Created By: shimaspawn on March 19, 2012 Last Edited By: shimaspawn on October 22, 2012

Knight

Supertrope explaining the basic concept of Knights

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Knight is a title bestowed on a noble warrior typically by a member of the monarchy, but occasionally as a part of The Order. In fiction they tend to be armor clad warriors that charge into battle, slay dragons, and save the princes, but there are many varieties of knight.

Other common character types for Knights include:

Please only add examples that don't fit better under a subtrope.


Examples:

Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • March 19, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Not sure about Blood Knight. Thoughts?
  • March 19, 2012
    Bisected8
    Some further information about Real Life knights;

    Historically the position of a knight has been partly political and partly military, referring to someone who serves a king in a military fashion. In the feudal system a knight was granted land and authority in exchange for swearing loyalty to their king. They would tithe their subjects and in turn pay a tithe to the king (this could be in the form of gold, resources such as wheat or even men to serve in the army) as well as serve as the king's representative and lay down the law. They would also serve in the king's army themselves; owning and a horse and being proficient at mounted combat was expected of a knight (since horses were a sign of status) and their wealth meant they could afford the best possibly armour (hence the image of an armour clad warrior riding into battle). Most knights were the sons of knights (while it was possible for a "commoner" to become a knight, in practise it was impossible) and trained form a fairly young age. To prepare them, future knights would work as a page at a castle before becoming a squire at the age of 14 while they trained (essentially a personal assistant to a knight, usually a shield bearer, most knights had several) and were "promoted" when the knight decided they were ready. As time went on this relationship disappeared, squires were anyone who served a knight and who was or wasn't a knight was up to the monarch.

    Another important aspect of knighthood (which probably accounts for the idea of a good and noble warrior) was chivalry; a code of honour which knights (and only knights, anyone else on the battlefield could fight as dirty as they liked...although knights didn't need to show them chivalry either) were expected to follow. This included some fairly obvious do-goodery ("Protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all.") as well as other things (such as always displaying their colours and being civil to any other knights they captured). As the rules of chivalry clarified they became intertwined with Christian principles (especially during the crusades), as a result many knightly orders doubled as religious orders.

    In the late 16th century, honorary knighthoods (which lacked the military aspect) were introduced, more or less finishing what the end of the feudal system started.

    While knights were specific to Europe, similar concepts existed worldwide (such as Samurai who had very similar political and military positions and concepts of honour).
  • March 19, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ That's UsefulNotes.Knight. It doesn't belong on this page. It belongs on Useful Notes or The Other Wiki. Do not put historical information in tropes. It doesn't belong there and it should be cut when it goes for more than a sentence.
  • March 19, 2012
    zarpaulus
    ^^ Note that under most systems of government (in this case feudalism) the ruling class and the military are one and the same.
  • March 19, 2012
    Bisected8
    Eh? I thought I'd framed it in terms of how they're portrayed in fiction.
  • March 19, 2012
    shimaspawn
    No, you made it a Wall Of Text that seems mostly historical. Try to keep your points short and clear and keep history out of it. Almost none of what you posted shows up in anything but the most detail oriented historical fiction.
  • March 19, 2012
    aurora369
    Do not forget Knight Fever, which is a description of modern British chivalric orders and noble titles.
  • March 19, 2012
    Treblain
    Some of those tropes are not necessarily knight-related; avoid a Search Generated Index. This is supposed to be a supertrope, not an index, but with this broad a concept, it's close enough. And we already seem to have two indexes about knights: Sir Index Of Tropes and Knight In Shining Tropes. Although Knight In Shining Tropes is really messed up, poorly named, and can't decide what it's talking about.
  • March 19, 2012
    Ghilz
    Church Militant, Self Proclaimed Knight, The Knights Hospitallers, The Knights Templar and Warrior Monk

    Potentially The Order. Also, I agree with Treblain, this should avoid tropes that have Knight in the titles but aren't about knights. Like Blood Knight.

    Also for Bisected8's bit of text: as a result many knightly orders doubled as religious orders It's actually the other way around.

    Most started as Monastic religious orders that became Knightly Orders when nobles and Knights became part of them and they turned Church Militant.
  • March 20, 2012
    LordGro
    As I understand it, this is not supposed to become an index, but to provide a Missing Supertrope.

    We got to distinguish between the technical-historical definition of "knight" (member of a medieval warrior caste that fights on horseback) and the cultural connotations and figurative meanings connected to the term "knight" (chivalrous hero-archetype).

    Knight In Sour Armor, for example, is usually not a medieval knight, but a general character type. Black Knight and Magic Knight, on the other hand, are literal knights in armor.

    The Knights Hospitallers and The Knights Templar are not tropes at all, but Useful Notes. (The trope for "fanatical extremist that thinks he's good" is Knight Templar).
  • March 20, 2012
    Chabal2
    What of The Cavalry?
  • March 20, 2012
    Ghilz
    The Knights Hospitallers and The Knights Templar are not tropes at all, but Useful Notes.

    Check the pages. They have tropes. They are Stock Characters and two sub tropes of The Order. Also missing is The Teutonic Knights.

    I agree Knight In Sour Armor should not be a subtrope. It has nothing to do with knights.

    ^The Cavalry is a Plot Device. It has nothing to do with Knights or even horses.
  • March 26, 2012
    LordGro
    We already have Knight In Shining Tropes. - Maybe this could become an expansion of that page.
  • March 26, 2012
    Bisected8
    @shimaspawn: Is this better?;

    The image of a knight in fiction has evolved through history. The idea of a knight loyal to their king came from the simple fact that it referred to someone who serves a king in a military fashion (in contrast to the idea of a Knight Errant, which was mainly a construct of romantic literature). Similarly, the iconic image of an armour clad warrior on horseback came about because...knights were armour clad warriors on horseback; owning and riding horses was a sign of nobility, so knights always fought as mounted cavalry. Because they were wealthy (a knighthood always came with lands and with them, serfs to tithe) they could afford high quality armour and didn't have to worry about the weight of heavy armour (because their horse carried them into battle) they were also clad in metal (and probably owned a shinier set for when they were showing off). The idea of a heroic do-gooder probably had its roots in the code of chivalry, which more or less ensured that knights fought one another fairly and wouldn't harm them when captured (commoners weren't so lucky). This also lead to another image; the idea of a holy warrior, as many knights joined religious orders they converted them into knightly orders. Finally, the image of a knight's loyal squire is...pretty much as it was. While a knight would usually have more than one, for a time a squire would serve as a shield-bearer and general assistant to a particular knight and the knight would decide when they were ready to become an actual knight.
  • March 26, 2012
    shimaspawn
    That's still a Wall Of Text that has very little to do with fiction. Ignore history. Write about the evolution of the knight in fiction.
  • March 27, 2012
    Bisected8
    Oh, never mind then. I was thinking along the lines of knights being a case of Art Imitates Life, so I don't think I'll be able to avoid writing about them in terms of historical knights. I'll let someone more well read in knight related literature.
  • June 17, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Bump. Anything still going on here?
  • June 18, 2012
    lexicon
    We already have Knight In Shining Tropes and Sir Index Of Tropes. The tropes on the list can fit under one or both of those two. This askes for examples but doesn't have one or explain what it wants.
  • October 21, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Knight In Shining Tropes is a particular grouping of tropes about the noble Knight, not Knights in general. Sir Index Of Tropes is an index. Not the archetype.
  • October 22, 2012
    Frank75
    Once I had planned to make a useful note about the medieval ages. These two would fit well together.
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