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Wise Serpent

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Do not doubt his wisssdom.

It is commonly held in many cultures that among animals, snakes are especially wise and knowledgeable. As depictions of predators go, as opposed to more brutish foes, snakes' hunting methodology is seen as particularly sly and cunning. As such, it is quite common for works to present snakes (and serpent-associated individuals) as intelligent, meticulous, and very cunning, sometimes even to the extent of having them (or one of them) keep the secrets of forbidden knowledge itself.

This association stems from traits inherent to snakes. Their behavior and facial features certainly imply intelligence, with their unblinking lidless eyes that seem to be constantly and carefully surveying their surroundings and their slow casual manner, creating the impression that they are always quietly pondering and waiting for just the right moment to strike. Their stealthy nature allows them to seemingly spring up out of thin air when least expected. Likewise, their status as ambush predators easily conjures associations with a calm, patient opponent waiting for just the right moment to spring their trap.

The symbolism of a snake, slowly and silently slithering undetected towards its prey, only to strike in the blink of an eye once it's too late to escape, likewise ties well into the association of a cunning and extremely dangerous opponent carefully scheming until they are ready to spring the trap. Their potentially venomous nature, the hidden danger in a seemingly physically weak opponent, further adds to symbolism.

Another reason for the association is the fact that in many cultures serpents are often associated with longevity and immortality, thus tying into the idea of an experienced being that has acquired large amounts of knowledge and wisdom in its long life. It may even offer to share its expertise with those who seek it out, in spite of the danger.

Due to the often negative associations of snakes this is frequently a bad thing, with them often using their vast knowledge and cunning to make them an exceptionally dangerous predator or manipulative tempter, leading the poor souls into traps without them being aware of it before they strike. This is not universal, however, and it is not uncommon to have more neutral or even positive depictions of wise, cunning snakes.

Compare Cunning Like a Fox, Those Wily Coyotes, Clever Crows, Sneaky Spider, Stealthy Cephalopod, Intelligent Primate, and Rascally Rabbit for other animals commonly associated with intelligence and cunning. Compare and contrast Healing Serpent for another variation of snake symbolism. See also Wise Old Turtle for another reptile commonly associated with wisdom and knowledge.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Kindaichi Case Files: The white snake deity that is featured in a local village legend in one case arc is certainly knowledgeable, being the one to inform the villagers via a dream to the village chief's daughter-in-law about the hidden spring that would help them turn a desolate landscape in the village area into arable farmland. It also lacks the manipulative cunning one might expect from such an entity, as the only caveat it issues to the villagers is more of a warning that applies only to those harboring impure characters.
  • Naruto:
    • Orochimaru, a powerful snake-themed ninja, is the smartest and most cunning of his team. He gets corrupted by the pursuit of learning all jutsu, going as far as doing inhumane experiments. Furthermore, he establishes a spy network across several countries. He's also a dark mentor figure for Anko, Sasuke, and Kabuto.
    • Orchimaru's students, who all have the snake summoning contract (and snake-themed jutsu) too, follow his lead in their own ways:
      • Anko works in Konoha's Torture & Interrogation department, with her job being to extract information from prisoners. This means she's mastered mind games and a tad of psychology.
      • Sasuke was already fairly smart before training under Orochimaru. After that, he develops a plethora of ninja techniques that make him very versatile in battle. He masters two nature transformations, signs two summoning contracts, and even creates his own jutsu. His cunning in combat also improves, using genjutsu (illusionary arts) far more efficiently to trick his opponents.
      • Kabuto is an outstanding medical ninja who weaponizes the fine chakra control it requires and rivals medicine virtuoso Lady Tsunade — like her, he can heal himself very fast regardless of the wound's nature. Only Kabuto inherits Orochimaru's calculating demeanor.
    • The White Snake Sage is a gigantic albino Japanese rat snake that Orochimaru and later Kabuto studied under in an attempt to learn senjutsu, with the latter being successful. In the sequel series Boruto, she's shown to be a master of gengetsu, capable of disguising herself as an old woman.
  • Ranking of Kings: Mitsumata is a wise and kind giant two-headed snake that, after being saved by the protagonist as a small snake, offers support and defense throughout the story.

  • Seven Virtues: "Prudence" holds a serpent not because she stays away from a danger it could represent, but because of this quote from the Gospel of Matthew in The Bible:
    Jesus: Behold, I send you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

    Comic Books 
  • Nnewts: The Snake Lord is a giant, magical serpent who serves as the Big Bad. In addition to his deep knowledge of spells and rituals, he is also a Consummate Liar who excels at manipulating others to do his bidding. It helps that, since he is actually Anthigar's brother Denthigar, the second born Nnewt in the world, the Snake Lord is almost as old as the world itself.
  • Promethea: The two snakes on Promethea's caduceus guard plenty of knowledge about the history of the universe and the Major Arcana. They teach Sophie about to guide her in her quest of being a Promethea incarnation.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Man Who Understands Animal Languages: A young shepherd rescues the son of the Tsar of the Snakes from a burning bush. As a reward, he's invited to the Tsar's court and granted the gift to understand the language of animals. Seeing that the shepherd can understand the snakes just fine before that, it's implied snakes are as sapient as human beings. Not to mention that they seem to have a more complex hierarchy than other animals and that they either trade with the humans for goods such as jewelry or they craft it themselves. Also, snakes, or, at the very least their Tsar, are capable of magic — the humans aren't. Finally, the shepherd is instructed by the Snake Prince to ask for that specific reward because it would bring him prosperity, which it does.
  • In the Korean cycle of tale type ATU 425, "The Search for the Lost Husband", titled Baemsillang, The Serpent Scholar or The Snake Scholar, a snake is born to a human old woman. One day, three sisters see the little animal, and the third sister recognizes him as a "snake scholar". Some time later, the snake marries the third sister and takes off the snakeskin to reveal himself as human (sometimes described as a "scholar" in the text). He then tells his wife he will study and/or go to the city to take some public/civil servant examinations and leaves his snakeskin with his wife.

    Fan Works 
  • The Land of What Might-Have-Been: The alternate Boq's mentor in the Pottery is a talking anaconda codenamed Dr Coil. A master mage-surgeon, he's capable of feats of medical magic long-forgotten by Oz, helping Boq to fake his death and alter his appearance for the time. Less positively, Coil's also quite amoral, cheerfully making use of the captive Mr Branderstove as a source of raw materials for his experiments and taking part in research that will eventually allow the alternate Elphaba to turn Oz into a dystopia.
  • Paradoxus: King Oritel's snake "pet" is a shapeshifted Queen Marion, who has taken that form so she can build magical power and fly under the villain's radar until the biggest threat reveals itself. The complexity and length of the magic gathering show how level-headed, patient, and experienced she is in comparison to her offspring. Additionally, for those Locked Out of the Loop (pretty much anyone), she merely appears as a highly intelligent snake who can detect people's ill-will against King Oritel, thus acting like an unofficial political advisor.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kaa from Adventures of Mowgli, instead of a bumbling antagonist seeking to devour Mowgli like the animated Disney adaptation, is a mentor of the title character, and a figure revered by the likes of Baloo and Bagheera.
  • Master Viper from Kung Fu Panda has a fighting style based on dexterity and precision rather than strength or power. She shows more kindness to Po than the other Furious Five. But she is also clever enough to defeat a gorilla bandit with her ribbon dancing despite not having fangs. And she figures out how to use her tail to pick handcuffs and free Tigress.
  • Rango: Rattlesnake Jake, despite on the surface appearing to be just a vicious brute, proves to actually be highly intelligent. During their first encounter Jake utterly tears Rango apart purely through accurately psychoanalysing him as a fraud despite their never having actually met, even forcing a loaded gun into his hand because he knows Rango doesn't have it in him to pull the trigger, and giving a public display that crushes his reputation. Likewise, even whilst panicking at the end, he almost immediately realises the "hawk" is a fake.
  • Robin Hood (1973): Sir Hiss serves as Prince John's chief advisor, and is far smarter than his foolish boss. He generally spends the movie trying to give John sound advice, in particular managing to see through every single disguise the heroes employ (he doesn't always know who they are, but he can tell that they're not who they pretend to be). However, John continually ignores his suggestions, leading to more humiliation.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 7 Faces of Dr. Lao: Amongst the exhibits wealthy rancher Clinton Stark visits in Circus of Dr Lao is the tent of the Giant Serpent, who not only looks like him but also proves to be quite wise. When Clinton tries to dismiss its criticism of him by declaring that it's just a beast in a cage, the snake mocks Clinton, pointing out this also applies to himself, with his greed and cowardice being its own sort of "cage". This experience proves fundamental in helping Stark re-evaluate his views on life and humanity.
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf: Mani, the Native American sidekick to the hero Fronsac, is asked to identify the totem animals of the French noble family that they're visiting. He identifies the sympathetic, bookish Thomas's as the snake, which causes a moment of awkwardness until Fronsac explains that in Mani's culture, the snake symbolises intellect.
  • The Jungle Book (2016): Kaa, whilst still evil as per the original animated film, is significantly more intelligent, just like her literary counterpart. She manages to lull Mowgli into a false sense of security by inviting him to look into her eyes and learn about his past, but at the same time she tells him the complete truth about the "Red Flower" and why Shere Khan wants to kill him. It's because Mowgli's father scarred the tiger's face with a torch to defend his son at the cost of his own life.
  • Mowgli: Being a Truer to the Text adaptation of The Jungle Book, Kaa is presented this way. Described as being as old as the jungle itself, she is an impossibly large python; whilst revered and feared by all the inhabitants (even Shere Khan), she is nevertheless a wise, gracious, and strong-willed figure, who desires peace throughout the jungle. She likewise has the power to see the future and the past, and even serves as the film's narrator.

  • Star Wars Legends: The Sluissi are a snakelike species complete with tails instead of legs, sometimes even sporting cobra-like hoods. They're also known for their intelligence and mechanical aptitude: Sluissi repair crews are famous throughout the galaxy for their thoroughness, often spending long periods of work on details that other technicians would have skipped in order to save time; combined with their unusually relaxed demeanours, this makes them appear eccentric and sometimes even annoying to other species. However, Wedge Antilles confirms that their slow and considered approach has allowed them to solve issues that might have cost lives if overlooked. Even the Empire knows better than to rush a Sluissi repair job.

  • Older Than Dirt: The ''Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor" from the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (c. 2055 BCE–c.1650 BCE). The titular shipwrecked sailor, whose ship is lost on a trading mission in the Red Sea, washes ashore on a mysterious island inhabited by a giant talking snake. The snake consoles the sailor and counsels patience, advising he would be rescued and returned to Egypt in a season (which for the Egyptians was four months). He also tells the sailor about some personal tragedies of his own and how he overcame them. Four months later, the snake is proved right, and the sailor is rescued. (At this point the serpent officially reveals he's actually a god, and also the Lord of Punt, and also that the island is magic and will disappear as soon as the sailor's ship slips over the horizon, because ancient Egyptian stories are weird like that.)
  • Harry Potter:
    • A green snake is the Animal Motif of Slytherin House; some of the traits associated with and valued by Slytherins are cunning and resourcefulness.
    • At the North American school of magic Ilvermorny, the Horned Serpent house represents the mind of the witch or wizard and favors scholars. No coincidence that the house was founded by a descendant of Salazar Slytherin (albeit one who wanted to be in Ravenclaw as a child).
  • His Dark Materials: It is a snake who first helped the mulefas to understand how useful seed pods were as wheels.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles: Doctor Watson invokes this trope following successfully managing to distract an inconvenient questioner by changing the topic to his favourite hobby of phrenology.
    I am certainly developing the wisdom of the serpent, for when Mortimer pressed his questions to an inconvenient extent I asked him casually to what type Frankland's skull belonged, and so heard nothing but craniology for the rest of our drive. I have not lived for years with Sherlock Holmes for nothing.

  • The Jungle Book: Kaa is a gigantic Rock python, being over thirty feet long and over a hundred years old. He is feared and respected throughout the entire jungle, known by all as one of the wisest and most powerful beings to the point of it being claimed he is all-knowing. He serves as a key friend and mentor to Mowgli, teaching him many important lessons about the nature of the jungle.
  • The Little Blue Snake: The eponymous snake acts as mentor to best friends Lanko and Leyko, teaching them not to be greedy or envious and to be kind to Leyko's sister. When she sees they learned the lesson, she rewards them with gold.
  • The Little Prince: The snake displays worldly knowledge and wisdom despite living in the middle of the desert and speaks poetically and cryptically.
  • The Magic Ring: The snake king's daughter is a kind and wise creature who gives Vanya the titular magic ring as thanks for saving her life.
  • Serendipity Books: In "Kartusch", the titular blind snake tells the Furry Eyefulls that he does not need vision to enjoy the forest, he just needs an ability to listen. He tells them that they don't have to stay awake all the time in order to take in their surroundings; they will hear the nice sounds around them and dream about the wondrous things they've seen.
  • Slaves of the Abyss: Althea the sorceress's familiar is a serpent named Caduceus who serves as her advisor, and a wise ally to the forces of good. In the book's best ending, Caduceus even helps you obtain the power of the gods so you may rule over the abyss.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Prince Oberyn Martell "The Red Viper" as well as being a skilled warrior of much acclaim (to the point of even founding and leading his own Sellsword company until he grew bored) is likewise renown as a poet and scholar, he traveled the world gaining much knowledge and appreciation of other cultures, trained at the Citadel to the point of managing to forge six rings on his chain and nearly qualified to be Maester, and boasts to know more about poisons than anyone alive.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • African Mythology: Danh-gbi (also spelt Dangbe) the python deity, was worshiped by the Kingdom of Dahomey (modern-day Benin). As well as being an overall benefactor, Danh-gbi was revered as the god of Wisdom and Bliss.
  • Aztec Mythology: Quetzalcoatl, one of the four creators and God of the Wind, Light, the Morning Star and Corn was revered as the founder of priestly wisdom and Patron of all the priests. His High priests likewise bore the title of "prince of serpents".
  • The Bible:
    • In Genesis 3 the Serpent is described (depending on the translation) as being either more crafty than any of the wild animals, or the most crafty of all of the wild animals, that the Lord God had created.
    • In Matthew 10:16 Jesus advises his followers to "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."
  • Buddhism: Features the Naga (a creature that also present within Hindu Mythology), a type of divine or semi-divine creature that can appear in serpentine, human, or half-human / half-serpent forms. note  One particular naga, Mucalinda, protected Siddhartha Gautama from a storm whilst he meditated under the Bodhi Tree; thereafter, many great Buddhist thinkers and philosophers adopted some variation of "naga" in their name or title, such as Dignaga, Nagasena, and Nagarjuna.
  • Chinese Mythology:
    • Chinese Dragons (lóng) are traditionally depicted as snake-like (even sometimes being called 'serpents) and are generally as long-lived wise sages who give advice to scholars. Many stories feature them as Mentors. These depictions are likewise very common in Korean Mythology.
    • In Ancient Taoism, snakes are seen as a sign of wisdom. Therefore, people born in the Chinese Year of the Snake are often thought to be very wise, and possess a deep understanding of the world around them.
  • In the Eastern Zodiac, the snake is held as the most enigmatic and intuitive sign. The people born under it are said to be witty and possess great wisdom about themselves and their environment, what with having Awesomeness by Analysis as their signature virtue. Villainous examples are quite capable of enacting long-term revenge.
  • Egyptian Mythology: Zigzagged as, while the actual god of wisdom is Thoth (half-monkey, half ibis) and the most important snake deity, Apep/Apophis, averts this trope by embodying universe-destroying primordial chaos, there are some straight examples found in minor deities. Curiously enough, they are also protection deities as well, thus hinting at the ancient Egypt's general philosophy that wisdom and knowledge are amongst the best tools to protect people.
    • Wadjet, a goddess who takes the form of a cobra or a cobra-headed woman (or woman-headed cobra with falcon or vulture wings), is the protector of Lower Egypt (the northern part of the country centered on the Nile Delta). As a royal tutelary deity, she represented royal power, but also royal justice and wisdom in defense of (her half of) the realm.
    • Overlapping with Healing Serpent was the snake or snake-headed goddess Renenutet. A downplayed case by virtue of her main trait being fertility, both human and agricultural. However, she's also a nurse goddess in charge of what we today call obstetrics and pediatrics. Renenutet protects royal babies by means of ample knowledge of natural remedies and tips to keep both the pregnant mother and the newborns healthy. This along with the popularity of her cult in Lower Egypt and the similarity of her forms to Wadjet's led to them being seen as aspects of a single deity in later eras of Ancient Egypt.
    • Nehebkau is a snake with human legs whose usual portrayal is that of a wise judge and royal counselor. The former comes from his role as one of the forty-two judges in Ma'at's Court (she's the goddess of truth) — the purpose being determining which deceased souls deserve entry to the afterlife and which are to be eaten by Apep. The latter comes from the fact he's Ra's (the Top God and solar deity) advisor. Due to syncretism, he's sometimes also a fierce but benevolent protector.
  • Greek Mythology: Serpents were associated with wisdom and hidden knowledge. The seer Tiresias transformation that enabled him to gain knowledge of life as both a man and woman was marked both times by witnessing two snakes mating. Snakes were associated with terrestrial and subterranean/chthonic oracles. They also symbolize healing, to the point that a pair of them on a stick is medicine’s symbol.
  • Inca Mythology: In Peruvian mythology (specifically, Incan and Tiwanaku), there's the figure of Amaru. Depending on the recount, Amaru can be a mix of different, Andean animals (such as condors and llamas) but the base is always a winged, giant serpent who is the symbol of wisdom; reason why Research/Knowledge Houses feature Amaru as a carved motif. Additionally, Amaru is of the few deities that can freely traverse the three Pachas (worlds): Hanan (celestial world), Kay (present world), and Uku (Mother Earth) because of the variety of animals that comprise it. Amaru is, however, more heavily associated with the Uku Pacha because of his status as a reptilian — snakes, and therefore Amaru, lurk the closest to the ground, the death, and Mother Earth. Moreover, the key to life is said to be written on Amaru's scales.
  • In Middle Eastern literature and Anatolian mythology, there is the tale of Shahmeran or Shahmaran ('King of the Snakes'): Shahmeran befriends a youth named Jamasb/Jamasp, teaching him about medicine and herbs. Later, in the end of the story, Shahmeran is killed and its flesh cooked; Jamasp gets the second serving of Shahmeran's flesh and become all-knowledgeable.
  • Voudoun: Damballah is the wise serpent Top God and bringer of all life. It was him who created the Cosmos, his coils shaping the heaven and earth, and is considered the keeper of all knowledge, wisdom, and healing.

  • Old Gods of Appalachia: Old Copperhead is a Deep Thing that takes the form of huge snake and is renowned for its promises of sharing its vast knowledge of all things (even the future) for a price. Whilst derided by its fellow Deep Things as weak and unimpressive, it is never the less a charming, dangerous and manipulative predator with it leading many unassuming victims along with its teases of hidden knowledge until they unwittingly walk into its trap. In the special Build Mama A Coffin he expertly seduces the mentally handicapper Daniel Boggs with promises of power, respect, and knowledge the boy desires and comes within a hairs width of devouring Glory Anne Bogs' body.
  • Sibylline Sounds: One of the recurring characters is a naga called Sage who works as a hypnotherapist, which makes him double as Healing Serpent.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Vecna Trilogy: According to some legends, the lich-god Vecna received some of his magical mastery from an entity called the Serpent, which has been speculated to be a godlike embodiment of Magic itself or even something Above the Gods. However, its nature (and existence) remain unconfirmed.
    • Ravenloft: In the backstory of the Wildlands, the Python was revered as the wisest of all the jungle animals. It being the only one to see through King Crocodile's promises of freeing the jungle of man and was thus the only animal, along with its snake brethren, to refused to give the wicked creature its magic. It likewise was able to ensure the snakes all escaped the Wildlands before King Crocodile began his tyranny and the mists took them all.
  • Mage: The Awakening: A colossal snake is the preferred form of the Aeon of Spirit, a godlike embodiment of one of the magical foundations of reality. It's an unmatched source of information about the Spirit World and many, many other things.
  • Shadowrun: Snake is a a healing totem for the shamanic tradition. Followers of his gain a bonus to healing magic.

    Video Games 
  • Dark Souls: In the original, the player's two primary guides are the primordial serpents Frampt and Kaathe, each one pulling the player towards the side of fire and dark respectively. Later entries in the series, most notably Dark Souls III: primordial serpents are revered as being ancient teachers and are used decoratively and religiously as symbols of wisdom.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: The Great Serpent of Ronka is a chubby little snake that is only able to make "Scree!" noises but is revered as a messenger of the gods by the people living in the Rak'tika Greatwood. Quinfort downright worships it and is able to divine locations of potentially calamitous anomalies in the Greatwood from scars on its belly. It's later revealed to be one of many of its kind, all of which seem to be benevolent and guide the Qitari's efforts to reclaim their heritage and the lost history of Ronka.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Light Spirit Lanayru takes the form of a giant snake, and it's they who tells Link about the origins of the Fused Shadow and the dangers of misusing them.
  • RuneScape: After the devastation brought on by the God Wars, Guthix retreated to a cave and wept. His divine power imbued the rocks with his power, causing them to weep along with it. Guthix appointed Juna, a giant serpent, to guard these rocks, where she has watched over them for thousands of years. Each week, you can visit Juna and tell her stories of your adventures, on which she will sometimes offer words of wisdom.
  • Skylanders: Pit Boss was a member of an order of snake philosophers that were so renowned for their boundless wisdom that travelers would make the treacherous climb up the mountain they lived on just to get an answer to one question they had. However, when the question of how to deal with the Big Bad Kaos appeared several times, Pit Boss elected to become a Badass Bookworm and Sensei to Imaginators.
  • Soul Series: Ivy Valentine is a trained alchemist and sorceress who dedicates most of her time to research and experiments in attempts to find ways to destroy Soul Edge. She has a snake Animal Motif — her Whip Sword is sometimes called the "Snake Sword", her primary outfit in Soulcalibur V has a shoulder pauldron resembling a hissing snake head and her secondary outfit is a golden snakeskin suit with a choker shaped like a coiling snake. The background of her artwork in SCVI even features caduceus, a staff featuring two snakes winding around a winged staff, and an ancient for wisdom, eloquence, diplomacy, and alchemy.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dies Irae: One of the central villains of the story is Mercurius, also known as the Mercurial Snake or simply the Snake, and carries the caduceus as his mark alongside a general snake motif. In the wider Shinza Bansho Series he is known as the God of Wisdom and the Father of Magic, no small part thanks to his Eternal Recurrence which has afforded him knowledge unrivaled and is ancient even by the Gods standards. This wast knowledge also makes him one of the most competent schemers in the series.

    Web Animation 
  • The Sun's Tear: Kaa is a massive python rumored to have special powers and a large amount of wisdom. Protagonist Sanaya seeks her help on how to defeat Shere Khan, and Kaa leads her to a force she calls the "Sun's Tear". She also proves to be deceptive and cunning, as she tricks Sanaya into giving up her free will and becoming her slave.

    Web Video 
  • Ryan ToysReview: As seen in the page image, Professor Snake is a mean, green cobra who teaches English class in the main school of the franchise, indicating he's very knowledgeable about English Literature and language.

    Western Animation 
  • Crashbox: The Riddle Snake is a calm, secluded snake. By playing a horn, it can produce a riddle (often a pun) the home viewer is then expected to solve.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The Snake Miraculous embodies the virtue of intuition and grants the power of Second Chance, which allows the user to rewind a short amount of time endlessly. For that reason, its users must be not only intuitive but also cunning and resourceful to spot the best moment to activate Second Chance and figure out how to solve whatever situation they need. This is noted with the fact that both Wise Beyond His Years Luka and Marinette, who has Awesomeness by Analysis, can use it efficiently while Adrien, who has a penchant for Leeroy Jenkins, cannot. Additionally, the Miraculous jewel is an Ouroboros, a symbol of self-reflection, and its tool/weapon is a lyre, an instrument often associated with wisdom and moderation. Finally, Sass, the snake-like Kwami empowering the Miraculous, is mature and responsible compared to most Kwamis.
  • Mummies Alive!:
  • Ninjago: Acidicus, the Serpentine General of the Venomari tribe, became a storyteller and a librarian following the Serpentine's Heel–Race Turn. He tells the Ninja Serpentine legends regarding the Golden Master and the backstory of Aspheera.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series: "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" has the Enterprise encounter a starship shaped like a winged serpent. This alien ship is piloted by an actual winged serpent named Kukulkan, who visited Earth thousands of years earlier. Kukulkan guided the early Mayans out of tribalism, and into civilization and academia. He's pleased that his name and legacy are remembered, but still regards humans as childlike: inept and immature, still needing his guidance.
  • Teen Titans (2003): In "The Quest", Robin goes on a journey to get training from somebody known as the True Master. For one of the trials, he finds himself having to fight the Guardian of the Cave, a blind snake who teaches him to master his senses by forcing him to fight in pitch darkness.
    Guardian of the Cave: You only see what is right in front of you. If you want to find me, you must go beyond what you see. You cannot trust your eyes. You cannot trust your ears. I could be anywhere.
  • Winx Club: Selina, the witch of snakes, is a Dragon with an Agenda for the Trix sisters. She proves to be cunning enough to trick them into thinking she's a Naïve Newcomer who greatly admires their power. She offers to help them fight their enemies by summoning dangerous myth creatures from her Ancient Artifact. In reality, doing so builds up magical power, so she can summon her true boss, Acheron, from the Legendarium. Proof of this is how utterly shocked the Trix are when Selina betrays them.