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Reasonable Authority Figure / Literature

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Reasonable Authority Figures in literature.


  • The governor from Animorphs #51 is incredibly level-headed and good at rolling with the punches - see the main page quote.
  • In the second book of Apparatus Infernum, the local commander for House Magnus is uncharacteristically reasonable, within certain limits. He's arrogant, and is primarily concerned with advancing House Magnus interests (and himself with them), but he gives the protagonists a fair hearing despite having both the legal and military power to ignore them, and realises that the threat in question is serious enough to warrant direct action even though it could drag House Magnus into a war.
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  • Assassin Fantastic: Supreme Affluent Greene Reid of A Touch of Poison, who deals with a tricky situation with remarkable calm, given the circumstances (mainly, that the Widow Baker nearly poisoned him, but chooses not to, comes to him with proof of the poisoning and a full confession as to how and why she attempted such a thing in the first place).
  • The Belisarius Series features Malwa noble Damodara, who starts off reasonable in actually listening to Rana Sanga's concern that they're being played by Belisarius, and then covers up the Rajput king's failure in capturing Belisarius because he accepts that anyone would have fallen for the Batman Gambit which was used.
  • In Bisclavret, the king. When Bisclavret, in wolf form, paws at his stirrup as a petitioner, the king grants him his life, since he petitioned for it.
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  • The Black Company: In Annals of the Black Company, the Lady may be evil, but she also fits this trope nicely. Admittedly, she does get somewhat cross with underlings who work against her, but she'll forgive (what's left of) them if she learns that the accusations were false.
  • A Brother's Price: Jerin's mothers and eldest sister are this. Naturally, they are away, selling horses in a neighbouring city and visiting relatives, respectively, when the plot needs to get going. Also, Ren, who despite her reasonableness thinks that she can finish her important business in peace before talking to Jerin as he requested per messenger. Well, she is wrong, and later has a lot of guilt about this.
  • Prince Gwydion of The Chronicles of Prydain is primarily a man of war, but he shows Hidden Depths, wisdom, and compassion, becoming an excellent role model for Taran and often entrusting him with important jobs.
    • King Smoit listens to Taran's advice, and after Book 2, notes that he's shut up his dungeons and tries his hand at talking out problems rather than smashing people's heads together.
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    • It's heavily implied that Taran will be one himself after the end of Book 5, as High King.
  • Conan the Barbarian:
    • In the Conan story "The God in the Bowl", the Inspector, Demetrius, comes across as one. Despite advocating the more brutal methods that the guards have, he gives Conan a fair chance to explain himself, easily seeing past Conan's lies, and investigates instead of arresting him on the spot (partly because they couldn't take Conan, but also because he suspected it wasn't Conan). Near the end, when the nobleman who hired Conan to steal something in the citadel is found, Demetrius easily deduces that he hired Conan, and sincerely said that, if given the word, he would let Conan go, and cover this whole incident up to protect the nobleman's reputation, explaining that debt (the motive) is nothing to be ashamed of. The Aristocrats Are Evil trope is in effect, and the man denies all the allegations, causing Conan to fly into a murderous rage, Demetrius still makes it out with a wounded leg, and when the real murder culprit is revealed, the titular god, the narration makes it clear that Demetrius would have stayed to investigate it, but wounded and bleeding badly, he opts to run with the rest of the guards.
    • Conan himself counts during his time as King of Aquilonia. Taxes are lower than anywhere else in Hyboria; noblemen may not abuse peasants; and Conan proposes breaking up the larger estates of the nobility rather than push farther into Pictish territory for more farmland (notable because Conan isn't exactly a fan of the Picts in the first place). Of course, he ends up having to fight off multiple attempts on his life by scheming nobles.
  • Sheriff Pangborn from Stephen King's The Dark Half. After the villain George Stark leaves a bloody fingerprint at a crime scene that perfectly matches local writer Thad Beaumont, Pangborn arrives to arrest Thad. But when Thad produces an ironclad alibi, Pangborn believes him and does all he can to help catch Stark. Pangborn later gets to be The Hero in Needful Things.
  • DFZ:
    • Empty Wind, the Spirit of the Forgotten Dead, helps Opal and Nik once Opal explains the situation to him. She apologizes for not just asking for his help in the first place.
    • The Peacemaker, the Dragon of Detroit, is one of the few real authority figures in the DFZ. He has a list of banned substances and items; while they're not technically illegal, no one will go against the Peacemaker by trading them. Much of the plot kicks off because cockatrices are on his list, and Dr. Lyle invented a ritual to make cockatrice eggs. In the end, Opal calls the Peacemaker to save the cockatrice chicks.
  • Discworld's Lord Vetinari is one deep down, though for his own reasons he hides it well. Vimes also fits the trope; his incorruptibility is so famous that suggestions to bribe him are taken as jokes.
    • Most of the Watch are personally loyal to Vimes. A fair number follow him when he turns in his badge in Jingo. As one officer says, when your back's against the wall, Mister Vimes is right behind you.
    • The Assassin's Guild refuses to take contracts on either Vetinari or Vimes, as eliminating either of them would be too disruptive to the social order (or at least the Guild claims that's the reason. Vimes suspect that their previous embarrassing failure rate against himnote  was the main reason — but then again, Vimes consistently underestimates how important he actually is in the city). Sometimes Guild assassins are sent after Vimes, but these are usually the cocky students who need to be taken down a peg or two rather than serious attempts.
  • Artemis Butler of the web-novel Domina, despite being a gang lord.
    Butler: I swear that all I want is to safeguard everyone. But this city is all I can control.
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward's uncle Duraugh, who is to rule Hurog in Ward's place until Ward is of age, is quite reasonable, sometimes too much so. He would, for example, put the fierce stallion Ward inherited to death. (Ward sees that the horse is only frightened, and trains it to become a Cool Horse, eventually). When, after some adventures, the young generation returns to castle Hurog and tells Duraugh to evacuate the place, he listens and decides that explanations can wait until later.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Special Agent Tilly from Changes. He turns off the recording tape during his interrogation of Harry, at Harry's request, and is willing to listen to and calmly evaluate what Harry says to him about the supernatural. He also handles himself very well during the Red Court attack. Having a latent, unconscious magical talent making him a Living Lie Detector helps.
    • Warden Captain Anastasia Luccio is perfectly willing to listen to Harry when he reports a threat that the White Council has otherwise missed.
    • Amazingly enough, Donald Morgan ends up being reasonable, to a point: he pursues watches Harry because of the latter's previous violation of the Laws of Magic (which, in his extensive experience, is a one-way street to evil megalomania), but when he is told to back off by the White Council, he does. He still doesn't trust Harry, but he doesn't disbelieve him either: during the events of Dead Beat, he is dead set again Harry joining the Wardens, but accepts it when the decision is made, and he listens to Harry's explanation when he believed that Harry just supposedly executed his mentor and lover Captain Luccio. His distrust of Harry is personal and based on literal decades of experience with the misuse of magic, but he never stops being a reasonable authority.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: In Dealing with Dragons, Kazul becomes one of these. She knows that Cimorene is a level-headed person, so when Cimorene goes to Kazul - newly crowned as King of Dragons - saying that wizards tried to sabotage the coronation trials and the dragon Warog was behind it, Kazul is more than happy to listen. When Warog repeatedly tries to discredit Cimorene by insisting that her story is preposterous, Kazul calmly points out that he hasn't pointed out a single thing to back up that statement.
  • The Exile's Violin:
    • King Shaun II of Kenesta doesn't squash civil unrest with a heavy hand. Instead, he asks them to select a spokesman to send to an audience with him the next day so he can address their concerns. In the audience itself it crossses into Only Sane Man because he is the only one that recognizes the stupidity in declaring war against a country that they just lost against to reclaim land that never wanted to be part of them.
    • General Colborough is calm, rational and Jacquie notes that when he initates his coup that he is not doing it out of ego or warmongering but because he believes it is the best course of action. When one of his subordinates claims that Jacquie and Clay are spies from another country simply because of a family squable, he says the idea is ridiculous but still wants them questioned because they shouldn'nt have been in a meeting that was arranged solely for locals.
    • Admiral LeBlanc isn't keen on listing to a strange detective saying treasonous and unlikely things, but, given to the strange circumstances and other things that Jacquie points out, she is willing to listen.
  • Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame is perhaps too easygoing when it comes to Harry, but considering the trouble he tends to attract, it pays to listen when Harry says basilisks/death eaters/trolls/whatever are mucking about. He's one of the few authority figures in the Harry Potter universe who is consistently not evil and on the ball as far as what's going on, and therefore knows well enough to trust the heroes (and occasionally bail them out of school trouble when it's convenient).
    • Professor McGonagall qualifies too (appropriately, since she's Dumbledore's replacement). By the end of The Deathly Hallows, all she needs from Harry is a vague assurance that he's doing something important before she's entirely willing to stage a massive battle just to give Harry the time he needs. On the flip side, if she's chewing you out over something it's usually a pretty safe bet you've done something to earn it.
    • Kingsley Shacklebolt, head of the Auror department at the Ministry and the de facto leader of the Order of the Phoenix, is so reasonable he even gets along with the Dursleys. Too bad the less reasonable Ministers (Fudge, later Scrimgeour) outrank him until he becomes the new Minister of Magic after the war ends.
    • It's been hinted that Amelia Bones, the Director of Magical Law Enforcement, falling into this category (as shown during Harry's trial in Order of the Phoenix) was a major reason for her possibly becoming Minister... and why Voldemort had her killed.
    • Professors Slughorn, Flitwick, and Sprout all also seem like this.
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban Professor Lupin becomes the first Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Harry's had with a level head. This is exemplified when he rescues Harry from Snape's wrath and covers for him with regards to the Marauder's Map. He then chewed Harry out himself when out of Snape's earshot, because Harry's actions had genuinely been foolish and careless.
    • Even Snape can be this... but only if you're a Slytherin. It seems to be a trend among Heads of House.
  • The His Fair Assassin trilogy has Duchess Anne, the young but extraordinarily level-headed royal served by the protagonist leads.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars:
    • In Thuvia, Maid of Mars, Thuvia refuses to have a prince who laid hands on her arrested, despite the gravity of the crime, because it would mean war.
    • Later, the Great Jed, U-Thor. He gives Tara advice on defending herself against charges, valiantly defends his stepson A-Kor against A-Kor's own father, the jeddak, and in the end is instrumental in replacing the jeddak with A-Kor.
  • In the second book of Hilari Bell's Knight And Rogue series, Michael and Fisk are surprised to find the local sheriff is willing to get their side of the story before summarily running them out of town on the say-so of an important official. Though he still makes them leave once the book's over.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Jago does an admirable job managing his city. To demonstrate: he refuses to let the civilians of others cities die or mutate but can't take in too many or they'll all starve. Also, he insists on protocol when letting anyone in or out of Final Shield.
  • In The Long Earth, Jansson becomes a renowned authority on "stepping" and generally does a good job preventing negative repercussions of the sudden discovery of parallel Earths.
  • Faramir counts in The Lord of the Rings. He provides assistance to Frodo and Sam once he learns of their quest (after making them sweat a bit) and shows mercy to Gollum when Frodo vouches for him (though Gollum doesn't realize it).
  • The Martian: Every authority figure at every level is a reasonable authority figure. While the various authority figures do clash over certain decisions, everyone remains calm, rational, and level-headed, arguing based on the facts and weighing each decision carefully. Each has a different set of responsibilities to balance, and each knows when to push an issue and when to give in. The professionalism exhibited by every authority figure is one of the strengths of the book.
    • The one instance when everyone loses their cool is when NASA Director Teddy decides to forego the danger of the Rich Purnell Maneuver in favor of a much more risky plan, due to the number of lives at stake. Flight Director Mitch blows his top and calls Teddy a coward, and storms out of the office, while Venkat and Bruce Ng are stunned and exasperated by the display, and Public Relations Director Annie point-blank tells Teddy that she wishes Mitch had punched him for his cowardice. And then they get back to work.
  • Murder on the Orient Express: Monsieur Bouc/Signor Bianchi, the manager of the train. He immediately calls upon Poirot to solve the murder of Ratchet, and in the book and the 1974 and 2010 versions, he was the one who suggested letting the passengers off the hook, since their victim was truly deserving.
  • Chief Wyatt Porter in the Odd Thomas novels knows quite well about Odd's psychic gifts, and consults him whenever he can (i.e. as long as he eventually has enough evidence to back him up in courts and whatnot).
  • King-Emperor John IV, from S. M. Stirling's novel, The Peshawar Lancers. The cannibalistic Satanist Russian Empire has bred a lineage of seeresses who can see the consequences of any possible action? Your evidence is pretty convincing. Maybe you hero-types should go do something about it.
  • The Queen Of Ieflaria: The current king and queen of Ieflaria are unfailingly patient with Esofi and Adale, consider themselves servants of the people, and sponsor arts and sciences.
  • Ranger's Apprentice has several, but stand-out examples include King Duncan and Ranger Corps Commandment Crowley. While Duncan can be rather rigid sometimes and stands on his dignity, he's also willing to listen to others and admits that he keeps the Rangers around partially because they can stop him from thinking that he always knows best.
    • Crowley, despite being head of an elite force, is shown as always being willing to hear out his subordinate's ideas and opinions, and good-naturedly puts up with Halt's antics and Gilan's Sarcastic Devotee nature.
    • Erak Starfollower is this in both Rangers Apprentice and the sister series, Brotherband. He helps Will and Cassandra escape from slavery, works with Halt to put into place a strategy to defeat the Temujai in Book 4 rather than relying on the Skandians' usual Attack! Attack! Attack!, shortly after becoming Oberjarl uses a bit of Loophole Abuse to help Duncan and Halt out of a sticky situation, and in Brotherband, he is shown to have a soft spot for Hal, the protagonist, stops bullying whenever he can, and though he's very harsh on the Herons for allowing the Andomal to be stolen, he also gives them a chance to bring it back, and shows no resentment or anger when they do — indeed, he chooses them for several missions afterwards.
  • Each book in A Series of Unfortunate Events tends to have exactly one character in this position. They usually don't last very long.
    • A definite example would be Montgomery Montgomery from "The Reptile Room". The later books tend to lack this character, or have one offscreen.
  • Marcia Overstrand, ExtraOrdinary Wizard, in Septimus Heap zig-zags this trope, varying from a Reasonable Authority Figure in e.g Darke where she immediately comes to the Palace with the other Wizards when alerted to the presence of a Darke Domaine to Not Now, Kiddo in Flyte, when she refuses to believe that Jenna has been kidnapped by her elder brother Simon Heap.
  • Skyward: Although she never shows up on screen, Dr. Thior spends the entire book fighting to get the cadets in general, and Spensa specifically, proper care. While she doesn't always read the situation correctly (she gives Skyward Flight a week of medical leave when they want to work hard and keep busy), no one doubts she has everyone's best interests at hear. She even forces the admiral to let Spensa have proper access to the dorms and other base facilities.
  • Smaller & Smaller Circles: The Director of the NBI actually sees the killings as a serious threat, and even chews out Atty. Arcinas for screwing up the investigation. Councillor Mariano as well, who lends his own time and resources (in this case, the free dental services he sponsors for street urchins) to help identify the murder victims.
    • Present only in the expanded edition, NBI Deputy Director Jake Valdes, who like Director Lastimosa and Ading Rustia actually considers the Payatas murders a serious concern.
  • In the Crapsack World of A Song of Ice and Fire, there are very few leaders like this. However, their survival rate is rarely high due to the nature of the series:
    • Eddard Stark did his best during his tenure as Hand of the King. However, his honor became a weakness which led to his death.
    • Tyrion Lannister did a good job as Hand of the King while keeping tabs on his nephew's brattiness. He was one who managed to keep King's Landing from falling into the hands of Stannis Baratheon during the Battle of Blackwater. Of course it is ambiguous how heroic this is, considering that Stannis is the rightful King and Joffrey is a tyrannical usurper.
    • Regardless of all his flaws, Tywin Lannister is this when he's serving as Hand (not so much as a battle commander). His steady hand is able to balance out the psychopathy of both Aerys and Joffrey, which is largely the reason the Mad King's reign is remembered as a time of peace and prosperity until the very end (after Tywin had already been replaced). However this is up for interpretation. Some more analytical fans have pointed out Tywin has a tendency to take part in needlessly brutal actions (ordering the Riverlands burnt even though he intends them to be ruled by his family), meaning that his plans don't long outlast his death.
    • Kevan Lannister is a decent ruler and leader, who takes into account the problems of the realm and is more of a people person than his brother. This is also the reason why Varys killed him at the end of A Dance with Dragons when Kevan was just starting to fix all the problems that his niece had made.
    • Jeor Mormont is one of these too since he knew very well that the Others had returned and are a bigger threat to Westeros. He even reminded Jon Snow that it doesn't matter on whoever wins the Iron Throne because winter is coming and the victor had to bear the long winter night.
    • Stannis Baratheon first looks like a Principles Zealot, however he is really The Dutiful Son of the Baratheon family. He undergoes Character Development after the Blackwater, appointing the lowborn Davos Seaworth as his Hand over the nobles of his court, and is the only one who answers the Night's Watch's call for help.
  • Bishop Peregrino in Speaker for the Dead first seems like a Bible-thumping fanatic dead-set on kicking the "infidel" Speaker out of Lusitania as soon as possible, including declaring Ender to be The Devil himself. He still has plenty of reservations, but the events of the book have Peregrino mellowing and developing a level of respect for Ender, even if he doesn't agree with his methods (such as revealing embarassing personal information to everyone instead of just to the bishop and God in confession). Additionally, Ender revealing that he was baptised as a child helps the bishop accept him into their Catholic community. He also agrees to rebel against the Starways Congress in order to save Miro.
    • He does slip up in the following book Xenocide, even though he is older and wiser (the book takes place 30 years later). After Quim's death at the "hands" of Warmaker, Valentine warns the bishop and the mayor of the impending riot the likes of which they've never seen, only for both of them to dismiss her advice. Bishop claims that his people are all good Catholics who'd never do something like that. The events of that night make him realize how wrong he'd been, and he makes all of his churchgoers build a new chapel to commemorate all those who died.
  • Grumble, the god of the minions in Spells, Swords, & Stealth is fairly casual, as gods go. He does demand Thistle at least appear to offer proper platitudes when they speak. He is a god after all. At the same time, he is perfectly willing to accept a bit of snark. He also takes the time to explain to Thistle why he can't just tell his paladin what's going on in Split the Party and has to rely on vague visions to hint at his goals. In Going Rogue, he explains to Thistle that he and the god of rogues, Tristan, are in conflict over a claim on Eric's soul and explicitly orders Thistle not to try to influence Eric on the matter since, as a matter of faith, the decision must be wholly Eric's own.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The X-Wing Series gives us an example in Wedge Antilles. When Myn Donos had a Heroic BSoD, he helped cover it up. Later, when Myn fired on Lara for the destruction of Talon Squadron, and shot a torpedo at another pilot, he was taken off duty, but not actually written up, though there was a testing period while Wedge decided whether or not to do so. And when Myn realized that the fighters were going into a trap, Wedge called them off, even though he couldn't see how and they lost two in doing so.
    • Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the bad guys (although not strictly evil) and executed a tractor beam operator for failing to catch Luke's ship, and then lying to Thrawn about not having performed training that could have kept the tractor beam emitter from eating a torpedo, and attempted to shift the blame to another — but in a later book he promoted a new tractor beam operator who had failed to catch another ship Luke was on because although the guy had failed, he'd tried a new method and accepted responsibility when the tactic didn't work. He also treated his second-in-command and occasional Commander Contrarian with respect.
    • Pellaeon surely counts by the Hand of Thrawn duology, when he's basically got Thrawn's old rank, albeit commanding the forces of a much smaller Empire. He happens to Know When to Fold 'Em, is protective of his people, and treats his own Commander Contrarian the way Thrawn treated him. Oh, and he's trying to make peace with the New Republic, and sees efforts by various Imperial elements to make it look like the New Republic has refused as what they are: a trick. ...Really, by that point he's not remotely one of the bad guys.
    • In Galaxy of Fear: The Doomsday Ship, the captain of a luxury cruise starship knows it's a surly employee's fault when the systems go down, rather than Zak's, and lets Zak have access to some records he wants to see. When things start going wrong he proves to feel great responsibility for his men and the crew.
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Dalinar Kholin is one of the few generals in charge of the Vengeance Pact that will actually listen to his troops. It's one of the things that made him so formidable as The Blackthorn, because he works very well with any of his subordinates.
    • Kaladin is this to a lesser extent, only because he takes charge of Bridge Four. Unlike his commanding officers, who often neglect the bridgemen as arrow fodder, Kaladin considers each and every person's strength. He even makes the man who disagrees with him most his second-in-command to keep himself in line.
    • The Assassin in White is flying around the world, killing leaders. Every time we see what the leaders are up to, it's nothing but civil war and anarchy. Then we come to the Azish, who are sitting quietly around a table, struggling to elect their next leader.
  • In the Carl Hiaasen novel version of Striptease, Al Garcia's boss, Lt. Bowman, is this; he lets Garcia alone most of the time to pursue his own leads, and when Garcia finds himself going after Congressman Dave Dilbeck (who assaulted a groom-to-be at his bachelor party, and whose handlers committed two murders to cover that up), Bowman admits while he officially has to tell Garcia he's on his own, unofficially, he hopes Garcia can pull it off.
  • In This Immortal, Tatram Yshtigo, Cort Myshtigo's grandfather, is — according to Phil — 'an altruistic administrator of services to the public' and very much aware of the problems with Earth's dependency on the Vegan Combine. He hatches the plan of sending Cort Myshtigo to Earth to survey whether it could possibly govern itself, then arranges things thus that Conrad Nomikos ends up in charge — reasoning that with someone as long-lived and honourable as Conrad there's a good chance that Earth will become habitable again in the long run.
  • Tortall Universe:
    • Duke Gareth in Song of the Lioness was one, being strict and authoritative but at the same time, understanding and kind. Despite giving Alanna a stern lecture for beating up a boy who had ruthlessly bullied her (even breaking her arm at one point), he had supported her (even telling her privately that Ralon deserved to be thrashed) and was secretly pleased that she managed to do it on her own.
    • In that same universe, Jonathan, as king, is considered a fair and benevolent ruler. He (technically) lifts the ban on female knights. His queen, Thayet, is an Action Girl that starts her own band of "Riders" to serve the country.
    • It's the same way with his father, for the most part. He's known as Roald the Peacemaker, but he takes it a bit far when he allows a resurrected Duke Roger back into court. Conté kings and queens are generally examples of this trope.
    • Lord Gershom of Haryse in Beka Cooper, who is also Da Chief of Tortall's police force. He can't investigate every case because there are just too many, but he gives Beka all the support he can when he can. It's only because of his political enemies that he has to employ Torture Technicians in the jails rather than actual truth spells.
  • Vikus from The Underland Chronicles, though he's such a Nice Guy Gregor and others don't feel they can always confide in him.
  • In Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess, Ketterman comes off as cold, severe and off-putting at first, but he is the only one to listen to Samantha and investigate the fraud perpetrated by Arnold Saville.
  • Alberta Petrov, Captain of the St. Vladimir's Academy's Guardians from Vampire Academy. She works well with Rose and convinces to resume her studies and graduate.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Ciaphas Cain falls under this trope. Despite Commissars technically being outside of the chain of command, he has the authority to execute Colonels and Generals who would otherwise outrank him, if he has good reason to do so. Unlike many of his breed, however, Cain instead prefers to foster friendships and inspire his troops via camaraderie rather than instilling them with fear of his retribution, to the extent that some of them perceive him to be their inspirational father figure.
      • In The Traitor's Hand, Cain winds up dealing with a jealous Obstructive Bureaucrat who ultimately accuses him of attempting to desert during a battle. In a particular bizarre invocation of this trope, the Commissariat of all organizations investigates the claim.... and then not only dismisses it as utterly frivolous, but opens an investigation to determine whether or not said bureaucrat's obstructionism endangered the course of the entire battle by interfering with Cain's activities.
      • Oddly enough most Governors end up as this trope, all but one named Governor in the Cain books wasn't this because that one was a genestealer. Guess the bad ones tend to be killed off.
      • One of the Cain books actually had a short blurb that implied incompetent Governors are quickly dealt with by the Officio Assassinorum.
      • Chris Roberson's Dawn of War II has a wonderfully incompetent governor.
    • In Graham McNeill's Ultramarines novel Nightbringer, the governor. Although things have gone badly under her, Barzano preempts a vote of no confidence because she seems to be the best. And she faces the troubles with equanimity and an effort to fix things.
    • The Governor of Tarsis Ultra in the second Ultramarines book is also one of these - initially more concerned with pomp and ceremony than defences, he is immediately put in his place by the Astartes and Imperial Guard commanders. Rather than (some might say predictably) becoming a sulking villian, he swallows his pride and does what he can to help, becoming a vital administrator of the supply lines, and dies, bravely fighting in a battle he wasn't trained for to set an example to the people.
    • The Ultramarines themselves are this, ruling a mini Empire, Ultramar its one of the best places to live in the Imperium, minus the whole Tyranid invasion a few hundred years ago.
    • In Dead Sky Black Sun, the Lord of the Unfleshed. True, he's a cannibalistic monster with the mind of a little child who strongly considers eating Uriel and his companions, but he's leading the Unfleshed in horrible circumstances, and has no experience with good people who are not the Unfleshed. Once Uriel persuades him, he throws all his forces into a desperate attack.
    • In The Killing Grounds, the Grey Knight Leodegarius. Despite his suspicion and insistence on the ordeals to test Uriel and Pasanius, he is willing to clear them — even acting in a more conciliatory manner after he knows if they are tainted, it was not with their knowledge — and deals with the planet in a straightforward and just manner.
  • Bluestar from Warrior Cats, but only sometimes. Given the information she had, she almost always made the best decision, once asking an apprentice to track down a friendly fugitive that General Ripper was definitely going to execute. Unfortunately the general was also the Evil Chancellor, so she was quite blind to his motives, despite repeat warnings from the hero.
    • Firestar too after he becomes the leader.
    • In fact, plenty of leaders can be this on a good day at least. Several examples include Blackstar, but the ultimate one would have to be Tallstar, who's very friendly to Firestar and his Clan (this is explained in Tallstar's Revenge). But after he dies, Onestar (who takes over WindClan after him) averts this trope when he's in a foul mood.
    • Harestar shows to be this in A Vision Of Shadows, even before he becomes leader. He gives herbs to a very sick ShadowClan even after Onestar refused, saying that he won't let innocent cats die. After he becomes the new leader of WindClan, he reminds everyone that Rowanstar doesn't need all the blame for Darktail invading the Clans, saying that the ones who are to blame are Onestar (who ends up redeeming himself by killing Darktail) and Darktail himself. He also lets Jayfeather and Alderheart takes some herbs after ThunderClan suffers from a rockslide.
  • Watership Down. 'The Threarah', the Chief Rabbit of the Sandleford warren, who appears to be the Obstructive Bureaucrat-type when he dismisses Fiver's warning out of hand. Holly (himself a reasonable authority figure) later reveals that his reasoning was actually quite logical — most prophets are frauds, and even if they're genuine the warren would have lost more rabbits from a mass evacuation than a flood or from hunters. Tragically, the oncoming disaster is more massive than The Threarah could imagine or Fiver could explain coherently, which leaves the Threarah as an Obstructive Bureaucrat who tries to be this trope.
    • Hazel gradually becomes a pretty exemplary one of these once he becomes Chief Rabbit of the Watership Down warren. His particular skill is in recognizing and helping to develop the specific talents of the other rabbits around him, and with everyone feeling valued, they all prove unswervingly loyal. By this point, he's also grown to appreciate Fiver's prophetic abilities, and developed more-or-less absolute faith in the little guy.
    • Efrafra, despite being a horribly oppressive police state, has one of these in Captain Campion, and even their cruel Chief Rabbit, General Woundwort, has moments of reason, despite ultimately being a pretty bad guy. Captain Mallow was implied to have been one of these, too.
  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob):
    • Dr. Landen, the first person Bob meets when he is awakened. While he works for FAITH, he's not a theocrat. He empathizes with Bob's plight, and warns him about the loyalty switches and kill triggers hidden in his code.
    • After Minister Cranston's attempts to control Riker fail, he puts forth a reasonable plan to help other survivors in exchange for special consideration—which is not so much special consideration as it is perfectly fair. It's implied that Homer suggested it, but either way it's a real turn around.
    • Although Butterworth and Riker often butt heads, he has a pretty strong bargaining position. He provided the plans for the colony ships, so his people should be the first to go. His biggest problem is that he gets mad about anything that seems to delay construction. Homer goes behind Riker's back to make a deal to delay the ships slightly so that the Spitsbergen ship can be built faster.


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