Worthy Opponent/Quotes

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"Rommel, you Magnificent Bastard, I read your book!"
Gen. George S. Patton Jr., Patton

Genghis: "Remember the name of Jelaudin, Kublai. He was a strong enemy."
Kublai: "That is a good thing."

Genghis: "Even enemies can have honour. His father was fortunate to have such a son. Remember this day and perhaps in time you will make your own father proud."

You're a quick thinker and spiteful. I can respect that. You won't be killed, Bikke.

SardaEight Bit Theater

But there is neither East nor West, nor Border nor Breed nor Birth, when two strong men come face to face, though they come from the ends of the Earth.
Rudyard Kipling Ballad of East and West.

The only enemy worth your admiration is one who has accepted the superiority of mankind and knelt before you to be executed. All others are to be despised. Honor means nothing when it is used to oppose the Emperor's will.
The Catechisms Martial, Warhammer 40,000

"L will die this easily?"
Light Yagami (sounding disappointed while plotting his rival's death), Death Note

Farewell, Sonic, my admirable adversary.
Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, Sonic Adventure 2

You make a good other.

Signum: You're strong, Testarossa.
Bardiche: Thank you.
Fate: You and Levantine are strong as well... Signum.
Levantine: Danke.
Signum: If I didn't have a goal I must achieve, I'd let my heart out a little to play in this battle, but for my allies and friends, I can no longer stay that way. I don't have the confidence to say that I'll finish this without killing you. Can you forgive my immaturity?

Fate: I couldn't care less. I will be the one to win after all.

"Not bad! I guess I chose the right guy to be my archenemy."

"The Man in the MiG. A famous hero or an unknown just starting to blossom, he was deserving of one more thing, and to this day I hope it was granted to him. I hope he died when instantly when the missile hit and did not live that last second and never, never knew that he lost the battle."
Asher Snir, Israeli Air Force pilot, recalling a MiG-17 pilot from the 1970 War of Attrition

"Put all their other men together in one scale, and poor Castlereagh in the other –- single he plainly weighed them down... One can't help feeling a little for him, after being pitted against him for several years, pretty regularly. It is like losing a connection suddenly. Also he was a gentleman, and the only one amongst them."
—Whig politician Henry Brougham, after the death of the much-hated Tory Lord Castlereagh.

"'A man is made by the quality of his enemies.' Maric told me that once. I wonder if it's more a compliment to you or me."
Loghain Mac Tir, Dragon Age

"Shanedan, Hawke. I expected you. Marass toh ebra-shok. You alone are basalit-an. [Addressing nobles] This is what respect looks like bas! Some of you will never earn it!"
The Arishok, Dragon Age II

"At least thou art valiant; beyond all whom I have met. And they lie who say that we of our part do not honour the valour of our foes."
Glaurung, father of dragons, The Silmarillion (although he's being less than honest)

"They fight bravely. They cannot harm our ships, but they continue to try."
Delenn describing humans.
"Well, my father always said...the best way to understand someone is to fight him."

Sinclair describing Minbari.

Massena: "My lord, you owe me dinner for you positively made me starve."
Wellington: "You should give it to me, Marshall, for you prevented me from sleeping."

—Spoken at a diplomatic dinner in France in 1814, from The War of Wars: The Great European Conflict by Robert Harvey

The courage of your enemy honors you.
—Chinese proverb

The Courier: "There is wisdom in retreat, Legate."

Legate Lanius: "As for Wisdom... There is wisdom in your words, wo/man of the west. Know that I shall return East. I shall not remain there forever. On that day, the strength of the bear shall be tested. If the West is one day filled with ones such as you, perhaps it shall be a worthy fight indeed."

Baron von Richthoven: "Ah, and the Lord Flasheart. This is indeed an honour. Finally, the two greatest gentleman fliers in the world meet. Two men of honour, who have jousted together in the cloud-strewn glory of the skies, face to face at last. How often I have rehearsed this moment of destiny in my dreams. The panoply to encapsulate the unspoken nobility of a comradeship."
[Flasheart shoots von Richthoven]

Lord Flasheart: "What a poof!"

I regret that we meet in this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.

"Now heroes are the ones who cherish lofty designs in their bosoms and have plans to achieve them. They have all-embracing schemes, and the whole world is at their mercy...The only heroes in the world are you and I."
Cao Cao to Liu Bei, Romance of the Three Kingdoms

"These men living out here eating rice and beans, sleeping out here in the cold on these rags; these are some fucking hard men. You ladies bitch if you get an MRE without a fucking Pop-Tart."
Pappy, Generation Kill

"You're a magnificent opponent, Superman. But even you must realize it's hopeless."

Ahiyeaftah was a young caligrapher forced to defend her family's honor after her father was insulted by a female from a rival clan. It was her first duel, and though her opponent was no stronger everyone knew that Ahiyeaftah was much less skillful. She approached her father and asked: "Teach me how to begin a duel, so that although I must lose this fight, I will not disgrace our family." Her father obliged, instructing her in the basic fighting stances.

On the day of the duel, Ahiyeaftah assumed one of these positions and stood fearlessly immobile, because she knew nothing more. Her opponent circled for a while, finding no weakness in the stance. At length, she deliberately cut herself on one of Ahiyeaftah's dewclaws, saying, "I submit to the stronger spirit." Both clans gained honor; the insult was forgotten,and they formed an alliance. [1]
GURPS Traveller Alien Races 2

Jem'hadar captain: Prepare yourself. I've found you a worthy opponent.
Worf: Where is he?

Jem'hadar captain: Right in front of you.

Jem'hadar captain: I can't beat this Klingon. All I can do is kill him. And that no longer interests me.

Dying Reaper: Shepard?!
Shepard: You know who I am?

Dying Reaper: Harbinger speaks of you.

From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you. But goddammit do I respect you!

You are brave. Balaan hokoron. [2] Your defeat brings me honor.

A hat iz a badge of honor! A trophy vot must be plucked from off de head of a vorthy enemy!

Maxim Girl Genius

The destroyer edged closer and closer...Bobby Chastain swimming no more then fifty feet from the ship's port side, could see the sailors lined up by the rail...It was then that Carter realized what was going on. "It appeared to me that every man on deck was standing at attention, like a muster, giving us one big salute."...Carter wrote, "I'm sure of one thing...she appreciated a fighting lady...USS Johnston.''
—Survivors in water watch passing Japanese ship from Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer

More men were climbing the trail hither. While they numbered only a score they were of many sorts, not only soldiers, but workmen, serfs, slaves. Rank on Earth counted for nothing before Ahura Mazda.

As it did not before the Lord of the Christians...but they welcomed women to their services, passed fleetingly through Gratillonius. His father, his brother, himself, followed Mithras; but his mother had been Christian and so, by amicable agreement, were his sisters raised. Could that alone be the reason Christ was triumphing?
—Roman soldier muses over the controversy between religions in The King of Ys series by Poul Anderson.

"General Lee, sacrificing himself for what he felt was his duty, was no less great after Appomattox."

  1. lifted from a Japanese story about a master of tea ceremony
  2. Worthy enemies.