Knight in Shining Armor

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Blade with whom I have lived, blade with whom I now die.
Serve right and justice one last time.
Seek one last heart of evil, still one last life of pain.
Cut well old friend, and then... farewell."

Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe, The Flight of Dragons

The medieval knight who fights baddies, woos ladies without deliberately seducing them, behaves honorably, and saves the day with his sword; but also, any hero who behaves similarly. Invariably Lawful Good and honor bound. First appeared in the Chivalric Romance. Lately has a very high incidence of having a Bodyguard Crush and Rescue Romance.

A cultural trope in Europe since medieval times, most good knights practice something called chivalry, Honor, and Self-Control and occasionally chastity. Prone to rescuing the Damsel in Distress, or delivering her from false accusations, often whilst bearing The Lady's Favour. The Knight in Shining Armour was a frequent victim of The Dulcinea Effect: medieval Chivalric Romances, indeed, portrayed knights who fell in love with a princesse lointaine merely on hearing her described, without even seeing her - though his love and heroism usually won her heart. Another occupational hazard is Chronic Hero Syndrome, Knights Errant being charged to Walk the Earth righting wrongs until a worthy quest shows up.

Often invoked to describe a man who acts—well, chivalrously toward women. The term may be used in more cynical works to indicate a Wide-Eyed Idealist. In fact, until recently this trope was almost never used except for deconstructions/subversions, keeping it in Dead Unicorn territory (even the Ur Example of the straight usage of trope, King Arthur, messed around with it a lot) until the one-two punch of Disney and Dungeons & Dragons saw this trope's stock rise like crazy.

The "shining" originally referred to the way his armor and weapons were kept in good condition, as opposed to the rust that accumulated for less competent knights. Most knights will be depicted wearing plate, despite its appearing relatively late in the era of knights.

See: Samurai for a Japanese equivalent.

As knights were also humans like any other, they mostly weren't like this, although it would be extremely cynical and most certainly false to say that none of them were like this. It's best to describe it as an ideal to which most knights aspired, at least publicly. True, the average knight was more interested in pig farming than warfare, but the chivalric code defined them as a class.

When Prince Charming is a Knight in Shining Armor he's the Warrior Prince. Prince Charmless, on the other hand would not be a knight by choice.

See Lord Error-Prone for a common subversion/parody and Knight in Sour Armor for what happens when the world fails to live up to their standards, but keep on being good anyway. A knight who is shiny for one person in particular is The Champion. A knight that gets magical powers as a reward for this goodness is almost certainly The Paladin to boot.

If the Knight in Shining Armor wanders the land seeking evil to slay, then he's also a Knight Errant.

Animated Armor will appear as this, all the way to The Reveal.

Subtrope to Ideal Hero. See also Shining Goodness.

Examples of Knight in Shining Armor include:

Anime and Manga

  • Berserk
  • Record of Lodoss War, Due to its Dungeons & Dragons roots, plays this archetype straight.
  • Mist from Knights does his best at this despite being a Hero with Bad Publicity, as well as being just a squire. He fits the trope better than all the other knights thus far.
  • Digimon: There is a large group of Digimon called the "Royal Knights". As the name would suggest, they are a group of thirteen (not all of them have been revealed yet, but Word of God states that there are thirteen members) Mega-level Digimon who all resemble a cross between a classic Knight and a mecha. They are supposedly a group of "good guys" who work for the God of the Digital World, but every one of their appearances so far has introduced them as antagonists of the Knight Templar or brainwashed variety. They're not all-exclusive to the group, though. A few of them have been partners to human characters in the series: Tai and Matt's Omnimon, and Takato/Guilmon as Gallantmon are two good examples. These ones weren't actual members of the Royal Knights, though—they were just the same "species".
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, with the way that Tsuna is constantly afflicted with the Dulcinea Effect, the current Arc's Big Bad Byakuran even lampshades this by mocking Tsuna, asking him if he's trying to be Uni's Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Amati of Spice and Wolf is actually a very successful merchant, but he offers a not-so-small fortune to alleviate the debts of the pagan wolf deity/traveling nun Horo, and rescue her from Lawrence. He'd only seen her twice when he made the decision, and he presents his intention with a written contract and a proclamation in front of a small crowd. Horo points out he's not really in love with her, so much as the idea of rescuing a beautiful Damsel in Distress in a knightly way.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Female Example: Signum.
  • * Kururugi Suzaku from Code Geass is a Deconstruction of this trope; he initially seems like the perfect knight, but his attitude is formed partly by his own inherent idealism towards helping people and not letting the ends justify the means—a problem, to say the least, in a Japan occupied by The Empire and site for several violent armed rebellions—and partly by the repressed knowledge that he himself is guilty of the very thing he loathes by killing his own father at the age of 10 to make Japan surrender and keep it from becoming a permanent war zone. His lack of punishment for having done it drove him into becoming a Death Seeker that wants to die serving his ideals. Having acknowledged the memories fully halfway through the season, he freely admits to being selfish, hypocritical, and, in his own words, "despicable". Xing-ke plays the trope straight.
  • The eponymous Revolutionary Girl Utena aspires to be this, initially entering the plot to avenge the honor of a friend and staying to Rescue the Princess. But was that really such a good idea? The idea is gender-flipped, subverted, deconstructed, and reconstructed throughout the series.
  • Uryū Ishida in Bleach is an Archer in Shining Armor. Very chivalrous and generally well mannered, has a weak spot for women, especially Orihime, also tried to protect Rukia when she was powerless and even spared the life of his female opponent, mercy he doesn't show to others of her kind. Contrary to his popular image he is also one of the most capable leading characters in the series, having fought tough opponents and held his own against enemies far stronger than himself. The Quincy, people of whom he is supposedly Last of His Kind. also had a medieval Christian knight theme given to them by the author.
  • Allen Schezar of Vision of Escaflowne is this from start to finish. He always does the right thing, even when it hurts. Plus, his armor is a Humongous Mecha.
  • The Belkan knights, particularly the Lady of War Signum, in the Lyrical Nanoha series operate on a mix of Western chivalry and bushido.
  • The Slayers parodies this, and the Prince Charming idea. Both Lina and Sylphiel have an image of a prince, noble, heroic, handsome, blond, clad in white, riding on a white charger. Then they meet Amelia's father, Phil, who technically fits almost all the requirements (except the blond hair and he is not handsom), but shatters Sylphiel's fantasy of a prince into tiny little pieces. Literally shatters. A piece of Lina's actually bonks her on the head.

Comic Books

  • Seven Soldiers: Both Shining Knights of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
  • Captain Atom: Captain Atom's daughter Margaret sees him this way. He eventually becomes one.
  • The Black Knight in Marvel Comics is a litteral one.
  • In Marvel Comics' outer space stories, the Spaceknights of Galador also aspire to this ideal, but arguably only Rom ever truly achieved it. One story even has Rom encounter the frozen form of King Arthur, still waiting for the day he will reawaken to save Britain from some future calamity, and Rom feels an instant, instinctive kinship with him.
  • Mytho from Princess Tutu, in his true form as the Prince from the fairytale the story revolves around, fits this trope almost perfectly (except he has no armor and rescues maidens while dancing on a magically formed pillar of flower petals). Also subverted with Fakir, who is the reincarnation of the Knight from the story but doesn't behave like the stereotypical knight.
  • Strawberry Panic has another female example with Amane Ohtori, the "Prince of Spica", who rides a white horse named Star Bride and even pulls off a knightly horseback rescue at one point.
  • Monster has the female heroine Nina Fortner fantasize that her secret admirer must be her "prince on a white horse." When she is rescued by Tenma, she assumes the latter must be him. In reality, the anonymous "romantic" emails that have been sent to her were from her twin brother Johan.

Film - Animated

  • By the end of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs The Prince has arrived to take Snow White away on his white horse.
  • The climax of Sleeping Beauty is a battle with Prince Philip up against Maleficent to save Princess Aurora.
  • As Shrek 2 opens Prince Charming has adventured, overcoming many obstacles and climbing the high tower in order to rescue Fiona, finding instead a cross-dressing wolf. It turns out that there was an old promise that Charming would be able to marry Fiona. He turns out to be both a parody and a deconstruction.
  • After Princess Odette is kidnapped in The Swan Princess, Prince Derek becomes determined to find her. Once he does he plans to break the spell on her by making a vow of everlasting love.
  • Tangled has Eugene who gallantly races on the white Maximus over the bridge to rescue Princess Rapunzel, which is not only a visual shout-out to this trope, but symbolic of his Character Development from selfish rogue to something closer to this trope.
  • Enchanted begins with Prince Edward saving Giselle from a troll and they plan to get married the next day.

Film - Live-Action

  • John Boorman's Excalibur takes this pretty literally with Lancelot. In his first scene, his armor is buffed almost to a mirror finish.
  • In Time Bandits, knights appear in Kevin's bedroom. Then, at the end, one of the sets of champions the dwarfs bring to fight Evil is a group of knights.
  • William Thatcher in A Knight's Tale is determined to not only be a knight when he is in fact a peasant but to defeat his jousting opponents and win London's World Championship.
  • Tristan and Isolde: The British knight Tristan.
  • The eponymous Leopold of Kate and Leopold is a nobleman from 1876, swept into modern times, who believes that Kate requires a chaperone on her date with her boss so he offers to go with her to protect her from his obvious intentions. When she refuses he tells her boss, "Some feel that to court a woman in one's employ is nothing more than a serpentine effort to transform a lady to a whore." Imagine the look on a purse-snatcher's face when Leo rides him down on horseback.

Leopold: I warn you scoundrel, I was trained at the King's Academy and schooled in weaponry by the palace guard. You stand no chance. When you run, I shall ride, when you stop, the steel of this strap shall be lodged in your brain.
[bag snatcher throws down the bag and flees, onlookers applaud]

  • “Gotham's White Knight,” District Attorney Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight Saga is trying to help bring down the criminal empire in Gotham.
  • Jedi Knight, Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace will defy the council to to help supposed pathetic life forms.
  • Prince Charming, a 2001 made-for-television film starring Sean Maguire, is the story of a prince who gets turned into a frog because he dashingly rescues a damsel in distress who starts trying to reward him.
  • In the film version of Ella Enchanted Prince Charmont gallantly saves Ella's life exactly three times, first from a speeding carriage, second from an ogre's boiling pot and then despite himself he has her back in the court battle.
  • At the end of Ever After when Prince Henry shows up to “rescue” Danielle from Pierri Le Pieu.
  • When Vivian of Pretty Woman was a little girl she would pretend she was a princess... trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight... on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And she would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue her.


  • Female examples: Alanna and Kel in Tamora Pierce's books. Seen best in Song of the Lioness when Alana and her apprentices have to defend the Bloody Hawk tribe from being attacked.
  • The Dresden Files: Michael Carpenter, the noble Knight of the Cross, fits this trope to a T. Complete with kevlar-lined shining armour. He even met his wife by saving her from a fire-breathing dragon.
    • Nope, not a lesser fire-breather. The Fist of God has slain a cosmic deity to save his (future)wife.
  • Sparhawk, from the David Eddings' Elenium trilogy, fits the spiritual heroism of this trope even as he rejects its superficial aspects. Ironically, Sparhawk's own mental image is the aging, weather-beaten, not-especially handsome professional soldier he is, rather than a romantic hero, and the affections of his formerly Damsel in Distress wife were at first a source of considerable guilt, as she is almost half his age. His armor, by the way, like all knights of the Pandion order, is far from shining; enameled black.
    • Played with slightly with Sir Bevier and by extension the rest of the Cyrinic Knights from the same series who are literal Knight in Shining Armor. The Cyrinic Knights polish their armor to a mirror finish as opposed to the Pandions, and the other two orders of Church Knights go with unadorned dull steel.
    • Sir Mandorallen from David Eddings' Belgariad saga (and its sequel, the Malloreon saga) is a textbook example of the Knight in Shining Armor; he embodies this trope, both outwardly and inwardly. Complete with a tragic chivalric love-from-afar affair. Eddings lampshaded the heck out of the trope, though: Mandorallen is heroic, brave and fearless, unbeaten in combat, honorable, truthful, and so on and so on. The first time in his life that he suddenly felt real fear (when he faced a magical opponent that he couldn't defeat) let to a kind of nervous breakdown, a self-doubt of epic proportions during which Mandorallen developed phobophobia, a paralyzing fear of being afraid. He eventually got over it, with the help of his friends. The other characters routinely tended to poke gentle fun of Mandorallen's utter dedication to chivalry. People who met him for the first time kept asking "Is this guy for real?" and "Did he really just charge the enemy? He's going to die!" - "No he isn't. He's Mandorallen."
      • Everything you need to know about Mandorallen is summed up in this exchange from Castle of Wizardry, wherein Mandorallen is escorting the Rivan Queen out to the center of a field to address over fifty thousand heavily-armed, potentially hostile soldiers during a very tense diplomatic stand-off. It's important to note that Mandorallen is speaking here with absolutely no irony whatsoever.

Mandorallen: We are some distance from our own forces, your Majesty. I pray thee, be moderate in thine address. Even I might experience some difficulty in facing the massed legions of all Tolnedra.

  • In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, the hero Holger is thrown in a world where the Matter of France, Charlemagne and his paladins, is fact, and both becomes a Knight in Shining Armor and meets up with knights. The three hearts and three lions of the title are the coat of arms on his shield. The Paladin class of Dungeons & Dragons is primarily inspired by the paladins from this story.
  • Forgotten Realms: There's a rather nice paladin in The Threat from the Sea trilogy (never mind that he once was pious enough to carry the symbol of his divine patron... and then hurl it to sea), but though he eventually acquires a mount (sort of), he never wears heavy armor (after all, he's a seaman). Complemented with the usual Knight in Shining Armor for contrast. There were more traditional stiff ones (including some protagonists) in The Pools trilogy. And now there's Thornhold featuring Knights of Samular who "seems to think that Harpers and Zhents are fit to stew in the same pot" (which seems right to some extent) but seems not to be any less fit for the same pot themselves. They have an agent of a Chaotic Evil church among them. With other "knights" (that is, random heavy cavalrymen) Your Mileage May Vary much, much more.
  • Dragonlance has the Solamnic knights (see Tabletop RPG's examples below). In particular Sturm Brightblade, who holds to the Oath and Measure upheld by his father, even though he was never actually knighted and most people he knows hold the order in scorn.
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: was written as a scathing deconstruction of this trope (among other things), portraying the knights as little more than wandering bullies who picked fights with each other for no reason. The tales of their heroic deeds are entirely fabricated (and absurd on their faces, leading the main character to marvel at how nobody picks up on the Antarctica-level Fridge Logic), and the story features a lengthy description of how uncomfortable the main character is when he is put in his own shiny armor to go on his own quest. And still, in some of the final chapters, in which Camelot falls apart all around, the admirable knighly Lancelot of the origial Arthurian canon several times visibly breakes through Twain's cyniciam.
  • Despite his anti-hero tendencies, Philip Marlowe is explicitly compared, by Raymond Chandler, to a Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Subverted in Second Apocalypse with Sarcellus, who turns out not to be what he looks like, to say the least.
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion: Played straight with the eponymous character in the trilogy by Elizabeth Moon. Paks is intentionally designed to be a Paladin from Dungeons & Dragons (see below), written after seeing so many Lawful Stupid Paladins at conventions. Also literally true: the armor worn by paladins will gradually become more lustrous whether or not they actively polish it. The gods have decreed that paladins imply shining armor.
  • The Chivalric Romances Sir Triamour and Erl of Toulouse (among others) revolve about an innocent wife accused of adultery and delivered by a knightly champion.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell At Sealey Head, Princess Ysabo's home also has many knights, and part of her prescribed rituals is to perform certain services for them, filling cups with wine. She is told she must marry one, and when she asks why, he hits her. However, this turn out to be false knights, not even human. The crows she feeds every day as part of the ritual are in fact the true knights, and when restored, they behave in a much more knightly manner.
  • Discworld: Carrot Ironfounderson is an urbanized version, right down to the well-polished City Watch breastplate.
  • Costis in The King of Attolia of Megan Whalen Turner's Sounis series. Not only does he have "a sense of honor as wide as a river," but he actually spends quite some time hoping that his armor is shiny enough for the King's critical eye.
  • Guy Crouchback in Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh consciously sees himself as a throwback to this. As one of the points is that no one else is honorable, perhaps he is also a Knight in Sour Armor. But despite that, he fits the mold.
  • Frank Yerby's The Saracen Blade describes the hero's friend Gautier of Montrose as "a true knight" and specifically states he was "one of the few" who lived up to the best ideals of knighthood and did a bit to redeem the period from savagery.
  • As an adaptation of the Arthurian legends, Gerald Morris' The Squire's Tales naturally features this, but Lancelot's character arc actually deconstructs it.
  • The Knights of Khryl in The Acts of Caine have this reputation as an order, which makes it all the more depressing in that their membership consists of individuals who either count as this, or Knight Templar. Caine Black Knife reveals that Caine himself has a secret admiration for the Knights and their most exemplary members that dates back to the stories he enjoyed as a child. (This is ironic since Caine is a Combat Pragmatist and the Knights' code of honour is a primary cause behind how he spends most of the novel kicking their asses.)
  • Sir Nigel Loring, of The White Company, fits this to the letter.
  • In The Guardians, Hugh was a medieval knight sincerely striving towards honor and chivalry when he met Lilith. She taunts his naivete by nicknaming him "Sir Pup". He was rewarded for his life of honesty with the Gift of lie detection.
  • Bolo: The eponymous supertanks of Keith Laumer's series are intentionally programmed with this notion in mind.
  • The Knight In Rusty Armor: The Knight is this twenty four hours a day. Subverted as he only does this because he'll be appreciated by others for it. Indeed, the armor is also a metaphor for hiding one's True Self, and when he sheds it, so he does this trope.
  • Saint George and The Dragon which came from the poem in The Faerie Queene:
    • The Red Cross Knight told the king to never forget the poor people, and gave to them the rich gifts that he had been awarded for slaying the dreadful dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside.
    • The knight bade his lady stand apart, out of danger, to watch the fight, while the beast drew near, half flying, half running.
  • King Arthur, of the Knights of the Round Table. Perhaps best known in Le Morte Darthur and The Once and Future King. Although there might have been a real King Arthur, or a group of men whose stories were combined into one legend, he or they would have been alive well before the invention of plate armor.
    • King Arthur's most trusted knight Sir Lancelot.
    • Galahad, from An Elegy for the Still-living initially appears to be one of these. But when the time comes for him to fight the dragon, he reveals that it is unbeatabe and that he only went there to die.
  • Though she has aspects of a Knight in Sour Armour, Brienne of Tarth is mostly this trope.
    • On the other hand, Jaime Lannister is a Deconstruction. At first he appears appears the perfect Knight in Shining Armor, being incredible handsome, the best fighter in the land, the slayer of the previous tyrant king and, due to to having his armour gilded, actual shining armour. However, he's quickly revealed to be violent, arrogant and in an incestous relationship with his sister.
  • Dalinar from The Stormlight Archive is this to the core, and encourages his eldest son to be. This usually causes him to be regarded as an eccentric or fuddy-duddy by the other characters. Also, in the Backstory of the setting, the aptly named Knights Radiant were knights in literal shining armour.
  • Since Eleanor has a crush on a knight in The Royal Diaries Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine she wants him to be her bodyguard. Once when they are attacked Clotaire the Strong pulls her into his saddle and races her back to the safety of the castle.
  • In "The Last Hero", one of the earlier novels (1931) of The Saint, Simon Templar takes backstage to his gallant and tragic associate Norman Kent, who falls in love hopelessly with Templar's girlfriend Patricia Holm (who hardly notices him) and at the end of the book sacrifices his life to let Templar and his other comrades-in-arms escape the current villain and fight again another day. A book called "Knights Errant of the Nineeteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries" by Caroline Whitehead and George Mc Leod says it all: "Norman Kent is an archetypal knight-errant. Though formally a man of 20th Century England, he lives (and dies) by the Code of Chivalry. He loves totally his Lady, Patricia Holm - who, like Don Quixote's Dulcinea, is not aware of that love. He is totally loyal to his Liege Lord, Simon Templar. Like Sir Gawain in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", Norman Kent takes on the threats to his Lord. Not only physicial threats to life and limb, but also the sometimes inavoidable need to take dishourable acts which would have reflected badly on the reputation of King Arthur/Simon Templar is taken on, wholly and without reservation, by Sir Gawain/Norman Kent."
  • John Moore's Slay and Rescue has a prince named Charming, sent by his father's chancellor to rescue fair maidens all over the place (the theory is that it keeps him too busy to try to take over the throne).
  • In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom novel Magic to the Bone, Allie plays with this, speaking of looking for police in shining armor and the like.
  • In the early 17th century in which the Ring of Fire novels take place, Knights in Shining Armor were at about the time they would soon evolve into Officers and Gentlemen. In any case there were not many of either hanging around at the time. But Janos Drugeth, a Hungarian warrior, would probably fit. He is extremely honorable and pious, and loyal to his King. He probably does even have a breastplate somewhere among his gear and he probably does keep it polished as rust wouldn't do, which would make that a literal as well as figurative trope. However he is mainly shown wielding a sword which is a mundane if well-kept sword.

Live Action TV

  • One is summoned by accident in Charmed, thanks to Paige.
  • Doctor Who
    • In "The Girl in the Fireplace": The Doctor does a Super Window Jump on a white horse to save the lady from evil. The chivalrous parallel is increased by the fact that in doing so, he's trapping himself in time.
    • The Doctor takes up a big sword in a duel to decide the fate of Earth as the planet's champion during "The Christmas Invasion".
  • Sir Thomas Grey, 'Quite the Knight of the Realm' as an outlaw observes in one episode of Covington Cross. Sir Thomas' sons William, Richard and Cedric are aspiring knights - as is his only daughter! On the other hand his eldest son wants to be a cook...
  • Jon Stewart's sudden appearance on The Colbert Report to save Stephen from utter humiliation at the hands of Conan O'Brien, with the now-famous shout of "Don't you do it, boy!", has been referred to as the 'knight in shining Armani' moment by fans. (Ordinarily, he's much more of a Butt Monkey.)
  • Bones: Angela refers to Booth as a "knight in shining FBI standard-issue body armor".
  • Criminal Minds: In the first season finale the Un Sub is suffering from the delusion that Reid and the team are this. It's also been stated in the special features that they attempt to write stories about knights in shining bulletproof vests, and end up with what the show is.
  • Adam in The Wanderer goes from cutthroat businessman to Knight in Shining Armor in a single episode. Handwaved by the fact he is reverting to the mindset of an earlier incarnation.
  • Alistair in one episode of As Time Goes By shows up dressed as a Knight in Shining Armor to help him win Judy's affection.
  • Prince Eric Greystone of Wizards and Warriors (the TV series, not the video games), golden haired and usually clad in gold lame. Honorable to the point of folly - or beyond. His even hunkier brother Prince Justin on the other hand is a total subversion of the Trope.
  • Lancelot in Merlin, albeit only briefly until he is thrown out for being a commoner. Meanwhile, Prince Arthur is becoming one, and part of the point of the series is Merlin helping Arthur become one.
  • Although not a literal knight David Shephard in Kings fulfills all the other qualifications and as a soldier could be said to be the modern equivalent of a knight.
  • Jamie Reagan in Blue Bloods is a cop not a knight but plays to this trope in the sense of dedicating his live to protecting order, being loyal to his family and comrades, helping the helpless and in general putting honor way before reason. And wearing a cool uniform. Call him a Knight in shining blue cloth.
  • Sheriff Cody Johnson, Brian Thompson's character in the short-lived series Key West, was thoroughly one of these.
  • Power Rangers: Any of the Rangers, although they subvert it occasionally, usually with Knight in Sour Armor.
    • Fantasy buff Chip from Power Rangers Mystic Force was thrilled to find out "knight" is an actual rank [1] and strives to reach it so he can be a knight in shining armor. Daggeron, the Solaris Knight, fits the bill quite well already, though again, any Ranger tends to. However, Daggeron's the one who gives the most stereotypically "knightly" lines like "I'd rather die with honor than live without it." Noble Demon Koragg, also of knight rank, gives such speeches, but it's actually his true self bleeding through the brainwashing; he actually doesn't want to fight the Rangers at all. Pre-evil Koragg taught Daggeron everything he knows.
  • Scrubs: Sir Percival in the fairytale Perry Cox tells his son in a Something Completely Different episode.
  • The Groosalaugg from Angel, although he ditches the shining armor shortly after moving to LA.
  • In Have Gun — Will Travel, Paladin, as the name suggests, although he wears what looks more like a villainous oufit if you go by traditional Color Coded for Your Convenience. In some of the darker stories stories he can come off as more of a Knight in Sour Armor, when dealing with more disgusting individuals his bitterness can shine through.
  • William admits that he's in love with his queen, Shannon, but out of respect for his honor code as a knight he does not want to break up her relationship with her fiancé, Miles, in the House MD episode Knight Fall.
  • Tin Man: Cain's no knight, but he did vow to be the princess's protector. When the crew is riding to DG's rescue in part 3, he's got the white horse.


  • The song Glory of Love by Peter Cetera

Just like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away.

Cinderella said to Snow White
"How does love get so off course?
All I wanted was a white knight with a good heart,
soft touch, fast horse."
Ride me off into the sunset, baby I'm forever yours.

I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
...Now it's too late for you and your white horse
To come around.

  • The country song "Suds In The Bucket" by Sara Evans.

When her prince pulled up - a white pickup truck
Her folks shoulda seen it comin' - it was only just a matter of time
Plenty old enough - and you can't stop love
She stuck a note on the screen door - "sorry but I got to go"

Newspaper Comics

  • In Frank and Ernest, Frank, as a knight, complains of having to dress on a cold morning.

Tabletop RPG

  • Dungeons & Dragons: The paladin class was based on Knight in Shining Armor archetype in general and supposedly Three Hearts and Three Lions in particular. Paladins are more like holy crusaders empowered with divine magic, though.
    • Sturm Brightblade of the Dragonlance D&D saga is the epitome of this trope played straight except for not actually being a knight until shortly before his death. His fellow Knights of Solamnia are not quite so ideal but, with a couple of (important) exceptions, are generally good.
    • The Player's Handbook II from late in D&D 3rd Edition introduced the knight class, which is a lot like the paladin but without magical abilities. The knight's abilities focus on mounted combat, single combat with an opposing champion, and maintaining honor.
    • The 1st edition Cavalier class, introduced in that era's Unearthed Arcana, was closer to the "standard" Arthurian knight. For a while, the Paladin class was a subclass of the Cavalier instead of the Fighter.
    • Paizo's Pathfinder RPG has brought the Paladin full-circle with the "Shining Knight" archetype, complete with bonuses to mounted combat and riding skill.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, all noble Brettonians aspire towards becoming true knights in shining armour. Grail Knights, who have been found pure in heart and soul and blessed by the Lady of the Lake, all qualify for this trope by definition. The Empire also has several noble knightly orders, but their modernization means that the chivalric ideals are not as predominant there as in Brettonia.
  • Magic the Gathering
    • The White Knight, polar opposite of the game's Black Knight. However, game mechanics normally prevent the two from engaging each other in combat...
    • The Shards of Alara expansion features Bant, a plane of Knights in Shining Armor, who have a Fantastic Caste System based on the acquisition of sigils, which are marks of great valor and honorable conduct.
  • Chaosium's Pendragon game is based on the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
  • TSR's Knights of Camelot game also covered the Arthurian knighthood setting.
  • GURPS Camelot explores roleplaying in the Arthurian saga in three flavors -- historically-accurate, as depicted by medieval storytellers, and the modern high-fantasy concept. It's only in the latter that the literal shining armor can be found, but both medieval and modern versions include all the other elements.

Video Games

  • Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword:
    • Parodied with Sain in , who acts like this just so he can get women. The only result is that his comrade, Kent, repeatedly tells him to drop it and get back to work.
    • Played straight as an arrow with Seth and Geoffrey.
  • Chrono Trigger: Cyrus in the English version. His apprentice Glenn takes on traits of this as well along with being a cursed knight. Not in the original Japanese version: Lost in Translation.
  • Baldur's Gate: The series had a few-brash but idealistic squire Anomen, relentlessly pious and judgmental Ajantis, and the old but still fighting Keldorn. Oddly enough, perhaps the most outspokenly classical example is a female halfling, Mazzy, who comes as close as a halfling can come to a paladin in a Second Edition-based game. The Knights of the Noble Order of Radiant Heart were an order of this trope, whom the protagonist could join if s/he was a paladin too.
    • Ditto Neverwinter Nights 2 with Casavir. Granted, he has all the personality of a brick, but he's a chivalrous paladin nevertheless.
      • In the first game, Lady Aribeth, Paladin of Tyr, thr god of Justice is a rare female example. Her fall towards evil after seeing the city she had sacrificed so much for execute her fiancé for a crime he is innocent of (he was made a scapegoat and the people condemning him are fully aware of it) as well as the blatant injustice committed in the name of the god of justice is the main plot of the game
    • As his banters reveal, Keldorn may go closer to Knight in Sour Armor—having been a paladin for longer than the main character has been alive, and he understands full well just how horrid the world can be.
  • Prince Rurik of Guild Wars, doubling as The Scrappy for many.
  • Flynn in Tales of Vesperia.
  • "Knight" is a playable class in The Elder Scrolls. In an expansion pack for the fourth game, the player can found his own holy order of shiny-armored knights.
  • The Knight class in Runes of Magic is apparently inspired by this trope.
  • Cecil in Final Fantasy IV. Indeed, his turn from the dark side to this is one of the driving forces behind and most emotionally satisfying part of the overarching plot.
  • Steiner in Final Fantasy IX, to the point that he makes a clanking sound whenever he walks. He is also chivalrous to a fault, and is torn by his conflicting duties to Queen Brahne and Princess Garnet.
  • Basch in Final Fantasy XII. Lampshaded when Judge Gabranth wonders, in their final confrontation, how come Basch failed his motherland, and then the kingdom who took him in, but is still the one who keeps his sense of honor of the two.
  • The Warrior of Light in Dissidia Final Fantasy takes the trope and runs with it. As does Cecil, but that rather goes without saying.
  • Ky Kiske from Guilty Gear. Prior to the events of the game, he's the commander who willingly risked his life to save people even if the situation seemed hopeless or even if the person to be saved was questionable. An in XX Ky continues to be a noble public servant as a high ranking police officer. In Overture, his popularity and charisma earns him the position of a king.
  • Samara in Mass Effect 2, even going so far as to give a Knight Errant (perhaps with a bit of Samurai) as the closest human equivalent to her order. Though she is much more Lawful Neutral than Lawful Good.
  • Alistair, in Dragon Age is mostly this. On top of all that, he's also a Prince Charming, as you learn over the course of the story. Covers a lot of bases, does our boy Alistair.
    • See also: Estrogen Brigade Bait. Do want.
    • Something of a subversion is found in Awakening with the Spirit of Justice. A Fade Spirit based on the concept of Justice, it is eventually trapped in the corpse of a Grey Warden named Kristoff. It then joins your party as a Knight in Shining Armor Undead.
  • Oersted from Live a Live is this trope. Demon-slaying, princess-saving, the whole nine yards. Then, the whole concept is brutally deconstructed.
  • Soul Series: Gender Flipped in the series with Hildegard "Hilde" Von Krone. Also, Siegfried Schtauffen is a massive deconstruction. Siegfried's father, Frederick was an example of one of these.
  • Balmung of the .Hack// series (all incarnations) is probably one of the straightest examples in quite a while. While the setting of the series is an MMORPG, Balmung specifically investigates circumstances which could easily get him hurt in the real world. However, he has a strong moral code on issues of lesser significance, such as a strong distaste for hacking and player harassment. He also has a penchant for swooping in at the last moment to save other characters:
    • In Sign, Balmung only appears in one episode, but rushes in to distract the Phase monster so that Subaru and company can escape.
    • Similarly, Balmung's introduction in the video games has him chasing down another corrupted monster and trying to get Kite and Black Rose to run away.
    • and in the Legend of Twilight manga, Balmung (Now a sysadmin) swoops down yet again and saves Rena, takes out the data bug, and disappears before they can even find his name. When the people he works for ban him from getting involved in this again, he quits his job and takes up arms on his own.
    • His status as this in-universe even extends to Newly born AI Aura taking his character template for use as an automated defender of the World.
  • The Colour Tuesday: Kyle fits this; he only rebels when its clear his sister will die if she does not recieve medicine that he can't leave town for because of an arbitrary law. (Apparently its the wrong "season") He's consistently the most polite and level-headed character, and doesn't think twice about sacrificing his relationship with Alex and his powers to cross the magical flames which separate him and the medicine he carries from his sister. Thankfully this isn't necessary.
  • Edrick/Loto from Dragon Quest is one of the earliest examples for Japanese RPG history by saving a princess in distress and defeating an evil dragonlord on his own.
  • Link, while not a knight by job, has been an ideal hero who saves the princess and the land of Hyrule from Evil overlord Ganon since 1986.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising makes it clear that Pit is one, as he is endlessly loyal to Palutena and will always fight for the human race, even though the game also shows that Humans Are the Real Monsters and the real Big Bad, Hades, easily manipulates them to kill each other.
  • Dark Souls has Solair of Astora and Oscar of Astora. Solair is a honorable, friendly Warrior of the Sun, Oscar was on a quest to ring the Twin Bells of Awakening. Siegmeyer of Catalina wants to be this, but is far to bumbling.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • In Fate Nuovo Guerra Sir Gawain's devotion to Chivalry eventually led to Camelot's downfall as he refused to call for Lancelot's help for the Battle of Camlann.

Western Animation

  • Silverbolt, from Transformers: Beast Wars, is a usually tongue-in-cheek example of this type. He's not a parody so much as a walking Lampshade Hanging, complete with trumpet fanfares when he speaks. It really helps that both his animals - one a wolf, the other an eagle - are typical 'noble' animals. (which sorta makes a Griffin an even more noble animal)

Blackarachnia: Oh no. You're not saving my life again? Even after I shot you?
Silverbolt: It's my duty, ma'am, as a Maximal and as a heroic character.

  • Although most D&D adaptations (as in the cases of Record of Lodoss War and Dragonlance) play the trope straight, the trope is subverted in the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series, in which Eric the Cavalier, the cast member closest to a knight, is vain, selfish, and cowardly. (He does demonstrate a well-buried better nature at certain points, usually against his better judgment). Hank the Ranger, meanwhile, occupies the Knight In Shining Armor role.
  • The recurring Gummi Bears character Sir Victor, the White Knight, was a classic Knight in Shining Armor. However, it turned out that he was actually the estranged brother of the series Big Bad, Duke Igthorn, and lived in constant fear that he would turn evil like the rest of his family (before An Aesop was delivered to him, anyway) and righted wrongs as perceived atonement for his house's ill deeds.
  • Shining Knight of Justice League Unlimited. Especially played up in "Patriot Act" where he and a mutated General Ripper do battle while they argue what duty to one's country means.
  • Sir Giles in Disney's animated featurette of Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon chapter of Dream Days both embodies and subverts this trope, in that although he actually is a famous dragon-slaying hero (in Grahame's book actually St. George himself), he is nevertheless willing to fake a combat with the eponymous dragon on learning that he, too, is 'a bit of a bard'.
  • South Park: Stan Marsh became a mix of this and the Only Sane Man. And sometimes he himself parodies and/or deconstructed this trope.
  • The Flight of Dragons: Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe is set on fire by dragon's flame. He withstands the heat long enough to hurl the now-flaming sword into the heart of the black dragon, then collapses next to his fallen love.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle's big brother is named Shining Armor and is Captain of the Canterlot Royal Guard.

Real Life

  • William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, was the younger son of a minor nobleman who went on to serve the royal family of Henry II of England and be given the hand and estates of Isabel de Clare.
  • The point of chivalry, as a code of honor, was to put behavioral restrictions on the Knight in Shining Armor. Most people alive today have never wielded a sword, much less against a suit of full plate, but if they tried they'd discover that it's really hard to cut through.[2] A Knight in Shining Armor is close to invincible, his only real vulnerabilities being stab wounds or ranged attacks (which are dishonorable in a Testosterone-Poisoned feudalism). So if you're gonna put a man in this Infinity +1 Armor, you'd better make sure he won't abuse his power once he's in there!
    • Of course reasonably well-disciplined infantry could kill or frighten horses with a Blade on a Stick, a bow or later, a musket and then surround the de-horsed knight and pick at him until they got a dagger between his armor. For this reason knights thought bows to be unchivalrous. Which usually did not prevent them from taking archers to battle for them to be used against the other side.
    • The demise of chivalry was not the lower classes overcoming the upper classes. Rather, it was the nature of the warfare itself. In the end the generals noticed that a professional soldier who has trained for warfare for all his life was a far more valuable as an officer in a commoner unit than a private in an elite unit. The modern day officers are direct descendants of the knights.
  • History and language provide a subversion. The word "knight" ultimately comes from "cnicht", Anglo-Saxon for "retainer". Which was kind of like this only not. A guardsman of a powerful earl or King, a cnicht was expected to be brave, and even to die with Samurai-like fanaticism should the battle go amiss. And indeed that ideal was kept up. Being cultured was not particularly expected -- at least, not in the same way. He was not expected to be in the least bit like a dandy off duty as some of the more absurd portrayals of the later Knight In Shining Armor. Nor was he expected to have good table manners. Culture to him would have meant listening to a well-told tale, the bloodier, the better. Piety was not expected or rather you could not tell the behavior expected of a real Christian cnicht from that of a pagan. Courtly Love did not exist though he was naturally supposed to be respectful to his lord's female relatives. In fact said lord would probably rather he not give signs of courtly love for obvious reasons. Elaborate and ridiculous respect to enemies was no where part of his idea of honor. Unlike the later breed of knights, regular ransoms seem to have been no routine part of warfare and he was more likely to just die and be left to rot if he lost. The biggest difference is that though he would have ridden routinely for mobility's sake, he generally fought on foot. There are records of cavalry pursuits of routed troops but this was after an infantry battle. On the whole the Saxon Cnichts would have indeed been tough customers, and certainly shared some qualities with "Knights" but quite a bit was lost in translation. In fact he was closer in spirit to an stereotypical viking than a knight.
  1. It seems to go for the more heavily armored Ranger-like characters, but we'll see if that term continues beyond that series and the next once it comes time to adapt Tensou Sentai Goseiger.
  2. In fact, that's why swords gradually moved from the swinging designs of the "broadsword" to the stabbing design of the fencing weapon; see our Useful Notes: Swords page for more