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Powers That Be

 Powers That Be
type
FeatureClass
 Powers That Be
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be
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PowersThatBe
 Powers That Be
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These unseen forces, usually unnamed or only known by a somewhat-vague epithet, are pulling the strings. They can be good, evil, or ambiguous.
Bad Powers that Be are mysterious and abstract; an Ultimate Evil that will exist As Long as There is Evil. They will also be too vague to engage the heroes directly and so a lesser villain will act as The Heavy and carry out the Powers' Evil Plan.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Good Powers That Be will also be mysterious and abstract; concerned with the Balance Between Good and Evil or the sanctity of The Lifestream and because of this, too distant to understand the heroes' concerns and protectorate. Nevertheless the heroes will be the Powers' champion against evil.
One variety of the Powers That Be is the Ancient Conspiracy, another is The Omniscient Council of Vagueness. Another one is God himself. If the powers are warring with each other, it could be Heaven Versus Hell or a "house divided against itself." Contrast Pals with Jesus, where the relationship is entirely personal and personable. See also Physical God and Sentient Cosmic Force.
Sometimes, this term is used by fans to refer to network executives or other forces behind a work's fate.
Not to be confused with Anne McCaffrey's Petaybee series, which has this at the title of the first book and an alternate series title. Or, a short-lived sitcom produced by Norman Lear that starred John Forsythe from Dynasty & featured two pre-famous actors, David Hyde Pierce & Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })Examples:
 Powers That Be
fetched
2020-09-04T10:55:34Z
 Powers That Be
parsed
2020-09-04T10:55:34Z
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to AbstractApotheosis: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to ArchEnemy: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to CosmicHorror: Not an Item - UNKNOWN
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to DarkMessiah: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to DeusEstMachina: Not an Item - CAT
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to EldritchAbomination: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to GodIsEvil: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to GodIsGood: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to InvertedTrope: Not an Item - IGNORE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to Leitmotif: Not an Item - FEATURE
 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: Not an Item - UNKNOWN
 Powers That Be
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 Powers That Be
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 Powers That Be
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 Powers That Be
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 Powers That Be
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Dropped link to WCW: Not an Item - IGNORE
 Powers That Be
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CosmicHorror
 Powers That Be
processingUnknown
OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness
 Powers That Be
isPartOf
DBTropes
 Powers That Be / int_131dd753
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_131dd753
comment
In Tower of God, each floor of the Tower is passively ruled over by a Guardian/Administrator. They were in the Tower before any humans entered. Most of them have no names given and they're seldom seen; it seems as though they like to hang out in some parallel dimension next to their floor. They act only to enforce the most serious rules of the Tower, and they're overwhelmingly more powerful than almost anyone in the Tower. They're also the ones who have given the more active rulers of the Tower their powers. Additionally, some of them seem to be plotting in the background to change the story.
 Powers That Be / int_131dd753
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_131dd753
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 Tower of God (Webcomic)
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Powers That Be / int_131dd753
 Powers That Be / int_1331990c
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_1331990c
comment
Both Madoka Kaname and Homura Akemi become one of these at the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, respectively.
 Powers That Be / int_1331990c
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_1331990c
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1.0
 Puella Magi Madoka Magica
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Powers That Be / int_1331990c
 Powers That Be / int_146fc176
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_146fc176
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Death Is Forced To Take A Vacation: The Harvest-verse's Lady of Death is Helheim, who has several Reapers who serve as adjuncts working for her, each monitoring and collecting the souls of a different species; Fall Harvest is the Reaper of Alicorns.
 Powers That Be / int_146fc176
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_146fc176
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 Death Is Forced To Take A Vacation / Fan Fic
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_146fc176
 Powers That Be / int_1a12bbee
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_1a12bbee
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According to the final issue of the third volume of Thor, the Fates were actually their instruments, and their goals were considerably less lofty than their station suggested.
 Powers That Be / int_1a12bbee
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_1a12bbee
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 The Mighty Thor (Comic Book)
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Powers That Be / int_1a12bbee
 Powers That Be / int_1bd53ae0
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_1bd53ae0
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In Jeff Smith's Bone prequel, "Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures", Big Johnson Bone would regularly incite their ire by asking them to unleash some unseasonal weather (such as a tornado or blizzard) by saying "If any part of my story ain't true, may the powers that be drop a full season's worth a snow on my head right now." And of course, it does.
 Powers That Be / int_1bd53ae0
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_1bd53ae0
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 Bone (Comic Book)
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Powers That Be / int_1bd53ae0
 Powers That Be / int_1cc09117
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_1cc09117
comment
In Bleach, Soul King serves as one of these, having created all of reality and sustaining each and every part of it through his separated body parts.
 Powers That Be / int_1cc09117
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_1cc09117
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1.0
 Bleach (Manga)
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_1cc09117
 Powers That Be / int_2212773a
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_2212773a
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In Angel, the Powers That Be, the official name for the higher forces of good within the show, generally act in opposition to the forces of evil. They set Angel on his path as a Champion and assist him by supplying visions through a conduit.
For a while Cordelia had become one of the Powers, but that was ended. When Angel was trying to get her back to Earth the demon he had met before and knew what was going on also made a comment that seemed to imply Buffy's heaven might have been the same.
Dark Messiah Jasmine was one of the Powers. Unlike the others, she took a proactive role in attempting to better the world, but at great costs. After she is drained of most of her power, she bitterly refers to herself as "this Power That Was."
And then on the totally evil side are the Senior Partners, who control Wolfram and Hart (a.k.a. Evil Lawyers Incorporated). Though they are the final boss Big Bad and arguably orchestrate every major event in the entire series that isn't covered by the Powers, we never once see them.
Despite the ostensibly good nature of the Powers That Be, several of the main cast have a fairly low opinion of them on account of their unwillingness to actually do anything, calling them things like "The Powers That Sit On Their Be-hinds" and "The Powers That Screw You."
 Powers That Be / int_2212773a
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_2212773a
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 Angel
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Powers That Be / int_2212773a
 Powers That Be / int_251c3a21
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_251c3a21
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The People In Charge (or PIC) in Wristcutters: A Love Story, and presumably, the book as well.
 Powers That Be / int_251c3a21
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_251c3a21
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 Wristcutters: A Love Story
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Powers That Be / int_251c3a21
 Powers That Be / int_2bfd0a33
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_2bfd0a33
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In Vanadys: Tales of a Fallen Goddess, there is "The Light," who created the gods at the beginning of time and who is literally shown only as a large sphere of glowing light.
 Powers That Be / int_2bfd0a33
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_2bfd0a33
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 Vanadys: Tales of a Fallen Goddess (Webcomic)
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Powers That Be / int_2bfd0a33
 Powers That Be / int_2cd28570
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_2cd28570
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No one will disagree if you say the titular character in Serial Experiments Lain is one of these.
 Powers That Be / int_2cd28570
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_2cd28570
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 Serial Experiments Lain
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Powers That Be / int_2cd28570
 Powers That Be / int_2e80e66f
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_2e80e66f
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A Diplomatic Visit: The Diplomacy-verse goes even more in depth. The third story reveals the Creation Myth and origin of the Powers for the entire multiverse, in which the first Creators appeared, followed by others; from them, the first Powers were born and began to shape a world, which became the Prime. Other worlds came from ripples of its movement and the decisions of those who live there, dividing endlessly into other worlds within their own separate universes, claimed by Order and Chaos (the first two Creators) and each has their own set of Powers, which come from a Mantle, a piece of one of the Creators, binding to a mortal soul. In times of severe need, after that Power taps into the full potential of their Mantle, the two are able to speak to one another, and the Mantle is able to help the Lord or Lady gain a better understanding of their abilities. Trying to force a connection to a Mantle, however, is never a good thing. Named Powers include Time and Space (two of the earliest, if not the earliest in each world's birth), followed by Death and Life, and then the Judge (who determines a soul's fate upon its entrance to the afterlife). Others include Harmony and Disharmony (the latter held by Discord in the Diplomacy-verse), with their six sub-Powers each (as in other worlds, Harmony's six are Honesty, Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, Loyalty and Magic; their Opposites are Lies, Cruelty, Sorrow, Self-Centeredness ( which was formerly held by Queen Chrysalis of the changelings until she was stripped of it in story #2, chapter 4), Oathbreaking and Technology), Love (held by Cadance) and Hatred ( formerly held by Aputsiaq, a windigo and Lady of Winter, until Adagio Dazzle of the Sirens tricked her into letting Adagio have the Power, then betrayed her; later, like Chrysalis, Adagio was stripped of it by Discord in story #2, chapter 11, who gave it to Aria Blaze instead), the four Seasons - Winter ( held by the windigo mare Aputsiaq), Spring, Summer ( which belongs to the Alpha of the Packlands) and Fall; the four Forces of Nature - Water ( held by Queen Novo of the western seaponies), Earth, Fire ( held by Dragon Lord Torch) and Air; Day and Night (held by Celestia and Luna, respectively), and Dreams and Nightmares, the former held by Luna. The latter was held by Umbrea, "mother" of King Sombra and leader of the Umbrum, or shadow pony sect, until she took over Luna's body and remade them into Nightmare Moon. When Harmony's power - wielded by Twilight and her friends - removed her from Luna's body, she was caught by Death and taken to the Judge; Luna became the new Lady of Nightmares until she was able to pass it on to Prince Pharynx, now her husband, in the third story. Discord also mentions a group of Powers called the Four Apocalypses (later identified fully as Death, War, Famine and Pestilence), whom even he, as Champion of Chaos, is unable to truly act against outside of alerting Chaos if something's gone wrong with one of them and offering his opinion on the matter; Cadance later names their Opposites, the four Creations (Life, Peace, Prosperity and Health), with the eight ranking above all other Powers. Health later appears in person in chapter 11, watching over the dormant windigos when Aria comes to try and heal them; he approves of her actions, and Twilight's and Cadance's efforts to help the changelings. Another, unidentified Power also makes a brief appearance in story #2, chapter 6, speaking through Pinkie Pie when they have the same message for the girls after the five have spent some time speculating on the nature of their Opposites (with Discord commenting that they're closer than they might realize when it comes to identifying what the Roles and Duties are for some of them).
 Powers That Be / int_2e80e66f
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 Powers That Be / int_2e80e66f
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 A Diplomatic Visit (Fanfic)
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Powers That Be / int_2e80e66f
 Powers That Be / int_2f203125
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_2f203125
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Shin Megami Tensei: Similarly to Philemon and Nyaralathothep of the spin-off Persona series, Lucifer and YHVH are the Powers That Be of the series proper (and a few others), whose constant schemes for dominance either directly cause or try to exploit each game's central conflict. Although all MegaTen Gods are arguably immortal by default, the size of their human fanbase determines their power; Lucifer and YHVH, on the other hand, each only need one sentient life form who desires their respective thesis to continue existing; hence their neverending battle.
And above them is the Great Will, which created the infinitude of universes in the Megaten Multiverse, which recent games have distanced more and more from YHVH towards a more benevolent nature. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse then introduced the concept of the "Axiom" as the ultimate creator of everything, which might or might not be the same entity as the Great Will.
 Powers That Be / int_2f203125
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_2f203125
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1.0
 Shin Megami Tensei (Franchise)
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Powers That Be / int_2f203125
 Powers That Be / int_31aedabc
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_31aedabc
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In Cthulhu Mythos, Nyarlathotep is responsible for many horrors lurking on Earth, although this doesn't mean all of them are caused by him.
 Powers That Be / int_31aedabc
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_31aedabc
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 Cthulhu Mythos (Franchise)
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Powers That Be / int_31aedabc
 Powers That Be / int_32c541e6
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_32c541e6
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In Fullmetal Alchemist, these powers are represented by Truth and the Gate, two ambiguously malevolent entities that supervises every alchemy process in the world. They will come at alchemists trying to sacrifice their own limbs or other's souls, ripping them off in order for the transmutation to succeed.
 Powers That Be / int_32c541e6
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 Powers That Be / int_32c541e6
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 Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga)
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Powers That Be / int_32c541e6
 Powers That Be / int_3651bc0c
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_3651bc0c
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The Princess and the Frog: "He's got Friends on the Other Side..."
 Powers That Be / int_3651bc0c
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_3651bc0c
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 The Princess and the Frog
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Powers That Be / int_3651bc0c
 Powers That Be / int_3b7abee2
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_3b7abee2
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Half-Life, where the G-Man and his "employers" manipulate minor but crucial things to their own ends. However, as seen in Half-Life 2: Episode 1, these powers are not all-powerful.
 Powers That Be / int_3b7abee2
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_3b7abee2
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 Half-Life (Video Game)
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Powers That Be / int_3b7abee2
 Powers That Be / int_3dc754a7
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_3dc754a7
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The mysterious Triad that guards the Thread of Destiny in the Tamers Forever Series.
 Powers That Be / int_3dc754a7
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_3dc754a7
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 Tamers Forever Series / Fan Fic
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Powers That Be / int_3dc754a7
 Powers That Be / int_413f7c2
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_413f7c2
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In Demonology 101, those who control Hell are referred to as "The Powers That Be" or as simply "The Powers."
 Powers That Be / int_413f7c2
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_413f7c2
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 Demonology 101 (Webcomic)
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Powers That Be / int_413f7c2
 Powers That Be / int_4141af74
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_4141af74
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Future Diary has plays with the trope. Deus Ex Machina is the god of time and space who sponsors a tournament with the main characters as its participants, so that he can choose the victor as his successor.
 Powers That Be / int_4141af74
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_4141af74
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 Future Diary (Manga)
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Powers That Be / int_4141af74
 Powers That Be / int_43576f5
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_43576f5
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In Supernatural, the first three seasons are a case of Devil, but No God. In later seasons, The Powers That Be are revealed to be Corrupt Corporate Executive, with God himself possibly being an obscure writer, attention whore alcoholic with major lack of self confidence, who gets killed in an alternate future where his possible son takes over the world. As above, so is below, indeed.
 Powers That Be / int_43576f5
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 Supernatural
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Powers That Be / int_43576f5
 Powers That Be / int_4522fd1
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_4522fd1
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In the Whateley Universe, there probably are Powers That Be interfering in some of the character's lives, but no-one has definite proof or any idea of who they might be. And neither do the characters. The authors might, though.
 Powers That Be / int_4522fd1
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1.0
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 Whateley Universe
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Powers That Be / int_4522fd1
 Powers That Be / int_457b671e
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_457b671e
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24: The true masterminds of the events of Day 5.
They show up in Season 7 as an Omniscient Council of Vagueness.
 Powers That Be / int_457b671e
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_457b671e
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 24
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Powers That Be / int_457b671e
 Powers That Be / int_468bebb0
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_468bebb0
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Above Discworld gods there are eight mysterious beings called the Old High Ones. Only one is known: Azrael, the Death of Universes.
 Powers That Be / int_468bebb0
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_468bebb0
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 Discworld
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Powers That Be / int_468bebb0
 Powers That Be / int_4811a5a6
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Powers That Be
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In spite of trying to come across as this, the Seven Deities from Asura's Wrath are not this trope, though they are practically Physical God's of varying power. The real example is Chakravartin, who's a Big Bad example of this. Asura kills him and destroys Naraka, Chakravartin's home plane, with a massive punch.
 Powers That Be / int_4811a5a6
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1.0
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 Asura's Wrath (Video Game)
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Powers That Be / int_4811a5a6
 Powers That Be / int_59151283
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_59151283
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The Patriots from Metal Gear are always in the background and only overshadow the games' conflicts.
 Powers That Be / int_59151283
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_59151283
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 Metal Gear (Video Game)
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Powers That Be / int_59151283
 Powers That Be / int_5b1037f3
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_5b1037f3
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A Certain Magical Index has more than a few of these, since the setting is Fantasy Kitchen Sink with All Myths Are True thrown in, any Powers That Be in mythology and religion are also one here.
The magicians who become Majins (lit. Magic Lord) are fully capable of becoming one of these, as Aleister and the True GREMLIN group can clearly manipulate events subtly but surely. The former demonstrates it by one-shotting Fiamma and creating the whole Academy City and its espers, while the latter is the true master mind for the GREMLIN group.
 Powers That Be / int_5b1037f3
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Powers That Be / int_5b1037f3
 Powers That Be / int_5ce3fc86
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Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_5ce3fc86
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All of the Great Old Ones are these in Soul Eater, considering their mere existence influences the world with madness.
 Powers That Be / int_5ce3fc86
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_5ce3fc86
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 Soul Eater (Manga)
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Powers That Be / int_5ce3fc86
 Powers That Be / int_691be369
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Powers That Be
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The various cabals in The X-Files.
 Powers That Be / int_691be369
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 The X-Files
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Powers That Be / int_691be369
 Powers That Be / int_6b85085e
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Powers That Be
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The Elder Gods in Mortal Kombat.
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 Mortal Kombat (Franchise)
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Powers That Be / int_6b85085e
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Powers That Be
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The Powers What Is in Nodwick.
 Powers That Be / int_6d15fa61
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1.0
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 Nodwick (Comic Book)
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Powers That Be / int_6d15fa61
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Powers That Be
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The seven Endless-Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium, and Destruction- in The Sandman. They are above and beyond gods, have existed since before humanity dreamed of gods, and will be there after gods, and possibly the universe itself, have died.
 Powers That Be / int_6e907c1
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Powers That Be
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Though they are explicitly stated to not be gods, the ascended Ancients in Stargate SG-1 tend to function this way, having the "watch how messed up the world is but don't do anything about it" mentality.
 Powers That Be / int_70814599
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Powers That Be / int_70814599
 Powers That Be / int_70a86caa
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Powers That Be
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Implied about Amaterasu in The Five Star Stories.
 Powers That Be / int_70a86caa
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_70a86caa
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 The Five Star Stories (Manga)
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Powers That Be / int_70a86caa
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Powers That Be
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The Witch's Throne: A girl is chosen to awaken as a Witch every 10 years. The one who choses them? An unknown, powerful force.
 Powers That Be / int_73ba6dae
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_73ba6dae
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 The Witch's Throne (Webcomic)
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Powers That Be / int_73ba6dae
 Powers That Be / int_76b39118
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Powers That Be
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The Fates in The Quest who summoned the players to Everrealm.
 Powers That Be / int_76b39118
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The god(ess)/angel equivalents in the Young Wizards series are actually called "the Powers that Be" (or more often "the Powers") in the series, and the universe's version of Satan is called "The Lone Power". Occasionally there are references to an even greater Power That Is, most certainly the One (God). (If this series wasn't the trope namer, it certainly could've fooled us.)
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Twin Peaks had the Little Man, the FBI, possible alien abductors, "BOB", and the woods in general. The entire series was one big, creepy Battle of the Network Powers That Be, all-nefarious, all the time. The owls are not what they seem.
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The Reapers from Mass Effect. Oh, they're bastards, but their level of technology is beyond even the furthest reaches of the most advanced galactic science, they have almost completely inscrutable motives, they inspire superstitious awe and they've dictated the development of space-sparing civilisation for untold billions of years. And they had a creator, who fulfils this trope to the letter.
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All of this, however, hardly gets a mention in the three books of The Lord of the Rings: the Valar are are mentioned only in passing, and there is the vaguest reference to a Greater-Scope Villain above Sauron himself (Melkor/Morgoth), and none to Eru.
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The Creator in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. His Evil Counterpart Lord Foul used to be this, until he was imprisoned inside the Arch of Time, rendering him "merely" a Physical God.
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In The Acts of Caine, most of Overworld's Devotional Powers such as Khryl are examples of this trope, as well as the Outer Powers like the God of the Black Knives (a.k.a. the Smoke God). On Earth, the Blind God is also one of these.
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Morganna the AI from .hack//SIGN was only depicted as a voice from the sky that can smite the main character and sends out monsters. In fact, it never even states her name in this particular anime series.
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Journey to Chaos: The Three Founding Deities (Chaos, Order, and Noitearc) and the Three Natural Order Gods (Life, Death and Time) live beyond the physical world and exist as abstract beings. Though rarely seen they are responsible for daily life. In particular, they are responsible for the events in Eric's life and in the lives of the foes that he faces.
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Igor, proprietor of the Velvet Room in all the Persona games, serves as a sincerely helpful aide to the heroes, among them handling the critical mechanic of Persona fusion. While his advice on any given situation will be obtuse or cryptic more often than not, he always serves to steer the main character in the right way.
If we go even further up the cosmic power scale, there's his boss Philemon, the embodiment of mankind's good and constructive side, and Nyarlathotep, the embodiment of mankind's evil and destructive impulses.
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"Management" in Carnivàle appears at first to be this trope, but during the second season many of his mysteries a revealed and thus becomes more human-like.
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The Wheel of Time is directed by the Pattern, the structure of fate woven by the titular Wheel as it works through cyclical sequences of time. Its efforts can be inferred by the strange coincidences and omens that appear to enforce individual destinies, and its ultimate intent, while not exactly beneficent on a personal level, is good, as it ensures that the world's population is properly organized to be able to fend off the Dark One and keep him from destroying all reality. There is a Creator, but he is seen as a distant figure, not interacting directly with worlds after making them.
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In the British kids' TV show Knightmare, the players and the Dungeon Master Treguard were representatives of the Powers That Be, facing off against the Opposition. Emphasised more in the later series - in the first series Treguard is more of a True Neutral arbiter.
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In Groundhog Day, they are whatever is keeping Phil in the "Groundhog Day" Loop, or at least the best description for it. There are rules he is bound to and a way out in the end.
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The Messengers from Hunter: The Reckoning. They imbue mortals with superpowers and give them the ability to see the monsters that harrow humanity every day. On the other hand, sometimes the imbuing goes very wrong, and hunters who grow more powerful also start losing their grip until the Messengers take over and use them as puppets.
There are a few hints to their nature spread throughout Demon:The Fallen. Namely, that it's angels, or Lucifer, that imbues Hunters.
The "Hunter Storyteller's Guide" has the canonical truth: they are actually servants of the Ministers, the Ebon Dragon and the Scarlet Queen, the sentient manifestations of Yin and Yang.
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Nexus Clash does this with the nine Elder Powers, personifications of concepts ranging from Love to Violence to Death. As the series has progressed, it's lifted some of the veil of who they are, where they came from and what they want. How exactly they determine a winner of each Breath is still a mystery, though.
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In Dishonored, there's the Outsider, an ancient, possibly omnipotent, possibly omniscient, definitely non-human (though human-looking) entity who manifests every now and then to grant powerful magic abilities to certain pivotal individuals. He states that he gives gifts only to those he deems "interesting" - whether that individual will use them for good or evil explicitly doesn't enter into the matter, and he doesn't influence them either way. Just about everything else about him, his nature, what he represents, and the realm he inhabits is unknown.
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Mahou Sensei Negima! has the Lifemaker, creator of the magic world.
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In The Elder Scrolls, the Aedra and Daedra are highly active divine beings (with the Daedra more so than the Aedra). However, behind them, acting much more subtly, are Anui-El ("the Soul of Everything" and embodiment of order) and Sithis (the "Great Void", embodiment of chaos, and "Is-Not"). They are said to be the remnants or "spirits" of Anu and Padomay, the personifications of the primordial forces of stasis and change whose interplay created "creation" itself, respectively. It is from their spilled and intermingled blood that the et'Ada, or "original spirits", who would go on to become the Aedra and Daedra, emerged.
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The shadow man in Dead Like Me who leaves Rube the list every week. He is working for even higher powers, known as Upper Management by the reapers, but we never see them and know nothing about them.
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The Presence of The DCU. It is the power behind the various angels of the DCU and seems to be a part of everything in existence. It's also the one holding the Spectre's leash. In the "Day of Judgment" lead-in to Infinite Crisis, the Spectre finally went too far and killed the last Lord of Order in his bid to destroy all magic. The Presence put an end to his rampage and sealed him in his next human host; one of the few times a Power was shown to take direct and undeniable action.
The Source is this in Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics; it is beyond the comprehension of even those who consider themselves gods. In the wider DC canon, they are two aspects of the same being, who like The One Above All in Marvel is the Abrahamic God.
DC's Star Hunters had The Entity, which was shown floating next to the body of a character who had died, and later resurrected him. It looked a bit like the Eye of Providence (that eye-in-a-pyramid thing on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, most readily visible on the back of a US one dollar bill). Presumably it would be yet another aspect of The Presence/The Source if anyone at DC still cared about fitting Star Hunters into the greater continuity.
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The Planescape: Torment setting is literally centered around the city of Sigil, located at the very center of The Multiverse - the only place where gods can not go and which has magical portals to every place that exists. While the city is basically pure anarchy and populated by mortals, angels, demons, undead, and even weirder beings, there is also The Lady of Pain, who is customarily considered its supreme ruler. She's unusual in that she's both a definite and well known being and that she's frequently seen physically wandering the streets of the city, but almost everything about her is a complete mystery. She appears as a completely silent figure in long robes and an intricate metal mask that covers all of her features; nobody has any clue what she is, how she came to Sigil, or what she actually does! All she does is silently float through the streets, which causes people to also call her simply "her Serenity". Only when someone actively tries to shift the status quo of Sigil, attempts to take control over its portals, or starts to worship her, does she appear to the offender and cause him to be ripped apart by her shadow, then silently continue floating down the roads. While the Planescape setting is actually highly developed, the writers intentionally left the Lady's identity completely open, stating that there is no truth the players could ever hope to unveil. This doesn't stop characters within the setting to come up with theories that range from an ancient over-deity to three squirrels standing on each other shoulders dressed in a robe and using a simple levitation trinket.
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The Bible in particular, has both God as the good Powers That Be and Satan as the bad Powers That Be. Unlike most modern portrayals of them though, Satan is not God's equal, and is infinitely weaker than God as much as other creations are below him.
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God of War takes this trope a step further by having the main protagonist kill the forces that be by essentially becoming one by the time the plot ties up.
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The Dark Powers of the Ravenloft Campaign Setting. They are mysterious and incredibly powerful. (Powerful enough to, through sheer power or some kind of deal, shut the Gods themselves out of Ravenloft.) The 2E version of the Campaign Setting actually had separate arguments printed for them being Good, Evil or Neutral. Although most information leads towards Evil. Their MO is mostly to punish evil... by giving someone exactly what they wish for and precisely what they do not want. Attention-seeking manipulative child? Gets mind control powers that don't work on anyone he loves AND a corresponding curse that makes anyone he loves see him as repulsive. Wizard-King seeking to live forever to master every aspect of magic? Turning into a lich, but as a side-effect cannot learn any new spells. And so forth.
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Escape From the Moon: The Equestrian side of the Doa-verse (as depicted in The Mare From the Moon) has Twilight learn about the Powers, and that she and her friends are Powers (their six Powers being sub-Powers of Harmony), while Discord is the Lord of Disharmony (and his sub-Powers are Lies, Oathbreaking, Sorrow, Cruelty, Self-centeredness and Technology), after a visit to the Valley of Alicorns. Other Powers named at this time include Day (Celestia), Night (Luna), Dreams (also Luna) and Nightmares (also Luna, formerly an unidentified stallion - Nightmare Moon was the result of his trying to take over Luna's body). Twilight later meets her Opposite, the Lady of Technology, and finds they can work together rather than being enemies; Gear Shaft also identifies an individual named Bit Collector as a Power, though not which one, and mentions Life as a Power.
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The government are the Powers That Be that Jim continuously mentions in When the Wind Blows.
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In Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, the Dark Gods of Chaos serve as a villainous example. Their influence is felt everywhere, as they are (at least partially) gestalt entities formed from various facets of the human condition. Chaos is insidious, corrupting, and has no shortage of The Legions of Hell, but the Gods themselves never make any direct appearances and are rarely given any personal traits or desires beyond broadly-defined attributes that are shared by all of their servants (Khorne, for example, embodies hate, bloodlust, bravery, martial pride and survival of the fittest). As a result, it's up to various mortal worshippers and daemons to serve as proxy personifications of the Chaos Gods whenever a given plot requires their presence.
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The "entity", referenced only obliquely in Chrono Trigger, oddly enough plays no role at all in the story. In sequel Chrono Cross, the all-seeing FATE plays a much larger role.
While they leave it vague, the "entity" is actually the planet. It's what opened the time gates, leading the heroes to eventually defeat Lavos. The main conflict in the game is essentially "the planet vs Lavos." The "entity" reprises its role in Chrono Cross by summoning Dinopolis to defend itself against FATE, only this time it fails.
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Doctor Who:
The Time Lords of Gallifrey (the Doctor's own people), who are introduced in "The War Games" and recur now and then throughout the Third Doctor's era. (In later stories, as entire stories are set on Gallifrey, they become less mysterious and godlike, more human, in terms of their politics and motivations.) They sometimes take the Third Doctor's TARDIS to other planets (with him and his companion in it), so he can carry out a mission (with some reluctance). Also the Fourth Doctor in "Genesis of the Daleks."
The White and Black Guardians are the cosmic manifestations of "Order and Chaos"—or, for all intents and purposes, Good and Evil. The Black Guardian was, for a time, the Doctor's most powerful Arch-Enemy, but he hasn't been seen since the Fifth Doctor's era.
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The dead Original King or Shinou Heika from Kyo Kara Maoh! could fall under this trope as well, since he has been controlling and manipulating almost every action of the great demon tribe for the past 4000 years!! Despite this, however, he is not evil and is actually working to defeat the Big Bad of the series, Shoushu. Could also fall under Ancient Conspiracy.
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Child of the Storm has the seven Endless, as well as a few mentions of the Abrahmaic God, who mostly keeps to Himself and may or may not be of the same ilk as Odin, Zeus, etc.
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The Powers That Be were your bosses in Afterlife (1996), although they were decidedly hands-off. The afterlife itself, and to a lesser extent its associated planet, is run by the Demiurge, i.e. the player, and control is only taken away if they screw up on a massive scale.
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The Aash Ra serve in this function in the Astral Dawn series.
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Had Tru Calling not been cancelled, we would have learned that the universe was run by two abstract forces - a creator deity who assigned fate and is Jack's sponsor, and a rebellious power who believes in free will and change, and is Tru's sponsor.
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ZONE in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's seems to fit this, seeing as he can CONTROL TIME.
He also says strange things that don't entirely make sense, like giving Yusei Shooting Star Dragon so that "all possibilities become equal".
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The Adjustment Bureau: The Celestial Bureaucracy which secretly controls human society is headed by a mysterious, all-knowing being known only as "The Chairman", but remains offscreen. In deleted scenes, it was revealed the Chairman is actually a woman.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer occasionally implied the existence of some kind of greater power (which might be the same TPTB as in Angel, given that both shows take place in the same universe). In particular, "Amends", the third-season episode which introduces The First Evil, has Angel's attempted suicide-by-sunlight averted by a sudden snowstorm blotting out the sun, despite an unseasonable heatwave. If The First's claims of being the root of all evil are true, then she likely fits this trope as well.
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To Boldly Flee introduced the Plot Hole to the Channel Awesome Universe as a sort of all-powerful entity capable of destroying the universe should it destabilize. The source of it's stability is a single person, who acts as a balancing force and prevents further damage to the Plot by seeking to minimalize the Plot Holes that form due o everyday life in the verse. The current holder of that position is Douchy McNitpick.
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1.0
 Powers That Be / int_e2b3cc8a
featureConfidence
1.0
 To Boldly Flee (Web Video)
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_e2b3cc8a
 Powers That Be / int_e3ec6dd6
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_e3ec6dd6
comment
In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter, the Lady Miranda serves is one of these.
 Powers That Be / int_e3ec6dd6
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_e3ec6dd6
featureConfidence
1.0
 Prospero's Daughter
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_e3ec6dd6
 Powers That Be / int_f2041376
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_f2041376
comment
The Elders in Charmed, and the Angel of Destiny.
 Powers That Be / int_f2041376
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_f2041376
featureConfidence
1.0
 Charmed (1998)
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_f2041376
 Powers That Be / int_f4be4bdc
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_f4be4bdc
comment
In Starman Jones, Sam discusses various planets the spacecraft is scheduled to serve, about where to jump ship and escape. One such planet consists of domed cities, where one does as the Powers That Be demand or one doesn't breathe.
 Powers That Be / int_f4be4bdc
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_f4be4bdc
featureConfidence
1.0
 StarmanJones
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_f4be4bdc
 Powers That Be / int_f50072b
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_f50072b
comment
The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The Pieces-verse's eldest are Death, Time, War and Life; they and others were directly made by the creators. Younger Powers include Harmony (and its alter-ego Balance), its Opposite Disharmony (with the two being violently opposed) and the Nightmare, among others. The Lady of Day and her counterpart, the Lady of Night, are noted as working together peacefully. The Judge is also mentioned, serving to determine a soul's fate in the afterlife, though Death is able to bypass them if they choose when a Power is involved.
 Powers That Be / int_f50072b
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_f50072b
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Pieces Lie Where They Fell / Fan Fic
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_f50072b
 Powers That Be / int_f724b70d
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_f724b70d
comment
XANA the AI from Code Lyoko is similar, although having a more direct influence on the real world.
 Powers That Be / int_f724b70d
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_f724b70d
featureConfidence
1.0
 Code Lyoko
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_f724b70d
 Powers That Be / int_fc451dc6
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_fc451dc6
comment
The plot itself seems to be this in the Contractually Obligated Chaos series. Over the course of the stories, the characters become more or less resigned to the idea that the plot is practically a sentient being and it will put them where it wants them to be regardless of how they might feel about it.
 Powers That Be / int_fc451dc6
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_fc451dc6
featureConfidence
1.0
 Cinderjuice / Fan Fic
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_fc451dc6
 Powers That Be / int_fd3e4089
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_fd3e4089
comment
Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones uses this up to the pommel. The "Magids" (magicians who keep the worlds running) are supervised by the Upper Table (who are rarely seen) who are in turn supervised by Them Up There. There is also known to be more above Them Up There but they are so secretive no one even knows what they're called (or something like that, I'm not entirely certain).
 Powers That Be / int_fd3e4089
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_fd3e4089
featureConfidence
1.0
 Deep Secret
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_fd3e4089
 Powers That Be / int_ff35db96
type
Powers That Be
 Powers That Be / int_ff35db96
comment
The Data Overmind in Haruhi Suzumiya is the actual power behind the humanoid interfaces (Who are basically just mouthpieces, or better, agents). The Overmind is mainly neutral, wishing only to observe. There is however, another such entity called the "Sky Canopy Domain" which is much more alien. Also, there's the Agency that Itsuki belongs to and whoever runs the time travellers.
 Powers That Be / int_ff35db96
featureApplicability
1.0
 Powers That Be / int_ff35db96
featureConfidence
1.0
 Haruhi Suzumiya
hasFeature
Powers That Be / int_ff35db96

The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Powers That Be
processingCategory2
Speculative Fiction Tropes
 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Ulysses 31 / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Legion of Super-Heroes (Comic Book) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Sillage (Comic Book) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Nodwick (Comic Strip) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society / Fan Fic / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Cinderjuice / Fan Fic / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 March Of The Inevitable / Fan Fic
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 My Little Planeswalker / Fan Fic / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 NexusRenegade
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Pretty Cure All Stars / Fan Fic
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 The Pieces Lie Where They Fell / Fan Fic / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 The Weedverse / Fan Fic / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 TwelfthEquestriadInterview
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 A Diplomatic Visit (Fanfic) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Dangerverse (Fanfic) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 TheRomanceOfTheOpenRoad
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Johnny Mnemonic / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Mai-HiME (Franchise)
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 So I'm a Spider, So What? / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 The Legend of the Legendary Heroes / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Deep Secret / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Earthsea / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Geist Series / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Heck Where The Bad Kids Go / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Lone Wolf / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 LovelaceOneTwo
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 The Acts of Caine / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 The Age of Misrule
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 The Arts of Dark and Light / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 The Book of All Hours
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 The Reader and Protagonist Definitely Have to Be in True Love / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Young Wizards / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 AmalgamUniverse
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 AvalonCode
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 DianeDuane
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Ptitleolejp9syvlsx
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 RetConjuration
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Soundscape
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 TheOkona
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 ThePhantomStranger
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 TrueArtSticksItToTheMan
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 TwinPeaks
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Amatsuki (Manga) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Billy Bat (Manga) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Saiyuki (Manga) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (Manga)
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Death Grips (Music) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 We ARE Struggling Together / Real Life
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Destroy the Godmodder (Roleplay) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Inside TV Tropes (Roleplay)
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Personification Life (Roleplay) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Ace Lightning / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Charmed (1998) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Quantum Leap
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Quantum Leap / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 The X-Files / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Twin Peaks
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Twin Peaks / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Xena: Warrior Princess / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 PLATTERPin
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Hunter: The Reckoning (Tabletop Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Ravenloft (Tabletop Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Scion (Tabletop Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 SenZar (Tabletop Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Unknown Armies (Tabletop Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 ISP Presents A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Avalon Code (Video Game)
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 Eternal Darkness (Video Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Might and Magic (Video Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Oni (Video Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Pathologic (Video Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 STALKER (Video Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Soul Hackers (Video Game) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Umineko: When They Cry (Visual Novel) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Puffin Forest (Web Animation) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Awful Hospital (Webcomic) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Finders Keepers (Webcomic)
seeAlso
Powers That Be
 The Descended (Webcomic) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Adrian / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Chowder / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Code Lyoko / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 The Spectre (Comic Book) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be
 Gaia Online (Website) / int_8c16c5d
type
Powers That Be