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Metatron: Metatron acts as the voice of God. Any documented occasion when some yahoo claims that God has spoken to them, they're speaking to me... Or they're talking to themselves.Metatron: Human beings have neither the aural nor the psychological capacity to withstand the awesome power of God's true voice. Were you to hear it, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode within your chest; we went through five Adams before we figured that one out.
Bethany: Why doesn't God speak for himself?
A character may strictly be He Who Must Not Be Seen, but they need to transmit orders to their subordinates and intimidate their enemies.
The solution? Hire this guy. His job (although sometimes not his only job) is to talk for (and sometimes even impersonate) the real He Who Must Not Be Seen, who often is standing somewhere in the background.
The Mouth Of Sauron often serves as The Dragon, and can sometimes be a villainous counterpart to a Supporting Leader: when the real villain is in the background pulling strings, he needs someone to go out and lead his Evil Army against the forces of good.
Sometimes, the Mouth Of Sauron is set up to be the Big Bad and is even believed to be so by everyone except the real Big Bad's most trusted advisers. In this case, it overlaps with The Man Behind the Man.
While many examples and the Trope Namer are villainous, this is not necessarily an "evil-only" trope: any heroic Mysterious Employer is likely to have one, and this is frequently the role played by the Archangel Gabriel (or, as shown by the page quote and plenty of examples here, The Metatron) regarding the big guy himself.
Anime And Manga
- In Death Note, the unseen "Kira" at first only attracts a widely scattered cult following, but as his influence grows and he becomes a Villain with Good Publicity, it becomes necessary for Kira to select an official representative. The position is filled first by Hitoshi Demegawa, and then more successfully by Kiyomi Takada, who also passes secret messages between Light and Mikami and is actually entrusted with the killings for a while.
- Watari is this for L who speaks via a laptop before agreeing to meet the police.
- In Naruto, Pain is considered the unseen "God", and Konan is his "messenger angel".
- Lewis Prothero in V for Vendetta is the Voice of Fate, the person who speaks on behalf of the government. The general population are led to believe that the Voice of Fate is the supercomputer Fate itself, rather than a spokesman.
- Metatron shows up as one of the central characters of Dogma. Amusingly, he is not a part of Christian Canon at all.
- Star Wars: Darth Vader, in addition to serving as The Dragon, performs this duty for Emperor Palpatine. It's not obvious at first glance, but notice that Vader has frequent contact with Imperial commanders, to whom he frequently gives commands. Palpatine is never shown speaking to any of his other underlings except Vader in the original trilogy.
- "Mr. Kobayashi" serves as the voice and agent for Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects. It turns out that this person is one of the few factual elements from Verbal's story.
- In Equilibrium, Libria dictator "Father" is all over the television, but almost no one meets him personally. Vice-Council Dumont is explicitly described as "Father's Voice." Turns out to be a subversion: the real Father died years before, and Dumont is actually running things while pretending to be the Mouth of Sauron.
- The Lord of the Rings: The actual Mouth of Sauron shows up in the extended editions. His helmet covers all of his head save for his scarred, decayed mouth, giving the audience a Gross Up Close-Up. In the film version, Aragorn swiftly beheads him once he gets sick of his shit.
- The Avengers has a character like this called "the Other" who greatly resembles the Trope Namer and, in the opening scene, facilitates the deal with Loki for an army in exchange for the Tessaract. The Stinger reveals that he's working for Thanos.
- The Mouth Of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, who serves as Evil Overlord Sauron's herald, and lieutenant of the Dark Tower. He comes out of the Black Gate to insult the Fellowship and try to persuade them Frodo is dead, but Aragorn and Gandalf refuse to believe him.
- Walker, from Simon R. Green's Nightside series is the Voice of the Authorities, the hidden rulers of the Nightside.
- Metatron and Beelzebub, for God and Satan respectively, in Good Omens.
- In the Wheel of Time series, Shaidar Haran (nicknamed "Superfade" by fans) acts as the mouth of the Dark One, never getting personally involved but giving direct orders (and threats) to the Forsaken.
- In E. E. "Doc" Smith's Galactic Patrol features the Eddorian mouthpiece who always starts his speeches "Helmuth, speaking for Boskone".
- The Obligators from Mistborn are basically a whole organization of these; the Lord Ruler is almost totally uninterested in the day-to-day running of his empire and almost never makes public appearances, so it's their job to keep everything running and keep the noble/skaa class system functional.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- Palpatine's Grand Vizier, Sate Pestage, also has elements of this about him. Per some sources, he was originally created for Empire Strikes Back but was cut because having Vader take his orders from a flunky rather than the Emperor himself made him seem too weak.
- In Star Wars Legacy, Darth Wyyrlok (I, II and III), whenever Darth Krayt went into stasis, served as "Voice" of the Dark Lord of the Sith
Live Action TV
- Bosley from ~Charlie's Angels~, for Charlie... though the phone is a more literal example.
- This is effectively Richard Alpert's job on Lost: to act as a representative for Jacob so Jacob doesn't have to interact with anyone directly.
- Lennon also does this for Dogen in season 6 as well as act as a translator, although it's a less solid example, as Dogen is always present for these conversations and it's soon shown that he can understand English perfectly, he just doesn't often care to directly interact with people.
- Eve and Marcus in Angel Season Five are representatives of the Senior Partners. Holland Manners and Lilah Morgan also acted in this capacity once each after their deaths. Marcus was also their Dragon, but the other three were strictly there to talk.
- Likewise, the Oracles and the Conduit served in a similar capacity to the Powers That Be
- Mr. Morden in Babylon 5 is the human mouthpiece of The Shadows.
- Samson acts as this for Management in Carnivale.
- A latino gang in an episode of NCIS was essentially being run by someone pretending to be this. Gibbs reveals this to some lower gang lieutenants, revealing that they and Gibbs' team were both played for fools, and that Gibbs has nothing he can stick on him, implying that the other gang members need to dispose of the Eye of Sauron member for his duplicity.
- This originally is the role that Locutus was meant to play for the Borg (even his name is Latin for "One who speaks"). Star Trek: First Contact retconned this however, so as to make Locutus's primary function that of a "counterpart" for the Borg Queen.
- The Metatron, or the Voice of God: an archangel who Was Once a Man, the prophet Enoch, and served as an intermediary between God and mankind in Jewish theology. He is identified with the Pillar of Fire from the Book of Exodus. He does not explicitly appear in Christian canon, the only oblique reference being in Genesis: "Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. ." (Every other human mentioned in the passage describing the lineage is said to have 'died'). He is sometimes used by theologians as an explanation for why God's judgement seems much harsher in the Old Testament than the New--in the Old Testament, God's interventions are actually Metatron acting on God's behalf and suffering from either Humans Are Bastards himself or, now being pure due to being raised to an archangel, is particularly disgusted by his own people and hard on them.
- In the Backstory of In Nomine, Metatron holds his traditional role. Lucifer kills him, starting off the events of the Fall.
- The Collector-General in Mass Effect 2 serves this role for Harbinger, though ironically Shepard never sees him, either. We sure do hear him though: "Assuming direct control!"
- Kel'thuzad for the Lich King in Warcraft III. The dreadlords would like you to believe that they do the same job, but really they work for the Burning Legion and are there to control the Lich King, rather than serve him.
- The Speaker in Emperor: Battle for Dune. It serves as a mouthpiece for the Executrix -- all four of them.
- The Metatron also shows up in the Shin Megami Tensei series, holding its usual role. YHVH does actually speak for himself in some of the earlier games, but starting with Nocturne YHVH stopped taking direct action in the games' plots and now speaks exclusively through the Metatron.
- In Jade Empire Death's Hand appears to be abusing his position, with Emperor Sun Hai reduced to a figurehead- but it's eventually revealed that, rather than using his authority for his own advancement, Death's Hand is merely a tool of the Emperor himself, who's avoiding taking the blame for the various atrocities he's having committed.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, Mr. House always communicates to the NCR and the Three Families via his robots, or, alternately, you.
- In Radiant Historia, Hugo abuses his privileges as the 'mouthpiece' of Prophet Noah, who the Alister citizens have complete and total faith in. They trust Noah, and by extension, trust whatever Hugo tells them to do, until the war goes bad and the demand to see Noah for themselves. They eventually break out in a panic when they see he has been Dead All Along.
- Hammerhead from The Spectacular Spider-Man. Everyone knows that the Big Man of Crime is New York's most powerful ganglord, but because the Big Man keeps his true identity secret, he uses Hammerhead as his public face and voice of his organiztion. Later in the second season, the Big Man loses confidence in Hammerhead's competence and takes direct control of his empire; this leads the insulted Hammerhead to become The Starscream.
- ↑ If you recognise Alexis Denisof underneath the makeup and phalanging, you win a star