tells Tony that something might be a bad idea, you can just bet your eyeteeth it'll end up blowing up in Tony's face.
  • In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Destro often acts as the frequently ignored voice of reason to Cobra Commander. During "The M.A.S.S. Device" storyline, when Cobra Commander boasts of victory being close at hand, Destro masterminds missions with Major Bludd and the Baroness to restock on the heavy water and radioactive crystals in case of emergency, which proves wise when the Commander attempts (and fails) to teleport New York City, making the Cobras look foolish in the process, which prompts Destro to take over the mission in spite of the Commander's incompetence.
  • The Magician: Blackjack has an attorney called Professor Clockwise. He generally knows all about Blackjack's plans and does a terrific job keeping Blackjack out of prison: just about everyone in Electro City believes Blackjack to be a legitimate casino owner instead of the crime boss he is, largely thanks to Clockwise. Clockwise also talked Blackjack out of having his henchmen find and kill Ace in the pilot, as the police might trace that back to them.
  • Rick and Morty: Due to the extremities of Rick Sanchez more immoral actions, Morty Smith fluctuates between this and the Sour Supporter. It doesn't help he's a more ineffective case of the trope, since he regularly finds himself ignored by Rick or shot down by the likes of Beth or Birdperson who blindly enable him. Akin to the trope however, Morty is too indispensable to just throw aside, contradicting or not, and Rick will often feel obliged to at least half-ass an excuse why he is (supposedly) wrong.
  • Waylon Smithers in many instances tries to be such to Mr Burns in The Simpsons, either correcting the latter's long outdated logic, or trying to appeal for a more pragmatic approach to some of his Evil Plans. This straight up got him fired in the "Who Shot Mr Burns?" two-parter, where Smithers desperately objected to Burns' diabolical scheme to block the sun.
  • In Transformers: Generation 1:
    • Starscream, whenever he's not plotting to overtake the Decepticon leadership, is smart enough to see glaring flaws in Megatron's latest scheme, but Megatron is too prideful to listen. 99% of the time, Starscream is right.
    • Played even straighter with his replacement, Cyclonus, who unlike Starscream, is undyingly loyal to Galvatron. He is well aware however that Galvatron is Ax-Crazy, and always a stone throw away from charging into the wrath of the Autobots or even his own abused and vengeful minions. As such, Cyclonus spends much of his time desperately trying to appeal a more stable leadership to Galvatron, with a wavering success rate.

    Real Life 
  • This Cracked article '6 People Who Secretly Ruled The World' These Guys.
  • Reggie Kray to Ronnie, who was known to (attempt to) persuade his brother out of his more Psychopathic Manchild tendencies.
  • Vyacheslav Molotov would fit this trope during Josef Stalin's government. Ironically, for the people, he was usually the one to play the Bad Cop to Stalin's Good Cop.
  • General Alan Brooke to Winston Churchill. Arguably this kept Britain's ablest general away from having a field command for most of World War 2, but his role has been recognised — there's a statue of him on Whitehall, alongside Montgomery and Slim.
  • Surprisingly not true for the most part in The Mafia. Most real-life consiglieri are almost always low-level soldiers with legitimate or near-legitimate backgrounds who can represent the boss in non-criminal matters and sitdowns with other mob families. In the post-wiretap era, most "advisers" are shameless ass-kissers.
  • Di Renjie gained a reputation for this in the Chinese imperial court in the seventh century. The early part of his career could be summed up as a cycle of "Speak Truth To Power, get demoted/arrested, be proven right, get re-promoted," but later became so respected for embodying this trope that the Empress Regnant Wu Zetian usually referred to him as the State Elder.
  • Charles Garry, the chief counsel for Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple, was a completely unwitting example. Garry was a Wide-Eyed Idealist who fully believed in Jones' utopian rhetoric and believed that he was being unfairly harassed by the US Government due to Red Scare hysteria. By the time he was starting to realize that Jones was out of his gourd, it was already far too late. He was also the one who convinced Jones to allow Congressman Leo Ryan to visit the complex, which directly led both to the death of Ryan and provoking Jones into the mass suicide. Needless to say, Garry, who had spent his career as a highly scrupulous Crusading Lawyer, was absolutely horrified when he learned of this.
    • Much of the mess Jones was in at the time of the suicides was because of the strained relationship he had with his previous Consigliere, Timothy Stoen. Stoen, who was a deputy DA in Mendocino County, California, where Jones was based after he moved to California from Indiana, joined Peoples Temple, and, with his government connections, quickly became a right-hand man to Jones, acting as the Temple lawyer. But it eventually became a case of We Used to Be Friends, centered around a bizarre situation in which Jones claimed that he was really the father of Stoen's young son, and refused to give up custody.
  • Frank Ragano served as one of these according to his memoir Mob Lawyer. He is known to have acted as a lawyer to several figures in the organized crime world, but is likely to have embellished his role for the sake of the book. Notably, he claims to have organized a mob hit on John F. Kennedy which led to his assassination, which is...dubious to say the least.
  • Medieval noblewomen would often serve as this to their husbands, as seen in this quote from by Jeffery L Forgeng's Daily Life In Medieval Europe
    Elanor's work at Dover was considerable. There was a continuous flow of messages to and from the Countess who was busy supporting her husband's revolt against the King. She dispatched assistance to him including a certain William the Engineer, who was evidently a specialist in siege weaponry. She procured military equipment for her husband's use, maintained relations with a substantial body of military followers, and conducted negotiations with various third parties. Among the visitors who dined with Elanor of Dover, were leading citizens from the port towns of Sandwich and Winchelsea, whose support or assistance she was presumably trying to enlist, and she fostered relations with visiting ambassadors and merchants from overseas...
  • Rudy Giuliani has been described as this in relation to Donald Trump.

Alternative Title(s): Wiser Advisor