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The Good Chancellor

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"The man has carried me since I was five years old. It's my turn."
Emperor Gregor Vorbarra (regarding Aral Vorkosigan), Cryoburn

As the Evil Chancellor is plotting to control the kingdom by usurping power, the Good Chancellor serves his kingdom or nation with utmost fervour. He follows the King's orders to the letter if the king is noble. Expect him to be the Mentor Archetype and possible Parental Substitute to the prince or princess character should something happen to the monarchs. If the current monarch is cruel and has less than good intentions, expect him to try and mitigate the suffering of his people. Rarely would he be seen actively opposing the King's actions, since as a Lawful Good person, he must not let ideas like rebellion or jealousy get in the way of running the kingdom in the king's name. He might still work to aid enemies of a cruel tyrant by being the secret backer to the rebels as their source of information on the inside. This often does not sit well with some rebels, who see him as a moderate who must lose his head for being a supposed Yes-Man to the king they want on a pike. Unless of course the King cuts his head off first, in which case the rebels might see him as a martyr or a cautionary tale against using words against tyrants.

When meeting the heroes, he, not the king, is usually the true person who has information about the situation at hand. The king may know of the secrets, but the Chancellor knows the best answer for them.

In terms of the ranks of Authority Tropes, the tropes that are equal are The Caligula, Evil Chancellor, Standard Royal Court and Decadent Court. The next step down is The Brigadier. The next steps up are The Evil Prince, Prince Charming, Prince Charmless, Warrior Prince, The Wise Prince, and all Princess Tropes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mizuki Kamurougi from Kagerou-Nostalgia is the fiancée of Princess Mio XI and her Prime Minister in all but name. He's a cold-blooded self-admitted Manipulative Bastard who doesn't particularly care about hurting anybody's feelings and sees emotion and empathy as weaknesses, yet there's no denying that he's effective at his post and is not only completely loyal to the Princess but despite his protestations to the contrary, genuinely in love with her. When she dies, Mizuki takes over the reins of the kingdom and has no trouble earning the loyalty of the population.
  • Moriarty the Patriot has Mycroft Holmes, the Secretary of State who understands the class system is wrong and is willing to allow the Moriarty brothers to attempt to fix it as long as they stay under his command.
  • The kirin of The Twelve Kingdoms are ostensibly this. Subverted though due to their Stupid Good natures. Good rulers learn when to heed their kirin and when to disregard their advice because compassion alone cannot administer a nation.
  • In Tsukiuta, Haru is generally this to Hajime, the "Black King", but in Rabbits Kingdom, where Hajime is the actual king of the Black Rabbits Kingdom, Haru has this role. In the White Rabbits Kingdom, however, Kai is the king, not Shun, but when Shun and Hajime are cursed together, Kai and Haru's reactions mirror each other even though Kai is the king.

    Fan Works 
  • A Different Weasel Makes A Difference: In addition to various canon characters like Missandei and Maester Luwin, newly elected Volantene triarch Saena Lavenyr fits this role after being Demoted to Dragon after Danaerys conquers Volantis. She shows open respect for the rights of citizens of a lower caste than her even before becoming triarch and, after the triarchy is left to run the city while Danaerys goes to fight the Others, is the only triarch to continue serving Danaerys rather than try betraying her.
  • In The Basalt City Chronicles, Priest-Emperor Zaykar and the Guardian of the Crown Lord Kosgan do not get along well, at least on the surface. However, Lord Kosgan is actually utterly loyal to the Empire; his friction with the somewhat younger Priest-Emperor was originally to make sure that the Empire got a strong ruler
  • The Lunar Rebellion appears to set up Sunbeam Sparkle as an Evil Chancellor at first, what with her ruthless pragmatism, love of Loophole Abuse and dislike for Princess Celestia's gentler touch. However, she remains loyal to Celestia throughout the story, making her more of a Token Evil Teammate, and she becomes responsible for several of the heroes' victories.
  • When Princess Celestia has urgent business in Ponyville in Green, she asks Princess Luna's Beleaguered Assistant Midnight Oil to hold down the fort as her Regent for the night. When the events of that night leave Celestia mostly de-powered, Regent Midnight Oil comes into his own as a decent advisor to Princess Luna while Celestia recovers.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Magic Voyage, that unnamed scary pale guy lurking behind the king's throne may be an intentional subversion of the Evil Chancellor or an Aborted Arc. Either way, despite his shady appearance all he ever does is try to calm the king down and warn him not to trust Columbus, both of which are good things to say given Columbus' portrayal in the movie.
  • In Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Aladdin is promoted to Vizier in the Sultan's palace. It should be noted that the viewer could easily miss this point, since he spends the rest of the movie, the TV series, and the sequel just battling villains and monsters instead of governmental work. (Technically he turns down the position because he would rather have adventures, but the Sultan still trusts him above all others—besides Jasmine herself—to help him run the kingdom.)
  • Maurice from Madagascar is saner than King Julien, but he's still pretty loyal to him. One episode of The Penguins of Madagascar has him reluctant to temporarily become king while Julien is away, only agreeing to do it when Skipper points out that it's either him or Mort - and even then, he manages to avoid becoming Drunk with Power until he eats a few rotten lychee nuts, which result in him becoming Brainwashed and Crazy into a power-hungry tyrant (when he's snapped out of it, he's pretty embarrassed).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Grand Vizier in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad has taken over the running of the city of Marabia since its sultan died without an heir, and wears a golden mask to hide a face hideously scarred by fire. He is also, however, brave, noble and wise, and a true companion to Sinbad throughout the adventure, and at the end, it's he who gets the crown that the film's villain was after, making him the new sultan and, magically, curing his disfigurement.
  • General Afir in Mom and Dad Save the World. He is notable in that, while his evil boss (along with everyone else on the planet) is an idiot, he's reasonably competent and isn't all that interested in destroying the Earth.
  • Aquaman (2018): Vulko despite (or rather because) he's deliberately undermining his king. It's just that his king is a genocidal warmonger who is willing to subjugate the other undersea kingdoms by force and guile to gain the forces he needs to wipe out humanity. Vulko thus gives reasonable-sounding advice to Orm (actually meant to keep Orm from being too bloodthirsty) while secretly aiding Arthur and Mera in finding the lost Trident of Atlan which will allow Arthur to depose Orm.
  • Seven Years in Tibet: The Dalai Lama's regent is presented as a rigid man, but he also seems loyal to his spiritual leader and dedicated to preserving their country.

  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Stewards of Gondor have as their proudest boast that they never made themselves kings, and ruled the city strictly in the name of the King until an heir to the throne returned. It is stated that Denethor remained a good steward, despite being almost completely overcome with grief and despair in his final days, brought on by the stress of holding together a state in decline, combined with the death of his wife and oldest son, as well as Sauron's lies. Even at the very end, though, he showed himself an excellent statesman and soldier, preparing as best he could for war, though he did not hope for victory.
    • The Fall of Númenor: While he was Ar-Pharazôn's chief advisor, Amandil attempted to nudge him away from his worst habits subtly and protect the innocent people of Númenor and other regions whom the king was persecuting. Unfortunately, Sauron managed easily to manipulate the king into ousting and replace Amandil with himself, an act which would lead to Númenor's final ruin.
  • The Belgariad: The Rivan Warders, always named Brand.
  • In the original Arabian Nights stories, Jafar, vizier to the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, is portrayed as one of these.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms has a few of these:
    • Chen Gong is this to Lü Bu, always trying to give him good advice and staying loyal to him even after his death.
    • Wang Yun to Emperor Xian
    • Zhuge Liang to Liu Bei.
  • Discworld: In Interesting Times, Twoflower ends up as the Prime Minister of the Agatean Empire, replacing an evil chancellor, despite not knowing what to do. Discworld runs on narrativium (the implication is that someone who did know about it would become evil), but luckily Twoflower thinks he's in a heroic fantasy, not a Crapsack World satire. He does end up betraying his monarch, but he has a very good reason for that: if he doesn't, there is a very large risk that the world will end.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Willin the elf. He's perhaps overly fond of tradition and ceremonies—he insists on referring to the king as "Your Majesty" even in private, and his greatest pleasure is organizing elaborate formal occasions—but he's fiercely loyal and keeps the castle administration running smoothly.
  • L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz:
    • The Scarecrow takes up this position for Ozma.
    • Kaliko was this to the Nome King for some time until Ruggedo was dethroned and Kaliko Offered the Crown in his place. He was portrayed as much more competent than his boss and consistently had the best interests of his kingdom at heart, although aside from one Pet the Dog moment towards Betsy, he was pretty neutral towards the heroes.
  • Robert E. Howard's:
    • In Kull stories, Kull's vizier Tu fits this trope, helping the mighty but savage warrior navigate the dangerous complexities of royal tradition and Valusia's Decadent Court.
    • Prospero to Conan the Barbarian as well.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: This series likes to remind us that Good doesn't necessarily mean Nice. And, that being a competent ruler who's directorship proves good for the realm... might not mean being on Team Good (let alone Team Nice) for that matter, either.
    • The various notable Hands of the King all seem to be this (there have been notable exceptions, historically). Jon Arryn and Ned Stark work very hard to support the rule of King Robert, while Tyrion and Tywin did the same for Joffrey. The only possible exception is the aforementioned Tywin, who helped depose the mad King Aerys, but only after he'd been humiliated, ignored, and then, ultimately resigned as Hand after his wife's death since he did not want to put up with Aerys's behavior anymore. Please note: the guy who has been keeping everything afloat for decades while you piss about is deciding to resign because of your mistreatment of him is, arguably, a decent sign that you've jumped off too many slopes to be trusted (or safe) anywhere near absolute power. Before that he was Aerys's best friend, leading Westeros through twenty years of peace and prosperity before Aerys got jealous and humiliated him until Tywin decided to quit. Though how effective Tywin is is debatable, considering his monstrous actions during the War of the Five Kings come back to bite the Lannisters, having turned many against them. Lord Stannis, Robert's brother, tried to be this as well. Despite being only Master of Ships and Lord of the small island of Dragonstone he was one of the main helpers to Jon Arryn.
    • Several historical Hands of the King were this as well, beginning with the first.
      • Orys Baratheon, the first Hand, was the best friend (and rumoured half-brother) of Aegon the Conqueror. He led armies during the Conquest and the subsequent failed invasions of Dorne, where he lost his hand to a Dornish lord, but then cut off the hands and feet of that lord's son as revenge later on.
      • Septon Barth, a commoner, worked in the Red Keep's library before Jaehaerys I appointed him as Hand and assisted the king during his long and prosperous reign, and dabbled in sorcery on the side as well.
      • Over a century and a half before Ned Stark became Hand, his ancestor Cregan Stark was Hand for just a single day, yet was such a badass during his brief tenure that they called it "The Hour Of The Wolf". He was handed an impossible mess of a Small Council to unpick, so did the direct (and very bloody) thing: Cutting the Knot by executing almost everybody he could find who contributed to it, so they would never again get the chance to mess the realm up or to go regicide simply to cover their own arses while pinning all the blame on the next poor sod to get the Iron Throne. Again.
      • Before Viserys II ascended the throne, he was appointed Hand by his brother Aegon III near the end of his reign and continued in that position during the reigns of his nephews Daeron I and Baelor I. He essentially ruled Westeros for them, as Daeron spent his entire reign trying to conquer Dorne and Baelor neglected the kingdom in favor of his faith.
      Tyrion Lannister: Viserys might only have reigned a year, but he ruled for fifteen, while Daeron warred and Baelor prayed.
      • Prince Baelor Breakspear was a widely beloved and highly effective Hand for his father Daeron II and would have made a good king. Too bad he's accidentally killed by his brother during a trial by combat.
      • Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers ruled the Seven Kingdoms in the name of Aerys I as best he could during a time of drought and plague, but his police state apparatus and harsh methods, combined with his appearance, made him unpopular with both the nobility and the people, and was even considered by some to be an Evil Chancellor. Also some fans of the books claim from analysis that his actions made things worse, as he refused to help the western side of Westeros from attacks by the Ironborn and ultimately the Blackfyres invaded anyway.
    • Varys may be a conniving, sneaky Magnificent Bastard who is rightly distrusted by... well, everyone in King's Landing. And yet, on the eve of Ned Stark's execution, Varys is his only visitor, brings him water, and keeps him informed of the happenings in the court. When questioned by Ned about who he serves, his response is simply "the realm." Of course, after A Dance with Dragons shows him to be somewhat less pure-hearted than previously believed, this applies a little less.
    Stark: What do you want from me?
    Varys: I want you to serve the realm.
    • Kevan Lannister is the loyal lieutenant to his ruthless brother Tywin, de facto ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Unlike his brother, he is a good and honest man, though not very assertive, and too willing to carry out Tywin's darker commands such as burning the Riverlands. However, in A Dance with Dragons, he has to become regent and Hand for the underage King after every other viable Lannister candidate is dead, disgraced, or otherwise unavailable, and he proves to be nearly as capable as Tywin and far kinder about it. He's so good, in fact, that he might be the one man who could keep the Lannister regime from falling apart. This is why Varys has him murdered because Varys wants the realm to keep decaying until the Targaryens can return to retake the throne.
    • Ser Davos Seaworth is a loyal Hand to Stannis and an honorable man, but his lower-class background means he never received the kind of training in politics some others of his position have had. He tries his best to advise Stannis, but he makes it clear in his point-of-view chapters that he is struggling all the way. Maester Pylos attempts to get through to him that having a noble background isn't necessarily needed to govern well since an education can't always give a ruler common sense (citing Septon Barth as Hand of the King as an example) — and, it's hard to not agree with Pylos, considering the utter failures who, nonetheless, had good educations on paper, but who still turned out to be terrible Hands (not looking at you, Lord Otto Hightower). Davos still worries.
    • In The Hedge Knight, Prince Baelor Breakspear is a straight example until he's accidentally killed in a Trial Of Seven by his brother Maekar.
  • Paul Kidd's Talking Animal novel The Fangs of K'aath, has the Grand Vizier of the Kingdom of Osra, who is seemingly the only good-hearted member of the court apart from Prince Raschid. In fact, given that the Shah is callously indifferent to his own son, the Vizier is effectively much more a father to the naive prince than his biological one. Even Raschid's love, the cynical Sandhri, is the first to defend the Vizier when Raschid suspects him of jailing her without cause. When the villains magically drive him to his death, Raschid learns he is singled out for an inheritance, but his only request is the honor of carrying his beloved friend's ashes to his tomb at the funeral.
  • Just about every First Counselor or person of equivalent rank is this in the Safehold series. Largely because the rulers of Safehold's kingdoms are typically smart enough to get good people into the position and both ruler and chancellor are concerned for their kingdom's well being.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, Lord Admiral Aral Vorkosigan was appointed Regent for five-year-old Emperor Gregor, serving loyally for fifteen years when most of his enemies thought he would make a grab for the throne. Upon Gregor's ascension to the throne, he stepped down and continued in the role as the Emperor's Prime Minister. The page quote is Gregor's explanation for why he insisted on being one of the pallbearers at Aral's funeral.
  • Prime Minister Allen Summervale, Duke of Cromarty in the Honor Harrington universe. Even though the queen becomes more and more involved in politics, it is Cromarty who steers the Star Kingdom of Manticore through much of the First Havenite War. When he is killed in an assassination attempt on the queen, it puts the realm in a major crisis.
    • Howard Clinkscales on Grayson, whether managing Harrington Steading in Honor's absence or advising Honor when she is on-planet. He initially opposed Honor becoming Steadholder, but having accepted Protector Benjamin's request, serves faithfully in that role (and grows to accept and respect Honor).
  • Darien Serlast essentially runs the Kingdom of Welce in Elemental Blessings. He himself admits that he doesn't like it, but his personality will not let him put aside any burden that has been placed on his shoulders. His competency and loyalty are the reasons why the Primes are considering making him the king to resolve the Succession Crisis
  • The Giver: The titular Giver's role in the Community is to advise them well based on the memories he's received.
  • Grimble in Myth Adventures, while engaging in power struggles with General Badaxe, has no desire to rule. He's an adversary of the protagonists primarily because the protagonists are trying to shake down the kingdom for every gold piece in the treasury and Grimble is trying to stop them.
  • In Mika Waltari's The Wanderer, Suleiman the Magnificent's vizier Ibrahim seems like this, but is shown to be the sultan's only friend and politically capable. He is somewhat ruthless, but apart from the main character, so is everyone else in the book.
  • The Wheel of Time: Lord Dobraine is one of the very few people that The Chosen One Rand completely trusts. He sidelines his own political ambitions when Rand claims the throne of Cairhien, helps rescue Rand when he's kidnapped, serves faithfully as Steward of Cairhien in Rand's absence until Elayne can be crowned, survives an assassination attempt, and helps stabilize the wartorn country of Arad Doman. Since Rand has to juggle four thrones and several other major campaigns, he's an invaluable asset.
  • In Fengshen Yanyi, King Zhou can count on several ministers and chancellors, but unfortunately his arrogance and desire to spend more time partying with women and listening to Daji's advice leads to him dismissing their advice at best, or to brutally executre them when they dare reprimand him. San Yishen and later Jiang Ziya are this for King Wu.
  • The Hands of the Emperor: After decades of loyal service as the emperor's private secretary, closest confidant, friend (as much as he is allowed to be friend to somebody who gets venerated as a god on earth) and de-facto head of government, Cliopher Mdang gets made Lord-Chancellor to have a title corresponding to his vast political power. He continues to serve with devotion, with the first major thing he implements being a universal income.
  • Dragonvarld: Gunderson is steward to King Edward, serving him loyally and well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Love and Destiny: Jing Xiu is genuinely an honest, honourable diplomat who defends his people and is personally loyal to the Shanling State Master... with the slight caveat that he still has some unfinished business and doesn't mind potentially opening a portal to hell in the process of getting it done.
  • Babylon 5 had Prime Minister Malachi, a dedicated servant to Centauri Emperor Turhan. Lord Refa and the other warmongering nobles assassinated Malachi in the wake of Emperor Turhan's death because they wanted to put their own puppet on the throne, and they knew that there was no way Malachi would allow a psychotic megalomaniac like Cartagia (the puppet in question) to reach the throne. In the end, of course, they would have been better off keeping Malachi and killing Cartagia...
  • Felix Gaeta tried to be this during Gaius Baltar's "tyrannical" reign as a puppet of the Cylons on New Caprica, in Battlestar Galactica (2003).
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ned Stark struggles constantly to get King Robert to do good, sensible, moral things and to mitigate the damage whenever his advice is ignored. He also tries to reduce the realm's debt and actually attempts to give justice to the commoners by ordering the execution of a band of psychopathic marauders led by Gregor Clegane, who are in service to the richest, most powerful House in the kingdoms.
    • Jon Arryn is generally agreed to have given the kingdom 17 good years, but even he struggled to rein in Robert's spending.
    • Tyrion Lannister serves as a much-needed one to Joffrey during his brief but brilliant stint as acting Hand in Season 2. In no small part, the Lannister banner is sustained by his skill at administration and his ability to stare down Joffrey's cruelty, subvert Cersei's incompetence, and prepare the city for the inevitable siege. Varys even commends him as better than Ned Stark or Jon Arryn because he enjoys rather than disdains the game of thrones. Later, Tyrion moves on to play this same role in Dany's court, offering her a much-needed voice of reason after Barristan's death. Dany eventually names him Hand of The Queen, finally giving him the recognition he so desired. However this slightly comes across as Informed Ability in the later seasons, as Tyrion's advice leads to continuous losses for Dany, yet she keeps him and at the end, he is promoted again to Hand by King Bran despite his constant failures.
    • Surprisingly for his horrible personality, Lord Tywin Lannister seems this way for many people who aren't personally affected by him. He served as Hand to the Mad King for twenty of the most stable and prosperous years Westeros had experienced in recent memory, which ended almost immediately upon his dismissal. He takes up the position again in Season 3 under Joffrey (Mad King 2.0) and stabilizes the Lannister regime by cowing his sadistic grandson (making him a Puppet King) and his quarrelsome children and actually running Westeros. When the main part of the war is officially over, he turns to consolidating the Kingdom with new alliances with the Tyrells and Martells, as well as focusing on solving the crown's debts. He's still a huge asshole but someone with a day-to-day grasp of administration.
    • Davos serves as this as Number Two to Stannis Baratheon at Dragonstone, which helps counterbalance the influence Melisandre has on him. Stannis plans to make him Hand of the King and Davos takes the position very seriously.
      Davos: I understand (being sentenced to death), but since you have not unnamed me Hand of the King, it is my duty to advise you against it.
    • Varys sees himself as this. He's always wanting to side with rulers he deems worthy of taking good care of the Seven Kingdoms. If they end up not being worthy to him or become visibly dangerous, he can switch allegiance or backstab them, claiming he always wants to serve the people of Westeros first and foremost.
  • In I, Claudius (and in history), there is Narcissus and Claudius' other freemen. They might or might not count as evil (they were ruthlessly protective of their man, after all), but they were loyal to Claudius.
  • In Tin Man, Ambrose is all over this trope and has the exact same position in the Ozian court as his Scarecrow counterpart. When the Mooks march into the Queen's garden, he literally stands between them and his Queen, ready to die for her. Of course, he isn't killed, but he is given an alchemical lobotomy and tossed into the wild, taking the name "Glitch." His loyalty and service to the Queen is one of the very few things he will never forget.
  • Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods is a very good example of this. He is sternly incorruptible and has an air of gravitas that reminds one of an idealized Roman Magistrate.
  • Doctor Who: Borusa was this for one story (despite not legally being chancellor because there was no one around to actually appoint him). He did such a good job of it that by the time we next see him, he's President, but shortly after that, he fits another trope entirely.
  • Elder Shi from Chinese Paladin is this, loyally obeying the King even when he believes the orders to be idiotic (and says as much). The trope is given a slight twist, however, in his staunch insistence on Violence is the Only Option towards the Big Bad, a position that sets him at (further) odds with the heroes. It turns out that Violence Really Is the Answer.
  • Merlin (2008): Despite not having any official position (and that's purely because Arthur is extremely Wrong Genre Savvy), Merlin qualifies for this trope quite well. He's one of the wisest characters in the cast, gives consistently good advice, and helps the oppressed magical people. It's extremely telling that when Princess Mithian wanted to marry Arthur, she went to Merlin to ask for his support, noting that Arthur valued his opinion above all others. This was after being in Camelot for a total of one day.
  • Tales of the Tinkerdee: The nebbish Prime Minister genuinely is on the king's side, and helps him both to put together the birthday party for his daughter and to figure out who the evil witch truly is.

    Religion and Mythology 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Archduke Norris in Traveller. In the Rebellion timeline, he promotes himself to archduke with his advance knowledge of Strephon's (apparent) death, because he knows the area will need a leader and that he can do better than the other alternative. He does a good enough job that Strephon tells him that he earned the promotion.
  • GURPS:
    • In one sample Arabian Nights campaign, there is an NPC whom everyone thinks is an Evil Chancellor but is really a honest one.
    • There's also a description of how to make a good vizier in the character creation section, but with a caveat that the Evil Grand Vizier is an expected trope of the genre...
  • In the past of Warhammer 40,000, Malcador the Sigillite. The Emperor's right-hand man and regent when away from Terra, he is the greatest politician, administrator, and (non-Physical God) human psyker of all time, as the Emperor is the greatest everything else (except for eater and drinker, where the title of greatest goes to the Emperor's son Leman Russ. And dad. Big E was a terrible father).
  • In Rocket Age they are less common than their counterparts amongst the Martian ruling caste, but they do exist. Danny Hatfield, human prince of J'lkarine has a very loyal courtesan named Gavat who functions as one.
  • In Changeling: The Lost, the Office of Vizieral Council is an Eldritch Order dedicated to this trope, whose members make a magically binding Pledge to serve their rulers faithfully as chancellors and Court Mages. However, most changeling Freeholds have a rotating group of seasonal rulers, who might be mortal enemies, and a Vizier is required to serve each one faithfully in turn...
  • Senator Redmond in the Freedom In The Galaxy boardgame. He's fully aware of the Empire's wrongs but wants to reform it from within, and so he sees La Résistance as an obstacle.

  • William Shakespeare portrays Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, this way in the Henry VI trilogy. When the title character is crowned shortly before his first birthday following the unexpected death of Henry V, Humphrey, his uncle, agrees to serve as Lord Protector until the young king comes of age, but since young Henry turns out to be a little slow, it becomes very unclear how long the Duke will be needed in that position - especially when his enemies at court, including the upstart Evil Chancellor Richard Beaufort, start conspiring against him, finding the king very easy to manipulate. Humphrey is one of the few unambiguously positive characters in any of Shakespeare's history plays, and it goes very, very badly for him, with his assassination kicking off the War of the Roses. He's often named as a possible inspiration for the similarly-doomed Ned Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier deconstructs this trope with Ja'far, who is a Beleaguered Bureaucrat and Beleaguered Boss. He takes the job as a young man, brimming with optimism and ideas for reforms. Over the years of being the Only Sane Man in a Decadent Court, he becomes disenchanted, saying, "I work with the most selfish, corrupt, incompetent old men!" His efforts come to nothing. No matter what he does, people still perceive him as a Evil Chancellor, using Insane Troll Logic to blame him for anything and everything. The line, "This is all your fault, Ja'far," is a Running Gag. Through all of it, Ja'far never stops caring about the kingdom and its people. But while he never stops trying, he does become jaded, slowly loosing belief that anything will come of it. At the very end of the play he passes stewardship of the kingdom on to the next generation, saying:
    Ja'far: Aladdin was right about one thing: My wishes were weak. But you — your youth and your passion, and yes, your naïveté — these give you power. When I was your age, I thought I could accomplish anything I ever wanted and more! But I didn't. Perhaps no one does. But you have to think you will, or you won't have the strength to try. And maybe you won't make any big changes, but a few little ones that pave the way for the next generation, and then they'll make small changes and leave it to the next and the next!

    Video Games 
  • Fallout
    • Senior Council Member McClure served in most regards as this to First Citizen Lynette of Vault City in Fallout 2. He is one of the most prominent politicians of Vault City, behind only the First Citizen herself. He is also much less bigoted, and more willing to listen to reason. It is publically known that he butts heads with her repeatedly, though.
    • In Fallout 3, Scribe Rothchild can be seen as the Good Chancellor to the Lyon's Pride. He is the one who knows about the nitty-gritty details of fighting the Enclave.
  • Magistrate Lasselle in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. He's generally a jerk, but only has the kingdom's best interests in mind.
  • There are two in Chrono Trigger, but they're both kidnapped and replaced with an evil doppelganger.
  • Apus Major in Dragon Quest IX. Although Zenus and Celestria are the two technical leaders of the Celestrians, they have long since disappeared. Apus Major leads the Celestrians in their stead, but fortunately he is extremely loyal to the gods and a generally fair-minded ruler.
  • Although he's part of a board of directors instead of a royal court, Reeve Tuesti of Final Fantasy VII fits this role to a T. He struggles for a while between following orders and doing what's best for the people of his city and the world at large, and eventually chooses to be on the side of the good guys.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Psijic Order, a powerful Magical Society and the oldest monastic order in Tamriel, serve as advisors to the leaders of Tamriel and consider it a sacred duty which they call "seliffrnsae," meaning "grave and faithful counsel". During times of extreme turmoil, particularly when their powerful magical knowledge may be sought after by malevolent forces, the Order has been known to withdraw entirely from outside affairs, right up to making their home island disappear without a trace. Despite this typical benevolence, they have also been ignored by Tamriellic leaders. For example, Emperor Uriel V ignored their warnings and led a disastrous failed invasion of Akavir. Afterward, the Order withdrew from serving in this position and became so suspect in the eyes of the Empire that their ambassadors were barred from entering the Imperial City.
    • Ocato served Emperor Uriel Septim VII, and later his bastard son Martin, as both High Chancellor of the Elder Council and as Imperial Battlemage. After the events of the Oblivion Crisis leave no Septim on the Imperial throne for the first time in centuries, Ocato took over as Potentate in accordance with the Imperial Elder Council Charter after exhausting all other alternatives. For the next ten years, Ocato successfully held the fractured Empire together. Unfortunately for the Empire, (and the rest of Tamriel in general), Ocato was so good at keeping the peace that the Thalmor had him assassinated in an attempt to destabilize the Empire and make way for the rebirth of the Aldmeri Dominion. The power of the Dominion would wax in the decades leading up to the Great War and the events of Skyrim while the power of the Third Empire would wane to the point of becoming a true Vestigial Empire.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Warden can become one to whomever becomes ruler of Ferelden at the end of Dragon Age: Origins.
    • While he's technically the seneschal of Vigil's Keep, Varel functions as this trope in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening. Prior to the start of the story, Varel was imprisoned by Arl Rendon Howe for attempting to counteract the worst of his lord's atrocities. When the Grey Wardens are awarded the arling of Amaranthine, he is re-appointed as seneschal and is a helpful ally.
    • Dragon Age II, if played from a save file that saw Alistair become Ferelden's ruler, can have Hawke encounter said sovereign in a small quest during Act 3. Also appearing in the scene is Bann Teagan, brother to the Arl of Redcliffe, who has apparently become this trope.
      • By the time of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bann Teagan has succeeded his brother and become the Arl of Redcliffe, but the Trespasser DLC indicates that he's serving as this for either of the possible rulers of Ferelden.
  • The Chancellor of Figaro, in Final Fantasy VI, seems to be this in the few appearances he makes.
  • Sabato from Shining the Holy Ark was the most trusted royal adviser before Evil Chancellor Rilix turned up. While still loyal to the king, who is making increasingly odd decisions, he helps/manipulates the main characters to save the kingdom.
  • Chancellor Eamon from the Diablo series stayed in Tristram and tried his best to save what lives he could when the Darkening was going down. Unfortunately, the people viewed him as having some kind of hand in King Leoric being driven mad (though Lazarus was more to blame for that than anything else), resulting in his death when Leoric fell.
  • The Blameless Marad in Horizon Zero Dawn playes with this trope. His loyalty is to the Sundom first, not the Sun-King, and betrayed the Mad Sun-King Jiran to his enemies. He now serves Avad loyally.
  • Roland Crane (who has been president of the United States in our world) is this to Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. As the boy-king is too young to even make laws, he is technically his crown regent. His loyalty is such that he declares to Mausinger's face while being threatened that the Mark of Kings of Ding Dong Dell "(…) belongs to the king. My king."
  • Impa from The Legend of Zelda is portrayed as always looking out for the best interests of Princess Zelda and the Kingdom of Hyrule. Occasionally, she is even shown as a Parental Substitute for Zelda. Even in Skyward Sword, where Zelda is not a princess and there is no Kingdom of Hyrule, she still manages to fulfill the same role.
  • Cristo/Kiryl in Dragon Quest IV / Dragon Warrior IV is completely loyal (and has a crush on his kingdom's princess, which doesn't hurt the loyalty thing one bit).
  • Yes, Your Grace: King Eryk's advisor Audry gives consistently good advice. During one event, if Eryk refuses to execute one of three scapegoats with partial evidence against them in place of an elusive murderer to avoid losing an important ally, Audry will resolve the situation by falsely confessing to the murder and letting himself be executed.
  • Minister Johan from Wild ARMs rules Adlehyde while its queen is off fighting demons, and is shown to take his duties seriously while overseeing the town's reconstruction. When Cecilia runs off to have more adventures once the demons are defeated, he's left as Adlehyde's ruler in all but name because she knows she can trust him to look after the place while she's gone.
    • Wild ARMs: Million Memories expands his role a little. He offers Cecilia advice and understands her frustration when none of the officials from other towns and kingdoms seem able to agree on how to deal with the many threats engulfing Filgaia. He's also in on her plan to pass Clarissa off as the missing Alexia to prevent war with Elesius.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius: Vanamonde von Mekkhan has, after taking up the mantle of seneschal to House Heterodyne from his grandfather, proven himself to be a capable administrator, organiser, spymaster and tactician, and completely devoted to the welfare of the House Heterodyne and the people of Mechanicsburg. His grandfather Carson served both Saturnus Heterodyne and Saturnus' sons Bill and Barry with similar skill and loyalty, but given the elder Heterodyne's character (not to mention Carson's youthful days as a volunteer in said elder Heterodyne's marauding horde) it's a bit unclear where on the Good-Evil axis he falls.
  • In Rice Boy, the Grand Vizier of Satuar is far more intelligent, level-headed, and kinder to Rice Boy than the Prince is.

    Web Original 
  • Evil Chancellor Traytor, despite the name, is a devoted public servant who just looks Obviously Evil. The Evil part is just a title, and he writes legislature for the disabled while laughing evilly. He's supposed to kill the king if the king turns out to be evil, but when he dies, the king chooses to die with him.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • In War Planets (AKA Shadow Raiders), the Grand Vizier of Planet Fire is a narrow-minded, obstructionist xenophobe. However, he is utterly devoted to his prince and the people of Fire. He even goes so far as to make a Heroic Sacrifice. He does make a reappearance afterwards where he tries to get them eaten by the Beast Planet, but like Chrono Trigger, it's an evil replica, not the real Vizier.
  • The Rocky and Bullwinkle story centered on the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam features a Grand Vizier who looks the part and schemes as much as any other, but he is in fact entirely loyal to the ruler of Jaipur and actually shows genuine concern for him. He's also not noticeably more bloodthirsty than the ruler himself, and only to the same people. (He also requires exposition about the titular Ruby Yacht early on, so maybe he's just new.)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Hearth's Warming Eve", Twilight Sparkle and co. take part in a play about the founding of Equestria. Applejack's character is Smart Cookie, an advisor to Chancellor Puddinghead (played by Pinkie Pie) and much nicer (and more intelligent) than she is.
    • In the series finale, Spike's skills as Twilight's assistant translate well in the Distant Finale where he's become her Royal Adviser to help in her mission to ensure harmony across Equestria and beyond.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): Mayoral Secretary Miss Sarah Bellum seems to have Evil Chancellor tags for days, being a sensual Lady in Red who's (blatantly) the one actually running Townesville. Despite this, Ms. Bellus is Lawful Good personified, less a usurper and more The Mayor's Hypercompetent Sidekick (and de-facto babysitter). Throughout the show, she's the Powerpuff Girls' staunchest ally, often leaping to their defense in the rare event they need it.

     Real Life  
  • Imhotep (believed to have lived between 2660 and 2600 BC), Chancellor to King Djoser of the Egyptian Third Dynasty, and was the first engineer, architect, and physician known to history by name. He was such a respected figure in Ancient Egypt he was deified and considered a god after his death, something usually reserved only to the Pharaohs. He even got a constellation note .
  • During the Cultural Revolution in China, Zhou Enlai, the Premier of the PRC and widely considered to be Mao Zedong's Number Two, used his authority to save artists, intellectuals, and ancient treasures from the bloodthirsty Red Guards. His adopted daughter getting persecuted and tortured to death by Red Guards might have partially motivated him in doing so.
  • By all accounts, Thomas Becket was this prior to his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury and subsequent fallout with Henry II.
  • Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More might, or might not, be an example. He was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church for his refusal to ratify his king's breach with Catholicism, but he is regarded by some non-Catholics as a monster for his persecution of heretics when his king was still Catholic.
  • A case can be made for Henry VIII's Secretary Thomas Cromwell and More's predecessor as Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey — both were hated by pretty much everyone but they ran things pretty well for Henry. There's a reason Henry later regretted having Cromwell executed.
  • Maio of Bari, the 'amiratus amiratorum' ('emir of emirs' or 'admiral of admirals') and Chancellor of Sicily in the 1150s, was either a Good Chancellor or an Evil Chancellor, depending on who you listen to. According to the mysterious chronicler known only as Hugo Falcandus, Maio made public speeches to the effect that if Sicily's king, William I, ordered anything barbarous or cruel, Maio would countermand the orders - making him a Good Chancellor. Amusingly, Falcandus uses these supposed speeches to illustrate that Maio was actually an Evil Chancellor, grasping after the king's power.
  • The "Duke of Zhou" is practically a mythic figure out of Chinese history. He lived during the Early Zhou Dynasty and acted as steward to the imperial throne, stepping down after the emperor came of age despite his renown at court and the accepted fact that he could have usurped the throne with literally no difficulty and established his own dynasty. Confucius and nearly every Chinese historian and philosopher since have sung his praises for this expounding upon him as the perfect statesman.
  • During the German recovery after World War II, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer oversaw the "Miracle on the Rhine," basically salvaging his country's economy from the absolute wreck and ruin the Nazis left behind. The fact that he did it after the country had been sliced in half and in the face of the suspicion and enmity of most of the rest of the world only makes it more impressive.