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Manipulative Bastard / Fan Works

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  • Amanda Waller in To Hell and Back (Arrowverse). She plays everyone, up to and including the three leads, does so blatantly, and manages to get away scot-free by virtue of how useful she is.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • Minister Honsou from Kyoshi Rising is pulling the strings of the Fire Nation throne, and starts more actively manipulating the Fire Lord once Kyoshi arrives and starts shaking things up.


  • Talia al Ghul demonstrates she's her father's worthy daughter in The Changeling Sequence: after nursing Jason back to sanity, she introduces him to Damian as his brother, ensuring both of them will get curious about each other and bond. When she estimates Jason gained enough of a Big Brother Instinct, she outright burns her manor to let Ra's think she and Damian died in a freak accident while giving Jason a start-up to flee with the kid. When Ra's realizes he was deceived, Jason and Damian are already in Gotham, safe with Batman.


Calvin and Hobbes


Code Geass


  • Bowser, Eugene, and Lucy have all had their moments in Calvin at Camp.
  • Child of the Storm
    • Loki has performed a Heel–Face Turn, true, and he does regret his actions. But that just makes him Reformed, but Not Tamed, and within less than two years, he's built up a worldwide spy network in such a way that any attempt to uproot it by SHIELD would look like a wanton global case of Kick the Dog, rehabilitated himself as a sincerely regretful philanthropist, philosopher, superhero and a champion of the underdog, and now, a kindly uncle. Everyone (well, everyone who doesn't know better) thinks that he's nice and friendly. He is. But what they don't know is that's not all he is...
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    • And he learnt it from Odin. Who's even better at it than he is, sufficient that he can manipulate Loki completely with just three words, even when Loki knows that he's doing it.
    • Nick Fury could give a master class in it, ultimately playing Lucius Malfoy - himself a very good example, . And judging by his proteges, Peter Wisdom and Phil Coulson, he has.
      • And Alison Carter taught him. She hasn't lost any steps, either, despite being a (nominally) Retired Badass.
    • Lucius Malfoy's even better at it, using his manipulative skills to first arrange an alliance between HYDRA and the surviving Death Eaters by waving the prospect of a vengeful Thor (formerly James Potter) over the latter's heads to convince them they need an alliance with enemies who know how SHIELD and the Avengers think, then use said Death Eaters as cannon fodder and arrange to transfer all their wealth to him, whilst inveigling himself into HYDRA's upper ranks. He then gets close to Baron Von Strucker, and when Von Strucker makes the wrong move, he drugs him, forces him to reveal how he controls the Winter Soldier, then kills him, and takes over HYDRA lock, stock, and barrel. He even ends up playing the entire world, forcing a de facto surrender once the Avengers appear to have fallen. And all the while, he remains one step ahead. However, the tables turn in the finale, with Doctor Strange revealing that he [Lucius] is just one pawn in his grand game, and Fury manages to outgambit him twice - first with the Shadow Initiative, second by a Batman Gambit.
    • Alexander Pierce can, and does, get the better of most of the above, though he gets caught up in Fury's outsmarting of Lucius. Even after, in the sequel, he's seen in prison more or less casually toying with his interrogators, using his vast knowledge of HYDRA, its associates, and its enemies, to stay alive and more or less comfortable. Then Alison gets the better of him.
    • The Phoenix seems to be a dab hand at this, not surprising since She's been around since the beginning of the universe, more or less.
    • Doctor Strange however, is manipulating everyone, including all the above mentioned examples. His very involvement is described as Paranoia Fuel, because once he's involved, you know that you're a pawn in his game, and that you're going to do what he wants you to do... even if you don't know it yet.
  • Children of an Elder God: Gendo played with his pawns' emotions the whole time to get them to carry his goals out... or to save his own hide when his subordinates had got it with his crap. In a scene in which Asuka was angry enough to want to fry him -literally-, he resorted to point out that her boyfriend Shinji would be unhappy if she killed his father.
  • The Other Girl in the Hooker!verse. She's successfully ruining her other personality's (Penny) life and she gleefully mindfucks the Critic and Chick.
  • Lupin III/Assassin in Just an Unorthodox Thief. Here, Lupin has become much more manipulative in dealing with his enemies, pushing Kirei to a path with seemingly innocent questions, playing mind-games against Saber, and manipulating everyone for his own benefit.
  • In Last Child of Krypton Gendo tries to use Shinji’s emotions and morals in order to manipulate him and mould him.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Gendo tried to use his son's yearning for approval and Asuka's ego to use them as cannon fodder in the War. It didn't work quite right, though, because Asuka's powers gave her alternative means to validate her existence, and her growing confidence improved Shinji's self-esteem.
  • Thousand Shinji: Shinji is son of two manipulative bastards -Gendo and Yui- and follower of Tzeentch -God of Manipulation and Trickery-. He plays with other people's emotions and feelings the whole time because it furthers his plans... or because it amuses him greatly. He manipulates everyone, including people he sincerely cares about such like his family and friends. Asuka and Rei find his manipulative ways annoying but they're used to it.
  • In Shinobi of the Old Republic, Naruto falls into this. It is probably particularly noticeable when they're on Korriban.
  • Professor Moriarty in Children of Time. He also qualifies as a Magnificent Bastard, but it's worth pointing out his manipulative tendencies — his four episodes are by and large driven by his manipulation of the heroes. It becomes his obsession and his Fatal Flaw: he can manipulate anybody and everybody into doing what he wants, but he doesn't believe that his victims can break free of his manipulations. Basically has a massive god complex.
  • Sudden Contact: Arcturus Mengsk. He tricks the Council into helping the Sons of Korhal overthrow the Confederacy by appearing weak and offering Terran technology to them. After which, the Council takes the bait, believing they could gain new technology and have a new government to work with. However, once the war goes bad for the Council, and the Zerg start to invade Citadel Space, Mengsk tricks the Council into using the psi-emitter on Tarsonis to end the war quickly. Since Saren was the one who planted the psi-emitter in this story, Mengsk blackmails the Council with this information, knowing the public would turn on them if the knowledge was released. This not only forces the Council to begrudgingly recognize Mengsk as the Emperor of the newly formed Terran Dominion, but also grant humanity a seat in the Council in exchange for Terran forces helping them fight the Zerg.
  • In Book of the Stranger, Jamie shows he's Tywin Lannister's son by using his almost-death in the protection of Prince Rhaegar to request his depart from the Kingsguard. He perfectly knows that becoming the heir to Casterly Rock again entails him to wed, and look, he already found a suitable bride: she's cunning, strong-willed and her being Lord Stark's youngest daughter means an alliance with the other Greater Houses. Of course, Jaime being head over heels for Cylaena Stark wasn't the reason for his decision to quit his post...
    • Prince Rhaegar also is no slouch. By releasing Jaime from his vows, he mends the bridge his father burned by repeatedly offensing Tywin Lannister and intends to name the Old Lion his Hand when ascending the throne. And he manages to enlist Cylaena's help to kill his father and Make It Look Like an Accident.
  • A Man of Iron being based in Westeros, we naturally have Tywin Lannister. When his daughter Cersei tries to complain about his giving Iron Pointe to Antony Stark, he reminds her the land and castle were crumbling and as such unable to function as a defense for the West. By making Tony Stark the new Lord, Tywin gains a new bannerman able to properly man and reinforce the castle. He also gains a fruitful business partnership as Tony is sponsoring many merchants and craftsmen, and there is also the matter of Tony potentially inheriting the North Wardenship if Ned Stark's family happened to have a misadventure.
    • Tony proves his ability to play the game of thrones when he visits his cousin Ned at King's Landing by giving the Hand an excuse to go at the blacksmith and speaking to Gendry - acting as Tony's chaperone - and subtly blackmailing him with his knowledge of Jon Snow's true parents.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Raven accuses Ozpin of exploiting Summer's dream of helping others and Qrow's desire to belong to twist them around his pinky finger. His decision to keep Izuku in the dark about the full breadth of the Benevolent Conspiracy can also be seen as this. On one hand, he sounds genuinely affable and wants to let Izuku live a normal life as a teenager a little while longer out of concern for his well-being and the trials ahead. On the other, it can be interpreted as a ploy to avoid alienating a powerful pawn, which he did with both Raven and Taiyang.
  • In A Knight's Tale as Inquisitor, as told from the perspective of the Elder One, they present themselves as a figure for their subordinates to rely on after their Dark And Troubled Pasts to secure their loyalty. This is showcased even more by the following scenes: they use Alexis's love for his son to make sure he moves forward unhesitatingly and doesn't mess up the spell he is working on before making plans to take advantage of the Templars' addiction to lyrium to bring the Order to their side.


  • Maverick Storm in The PreDespair Kids, who was literally accepted into Hope's Peak for his talent in manipulation. He also fits the bastard portion quite well. For instance, why does he decide to join the Ultimate Despair movement? Shits and giggles. He also manipulated his old girlfriend's mentally ill brother into going on killing spree in their old school, which also crippled her, and was responsible for an incident that hospitalized half of Class 75 and left Miaya Gekkougahara wheelchair bound. He's completely unrepentant about doing all this, finding it entertaining. He's also recently secured his position as Hope's Peak Academy's guidance counselor under the name "Alexander Miles." Most likely so he can analyze and assess all the students' weaknesses.


  • In A Prize For Three Empires, Cyclops thinks Carol Danvers and Rogue need to learn how to work together, so he engineers a meeting, confident that both women will be able to talk things over (and Carol will not kill his teammate). His plan works, but it makes Carol wonder why leaders are so manipulative.
    Carol: Just tell me one thing?
    Scott: I'll try.
    Carol: You and Xavier. Both leaders. And you've both turned out to be manipulative bastards, when you needed to. Why? Why is that?
    Scott: It comes with the territory.

Death Note

  • Fade: L, who is far worse than he is in canon. Light can manipulate people as well, but unlike his canon counterpart, he hates doing it.

Harry Potter

  • Dumbledore is even more manipulative in Knowledge Is Power than he is in canon, but less effective. Lord Potter is effective at manipulation, but often prefers just to shout and swear at everyone until they back down.

The Hobbit

  • Bilbo describes his grandmother and the family matriarch Laura Baggins as this type in A Shot in the Dark.
    Thorin She doesn't seem so bad. I think you really are exaggerating all of this fear and worry.
    Bilbo: *sigh* Thorin, in five minutes she got you to reveal your age, origins, history, and that you like to eat apple pie. Give her another five minutes and she'll know your parents names, favorite stew, and the name of your childhood toy.

The Lion King

  • A few examples in The Lion King Adventures.
    • The King of Dreams.
    • Shocker in Shocker's Revenge.
    • The Writer is the ultimate example of this. He manipulates everything in the entire universe.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic


  • In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Neji takes advantage of Kiba's despondency over Hinata's rejection of his (Kiba's) love confession and the revelation that Hinata had already had an Accidental Kiss with Naruto, to manipulate Kiba into fighting Naruto, as part of a plan to either get Naruto arrested (since Kiba's the son of Konoha Town's police chief) or expelled from school (Konoha High frowns on students with criminal records).

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Advice and Trust: Gendo is a manipulative bastard, but he isn't as good as he'd like believing. When the Children refused to follow his orders, he reprimanded Rei severely and fired Shinji and Asuka, thinking that, in the event that he needed them back, he knew what buttons pressing: Rei was brainwashed to obey him, Asuka needed to be an Eva pilot to validate her own existence, and Shinji craved for his approval and would never want to be apart from Asuka. Usually he'd be right, but they had changed when he wasn't paying attention, and those emotional levers wouldn't work.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Gendo used their employees’ emotions to manipulate them in the original timeline. Asuka has realized he set her up to hate Rei because it made her easier to control and she is done playing by his rules, so she has befriended Rei. Rei also theorizes he manipulated Ritsuko's jealousy of Rei so that Ritsuko would be more driven to fulfill his agenda.
  • Evangelion 303: Judging by this scene in chapter 11, this version of Gendo also has a secret agenda and is manipulating everybody -including his son and his son's grilfriend- in order to achieve it.
  • HERZ: Misato is a benign example. She leads a peace-keeping military organization and is not above of using someone else’s motivations and emotions (like Kurumi’s curiosity) to lead that person on. However she does not like it and she restrains herself a lot.
  • Higher Learning: Gendo ruthlessly manipulated everyone to achieve his goals… and he was not happy when he realized that there was another manipulative bastard -Kaoru- in the town who had been plotting against him completely undetected for a good while.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Kluge knows that Ritsuko has fallen out with Gendo, so he offers her the chance to pay her ex-lover back if she allies herself with him. He conveniently neglects to mention that he actually works for SEELE — whom Ritsuko also hates — and he has absolutely no intention of keeping his promise to minimize casualties when the JSSDF attacks NERV.
  • Once More with Feeling:
    • Koga Hayashi, the JSSDF's top Interrogator; known as "The Warlock" behind his back. However, he's arguably one of the good guys.
    • Shinji's grandfather. SEELE wanted to keep Shinji on a short leash, so he pretended that he was sorry for neglecting his grandson and said he wanted to take him in and talk about his mother. Unfortunately for him, Shinji saw it coming and turned him down.
  • Scar Tissue: Gendo ruthlessly manipulated everyone in order to engineer the Third Impact and reunite with his wife. Yui manipulated everyone –including Gendo and Shinji- in order to engineer the Third Impact and fulfill Seele’s plans. Shinji honestly cannot decide which of them is worse.

Spyro the Dragon

  • Torment in the Spyro Madness Saga. As Cynder's Super-Powered Evil Side, she knows everything about Cynder and pretends to be her friend, but what she's really trying to do is possess her. As the manifestation of Cynder's darkness, she's fueled by the dark counterpart of what Cynder desires. Since Cynder has repressed feelings for Spyro, Torment tries to turn that love into lust. She temporarily succeeds and slaughters everyone at a party, causing Cynder to suffer a collosal Heroic BSoD.

Star Wars


  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Satan Girl takes advantage of Mordru's lewdness to make herself non-expendable.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Zora Vi-Lar seduces female wrestler Jasmine, who had just been turned down by Kara Zor-El, and preys on her resentment and fear to loneliness in hopes of driving her to beat Kara to death.

Touken Ranbu

  • Tales of the Undiscovered Swords: Konotegashiwa does this to get other swords to become as big of straw vegans as he is; first, he heaps flattery on Kasen's tastes in poetry (it works) and then he dangles what Hōchō likes most – married women (by dressing up in Kimono Fanservice) and sweets – in front of him (it fails thanks to Yagen's intervention).


  • X-Men: The Early Years: Given Scott Summers' manipulative tendencies, his friends advise him to consider a law degree.
    Scott: I really need to find a career that allows me to play with people’s minds, souls, and ethical values or else I'm never going to be a happy and fulfilled person.
    Warren: Have you considered law?
    Scott: Summers, Happily, Cheatum, and Howe? I'll have to consider changing my major.


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