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The Consigliere

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"Hey Fuyutsuki, how does this look?"
"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 
  • Vinegar Doppio from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Vento Aureo 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 Vento Aureo, but it's official nonetheless.
  • In Baccano!, Maiza seems to play something like this role to the Martillo crime family.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Zarbon's role in Freeza's criminal-empire of Dragonball 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 Legend of Galactic Heroes, Seigfried 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 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.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair Mitsuhide to Zen
  • In Death Note, Mello plays this role to Rod Ross.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.

    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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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".
  • Avi in John Wick serves this role to his boss Viggo, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • "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..."
  • 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.
  • 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 advice lords of said catles on any topic covered in their studies.
  • 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.)
  • Jeffrey Pelt is this to the President in The Hunt for Red October.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mary Ann Patten in The Captain's Wife (which is Based on a True Story).
  • Dirch Frode, family lawyer for the Vanger clan, to patriarch Henrik Vanger, in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
  • 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.
  • Thurfir Hawat and Lady Jessica in Dune are this to Duke Leto.
  • The Seanchan Truthspeakers in The Wheel of Time
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
    • Davos and Melisandre act as co-consiglieres 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.
    • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Silvio Dante has this role, literally and figuratively, in The Sopranos crime family. 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 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 he had to serve as "acting boss" for a time while Tony was indisposed, Silvio was distinctly uncomfortable.
  • Eric often fulfills this role to Vince in Entourage.
  • Leo McGarry in The West Wing to President Jed Bartlet, both as Chief of Staff in seasons 1-6, and as an advisor later in S6. Invoked when Leo calls himself a "wartime consigliere" to Toby in "The Leadership Breakfast".
    • Josh Lyman to Matt Santos.
  • Ugo Bencini plays this role to two generations of the Medici: Masters of Florence, though the role is understated compared to many on this list.
  • 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.
  • Wilson in Dad's Army ("Do you think that's wise, sir?")
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 two, Vannozza dei Cattanei, Rodrigo's former mistress and mother to his children, becomes this for the Borgia family and for Giulia Farnese.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 two, 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.
  • Li H'sen Chang in Doctor Who, "The Talons of Weng Chiang", is this to Magnus Greel, reminding him some things are not workable.
  • The Defenders (2017): Each of the heroes generally tends to have some minders to act as voices of reason to them, and even a few villains.
    • Daredevil:
      • Foggy Nelson and Karen Page grow into the consigliere role after learning Matt's secret.
      • James Wesley functions as one to Wilson Fisk, and is often the face of the organization while Fisk is operating in the shadows.
    • Luke Cage (2016): Hernan "Shades" Alvarez functions as one to Harlem's gangsters, although unlike Wesley, his loyalty can waver and he'll jump ship if he thinks his bosses aren't taking his advice seriously. He eventually ends up working for Mariah Dillard, the only boss who actually considers him useful.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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 act 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 
  • 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.
  • One of the Mafia roles in Town of Salem is the Consigliere, whose main role in the mafia is to spy on the other townspeople and find out their roles. Functionally, it acts as the Evil Counterpart to the Investigator role, 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 Consiglieres 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • Albert Speer was probably the closest to this trope in Nazi Germany. He was one of Adolf Hitler's most trusted and competent (and sanest) friends, and the man who strengthened Germany's war effort from 1942. Germany would have probably lost World War 2 sooner without him (and the damage to Germany would have been worse if not for Speer quietly countermanding Hitler's Salt the Earth orders wherever he could).
  • 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 consiglieres 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


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