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Hades with Pain and Panic

Hades with Pain & Panic

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The Big Bad has two or more minions who report directly to him or her, and are regarded as equally dangerous among the other characters. They will usually have distinctive personalities, roles, or skill-sets, or may perform the same job but in different regions, but just like a single Dragon would be, they are answerable only to the Big Bad and are significant threats in their own right. Unlike the Quirky Miniboss Squad, they don't necessarily have a team dynamic- in fact, they may not interact directly at all. If they do, they'll likely be rivals.

Note- simply having multiple named Evil Minions does not qualify for this trope. This is a case of several characters being powerful, important, and/or feared enough to claim the role of second-in-command or primary executor of the Big Bad's will at one time. A character who does not serve in these capacities, or regularly takes orders from someone not the Big Bad, does not qualify as a Dragon, even if they're an important villain. Compare and contrast Big Bad Duumvirate, where two characters jointly hold the role of primary villain, rather than just primary minion. If there are enough Dragons, they might form the Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy.

As with the parent trope, No Real Life Examples, Please We don't call people "bad guys" here.

Examples:


Anime & Manga

  • In Dragon Ball you have Pilaf's co-dragon's Shu and Mai.
    • In it's sequel Dragonball Z Frieza has Dodoria and Zarbon.
  • In Berserk The God Hand are this to The Idea of Evil.
  • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure, Dio Brando has both Vanilla Ice and Enrico Pucci. The former shows up for a several-chapter fight with the heroes near the end of Part 3, while the latter is the main antagonist of Part 6 and plays a much larger role in the story.
  • Bleach: Shortly after their public defection from the Soul Society, Kaname Tousen and Gin Ichimaru split The Dragon role for the Big Bad, Sosuke Aizen; but in an interesting variation, those two also happen to fall under Dragon with an Agenda, considering both only ever joined with Aizen so as to further their own individual goals.
    • Of the two, Tousen seemed the most loyal to Aizen, willingly and diligently following any of his orders and personally protecting Aizen from anyone else looking to injure him. His motive for joining Aizen was out of revenge against and loathing for the Soul Society, since it was a Karma Houdini shinigami that killed his childhood friend and didn't get punished for it.
    • With his Cheshire Cat Grin and Eyes Always Shut, Gin fills the bill as Aizen's Enigmatic Minion - the only one that can see through his manipulations and the one subordinate that Aizen frequently displayed mistrust towards. In actuality, Gin's goal for joining Aizen was so that he could kill him, finally proving the popular fan theory that he was The Starscream correct.
  • Although there's generally only one Dragon per story arc in Sailor Moon, there are multiple cases of Co Dragons. Season two had Rubeus, Sapphire, Emerald and Prince Diamond all act (unwittingly) as Dragons for Death Phantom. Even more so, one of the major points of season three had Dr. Tomoe trying to resurrect his Co Dragon Mistress 9.
  • In Naruto, as Akatsuki members continue to fall and the ones that remain have more of their pasts revealed, it turns out that Zetsu and Kisame are both The Dragon to Madara Uchiha, Kisame lending Madara his great fighting skill willingly while Zetsu is billed as "the magician's assistant", helping Madara pull off his tricks. One could argue for Sasuke's inclusion in this, but Madara seems to treat him more like The Brute.
    • A clearer example would probably be Kimimaro and Kabuto to Orochimaru.
  • During the "Magical World" Story Arc of Mahou Sensei Negima, Dynamis and Tsukuyomi serve directly under the Big Bad Fate Averruncus and seem roughly close in terms of fighting ability. Technically, Dynamis outranks her since he's the General of their secret society, but Tsukuyomi, being a freelance Psycho for Hire, has a lot more freedom to do whatever she wants, so it more-or-less balances out.
  • Baron Ashura, Count Brocken, Viscount Pygman and Archduke Gorgon for Doctor Hell in Mazinger Z and its remake/reimaging Shin Mazinger.
    • The Seven generals of the Mykene army for Ankoku Daishogun (who likewise was The Dragon of the Emperor of Darkness) in Great Mazinger: JuliCesar, Hadias, Angoras, Ligern, Scarabeth, Draydou and Birdler. Each one had its own personality quirks and fighting styles.
    • Lord Gandal and Minister Zurill from UFO Robo Grendizer were Big Bad King Vega Co-Dragons.
  • In Kagerou Nostalgia Rikimaru and Ranmaru are Gessho Kuki's bodyguards and best fighters. Rikimaru has been with him longer. Ranmaru is the more obsessively loyal. They're almost always together (functioning as villainous Heterosexual Life Partners), have proven to be nearly unbeatable in combat, and take orders from no one but Gessho. One could also make a case for Gessho's frontman, General Kiyotaka Kuroda being another example of The Dragon, as he too takes orders from Gessho alone.
  • Invoked in Eyeshield 21 by the Hakushuu Dinosaurs, who the Devil Bats face in the Kantou Regional Finals. Marco, the team captain describes Juggernaut and Blood Knight Gaou (lineman) as his Right Hand, and In Love with Your Carnage Bishonen pretty boy Kisiragi (cornerback) as his Left Hand. Between the two of them they more or less carry Hakushuu, with Gaou breaking the opposing line and quarterbacks, while Kisiragi shuts down the recievers and runs interception. Both have a lot of respect for Marco and one another, and are out to prove their strength to the world, no matter what methods they have to use.
  • Wagnard and Ashram in Record of Lodoss War.


Comicbooks

  • Darth Krayt of Star Wars Legacy has both Darth Wyyrlok, his closest adviser and most powerful servant, and his Hands (Darths Talon, Stryfe, and Nihl) who actually execute his will. All of them serve as his top enforcers and executors, as opposed to other named Sith characters with more specialized side jobs.
    • Shadows of the Empire introduces Prince Xizor, head of the intergalactic crime syndicate Black Sun and self-considered 3rd most powerful man in the Empire. He loathes Vader, both as a rival and for personal reasons, and the two engage in frequent games of one-upsmanship for Palpatine's favour and do everything they can to eliminate the other. Xizor has no military might, but the Black Sun apparently has the best spy network in the galaxy (aside from the Rebel-aligned Bothans), which gives him an edge as he can provide better intel than Imperial Intelligence. He advises the Emperor in various plans; it transpires that Palpatine's Xanatos Gambit in Return of the Jedi was actually Xizor's idea, and Xizor was the one who really gave the Rebels their Death Star info (with Palp's blessing).
  • Marvel villain The Red Skull has his daughter Sin and his henchman Crossbones as his Dragons.
    • Incidentally, Sin and Crossbones are lovers.
  • In Sin City, the Colonel had both Blue Eyes and Mariah, two female assassins.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, the Grandmasters of the various Dark Egg Legion chapters (and Snively) are Dr. Eggman's Dragons; they report only to him, are equal in rank, and those not directly under his command serve as his regional commanders.
    • And Eggman recently added another dragon to his entourage when he makes the newly roboticized Sally his new chief enforcer. In fact, it should be noted that Mecha Sally, along with the rest of the Metal Series, may very well outrank the Grandmasters, as Eggman is using them to keep an eye on the latter and keep them loyal.


Fanfiction

  • Ponies Make War: General Esteem and Nihilus, who share mutual contempt that borders on outright hostility at times.


Films -- Live-Action


Literature

  • In Harry Potter, when Bellatrix Lestrange rises to become The Dragon to Lord Voldemort, she's unpleasantly surprised to discover that Severus Snape has gained the same standing. The minor rivalry between them continues into Harry Potter until Voldemort kills Snape to get the power of the Elder Wand. Given that Snape was a Reverse Mole but was not the current owner of the wand, Voldemort kept the right Dragon, but for the wrong reason.
  • From The Silmarillion, Morgoth had three Dragons- Sauron, Gothmog, and Glaurung- who each had a different area of expertise and largely operated independently.
    • In The Lord of the Rings, The Witch-king is the Dragon to Sauron, who became a Dragon Ascendant after the First Age. However, the Mouth of Sauron, who actually administers Sauron's empire, could be said to share the role with the Witch-king, who commands the military forces.
      • The movie incarnation of Saruman could also be considered a Dragon along with the Witch-King, though the book version only worked with, rather than for, Sauron to advance his own power.
  • The Steel Inquisitors of Mistborn collectively function as The Dragon to the Lord Ruler; there are about twenty Inquisitors total, but they generally work alone and you'll rarely see more than a half-dozen in one place at one time.
    • Later on in the trilogy, the surviving Inquisitors return collectively working as The Dragon to Ruin
  • Possibly Moridin and Shaidar Haran from The Wheel of Time. While both are shown to report directly to the Dark One and be able to command even the Forsaken, whatever dynamic they share hasn't been addressed directly- it's unclear to the reader if one is superior to the other.
    • From Book 4 until Moridin and Shadar Haran appear, the Forsaken themselves are Co-Dragons.
  • In the Winds of the Forelands series, both Jastanne and Pronjed serve as Dragons to Big Bad Dusaan.
  • R.A. Salvatore's Hunter's Blade trilogy, Gerti Orelsdottr and Obould Many-Arrows are technically Co Dragons working for a group drow out to cause chaos in the area for the fun of it. They're both dragons with an agenda, to the point where Obould becomes a Dragon-in-Chief, and eventually decides to get rid of the drow all together.
  • David Eddings loves this trope. In The Belgariad, Torak has Ctuchik and Zedar as his chief disciples. In The Malloreon, Zandramas has Naradas and Demon Lord Mordja as her second-in-command and primary defence respectively; her rival, Urvon has both Mengha/Harakan as his First Disciple and representative, and Demon Lord Nahaz who protects him physically, leads the army, and is more or less in charge. One could argue that Nahaz and Mordja are also Co-Dragons to their real master, The King of Hell, acting as his agents in the real world and competing viciously for his favour. In The Elenium, Azash has Otha, and Martel; Otha rules his empire for him, while Martel serves as his main agent in the West, and has shades of Dragon-in-Chief.
  • In The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the three Ravers are always Lord Foul's Dragons. Sometimes he'll add another Dragon, too such as Elena, in The Power That Preserves and Kastenessen in the Last Chronicles, though he probably sees himself as Foul's equal partner.
  • In Star Wars Expanded Universe Emperor Palpatine had 3 dragons. Vader was his right hand man and Prince Xizor was his left hand. The third was Mara Jade, his personal assassin, whose existence was unknown to the galaxy at large.
  • In the Redwall book, Lord Brocktree, wildcat conqueror Ungatt Trunn has three dragons by the end in Karangool, the Grand Fragorl, and ex-searat Ripfang.


Live-Action TV

  • More or less a tradition in each Power Rangers season after Power Rangers in Space. Generally there's one loyal dragon, and one treacherous one.
    • Space: Ecliptor and Darkonda, although their boss was technically the Dragon-in-Chief for Dark Spectre. Ecliptor was the Noble Demon type who mentored Astronema, while Darkonda was the scheming backstabber who stole her from her family in the first place. They couldn't stand each other.
    • Galaxy: Villamax and Deviot - again, Noble Demon mentor to the main villainess / unrepentant Starscream.
    • Time Force: Three, the Big Bad's daughter Nadira, the robot Frax, and Gluto, who never really did much. turns out Frax Was Once a Man and it was the Big Bad's fault; he was appropriately treacherous.
    • Wild Force: Jindrax and Toxica. Oddly, both of them were treacherous, although they were loyal to one another. Just not the Big Bad.
    • Ninja Storm: Loads of them, with Vexacus taking steps to eliminate the competition later in the season.
    • Dino Thunder: Elsa and Zeltrax. Zeltrax eventually goes rogue, while Elsa is revealed to have been brainwashed from the beginning.
    • SPD: Mora/Morgana and Broodwing. The former was the loyal one, the latter was demoted from the Big Bad position he held in the original Sentai and was clearly resentful about it to the point of wanting his spot back.
    • Mystic Force: In the second half, Koragg and Imperius. Koragg was the loyal one ( until his brainwashing was broken and became a good guy again), Imperius was mostly just out for himself. In the first half, this trope was not in effect, as the guy Imperius replaced was apparently competent and loyal enough for Koragg to accept a lower-ranked position beneath him.
    • Jungle Fury: A herd of them, most notably Camille and Grizakka; Grizzaka was the treacherous one, and Camille pulled a last-minute Heel Face Turn, staying loyal to the guy the Big Bad had been possessing rather than the Big Bad himself.
    • RPM: Another ensemble, with Kilobyte, Tenaya7, Shifter, and Crunch. Shifter was the treacherous one, while Tenaya7 was brainwashed and changed sides eventually.
  • The Korean drama Queen Seondeok's Lady Mishil has three, her husbands (you heard that right) Seolwon and Saejong and her younger brother Misaeng.
  • Season 3 of Degrassi the Next Generation gave us this with the Candy Bandits. The Big Bad is Jay, and with Sean's Face Heel Turn, he and Alex become Co-Dragons.
  • In the 10th (and final) season of Smallville: Granny Goodness, Desaad and Gordon Godfrey are sharing the role of Dragon to Big Bad Darkseid as they prepare the world for his coming.
    • And in the episode "Dominion", Darkseid is shown to have another Dragon in previous Big Bad Zod, who rules over the Phantom Zone in Darkseid's name. Interestingly, Zod is himself a pair of Dragons in one body - Darkseid fused the Phantom of the original General Zod with his clone Major Zod.
  • On Dark Oracle, Creepy Twins Blaze & Violet were the primary antagonists for most of Season 2, and appeared to be a Big Bad Duumvirate. In reality they were Co-Dragons to Doyle's Evil Counterpart the Puppet-Master, who was the one really giving the orders.
  • Chris and Snoop under kingpin Marlo Stanfield on The Wire.
  • Boardwalk Empire likes this trope.


Tabletop Games

  • Magic's Nicol Bolas, an actual dragon, prefers to recruit other (weaker) Planewalkers as his dragons, though given his disposition he rules through fear and intimidation rather than loyalty. Right now he has three co-Dragons; Tezzeret, who owes a debt to the dragon and might be being controlled by a psychic implant, Liliana Vess; who seeks Bolas' power to help free her from a blood pact with several archdemons, and Sarkhan Vol; who comes from a world where dragons are revered as the pinnacle of life, arguably the only one loyal to Bolas.


Video Games

  • Adventure Quest Worlds Xing and Xang become this to Drakath After Drakath replaced the good Xang with her very evil 'counterpart' from the Mirror Realm.
  • Blaz Blue has Hazama/Terumi Yuuki and Relius Clover appear this way at first. Bonus points for the Red Oni, Blue Oni thing they have going on. Then it turns out they're the ones behind everything, and their boss is a puppet.
  • Archimonde and Kil'Jaeden are Dragons to Sargeras in the Warcraft universe.
    • And Tichondrius and Mannoroth (who also served as the Evil Genius and The Brute respectively) were Dragons to Archimonde in Wacraft III. Later, Mannoroth is killed by Grom Hellscream, leaving Tichondrius as his only Dragon. Then Tichondrius is killed by Illidan, and apparently Anetheron became Archimonde's new Dragon.
  • Rise of the Kasai, the Big Bad Meibisi's top servants are a pair of beautiful twin priestess who keep his evil army in line by brainwashing them, and, like another of his top minions, can turn into literal dragons. It's an odd example as unlike other bosses in the game, they have no dialogue, and don't feature in the story at all until the cutscene right before their bossfight (which is exactly like every other boss in the game except the big bad). They count as his dragons mainly because of their role of enslaving his army, and that they are his most dangerous servants, even briefly managing to mind control the hero.
  • Lord Recluse of City of Villains has Ghost Widow, Sirocco, Mako, and Black Scorpion as his dragons.
    • And as you progress through the story arc for any of them it is implied that you are on your way to becoming a new dragon yourself.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, its pretty clear that Saix and Xigbar share The Dragon position to Xemnas. Saix was The Starscream who became the mask, and who handles the day-to-day giving of orders to the rest of the organization and is the final battle before Xemnas, whereas Xigbar is the only one who actually knows what's going on because he was the first member to make an alliance with Master Xehanort, Xemnas's true identity, ten years ago. May cross partially with Dragon with an Agenda and/or The Man Behind the Man depending on how much Xemnas knew and/or remembered.
  • Though only revealed at the conclusion of a linked game, The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games feature Veran and Onox as Co-Dragons for Twinrova.
    • ... who are themselves Co-Dragons for Ganon.
  • Loghain's two top lieutenants in Dragon Age are Ser Cauthrien, his chief enforcer and the leader of his personal bodyguard, and Arl Rendon Howe, an able if ruthless administrator who assumes responsibility for most of the actions that would ordinarily give Loghain bad P.R.
    • In a more minor example, the Archdemon attacks Denerim with two powerful Darkspawn Generals.
  • While Bowser is the Big Bad of the Super Mario Bros. series games, either Bowser Jr. or Kamek serves as the series' Dragon. Occasionally, both Bowser Jr. and Kamek can be seen working together, like in "New Super Mario Bros. Wii".
  • In Fire Emblem Tellius this trope is subverted, and then played straight. Initially, the Four Riders of Daien are held up as Co-Dragons to the King of Daien, being the nation's four top generals and warriors. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that Petrine and Bertram are both taking orders from The Black Knight, and that only the latter has Mad King Ashnard's ear. As the last few chapters approach, however, we are introduced to Bryce, the last surviving member of the original Riders, who serves as Ashnard's bodyguard, believes My Country, Right or Wrong, and takes no crap from anyone, including the Black Knight. In the second game, the Goddess Ashera has Sephiran and Dhenginsea as her Dragons.
  • The Dolls in Street Fighter Alpha are this to Shadoloo leader Vega/M. Bison.
  • Selvan and Dias are this to Queen Protea in Radiant Historia. Dias heads the army, while Selvan is something like a prime minister.


Webcomics


Web Originals

  • Survival of the Fittest has the 'Big Four', consisting of Steven Wilson, Melvin Carter, Jim Greynolds and Sonia Nguyen, all of whom appear to have an equal standing whilst being clear superiors to the remainder of the terrorists. Danya certainly seems to give them equal roles in his organisation.


Western Animation

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