TROPE OF THE WEEK: Ruthless Leader

Some excellent points in this week’s Trope of the Week to keep your Big Bad fresh.

break the system

red skull

This big bad rules his flock with an iron fist. Anyone who dares step out of line serves to become an example for others on how not to behave. While sometimes stepping out of line can mean that you failed your mission horribly, the boss might also decide to kill you just because you looked at him the wrong way. This villain can rule a company, a country, a religion — as long as he’s got power and minions.

Why this can be bad: There is some truth in fiction here: from rulers like Josef Stalin and Henry VIII to people like James Cameron and Steve Jobs. While some are obviously more reprehensible than others, all of them found ways to abuse their lackeys. For some, it worked; for others, it didn’t. When it comes to fiction, however, leaders can sometimes be out of control in their tempers and…

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