I love the magnificent bastard character. The wicked cultured, sharply-dressed, crazy prepared, almost-baddie. They’re characters I’ve always classified as ‘would kill anyone, except his/her love/family.’ Because that is always the exception, especially in love stories.
I use this trope. A lot. Many times just because it fits the setting of the story. Most of my tales are mediaeval-to-Victorian, and contain the upper class. A man will know how to use a sword, be educated, and if in any position of power often well-prepared. Women as well of course (love a kick-ass woman in skirts).
I have one character named Lilja. She’s royal-born, young, and newly in power after over a decade without a real central government in her land. (Her name means lily, and she has red hair. This is important. The lily is her symbol, and orange is her favourite colour.) There’s this one scene with her, where I’m not sure what happens to bring it about yet, but I know it’s amazing- she has dinner with a number of high nobles in the land, some of whom are enemies. Everyone gets a lily next to their napkin, most white- some orange.
One poor fool is under the impression orange lilies mean ‘burning passion’ and she has picked these men to be suitors. Now, as in Larkspur, the meaning of flowers (and their colour) is important- in most interpretations orange lilies mean hatred.
When later asked by her fiancé why she put certain coloured flowers before certain people, he is informed it was ‘so the staff would be aware of who to serve the poison.’