->''"In short, I'm a bastard. And before you make any smart remarks, I mean the fatherless kind."''
-->-- '''Alistair''', ''Videogame/DragonAgeOrigins''

While the badass hero or the AntiHero may get called a bastard, it's not usually meant literally. This trope is for the heroic protagonist for whom "bastard" is just a factual description, not a comment on their personality. They could easily be very pleasant and well-mannered, but their parents never married.

Until fairly recently in fiction, a child born out of wedlock was often expected to have a treacherous or [[BastardBastard villainous nature just due to the fact of his illegitimate birth]], which of course is how the term "bastard" came to mean someone who was...well, [[ShapedLikeItself a bastard]]. In modern times, however, with the rise of more liberal and humane attitudes -- as well as the rapid increase in unwed motherhood as a societal phenomenon -- it has become less acceptable to assume that a person will have a [[InTheBlood tendency toward evil behavior]] just because Dad never gave Mom a ring or [[YourCheatingHeart because Mom or Dad had the kid when one of the two already gave a ring to another person]].

Back in the day, this could be a SelfFulfillingProphecy. Since a child born out of wedlock would be the [[FreudianExcuse target of all kinds of discrimination and would not be allowed to participate in some central parts of society]] (like [[FaithHeelTurn church services]]), they often had to become ruthless, cunning rogues just to have a chance of surviving. Especially since the fathers didn't have to care for them (and often wouldn't) and the mothers may have used the kid to let out their frustration about "those goddamn men". Fatherless children have a documented tendency to violence, suicide, lack of self-control, and poverty -- so, statistically speaking, there's something to the stereotype, though how much of this is due to the social stigma is left as an exercise to the reader. But most bastards manage to rise above these expectations.

In fact, modern authors have found that making their hero a bastard can have some valuable dramatic benefits. Perhaps the parents never married because one of them [[ParentalAbandonment vanished mysteriously]]; this can lead to a juicy revelation later in the story when it is discovered that Mom or Dad is [[MysteriousParent someone very important to the plot]]. If the writer is feeling generous, the vanished parent could be a local power figure or at least wealthy. If not, the vanished parent could end up being [[LukeIAmYourFather someone the hero has to fight]]. At a minimum, being born a bastard and getting socially snubbed for it can give your character a reason to feel mistreated yet prove his heroic character by rising above it and saving the world anyway.

Interestingly, if we look back far enough, we find that most of the greatest heroes of ancient Greek myth were born out of wedlock, making this OlderThanFeudalism. However, this generally only applied if the hero's parents didn't marry because one of them was a god -- most often baby-daddy Zeus, who had serious fidelity issues with his goddess wife and was forever running around impregnating mortal women with heroes. It should be also be noted that in ancient Greece, [[GoodIsNotNice "heroic" did not necessarily mean nice]], so many Greek heroes were bastards [[BastardBastard who were also bastards]].

If a heroic character is a ChildByRape or a SonOfAWhore, he usually fits this trope as well. In some cases, it may be secondary to the other one.

If the Heroic Bastard is also a heroic ''bastard'', he's an AntiHero or SociopathicHero. And while the heroic bastard may be magnificent, he is not automatically a MagnificentBastard. For the villainous version, see BastardBastard.

There are several RealLife examples, especially in the Middle Ages, as being illegitimate offspring and excluded from inheritance, heroism was sometimes the ''only'' way to eke out a decent life. The most notable examples are: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_the_Conqueror William the Conqueror]] (previously known as "William the Bastard", King of England), [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_du_Guesclin Bertrand du Guesclin]] (Constable of France) and the half-siblings [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Austria John of Austria]] (military commander who won [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lepanto the Battle of Lepanto]] for Spain) and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_of_Parma Margaret of Parma]] (Governor of the Netherlands, plus Duchess of Parma and Piacenza). Since this is a '''very''' controversial topic, '''no further RealLife examples, please'''. It is sufficient to say they do exist.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Edward and Alphonse Elric have their mother's surname because she never officially married their father, Van Hohenheim, despite living with him for years and sharing a house with him. Hohenheim's failure to make an "honest woman" out of Trisha Elric is in the manga and the second anime because [[spoiler:he's a living, immortal Philosopher's stone, and probably doesn't actually exist [[UndeadTaxExemption in any official records]], and he was trying to keep his sons from being associated with him to keep them away from Father, who would want to use them in his plot]].
** Similarly, the first anime version [[spoiler:is a near-immortal {{Body Surf}}er with a jealous and centuries old ex-lover/ex-wife looking for him, who probably wouldn't have the best intentions in mind for his new family. His latest body may or may not have had its own name and proper records, but Van Hohenheim for whatever reason didn't want to use them if it did, likely to not take any kinds of risks. (And considering that Dante later wanted Ed to be her "consort" once her plan to hijack Rose's body was complete, [[RapeAsDrama with or without his consent]] (fortunately, it didn't work), he had quite the point.)]]
* [[Literature/TheHeroicLegendofArslan Prince Arslan]] was roundly denounced by his detractors as not being of royal blood, [[spoiler:which turns out to be true in the novels and the manga, as Queen Tahmine confessed that he was the son of one of their royal cavalry and a serving girl,]] but quickly proves to his devoted companions and several nobles that he is charismatic, kind, and intelligent enough to make a great ruler regardless. His [[CharacterMagneticTeam knack for attracting high-class and devoted followers]] definitely doesn't hurt either.
* Serpico from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is the illegitimate son of a powerful merchant born from an affair with a maid. He's also one of the few genuinely good characters in the series, as he cares for his legitimate sister Farnese and protects the weak.
* [[spoiler:Takuto Tsunashi]] from ''Anime/StarDriver''. He was the product of an affair between his mother, [[spoiler:Sora]] and [[spoiler:Tokio Tsunashi, AKA Reiji Miyabi, AKA Head, AKA the BigBad of the whole series]].
** Also, [[spoiler:though an antagonist, Simone/Pamela and her sister are the illegitimate daughters of Mr. Watanabe and his mistress from before he married Kanako.]]
* Dark Schneider, the eponymous Manga/{{Bastard}}. Pretty late in the series it is revealed by the Elves that he never had a proper father. Just to clear up facts, he is a (almost) complete asshat, so the title was fitting way before that reveal.
* Touma H. Norstein of ''Anime/DigimonSavers''. Like in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'', it's never stated outright because this is a kid's show, but the implication is that he's the son of an Austrian aristocrat and a Japanese exchange student who never married. He's a nice guy, if a little cold at first, but he suffered due to his illegitimacy, as his grandmother told him to his face (right after his mother died!) that he was a member of the great Norstein family, yet he wasn't.
* Future Trunks from ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. He states clearly to Goku upon their first meeting that Bulma and Vegeta never got married because the former did not want to.
** Main-timeline Trunks was as well, though his parents do eventually marry.
* George from ''Manga/ParadiseKiss''. His mother Yukino is a former model who got knocked up by an extremely [[ParentalAbandonment wealthy man]] and quit her career to have him. This results in heavy resentment from her towards him, and strong and complicated [[OedipusComplex love/hate]] feelings from him towards her, also affecting his relationship with Yukari.
* Tybalt from ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' is one, and this is one of the reasons why he fights the Montagues. [[spoiler: His mom was a Capulet lady who fell victim to DeathByChildbirth... and his dad is the Montague leader ''and'' the BigBad]].
* [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Kallen]] [[IllGirl Stadtfeld]] of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is the [[{{Ojou}} daughter]] of a [[DisappearedDad noble]] and his lawfully wed wife. Except that [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Kallen]] [[PluckyGirl Kozuki's]] mother is actually the house maid and her father's former lover, but no one talks about that.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** Josuke Higashikata, hero of the fourth part (''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Diamond is Unbreakable]]'') is the illegitimate son of the now-elderly hero of Part 2 Joseph Joestar, [[YourCheatingHeart from an affair he had with a Japanese woman]] named Tomoko Higashikata. This is even more awkward because, at age 17, Josuke is younger than his own nephew and hero of the third part, Jotaro Kujo.
** Giorno Giovanna, hero of the fifth part (''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureVentoAureo Vento Aureo]]'' aka ''Golden Wind''), is one of [[BigBad Dio Brando]]'s sons. It's unlikely that Dio married any of the women he had kids with. One of his allies, [[spoiler: Trish Una]], is also an example as the daughter of [[spoiler: [[ArcVillain Diavolo]] ]] and his girlfriend, [[spoiler: which puts her at a lot of risk since Diavolo wants to kill ''anyone'' who has seen his face, [[OffingTheOffspring Trish included]].]]
* Satellizer L. Bridgette from ''Manga/{{Freezing}}'', daughter of a nobleman and his mistress.
* [[spoiler: Rio]] from ''Anime/SoundOfTheSky''. After years of neglect, save for her [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth older half-sister]], her family finally acknowledges she's around when [[ArrangedMarriage they need a royal princess to marry for a peace treaty.]] She's not exactly willing, but she does it anyway because that's what her sister would have done.
* [[spoiler: Sakuya Ookuchi]] from ''Manga/SensualPhrase''. [[spoiler: He doubles as ChildByRape: since his mother was violated by an American man.]]
* [[spoiler: Hideki "Hashizo" Kato]] from ''Manga/AishiteNight''. [[spoiler: His mother was TheMistress [[YourCheatingHeart of a married man.]] When they died in an accident, Mr. Kato's eldest son Go [[PromotionToParent took Hashizo in]] despite his mother Yoko's objections.]]
* [[spoiler: Heero Yuy]] from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''. The leads we have say that [[spoiler: his father Odin Lowe and his mother Aoi Clark never married, that she raised him for a while with the help of the guy she ''did'' marry, and that after Aoi and her hubby's deaths Odin took the kid back in and trained him as a HitmanWithAHeart.]]
** All the Gundam pilots with the definite exception of Quatre and ''maybe'' Trowa ([[spoiler: leaning towards no, if his and Catherine's parents were actually married]]) may be this, as most of them are orphans without birth names and their parentage isn't really explored.
* Banagher Links from ''Anime/GundamUnicorn'', confirmed when one member of the Vist Family distinctly refers to him as the illegitimate son of [[spoiler: Cardeas Vist.]]
* One of the protagonists of ''Manga/VirginLove'' was the son of his father's mistress, and was never officially recognized as his son. His dad stayed completely out of his and his mother's life until he hit university age, when he sent him to school and put him on the [[{{Nepotism}} fast-track in his company]].
* Link in the first ''Manga/TheLegendOfZelda'' manga is implied to be the [[spoiler:son of Queen Zelda and her lover]], when she was married.
* Tamaki Suoh of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' is an example, born from the affair between a French girl and a Japanese student.
* [[spoiler: Rei Asaka aka Hana no Saint Juste]] in Manga/OniisamaE [[spoiler: is the daughter of the Ichinomiya leader and one of the maids. The reason why she doesn't live with the Ichinomiyas is because her half-sister Fukiko, horrified after finding out that her father had a mistress ''and'' an illegitimate daughter, refused to openly see Rei, an illegitimate child, as her sibling. To make matters worse, it happened ''right after Rei's mother killed herself''.]]
* Half of the main heroic quartet in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' qualify as this. Yusuke's mother Atsuko was 14 when she had him and his father was a no-show [[spoiler:until near the end of the series. But in the manga his father is shown to come and go because the parents know they cant get along and create a worse environment when they start fighting, though he offers child and is still in love with yusuke's mother]]. Hiei is by no means heroic during his first appearance in the series, but he slips into this category once [[DefeatMeansFriendship Spirit World places him]] [[TokenEvilTeammate under probation]] and you find out his [[HalfBreedDiscrimination backstory]].
* Glen Schreiber of ''Manga/BokuraNoKiseki''. He's the illegitimate son of a powerful nobleman and his commoner mistress.
* [[spoiler:Krista Renz]] is revealed to be one in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', and it proves to be of great importance. [[spoiler: She's actually Historia Reiss, an illegitimate child born to a noble family with knowledge about the AncientConspiracy concerning the Titans inside the Walls. The conflict over whether she should be recognized as an heir or not resulted in her enlisting under a fake name, with plans to get herself killed in as heroic a way as possible.]] As of chapter 55, [[spoiler: it's revealed that the Reiss family is the ''royal'' family]].
** Similarly, [[spoiler:Levi Ackerman]] is eventually revealed to be the child of his sex-worker mother and one of his mother's [[SonOfAWhore johns]], meaning his parents almost certainly weren't married, and he's one of humanity's best fighters against the Titans.
* In ''Manga/CountCain'', Cain himself learns that he is one fairly early in the series, though he was raised as though he were not and he manages to keep it mostly under wraps. His father's wife was sworn to secrecy about where he came from, and his real mother was [[spoiler: his father's [[BrotherSisterIncest elder sister]] Augusta]]. In fact, he has two equally illegitimate half-siblings, all related via [[ReallyGetsAround their father]]: [[spoiler: MadDoctor Jizabel Disraeli]], who is more of a BastardBastard, and young Meriweather Duke; the latter of whom he officially adopts into the family. [[spoiler: Even though it turns out she's not actually related to them.]] [[spoiler: And then he had and additional half-sibling/cousin from his real mother's arranged marriage.]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has Portgas D. Ace. It's justified in that Ace's father was [[spoiler:the Pirate King Gold Roger, so any woman he was romantically associated would've been most likely killed]]. It also helped in hiding Ace's heritage as Ace took the surname of his dead mother, Portgas D. Rouge, [[IOweYouMyLife to honor his debt to her]] for bringing him into the world safely [[DeathByChildbirth at the cost of her own life]].
* From ''LightNovel/InfiniteStratos'', we have Charlotte Dunois. She is the illegitimate daughter of the owner of France's leading IS manufacturer.
* Two of these show up in ''Manga/PrivateActress'':
** Shiho Kobayakawa, the main character, is the secret child of Japan's Number 1 acress Sayuri Nakagawa, and her existence has been hidden from the public so Sayuri's career won't be ruined. Even more so, Shiho's biological father is ''another'' famous actor, Masakazu Ogata, known as a huge Casanova and completely LockedOutOfTheLoop in regards to Shiho's existence [[spoiler: until almost the end of the series.]] Understandably, while she loves her busy but kind mother and doesn't hate her biological father, Shiho has quite the issues regarding her origins and her own identity.
** Shiho befriends a fellow aspirant actress at some point, and she fits in too. [[spoiler: Mariko Soriarno is a beautiful half-Japanese, half-Filipina girl whose father is a high-ranked Japanese CO. He sends Mariko and her mother money regularly but doesn't answer to Mariko's calls and letters, so she comes to Tokyo not just to fill her dream to be an actress, but to try reaching for him personally. When a jealous rival attacks her right before ''the'' audition she wants to attend, Shiho fills in and relays Mariko's message to her father, and he drops his cold facade to stand by his daughter's side.]]
* The protagonist of Manga/AkatsukiNoAria, Aria Kanbara, is the illegitimate daughter of a very rich tycoon and an ex-geisha. Her father supports the two economically but can only visit them one a month, and when he ''actually'' presents Aria as his child in the Japanese society of TheRoaringTwenties, there's quite the scandal. [[spoiler: It's subverted later, when few after her mother's tragic death in the Greak Kanto Earthquake, Aria learns that the man she's known as her dad is ''not'' her father -- but she's ''still'' an HeroicBastard, since her actual dad is a foreigner man who left Japan before she was born. She then goes to Europe to both make it as an opera singer ''and'' to find clues about his identity.]]
* Alec, TheHero of ''LightNovel/TheBrideOfAdarshan'', is an illegitimate prince. It causes him problems, as his step-mother (that is, the king's legitimate wife) hates his guts and fears that he'll usurp her son, and despite him being there to be the SpareToTheThrone, his suitability is called into question due to him not being a 'true' member of the royal family. Alec, for his part, is incredibly devoted to his half-brother and can't even fathom betraying him.
* Ryuuji Takasu from ''Anime/{{Toradora}}'' is the illegitimate son of a bar hostess and a Yakuza. Despite inheriting [[FaceOfAThug some intimidating looks]] from his father, he's a genuine NiceGuy who [[NeatFreak takes cleaning]] [[UpToEleven very seriously.]]
* A theorized but otherwise, EntertaininglyWrong example in ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia''. Todoroki, after analyzing Izuku's Quirk similarities with All-Might, deduces that he's this (since it's common knowledge that Quirks are hereditary). It's actually because All-Might just has the power to grant others the gift of also having his Quirk.
* Anime/FlipFlappers, the protagonist Cocona is the daughter of between a head scientist's son, [[spoiler:Salt]] and the test subject, [[spoiler:Mimi]]. Due to their circumstances, they were never married, and [[spoiler:Salt]] was unaware of [[spoiler:Mimi's]] pregnancy until after Cocona was born.
* Katarina's adopted brother Keith in ''LightNovel/DestructionFlagOtome'' was the son of a minor noble related to the Claes family and a common prostitute. His birth father's family greatly scorned him, especially when it turned out he had magic that he couldn't control very well. While he could have grown up into a shameless playboy to cope with loneliness, Katarina made sure to make friends with him when they were little and he ends up growing into a very calm, responsible and elegant young man. And since he was adopted to become the new Claes heir, his bastardy is largely irrelevant.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/DCComics is crawling (so to speak) with them:
** Connor Hawke, son of Oliver Queen, the ComicBook/GreenArrow. Oliver also has ''several'' other illegitimate children, including Robert, the boy Shado has with him after [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale raping him]]. Cissie King-Jones (Arrowette) is heavily implied to also be one.
** Damien Al Ghul, son of [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] and Talia al Ghul (Although "Heroic" might stretch things a bit. But he tries.)
*** That's either a Creator/GrantMorrison retcon or a stretch. Whether or not Bruce ever consented to marrying Talia, according to ''Son of the Demon,'' they were technically married (in Talia's eyes) at one time.
** ComicBook/{{Raven}}, daughter of the archdemon Trigon and a human woman. Exactly [[AdaptationalConsent how]] [[ChildByRape willing]] Arella was during Raven's conception has gone back and forth, but the two definitely weren't married.
** Damage, thought to be a bastard, revealed later that his true parents were married (The original Atom and his wife)
** Tom, illegitimate son of Wildcat of the ''ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica''.
** ComicBook/{{Huntress}} [[spoiler: is actually the daughter of Santo Cassamento, not Franco Bertinelli; she's also something of a bastard in the more colloquial sense, sometimes of the [[MagnificentBastard magnificent]] variety, as when she manipulates her uncle into murdering her biological father, while setting him up to take the fall for this, and tricks the Question into helping her. And all under the noses of Batman, Robin, Nightwing, and Oracle.]]
** [[ComicBook/TheQuestion Vic Sage]] makes the assumption that he is a bastard, since he was raised in an orphanage, but he never learned his actual parentage so it was never confirmed. He has made peace with this fact and does not let it wear him down.
--->'''Renee Montoya:''' "You really ''are'' a bastard."\\
'''The Question (Vic Sage):''' "Well, I was raised in an orphanage, [[InsultBackfire so you're probably right]]."
*** DC's New 52 has messed with both of these: Huntress is now Helena Wayne from Earth-2 (here we go again!), while the Question is... nobody, not even he, really knows who he is.
** [[ComicBook/{{WonderWoman}} Cassie Sandsmark]] aka Wonder Girl, who's the illegitimate daughter of Zeus(in the Old 52) or Zeus's demigod son Lennox(in the New 52). [[spoiler:Wonder Woman becomes this in the New 52, as the secret lovechild of Hippolyta and Zeus.]]
** [[ComicBook/Batgirl2000 Cassandra Cain's]] parents were not only never married, the only reason they were together at all was to conceive her. After all, [[spoiler: Lady Shiva]] isn't exactly one for romance.
* Creator/MarvelComics also has a few:
** All three of ComicBook/CaptainMarVell's children: Genis and Phyla (by Elysius) and Teddy (by Anelle).
** ComicBook/{{Magneto}}'s daughter Lorna/Polaris appears to have been born out of wedlock. [[TangledFamilyTree Though the exact details are confusing, to say the least]].
** Even ''ComicBook/MarvelComics2'' has a few. Wolverine's son, Sabreclaw, who was a [[BastardBastard double bastard]] before his Heel Face Turn. His mother's still unknown. And then there's Darkdevil, [[spoiler: son of Spider-Clone Ben Reilly and his imprisoned girlfriend]].
** Wolverine himself is the product of his mother's adultery with the family groundskeeper.
%%** Comicbook/{{Blade}}
%%** Clea
* Wesley in ''Comicbook/{{Wanted}}'' is known to have been a bastard. In the comic book he's a Sociopathic Bastard, whilst in the film, he runs the gamut from Poor Bastard to Anti-Hero Bastard to Magnificent Bastard.
* [[spoiler:Laurie Juspeczyk (Silk Spectre II)]] from ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', who realizes late in the book that [[spoiler:she was the result of a consensual affair with the Comedian, who had previously tried to rape her mother]].
** It's rather obviously implicit that [[SonOfAWhore Rorschach's]] parents were unmarried, too. (And even if he's not a hero, he's a brave, very well-meaning main character, so... close enough.)
* The title character of ''ComicBook/NikolaiDante'' is the illegitimate son of Dmitri Romanov.
* Jackie Estacado in ''Comicbook/TheDarkness'' is the son of the most notorious hitman in New York and a random street whore.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Members of the secondary branches of the Avaloni Royal Family are known as Bastard Princes and Princesses. All of them are perfectly heroic and ''love'' to go about helping the helpless and punishing the wicked. In [[TheEmpire the Avalon Empire]] being a royal bastard is in fact a honor because it means that you have at the very least a smidgen of [[GodEmperor divine blood]].
* In ''FanFic/EyeOfTheFox'' Kira is a rather blatant example as while the methods of his conception is still unknown to the reader, his parents were ''obviously'' never ''together'' in a word, and he just barely stops short of being a BastardBastard.
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'' has Lady Cripps the Pink of the Hyracotherium Republic. The result of an affair her mother had with a Unicorn noble (who then left her), Cripps grew up hating the Kingdom of Unicorns as a whole. Because of this, she enlisted in the Hyracotherium military, eventually becoming a national hero when she led her forces to victory in the [[MeleeATrois Lake Trot Crisis]].
* King Friedrich from ''Fanfic/WhatAboutWitchQueen'' is said by WordOfGod to be effect of his mother's affair with another man. He honestly tries to be a good king [[ParentsAsPeople despite]] [[MoralMyopia his]] [[HairTriggerTemper shortcomings]], and, next to Ferdinand, he's probably the most likable of Hans' brothers.
* Littlepip from ''FanFic/FalloutEquestria'' never knew who her father was, mainly because her mother [[AlcoholicParent was too drunk to remember who impregnated her.]]
* In ''FanFic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'', it's Brainy, who is Empath's half-brother. Empath's mother had him after she left Papa Smurf following Empath's "death". Brainy's actual father also wore glasses, but he never married his mother. Brainy simply assumed that he was Papa Smurf's only biological son until around Empath's 150th birthday when it was revealed that Empath, ''not'' Brainy, was Papa Smurf's only biological son.
** And in "The Prisoner Of Stone", Chlorhydris' daughter Priscilla turns out to be one, as she was fathered by the evil witch's true love Manfred the Magnificent sometime before the wedding, but unfortunately he was turned to stone by Drusilla before the two could even marry. (Priscilla doesn't appear in that story, but rather is referenced from the cartoon show episode "The Tear Of A Smurf".)
* In ''Fanfic/PeaceForgedInFire'' Morgan t'Thavrau mentions that her mother never told her who her father was, although given that Iliana t'Thavrau was an admin aide at the Romulan Imperial Senate, "I suspect she was sparing a ''deihu'''s[[labelnote:*]]"senator", literally "elder"[[/labelnote]] ''mnhei'sahe''[[labelnote:*]]the Romulan concept of honor[[/labelnote]]." (The Romulans as written by Creator/DianeDuane hold saving and maintaining face as an important cultural aspect.) It's confirmed later, in "Fanfic/HeisheRinanovai", that her father was [[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS06E19InThePaleMoonlight Merken tr'Vreenak]], [[YourCheatingHeart who was married at the time she was conceived]].
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', Fluttercruel is the daughter of Fluttershy and Discord...but Fluttershy doesn't even have the friendship her canon self does with Discord and in fact Fluttercruel is a [[ChildByRape Child By]] MindRape after Discord's forced brainwashing of Fluttershy accidentally created her. Fluttercruel is still a hero, though [[AntiHero a bit harsher than the average Equestrian.]] Note, this only applies to her ''prime'', as her Dark World self is evil due to being raised by ''Discord''.
* In ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'', it's all but stated that Ash was born out of wedlock, which is confirmed in [[ExpandedUniverse a later sidestory]]. [[spoiler: And the story strongly implies that he's just one of many, perhaps in the ''hundreds'', who share the same father and same status as Heroic Bastards, along with a few Bastard Bastards and others who are in-between]].
* ''FanFic/ThePalaververse'': Princess Celestia herself, having been born as the result of an extramarital relationship between a pegasus noble and an earth pony farmer mare. Luna, technically Celestia’s half-sister, was born later after said pegasus noble returned home and married.
* ''Fanfic/TheBridge'':
** Godzilla Junior is technically one. He was hatched from an abandoned egg and raised by first the human Azusa Gojo and then the kaiju Godzilla Senior, and he grew up to be a great hero. Moonbeam Glimmer specifically brings up the fact his parents were not married and mocks him for being a bastard.
** Godzilla Junior's brother Xenilla is also technically one. He is a clone spawned when some of Mothra Lea's mother's magic mixed with Godzilla Senior's blood. He's inherited traits from both of them. While Xenilla seemed to be a villain at first, it's revealed he's been GoodAllAlong.
** Flash Sentry's ancestor Ardent Sentry was born from a one-night stand Commander Hurricane had with a barmaid named Speedy Service. Hurricane did not know he had a daughter, and Ardent did not tell him until after she had distinguished herself as a member of the Royal Guard, so that she could prove she was a great warrior through merit instead of nepotism.
* Kit Sakura, the red ranger in ''Power Rangers: Shuriken Force''. She explicitly asks her father why they don't have the same last name, and he's rather blunt in telling Kit that he and her mother had a LongDistanceRelationship and neither were up for it. Kit has...''issues'' with this.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* While the movie ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'' itself never uses the word (it is a kid's movie, after all), it's fairly obvious that Linguine was born out of wedlock and that his father apparently didn't even know he existed. The entire thing is not treated as odd or wrong in any way, and at least a few people have commented that this may show a changing public opinion about children born to unmarried parents in the US. Of course, this may be a subtle case of DeliberateValuesDissonance as it's set in modern France, shortly after the first year out-of-wedlock births were the ''majority''. [[NationalStereotypes And of course]], [[LovableSexManiac they're French.]]
* Flynn Rider of ''{{Disney/Tangled}}'' is [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar heavily implied]] to be one. [[spoiler:His real name is Eugene Fitzherbert. [[GeniusBonus Historically]], attaching the prefix "Fitz" to a name designated the bearer as the illegitimate child of a man who was legally claimed by someone else. (Ex; Henry Fitzroy, was the son of Henry viii but legally the son of his mother's husband) most likely at some point a man named Herbert legally claim the bastard. This adds an extra layer to his backstory of being an unwanted orphan.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Erik in ''Film/TheVikings''. He is a ChildByRape.
* Kirk's son David, seen in the second and third ''Film/{{Star|Trek II The Wrath of Khan}} [[Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock Trek]]'' movies, was born out of wedlock. Kirk's cry of "You Klingon bastards! You killed my son!" in the third movie was parodied by Peter David as, "You Klingon sons! You killed my bastard!"
* [[spoiler:Will Scarlet is Robin's illegitimate half-brother]] in ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves''.
* Played straight in the 1999 SciFi adaptation of ''Film/{{Beowulf|1999}}'': he's the bastard child of his human mother and a demon father. Grendel is the son of the King and another demon. [[spoiler:He kills the latter two monsters.]]
* The 2007 ''WesternAnimation/{{Beowulf|2007}}'' film has Grendel as the son of the King after an affair with the demon. The third monster, however, [[spoiler:is the result of Beowulf succumbing to the monster-lady's charms.]]
* In ''Film/EverAfter'' Leonardo da Vinci is said to be the greatest painter in the world and he says of himself:
-->'''Signor da Vinci:''' "I am the bastard son of a peasant. What does that matter?"
* Philip of Cognac, the illegitimate son of UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionheart, in ''Film/PrincessOfThieves''.
* BigGood John Connor of the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise, whose time-traveling father was killed shortly after conceiving him. [[spoiler: [[StableTimeLoop Which motivates him to send said father back in time to save/create him in the first place.]] ]]
* In ''Film/{{Suffragette}}'' the protagonist Maud admits to never having known her father. Since [[spoiler: her boss, for whom her mother also worked, is a serial rapist, it is likely she is a ChildByRape.]]
* ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'': Balian, in contrast with the real man being somewhat less heroic, plus legitimate and a nobleman.
* ''{{Film/Mythica}}'': Dagen, though a bit of a knave at first as he's a thief and lech, turns out to be quite heroic, while born to a {{sex slave}}. It's possible Marek is too, as her father remains unknown.

[[folder:Folklore and Mythology]]
* Hercules, Perseus, Ramma, Sigurd, Apollo, Artemis. In fact, the whole of the Heroic Age in Myth/ClassicalMythology was basically about a bunch of heroes (which is a Greek word, by the way) who were mostly badass extramarital children of Olympian gods (first of all, Zeus), making them the UrExample of Heroic Bastard (both in academic sense and often personality-wise).
* A startlingly large number of the protagonists in classic Arthurian myth are illegitimate, to wit:
** KingArthur himself was born of a deception when Merlin [[BedTrick disguised Uther Pendragon as Gorlois]] so Uther could sleep with Gorlois' wife, Igraine. Uther and Igraine did get married before Arthur was born, so he is not of illegitimate birth, just illegitimate conception, so technically qualifies.
** Merlin was said to be the child of a human woman and an incubus. It doesn't seem likely that they were married.
** The "[[IncorruptiblePurePureness perfect gentle knight"]] Galahad, one of the Grail-finders, was the bastard son of Lancelot and Elaine.
** Mordred is usually the son of Arthur and his [[BrotherSisterIncest half-sister Morgause]] (or [[Literature/TheMistsOfAvalon Morgaine]]). While many of the older versions of Arthurian myth paint Mordred as a typical [[BastardBastard double-bastard]] (evil as well as illegitimate), more recent works (and even some of the older ones) have tried to reform this character.
** Perceval, in the versions where he's Pellinore's son. And that's just the major characters. To this add Sir Tor (one of the knights of the white hart), Guinglain (Gawaine's long-lost son), Yvain the lesser, and Sagramore in many of his Hungarian incarnations, plus at least two other bastard sons of Arthur (Logors and Arthur the less) and anyone that has slipped this troper's mind. As the majority of the fathers in these cases were major knights themselves, the original ballad writers were apparently more concerned with the genealogy than they were the marriage vows.
* Karna in the ''Literature/{{Mahabharata}}''.
* Jephthah in the [[Literature/TheBible Biblical]] ''Book of Judges'' was the son of Gilead and a prostitute, and was exiled by his half-brothers for being a bastard. Later in life, they have to beg him to lead them to victory over the Ammonites. Some would say he's [[BastardBastard the other kind of bastard]] due to the very... confusing situation with his daughter, which is still a HUGE subject of contention among scholars.

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'' there is no shortage of bastards. Ward, the protagonist, is a legitimate child, but Oreg, his inherited slave (Ward can't free him, AWizardDidIt) and later sidekick ''is'' a bastard of one of Ward's long-dead ancestors. (At one point Ward introduces him as "cousin", in the correct assumption that everyone will assume he's one of the many bastards Ward's father fathered.) There's also Stala, Ward's half-aunt. She's a bastard from his mother's side of the family. The king has a bastard half-brother, who is much more heroic than he.
* [=FitzChivalry=] Farseer, hero of Creator/RobinHobb's ''Literature/{{Farseer}}'' and ''Fool'' trilogies, is the bastard son of Prince Chivalry Farseer. "Fitz" is Norman-French for "son," so Fitz's name is simply "son of Chivalry," but since Fitzroy ("son of the king") was the surname given to illegitimate sons of the English kings, it also means, colloquially, "bastard of Chivalry."
* Speaking of Fitzroys, the vampire protagonist of Creator/TanyaHuff's ''Literature/BloodBooks'' series is one Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of King Henry VIII. He's also heroic.
* Henry Fitzroy also shows up in Creator/MercedesLackey's ''This Scepter'd Isle''.
* Desmond [=MaqqRee=], known to the press of the Fair World as Literature/DocSidhe. Officially the records state "father unknown." Unofficially, it's well known that Doc is the son of the (now-deceased) prince-consort of Cretanis.
* George R.R. Martin's ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has bastard children of all sorts with a wide variety of temperaments. The most notable and heroic is Jon Snow, the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark, and is one of the characters in this [[CrapsackWorld series' world]] most befitting a classic hero -- also described as a [[https://youtu.be/yarEbKyk8PU?t=146 "classic hero"]] by the [[WordOfGod author, George R. R. Martin]]. While Jon is raised by his father alongside his trueborn siblings as part of the family in his father's home castle, loves and is loved by his father and siblings, Jon still feels like somewhat of an outsider in his own family. He chooses to join the Night's Watch to earn his own honour. It is possible that his half-brother, Robb, with whom he was very close, [[spoiler: officially legitimized Jon as a Stark in his will and named Jon as heir, as he talked to his mother of doing]], but Jon does not know this yet. [[spoiler:It is a popular fandom theory that Jon is not Eddard's biological son, but his nephew, as Jon may be the son of Eddard's sister Lyanna Stark and [[TheAce Prince Rhaegar Targaryen]], both deceased. Eddard passed Jon off as his own bastard child to keep him safe from the then-reigning dynasty - a wise move, given [[DeathByAThousandCuts what]] [[YourHeadAsplode happened]] to Rhaegar's other children]].
** King Robert Baratheon's bastard children come across as quite heroic, if sharing the Baratheon stubbornness. Gendry is quite decent and selfless, joining the [[LaResistance Brotherhood]] [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits without Banners]] as he likes their [[WeHelpTheHelpless ideals]]. Gendry becomes a KnightTemplarBigBrother toward some of the children orphaned in the war.
** Ser Rolland Storm, the Bastard of Nightsong, is a relatively minor character but comes across as quite decent. When King Stannis Baratheon is losing the war and surrounded by various scheming and ambitious nobles, he mentions Rolland is one of the few good men left to him. Rolland helps Davos Seaworth send Edric to safety and is left by Stannis to hold Dragonstone when he [[spoiler:sails to the Wall, refusing to surrender even to vastly superior odds.]]
** "The World of Ice and Fire" writes of Benedict Rivers, a bastard of FeudingFamilies Blackwood and Bracken. He is despised for his parentage, however he's such a great warrior that he is able to become the first man to unite the Riverlands, and takes the name Justman, creating a Royal House that rules the Riverlands for almost three centuries.
** The bastards Addam of Hull and Alyn, apparently bastards of the deceased Laenor Velaryon (or, more likely, Laenor's father Lord Corlys Velaryon, who didn't want his wife to be offended), who are legitimized at the request of their "grandfather", becoming heirs to Driftmark. Despite Rhaenyra taking the actions of two other dragonseed, the Two Betrayers, as proof bastards are treacherous, forcing Addam to flee, Addam heroically gathers an army to fight Rhaenyra's enemies, dying in the process. His brother succeeds Corlys as Lord of Driftmark and becomes known as Oakenfist for his naval victories.
** Played with on Brynden Rivers "Bloodraven", one of [[TheCasanova Aegon IV's]] "The Unworthy" many bastards. He assists his legitimate brother Daeron II against their half-brothers ([[TheEvilPrince Daemon Blackfyre]] and [[BastardBastard Aegor Rivers "Bittersteel"]]) but seems to have resorted to rather extreme methods against these relatives, making him quite an AntiHero (By the time of the Dunk and Egg stories, he has what amounts to a medieval kingdom-wide SecretPolice force, it doesn't help that he isn't helping the west of Westeros which is being raided by Dagon Greyjoy). However, his methods may have been necessary, considering the very real threat the Blackfyres posed. Eventually Brynden's extreme actions, murdering one of Daemon's sons despite an offer of safe conduct, forced Daeron's grandson Aegon V to send him into exile. [[spoiler:Currently it's unclear whether Bloodraven is working with the Others or against them.]]
** In "The Tales of Dunk and Egg", Egg [[spoiler:Prince Aegon]], while talking about the Blackfyres and Bloodraven, claims bastards are treacherous by nature. Dunk (Ser Duncan the Tall) points out that he is probably a bastard, as he doesn't know who his parents are. Dunk is one of the few figures in the series who lives up to the KnightInShiningArmour ideal.
** Ser Glendon "Flowers" (who insists he is Glendon Ball) plays with this. He claims to be the son of Quentyn Ball "Fireball" (considering his mother was a camp follower who slept with a lot of men around that time this is dubious) and at first comes across as a jerk to Dunk for his support of the Blackfyres. However he turns out to be a very good jouster and closer to the knightly ideal then many of the knights at a Tourney, [[spoiler:who were being bribed to lose to Daemon II Blackfyre]].
** One of the first Kingsguard was Ser Addison Hill "the Bastard of Cornfield", who eventually rose to become Lord Commander.
* Daine in Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/TheImmortals'' series is illegitimate, hence her [[strike:patronymic]] matronymic is "Sarrasri" from her mother. Turns out that her father [[spoiler: is really Weiryn, the God of the Hunt,]] though she doesn't find this out until the last book.
* Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series:
** Touchstone was the bastard son of the Queen and a nobleman, though he ends up taking the throne after a RipVanWinkle situation leaves him as the only royal left alive anywhere.
** Lirael of the Clayr, although not technically illegitimate since the Clayr don't typically marry, has to deal with very similar social disapproval because her mother ran off mysteriously (against tradition) and returned pregnant with Lirael, and completely refused to speak of the identity of Lirael's father. The odd circumstances of Lirael's birth, combined with her non-Clayr looks and lack of Clayr gifts, all cause her to be treated by some as an awkward "love child" rather than a "true daughter of the Clayr". Using her Remembrancer powers she at one point looks into the past and sees her mother and father meet, confirming her worst fears that she was conceived as a one night stand, and stops the vision before she can see her own conception. It's only much later that she finds out [[spoiler:her father is Terciel, the former Abhorsen, which not only makes her the potential heir to the title but also Sabriel's half sister, and it's the Abhorsen looks that she inherited]].
* David Eddings' ''Literature/TheElenium'' and ''Literature/TheTamuli'' series:
** Stragen, a thief, is the bastard son of a noble. He is initially a bit sensitive about it, but gets over it. He then uses it to insult a vast number of obstinate Styrics.
--->''Is "Elene bastard" the best you could come up with? It's not even much of an insult, because in my case it happens to be true.''
** Talen is illegitimate, but formally acknowledged by Kurik.
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', Mandorallen is insulted as "the bastard of Vo Mandor"...due to "some temporary irregularity about my birth which still raises questions about my legitimacy." Since he is a fearsome fighter, however, the only people who mention this are relatives (local traditions disapprove of shedding the blood of kinsfolk), idiots, and people a safe distance away.
** In the sequel, king Urgit of Chtol Murgos is revealed to be one, as Silk's late father found the Murgo nobility's custom of sequestering their women nothing but an inviting challenge. The result is actually a benefit to Urgit (and by extension, his kingdom) as he's spared from the [[RoyallyScrewedUp hereditary insanity plaguing the royal bloodline]] (as well as giving him enough cunning to win the deadly succession war). It also saves him from Mallorean Emperor Zakath having him horribly killed as part of his (Zakath's) methodical revenge extermination of the Urga bloodline. After some king-coaching from Garion, Urgit goes on to be a fairly decent king.
* The titular hero in Bernard Cornwell's ''Literature/{{Sharpe}}'' series is the son of a prostitute and an unknown man. Ironically, "bastard" is one of his favorite insults to rile up many an opponent to their deaths.
* Alain from ''Literature/CrownOfStars'' is (supposedly) the son of a servant and either a merchant, a count, an elven shade (don't ask), his grandfather or some completely unknown man. This is a major plot point in the series - until he stops caring about it.
** Oh, and Liath? She's the daughter of a priest and a ''fire elemental''.
** Not to mention that in order to become king or queen, you have to sire or birth a bastard to prove your fertility. Sanglant is the bastard son of the current king and an elven woman from that "ceremony." He gets treated even worse than the average bastard thanks to his mother's blood.
* Pearl Prynne, the illegitimate child of Hester Prynne, from ''Literature/TheScarletLetter'' by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a slightly revised version of the "illegitimacy means evil child" notion. Because the entire book is about the rebounding effects of denying and admitting sin, Pearl is seen as a living embodiment of the scarlet letter A worn on Hester's chest. Pearl is irreverent, impish, and obsessed with the scarlet letter, and a source of much anguish to her mother, until [[spoiler: her father admits to being Hester's lover and fellow-sinner. After this, Pearl's character changes completely -- [[BroughtDownToNormal one might say she becomes a "normal" little girl]].]]
* Jack Jackson/Fitzjack, of Ken Follett's ''ThePillarsOfTheEarth'', being the bastard of a hanged traveling musician. He turns out fine and even builds one of England's first Gothic Cathedrals, among other things.
* Lloyd Williams, in Follett's ''Literature/TheCenturyTrilogy''. He is the bastard son of Earl Fitzherbert, known as "Fitz", and his housekeeper (who in short order becomes his former housekeeper) Ethel Williams (who raises Lloyd). In the second book of the trilogy, "Winter of the World", he becomes a tireless crusader against fascism, fighting first the British Union of Fascists in the East End of London, then going to Spain to fight in the Civil War, and finally fighting Nazi Germany in World War II.
* All of the Demigods (also known as half-bloods) from Rick Riordan's ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' series, since the Greek gods have not changed their habits from ancient times and leave plenty of illegitimate children around. The titular character is the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. ''Literature/MagnusChaseandtheGodsofAsgard'', set in the same universe, has heroes of this nature as well, but with Norse Gods. In fact due to the widespread nature of this trope, the only heroes in the universe that ''aren't this trope are the main protagonists of''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'', and a few non-demigod main characters like Rachael and Hearthstone.
* Tanis Half-Elven, the leader of a band of heroes in the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}} Saga'' novels, is the product of a Human warrior raping his Elven mother.
** Steel Brightblade, the product of a one-night stand between Sturm Brightblade and Kitiara Uth Matar, may have been a servant of an evil deity, but he did help save the world on one occasion.
* Mark of Tasavalta in Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''Books of Swords'' and ''Books of Lost Swords'' is the natural son of Mala and the Emperor.
** In that setting, the Emperor is regarded as a legend or myth, and the phrase "child of the Emperor" is a euphemism for "bastard." It just happens to be literally true in Mark's case.
* Tristran Thorn, hero of Creator/NeilGaiman and Charles Vess' ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'', is the bastard son of Dunstan Thorn and [[spoiler:the long-lost daughter of the Lord of Stormhold]].
* Philp Kent, the title character of John Jakes' novel, ''The Bastard''.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Ghostmaker'', Dorden had, as a new fledged doctor, saved a [[DeathByChildbirth woman in labor]] and her baby. This is revealed by Corbec, who was the baby; being illegimate, his mother did not have the same name, which is why he hadn't realized.
* In Creator/SandyMitchell's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} novel ''Scourge the Heretic'', Drake is the (presumably illegitimate) son of a man of high standing and a chambermaid. Though somewhat bitter about his inability to advance on his stratified world, he copes by joining the Imperial Guard to escape, and when he is recruited to help an Inquisitor, his uncertain status may be reflected in his ability to handle shifting social situations: intimidating a man of the very highest birth by treating him with no deference, and drawing information from servants [[NiceToTheWaiter by pleasantries]].
* In Creator/ChristopherMoore's novel ''Literature/{{Fool}}'', an AffectionateParody of ''Theatre/KingLear'', [[spoiler:the protagonist Pocket, the titular character, discovers he's the illegitimate son of Lear's brother. The news is not very well received as he learns this in a vision that also reveals that his conception was the result of Lear forcing his brother to rape Pocket's mother after the brother idly mentions he finds her attractive, all just to prove the point that, as king, he had the right to. The other noble bastard in the story, Edmund of Gloucester, is decidedly not heroic.]]
* Alan Campbell's ''Literature/DeepgateCodex'' books have [[spoiler:Carnival, born from the rape of her mortal mother by Ulcis. (GodIsEvil much?) FromBadToWorse from there]].
* Stephen Maturin of O'Brian's ''Master and Commander'' fame was the son of an Irish officer and a Spanish woman. At several points throughout the series, Maturin empathizes with other (literal) bastards, including Aubrey's illegitimate biracial son Sam.
* ''Literature/LesMiserables'' has Fantine, who has no family at all -- she was named by a stranger who found her wandering barefoot in the streets as a child. She herself bears a daughter out of wedlock, and names her Cosette, who is eventually adopted by [[AllLovingHero Jean Valjean]].
* Apropos in the ''Literature/SirAproposOfNothing'' series was the son of a prostitute who was gang-raped by a bunch of knights [[spoiler:and the King's jester]].
* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/{{Chalion}}'' world, one of the [[CrystalDragonJesus five gods]] is the Bastard, god of the unseason, who give shelter to those who have none and provides friends to the friendless and justice to those who cannot find it.
** The second book in the series, ''Literature/PaladinOfSouls'', features a literal heroic bastard in the person of Illvin, the half-brother of Lord Arhys dy Lutez.[[note]]A point of some confusion is clarified when it is revealed he and his brother share a mother, ''not'' a father; Arvol dy Lutez was the male lover of Ista's late husband Ias, and a blood relation between Arvol and Illvin would have made the latter's eventual courtship of Ista very awkward.[[/note]] Once he gets out from the enchanted sleep spell he was under he proves quite heroic, performing dazzling feats of horsemanship, swordsmanship, and hair-raising rescues.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** King Verence... sort of. He's not really TheHero as much as a secondary protagonist. Verence becomes king after his half-brother [=TomJon=], the child of the last ruler, decides to be an actor. He was made king thanks to the fact that Verence and [=TomJon=] have a strong resemblance to each other and the previous king had a habit of [exercising his droit de seigneur. Granny Weatherwax decided this was close enough and made him king. Subverted however in [[spoiler: the previous king's wife had a thing for the previous court jester, Verence's father]].
** Terry Pratchett seems quite fond of enthroning bastards. Aside from Verence's case, ''Pyramids'' ends with [[spoiler: Teppic's half-sister Ptraci]] on the throne of Djelibeybi, and ''Witches Abroad'''s Ella, eventual ruler of Genua, is the illegitimate daughter of Baron [[spoiler: Saturday and Mrs. Gogol]]. Princess Keli's late father (from ''Mort'') was known as "King Olerve the Bastard" -- even on his hourglass! -- and he doesn't seem nasty enough to merit such a title unless he, too, was illegitimate.
* In ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'', Reynard is a HeroicBastard who is also a ''[[AntiHero heroic bastard]]'', as well as a MagnificentBastard.
* Richard in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series is not only a bastard, but the product of [[spoiler: his mother being raped by the BigBad. Despite this, he is eventually recognized as being the big bad's legitimate heir and even taking his last name.]]
* Axis in Sara Douglass's [[Literature/TheWayfarerRedemption Axis trilogy]] is of illegitimate birth, and is reminded of this fact constantly, particularly in the first book.
* Aeneas in ''Literature/TheAeneid.'' He's the illegitimate son of the goddess Aphrodite/Venus and the mortal Anchises. For that matter, any child of a god(dess) and a mortal, except for Achilles. His immortal mother actually married his mortal father, and then left him after Achilles was born.
* Max in ''Literature/CodexAlera'', while [[TheLancer not the main character]], is the bastard son of High Lord Antillus. This nets him both [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking incredible power]] and an WickedStepmother who's [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident been trying to get rid of him for years]].
** And while TheHero, Tavi, technically isn't a bastard, for the first three and a half books he thought he was and might as well have been, and he was plenty heroic in that time. His father was a soldier, and while it was technically illegal for ''Legionnaires'' to be married, it wasn't uncommon for them to do so in secret, or at least discreetly enough that nobody would bring it up. [[spoiler:Since everyone who knew about it other than Isana and Araris was killed right along with Septimus at First Calderon, the fact that the Princeps was married for 10 months managed to go unnoticed by the rest of the world.]]
* Both Cat and Bones from the ''Literature/NightHuntress'' series. Cat is the product of rape, and she and her mother are both shunned by their small town for her out-of-wedlock birth. Bones is both a bastard and the SonOfAWhore. They [[BattleCouple team up]] to kill evil vampires and rescue the human victims.
* Technically, Kvothe of ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' actually ''is'' a bastard; his parents were never formally married, though they lived as a couple.
* Jiaan in the ''Literature/FarsalaTrilogy'' is the bastard child of a Farsalan war leader and later takes his place, though with no one's consent.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Thomas Raith is a ChildByRape and a man who tries to rise above the fact that he's essentially an [[HornyDevils incubus]] by controlling his need to feed on others' lust. [[spoiler:He was fathered by Lord Raith on the witch Margaret [=LeFay=], whom he had mentally enslaved. [=LeFay=] later escaped and married Malcolm Dresden, Harry's father.]]
* ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' has a couple:
** Martin Longbow is a bastard child of Duke Borric of Crydee and a serving girl. This poses a problem after his father, on his deathbed, legitimizes him as his son. Since he's the oldest of Borric's children, this puts him first in line for the throne of the kingdom itself. Thankfully for the kingdom, he surrenders his claim to that throne in favor of his younger half-brother Liam, and ends up as the next Duke of Crydee.
** Eric von Darkmoor is the bastard (although his mother tried to claim that he was legitimate, and that his father's relatives annulled the marriage in order to get the Baron-to-be to marry another noble for an alliance) son of the Baron von Darkmoor. He is a much better person than the eldest legitimate child of his father.
* In ''Literature/{{Contact}}'', [[spoiler:Ellie, the protagonist,]] finds out in the very last chapter that [[spoiler:her deceased father, whom she idolized, is not her father. Her (not actually "step-") stepfather, who she despises, is.]]. This subplot is completely absent from [[Film/{{Contact}} The Movie]].
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'' has so many of these that they're in every series. Examples include: Mistyfoot and Stonefur, who are [[spoiler: half Thunderclan half Riverclan, with their mother faked as a Riverclan queen.]] [[spoiler: Lionblaze, Jayfeather and Hollyleaf]] also count, with them also being half-clan, and their mother [[spoiler: a medicine cat]]. They believe that another relation of theirs is their mother, and the truth does not come out until much later.
* Mariam from ''Literature/AThousandSplendidSuns'' is a [[TragicHero tragic example]], since she had the bad luck to be one in a society that considers this utterly scandalous.
* Andre-Louis in ''Literature/{{Scaramouche}}'' was born from an affair.
* Tzigone, one of the central protagonists of ''Literature/CounselorsAndKings'' is the bastard daughter of the renegade wizardess Keturah [[spoiler: and King Zalathorm of Halruaa]]. She's very determined to keep this from coming out, however, since Halruaa's laws regarding marriage and procreation are draconian and a wizard's bastard is executed out of hand if both parents can't be named. [[spoiler: In the end, Zalathorm acknowledges Tzigone as his daughter and marries Keturah, giving Tzigone a proper family for the first time in her life- and also making her Princess of Halruaa, much to her consternation]].
* The title character of ''Literature/{{Candide}}'' is one of the nicest guys in the story. He also happens to be illegitimate (his mother refused to marry his father because "he could produce no more than seventy-one quarterings in his arms"). Despite how little legitimacy matters to the events of the book, Cunegonde's brother refuses to allow her to marry so far below her. He never lets up on this tiring belief, even after Candide bought him out of slavery.
* Emily Roland from ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' is and it's more common than not for women in the Air Corp to have children out of wedlock. The point that keeps coming up in the story is that no, she's not ''Laurence's'' bastard[[note]]her mom did not meet Laurence, or talk him into bed, until Emily was ten or so[[/note]].
* Creator/EllisPeters seems fond of bastards; many of them crop up in her ''Literature/BrotherCadfael'' books and most of them are heroic. The one that stands out most is Olivier, [[spoiler:Cadfael's son]].
** And then there is the historically factual Robert of Gloucester, illegitimate brother and devoted supporter of the Empress Matilda. One of Robert's sons does a HeelFaceTurn in ''Brother Cadfael's Penance'' precisely because he's sick of watching his father take garbage from the Empress.
* Lanen in ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'' finds out early that the man her mother married before [[DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou running away]] wasn't her father after all. Her initial reaction is relief, since it explains the rather cool relationship that had existed between them, and largely it doesn't seem to matter, but in a low moment later she does bring up her bastard heritage.
* Alex Mackay in ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' is the illegitimate son of a Scots nobleman. As he is out of the succession, he takes up arms as a mercenary in the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar. Since he's serving Gustavus Adolphus, one of the few "good" monarchs of that time period, and is visibly disgusted at atrocities committed by German soldiers, he's probably Heroic even before the arrival of Grantville.
* The main character of ''Literature/{{Inheritance}}'', Eragon, is one, the son of Selena and [[spoiler: Brom]]. One could argue that this applies to all Elves, as they don't marry.
* In the world of ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', anyone coming from a family that [[UnableToSupportAWife could not buy and protect a husband]] is fathered by a "[[SexSlave crib captive]]". Records are kept of when such a liaison produces a child - a birth certificate includes maternal ancestry and may have notes such as "Great-grandchild of Kei Whistler and Order of the Sword crib captive Gerard, #458". The current generation of Whistlers had married parents and grandparents, but it's well established that those grandmothers whose children ended up so respectable were roguish.
* The titular prince of ''Literature/PrinceRoger'', [[OverlyLongName Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock]], after he took multiple levels of badass. He also develops into the other type of bastard, the literal meaning already applicable since the Empress had never married his father:
-->'''Sgt. Catrone:''' Order received and understood, and I will comply. You bastard.\\
'''Prince Roger:''' That I am. Literally and figuratively. The last bastard standing. The flag of the ''Basik's'' Own wears a bar sinister proudly.
* Vin, heroine of ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'' is the illegitimate daughter of a prostitute and a priest of the CorruptChurch [[spoiler: The HighPriest, in fact, as it turns out- which, since aforementioned church teaches that a member of the nobility having a child with a commoner is a sin and such children should be killed, is noted as being a rather ironic breach of duty. It also turns out that this is why the Steel Inquisitor that's been hunting Vin throughout her life is after her- if he can catch her alive and prove she's her father's daughter, the Inquisitor can have grounds to have her father killed and take over his position]].
* ''Literature/VampireAcademy'':
** Rose. The illegitimate daughter of Janine Hathaway and [[spoiler:Ibrahim "Abe" Mazur]]. Her parents never married, making her an actual bastard. She is genuinely heroic.
** Dimitri is the illegitimate son of Olena Belikova and a royal Moroi ([[spoiler:who is later revealed to be Rand Ivashkov, Adrian's uncle]]). His parents never married, making him a technical bastard. He is genuinely heroic.
* The titular character of ''Literature/TheWatchmakerOfFiligreeStreet'' is, in his words, a "bastard on the wrong side" of Japan's largest {{samurai}} clan, although his modernist outlook is much more of a social impediment than his parentage.
* [[ZigzaggedTrope Zig-zagged]] by the main character of Kate Thompson's fantasy novel ''The New Policeman'', who is a teenager who is teased by his fellow students because his parents were never married and he has his mother's name. However, his parents are actually a stable and loving couple who have lived together since before he was born, run a farm together, and have two children, and they decided not to get married ''explicitly so'' her children would be guaranteed to keep her last name. So from his point of view, he's not a bastard--but from the point of view of several people in his community, he is, since despite his parents having a rock-solid long-term relationship, they were never formerly married and thus that technically makes him a bastard.
* Bane the Bastard in the ''Literature/{{Rigante}}'' series, the illegitimate son of King Connavar.
* Discussed in ''Literature/{{Neogicia}}''. The female protagonist Saly develops unusual powers after her BioAugmentation into a neomancer and Emperor Keynn Lucans sponsors her into a prestigious neomancer school. Keynn's involvement is kept as discrete as possible, but a teacher that does not like Saly very much eventually mentions Keynn keeping an eye on her out loud in crowded classroom. Thanks to Keynn notoriously not having a family and privately being in no hurry to start one thanks to being in a quasi ImmortalProcreationClause situation (he's physically in his mid-thirties at ten centuries old), rumors of Saly being either his bastard daughter or pregnant with his illegitimate child quickly emerge.
* The Red Knight from ''Literature/TheTraitorSonCycle'' is a bastard child of [[spoiler:the King of Alba and his sister, by the way of rape]]. While he has a lot of issues that stem from this (the least of which is refusing to go by his given name), he's nothing if not heroic.
* ''Literature/OrkneyingaSaga'': Einar, later to become Jarl of Orkney, is the son of Jarl Rognvald of Møre with a slave-born woman. Though Rognvald does not deny Einar, he makes clear that he does not care for him and considers him an unworthy offspring on account of his mother's low status. Nevertheless Einar frees Orkney from the vikings that have occupied it, proves to be a capable ruler, and when Rognvald is treacherously killed, ironically Einar is the son who avenges him.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Jon Snow, one of the [[https://youtu.be/yarEbKyk8PU?t=146 heroic protagonists]] in this series. Tyrion lampshades this trope in regards to him in The Night's Watch:
-->'''Tyrion:''' A bastard boy with nothing to inherit, off to join the ancient order of the Night's Watch, alongside his valiant brothers-in-arms.\\
'''Jon:''' The Night's Watch protects the realm from—\\
'''Tyrion:''' Ah yes, yes! Against grumpkins and snarks and all the other monsters your wet nurse warned you about. You're a smart boy. You don't believe that nonsense.
** It turns out that Jon Snow is [[spoiler: a subversion. He's not a bastard son, but the legitimate child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, thus having a claim to both the North and the South]].
** Gendry is a more common example, growing up as "low as you can get" in the grimy underbelly of Kings Landing with no idea of who his father was. (Although other character figure out he's actually the ''King's'' bastard son). He manages to come out as a heroic BullyHunter who dislikes people who pick on those weaker than themselves and later tries to join the [[{{WeHelpTheHelpless}} Brotherhood Without Banners]] who defend the small folk. Ironically although he and Jon have never met, an early sign of both their heroism was their affection for Arya Stark (Jon's favourite sibling and later Gendry's best friend) who clearly seems to have an affinity for the heroic bastard type.
* A good chunk of heroines in Hispanic ''[[SoapOpera Telenovelas]]'' are daughters of mothers abandoned by their lovers, even when the plot ''does not'' involve their heritage or lineage at all.
* Bobby Goren of ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' [[spoiler: is the ChildByRape of a serial killer, although his mother was never sure if her husband or him was Bobby's father.]] Fortunately, he was raised by her and only recently found out.
* [[Series/{{Heroes}} Claire Bennett]] knew she was adopted, but it was only after she found out the man who raised her was working for a Pseudo-GovernmentConspiracy did she learn that she was the [[spoiler:youthful indiscretion of a certain up and coming New York politician]].
* Thea Queen from ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' is the secret love child between her mother Moira Queen and [[BigBad Malcom Merlyn]], Team Arrow's greatest enemy. However, she's also the show's version of Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in an episode of the TV-series ''The Associates'' in which a man notes that there is a TV show called ''The Bastard'' about a man who is, well, the title character, and he says, "What will they do next, create a sequel to ''Lassie'' called ''Son-of-a-Bitch''?"
* Subverted in ''Series/VeronicaMars'', when the eponymous heroine [[spoiler: looks to be then is revealed not to be the bastard daughter of Jake Kane.]]
* Henry from ''Series/OnceUponATime''.
* Locke, Aaron, and Walt from ''Series/{{Lost}}'', all of whom have been said to be special and important, were all born out of wedlock. Further, all were given up (or scheduled to be given up) for adoption.
** Kate also turns out to be this, although she's less heroic by most standards, as a murderer. [[spoiler: Discovering her true parentage is what led to the crime in the first place -- she found out her mother's (ex)husband, who she loves, isn't her biological father, while her stepfather, who she despised, was her biological father, due to an affair before they divorced. She promptly kills him.]]
* Det. Olivia Benson from ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' is a ChildByRape.
* In Series/KamenRiderKiva, It's [[spoiler:the titular rider]] whose the bastard child, although it's inverted, as his father was an all-around nice guy, while his mother fell in love with him more than her actual spouse.
* The term "hero" is debatable, but Francis Wilkerson from ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' was born during the wedding ceremony between Hal and Lois.
* In a DVD extra to accompany the series, Hal, in ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'' tells Leo that he was raised in a brothel by six prostitutes, but that he never knew which of them was his mother. Ironically, he's often called Lord Hal by the other vampires, because he's one of the 'old ones'.
* The title character of ''{{Series/Merlin}}''. Ironically, he might not have been been a bastard at all had it not been for Uther's interference, and his father is unaware he exists [[spoiler: until the Series 2 finale]]. All the better to contrast with [[spoiler:Morgana]], who is a BastardBastard, and Mordred, who isn't one at all in this version.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': While "heroic" [[WellIntentionedExtremist isn't exactly the best description]] of her before her HeelFaceTurn, our [[BrokenBird Tess]] [[TheAtoner Mercer]] can be seen as this in stark contrast with her [[AlternateUniverse Earth-2]] version who, actually raised by [[spoiler: Lionel]], is a [[DarkChick whiny]], [[TheUnfavorite issue-ridden]] BastardBastard.
* ''Series/{{Grimm}}'': Captain Renard has some rather unheroic ways of doing basically good things, but otherwise qualifies for this trope, being the product of an extramarital affair by his father. In contrast to the standard examples of this trope, he was initially treated rather well by his family since being a Royal trumped his out-of-wedlock status. Then the family found out that his mother was secretly a Hexenbiest and they had to flee for their lives.
* Like the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' books, in ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' series, Richard finds out that he was adopted. However, the series changes who his real father is ([[spoiler:Panis Rahl instead of his son Darken Rahl]]) and the means of conception ([[spoiler:BedTrick instead of a forcible rape]]). In fact, it was actually a XanatosGambit by [[spoiler:Panis Rahl]] to merge two powerful magical bloodlines ([[spoiler:Rahl and Zorander]]) and sire an heir to fight [[spoiler:Darken Rahl]].
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': After oldest sister Prue is KilledOffForReal, it was revealed that the trio's mother Patty's [[ArcWelding previously established]] affair with her Whitelighter had resulted in HeroicBastard youngest daughter and [[LongLostRelative secret]] fourth [[TheChosenOne Charmed One]], Paige.
* Catherine Willows from ''{{Series/CSI}}'' was established early on to have been raised by a single mother. She eventually finds out her father was [[spoiler:Sam Braun]] (who was present in her life, just not formally as a father).
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'''s title character Rick Castle never knew who his father was because his mother never knew either--he was the product of a one night stand. [[spoiler:He turns out in a season five two-parter to be a CIA black ops guy who never made contact to keep Castle's family safe, though he did once pull strings for his son when Castle wanted to get one of the ''Derrick Storm'' novels BackedByThePentagon.]]
* Dylan Masset from ''Series/BatesMotel'' may be morally ambiguous, but he's also the [[OnlySaneMan rational]] TokenGoodTeammate in the Bates family. It was revealed that he is the illegitimate ChildByRape between Norma Bates and [[BigBrotherBully her brother Caleb.]]
* ''Series/{{Alf}}'' was a weird inversion. He was ''not'' born out of wedlock, but on Melmak, they seem to regard this as the same as Earthlings regard those who ''are''. He nearly crosses a DespairEventHorizon once he discovers it.
* In ''Series/{{Supergirl}}'', [[spoiler:Lena Luthor eventually finds out that she's a product of Lionel Luthor's infidelity, although that fact was hidden from everyone after Lionel forced his wife Lillian to adopt Lena. Lena does her best to distance herself from her family, especially her jailed brother Lex, by rebranding the company to L-Corp and working to better the world for everyone, human and alien alike]].
* In ''Series/{{Timeless}}'', Lucy finds out that she's a product of an extramarital affair of her mother and a married man. Throughout the show, Lucy shows herself to be a brave woman, who tries to fight Flynn and [[spoiler:Rittenhouse]]. it gets worse, when she finds out that [[spoiler:her father is a high-ranking member of Rittenhouse]] and worse still, when it's revealed that [[spoiler:her mother is Rittenhouse as well. In fact, it's implied that her birth was planned by Rittenhouse, making her "royalty" of sorts]].

* In keeping with JustForFun/TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples: "The Bastard", Philip Faulconbridge, in ''Theatre/KingJohn'' is a sort of [[IdenticalGrandson avatar]] of his father, UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionHeart. Richard's old enemy Leopold of Austria is conflated by Shakespeare with the Viscount of Limoges, and appears wearing Richard's own personal lion-skin (!), which Faulconbrige takes back after slaying him.
* [[spoiler:Elphaba]] in ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', [[spoiler:thanks to her mother's indiscretion with the Wizard. Possibly yet another reason why her father doesn't like her--he's probably sure she isn't his.]]
* [[Music/RichardWagner Wagner's]] Siegfried.
* Jack Dunois, the Bastard of Orléans, in Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw's ''Theatre/SaintJoan'', is the commander of the soldiers who Joan leads into battle, and subsequently her closest friend in the French court. He was a real person, and "Bastard of Orléans" was his real nickname; it wasn't an insult but a factual statement -- he was the illegitimate son of the Duke of Orleans -- and even something of a sign of respect, since as an acknowledged son of the Duke he was a member of the royal family.
* Alexander Hamilton of ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}'' is repeatedly described as "a bastard orphan." This is true of [[UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton the real-life founding-father]] as well; Alexander's mother Rachel Lavien was unable to get a divorce from her first husband, so her second marriage, to James Hamilton could never be legitimized. James eventually left the family when Alexander was 10 years old.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** One of the important reveals of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is that [[spoiler:King Cailan]] had an illegitimate half-brother, namely [[TheSnarkKnight Alistair]], one of the few [[LawfulGood unambiguously heroic]] characters in the game.
-->''"So you're not just a bastard, but a royal bastard!"''
** [[NeutralGood Leliana]] was also born out of wedlock, something that apparently made life very difficult for her mother in Orlais. [[spoiler:While Leliana did lead the very morally ambiguous life of a spy for many years of her life, she has completely reformed by the time the player reaches her.]] Not only one of the more heroic characters, but also one of the only idealists.
** Mage NPC Feynriel from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', provided you help him realize his potential.
* Ayane of ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive'' is the product of Kasumi's mother being raped.
* Thomas from ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'' is one of the nicest characters in the game and also is a bastard.
** Likewise Hugo from the same game.
* Ramza Beoulve, the main character of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', is heavily implied to be this. Although it only comes up in passing in the game, one imagines it was more of an issue when he was living among nobles, before everyone got caught up in the Lion War. Ironically one of the only unequivocally good characters in the game. For further irony, both his older (presumably legitimate) brothers are bastards in the more contemporary sense of the word. For instance, Dycedarg [[spoiler:murdered their father, and is host to one of the demons intent on bringing about [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The End Of Ivalice As We Know It]]]]. Zalbag is much more sympathetic, even noble, but he was still the one giving the order for [[spoiler:Algus/Argath to [[ShootTheDog shoot Delita's sister Teta]] [[ShootTheHostage in order to take out]] Golagros/Gragoroth]]. The game implies that he may be, like Algus/Argath, a classist, and was willing to sacrifice [[spoiler:Teta]] because [[spoiler:she]] was a "mere" commoner, and insults Ramza for having his mother's "commoner blood".
** His bastardy is more or less confirmed in the instruction manual for War of the Lions, where he is referred to as ''the issue of his father's paramour'', which is just a fancy and archaic way of saying ''the result of an adulterous affair''.
* Terra in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. Spoilers: [[spoiler: Even if Maduin and Madonna actually got married (which is never mentioned) Terra was definitely born first. Also, given the taboo with humans being in the Esper world in the first place, it's further unlikely that any Esper would be willing to marry an Esper to a human.]]
* Lord Haurchefant Greystone of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', complete with the Game of Thrones-style bastard surname. Though he grew up ostracized and hated by his stepmother and half-brothers for being the bastard son of a noble house, he still becomes a respected and patriotic knight of Ishgard. There's also the ReasonableAuthorityFigure [[spoiler: Aymeric]] who is revealed late in the Heavensward story to be the bastard son of [[spoiler: Archbishop Thordan VII]] and Hilda, leader of the lower-class LaResistance, who's a HalfHumanHybrid born between a nobleman [[OurElvesAreDifferent Elezen]] and a servant Hyuran woman.
* ''VideoGame/TheBastardOfKosigan'', bastard son of [[spoiler:a precursor and Count Borogar of Kosigan]]. Though he might be a Villainous Bastard if you play him the other way. And given the number of women he can end up taking advantage of he may be leaving a few behind.
* ''Videogame/FireEmblem'' has a few examples as well:
** Princess Guinevere in ''Videogame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'', the illegitimate daughter of King Desmond and his mistress, turns out to be [[spoiler: more heroic than her legitimate half-brother, King Zephiel.]]
** [[spoiler: Ashnard's]] illegitimate son Soren in ''Videogame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'' and ''Videogame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn'' may not be particularly heroic, but his loyalty to Ike and his brilliant tactics make him crucial to the BigBad Ashnard's defeat. And in the sequel, ''Radiant Dawn,'' Soren is also among the people that defeats [[spoiler:GreaterScopeVillain [[PhysicalGod Ashera]], and prevents the destruction of all life at her hands.]]
** Azelle in ''Videogame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'', son of the former Duke of Velthomer and his wife Cigyun's favorite lady-in-waiting/maid... or, at least, he assists Sigurd in what seem to be heroics before everything goes to hell and [[spoiler: they all die anyway]].
** [[spoiler: Sigurd's wife Deirdre]] was the illegitimate daughter of [[spoiler:said Duke of Velthomer's runaway wife and the Prince of Grannvale.]] Her mom fell victim to DeathByChildbirth and her dad never knew about her before being messily murdered (unless it's the Oosawa manga, in which he was planning to personally search for his heir. The game itself implies it was her ''grandfather'' who did so).
** The sort-of sequel to ''Genealogy'', ''Videogame/FireEmblemThracia776'', reveals that [[spoiler: Azelle's older brother Arvis]] ''also'' had his own Heroic Bastard, [[spoiler:Saias,]] with his close aide [[spoiler:the BlackMagicianGirl named Aida, whom you meet in the first part of ''Genealogy.'']] Even moreso, out of [[spoiler:Arvis's three children, Saias,]] who aids protagonist Leif in his goal of killing and overthrowing Travant, king of Thracia, is the one who [[spoiler:[[HeroicLineage inherited his dad's major Fala blood.]]]] And additionally, [[spoiler: the JerkWithAHeartOfGold Fergus]] who joins Leif's army as well, is the bastard son of [[spoiler:Beowulf, a character from ''Genealogy,'' and a noblewoman from Conote.]]
** There's a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] with [[spoiler:Lissa]] in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening''. She's definitely on the heroes' side, and she ''feared'' that she was illegitimate for a long time due to [[spoiler:lacking the brand of the Exalt that her older siblings, Chrom and Emmeryn, have]]. She's proven to be legitimate by [[spoiler:her son Owain having the mark]], though.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', three of the four Nohrian siblings are this. With the exception of Xander, the other 3 siblings (Camilla, Leo and Elise) were the illegitimate children of Garon as a result of his many sexual affairs with his many mistresses. On the third path of the game, ''Revelation,'' all of the Nohrian siblings [[spoiler:assist in bringing down GreaterScopeVillain [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Anankos]], and stopping conflict between Hoshido and Nohr for good.]]
*** While it's not really touched on, it's quite safe to assume that [[spoiler: the main character (son/daughter of Queen Mikoto and the Good Side of the aforementioned Anankos)]] fits in as well.
* Reiji Kido from ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' is this, contrasting with his legitimate half-brother Takahisa Kandori, the BigBad of the game.
* Two of the party members in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'' are this, which the player learn later in the game: [[spoiler:Futaba Sakura, the eventual MissionControl, and Goro Akechi, a detective who initially pursues the protagonist before joining the party.]] Their situations {{Foil}} one another greatly, however: [[spoiler: Futaba's mother got pregnant virtually on a whim but took it upon herself to raise her, and she had loved her until her untimely death - Futaba's profound social anxiety, as it turns out, is the result of a power-hungry congressman falsifying her mother's testament. Goro, on the other hand, is the result of an affair between the aforementioned congressman and a mistress; said mistress was kicked to the curb when she got pregnant, and she would eventually commit suicide out of shame for conceiving Goro.]] Sadly, [[spoiler: while Futaba would eventually be HappilyAdopted by a family friend (the protagonist's guardian, Soujiro Sakura), Goro spent years being abused by the system, eventually molding him into a jaded, vain, deeply wounded BastardBastard.]]
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', an Earthborn Shepard, if you play him/her as a paragon.
* Martin Septim in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion.'' Not only he is the bastard son of the Emperor and the real hero of the story; he was a bastard on PURPOSE.
* Implied with Emilia in ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion''; even though Gulcasa was raised by his abusive father--the parent they share--he never even knew that Emilia existed until she found him.
* The hero of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' if you play him/her to be good.
* Prince Amiti of Ayuthay in ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' was raised believing his late mother was a powerful Mercury Adept who restored the lost {{Magitek}} beneath the palace and [[AWizardDidIt conceived him by a miracle]]. Once the player characters show up, the truth comes out-- Amiti's mother, a non-Adept, conceived him the natural way, with a foreign Adept who had started the machine and whose face no one else saw. It's implied the lie was to protect the royal family's reputation, but Amiti is still upset that he was the last to know. [[spoiler: It's rather unsubtly indicated that Amiti's father is [[HiddenAgendaVillain Alex]].]]
* Jin Kazama from the ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series, who is the son of Jun Kazama and Kazuya Mishima. His heroism however has since turned to villainy as of ''Tekken 6''... [[spoiler: Jin's FaceHeelTurn is later revealed to be part of a desperate gambit to erase himself and [[EldritchAbomination Azazel]] of this world. Which would probably qualify him as a {{Tragic|Hero}} Heroic Bastard. Though he defeated Azazel, the curse has not been lifted. He must eliminate the true source: His grandmother.]]
** Also [[spoiler: Lars Alexandersson]], who is the ending result of one of [[spoiler: Heihachi's]] trips to Scandinavia. So far, he fits this trope well.
* Kazuhira[=/=][=McDonnel=] Benedict Miller, one of the main protagonists in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', was heavily implied to have been conceived due to his mom having to work as a prostitute in post-war Japan to survive.
** Also Meryl Silverburgh, as she was conceived from an affair between her mother and her uncle Roy Campbell.
* Supplemental ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' material reveals that Lieutenant Commander Miranda Keyes is the product of an affair between the then Lieutenant [[TheCaptain Jacob Keyes]] and [[OmnidisciplinaryScientist Dr. Catherine Halsey]].
* [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil6 Jake Muller]] is the illegitimate son of ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series BigBad Albert Wesker, and while he's an abrasive, [[spoiler: initially]] financially-motivated AntiHero, he's a shining paragon compared to [[AGodAmI dear]] [[EvilutionaryBiologist old]] [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder dad]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ravenmark}}: Scourge Of Estellion'', the entire Council of Shadows is made up of these, originally known as House Cordance, although that name has been lost to time. All members of the Council, also known as Crowseers, are bastard offspring of the royal House Corvius, charged from a very young age to be the eyes and ears (and, sometimes, knives) of TheEmperor and protect their legitimate relations from threats to the Empire. The Crowseers are the only ones in the Empire who are allowed to use BloodMagic. Livia Cassianus is a prime example of a HeroicBastard. During the campaign, she finds out that the late Emperor Sergius Corvius, her grandfather, has secretly planned for Livia to succeed him over his legitimate children. Yet she still fights on the front lines like any regular Earthbound (common soldier). Then again, the Empire was founded on the principles of meritocracy, where even the lowliest commoner has a right to earn Ravenhood (temporary two-generation nobility) after a lengthy service in the Imperial Mark or an even lengthier service as an administrator. Unfortunately, the events of the campaign serve as her StartOfDarkness. By ''VideoGame/{{Ravenmark}} Mercenaries'', she has become the dreaded Scarlet Empress known for her brutal suppression of any foe, eroding the very foundation of the Empire.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonSiegeIII'' has [[HotWitch Katarina]], one of the four playable characters who is the daughter of the late Hugh Montbarron and a Lescanzi witch, making her the half-sister of fellow playable character Lucas Montbarron.
* ''[[Franchise/DevilMayCry Devil May Cry 4]]'' has Nero. It's hinted that he's the SonOfAWhore, but his father is canonically known. [[spoiler:It's Vergil]].
* ''VideoGame/TelltalesGameOfThrones'': It turns out in episode 6, that [[spoiler: Lord Forrester had two secret children who he employed as protectors of the North Grove.]] However, they save [[NiceGuy Garred]] [[TheWoobie Tuttle's]] life and form a heroic army with him to save their biological father's house.
* While it's only ever hinted at in the first game, ''VideoGame/Dishonored2'' does away with pretenses and confirms that Emily is the daughter of the Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, and her bodyguard Corvo Attano. Curiously enough, this never seemed to be an obstacle, or even an issue regarding Emily's ascension to the throne, a point which is lampshaded by [[spoiler:Jessamine's jilted half-sister Delilah Copperspoon]]. This only applies, of course, on a low chaos run - otherwise, Emily ends up having far in common with [[spoiler:[[BastardBastard her aunt]]]] than [[TheHighQueen her mother]].
* Like his [[Myth/KingArthur mythological inspiration]], King Arthur in ''VideoGame/{{Guenevere}}'' was illegitimately conceived, and generally is honorable and well-intentioned.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'':
** [[spoiler:Battler]] is one, but does not know this thanks to [[spoiler:the fact that his father Rudolf pulled a baby switch after his legal wife Asumu miscarried, and swapped the baby with his mistress Kyrie's]]. However, his parents did get married, just several years later.
** [[spoiler:[[AmbiguousGender Lion Ushiromiya]]]] is also this. Despite being raised by [[spoiler:Krauss and Natsuhi]] in the alternate world shown in [=EP7=], [[spoiler:Lion is really a ChildByRape who resulted from [[ParentalIncest Kinzo forcing himself onto his illegitimate daughter Beatrice Ushiromiya]] under the delusion that she [[ReincarnationRomance was a reincarnation]] of [[DeathByChildbirth her mother]] Beatrice Castiglioni.]]
** [[spoiler:Yasu, Lion's AlternateSelf]] was born the same way, but whether [[AmbiguousGender he/she]] counts as this or a BastardBastard is ultimately up to the reader's interpretation.
* Sola vi Ryuvia of ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' was the product of an affair between a Ryuvian prince and a humble peasant girl. When the Holy Ryuvian Emperor and his eldest son were assassinated and a civil war broke out over the succession, Sola was pressed into service as the Sharr of Ryuvia—a warrior princess expected to fight and die in the Empire’s defense—because her father’s legitimate daughter refused to risk her own life. Though she knew she was just a pawn in her father’s struggle for the throne, [[GoodFeelsGood Sola enjoyed being the Sharr because protecting others and receiving their gratitude made her the happiest she’d ever been]].
* One of the love interests in ''[[VisualNovel/ShallWeDateNinjaShadow Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow]]'' is the illegitimate son of a rich man and his mistress. [[spoiler: It's Yuzuki Hirano, the local PrincelyYoungMan; his HeManWomanHater tendences come from his resentment at his prostitute mother for leaving him. For worse, while his father and half-brothers love him deeply, [[SonOfAWhore Yuzuki]] is loathed by the rest of the Hirano clan and the rich people of Nagasaki for his "filthy" origins.]]

* Namah from ''Webcomic/{{Dreamkeepers}}'' is the result of a secret affair that her father had. He locked her away and shunned her growing up to cover it up, but instead of becoming bitter, she grew into one of the most heroic characters in the comic.
* Janine from ''Webcomic/MurphysLaw'' claims to have been born five months premature.
* Secret from ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation.''
* Alex from ''Webcomic/TheDreamer''.
* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', while canonically ''not'' a bastard (though his father Klaus complains "I haven't seen my wife in years") was raised as if he was, hidden among his father's students-cum-hostages with no knowledge of his true parentage. His mother's identity has yet to be revealed, though hints throughout the comic imply that she might be the queen of a [[HiddenElfVillage Hidden Kingdom]].
* Though the jury is still out, Junuka of ''WebComic/FarToTheNorth'' looks like he might be one. He's much more skilled and professional than the brutish slavers he works with, and sprouts a LuminescentBlush when Kelu grabs him to point out how he's almost as tall as she is.
* Oscar from ''Webcomic/SisterClaire'' is strongly implied to be [[SonOfAWhore the child of a prostitute]], and though her biological mother is dead she was raised by "Maman" who runs a brothel that shelters the city's downtrodden. What's more, her father is [[spoiler:the King of Thronum Mare]].
* Abel Rewanz from ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' was the product of a ''very'' long-term BedTrick (twenty-five years), and [[TraumaCongaLine one very bad day finding out about it]]. He's a snarky JerkWithAHeartOfGold and one of Dan's TrueCompanions.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* Carmilla (Sara Waite), one of the students at [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]] in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, is the child of a powerful lust demon (Gothmog, a child of Shub-Niggurath) and a human woman (actually, a Deep One pre-transformation). You'll never guess, but it was a one-night stand. Of a sort. Despite this background, and having to suck the life out of things in order to live, she's one of the [[BlackAndGrayMorality good guys.]]
** Bishop Arturo Mucro Cursor, aka [[spoiler: [[FlyingDutchman that guy that nailed Jesus to the Cross]]]]. It's even on his business card.
** On the other hand, [[OverlordJr Jobe Wilkins]] frequently [[ComicallyMissingThePoint finds herself in the position]] of [[LiteralGenie pointing out that her parents are, in fact. married]]. She even carries a copy of their marriage certificate around as proof. However, given how RoyallyScrewedUp the Wilkins' family is, even Jobe agrees that it's an understandable mistake.
* This might be the case with the Porcelain Doctor in ''Literature/DeadWest''. We don't know for sure. This is definitely the case with Cherryworth, the Queen's Hound; he is the bastard of the duke of Kensington, and one of the most trusted operatives of the Queen.
* Foul mouthed and snarky though they may be, half-elven twins Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia from ''WebSeries/CriticalRole'' definitely fit the bill, having been born from an encounter between a human peasant and an elven noble. And while sometimes brutal [[GoldFever (and definitely greedy, in the case of Vex'ahlia)]], they are genuinely good people who will go out of their way to protect their friends and help others in need.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Bart finds out that Homer has a brother (voiced by Danny [=DeVito=]) who was born out of wedlock from Grandpa's tryst with a prostitute, and says, "So any idea where this bastard lives?" Marge realizes that because it is literally true, they can't punish Bart for his use of this profanity. Homer, understandably, is still annoyed by it however. (And when Homer sees Herb's house, he says [[ParentalHypocrisy "Holy cow, the bastard's rich!"]]
** Homer's brother Herb even asks him if all of their kids were born in wedlock. Homer notes that [[ShotgunWedding Bart was a close call]].
* [[RebelLeader Caleb]] from ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' when it's revealed that [[BigBad Nerissa]] is his mother. [[spoiler: Since Nerissa [[BedTrick used a different identity to trick his father Julian so she would conceive a child]], Caleb is also a ChildByRape, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar though it's never outright said]].]]
* {{Implied}} in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' for [[ScrewPolitenessImASenior Toph]]'s two daughters, [[DaChief Lin]] and [[FormerTeenRebel Suyin]]. The two have different fathers about whom we know very little, but neither seems to have been involved in the girls' lives, and Toph specifically says that things "didn't work out" between her and Lin's dad, Kanto.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': the title character, apparently. His mother was a millennia-old alien who rarely interacted with humanity, so she and Greg probably would have had trouble legalizing it anyway.
--->'''Andy:''' What do you mean you weren't ''technically'' married?!
** Sour Cream is the son of FormerTeenRebel Vidalia and Greg's [[TheSvengali manipulative manager]] Marty, with whom she had a brief summer fling that resulted in his birth. He's an extremely caring and mellow young man who's nothing like his {{Jerkass}} of a biological father.