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Playing With / Evil Chancellor

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Basic Trope: The king's main advisor is evil and (usually) trying to overthrow him.

  • Straight:
  • Exaggerated: The Grand Vizier is Obviously Evil, refers to himself as the Evil Grand Vizier, and still has his job.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Because the king is so good-natured, he is also very naive and trusting, making him a Horrible Judge of Character, so as blatant as the vizier's wickedness might be, he fails to notice it.
    • The work is historically based and the period of history actually did have a coup by a grand vizier.
    • Chancellors, Prime Ministers, Grand Advisors, and such had more power as actual Heads of Government with little publicity, making these positions suitable spots for The Man Behind the Man.
    • The chancellor has some information or form of influence and they use it against the head of government.
  • Inverted: The kingdom of Tropia has an evil king. The Grand Vizier is The Good Chancellor who is secretly funding La Résistance.
  • Subverted:
    • The Grand Vizier of Tropia is actually loyal to his king.
    • Alice tells a story about how the evil Vizier tricked the King into enacting terrible policies. It turns out that she was an Unreliable Expositor trying to shift the blame for the King's screw-ups.
  • Double Subverted: …but he isn't good. The king is also evil, and working for him allows the vizier to subjugate and torture the populace more effectively.
  • Parodied: The Vizier is not nice, but he's a poodle-poking Harmless Villain who only commits misdeeds because he's "supposed to" (like the necromancer in Unseen Academicals). He has no designs on the throne, he's more likely to put salt in the king's coffee than poison, he drives heroes away with cruel practical jokes or bizarre threats rather than genuine harm, and the court, including the king, see him as their Token Evil Teammate.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • The Grand Vizier of Tropia seems to be disloyal, but is later revealed to be loyal and the signs of disloyalty were coincidental. His king is bad, though, so the heroes think they have to get rid of both of them … until the vizier pulls a Starscream and then reveals he was Good All Along and overthrew the king so he could Pay Evil unto Evil, becoming a much fairer ruler once he's on the throne. And then he gets Drunk On Power...
    • Or, there are multiple viziers in the story with different alignments.
    • Not, however, anything to do with this Zig Zag who plays the trope straight.
  • Averted: The chancellor of Tropia is a good man and loyal to his king.
  • Enforced: The story is written in a strict monarchy where it is forbidden to depict kings as evil, but the author still wants his hero to fight against unjust authority.
  • Lampshaded: The Grand Vizier throws a visiting hero into the dungeon for no reason. The hero turns to his cellmate and says, "You know, as soon as I saw the Grand Vizier, I was sort of expecting this."
  • Invoked: The Grand Vizier is a good man, but his population doesn't respect him. He assumes Machiavelli was right, and attempts to seem more evil to make them fear him instead.
  • Exploited: The Grand Vizier's king, aware of his advisor's evil nature, uses that to arrange his own schemes, knowing everyone will just suspect the Vizier.
  • Defied: The Grand Vizier, knowing that people think he's evil, spends most of his time finding ways to run the kingdom fairly and even pet a few dogs to make them stop thinking that.
  • Discussed: Hero Sir Bob Tropesalot is talking with his Five-Man Band about how they should be careful in kingdoms because every Grand Vizier they've ever encountered has been evil.
  • Conversed: Political candidate Thomas Roper talks to his campaign team about finding a trustworthy deputy and mentions how it would be easier if the real-world evil viziers were as obvious as the fictional ones.
  • Implied: The head of state seems much more pleasant than the head of government or chief administrator/advisor/second-in-command, who continuously acts in a suspicious manner that suggests he is secretly manipulating the events of the story, but this is never confirmed.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The Grand Vizier is originally good and does his best to follow his king's orders, but the people never think ill of their king and, because this trope exists in the world, they blame the Vizier for any and all of the King's mistakes, while not giving him any credit for things the government does right. Consequently, he becomes very bitter and resentful.
    • The Grand Vizier is actually a good man who's trying to stop the king from becoming a tyrant, but everyone assumes he's trying to grab power for himself, so they distrust him and allow the king's tyranny to persist.
  • Reconstructed:
    • His bitterness leads him to hate the King, becoming the evil vizier that everyone already thought he was.
    • The Vizier is actually more evil than the king, and keeping the king in power prevented a problematic Evil Power Vacuum.
  • Played for Drama: The Vizier's malfeasance causes the Kingdom of Tropia to become a shadow of its former self.
  • Played for Laughs: The Vizier is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath who is loyal to the king but is always quick to suggest that he murder someone.

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